AA History Lovers 2003 Messages 753- 1574 moderated by Nancy Olson September 18, 1929 March 25, 2005 Glenn F. Chesnut June 28, 1939 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 753. . . . . . . . . . . . Jean W. -- 40 years From: pennington2 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2/2003 4:21:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 754. . . . . . . . . . . . Johns Hopkins 20 Questions answered From: kentedavis@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/4/2003 6:37:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 755. . . . . . . . . . . . BB From: Chick Schweinsberg . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/4/2003 1:33:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.434 / Virus Database: 243 - Release Date: 12/25/2002 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 756. . . . . . . . . . . . Request - Local A.A. History From: Jim . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/6/2003 2:35:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Chinese [1] - French [2] - German [3] - Italian [4] - Japanese [5] - Korean [6] - Portuguese [7] - Spanish [8] - Norwegian [9] - Russian [10] - Dutch [11] - Greek [12] - Bulgarian [13] - Croatian [14] - Czech [15] - Danish [16] - Finnish [17] - Hungarian [18] - Icelandic [19] - Filipino [20] - Polish [21] - Romanian [22] - Serbian [23] - Slovenian [24] - Swedish [25] - Welsh [26] - Turkish [27] - Latin [28] 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Join Excite! - http://www.excite.com* The most personalized portal on the Web! IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 757. . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Smith Jr. From: Mary . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/6/2003 10:02:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 758. . . . . . . . . . . . The Principles From: Higher Powered . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/7/2003 11:21:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 759. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The Principles From: Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/7/2003 4:14:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. 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 ----- From: Higher Powered To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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. 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 760. . . . . . . . . . . . Twelve Principles From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/7/2003 6:47:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 761. . . . . . . . . . . . Bills letter to ICYPAA From: somrsickr . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/7/2003 9:36:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 762. . . . . . . . . . . . Counseling the Alcoholic, A Marty Mann Talk From: Lash, William (Bill) . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/8/2003 10:46:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 6 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 manqu. 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 763. . . . . . . . . . . . Marty Mann on counseling From: Sally Brown . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/10/2003 12:36:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 764. . . . . . . . . . . . An Early Step Study Guide From: funen99 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/11/2003 9:26:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 765. . . . . . . . . . . . Step 6 & 7 Big Book From: jaywalker4th . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/12/2003 5:02:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 766. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Step 6 & 7 Big Book From: J. Lobdell . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/12/2003 7:15:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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* [30] IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 767. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Step 6 & 7 Big Book From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/12/2003 10:24:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ----- From: jaywalker4th To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 768. . . . . . . . . . . . RE:An earily step study guide From: giftdlr@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/12/2003 6:54:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 769. . . . . . . . . . . . 1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question From: caroleatlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/13/2003 10:08:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 770. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 1st Edition Big Book 4th printing Question From: brian@bedrugfree.net> . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/13/2003 5:26:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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: To: 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/ > > > > > IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 771. . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Earle M !!! From: tim wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/14/2003 12:16:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 772. . . . . . . . . . . . AA Timeline - MS Word Document From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/14/2003 6:53:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 773. . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Earle M -- Grapevine excerpt From: JKNIGHTBIRD@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/14/2003 1:57:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 774. . . . . . . . . . . . Toronto From: t . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/15/2003 7:14:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --\ - 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---------------------------------------------------------- --\ - IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 775. . . . . . . . . . . . Earle Marsh From: Joy Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/15/2003 2:45:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 777. . . . . . . . . . . . Father Dowling 25th Anniversary chapter From: carlfoffairlawn . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/20/2003 9:45:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 778. . . . . . . . . . . . Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude From: ny-aa@att.net . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/20/2003 1:10:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 779. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/20/2003 4:39:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ----- From: ny-aa@att.net To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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. 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 781. . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Bucks Poster From: kentedavis@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/20/2003 1:15:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 782. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 2 Bucks Poster From: Shakey1aa@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2003 3:47:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 784. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude From: ny-aa@att.net . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2003 10:24:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. > IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 785. . . . . . . . . . . . Meetings Bill W. attended in NYC From: vicente sanabria . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2003 4:11:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 786. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 4th editions authors From: IIdog . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2003 5:14:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIdog@prodigy.net ----- Original Message ----- From: Rob & Vicki Fuhrman To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 787. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: 4th editions authors From: Ed Adami . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2003 8:49:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 788. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Al-Anon Resolution of Gratitude From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2003 2:28:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ----- From: ny-aa@att.net To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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. > 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 789. . . . . . . . . . . . Portable Display Cases for Archives Displays From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2003 1:46:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 790. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 4th editions authors From: Neeron . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2003 9:58:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Beth H of Cincinnati, Ohio now of NC is "Empty on the Inside" on page 512 4th edition 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 [29] . ____________________________________________________ [31] IncrediMail - Email has finally evolved - Click Here [31] IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 791. . . . . . . . . . . . Article from Pageant, April 1947 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2003 10:33:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 792. . . . . . . . . . . . AA in Cuba --- 10 years old From: pennington2 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/23/2003 11:59:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ? 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 793. . . . . . . . . . . . 4th Edition Authors From: pennington2 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/23/2003 12:08:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Bob K. of Concord, CA is "On the Move." IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 794. . . . . . . . . . . . Wyoming AA History From: Tim . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/24/2003 8:16:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 795. . . . . . . . . . . . Bill W''s travels From: t . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/25/2003 3:02:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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] $_$_END_PRE (extended trip through the west and south) $_$_END_PRE Chicago $_$_END_PRE Omaha $_$_END_PRE Denver $_$_END_PRE Grand Canyon (side trip to see Canyon) $_$_END_PRE Los Angeles $_$_END_PRE Hollywood $_$_END_PRE San Francisco $_$_END_PRE San Quentin prison $_$_END_PRE Sacramento $_$_END_PRE Folsom prison $_$_END_PRE Portland $_$_END_PRE Seattle $_$_END_PRE San Diego (to return Bill's mom home) $_$_END_PRE Trabuco $_$_END_PRE Tucson, Arizona $_$_END_PRE Houston, Tx $_$_END_PRE New Orleans, La $_$_END_PRE Dallas, Tx $_$_END_PRE Little Rock, Ark $_$_END_PRE Oklahoma City, Ok $_$_END_PRE 1948 trip [149-50] $_$_END_PRE (by train through Canada) $_$_END_PRE Toronto $_$_END_PRE Winnepeg $_$_END_PRE Calgary $_$_END_PRE Marblehead (to see Bill's dad) $_$_END_PRE Vancouver $_$_END_PRE Victoria $_$_END_PRE Los Angeles (met by Dr. Bob and Anne) $_$_END_PRE 1950 spring trip [pg 152-5] $_$_END_PRE (10 week plan to visit groups in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, England, Ireland & Scotland) $_$_END_PRE Norway - Oslo $_$_END_PRE Sweden - Stockholm $_$_END_PRE Holland - Amsterdam $_$_END_PRE France - Paris $_$_END_PRE England - Caxton Hall, "The Hall", high class sanitarium near Harrow $_$_END_PRE Ireland - Dublin, Blarney Castle, Limerick, Belfast $_$_END_PRE Scotland - Edinburgh $_$_END_PRE (home just in time for first AA International Convention in Cleveland) $_$_END_PRE Other travels / vacations noted [pg 150-2] $_$_END_PRE Laurentine Mountains of Quebec $_$_END_PRE used as example of how impromptu meetings formed when Bill W sighted $_$_END_PRE Charleston, Sc $_$_END_PRE Williamsburg, Va $_$_END_PRE "the beautiful Southern gardens" $_$_END_PRE Gaspe Peninsula $_$_END_PRE Nova Scotia $_$_END_PRE hiking trips across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (2 at least, first in 1919) $_$_END_PRE freighter trip through Panama Canal $_$_END_PRE Taboga Is (off Pacific coast of Panama) $_$_END_PRE St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix $_$_END_PRE Mexico (to see pyramids and Mexico City) $_$_END_PRE Oaxaca, Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban and Mitla $_$_END_PRE (next year) Florida for Audubon tour through Everglades $_$_END_PRE on to Mexico - Mayan ruins of Chicken Itza and Uxmal in Yucatin $_$_END_PRE (Another year) vacation in Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands $_$_END_PRE Madrid, Segovia & Toledo. Granada, Galratta, Pillar of Hercules and Tangiers. $_$_END_PRE Lisbon Portugal, Oporto, back to Lisbon. (5 day car tour) $_$_END_PRE (next year) Caribbean cruise - "various islands" $_$_END_PRE (one time) steamer to cross Lake Superior to Isle Royale $_$_END_PRE Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Oahu $_$_END_PRE (trip to Scilly Islands, England late March 1967) London, Land's End, the Scillies $_$_END_PRE (had been to England in 1950 w/o visiting southern tip) $_$_END_PRE IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 796. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Literature From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/29/2003 12:38:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 798. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit:Carnival, February 1954 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/30/2003 10:03:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII `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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 799. . . . . . . . . . . . Bill W. From: terryweldpond@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/30/2003 9:23:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 802. . . . . . . . . . . . The Legacy of Recovery From: Ed Adami . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/30/2003 11:47:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 803. . . . . . . . . . . . Your Third Legacy From: The Silkworth Team . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/31/2003 12:28:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. 9) 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. 10) 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. 2) 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. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Join Excite! - http://www.excite.com* The most personalized portal on the Web! IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 804. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Third Legacy From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/31/2003 12:20:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ----- From: M. Lee Carroll To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 805. . . . . . . . . . . . Third Legacy Voting, its history From: ricktompkins . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/31/2003 11:59:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ----- From: Arthur Sheehan To: AA History Lovers 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 ----- From: M. Lee Carroll To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 7:21 PM Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Third Legacy IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 806. . . . . . . . . . . . Article on Clubs-Variety, March 28,1945 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/31/2003 9:27:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 blas. 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 807. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Step 6 & 7 Big Book From: Lash, William (Bill) . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1/2003 10:26:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 808. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lierature, Your LIfe, January 1953 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1/2003 2:52:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 809. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical LIt.-Family Circle, January 5, 1945 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3/2003 1:10:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 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. 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." Source: The Family Circle, January 5, 1945 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 811. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit., SAt. Eve Post May 21, 1960 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/4/2003 8:41:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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-pityfears of other people and of economic insecuritywill 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 waterif permitted to remain stillwill 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 daySufficient 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 happinessFeelings of uselessness and self-pityfears of people and of economic insecuritydo 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 812. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The first 12 members to join Alcoholics Anonymous From: M. Lee Carroll . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/4/2003 6:11:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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/ IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 813. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The first 12 members to join AlcoholicsAnonymous From: J. Lobdell . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/5/2003 8:47:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 [32] with MSN 8. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 814. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit., Health, July 1947 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/5/2003 10:10:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 815. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: my post on the first 12 into AA From: M. Lee Carroll . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/5/2003 10:51:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 816. . . . . . . . . . . . mildew From: shakey1aa . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/6/2003 9:21:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 817. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit.: Hygeia, July 1948 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/6/2003 11:05:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 819. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit.: Pageant, April 1947 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/7/2003 11:52:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 822. . . . . . . . . . . . This is the original manuscript of How It Works. From: etrnlknight1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/7/2003 9:33:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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? IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 824. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Pink Cloud From: Tom M. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/8/2003 11:31:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 " 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 825. . . . . . . . . . . . Selling memberships in Fl pre-traditions-&-beer at meetings From: kentedavis@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/8/2003 9:00:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 826. . . . . . . . . . . . 1940 Preamble?? From: Rudy890 . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9/2003 8:39:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. ````` IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 827. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 1940 Preamble?? From: Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9/2003 10:00:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII You may find this of interest: http://www.recoveryemporium.com/OldPreamble.htm Love, Thomas ----- Original Message ----- From: Rudy890 To: AA HistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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. ````` 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/ IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 828. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 1940 Preamble?? From: cdknapp . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9/2003 10:30:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 To: AA HistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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. ````` 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 829. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 1940 Preamble?? From: Mike B. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9/2003 9:55:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 830. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit- Illustrated,April 8, 1950 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/10/2003 5:40:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 831. . . . . . . . . . . . Virus Warning From: NMOlson@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/10/2003 2:17:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 834. . . . . . . . . . . . Traveling in England and Ireland From: NMOlson@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/11/2003 3:41:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 [33] 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 835. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Science Digest, June 1944 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/11/2003 9:50:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 836. . . . . . . . . . . . Old Preamble From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/11/2003 3:21:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 837. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: True, May 1946 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/11/2003 11:39:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 839. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: more detail on Triangle and Circle From: Joanna Whitney . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/12/2003 3:35:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 840. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit., Science Illustrated, June 1948 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/13/2003 10:18:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 841. . . . . . . . . . . . Fw: 1940 Preamble?? From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/13/2003 1:14:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ----- Original Message ----- From: Arthur Sheehan To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 To: AA HistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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. ````` 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 [29] . 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 842. . . . . . . . . . . . Link for donating AA paperbacks to military From: Tina Marie . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/13/2003 2:31:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 843. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: See, Sept. 1949 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/14/2003 10:05:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 844. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical LIt: American Weekly, Oct.26, 1946 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/15/2003 2:31:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 845. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/15/2003 2:37:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 846. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, Aug.7,1954 From: Rudy890 . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/28/2003 6:46:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Are we still alive, I haven't had any mail since February 15th Rudy ----- Original Message ----- From: Jim Blair To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 847. . . . . . . . . . . . Earle Marsh Prayer From: tim wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/20/2003 6:30:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more http://taxes.yahoo.com/ IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 848. . . . . . . . . . . . Bill Wilson''s Talk to the Manhattan Group, NYC, 1955 From: Rudy890 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/1/2003 9:59:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 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. ````` IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 849. . . . . . . . . . . . Supreme Court Rejects Appeal in AA Confession Case From: JKNIGHTBIRD@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/4/2003 4:14:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 850. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit.-Liberty July 1949 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/5/2003 9:43:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 851. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Saturday Evening Post, DEcember 20, 1952 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/6/2003 9:08:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 DannyCome 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 852. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit.-True Confessions, July 1945 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/7/2003 9:49:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII MAYBE YOU KNOW US ONLY AS ACOHOLICS. YOU SCORN USYOU 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 canaps 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 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 canaps 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 853. . . . . . . . . . . . Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? From: mlibby . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/7/2003 11:34:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 855. . . . . . . . . . . . 1st edition Big Book Uk printing From: NMOlson@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/8/2003 3:57:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 856. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? From: ricktompkins . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/8/2003 1:03:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 10:34 PM Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Origin of "Think, Think, Think"? IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 857. . . . . . . . . . . . 1st Edition Big Book UK printing From: Robert S N . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/8/2003 5:01:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 858. . . . . . . . . . . . Fr. Ralph Pfau, AKA Fr. John Doe From: NMOlson@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/9/2003 1:56:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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... [34] 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. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 859. . . . . . . . . . . . Royalties From: Bob Ellis . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/9/2003 8:03:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 ~ IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 860. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Royalties From: phxsami@webtv.net . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/9/2003 6:37:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 861. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Royalties From: ricktompkins . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/9/2003 9:19:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 862. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Reader''s Digest, April 1956 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/10/2003 10:02:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 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 our four and a half million alcoholics dwell in the Dover Streets and Boweries of the land. If nature exacts its usual inexorable toll, a tall, good-looking man of about 50 who is registered at Boston City under the name of Peter Slocum will be either dead or buried alive in a mental hospital within a short time. Slocum was found stumbling across Boston Common talking incoherently. Reasonably well-dressed with money in his pocket, he might just have had one too many. But the intern on duty at Boston City needed only a few minutes to make the diagnosis: Korsakoff's psychosis, in an advanced stage. A few days after Slocum was admitted, a man came to the hospital in search of a missing brother. He found that the man registered as Peter Slocum was indeed his brother. He told me his alcoholic history and allowed me to visit with him. Slocum had been an alcoholic for 20 years, and had taken a dozen "cures" at private institutions. During most of this time he had held a good job as a sales director, but now he had come to the end of the road. I spent considerable time with him but he never remembered me from one visit to the next. One time the doctor with me asked, "Do you know where you are Peter?" "At my sister's home in Malden," Slocum said in a soft, gentle voice. (Contrary to general opinion, few alcoholics are violent. Chaplain Brock refers to them as "the gentle people.") "He has no sister, nor any relatives in Malden," the doctor said to me. We talked with Slocum for an hour, but it was impossible to establish any real communication. Dr. Kermit H. Katz, visiting physician who is chief of the 5th and 6th Medical Services at the hospital, had investigated Slocum's history thoroughly. "He was always good at his job," Dr. Katz explained. "He was the man who took clients out when they came to Boston. He'd drink with them at lunch and then drink with another group at dinner. He did this for years, until finally there came a time when he didn't merely want a drink - he needed a drink. He never really liked the taste of alcohol, but to keep going he had to have a few eye-openers in the morning. Then came the final step: he had to drink constantly. "He'd go away and get straightened out temporarily, but he always had to return to the bottle. Now? We've tried everything science has taught us. But I can't see any hope. There is too much organic damage. I wish that those who could still rehabilitate themselves could see Peter Slocum today." Certainly the example of Slocum is a sobering one. Even more sobering is the experience of listening to a patient in the grip of delirium tremens, the final stage of prolonged alcoholism. Come with me to a private room in the 5th Medical Service at Boston City. Mrs. Rogers, age 36, once an attractive brunette, is the patient. When I saw her she had been in delirium tremens for five days. Usually the symptoms abate within 72 hours. She lay in bed "in restraint" - her wrists and legs attached by cuffs to the side of the bed, but loosely enough to permit some movement. Her husband had brought her to the hospital in a state of coma after she had suffered an alcoholic epileptic seizure. She made a partial recovery from the seizure and then had slipped into delirium tremens. She had been a heavy drinker for 12 years. Her husband said that she drank beer steadily each morning and then shifted to wine in the afternoon. He himself was a moderate drinker. Their home? The husband had finally sent their two children to relatives. He had only a deep and gentle pity for the woman who had been his wife for 17 years. She was being given oxygen through a nasal tube. Glucose, water and vitamins were being injected intravenously. Her eyes were wide open, and she was carrying on an animated conversation, all of it meaningless. When the doctor pointed to me and asked, "Mrs. Rogers, do you know this man?" she said in what appeared to be a normal voice, "Yes, that's my brother Steve. Where is Anne? Oh, here she is"-a white clad nurse had entered the room. "I like your brown hat, Anne, but it doesn't go with that plaid skirtSteve, the water is running. Turn it off, Steve. Make him turn it off, Anne - it's up to your ankles. Now it's up to your waist. You stay here if you want - I'm going to the kitchen." The doctor said, "I've turned it off, Mrs. Rogers. It's all right." The patient seemed reassured. But in a few moments she was babbling something equally fantastic. When we left, she was talking animatedly about a little dog she believed to be in bed with her. Twenty-four hours later Mrs. Rogers stopped talking forever. SOMEWHERE in Boston today there is a girl named Therese, working as a waitress. She came to Boston City in an alcoholic coma, more dead than alive; the whole resources of the hospital were regimented in an effort to save her. She was in such grave condition that she was given a private room, and during her first two weeks a nurse was with her 24 hours a day. Some of the drugs given Therese during the three months of her hospitalization were: penicillin, paraldehyde, chloral hydrate, an extract of rauwolfia, chlorpromazine, thiamine, codeine, sulfisoxazole (a sulfa drug) and tetracycline (an antibiotic). She had two electro-cardiograms, two chest and kidney X- rays, ten urinalyses, 11 blood counts, a Papanicolaou smear test (for vaginal cancer) and several blood cultures. She was taken to the operating room on two occasions, at which time she received the most modern (and expensive) anesthesia, and had a complete gynecological survey. A sternal puncture was done, and the marrow was cultured for bacteria. The state of her liver was assessed by performing a liver biopsy (removal of a small portion or the organ for microscopic examination). Visiting physicians held half a dozen conferences to determine the best way to treat her various physical and mental ills. I studied the complete medical and surgical record of Therese's three-month stay in the hospital. Included were reports from eight internists, one gynecologist, two pathologists, one general surgeon, five laboratory and X-ray technicians, one heart specialist, two neurolog-ists and a specialist in lung disease. Therese finally walked out of the hospital in fairly good health. What did her treatment cost the taxpayers of Boston? Dr. Katz looked puzzled when I asked him that question, for at Boston City great importance is placed upon the life of a patient but much less on the cost of preserving that life. However, Dr. Katz went through the file and estimated that the cost to a paying patient in a private hospital for the drugs, laboratory tests, medical, surgical and nursing attention that Therese had received would have been at least $5000. (It might be noted that Katz and 500 other visiting doctors and psychiatrists give their skill and time to Boston City patients with no recompense at all.) The budget at Boston City is 16 million dollars a year. When you ask Dr. Conlin how much of that is consumed in the care of alcoholics, he smiles, "Does it matter? They are just as sick as men and women who come here with meningitis or cancer and, as you've seen, they are treated the same. Happily, both the profession and the public are finally beginning to realize that alcoholism is a disease and not a form of adult delinquency." What can be done for the advanced alcoholic? Alcoholics Anonymous, which has an active membership of about 150,000, is still, doctors believe, the most impotent of all forces for rehabilitating the alcoholic. But Boston keeps trying to find other, even better answers. It is an uphill fight. Far out in Boston Harbor is a small island connected with the mainland by a causeway. This is the home of the Long Island Hospital (part of Boston City), an institution for sufferers of chronic diseases. Chronic alcoholics, of course, make up only a portion of the hospital's patients, but it is a discouraging portion. For despite the heroic efforts being put forth, the number who can be classified as "cured" is so low as to be frightening. Dr. David Myerson, the hospital's psychiatrist, recently completed a three-year study of 101 alcoholics here. Fifty percent had attended high school. And some of these had once held good jobs in business or industry. Virtually all had lost all family relationships, and for them had substituted the illusionary companionship found in local taverns. Each patient had entered Long Island voluntarily, with an avowed desire to be rehabilitated. Each to a great degree lost his sense of isolation, because at Long Island he was a member of a group. (Once a week the dedicated members of Alcoholics Anonymous hold meetings here.) The hospital soon became a home for the patients, and when they improved, jobs were found for them in Boston. Each night they returned to the hospital in buses. What is the result of Dr. Myerson's treatment and study? For 47 of the 101, complete failure. For 22, partial recovery. (They still went on prolonged drinking bouts two or three times a year.) Twenty other patients remained sober for the three years of the study, but each admitted that he could maintain this immunity from alcohol only if he continued to live at the hospital under medical and psychiatric supervision. The remaining 12 abstained from liquor, did satisfactory work in their jobs, and finally decided that they could face life in the city independently, without reliance upon the hospital. "I try to keep in constant touch with these 12 men," Meyerson says. "Are they cured? We can never use that word in discussing an alcoholic patient. But they have apparently learned to live with their affliction. They all continue to attend AA meetings and to engage in therapy we suggest. But if any of these men ever takes one drink, he will have failed to overcome his problem. Alcohol to them is a destructive force against which they must carry on an endless struggle." Of course, the alcoholic cases Dr. Myerson deals with are in the most advanced stage. As in other illnesses, the chances of cure are better if detection is earlier. Psychiatrist David Landu believes that at least a partial solution to the problem lies in reaching the "unrecognized alcoholic," who has not yet arrived at the point of no return. If such men and women could be made to realize that it is merely a question of time before their minds and bodies become scarred and, eventually, destroyed, they might escape the sentence of death which can pass upon them. Source: Reader's Digest, April 1956 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 863. