Is the 24 Hours A Day Book AA Approved?
The Twenty-Four Hours a Day book is not "conference approved." Therefore, is it alright to use it in AA meetings? While statements from the GSO on this topic have been scarce, the GSO did issue a statement in a 1978 Box 459 Newsletter:
"It [Conference Approved] does not mean the Conference disapproves of any other publications. Many local A.A. central offices publish their own meeting lists. A.A. as a whole does not oppose these, any more than A.A. disapproves of the Bible or any other publications from any source that A.A.'s find useful. What any A.A. member reads is no business of G.S.O., or of the Conference, naturally.In keeping with the General Service Office's statement "A great deal of literature helpful to alcoholics is published by others" individuals in A.A. groups do not have to limit themselves to information obtained just from the Conference review process:- Box 4-5-9 newsletter, 1978 (Volume 23, No 4)
Many thousands of books, articles, pamphlets, newsletters, tapes and videos used by AA members and groups are NOT Conference-approved literature. Twenty-Four Hours a Day, published by Hazelden since 1954, was the second largest best seller (behind the Big Book) to A.A. members for many years. This book is used by A.A. groups in meetings and is clearly NOT Conference-approved literature.
"There are many helpful books also." - Big Book, page 87
Bob Pearson (1917-2008), General Manager of the General Service Office from 1974 to 1984 and Senior Advisor to the G.S.O. from 1985 until his retirement, wrote this:
"If you were to ask me what is the greatest danger facing A.A. today, I would have to answer: the growing rigidity — the increasing demand for absolute answers to nit-picking questions; pressure for G.S.O. to “enforce” our Traditions; screening alcoholics at closed meetings; prohibiting non-Conference-approved literature, i.e., “banning books; [emphasis added] laying more and more rules on groups and members. And in this trend toward rigidity, we are drifting farther and farther away from our founders."- Bob Pearson Closing Speech, April 1986 General Service Conference
Twenty-seven years later, what Bob says about “book-banning” is still true. There is book-banning in A.A. Perhaps the book-banning fever is even hotter today than it was when Bob gave his speech.
The concept of book-banning in AA is based on the misinformed notion that only Conference-approved literature is allowed in A.A. meetings. But this is not true. Literature published by non-AA entities is not banned.
Quote from Box 4-5-9 from GSO, Vol. 23:4, 2006:
"Any literature that pertains to the principles of AA or is approved by group conscience, is perfectly acceptable to be read by any AA member or in an AA meeting."