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

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member if he says so - we exclude no one; that every AA Group may

manage its own affairs as it likes, provided surrounding groups are

not harmed thereby; that we AAs have but a single aim, the carrying of

our message to the alcoholic who still suffers; that in consequence we

cannot finance, endorse or otherwise lend the name 'Alcoholics

Anonymous' to any other enterprise, however worthy; that AA, as such,

ought to remain poor, lest problems of property, management and money

divert us from our sole aim; that we ought to be self-supporting,

gladly paying our small expenses ourselves; that AA should remain

forever non-professional, ordinary 12th Step work never to be paid

for; that, as a Fellowship, we should never be organized but may

nevertheless create responsible Service Boards or Committees to insure

us better propagation and sponsorship and that these agencies may

engage fulltime workers for special tasks; that our public relations

ought to proceed upon the principle of attraction rather than

promotion, it being better to let our friends recommend us; that

personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and pictures ought to

be strictly maintained as our best protection, against the temptations

of power or personal ambition; and finally, that anonymity before the

general public is the spiritual key to all our Traditions, ever

reminding us we are always to place principles before personalities,

that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end

that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever

live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all."

Following his recitation, Bill then asked if anyone objected. No one

did. Bill then offered them for adoption and the attendees approved

them unanimously by standing vote.
The short form of the Traditions was first published in the November

1949 issue of the Grapevine. Many folks think the short form of the

Traditions, as we know them today, were approved in 1950 at Cleveland

but that's not true. Two wording changes were subsequently made to the

November 1949 short form version: the term "primary spiritual aim"


changed to "primary purpose" in Tradition Six, and the term

"principles above personalities" was changed to "principles


personalities" in Tradition Twelve. The short form version we use

today appears to have been Conference-approved with publication of the

12and12 in 1953. In 1952, Al-Anon Family Groups adopted and adapted the

1949 version for their version of the Traditions which still uses the

earlier wording.

Bill W's notation that "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" does not

explicitly mention that the 6 speakers reviewed 2 Traditions each. The

impression I have (and it's only an impression) is that they spoke

about the Traditions in general. If you have a source that confirms

that they talked about 2 Traditions each, I'd be most grateful to find

out what it is.

In a May 1951 Grapevine article, T.C. from Winnipeg Canada noted that
"You journey to the First International Conference at Cleveland, to

hear the Traditions confirmed. You do not hear the Traditions

confirmed. Six fine looking men, from varying walks of life, with

varying ages of sobriety - interpreted. Bill summarized: The

Traditions are lessons gained in experience, written physically by his

hand, actually by the Group Conscience; he thanked God that he had

never been allowed to assume a mantle of leadership or authority. Then

you found that you had risen to your feet with every other person

there, and were adding your little bit, to the thunderous and steady

applause. No - you did not hear the Traditions confirmed. You felt

them confirmed."
Both Bill's talk and the talks by the 6 members were offered for a

period of years on 38rpm LP records. The July 1951 Grapevine carries a

brief article that states:
There are recordings of two of the meetings of the First International

Conference in Cleveland, 1950, on sale at your General Service Office.

The Big Meeting (four sides of two Long Playing Records) Dr. Bob and

Bill speaking, sells for $8.50. The Traditions Meeting (four sides of

two LP records) with Bill and six other speakers, sells for $7.00.

Both meetings ordered together are $15.00.

I'm unable to determine if those LPs ever found their way on to

audiotapes or are available over the internet on the many web sites

that make historic AA recordings available. If you find a source where

the talks have been digitized, I'd also appreciate your letting

AAHistoryLovers know about it.

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

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 12:16 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.

++++Message 3677. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: How to identify 1st printing 1st

edition Big Books

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4/2006 4:15:00 PM
Hi Bob
First off, if the cover is red then it's a 1st printing, 1st edition

Big Book. The covers of all other printings, except for the 4th

printing, were in various shades of blue. Also on the title page,

under the title "Alcoholics Anonymous" if the subtitle states


story how one hundred ..." it's a 1st printing.

On April, 1935 - 4,730 copies of the 1st edition of "Alcoholics

Anonymous" were published at a selling price of $3.50 ($46 in today's

dollars). The printer, Edward Blackwell, president of Cornwall Press,

was told to use the thickest paper in his shop. The large, bulky

volume became known as the "Big Book" and the name has stuck ever

since. The idea behind the large size was to convince the alcoholic he

was getting his money's worth. Ray C (whose Big Book story is "An

Artist's Concept") designed the "circus color" dust jacket.

The book

had 8 roman and 400 Arabic numbered pages. The Doctor's Opinion

started as page 1 and the basic text ended at page 174 not 164. The

manuscript story of an Akron member titled "Ace Full - Seven -


was dropped (reputedly, because he was not too pleased with changes

made to the first drafts of the Steps and text). 29 stories were

included (10 from the east coast, 18 from the mid-west and 1 from the

west coast which was ghost written by Ruth Hock).
There were a number of significant changes made to the 2nd printing of

the 1st edition Big Book:

In March 1941, in the 2nd printing, the wording of Step Twelve

changed. The term "spiritual experience" was changed to


awakening" and "as the result of these steps" was changed to

"as the

result of those steps." The story "Lone Endeavor" (of Pat C

from CA,

ghost written by Ruth Hock) was removed. Appendix II "Spiritual

Experience" was added. Many members thought they had to have a sudden,

spectacular spiritual experience similar to the one Bill had in Towns

Hospital. The appendix emphasized that most spiritual experiences

developed slowly over time and were of the "educational variety."

William James, by the way did not explicitly use the term "educational

variety" in his 1902 book titled "The Varieties of Religious

Experience - A Study In Human Nature."
From what I can glean, the first batch or so of the 1st printing, 1st

edition Big Books did not have a dust jacket. They were bound in a

clear cellophane type wrap which was attached to the inside of the

front and back covers with Scotch Tape. If your copy has tape residue

marks on the inside of the covers it would be one of the earliest

books off the printing press. The rarest of the rare versions of the

1st edition Big Book is reputedly the batch that has a green cover and

tissue like paper from the 4th printing. It was the result of World

war II rationing requirements. I've also been told by folks I consider

expert in the matter that a 1st printing, 1st edition dust jacket in

very good condition would command the same collector's price as the

book itself.

In 1956, the wording of Step Twelve changed again in the 2nd printing

of the 2nd edition Big Book. The term "as the result of those


was changed back to the original term "as the result of these

I don't know who to attribute it to (it's likely from Barefoot Bill's

web site) but info similar to that below can be found on the web for

all 15 printings of the 1st edition.
1st Edition - 1st Printing

Title states "One hundred men"

29 personal stories

Cover is red, only printing in red.

Story "Ace Full - Seven - Eleven" deleted.

Jacket spine and front flap do not have a print number.

Arabic numbers start at "Doctor's Opinion".

400 arabic numbered pages (8 roman).

Stories: 10 East Coast, 18 Midwest, 1 West Coast.

P234-L27, typo. L26 duplicated as L27.

Published by Works Publishing Company.
1st Edition - 2nd Printing

Title states "Two thousand men and women"

28 personal stories

Cover changed to navy blue, some light blue.

Gold lettering deleted from cover, remained on spine.

Added Appendix II - Spiritual Experience p399.

Jacket spine and front flap has print number.

Stayed at 400 arabic pages (8 roman)

Added footnote "See Appendix II" p35, 38, 72.

P25-L23, 80 of us to 500 of us.

P25-L26, 40-80 persons to 50-200 persons.

P63-L13, 100 people to Hundreds of People

P72-L03, Spiritual Experience to Awakening.

P72-L04, Result of These Steps to Those.

P175-L23, Many Hundreds to 500.

P234-L27, Typo corrected, 126 not repeated.

P391-L01, Added "Now We Are Two Thousand."

P397-L01, Moved "Foundation" here from p399.

1st Edition - 3rd Printing

Title changed - "Six thousand men and women"

Personal stories remain the same thru 1:16.

Cover changed to light blue.

Reduced in thickness 1/8 and height 1/16.

P25-L23, 500 of us to 1000 of us.

P27-L01, 100 Men to Hundreds of Men.

P26-L13, Sober 3years to sober 5 years.

P264-L13, (no time) to sober 5 years.

P281-L09, 9 months to past 4 tears.

P391, L01, Now we are 2,000 to 6,000.

P392,L19, 3,000 letters to 12,000 letters.

P393-L06, Increased 20 fold to 60 fold.

P393-L12, 5,000 by 01/42 to 8,000 by 01/43.

P393-L24, 9 Groups in Cleveland to 25.

P393-L24, 500 members in Cleveland to 1,000.

P393-L26, 1,000 Non-A.A. people to 2,000.

P398-L03, Touching to Touching Nationally.



++++Message 3678. . . . . . . . . . . . Why no amends to family on page 76?

From: Carl P. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 9:54:00 AM

Steps Eight and Nine, making amends:
Big Book 4th edition pg 76 chapter "Into Action."
"Probably there are still some misgivings. As we

look over the list of business acquaintances and

friends we have hurt, we feel diffident about

going to some of them on a spiritual basis....."

