Interventions are seldom necessary at SA meetings and careful consideration should be given before making any. The odd reference to drugs, gambling, etc. can be overlooked but the use of sexual language should be confronted immediately. We cannot stop someone from sharing inappropriately and the meeting must go on, but we can ask disruptive people to leave. If, after a third warning, a person continues to disrupt the meeting, call the Police and have the person removed. The same person will be made welcome at the next meeting. (Twelve Traditions Illustrated p3 Tradition 1, 44 Questions p16, AABB p97, AA Group p24)
The common welfare of the Group has to come before that of the individual. The meeting cannot revolve around one person. There is often more than one newcomer at each meeting, wanting to hear the solution. (Traditions One and Five).
The following situations seldom occur but you may find it helpful to be prepared.
1. Shares are too long and you have rung the bell twice within a relatively short period.
Could I please remind the Group to keep your shares to around _ minutes, so that everyone has the chance to share. Thank you.
2. Sharing is still too long, despite the above intervention, stop people verbally.
Sorry _______. I will have to stop you there. Could I please remind the Group to keep your shares to around _ minutes, so that everyone has a chance to share.
3. A sharer is tearful or upset.
Thank you for sharing, but you don’t need to put yourself through this. Perhaps you could speak to someone after the meeting.
4. Someone uses sexually abusive language.
a. Excuse me but the use of sexually abusive language is not permitted in this meeting.
b. Thank you for sharing but you are using sexually abusive language. Could you please stop sharing.
5. Someone shares offensively (obscene, racist, personal, threatening, etc.)
Thank you for sharing but you are being offensive. So could you please stop now.
6. Prolonged discussion about problems other than lust (e.g. drugs, alcohol, gambling, blaming others, etc.)
Thank you for sharing but, in view of our Fifth Tradition, I shall have to ask you to stop.
7. A sharer is intoxicated.
You are welcome to attend this meeting but you are not sober. So could you please stop now.
8. Someone is disrupting the meeting.
a. Could I remind the Group to keep disruptions to a minimum.
b. Would you please be quiet. There are other people here who want to hear the message.
c. If you continue to disrupt the meeting I shall have to ask you to leave.
9. Someone continues to disrupt the meeting.
a. I am now asking you to leave. If you don’t leave, I shall call the Police and have you removed.
b. Ask an old-timer or the GSR to go outside and call the Police.
10. If no hands go up to share.
Could I remind the Group of Tradition 5.
If hands still do not go up, invite an experienced Group member to share. It does not matter if they have shared already. If all else fails, share yourself.
As Secretary you are the figurehead of the Group and responsible for the smooth running of the meeting. Remember that you have the full backing of your Group. If in doubt, consult the GSR.