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



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Sorry if this info is way off the track.
Best,
Bob W.
----- Original Message -----

From: Art Boudreault

To: AA History Lovers

Cc: tomwhite@cableone.net

Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2006 11:41 AM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] My first forty years


Dear Tom,
I am interested in learning about and obtaining this book. I was unaware of

the book "My First 40 Years" by Lois. It is not mentioned in

"Lois

Remembers" or "First Steps, Al-Anon ... Thirty Five Years of



Beginnings",

both sold by Al-Anon's World Service Office. I did a search on Hazelden's

book section and on http://used.addall.com/,

a used


book site, for this

book. It is amazing how many titles there are with those words, but none

about Lois. Can you let me know how to find such a book?
I believe that Lois' memoirs were printed in "Lois Remembers" sold

by

Al-Anon's World Service Office. According to the person hired by Al-Anon to



ghost-write the book for Lois, she wasn't allowed to write it for Lois. AA

World Services paid for and hired the ghost writer.


Sincerely,
Art Boudreault

artb@netwiz.net


> 2b. Re: Page 118 - " As Bill Sees It"

> Posted by: "Tom White"

tomwhite@cableone.net

> Date: Mon Jul 3, 2006 1:41 pm (PDT)

>

> I may be repeating myself, but my conclusion, after some searching,



> is that the original of that quote from Huxley appeared in Robert

> Thomsen's "Bill W., the first bio of Bill. Subsequent users cite

it.

> Bob T. , I believe, quite consciously associated closely with Bill in



> the middle and late 60s with the idea of a book in mind, and his

> text gives plenty of evidence of drawing on conversations with Bill

> for source. It would have helped if RT had included some notes on his

> sources, but he was writing a "popular" rather than scholarly

book so

> he evidently ruled that out. In the middle 60s practically the only



> ones really big on AA history were Bill himself, Nell Wing, and I'd

> say Lois, since I have always supposed she released the text of

"My

> First 40 Years" to Hazelden, perhaps out of frustration that AAWS



had

> not exactly rushed to press with it. Take all this lightly; just my

> impressions. Tom W.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3545. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: My first forty years

From: t . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/5/2006 1:16:00 PM


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Info off the Library of Congress website:

LC Control No.: 99087571

Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)

Personal Name: W., Bill.

Main Title: Bill W : my first 40 years.

Variant Title: My first forty years

Published/Created: Center City, Minn. : Hazelden, 2000.

Description: xi, 219 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

ISBN: 1568383738

Notes: Transcribed from an audiotape made by Bill W.

Includes bibliographical references.

Subjects: W., Bill.

Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholics--Biography.

LC Classification: HV5032.W19 A3 2000

Dewey Class No.: 362.292/86/092 B 21

Quality Code: pcc

CALL NUMBER: HV5032.W19 A3 2000

Copy 1

-- Request in: Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms



-- Status: Not Charged

CALL NUMBER: HV5032.W19 A3 2000 FT MEADE

Copy 2

-- Request in: Main or Science/Business Reading Rms - STORED OFFSITE



-- Status: Not Charged
---

This book is still available from the publisher, Hazelden, in softcover at:

http://www.hazelden.org/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?a=banditem=8898

also from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568383738/sr=8-1/qid=1152114402/ref=sr_1_1

/103\
-0857880-6268643?ie=UTF8 [8]


---

This was one of FOUR biographies of Bill W published in the year 2000:

My Search for Bill W. (by Mel B.)

Bill W. (by Francis Hartigan)

Bill W. and Mr. Wilson (by Matthew J. Raphael a pseudonym)

Bill W., My First 40 Years, an Autobiography by the Co-founder of Alcoholics

Anonymous
---

In checking group messages from that time, Nancy O remarked that this book

is

based


on "autobiographical tapes Bill recorded in the 1950s" [msg#325

from


AAHistoryBuffs

archive] ...


