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



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> teachings...

>

> Gene in Westchester


--

Hugh H.


Bryn Athyn, PA

USA
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession.

I have come to realize that it bears a

very close resemblance to the first.

-- Ronald Reagan
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++++Message 3392. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Was Bill a Swedenborgian?

From: LES COLE . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/23/2006 5:51:00 PM


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Hi Gene: You raise an interesting point since I cannot recall any remarks in

anything I've read about Bill regarding his thoughts about the BUrnham's

relgious background as Swendengorgians. Since he and Lois lived so many

years in


Dr. Burnhams' home I can only assume that they talked about Dr. Burnhams

ideas


and beliefs. Les
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++++Message 3393. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 95% First Year Dropout Myth

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/25/2006 11:06:00 AM


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I wish I could see the article Bill White refers to.

Is it possible that it might be on the Internet for

easy downloading?
I've often wondered about these statistics that

don't paint a very good picture of AA's success

rate. I do know that we get lots of people who just

drop in and then drop out right away, but I think

the recovery rate becomes far better among those

who stick around for at least a year and give it a

real college try.
Mel Barger
___________________________________
From the moderator:
Mel,
Arthur S. (Arlington, Texas) and Tom E. (Wappingers

Falls, New York) are currently putting together

the most complete study I have seen on AA success

statistics, both early and modern.


From the draft version of that study, we can see

that the AA Triennial Survey figures show that

53% of the newcomers drop out before they get to

their fourth month. But 56% of those who get

into their fourth month, make it to the end of

the year.


That totally backs up your observations, which

are based, of course, on 56 years of experience

in AA, and seeing what actually happens.
That is not too bad, because that is an overall

26% success rate measured over the first year.


How well do people do after their first year?

Pretty good, it turns out, and it seems to be

getting better and better. We're doing twice as

well now as we were back in 1977. At this point,

50% of the people who attend AA meetings in the

US and Canada have anywhere from 5 to 60 years of

sobriety.
In 1977: 37% of the people attending AA meetings

were in their first year, 38% had between 1 and 5

years in the program, and 25% had 5 to 60 years

in the program.


In 2004: 26% of the people attending AA meetings

were in their first year, 24% had between 1 and 5

years in the program, and 50% had 5 to 60 years

in the program.


More and more AA members are achieving long term

sobriety. As a result, in 1977 the average AA

member had 4 years sobriety, whereas in 2004 the

average had risen to over 8 years sobriety.


To interject my own opinion on one aspect of these

figures, I believe that many of the changes that

have been made in AA between 1935 and the present,

have been made in order to improve long term

sobriety. AA teaching is based, not on airy

theological or psychological theories, but on

concrete experiential evidence and pragmatic

observation.


In 1939, nobody really knew how the program had

to be structured to achieve 5 years of sobriety,

because nobody had that much. By 1955, there were

some people who had achieved up to 20 years of

sobriety, and these people had learned valuable

things from their experience. They weren't stupid.

They understood the program a whole lot better at

20 years of sobriety than they had at 3 and a half

years of sobriety.
Some of the things that looked like good ideas back

in 1937 or 38, had been proven to be not really good

ideas if you wanted people to obtain 20 or more years

of sobriety.


Even though I have always believed that AA needs to

keep in contact with its Historic Heritage (back

during its first 30 years) in order to maintain its

vitality, in fact, a serious argument can be made

that modern AA does a better job in some ways than

early AA. I never thought I would write these

words (gasp!), but look at those statistics above.
On the other hand, maybe part of this increase in

our ability to keep people sober for longer and

longer times, comes from the fact that we of

today have a whole shelf of useful books about

early AA history to help us, written by people like

Mel Barger (with a grateful tip of my hat to you),

Mary Darrah, Sally Brown, Ernie Kurtz, Bill

Pittman, Robert Fitzgerald, William Borchert,

and so on.
Glenn Chesnut

(South Bend, Indiana)


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++++Message 3395. . . . . . . . . . . . "A House Full of Miracles"

From: Fritz689 . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/25/2006 8:55:00 AM


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If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of

"A House Full of Miracles" send me


(Fritz689@adelphia.net)
your pertinent information and I can make

arrangements for your copy to be sent to you.


All proceeds from copies of this film go to the

Dr. Bob's House Foundation.


