tblYgr_AAHistoryLovers
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753 pennington2
Jean W. -- 40 years Jean W. -- 40 years 1/2/2003 4:21:00 PM

Jean Mullry of Bellevue, Nebraska died yesterday (01/01/3) at
5:30am. It was also her 40th A.A. Birthday --- her pigeon Peg M.
had given her her chip the evening before. There will be a
memorial service, yet to be announced (she donated her body to
science --- in service even in death). Her children and other
family members were with her when she passed.

This year is the 60th anniversary of AA in Area 41 and Jean was
interviewed for that occasion since she was one of the first
woman members in the Omaha-Bellevue area. She was for
several early years, secretary on the Central Office committee.

She always signed her notes at the end with the words: "And
peace and harmony prevailed."


p2
pennington2@yahoo.com

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754 kentedavis@aol.com
Johns Hopkins 20 Questions answered Johns Hopkins 20 Questions answered 1/4/2003 6:37:00 AM Juliet from our local Intergroup has come up with some interesting facts about the 20 questions. I forward the following

Kent





Below is a snippet from an e-mail I received from a contact from Johns Hopkins' media relations department:



This is from a faculty member in our Psychiatry dept.

"The Johns Hopkins Twenty Questions: Are You An Alcoholic? was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Robert Seliger, who at that time was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  It was intended for use as a self-assessment questionnaire to determine the extent of one's alcohol use. It was not intended to be used by professionals as a screening tool to help them formulate a diagnosis of alcoholism in their patients.   We do not use this questionnaire at any of the Johns Hopkins substance abuse treatment programs.  To the best of my knowledge, there have never been any reliable or validated studies conducted using the Hopkins Twenty Questions.  I advise you to consider using other instruments such as the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test or the CAGE — both of which have proven reliability and validity as reported in the scientific literature."



So, the questions should be attributed to Dr.Robert Seliger of Johns Hopkins (in the 1930s), not to Johns Hopkins itself as they no longer advocate their use.  I note as well that the e-mail I sent to you all earlier from the Literature Desk at GSO stated that the hospital had requested that GSO not attribute those questions to their institution in the pamphlet "Memo to an Inmate Who May Be an Alcoholic."



If you know anyone who would like permission to reprint this piece, I have a contact at Johns Hopkins to whom I can refer them.  I have been in contact with the faculty member who knew the history of this document and who recommended that we not use it.  She was very adamant about it--in a second e-mail to me, she said that she'd grant permission to any AA group who wanted to use it, but that she really recommended that we don't.



I hope this information is helpful.



Happy Christmas!

Juliet



=====

----

Juliet W. Hattersley

Phone:  510/243-1733

Fax:  501/423-8536

AOL Instant Messenger:  jwhattersley



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755 Chick Schweinsberg
BB BB 1/4/2003 1:33:00 PM

I have a Third Edition, Second Printing that is shot full of errors. As
well as not having the %'s in the Forward to the Second Edition on page
xx. Does anybody have any idea what happened and why?
Chick
8/16/77
As Within, So Without




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756 Jim
Request - Local A.A. History Request - Local A.A. History 1/6/2003 2:35:00 AM
Chinese - French - German - Italian - Japanese - Korean - Portuguese - Spanish - Norwegian - Russian - Dutch - Greek - Bulgarian - Croatian - Czech - Danish - Finnish - Hungarian - Icelandic - Filipino - Polish - Romanian - Serbian - Slovenian - Swedish - Welsh - Turkish - Latin



In an attempt to carry the message and preserve general localized AA histories, we have begun an ongoing project titled, "Growth of A.A." around the world — to bring all the worlds localized AA histories to one central location on the World Wide Web.

What a wonderful experience it would be to be able to read about the history of any Group's, Counties, State's, Provences, Territory's, Republic's, and Countries localized A.A. history from a single location.

We would very much like to add your local AA history to the Global Map on Silkworth.net.

We invite your participation.

The Global Map:
http://silkworth.net/image_map/world.html

Yours in service,
The Silkworth Team,

http://silkworth.net/sitemap.html

* Please foreward this email to any possible interested parties / individules knowledgable of local A.A. history.

* This is a Global email from Silkworth.net.






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757 Mary
Bob Smith Jr. Bob Smith Jr. 1/6/2003 10:02:00 AM

Hello everyone, from a snowy Michigan

I am looking for Bob Smith Jr. We are planing a conf and would like
to get him as our main speaker. If anyone knows where he is living
would you email me. Bob Smith Jr know as Smity.

Thanks
Mary in Michigan
meggie1270@wideopenwest.com

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758 Higher Powered
The Principles The Principles 1/7/2003 11:21:00 AM








I received a list of 12 Spiritual Principles: Honesty, Hope, Faith, etc.  Does anyone know where they come from?  Also I understand that their are several versions of them.  Does anyone know what the various versions are?

 

Jose F. G.

En Amor y Servicio









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759 Thomas
Re: The Principles The Principles 1/7/2003 4:14:00 PM
The Honesty, Hope, Faith.....set of step principles has been hanging around for decades. Some people think it is "official", but to our knowledge it has never been published by AA or founders.

 

The Big Book Bunch did an in-depth study of principles of the steps. See http://www.sober.org/Principl.html

 

Based upon review of the Big Book, the 12&12 and prolonged discussion, their view of the principle of each step is:

 


  1. Surrender

  2. Hope

  3. Commitment

  4. Honesty

  5. Truth

  6. Willingness

  7. Humility

  8. Reflection

  9. Amendment

  10. Vigilance

  11. Attunement

  12. Service

 

Having participated in their study, I must admit that I think the BBB list makes better sense. <g>

 

However, as a gesture of true humility they suggest each individual try to come up with their own understanding of what the principle of each step is. This would best be done with others. It is even OK to argue (gently, of course). Such discussion will be very helpful to understanding how the steps work.

 

We have never documented an evaluation of the principles of the principles. It might go like 1. Unity, 2. Authority ...

 

Perhaps AAHistoryLovers would like to propose such a set. If so, I will submit it to the Big Book Bunch.

 

Love, Thomas

 


----- Original Message -----



Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 8:21 AM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] The Principles









I received a list of 12 Spiritual Principles: Honesty, Hope, Faith, etc.  Does anyone know where they come from?  Also I understand that their are several versions of them.  Does anyone know what the various versions are?

 

Jose F. G.








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760 Glenn Chesnut
Twelve Principles Twelve Principles 1/7/2003 6:47:00 PM

SGT. BILL & THE TWELVE PRINCIPLES:

There is no official set of "twelve principles" in A.A. and never has been. If it were in fact possible to sum up the principles of the program in just twelve simple words, nobody would ever have had to write the twelve steps. Also some of the steps obviously have more than one part and more than one vital principle involved. 1st step: (a) powerlessness and (b) unmanageability. 2nd step: (a) belief or faith, (b) Higher Power, and (c) sanity vs. insanity. 12th step: (a) spiritual awakening, (b) carrying the message, and (c) practicing these principles.

But various oldtimers who have talked about the program and given their own interpretation of what the steps meant for them, have sometimes tried to come up with a key word for each step, summing up the most important thing which that step taught them about their own lives. But this is always of necessity a totally personal matter.

There is a book which is going to be coming out in another two or three months, written by one of the real oldtimers, the Father of Military Alcohol Treatment: Sgt. Bill S., "On the Military Firing Line in the Alcohol Treatment Program: The Air Force Sergeant Who Beat Alcoholism and Taught Others to Do the Same." Bill, with the support of Mrs. Marty Mann, a quick education by Dr. E. M. Jellinek at the Yale School of Alcohol Studies, and the encouragement of Sister Ignatia, started the first officially sanctioned alcohol treatment programs in the U.S. military, first at Mitchell Air Force Base in 1948, and later at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in 1953, where he achieved a 50% success rate. He's got 54 years sobriety at this point, and is going to be speaking at the international A.A. archives conference in Bristol, England in February.

In one chapter of his book, he talks about what the twelve steps have meant to him, in terms of helping lead other people to sobriety. In that chapter, Bill comments that the twelve steps lead people through a therapeutic sequence involving (1) INSIGHT, (2) SURRENDER, (3) establishing POSITIVE GOALS, (4) INTROSPECTION, (5) CONFESSION, (6) a more complete SUBMISSION to the positive power of the healing process, (7) HUMILITY, (8) AMENDMENT, (9) RESTITUTION, (10) REORGANIZATION, (11) SPIRITUALITY, and (12) learning to LOVE others in a fuller and less selfish way.

His list was very interesting and thought-provoking for me, because he uses some words you wouldn't ordinarily expect, but then explains very clearly why those words are appropriate: "Insight" for the first step. "Introspection" for the fourth step. The simple word "Love" for the twelfth step, which strikes me as deeply profound.

Glenn Chesnut, South Bend IN

<gfchesnut@msn.com>

<www.iusb.edu/~gchesnut>





Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com


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761 somrsickr
Bills letter to ICYPAA Bills letter to ICYPAA 1/7/2003 9:36:00 PM

Does anyone have a copy of Bill's letter that he wrote to the [I
think] 12th ICYPAA.

If so please email me at somrsickr @ hotmail.com [skip the spaces]

Thanks,

Glynn W.

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762 Lash, William (Bill)
Counseling the Alcoholic, A Marty Mann Talk Counseling the Alcoholic, A Marty Mann Talk 1/8/2003 10:46:00 PM

Counseling the Alcoholic


Mrs. Marty Mann

Executive Director

National Council on Alcoholism, New York


The Blue Book, Vol. XVIII, 1966

Hollywood-by-the-Sea, Florida


I like the title of the talk assigned me, viz., "Counseling the Alcoholic." I am not a counselor. My experience in working directly with alcoholics came through membership in AA. I have the honor of being the first woman who made it in AA, and as that was 27 years ago this month, I have been around a long time. I have done a great deal of 12th step work. In that sense it could be said that I have counseled alcoholics. I think that is what one does in 12th step work. And I think that is where one learns the two most vital points in reaching and helping the alcoholic. These are what I want to talk to you about.


I ought perhaps to address my remarks primarily to those who have not had the indoctrination, the induction, into the field of counseling the alcoholic that AA members automatically get.


Therefore, the first point I want to make is that, in my opinion, the first requirement for successful counseling of the alcoholic is the correct attitude of the person doing the counseling toward the alcoholic. There are many highly qualified people in the field of counseling with all kinds of degrees and many years of experience, but they can't work with alcoholics. I think that very often they are unaware of the reason why they can't work with alcoholics. As far as they know consciously they are sympathetic. They recognize that these people are ill; in fact, they repeat happily the basic statement of NCA that alcoholism is a disease. But actually they have given only lip service to that concept. Intellectually they have accepted it - intellectually only - and I would remind you as priests - you know this better than I - that human beings do not act on their intellectual beliefs. They act on their feelings; they act on the beliefs that are in their hearts rather than in their heads. And if they do not deeply believe that alcoholism is an illness, that these are sick people, in their hearts, then they are ineffective in dealing with alcoholics.


The sad part about this is that far too many people do not recognize this division within themselves. They are unaware that their disbelief runs deep, sometimes so deep that they can't put their finger on it. It is a conditioning that they probably received before they were six years old (and the psychiatrists tell us that is crucial) that they imbibed almost with their mother's milk, and at their mother's knee, and by osmosis, because of the society in which we all grew up, acquired the old attitudes that alcoholism is purely a sin, that this is a moral question, wholly and completely. You see, nobody in the field of alcoholism denies that there are tremendous moral implications in alcoholism, because of the behavior that it induces and also because of the thinking that develops from continued ingestion of alcohol. In AA we call it stinkin' thinkin'. It can be very far from any of our ideals about morals and virtues and faith. All of these things are true. But this is not what I am talking about.


I am talking about all the old-fashioned concepts with which all of us who are adults grew up, whether we remember them or not: that alcoholics were primarily some kind of moral delinquent, moral leper (excepting that they are trying to get that "leper" out of our thinking, too, and call it by its proper name); that these were people who, if they chose, could be different; that they were deliberately this way, that they had no regard for anyone but themselves. In fact, I have heard wives of alcoholics who said, "Oh, yes, I know he is sick and all that, but why does he do this to me? Why does he behave this way? Doesn't he love me? Doesn't he care about his family?"


Well, of course he does. He is in the grip of something that goes beyond his power to control. He has lost control over drinking, and because of this, he has lost control over his behavior.


Actually, non-alcoholics, if they get drunk, lose control over their behavior. They can behave just as badly as the alcoholic. The main difference is that they don't do it consistently over and over again with increasingly frequency over many years.




Who is an Alcoholic?

We have a definition at NCAA that we use, that we think is a pretty good working definition, and it developed right out of the experiences of AA, as to who is and who isn't an alcoholic.


We say the alcoholic is someone whose drinking causes a continuing problem in any department of his or her life. The assumption is that the person who drinks too much on occasions, if it develops into a problem, will not want the problem and will, therefore, take action about it because of the problem. They either cut down their drinking, or they will cut it out for a while. The alcoholic would like to do the same thing, but the alcoholic is totally unable; it is impossible for the alcoholic to cut down on his or her drinking. This is the nature of alcoholism.


In fact, it is the nature of the test that also grew out of AA's experiences, and which I incorporated in my book. I don't believe any true alcoholic can pass this test: the limiting of drinks to not more than three on any drinking occasion, even if it is daily, over a six-month period. Every alcoholic would love to be able to do this. I have never heard of a real alcoholic who could pass that test.


Actually, in my original Primer, I had three months, and there were a handful who managed to pass it. They didn't say how awful it was, and how uncomfortable it was. And in the book I point out that this should be a comfortable process. It should be comfortable to limit your drinks. You may not like it, you may be on many occasions with people who are drinking too much, and you would like to go on, but if you are taking this test, if you are attempting to find out whether you have alcoholism or not, you will be more comfortable not drinking more than your three because you want to pass the test.


In other words, it is a possible thing for a non-alcoholic to do. It is not a possible thing for an alcoholic to do. That is why it is a continuing problem that is caused by drinking.


We also make a point of that last half, "in any department of his or her life." You know AA has had a phrase which has proven very useful in AA, but has been widely misinterpreted outside of AA, and even within, by some people - hitting bottom.


The general picture in the non-alcoholic world in which we live, of alcoholics hitting bottom, is literally that they instantly conceive of somebody who is in the gutter, who has lost everything, lost everything materially, intellectually, morally, has just lost everything - this is hitting bottom.


Well, actually in the very early days of AA, that was about right. Certainly when I went in, and there were just a handful of us, nobody had a dime; we had all lost everything materially. Nobody had much of anything else. A few still had their wives, but most didn't. And only one had her husband, I being that one. The second woman did not have a husband. The third one still had her husband, and this was a miracle - we didn't believe it - because while wives sometimes stick to the alcoholic, husbands rarely do.




Younger People in AA

I firmly believe that with the increasing education about alcoholism, increasing understanding of it, increasing acceptance of it as the illness it is, people are coming for help at earlier and earlier stages of their problems. It is not unusual to go to an AA meeting, particularly in a big city, and find everybody there looking to me like infants. Now, I recognize that is partly because of my own increasing age, for people look younger every year, I find. But it is true that there are a very large number of people in AA, all across the country, who are in their 20's today. This was not true in the beginning. And these people have hit a kind of bottom that is certainly totally unlike this general picture.


I think we have to recognize this in counseling the alcoholic - that this bottom is a purely personal thing. A person may hit bottom because of his own thinking on the subject, because of what he has learned, because of the fact he has recognized what is ahead of him. Just enough has happened to make him see that the pattern fits, and he has read about it, or listened to someone who knows telling him about it. He sees what lies ahead, and he doesn't want to go that road. And nobody would, if he had a choice.


Today he has a choice. There are things he can do. There are places he can go; there are people that he can talk to, and he need not yield to, he is not bound hand and foot to the inevitable progress of alcoholism. He can break the chains. He can become free. It is very satisfying to me, to realize how many young people are preferring to be free once they learn what these chains are like.


Now "bottom" may not have shown on the outside at all. He may not have lost anything. He may never have lost a job. He may not have lost his family or even had the threat of losing his family. He may be materially well off, but inside, as he recognizes his condition, and what it means, and where it will lead, he hits a kind of emotional bottom. He hits bottom where it counts, in the feelings. Alcoholics aren't any different from anybody else.


I like to tell my fellow alcoholics, remind them, we are people just like anyone else. We have the same equipment that other people have. We have a mind, we have an intellect, we have feelings - sometimes I think that is the one area where we may be a little different - perhaps our feelings are more acute, but I am not certain whether that antedated the ingestion of alcohol or whether alcohol watered those feelings, like watering a garden. And they became more acute and bigger and more visible than other people's.


We have a soul. I firmly believe every human being does, no matter what his actions are, or what terrible things he may have done. We have all the equipment of everybody else. We are people and, therefore, we share a lot of the failings of the human race. I don't think alcoholics are unusually blind to alcoholism. Everybody is blind to alcoholism. They are sharing what everybody else has.


Remember, they were brought up the same way; they were also brought up under the myths and misconceptions and misapprehensions that we all had about alcoholism a quarter of a century ago. This is perhaps one reason why it is becoming easier to reach young people. They didn't grow up in that same atmosphere. Things had already begun to change somewhat.




The Skid Row Derelict

For instance, the stereotyped picture of the alcoholic that we who are adults, middle aged if you like, grew up with was that of the skid row bum.


Now, the National Council on Alcoholism is very much interested in the skid row derelict, but we have deliberately stayed away from getting too deeply involved in this area of alcoholism because we were so determined to break this stereotyped picture that this was the alcoholic, that there wasn't anything else. You see, it is easy for people to accept this, because if that is the alcoholic, it can't be me, or my wife, or my children, or my family, or my friends, because we are not skid row bums.


It lets people off. It is a lovely way to get involved and yet to exclude being involved in those who are close to you, in your own parishes if you are a pastor, in your own colleges, in your own group of friends.


Actually the skid row problem is a severe one in this country, and yet it represents only a tiny percentage of our total alcoholic population.


Over the last several years many of us have sat down together and worried about the matter of statistics for the field of alcoholism. And let's be honest, we don't have any. We just don't have any statistics that are really valid. We only have estimates, but all of us felt that it could not be the same number as had been arrived at for the year 1956. And that figure of 5 million was based on 1956 statistics, using the Jellinek formula to arrive at an estimate of the number of alcoholics.


We all recognized that 10 years later, for one thing, the population had increased enormously. This meant that the number of drinkers had increased, because the proportion of Americans who drink has been going up. Since 1956 it has risen perceptibly, and this meant that since there were more drinkers, there were undoubtedly more people with alcoholism. And so we worked out a formula and we arrived at a figure for 1965 of 6½ million alcoholics. And I may say, that it is possible to arrive at that figure for 1965 in quite a large variety of ways. We tried a good many of them, and always came out with roughly the same answer. And so, it was decided that the National Council and its affiliates would adopt that figure. We also circulated the statement to all of the state programs on alcoholism. And they were delighted to have it, because they had been feeling just as uncomfortable as we had about using the same figure for ten years in the face of what everyone knew to be a difference in the number of people, and the number of drinkers, and, therefore, the number of alcoholics.


To return to this attitude business, I think it is crucial, if you are going to reach the alcoholic. I have often said that alcoholics are like children and dogs. They feel what you feel. They don't hear what you say. You can approach an alcoholic with an absolutely correct textbook speech. Everything you say will be exactly right, right down the line, but what the alcoholic is listening for is how you feel toward him. Is there a hint of hostility, a hint of contempt? Remember, most alcoholics have had considerable rejection in their lives, considerable misunderstanding around them. They feel rejected. Usually by the time they get to you who are counseling them, they feel rejected indeed. They are looking for more rejection in you, and you can't conceal it if it is there somewhere. You may not know it yourself, but the alcoholics will know it. They will pick it up every time, and they just won't be back. You will have lost them. This may set them back years, because if they have arrived at the point of going to see anyone, particularly their pastor, this is a big step forward. It can be a tremendously important thing that they should make such an effort, that they should make such a contact, that they should go to somebody, even though they may be bringing you a lot of lies.




The Alcoholic and Sanity

Here again I think we need a little correction of some of our thinking on this. In the first place, I don't think the alcoholic tells lies for anybody else. I think the alcoholic tells lies for his own sake. I think that deep in the heart of the person who has lost control over drinking, however early it is, there is a real terror that he has lost his mind, that he is truly insane. And I don't mean in the temporary sense that occurs with deep intoxication, which all of us who are alcoholics know all too well. No, I think here they are so terrified that they have really lost their minds that they try to explain to themselves why this keeps happening. They will go to incredible lengths to make an explanation.


I think that the lies are more of an explanation. I don't like the word "rationalization" because that implies a willful and deliberate thing, and I don't really believe that it is often that. It is a frantic effort to reassure themselves.


Obviously if they can get other people to believe it, this bolsters their own belief that they are all right, that this terrible thing is not happening to them, that it isn't that bad.


I also think that on certain occasions they tell lies because other people expect them to, and I believe most people do expect this.


We had our annual meeting in New York last week, and a research project was reported on. It was a follow-up study of alcoholics from the State Hospital in Maryland. They wanted to know, among other things, whether the histories the alcoholics gave of themselves when they came in - they weren't all voluntary; some were committed - bore any relation to the truth. And they found to their amazement that the alcoholics were highly reliable, that in most cases what they told about themselves and their past and what had happened to them, was right; they had told the truth.


I think we can get hung up on this lying bit, and I think, furthermore, that it affects the attitude of the person who is trying to help. And if it affects the attitude of the person who is trying to help, it affects the attitude of the person who is to be helped. This is another thing that we are apt to forget, and that I think is crucial in counseling. You know that most of us spend 90% of our time reacting to other people. Oh, we do a certain amount of initiation, a certain amount of acting which is entirely our own and bears no relation to other people, but a great deal of our time we are reacting to other people. Stop and think about it, and you will see what I mean. This is also true of the alcoholic, who after all is a human, remember. He is a member of the human race, even if he doesn't think he is, and even if some people in the human race don't think that he is or don't think he ought to be anyway. And he will react to everything that you say and do.


Your job, when you are counseling, is to see that his reactions are positive and constructive, that you do not frighten him to death, that you do not talk down to him from the mountaintop. And I think it is particularly hard for the clergyman. Remember that in everybody's mind, and certainly in our country, which is supposed to be a Godly country (we do have "In God we Trust" on all our coins, you know; it is a motto of these United States), the clergyman is somebody up there. The clergyman is the man of God; the clergyman is special; the clergyman is holy; the clergyman is good. And here is this individual who usually feels less than the dirt beneath anybody's feet. Filled with self-misgiving, self-hate, self-fear, he is going to the symbol of good and God. He expects to be talked down to from the mountaintop. He expects this person really to feel too good to want him around and, all too often, that is just what the clergyman feels.




Understanding is Important

Now the alcoholic is waiting for this; so even the tiniest tinge of preaching down from a mountain top to this poor little man down in the abyss is magnified in that individual's reactions into a real barrier that he can not overcome. He can't give, he can't talk, he can't feel free, he can't let himself be helped.


I am not saying, although I do think this plays a part, that it is necessary to be an alcoholic to have the right attitude towards another alcoholic, but it sure helps. The person who has been through it knows perfectly well he is not up on a mountain top, and can reassure the alcoholic pretty quickly that he was right down in that abyss too. And he knows just what it feels like, and he got just as dirty, and he can do it in a way that is believed, believed here in the heart, not just up here in the head.


I do not believe that only alcoholics can do this, because I have known professional people who could do it equally well. I myself am the product of one. I don't know whether this Conference ever heard Dr. Harry Tiebout speak. If you didn't, I am sorry, because he died two weeks ago, and I think he is one of the greatest losses to this field since Dr. E.M. Jellinek left us.


Dr. Tiebout happened to be my psychiatrist. He is the man who forced me into AA. He is the man who understood AA before I did, and brought me to a recognition and an understanding and an acceptance of it. And here was a man whom I had been looking down my nose at for a good year while I was under treatment, because he didn't like to drink. I didn't see how he could expect to talk to me.


In fact, I told him once that I just thought he was an old spoilsport. He didn't like it, so he didn't want anybody else to enjoy it. This man had a real understanding of the alcoholic. He could talk to the alcoholic in terms the alcoholic could hear and could accept. And he was not alone. There are many people across the country, and many of them are the clergy of many denominations.


Although I must say in my travels, which are extensive, and my knowledge of what is going on in many communities around the country, it is frequently a Catholic priest who is the one who is the warm wise counselor for many alcoholics in that area, and not necessarily, by any means, an alcoholic priest.


So, I do believe that this attitude is possible. And I personally think it should be possible for a Christian, for a man of God, who should have learned something about humility, about caring for others, his flock, and all mankind in his flock. So I feel very strongly that the clergy are a tremendously important group in dealing with alcoholism, because I think, very often, the family will go first to their pastor when there is trouble at home. It may not be the alcoholic himself or herself who goes first, but if the situation is handled right, and if the family can learn a little about what alcoholism is, and about this business of the alcoholic reacting to behavior, the thinking and words of others, then the situation can be changed to the point where the alcoholic himself or herself will go.


And this is when it becomes crucial how the counselor, be he clergyman or not, handles the situation. The matter of attitude is absolutely basic. If you don't have this, then it doesn't matter how many techniques you use, they aren't going to work. You have not been able to establish contact; you have not been able to communicate; you have not been able to establish rapport, and until those are established, it doesn't matter what else you do.


Let me tell you one thing that I think was a great contribution. A good many years ago at one of the refresher courses at Yale, I was spending a lot of time with Father Ray Kennedy. He was also there at the refresher course, and he was very much excited. "You know," he said, "I have discovered something that I think may be my major contribution to the field of alcoholism. And I want to tell you about it."


It seems that in Syracuse there was a very wealthy Catholic family where the wife and mother was an alcoholic, a pretty bad one. There was plenty of money there, and there was a great deal of recognition of the stigma, because this was a socially prominent family. So she was constantly being shipped away to high priced sanitariums, or high priced doctors somewhere else; she would come back and be all right for a while, and then she would go back to drinking.


She would never admit that drinking was her problem. She was always very nervous, having a nervous breakdown, or something else. In other words, she was doing this so-called lying that is so much talked about in alcoholics. Eventually, the husband and father went to Father Kennedy and he said, "You know, she has tremendous respect for you." He was a professor in LeMoyne College there and a man of considerable stature. "Would you come and talk to her."


So Father Kennedy went over to talk to this woman. And she launched into her usual series of denials that she had a problem with drinking, saying that that wasn't it, it was a lot of other things, and he got a little exasperated since he was getting nowhere fast. Then he said, "Why do you have so much difficulty in admitting that you have alcoholism?"


She said, "What did you say?"

He said, "Why do you have so much difficulty admitting that you have alcoholism?"

"I have alcoholism?" she said. "Why didn't somebody tell me?"

Father Kennedy is a Jesuit, as you all know, and they are pretty astute in the convolutions of the human mind, and he recognized something immediately. If you say to somebody you are an alcoholic, you are pointing the finger of blame, saying, "You did it." If you say to somebody, "You have alcoholism," this could have come up from behind and grabbed them when they weren't looking. They didn't necessarily do it to themselves.


And he felt that where you could remove that kind of guilt, you open the door to constructive help.

That is precisely what happened with this woman. She got well. She joined AA and recovered. And he said, "I believe this may be my contribution. I would like to suggest that the National Council, in speaking and writing, adopt this way of talking. Instead of saying there are so many alcoholics, say there are so many people with alcoholism, or so many Americans with alcoholism. Instead of saying someone is becoming an alcoholic, say someone is developing alcoholism. You say it is a disease, why don't you begin using the same terminology you use about other diseases?"


You don't automatically say one is a cardiac. You say one has heart disease. And this is true of all illnesses.

We have attempted to do this in the 10 years or so since Father Kennedy made this suggestion, and I believe that it has had an impact. I believe that it has enabled a lot of people to get to AA. As he said, "It lets them save face in their own minds." And I know perfectly well that one of the barriers to successful helping of the alcoholic is the load of guilt that the alcoholic is carrying.


This is even truer with some groups than others. It has been my experience, and I have talked with a lot of you, that the priest who develops alcoholism has a bigger load of guilt than anyone else. And it often can be an effective barrier against help.


I think that anything that we can do to lift the load of guilt, since it is a barrier to recovery, we should do, and I think that much can be done in the counseling session to lift it.




The Alcoholic Suffers

We don't have to say that everything you did while you were drunk is just dandy. It wasn't. And the alcoholic knows that really better than anyone else.


The alcoholic has suffered - and this is something that many people don't realize - more intensely from remorse and shame than anybody on the outside can ever imagine. We don't need to hammer them over the head with guilt. They can create more than outsiders ever dreamed of. Their burden of guilt is greater than any outsider will ever realize, and it is our job, if we are counseling, if we are trying to help, to remove any possible barriers to recovery.


The second thing that I want to talk about today is something that was brought to my attention a good many years ago, when I had a young man working for me whose name was Denis McGenty. I don't have to tell you he was a Catholic. And he was quite a guy. He was a member of AA, and he was a real artist with the words. He was a spellbinder. Denis was a sociologist. But his drinking had interfered and he never got his Ph.D. And he began talking about it, and thinking about it while he was working for me. One day he was discussing various subjects that he might take for his doctoral dissertation, and he said, "You know, I have got a wild idea that I would really like to try. I think most alcoholics are saints manqué. They are people who have all the qualities and qualifications for becoming saintly and somehow it gets misdirected. And it is one reason that they get caught in this toil, this vicious circle that they go around and around in. I believe that most alcoholics of whatever denomination have been seeking God in their own way through their drinking. In fact, though they have taken the path that is leading them away from Him, that isn't what they had in mind."


And, indeed, it is sometimes true that an episode of drunkenness can be a startling experience just like an experience with LSD, which can even resemble a spiritual experience.


As a matter of fact, many years ago, and this was after Denis and I had been discussing this idea, I read an issue of a magazine that a friend in California sent to me called "Vedanta." In it was an article by Aldous Huxley entitled "Transcending Down." He talked about mankind's efforts over the thousands of years to find outside means for transcending, for achieving a spiritual experience, for achieving a higher consciousness. We know of many tribes in many parts of the world that use various drugs for this purpose. And some have used alcohol for this purpose.


It is not impossible that the excessive use of alcohol has some kind of relationship to this deep-seated search for God, for a feeling of God, not just an intellectual acceptance of God.


Now I am saying this on purpose because I believe there is something true in this, and I want you all to realize something that most of you probably know. The alcoholic is frequently characterized as a dependent person, an individual who must have something to lean on. You have heard reference made to the glass crutch. That is one of the best descriptions of alcohol as something to lean on, a glass crutch that can shatter, that has no real strength, that is fragile. Alcoholics are using it as a crutch; they are leaning on it. And very often when they go to someone for help, they become extremely dependent on that individual for at least a period of time.


I heard a psychiatric social worker, who was a really good one and very effective with alcoholics, describe it when somebody complained to her at a professional meeting that she let her patients stay dependent too long. "We certainly do. We take their hands when they come in. We hold their hands, and when we let go, we let go finger by finger."




Give the Alcoholic Time

It takes time for the alcoholic to be independent again, to learn not to be dependent on anything that comes his way on which he or she can lean.


Now this dependence, this leaning toward dependence, if you like, (and I am not certain that it is confined to alcoholics, I think this is true perhaps of mankind) can be used constructively. The goal of therapy in my opinion, and it certainly is the goal in AA and it would be your goal as priests, is to make these people that come to you God-dependent. When the alcoholic comes to AA, the God business, as you frequently hear it referred to in AA meetings, is not crammed down his or her throat, at least not usually. Sometimes it is and in some places it is not. But very often the resistance is so great that it is again a hurdle to recovery which the alcoholic might not be able to get over. So the newcomer is asked merely to keep an open mind about spiritual matters, about God; to listen, to stay sober, to do such things as he can within the AA program. And if he keeps an open mind, we know full well that he will become God-dependent, because that is what AA is.


AA is a way of becoming God-dependent. Successful AA’s are God-dependent.

If the clergyman who is counseling alcoholics can't see that this is indeed part of his business and can't borrow some of the techniques that have brought the active alcoholic into sober God-dependence, then he isn't a very good clergyman.


I do agree that not every one, merely because his collar is turned around, is automatically a good counselor for alcoholism, any more than a psychiatrist, because he has a degree in psychiatry is a good therapist for alcoholics. Some are, some aren't. Not every member of AA is equally good at 12th step work. Some people come into AA and they try awfully hard, but that is just not their work; it makes them unhappy and uncomfortable, and they don't do a good job. You often find them doing other things in AA, being active around the clubhouse, making talks, functioning as a member of AA, yet not spending too much time on 12th step work, because they learned they did not have the touch, they didn't have the real ability. They have all done it, they had to do it to find out, but I don't think people should persist in an area where they don't take to it naturally, and where they are notably ineffective. And I think this is just as true of the clergyman as it is of the AA member, or of psychiatrist, or social worker, or psychologist, or anyone else.




The Role of the Clergy

Just as some people are natural born leaders, some are natural born helpers; they seem to know instinctively what to do and what to say. They seem to have such right attitudes, they automatically establish a rapport without even thinking about it. They are just made that way. Not everybody is, unfortunately. Now, for the clergyman who is not a 100% successful therapist in this field, or counselor, he must learn how to refer and where to refer. He must accept his role in the team as, you might say, the front runner, the case finder.


I have often spoken of the clergy as our front line troops. They are leading the rest; they are out in front of the army, because they are more likely to turn up hidden cases and, furthermore, to get a hearing, to be able to talk to those hidden cases, than any other single group. Every survey that has ever been made indicates that more people go first to their clergyman when there is trouble than to any other group and in the field of alcoholism, it is easy to see why. Remember that as a nation, as a people, we look upon alcoholism as a 100% moral problem, and have done so for generations. Now moral problems are the business of the clergy. It was only after they had failed that we turned to the law and said, all right, let the law take its course. He is a sinner, and he won't do anything about it. You can't save him. We will let the law take its course.


I think the clergy has a tremendous role to play as case finders and referral agents to AA, or to a doctor, or to a clinic, or to an Alcoholism Information Center. This last is really the bridge; the Alcoholism Information Center was devised as a bridge between the alcoholics who are out there unready or unwilling to commit themselves by going directly to AA or to a doctor or to a clergyman. But they will go somewhere that has got information on it, because they are not committing themselves; they can go in and ask for information; they always ask for information for a friend, you know, and they get quite a lot of information. The people in the information centers are well enough trained so that they know this, and almost always they get the admission out of this individual, "Well, I am the friend," before he leaves. Sometimes it may take two or three visits, but if this person has brought himself to go there once, and he has been properly handled, he will come back.


The information center is not a treatment center; it is a referral center. And many clergymen use their local information centers very heavily. They go there to inform themselves also, because this is the place where one can go to find out everything that is currently known about alcoholism and what resources exist in a community, what doctors are knowledgeable, so that when an alcoholic is sent to them they don't say, "Oh, you are no alcoholic. Take just two," or some such silly thing, as far too many doctors are still doing.


This information is available to you, if you have a Council on Alcoholism, and it operates an information center. It is available to you just as to any other citizen, except that the information center is twice as glad to see a clergyman come in, because we recognize their value to us. We know that often they are getting in where nobody else can get in. We know that often they know who the alcoholics are, or where they are, better than anybody else. And if they will themselves become fully informed, they will be able to do an outstanding job.


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763 Sally Brown
Marty Mann on counseling Marty Mann on counseling 1/10/2003 12:36:00 AM
Dave and I were delighted to read Bill Lash's posting of a transcript of Marty's 1966 talk before what seems to have been a conference of Rom Cath clergy. We hadn't seen this resource before.

 

In our research for the Marty Mann bio, we'd found a different tape of her speaking before another group on the same subject in 1968. We quoted our tape source at some length on pp 273-274 of the book. What a wonderful teacher and advocate she was!

 

Marty's reference to having a husband when she entered AA is very likely a typo, or else the tape or old reel-to-reel was unclear to the transcriber. She never remarried after her divorce in the mid-1920s, and would not have said she was.

 

The description in our book of Marty's late relapse when she was about 20 years' sober was a shock to people who knew her. Only a very few were aware of it, and most of them are dead. We were lucky to find 3 independent living accounts. If there's anyone else out there who knew about this relapse, I'd love to hear from you. 

 

Apparently, Marty feared the backlash for NCA, which she'd worked so hard and courageously to birth and nurture - and perhaps also for her beloved AA. At any rate, while she openly described her 3 slips in the first year and a half of her sobriety, she never publicly or at an AA meeting acknowledged the later relapse as far as we could determine. Instead, she always dated her recovery from her arrival in AA in April 1939.

 

I hope you have a chance to read pp 261-265 of Marty's biography, where there is a full discussion of her c. 1960 relapse.

Dave and I believe that one of a biographer's responsibilities, beyond accuracy, is to continually recognize the context of time and place in which the subject's actions occur, and try not to let our current lenses skew our perceptions. Not easy!!

 

Shalom -    And we thank all of you for your many interesting and insightful contributions to this site -

 

Sally

 

Rev. Sally Brown                                   1470 Sand Hill Rd., 309
United Church of Christ                          Palo Alto, CA  94304
Board Certified Clinical Chaplain, Ret     Phone: (650) 325-5258
                                                              FAX:     same

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764 funen99
An Early Step Study Guide An Early Step Study Guide 1/11/2003 9:26:00 PM

An Early Step Study Guide


This little booklet, originally titled "Alcoholics Anonymous: An
interpretation of our Twelve Steps," was widely used in the early
days of A.A. in the Northwest. It was not produced by Alcoholics
Anonymous, but rather was printed and subsequently modified by
several different publishers. It was, perhaps, the earliest attempt
at a guide to the Twelve Steps.

The story is that a serviceman, on his way to the war in the Pacific,
stopped into a meeting in Seattle with a one of the booklets. Members
were enthusiastic about the booklet and talked the man out of his
copy. Many other copies were then made and distributed. This story
is, perhaps, anecdotal. However, what is certain is that the little
pamphlet became a fixture at many of the early A.A. meetings. The
booklet was later renamed to "The Table Mate: Guide to the Study of
the Twelve Steps" and considerable expanded. The "Table Mate" is
still used by many members today, often handed down from sponsor to
sponsee.

A version of the booklet, under the title "A guide to the Twelve
Steps", can be ordered from:

Alcoholics Anonymous of Greater Detroit
380 Hilton Road
Ferndale, Michigan 48220
(248) 541-6565

The text presented here is from one of the booklets dating from the
late 40's or early 50's. This printing was obviously rather
amateurish and contained many typos. We have reproduced the original
here as closely as possible, only cleaning up some of the more
blatant typos.


PREFACE


The following pages contain the basic material for the discussion
meetings for alcoholics only.

These meetings are held for the purpose of acquainting both old and
new members with the 12 steps on which our program is based.

So that all twelve steps may be covered in a minimum of time they are
divided into four classifications and one evening each week will be
devoted to each of the four subdivisions. Thus, in one month, a new
man can get the basis of our 12 suggested steps.


1.We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had
become unmanageable.

2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore
us to sanity.

3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of
God, as we understand Him.

4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact
nature of our wrongs.

6.Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
character.


7.Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.


8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to
make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when
to do so would injure them or others.

10.Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong
promptly admitted it.

11.Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with God, as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of
His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these
principles in all our affairs.


These steps are divided as follows:
Discussion No. 1---The admission, Step No. 1.

Discussion No. 2---The spiritual phase, Steps 2,3,5,6,7, and 11.

Discussion No. 3---The inventory and restitution, Steps No. 4, 8, 9
and 10.

Discussion No. 4---The active work, which is Step No. 12.




DISCUSSION NO. 1


THE ADMISSION

The material contained herein is merely an outline of the admission
phase of the program and is not intended to replace or supplant-


a. The careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.

b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.

c. Study of the Program.

d. Daily practice of the program.

e. Reading of approved printed matter on Alcoholism.

f. Informal discussion with other members.


This meeting covers Step No. 1. "We admitted we were powerless over
alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable."


This instruction is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction-a
help-a brief course in the fundamentals.


In order to determine whether or not a person has drifted
from "social drinking" into pathological drinking it is well to check
over a list of test questions, which each member may ask himself and
answer for himself.


We must answer once and for all these three puzzling questions-

What is an Alcoholic?

Who is an Alcoholic?

Am I an Alcoholic?

To get the right answer the prospective member must start this course
of instruction with-

1. A willingness to learn. We must not have the attitude that "you've
got to show me."

2. An open mind. Forget any and all ideas or notions we already have.
Set our opinions aside.

3. Complete honesty. It is possible-not at all probable-that we may
fool somebody else. But we MUST be honest with ourselves, and it is a
good time to start being honest with others.




SUGGESTED TEST QUESTIONS

1. Do you require a drink the next morning?

2. Do you prefer to drink alone?

3. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?

4. Is your drinking harming your family in any way?

5. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

6. Do you get the inner shakes unless you continue drinking?

7. Has drinking made you irritable?

8. Does drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?

9. Have you harmed your husband or wife since drinking?

10. Has drinking changed your personality?

11. Does drinking cause you bodily complaints?

12. Does drinking make you restless?

13. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

14. Has drinking made you more impulsive?

15. Have you less self-control since drinking?

16. Has your initiative decreased since drinking?

17. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

18. Do you lack perseverance in pursuing a goal since drinking?

19. Do you drink to obtain social ease? (In shy, timid, self-
conscious individuals.)

20. Do you drink for self-encouragement? (In persons with feelings of
inferiority.)

21. Do you drink to relieve marked feeling of inadequacy?

22. Has your sexual potency suffered since drinking?

23. Do you show marked dislikes and hatreds since drinking?

24. Has your jealousy, in general, increased since drinking?

25. Do you show marked moodiness as a result of drinking?

26. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?

27. Has your drinking made you more sensitive?

28. Are you harder to get along with since drinking?

29. Do you turn to an inferior environment since drinking?

30. Is drinking endangering your health?

31. Is drinking affecting your peace of mind?

32. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

33. Is drinking jeopardizing your business?

34. Is drinking clouding your reputation?

35. Is drinking disturbing the harmony of your life?


If you have answered YES to any one of the Test Questions, there is a
definite warning that you may be alcoholic. If you have answered YES
to any two of the Test Questions the chances are that you are an
alcoholic.


If you answered YES to three or more of the Test Questions you are
definitely AN ALCOHOLIC.


NOTE: The Test Questions are not A.A. Questions but are the guide
used by Johns Hopkins University Hospital in deciding whether a
patient is alcoholic or not.


In addition to the Test Questions we in A.A. would ask even more
questions. Here are a few-


36. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory while, or after
drinking?


37. Have you ever felt, when or after drinking, an inability to
concentrate?


38. Have your ever felt "remorse" after drinking?


39. Has a physician ever treated you for drinking?


40. Have you ever been hospitalized for drinking?


Many other questions could be asked but the foregoing are sufficient
for the purpose of this instruction.




WHY DOES AN ALCOHOLIC DRINK?

Having decided that we are alcoholics, it is well to consider what
competent mental doctors consider as the REASONS why an Alcoholic
drinks.

1. As an escape from situations of life which he cannot face.

2. As evidence of a maladjusted personality (including sexual
maladjustments)

3. As a development from social drinking to pathological drinking.

4. As a symptom of a major abnormal mental state.

5. As an escape from incurable physical pain.

6. As a symptom of constitutional inferiority-a psychopathic
personality. For example, an individual who drinks because he likes
alcohol, knows he cannot handle it, but does not care.

7. Many times one cannot determine any great and glaring mechanism as
the basis of why the drinker drinks; but the revealing fact may be
elicited that alcohol is taken to relieve a certain vague
restlessness in the individual incident to friction between his
biological and emotional make-up and the ordinary strains of life.

The above reasons are general reasons. Where the individuality or
personality of the alcoholic is concerned these reasons may be
divided as follows-

1. A self-pampering tendency which manifests itself in refusal to
tolerate, even temporarily, unpleasant states of mind such as
boredom, sorrow, anger, disappointment, worry, depression,
dissatisfaction, and feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. "I want
what I want when I want it" seems to express the attitude of many
alcoholics toward life.

2. An instinctive urge for self-expression, unaccompanied by
determination to translate the urge into creative action.

3. An abnormal craving for emotional experiences which calls for
removal of intellectual restraint.

4. Powerful hidden ambitions, without the necessary resolve to take
practical steps to attain them and with resultant discontent,
irritability, depression, disgruntledness and general restlessness.

5. A tendency to flinch from the worries of life and to seek escape
from reality by the easiest means available.

6. An unreasonable demand for continuous happiness or excitement.

7. An insistent craving for the feeling of self-confidence, calm and
poise that some obtain temporarily from alcohol.




WE ADMIT

If, after carefully considering the foregoing, we ADMIT we are an
alcoholic we must realize that-

Once a person becomes a pathological drinker, he can never again
become a controlled drinker; and-from that point on, is limited to
just two alternatives:

1. Total permanent abstinence.

2. Chronic alcoholism with all of the handicaps and penalties it
implies. In other words-we have gone past the point where we HAD A
CHOICE.

All we have left is a DECISION to make.


WE RESOLVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

1. WE MUST CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING. (This is such an important
matter that it will have to be discussed more fully in a later
discussion.)

2. We must realize that each morning, when you wake, you are a
potential drunkard for that day.

3. We resolve that we will practice A.A. for the 24 hours of that
day.

4. We must study the other eleven Steps of the Program and practice
each and every one.

5. Attend the regular Group Meeting each week without fail.

6. Firmly believe that by practicing A.A. faithfully each day, we
will achieve sobriety.

7. Believe that we can be free from alcohol as a problem.

8. contact another member BEFORE taking a drink-not AFTER. Tell him
what bothers you-talk it over with him freely.

9. Work the Program for ourselves alone-NOT for our wife, children,
friends or for our job.

10. Be absolutely honest and sincere.

11. Be fully open minded-no mental reservations.

12. Be fully willing to work the Program. Nothing good in life comes
without work.



CONCLUSION

1. Alcoholics are suffering from a MENTAL DISEASE-not a physical
illness. Fortunately we in A.A. have learned how it may be controlled
(this will be shown in the next eleven Steps of the Program.)

2. We can also learn to be FREE from alcohol as a problem.

3. We can achieve a full and happy life without recourse to alcohol.




ASK QUESTIONS
No question pertaining to drinking-or stopping drinking-is silly or
irrelevant. The matter is TOO SERIOUS.

Any questions we ask may help some one else.

This is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction-a help-a brief
course in fundamentals.

In A.A. we learn by question and answer.

We learn by exchanging our thought and our experience with each
other.

Any question you ask may help some one else. To cover as many
questions as possible in the short time available all answers must be
limited to three (3) minutes.





DISCUSSION NO. 2


THE SPIRITUAL PHASE

The material contained herein is merely an outline of the spiritual
phase of the program and is not intended to replace or supplant

a. The careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.

b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.

c. Study of the Program.

d. Daily practice of the program.

e. Reading of approved printed matter on Alcoholism.

f. Informal discussion with other members.

This instruction is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction-a
help-a brief course in the fundamentals.

This meeting covers Steps 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11. We will take them in
order.

STEP NO. 2-"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could
restore us to sanity."

Our drinking experience has shown-

1. That as we strayed away from the normal SOCIAL side of life, our
minds became confused and we strayed away from the normal MENTAL side
of life.

2. An abnormal MENTAL condition is certainly not SANITY in the
accepted sense of the word. We have acquired or developed a MENTAL
DISEASE. Our study of A.A. shows that-

a. In the MENTAL or tangible side of life we have lost touch with, or
ignored, or have forgotten the SPIRITUAL values that give us the
dignity of MAN as differentiated from the ANIMAL. We have fallen back
upon the MATERIAL things of life and these have failed us. We have
been groping in the dark.

b. No HUMAN agency, no SCIENCE or ART has been able to solve the
alcoholic problem, so we turn to the SPIRITUAL for quidance.

Therefore, we "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves
could restore us to sanity."

1. We must believe with a great FAITH.


STEP NO. 3-"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to
the care of GOD as we understand Him." In the first step we learned
that we had lost the power of CHOICE and had to make a DECISION.

1. What DECISION could we make better than to
a. Turn our very WILL over to GOD, realizing that our own use of our
own will had resulted in trouble.

b. As in the Lord's Prayer you must believe and practice THY WILL BE
DONE.

2. GOD as we understand Him.

3. RELIGION is a word we do not use in A.A. We refer to a member's
relation to GOD as the SPIRITUAL. A religion is a FORM of worship-not
the worship itself.

4. If a man cannot believe in GOD he can certainly believe in
SOMETHING greater than himself. If he cannot believe in a POWER
greater than himself he is a rather hopeless egoist.


STEP NO. 5-"Admitted to GOD, to ourselves, and to another human being
the exact nature of our wrongs."

1. There is nothing new in this step. There are many sound reasons
for "talking over our troubles out loud with others."

2. The Catholic already has this medium readily available to him in
the Confessional.
But-the Catholic is at a disadvantage if he thinks his familiarity
with confession permits him to think his part of A.A. is thereby
automatically taken care of. He must, in confession, seriously
consider his problems in relation to his alcoholic thinking.

3. The non-Catholic has the way open to work this step by going to
his minister, his doctor, or his friend.

4. Under this step it is not even necessary to go to a priest or
minister. Any understanding human being, friend or stranger will
serve the purpose.

5. The purpose and intent of this step is so plain and definite that
it needs little explanation. The point is that we MUST do EXACTLY
what the Fifth Step says, sooner or later.
We must not be in a rush to get this step off our chest. Consider it
carefully and calmly. Then get about it and do it.

6. "Wrongs" do not necessarily mean "crime. It can well be wrong
thinking-selfishness-false pride-egotism-or any one of a hundred such
negative faults.


STEP NO. 6-"We are entirely ready to have God remove all these
defects of character."

1. After admitting our wrong thinking and wrong actions in Step 5 we
now do something more than "admit" or "confess."

2. We now become READY and WILLING to have God remove the defects in
our CHARACTER.

3. Remember it is OUR character we are working on. Not the other
fellow's. Here is a good place to drop the CRITICAL attitude toward
others-the SUPERIOR attitude toward others.

4. We must clean our mind of wrong thinking-petty jealousy-envy-self
pity-remorse, etc.

5. Here is the place to drop RESENTMENTS, one of the biggest hurdles
the alcoholic has to get over.

6. What concerns us here is that we drop all thoughts of resentment-
anger-hatred-revenge.

7. We turn our WILL over to God and let HIS WILL direct us how to
patiently remove, one by one, all defects in our character.


STEP NO. 7-"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." The meaning
of this step is clear. Prayer-Humility.

1. Prayer. No man can tell another HOW to pray. Each one has, or
works out for himself, his own method.

If we cannot pray, we just talk to God and tell Him our troubles.

Meditate-think clearly and cleanly-and ask God to direct our
thoughts. Christ said "ask and ye shall receive." What method is
simpler-merely "ask."

If you cannot pray ask God to teach you to pray.

2. Humility. This, simply, is the virtue of being ourselves and
realizing how small we are in a big world full of its own trouble.

Drop all pretense. We must not be Mr. Big Shot-bragging, boasting.
Shed false pride. Tell the simple, plain, unvarnished truth. Act,
walk and talk simply. See the little bit of good that exists in an
evil man. Forget the little bit of evil that exists in the good man.
We must not look down on the very lowest of GOD'S creatures or man's
mistakes. Think clearly, honestly, fairly, generously.

3. The shortcomings we ask GOD to remove are the very defects in
character that make us drink. The same defects we drink to hide or to
get away from.


STEP NO. 11-"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with GOD as we understood HIM praying only for
knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

1. We pray each night-every night-a prayer of thanks.

2. We pray each morning-every morning-for help and guidance.

3. When we are lonely-confused-uncertain-we pray.


Most of us find it well to:


1. Choose, for each day, a "quite time" to meditate on the program,
on your progress in it.

2. Keep conscious contact with GOD and pray to make that contact
closer.

3. Pray that our will be laid aside and that God's will direct us.

4. Pray for calmness-quiet-relaxation-rest.

5. Pray for strength and courage to enable us to do today's work
today.

6. Pray for forgiveness for yesterday's errors.

7. Ask for HOPE for better things tomorrow.

8. Pray for what we feel we need. We will not get what we "want." We
will get what we "need"-what is good for us.





CONCLUSION

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spiritual side of
the program. WILLINGNESS-HONESTY and OPEN MINDEDNESS are the
ESSENTIALS OF RECOVERY. BUT THESE ARE INDISPENSABLE.




ASK QUESTIONS

No question pertaining to drinking-or stopping drinking-is silly or
irrelevant. The matter is too SERIOUS. In A.A. we learn by question
and answer.

We learn by exchanging our thought and our experience with each
other.


Any question you ask may help someone else. To cover as many
questions as possible in the short time available all answers must be
limited to three (3) minutes.




GOD grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage
to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.




DISCUSSION NO. 3

INVENTORY AND RESTITUTION
The material contained herein is merely an outline of the inventory
and restitution steps and is not intended to replace or supplant-

a. The careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.

b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.

c. Study of the Program.

d. Daily practice of the program.

e. Reading of approved printed matter on Alcoholism.

f. Informal discussion with other members.

This instruction is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction-a
help-a brief course in the fundamentals.

This meeting covers Steps 4-8-9-10-We will take them in order.

STEP 4-"Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."
The intent and purpose of this step is plain. All alcoholics have a
definite need for a good self-analysis-a sort of self-appraisal.
Other people have certainly analyzed us, appraised us, criticized us
and even judged us. It might be a good idea to judge ourselves,
calmly and honestly. We need inventory because-

1. Either our faults, weaknesses, defects of character-are the cause
of our drinking OR

2. Our drinking has weakened our character and let us drift into all
kinds of wrong action, wrong attitudes, wrong viewpoints. In either
event we obviously need an inventory and the only kink of inventory
to make is a GOOD one.

Moreover, the job is up to US. WE created or WE let develop all the
anti-social actions that got US in wrong. So WE have got to work it
out. WE must make out a list of our faults and then We must do
something about it.

The inventory must be four things-

1. It must be HONEST. Why waste time fooling ourselves with a phoney
list. We have fooled ourselves for years. We tried to fool others and
now is a good time to look ourselves squarely in the eye.

2. It must be SEARCHING. Why skip over a vital matter lightly and
quickly. Our trouble is a grave mental disease, confused by screwy
thinking. Therefore, we must SEARCH diligently and fearlessly to get
at the TRUTH of what is wrong with us-just dig in and SEARCH.

3. It must be FEARLESS. We must not be afraid we might find things in
our heart, mind and soul that we will hate to discover. If we do find
such things they may be the ROOT of our trouble.

4. It must be a MORAL inventory. Some, in error, think the inventory
is a lot of unpaid debts, plus a list of unmade apologies. Our
trouble goes much deeper. We will find the root of our trouble lies
in- resentments-False Pride-Envy-Jealousy-Selfishness and many other
things. Laziness is an important one. In other words we are making an
inventory of our character-our attitude toward others-our very way of
living. We are not preparing a financial statement. We will pay our
bills all right, because we cannot even begin to practice A.A.
without HONESTY.



STEP 8-"Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing
to make amends to them all." Under this step we will make a list
(mental or written) of those we have harmed.

We ask GOD to let His Will be done, not OUR will, and ask for the
strength and courage to become willing to forget resentments and
false pride and make amends to those we have harmed. We must not do
this step grudgingly, or as an unpleasant task to be rid of quickly.
We must do it WILLINGLY, fairly and humbly-without condescension.


STEP 9-"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except
when to do so would injure them or others."

Here is where we make peace with ourselves by making peace with those
we have hurt.

The amends we make must be direct. We must pay in kind for the hurt
we have done them.

If we have cheated them we must make restitution.

If we have hurt their feelings we must ask forgiveness from them.

The list of harms done may be long but the list of amends is equally
long.

For every "wrong" we have done, there is a "right" we may do to
compensate.

There is only one exception. we must develop a sense of justice, a
spirit of fairness, an attitude of common sense. If our effort to
make amends would create further harm or cause a scandal we will have
to skip the "direct amends" and clean the matter up under STEP 5.



HUMILITY

A state of complete humility is very difficult to attain, but the
goal is well worth the effort, considering the serenity that is
achieved.




DISCUSSION NO. 4

ACTIVE WORK
The material contained herein is merely an outline of the inventory
and restitution steps and is not intended to replace or supplant-

a. The careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.

b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.

c. Study of the Program.

d. Daily practice of the program.

e. Reading of approved printed matter on Alcoholism.

f. Informal discussion with other members.

This instruction is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction-a
help-a brief course in the fundamentals.





THIS MEETING COVERS THE TWELFTH STEP
"Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we
tried to carry this message to other alcoholics, and to practice
these principles in all our affairs."

This STEP logically separates into 3 parts.

1. The SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.

The terms "spiritual experience" and "spiritual awakening" used here
and in the book ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, mean, upon careful reading,
that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from
alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many forms.

Do NOT get the impression that these personality changes, or
spiritual experiences, must be in the nature of sudden and
spectacular upheavals. Happily for everyone, this conclusion is
erroneous.

Among our rapidly membership of thousands of alcoholics such
transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule. Most of
our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls
the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period
of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the
difference long before he is himself.

The new man gradually realizes that he has undergone a profound
alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly
have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a
few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self-
discipline. With few exceptions our members find that they have
tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify
with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.

Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of
honestly facing his problem in the light of our experience can
recover provided he does no close his mind to all spiritual concepts.
He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent
denial.

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spiritual side of
the program. Willingness, Honesty and Open Mindedness are the
Essentials of Recovery. But these are indispensable.


2. CARRY THE MESSAGE TO OTHERS.

This means exactly what it says. Carry the message actively. Bring it
to the man who needs it. We do it in many ways.

a. By attending EVERY meeting of our own group

b. By making calls when asked.

c. By speaking at Group Meetings when asked.

d. By supporting our Group financially to make group meetings
possible.

e. By assisting at Meetings when asked.

f. By setting a good example of complete sobriety.

g. By owning, and loaning to new men, our own copy of the big A.A.
Book.

h. By encouraging those who find the way difficult.

i. By serving as an officer or on group committees or special
assignment when asked.

j. By doing all of the foregoing cheerfully and willingly.

k. We do any or all of the foregoing at some sacrifice to OURSELVES
WITH DEFINITE THOUGHT OF DEVELOPING unselfishness in our own
character.


3. WE PRACTICE THESE PRINCIPLES IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS.

This last part of the TWELFTH STEP is the real purpose that all of
the twelve steps lead to-a new "way of life"; a "design for living."
It shows how to live rightly, think rightly and to achieve happiness.


HOW DO WE GO ABOUT IT?

a. We resolve to live our life, one day at a time-just 24 hours.

b. We pray each day for guidance that day.

c. We pray each night-thanks for that day.

d. We resolve to keep our heads and to forego any anger, no matter
what situation arises.

e. We are patient.

f. We keep calm-relaxed.

g. Now, and most important, whatever LITTLE ordinary situation as
well as BIG situations arise, we look at it calmly and fairly, with
an open mind. Then act on it in exact accordance with the simple true
principles that A.A. has taught and will teach us.

In other words, our SOBRIETY is only a correction of our worst and
most evident faults. Our living each day according to the principles
of A.A. will also correct all of our other lesser faults and will
gradually eliminate, one by one, all of the defects in our character
that cause frictions, discontent, and unhappy rebellious moods that
lead right back to our very chief fault of drinking.


ASK QUESTIONS

No question pertaining to drinking-or stopping drinking is silly or
irrelevant. The matter is too SERIOUS. In A.A. we learn by question
and answer.


We learn by exchanging our thought and experience with each other.


Any question we may ask may help someone else.

Answers must be limited to three (3) minutes.

0 -1 0 0
765 jaywalker4th
Step 6 & 7 Big Book Step 6 & 7 Big Book 1/12/2003 5:02:00 PM

Dear AA History Lovers,
Is it understood as to why steps 6 & 7 are so briefly discussed in
the Big Book?
Did Bill W feel he did not have sufficient insight of these steps, at
the time of writing the 1st Edition?
Was he concerned that AA members completing steps 4&5, would find 6&7
too complicated, or might be distracted from the 8th & 9th steps?
Thank you all for contributing to a wonderful resource,

Jaywalker 4th

0 -1 0 0
766 J. Lobdell
Re: Step 6 & 7 Big Book Step 6 & 7 Big Book 1/12/2003 7:15:00 PM

I have heard it said that 6 and 7 in the BB assume a "white-light" basis for sobriety, as with Bill W., while the much longer 6 and 7 in the 12&12 -- at the suggestion of Fr Ed Dowling -- are tailored to the need for spiritual exercises for those without the "white-light" experience. -- Jared Lobdell 



>From: "jaywalker4th "
>Reply-To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com
>To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Step 6 & 7 Big Book
>Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 22:02:39 -0000
>
>Dear AA History Lovers,
>Is it understood as to why steps 6 & 7 are so briefly discussed in
>the Big Book?
>Did Bill W feel he did not have sufficient insight of these steps, at
>the time of writing the 1st Edition?
>Was he concerned that AA members completing steps 4&5, would find 6&7
>too complicated, or might be distracted from the 8th & 9th steps?
>Thank you all for contributing to a wonderful resource,
>
>Jaywalker 4th
>
>
>To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
>AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
>
>
>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


MSN 8: advanced junk mail protection and 2 months FREE*
0 -1 0 0
767 Arthur Sheehan
Re: Step 6 & 7 Big Book Step 6 & 7 Big Book 1/12/2003 10:24:00 PM

Hi


 


The 12 Steps were drafted in Dec. 1938 only a few months prior to printing the Big Book in April 1939. Bill claimed that it took him about 30 minutes to draft the 12 Steps (while in the process of writing Chapter 5). Up to that point, a word-of-mouth program of 6 Steps was used in Akron and NY (see AA Comes of Age pg 160 and the Big Book story "He Sold Himself Short").  When Bill wrote "Into Action"  there wasn't any genuine and explicit prior experience with Steps 6 and 7 as we know them today.


 


In drafting the 12 Steps, Bill wanted to be definitive and clear in describing our program and he also wanted to close loopholes. Our current 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 11th Steps were all derived from a single previous Step of the word-of-mouth program described by Bill as "We prayed to whatever God we thought there was for power to practice these precepts." According to Earl Treat, Akron had an even more concise version of this word-of-mouth Step as "Dependence and Guidance from a Higher Power."


 


Much argument ensued over the 12 Steps among early pioneer members. Some wanted more emphasis on God and some wanted less. Some were happy with 6 steps and didn't want 12. Since Bill was caught in the middle, this may have had an influence on him not being more expansive in the narrative. The first version of Step 7 had us getting on our knees and that didn't go over well either.


 


The narrative in the Big Book and the early multilith copy are almost the same. The Big Book narrative (and that which came later in the 12 & 12) emphasized the need for willingness and humility. The need for these traits is emphasized many, many times in chapters preceding and following "Into Action."


 


While Step 6 has two paragraphs and Step 7 one paragraph, the narrative that is there seems to build further on Steps 2 and 3 and sets a proper frame of mind for progressing to Step 11. If you examine the 3rd and 7th Step prayers there is difference in their wording but very little difference in their substance. Step 8 also gets little more than a paragraph of narrative following Step 7 and the narratives for Steps 10 and 11 are not exactly verbose.


 


The Foreword to the 1st edition says "to show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book." The word "precisely" when applied to measurement, infers accuracy and exactness. When the word "precisely" is applied to literature it infers being short and to the point.


 


I'd suggest that Bill was just being short and to the point.


 


Cheers


 


Arthur


 


 


----- Original Message -----





Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2003 4:02 PM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Step 6 & 7 Big Book



Dear AA History Lovers,
Is it understood as to why steps 6 & 7 are so briefly discussed in
the Big Book?
Did Bill W feel he did not have sufficient insight of these steps, at
the time of writing the 1st Edition?
Was he concerned that AA members completing steps 4&5, would find 6&7
too complicated, or might be distracted from the 8th & 9th steps?
Thank you all for contributing to a wonderful resource,

Jaywalker 4th



To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

0 -1 0 0
768 giftdlr@aol.com
RE:An earily step study guide An earily step study guide 1/12/2003 6:54:00 PM The layout of the steps seems to be the origin of the "Beginners Meeting Format" which was in use at the Waukegan Alano Club in Waukegan, IL when I got sober in 1975.  It was ment as an overview of the steps.  Recently we have revived a form of this meeting in the Suthern Illinois area at Harrisburg, IL.



Denny

0 -1 0 0
769 caroleatlanta
1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question 1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question 1/13/2003 10:08:00 AM

I just got a Big Book that is a 1st edition, 4th printing in March
1943. The hard cover is green and the person who I got it from said
that it was a military copy. I have another 1st edition as well that
is a 13th printing and it is the regular size of a normal Big Book
and it is blue.

This 4th printing that I have like I said is green and it is also
bigger than the blue one. Does anyone have any info. on this book?
I would love to know what I have. Thanks for all help.
Carole

0 -1 0 0
770 brian@bedrugfree.net>
Re: 1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question 1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question 1/13/2003 5:26:00 PM

It is a "military" edition, in that my understanding is that it was printed
that way (as were most, if not all 4th printings) because some materials
were diverted to the war effort, so they used different dyes and thicker,
lower grade paper. That printing is one of the most valuable ones to
collectors--look on Ebay under "Alcoholics Anonymous."

----- Original Message -----
From: <caroleatlanta770@aol.com>
To: <AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2003 10:08 AM
Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] 1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question


> I just got a Big Book that is a 1st edition, 4th printing in March
> 1943. The hard cover is green and the person who I got it from said
> that it was a military copy. I have another 1st edition as well that
> is a 13th printing and it is the regular size of a normal Big Book
> and it is blue.
>
> This 4th printing that I have like I said is green and it is also
> bigger than the blue one. Does anyone have any info. on this book?
> I would love to know what I have. Thanks for all help.
> Carole
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
>
>
>

0 -1 0 0
771 tim wilson
Dr. Earle M !!! Dr. Earle M !!! 1/14/2003 12:16:00 AM

Hello Buffs

I am sad to say that our beloved Dr. Earle M author
of "Physcian Heal Thy Self" passed away Monday,
1/13/03 at 8 PM. He passed away in The San Francisco
Bay Area. There were many volunteers who rallied for
several months to be with him at his bedside daily. He
was loved by many. Tim W

__________________________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
http://mailplus.yahoo.com

0 -1 0 0
772 Arthur Sheehan
AA Timeline - MS Word Document AA Timeline - MS Word Document 1/14/2003 6:53:00 PM

Hi AA History Lovers

 

For those of you who are familiar with Archie M.'s "Timelines in AA History (1864 - present)" - his basic research data has been used as a starting point to develop a Microsoft Word document that is a similar chronology, with expanded narrative and several more reference sources (e.g. Francis Hartigan, Mel B. and Action Items from the General Service Conferences). I did my best to validate each reference source and identify  conflicts in the references.

 

As a courtesy, and respectful thank you, Archie M. has been sent the first copy of the document.

 

The Word document is 600kb+ so a general distribution won't be made. However, a copy of it will be sent to anyone replying to this message.

 

For those of you who ask for a copy, please offer your help in return to review the chronology, send back error corrections and offering important milestones for inclusion (with one or more documented references to establish source accuracy - please).

 

Special Note: please be careful to reply only to ArtSheehan@msn.com and not to AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com. Otherwise Nancy O., our moderator, will get burdened with the replies.

 

Cheers

 

Arthur

0 -1 0 0
773 JKNIGHTBIRD@aol.com
Dr. Earle M -- Grapevine excerpt Dr. Earle M -- Grapevine excerpt 1/14/2003 1:57:00 PM

Very sad to hear of the passing of Earle M.
We will always cherish his winning ways and words.
A friend sent me this today... very inspiring!

Jocie in Chicago :o)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Excerpt from the author of the "Physician, Heal Thyself!",
interview with the Grapevine (GV). October 1995 edition.

GV: Have you had periods in sobriety that were Emotionally difficult?

Dr. Earle: Oh my, yes. So did Bill-you know that Bill had a long depression.
Let me tell you how I got at some emotional rest. Years ago, a medical
college in the South asked me to go to Saigon as a visiting professor to help
the Vietnamese set up a new department in gynecology and obstetrics. Before I
left, I went back to see Bill and Lois and Marty M. and some others, and I
spent about eight or nine days back in New York before I went to Asia. Bill
took me to the airport and on the way there he said, "You know, Earle, I've
been sober longer than anyone else in our organization. After all I was sober
six months when I met Bob. But," he said, "I don't have too much peace of
mind." He said, "I feel down in the dumps a hell of a lot." So I said, "So
do I, Bill. I don't have much serenity either." I was sober by this time
maybe sixteen, seventeen years. He said, "Do me a favor. When you get over to
Asia, see if you can investigate firsthand, the various religions in Asia.
That means Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism, and Confucianism and ancestral
worship and the whole shebang." And I said, "All right, I'll do it." And he
said, "Stay in contact with me and maybe we can find something in those
religions. After all, we've taken from William James, we've taken from all
the Christian religions. Let's see what these others have."

So I hugged Bill and got on the plane and went to Asia. I had three or four
rest and relaxation periods a year but I didn't rest and relax. I was
determined to find something that would bring peace and serenity to me. I
spent a lot of time in Nepal and in Indonesia. I spent time in India. I went
into these places looking, looking, looking for serenity. I spent two or
three years just driving to find out something. I tried meditation, I read
the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas-everything. I went to an ashram on the southeast
coast of India, run by a very famous guru and saint. There were about a
hundred and fifty East Indians there. I was the only Westerner and they
welcomed me. I wore a dhoti-that's a white skirt that men wear-and I wore one
like the rest of them did. We all ate on the ground on great big banana
leaves over a yard long. There would be food on the banana leaves and you'd
make it into a ball with your right hand and throw it into your mouth. There
were no knives or forks at all, so I did what they did. I didn't like the
taste very much but I did it.

I happened to be there at the time of the Feast of dewali.
Dewali is like our time of Easter; It's the time of renewal. We were awakened
on the early morning of Dewali around two o'clock. This ashram was located at
the base of a mountain known as Arunachal. Now Arunachal in Hindi means sun,
and the myth goes that one of the gods, Rama, lives inside of this mountain.

We were told we had to walk around the base of this mountain-which was a ten
mile walk-and as we walked, we were yelling to Rama. If you do it in a very
firm and believing way, it's said that Rama will come up and wave at you and
bless you. I was there, and I did it. We walked around and we were yelling
"Rama, Rama, Rama" hoping that Rama would come up and bless us all. They all
walked in their bare feet. I didn't, I wore my shoes. Gosh, I was tired. But
I walked all night long, the whole distance.

After that event, I came back to my little apartment in Saigon, ready to
return to my medical work. I was so beaten because I'd been driving and
searching and clenching my fists for almost three years(and I kept writing to
Bill about all this, you know). And I came into my apartment and I suddenly
collapsed down onto the floor. I lay there breathing kind of heavily and I
said to myself, "Oh to hell with serenity, I don't care if it ever comes."
And I meant it. And do you know what happened? All of a sudden the craving
to find serenity utterly evaporated-and there it was. Serenity. The trouble
was the search . . . looking out there for what was right here.

You know, we only have this given second. There's always now. Once I
realized that, serenity became mine. Now-I'm speaking about emotions-I
haven't sought one single thing since that day because it's all right here. I
often say to people at meetings. "You're trying to find peace of mind out
there. I don't blame you, but it isn't out there. It's here. Right here."

Now do I think there is a supreme being, a God? Sure I do. Of course. But
do I have any religious beliefs? No. Religion demands that you do certain
things and my life in AA isn't like that. AA is a very loose-Jointed
organization. People say there is only one way to work the program. That's
crazy. We talk about the "suggested" Steps, which are guides to recovery, not
absolutes. Chapter five of the Big Book says "no one among us has been able
to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles." If we had
all the members of AA standing here, everyone would have a different idea
what AA is all about. Bill's idea was different from Dr. Bob's, yours will be
different from mine. And yet they're all based on one thing and that is:
don't drink, and use the Twelve Steps in your own way.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

0 -1 0 0
774 t
Toronto Toronto 1/15/2003 7:14:00 AM

dear HistoryLovers,
I haven't posted anything in a while. Worked this up to send to that
collection of Group Histories at Silkworth.Net that was mentioned in a
previous post. But thought I'd also post the information here.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\
-
Excerpts from "Better Times", newsletter from Greater Toronto Area
Intergroup
http://www.aatoronto.org/btimes.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\
-

Group Anniversaries (thru end of 2002)

"1170" Yonge St, [1944-49] See below.
All Hope Group, 10 yrs, May 1992.
Back to Basics, 10 yrs, Ap. 1992.
Bayview Group, 30 yrs, Mar. 1970. See below.
Beaches Group, 55 yrs., Dec. 1947. See below.
Beginners Meeting, 5 yrs, Nov. 1997. See below.
Beverly Hills Group, 33 yrs, Nov. 1969.
Black River Group (Sutton, Ont.), 21 yrs, May 1981.
Chartwell Group, 32 yrs, Oct. 1970.
East York Group, 30 yrs, July 1972. See below.
East Toronto Men's Meeting, 46 yrs, Dec 1956.
Friendly Group, 51 yrs., Oct. 1951. See below.
Glenview Discussion Group, 56 yrs, Sept. 1946. See below.
Half Century of AA Group, 17 yrs, June 1985.
Keep It Simple group, 21 yrs, Nov. 1980. See below.
Islington Group, 46 yrs, Dec. 1956.
King City Group, 31 yrs, Mar. 1971. See below.
Last Chance Group, 20 yrs., Dec. 1982.
Leaside Group, 52 yrs, Jan. 1950. See Below
Living in Sobriety Group, 3 yrs., Sept. 1999.
Markland Wood Group, 32 yrs, Oct. 1970.
Midtown Group, 22 yrs, Jan. 1980.
Mount Royal Group, 42 yrs, July 1960. See below.
New Anchor Group, 25 yrs, Oct. 1977.
New Life Group, 34 yrs, Oct. 1968.
Newmarket Group, 40 yrs., Mar. 1962.
No Longer Alone, 7 yrs, June 1995.
No Name Group, 3 yrs, Mar. 1999.
North Toronto Group, 56 yrs, 1946. See below.
Parkdale Sunday Morning Meeting, 26 yrs, June 1976.
Parklawn Group, 30 yrs., Dec. 1972. See below.
Reaching Out Group, 20 yrs, Apr. 1982.
Remember When Group, 2 yrs. Aug. 2000.
Royal York Group, 25 yrs, May 1977.
Saturday 2pm Meeting, 5 yrs, May 1997.
Scarborough Centenary Group, 20 yrs., Jan. 1982. See below.
Scarborough General Group, 25 yrs, Nov. 1977.
Scarborough General Hospital Service Meeting, 25 yrs. Nov. 1977. See below.
Six Points Group, 35 yrs., Jan. 1967. See below.
Soaring Eagles Group, 5 yrs., Nov. 1997.
Sponsorship Group, 2 yrs., Mar. 2000.
St. Clement's Group, 50 yrs., Sept. 1952. See below.
St. Patrick's Group, 21 yrs, Mar. 1981.
Sunday Northwestern Group, 27 yrs, Dec. 1976.
Trial & Error Group, 31 yrs, Mar. 1971.
Welcome Group, 45 yrs., Apr. 1957.
Westmoreland Group, 23 yrs, Nov. 1979.
Weston Group, 49 yrs, Nov. 1953.
Woodbine Group, 40 yrs., Jan. 1962.