---
the Amazon site included the following review:

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"[I]n a hotel then known as Wilson House I was born, perhaps rightly,

in a room

just


back of the old bar," writes Wilson (1895-1970), cofounder and

organizer of

Alcoholics Anonymous, in this first published edition of an autobiography he

began in


1954. Telling one's story is an important AA tradition. Bill W., as Wilson

was


known

in AA circles, had a reputation for being a good storyteller and had

previously

recounted much of his life in the Big Book (also titled Alcoholics

Anonymous)

and


other writings. Here, Wilson tells of his childhood, military service,

marriage,

attempts to stop drinking, and spiritual conversion in 1934 but stops short

of

his



historic meeting with cofounder Dr. Bob. The publisher has added articles,

appendixes, and recollections of friends, family, and colleagues to flesh

out

Wilson's fragmented account. In contrast to Francis Hartigan's recent



conventional

but comprehensive biography, Bill W. (LJ 2/1/00), Bill W. and Mr. Wilson

offers

an

outsider's "personal impressions and ruminations." Following



Wilson's own

three-part

formula ("what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like

now"),


Raphael, an AA member writing under a pseudonym, observes that "what

[Bill W.]

used

to be like scarcely exists outside...the account he first gave in Alcoholics



Anonymous and then repeated often." Raphael seeks to distinguish Bill

W.,


cofounder

of AA and the Twelve Steps, from Bill Wilson, who "closely guarded his

private

life


during his public career, even as he seemed to bare his soul at AA

meetings."

Throughout his life, Wilson battled depression, smoked heavily, and had a

reputation

as a womanizer. Later in life, he participated in LSD research and promoted

alternative therapies for alcoholism. As Raphael describes Wilson's life, he

traces

parallels in the evolution of AA from its origins in the Oxford Group, a



religious

lay movement, to a worldwide self-help organization of alcoholics helping

alcoholics.

Both books, while important contributions to the growing literature on Bill

W.,

are


supplementary purchases for collections on drug and alcohol abuse. General

collections should acquire Hartigan's Bill W. -DLucille M. Boone, San Jose

P.L., CA
it also includes this customer review:

This is the story of AA co-founder Bill Wilson's first forty years of life

set

forth


in his own words recorded at the Hotel Bedford during September, 1954. He is

assisted


by Ed Bierstadt. The book is a wonderful compilation of anecdotes told in

Bill's


own

words in an effort to shed light upon how his experiences led to his

personality

development which contributed to his fall into alcoholism. It is refreshing

and

free


of controversial arguments found in some of the more recent biographies. The

description of his spiritual experience once again by the man himself is

very

uplifting. The afterword and appendices nicely flesh out this historical



account

of

this truly special man to whom so many owe their lives.


---
It now is apparent why I haven't seen mention of this book in our other

readings


...

just a matter of it not being published till the year 2000. Then it was

released

at

the same time as three other books about Bill and his life. Combine that



with

the


choice to end before meeting Dr Bob and the start of AA and it just loses

its


appeal

to too much of the AA audience.


I wonder about the delay in publishing ... 46 years after recording the

tape/s?


Was

it just another example of Bill trying to be humble, having it published 30

years

after his death?



Or did Bill get flashbacks to the days he was trying to sell the membership

on

the



Traditions ... seeing too many letters inviting him to come tell about the

white


light experience and what's happened since but ... Did he just decide the

members and

groups would not be all that interested in an analysis of his childhood

history


and

drunkalogs with nothing on his life after meeting Dr Bob?


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++++Message 3546. . . . . . . . . . . . Contempt Prior to Investigation

From: John Keller . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/5/2006 3:04:00 PM


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Regarding the quote attributed to Herbert Spencer in the Big Book, I've

come across some research on this quote by Michael St. George:

http://www.geocities.com/fitquotation/). In what looks to be a very

thorough investigation, St. George concludes that the quote comes from

William Paley rather than Spencer.
John K.
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++++Message 3547. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Contempt Prior to Investigation

From: Emmanuel . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/5/2006 6:39:00 PM


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From the research that I did some time back, If I recall correctly, Herbert

Spencer used the term in a Newspaper interveiw, of which he himself did not

recall until reminded, I'm sure that he could have been quoting someone else

when he said it, but it apparently does not appear in any of his writings


Peace and Happy Days

Emmanuel
On 7/5/06, John Keller wrote:

>

> Regarding the quote attributed to Herbert Spencer in the Big Book, I've



> come across some research on this quote by Michael St. George:

> http://www.geocities.com/fitquotation/). In what looks to be a very

> thorough investigation, St. George concludes that the quote comes from

> William Paley rather than Spencer.

>

> John K.