I live a short distance from Dr. Bob's in Akron

and visit there often, enjoying the opportunity

to help others enjoy what I have found there.
Gratefully Yours,
Fred Ings
2404 E. 29th St.
Lorain, Ohio 44055
______________________________
Robert Stonebraker

(rstonebraker212 at insightbb.com) wrote:


Our Big Book Step Study Group in Richmond, IN,

spends the first two Tuesdays studying AA history -

we show a short movie, "DAWN OF HOPE"

and sometimes "A HOUSE FULL OF MIRACLES"

from Dr. Bob's Home.

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++++Message 3396. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Are there AA literature reviews?

aa bibliography site

From: diazeztone . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/25/2006 1:29:00 PM
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my site www.aabibliography.com

is just exactly this type of site

look for the beginners book list page

you can print it in pdf

http://www.aabibliography.com/beginnersbooks.htm

LD Pierce

aa history nut

dallas tx


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++++Message 3397. . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Ps Exit Letter...

From: erb2b . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/25/2006 3:41:00 PM


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HI.. Im in an interesting club here in Minnesota these days. I"d like

to post a copy of Bob Pearsons our former (General Manager at GSO)

letter about "Rigidity" in AA in it. Since i have retired from

Archives International i have put my archives away but need a copy of

Bobs letter. Would some please email that to me? Thanks!!
Corey F.

(erb2b at yahoo.com)


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++++Message 3398. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Hazelden Foundation and book

publishing

From: Danny S . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/25/2006 4:35:00 PM
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This should shed some more light without me explaining. This is from

Writers Market, a service for authors and writers:


About HAZELDEN PUBLISHING AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES:
Hazelden is a trade, educational and professional publisher

specializing is psychology, self-help, and spiritual books that help

enhance the quality of people's lives. Products include gift books,

curriculum, workbooks, audio and video, computer-based products, and

wellness products. "We specialize in books on addiction/recovery,

spirituality/personal growth, and prevention topics related to

chemical and mental health."

Freelance Facts:


Established: 1954

Publishes trade paperback originals and educational materials (videos,

workbooks, pamphlets, etc.) for treatment centers, schools, hospitals,

and correctional institutions.


Publishes 100 titles/year.

Receives 2,500 queries/year.

Receives 2,000 manuscripts/year.

30% of books from first time authors.

50% of books from unagented writers.
Pays 8% royalty on retail price

Offers variable advance.


Peace,
Danny S
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++++Message 3399. . . . . . . . . . . . How did Ebby know that Bill W. was

in such trouble?

From: trixiebellaa . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/26/2006 8:22:00 AM
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Hi History lovers,
Can anyone tell us how Ebby Thacher learned that

Bill Wilson was in trouble with his drinking?


Thanks
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++++Message 3400. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Was Bill a Swedenborgian?

From: Trysh Travis . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/26/2006 5:47:00 PM


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This thread prompts me to ask a question that has been on my mind for

some time, which is about Bill's mother, Emily Wilson, and her studies

in osteopathic medicine. I have not been able to learn much about the

specific course of her study in Boston, or about how she might have

communicated her ideas to Bill later in life. But there are overlaps

between osteopathy and not only Swedenborgianism but also (and perhaps

more directly) the mind-cure and New Thought religions that flourished

in Boston in the late 19th century. Dick B. has written some about

early AA's connections to New Thought, but I wonder if there is much

informaton available about Emily Wilson's training in osteopathy, her

exposure to New Thought and other Swedenborgian-derived philosophies in

Boston, and any communications she might've had with Bill on these

topics? Trysh Travis
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++++Message 3401. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: link for directions to Stepping

Stones in Bedford Hills, N.Y.

From: John Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/26/2006 9:09:00 PM
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Please note that the correct address is Katonah, not Bedford Hills. The AA

literature

indicates that Bill and Lois lived in Bedford Hills. If you drive around

Bedford Hills, you'll see some nice houses and trees, but you won't find

Stepping Stones. Katonah is the next town.

john lee
Gene wrote:

Here from the Stepping Stones web site is a link for "mapquest"

directions to Bill and Lois' house...


http://www.steppingstones.org/map.ivnu
Near Katonah, N.Y. Rt 684 is the big highway close by...easy to get

to...
Plan on coming....

