Aa history Lovers 2006 moderators Nancy Olson and Glenn F. Chesnut page

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> > > > hi history lovers,

> > > >

> > > > Page 140 of To Employers says: "Can it be

> > > appreciated that he has

> > > > been

> > > > a victim of crooked thinking, directly caused by

> > > the action of

> > > alcohol

> > > >

> > > > on his brain?"

> > > >

> > > > One of our members asked why would Bill put such

> > > an important piece

> > > of

> > > >

> > > > information in the chapter to employers,instead of

> > > perhaps one of

> > > the

> > > > chapters at the beginning of the book.

> > > >

> > > > Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

> > > >

> > > > Thanks from Tracy

> > > > The Barking Big Book Study Group

> > > > England

> > > >

> > > >

> > > >

> > > >

> > > >

> > > >

> > > >

> > > >


> > > > Addiction recovery program Recovery from

> > > addiction

> > > > Addiction recovery center Christian addiction

> > > recovery

> > > > Alcoholics anonymous

> > > >

> > > > ---------------------------------


> > > >

> > > >

> > > > Visit your group "AAHistoryLovers" on the web.

> > > >

> > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email

> > > to:

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> > > >

> > > >

> > > > ---------------------------------

> > > >

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> > > >

> > > >

> > > >

> > > > ---------------------------------

> > > > Yahoo! Mail

> > > > Use Photomail to share photos without annoying

> > > attachments.

> > > >

> > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been

> > > removed]

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> > > > Yahoo! Groups Links

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> Yahoo! Groups Links

++++Message 3289. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Re: authorship of Chapter


From: Mitchell K. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/24/2006 10:47:00 PM
A conference approved Forward from Bill Wilson in

1967 confirms that Bill wrote the text of the Big

That settles it! All historical research means

nothing. Documents mean nothing. Oral histories mean

nothing. All of the work done by historians,

researchers, archivists, librarians etc are for

An approval by a so-called conference of expert AA

historians and archivists after extensive review of

the documents confirmed that Bill alone wrote the text

of the Big Book. The fact that Bill himself wrote that

he was more of a referee than author counts for

nothing. The fact that the manuscript chapters were

reviewed, re-written and debated by virtually all the

founding members means nothing. Bill, in a vacuum

wrote the Big Book by himself.
The subject of openmindedness mixed with the myopic

prejudiced views expressed denegrates this group and

its value in the study and bringing forth of factual

AA history vs so-called conference approved sanitized

If I remember correctly....didn't some sort of

conference approval prove beyond a shadow of a doubt

that the world was flat?
++++Message 3290. . . . . . . . . . . . Authorship of "To Employers"

From: James Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/24/2006 6:20:00 PM

The questioning of the authorship of "To Employers" sent me to

reread my copy of

Lois Remenbers.
On page 114 Lois states "Therefore I had expected Bill to ask me to

write the

chapter "To Wives" and perhaps the following one, "The Family

Afterward." When I

shyly suggested this, he said no; he thought the book, except for the


should all be written in the same style. I have never known why he didn't


me to write about the wives, and it hurt me at first; but our lives were so


that I didn't have time to think about it much."
If Bill W. has assigned the writing of "To Employers" to Hank P.,

he could not

have used writing style as a reason to not allow Lois to write a chapter or

chapters and Lois would have noted this in her history book.

Maybe we have a case of something being repeated often enough that it


the truth, sort of.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

++++Message 3291. . . . . . . . . . . . Circle and triangle on poker chips

in "The Sting"

From: george cleveland . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/24/2006 10:10:00 PM
Hi there,
I have seen these on eBay several times.
The circle and triangle are certainly not unique. Geometrically, they fit


and one can find them in many places. I saw the symbol on a gas station fill

cover the other day. And the state where I live actually uses it for the

Alcoholic Beverage Commission. So when you go to a State Liquor Store, you


the AA logo.
However I am not sure of the exact reason or origin for the appearance on


George Cleveland
Jari Kokkinen wrote: Hi everyone!
must tell you about an incident that relates to poker chips. About a year


I saw

the film "Sting" and in it the players in a poker game used chips

that had

the symbols

of AA - the circle inside the triangle on their reverse side. I wonder if

anybody would have any comments clarifying that coincidence or would just


noticed the same thing?

