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Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous
A Brief History
1994, the online members of the Fellowship of Alcoholics
Anonymous began to look forward to participating in the
International Convention in San Diego, held in June 1995.
Many in our community felt it would be a great opportunity
to meet some of our fellow alcoholics face to face, further
bonding the close friendships we had made in our online
Living Cyber Committee was formed in March 1994 to coordinate
the hosting of a hospitality suite at the convention. Participation
? or membership ? in the LCC was open to all recovering
alcoholics who wished to join. Alcoholics from all corners
of the online community ? bulletin boards, commercial online
services, and the Internet ? joined in the effort.
to the convention, the LCC endeavored to communicate its
existence, purpose, and activities to all known online A.A.
groups. A Web page was set up. Flyers containing information
on how to contact the Fellowship online and how to find
online A.A. resources were compiled, printed, and distributed
at the convention.
plans evolved to include a link to the online fellowship
? to those who could not attend the convention in person.
Three computers were set up in the suite and stayed online
continuously with alcoholics around the world.
Living Cyber Suite was a resounding success, providing a
gathering place for members of online groups to meet each
other in person, usually for the first time. Visitors were
given an opportunity to log on to the actual online Fellowship.
Those unable to travel to San Diego were able to "virtually"
attend the convention through the suite. Two major email
groups, several groups from the major online services, and
an Internet Relay Chat channel participated in uniting alcoholics
from all over the world with the online members and visitors
in the suite.
the convention, it was decided to dissolve the existing
committee and reform. All online A.A. groups were invited
to send a representative to the committee. We decided that
we should serve as an Intergroup, serving the A.A. groups
Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous now represents
scores of online groups with a combined membership numbering
Purpose and Objectives Statement (circa
phenomena of the new technology of computers, modems, World
Wide Web, and Internet communication gave birth to a new
medium of exchange through which alcoholics could interact
with other alcoholics. Over the last several years, many
new online meetings have sprung up which, having no geographical
boundaries, were not able to fit the service structures
of the usual face to face (f2f) meetings of A.A.. Out of
this grew a recognition on the part of many online groups
that some form of service group was necessary to assist
and facilitate communication and coordination of the cyberspace
A.A. milieu. While the official service structure of A.A.
is attempting to develop a strategy for including the online
meetings within that structure, the Online Intergroup of
Alcoholics Anonymous (OIAA) was formed to provide services
typical for Intergroups or Central Offices of face-to-face
meetings. While most Intergroups serve specific geographic
regions, OIAA was established to serve cyberspace.
primary purpose of all Alcoholics Anonymous groups is to
carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Out
of that purpose, OIAA has committed itself to assisting
member groups in several ways, most of which are related
specifically to the medium of cyberspace. Because personal
recovery depends upon A.A. unity, we at OIAA are dedicated
to assisting and facilitating the best possible unity of
service to and for A.A. in cyberspace. Communication and
information are two essential ingredients for establishing
and maintaining unity; therefore, OIAA is obliged to provide
a central forum for the dissemination of information about
and for the online community of A.A. and A.A. as a whole.
currently provides information in several ways, and we are
hoping to develop even more ways in the future. One way
OIAA disseminates information is the development and maintenance
of the World Wide Web Meeting Directories that includes
email meetings and groups as well as real time (chat) meetings
and groups. Another communication vehicle is the OIAA Unity
Committee, which is charged with communication with other
A.A. service bodies, such as local districts, intergroups,
areas, regions, AAWS, GSO-NY, and GSO-UK. A third form of
communication is the OIAA Public Information Committee,
which responds to needs at the public level and facilitates
public awareness and understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous
by means of the Internet, news media, personal contact,
or non-AA public functions through conference approved literature,
speakers, or correspondence and in accordance with the 12
Steps, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous.
OIAA is also in the process of developing guidelines to
assist its member groups, future groups, other intergroups,
f2f meetings, districts, areas, and GSOs, and AAWS with
the ins and outs of the online experience. This may translate
into online publication of how-to service pieces on establishing
online groups, or dealing with the traditions in cyberspace,
or a number of other nuts and bolts issues (like creating
home pages, etc.).
priority for OIAA is the development of joint projects for
its member groups. These would include providing a presence
at International Conventions, local conventions and round-ups,
and demonstrations of how online A.A. works. OIAA itself
was born out of one such project at the 1995 International
Convention in San Diego. We hope to provide such a presence
at many conventions in the future.
online phenomenon is relatively new, but the membership
of online groups has been swelling tremendously recently
as news of its existence reaches the world-wide membership
of A.A. We expect this trend to continue and hope that OIAA
will be able to provide the cyberspace community with the
kind of services such membership will require. It is an
exciting experience and one which all of us at OIAA are
dedicated to provideingunder the principles of A.A.'s steps,
traditions, and concepts.
Body of the Intergroup and Membership
governing body of OIAA is the Intergroup Committee. The
Intergroup Committee consists of one Intergroup Representative
or Alternate Representative from each member group; the
officers of OIAA; and the past officers of OIAA (for one
year after their term of office). A group is a member group
of OIAA by having a representative or alternate in the Intergroup
who participates in the bi-annual elections and the business
of the Intergroup. However, any online A.A. group which
chooses not to participate as a member group cannot be denied
the services of the Intergroup (such as listing in the Meeting
Directories), so long as they qualify as an A.A. group under
the traditions of A.A. and the guidelines of the Intergroup.
The primary qualification for an A.A. group is that, as
a group, they have no other affiliation (Traditions 5, 6,
group has one vote (through their representative or their
alternate) and no individual can have more than one vote
? so it is recommended that each representative only serve
one member group. Upon election to an OIAA office, the officer-elect
steps down from representing the member group which formerly
elected them. In this way, each group is assured of representation
specific to it's concerns and each officer can then address
the concerns of OIAA as a whole.
OIAA officers currently consist of an Intergroup Chair,
Alternate Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian/Archivist,
Listkeeper, and the Chairpersons of our standing committees:
the Policy and Admissions, the World Wide Web, the Finance,
Public Information, Convention, and Unity.
© ©2007 Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous