Robert Speer, Henry B. Wright, Frank Buckman
The Absolutes, then called Standards, were first introduced in a 1902 book titled The Principles of Jesus, by Robert E. Speer. Speer as an undergraduate at Princeton University, had been greatly influenced by Dwight L. Moody, the leading American evangelist of the 19th Century. Speer became prominent as a religious leader and author, but his Four Standards were reportedly passed on to Frank Buckman by Henry B. Wright, a highly acclaimed professor of religion at Yale. Buckman, an ordained Lutheran minister, used the Absolutes as guiding ideals. Following a religious conversion experience he had in 1908, he began passing his vision along to others and offering the Absolutes as necessary standards for a new life. This practice survived, and even today the Standards are posted by Initiatives to Change. Individuals in the movement were encouraged to use the Four Standards as yardsticks in measuring the real worth and morality of any decision or action. Later on, Moral Re-Armament publisized the Four Absolutes as an ideology that was the right alternative to the threat of communism.
While AA members rarely call for its absolute form, rigorous honesty is regularly recited as a basic requirement for seeking and finding real sobriety. Despite the depth of our troubles, we can find sanity and sobriety if we possess enough honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to consider the 12-step program and apply it in our lives. Active alcoholism, we soon learn consists of considerable self-deception and delusions. Many of us have been