>

>

>



>

>

>



>

>

>



> Yahoo! Groups Links

>

>



>

>

>



>

>
--

Peace and Happy Days

Emmanuel S. John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3548. . . . . . . . . . . . Huxley Quote

From: Joe Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/6/2006 4:14:00 AM


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re: "the greatest social architect of the 20th

century"
I don't know if this helps, but the citation given at

http://www.lewrockwell.com/white/white45.html#ref is

"Bill W." by Robert Thomsen (Harper and Row, New York,

1975) page 340.
Since Wilson and Huxley were contemporaries during

Bill's involvement at Trabuco College, that it is a

quote attributed to him but NOT from one of Huxley's

books is not beyond the pale.


While it may annoy later historians, I often say nice

things about my friends. Sometimes to their face,

sometimes behind their backs, sometimes after they are

gone, sometimes in print. :o)


--------
A closed mouth gathers no feet.
__________________________________________________

Do You Yahoo!?

Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

http://mail.yahoo.com


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++++Message 3549. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: My first forty years

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/5/2006 5:31:00 PM


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I mean no disrespect, but the term "autobiography" has a specific

meaning in literature. It signifies that the biographical subject of

the work had an active role in its development. There is no

"apparently" about it.


The book "Bill W My First 40 Years" originally was a series of

tape


recordings that began in September 1954 (by Bill W and Ed Bierstadt).

The Foreword and first chapter of the book describe both the intent

and time span for Bill's dictations. The material is a first-person

testimonial by Bill that covers the time-span from Bill's childhood up

to his leaving Towns Hospital for the last time and actively engaging

in the Oxford Group in NYC.


The contemporary Afterword and appendices of the book are a good read

in their own right and contain some remarkable historical material as

well as references to a number of historian authors who today actively

engage in the AAHistoryLovers special interest group.


The Foreword of "Bill W My First 40 Years" describes it as being

the


"backbone of the biography written by Robert Thomsen" titled

"Bill W"


which was first published in 1975. Thomsen's biography enjoys a

distinction in that it was actively sold and circulated within AA by

the GSO in NY until 1976 when the General Service Conference asked

that the practice cease.


If anyone knows, I'm curious to find out who the authority was that

"authorized" the latest biography of Lois Wilson. I don't have a

copy

of it as yet but plan to get one.


I too have not been able to find a written source for Huxley's "social

architect" citation other than Thomsen's book. If anyone knows the

written source it would be a very interesting find.
Cheers

Arthur


-----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2006 4:35 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] My first forty years


Art, Amazon has this one -- which I was not aware of till I looked.

It's apparently by Bill.


Bill W. : My First 40 Years - An Autobiography

ISBN 1568383738


Here's another one I didn't know anything about, an "authorized

biography":


http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/amazon/books/alcohol-abuse/the-lois-wils

on-story-when-love-is-not-enough-the-authori-1592853285.html


Sorry if this info is way off the track.
Best,
Bob W.
----- Original Message -----

From: Art Boudreault

To: AA History Lovers

Cc: tomwhite@cableone.net

Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2006 11:41 AM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] My first forty years


Dear Tom,
I am interested in learning about and obtaining this book. I was

unaware of

the book "My First 40 Years" by Lois. It is not mentioned in

"Lois


Remembers" or "First Steps, Al-Anon ... Thirty Five Years of

Beginnings",

both sold by Al-Anon's World Service Office. I did a search on

Hazelden's

book section and on http://used.addall.com/, a used book site, for

this


book. It is amazing how many titles there are with those words, but

none


about Lois. Can you let me know how to find such a book?
I believe that Lois' memoirs were printed in "Lois Remembers" sold

by

Al-Anon's World Service Office. According to the person hired by



Al-Anon to

ghost-write the book for Lois, she wasn't allowed to write it for

Lois. AA

World Services paid for and hired the ghost writer.


Sincerely,
Art Boudreault

artb@netwiz.net


> 2b. Re: Page 118 - " As Bill Sees It"

> Posted by: "Tom White" tomwhite@cableone.net

> Date: Mon Jul 3, 2006 1:41 pm (PDT)

>

> I may be repeating myself, but my conclusion, after some



searching,

> is that the original of that quote from Huxley appeared in Robert

> Thomsen's "Bill W., the first bio of Bill. Subsequent users cite

it.