In Sobriety,
Jari - an AA from Finland
++++Message 3292. . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10: Bill or Hank?

From: Jeffrey Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/25/2006 4:18:00 PM

Messages from Jeffrey Johnson, Rick Tompkins, rriley9945, Arthur Sheehan,


Lee, and Edgar C.


FROM: Jeffrey Johnson

(jeffrey_h_johnson at yahoo.com)

While not wanting to sound overly repetitive relative to statements made by

other posters, it appears to me that there is a very subtle yet critical


which is being overwhelmed with strong rhetoric and exaggerated counter


regarding the ‘validity' of differing research methodologies. As


antagonists in this ‘argument' become more entrenched in their


postulations, the key historical facts are becoming obscured, and to some


First and foremost, as a long time member of this group, it is my OPINION


one of the critical customs of this group is being ignored by certain

participants in this debate - in absence of concrete, IRREFUTABLE

facts, we can

agree to disagree. Clearly, neither ‘side' in this discussion

has produced any

irrefutable "articles of fact" which definitively settle this

controversy. The

use of ‘text comparison' is no more (or less) valid than citing

one source (Pass

It On), since neither methodology / source fully or with any level of


accuracy ends the debate.
In my way of thinking there is ample evidence to support a middle


position on this topic. Bill Wilson stated in a talk he delivered in 1954 in

Fort Worth, TX that he was the "author..." of the Big Book.

However, in this same

talk - and in support of Arthur's previous statements - Bill goes on

to provide

a much more detailed account of how the Big Book was written. "So, the

preparation started and some more chapters were done and we went into AA in


York with these chapters in the rough. It wasn't like

chicken-in-the-rough; the

boys didn't eat those chapters up at all. I suddenly discovered that I

was in

this terrific whirlpool of arguments. I was just the umpire...So, we

fought, bled

and died our way through one chapter after another. We sent them out to


and they were peddled around and there were terrific hassles about what


go into this book and what should not." Therefore, given Bill's

comments, the

claims made by each side regarding some type of

definitive evidence that Hank did or did not ‘author' Chapter 10


unsubstantiated by any relevant fact.

While not wanting to sound overly pedantic, another key issue appears to be

the definition of ‘authorship', especially as Bill Wilson would

have understood

it. Inasmuch as the term author is used synonymously with writer today, Bill

may have understood ‘author' to have a different connotation;

when used as a

verb, Bill may have understood the following connotation: To assume

responsibility for the content of a published text.

Moreover, from the reflections Ruth Hock wrote in 1959 (at Bill's


there is some support for the postulation that Bill may have understood the

connotation of authorship as previously defined. "So far as I know

there was

never any doubt that you were the one to write it, Bill, and I know that you

spent endless hours discussing its general form with everyone who would


or offer an idea - especially with Doc Smith , Fitz and Hank. As soon as you

began to feel you had at least a majority agreement you began to arrive at


office with those yellow scratch pad sheets I came to know so well. All you

generally had on those yellow sheets were a few notes to guide you on a


chapter! My understanding was that those notes were the result of long


on your part after hours of discussion pro and con with everyone who might


interested." (Ruth Hock's Recollections, Nov. 10, 1959, p. 4)

Indeed, it seems to stretch credibility to the extreme, given Bill and


VERY definitive statements, to state unequivocally that Hank had no part in

writing Chapter 10, nor would it be supportable to say he was the primary


either. All available and historically accurate evidence indicates that Bill

was responsible for the overall content and context of the Big Book, but


numerous individuals influenced different sections and / or information


was included (and excluded) from the book.
The a priori result, based on all relevant facts, is that Bill developed a

general outline of each chapter then dictated the actual wording to Ruth.


a VERY lengthy review process occurred wherein numerous individuals provided

critical feedback, which at times resulted in material alterations to


original intent and wording. Clearly Hank was involved in, and was a PRIMARY

source of feedback regarding the development of the entire book, not just

chapter 10. Given Hank's physical proximity to Bill during this period

- they

were confined to a very small workspace while Ruth was taking dictation

- an

intuitively appealing conclusion is that Hank had substantial influence on

Chapter 10 as a result of his professional background and experience.

