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



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As told by Chief Blackhawk (Detroit, 40 years in October,

1998), sitting on the front porch of Dr. Bob's house at

855 Ardmore in Akron, Ohio to Floyd H. of Spring, Texas.


ORGANIZATIONS
There are vital reasons that we are not allied with

any sects, denominations, politics, organizations, or

institutions. You want to know what they are?
The Cleveland group's experience with an outside

organization taught us about the danger of trying that.

Get in with another organization, they bring their

values and opinions and they seldom are what we know

works in helping drunks. When the Clarence Snyder

(Home Brewmeister) group formed in Cleveland, an article

ran in the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer.
The group was flooded with requests for help, and many

were low-bottoms who needed 3-5 days of hospitalization.

After being turned down by all the local hospitals and

after helping the son of a person associated with the

Salvation Army, that organization told Clarence they'd

make some beds available for alcoholics. In accepting

their aid, two things happened. First, AA became allied

with an outside organization; next, they fell under that

organization's philosophy about recovering from alcoholism

and compromised what the alcoholics knew really worked.


In order to get the beds, the AA's violated their own

procedures. I asked: So what was that organization's

philosophy that went against what AA's had been doing?

They answered: The Cleveland Salvation Army had a policy

of limiting bed space for anyone to a total of three

months. Their motive was noble: We'll help you

down-and-out's to get by until you get a job and a place

of your own, but to motivate you, weire putting a time

limit on our assistance -- you have three months, max.

Now, for the alkies coming in, they told them the same

thing but added, You also have to visit with a recovered

alcoholic daily; that is, you have to meet with them 90

times in 90 days, and we're gonna check to make sure

you do. Miss a meeting and you have no bed. You're back

on the streets. So instead of taking the drunks through

in 3 or 4 hours the way we always did it, or a matter

of days at the most, we're now into this 90-in-90 plan.
I said: So the Cleveland Salvation Army introduced this

thing we hear so often today -- Go to 90 meetings in

90 days?
They said, Exactly. And the early Cleveland AA's,

desperate to get beds they thought they had to have,

compromised their approach to working the steps

quickly. But to their great credit, the Cleveland AA's

keep meticulous records with Clarence's insistence)

and their stats revealed that no one gained any

long-term sobriety using that plan. So Cleveland

separated itself from the Salvation Army with a

valuable lesson: stick to the methods proven

successful -- alkies taking alkies through the steps

and doing it pronto. After Cleveland got back to

doing that instead of the 90-in-90-Salvation-Army plan,

the AA's got a 93% success rate over the next several

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


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++++Message 3638. . . . . . . . . . . . "Take what you need and leave the

rest"


From: Paul S. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/17/2006 8:50:00 AM
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Hi everybody
In another cyberforum came up a discussion about

this AA motto or saying.


Something like "Take what you want and leave the rest."
It is widely used and can (in my opinion) also be

dangerous.


(It seems to me that it is wiser to remember the

motto, which comes straight from the Big Book, p. 59:

"Half measures awailed us nothing")
Question: From where comes this sentence? Is it just

one more of those things which appeared somewhere and

just started being repeated, without anybody ever

knowing where it came from?


And BTW: Thanks for this interesting-informative forum

and its excellent "search-machine." (This time it however

"failed.")
All the best
Paul S. aka soberfinn
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++++Message 3639. . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Silkworth''s two letters

From: gbaa487 . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/15/2006 12:51:00 AM


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in the Big Book there are two letters written by

Dr. Silkworth.


What is the time frame between the two letters,

and why were there two eventually written?


Thanks
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++++Message 3640. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: "Take what you need and leave

the rest"

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 3:17:00 PM
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From: "Jon Markle"

(serenitylodge at

bellsouth.net)
"Take what you need and leave the rest" is a "saying"

that is heard often at

meetings in Al-anon, and is used in their conference approved literature,

more


than once.
Two at-hand references are: Courage to Change, pg 117 (April 26 reading) and

pg

321 (November 16 reading).


Now, where that saying originated, I don't know. It is an "axiom"

that appears

in almost all 12-step literature.
But I don't think it appears in AA literature. I cannot say this for

certain,


but I didn't hear it when I first got sober and certainly, my home group

taught


me the reverse that was referenced, "half measures avail us

nothing." When I

did a "search," it came up in all sorts of religious and secular

contexts and

was not limited to recovery material, but nothing in AA literature, although

it

was reported in AA settings (groups, chat rooms, e-mail exchange lists,



etc.).
I believe the saying was originally intended to be used to indicate that

there


are some things one hears at meetings that simply are not part of recovery

via


the 12-steps, and while they might be useful, they are not necessarily tools

that the 12 steps perpetuate, so one is free to use them or not.


