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

Download 14.05 Mb.
Size14.05 Mb.
1   ...   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   ...   96

going, and that it may lead to preventive measures.

In the meantime, however, we face the need of helping out those who fall

under the spell of this habit. Just as we all would like to have an economic

system that would abolish poverty, but still face the fact that the poor are

here who must he helped, so is it with alcoholism.

There is a particular reason why the appeal of the alcoholic is strong.

Alcoholism does not affect simply the riffraff of humanity. It commonly

afflicts some of the most charming, lovable and valuable people in the

community. Every one here, going back over the recollection of his friends,

would at once validate that statement. The alcoholics that I have known have

commonly been among the most charming, convivial, and congenial people. I

well remember one of the handsomest men in college in my day, one of the

best musicians, one of the best students. I never will forget in his senior

year his meeting me one night on the campus - we had all been worried about

his condition - and throwing his arms around me, saying, "Fosdick, it


got me, it has got me." Well, it had. He was fired from college and a


or two later forged his father's check and shot himself.

Every one of us can remember these lovable, able, efficient, charming

personalities that have fallen under the curse of alcohol. There is a

particular appeal in any movement that promises to rescue men like these

from their thralldom.

Dr. Foster Kennedy, speaking from the standpoint of the scientific medical

man, has expressed his interest in this movement. As a minister I am

interested too, because cases in this field are laid month after month upon

the minister's doorsill. Just as Dr. Kennedy would say that a certain

measure of success attends the efforts of the neurologist, so a minister

would say that a certain amount of success attends his efforts. We all of us

have happy memories of cases that have come to us, in one degree or another

the victims of alcohol, and we have helped to get them on their feet, have

brushed them off and sent them back high, wide and handsome. But the

percentage of failures is appalling, and there comes a place where the

degree of obsession is so terrific, as Mr. Wilson has pointed out, that a

minister is baffled, and turns frantically wherever he can hope to find some


There are two or three special reasons why this movement, which has been

presented to you tonight, interests me and seems to me to have unusual

promise in it. In the first place, this idea of setting an ex-alcoholic to

catch an alcoholic is good. You remember the title of Charles Reade's


"Put Yourself in His Place." You cannot really help a man in

tragedy unless

you can put yourself in his place. What good am I, then, in dealing with an

alcoholic? I cannot stand liquor; I go to sleep on a glass of wine; I could

not be a drunkard if I wanted to; I don't like the taste of alcohol,


the effect of it, cannot stand it. Now a fellow who is in the grip of

alcoholism comes to me. I cannot put myself in his place. There are certain

areas where I can help people. I can help people in Dr. Foster


realm, for the simple reason that I have been through a complete nervous

breakdown, and with all due respect to the neurologists, once in a while I

think I can supplement what they do. For while a neurologist knows more in a

minute about a nervous breakdown than I do in a week, there are a lot of

them who have never been through a nervous breakdown themselves. So I often

help in cases that come to me in various stages of nervous decomposition.

The other day I said to a young neurotic, who started to tell me how he

felt, "Wait a minute, you don't need to tell me how you feel.

Let me tell

you how you feel." I gave him a blueprint of all the feelings and


that were going on inside of him, and when I was through he said, "My


how did you know that?" I could put myself in his place, but I cannot

do it

with an alcoholic.

Now comes a movement, an astonishingly apt and pertinent movement, where men

who have been in the thick of this thing, who have faced the hopelessness of

the situation, who have felt that they never could get well, have found

resources of strength and have come out and there is not a thing about

alcoholism they do not know. I think that psychologically speaking there is

a point of advantage in the approach that is being made in this movement

that cannot be duplicated. I suspect that if it is wisely handled-and it

seems to be in wise and prudent hands - there are doors of opportunity


of this project that may surpass our capacities to imagine.

There is another element in this movement that interests me - its tolerance,

its breadth, its inclusiveness, its catholicity. If this were a movement

that thought it had a panacea, that had a neat exclusive formula, that was

dogmatic about it, I would have my fingers crossed. But here is a movement

that puts its arm around medicine on one side and religion on the other and

says, we will take in everything that can help us, that crosses all

boundaries of sect and creed and is ready to use any resources of assistance

that are available. These men are open-minded, not supposing that they have

a neat formula that settles everything. I think the spirit in which this

work is carried on is wise and promising.

Still another element in this movement greatly concerns me. Just as Dr.

Kennedy would be interested in the medical aspects of it, I am interested in

the religious aspects of it. It is a movement which treats on equal terms

Jew, Roman Catholic, Protestant and even agnostic. Mr. Wilson, I am right,

am I not, you told me you had always been an agnostic?"
MR. Wilson: "Very much so."
Mr. FOSDICK: "He did not say that when he spoke, but I think it will


you to get this background of Mr. Wilson's irreligion. He was not a

religious man. He came into this experience out of fairly pugnacious

agnosticism. Confined in an asylum, laid up by alcoholism, he reached the

end of his rope, hopeless, no way out at all, until one day he said, If

there be a God I will throw myself back on any God there is. Here is a

discovery, it seems to me, on the part of people who come from Judaism,

Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and agnosticism, of one of the most

elemental experiences in religion - the inner tapping of resources of power

beyond ourselves. A whipped man morally feels like a pool that is exhausted.

