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

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There is no Johnstone P listed on that site.
Tommy H in Baton Rouge
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3654. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: "You have to give it away..."

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/25/2006 10:26:00 AM

As a possible item of interest on the give it away/want to keep it

paradox, the Tradition 5 essay in the 12and12 (published 1953) states

the following:
"There is another reason for this singleness of purpose. It is the

great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious

gift of sobriety unless we give it away. If a group of doctors

possessed a cancer cure, they might be conscience-stricken if they

failed their mission through self-seeking. Yet such a failure wouldn't

jeopardize their personal survival. for us, if we neglect those who

are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and

sanity. Under these compulsions of self-preservation, duty, and love,

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

is a way out."


++++Message 3655. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Richard Peabody died drunk?


From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/25/2006 10:03:00 AM
Hi Mel
Re the paper below

Katherine McCarthy, Ph.D.

Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol.45, No.1, 1984.
There are several references in the paper to Peabody not staying sober
"Peabody and his coworkers apparently did not share Baylor's personal

success at remaining sober. A common opinion is that Peabody died

intoxicated, although the evidence is not conclusive. Samuel Crocker,

who had once shared an office with Peabody, told Faye R. that he was

intoxicated at the time of his death. The personal copy of Peabody's

book belonging to Bill Wilson (one of the founders of A.A.) now in the

A.A. Archives, contains the following inscription; "Dr. Peabody was as

far as is known the first authority to state, "once an alcoholic,

always an alcoholic," and he proved it by returning to drinking and by

dying of alcoholism - proving to us that the condition is uncurable."

This copy was originally owned by Rosa Burwell of Philadelphia. Some

early A.A. members share the opinion that Peabody died intoxicated.

The published sources contradict each other. Wister quoted Peabody's

second wife to the effect that he died of pneumonia. The editors of

Scribner's magazine, which published an article of his posthumously,

claimed that he died of a heart attack. Mrs. Crosby did not say."

Later in the paper:
"Although Peabody's method was widely practiced for about two decades,

little is known of its overall therapeutic success, and an accurate

guess is impossible at this date. Marty Mann concluded that Peabody

and his therapists "accomplished a heroic work during the 1930's, when

little else was being done for alcoholics" and that the method


effective with a considerable number"' of patients. It is known that a

few remained abstinent and professionally active in the field of

alcoholism. Others who failed at the Peabody method were known to have

joined A.A. in its early years, but it is impossible to determine how

many remained quietly sober without joining A.A. or professional

groups. The fact that several of the Peabody method's major

practitioners - apparently including the founder - were not able to

maintain their sobriety, however, does not bode well for other

patients with whom contact was lost."
I'm not aware of whether there is proof certain that Peabody died

drunk Most of what I've seen is qualified as anecdotal reports.


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

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 8:00 AM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Richard Peabody died drunk? Documentation?
Hi Art,
Is there any documentation for the statement that Richard Peabody

died drunk?

Mel Barger


(melb at accesstoledo.com)


Original Message from: "ArtSheehan"

(ArtSheehan at msn.com)

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

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


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

> strengthened the concept of alcoholism as an illness and contained


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


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


> catchphrase did not appear to serve him very well.

Yahoo! Groups Links
++++Message 3656. . . . . . . . . . . . Dartmoor Bill died Tuesday, 53 years


From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/28/2006 3:22:00 PM
"Dartmoor Bill", who died on Tuesday aged 85, was

the longest-sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous

in Britain and Europe, having not touched a drink

for the past 53 years.

