Any online AA group or meeting may be listed in the Directory provided that it subscribes to the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, using the Meeting Submission Form. Meeting submissions will be reviewed and filtered based on the guidelines below by the Policies and Admissions Committee (PAC).
The Online Intergroup does not list:
- Face-to-face AA meetings (visit “How to Find AA Meetings” at AA World Services, Inc.).
- Digital recording, “daily readings,” or “social networking” sites or blogs (see, for example, “General Social Networking Web Sites” in the publication AA Guidelines … Internet).
- Non-AA web site and email list providers. However, if your online meeting is hosted by such a provider — Google, Yahoo!, Recovery World, etc. — submissions will be considered if the description is about the AA meeting and not about the provider. Likewise, the group or meeting name should not contain the provider’s name.
- Meetings that appear to be conducted by an organization or by individuals who are not AA members; for example, commercial sites that have created “meetings” for the purpose of attracting traffic to their sites. Only AA members may conduct AA meetings.
- Groups or meetings calling themselves “AA” but that participate in “affiliate programs”; that is, they receive income from ad placement (or from any non-AA source). “An AA group ought never go into business.”
For an overview of how the Traditions apply to groups, see the pamphlet “The AA Group … Where it all begins.” In brief:
- all group members are alcoholics (or have a desire to stop drinking) and the group is willing to “open the door to all alcoholics who seek help, regardless of profession, gender, or other distinction” (“The AA Group,” p. 15)
- the group is fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions
- the group has no other affiliation
- the group does not endorse outside enterprises
- the group has no opinion on outside issues
- the group maintains the anonymity of its members (no full names or photos of members in public view)
From page 22 of the pamphlet “The AA Group” (copyright AAWS, Inc.; reprinted with permission):
“Even the appearance of being linked to any organization, club, political or religious institution needs to be avoided.
“Therefore, an AA group that meets in a correctional or treatment facility or a church [or on a non-AA web site, chat server, etc.] can take care not to use the institution’s name, but to call itself something quite different. This makes it clear that the AA group is not affiliated with the hospital, church, prison, treatment facility, or whatever, but simply rents space there for meetings.
“Our AA group conscience, as voiced by the General Service Conference, has recommended that ‘family’ meetings, ‘double trouble’ and ‘alcohol and pill’ meetings not be listed in our AA directories. The use of the word ‘family’ might also invite confusion with Al-Anon Family Groups, a fellowship entirely separate from AA.
“The primary purpose of any AA group is to carry the AA message to alcoholics. Experience with alcohol is one thing all AA members have in common. It is misleading to hint or give the impression that AA solves other problems or knows what to do about addiction to drugs.
“It has also been recommended by the AA Conference that no AA group be named after any actual person, living or dead, AA or non-AA. This is one way we can ‘place principles before personalities.'”
“Hot Links” to Web Sites
The Online Intergroup provides “hot links” (hyperlinks) to web sites along with this disclaimer:
“The group URL links are now active to facilitate connecting to the listed groups.
These URL links do not constitute or indicate review, endorsement, or approval of the Online Intergroup. “
Keeping the Directories Current
The Online Intergroup Web Committee attempts to keep its directories current. However, we must rely on information supplied by the meetings and groups. In addition, we do periodic “roll call” updates to ensure correct listing information and contacts.
The only way the meeting directories can remain current is with your help.
We urge you to think of the newcomer when you view the directory listings. Imagine him or her, full of hope, following instructions and rushing off to a real-time meeting site or sending off an email to one of the contacts or mailing list managers in the directory. Then imagine their seeing a “site not found” page or receiving a “mail delivery failure” message, or no response whatsoever.
Even one instance of the above is too many.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Take a look at your group’s or meeting’s listing in the OIAA directory. Is it current? If not, let the web committee know.
- Whether you have one or a hundred email contacts listed, a visitor is most likely to contact the first name on the list. Is that person still a contact? If not, let us know.
- People go on vacation, get ill, etc. Please inform your contacts that if they are not available to respond to inquiries, we can easily substitute another contact temporarily … to ensure the newcomer has someone to talk to.
Thank you for your help,
The Online Intergroup Web Committee