It is as though all the strength he had were a pool on the surface of his

life, and the sun has been too hot and it has dried up, there is nothing

more for him to rely on. Then he discovers this elemental religious

experience and he does not feel like a pool any more but like a river; there

is a lot of water coming down from upstream if he will keep the channels

open; the sources of power are no longer so much in him as through him.

Ruskin used that idea, you will remember, in describing great artists, some

of whom he said knew they were doing the best work that had ever been done,

but they were very humble about it because, said Ruskin, they all knew that

the power was not IN them but THROUGH them. To use the figure of Prof.

Wieman of the University of Chicago, it is as though a man could inwardly

throw a switch and complete a circuit and lo, the waiting power comes in. A

lot of these men, as I have touched this group, have gotten at God that way,

not theoretically, not as a matter of speculation but rather in a moment of

despair they found out how to throw a switch and complete a circuit, and lo,

something came into them. They call it God. It is God.

I remember as a boy I was brought up near Niagara Falls. I was there when

the turbines were put in at the power plant, and I shall never forget the

first time I saw that man walking quietly around in the room in which their

controls were located. He was not creating power, he was releasing it. We

never create power. Nobody ever created any of his own physical power. You

do not blow on your hands and create power. All power comes from

assimilation, we take it in. These men have gotten somehow at this inner

core of religion, deeper than Judaism, deeper than Roman Catholicism, deeper

than Protestantism, underlying them all, experienced in them all, so that

men from all these different fields meet on equal terms in this group, and

the agnostics come in too, who never have had any theories of God, but now

have found His power. Throw a switch, complete the circuit! Stop being a

pool, become a river! Do not create power! You cannot! Release power! I call

that an essential experience of religion, and I am interested to see a group

that has run on it in this utterly unconventional, unorthodox way and is so

inclusive, taking in all sorts and conditions of men from all kinds of

religious and irreligious backgrounds, finding here the one spiritual

dynamic that can lift a man out of the mire when nothing else can.

Last of all, I admire the quietness, the anonymity with which this movement

is carried on. Very small overhead financially, no big organization, nobody

making anything out of it, no high-salaried staff, people for the love of it

sharing with others the experience that has meant life to them - that is

good work. No one is a prophet, but I suspect that there is a long road

ahead of this movement."


Mr. Frank B. Amos

Mr. Gordon Auchincloss

Mr. Stephen Baker

Mr. James G. Blaine

Dr. R. E. Blaisdell

Dr. Godfrey L. Cabot

Mr. William G. Creamer

Mr. Lincoln Cromwell

Mr. Horace Crystal

Mr. James S.Cushman

Mr. Benjamin M. Day

Mr. B. R. Donaldson

Mr. A. LeRoy Chipman

Mr. Fred I. Eldridge

Mr. Henry J. Fisher

Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Mr. Robert Garrett

Mr. Wm. Albert Harbison

General James G. Harbord

Mr. Leonard V. Harrison

Mr. Buchanan Houston

Dr. Frank B. Jenett

Dr. Foster Kennedy

Mr. P. Kellogg

Mr. Norman Klauder

Mr. Samuel H. Kress

Mr. C. Walter Lotte

Mr. Fitzhugh Mayo

Mr. William H. Matthews

Mr. Edwin G. Merrill

Dr. Seth Milliken

Mr. Dave H. Morris

Mr. Gilbert H. Montague

Mr. Charles F. Noyes

Mr. Lewis E. Pierson

Mr. W. S. Richardson

Mr. Stanley Resor

Dr. George W. Riley

Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller

Mr. C. M. Rodefer

Mr. Leslie R. Rounds

Mr. William Ruddell

Mr. Morgan Ryan

Judge Jacob Gould Schurman, Jr.

Dr. William J. Schieffelin

Mr. Albert L. Scott

Dr. D.R. Sharpe

Mr. Carlton M. Sherwood

Mr. Robert A. Shaw

Dr. W. D. Silkworth

Mr. Clarence H. Snyder

Dr. R. H. Smith

Mr. James M. Speers

Dr. Allen A. Stockdale

Dr. Leonard V. Strong, Jr.

Mr. H. F. Taylor

Mr. Samuel Thorne

Mr. Thomas J. Watson

Mr. Wendell L. Willkie

Mr. William Wilson

-from the Rockefeller Archive Center, North Tarrytown NY
++++Message 3625. . . . . . . . . . . . When did Bill W. decide that AA

needed an archives?

From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/5/2006 8:28:00 AM
When did Bill Wilson decide there was a need for

archiving AA material and history? Surely it was

before Nell Wing started GSO Archives in 1975!
Bob S.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3626. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Sylvia Kauffmann update

From: brian thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/5/2006 11:52:00 AM

Hello All,
Found this at


When she wrote this update in 1969, Sylvia had been

living in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband, Dr. Ed

Sunderlund, and was soon to celebrate their eighteenth

wedding anniversary.

From this I would assume that Sylvia was sober from

Sep 13th 1939 to at least Jan 1969, that's almost 30

Love In Sobriety,


Spring Grove, Illinois and Camp Verde, Arizona
An AA Grapevine article written by her was originally

published in the January 1969 issue and reprinted in

the November 1999 AA Grapevine, under the category of

"Big Book Authors." This was the concluding ninth

article in the "Special Section: Big Book Authors,

Revisited" from the November 1999 issue.