Gene in Westchester

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++++Message 3402. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: How did Ebby know that Bill W.

was in such trouble?

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/26/2006 8:32:00 PM
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From Mel Barger and Les Cole

___________________________________


FROM: "Mel Barger"

(melb at accesstoledo.com)


Hi Trixie,

The information I had was that Ebby, while staying at Calvary Mission, had

visited friends in Wall Street offices and was told about Bill's situation.

We can assume that these were friends both Ebby and Bill had known in better

days. Ebby, though sober only two or three months, then called Lois and was

invited to come over, though she might not have told Bill about the call.

That resulted in Ebby's dropping in on Bill and finding him in a very

drunken condition, as related in Bill's Story in the Big Book.

Ebby stayed sober for 2-1/2 years and then drank again in 1937. He had

frequent troubles for a number of years, though he was also employed at

times and did well for short stretches. In 1953, an AA friend bought him an

airline ticket for Dallas, where he was treated at Searcey W.'s clinic. He

stayed in Texas until 1961 and reportedly had his longest period of sobriety

there.


As the author of "Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W.," I felt

considerable gratitude for Ebby's action in helping Bill, which benefited

all of us. He had many personal demons to battle, but he did succeed at

various times. He was sober the last 2-1/2 years of his life and received

excellent care from Mickey and Margaret McPike, who treated alcoholics in a

comfortable old farmhouse near Galway, New York. He died in 1966.

Mel Barger
___________________________________
FROM: "LES COLE"

(elsietwo at msn.com)


Hello trixiebella.... I'm sure that many in the group

will answer you in depth, but the simple answer is that

they were lifelong drinking buddies. Each knew the

other's problems. There are details in PASS IT ON and

other books.
Les C.
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++++Message 3403. . . . . . . . . . . . MYSQL project venture

From: Jim . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/27/2006 12:40:00 AM


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For the benefit of group members who maintain AA

history web sites and web sites which provide

AA reference sources:
Hi Group! I'd like to add a feature to silkworth.net that requires knowledge

of

MYSQL, which I have none, though I have attempted in the past to no



avail.I'd

like to give the visitor to silkworth.net the ability to add, update, edit

files

to specific files/categories, such as general AA history (pre, past, present



andamp; possible future), local/regional/etc..aa histories, AA legalities

and the


like, to name just a few.I just don't know how to do the initial setup with

MYSQL. The software is considered freeware/GNU, and I have already

downloaded it

to my machine - not yet uploaded to the server. I would like to set it up

similar to this site with same functions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Francis_of_Assisialong with the search

feature. I have no idea how much is involved in such a venture.Is there

anyone


in the group who has knowledge of MYSQL and would be willing to help me out

with


this? Or possibly fill me in on the

positives/negatives - why I should or should not pursue this?


Ever Grateful,Jim M,Winston-Salem, North Carolinahttp://silkworth.net/
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++++Message 3404. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Bob Ps Exit Letter...

From: Joe Nugent . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/26/2006 7:31:00 PM


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Hi Cory,
would this be what your looking for?
Joe N.
1986 GENERAL SERVICE CONFERENCE CLOSING TALK

by Bob Pearson


At the closing brunch on Saturday morning, Bob Pearson (G.S.O. senior

adviser), who is retiring early next year, gave a powerful and inspiring

closing talk (excerpted below) to the 36th Conference. (This talk was

rescheduled from Friday afternoon.)


Our greatest danger: rigidity
This is my 18th General Service Conference - the first two as a director of

the Grapevine and A.A.W.S., followed by four as a general service trustee.

In 1972, I rotated out completely, only to be called back two years later as

general manager of G.S.O., the service job I held until late 1984. Since the

1985 International Convention, of course, I have been senior adviser. This

is also my last Conference, so this is an emotionally charged experience.