> Bob T. , I believe, quite consciously associated closely with Bill

in

> the middle and late 60s with the idea of a book in mind, and his



> text gives plenty of evidence of drawing on conversations with

Bill


> for source. It would have helped if RT had included some notes on

his


> sources, but he was writing a "popular" rather than scholarly

book


so

> he evidently ruled that out. In the middle 60s practically the

only

> ones really big on AA history were Bill himself, Nell Wing, and



I'd

> say Lois, since I have always supposed she released the text of

"My

> First 40 Years" to Hazelden, perhaps out of frustration that AAWS



had

> not exactly rushed to press with it. Take all this lightly; just

my

> impressions. Tom W.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor

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++++Message 3550. . . . . . . . . . . . tradition 5

From: george brown . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/5/2006 10:25:00 PM


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the 5th tradition says that each group "has a primary purpose - to

carry its

message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

what is the meaning of "its" message? it sems that that term can

imply that

there is a message other than the one explained in tyher first half of the

big

book that each group can "carry'.


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

How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone call

rates.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3551. . . . . . . . . . . . Gnostics and agnostics

From: trixiebellaa . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/6/2006 3:25:00 PM


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Hi history lovers. Can anyone help us with the following

query?
Is there any significance in the word agnostic, does it

have any relationship to the early Christian "gnostic" movements?
We just wondered if Bill was reading this type of material

before writing the Big Book chapter entitled "We Agnostics."


tracy big book study england.

______________________________


From Glenn Chesnut:
Tracy,
The words gnostic and agnostic look a lot alike, but they refer to totally

different things.

______________________________
The ancient Greek word "gnosis" meant "knowledge," and

in ancient Greek, putting

"a" in front of a word meant "not." So an agnostic is

someone who "does not

know" whether there is a God or not.
What did Bill W. mean when he used that word? "Atheists" are

people who are

SURE that God does not exist. "Agnostics" on the other hand are

people who are

simply caught in doubt and confusion and skepticism about the whole issue:

"Well


it is possible that there could be a God, but I'm sure. Maybe God exists,

maybe


God doesn't exist. I just don't know one way or the other."
Bill W. says at the beginning of that chapter that about half of their

original


AA fellowship were either atheists or agnostics. That is, they were either

convinced that God did not exist, or were very skeptical about whether any

kind

of God existed.



______________________________
Modern scholars invented the word "gnostic" to refer to a variety

of weird


little religious cults that flourished in the Roman empire in the second and

third centuries A.D. These cults mixed a little bit of Christian stuff in

with

a lot of mythological stuff. Gnostic systems always had at least two gods (a



supreme Good God and a supreme Evil God), but most of them had additional

gods


and divine beings (dozens of them) in their mythological systems. The

ancient


gnostics believed that this physical universe (which is filled with pain and

evil) was not created by the supreme Good God, but was created by a lesser

god

or goddess who was either evil or disobedient. In a lot of their systems,



the

physical universe (with all its pain and suffering and evil) was believed to

have been created by an evil goddess named Sophia or Achamoth.
In one way or another, all the little gnostic sects were composed of people

who


were pathologically obsessed with the problem of evil and suffering, and

tried


to solve that problem by having one or more evil gods and goddesses in their

mythological systems in addition to the supreme good God.


Since the physical universe was evil, anything connected with the human body

or

the material world was evil. Sex was evil, eating and enjoying food was



evil.

The forces of astrology (which were the work of the seven evil gods called

the

Seven Planetary Archons) determined everything that happened in the material



world.
These cults were very antisemitic, and regarded the Jewish God (the God of

the


Old Testament) as evil and malicious. Jews were therefore servants of the

Powers of Evil, who were trying to keep all human beings imprisoned in this

evil

material world.


These gnostic cults were also sometimes very antifeminist. The gnostic

Gospel


of Thomas, for example, worries about whether the Blessed Virgin Mary can

obtain


salvation, and finally says that maybe she can, but that women can only be

saved


if they become like men.
In a lot of these gnostic cults, a divine figure called "Jesus" or

"Christ" was

sent here to earth by the supreme Good God (who was called the Unknown

Father)


to bring human beings the secret saving gnosis. But since anything material

was


evil, this kind of gnostic Jesus was a bodiless phantom, who only appeared

to be


born of Mary, and only appeared to eat and drink and sleep (so as not to

alarm


people), and only appeared to die on the cross. The Manichaeans (the biggest

and most influential ancient gnostic cult) referred to this bodiless divine

spirit as the Luminous Jesus.
Modern scholars called them "gnostic" cults because all of them

claimed to have

some kind of secret "knowledge" that was not found in religious

texts available

to the general public (like the Old and New Testaments). If you joined the

cult


and learned their secret "knowledge," they told you that you would

be freed from

the forces of astrology and fate, and would be able to go to heaven when you

died, instead of having to be reincarnated in another body here on earth,

where

you would have to go through yet another lifetime of pain and suffering.