In summary, I conclude that all relevant historical evidence supports the

conclusion that Bill was the primary ‘author' of the Big Book.

However, to

conclude from this evidence that Hank was NOT influential in the development


the ideas and / or wording included in Chapter 10 by stating that "The


that Hank Parkhurst authored Chapter 10 of the Big Book is an AA myth. The


was initiated by the boastings of Hank, and perpetuated by the anti-Bill


faction of AA" is nothing more than speculation and personal opinion.


evidence indicates that many key individuals, including Dr. Bob, Hank and

Fizthugh Mayo had substantial influence on the content and information


in the book. However, barring new evidence, it CANNOT be stated irrefutable

whether or not Hank was the PRIMARY source / WRITER for the ideas and

information included in Chapter 10.
Yours in service,
Jeff J
FROM: "ricktompkins"

(ricktompkins at comcast.net)

That settles it! Now I need to read the Advisory Actions

booklet again to see self-protection in action.

Intellectual property-type lawsuits went on in that

decade, too, so why shouldn't the Conference vote that

the Text section be completely attributed to

Bill? Off the records, Bill would honestly defer to

others as literary sources.
(BTW, sorry about the top-posting here, group...)
Thank you for your post, Mitch, your satire makes us

take our own stock as AA historians.

From what I've come to understand, Parkhurst created

the outline for the Big Book, brought the editors on

board, fine-tuned a great deal of the text, and was

an integral part of the NYC+Akron teams that roundtabled

the final text that was published in February 1939.

"The Unbeliever" reads like scenes in the movie "The

Lost Weekend" and could have been Hank's last foray

into creative writing. If Wilson said Parkhurst wrote

"To Employers" let's take him at his word! Parkhurst was

once an employer's Administrator, remember...

I truly believe that Wilson did not write our Twelve

Steps, he just wrote them down after a spell of astounding serendipity: a

mix of

Oxford Grouper principles, Dale

Carnegie courses, and the fledgling Alcoholic Squads'

attempt to close every loophole that a conniving drunk

could try to sneak through. The collective vision of

our pioneers found a great deal of its conduit with

Bill's activity of writing it all down. To me, that vision,

expanded and separated from Oxford Movement principles, set

about to close all loopholes that brought recovery to

drunks in their disease.

The principles of AA are repeated innumerable times and many different ways

throughout our Big Book, just think of the

simple example 'wrongs, defects of character, shortcomings.'

Same idea, different sentences.

Our AA authorship appears to be subject to myth until proven otherwise,


our AA principles are just as much derivative.

Bill was never a Pulitzer-Prize-grade writer, and many

editors, right down to the linotype operator at Cornwall

Press, are facts of our AA history. Tom Powers is no longer

alive to reaffirm the fact that Bill needed much assistance

in his writing, and Nell Wing also attested to that reality.

When speaking of writing the history of my home Area 20,

I would always defer to the panels who reviewed my effort

and I still share that when it came together, the facts

drove it to the point where it just about wrote itself!

To this day, some believe it was written by a committee

and that perspective continues to sit well with me.

Love and serenity to all here,

Rick, Illinois

FROM: "ArtSheehan"

(ArtSheehan at msn.com)

An interesting bit of information from Bill W is in "AA Comes of


(pgs 165-166). Bill writes:
"... But as the book-naming discussion went on, I began to have

certain doubts and temptations. From the start the title "The Way


was popular. If we gave the book this name, then I could add my

signature, 'By Bill W.'! After all why shouldn't an author sign his

book? I began to forget that this was everybody's book and that I had

been mostly the umpire of the discussions that had created it ..."
Also, portions of "To Employers" are written in the style of first

person narrative and in the context of the narrator being an employer.

The profile narrated does fit Hank but not Bill.


FROM: John Lee

(johnlawlee at yahoo.com)

Response to James Blair
Good point about the "writing style" pretext used by Bill.

