Absolutes, then called Standards, were first introduced
in a 1902 book titled The Principles of Jesus,
by Robert E. Speer. Speer as an undergraduate at Princeton
University, had been greatly influenced by Dwight L.
Moody, the leading American evangelist of the 19th Century.
Speer became prominent as a religious leader and author,
but his Four Standards were reportedly passed on to
Frank Buckman by Henry B. Wright, a highly acclaimed
professor of religion at Yale. Buckman, an ordained
Lutheran minister, used the Absolutes as guiding ideals.
Following a religious conversion experience he had in
1908, he began passing his vision along to others and
offering the Absolutes as necessary standards for a
new life. This practice survived, and even today the
Standards are posted by Initiatives to Change. Individuals
in the movement were encouraged to use the Four Standards
as yardsticks in measuring the real worth and morality
of any decision or action. Later on, Moral Re-Armament
publisized the Four Absolutes as an ideology that was
the right alternative to the threat of communism.
AA members rarely call for its absolute form, rigorous
honesty is regularly recited as a basic requirement
for seeking and finding real sobriety. Despite the depth
of our troubles, we can find sanity and sobriety if
we possess enough honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness
to consider the 12-step program and apply it in our
lives. Active alcoholism, we soon learn, consists of
conciderable self-deception and delusions. Many of us
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