His story is available in an article in the online

version of the widely read British newspaper,

the Telegraph:


26/db2601.xml [9]
This was sent in by Ernie Kurtz. The newspaper

article contains a good deal of information about

the beginnings of AA in Britain.
To give a few excerpts from the article:
"The first British AA meeting had been held on

March 31 1947 at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

By 1953 there were only four in the capital (today

there are more than 700). Dartmoor Bill found one

in Chandos Street, behind the Edgware Road. He immersed

himself in AA's '12 Steps', and remained sober. By

the 1960s he was a husband and father, making a living

as a street-trader; he also trained as an electrician

and found stage-lighting work around the West End


"Dartmoor Bill reached his half-century of sobriety

in May 2003, and hundreds of AA members celebrated

with him at a party given by his wife Eunice at a

church hall in Chelsea. Despite the onset of asbestosis,

he spoke loud and clear for half an hour, regaling

the company with his experience and sense of hope,

insisting: 'If you don't take the first drink, you

can't get drunk.'"

Posted by the moderator
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3657. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Johnstone P.''s story, "You have

to give it away..."

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/27/2006 8:30:00 AM
Hi Kilroy,

I'd heard that Johnstone Parr had passed on. I think he was a professor

at Kent State University. The Social Security Death Index lists a Johnstone

Parr as born on May 5, 1911 and passing away on May 30, 1991. The Social

Security number was 416 34 6270, and it had been issued in Alabama. Place

of death was not shown.

This could be the same Johnstone Parr, given the unusual first name. Or

it could be a coincidence.

I always thought it was a shame to remove his fine story from the Big Book

after the second edition. But the four paradoxes still survive in AA lore

and are sometimes quoted.

Mel Barger


(melb at accesstoledo.com)

++++Message 3658. . . . . . . . . . . . How to identify 1st printing 1st

edition Big Books

From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/25/2006 10:37:00 AM
Dear AA Friends,
In the late 1990's, I donated to the Indianapolis

(Indiana) Intergroup what I believed was a first

printing, first edition Big Book for display in

their office.

For many years I thought the only large Big Book

was the first printing of the first edition, but

during a visit to the Akron Inter-group Archives I

learned that several of those first edition printings

were also of the large variety. After learning this

I was, of course, concerned as to whether my gift

was really the first printing, and not a later

printing of first edition.

Recently, Bruce C, from Muncie sent me the

following information:

1st Edition, 1st Printing.

Page 154, line 29 has "aberrations" misspelled.

Page 234, line 27 repeats line 26.

Page 391, the story Lone Endeavor is only in

this printing.
The highlighted page 234 mistake was corrected in

the second printing of the first edition and

"The Lone Endeavor" story was also exclusive thereby.
So, now I could really solve this mystery! Yesterday,

I had the opportunity to check this out . The suspense

was terrific! I walked into the office, put on

the white glove and breathtakingly opened the Big Book.

Happy-happy news: IT WAS authentic !
There is another method of authenticating a first

printing. In Dr. Bob's Nightmare on page 192 the

second line states " . . . nearly four years have

But the second printing states: " . . . nearly six

years have passed."
This alteration continued throughout all the rest of

the first edition printings, all of the second edition

printings, and up till, I think, the ninth printing of

the third edition.

So, this information was further evidence in yesterday's

Bob S., Richmond, Indiana

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3659. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Johnstone P.''s story, "You have

to give it away..."

From: Jay Lawyer . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/28/2006 9:47:00 PM
"Anne Smith's Journal" by Dick B. pg 69 talks some about:
"witness-give it away to keep it." Which she used and talked

about mornings in the quiet time during the early days of the

She also said - 'Giving Christianity away is the best way to

keep it.'

Further on it talks about an early pamphlet and a later book

from Rev. Samuel Shoemaker (pg 72-73 etc...) 'about giving

it away to keep it.'
So this action has been around and known for a

looonnnnggggg time.

++++Message 3660. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Johnstone P.''s story, "You have

to give it away..."

From: Robt Woodson . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/28/2006 9:59:00 PM

John Stone Parr, Author of "The Professor and the Paradox" was a

Professor at

nearby Kent State University and a member of the Cuyahoga Falls

"Pilgrim" Group

of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Woody in Akron, Ohio
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
++++Message 3661. . . . . . . . . . . . Identifying Big Book first printing

From: DudleyDobinson@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 8/28/2006 4:30:00 PM

**With a note from Glenn C. on "spiritual experience"**
Hi Bob
Thanks for your insight on the differences between

the first and later printings of the Big Book.