I have picked out a few of her comments, in which

she tells about her Chicago days, and talks about

her later years in Florida.
AA Grapevine

The Keys to the Kingdom -- Sylvia Kauffmann

January 1969
Don't Take Our Word For It
An early Chicago member wrote her sequel to her story

"The Keys to the Kingdom."

The first ten years of AA in the Chicago area (1939

through 1949) were years filled with much activity.

During the first four or five years, the activity was

at times even feverish. Our numbers were small when AA

received its first national publicity, so all of us

were pressed into service in an effort to answer the

flood of requests that poured in from all over the

Midwest ....

By 1955, when I wrote my story for the revised edition

of Alcoholics Anonymous, our membership in the Chicago

area alone had grown from six members to six thousand.

Now, there were many to carry on the work. The group

did not need us in the same degree as it had earlier ....
My faith in our program continues to increase through

my personal experience with it. The last thirteen

years have found me still striving toward the shining

goals laid out for me long ago. I now live in Florida

with my husband, and we will soon be celebrating, most

happily, our eighteenth wedding anniversary. He is an

alky, too, and our lives have been enriched by our

mutual faith and perseverance in the AA way of life.

Through it we have found a quality of happiness and

serenity that, we believe, could not have been

realized in any other way. Small wonder our gratitude

knows no bounds.

S.B.S., Sarasota, Florida
++++Message 3627. . . . . . . . . . . . Natural instincts/character defects

in 4th step

From: joet.pittsburgh . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/3/2006 6:05:00 PM
Does anyone know how the three-column inventory in

Big Book Step 4 came about?

I'm more specifically interested in how the connection

was made between the natural instincts (self-esteem,

security, sex, personal relations) and the character

defects (selfish, self-centered, etc.).

The elaboration in the 12 and 12 is O.K., but provides

no insight as to where this idea came from.



A note from the moderator:
Talking about the natural instincts (such as the sex

instinct and the desire for material security) as

God-given, and not evil in and of themselves, can be

found in the Oxford Group literature.

See for example A[rthur] J[ames] Russell, "For Sinners

Only" (Tucson, Arizona: Hats Off Books, 2003; orig. 1932),

where he has a long discussion of both of those

natural instincts.

In Oxford Group literature, it's the way we handle

these natural instincts that determines whether our

behavior will be sinful or not.
I talk about this a little in the book I just wrote,

which will be coming out in another month or two,

"Changed by Grace: V. C. Kitchen, the Oxford Group,

and A.A."

The way Bill Wilson links this idea to the vices

(the character defects) seems to be original

with him, in terms of what I have read myself in the

Oxford Group literature and other theological literature

from that period. But I could be wrong, and we have

people in this group who know more about some of that

literature than I do.
Bill W.'s basic strategy (where getting into sin

and vice means letting the natural instinct become

unbalanced, where we are going to one extreme or

the other) is oddly enough basically the same

strategy which the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle

followed in his "Nichomachean Ethics." Aristotle tells

us to "seek the Golden Mean," the balance point

between going to extremes in either direction. And

St. Thomas Aquinas defends Aristotle on this doctrine

at one point in the "Summa Theologica."

But I sure can't figure Bill W. out as an Aristotle

scholar or an Aquinas scholar, and my first

inclination would be to doubt that he got it directly

from either of those thinkers.

Nevertheless, this shows that Bill W.'s system can

be defended philosophically as a sophisticated and

intelligent answer to the problem.
Glenn Chesnut, Moderator

South Bend, Indiana

++++Message 3628. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Natural instincts/character

defects in 4th step

From: Jim B . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/7/2006 8:50:00 AM
Subject: Natural instincts/character defects in 4th step
Does anyone know how the three-column inventory in

Big Book Step 4 came about?

Parlor game from the OG put on paper.
I'm more specifically interested in how the connection

was made between the natural instincts (self-esteem,

security, sex, personal relations) and the character

defects (selfish, self-centered, etc.).


"The Neurotic Personality of Our Time" by Karen Horney (1937).

This book

contains a complete chapter on how neurosis always manifests itself in a

drive for money, power and prestiege.
"For Sinners Only" by A.J. Russell (1932) Contains a chapter on

"self" and

how it manifests itself.
"A Note On The Impluications of Psychiatry, the Study of Interpersonal

Relations, for Investigation of Social Sciences," Harry Stack Sullivan,

Published in American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 42, July 1936, May 1937.

This is a study of personality characteristics and the path along which

their influence may be minimized or removed.
++++Message 3629. . . . . . . . . . . . When did James Houck quit drinking?

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/3/2006 11:59:00 PM

Messages from Arthur Sheehan, Kilroy,

Barefoot Bill Lash, and Joe (Pittsburgh).

Message from: "ArtSheehan"

(ArtSheehan at msn.com)

Date: Thu Aug 3, 2006 10:59 pm
Dear Kilroy
It might be equally wise to not believe everything one hears.
If James H got sober a day after Bill W then his dry date is December

12, 1934 (not December 11 which was Bill's dry date).

According to Bill W's written recollections his first visit to Calvary

Mission took place on December 7, 1934 (see "AA Comes of Age" pgs

58-64 - you have to calculate the date based on the elapsed time Bill

states from his first visit to Calvary Mission and his final admission

to Towns Hospital on December 11, 1934).
This was prior to the date that James H says he sobered up on

(December 12). The individual identified in "AA Comes of Age" as

having led the meeting at Calvary Mission on Bill W's first visit was

Tex Francisco.