The closest thing I heard later on in AA came from my sponsor, which I've

used


myself: "Take what you need today and put the rest on the shelf for

later


reference."
That's the best I can do you for now. If I find any other references, I'll

forward them.


Jon Markle

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


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++++Message 3641. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Dr. Silkworth''s two letters

From: Bill Lash . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 8:14:00 AM


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Good morning all! The first letter in "The Doctor's Opinion" was

written by

Dr. Silkworth on 7/27/38 as a

referral letter for AA. The second "statement" is taken from a few

different articles that Silky wrote

pieced together (see previous posts). I've never been able to find every

paragraph in the Big Book from this

second "statement" in Silky's articles so I would suspect that

some of it

even came from conversations

that Bill had with him. Namaste.
Just Love,
Barefoot Bill
-----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

[mailto:AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of gbaa487

Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 12:52 AM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Dr. Silkworth's two letters


in the Big Book there are two letters written by

Dr. Silkworth.


What is the time frame between the two letters,

and why were there two eventually written?


Thanks
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3642. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: "Take what you need and leave

the rest"

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 8:46:00 AM
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Hi Paul
There is an old saying that "imitation is the highest form of

flattery." Such seems to be the case for the common expressions and

catchphrases in AA today. Slogans and other sayings will eventually

spread through AA if they strike members as notable and useful.


Discovering primacy in terms of where catchphrases originated is by no

means easy to do with confidence due to the autonomous and anonymous

nature of AA. Plus there is just far too frequent reliance by members

on dubious anecdotal and ambiguous sources that are much more the

product of fertile imagination rather than well researched factual

information (e.g. the recent posting on "90 meetings in 90 days").


While there are history books and articles maintained by the

Fellowship (e.g. AA Comes of Age, Grapevine articles, etc.) local

history documentation is quite a hit or miss affair. It might be

possible to get an approximation of when particular sayings started in

certain locales, but pinning down the origin location is, at best,

very difficult.


The earliest documented sources I can find thus far for the

"take/leave" catchphrase are from 1962 and 1985 Grapevine issues:


June 1962 Grapevine article "The Twelve Steps Revisited/Step 8" by

J E


from Guilford, CN.
"Take this thing cafeteria style I was advised. Select what you want

and can digest, and leave the rest until later."


September 1985 Grapevine article "Your Move" by V F from Eureka,

KS.
"Though I didn't agree with all the opinions expressed, why should I

expect 'our meeting in print' to be different from any other meeting?

Take what you need and leave the rest."


As far as I have been able to determine to date, the Big Book was

never intended to be the "final word" or the be-all and end-all

source

that so many members make it today. If it were, the 12and12 would not



have been written (by the same author). Also the parsing of a

particular catchphrase will vary quite a bit among members,

particularly when it comes to reading things into a sentence that are

not expressly written there. It's one of the things that makes AA so

interesting and enjoyable.
The "half measures" citation reputedly owes its origin to the 1931

book "The Common Sense of Drinking" by Richard Peabody. It

strengthened the concept of alcoholism as an illness and contained the

statement "Half measures are to no avail." The book was a

prominent

reference source in the early AA Fellowship. Peabody died drunk so the

catchphrase did not appear to serve him very well.
Cheers

Arthur


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

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2006 7:51 AM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] "Take what you need and leave the rest"


Hi everybody
In another cyberforum came up a discussion about this AA motto or

saying.
Something like "Take what you want and leave the rest."


It is widely used and can (in my opinion) also be dangerous.
(It seems to me that it is wiser to remember the motto, which comes

straight from the Big Book, p. 59:

"Half measures awailed us nothing")
Question: From where comes this sentence? Is it just one more of those

things which appeared somewhere and just started being repeated,

without anybody ever knowing where it came from?
And BTW: Thanks for this interesting-informative forum and its

excellent "search-machine." (This time it however

"failed.")
All the best
Paul S. aka soberfinn
Yahoo! Groups Links
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++++Message 3643. . . . . . . . . . . . Significant August Dates in A.A.

History


From: chesbayman56 . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 1:37:00 PM
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Hello Folks, I have been so Busy I simply for got the beginging of

this month this Month.