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Cosmopolitan, July 1961 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/11/2003 10:59:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ALCOHOLISM An Agonized Plea for Love Five million Americans-many of them once sober-responsiblecitizens-are today confirmed alcoholics. Why have they sacrificedhappiness for the tragic life of a compulsive drinker? Here, in a remarkably frank report, are some reasons that may surprise you. BY FARRELL AND WILBUR CROSS "I don't remember the exact time or place that I finally admitted to myself that I was a problem drinker, an alcoholic, a drunk. The realization just grew and grew until, finally, it overwhelmed me-like a big breaker that rolls in relentlessly when your swimming at an ocean beach." Arthur Johnson (all names used in this article are fictitious; the situations are real) was thirty-seven. He'd been drinking since college days, like most of his friends, in a social way. Occasionally, he had really "tied one on" and become high, if not outright drunk, at a big party or a sales convention. Only in the last two years had the drinking started to follow a recognizable pattern. "It got so that I would look forward to weekends, not because my wife and I had anything special planned or because I would be with my two sons, eight and ten, but because there would be some excuse for having drinks. WE could always invite some neighbors in for highballs. Or, if my wife didn't feel sociable, I'd go off bowling-just so I could have drinks with the boys afterwards. It wasn't that I liked whisky or even the glow of warmth that most people feel after a cocktail. It was that there was something missing if I didn't start injecting my system with alcohol." Johnson soon found that his alcoholic hunger was extending over into weekdays too. As a sales executive, he had many opportunities for taking customers out to lunch. Soon he was doing this every day, along with frequent stop-offs for drinks at bars in the late afternoons, after leaving the office. "Most of the time, I wouldn't get home until two or three in the morning. My relationships with my wife and kids got pretty rough. I kept making promises. And sometimes I'd keep them for several weeks. I found that I could resist that inner compulsion as long as I stayed on the wagon. No drinks at all. But then I'd get annoyed at myself and almost deliberately set out to prove to myself I could have two drinks-no more." Triggering a Chain Reaction Johnson found that it did not work. Once he downed a single drink, something in his system was triggered off, and he had to keep right on until he was drunk. He began to have blackouts, waking up with piercing hang-overs, and not being able to remember where he had been the night before. "It really hit me when my wife packed up and left with the two boys. I arrived home in an alcoholic haze, long after dawn one day. I had no idea where I'd been. My clothing was all wrinkled and stinking of whisky. I had a big bruise on my cheekbone. The house was empty. There wasn't even a note." Arthur Johnson tried to do something in the face of this new crisis. He cried. He made deep resolutions. He decided to call his wife-not to plead with her to come home again, but to tell her she was right in leaving. To tell her that he was going to straighten out now, to get a new job, to give up drinking, to become a proper husband and father. He started to reach for the phone again and again, the message composed on his lips. But it was too hard. One drink would help him get over the shakes. He remembered where he had part of a pint hidden down in the cellar. As he stumbled down the back stairs he walked right back into the problem, with no end in sight but another blackout, and another. Jane Byers took the same kind of downhill slide, But on a different route. A housewife, thirty-five, with a six-year-old daughter and an eight year old son, she had never done any drinking at all until after the birth of the second child. Then, for two or thee years, her drinking was extremely light. She disliked the taste of liquor, in fact, and was often kidded because she "ruined" good whisky by mixing it with fruit juice or other concoctions to hide the taste. Driven by Domestic Tensions "My drinking problems really started just after my husband was transferred and we moved into a brand-new community," she later recalled. "I had always been a very careful housekeeper, but now I wanted everything just right, to let the neighbors see us in our best light. It got so that I was forever screaming at the children or nagging my husband. Whenever neighbors stopped by, it was sure to be at a time when the children had just tracked mud into the hall or had let the dog get hairs all over the new couch, or there would be clothes strewn all over the place." Jane found, however, that there was one escape from this burning fear that the neighbors would get a bad impression: A big gulp of sherry would calm her nerves. "Then I found that a second gulp would give me a kind of rosy feeling that my visitors were very impressed with my home. It wasn't long before the `sherry treatment' was solving all my problems. Within a year or so, I had reached the stage where I was drunk several days a week. I had switched to vodka, so that my husband would smell no liquor on my breath. And if I was too tipsy to get dinner, I'd just crawl into bed before he came home and say that I had a terrible headache. By this time, however, he knew what was going on. I had to hide bottles all over the house. I was using up all the money I could get-part of the food money, refunds on clothing I sent back to department stores, things I could sell at a local secondhand store." By this time, Jane and her husband were having bitter arguments, night after night, sometimes until almost dawn. "He wanted me to join A.A. But I kept promising, pleading, saying that I'd come around and I wasn't `that far gone' that I had to join a group of alcoholics. Jane is still on the way down. Not long ago, she almost set fire to the house. Her husband is afraid to leave her alone with the children when he goes to work. He talked her into going to a psychiatrist, but she stubbornly clings to the idea that she isn't "far enough gone to join AA" or any other group. For her, as with most alcoholics, there is a "rock bottom," a point at which she will give up and admit defeat. How far down her own low point lies is impossible to predict. More Than a Social Problem Why should it be that two people like Arthur Johnson and Jane Byers, apparently intelligent people, both with good families and from well-educated back grounds, would seek escape through alcohol? Their cases are neither new nor uncommon. Of the 75,000,000 people in the United States who are "social drinkers," some 5,000,000 are alcoholics. Each year, about 200,000 more are added to the growing list of those who cannot handle alcohol in any form: cocktails, highballs, wine, beer-or even cough medicine. Alcoholism is holding fourth place in the list of top health problems in the country. It ranks only behind mental health, heart disease, and cancer as a destroyer of mankind. "Alcoholism," says Dr. Marvin Block, Chairman of the American Medical Association's Committee on Alcoholism, "is an attempt to escape reality by the use of a socially accepted drug." The word "escape" is important. We all need some form of escape from daily living, from time to time. We take our escapes in the forms of vacation, travel, dining out, music, or sleep-to name a few methods. For some people, escape becomes compulsive and may end up in extreme forms, such as gorging on candy, taking dope, having incessant sexual cravings. This is what happens to the problem drinker. "The one trait that potential alcoholics have in common," says Dwight Anderson in his book, Other Side of the Bottle, "is a maladjustment towards life. Usually they have let one element of their personality get so out of hand that it is distorted out of all proportion to reality. He Drank to Fight Hunger Arthur Johnson's maladjustment was an incessant, though unrecognized, hunger for love. His mother had died when he was quite young; his father had been a brilliant, but dispassionate, professor who never evidenced much affection; he had disliked his only brother; and when he was married, he selected a girl more because he was "impressed" with her looks and background than because he felt any urgent love for her. Sociologists William and Joan McCord stated, last year, in a report on origins of alcoholism, that "the typical alcoholic is unsure of receiving love from other people; he may also be very unsure of how to give love. The result might often be hesitation to make affectionate overtures to his family." When this hunger becomes too much to bear, the alcoholic turns, progressively, to alcohol. When alcoholism has taken over fully, it completely blocks out all other forces-love, sex, success drive, desire for food. Jane Byers, married to a man whom she felt did not understand her, had this same love hunger, though it was revealed in a different form. At first, Jane was what has been called a "dry alcoholic." Her form of excess was her perfectionism. She had to see everything right in its place in her home. When the children were young, this had been easy. But as they became older, she could no longer confine them to the nursery. They were constantly scratching furniture, moving carefully placed ash trays, rumpling up the beds, streaking her new carpeting with dirt. At that point, Jane began her new era-"wet alcoholism." Is the alcoholic then a type? Not exactly. Since the causes of alcoholism are not fully known, experts do not always agree on who is, or is not, a potential problem drinker. It is only after the drinking has started to follow a pattern (the pattern itself is similar and recognizable) that the finger points to the alcoholic. But alcoholics do seem to have many tendencies in common. Most authorities seem to agree that they have in their make-up some deep-seated need (such as "love-hunger"), some compulsive trait (such as acute perfectionism), or some deficiency (such as extreme sensitivity or shyness). Escape to the bottle neutralizes the problem for them, at least temporarily. Of all the methods of escape from life-from problems, hardships, labors, personality conflicts, environment, personal fears and inadequacies-alcohol ranks among the oldest. It is referred to in various forms in the earliest historical records. Anthropologists have found evidence that some kind of intoxicating drink was known as far back as the Stone Age. Ancient stills have been found in such widely separated lands as Peru, Tibet, Tahiti, and India. Some three thousand years ago, the inhabitants of Ceylon were drinking toddy and arrack, and before that the Chinese were happily escaping the toils of life via alcoholic beverages known as tchoo and sautchoo. Japanese sake goes far back in that countries history. Mesopotamian history contains accounts of drunkenness, as does many a detailed hieroglyphic from ancient Egypt. In the United States, the history of alcohol is erratic. It was banned by many of the early settlers, but used by others for trading with the Indians. The first real distillery in America was set up around 1640 by one William Kieft, a Dutchman, on Staten Island, New York. A rum distillery was established in Boston in the 1650's. Before this, rum was imported from the West Indies. The attitude towards drunkenness has always been that it represents outwardly in inward disintegration of spirit, morals, and intellect. Around 300 B.C., Diogenes referred to drunkenness as "an expression identical with ruin." The Old Testament states that "the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty." The pages of literature of all nations are well salted with inebriated characters who represent varying degrees of social and mental decay-all the way from utter fools to wicked monsters who tortured their wives and beat their children. Danger Noted.and Ignored Few men, however, looked with any sympathy at all on the drunkard. When Edinburgh physician Thomas Trotter wrote about alcoholism in 1778, he was way ahead of his time in stating, "In medical language, I consider drunkenness, strictly speaking, to be a disease produced by a remote causeA disease of the mind." Although Dr, Trotter's book received considerable acclaim, its message did not gain wide public acceptance. By the middle of the nineteenth century, alcohol itself was becoming the target of various groups, ranging from mild dissenters to angry fanatics. One of the most dramatic evidences of the attitude towards alcohol in the United States was the antisaloon war waged by a group of determined women in Ohio in January 1874. The crusaders paraded through the streets, blocked the entrances to saloons (which they referred to by such names as "Hell's Half Acre," "Certain Death," and "Devils Den), and smashed bottles and kegs in the gutter. One group commandeered a locomotive and stationed it so that the brilliant headlight shone on a saloon near the tracks, where any patron who dared to enter was caught like a moth in a flame. Another group organized 40 little girls from a private school into a platoon. Each afternoon, the girls were led to selected positions in front of the town's saloons, where they repeated a shrill and dismal chorus which began, "Say, Mr. Barkeeper, has father been here?" The result of this publicity was that saloonkeepers closed shop and quit by the dozens. Spurred on by these methods, and their success, other women rallied together to form the famed WCTU (Woman's Christian Temperance Union) and the various Antisaloon Leagues. Many of the women were fanatical to the point where they were a more disruptive force than the so-called drunkards they were attacking. In his book, Other Side of the Bottle, Dwight Anderson wrote that one of the most noted temperance leaders "had the temperament that would have led inevitably to alcoholism if she had drank at all." "Dry Drunkenness" This kind of excess (sometimes referred to as "dry drunkenness) is seldom seen today. Many religious faiths either disapprove of, or forbid, the drinking of any form of alcoholic beverage-notably Christian Scientists, Quakers, Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. However, they do not try to force their viewpoint on others. We seldom see any devastating crusades against liquor like those waged during the late nineteenth century, and again right after World War I, when the era of Prohibition was launched. But, the kind of warfare waged against the alcoholic today is more long lasting in its effect than any hatchet ever wielded by a member of the Antisaloon League. Public opinion and the shocked attitude of misinformed people sometimes make it impossible for spouses and families of alcoholics to do anything except try to cover up the drinking problem and hide it from the neighbors. It is the reason why the wife and husband, respectively, of Arthur Johnson and Jane Byers went through their own personal hells while trying to find a solution for the alcoholics they had married. It is the reason why many an alcoholic goes down and down to absolute rock bottom in his drinking before he can finally face his problem squarely. Mrs. Marty Mann, whose New Primer on Alcoholism is one of the most widely recognized books on the subject, says that when the National Council on Alcoholism was founded in 1944, it began "in an atmosphere of almost total darkness. The word `alcoholism' was a taboo word. The public attitude was compounded of ignorance, fear, prejudice, and hostility; and the public attitude included many professional attitudes as well. The `drunkard' was considered hopeless, and wholly to blame for his condition." That was only seventeen years ago. More advances have taken place since then than during the previous one hundred years, in the study and treatment of alcoholism, but there are still vast areas to cover. Mrs. Mann, executive director of NCA, says that even though alcoholism is recognized as the fourth major health problem in the United States, the funds devoted to the study and towards educating the public are still less than one one-hundredth the amount devoted to cancer or heart disease. "One of our most important jobs," she says, "is orientation-telling people exactly what alcoholism is, why it should be accepted as a serious illness rather than as an evidence of immorality or weakness of character." NCA and its affiliates have conducted some interesting tests, which prove the value of educating the public. Though these are not comprehensive or conclusive, they do point up some important facts. During Alcoholism Information Week, NCA affiliates throughout the country interview people-on the street, in stores, or wherever feasible-to see what a town's attitude seems to be about alcoholism. There are frequent references to drinkers as "bums" or "degenerates" or "people with no sense of responsibility." After a week or so of intensive educational work with local civic, health, and church groups, interviews are again conducted. The change in attitude has, in most cases, been astonishing. "Almost overnight, people in the community come to realize," Mrs. Mann says, "that the problem drinkers needed as much sympathy and help as a patient with heart trouble or cancer or any one of the other major diseases." "No Group Is Immune" Because problem drinking has been veiled for so long in secrecy and shame, certain myths have developed. One is that some occupations breed inebriates ("He always has three Martinis for lunch-that's because he's in advertising."). Another myth is that alcoholism hits certain income groups more heavily than others, such as rich playboys or common laborers. Jack "Stewart," a long time member of Alcoholics Anonymous, who daily comes into contact with active and recovered alcoholics, told us that alcohol is no respecter of race, class, or occupational group. No group is immune. "Among the alcoholics I know," he said, "Are a religious leader, a truck driver, a college professor, a banker, an old maid, an Army officer, a housewife with four children, a carpenter, a millionaire-almost any kind of person you want to mention." "Many different types of personalities are capable of becoming addicted to alcohol," says Dr. Ruth Fox, Medical Director of the National Council on Alcoholism. "When tested after their addiction, however, they show a surprising similarity of character traits. Some of these are: an extremely low frustration tolerance, inability to endure anxiety or tension, feelings of isolation, devalued self-esteem, a tendency to act impulsively, a repetitive `acting out' of conflicts, often an extreme narcissism and exhibitionism, a tendency towards self-punitive behavior, sometimes somatic preoccupation and hypochondriasis. In addition, there is usually, consciously or unconsciously, marked hostility and rebellion." Although it would be impossible for an observer to recognize an alcoholic before his drinking becomes a problem, there are certain well-marked steps. These have been listed by the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies as follows: Early Stage: 1) Abnormal drinking behavior, not always in regard to quantity, but typified by attitude or actions. 2) Blackouts-losses of memory about events of the night before. 3) Sneaking and gulping drinks. 4) Chronic hang-overs, increasingly severe and painful. Middle Stages: 5) Loss of control. Unable to "take it or leave it alone." 6) Alibis, with plenty of excuses for why a drink is needed. 7) "Eye openers"-drinks in the morning as hang-over cures. 8) Changing the pattern-trying beer or wine instead of whisky, but not for long. 9) Solitary drinking, and other antisocial behavior. 10) Loss of Job and friends. 11) Seeking medical aid for drinking. Late Stage: 12) Benders-drunks lasting several days. 13) Shakes and tremors. 14) The bottle-hiding stage, protecting the needed supply. 15) Resentments and other unreasonable dislikes. 16) Nameless fears and anxieties. 17) Complete collapse of the alibi system. No more excuses are possible. 18) The surrender process-giving self over to someone else for help. As the alcoholic progresses, his family-frantically trying to halt his downward slide-often takes completely wrong steps. Threats, pleas, pouring drinks down the drain are of no use and frequently serve to complicate the problem. Alcoholics need great love and understanding-even though, paradoxically, their drinking is known as a "strangler of love." Wives and husbands of alcoholics can learn best what to do about their problem by getting in touch with the nearest branch of a group called Al-Anon, made up of nonalcoholic relatives or friends of problem drinkers. It is usually a long, difficult pull. The alcoholic cannot expect recovery until he faces one fact: the only cure for alcoholism is to give up drinking entirely! This represents a complete cure, in the sense that the alcoholic can return to a normal life. But it is not a cure in the sense of destroying whatever the unknown element is that causes alcoholism. Periodically, claims are made that some new scientific method or drug has been developed that will permit alcoholics to become normal, social drinkers. So far, these claims have not been valid. There are, it is true, drugs like Antabuse which are used in the treatment of alcoholism. But these are only to help a drinker stay away from alcohol while undergoing treatment. And they should be taken only on the advice of a medical doctor. For the past few years, the fight against alcoholism has received a tremendous boot from a few large companies which have been willing to stick their necks out and say, "We recognize that from 3 to 6 per cent of our employees have serious drinking problems, and we are doing something about it." Recognition by Industry Several notable examples are DuPont, Allis-Chalmers, General Motors, Eastman Kodak, Con Edison, Standard Oil, and the New York Telephone Company. Other companies are reluctant to face the problem-particularly some in the transportation field, who blanch at the idea of having the public know that there could be such a thing as an alcoholic pilot or railroad engineer or bus driver. (The New York Transit Authority, which does have such a program, is one of the notable exceptions.) By and large, companies have found that there are three types of plans feasible for rehabilitating problem drinkers: 1) The community-oriented plan. The problem drinker, after reporting to the company medical department, is referred to the local Alcoholism Information Center or clinic. These facilities are completely separated from-though may be partly supported by-the company. He then receives counseling and referral to AA, medical or psychiatric treatment, as indicated. 2) The Alcoholics Anonymous plan. Here the problem drinker is first referred to the medical department for a complete physical checkup. After hospitalization, if necessary, he is turned over to members of AA, who urges attendance at several meetings. The man's participation is purely voluntary, but since he has his company behind him, he is more likely to take action than if the suggestion came from either an outsider or a relative whose urgings might strike "too close to home." 3) The company-integrated plan. This works best with a large organization having many facilities at its disposal, not only medical, but recreational, legal, counseling, ties with community hospitals, loan services, rest homes, and other resources. Had Arthur Johnson belonged to such an organization, his drinking problem would have been recognized earlier; he would then have realized that others had the same troubles, that it was an illness that he could not fight alone. He could have been helped more easily. The "False Bottom" Not all problem drinkers can be rehabilitated, but most companies with active programs report success in well over 50 per cent. Company plans have one strong advantage over family efforts to help a drinker. Many alcoholics are not ready to admit their problem until they have hit absolute rock bottom, when they find themselves in the gutter (literally), in danger of losing homes and family, or in such poor physical condition that the next real bout may kill him. Companies, however, can provide a "false bottom"-usually the threat of firing the drinker from his job. This has proved effective in a countless number of cases-particularly when the alcoholic is detected early, and when the chances for his recovery are best. If you are concerned about your own drinking habits, check yourself by taking the test which appears on page 49. If a friend or a member of your family is a problem drinker, do not wait until the situation gets out of control. Visit, or write to, any one of the agencies listed above, right. Even the children of an alcoholic parent can receive help, particularly through Alateen, a fast-mushrooming organization founded in 1957 by the teen-aged son of an alcoholic. Remember, above all, that love and understanding are needed in generous quantities. Though the alcoholic may be so gripped by his illness that his desire for the bottle has seemingly shoved aside all affection, responsibility, ambition, remember that, even more than ever, he needs the devotion and the help of his family-despite the many injuries and humiliations and hardships he may have inflicted on them. Alcoholics Anonymous has a prayer, which is appropriate not only for problem drinkers but for families who have to share the problems: "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." If you have no drinking problems whatsoever, the agencies that deal with alcoholics still have some sensible advice for you: enjoy your drink-whether it be beer, wine, or liquor-in moderation. Recognize that alcoholism is a disease, not a disgrace. Barriers Still to Be Broken "Since no problem will be solved until it is recognized," says Dr. Selden D. Bacon, one of the country's outstanding authorities on alcoholism, "It is essential to view the barriers of irritation and mistrust commonly met in introducing the problem. The first barrier is that of traditional conceptsThat alcoholics are weak-willed, morally disgraceful, and disgusting characters." Above all, remember that there is just as much need for good taste and etiquette in serving alcoholic drinks to others as there is with any other social activity engaged in. "Don't force your guests to drink," pleads the American Medical Association. "It is important for a host or hostess to realize that a certain unknown percentage of guests face the problem of alcoholism, and these people should be able to mingle with other guests , without self-consciousness or embarrassment." Passport to Nowhere If you are fortunate enough to be numbered among the 70,000,000 or so "social drinkers" in the United States who have no drinking problems, then alcohol can be a socially acceptable means of escape from normal tensions. In small quantities, such as a daily highball or cocktail, it is occasionally even recommended for healthy, nonalcoholic people by their doctors. "But you, as a nonalcoholic, have to remember," says AA member Jack "Stewart," that we problem drinkers cannot touch the stuff at all. Some of us are struggling heroically-particularly at the very start of abstinence-to avoid taking that first drink. Just one cocktail will set us off again, no matter how many years we have been on the wagon. For you, a drink is an escape to a world where we can never follow. For us, it's a passport to nowhere." Source: Cosmopolitan, July 1961 Sidebars Follow Sidebars A Thorough, Practical Test If you are worried about becoming a problem drinker, here is a test recommended by the National Council on Alcoholism, which will all but prove whether or not you are an alcoholic: For six months, stick to a certain number of drinks a day, not less than one and not more than three (standard, one-ounce size). If you are not a daily drinker, then confine the test to the days when you do drink (such as Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Under no conditions should you exceed the stated number, regardless of what kinds of special occasion arise. The NCA says that even a heavy drinker should have no trouble passing the test, but that "The chances are a hundred to one, however, against a true alcoholic's being either willing or able to undertake the test." Are You a Potential Alcoholic? Over the years, Alcoholics Anonymous, the National Council on Alcoholism, Inc., and other interested groups have prepared questionnaires to help a person decide whether he or she is a problem drinker. Here are some of the most important questions asked. How do you rate? *** 1) Is drinking making your home life unhappy? 2) Does drinking make you careless about family responsibilities? 3) Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles? 4) Do you drink because you are shy with other people? 5) Is drinking affecting your reputation in the community? 6) Is drinking lowering your efficiency in your daily work? 7) Do you crave a drink at definite times? 8) Do you want a drink "the morning after?" 9) Have you ever felt remorseful about drinking? 10) Do you have financial problems at home because of drinking? 11) Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping? 12) Have you ever had a complete loss of memory because of drinking? 13) Do you drink alone? 