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