Significant August dates in AA history
Aug 1934 - Rowland H and Cebra persuade court to parole Ebby T. to

them.


Aug 1939 - Dr. Bob wrote and may have signed article for Faith

magazine.

Aug 1981 - Distribution of Alcoholics Anonymous passes 3 million.

Aug 1, 1943 - Washington Times-Herald (DC) reports on AA clubhouse,

to protect anonymity withholds address.

Aug 3, 1954 - Brinkley S. gets sober at Towns Hosp after 50th detox.

Aug 8, 1879 - Dr. Bob born in St. Johnsbury, VT.

Aug 9, 1943 - LA groups announce 1000 members in 11 groups.

Aug 11, 1938 - Akron and NY members begin writing stories for Big Book.

Aug 15, 1890 - E M Jellinek is born, author of "The Disease Concept

of Alcoholism" and the "Jellinek Curve".

Aug 16, 1939 - Dr Bob and Sister Ignatia admit 1st alcoholic to St

Thomas Hospital, Akron, Ohio.

Aug 18, 1988 - 1st Canadian National AA Convention in Halifax, Nova

Scotia.

Aug 19, 1941 - 1st AA Meeting in Colorado is held in Denver.



Aug 25, 1943 - AA group donates Big Book to public library in

Quincy, MA.

Aug 26, 1941 - Bill writes Dr Bob to tell him Works Publishing has

been incorporated

Aug 28, 1954 - "24 Hours a Day" is published by Richmond W.
Also in August...

Sales of the Big Book passes 3,000,000 - August 1981

1st meeting in Orange County, California held in Anaheim - August,

1941
Nancy O, the founder of AAHL Started compiling this list before she

passed. I always looked forward to the begining of the month when

she posted it. Please feel free to contribute to this list. I will

try to keep it accurate, as best I can, so it would be great if you

can


provide the source of the date. The best way to to get the

information is to e-mail it to me Directly.


In love and service,

Billy C.


Annapolis, Md
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++++Message 3644. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Dr. Silkworth''s two letters

From: johnlawlee . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 12:58:00 PM


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--- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "gbaa487"

wrote:


>

> in the Big Book there are two letters written by

> Dr. Silkworth.

>

> What is the time frame between the two letters,



> and why were there two eventually written?

>

> Thanks



>

A photo of first Silkworth letter is dated July 27, 1938, and

included in Dale Mitchel's 2002 biog of Doctor Silkworth,The Little

Doctor Who Loved Drunks [Hazelden-Pittman Archives Press]. That biog

indicates that the second letter was dated sometime in early 1939.

The first letter from Silkworth is a rather lackluster, general

endorsement of the experience of an [unamed] Bill Wilson, a patient

who was under treatment from Silkworth three times. The second

endorsement letter from Silkworth is much more specific and

sweeping. The second letter speaks of the phenomenon of craving, the

need for a psychic change, and the need for something more than

human power. Silkworth refers to the problem, the solution and the

plan of action.

Nothing in the Silkworth biog indicates why the second

endorsement letter was requested. I have to assume that Bill and

Hank, the promoters of the soon-to-be-published book, felt the book

needed a stirring rave from a mainstream source. They likely felt

that the first letter lacked specifics and sufficient enthusiasm.

The text of the Big Book, between the two Silkworth letters,

indicates that, "the physician who, at our request, gave us this

letter, has been kind enough to enlarge upon his views..." Bill and

Hank had both been treated at Towns Hospital, and I imagine one of

them just asked Silkworth to amplify the doctor's viewpoint in a

followup letter.

John Lee

Pittsburgh


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++++Message 3645. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: "Take what you need and leave

the rest"

From: johnlawlee . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 4:21:00 PM
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Jon,
Courage to Change is the newer meditation book of

Alanon. The cliche about "Take what you need..."

is not in the basic Al-Anon literature. The two

references to the cliche are just reflections by

two Alanon members who heard the cliche at Al-Anon

meetings. I don't believe you'll find a reference

to this cliche that predates the 1982 pop tune

"Reap the Wild Wind".


john lee

pittsburgh

__________________________
From: "Jon Markle"

(serenitylodge at bellsouth.net)


"Take what you need and leave the rest" is a

"saying" that is heard often at meetings in

Al-anon, and is used in their conference

approved literature, more than once.