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The list of groups above is in alphabetical order. Although lengthy, it
does not include all the groups in their area, just the ones who were
mentioned as celebrating their group's anniversary in the newsletter.

The stories, about the groups, which follows are in order of the age of
the group. Some have more history than others.

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From October 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


["1170" Yonge Street]
Toronto's Early AA Refuge

Joe C., 55 years sober, remembers 1170 Yonge Street vividly, "across
from Summerhill station liquor store." Formerly of the Willowdale Group,
Joe now attends the Sunday Morning Men's Meeting. He remains active as a
certified (Minnesota) Addiction Counselor.

"1170 was our only social gathering place and safety net between 1944
and 1949." Joe reports. "Alcoholics were totally ostracized: hated by
police, the medical profession, and our families. We concentrated on our
12 Steps and Big Book, clinging together. 1170 brought us joy because we
had a place to go.

"We clung to each other: 15 of Canada's 25 AAs. Every evening I went to
1170, afraid I'd drink. A greasy spoon nearby was friendly to us. Also,
a MacPherson Avenue boarding house always saved a bed for someone desperate.

"The 1944 monthly rent was $50 - Bruce M. always paid the difference
personally if our donations were insufficient.

"Today, speakers select spectacular drunkalogue ancedotes. Feelings are
important, how one manages to overcome fears and anxieties. Once, I
hadn't seen a show in six months. I reached the box office, bought my
ticket, then returned to 1170, feeling in jeopardy - only 1170 was safe.
Meetings were Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, always
open, permanent coffee."

Joe remembers that during 1944-49, 1170 was both office and social
address. "In 1949 0 actually signaling AA's healthy expansion in society
- some of us left 1170, called 'deserters', for meetings in St. James
Cathedral parish hall. We'd played cards at 1170, then the office became
York, Bay, Gerrard Street, and so on.

"My sponsor, Freddy A., the most God-loving atheist I ever met, was
always there to greet, answer phones, sponsor, never thinking of payment
for his limitless desire to serve.

"We men in 1946 felt we could get away with anything, even arrogarance
with our first woman AA, Dorothy P., as if her stigma could be worse
than ours. How can new AAs imagine the climate of those early AA days?"
Donald O.


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From June 2001 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


North Toronto Group To Move
After 55 Years...

I first came to the North Toronto Group Tuesday, May 2, 1972. I was
twenty-five years old, three days sober, angry, depressed, unsure,
shaking, bankrupt, friendless, unemployable, and very scared. That
evening I was introduced to a host of kind drunks who were to impact on
my life. I would never be the same again.

These were the people who taught me about alcoholism, its insidiousness,
and a program of recovery from this life-threatening disease. Many I met
that evening have long since passed on, but their legacy remains.

North Toronto's first meetings were in members' homes. Soon, the
popularity of this north-end meeting forced the members to seek a
permanent location. Some time in late 1946 and early 1947 the Relocation
Committee made a verbal arrangement with the administration of St.
George's United Church on Duplex Avenue, to hold their weekly Tuesday
open and Friday closed meetings.

This arrangement has never been interrupted until now.

St. George's has embarked on a program of updating, renovating, and
expanding their facility to create a space to meet the pastoral
challenges of the Twenty-first Century. Heady stuff - but a sacrifice.
All groups using the building must vacate by the end of June for a
two-year construction period. For drunks, this is an eternity.

Informed in March, we formed the 2001 Relocation Committee.

Crisis usually brings out the best in people. For the first time in many
years we at North Toronto felt our very existence threatened. The
Traditions, though, assured us we had a path to follow if we were
willing to use it. The group was determined to keep North Toronto open
and alive for those alcoholics yet to come, just as it had been open for us.

We are happy to announce the North Toronto Group will be moving for the
next couple of years to Grace Church on-the-Hill in the heart of Forest
Hill (corner of Russell Hill and Lonsdale), commencing July 3. Our
meetings will continue to be Tuesdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm.

Fifty-five years is a long time to live in one house. St. George's has
served the North Toronto Group well. Moving is always emotional. However
we've all learned that change is also good. As a group we are excited,
encouraged, and grateful for this new lease on life. Thank you,
Eglinton/St. George's and thank you, Grace Church on-the-Hill.
Mike D.


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From Sept 2001 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


Glenview Group at 55
"While it has changed rooms...the same southeast stairs have been used
for 55 years."

Shortly after the North Toronto Group was started, members felt a need
for a formal discussion meeting. They found a church basement nearby and
the Glenview Discussion Meeting was born in 1946. This was a closed
discussion meeting to which an alcoholic had to be sponsored. In those
days, only the open meetings were published.

Many a long-timer remembers their early days at the Glenview Discussion
Meeting.

The meeting has always been an open topic discussion, based on the
meetings described in the Big Book. Indeed, the preamble to the meeting
is taken directly from the Big Book.

The meeting has always gathered in Glenview Presbyterian Church. While
it has changed rooms occasionally, the same southeast stairs have been
used for 55 years.

First-time visitors to Glenview are surprised to find tablecloths and
the tradition of coffee being served to members. Fine china was used in
the early days. These days the group has downgraded to mugs, but still
serves the coffee - caf and de-caf - tea, and herbal tea. Being served
is heartening to the down and out alcoholic.

Somewhere along the line, the meeting became a group - probably around
the time Intergroup was born. The group/meeting has never had a
historian, so while various stories have been passed along, many things
have been lost in time - including the actual start-up date. Betty D.
remembers that it was started in 1946 - ten years before she came to AA.

Historically, Glenview has few members, but has a large roster of
regular attendees who gladly participate in the service needed to put on
the meeting. It seems to be the tradition that someone takes on the job
of opening up for long periods of time.Earl set the meeting up for 15
years - even at times when attendence was small, indeed. "Some nights,"
he told us recently, "I'd drive in from Brampton or somewhere, open and
make the coffee, then sit and read my Big Book until it was time to pour
the coffee out and go home." Others have taken on the job for five or
more years at a stretch. Currently, Gregg H.,Welcome Group, has opened
up the meeting for three years. "It's an important part of my sobriety,"
says Gregg.

"Glenview was an important part of my getting sober in the sixties,"
says Dan McK., Half Century of AA Group. He remembers coming for the
sandwiches at first. Today, cookies are served.

On Monday, September 17, the Glenview Discussion Group is celebrating 55
years of continuous service to the still suffering alcoholic. In keeping
with 55 years of tradition, the meeting will be an open topic discussion
meeting with a suggested topic of gratitude. Members and regular
attendees are planning a big spread, hoping that all those who found
sobriety at Glenview over the years will attend.

Glenview Discussion Group, 8:00 pm, Glenview Presbyterian Church, 1
Glenview Avenue, corner of Yonge and Glengrove, two lights south of
Lawrence. Come and join the fun!
Ann P.


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From Dec 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


55 Years for The Beaches!

On December 10, the Beaches Group will be celebrating its 55th Anniversary.

In December 1947, two AAs, who lived in the Beach, held the first
meeting in a Queen St. East church. Ten years later, the group moved
down the street to Bellefair United Church, opposite Kew Gardens, and
then stayed there.

Plans for the 55th Anniversary are underway for its regular open
meeting, on Tuesday, December 10, 8:00 pm. All are welcome!

Green P. parking is available on Lee Avenue, east of the church and
south of Queen St.
Ann P., with notes from the BT archives


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From January 2000 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


Leaside Celebrates 50 Years
50 Years of Service

The members of the Leaside Group have more than a Millennium celebration
to think about in the year 2000. This January 11, the group will mark 50
years of continuous service and the gratitude is just spilling over. The
anniversary celebration will be held January 13.

Gene M. has been a member of the group for 32 years. He remembers
joining the meeting just before it moved in 1968 to its current location
at 670 Eglinton Ave. East, at Hanna Road. Though nearly blind now, Gene
travels every Thursday to the church, walks down the two small flights
of stairs, and waits to greet his friends by the meeting's kitchen window.

Debbie B., a member of Leaside for the last 10 years, asks Gene if he
wants some coffee. Yes and make it black.

Gene remembers his first sponsor, a man by the name of Rusty, who, along
with his wife Alice, started the Leaside group on January 11, 1950. Back
then it was one of the first few Alcoholic's Anonymous meetings in
Toronto, recalls Gene.

"I told him I'd be back if I could stay sober for 17 hours," says Gene.

Celebrating 33 years of continuous sobriety in March, Gene's one-year
medallion was held at the Hanna Road location.

He remembers the church basement was new and everyone was excited
because of the group's new location.

Since then Gene has seen it all. "We've had a lot of new ones
(alcoholics). They come and go," he says, adding, "a lot of the old ones
are also gone; either they moved away or died."

The Leaside Group members, four in total, are used to that, says Debbie.
Though membershipmay be small at this group, the people who regularly
frequent this meeting like the intimacy that is shared there.

Gene says. "I find that's what really keeps us going right now, people
from other groups, such as Noreen F., and Jim, who really help us out."

At one point, before Debbie's time, the meeting had 22 members, recalls
Gene. "We were never what you call a large group."

"That's my favourite part," says Debbie, "the intimacy."

Gene adds that he doesn't really like large groups. "It's too easy to
get lost," he says, but adds quickly that he would never discourage
anyone from wanting to join Leaside.

"We stay open because the newcomer keeps coming," Debbie says as she
passes Gene his coffee.

That's all anyone can ask after 50 years of service.
Romana K.


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From October 2001 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


Friendly Group Marks 50

On October 8, 1951, the first meeting of the Friendly Group was held in
the United Church at the corner of King St. W. and DunnAve. On October
15, the group is celebrating 50 years of continuous service in the west
end of Toronto.

Pat P., Sunnyside Group, first came to AA in 1951 and remembers going to
those first meetings of the Friendly Group in her early sobriety. Nellie
A., a founder of the group, "was an AA mother who lugged me to
meetings," says Pat. She vividly remembers other founders - Phil B., Mal
R., Red R. - all gone now.

The original church had a fire and the group moved to the fire hall at
Cowan and Queen Sts., then back to the rebuilt church, then to the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital cafeteria, then on to its current location at St.
Vincent de Paul R.C. Church on Roncesvalles. There was a six-month
period, when the current church was renovating, that the group moved to
a school on Bloor St.W., but no one is sure of the exact dates of all
these moves.

Agnes G. has belonged to the group all 28 years of her sobriety. "I
never thought of another group. I love it," she says.

When she called AA, Stephanie G. was told to go to the Friendly Group.
She arrived on her own. Norma, a long-time member, volunteered to be her
sponsor and took her to meetings.

Told to stick with one group, "where he felt right at home," Terry H.
loves the Friendly Group. He has been a member since January 2, 1977 -
his dry date.

George M. had some trouble staying sober in the beginning but he says he
has always been a member of this group. "I'm comfortable with the people
here," he adds. "There's a very warm hospitality."

"Everyone is so genuine," notes Elinor K., another group member.

This warm and friendly group puts on quite a spread for a medallion, so
imagine what they will be serving for their 50th anniversary!

Join them October 15, 8:30 pm, at St.Vincent de Paul Church, 263
Roncesvalles Ave. at High Park Blvd.
Ann P.


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From August, 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


St. Clement's Turns 50!

They told me to find a group. They said it would provide me with a place
full of people who would understand my problem. they will see beyond my,
"FINE" (fouled-up, insecure, neurotic and enjoying it), and help me to
stretch beyond my capacity. They will provide me a safe place in which
to learn how to tell the truth, trust in my fellow man and know, "I am
no longer alone."

What they didn't tell me was that when I joined the St. Clement's Group
I would learn how to be part of a family, with its "faults and blunders,
its aches and pains," to be a part of something that was neither my
responsibility - not rithe - to control. I didn't now that in this group
(in this family), I would learn to accept people and myself just as we
are. I didn't realize that I would be given a place to celebrate our
victories, mourn our defeats, and grieve our losses, such as the loss of
our dear friends, Don and Arlene.

There are those giants, upon whose shoulders we rest - Jack H.s and Jim
P.s - who built a place for us. The New Generation Group, amalgamated
with the St. Clements Group 20 years ago to give birt to our Monday
night discussion at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. To all those who have
gone before us, we say, "Thank you."

We also say thank you for the foundation of acceptance, during a
different kind of Toronto, when many of our members in the gay community
were able to find a home at St. Clements's. We are grateful for a place
that accepted us, beaten or ountiful, and as one long time member
suggested, "...the happiest group in Toronto."

The St. Clements Group invites you to help us celebrate 50 years of
service with gratitude for our wins, our losses, and YOU!

Wednesday, September 25, 8 pm, St. Clement's Anglican Church, 59 Briar
Hill Avenue at Duplex Avenue off St. Clement's Avenue.
Deb H.


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From July 2000 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


40 Years for Mount Royal

A guest at Harbourlight, Paul H. was mandated to attend AA meetings.
Tuesdays and Thursdays he went to the nearby Mount Royal Group. Joan B.,
a long-time member of the group who died in January, explained the "do"
things and told him, "do as you're told." So he did, and joined the group.

Now, 19 months sober, Paul is secretary of the group and a useful
citizen - a social worker in the downtown c o r e , working with people
just like he use to be.

The Mount Royal Group was founded in July, 1960, and will celebrate 40
years of service to the community on July 18. According to long-time AA
member, Dan McK., who attended the group's first meeting, "at a church
at Avenue Road and Bloor," one of the founders was Dave C., a Montreal
businessman, who, says Jeff S., co-founder of the new Leslie Group and
former Mount Royal member, "named it Mount Royal after Montreal." Jeff
was a member of the group until 1988 and still has sponsees in the group.

Mount Royal soon moved to the Metropolitan United Church when the Rev.
Dr. Little, who was a great friend of AA, was pastor. He was also part
of the original AA meetings in the Little Denmark Restaurant back in the
1940's and he welcomed another AA group meeting in his church. The York
Group meets there on Thursday nights.

Mount Royal has never kept an archive - an unconfirmed legend says its
founding date was the 20th - but the group's tablecloth just says the
month and year. Rod I., a 25-year member of the group, remembers this
date being celebrated when he first came in as the youngest member at
age 28.

Rod noted, "A lot of people start here and then move on to other
groups." He stressed how delighted the current group members would be to
see graduates of the Mount Royal Group at the 40th anniversary celebrations.

At some point, a discussion meeting was started on Thursday nights. No
one today knows when. The site of this meeting has changed over the
years, currently at St. Michael's Parish Hall, 66 Bond Street, across
from the Cathedral. Like the open meeting, it starts at 6:00 pm.

Because of its location and early start time, the meeting attracts a
wide variety of people: business people who work downtown, visitors -
both business and tourists - staying in downtown hotels, people in
treatment, and dedicated souls who got sober at the Mount Royal Group
and have since moved away from the downtown core. The group usually has
eight or nine formal members, but 30 to 40 people attend the Tuesday
night meeting. A fair number are from treatment and are mandated to
come. However, as Rod says, "It wears off on them," and they stay.

The group has a lot of one-year medallions and fewer longer-term ones as
many newer AAs move away from the downtown core as they become
established in sobriety.

To celebrate 40 years of dedicated group service, attend the Mount Royal
Group, Metropolitan United Church Hall, 50 Queen St. E., at the corner
of Bond (it's the building in the back of the church), on July 18, at
6:00 pm.
Ann P.


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From Dec 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


Six Points is Higher Powered!

It is with great pleasure I share this great news of magic, of dreams,
and of being higher powered.

The Six Points Group is very proud of all our members. However, at this
point, we would like to share particular thanks and continued blessings
to a named few who are celebrating AA Birthdays during the holiday
season. As well as, we are joyously celebrating our 35th Group Anniversary.

December
December 6, Sean N. celebrates 1 year. His medallion date to be
announced (TBA). Monday, December 23 is our fifth annual Candle Light
Gratitude meeting. All are welcome to this opportunity to see old
friends, meet new friends, and enjoy our delicious array of food and
festivities. All beginning at 8:30 pm. .Enjoy the cheer without the beer..

January
January 4, Mike D. celebrates 15 years. His medallion date TBA.
January 5, Bernie C. celebrates 30 years.
January 6, Rob D. celebrates one year.
January 6, 35th Group Anniversary.
January 8, Bruce B. celebrates five years. His medallion date TBA.

Magical Night
These are all very special dates. However, mark your calendars for one
magical night . January 6. Come join us while we celebrate our group.s
Anniversary . 35 years of saving lives . and share in a 1-year medallion
for Rob D. and a 30-year medallion for Bernie C. Witness the magic!

Grateful Bernie
Bernie is our longest-standing member at Six Points. He has been a
member for all 30 years. Bernie says, .always be there. . at your home
group, that is.

Sobriety has given Bernie many things, in particular, great friends both
in and out the rooms. Included on his gratitude list is his 10-year
passion as a marathon runner. .I have been given a new lease on life,.
he says.

Six Points Group extends a special invitation to all to share in their
many festivities throughout Christmas and into the New Year.
Darlene D.


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From March 2001 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


King City Group Celebrates 30 years

It all started in early March 1971, when a sober member of the Richmond
Hill Group wouldn't give the key to the meeting place at their church to
a chronic "slipper."

Chronic or not, Lincoln took matters into his own hands, went to King
City, and started his own group. As the old saying goes, "...with a
resentment and a coffeepot..."

With another "slipper" and a sober member by the name of Jack T., the
King City Group took shape in a little meeting room at the top of the
stairs in All Saint's Anglican Church on Keele Street.

Bill S., long time member of King City says: "I was just coming around
at the end of '71 or '72. Keith S. and I were, as they say, kicking the
tires and slamming the doors to see what it was all about. Jack and his
friend Alex were the foundation. The rest of us took turns staying
sober. There were only a few meetings in the area - Keswick, Newmarket,
and Bolton. We needed a meeting and those first members, drunk or sober,
kept the doors open for the rest of us."

The first woman to join the King City group was Marie B. who recently
celebrated 20 years in AA.

Keith S., Danny C., and Bill S. are original members who are still
active in carrying the message of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today, King City Group is alive and thriving with about 75 members. All
meetings are well attended and a Tradition meeting is held once a month
to keep members abreast of why AA works.

In recognition of 30 years of AA in King City, the group would like to
invite everyone to celebrate with us on Monday evening at 8 p.m. on
March 19. The group has invited Father Leo B. to speak.

With God's help, we'll still be chugging along 30 years from now.
Bernadette W.


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From March 2000 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


Breakaway Group Celebrates 30 years

At thirty year's old, you could say the Bayview Group is a long-timer in
AA circles.

Started on March 26, 1970, the Bayview Group was a break away meeting
started by three Willowdale members: Al B., Jeff S. (now Pine Hills
Group) and Julian (now Sheppard Group).

It was the strength and courage of these three founders that has helped
Bayview grow and develop its traditional AA values, said current member,
Chris B.

"It was the first AA meeting I ever went to and the only group I've ever
joined," Chris says.

"All these years I've never changed groups because it's the best group
in Toronto," Chris adds with a small chuckle.

Chris, who joined three months after Bayview started, remembers
Bayview's humble beginnings with only 10 or 12 people in the basement
kitchen of a church.

Today, Bayview has blossomed with over 90 people on its member's list;
many of them highly active within AA service.

Traditionally, that's the way Al B. would have liked it - members active
in service work.

"Al was quite the AA man," Chris recalls. Always looking to get a person
active in service work Al originally introduced the two-speaker system
to Bayview.

"Al wanted to give the people that were younger in sobriety a chance to
participate, to get active," explains Chris.

Though Chris remembers being shy he too was pressured to stand up in the
front of the room and share his experience, strength and hope. "Al would
sort of shame you into doing it."

Regardless of the tactics or location changes, the group that was
founded on AA dedication and a commitment to service work will be
celebrating 30 years of continual service on Sunday, March 26, 2000 at
8:30 pm.
Romana K.


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From July, 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


East York Group Celebrates 30 Years

As I was travelling through the east end of the city to attend this
particular meeting, I found that I had arrived a good hour early.
Scanning the area for a coffee shop (a familiar refuge for any
recovering alcoholic), I heard laughter coming from around the corner
.... So I followed the sound and discovered that members of the East
York Group were already there, with the doors open, ready to greet any
newcomers or fellow AAs at their weekly speaker meeting. Needless to say
I didn't need to go to that coffee shop.

A passage in the 'Grapevine' book, "The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA",
says "The home gorup is where the AA member takes the first tiny step
into making the support system of Alcoholics Anonymous work ... home
groups become the spokes in the big wheel of Alcoholics Anonymous."

Since July 18, 1972, this group, originally called the New East York
Group, has adhered to these sentiments by opening its doors to many
members over the years. The group will be celebrating 30 years of
service on Tuesday, July 23 at 8:00 pm at St. Columbia - All Hallows
Church (just east of St. Clair and O'Conner).

Some members, like Milton B., joined the group after moving into the
area. Milton joined about three years ago, and the first person to greet
him was East York member, Jimmy H. "The first time I came to the East
York Group," said Milton, "I was made to feel very welcome, and I've
been here ever since. I love this group. There's a lot of love,
laughter, and camaraderie."

Milton also tells of the commitment and joy in service that the group
demonstrates by attending and supporting service meetings. Some members,
like Milton, carry the message of AA into correctional facilities.

Bill L., who joined the group seven years ago, shared his feelings about
the group and his understanding of the importance of sponsorship. "We
have a real variety of sobriety," Bill says, adding, "When you find a
solid group, you find solid sponsorship." In keeping with this idea, the
group recently implemented a temporary sponsorship program.

There are more men than women in the East York Group group, but more
women have joined recently. Joanne E. says having more male members
doesn't bother her because, "We're all good friends and we are here to
support each other." She also said that the women at the group have
solid sobriety, and this has attracted more women.

Liz V., the group secretary, is relatively new at the group. Liz's
enthusiasm for the group was immediate and she's happy doing service at
the group level.

Harold M. one of the early members, has been with the group for 26
years. As unofficial group historian, he mentioned that the original
location was, "down the street a piece." John M., who, sadly, has passed
on, started the group. Harold is very grateful he still belongs to East
York and can share his experience with new members.

Perhaps the most poignant comment made about the East York Group came
from Gerry H., who had been a member fro ten years. He said the program
of Alcoholics Anonymous and past and present members of the East York
Group, "... saved my life, and I have a lot of gratitude."

Don't miss the opportunity to attend the East York Group's 30th
anniversary. They'll surely welcome you (as they did me) into their
friendly fold. A sign posted on the podium says it all: "If you are new
here, let us know - YOU ARE NO LONGER ALONE."

Alexx V.


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From Dec 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup


Parklawn Group: 30 Years and Still Going!!!!

We started life as The Young Peoples Group, and became the Parklawn
Group in 1972. At that time there were only three members, Roy K, Gordie
H. (deceased), and Brian R. (deceased). Meetings were held St. James
Anglican Church on Parklawn.

Attendance was low and many times, in order to pay the rent, members had
to dig into their own pockets. Business meetings were held in the
members. homes. The Long Branch Group helped support Parklawn in those
early days! It was nothing to see eight or ten members of Long Branch
here, not just occasionally but every Friday. At times, we didn.t know
if people belonged to Parklawn or Long Branch.

In the 80.s, most members held at least one position, either in the
Group or at Intergroup.

We also had a lot of women join this Group. We had as many as eight at
one time. Our Group grew and, in the mid-80.s, we had 27 members.

Around that time we were having problems at St James Church and had to
move to St. Mark's in Dec .86 until .94 when that church asked us to
move, as they needed the space. Again we moved further north on Parklawn
to the Presbyterian Church on a week-to-week basis .til we found a new
location.

Finally that church could no longer accommodate us and we voted to close
down the meeting until another church was found. Brian J. sent out many
letters to churches. Dick. C and Doug R. talked with ministers trying to
locate another church. Three months passed; then, in June 1994, we
received a letter from the Humbercrest United Church reporting they had
a meeting room available on Friday nights, and so here we are!!

We'd considered changing our meeting to another night, but Friday was
very important to most of us at Parklawn and even members from other
groups relied on our meeting to end their week or start the weekend!

Over the years this Group survived many problems of low membership and
low funds, but we hung on. When we moved to Humbercrest United, we were
down to four members, Dick C. Doug R. Erin B. & Brian J. All worked
desperately to get this Group back up and running, and without the
support from the members of Trial & Error and Long Branch Groups we
would not have survived.

So many people have passed through our doors, and as I sit here, names
and faces race through my mind. Though I know some have passed on, and
some have gone out, I wonder how the rest are doing.

Although our Seventh Tradition is small compared to some Groups, we
manage to pay the rent, buy cakes for anniversaries, support GTA
Intergroup and General Service, and even have some for the church at
Christmas. It is only the continued support by members from other groups
that has kept us going...

They say in AA, if a group is needed it will last; if it.s not it will fail!

I thank God it was needed, cause I, for one, needed it. This group
changed my life . it gave me a life! And for that I.ll be eternally
grateful. I only hope that 30 years from now this Group will still be
going and that I will still be a member.
Brian J.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\
-
From October, 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


25 Years for Service Meeting

The Scarborough General Hospital Service Meeting started November 8, 1977.

Founders incluce Tony T., Duncan Donald M., Jack T., Joe S., all of whom
continued coming to the meetings until their deaths from causes other
than alcohol. Bill M, Unionville Group, was present at the first meeting
and continues to attend today.

Roy St. C. came to the second meeting as a hospital patient. Soon,
Murray D., now deceased after 44 years of sobriety, became a regular -
coming early to set up and make coffee.

the legendary Tommy H., Unionville Group, was also there at the
beginning continuing his support until his death in 1999. His wife,
Betty, an employee of the hospital, supported and facilitated the
meeting being there. She still attends and lends her support where
needed. She helped get reduced-cost parking for those attending AA.

For ages, Bob, also of the Unionville Group, co-ordinated the weekly
set-up with a number of faithful AAs, now mostly getting on in years.
Recently the torch was passed to me, Terry G., Scarborough Group.

It is a true honour for me. It was the first AA meeting I attended when
I started my journey in recovery and service. It has played a great part
in carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholics on the 10th
(Psychiatric) floor of the hospital.

Many fellow AAs started their journey at the Scarborough General
Hospital Meeting. Over the past year, it has amazed me how many speakers
attended their first meeting as a patient.

Part of the service offered by members includes escorting patients down
from the 10th floor, as well as setting up, making coffee, and putting
on the meeting.

The regular meeting at the hospital (located on the northwest corner of
McCowan and Lawrence) is in the Crockford classroom on the main floor.
No rent is charged but the meeting makes an annual donation to the
Scarborough General Hospital Foundation.

Originally a discussion meeting, the format soon changed to its current
style. Three readings, then a spaker shares his / her experience,
strength and hope for 25 minutes, followed by a 15 minute question
period. This format has been found very suitable for a hospital meeting.

Last year, the regular members adopted the policy of giving out desire
chips to those new and just coming back. Also, a Big Book is given to
someone attending their first meeting. Many Big Books have been given
out to patients with the hope of planting the seed.

Over the last two years, attendance has dropped. The regulars are doing
everything in their power to keep the meeting alive and well. Groups in
the surrounding area have been asked to support the meeting -
volunteering to set up, supply the Chairperson, and find the spaker.
Pine Hills, As Bill Sees It, and Keep It Simple are some of the groups
taking on a month at a time. More groups are needed to volunteer. Ther
are still four months that need to be filled. This is a great way to get
newcomers involved in service.

The Scarborough General Hospital Meeting is celebrating 25 years of
continuous service on November 5, at 7:00 pm, in the Main Auditorium.
The speaker is Mildred F., Rox Glen Traditional Group.

Please come and support the 25th Anniversary Meeting - and feel the
spirit of the many that have passed on, but left the message to us.
Terry G.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\
-
From November 2001 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


Keep It Simple Group Celebrates 20 years

In my 15th month of sobriety, four members of my first home group - Doug
T. (now deceased), Florence E., Wally, and Doris - asked me to join them
in starting a discussion group because there weren't many discussions
available in our area.

The name Keep It Simple was chosen to commemorate the last discussion
between Dr. Bob and Bill W. We chose the Heron Park Community Centre as
a central Scarborough location, starting with a Thursday night closed
discussion group. However, as new members celebrated milestones, we
added an open meeting on Sundays.

Our first meeting was November 6, 1981 and looking back today, I can't
express my gratitude enough for the many miracles we've seen.

On August 5 of this year, we temporarily moved out of Heron Park
Community Centre to make way for renovations. We've been meeting
temporarily at the Port Union Community Centre, but we'll be back in our
newly rebuilt old home, Heron Park, located off Manse Road, in time for
our anniversary celebration - complete with cake and refreshments - on
November 11, 2001.

My gratitude goes out to the four members who helped start the group.
It's been a wonderful journey in my 21 years of sobriety. We all look
forward to many more years of carrying the message.
Jim H.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\
-
From Dec 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater Toronto
Area Intergroup

[Scarborough Centenary Group]
Service is Key

Way back in the mid to late seventies, members of the Unionville Group
were unsuccessfully trying to start AA service meetings at the three
Scarborough hospitals. Co-operation on the part of the hospitals was not
there. Then along came Tony T., Saturday Night Gratitude Group. He
managed to talk his way into both Scarborough Centenary and Scarborough
General.

Closed discussion meetings started at both hospitals in October and
November 1978. For details about the Scarborough General Meeting, see
the October 2002 BETTER TIMES. [see below] (For interest, the
Scarborough Grace Hospital finally allowed an AA service meeting in the
mid-nineties.)

Also a member of Saturday Night Gratitude Group, Lois F. joined Tony for
the first meeting at Scarborough Centenary. She had just celebrated her
two-year anniversary and was getting active in service. Local
Scarborough groups supported the meeting in those early days.

By the early eighties the meeting was thriving. On January 5, 1983, it
became a group, known as the Scarborough Centenary Group. Lois was there
as a founding member with four others, and is still a member today.

There are lots of opportunities for service at this group. Patients are
always brought down from the appropriate floors. The group has an
archives and set guidelines for the running of the meeting.
Participation in the wider AA community is encouraged. Len D., and other
members of the Scarborough Centenary Group started the annual dance in
support of the Regent Park Christmas Day dinner. See page 7.

Over the years, a Thursday open speaker meeting has been added. On
Mondays, the open topic discussion meeting is now an open meeting. There
is also a Beginner.s Room on Monday nights.

While there is a large turnover of faces due to being in a hospital,
there are many long-term familiar faces as well. Notable are Reg P., who
has made the coffee since he joined in .87, Julie L., who is very active
with the Beginner.s Room . a member since .88, and too many others to
mention here.

Many spouses also make regular attendance a must. In particular is the
widow of Jack J. They started coming to the group in .83. He died seven
years ago, but his wife continues to come, in her wheelchair, and to
offer upbeat support.

On January 9, 2003, the Scarborough Centenary Group will be celebrating
20 years as a group and 25 years of service. All are invited to attend,
especially people who came to the group in the early days of their sobriety,

The meeting will not be in the usual meeting place. It will be in the
Education Theatre, Floor #1, Margaret Birch Wing, Rouge Valley Centenary
Hospital. Use the main door. Take the north elevator down to floor 1 and
follow the signs.

Following the meeting, there will be a buffet dinner in the usual
meeting room on the 6th floor in the Occupational Therapy Room. The
meeting starts at 7:00 pm.

Parking vouchers are available at the meeting for attendees. With
voucher the parking is only $1.
Ann P.

Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital has been host to the Scarborough
Centenary Service Meeting for 25 years


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\
-
From November 2002 issue of "Better Times", newsletter for Greater
Toronto Area Intergroup


Flourishing After Five Years

The Beginners Meeting takes place at three o.clock on Saturday
afternoons at Our Lady of Lourdes R. C. Church on Sherbourne Street just
north of Wellesley. Our first meeting, at the Church of St. Simon the
Apostle on Bloor Street East, was held on November 7, 1997. At that
first meeting there were three AA members: one beginner, who no longer
lives in Toronto, Bob I., Rox Glen Traditional Group, and myself, St.
Jamestown Group.

Together we waited.

Quite quickly others came to us. Today our attendance varies between ten
and 25, usually around 20. Our talk is focused on what first brought me
to AA. and what brought me to this meeting. We hear honest and
compassionate comments.

The meeting is sponsored by the St. Jamestown Group, and draws a diverse
attendance. Anyone is welcome . drunks, newcomers, members of the
general public, family . anyone. We hope and intend to carry on as we
have to date.

On the occasion of our fifth anniversary, we say a sincere and honest,
.Thank you,. to all who have ever attended our meeting. We also extend
our heartfelt thanks to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, to St. Jamestown,
and to all of you. And, God Bless...
Charles M.

-----------------EOF------------------------------------------------------------\
-

0 -1 0 0
775 Joy Harris
Earle Marsh Earle Marsh 1/15/2003 2:45:00 PM

The following article was posted today by the San Francisco
Chronicle. No reference was made to Dr. Earle's efforts in the field of
alcoholism or to his A.A. membership.
-- Ron Long, El Cajon, California


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------
MARSH, Earle Milliard, M.D.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------

MARSH, Earle Milliard, M.D. - Died January 13, 2003. Born August 3,
1911. Resident Walnut Creek, California. Alumnus University of
California, Berkeley and UCSF, where he was Associate Professor. Leading
practice OB/GYN, San Francisco; Psychiatrist U.S. Navy WWII; Chief of
Staff teaching hospitals Kentucky and Vietnam. Consulting physician
Alfred Kinsey Report on Women; innovator and leader encounter groups,
including focus on global understanding of sexuality; conceptualized
movement to include family in delivery room and the Rooming-In idea.
Preceded in death by Mary Crary Marsh and Mildred Apter-Marsh. Cherished
by a legion of devoted friends. Survived by daughter, international opera
singer Jane Marsh. February Memorial Service to be announced. Burial at
sea. Arrangements by Neptune Society, Walnut Creek. Contributions may be
made to: American Cancer Society, 1700 Webster St., Oakland, CA 94612 or
Hospice and Palliative Care of Contra Costa, 2051 Harrison St., Concord,
CA 94520


©2003 San Francisco Chronicle

0 -1 0 0
777 carlfoffairlawn
Father Dowling 25th Anniversary chapter Father Dowling 25th Anniversary chapter 1/20/2003 9:45:00 AM

Hey AAHL,

I am looking for the Father Dowlings' discussion of his addiction to food. It
is
the basis of alot of meetings in Overeaters Anonymous and yet none of us
have a copy of the text. I would love to get a copy for discussion with other
cross addicted addicts.

Thanks for the help.

Yours in Recovery,

Carl

0 -1 0 0
778 ny-aa@att.net
Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude 1/20/2003 1:10:00 PM

Hi, History Lovers:

I believe there have been at least three resolutions by the General Service
Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous acknowledging the contributions of the
Al-Anon Family Groups. The one from 1969 by the 19th Conference is in
"Guidelines - Relationship Between A.A. and Al-Anon." Could someone point
me to the text of all three? Here is what is in the "Guidelines."

Thanks. Tom En2ger

---------

A.A.'s Debt of Gratitude to Al-Anon

The following resolution of gratitude to the fellowship of the
Al-Anon Family Groups was unanimously approved by the 1969
General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The delegates of this 19th General Service Conference of
Alcoholics Anonymous, meeting in official session in New York
City, this 25th day of April, 1969, do hereby declare:

WHEREAS, it is the desire it is the desire of this conference to the
relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and the Al-Anon Family
Groups, and

WHEREAS, it is the further desire of this Conference to
acknowledge A.A.'s debt of gratitude to the Al-Anon Family
Groups, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes the
special relationship which it enjoys with the Al-Anon Family
Groups, a separate but similar fellowship. And be it further
resolved that Alcoholics Anonymous wishes to recognize, and
hereby does recognize, the great contribution which the Al-Anon
Family Groups have made and are making in assisting the fami-
lies of alcoholics everywhere.

0 -1 0 0
779 Arthur Sheehan
Re: Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude 1/20/2003 4:39:00 PM
The publication "Advisory Actions of the General Service Conference of A.A." (M-39) there is the 1969 floor action but no others.

In the A.A. Guidelines: "Relationships Between A.A. and Al-Anon" (MG-8) it cites the 1969 resolution approved by the GSC but no others.

 

Cheers

 

Arthur S.


----- Original Message -----



Sent: Monday, January 20, 2003 12:10 PM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude



Hi, History Lovers:

I believe there have been at least three resolutions by the General Service
Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous acknowledging the contributions of the
Al-Anon Family Groups.  The one from 1969 by the 19th Conference is in
"Guidelines - Relationship Between A.A. and Al-Anon."  Could someone point
me to the text of all three?  Here is what is in the "Guidelines."

Thanks.  Tom En2ger

---------

A.A.'s Debt of Gratitude to Al-Anon

The following resolution of gratitude to the fellowship of the
Al-Anon Family Groups was unanimously approved by the 1969
General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The delegates of this 19th General Service Conference of
Alcoholics Anonymous, meeting in official session in New York
City, this 25th day of April, 1969, do hereby declare:

WHEREAS, it is the desire it is the desire of this conference to the
relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and the Al-Anon Family
Groups, and

WHEREAS, it is the further desire of this Conference to
acknowledge A.A.'s debt of gratitude to the Al-Anon Family
Groups, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes the
special relationship which it enjoys with the Al-Anon Family
Groups, a separate but similar fellowship. And be it further
resolved that Alcoholics Anonymous wishes to recognize, and
hereby does recognize, the great contribution which the Al-Anon
Family Groups have made and are making in assisting the fami-
lies of alcoholics everywhere.


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0 -1 0 0
781 kentedavis@aol.com
2 Bucks Poster 2 Bucks Poster 1/20/2003 1:15:00 PM Does anyone have a copy of that flier that went around a few years ago that showed the price of a drink years ago and other price changes, and ended up suggesting that we begin putting a couple of bucks in the basket?



Kent

0 -1 0 0
782 Shakey1aa@aol.com
Re: 2 Bucks Poster 2 Bucks Poster 1/21/2003 3:47:00 AM i have a copy of the flyer. it was given to me by the office manager of sepia(southeastern pennsylvania intergroup association) I think i remember her telling me she got it at a convention of intergroup office managers/ workers in atlanta ga several years back.it states that it is not conference approaved
0 -1 0 0
784 ny-aa@att.net
Re: Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude 1/21/2003 10:24:00 AM

Hi, History Lovers:

I have the text of the 1969 Resolution of Gratitude because it is in the
"Guidelines." I remember an older edition of the "Guidelines" that said the
1969 Resolution of Gratitude "reaffirmed" one from one of the first General
Service Conferences. Tony sent me this which confirmed the 1952 Resolution
but I still don't have the text:

A real reference:
[from "Lois Remembers" pg 177]
The Second AA General Service Conference met in April 1952 and passed a
resolution by standing vote, thanking those who had fostered the Al-Anon
Family Groups. We were quite moved and very grateful.

One A.A. area website had a Resolution of Gratitude to Al-Anon on the occasion
of Al-Anon's 50th Anniversary in 2001. That page is no longer there although a
number of other sites still link to it.

I also found mention of a 2001 Resolution of Gratitude TO Alcoholics Anonymous
FROM the Al-Anon World Service Conference on the occasion of the 50th Al-Anon
Anniversary.

If that is all correct then there should be:
1952 A.A. Gratitude to Al-Anon
1969 A.A. Gratitude to Al-Anon ** I have this.
2001 Al-Anon Gratitude to A.A.
2001 A.A. Gratitude to Al-Anon
__________________________
En2joy! Tom En2ger
>
> The publication "Advisory Actions of the General Service Conference of A.A."
> (M-39) there is the 1969 floor action but no others.
> In the A.A. Guidelines: "Relationships Between A.A. and Al-Anon" (MG-8)
> it cites the 1969 resolution approved by the GSC but no others.
>
> Cheers
>
> Arthur S.
>

0 -1 0 0
785 vicente sanabria
Meetings Bill W. attended in NYC Meetings Bill W. attended in NYC 1/21/2003 4:11:00 PM
Hola Familia,

 

I'm going to NYC this weekend and am interested in attending any meetings in which Bill W. attended.

 

If anyone knows of any or how to contact someone who does I'd appreciate it.

 

Vicente

0 -1 0 0
786 IIdog
Re: 4th editions authors 4th editions authors 1/21/2003 5:14:00 PM
We know Lyle P. from Conyers Ga.  He has talked all over the U.S.A. & some of the foreign countries.  He does angel fights when he isn't doing AA talks (conferences).  If you get the opportunity to hear him by all means go it's worth it!  I find him & his wife to be remarkable people always being of service to others.  Big Book 4th edition page 522 Grounded.

Jane B.

Texas

 



----- Original Message -----



Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 8:27 AM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] 4th editions authors



Does any one know the names of the authors of the new stories in the 4th edition?

 

Rob F

Huntington, IN


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0 -1 0 0
787 Ed Adami
RE: 4th editions authors 4th editions authors 1/21/2003 8:49:00 PM
If there is an interest, there is a speaker mp3 file posted at: xa-speakers.org by Lyle P. from a speak he did, that can be downloaded and/or burned to cd, or to listen to.

 

Ed A.

Crowley,TX.

 

 

 
-----Original Message-----
From: Rob & Vicki Fuhrman [mailto:rfuhrman@ctlnet.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 8:28 AM
To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] 4th editions authors



Does any one know the names of the authors of the new stories in the 4th edition?

 

Rob F

Huntington, IN

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0 -1 0 0
788 Arthur Sheehan
Re: Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude 1/22/2003 2:28:00 AM
Something doesn't connect.

 

The original question was:

 

"I believe there have been at least three resolutions by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous acknowledging the contributions of the Al-Anon Family Groups.  The one from 1969 by the 19th Conference is in "Guidelines - Relationship Between A.A. and Al-Anon.  Could someone point me to the text of all three? ... "

 

Sources cited:



  1. I can find only one resolution in the Advisory Actions of the General Service Conference (M-39) for 1952. It reads:

    "The Conference in a special resolution affirmed its support of the traditional "Grapevine" policy of carrying news of non-AA happenings when they relate to the interests of AA readers, directly or indirectly (Floor Action)."

    The Conference resolution described in Lois Remembers (pg 177) wasn't recorded as an advisory action and that seems inconsistent. I don't understand what her use of the term "by standing vote" signifies. Perhaps access to a 1952 Conference Report might shed some light on the matter.


  2. The wording of the 1969 General Service Conference resolution in M-39 does not indicate a reaffirmation of any prior resolution.


  3. I could not find any mention of a resolution of gratitude to AFG in the Final Report of the 2001 General Service Conference (an Area web site speaks for the Area not the Conference).

There have probably been countless individual expressions of gratitude to AFG (mine among them).

 

But the count of General Service Conference resolutions of gratitude to AFG still seems to be one.

 

Cheers

 

Arthur


----- Original Message -----



Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 9:24 AM

Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude



Hi, History Lovers:

I have the text of the 1969 Resolution of Gratitude because it is in the
"Guidelines."  I remember an older edition of the "Guidelines" that said the
1969 Resolution of Gratitude "reaffirmed" one from one of the first General
Service Conferences.  Tony sent me this which confirmed the 1952 Resolution
but I still don't have the text:

  A real reference:
  [from "Lois Remembers" pg 177]
  The Second AA General Service Conference met in April 1952 and passed a
  resolution by standing vote, thanking those who had fostered the Al-Anon
  Family Groups. We were quite moved and very grateful.

One A.A. area website had a Resolution of Gratitude to Al-Anon on the occasion
of Al-Anon's 50th Anniversary in 2001.  That page is no longer there although a
number of other sites still link to it.

I also found mention of a 2001 Resolution of Gratitude TO Alcoholics Anonymous
FROM the Al-Anon World Service Conference on the occasion of the 50th Al-Anon
Anniversary.

If that is all correct then there should be:
   1952 A.A. Gratitude to Al-Anon
   1969 A.A. Gratitude to Al-Anon   ** I have this.
   2001 Al-Anon Gratitude to A.A.
   2001 A.A. Gratitude to Al-Anon
__________________________
En2joy!   Tom En2ger
>
> The publication "Advisory Actions of the General Service Conference of A.A."
> (M-39) there is the 1969 floor action but no others.
> In the A.A. Guidelines: "Relationships Between A.A. and Al-Anon" (MG-8) 
> it cites the 1969 resolution approved by the GSC but no others.
>
> Cheers
>
> Arthur S.



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0 -1 0 0
789 Arthur Sheehan
Portable Display Cases for Archives Displays Portable Display Cases for Archives Displays 1/22/2003 1:46:00 PM
Note: please reply directly to ArtSheehan@msn.com and not to the AAHistoryLovers distribution list.

 

Can anyone steer me to sources of table-top, portable archives display cases (new or used)?

I'm trying to find about 6-10 of them for our Area Archives displays.

I've not had much success in finding sources by internet search (ala Google, etc.).

 

Cheers

 

Arthur

0 -1 0 0
790 Neeron
Re: 4th editions authors 4th editions authors 1/22/2003 9:58:00 PM






Beth H of Cincinnati, Ohio

now of NC is "Empty on the Inside" on page 512 4th edition
 


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____________________________________________________
  IncrediMail - Email has finally evolved - Click Here

0 -1 0 0
791 Jim Blair
Article from Pageant, April 1947 Article from Pageant, April 1947 1/22/2003 10:33:00 PM

This is the story of a brilliant man who very


nearly sacrificed his whole life to liquor. It makes


shocking reading, but every word of it is true


 


I WAS AN ALCOHOLIC



Anonymous


As told to Gerald Mygatt


Memo From The Editor: the name of the teller of this story is purposely omitted. He says his friends and former associates will recognize him. To others his name does not matter. But if your interest is not merely casual, if you or a friend or a member of your family need his help, write to The Alcoholic Foundation, P.O. Box 459, New York 17, New York You will be put in direct touch with him or with the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous group.



 


In the fall of 1938, I was working in a small radio station in Plattsburg, New York. On a cold night in November I had chills and fever. I sent for a doctor who told me I had incipient pneumonia.


Some time during the night, delirious, I fell down the stair well of my rooming house and smashed my hip. I was in the hospital for three-months and when I came out I knew I was crippled for life. But none of that annoyed me as much as the fact that some well-meaning ambulance attendant had given me a drink of whisky before my late-night arrival at the hospital. Because they could smell it on my breath, I was booked as drunk...


Now I’ll tell you the real story of what happened. I had been sent to Plattsburg by some friends who wanted t get me out of New York City. I had been making a mess of myself in New York, cadging money for drinks. So my friends found a job for me in Plattsburg. At $25 a week.


I had been earning nearly ten times that much; $25 a week was pin money. So-you guessed it-I hit the bottle a little harder. On the night I fell down the stair well I wasn’t delirious. I was drunk and I fell over the bannisters.


The ambulance attendant who gave me the drink was only doing the humanitarian thing. When you’ve got an alcoholic on your hands the first rule is to give him the alcohol he seems to need. You leave it to the doctors and nurses to sober him up.


But I fooled the doctors and nurses during the three months that I was confined in the hospital. At least I thought I did, which is the same thing to an alcoholic. The first day there I managed to get a quart of rye. There are usually people in hospitals who think they are being kind in smuggling booze to you.


When I was nearing the end of my stay my nurse came and sat on my bed. "Of course you won’t admit it," she said, "But you’re an alcoholic. Why don’t you do something about it?"


"Of course I’m not an alcoholic," I said. "I’ve simply had a little bad luck."


She whipped out of the room with a crisping of her starched skirts. I reached under the covers of my bed. I took a long pull at a pint I had hidden there. Stupid fool! Me, an alcoholic!


Let’s go back a little. I started what was then called social drinking a few years after college. I got married. I entered radio publicity. In 1927 I went with National Broadcasting Company and was soon promoted. I was going great guns.


At the same time I was doing more drinking. At home I drank only when we had quests, though I always found the need to have three or four extra snorts on the side. I was beginning to fall into a drinker’s pattern, but I didn’t know it.


Then my wife left me. She took my two sons with her. This startled me, because she said that she left me because I drank too much. Ridiculous! Why, I only drank as every other businessman did. But she left me nevertheless. Within two years I was married again. This time I was going to show the world, particularly my first wife.


I showed her all right. I was now living in a 14-room house in a swanky Connecticut suburb; sitting pretty. I left the National Broadcasting Company to go with a famous advertising firm. I did a lot of traveling and naturally I did a lot of drinking on my trips. How, otherwise, could you entertain the customers? Ah, how otherwise!


Eventually I was eased out of that firm and it never occurred to me why. They gave me a thousand reasons but not the real reason, which was that I couldn’t hold my liquor. Other men could, but I couldn’t


I was then elected president of an agency specializing in radio and I felt pretty good. But strangely enough, I was eased out of that company also. Then I went with another big advertising agency. It was about six months before I was eased out of there.


When I lost that job I had been married, the second time, about seven years. My job was gone but I was confident that on the following Monday I would start on a much better one; all I had to do was say the word. So I proceeded to go home and to announce to my wife that on this week end I was really going on a binge. I guess I did. I don’t remember.


On Monday I woke up in a hospital. This was the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane, at Norwich, Connecticut. I explained to a nurse that I had been drinking a little too much and that my wife had sent me here for a couple of weeks to sober up.


"Two weeks!" said the nurse. "Do you know you’ve been in here for two years?"


I was, too. My wife apparently had been more fed up than I realized. She had signed the papers committing me. The first time she came she was sorry, but it was not until five months later that we were able to convince the State of Connecticut that I should be let out. One reason for the aplomb that got me out was that in this hospital, try as I might, I couldn’t sneak a drink.


When at last I got out I found that my wife had gone to live with her parents and she had taken the children with her. She had disposed of practically everything we owned in our beautiful 14-room house. What did I do? You guessed it. You’re going to guess it so often that I’ll now try to give you a listing of the hospitals I was in – for excessive drinking – after that.


Plattsburg, with which I started this story. Broken hip.


Metropolitan Hospital, Welfare Island, New York. Delirium tremens.


Bellevue Hospital, New York, more than a dozen times. This was in the psychopathic or "drunk" ward, naturally.


And, oh yes, before any of this started there was a stretch at New York’s Medical Center, where I paid $25 a day for room and keep for a so-called "nervous breakdown." I did not realize that it was alcohol that caused my "nervousness." I never had the guts to put the blame where it belonged.


But let’s go back to the time I left Norwich. I crawled out of there with my tail between my legs and I found my wife had left and I went on a series of benders. No wife could tell me where to get off!


I left Connecticut. New York was better; there were more people to borrow from. I still had "friends" at NBC and other places. I used to hang around NBC at five in the afternoon, waiting for people to come out. I put the bee on all of them: five dollars today, two dollars tomorrow, three the next day.


I always tried to borrow at least two dollars. One dollar for my room in a cheap hotel, the other dollar for the half-pint that would put me to sleep. On at least one occasion I found myself sleeping on the grass with a 25-cent bottle of sherry in my hand. I say I found myself. Actually a policeman found me and told me to get going. Although it was late September I was well-dressed (so I thought) in a filthy white Palm Beach suit and a pair of white shoes that were mostly black.


"I’m no drunken bum," said I to the cop resentfully.


To myself I was still the important personage who for years had been a prominent executive. I knew that if people would stop picking on me I would be back on my feet tomorrow. Always tomorrow.


Then my friends ganged up and sent me to Plattsburg. When I got out of the Plattsburg Hospital, on crutches, I fondly expected my wife to feel sorry for me and let me come home. She didn’t. She was done with me.


I thought my sister was done with me too. But my sister, bless her heart, wasn’t done with me. She knew a man, the brother of a friend of hers. She sent him to see me.


He told me the story of his life, which was much like mine. He asked me to go to the home of a man in Brooklyn who had gathered around him a dozen other men and women who also had stories like mine. They came for me in a car; they practically carried me up the steps to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.


I walked in on a group of 30 or 40 who looked happy and sober. I thought they were a bunch of holier-than-thou’s who would try to make me over into their own pattern. But these people offered me friendship without criticism. They came and got me each week, and I finally came to understand that they had a set of principles which, if I followed them, would enable me to lead a better life. But I still kept my tongue in my cheek. They could call themselves alcoholics. I never would, because I wasn’t one.


This was just six years before I finally admitted in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, humbly and sincerely, that I too was an alcoholic.


The contact with these people did something to me. I got back into the National Broadcasting Company. I stayed cold sober for about two years. Then for a few years I drank, but very carefully. I managed to keep my job; as a matter of fact, I again went up the scale very rapidly. An advertising agency took me away from NBC and I thought that was a feather in my cap.


I married again, for the third time. I now felt so sure of myself that I went on a toot. My wife and I had some arguments about the fact that I was drinking again. I told her not to be silly, that I had the thing under complete control. She was a trained nurse. She knew all the symptoms. She simply moved faster than the others and saved herself a lot of grief. At the end of five weeks she left me. For good. That was my third strike.


I was very sorry for myself and-you’ve guessed it again. Presently I became unconscious with the D.T.’s for ten days. The advertising agency was swell to me, but eventually its patience wore out and I was fired again. Because I didn’t have any money left I was sent to the public hospital on Welfare Island.


God knows how I came out of it, but I did. God knows how I got a job, but I did. I got a job with one of the biggest of all advertising agencies, and I thumbed my nose at all my critics. This time I would show them! I showed them by going on a bender. Needless to say I lost this job too.


I was then being sent to the psychopathic ward at Bellevue Hospital. The authorities finally got tired of seeing me there, where they would sober you up for five days and then turn you loose, only to have you reappear again. If you were a repeater long enough there was still another fate in store for you-the Rockland State Hospital, where if you were once elected to membership it might be good for life. The grapevine at Bellevue told me I was going to be sent to Rockland. That scared me stiff.


I needed a cigarets; I didn’t have one; I didn’t even have the money for one. There was a visitor sitting by the bed next to mine. He was smoking, so I put on my best smile and bummed a cigarete from him. Then I entered into small talk by way of talking to him. Was this his first visit to Bellevue?


He said, casually, "I’m just a member of A.A. This is my day to visit patients."


"You mean you’re a member of Alcoholics Anonymous?"


"Sure." He grinned at me.


I was scared. Moreover, the truth had been beginning to dawn on me-the truth that I was an alcoholic. It had been coming very painfully-but it was coming.


I stammered, "I once-well, I wasn’t exactly a member, but I went to a lot of meetings. I mean of A.A. Do you think-?"


The man smiled. "Take it easy, son-you can’t do it all by yourself." Then he dumped a pack of cigarets on my bed and walked out.


That same day five different members of Alcoholics Anonymous came to call on me. They talked. I listened. Eventually they got me out of Bellevue. I have never been back there-and I have never taken a drink since.


I started attending A.A. meetings again, but now, instead of being in a private house in Brooklyn, they were held in a big building in Manhattan, with bowling alleys and pool tables, a cafeteria and rooms for bridge and poker. Instead of three or four dozen people hanging around there now were hundreds.


But it wasn’t this material progress of the A.A. movement that got me. It was literally a spiritual awakening. Maybe I can’t explain it but I’ll try.


I took an honest fearless inventory of myself-the first of my life. I became willing to have my faults removed, instead of trying, always futilely, to remove them myself. I became humble enough to ask help from a higher power. Yes, God, though you don’t have to believe in God: just a higher power, the power that makes the world go around, or any other conception of a power greater than yourself.


Since then I have tried through meditation and prayer to increase my conscious contact with that higher power. I have tried to make amends for the wrongs I have done, and I have tried to pass my experiences along to those who are having similar troubles. I have tried to practice the principles of A.A. in my daily contact with my fellow men. This article is an example of what I mean. It isn’t any fun to bare my past as a souse. But I do it gladly in the hope that the telling may help some other souse not to be one.


I speak of the principles of A.A. They are all written. Anyone can read them all in 20 seconds. But the basis of the program is not in learning something by rote. The success of the program is simply in living for others instead of for yourself.


And the program works. I find that I am finding genuine happiness in helping other people. I believe that I have gained the respect of my former employers. I know I have regained the love of members of my family with whom I still have contact.


Certain things are gone. My three attempts at marriage-they are gone, of course. My children have been taken from me-but if I ever meet them, I will at least be the kind of person they won’t be ashamed of.


We can’t retrace our steps. All we can do is to live every day as it is dealt out to us. We do what we can today to make up for our yesterdays; that is all we can do. While we may have dreams for tomorrow, we don’t live tomorrow today-but living today, really living today, we find our tomorrows are never like yesterday.


 


Source: Pageant, April 1947


0 -1 0 0
792 pennington2
AA in Cuba --- 10 years old AA in Cuba --- 10 years old 1/23/2003 11:59:00 AM

I thought that some of you might be interested in hearing from a
friend of mine who was part of the group that brought the first AA
meeting to Cuba 10 years ago. Arkie and his wife just returned
from the 10th Anniversary of that first AA meeting in Cuba.

Here's an excerpt from Arkie's email:

We just returned a few hours ago from taking part in a
magnificent event -- the 3-day celebration, in Holguin, Cuba, of
the 10th anniversary of the founding of AA in Cuba. I went with
my wife, Ruth, and Bruce K. from San Francisco, the guy who
rounded up seven of us in the first place to go to Havana in Jan.
1993.

This visit was quite an eye-opener. From our first meeting on
1/18/93 with six Cuban alcoholics, all of whom subsequently
went out and drank, there are now 160 groups throughout the
country and an estimated 3,000 active AA members. Full general
service structure with staffed office in Havana, trustees, districts,
areas; central offices in all the larger cities, the works! 400
members attended the 3-day event in Holguin. Unbelievably
moving experience.

During the all-day sessions at the 10th Anniversary event in
Holguin, Cuba, last Saturday, a Cuban woman rounded up my
wife, the other American woman with us, and around twenty
other Cuban women, and said, "C'mon, let's have a meeting of
just us women!" They went into a part of the big church where the
conference was being held, and shooed out a bunch of guys,
then they spent over 3 hours in what turned out to be Cuba's very
first women's AA meeting!

Ruth tells me that during the meeting, two of those present came
out as gay, saying that it was the first time in their lives they had
felt comfortable talking about it in a group of any kind. One of
them had mentioned it oncein an AA meeting, and was pretty
much scolded by the men present. Cuba is what Americans
would consider quite "backward" when it comes to issues of
gender and sexual orientation. Based on previous experience, I
have a feeling that women-only AA meetings may take hold in
Cuba.

Sort of on the same subject, we were invited to a private home
that night by a friend of the oldest AA in Cuba (ten years), who
said "We've killed a large pig and want you to come help us eat
it." Who could turn down such aninvitation <G>? When we
arrived, said porker was duly spread-eagled on a large table,
perfectly roasted and delicious, and we shared it with a couple of
dozen Cuban AAs. One of them was Matica, the first woman to
get sober in AA in Cuba, whom I had met in a hospital in Havana
in June of 1993, and who claimed I was the first person she had
ever met who was alcoholic and talked to her on an equal basis!
Wow, what a feeling!

For those who erroneously think Cuba represses religion, the
Roman Catholic Bishop of Holguin gave the official inaugural
welcome to the event, stating, in a fairly long and passionate
address, that not only is AA an example of true democracy in
action, but also an example of how Cuba should not reject new
concepts just because they come from supposedly "alien" (i.e.,
yanqui) sources.


p2

0 -1 0 0
793 pennington2
4th Edition Authors 4th Edition Authors 1/23/2003 12:08:00 PM

Bob K. of Concord, CA is "On the Move."

0 -1 0 0
794 Tim
Wyoming AA History Wyoming AA History 1/24/2003 8:16:00 PM

I am currently the Area 76 District # 2 Archivist. It has been
rumored that salesmen traveling thru Wyoming at or around the end of
World War 2 were doing 12 step work and helped get AA started here.
We are looking for information on these people. If you know or know
of anyone that could lead us to this information please feel free to
E-Mail me at arrowman@vcn.com Thank you Tim

0 -1 0 0
795 t
Bill W''s travels Bill W''s travels 1/25/2003 3:02:00 AM


While reading this book, I seemed to recall a request from several months
ago requesting any documentation on Bill's travels. BTW, if you haven't read
this book and you are interested in AA history, I'll highly recomend it.
I had seen it as "a book by Lois, published by Al-Anon" and avoided it. Suprisingly
in 18 chapters, it is not until the last two chapters that the focus shifts
to Al-Anon. The first 6 chapters are pre-AA days, followed by 10 chapters
covering Ebby's visit up thru AA in the 1970's.





from Lois Remembers, various notes on Bill and Lois W's travels.





1943-4 trip [pg 143-4]


(extended trip through the west and south)

Chicago

Omaha

Denver

Grand Canyon (side trip to see Canyon)

Los Angeles

Hollywood

San Francisco

   San Quentin prison

Sacramento

   Folsom prison

Portland

Seattle

San Diego (to return Bill's mom home)

Trabuco

Tucson, Arizona

Houston, Tx

New Orleans, La

Dallas, Tx

Little Rock, Ark

Oklahoma City, Ok





1948 trip [149-50]


(by train through Canada)

Toronto

Winnepeg

Calgary

Marblehead (to see Bill's dad)

Vancouver

Victoria

Los Angeles (met by Dr. Bob and Anne)





1950 spring trip [pg 152-5]


(10 week plan to visit groups in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, England, Ireland & Scotland)

Norway - Oslo

Sweden - Stockholm

Holland - Amsterdam

France - Paris

England - Caxton Hall, "The Hall", high class sanitarium near Harrow

Ireland - Dublin, Blarney Castle, Limerick, Belfast

Scotland - Edinburgh

(home just in time for first AA International Convention in Cleveland)





Other travels / vacations noted [pg 150-2]


Laurentine Mountains of Quebec

    used as example of how impromptu meetings formed when Bill W sighted

Charleston, Sc

Williamsburg, Va

"the beautiful Southern gardens"

Gaspe Peninsula

Nova Scotia

hiking trips across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (2 at least, first in 1919)

freighter trip through Panama Canal

    Taboga Is (off Pacific coast of Panama)

St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix

Mexico (to see pyramids and Mexico City)

    Oaxaca, Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban and Mitla

(next year) Florida for Audubon tour through Everglades

    on to Mexico - Mayan ruins of Chicken Itza and Uxmal in Yucatin

(Another year) vacation in Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands

    Madrid, Segovia & Toledo. Granada, Galratta, Pillar of Hercules and Tangiers.

    Lisbon Portugal, Oporto, back to Lisbon. (5 day car tour)

(next year) Caribbean cruise - "various islands"

(one time) steamer to cross Lake Superior to Isle Royale

Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Oahu

(trip to Scilly Islands, England late March 1967) London, Land's End, the Scillies

    (had been to England in 1950 w/o visiting southern tip)


0 -1 0 0
796 Jim Blair
Periodical Literature Periodical Literature 1/29/2003 12:38:00 PM
Here is an article published in the Magazine "Confidential" in September 1954.

 


Alcoholics Anonymous



No Booze But Plenty of Babes



Some AA’s go to meetings to hear how to stay dry. The others-well, many have discovered their club is a faster spot for a pick-up than the best saloon in town!


An Ozarks mountain boy who had a hankering to write before he ever saw a typewriter, Homer H. Shannon graduated from the University of Missouri and set out on a newspapering, free-lance writing career interrupted only by service in both World Wars. Like many another excellent scribes before and after him, Shannon has occasionally looked at life too heartily from the bottom of a highball glass and recently gave AA a whirl, as a corrective measure. His disillusionment is told with wry (or rye) humor in this penetrating report.


 


By HOMER H. SHANNON



The twentieth Anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous-most remarkable hoax of this generation-will be celebrated next December. Tens of thousands of cups of coffee will be downed by the membership of this noble order of sometime drunks in honor of the event. And, no doubt, a considerable number of the brothers and sisters will be so inspired by the historic occasion that they’ll take off on a prolonged bender.


The AA hoax not only has proved its durability, but it is especially notable for the aura of sanctity it has assumed in the minds of do-gooders and otherwise level-headed citizens who have swallowed-with or without chaser-its brand of fairy tale. These include ministers of the gospel, social workers, municipal judges, personnel executives of great industrial enterprises and even a scattering of medical and scientific gents who know the bottle babies by reputation.



Love to Be Humbugged-by a Pious Fraud



Such good souls love to be humbugged-as long as it’s a good, clean, pious fraud. They’d probably be horrified to know that many an AA still drops around to the club house for the sole purpose of picking up a date, rather than to boost his new-found and oh-so-temporary enmity towards John Barleycorn. It’s true, though. I can give you some proof in my own experiences and a whole lot more from what other AA’s have told me.


But we’ll get into that later. First, let’s take a look at AA’s proud claim that it has accumulated a membership of 150,000 around the world. At least that’s the figure put out by the zealous boys who run the show. No one has ever seen the membership books because there just aren’t any. It’s Alcoholics Anonymous remember.


But even if there are 150,000 who stay sober long enough to be called members, it’s scarcely a drop in the family beer bucket. In this country alone there are about 4,000,000 alcoholics, periodics and problem drinkers. They are all fit subjects for AA, even though a real AA makes it important that he is an alcoholic, not a namby-pamby second or third-grade addict.


The AA version of the long series of cults dedicated to the salvation of over-eager tipplers was the brainchild of a fellow named Bill Wilson. It isn’t quite cricket to use last names of alkys who affiliate. But Bill has been making speeches around the country for so many years, it can’t be much of a secret his last name is Wilson. With that exception, I’ll play the game according to rule and won’t mention out loud the names of any other members I know. From here on it’s Bill and Jane and Harry and Lucy.


While I was a member, I toured meetings of half a dozen groups scattered about the various boroughs of New York. That’s regulation. It affords a greater variety of horror stories than if you stuck to home base. At every meeting three or four speakers-male and female-tell in sordid detail how low they had sunk while clutching the bottle and how high they’ve climbed since they relaxed their grip on the foul-smelling thing.


By visiting various groups, you not only get to hear more and better stories, you also meet more and sometimes better people of both sexes. If you are a man, it’s especially nice to meet and better people of the female sex, since your wife probably isn’t a member of AA.


My home group was in Brooklyn, a few blocks from where I live. Naturally, I know that gang a lot better than the others. The chapter boasts a club house over a garage-open every evening, plus afternoons on Saturday and Sunday. At one end of the long room is a "bar" where you can buy a good cup of coffee for a dime. Heavy drinkers are given to plenty of coffee when they are off the hard stuff, in or out of AA. There are comfortable chairs and divans scattered about. Also, old magazines and books. Even a radio, which is rarely turned on because it would mess up conversation which, next to romance, is the main business of the place.


Up close to the coffee bar are a couple of tables which we called "Lovers’ Nook." Romance was all over the place, but that was where it really got organized. At ten cents a throw you could buy drink after drink and not be hurt too badly.



Lady Lushes May Get Extra-special Treatment



It must have gotten around the neighborhood that our romance corner was pretty good. A middle-aged gal’, slightly off her rocker, began occupying a chair there every evening for several weeks. She had plenty of company until a male regular she had turned down got around to asking her if she were an alky. She didn’t quite understand the significance of the question but pleaded not guilty. In a firm sort of way she was invited not to come back.


Genuine lady lushes get all the loving treatment accorded the males, however, and sometimes extra-special care if they’re good looking. Until recent years, it was commonly believed among non-members that AA was strictly for the boys and the general public still has a childish opinion that the only females who ever join a swearing-off society are wrinkled old trollops who spent their youth in second rate brothels.


I wish all those who have fallen for this idea could attend one of the many big parties tossed by the Manhattan-Uptown branch of AA. The first time I went, I met two girls who had been in the chorus of New York’s famed Copacabana line only the year before. Later that same evening, I was introduced to a pair of top-flight models whose beautiful faces had graced the covers of leading fashion magazines.


There were some 250 persons at the party and the men outnumbered the girls slightly-a ratio of three-to-two, I’d say-but there was plenty of femininity there, much of it under 30, and many of the samples would have had to be very potted, indeed, for the average man to pass up.


One thing encouraging about a female AA is that it doesn’t take much coaxing to make a date and then get even better acquainted.


Maybe they figure that after seeing so many spotted snakes and pink elephants they have nothing left to fear.



Have to Watch Lady AA’s



AA’s are like call girls in one way. As soon as two get together, one or the other always asks, "How did you ever get into this racket?" Swapping yarns with reformed binge babies. I discovered there’s a deep maternal instinct in a female AA. If you say you were led down the primrose path by a heartless dame who’s still lapping it up and still torturing other men, you’ve got your new sweetheart hooked A Maybe it makes her mad to think of some other gal who can down a Martini without climbing right into the bottle; I don’t know.


You have to watch them, though. The minute they feel they’re in love, they get a deadly urge to celebrate. First thing you know, neither of you can find yourselves, much less the black-coffee-club where you met. I slipped off the wagon hard a couple of times before I learned not to toast a new romance with anything stronger than 7-Up.


In its most insidious form, this danger looms when you’re "twelfth stepping a brother or sister AA," as the members call it. The "twelfth step" of the AA credo is:


"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of previous steps, we try to carry the message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs."


In other words, when the phone rings, and an alky needs a helping hand to get him out of the gutter, it’s your duty to report to the scene of the accident and lend as much moral support as you can muster. All too often, if you answer the fire bell for another man, it means two guys get drunk instead of one.



 


 


 


Gals Sure Had a Good Time



Girls who fall off the AA wagon aren’t supposed to call gentlemen AA’s, nor are they supposed to go to the aid of a plastered renegade, unless they’re accompanied by another woman. I know hundreds of cases where it didn’t work that way in actual practice, though I can tell of one case where a fun-loving blonde obeyed the rules to the letter. She had a buddy-Sue and Rita were their names-in the Downtown-Manhattan branch. If either got an emergency call, they’d team up on the rescue. They didn’t exactly save many guys, but they sure had a hell of a good time and answered more alarm bells than a Bellevue Hospital ambulance.


I’m not a member of AA anymore and I don’t drink. Sometimes it’s hard for me to decide which I miss most-those binges before I joined or all those cozy evenings afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, though. There’s a fair sprinkling of reformed souses who manage to stay dry for years, once they make contact with AA. Of course, I’ve always suspected they just got tired of falling down subway stairs and, maybe, sick and tired of waking up every morning sick and tired.


I did. Anybody want a cup of coffee?


Source: Confidential, September 1954


0 -1 0 0
798 Jim Blair
Periodical Lit:Carnival, February 1954 Periodical Lit:Carnival, February 1954 1/30/2003 10:03:00 AM

‘WE COULDN’T WORK IF WE WERE KNOWN’


In 1953, More and More ‘People With Problems’


Banded Together Under The Title: The Anonymous



He stood on the platform and with a bang of the gavel opened the meeting. "If there are reporters here," he said, "you can write anything you want. But don’t use names. You must respect us on this because some people are funny; they usen’t to mind being seen in the Hotel Metropolis so drunk they couldn’t stand up, but they’re a little bit sensitive about being seen sitting down here cold sober…"


So began a recent meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, an association of men and women who share their experience, hopes and strength with each other in order to solve a common problem-alcoholism.


Conceived by a drunk as he lay in bed in a drunk’s hospital in New York in 1934, this organization of nameless men and women was the first to bear the title ANONYMOUS. In the years that followed, and particularly in 1953, other individuals bearing their own peculiar sorrow have banded together for comfort and strength. They too are ANONYMOUS.


It was after twenty-five years of stealing, forgery and near-death that an ex-addict conceived of an organization for those who knew the hell of drug enslavement. Like the founders of AA, this man found his "way out" through association with those who knew the nightmare of drug addiction and who wanted, as much as he, to live normal lives. He first tried attending AA meetings, hoping they would provide him with the encouragement and strength to stay off drugs. But AA didn’t work. "I felt lonely," he says, "because all they talked about was alcoholism and I was a drug addict." He drifted away; It was only after another bout with the "white death" that he began his own organization. He called it Narcotics Anonymous, and to it men and women who had experienced the humiliation and despair of drug enslavement were drawn.


Under the guidance of a leading New York psychologist, another group of people have been brought together. Their problem: homosexuality. Meeting in the office of Dr. Albert Ellis, these men discuss their problems in an


effort to understand them, perhaps to overcome them. Their feelings are best summed up in the words of one of Dr. Ellis’ patients: "First my problem was a sense of guilt and shame. Now it’s having to live most of my life pretending to be what I’m not. We homosexuals live in constant fear. We are a persecuted minority.



In Their Search for Happiness, They Wish to Remain Nameless


The Anonymous are peculiar to our time. They are cropping up here and there across the country-narcotics, alcoholics, homosexuals and less well known groups: Fatties Anonymous and Neurotics Anonymous-in unending succession.


Psychiatrists and sociologists explain that these groups have their origin in minority feelings. An individual feels himself different from the rest of the world; he conceives of the world as a hostile place, himself alone without defender or companion. Personal guilt and shame increase the sense of separation. The organization, on the other hand, provides a home, a refuge from the "hostile world." Within it, they can tell of the experiences which have separated them from their friends, and equally important, find new friends with whom they can be honest.


At the base of each new organization is the recognition of the need of one human being for another. Preaching does no good, as the founders of AA learned; it is help mutually offered and accepted between, as was the case in AA, two desperate and suffering drunks who sought to help themselves by helping the other, that did the trick, and continues to do it for vast numbers of drunks and addicts.


