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



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From: Bill Lash . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/3/2006 11:39:00 PM
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Yeah, I would really love a copy of that transcript

too. If anyone wants a copy of the two CD set

of the introduction of the 12 Traditions at the

1st International Conference of AA in Cleveland OH

in 1950 (includes commentary from founding AA members),

I have then for $14 plus $2 shipping.


I specialized in recordings of early AA members

and have over 200 talks by people who came in

to AA in the 1930s and 1940s. Go with God.
Just Love,
Barefoot Bill
-----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

[mailto:AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of abigapple2002

Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 1:16 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] First World Conference transcripts


I know that when the Traditions were accepted by the fellowship, Bill

had one speaker talk about two traditions in each talk. I was

wondering if anyone might know how to find transcripts or tapes of

those talks. Thank you very much.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3673. . . . . . . . . . . . AA Bulletin #1 (11/14/40)

From: Bill Lash . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4/2006 9:52:00 PM


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THE ALCOHOLIC FOUNDATION

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS - ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

Box 658, Church Street Annex, New York City
#1, AA BULLETIN, 11/14/40
We wish to thank our many friends and correspondents all over the country

for their cooperation in keeping the national headquarters informed of

developments in the various groups. It is through such a central exchange

that vital information and contact points can be brought to the attention of

those who seek the solution to alcoholism which means so much to us.
This bulletin is an effort to develop a mutual idea exchange sheet to

establish a closer feeling of friendship between A.A. groups from the east

coast to the west, and we hope it will prevent secession from the A.A. ranks

of our San Francisco group who threatened to call themselves

"Dipsomaniacs

Incognito" unless they heard from us more frequently. A bulletin has

been

contemplated for some time but delayed due to lack of sufficient personnel



and office facilities. We now have at least the equipment and hope to be

able to make this bulletin a periodic spree (not alcoholic).


This office has in the last year handled over 2000 inquiries answering each

by personal letter. In addition, correspondence is maintained with about 50

centers where A.A. work is in operation, varying from the solitary efforts

of single isolated A.A. members to groups of 150.


In view of the fact that in April 1939 there were only about 100 A.A.

members, and the fact that there is now a total of approximately 1400, your

efforts and ours have been exceptionally worth while. Continued A.A.

activity will mean a great deal not only to each of us as individuals, but

also to the many who are still unaware of the fact that there is an answer

to the alcoholic problem which is practicable on a large scale.


Our correspondence reaches not only the four corners of the U.S. but also

touches Alaska, Africa, England, France and Australia. Although nothing of

consequence has developed as yet in these distant places, nevertheless it is

indicative of the widespread interest in Alcoholics Anonymous, of the far

reaching results already obtained, and the possibilities for the future.
For the general information of all A.A. members, we list below those cities

where there are isolated A.A. members who have recovered either through the

book alone or through brief contact with established centers.
Cohoes, N.Y.

Buffalo, N.Y.

Denver, Colorado

Shelby, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Aiken, South Carolina

Bellingham, Washington

Bismarck, North Dakota

Burlington, Vermont

Bennington, Vermont

Norfolk, Virginia

Kansas City, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri

Knoxville, Tennessee

Eau Clare, Wisconsin

Phoenix, Arizona


There are several "working" A.A. members in each of the

following cities

where meetings are in a get together stage.
Pittsburgh, PA.

Boston, Mass.

Wallingford, Vermont

San Diego, California

Indianapolis, Ind.
And following is a list of communities where A.A. is well established and

weekly meetings are held:


New York City, N.Y.

South Orange, N.J.

Washington, D.C.

Richmond, VA.

Detroit, Michigan

Jackson, Michigan

Coldwater, Michigan

Chicago, Illinois

Houston, Texas

Los Angeles, Calif.

San Francisco, Calif.

Evansville, Indiana

Little Rock, Arkansas

Philadelphia, PA.

Baltimore, MD.

Waunakee, Wisconsin

Greenwich, Conn.

Cleveland, Ohio

Akron, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio


The secretary or correspondent of each group has the name and address of at

least one member in each of the established groups for the use of traveling

or visiting members. However, at the request of many of these groups may we

ask that the New York office be used as a clearing house for all

correspondence since but few local groups are equipped to handle the

correspondence now coming to them from so many different directions. We

shall gladly give full particulars about any of the listed communities upon

request.
We all know that the A.A. solution really works if followed with patience,

honesty and sincerity so we sympathize with the new prospect who said he

certainly DID want to stop drinking but after listening a few minutes to our

A.A. story said "Oh that!! - I tried it for two weeks and it

doesn't work".


We shall appreciate receiving ideas, suggestions, criticisms, etc. of

general interest for the purpose of this bulletin is to relate the many A.A.

groups in a friendly spirit.
So best regards to all and let us hear from you at any and all times.
Ruth Hock (signed)

Secretary


P.S.

Since it is not possible at the present time for us to furnish enough copies

for distribution to every A.A. member, perhaps you will feel it advisable to

read this copy aloud at a meeting.


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++++Message 3674. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Re: Richard Peabody died drunk?

Documentation?

From: michael oates . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4/2006 7:25:00 PM
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Is the purpose of the question of whteher Peabody

died drunk to prove only AA founders died sober,

what is the point, because earlier on the site it

has been documented that not many of the first 100

the Big Book refers to made it to their deaths

sober, i thought this was an intellectual site

not a shrill for AA. If the purpose is anything

other than AA History then discontinue me.

______________________________
Note from the moderator:
Hi, I think you're being a little unfair.
In commenting on the way Peabody's book influenced

Bill Wilson, someone commented that the Peabody

method did not in fact work very well (something

with which everyone agrees), and went on to say that

Peabody himself in fact died drunk.
The spirit of Peabody's book is basically that

of "buck yourself up, and quit acting like a

spoiled child, and learn how to be a REAL MAN,

and start exercising some control over your drinking,

and start using some will power like REAL MEN do,

and quit being such a whimpering little sissy."


It was the spirit of Jack London novels and some

of the other "be a REAL RUGGED HE MAN and stop

being molly coddled by your over protective Mommy"

popular American literature and pop psychology

of that period.
During the 1920's and 30's, in popular American

literature, there was a fad for blaming men's

mothers for everything that was wrong with them

after they grew up. My father certainly read the

Jack London novels and the Zane Grey westerns and

all that, and believed all of that! (I was born

in 1939, so you can place this in history.)
Go see the old Hollywood cowboy movies of that

time, to understand that popular fad better, and

read some of the cheap pulp literature of that

period.
Or read the little piece by the founder of AA

in northern Indiana, Kenneth G. Merrill, "Drunks

Are a Mess" ( http://hindsfoot.org/nsbend2.html ).

Most of what he says is very good, and has things

we can learn from today. In fact it is one of

the best short introductions to the psychological

aspects of the AA program ever written. But even

Ken Merrill was a man of his times, and he slips

in one paragraph that shows the influence of the

"rugged he man" fad on the American psyche at

that period:


"But of all other causes put together, none equals

the sinister potency, in creating future alcoholics,

of a harsh, cruel, disciplinarian type of father,

coupled with an over-soft, over-affectionate,

over-possessive mother. A mom who conspires with

sonny to evade papa's wrath, who carries her

protectiveness into fields beyond the home, and

attempts ceaselessly, and usually successfully,

to insulate the child from the normal, wholesome

buffets of ordinary childhood experience. It

becomes a hideous circle. The more impossible

rules the father lays down for the child to follow,

the more failures accumulate, the more bitter the

father's persecution, the more maudlin and

sentimental the mother's attempts to protect and

compensate. Between them, believe me they do

a job."
Rich Dubiel's book on the Emmanuel Movement and

the Jacoby Club (which is very important for AA

history) says that Peabody renounced some of the

principles which the EM and the JC were using

(because the EM and JC called upon the power of

God's grace to help us do what we could never do

alone), and that this was what made Peabody's

system so weak and ineffective in practice.