Two at-hand references are: Courage to

Change, pg 117 (April 26 reading) and pg 321

(November 16 reading).
> Jon Markle

> Raleigh


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++++Message 3646. . . . . . . . . . . . Clarence S.''s visit to Edmonton

From: The Wilsons . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/23/2006 1:18:00 AM


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I came across a news article about Clarence S attending the 20th annual

Alberta AA Conference in Edmonton. Does anyone know when this

conference was held?
Bob Wilson
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3647. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: "Take what you need and leave

the rest"

From: Ernest Kurtz . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 7:46:00 PM
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Comments from Ernie Kurtz, Art Boudreault, and Arkie Koehl
From: Ernest Kurtz

(kurtzern at umich.edu)


Hi Art,
As usual, you are so right. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bill W.

fairly often wrote in letters to someone who had questioned something or

other in the Big Book that he had not meant it "to be the last

word,"


but that "members of the fellowship would crucify" him if he tried

to

change a word, which was one reason why he wrote the essays in the



12and12. In fact, even while composing those pieces (which first appeared

in the AAGV), Bill wrote to some that he hoped the essays on which he

was working would help to "clarify" some things in the Big Book.

Some


of those letters, as I recall, are specifically cited in the notes to

*Not-God*.


ernie kurtz

______________________________


From: "Art Boudreault"

(artb at netwiz.net)


Dear Paul and others,
The closing that is read at Al-Anon meetings begins

this way. "In closing, the opinions expressed here

were strictly those of the person who gave them.

'Take what you liked and leave the rest'."


I have found that much of what is stated in Al-Anon

from the early days is rooted in AA literature, but

I am unaware where this statement from the AA

literature might lie.


The "Al-Anon Family Groups Classic Edition", pages

165 - 157, explains that the Al-Anon closing was

added to the book "Al-Anon Family Groups" at its

fourth printing in May 1973.


The statement is clearly meant to warn the members

that statements made in meetings by members may or

may not be appropriate Al-Anon philosophy or policy.

It has nothing at all to do with the statements in

Al-Anon's Conference Approved Literature.
If it didn't initially come from AA, then it is

possible that members of Al-Anon who became AA members

or AA members who became members of Al-Anon brought

it back to AA.


As an aside, AA members who had problems with others

who drank too much were officially allowed to attend

Al-Anon meetings by vote of the Al-Anon World Service

Conference in 1969. Prior to that vote it was up to

the autonomy of the Al-Anon group whether to allow

AA members into their closed Al-Anon meetings.

Bill and Lois always seemed to imply in their early

statements that AA members were to attend AA meetings

and their relatives, Al-Anon meetings. Bill was

clear in stating that AA members should not participate

in Al-Anon policy, even if they were also members of

Al-Anon. In Al-Anon, the World Service conference made

this policy official in 1975 as a response to the

1969 vote, because by 1975, many AA members were finding

help in Al-Anon and wanted to be part of the service

structure as well.


Sincerely,
Art Boudreault

artb@netwiz.net


______________________________
From: Arkie Koehl

(arkie at arkoehl.com)


On Aug 19, 2006, at 2:46, ArtSheehan wrote:
As far as I have been able to determine to date,

the Big Book was never intended to be the "final word"

or the be-all and end-all source that so many members

make it today.


Thanks for this, Art. I think Bill would be embarrassed

at the iconic status we've conferred on the BB.


Arkie
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++++Message 3648. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Re: Dr. Silkworth''s two letters

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/19/2006 9:37:00 PM


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Hi John
Dr Silkworth's July 27, 1938 letter was written under the letterhead

of the Charles B Towns Hospital which enjoyed a national reputation in

alcohol and drug addiction treatment. In part, it states:
"These facts appear to be of extreme medical importance; because of

the extraordinary possibilities of rapid growth inherent in this group

they mark a new epoch in the annals of alcoholism. These men may well

have a remedy for thousands of such situations.


You may rely absolutely on anything they say about themselves."
This hardly sound like "a rather lackluster, general endorsement"

as

you frame it.


The July 27, 1938 letter was originally written as a letter of

reference for Bill W to aid in fund raising for the Big Book project.

