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History of Alcoholics Anonymous
Historical writings, documents, letters, events,
people, places and references through-out the history
has neither been approved or endorsed by and is not affiliated
with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any
service entity of A.A.W.S., Inc. The Circle/Triangle
logo is no longer in use by A.A.W.S., Inc.
members & writings of: Bill W.
talks -given by Bill W., primarily those
given at General Service Conferences throughout the
talks -articles by Bill W. published in
the Grapevine throughout the years.
Wilson telling the Story of AA and Its Beginnings
EBBY T., The Man
Who Carried The Message To Bill W. -In
1960, at the Long Beach, California Convention of Alcoholics
Anonymous, Bill Wilson wrote this dedication in an AA
book that he gave to Ebby Thacher.
Ebby, No day passes that I do not remember that you
brought me the message that saved me - and only God
knows how many more. -In
OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
N.Y. STATE JOURNAL OF MEDICINE© Vol. 44,
Aug.,1944. -Alcoholics Anonymous is an informal fellowship
of about 12,000 formerly alcoholic men and women who
are to be found banded together as groups in about three
hundred and twenty-five American and Canadian communities,
these groups ranging in size from half a dozen to many
hundreds of individuals....
Ask Bill W. -This series was compiled by
Jim B. These excerpts from various talks and articles
by and on Bill W. reveal a wealth of the thinking and
insight of one of the co-founder's of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Bill W. Speaks
of Pearl Harbor -"You know, each of us
has had his own private Pearl Harbor, each of us has
known the utmost of humiliation, of despair, and of
defeat. So why should we, who have known the resurrection,
fear another Pearl Harbor?" -June, 1945
W. on the Traditions -Grapevine articles
by Bill W. on the 12 Traditions of A.A.
Talk in Cleveland, Ohio, 1950 -On A.A.'s
15th Anniversary everybody knew that we had grown up.
There couldn't be any doubt about it. Members, families
and friendsseven thousand of them spent three
inspiring, almost awesome days with our good hosts at
A Fragment of
History -"So far as people were concerned,
the main channels of inspiration for our Steps were
three in number - the Oxford Groups, Dr. William D.
Silkworth of Townes Hospital and the famed psychologist,
William James, called by some the father of modern psychology."
-Bill W., July, 1953
How the book "Alcoholics
Anonymous" came about -Bill W. speaking
in Fort Worth, Texas -1954.
Talk to the Manhattan Group -"Already,
the history of AA is being lost in the mists of its twenty-one
years of antiquity. I venture that very few people here
could recount in any consecutive way the steps on the
road that led from the kitchen table to where we are tonight
in this Manhattan Group." -Bill W., New York City,
The Next Frontier:
Emotional Sobriety -"While those words
"absolute demand" may look like a gimmick, they were the
ones that helped to trigger my release into my present
degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which
I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others
regardless of the return to me." -Bill
W. -January, 1958
(*Aslo see: A
Letter From Bill W. on Depression, from the
memoirs of Tom P., an early California AA member, which
is strikingly similar to this AA Grapevine Article, "The
Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety.")
Leadership in A.A.
-"A leader in AA service is therefore a man (or a
woman) who can personally put principles, plans, and policies
into such dedicated and effective action that the rest
of us want to back him up and help him with his job. When
a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but when he
too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no
judgment of his own - well, he really isn't a leader at
all." -Bill W., April, 1959
letter to Dr. Carl Gustav Jung -Dated January
23, 1961, a well overdue letter, as Bill put it. (Dr.
Jungs reply can be found here).
Strange Obsession -by Bill W.
It was a hot night in the midsummer of 1934. I found myself
at a noted address in Central Park West, New York City.
It was in Charlie Towns Hospital for drying out alcoholics........
The Dilemma of No
Faith -"The phrase "God As We Understand
Him" is perhaps the most important expression to be found
in our whole AA vocabulary. Within the compass of these
five significant words there can be included every kind
and degree of faith, together with the positive assurance
that each of us may choose his own." -Bill W., April
Experiences -"As most AAs have heard,
I was the recipient in 1934 of a tremendous mystic experience
or "illumination." It was accompanied by a sense
of intense white light, by a sudden gift of faith in the
goodness of God, and by a profound conviction of His presence."
-Bill W., July 1962
of "Ebby"- "In his seventieth
year, and on the twenty-first of March, my friend and
passed beyond our sight and hearing." -by Bill W.,
W. & Jim B. Letters -For quite a few
W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and
B., author of the 2nd and 3rd edition personal
story in the Big Book titled: "Vicious Cycle", communicated
via written correspondence between 1947 and 1965.
A Gimmick To Get Us Out
Of The Dumps -The following was written by
Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous for "The
Road Back", a bimonthly publication by the Dublin,
Ireland, group, and is reprinted therefrom.
Bill W.: Nov. 26, 1895
- Jan. 24, 1971 -"From the rubble of
a wasted life, he overcame alcoholism and founded the
12-step program that has helped millions of others do
the same" -by Susan Cheever, Time 100, Heroe's and
W.: Nov. 26, 1895 - Jan. 24, 1971 -"New
York Times Obituary for William Griffith Wilson (Bill
W. - an A.A. Cofounder) who died in 1971 at the age of
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