I have probably One of the few copies of "Big Red"

in Ireland and will almost certainly donate it some

time in the near future. When and to whom is my

current dilemma.

Perhaps the most important change made to the First

printing which you did not mention was the change

in the Twelfth step from "experience" to "awakening"

and the addition of an appendix on the subject added

in the Second printing.
I believe it was pointed out to Bill W. that he

had his spiritual experience before the steps were

written. Also some members thought they could not

recover if they did not that type of experience.

In fellowship - Dudley D.


Note from the moderator:
There were actually three separate experiences that

Bill W. had during the period when he was getting

(1) October 1934: When Ebby said to Bill, "Why

don't you choose your own conception of God?"

Bill W. says that the "scales fell ... from my

eyes." (Big Book p. 12) Most Americans at that time

read from the Bible regularly or heard it read

from in church. They would have immediately

recognized this as a reference to the Apostle

Paul's conversion experience on the Road to

Damascus in Acts 9:18. That means that Bill W.

is telling us here, "this was my conversion

experience." He became aware of "the real

significance" of his awareness of the divine

presence at Westminster Cathedral. Living in

continual "God consciousness" or "awareness of the

divine presence" was the way the most important

Protestant preachers and theologians of the 1920's

and 1930's described the life of those who were

among the saved. Bill W. also noted (p. 10) that

his beloved grandfather had pointed out that one

could have the same sense of awe and wonder at

the divine presence while looking up at the starry

sky at night -- with the advantage that the

preachers couldn't tell you how to interpret that


This understanding of what is meant by "God

consciousness" is referred to many times in the

Big Book. One of the two greatest Protestant

theologians of that period, Rudolf Otto, talked

about this kind of spiritual experience in his

book "The Idea of the Holy," which went through

printing after printing. The original German

of the book also went through printing after

printing: "Das Heilige: ueber das Irrationale in

der Idee des gottlichen und sein Verhaeltnis

zum Rationalen." This could be useful to German

AA members trying to understand what the English

version of the Big Book means by the words

"spiritual" and "spiritual experience," because

the original German of Otto's book explains it

in terms that are part of the German cultural

(2) Shortly afterwards, Bill W. made a visit to

the rescue mission run by Father Sam Shoemaker's

Calvary Church, drunk out of his mind ("Pass It

On, pp. 116-119). He disrupted the meeting, and

at one point stood up and gave a long, confused

drunken speech. No one afterward could quite

remember what he had said, except that it was

disruptive and embarrassing. But Ebby thought that

he remembered that during Bill's speech, he had

"given his life to God." So there are some people

in AA who count that as a conversion experience.

He was totally drunk however, and continued to

drink for another two or three days, so I do not

in fact know any pastor in the evangelical

tradition who would regard anything said by an

obnoxious and disruptive drunk who broke into a

revival meeting, and started ranting, as a genuine


(3) The ecstatic vision of the great white light

which Bill had in Towns Hospital in December 1934,

where he felt as though he was standing on a mighty

mountain peak where the wind of the spirit blew

(see "Pass It On, p. 121, and "AA Comes of Age,

p. 63).
Bill W. said nothing about the divine light in his

account in the Big Book (p. 14). But he did say

that this happened when he realized that "I must

turn in all things to the Father of Light who

presides over us all," where the light motif occurs

(it is a reference to the epistle of James 1:17).
The first of these experiences was the one that

the Big Book and early AA people in general stressed

as the primary meaning of "spiritual experience"

or "spiritual awareness." It might come slowly

instead of quickly, but it meant learning to practice

the presence of God in our everyday lives at all

times, being aware of his love and compassion and

willingness to help, and letting that guide all our

daily decisions. And it meant learning to respect

and appreciate the holy and sacred dimension of

reality in all the ways in which it was revealed

to us: in church and synagogue and mosque and temple,

in the the spirit of the tables (which is the Holy

Spirit at work), and in our wonder and awe at the

glories of nature: the sky, the trees, the scent of

Spring flowers, the sound of birds.

