Well, here we are now in 2021! By the Grace of a power greater than ourselves, we have arrived in 2021, whole and continuing to Recover! AA Where and When Group has seen attendance estimated at 40,000 persons since our inception in a little upstairs bedroom in rural Iowa!
The proverbial cat is “out of the bag” and A community of Souls in Recovery is beginning to take shape! In the opinion of this writer, we are still at the tip of the Iceberg! It is exciting to once again be a witness to the power of leveraged technology changing lives!
When the Internet emerged into our households, the World got smaller, Google took shape along with YouTube, making the how and why of just about anything available to everyone for the price of an internet connection. E-Commerce took hold and the dot-com boom changed the face of capitalism and commerce on a Global Scale. Social media and online dating changed our social lives, our family structures and provided myriad avenues to intimacy and closeness…
Then the internet moved into our pockets on smartphones, today I feel naked without a high speed internet connection in my pocket and on my wrist… The internet has infiltrated the triangle of basic human needs and we wonder how anyone, anywhere could live without it!
12 Step Recovery is a spiritual phenomenon and it’s message, by tradition, has always been carried by word or mouth, printed matter or face to face meetings. Bill W. and the others who distilled the Twelve Steps of Recovery from other Spiritual and Philosophical sources embraced emerging technology, but couldn’t anticipate the information age. As a result, the culture of brick-and-mortar meetings in all of the 12 Step Fellowships have had mixed feelings about any change to the delivery methods for the 12 Step Message. There have also emerged various factions in the 12 Step Community, two which are quite easy to identify are:
- The Higher-Power agnostic fellowships that are problem-specific, and –
- The Problem Agnostic Fellowship(s) that are Higher-Power Specific
Among the Higher-Power Agnostic Fellowships, there are numerous factions – AA, NA, CA, CMA, SNLA, HA, Ad Infinitum.. Alcoholics cite a “Singularity of Purpose” in spite of the literature clearly stating that “we are convinced that our way of life has it’s advantages for everyone…” while Addicts cite a “Clarity Statement” to the effect that NA is the exact same twelve step program as AA and that “Alcohol is a drug, we are addicts who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover…” however, one who identifies him or her self improperly at either fellowship can face correction and a feeling of adversity for a mere slip of the tongue..
It is my hope that our new-frontier, the Online 12 Step Recovery Universe, with it’s newness and lacking over 80 years of well-intentioned fine-tuning and overclarification by those afflicted by the very spiritual dis-ease for which 12 Step Recovery is the Cure can overcome our human tendency to segregate and set ourselves apart as unique and arrive at Twelve Steps of Recovery that don’t discriminate, isolate or ostracize anyone.
Myself and my peers with Spiritual Dis-Ease are in my opinion guilty of over fine-tuning and over managing a simple program that has as its basis altruism and unselfish Love for one’s fellows. It is my prayer that our Online 12 Step Recovery community, which, in my opinion, has quickly eclipsed the Brick-and-Mortar community in terms of number of attendees, efficiency and economy in the delivery of the message and ease of access, will also overcome the division and conflict which are products of our human tendency to be “unique”.