Recently, a devoted A.A. member was reading from the 1st edition of the Big Book at an A.A. meeting. He was silenced by the group which contended he was not reading A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature.
Imagine that, you read from the very first text published by Alcoholics Anonymous, and some trouble-maker in a group says you can't read it because it isn't conference approved.
Often a member is intimidated by such censorship, and even more often he does not realize he is standing on solid ground. But the facts are otherwise.
For example, the First Edition and its personal stories were written and published long before there was a General Service Conference and yet were most assuredly used by AAs to get well at least until 1955 when the Second Edition was published and most of the personal stories were removed.
Fortunately, A.A. itself is awakening to the fact that conference-approved or no, traditions or no, censorship or no, AAs clearly want all of their literature (and much more) available for reference, quotation, and public reading in meetings. How do we know?
A.A. itself has now seen fit to publish all the removed stories and to do so as "conference-approved" literature. Here's the evidence.
Experience, Strength and Hope
which contains the 56
stories dropped from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions of
the Big Book. These stories, which were unavailable for
a time, are now together in this volume