In addition to our regular Big Book Study meeting, the Primary Purpose Group also conducts a unique beginner’s meeting which introduces newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous. The Foundation Meeting is a great start on AA’s 12 Steps to recovery and a life of sobriety.
The Foundation Meeting is designed to provide a very clear and direct description of the disease of alcoholism and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. We generally touch on the history of AA and the fact that the first 100 men and women wrote the book “to show other alcoholics precisely how” they recovered.” Then we drive home the disease concept that Dr. Silkworth lays out in The Doctor’s Opinion. The idea is that an alcoholic must know what alcoholism is if he is to concede to his innermost self that he is alcoholic. Everyone leaves the meeting with a full understanding of the physical allergy triggering the phenomenon of craving and the mental obsession driving us back to that first drink time and time again. We learn how restlessness, irritability and discontentment don’t always make us want to take that first drink, but how they can put us in a position where we have to take that first drink. We discuss the spiritual malady and the program of action laid out in the steps that allows us to access a higher power and recover from alcoholism. Most importantly we come straight out of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and get people reading.
These meetings are a great benefit to newcomers because they provide vital information that allows them to make a choice, perhaps for the first time in their lives. A couple of weeks ago a new member of our fellowship came out of the Foundation Meeting absolutely glowing and said, “Finally…it makes sense!” But these meetings don’t just benefit newcomers. They are an opportunity for us all to learn how to carry the message, give a first step talk, brush up on our twelve step skills, etc.
If you are new to AA or our group and have not attended this meeting, we encourage you to do so. It is a great introduction to what Alcoholics Anonymous and our group is all about; freedom from alcoholism through the application and practice of our Twelve Steps as they were given us!
Foundation Meeting Outline 02/04/20
Primary Purpose Group Foundation Meeting
A. Purpose of the foundation meeting
1. Need to know information
2. What you hear in meetings is not always in line with the AA program
B. Singleness of purpose
1. AA’s purpose is helping alcoholics recover from alcoholism
2. All are welcome in this meeting. Just change words if necessary.
C. Briefly explain the importance of anonymity.
D. Briefly explain what we do and how we study the book at PPG.
1. Share based on what the founders were saying, not our experience.
2. Get clarity on the book, follow its instructions, and carry its message.
II. What is alcoholism?
A. Pg 30 “We learned… recovery.” Before I can admit I’m alcoholic, I need to know what it means.
B. Misunderstanding: Alcoholism does not mean…
1. I drink all the time or I drink more than anyone else.
2. I’m weak willed or I have an addictive personality.
3. I’m homeless, I’ve been to jail, I’ve lost everything, and other specific consequences.
C. Alcohol problem
1. Lack of control: Pg 30 “We alcoholics… never better.”
2. Physical allergy: Pg xxviii “We believe… temperate drinker.”
3. Solution: Pg xxx “The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.”
D. Mental problem
1. Main problem: Pg 22 “We are equally positive… rather than in his body.”
2. Lack of choice: Pg 24 “At a certain point… against the first drink.”
3. Mental obsession: Pg 30 “The idea… abnormal drinker.”
E. Insanity: Pg 37 “Whatever the precise… anything else?” I’m sober when I take the first drink.
F. Spiritual aspect
1. Pg xxviii “They are restless… a few drinks.”
2. Alcohol is not the problem, it’s the solution.
3. Terrible cycle: First drink -> Craving -> Consequences -> Remorse -> Firm resolution to stop ->
RID -> Obsession -> First drink… (Draw it on the board if possible)
1. Failure of self knowledge: Pg 39 “But the actual… bitter experience.”
2. Beyond human aid: Pg 24 “When this sort… throughout history.” Nothing (sufficient reason, fear, consequences, etc) is enough to keep me sober on my own power. We’re not trying to convince you you have a problem, we’re trying to convince you you don’t have an answer.
III. What is the solution?
A. Spiritual awakening
1. Spiritual experience: Pg 44 “If, when you… will conquer.”
2. Main object of the book: Pg 45 “Lack of power… solve your problem.”
a) How to hook up with power, not how to stay sober
b) Pg xiii “To show… this book.” Identification, problem, solution, instructions
3. Pg 60 “Having had… these steps” The steps bring on a spiritual awakening.
4. Own conception: Pg 46 “Much to our relief… contact with him.”
5. Belief: Pg 47 “We needed… on his way.”
B. Program of Action
1. Recovery: Get a sponsor (what’s a sponsor?) and work the steps.
2. Unity: Go to meetings, get a home group, and get involved.
3. Service: Carry this message and work with others.
1. It doesn’t cost anything and there are no obligations. You’ll be helping us as much as we’re helping you. All we ask is after you have this experience you help others do the same.
2. Pg 84 “And we have ceased… fit spiritual condition.”
3. This is the work… Pg 63 to pg 84
4. If you’ll do this, you can have what we have, freedom from alcoholism. Let’s get you a sponsor tonight and get this thing going!
Foundation Meeting Speakers
Here are some featured speakers from our Foundation meetings. These are wonderful talks for new members, and those who might not be sure if they are alcoholic. These wonderful examples explain what it means to be an alcoholic, and how to get started in the A.A. program. Have a listen!
Group Conscience Agenda
The above links are provided for your convenience. They can also be found on our PPG Resources page.