I'd forgotten that exchange with Lois. As you know, the

Alanon preamble tracks the language of "To Wives".
How about the royalties issue, also? If Hank had actually

written part of the Big Book, he would have been legally

entitled to royalties, irrespective of Hank tendering his

Works Publishing shares to Bill for a redundant $200

Hank didn't pursue his royalties claim because it was

pure fiction.

Bill knew that. Hank even knew it, in his sober moments.

Bill worked out a deal with the Trustees, whereby Bill

would get royalty payments for the Big Book. Bob wasn't

an author of the Big Book but Bill still tried to get

royalty payments for Bob. If Hank's claim to authorship

had had the slightest validity, Hank would have been

awarded royalties for the Big Book.
That's why overall payments to Bill became such a hot

issue in Cleveland, where Bill was confronted with

Clarence's charges that Bill was making a fortune on

AA. Hank had gone crying the blues to Clarence about

the Big Book royalties. If Hank had kept his cool,

he would have been awarded Big Book royalties. Bill

was always deferential to Hank, who had been Bill's

business partner and first successful pigeon in NYC.

Ruth Hock wrote a long 1955 letter to Bill Wilson,

detailing the writing of the Big Book. Nowhere in that

long letter does Ruth suggest that Hank wrote Chapter

10 of the Big Book.

You're absolutely correct. These AA fables keep getting

repeated for decades, and eventually assume the truth.

Nobody bothers to check the original documents, such as

the AMA Convention Program, Spencer's Principles of

Biology, or James' Varieties of Religious Experience.

If anyone would take the time to read "The Unbeliever",

they would be convinced that Hank didn't concurrently

write "To Employers". Hank couldn't write a lucid

paragraph about alcoholism.

john lee



FROM: edgarc@aol.com

(edgarc at aol.com)

Response to James Blair
Maybe we have a case of something being repeated often

enough that it becomes the truth, sort of.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well said, Jim. That's the reason why we all know

what space aliens look like. I even have salt and

pepper shakers in their likeness.
As to why Bill W wrote To Wives, instead of letting

Lois do it as she asked, it's hard to imagine her

using the patronizing, forgiving tone of the

chapter, especially such sentences as, "The first

principle of success is that you should never be angry..." and

"Patience and

good temper are most necessary.".

I think you can make a case for it being an oblique

way for Bill to say to Lois, "Get off my case, Lois..."
Edgar C, Sarasota, Fla


FROM: rriley9945@aol.com

(rriley9945 at aol.com)

If I remember correctly....didn't some sort of

conference approval prove beyond a shadow of a doubt

that the world was flat?
Er--The world isn't flat?????


++++Message 3293. . . . . . . . . . . . Poker chips and AA symbols

From: Doug B. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/25/2006 6:11:00 PM

Messages from Doug B., Kimball, and M. Eaton


FROM: "Doug B."

(dougb at aahistory.com)

I have lots of the circle/triangle chips that you mention.

They are from about 1910 per a poker chip dealer I spoke to.

The reason there are so many symbols and styles of the old

clay chips is because there are were so many establishments

that wanted chips that could be their own style and denomination.
Todays poker chip manufacturing can use any graphic they

want to so there are even more variations available and

they don't have to use the antiquated symbols anymore.
Doug B.


From: "Kimball"

(rowek at softcom.net)

I know that poker chip were used as AA tokens, or at

least in Germany. When I was there they had a chip

system based on the plain poker chip (no circle, no


The first poker chip was called the surrender chip.

It was white and was given to all new comers. The

new comer was told that "White is the International

color for SURRENDER. Now would be a good time to

surrender yourself and place your care in the hands

of God. However, should you return to drinking it may

also represent the color of the sheet that will place

over your cold dead body." Often we had to order

rolls of "just white" poker chips.
The second chip was red and given at the one month

period. People with one month were told that "Red

is the international color for STOP. Now would be a

good time to stop your stinking thinking, stop

your old behaviors, stop playing with your old

friends. However, should you return to drinking,

then the color red could represent the color of

your front windshield as you're ejected from the

The third chip was green and given at the three

month period (we had no two month chip). People

with three months were told that "Green is the

international color for GO. Now would be a good

time for you to go to more meetings, go read

your Big Book, go and talk to a sponsor, or go

and help another. However, should you return to

drinking, then the color green could represent

the color of your liver during autopsy."
The fourth chip was blue and given at the six

month period. People with six months were told

that "Blue is the international color for PEACE.