In recognition of the still-existing prejudices within society, these men and women are anonymous.



Source: Carnival, February 1954




0 -1 0 0
799 terryweldpond@aol.com
Bill W. Bill W. 1/30/2003 9:23:00 AM

In the book

Bill W. My First 40 Years

by Hazelden.org I found a handwritten manuscript in appendix B

"The Strange Obsession."

Who would know if this is Bill's own handwriting and where this manuscript is
physically located now. Why is it so much different than the final big book
text?

Yours
Terry

0 -1 0 0
802 Ed Adami
The Legacy of Recovery The Legacy of Recovery 1/30/2003 11:47:00 PM


The Legacy of Recovery


Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.


Many of us, upon first seeing those words, asked ourselves the question "Can it be just that simple?" -- and then heard a voice inside us answer "Yes."


Bill's application of AA principles to ever-changing circumstances was another of his remarkable talents. Day in and day out, letters would arrive at his desk asking for his "last word" on a matter of AA policy. And, in answer after answer Bill would fall back upon the basic principles of AA's three Legacies, tempered by wisdom, humor, perspective, and regard for the feelings of others.


One warm example occurred in 1968 when a well-meaning AA wrote to Bill, in deep concern, about an influx of youthful hippies or flower children to local AA groups, along with their distinctive manner of dress, sexual mores, and other unorthodox behavior, including the use of drugs. The writer feared that this particular invasion might be "a very real threat to our wonderful, God-given program."


Bill's reply was typical of his use of AA principles to meet new challenges.


"Your letter about the hippie problem, so-called, was mighty interesting to me. I doubt that we need to be alarmed about this situation, because there have been precedents out of the past. All sorts of outfits have tried to move in on us, including communists and heroin addicts, prohibitionists and do-gooders of other persuasions.


"Nearly all of these people, who happened to have an individual problem with alcohol, not only failed to change AA, but, in the long run, AA changed them. I have a number of them among my closest friends today, and they are among the best AA's I know.


"You also have some people who are not alcoholics, but are addicts of other kinds. A great many AAs have taken pity on these people, and have actually tried to make them full-fledged AA's. Of course, their identification with alcoholics is no good at all, and the groups themselves easily stop this practice in the normal course of AA affairs.


"Thoughtful AAs, however, encourage these sponsors to bring addicts to open meetings, just as they would any other interested people. In the end, these addicts usually gravitate to other forms of therapy. They are not received on the platform in open meetings unless they have an alcohol problem, and closed meetings are, of course, denied them. We know that we cannot do everything for everybody with an addiction problem.


"There has also occurred lately a new development centering upon hippies who have LSD or marijuana troubles -- not so much stronger stuff. Many of these kids appear to be alcoholics also, and they are flocking into AA, often with excellent results.


"Some weeks ago, there was a young people's convention of AAs. Shortly thereafter, four of these kids visited the office. I saw one young gal prancing down the hall, hair flying, in a mini-skirt, wearing love beads and the works. I thought, 'Holy smoke, what now!' She told me she was the oldest member of the young people's group in her area -- age twenty-two! They had kids as young as sixteen. I was curious and took the whole party out to lunch.


"Well, they were absolutely wonderful. They talked (and acted) just about as good a kind of AA as I've seen anywhere. I think all of them said they had had some kind of drug problem, but had kicked that, too. When they first came around, they had insisted on their own ideas of AA, but in the end they found AA plenty good enough as it was. Though they needed their own meetings, they found interest and inspiration in the meetings of much older folks as well.


"Perhaps, as younger people come into AA, we shall have to put up with some unconventional nonsense -- with patience and good humor, let's hope. But it should be well worth the attempt. And also, if various hippie addicts want to form their own sort of fellowship along AA lines, by all means let us encourage them. We need deny them only the AA name, and assure them that the rest of our program is theirs for the taking and using -- any part or all of it.


"For these reasons, I feel hopeful and not a bit scared by this trend. Of course, I'm no prophet. I may be mistaken, so please keep me posted. This is a highly interesting and perhaps significant development. I certainly do not think it ought to be fought. Instead, it ought to be encouraged in what we already know to be workable channels.


In affection ... Bill"


© AA Grapevine, March, 1971


reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine, Inc.



0 -1 0 0
803 The Silkworth Team
Your Third Legacy Your Third Legacy 1/31/2003 12:28:00 AM

The following was extracted from silkworth.net


___________________________


Your Third Legacy
Will You Accept This
By Dr. Bob and Bill W., October, 1950


(NOTE: This is a proposal to form "The General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous" – a small body of State and Provincial A.A. Delegates meeting yearly, who could assume direct responsibility for the guidance of the A.A. General Service Headquarters at New York City – not to be confused with the 1950 Cleveland International Conference.)


We, who are old in A.A., bequeath to you who are younger, these three legacies—the "12 Steps of Recovery," the "12 Traditions" and now the "General Services of Alcoholics Anonymous." Two of these legacies have long been in your keeping. By the 12 Steps you have recovered from alcoholism; by the 12 Traditions you have achieved a suburb unity.


We now wish to deliver the members of A.A. their third legacy. Since 1938 we and our old friends have held it in trust. This legacy is the General Headquarters Services of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Alcoholic Foundation, the A.A Book, the A.A. Grapevine and the A.A. General Office. These are the principal Service assets which have enabled our Society to function and to grow.


Dr. Bob and I ask that you - the members of A.A.—now take these assets, use them, and guard them well. The future growth, the very survival of Alcoholics Anonymous may heavily depend on how prudently you administer these Arms of Service in years to come.


May we share with you a fragment of history? Twelve years ago, warmly aided by great friends, Dr. Bob and I established a Headquarters for our then obscure Fellowship. We named it the Alcoholic Foundation and it consisted of a simple Board of Trustees dedicated to serve our cause. The Board was formed of alcoholics and non-alcoholic friends, who today number fifteen. When in the spring of 1938 our Foundation was born, A.A. was three years old. We had only 50 members. The book Alcoholics Anonymous was just an idea. None could then guess the magnificence of the gift which Providence had begun to bestow.


In the twelve years since, those 50 early members have spawned 120,000 more. A.A. stretches world-wide. Religion and medicine have approvingly raised us out of that No Man’s Land where we once floundered between them. We have no enemies, our friends are beyond count. Like gleaming coral islands our thousands of Groups build themselves upward out of the alcohol sea. What a God-given, miraculous circumstance!


Through this glowing, feverish infancy, the Alcoholic Foundation Board, unseen by many, quietly played a great part in the formation and spread of our well—loved Society. Acting through our General Service Office, the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and latterly the Grapevine, the Foundation became directly responsible for half our growth and effectiveness—both in quality and quantity. There can be no question of that.


Suppose then, all these years, we had been without those fine services. Where would we be today minus the A.A. book and our standard literature which now pours out of Headquarters at the rate of three tons a month? Suppose our public relations had been left to thoughtless chance. Suppose no one had been assigned to encourage good publicity and kill the bad. Suppose no accurate information about A.A. had been available. Imagine our vital and delicate relations with medicine and religion left to pot luck. Then, too, where would thousands of A.A. ‘s be today if the General Office hadn’t answered their frantic letters and referred them to help? (Our New York Office received and answered 28,000 letters of all kinds last year.) Or in what shape would hundreds of distant A.A. Groups now be if that Office hadn’t started them by mail or directed travelers to them? How could we manage without a world Group Directory? What about those foreign Groups in 28 countries clamoring for translations, proved experience and encouragement? Would we be publishing the A.A. book at Oslo, Norway and London, England? What of those lone members on high seas or in far corners of the earth, those prisoners, those asylum inmates, those veterans in service or in hospitals? Where might we one day be if we never had the A.A. Grapevine, our mirror of A.A. life and principal forum of written expression? How grateful we are for those faithful Secretaries, those painstaking volunteer Editors and those able Trustees who have stood sentinel all these years over our principal affairs. Without all these things, where would we be? You must have guessed it. We’d be nowhere; that’s sure.


So it is that by the "Steps" we have recovered, by the "Traditions" we have unified and by our Headquarters Services we have been able to function as a Society.


Yet some may still say - "Of course the Foundation should go on. Certainly the Foundation should go on. Certainly we’ 11 pay that small expense. But why can’t we leave its conduct to Dr. Bob and Bill and their friends the Trustees? We always have. Why do they now bother us with such business? Let’ s keep A. A. simple." Good questions, these. But today the answers are quite different than they once were.


Let’s face these facts:


First — Dr. Bob and Bill are perishable, they can’t last forever.


Second - Their friends, the Trustees, are almost unknown to the A.A. Movement.


Third - In future years our Trustees couldn’t possibly function without direct guidance from A.A. itself. Somebody must advise them. Somebody, or something must take the place of Dr. Bob and Bill.


Fourth - Alcoholics Anonymous is out of its infancy. Grown up, adult now, it has full right and the plain duty to take direct responsibility for its own Headquarters.


Fifth — Clearly then, unless the Foundation is firmly anchored, through State and Provincial representatives, to the movement it serves, a Headquarters breakdown will someday be inevitable. When its old-timers vanish, an isolated Foundation couldn’t survive one grave mistake or serious controversy. Any storm could blow it down. Its revival wouldn’t be simple. Possibly it could never be revived. Still isolated, there would be no means of doing that. Like a fine car without gasoline, it would be helpless.


Sixth — Another serious flaw: As a whole, the A.A. movement has never faced a grave crisis. But someday it will have to. Human affairs being what they are, we can’t expect to remain untouched by the hour of serious trouble. With direct support unavailable, with no reliable cross-section of A.A. opinion, how could our remote Trustees handle a hazardous emergency? This gaping "open end" in our present set-up could positively guarantee a debacle. Confidence in the Foundation would be lost. A. A. ‘s everywhere would say: "By whose authority do the Trustees speak for us? And how do they know they are right? " With A.A. Service life-lines tangled and severed, what then might happen to the "Million who don’t know." Thousands would continue to suffer on or die because we had taken no forethought, because we had forgotten the virtue of Prudence. This must not come to pass.


That is why the Trustees, Dr. Bob and I now propose the "General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous." That is why we urgently need your direct help. Our principal Services must go on living. We think the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous can be the agency to make that certain.


SECTION II
Our Proposed Plan


Here is our over-all plan. To start the General Service Conference, the Foundation Trustees will invite one Delegate from each State of the Union and one from each Province of Canada. States and Provinces having large A.A. populations will be asked to send additional Delegates. (Subject, of course, to A.A. ‘s willingness to finance full representation.)


These Delegates will serve in two rotating panels. Panel No. 1 will be formed by inviting representatives from the 28 States and Provinces having, by our Group Directory, the largest A.A. populations. Panel No. 2 (which will start in the second year) will be created by inviting Delegates from the remaining 28 States and Provinces plus additional representation from densely populated regions.


Delegates to the General Service Conference at New York are to be selected by Group representatives who will usually meet in the largest A.A. center of each State or Province, on dates to be set every two years by the Alcoholic Foundation working with appropriate State or Provincial Committees.


A non-controversial method has been devised for the selection of State Committees and Conference Delegates. It will be seen that this method carefully avoids our usual political troubles. No Delegate so chosen could possibly consider himself a political victor. He will feel himself a servant, but not a senator. (Details in Section III)


Each Delegate will serve a two-year term, will always be available for mail or phone consultation with A.A. Headquarters, and will twice attend the General Service Conference which will ordinarily be held in New York City to coincide with the regular April meeting of the Foundation. At the Conference, these Delegates will sit with our Trustees, General Office Secretaries and Grapevine Staff Members. Thus, we shall constitute the "General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous."


Now what will our General Service Conference do?


A. It will here the Annual Reports of the Foundation, General Office, Grapevine, and Works Publishing (the A.A. Book Company); also the report of our C.P.A.


B. It will fully discuss these reports, offering needed suggestions or resolutions respecting them.


C. The Trustees will present to the Conference all serious problems of policy or finance confronting A.A. Headquarters, or A.A. as a whole. Following discussions of these, the Conference will offer the Trustees appropriate advice and resolutions.


D. Special attention will be given to all violations of our Tradition liable to seriously affect A.A. as a whole. The Conference will, if it be deemed wise, publish suitable resolutions deploring such deviations.


E. Because Conference activities will extend over a three-day weekend, Delegates will be able to exchange views on every conceivable problem. They will become closely acquainted with each other and with our Headquarters people. They will visit the premises of the Foundation, Grapevine and General Office. This should engender mutual confidence. Guesswork and rumor are to be replaced by first-hand knowledge.


F. Before the conclusion of each year’s Conference, a Committee will be named to render all A.A. members a written report upon the condition of their Headquarters and the state of A.A. generally.


On a Conference Delegates return home, his State or Provincial Committee will, if practical, call a meeting of Group representatives and any others who wish to hear his personal report. The Delegate will get this meeting’s reaction to his report, and its suggestions respecting problems to be considered at future Conference Sessions. The Delegate ought to visit as many of his constituent Groups as possible. They should have direct knowledge of their A.A. Headquarters.


How best to finance our Conference expenses is a moot question. The General Service Conference will function for the benefit of A.A. as a whole. Its entire cost ought to be a charge against those "Group Contributions" now sent to New York for the support of the General Office. But this method is quite impossible now. Group Contributions are not meeting General Office expenses. Nor can the "Reserve" or the Foundation’s A.A. "Book Income" carry the Conference.


We therefore propose that all A.A. Groups be asked for a gift of $5. each, yearly, at Christmas. The Foundation Trustees would deposit these sums in a special account marked "Conference Funds."


If even one-half the A.A. Groups made this annual $5. gift to the Foundation "for the benefit of the million who don’t yet know," we estimate that the resulting income would absorb the total yearly Conference overhead, plus all Delegates’ transportation to New York in excess of $100. each. (See Section IV for details)


One more word about money. A.A. Headquarters recently sent out its semiannual appeal for voluntary contributions, remarking that of late the Groups had donated much less than the traditional "$1.. per member a year." The present condition is only natural. The larger A.A. grows, the less the average Group is apt to know or care about the Foundation. It’s not surprising that interest lags. But the General Service Conference should change all that. A brand new channel of participation and understanding will be wide open. No doubt hundreds of Groups not now giving to the Foundation will commence to do so. Meanwhile, our great thanks go out to all those who have supported Headquarters in past years, especially to Groups whose gifts have far exceeded the traditional "$1. per member" yardstick. Without them we’ d never have got by; there would be no Foundation Office or Grapevine today. But it should be noted that foreign, institutional or quite new A.A. Groups need never feel obligated.


The A.A. General Service Conference will be an informal gathering. Resolutions passed by a simple majority will be advisory only. But the Trustees will traditionally favor all resolutions passed by a two-thirds vote. When Trustees of the Foundation retire, the remaining Board members will traditionally consult the Conference, or a committee thereof, before naming their successors. Above all, it ought to be understood that the General Service Conference will never become a government for Alcoholics Anonymous. Though it may publish resolutions respecting deviations from A.A. Tradition, it is agreed that such acts will never be personal, punitive or governmental in their character.


So concludes our general outline of the General Service Conference plan.


The Trustees, Dr. Bob and I rest in sure confidence that this—your third legacy—will never be lost; that your new responsibility will be carried without faltering. By its complete willingness to serve God in all weather, may the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous ever merit the worthiness to endure.


SECTION III
A.A. State And Provincial Assemblies:
Their Committees And Delegates, How Chosen


Without great expense or friction, how can States and Provinces select their General Service Conference Delegates and suitable State or Provincial Service Committees? This is the "$100." question. But we believe there is an answer. On one of Bill’s western trips, experiments were tried which proved it possible to do these things. The following concrete plan is the result. At this stage we urge the need to be definite to avoid confusion. Later on you may wish to amend the plan to suit local needs or iron out flaws. Here we are:


A. With Foundation help, meetings of A.A. Group representatives will be organized in each State and Province, these to be called Assemblies.


B. Each assembly will cast separate written ballots for each of its State or Provincial Committeemen; three, five, seven or more of them.


C. Committeemen so selected will be automatically placed in nomination as candidates for the post of Delegate to the General Service Conference for a two—year term.


D. If, on a trial ballot, no one of these Committeemen can be elected Delegate by a two-thirds vote, they then draw lots between them to name the Delegate.


E. Each State or Provincial Assembly naming a Delegate pays his plane or railroad fare to New York. But not to exceed $100. yearly per Delegate. Money to defray this expense will be raised at the Assembly meeting where the Delegate is chosen. Two years, paid in advance, is preferable. For the benefit of distant regions, the Foundation "Conference Fund" will pay any yearly transportation expense in excess of $100. per Delegate (See Section IV)


For the clear guidance of those States and Provinces who send Delegates in 1951 and 1952, we urge this detailed procedure:


By January 1, 1951 the Foundation will ask the A.A. Group within each State and Province comprising Panel No. 1 how many of them wish to participate, as outlined above. Each Group expecting to help chose a Delegate will immediately select an experienced A.A. Representative. He (or she) will be ready to attend the State or Provincial Assembly. A date (not later than March 15th) will be announced. Much care ought to be given such selections. Any one of them may become Committeemen or the Delegate. Old-timers and former Group or Intergroup Officers ought to be considered possibilities.


Assuming that a minimum of 10 Groups in each State and Province of Panel No. 1 has volunteered to participate, the Foundation, in cooperation with the Groups, (or Intergroups) of the largest local centers, will arrange suitable State or Provincial meetings. The Foundation will then advise all participating Groups of the places and dates of their respective Assemblies. (In following years State and Provincial Committees will of course assume this duty.)


By this process we shall create a series of State and Provincial Assembly meetings, the Panel No. 1 Assemblies to gather in early 1951.


Now a very important question. Just how will State or Provincial Assemblies be conducted? For these key meetings we urge this procedure:


Let’s assume that the Foundation, cooperating with a Temporary Committee* appointed at a typical "host city", has already named the date, hour and address of a given Assembly meeting. Group Representatives, "out of town" and "in town" have arrived. What happens then?


1. Registration: Each Group Representative registers his, and his Group’s name and address in the Registration Book provided. He also has brought a copy of this pamphlet so he can follow the Assembly procedure.


2. Registration Completed: Chairman of the Temporary Committee opens the Assembly and reports the number present from the Registration Book. Those who have not registered do so.


3. Tellers Appointed. Local expenses covered: Temporary Chairman appoints one or more tellers. He names the sum spent by his Committee in arranging the Assembly meeting and asks the tellers to pass the hat to cover it.


4. First Business — Determining size of State or Provincial Committee: The Temporary Chairman then determines the size of the Committee desired by asking whether Assembly will have three, five, seven, or more Committeemen. He requests a show of hands on these figures in succession, until a majority names the proper number.


* The temporary "host committee" will only be needed for the very first meeting, after which State or Provincial Committees will take over.


5. Election of State or Provincial Committee: Tellers pass blank ballots. The Temporary Chairman then points out that all Committeemen ought to be experienced A.A.’s well known in the area, who would be willing to give close attention to Conference affairs for a two-year period. Temporary Chairman then requests a written ballot for Committeeman No. 1. Tellers count the ballots and report the high man. Unless he declines to serve, he becomes State Chairman at once and takes over the meeting. Similarly the next ballot produces a Treasurer, the next a Secretary, and further ballots the remainder of the Committee. If there are declinations, the process continues until there is a full Committee elected for a two-year term. (Note that this method avoids personal nominations, hence personal controversy.)


6. Trial Attempt to Elect a Delegate by 2/3rds Vote: The Chairman reminds the Assembly, that according to plan, the election of the State (or Provincial) Committee has automatically placed all its members in nomination for the post of Delegate also explains why, to assure unanimity, the election should be by two-thirds vote. Therefore the Chairman asks for a show of hands on this question — "Will this assembly, on a single written ballot, attempt the choice of its Delegate by a two-thirds vote?" Should more than two-thirds of the meeting indicate a desire to try this two—thirds method, a ballot is cast. If one of the Committeemen receives two-thirds or more, he becomes the Delegate for two years. Otherwise the method of election is discarded.


7. Delegate Chosen by Lot: The Tellers then place in a hat the names of each Committeeman willing to serve as Delegate. The first man (or lady!) out of the hat becomes State or Provincial Delegate for two years. The remaining Committeemen become alternates according to the order of their election. The State Secretary records the result together with the names and addresses of his Committee.


8. Duty of Treasurer: The Chairman then directs his Committee’s Treasurer to name the sum required from each Group Representative present to cover the newly chosen Delegate’s traveling expenses for two years. (This is determined by dividing the number present into the total estimated expense, or $200., whichever is lower.) The Chairman asks the Assembly for a show of hands whether it wishes to pay one year’s traveling expense, or two, in advance. The Treasurer then receives the agreed payment from each Group Representative and issues such Representative a receipt by which he may reimburse himself from his Group’s treasury.



  1. Secretary’s Report: The Chairman instructs the Secretary to prepare a brief written report of the meeting, listing the names and addresses of Committeemen and Delegate, copy to the Alcoholic Foundation.


  1. Final Business: The Chairman then throws the meeting open to discussion. Questions respecting the Conference, or instructions to be given the new Delegate, may be brought to the floor. Finally, the Chairman announces the date of an Open Meeting to be held after the Delegates return from New York. There the Delegate is to make his personal report to all A.A. members who wish to hear it. Adjournment is then in order.

Such is our concept of the typical State or Provincial Assembly. We hope it proves a successful model for future years. We can only try and see.


Though it may prove desirable, it will not be absolutely necessary to hold Assembly meetings in "off-election years." But returning Delegates in those years ought to make their usual report to Open Meetings held in large centers and should visit as many of their constituent Groups as they can.


Should travel money be lacking for a Delegate in his second year, his State Chairman may circularize the constituent Groups, or his Committee may raise this sum as they deem wise.


When, in the judgment of a State or Provincial Committee, a Delegate becomes incapacitated through alcohol, or otherwise, the Chairman will attend the General Service Conference in his place. If the Chairman cannot attend, he will offer the post of Delegate to his fellow Committeemen in the order of their seniority as determined at the time of their election.


It is hoped, too, that State Chairmen will keep in close contact with the Alcoholic Foundation, addressing their correspondence to the A.A. General Office where one of its secretaries will be named to look after Conference matters.


A special word about Panel No. 2. To place the General Service Conference on a rotating basis, no Delegates can be invited from Panel No. 2 regions until 1952. These States and Provinces will then be approached in precisely the same manner as above described for Panel No. 1.


Since it is felt that Panel No. 2 may be more thinly represented, it seems right to invite additional delegates from those States or Provinces having an A.A. population of more than 2000 to round it out. On Panel List No. 2, attached, a number of cities which can act as "assembly" points for such additional representation are suggested. Provided "Conference Funds" prove adequate, additional cities in heavily populated regions may make application for representation.


Though no Panel No. 2 Delegates can be chosen until 1952, we hope that all States and Provinces will generously contribute to "Conference Funds" during 1951. For unless ample funds are in sight, we shall have to limit the total number of Delegates invited to the Conference. We much hope that won’t happen as ultimate success for the Conference will depend upon wide-spread representation.


On the following list, each State, Province or special locality may discover the Panel in which it belongs. These selections were based upon the 1950 Group Directory. In suggesting cities for additional representation, we have been obliged to consider convenience as well as population.


Naturally these arrangements are tentative, experimental. Defects will show up. But we can mend these as we go. We shall begin thus.


IMPORTANT — We hope and believe that we shall be able to invite Delegates from every locality listed, but it might not work out that way at first. Should there be a limited response from all the A.A. Groups when asked for the $5. Christmas contributions to the "Conference Fund," we would have to limit out invitations accordingly. We may have to start on a smaller basis than we anticipated. So please don’t feel disturbed or disappointed should we have to limit representation at the start. We’ 11 do the best we can.


NOTE - Where large centers are near State or national boundaries, there seems no good reason why Groups in adjoining areas may not cross these lines to elect Delegates. For example, at Detroit, Kansas City, Missouri, Buffalo, New York, etc.


SECTION IV
Financing The General Service Conference


How to finance our General Service Conference is a plain guess. We’ll have to make the best estimate we can and try it out. There’s no other way.


First, some background. Lacking close contact, the Foundation has grown remote from the Groups. They have lost the feeling that our Foundation is really theirs. A.A. General Office expenses have soared because of inflation, even though that office isn’t half as big, in relation to A.A.’s size, as it used to be. For these reasons the A.A. Groups haven’t been meeting their current Headquarters expenses; 2000 Groups who could well give a hand, still abstain. The entire burden falls on the remaining 1500 Groups; they carry the load. Nobody is specially to blame for this, it’s simply a condition. One important Conference purpose is to stabilize and correct this very situation. When the A.A. Groups are given direct participation and know the score, they will handle the matter. We are sure of that. Then Conference expenses can be deducted from routine contributions; the difference will scarcely be felt. But that time hasn’t arrived.


Therefore Groups who already contribute, plus those who may soon be interested, are the ones who will make our Conference a success.


Naturally we can’t place the entire financial responsibility upon those Groups who happen to take part in choosing Delegates, either. Many Groups at long distance from State or Provincial "Assembly" points might not be able to help choose a Delegate. Nevertheless we’re positive that hundreds of them, considering this new set-up, would like to make a direct contribution to its success.


Bearing these facts in mind, our tentative financial plan is this:


1. That we ask every A.A. Group in the United States and Canada to contribute $5. annually, this special gift to be made to the Foundation at Christmas for the benefit of "the millions who don’t know." Since the Conference would insure the continuance of A.A. Headquarters, which is our principal lifeline to all those yet to come, this would be the thought.


Such a Christmas-time appeal would create an annual income somewhere between $5,000. and $10,000. for Conference purposes. If interest is small, we can invite but few Delegates. If interest is large, we can invite all those who are listed in Panels Nos. 1 and 2. This income will be deposited in a special Foundation account devoted to Conference purposes only and titled "Conference Funds."



  • Just how would these $5. Christmas—time contributions be used? Save one exception the Foundation would pay the total expenses of the General Service Conference, the year round. This would include:

    (a) Full hotel bills and meals for as many as 60 Delegates for three days.


    (b) The cost of a suitable meeting place.


    (c) The printing of an annual Conference report to be sent to all A.A. members.


    (d) The cost of secretarial help, correspondence and special mailings.


    (e) All round—trip plane and railroad fares exceeding $100. in any one year to assist distant Groups with transport of their Delegates.


    (f) Organization expense— distribution of 100,000 copies of this plan, possible travel by Bill, etc.



    1. Each Group Assembly sending a Delegate would pay his round-trip fare to New York not exceeding $100. per year. Any excess would be chargeable to the Foundation "Conference Fund." Eastern Groups would seemingly have an advantage but it’s not great. Because of their numbers, the Easterners would be the principal $5. Contributors to the "General Funds." Hence their’s would be the lion’s share of paying all Western fares over $100. Therefore approximate justice would be done.

    ___________________________________


    Quite obviously, full representation at our General Service Conference is going to depend squarely upon the generosity of some 2000 Groups Contributing $5. each a year for this very special Conference purpose. It is a responsibility which you—the members of A.A.—will need to take if you are to receive and guard well your Third Legacy, The General Services of Alcoholics Anonymous.


    Dr. Bob and I have the deepest faith that you are going to accept that responsibility.


    SECTION V
    Temporary Charter
    for the
    General Service Conference
    "12 Suggested Principles"


    We here present a precise statement of "12 Principles" upon which the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous can be founded; principles upon which it may be experimentally assembled, financed and operated during a four-year trial period beginning, if possible, in April 1951.


    If in four years the Conference proves its usefullness and has gained wide A.A. acceptance, it may then amend these principles according to the dictates of actual experience. But any such changes in the Conference Principles should, of course, conform to the Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous. Meanwhile, we only commit ourselves to giving the Conference - a thorough trial.


    On this basis the Trustees, Dr. Bob and I offer you - the members of A.A. -this temporary "Charter" for your General Service Conference:


    _________________________________________________


    The General Service Conference
    of Alcoholics Anonymous
    (North American Section)


    1. Purpose: The General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous is expected to become the basic guardian of our A.A. Tradition and World Services. It is especially hoped the Conference will lend guidance to, and perpetuate the Alcoholic Foundation and the A.A. General Headquarters at New York City. The Conference will be a service body only; never a government.


    2. Composition: - The Conference will be composed of A.A. State and Provincial Delegates, Trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation, and Staff members of the General Service Office and Grapevine.


    3. Conference Relation to A.A.: The Conference will serve as a vehicle through which the A.A. Movement can effectively express its views upon all matter of vital A.A. policy and all hazardous deviations from A.A. Tradition, thus providing Alcoholics Anonymous with a reliable guide to right thought and wise action upon these serious subjects.


    4. Conference Relations to A.A. General Headquarters: The Conference will also be expected to serve as a dependable guide for The Alcoholic Foundation, whose Trustees are the Custodians of A.A. general funds, the book "Alcoholics Anonymous," the General Service Office and the Grapevine. As such, the Trustees can be expected with favor upon any Conference resolution relating to vital A.A. policy passed by a two-thirds vote of the Conference. In filling vacancies on the Foundation Board the Trustees should be empowered to consult the Conference or a Committee thereof. It must be remembered, however, that the Conference will be informal and unincorporated and that the Alcoholic Foundation is alone authorized to make contracts, conduct public relations in the name of Alcoholics Anonymous, and insure the financial and managerial integrity of the A.A. General Headquarters. But if the Conference, following a reasonable trial period, becomes a vital and accepted Service of the A.A. movement it should then be entitled to shape and mould its own final form.


    5. State and Provincial Delegates — Term of Office: State and Provincial Delegates will be chosen for terms of two years each.


    6. Conference Rotation: This will be effected by two panels of State and Provincial Delegates. First Year, Panel No. 1: To be composed by inviting one Delegate from each of those 27 States or Provinces having the largest A.A. population. Second Year, Panel No. 2: To be composed by inviting one Delegate each from the 28 remaining States and Provinces. Panel No. 2 will also invite extra representatives from those States and Provinces having an A.A. population of more than 2000. (See Section III)


    7. Conference Delegates - Points at Which Selected: Conference Delegates will be selected at the largest centers of A.A. population within their respective States and Provinces. But Panel No. 2 will ordinarily include Delegates from the next larger centers of each State and Province having more than 2000 A.A. population (See Section III)


    8. State and Provincial Delegates - Method of Selection: State and Provincial Conference Delegates will be chosen by Assemblies of A.A. Group Representatives meeting at such dates and places as may be jointly arranged by The Alcoholic Foundation and suitable State and Provincial Committee according to the principles of Point No. 7.


    Delegates and alternates will be chosen by election or by lot, or by a combination of these methods. But if elected, a Delegate ought to be chosen by a majority of two-thirds because all Delegates should feel themselves servants of world A.A. rather than marginal victors of troublesome political contests. (See Section III for method of choosing Conference Delegates and State or Provincial Committees.)


    9. - The General Service Conference — How Financed: General Service Conference total costs will be apportioned as follows:


    (a) Once yearly, each A.A. Group interested will be asked to make a $5.00 contribution to the Alcoholic Foundation "Conference Fun"


    (b) Those Groups within each State or Province who actually participate in naming Delegates will pay their Delegates traveling expenses to and from New York City, not to exceed, however, $100.00 a year each. It is estimated that any excess above this figure can be absorbed by the "Conference Fund." (See Section IV for detail.)


    10. Conference Meetings: The Conference ought to meet yearly at New York, or specially if there be an emergency. And two-thirds of the State, Provincial and A.A. Headquarters Delegates registered should constitute a quorum.


    11. Ordinary Procedure: The Conference will hear the reports of The Foundation and its related Headquarters Services. The Conference will then advise with the Trustees and Headquarters Staff concerning pending and important matters of finance or general policy affecting the Headquarters or A.A. as a whole, making such suggestions or passing such resolutions as it may deem desirable. The Conference may also discuss and recommend appropriate action concerning serious deviations from A.A. Tradition, or harmful misuse of the name "Alcoholics Anonymous." The Conference will elect its own officers and pass suitable by-laws. Before adjournment the Conference will authorize a Committee to draft a full report on its proceedings and the state of A.A. generally, which will be furnished the Alcoholics Anonymous Groups throughout the world.


    12. General Warranties of the Conference: In all its proceedings the General Service Conference ought to observe the spirit of our A.A. Tradition, taking great care: that the Conference never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds plus ample reserves be its prudent financial principle; that none of the Conference members ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority over the others; that all important decisions be reached by discussion and vote; that no Conference resolution ever be punitive in character or an incitement to public controversy; that the Conference never attempts to govern Alcoholics Anonymous, and that, like the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous which it serves, the Conference ought always remain democratic in thought and action. Perhaps, now, certain questions are coming to mind. For instance:


    Q. Why should our Trustees and Headquarters Staff be voting members of the Conference.


    A. As the ones most experienced in the conduct of our overall Services, they are obviously entitled to full Conference participation.


    Q. Why is a "cross-section of A.A. opinion" so necessary?


    A. Future Trustees must have sound advice and vigorous backing. Without that they never could speak for A.A. in years to come. A.A., too, must have a definite means of knowing its own mind. Otherwise serious issues of the future will certainly bring us endless controversy and confusion. A Society such as ours cannot permanently function on emotion, rumor or guesswork; it cannot be well advised by the clamors of small or self-appointed minorities.


    Q. Why, on important matters, should a two-thirds vote of the Conference be needed?


    A. Since the Conference will meet briefly, and but once a year, our Headquarters Staffs must be given some latitude for independent judgment. Hence they ought not be too firmly bound by a bare majority. To be binding, a Conference resolution ought to be reasonably unanimous.


    Q. Why shouldn’t the Conference elect the Foundation Trustees?


    A. This would introduce a difficult and unnecessary political problem. It seems better that the Trustees continue to name their own successors, subject to consultation with the Conference or a Committee thereof. Should circumstances warrant, the Trustees would unquestionably look with favor on any advice offered by two-thirds of the Conference respecting the composition of the Foundation Board.


    Q. What is meant by "two year rotating panels?"


    A. This means that only the Delegates described in Panel No. 1 will attend the 1951 Conference. In 1953 the original Panel No. 1 will be replaced by a new Panel No. 1 chosen from the same area. And so on, ad infinitum. This will make for continuity because only one-half of our out-of-town Delegates will have to be replaced each year. (See Part III, Selection of Delegates.)


    Q. Why shouldn’t our Conference be a government for Alcoholics Anonymous?


    A. Each A.A. Group is autonomous; our only "authority" is a Higher Power. Practically speaking, no A.A. Group will stand for a personal government anyhow; we’re built that way. Though the Conference will guide A.A. Headquarters, it must never assume to govern A.A. as a whole. While it can publicly deplore misuse of the A.A. name or departures from Tradition, it ought never attempt punishment or legal restraint of non-conformists—in A.A. or out. That is the road to public controversy and internal disruption. The Conference will give us an example and a guide, but not a government. A personal government is something, God willing, that Alcoholics Anonymous will never have. We shall authorize servants to act for us, but not rulers.


    This is the basic structure of our Conference to be. Its framework has long been under study and consultation. We trust that it will commence to meet our evident need; that it will be regarded by all A.A.‘s as a safe and suitable beginning.



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    0 -1 0 0
    804 Arthur Sheehan
    Re: Third Legacy Third Legacy 1/31/2003 12:20:00 PM
    Hi Lee

     

    You seem to be getting answers that don't address your question on Third Legacy Procedures in elections.

     

    The procedure is spelled out in Chapter 1 of the A.A. Service Manual (on pages S20-21 in the 2002-2003 version).

     

    Areas use it to elect the Delegate, Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and their Alternates (some may include other officers on the slate). The procedure is also used in other venues as well (e.g. for Trustees). Third Legacy elections are decided by substantial unanimity of a 2/3 majority vote and can take up to 5 ballots. As the ballots progress a vote count threshold is defined to winnow out minority vote holders. The 5th ballot is optional (based on a motion to have a 5th ballot and carried by simple majority). If no candidate gets a 2/3 majority then it "goes to the hat" (i.e. the winner is chosen by lot).

     

    The Area Delegate and Officer election cycle is every 2 years (called a Panel). Members elected for 2003-2004 are Panel 53 (numbering started with 1 in 1951, the 1st Conference, 2 in 1952, etc.) Areas are divided into odd/even year Panels so that about 1/2 the Delegates rotate each year (that helps the Conference run smoother). The procedure should also be used at District elections (perhaps less stringently). District elections may or may not correspond with the Area. Some Areas like to have half their DCMs rotate each year rather than all of them every two years. Groups might use a much less stringent, and informal, procedure before "going to the hat" (e.g. a simple majority rather than 2/3 majority). It will vary by group (some groups will elect you if you leave the room to go to the bathroom).

     

    If you haven't been to an election Assembly it's really well worth the experience. It can be a bit agonizing though (both in time and outcome). It can be a heart breaker when a well qualified candidate is 1 or 2 votes shy of 2/3 majority and loses out of the hat. But that's the way it goes - and it really seems to go well all things considered.

     

    Hope the above helps.

     

    Cheers

     

    Arthur


    ----- Original Message -----



    Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 7:21 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Third Legacy



    Can the group help me something? 

    I have a friend looking for background information on the third legacy
    voting procedure.  Origins and why?  Where can  literature be found on
    it?  Under what circumstances is it recommended? By whom?  Etc.

    Appreciate any input.

    Lee




    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



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    0 -1 0 0
    805 ricktompkins
    Third Legacy Voting, its history Third Legacy Voting, its history 1/31/2003 11:59:00 PM
    Hi Lee and Group,

    While the flowcharts have changed over the years in the AA Service Manual (from none to different iterations), the process works well and is really "unique to A.A." with the fifth ballot decision whether to go to the 'hat' or not.

    The two-thirds majority process is followed by other representative bodies, and many AA Delegate Areas as well as the annual General Service Conference also use the method when voting on major decisions (Guideline changes, shifts in policy+practices, General Service Conference agenda items for and Area's consensus, etc.). I doubt if the US House of Representatives ever goes to the hat...

    The first "Third Legacy Manual" that was first issued in 1953 had the entire Third Legacy Procedure spelled out almost with the same verbiage as found in the 2002-03 Service Manual. Our goals for substantial unanimity with a minimum two-thirds majority has served us well for many years.

     

    More cheers to all!

    Rick T., Northern Illinois Area 20 Historian

     

    p.s. thanks to Jim B. for sharing the entire October 1950 pamphlet "Your Third Legacy---Will You Accept It?"---the five ballots and the "hat" practice weren't in there but most likely that direction was taken on voting soon afterward. It's a particularly beautiful fact that the pamphlet, with Bill and Dr. Bob as its authors, showed our two co-founders' agreement on the venture of the annual Conference, not knowing if it would be successful. Bill later wrote that Dr. Bob finally agreed with Bill on the need for the General Service Conference--- the two men would never see each other again after that last autumn 1950 meeting, as Bob passed away and never had the opportunity to see another of our fellowship's miracles take place the next year...

    The pamphlet was published at 50,000 copies and rushed to every AA address on file.The Alcoholic Foundation Trustees had been hearing the Conference proposal since 1947, mostly from Bill with firsthand experience and mounting frustration on the workings of the AF Board. The two years before our first General Service Conference in 1951 had brought some resistance from different Sections of the fellowship, even a high pressured letter writing campaign against the idea of a Conference that had mailings to many groups at the same time the proposal was gradually gaining approval---our "Orthodox Group" chapter of AA history did not break the momentum.

     

    Does anyone have one of those "Orthodox Group" letters to share with us?

     


    ----- Original Message -----



    Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 11:20 AM

    Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Third Legacy

    The procedure is spelled out in Chapter 1 of the A.A. Service Manual (on pages S20-21 in the 2002-2003 version).

    Cheers

    Arthur

    ----- Original Message -----



    Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 7:21 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Third Legacy

     

    0 -1 0 0
    806 Jim Blair
    Article on Clubs-Variety, March 28,1945 Article on Clubs-Variety, March 28,1945 1/31/2003 9:27:00 AM

     


    Alcoholics Anonymous Doing Great


    Job in Its New Times Sq. Clubhouse



    Alcoholics Anonymous has come to Broadway. The organization that has helped life 12,000 drunks onto the waterwagon, many of them straight from the gutter, is now established in a new clubhouse on West 41st street, a few minutes from Times Sq.


    It’s the old Knox Memorial, Collegiate Chapel, Reformed Church of America. Inside, church pews are lined up, and the Christ looks out over the audience benevolently from a stained glass window. But here the church similarity ends. Men and women sit around, waiting for the services to open, smoking. You look around and see the faces of people you know – some of them famous people, some of whom have been on Broadway, in the amusement world in general, for years.


    The reporter’s training urges taking notes, but you discard that notion, knowing that you must respect their anonymity. Here is a great actress. If you as much as hinted at the play in which she had been famous, almost everyone would know her as well as if you printed the name in boldface caps. A man behind you speaks in a voice you’d heard before. Sure enough, he is the famous – rather, once famous – radio personality. And that man who just walked in, the one in the Navy officer’s uniform – you find out later that he is a lieutenant commander, just back from two years in the Pacific – he is an old friend, an old newspaper colleague: you had stood at the bar together many times in the "old days."


    But here, they are all fellow members of AA. Among themselves, they sometimes drop their anonymity, as your newspaper friend did when he got up to address the audience a little later. You know the history of his drinking very well and wonder how much of it he’ll tell. But he tells it all. And you say to yourself: if they’re all as honest as he, they’re honest indeed.



    No Pulling Punches



    Honesty is the quality that stands out among these people. For honesty is the approach to their method for curing themselves. They have a 12-step program. Boiled down, their program calls upon drunks to admit to themselves first of all that they are drunks, who can’t handle their liquor. Then they are advised to analyze their personalities and find out what made them that way; adjust their personal relations to normal life; depend upon some power outside of themselves to help them stay sober; work with other alcoholics, to help cure the latter and to help stabilize themselves.


    This matter of depending on some outside power – that gets some of them down; that sounds like religious evangelism. But it isn’t anything of that kind. These are not religious fanatics or zealots. These are sensible men and women of the world for the greater part, some of whom had been much too blasé. They know the score. They’re hep. They don’t try to tell you what God to worship, or how – they don’t really care whether you worship any.


    Proving the latter point is a guy from Bridgeport who gets up to tell his story. "I never knew anything about this God business," he says, "and I don’t now." And in his own, quite ungrammatical way, he tells how he finally caught on to the waterwagon and how he’s fought to stay on it.


    There isn’t anybody around the joint sprouting wings. The "testimonials" that are given are intended only to add point to the AA program, to show that it really works. And there is no doubt that it does.



    Highly Endorsed



    Social workers speak highly of the AA movement. The section on neurology and psychiatry of the New York State Medical Society has run articles in its official journal about the work of AA. Prominent psychiatrists have given it their endorsement. And of course religious leaders have blessed it. All have agreed that AA is the McCoy.


    There are more than 300 branches all over the country, about 30 in the N.Y. metropolitan area alone, and a h.q. in Hollywood too. At the 41st street clubhouse there are billiard rooms and card rooms, a library and a writing room where members can relax, good fellowship and all the appurtenances of any good club – except a bar. For one thing is insisted upon by AA – don’t come to the club drunk or with liquor on your breath. AA knows that some of the members slip some times; these are helped to get back to dryness again. But they can’t come to the club until they had actually stopped drinking – no matter how recently. The steward of the new clubhouse, elected to office only last Sunday, is an engineer, a man well known in his profession, who had recently slipped back into drunkenness. But he has decided to give the AA program another trial; and the organization, in turn, accepted him for his deserved trial again.


    The evening spent with the AA was exhilarating. You wonder: would these people care to have you talk about their work. You decide to ask the secretary. A woman nearby, an actress hears the inquiry. The secretary lets her answer:


    "Yes, for God’s sake, do talk about our work. Show people will read it in ‘Variety.’ They’ll know were neither crackpots nor zealots – but just people, including people from show business, who have licked a hell of an important personal problem, and want to help others."


    That’s strange talk for a church. But then this isn’t really a church, not in the ordinary sense. For 12,000 former drunks, who won’t even shy at that word anymore, this has been something higher than a church.



    Source: Variety, March 28, 1945





     


     


     


     


    0 -1 0 0
    807 Lash, William (Bill)
    RE: Step 6 & 7 Big Book Step 6 & 7 Big Book 2/1/2003 10:26:00 AM
    I'm not saying anybody is wrong but I guess I just see it differently.  I believe that some form of Step 6 & 7 WAS being practiced prior to the Big Book because Earl T. mentions it in his Big Book story (Fourth Edition page 263 & Third Edition page 292) where it says the following (what's added in parenthesis are my comments):

    "The day before I was due to go back to Chicago (this is during the summer of 1937), a Wednesday and Dr. Bob's day off, he had me down to the office and we spent three or four hours formally going through the Six Step program (which later became AA's Twelve Step program) as it was at that time.  The six steps were: 1. Complete deflation (which later became Step 1).  2. Dependence and guidance from a Higher Power (which later became Steps 2,3,6,7 & 11).  3. Moral inventory (which later became Steps 4 & 10?).  4. Confession (which later became Step 5).  5. Restitution (which later became Steps 8 & 9).  6. Continued work with other alcoholics (which later became Step 12).  Dr. Bob led me through all of these steps.  At the moral inventory (Steps 4 & 5), he brought up some of my bad personality traits or character defects, such as selfishness, conceit, jealousy, carelessness, intolerance, ill-temper, sarcasm and resentments.  We went over these at great length and then he finally asked me if I wanted these defects of character removed (Step 6).  When I said yes, we both knelt at his desk and prayed, each of us asking to have these defects taken away (Step 7).  This picture is still vivid.  If I live to be a hundred, it will always stand out in my mind.  It was very impressive and I wish that every A.A. could have the benefit of this type of sponsorship today.  Dr. Bob always emphasized the religious angle very strongly, and I think it helped.  I know it helped me.  Dr. Bob then led me through the restitution step, in which I made a list of all of the persons I had harmed (Step 8), and worked out ways and means of slowly making restitution (Step 9)."


    Also, whenever I read statements like "I have heard it said...", I think we may be dipping into "Step theory" instead of AA History.  I do not believe that AA History Lovers is a forum for Step theory.  I try to ask myself a question before I submit to this site - What do I base this on, opinion or some piece of written or oral AA history coming from a reliable source?  I know that the term "reliable source" & "AA history" is sometimes almost a contradiction of terms but these are just some of my thoughts, meant with love.  I definitely see the Big Book's directions on Step 6 & 7 as having much depth & weight.  When understood & practiced as a way of life, on the same day immediately following the hour after a 5th Step (as it's outlined in the Big Book), there is a lot of moving in the direction of more ego deflation and a whole lot there to take in.  Intellectually, it seems a little simple & almost insultingly vague.  But when understood & deeply internalized through study & meditation line by line, these two paragraphs on page 76 are power-packed!  I am sorry if I have stepped on any toes & God bless!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just Love,


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Barefoot Bill


       


     

     

     

     


    Hi


     


    The 12 Steps were drafted in Dec. 1938 only a few months prior to printing the Big Book in April 1939. Bill claimed that it took him about 30 minutes to draft the 12 Steps (while in the process of writing Chapter 5). Up to that point, a word-of-mouth program of 6 Steps was used in Akron and NY (see AA Comes of Age pg 160 and the Big Book story "He Sold Himself Short").  When Bill wrote "Into Action"  there wasn't any genuine and explicit prior experience with Steps 6 and 7 as we know them today.


     


    In drafting the 12 Steps, Bill wanted to be definitive and clear in describing our program and he also wanted to close loopholes. Our current 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 11th Steps were all derived from a single previous Step of the word-of-mouth program described by Bill as "We prayed to whatever God we thought there was for power to practice these precepts." According to Earl Treat, Akron had an even more concise version of this word-of-mouth Step as "Dependence and Guidance from a Higher Power."


     


    Much argument ensued over the 12 Steps among early pioneer members. Some wanted more emphasis on God and some wanted less. Some were happy with 6 steps and didn't want 12. Since Bill was caught in the middle, this may have had an influence on him not being more expansive in the narrative. The first version of Step 7 had us getting on our knees and that didn't go over well either.


     


    The narrative in the Big Book and the early multilith copy are almost the same. The Big Book narrative (and that which came later in the 12 & 12) emphasized the need for willingness and humility. The need for these traits is emphasized many, many times in chapters preceding and following "Into Action."


     


    While Step 6 has two paragraphs and Step 7 one paragraph, the narrative that is there seems to build further on Steps 2 and 3 and sets a proper frame of mind for progressing to Step 11. If you examine the 3rd and 7th Step prayers there is difference in their wording but very little difference in their substance. Step 8 also gets little more than a paragraph of narrative following Step 7 and the narratives for Steps 10 and 11 are not exactly verbose.


     


    The Foreword to the 1st edition says "to show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book." The word "precisely" when applied to measurement, infers accuracy and exactness. When the word "precisely" is applied to literature it infers being short and to the point.


     


    I'd suggest that Bill was just being short and to the point.


     


    Cheers


     


    Arthur


     


     


     


     


     


    I have heard it said that 6 and 7 in the BB assume a "white-light" basis for sobriety, as with Bill W., while the much longer 6 and 7 in the 12&12 -- at the suggestion of Fr Ed Dowling -- are tailored to the need for spiritual exercises for those without the "white-light" experience. -- Jared Lobdell 


     


     


     


     


     


     


    Dear AA History Lovers,
    Is it understood as to why steps 6 & 7 are so briefly discussed in
    the Big Book?
    Did Bill W feel he did not have sufficient insight of these steps, at
    the time of writing the 1st Edition?
    Was he concerned that AA members completing steps 4&5, would find 6&7
    too complicated, or might be distracted from the 8th & 9th steps?
    Thank you all for contributing to a wonderful resource,

    Jaywalker 4th


    0 -1 0 0
    808 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lierature, Your LIfe, January 1953 Periodical Lierature, Your LIfe, January 1953 2/1/2003 2:52:00 PM

    The 24-Hour Club for Alcoholics



    Today, club life for ex-drunks-to supply their needs


    for companionship and fun-is A.A.’s second miracle



    by FOWLER HILL



    Two years ago, an old actor, whose name used to appear on Broadway marquees (call him Lionel Sloane), got drunk again in Hollywood, muffed a final chance for a comeback, and awoke, broke and totally without friends, in a down-at-the-heels New York hotel.


    As a man who was opposed to preachments, he had tried most of the popular cures known to medicine and psychiatry. Now he turned to Alcoholics Anonymous for help, but he had little hope that the well-known miracle would work. And it didn’t.


    Days later, hung over from another binge and tormented by feeling of guilt, he called on his A.A. mentor and blurted out the complaint of most lonesome alcoholics on the mend in large cities: "Life just isn’t any fun on the wagon." He paused, then went on dramatically: "What can A.A. do about the displaced persons of drunkdom?"


    "Come on, Lionel, old bay," said the A.A. man. "It’s not as bad as that. Put on that beat-up Homburg of yours. We’re going out to have fun."


    Ten minutes later, a taxi pulled up to the side entrance of the old Madison Square Hotel. Lionel and the A.A. man got out and entered the hotel, by-passing a bar, off the foyer, that was filled with glum-looking drinkers. They climbed a short flight of stairs and walked into a little hole-in-the-wall known as the Twenty-Four-Hour Club, in the midst of one of its Saturday night shindigs.


    In a large room that looked like a old-fashioned speakeasy, they joined a group of ex-drunks who were firmly convinced that they were having more uninhibited fun on coffee, milk and soft drinks than they’d ever enjoyed in the days when they were lapping up beer, wine, and liquor. And there was some evidence to support this view.


    A four piece orchestra was pounding out down-beat. And about fifty men and women, who appeared to be as high as normal drinkers usually get on a few Martinis, were tearing the roof down-jitterbugging, singing, and laughing. Their gaiety was so infectious that, though Lionel drank nothing stronger than Coke, he felt lit up. His hangover miraculously disappeared. And, for three hours, he forgot his troubles.


    Today his worries are few. He’s solved most of his alcohol-caused troubles; he’s made his comeback on a television program. And on his way to and from the Twenty-Four-Hour Club, where he practically lives, he passes the hotel bar without batting an eye.


    In Los Angeles, a judge who faced removal from the bench because of his repeated drunken behavior in court came to his A.A. helper with an excuse for his latest lapse: "I took up with nondrinkers," he said, "and they bored me right off the wagon. Got a bellyful of museums, concerts, and lectures. Wanted to be with human beings again."


    "I know where you’ll find them," said the spiritual guide. And he led the jurist to the 6,300 Club, at that number on Wilshire Boulevard. This club, too, was a fraternity for ex-drunks, so the judge joined it. And though he had a few off-bench slips, he’s been riding the wagon hand-somely for a year and a half. And a higher court has forgotten his drunken escapades.



    During the past twelve years, ex-drunks in 150 hangouts, all the way from San Francisco to Bangor, Maine, have been having similar experiences.


    In 1940, a group of whisky-steeped A.A.’s in Akron, Ohio, organized the appropriately named Arid Club in the belief that, as fine as the A.A. philosophy was, the dozens of so-called clubhouses in which its Twelve Steps were taught, while coffee was sandwiches were served on the side, were no proper substitute for much needed club life.



    Seven years later, in New York, an even more booze-wracked group of A.A.’s laid to rest forever an old drunk’s tale to the effect that old sots inevitably die if they take the cold-turkey treatment. These men and women called their organization the Twenty-Four-Hour Club because they believed that going just twenty-four hours at a time without a helpful snort would be a monumentally ambitious program. It was, but they survived the grim ordeal and lost their own grimness.


    Word of these two outstanding successes spread abroad. And clubs for alcoholics dedicated to hedonistic pleasures, as well as total abstinence, sprang up all over the country, until there are now 115 of them in the United States and one, the Alano Club, in Vancouver, British Columbia.


    Club life for ex-drunks is A.A.’s second miracle. It speeds the cure and social readjustment of ordinary case-hardened alcoholics; and it transforms many of A.A.’s black sheep into shining examples of its evangelical philosophy.


    The moment Lionel Sloane entered the Twenty-Four-Hour Club, the A.A. strategists knew that the old actor was going to be a pushover for the miracle. His A.A. mentor had a whispered conversation with the orchestra leader and the music stopped. The leader announced that a star of silent film days would sing a few numbers. Lionel sang. He wowed ’em, and held the spotlight for the rest of the evening.



    When the club closed at midnight, Lionel and his host went to a Third Avenue bar for stirrup cups of ginger ale. A red-faced exponent of the Fair Deal was offering to beat the daylights out of anyone who didn’t love good old Harry Truman. A MacArthurite fell asleep at the bar. Two strangers found a bond in their admiration of the late F.D.R. and repeated, again, again, and again, vows of lasting friendship. And off-key singing came from three frustrated tenors and a bass.


    "Now would you call this fun?" asked the A.A. man.


    "All right you double-crossing so-and-so," said Lionel. "How do you get to be a member of that drunk trap of yours?"


    After Lionel joined the club he discovered that its amenities, on a somewhat reduced scale, were comparable to those of The Players, to which he once belonged. The latest editions of newspapers lay within a handy reach on a long table. Best sellers were stacked on shelves in a reading nook. The bulletin board was a hodgepodge of club announcements, relayed telephone messages, and notices of items lost and found. The cuisine was not as good as The Players’, but it was passable. And it could be enjoyed by guests. For all these conveniences, Lionel paid dues of only three dollars a month.


    But it was the good company of 300 temperamental convivials, who were facing and, most of the time, solving the problem of what they called their illness, that brought to Lionel an inner experience that most club members have to go through before they recover lost human dignity and have real fun.



    One of these reformed Sybarites was an advertising man who’d been an alcoholic ever since his wife divorced him in 1942. One morning, after a prolonged drinking bout with a client, he’d seen snakes rise up from a grass island in the middle of Park Avenue and bow to him. He took the A.A. treatment with negative results. A year later, after joining the club, he took another stroll down the Avenue. He observed the snake phenomenon all over again. Upon investigation, the snakes turned out to be ivy vines. The island of green had a grillwork built over the New York Central’s tracks, and every time a train whooshed by, the vines rose in the air.


    "I’m probably the only member of the club who owes his cure to false delirium tremens," he said. "But false or real, they made me lay off the stuff. If my agency offered to make me vice-president on condition that I keep up with drinking clients, I’d tell them to go to hell. Incidentally, the agency seems pretty pleased with my work now. I’m chairman of the planning board."


    Reformed drunks of this alcoholic fraternity constantly amaze friends, who knew them in the old days, by turning down the hard stuff on the rather unusual ground that there’s never any real pleasure in it for an alcoholic.


    A member of the 4,021 Club on Walnut Street, Philadelphia, thinks he knows why this pleasure is missing. As a doctor who cured himself through medical, as well as spiritual, insight, he may have discovered an important truth.


    "Alcoholism," he recently said, "is not only an allergy disease (the medical profession has known this for some time now), but it’s a disease that produces an illusion of pleasure. One of our club members," he went on, "used to be a Moscow correspondent who went around with a bunch of Vodka gulpers. They’d all pass out in a snowdrift. Next morning they’d talk about what a hell of a fine time they’d had, but none of them remembered what happened after the sixth big gulp."



    As yet, no medical or psychiatric theory can fully explain A.A.’s second miracle. Until the learned men agree on what makes it tick, an explanation offered by the old actor may be as good as any other. The other day an old drinking but nonalcoholic friend invited him to The Players for lunch.


    "What’s the gimmick of club life that did it?" he asked Lionel, as he sipped a very dry Martini and smacked his lips.


    "Well," said Lionel, pausing to down his tomato juice aperitif. "We alkies drink for the same reason you fellows do. Only we don’t know what the reason is until we reform." He paused again. "I spent thirty years of my life chasing a will-o’-the-wisp through swinging doors. Didn’t find it until I joined the club."


    "Well, what was it?" asked his friend.


    "Just companionship," said Lionel. "And fun. Fun’s just the spice of companionship. And reformed alkies have to have it."



     


    Source: Your Life, January 1953



    0 -1 0 0
    809 Jim Blair
    Periodical LIt.-Family Circle, January 5, 1945 Periodical LIt.-Family Circle, January 5, 1945 2/3/2003 1:10:00 PM

    ALCOHOLISM – Is there a cure?


    By Stewart Robertson



    "NO," SAYS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, "THERE


    IS NOT" – BUT THIS VOLUNTARY, NONPROFIT,


    NO-DUES GROUP OF EX-ALCOHOLICS HAS PUT


    AND KEPT THOUSANDS ON THE WATER WAGON




    Every year at this time the alcoholic resolves to quit drinking. The best resolve he could make this year would be to join Alcoholics Anonymous. Having all been alcoholics themselves, these men and women are the best possible ones to help anyone who wants to control his drinking but can’t do it alone. They will send information to anyone free of charge. Address Alcoholics Anonymous, Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York 17, New York



     



    The alcoholic can be turned into a sane and sober citizen, and often the best one to show him the way to reformation is not a relative, doctor, or clergyman – it is an ex-alcoholic!


    In case you don’t agree with any of these statements, perhaps you had better read them over again before going on to learn of Alcoholics Anonymous, the organization that knows how to lick the problem facing the drunkard. For the statements are true, if we are to believe the medical profession and the more than 12,000 members of Alcoholics Anonymous who are once more leading decent, self-respecting, useful lives in more than 365 cities. In fact, there is no sensible argument against them. Salvation, conversion, reclamation – call it whatever you like, the AA system gets results. There are no potions to be slipped into one’s coffee, no electric shocks, no preaching, and likewise no bullying. It is a new departure, but its fundamentals are as old as man. It is beautifully simple, yet it has something of an eternal mystery. It works.


    Alcoholics Anonymous got its start when a New York broker known as Bill met an Akron, Ohio physician we shall call Doc. The New Yorker’s drinking habits had severely handicapped his career, but he had been firmly aboard the water wagon for five months when he visited Akron in an attempt to swing a deal that would put him back on his financial feet. The deal fell through and the frustrated Bill, alone and unhappy in a strange city, felt the need of a bracer. In other words, a stiff drink of liquor. But knowing that the first drink would only be the cornerstone of a prolonged debauch, Bill fought down the temptation. Back in New York he had found that his greatest help in keeping sober was to talk to other alcoholics under treatment in the hospital where he had been "de-fogged" during his last hangover. He felt that if he could give similar assistance in Akron, he would be safe. So, selecting the name of a clergyman from a church directory in the hotel lobby, he telephoned to ask whether the minister knew of an alcoholic who wanted help. The minister sent him to Doc, a confirmed alcoholic now shaken and remorseful after a terrific bender.


    Bill worked earnestly on his new friend and won him over to his method of rehabilitation. Then Bill went to live at doc’s home, and both men began to wrestle with other alcoholics. They had some success, some failure. The upshot was that Doc, aided by a faithful and heroic wife, turned his home into a small asylum for alcoholics who wanted to be straightened out but had lost the will power to do it themselves. Bill went back to New York, and as he was also married to a brave and patient woman, he was able to do the same thing with his house. In four years Bill and Doc between them guided about 100 alcoholics to dry ground, and soon afterward the subjects told the world about their recovery program and personal histories in a book called "Alcoholics Anonymous," a title that was passed on to the movement which, up to then, had not been christened. Today, five years later, the book has gone through five successively enlarged editions and is greatly responsible for the growth of membership both here and in Canada.


    The AA program has 12 steps that may be summarized as follows:




    1. The alcoholic must truly want to be delivered from his problem and admit that he has no control over his drinking.



    2. He should believe that a power greater then himself could restore him to sanity.



    3. He should decide to turn over his will and his life to God, as he understands Him. He should depend upon his concept of a higher power to strengthen and sustain him and, through prayer and meditation, improve his contact with God and the power to carry out His will.



    4. 4. He should make a searching and fearless inventory of himself and admit to God, to himself, and to another human being the full extent of his shortcomings and the wrongs he has done. He should make a list of all persons he has harmed and be willing to make direct amends to them wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.



    5. He should use his newly found knowledge and power to help other alcoholics.



    As you can imagine, this is simple in outline but not easy to fullfill without a struggle, for the alcoholic is a person of many illusions. One is that someday he will have the whip hand over his drinking – not stop it, mind you – but he will ration himself strictly and imbibe like a gentleman. Another is that by swearing off for a stated period he will be more self-controlled when he starts drinking again. Still another excuse is that he can drink only beer and thus stay away from hard liquor. None of these fallacies impress the particular AA’s who have undertaken to help an alcoholic stop drinking, and they tell him so, giving their own experience as a basis.


    "WE know how it is, say the Aas, and the alcoholic grows interested in these men who understand his problem. The alcoholic is nearly always callous to the pleas of family, friends, and minister because such appeals are voiced too emotionally, although he may have maudlin spells of vowing to reform. But he can be won over by plain talk from ex-alcoholics. "we know what it’s like to wait in agony for a saloon to open," continued the AAs, "to hide liquor in half a dozen places in the house, to wake up in a strange room or even a strange town and wonder how you got there. We know what it means to steal money from your wife’s purse, to haggle in pawnshops, to have your wife get herself a job in order to pay the rent. And we, too, have thought of jumping from a high window or blowing out our brains."


    The alcoholic listens with amazement as his new friends describe some of their old escapades, and he realizes that his own adventures were trifling compared to the purple binges confessed to by the very men who are trying to help him. He is told that because he is allergic to alcohol he is poisoned by it, and that the way to stop drinking is to cut it off entirely – because once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. The AAs know that their man’s knowledge of his condition is never enough to make him stop drinking for good. "We know that you lack the proper means of defense against your enemy," they tell him, "so your help must come from a higher power. Why not try God?



    Here is the stumbling block that appalls many an alcoholic, for, as the secretary of the Alcoholic Foundation explained to me, more than 50% of their members professed to be agnostics, atheists, or backsliders from some church. "I don't believe there is a God," runs the familiar plaint, " or why would he let me get into such a mess?" The AAs are not affronted when they hear this; in fact, they expect it, because they are aware of two things. First, most alcoholics possess a defiant individuality, and second, they resent the idea of God because they themselves cherish a feeling of omnipotence. Therefore, the AAs do not laugh when some weak, drink-ridden soul protests that he is too sane and honest to believe all that old-fashioned stuff about God.


    They counter by asking whether the alcoholic doesn’t believe there is a greater power in the universe than himself. "Why of course," the patient says in substance. "I don’t know what it is, but I believe there is some sort of great plan that directs the universe."


    "All right then," say the AAs, "why not use your own conception of God?" To most of the alcoholics this seems to be an exceedingly brilliant proposal, and men who rebel at the word "God" put their faith in a Creative Intelligence, Supreme Being, Universal Mind, or Spirit of Nature. For some men and women God is the ocean and the stars, in a symphony or picture, on the mountains or in a book. And some believe they have found their conception of God in Alcoholics Anonymous. With no religious ax to grind, any conception that will bring results is all right with the AAs.



    Remember…..





    • A man who drinks now and then usually drinks more now than he did then.





    • Alcohol doesn’t pick you up; it lets you down





    • Alcoholism is a disease – not a "failing." The alcoholic is a sick man and should be treated as one. Ignoring him, abusing him, or treating him with scorn, contempt, or ridicule will neither cure nor help him.



     





    In some cases the new man ducks the idea of God or a substitute and tries to right himself by being honest, tolerant, and helpful toward other alcoholics. An AA member asked me to report that it is their experience everywhere that faith always comes to those who try this simple approach with an open mind – and in the meantime they stay sober. But those who actively deny the spiritual content in the program seldom remain dry. AA stresses the spiritual because thousands of its members have found they cannot succeed without it.


    The achievement of a fresh understanding with friends, creditors, and even enemies is as severe a wrench to the alcoholic’s pride as it would be to the rest of us. Yet the fact remains that when the patient goes through with this part of the program he feels like a new man. It may involve reconciliation with wife and children, often a slow process not gained by promises but by performance over a long pull. This is a matter for the alcoholic to struggle with alone, but when it comes to more prosaic adjustments with creditors, there have been cases where AAs gambled on their choice by advancing him the money to settle his debts. There was never an alcoholic who didn’t manage to get his social and business relationships into hopeless confusion, and AAs claim the disentangling process can only be made possible and bearable through faith.


    When the alcoholic is in the clear, confident and happy in his new strength, he is reminded that faith without works is dead. This mental nudge is scarcely needed, for the now ex-alcoholic is eager to do missionary work among those still trapped by the allure of liquor. He realizes that alcoholism has brought more sorrow to the human race than any other agency, for its destruction is neither merciful nor swift. He understands that liquor breaks down not only the physical man, but so relentlessly sabotages the will that a self-starting cure is almost impossible. He knows that no amount of adversity will permanently divert the alcoholic to sobriety. He understands that the patient will have to fight not only himself but many of his drinking companions whose tender hearts will impel them to smuggle a flask to their battling comrade.


    He stands ready to answer the call of an alcoholic at any time, even at three o’clock in the morning, and often does just that. And being a recovered alcoholic, he will be free from the misguided passion of the nondrinker who tries to thrust abstinence on a sinner.



    You can understand why this sort of co-operation has caused Alcoholics Anonymous to become known to more than 12,000 people in urgent need of rescue. Do they never fail? Being human, yes, they do. AA estimates that 50% of the patients stop drinking almost at once, many after reading "alcoholics Anonymous" and without requiring further aid; 25% win through after one or two relapses; the other 25% are frankly doubtful cases. Never do the AAs regard themselves as "cured" but they do become total abstainers from liquor. Some of them may shudder at being "saved," but that is, of course, what really happens. And with an estimated 300,000 alcoholics in the country, there is plenty of saving yet to be done. The term "alcoholic" does not apply to the millions of moderate drinkers or even to those who go on occasional benders; it relates only to the problem drinkers who are men overboard and about to go under.


    Alcoholics Anonymous and its Foundation take no stand on the liquor question. They are neither wet nor dry, but their purpose for existence leaves no doubt. If you know of an alcoholic who might be helped by their recovery program, AA will tell you if there is a member in your town and where he can be reached. If an eligible person wants to start a chapter, AA will tell him how to go about establishing it, but after that the unit will be on its own. There are no dues, fees, or assessments in Alcoholics Anonymous, and the chief requisite for membership is an earnest desire to stop drinking. And should you want a copy of "Alcoholics Anonymous" which is packed with clearly worded helpfulness buttressed by dramatic case histories, either to give to a friend in despair or to read yourself for its impact as a human document, AA will send it to you direct for $3.50. For an answer to any question you may have about AA, write a letter to Alcoholics Anonymous, Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York 17, New York. In case you order the book, make your check or money order payable to Works Publishing, Inc., at the same address. Literature is sent free with answers to all inquiries.



    Alcoholics Anonymous is not an aggregation of saints. Its members are people who have regained their footing in a precarious world hitherto unable to help them, and they have learned how to live happily, usefully, and without fear. No AA need ever be lonesome, for the members are friends held together by an unusual bond, and being largely gregarious, they lunch, play cards, bowl, swim, and talk in groups. Members of many units have chipped in to provide a clubroom. And don’t get the idea that they become hermits who shun the sight of liquor. It isn't uncommon for AAs to stand at a bar and drink ginger ale; they would no more order a whisky and soda than you would call for a glass of carbolic acid. The comeback road is a tough one, and as in any other trial, the old saying holds true, "Only the game fish swim upstream."


    Perhaps you’d like to pass on this message from one of the two founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: "If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride that keeps you from accepting what AA has to offer, I feel sorry for you. If you still feel you are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is your affair. But if you really want to quit drinking liquor for good and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that we have an answer for you. It never fails if you go about it with one half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when getting another drink."

    Alcoholism is not a "failing" – it is a dread disease. The person branded an alcoholic is at grips with a killer as deadly as cancer or coronary thrombosis. He is not just a social menace; he is desperately ill.


    Source: The Family Circle, January 5, 1945




    0 -1 0 0
    811 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit., SAt. Eve Post May 21, 1960 Periodical Lit., SAt. Eve Post May 21, 1960 2/4/2003 8:41:00 AM

    I ALWAYS HAVE


    HELP


    A man who has had more than his share of trouble – alcoholism, shattered marriage, tragic losses – tells anonymously how he manages to face life, one day at a time.



    A friend of mine recently sent me a greeting card with the title, "How to Live in These Troubled Times," and the answer printed inside: "Keep Breathing." If not very helpful it was at least appropriate. As I write this I’m in as warty a financial pickle as a small businessman could contrive – broke, no property, heavy family responsibilities, head of a small concern which is also broke, with creditors expecting in a few months to be paid $20,000 it hasn’t got. Less than this has driven highly strung people to breakdown and even suicide, and I confess I am a little uneasy. But because of a limited grasp of a philosophy which members of a celebrated secret society call The 24-Hour Plan, I’m fairly confident of pulling through.



    Well, Now, you say, this is not so much to shout about. Lots of people carry on through difficulties. Yes, I would reply, and lot’s of people don’t. We have 18,000 suicides a year and 500,000 asylum inmates. Commitments to state mental hospitals have doubled since the end of World War II. Every day legally sane people swallow a number of tons of sedatives and wash them down with several million gallons of soothing alcoholic beverages, and we’re still jittery. If anyone knows of what the ancients used to call "an ever-present help in trouble," it’s a public duty, as I see it, to pass it along. Such a help came to me twelve years ago. I had cracked up under pressures which are not uncommon in our times. My wife had taken up with another man, my business was in ruins, and I was trying to get fished out of a morass created by twenty-five years of problem drinking. My mental state was such that I couldn’t even ask for a job, much less hold one. I thought frequently of suicide. Then, half-doubting and half-hoping, I took up with some people who were supposed to know how to lay hold of a situation of this kind. They gave me a book called Alcoholics Anonymous, and my eye fell on a remarkable passage. Before I tell you what it said, let me assure the reader that he doesn’t have to be an alcoholic to proceed with this article; everyone concerned with open-minded living may find something of interest. This is what the authors promised:


    "We are going t know a new freedom and a new happiness. Feelings of uselessness and self-pity…fears of other people and of economic insecurity…will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change."



    I decided to try it-what could I lose? Twelve years later I may ask: Do I ever feel useless and sorry for myself? Has fear of people and poverty left me? Do I always know intuitively what to do? Such perfection has, alas, evaded me; but this I can say: the extravagant promise has come true to an astonishing degree. The seemingly impossible has, indeed, happened-to me and to many. Some 200,000 of us have known these benefits to some extent. The foundation on which we all build is a way of looking at life which, as previously observed, we call The 24-Hour Plan. In essence the plan is to become aware that, if you take on the job of living one day at a time, you’ll make it. But there’s a good deal more to it than this; it has subtlety and paradox, corollaries and derivatives. I suppose the best way to tell you about it is to look back over the past twelve years and tell about some of my days.



    On a cold and rainy November night I went to my first meeting of people enrolled in the Plan. They met in a Y.M.C.A. meeting room, a basement cubicle with cracked plaster and a single unshaded bulb. That first evening I carried away little more than a vague impression that these people were trying to understand what life was mainly about and to live it by workable principles. As time went on I discovered that my first impression had been correct. I had enrolled in a school for living, high in it’s standards, stern beyond belief with backsliders. If you passed your exams you were marvelously rewarded; punishment for failure-alcoholic relapse-was self-administered and sometimes grim. There was Harry, the handsome state cop who came around off and on, but never seemed to grasp the main, big ideas. One day he pulled the state’s car off the road and drew the state’s automatic out of it’s holster and blew out his brains. There was Ed, guiding spirit of a good-sized sales organization, urbane and capable, but clumsy with the simple lessons taught at school. One day he took a train from New York to Philadelphia, rode an elevator up to the top of a tall hotel and jumped off. There was Jane, warned about the danger of brain edema, who pushed her luck too far in an alcoholic experiment, lost her mind and never got it all back. There were others, tragic, unforgettable, teaching vital lessons by their failures. And there were inspiring successes. These last, I gratefully report, were predominant.


    In time, just by being around the people who were "on the program," I began to have some ideas about why we have emotional stresses and how The 24-Hour Plan sees us through. People break down, I am quite sure, for the same reason animals in laboratories do-too great expectations, followed by to severe disappointments, too often repeated. The 24-Hour Plan cushions such shocks by encouraging us to gear our hopes to what may reasonably be expected of the day in which we find ourselves.