14) Have your ambitions decreased because of drinking? 15) Do you have to make up excuses about drinking too much? *** If you answered just one or two questions yes, watch yourself carefully. If you answered three or more yes (or if you found yourself thinking "well, sometimes"), you have definite reason to worry and might do well to talk with somebody who belongs to Alcoholics Anonymous. Where You Can Get Help ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS There are groups all over the country, most with telephone directory listings. Look them up or write: AA, Box 459, New York 17, New York. AL-ANON If you cannot find a local branch in your community, write: Al-Anon Family Groups Council, 40 East Fortieth Street, New York 17, New York NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ALCOHOLISM (NCA) 2 East 103rd Street, New York 29, New York; has sixty-seven local affiliates which maintain Alcoholism Information Centers. Look in your phone book, or write NCA. You can obtain information on alcoholism and how to get help from many sources near your home: there are 164 alcoholism clinics and counseling centers throughout the country; thirty-eight states have official alcoholism programs, many with information services; your Health Department may have an alcoholism service; your minister, doctor, and many social agencies can direct or help you. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 864. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Royalties From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/12/2003 1:58:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII The recent posting on the subject of royalties has assertions that don't quite square with literature sources. 1. Did Dr. Bob accept royalties? Literature sources indicate he did. 2. Did Bill and Lois wind up living comfortably? Literature sources indicate they did. This topic seems to get some AA folks into defensive mode to protect the "legend" of Bill. There is a pretty fair amount of information in the public record and in the interest of propagating history, it shouldn't be slanted in one direction or the other (pejorative or idyllic). The information that follows was gleaned from the following: 1. Grateful To Have Been There, Nell Wing (pg 92). 2. Pass It On, AAWS (pgs 235-236 and 393). 3. Dr. Bob and the God Oldtimers, AAWS (pgs 267-269). 4. Bill W., Francis Hartigan (pgs 118-120 and 153-154). 5. Lois Remembers, Lois Wilson (pg 199). 6. Advisory Actions of the General Service Conference of AA, publication # M-39 1938: Feb., prior to publication of the Big Book, Bill and Bob received a $30 weekly stipend from a $5,000 fund set up by J. D. Rockefeller, Jr. The bulk of the fund was used to pay off Dr. Bob's mortgage. Bill and Bob were in very severe financial straits. 1940: May, Dr. Bob and Anne were granted 10% royalties on Big Book sales for life. This was initiated by Bill as a condition of he and Hank P. turning over their 2/3 controlling interest of stock to Works Publishing Inc. (and the Alcoholic Foundation Board). Hank, who was drinking at the time, received a $200 payment for office furniture he claimed he owned. Bill was later granted 10% royalties. I can't find the specific date it started other than "shortly after" Dr. Bob received them. 1942: Oct., Cleveland's Clarence S. raised a controversy when he found out both Bill and Bob were receiving royalties from Big Book sales and he had a confrontation with Dr. Bob over it. Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers says "Dr. Bob's reluctance to accept the money faded under the impact of reality." 1947-1950 Dr. Bob had to cope with cancer and his wife's death. The circumstances would not be conducive to his earning a living. His son Smitty is quoted as saying that Dr. Bob's medical practice improved over World War II. However, between Anne's later infirmities and his own, there was likely substantial expenses as well. Beginning in 1940, both founders were assigned 10% royalties on Big Book sales and they accepted them. It should not be viewed as a pejorative. Dr Bob's royalty assignment would have lapsed at his death (Nov. 16, 1950). Royalty payments to Bill later increased over time and were subsequently defined in a manner that automatically adjusted them to prevent against "cheap books", inflation and reduction of purchasing power. The matter of transferable royalties did not emerge until 1961 even though Bill negotiated a formal arrangement in 1958. Advisory actions of the General Service Conference show the progression of the royalty agreement: a. The 1958 General Service Conference "approved the action of the General Service Board in re-assigning to Bill royalty rights in his three books [the Big Book, 12&12 and AA Comes of Age] and in books that he would write in the future, for the duration of the copyrights involved. [Note: later it came to also include As Bill Sees It - formerly The AA Way of Life]. b. The 1961 General Service Conference unanimously adopted a motion that "The Conference recognizes that the publication of cheap editions of AA Big Books would probably reduce the income to World Services, and Bill W's personal income. This Conference unanimously suggests the following to the Trustees: to add a rider to Bill's royalty contract to the effect that, if cheaper books are ever published, Bill's royalties be increased by an amount sufficient to keep the royalty income at the same average level it had been for the five years before cheaper books were published; (further, that) as time goes on, if inflation erodes the purchasing power of this income, the Trustees will adjust the royalties to produce the same approximate purchasing power; this to be effective during the lifetime of Bill and Lois and Bill's legatees." c. The 1964 General Service Conference recommended that: "An agreement between Bill W., co-founder, and AAWS, Inc. covering royalties derived from Bill's writings be approved. - Under terms of the contract, a royalty of 15% is paid to Bill, except that no royalties are paid on "overseas editions." Royalties are to be paid to Bill and Lois, his wife, during their lifetimes; following the deaths of Bill and Lois, royalties revert in shares of royalties to living heirs. These shares revert to AAWS upon the deaths of the beneficiaries. Not more than 20% may be bequeathed to any heir under the age of 40 years as of the date of the agreement (April 29, 1963). The contract provides protection of royalties against "cheap books" and protection of AAWS and Bill against fluctuations in general economic conditions. AAWS retains the right of "first refusal" on any future literary works of Bill's." In Bill W. (pg 120), Francis Hartigan states that the main beneficiary of the royalties was Lois (when she was in her 90's). She was prevented from returning any funds based on the AA Tradition of declining outside contributions. Given Hartigan's relationship to Lois, his reporting would seem authoritative and is substantiated by the probate records. Pass it On (pg 236) states "While this royalty was at first very modest, it eventually became substantial and provided both Bill and Lois a lifetime income." Again, this is not a pejorative. While there was a time when Bill and Lois were unable to purchase clothing and depended on others for a place to live, they eventually came to have a comfortable living and deservedly so. Lois Wilson's' estate was probated. Records can be found on the web as images of the original probate court documents. They also include many of Bill's probate records as well. The following information is not considered "edited": 1. When Bill passed away (1971) his gross estate was nearly $219,000. His will originally specified legatees to whom he would pass life-interests if Lois did not survive him. The codicil extended authority to Lois to pass life-interests in royalties to her legatees (with age restrictions). Regrettably (and somewhat awkwardly) the codicil also reduced Lois' overall royalty interests to 90% with the remaining 10% assigned to Bill's mistress, Helen W. [Harigan is rather open about this as are other authors]. 2. When Lois passed away (1988) her gross estate was nearly 4 million dollars. Nell Wing was bequeathed Lois' jewelry and personal effects. All other tangible property was bequeathed to the Stepping Stones Foundation. Of the living legatees, Nell Wing was assigned a rather large share. Again, this is not a pejorative. She was dearly loved by both Lois and Bill. 3. For the 90% of royalties she could assign, Lois' legatees had to be living at the time of her death (Oct. 5, 1988). No more than 20% could be assigned to legatees under the age of 40 on April 29, 1963. Two legatees fell into this category - one born June 8, 1923 the other September 18, 1923. I do not know if they survive today. If living, they would be 79. 4. In a 1989 IRS ruling, the 80% portion that Lois had to assign to legatees over age 40 was excluded from the value of her estate. Two legatees in her probate documents were indicated as predeceased. The Stepping Stones Foundation received a rather large assignment of royalties for 10 years after Lois' death. 5. The 1972 General Service Conference voted unanimously that AA not accept the "Stepping Stones" property (the home of Bill and Lois) for any purpose. This is also noted in Not God (pg 267). No published advisory action could be found that declined an attempt by Lois to donate royalty revenues back to AA. This would appear to be a function of Tradition Seven. Expiration of Royalties Below is the expiration clause of the royalty arrangement between Bill and AAWS Inc. A significant item states that royalties expire if copyrights expire. I cannot decipher how the expiration of the copyrights on the 1st and 2nd editions of the Big Book affected this or whether it had any effect at all. In other parts of the document Bill and his heirs share legal responsibility for copyright renewal. The agreement is not supposed to extend beyond the lifetimes of legatees named by Lois. This matter is not without its complications in terms of wading through the tortuous legalese: While a covered work is included within the terms of this agreement, A.A. shall pay to WILSON a royalty of fifteen (15%) percent of the retail price for each copy thereof sold and paid for. No royalties shall be paid on copies furnished gratis by A.A. nor on foreign language editions of a covered work. The obligation of A.A. to pay royalties to WILSON with respect to any covered work included within the terms of this agreement shall expire upon the happening of any one of the following events whichever shall first occur: The expiration of the United States copyright of such work and any renewals thereof whether such copyright is in the name of A.A. or WILSON; or a. Upon WILSON's death, all royalties provided for herein shall lapse either wholly or to the extent that such royalties are not validly disposed of by the Last Will and Testament of WILSON (herein referred to as "WILSON'S Will") as hereinafter provided in sub-paragraph "6 c)" infra, or validly assigned under Section "13" infra. b. WILSON shall have the right in WILSON'S Will to bequeath to his wife LOIS WILSON (herein referred to as "WILSON'S wife") and any other person or persons selected by him who are then living at the time of his death (herein referred to as "approved beneficiaries") a life interest in all or any part of the royalties payable to him hereunder. Upon the death of any approved beneficiary other than WILSON'S wife, the life interest in the royalties payable to such approved beneficiary shall lapse and revert to A.A. With respect to any life interest in the royalties payable hereunder bequeathed to WILSON'S wife, WILSON shall have the right to provide in WILSON'S Will that such life interest shall, upon the death of WILSON'S wife, be divided among any persons selected by WILSON who are living at the time of his death in such proportions as he may designate. WILSON shall also have the right in WILSON'S will to grant to WILSON'S wife the right to designate in her Last Will and Testament duly admitted to probate (herein referred to as "WILSON'S wife's Will") persons selected by her who are then living at the time of her death who shall be entitled to receive a life interest after her death in all or part of the royalties payable to her during her life as provided in WILSON'S Will, and any such beneficiary designated by WILSON'S wife's will shall be deemed an approved beneficiary designated in WILSON'S will with the same force and effect as if specially listed therein. On the death of any approved beneficiary, other than WILSON'S wife, as hereinbefore provided, the percentage or proportion of royalties in which such person was entitled to participate during his lifetime shall be deemed to lapse and revert to A.A. To the extent that WILSON or WILSON'S wife (if WILSON grants to her by WILSON'S Will the power of appointment herein provided for) fail to dispose of royalties in WILSON'S will or WILSON'S wife's Will in the manner hereinbefore provided, the percentage or proportion of royalties not so disposed of shall be deemed to lapse and revert to A.A. Anything contained in this Section "6" to the contrary notwithstanding, not more than twenty (20%) per cent of the royalties payable hereunder computed on an annual basis shall be bequeathed either under WILSON'S Will and/or WILSON'S wife's Will and/or assigned pursuant to the provisions of "13" infra to persons who are under the age of forty years as of the date of this agreement. The short form of the expiration clause is in Pass it On, pg 393 and the 1964 advisory action. Cheers Arthur ----- Original Message ----- From: ricktompkins To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 8:19 PM Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Royalties 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 To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com 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 [29] . 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 865. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit.- Radio and TV Mirror, March 1950 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/8/2003 10:00:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII My lost seven years By NORMAN BROKENSHIRE This is the story of a man who was able to struggle back from a tragic wasteland after discovering a new set of values for an old way of life The other day, a teen-age boy stood across the desk from me, here in my office in New York's Radio City and said, "I'm in trouble, Mr. Brokenshire," and when I asked, "What kind of trouble, son?" he said, "I am an alcoholic." We think of alcoholics, generally, as men-and women of mature years. As a matter of fact, research studies show that there are about half as many women as men alcoholics in the United States-and here is a lad who, at nineteen years of age, has lived through nearly all the horror and torment, through all the sordid, sad and shabby experiences I have suffered, and caused those who love me to suffer-for I, too, am an alcoholic. Those who have worked with me and played with me in the recent busy active years may pause here to ask themselves, "What does Broke mean by saying `I am an alcoholic-he hasn't had a drink in seven years!" Nor have I. For me to take a drink now would be exacctly like an intelligent man putting his hand on a red hot stove to see if it would burn. Just as unthinkable. Just as idiotic. Nevertheless-and I can't say it too often-once an alcoholic always an alcoholic, and when one finally "dries up," as I have dried up, he stays dry only when he keeps in mind the fact that he is an alcoholic and accepts the fact. You accept it only when you no longer say, vaingloriously, "I will never take another drink as long as I live!" but instead, and humbly, "I have not had a drink today-please God I will not take one tomorrow." I am trying to help this young lad I have mentioned, as I am trying to help others, by helping him to help himself. I tell him, as I tell each and everyone, that alcoholism is no respecter of persons-the truck driver and the movie star, the chorus girl and the school-teacher, they have all come to me with their problems and I am glad they came to me, for these contacts are very potent reminders that I am an alcoholic and that the meager measure between their stagnant hopelessness and my joyous activity is-just one drink. Why they come to me may be difficult to understand-unless you realize that alcoholism is a disease of body and mind which fact, for years, has brought it beyond the ken of the purely physical or purely mental healers. The pleadings of wives and sweethearts, the terrifying threats of physicians and psychiatrists, the sincere well intended help of spiritual advisers makes no lasting impression on the alcoholic for the simple reason that the understanding is not there and the consequent approach is always wrong. It seems that only an alcoholic really understands an alcoholic. When this teen-age boy tried to justify himself by saying, "My father is an alcoholic, my mother a drinking woman so what but alcoholism should be expected of me?" He knew that I could talk his language when I promptly punctured his alibi by telling him, "I am the son, the grandson of ministers and missionaries. My home atmosphere and teaching were of the very best-so what but total abstinence should have been expected of me?" I added that just as no man and no woman can be held responsible for causing the disease of alcoholism in another, so no man and no woman can be expected to cure it. "Then to what, or to whom," the lad asked me, "can I turn for help?" "To your own desire for a full and happy life," I answered him, "and to faith in a power greater than yourself." "What is this power greater than myself?" he asked quietly. I said, "I choose to call it-God." The story of how I tried every human agency before I found the Truth that made me whole is the story I now wish to tell the readers of RADIO MIRROR-the story of my lost seven years. Not merely a lost "week-end," mind you, but a story of seven lost years at a time when I should normally have been at my best and how a meeting with others like myself made the difference between the outcast that I was and the happy man that I am. Friends have said of me, "In the beginning, it was just innocent social drinking with Broke-just going the usual rounds of social and business parties, being one of the boys." Nonsense. Kindly and well-meant rationalizing but-nonsense. It was never just "innocent social drinking" with me. Mt drinking right from the start, was secret drinking. Since it was considered a sin at home to take a drink, I "snuck" my first one when I was a senior in high school. Nothing particularly ominous in this, mark you. A fairly routine gesture of boyish bravado, nothing more. The evidence that I was an alcoholic was handed down when, long after maturity had removed the necessity for secret drinking, I found myself avoiding the bars where my pals drank, preferring to go off by myself and drink solo, or with complete strangers. To me, drinking was a sin. This, had I but known it, was the first symptom of alcoholism. I didn't know it. No man knows, no boy, girl or woman knows whether pr not he, or she, is a potential alcoholic. Like other dread diseases, alcoholism attacks in the dark. It is gradual and by the time it can be diagnosed, it is mighty serious and the victim is in a bad way. But, also like most diseases, there are symptoms-and a sense of guilt in your drinking is one of them. The "social drinker" indulges in alcohol as a beverage, to stimulate fellowship or to loosen his inhibitions. The alcoholic drinks for an anodyne and for the escape it gives him. The social drinker never thinks of drinking as anything but a social pastime-he wants to relax and have fun openly, and does. The alcoholic soon finds himself alone and unhappy in his drinking. It is as though each drink was added to the last drink in an effort to keep reality at a distance, an effort to stay in an alcoholic suspension where Conscience cannot reach. In my seven years of alcoholism, I can't remember one happy moment, drunk or sober. There are other warning symptoms, too, and I had them all. It took ever increasing amounts to give me the lift others got with one or two drinks. I always wanted to be the last one at a party and when the festivities were over and the social drinkers went home, I went on, and on.. Let's flash back, momentarily, to those years before the symptoms in my case became apparent. From school days through high school and college I had worked at some forty different jobs-printer, mechanic, the "repertoire"-such as the average boy undertakes. After World War I activity in the Students Training Corps, there followed several years of welfare work. From YMCA "hut" secretary, I went on to campaign work and lay preaching for the Near East Relief. The transition to radio took place in 1924, at which time I became staff announcer for station WJZ. Among my earliest assignments were the now historic broadcasts of the National Democratic Convention held in the old Madison Square Garden, the inauguration of President Coolidge, the Zev-Epinard race, the first two-way conversation between a plane in flight and myself on the ground, the first air interviews with movie, radio and the theatrical stars, the funeral of William Jennings Bryan, the Lindbergh "Welcome Home" reception and many others. Yes, as early as 1926 mine was one of the best know voices on the air-the other being that of the late Graham McNamee. When, as the result of a popularity contest, New York's Mayor, the beloved Jimmy Walker, crowned me "King of Announcers," I was earning five hundred a week and no ceiling on potential. My fan-mail was phenomenal. This brief brochure on the early Brokenshire is not to boast, but simply to make the point that, from the very beginning, I was a potential success in this new medium of radio-and I was scared! I found myself in a job that I felt was too big for me. Each day, each program was a fearful thing. I was afraid I couldn't do the wonderful things expected of me. I wanted to hide, I wanted to get in a hole and pull it in after me. I did. I drank. I drank to find courage to work and I drank in relief when the work was done. When I had enough alcohol, I wasn't the simple lad born in an Ontario backwoods cabin, son of an unknown circuit minister. I wasn't the misunderstood youngster being "let go" from job after job. When I was drinking I wasn't tired or worried, I wasn't afraidIn my cups, I could keep pace with the glamorous life I was living, could rub elbows casually with the name men I was meeting. When I was drinking I had, in short, escaped reality altogether. The habit-patterns of alcoholics are all the same. Every alcoholic has a "reason," an excuse for his excessive drinking. Some alcoholics drink to "steady their nerves," some because they're so happy, others because they're so sad. Each individual thinks his, or her case is different from every other case in the annals of alcoholism, but this, too, is a common denominator of the disease. Basically, these are all attempts to rationalize a behavior we inwardly know is wrong. Flashing back once more to my early days in radio, I got through the first year without manifest mishap. But by 1925, I began to be late for appointments. I drank at rehearsals and before broadcasts. I had an over-abundance of jubilance. During one such moment I smashed the window of the control room. When my escapades became such that they could no longer be overlooked, I was punished by being sent to a local station in Washington, D.C. Not long afterward, as a reward for good behavior, I was recalled to New York and made Chief Announcer, of the super-power station-for WJZ had been given a license to operate at 80,000 watts. However, restlessness was soon to overcome me, for I was under very restraining rules as a staff announcer. I was offered the job of heading up the Beauty Pageant in Atlantic City by the municipal radio station there. This and other offers prompted me to go free-lance. Broadcasting from all the gay nightspots and the atmosphere of the "world's playground" added fuel to the fire, and I soon hit the skids again. Others could see it, if I could not. My bosses for instance, and a wonderful girl-the girl I married. My wife married me because she loved me. Since she had worked in the publicity department of Station WJZ and, later, in charge of the station's announcers, she married me in the knowledge that I had a problem. She also married me, I have no doubt, with the idea of helping me and straightening out my faults. This, believe me, seldom works out. I took, in the course of my seven lost years, many so-called "cures" and when I left the last "cure," I was waved off with cheery, "Bye, now, but you'll be back old man-all our friends come back!" So they do. All but those who have been blessed, as I have been, by the revelation that the cure for alcoholism is not entirely in human hands. For two years, I worked with a psychiatrist and during those two years I dried up. My habit pattern improved. I hung up my clothes. I thought a little straighter but became very egotistical about the fact that I was "dry." I boasted that I could now eat in bars without drinking in them, could look at other unfortunate drinkers and pity them-and this very attitude proved that I was not on the right track. Done with no recognition of, or reliance upon God, there was nothing to sustain the habit-patterns the psychiatrist had given me. This being so, the patterns fell apart-and so did I. But this comes later. Meantime, I was still wearing the crown of "King of Announcers," still getting by with itIn the earlier stages, the alcoholic usually manages to pull the wool over the eyes he wants to blind. Or he thinks he does. And so did I. But although my assignments continued to be king-size, so did my lapses and I was warned that if I ever again came to work with so much as a suspicion of liquor on my breath, "You're through." It happened one day at a rehearsal. The word that I was through spread over the entire field of radio like a flash of lightening. Unable to get work in New York, I made a tour of the West Indies and the Canal Zone as narrator for a travelogue of which, it soon developed the director, like myself, was an alcoholic. The tour turned out a complete dud. Still persons non grata in New York City, I went to the West Coast but an alcoholic knows better than anyone else that you cannot run away from yourself. During the next year, a few independent stations gave me work but not for long. IN between the spot engagements that became spottier and spottier, I worked as a carpenter, an odd-jobs man, anything I could get in order to keep going. IN my sober moments, I worked on completing my own house. In my better days of the early Thirties, I bought a piece of land, a little acre among the birches of Long Island's Lake Ronkonkoma and there, with the understanding help and love of a few relatives and friends evolved the house which I believe, I do believe, was the basic interest that kept me fighting all through these years-fighting to hold on to it. It is curious, but no matter how discouraged I might be, that dream of a home-to-be stayed with me and, in some far reach of my sick spirit, sustained me. When I dried up in 1943 that house, the now finished home we call Trianglen, was the only thing that was left me from the lost years. But busy as I was in those early Thirties, together with trying to "dry up," the struggle was like the losing fight. By the end of 1937, I "retired." The days, the weeks, the months and years that followed are, mercifully, almost oblivionuntil, one day, walking down Broadway, I met a man I'd known in radio. He, too, had been an alcoholic. Now, he was clear-eyed, had a spring in his step, a happy smile. He told me he was in Alcoholics Anonymous. He asked me to come to a meeting with him. I went. This was in 1943. I haven't had a drink from that day to this day-and God give me the strength and the courage to hope that I won't have a drink tomorrow. That I say this, say it every day of my life, tells the story of what AA did for me. "Dry" AA's have learned there is a power greater than ourselves and that in the recognition and use of this power lies our healing and our hope. My spiritual experience was, as great experiences are, very simple. There in a quiet room were men and women, who, until these meetings, were completely alone, but here they came to the knowledge that many others had the same fears, and had gone through the same dark abyss. Now they seemed secure in the knowledge that they were no longer alone, for the Power that had aided these others was around them, too. Each new meeting one lent strength to the conviction that this was the way to normalcy and to freedom. So many alcoholics, including myself, resist for years the simple message of AA, for in them is the fear that in giving up their bottle, they are giving up their freedom-when, in truth, there is no greater slave than an alcoholic. Only when he is enabled by right thinking to drop forever the chains of habitual fear that drink is to the alcoholic, is he truly free. There lay ahead of me now the challenge of the "come-back." It wasn't going to be easy. "You can get a job, Broke," friends told me, "But you'll never get one in New York." We went to Washington, my wife and I, and for a year I worked there. Upon returning to New York, I began making the rounds of everyone I had ever known in radio. But doors, once so wide open, were closed to me. Finally, after months of trying to get the attention of averted eyes or close my ears to the repetitive "Sorry, old man," one day Phillips Carlin, then program director of Mutual Broadcasting System decided to give me a job announcing. This was the first hand-up, the first stone in the build-up. One and one-half years later, U.S. Steel asked me if I would be available every Sunday night for five years! The lapse of another year-and Chesterfield called me for minute spots. It was the most constructive thing that could have happened to me for my old sponsor to call me. It healed an old wound. Later I was approached by WNBC for the Take It Easy Time show. And in four months I was offered the 9:15 morning program. Now five days a week comes the old familiar greeting, "How do you do, ladies and gentlemen, how do you do?" When I go off the deep end now, it's for things like porterhouse steaks, barbecue, or the swimming pool-or chess or rummy. And am at peace as of today. "As of today," for I must still take it twenty-four hours at a time, thankful for today and believing that, by the grace of God, I will have reason to be thankful for tomorrow. Source: Radio and TV Mirror, March 1950 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 866. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Sat. Eve. Post, January 27, 1962 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/9/2003 1:17:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Probably more than 1,000,000 American women are victims of alcoholism. Here are the shocking facts. THE HOUSEWIFE'S SECRET SICKNESS By DON MURRAY In every American town, on almost every green, shaded street, live housewives who are desperately ill but who do not seek the treatments which are available. They remain prisoners in their homes, isolated by their own guilt and hidden by their families' shame. These lonely, terrified women all suffer the same secret sickness: Alcoholism. The woman alcoholic is rarely seen intoxicated by her neighbors, but she exists just the same. "There are just as many woman drunks in the suburbs as men, perhaps even more," says Mrs. Thomas Delaney, founder and director of CHR-ILL ("chronically Ill") Service, and its alcoholism information center in East Orange, New Jersey, which is operated under the auspices of the Essex County Medical Association. Her experience is supported by Dr. Marvin Block of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the American Medical Association's committee on alcoholism. Says Doctor Block: "In my own practice, alcoholism is as common among women as among men. And I have found that the same thing is true with other private physicians who treat alcoholic patients." Statistics on alcoholism in the United States - 80,000,000 drinkers; 5,000,000 male alcoholics; 850,000 female alcoholics - do not yet reflect the facts as they are known by workers in the field, and for good reason. Such estimates are based on public records, and most women alcoholics remain hidden. "The stigma of being a woman alcoholic is so great that women with a drinking problem hide it," according to Mrs. Marty Mann, who is founder and head of the National Council on Alcoholism. Most women alcoholics are secret drinkers who satisfy their compulsion with primitive cunning. "The neighbors never knew," one recovered alcoholic woman told me, "that my bedroom floor was skid row." The Fairfield County (Connecticut) Council on Alcoholism has estimated that there are nine hidden alcoholics for each one who is known. The woman drunk is protected by their husband, her parents, her children, her family physician. In a good neighborhood there is a conspiracy of discreet silence. The woman alcoholic is treated for "female troubles" by her family doctor and admitted to the private hospital for "a nervous disorder.' Her name does not appear on the police blotter and, when the woman alcoholic dies, there is rarely an autopsy. The cause of death is listed delicately as "heart failure." Despite this protective conspiracy, the woman alcoholic is beginning to reveal herself and to seek treatment. I have attended meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous - once a predominantly male organization - where there were as many women as men. The number of women coming for help to the sixty-one alcoholism information centers affiliated with the National Council on Alcoholism is increasing steadily. The problem of the woman drunk is as old as the grape, and there is no evidence that the percentage of women drinkers who become alcoholics is increasing. What is startling is the fact that today most young women drink in college, in bars on the way home from work, in the suburbs after they are married. The woman who has never had the first drink cannot become an alcoholic. Since World War II the number of woman drinkers has multiplied dramatically and so, inevitably, has the number of women who cannot control their drinking. Take a drive through a pleasant New Jersey suburb with Mrs. Delaney, as I did, and you'll begin to see the dimensions of the problem of alcoholism in women. "She has five children, and she's been sober five months this time," Mrs. Delaney told me grimly. "She's a lovely girl when she isn't drunk. She was married in her teens, and she was an alcoholic as a teen-ager too. Meet her and you'd like to have her for a neighbor, yet she's been in and out of half a dozen mental institutions and tried about every cure there is. Last time she hit bottom, and she may make it now. Some have to go all the way down before they can start up." As we drove off, I thought of what a member of the Fairfield County Council told me. She said, "We have 12,000 alcoholics, but the alcoholics have 60,000 people in their immediate families. We think they are all involved in the problem of alcoholism." "This isn't the Bowery, is it?" Mrs. Delaney brought me back to New Jersey and pointed to an English manor house set high on a double lot. "The woman who owns that home is in the hospital now. She's a physical wreck who looks at least twenty years older than her real age, fifty-eight. You'd never think she was a lush if you met her. She's a lady - genteel, soft-spoken, gracious. Mrs. Delaney nodded sadly. "It's an old story. By the time her children grew up and left home, her husband was a success. He traveled a great deal, and she was left alone. She never drank in front of anyone, but she started to drink alone; and after he died, she rarely left the house, didn't even get dressed for weeks. Time turned upside down, until night was day and day was night. She drank until she passed out and drank herself into oblivion again. We never would have found her if she hadn't gone to doctor for another ailment." "Why didn't her children do something?" I asked. "They didn't know," Mrs. Delaney smiled. "Women alcoholics are the most convincing liars in the world. She wrote them about her busy life. When they wanted to visit, she'd tell them she was going to Europe, or something. Only once in a while did she make a heroic effort to dress up and face them." We drove on until Mrs. Delaney parked in front of a group of expensive garden apartments. "Career women come to us too. They take care of their parents or seek a career in a man's world, sacrificing everything for success, and then something happens. In one of those apartments over there is a young woman with a Ph.D., but she's a drunk. "She's been in to see us, but she isn't ready for help yet." Mrs. Delaney pulled away from the curb. "Her employees don't know, although they may be wondering why she's sick so many Monday mornings. She's a falling down drunk, but her booze is delivered, and you never see her on the street. If you met her, you wouldn't suspect it. She's charming, graceful, intelligent - and very sick." When we arrived at her office, Mrs. Delaney summed up our trip, "People think of the woman drunk as an old hag, a blowzy creature who would never live in a nice neighborhood. They won't believe that people they know are alcoholics, and therefore they won't help them get treatment. That's the trouble. They won't admit alcoholism is a disease and that the woman who has a serious drinking problem could be their next-door neighbor, their best friend, even a member of their own family." Information from authorities on alcoholism across the country confirms Mrs. Delaney's picture of the woman alcoholic. "The large majority of the women alcoholics I know are best described by the word `dainty'" writes Mary C. Clark, executive director of the Monterey Peninsula Council on Alcoholism in Carmel, California. "Their portrait is in pastel tones, the skin delicate, the voice gentle, the manner feminine." Sarah A. Boyd, director of the Berks County Committee on Alcoholism in Reading, Pennsylvania, has found that the average woman alcoholic is of superior intelligence, has a better-than-average income, is usually between thirty-six and fifty years old and has two or three children. Mrs. Boyd's experience confirms the National Council on Alcoholism estimate that less than 3 percent of all confirmed alcoholics are derelicts. Reports from alcoholism information centers in Houston, Honolulu, Cleveland, Detroit, Greensboro, North Carolina, and other cities - as well as conversations I have had with physicians, psychiatrists and recovered alcoholics - all indicate that the woman alcoholic may be shy or vivacious, young or old, too busy or too idle, married or single, but they all have one thing in common: There is a vacuum in their lonely lives that they desperately try to fill with a bottle. The woman alcoholic has lost her way in life, and drinking has become a way of living. "Instead of facing reality, they try to change it with a drink," one psychiatrist told me. Mrs. Delaney adds, "They all need a crutch to get through life. They try alcohol, then they find they can't get along without it." For years alcohol seemed an efficient crutch. With a drink in her hand the too-busy mother finds the momentary stimulation to face another chore or a moment of calm in the confusion of children's demands, errands and social obligations. The bored woman finds a warming hour of fulfillment, another hour of fuzzy contentment and, finally, a night of oblivion. According to a studies at the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies in New Haven, Connecticut, and elsewhere, women alcoholics tend to start drinking later in life than men, and then progress faster through the final stages of alcoholism than males. Yet there are usually long years while they are clear-headed drinkers, while they have no hang-overs, while they still drink heavily by choice. But somewhere they cross over the line. They take a drink as a stimulant before a party and another as a sedative afterward. Insidiously the drink becomes all things at all times. Social affairs are planned as an excuse to drink, the five-o'clock cocktail becomes a reward - and a daylong goal. Getting the first drink - and the dozens which inevitably follow - becomes a way of life. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, with permanent danger signals for the woman who will allow herself to see them. The National Council on Alcoholism, the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, physicians and psychiatrists and other experts recognize the same warning signs along the road which leads from the drink which is chosen to the one which can not be refused. If a woman has become "a slow cooker," delaying dinner so there will be time for an extra Martini, if she insists on mixing the drinks so she can "earn" the dividend, if she needs a drink before going to a party and another after she comes home, if she drinks alone, if she plans social occasions which will give her an excuse to drink, if she "sweetens" her own drinks, if she "needs" a drink to face a crisis, she'd better watch out. If she blacks out, lies to herself and others about the number and the strength of drinks she has had, drinks "the hair of the dog" in the morning and hides a reserve supply, then she is in trouble and should seek help immediately. Doctor Block adds some advice of his own: "Pay attention to valid criticism from those in your family who care about you. If they are worried about your drinking, don't pass it off - consider it. They may have something to worry about." Too often the woman speeds past all warning signs and becomes an alcoholic. Then liquor controls her life, then the next drink is more important than anything else - the care of a child, the love of a man, her health, her home, her reputation, her God. As her thirst begins to rule her life, a woman runs head on into a double standard. Among men, heavy drinking is often taken as a sign of virility, and the phrase, "Drunk as a lord," is a tribute. No one ever said approvingly, "She was drunk as a lady." The woman with an unquenchable thirst must lead a life of unrelenting deception. One recovered alcoholic told me she used to slither down the side of her bed and crawl to the bathroom to make sure she wouldn't fall and develop revealing bruises. A woman alcoholic will hide a jug in the diaper pail, fill the hot-water bottle with Scotch, stash a fifth in the vacuum cleaner, spike the vinegar bottle. A career woman with perfect eyesight wore spectacles with thick, uncorrected lenses to hide her bloodshot eyes. One woman fooled her husband by keeping gin in the water carafe by her bed; another buried half-pints in cereal boxes. Many women keep changing doctors so one won't catch on to the true nature of their disorders. Mrs. Elizabeth D. Whitney, executive director of the Boston Committee on Alcoholism, has known several women who drank perfume for its alcoholic content, so their breath wouldn't smell of whiskey. Vanilla extract has been a staple of women alcoholics for generations, as have many patent medicines with high alcoholic content. Many of these tonics and elixirs are still popular in rural areas and among elderly women. A woman with a drinking problem develops an extraordinary ability to rationalize. She needs a drink because she is tense, and she needs another to perk her up; she drinks because her husband is away on a business trip, and she drinks to celebrate his return home. Women alcoholics may not always fool others, but they almost always deceive themselves, and that self-deception is the most dangerous of all, for it keeps them from seeking and accepting treatment. The ability of a woman with a drinking problem to delude herself is astonishing. "I only drink sherry," is a popular, self-righteous refrain that may hide the fact she drinks half a gallon or more a day. A Connecticut mother, who is now a member of A.A., knew she didn't have a drinking problem because she never touched a drop until the children were in bed. Of course, she kept putting them to bed earlier and earlier in the afternoon and then drinking until she passed out. Another A.A. member told me she convinced herself she was not an alcoholic, because she always hung her clothes up neatly before she blacked out. Richard Silver, executive director of the Seattle Committee on Alcoholism, has found that husbands often encourage such dangerous self-delusion by denying their wives' alcoholism. False pride prevents many a man from admitting his wife could be an alcoholic. Worse still, he prevents his wife from facing her problem, the first step in any successful treatment of the alcoholic. The woman alcoholic has particular difficulties because she is a woman. As a wife and a mother her erratic behavior has a devastating effect on her family. Mrs. Delaney has found that the woman alcoholic is usually a perfectionist who swings wildly from one emotional extreme to the other. She cleans the entire house at once, or doesn't wash a single dish. She refuses to allow her husband near her, or smothers him with aggressive affection. She will have no guests in the house and then invites twenty to a formal dinner. Her son goes uncorrected for major offenses and then has his bike taken away for a month for trivial misbehavior. One daughter does not have a birthday party, but her sisters and friends are treated to birthday lunch in the private dining room of a fancy restaurant. The road of the woman alcoholic is not an easy one. A.A. experience has shown that a mother who is a drunk loses the respect of her children earlier than a drinking father does and is less likely to win it back. Husbands are more apt to divorce an alcoholic mate than a woman is. A woman usually has economic reasons to stick with her husband. He is a feeble reed, but he may be her only support. When a woman "blacks out," an experience shared by all alcoholics and a universal danger signal, she suffers a special horror at the thought of what might have happened while she was unconscious. It is biologically and psychologically impossible for a woman to be casual about blackouts. There are promiscuous women drunks, of course, but the infidelities of a woman alcoholic are more often imaginary than real. Much of the scorn heaped on the woman alcoholic implies that she has been sexually uninhibited. Mrs. Mann of the National Council on Alcoholism has a blunt answer to that supposition. "Who wants a drunken woman?" she asks. "When men are interested in her, she's only interested in the next drink. When she passes out, she's vulnerable, of course, but it isn't likely that anyone will take advantage of her. She's hardly an attractive woman by then, and her virtue is usually quite safe." According to such authorities as John T. Crane, executive director of the Flint (Michigan) Committee on Alcoholism, the woman alcoholic is likely to be a plateau drinker who keeps herself on an even keel, although she is consistently sodden and awash like a bashed-in dory floating just under the surface of the water. Many experts feel the compulsive woman drinker usually has more serious emotional ills, in addition to her alcoholism, than the male - and of course, no treatment can be given until she is sober. Her nervous system sometimes triggers heavy drinking in the premenstrual periods, or during the menopause. Mrs. Delaney, who also runs a rest home for alcoholics, finds that women drinkers are likely to suffer extreme physical damage in a short time. She believes that the physical ravages of heavy drinking cut deeper in the female than in the male. Most alcoholics suffer extreme malnutrition from drinking without eating. Cirrhosis of the liver, the fifth highest killer of men and an increasing disease of women, is not caused by the amount of liquor drunk but by the lack of proper food. Women alcoholics often confuse their loss of appetite with the will to diet, and drink but do not eat - a certain road to physical ruin. Modern drugs offer a special hazard to the woman. Doctors often casually prescribe barbiturates, bromides and tranquilizers to calm their nerves, ease their female difficulties, cure their insomnia. Mrs. Delaney believes the woman alcoholic is particularly addictive, and Alcoholics Anonymous has issued a special pamphlet on the subject of drugs and the alcoholic. For whatever the psychological facts may be, the person who depends on alcohol to face life is likely to let drugs take control of him too. In some especially tragic cases a woman who has won the struggle to stop drinking is set off on a binge by cough syrup liberally laced with alcohol, or she substitutes capsules and pills for the bottle until she finally becomes a drug addict. With or without the problem of drugs, the woman alcoholic faces a long, lonely struggle, but she can face the future with hope today. Education has already removed the stigma which once kept the victims of tuberculosis and cancer from receiving treatment. Education is changing the public attitude on mental illness. The same process of illuminating truth is removing the dark shadow which falls over the woman alcoholic. Today the facts about alcoholism can be obtained from the National Council on Alcoholism, 2 East 103rd Street, New York City, or its sixty-eight affiliates which operate sixty-one alcoholism information centers in twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia. There also are tax-supported agencies working with alcoholics in thirty-nine states. The techniques of the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program have been proved by the lives of more than 250,000 members, and groups can be reached through a great many local telephone books or by writing Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York City. One of the best books of many on alcoholism is Marty Mann's New Primer on Alcoholism, published by Rinehart and Winston. When the Boston Committee on Alcoholism was formed sixteen years ago, it was the first of its kind. Now Mrs. Whitney, it's founder, can say, "This is what we tell women who come to us today: The stigma of being a woman alcoholic is being removed, and treatment is available for every woman who wants it." Once the housewives' secret sickness is brought into the open, it then can be healed successfully. THE END Source: Saturday Evening Post, January 27, 1962 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 867. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Royalties, and a new "gotcha" question From: ricktompkins . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/12/2003 11:27:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I stand corrected about Dr. Bob and Works Publishing royalties. Sue Windows had made a legal deposition at one time that AAWS had never paid royalties, and it appears now that as a survivor past Dr. Bob's death, she didn't (perhaps one reason she accepted the offer from Brown University, late in her life). Thanks for setting the record straight. I seriously doubt that Bob and Anne enjoyed a substantial amount of moneyed returns, though. Bill and Lois did live comfortably but not extravagantly. The four million dollar value of the estate your referred to must include a large chunk of the property value for their Katonah property at Stepping Stones (over twelve acres?). I am very glad that the Stepping Stones Foundation has maintained the Wilson estate---the roof, second floor ceiling collapse, the mildew problem at Wit's End, and climate control for the house have all been implemented and have improved the property greatly. Online AA Resources is the website that posted a subjectively edited Will and Codicil of Bill's, and the group, out of Herndon, Virginia, removed the folder off its website in 1997. Good! I saw it as a completely outside issue to the Fellowship, and continue to hold that view. --------------------------------- Here's a second "gotcha" question for our egroup----will AAWS retrieve its lapsed copyrights once the 2003 book of personal stories removed from past Editions, the new book "Experience, Strength, and Hope" is published? -------------------------------- Yours in the Fellowship, Rick T. ----- Original Message ----- From: Arthur Sheehan To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 12:58 AM Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Royalties IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 868. . . . . . . . . . . . James Hodges Ridgely From: joefromabc . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/12/2003 12:50:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I am engaged in research regarding the founder of AA in Baltimore, James Hodges Ridgley. While Susan K. full time head of Baltimore Intergroup has been extremely helpful, the information available there and in the state AA archives, is extremely limited. Upon completion I will be turning over all of my research to the Baltimore and Maryland AA archives. 95% of the history of James Ridgley extant is contained in "Part 3: How It Happened in Baltimore", a Chapter of a publication of Maryland General Services entitled "Gleanings from Maryland's A.A. History". Other than some scant general information provided by General Services in NY (including some brief references from Jim Burwell)the balance of the piece relied upon oral history taken from oldtimers in Baltimore AA, the "earliest" of which did not join AA until September of 1945 almost a year after Ridgley had died. It appears that the the first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous in Baltimore took place on June 16, 1940 at the home of James Hodges Ridgely. This meeting occured because James Burwell, one of the earliest members to stay sober in NY [see "The Vicious Cycle" in the Big Book, 2nd & 3rd] and who had founded the first group in Philadelphia on February 26, 1940, came to his old home town, Baltimore, where he located a former drinking buddy,[I have been unable to confirm the former drinking buddy reference] "Jim" Ridgely. Through research in the Maryland State archives I located his death certificate which lead to the discovery of his obtiuary article in the Baltimore Morning Sun. I located and interviewed at length, James Jr.(age 74)the sole survivor of his only two children (both sons) and the widow of the other son John delano Ridgley. Although "Part 3: How It Happened in Baltimore" inidcates that at the time of that first meeting Ridgley had been sober for four years after a religious recovery at Keswick Colony, information obtained at my request by James Jr.from the now named "America's Keswick" in New Jersey revealed that James was admitted on June 7, 1933 and was released on April 16, 1934. By every account he never drank again making his sobriety date June 7, 1933. (Before Bill W.) Because he died sober on November 9, 1944 at the age 56yrs and four months from a heart attack, his time as in AA from founding to death was but four years and five months. That coupled with the fact that James Jr.was but 15 years old at the time of his father's death reduces the avenues available to research. Since Jim Burwell was such a prolific writer (albeit not always accurate in his recollecions in his later years) I am hoping someone is possessed of some information regarding his relationship with Ridgley both before and after each found sobriety. While I beleive I have read every scrap of Burwell's history available on line I have not yet had an opportunity to travel to New York to examine Burwell's writings in the archives of General Services. In the meantime I would like to avail myself of the considerable resources which have been so kindly provided. Any consideration or help anyone can offer will be appreciated. When I have completed my research I will publish the results here as well. Joe from ABC IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 869. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Royalties, and a new "gotcha" question From: Arthur Sheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/12/2003 9:43:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I've read Dr Bob and the Good Old Timers many times but must confess that the royalties statement only registered in my head in the last reading. Similarly, last year I put my foot in my mouth (keyboard in my mouth?) by very erroneously "correcting" a member of HistoryLovers concerning Dr Bob and the Third Tradition (it too was in the book but not registered in my head). Thanks to a loving nudge from "Barefoot" Bill (on separating hearsay from history) I'm trying to follow a practice of (1) research the record, (2) analyze and cite it, (3) present the information, (4) let the group have at it for critical review and commentary. Sue Windows' story in Children of the Healer was very troubling to me (as well as a testimonial she wrote). Although a direct observer, I can't get a sense that she was an objective one (particularly when it involved Bill W). The probate records show real estate holdings assessed at 1.4 million. Over time, Bill and Lois had purchased 5 lots for Stepping Stones. In 1985 (our 50th anniversary) Stepping Stones was declared a NY State Historical Site. Also please be aware that about 1/4 to 1/3 of the estate valuation consisted of future royalties projected to be awarded to Steppingstones (over 10 years) and legatees not excluded by the IRS ruling (over their estimated remaining life times). I wish the genie could be put back in the bottle regarding Big Book copyrights but I don't believe it can. My understanding is that U.S. rights are irretrievably lost but international rights are protected by treaty in those countries that are signatories. Cheers Arthur ----- Original Message ----- From: ricktompkins To: aahistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 10:27 AM Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Royalties, and a new "gotcha" question I stand corrected about Dr. Bob and Works Publishing royalties. Sue Windows had made a legal deposition at one time that AAWS had never paid royalties, and it appears now that as a survivor past Dr. Bob's death, she didn't (perhaps one reason she accepted the offer from Brown University, late in her life). Thanks for setting the record straight. I seriously doubt that Bob and Anne enjoyed a substantial amount of moneyed returns, though. Bill and Lois did live comfortably but not extravagantly. The four million dollar value of the estate your referred to must include a large chunk of the property value for their Katonah property at Stepping Stones (over twelve acres?). I am very glad that the Stepping Stones Foundation has maintained the Wilson estate---the roof, second floor ceiling collapse, the mildew problem at Wit's End, and climate control for the house have all been implemented and have improved the property greatly. Online AA Resources is the website that posted a subjectively edited Will and Codicil of Bill's, and the group, out of Herndon, Virginia, removed the folder off its website in 1997. Good! I saw it as a completely outside issue to the Fellowship, and continue to hold that view. --------------------------------- Here's a second "gotcha" question for our egroup----will AAWS retrieve its lapsed copyrights once the 2003 book of personal stories removed from past Editions, the new book "Experience, Strength, and Hope" is published? -------------------------------- Yours in the Fellowship, Rick T. ----- Original Message ----- From: Arthur Sheehan To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 12:58 AM Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Royalties 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 [29] . IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 870. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Liberty September 30, 1939 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/13/2003 12:57:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Alcoholics and God by Morris Markey Is there hope for habitual drunkards?A cure that borders on the miraculous--and it works! For twenty-five or thirty cents we buy a glass of fluid which is pleasant to the taste, and which contains within its small measure a store of warmth and good-fellowship and stimulation,of release from momentary cares and anxieties. That would be a drink of whisky, of course--whisky, which is one of Nature's most generous gifts to man, and at the same time one of his most elusive problems. It is a problem because, like many of his greatest benefits, man does not quite know how to control it. Many experiments have been made, themost spectacular being the queer nightmare prohibition, which left such deep scars upon the morals and the manners of our nation. Millions of dollars have been spent by philanthropists and crusaders to spread the doctrine of temperance. In our time, the most responsible of the distillers are urging us to use their wares sensibly, without excess. But to a certain limited number of our countrymen neither prohibition nor wise admonishments have any meaning, because they are helpless when it comes to obeying them. I speak of the true alcoholics, and before going any further I had best explain what the term means. For a medical definition of the term, I quote an eminent doctor who has spent twenty-five years treating such people in a highly regarded private hospital: "We believe . . . that the action of alcohol in chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy--that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all." They are, he goes on, touched with physical and mental quirks which prevent them from controlling their own actions. They suffer from what some doctors call a "compulsion neurosis." They know liquor is bad for them, but periodically, they are driven by a violent and totally uncontrollable desire for a drink. And after that first drink, for deluge. Now these people are genuinely sick. The liquor habit with them is not a vice. It is a specific illness of body and mind, and should be treated as such. By far the most successful cure is that used by the hospital whose head doctor I quoted. There is nothing secret about it. It has the endorsement of the medical profession. It is, fundamentally, a process of dehydration: of removing harmful toxins from all parts of the body faster than Nature could accomplish it. Within five or six days, two weeks at the maximum, the patient's body is utterly free from alcoholic poisons. Which means that the physical craving is completely cured, because the body cries out for alcohol only when alcohol is already there. The patient has no feeling of revulsion toward whisky. He simply is not interested in it. He has recovered. But wait. How permanent is his recovery? Our doctor says this: "Though the aggregate of full recoveries through physical and psychiatric effort is considerable, we doctors must admit that we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. For there are many types which do not respond to the psychological approach. "I do not believe that true alcoholism is entirely a matter of individual mental control. I have had many men who had, for example, worked for a period of months on some business deal which was to be settled on a certain date. . . . For reasons they could not afterward explain, they took a drink a day or two prior to the date . . . and the important engagement was not even kept. These men were not drinking to escape. They were drinking to overcome a craving beyond their mental control. "The classification of alcoholics is most difficult. There are, of course, the psychopaths who are emotionally unstable. . . . They are over-remorseful and make many resolutions--but never a decision. "There is the type who is unwilling to admit that he cannot take a drink just like the rest of the boys. He does tricks with his drinking--changing his brand, or drinking only after meals, or changing his companions. None of this helps him strengthen his control and be like other people. Then there are types entirely normal in every respect except in the effect which alcohol has upon them. . . . "All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: They cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. . . . The only relief we have to suggest is complete abstinence from alcohol." But are these unfortunate people really capable, mentally, of abstaining completely? Their bodies may be cured of craving. Can their minds be cured? Can they be rid of the deadly "compulsion neurosis"? Among physicians the general opinion seems to be that chronic alcoholics are doomed. But wait! Within the last four years, evidence has appeared which has startled hard-boiled medical men by proving that the compulsion neurosis can be entirely eliminated. Perhaps you are one of those cynical people who will turn away when I say that the root of this new discovery is religion. But be patient for a moment. About three years ago a man appeared at the hospital in New York of which our doctor is head physician. It was his third "cure." Since his first visit he had lost his job, his friends, his health, and his self-respect. He was now living on the earnings of his wife. He had tired every method he could find to cure his disease: had read all the great philosophers and psychologists. He had tried religion but he simply could not accept it. It could not seem real and personal to him. He went through the cure as usual, and came out of it in very low spirits. He was lying in bed, emptied of vitality and thought, when suddenly, a strange and totally unexpected thrill went through his body and mind. He called out for the doctor. When the doctor came in, the man looked up at him and grinned. "Well, doc," he said, "my troubles are all over. I've got religion." "Why, you're the last man . . ." "Sure. I know all that. But I've got it. And I know I'm cured of this drinking business for good." He talked with great intensity for a while and then said, "Listen, doc. I've got to see some other patient--one that is about to be dismissed." The doctor demurred. It all sounded a trifle fanatical. But finally he consented. And thus was born the movement which is now flourishing with almost sensational success as "Alcoholics Anonymous." Here is how it works:Every member of the group--which is to say every person who has been saved--is under obligation to carry on the work, to save other men. That, indeed, is a fundamental part of his own mental cure. He gains strength and confidence by active work with other victims. He finds his subject among acquaintances, at a "cure" institution, or perhaps by making inquiry of a preacher, a priest, or a doctor. He begins his talk with his new acquaintance by telling him the true nature of his disease and how remote are his chances for permanent cure. When he has convinced the man that he is a true alcoholic and must never drink again, he continues:"You had better admit that this thing is beyond your own control. You've tried to solve it by yourself, and you have failed. All right. Why not put the whole thing into the hands of Somebody Else?" Even though the man might be an atheist or agnostic, he will almost always admit that there is some sort of force operating in the world--some cosmic power weaving a design. And his new friend will say: "I don't care what you call this Somebody Else. We call it God. But whatever you want to call it, you had better put yourself into its hands. Just admit you're licked, and say, `Here I am, Somebody Else. Take care of this thing for me."' The new subject will generally consent to attend one of the weekly meetings of the movement. He will find twenty-five or thirty ex-drunks gathered in somebody's home for a pleasant evening. There are no sermons. The talk is gay or serious as the mood strikes. The new candidate cannot avoid saying to himself, "These birds are ex-drunks. And look at them! They must have something. It sounds kind of screwy, but whatever it is I wish to heaven I could get it too." One or another of the members keeps working on him from day to day. And presently the miracle--But let me give you an example: I sat down in a quiet room with Mr. B., a stockily built man of fifty with a rather stem, intelligent face. "I'll tell you what happened a year ago," he said. "I was completely washed up. Financially I was all right, because my money is in a trust fund. But I was a drunken bum of the worst sort. My family was almost crazy with my incessant sprees. "I took the cure in New York." (At the hospital we have mentioned.) "When I came out of it, the doctor suggested I go to one of these meetings the boys were holding. I just laughed. My father was an atheist and had taught me to be one. But the doctor kept saying it wouldn't do me any harm, and I went. "I sat around listening to the jabber. It didn't register with me at all. I went home. But the next week I found myself drawn to the meeting. And again they worked on me while I shook my head. I said, `It seems O.K. with you, boys, but I don't even know your language. Count me out.' "Somebody said the Lord's Prayer, and the meeting broke up. I walked three blocks to the subway station. Just as I was about to go down `the stairs--bang!" He snapped his fingers hard. "It happened! I don't like that word miracle, but that's all I can call it. The lights in the street seemed to flare up. My feet seemed to leave the pavement. A kind of shiver went over me, and I burst out crying. "I went back to the house where we had met, and rang the bell, and Bill let me in. We talked until two o'clock in the morning. I haven't touched a drop since, and I've set four other fellows on the same road." The doctor, a nonreligious man himself, was at first utterly astonished at the results that began to appear among his patients. But then he put his knowledge of psychiatry and psychology to work. These men were experiencing a psychic change. Their so-called "compulsion neurosis" was being altered--transferred from liquor to something else. Their psychological necessity to drink was being changed to a psychological necessity to rescue their fellow victims from the plight that made themselves so miserable. It is not a new idea. It is a powerful and effective working out of an old idea. We all know that the alcoholic has an urge to share his troubles. Psychoanalysts use this urge. They say to the alcoholic, in basic terms: "You can't lick this yourself. Give me the problem--transfer the whole thing to me and let me take the whole responsibility." But the psychoanalyst, being of human clay, is not often a big enough man for that job. The patient simply cannot generate enough confidence in him. But the patient can have enough confidence in God--once he has gone through the mystical experience of recognizing God. And upon that principle the Alcoholic Foundation rests. The medical profession, in general, accepts the principle as sound. "Alcoholics Anonymous" have consolid-ated their activities in an organization called the Alcoholic Foundation. It is a nonprofit-making enterprise. Nobody connected with it is paid a penny. It is not a crusading movement. It condemns neither liquor nor the liquor industry. Its whole concern is with the rescue of allergic alcoholics, the small proportion of the population who must be cured or perish. It preaches no particular religion and has no dogma, no rules. Every man conceives God according to his own lights. Groups have grown up in other cities. The affairs of the Foundation are managed by three members of the movement and four prominent business and professional men, not alcoholics, who volunteered their services. The Foundation has lately published a book, called Alcoholics Anonymous. And if alcoholism is a problem in your family or among your friends, I heartily recommend that you get hold of a copy. It may very well help you to guide a sick man--an allergic alcoholic--on the way to health and contentment. Source: Liberty, September 30, 1939. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 871. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Newsweek, February 19, 1940 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/14/2003 9:26:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Alcoholics Anonymous Science Column Medicine usually claims to cure only about 2 per cent of the cases of acute alcoholism it treats. Last week a non-medical group appeared which made the unusual claim that 25 per cent of its cases were cured. Called Alcoholics Anonymous, the group was a club composed of ex-drunkards and men trying to overcome the liquor habit who, for obvious reasons, prefer their names to remain unknown. Not particularly anxious for publicity, it nevertheless came into the limelight last Thursday evening when John D. Rockefeller Jr. gave a dinner party for educators and others interested in the club's work. The organization has existed for more than four years; yet it has spread its gospel only by word-of-mouth advertising and a free book. It started with two members; today it has some- thing around 500. It has no dues, but it does have a strict membership requirement: an honest desire to stop drinking. The founder was a commercial traveler who found himself obsessed with liquor and was unable to get cured at any of the sanitariums he tried. Finally, though he was an agnostic, he turned to what for want of a better name might be called faith. Immediately he got help in the form of his own determination to stop drinking; almost as soon, he was impelled to help another drinker cure himself in the same manner. From these two men sprang the society and its three principles of (1) telling another person--a friend, a member of the group, perhaps even a priest, in the case of a Roman Catholic--of the trouble that has turned him to drink, (2) resolving to abstain henceforth; (3) helping others to abstain. In short, members subordinate a desire for liquor for something higher--call it God, Buddha, faith, self-determination, or what you will. Today the society has branches in Akron, Cleveland, Chicago, and the New York metropolitan area. It meets in small groups at various members' houses and keeps the address of its headquarters as secret as its -members' names--giving out only two post-office box numbers in New York, one for general inquiries and the other for requests for its book. Through the generosity of men who have conquered alcoholism and of onlookers like Rockefeller, who does not drink but is interested in movements to eradicate drunkenness, it raises a budget for salaries of its directors and stenographers, rent, and stationery. Source: Newsweek, February 19, 1940. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 872. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Time, February 19, 1940 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/15/2003 10:35:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Alcoholics Anonymous Medicine Column Last week one of the best-known teetotalers in the U.S., John D. Rockefeller, had 60 people to dinner. No cocktails were served, for several of Mr. Rockefeller's guests were members of "Alcoholics Anonymous," a widespread, publicity-shy group of one-time guzzlers who have cured themselves. Psychiatrists now generally consider alcoholism a disease, specifically a psychoneurosis. Alcoholics generally drink, not just because they like liquor, but to escape from something--a mother fixation, inferiority feelings, an intolerable domestic situation, social or economic maladjustment. They may suffer the torments of the damned, even while drinking themselves into a stupor, and especially in the brief period between waking up with a remorseful, clattering hangover and getting down the first drink of the day. Psychiatrists try to help them by discovering the hidden reason for drinking and showing how it can be removed. But cynics in sanatoriums, watching a sober man walk out the door full of good intentions, often bet on how many days or weeks will elapse before he is back. Nagging by families usually makes things worse. About five years ago a traveling sales-man named Bill, after repeated alcoholic relapses, was pronounced hopeless by his doctors. Bill was an agnostic, but someone asked him if he couldn't believe that there was some power bigger than himself--call it God or whatever he liked--that would help him not to drink. The idea was that though Bill was always willing to let himself down, he might be more reluctant to let God down. Bill tried it, found that he had no trouble resisting the desire to drink. He was cured. He told his discovery to others, and the cure spread. These reformed drunkards called themselves "Alcoholics Anonymous," nownumber over 400 in towns all over the U.S. - They do their missionary work on their own time, as an avocation. Aware of this interest in liquor control, some of the group wrote to John D. Rockefeller two years ago--asking not for money but for advice. Mr. Rockefeller asked a representative to look into their doings, grew so interested thathe helped to publish a book, Alcoholics Anonymous (Works Publishing Co.; $3.50), in which some members described their battles with the demon and how they won. Professional opinion on the usefulness of Alcoholics Anonymous is divided. Some psychiatrists think the group is making a mistake in not leaning more heavily on medical guidance. Others feel that it gives something that psychiatry does not, should be encouraged to the fullest extent. Source: Time, February 19, 1940 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 873. . . . . . . . . . . . TWENTY-EIGHT REVIEWS OF THE BASIC TEXT OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS From: Ed Adami . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/15/2003 2:18:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII BOOK REVIEWS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS A COLLECTION OF TWENTY-EIGHT REVIEWS OF THE BASIC TEXT OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS BOOK REVIEW NEW YORK TIMES, June 25, 1939 ALCOHOLIC EXPERIENCE BY Percy Hutchison Alcoholics Anonymous. 400 pp. New York: Works Publishing Company. $3.50 Lest this title should arouse the risibles in any reader 1st me state that the general thesis of "Alcoholics Anonymous" is more soundly based psychologically than any other treatment of the subject I have ever come upon. And it is a subject not to be neglected, for, irrespective of whether we live under repeal or prohibition, there will be alcohol addicts, precisely as there are drug addicts. It is useless to argue that under one legal condition or another the number will be less or more. When populations are to be reckoned in the million, fractions cease to count. Under prohibition alcohol will be manufactured and bootlegged, as it was during our late "noble experiment," precisely as narcotics are today smuggled and bootlegged. It is, consequently, the individual only who has to be considered, not the problem of supply and dissemination. Alcoholics Anonymous is unlike any other book ever before published. No reviewer can say how many have contributed to its pages. But the list of writers should include addicts and doctors, psychiatrists and clergymen. Yet it is not a book of personal experience, except in a limited sense, any more than it is a book of rules and precepts. Whether the author of any given chapter can be physician or addict, the argument comes hack to a single fundamental; and that is that the patient is unable to master the situation solely through what is termed "will power," or volition. One contributor, who thought he had "got by" on a diet of milk, one day said to himself that he could safely add a little whiskey to his lacteal nourishment. He did. And then a little more, and then a little more. In the end, he was back to the Sanitarium. His "will" was operating one hundred Per cent; yet there was a fallacy somewhere. It is to root out this fallacy and supplant it that this book has been compiled. The present reviewer, since this is no ordinary publication, believes it only fair that he should state that at one time he advanced fairly deeply into the field of psychology and he is free to state that the entire superstructure of "Alcoholics Anonymous" is based on a psychology of volition that he himself once advanced but which was never universally acceded to. And that is what we glibly call "will," and usefully so in general practice, should for scientific accuracy be reduced to more elemental terms. And, such an effort made, what results? Just this. That volition, "will power," tracked to its source, is the automatic and irrefutable working of a dominating idea. Consider Napoleon, the man of indomitable will. What does it, in this final psychological analysis, came down to? It comes down to the fact that so exclusively did Napoleon's mind contain the idea that he was the man of destiny that there was no room for any other idea, so that every act, every "willed" action, was the unconscious result of, flowed from, that idea. Here, then, is the key to "Alcoholics Anonymous," the great and indisputable lesson this extraordinary book would convey. The alcoholic addict, and why not change, should it seem we have become too intense, to "the drug addict," cannot, by any effort of what he calls his "will," insure himself against taking his "first dose." We saw how the chap with his whiskey in milk missed out. There is one way for our authors, and but one way. The utter suffusion of the mind by an idea, which shall exclude any idea of alcohol or of drugs. Better, let us say the usurpation of the entire ideational tract by this idea. The idea itself may be, perhaps, fairly trivial. Such as: I do not like alcoholic drinks. In fact, my stomach revolts at their mention. Those who appear to dominate these pages apparently would not subscribe to so simple a formula as I have proposed. But my point is that it might be sufficient; and I base this on the book itself, provided only that their thesis flood, so to speak, the entire ideational tract. Yet would that be possible? Or possible for long? That is the question. And, as a matter of fact, those several authors give it short shrift. I have advanced it solely to exhibit the stark psychological trail on which we have walked. The thesis of the book is, as we read it aright, that his all-embracing and all-commanding idea must be religious. Yet here again should the reader pause, for the writers are talking of what William James celled "Varieties of Religious Experience" rather than matters of individual faith. There is no suggestion advanced in the book that an addict should embrace one faith rather than another. He may fall back upon an "absolute," or "A Power which makes for righteousness" if he chooses. The point of the book is that he is unlikely to win through unless he floods his mind with the idea of a force outside himself. So doing, his individual problem resolves into thin air. In last analysis, it is the resigning word: Not my will, but Thine, he done, said in the full knowledge of the fact that the decision will be against further addiction. Most readers will pass this book by. Yet of such a majority many might not be amiss in turning its pages. There but for the grace of God, goes_____. A few will reach for it furtively. It is a strange book. The argument, as we have said, has a deep psychological foundation. BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL-LANCET, Vol.46, July, 1939 A NEW APPROACH TO PSYCHOTHERAPY IN CHRONIC ALCOHOLISM By W.D. Silkworth, M.D. New York, New York The beginning and subsequent development of a new approach to the problem of permanent recovery for the chronic alcoholic has already produced remarkable results and promises much for the future this statement is based upon four years of close observation. As this development is one, which has sprung up among alcoholic patients themselves and has been largely conceived and promoted by them, it is felt that this new treatment can be reported freely and objectively. The central idea is that of a fellowship of ex-alcoholic men and women banded together for mutual help. Each member feels duty bound to assist alcoholic newcomers to get upon their feet. These in turn work with still others, in an endless chain. Hence there is a large growth possibility. In one locality, for example, the fellowship had but three members in September, 1935, eighteen months later the three had succeeded with seven more These ten have since expanded to ninety. It is much more than a sense of duty, however, which provides the requisite driving power and harmony so necessary for success. One powerful factor is that of self-preservation. These ex-alcoholics frequently find that unless they spend time helping others to health they cannot stay sober themselves. Strenuous, almost sacrificial work for other sufferers is often imperative in the early days of their recovery. This effort proceeds entirely on a good will basis It is an avocation. There are no fees or dues of any kind, nor do these people organize in the ordinary sense of the word. These ex-alcoholic men and women number about one hundred and fifty. One group is scattered along the Atlantic seaboard with New York as a center. Another, and somewhat larger body, is locate in the Middle West. Many walks of life are represented, though business and professional types predominate. The unselfishness, the extremes to which these men and women go to help each other, the spirit of democracy, tolerance and sanity which prevails, are astonishing to those who know something of the alcoholic personality But these observations do not adequately explain why so many gravely involved people are able to remain sober and face life again. The principle answer is each ex-alcoholic has had, and is able to maintain, a vital spiritual or "religious" experience. This so-called "experience" is accompanied, by marked changes in personality There is always, in a successful case, a radical change in outlook, attitude and habits of thought, which sometimes occur with amazing rapidity, and in nearly all cases these changes are evident within a few months, often less. That the chronic alcoholic has sometimes recovered by religious means is a fact centuries old. But these recoveries have been sporadic, insufficient in numbers or impressiveness to make headway with the alcoholic problem as a whole. The conscious search of these ex-alcoholics for the right answer has enabled them to find an approach, which has been effectual in something like half of all the cases upon which it has been tried. This is a truly remarkable record when it is remembered that most of them were undoubtedly beyond the reach of other remedial measures. The essential features of this new approach, without psychological embellishment are: 1. The ex-alcoholics capitalize upon a fact, which they have so well demonstrated, namely: that one alcoholic can secure the confidence of another in a way and to a degree almost impossible of attainment by a non-alcoholic outsider. 2. After having fully identified themselves with their "prospect" by a recital of symptoms, behavior, anecdotes, etc., these men allow the patient to draw the inference that if he is seriously alcoholic, there may be no hope for him save a spiritual experience. They cite their own cases and quote medical opinion to prove their point. If the patient insists he is not alcoholic to that degree, they recommend he try to stay sober in his own way. Usually, however, the patient agrees at once. If he does not, a few more painful relapses often convince him. 3. Once the patient agrees that he is powerless, he finds himself in a serious dilemma. He sees clearly that he must have a spiritual experience or be destroyed by alcohol. 4. This dilemma brings about a crisis in the patient's life. He finds himself in a position, which, he believes, cannot be untangled by human means. He has been placed in this position by another alcoholic who has recovered through a spiritual experience. This peculiar ability, which an alcoholic who has recovered exercises upon one who has not recovered, is the main secret of the unprecedented success, which these men and women are having. They can penetrate and carry conviction where the physician or the clergyman cannot. Under these conditions, the patient turns to religion with an entire willingness and readily accepts, without reservation, a simple religious proposal. He is then able to acquire much more than a set of religious beliefs; he undergoes the profound mental and emotional change common to religious "experience" (See William James' Varieties of Religious Experience). Then too, the patient's hope is renewed and his imagination is fired by the idea of membership in a group of ex-alcoholics where he will be enabled to save the lives and homes of those who have suffered as he has suffered. 5. The fellowship is entirely indifferent concerning the individual manner of spiritual approach so long as the patient is willing to turn his life and his problems over to the care and direction of his Creator. The patient may picture the Deity in any way he likes. No effort whatever is made to convert him to some particular faith or creed. Many creeds are represented among the group and the greatest harmony prevails. It is emphasized that the fellowship is non-sectarian and that the patient is entirely free to follow his own inclination. Not a trace of aggressive evangelism is exhibited. 6. If the patient indicates a willingness to go on, a suggestion is made that he do certain things which are obviously good psychology, good morals and good religion, regardless of creed. a. That he make a moral appraisal of himself, and confidentially discuss his findings with a competent person whom he trusts. b. That he try to adjust bad personal relationships, setting right, so far as possible, such wrongs as he may have done in the past. c. That he recommit himself daily, or hourly if need be, to God's care and direction, asking for strength. d. That, if possible, he attend weekly meetings of the fellowship and actively lend a hand with alcoholic newcomers. This is the procedure in brief. The manner of presentation may vary considerably, depending upon the individual approached, but the essential ingredients of the process are always much the same. When presented by an ex-alcoholic, the power of this approach is remarkable. For a full appreciation one must have known these patients before and after their change. Considering the presence of the religious factor, one might expect to find unhealthy emotionalism and prejudice. This is not the case however; on the contrary, there is an instant readiness to discard old methods for new ones, which produce better results. For instance, it was early found that usually the weakest approach to an alcoholic is directly through his family or friends, especially if the patient is drinking heavily at the time. The ex-alcoholics frequently insist, therefore, that a physician first take the patient in hand, placing him in a hospital whenever possible If proper hospitalization and medical care is not carried out, this patient faces the danger of delirium tremens, "wet brain" or other complications After a few days' stay, during which time the patient has been thoroughly detoxicated, the physician brings up the question of permanent sobriety and,' if the patient is interested, tactfully introduces a member of the ex-alcoholics group. By this time the prospect has self-control, can think straight, and the approach to him can be made casually, with no intervention by family or friends. More than half of this fellowship has been so treated. The group is unanimous in its belief that hospitalization is desirable, even imperative, in most cases. What has happened to these men and women? For years, physicians have pursued methods, which bear same similarity to those outlined above. An effort is being made to procure a frank discussion with the patient, leading to self-understanding. It is indicated that he must make the necessary re-adjustment to his environment. His cooperation and confidence must be secured. The objectives are to bring about extraversion and to provide someone to whom the alcoholic can transfer his dilemma. In a large number of cases, this alcoholic group is now attaining these very objectives because their simple but powerful devices appear to cut deeper than do other methods of treatment because of the following reasons: 1. Because of their alcoholic experiences and successful recoveries they secure a high degree of confidence from the prospects. 2. Because of this initial confidence, identical experience, and the fact that the discussion is pitched on moral and religious grounds, the patient tells his story and makes his self-appraisal with extreme thoroughness and honesty. He stops living alone and finds himself within reach of a fellowship with whom he can discuss his problems as they arise. 3. Because of the ex-alcoholic brotherhood, the patient, too, is able to save other alcoholics from destruction. At one and the same time, the patient acquires an ideal, a hobby, a strenuous avocation, and a social life, which he enjoys among other ex-alcoholics and their families. These factors make powerfully for his extraversion. 4. Because of objects aplenty in whom to vest his confidence, the patient can turn to the individuals to whom he first gave his confidence, the ex-alcoholic group as a whole, or the Deity. It is paramount to note that the religious factor is all-important even from the beginning. Newcomers have been unable to stay sober when they have tried the program minus the Deity. The mental attitude of the people toward alcohol is interesting. Most of them report that they are seldom tempted to drink. If tempted, their defense against the first drink is emphatic and adequate. To quote from one of their number, once a serious case at this hospital, but who has had no relapse since his "experience" four and one-half years ago: "Soon after I had my experience, I realized I had the answer to my problem. For about three years prior to December 1934 I had been taking two and sometimes three bottles of gin a day. Even in my brief periods of sobriety, my mind was much on liquor, especially if my thoughts turned toward home, where I had bottles hidden on every floor of the house. Soon after leaving the hospital, I commenced to work with other alcoholics. With reference to them, I thought much about alcohol, even to the point of carrying a bottle in my pocket to help them through the severe hangovers. But from the first moment of my experience, the thought of taking a drink myself hardly ever occurred. I had the feeling of being in a position of neutrality. I was not fighting to stay on the water wagon. The problem was removed; it simply ceased to exist for me. This new state of mind came about in my case at once and automatically. About six weeks after leaving the hospital my wife asked me to fetch a small utensil, which stood on a shelf in our kitchen. As I fumbled for it, my hand grasped a bottle, still partly full. With a start of surprise and gratitude, it flashed upon me that not once during the past weeks had the thought of liquor being in my home occurred to me. Considering the extent to which alcohol had dominated my thinking, I call this no less than a miracle. During the past your pears of sobriety I have seriously considered drinking only a few times. On each occasion, my reaction was one of fear, followed by the reassurance, which came with my new found ability to think the matter through, to work with another alcoholic, or to enter upon a brief period of prayer and meditation. I now have a defense against alcoholism which is positive so long as I keep myself spiritually fit and active, which t am only too glad to do." Another interesting example of reaction to temptation comes from a former patient; now sober three and one-half years. Like most of these people, he was beyond the reach of psychiatric methods. He relates the following incident: "Though sober now for several pears, I am still bothered by periods of deep depression and resentment. I live on a farm, and weeks sometimes pass in which I have no contact with the ex-alcoholic group. During one of my spells I became violently angry over a trifling domestic matter. I deliberately decided to get drunk, going so far as to stock my guesthouse with food, thinking to lock myself in when I had returned from town with a case of liquor. I got in my car and started down the drive; still furious. As I reached the gate I stopped the car, suddenly feeling unable to carry out my plan. I said to myself, at least I have to be honest with my wife. I returned to the house and announced I was on my way to town to get drunk. She looked at me calmly, never saying a word. The absurdity of the whole thing burst upon me and I laughed and so the matter passed. Yes, I now have a defense that works. Prior to my spiritual experience I would never have reacted that way." The testimony of the membership as a whole sums up to this: For the most part, these men and women are now indifferent to alcohol, but when the thought of taking a drink does come, they react sanely and vigorously. This alcoholic fellowship hopes to extend its work to all parts of the country and to make its methods and answers known to every alcoholic who wishes to recover as a first step, they have prepared a book called Alcoholics Anonymous*. A large volume of 400 pages, it sets forth their methods and experience exhaustively, and with much clarity and force. The first half of the book is a text aimed to show an alcoholic the attitude he ought to take and precisely the steps he may follow to affect his own recovery. He then finds full directions for approaching and working with other alcoholics. Two chapters are devoted to working with family relations and one to employers for the guidance of those who surround the sick man. There is a powerful chapter addressed to the agnostic, as the majority of the present members were of that description. Of particular interest to the physician is the chapter on alcoholism dealing mostly with its mental phenomena, as these men see it. By contacting personally those who are getting results from the book, these ex-alcoholics expect to establish new centers. Experience has shown that as soon as any community contains three or four active members, growth is inevitable, for the good reason that each member feels he must work with other alcoholics or perhaps perish himself. Will the movement spread? Will all of these recoveries be permanent? No one can say. Yet, we at this hospital, from our observation of many cases, are willing to record our present opinion as a strong "Yes" to both questions. *EDITOR'S NOTE. The book, Alcoholics Anonymous ($3.50) may be secured from The Alcoholic foundation, Post Box 658, Church Street Annex, New York City. BOOK REVIEW ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Works Publishing Company Church Street P.0. Box 657 New York City...400pp.... $3.50 Reviewed by - DR. HARRY EMERSON FOSDICK This extraordinary book deserves the careful attention of anyone interested in the problem of alcoholism. Whether as victims, friends of victims, physicians, clergymen, psychiatrists or social workers there are many such, and this book will give them, as no other treatise known to this reviewer will, an inside view of the problem which the alcoholic faces. Gothic cathedral windows are not the only things, which can be truly seen only from within. Alcoholism is another. All outside views are clouded and unsure. Only one who has been an alcoholic and who has escaped the thralldom can interpret the experience. This book represents the pooled experience of one hundred men and women who have been victims of alcoholism -- many of them declared hopeless by the experts -- and who have won their freedom and recovered their sanity and self-control. Their stories are detailed and circumstantial, packed with human interest. In America today the disease of alcoholism is increasing. Liquor has been an easy escape from depression. As an English officer in India, reproved for his excessive drinking, lifting his glass and said, "This is the swiftest road out of India," so many Americans have been using hard liquor as a means of flight from their troubles until to their dismay they discover that, free to begin, they are not free to stop. One hundred men and women in this volume, report their experience of enslavement and then of liberation. The book is not in the least sensational. It is notable for its sanity, restraint, and freedom from over-emphasis and fanaticism. It is a sober, careful, tolerant, sympathetic treatment of the alcoholic's problem and of the successful techniques by which its co-authors have won their freedom. The group sponsoring the book began with two or three ex-alcoholics, who discovered one another through a kindred experience. From this personal kinship a movement started, ex-alcoholic working for alcoholic without fanfare or advertisement, and the movement has spread from one city to another. This book presents the practical experience of this group and describes the methods they employ. The core of their whole procedure is religious. They are convinced that for the hopeless alcoholic there is only one way out - the expulsion of his obsession by a Power greater than himself. Let it be said at once that there is nothing partisan or sectarian about this religious experience. Agnostics and atheists, along with Catholics, Jews and Protestants, tell their story of discovering the Power Greater Than Themselves. "WHO ARE YOU TO SAY THAT THERE IS N0 GOD," one atheist in this group heard a voice say when, hospitalized for alcoholism, he faced the utter hopelessness of his condition. Nowhere is the tolerance and open-mindedness of the book more evident than in its treatment of this central matter on which the cure of all these men and women has depended. They are not partisans of and particular form of organized religion, although they strongly recommend that some religious fellowship be found by their participants. By religion they mean an experience which they personally know and which has saved them from their slavery, when psychiatry and medicine had failed They agree that each man must have his own way of conceiving God, but of God Himself they are utterly sure, and their stories of victory in consequence are a notable addition to William James' "Varieties of Religious Experience." Although the book has the accent of reality and is written with unusual intelligence and skill, humor and modesty mitigating what could easily have been a strident and harrowing tale. - Harry Emerson Fosdick BOOK REVIEW THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR Boston, August 17, 1939 BREAKING THE DRINK HABIT In view of the extent of liquor consumption in the United States since the repeal of national Prohibition, a book recently published on the subject of liquor addiction and its remedy seems designed for a wide usefulness. This volume is entitled "Alcoholics Anonymous," issued by the Works Publishing Company in New York and contributed to by authors with experience in the overcoming of the drink habit. The thesis of this book, as summarized by one reviewer, is that will power is not enough to enable the patient to break the hold of alcoholism, that he is more likely to win through if he suffuses his consciousness completely with some commanding idea which excludes the thought of alcohol or stimulants, and that for the surest prospect of success this overwhelming interest should be religion - "the idea of a force outside of himself." It has indeed been proved true in case after case that something more than individual will power - or "won't" power - is necessary in order to heal what at least one special sanitarium recognizes in its advertising as "a disease "What indeed could be more effective than an absorbing conviction that, in the words of David, "God is my strength and power and he maketh my way perfect." fortunately thousands are finding this knowledge a sure and gratifying defense. BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION September 1939 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: By various writers. Cloth price $3.50. Works Publishing Co., 17 William St., Newark, N.J. Over one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body have contributed to this book. The stories of these individuals in their struggles physically and mentally to overcome alcoholic addiction are gripping. A physician writes in the introduction that the action of alcohol in chronic alcoholism is a manifestation of allergy. Therefore, hospitalization and proper treatment is often necessary to free the patient from his craving for liquor. When the mind is clear he is a candidate for psychological measures. This book deals principally with such measures as exemplified in the stories of alcoholics. BOOK REVIEW NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Vol. 221(15), October 12, 1939 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: The story of how more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism. 400 pp. New York Works Publishing Co., 1939, $3.50. The psychological aspect of alcoholism taxes the entire skill and intuition of the therapist, and the authors of this book claim that in the long run the ex-alcoholic patient who is properly trained in psychological method is an extremely effective person to bring about the cure of the neurotic alcoholic individual. The first part of the book discusses methods, with particular stress on twelve steps in the recovery program. This program includes the general principles of psychotherapy found in such books as those by Durfee and Peabody. There is, however, an essentially new note, namely, that the alcoholic individual should be helped to admit to God, to himself and to another human being (preferably an ex-alcoholic patient) the exact nature of his personality deficit Some will perhaps shy from the emphasis on God and religion until it is realized that the alcoholic patient is asked in this relation to believe sincerely in a power greater than himself. He then sees that his life is really unmanageable without this power. The second part contains the stories of twenty-nine individuals who were cured by the method of working out their character problems in relation to God, themselves and another human being. All these individuals were "convinced by an ex-alcoholic therapist" Those who at some time must deal with the problem of alcoholism are urged to read this stimulating account The authors have presented their case well, in fact, in such good style that it map be of considerable influence when read by alcoholic patients. BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Vol. 113(16), October 14, 1939 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The story of how more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism. Cloth. Price $3.50. 