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Old 12-03-2008, 08:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is a Big Book Thumper (to you?)

I just had an a-ha moment reading one of Rufus Posts' concerning "Big Book Thumpers"

So the title stands, "What is a Big Book Thumper to you?"

I realized that BB Thumpers in my opinion all fail to read the same few sections of the Book.

Love and Tolerance of others is our code.

God has peopled this world with physicians and practioners of various kinds who give of themselves freely etc and that their services are often indispensable to helping the newcomer and following his case afterwards

We realize we know but a little, what we have found is an answer that works for us

sometimes not always they say I have to have "their" concept of God, although the book clearly states I get to choose my own concept of a power greater then myself.

Quite often these are folks that fail to have a successful relationship but have no problem "arbiting" the sex lives of others.

Quite a few also point back to "The Golden Age" of AA which frankly never existed, there were addicts, fornication, arguments, 13 stepping, etc from the very beginning, "Hospitals and Institutions" which is older then everything except "General Service" was founded with a fist fight in the parking lot of San Quintin

They miss where Bill wrote "AA must always be all inclusive, never exclusive" You are a member if You say you are, and the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.


This, I'm sure by no means covers everything for me, but for example Steve, Taz, and Rufus constantly refer to the Book, I don't think of them as "thumpers" so that made me question what a thumper is to me and the answer was illuminating.

"me" or "you" are acceptable answers, but what is a BB thumper to you? Is it a good thing? is it bad?

I mean this thread to be helpful to both myself and others, lets keep it clean, I, by no means mean for this thread to be controversial I just had an a-ha moment reading Rufus regarding my perception.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I guess for me it's someone who is constantly quoting the big book instead of sharing their experience.

There's nothing wrong with quoting the big book in my opinion. But when someone sort of ignores their own personal experience in favor of the big book - I don't know.

For example, the big book suggests how to handle a certain situation. So one tries that, but it doesn't work for them. I would rather hear of their experience than have them regurgitate the same passages over and over, especially if they found that a particular item suggested in the BB didn't work for them.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good thread Ago. Disagreement can start the best possible process; learning. Without dissenting opinions, life would be dull. It seems that human nature is all about questioning; wanting to why something is or is not. At least for this human being. I truly enjoyed your comments about the least used phrases in the Big Book being the most poignant and vastly important to all of the recovering community; love and tolerance, by the grace of God, a desire to stop drinking to name a few. Controversy comes when any of our fellowship cloaks their ego with self-righteous indignation. I have been one to do this and readily admit that it feels really good on occasion and maybe that's why defects are so hard to give up, I find a way to justify unkind or even inappropriate behavior especially when it feels good. Do I do this with the Big Book; probably. I refer to the Book continuously, because I was taught and later found the solution to living free contained within its pages, so I am a Big Book advocate. I also know that I have more to learn and hopefully experience in life, yet the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is my guide to living. Others may use a different text as the basis for their life guidance; I chose to use this book because of the results in my life.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Considering my avatar says "Thumper" above it - I will share. FWIW - I put that title more tongue in cheek than anything else based on a few threads that were running about a year ago, it has stayed ever since.

The term thumper can give an impression of telling others what they should do. I don't feel I ever have that right, I only try to share what I have done and do - when that can be tied back to the book, I share the relevant passage.

Thank God my sponsor is a BB thumper - when I say that I mean this: We sat down and went through the book - everything I did (inventory, sharing inventory, praying, ammends, daily meditation and prayer) came directly from that book. It took away the sense that I was blindly following what another person felt was best for me and made me feel "If AA took it's name from a book, and the book gives directions on how to recover from alcoholism - I am glad to say I am doing AA 'by the book'." When I have something to take to my sponsor (maybe I am having a problem that I take to him for his input), almost invariably we will look in the book to see what action it says to take (pray, write, talk, turn my thoughts). The book simplified everything for me because I can't argue with it - it doesn't care if I agree or not....

Love and tolerance as a code - even for thumpers. Right? I didn't know what love and tolerance meant until I had made some direct ammends, I thought I knew - but I really didn't. Right around that same page it also says that we are not 'servile or scraping', and 'that as God's people we stand on our feet; we don't crawl before anyone'.

On another note - I have also had to learn to share the message of AA without the book. Sometimes folks have an aversion to it, just as others do with the word God. Do I have a real experience to share from the 12 steps? Do I know what AA means when it says "real alcoholic"? Can I take someone through step 1 and 2 without referring to the book? .. Yes.

