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The Home Group -Who's Sitting Next To You?
-Grapevine publication: March 1991

 

 

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The History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Historical writings, documents, letters, events, people, places and references through-out the history of A.A.

Silkworth.net has neither been approved or endorsed by and is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any service entity of A.A.W.S., Inc. The Circle/Triangle logo is no longer in use by A.A.W.S., Inc.
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A.A. members & writings of: Bill W.

More talks -given by Bill W., primarily those given at General Service Conferences throughout the years.

More talks -articles by Bill W. published in the Grapevine throughout the years.

Bill Wilson telling the Story of AA and Its Beginnings

EBBY T., The Man Who Carried The Message To Bill W. -In 1960, at the Long Beach, California Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson wrote this dedication in an AA book that he gave to Ebby Thacher.
"Dear Ebby, No day passes that I do not remember that you brought me the message that saved me - and only God knows how many more. -In affection, Bill"

BASIC CONCEPTS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
N.Y. STATE JOURNAL OF MEDICINE© Vol. 44, Aug.,1944. -Alcoholics Anonymous is an informal fellowship of about 12,000 formerly alcoholic men and women who are to be found banded together as groups in about three hundred and twenty-five American and Canadian communities, these groups ranging in size from half a dozen to many hundreds of individuals....

Let's Ask Bill W. -This series was compiled by Jim B. These excerpts from various talks and articles by and on Bill W. reveal a wealth of the thinking and insight of one of the co-founder's of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Bill W. Speaks of Pearl Harbor -"You know, each of us has had his own private Pearl Harbor, each of us has known the utmost of humiliation, of despair, and of defeat. So why should we, who have known the resurrection, fear another Pearl Harbor?" -June, 1945
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Bill W. on the Traditions -Grapevine articles by Bill W. on the 12 Traditions of A.A.

Bill W.'s Talk in Cleveland, Ohio, 1950 -On A.A.'s 15th Anniversary everybody knew that we had grown up. There couldn't be any doubt about it. Members, families and friends—seven thousand of them spent three inspiring, almost awesome days with our good hosts at Cleveland.

A Fragment of History -"So far as people were concerned, the main channels of inspiration for our Steps were three in number - the Oxford Groups, Dr. William D. Silkworth of Townes Hospital and the famed psychologist, William James, called by some the father of modern psychology." -Bill W., July, 1953
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How the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" came about -Bill W. speaking in Fort Worth, Texas -1954.
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Bill W.'s Talk to the Manhattan Group -"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." -Bill W., New York City, N.Y., 1955
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The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety -"While those words "absolute demand" may look like a gimmick, they were the ones that helped to trigger my release into my present degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others regardless of the return to me." -Bill W. -January, 1958
(*Aslo see: A Letter From Bill W. on Depression, from the memoirs of Tom P., an early California AA member, which is strikingly similar to this AA Grapevine Article, "The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety.")
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Leadership in A.A. -"A leader in AA service is therefore a man (or a woman) who can personally put principles, plans, and policies into such dedicated and effective action that the rest of us want to back him up and help him with his job. When a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but when he too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no judgment of his own - well, he really isn't a leader at all." -Bill W., April, 1959
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Bill W.'s letter to Dr. Carl Gustav Jung -Dated January 23, 1961, a well overdue letter, as Bill put it. (Dr. Jungs reply can be found here).

The Strange Obsession -by Bill W.
It was a hot night in the midsummer of 1934. I found myself at a noted address in Central Park West, New York City. It was in Charlie Towns Hospital for drying out alcoholics........

The Dilemma of No Faith -"The phrase "God As We Understand Him" is perhaps the most important expression to be found in our whole AA vocabulary. Within the compass of these five significant words there can be included every kind and degree of faith, together with the positive assurance that each of us may choose his own." -Bill W., April 1961
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Spiritual Experiences -"As most AAs have heard, I was the recipient in 1934 of a tremendous mystic experience or "illumination." It was accompanied by a sense of intense white light, by a sudden gift of faith in the goodness of God, and by a profound conviction of His presence." -Bill W., July 1962

In Remembrance of "Ebby"- "In his seventieth year, and on the twenty-first of March, my friend and sponsor "Ebby" passed beyond our sight and hearing." -by Bill W., June, 1966
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Bill W. & Jim B. Letters -For quite a few years, Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Jim B., author of the 2nd and 3rd edition personal story in the Big Book titled: "Vicious Cycle", communicated via written correspondence between 1947 and 1965.

A Gimmick To Get Us Out Of The Dumps -The following was written by Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous for "The Road Back", a bimonthly publication by the Dublin, Ireland, group, and is reprinted therefrom.

Bill W.: Nov. 26, 1895 - Jan. 24, 1971 -"From the rubble of a wasted life, he overcame alcoholism and founded the 12-step program that has helped millions of others do the same" -by Susan Cheever, Time 100, Heroe's and Icons.

Bill W.: Nov. 26, 1895 - Jan. 24, 1971 -"New York Times Obituary for William Griffith Wilson (Bill W. - an A.A. Cofounder) who died in 1971 at the age of 75.

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