400 pp.. New York: Works Publishing Company. 1939. The seriousness of the psychiatric and social problem represented by addiction to alcohol is generally underestimated by those not immediately familiar with the tragedies in the families of victims or the resistance addicts offer to any effective treatment. Many psychiatrists regard addiction to alcohol as having a more pessimistic prognosis than schizophrenia. For many pears the public was beguiled into believing that short courses of enforced abstinence and catharsis in "institutes" and "rest homes" would do the trick, and now that the failure of such temporizing has become common knowledge, a considerable number of other forms of quack treatment have sprung up. The book under review is a curious combination of organizing propaganda and religious exhortation. It is in no sense a scientific book, although it is introduced by a letter from a physician who claims to know some of the anonymous contributors who have been "cured" of addiction to alcohol and have joined together in an organization, which would save other addicts by a kind of religious conversion. The book contains instructions as to how to intrigue the alcoholic addict into the acceptance of divine guidance in place of alcohol in terms strongly reminiscent of Dale Carnegie and the adherents of the Buchman ("Oxford") movement. The one valid thing in the book is the recognition of the seriousness of addiction to alcohol Other than this; the book has no scientific merit or interest. BOOK REVIEW ILLINOIS MEDICAL JOURNAL January 20, 1940 TO THE EDITOR: Of great interest to the medical profession is the new approach to a cure for chronic alcoholism developed by alcoholics themselves. Every physician has been confronted with the problem of the incurable alcoholic. He who although sobered and apparently sane as a result of medical aid suffers the usual and expected relapse and returns to the physician or to the sanitarium for another round of treatment. In his remorse he solemnly rejects alcohol in any form. He then endures a short period of sobriety and again returns to drunkenness. Alcoholics are the last to admit their ability to "drink like gentlemen," and therefore are prone to devise ways and means, or systems for indulgence, which although inaugurated with sincere intent at the time seem never to serve their purpose. They act only as the forerunners to bigger and better sprees. The chronic alcoholic seldom can be cured until he reaches a point at which he admits his inability to cope with his problem and has in addition a sincere desire to achieve complete and lasting sobriety. The chronic alcoholic resents the efforts made by his relatives and friends to help him. He feels they do not understand him nor his problem. But when he talks to people who themselves have been drunkards he realizes that these people do understand for they have had the same personal experiences. BOOK REVIEW CHRISTIAN HERALD August 1940 WITNESS: There is a book on alcohol you should read. It is published by The Alcoholic Foundation of New York (P.0. Box 658, Church Street Annex, New York). It's title: "Alcoholics Anonymous "The unnamed alcoholics write their own stories, and those stories are dynamite. Two-thirds of them, they claim, have laid the foundation for permanent recovery. "More than half of us have had no relapse at all (after treatment) despite the fact that we have often been pronounced incurable "How were they cured? The method is simple: first of all they admitted they were powerless to overcome alcohol by themselves; second, they came to believe that "a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity;" third, they made a decision to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him" There is more to the cure, but that's the heart of it. There may be some confirmed drinkers who will sneer at the method and the procedures, but they can't laugh off the fact that it has worked where other methods and procedures have failed. BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL OF NERVOUS AND MENTAL DISEASE Vol. 42(3), September 1940. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: How more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism. (New York: Works Publishing Company, Church St. Annex P.C., $3.50.) As a youth we attended many "experience" meetings more as an onlooker than as a participant. We never could work ourselves up into a lather and burst forth in soapy bubbly phrases about our intimate states of feeling. That was our own business rather than something to brag about to the neighbors. Neither then nor now do we lean to the autobiographical, save occasionally by allusion to point a moral or adorn a tale, as the ancient adage put it. This big book, i.e. big in words, is a rambling sort of camp meeting confession of experiences, told in the form of biographies of various alcoholics who had been to a certain institution and have provisionally recovered, chiefly under the influence of the "big brothers get together spirit." Of the inner meaning of alcoholism there is hardly a word. It is all on the surface material. Inasmuch as the alcoholic, speaking generally, lives a wish-fulfilling infantile regression to the omnipotent delusional state, perhaps he is best handled for the time being at least by regressive mass psychological methods, in which, as is realized, religious fervors belong, hence the religious trend of the book. Billy Sunday and similar orators had their successes but we think the methods of Forel and of Bleuler infinitely superior. BOOK REVIEW THE NEWS-LETTER AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OP PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKERS Fall, 1940 ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS (The story of how more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism.) Publishing Company; 400 pages This review covers the book, a discussion with the authors, and attendance at the meetings of the New York City group of Alcoholics Anonymous. Contact with this group increases one s respect for their work. To the layman, the book is very clear. To the professional person it is as first a bit misleading in that the spiritual aspect gives the impression that this is another revival movement. The book is simply and clearly written. It gives a vivid picture of the emotional predicament of the person suffering from serious alcoholism. It presents the disorder as a disease; a fatal disease in the social and physical sense. People who have benefited from the treatment tell their story in simple, compelling language. There are excellent descriptions of what happens to the family of an alcoholic. There is a sincerity and enthusiasm about the writing of this work that commands attention. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS seems to have succeeded in cases where the physician, the clergyman, the psychiatrist, or the social worker have failed. The method works only with the patient who really wants to get well; who is willing to face the truth about himself - his prejudices, his infantilism, his evasions. It effects its most phenomenal results with the patient who has gone so far that unless he does something drastic he will either become insane, kill himself in drink, or commit suicide. The patient must be willing to admit that he has failed, that he has no power over his drinking, that the "wet-nursing" of his family only makes him worse, that he must do this thing alone. In this frame of mind he selects someone to listen to his story but for the first time in his life he is being really honest with himself and admitting that he is responsible for the mess he has made of his life. When he must prove that he is willing to face reality by trying to patch up some of the antagonisms he has created around him. Then he is ready for some deeper reorganization of patterns. It is a sink or swim psychology; there is no pampering by the group and no protection. The group accepts the newcomer as an adult who really wants to get well; they will show him how but they won't do it for him. Having admitted he has no power over his drinking, he must be willing to allow a higher power to help him. This is no ready-made spiritual formula; it is not a church religion. It is a spiritual experience that somehow even extreme atheists seem to have been able to achieve. (One can watch the process of this change at the meetings of the group). The last step in the cure, the part that keeps the patient from slipping back into drink, is that he devotes himself to helping other alcoholics. The movement is kept alive by this type of work. It is more impressive to the professional person to watch the technique in action than to read the book. The New York City group is made up of intelligent people, many college graduates, and many professional people. There is no holier-than-thou spirit prevailing, there is good fellowship, gaiety, fun, and a real desire to stay sober. The work is organized under an Alcoholic Foundation, which prevents and alcoholic from obtaining a salary for doing the work. One or two of the group tried using the approach on a fee basis, but the spiritual aspect which keeps these people sober seemed to have died when the patient tried earning money this way; these few people found themselves drinking again and so returned to the volunteer relationship. This new resource is developing groups all over the country. Social workers will find them of great help with the extreme cases of alcoholism. The book describes the method in detail - it is a layman s approach, a layman's book. It needs no explanation for the patient and should certainly be read by every alcoholic. Lee R Stainer New York City BOOK REVIEW CHURCH SCHOOL MAGAZINE December 1940 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: Works Publishing Company. 1939. $3.50. Here is an impressive story of the achievement of more than one hundred men in gaining freedom from alcoholism. Evidence in this volume seems to indicate that medicine and psychiatry are powerless to cure many cases of alcoholism: heretofore there was no end in sight except death or insanity. But here is factual evidence that the worst alcoholic can gain mastery over this temptation if he admits that he is powerless and turns himself completely over to God. This spiritual technique demands genuine humility, sincere efforts to make amends for all wrongs done, continued fellowship with God through prayer and meditation, and efforts to help other alcoholics who are ready to relinquish the belief that they can resist alcohol through their own will power. The experience of these men seems to offer real hope that an effective technique has been discovered for conquering an enemy that has baffled doctors, psychiatrists, pastors and thousands of distressed families. BOOK REVIEW SOCIAL PROGRESS March 1941 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: Works Publishing Company, New York, $3.50 Here is an unusual book. It is the dramatic recital of the experience of more than a hundred men and women in their fight against alcoholism, their victory, and their desire and determination to pass on to others the secret of their release. The group who has contributed to this book began with two or three alcoholics whose similar experiences drew them together. "To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body," says the introduction, "is the main purpose of this book." Let it be said at the outset that there is nothing sensational in these stories, although they are filled with the drama of conflict, failure and final release. These writers believe that there is but one cure for the alcoholic. That is the realization of his own inability to cope with his repeated failures and the recognition of the reality of that Power greater than himself, whom we call God, to drive out his obsession. The head of one of the nation's great hospitals for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction contributes a statement to the introductory pages declaring that here is the working out of the principles of a sound "moral psychology." The discussion of these principles is free of emotionalism. It is neither sectarian nor partisan, for men and women of all religions and of none, have contributed to the book "In our personal stories," says one writer, "you will find wide variation in the way in which each teller approaches and conceives of the Power greater than himself. One proposition, however, these men and women are strikingly agreed. Every one of them has gained access to, and believes in, a power greater than himself. This power has in each case accomplished the miraculous, the humanly impossible." The movement has grown and spread without formal organization and groups are widely scattered over the country. Its members, mostly business and professional folk, go about their usual work, their avocation being to help others through their friendship and moral concern to find release. For ministers, social workers, psychiatrists, and all others who are concerned with the rescue of those sick in mind and body, from the possession of the liquor habit, this book is a source of suggestion and inspiration. E.G.R. BOOK REVIEW MENTAL HYGIENE Vol. 25(2), April 1941. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: New York: Works Publishing Company, 1939. 400pp. TWELVE AGAINST ALCOHOL: By Herbert Ludwig Nossen, M.D, New York: Harrison-Hilton Books, 1940. 246pp. These two books are similar in that both present in great detail case histories of patients who are suffering from alcoholism. In this way many old established facts about alcoholism are brought again to our attention, such as the individual's early resort to alcohol as a means of solving his problems or temporizing his major adjustments in life, and the tragic and dramatic way in which the alcoholic drags down his entire family with him, to say nothing of the other social and economic repercussions. Reading these case histories, one becomes more than ever convinced that the excessive drinking of alcohol is one of the relatively minor phases of the individual's whole problem, particularly when one considers the faulty psychosexual adjustments and general immaturity and infantile characteristic of the alcoholic For the successful treatment of a person who has become addicted to alcohol, there must of necessity be a revolutionary change in the patient's personality. The achievement of more adult attitudes and the marked turning away from older selfish, infantile patterns of behavior must involve an emotional upheaval. We are all aware that this inner emotional change is more necessary than a merely intellectual appreciation of one s difficulty, or what is called intellectual insight. It will be interesting to see how the religious program set forth by Alcoholics Anonymous will work. It is not entirely new; it has been tried before. James H Wall The New York Hospital, Westchester Division, White Plains, New York. BOOK REVIEW WORLD CALL June 1941 One of the most significant redemptive movements of our time is expressed in a large book of testimonies called Alcoholics Anonymous. It is written with the enthusiastic flair of discovery though its main thesis is as old as the history of Christian redemption. Alcoholism is a disease. Physicians and psychiatrists have been working on it for years. It is a disease with an increasing prevalence. Many practicing physicians write it off as incurable. The present movement began with an individual who had been given up by the practitioners as hopeless. He was converted to religion and began to work out the practical effects of his conversion by trying to help other alcoholics. This method was found amazingly successful and has some of the professional physicians mystified. These alcoholics find that they need spiritual support and that their own cures are best secured by helping others with like affliction. They are forming an informal group of the saved. It is a movement worth encouraging. BOOK REVIEW SOME FACTS ABOUT THE BIG BOOK THE A.A. GRAPEVINE July 1955 The new edition has 612 pages, as against 400 pages in the old. In terms of cost it is the best non-fiction buy in the country. No other commercial publisher in America could match the book, in size and format alone, at its retail price. The first edition runs to 100,000 words, the edition just off the press is 168,869. The old edition contained 29 stories, about 1,800 words each, the new edition has 37 -- 24 of them brand new -- and all of them running to twice the length (or about 3,300 words) of the earlier work. The new stories are more detailed and more explicit, more revealing, and of more useful contrast and variety. The geographical spread, in the new book, is far greater: 15 cities, 10 states, and two foreign countries. The vocational range is immense: buyer, industrial executive, surgeon, banker, writer, educator, soldier, insurance agent, advertising executive, furniture dealer, stock farmer, beautician, charwoman, truck driver, insurance investigator, salesman, real estate agent, promoter, accountant, sculptor, journalist, upholsterer, organizational executive, patent expert, lawyer, doctor, and housewife. The most numerous in this list is the housewife -- with six stories. There are 110,000 words of absolutely new material, yet the practical, therapeutical, and expository first 175 pages of the original work are here intact. These pages have already gone into the American legend as the "greatest redemptive force of the twentieth century." And these pages will remain there, through the full history of man's pursuit of maturity. BOOK REVIEW BEST SELLERS Vol. 15: 96, August 15, 1955 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (Second Edition) Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing Co., July 16, 1955. This book is a revision of the first edition originally published in 1939, which has gone through 300,000 copies. Not only does it tell the appalling story of alcoholism, but it also serves to give a deep insight into the philosophy and functioning of A.A. Five chapters devoted to the relationship of the alcoholic to his wife and family contain many instances of marital and domestic difficulties, their meaning and methods of handling them. Spouses and families that have been spared the presence of an alcoholic can never fully appreciate what it means to have a family member a victim. These chapters dispel many of the misconceptions and false notions of how the alcoholic should be treated, and they offer many sound suggestions in this area. The second part of the book contains thirty-seven case histories of alcoholics. Twelve of these relate to pioneers of A. A.; twelve tell about people who stopped drinking in time. The remainder are inspirational in nature. At the present time A.A. numbers more than 150,000 members. In view of its short history, less than twenty years, this is a phenomenal growth. Since we have over 800,000 problem drinkers in the U.S. it is immediately obvious that hospitalization is impossible even if it were feasible. Because of this fact, efforts like A.A. take on a practical urgency. As the book well indicates, A.A. does not seek to supplant the psychiatrist or medical man. However, the group experiences of A.A. have evidently been sufficiently strong to help chronic alcoholics take the steps necessary for their rehabilitation. This book is a welcome addition to the literature on alcoholism. It has value for the alcoholic who is seeking help, his family and friends and even the persons professionally concerned with his treatment and recovery. BOOK REVIEW SATURDAY REVIEW Vol. 38, August 27, 1955 "THE BIG BOOK" BIBLE FOR ALCOHOLICS There was a time when the organization known as Alcoholics Anonymous, which has become one of the greatest boons to the drunkards of the world, had a membership, which was a little lopsided. On its rolls the Bowery was better represented than Park Avenue, a fact deplored by the organization's leaders. So, recognizing that the rich can become just as alcoholic as the poor, the organization decided to do something about it. Acting on its long-held tenet that only a sober ex-drunk can cure a down-and-out drunk, the A.A. leaders looked around for an ex-drunk with glamour and the ability to speak the Park Avenue language. They found it in an ex-drunk countess. The result: Park Avenue became as well represented as the Bowery on the rolls of A.A. Now, in the past few years, another change has taken place in the membership of A.A. -- a change that has proved even more important than that accomplished by the countess, but which was comparatively unnoticed by the public-at-large until last month. At that time A.A. held its bone-dry twentieth-anniversary convention and, in conjunction with the ceremonies, issued a revised, second edition of an oversized, ocean-blue volume, which is familiarly known to all A.A members as "The Big Book." The new edition, like its predecessors, is jacketed in a reversible dust cover, one side of which is blank, which allows it to be read in trains and buses without attracting the eyes of the curious. But, unlike its predecessor, the new edition is not intended solely for alcoholics of the last-gasp variety. Right in the middle of it lies a whole section devoted to drinkers who have not yet lost their businesses or broken up their homes or, as most of A.A.'s original members seem to have done, landed in jail. Says ex-A.A. president Bill W. (who still keeps his last name anonymous, though he has now stepped down from his executive position): "Now we're getting cases whose drinking has merely become a menacing nuisance, and we're glad for them" IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 874. . . . . . . . . . . . Line Drawing of " Dr Bob and Bill W" From: howie590 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/15/2003 6:36:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Hi All, I wonder if any one can help in my quest to find a line drawing of Dr Bob And Bill W. I had an old line drawing of the both of them just black on white and I framed it and we used to put it up in the meeting. Alas someone took a fancy to it and it's disappeared. I thought it would be an easy task to print off another when lo and behold I must have forgotten to save it back in 93 when I first came across it. I have scoured the internet but to no avail. Has anyone got a copy they could post on to me? I would be very grateful. Howard {Birmingham, England} --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.461 / Virus Database: 260 - Release Date: 10/03/2003 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 875. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Harper''s, September 1941 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/16/2003 9:22:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Laymen and Alcoholics by Genevieve Parkhurst As he came out from under the opiate the man in the hospital bed opened his eyes to black darkness. Somewhere in the room, as if from a distance, his wife was asking quiet questions. Then the doctor was answering her. "I must be frank," he was saying. "I've never known a patient who had reached this phase of this type of alcoholism to recover. Even if your husband were to stop drinking, and that is not likely after twenty-five years of it, he is bound to have recurrent spells of blindness and an increase of the trouble with his legs. Disintegration is setting in. About six months are all I can give him to live." While he was lying there, waiting for the doctor's prophecy to come true, a stranger came to see him. The stranger was a man who had once been in the same condition. And a stranger had come to see him, just as he had come, to tell of the unknown men who, under the name of Alcoholics Anonymous, were helping to cure other alcoholics just as they had been helped. The patient was impressed with what his visitor told him about the new treatment. When the alcohol was gone from his system and he was able to hobble about on crutches he attended a meeting of the group. Encouraged to do so by his doctor, he consulted with its leaders. In three months he was out of the hospital. In six months he was well enough to be back at his desk. Now, after four years in which he has not had a drink, he is in excellent health. And the disease has left none of its marks on him. This man's story is no longer an unusual one. Within the past few years many such hopeless cases and many less serious ones that were once listed as doubtful have been healed. The healers have not all been members of Alcoholics Anonymous, but they have all been laymen. And their success in this difficult field has impelled the physicians who once considered them as "dangerous meddlers in a dangerous province" not only to sanction their practice but to invite them to share the burden of curing alcoholism. At the annual meeting, held last fall, by the Research Council on Problems of Alcohol, a group of physicians and social scientists who for the past three years have been making an intensive study of the nature of the disease which makes drunkards of so many men and women, Dr. Merrill Moore, Associate in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, startled the conference of which he was chairman with the remark that "Physicians in general are admitting that the lay healers are doing remarkable work." Asked at the end of the conference to expand his comment, he said, "We know that if we are going to make any real advance we must tap every source of knowledge and healing there is Not only lay therapists, but lawyers, clergymen, and social workers are successfully helping and treating the alcoholic. . . This means treating someone who is emotionally sick or hurt or down or sometimes weak. Certainly physicians have no comer on it. There is no magic to it. And no royal road." Again at the Council's three-day symposium held in Philadelphia last December, under the auspices of the Association for the advancement of Science, the achievements of lay healers were touched upon. Some of the healers read papers, and at the informal luncheon and dinner conversations they were listened to and even deferred to by the medical scientists. To learn the consensus of opinion I questioned forty of the leading medical authorities who attended the symposium either as participants or audience. Thirty-four of them admitted that, in face of the evidence, the lay therapists were getting the best results. Some of them went so far as to say that the laymen were curing cases which the physicians had pronounced incurable. The six who held back were not complete dissidents. Their difference was a difference in their school of thought. Unlike their colleagues who believe that alcoholism is caused by some deep mental and emotional disturbance of which drinking is only a symptom, and that its care must therefore be mental, they contend that its cause lies in some fundamental chemical derangement and that its cure must therefore be chemical. "We grant you," said one of them, "that a drunkard may be cured of the drinking habit, but that does not mean he is cured of alcoholism. For the fact remains that alcohol is a poison to him. And if at any time he takes to drinking again, no matter how moderately he may begin, he will again end up as a drunkard. The alcoholic may be said to be completely healed only when he can drink without disaster. Some day some bright young chemist will emerge from his laboratory with some chemical which will do away with the allergy which makes the systems of some people intolerant to alcohol. Then the cure for alcoholism will have been found. "In the meantime," he concluded, "I'll gladly give credit to the laymen who are doing so much to arrest the disease by curing the drunkards of drinking." I am not of course presuming to decide which of the two schools is right. Since it is the excessive drinking which causes all the havoc in alcoholism, what really matters is the apparent agreement on both sides that drunkenness can be healed and that the lay therapists are breaking all past records in the number of their healings. Now when I use the terms "alcoholic" and "drinker" I am not referring to the casual convivialist nor to the extreme cases in which the patients' minds have lost all touch with reality. They are the physicians' private enigma. I mean the man or woman whose abilities, health, and social graces have been dissipated by constant drinking and who is not able to stop it without help from the outside. And when in this instance I speak of the layman I do not include the charlatans who make false claims for their patent nostrums. I am thinking only of those therapists whose accomplishments are acknowledged by the physicians and who work along with them in their diagnoses, consulting them as the individual cases may warrant. Specifically, these fall into three groups: the trained psychologists with whom treating alcoholism is a profession; religious healers; and former alcoholics with whom healing is an avocation. The professional psychologists are not many. They are exclusive, accepting only a few patients at a time. And they are expensive. As I have already gone into their methods of work in a previous number of this magazine I shall now say only that they are skilled, painstaking, and highly successful, and it is a pity that there are not more of them and at a price which the middle class could more easily afford. The religious healers are doing some excellent salvage work, particularly among the poor. To go into their technic would involve a discussion of articles of faith for which I am not prepared. So I shall confine myself to the third group, the men who have been alcoholics themselves and who, having been cured, are now spreading out like a network and with an efficacy that is convincing to the most conservative medical men. That they are meeting with success should not, however, be either astounding or extraordinary. For the truth is that while all along the doctors--and I am only echoing them when I say so--have been trying to find out