Extracts from old aacultwatch forum:
“I assume you mean the meetings where anyone with a drug history is told to leave? There are a couple of groups that act like that in my area but they don’t call themselves “Primary Purpose Groups” as a separate designation. Is that catching on as a special designation of meeting? If so that could cause AA’s reputation to suffer IMO, especially now that the internet gives anyone with a computer a voice. Some of the hatefulness I have seen at meetings crazy with the “primary purpose” would be enough to make me have never stayed in the fellowship if I hadn’t been to some very good meetings before I encountered it.
The groups who are extremely strict about the primary purpose always make me uncomfortable, and I am a plain old drunk! They seem to be more controlling than friendly and in the few groups I am familiar with there are presiding old timers who absolutely rule the roost from their imaginary throne, and everything that goes on in the meeting must be to suit them (sponsorship, meeting shares, the coffee had better be the way they like it too) or the offending person gets slammed. I have had friends stop attending one of these meetings because they started asking people as they entered the room if they were a real alcoholic or not, then determined if they could stay or go.
I recall seeing an entire treatment center group kicked out of another meeting when I had a couple of years sober, just because one poor girl called herself an addict. Poor thing probably hadn’t detoxed enough to even know what planet she was on at that point, let alone if drinking had been a problem along with the drugs. They told her she had to leave immediately and that meant the rest had to go as well. It was one of the nastiest situations I have witnessed. That particular meeting called themselves the “Original Group” and would tell everyone they were the only real AA meeting in town and you couldn’t have real sobriety without being a member. I have never seen an angrier collection of old coots in my life. Guys locked up for life in prison couldn’t be any meaner or angrier than those guys. Fortunately even back then that meeting kind of became a joke and no one went but those hateful old men after a while. It may have died off by now.”
“That’s as good a description as I’ve seen, but Yes there is actually an organisation within AA calling itself Primary Purpose.
They’ll argue the toss about anything and are always right. You know the type (ie most of us before we got sober!:).”
“Wow, so they are literally trying to create their own “special” AA officially? Remarkable! That takes a lot of fear! Most of us have too much to do in daily life to carry a resentment that far. I would imagine the guys in charge of this would have to be quite angry. Circuit speaker worship has been a concern of mine for some time, I have seen people get very nasty (or just drunk) after attending special “workshops” that tell you the “real way” to read the Big Book (sorry, I learned to read in first grade, need to move on).
Thanks for the information, I will need to look into this. It doesn’t sound very healthy and if any of these meetings come here I will want to avoid them. My husband is very much a student of AA History and this will be of intense interest to him as well.”