Alcoholic Foundation of Yesterday
of newer A.A. s inquire "Just what is The Alcoholic
Foundation, what is its place in A.A., who set it up,
why do we send it funds?"
members, because their Groups are in frequent contact
with our Headquarters at New York, understand that place
to be a sort of a general service to all A.A. Reading
THE A.A. GRAPEVINE each month they know THE GRAPEVINE
to be our principal monthly journal. But the history of
the Alcoholic Foundation and its relation to these vital
functions, and to A.A. as a whole, they scarcely understand
for a bit of history. During its first years, Alcoholics
Anonymous didnt even have that name. Anonymous,
nameless indeed, we consisted by late 1937 of but three
small clusters of alcoholicsAkron, Ohio, the first
Group, New York City, the second, and a few members at
Cleveland, our third Group to be. There were, I should
guess, about fifty members in all three cities. The very
early pioneering period had passed, Dr. Bob and I having
first met at Akron in the spring of 1935. We were becoming
sure we had something for those other thousands of alcoholics
who didnt yet know any answer. How were we to let
them know; just how could the good news be spread? That
was the burning question.
discussion in a little meeting called by Dr. Bob and me
at Akron in the fall of 1937 developed a plan. This plan
later proved to be approximately one-third right and about
twothirds wrongfamiliar process of trial and
error. Because the development of the first Groups had
been such a slow hard process we then supposed that none
but seasoned pioneers could start new ones. Though we
had misgivings, it seemed inevitable that about twenty
of our solid members would have to lay aside their personal
affairs and go to other cities to create new centers.
Much as we disliked the idea, it appeared as if we must
take on, temporarily at least, a squad of A.A. missionaries.
Plainly, too, these missionaries and their families would
have to eat. That would take money - quite a lot of it,
that was not all. It was felt we needed A.A. hospitals
at Akron and New York, these places being regarded as
our twin "Meccas." There excellent medical
care and high power spirituality could, we were sure,
be sprayed on drunks who would flock in from all corners
of the nationonce the magic word "cure"
got around. Even as many newer A. A. s still have
such fancies, we old-timers did dream these very dreams.
Providentially, neither the A.A. hospital nor our missionary
dreams came true. Had these then materialized, A.A. would
surely have been ruined. We would have gone professional
on the spot.
there was still a third dream. That was to prepare a Book
of Experiencethe one we know today as "Alcoholics
Anonymous." We were sure that unless our recovery
experiences were put on paper, our principles and practices
would soon be distorted. We might be ridiculed in the
press. Besides, did we not owe at least a book to those
alcoholics who couldnt get to our hospitals, or
who, perchance, werent reached right away by our
advancing missionaries! As everybody knows, the A.A. book
dream did come truethe other dreams didnt.
it surely looked, in 1937, as though we must have considerable
money. perhaps it was because I lived at New York, where
there is supposed to be lots of it, that I was delegated
to set about raising funds so our nameless movement might
have its "field workers", hospitals and books.
How simple it appeared. Did we not already have (in prideful
imagination) the beginning of one of the greatest social,
medical, and spiritual developments of all time? Werent
we drunks all salesmen? Hadnt I been a Wall Street
man? How easy to raise money for such a cause as ours!
awakening from that money dream was rude. It soon appeared
that people with money had little interest in drunks.
As for our grandiose scheme of banding alcoholics together
in squads, platoons and regiments - well, that was
plainly fantastic, wasnt it? Drunks, people said,
were difficult enough, one at a time. Why present each
American community with an organized regiment of them.