By now, you've been off the sauce long enough

for the 'fog' to lift, the steps have begun to

change you, and you may be at last experiencing

moments of serenity. However, should you return

to drinking the color blue could represent the

emotions felt by family and loved ones who knew

that behind the booze was a fine human being."

The fifth and the last poker chip was yellow and

was given at nine months of sobriety. People with

nine months were told that "Yellow is the

international color for CAUTION. By now you

know a lot about AA and staying sober. In

someways, you may actually know enough to be

dangerous. This is a time to exercise extreme

caution in what you do and think, stay close

to the fellowship and pray. However, should you

return to drinking, then the color yellow could

represent the color of your jaundiced eyes the

mortician preps you for viewing."

FROM: "M.Eaton"

(meaton1287 at rogers.com)

I was watching a tv episode one day and it was

set in a classroom. On the blackboard in the

background was "Homework - Chapter 5 -

How It Works". It is always possible that

one of our legion of members was sending

a "hello" message.

Just a theory - Murray Eaton
++++Message 3294. . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10: Bill or Hank? Another


From: johnlawlee . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/26/2006 2:58:00 PM
AA History Lovers:

I took another look at the December 1938 Big Book "Prospectus"

developed by Hank and Bill. The first part sounds like Bill Wilson,

the second half, Hank P. The non-alcoholic Trustees weren't keen

on financing a basic text, reasoning that Hank and Bill had no

experience in publishing. Tell a drunk he can't do something, and

what happens? Hank and Bill made of tour of publishing houses, to

get background and troll for an advance. Hank and Bill were both

autodidacts [self-taught]. They were innovative guys. A third of the

Works Publishing stock was given to Bill as author and a third

to Hank as business manager. Hank tried to hawk the remaining third

at meetings, with very limited success. Ruth apparently got shares,

in lieu of some of her wages. It should not be surprising that the

AA members were unenthusiastic about buying stock in a book that

hadn't been written. Many of these same members had already been

ruined financially by the stock market collapse of 1929.

There is an important clue about Chapter 10's authorship in the

December 1938 Prospectus. The last line of the page entitled "The

Present Program" indicates that "ten chapters [of One Hundred Men]

have now been written." The missing chapter was either Chapter 5 or

Chapter 10. Everyone agrees that Chapters 1 and 2 were the first

ones finished, and the drafts of those chapters were used to try to

coax an advance from publishers. Bill's talks indicate that the last

Chapter he finished was Chapter 5, How It Works. The Prospectus does

not indicate the name or subject matter of the missing chapter. Can

anyone in this forum identify the month Bill wrote up the 12 steps?

If Bill's quick writeup of the 12 steps on his bed occurred prior to

December 1938, then it is probable that Chapter 10 was the missing



john lee
++++Message 3295. . . . . . . . . . . . Are there recordings of Lois Wilson


From: George Cleveland . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/27/2006 9:52:00 PM
Hi there,
I am blessed with a great collection of recordings of Bill Wilson.

Listening to the spoken words of Bill and other long-timers (in some

cases before they were long-timers) is a wonderful resource. Thanks to

our technology these days, we can hear these people breathing in our

ears. And the message of 50 years ago is the same as today.
I have been wandering through Google and all the links that Glenn and

others have provided. Can someone direct me to where I might find

downloads of Lois' talks? Are there recordings of Anne Smith?
Thanks for any help you can provide.
George Cleveland
++++Message 3296. . . . . . . . . . . . Working the Steps/Program

From: Dean C . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/28/2006 2:10:00 PM

I've searched the text in the front part of the book ("Alcoholics

Anonymous") and don't find the phrasing "working the Steps"

or "work the

Steps" or "work the program" anywhere.

What I find is "the steps we took," "practice these

principles," "accept and

practice spiritual principles," "apply spiritual principles,"


answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed,"


our program," "following the program ," "give themselves

to this simple

program," "let up on the spiritual program of action,"

"a practical program

of action," "go through with the Twelve Steps of the program of


"Let the alcoholic continue his program," "he may go for the

program at

once," "try our program," "falling down on his spiritual

program," "the wife

who adopts a sane spiritual program, making a better practical use of


and so on.
The word "work" is used to convey a result, as in "It

worked!" Or, it's an

action based on what we've learned, as in "if an alcoholic failed to


and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others.