    This brings us directly to the question: What is a day, and what may one reasonably expect of it? Of course, our ordinary days vary according to our involvement. Now and then, however, it’s rewarding to take a day, strip it of all its nonessentials and get acquainted with it in its pristine essence. A day, the dictionary says, is the period of the earth’s revolution on its axis. One of the finest things that can happen to a person, say devotees of The 24-Hour Plan, is really to come to know a day.


    You have to pick your time, though, and be in the mood. The best time for me is after a period when I have had a lot to do with people and am ready for a little solitude. It may sound strange at first, but this complete break from people, this getting by one’s self and trying to know a day is, to many of us, one of the essential points of the plan, high in dividends.


    I like to get up when it is still dark on the day I have chosen and watch for dawn-the beginning. The way dawn comes is always a special and fine excitement, too often missed. Things seem to know it’s coming; the quiet of the night seems to deepen a little just before the first light. Then the light changes and the pre-dawn twilight is there, a filtered presence. I think of the great arc of light advancing over the earth and of all the things greeting it: a forest full of birds in song, a rooster crowing somewhere. Presently the sun breaks the horizon, rapidly clears the earth and begins its climb.


    All day I keep track of the sun. If I can manage it, I walk on a wooded road or along a river or lake or the sea; or I drive to a distant place where nobody knows me. I have cleared my project with my family-who understand that apartness is as much of family life as togetherness-and have arranged that business demands be not pressing; then I can give myself to the day. Noon comes. At sea the navigators are watching through their sextants; they check their chronometers and know where they are.


    Sunset, twilight, dark, the moon and stars-I begin to know a little where I am too. All the day I have not thought of people, but of earth and sun, daylight and dark. When thoughts of people intrude, I try to choose the people of whom I will think. I pick solitary, day-conscious people-the psalmist lifting his eyes to the hills, from whence came his help, the young prophet walking in the desert and encountering his destiny, the poet considering the lake country of England, the physicist perceiving that space is curved. All are people who have made The 24-Hour Plan’s big discovery-that man’s rational poise is related to his awareness of time and place, earth and sun.


    Sometimes there is a great moment of full knowledge of being an earth creature and belonging, wholly content. This delicious instant is often reported by those who have known the plan-by any name-in depth. It may be described as a sudden intuition that the whole of creation is offered for you, that you are a part of a cosmic creative current, secure. One is not always so fortunate as to know this moment on the day one has chosen. But a moment comes when one knows it’s time for the return to people and the hurly-burly, to see what contribution one can make, refreshed.


    The 24-Hour Plan is wonderfully flexible. It encompasses whatever we may conclude, on taking inventory in the light of our best understanding, is the major need of that day. It provides for the rhythmic, pulsating quality of life, the thing that Arnold Toynbee, acknowledging that one day’s need may not be the same as another’s, called the principle of withdrawal and return. Sometimes the difficulty is not too great involvement with people but the opposite-too much of being by ourselves.


    The plan divides life into livable, manageable, daily units. This, indeed, was what made it so admirably suited to alcoholics. We knew that swearing off forever was beyond us, but abstinence for a single day was something we could manage. The principle applies to a whole catalogue of trying situations, having nothing to do with alcoholism.


    The thing most likely to ruin any 24-hour stretch, we found, are fear and resentment. To enjoy life we had to control these plagues. We acknowledged realistically that other people would sometimes make mistakes and wrong us, but we could not afford to let this make us afraid of them or chronically angry. When we tried daily to tidy up our own behavior, sweeping out the ashes of burned-out grudges and opening the doors to fresh opportunity, we found that perhaps they had not decisively harmed us after all. Resentments, replaced by new interests, died from lack of nourishment.


    My twelve years on the plan have been full of emotional peaks and valleys. Because the plan has never let me down, I have come to trust it.


    I crossed the first of the valleys after the refusal of my first wife to accept reconciliation. After my seemingly miraculous recovery from alcoholism it was a baffling reversal of everything I had learned to expect of her, and the justice of things. It seemed to me we had been through the worst, that happiness was at last ahead. I loved our children, our home and, despite our misunderstandings, I loved her. It took me a wretched year to accept her determination to carry through a divorce. The plan, as well as the famous A.A. prayer for serenity to accept things we can’t change and for courage to change things we can, saw me through this valley.


    Then quite unexpectedly, I rose to one of the peaks. A neighbor woman had a bent for matchmaking. She noted my dismal celibacy, recalled a young divorcee who lived with her three youngsters in a neighboring suburb, and wrote notes to both of us. I called on the young lady. It was a click from our first meeting over a Sunday-afternoon cup of hot chocolate. A year later we were married and ever since have known the great happiness of marital harmony and devotion.


    Happy marriage, however, cannot ward off calamity, and presently I was to enter the deepest, blackest valley I have yet been called upon to cross. I was careful not to allow my friendship for the children of my first marriage, including a son, to lapse. A father’s hopes and plans for his son-how long they incubate, even from his own boyhood, and how they hatch and soar! One night the phone rang, and I was summoned to the hospital to see my son after an accident. The next day he died. I cannot tell here what I felt during the following days and months, or say much about a lonely corridor that haunts my memory even now. But I can say that the plan saw me through.



    Meanwhile, life, irrepressible, was bear-ing upward toward another peak. A baby was on the way. Carl Sandburg once said that a baby was God’s idea that human life was worth while. Sandburg was right. When our little girl arrived, even in our grief we found it good to look after the needs of this small and charming, this needing, trusting, appreciative person.


    After these heights and depths the business ups and downs seemed almost anti- climactic. True, I coddled a whopping rage for a while when a boss fired me because I could not share his views on local politics. I hit a giddy peak when a new product I had concocted began to find favor with customers. And I slumped into another valley, or at least a gully, when I misjudged demand and wound up $20,000 in the hole.


    But nothing has yet happened in these twelve years that has found the plan wanting. If it can produce this wonder for an alcoholic type like myself-edgy, high-strung, mercurial, headstrong, conflict-prone and vain-what might it not do for a normal person, normally beset? It is the lesson of my deepest heart that lets me say truly that The 24-Hour Plan, the decision to bargain for this day alone, is an ever-present help in trouble.


    Our experience suggests that nobody can work the plan alone. Some sort of affiliation with some human organization based on some sort of idea that is at least global in scope is essential. We alcoholics have weekly meetings devoted mainly to discussing ramifications of the plan. All churches offer this primary call to the transcendent. So do many fraternal orders. For those who mistrust creeds, organizations like the Unitarian Fellowship bring the challenge of cosmic thought without doctrinaire demands. Service and literary clubs often are bridges to a realm of thought beyond the commonplace. All these groups can provide the ingredient without which the plan cannot work-direct contact with thinking people.


    Friends can be of enormous help. When I first undertook the plan I felt I didn’t have any. But friends appeared, and two of them-named, by coincidence, Walter B. and Walter C.-contributed important thoughts. Walter C. helped me to understand the rewards of just being quiet, quoting the Chinese proverb: "Muddy water…if permitted to remain still…will gradually become clear of itself." The more practical Walter B. took me to task one time-when I was trying to bull through an impossible situation-with these words: "Relax; give events a chance to go to work on your side."


    Some of my best friends in the plan have been books. Here, as with any other kind of friend, it is individual’s choice. I have liked Conquest of fear by Basil King, from its opening line-"When I say that during most of my conscious life I have been prey to fears, I take it for granted that I am expressing the case of the majority of people"-to that memorable assertion- "The life principle is my principle; I cannot cut myself off from it, it cannot cut itself off from me." The New Testament has some fine statements of the Plan: "Give us this day…Sufficient unto the day…" My wife likes Ann Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea, with its special word for mothers and its cry to her sex, "Why have we been seduced into abandoning the timeless inner strength of woman?" I have found things in John Cowper Powys’ A Philosophy of Solitude worth remembering: "People find to their astonishment that when they drop their eternal striving and clutching, real happiness flows in upon them in a brimming flood-the art lies in the embrace of those elemental accompaniments of existence which as a rule are taken so stupidly for granted."


    If my account of the plan seems to emphasize calamity it’s only because bad times always seem so much harder to manage than good. Surely we must not end the narrative without mentioning that an important part of the plan is watching for those small delights-"those elemental accompaniments of existence"-which life is always tossing our way.


    One morning last winter I awoke with a vague dread and discontent. The malaise persisted most of the day. During the afternoon the weather grew colder, and by the day’s end the temperature had fallen thirty degrees. When I came home, my eight-year-old daughter danced and tugged at my coattails, shouting, "Daddy, daddy, the pond’s frozen-take us skating!" I was about to plead too tired, but we were called to the table. After supper we all got our skates and went to the pond. The moon came up and made the big irregular oval and its surrounding woods a glistening, blue-black-and-white fairyland. It was a night of laughter, swift gliding and spills-one I will always remember, and it came unexpectedly out of nowhere.


    There have been many such times. One day in late spring I heard the sound of a steam calliope. Now, playing a calliope is to me what being President is to some people. They are about as common where I live as yaks are in Iowa. My musical training never extended much beyond a few boyhood piano lessons; actually to command the instrument of the river boats was almost beyond my daydreams. Nevertheless, there came this haunting desire. I followed the sound a few blocks, and there at the curb sat a man playing the great machine, mounted on a wagon. I was sure that anyone owning such a thing would be selective about who played it. Just the same I asked-shouting, so grand was the din-if I might try.


    He smiled and nodded and moved over on the bench, and waved an inviting hand toward the keyboard. I stepped aboard, approaching the big, hot pipes with awe. The quivering, powerful thing now sat waiting my touch, its tense boiler hissing. I played Farmer in the Dell over and over, the great steamboat sounds whistling, fooping, boop-alooping over the landscape for miles in all directions and upward God knows how far. It was all part of the plan, and it contains a lesson-if a chance to play a steam calliope can come t me, any good thing can happen to anybody.



    "Give events a chance to work on your side," Walter B. had said. This is no Pollyanna happy piece; some days we get nowhere, and when they’re over, all you can say is that you’ve suffered through another day. But even that is an accomplishment when your passing through one of the valleys. Some things are healed only by time, administered in 24-hour lots. Its mere passage brings one closer to that restoration that makes it possible to begin living creatively again. Thus have people been living their daily stints for a million years, through an incredible variety of shifting circumstances.


    Failure to hold fast to this truth has cost many a life, swept away in a fit of temporary disappointment. A neighbor of mine, a literary man, worked for four years on a novel, shipped it to market, then fell into despair during the weeks of waiting for a publisher to decide. One evening he drove his car into his garage, closed the door and started the engine. This widow and children are now living well on the royalties and movie rights-the book was an international success.


    The $20,000 predicament described at the beginning of this article has given me a fine opportunity to "let events go to work on my side." For a week or so it looked like certain bankruptcy-I was obliged to "accept the things I cannot change." Then my principal creditor decided I was worth a gamble. He accepted a six-month note for most of the debt, providing a new supply of 24-hour periods for me to change the things I can and for events to go to work. On some day, presumably, it will be clear whether the survival of our little business is a "reasonable expectation" of that day. Either way, as long as we’re still on the plan, we’ll "know intuitively" what to do when the time comes.


    Meanwhile we’re having some fine days, one at a time. With only a slight editing I can certify, after twelve years of testing, that the whole incredible promise is one come true. We have found a new freedom and a new happiness…Feelings of uselessness and self-pity…fears of people and of economic insecurity…do not overwhelm us. We intuitively know how to handle many situations which used to baffle us. Our whole attitude and outlook on life has changed. And changed immeasurably for the better.


    THE END



     


    Source: Saturday Evening Post, May 21, 1960




    0 -1 0 0
    812 M. Lee Carroll
    Re: The first 12 members to join Alcoholics Anonymous The first 12 members to join Alcoholics Anonymous 2/4/2003 6:11:00 PM

    Keith M. asked about the first twelve into AA. During my research on
    the People Places and Things Mentioned in the First 164 pages of the
    Book, I have come up with the following:

    re; Page159 Who were the "seven more?"

    Akron
    Ernie Galbraith 9/35 ("The Seven Month Slip")
    Phil S. 9/35 - First AA court case
    Tom Lucas,11/35 or 12/37, ("My Wife and I")
    Walter Bray, 2/36, ("The Backslider")
    Joe Doppler, 4/36, ("The European Drinker")
    Paul Stanley, 7/36, (Truth Freed Me")

    NY
    Fitz Mayo, 10/35, ("Our Southern Friend")
    Hank Parkhurst, 11/35, ("The Unbeliever")
    William Ruddell, 11/35 or 1/37 ("A Business Man's Recovery")
    Myron Williams, 4/36, ("Hindsight")

    Granted, this is more than "seven more," but that is because some of
    these folks drank again and came back (two dates next to their name)
    Most, as you can see, were stories in the First Edition.

    I have a list of the first 100 (more or less). I'll see if I can find
    it.

    Lee


    >>> dangerousa@yahoo.com 02/03/03 05:47PM >>>
    Hello, AA History Lovers, I am trying to find information on who the
    first 12 members to join Alcoholics Anonymous were and the order in
    which they joined? The source of information used to determine this
    is also helpful.

    Thank you,
    Keith M.



    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



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    0 -1 0 0
    813 J. Lobdell
    Re: The first 12 members to join AlcoholicsAnonymous The first 12 members to join AlcoholicsAnonymous 2/5/2003 8:47:00 AM

    The list of attendance at [Alcoholic] OG "Parties" in the Dr Bob Papers at Brown University suggests that six of the next seven (after Bill W., Dr. Bob, Bill D.) were Phil S. (present from 1935), Walter B. (from Mar 1936), Tom L. (Jun 1936), Paul S. (Jun 1936), Joe D. (Jun 1936), and Bob O. (Jun 1936).  Ernie G.'s name does not appear.  -- JL



    >From: "M. Lee Carroll"
    >Reply-To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com
    >To:
    >Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] The first 12 members to join AlcoholicsAnonymous
    >Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 18:11:02 -0500
    >
    >Keith M. asked about the first twelve into AA. During my research on
    >the People Places and Things Mentioned in the First 164 pages of the
    >Book, I have come up with the following:
    >
    >re; Page159 Who were the "seven more?"
    >
    >Akron
    >Ernie Galbraith 9/35 ("The Seven Month Slip")
    >Phil S. 9/35 - First AA court case
    >Tom Lucas,11/35 or 12/37, ("My Wife and I")
    >Walter Bray, 2/36, ("The Backslider")
    >Joe Doppler, 4/36, ("The European Drinker")
    >Paul Stanley, 7/36, (Truth Freed Me")
    >
    >NY
    >Fitz Mayo, 10/35, ("Our Southern Friend")
    >Hank Parkhurst, 11/35, ("The Unbeliever")
    >William Ruddell, 11/35 or 1/37 ("A Business Man's Recovery")
    >Myron Williams, 4/36, ("Hindsight")
    >
    >Granted, this is more than "seven more," but that is because some of
    >these folks drank again and came back (two dates next to their name)
    >Most, as you can see, were stories in the First Edition.
    >
    >I have a list of the first 100 (more or less). I'll see if I can find
    >it.
    >
    >Lee
    >
    >
    > >>> dangerousa@yahoo.com 02/03/03 05:47PM >>>
    >Hello, AA History Lovers, I am trying to find information on who the
    >first 12 members to join Alcoholics Anonymous were and the order in
    >which they joined? The source of information used to determine this
    >is also helpful.
    >
    >Thank you,
    >Keith M.
    >
    >
    >
    >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    >AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
    >
    >
    >
    >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
    >http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
    >
    >
    >
    >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    >AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
    >
    >
    >
    >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


    Tired of spam? Get advanced junk mail protection with MSN 8.
    0 -1 0 0
    814 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit., Health, July 1947 Periodical Lit., Health, July 1947 2/5/2003 10:10:00 AM

    Can We Conquer ALCOHOLISM


    Marty Mann, Executive Director, National Committee


    For Education on Alcoholism


    We are not dealing here with a minor problem. We are dealing with what a former Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service has rightly called "our greatest unsolved public-health problem." It is not unsolved because it is a new problem. It remains unsolved because it is a problem we never have faced. The majority of people in their ignorance and fear scarcely admit of its existence. Alcoholism has for too long been a taboo subject, as tuberculosis used to be forty years ago. Any child can tell you that no problem can be solved by refusing to recognize its existence. Equally true is the fact that no problem can be solved while people are unaware of its nature.


    Many groups have been concerned for years with the problem of beverage alcohol. Millions of words spoken and written on behalf of hundreds of organizations have dealt with this. In the last analysis this concern has resolved itself into a violent tug of war between the "wets" and the "drys." In that tug of war it has been said that the alcoholic has been the rope-and that rope has become badly frayed. No organization until recently has concerned itself with public recognition of the alcoholic or the nature of his dilemma. This is where the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism comes in.


    The National Committee is not concerned with beverage alcohol itself. We take no sides in that ancient tug of war. We state flatly, in fact, that this organization, the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism, and all its affiliated committees-twenty-two of them at this date-are neither "wet" nor "dry." We go further. We state that this organization shall not concern itself in any activities designed to promote or prevent the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages.


    Our concern is with a disease called alcoholism and its victims, those hapless, suffering human beings who are known as alcoholics.


    We recognized, as did others concerned with the problem of alcoholism, that practically nothing was known by the general public of this disease. We realized that because of this lack of knowledge, the public attitude ranged from utter ignorance, through apathy and indifference, up to prejudice and active antagonism. The public attitude reflects not only a total lack of factual knowledge, but also the presence of a mass of misinformation and falsehoods. Out of this attitude has grown the type of treatment which the citizens of these United States have given and still give to that segment of the population who suffer from this illness. I think you know what that treatment is as well as I do. It is hostile, contemptuous, and punitive. It is completely without understanding and often without pity.


    In most cities in this country there is no place to put the alcoholic who is in the throes of this deadly malady, except the local jail. We, as a nation, are not wont to treat our sick in that fashion. We are not cruel and barbarous. We are not medieval. We pride ourselves on being enlightened; and we are, on the whole, a kind people. Yet to a great body of sick human beings we offer only punishment for their illness. We behave as if we were still in the Middle Ages.


    This attitude is shared by those who suffer from this illness. I can tell you from my own experience. I had never heard the word "alcoholic;" I had never heard the word "alcoholism." Of course, I had heard of drunkards; everyone has, I also knew, or thought I knew, what a drunkard was. He was that unfortunate person whom one saw in the less pretty part of town, shuffling about in rags, bearded, unwashed, sleeping in doorways, in gutters, sticking out filthy hands for a dime for a cup of coffee. You hoped he wouldn’t touch you.


    If I had given any thought to the subject, I would have described him as a person who had never had the opportunity to know a normal way of life. Or if by chance he had been born to better things, he had something missing, something that made him unable to take advantage of his opportunities. I would have said that there was nothing that could be done about it; and if there were, he wouldn’t be worth salvaging as there wasn’t anything there in the first place.


    How can a man who still has a job or has recently lost his job through drinking come out openly and say: "I am a drunkard; I have no will power; I have no character; I am a bum"? He isn’t and knows he isn’t. He is faced with the same dilemma in which I found myself: Why is it that my will power is so strong on everything else and has no effect on drinking?


    The wall of ignorance and prejudice nearly killed me, and it is killing other alcoholics every day. If we can break that wall down we can reach these people and help them. In every city where we have information centers they are coming and asking for information, and their families and friends and employers are coming. They are all asking: "What is this thing, alcoholism?" "What can we do about it?" "Where can we go in this city for help?" The centers that have been established have the answers. They know what hospital will take alcoholics and whether there are any such places in the community; whether others can be persuaded to admit alcoholics and what can be, at long last, provided for these desperately sick people. Can we provide medical treatment that will prevent their deaths? Yes, we can, and we must.


    I know, by virtue of my own position as an alcoholic, thousands of men and women who have recovered from this illness. I can assure you from my personal experience that these people make better than average citizens. It is as if they felt they had to make up for lost time. They put themselves into things with twice the amount of energy of anyone else. They work harder at it and give more of themselves. These people are well worth saving, and yet today we are allowing them to die right and left.


    This situation must be changed. It is our belief that it will be changed when the public is placed in possession of the facts. That is the challenging task which we have accepted. We wished to make these facts as simple as possible that they might be understood by every man, woman, and child in this country. In order to do this, we adopted three simple concepts which are printed on each piece of our literature, and which our speakers reiterate over and over again throughout the cities of this land. These concepts are simple, but they are revolutionary in content, for they embody an attitude which is exactly the opposite to that shown by our actions in the past. We believe that when these concepts are accepted into the thinking of the people of America, a change in their actions must result. The three concepts are as follows: 1) Alcoholism is a disease, and the alcoholic is a sick person.


    2) The alcoholic can be helped and is worth helping.


    3) Alcoholism is a public-health problem and therefore a public responsibility.


    The fact that alcoholism is a disease has been known to science for more than a century and a half. Many great Americans of the last century recognized this fact, although it was an English doctor who, in 1778, wrote the first modern treatise on the diagnosis and treatment of the disease of alcoholism. The Connecticut Medical Society recognized alcoholism as a disease requiring special treatment and hospitals for that treatment in a resolution it presented to the Connecticut State Legislature in 1830.


    I myself was ashamed when I learned these things. Yet I was not to blame for my ignorance, for I had never been taught any such facts. Just the same, it is curious, is it not, that scientific facts well know to science for such a long period should never have become common knowledge? The normal gap, they tell me, between a scientific discovery and its acceptance by the public is twenty years. Why in the case of alcoholism should this gap be so extended? We are late in starting, but we are trying desperately to bridge that gap as speedily and as effectively as possible now. This, in short, is our primary objective.


    Our second concept, that the alcoholic can be helped and is worth helping, is a statement that could not have been made even ten years ago from a public platform, because it could not have been proved. Although there have always been alcoholics who got well by one means or another and walked among us as normal human beings, they dared not mention what the nature of their illness had been. The stigma attached to alcoholism was so great that, if people knew the truth, these recovered alcoholics might have jeopardized their whole future-their jobs, their family relationships, their place in society. Not until the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous twelve years ago was there any change in this situation.


    Then for the first time alcoholics began to get well in numbers. Banded together in groups, they had the strength to face the hostile world and to talk of this illness from which they had recovered. They talked so that other alcoholics might learn the truth about their condition, and seek help. Their voices were heard. Today Alcoholics Anonymous numbers more than 35,000 active members. These are well and happy people, prosperous citizens who have returned to their places in their communities. They are assets-no longer liabilities. They make good citizens, these people who a few years ago were a stone around the neck of everyone who knew them; a care and a burden and a terrible cost to themselves, their families, their employers, and their communities. Liabilities in every sense, they represented not only appalling economic waste, but also the most terrible human waste, heartbreak, broken homes, and tragedies of every sort. Yet today they are assets. These people can be seen and they are known for their accomplishments. They are the living proof of our second concept.


    Our last concept, that this is a public-health problem and therefore a public responsibility, follows inevitably upon acceptance of the other two. This is our job, yours and mine, as citizens and human beings. We, the people, create public attitudes and we can change them. The majority of the estimated three million alcoholics in this country fall into the category of what I call the hidden alcoholic. These are usually persons who have some family left, and that family will go to any length to hide the fact that alcoholism has struck in their midst. In their opinion the shame and degradation of publicity far outweighs the welfare of the alcoholic. The alcoholic is "protected," hidden from view, but actually he is being prevented from getting help. Not until the stigma is removed and alcoholism is discussed as freely and as openly as any other illness, will these people dare to seek help. We must remove this stigma if we are to save thousands from unnecessary deaths.


    So our efforts cannot stop with a mere change in public opinion. We must see to it that there are other places than jails in which to put these sick people when they are in the delirium of their sickness-acute intoxication. We must set up information centers where individuals, families, friends, agencies, doctors, and ministers can go to get the facts on the disease itself, and on the facilities available in that area for its treatment. These centers must ceaselessly carry on an intensive campaign of education in their communities, aimed at uncovering hidden alcoholics and providing an environment of enlightened unstandering in which recovery will be possible.


    Most communities will find that there are not many facilities other than the local group of Alcoholics Anonymous about which they can give information. Yet other facilities will be needed. Therefore, these organized groups must next undertake the difficult task of persuading general hospitals to open beds for the treatment of acute alcoholism. This is a matter of crisis, of extreme emergency, in which the lack of immediate medical treatment all too frequently causes death. Next they will need a clinic for diagnosis and treatment, and later they will need rest centers for those who require long-term care.


    We can now say that we know this program of community action is a beginning toward the solution of the problem which is so appalling in its devastation and waste. We can say we know because we already have twenty-two such affiliated committees operating in eighteen cities throughout the country, and the progress they report is more than encouraging. It has convinced us that we can solve the problem of alcoholism in America, if we will.


    Source: Health, July 1947




     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


     


    0 -1 0 0
    815 M. Lee Carroll
    Re: my post on the first 12 into AA my post on the first 12 into AA 2/5/2003 10:51:00 AM

    Several have expressed question/concern over Bill D. AA#3. My post
    was referring to the statement on page 159, "A year and six months later
    these three [Bill W. Dr Bob, and Bill D.] had succeeded with seven
    more." Thus, Bill D is not included in the list I posted as he is one
    of the "three."

    Lee

    0 -1 0 0
    816 shakey1aa
    mildew mildew 2/6/2003 9:21:00 AM

    We recently got a 1st edition 3rd printing light blue covered big book
    donated to the southeastern penna intergroup archives.its in ok
    condition except for some fading on the cover and some mildew on the
    cover. any suggestions on restoration. we've isolated the book from
    our other 1st and 2nd big book donations.It was apparantly bought in
    a used book store by a deceased member for about a dollar fifty.This
    same member donated to us (willed) a 1st edition 1st printing big
    book in french which was given to him by gerneral services. he was
    the 1st member to translate the big book into italian. yis shakey
    mike g

    0 -1 0 0
    817 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit.: Hygeia, July 1948 Periodical Lit.: Hygeia, July 1948 2/6/2003 11:05:00 AM

    ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS



    Second of seven articles on alcoholIn personal and public health



    We in Alcoholics Anonymous-more than 60,000 men and women-have found a way of life that for us has solved the problem of alcoholism.


    To some of us the word "alcoholic" presented a problem almost as great as our abnormal drinking. Our picture of the alcoholic: The stumbling creature of the skid roads of our bigger cities; the town drunkard, half clown, half bogy man, of our smaller communities; or the hapless, hopeless, desperate "repeater" of the state and private hospitals, the "cures", the workhouses.


    The majority of us weren’t that kind of drinker. We maintained a home. We supported our families. We had a position in the community. True, we drank more than most people but that didn’t make us fit our concept of the alcoholic.


    For such of us Alcoholics Anonymous said: We believe that an alcoholic is simply an uncontrolled drinker. We believe that the alcoholic is one whose life has become unmanageable because of his drinking. We believe that, if a man’s drinking is interfering seriously with a normal way of life in his domestic, social or business affairs, that the man might well examine himself honestly, objectively, to determine if he has passed the thin line that separates the uncontrolled drinker from the controlled drinker.


    To others of us, the word "alcoholic" and the AA definition of an alcoholic, came as a blessed relief. The thought had nagged us that no sane man would continue to drink as we were drinking. We had drifted into the twilight zone of the mind where the real and the fancied were becoming tangled. We were beginning to fear that out-and-out insanity lay just around the bend.


    To both groups bitter experience lent credence to the suggestion that certain human beings were allergic to alcohol; that certain persons were so constituted as to make them hypersensitive to the effects of alcohol; that alcohol was a disease or a symptom, perhaps, of a deeper disease.


    This put a new light on alcoholism. We were not wrestling merely with a moral problem. We were not simply afflicted by darkness of intellect, weakness of will and sheer orneriness of personality.


    The next step was the attack on the obsession common to alcoholics-that somehow, somewhere, sometime they will be able to drink in a controlled manner. Despite the alcoholic’s past, despite the facts of the record, there is in the alcoholic this obsession that tomorrow, the next time he can drink in moderation.


    The true nature of the obsession began to appear when a cold and analytic examination of the alcoholic’s record was made in company with men and women whose own records presented a startling parallel. And what did the record show? That over no considerable period had the alcoholic been able to drink in a temperate manner; that despite the devices he had tried-some elaborate, some ingenious, some just plain silly-and despite the seeming safeguards he had set up, there was always but one ending to his experiments with alcohol-he had drunk to excess.


    There was the further attack on the obsession in the testimony of the group experience of Alcoholics Anonymous and in the findings of the physician and the psychiatrist, that once a man had passed the line that separates the uncontrolled drinker from the controlled drinker, there was no returning; that never again could he hope to drink in a controlled manner.


    Here is the stark factual picture for the alcoholic; That never can he hope to drink except to excess; that as the years go on the little enjoyment becomes less and, if he persists in drinking, the material suffering, the physical suffering, the mental anguish grow worse. If there is any semblance of sanity left in the alcoholic, he sees the need for a decision. With the help of men and women whom he recognizes as having been through the same meatgrinder he has experienced, the alcoholic is aided in arriving at the one proper decision-to put alcohol out of his life.


    When a man embraces the way of life of Alcoholics Anonymous, he makes no promise, he takes no pledge that never again will he drink.


    We say to him:"Can you quit drinking for twenty-four hours?"


    "Certainly," he says. "Anybody can quit drinking for twenty-four hours."


    "Well," we say, "that’s all we want you to strive for-to quit drinking for twenty-four hours."


    And then we add: "Twenty-four hours at a time."


    To the alcoholic the prospect of living out his life with never another drink opens a dim and dubious vista. It seems an endless, difficult trail.


    But the thought of staying dry just for today, that seems simple, comparatively easy. And it is.


    This may strike some as a childish device, a playing with words, a paltering with a problem.


    What we in Alcoholics Anonymous are interested in is the result. And what is the result of this twenty-four hour program and how does it work out?


    It cuts down the problem of alcoholism from a hugh complex, bewildering, life-long problem to the simple task of here and now.


    It closes the door on the past with its sighs over what might have been, its dolorous regrets over lost opportunity, its rankling remorse.


    It bars the door to the future with its daydreams of easy conquest, its castles in Spain, its substitution of the wish for the deed.


    It introduces order into the life of the alcoholic. It demands an end to procrastination.


    Because it is a chain of his own forging, a chain he is at liberty to toss aside if he will, the alcoholic finds the chain easy to bear. The days slip by. And the weeks. Then the months.


    The alcoholic realizes of a sudden that he has achieved a term of sobriety. Meanwhile his mind has cleared. He sees the benefits of a life without alcohol. His will to remain sober is strengthened by each day of dryness.


    He has found a formula for cutting life to a size he can grapple with and he adopts it for all his affairs.


    He has found new friends, close friends, friends who understand him better than those of years standing. As one alcoholic tells it: "The difference between being in Alcoholics Anonymous and trying to stay dry by myself is the difference between being at liberty and in solitary confinement." This group therapy is important, highly important.


    But the driving force of Alcoholics Anonymous is spiritual, a belief in and a dependence on a Higher Power-God, as the alcoholic understands Him. No attempt will be made here at amplification of this statement because this phase of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is a highly individualistic one, a concept and a relationship that each alcoholic works out for himself.


    Alcoholics Anonymous was founded 12 years ago in Akron, Ohio, in a providential meeting between an Akron surgeon and the New York investment counselor who had the thought of the program.


    The New Yorker was bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t persuade other alcoholics to accept the means by which he had achieved sobriety after a spectacular career in alcoholism.


    The surgeon suggested maybe the New Yorker had been operating in the belief that in talking with other alcoholics, he was conferring the favor; that he was Lady Bountiful with the basket of groceries visiting the poor. Out of their discussion came the recognition that the sober alcoholic, in talking with the drinking alcoholic, is conferring the favor on himself.


    This has become basic in AA procedure-that we seek to aid other alcoholics primarily to aid ourselves. This has proved out the adage that he who seeks to teach others convinces himself.


    It has put our whole teaching program on a selfishly realistic basis. It has kept excesses of zeal to a minimum. It has forestalled smugness with its fatal dryrot. It has tempered the evangelistic spirit with humility and humor. It has restrained more than one well meaning sobered alcoholic from becoming a "reformer," a fanatic or a plain pest.


    There is sound psychology in our work with other alcoholics. Seeing an alcoholic on his bed of pain, fresh from the horrors of a ringtailed, chandelier-hanging binge emphasizes sharply to the sober alcoholic the contrast between his present well-being and his chaotic past.


    And with each new man or woman the sober alcoholic brings into Alcoholics Anonymous comes a heightened sense of responsibility, a deeper satisfaction and a buttressed resolve to continue living without alcohol.


    Many a psychiatrist has suggested to the alcoholic that interest in a hobby be one to which the alcoholic can devote the rest of his life, a hobby in which his interest will never flag. The hobby? Building himself into the kind of personality he has always wanted to be. Seeking to live his own concept of the perfect life.


    We have seen alcoholics tackle lesser hobbies. We have seen how, after the first flare of enthusiasm, there was a lessening interest, finally a positive distaste-and then, more drinking.


    Not so with the hobby which is himself. Nor does Alcoholics Anonymous rest content with suggesting this hobby to the new member. It provides a series of exercises in self-discipline, the help and counsel of his new friends, experienced friends, and the incentives of regained self respect, the sense of achievement and of group approval by which this personality change may be effected.


    Man being a social creature hungers for companionship, for fellowship. He reaches the fullness of his powers, the fullness of his content in that society which is a larger picture of himself. So it is for the alcoholic who comes into Alcoholics Anonymous. There is complete understand of the suffering he has undergone; there is sympathy, without condescension; pity, without the alloy of superiority; a fellow feeling which preaches most forcibly by example.


    "All walks of life" is an ancient and hackneyed phrase. Yet in truth there is no phrase to describe the 60,000 men and women in Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcohol is no respecter of persons. Which is why we number in our ranks members from nearly every trade, every occupation, every profession, every station and every class.


    In the early days of the movement most of the men who came to us were 40 and over, most of the women in their 30s. As word of our program spread, the average age of entrants began to drop. We started to attract men in their 30s, women in their late20s.


    Since the end of the war there has been an influx of younger men and women, just two, three, four years past their majority. Confirmed alcoholics at that age? Certainly. These young folk have found they can not drink in a controlled manner. Rather than waste years in a vain struggle with alcohol, they have courageously accepted the fact of their alcoholism and are building lives in which alcohol will play no part.


    The war didn’t make alcoholics of them. It simply speeded up the process. Young men away from the restraints of home began their alcoholic careers at an earlier age. Young women, bored with a comparatively manless existence, turned to drinking at "hen parties," and the customary percentage found they were alcoholic.


    How does one become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous? In most of the 1,200 communities where we have groups, there is a listing in the telephone book. If no telephone is listed in your community, a telephone call to the city editor or your local daily paper usually brings the information. Or interested persons may address the Alcoholic Foundation, P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York City.


    For the relative or friend who wishes to help an alcoholic and who hesitates at bringing up the subject, we suggest the family physician or clergyman as an effective agent in directing the alcoholic to consult our group.


    Sometimes desperate wives or parents have asked that members of our group call uninvited on the alcoholic, engage him with conversation about baseball, the high cost of living or the threat of the atomic bomb, and then, presto, switch the subject to alcoholism.


    This subterfuge just does not work. We are not slight of hand performers nor high-pressure salesmen. Such a procedure, we have found, may well antagonize the alcoholic and set his mind against Alcoholics Anonymous as a band of meddling busybodies.


    All that we ask of the alcoholic is that he know the reason for our coming, that he give us a few minutes that we may tell our story.


    We know that most alcoholics have long since ceased to enjoy drinking. We know that most alcoholics are seeking a way out of their alcoholic trap.


    The comic verse about the over-whelming love of "one drunken gent for another" has a deal of truth in it. There is a bond between alcoholics. Within minutes the alcoholic and the AA members are "talking turkey."


    Often the prospect admits his alcoholism but is fearful it will become known he has joined Alcoholics Anonymous. We can assure him, and with honesty, his fears are groundless. It is accepted group practice that no member divulges the membership of another member unless he has definite and specific permission to do so, and then only under unusual circumstances. Anonymity is observed and preserved.


    Many times the first visit brings the alcoholic into our group. Again it may be the alcoholic’s obsession persuades him that he can handle the problem. Or it may be that he is not ready to make a decision to quit drinking. But the seed has been planted, and usually we hear from him later-if he doesn’t die meanwhile.


    If the alcoholic is not yet ready, he is not badgered to join us. We have learned that the man who joins under duress has small chances of success. We are content to wait until he makes up his mind. When that comes, we know he is well on his way to victory.


    Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of people bound together by their interest in solving a problem common to them. It is a fellowship rather than an organization in the formal sense of that word. It has no officers, no initiation fees, no dues. It is open to anyone who has an alcoholic problem and a sincere desire to solve it.


    It is a matter of record that our program can solve the alcoholic’s problem. As a footnote, we’d like to add that it’s fun, too.



    Source: Hygeia, July 1948


    ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS




    Second of seven articles on alcohol


    In personal and public health




    We in Alcoholics Anonymous-more than 60,000 men and women-have found a way of life that for us has solved the problem of alcoholism.


    To some of us the word "alcoholic" presented a problem almost as great as our abnormal drinking. Our picture of the alcoholic: The stumbling creature of the skid roads of our bigger cities; the town drunkard, half clown, half bogy man, of our smaller communities; or the hapless, hopeless, desperate "repeater" of the state and private hospitals, the "cures", the workhouses.


    The majority of us weren’t that kind of drinker. We maintained a home. We supported our families. We had a position in the community. True, we drank more than most people but that didn’t make us fit our concept of the alcoholic.


    For such of us Alcoholics Anonymous said: We believe that an alcoholic is simply an uncontrolled drinker. We believe that the alcoholic is one whose life has become unmanageable because of his drinking. We believe that, if a man’s drinking is interfering seriously with a normal way of life in his domestic, social or business affairs, that the man might well examine himself honestly, objectively, to determine if he has passed the thin line that separates the uncontrolled drinker from the controlled drinker.


    To others of us, the word "alcoholic" and the AA definition of an alcoholic, came as a blessed relief. The thought had nagged us that no sane man would continue to drink as we were drinking. We had drifted into the twilight zone of the mind where the real and the fancied were becoming tangled. We were beginning to fear that out-and-out insanity lay just around the bend.


    To both groups bitter experience lent credence to the suggestion that certain human beings were allergic to alcohol; that certain persons were so constituted as to make them hypersensitive to the effects of alcohol; that alcohol was a disease or a symptom, perhaps, of a deeper disease.


    This put a new light on alcoholism. We were not wrestling merely with a moral problem. We were not simply afflicted by darkness of intellect, weakness of will and sheer orneriness of personality.


    The next step was the attack on the obsession common to alcoholics-that somehow, somewhere, sometime they will be able to drink in a controlled manner. Despite the alcoholic’s past, despite the facts of the record, there is in the alcoholic this obsession that tomorrow, the next time he can drink in moderation.


    The true nature of the obsession began to appear when a cold and analytic examination of the alcoholic’s record was made in company with men and women whose own records presented a startling parallel. And what did the record show? That over no considerable period had the alcoholic been able to drink in a temperate manner; that despite the devices he had tried-some elaborate, some ingenious, some just plain silly-and despite the seeming safeguards he had set up, there was always but one ending to his experiments with alcohol-he had drunk to excess.


    There was the further attack on the obsession in the testimony of the group experience of Alcoholics Anonymous and in the findings of the physician and the psychiatrist, that once a man had passed the line that separates the uncontrolled drinker from the controlled drinker, there was no returning; that never again could he hope to drink in a controlled manner.


    Here is the stark factual picture for the alcoholic; That never can he hope to drink except to excess; that as the years go on the little enjoyment becomes less and, if he persists in drinking, the material suffering, the physical suffering, the mental anguish grow worse. If there is any semblance of sanity left in the alcoholic, he sees the need for a decision. With the help of men and women whom he recognizes as having been through the same meatgrinder he has experienced, the alcoholic is aided in arriving at the one proper decision-to put alcohol out of his life.


    When a man embraces the way of life of Alcoholics Anonymous, he makes no promise, he takes no pledge that never again will he drink.


    We say to him:"Can you quit drinking for twenty-four hours?"


    "Certainly," he says. "Anybody can quit drinking for twenty-four hours."


    "Well," we say, "that’s all we want you to strive for-to quit drinking for twenty-four hours."


    And then we add: "Twenty-four hours at a time."


    To the alcoholic the prospect of living out his life with never another drink opens a dim and dubious vista. It seems an endless, difficult trail.


    But the thought of staying dry just for today, that seems simple, comparatively easy. And it is.


    This may strike some as a childish device, a playing with words, a paltering with a problem.


    What we in Alcoholics Anonymous are interested in is the result. And what is the result of this twenty-four hour program and how does it work out?


    It cuts down the problem of alcoholism from a hugh complex, bewildering, life-long problem to the simple task of here and now.


    It closes the door on the past with its sighs over what might have been, its dolorous regrets over lost opportunity, its rankling remorse.


    It bars the door to the future with its daydreams of easy conquest, its castles in Spain, its substitution of the wish for the deed.


    It introduces order into the life of the alcoholic. It demands an end to procrastination.


    Because it is a chain of his own forging, a chain he is at liberty to toss aside if he will, the alcoholic finds the chain easy to bear. The days slip by. And the weeks. Then the months.


    The alcoholic realizes of a sudden that he has achieved a term of sobriety. Meanwhile his mind has cleared. He sees the benefits of a life without alcohol. His will to remain sober is strengthened by each day of dryness.


    He has found a formula for cutting life to a size he can grapple with and he adopts it for all his affairs.


    He has found new friends, close friends, friends who understand him better than those of years standing. As one alcoholic tells it: "The difference between being in Alcoholics Anonymous and trying to stay dry by myself is the difference between being at liberty and in solitary confinement." This group therapy is important, highly important.


    But the driving force of Alcoholics Anonymous is spiritual, a belief in and a dependence on a Higher Power-God, as the alcoholic understands Him. No attempt will be made here at amplification of this statement because this phase of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is a highly individualistic one, a concept and a relationship that each alcoholic works out for himself.


    Alcoholics Anonymous was founded 12 years ago in Akron, Ohio, in a providential meeting between an Akron surgeon and the New York investment counselor who had the thought of the program.


    The New Yorker was bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t persuade other alcoholics to accept the means by which he had achieved sobriety after a spectacular career in alcoholism.


    The surgeon suggested maybe the New Yorker had been operating in the belief that in talking with other alcoholics, he was conferring the favor; that he was Lady Bountiful with the basket of groceries visiting the poor. Out of their discussion came the recognition that the sober alcoholic, in talking with the drinking alcoholic, is conferring the favor on himself.


    This has become basic in AA procedure-that we seek to aid other alcoholics primarily to aid ourselves. This has proved out the adage that he who seeks to teach others convinces himself.


    It has put our whole teaching program on a selfishly realistic basis. It has kept excesses of zeal to a minimum. It has forestalled smugness with its fatal dryrot. It has tempered the evangelistic spirit with humility and humor. It has restrained more than one well meaning sobered alcoholic from becoming a "reformer," a fanatic or a plain pest.


    There is sound psychology in our work with other alcoholics. Seeing an alcoholic on his bed of pain, fresh from the horrors of a ringtailed, chandelier-hanging binge emphasizes sharply to the sober alcoholic the contrast between his present well-being and his chaotic past.


    And with each new man or woman the sober alcoholic brings into Alcoholics Anonymous comes a heightened sense of responsibility, a deeper satisfaction and a buttressed resolve to continue living without alcohol.


    Many a psychiatrist has suggested to the alcoholic that interest in a hobby be one to which the alcoholic can devote the rest of his life, a hobby in which his interest will never flag. The hobby? Building himself into the kind of personality he has always wanted to be. Seeking to live his own concept of the perfect life.


    We have seen alcoholics tackle lesser hobbies. We have seen how, after the first flare of enthusiasm, there was a lessening interest, finally a positive distaste-and then, more drinking.


    Not so with the hobby which is himself. Nor does Alcoholics Anonymous rest content with suggesting this hobby to the new member. It provides a series of exercises in self-discipline, the help and counsel of his new friends, experienced friends, and the incentives of regained self respect, the sense of achievement and of group approval by which this personality change may be effected.


    Man being a social creature hungers for companionship, for fellowship. He reaches the fullness of his powers, the fullness of his content in that society which is a larger picture of himself. So it is for the alcoholic who comes into Alcoholics Anonymous. There is complete understand of the suffering he has undergone; there is sympathy, without condescension; pity, without the alloy of superiority; a fellow feeling which preaches most forcibly by example.


    "All walks of life" is an ancient and hackneyed phrase. Yet in truth there is no phrase to describe the 60,000 men and women in Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcohol is no respecter of persons. Which is why we number in our ranks members from nearly every trade, every occupation, every profession, every station and every class.


    In the early days of the movement most of the men who came to us were 40 and over, most of the women in their 30s. As word of our program spread, the average age of entrants began to drop. We started to attract men in their 30s, women in their late20s.


    Since the end of the war there has been an influx of younger men and women, just two, three, four years past their majority. Confirmed alcoholics at that age? Certainly. These young folk have found they can not drink in a controlled manner. Rather than waste years in a vain struggle with alcohol, they have courageously accepted the fact of their alcoholism and are building lives in which alcohol will play no part.


    The war didn’t make alcoholics of them. It simply speeded up the process. Young men away from the restraints of home began their alcoholic careers at an earlier age. Young women, bored with a comparatively manless existence, turned to drinking at "hen parties," and the customary percentage found they were alcoholic.


    How does one become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous? In most of the 1,200 communities where we have groups, there is a listing in the telephone book. If no telephone is listed in your community, a telephone call to the city editor or your local daily paper usually brings the information. Or interested persons may address the Alcoholic Foundation, P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York City.


    For the relative or friend who wishes to help an alcoholic and who hesitates at bringing up the subject, we suggest the family physician or clergyman as an effective agent in directing the alcoholic to consult our group.


    Sometimes desperate wives or parents have asked that members of our group call uninvited on the alcoholic, engage him with conversation about baseball, the high cost of living or the threat of the atomic bomb, and then, presto, switch the subject to alcoholism.


    This subterfuge just does not work. We are not slight of hand performers nor high-pressure salesmen. Such a procedure, we have found, may well antagonize the alcoholic and set his mind against Alcoholics Anonymous as a band of meddling busybodies.


    All that we ask of the alcoholic is that he know the reason for our coming, that he give us a few minutes that we may tell our story.


    We know that most alcoholics have long since ceased to enjoy drinking. We know that most alcoholics are seeking a way out of their alcoholic trap.


    The comic verse about the over-whelming love of "one drunken gent for another" has a deal of truth in it. There is a bond between alcoholics. Within minutes the alcoholic and the AA members are "talking turkey."


    Often the prospect admits his alcoholism but is fearful it will become known he has joined Alcoholics Anonymous. We can assure him, and with honesty, his fears are groundless. It is accepted group practice that no member divulges the membership of another member unless he has definite and specific permission to do so, and then only under unusual circumstances. Anonymity is observed and preserved.


    Many times the first visit brings the alcoholic into our group. Again it may be the alcoholic’s obsession persuades him that he can handle the problem. Or it may be that he is not ready to make a decision to quit drinking. But the seed has been planted, and usually we hear from him later-if he doesn’t die meanwhile.


    If the alcoholic is not yet ready, he is not badgered to join us. We have learned that the man who joins under duress has small chances of success. We are content to wait until he makes up his mind. When that comes, we know he is well on his way to victory.


    Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of people bound together by their interest in solving a problem common to them. It is a fellowship rather than an organization in the formal sense of that word. It has no officers, no initiation fees, no dues. It is open to anyone who has an alcoholic problem and a sincere desire to solve it.


    It is a matter of record that our program can solve the alcoholic’s problem. As a footnote, we’d like to add that it’s fun, too.



    Source: Hygeia, July 1948




    0 -1 0 0
    819 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit.: Pageant, April 1947 Periodical Lit.: Pageant, April 1947 2/7/2003 11:52:00 AM

    This is the story of a brilliant man who very


    nearly sacrificed his whole life to liquor. It makes


    shocking reading, but every word of it is true


     


    I WAS AN ALCOHOLIC



    Anonymous


    As told to Gerald Mygatt


    Memo From The Editor: the name of the teller of this story is purposely omitted. He says his friends and former associates will recognize him. To others his name does not matter. But if your interest is not merely casual, if you or a friend or a member of your family need his help, write to The Alcoholic Foundation, P.O. Box 459, New York 17, New York You will be put in direct touch with him or with the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous group.



     


    In the fall of 1938, I was working in a small radio station in Plattsburg, New York. On a cold night in November I had chills and fever. I sent for a doctor who told me I had incipient pneumonia.


    Some time during the night, delirious, I fell down the stair well of my rooming house and smashed my hip. I was in the hospital for three-months and when I came out I knew I was crippled for life. But none of that annoyed me as much as the fact that some well-meaning ambulance attendant had given me a drink of whisky before my late-night arrival at the hospital. Because they could smell it on my breath, I was booked as drunk...


    Now I’ll tell you the real story of what happened. I had been sent to Plattsburg by some friends who wanted t get me out of New York City. I had been making a mess of myself in New York, cadging money for drinks. So my friends found a job for me in Plattsburg. At $25 a week.


    I had been earning nearly ten times that much; $25 a week was pin money. So-you guessed it-I hit the bottle a little harder. On the night I fell down the stair well I wasn’t delirious. I was drunk and I fell over the bannisters.


    The ambulance attendant who gave me the drink was only doing the humanitarian thing. When you’ve got an alcoholic on your hands the first rule is to give him the alcohol he seems to need. You leave it to the doctors and nurses to sober him up.


    But I fooled the doctors and nurses during the three months that I was confined in the hospital. At least I thought I did, which is the same thing to an alcoholic. The first day there I managed to get a quart of rye. There are usually people in hospitals who think they are being kind in smuggling booze to you.


    When I was nearing the end of my stay my nurse came and sat on my bed. "Of course you won’t admit it," she said, "But you’re an alcoholic. Why don’t you do something about it?"


    "Of course I’m not an alcoholic," I said. "I’ve simply had a little bad luck."


    She whipped out of the room with a crisping of her starched skirts. I reached under the covers of my bed. I took a long pull at a pint I had hidden there. Stupid fool! Me, an alcoholic.


    Let’s go back a little. I started what was then called social drinking a few years after college. I got married. I entered radio publicity. In 1927 I went with National Broadcasting Company and was soon promoted. I was going great guns.


    At the same time I was doing more drinking. At home I drank only when we had quests, though I always found the need to have three or four extra snorts on the side. I was beginning to fall into a drinker’s pattern, but I didn’t know it.


    Then my wife left me. She took my two sons with her. This startled me, because she said that she left me because I drank too much. Ridiculous! Why, I only drank as every other businessman did. But she left me nevertheless. Within two years I was married again. This time I was going to show the world, particularly my first wife.


    I showed her all right. I was now living in a 14-room house in a swanky Connecticut suburb; sitting pretty. I left the National Broadcasting Company to go with a famous advertising firm. I did a lot of traveling and naturally I did a lot of drinking on my trips. How, otherwise, could you entertain the customers? Ah, how otherwise!


    Eventually I was eased out of that firm and it never occurred to me why. They gave me a thousand reasons but not the real reason, which was that I couldn’t hold my liquor. Other men could, but I couldn’t


    I was then elected president of an agency specializing in radio and I felt pretty good. But strangely enough, I was eased out of that company also. Then I went with another big advertising agency. It was about six months before I was eased out of there.


    When I lost that job I had been married, the second time, about seven years. My job was gone but I was confident that on the following Monday I would start on a much better one; all I had to do was say the word. So I proceeded to go home and to announce to my wife that on this week end I was really going on a binge. I guess I did. I don’t remember.


    On Monday I woke up in a hospital. This was the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane, at Norwich, Connecticut. I explained to a nurse that I had been drinking a little too much and that my wife had sent me here for a couple of weeks to sober up.


    "Two weeks!" said the nurse. "Do you know you’ve been in here for two years?"


    I was, too. My wife apparently had been more fed up than I realized. She had signed the papers committing me. The first time she came she was sorry, but it was not until five months later that we were able to convince the State of Connecticut that I should be let out. One reason for the aplomb that got me out was that in this hospital, try as I might, I couldn’t sneak a drink.


    When at last I got out I found that my wife had gone to live with her parents and she had taken the children with her. She had disposed of practically everything we owned in our beautiful 14-room house. What did I do? You guessed it. You’re going to guess it so often that I’ll now try to give you a listing of the hospitals I was in – for excessive drinking – after that.


    Plattsburg, with which I started this story. Broken hip.


    Metropolitan Hospital, Welfare Island, New York. Delirium tremens.


    Bellevue Hospital, New York, more than a dozen times. This was in the psychopathic or "drunk" ward, naturally.


    And, oh yes, before any of this started there was a stretch at New York’s Medical Center, where I paid $25 a day for room and keep for a so-called "nervous breakdown." I did not realize that it was alcohol that caused my "nervousness." I never had the guts to put the blame where it belonged.


    But let’s go back to the time I left Norwich. I crawled out of there with my tail between my legs and I found my wife had left and I went on a series of benders. No wife could tell me where to get off!


    I left Connecticut. New York was better; there were more people to borrow from. I still had "friends" at NBC and other places. I used to hang around NBC at five in the afternoon, waiting for people to come out. I put the bee on all of them: five dollars today, two dollars tomorrow, three the next day.


    I always tried to borrow at least two dollars. One dollar for my room in a cheap hotel, the other dollar for the half-pint that would put me to sleep. On at least one occasion I found myself sleeping on the grass with a 25-cent bottle of sherry in my hand. I say I found myself. Actually a policeman found me and told me to get going. Although it was late September I was well-dressed (so I thought) in a filthy white Palm Beach suit and a pair of white shoes that were mostly black.


    "I’m no drunken bum," said I to the cop resentfully.


    To myself I was still the important personage who for years had been a prominent executive. I knew that if people would stop picking on me I would be back on my feet tomorrow. Always tomorrow.


    Then my friends ganged up and sent me to Plattsburg. When I got out of the Plattsburg Hospital, on crutches, I fondly expected my wife to feel sorry for me and let me come home. She didn’t. She was done with me.


    I thought my sister was done with me too. But my sister, bless her heart, wasn’t done with me. She knew a man, the brother of a friend of hers. She sent him to see me.


    He told me the story of his life, which was much like mine. He asked me to go to the home of a man in Brooklyn who had gathered around him a dozen other men and women who also had stories like mine. They came for me in a car; they practically carried me up the steps to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.


    I walked in on a group of 30 or 40 who looked happy and sober. I thought they were a bunch of holier-than-thou’s who would try to make me over into their own pattern. But these people offered me friendship without criticism. They came and got me each week, and I finally came to understand that they had a set of principles which, if I followed them, would enable me to lead a better life. But I still kept my tongue in my cheek. They could call themselves alcoholics. I never would, because I wasn’t one.


    This was just six years before I finally admitted in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, humbly and sincerely, that I too was an alcoholic.


    The contact with these people did something to me. I got back into the National Broadcasting Company. I stayed cold sober for about two years. Then for a few years I drank, but very carefully. I managed to keep my job; as a matter of fact, I again went up the scale very rapidly. An advertising agency took me away from NBC and I thought that was a feather in my cap.


    I married again, for the third time. I now felt so sure of myself that I went on a toot. My wife and I had some arguments about the fact that I was drinking again. I told her not to be silly, that I had the thing under complete control. She was a trained nurse. She knew all the symptoms. She simply moved faster than the others and saved herself a lot of grief. At the end of five weeks she left me. For good. That was my third strike.


    I was very sorry for myself and-you’ve guessed it again. Presently I became unconscious with the D.T.’s for ten days. The advertising agency was swell to me, but eventually its patience wore out and I was fired again. Because I didn’t have any money left I was sent to the public hospital on Welfare Island.


    God knows how I came out of it, but I did. God knows how I got a job, but I did. I got a job with one of the biggest of all advertising agencies, and I thumbed my nose at all my critics. This time I would show them! I showed them by going on a bender. Needless to say I lost this job too.


    I was then being sent to the psychopathic ward at Bellevue Hospital. The authorities finally got tired of seeing me there, where they would sober you up for five days and then turn you loose, only to have you reappear again. If you were a repeater long enough there was still another fate in store for you-the Rockland State Hospital, where if you were once elected to membership it might be good for life. The grapevine at Bellevue told me I was going to be sent to Rockland. That scared me stiff.


    I needed a cigarets; I didn’t have one; I didn’t even have the money for one. There was a visitor sitting by the bed next to mine. He was smoking, so I put on my best smile and bummed a cigarete from him. Then I entered into small talk by way of talking to him. Was this his first visit to Bellevue?


    He said, casually, "I’m just a member of A.A. This is my day to visit patients."


    "You mean you’re a member of Alcoholics Anonymous?"


    "Sure." He grinned at me.


    I was scared. Moreover, the truth had been beginning to dawn on me-the truth that I was an alcoholic. It had been coming very painfully-but it was coming.


    I stammered, "I once-well, I wasn’t exactly a member, but I went to a lot of meetings. I mean of A.A. Do you think-?"


    The man smiled. "Take it easy, son-you can’t do it all by yourself." Then he dumped a pack of cigarets on my bed and walked out.


    That same day five different members of Alcoholics Anonymous came to call on me. They talked. I listened. Eventually they got me out of Bellevue. I have never been back there-and I have never taken a drink since.


    I started attending A.A. meetings again, but now, instead of being in a private house in Brooklyn, they were held in a big building in Manhattan, with bowling alleys and pool tables, a cafeteria and rooms for bridge and poker. Instead of three or four dozen people hanging around there now were hundreds.


    But it wasn’t this material progress of the A.A. movement that got me. It was literally a spiritual awakening. Maybe I can’t explain it but I’ll try.


    I took an honest fearless inventory of myself-the first of my life. I became willing to have my faults removed, instead of trying, always futilely, to remove them myself. I became humble enough to ask help from a higher power. Yes, God, though you don’t have to believe in God: just a higher power, the power that makes the world go around, or any other conception of a power greater than yourself.


    Since then I have tried through meditation and prayer to increase my conscious contact with that higher power. I have tried to make amends for the wrongs I have done, and I have tried to pass my experiences along to those who are having similar troubles. I have tried to practice the principles of A.A. in my daily contact with my fellow men. This article is an example of what I mean. It isn’t any fun to bare my past as a souse. But I do it gladly in the hope that the telling may help some other souse not to be one.


    I speak of the principles of A.A. They are all written. Anyone can read them all in 20 seconds. But the basis of the program is not in learning something by rote. The success of the program is simply in living for others instead of for yourself.


    And the program works. I find that I am finding genuine happiness in helping other people. I believe that I have gained the respect of my former employers. I know I have regained the love of members of my family with whom I still have contact.


    Certain things are gone. My three attempts at marriage-they are gone, of course. My children have been taken from me-but if I ever meet them, I will at least be the kind of person they won’t be ashamed of.


    We can’t retrace our steps. All we can do is to live every day as it is dealt out to us. We do what we can today to make up for our yesterdays; that is all we can do. While we may have dreams for tomorrow, we don’t live tomorrow today-but living today, really living today, we find our tomorrows are never like yesterday.


     


    Source: Pageant, April 1947


    This is the story of a brilliant man who very


    nearly sacrificed his whole life to liquor. It makes


    shocking reading, but every word of it is true


     



    I WAS AN ALCOHOLIC




    Anonymous


    As told to Gerald Mygatt



    Memo From The Editor: the name of the teller of this story is purposely omitted. He says his friends and former associates will recognize him. To others his name does not matter. But if your interest is not merely casual, if you or a friend or a member of your family need his help, write to The Alcoholic Foundation, P.O. Box 459, New York 17, New York You will be put in direct touch with him or with the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous group.



     


    In the fall of 1938, I was working in a small radio station in Plattsburg, New York. On a cold night in November I had chills and fever. I sent for a doctor who told me I had incipient pneumonia.


    Some time during the night, delirious, I fell down the stair well of my rooming house and smashed my hip. I was in the hospital for three-months and when I came out I knew I was crippled for life. But none of that annoyed me as much as the fact that some well-meaning ambulance attendant had given me a drink of whisky before my late-night arrival at the hospital. Because they could smell it on my breath, I was booked as drunk...


    Now I’ll tell you the real story of what happened. I had been sent to Plattsburg by some friends who wanted t get me out of New York City. I had been making a mess of myself in New York, cadging money for drinks. So my friends found a job for me in Plattsburg. At $25 a week.


    I had been earning nearly ten times that much; $25 a week was pin money. So-you guessed it-I hit the bottle a little harder. On the night I fell down the stair well I wasn’t delirious. I was drunk and I fell over the bannisters.


    The ambulance attendant who gave me the drink was only doing the humanitarian thing. When you’ve got an alcoholic on your hands the first rule is to give him the alcohol he seems to need. You leave it to the doctors and nurses to sober him up.


    But I fooled the doctors and nurses during the three months that I was confined in the hospital. At least I thought I did, which is the same thing to an alcoholic. The first day there I managed to get a quart of rye. There are usually people in hospitals who think they are being kind in smuggling booze to you.


    When I was nearing the end of my stay my nurse came and sat on my bed. "Of course you won’t admit it," she said, "But you’re an alcoholic. Why don’t you do something about it?"


    "Of course I’m not an alcoholic," I said. "I’ve simply had a little bad luck."


    She whipped out of the room with a crisping of her starched skirts. I reached under the covers of my bed. I took a long pull at a pint I had hidden there. Stupid fool! Me, an alcoholic.


    Let’s go back a little. I started what was then called social drinking a few years after college. I got married. I entered radio publicity. In 1927 I went with National Broadcasting Company and was soon promoted. I was going great guns.


    At the same time I was doing more drinking. At home I drank only when we had quests, though I always found the need to have three or four extra snorts on the side. I was beginning to fall into a drinker’s pattern, but I didn’t know it.


    Then my wife left me. She took my two sons with her. This startled me, because she said that she left me because I drank too much. Ridiculous! Why, I only drank as every other businessman did. But she left me nevertheless. Within two years I was married again. This time I was going to show the world, particularly my first wife.


    I showed her all right. I was now living in a 14-room house in a swanky Connecticut suburb; sitting pretty. I left the National Broadcasting Company to go with a famous advertising firm. I did a lot of traveling and naturally I did a lot of drinking on my trips. How, otherwise, could you entertain the customers? Ah, how otherwise!


    Eventually I was eased out of that firm and it never occurred to me why. They gave me a thousand reasons but not the real reason, which was that I couldn’t hold my liquor. Other men could, but I couldn’t


    I was then elected president of an agency specializing in radio and I felt pretty good. But strangely enough, I was eased out of that company also. Then I went with another big advertising agency. It was about six months before I was eased out of there.


    When I lost that job I had been married, the second time, about seven years. My job was gone but I was confident that on the following Monday I would start on a much better one; all I had to do was say the word. So I proceeded to go home and to announce to my wife that on this week end I was really going on a binge. I guess I did. I don’t remember.


    On Monday I woke up in a hospital. This was the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane, at Norwich, Connecticut. I explained to a nurse that I had been drinking a little too much and that my wife had sent me here for a couple of weeks to sober up.


    "Two weeks!" said the nurse. "Do you know you’ve been in here for two years?"


    I was, too. My wife apparently had been more fed up than I realized. She had signed the papers committing me. The first time she came she was sorry, but it was not until five months later that we were able to convince the State of Connecticut that I should be let out. One reason for the aplomb that got me out was that in this hospital, try as I might, I couldn’t sneak a drink.


    When at last I got out I found that my wife had gone to live with her parents and she had taken the children with her. She had disposed of practically everything we owned in our beautiful 14-room house. What did I do? You guessed it. You’re going to guess it so often that I’ll now try to give you a listing of the hospitals I was in – for excessive drinking – after that.


    Plattsburg, with which I started this story. Broken hip.


    Metropolitan Hospital, Welfare Island, New York. Delirium tremens.


    Bellevue Hospital, New York, more than a dozen times. This was in the psychopathic or "drunk" ward, naturally.


    And, oh yes, before any of this started there was a stretch at New York’s Medical Center, where I paid $25 a day for room and keep for a so-called "nervous breakdown." I did not realize that it was alcohol that caused my "nervousness." I never had the guts to put the blame where it belonged.


    But let’s go back to the time I left Norwich. I crawled out of there with my tail between my legs and I found my wife had left and I went on a series of benders. No wife could tell me where to get off!


    I left Connecticut. New York was better; there were more people to borrow from. I still had "friends" at NBC and other places. I used to hang around NBC at five in the afternoon, waiting for people to come out. I put the bee on all of them: five dollars today, two dollars tomorrow, three the next day.


    I always tried to borrow at least two dollars. One dollar for my room in a cheap hotel, the other dollar for the half-pint that would put me to sleep. On at least one occasion I found myself sleeping on the grass with a 25-cent bottle of sherry in my hand. I say I found myself. Actually a policeman found me and told me to get going. Although it was late September I was well-dressed (so I thought) in a filthy white Palm Beach suit and a pair of white shoes that were mostly black.


    "I’m no drunken bum," said I to the cop resentfully.


    To myself I was still the important personage who for years had been a prominent executive. I knew that if people would stop picking on me I would be back on my feet tomorrow. Always tomorrow.


    Then my friends ganged up and sent me to Plattsburg. When I got out of the Plattsburg Hospital, on crutches, I fondly expected my wife to feel sorry for me and let me come home. She didn’t. She was done with me.


    I thought my sister was done with me too. But my sister, bless her heart, wasn’t done with me. She knew a man, the brother of a friend of hers. She sent him to see me.


    He told me the story of his life, which was much like mine. He asked me to go to the home of a man in Brooklyn who had gathered around him a dozen other men and women who also had stories like mine. They came for me in a car; they practically carried me up the steps to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.


    I walked in on a group of 30 or 40 who looked happy and sober. I thought they were a bunch of holier-than-thou’s who would try to make me over into their own pattern. But these people offered me friendship without criticism. They came and got me each week, and I finally came to understand that they had a set of principles which, if I followed them, would enable me to lead a better life. But I still kept my tongue in my cheek. They could call themselves alcoholics. I never would, because I wasn’t one.


    This was just six years before I finally admitted in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, humbly and sincerely, that I too was an alcoholic.


    The contact with these people did something to me. I got back into the National Broadcasting Company. I stayed cold sober for about two years. Then for a few years I drank, but very carefully. I managed to keep my job; as a matter of fact, I again went up the scale very rapidly. An advertising agency took me away from NBC and I thought that was a feather in my cap.


    I married again, for the third time. I now felt so sure of myself that I went on a toot. My wife and I had some arguments about the fact that I was drinking again. I told her not to be silly, that I had the thing under complete control. She was a trained nurse. She knew all the symptoms. She simply moved faster than the others and saved herself a lot of grief. At the end of five weeks she left me. For good. That was my third strike.


    I was very sorry for myself and-you’ve guessed it again. Presently I became unconscious with the D.T.’s for ten days. The advertising agency was swell to me, but eventually its patience wore out and I was fired again. Because I didn’t have any money left I was sent to the public hospital on Welfare Island.


    God knows how I came out of it, but I did. God knows how I got a job, but I did. I got a job with one of the biggest of all advertising agencies, and I thumbed my nose at all my critics. This time I would show them! I showed them by going on a bender. Needless to say I lost this job too.


    I was then being sent to the psychopathic ward at Bellevue Hospital. The authorities finally got tired of seeing me there, where they would sober you up for five days and then turn you loose, only to have you reappear again. If you were a repeater long enough there was still another fate in store for you-the Rockland State Hospital, where if you were once elected to membership it might be good for life. The grapevine at Bellevue told me I was going to be sent to Rockland. That scared me stiff.


    I needed a cigarets; I didn’t have one; I didn’t even have the money for one. There was a visitor sitting by the bed next to mine. He was smoking, so I put on my best smile and bummed a cigarete from him. Then I entered into small talk by way of talking to him. Was this his first visit to Bellevue?


    He said, casually, "I’m just a member of A.A. This is my day to visit patients."


    "You mean you’re a member of Alcoholics Anonymous?"


    "Sure." He grinned at me.


    I was scared. Moreover, the truth had been beginning to dawn on me-the truth that I was an alcoholic. It had been coming very painfully-but it was coming.


    I stammered, "I once-well, I wasn’t exactly a member, but I went to a lot of meetings. I mean of A.A. Do you think-?"


    The man smiled. "Take it easy, son-you can’t do it all by yourself." Then he dumped a pack of cigarets on my bed and walked out.


    That same day five different members of Alcoholics Anonymous came to call on me. They talked. I listened. Eventually they got me out of Bellevue. I have never been back there-and I have never taken a drink since.


    I started attending A.A. meetings again, but now, instead of being in a private house in Brooklyn, they were held in a big building in Manhattan, with bowling alleys and pool tables, a cafeteria and rooms for bridge and poker. Instead of three or four dozen people hanging around there now were hundreds.


    But it wasn’t this material progress of the A.A. movement that got me. It was literally a spiritual awakening. Maybe I can’t explain it but I’ll try.


    I took an honest fearless inventory of myself-the first of my life. I became willing to have my faults removed, instead of trying, always futilely, to remove them myself. I became humble enough to ask help from a higher power. Yes, God, though you don’t have to believe in God: just a higher power, the power that makes the world go around, or any other conception of a power greater than yourself.


    Since then I have tried through meditation and prayer to increase my conscious contact with that higher power. I have tried to make amends for the wrongs I have done, and I have tried to pass my experiences along to those who are having similar troubles. I have tried to practice the principles of A.A. in my daily contact with my fellow men. This article is an example of what I mean. It isn’t any fun to bare my past as a souse. But I do it gladly in the hope that the telling may help some other souse not to be one.


    I speak of the principles of A.A. They are all written. Anyone can read them all in 20 seconds. But the basis of the program is not in learning something by rote. The success of the program is simply in living for others instead of for yourself.


    And the program works. I find that I am finding genuine happiness in helping other people. I believe that I have gained the respect of my former employers. I know I have regained the love of members of my family with whom I still have contact.


    Certain things are gone. My three attempts at marriage-they are gone, of course. My children have been taken from me-but if I ever meet them, I will at least be the kind of person they won’t be ashamed of.


    We can’t retrace our steps. All we can do is to live every day as it is dealt out to us. We do what we can today to make up for our yesterdays; that is all we can do. While we may have dreams for tomorrow, we don’t live tomorrow today-but living today, really living today, we find our tomorrows are never like yesterday.


     



    Source: Pageant, April 1947


    0 -1 0 0
    822 etrnlknight1999
    This is the original manuscript of How It Works. This is the original manuscript of How It Works. 2/7/2003 9:33:00 PM

    This is the original manuscript of How It Works.
    for printable pdf version

    You'll find some of the wording very interesting.

    HOW IT WORKS

    Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our
    directions. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will
    not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men
    and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with
    themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they
    seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of
    grasping and developing a way of life which demands rigorous
    honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too,
    who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of
    them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

    Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what
    happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want
    what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it -then you
    are ready to follow directions.

    At some of these you may balk. You may think you can find an easier,
    softer way. We doubt if you can. With all the earnestness at our
    command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very
    start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the
    result was nil until we let go absolutely.

    Remember that you are dealing with alcohol - cunning, baffling,
    powerful! Without help it is too much for you. But there is One who
    has all power - That One is God. You must find Him now!

    Half measures will avail you nothing. You stand at the turning
    point. Throw yourself under His protection and care with complete
    abandon.

    Now we think you can take it! Here are the steps we took, which are
    suggested as your Program of Recovery:

    1. Admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had
    become unmanageable.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore
    us to sanity.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care
    and direction of God as we understood Him.

    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the
    exact nature of our wrongs.

    6. Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of
    character.

    7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings -
    holding nothing back.

    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to
    make complete amends to them all.

    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when
    to do so would injure them or others.

    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong
    promptly admitted it.

    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with
    God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and
    the power to carry that out.

    12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course
    of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially
    alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    You may exclaim, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not
    be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything
    like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The
    point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The
    principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim
    spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

    Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and
    our personal adventures before and after, have been designed to sell
    you three pertinent ideas:

    (a) That you are alcoholic and cannot manage your own life.
    (b) That probably no human power can relieve your alcoholism.
    (c) That God can and will.

    If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read
    the book to this point or else throw it away!

    If you are convinced, you are now at step three, which is that you
    make a decision to turn your will and your life over to God as you
    understand Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we
    do?

    The first requirement is that you see that any life run on self-will
    can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in
    collision with something or somebody, even though our motives may be
    good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is
    like an actor who wants to run the whole show: is forever trying to
    arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the
    players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if
    only people would do as he wishes, the show would be great.
    Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be
    wonderful. In trying to make these arrangements our actor may
    sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient,
    generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. On the other hand, he
    may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, as with most
    humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.

    What usually happens? The show doesn't come off very well. He begins
    to think life doesn't treat him right. He decides to exert himself
    some more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or
    gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him.
    Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people
    are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What
    is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when
    trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can
    wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only
    manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that
    these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of
    them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show?
    Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather
    than harmony?

    Our actor is self-centered - ego-centric, as people like to call it
    nowadays. He is like the retired business man who lolls in the
    Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the
    nation; the preacher who sighs over the sins of the twentieth
    century; politicians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia
    if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker
    who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost
    all and is locked up. Whatever their protestations, are not these
    people mostly concerned with themselves, their resentments, or their
    self-pity?

    Selfishness - self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our
    troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-
    seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they
    retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly, without provocation,
    but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made
    decisions based on self, which later placed us in a position to be
    hurt. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
    They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is almost the most
    extreme example that could be found of self-will run riot, though he
    usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be
    rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that
    possible. And there is no way of entirely getting rid of self
    without Him. You may have moral and philosophical convictions
    galore, but you can't live up to them even though you would like to.
    Neither can you reduce your self-centeredness much by wishing or
    trying on your own power. You must have God's help.

    This is the how and why of it. First of all, quit playing God
    yourself. It doesn't work. Next, decide that hereafter in this drama
    of life, God is going to by your Director. He is the Principal; you
    are to be His agent. He is the Father, and you are His child. Get
    that simple relationship straight. Most good ideas are simple and
    this concept is to be the keystone of the new and triumphant arch
    through which you will pass to freedom.

