Online Meeting Guidelines

Meeting Directory Guidelines

Any online A.A. group or meeting hosted on Oahu may be listed in the Online Meeting List provided that it subscribes to the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, using the A.A. Meeting Add/Change Form. Meeting submissions will be reviewed and filtered based on the guidelines below by the Oahu Intergroup of Hawaii, Inc.

The Oahu Intergroup of Hawaii does not list:

  • Digital recording, “daily readings,” or “social networking” sites or blogs (see, for example, “General Social Networking Websites” in the publication AA Guidelines … Internet).
  • Non-A.A. website 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 A.A. 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 A.A. members of Oahu A.A.; for example, commercial sites that have created “meetings” for the purpose of attracting traffic to their sites. Only A.A. members may conduct A.A. meetings.
  • Groups or meetings calling themselves “A.A.” but that participate in “affiliate programs”; that is, they receive income from ad placement (or from any non-A.A. source). “An A.A. group ought never go into business.”

For an overview of how the Traditions apply to groups, see the pamphlet “The A.A. 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 A.A. 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 A.A. 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 A.A. group that meets in a correctional or treatment facility or a church [or on a non-A.A. website, [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 A.A. group is not affiliated with the hospital, church, prison, treatment facility, or whatever, but simply rents space there for meetings.

“Our A.A. 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 A.A. directories. The use of the word ‘family’ might also invite confusion with Al-Anon Family Groups, a fellowship entirely separate from A.A.

“The primary purpose of any A.A. group is to carry the A.A. message to alcoholics. Experience with alcohol is one thing all A.A. members have in common. It is misleading to hint or give the impression that A.A. solves other problems or knows what to do about addiction to drugs.

It has also been recommended by the A.A. Conference that no A.A. group be named after any actual person, living or dead, A.A. or non-A.A. This is one way we can ‘place principles before personalities.’”

“Hot Links” to Web Sites

The Online Intergroup provides “hot links” (hyperlinks) to websites 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 Oahu Intergroup of Hawaii, Inc.”

Keeping the Directories Current

The Oahu Intergroup of Hawaii, Inc., 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 Online Meeting 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,

Alcoholics Anonymous