Good or bad? I don't know - I am in no position to define anyone as such and membership or lack of membership of AA is not part of the primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous - frankly, anyone can call themselves a member and that is fine with me. I have yet to witness anyone being kicked out of a group - but I have witnessed people being shunned, disregarded to the point they just leave AA and still spend a lot of their time getting closer to God by working with drunks.

I was a member for years without any results - once I got involved in the REQUIREMENTS to recover, my world changed. I found those requirments in black and white in the book. I am glad someone pointed out that there is a difference between being a member of AA and recovery from alcoholism.

I honestly think some of the other stuff I hear in meetings is a lot more dangerous than the guy who constantly refers to the book. "Keep coming back", "Don't drink no matter what" {btw - as an alcoholic I WILL drink no matter what} ,"Don't leave 5 minutes before the miracle"{as if one day a light is just gonna turn on because I sat in enough meetings}, "Let us love you until you can love yourself" {as if loving myself will remove my alcoholism} and the dreaded "meeting makers make it" {not in my experience}.



BB refernences taken from Alcoholics Anonymous first ed.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Gee, am I kinda dangerous?
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Those for whom AA is a religion and the Big Book it's Holy Scripture.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe for some DK, though for me it is neither scripture or religion. I found a solution for living in the Big Book and this continuing journey to a solution has provided a wealth of good that I would not have gained any other way. How do I know this? I tried every humanly possible way not to work the planned program of recovery contained in the pages. I looked for decades for another solution and found none that worked. This experience of failure opened wide the doors for a solution that could work if I was willing to accept certain things about myself.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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LOL, I believe the question was "what is a Big Book thumper to you?"...
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I kind of like Big Book Thumpers. See, there is so much I do not know and understand in the big book cuz I am so new.

Ask me about the Bible and I have been a scholar for almost 20 years, and have come to know quite a bit, but that is one book that truly is inexhaustable.... and while I would never compare the 2, I think the big book has a ton in it as well.

I am excited to read and learn more of it. I have it by my bed and read a little every night. Am looking forward to joining a big book group as soon as I finish full-filling another commitment of service at a different meeting next month.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanothrdrunk View Post
I guess for me it's someone who is constantly quoting the big book instead of sharing their experience.

There's nothing wrong with quoting the big book in my opinion. But when someone sort of ignores their own personal experience in favor of the big book - I don't know.

For example, the big book suggests how to handle a certain situation. So one tries that, but it doesn't work for them. I would rather hear of their experience than have them regurgitate the same passages over and over, especially if they found that a particular item suggested in the BB didn't work for them.
Very good point and well put

Personally I call those people "non integrated" when I take their inventory, which I shouldn't really do but I do anyway, in that they have read the book, and spout it a great deal but they have not "integrated" and "incorporated" the twelve steps into their lives.

For example I'll ask a question or table a topic and I will get what the book says but not their own personal experience, I find these folks in meetings tedious in the extreme, like that virgin I wrote about giving me sex and relationship advice after I had been in the program something like 10 years.

Once again, I refer to and defer to Steve, Taz, Jim, Rufus, and many others on here, Carol, Astro, I wish I could name you all, but all of their posts generally speaking, when they refer to the big book, incorporate their own experience in what they are saying.

I think that's what makes "Experience, strength, and Hope" so powerful to me, and "advice", "opinion", and "parroting" like just rattling off passages from the Big Book or elsewhere without ES&H so tedious, not that I haven't done my fair share of "parroting" in my day, it's just not real wisdom to me, and doesn't have the necessary "depth and weight" required to actually be of any service thats mentioned in the Big Book as being necessary to actually be of real service to others.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i catch myself saying things like "it says in our literature..." and "in the big book, on pg. 47..." it makes me giggle, because when i first got sober i swore i wasn't going to be "that girl". now, by the grace of god and actually working a program, i know what the big book says and why - cause it works, if you follow directions.

plus, i've sponsored a handful of girls and we read the book together. it's a requirement.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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..it's in the Book.