    When you sincerely take such a position, all sorts of remarkable
    things follow. You have a new Employer. Being all powerful, He must
    necessarily provide what you need, if you keep close to Him and
    perform His work well. Established on such a footing you become less
    and less interested in yourself, your little plans and designs. More
    and more you become interested in seeing what you can contribute to
    life. As you feel new power flow in, as you enjoy peace of mind, as
    you discover you can face life successfully, as you become conscious
    of His presence, you begin to lose your fear of today, tomorrow, or
    the hereafter. You will have been reborn.

    Get down upon your knees and say to your Maker, as you understand
    Him: "God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with
    me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may
    better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over
    them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love,
    and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" Think well before
    taking this step. Be sure you are ready; that you can at last
    abandon yourself utterly to Him.

    It is very desirable that you make your decision with an
    understanding person. It may be your wife, your best friend, your
    spiritual adviser, but remember it is better to meet God alone that
    with one who might misunderstand. You must decide this for yourself.
    The wording of your decision is, of course, quite optional so long
    as you express the idea, voicing it without reservation. This
    decision is only a beginning, though if honestly and humbly made, an
    effect, sometimes a very great one, will be felt at once.

    Next we launch out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of
    which is a personal housecleaning, which you have never in all
    probability attempted. Though your decision is a vital and crucial
    step, it can have little permanent effect unless at once followed by
    a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in yourself
    which have been blocking you. Your liquor is but a symptom. Let's
    now get down to basic causes and conditions.

    Therefore, you start upon a personal inventory. This is step four. A
    business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking
    a commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process.
    It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. Its
    object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them
    promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be
    successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

    We do exactly the same thing with our lives. We take stock honestly.
    First, we search out the flaws in our make-up which have caused our
    failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, is
    what has defeated us, we consider its common manifestations.

    Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics
    than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for
    we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been
    spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we
    straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments,
    we set them on paper. List people,
    institutions or principles with whom you are angry. Ask yourself why
    you are angry. In most cases it will be found that your self-esteem,
    your pocketbook, your ambitions, your personal relationships,
    (including sex) are hurt or threatened. So you are sore. You
    are "burned up."

    On your grudge list set opposite each name your injuries. Is it your
    self-esteem, your security, your ambitions, your personal, or your
    sex relations, which have been interfered with?

    Be as definite as this example:
    I'm resentful at: The Cause Affects my:

    Mr. Brown His attention to my wife. Sex relations.
    Self-esteem (fear)
    Told my wife of my mistress. Sex relations.
    Self-esteem (fear)
    Brown may get my job at the office. Security.
    Self-esteem (fear)
    Mrs. Jones She's a nut-she snubbed me.
    She committed her husband for Personal relation-
    drinking.He's my friend.She's ship.Self-esteem
    a gossip. (fear)
    My employer Unreasonable - Unjust - Over-
    bearing - Threatens to fire me for Self-esteem (fear)
    drinking and padding my expense Security account.
    My wife Misunderstands and nags.Likes Pride - Personal
    Brown. Wants house put in her name. and sex relations-
    Security (fear)


    Go on through the list back through your lifetime. Nothing counts
    but thoroughness and honesty. When you are finished consider it
    carefully. The first thing apparent to you is that this world and
    its people are often quite wrong. To conclude that others are wrong
    is as far as most of us ever get. The usual outcome is that people
    continue to wrong you and you stay sore. Sometimes it is remorse and
    then you are sore at yourself. But the more you fight and try to
    have your way, the worse matters get. Isn't that so? As in war,
    victors only seem to win. Your moments of triumph are short-lived.

    It is plain that a way of life which includes deep resentment leads
    only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we
    permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth
    while. But with the alcoholic whose only hope is the maintenance and
    growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is
    infinitely grave. We find that it is fatal. For when harboring such
    feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The
    insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to
    drink is to die.

    If we are to live, we must be free of anger. The grouch and the
    brainstorm are not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal
    men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.

    Turn back to your list, for it holds the key to your future. You
    must be prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. You
    will begin to see that the world and its people really dominate you.
    In your present state, the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real,
    has power to actually kill you. How shall you escape? You see that
    these resentments must be mastered, but how? You cannot wish them
    away any more than alcohol.

    This is our course: realize at once that the people who wrong you
    are spiritually sick. Though you don't like their symptoms and the
    way these disturb you, they, like yourself, are sick, too. Ask God
    to help you show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that
    you would cheerfully grant a friend who has cancer. When a person
    next offends, say to yourself "This is a sick man. How can I be
    helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."

    Never argue. Never retaliate. You wouldn't treat sick people that
    way. If you do, you destroy your chance of being helpful. You cannot
    be helpful to all people, but at least God will show you how to take
    a kindly and tolerant view of each and everyone.

    Take up your list again. Putting out of your mind the wrongs others
    have done, resolutely look for your own mistakes. Where have you
    been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a
    situation may not be entirely your fault, disregard the other person
    involved entirely. See where you have been to blame. This is your
    inventory, not the other man's. When you see your fault write it
    down on the list. See it before you in black and white. Admit your
    wrongs honestly and be willing to set these matters straight.

    You will notice that the word fear is bracketed alongside the
    difficulties with Mr. Brown, Mrs. Jones, your employer, and your
    wife. This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our
    lives. It is an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our
    existence is shot through with it. It sets in motion trains of
    circumstances which bring us misfortune we feel we don't deserve.
    But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? Sometimes we think
    fear ought to be classed with stealing as a sin. It seems to cause
    more trouble.

    Review your fears thoroughly. Put them on paper, even though you
    have no resentment in connection with them. Ask yourself why you
    have them. Isn't it because self-reliance has failed you? Self-
    reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn't go far enough.
    Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn't fully solve
    the fear problem, or any other.
    When it made us cocky, it was worse.

    Perhaps there is a better way - we think so. For you are now to go
    on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God.
    You are to trust infinite God rather than your finite self. You are
    in the world to play the role he assigns. Just to the extent that
    you do as you think He would have you, and humbly rely on Him, does
    He enable you to match calamity with serenity.

    You must never apologize to anyone for depending upon your Creator.
    You can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.
    Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is
    that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust
    their God. Never apologize for God. Instead let Him demonstrate,
    through you, what He can do. Ask Him to remove your fear and direct
    your attention to what He would have you be. At once, you will
    commence to outgrow fear.

    Now about sex. You can probably stand an overhauling there. We
    needed it. But above all, let's be sensible on this question. It's
    so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions
    running to extremes - absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices
    cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of
    procreation. Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex;
    who bewail the institution of marriage; who think that most of the
    troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes. They think we do
    not have enough of it, or that it isn't the right kind. They see its
    significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for
    his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet.
    We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the
    arbiter of anyone's sex conduct. We all have sex problems. We'd
    hardly be human if we didn't. What can we do about them?

    Review your own conduct over the years past. Where have you been
    selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom did you hurt? Did you
    unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where you
    were at fault, what should you have done instead? Get this all down
    on paper and look at it.

    In this way you can shape a sane and sound ideal for your future sex
    life. Subject each relation to this test - is it selfish or not? Ask
    God to mould your ideals and help you to live up to them. Remember
    always that your sex powers are God-given, and therefore good,
    neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and
    loathed.

    Whatever your ideal may be, you must be willing to grow toward it.
    You must be willing to make amends where you have done harm,
    provided that you will not bring about still more harm in so doing.
    In other words, treat sex as you would any other problem. In
    meditation, ask God what you should do about each specific matter.
    The right answer will come, if you
    want it.

    God alone can judge your sex situation. Counsel with persons is
    often desirable, but let God be the final judge. Remember that some
    people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. Avoid
    hysterical thinking or advice.

    Suppose you fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble. Does this
    mean you are going to get drunk? Some people will tell you so. If
    they do, it will be only a half-truth. It depends on you and your
    motive. If you are sorry for what you have done, and have the honest
    desire to let God take you to better things, you will be forgiven
    and will have learned your lesson. If you are not sorry, and your
    conduct continues to harm others, you are quite sure to drink. We
    are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.

    To sum up about sex: earnestly pray for the right ideal, for
    guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the
    strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, throw
    yourself the harder into helping others. Think of their needs and
    work for them. This will take you out of yourself. It will quiet the
    imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.

    If you have been thorough about your personal inventory, you have
    written down a lot by this time. You have listed and analyzed your
    resentments. You have begun to comprehend their futility and their
    fatality. You have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness.
    You have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all
    men, even your enemies, for you know them to be sick people. You
    have listed the people you have hurt by your conduct, and you are
    willing to straighten out the past if you can.

    In this book you read again and again that God did for us what we
    could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that He
    can remove the self-will that has blocked you off from Him. You have
    made your decision. You have made an inventory of the grosser
    handicaps you have. You have made a good beginning, for you have
    swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself. Are
    you willing to go on?

    0 -1 0 0
    824 Tom M.
    Re: Pink Cloud Pink Cloud 2/8/2003 11:31:00 PM

    Dr. Tiebout used the term "pink cloud" in his talk at the 20th
    Anniversary Convention at St Louis in 1955 (see ACOA p 249).

    Obviously the fact that Tiebout used the term does not mean that he
    necessarily had anything to do with its origin. We don't know whether
    or not it was a term used by the AAs of the day that he adopted, or
    if it was his term that made its way to AA, perhaps through his
    patients at Blythewood (Marty et al). But clearly the term pre-dates
    the 1960s by at least five years.

    Hope this helps...


    --- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "ghosthwk <janisr@d...>"
    <janisr@d...> wrote:
    > Anyone know the where and when of this term in AA? One of our
    > members since the early 60's remembers hearing the term Pink Cloud
    > used when she came in. Would appreciate any info on this. J

    0 -1 0 0
    825 kentedavis@aol.com
    Selling memberships in Fl pre-traditions-&-beer at meetings Selling memberships in Fl pre-traditions-&-beer at meetings 2/8/2003 9:00:00 PM I have heard that there was a group that sold memberships somewhere in Florida prior to the traditions. Is there any information on this? Is it true.



    I have also wondered about the rumor that there was a group that served beer at their meetings. Does anyone have any information on this?



    Kent

    0 -1 0 0
    826 Rudy890
    1940 Preamble?? 1940 Preamble?? 2/9/2003 8:39:00 PM

    Hi Group,

    I had this sent to me recently and I don't have a clue if it is true
    or not, but it makes for an interesting read.

    Any of you oldtimers recognize this and give me a hint if it
    historically accurate or not


    AA Old Preamble - 1940

    We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact
    that we are powerless over alcohol and unable to do
    anything about it without the help of a Power greater than
    ourselves.

    We feel that each person's religious views, if any, are his
    own affair. The simple purpose of the program of
    Alcoholics Anonymous is to show what may be done to
    enlist the aid of a Power greater than ourselves regardless
    of what our individual conception of that Power may be.

    In order to form a habit of depending upon and referring
    all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves
    with some diligence. By often repeating these acts, they
    become habitual and the help rendered becomes natural to
    us.

    We have all come to know that as alcoholics we are
    suffering from a serious illness for which medicine has no
    cure.

    Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes
    us different from other people. It has never been by any
    treatment with which we are familiar, permanently cured.
    The only relief we have to offer is absolute abstinence, the
    second meaning of A.A.

    There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for
    membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each member
    squares his debt by helping others to recover.

    An Alcoholics Anonymous is an alcoholic who through
    application and adherence to the A.A. program has
    forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverage in any
    form.

    The moment he takes so much as one drop of beer, wine,
    spirits or any other alcoholic beverage he automatically loses
    all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not
    sincere in their desire to remain sober for all time. Not
    being reformers, we offer our experience only to those who
    want it.

    We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree and
    on which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we
    seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our
    program. Those who do not recover are people who will
    not or simply cannot give themselves to this simple
    program. Now you may like this program or you may not,
    but the fact remains, it works. It is our only chance to
    recover.

    There is a vast amount of fun in the A.A. fellowship. Some
    people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and
    levity but just underneath there lies a deadly earnestness
    and a full realization that we must put first things first and
    with each of us the first thing is our alcoholic problem. To
    drink is to die. Faith must work twenty-four hours a day in
    and through us or we perish.

    In order to set our tone for this meeting I ask that we bow
    our heads in a few moments of silent prayer and
    meditation. I wish to remind you that whatever is said at
    this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of
    today and as of up to this moment.

    We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to
    agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that
    you pay no attention to anything which might not be
    reconciled with what is in the A.A. Big Book.

    If you don't have a Big Book, it's time you bought you one.
    Read it, study it, live with it, loan it, scatter it, and then
    learn from it what it means to be an A.A.

    Hugs
    Rudy


    PLEASE VISIT MY HOME PAGE
    http://www.geocities.com/rudy849 or
    http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/4835/
    http://communities.msn.com/RudysAAFamily/_whatsnew.msnw
    ===========================
    Rudy890@optonline.net
    rudy81190@juno.com
    Rudy890@Hotmail.com
    ===========================
    Consider how hard it is to change yourself and
    you'll understand what little chance you have
    in trying to change others.
    º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º

    0 -1 0 0
    827 Thomas
    Re: 1940 Preamble?? 1940 Preamble?? 2/9/2003 10:00:00 PM
    You may find this of interest:

     


     

    Love, Thomas


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Rudy890


    Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 5:39 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] 1940 Preamble??


    Hi Group,

    I had this sent to me recently and I don't have a clue if it is true
    or not, but it makes for an interesting read.

    Any of you oldtimers recognize this and give me a hint if it
    historically accurate or not


    AA Old Preamble - 1940

    We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact
    that we are powerless over alcohol and unable to do
    anything about it without the help of a Power greater than
    ourselves.

    We feel that each person's religious views, if any, are his
    own affair. The simple purpose of the program of
    Alcoholics Anonymous is to show what may be done to
    enlist the aid of a Power greater than ourselves regardless
    of what our individual conception of that Power may be.

    In order to form a habit of depending upon and referring
    all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves
    with some diligence. By often repeating these acts, they
    become habitual and the help rendered becomes natural to
    us.

    We have all come to know that as alcoholics we are
    suffering from a serious illness for which medicine has no
    cure.

    Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes
    us different from other people. It has never been by any
    treatment with which we are familiar, permanently cured.
    The only relief we have to offer is absolute abstinence, the
    second meaning of A.A.

    There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for
    membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each member
    squares his debt by helping others to recover.

    An Alcoholics Anonymous is an alcoholic who through
    application and adherence to the A.A. program has
    forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverage in any
    form.

    The moment he takes so much as one drop of beer, wine,
    spirits or any other alcoholic beverage he automatically loses
    all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not
    sincere in their desire to remain sober for all time. Not
    being reformers, we offer our experience only to those who
    want it.

    We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree and
    on which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we
    seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our
    program. Those who do not recover are people who will
    not or simply cannot give themselves to this simple
    program. Now you may like this program or you may not,
    but the fact remains, it works. It is our only chance to
    recover.

    There is a vast amount of fun in the A.A. fellowship. Some
    people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and
    levity but just underneath there lies a deadly earnestness
    and a full realization that we must put first things first and
    with each of us the first thing is our alcoholic problem. To
    drink is to die. Faith must work twenty-four hours a day in
    and through us or we perish.

    In order to set our tone for this meeting I ask that we bow
    our heads in a few moments of silent prayer and
    meditation. I wish to remind you that whatever is said at
    this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of
    today and as of up to this moment.

    We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to
    agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that
    you pay no attention to anything which might not be
    reconciled with what is in the A.A. Big Book.

    If you don't have a Big Book, it's time you bought you one.
    Read it, study it, live with it, loan it, scatter it, and then
    learn from it what it means to be an A.A.

    Hugs
    Rudy


    PLEASE VISIT MY HOME PAGE
    http://www.geocities.com/rudy849 or
    http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/4835/
    http://communities.msn.com/RudysAAFamily/_whatsnew.msnw
    ===========================
    Rudy890@optonline.net
    rudy81190@juno.com
    Rudy890@Hotmail.com
    ===========================
    Consider how hard it is to change yourself and
    you'll understand what little chance you have
    in trying to change others.
    º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º



    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

     

    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




    0 -1 0 0
    828 cdknapp
    Re: 1940 Preamble?? 1940 Preamble?? 2/9/2003 10:30:00 PM
    This is know as the Texas Preamble.

     

    Texas Preamble:
    A few months after the Grapevine published the Preamble in June, 1947,
    Ollie L., Dick F., and Searcy W. decided to beef it up for the drunks in
    Texas. "We worked on it, passed it around, and agreed on this version,
    " says Searcy W. "It's now read by groups throughout the state." It
    works for Searcy. He's been sober 54 years.

    Source- February, 2001 Grapevine

     

    Thanks

    Charles from California


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Rudy890


    Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 5:39 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] 1940 Preamble??


    Hi Group,

    I had this sent to me recently and I don't have a clue if it is true
    or not, but it makes for an interesting read.

    Any of you oldtimers recognize this and give me a hint if it
    historically accurate or not


    AA Old Preamble - 1940

    We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact
    that we are powerless over alcohol and unable to do
    anything about it without the help of a Power greater than
    ourselves.

    We feel that each person's religious views, if any, are his
    own affair. The simple purpose of the program of
    Alcoholics Anonymous is to show what may be done to
    enlist the aid of a Power greater than ourselves regardless
    of what our individual conception of that Power may be.

    In order to form a habit of depending upon and referring
    all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves
    with some diligence. By often repeating these acts, they
    become habitual and the help rendered becomes natural to
    us.

    We have all come to know that as alcoholics we are
    suffering from a serious illness for which medicine has no
    cure.

    Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes
    us different from other people. It has never been by any
    treatment with which we are familiar, permanently cured.
    The only relief we have to offer is absolute abstinence, the
    second meaning of A.A.

    There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for
    membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each member
    squares his debt by helping others to recover.

    An Alcoholics Anonymous is an alcoholic who through
    application and adherence to the A.A. program has
    forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverage in any
    form.

    The moment he takes so much as one drop of beer, wine,
    spirits or any other alcoholic beverage he automatically loses
    all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not
    sincere in their desire to remain sober for all time. Not
    being reformers, we offer our experience only to those who
    want it.

    We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree and
    on which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we
    seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our
    program. Those who do not recover are people who will
    not or simply cannot give themselves to this simple
    program. Now you may like this program or you may not,
    but the fact remains, it works. It is our only chance to
    recover.

    There is a vast amount of fun in the A.A. fellowship. Some
    people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and
    levity but just underneath there lies a deadly earnestness
    and a full realization that we must put first things first and
    with each of us the first thing is our alcoholic problem. To
    drink is to die. Faith must work twenty-four hours a day in
    and through us or we perish.

    In order to set our tone for this meeting I ask that we bow
    our heads in a few moments of silent prayer and
    meditation. I wish to remind you that whatever is said at
    this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of
    today and as of up to this moment.

    We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to
    agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that
    you pay no attention to anything which might not be
    reconciled with what is in the A.A. Big Book.

    If you don't have a Big Book, it's time you bought you one.
    Read it, study it, live with it, loan it, scatter it, and then
    learn from it what it means to be an A.A.

    Hugs
    Rudy


    PLEASE VISIT MY HOME PAGE
    http://www.geocities.com/rudy849 or
    http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/4835/
    http://communities.msn.com/RudysAAFamily/_whatsnew.msnw
    ===========================
    Rudy890@optonline.net
    rudy81190@juno.com
    Rudy890@Hotmail.com
    ===========================
    Consider how hard it is to change yourself and
    you'll understand what little chance you have
    in trying to change others.
    º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º




    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

    0 -1 0 0
    829 Mike B.
    Re: 1940 Preamble?? 1940 Preamble?? 2/9/2003 9:55:00 PM

    This preamble has been used by a few groups in Texas since 1947, according
    to Searcy Whaley, who calls it the Texas Preamble. There was an article
    about this in The Grapevine last year. I've not heard of it being used
    elsewhere.

    Mike B.

    0 -1 0 0
    830 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit- Illustrated,April 8, 1950 Periodical Lit- Illustrated,April 8, 1950 2/10/2003 5:40:00 PM

    Alcoholics Anonymous



    Drunkenness is on the decline in this country. But a tragic few stillabuse the harmless pleasures of moderate drinking. For the first time,


    ILLUSTRATED investigates an experiment to help chronic inebriates



    By WILLI FRISCHAUER



    For a few days I have lived in a world of trembling hands, twitching faces and stumbling feet, among a group of self-centered, talkative yet hesitant people, whose moral and physical powers of resistance had reached rock bottom. I have spent my time with men and women superficially normal but actually in the grip of a malignant, soul-and-body-destroying disease. All my companions were chronic alcoholics. I met them at "Hangover House," a clinic in a south coast holiday resort.


    By meeting them I am able to lift one corner of the veil of secrecy which has covered the mysterious organization Alcoholics Anonymous, with its hundred thousand members in the United States and many branches in Britain. For the first time in the history of the organization, created to help inebriates rid themselves of the craving for harmful drink, a member is prepared to shed his anonymity. It was his house and his work which enabled me to investigate the scourge of alcoholism in this country.


    Do not think that they are the least worried by the ordinary man who occasionally over-celebrates in the local. They are concerned with the men and women whose drinking is not only destructive of themselves but an embarrassment to those in what is popularly known as "the trade." Every licensee in the country will confirm that it is the habitual alcoholic who gives the business a bad name and leads to misguided agitation for Prohibition. It is an obvious irony that America during its Prohibition days saw the birth of the bootleg liquor rackets and an all-time high in crime and drunkenness.


    Until a few weeks ago, Alcoholics Anonymous was only a cypher, an address – "BM/AAL, London, W.C.I." Few people knew anything about the organization. Even "interested parties" had difficulty in tracing it. Then, in quick succession, members intervened in police court cases at Worthing and Hasting on behalf of people charged with being drunk and disorderly. Without revealing their names, they told the magistrates that, in their opinion, the accused could be cured.


    The anonymous witness at Hastings Police Court was a man who had risen to a high position among his fellow-citizens, but had been on the brink of disaster through his addiction to alcohol. He succeeded in re-establishing himself as a useful member of society. Like all members of Alcoholics Anonymous, he frankly describes himself as an ex-alcoholic. He now reveals his identity as Mr. E.C.V. Symonds. "Less than a year ago," he says,"I was a three-bottle a day man, drinking pernod, vodka, calvados – anything to get strong drink."


    Mr. Symonds conquered his craving, joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and does not now touch alcohol. Like all members, he is determined to help others overcome their handicap. An expert in "natural therapy" and "hypnotism, "Vernon" (members of Alcoholics Anonymous are only known by their Christian names) has gone further than the fellowship in his determination to combat alcoholism and to help individual drunkards.


    While Alcoholics Anonymous concentrates on a spiritual cure, Vernon adds very practical measures which, strictly speaking, are outside the province of the organization. The basis for his curative efforts are the "twelve steps" which can be described as the constitution of Alcoholics Anonymous. First of these is "honest self-appraisal": We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.


    The next points consist of statements of belief in a greater power which can restore alcoholics to sanity: a "humble request to God" to remove shortcomings; a decision to make amends to all persons wronged.


    The monthly journal: The A.A. Grapevine, published in the United States, puts it like this: "Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. A.A. has no dues or fees. It is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."


    That is the catechism of the "alkies" – as alcoholics call themselves in America. They hold meetings once or twice a week, discuss their experiences, exchange ideas, strengthen each other’s beliefs and offer moral support to fellow-members. It has been like this since the movement began in Ohio in 1935, when a stockbroker and a doctor, both alcoholics, resolve to cure each other. Within a year, there were forty members. Today there are more than 100,000 in the United States. After the war, British groups began to function, chiefly in London, Manchester, Bolton and along the south coast.


    At first it was chiefly hurried notes scribbled in a police cell by a drunken man, or calls from patients in mental homes which brought members of A.A. to the side of a new aspirant for membership. Now alcoholics Anonymous is open to a wider circle. Their telephone number is appearing in the new directory this month. Ring Bishopsgate 9657, and your call will be answered by Alcoholics Anonymous.


    Medical authorities, in fact, are not quite agreed on what constitutes alcoholism. But my inquiries have produced a startling common denominator. All the self-confessed alcoholics I met hate alcohol in their sober moments. They know that it is the enemy, and that they are powerless once they begin to drink.


    "For months I keep off it," said a successful doctor when I met him at the clinic. "Then by accident, or because of some upset, I have a couple of drinks. At once I get a craving for more and my capacity is great. When ‘time’ is called at a pub I move on in search of more liquor. Why, when ever the night clubs close I make my way to Covent Garden, where the pubs for the market people open early in the morning."


    This man’s latest debauch lasted a full fortnight until he was eventually picked up by Vernon, who took him to his clinic. Covered in mud, the doctor had literally dragged himself through a dozen gutters. His experience is typical. A well-known woman author and alcoholic told me that she disliked the taste of liquor but that she drank two bottles a day until her collapse. And an accountant who in his normal moments looks "as sober as a judge," confessed that after a domestic conflict he drank eau-de-Cologne and switched to lighter fuel before ending up with methylated spirits.


    It is with such situations that Alcoholics Anonymous must cope. They insist that most doctors, clergymen, psychologists and probation officers who are called in to help an alcoholic, have the disadvantage of not really understanding his mind" "Only a habitual drunkard can understand his fellow-sufferer," is the view of A.A. The secretary of the British branches, who calls himself "Dick," is satisfied with the progress and success of the fellowship. "We now number around 500 members," he told me, "and meet regularly to discuss our problems. Yes, I was an alcoholic myself."


    The small membership of Alcoholics Anonymous in Britain is a testimony to the sobriety of the people. Charges have been steadily declining for many decades.


    A well-known publican said that drunkenness is today the least of his trade’s worries. Only very occasionally does he have to deal with customers who have overstepped the mark, and long experience in observation across the bar enables him to discover a potential trouble-maker long before the man himself realizes that he is getting "under the influence."


    Practically every one of these customers is outside the demoralization, pernicious real of real alcoholism. For the true alcoholic, many experts claim, there is no cure – except rigid teetotalism. Doctors in this country are now experimenting with a new drug, antabuse, and are reporting a fair average of success. This drug turns people against the taste of alcohol, but it is too early yet to say whether it can achieve a permanent cure. Such results, according to Alcoholics Anonymous, can only be obtained by an act of faith, as their fellowship suggests.


    My investigations show that the most difficult aspect of such a spiritual cure is the "first step." It is extremely difficult foe an alcoholic who has reached a low moral and physical standard after prolonged indulgence to "snap out of it." Even if his bout lands him in jail his cravings persists because he faces another personal crisis from which the only escape seems to be renewed alcoholic insensibility. As soon as the victim of alcohol is released he again begins to "drown his sorrows" to sink his shame and dishonour.


    That is where a combination of spiritual approach and physical treatment comes in. "I have been through it all myself," Vernon explained, when I visited his clinic, where he treats no more than four patients at a time. "Therefore I am never amazed, never surprised by alcoholics; I am not unconcerned with their worries but I do not pander to their tendencies of egocentricity. Neither, frankly, will I stand any nonsense from the recalcitrant."


    His view is that all appearances of an "institution" should be avoided. His own home is a pleasant country house standing in its own grounds. Here patients, distinguished, dignified-looking people, go for walks, spend their time gardening, exercise their bodies, take steam baths and electrical treatment, eat mostly fruit and vegetables, and enjoy the companionship of fellow-sufferers. In no circumstances are drugs administered. A drop of alcohol to calm down a "bad case" is the limit.


    Emphasis is still laid on re-education, and hypnosis plays its part. But it is essential to develop in the alcoholics, a strong feeling for his fellow-alcoholic, and in this respect Vernon recalls some spectacular successes. "On one occasion," he told me, "A patient was in bed anxiously awaiting the visit of a business partner. The latter, alas, arrived very drunk. There being no other bed free, the patient got up to vacate his own to the greater sufferer."


    Such reaction seems to show that the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous are sound. Alcoholism, it is said, is a mental defect which rigid application of all available will power is best able to counteract. One an alcoholic can summon up enough moral courage to keep away from that first drink he will steer clear of the dark and dangerous passage which leads him through the mists of alcohol fumes down the road to demoralization- and mental and physical destruction.


    In this country, as in the United States, the pioneering work of Alcoholics Anonymous is watched with the closest interest by religious bodies, doctors, psychologists, social workers – and the police.





    Source: ILLUSTRATED, April 8-1950








     


     


     


     


    0 -1 0 0
    831 NMOlson@aol.com
    Virus Warning Virus Warning 2/10/2003 2:17:00 PM AA History Lovers:



    I received this message from Jim Blair and felt I ought to warn all of you not to open any such message.  The message never came to me for approval for posting, so I'm not sure quite what is going on.



    Nancy



    Subj: Virus

    Date: 2/10/03 6:44:20 PM Eastern Standard Time

    From: jblair@videotron.ca

    To: NMOlson@aol.com

    Sent from the Internet (Details)





    Around 5pm, I rec'd an e mail from History Lovers claiming to have a "virus solution." It indicated it was posted by Ernie Kurtz. I was suspicious and isolated it and ran my AV program and determined it contained a virus. The file also contained a jpeg photo of Bill W.




    I'm certain the file didn't come from you. Have you seen it?

    Jim



    0 -1 0 0
    834 NMOlson@aol.com
    Traveling in England and Ireland Traveling in England and Ireland 2/11/2003 3:41:00 AM Dear AA History Lovers,



    Beginning Sunday, February 16, I will be out of town until March 5, first in New York City and then in England and Ireland and therefore will not be able to approve any messages for posting.



    Please do not send posts during that period as I am concerned about my inbox getting full and bouncing important messages.



    I will be in Bristol, England, from Wednesday, February 19 through the 23rd.



    AA Reunion in Bristol



    I will then be in Ditcheat, England, until February 26, when I will fly to Ireland to visit our friend Fiona in Bellina for a few days.



    I would love to meet as many of the AA History Lovers during that trip as possible.



    Would you please let me know before next Saturday if you will be either at the Bristol conference or near Ditcheat or Bellina that we might get together for a cup of coffee.



    In the meantime, please do not post to the list from February 16 through March 5.



    Thanks,



    Nancy Olson

    Moderator

    0 -1 0 0
    835 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit: Science Digest, June 1944 Periodical Lit: Science Digest, June 1944 2/11/2003 9:50:00 AM

    Yale to Rehabilitate Alcoholics



    Condensed from The American Weekly



    Howard W. Haggard



    Director, Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Yale University



    RECURRENT trips to jail for the poverty-stricken inebriate, recriminations and preaching at the well-heeled drunkard will soon be replaced in New Haven and Hartford by a trip to the clinic.


    In each city, a diagnostic and guidance clinic will be opened in the near future, to be known as the Yale Plan Clinic, under the sponsorship of the Laboratory of Applied Physiology of Yale University and the Connecticut State Prison Association, where alcoholics, rich and poor alike, will be offered scientific help.


    No new "cure" for inebriety has been discovered; the clinics will approach the problem from the point of view that the alcoholic is a sick man and should be treated as such.


    The alcoholic is either led to his excessive drinking by a sickness of his personality or his personality has become disordered in the course of many years of heavy drinking.


    Unless the alcoholic realizes that he is sick, and unless his friends and relatives, and the general public, realize that excessive drinking is a disease and not just "weakness" or "pure meanness," there is little hope for the rehabilitation of the alcoholic.


    Threats and punishment, scandal and divorce do not cure the alcoholic; they may even drive him deeper into his habit. What he needs is help – physical and mental help in solving the problems which have given him his disease.


    Unfortunately, the popular belief that the alcoholic merely lacks strength of character is much the same as was the attitude toward the mentally ill a century ago, when the insane were put in prisons, or whipped.


    From time to time the public hears that some "cure" has been found for excessive drinking. This is never true, for there is no specific remedy for helpless dependence upon alcohol, in the sense that there is a cure for diphtheria, or in the sense that there are definite means for controlling the consequences of diabetes.


    There can be no cure for alcoholism. The treatment must be fitted to the cause.


    There are however, various ways and means by which the problem drinker can be helped to overcome his habit, provided always that he wants to be helped.


    The ways and means used are as many as there are kinds of problem drinkers; there is no "medicine" which will cure the craving for alcohol, nor is there some standard method which can be used in the treatment of any problem drinker.


    Today there are probably 600,000 men and women in this country who need medical aid because of their excessive drinking.


    While this seems like a large number, it is nevertheless true that only a small percent of those who drink become alcoholics, and there are some 45 million people in this country who use alcoholic beverages. Out of every 1,000 users about 13 eventually become problem drinkers –that is, no more than 1.3 percent.


    Between one and a half and two million people drink heavily enough to be in danger of becoming problem drinkers. Wide dissemination of the scientific facts about the excessive use of alcohol and the reasons behind excessive drinking may help to prevent at least some of these people from continuing on their dangerous paths to alcoholic doom.


    The 600,000 problem drinkers should not be thought of as a group of like people. They are no more alike in their temperaments and personalities than a group of people who contracted typhoid fever would be. And, unlike typhoid fever, in alcoholism it is not the "germ" which must be treated but the man himself.


    Just as all kinds of personalities are represented among problem drinkers, so are all social, economic and educational levels. The fact that most of the ""common drunks" we see on the streets are from the lower economic levels does not mean that such people are more liable to become heavy drinkers; there are simply more people on this level.


    The well-to-do produce an even greater proportion of inebriates, on a basis of population. We know, for instance, that about 20 percent of those admitted to hospitals and sanitariums for mental disorders are able to afford the relatively high costs of private institutions, which means that they come from the upper income brackets.


    The most familiar alcoholic is the "bum" on the dreary treadmill: he gets drunk, is arrested, sentenced to a few days in jail, released, gets drunk, is arrested -–and so it goes. After a time, the sentences may grow longer, perhaps a few months.


    But no matter how long he is in jail, he resumes his career of drunkenness as soon as he is freed. The jail sentence is definitely not a remedy for inebriety.


    The "bums" clog up the jails and are a burden on the courts, the police, and the taxpayers. A solution to their problem is imperative.


    Less well known to the general public are the inebriate playboy and the glamour girl, who do their too heavy drinking in the comparative privacy of nightclubs, from which they are regularly carried home in taxis or in their own limousines, or their maids and valets may know of their disease.


    Even less exposed to the public eye is the business executive who drinks either in his exclusive club or at his private bar. His associates anxiously guard his secret and squelch whatever rumors get out.


    There is no single reason why people seek intoxication; alcohol can fulfill so many conditions that it can be taken for many reasons.


    It may be baffled ambition, with consequence disgust for the world and a desire to escape from it. A man may be a square peg in a round hole – and drink to escape himself.


    Drunkenness seems to be a rather coarse and bestial pastime, but there are many highly sensitive souls among the excessive drinkers – people whose ideals are so much in conflict with the hard necessities of life that they have to drink themselves into a stupor before they can tolerate existence.


    The great Edgar Allan Poe was one of these. Such people, despite their genius, suffer from an inner lack of self-confidence which bars them from productive work. Only when the barrier is removed by alcohol can they shed the fetters of self-critique and, feeling "On top of the world," produce the literature or art or music which was locked up inside themselves.


    Alcohol does not create this things; it merely releases them, possibly in a less perfect form that some means of release other than alcohol might have given them. Alcohol does not stimulate genius. It puts to sleep the forces which have held it down.


    Most people are not geniuses; they are led to excessive drinking by boredom, by frustration, by social problems, by economic difficulties and family troubles. But all the excessive drinkers, sooner or later, develop a common characteristic – that of damaged physical and mental health.


    Deficiency diseases develop from improper nutrition: and all excessive drinkers fall victims to other ills because their bodies have lost their normal resistance. Their moral stamina is undermined.


    They become unreliable, an increasing burden to their friends and relatives and to the community. They disrupt their families and expose their children to misery as well as to the example of intemperance.


    When the alcoholic finally realizes that he cannot continue his injurious course of life, he seeks for ways and means by which he can drink without doing harm, or by which he can drink less and still satisfy his longing.


    There are no such ways and means. For the inebriate there is only one way out, and that is never to drink again.


    As a rule, it takes him long to realize this. And it takes even longer before he will admit to himself that he can not achieve this without help from the outside.


    When the inebriate enters the clinics (he must be sober, for these are not sobering up stations or hangover cures) he will be interviewed by a psychiatrist who will endeavor to discover those deeply hidden conflicts, disappointments, anxieties, disaffection’s or boredom which led him to his craving for intoxication.


    Then social workers will endeavor to reconstruct the life history of the patient from records and sources including the family.


    Psychologists will determine the picture of his abilities and limitations. A physician will give him a thorough physical examination.


    The psychiatrist will then combine the results of all these examinations, which would give him a picture of the type of man or woman he has before him, the influences which contributed toward the excessive drinking, and the psychological resources and liabilities of the patient.


    According to the total picture thus presented, he will determine the kind of treatment which promises the best prospects and successful results.


    The treatment, of course, will depend on the temperament, personality, family, and social situation of the patient. It will not be given by the clinics; the psychiatrist will recommend what treatment the patient should receive.


    There may be some among those referred to the clinics who are found to have mental disorders in which heavy drinking is quite incidental. In such cases, treatment for the mental disorder in a state mental hospital is the only possible recommendation. They cannot be treated for drinking, since this is merely a symptom of the disease.


    The psychiatrist may find in some individuals a certain readiness for religious experience. If such readiness is developed into its full possibilities the religious experience may offer a solution.


    In a case of this sort, the patient may be referred to a minister.


    Occasionally a patient with a readiness for religious experience may be referred to that courageous group of men and women known as Alcoholics Anonymous.


    Those who have contracted the disease of inebriety through compliance with the customs of a hard drinking social set, rather than through inner difficulties, may be referred to a physician skilled in what is known as the "aversion" or conditioned reflex treatment.


    In this type of treatment, an aversion to alcoholic beverages is created in the patient by means of certain drugs, and when the aversion is well established, psychological pressure is applied to reinforce the newly acquired habit of abstinence.


    There may be cases in which it appears to the psychiatrist that all the patient needs is to be given a chance to use certain unemployment abilities or ambitions.


    In such cases the patient will be put in touch with agencies which can offer the opportunities. In some cases the clinics may help to establish contact with an appropriate employer.



    Source: Science Digest, June 1944



    Yale to Rehabilitate Alcoholics




    Condensed from The American Weekly



    Howard W. Haggard




    Director, Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Yale University




    RECURRENT trips to jail for the poverty-stricken inebriate, recriminations and preaching at the well-heeled drunkard will soon be replaced in New Haven and Hartford by a trip to the clinic.


    In each city, a diagnostic and guidance clinic will be opened in the near future, to be known as the Yale Plan Clinic, under the sponsorship of the Laboratory of Applied Physiology of Yale University and the Connecticut State Prison Association, where alcoholics, rich and poor alike, will be offered scientific help.


    No new "cure" for inebriety has been discovered; the clinics will approach the problem from the point of view that the alcoholic is a sick man and should be treated as such.


    The alcoholic is either led to his excessive drinking by a sickness of his personality or his personality has become disordered in the course of many years of heavy drinking.


    Unless the alcoholic realizes that he is sick, and unless his friends and relatives, and the general public, realize that excessive drinking is a disease and not just "weakness" or "pure meanness," there is little hope for the rehabilitation of the alcoholic.


    Threats and punishment, scandal and divorce do not cure the alcoholic; they may even drive him deeper into his habit. What he needs is help – physical and mental help in solving the problems which have given him his disease.


    Unfortunately, the popular belief that the alcoholic merely lacks strength of character is much the same as was the attitude toward the mentally ill a century ago, when the insane were put in prisons, or whipped.


    From time to time the public hears that some "cure" has been found for excessive drinking. This is never true, for there is no specific remedy for helpless dependence upon alcohol, in the sense that there is a cure for diphtheria, or in the sense that there are definite means for controlling the consequences of diabetes.


    There can be no cure for alcoholism. The treatment must be fitted to the cause.


    There are however, various ways and means by which the problem drinker can be helped to overcome his habit, provided always that he wants to be helped.


    The ways and means used are as many as there are kinds of problem drinkers; there is no "medicine" which will cure the craving for alcohol, nor is there some standard method which can be used in the treatment of any problem drinker.


    Today there are probably 600,000 men and women in this country who need medical aid because of their excessive drinking.


    While this seems like a large number, it is nevertheless true that only a small percent of those who drink become alcoholics, and there are some 45 million people in this country who use alcoholic beverages. Out of every 1,000 users about 13 eventually become problem drinkers –that is, no more than 1.3 percent.


    Between one and a half and two million people drink heavily enough to be in danger of becoming problem drinkers. Wide dissemination of the scientific facts about the excessive use of alcohol and the reasons behind excessive drinking may help to prevent at least some of these people from continuing on their dangerous paths to alcoholic doom.


    The 600,000 problem drinkers should not be thought of as a group of like people. They are no more alike in their temperaments and personalities than a group of people who contracted typhoid fever would be. And, unlike typhoid fever, in alcoholism it is not the "germ" which must be treated but the man himself.


    Just as all kinds of personalities are represented among problem drinkers, so are all social, economic and educational levels. The fact that most of the ""common drunks" we see on the streets are from the lower economic levels does not mean that such people are more liable to become heavy drinkers; there are simply more people on this level.


    The well-to-do produce an even greater proportion of inebriates, on a basis of population. We know, for instance, that about 20 percent of those admitted to hospitals and sanitariums for mental disorders are able to afford the relatively high costs of private institutions, which means that they come from the upper income brackets.


    The most familiar alcoholic is the "bum" on the dreary treadmill: he gets drunk, is arrested, sentenced to a few days in jail, released, gets drunk, is arrested -–and so it goes. After a time, the sentences may grow longer, perhaps a few months.


    But no matter how long he is in jail, he resumes his career of drunkenness as soon as he is freed. The jail sentence is definitely not a remedy for inebriety.


    The "bums" clog up the jails and are a burden on the courts, the police, and the taxpayers. A solution to their problem is imperative.


    Less well known to the general public are the inebriate playboy and the glamour girl, who do their too heavy drinking in the comparative privacy of nightclubs, from which they are regularly carried home in taxis or in their own limousines, or their maids and valets may know of their disease.


    Even less exposed to the public eye is the business executive who drinks either in his exclusive club or at his private bar. His associates anxiously guard his secret and squelch whatever rumors get out.


    There is no single reason why people seek intoxication; alcohol can fulfill so many conditions that it can be taken for many reasons.


    It may be baffled ambition, with consequence disgust for the world and a desire to escape from it. A man may be a square peg in a round hole – and drink to escape himself.


    Drunkenness seems to be a rather coarse and bestial pastime, but there are many highly sensitive souls among the excessive drinkers – people whose ideals are so much in conflict with the hard necessities of life that they have to drink themselves into a stupor before they can tolerate existence.


    The great Edgar Allan Poe was one of these. Such people, despite their genius, suffer from an inner lack of self-confidence which bars them from productive work. Only when the barrier is removed by alcohol can they shed the fetters of self-critique and, feeling "On top of the world," produce the literature or art or music which was locked up inside themselves.


    Alcohol does not create this things; it merely releases them, possibly in a less perfect form that some means of release other than alcohol might have given them. Alcohol does not stimulate genius. It puts to sleep the forces which have held it down.


    Most people are not geniuses; they are led to excessive drinking by boredom, by frustration, by social problems, by economic difficulties and family troubles. But all the excessive drinkers, sooner or later, develop a common characteristic – that of damaged physical and mental health.


    Deficiency diseases develop from improper nutrition: and all excessive drinkers fall victims to other ills because their bodies have lost their normal resistance. Their moral stamina is undermined.


    They become unreliable, an increasing burden to their friends and relatives and to the community. They disrupt their families and expose their children to misery as well as to the example of intemperance.


    When the alcoholic finally realizes that he cannot continue his injurious course of life, he seeks for ways and means by which he can drink without doing harm, or by which he can drink less and still satisfy his longing.


    There are no such ways and means. For the inebriate there is only one way out, and that is never to drink again.


    As a rule, it takes him long to realize this. And it takes even longer before he will admit to himself that he can not achieve this without help from the outside.


    When the inebriate enters the clinics (he must be sober, for these are not sobering up stations or hangover cures) he will be interviewed by a psychiatrist who will endeavor to discover those deeply hidden conflicts, disappointments, anxieties, disaffection’s or boredom which led him to his craving for intoxication.


    Then social workers will endeavor to reconstruct the life history of the patient from records and sources including the family.


    Psychologists will determine the picture of his abilities and limitations. A physician will give him a thorough physical examination.


    The psychiatrist will then combine the results of all these examinations, which would give him a picture of the type of man or woman he has before him, the influences which contributed toward the excessive drinking, and the psychological resources and liabilities of the patient.


    According to the total picture thus presented, he will determine the kind of treatment which promises the best prospects and successful results.


    The treatment, of course, will depend on the temperament, personality, family, and social situation of the patient. It will not be given by the clinics; the psychiatrist will recommend what treatment the patient should receive.


    There may be some among those referred to the clinics who are found to have mental disorders in which heavy drinking is quite incidental. In such cases, treatment for the mental disorder in a state mental hospital is the only possible recommendation. They cannot be treated for drinking, since this is merely a symptom of the disease.


    The psychiatrist may find in some individuals a certain readiness for religious experience. If such readiness is developed into its full possibilities the religious experience may offer a solution.


    In a case of this sort, the patient may be referred to a minister.


    Occasionally a patient with a readiness for religious experience may be referred to that courageous group of men and women known as Alcoholics Anonymous.


    Those who have contracted the disease of inebriety through compliance with the customs of a hard drinking social set, rather than through inner difficulties, may be referred to a physician skilled in what is known as the "aversion" or conditioned reflex treatment.


    In this type of treatment, an aversion to alcoholic beverages is created in the patient by means of certain drugs, and when the aversion is well established, psychological pressure is applied to reinforce the newly acquired habit of abstinence.


    There may be cases in which it appears to the psychiatrist that all the patient needs is to be given a chance to use certain unemployment abilities or ambitions.


    In such cases the patient will be put in touch with agencies which can offer the opportunities. In some cases the clinics may help to establish contact with an appropriate employer.



    Source: Science Digest, June 1944





    0 -1 0 0
    836 Robert Stonebraker
    Old Preamble Old Preamble 2/11/2003 3:21:00 PM

    This is the preamble used in Richmond, Indiana  from 1947 till ?


    An expression I found to be of historical interest was:  "The only requirement for membership is an honest willingness to do anything within one's power to stop drinking."


    Bob S.


    ============================================


    This reading was used by the RICHMOND GROUP In the late 1940s. Found at 101 North lOth Street in 1996.


     


    PURPOSE OF THE AA MEETING:


    ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS IS AN INFORMAL SOCIETY OF EX-PROBLEM DRINKERS WHO AIM


    TO HELP OTHER ALCOHOLICS RECOVER THEIR HEALTH. . NOT BEING REFORMERS WE


    OFFER OUR EXPERIENCE AND HELP ONLY TO THOSE WHO WANT IT. . WHILE EVERY SHADE


    OF OPINION MAY BE EXPRESSED AMONG US EACH MAN'S RELIGIOUS VIEWS IF ANY


    ARE HIS OWN AFFAIR.


     


    NO ONE IS ASKED TO CONFORM TO ANYTHING OTHER THAN TO ADMIT THAT HE, OR SHE,


    HAS AN ALCOHOLIC PROBLEM AND WISHES TO SOLVE IT. .THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR


    THE CURIOUS NOR FOR ANYONE PRESENTLY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL. .


    WE OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS HAVE FOUND A WAY OF LIFE WHICH NO LONGER COMPELS


    US TO DRINK AGAINST OUR WILL. THE WAY TO RECOVERY HAS BEEN REVEALED TO US


    BY A POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES. EACH MAN SQUARES HIS DEBT OF GRATITUDE


    BY HELPING OTHER ALCOHOLICS RECOVER FROM THEIR OBSESSION. . IN SO DOING HE


    MAINTAINS HIS OWN SOBRIETY, THE ONLY REQUIREMENT FOR AA MEMBERSHIP IS AN


    HONEST WILLINGNESS TO DO ANYTHING WITHIN ONE'S POWER TO STOP DRINKING.


    EACH SPEAKER ON OUR PROGRAM EXPRESSES HIS OR HER OWN VIEWS WHICH ARE NOT


    NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE GROUP AS A WHOLE..EACH PERSON PRESENT IS REQUESTED


    TO OBSERVE THE EXACT MEANING OF THE WORD "ANONYMOUS" BECAUSE A MAJORITY


    OF OUR MEMBERS WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS.


     


    ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS 11th TRADITION STATES:


    OUR PUBLIC RELATIONS POLICY IS BASED ATTRACTION RATHER THAN PROMOTION:


    WE NEED ALWAYS MAINTAIN PERSONAL ANONYMITY AT THE LEVEL OF PRESS, RADIO,


    AND FILMS. SO WE ASK ANY GUEST AND ANY MEMBER OF THE PRESS TO LEAVE ANY


    NAMES YOU HEAR, HERE. IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, WHERE


    THEY BELONG.


     


    TRADITIONALLY} AA IS SELF-SUPPORTING. WE PROUDLY IMPOSE ON OURSELVES AN


    OBLIGATION TO PAY OUR OWN WAY. AS A RESPONSIBLE MEMBER IF YOU ACCEPT THIS


    PRINCIPAL, YOU MAY AT THIS TIME SHARE YOUR STRENGTH AND SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE


    WHEN THE BASKET COMES YOUR WAY.


    0 -1 0 0
    837 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit: True, May 1946 Periodical Lit: True, May 1946 2/11/2003 11:39:00 PM

    ALCOHOLISM



    BY DONALD G. COOLEY



    How can you tell if you are an alcoholic or in danger of becoming one? What can you do about compulsive drinking? Here are some common sense facts on the subject


    You think you know a drunk when you see one. He weaves and wobbles, talks thick and woolly, and you can chin yourself on his breath. "There goes an alcoholic," you may remark-but smile when you say that! Intoxication is not proof of alcoholism. Plenty of grandmothers used to get potted on "female remedies," but they weren’t compulsive drinkers. They wore their white ribbons in utter honesty.


    On the other hand, a true alcoholic may never seem to be drunk at all. Bob, a young sales agency executive, was like that. He always had an edge on, but you had to know him very well to suspect it. A different kind of alcoholic was a 35-year- old architect whom we’ll call Fred. For months at a time he would be on the wagon, doing good and brilliant work. Then he would disappear, to be eventually discovered helplessly drunk in the wreckage of his bottle –strewn apartment. Periodically, Fred lands a new job which always seems to pay a little less that the one he drank himself out of.


    Clearly there are drinkers and drinkers; and the vast majority of person who take a nip do not arrive at the problem stage. But there are an estimated 800,000 compulsive drinkers in the country – a staggering public health problem, not helped by the fact that the realistic voices of scientists have an almost hopeless time making themselves heard. Indeed, is basing this article solely upon the analytical findings of specialists who know alcoholism best, the risk is being run that violence almost certainly will be done to the popular fables, misconceptions, and irrelevant concepts of "morality" that have muddied a problem which is, essentially, one of human illness.


    Not even that superb movie, The Lost Weekend, conveys an entirely accurate picture, in the opinions of researchers in alcoholism. The reasons why the Don Birnam of that enthralling production became an alcoholic are glossed over. Not all alcoholics are like him. More important, the spectator may draw the conclusion that alcoholics cannot be cured and that doctors and specialists are tough hearted hombres with little to offer the chronic drunk. The truth is that thousands of ex-alcoholics have been restored to positions of trust, responsibility and esteem in their communities. Strictly speaking, alcoholism cannot be "cured." Neither can tuberculosis. But doctors can arrest the disease’s progress. And when the arrest endures for a lifetime, the practical results are the same as cure.


    A popular attitude is that the alcoholic enjoys drinking and should be punished for overindulging his pleasure. No alcoholic ever drinks for fun. He drinks because he has to in order to feel normal. Neither the teetotaler nor the social drinker can understand the sometimes terrifying psychic pain that drives the alcoholic to bottled anesthesia. He is a sick man. If alcoholism is not a disease in itself, it is at least a symptom of a disease.


    There are alcoholics who drink to ease pain. There are others, usually of low intelligence, without family or business responsibilities-bums-who have time on their hands, little to occupy them and no particular reason to stay sober. But the typical problem drinker is one whose personality is so maladjusted, so un-grownup, that there is continual agonizing friction between himself and the world of reality. The compulsive drinker, like everybody else, is a man with problems. The difference is that he uses alcohol to "solve" his problems. He tries to build up a 100-proof insulating wall between himself and the world of responsibilities.


    No one has ever identified the drink that is "one too many," that pushes a man over the hazy borderline of controlled drinking into the danger zone of alcoholism.


    But there are warning signs aplenty. Dr. Robert V. Seliger, assistant visiting psychiatrist of Johns Hopkins Hospital and an authority on problem drinking, has listed thirty-five red flags. Many other workers are agreed upon symptoms that ought to paralyze the elbows of potential chronic alcoholics. Here are some of the most important:


    When you need a drink to quiet the "shakes."


    When you become a morning drinker.


    When you need "a hair of the dog that bit you." One specialist warns that "only a confirmed or potential alcoholic can tolerate the morning after, without nausea."


    When you become a solitary drinker.


    When despite loss of reputation, loss of working efficiency, loss of standing with family and friends, you can’t give up or reduce drinking.


    When nothing but a drink can make up feel at ease with the world.


    Some of these symptoms indicate that the habit is pretty well advanced. Can a man tell before reaching that stage whether he is the kind in whom drinking is likely to become uncontrollable? In a general way, racial studies indicate that Mediterranean peoples are less likely to use liquor to excess than persons of northern European background. Too, your occupation has some bearing on your susceptibility. Salesmen, especially the high-pressure type, are at the top of the list. Jobs which require you to hoist one with prospects pretty frequently, and which involve considerable tension and nervous drive, seem to fertilize the soil in which alcoholism flourishes. Advertising men, brokers, and similar professionals bottle themselves up in comparatively high numbers.


    But compulsive drinking is, above everything, an individual problem. Let us examine some of the personality factors commonly found in connection with it.


    The typical alcoholic, according to statistics compiled by Dr. Merrill Moore, begins drinking in the last two years of high school or the first two years of college. At first it is ordinary social drinking. After a couple of years he advances to the occasional spree stage, which lasts for about a decade. There is a gradual trend towards solitary drinking. Finally, after some twenty years of imbibing, he arrives at the point where he must have medical care-on the average, at age 40.


    Yet the roots of his trouble are in his childhood. Typically, the alcoholic has parent trouble, though neither he nor his parents may realize it. His father may be stern and exacting, or so upright and successful that the son feels it is hopeless to try to compete with him. Sometimes there is undue pampering; more often, rigid standards of unquestioning obedience. In either case, normal relations between him and his father or other men are handicapped. He may not be able to hold his own with his group in school, in athletics, in social life.


    Altogether, he grows up with a terrible feeling of insecurity. In an emotional sense, in fact, he doesn’t grow up. He shrinks from the give-and-take tests of the world, is so dreadfully fearful of failure that he won’t try to succeed, and seeks desperately for some means of escape. Alcohol – anesthetizing, consoling, socially approved and convenient – becomes his way out.


    An alcoholic is not necessarily a man with a hollow leg. The relation of constitution to temperament has been illuminated by Dr. W.H. Sheldon of Harvard University. In brief, he finds that the stoutish, heavy-set man of pleasant digestion and phlegmatic temperament relaxes and enjoys other people under alcohol. The more athletic fellow, bold, muscular, and adventurous, reacts assertively and aggressively to alcohol. The man for whom alcohol is practically poisonous is likely to be spare, lean, inhibited, crowd-hating, solitary, and mentally overintense.


    Alcohol is always a depressant, never a stimulant. And it works from the top down. That is, it depresses higher functions-inhibition, speech, fine motor co-ordination-in descending order. From this, one can derive a rough yard-stick of drunkenness. The earliest stage (often thought of as stimulation, but really a depression of inhibitions) is the pleasurable, relaxed unself-consciousness that is also the last stage for normal drinkers to whom alcohol is a controlled social accessory. But as the depression descends to lower levels, triggers are released that give the shrewd observer considerable insight into the alcoholic personality.


    For instance, the solitary drunk ordinarily is punishing his worst enemy, the one he fears most-himself. The drunk who beats his wife is giving vent to contempt, hatred, and yen to punish womanhood, perhaps to get even for a domineering mother. The weepy drunk is the regressing infant. The drunk who wants to fight has a frustrated, unconscious rage against the whole world of men outside himself. And the drunk who gets amorous has complex difficulties in the sexual sphere. Typically, the alcoholic’s alleged love affairs rank high in quality. To hear him tell it, he is irresistible to women. Actually, he only rates about 10 proof, for underneath his manly protestations is a basic fear of women. Often what he craves is not a wife but a substitute mother. His marriage adjustments are notoriously poor.


    The problem "to drink or not to drink" is so complex for any individual that no ready-made blanket therapy can be guaranteed. Families of compulsive drinkers are much more optimistic about "easy" cures than are specialists who know the problem. In considering possible treatments for alcoholism, it is advisable first to dispose of some popular "treatments" that have no value at all.


    No secret potion dropped into Frank’s coffee will cure him of drink. No alcoholic has ever been cured on the sly, without his knowledge. "Let’s have his father or the doctor or his boss or the minister give him a good talking-to" is not very helpful unless such advisers are well-trained. The patient may brace up for a while; he may take the pledge, and mean from the bottom of his heart his promise never to touch another drop. He may think he knows why he drinks, but he never does-not until someone gives him insight. Sending him off to a farm or into confinement where he can’t get alcohol will keep him sober as long as he stays there-but no longer, if confinement was his only treatment.


    Fear is a goad, not a cure. The alcoholic whose world is tumbling about his ears knows fear all too well. It is brutally inhuman to expose him to pictures of cirrhotic livers and the like. It is doubly pointless because what impresses people in horror exhibits from the platform may have slight if any basis in scientific fact. Most doctors now believe that cirrhosis of the liver is nutritional rather than alcoholic in origin. Plenty of teetotalers have "alcoholic" livers.


    Any general practitioner can help a patient recover from an attack of acute alcoholism with the use of sedative drugs, rest, forced nutrition and other well-understood methods. But this is an entirely different matter from curing him of compulsive drinking. The difference is important because many a doctor, after periodically assisting lushes over the hump, becomes convinced that his patients are incurable, whereas the specialist takes a much more hopeful view. He knows that the patient’s basic problem is not alcohol-that alcoholism doesn’t come out of a bottle but out of the man. To focus treatment on removal or proscription of whisky is comparable to "curing" a brain tumor by prescribing aspirin. It is the compulsive drinker’s psychological trouble that must be remedied.


    It is fundamental to any successful treatment that the problem drinker must sincerely want to get well. Invariably he will say he wants to. And he may sincerely mean it, especially after recovering from a binge that may have cost him his job or his wife or his reputation. But since he does not know why he drinks, and since alcohol, at whatever cost, serves for him an inner purpose, he usually needs to be helped to self-insight that will make his desire for cure psychologically genuine.



     


    Another basic if brutal truth is that for him there are only two choices: he can remain an alcoholic, or he can become a teetotaler. There is no middle road. Never again can he be a controlled social drinker-if he ever was one. Many a problem drinker, after apparent cure, has figured he could handle mild liquors-beer or wine-only to find out that a drink of ale was the first step to an epic spree that lost him all the ground he gained. When the boys order another round of the same, he is going to have to order plain ginger ale and like it. For him there is no such thing as a little alcohol.


    How, then, are problem drinkers cured? The first step is to settle the practical question: "Is he really an alcoholic? And if so, what kind is he?"


    A simple method of determining whether or not the patient is an addict is suggested by Dr. H.W. Haggard. He advises doctors to limit the patient’s drinking, for an extended but reasonable time, to two drinks a day. If the patient stays within those limits, he is hardly a true alcoholic. The genuine addict may be able to cut out liquor completely, but he cannot be moderate.


    Next, if the man fails that test, is he an alcoholic because of exposure, association, careless habit or other outside factors, or because of deep psychic maladjustments? If the latter is the case (and in Dr. Haggard’s opinion the majority of alcoholics are reasonably normal), understanding, tolerance, and sympathetic treatment by a physician should be effective. The more deeply disturbed drinker, however, requires more intensive treatment. So does the rarer type whose troubles are symptomatic of underlying mental disorder-a psychosis.


    It is the specialized, individual skill of the psychiatrist, plus sanitarium care, that seems best for the toughest cases. The job is to uproot the complexes that have unconsciously been driving the man to drink, and since these long-repressed triggers are different in every case, it is quite an assignment to locate the specific ones that explode the alcohol cartridge. It may take months, perhaps a year, but the patient is finally brought to genuine insight as to why he has been using alcohol as a false answer to his troubles, he’s a good bet for release to the outside world.


    All this is not so easy as it sounds. Relapses are always possible. But a fair guess is that about 35 per cent of addicts are cured, by any of several types of treatment.


    A deep, sincere desire to be cured undoubtedly plays a part. The heartening side of the picture is that thousands of ex-drunks, once reviled, scorned, lambasted or recriminated, have become respected and productive citizens of their communities-their bibulous backgrounds often quite unsuspected.


    Drugs play a role in some treatments, notably in "conditioned reflex" or aversion therapy. The patient is given an injection of a drug which, a definite number of minutes later, will tear him apart with violent vomiting. The doctor opens a bottle of his favorite bourbon, pours a drink, and with diabolical timing hands it to the patient. Down goes the snifter-up comes the viscera, or so it feels. Associating the drink with the hell breaking loose in his interior, the patient develops an aversion to said drink.



    Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the patient understands the trickery or not. The aversion sticks-his stomach knows best. Aversion treatment patients have gone to dinner parties too soon after a session with the doctor, observed the host approaching with a tray of highballs, and have heaped gastric insult upon hospitality. The method appears to be most effective where the addiction is one of simple habituation, without any deep personality factors.


    Basically, the treatment of alcoholism seems essentially to be faith healing, whether through the help of a psychiatrist or by other means. Group therapy apparently is most effective in this respect, as indicated by the successes of such organizations as Alcoholics Anonymous and the Salvation Army. Their methods, based on religious conversion in the broadest sense of the world, produce as many cures, if not more, than other treatments.


    Today there are some 17,000 members of Alcoholics Anonymous in some 500 groups throughout the country. Each member is a freely confessed ex-alcoholic who stands ready at any time of day or night to wrestle purple snakes with a fellow sufferer. Meetings are informal, soft drinks are served, life histories frankly recounted, and reliance is placed upon a higher power for help beyond the individual’s ability.


    Not the least value of such groups is that the alcoholic accepts their members as his kind of people. Everybody has been in the same boat. Nobody is going to bluenose him, wag fingers, or moralize.


    The members are good fellows and fellowship is one of the deep needs of the problem drinker. That is one reason why he likes bars and taverns-the company ordinarily is friendly, uncritical, not given to harsh judgments from a level of superiority.


    Few people are so sensitive, so likely to cringe in advance or to put up defenses against anticipated disapproval, as the alcoholic.


    Most large cities and many small ones now have one or more Alcoholics Anonymous groups. Much of the organization work is done by correspondence. A central office of Alcoholics Anonymous (P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York 17, N.Y.) brings groups together, fosters new groups, and cheerfully dispenses information.


    Nobody claims to have a cure-all for compulsive drinking. All serious students agree that major problems remain unanswered. And they agree that a lot of popular "answers" aren’t answers at all. For instance, throwing drunks into the workhouse. In a very few communities, such as New Haven, Connecticut, where Yale Plan Clinics operate, practice is more enlightened. A drunk there who runs afoul of Johnny Law is "sentenced" to the clinic, where he gets a sympathetic, understanding, but thoroughly scientific going over-and the records of human salvage thus established are impressive.


    Yet, as Dr. E.M. Jellinek of the clinic has pointed out, this therapy has come in for a good deal of criticism from people who feel that alcoholism is encouraged when "horrible examples" of it are taken off the street and the wages of gin shielded from public view!



    Short of competent professional treatment, there are some practical measures that can be observed in managing alcoholics-or even social drinkers. "Feed him well" is a good rule. Drinkers who consume an adequate well-rounded diet are considerably less likely to become medical problems.


    For wives, Dr. Merrill Moore underlines the necessity of never nagging or blaming the victim. "Remember that he is a sick man, emotionally sick, or with an immature personality, and maybe he is doing the best he can.


    Keep him busy and amused because many alcoholics drink only when bored or unoccupied. Try everything that is wholesome and go with him and participate with him."


    And, if you have to have a drink the morning after, or incline toward solitary drinking, or if you need a snifter to quiet the shakes or just to feel "normal," take heed! Alcoholism has not necessarily arrived, but those are signposts along the road leading to it.



    Source: TRUE, May 1946



    0 -1 0 0
    839 Joanna Whitney
    Re: more detail on Triangle and Circle more detail on Triangle and Circle 2/12/2003 3:35:00 PM

    Hi Buffs:

    this is a little nit-picky of me, but I was looking at some old 3rd
    Editions and I noticed that the printing from 1991 has a "R" registered
    trademark sign to the right of the Tri-Circ
    and the previous printings do not...is this because in 91 we were
    "fighting" to protect...? I know the story of the Tri-Circ and why we
    took it out, just wondering about the Reg Tm sign...and why it was in one
    printing and not others.

    Thanks,

    Joanna

    ___________________________________________
    Joanna Whitney, MFA
    Intuitive Fine Art, Prints & Instruction
    http://www.joannawhitney.com
    510-501-4415
    Oakland, California

    0 -1 0 0
    840 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit., Science Illustrated, June 1948 Periodical Lit., Science Illustrated, June 1948 2/13/2003 10:18:00 AM

    We Can Lick Alcoholism



    CLINIC PLAN OFFERS HOPE FOR WORLD"S LEAST UNDERSTOOD SICK PEOPLE



    By Carlton Brown



    TO MANY AMERICANS, the alcoholic is a comic character. They call him souse, stewbum, lush, and dipso; they say he is tight, plastered, stewed, fried, or sauced. In recent years, Americans have been exposed to a great deal of writing about the problem of alcoholism, and to a serious novel and movie, The Lost Weekend. Still, many share the reaction of the man who left the theater and said to his companion:


    "I’m swearing off right now! You’ll never catch me going to another movie."


    To many other Americans, the alcoholic is a subject for moral censure. They class him as a sinner, a social delinquent, a person of weak moral character. They feel that only pure cussedness keeps him from "handling his liquor." There are even many alcoholics who do not recognize that they are alcoholics, and feel privileged to look scornfully upon the people they consider alcoholics.


    Sample studies recently conducted by Rutgers University at New Brunswick, N.J., indicate that 50 per cent of the American public erroneously believe that an alcoholic can stop drinking if he wants to; that only one in five properly views the alcoholic as a sick person.


    This lack of public understanding is the chief obstacle in the way of an effective attack on alcoholism, which Dr. Lawrence Kolb, medical director of the U.S. Public Health Service, has ranked as America’s fourth greatest public health problem.


    This is not to say that science has found a miraculous new cure for alcoholism and that only prejudice and indifference keep it from being applied. There is no one new finding, or group of findings, which promises an easy solution. But there do exist today, as never before, plans of attack which utilize all that science knows about alcoholism in medicine, psychiatry, sociology, and allied fields. Comprehensive programs of treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation have been worked out and tested in clinical practice, which can reduce the casualties of alcoholism by one half or more wherever they are thoroughly applied. But these plans will not work anywhere unless groups of individuals in states, cities, and communities become aware of the seriousness of alcoholism, and raise funds and plan programs to deal with it as a major public health problem.



    How Many Alcoholics?



    The facts about alcoholism concern everyone as intimately as the facts about heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, infantile paralysis. The number of persons in this country medically classified as chronic alcoholics, who have developed physical or mental disorders as a consequence of prolonged heavy drinking, is 50 per cent higher than the number of known sufferers from tuberculosis. And it is a fact of central importance that no one, whether at present a teetotaler, a moderate, or a "social" drinker, can be positive of a lifelong personal immunity to alcoholism.


    Of 100,000,00 Americans of drinking age (15 years and older), an estimated 58,250,000 use some form of alcoholic beverage, to some extent. The great majority of these, some 54,500,000 keep themselves mainly within the category of safe and moderate drinkers, and as such are no part of the public health program. But a minority of all drinking Americans, about 3,750,000, are classified as excessive drinkers, or inebriates, and within this group 750,000 or 800,000 are known, on the basis of hospital and court records, to be chronic alcoholics. Of all excessive drinkers, one in six is a woman.


    Alcoholism is also a social problem of incalculable magnitude. Experienced Salvation Army Workers estimate that 90 percent of the down-and-outers who come to them for help have been brought there by excessive drinking. In New York City, one third of the men and one tenth of the women who take their marital difficulties to Domestic Relations Court are alcoholics; so are 95 per cent of all those committed to the Workhouse and 15 percent of those given penitentiary sentences. Officials of an Industrial Conference on Alcoholism held in Chicago this March estimated that alcoholic employees cost industry $1,000,000,000 in pro-duction and 24,000,000 man-hours of work per year. Boards of education find that parental alcoholism is a frequent factor in absences and behavior problems of school children, as it is in juvenile delinquency. Estimates of traffic accidents involving drinking by drivers and pedestrians vary from 10 to 50 per cent of the total, cannot be summarized in nation-wide terms because of local variations and inaccuracies in the reporting of accidents.


    The problem of alcoholism looms large not only in terms of the number of people it affects, but also because it is such a complicated matter, having so many intangible and unsolved elements. To scientists concerned with the problem, the alcoholic is a sick person, no more deserving of moral blame or ridicule than sufferers from any illness. But alcoholism is not a separate, clearly defined disease entity. No single cause or group of causes can be assigned to it. It is confined to no one group of people within our population. No single course of therapy can be applied universally to all alcoholics. Science is still unable to point with certainty to those individual traits of physical and psychological make-up, which combine to make a small percentage of all drinkers peculiarly susceptible to alcoholism.


    Until quite recently, those concerned with the various aspects of alcoholism-sociologists, physiologists, psychiatrists, educators, religious leaders-tended to approach the problem as specialist in their separate fields. Within the past few years, a new point of view has been emerging among these people. It is that alcoholism is a medical, psychological, social, legal, and moral problem, but that it is none of these alone.


    A dozen years ago, there was no important national organization that was utilizing the tools of science in a concerted attack on alcoholism. Today, there are two central agencies, the Yale Plan on Alcoholism, and the Research Council on Problems of Alcohol, which are carrying out intensive studies, clinical work, and campaigns of public education in all phases of problem drinking. In addition, there is the now well known "voluntary fellowship" of alcoholics Anonymous, which in its 12 years of existence has gathered a membership of 60,000 rehabilitated alcoholics and contributed to the understanding of excessive drinking.



    The Scientific Approach



    Scientific work in this field is divided into two main approaches. One is concerned with finding factors in the biological and psychological make-up of individuals which may give them a predisposition toward alcoholism. The second approach is that of working out methods of treating alcoholism in clinics which will utilize all the knowledge of scientific research. In the practical work of the two main groups in the field, these approaches are combined.


    The Research Council, which is affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is currently carrying on a campaign to raise $200,000 a year to set up a series of combined research and treatment centers in alcoholism in leading medical schools throughout the country. One such center, at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical College, has completed the first year of a five-year plan financed by a $150,000 grant from the council. Some of these funds have been contributed by the liquor industry. This project, under the direction of Dr. Oskar Diethelm, co-ordinates research in the varied fields of psychiatry, internal medicine, physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, psychology, and anthropology.


    In the first year, the staff worked with a selected test group of 25 patients whose normal productive way of life had been seriously disrupted by the use of alcohol. All were people who wanted to be helped and none was of the "derelict" type. Each spent an initial period of from a few weeks to several months in the hospital, undergoing thorough physical, psychiatric, and psychological studies, and following supervised programs of diet, rest, and occupational therapy. Most of the patients willingly kept to the prescribed course and graduated to a transitional stage, of from four to six weeks during which they spent nights and weekends in the hospital and resumed work outside.


    After leaving the hospital, patients enter a follow-up period of three to five years, returning for check-ups at first weekly, and eventually monthly. Social workers help the patient find suitable work and recreation, and family and friends are instructed to respect the patient’s "right not to drink."


    Dr. Diethelm’s primary aim is research. He has released no estimate of the success of his project in rehabilitating the first year’s test group, and an estimate based on such a limited group and period of time would have little scientific standing. Clinicians in this field are reluctant to say that alcoholism has been arrested in any patient until he has gone without alcohol for a period of several years and gives evidence of having undergone a basic re-education that eliminates his need for alcohol. But Diethelm’s staff has announced one promising finding: that certain unidentified substances in the blood are apparently associated with the craving for alcohol, as well as with the emotional states of tension, anxiety, and resentment.


    Some other clues in the psychological field were reported at the most recent annual meeting of the Research Council, in Chicago last December. From the University of Texas, Dr. Roger J. Williams of the Biochemical Institute, announced that because of individual differences in body chemistry, a low concentration of alcohol in the blood is enough to produce signs of intoxication in many people, while others may have several times as high a percentage without becoming drunk.


    Williams believes that differences in metabolic machinery, the way in which the body turns food into energy, make it possible for some people to drink heavily for many years without ever showing clinical symptoms of alcoholism, and impossible for others to drink even a little without developing an inordinate and disastrous craving for alcohol. He does not contend that the biochemical approach alone can conquer alcoholism; he hopes that it will eventually determine certain definite physiological characteristics which render some people vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.


    Such metabolic idiosyncrasies, Williams believes, may be inherited. This does not mean that alcoholism is a hereditary disease – an old- fashioned bugaboo that has been thoroughly scouted by genetic science. The consumption of alcohol, even in excessive quantities over long periods, causes no damage to germ cells, and thus does not effect the genetic make-up of the children of excessive drinkers. Statistics show that only about one third of all alcoholics come from families showing a high incidence of alcoholism and mental illness. The and is emphasized because in an appreciable number of alcoholic patients, alcoholism is merely incidental to their primary ailment. These are "symptomatic" drinkers, who are given to the excessive use of alcohol by a psychosis, serious neurosis, endocrine disturbance, organic illness, or epilepsy. Their drinking is a symptom of their underlying illness.