Hadnt the donors better put their money into something
constructive -- like tuberculosis or cancer? Or, why shouldnt
they invest in the prevention of alcoholism? One more
attempt to salvage hopeless drunks couldnt possibly
succeed. Such were the answers to our plea for money.
one day, in the midst of discouragement, something momentous
happened. It was another of those critical turning points
in A.A. of which we have seen so many that no man can
call them coincidence. At the office of my physician brother-in-law,
I was bemoaning, in typical alcoholic fashion, how little
we poor drunks were appreciated, especially by men of
means. I was telling my relative for the tenth time how
we had to have money soonor else. Listening patiently
he suddenly said, "Ive got an idea. I used
to know a man by the name of Dick R. He was somehow connected
with the Rockefellers. But that was years ago. I wonder
if he is still there. Let me call up and find out."
On what little events our destinies somehow turn! How
could we know that a simple phone message was to open
a new era in A.A.! That it was to inaugurate The Alcoholic
Foundation, the book "Alcoholics Anonymous"
and our A.A. Central Office.
days after my brother-in-laws call, we sat
in the Rockefeller offices talking to "Dick"
R. The most lovable of men, "Dick" was the first
of that early series of non-alcoholic laymen who saw us
through when the going was very hard; and without whose
wisdom and devotion the Alcoholics Anonymous movement
might never have been. When he had heard the story, our
new friend showed instant understanding. He immediately
translated understanding into action. He suggested that
some of our alcoholic brotherhood meet with several of
his own friends and himself.
afterward, on a winters evening in 1937, this meeting
took place at Rockefeller Center. Present were "Dick"
R., a LeRoy C., since known as "Chip", Albert
S., Frank A., and my brother-in-law, Leonard S. Dr. Bob
and Paul S. came down from Akron. The New York ex-topers
were half a dozen. Of course we alcoholics were delighted.
Our money troubles, we thought, were over. If money was
the answer, we had surely come to the right place!
introductions, each alcoholic told his own personal story,
after which (with becoming reluctance!) we brought up
the subject of money. As our hearers had seemed much impressed
by our recovery stories, we made bold to expand on the
urgent need for hospitals, "field workers" and
a book. We also made it clear that this would take moneyquite
came one more turn in A.A. destiny. The Chairman of the
meeting, Albert S., a man of large affairs, and profoundly
spiritual in his nature said in substance, "I an
deeply moved by what I have heard. I can see that your
work, thus far, has been one of great good willone
alcoholic personally helping another for the love of the
thing. That is First Century Christianity in a beautiful
form. But arent you afraid that the introduction
of hospitals and paid field workers might change all that?
Shouldnt we be most careful not to do anything which
might lead to a professional or propertied
class within your ranks?"
were great words for Alcoholics Anonymous. We alcoholics
admitted their weight. Disappointed that our hope of substantial
money help seemed to be fading, we confessed, nevertheless,
that we often had such misgivings. But, we persisted,
what are we going to do? It has taken us three years to
form three groups. We know we have a new life for those
who die or go mad by thousands each year. Must our story
wait while it is passed around by word of mouth only,
becoming hopelessly garbled meanwhile? Finally our friends
agreed that something needed to be done. But they did
continue to insist our movement ought never be professionalized.
This struck the key note of our relation to these men
of good will for all the years since. Rightly enough they
have never secured us large sums of money. But each has
given of himself to our cause, generously and continuously;
how much, a few A.A.s can never know.
clearly that we must now spread the recovery message faster,
they then suggested we might carefully experiment with
a small rest home at Akron. This could be presided over
by Dr. Bob who was, after all, a physician. Whereupon
Frank A., on his own time and expense, went to Akron to
investigate. He returned most enthusiastic. He was inclined
to the opinion that $30,000 ought to be invested there
in a center for alcoholics. Our friend Dick R. showed
Franks report to Mr. John D. Rockefeller Jr. who
at once manifested a warm interest. But Mr. Rockefeller
also expressed anxiety about professionalizing us. Nevertheless
he gave us a sum which turned out to be, however, about
one-sixth of the amount Frank had suggested. His gift
came in the Spring of 1938 and its result was to help
Dr. Bob and me through that very trying year. We could
not have actively continued without it. Yet, money wise,
our budding movement of alcoholics was still left very
much on its ownjust where it should have been left
too, however difficult that seemed at the time. We still
had no "field staff", no hospital and no book.
were the events which led to the formation of The Alcoholic
Foundation. The need for a volume describing our recovery
experiences loomed larger than ever. Were such a book
to appear a great flow of inquiries from alcoholics and
their families might start. Thousands, maybe. These appeals
would certainly have to be cleared through some sort of
Central Office. That was most evident.
these same purposes, our friends suggested the formation
of a Foundation to which givers might make tax free contributions.
