The term group conscience comes from the second tradition: “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern”. This is scary stuff. An organization who talks to God is a religion. An organization where God talks back through its leaders, is a cult.
The group conscience is the collective will of a specific AA group, but like any group, there are leaders; and in the case of AA, the Old-timers run the show, and they are as a rule the most dogmatic. Also, many are batshit crazy, controlling and really have no life outside of the insular world of Alcoholics Anonymous. Notice the highlighted part – ‘God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants’. The end result is a group of Bill Wilson Mini-Mes who believe they are running with show with a mandate from God.