______________________________
But nobody knew much about these gnostic systems in the 1930's, at the time

when


AA was being developed and the Big Book was being written. They were a

curiosity known only to a very few scholars of ancient religions. Bill W.

would

not even have known what the word "gnostic" meant.


The psychiatrist Carl Jung developed an interest in gnosticism at one point

in

his life, but this was AFTER he had worked with Rowland Hazard, so it had no



effect on what he told Rowland or his theories about alcoholism at the only

time


that seriously mattered in early AA history. For Jung, the negativistic

gnostic


ideas which he discovered later on seemed to help make sense of a strange

dream


he had when he was a young man, when he saw God up in the heavens shitting

on a


church. Jung believed strongly that God had evil and destructive components

within his being.

______________________________
Real knowledge about those ancient gnostic systems only began to develop

during


the 1960's, when a number of ancient gnostic documents (like the Gospel of

Thomas) were dug up in Egypt at a place called Nag Hammadi. The Gospel of

Judas, which got everybody all excited a month or two ago, was another of

these


gnostic religious documents. Part of the "secret knowledge" which

the author of

that work claimed to have, was that Judas Iscariot had been a good guy

instead


of a villain. There was another little gnostic sect, called the Ophites,

which


claimed that the Talking Snake in the story of Adam and Eve was the good guy

who


was trying to bring them the secret saving gnosis, while the God of the Old

Testament was an evil God who only wanted to hold Adam and Eve prisoner in

his

wicked clutches.



______________________________
And in recent years, there have been folks in California have tried to

revive


the ancient gnostic religion, but the modern California variety really isn't

the


same thing as the ancient stuff. Most of the modern California

"gnostics," for

example, regard the goddess Sophia (or Achamoth) as a good deity. I have

also


never heard of any of the California gnostics saying that nobody can be

saved


who engages in sexual relations :-)

______________________________


But again, nobody in early AA knew anything about ancient gnosticism. It was

NOT an influence on early AA in any kind of way.


And the topic in the chapter of the Big Book called "We Agnostics"

was people

who came into the AA program who were either atheists who were sure that God

did


not exist, or agnostics who were skeptical about whether God existed and

could


not bring themselves to have any really strong faith in God and the power of

God's grace.


Glenn Chesnut, Moderator

AAHistoryLovers


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++++Message 3552. . . . . . . . . . . . The longshoreman and the moon rocket

From: trixiebellaa . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/6/2006 3:26:00 PM


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Hi history lovers. Can anyone help us with the following queries?
Are there any pointers as to why the "longshoreman" was singled

out in the

chapter in the Big Book on "We Agnostics"?
We were also wondering what the Sunday supplement was about at the time, and

if

there was any special significance as to why the longshoreman would so



readily

agree to a rocket being landed on the moon.


any ideas anyone

tracy big book study england.

______________________________
Big Book p. 52: "Show any longshoreman a Sunday supplement describing a

proposal to explore the moon by means of a rocket and he will say, 'I bet

they

do it -- maybe not so long either.'"



______________________________
From the moderator:
Tracy,
A longshoreman was a man who worked at the docks in New York City, loading

and


unloading cargo ships.
Bill W. chose a longshoreman for his example, because a longshoreman did

unskilled physical labor, and presumably would not be some kind of high

powered

intellectual, but a man of simple common sense. And a longshoreman would



also

be assumed to be a rough and tough "man's man," and not some kind

of person

given to poetic fantasies.


A lot of the major U.S. newspapers in those days had what was called a

Sunday


supplement in their Sunday morning editions. The rest of the newspaper (in

those days) was printed in black and white. The Sunday supplement (which was

stuck into the middle of the folded black and white newspaper) was printed

and


folded like a magazine, and was printed in full color instead of just black

and


white.
When I was a child in Texas, my father was the art director of the Sunday

supplement for the San Antonio Express newspaper.


The Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper had its own Sunday supplement, and

so

did the Times Picayune newspaper in New Orleans, and so on. The New York



Times

newspaper had the biggest Sunday supplement of them all.


During the latter part of the twentieth century a lot of big American

newspapers

shifted to using Parade magazine as their Sunday supplement, instead of

printing


their own local Sunday supplement, so a lot of our American members may not

be

fully aware of what they were.


Modern rockets were born when a man named Robert Goddard received a grant

from


the Smithsonian Institution, and launched the world's first liquid-fueled

rocket


on March 16, 1926. From 1930 to 1935 he launched rockets that attained

speeds of

up to 550 miles an hour.
Jules Verne had already written the science fiction novel "From the

Earth to the

Moon" in 1865, and H. G. Wells had written "First Men in the

Moon" in 1901. The

world's first science fiction movie was "Le Voyage dans la Lune"

(A Trip to the

Moon), which was produced in France in 1902.
So in fact, by the time the Big Book was written, you did in fact have

people


speculating in popular literature about the possibility of human beings

sending


a rocket to the moon. People had already become aware that new technology

could


in theory allow human beings to do something that had never been done

before.
The point Bill Wilson was making in this section of the chapter to the

agnostic

was that, a lot of people had been skeptical about whether human beings

could

fly through the air at all, but then the Wright brothers built the first



airplane, and now airplanes were flying all over the world. Modern human

beings


had begun to realize that you could not say that something was impossible

simply


because it had never been done before.
But you had to have faith. The Wright brothers had to spend years of work,

believing simply on faith that they could one day solve the secret of

flight.

There were people in 1939 who now had faith that rockets could be sent to



the

moon. It is interesting that Bill W. used that example, because here in 2006

we

know that this too was not an ignorant or stupid faith. We were in fact



eventually able to build rockets powerful enough to fly from the earth to

the


moon. I can remember seeing the first human beings landing on the moon on

television while it was happening.


Bill W.'s point was that "having faith" was NOT unscientific or

superstitious or

ignorant. On the contrary, all scientific advances began as acts of faith.

The


kind of faith which scientists had was an "informed faith," not a

blind faith.

But AA was not asking anyone to accept its program on the basis of a blind

faith. Already by 1939, the AA program had had enough successes (hard

objective

scientific evidence) to show that its program could stop alcoholics from

drinking.
So Bill W. was saying to atheists and agnostics in effect, "yes, we are

asking


you to have faith in a higher power, but this is an informed faith, a

scientific

faith, based upon the evidence of all the stories in the Big Book which are

case


histories demonstrating that there is in fact a higher power which can and

will


save alcoholics from incarceration and death."
But if you don't have faith enough even to TRY the program for yourself,

then


you as an alcoholic are certainly doomed.
Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
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++++Message 3553. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: tradition 5

From: Charlene C. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/6/2006 3:18:00 PM


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From Charlene C., John Wilkelius, doclandis, and Shakey Mike: What does

"its


message" mean in the Fifth Tradition?
From: "Charlene C."

(ccp28para4 at yahoo.com)


Being that this is the 5th tradition of AA, "its" message would be

the message

of AA. Any other message would make that group cease to be an AA group.

______________________________


From: "John Wikelius"

(nov85_gr at graceba.net)


STEP 12 HAVING HAD A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING, WE TRIED TO CARRY THIS MESSAGE

______________________________


From: doclandis@aol.com

(doclandis at aol.com)


My job is to continue to carry THE message of hope, and

recovery, by living it, and by sharing my own personal experience.

______________________________
From: Shakey1aa@aol.com

(Shakey1aa at aol.com)


The fifth tradition explains -- "better to do one thing supremely

well," "just

as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who

have demonstrated that they can help the problem drinker as others seldom

can." The tradition is very clear. "The only thing that matters is

that he is

an

alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety." It furthered qualifies by



saying

"it is not strange that our society has concluded that it has but one

high

mission -- to carry the A. A. message to those who don't know there's a way



out."

It says the A. A. message not the B. B. message which is not the A. A.

message.
Yours in Service'

Shakey Mike Gwirtz

______________________________
ORIGINAL MESSAGE dated 7/6/2006 from gbaa487@yahoo.com (gbaa487 at

yahoo.com)


The 5th tradition says that "Each group has but one

primary purpose -- to carry its message to the alcoholic

who still suffers."
What is the meaning of "its" message? It sems that that

term can imply that there is a message other than the one

explained in the first half of the Big Book that each group

can "carry."


