In 1995 the Conference passed an Advisory Action which reflected widespread concern about changing the basic text of the Big Book. Even though it did not endorse a new edition, it seems to have formed the basis for forging ahead with action on the 4th edition.
In fact, in 1995 there was also an Additional Committee Consideration that did not result in a recommendation because it passed by less than "substantial unanimity." It was here that we learned that there was not much interest within the fellowship for a 4th Edition. Although the Conference committee did suggest that the Trustee's Literature Committee continue with its planning, it also recommended further consultation with the fellowship as a whole. I haven't heard about any new questionnaires such as were implied by this non-action on the part of the 1995 Conference.
In 1996 there was no action on the matter of the 4th edition reported in the Final Conference Report, but I seem to remember something to the effect that there was still no great interest in a 4th edition.
In 1997 the Conference Final Report shows an Advisory Action moving forward on the 4th edition, referring back to the admonition of the 1995 Conference about not changing the basic text of the Big Book. But I still don't see any reference to a "pulse of the fellowship" on the issue. Unfortunately GSO typically uses a non-action as an endorsement of policy, here just as in the various proposals to forbid litigation of various kinds. A non-action is interpreted as an implicit vote of support.
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Updated: 4 May 1998