also honored four standards which became known as The
Four Absolutes: Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and
Love. These were clearly adopted by the early AA members
in Akron and Cleveland, but were not included in Alcoholics
Anonymous and other AA literature that followed.
The Cleveland Central Committee of AA publishes and
sells a pamphlet about the Absolutes, and some AA members
refer to these standards at times.
W. and Dr. Bob S., whom we honor as co-founders of AA,
were both members of the Oxford Group; indeed, it was
their Oxford Group affiliation that brought them together.
Bill would later explain that he and his New York friends
left the Oxford Group in 1937, while Dr. Bob and the
Akron contingent were Oxford Group members until November,
1939, when they too seperated from this society which
had done so much for them. By that time, the Big Book
had been published and groups were meeting under the
Alcoholics Anonymous name in several cities.
asked about the Absolutes, AA co-founder Bill W. would
explain that they are included in the 12 Steps. He could
have added that Honesty is of great importance in AA,
along with Unselfishness and Love. But he did worn that
the term "Absolute" was to extreme for alcoholics,
though he would show that it was necessary to stay away
from unselfishness and pursue honesty. He was often
critical of himself and felt that he had fallen far
short of his ideals.
belief is that Bill also avoided a direct mention of
The Four Absolutes as a tactical measure. As much as
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