The Preachers are making meetings miserable

We have a priest and another gentleman who wishes to become a pastor in our GA group. They are using our meetings to preach every chance they get..... telling people who share therapy that God is the answer. While I am not against religion, I am against anyone pushing their religious opinions onto others when it is not solicited. I am getting more and more angry with every meeting I attend. I have been in the program for 4 years and I have been to some very powerful and inspiring meetings, but they were based on people relating their gambling experience and their tools for recovery to the topic rather than using the meeting as a pulpit. What does the Guidance Code booklet say about this type of behavior at a GA meeting? I want to express my personal opinions to these men, but I would also like to be able to point out to them how their behavior is against the principles of the GA program.

Gamblers Anonymous is a

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.  It is my understanding that when sharing in a meeting the comments should be kept to I, me and my and no one should be preaching about anything.  They should only be sharing their own experiences and how it helped them, not what you should be doing. 

 I have been going to Gamblers anonymous meetings for over four years myself and I don't like when people preach to me either.  Sharing with me is fine; don't tell me what I need to do.  If I ask now that is a different story.  The program does suggest that you look to a higher power but for many that come into GA their higher power is the group when they first get there.  Everyone is different and the key is to stop gambling; we should be helping each other with that. 

 I can understand why you would be upset; I don't like to be preached to either.  It took me years to figure out the spiritual side of the program and if someone was that preachy when I first came in I don't think I would have stayed.

Denise C  - Four years one month and 12 days without a bet

we are almost twins

Denise, we are almost the same age in this program.  I am 4 years and 23 days clean.  Nice to meet someone kind of at the same point I am at. 

 I am sure that if the men I talked about earlier would have behave they way they do now, at my first meeting, I would never have gone back for a second meeting.  But now, thank goodness, I am in a much better place in my life, so I can tolerate it with a little more strength.  Instead of giving up on my meetings, I am willing to fight (as civil as possible) to get this particular meeting back on track. 

Thanks for your words and understanding.  It helps to know that I am not alone in this.

Lauri M.

Lauri, Congratulations on


Congratulations on your recovery; that is quite an accomplishment.  It is always nice for me as well when I run into someone that is at the same place in recovery.  I hope that this issue is resolved for you quickly.

Denise C