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++++Message 3554. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Gnostics and agnostics

From: Arkie Koehl . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/8/2006 2:29:00 PM


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According to the word's coiner, Darwin's pal T. H. Huxley, it does

indeed have that relationship. Click here.


Arkie

______________________________


From the moderator:
Arkie, your "click here" internet reference did not come through,

but it is true

that a lot of people regard T. H. Huxley as the person who first coined the

word


agnostic to describe people who are skeptical about God's existence.
See for example http://www.religioustolerance.org/agnostic.htm
The many internet references say that:
"The expressions 'agnostic' and 'agnosticism' were applied by T. H.

Huxley to

sum up his deductions from (on that time) contemporary developments of

metaphysics about the 'unconditioned' (Hamilton) and the 'unknowable'

(Herbert

Spencer). It is important, therefore, to discover Huxley's own views on the

matter. Though Huxley began to use the term 'agnostic' in 1869, his opinions

had


taken shape some time before that date."
And Huxley is quoted as saying at one point:
"I invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic.'

It came


into my head as suggestively antithetic to the 'gnostic' of Church history,

who


professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To

my

great satisfaction the term took."



______________________________
Arkie,
This actually supports the point I was trying to make. Bill Wilson in the

1930's would either have read or known about famous modern agnostics like

Charles Darwin, Thomas H. Huxley, and Robert G. Ingersoll. It is clear from

the


chapter to the agnostic that he knew all the standard arguments against the

existence of God which had been developed by these modern atheists and

agnostics.
But even if he had read that very passage in Huxley which is quoted above,

all


he would have learned from that passage is that there were people back at

some


point in Church history called gnostics "who professed to know so much

about the

very things of which I was ignorant." And that Huxley had coined the

new word,

because if a gnostic was someone who "knows" then an agnostic is

someone who

"does not know."
That would still indicate no knowledge whatsoever on Bill Wilson's part

about


the detailed doctrines of ancient gnosticism.
The question that was asked was, can we learn anything about Bill W.'s

chapter


to the agnostics by studying those weird ancient second and third century

gnostic cults, and the answer to that is no.


Likewise, we cannot learn anything about the chapter to the agnostics (as it

appeared in the Big Book in 1939) from reading web sites posted by

California

"gnostics" from the 1990's and afterwards.


If people want to know more about the historical background of the chapter

to

the agnostic in the Big Book, they should read about modern thinkers like



Charles Darwin, Thomas H. Huxley, and Robert G. Ingersoll who were working

very


hard to destroy any kind of faith in the God of the Bible in the western

world


during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Those were the

people


whom Bill W. was attacking and arguing against.
It was the biggest spiritual issue of the late nineteenth and early

twentieth

century. Everybody in the U.S. was affected by this debate. Does God exist

or

is he simply a superstitious myth from the ignorant past? Is the Bible true



or

is the Bible nothing but another pack of myths? Just about everybody in the

U.S. was involved in these debates at some level during the 1920's and

1930's,


and had strong opinions on the subject. Think of the famous Scopes Monkey

Trial


which was held in 1925, only ten years before Bill W. met Dr. Bob for the

first


time, a kind of media circus which pitted the Protestant Christian

fundamentalists against the biologists (who were regarded as atheists and

agnostics) and their belief that human beings were descended from apes.
That is the context in which Bill W. was writing the chapter to the

agnostic.


It is not only useless to start reading about ancient second and third

century


gnostic cults in the attempt to understand Bill W.'s chapter to the

agnostic, it

will hopelessly confuse you.
If you want to understand a thinker from some past era (like Bill Wilson in

the


1930's), start with the obvious.
Sitting here in my study in South Bend, Indiana, if I hear hoof beats

thundering

past my window, I suppose I could say, "Here come the zebras." And

I could


argue for hours that it was POSSIBLE that this had been the sound of zebras

galloping through my yard. But the obvious place to begin is to start by

seeing

whether it was horses, cattle, or even deer running through my yard (because



wild deer do sometimes get confused and come up the St. Joe river bottom and

get


lost in town for a while before they can find their way back out).
But start with the obvious. Don't start looking for zebras until you've

first


investigated the simplest and most likely explanation.
Glenn C.
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++++Message 3555. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Contempt Prior to Investigation

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/7/2006 3:05:00 PM


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It would be helpful to use the search feature available at Yahoo.com

to peruse the archive of past postings. Please refer to message 2824

at url http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AAHistoryLovers/. You can also

simply do a search on the string "Spencer" to review past postings

(there are quite a few).
Message 2824 contains a link to http://www.geocities.com/fitquotation/

and a remarkable academic tour de force by Michael StGeorge. His paper

was published in March 2005 and concludes (authoritatively in my

judgment) that the "contempt prior to investigation" quotation

should

be attributed to William Paley and not Herbert Spencer.


