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CHRISTIAN CENTURY, January 3, 1945
'ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS' RISE
ANGELES, Dec. 13. - A few years ago Alcoholics Anonymous
in this city was one very small nucleus of three or four
members wondering whether they could stay sober another
night. Today there are at least 21 groups in southern California
with perhaps 1,900 members, and the organization is listed
in the telephone book.
Friday evening there is a meeting of several combined groups,
where 350 or more former alcoholics encourage one another
and are encouraged - living witness to the fact that one
can be under the grip of alcoholism for years and then by
the grace of God break free and live a new life. The members
come from all walks of life. Some are women. The stories
of personal redirection are more exciting than the dramas
of Hollywood's screen.
principles of Alcoholics Anonymous are simple and drastic.
You have to stop kidding yourself and admit that you are
at the end of your tether; alcohol has become your master.
Then you have to hand over your situation to a power greater
than yourself. You let that power manage your life, knowing
that yourself cannot. Last of all, when you receive help,
you automatically assume responsibility to help someone
else. It is understood that you will try to make amends
for any wrong you have done.
refreshing thing about this fellowship is its freedom from
glumness, cocksureness and cant. The reinforcement of being
active in the group is indispensable, a little like the
agape of early Christians. Many find themselves needing
to pray, naturally and sincerely.