    Small Hereditary Factor



    Most authorities consider that there may be some hereditary factor in alcoholism, but that it is a small one and difficult to separate from the greater and less understood picture of heredity in mental illness of all types. They believe that when the children of alcoholics take to drink, the influence of environment is generally a far stronger factor than biological inheritance. What may be inherited is an unstable constitution which, if subjected to adverse influences, is likely to develop alcoholism or mental illness more readily than other not so predisposed.


    Williams believes, as do other leading researchers, that both hereditary and environ-mental factors are highly significant and that "a one-sided approach to the problem is doomed to failure." As a biochemist, his special search is for some biochemical means of identifying potential alcoholics, and from that point, of developing preventive and remedial measures.


    The search for a psychological basis for alcoholism is also being carried out in clinical studies at the New York University College of Medicine, under Dr. James J. Smith. He reports that many alcoholics show an insufficiency in the secretions of the adrenal gland (a small ductless gland sitting on the kidney) similar to that found in Addison’s disease. Treatment with adrenal and sex-gland hormones has yielded clinical improvement in NYU ward patients.


    From the University of Chicago, Professor Emeritus Anton J. Carlson, president and scientific director of the Research Council, reports that a nitrogen-chlorine gas, previously used to bleach flour for making white bread, has been found to make proteins act as a nerve poison. Animals have developed convulsions as a result of being fed large amounts of white bread containing the chemical. It may be a contributing factor, Carlson believes, in turning potentially unstable persons into alcoholics.


    Ranging far beyond this particular theory, Carlson indicates that the will of the alcoholic patient appears to be important to his recovery and rehabilitation. "The hereditary, the biochemical, the nutritional, the neural, the educational and the social factors determining the strength and direction of the will of man are still obscure," he says, outlining the broad territory which present-day research in alcoholism is setting out to explore.


    It is this broad, co-ordinated exploration, rather than individual new findings in separate fields, that constitutes the latest and most promising development in the study of alcoholism. The idea of this co-ordination arose at Yale University, and its practical applications are best seen today in the work of the Yale Plan, a many-faceted operation, which is formally know as the Section of Alcohol Studies of the Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Yale University.



    Support from Liquor Industry



    Some of the Yale Plan work is done under agreement with the Connecticut Commission on Alcoholism, a state agency of rehabilitation and public education established in 1945, the first of its kind in this country. The Commission currently derives funds of about $200,000 per year from higher licensing fees which representatives of the liquor industry have accepted voluntarily to pay for the program. The Commission is engaged in a broad, long-range program of education, research, treatment in public clinics and hospitals, community services, and, ultimately, prevention. Since 1945, Utah, Wisconsin, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have followed Connecticut’s lead in tackling alcoholism as a specific public health problem, and other states are instituting similar legislation.


    The Yale Plan conducts the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies, now in its sixth year, which gives an intensive course in all phases of alcoholism to educators, social workers, and other professionally concerned with the subject. It is the outgrowth of experiments in the physiology of alcohol, which Dr. Howard W. Haggard and his associates in the Laboratory of Applied Physiology began around 1930. They made important findings about the metabolism of alcohol and its absorption and oxidation in the body. But Dr. Haggard, who became director of the Laboratory in 1938, saw the important need for going beyond these researches and getting at the fundamental causes and the possible means of prevention of alcoholism. "We got plenty of leads that suggested a physiological basis for compulsive drinking," Haggard said recently. "But they were just leads. We couldn’t find a way of applying them to the individual alcoholics. So we decided to study all aspects of alcoholism and the problems of alcohol. In addition to our physiologists we brought in a biometrician, an anthropologist, a psychologist, a sociologist, an economist, and workers in other fields." The Yale biometrician, Dr. E.M. Jellinek, is now director of the Summer School of Alcohol Studies, associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, and an active collaborator in all of the work of the Yale Plan.


    "We went after the larger questions of why people drink," Dr. Haggard said, "why a few become alcoholics while the great majority does not, what alcohol does to people psychologically as well as physically. When we started the summer school, we were a little afraid of attracting special pleaders for one point of view or another. But we found that when people of various persuasions got together and saw each other’s point of view, they got a broader understanding of the picture. They had discussion sessions outside of lectures, and discovered just what we had found out-that the best way of dealing with the problems of alcohol is to tackle them as a total problem, uniting all approaches."


    For the interested laymen, the most dramatic work being done by the Yale Plan is in its "pilot clinic" at New Haven. This clinic and the one at Hartford were set up in the spring of 1944 with the aid of the Connecticut Prison Association; the management of the Hartford clinic has since been taken over by the Connecticut Commission on Alcoholism. Both clinics were established not only to cope with the loss of industrial manpower through alcoholism in Connecticut, but with the longer aim of working out methods for dealing with two essential problems encountered all over the country: 1) Where can the individual in the community go for aid, advice and treatment? 2) By what method can the community restore the social usefulness of its alcoholically incapacitated members? By what methods can it best prevent alcoholism?



    The Qualified Recoveries



    "We’re not concerned here with whether you should drink or not," Dr. Haggard says. "We’re concerned with those people whose drinking interferes with their lives, who become social problems through excessive drinking. We wanted to know whether it was feasible to set up a free clinic where, at a cost to the community of about $100 per patient, we could get a reasonable recovery. We don’t talk about curing alcoholics. We call our successful cases qualified recoveries. The qualification is that the patient will stay recovered only as long as he doesn’t touch liquor again."


    The Yale Plan Clinic is housed in an old-fashioned red brick building which bears no resemblance to a hospital. Patients are admitted without charge, regardless of their financial circumstances. Some are brought or sent in by members of their family, friends, doctors, or employers. Others, by arrangement with the Connecticut Commission on Alcoholism, are referred to the clinic by the courts. And a good many others, who turn out to be the most responsive to treatment, come in of their own accord, because they are greatly concerned by the extent to which drinking interferes with their leading normal lives.



    The Three Categories



    The medical director of the Yale Plan Clinic, Dr. Giorgio Lolli, heads a staff of ten. Besides himself, there are three other doctors (on part time), three social workers, a psychotherapist, a psychologist, and two secretaries. The clinic has no hospital facilities; all patients are ambulatory cases. The clinic admits all applicants for a least a preliminary interview, but because of its limited facilities and staff, because its function is that of an experimental model rather than a full-scale rehabilitation project, it cannot undertake to treat all applicants. For practical purposes, the New Haven Clinic divides applicants on the basis of diagnosis into three categories:


    1) The symptomatic drinker, whose drinking is incidental to mental illness, severe endocrine disturbance, or epilepsy. Since these people do not respond to treatment for alcoholism as such, they are referred to psychiatrists, private physicians, mental-hygiene clinics, or hospitals, where their underlying illness can be treated. Perhaps 15 per cent of the total number of alcoholics are in this group.


    2) The social misfit, "derelict" type of alcoholic, who is disqualified for family life, hasn’t the emotional stability to hold a good job, is apt to be so physically deteriorated and psychologically disorganized that only long institutional care and social rehabilitation could redeem him. These make up 15-20 per cent of those seen. For this type, the Yale plan people would like to see custodial therapeutic institutions established that would utilize all elements of the co-ordinated approach. The danger in jails and "inebriate farms" as they have been constituted, is that they don’t make proper diagnosis, that they merely keep derelict alcoholics in custody, finally releasing them without any basic improvement in condition.


    3) The true alcoholic, with an impulsive drive to drink. People in this group show a variety of pattern in their drinking habits. Some go on periodical binges, every weekend, or irregularly. Some get drunk every night. Others are always moderately under the influence, have a constant concentration of alcohol in the blood but do not necessarily show obvious signs of drunkenness.



    Handling of Applicants



    Yale Plan doctors do not hold that all alcoholics necessarily fall into one of these arbitrary categories, which are principally useful in the handling of applicants. "Our distinction is made on the basis of whether we think we can or can’t help," Dr. Lolli explains. "Our handling of a patient just coming to the clinic varies greatly according to his state. If he’s just coming out of a binge, he may need help in overcoming the effects of his hangover. In all cases, we make an immediate attempt to give relief. Sedatives may be used when the patient is jittery and nervous. In the early days of treatment, we may administer crude liver plus Vitamin B1. When the physical condition improves, and Vitamin B1 can help bring this about, the need for alcohol diminishes, but nothing has been done to clear up the underlying condition. To tackle this, we use a variety of methods, depending on the individual.


    "At an early point the patient is usually interviewed by a social worker with some psychiatric training. Without antagonizing the patient, we may make a start at getting his case history, his background, family circumstances, employment record, and some preliminary notes on his troubles with drinking. If we can’t get this information at first, we postpone it to weeks or months later.



    A Patient, Not a Sinner



    "There are usually a lot of difficulties which require immediate attention-family troubles, loss of job, legal and financial problems. The social worker starts at once to try to solve the most pressing of these and relieve the tension they cause in the patient. We impress upon every applicant the fact that we consider him a patient, not a sinner. If the patient doesn’t show an immediate psychosis or serious neurosis calling for deep therapy, even these preliminary steps, establishing the fact that he is a patient and that some relief is in sight, have some therapeutic effect. Our approach is a very factual one. We don’t promise anything, and we don’t want patients to promise us anything. We give them the evidence that we can relieve them of some pain, by psychological or medical means, and when they get even this much hope they are off to a good start."


    The next step in the Yale Plan procedure is a thorough physical examination to find out if any illness is present, due or not to alcohol. Alcoholics show "organ-neurotic" symptoms-physical complaints which are apparently of psychological origin. Some of these can be relieved by medical treatment. Benzedrine and dexedrin can help to overcome depressed states. If medical laboratory tests are necessary, they are usually done elsewhere.


    Although the Yale Plan Clinic has no official connection with Alcoholics Anonymous, it refers some of its applicants to the local group of that association, and in turn takes in patients referred to it by AA. Local groups hold regular meetings at which members tell of their own experiences as compulsive drinkers, and testify to their recovery through adherence to the AA plan. This plan consists of twelve formal steps, which may be reduced to these essentials: a) the alcoholic must admit that he is powerless over alcohol and seek help from outside; b) he must attempt to analyze his personality, acknowledge his wrongs, make amends when possible to people he has harmed; c) he must place his dependence upon a higher power, which at first may be merely the AA organization, but ultimately should be God as he understands the concept; d) he must work at rehabilitating other alcoholics.



    Effective Rehabilitation



    Alcoholics Anonymous claims a recovery rate of from 50 to 75 per cent of those who give its methods a sincere trial, and the majority of scientific researchers agree that it is the most effective single course of rehabilitation. Dr. Howard Haggard attributes the success of AA in part to the need of the alcoholic for treatment that is understanding, tolerant, patient, and serious.


    "Recriminations are useless, for the alcoholic has deep within him the strongest feelings of guilt and responds to them with hostility," Haggard says. "They are only further proof that no one understands him. A high moral tone, preaching, drives him away. The gift of really understanding the alcoholic, winning his confidence and co-operation, is often held in high degree by ex-alcoholics who act as lay therapists or group therapists as in Alcoholics Anonymous. They have been through the same experience themselves; they know the feeling of tension, of discontent, of omnipotence, of guilt, and of resentment. They know, and forgive, the inevitable ‘slips’; after the sprees, they are able to maintain their fully understanding attitude and an unabated confidence."



    Religious Elements



    But some problem drinkers, particularly those who are unable to accept the religious elements of the AA plan, prove unresponsive to it. With a small percentage of these, the Yale Plan Clinic uses the aversion therapy or conditioned reflex method as an initial step. This consists of giving the patient a drink in combination with a medicine which produces nausea; after several such treatments an association is built up which makes alcoholic beverages distasteful. The method is useful as a means of keeping a patient away from liquor for a period of weeks or months, when it may be renewed, but it does not clear up the basic maladjustment.


    It is this basic maladjustment, a highly individual matter in each case, which the Yale Group attempts to cope with as soon as possible through a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches. After the diagnostic study has been carried out, the staff tries to fit the therapist to the individual. If he doesn’t click with one person, he is shifted to another, for a favorable reaction to the therapist’s personality is considered highly important in holding the patient’s faith in a course of treatment. A social worker may be able to deal with some of the most troublesome phases of the case; a doctor will be needed for others-difficulties in the sexual sphere, for example. The sex therapist, Mr. Raymond G. McCarthy, executive director of the Yale Plan Clinic, takes on patients who seem likely to respond well to a series of daily interviews over a period of three months, through which the patient develops insight into his problem and is re-educated into a satisfactory pattern of living which excludes the use of alcohol.



    Exact Figures Unknown



    So far some 1,000 patients have been seen by the two Yale Plan clinics at New Haven and Hartford. This figure includes symptomatic drinkers who have been referred elsewhere, and those who have kept no more than one appointment. About 100 of them were referred to the clinics by the courts, and of these, not more that ten per cent came back for further interviews. The Yale group are reluctant to give figures relating to success. They prefer to talk of the "percentage in which the drinking pattern has been favorably affected."


    "Of those who kept coming after the second or third month," says Dr. Lolli, "about 70 per cent have been favorably affected. We can’t even guess how many have stayed entirely off liquor. We had one patient who went for 18 months without a drink, then went on a binge, and came back. Was he a failure? No. His drinking pattern had been favorably affected. He had learned during those 18 months that he got more enjoyment out of life without drinking than with it. We can’t consider that one relapse makes a patient a failure."



    The Time Will Come



    "We don’t have all the answers yet, by any means," Lolli sums up. "But we do feel that we are demonstrating that the specialized clinic for alcoholics is the most effective way of meeting the problem. And the best approach is a combined one-medical, psychological, religious, social. The time will come when the psychological basis of alcoholism will be found. Then we will be able to put a finger on predisposing conditions, perhaps correct them medically or at least convince people with these conditions that alcohol is poison for them."



    Source; Science Illustrated, June 1948





     


     


     


     


     


    0 -1 0 0
    841 Arthur Sheehan
    Fw: 1940 Preamble?? 1940 Preamble?? 2/13/2003 1:14:00 PM
     

    ----- Original Message -----

    Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 4:00 AM

    Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] 1940 Preamble??






    Searcy claims a sobriety date of May 5, 1946.


     


    The preamble below (circa 1946) was taken from a By-laws document of Fort Worth Group One (in the Archives of the Harbor Club in Fort Worth). 


     


    I believe the preamble predates Searcy and was strongly influence by the Akron Manual (i.e. A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous - circa 1940).


     


    Cheers


     


    Arthur S


     


    GROUP ONE


      REGULAR PREFACE TO MEETINGS


     


    (circa 1946)


     


    We are all gathered here because we are faced with the fact that we are powerless over alcohol and are unable to do anything about it without the help of a Power greater than ourselves.


     


    We feel that each person’s religious views, if any, are their own affair, and the simple purpose of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is to show each of us what we can do to enlist the aid of a Power Greater than Ourselves, regardless of what our individual conception of that Power may be. That in order to form a habit of depending upon and referring all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves with some diligence, but by often repeating these acts, they become habitual, and the help rendered becomes natural to us.


     


    We have all come to know that as alcoholics we are suffering from a serious disease for which medicine has no cure. Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes us different from other people. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently cured. The only relief we have to suggest is absolute abstinence – the second meaning of A.A.


     


    There are no dues nor fees. The only requirement for A.A. membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. Each member squares his debt by helping other to recovery.


     


    An Alcoholic Anonymous is an alcoholic who, through an application of an adherence to the A.A. program, has completely foresworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverages or narcotics in any form. The moment he drinks so much as one drop of beer, wine, spirits or any other alcoholic beverage, he automatically loses working status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He cannot attend a meeting if he has had a drink on any meeting day. He is barred from making contact calls on any new or prospective member until he has had thirty days sobriety, unless accompanied by an eligible member or directed to do so by the dispatcher. He cannot hold office or be a candidate for office until he has had three months sobriety and must submit his resignation as an officer if a slip occurs during his tenure in office. A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not sincere in their desire to remain completely sober for all time. Not being reformers we offer our experience only to those who want it.[1]


     


    We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who will not completely give themselves to this simple program.


     


    You may like this program or you may not. But the fact remains that it works and it is our only chance of recovery.


     


    There is, however, a vast amount of fun about it all. Some people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and levity. But just underneath there is a deadly earnestness and a full realization that we must put First Things First. With each of us the First Thing is our alcohol problem, to drink is to die. Faith has to work 24 hours a day in and through us – or we perish.





    [1]  From an early publication titled A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous:  "an alcoholic who, through application and adherence to rules laid down by the organization, has completely forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverages.  The moment he wittingly drinks so much as a drop of beer, wine, spirits, or any other alcoholic drink he automatically loses all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous ...” (popular in Akron/Cleveland roots of AA).


     



    ----- Original Message -----

    From: cdknapp


    Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 9:30 PM

    Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] 1940 Preamble??




    This is know as the Texas Preamble.

     

    Texas Preamble:
    A few months after the Grapevine published the Preamble in June, 1947,
    Ollie L., Dick F., and Searcy W. decided to beef it up for the drunks in
    Texas. "We worked on it, passed it around, and agreed on this version,
    " says Searcy W. "It's now read by groups throughout the state." It
    works for Searcy. He's been sober 54 years.

    Source- February, 2001 Grapevine

     

    Thanks

    Charles from California


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Rudy890


    Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 5:39 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] 1940 Preamble??


    Hi Group,

    I had this sent to me recently and I don't have a clue if it is true
    or not, but it makes for an interesting read.

    Any of you oldtimers recognize this and give me a hint if it
    historically accurate or not


    AA Old Preamble - 1940

    We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact
    that we are powerless over alcohol and unable to do
    anything about it without the help of a Power greater than
    ourselves.

    We feel that each person's religious views, if any, are his
    own affair. The simple purpose of the program of
    Alcoholics Anonymous is to show what may be done to
    enlist the aid of a Power greater than ourselves regardless
    of what our individual conception of that Power may be.

    In order to form a habit of depending upon and referring
    all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves
    with some diligence. By often repeating these acts, they
    become habitual and the help rendered becomes natural to
    us.

    We have all come to know that as alcoholics we are
    suffering from a serious illness for which medicine has no
    cure.

    Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes
    us different from other people. It has never been by any
    treatment with which we are familiar, permanently cured.
    The only relief we have to offer is absolute abstinence, the
    second meaning of A.A.

    There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for
    membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each member
    squares his debt by helping others to recover.

    An Alcoholics Anonymous is an alcoholic who through
    application and adherence to the A.A. program has
    forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverage in any
    form.

    The moment he takes so much as one drop of beer, wine,
    spirits or any other alcoholic beverage he automatically loses
    all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not
    sincere in their desire to remain sober for all time. Not
    being reformers, we offer our experience only to those who
    want it.

    We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree and
    on which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we
    seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our
    program. Those who do not recover are people who will
    not or simply cannot give themselves to this simple
    program. Now you may like this program or you may not,
    but the fact remains, it works. It is our only chance to
    recover.

    There is a vast amount of fun in the A.A. fellowship. Some
    people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and
    levity but just underneath there lies a deadly earnestness
    and a full realization that we must put first things first and
    with each of us the first thing is our alcoholic problem. To
    drink is to die. Faith must work twenty-four hours a day in
    and through us or we perish.

    In order to set our tone for this meeting I ask that we bow
    our heads in a few moments of silent prayer and
    meditation. I wish to remind you that whatever is said at
    this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of
    today and as of up to this moment.

    We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to
    agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that
    you pay no attention to anything which might not be
    reconciled with what is in the A.A. Big Book.

    If you don't have a Big Book, it's time you bought you one.
    Read it, study it, live with it, loan it, scatter it, and then
    learn from it what it means to be an A.A.

    Hugs
    Rudy


    PLEASE VISIT MY HOME PAGE
    http://www.geocities.com/rudy849 or
    http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/4835/
    http://communities.msn.com/RudysAAFamily/_whatsnew.msnw
    ===========================
    Rudy890@optonline.net
    rudy81190@juno.com
    Rudy890@Hotmail.com
    ===========================
    Consider how hard it is to change yourself and
    you'll understand what little chance you have
    in trying to change others.
    º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤øø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º




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    0 -1 0 0
    842 Tina Marie
    Link for donating AA paperbacks to military Link for donating AA paperbacks to military 2/13/2003 2:31:00 PM

    The link below is for donating paperbacks to the
    military. Various AA literature, I'm sure would be
    welcomed, if not life saving.

    http://oppaperback.virtualave.net/

    Tina

    __________________________________________________
    Do you Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! Shopping - Send Flowers for Valentine's Day
    http://shopping.yahoo.com

    0 -1 0 0
    843 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit: See, Sept. 1949 Periodical Lit: See, Sept. 1949 2/14/2003 10:05:00 AM

    MEDICAL CARE FOR ALCOHOLICS



    BROOKLYN HOSPITAL MAINTAINS SPECIALDE-ALCOHOLIZATION WARD FOR PATIENTS



    IN 1935, a hard-drinking young Wall Streeter traveling through Akron, O., encountered a local medical soak with an inevitably dwindling practice. At dinner, and until late that night, the two discussed their mutual weakness. Parting, they promised to meet again, arrived cold sober at their respective lodgings. Thus was born Alcoholics Anonymous ("informal fellowship of ex-problem drinkers").


    A.A. presently includes 80,000 professing members in 23 countries. Its success in helping liquor addicts recover from a debilitat-ing affliction has revised the once-prevalent belief that dipsomania is a punishable vice.


    Medical, psychiatric and clerical authorities currently agree that alcoholics are unfortunate victims of a devastating illness, and should be ministered to as sick people, not condemned as moral transgressors.


    A.A.’s program borrows freely from established principles of medicine, psychiatry and religion. It has persuaded hospitals, which once adamantly refused bed-space to alcoholics, to admit them as the do other sufferers from serious illnesses.


    Latest example of newly-developed cooperation between medical institutions and A.A. was the establishment of a 16-bed ward in Brooklyn, New York’s St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where habitual inebriates are admitted, if sponsored by A.A. members, upon payment of a $75 fee. Patients undergo a five-day "drying out" process under the watchful eyes of especially trained nurses, physicians and psychiatrists. The treatment is not intended as a "cure." No cure for alcoholism exists other then total abstinence.


    But hospitalization is often an indispensable first step on the road to lasting sobriety. When the befuddling fog is lifted from a hapless victim’s body, blood and brain, he is able for the first time to think clearly and recognize the gravity of his plight.


    A.A. volunteers are on hand 24 hours a day. Former alcoholics who have forsworn alcohol, they try to win the newcomer’s confidence, swap details of fabulous benders, prove by own experience that no soul is so lost that he cannot gain his self-respect.


    Physically fit on the sixth day, the patient is released. His A.A. friend calls for him at the hospital and sees him home safely home. Thereafter, he is visited at home frequently, introduced at a neighborhood A.A. group meeting. The samaritan is available for advice and assistance if the urge to drink returns.


    SEE’s photo represent actual case-history. Professional models preserve alcoholic’s, family’s anonymity.



    Picture Captions





    1. Alcoholic is escorted by A.A. sponsor to St. John’s Hospital’s de-alcoholization ward. Medical rehabilitation has resulted in permanent sobriety for 60 to 75 percent of those who undergo rigid treatment.




    2. Blood count indicated whether patient is suffering from diseases other than dipsomania.




    3. Injection of Vitamin B complex restores appetite, loss of which is suffered by almost all addicts.




    4. Psychiatrist tests patient’s ability to walk straight line. Improvement was noted on the second day.




    5. "Shakes" begin to disappear during first two days. Test for hand tremor enables patient to observe progress despite denial of alcohol.




    6. Patient moves about freely on third day, plays cards with fellow-lodger, as nurse pours fruit juice. Mental outlook has brightened considerably.




    7. X-ray photographs reveal that excessive drinking has resulted in evidence of cirrhosis of liver, a vitamin deficiency, gastritis, inflammation of nerves.




    8. Estranged wife agrees to resume married life when A.A. patron convinces her that husband is on road to recovery, needs understanding, affectionate mate.




    9. Pre-discharge checkup shows gain of two pounds weight, health good, except for alcohol- induced complications. Continued abstinence will cure latter.




    10. A.A. representative happily grins as reoriented husband is united with family on St. John’s Hospital steps. Future appears less grim to all concerned.



    (Final photo shows an A.A. meeting with the caption) After three teetotal months marked by constant attendance at A.A. meetings, redeemed tippler feels confident enough to describe to newcomers his erstwhile plight and subsequent salvation. He becomes an enthusiastic A.A. sponsor, finds that helping others adjure alcohol acts as effective substitute for own drinking.



    Source: SEE, September 1949



     


     


     



    0 -1 0 0
    844 Jim Blair
    Periodical LIt: American Weekly, Oct.26, 1946 Periodical LIt: American Weekly, Oct.26, 1946 2/15/2003 2:31:00 PM

    Heightened Hope for Alcoholics



    America’s Chronic Drunkards, Once Shunned as Social Outcasts, Are Being Redeemed by New, Humane Treatment That Restores Them to Health and Respectability



    By Austen Lake



    A new sun is dawning for America’s estimated 900,000 alcoholics-a sun of public intelligence which radiates from the Yale Clinic Plan. The American Weekly printed the first comprehensive, authoritative report on the Yale Plan in February 1945, and since that time use of the new method has been spreading.


    As yet the dawn is in its early shell-pink, but its light has already touched 12 U.S. cities and nine states.


    In Boston, the chronic drunkard is regarded as a sick man, whose disease is a involuntary and consuming as infantile paralysis or malaria.


    In New Haven, Dallas, Des Moines, Daytona Beach and Rochester, N.Y., the alcoholic is treated with the same dignity as any invalid.


    In Fort Worth, Austin, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, addicts are sympathetically screened through social and medical centers and helped back to normal.


    As yet the light is a candle flicker in the century-old gloom of prejudice. But it is still growing brighter. The Yale Plan was its kindling point. Charles Jackson’s memorable book, "The Lost Weekend," and the movie made from it, made a tremendous impact on national consciousness. The expansion of Alcoholics Anonymous has been a profound educational factor. The American press has given the subject more attention since 1940 than during the entire preceding century.


    The Yale Clinic Plan was conceived ten years ago by a New Haven scientist, who approached alcoholism not as a temperance zealot, but as a skilled specialist seeking a preventive formula.


    It works as many thousands of "ex-incurables" can attest.


    Rehabilitated "drunkards" once deemed hopeless have become the Yale Plan’s most enthusiastic workers in redeeming other members of the ancient fellowship of the uptilted bottle.


    Ten years ago Dr. Howard W. Haggard was investigating the effects of noxious gases on the human system in his laboratory at Yale. He was familiar with the reaction of such poison vapors as diphosgene, which clogs the respiratory glands. He know that Lewisite corrodes the mucous membranes and sears the flesh. Chlorpicrin swells the eyeballs and causes nausea.


    So he came to pure grain alcohol, which in repeated dosages over a long period also reacts as a noxious gas, and after years of excessive drinking causes vitamin deficiency, mild paranoia, hallucinosis and depressive psychosis.


    A Yale biometrician, Dr. E.M. Jellinek, was already engaged in alcohol research, and together they attacked the mystery. They wanted answers to such riddles as: "When does the use of alcohol become excessive?" "What does it do to the human system?" "Why are some drinkers more allergic than others?"


    For five years they assembled their data from across the nation, and by 1940 they found that of an estimated 50,000,000 drinkers, all but a small percentage of them used alcohol moderately and only for the purpose of social relaxation.


    Three million people were "excessive" drinkers, who like to go out on fraternal binges periodically, and get out of control, but at other times took their drams temperately or not at all. But of this number approximately 2,000,000 were potential threats, in danger of crossing the thin, wavering line of self abandon.


    Lastly there were about 900,000 liquor addicts, or habitual alcoholics who drink for various reasons and in different ways, but to whom alcohol is a principal reason for living. They were folk who could not adjust themselves to a world of reality and used drink to escape into a shadowy twilight. They had crossed the borderline of normality and had become diseased.


    Thus the Yale Clinic found that a ratio of nearly one in every 40 adult Americans were either confirmed addicts or potentials, at appalling cost to the nation’s economy. Male alcoholics vastly outnumbered women. Of the total arrested drunkards, 97 percent were men between the ages of 30 and 60 – the age peak of production. Racially, the Irish, English and Scandinavian were more susceptible than Jews and Latins.


    The clinic found that, contrary to accepted opinion, alcohol does not act as a stimulant, but actually is a depressant to the higher brain centers, as reason yields to emotion.


    At what stage does a man become drunk?


    A third New Haven doctor had the answer to that. Dr. Leon A. Greenberg invented a machine which resembles a large portable radio, with a nozzle in one side, into which the patient breathes and reveals the alcoholic content in his bloodstream. A dial like an automobile speedometer registers the percentage – a .05 saturation being reasonably sober, .15 being genuinely intoxicated. The amount of alcohol that the average size man can absorb depends on how much food he has in his stomach, how long he took to drink the amount, and what his natural allergy is.


    The Yale Plan is no sawdust trail to salvation. It dovetails realistically with the local police, the district courts, social agencies, medical centers and Alcoholics Anonymous. Thus a sample case in New Haven today is any chronic drunkard brought before a court.


    From long experience the judge knows that it does no good to throw the inebriate into jail. Fines and terms to the county farm fail to reform. Tongue lashings and threats are futile.


    "You’ve been here many times," she says. "you tell me you want to quit, but don’t know how. I’ll give you the chance. Your sentence is suspended, if you agree to keep your regular appointments at the Alcoholic Clinic, and do as they say."


    The alcoholic at first is fearful lest he be made an experimental guinea pig for some strange purpose. But rather than go to jail, he consents, and is taken to 434 Temple Street, where he finds a brick building and a neat, well lighted interior. He is greeted by a cheerful girl receptionist, who ushers him into an inner office where an alert, calm mannered man in a white coat begins to chat quietly.


    The alcoholic is put at ease and encouraged to talk. Like most of his kind he has known years of loneliness, bitter self-reproach, despair and self-condemnation. He has developed a persecution complex and drinks in proportion as his troubles mount. His wife has left him. He cannot hold a job. He is out of control.



    But now for the first time he finds himself treated sympathetically as a sick man instead of sharp rebuke and rough handling. He responds and begins to talk.


    The Clinic learns that he is in need of high vitamin therapy due to prolonged dependency on alcohol instead of food. Pure alcohol contains 210 calories per ounce by weight, but provides no vitamins and even impedes absorption of vitamins from food. A further checkup shows intestinal inflammations. He needs a balanced diet, rest and security. So he is hospitalized, the cost being paid out of the 9 per cent which Connecticut takes from its liquor taxes and earmarks for treating alcoholism.


    The Yale Clinic finds that the man also has several deep-seated fears. A psychiatrist helps him to get rid of these. He requires counsel, supervision and encouragement from trusted friends. The Clinic calls the local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous and finds him sympathetic, helpful fellowship from folk who thoroughly understand his problem. As he is now, so they were. He gets a job, however significant, and begins to feel a new pride in his capabilities.


    It works! Not always, but he has a 60-40 chance of recovery!


    Some backslide and try again. Some fail utterly. But the majority win back to total health, are reconciled with their families and become successful citizens again. It works!


    Though the Yale Plan is now operative in 11 other cities and nine states, Connecticut is the only state which has modern, intelligent alcohol legislation. It earmarks a percentage of its liquor taxes for rehabilitation.


    Elsewhere in the above mentioned cities, the Clinic Plan operates under the Committee for Education on Alcoholism or the CEA, and depends on public spirited citizens who solicit aid and needed funds and distribute printed matter.


    In Boston, among the most energetic cities in the campaign, the CEA has headquarters at 419 Boylston Street, a few doors above the offices of Alcoholics Anonymous, and functions through public subscription and a large list of judges, doctors, psychiatrists, clergymen, educators, social workers, law enforcement officers and business folk. For more than a year the old brownstone building has received a steady stream of alcoholics. Some come voluntary. Some are sent by the courts, some by clergymen.


    By sifting through the index files of the Boston, CEA, one finds entries such as these:


    "Mr. H.Y. Married, 2 children, owner small business, quiet, slightly morbid type. Expressed great fear of inherited nervousness from neurotic mother. Wife too inclined to neurosis. Became periodic "binge" drinker with binges running closer together till they merged.


    "Was given short period hospitalization, and after treatment from psychiatrists, fears dissolved. Faithful visitor. Has been totally abstinent since first appearance at CEA. Has adjusted home life and accepted allergy to alcohol."


    Here is another index card:


    "Miss R.M. Factory worker, arrested 7 times for drunkenness. Referred to CEA by courts. Placed in contact with Alcoholics Anonymous and met regularly with members. First three months had trouble with adjusting self to A.A. program, but persistence of members finally convinced her of practical value of such help. Now has been totally abstinent for two months."


    Next to unenlightened public opinion, say the Yale Planners, the most serious barrier to intelligent treatment of alcoholism is the prejudice in many hospitals, which don’t welcome alcoholics and regard them as pernicious nuisances.


    Alcoholic hospitals are needed, the Yale Planners say, and should be provided from taxpayers’ funds in the assumption that the taxpayers are the most immediate beneficiaries.



    Yet oddly, rehabilitated alcoholics, such as are found in Alcoholics Anonymous, rarely advocate national return to prohibition. They frankly acknowledge that they are among the unfortunate minority who cannot handle drink in moderation.


    The solution is public enlighten-ment, intelligent control, and sympathetic regard for the alcoholic as a sick man, instead of a minor criminal and social renegade. The same light has been kindled and its beam is spreading.



    Source: The American Weekly, October 27, 1946


    Heightened Hope for Alcoholics




    America’s Chronic Drunkards, Once Shunned as Social


    Outcasts, Are Being Redeemed by New, Humane Treatment


    That Restores Them to Health and Respectability




    By Austen Lake



    A new sun is dawning for America’s estimated 900,000 alcoholics-a sun of public intelligence which radiates from the Yale Clinic Plan. The American Weekly printed the first comprehensive, authoritative report on the Yale Plan in February 1945, and since that time use of the new method has been spreading.


    As yet the dawn is in its early shell-pink, but its light has already touched 12 U.S. cities and nine states.


    In Boston, the chronic drunkard is regarded as a sick man, whose disease is a involuntary and consuming as infantile paralysis or malaria.


    In New Haven, Dallas, Des Moines, Daytona Beach and Rochester, N.Y., the alcoholic is treated with the same dignity as any invalid.


    In Fort Worth, Austin, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, addicts are sympathetically screened through social and medical centers and helped back to normal.


    As yet the light is a candle flicker in the century-old gloom of prejudice. But it is still growing brighter. The Yale Plan was its kindling point. Charles Jackson’s memorable book, "The Lost Weekend," and the movie made from it, made a tremendous impact on national consciousness. The expansion of Alcoholics Anonymous has been a profound educational factor. The American press has given the subject more attention since 1940 than during the entire preceding century.


    The Yale Clinic Plan was conceived ten years ago by a New Haven scientist, who approached alcoholism not as a temperance zealot, but as a skilled specialist seeking a preventive formula.


    It works as many thousands of "ex-incurables" can attest.


    Rehabilitated "drunkards" once deemed hopeless have become the Yale Plan’s most enthusiastic workers in redeeming other members of the ancient fellowship of the uptilted bottle.


    Ten years ago Dr. Howard W. Haggard was investigating the effects of noxious gases on the human system in his laboratory at Yale. He was familiar with the reaction of such poison vapors as diphosgene, which clogs the respiratory glands. He know that Lewisite corrodes the mucous membranes and sears the flesh. Chlorpicrin swells the eyeballs and causes nausea.


    So he came to pure grain alcohol, which in repeated dosages over a long period also reacts as a noxious gas, and after years of excessive drinking causes vitamin deficiency, mild paranoia, hallucinosis and depressive psychosis.


    A Yale biometrician, Dr. E.M. Jellinek, was already engaged in alcohol research, and together they attacked the mystery. They wanted answers to such riddles as: "When does the use of alcohol become excessive?" "What does it do to the human system?" "Why are some drinkers more allergic than others?"


    For five years they assembled their data from across the nation, and by 1940 they found that of an estimated 50,000,000 drinkers, all but a small percentage of them used alcohol moderately and only for the purpose of social relaxation.


    Three million people were "excessive" drinkers, who like to go out on fraternal binges periodically, and get out of control, but at other times took their drams temperately or not at all. But of this number approximately 2,000,000 were potential threats, in danger of crossing the thin, wavering line of self abandon.


    Lastly there were about 900,000 liquor addicts, or habitual alcoholics who drink for various reasons and in different ways, but to whom alcohol is a principal reason for living. They were folk who could not adjust themselves to a world of reality and used drink to escape into a shadowy twilight. They had crossed the borderline of normality and had become diseased.


    Thus the Yale Clinic found that a ratio of nearly one in every 40 adult Americans were either confirmed addicts or potentials, at appalling cost to the nation’s economy. Male alcoholics vastly outnumbered women. Of the total arrested drunkards, 97 percent were men between the ages of 30 and 60 – the age peak of production. Racially, the Irish, English and Scandinavian were more susceptible than Jews and Latins.


    The clinic found that, contrary to accepted opinion, alcohol does not act as a stimulant, but actually is a depressant to the higher brain centers, as reason yields to emotion.


    At what stage does a man become drunk?


    A third New Haven doctor had the answer to that. Dr. Leon A. Greenberg invented a machine which resembles a large portable radio, with a nozzle in one side, into which the patient breathes and reveals the alcoholic content in his bloodstream. A dial like an automobile speedometer registers the percentage – a .05 saturation being reasonably sober, .15 being genuinely intoxicated. The amount of alcohol that the average size man can absorb depends on how much food he has in his stomach, how long he took to drink the amount, and what his natural allergy is.


    The Yale Plan is no sawdust trail to salvation. It dovetails realistically with the local police, the district courts, social agencies, medical centers and Alcoholics Anonymous. Thus a sample case in New Haven today is any chronic drunkard brought before a court.


    From long experience the judge knows that it does no good to throw the inebriate into jail. Fines and terms to the county farm fail to reform. Tongue lashings and threats are futile.


    "You’ve been here many times," she says. "you tell me you want to quit, but don’t know how. I’ll give you the chance. Your sentence is suspended, if you agree to keep your regular appointments at the Alcoholic Clinic, and do as they say."


    The alcoholic at first is fearful lest he be made an experimental guinea pig for some strange purpose. But rather than go to jail, he consents, and is taken to 434 Temple Street, where he finds a brick building and a neat, well lighted interior. He is greeted by a cheerful girl receptionist, who ushers him into an inner office where an alert, calm mannered man in a white coat begins to chat quietly.


    The alcoholic is put at ease and encouraged to talk. Like most of his kind he has known years of loneliness, bitter self-reproach, despair and self-condemnation. He has developed a persecution complex and drinks in proportion as his troubles mount. His wife has left him. He cannot hold a job. He is out of control.



    But now for the first time he finds himself treated sympathetically as a sick man instead of sharp rebuke and rough handling. He responds and begins to talk.


    The Clinic learns that he is in need of high vitamin therapy due to prolonged dependency on alcohol instead of food. Pure alcohol contains 210 calories per ounce by weight, but provides no vitamins and even impedes absorption of vitamins from food. A further checkup shows intestinal inflammations. He needs a balanced diet, rest and security. So he is hospitalized, the cost being paid out of the 9 per cent which Connecticut takes from its liquor taxes and earmarks for treating alcoholism.


    The Yale Clinic finds that the man also has several deep-seated fears. A psychiatrist helps him to get rid of these. He requires counsel, supervision and encouragement from trusted friends. The Clinic calls the local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous and finds him sympathetic, helpful fellowship from folk who thoroughly understand his problem. As he is now, so they were. He gets a job, however significant, and begins to feel a new pride in his capabilities.


    It works! Not always, but he has a 60-40 chance of recovery!


    Some backslide and try again. Some fail utterly. But the majority win back to total health, are reconciled with their families and become successful citizens again. It works!


    Though the Yale Plan is now operative in 11 other cities and nine states, Connecticut is the only state which has modern, intelligent alcohol legislation. It earmarks a percentage of its liquor taxes for rehabilitation.


    Elsewhere in the above mentioned cities, the Clinic Plan operates under the Committee for Education on Alcoholism or the CEA, and depends on public spirited citizens who solicit aid and needed funds and distribute printed matter.


    In Boston, among the most energetic cities in the campaign, the CEA has headquarters at 419 Boylston Street, a few doors above the offices of Alcoholics Anonymous, and functions through public subscription and a large list of judges, doctors, psychiatrists, clergymen, educators, social workers, law enforcement officers and business folk. For more than a year the old brownstone building has received a steady stream of alcoholics. Some come voluntary. Some are sent by the courts, some by clergymen.


    By sifting through the index files of the Boston, CEA, one finds entries such as these:


    "Mr. H.Y. Married, 2 children, owner small business, quiet, slightly morbid type. Expressed great fear of inherited nervousness from neurotic mother. Wife too inclined to neurosis. Became periodic "binge" drinker with binges running closer together till they merged.


    "Was given short period hospitalization, and after treatment from psychiatrists, fears dissolved. Faithful visitor. Has been totally abstinent since first appearance at CEA. Has adjusted home life and accepted allergy to alcohol."


    Here is another index card:


    "Miss R.M. Factory worker, arrested 7 times for drunkenness. Referred to CEA by courts. Placed in contact with Alcoholics Anonymous and met regularly with members. First three months had trouble with adjusting self to A.A. program, but persistence of members finally convinced her of practical value of such help. Now has been totally abstinent for two months."


    Next to unenlightened public opinion, say the Yale Planners, the most serious barrier to intelligent treatment of alcoholism is the prejudice in many hospitals, which don’t welcome alcoholics and regard them as pernicious nuisances.


    Alcoholic hospitals are needed, the Yale Planners say, and should be provided from taxpayers’ funds in the assumption that the taxpayers are the most immediate beneficiaries.



    Yet oddly, rehabilitated alcoholics, such as are found in Alcoholics Anonymous, rarely advocate national return to prohibition. They frankly acknowledge that they are among the unfortunate minority who cannot handle drink in moderation.


    The solution is public enlighten-ment, intelligent control, and sympathetic regard for the alcoholic as a sick man, instead of a minor criminal and social renegade. The same light has been kindled and its beam is spreading.



    Source: The American Weekly, October 27, 1946


    0 -1 0 0
    845 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954 Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954 2/15/2003 2:37:00 PM

    These Drug Addicts


    Cure One Another



    By Jerome Ellison



    A new approach to a tragic social problem – drug addiction – has been found by the ex-addicts of Narcotics Anonymous. Here’s how they help users out of their horrible habit – as in the case of the mining engineer, the hot musician, the minister and the movie actor.


     


    Tom, a young musician just out of a job on a big-name dance band, was pouring out the story of his heroin addiction to a small gathering in a New York City Y.M.C.A. He told how he started three years ago, "fooling around for thrills, never dreaming to get a habit." His band went on the road. One night in Philadelphia he ran out of his drug and became so shaky he couldn’t play. It was the first time the band management knew of his habit. He was promptly sent home.


    "Music business is getting tough with junkies," Tom said.


    His audience was sympathetic. It was composed of former drug addicts who had found freedom from addiction. They met twice weekly to make this freedom secure, and worked to help other addicts achieve it. The New York group, founded in 1950 and called Narcotics Anonymous, is one of several which have been piling up evidence that the methods of Alcoholics Anonymous can help release people from other drugs than alcohol – drugs such as opium, heroin, morphine and the barbiturates.


    The groups enter a field where patients are many and cures few. The population addicted to opiates has been placed by competent but incompatible authorities at 60,000 and at 180,000. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics estimates that the traffic in illegal opium derivatives grosses $275,000,000 a year. About 1000 people a month are arrested for violation of Federal, state or local laws regulating the opiates. Addiction to the barbiturates, it is believed, involves more people. There are some 1500 known compounds of barbituric acid, some of them having pharmaceutical names and others street names such as yellow jacket, red devil and goofball.


    Addicts work up to doses sufficient to kill a non-addicted person or an addict with a lesser tolerance. In New York recently, three young addicts met and took equal portions of heroin. Two felt no unusual reactions; the third went into convulsions and in a few hours was dead. Many barbiturate users daily consume quantities, which would be lethal to a normal person. Others have demonstrated an ability to use barbiturates for years, under medical supervision, without raising their consumption to dangerous levels.


    The drug addict, like the alcoholic, has long been an enigma to those who want to help him. Real contact is most likely to be made, on a principle demonstrated with phenomenal success by Alcoholics Anonymous, by another addict. Does the prospect, writhing with shame, confess to pilfering from his wife’s purse to buy drugs? His sponsor once took his children’s lunch money. Did he steal the black bag of a loyal family doctor? As a ruse to flimflam druggists, his new friend once impersonated a doctor for several months. The N.A. member first shares his shame with the newcomer. Then he shares his hope and finally, sometimes, his recovery.


    To date, the A.A. type of group therapy has been an effective ingredient of "cures" – the word as used here means no drugs for a year or more and an intent of permanent abstinence. – in at least 200 cases. Some of these, including Dan, the founder of the New York group, had been pronounced medically hopeless. The "Narco" Group in the United States Public Health Service Hospital at Lexington, Kentucky, has a transient membership of about eighty men and women patients. The group mails a monthly newsletter, The Key, free to those who want it, currently a list of 500 names. Many of these are interested but nonaddicted friends. Most are "mail-order members" of the group-addicts who have left the hospital and been without drugs for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. The H.F.D. (Habit Forming Drug) Group is a loosely affiliated fellowship of California ex-addicts who keep "clean" – the addicts term for a state of abstinence- by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with volunteer A.A. sponsors. The Federal prison at Lorton, Virginia, has a prisoner group which attracts thirty men to its weekly meetings. Narcotics Anonymous in New York is the sole "free world"-outside of institution-group which conducts its own weekly open-to-the-public meetings in the A.A. tradition.


    Today’s groups of former addicts mark the convergence of two historic narratives, one having to do with alcohol, the other with opium. References to the drug of the poppies go back to 4000 B.C. According to Homer, Helen of Troy used it in a beverage guaranteed to abolish care. Opium was employed to quiet noisy children as early as 1552 B.C. De Quincy and Coleridge are among the famous men to whom it brought disaster. In its dual role it appears today, through its derivatives, as the friend of man in surgery and his enemy in addiction.


    The alcoholic strand of the story may be taken up in the Zurich office of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, one day late in 1933. At that time the eminent doctor was obliged to impart an unpleasant bit of news to one of his patients, an American businessman who had come for help with a desperate drinking problem. After months of effort and repeated relapses, the doctor admitted that his treatment had been a failure.


    "Is there, then," the patient asked, "no hope?" Only if a profound religious experience were undergone, he was told. How, he wanted to know, could such an experience be had? It could not be obtained on order, the doctor said, but if one associated with religious-minded people for a while _______



    Narcotics Anonymous – A.A.’s Young Brother



    The American interested himself in Frank Buchman’s Oxford Group, found sobriety, and told an inebriate friend of his experience. The friend sobered up and took the message to a former drinking partner, a New York stockbroker named Bill. Though he was an agnostic who had never had much use for religion, Bill sobered up. Late in 1935, while on a business trip to Akron, Ohio, he was struck by the thought that he wouldn’t be able to keep his sobriety unless he passed on the message. He sought out a heavy drinking local surgeon named Bob and told him the story to date. They sat down and formulated a program for staying sober-a program featuring twelve Suggested Steps and called Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill devoted full time to carrying the A.A. message, and the news spread. The now-famous article by Jack Alexander in The Saturday Evening Post of March 1, 1941, made it nationally known, and by 1944 there were A.A. groups in the major cities.


    In June of that year an inebriate mining engineer whom we’ll call Houston "hit bottom" with his drinking in Montgomery, Alabama, and the local A.A.’s dried him up. Houston gobbled the A.A. program and began helping other alcoholics. One of the drunks he worked with-a sales executive who can be called Harry-was involved not only with alcohol but also morphine. A.A. took care of the alcoholic factor, but left Harry’s drug habit unchanged. Interested and baffled, Houston watched his new friend struggle in his strange self-constructed trap.


    The opiate theme of the narrative now reappears. Harry’s pattern had been to get roaring drunk, take morphine to avoid a hang-over, get drunk again and take morphine again. Thus he became "hooked"-addicted. He drove through a red light one day and was stopped by a policeman. The officer found morphine and turned him over to Federal jurisdiction, with the result that Harry spent twenty-seven months at Lexington, where both voluntary and involuntary patients are accommodated, as a prisoner. After his discharge he met Houston and, through A.A., found relief from the booze issue. The drug problem continued to plague him.


    During this period, Houston, through one of those coincidences which A.A.’s like to attribute to a Higher Power, was transferred by his employers to Frankfort, Kentucky, just a few miles from Lexington. "Harry’s troubles kept jumping through my brain," Houston says. "I was convinced that the twelve Suggested Steps would work as well for drugs as for alcohol if conscientiously applied. One day I called on Dr. V.H. Vogel, the medical officer then in charge at Lexington. I told him of our work with Harry and offered to assist in starting a group in the hospital. Doctor Vogel accepted the offer and on Feb. 16, 1947, the first meeting was held. Weekly meetings have been going on ever since."



    The Phenomenon of "Physical Dependence"



    Some months later, in a strangely woven web of coincidence, Harry reappeared at "Narco" as a voluntary patient and began attending meetings. He was discharged, relapsed, and in short time was back again. "This time," he says, "it clicked." He has now been free from both alcohol and drugs for more than five years. Twice he has returned to tell his story at meetings, in the A.A. tradition of passing on the good word.


    In the fall of 1948 there arrived at Lexington an addict named Dan who had been there before. It was, in fact, his seventh trip; the doctors assumed that he’d continue his periodic visits until he died. This same Dan later founded the small but significant Narcotics Anonymous group in New York. Dan’s personal history is the story of an apparently incurable addict apparently cured.


    An emotionally unsettled childhood is the rule among addicts, and Dan’s childhood follows the pattern. His mother died when he was three years old, his father when he was four. He was adopted by a spinster physician and spent his boyhood with his foster mother, a resident doctor in a Kansas City hospital, and with her relatives in Missouri and Illinois. When he was sixteen he developed an ear ailment and was given opiates to relieve the pain. During and after an operation to correct the condition he received frequent morphine injections. Enjoying the mood of easy, floating forgetfulness they induced, he malingered.


    Living in a large hospital gave Dan opportunities to pilfer drugs, and for six months he managed keep himself regularly supplied. An addict at the hospital taught him how to inject himself, so for a time he was able to recapture the mood at will. He was embarrassing his foster mother professionally, however, and though not yet acknowledging the fact to himself, was becoming known locally as an addict. Sources of drugs began to close up, and one day there was no morphine to be had. He went into an uncontrollable panic which grew worse each hour.


    There followed muscular cramps, diarrhea, a freely running nose, tears gushing from his eyes, and two sleepless, terror-filled days and nights. It was Dan’s first experience with the mysterious withdrawal sickness which is experienced sooner or later by every addict.


    In one of the strangest phenomena known to medicine, the body adjusts to the invasion of certain drugs, altering its chemistry in a few weeks to a basis-called "physical dependence"-on which it can no longer function properly without the drug. How physical dependence differs from habit may be illustrated by imagining a habitual gum chewer deprived of gum. His unease would be due to the denial of habit. If he were denied gum and also water, on which he is physically dependent, he’d feel an increasingly painful craving called thirst. The drug addict’s craving is called the "abstinence syndrome," or withdrawal sickness. In extreme cases it includes everything Dan experienced, plus hallucinations and convulsions. Withdrawal of opiates rarely causes the death of a healthy person; sudden cessation of barbiturates has been known to. The violent phase, which is usually over in two to three days, may under expert care be largely avoided. Physical dependence gradually diminishes and ordinary habit, of the gum-chewing type, asserts itself.


    This is the interval of greatest vulner-ability, N.A. members say, to the addict’s inevitable good resolutions. He has formed the habit of using his drugs when he feels low. If he breaks off medical supervision before he is physically and medically back to par, the temptation to relapse may be overwhelming. It is in this period, Dan says, that the addict most needs the kind of understanding he finds in N.A. If he yields to the call of habit, physical dependence is quickly reestablished and his body calls for ever greater doses as the price of peace.


    Dan went through the cycle dozens of times. Besides the half dozen withdrawals at Lexington, there were several at city and state institutions, and numerous attempts at self-withdrawal. He tried sudden and complete abstinence, the "cold-turkey" method. He tried relieving the withdrawal pangs with alcohol, and found it only cancelled out his ability to think, so he automatically returned to drugs. When he attempted withdrawal with barbiturates he "just about went goofy."


    All this, however, was to come later; in his early twenties he had no intention of giving up the use of drugs. Having been spotted as an addict in the Kansas City area, he sought fresh fields. He found a job as a salesman and traveled several Midwest states. The demands of his habit and his scrapes with the law made it hard to hold a job long. Drifting from one employment to another, he found himself, in the early 1930’s in Brooklyn.


    His attempts at withdrawal resulted in several extended periods of abstinence, the longest of which was three years. When off drugs Dan was an able sales executive and a good provider. He married a Staten Island girl. They had a son. Dan continued to have short relapses, however. Each new one put a further strain on the family tie. For a time, to save money for drugs, he used slugs in the subway turnstiles going to and from work. He was spotted by a subway detective and spent two days in jail. A month later he was caught passing a forged morphine prescription. As a result, he was among the first prisoner patients at the new United States Public Health Service Hospital for addicts at Lexington, when it was opened on May 28, 1935.


    After a year there, he made a supreme effort to be rid of drugs for good. To keep away from the temptations offered by New York drug pushers he found a job with a large Midwest dairy. He worked hard, saved his money and sent for his family. By this time, however, it was too late; his wife refused to come, and a divorce action was begun. "Her rebuff gave me what I thought was a good excuse to go back on drugs," Dan reports. After that, his deterioration accelerated. On his seventh trip to Lexington, in 1948, he was in a profound depression.


    After a month of sullen silence, he began attending the group meetings, which were a new feature at the hospital since his last trip. "I still wouldn’t talk," he reports, "But I did some listening. I was impressed by what Houston had to say. Harry came back one time and told us his story. For the first time, I began to pray. I was only praying that I would die, but at least it was a prayer," He did not die, nor did he recover. Within six months of his discharge he was found in possession of drugs and sent back to Lexington for a year-his eighth and, as it turned out, final trip.


    "This time things were different," he says. "Everything Houston and Harry had been saying suddenly made sense. There was a lawyer from a Southern city there at the time, and a Midwestern surgeon. They were in the same mood I was-disgusted with themselves and really ready to change. The three of us used to have long talks with Houston every Saturday morning, besides the regular meetings." All three recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of their emancipation from the drug habit.


    Dan, conscious of what seemed to him a miraculous change of attitude, returned to New York full of enthusiasm and hope. The twelfth of the Suggested Steps was to pass on the message to others who needed help. He proposed to form the first outside-of-institution group and call it Narcotics Anonymous-N.A. He contacted other Lexington alumni and suggested they start weekly meetings.


    There were certain difficulties. Addicts are not outstandingly gregarious, and when all the excuses were in only three-a house painter named Charlie, a barber named Henry and a waiter we’ll call George-were on hand for the first meeting. There was uncertainty about where this would be; nobody it seemed wanted the addicts around. Besides, missionary, or "twelfth step," work of the new group would be hampered by the law. When the A.A. member is on an errand of mercy he can, if occasion warrants, administer appropriate "medicine" to stave off shakes or delirium long enough to talk a little sense into the prospect. If the N.A. member did so, he’d risk a long term in jail. Drug peddlers were not enthusiastic about the new venture. Rumors were circulating discrediting the group.


    Out of the gloom, however, came unexpected rays of friendliness and help. The Salvation Army made room for meetings at its 46th Street cafeteria. Later the McBurney Y.M.C.A., on 23rd Street, offered a meeting room. Two doctors backed their oral support by sending patients to meetings. Two other doctors agreed to serve on an advisory board.


    There were slips and backslidings. Meetings were sometimes marred by obstinacy and temper. But three of the original four remained faithful and the group slowly grew. Difficult matters of policy were worked out by trial and error. Some members once thought that a satisfactory withdrawal could be made at home. Some hard nights were endured and it was concluded that the doctors were right-for a proper drug withdrawal institutional care is necessary. Addicts are not admitted to meetings while using drugs. Newcomers are advised to make their withdrawal first, then come to N.A. to learn to live successfully without drugs.


    Group statisticians estimate that 5000 inquiries have been answered, constituting a heavy drain on the group’s treasury. Some 600 addicts have attended one or more meetings, 90 have attained effective living without drugs. One of these is a motion picture celebrity, now doing well on his own. One relapse after the first exposure to N.A. principles seems to have been about par, though a number have not found this necessary. "A key fact of which few addicts are aware," Dan says, "is that once he’s been addicted, a person can never again take even one dose of any habit-forming drug, including alcohol and the barbiturates, without running into trouble."


    The weekly "open"-to the public-meetings are attended by ten to thirty persons-addicts, their friends and families and concerned outsiders. The room is small and, on Friday evenings when more than twenty-five turn up, crowded.


    There is an interval of chitchat and visiting, and then, about nine o’clock, the secretary, a Brooklyn housewife, mother and department -store cashier, opens the meeting. In this ceremony all repeat the well-known prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." The secretary then introduces a leader-a member who presents the speakers and renders interlocutor’s comments from his own experience with a drugless life. The speakers-traditionally two in an evening-describe their adventures with drugs and with N.A. In two months of meetings I heard a score of these case histories. I also charted the progress of a newcomer, the young musician named Tom, whose first N.A. meeting coincided with my own first reportorial visit.


    Within the undeviating certainties of addiction, individual histories reveal a wide assortment of personal variations. Harold, an optometrist, is a "medical" addict; he got his habit from the prescription pad of a doctor who was treating him for osteomyelitis. An outspoken advocate of psychotherapy for all, Harold absorbs a certain amount of ribbing as the groups "psychiatric salesman." Florence, the housewife-cashier-secretary, recently celebrated her first anniversary of freedom from morphine, which she first received twenty-five years ago in a prescription for the relief of menstrual cramps. Carl, an electrician, became interested in the effects of opium smoke thirty years ago, and reached a point where he could not function without his daily pipe. He eventually switched to heroin and his troubles multiplied.


    Manny, an executive in a high-pressure advertising agency, and Marian, a registered nurse with heavy administrative responsibilities began using morphine to relieve fatigue. Don, Marian’s husband, regards alcohol as his main addictive drug, but had a bad brush with self-prescribed barbiturates before he came to A.A. and then, with Marian, to N.A. Pat, another young advertising man, nearly died of poisoning from the barbiturates to which he had become heavily addicted. Harold and Carl have now been four years without drugs; Manny, three; Marian, Don and Pat, one.


    Perhaps a third of the membership are graduates of the teen-age heroin fad which swept our larger cities a few years ago, and which still enjoys as much of a vogue as dope peddlers can promote among the present teen-age population. Rita, an attractive daughter of Spanish-American Harlem, was one of the group’s first members. Along with a number of her classmates, she began by smoking marihuana cigarettes-a typical introduction to drugs-then took heroin "for thrills." She used the drug four years, became desperately ill, went to Lexington and has now been free of the habit four years. Fred, a war hero, became a heroin addict because he wanted friends. In the teen-age gang to which he aspired, being hooked was a badge of distinction. He sought out the pusher who frequented the vicinity of his high school and got hooked. There followed seven miserable and dangerous years, two of them in combat and one in a veteran’s hospital. In December of 1953 he came to N.A. and, he says, "really found friends."


    Lawrence’s story is the happiest of all. He came to N.A. early in his first addiction, just out of high school, just married, thoroughly alarmed at discovering he was addicted, and desperately seeking a way out. N.A. friends recommended that he get "blue-grassed," an arrangement by which a patient may commit himself under a local statute to remain at Lexington 135 days for what the doctors consider a really adequate treatment. He attended meetings in the hospital and more meetings when he got home. Now happy and grateful, he thanks N.A. His boss recently presented him with a promotion; his wife recently presented him with a son.


    Besides the Friday open meeting there is a Tuesday closed meeting at the Y for addicts only. As a special dispensation I was permitted to attend a closed meeting, the purpose of which is to discuss the daily application of the twelve steps.


    The step under discussion the night I was there was No.4:"Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." The point was raised as to whether this step might degenerate into self-recrimination and do more harm than good. Old-timers asserted that this was not the proper application. A life of drug addiction, they said, often built up an abnormal load of guilt and fear, which could become so oppressive as to threaten a relapse unless dealt with. When the addict used step 4 honestly to face up to his past, guilt and fear diminished and he could make constructive plans for his future.


    The Narco meetings at Lexington have borne other fruit. There was Charlie, the young GI from Washington, D.C., who once looted first-aid kits in the gun tubs of a Navy transport en route to the Philippines and took his first morphine out of sheer curiosity. After his Army discharge his curiosity led him to heroin and several bad years; then to Lexington, where the Narco Group struck a spark. He heard about Dan’s work, went to New York to see him, and on his return to Washington looked around to see what he could do. He discovered that there was a concentration of addicts in the Federal penitentiary at Lorton, Virginia. Working with Alcoholics Anonymous, which already had meetings in the prison, he obtained permission to start a group like the one at Lexington. Now a year old, these meetings, called the Notrol Group- Lorton backward-attract the regular attendance of about thirty addicts. Washington has no free-world group, but Charlie helps a lot of addicts on an individual basis, steering them to A.A. meetings for doctrine.


    Friendliness of ex-drug addicts with former devotees of alcohol sometimes occurs, though Bill, the same who figured so prominently in A.A.’s founding, says a fraternal attitude cannot be depended upon. The average A.A., he says, would merely look blank if asked about drug addiction, and rightly reply that this specialty is outside his understanding. There are, however, a few A.A.’s who have been addicted both to alcohol and drugs, and these sometimes function as "bridge members."


    "If the addict substitutes the word ‘drugs’ whenever he hears ‘alcohol’ in the A.A. program, he’ll be helped," Houston says. Many ex-addicts, in the larger population centers where meetings run to attendances of hundreds, attend A.A. meetings. The H.F.D. (Habit-Forming Drug) Group, which is activated by an energetic ex-addict and ex-alcoholic of the Los Angeles area named Betty, has dozens of members, but no meeting of its own. Individual ex-addicts who are "making it" the A.A. way include a minister in a South-eastern state, a politician in the deep South, a motion-picture mogul in California and an eminent surgeon of an Eastern city. The role call of ex-addict groups is small. There is the parent Narco Group, Addicts Anonymous, P.O. Box 2000, Lexington, KY; Narcotics Anonymous, P.O. Box 3, Village Station, New York 14, N.Y.; Notrol Group, c/o U.S. Penitentiary, Lorton, Va.; H.D.F. Group, c/o Secretary, Bay Area Rehabilitation Center, 1458 26th St., Santa Monica, Calif.


    A frequent and relevant question asked by the casually interested is, "But I thought habit-forming drugs were illegal-where do they get the stuff?" The answer involves an interesting bit of history explaining how opiates come to be illegal. In the early 1800’s doctors used them freely to treat the innumerable ills then lumped under the heading, "nervousness." Hypodermic injection of morphine was introduced in 1856. By 1880, opium and morphine preparations were common drugstore items. An 1882 survey estimated that 1 per cent of the population was addicted, and the public became alarmed. A wave of legislation swept the country, beginning in 1885 with an Ohio statute and culminating in the Federal Harrison Narcotic Law of 1914. Immediately after the passage of this prohibitory law, prices of opium, morphine and heroin soared. A fantastically profitable black market developed. Today, $3000 worth of heroin purchased abroad brings $300,000 when finally cut, packaged and sold in America.


    Among the judges, social workers and doctors with whom I talked there is a growing feeling that the Harrison Act needs to be re-examined. Dr. Hubert S. Howe, a former Columbia professor of neurology and authority on narcotics, says the statute, like the Volstead Act, "removed the traffic in narcotic drugs from lawful hands and gave it to criminals." In an address before the New York State Medical Society he asserted that the financial props could be knocked from the illegal industry by minor revisions of present laws and rulings, with no risk of addiction becoming more widespread. Doctor Howe proposes a system of regulation similar to that of the United Kingdom, which reports only 364 addicts.


    Meanwhile the lot of those who become involved with what our British cousins rightly call "dangerous drugs" is grim. It is just slightly less grim than it might have been five years ago. Since then a few addicts have found a way back from the nightmare alleys of addiction to a normal life which may seem humdrum enough at times, but which when lost, then regained, is found to be a glory.



    Source: The Saturday Evening Post, August 7, 1954



    0 -1 0 0
    846 Rudy890
    Re: Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954 Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954 2/28/2003 6:46:00 PM
    Are we still alive, I haven't had any mail since February 15th

     

    Rudy


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Jim Blair


    Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2003 2:37 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954




    These Drug Addicts


    Cure One Another



    By Jerome Ellison



    A new approach to a tragic social problem – drug addiction – has been found by the ex-addicts of Narcotics Anonymous. Here’s how they help users out of their horrible habit – as in the case of the mining engineer, the hot musician, the minister and the movie actor.


     


    Tom, a young musician just out of a job on a big-name dance band, was pouring out the story of his heroin addiction to a small gathering in a New York City Y.M.C.A. He told how he started three years ago, "fooling around for thrills, never dreaming to get a habit." His band went on the road. One night in Philadelphia he ran out of his drug and became so shaky he couldn’t play. It was the first time the band management knew of his habit. He was promptly sent home.


    "Music business is getting tough with junkies," Tom said.


    His audience was sympathetic. It was composed of former drug addicts who had found freedom from addiction. They met twice weekly to make this freedom secure, and worked to help other addicts achieve it. The New York group, founded in 1950 and called Narcotics Anonymous, is one of several which have been piling up evidence that the methods of Alcoholics Anonymous can help release people from other drugs than alcohol – drugs such as opium, heroin, morphine and the barbiturates.


    The groups enter a field where patients are many and cures few. The population addicted to opiates has been placed by competent but incompatible authorities at 60,000 and at 180,000. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics estimates that the traffic in illegal opium derivatives grosses $275,000,000 a year. About 1000 people a month are arrested for violation of Federal, state or local laws regulating the opiates. Addiction to the barbiturates, it is believed, involves more people. There are some 1500 known compounds of barbituric acid, some of them having pharmaceutical names and others street names such as yellow jacket, red devil and goofball.


    Addicts work up to doses sufficient to kill a non-addicted person or an addict with a lesser tolerance. In New York recently, three young addicts met and took equal portions of heroin. Two felt no unusual reactions; the third went into convulsions and in a few hours was dead. Many barbiturate users daily consume quantities, which would be lethal to a normal person. Others have demonstrated an ability to use barbiturates for years, under medical supervision, without raising their consumption to dangerous levels.


    The drug addict, like the alcoholic, has long been an enigma to those who want to help him. Real contact is most likely to be made, on a principle demonstrated with phenomenal success by Alcoholics Anonymous, by another addict. Does the prospect, writhing with shame, confess to pilfering from his wife’s purse to buy drugs? His sponsor once took his children’s lunch money. Did he steal the black bag of a loyal family doctor? As a ruse to flimflam druggists, his new friend once impersonated a doctor for several months. The N.A. member first shares his shame with the newcomer. Then he shares his hope and finally, sometimes, his recovery.


    To date, the A.A. type of group therapy has been an effective ingredient of "cures" – the word as used here means no drugs for a year or more and an intent of permanent abstinence. – in at least 200 cases. Some of these, including Dan, the founder of the New York group, had been pronounced medically hopeless. The "Narco" Group in the United States Public Health Service Hospital at Lexington, Kentucky, has a transient membership of about eighty men and women patients. The group mails a monthly newsletter, The Key, free to those who want it, currently a list of 500 names. Many of these are interested but nonaddicted friends. Most are "mail-order members" of the group-addicts who have left the hospital and been without drugs for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. The H.F.D. (Habit Forming Drug) Group is a loosely affiliated fellowship of California ex-addicts who keep "clean" – the addicts term for a state of abstinence- by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with volunteer A.A. sponsors. The Federal prison at Lorton, Virginia, has a prisoner group which attracts thirty men to its weekly meetings. Narcotics Anonymous in New York is the sole "free world"-outside of institution-group which conducts its own weekly open-to-the-public meetings in the A.A. tradition.


    Today’s groups of former addicts mark the convergence of two historic narratives, one having to do with alcohol, the other with opium. References to the drug of the poppies go back to 4000 B.C. According to Homer, Helen of Troy used it in a beverage guaranteed to abolish care. Opium was employed to quiet noisy children as early as 1552 B.C. De Quincy and Coleridge are among the famous men to whom it brought disaster. In its dual role it appears today, through its derivatives, as the friend of man in surgery and his enemy in addiction.


    The alcoholic strand of the story may be taken up in the Zurich office of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, one day late in 1933. At that time the eminent doctor was obliged to impart an unpleasant bit of news to one of his patients, an American businessman who had come for help with a desperate drinking problem. After months of effort and repeated relapses, the doctor admitted that his treatment had been a failure.


    "Is there, then," the patient asked, "no hope?" Only if a profound religious experience were undergone, he was told. How, he wanted to know, could such an experience be had? It could not be obtained on order, the doctor said, but if one associated with religious-minded people for a while _______



    Narcotics Anonymous – A.A.’s Young Brother



    The American interested himself in Frank Buchman’s Oxford Group, found sobriety, and told an inebriate friend of his experience. The friend sobered up and took the message to a former drinking partner, a New York stockbroker named Bill. Though he was an agnostic who had never had much use for religion, Bill sobered up. Late in 1935, while on a business trip to Akron, Ohio, he was struck by the thought that he wouldn’t be able to keep his sobriety unless he passed on the message. He sought out a heavy drinking local surgeon named Bob and told him the story to date. They sat down and formulated a program for staying sober-a program featuring twelve Suggested Steps and called Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill devoted full time to carrying the A.A. message, and the news spread. The now-famous article by Jack Alexander in The Saturday Evening Post of March 1, 1941, made it nationally known, and by 1944 there were A.A. groups in the major cities.


    In June of that year an inebriate mining engineer whom we’ll call Houston "hit bottom" with his drinking in Montgomery, Alabama, and the local A.A.’s dried him up. Houston gobbled the A.A. program and began helping other alcoholics. One of the drunks he worked with-a sales executive who can be called Harry-was involved not only with alcohol but also morphine. A.A. took care of the alcoholic factor, but left Harry’s drug habit unchanged. Interested and baffled, Houston watched his new friend struggle in his strange self-constructed trap.


    The opiate theme of the narrative now reappears. Harry’s pattern had been to get roaring drunk, take morphine to avoid a hang-over, get drunk again and take morphine again. Thus he became "hooked"-addicted. He drove through a red light one day and was stopped by a policeman. The officer found morphine and turned him over to Federal jurisdiction, with the result that Harry spent twenty-seven months at Lexington, where both voluntary and involuntary patients are accommodated, as a prisoner. After his discharge he met Houston and, through A.A., found relief from the booze issue. The drug problem continued to plague him.


    During this period, Houston, through one of those coincidences which A.A.’s like to attribute to a Higher Power, was transferred by his employers to Frankfort, Kentucky, just a few miles from Lexington. "Harry’s troubles kept jumping through my brain," Houston says. "I was convinced that the twelve Suggested Steps would work as well for drugs as for alcohol if conscientiously applied. One day I called on Dr. V.H. Vogel, the medical officer then in charge at Lexington. I told him of our work with Harry and offered to assist in starting a group in the hospital. Doctor Vogel accepted the offer and on Feb. 16, 1947, the first meeting was held. Weekly meetings have been going on ever since."



    The Phenomenon of "Physical Dependence"



    Some months later, in a strangely woven web of coincidence, Harry reappeared at "Narco" as a voluntary patient and began attending meetings. He was discharged, relapsed, and in short time was back again. "This time," he says, "it clicked." He has now been free from both alcohol and drugs for more than five years. Twice he has returned to tell his story at meetings, in the A.A. tradition of passing on the good word.


    In the fall of 1948 there arrived at Lexington an addict named Dan who had been there before. It was, in fact, his seventh trip; the doctors assumed that he’d continue his periodic visits until he died. This same Dan later founded the small but significant Narcotics Anonymous group in New York. Dan’s personal history is the story of an apparently incurable addict apparently cured.


    An emotionally unsettled childhood is the rule among addicts, and Dan’s childhood follows the pattern. His mother died when he was three years old, his father when he was four. He was adopted by a spinster physician and spent his boyhood with his foster mother, a resident doctor in a Kansas City hospital, and with her relatives in Missouri and Illinois. When he was sixteen he developed an ear ailment and was given opiates to relieve the pain. During and after an operation to correct the condition he received frequent morphine injections. Enjoying the mood of easy, floating forgetfulness they induced, he malingered.


    Living in a large hospital gave Dan opportunities to pilfer drugs, and for six months he managed keep himself regularly supplied. An addict at the hospital taught him how to inject himself, so for a time he was able to recapture the mood at will. He was embarrassing his foster mother professionally, however, and though not yet acknowledging the fact to himself, was becoming known locally as an addict. Sources of drugs began to close up, and one day there was no morphine to be had. He went into an uncontrollable panic which grew worse each hour.


    There followed muscular cramps, diarrhea, a freely running nose, tears gushing from his eyes, and two sleepless, terror-filled days and nights. It was Dan’s first experience with the mysterious withdrawal sickness which is experienced sooner or later by every addict.


    In one of the strangest phenomena known to medicine, the body adjusts to the invasion of certain drugs, altering its chemistry in a few weeks to a basis-called "physical dependence"-on which it can no longer function properly without the drug. How physical dependence differs from habit may be illustrated by imagining a habitual gum chewer deprived of gum. His unease would be due to the denial of habit. If he were denied gum and also water, on which he is physically dependent, he’d feel an increasingly painful craving called thirst. The drug addict’s craving is called the "abstinence syndrome," or withdrawal sickness. In extreme cases it includes everything Dan experienced, plus hallucinations and convulsions. Withdrawal of opiates rarely causes the death of a healthy person; sudden cessation of barbiturates has been known to. The violent phase, which is usually over in two to three days, may under expert care be largely avoided. Physical dependence gradually diminishes and ordinary habit, of the gum-chewing type, asserts itself.


    This is the interval of greatest vulner-ability, N.A. members say, to the addict’s inevitable good resolutions. He has formed the habit of using his drugs when he feels low. If he breaks off medical supervision before he is physically and medically back to par, the temptation to relapse may be overwhelming. It is in this period, Dan says, that the addict most needs the kind of understanding he finds in N.A. If he yields to the call of habit, physical dependence is quickly reestablished and his body calls for ever greater doses as the price of peace.