I wish I had time to express my thanks to everyone to whom I am indebted for

my sobriety and for the joyous life with which I have been blessed for the

past nearly 25 years. But since this is obviously impossible, I will fall

back on the Arab saying that Bill quoted in his last message, "I thank

you

for your lives." For without your lives, I most certainly would have no



life at all, much less the incredibly rich life I have enjoyed.
Let me offer my thoughts about A.A.'s future. I have no truck with those

bleeding deacons who decry every change and view the state of the Fellowship

with pessimism and alarm. On the contrary, from my nearly quarter-century's

perspective, I see A.A. as larger, healthier, more dynamic, faster growing,

more global, more service-minded, more back-to-basics, and more spiritual -

by far - than when I came through the doors of my first meeting in

Greenwich, Connecticut, just one year after the famous Long Beach

Convention. A.A. has flourished beyond the wildest dreams of founding

members, though perhaps not of Bill himself, for he was truly visionary.
I echo those who feel that if this Fellowship ever falters or fails, it will

not be because of any outside cause. No, it will not be because of


treatment centers or

professionals in the field, or

non- Conference-approved literature, or

young people, or

the dually-addicted, or even

the "druggies" trying to come to our closed meetings.

If we stick close to our Traditions, Concepts, and Warranties, and if we

keep an open mind and an open heart, we can deal with these and any other

problems that we have or ever will have. If we ever falter and fail, it

will be simply because of us. It will be because we can't control our own

egos or get along well enough with each other. It will be because we have

too much fear and rigidity and not enough trust and common sense.

If you were to ask me what is the greatest danger facing A.A. today, I would

have to answer: the growing rigidity


the increasing demand for absolute answers to nit-picking questions;

pressure for G.S.O. to "enforce" our Traditions;

screening alcoholics at closed meetings;

prohibiting non- Conference-approved literature, i.e., "banning

books";

laying more and more rules on groups and members.



And in this trend toward rigidity, we are drifting farther and farther away

from our co- founders. Bill, in particular, must be spinning in his grave,

for he was perhaps the most permissive person I ever met.

Bob Pearson (senior adviser)


_____
From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

[mailto:AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of erb2b

Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:42 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Bob Ps Exit Letter...
HI.. Im in an interesting club here in Minnesota these days. I"d like

to post a copy of Bob Pearsons our former (General Manager at GSO)

letter about "Rigidity" in AA in it. Since i have retired from

Archives International i have put my archives away but need a copy of

Bobs letter. Would some please email that to me? Thanks!!
Corey F.

(erb2b at yahoo.com)


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++++Message 3405. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Was Bill a Swedenborgian?

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/27/2006 8:21:00 AM


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Hello Hugh
From what I can glean from readings, I'd conjecture that Bill was a

"closet


Christian." I don't mean to sound flippant but I don't know how else to

describe him in this area. Dr Bob was an Episcopalian.


In 1947 Bill W took instructions in the Catholic faith from Monsignor (later

Bishop) Fulton J Sheen. Bill was introduced to Bishop Sheen by Fulton and

Grace Oursler. Oursler, who wrote "The Greatest Story Ever Told"

and Bill


became very close friends and likely shared the same respect for

Christianity in general. Bill's instructions by Sheen lasted for about a

year after which Bill lost interest.
My sense (more a guess) is that Bill was strongly motivated by public

relations considerations to not directly associate with a specific

denomination. There are aspects of the AA program that really encompass the

common and altruistic threads of all religious denominations - except AA

folks insist on using the term "spiritual" instead of

"religious" as if

"religious" was a pejorative.
In regards to Swedenborgianism my guess is that Lois W would be a more

fruitful candidate for investigation than Bill given her grandfather's

influence.
Cheers

Arthur
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++++Message 3407. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: link for directions to Stepping

Stones in Bedford Hills, N.Y.

From: Tom Hickcox . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/27/2006 7:30:00 PM
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I know of several instances in New England where one's mailing address is a

different town than where one lives. My family's summer camp is in the

Town of Derby but the mailing address is Newport.
I am told by someone who lived there that Bedford Hills, Bedford Village,

and Katonah are all in the Town of Bedford.


What town are Stepping Stones taxes paid to?
Tommy H in Baton Rouge
At 20:09 4/26/2006 , John Lee wrote:
>Please note that the correct address is Katonah, not Bedford Hills. The

AA

>literature



> indicates that Bill and Lois lived in Bedford Hills. If you drive

> around Bedford Hills, you'll see some nice houses and trees, but you

> won't find Stepping Stones. Katonah is the next town.

> john lee

>

>Gene wrote:



> Here from the Stepping Stones web site is a link for

"mapquest"

>directions to Bill and Lois' house...

>

>http://www.steppingstones.org/map.ivnu



>

>Near Katonah, N.Y. Rt 684 is the big highway close by...easy to get




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