The Song of the Seraphim in Isaiah 6:3 is repeated

in countless Jewish and Christian liturgies:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory."

The Cherubic Anthem which is the centerpiece of

the Eastern Orthodox liturgy makes it clear that

our primary duty as human beings down here on

earth in this material realm, is to join in with

the holy angels in singing this uncreasing hymn.
The Potawatomi Indian tribe which lives in my

part of the U.S. does not believe in a personal

God, but they too sing, to the four corners of

the compass, a hymn to the Manitou, the holiness

and glory of the sacred presence which shines

forth in all the world of nature.

Those who sing this hymn, in any of its forms,

and know what they are singing to, have understood

the primary meaning of "spiritual experience"

and "spiritual awakening" in the twelve step

Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
++++Message 3662. . . . . . . . . . . . Significant September dates in A.A.


From: chesbayman56 . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/1/2006 11:55:00 PM
Significant September Dates in A.A. History

Sept 1930 - Bill wrote 4th (last) promise in family Bible to quit


Sept 1939 - group started by Earl T in Chicago.

Sept 1940 - AA group started in Toledo by Duke P and others.

Sept 1940 - Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases gives Big Book

unfavorable review.

Sept 1946 - Bill and Dr. Bob both publicly endorsed National Committee

Education Alcoholism founded by Marty M.

Sept 1946 - 1st A.A. group in Mexico.

Sept 1948 - Bob writes article for Grapevine on AA "Fundamentals -

In Retrospect".

Sept 1949 - 1st issue of Grapevine published in "pocketbook" size.

Sept 1, 1939 - 1st AA group founded in Chicago.

Sept 11, 2001 - 30 Vesey St, New York. Location of AA's first office

is destroyed during the World Trade Center attack.

Sept 12, 1942 - U.S. Assist. Surgeon General Kolb speaks at dinner

for Bill and Dr Bob.

Sept 13, 1937 - Florence R, 1st female in AA in NY.

Sept 13, 1941 - WHJP in Jacksonville, FL airs Spotlight on AA.

Sept 17, 1954 - Bill D, AA #3 dies.

Sept 18, 1947 - Dallas Central Office opens its doors.

Sept 19, 1965 - The Saturday Evening Post publishes

article "Alcoholics Can Be Cured - Despite AA"

Sept 19, 1975 - Jack Alexander, author of original Saturday Evening

Post article, dies.

Sept 21, 1938 - Bill W and Hank P form Works Publishing Co.

Sept 24, 1940 - Bill 12th steps Bobbie V, who later replaced Ruth

Hock as his secretary in NY.

Sept 30, 1939 - article in Liberty magazine, "Alcoholics and God"


Morris Markey.

++++Message 3663. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Richard Peabody died drunk?


From: corafinch . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/2/2006 10:29:00 AM
--- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "ArtSheehan"



> Hi Mel


> Re the paper below



> Katherine McCarthy, Ph.D.

> Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol.45, No.1, 1984.


> http://www.aabibliography.com/historyofaa/reco1.htm

I have no specific information about Peabody, but a couple of remarks on the


McCarthy's article says that:
" Samuel Crocker,

> who had once shared an office with Peabody, told Faye R. that he was

> intoxicated at the time of his death.
And also that
. Wister quoted Peabody's

> second wife to the effect that he died of pneumonia.

Irving Fisher, a prominent advocate of prohibition, devoted much of his book


At Its Worst (written 1926, I believe, and revised later) to debates about


medical value

of alcohol. The issues then were very different from the present-day claims


alcohol's value. For example, a physician by the name of Samuel Lambert made

the claim,

based on what appeared to be good evidence, that pneumonia patients had a


mortality rate when given alcohol.

In the days before antibiotics, the importance of that fact, if it was a

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