Or "a design for living that works in rough going." Or "we

try to put

spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives." (And so

To me, "working the Steps" has a connotation far different from

what's in

the book. It sounds difficut, unattractive, for one thing. And "work


program" sounds, to me, well, conniving, as in "work the

system," or like

what a comedian or salesperson or politician might do: "work the


"work the room."
Perhaps in other geographical areas, "work the Steps" isn't heard.


pretty much all that is heard here.
Does anyone know when these "work" phrases crept into our AA

vocabulary? (Or

where it appears in Conference-approved literature?)
-- Dean Collins

Monterey Peninsula, California

++++Message 3297. . . . . . . . . . . . Author of "It Might Have Been Worse"

From: edgarc@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/30/2006 7:56:00 AM

We are working thru all the stories in our bb and step

weekly meeting. The West Baltimore AA site has been

most helpful in providing information about the

authors, but not all of them.

Next week, we read It Might Have Been Worse. West

Baltimore gives us Chet Rude as the author, but

little more beyond what is in the story. Anyone

have more information I can bring to the meeting? Or

another source for the authors of those stories?
Thanks in advance

Edgar C, Sarasota, FL

++++Message 3298. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Are there recordings of Lois

Wilson speaking?

From: Cindy Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/29/2006 8:20:00 PM
From Cindy Miller, Robert Stonebraker, Joe Adams, and K D Dew


FROM: Cindy Miller

(cm53 at earthlink.net)

In answer to your question: I don't know if there

are any recordings of Anne Smith--but I do have

at least one recording ("Classic Talks"-Dicobe Tapes)

of Lois in my vast Al-Anon collection! ;-)



FROM: "Robert Stonebraker"

(rstonebraker212 at insightbb.com)

The Akron Intergroup offers an album with five

historical CDs, one of these is titled: "A Message

To Bill And Lois." At this point Ann Smith, Dr.

Bob, Smitty and his wife are making a recording

to be delivered to Bill and Lois Wilson on a then

new fangled recording device. Each of them speak

only a few sentences but it is a charming recording.

Also, on this CD is two of Dr. Bob's talks:

(1) at Detroit in 1948 and (2) at Cleveland in 1950.
Write to:
Akron AA Audio Archives

775 North Main Street

Akron, OH 44310
Email www.akronaa.org/archives
Bob S.


FROM: Joe Adams

(sober_in_nc at yahoo.com)

I, too, love to hear the voice that gave use the

words, and I download many many many free files in MP3

format from http://www.xa-speakers.org, including

historic Bill, Bob, Lois and other key speakers.

Another good library to hear things online in

real-audio format from

I am not aware of any recordings by Anne ... and will

be watching the list to see if anyone has better



FROM: "K D Dew"

(kddew at bardstowncable.net)

I know of one free recording try this link:
Down the page about 3/4 of the way there is

a link to "Lois W." it is Lois Wilson.

Here's another link:
but they charge
++++Message 3299. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Working the Steps/Program

From: emily baker . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/29/2006 7:44:00 PM

From Emily Baker, Lynne, Kimball, Jaime Maliachi,

Jon Markle, John Lee, Anders, and K D Dew

From: "emily baker"

(EBAKER at bak.rr.com)


Participate in the discipline of the steps.

From: Gotogo2002L@aol.com

(Gotogo2002L at aol.com)

faith without works.........is dead?

It is an action word........how does

one improve his spiritual life, without

thoroughly following the steps as laid

out in the big book.
half measures avail us


LOL Lynne


From: "Kimball"

(rowek at softcom.net)








give themselves

go through with

go for


falling down


practical use

If you can't see work here, you're

not looking!

From: "Jaime F. Maliachi P."