My home group has a question regarding the above

paragraph and have asked for the AA History lovers'

views and opinions. Why in this paragraph is there

no mention made of making amends to members of our

families whom we may have harmed?
Many thanks
Carl P
Barking Big Book Study(The Way Out)
From the moderator: for our members in other

parts of the world, the London Borough of Barking

and Dagenham is in England, located in the County

of Greater London on the eastern side.

++++Message 3679. . . . . . . . . . . . The first 27 AA groups

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 2:47:00 PM

The list of the first 27 AA groups in the world,

as of November 14, 1940, is an important document

for early AA history, giving us some idea of the

directions in which early AA spread from its

original foundation in Akron, Ohio, and in the

greater New York City area.

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

EAST COAST (including the greater New York City

area, but also New England and the Old South):
Connecticut: Greenwich

Maryland: Baltimore

Massachusetts: Boston

New Jersey: South Orange

New York City

Philadelphia: Philadelphia

Vermont: Wallingford

Virginia: Richmond

Washington, D.C.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
UPPER MIDWEST (forming a kind of

circle around the Great Lakes region):

Illinois: Chicago

Indiana: Evansville

Indiana: Indianapolis

Michigan: Coldwater

Michigan: Detroit

Michigan: Jackson

Ohio: Akron

Ohio: Cleveland

Ohio: Dayton

Ohio: Toledo

Ohio: Youngstown

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

Wisconsin: Waunakee
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Texas: Houston

Arkansas: Little Rock

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
California: San Diego

California: Los Angeles

California: San Francisco
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Taken from the document in Message No. 3673 at


sent in by Barefoot Bill L.



Box 658, Church Street Annex, New York City

#1, AA BULLETIN, 11/14/40
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3680. . . . . . . . . . . . Helen Worden, "New Hope for Old


From: John Wikelius . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 1:31:00 PM
I have an article written by Helen Worden,

"New Hope for Old Soaks". I would like to find

out what magazine this was published in. It is

3 pages long and seems to be the size of a Time

or Newsweek magazine but that might not be

Name and date of magazine needed.

++++Message 3681. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Helen Worden, "New Hope for Old


From: Jim B . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 4:38:00 PM
I have an article written by Helen Worden,

"New Hope for Old Soaks".

Name and date of magazine needed.
Published in Argosy Magazine, October 1944.
The same article was published in Reader's Digest, November 1944 under the

title "Maybe I can Do It too."

++++Message 3682. . . . . . . . . . . . National Archives Workshop: Sept.

14-17, 2006

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 3:37:00 PM
10th Annual National Archives Workshop

September 14-17, 2006

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Because of the confusion arising over the

cancellation of the national AA archives

gathering in New Orleans in Fall 2005 (because

of the devasting hurricane), I am posting a

reminder that it WILL be held this year, in

Baton Rouge, which is in a part of Louisiana

that was not so heavily damaged by the


To: glennccc@sbcglobal.net
From: "Area64tnarchives.org"

(daggerrose at area64tnarchives.org)

Subject: 10th Annual National Archives

Workshop "Preserving Our Past For Our Future"

September 14-17, 2006

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Co Chairs:
Jimmy H. mailto:jhardingnola@cox.net

(jhardingnola at cox.net)

Bobby B. mailto:danieb@att.net

(danieb at att.net)

Workshops, Seminars, Speakers, Banquet

Holiday Inn South

9940 Airline Hi-Way

Baton Rouge 70816

Ph# (225) 924-7021 Fax (225) 924-9816

Mention N.A.W. by August 31, 2006

for $79.00 night rate.

Registration $35.00

Banquet $29.00
Download Workshop Flyer here.


Download Hotel Registration here.


Download Workshop Schedule here


df [10]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3683. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Re: Richard Peabody died drunk?


From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5/2006 6:34:00 PM
The notion that many of the first 100 AA members died died drunk is a

myth sustained solely by anecdotal repetition. It's a variant of the

myth that most of the members who had their stories printed in the Big

Book died drunk and is the stuff of circuit speaker dramatics. Please

reference AAHL message #2464 which attempts to refute the myth.
The citations made regarding Peabody derive from a very well

researched academic paper written by an historian for the Journal of

Studies on Alcohol. She had no agenda or axe to grind. Asking whether

someone died drunk or sober certainly seems to be relevant to the

study and reporting of Alcoholics Anonymous history.

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

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 6:25 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [AAHistoryLovers] Re: Richard Peabody died drunk?


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


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

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 ).

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