The Alcoholic Foundation was legally established as a charitable trust

the following month (August 5). The letter also served as a medical

endorsement in the foundation's fund raising efforts and later was

included in its entirety in the Big Book introduction "The Doctor's

Opinion.".
The second narrative by Dr Silkworth was not a letter. It appears in

the Big Book based on a suggestion by Dr Esther L Richardson of John

Hopkins Hospital. She was sent a prospectus which included two sample

book chapters ("There Is A solution" and "Bill's

Story"). A July 18,

1938 letter she wrote to Bill W included a rave review of the two

chapters and a recommendation that:
"I think you should get an A No. 1 physician who has a wide knowledge

of the alcoholic's medical and social problem to write an

introduction."
The second narrative from Dr Silkworth is that introduction and was

written specifically to be included in the Big Book. Part of his

introduction states "There was, therefore, a sense of real

satisfaction when I was asked to contribute a few words on a subject

which is covered in such masterly detail in these pages."
I cannot pin down the precise date that the narrative from Dr

Silkworth or "The Doctor's Opinion" introduction were written but

it

was part of the multilith manuscript distributed for review in January



1939. My best "guesstimate" would be that it was written in

December


1938.
After review of the multilith manuscript, Dr Silkworth was one of the

reviewers who suggested easing the tone of the book from "you

must" to

"we ought." (see AA Comes of Age pgs 167-168). Bill W wrote

"And we

must never forget that it was Dr Silkworth who wrote the introduction



to the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, giving the volume

medical standing."


As an item of AA trivia "The Doctor's Opinion" began as page 1 in

the


1st edition and was not changed to Roman numerals until the 2nd

edition. The basic text ended at page 174 in the 1st edition, not 164

as it does today. Nobody really knows why Bill W renumbered the pages

but there is much entertaining speculation on the matter.


Dale Mitchel's biography of Dr Silkworth is a wonderful read and quite

revealing of the magnificent character and commitment of Dr Silkworth.

He served as a non-alcoholic trustee on the Alcoholic Foundation Board

the two years prior to his death and is reputed to have treated over

40,000 alcoholics in his lifetime at Towns and Knickerbocker Hospitals

in NYC.
Cheers

Arthur
-----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 11:58 AM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Re: Dr. Silkworth's two letters


--- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "gbaa487"

wrote:


>

> in the Big Book there are two letters written by Dr. Silkworth.

>

> What is the time frame between the two letters, and why were there



two

> eventually written?

>

> Thanks


>

A photo of first Silkworth letter is dated July 27, 1938, and

included in Dale Mitchel's 2002 biog of Doctor Silkworth,The Little

Doctor Who Loved Drunks [Hazelden-Pittman Archives Press]. That biog

indicates that the second letter was dated sometime in early 1939.

The first letter from Silkworth is a rather lackluster, general

endorsement of the experience of an [unamed] Bill Wilson, a patient

who was under treatment from Silkworth three times. The second

endorsement letter from Silkworth is much more specific and sweeping.

The second letter speaks of the phenomenon of craving, the need for a

psychic change, and the need for something more than human power.

Silkworth refers to the problem, the solution and the plan of action.

Nothing in the Silkworth biog indicates why the second

endorsement letter was requested. I have to assume that Bill and Hank,

the promoters of the soon-to-be-published book, felt the book needed a

stirring rave from a mainstream source. They likely felt that the

first letter lacked specifics and sufficient enthusiasm.

The text of the Big Book, between the two Silkworth letters, indicates

that, "the physician who, at our request, gave us this letter, has

been kind enough to enlarge upon his views..." Bill and Hank had both

been treated at Towns Hospital, and I imagine one of them just asked

Silkworth to amplify the doctor's viewpoint in a followup letter.

John Lee

Pittsburgh


Yahoo! Groups Links
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++++Message 3649. . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Peabody died drunk?

Documentation?

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/23/2006 8:59:00 AM
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Hi Art,
Is there any documentation for the statement that Richard Peabody died

drunk?
Mel Barger

melb@accesstoledo.com

(melb at accesstoledo.com)

_________________________________________
Original Message from: "ArtSheehan"

(ArtSheehan at msn.com)

Subject: RE: [AAHistoryLovers] "Take what you need and leave the

rest"
> The "half measures" citation reputedly owes its origin to the

1931


> book "The Common Sense of Drinking" by Richard Peabody. It

> strengthened the concept of alcoholism as an illness and contained the

> statement "Half measures are to no avail." The book was a

prominent

> reference source in the early AA Fellowship. Peabody died drunk so the

> catchphrase did not appear to serve him very well.


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++++Message 3650. . . . . . . . . . . . Johnstone P.''s story, "You have to

give it away..."