Bill, by the way was quite drunk and brought along a drinking

companion he found on the way named "Alec the Finn." Bill made a

spectacle of himself and was on the verge of being thrown out when

Ebby T happened by and intervened in Bill's behalf.

By his own admission, James H did not start to attend AA meetings

until the 1980s.

May his soul rest in peace and may he know infinite joy with his


Original Message from kilroy@ceoexpress.com

(kilroy at ceoexpress.com)

Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 1:10 PM

Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Passing of Jim Houck

Cindy, don't believe everything you read...Jim said that he was sober

and leading the meeting at Calvary mission the day Bill walked in to

his first mgt.



(kilroy at ceoexpress.com)

Date: Tue Aug 1, 2006 3:33 pm
Wait a min. I'm not writing some of the stuff ... to AAHistoryLovers. Kilroy


From: Bill Lash

(barefootbill at optonline.net)

Date: Tue Aug 1, 2006 10:03 pm

Subject: RE: [AAHistoryLovers] Passing of Jim Houck

My friend (and a great man) James Houck said many times

that his sober date was 12/11/34 so Cindy is correct.

Just Love,

Barefoot Bill

From: "joet.pittsburgh"

(joet.pittsburgh at yahoo.com)

Date: Thu Aug 3, 2006 4:52 pm

Subject: Re: Passing of Jim Houck

If James said this, where is it on record? In a taped interview, the

first time he met Wilson was in Maryland, not New York. Moreover, I

have a copy of the membership list for the O.G. Metropolitan Team

from that year, and Houck is not on it.

++++Message 3630. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: When did Bill W. decide that AA

needed an archives?

From: Ernest Kurtz . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/7/2006 8:06:00 AM
In one sense, the "AA Archives" began in the late 1920s and early


while Bill was still drinking, when Lois Wilson, convinced that Bill was

or somehow would be "a great man," began saving copies of some of



ernie kurtz
Robert Stonebraker wrote:



> When did Bill Wilson decide there was a need for

> archiving AA material and history? Surely it was

> before Nell Wing started GSO Archives in 1975!


> Thanks!


> Bob S.


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



++++Message 3631. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Natural instincts/character

defects in 4th step

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/7/2006 12:41:00 PM
Bill W also addresses the matter of instincts exceeding their proper

function in the 12and12.

In the Step 4 essay in the 12and12:
"Nearly every serious emotional problem can be seen as a case of

misdirected instinct. When that happens, our great natural assets, the

instincts, have turned into physical and mental liabilities.
Step Four is our vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what

these liabilities in each of us have been, and are."

Similar commentary occurs throughout the essays.


++++Message 3632. . . . . . . . . . . . Who was the "promoter" in the Rule

62 story?

From: Archie Bunkers . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/1/2006 4:33:00 PM
Who was this 'promoter member' who sent the

Rule #62 story, or was this an example of poetic



Early, the "Rule #62" story was sent to Bill W in

a letter from a chastened and humbled "promoter member."

(AACOA 103-104, 12and12 147-149, NG 107)
The story is a key part of the 12and12 essay for

Tradition 4.

++++Message 3633. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Who was the "promoter" in the

Rule 62 story?

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/8/2006 10:40:00 AM
Hi Archie
I would love to find out both who the "super promoter" member was


well as the group. I don't get a sense that Bill W was exercising

poetic license. The definite answer is likely in the GSO archives if

the letter and card (or copies) sent in to the NY Office by the

promoter are preserved (and/or the letter asking for an "official


The story is discussed in the 12and12 essay on Tradition 4, in "AA


of Age" and in the book "Not God." So it seems grounded on


The book "Not God" (pg 107) states 1940 as the year of the


sobering up and the incident and correspondence.
Bill W states in "AA Comes of Age" (pgs 103-106) that the letter


card sent in by the super promoter was explicit to the notion in

Tradition 4 that each group has the right to be wrong.

My research on the history:
The short form of Tradition 4 reads "Each group should be autonomous

except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole."

The long form of Tradition 4 reads "With respect to its own affairs,

each AA group should be responsible to no other authority than its own

conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring

groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group,

regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that

might greatly affect AA as a whole without conferring with the

Trustees of the General Service Board. On such issues our common

welfare is paramount."

In a March 1948 Grapevine article Bill W wrote that the long form of

Tradition 4 repeats and specifically emphasizes the spiritual

principles contained in both Traditions 1 and 2. There is a great deal

of repetition in the Traditions. It's not always evident in the short

form but is very prominent in the long form of the Traditions.
The 12and12 Tradition 4 essay states that over the years, every

conceivable deviation from AA's 12 Steps and Traditions has been

tried. That shouldn't be a surprise - alcoholics are an extreme

example of self will run riot. These deviations, however, have also

created a body of trial and error experience that can be used to

benefit all.

Every group has the right to be wrong and is free to work out its own

customs, meeting formats, service structure and many other things. But

freedom also requires responsibility otherwise it becomes anarchy.

Each group is responsible to avoid any action that might harm others,

whether it's AA's common good, another group or a member. And there

have been such actions, or this Tradition would be unnecessary.