I love the Book and I have it everywhere I go. With modern technology, I can read the Big Book on my iPhone and listen to Joe and Charlie and other Speakers anytime, anywhere. I love Anonymous Press and their offerings of a Study Big Book and pocket Big Books that I hand out. I have the Big Book on all of my computers along with references and concordances. The answers to living free are there for me, so I refer to it without concern.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I guess for me it's someone who is constantly quoting the big book instead of sharing their experience.
I was guilty of doing that for about 6 years in AA. I would never volunteer anything about me in a meeting. If called on I would quickly refer to the Big Book. It was my way of not opening up. Today it is a guide for my life.

Do I thump????
Pontificate????
I hope not. But I don't know how others see me

Quote:
Love and Tolerance of others is our code.
I have been known to post this here and say it in meetings. I do not do that to sound off as if from a hilltop. Anyone who knows me in f2f meetings would clearly point out that I fall far short of this ideal. When I point out things like this it is because it is something I strive for. But there are times when I quote the Big Book to put people in their place ( or so I think I am doing!) then I am truly a thumper ( Recovering A-hole!)
But when I point out the solution I don't think I am guilty of anything other than trying to carry the message instead of the mess
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I truly strive to pontificate in a manner that illustrates my most luminous experiences to all of the masses and then I get drunk.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great thread!! To me, a Big Book Thumper most often is someone who tirelessly quotes the Big Book but fails to heed it's advice and wisdom. This is something I find particularly relevant...(Sorry, still haven't learned how to use the quote button)

"Good or bad? I don't know - I am in no position to define anyone as such and membership or lack of membership of AA is not part of the primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous - frankly, anyone can call themselves a member and that is fine with me. I have yet to witness anyone being kicked out of a group - but I have witnessed people being shunned, disregarded to the point they just leave AA and still spend a lot of their time getting closer to God by working with drunks" (suGerspun)

I have witnessed people getting kicked out, shamed out, told if they didn't like it they could leave, and even banned from meetings, this at one of the oldest clubs in the county I live in. I have also witnessed the shunning, and the downright meanness for lack of a better word, and the clicques that tend to scare the newcomers. I have heard people with 20 years "sober" completely disregard any way except "their way", saying that programs like NA, Celebrate Recovery, and many other 12-step programs are bs.

Oops, getting on my soapbox now.

That all said, in my opinion, I don't think thumping is necessarily a bad thing..I just wish that sometimes the thumpers would listen to their own words and follow them.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have witnessed people getting kicked out, shamed out, told if they didn't like it they could leave, and even banned from meetings, this at one of the oldest clubs in the county I live in. I have also witnessed the shunning, and the downright meanness for lack of a better word, and the clicques that tend to scare the newcomers.
I've experienced this, personally.

Quote:
I have heard people with 20 years "sober" completely disregard any way except "their way", saying that programs like NA, Celebrate Recovery, and many other 12-step programs are bs.
That's kind compared to what some of them say about secular programs like LifeRing and SMART, usually without any firsthand knowledge of them whatsoever.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've experienced this, personally.
Refer to my "Love and tolerance of others is our code" being missed by folks I call "thumpers"



Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
That's kind compared to what some of them say about secular programs like LifeRing and SMART, usually without any firsthand knowledge of them whatsoever.
To come full circle and "thump" the book, I offer this written in the book lol

Quote:
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
and


Quote:
We realize we know but a little, what we have found is an answer that works for us
So once again, my definition of BB Thumper is not someone who quotes the BB a lot, but someone who leaves out, to me, some fairly important bits
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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They miss where Bill wrote "AA must always be all inclusive, never exclusive" You are a member if You say you are, and the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
On the inside cover-jacket of the third edition of the Big Book it says that the official AA message is "the first 164 pages of the Big Book".

Some of your arguments come from other sources outside of this
THUMPER" realm.

"AA must always be all inclusive, never exclusive"

Not in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.

"You are a member if You say you are"

Not in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.

"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking"

Not in the first 164 pages of the Big Book - It is contained in the 3rd Tradition but comes after the 1st Tradition, "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity"

Having AA members who admit only that they are addicts or bi-polar goes against the 1st Tradition. In my opinion, the 1st Tradition is MORE important than the 3rd Tradition simply because it is the principle tradition.

It also parallels the "singleness of purpose" concept that keeps AA from falling into the same "we can fix everyone" trap that the 1906 Emmanuel Movement of Boston fell victim to.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm onna let my man Doorknob address this last post

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LOL, I believe the question was "what is a Big Book thumper to you?"...
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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