The early AA people were wiser, Rich says, and

picked up the good points of the EM and JC system,

and insisted that we had to call upon God's grace

for help, and ignored Peabody's attempt to change

that vital part of the EM and JC system

( http://hindsfoot.org/kDub1.html and

http://hindsfoot.org/kDub2.html ).
It's fair game to talk about whether alcoholics

involved in AA history (including those who were

not AA members, but with whom we were in contact,

like Ebby Thacher and Rowland Hazard, and the

people involved in the Jacoby Club, which heavily

influenced early Boston AA) were able to find a

solution to their drinking problem, either

IN or OUT of AA.


It's fair game to ask how well early AA worked in

fact, and also how well some of the other systems

worked in fact (like the Oxford Group, the Emmanuel

Movement and Jacoby Club, and Peabody's method)

to see why the early AA people decided to discard

some of the principles involved in those other

groups.
Otherwise, we would NOT be honest historians, and

would in fact be running a shill for AA.


At that point, someone else wrote in and said,

don't say things like that about Peabody if you

can't prove it, otherwise it's the worst kind of

malicious gossip mongering.


And the person who originally wrote that, who is

an honest historian, had to admit that he was

stating something that he did not know for a one

hundred per cent guaranteed fact, although there

was some significant supporting evidence.
So our AA historians have been checking that

question out, simply to establish what the facts

were here. And the answer at this point seems to

be that we cannot know all of the facts surrounding

Peabody's last days for sure, and that there may

in fact have even been ameliorating circumstances

(medical doctors sometimes prescribed small amounts

of alcohol for heart patients in that period of

history, as they did for my grandfather, who was

not an alcoholic, during his last years, which

was during the 1950's).
So it is unfortunate that we cannot necessarily

come up with a one hundred percent guaranteed

answer to this particular question, but that is

the nature of all real historical research. Not

all historical questions can be answered with one

hundred percent certainty. A good professional

historian has to know, not only what we DO know

for a fact, but what we do NOT know for an absolute

fact.
Nevertheless, we CAN say that we do not have much

(if any) reliable data supporting the assertion that

the Peabody method was a very workable method of

dealing with alcoholism. And we can say that, in

spite of the popularity of his book among the

general public at that time, it wasn't going to

be a real winner when it came to effectively

dealing with the problem of alcoholism in the

United States (where it was then, and still is,

the third leading cause of death). That's why

nobody tries to use the Peabody method any more.
My own very rough observations are that, out of

all the alcoholics whom I have known who obtained

a five year survival rate (five years of unbroken

sobriety), around 1% did that by will power alone

(essentially the Peabody method), around 1% did

that by going to a conservative evangelical church

and reading the Bible and praying to Jesus as

their Lord and Savior, and the other 98% get

sober in AA. More alcoholics by far get sober in

AA than by any other way, but I know of no sensible

observer (including all of the people who regularly

contribute to this web group) who would deny that

the other two methods also sometimes work.
At the present stage of research, it seems clear

that Peabody's book, in spite of the fact that it

was very widely read and very popular for a while,

stopped being read and used because it simply

didn't work very well, if at all. And the

evidence surrounding Peabody's drinking during

his own last years gives us at least no unambiguous

evidence that the system worked for him either.


On the basic issue, the fact is that almost nothing

in the AA program was totally invented by the early

AA people themselves. Almost everything in the

AA program originally came from somewhere else,

and had been said by somebody else before. So

a decent history of early AA will be forced to

write about the earlier attempts to deal with

alcoholism in the United States from which the

early AA people learned either (a) good ideas

which they could borrow or (b) bad ideas which

they needed to leave out of their new AA program

if they wanted it to be as successful as possible.