We alcoholics endlessly discussed this new project with
them, consuming hours of their business time. Frank A.
and a friendly attorney, Jeff W., out much effort on the
original Foundation Trust agreement. The lawyer had never
seen anything like it. The new Foundation should, we insisted,
have two classes of Trustees - alcoholics and non - alcoholics.
But, legally speaking, what was an alcoholic anyhow, he
queried and if an alcoholic had stopped drinking, was
he an alcoholic anymore? Then, why two classes of Trustees?
That, said our attorney, was unheard of. We explained
that we wanted our friends with us. And besides, we urged,
suppose all of us alcoholics should get drunk at once,
who then would hang on to the money! Surmounting many
such obstacles The Alcoholic Foundation was finally inaugurated.
It had four non-alcoholics and three alcoholic Trustees.
They could appoint their own successors. It was chartered
to do everything under the sun except lobby for prohibition.
So it had everythingexcept money!
the summer of 1938 we solicited the well-to-do for contributions
to fill that grand new receptacle, our Alcoholic Foundation.
Again we encountered a strange indifference to drunks.
Nobody was interested. We didnt get a cent that
I can remember. We were pretty discouraged; apparently
Providence had deserted us. With the modest fund from
Mr. Rockefeller running out, it looked like a lean winter
ahead. There could be no book, no office. What good, we
complained, was an Alcoholic Foundation without money!
this time there had been roughed out what are now the
first two chapters of the book now known as "Alcoholics
Anonymous". Our friend Frank referred us to a well
known publisher who suggested the possibility of advancing
royalties to me so the book could be finished. That made
us feel fine until it was realized that if I ate up a
lot of royalties while doing the book, there could be
no more payments for a long time afterward. We saw, too,
that my 1O% royalty would never carry the office expenses
of answering the pleas for help that would surely follow
publication. Nor might a commercial publisher, anxious
for sales, advertise it as we would like.
reflections led us straight into a typical alcoholic fantasy!
Why not publish the book ourselves? Though told by almost
everybody who knew anything about publishing that amateurs
seldom produce any but flops, we were not a whit dismayed.
This time, we said, it would be different. We had discovered
that the bare printing cost of a book is but a fraction
of its retail price and a national magazine of huge circulation
had offered to print an article about us when our book
was finished. This was a clincher. How could we miss?
We could see books selling hundreds of thousandsmoney
a promotion it was! An A.A. friend and I hastily organized
the Works Publishing Co. My friend, Hank P., then bought
a pad of stock certificates at a stationary store. He
and I started selling them to brother alcoholics and any
who would buy at the bargain price of $25.00 a share.
Sure fire proposition, folks, you cant miss, we
chanted. Our confidence must have been boundless. Not
only were we selling common stock on a book to cure drunksthe
book itself hadnt yet been written. Amazingly enough,
we did sell that stock, $4,500 worth, to alcoholics in
New York, New Jersey, and to their friends. No one of
the original 49 subscribers put up over $300.00. Almost
everybody paid on monthly installments, being too broke
to do otherwise; save, of course, our good friends at
Rockefeller Center. They pitched in, several of them subscribing.
agreement with the Works Publishing subscribers was that
out of the first book income they were to get their money
back; also that The Alcoholic Foundation was to receive
the 1O% royalty I might have had from a Publisher. As
for the shares of the Works Publishing, the 49 cash subscribers
were to have one third, my friend Hank one third, and
I one third. We also obtained a loan of $2,500 from Charles
B.T., proprietor of a nationally known hospital for alcoholics.