what alcohol does to the alcoholic, nobody has tried to find out what it does for him. But these men know the whole bitter story. They know the drive of drink, its satisfactions and elations. They know the sting of its broken resolutions, as they are drawn back to it again and again. They know its jubilations and deep despairs. They know the things, so infinitesimal to the balanced temperament, which set the drinker on edge and send him into his cups as a way of escape. They know his whims and his disinclinations. How he thinks, how he feels, how he rationalizes are well-worn pages to them. This is not to say that every alcoholic who has been straightened out is qualified to heal others. But among them there are many whose highly sensitive and intelligent natures, added to a capacity for making friends, fit them peculiarly for this highly specialized curative art. As a further aid there is that strong bond between drinkers which makes it easy for the man who has been down and is up again to reach those who are still down or groping. II In order to keep their record straight, before going into their processes, it must be noted that their therapeutic definitions and principles coincide with those of the medical specialists. They recognize alcoholism as a "fugal" disease, meaning that it is made up of several strains, each one of which is involved in the others. There is the first cause which is usually some circumstance or event in early environment which sets up an "imbalance" in the personality, making it difficult or even impossible for those who are thus afflicted to face the realities of life. Or it may be some inherent tendency, such as a highly strung nervous system, which is aggravated by some such circumstance as I have mentioned. As a second or remote cause, there are the problems which arise in every life and which the unbalanced temperament is not able to cope with. Third, there is the drinking, which is the means of escape and a symptom of the disease at the same time. If the disease is to be cured every one of its elements must be taken into consideration. The first cause must be detected and explained away. The patient must be taught how to face his problems as they come to him. And he must be given new interests to take the place of his former interest in drinking. Two further points should be borne in mind. To be healed of alcoholism the drinker must have the desire to stop drinking and he must be willing to face a future in which he will never again be able to take a drink. For in the annals of medical science there is no record of a man's having been healed of alcoholism unless he had taken the cure of his own volition. Nor is there any record of a reformed drunkard who was ever able to drink moderately without going the whole way down hill again. With the perspective clear, let us look into the process of this new lay therapy through the story of one of it practitioners. Mr. Ex, as we shall know him, began to drink when he was a student at college during the prohibition era. By the time he was thirty-five he had been arrested for drunken and disorderly conduct in a chain of ports around the world. More to please his parents than himself he had taken the "cure" in five expensive alcoholic retreats, only to drink more on coming out of them than he had before going in. Outstanding psychiatrists had told his father that his type of alcoholism was rarely curable. Then something he does not speak of happened to make him want to stop drinking. With all that he had learned about drinking and the drinker in his fifteen years' carousal he was able to stop by himself. During the months when he was striving for equilibrium he found peace through helping one of his former companions at the bar. Five years have passed during which he has devoted his leisure to this curative work, and he has a number of difficult cases to his credit. His technic is simple. He employs no formidable terminology, as his experience has been that the ominous vocabulary of some practitioners is confusing and repellant to the sick and jittery mind. Since no two cases are alike, his approach comes by intuition, and the discipline and text emerge out of each case as it moves along. According to Mr. Ex, ninety-five out of every hundred drunkards have the deep desire to stop drinking. Only a few will admit it. They think it is a confession of weakness; or they are afraid of becoming unpopular in their social group; or they cannot face the knowledge that liquor has got the best of them. And any direct suggestion from their family that they see the doctor or take a cure drives them farther into their cups. Therefore Mr. Ex's approach is the more subtle one of man to man. He goes out where drinkers congregate. The man he is looking for may be someone he knows or whose family has asked him to step in and take hold. He never talks shop until he is sure he is on firm ground. A glass of tomato juice may evoke a question or the lift of an eyebrow, to which his answer implies that he has had more than his share of gin. A comparison of symptoms and an exchange of reminiscences may follow. By degrees the drinker may be led to unload his troubles and the friendship is established. From there it is a short step to his admission that he wants to stop his drinking--a cue for Mr. Ex to ask him why he doesn't stop. He may say that it will make a sap out of him. The response to that is that only a strong man can give it up. Or he may say that he is thinking of going to an institution--then when he comes out he can take a few drinks without wanting to get drunk. "At this point," Mr. Ex says, "I tell him what happened to me not once, but five different times when I thought I had been cured and could take a drink. What I am doing all this time is leading him to a mood where I can ask him to play ball with me. Just how I do so depends of course on the personality I am trying to reach." The most difficult alcoholics to approach are those who take alcohol as a narcotic to avoid the pains and the realities of living. Most often they have to go through some devastating experience before they are ready to give it up. However it comes, it is only when the patient expresses a real desire to be cured that the cure begins. Somewhere at the outset when a diplomatic moment presents itself he is persuaded to see the doctor for a general going-over. Regular meals and exercise for those who can take it are prescribed. And work. If the patient still has his job so much the better. If not something absorbing is found to keep his mind employed at some spot away from himself and his former rendezvous. Some alcoholics cannot stand the strain of giving up liquor all at once; they can be led to taper off. When they find they are able to go any length of time without a drink their morale shoots upward. Curiously enough, the first few weeks of abstinence are not always the hardest. For the old urgency has a way of turning up at the end of the second or third month, trying to beat them down again. Mr. Ex's prescription for such hours is immediate action--a brisk walk, a bus ride, the movies, or even a telephone call--any interlude that will bring about a change of thought. As such temptations are resisted they recur less frequently until finally they are gone never to return. A good exercise in resistance is to walk past bars until one is able to ignore one's own favorite bar in the same way. A patient who can do this half a dozen times is ready to enter a bar or go where drinking is without taking a drink. When he has gone successfully through this ordeal he is well fortified for complete recovery. Mr. Ex is devoting the gratuities he receives for his treatments to a fund with which he is establishing an Alcoholic Consultation Bureau in the city where he lives. It is to be a county center where those with drinking problems of their own or those who have a drinker in the family may go for treatment or advice, safe in the knowledge that their confidence and identity will be respected. If it proves effective he hopes that it will become a model for other communities to follow. III At the time the previous article on this subject was published I received hundreds of letters from Harper readers in many parts of the country. They came from men and women in many walks who laid bare their most intimate personal sorrows as they asked me to advise them about some member of the family who was drinking to excess. There was little I could tell them. Psychiatric treatments were beyond what most of them could afford or there were no psychiatrists in their localities. In some instances psychiatry had been tried and had failed. The few reliable private institutions I knew of were too remote or too costly. Most of the public hospitals, if there were any in the communities, had no alcoholic ward. The public mental hospitals, generally speaking, were insane asylums from which the discharged alcoholic patients where known to be worse off than when they had entered. It is to such people as these, people who do not know where to turn for help that Alcoholics Anonymous, the group of men I mentioned in the first part of this article, are hoping to have something to say. This organization, which now has a membership of over two thousand and centers in fifty localities that embrace all of our States except a few in the Middle West between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River, had its beginning in the healing of one man, a Wall Street broker whom we shall speak of as Mr. Jones. After a drinking career of fifteen years in which he had built his ration of gin up to two quarts a day, he was pronounced a hopeless alcoholic. Some time before this verdict a friend who had been cured of dipsomania with the help of a religious group had told of his experience with such simple precision that Mr. Jones had been challenged by it. Thinking now of what the doctors had said, his mind reverted to his friend, and he sought the same aid. "In a week," says Mr. Jones, "I had taken my last drink. In a month my appetite for liquor was completely gone." Shortly after this a business trip took him to Akron, Ohio, where he remained to help a former crony who had lost his job and was without the prospect of another, as the title of "confirmed drunkard" had been conferred upon him by the townspeople. This friend healed one of his own friends. Mr. Jones did likewise. By the time he was ready to return to New York he and his patients had made plans for a full-time avocation of healing alcoholism and for starting a healing movement across the country. Mr. Jones realized that, while drinkers may have their similarities, no two of them are ever alike in nature. If he were to reach out toward all those who needed help he saw that he would have to broaden his therapy, which up to this time had been wholly religious. Back in New York, he and his wife took five non-paying alcoholics into their home for study and experimentation. In healing them he was able to formulate a set of elastic principles capable of spanning a wide area of cases. In 1936--two years after it had been started--the movement had spread with such rapidity that money was needed for office purposes. Two or three of the members felt -that if they could take the time to collaborate on a book about their experiences they would be able to raise the necessary amount. Someone told Mr. John D. Rockefeller of the recoveries they had effected. After he had looked into their activities he made it possible for them to take the time to write the book. When it was ready to be published a group of Mr. Rockefeller's associates consented to form a Board of Trustees to handle the royalties as they accrued. Last year, with the work speeding forward, Mr. Rockefeller felt that what it now needed was "not money but standing." At a dinner given by him to two hundred of the country's most prominent men he invited Mr. Jones to speak. What he had to say was verified and approved by medical scientists and clergymen through such spokesmen as Dr. Foster Kennedy and the Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick. The honorarium of three thousand dollars raised that evening, together with royalties from the book, maintain a small office in downtown New York. Mr. Jones's salary is thirty dollars a week. "I have a strong feeling," he explains, "that if I were to commercialize my services within the group by accepting money I should impair my effectiveness." Among the members of Alcoholics Anonymous are lawyers, doctors, clerks, chauffeurs, stenographers, and housewives, and they are of all ages between the early twenties and the late sixties. Out of two thousand current cases, ninety-five per cent of whom are employed, one thousand have not tasted liquor since they attended their first meeting. For some this means three months. For others, six years. Five hundred have -slipped a bit now and then, but they are out of the quicksands. The other five hundred are not yet quite sure that they want to be cured, or they are suffering from the more doubtful forms of the disease; but they are being helped. It has been said that the technic has the mark of Buchmanism. It probably has, and of other religious groups and healing methods. For it is a synthesis of everything that has proved useful in the whole field of alcoholic diagnosis and treatment. A movement that has for its purpose a crusade of mutual assistance in which one drinker becomes therapist for another, it is open to anyone who drinks too much and cannot stop of himself. Two exactions only are demanded of him. He must be sincere in his wish to be healed. He must have the desire to help his fellow drinkers. Anonymity is maintained because of the extreme sensitiveness of the alcoholic to prejudice or ridicule. And it prevents giving offense to relatives or to doctors and spiritual advisers, all of whom have their redemptive parts to play. The actual phases of the treatment are not fundamentally different from other mental therapies. But the instruments are not the same and the terminology is non-existent. The "mental catharsis" of the psychologists becomes here the simple business of talking out loud to an audience made up of those who are taking the cure themselves. These open meetings are practical forums in which the members exchange points of view and offer suggestions under the leadership of the more experienced therapists such as Mr. Jones. Once a week the families of the patients are invited to special meetings where the care of convalescents is the main topic of conversation. Another important step is the mental inventory in which the patient lists his virtues and his faults as an aid to self-appraisal. It is from this evaluation that the pattern of adjustment, the vital core of rehabilitation, is drawn. (It is what the psychiatrists call "personality change.") For instance, if a member has mistreated his wife, neglected his family, or been dishonest in his business dealings, or quarreled with his neighbor, he must not only change his ways, but he must try somehow to repair the damage he has caused. Whatever his troubles, he is given ample opportunity to talk about them; for it is through such disclosures that the real cause of his malady reveals itself. Instead of evading his problems, as he has in the past, he is taught how to solve them. And if he strikes a snag he knows where to go for help--and it will be to someone who has been through the same experience and will therefore be able to give him a sympathetic and helpful hearing. As the treatments progress he is directed toward some interest absorbing enough to take his mind away from liquor. Sometimes he may find his release in the recognition of a Supreme Being, a Power outside of himself who is greater than himself. There have been a number of cases in which this religious awakening has broken the spell of the exaggerated egotism which was one of the persistent causes of his illness. However, no compulsion is put upon the patient. He makes his own choice. About sixty per cent of the members of Alcoholics Anonymous are deists. Many who have not been to church since they were children have returned to their faiths. And there are not a few atheists among them. For most of them the great hobby that holds their enthusiasm is the help they are giving to one another. "It is a great satisfaction," said one of them who was in the advanced stages of the disease when he was enrolled, "to know that you are marking the difference between life and death for someone." The processes employed in the course of treatment are not allowed to become stagnant. "We are always experimenting," Mr. Jones explained. "We try something and if it doesn't work we throw it out. What we are striving for is a progressive and ever more flexible system of healing which will cover more and more of the peculiar effects of alcoholism on the many diverse human personalities." IV The layman's burden I have indicated is not for the shoulders of the therapist alone. The family of the alcoholic--parents, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives--may very well be the deciding factor in the success or failure of his cure, just as they are often the chief contributors to the disturbance which causes the illness. Because of this possibility some physicians will not treat certain patients unless they are removed from their homes until recovery is pretty well assured. And all healers make every effort to gain the co-operation of relatives as a precaution against relapse. When families fail it is not as a rule because they are contrary or apathetic, but because they do not know the rules. For their benefit I am setting down a list of things to be remembered which I have gleaned from these specialists: The convalescent needs care and sympathy, not nagging and recrimination. He must, until you are sure that his recovery is complete, be handled with silken gloves. For he has been through a devastating purgatory. Invalid though he is, he wants to be treated like a man and not a child. Yet, paradoxically, he must in some things be looked after as if he were a child. Great care must be given to his diet. Some medical scientists are now thinking that alcoholism may be due to lack of sufficient vitamins in the drinker's system. Tomato and orange juice, carrots, beets, celery, wild rice, milk, eggs, good red meat (if his blood pressure is normal), and some chocolate and sweets (if he is not diabetic), are some of the foods that will give him the needed vitamins. However it is always best to consult a doctor on his diet necessities. Happy occupation for his leisure hours is a vital must on his program. Study his tastes, if you do not already know them, and use your ingenuity in finding things for him to do that he will enjoy. Don't try to force him to meet people or do things that he dislikes. It is imperative not to discuss his illness with him or to comment about his abstinence or attract attention to it, unless of course he opens up the subject. Then talk round and away from it. If you are in the habit of serving cocktails be sure to have one for him on the tray as well as not one glass but two or three glasses of tomato or orange juice. Let him make his own decisions. That is a part of his readjustment. He is not well until he can say "No" to himself in the face of temptation. Don't lock the liquor away from him. Don't pat him on the back and tell him how proud you are of him and how you all appreciate what he is going through and are feeling sorry for him. Don't set up pressures by holding him to strictly to household routine. Maybe he was finishing up a round of golf. Next time, remembering what happened last time, he may take one drink to brace him for what he thinks is going to happen to him when he gets home. That one drink will make him feel just fine. So he may rationalize that just one more won't do him any harm. And he's right back where he started. Beyond everything, never rake up past offenses. Alcohol draws a curtain over the reasons and the memory of its victims, driving them blindly into acts for which they are not responsible and which they cannot remember when they are sober, as such acts make no record on the conscious mind. These details are not trifles. The convalescent drinker is edgy and highstrung. If he can be kept healthy in body and contented in mind he has a far better chance of complete and permanent recovery than in an environment where he is constantly on the defensive. Source: Harper's Magazine, September 1941. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 876. . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Anderson, addiction treatment pioneer, dead at 81 From: NMOlson@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/16/2003 8:58:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII AA History Lovers, I am sorry to be so late in posting this message about Dan Anderson's death. He died February 19 while I was in England Nancy Dan Anderson, addiction treatment pioneer and former Hazelden president, dies at age 81 Dan Anderson, former Hazelden president and a founder and primary architect of the Minnesota Model, the preeminent method of addiction treatment for the past 40 years, died February 19, 2003 at St. Croix Regional Medical Center in St. Croix Falls, Wis. Anderson, of Taylors Falls, Minn., was 81. "Dr. Anderson was a pioneering father of Hazelden whose wisdom, curiosity and great integrity are a cornerstone of our model of care," said Ellen L. Breyer, president and CEO of the Hazelden Foundation. "His work has literally touched the lives of millions of people." Anderson is best known for his revolutionary ideas on treating alcoholism and for developing, expanding and sharing the Minnesota Model [35] during his 30 years at the Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minn. Many addiction treatment centers in the United States and worldwide, including the Mayo Clinic and the Betty Ford Center, emulated the Hazelden model of care. In Anderson's biography, [36] John Schwarzlose, president of the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., recounts how in 1980 Anderson was extremely helpful in the planning of the Betty Ford Center. Schwarzlose refers to Anderson as his mentor, one who "always had the best interests of patients at heart in his work. Some in Dan's position would have seen the Betty Ford Center as a potential threat to Hazelden's preeminence. Dan's reaction, however, was not only to graciously agree to help, but to encourage our center to improve on what Hazelden had done." "The Minnesota Model represented a social reform movement that humanized the treatment of people addicted to alcohol and other drugs," said Jerry Spicer, former Hazelden president and author of The Minnesota Model: The Evolution of the Multidisciplinary Approach to Addiction Recovery. [37] "Dan played a major role in transforming treatment wards from 'snake pits' into places where alcoholics and addicts could retain their dignity." "Dan showed tremendous care and compassion for people suffering from alcoholism, especially during a time when it wasn't popular to do so," said Gordy Grimm, a long-time friend, associate, and fellow pioneer of the model. "He did as much as anyone to raise awareness that alcoholism is a treatable chronic disease. His work touched the lives of millions of people and greatly reduced the stigma of this disease." As a psychologist at Willmar State Hospital in the 1950s, Anderson and Nelson Bradley, superintendent of the hospital, were dedicated to finding an effective way to address "inebriates," a group that was considered "at the bottom of the patient pecking order" at that time, Anderson said in a 1998 interview. "Everyone looked down on them, including the community, hospital staff, and even our mentally ill patients. The inebriates had a lower status than the schizophrenics and the manic depressives, or even the kleptomaniacs or pedophiles." The prevailing view during the 1940s and '50s was that alcoholics were weak on willpower, and if they ended up on the streets, they probably deserved to be there. But Anderson was intent on helping this population. He saw the tremendous value of Alcoholics Anonymous and made the Twelve Steps of AA the foundation of the model. Anderson and Bradley viewed alcoholism as a primary disease, a disease of the body, mind and spirit. Their theory was that alcoholism is a multiphasic illness that needs to be addressed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals (counselors, spiritual care specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, recreational therapists, and more). The Twelve Step multidisciplinary approach to addiction treatment is an idea that was introduced at Willmar State Hospital and more fully evolved under Anderson's direction at Hazelden. Some thought Anderson was "giving away the store," but he was simply passing on knowledge that would help as many addicted people and their loved ones as possible. After he retired from Hazelden, Anderson said, "We probably did more good at Hazelden through the people we've trained than through the work we've done to treat people." The idea for sharing the Minnesota Model was a big part of the Hazelden mission under Anderson's leadership. Anderson was a huge proponent of passing on Hazelden's knowledge through consultation, training and education. He was a popular lecturer, both nationally and internationally, and wrote numerous essays, articles and books on addiction topics. Two essays still regarded as classics include "The Psychopathology of Denial" and "Behavioral Management of Chronic Illness." He taught for more than 30 years at the Rutgers Summer School of Alcohol Studies and lectured frequently at the University of Minnesota's Chemical Dependency Counselor Certificate Program. He was active as a member or consultant for many professional associations. His honors and achievements were numerous and included the Rutgers Summer School of Alcohol Studies 1982 Outstanding Achievement Award; the 1984 Nelson J. Bradley Outstanding Service Award from the National Association of Alcoholism Treatment Programs; the First Annual President's Award from the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Association; an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1987; and the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2000 from the University of St. Thomas. Anderson was born in Minneapolis on March 30, 1921. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from the College of St. Thomas in 1950, his master of arts in clinical psychology from Loyola University in Chicago in 1956, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa in 1966. Anderson served as a clinical psychologist at Willmar State Hospital from 1952 to 1961 and was a consultant and lecturer for Hazelden from 1957 to 1961. He joined Hazelden full time in 1961 and was executive vice president and director there until 1971. He served as president of Hazelden from 1971 until his retirement in 1986. He remained active in the field as president emeritus of Hazelden in the following years. Anderson, who lived in Taylors Falls, Minn., for the past 38 years, is survived by his wife Marie; two sisters, Dawn Birra and Colleen Hammerlund; 10 children, sons Dennis, David, Dean and Doug and daughters Monica LaVigne, Colleen Anderson, Cheryl Anderson, Patti Anderson, Corinne Anderson and Cindi Foster; 15 grandchildren and one great grandchild. The family requested that memorial's in Dan's honor be given to the Hazelden Foundation's Lifesaver patient aid fund. [38] IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 877. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Dan Anderson, addiction treatment pioneer, dead at 81 From: kentedavis@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/16/2003 7:39:00 PM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Was Anderson ever on the AA board of trustees? Kent Davis IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 878. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Collier''s (Part 1) August 27, 1949 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/17/2003 9:29:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII SKID ROW - U.S.A. By WILLIAM J. SLOCUM Perhaps you'll recognize one of your old friends or schoolmates on this tour through the jungles of our cities. Skid Row is an open jail for men whose only crime may bepoverty or loneliness PART ONE OF TWO PARTS I have just traveled 8,000 miles, groping my way through the missions, saloons and flophouses of a dark and sometimes dank jungle known as skid row. I saw thousands of men, most of them drunk, half of them dirty, and all of them beaten by life. I talked, drank, ate and sang hymns with them. I had some small adventures, too, which weren't very important. What might be important though, is that I probably met someone you have known. If you went to Perdu, Villanova, the Haskell School for Indians, or to Heidelberg in Germany, it may be that I crossed paths with an old classmate of yours. Or, if you are a doctor of medicine with a wide acquaintanceship, it is possible my roommate in Kansas City counted you a friend. He and I shared a six-by-four chamber with a crate full of chickens. If you are a pampered hambone living in Hollywood, come along with me; step into your chartreuse convertible, drive down to Fifth Street in Los Angeles and park outside the blood bank. Sooner or later you'll see him, and perhaps recognize him. He gets $4 a pint for his blood, a sum which is immediately translatable into a couple of gallons of muscatel. Are you a member in good standing of the Officers' Club? Then, try Congress Avenue in Houston. You may recognize the man I saw there. He was a lieutenant colonel, up from the ranks, sir. Or check Clark Street in Chicago for a West Pointer, or Howard Street in San Francisco for an Annapolis man. Did you know a linguist? Scout the Madison Street jungle in Chicago. Because a derelict there surprised a cop by speaking to him in Gaelic. An assistant state's attorney got Italian from him. Later he lapsed into Chinese. A Greek lawyer, called in, said his Greek was good. "Sure, he could get by," the lawyer explained. "You see, he doesn't speak modern Greek much. Just classical Greek." This man won't be hard to find. He's a Negro. I traveled 8,000 miles before I met somebody I knew myself. I ran into a schoolmate on the corner of Stanton Street and the Bowery in New York at seven fifty one morning. (A saloon on Stanton Street hands out "coffee and " each morning when the doors are opened at 8:00 A.M.) My old schoolmate was waiting. He laughed when he saw me and said, "you're getting fat. You drink too much beer." Meeting him cost $5. I started this tour of Skid Row in Chicago where I met Captain Joseph Graney of the Desplaines Street Police Station. The captain made me a little bet. "If you're going all over the country to look at Skid Row I'll lay you 15 to 5 you meet an old friend," he predicted. "And I'll tell you something else. You'll meet guys who talk better than you, think better than you, and dress better than you. But you just won't meet anybody as lucky as you." The captain was right on all counts. Alcohol: the Cause or the Result? Skid Row is the end of the road for thousands of Americans. It is a jungle of crumbling tenements, twisted shacks and filthy alleys. It is an open jail for men who are guilty of no greater crime than being poor, or not getting along with their wives, or just being lonesome. Sure, many drink, but no man can honestly say whether alcohol is the cause or the result of their hopelessness. Skid Rows are at their gaudiest in big cities, but if there are 5,000 or more people in your town, chances are you have a Skid Row of sorts. You think not? How about that part of the city where the ne'er-do-wells gather-a couple of drunks, the old panhandler, the shiftless handy man, the fellow who never amounted to much after the war (pick your own war) and the village idiot? That's Skid Row. If you live in a big city you know the place. In New York it's the Bowery, biggest and cruelest of them all. Chicago has two small Rows plus bloodstained Madison Street. There is also Howard Street in gracious San Francisco, the dirtiest, drinkingest and most depressing thoroughfare in the land. In Los Angeles it's Fifth Street off South Main where the bartenders direct you to the nearest blood bank when you run out of money and need some quick cash. Proud and booming Houston has its Congress Avenue where the bums try to talk like Gene Autry, try to look like him, and never spill a grain of tobacco as they roll their own with quivering hands. In Kansas City, the flophouses on Main Street and the tin-can shacks on the banks of the Missouri have at one time or another housed a great Middle Western brain surgeon, a millionaire'' son, a farm equipment engineer who was the best man in his business, and wonder of wonders, Missouri's leading madam. Dungarees or blue jeans are the traditional uniform of Skid Row, but a neatly dressed man excites no interest. He can be a sightseer, a businessman off on a bender, or one of the highly prosperous gentlemen who run the saloons, flophouses, barber colleges, pawnshops or two-bit movie houses that infest the jungle. The saloons sell 10-cent gin at a profit. Barber colleges are numerous because there are always plenty of men in the neighborhood who are willing to shed a few drops of blood in return for a free shave. The two-bit movie houses provide a comfortable place to sleep despite the endless gunfire exploding from the sound tracks of the old Westerns that are Skid Row's customary cinema fare. I spent a month on the Skid Rows of the nation and visited all these exotic hangouts of the unlucky and the unwary. I also visited a quiet old building on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. In it work some of the brilliant and consecrated men who are devoting their lives to studying alcoholism. If anything is to be done for Skid Row bums, the whys and wherefores of drunkenness must first be understood. The men at the Yale Clinic are trying. To the vast majority of people liquor is refreshment, a part of good and congenial living. And wine, always more exotic than the hard stuff, recalls the warmth, the richness and the good taste suggested by its historic use in religious