So we have no choice, when writing a full account

of early AA history, but to write at least a

little about things like the Oxford Group; the

Emmanuel Movement and the Jacoby Club; Rowland

Hazard and Carl Jung; Peabody's book; neo-Freudian

psychiatrists like Adler; representatives of the

New Thought movement like Emmet Fox and James Allen

( http://hindsfoot.org/kML3rc1.html ); and other

ideas and movements of the early twentieth century.
These become of interest to AA historians when

it is clear that they had an effect on the way

early AA people thought and believed.
But those members of the group who are not

interested in these things, and who want to

focus solely on working out the dates and facts

surrounding the lives of early AA members and

early AA publications, should just delete these

messages about the background to early AA.

That's the advantage of being in a web group,

as opposed to having to sit through a long

conference, when one of the speakers spends

a half hour ranting about something you aren't

the slightest bit interested in (and anyway,

you don't LIKE the jerk, he's obnoxious).


Hit the delete button!
But there is NO WAY that anyone could post

messages for a group of over 1400 people all

around the world, and guarantee that each

individual member will NEVER see a message posted

that he or she finds uninteresting (grin).

Heck, I've seen strings of messages posted on

this web site on certain occasions on things

that I personally thought were unbelievably

pedantic and boring, but some of the other

members of the group found that topic fascinating,

and since they are members of the group in good

standing, they have their rights too.


In the list of topics at the beginning of

my heavily used and well worn copy of "As Bill

Sees It: The A.A. Way of Life ... selected

writings of A.A.'s cofounder" (23rd printing,

1989) there is a long list of reading on the

topic of "tolerance" for other members of the

program, warts and all (grin).
Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
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++++Message 3675. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Significant September dates in

A.A. History

From: Bristol Fashion . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 2:52:00 AM
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Can you fit the following date in somewhere?
Sept 1971 First European Convention, Bristol, England
Yours

Sally Cousins

Archivist

______________________________


Note from the moderator:
Yes, please, AA is a movement for the whole

world. The annual Bristol Convention has become

the central gathering place for AA historians

and archivists, not just in the British Isles

(England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales)

but drawing many participants from the continent

of Europe.
It is a really first-rate gathering.
We have AAHistoryLovers members from a number

of European countries including Germany, France,

Belgium, the Scandinavian countries, Finland,

etc.
Also many other parts of the world, including

Mexico, India, Israel, Australia, New Zealand,

and so on, all over the globe.


Significant dates and historical figures and

events from all over the world are welcome and

heartily encouraged in this forum.
We're all in this together, guys.
Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana, USA)
______________________________
----- Original Message -----

From: "chesbayman56"

To:

Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 4:55 AM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Significant September dates in A.A. History
> Significant September Dates in A.A. History

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

> drinking.

> 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" > by Morris

Markey.
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++++Message 3676. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: First World Conference

transcripts

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4/2006 2:31:00 PM
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Hi
First, a little bit of AA trivia: the 1950 event in Cleveland, OH at

which the Traditions were approved was called an "International

Conference." From the 2nd one on in 1955 (in St Louis, MO) they

started getting called an "International Convention" (probably to

not

confuse them with the General Service Conference).


A recap of the 1950 Cleveland, OH proceedings is in a September 1950

Grapevine article by Bill W titled "We Come of Age." The

"Language of

the Heart" (pgs 102-121) gives the title of the article as "We

Came of

Age." I've been using the erroneous title of the article for some



time. A full transcription of the article by Fiona Dodd (who specifies

the correct title) can be found in AAHL message #3595. An extract:


"Several thousand of us crowded into the Cleveland Music Hall for the

Tradition meeting, which was thought by most AAs to be the high point

of our Conference. Six old-time stalwarts, coming from places far

flung as Boston and San Diego, beautifully reviewed the years of AA

experience which had led to the writing of our Tradition."
Bill was then asked to sum up the Traditions. He did not recite either

the short or long form. He paraphrased a version which is an amalgam

of both forms:
"That, touching all matters affecting AA unity, our common welfare

should come first; that AA has no human authority - only God as he may

speak in our Group Conscience; that our leaders are but trusted

servants, they do not govern; that any alcoholic may become an AA



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