(jmaliachi at megatopexercise.com)

Dear Dean: good day and 24 hours of sobriety

to you.
My name is Jim Maliachi, and I am alcoholic

anonymous since 12 years. You are right in one

sense about your point of view. But I remember

some expressions of Dr. Bob and good Veterans,

that book include "if your man drink, he help

you to show how do not work the program, if he

does not drink he help you too because he show

you how it work..." May be in Akron area was the

site where it start to be the phrases with

In Mexico City we used to say "practice" the

program, and "work" the defects of character.

BUT work the steps means (to me), to practice

them. There are not difference between those w

ords, at least, it just is important one thing:

How I change my way to be, to think and to live.

Make it simple.
Thanks a lot for your tolerance.

Jaime F. Maliachi Pedrote.

servidor y amigo.


From: Jon Markle

(serenitylodge at bellsouth.net)

I realize that in some areas, the word "work" has

some awful and negative connotations. I think

that's just a matter of attitude and not necessarily

scientific . . . And that aversion appears to me

to come directly out of treatment clinics where

in groups, the word "work" is often suppressed and

substituted with "suggestions", or similar.
My personal opinion (not fact) is, that's a wimpy

excuse for getting someone else to do the work for

the alcoholic. But, that's just my personal opinion

and not based on any sort of fact, except my own

experience! My sponsor told it to me this

way, "Jon, if you work it, it's yours, you own it.

If I work it, it's mine and I'll take it with me

when I go."

Somehow that made sense to me . . . So, I "work

it"! LOL
The one phrase that immediately comes to my mind

is page 88, (Third Ed), "It works--it really does.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God

discipline us in the simple way we have just

outlined. But this is not all.

There is action and more action. 'Faith without

works is dead.' The next chapter is entirely

devoted to Step Twelve."
I'm not sure this is what you are looking for,

though. But, it seems clear to me, at least,

that "working" is a semantic expression of the

process that involves, learning, practicing and

putting to use the skills necessary to enable

the sufferer to have the desire to drink

permanently removed, become not only sober, to

recover, but also to remain sober, recovered

and usefully whole.
But, that's just my take on it . . .
Jon Markle


From: "johnlawlee"

(johnlawlee at yahoo.com)

We hear "working the program" constantly in

Pittsburgh. It's street slang, oily politician

rhetoric. Similar to "working the crowd" or

"working the room". Very manipulative language.

The only place I've seen "working the steps"

in the basic literature is ONE reference in 12and12,

near the beginning of the chapter on step 10.

12and12 basically says that as we worked the first

nine steps, we now begin to LIVE them. I've long

believed that the better view is that the steps

"work" us, they transform us, irrespective of our

original motives.

The 10th step promises in the Big Book seem to bear

that out ["it happens automatically..."].

john lee


From: anders

(serenityodaat at yahoo.se)

Hiya Dean!
I did a very quick and rough word count of the basic

text (first eleven chapters and doc's opinion) and

found some 60 references. At least 75% of them was in

the term "action" or "labour", simillair to the

examples below:
"Particularly was it imperative to work with others

as he had worked with me. Faith without works was

dead, he said" - p. 24
"...He is the Principal, we are His agent..."

"...We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He

provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and

performed His work well..." - p.75

"But this is not all. There is action and more action.

'Faith without works is dead.' The next chapter is

entirely devoted to step twelve." - p. 100

PRACTICAL experience shows that nothing will so much

insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with

other alcoholics. It works when other activities

fail." - p. 101


From: "K D Dew"

(kddew at bardstowncable.net)

I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert, of

course, but it was explained to me that the term

"working the steps" comes from the phrase in the

9th step promises..."they will always come true

if we work for them."
The above link is to a searchable website of the

big book. There are 101 references to the word

"work." One might derive "working the steps"

from some of the sentences in the BB in which

the word work is used.
++++Message 3300. . . . . . . . . . . . Significant April Dates in A.A.


From: chesbayman56 . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/4/2006 1:43:00 PM

April 1935 - Dr. Silkworth told Bill to quit preaching at drunks and

tell them of obsession and allergy.

April 1950 - Saturday Evening Post article "The Drunkard's Best

Friend" by Jack Alexander.

April 1958 - The word "honest" dropped from AA Preamble, "an


desire to stop drinking".