A friend indeed, he was to wait years to get his money
as anyone could then see, everything was all seteverything,
of course, but writing and selling the book! Hope ran
high. Out of the new financing we could keep a small office
going at Newark, New Jersey. There I began to dictate
the text of "Alcoholics Anonymous" to Ruth H.
(our first and adored National Secretary). Rosily we saw
scads of money coming in, once the book was of f the press.
Still more, we expected the new book would turn right
about and help finance our poverty stricken foundationwhich,
strangely enough, it really did years later.
came April 1939. The book was done. Tales of recovery
for its story section had been supplied by Dr. Bob and
Akron brethren. Others were supplied by New Yorkers, and
New Jerseyites. One came in from Cleveland and another
from Maryland. Chapters had been read and discussed at
meetings. I had thought myself the author of the text
until I discovered I was just the umpire of the differences
of opinion out of which it arose. After endless voting
on a title for the new work we had decided to call it
"The Way Out." But inquiry by Fitz M., our Maryland
alcoholic, at The Library of Congress disclosed the fact
that twelve books already bore that title. Surely we couldnt
make our book the thirteenth. So we called it "Alcoholics
Anonymous" instead! Though we didnt
it, our movement then got its namea name which
because of the implication of humility and modesty has
given us our treasured spiritual principle of anonymity.
thousand copies of "Alcoholics Anonymous" lay
in the printers warehouse, except the few we joyously
passed around. Each stockholder and each story writer
got one free. The New York Times did a good review. We
hastened to the National Magazine to tell them we were
ready for their promised article. We could see A.A. books
going out in carload lots!
a debacle. At the office of the great monthly periodical
we were gently told they had entirely forgotten to let
us know, nine months before, that they had decided to
print nothing about us. The editors had concluded we drunks
were too controversial a subject! This stunning announcement
left us in a daze. The whole Alcoholics Anonymous movement
could buy less than a hundred books, as it had only one
hundred members. Besides, we had given away 79 free ones!
What were we to do with those other thousands of books?
What could we say to the printer, whose bill wasnt
half paid? What about that little loan of $2,500 and those
forty-nine subscribers who had invested $4,500 in Works
Publishing stock. How would we break the awful news to
them? How could we tell them that since we had no publicity
we could sell no books. Yes, that A.A. book venture was,
I fear, very alcoholic.
was the good book "Alcoholics Anonymous" born
into bankruptcy. Some of the creditors got restive; the
Sheriff actually appeared at our Newark office. The promoters
were very lowfinancially and otherwise. The house
in which my wife and I lived at Brooklyn was taken over
by the bank. We took up residence in a summer camp loaned
by an A.A. friend Horace C. and his family. My friend
Hank fared no better. Things certainly looked bleak. Still
only three active groups, we had acquired besides a bankrupt
A.A. book, one unpaid but loyal secretary, a tiny Central
Office that might have to close any day and an Alcoholic
Foundation with no money in it. That was the score after
four years of Alcoholics Anonymous.
we ever got the book and our office through that summer
of 1939 I shall never quite know. Had it not been for
a truly sacrificial act on the part of Bert T., an early
New York A.A., Im sure we couldnt have survived.
Bert loaned the defunct Works Publishing Co. $1,000. This
he obtained by signing a note secured by his own business,
then in a shaky condition. His act of faith was followed
by two more pieces of good fortune which barely got us
through the year. In the fall of 1939 LIBERTY magazine
published a piece about us. This produced a flood of inquiries.
Some of those writing in bought the A.A. book. Those few
book receipts kept our articles in the CLEVELAND PLAIN
DEALER. This started a prodigious growth of A.A. out there
and created a little more demand for the A.A. book which
helped a lot.
were our friends at Rockefeller Center idle. One day,
"Dick" R., greeted us at a Foundation meeting
with the broadest of smiles. It was then February 1940.
