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Group of Alcoholics Anonymous

Lamplighters: Who We Are

This tells a little about Lamplighters, including our history. We hope it gives you a feel for who we are, and whether we might fit your needs as a fellow alcoholic. If, after you've read about us, you feel you would like to join Lamplighters, you can find a link to our 'Join Lamplighters' page below.

Lamplighter's 12 Step Contacts

If you feel you have a problem with alcohol and would like help

Men click here Women click here

First and foremost, we're an AA meeting in every sense of the word**, even though the little "meeting room" we rent is electronic rather than brick and mortar. We adhere to the Traditions, encourage service work, and share our experience, strength and hope with each other around the clock and around the world.

In the spirit of Tradition 6, Lamplighters does not verify attendance at, or membership of, this online AA meeting to any third party. This includes (but is not limited to) court, probation or parole officers.

**Most of us who are not geographically isolated, disabled, or homebound use online meetings to supplement our face-to-face AA meetings, not to replace them. We have found that we need to use all the AA help at our disposal, and for the majority of us, this includes face-to-face AA meetings. If you think you have a problem with alcohol and are new to the recovery process, please call Alcoholics Anonymous in the area where you live. That number will be in the white pages of most local telephone directories in the US and Canada. You can also go to the Alcoholics Anonymous website located at http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org which will possibly list a telephone number and address for one or more AA groups near you.

One of the oldest and largest of the email-based AA groups, Lamplighters began life in 1991 among six AA members who subscribed to General Electric's old GEnie electronic mail service. The name Lamplighters came from free word association: "genie" to "magic lamp" to "Lamplighters."

Our group grew to about 50 members between 1991 and 1993. Through trial, error, experimentation and lots of goodwill, a pioneering format evolved for holding an AA meeting via email. This basic meeting format is still in use.

After GEnie hooked up to the internet in 1993, the first non-GEnie members began to appear. With this growth, a formal "listserv" mailing list became a necessity, as did the need to improve anonymity protection. So the group obtained an independent internet account and a new "home" for its list.

Partly through growth-driven need, and partly through a desire to involve as many members as possible in service, Lamplighters began to develop a full slate of officers. We improved self-support activities and established an ongoing "business meeting." Through trial and error, we learned a few things, like how to:

A key event in Lamplighters history was our participation in online activities at the 1995 San Diego convention, and the opportunity so many of us had to meet each other face to face. Several of our members helped form the Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous at that time and later that year, our group's Secretary was invited to New York by the General Service Conference to demonstrate online AA to the Trustees.

Since 1997 Lamplighters has been officially listed in the World Wide Directory as an AA meeting. We are proud of our contribution over the years to helping AA understand and utilize electronic media to carry the message.

Today, there are hundreds of members of Lamplighters from countries all over the world.  Former Lamplighters members have gone on to form many other online groups in the best AA tradition.

If one were to characterize our group, we are probably less formal in tone than many. We encourage crosstalk and humor in the sharing of our experience, strength and hope...while never losing sight of our primary purpose of carrying the message.

Anonymity Addendum From Our FAQ Number Nine

The Lamplighters Group rents a "listserver," the electronic equivalent of a church basement. Through it, we control the entry to our meetings, and request from new members only a statement of 3rd Tradition intent. People "cruising" the Internet cannot stumble into one of our meetings. They must be "members" of Lamplighters, by being subscribed. Subscription, of course, is free.

As a result of the electronic configuration of our listserver, anonymity is generally better protected in internet email meetings than in face-to-face AA meetings. And many of us find that being unaware of the race, age, physical characteristics, spoken accent, dress, even gender of our fellow members makes putting principles before personalities easier.

We still, of course, ask our members to respect the anonymity of our membership. And alcoholics who for their own reasons require additional guarantees are able to gain internet, and therefore Lamplighters, access under pseudonyms for further protection of their anonymity.

Links to more information about Lamplighters

FAQ Frequently asked questions about Lamplighters
JOIN US How to join the Lamplighters Group of Alcoholics Anonymous
HISTORY A history of Lamplighters as told by some members

Links to other AA-related information

The Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous (OIAA)
maintains a 24 hour helpline. If you have a drinking
problem and would like to make contact with a member
of OIAA, please click HERE or click the image to the left.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS The Alcoholics Anonymous website
ALANON / ALATEEN The Alanon / Alateen website
OIAA The Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous website
12 QUESTIONS Is AA for you? These questions can help you decide


Our website is not endorsed nor approved by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc, the service office for the U.S. and Canada, or any other country's national service office. It is solely provided by the Lamplighters Group of Alcoholics Anonymous as part of its continuing 12 Step work in reaching out to the alcoholic who still suffers. Some of the material on this web site was originally published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., but please do not assume that this implies license to reproduce or use this material in any form. All rights are retained by the original publisher

Alcoholics Anonymous®, AA®, and The Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. The Grapevine® and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.

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