Are these FAQ answers approved by GSO?
Is this FAQ and answers site approved by GSO in New York and would GSO give the same answers?
The General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous neither approves nor disapproves of any website. The GSO does not give permission or approval regarding any AA activity other than their own. None of the answers given on this site are approved by GSO in New York. No mechanism exists to get such permission and none is required. GSO exists to support and not to control, organize or govern AA activity.
Were the same questions sent to the managers and staff of the General Service Office, the degree of similarity of the responses would vary from question to question. In many cases, we expect they would be similar, except that the writings emanating from the GSO are likely to be more diplomatic. In all cases, we try to stick to the facts, striving to omit any opinions.
AA has a unique organizational structure, largely because of its purpose and the principles of its founders. By Tradition, "AA ought never be organized." Groups and members are free to carry on service work as they see fit - as long as their activities do not impact AA as a whole.
This unorganized structure affords the freedom to AA?s members and groups that ensures they can do what needs to be done to carry the message of recovery expressed in Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps (i.e., we've had vital spiritual experiences/awakenings as a result of taking the steps; see Dr. Jung's explanation on p. 27, a clarification of Dr. Silkworth's reference to a psychic change), we try to help others.
The Grapevine (and even GSO) started as independent ventures. As Bill W. wrote in the original booklet on AA Tradition in 1947 (p.43):
"The A.A. Grapevine began in 1945 among several newspaper-minded members who thought we needed a monthly periodical. They were willing to contribute a little money and boundless effort to make it a success. At the beginning, this group of AA's had no special authorization from anyone. They just took off their coats and did a job, a job so well done that at the end of a year they found their paper in national distribution. There was no sponsoring nor much promoting. Like the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, the General Office, and the Foundation, the Grapevine became part of A.A. life on its own effort and merit."
This site was undertaken in the same manner. Some like-minded AA's just did it - without special authorization from anyone.