    Dan went through the cycle dozens of times. Besides the half dozen withdrawals at Lexington, there were several at city and state institutions, and numerous attempts at self-withdrawal. He tried sudden and complete abstinence, the "cold-turkey" method. He tried relieving the withdrawal pangs with alcohol, and found it only cancelled out his ability to think, so he automatically returned to drugs. When he attempted withdrawal with barbiturates he "just about went goofy."


    All this, however, was to come later; in his early twenties he had no intention of giving up the use of drugs. Having been spotted as an addict in the Kansas City area, he sought fresh fields. He found a job as a salesman and traveled several Midwest states. The demands of his habit and his scrapes with the law made it hard to hold a job long. Drifting from one employment to another, he found himself, in the early 1930’s in Brooklyn.


    His attempts at withdrawal resulted in several extended periods of abstinence, the longest of which was three years. When off drugs Dan was an able sales executive and a good provider. He married a Staten Island girl. They had a son. Dan continued to have short relapses, however. Each new one put a further strain on the family tie. For a time, to save money for drugs, he used slugs in the subway turnstiles going to and from work. He was spotted by a subway detective and spent two days in jail. A month later he was caught passing a forged morphine prescription. As a result, he was among the first prisoner patients at the new United States Public Health Service Hospital for addicts at Lexington, when it was opened on May 28, 1935.


    After a year there, he made a supreme effort to be rid of drugs for good. To keep away from the temptations offered by New York drug pushers he found a job with a large Midwest dairy. He worked hard, saved his money and sent for his family. By this time, however, it was too late; his wife refused to come, and a divorce action was begun. "Her rebuff gave me what I thought was a good excuse to go back on drugs," Dan reports. After that, his deterioration accelerated. On his seventh trip to Lexington, in 1948, he was in a profound depression.


    After a month of sullen silence, he began attending the group meetings, which were a new feature at the hospital since his last trip. "I still wouldn’t talk," he reports, "But I did some listening. I was impressed by what Houston had to say. Harry came back one time and told us his story. For the first time, I began to pray. I was only praying that I would die, but at least it was a prayer," He did not die, nor did he recover. Within six months of his discharge he was found in possession of drugs and sent back to Lexington for a year-his eighth and, as it turned out, final trip.


    "This time things were different," he says. "Everything Houston and Harry had been saying suddenly made sense. There was a lawyer from a Southern city there at the time, and a Midwestern surgeon. They were in the same mood I was-disgusted with themselves and really ready to change. The three of us used to have long talks with Houston every Saturday morning, besides the regular meetings." All three recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of their emancipation from the drug habit.


    Dan, conscious of what seemed to him a miraculous change of attitude, returned to New York full of enthusiasm and hope. The twelfth of the Suggested Steps was to pass on the message to others who needed help. He proposed to form the first outside-of-institution group and call it Narcotics Anonymous-N.A. He contacted other Lexington alumni and suggested they start weekly meetings.


    There were certain difficulties. Addicts are not outstandingly gregarious, and when all the excuses were in only three-a house painter named Charlie, a barber named Henry and a waiter we’ll call George-were on hand for the first meeting. There was uncertainty about where this would be; nobody it seemed wanted the addicts around. Besides, missionary, or "twelfth step," work of the new group would be hampered by the law. When the A.A. member is on an errand of mercy he can, if occasion warrants, administer appropriate "medicine" to stave off shakes or delirium long enough to talk a little sense into the prospect. If the N.A. member did so, he’d risk a long term in jail. Drug peddlers were not enthusiastic about the new venture. Rumors were circulating discrediting the group.


    Out of the gloom, however, came unexpected rays of friendliness and help. The Salvation Army made room for meetings at its 46th Street cafeteria. Later the McBurney Y.M.C.A., on 23rd Street, offered a meeting room. Two doctors backed their oral support by sending patients to meetings. Two other doctors agreed to serve on an advisory board.


    There were slips and backslidings. Meetings were sometimes marred by obstinacy and temper. But three of the original four remained faithful and the group slowly grew. Difficult matters of policy were worked out by trial and error. Some members once thought that a satisfactory withdrawal could be made at home. Some hard nights were endured and it was concluded that the doctors were right-for a proper drug withdrawal institutional care is necessary. Addicts are not admitted to meetings while using drugs. Newcomers are advised to make their withdrawal first, then come to N.A. to learn to live successfully without drugs.


    Group statisticians estimate that 5000 inquiries have been answered, constituting a heavy drain on the group’s treasury. Some 600 addicts have attended one or more meetings, 90 have attained effective living without drugs. One of these is a motion picture celebrity, now doing well on his own. One relapse after the first exposure to N.A. principles seems to have been about par, though a number have not found this necessary. "A key fact of which few addicts are aware," Dan says, "is that once he’s been addicted, a person can never again take even one dose of any habit-forming drug, including alcohol and the barbiturates, without running into trouble."


    The weekly "open"-to the public-meetings are attended by ten to thirty persons-addicts, their friends and families and concerned outsiders. The room is small and, on Friday evenings when more than twenty-five turn up, crowded.


    There is an interval of chitchat and visiting, and then, about nine o’clock, the secretary, a Brooklyn housewife, mother and department -store cashier, opens the meeting. In this ceremony all repeat the well-known prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." The secretary then introduces a leader-a member who presents the speakers and renders interlocutor’s comments from his own experience with a drugless life. The speakers-traditionally two in an evening-describe their adventures with drugs and with N.A. In two months of meetings I heard a score of these case histories. I also charted the progress of a newcomer, the young musician named Tom, whose first N.A. meeting coincided with my own first reportorial visit.


    Within the undeviating certainties of addiction, individual histories reveal a wide assortment of personal variations. Harold, an optometrist, is a "medical" addict; he got his habit from the prescription pad of a doctor who was treating him for osteomyelitis. An outspoken advocate of psychotherapy for all, Harold absorbs a certain amount of ribbing as the groups "psychiatric salesman." Florence, the housewife-cashier-secretary, recently celebrated her first anniversary of freedom from morphine, which she first received twenty-five years ago in a prescription for the relief of menstrual cramps. Carl, an electrician, became interested in the effects of opium smoke thirty years ago, and reached a point where he could not function without his daily pipe. He eventually switched to heroin and his troubles multiplied.


    Manny, an executive in a high-pressure advertising agency, and Marian, a registered nurse with heavy administrative responsibilities began using morphine to relieve fatigue. Don, Marian’s husband, regards alcohol as his main addictive drug, but had a bad brush with self-prescribed barbiturates before he came to A.A. and then, with Marian, to N.A. Pat, another young advertising man, nearly died of poisoning from the barbiturates to which he had become heavily addicted. Harold and Carl have now been four years without drugs; Manny, three; Marian, Don and Pat, one.


    Perhaps a third of the membership are graduates of the teen-age heroin fad which swept our larger cities a few years ago, and which still enjoys as much of a vogue as dope peddlers can promote among the present teen-age population. Rita, an attractive daughter of Spanish-American Harlem, was one of the group’s first members. Along with a number of her classmates, she began by smoking marihuana cigarettes-a typical introduction to drugs-then took heroin "for thrills." She used the drug four years, became desperately ill, went to Lexington and has now been free of the habit four years. Fred, a war hero, became a heroin addict because he wanted friends. In the teen-age gang to which he aspired, being hooked was a badge of distinction. He sought out the pusher who frequented the vicinity of his high school and got hooked. There followed seven miserable and dangerous years, two of them in combat and one in a veteran’s hospital. In December of 1953 he came to N.A. and, he says, "really found friends."


    Lawrence’s story is the happiest of all. He came to N.A. early in his first addiction, just out of high school, just married, thoroughly alarmed at discovering he was addicted, and desperately seeking a way out. N.A. friends recommended that he get "blue-grassed," an arrangement by which a patient may commit himself under a local statute to remain at Lexington 135 days for what the doctors consider a really adequate treatment. He attended meetings in the hospital and more meetings when he got home. Now happy and grateful, he thanks N.A. His boss recently presented him with a promotion; his wife recently presented him with a son.


    Besides the Friday open meeting there is a Tuesday closed meeting at the Y for addicts only. As a special dispensation I was permitted to attend a closed meeting, the purpose of which is to discuss the daily application of the twelve steps.


    The step under discussion the night I was there was No.4:"Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." The point was raised as to whether this step might degenerate into self-recrimination and do more harm than good. Old-timers asserted that this was not the proper application. A life of drug addiction, they said, often built up an abnormal load of guilt and fear, which could become so oppressive as to threaten a relapse unless dealt with. When the addict used step 4 honestly to face up to his past, guilt and fear diminished and he could make constructive plans for his future.


    The Narco meetings at Lexington have borne other fruit. There was Charlie, the young GI from Washington, D.C., who once looted first-aid kits in the gun tubs of a Navy transport en route to the Philippines and took his first morphine out of sheer curiosity. After his Army discharge his curiosity led him to heroin and several bad years; then to Lexington, where the Narco Group struck a spark. He heard about Dan’s work, went to New York to see him, and on his return to Washington looked around to see what he could do. He discovered that there was a concentration of addicts in the Federal penitentiary at Lorton, Virginia. Working with Alcoholics Anonymous, which already had meetings in the prison, he obtained permission to start a group like the one at Lexington. Now a year old, these meetings, called the Notrol Group- Lorton backward-attract the regular attendance of about thirty addicts. Washington has no free-world group, but Charlie helps a lot of addicts on an individual basis, steering them to A.A. meetings for doctrine.


    Friendliness of ex-drug addicts with former devotees of alcohol sometimes occurs, though Bill, the same who figured so prominently in A.A.’s founding, says a fraternal attitude cannot be depended upon. The average A.A., he says, would merely look blank if asked about drug addiction, and rightly reply that this specialty is outside his understanding. There are, however, a few A.A.’s who have been addicted both to alcohol and drugs, and these sometimes function as "bridge members."


    "If the addict substitutes the word ‘drugs’ whenever he hears ‘alcohol’ in the A.A. program, he’ll be helped," Houston says. Many ex-addicts, in the larger population centers where meetings run to attendances of hundreds, attend A.A. meetings. The H.F.D. (Habit-Forming Drug) Group, which is activated by an energetic ex-addict and ex-alcoholic of the Los Angeles area named Betty, has dozens of members, but no meeting of its own. Individual ex-addicts who are "making it" the A.A. way include a minister in a South-eastern state, a politician in the deep South, a motion-picture mogul in California and an eminent surgeon of an Eastern city. The role call of ex-addict groups is small. There is the parent Narco Group, Addicts Anonymous, P.O. Box 2000, Lexington, KY; Narcotics Anonymous, P.O. Box 3, Village Station, New York 14, N.Y.; Notrol Group, c/o U.S. Penitentiary, Lorton, Va.; H.D.F. Group, c/o Secretary, Bay Area Rehabilitation Center, 1458 26th St., Santa Monica, Calif.


    A frequent and relevant question asked by the casually interested is, "But I thought habit-forming drugs were illegal-where do they get the stuff?" The answer involves an interesting bit of history explaining how opiates come to be illegal. In the early 1800’s doctors used them freely to treat the innumerable ills then lumped under the heading, "nervousness." Hypodermic injection of morphine was introduced in 1856. By 1880, opium and morphine preparations were common drugstore items. An 1882 survey estimated that 1 per cent of the population was addicted, and the public became alarmed. A wave of legislation swept the country, beginning in 1885 with an Ohio statute and culminating in the Federal Harrison Narcotic Law of 1914. Immediately after the passage of this prohibitory law, prices of opium, morphine and heroin soared. A fantastically profitable black market developed. Today, $3000 worth of heroin purchased abroad brings $300,000 when finally cut, packaged and sold in America.


    Among the judges, social workers and doctors with whom I talked there is a growing feeling that the Harrison Act needs to be re-examined. Dr. Hubert S. Howe, a former Columbia professor of neurology and authority on narcotics, says the statute, like the Volstead Act, "removed the traffic in narcotic drugs from lawful hands and gave it to criminals." In an address before the New York State Medical Society he asserted that the financial props could be knocked from the illegal industry by minor revisions of present laws and rulings, with no risk of addiction becoming more widespread. Doctor Howe proposes a system of regulation similar to that of the United Kingdom, which reports only 364 addicts.


    Meanwhile the lot of those who become involved with what our British cousins rightly call "dangerous drugs" is grim. It is just slightly less grim than it might have been five years ago. Since then a few addicts have found a way back from the nightmare alleys of addiction to a normal life which may seem humdrum enough at times, but which when lost, then regained, is found to be a glory.



    Source: The Saturday Evening Post, August 7, 1954




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    847 tim wilson
    Earle Marsh Prayer Earle Marsh Prayer 2/20/2003 6:30:00 PM

    Earle Marsh Memorial Prayer


    At the memorial service for Earle Marsh, this past
    Saturday, this
    prayer was shared . . . .

    Dear God,

    Help me to realize this day that it is Your will,
    not mine that is to be done, and then do it.

    Help me to accept myself as I am,
    but to constantly hope that I may become better.

    Help me to forgive, to love and to accept others
    but to ask for absolutely nothing in return.

    Help me to be grateful for what I have and to accept
    more only if You will it.

    Help me to receive tenderness as well as give it.

    Help me to be honest and sincere with myself,
    but to remember with a smile how little I am.

    Help me, above all, to have utter faith in You as
    my friend and leader.

    Help me to recreate the mood of this prayer
    every twenty-four hours.

    E.M.M.


    __________________________________________________
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    Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
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    848 Rudy890
    Bill Wilson''s Talk to the Manhattan Group, NYC, 1955 Bill Wilson''s Talk to the Manhattan Group, NYC, 1955 3/1/2003 9:59:00 PM

    Bill Wilson's Talk to the Manhattan Group, NYC, 1955

    Manhattan Group, NYC, 1955.

    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.

    It is especially fitting that we recount the history, because at St. Louis
    this summer, a great event occurred. This Society declared that it had
    come of age and it took full possession of its Legacies of Recovery,
    Unity and Service. It marked the time when Lois and I, being
    parents of a family now become responsible, declare you to be of age
    and on your own.

    Now lets start on our story.

    First of all, there was the kitchen table which stood in a brownstone
    house which still bears the number 182, Clinton Street, Brooklyn.
    There, Lois saw me go into the depths. There, over the kitchen
    table, Ebby brought me these simple principles now enshrined in our
    Twelve Steps.

    In those days, there were but six steps: We admitted we couldn't run
    our lives; we got honest with ourselves; we made a self-survey; we
    made restitution to the people we had harmed; we tried to carry this
    story one to the next; and we asked God to help us to do those
    things. That

    was the essence of the message over the kitchen table. In those days,
    we were associated with the Oxford Group. One of its founders was
    Sam Shoemaker, and this Group has just left Calvary House to come
    over to these larger quarters, I understand.

    Our debt to the Oxford Group is simply immense. We might have
    found these principles elsewhere, but they did give them to us, and I
    want to again record our undying gratitude. We also learned from
    them, so far as alcoholics are concerned, what not to do --
    something equally important.

    Father Ed Dowling, a great Jesuit friend of ours, once said to me,
    "Bill, it isn't what you people put into AA that makes it so good --
    it's what you left out."

    We got both sets of notions from our Oxford Group friends, and it
    was through them that Ebby had sobered up and became my
    sponsor, the carrier of this message to me.

    We began to go to Oxford Group meetings right over in Calvary
    House, where you've just been gathering, and it was there, fresh out
    of Towns Hospital, that I made my first pitch, telling about my
    strange experience, which did not impress the alcoholic who was
    listening. But something

    else did impress him. When I began to talk about the nature of this
    sickness, this malady, he pricked up his ears. He was a professor of
    chemistry, an agnostic, and he came up and talked afterward. Soon,
    he was invited over to Clinton Street - our very first customer.

    We worked very hard with Freddy for three years, but alas, he
    remained drunk for eleven years afterward.

    Other people came to us out of those Oxford Group audiences. We
    began to go down to Calvary Mission, an adjunct of the church in
    those days, and there we found a bountiful supply of real tough nuts
    to crack. We began to invite them to Clinton Street, and at this point
    the Groupers felt that we

    were overdoing the drunk business. It seemed they had the idea of
    saving the world; besides, they'd had a bad time with us. Sam and his
    associates he now laughingly tells me, were very much put out that
    they had gathered a big batch of drunks in Calvary House, hoping
    for a miracle. They'd put them

    upstairs in those nice apartments and had completely surrounded
    them with sweetness and light. But the drunks soon imported a flock
    of bottles, and one of them pitched a shoe out the apartment
    window right through one of those stained glass affairs of the
    church. So the drunks weren't exactly popular when the Wilson's
    showed up.

    At any rate we began to be with alcoholics all the time, but nothing
    happened for six months. Like the Groupers, we nursed them. In
    fact, over in Clinton Street, we developed in the next two or three
    years something like a boiler factory, a sort of clinic, a hospital, and a
    free boardinghouse, from which practically no one issued sober, but
    we had a pile of experience.

    We began to learn the game, and after our withdrawing from the
    Oxford Group-- oh, a year and a half from the time I sobered, in '34
    -- we began to hold meetings of the few who had sobered up. I
    suppose that was really the first AA meeting. The book hadn't yet
    been written. We didn't even call it Alcoholics Anonymous;

    people asked us who we were, and we said, "Well, we're a nameless
    bunch of alcoholics." I suppose the use of that word "nameless" sort
    of led us to the idea of anonymity, which was later clapped on the
    book at the time it was titled.

    There were great doings in Clinton Street. I remember those
    meetings down in the parlor so well. Our eager discussion, our hopes,
    our fears -- and our fears were very great. When anyone in those
    days had been sober a few months and slipped, it was a terrific
    calamity. I'll never forget the day, a year and a half after he

    came to stay with us, that Ebby fell over, and we all said, "Perhaps
    this is going to happen to all of us." Then, we began to ask ourselves
    why it was, and some of us pushed on.

    At Clinton Street, I did most of the talking, but Lois did most of the
    work, and the cooking, and the loving of those early folks. Oh my!
    The episodes that there were! I was away once on a business trip.
    (I'd briefly got back to business.) One of the drunks was sleeping on
    the lounge in the parlor. Lois woke up in the

    middle of the night, hearing a great commotion. He'd got a bottle;
    he'd also got into the kitchen and had drunk a bottle of maple syrup.
    And he had fallen naked into the coal hod. When Lois opened the
    door, he asked for a towel to cover up his nakedness. She once led
    this same gentleman through the streets late

    at night looking for a doctor, and not finding a doctor, then looking
    for a drink, because, as he said, he could not fly on one wing! On
    one occasion, a pair of them were drunk. We had five, and on
    another occasion, they were all drunk at the same time!

    There was the time that two of them began to belabor each other
    with two-by-fours down in the basement. And then, poor Ebby,
    after repeated trials and failures, was finally locked out one night. But
    low and behold, he appeared anyway. He had come through the coal
    chute and up the stairs, very much begrimed.

    So you see, Clinton Street was a kind of blacksmith shop, in which
    we were hammering away at these principles. For Lois and me, all
    roads lead back to Clinton Street.

    In 1937, while we were still there, we got an idea that to spread AA
    we would have to have some sort of literature, guide rails for it to run
    on so it couldn't get garbled. We were still toying with the idea that
    we had to have paid workers who would be sent to other
    communities. We thought we'd have to go into the

    hospital business. Out in Akron, where we had started the first
    group, they had a meeting and nominated me to come to New York
    and do all these things. We solicited Mr. [John D.] Rockefeller [Jr.]
    and some of his friends, who gave us their friendship but, luckily, not
    much of their money. They gave Smithy [Dr. Bob] and me a little
    boost during the year of 1938, and that was all; they forced us to
    stand on our own.

    In 1938, Clinton Street saw the beginning of the preparation of the
    book Alcoholics Anonymous. The early chapters were written -- oh,
    I should think -- about May 1938. Then, we tried to raise money to
    get the thing published, and we actually sold stock to the local drunks
    in this book, not yet written. An all-time high for promotions!

    Clinton Street also saw, on its second floor, in the bedroom, the
    writing of the Twelve Steps. We had got to Chapter Five in the
    book, and it looked like we would have to say at some point what
    the book was all about. So I remember lying there on the bed one
    night, and I was in one of my typical depressive snits, and I had an

    imaginary ulcer attack. The drunks who were supposed to be
    contributing, so that we could eat while the book was being written,
    were slow on the contributions, and I was in a damn bad frame of
    mind.

    I lay there with a pad and pencil, and I began to think over these six
    steps that I've just recited to you, and said I to myself, "Well, if we
    put down these six steps, the chunks are too big. They'll have to
    digest too much all at once. Besides, they can wiggle out from in
    between, and if we're going to do a book, we ought to break those
    up into smaller pieces."

    So I began to write, and in about a half an hour, I think, I had
    busted them up into smaller pieces. I was rather pleasantly surprised
    that, when numbered, they added up to twelve -- that's significant.
    Very nice.At that point, a couple of drunks sailed in. I showed them
    the proposed Twelve Steps, and I caught fits. Why did we need
    them when six were doing fine? And what did I mean by dragging
    God from the bottom of the list up to the top?

    Meanwhile the meetings in the front parlor had largely turned into
    hassles over the chapters of the book. The roughs were submitted
    and read at every meeting, so that when the Twelve Steps were
    proposed, there was a still greater hassle.

    Because I'd had this very sudden experience and was on the pious
    side, I'd lauded these Steps very heavily with the word "God." Other
    people began to say, "This won't do at all. The reader at a distance is
    just going to get scared off. And what about agnostic folks like us?"
    There was another terrific hassle, which resulted in

    this terrific ten-strike we had: calling God (as you understand Him)
    "the Higher Power," making a hoop big enough so that the whole
    world of alcoholics can walk through it.

    So, actually, those people who suppose that the elders of AA were
    going around in white robes surrounded by a blue light, full of virtue,
    are quite mistaken. I merely became the umpire of the immense
    amount of hassling that went into the preparation of the AA book,
    and that took place at Clinton Street.

    Well, of course, the book was the summit of all our hopes at the
    time; along with the hassling, there was an immense enthusiasm. We
    tried to envision distant readers picking it up and perhaps writing in,
    perhaps getting sober. Could they do it on the book?

    All of those things we speculated on very happily. Finally, in the
    spring of 1939, the book was ready. We'd made a prepublication
    copy of it; it had got by the Catholic Committee on Publications;
    we'd shown it to all sorts of people; we had made corrections. We
    had 5,000 copies printed, thinking that would be just a mere trifle --
    that the book would soon be selling millions of copies.

    Oh, we were very enthusiastic, us promoters. The Reader's Digest
    had promised to print a piece about the book, and we just saw those
    books going out in carloads.

    Nothing of the sort happened. The Digest turned us down flat; the
    drunks had thrown their money into all this; there were hardly a
    hundred members in AA. And here the thing had utterly collapsed.

    At this juncture, the meeting -- the first meeting of the Manhattan
    Group, which really took place in Brooklyn - --stopped, and it
    stopped for a very good reason.

    That was that the landlord set Lois and me out into the street, and
    we didn't even have money to move our stuff into storage. Even
    that and the moving van -- that was done on the cuff.

    Well, it was then the spring of 1939. Temporarily, the Manhattan
    Group moved to Jersey. It hadn't got to Manhattan yet. A great
    friend, Horace C., let Lois and me have a camp belonging to himself
    and his mother, out at Green Pond. My partner in the book
    enterprise, old Hank P., now gone, lived at Upper Montclair.

    We used to come down to 75 William Street, where we had the little
    office in which a good deal of the book was actually done. Sundays
    that summer, we'd come down to Hank's house, where we had
    meetings which old-timers -- just a handful now in Jersey -- can
    remember.

    The Alcoholic Foundation, still completely empty of money, did have
    one small account called the "Lois B. Wilson Improvement Fund."
    This improvement fund was fortified every month by a passing of
    the hat, so that we had the summer camp, we had fifty bucks a
    month, and someone else lent us a car to try to revive the book
    Alcoholics Anonymous and the flagging movement.

    In the fall of that year, when it got cold up there at the summer
    camp, we moved down to Bob V.'s. Many of you remember him
    and Mag. We were close by the Rockland asylum. Bob and I and
    others went in there, and we started the first institutional group, and
    several wonderful characters were pried out of there.

    I hope old Tom M. is here tonight -- Tom came over to the V's,
    where he had holed up with Lois and me, then put in a room called
    Siberia, because it was so cold. We bought a coal stove for four
    dollars and kept ourselves warm there during the winter.

    So did a wonderful alcoholic by the name of Jimmy. He never made
    good. Jimmy was one of the devious types, and one of our first
    remarkable experiences with Jimmy was this. When we moved from
    Green Pond, we brought Marty with us, who had been visiting, and
    she suddenly developed terrible pains in her stomach.

    This gentleman, Jimmy, called himself a doctor. In fact, he had
    persuaded the authorities at Rockland that he was a wonderful
    physician. They gave him full access to the place. He had keys to all
    the surgical instruments and incidentally, I think he had keys to all
    the pill closets over there.

    Marty was suffering awful agonies, and he said, "Well, there's nothing
    to it, my dear. You've got gallstones." So he goes over to Rockland.
    He gets himself some kind of fishing gadget that they put down
    gullets to fish around in there, and he fishes around and yanks up a
    flock of gallstones, and she hasn't had a bit of trouble since. And,
    dear people, it was only years later that we learned the guy wasn't a
    doctor at all.

    Meanwhile, the Manhattan Group moved to Manhattan for the first
    time. The folks over here started a meeting in Bert T.'s tailor shop.
    Good old Bert is the guy who hocked his then-failing business to
    save the book Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939.

    In the fall, he still had the shop, and we began to hold meetings
    there. Little by little, things began to grow. We went from there to a
    room in Steinway Hall, and we felt we were in very classic and good
    company that gave us an aura of respectability.

    Finally, some of the boys -- notably Bert and Horace -- said, "A.A.
    should have a home. We really ought to have a club." And so the old
    24th Street Club, which had belonged to the artists and illustrators
    and before that was a barn going back to Revolutionary times, was
    taken over. I think Bert and Horace signed the first lease.

    They soon incorporated it, though, lest somebody slip on a banana
    peel outside. Lois and I, who had moved from the V's to live with
    another A.A., then decided we wanted a home for ourselves, and we
    found a single room down in a basement on Barrow Street in
    Greenwich Village.

    I remember Lois and me going through Grand Central wondering
    where we'd light next, just before the Greenwich Village move. We
    were very tired that day, and we walked off the main floor there and
    sat on one of those gorgeous marble stairways leading up to the
    balcony, and we both began to cry and say, "Where will we ever
    light? Will we ever have a home?"

    Well, we had one for a while in Barrow Street. And when the club
    was opened up, we moved into one of those rooms there. Tom M.
    came over from the V's, and right then and there a Tradition of
    Alcoholics Anonymous was generated. It seemed that volunteers had
    been sweeping the club; it seemed that many of the alcoholics had
    keys

    to the club; and they came and went and sometimes stayed; and
    sometimes they got very drunk and acted very badly -- doing we
    know not what. There had to be somebody there to really look after
    the place. So we thought we'd approach old Tom, who had a
    pension as a fireman. We said, "Tom, how would you like to come
    and live at the club?"

    Tom says, "What's on your mind?"

    "Well," we said, "we really need somebody here all the time, you
    know, to make the coffee and see that the place is heated and throw
    some coal on that furnace over there and lead the drunks outside if
    they're too bad."

    "Ain't ya gonna pay me?" Tom says.

    "Oh, no," we said. "This is Alcoholics Anonymous. We can't have
    any professionals."

    Tom says, "I do my Twelfth Step work, I don't charge 'em nothing.
    But what you guys want is a janitor, and if you're going to get me,
    you're going to pay, see?"

    Well, we were very much disturbed about our own situation. We
    weren't exactly paid -- they were just passing the hat for us, you
    understand. I think that we went for seven years of the history of
    this Society with an average income of seventeen hundred bucks a
    year, which, for a former stockbroker, is not too big.

    So this question of who is a professional and who isn't bore very
    heavily at the time on Tom and me. And Tom began to get it
    settled. He began to show that if a special service was asked from
    anybody full-time, we'd have to pay or not get it.

    So, finally, we haggled Tom down on the theory that he already had
    a pension, and he came to live there, and meetings began in that old
    club.

    That old club saw many a terrific development, and from that club
    sprang all the groups in this area. The club saw the passage of the
    Rockefeller dinner, when we thought we'd all be rich as a movement,
    and Mr. Rockefeller saved us by not giving us money.

    That club saw the Saturday Evening Post article published. In fact,
    the Post at that time said, "No pictures, no article." If you will look
    up the March 1, 1941, issue of the Saturday Post, you will see a
    picture of the interior of the club, and a flock of us sitting before the
    fire. They didn't use our names, but they insisted on pictures.

    Anonymity wasn't then quite what it is today. And with the advent
    of that piece, there was a prodigious rush of inquiries -- about 6,000
    of them.

    By this time, we'd moved the little office from Newark, New Jersey,
    over to Vesey Street. You will find in the old edition of the book
    [Alcoholics Anonymous] "Box 58, Church Street Annex." And that
    was the box into which the first inquiries came. We picked out that
    location because Lois and I were drifters, and we picked it because it
    was

    the center of the geographical area here. We didn't know whether
    we'd light in Long Island, New Jersey, or Westchester, so the first
    A.A. post office box was down there with a little office alongside of
    it.

    The volunteers couldn't cope with this tremendous flock of inquiries
    -- heartbreakers, but 6,000 of them! We simply had to hire some
    help. At that point, we asked you people if you'd send the
    foundation a buck apiece a year, so we wouldn't have to throw that
    stuff in the wastebasket. And that was the beginning of the service
    office and the book company.

    That club saw all those things transpire. But there was a beginning in
    that club at that time that none of us noticed very much. It was just
    a germ of an idea. It often looked, in after years, as though it might
    die out. Yet within the last three years, it has become what I think is
    one of the greatest developments that we shall

    ever know, and here I'm going to break into my little tale to
    introduce my partner in all this, who stayed with me when things
    were bad and when things have been good, and she'll tell you what
    began upstairs in that club, and what has eventuated from it. Lois."

    (Lois then spoke about the formation and the early days of Al-Anon
    Family Groups.)

    So, you see, it was in the confines of the Manhattan Group of those
    very, very early days that this germ of an idea came to life. Lois might
    have added that since the St. Louis conference, one new family
    group has started every single day of the week since, someplace in
    the world.

    I think the deeper meaning of all this is that AA is something more
    than a quest for sobriety, because we cannot have sobriety unless we
    solve the problem of life, which is essentially the problem of living
    and working together. And the family groups are straightening out
    the enormous twist that has been put on our domestic relations by
    our drinking. I think it's one of the greatest things that's happened in
    years.

    Well, let's cut back to old 24th Street. One more thing happened
    there:

    Another Tradition was generated. It had to do with money. You
    know how slow I was on coming up with that dollar bill tonight? I
    suppose I was thinking back -- some sort of unconscious reflex.

    We had a deuce of a time getting that club supported, just passing
    the hat, no fees, no dues, just the way it should be. But the no fee
    and dues business was construed into no money at all -- let George
    do it.

    I'd been, on this particular day, down to the foundation office, and
    we'd just put out this dollar-a-year measuring stick for the alcoholics
    to send us some money if they felt like it. Not too many were feeling
    like it, and I remem- ber that I was walking up and down the office
    damning these drunks.

    That evening, still feeling sore about the stinginess of the drunks, I
    sat on the stairs at the old 24th Street Club, talking to some
    would-be convert. Tom B. was leading the meeting that night, and at
    the intermission he put on a real plug for money, the first one that
    I'd ever heard. At that time, money and spirituality couldn't mix,
    even in

    the hat. I mean, you mustn't talk about money! Very reluctantly, we'd
    gone into the subject with Tom M. and the landlord. We were
    behind in the rent.

    Well, Tom put on that heavy pitch, and I went on talking to my
    prospect, and as the hat came along, I fished in my pocket and
    pulled out half a buck.

    That very day, I think, Ebby had come in the office a little the worse
    for wear, and with a very big heart, I had handed him five dollars.
    Our total income at that time was thirty bucks a week, which had
    come out of the Rockefeller dinner affair; so I'd given him five bucks
    of the thirty and felt very generous, you see.

    But now comes the hat to pay for the light and heat and so forth --
    rent -- and I pull out this half dollar and I look absent-mindedly at it,
    and I put my hand in the other pocket and pull out a dime and put it
    in the hat.

    So I have never once railed at alcoholics for not getting up the
    money. There, you see, was the beginning of two A.A. Traditions --
    things that had to do with professionalism and money.

    Following 1941, this thing just mushroomed. Groups began to break
    off out into the suburbs. But a lot of us still wanted a club, and the
    24th Street Club just couldn't do the trick. We got an offer from
    Norman Vincent Peale to take over a church at 41st Street. The
    church was in a neighborhood that had deteriorated badly --

    over around Ninth Avenue and 41st. In fact, it was said to be a
    rather sinful neighborhood, if you gather what I mean. The last
    young preacher that Peale had sent there seemed very much against
    drinking and smoking and other even more popular forms of sin;
    therefore, he had no parishioners.

    Here was this tremendous church, and all that we could see was a
    bigger and bigger club in New York City. So we moved in. The body
    of the church would hold 1,000 people, and we had a hall upstairs
    that would hold another 800, and we visioned this as soon full. Then
    there were bowling alleys downstairs, and we figured the drunks
    would soon be getting a lot of exercise. After they warmed up down
    there, they could go upstairs in the gymnasium.

    Then, we had cooking apparatus for a restaurant. This was to be our
    home, and we moved in. Well, sure enough, the place filled up just
    like mad! Then, questions of administration, questions of morals,
    questions of meetings, questions of which was the Manhattan Group
    and which was the club and which was the

    Intergroup (the secretary of the club was also the Intergroup
    secretary) began to get this seething mass into terrific tangles, and
    we learned a whole lot about clubs!

    Whilst all this was going on, the AA groups were spreading
    throughout America and to foreign shores, and each group, like our
    own, was having its terrific headaches. In that violent period,
    nobody could say whether this thing would hang together or not.
    Would it simply explode and fly all to pieces? On thousands of anvils

    of experience, of which the Manhattan Group was certainly one
    (down in that 41st Street club, more sparks came off that anvil than
    any I ever saw), we hammered out the Traditions of Alcoholics
    Anonymous, which were first published in 1946 [April Grapevine].
    We hammered out the rudiments of an Intergroup, which now has
    become one of the best there is anywhere, right here in New York.

    Finally, however, the club got so big that it bust. The Intergroup
    moved. So did the Manhattan Group, with $5,000 -- its part of the
    take, which it hung on to. And from the Manhattan Group's
    experience, we learned that -- although the foundation needs a
    reserve -- for God's sake, don't have any money in a group treasury!

    The hassles about that $5,000 lasted until they got rid of it somehow.

    Then, you all moved down to dear old Sam Shoemaker's Calvary, the
    very place of our beginning. Now, we've made another move.

    And so we grow, and such has been the road that leads back to the
    kitchen table at Clinton Street




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    0 -1 0 0
    849 JKNIGHTBIRD@aol.com
    Supreme Court Rejects Appeal in AA Confession Case Supreme Court Rejects Appeal in AA Confession Case 3/4/2003 4:14:00 AM

    Supreme Court rejects appeal of Westchester man in AA confession case

    [Unable to display image]

    NEW YORK NEWSDAY.COM

    February 24, 2003, 5:00 PM EST


    WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a man who stabbed
    a couple to death and then confessed years later in an Alcoholics Anonymous
    meeting and was convicted of manslaughter.

    Paul Cox was convicted after testimony about his confessions to fellow AA
    members was admitted at his trial for the 1988 slayings of doctors Laksman
    Rao Chervu and his wife, Shanta Chervu, at their Westchester home. Cox was
    sentenced to 16 years in prison.

    District Court Judge Charles Brieant in White Plains had overturned the 1994
    conviction, ruling that the confessions were a form of confidential religious
    communication. Brieant was reversed by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
    in Manhattan.

    The appeals court stopped short of deciding whether AA conversations were
    protected as religious speech, ruling only that the court record of the case
    failed to establish that Cox communicated with fellow AA members to seek
    spiritual guidance.

    The Supreme Court denied the appeal Monday without comment or hearing oral
    arguments in the matter.

    "It's been a long and difficult process for the families of the two doctors
    Chervu, but it's finally over as far as the criminal justice system is
    concerned," said Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro. "It's difficult
    to explain why the system takes as long as it does."

    Cox's lawyer, Robert Isseks, said, "I think it was an issue worthy of the
    court's consideration. ... We'll have to explore what if any further avenues
    he can take."

    At the original trial, Cox argued that an alcoholic haze drove him to break
    into the couple's Larchmont home, where he had lived as a child.

    He claimed he did not remember the slayings until after he sobered up in 1990
    and began suffering from vivid flashbacks that allowed him to recall killing
    the couple.

    He first confessed to a fellow AA member who was his girlfriend, and he
    eventually admitted his guilt to no fewer than seven AA members.

    After one AA member went to police, investigators were able to match Cox's
    palm print to one taken at the scene of the crime.


    Copyright © 2003, The Associated Press

    0 -1 0 0
    850 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit.-Liberty July 1949 Periodical Lit.-Liberty July 1949 3/5/2003 9:43:00 AM

    How San Francisco Sobers ‘Em Up



    The Golden Gate city, ashamed of having the highest percentage of arrests for drunkenness, and alarmed by the number of suicides in its drunk tanks, will soon have the nation’s most fabulous clinic for alcoholics



     


    By CLINT MOSHER


     


     


    READING TIME 15 MINUTES. Late on the after-noon of last January 14 a housewife in Berkeley, California, observed a car parked at a crazy angle. A woman was at the wheel and she appeared unable either to park the car properly or to get out of the vehicle. The observer called the police.


    A policeman found that the woman driver was obviously drunk. He suggested that she lock her car and go home in a cab. She became belligerent. Having exhausted his powers of persuasion, the policeman called for a patrol car.


    The woman, wife of a minor government official, was booked as a drunk and lodged in a cell by the woman’s portion of the Berkeley city jail. Twice in the next two hours she was granted permission to use the telephone, but her frantic appeals to relatives and friends for help were unsuccessful. At 8.55 P.M., the matron, making her hourly check, observed the prisoner sitting quietly on the edge of her cot. She wrote later in her report: "She seemed quite resigned." At the ten-o’clock check, the matron found the prisoner had hanged herself with a strip of cloth torn from her slip. She had used the iron grille of the cell door as a gallows. And scribbled on the gray wall, in the crimson marking of her lipstick, was this message:


    "You don’t know. I’ve gone through a thousand hells tonight."


    The suicide of this woman was the most spectacular of several similar incidents in the San Francisco Bay area in which persons confined for the night to various drunk tanks, as they are called, ended their lives in fits of alcoholic depression.


    News of the woman’s death stirred San Francisco, and at long last caused to burst into flame a plan for a revolutionary treatment of alcoholics – a plan that had been smoldering for several months.


    And as this is written, San Francisco, the city with the unhappy distinction of having the highest percentage of arrests for drunkenness of any large municipality in the nation, is well on the road toward the establishment of a unique clinic to help those whose proximity to the bottle has deprived them of the power to help themselves. The label; of "alcoholic" will be intentionally omitted from the clinic. It will be known simply as the Adult Guidance Center.



    The plan involves more than the mere elimination of the drunk tank. There will be provided everything from psychiatry and vitamins, to lessons in what an alcoholic should eat to calm his stomach nerves, and how he can get past the swinging doors, provided, of course, he wants help and has not extended his drinking career to the point to no return. If he is not readily salvageable, he will be sent either to a state hospital, where he can do a minimum of harm and may still recover; or to a custodial farm, where he will be safe from crime and accident.


    As part of this modernized procedure, the alcoholic will be able to receive treatment at cost and with the protection of anonymity. The plan is no bluenosed formula for reducing drinking, but a healthy arrangement for helping the person who wants to stop and can’t. A city as robust as San Francisco would accept nothing less. Its residents always like to boast that San Francisco is the "city that knows how," and under this program it is being geared to do more to solve the problem of alcoholism than any of its sister municipalities.


    The man behind this crusade is the city’s district attorney, Edmund G. Brown, a 43-year-old prosecutor and family man who always appears to be on his way to or from a gymnasium locker room and has a habit of jumping out of bed at 6 A.M. and exclaiming, "Boy! I feel great!" The description suggests an overexuberant bore who rattles the ribs of less hardy souls by slapping them on the back and damaging their eardrums with sonorous greetings. Such is not the case. Brown’s vitality springs from a hardy constitution.


    "Pat" Brown, as he is popularly known, can take a drink or leave it alone. Actually, two circumstances, neither connected with the idea of reform for reform’s sake, started him on the road at the end of which San Francisco’s Adult Guidance Center will rise. The first involves a two-block route which Brown must follow daily from his office to the Hall of Justice.


    The district attorney’s offices are in a building in a less expensive block of San Francisco’s financial center, Montgomery Street. One block over and one block up, on Kearny Street, is the Hall. In between, the neighborhood degenerates rapidly into a series of taverns and tenements outside of which drunks sprawl despite the nearness of the drunk tank and the law.


    The other circumstance was a more personal one. Liquor got the better of a capable lawyer on whom Brown depended for legal assistance. Another of Brown’s friends, also a professional man, teetered on the edge of ruin because he couldn’t stop drinking. Two others, one a newspaperman, were in the same predicament.


    Brown, of necessity, had to walk around the drunks who lay in his path as he went from his office to the Hall. With his friends, he tried tactful advice. When that failed, he decided something had to be done, both for the street drunk and for the alcoholic who is coming apart in a less public but equally fatal manner.


    He began by persuading a friend, Emmet Daly, a former F.B.I. agent and recently released Naval Intelligence officer, to become a special assistant to the district attorney, with the job of finding out how drunk San Franciscans get, how they are treated, and what should be done about it. Daly, in his oldest suit, headed for Skid Row, a stretch of several bottle-clustered blocks south of San Francisco’s broad Market Street.


    Even the most cloistered clubman on plushy Nob Hill is vaguely familiar with what happens to the men on the wrong side of the Market Street trolley tracks when they panhandle 30 cents for a pint of wine and proceed to gulp it down, But a district attorney needs more than a notion to win a case. Daly went out after the equivalent of the corpus delicti.


    He had no trouble finding drunks in Skid Row. They were sprawled in doorways and some lay in the gutters. He stood near one who had collapsed in a doorway and waited until the paddy wagon arrived to haul the man to the precinct station. He followed to see what would happen. He learned that the custom is to lock up drunks at the station house until another wagon arrives from downtown to take them to the drunk tank.


    If the drunk can pull himself together in the interval between his arrival and that of the wagon from headquarters, he goes free. Otherwise he faces a night in the tank. At times there have been alternate results, as happened one night when two drunks, collected at separate places, were lodged in a single station-house cell. The jailer observed they were too stupefied to engage in the jail-house chatter. He expected no trouble. But later, one of the two made a noose out of his shirt and hung himself while the other stared glassily at the proceeding.


    But the drunk whom Daly followed to the station had no suicidal intentions. Neither could he pull himself together. The wagon from the Hall arrived and the drunk tank automatically became his destination.


    The tank is not a single enclosure, as its name suggests. It consists of a block of 14 cells, each six by seven feet. Frequently seven or eight men are put into a single cell, for the average drunk catch a night is more than 100. There are no cots for the reason that a drunk might roll off and fracture his skull on the hard floor. The men flop on mats, some of them sitting up against the walls of the cell, their legs overlapping their neighbor’s in a spectacle of Dickensian bleakness.



    The morning after Daly had watched his particular drunk from the Row placed in a cell in the tank, he went to court to see what would happen next.


    "The drunk tank was bad enough, but what I saw in court the next morning was even worse," he remembered. "I took one look at what was going on and called the district attorney, telling him to come over and see for himself."


    Tank occupants are herded into a corner of the courtroom and their cases disposed of ahead of the day’s regular calendar. The clerk of the court rattles off half a dozen names, and their owners shuffle inside the railing and stand before the bench. There is a low-voiced mumbo-jumbo during which pleas of guilty are entered and the panel is dismissed with a brief admonition not to return. The second panel is called, and so on until the last drunk has been disposed of.


    "Drunks are not fingerprinted," said Daly, "so there is no way to keep track of how often they come back. After talking to several hundred of them, I’m satisfied nine-tenths of those sent to the drunk tank are repeaters. The average drunk can be in and out of court two or three times a week and still nothing is done for or against him."


    But it was the handling of the drunks in panels instead of singly that so disturbed Daly that he sent for Brown. Because of subsequent publicity, this feature of the system has been eliminated, but the revolving-door nature of the process-arrested today, dismissed tomorrow, back next day-persists.


    After their morning in court, Daly and Brown decided to follow one of those who had been freed, to see what he did. They selected a man about 60 who bore unmistakable evidence of having been in a scuffle before he reached the tank the night before. After walking several blocks, the man sagged and fell into the gutter. Brown called an ambulance


    "Of course, the point of all this is that nothing is being done about the alcoholic, and we are still spending $500,000 a year in police man-hours alone, with no return," said Brown. "The number of alcoholics in the streets has increased to the point where they can'’ be ignored, even though there might be those who would attempt it.


    "Here is all this money being wasted on a worthless system when for half the amount, say $250,000, we can operate a first-class clinic for a year. And the $500,000 a year in police man-hours now being spent for handling alcoholics obviously doesn’t include the cost of crime or family poverty stemming from our present arrangement for getting the drunks off the streets."



    On a national basis, the latest figures on arrests for drunkenness cover the year 1947. San Francisco led with 6,230 arrests per 100,000 population. Thirteen of the larger cities were included in the count. There is scant local pride in the fact that Los Angeles is second, with 5,103 arrests per 100,000. The others, in order of descendency, are Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Boston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit, Buffalo, Baltimore, and New York.


    With the full picture before them, Brown and Daly began a furious search for the right pieces to put together to make a plan to correct the situation. They interviewed doctors and psychiatrists from the neighborhood to the state level. Members of the clergy were called on and asked for suggestions. The leaders of Alcoholics Anonymous were sought out for their views. Business men who take an occasional drink and drunks who hit the bottle all the time, police who are plagued with alcoholics and want to be rid of them, teachers who find an increasing number of their older students red-eyed at morning roll call, everyone who had any reasonable notion about what to do about the alcoholic was given a chance to speak his piece.


    Daly, entering the lobby of his club on day, was accosted by a member. "So, you’re becoming a prohibitionist," he said. "A fine thing!" Daly, who expected that sort of reaction when he took over the job with Brown, replied, ,"Let’s go get a drink and talk it over." Daly convinced the man the surest way to prevent the return of prohibition is to solve the problem of the chronic alcoholic, and another San Franciscan was jogged out of his lethargy and prejudice. He told his friends and a chain reaction began. Brown and Daly kept it going with speaking engagements before clubs of housewives and industrial leaders and educators and city planners.


    While all of this was in progress, Daly was sending letters to every city in the country which had made any attempt to treat the alcoholic as a medical problem. The replies to the letters and data gathered at the interviews were distilled into a procedure for an alcoholic clinic.


    Under the San Francisco plan the alcoholic who is arrested will not be classified as a misdemeanor offender. The California legislature is making such a change in the law. The drunk will be held for quarantine. He will be in the same relative position as a person roaming the streets with a communicable disease, a hazard to himself and to others. The purpose of this change in classification is to give legal recognition to the theory that a drunk is a sick person, not a lawbreaker.


    "No person will be given employment at the clinic, from the psychiatrists to the elevator operators, who does not first give proof that he believes a drunk is a sick person and not a moral leper," said Brown. "This proposition is the cornerstone of the whole plan.


    When a drunk is arrested, he will be taken directly to the clinic. Once there, he will be fingerprinted so that a record of his case may be kept. The clinic will have no cells or bars, but wards. The fact that the drunk is in custody will not be emphasized. After he has been logged in, he will be given whatever immediate medical attention is necessary. If he is lucid, the doctors will talk to him. If not, that part of the procedure will come later.


    Within twenty-four hours a preliminary appraisal of his case will have been made. If he is a one-night drunk, he will be shooed out, but advised to return for consultations and help if liquor is becoming a problem. If he has been on a two-week binge and hasn't eaten much, he will be given five days in bed and fed a diet high in vitamins.


    The one-nighter who is released in the morning, or the man who is hospitalized for five days, will have his fate determined by a judge who will sit at the center-not on a bench, but at a conference table. The patient and the doctors will be the witnesses. The judge will be guided by what they have to say.


    The clinic will concentrate on those who accept help and are salvageable. During the five-day period of hospitalization there will be simple lessons in dietetics: The course will be elementary. A drunk, the experts emphasize, is a man trying to learn to walk again after having been bedridden for a long time. In the case of the alcoholic, it is his thinking processes which have to be retaught.


    In between lessons and baths and wholesome meals, the psychiatrists will attempt to sell the patient on the idea it is not only possible but very pleasant to live without drinking, if a man is an alcoholic. They will tell him very emphatically that an alcoholic cannot drink so much as a jigger; that it isn’t the last drink that is important but the first one.


    "I may be an optimist, but I’m satisfied a lot of cases that now look hopeless will make some progress when the problem is put to them as a medical one," say Pat Brown. "Alcoholics Anonymous has proven that. Of course, Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t pretend to help everyone. For those cases in which it is not the answer, we will try psychiatry. If that doesn’t work, we’ll try something else. And all the time it will be cheaper for the taxpayers and infinitely better for the drunk."


    Brown is equally concerned about helping the drunk who doesn’t get arrested. It will be possible for a man who believes liquor is getting him down to go to the clinic, have an examination and diagnosis, and return for outpatient care by the simple process of paying whatever his visits cost the city. He will not be booked, nor will his employer or friends be advised of his problem.


    "We hope these people will come into the clinic the same as they would to another clinic if they felt ill," said Brown, "There are several of my friends who I hope will be among the first.


    The clinic will also be open to the wife who can’t take another of her husband’s binges and who otherwise would visit a divorce lawyer. She will be given guidance.


    "We’re not getting fancy or reformish; we’re just getting sensible." Said Brown. "I’ve sent a lot of people to jail since I’ve been in office. I hope when I get through I will be able to say I’ve made a lot of people happier."


    San Francisco is moving fast to escape remaining at the top of the list for drunkenness. It would just as soon forgo that dubious honor.



    Source: Liberty, July 1949





    0 -1 0 0
    851 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit: Saturday Evening Post, DEcember 20, 1952 Periodical Lit: Saturday Evening Post, DEcember 20, 1952 3/6/2003 9:08:00 AM

    The Shame


    Of


    Skid Row



    By JEROME ELLISON



    Danny, citizen of Detroit, U.S.A., has cost his city $18,500 since1928, as a living discard. There are 400,000 like him on those human junk heaps called "skid row." Some live in your city, atyour expense, to the menace of your health – and conscience.



    Roy Sutherland and Ted Thieda, plain-clothes cops on the skid-row detail of the First Precinct Detroit police, are known to vagrants throughout the Midwest as "The Ragpickers." Their job is to keep depravity in their precinct from becoming too assertively public. A tour of duty with them adds color to a national embarrassment city council calls "The Skid-Row Problem."


    Sutherland is a short roly-poly man in his fifties, with a shock of curly white hair, a full, ruddy face and amiable blue eyes behind steel-rimmed spectacles. He wears a brown business suit on the job and is always chewing an unlit cigar. Thieda, a tall, muscular man in his forties, is the athlete of the pair. They work from a worn, unmarked city car. Sutherland, as senior, does most of the talking.


    "There’s one." We were hardly five minutes out of headquarters, cruising Michigan Avenue. We pulled over to the curb and parked. A man was prone in an alley. Sutherland and I went over to him. Thieda went to have a look up the street.


    The unconscious man was around fifty, with sandy brown hair, a blotchy red skin and a beard of many days. His face was streaked with clotted blood from a gash on his forehead. An unlabeled pint bottle containing a pinkish fluid lay at his side. He wore work shoes without socks, soiled khaki trousers and a soot-blackened shirt. A blended stench of bodily excretions rose from him.


    "Well," Sutherland said, "darn if it isn’t Danny. I’ll tell you later about Danny…Come on, fella." He pointed to the man’s hands. "See the pink stains between the fingers? Canned heat."


    Thieda returned."Three more around the corner. Call the wagon?"


    Sutherland nodded, and told me what he knew about Danny. Since June 17, 1828, Danny had been arrested for drunkenness and vagrancy 128 times. He’d spent 4020 days in the Detroit House of Correction. In arrests, court appearances, jail keep, medical and hospital care he had cost the community $18,500. "You see what I mean?" Sutherland said. "How discouraging?"


    In a few minutes the wagon came. Two uniformed policemen from the wagon roused the four men, loaded them and drove off – for Danny, it was the 129th time. We resumed our tour.


    "Funny thing," Sutherland said. "I’ve been on this job twelve years, without anybody paying much attention. And now just lately there’s been an awful lot of interest."


    That "awful lot of interest" goes for many other cities. By sheer pressure of horror, civic embarrassment and community expense, skid row has pushed itself to the forefront among our major municipal problems. In the past three years, mayor’s skid-row committees have been formed in New York, Chicago, Detroit and half a dozen smaller cities. Under the label "homeless man," the human derelict is now receiving scholarly attention, to find out what made him homeless, and what can be done.


    By the best estimates I can come up with, at least 400,000 men are leading a skid-row life. They cost taxpayers at least $40,000,000 a year. If all were working, their tax contributions would be at least $165,000,000, a year, so the economic stakes are large. The humanitarian stakes are larger. There are things a citizen cannot allow to pass without protest and still retain his self-respect. These things occur daily along skid-row. My tour with the Detroit plain-clothes men revealed the kind of slum-within-slums that shakes the claim to civilization of even the most civilized American cities.


    It also revealed that men can come back from skid-row. Eddie Rohan, a pleasant-faced fifty-four-year-old Irish-American who lives in Detroit, is a case in point. Statistically speaking, Eddie has returned from the dead. For a quarter century he lived either on the Avenue or in the Detroit House of Correction, a guest of the city because of drunkenness. The normal end of the likes of Eddie used to be either the Wayne County Hospital-for the insane-or the Wayne County Morgue. He is one of the 250 exhibits cited to prove the Motor City’s contention that skid row can be abolished.


    This view is not universally held, and a session at a big-city magistrate’s bench helps explain why. I recently followed a batch of a dozen derelicts from their pass-out points, through the city jail, to the courtroom and sentence. Lined up in an unsteady row at the bar of justice, they highlighted the whole tragedy of skid row. Even the judge was moved. He shook his head. "Why do they do it?"



    The Promise of Detroit’s Program



    The judge had cards on each man, listing previous terms served on the same charge, drunkenness. Twenty-five to fifty terms were not unusual; none had fewer than eight. He ruled,"Thirty days for all." Many, he knew, would be passed out in some filthy alley within a few days after serving their terms. That’s why so many experienced public officials say, "Skid row is hopeless."


    Others are not so sure, and on economic grounds alone, their cases deserve a hearing. It costs about $1000 a year to keep a man in jail. Detroit’s Mayor’s Rehabilitation Committee costs $25,000 a year. By spending a third of their time in jail, the 250 men so far salvaged would have cost Detroit $83,000. Their taxes return to the public coffers $100,000 a year, putting the community $158,000ahead on the twelve-month. Minneapolis, New York and Alameda County, California, are among the metropolitan areas where tax-supported rehabilitation programs are being tried. Detroit, in this reporter’s view, is especially sparkling with new slants on a scandal many generations old.


    The most noxious of several skid-row areas in the Michigan metropolis is a nineteen block section bounded by Cass, Howard, Fifth and Jones streets. For five roaring blocks this miunicipal cancer lies athwart Michigan Avenue, the main stem from the Michigan Central Railroad Terminal to the glittering downtown hotel district. Skid row spills over for several blocks on each side of this main stem. The adjacent areas are vacant lots, junk yards, tenements, warehouses, abandoned factories and dwellings and the close-packed, unpainted little houses of the very poor. This single neighborhood, the beat of Sutherland and Thieda, produces 10,000 arrests a year for drunkenness and associated offenses.


    A day on skid row begins at seven A.A., when the bars open. From six o’clock on, men are stirring in the flophouses and alleys, crawling from under newspapers or lean-tos in vacant lots and dumps, emerging from abandoned basements and from beneath parked trailer trucks, to be on the Avenue at the stroke. Once there, what happens depends upon a man’s economic status.


    The man at the top of the social ladder sleeps in a flophouse and drinks in a bar. Just below him in prestige is the man who sleeps in a mission and drinks out of a bottle purchased at a package-liquor store. Next in order are the men who sleep in dark places and drink nonbeverage alcohol. Bay rum, several brands of hair tonic and shaving lotion, vanilla and lemon extracts, isopropyl rubbing alcohol – nineteen cents a half pint – lacquer thinner and canned heat are widely consumed. Canned heat is a solution of pink wax in alcohol. The alcohol may be partially reclaimed by placing the waxy paste in a cloth and squeezing – hence the telltale pink stains between the fingers of those who favor the "Pink Lady," the drink which results from mixing this with an equal part of water.


    Promptly at seven o’clock each morning the elite begin going into the bars. The rest remain outside, hoping for a flush crony who’ll invite a man in for a drink, or the owner of a bottle, possibly in his debt from yesterday, who’ll give him a pull. Failing this, a man will turn to his neighbor and say, "I have seven cents." The proper reply is "I have eleven," or whatever the amount may be. The chain continues until a sum is reached which equals the price of one of the fluids previously mentioned. With the drink aboard, a man is ready for his day’s panhandling.


    "If all panhandling could be stopped," says William C. Sterling, director of the Mayor’s Rehabilitation Committee in Detroit, "the worst aspects of skid row would disappear. Its foulest horrors are maintained by the thoughtlessly given nickles, dimes and quarters of well-intentioned citizens."


    Midafternoon usually finds the pan-handler back on the Avenue with cash in his pocket. By this time the revelry in the bars is in full swing. The elite are all at the tables, stupefied or asleep. Now and then, one will rouse himself, wait till his glass is filled, drain it and go to sleep again. Others are drinking at the bar, playing the juke box, talking.


    The conversation has to do mostly with the character and deeds of this or that jerk of recent or remote memory – resentments on skid row are deep and abiding. Occasionally the theme changes. Once I overheard a panel discussion on the topic, "If a man was born in 1876, how old is he now?" Estimates ranged from fifty-nine to eighty-six, with each disputant defending his own arithmetic. If the juke box is playing, somebody will get up from time to time and make random flapping motions, smiling a nearly toothless smile – falls take a widespread toll of front teeth. The performer is dancing, cutting the rug. He doesn’t last long; he has little energy. Even the fights of skid row are mostly slapstick affairs of short duration; neither contestant has the strength for a really damaging blow.


    So the day wears on, drink and talk, wake and doze, until a man reaches his objective – oblivion. This has to be timed so he makes his flop before passing out – to pass out on the street is to risk being run in. Skid row starts going to bed at dusk. All through the early evening you see men making their uncertain way back to the flophouses, the abandoned shacks, the vacant lots. The shabby figures fade into the weeds and disappear. In a 100-by-100-foot lot near the Avenue there may be thirty men asleep, none of then visible to the passer-by. In one place, long sections of forty-eight-inch-diameter concrete sewer pipe were left at the curb for a construction project. At ten o’clock one night I found one or two sleeping men in each section of pipe. By midnight it’s another day.


    Money on skid row is for liquor; other things can be had without payment or be gone without. How a man obtains his drinking money depends upon how advanced he is in the mores of the Avenue. If he’s relatively a beginner, he hits the streets around Labor Day, after a summer with a railroad construction gang or with the fruit pickers, his pay in his pocket. He invests part of it in new finery, part in advance rent at a flophouse, and part with a bartender, against future needs. For weeks or months he fraternizes on the street and in the bars. The day arrives when his cash is gone and his deposits used up. His new suit, hat and shoes are exchanged for "relievers" – shirt, dungarees and sneakers. He begins patronizing the package liquor stores, where a brand of wine can be had for forty-nine cents a fifth. As money grows tighter, he’ll resort to more economical beverages, through the lotions down to rubbing alcohol and canned heat.


    Food and shelter can be obtained for a while without cost. There are several missions where a man can get a meal without answering questions, being preached at, singing hymns or working. At other places he can have board, work and indefinite keep if he’ll "take a nose dive" – profess a religious conviction. This, by skid row standards, is contemptible, and only a small percentage ever do it.


    Sooner or later, our man must decide whether to work or beg for his drinking money. If he works, as many do before the skid-row neurosis lays too firm a hold, he hedges his employment about with qualifications. Employment must be on a day or half-day basis and must yield a dollar an hour, which must be paid promptly and without deductions. Work teams of five men are often organized, with each man working one day a week and contributing his earnings to the common liquor kitty. Income is boosted by occasional sales of blood to private-hospital blood banks at eight dollars a pint. By this time our man is probably sleeping in the open, taking his meals at missions, supplemented by traditional skid-row cuisine.


    At one point in our tour Sutherland asked me, "Did you ever hear of mulligan stew? They had one over there last night; let’s take a look." In a vacant lot was a fire-blackened five gallon tin. To make mulligan, Sutherland explained, you start by bringing a tin of water to a boil. Then you add wilted vegetables thrown out by stores, old fish heads from the back of restaurants and chicken entrails from the dressed fowl market.


    Aggressive crime by derelict men is negligible, Sutherland says. Too tired for crime, they’re more preyed upon than preying. Once he pointed out a wiry, athletic young man in his twenties, dressed in a natty polo shirt, suede shoes and knife-edged slacks. "We’re pretty sure that fellow’s a jack roller, only we haven’t got the goods on him – yet." A jack roller is a man who specializes in beating and robbing drunks.


    Though women are seen in the bars in the proportion of about one to thirty, sex on skid row is pretty much a dead issue. "They just don’t have the energy," Sutherland says.


    Death on skid row is often sudden, and always ugly. "Had a bad one last winter," Sutherland said. "Five of them holed up one cold night in a junked trailer in an auto graveyard. Had a stew, let the fire go out for the night. Canned heat went up, I guess. Anyway, the trailer blazed like a torch; all five burned to death."


    Casualties of skid row are taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital. There are "wine sores" – foul smelling skin eruptions brought on by prolonged deficiencies of diet. There are broken bones and hideous head and eye wounds – from falls and beatings by jack rollers. There are alcoholic convulsions and delirium tremens. These are taken to the psychopathic section and placed in the violent ward in restraint. There is total physical exhaustion, and there is death. Now and then, a derelict strays off and is lost. One old man was found in an abandoned basement, indescribably filthy, crawling with lice, and near death. He was bathed and put to bed; shortly thereafter he died.


    The Wayne County Morgue is the end of the line. Corpses arriving there from the Avenue are nearly always John Doe or Mary Roe, unidentified. The afternoon I visited the morgue there was John Doe No.1, male, white, age 46, 5 feet, 8 inches, 180 pounds. Fell down the stairs of a Michigan Avenue flophouse and broke his skull. John Doe No.2, age 51, died of a broken neck "due to fall in alley." Mary Roe, female, white, 45, fell off the stool of an East Jefferson Street bar at 9:30 P.M. and died of a fractured skull.


    Such is the rhythm of life and death on skid row, Detroit, and a hundred other cities. There are, in the crazy symphony of the Avenue, other rhythms. Not all are willfully destructive alcoholics, and not all are adverse to work. Old-age pensioners and handicapped persons sometime drift there because it’s the only place where they can live on what they have. But the chronic alcoholic is the hard core of the problem. Such men load our city jails and hospitals, turn city streets into daytime nightmares. They misuse charity, exploit mercy, degrade and finally destroy themselves.


    What’s the matter with such men? Employment conditions do not explain their despair – steady jobs were going begging when I was in Detroit. And one can’t brush away the problem by saying they’re "just alcoholics." Mr. Yvelin Gardner, director of the National Committee on Alcoholism, says: "The problem of the typical alcoholic is quite distinct from that of the skid row derelict. The usual alcoholic has a home, job and family, and a desire to maintain his community status. The homeless alcoholic has little ambition and less hope; his rehabilitation presents an entirely different equation."


    On skid row, the homeless man’s distress produces profit. I have neither observed nor heard of any act of a derelict that compares in degradation with the act, committed daily by sober and "respectable" merchants, of deliberately selling sick, addled and helpless men chemicals that are poisoning them to slow death.


    "Can our cities come up with a really effective answer to skid row?"


    This is question Mayor Albert E. Cobo placed before a committee of Detroit citizens in 1949, when a series of articles in the Detroit Free Press exposed skid-row conditions. The committee reported in the affirmative and recommended specific steps. State laws governing the sale of liquor were to be enforced. A state rehabilitation camp was to be established for chronic alcoholics who failed to respond to therapy. A section of skid row was to be condemned, and rebuilt as an attractive municipal parking lot. A counseling and employment service, staffed by men possessing a sympathetic grasp of alcoholic problems, was to be set up in the heart of skid row.


    So far, only the last of these proposals has materialized. The counseling service has for two years occupied an unlabeled store front at 339 W. Jefferson – and here I found the first gleam of real hope in many weeks among the men of skid row.


    Nobody enters the committee’s head-quarters unless he wants to. There’s noting to eat, no place to sleep, and nobody gets anything free except advice. Yet in the two years since it opened, 1670 men have sought it out. It has shown, on a pilot scale, that men can be returned in quantity from the half death of skid row.


    After talking with some of the men who drop in at 339, the judge’s question – "Why do they do it?" – doesn’t seem to pose such a mystery. Indeed, it is claimed by Bill Sterling, director at 339, that you can’t make any progress until you answer it – until you find out what’s eating away at the heart of each individual man. Take the case of Eddie Rohan. It took weeks to find out what was really bothering Eddie. But once it was talked through and settled, Eddie straightened out, apparently for good. Eddie is nearly two years sober now, and doesn’t mind yarning about his skid-row days. It explains a lot about Eddie and about skid row.


    Eddie was born in a small Ohio city in 1898, the youngest of three sons of a stern father who worked in a brickyard. Life at home was not happy. "The old man always seemed to go out of his way to make it clear he didn’t have no damn use for me." His brother took the father’s cue. The oldest brother "beat up on" the next youngest, they both beat up on Eddie, and the father beat up on them all. The only solace was Eddie’s mother, who favored him when she could. Her presence in the home made life endurable.


    When Eddie was fourteen his mother died of pneumonia, and for a while Eddie didn’t care whether he lived or not. The old man "got more cantankerous than ever; you just couldn’t live with him." After two more years, none of the boys even tried. Jim, the oldest, finished high school and was staked to a law-school education by an uncle. Today he’s a district judge in the old hometown. A year later, Art, the middle one, went to work in a steel plant in Youngstown. That left Eddie, by then a sophomore in high school, alone with his father. In 1914, when Eddie was sixteen, he joined the Army, with his father’s permission.


    For the first time in his short life Eddie was "something like happy." He joined a cavalry unit, got on well with the men, loved the animals and within a year was promoted to corporal. By late 1916 it was beginning to look as if America might become a belligerent in World War I. Eddie was filled with dreams of glory in the service of his country.


    One night in the winter of 1916-17, Eddie went on a party. His unit was then stationed in a New England state. It was a fairly wild party, held in a hotel of dim repute locally on a night when the local police raided it. Because women were present, the court was able to give Eddie the maximum sentence – two years in the penitentiary. Eddie was then eighteen.


    He couldn’t believe it at first. "How could they give a guy two years for doin’ what everybody else does?" Surely the Army would do something, the Army understood these things. But the Army washed its hands of the matter. His uncle, the big lawyer back home? The uncle wrote that Eddie had got himself into this; Eddie could get himself out. Eddie went to the state penitentiary for two years of hard labor.


    Hard labor, in the down-East penitentiary of those days, meant polishing marble table tops ten hours a day, six days a week. You worked with a paste made of acid and pumice, rubbing it on the marble with a piece of carpet. The acid got under your fingernails and burned. If you complained, you got a week in solitary. Two years.


    Meanwhile, America had begun and ended a war. Eddie’s unit was back from France, covered with glory, medals and promotions. Hardly anybody even remembered Eddy. "The first thing I did when I got out was give that warden a piece of my mind. Then I got out of the state. Then I got drunk." In the course of the spree, Eddie made his way back to his home town.


    He asked his father for a bed and a place to clean up, and was thrown out of the house. His uncle gave him a bed until he slept it off, then bought him a suit, gave him ten dollars and ordered him to leave town. "We’ve got a good name in this town so far; we don’t want it jeopardized."


    They didn’t have a good name with Eddie. To put as much distance between himself and Ohio as he could, he rode freight trains to California.


    The mental twist common to the men of skid row was now set in Eddie’s mind. He had lost faith in the good will of men. Except for this tragic quirk, he might have taken steady work and established himself. But a steady job brought to mind unrelieved drudgery on hard stone; responsibility meant an unmerciful Yankee jurist, a father who "had no damn use" for him, and a stuffed-shirt uncle. At twenty-one Eddie felt permanently frustrated, and knew the nervous tension such a state of mind induces. Drinking relieved this tension. He gravitated to skid row, where potables were cheap, and where the companionship of the despairing could always be found.


    The first twelve years weren’t too bad, Eddie recalls. He picked fruit in the California valleys, worked in the Washington lumber camps, was a gandy-dancer – the section hand who used to tamp stone between the ties with his feet – on a dozen railroads, returning to skid row after each spell of work. Eddie’s last eight years on skid row were more rugged. He always hankered to get back to Ohio, and every couple of years would head that way. He’d get as far as Detroit, then lose heart. Finally, Detroit became headquarters. He stopped working and lived by panhandling. "My drinkin’ seemed to go out of control." The rubbing alcohol and canned heat he once spurned became the basis of his diet. He’d made jails before, but never as now – in and out, in and out, until it totaled sixty-seven terms in the Detroit House of Correction alone.


    Eddie’s case has elements common to almost all the skid-row case histories which have been taken. There’s the early loss of a beloved parent. A study in New Haven revealed that 49 per cent of homeless men lost one or both parents by death alone before they were twenty, to say nothing of loss of parent by divorce, separation and desertion. There’s the shattering reversal of fortune in early-adult or late-adolescent experience. And there’s the set disbelief in the kindness and decency of man.


    During his sixty-seventh term in the House of Correction Eddie heard about the city’s new experiment at 339 W. Jefferson. He decided, "God knows why," to drop in there when he got out.


    Eddie didn’t know it, but the men in charge at 339 were still pretty much at sea. Their first step had been to interview 250 homeless men on the Avenue. Eighty per cent showed good prospects for rehabilitation. Three quarters were between forty and fifty-nine, with an increasing percentage of younger men, veterans of World War II. Three quarters had eight grades or more of education, a better-than-average IQ – there was one Ph.D.-and had been regularly employed within the past five years.


    None was happy with his lot, and nearly half had specific suggestions for their own reclamation. They wanted clinical help, stricter regulation of flophouses and bars, and, of all things, chance to work their way out of their difficulties. This willingness to work was a new note in skid-row literature. My own belief is that it was induced by the usually sympathetic attitude of the Detroit interviewers. In any event, the voice of skid row was at last heard in its own behalf. It turned out to be a voice full of agonized awareness of its own misery, with a note of hope for better days.


    Local members of Alcoholics Anonymous were consulted, and literature of the Yale School of Alcohol Studies was examined. Only about 5 per cent of AA’s have ever been on skid row. Still, stories like Eddie’s had been heard before in AA, so there was assurance that recovery was possible. But AA success, even an AA beginning required hope and initiative, which were so lacking along skid row. Could there be some sort of boost over the hump from the Avenue to the AA group? The committee decided it would be worth the city’s effort to help these men find sober friends, jobs, medical treatment and advice. The city council voted funds, and 339 West Jefferson was opened.


    Aware of the contempt of the drinking man for the teetotaler, the committee recruited men, as counselors, who’d had personal knowledge of alcoholism. Two of the staff’s four men had themselves experience, and recovered from, serious drinking problems. The staff consisted of an administrative officer, an employment counselor, a personal counselor and a clinical psychologist. There were, besides the small offices, a place to sit down and wait, a few magazines and a bathroom where a man could borrow soap and a razor. Clients began to appear, tentatively at first, then in a steady stream. All sorts of men arrived, in all stages of disrepair, and a special program had to be devised for each individual.


    There was Fred C., who went out one evening two years ago to get a jar of olives and a quart of milk, and didn’t come back. Fred is a thirty-year-old veteran with a wife, two children and a car. Until the night of the olives, he worked on an assembly line in one of the automobile plants. Fred’s expenditures for liquor and his sprees set him at odds with his wife. After going for the olives, he took up residence on skid row. Six months later he was in bad shape, and he knew it. He heard about 339, and one hot day, staggered in to see about it. The committee can draw on the services of other agencies as needed. Fred was shaky, incoherent, dirty and many weeks unshaved. Before anything more was attempted, he was sent to the Receiving Hospital for five days of rest and vitamins.


    Eddie Rohan, whose prognosis, on the basis of his record, was most unfavorable, turned out to be one of the committee’s pleasant surprises. He’s one of the ten-in-one who get the idea immediately and progress toward firm recovery without a relapse.


    The first step, with Eddy, was to let him get some resentments off his chest. The counselor, who had himself wielded a mean bottle in his day, agreed that Eddie’s father was no ideal parent and the prison sentence had been cruelly unjust. Still, he said, it was no reason for destroying oneself. Other men had survived worse deals and were now sober, working and happy. Perhaps Eddy would like to met some of them. He went to AA and found congenial friends. For a couple of weeks he took temporary jobs, dishwashing. Then he got a permanent job in a hotel, which he still holds.


    The pattern of Fred’s recovery is less smooth – and more typical. In the beginning, Fred called twice a week at 339 for conferences, began attending AA meetings and got a job in a factory. His wife came down to talk about reconciliation. In six months debts were paid off and Fred was back with his family. He took a night job as a waiter, in addition to his factory job. The counselors at 339 suggested that he ease up; one job was enough. But Fred drove on. One night dead tired, he took another drink – then another, and another. He lost both jobs and his family, and stayed drunk on skid row two months. He returned to 339, asking if he might try again. "I wasn't really listening to AA the first time. This time I know I’ll make good." He’s been back on the job four months now, the debts are paid off again, and his wife is pondering.