ceremony. That's what alcohol generally means to most of us. But to the 90 per cent of the Skid Row population who are chronic drunks, alcohol-in any form-is the be-all and end-all of their sordid existence. It is pursued as other men seek fame, fortune or the third blonde from the end. The other 10 per cent live there for financial reasons, usually because their earnings or their pensions permit nothing better. Some are ducking alimony payments or more serious complications. Others simply are misers. Many old-timers eke out their last days in fleabags because they can fins companionship there without the regimentation to be faced in the Old Folks Home. But the typical Skid Row bum will drink anything. Three Chicago policemen, planted inside a stolen automobile in a garage, watched one bum tap an engine and then lie on his back to catch the spouting antifreeze alcohol. Rubbing alcohol and other forms distilled from wood are diluted or "cut" to make "smoke," a universal Skid Row drink. Bay run, hair tonic and canned heat are also widely used. The solid canned heat is reduced to liquid by putting it in a piece of thin cloth and then squeezing it. The resulting poison is known among the cognoscenti as a "Pink Lady." Death or blindness is the frequent end result of this kind of drinking. As a minor note in a major tragedy, "smoke," "Pink Ladies" and the like do not produce the sense of well-being common to accepted alcoholic drinks. They merely numb, render unconscious and perhaps bring on death. An oft-used drink along Skid Row, however, is wine. Fortified wines. They run slightly over 20 per cent alcohol and are therefore about half the strength of a shot of whisky. There is a popular police theory across the nation that the "winos" (or "wineeos" as some Chicagoans call them) will drink fortified wines because they keep a man drunk longer. The winos disagree. I was told at least a hundred times in response to my question, "I drink wine because I can't afford whisky." When a Skid Row bum does have a stake he drinks hard liquor. The business of getting drunk starts with the dawn. The haggard man walks around with one hand outstretched. In that hand is a nickel or a dime. He hails each passing comrade with "I got a dime." The other in turn sings back how much he has. They join forces and continue the search for a third and fourth, or until they have among them enough to get a bottle. There are certain customs and etiquettes observed. The largest contributor usually gets the first drink, but after that it is rotation drinking without regard to contribution. If two men have enough to buy a pint they will do so, but not three. Three will wait until they have a fourth, and perhaps even a fifth man, in order to get a larger bottle. A non-contributor often can get a drink. However, custom limits him to just one, unless he has spent the night in jail. He may then join the rotation. These gentle rules apply everywhere except in New York. There, Bowery protocol is: No money, no drink. Shelter is a distant second need to alcohol in the Skid Row pattern. Food is a bad third. Even in the mildest of weather the bum wants a bed or, as he calls it, a "flop." He knows he must sleep and his need for a bed is one per cent comfort and 99 per cent sheer survival. If he sleeps in a park or an alley he can reasonably expect to have his shoes stolen and his pockets sliced out of his pants. He will be too drunk either to know or to resist. Many Names for Flophouses The commonest of Skid Row shelters are the flophouses. The entrepreneurs of these substandard stables prefer to call their hostelries "lodginghouses." The clients of the "lodging-houses" prefer such basic descriptive terminology as "fleabag," "scratch house," "flop-house" and a long series of accurate, but unprintable names. Prices vary slightly the country over, but the difference is not great. In general a dormitory cot costs a quarter and a private room usually sets a guest back about a half dollar. The private rooms, called "bird cages," are six feet by four feet and contain a bed and locker. The walls are built at least two feet short of the ceiling, and wire netting stretches across the top of each cell. This netting is a ventilating device, and as the evening wears on, ventilation progressively becomes less of a blessing. Each floor of a flophouse has a few "suites." These are rooms which have windows. They rent for 15 or 20 cents more than the regular rooms. They also have electric lights, a rarity in the majority of lodginghouses. Many flophouses are patent firetraps. New York and Chicago recently cracked down on the proprietors. But they remain firetraps, nevertheless. Anybody (male) gets into a flophouse by plopping down the necessary fee and muttering a name to the clerk. The clerk tosses the guest a key and scribbles down his interpretation of the name. All you get for your money is a flop. If you smoke you get tossed out. If you have a visitor in your room you both get thrown out. If you make any noise (Not uncommon when you go to bed with a jug) you get the heave-ho. Seldom does anybody get his money back when evicted. Credit regulations are basic the country over. There is no credit except for the steadiest customers and pensioners. A steady customer is defined as a man in residence for more than six years. He can expect two nights' lodging on credit, then out he goes. The pensioner gets a better break simply because his check comes to the hotel, and the management forces him to endorse it on the spot. These rare courtesies are likely to be withdrawn immediately if the recipient forgets to tip the clerk. Strangely, the itinerant guests invariably tip the clerk a nickel or a dime. Some Skid Row bums, usually pensioners, live in the same flophouse 15 and 20 years. Two of the Four Horsemen gallop the corridors of the nation's fleabags 24 hours a day. The ambulance and the hearse are almost as common as the patrol wagon which makes regular rounds picking up drunks out of the gutters. It is impossible to get statistics on the Skid Row death rate but Chicago, whose Skid Row population varies seasonably between 7,000 (spring and summer) and 15,000 (winter), reported last winter that 50 corpses a month are found in the Skid Row area. Another 50 persons are removed from Skid Row to die in hospitals. Missions sometimes have dormitories and "bird cages." The missions are cleaner and invariably more expensive than a hotel flop. They are not popular with Skid Row bums because their admittance requirements are higher than the flophouses. In many cities there are also dilapidated rooming houses which usually cater to a reasonably permanent clientele. A lady in Kansas City runs one which has eight pensioners. None of the guests has seen his check in months. She handles everything. When a Skid Row bum is without a flop for the night he "is carrying the banner." When he is tormented with a hang-over that screams for a nerve placating drink he is "sick." A bum who says he is "sick" or "carrying the banner" can be certain of relief from his fellow bums if among them they can dig up the necessary funds. Soup and coffee are the staple items of a Skid Row diet. Where prices are high (40 to 50 cents for a portion of meat scraps, potatoes and all the bread without butter you can eat) a regular meal comes close to costing as much as it would in a modest restaurant located in a poor section of town. Chicago and New York fit this category. But wherever a man can get meat and potatoes for about a quarter, as he can in Kansas City and Los Angeles, it sometimes seems to me that he could do better to get his nourishment from wine. Such restaurants are called "horse markets" by their suspicious customers. Chef Earns All He Gets A restaurant on Madison Street in Chicago pays its Skid Row chef $150 a week and he is worth it. A strange characteristic of Skid Row restaurants everywhere is their attitude on cleanliness. They are either unspeakably filthy or as spotless as a hospital operating room. They all specialize in the cheapest and most obscure cuts of meat, and their prices vary in each city. Missions hand out doughnuts and coffee in the morning and soup and coffee at night. But when a man eats in a mission he has been broke and hungry a long, long time. A few saloons give their regular customers coffee and cake in the morning. And soup is occasionally doled out in the afternoon. But the saloon usually uses only three or four bowls at a time, so the bums must wait while the early comers empty and clean a dish. Free soup and coffee are always a miracle in alchemy. Somehow the cooks manage to water down the water. The citizen of Skid Row has the same need-if not the same lust-for money that distinguishes his more normal brother. And he gets it precisely the same way. He works for it, has it given to him or he steals it. Skid Row seems to be evenly divided among those who won't work and those who can't work. Panhandling is a prime source of revenue in any jungle. Sometimes it's plain begging, but more often the price of a pint is earned through devices such as peddling pencils, shoelaces, and the like. The "lumbermen" or crutch carrying cripples can beg $30 a day with ease. However, when one has made a $5 stake he simply calls it a day and heads for a package store. The bums have learned that, for some reason, a young man on crutches does better financially than an older person. All begging is risky business because the police are wont to discourage it with controlled violence, but they dare not touch a cripple. Beggars hang together in groups of four of five. Frequently only one of the gang will work a full day while the others loaf. Each man simply takes his turn. Meet Trampdom's Upper Crust The gandy-dancers are the Skid Row aristocracy. They work for the railroads, laying track, grading roadbeds and digging drainage ditches. Their name is derived from the rhythmical movement they once made as they tamped gravel and cinders tightly around railroad ties. They worked in pairs, bobbing up and down. Modern machinery has made this type particular type of work extinct, but there is other heavy labor easily worth the standard $1.06 to $1.09 per-hour rate. That shoots up two cents per hour when the gandy-dancer has a year or more of continuous service, a most unlikely eventuality. The gandy-dancer usually works from May 1st to November 30th. During this period he frequently leaves Skid Row and lives in work camps where he must pay for inferior food and bad lodging. At the typical camp the tab varies from 65 cents per meal to $2.93 a day. He works six, but pays room and board for seven days. Many railroads maintain labor offices on Skid Row. Others contract for help through commissary agents who supply the men and feed and board them. The agents' profits comes out of the food and lodging bill. A gandy-dancer is entitled to unemployment benefits from the railroads based upon how much money he makes. These benefits, plus local unemployment relief, help see him through the winter, or as he says, "Keep me safe to Paddy's Day." A few gandy-dancers, as soon as they hit town, will pay their flophouse rent in advance for December 1st to St. Patrick's Day. Most of them are lucky if they have a nickel left a week after they come in from the camps. Agents say 70 per cent of the men stay at work throughout the season. From my own observations, I doubt it by 70 per cent of their estimated 70 per cent. Many go out to pick fruits or vegetables. This is piecework and those who have the strength and the necessary manual agility can make as much as $12 a day. The food is always better than the railroad camps provide and is frequently excellent by any standards. Labor agencies are numerous in Skid Row and help supply agricultural workers. It is an accepted custom for a man to sign on as a gandy-dancer so he will be shipped close to the Connecticut tobacco fields or the California vegetable crops. Then he jumps the railroad and justifies it, if he bothers, because of the bad food and dirty living quarters that seem to be part of the railroad camps. When a man comes back from a period of gandy-dancing or an agricultural job with a couple of hundred dollars in his pockets, he wants a shoeshine. A bootblack on Kansas City's Skid Row told me, "I've shined shoes that didn't have any soles on `em. They always throw you a half buck. If they have any money, they'll get a shine three or four times a day. I don't know why but they all love to get their shoes shined." The shoes may be polished in a bar- room and often a man who is flush will leave his wad with the bartender. He may or may not drink it all up in a night. Obviously no man can drink $200 worth of two-for-a-quarter whisky in a single evening but there are repeated rounds of drinks for the house. And the bartender usually keeps tab with equal abandon. Men who want a day's work will gather at a rendezvous point in Skid Row to be picked up each morning by independent truckers. The pay is usually a dollar an hour and no Skid Row laborer will accept hire from an employer who insists upon withholding taxes. He wants $8 for eight hours and the trucker can pay the government anything Uncle Sam has coming. This work is as unpopular as it is arduous, so four or five men will band together to take daily turns at working and each day's $8 is divided among the group that night. Most of the handbills distributed in any town are set out by Skid Row workers. To get around minimum-wage laws, an hour is not used as a unit of time in this industry. An hour is the duration it takes to distribute a specified number of handbills. In crowded areas an hour is equivalent to 125 deliveries; medium crowded it's 100; and sparsely settled suburbs are 75. Payment in this field seems to work out to around 35 cents an hour for a day'' work. But it can be a lot less. The lowest form of Skid Row labor is bottle collecting. Men trudge around picking up empties which, by a custom which is nation-wide except in New York, are carefully lined up along the curbs for the convenience of the bottle-man. He gets a cent and a half for gallon jugs, a cent for quart bottles and a half cent for pints. And they must be wine bottles, because whisky bottles by law cannot be refilled. Brisk Trade with Blood Banks If you have ever been given plasma or serum you are closer to Skid Row than you think. Thousands of bums peddle their blood to legitimate banks, many of which are located in, or reasonably adjacent to, Skid Row. The price for a pint which is to be reduced to plasma is $4 in California and a little more in the East. A blood donor is generally limited to five bleedings a year, but a man can go broke a lot more than five times during 12 long months. Records are kept, but identification is a haphazard thing on Skid Row. Arms are examined for recent punctures and in Los Angeles each donor has the fingers of his left hand painted with a compound which is not visible unless the hand is placed under a blue fluorescent lamp. It takes about eight weeks for this solution to disappear completely. I watched one bank turn away 32 men within two hours when the lamp showed telltale blue on their fingers. Recently, however, a Skid Row chemist discovered a solution that erases the stain within minutes. Clear-blooded alcoholics from Skid Row make up the largest part of the nation's donor population. But their contributions mix easily with those from church groups giving blood for charity, or from young men who need the price of a few gallons of gas for an evening date, and from other young men who need money to buy mike for their babies. The blood banks in Los Angeles normally hit peak production just before Income Tax Day. Pensions account for a large, if not the largest, portion of income. Most pensioners do not draw enough to allow better living standards. The steel and concrete jungle is heavily populated with remittance men drawing small monthly checks from relatives and with Army and Navy pensioners. The retired servicemen are usually as drunk as anybody in the bar- room, but they are invariably immaculate. One of the most extraordinary seminars I ever heard started in a Bowery saloon when one old gentleman complained of his rheumatism and said, "I can go up to the Old Soldiers Home. But I don't want to do that yet." He went on to say, "There's a law you know. No soldier of Uncle Sam can be a public charge." General agreement was voiced and then a bleary old gent said, "You know, America is the greatest country in the world." This was immediately acknowledged as gospel by all and sundry and there began a round-table discussion among a half-dozen down-and-out hulks, each vying to add further vocal tribute to the land of opportunity. There are a few women on Skid Row, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps one explanation is that the weaker sex is made of sterner stuff. Another more obvious argument is that society just won't allow a woman to sleep in the gutter. I saw a cripple fall and split his face wide open in front of Chicago's Haymarket Theater and the box-office lady didn't pause a second in the job of applying her lipstick. But let a woman doze off in a hallway and the police station switchboard lights up like a Christmas tree. Almost invariably the calls are from indignant females. The female Skid Row consists, obviously, of the bordellos of the land. But the inmates therein rarely wind up in the gutters. The mortality rate among prostitutes is high. But so, too, is the marriage rate. And when a girl finds she has to call quits to such a career she can always go home. Few Women Among the "Down" Traveling from New York to California and back, I saw four out-and-out Skid Row drunks of the opposite sex. I don't know how many thousands of alcoholic men I saw. The professional phrase for a bum who has dropped to the sidewalk is "down." I saw at least 500 males who were down during a month in the jungle, but just two females. I did see perhaps 50 women who obviously lived on Skid Row. There are no flophouses available to them, so they live in tiny rooms. They are pensioners or beggars. A few shelters for women do exist, but they are expensive and the tenants are subject to expulsion if, after a 12-hour day of selling pencils, they so befoul themselves as to have a couple of glasses of beer. Although Skid Row is almost completely free of sex, and few females are ever seen on it, women are a perpetual topic of conversation at the bars and over the tables in the flophouse lobbies. Almost all Skid Row bums insist that women put them where they are. At first I shrugged off that theory as an alibi. After a month of closer listening, however, I would suggest that any error is in the direction of understatement. In addition to the bums who are certain that women put them on Skid Row, there are others who unmistakably were driven there by women and don't realize it. To clear up that last statement first: Policemen all over the country told me to look for the derelict who had been the "youngest son." He was not hard to find. He was, in fact, everywhere. He was the boy who had stayed home with Mother while the older brothers went out and got themselves set in business. When Mother died, the youngest was finally forced into a competitive world. Perhaps he started at the age of forty-about 22 years too late. He stands alone, bereft of his mother's comfort and with a tight silver cord still tied around his hands and his brains. Whisky, he soon discovers, erases his fear, his confusion, and his humiliation. Soon he is on Skid Row. Quite frequently he is supported by checks from his older brothers who ask only that he stay to hell away from them. He himself believes that he's on Skid Row because he couldn't get along with his family back in Des Moines. He's there, of course, because his mother didn't give him the same break she gave his brothers. "Too Much Mama" May Harm Son A slight variation of the youngest son who stayed home with Mama is the case of the only son who did the same thing. The Yale Plan Clinic is in the throes of conducting a survey which is not yet nearly complete. But the figures which have so far been compiled carry a tremendous impact. Mark Keller of the Yale Group has made the following statement on the basis of what has been learned so far: "We are making a study on the subject. It is not yet complete but we now have statistics indicating that 40 per cent of alcoholics are either 'only children' or `youngest.' Also, the more siblings older than the subject, the more likely he is to appear as an alcoholic." Siblings are brothers or sisters. So much for Mama who is, after all, a woman. The most frequently recurring episode in the Skid Row story goes like this. The Hotel McCoy is the Grand Hotel of Chicago's foul Madison Street Skid Row. It has 800 rooms divided among three floors, each cubicle measuring roughly four feet by six feet. Rates are 60 cents a day except for the rare rooms with windows. With ventilation the price jumps to 75 cents. A handsome automobile halted before the McCoy and one of the two ladies in it daintily hailed a policeman. "Officer," she said, "we're afraid to go in there but we would like to see Mr. John Jones. Would you ask him to come out?" The policeman entered and the clerk pointed out Mr. Jones who was quietly reading a comic book and enjoying a chew of tobacco. "Jones," said the policeman in the courtly manner of all Chicago cops, "there's a couple of babes out there in a big car. They want to see you." Jones, being on Skid Row and being in the presence of the law, cowered. "Do I have to go out?" "Nope. But they're real rich looking kids. Furs and everything." "Is there a redheaded old woman with them, Officer?" "No. Just the two young ones." Jones smiled and got up. "Okay. Let's go. Those are my daughters. But if that redheaded old bag of a mother of theirs is along, I'm running right back in here." Jones, Skid Row bum but proud father, went out to meet his daughters. He was one of the vast army of men who have fled a nagging wife for the delights of an all-make Skid Row flop and some peace and quiet. None of the men I met admitted his life had been blighted by a maiden who spurned his offer of matrimony. Nor did any charge infidelity on the part of their wives. But the doting mother, and the nagging wife must take the blame for thousands who seek escape on Skid Row. Liquor, too, plays a heavy role here, of course, and no woman can be criticized for objecting if her husband is perpetually plastered. But, like the chicken and the egg, it would be interesting to know which came first. What steps are being taken to wipe out Skid Row-U.S.A.? Next week's installment exposes the inadequacies of our programs to help the unfortunate men who are America's living dead Source: Collier's, August 27, 1949 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ++++Message 879. . . . . . . . . . . . Periodical Lit: Collier''s [Part II], September 3, 1949 From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/18/2003 9:31:00 AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII SKID ROW - U.S.A. By WILLIAM J. SLOCUM Within our cities there is a world of living dead whereLonely, despairing Americans seek escape from themselves The author of this two part article traveled 8,000 miles to get a close-up of Skid Row, U.S.A. Every city and town with a population of 5,000 or more has its own human jungle. Crumbling tenements and filthy alleys mark the end of the road for thousands of Americans. Part 1 dealt with the way vagrants go about getting a drink, a flop or an occasional stake. But what is society doing to rehabilitate these men? CONCLUSION A weird little tale was recently unfolded in Chicago that somehow managed to encompass everything that goes to make up Skid Row, U.S.A. A bum was found dead in the Madison Street jungle and they carted his body off to the morgue. His pockets were crammed with identification, so officials were able to notify a Wisconsin family that their father had departed this world. The wife and a couple of daughters came on and identified the remains. The body was taken back to Wisconsin and buried with full American Legion honors. A $1500 insurance policy was settled and all went well for two weeks. Then the family received a peremptory note from the morgue giving them 48 hours to claim Father or he would go to potter's field. The family, baffled by this development, came running to the Desplaines Street police station, which has jurisdiction over the Madison Street Skid Row. Captain Joseph Graney quieted the woman and told them the morgue had originally made a mistake in concluding the body was that of their father, and the family had compounded the error by identifying the strange corpse. While the Captain was talking to the ladies, however, they showed him a picture of their father, taken a decade before. Captain Graney looked at the picture and bellowed, "I saw this same guy last night in front of the Star and Garter. He was plastered. Wait here a minute." Graney hopped into a squad car. In five minutes he was back, dragging behind him a very live and reasonably sober gentleman. It was, indeed, Father himself. As soon as the initial shock had worn off Father spoke. "Fooled you, didn't I?" he gloated. "You thought I was dead, eh? Sorry to disappoint you." With that he made a vulgar noise in the direction of his wife and requested the captain's permission to return to the peace and quiet of his flophouse. The possibility of intended fraud is remote and unimportant to this grisly anecdote which capsules so much of the Skid Roe story. Father did not merely dislike Mother. He hated her. Father's respectable family and his war record suggest he had not long been an anonymous alcoholic. Father had recently been "jack-rolled" while drunk and it is reasonable to suspect that the man who later died was the one who had picked his pockets. That would explain how Father's identification papers were found on the corpse. One drunken derelict preying on another, sudden death and the completely broken family, these are Skid Row-the American jungle. In New York, a Bowery tavern owner named Sammy Fuchs made an effort to do something to help the bums who wanted their relatives to be notified in case of death. From them he accepted envelopes which the bums numbered and sealed. Inside they put the names of their next of kin. Sometimes papers to be forwarded were included. The bums in turn carried little notes on their person reading: "In case of death tell Sammy Fuchs to open Envelope 17." Or Envelope 11, or whatever the identifying number would be. "I sent off dozens of telegrams," Sammy told me. "I never looked at anything except the address. I know one envelope contained papers which were supposed to secure a big estate for a Skid Row woman's illegitimate son. She told me about it before she died and I hope the kid got it. I sent one telegram to a rich Pennsylvania banker to tell him his son rolled off an East River pier and drowned." Early this year burglars broke into Sammy's saloon and carted off the safe which held the envelopes. Sammy runs a Bowery saloon that has a dual personality. From 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. it is just another Skid Row dive. From 9:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. it becomes a sight-seeing mecca for thrill-hungry out-of-towners. The hour between eight and nine is used to clean the place up and create atmosphere by lining up prop Bowery characters. After nine o'clock ancient entertainers sing with great gusto, and a benevolent old man, well into his sixties, plays the meanest piano I've heard in a long time. Experiments in Rehabilitation Sammy has made an interesting experiment in rehabilitating Skid Road characters the country over. He straightens them out, buys them clothes, pays a month's rent and gets them a job. He estimates it costs him about $350 per man to do a complete job. He has experimented thusly 18 times and claims four of his rehabilitation projects are still off Skid Row. "You can't let `em live on Skid Row and expect `em to stay sober when they see all their friends drunk," says Fuchs. Another Fuchs theory-"The only ones who have a chance to straighten out are the young ones"- is an opinion universally shared by policemen and judges all over the country. The scientists at the Yale Plan Clinic, where the problem is being studied carefully, confirm that they young are not beyond redemption, but in measured academic tones Yale suggests that Sammy, the cops and the judges are nuts. "A young alcoholic has very little reason to want to sober up," they point out. "He has never experienced the rewards of a normal life-family, children and a job." According to Dr. Robert V. Seliger, first-rate psychiatrist and executive director of the National Committee on Alcohol Hygiene, Inc., 30 to 40 out of every 100 alcoholics may be helped back to health by modern psychiatric treatment. They are sick in the same way that a man may fall ill of pneumonia, or smallpox, or diabetes. As Dr. Seliger points out, alcohol itself does not cause alcoholism. To the millions of Americans who drink regularly or occasionally without letting alcohol interfere with their lives, liquor is a refreshment, a part and a symbol of gracious living. But most alcoholics drink to excess seeking escape from emotional ills. Missions do what they can to help the sick and despondent on Skid Row. They are everywhere there, beckoning all with signs of gold and blinking neon. But to the men on the rows, they represent only a place a man can get a soup, coffee and bread. I entered a mission on Sunday afternoon. Services had started, but I was greeted by a preacher. "Welcome, brother," he said. "Get yourself a book." I got a hymnal and took my place among 20 other men. Fifteen were Skid Row bums, clean, hung-over, shaking and miserable. The other five were well-dressed by any standards. Four were businessmen who had been saved from Skid Row. One was a visiting clergyman who had come to listen to the sermon. We sang three hymns. Then the businessmen rose in turn to tell their stories. A sermon followed this, and when it was ended, the preacher asked whether anyone felt called upon to speak up. The room was redolent with the aroma of hot soup and coffee, and the hungry men were concentrating on that. There was no thought of talk. We sang three more hymns and then it was time for grace. The minister said it, trying not to look self-conscious as he gazed down at the bowed and frowsy heads of his sick and hungry congregation. After that the men rose and formed a line for a tin cup of soup, a half cup of coffee and a slice of bread. They gulped the food and left hurriedly. Alcoholics Anonymous Gives Aid Hard-working members of Alcoholics Anonymous are another force for good along Skid Row. Faith is especially mentioned in six of the 12 steps of the program for recovery the organization uses. Alcoholics Anonymous is everywhere, in the jails, the courtrooms and the hospitals. Sometimes A.A. members are received with open arms by officials, sometimes they are brushed off as tiresome nuisances. They keep insisting that a drunk doesn't belong in jail, and that, when he does get to a hospital, he should receive the same care he might expect if he were a well-to-do citizen. New York City is a case in perfect point, illustrating the conflict in official attitudes. At Bellevue Hospital A.A. are sometimes brushed off by some busy and impatient doctor. "I didn't spend half my life studying medicine merely to take care of weak-willed drunks," he will complain. But at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, run by the same City of New York, A.A.'s are welcomed. Its members and interested doctors sit in joint committee to see how they can better cooperate in helping the penniless alcoholic. The district attorney of San Francisco bows a reverent head in the direction of the "South of Market" chapter of A.A. which works in Skid Row. In Los Angeles, A.A. teams of two patrol the Lincoln Heights court 24 hours a day and any Skid Row bum who needs a cup of coffee or a double-header of rye to stave off the d.t.'s gets them and no questions. The "Alinon Club" in Newark is fighting the good fight in a rough part of the country. "Alinon" has to its credit the rare case of a woman who spent 16 years on Skid Row and has been "dry" two years now. In New York City the Twelfth Step House at 53 Barrow Street has turned an apartment house basement into a refuge for any man or woman who is willing to walk the short distance from Skid Row. He can get anything that a group of human beings who are themselves pretty poor can give him: food, a suit of clothes, a job and that precious thing, an understanding ear. Twelfth Step House was started by an A.A. who wanted to do something for what his group calls "low-bottom drinkers." A "high-bottom drinker" is an alcoholic who has a little money, a home and some friends to help him through his travail. A "low-bottom" is one who has nothing. Last January this man, who is not rich, paid $50 to cover a month's rent on a basement which had been unoccupied since prohibition. Other A.A.'s pledged one, two, or five dollars a month to keep it going. It is open from noon to midnight. A Skid Row drunk walks in and he is soon talking to an A.A. who can truthfully top any story of degradation or misfortune the bum can tell about himself. He is given coffee and food, and, if he volunteers a request for help in sobering up, a silk-smooth operation begins. First he has to "sweat it out." That's a three or four day process during which a man gets sobered up first and then goes through the agonies of the dammed, fighting against a nervous system which screams for a drink. While he is "sweating it out," A.A. veterans of the same sort of personal hell talk to him, listen to him, walk with him through the night and even buy him a double-header if their expert eyes tell them his system must have a little alcohol. When sleep comes at last he is taken to a flophouse and his new friends buy him a night's lodging. When the "sweating out" period is finished, the man gets a suit of clothes and a job. Twelfth Street House has an arrangement with a half-dozen hospitals to hire men it recommends. Since January more than 150 Skid Row drunks have been straightened out and returned to