"AA Comes of Age" (pg 96) states that "Implicit throughout


Traditions is the confession that our Fellowship has its sins. We

admit that we have character defects as a society and these defects

threaten us continually."
The experienced group understands that the Traditions are not

technicalities. They are proven guides that reinforce the primary

purpose of all AA groups and a way to maintain group harmony and

Tradition 3 allows any 2 or 3 alcoholics coming together as an AA

group to seek sobriety just about any way they like. They can disagree

with any or all AA principles and still call themselves an AA group.

In fact, any member can disagree with any or all AA principles and

still call himself or herself an AA member.

That's pretty heady stuff and sounds like risky business. But really

it's not. (Bill W also wrote in AA Comes of Age that) this kind of

liberty prevents AA from becoming a frozen set of dogmatic (or rigid)

principles that couldn't be changed even when obviously wrong. It's

our wonderful "democratic anarchy" and it does have checks and

balances and ways of sorting itself out.

For example, the 12and12 essay on Tradition 4 has a story about an early

group that had grandiose plans that predictably fell flat and went

down to failure. But it had a happy ending.
The story is about "Rule # 62" which is "Don't take yourself

too damn

seriously." A group in early 1940, decided to involve itself in just

about everything and anything. They had extravagant dreams of building

a huge alcoholic center that groups everywhere would want to


There were plans for a club on the ground floor. On the 2nd floor they

planned to have a treatment center and a special bank to hand out

money to alcoholics to pay their back debts and get them on their feet

again. Then on the 3rd floor they planned to have an alcoholism

education center. And that was only the beginning.
Of course, there was a super-promoter and power driver behind it all.

He wrote to the NY office to get an official AA charter for the

grandiose plans. The NY office advised him that it didn't issue any

kind of charters for any purpose and that similar adventures the

super-promoter had in mind had come to some very bad ends elsewhere.
Not the least bit fazed, the super-promoter set up 3 corporations and

became president of all 3 of them. As an added bonus he also appointed

himself manager of the club. All of this would take a lot of money and

of course it would be other people's money. In order to keep everyone

on the straight and narrow path they adopted 61 rules and regulations.
After a while confusion reigned supreme. The power-driver promoter and

members finally reached the point where they wished they had paid

attention to AA experience when first advised of it. And, upon

admitting defeat in a letter sent to the NY office, out of this was

born the famous rule #62 "Don't take yourself too damn seriously."
The 12and12 states that under Tradition 4 an AA group had exercised its

right to be wrong. It also did a service to AA by letting others know

what it did wrong and being willing to take the hard lessons they had

learned and apply them in a humble and good-natured manner. Even the

chief architect and super-promoter, standing in the ruins of his

dream, could laugh at himself. Bill W described that as the very acme

(high point) of humility.


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

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 3:33 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Who was the "promoter" in the Rule 62

Who was this 'promoter member' who sent the Rule #62 story, or was

this an example of poetic license?



Early, the "Rule #62" story was sent to Bill W in a letter from a

chastened and humbled "promoter member."

(AACOA 103-104, 12and12 147-149, NG 107)
The story is a key part of the 12and12 essay for Tradition 4.
Yahoo! Groups Links
++++Message 3634. . . . . . . . . . . . The natural instincts in Oxford

Group teaching

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/9/2006 7:26:00 PM
Glenn F. Chesnut, "Changed by Grace: V. C. Kitchen, the Oxford Group,


A.A." (in press, to appear in October, 2006), page 162, note 94.
A. J. Russell, "For Sinners Only" (Tucson, Arizona: Hats Off

Books, 2003;

orig. pub, 1932), pp. 23-25, said that there were two basic natural


which were the desire for Sex and Money. Russell was not interested however


the kind of balancing approach which Bill W. used, where one tried to avoid

going to extremes in either direction.
In the case of the sex instinct, Russell stated that "any perversion of

thought or word or deed" and all "the lusts of the flesh"

were to be put down

and totally removed. The young men at Oxford University were told that

masturbation was sinful, and we know that Frank Buchman believed that he


"change" homosexuals and transgender people, although there is no

evidence that

he ever did any long term follow-up (a three-year or five-year follow-up) on

those whom he believed he had changed.

Russell attempted to dress up this old rigid, puritanical approach in the


Freudian psychiatric language by saying that this was to be done, not by

"suppression, but sublimation." To begin with, he got the Freudian


wrong! He should have said "not by REPRESSION but by suppression and

sublimation." And although Freud -- who had to survive in the

traditional Roman

Catholic milieu of Vienna -- had to state publicly that some people could


in total chastity by sublimating all their sexual desires, Freudian

psychiatrists when working with patients did not usually see that as a


option, particularly with younger people.

In the case of the natural desire for money (as a means to obtain food,

clothing, and housing), Russell simply stated that "if no work was


then we must live on Faith and Prayer," and gave numerous examples of


Group workers who seem to have survived for long periods of time, without

holding any kind of salaried job at all, on donations, gifts, and grants


people who wanted to support their evangelistic work. We also must remember


the Oxford Group members tended to be, for the most part, either carefree

students at elite universities or fairly affluent professional people, who


having money (and being able to make money) for granted.