April 1966 - Change in ratio of trustees of the General Service

Board; now two thirds (majority) are alcoholic.

April 1970 - GSO moved to 468 Park Ave. South, NYC.

April 1, 1939 - Publication date of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA's Big


April 1, 1940 - Larry J. of Houston, wrote "The Texas Prayer",


to open AA meetings in Texas.

April 1, 1966 - Sister Ignatia died.

April 2, 1966 - Harry Tiebout, M.D. died.

April 3, 1941 - First AA meeting held in Florida.

April 3, 1960 - Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J., died. He was Bill

W's "spiritual sponsor."

April 7, 1941 - Ruth Hock reported there were 1,500 letters asking

for help as a result of the Saturday Evening Post Article by Jack


April 10, 1939 - The first ten copies of the Big Book arrived at the

office Bill and Hank P shared.

April 11, 1938 - The Alcoholic Foundation formed as a trusteeship for

A.A. (sometimes reported as May 1938)

April 11, 1941 - Bill and Lois finally found a home, Stepping Stones

in New Bedford.

April 16, 1940 - A sober Rollie H. catches the only opening day no-

hitter in baseball history since 1909.

April 16, 1973 - Dr. Jack Norris presented President Nixon with the

one millionth copy of the Big Book.

April 19, 1940 - The first AA group in Little Rock, Arkansas, was

formed. First 'mail order' group.

April 19, 1941 - The first AA group in the State of Washington was

formed in Seattle.

April 22, 1940 - Bill and Hank transfer their Works Publishing stock

to the Alcoholic Foundation.

April 23, 1940 - Dr. Bob wrote the Trustees to refuse Big Book

royalties, but Bill W insisted that Dr. Bob and Anne receive them.

April 24, 1940 - The first AA pamphlet, "AA", was published.

April 24, 1989 - Dr. Leonard Strong died.

April 25, 1939 - Morgan R interviewed on Gabriel Heatter radio show.

April 25, 1951 - AA's first General Service Conference was held.

April 26 or May 1, 1939 - Bank forecloses on 182 Clinton Street.

April 30, 1989 - Film "My Name is Bill W." a Hallmark presentation

was broadcast on ABC TV.
++++Message 3301. . . . . . . . . . . . Resentment quote In Big Book Story

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/2/2006 8:58:00 AM

Hi Friends:

I would like to know the exact source of a wonderful quotation on dealing


resentment that appears in "Freedom From Bondage," a personal

story in the Big

Book. The personal story was first used in the 2nd edition, published in


and has been retained in the 3rd and 2nd editions, which indicates that the

editors felt it was of superior quality.

Here's the quotation, which can be found on p. 552 of the 4th (latest)

edition. The author said she found it in a magazine article and that it was

about getting rid of resentment. It was by a prominent clergyman

He said, in effect: If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you

will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If


will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them,


will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and


will be free. Even when you don't really want it for them and your prayers


only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day

for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for

them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and


and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love."

The author went on to say it worked for her then and worked for her since


worked every time she was willing to work it.

Who was the prominent clergyman who authored this quotation? My guess is

that it was Norman Vincent Peale, who became very prominent with his 1952

publication of that blockbuster, "The Power of Positive Thinking."

He was a

good friend of AA and even devoted a large part of one chapter in that book


AA. But does anyone know where the above quotation appeared? It had to be

before 1955, because that's when it first appeared in the Big Book. It was

in a

magazine with the word "resentment" on the cover, as this is what

caught the Big

Book writer's attention. It might have been in Guideposts magazine and


different from the quotation shown above, as the author used "in

effect" in

presenting it.

It's a great quotation, by the way, and ought to be put on a card and passed

around at meetings, especially when resentment is the topic. Come to think


it, I think I'll do that for my group her in Toledo and any of the History

Lovers could easily download it from this message and circulate it in their



LOL to All,

Mel Barger, Toledo, Ohio

Mel Barger

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3302. . . . . . . . . . . . Jack H. (sob. 1958) passed away...

From: Mike Custer . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/3/2006 7:16:00 PM

Sad to report that Jack Holt passed away.

Jack's sobriety date was March 6, 1958.

48 years of sobriety. There is a memorial

site with information about his service here

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