From: kilroy@ceoexpress.com> . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/20/2006 1:23:00 AM
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
Can someone tell me whatever happened to Johnstone

P. from Ohio? His story appeared in the second edition

of the Big Book and was missing thereafter.
I often hear people quote him at meetings. Mostly

they only use one of his four quotes, the one that

states, "You have to give it away if you want to

keep it."


Kilroy W.

4021 Club

Philadelphia PA
_____________________________________________________________

A Member of CEOExpressSelect - www.ceoexpress.com


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++++Message 3651. . . . . . . . . . . . 90 in 90 days in Bright Star Press

pre-1970 pamphlet

From: ricktompkins@comcast.net . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/21/2006 2:19:00 AM
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Hi group,
"90 meetings in 90 days"-- who hasn't heard that

suggestion in AA at least once?


In a Bright Star Press pamphlet that definitely

pre-dates 1970 (when the company was printing in

Moline, Illinois before moving to Texas) I recently

found evidence to what may erroneously be getting

attributed to treatment centers.
(And, according to Mitchell, the Cleveland Salvation

Army story --fabricated? -- adds to the mythology

of the phrase's first use.)
In a pamphlet (same size as the earliest Akron

AA pamphlets) titled "Handles" that has 40+ pages

of AA phrases, slogans, and brief recovery support

pieces (Handles to help in Sobriety), I found this

phrase at the top of one page:
"TRY 90 MEETINGS IN 90 DAYS AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE

IT WE CAN REFUND YOUR MISERY"


Oldtimers used this phrase, all or part of it,

when I came around in the 1980s, so I respectfully

estimate its AA use from at least the 1960s.
The Bright Star Press record leads me to believe

it's an original AA phrase, too, but as to the date

of its origin perhaps there's a reference in an

early AA Grapevine (via their online archives search

program).
One of us can find it...
rick, illinois
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++++Message 3652. . . . . . . . . . . . History of closed and open

discussion meetings

From: jerry . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/21/2006 5:24:00 PM
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Questions from Jerry and abigapple about

(1) when and where what we now call closed AA

meetings (alcoholics only and no spouses allowed

anywhere near the premises) first began to be

held, and

(2) when and where the idea of what are called

"open discussion meetings" on modern AA

meeting schedules first began to appear.


House meetings, which were still held frequently

in the U.S. for a long time, commonly had the

alcoholics in the living room, but the spouses

were in the kitchen, and in the average modest

American five room family home, they were

within easy earshot of everything that was discussed

in the living room, and all parties were involved

in the "meeting after the meeting" which

occurred afterwards. So this is not a simple,

open and shut question of when the alcoholics

within the Oxford Group first began to hold

meetings "for alcoholics only."


CLOSED MEETINGS

From "jerry"

(jerrytwotord at hotmail.com)
Hello group
Perhaps someone can help me here. All the reading

I've done on our founders seems to point to the fact

that our first meetings be they AA or Oxford Group

meetings were family affairs. If this is so, just where

did the "closed" meeting come in and for what purpose?
Is there any documentation of this? Any help is

appreciated.


Jerry

______________________________


OPEN DISCUSSION MEETINGS

From "abigapple2002"

(abigapple2002 at yahoo.com)
O.K., so I've heard a variety of opinions on whether or

not we should have some meetings which are "open

discussion meetings."
I've also heard a variety of "facts" as to when and

how they came about. I thought you all would be a

little more reliable in this case as to when the first

open discussion meeting came about, where

and possibly even why.
Thanks a lot. I've just passed three years, and really

beginning to have a "thirst" for AA history. Thanks

to all of you for being here and being willing to share

what you've found.


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++++Message 3653. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Johnstone P.''s story, "You have

to give it away..."

From: Tom Hickcox . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/24/2006 4:13:00 PM
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Johnstone P. from Ohio? You probably mean John P. from

Atlanta.


____________________________
At 00:23 8/20/2006 , kilroy@ceoexpress.com wrote:
Can someone tell me whatever happened to Johnstone

P. from Ohio? His story appeared in the second edition

of the Big Book and was missing thereafter.
I often hear people quote him at meetings. Mostly

they only use one of his four quotes, the one that

states, "You have to give it away if you want to

keep it."


Kilroy W.

4021 Club

Philadelphia PA

____________________________


Do you mean John P who wrote "The Professor and

the Paradox"?


He was from Atlanta.
The four paradoxes are:
We surrender to win.

We give away to keep.

We suffer to get well.

We die to live.


His bio is here:


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