Dick hastened to say that Mr. John D. Rockefeller Jr.
had been following our progress with intense interest;
that he would like, for the inspiration of his guests
and for the benefit of Alcoholics Anonymous, to give a
dinner. Mr. Rockefeller proposed inviting several hundred
people, including personal friends and associates. This
was a ten strike.
March, 1940, the dinner came of f. Mr. R. s friends
turned out in force. An A.A. member was placed at each
guest table. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, who had superbly
reviewed our book, spoke of A.A. from the spiritual viewpoint.
Dr. Foster Kennedy, noted neurologist, gave his hearers
the medical outlook. We alcoholics were asked to talk
also. At the conclusion of the evening Mr. Nelson Rockefeller,
explaining that his father had not been able to come because
of illness, went on to say that few things more deeply
affecting or promising than Alcoholics Anonymous had ever
touched his fathers life; that he wished his friends
to share this experience with him.
great wealth was present at the dinner meeting that night,
little was said touching money. Hope was expressed that
A.A. might soon become self-supporting. But the suggestion
was made, however, that until such a stage was reached,
a little financial help might be needed. Following the
dinner meeting Mr. Rockefeller wrote a fine personal letter
to each guest, expressing his feelings about A.A., and
concluding with the observation that he was making us
a modest gift. Accompanying each letter was a reprint
of the talks given at the dinner and a copy of the book
"Alcoholics Anonymous." On receipt of Mr. Rockefellers
letter, many of his guests responded with donations to
the Alcoholic Foundation.
so-called "Rockefeller dinner list" has since
been almost the whole source of "outside" money
gifts to The Alcoholic Foundation. These donations averaged
around $3,000 annually and they were continued for about
five years1940 to 1945. This income The Foundation
divided between Dr. Bob and me so helping us to give A.A.
a good part of our time during that critical period. Not
long since, The Foundation Trustees were able to write
the original dinner contributors, with great thanks, that
their help would no longer be needed; that the Alcoholic
Foundation had become adequately supported by the A.A.
Groups and by income from the book "Alcoholics Anonymous";
that the personal needs of Dr. Bob and myself were being
met out of book royalties.
now, to 1940. The significant thing about Mr. Rockefellers
dinner, of course, was not the money it raised. Here came
an influential citizen wise enough to see that our great
need was not money. What we did really need was favorable
public recognition; we needed someone who would stand
up and say what he thought and felt about Alcoholics Anonymous.
Considering the fact that we were then few in number;
that we were none too sure of ourselves; that not long
since society had known us as common drunkards, I think
Mr. Rockefellers wisdom and courage was great indeed.
effect of that dinner meeting was instantaneous; the news
wires all carried the story. Hundreds of alcoholics and
their families rushed to buy the book "Alcoholics
Anonymous." Our little Central Office was flooded
with pleas for help. It soon had to be moved from Jersey
to Vesey Street, New York. Ruth H. got her back pay and
forthwith became our first National Secretary. Enough
books were sold to keep the office going. So passed 1940.
Alcoholics Anonymous had made its national debut.
a year later, the SATURDAY EVENING POST assigned Jack
Alexander to do a story about us. Under the impetus of
Mr. Rockefellers dinner and CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
pieces, our membership had shot up to about 2,000. Our
Clevelanders, had just proved that even a small group
could, if it must, successfully absorb great numbers of
newcomers in a hurry. They had exploded the myth that
A.A. must always grow slowly. From the Akron - Cleveland
area we had begun to spill over into other places, Chicago,
Detroit, and the like. In the east, Philadelphia had taken
fire. Washington and Baltimore were smoldering. Further
west, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco were putting
down roots. Growth continued at Akron and New York. We
took special pride in Little Rock, Arkansas. It had sprung
up with no A.A. help at all, except books and letters
from the Central Office. It was the first of the so-called
"mail order" Groups now commonplace all over
the world. Even then, we had stated correspondence with
many isolated alcoholics who were to form Groups later
this good progress, the approaching SATURDAY EVENING POST
piece set us aghast. While our Cleveland experience had
given wonderful assurances that our few established groups
would survive the impact of heavy publicity, what could
we possibly do with the thousands of burning appeals that
would now swamp our little New York office which, by the
way, then consisted of but one small room where sat Ruth
H., a typist and myself? What could we three people do
with five, or maybe ten thousand, frantic inquiries? The
A.A. book income had barely taken care of the two girls
and the office rent. The POST article would bring more
book sales, but not enough to handle this emergency. We
had to have more office helpand quickly.