Early A.A. changed this approach drastically. As was pointed out by Jim B

jblair@videotron.ca (jblair at videotron.ca) in Message 3628


the early A.A.'s got their perspective on the natural instincts from the

Jim cites Karen Horney, "The Neurotic Personality of Our Time"

(1937) which

contains a complete chapter on how neurosis always manifests itself in a


for money, power and prestige.
Also Harry Stack Sullivan, "A Note On The Implications of Psychiatry,


Study of Interpersonal Relations, for Investigation of Social


American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 42, July 1936, May 1937.
The Neo-Freudians whom the early A.A.'s read and were most influenced by

included not only Horney, but also Adler, who was a very important influence


A.A. thought. This particular group of Neo-Freudians believed that Freud had

been wrong in trying to derive all of our neuroses from influences on us


our first three years of life only. This group believed that we had to look


our later childhood years as well, and traumas and negative forces which we

experienced later on, all the way down to the age of 12 to 14, and sometimes

even afterward.

This meant people like the ten year old who tries alcohol for the first


gets drunk out of his mind, and drinks to excess, every time he drinks, for


the rest of his life. Or the girl who is sexually abused by a relative at


age of thirteen. Or a boy who runs away from an abusive foster home at the


of fourteen and lives on the streets for several years. Or the child who

decides, at the age of six or eight, that "nobody in my family loves

me." Or the

little boy who realizes, at an early age, that "if I don't fight

anybody who

gets near me, I will be stomped into the ground by life." Or children

who feel

inferior because they are too fat, or too thin, or because their noses are


long or too short, or are no good at athletics, or don't have the proper


to wear, or do poorly in all their school work, or do too well in all their

school work (you can get hated that way too!), or belong to a different race


religion than most of their classmates. This is all simple, common sense


not heavy handed Freudian complexes, where it takes a doctoral degree to


understand what all the complex terminology means.

The importance of Neo-Freudian psychiatric theory was as true in Akron as in

New York. One of the ten books on the recommended reading list handed out to

Akron alcoholics at the time they were checked into the hospital by their

sponsors for detoxing, was Ernest M. Ligon, "The Psychology of


Personality," which had a Neo-Freudian approach. See

I should warn that the version of the early "Akron Manual"

currently being

sold by the Akron intergroup LEAVES OFF the recommended reading list of ten

books which all A.A. beginners should read (which was originally part of


manual), thereby giving a seriously distorted view of early Akron A.A. You


the Manual in its present form, and you get the impression that all they


was the Bible. They certainly did read the Bible, but it was only one of the


books on their recommended reading list. I believe that the distribution of


"edited" version of the Akron Manual is one of the major things

responsible for

some of the current misunderstandings and distortions about how early Akron


people really thought.

The most important representative of the Neo-Freudian approach (among those

who were themselves A.A. people) was Sgt. Bill S., who began as a protege of

Mrs. Marty Mann when he got sober on Long Island in 1948, but also spent a


learning from Sister Ignatia in Akron, and later worked with famous


Dr. Louis Jolyon "Jolly" West in developing the Lackland Method

for alcoholism

treatment. In the case of his own life, which Sgt. Bill uses as an example


the way alcoholics develop alcoholic thinking patterns, it was not the first

three years which got him into psychological trouble, but the following


going all the way up to the end of high school. See

http://hindsfoot.org/kBS1.html for his life story, and

http://hindsfoot.org/BSV02Psy.html for a chapter from that book in which he

explains the unconscious psychological forces which push alcoholics to

drink, in

a futile attempt at self-medication.

What Sgt. Bill meant by the unconscious were the simple, common sense things

which we discovered about ourselves (and our real motives and hidden


defects) when we did a real fourth step. It did NOT mean the kind of old

fashioned heavy handed Freudian preoccupation with the Oedipus complex,


envy, our early toilet training, and all the rest of that kind of thing. It


talk of Freudian complexes which Dr. Bob warned Bill W. about in that famous

statement which is so often quoted, not the kinds of things which Sgt. Bill


and Ernest Ligon were talking about.

Glenn F. Chesnut, "Changed by Grace: V. C. Kitchen, the Oxford Group,


A.A.," pages 159-160, note 87.
Even those early A.A.'s who continued to support the Oxford Group concept of

the Four Absolutes realized that if A.A. officially attacked and preached

against masturbation and GLBT people (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and


and transsexual people), this was going to fly in the face of all of the


modern psychiatry. So whereas Absolute Purity was totally about sex for A.


Russell, the early A.A. people who continued to use that term removed all


references from it, and totally reinterpreted it.

The Cleveland pamphlet on "The Four Absolutes" (which is undated

but seems to

come from a fairly early period in A.A. history) is still published by the

Cleveland Central Committee of A.A. Copies may be ordered through the


District Office, 1701 East 12th Street, Lower Level, Cleveland OH 44114. The

pamphlet's description of Absolute Purity makes no reference to sex at

all, but

says: "As far as the mind is concerned, it is a simple case of

answering the

question, ‘Is it right, or is it wrong?' That should be easy for

us. There is no

twilight zone between right and wrong. Even in our drinking days we knew the

difference .... We know which is right, but do we have the dedicated will to


it?... Were we to contemplate the peace and contentment that a pure


would bring to us, and the joy and help that it would bring to others, we


be more determined about our spiritual progress .... If you have turned your

will and your life over to God as you understand Him, purity will come to

you in

due course because God is Good."
It should also be said that, regardless of what the Oxford Group literature