    Of the committee’s 1670 clients, about 250 are, like Eddie, very probably in the clear. Another 500 are, like Fred, still troubled by relapses. The committee has bright hopes for their recovery. "The thing we watch for," Bill Sterling told me, "is the significant change in attitude. When hostility and resentment begin to make way for a little humility and trust, a man’s chances sharply improve." Of the remainder, 520 never came back, and 400 the committee does not think it can help at this time.


    The influx of new men off the Avenue has affected nearby AA groups. The average alcoholic is of foreman, white-collar or executive status, still possessing home, job and friends. The down-and-outer does not always assimilate readily. It’s not a matter of snobbery, but of community of interest. AA friendships thrive best, its members say, on shared problems. Bill Sterling regards it as inevitable, as traffic from the Avenue increases that an all-skid-row AA group will develop.


    Such is the battle of skid row as waged in one city, Detroit. Similar warfare, usually with smaller gains, is in progress in every sizable population center. Skid row wears many faces. In the crossroads village it’s the shack under the bridge, over by the town dump. In the country seat, it’s the half block of blind pigs somewhere between the courthouse and the depot. In Chicago it’s West Madison Street; in San Francisco it’s Howard; in New York it’s the Bowery; in Kansas City it’s Main; in Houston it’s Congress. I chose Detroit for a close-up, not because its skid row is the worst, but because it’s about the big-town average. No official of any city of comparable size could honestly say, "But it isn’t that bad here."


    It’s that bad or worse. The grim, hopeless shuttle, filthy alley to jail and back again, is the course of a huge ghost army of men. What will be done? It rests with the cities. Certain minimum steps seem imperative. Sober men are deliberately selling poison to, sick and stupefied fellow citizens. I like to think that there are a few things Americans just won’t stand for, and that poisoning for profit must be one of them.


    THE END



    Source: Saturday Evening Post, December 20, 1952











     


     


     


    0 -1 0 0
    852 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit.-True Confessions, July 1945 Periodical Lit.-True Confessions, July 1945 3/7/2003 9:49:00 AM

    MAYBE YOU KNOW US ONLY AS ACOHOLICS. YOU SCORN US…YOU SHUN US…. BUT PERHAPS AFTER YOU HAVE READ MY STORY, YOU WILL PITY US INSTEAD, AND UNDERSTAND A LITTLE BETTER-


    WE ARE LONELY PEOPLE



    as told to Eleanor Early



    When I was graduated from college the class prophet predicted that I would marry a prominent citizen, become president of the Women’s Club, and be known as the richest, prettiest and most popular woman in town. A wholesome prophecy surely-and it rang true, because that is the sort of girl I was, fifteen years ago-likeable, attractive, and an extraordinary nice little thing.


    My parents were what is known as "comfortably off." They sent me to boarding school, bought me beautiful clothes, and gave me a car and the biggest allowance of any girl in college.


    Five years later I was an alcoholic, drinking like a crazy woman. You may wonder how a woman can call herself an alcoholic, particularly a woman as genteel and delicately reared as myself. The reason is that I have joined AA and become a realist. I know what I am, and am not afraid to admit it. Alcoholics are people who are unable to drink normally. With us one drink is too many-a hundred too few. We can never succeed in becoming controlled drinkers-and we know it. Our only answer is to stop, and that, as every alcoholic knows, is a torturously difficult thing to do.


    In some ways this is going to be a hard story to write. In other ways it will not be as difficult as you might imagine, because to tell you the truth, I like to talk about myself. All alcoholics, drunk or sober, are communicative. We are the most social-minded people in the world, and born good-doers. Alcoholics Anonymous brought me back to sanity and decency, and now I want to tell what AA does, how it works, and why. In order to do this, I must confess to a congenital weakness and a life of many shameful things. But in order to help others, I am glad to write this intensely personal true confession.


    Because AA pledges its members to anonymity, I cannot tell my name. I am thirty-four years old, married to a successful professional man, and live on Long Island. My father is the salt of the earth and a pillar of respectability, and my mother one of the best women God ever made.


    When I was a girl we had wine at our house only on Sunday mornings when the cook served a bit of sherry on top of the grapefruit. Mother was a teetotaler except for the grapefruit, and Father never drank anything stronger than beer. I attended a convent outside of Chicago, and was graduated at nineteen from a leading women’s college. The family moved from the Midwest to New England when I entered college. They wanted to cushion life for me, to make everything as soft and pleasant as possible.


    During senior year I fell in love with a boy from Tech and became engaged. Getting married seemed like fun, and the family raised no objections. Tom is four years older than I am , and for all he has been through, a good person, I guess. At least he tried to help me. And if, in the process, he was pretty badly hurt himself, that is my fault. I will tell you more about Tom later.


    We were married in August in Trinity Church, and had a reception afterward at the Copley Plaza Hotel, where the guests toasted us in grape juice. We went to Bermuda on our honeymoon, and although there were a dozen brides on the boat, my clothes were the prettiest, my bathing suits the smartest, and my evening dresses the most stunning. Our wedding trip was a gift from the family. Dad had cabled that every attention be paid us, and our suite was fragrant with roses and lilies. The orchestra played our favorite tunes. The wine steward brought champagne to our table.


    "I suppose," said Tom, "we should drink it. But you know Ann, I think the stuff is terribly over-rated."


    "So do I," I said. "It tickles my nose." And we told the steward not to bring any more.


    Tom had a chemist’s job with an engineering firm in the Midwest. He had wanted to take an apartment in the city, but my family was moving back to the suburb in which I had grown up, and I persuaded Tom to commute. He had enough money (a tiny legacy) to furnish the little flat of his dreams. But I wanted a house. I argued that Tom should spend what he could, and let my family do the rest-and, as usual, I had my way.


    We lived fourteen blocks from the family, and every day Mother and I had luncheon together. Her bridge group took me up, and I joined the Woman’s Club. They thought I was "cute," and called me the Child Bride. Looking back I know how thoroughly they spoiled me- Mother and Dad and their friends-and how tragic it was. For nearly two years I lived in this over-protective, loving atmosphere.


    Then Tom was transferred. Our next home was in a fashionable suburb of New York. Mother helped us get settled, and at first I thought New York was going to be fun. But when Mother went back to Illinois and I had the whole day to myself, I soon changed my mind. In the mornings I dove Tom to the station. Then there was nothing to do until he came home.


    Nobody came to call, and I did not know how to make friends. Sometimes at the Shopping Center women nodded and smiled, but the ability to respond seemed frozen within me, and I turned stiffly away.


    "If people don’t want to be friendly, so what? I demanded. "I can get along all right."


    "But maybe they do. All you do is mope," complained Tom. "Why don’t you get interested in something?"


    "Because I don’t want to. For goodness sake leave me alone!"


    It was my fault and we began to grow apart. When I continued to rebuff him, Tom literally left me alone.


    Loneliness is the root of most misery, and salvation lies in work and service. Years later I was to pray, "For work to do and strength to do the work, I thank Thee, Lord." But in those days I was too filled with self-pity to get a good look at myself. My husband did not understand me, I thought, my parents neglected me. Life was horrible, and it was everybody’s fault but mine.


    Reviewing my life, I realize now how completely I have always conformed to the alcoholic pattern. Medical studies tell us that most alcoholics are emotionally immature, and that many are spoiled, touchy by nature, and tormented by loneliness.


    Tom had been drinking for about eighteen months before I got started, but Tom is no alcoholic. He can "take it or leave it." Competition at the plant was terrific, and he had to make good or be fired. He was frightened, he felt bad about being transplanted, and he was lonely, too.


    He joined a golf club and did most of his drinking at the nineteenth hole. Once in a while he brought someone home. If I had one or two drinks with them-swell, as Tom would say. If I didn’t-okay.


    Then one night two of the men had their wives with them, and for the first time in months Tom seemed glad to have me around. After a few drinks we made some sandwiches, and before long the boys were harmonizing. Our guests stayed until midnight, and we all agreed that it was a wonderful evening.


    "Honey," said Tom as we were going to bed, "you took to those high balls like a duck to water."


    "It was the first good time I’ve had out here," I defended myself. "You’ve been drinking for ages, Tom, and now I’m going to catch up."


    I didn’t though-not that summer. Tom’s laboratory moved to Long Island, and I never saw those women again.


    We rented a house halfway between a church and a golf club. This time, I thought, we’ll join the church and I’ll also take up golf. On several consecutive Sundays we attended service. A number of people said how-do-you-do, and a few tried to make conversation, but Tom was uncommonly uncommunicative, and I was too shy to respond. Although I love having people around me, I cannot reach out for them. Soon I was to discover that liquor bolstered my opinion of myself and made it easier for me to respond to friendly overtures.


    It was the woman across the street who taught me how to drink. May Eldredge was a complete extrovert, energetic and capable-and with true kind-heartedness she took us under her wing. On Fridays, she told us, the crowd usually had a party. They were meeting at her house for cocktails, then going to Smith’s for dinner. If we’d like to go, maybe I would give her a hand with hors’d oeuvre?


    Would I! I went over in mid-afternoon, and May and I made dozens of canapés of cheese and chicken paste. We also slipped bits of lobster into squares of puff pastry, and rolled ripe olives in strips of bacon. While I buttered rounds of toast, May mixed martinis.


    "We might as well get off to a good start," she said.


    By the time the guests came, May and I were pretty high. It was a happy crowd, and by the time I had downed my sixth or seventh cocktail I thought they were the nicest people I had ever known. The party lasted until almost dawn, and the next night we were at it again.


    May telephoned Saturday afternoon.


    "There’s a pint left from last night," she said. "Come over and we’ll have a ‘pick-me-up.’"


    I was feeling pretty rocky, but a couple of whisky sours made me feel better and by the time the gang had assembled, May and I were on top of the world. When the party broke up, Tom and I asked everyone to our house for Sunday supper.


    After that, life was just one party after another. On Monday I would awake with a throbbing head and a horrible taste in my mouth, but a "hair of the dog that bit me," provided the stimulant I needed. In the afternoon May and I usually had cocktails, or a quickie or two before the boys came home.


    May was a robust soul, and when there were community parties she did more than her share. In the beginning I did, too. I’d roast a chicken or make a bowl of salad. But liquor was beginning to get me, and before long I began reneging. When I was supposed to make spaghetti, I would show up with a few cans of Spam. Once when I promised hamburgers, I went empty-handed.


    It was rather amusing the first few times, but soon my irresponsibility became plain stupidity, and I got to be a nuisance.


    "I don’t know why you want to go to parties," Tom said. "You’re always getting sick, or going home to sleep."


    Other people must have wondered the same thing, because we were not invited around as much as we used to be. Having a guest addicted to passing out is no fun, and even May grew tired of taking care of me. Then I started drinking nights at home. When Tom complained that I was ruining my health, I told him to mind his own business. Father had continued giving me my allowance and that made me unbearably cocky.


    "It’s my health, isn’t it? And my money, too." I added maliciously.


    Finally Tom wrote to my parents. But before they had a chance to answer I wrote, too. Tom did not love me anymore, I said. Everything I did was wrong. He nagged me because I was not strong enough to do the housework. I was sick and tired, and he hated me because I was losing my looks. Poor Tom…


    "It’s tough," he’d said, "for a man to see the girl he loves looking like the devil because she won’t stop drinking. Everything I’ve loved about you you’re losing. For heavens sake, pull yourself together, Ann. Get your hair and nails done. Buy some new clothes. Get the house straightened out, and see if we can’t have some fun being normal for a change."



    When I became unmanageable, Tom poured all the liquor in the house down the sink. When I ordered more, he smashed the bottles.


    Finally the family came to take me home. Father blamed everything on Tom.


    "The poor child is sick," Mother said. "What she needs is a nice little holiday."


    They took me to Canada, and-because I was not crossed or annoyed or bored, because everything was taken care of, and I had nothing to do but enjoy myself-I stopped drinking for awhile. But when I went home I started again, I spent three whole days, that first week, in a movie house, trying to stave off temptation. The old discontent and loneliness had returned. I was irritable and touchy, and Tom was not helping matters.


    If I was going to drink, he would take charge of things he said. Then he began doling out a meager allowance to me-a single drink before dinner, for an appetizer. Another at bedtime, to make me sleep. Liquor that I had bought and paid for! I was furious. That was when I began hiding bottles around the house-under the mattress, behind pictures, in with the potatoes. Tom guessed what I was up to, and the night he caught me sneaking a drink he dashed the bottle out of my hand.


    The next day I went home to the family. That time they took me to the Coast. And again I stopped drinking. They were both convinced then that everything was Tom’s fault.


    "Don’t let him get anything on you, Honey," Dad would say. "Just watch your step. We’ll get you a quiet divorce, and you’ll come and live with us."



    I had decency enough to protest occasionally that it wasn’t Tom’s fault, and by the time the trip was over I really wanted to go back to him.


    Dad’s attitude illustrates a point I would like to make. It isn’t people who drive us to drink, and it isn’t situations. Alcoholism is a disease, not a weakness. And it is not brought on by incompatibility any more than cancer is, or heart trouble. As a matter of fact, I really loved Tom. It was loneliness that was my bete noire.


    I have known men who abandoned their families because they thought their wives drove them to drink, and women who divorced their husbands because they imagined that divorce and a nice juicy alimony would solve their troubles, and they would stop drinking. Boys have left home to escape tyrannical parents, and girls have quit jobs they disliked, because they fancied these were the things that made me drink. For a while the escapists might go on the wagon. But in the long run, for a true alcoholic, there is no reformation.


    An alcoholic will always find an excuse to drink, and if it isn’t one thing it’s another. Changing situations is not the only way out. The only way for an alcoholic to stop drinking is to STOP-period.


    Many AA’s who previously blamed their drinking on family circumstances or unsupportable jobs are now living in exactly the same situations in which they lived when they were drinking themselves to death. The only answer to the alcoholic’s problem is to change himself.


    All alcoholics are maladjusted and unpleasant situations undoubtedly contribute to their maladjustment. But alibis won’t mend matters, and when dad sought to place the blame for my drinking on Tom, I knew that he was being unfair. It wasn’t Tom’s fault-and it wasn’t mine. I was the victim of a dread disease, but at the time none of us knew that.


    I realize now that my loving parents pampered me beyond reason. I was dependent upon them, upon my husband, and upon what friends I could make. I had no inner resources and no interests. Loneliness was the beginning, and because in my loneliness I had nothing to fall back upon, I was bereft. I had always been hypersensitive and shy. Because of my inability to accept life, or remold it, I needed a prop to brace me up and keep me going.


    Alcohol was that prop, and although I could go on the wagon for a while, I didn’t see how-day in and day out-I could live without liquor. Only an alcoholic can understand the prison of loneliness and fear into which we lonely people retreat over a fancied slight or hurt.


    In the midst of a crowd we are pitifully lonely. Sometimes, lying beside Tom at night, I seemed to drown in a black abyss of desolation. Then I would slip out of the bed and tiptoe across the room to the closet, to pour the drink that would bring oblivion.



    Finally relations between us reached a breaking point. Tom never brought people home anymore, and I had become a solitary drinker. One night when he had destroyed all the liquor he could find, I remembered a quart I had cached in the coal bin. In the morning as soon as he left the house I crept down to the cellar, retrieved my precious bottle, and was clambering out of the bin when I stumbled. As I fell I hit my head and knocked myself out.


    Tom telephoned at noon. When I didn’t answer he became alarmed and hurried home. He found me in the coal bin, carried me upstairs, bathed me, and put me to bed. When I came to and wept in maudlin fashion, Tom struck me in the face. Then he telephoned Mother. She arrived during the night.


    "Poor baby," she murmured, as she bathed my discolored face and slipped bits of ice between my swollen lips. "What can I do for you, darling?"


    "Leave me alone," I moaned. "I want to die."


    There was a family conference, and the next day Mother and I flew home to Dad. For several days I was desperately ill.


    "Ann," said Mother one morning, "Aren’t you sorry you and Tom didn’t have a baby?"


    I was too sick to speculate. "Oh, I don’t know. It’s too late now. I’ll never live with Tom again."


    A few days later a big box came from Marshall Field’s. In it was a complete layette-little shirts and booties and tinny dresses with wee tucks, sweaters and bonnets, and baby blankets. Why I cried I don’t know-weakness perhaps.


    "Dad and I have arranged to take a baby from the Foundling Home," announced Mother. "We’re just borrowing her, really. We thought you’d help us take care of her-a little girl, Ann."


    I didn’t want a baby any more than I wanted wings.


    "That’s fine," I said. "I’d love to, Mother."


    Mother patted my hand hopefully. "Then you be a good girl," she said, "and hurry up and get well."


    My nerves were completely shot. I had the shakes so bad that I could not life a glass to my lips. I took fruit juice through a tube, and even fruit juice nauseated me.


    Before I was up, the baby arrived. Mother brought her to my bed, and when that baby held out her little arms, I felt for the first time that I had something to live for.


    I tried to give up drinking for Christine’s sake, and for Mother’s sake I tried to go to church on Sundays. But it wasn’t any use. I had neither the moral nor the physical strength to do what I wanted to do. Every morning I would crawl into the bathroom and pour myself half a glass of whiskey from a bottle I kept hidden in the hamper, after which I would brush my teeth, gargle, chew a piece of gum, and smoke a cigarette.



    An alcoholic can almost always get liquor. I bullied Tom into bringing me a quart, and bribed the cook for another. The doctor had ordered some for medicinal purposes. I hid it and pretended the bottle had broken. I was seldom, during my career as an alcoholic, without liquor. To get it, I wept, lied, and threw mad tantrums-but I got it.


    Finally I became better. An alcoholic usually does after illness. For a while I even went on the wagon. That was when Mother, in an effort to save my marriage, suggested that I take Christine and go back to Tom.


    For six weeks after I went home I didn’t take a drink (this is usual after illness), and everything was fine. Tom fell in love with Christine as soon as he saw her. If she had been our own little girl, it would have been impossible for either of us to love her more. Everybody loved the child including the Eldredges-and May took to coming to the house again. While Christine was having her afternoon nap, we would have a few drinks. And before long I was up to my old tricks.


    For years Tom had tried to make me stop drinking, and succeed only in rubbing me the wrong way. He did not know that alcoholism is a disease; that an alcoholic is a very sick person who cannot be reasoned with. Nagging, of course, is worse than useless. Indeed the first tenet of AA is that no one can make an alcoholic stop drinking.


    When I was first told that I was an alcoholic I was horrified. It was a woman from the adoption agency who told me. Mother realized that if anyone could straighten me out it was Christine. She suggested we adopt the child but adoption is a long drawn-out process.



    When the woman assigned to investigate us came to the house, I went through the customary routine of gargle, gum and cigarette-and imagined that I had acquitted myself satisfactorily. Tom and I were college graduates. Our joint income was more than $15,000 a year. We had an attractive home, and were obviously devoted to the baby we wished to adopt. That, it seemed to me was enough to make us good parents. But the adoption agency thought otherwise.


    "Mrs. C------" the report read, "although an intelligent and somewhat charming person is unfit to be awarded legal custody of a child."


    Outraged, we appealed to the courts. A stern judge heard our story.


    "The social worker," I told him earnestly, "came to my house in the afternoon after I’d had a few cocktails. Another time she came in the evening. I admit, Your Honor, that I had been drinking-a highball or two. Sometimes she came in the morning. She saw me bath and feed the baby. She knows that the child is well-cared for-that my husband and I adore her. But that woman has accused me of being an alcoholic. Why, Your Honor, I hate the taste of liquor! I drink because I am lonely and miserable, because it is the only way I can keep going. When we adopt Christine, things will be different. When she is my own…"


    The judge rustled the papers of a voluminous report. "Adoption denied," he said.


    Tom says I fainted. All I remember is a feeling of desolation-of utter, terrible loneliness-a feeling of being caged. When I came to, I was in a hospital and all around me was loneliness.


    Tom had taken me home and called a doctor. Then he went to a drugstore for medicine. While he was gone, I partially recovered my senses, and found a bottle of liquor. Before he came back I had finished it and passed out. They took me to the hospital in an ambulance. For days I was horribly sick, and underneath and on top of the nausea were waves of loneliness that washed over me like the sea.


    One day a woman came and sat by my bed. If I really wanted to stop drinking I could, she said. There was an answer to my problem. There was a remedy that really worked. She was a graduate nurse, she said. Awhile ago she had married and had children. Then she started to drink. For fifteen years she drank. She lost her husband, her children and her home. They put her in an institution, and there, at last, she found the remedy. I could find it too, she said. And if I wished, she would help me. Day after day she came and sat by my bed.


    Later I was to learn that my doctor had sent for her. At many hospitals where alcoholics are taken to "dry out" a physician or clergyman contacts a member of AA to talk to remorseful patients.


    At first I only listened half-heartedly. By and by, I talked a little to her. God had forsaken me, I wept. He had taken away my baby.


    "But you are completely out of touch with God," she said. "You have done things of your own weakness opposed to God’s holy will."


    She said that I must submit my weak will to God, and let Him handle my difficulties. God’s law was the Law of Love, she explained, and all my resentful feelings were unconscious disobedience to that law. As I grew stronger, she brought a lawyer who had been a heavy drinker, and he, too, sat by my bad and talked. And the things he said made sense.


    "Drinking never solves a problem-it only makes matters worse." I thought of Christine, and tears rolled down my cheeks. "Alcoholics are allergic to drink as other people are allergic to certain foods, to dust, or flowers. There isn’t any cure for an alcoholic, except just stopping."


    When I was stronger I went, for a little while, to live with the nurse. She had several friends who were alcoholics, and they came often to call. After I went home, feeling much stronger, she asked if I would go to the hospital to visit other alcoholics as she had visited me. The first time I went, I was filled with the old shyness that furnished the "reason" for my first drinking. But the sight of every new alcoholic was an object lesson, and I soon enjoyed going. My visits served a dual purpose-by helping others I was helping myself.


    "You must want to quit," my new friends told me, "because God never forces anyone to do His will. His help is available, but must be sought in earnestness and humility."


    I soon found that by placing my life in God’s hands every day, and asking Him to help me to be a sober woman for twenty-four hours, I was able to do His will. God is all-loving and all-forgiving, and I know that he will not let me down. I know that I cannot cure myself, and that doctors cannot cure me, that my strength must come from God, and that without Him, I am helpless and alone.



    There are no secrets about AA, and we are not an overly religious group. We are happy because we have found friends who understand us. No one but an alcoholic can really understand an alcoholic. Clergymen are often censorious, loving women weep and nag, men curse their brothers out-but we who have been through the mill understand one another.


    A member of AA wrote a little verse called "About Love" that was read at one of our recent meetings. AA’s laughed when they heard it-but it’s the truth:



    The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,


    The love of a staunch true man,


    And the love of a baby afraid


    Have existed since life began.


    But the greatest love-the love of loves-


    Even greater than that of a mother,


    Is he tender, passionate, infinite love


    Of one drunken bum for another.



    On August 14th I will be 35 years old, and on that day Tom has promised to go with me to the Judge who said we could not have Christine. I want to tell him how my honest attempt to practice a law of love has cleansed me.


    I will say, "Your Honor, I am no longer weak and lonely, but fit now to be a mother to the baby I love." And the Judge, I hope, we give me Christine for my own.



     


    If you know someone who honestly wants to conquer the liquor habit, tell him-or her-about Alcoholics Anonymous, P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York, N.Y.



     


     


    Source: True Confessions, July 1945









     


    MAYBE YOU KNOW US ONLY AS ALCOHOLICS. YOU SCORN US…


    YOU SHUN US…. BUT PERHAPS AFTER YOU HAVE READ MY


    STORY, YOU WILL PITY US INSTEAD, AND UNDERSTAND


    A LITTLE BETTER-


     


    WE ARE LONELY PEOPLE



     


    as told to Eleanor Early




    My parents were what is known as "comfortably off." They sent me to boarding school, bought me beautiful clothes, and gave me a car and the biggest allowance of any girl in college.


    Five years later I was an alcoholic, drinking like a crazy woman. You may wonder how a woman can call herself an alcoholic, particularly a woman as genteel and delicately reared as myself. The reason is that I have joined AA and become a realist. I know what I am, and am not afraid to admit it. Alcoholics are people who are unable to drink normally. With us one drink is too many-a hundred too few. We can never succeed in becoming controlled drinkers-and we know it. Our only answer is to stop, and that, as every alcoholic knows, is a torturously difficult thing to do.


    In some ways this is going to be a hard story to write. IN other ways it will not be as difficult as you might imagine, because to tell you the truth, I like to talk about myself. All alcoholics, drunk or sober, are communicative. We are the most social-minded people in the world, and born good-doers. Alcoholics Anonymous brought me back to sanity and decency, and now I want to tell what AA does, how it works, and why. In order to do this, I must confess to a congenital weakness and a life of many shameful things. But in order to help others, I am glad to write this intensely personal true confession.


    Because AA pledges its members to anonymity, I cannot tell my name. I am thirty-four years old, married to a successful professional man, and live on Long Island. My father is the salt of the earth and a pillar of respectability, and my mother one of the best women God ever made.


    When I was a girl we had wine at our house only on Sunday mornings when the cook served a bit of sherry on top of the grapefruit. Mother was a teetotaler except for the grapefruit, and Father never drank anything stronger than beer. I attended a convent outside of Chicago, and was graduated at nineteen from a leading women’s college. The family moved from the Midwest to New England when I entered college. They wanted to cushion life for me, to make everything as soft and pleasant as possible.


    During senior year I fell in love with a boy from Tech and became engaged. Getting married seemed like fun, and the family raised no objections. Tom is four years older than I am , and for all he has been through, a good person, I guess. At least he tried to help me. And if, in the process, he was pretty badly hurt himself, that is my fault. I will tell you more about Tom later.


    We were married in August in Trinity Church, and had a reception afterward at the Copley Plaza Hotel, where the guests toasted us in grape juice. We went to Bermuda on our honeymoon, and although there were a dozen brides on the boat, my clothes were the prettiest, my bathing suits the smartest, and my evening dresses the most stunning. Our wedding trip was a gift from the family. Dad had cabled that every attention be paid us, and our suite was fragrant with roses and lilies. The orchestra played our favorite tunes. The wine steward brought champagne to our table.


    "I suppose," said Tom, "we should drink it. But you know Ann, I think the stuff is terribly over-rated."


    "So do I," I said. "It tickles my nose." And we told the steward not to bring any more.


    Tom had a chemist’s job with an engineering firm in the Midwest. He had wanted to take an apartment in the city, but my family was moving back to the suburb in which I had grown up, and I persuaded Tom to commute. He had enough money (a tiny legacy) to furnish the little flat of his dreams. But I wanted a house. I argued that Tom should spend what he could, and let my family do the rest-and, as usual, I had my way.


    We lived fourteen blocks from the family, and every day Mother and I had luncheon together. Her bridge group took me up, and I joined the Woman’s Club. They thought I was "cute," and called me the Child Bride. Looking back I know how thoroughly they spoiled me- Mother and Dad and their friends-and how tragic it was. For nearly two years I lived in this over-protective, loving atmosphere.


    Then Tom was transferred. Our next home was in a fashionable suburb of New York. Mother helped us get settled, and at first I thought New York was going to be fun. But when Mother went back to Illinois and I had the whole day to myself, I soon changed my mind. In the mornings I dove Tom to the station. Then there was nothing to do until he came home.


    Nobody came to call, and I did not know how to make friends. Sometimes at the Shopping Center women nodded and smiled, but the ability to respond seemed frozen within me, and I turned stiffly away.


    "If people don’t want to be friendly, so what? I demanded. "I can get along all right."


    "But maybe they do. All you do is mope," complained Tom. "Why don’t you get interested in something?"


    "Because I don’t want to. For goodness sake leave me alone!"


    It was my fault and we began to grow apart. When I continued to rebuff him, Tom literally left me alone.


    Loneliness is the root of most misery, and salvation lies in work and service. Years later I was to pray, "For work to do and strength to do the work, I thank Thee, Lord." But in those days I was too filled with self-pity to get a good look at myself. My husband did not understand me, I thought, my parents neglected me. Life was horrible, and it was everybody’s fault but mine.


    Reviewing my life, I realize now how completely I have always conformed to the alcoholic pattern. Medical studies tell us that most alcoholics are emotionally immature, and that many are spoiled, touchy by nature, and tormented by loneliness.


    Tom had been drinking for about eighteen months before I got started, but Tom is no alcoholic. He can "take it or leave it." Competition at the plant was terrific, and he had to make good or be fired. He was frightened, he felt bad about being transplanted, and he was lonely, too.


    He joined a golf club and did most of his drinking at the nineteenth hole. Once in a while he brought someone home. If I had one or two drinks with them-swell, as Tom would say. If I didn’t-okay.


    Then one night two of the men had their wives with them, and for the first time in months Tom seemed glad to have me around. After a few drinks we made some sandwiches, and before long the boys were harmonizing. Our guests stayed until midnight, and we all agreed that it was a wonderful evening.


    "Honey," said Tom as we were going to bed, "you took to those high balls like a duck to water."


    "It was the first good time I’ve had out here," I defended myself. "You’ve been drinking for ages, Tom, and now I’m going to catch up."


    I didn’t though-not that summer. Tom’s laboratory moved to Long Island, and I never saw those women again.


    We rented a house halfway between a church and a golf club. This time, I thought, we’ll join the church and I’ll also take up golf. On several consecutive Sundays we attended service. A number of people said how-do-you-do, and a few tried to make conversation, but Tom was uncommonly uncommunicative, and I was too shy to respond. Although I love having people around me, I cannot reach out for them. Soon I was to discover that liquor bolstered my opinion of myself and made it easier for me to respond to friendly overtures.


    It was the woman across the street who taught me how to drink. May Eldredge was a complete extrovert, energetic and capable-and with true kind-heartedness she took us under her wing. On Fridays, she told us, the crowd usually had a party. They were meeting at her house for cocktails, then going to Smith’s for dinner. If we’d like to go, maybe I would give her a hand with hors’d oeuvre?


    Would I! I went over in mid-afternoon, and May and I made dozens of canapés of cheese and chicken paste. We also slipped bits of lobster into squares of puff pastry, and rolled ripe olives in strips of bacon. While I buttered rounds of toast, May mixed martinis.


    "We might as well get off to a good start," she said.


    By the time the guests came, May and I were pretty high. It was a happy crowd, and by the time I had downed my sixth or seventh cocktail I thought they were the nicest people I had ever known. The party lasted until almost dawn, and the next night we were at it again.


    May telephoned Saturday afternoon.


    "There’s a pint left from last night," she said. "Come over and we’ll have a ‘pick-me-up.’"


    I was feeling pretty rocky, but a couple of whisky sours made me feel better and by the time the gang had assembled, May and I were on top of the world. When the party broke up, Tom and I asked everyone to our house for Sunday supper.


    After that, life was just one party after another. On Monday I would awake with a throbbing head and a horrible taste in my mouth, but a "hair of the dog that bit me," provided the stimulant I needed. In the afternoon May and I usually had cocktails, or a quickie or two before the boys came home.


    May was a robust soul, and when there were community parties she did more than her share. In the beginning I did, too. I’d roast a chicken or make a bowl of salad. But liquor was beginning to get me, and before long I began reneging. When I was supposed to make spaghetti, I would show up with a few cans of Spam. Once when I promised hamburgers, I went empty-handed.


    It was rather amusing the first few times, but soon my irresponsibility became plain stupidity, and I got to be a nuisance.


    "I don’t know why you want to go to parties," Tom said. "You’re always getting sick, or going home to sleep."


    Other people must have wondered the same thing, because we were not invited around as much as we used to be. Having a guest addicted to passing out is no fun, and even May grew tired of taking care of me. Then I started drinking nights at home. When Tom complained that I was ruining my health, I told him to mind his own business. Father had continued giving me my allowance and that made me unbearably cocky.


    "It’s my health, isn’t it? And my money, too." I added maliciously.


    Finally Tom wrote to my parents. But before they had a chance to answer I wrote, too. Tom did not love me anymore, I said. Everything I did was wrong. He nagged me because I was not strong enough to do the housework. I was sick and tired, and he hated me because I was losing my looks. Poor Tom…


    "It’s tough," he’d said, "for a man to see the girl he loves looking like the devil because she won’t stop drinking. Everything I’ve loved about you you’re losing. For heavens sake, pull yourself together, Ann. Get your hair and nails done. Buy some new clothes. Get the house straightened out, and see if we can’t have some fun being normal for a change."



    When I became unmanageable, Tom poured all the liquor in the house down the sink. When I ordered more, he smashed the bottles.


    Finally the family came to take me home. Father blamed everything on Tom.


    "The poor child is sick," Mother said. "What she needs is a nice little holiday."


    They took me to Canada, and-because I was not crossed or annoyed or bored, because everything was taken care of, and I had nothing to do but enjoy myself-I stopped drinking for awhile. But when I went home I started again, I spent three whole days, that first week, in a movie house, trying to stave off temptation. The old discontent and loneliness had returned. I was irritable and touchy, and Tom was not helping matters.


    If I was going to drink, he would take charge of things he said. Then he began doling out a meager allowance to me-a single drink before dinner, for an appetizer. Another at bedtime, to make me sleep. Liquor that I had bought and paid for! I was furious. That was when I began hiding bottles around the house-under the mattress, behind pictures, in with the potatoes. Tom guessed what I was up to, and the night he caught me sneaking a drink he dashed the bottle out of my hand.


    The next day I went home to the family. That time they took me to the Coast. And again I stopped drinking. They were both convinced then that everything was Tom’s fault.


    "Don’t let him get anything on you, Honey," Dad would say. "Just watch your step. We’ll get you a quiet divorce, and you’ll come and live with us."



    I had decency enough to protest occasionally that it wasn’t Tom’s fault, and by the time the trip was over I really wanted to go back to him.


    Dad’s attitude illustrates a point I would like to make. It isn’t people who drive us to drink, and it isn’t situations. Alcoholism is a disease, not a weakness. And it is not brought on by incompatibility any more than cancer is, or heart trouble. As a matter of fact, I really loved Tom. It was loneliness that was my bete noire.


    I have known men who abandoned their families because they thought their wives drove them to drink, and women who divorced their husbands because they imagined that divorce and a nice juicy alimony would solve their troubles, and they would stop drinking. Boys have left home to escape tyrannical parents, and girls have quit jobs they disliked, because they fancied these were the things that made me drink. For a while the escapists might go on the wagon. But in the long run, for a true alcoholic, there is no reformation.


    An alcoholic will always find an excuse to drink, and if it isn’t one thing it’s another. Changing situations is not the only way out. The only way for an alcoholic to stop drinking is to STOP-period.


    Many AA’s who previously blamed their drinking on family circumstances or unsupportable jobs are now living in exactly the same situations in which they lived when they were drinking themselves to death. The only answer to the alcoholic’s problem is to change himself.


    All alcoholics are maladjusted and unpleasant situations undoubtedly contribute to their maladjustment. But alibis won’t mend matters, and when dad sought to place the blame for my drinking on Tom, I knew that he was being unfair. It wasn’t Tom’s fault-and it wasn’t mine. I was the victim of a dread disease, but at the time none of us knew that.


    I realize now that my loving parents pampered me beyond reason. I was dependent upon them, upon my husband, and upon what friends I could make. I had no inner resources and no interests. Loneliness was the beginning, and because in my loneliness I had nothing to fall back upon, I was bereft. I had always been hypersensitive and shy. Because of my inability to accept life, or remold it, I needed a prop to brace me up and keep me going.


    Alcohol was that prop, and although I could go on the wagon for a while, I didn’t see how-day in and day out-I could live without liquor. Only an alcoholic can understand the prison of loneliness and fear into which we lonely people retreat over a fancied slight or hurt.


    In the midst of a crowd we are pitifully lonely. Sometimes, lying beside Tom at night, I seemed to drown in a black abyss of desolation. Then I would slip out of the bed and tiptoe across the room to the closet, to pour the drink that would bring oblivion.



    Finally relations between us reached a breaking point. Tom never brought people home anymore, and I had become a solitary drinker. One night when he had destroyed all the liquor he could find, I remembered a quart I had cached in the coal bin. In the morning as soon as he left the house I crept down to the cellar, retrieved my precious bottle, and was clambering out of the bin when I stumbled. As I fell I hit my head and knocked myself out.


    Tom telephoned at noon. When I didn’t answer he became alarmed and hurried home. He found me in the coal bin, carried me upstairs, bathed me, and put me to bed. When I came to and wept in maudlin fashion, Tom struck me in the face. Then he telephoned Mother. She arrived during the night.


    "Poor baby," she murmured, as she bathed my discolored face and slipped bits of ice between my swollen lips. "What can I do for you, darling?"


    "Leave me alone," I moaned. "I want to die."


    There was a family conference, and the next day Mother and I flew home to Dad. For several days I was desperately ill.


    "Ann," said Mother one morning, "Aren’t you sorry you and Tom didn’t have a baby?"


    I was too sick to speculate. "Oh, I don’t know. It’s too late now. I’ll never live with Tom again."


    A few days later a big box came from Marshall Field’s. In it was a complete layette-little shirts and booties and tinny dresses with wee tucks, sweaters and bonnets, and baby blankets. Why I cried I don’t know-weakness perhaps.


    "Dad and I have arranged to take a baby from the Foundling Home," announced Mother. "We’re just borrowing her, really. We thought you’d help us take care of her-a little girl, Ann."


    I didn’t want a baby any more than I wanted wings.


    "That’s fine," I said. "I’d love to, Mother."


    Mother patted my hand hopefully. "Then you be a good girl," she said, "and hurry up and get well."


    My nerves were completely shot. I had the shakes so bad that I could not life a glass to my lips. I took fruit juice through a tube, and even fruit juice nauseated me.


    Before I was up, the baby arrived. Mother brought her to my bed, and when that baby held out her little arms, I felt for the first time that I had something to live for.


    I tried to give up drinking for Christine’s sake, and for Mother’s sake I tried to go to church on Sundays. But it wasn’t any use. I had neither the moral nor the physical strength to do what I wanted to do. Every morning I would crawl into the bathroom and pour myself half a glass of whiskey from a bottle I kept hidden in the hamper, after which I would brush my teeth, gargle, chew a piece of gum, and smoke a cigarette.



    An alcoholic can almost always get liquor. I bullied Tom into bringing me a quart, and bribed the cook for another. The doctor had ordered some for medicinal purposes. I hid it and pretended the bottle had broken. I was seldom, during my career as an alcoholic, without liquor. To get it, I wept, lied, and threw mad tantrums-but I got it.


    Finally I became better. An alcoholic usually does after illness. For a while I even went on the wagon. That was when Mother, in an effort to save my marriage, suggested that I take Christine and go back to Tom.


    For six weeks after I went home I didn’t take a drink (this is usual after illness), and everything was fine. Tom fell in love with Christine as soon as he saw her. If she had been our own little girl, it would have been impossible for either of us to love her more. Everybody loved the child including the Eldredges-and May took to coming to the house again. While Christine was having her afternoon nap, we would have a few drinks. And before long I was up to my old tricks.


    For years Tom had tried to make me stop drinking, and succeed only in rubbing me the wrong way. He did not know that alcoholism is a disease; that an alcoholic is a very sick person who cannot be reasoned with. Nagging, of course, is worse than useless. Indeed the first tenet of AA is that no one can make an alcoholic stop drinking.


    When I was first told that I was an alcoholic I was horrified. It was a woman from the adoption agency who told me. Mother realized that if anyone could straighten me out it was Christine. She suggested we adopt the child but adoption is a long drawn-out process.



    When the woman assigned to investigate us came to the house, I went through the customary routine of gargle, gum and cigarette-and imagined that I had acquitted myself satisfactorily. Tom and I were college graduates. Our joint income was more than $15,000 a year. We had an attractive home, and were obviously devoted to the baby we wished to adopt. That, it seemed to me was enough to make us good parents. But the adoption agency thought otherwise.


    "Mrs. C------" the report read, "although an intelligent and somewhat charming person is unfit to be awarded legal custody of a child."


    Outraged, we appealed to the courts. A stern judge heard our story.


    "The social worker," I told him earnestly, "came to my house in the afternoon after I’d had a few cocktails. Another time she came in the evening. I admit, Your Honor, that I had been drinking-a highball or two. Sometimes she came in the morning. She saw me bath and feed the baby. She knows that the child is well-cared for-that my husband and I adore her. But that woman has accused me of being an alcoholic. Why, Your Honor, I hate the taste of liquor! I drink because I am lonely and miserable, because it is the only way I can keep going. When we adopt Christine, things will be different. When she is my own…"


    The judge rustled the papers of a voluminous report. "Adoption denied," he said.


    Tom says I fainted. All I remember is a feeling of desolation-of utter, terrible loneliness-a feeling of being caged. When I came to, I was in a hospital and all around me was loneliness.


    Tom had taken me home and called a doctor. Then he went to a drugstore for medicine. While he was gone, I partially recovered my senses, and found a bottle of liquor. Before he came back I had finished it and passed out. They took me to the hospital in an ambulance. For days I was horribly sick, and underneath and on top of the nausea were waves of loneliness that washed over me like the sea.


    One day a woman came and sat by my bed. If I really wanted to stop drinking I could, she said. There was an answer to my problem. There was a remedy that really worked. She was a graduate nurse, she said. Awhile ago she had married and had children. Then she started to drink. For fifteen years she drank. She lost her husband, her children and her home. They put her in an institution, and there, at last, she found the remedy. I could find it too, she said. And if I wished, she would help me. Day after day she came and sat by my bed.


    Later I was to learn that my doctor had sent for her. At many hospitals where alcoholics are taken to "dry out" a physician or clergyman contacts a member of AA to talk to remorseful patients.


    At first I only listened half-heartedly. By and by, I talked a little to her. God had forsaken me, I wept. He had taken away my baby.


    "But you are completely out of touch with God," she said. "You have done things of your own weakness opposed to God’s holy will."


    She said that I must submit my weak will to God, and let Him handle my difficulties. God’s law was the Law of Love, she explained, and all my resentful feelings were unconscious disobedience to that law. As I grew stronger, she brought a lawyer who had been a heavy drinker, and he, too, sat by my bad and talked. And the things he said made sense.


    "Drinking never solves a problem-it only makes matters worse." I thought of Christine, and tears rolled down my cheeks. "Alcoholics are allergic to drink as other people are allergic to certain foods, to dust, or flowers. There isn’t any cure for an alcoholic, except just stopping."


    When I was stronger I went, for a little while, to live with the nurse. She had several friends who were alcoholics, and they came often to call. After I went home, feeling much stronger, she asked if I would go to the hospital to visit other alcoholics as she had visited me. The first time I went, I was filled with the old shyness that furnished the "reason" for my first drinking. But the sight of every new alcoholic was an object lesson, and I soon enjoyed going. My visits served a dual purpose-by helping others I was helping myself.


    "You must want to quit," my new friends told me, "because God never forces anyone to do His will. His help is available, but must be sought in earnestness and humility."


    I soon found that by placing my life in God’s hands every day, and asking Him to help me to be a sober woman for twenty-four hours, I was able to do His will. God is all-loving and all-forgiving, and I know that he will not let me down. I know that I cannot cure myself, and that doctors cannot cure me, that my strength must come from God, and that without Him, I am helpless and alone.



    There are no secrets about AA, and we are not an overly religious group. We are happy because we have found friends who understand us. No one but an alcoholic can really understand an alcoholic. Clergymen are often censorious, loving women weep and nag, men curse their brothers out-but we who have been through the mill understand one another.


    A member of AA wrote a little verse called "About Love" that was read at one of our recent meetings. AA’s laughed when they heard it-but it’s the truth:



     


    The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,


    The love of a staunch true man,


    And the love of a baby afraid


    Have existed since life began.


    But the greatest love-the love of loves-


    Even greater than that of a mother,


    Is he tender, passionate, infinite love


    Of one drunken bum for another.




    On August 14th I will be 35 years old, and on that day Tom has promised to go with me to the Judge who said we could not have Christine. I want to tell him how my honest attempt to practice a law of love has cleansed me.


    I will say, "Your Honor, I am no longer weak and lonely, but fit now to be a mother to the baby I love." And the Judge, I hope, we give me Christine for my own.



     


     


    If you know someone who honestly wants to conquer the liquor habit, tell him-or her-about Alcoholics Anonymous, P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Annex, New York, N.Y.



     



     


    Source: True Confessions, July 1945


     








     



     


     


     

     

     

    When I was graduated from college the class prophet predicted that I would marry a prominent citizen, become president of the Women’s Club, and be known as the richest, prettiest and most popular woman in town. A wholesome prophecy surely-and it rang true, because that is the sort of girl I was, fifteen years ago-likeable, attractive, and an extraordinary nice little thing.


    0 -1 0 0
    853 mlibby
    Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? 3/7/2003 11:34:00 PM
    I was at a meeting tonight and we were talking about how the various AA slogans helped us (or not).  The "Think Think Think" slogan came under more intense scrutiny that most of the others, when I've come to notice over the last year.  There are some that apparently reject this slogan and opt for it's opposite, "Don't think, Don't think, Don't think".

     

    Anyway, someone noted that they had been able to find the origin of most of the other slogans, but not the Think Think Think slogan.  Various theories were given.  My own view and I'm wondering if there's anything to back this up historically, is that this principle comes from the Big Book itself, especially on p.86: 

     

    "On awakening, we think about the 24 hours ahead.  We consider our plans for the day.  Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.  Under such conditions, we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, after all, God gave us brains to use.  Our thought life will be placed on a much higher plan when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.

     

    "In thinking about our day, we may face indecision.  We may not be able to determine which course of action to take.  Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought, or a decision.  We relax.  And take it easy.  We do not struggle.  [Origin of the "Easy Does It" slogan?]  We are often surprised at how right answers come after we have done this for awhile.  What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration, gradually becomes a working part of the mind.  Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times.  We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.  Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration."

     

    I recite that passage every morning because my sponsor's sponsor said he did it every morning for many many years and he found it extremely helpful to his morning ritual.

     

    At tonight's meeting, I realized that I love this passage so much because it speaks to me about "how" to think in a healthy manner, in a more spiritual and more helpful manner.  As a sentient being, I don't think (see!!) it's possible for us not to think.  The real question, and I believe what's underlying this particular AA slogan, is "how" are we to think.

     

    I bring this issue here because I'm wondering if there's anything in the literature that might show how this particular slogan developed into part of AA wisdom.

     

    Mike

     

    p.s.  By the way, one of my most hated AA lines spoken by some members is the put down on thinking that goes something like, "some of my best thinking got me here...." meaning that somehow thinking (maybe in the form of denial or rationalization...) got them to become an alcoholic.  Can't think of anything further from the truth for me: I was an alcoholic because I had a disease, an allergy if you like, which combined with my actual drinking eventually developed into a compulsion.    I came into AA because I realized (by means of thought and feeling and grace....) that I didn't have to do that anymore, that there was an option.  If I hadn't been able to think, I'd still be out there.

    0 -1 0 0
    855 NMOlson@aol.com
    1st edition Big Book Uk printing 1st edition Big Book Uk printing 3/8/2003 3:57:00 AM A new contact from London sent me the following query.  Can anyone help?



    He writes:



    "I got this book recently. It is smaller than the normal, hardback no dustcover, it is yellow with a thin red line at top and broader one at bottom. Do you have any info on this or could you make enquiries????"



    If anyone has any information which could help identify this book, please let us know.



    Nancy

    0 -1 0 0
    856 ricktompkins
    Re: Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? 3/8/2003 1:03:00 PM
    Hello Mike, welcome to AAhistorylovers, and your request for background on the AA Grapevine's placard of "Think, Think, Think." From previous postings in the egroup, the advertising headline "think" was well-known in the 1940s and 1950s from IBM.

    Someone on the 1940s Grapevine staff most likely observed that AAs (and all humans, for that matter) do a lot of insightful thinking---your excerpt on Step 11 and our practice for a conscious contact with a higher power looks like the best example.

    Today, I never tell a newcomer "don't think, don't drink" because that direction makes no sense. Instead, I share a little rhyme "think, think, think past that first drink" and it works fine.

    I can also admit that my "best thinking" got me to the rooms of AA, with years of insane compromises, denial, faulty rationalizations, and self-will that came before I hit bottom. It didn't make me an alcoholic, it just came with the territory...

    So, in recovery, the "think, think, think" activity is a complete turnaround.

     

    Check for past posts, this thread has had a dozen responses within the past six months.

    Rick T., northern Illinois Area 20 Historian, Algonquin, Illinois

     

     


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: mlibby


    Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 10:34 PM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Origin of "Think, Think, Think"?

    0 -1 0 0
    857 Robert S N
    1st Edition Big Book UK printing 1st Edition Big Book UK printing 3/8/2003 5:01:00 PM

    Further information about the above book which I aquired
    This book was once in the Kensington and Chelsea library London. When
    it was sold as old stock, the inside page , which would have
    contained the printing details, was cut out. It is 7 3/4 inches long
    and 5 1/4 inches wide. It is yellow with no dust jacket. It has a 1/4
    inch red stripe across the top and a 1 inch red stripe across the
    bottm. The title simply states ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS in one inch black
    letters. It was distributed by The Worlds Work (1913) Ltd Kingswood
    Surrey on behalf of Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing Inc. New York and
    Alanon Publications. After the foreword there is the following
    statement
    In arranging for the re-printing of this book for distribution in the
    Sterling Area, we acknowlege with extreme grattitude the tremendous
    help we have received from the American Co-founders, the Alcoholic
    Foundation and the General Service Head Quarters of New York; firstly
    in giving us permission to re-print and then for their cheerfully
    given encouragement and generous material help. In making this work
    available more freely within the Sterling Area it is our earnest hope
    that many thousands more will find, as we have found, recovery from
    alcoholism and a new and happy way of living
    Page one then starts with "The Doctors Opinion"
    There are a few library stamps on the inside
    Any help about this book would be appreciated
    Peace
    Robert S

    0 -1 0 0
    858 NMOlson@aol.com
    Fr. Ralph Pfau, AKA Fr. John Doe Fr. Ralph Pfau, AKA Fr. John Doe 3/9/2003 1:56:00 AM Dear AA History Lovers:



    I have just discovered that this post was not transferred to the new list.  It was originally posted on the anniversary of Fr. Pfau's death, February 19.



    Nancy



    From:
      nmolson@a...


    Date:  Tue Feb 19, 2002  7:32 am

    Subject:  Fr. Ralph Pfau, AKA Fr. John Doe





    Today is the anniversary of Fr. Ralph Pfau's death.  He is believed to have been the first Roman Catholic priest to enter Alcoholics Anonymous.



    Fr. Pfau was born on November 10, 1904, and died on February 19, 1967.



    He was a priest in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, ordained at St. Meinrad Seminary, and received an MA in Education at Fordham University. 



    In the opening paragraph of his autobiography, "Prodigal Shepherd," Father Pfau wrote: "All my life, I will carry three indelible marks.  I am a Roman Catholic priest.  I am an alcoholic.  And I am a neurotic."



    I will address these in reverse order:



    HE WAS A NEUROTIC



    He admits to having "nervous breakdowns," and spending time in sanitariums.  He was twice relieved of his parish.  Even after achieving sobriety, he continued to be plagued by depressions, which were sometimes severe and long-lasting.



    HE WAS AN ALCOHOLIC



    He never had a drink until about a year after his ordination. But by 1943 he was sufficiently worried about his drinking to investigate A.A. While responding to a call from a woman who said her husband was dying, he learned from the doctor that the man was not dying by merely passed out from a combination of alcohol and barbital.  As Fr. Pfau was leaving the house he noticed a book on a shelf and asked if he could borrow it.  It was "Alcoholics Anonymous."



    When he arrived home it was past 3 a.m., and he was longing for a drink.  But he could not take a drink.  He had to say Mass at 6 a.m., so could neither eat nor drink.  But he knew he couldn't sleep, so he sat down in a chair and started reading the book.  And he couldn't take his hands off that book.



    Day after day for three or four weeks, whenever he had a spare hour or two he would sit in his room reading, studying and thinking.  He didn't miss a day reading the book through at least once.  It became seared in his brain, "word for word, comma for comma, question mark for question mark."  He knew it from cover to cover.  And to his amazement, during that entire period he did not take a drink.



    One evening he noticed some AA pamphlets on a side table in the vestibule of the rectory.  At supper he asked who had left the pamphlets and learned that they were left by Doherty "Dohr" Sheerin, described by the pastor as "the president or something of A.A. here in Indianapolis."



    Fr. Pfau studied the pamphlets as thoroughly as he had studied the Big Book, but he couldn't believe they applied to him.  He was not an alcoholic, or so he thought.



    During this period of not drinking he stepped up the medication the doctor had prescribed, a combination of barbital and Dexedrine.



    He was frightened and he needed help.  So one night he telephoned Dohr Sheerin and asked "I was just wondering -- could I possibly see you some time?  I'd like to talk to you about -- something.  There's no hurry."



    "I'll be right over," was the reply, and Dohr Sheerin hung up the phone before Fr. Pfau could reply.  Sheerin invited him to attend the meeting the following Thursday.  He agreed to attend "just as a spectator."  They talked for a few minutes more and Dohr left.  That was November 10, 1941, Fr. Pfau's 39th birthday.



    For the next 25 years, despite severe problems with depressions, he never took another drink.  For a short time he continued to take medications prescribed by his doctor and by Mayo Clinic.  But after seeing a friend who had overdosed on seconal he hurried to a doctor in charge of the local "drying out" facility and told him that he was frightened.  "I just got back from Mayo, where they gave me a couple hundred pills to take for my nervousness.  But now I don't know what to do with them."



    "Well," said the doctor, "those people know what they're doing up there.  Did you tell them you are an alcoholic?"  He then explained that if the doctors at Mayo Clinic had known he was an alcoholic they would never have given him the pills.  So he went home and threw away the pills.



    With the approval of his Archbishop, he devoted himself to helping other alcoholics, particularly alcoholic priests.  He traveled more than 50,000 miles a year to address meetings, conduct retreats and help individuals.



    His retreats were attended by thousands of Catholics and by many more thousands who were not Catholics.  His retreat talks were eventually published in a series of "Golden Books."  They were so named because when he held the second annual retreat in June of 1947, at the request of some of the people who had attended the first retreat his talks were printed in a fifty-six page booklet with a gold cover, and distributed as a souvenir, through the generosity of the owner of the archdiocesan newspaper in Indianapolis.  People began requesting copies of "the golden book of your retreat."



    His books "Sobriety Without End," and "Sobriety and Beyond," have been read by thousands.



    In 1948 he founded the National Clergy Conference on Alcoholism, an organization devoted to the problems of priests, and directed it for many years.  Its publications, especially "Alcoholism Source Book for Priests," and the annual "Blue Book," made a deep impact on the American Catholic Hierarchy.



    Fr. John C. Ford, S. J., in an Epilogue to a new edition of Pfau's autobiography, published after his death but planned by him, says that "the whole career of Father Pfau can only be understood in the light of the fact that he was a pioneer.  He broke new ground.  ...  Like any pioneer he met opposition and had to have fortitude.  Like any Christian innovator he had to have deep faith.  It was faith and fortitude that sustained his zeal for the salvation of the countless souls he helped."



    Bill Wilson had warned Fr, Pfau that he would receive opposition:



    "Bill, a fine gentleman, taught me something I've never forgotten.  'Father,' he said, 'you will do a great deal of good in a great many places.  As a Catholic priest and an alcoholic, you can be instrumental in helping alcoholics wherever you go.  But remember this -- no matter how well you do, no matter how much you help others or how many you help, no matter what you say or how you say it, no matter what happens -- you can't and won't please everyone.  Wherever you go and whatever you do, someone will find a way to criticize you.



    "'You must take the criticism, no matter how unjustified, with tolerance and forbearance.  Remember that resentments can lead to trouble, so you must work doubly hard not to harbor them.  Don't ever let anything bother you.  I have taken criticism from unexpected sources many times since we began this program, and so will you.  Just let it roll off your back like water off a duck's, and you'll be all right."



    While Father Pfau obviously had great affection for Bill Wilson, he apparently did not always agree with him.  Four o'clock on Sunday afternoon July 3, 1955, at the International A.A. Convention in St. Louis, was a watershed moment in the history of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The fifth General Service Conference met during the Convention.  This marked the end of the five-year trial period for the Conference.

    Bill Wilson had campaigned for the Conference vigorously. 



    But Father Pfau, who was influential, though controversial, had announced he was going to rise and speak against it.  When Bill presented his resolution and a vote of approval was requested, reported Nell Wing, "We from the office sat with baited breath."  But Father Pfau did not object and the resolution passed.



    Tex Brown, who died October 5, 2000, told me this story at the International Convention in Minneapolis a few months before his death.  I asked him to write it for the AA History Buffs. 



    Tex attended the first International A.A. Convention in Cleveland in 1950.  He told me "At the 'Spiritual Meeting' on Sunday morning the main speaker's topic dealt with the idea that the alcoholic was to be the instrument that God would use to regenerate and save the world. He expounded the idea that alcoholics were God's Chosen People and he was starting to talk about AA being 'The Third Covenant,' when he was interrupted by shouted objections from the back of the room.  The objector, who turned out to be a small Catholic priest, would not be hushed up.  There was chaos and embarrassment as the meeting was quickly adjourned. I was upset and in full sympathy with the poor speaker.  I did not realize it at the time, but I had seen Father Pfau in action and Father Pfau was right. I had heard the group conscience and I rejected it."



    Bill told the story like this



    "
    On Sunday morning we listened to a panel of four A.A.s who portrayed the spiritual side of Alcoholics Anonymous -- as they understood it. ...  A hush fell upon the crowd as we paused for a moment of silence. Then came the speakers, earnest and carefully prepared, all of them. I cannot recall an A.A. gathering where the attention was more complete, or the devotion deeper.



    "Yet some thought that those truly excellent speakers had, in their enthusiasm, unintentionally created a bit of a problem. It was felt the meeting had gone over far in the direction of religious comparison, philosophy and interpretation, when by firm long standing tradition we A.A.'s had always left such questions strictly to the chosen faith of each individual.



    "One member rose with a word of caution.  [Apparently he was referring to Fr. Pfau.]  As I heard him, I thought, 'What a fortunate occurrence.'  How well we shall always remember that A.A. is never to be thought of as a religion.  How firmly we shall insist that A.A. membership cannot depend upon any particular belief whatever; that our twelve steps contain no article of religious faith except faith in God -- as each of us understands Him.  How carefully we shall henceforth avoid any situation which could possibly lead us to debate matters of personal religious belief."



    HE WAS A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST



    For many years he doubted the validity of his priesthood.  He had not chosen it.  His mother wanted him to be a priest from the day he was born and would frequently introduce her little boy by saying "This is Ralph.  He's going to be a priest."  He was unsure he wanted to be a priest, and for many years, especially during his periods in sanitariums, and during the worst periods of his alcoholism, he continued to doubt the validity of his ordination.  But he eventually came to believe that, though he had not chosen the priesthood, he was chosen for it.



    Father Ford wrote at this end of his Epilogue:  "Those who knew Father Ralph best, those who knew him when he was sick and when he was well, those who saw at first hand the evidence of his devotion to the cause of Christ, and to the sick alcoholic in whom he always saw Christ -- and this despite the severest trials that depression can  inflict -- are the only ones who have a right to estimate the accomplishments of his life's work.  Fortunately these accomplishments live on in the organization he founded and in the countless lives of those who found sobriety and peace, under God, through Ralph Pfau.



    "May his courageous soul rest in peace."



    SOURCES:



    "Prodigal Shepherd," by Father Ralph Pfau and Al Hirshberg.  [Father Pfau had planned that this new edition of his autobiography be published, as had his previous works, under his pen name "Fr. John Doe."  But since he died prior to its publication it was decided to use his name.  Apart from the author, whenever a person is mentioned who is a member of A.A. only the first name is used.  The sole exception is in the case of Doherty Sheerin who was the founder of A.A. in Indianapolis.  The name of Doherty Sheerin, deceased at the time of publication, was used with the permission of his widow, Mrs. Dorothy Sheerin.]



    Unpublished manuscript on the history of A.A. by Bob P. 



    Talk by Bill Wilson on 1950 Convention, date unknown.



    Conversations with Tex Brown in July 2000.







    0 -1 0 0
    859 Bob Ellis
    Royalties Royalties 3/9/2003 8:03:00 AM
    The Speaker at a meeting I attended last week said, Dr. Bob's and Bill W.'s families still receive royalties for the 'Big Book' . . . Does anyone know if this is true and if so, how much they get ? . . . Thanks in advance . . .
    ~ Bob ~

    0 -1 0 0
    860 phxsami@webtv.net
    Re: Royalties Royalties 3/9/2003 6:37:00 PM

    At our AA History Conference, held here in Phoenix, Feb 21 - 23,
    "Smitty" was one of our speakers.

    And, yes, he did mention that royalties had been paid to him as a member
    of Dr.Bob's family.

    Hope that answers at least a part of your question. :-)

    >From: hollylake@att.net (Bob Ellis)
    >Date: Sun, Mar 9, 2003, 7:03am
    >(MST+1)
    >To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com >Subject: [AAHistoryLovers]
    Royalties >Reply to:
    >AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

    The Speaker at a meeting I attended last week said, Dr. Bob's and Bill
    W.'s families still receive royalties for the 'Big Book' . . . Does
    anyone know if this is true and if so, how much they get ? . . . Thanks
    in advance . . .

    ~ Bob ~

    keep it
    simple
    sami

    0 -1 0 0
    861 ricktompkins
    Re: Royalties Royalties 3/9/2003 9:19:00 PM
    The royalty agreements for proceeds from the Big Book were negotiated by the Alcoholic Foundation Board through Works Publishing, Inc. in the early 1940s and were subsequently re-confirmed by the future General Service Boards and the acceptance of General Service Conferences.

     

    Dr. Bob declined any royalties, period. The Rockefeller dinner contribution of 1941 paid off his mortgage, his proctology practice did regain clients in the 1940s, and he and his family (by then, just he and Anne) were able to live comfortably in Akron.

    Bill, on the other hand, while being the major author of the Big Book and the most active traveler for the A.F. Board and AA as a whole, rightly received royalties that he could survive on...That survival was not made of riches, either.

    I recall a story of his visit to Seattle in the mid-1940s where the AA members there took up a collection to get him a decent suit, so much was threadbare. Even the many furnishings in the home at Stepping Stones were handed down from Lois' family---while picking up and looking at a few of the silver-plate items there today, I noticed price tags that could have come from garage sales!

    The Wilsons did not live extravagantly, even as the Bedford Hills region is now an enclave of well-to-do Americans.

    Bill provided full disclosure of his finances whenever or not they were in question, including reports to each Conference after 1951.

     

    Ironically, it was only after his death that larger amounts of royalty proceeds went to Lois. The royalty agreements included a percentage from all of Bill's books (including the initial agreement with the Big Book). I don't know the percentage, but it may have been 10% at maximum. That means that 35 cents came from Big Book sales, 25 cents from 12 & 12 sales, etc.

    The royalty agreement was negotiated only with Bill.

    What's called a "Codicil" to a Will, a revision, further distributed whatever sub-percentage of royalty amounts, specified by Bill, to his relatives and others: Lois, his mother, his sister, any nieces and nephews, his secretary Nell Wing, and so on. Nell Wing may have gotten the last small percentage of the original Codicil amount from Bill's estate, along with a very few distant nieces or nephews that received an even smaller amount.

    Lois outlived Bill by seventeen years and was provided royalties to her own estate for ten years past her death, subject to the original royalty agreements, and by 1998 all the royalty commitments were basically fulfilled. Nell Wing is still alive and in a nursing home, and there may be a distant niece or nephew that might receive a very small stipend today, and that's all the royalties that are distributed today---they most likely come from Lois' estate and Will.

    Interestingly enough, Lois once offered to decline all royalties for contribution back into the AAWS General Fund and it was declined by the Conference. The major amounts of Lois' royalties were placed in the Stepping Stones Foundation as an endowment for the property---again, their receipt ended in 1998, ten years after her death.

    There are no royalties from the Big Book or any other AA literature distributed today, in accordance with Bill's estate and Will and its Codicil changes.

    All monies from AA literature, over expenses, go directly into the AAWS General Fund.

    --------------------------------------------

    Dr. Bob's own personal First Printing First Edition Big Book was offered by his son, Smitty, to the AAWS Archives (GSO Archives) for a certain amount of money, and perhaps it assisted putting his own children through school, helped buy a house, etc.

    Sue Windows, his daughter, sold family items (golf clubs, letters, house items) to the Chester Kirk Foundation at Brown University in Rhode Island a few years before her death, and the amount she received would have allowed her to live comfortably.

    --------------------------------------------

    Unfortunately, Bill, the speaker you heard is promoting a half-truth and is contributing to a mythology that those of us in AA Archives service attempt to dispel. Today, there's almost no one living to receive any royalties, and the royalties actually ceased in their distribution five years ago.

     

    Yours in the Fellowship,

    Rick T.

     

    p.s. there was once a folder on an AA website that printed an "edited" version of Bill's Royalty Agreement with Works Publishing, A.A. Publishing, and A.A. World Services, Inc. The same site had another folder with an "edited" version of his Last Will & Testament (along with the Codicil to the Will). Many AAs contacted the webmasters of the site and requested that it got removed, and it's no longer posted on the World Wide Web anymore.

    Perhaps it's personal family business that none of us will ever need to know---I certainly view that as true.

    A.A. Archives and A.A. History anonymity surely includes confidentiality and a certain sensitivity that is a part of our ethics. Just like the phrase in Step Nine, "except when to do so would injure them or others." And as in Tradition Ten, of issues outside of A.A..

    Hope this helps answer your question. ---R.T.


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Bob Ellis


    Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 7:03 AM

    Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Royalties



    The Speaker at a meeting I attended last week said, Dr. Bob's and Bill W.'s families still receive royalties for the 'Big Book' . . . Does anyone know if this is true and if so, how much they get ? . . . Thanks in advance . . .
    ~ Bob ~


    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    AAHistoryLovers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

    0 -1 0 0
    862 Jim Blair
    Periodical Lit: Reader''s Digest, April 1956 Periodical Lit: Reader''s Digest, April 1956 3/10/2003 10:02:00 AM

    THE UPHILL FIGHT AGAINST ALCOHOLISM


    By Quentin Reynolds



    What is to be done for the thousands of Americans under sentence of death from this scourge? Here is one city that is trying to find the answer



     


    The United States, according to available statistics, appears to be the alcoholic capital of the world – although pressed closely by France and Sweden. Since 1940 the rate of reported alcoholism in this country has risen approximately 45 percent among men and 52 percent among women. In January the Yale University Center of Alcohol Studies reported that there are now 4,589,000 known alcoholics in the United States.


    Every major American city is faced with the problem. Boston, Mass., although not the chief sufferer (the leader is San Francisco, with 16,760 alcoholics per 100,000 adult population), nevertheless has the problem in serious proportions. And because medical, religious and communal organizations in Boston are striving desperately and intelligently to cope with the situation, I made a study of their program. This is what I found.


    It’s a freezing January night. Officer James Delahanty and I are walking the Dover Street beat in Boston’s South End, the city’s Skid Row. The saloons are emptying now, for the law which forbids serving liquor after 1 a.m. is strictly enforced. Men are hurrying furtively and unsteadily along the dark street, many of them with bulges under their coats which you know are bottles of whiskey or jugs of Sneaky Pete (a poor grade wine, 80 cents a quart). They’re looking for an alleyway or a friend’s room where they can drink and blot themselves out.


    Delahanty’s practiced eye sees a shapeless something slumped against the side of a building. He goes up to it, shakes it and says, "It’s a cold night. Better get inside or you’ll freeze your feet off." A rasping, choking voice gasps, "I can’t walk." We try to help the man to his feet but he collapses. Delahanty goes to the call box.


    The ambulance arrives quickly, and within 11 minutes the man is in the accident ward of Boston City Hospital, one of the three largest municipal hospitals in the country. Dr. Maurice Constantin, an intern, gives the man a quick examination. He has to decide whether this is just an ordinary drinker who has been celebrating, or a man suffering from one of the serious mental and physical illnesses which result from alcoholism. If he has one of these illnesses, he will be treated with the same consideration and expert care that he would get if he had heart trouble or double pneumonia. For alcoholism, is a disease, and it is sternly regarded as such by everyone at Boston City, from Dr. John F. Conlin, superintendent, down to the newest intern.


    The warmth of the accident room revives the man; he is more responsive now; he says that his name is Dennis O’Toole. (the names of all patients in this article are disguised) Dr. Constantin applies a stethoscope to the patient’s chest, takes his pulse and strips his trousers off. He frowns when he sees that both legs are badly swollen up to the thighs. He feels the soft flesh just below the right rib cage, finds that the edge of the man’s liver can be felt three finger-breaths below the last rib. This enlargement is strongly suggestive of a fatty or badly scarred liver. Obviously, Dennis O’Toole is not an occasional drinker; he is a really sick man.


    Constantin learns that this is O’Toole’s eight visit to Boston City, that he had been drinking hard for months, has eaten little during this period. O’Toole answers all questions rationally enough, but his out-stretched hands are tremulous, and his breath comes in labored gasps. Constantin notes particularly his eyes: they can be made to deviate only slightly from center. He suspects at once that, no matter what else is wrong with O’Toole, he is suffering from Wernicke’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system.


    Carl Wernicke brought this disease to the attention of the medical profession in 1881. Today it is routine for a receiving intern to examine a possible alcoholic patient for its presence. Wernick's disease is caused chiefly by a lack of thiamine (vitamin B1). If not caught early, irreparable damage to the brain may occur; if not treated adequately, death may result. Two other things about O’Toole indicate vitamin deficiency: his tongue is smooth and red; his skin is dry and hangs loosely.


    The intern rapidly records his preliminary diagnosis to guide the doctors on the wards: "Chronic alcoholic; possible Laennec’s cirrhosis; rales, lower right lung field; peripheral edema; Wernicke’s disease."


    "Get him up to Medical Three," he tells an orderly. "Stop on the way for chest X ray."


    There is no alcoholic ward at Boston City. Dr. Conlin and his staff feel that confinement in such a ward puts a psychological burden on a sensitive patient. So Dennis O’Toole is wheeled into Medical Three.


    Dr. Brendan M. Fox, the intern on duty, takes blood, urine and sputum specimens, and verifies Dr. Constantin’s findings. Now he tests O’Toole for the serious and tragically common mental component of Wernicke’s disease: Korsakoff’s psychosis, named for Sergei Korsakoff, one of Russia’s most brilliant psychiatrists, who discovered it in 1889.


    The disease takes the form, mainly, of loss of memory, particularly for recent events. Seen almost exclusively in alcoholics, its primary cause is likewise nutritional deficiency. Often, by the time it manifests itself, damage to the brain is so great that the patient is committed to a mental institution as incurable.


    O’Toole is fortunate. Unlike nine out of ten patients with Wernicke’s disease, he is lucid.


    Now Dr. Fox helps O’Toole to his feet and asks him to walk across the room. O’Toole walks like a man on stilts, his feet far apart. Fox notes the word "ataxia" – inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements – on the chart. Then he gives his patient as injection of chlorpromazine, a tranquilizing drug, and puts him to bed.


    O’Toole falls into a deep sleep. Fox orders intravenous feeding of thiamine, plus liquids low in salt content (in case of any serious heart ailment).


    Dennis O’Toole, 42, unemployed, was getting the kind of attention that many could not afford. To the staff of Boston City he was not a drunken derelict but a very ill patient whom it was their duty to help.


    Eight days later I sat with Dennis O’Toole in a ten-bed ward. He proudly showed me his completely normal legs. I told him how a number of doctors had studied his case, and of the various (and expensive) drugs which had kept him alive.


    "They take pretty good care of you at that," he said complacently.


    I asked O’Toole how much he drank. He evaded the question by saying he was just a social drinker – which is the stock answer I received from dozens of alcoholics. Sure, he drank every day, he said, but you couldn’t really call him an alcoholic.


    How much whiskey did he drink each day? A pint?


    "A pint!" he exploded. "Mister, when I’m drinkin’, I spill more than a pint a day."


    Now that O’Toole is in fairly good physical condition, the staff concerns itself with his rehabilitation. A psychiatrist visits him daily and tries to gain his confidence. But O’Toole has talked with psychiatrists before; he listens with apparent sympathy but with little understanding.


    Father Laurence M. Brock, S.J., for ten years chaplain of Boston City, visits O’Toole every day, and the patient obviously likes the big, rugged priest. O’Toole even drops in to the beautiful little chapel on the ground floor to hear Mass. But when you ask the priest if he has made any progress, he shakes his head sadly.


    "I never ask a man to sign the pledge that he will never drink or even that he won’t take a drink for six months or a year," he says. "I find that the pledge works only when the patient asks to take it. Very, very few of the Dennis O’Tooles ever make it. I phoned Alcoholics Anonymous and they sent a man to see him. He promised to attend a few of their meetings. I doubt he will. The rehabilitation of an alcoholic has to come from within.


    "We have about 2000 beds here at the hospital. If it weren’t for alcohol, we could get along with a lot fewer. Go over the accident cases; a great many are the result of drinking. And far too many other patients are here because alcohol made them susceptible to disease."


    Before Dennis O’Toole is discharged, Resident Dr. Stanley M. Silverberg has a long talk with him. He pleads with him to return to visit Dr. Iver Ravin’s out-patient clinic for alcoholics. He tells O’Toole of the drug called Antabuse, designed to help him overcome his alcoholic habits. A pill is taken each morning, and if the patient then takes a drink, he is overcome by violent nausea.


    "Doc, I don’t need any of them gimmicks to stay sober," O’Toole says earnestly. "I don’t need no head doctor nor no priest or A.A. guy holding my hand. I got will power!"


    And so Dennis O’Toole leaves Boston City Hospital. The institution has done everything humanly possible to help him. But it can’t make him help himself. Even the most skilled experts in medical, psychiatric and spiritual counseling cannot make O’Toole admit that he has no control over alcohol. He is a chronic alcoholic who refuses to believe that he is slowly committing suicide.


    One cannot say that Dennis O’Toole is a typical alcoholic, for there is no typical victim of this disease. Nor does the scourge stalk only the Skid Rows of the big cities. Less than 15 per cent of