realized we simply must, for the first time, ask the A.A.
groups for assistance. The Alcoholic Foundation still
had no money save the $3,000 a year "dinner fund"
which was helping to keep Dr. Bob and me afloat. Besides,
some of the creditors and cash subscribers of Works Publishing
(the A.A. book company) were getting anxious again. When,
they asked, were they going to get their money back? Then,
too, I had made the disheartening discovery that "promoters"
are not always popular in A.A. Fantastic stories circulated
about our connection with Mr. Rockefeller and vast "personal
profits" on the Works Publishing book stock. This,
despite the fact that the tiny book income had been spent
to support the office, and the further fact that the so-called
"promoters book shares" had never been
issued to us at all, but had, at our request, been transferred
to The Alcoholic Foundation instead. By this time I had
been thoroughly cured of the desire to "promote"
anything! Yet our little Central Office simply had to
have funds, else we must throw thousands of heartbreaking
appeals to the wastebasket.
some trepidation, two of the alcoholic members of our
Foundation traveled out among the A.A. Groups to explain.
They presented their listeners with these ideas: That
support of our Central Office was a definite necessary
assistance to our "12th step work"; that we
A.A. s ought to pay these office expenses ourselves
and rely no further upon outside charity or insufficient
book sales. The two Trustees also suggested that The Alcoholic
Foundation be made a regular depository for Group funds;
that the Foundation would earmark all Group monies for
Central Office expenses only that each month the
Central Office would bill the Foundation for the straight
A.A. expenses of the place,; that all group contributions
ought to be entirely voluntary; that every A.A. Group
would receive equal service from the New York office,
whether it contributed or not. It was estimated that if
each Group sent The Foundation a sum equal to $1.00 per
member per year, this might eventually carry our office,
without other assistance. Under this arrangement the office
would ask the Groups twice yearly for funds and render,
at the same time, a statement of its expenses for the
two trustees, Horace C. and Bert T. did not come back
empty handed. Now clearly understanding the situation,
most groups began contributing to The Alcoholic Foundation
for Central Office expenses, and have continued to do
so ever since. In this practice the A.A. tradition of
self support had a firm beginning. Thus we handled the
SATURDAY EVENING POST article for which thousands of A.A.
s are today so grateful.
enormous inpouring of fresh members quickly laid the foundation
for hundreds of new A.A. Groups and they soon began to
consult the Central Office about their growing pains,
thus confronting our Service Headquarters with group problems
as well as personal inquiries. The office then began to
publish a list of all A.A. Groups and it furnished traveling
A.A. s with lists of prospects in cities which had
none. Out-of -towners we had never seen before began to
visit us, so starting what is today the huge network of
personal contact between our General Office staff at New
York and A.A. Groups throughout the world.
year 1941 was a great one for the growing A.A. It was
the beginning of the huge development to follow; our Central
Office got solid group backing; we began to abandon the
idea of outside charitable help in favor of self-support.