said, the word "pure" in the Bible was never used in conjunction

with sexual

matters in even a single passage. The Cleveland A.A. people knew their Bible

better than the Oxford Group in this regard.
For a typical Biblical usage, see Psalm 24:3-4, "Who shall ascend the

hill of

the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands


pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not


deceitfully." The Biblical word meant being honest in our dealings with


(Proverbs 15:26) and keeping our promises (Psalm 12:6). For the letter of


it meant, in addition, faithfully carrying out our responsibility to take


of the helpless and downtrodden, instead of being dominated by the kinds of

concerns about increasing their own money and property and prestige which

totally controlled so many people's lives (James 1:27). In other


genuinely dealing honestly with other people requires us to act with


instead of insisting on "giving people what they deserve" with a


pseudo-honesty that hides the deep inner lie about who we ourselves actually

are: people desperately in need ourselves for God's mercy and

If you want to check out how words are actually used in the Bible, there is


complete concordance to the entire Bible, in a number of different modern

translations (as well as the old seventeenth century King James Version) at

http://www.searchgodsword.org/ -- if you search for all the passages which


the word "pure," for example, you can see all the ways that word

is actually

So those who wish to uphold a truly Biblical concept of Absolute Purity


begin by focusing on the lines from Psalm 24:3-4, "Who shall ascend the

hill of

the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands


pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not


deceitfully." The Biblical concept of purity of heart had nothing to do


sex. As the Cleveland Pamphlet pointed out, it was fundamentally about being

totally honest with other people, not lying to other people, and doing what


knew was right.


People who start following those simple guidelines for maintaining purity of

heart will quickly discover that there is no way that a married person can


an affair (for example) without lying, being dishonest, and doing harm to


people, either by commission, OR by omission -- such as not spending time


our children or helping our spouses, because we're out in a cheap motel room

somewhere having a fling.
When Father Sam Shoemaker carried out the order of Morning Prayer in his

church in New York, he led his congregation in the General Confession, which

said (among other things): "We have offended against thy holy laws, we

have left

undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those


which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us." The


Methodists who published The Upper Room (the standard meditational book of


A.A.) used that same prayer, for their services were almost identical to the

Episcopalian services -- except we didn't use incense, and we called the

minister "Brother so and so" instead of "Father so and

so"! But the important

thing is that sins of omission are listed first in the traditional Prayer of

General Confession in the Book of Common Prayer, as being potentially even


serious than sins of commission.

This is often one of the hardest things for newcomers to A.A. to grasp.


we didn't do anything wrong," we hear the newcomers cry, and their

sponsors say,

"Yeah, but there were things which were right which you ought to have

done, and

there were responsibilities which you ought to have been taking care of


you totally neglected, and all you did was sit there and do nothing and feel

resentful and feel sorry for yourself."

Anybody who tries to live by this spirit will find that the answers to

questions about how to govern the natural sexual instinct in balanced


are clear and easy to figure out. Be totally honest, don't lie, do what you

already know is right, and faithfully carry out all your responsibilities to

your spouse, your children, and the vulnerable newcomers to A.A. who do not

deserve to be victimized yet again by a heartless sexual predator


falsely as an angel of light.


In my own researches into early Indiana A.A., the overwhelming majority of


good old timers (from the 1940's all the way down to the 1970's) whom I have

been privileged to know thought about the sexual issues that way, regardless


whether they talked about the Four Absolutes or were devoted Christians

(Baptists, Catholics, Church of the Nazarene, Methodists, Episcopalians, or


have you) or were trained and licensed psychotherapists or whatever.
The first two AA groups in Indiana were started by J. D. Holmes (from Akron)

and by a twelfth step call by Irwin Meyerson (from Cleveland), so I think it


fair to say that Hoosier AA still has a good deal of the old Akron-Cleveland

style AA in it.
There were also people like Ken Merrill, who started AA in South Bend,

Indiana, who took a more overtly psychological approach (Neo-Freudian


with an emphasis on the effects of "getting stuck" in our

childhoods at some

place between three years old and sixteen years old or so, but done in


common sense fashion) -- http://hindsfoot.org/nsbend2.html

But most of the Hoosier old timers saw no conflict between GOOD spirituality

and GOOD psychology.

On whichever grounds they approached the issue however, with only two

exceptions which I was able to find, all of the Hoosier good oldtimers whom


researched, were in agreement with the kind of position I have laid out


married people could not have affairs if they expected to live with serenity


peace in their hearts. As far as they were concerned, one could not use


to "the natural sexual instincts" to justify married people having

There were two of the most famous Hoosier AA good oldtimers who did however

flagrantly play around on their wives. The escapades in which one of them


involved were especially notorious -- at his funeral, his wife stood guard


his casket, while his mistress stood guard by the door to the funeral home,


all the AA people who came to pay their respects were made EXTREMELY

uncomfortable by that very taut situation -- but I do not see anything to be

gained from naming either man's name.

The important thing is that all of the other good oldtimers were unanimous


telling the people whom they sponsored, "Don't do that! Don't do like

those two

Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3635. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Sylvia K. in Chicago?

From: brian thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/12/2006 2:33:00 PM

I just got off the phone (12 August 06) with Sylvia's

son Phillip.

