Jerry – solid stuff. If you get a chance you should read The Starfish and the Spider
, it examines leaderless organizations like AA, the Quakers, the Apache, etc. Leaderless movements like p2p file sharing, and hybrid decentralized organizations like Wikipedia. The theme is, if you split a spider it dies, if you split a starfish you get two starfish. Not a great book, but worth an afternoon if you have not pondered such things.
I often hear the “coffee pot and a resentment” used as some sort of derogatory comment. Most members don’t see it as the strength it is. As you pointed out, AA is uncommonly tolerant of heretics, it is also anti-fragile
. AA actually thrives on change and a certain level of discord.
It is good to hear your perspective on returning to AA. As for myself I am going to complete the steps to my secular best, get some sobriety behind me, and then evaluate my ongoing involvement in AA. Like you said, finding a forum to discuss these things minus the drama is important.