Last, but not least, our Alcoholic Foundation really commenced
to function. By this time linked to the A.A. Central Office
because of its responsibility for the Group funds being
spent there, and to Works Publishing (the book "Alcoholics
Anonymous") by partial ownership, the trustees of
our Alcoholic Foundation had become, though they did not
realize it, the Custodians of Alcoholics Anonymousboth
of money and of tradition. Alcoholics Anonymous had become
a National institution.
but effectively, the evolution of our Foundation has since
continued. Several years ago the trustees had a certified
audit made of the Alcoholic Foundation and Works Publishing
from their very beginnings. A good book keeping system
was installed and regular audits became an established
1942 it became evident that the Foundation ought to complete
its ownership of Works Publishing (the book "Alcoholics
Anonymous"). So the Trustees invited the outstanding
cash subscribers of Works to deposit their stock with
the Foundation. Most of the original cash subscribers
still needed their money, and had to wait a long time
for it. Several thousand dollars were obviously required.
Of course Group funds could not be used for this purpose.
the Trustees, spearheaded this time by our old friend
"Chip", turned again to Mr. Rockefeller and
his "dinner list." These original donors most
gladly made the Foundation the Necessary loan. This enabled
the Foundation to acquire full ownership of our A.A. book
(Works Publishing, Inc.). Meanwhile, Works Publishing,
being now partly relieved of supporting the Central Office,
had been able to pay its own creditors in full. Later
on, when our of A.A. book income the Trustees offered
to pay of f the Foundation debt, several of the lenders
would take only a part paymentsome none at all.
At last we were in the clear. This event marked the end
of our financial troubles. Let me again thank our non-alcoholic
friends of the Board of Trustees. Time after time, these
busy men have personally attended to such vital but unexciting
tasks as I have been describing. The few of us who fully
realize what they have done and continue to do would like
every A.A. to share our appreciation.
last few years of A.A. have been so fantastically phenomenal
that nearly everybody in America knows about us. Seemingly,
the rest of the globe will soon learn. A.A. travelers
are going abroad, our literature is being translated into
other tongues. In this country we make the headline daily.
A full length moving picture is in prospect. New proposals
for major publicity are weekly occurrences. Today our
General Service Headquarters has a staff of twelve. Because
of our prodigious growth and our continuous entry into
more foreign countries, we shall presently need twenty.
Popularly known to thousands as "Bobbie," our
A. A. General Secretary now serves world A. A. On the
Board of the Alcoholic Foundation three of our earlier
friends remain. New faces are seen at quarterly meetings,
each as anxious to serve as the original group. The A.A.
GRAPEVINE, our principal monthly journal, made its appearance
two years ago and is now taking its place among our General
Headquarters Services. Our acute money problems,
praise be, have disappeared; the A.A. Groups support the
General Office; The A.A. Grapevine is almost paying its
own way. Out of its Works Publishing (A.A. book) income
the Foundation has accumulated a prudent financial reserve
against a possible time of business depression and unemployment.
That reserve now stands at more than a full years
headquarters expense, which, by the way, still remains
not much above the very low figure of $1.00 an A.A. per
year. Two years ago the Trustees set aside, out of A.A.
book funds, a sum which enabled my wife and me to pay
of f the mortgage on our home and make some needed improvements.
The Foundation also granted Dr. Bob and me each a royalty
of lO% on the book "Alcoholics Anonymous." This,
we wish to say, is now our only income from A.A. sources.
We are both very comfortable and deeply grateful.
account of our stewardship of Alcoholics Anonymous during
its infancy has now reached down into present timethe
year 1947. So Dr. Bob, the Trustees and I now would like
every member of Alcoholics Anonymous to see in more detail
how our General Service Headquarters is structured at
the present. We would like all to know just how the Foundation
Trustees, as Custodians, the A.A. General Secretary and
General Office Staff, as Service members, THE GRAPEVINE
Editor and staff as Editorial members are related, one
to the other, and to Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.
two "The Alcoholic Foundation of Today,"
The Trustees of The Alcoholic Foundation ( Intro)
The Alcoholic Foundation
of Yesterday -
The Alcoholic Foundation
of Today - Part 2
The Alcoholic Foundation
Of Tomorrow - Part 3