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Old 06-06-2011, 07:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AA Question

I just have a question
My sister is coming to visit me. She is still drinking.
She did tell me on the phone that she would go to one of my meetings with me while she was visiting.
I go to closed meetings. Can she go with me?
Some people said no she can only go to the open meetings.
I have just started going to meetings and just showed up. Why do you have to be a member to attend a closed meeting? If this is true then does this mean I an a member even though I have never been to a open meeting? What did I do to be a member?

Please help me understand
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What I have been taught is a closed meeting is open to those that "have a desire to stop drinking" and an open meeting is just that open to anyone who chooses to come be it students doing research or just someone off the street. So if your sister has a desire to quit drinking don't hesitate to take her to a closed meeting but if not then I would encourage you to find an open meeting to take her to.
The Difference Between Open and Closed A.A. Meetings

The purpose of all A.A. group meetings, as the Preamble states, is for A.A. members to "share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism." Toward this end, A.A. groups have both open and closed meetings.

Closed meetings are for A.A. members only, or for those who have a drinking problem and "have a desire to stop drinking."

Open meetings are available to anyone interested in Alcoholics Anonymous’ program of recovery from alcoholism. Nonalcoholics may attend open meetings as observers.
source: http://www.aavirginia.org/hp/meetings/ocm.html
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You don't have to be a "member" to show up at a closed meeting, but you DO have to be there because you are concerned about your own drinking, not because you want to support someone else. If your sister has indicated any interest in quitting drinking (i.e., she is thinking maybe she needs to do what you are doing), then she would be welcome at a closed meeting. Otherwise she is more than welcome to go with you to an open meeting.

Closed meetings allow for sharing that you might not want to discuss at a meeting where just anyone might be there. You are among fellow alcoholics.
~ one breath at a time
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The "only requirement for membership" (and attendance at closed meetings) is a desire to stop drinking. If she doesn't personally want to quit then she doesn't meet the "membership requirement" and should not attend.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't sweat it 4feathers. If your sister wants to accompany you to a meeting - whether it's to support you, explore her own drinking, or for whatever reason - take her along. I can't imagine that anyone would deny her presence if she doesn't say she's an alcoholic. She can choose to introduce herself as a visitor or first-timer or not....it's up to her.

There are many thousands of people who walk into AA rooms every day around the world who are not sure of anything about themselves. I highly doubt that each one is scrutinized to make sure they belong there....even at closed meetings!

Go and have a nice time. AA is certainly NOT an exclusive "club."
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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LIke has been said closed is just for alcoholics...non-alcoholics can attend open meetings...
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing that I saw at a closed meeting was the secatery of the meeting made an anouncement that one of the people present was a visitor/non-member and that if anyone had an objection to that then they would be asked to leave. No one objected.

But if it is possible I would just take her to a open meeting. To be honest, I don't even pay attention to the fact that its a open or closed meeting. I just go and hope no one from my outside world is there to recognize me.
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