|October Grapevine Articles
|OCTOBER 1946 Mail Call for All A.A.s at Home Or Abroad
Let's Not Oversell
The way some A.A. members go about the business of recruiting prospects,
they come pretty close to sounding like combination reformer-evangelists. In their
defense, one should say that it is only their great enthusiasm for the wonderful thing
they have discovered that leads them to excesses in trying to spread A.A.
But, because of the damage this kind of behavior can cause to A.A. as a whole
and to the very individuals being "recruited" I think we should be reminded every now
and then that A.A. is not something you sell. It's not a patent medicine or a new kind
of insurance or anything else that calls for salesmanship. A.A. is a way of life which
one must first of all want himself before he has any chance of getting it. You can't
sell it to him; he has to earn it.
You can't wrap it up in a package and hand it to him. That isn't the way you get A.A.
What's worst of all is that usually the prospect runs the other way, sooner or later,
when worked on by the salesman type.
|OCT 1946 Grapevine report:
As of February, 1946, there were 752 A.A. groups, including the as yet relatively
few but steadily growing number in other countries, and well over 23,000 members.
The Central Office, which takes a census every six months, will use for public
release on membership during the next six months the round numbers of
24,000--and they're being modest at that.
In the month of January alone, the Central Office received 3,117 inquiries as the
result of the Reader's Digest reprint of an article from the December, 1945 issue of
In four years the Indianapolis, Ind., A.A.'s have grown to about 275 men and women.
Parole supervisors and welfare workers in twenty Northeastern Indiana counties
heard a talk by a Fort Wayne A.A. . . .
A unique experiment in the foundation of an A.A. group has been tried in Goshen,
Ind., and found successful. The city has a population of approximately 12,000.
Through cooperation of the Goshen News-Democrat publisher, a series of six
personal experience stories was printed in the newspaper on successive evenings,
each accompanied by a box setting forth the purpose of the articles, explaining what
A.A. offers and how it could be reached. The stories were local in that they were
written by veteran A.A.s, all within a 25-mile radius of Goshen. Regular
every-other-day advertising has followed.
Four were present at the first meeting, by which time several letters had been
received. Late in August, the group had doubled in size, a half dozen prospects
were being interviewed and mail was coming in almost daily.
Original members, who started their contact at Elkhart, Ind., 10 miles away, are
pleased to be "on their own," but all Goshenites still attend the Saturday night open
meetings in Elkhart. Such an August session, addressed by a mid-western priest
who is an A.A., attracted an attendance of 125 persons. The Elkhart Group, now in
its third year, has three mid-week gatherings for members and will soon need a
|OCT 1964 The Anecdote Bin
Dedicated to the lighter side of our common problem
ACCORDING to D. L. B., of Indianapolis, a woman visited a doctor to consult him
about her husband's drinking. The medic asked her a great many questions winding
up with, "Madam, has your husband ever tried AA?" Wearily, the lady told him,
"Doctor, he must have. He's drunk everything else I know of."
|OCT 1994 PO Box 1980
At a meeting some time ago on the south side of Chicago, a young fellow related a
story about a newspaper headline he had once read that stated: "Japanese soldier
surrenders after twenty-five years on deserted island." Apparently a U.S. warship
had sighted a person on a deserted island in the south Pacific long after the end of
WWII. They sent a small boat ashore to rescue the person only to find that he had
retreated into a cave on the side of a mountain. Realizing he was a Japanese soldier
and was hostile and armed, they had to send ashore an interpreter to persuade him
to surrender. After convincing him that the war was over, they took him home and
reunited him with his family and friends. The newspapers had shown photos of him
coming down from his hideaway, haggard, undernourished, and barely clothed. Then
there were photos of him back in Japan, cleaned up, shaved, with a haircut and new
suit, with his family and friends.
I was wondering why the young fellow was telling this story, when it finally hit me.
Weren't we like that? Didn't we fight the war with booze for years, only to be told by
a messenger that the war was long since over? We didn't have to fight anymore. All
we had to do was surrender to a Higher Power and life could begin again.
Michigan City, Indiana
|OCT 1999 Distilled Spirits
Great things I've heard at meetings: Make a friend of time. . . Acceptance isn't
necessarily approval. . . God, help me to want what I already have. . . Humility is not
thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. . . Don't get resentful of a
resentful person. . . Don't badmouth meetings. . . Every problem has a lifespan that
only God knows. . . Men are not converted by criticism. . . Cooperate with God. . .
Let today's troubles be sufficient to today. . . It's hard to keep an open mind with an
open mouth. . . Feed your faith and starve your doubt. . . Quit thinking about fun and
games in the future. . . Live one day at a time and get to work. . . Self-esteem is a
matter of discipline. . . The best way to get even is to forget. . . You don't help
anyone by trying to impress them; you impress someone when you try to help them.
. . Complaining is not an action step. . . Good things happen to alcoholics who don't
drink. . . Lord, help me to be the man my dog thinks I am. . . Gratitude is the
aristocrat of virtues.