What is the “group conscience” as understood by Twelve Step fellowship groups?

Depressed Anonymous follows the model pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. Sometimes it’s helpful to read literature from AA to get insight.

I think many oldsters who have put our AA ‘booze cure’ to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our feelings, and with God. Reinforced by what grace I could secure in praying I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off their faulty dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed upon any set of circumstances what soever…Plainly I could not avail myself of god’s love until I was able to offer it back to him by loving others as he would have me. And I couldn’t possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies. For my dependency meant demand a demand for the possession and control of the people and conditions surrounding me.
– From the AA Grapevine, January, 1958, Bill W.

Also quoting AA literature:

The term informed group conscience implies that pertinent information has been studied and all views have been heard before the group votes. This is achieved by the group members through the sharing of full information, individual points of views, and the practice of AA principles. To be fully informed requires a willingness to listen to minority opinions with an open mind. On sensitive issues the group works slowly, discouraging formal votes until a clear sense of its collective view emerges.
– AA group pamphlet, 1992.


I believe that these two articles, (Google) published under the title OF Tradition Two: Group conscience OR mob rule? can be a good reference for those Newcomers who may not have a understanding what “group conscience” is.

Hugh S., for the fellowship

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