He told me that she was very active in AA until her

death on Oct 31st 1974. Sylvia had been sober since

her sobriety date (which he confirmed as) September

13th 1939.

She had been sober over 35 years.

She was the first woman in AA to achieve long term

sobriety. He also gave me a list of some of the other

early members of the chicago group.

Sylvia met her husband Ed at an AA meeting around

1945/46 in chicago. Ed was also very actively involved

in AA until his death in March 1974. He was also sober

over 30 years.

If I find out any more information I will post in the


Love in Sobriety,



Do You Yahoo!?

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


++++Message 3636. . . . . . . . . . . . Rowland Hazard''s pottery factory in

La Luz

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/14/2006 2:53:00 AM
A transcript of the recent newspaper article about

Rowland Hazard's Pottery Business in La Luz, New Mexico,

from the local newspaper there.
Sent in by Ted Harrington

(bennettprinting at tularosa.net)

*New exhibit at Tularosa Basin Historical Society "La Luz


In June 2006, TBHS Museum expanded one of its exhibits, "La Luz

Pottery," with the addition of more examples of this beautiful pottery

from a private collection.
*History of La Luz Pottery*
La Luz Pottery was founded in1929 by *Rowland Hazard*, of Rhode

Island. Coming from a wealthy family who owned the Allied Chemical

Company, Hazard first was introduced to New Mexico in the early 1920's

while on his way to California. Car trouble forced him to stop at La

Luz. Entranced by the mountains and beauty and desert climate, he

learned what he could about the area from the managers of the La Luz

Lodge, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sutton.
He returned in 1929 and bought land and water rights in La Luz

Canyon. As he began construction on his new summer home, he wanted

better quality roof tiles. Consequently, he experimented with the

different clays of the area, and found the perfect source right there in

La Luz Canyon. He confirmed his beliefs with extensive testing done in

California and back East, all attesting the superior quality of the clay.

Seeing the potential for a new business, he founded the La Luz Clay

Products Company, with its office in New York and its factory in La

Luz. As he had the workshop complex built, he hired Thomas Walker from

New York State college of Ceramics to be resident manager and Professor

Cornelio Rodriguez of Guadalajara, Mexico, to serve as chief potter. The

remainder of the staff was hired locally.

La Luz Clay Products Company was a success. Hazard visited only

occasionally as he oversaw other ventures throughout the country,

leaving his New Mexico operation in the capable hands of his staff.
*The Products*
The success of the company came from the superior quality of the

products. The staff used scientific processing to mix various types of

clay combined with creative designs and formations for their tiles and pots.

What made the products special was the clay. One ceramic engineer

commented to Hazard that the roof tiles he was inspecting gave out a

beautiful tone like a bell when struck. The staff scientifically mixed

the clays to get the nearly perfect quality needed. The La Luz Clay

Product"s catalog described the clay as having "an individual


of warm pink It is truly typical of the name LA LUZ "the Light,"


its rich coloring has a life and light, and its soft tints react

delicately to atmospheric conditions, causing the pottery to change in

color . . . now deepening, now paling, in a most interesting manner."

Their reputation quickly grew. Their first product was roof tiles,

and soon they appeared on several New Mexico buildings in the Mission

Revival style. Some of the foremost architects specified the use of La

Luz roof tiles.

By the mid-1930's the La Luz company had expanded its product line

to include floor tiles, urns, and a variety of decorative pots, from

small to large and plain to decorative. The chimney pots were the

smallest and simplest, while the strawberry pots were among the largest

(some up to six feet in height) and most complex.
Now at the TBHS Museum you can see examples of the variety of

products from the La Luz Clay Products, from the roof tiles, to

strawberry pots, to lamps. Be sure to come by and see this temporary

exhibit. For more information, call the Museum at 505-434-4438.

Hope this will be of use for you and all who enjoy our history.
Ted Harrington
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3637. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: 90 meetings in 90 days

From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/4/2006 6:09:00 PM

The statement "Thirty meetings in thirty days" was all-the-go in

the Los Angeles

area where I sobered up in the mid-1970s.
So that version of the slogan goes back at least that far into the past.
I notice while vacationing there that they still have newcomers raise their

hands during their first thirty days, and of course, the thirty day slogan

remains in use.
I moved to Indiana in the late seventies and the "Ninety meetings in


days" had not yet caught on at that time, but by the early nineties it


become a common chant throughout the mid-west, as it still is.
So in terms of the last thirty years of AA history, the slogan seems to have

begun in a form where it referred to a 30 day period instead of a 90 day


But in that form, it appeared before the really big explosion of

insurance-funded treatment centers all over the country in the 1980s and


Bob S.
-----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com


Behalf Of Toto24522@aol.com

Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 3:04 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Cc: serenityodaat@yahoo.se

Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] 90 meetings in 90 days

In a message dated 7/18/06 10:09:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time,

serenityodaat@yahoo.se writes:

<< The saying "90 meetings in 90 days" is pretty common

in AA in Sweden. I recall that i once heard on a

speaker tape that this saying was "invented"

Cleveland AA in the 50's where they had some sort of

"contract" with the Salvation army, that if they took

drunks to 90 meetings the Salvation army would let the

person stay at the shelter for 90 days.

Does anyone have any info around this?

Love Anders
From the website:


Download 14.05 Mb.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   ...   96

The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2022
send message

    Main page