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Grapevine : August 2010
fun-loving man, had a very volatile temper. I was scared, to say the least, but I knew I had to make that amends. Imetwithhimona Saturday morning in his garage and brought up the incident. He remem- bered it as though it were yesterday. I told him that I was the one who stole the money. Believe me, I was extremely uncom- fortable. It was very awkward for both of us. I was, you could say, the apple of his eye and we had done many things together, so it really took him for a loop. I asked my uncle for forgiveness and told him I was very sorry for the misery I had caused him. He looked me right in the eye and said, "Lee, what's between us is be- tween us, and that's the end of it." When I walked out of that garage I was a free man, released of the bondage of self. is gave me faith that I was on the right path and that this AA business worked. Years later this same uncle was in an assisted care home. He needed help with his a airs but was strongly rejecting help, even from a very close brother, another uncle of mine. is other uncle asked me to help Eight in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age and then dis- cussed it, I finally lis- tened to and learned something about this Tradition. at book says that the early AA members struggled to figure out the AA viewpoint on professionalism. Bill W. says, " at is where the line finally fell: For face- to-face treatment of a drunk, no money, ever. But AA does have to hire people so that it can func- tion where there are legitimate jobs to be done." In that book, rather than talking about the Twel h Step, Bill makes it very clear that what is not to be paid for is face-to-face treat- ment of a drunk. An old-timer in my group put it like this: "It is AA that is to remain forever nonprofessional. at means that AA (in the guise of a group, Intergroup, spon- sor or whatever) does not pay for or receive money for face-to-face treat- ment of drunks. Now, of course, any AA member is permit- tedtogetpaidbya treatment center for being a counselor. at pay is not com- ing from AA and is not going to AA, and so it has nothing to do with Tradition Eight. e counselor who is an AA member is not being paid to do sponsorship, but rather to do a job of alcohol counseling. If hewantstobeanAA sponsor, he does that on his own time." At last I under- stand this Tradition, at least for today. Perhaps more will be revealed, but as I see it now, this Tradition says that AA does not pay or receive money for Any AA member is permitted to get paid by a treatment center for being a counselor. Grapevine 35