Art's very thorough reply in item 3740 gave reasons why groups
might be undercounted. This included changes in how various
types of groups, meetings, and gatherrings were and were not
counted at various times. A significant cause of undercounting
was that not all groups chose to be registered with GSO.
Besides those reasons for groups not being registered with GSO,
I add intergroups. In some cities, most AA services are provided
by an intergroup or central office. Groups make sure they are
known to the intergroup because that's what it takes to be on
the local meeting list. Many members and groups are not aware
that there is NO connection between registering with an intergroup
and being known to GSO.
The general service structure of districts and delegate areas
may be unknown in some places. Or some groups stay out of what
they call the "politics" of districts and areas. If they don't
have a GSR then they don't have a voice in the overall policies
of Alcoholics Anonymous and that's just fine with them.
The uncounted groups are offset to a small extent by groups that
are counted more than once. The old group records systems at GSO
only allowed one meeting place for a group. If one real home
group met in a church on Monday and a firehouse on Wednesday and
a school on Friday and a different church on Saturday, they had
to have four different Group Serial Numbers for all of those to
be listed. Sometimes they added a suffix to their group name and
sometimes they just gave up fighting the records-keepers and
used a totally different name for each location. So one home
group and, perhaps, its members would be counted more than once.
The new "Delegate Area Application" is a "relational database"
and has provision for one group to list multiple meeting places.
Transition started in 2003. However, that provision is not widely
used. Groups already listed under multiple names are unlikely
to change. Using that feature is inconvenient and is not even
understood by some area registrars. The New Group Registration
Form still does not provide for a group to register with more
than one meeting location.