A little background on how the erroneous attribution found its way

into the Big Book:


The member who introduced the attribution to the Big Book was Ray C.

His Big Book story is "An Artist's Concept" and he began his story

using a quotation that he mistakenly believed came from Herbert

Spencer. The quotation said: "There is a principle which is a bar

against all information, which is proof against all arguments and

which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that

principle is contempt prior to investigation."
Ray said the quotation was descriptive of the mental attitudes of many

alcoholics when the subject of religion, as a cure, is first brought

to their attention. He said "It is only when a man has tried

everything else, when in utter desperation and terrific need he turns

to something bigger than himself, that he gets a glimpse of the way

out. It is then that contempt is replaced by hope and hope by

fulfillment" (re brief biography of Ray C by Nancy O for more detail).
Ray, a recognized artist, was asked to design the dust jacket for the

1st edition Big Book. He submitted various designs for consideration

including one in an Art Deco style. The dust jacket chosen for the 1st

edition was red and yellow with the words "Alcoholics Anonymous"

printed across the top in large white script. It became known as the

"circus color" dust jacket because of its loud colors. The unused

Art

Deco dust jacket is in the Stepping Stones Foundation archives.


Ray C's story was not included in the 2nd edition Big Book. However,

the quotation, erroneously attributed to Herbert Spencer, was added to

Appendix II "Spiritual Experience" in the 1st printing of the 2nd

edition Big Book in 1955. The background for the quotation appearing

in the appendix is also interesting.
In March 1941, the wording of Step 12 was changed in the 2nd printing

of the 1st edition Big Book. The term "spiritual experience" was

changed to "spiritual awakening" and the term "as the result

of these


steps" was changed to "as the result of those steps."
Appendix II, "Spiritual Experience" was added to the 1st edition

Big


Book in its 2nd printing. This was done because many members thought

they had to have a sudden and spectacular spiritual experience similar

to the one Bill had in Towns Hospital. The appendix emphasized that

most spiritual experiences were of the type that the psychologist

William James called the "educational variety" (note: this is yet

another attribution that cannot be verified by a written work where

James actually used the specific term "educational variety").
The so-called "Herbert Spencer quote" was added to Appendix II in

the


publication of the 2nd edition Big Book in 1955. It is not an accurate

attribution. No written work by Spencer contains the quote. Current

research attributes the quote to the English clergyman, author and

college lecturer by the name of William Paley who lived from 1743 to

1805. Paley trained for the Anglican priesthood and was appointed a

fellow and tutor of his college in 1766 and rose through the ranks of

the Anglican Church.
Paley wrote several books on philosophy and Christianity, which proved

extremely influential. His 1794 book "A View of the Evidence of

Christianity" was required reading at Cambridge University until the

20th century.


Herbert Spencer (who lived from 1820 to 1903) was a great rival of his

fellow Englishman Charles Darwin who is credited with the theory of

evolution. It was Spencer, not Darwin, who popularized the term

"evolution" and it was also Spencer who coined the term,

"survival of

the fittest." Spencer, however, did not author the quotation

attributed to him in the Big Book.
Cheers

Arthur
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++++Message 3556. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Contempt Prior to Investigation

From: edgarc@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/6/2006 12:32:00 PM


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Re the Herbert Spencer quote, it is also thought by some that he,

ironically, died of alcohol-related causes....

Edgar C, Sarasota, Fla.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3557. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Hi all (Frank W. autobiography)

From: Marsha Finley . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/9/2005 8:37:00 AM


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Hi Tanya!
I found that line ["one's too many and a thousand's

not enough"] used in an old Ray Milland film ...

"The Lost Weekend" so I may have to watch that movie!
I have had excellent results searching for rate books at Abe Books.




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