A.A.’s Singleness of Purpose
So often in A.A., everything old is new again. Today, for instance, many people suffering a variety of ailments other than alcoholism are steered to A.A., causing confusion among members and the professional community alike. A new problem? Not at all. More than 40 years ago the Fellowship was faced with a similar conflict, and Bill W.’s response cut to the heart of A.As reason for being, its singleness of purpose.
“Sobriety—freedom from alcohol—through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an A.A. group,” he wrote in the February 1958 issue of the A.A. Grapevine. “Groups have repeatedly tried other activities, and they have always failed. It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make nonalcoholics into A.A. members. We have to confine our membership to alcoholics, and we have to confine our A.A. groups to a single purpose. If we don’t stick to these principles, we shall almost certainly collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone.”
Statment from the Board of Alcoholics Anonymous