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



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Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, Ohio") is a modern

representative and defender of the movement and

its ideas.


Glenn C., Moderator

AAHistoryLovers


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3691. . . . . . . . . . . . A good children''s book on Bill W.

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10/2006 3:30:00 PM


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Tom White, "Bill W., a Different Kind of Hero:

The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous" (Honesdale,

Pennsylvania: Boyds Mills Press, 2003), 64 pp.,

ISBN 1-59078-1, $16.95.


Recommended for ages 10 to 14, but it would surely

be appropriate for high school students too, and

adults would be impressed at the level of psychological

analysis, even if it is put in simple language.

There are some interesting photos reproduced in this

book, and some very interesting new insights into

Bill W.'s early life. A very positive and sympathetic

account of his life and development.


The publisher's description is a good summary of

the book:

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

There are heroes of politics, religion, war, and

history. There are heroes of sport, science, and

legend. Bill Wilson was an entirely different kind

of hero. After years of unhappiness and hospitalizations

for alcoholism, Bill Wilson hit bottom. Although

not a religious man, he lay in a bed in Towns Hospital

and in desperation called out to God. In response

he experienced a tremendous inner vision. Instantly,

he was a changed man. Although many difficulties

lay ahead, Bill drew strength from his vision and

his own experiences an alcoholic. He became the

co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. He

created the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions that

would serve as the foundation of AA's program for

recovery from this widespread addiction. He wrote

and compiled AA's "Big Book," which became a kind

of Bible for AA members. In the almost 70 years since

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, Bill's words, ideas,

and personal dedication have brought hope to millions

of "hopeless drunks" throughout the world. Few heroes

in any field have contributed so much to human

well-being. This book offers Bill Wilson's story.

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


Very positive reviews in the "School Library Journal,"

"Publishers Weekly," "Booklist," and a number of other

places.
The author, Tom White, may be contacted for more

information at:


tomwhite@cableone.net (tomwhite at cableone.net).
More information online at:

http://www.boydsmillspress.com/authors.tpl?command=showpageandauthorid=078

3
This webpage then links to:

http://www.boydsmillspress.com/detail.tpl?command=showpageandisbn=1_59078_

067_1andbo\
okid=0633andauthorid=0783andbkcategory=NonfictionandBookTitle=Bill%20W

.%20%20A%20Diffe\


rent%20Kind%20of%20Hero%3A%20The%20Story%20of%20Alcoholics%20Anonymous [11]
______________________________
Note by the moderator:
Not just a very good book to buy and contribute

to Alateen groups, I learned some interesting things

myself about Bill W.'s life and the psychological

pressures on him in his childhood and youth from

reading this book. Beautifully printed and illustrated,

a really first class little book.


I'm breaking the normal rule we follow in the

AAHistoryLovers by not just listing this book as

available, but also including a note of recommendation,

because I am afraid that it being a children's book

might cause it to be overlooked or discounted by the

members of the group.


Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
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++++Message 3692. . . . . . . . . . . . New book on the Oxford Group and AA

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10/2006 3:00:00 PM


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

the Oxford Group, and A.A.," September 2006,

ISBN 0-595-40680-7, xv + 184 pp., $17.95.
For a description of the book, including the table

of contents, see http://hindsfoot.org/kchange1.html


To read Chapter 7,"The Names of God: How to

Find a God of Our Understanding," go to

http://hindsfoot.org/namegod.html
This is a book about Bill Wilson's Oxford Group

friend in New York City, Victor C. Kitchen, and

Kitchen's book describing the Oxford Group and

its teachings, "I Was a Pagan," which came out in

1934, the same year that Bill W. discovered the

Oxford Group.


The full text of Victor C. Kitchen's

"I Was a Pagan" can be found at

http://www.stepstudy.org/downloads/pagan.pdf
The full text of H. A. Walter's "Soul Surgery"

can also be found at the same source:

http://www.stepstudy.org/downloads/soulsurgery.pdf
This is the great book describing the 5 C's (including

"confession"), which was an important part of

Oxford Group doctrine. The 5 C's are referred to

explicitly in Richmond Walker's "Twenty-four Hours

a Day," the second most widely read book by an

AA author.


See Chesnut's book, Chapter 2, section three,

page 36, for a discussion of the 5 C's and the way

they affected the early AA understanding of the

twelve steps, particularly their understanding of

how good twelfth step work should be carried out.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3693. . . . . . . . . . . . The Vicious Cycle, removed or not?

From: Kimball . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/8/2006 6:30:00 PM


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The story "The Vicious Cycle" appears in the book

"Experience, Strength and Hope" with the following

comment on page 220:
"After lengthy consideration, the committee eliminated

the stories you are about to read."


So, if "The Vicious Cycle" was eliminated and published

in ESandH, then why is it still in my copy of the 4th Edition

of the Big Book? Does everyone else have "The Vicious Cycle"

in their Big Books? Which is in error, ESandH or the Big Book?

They can't both be right, can they?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3694. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Re: Richard Peabody died drunk?

Documentation?

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/8/2006 9:39:00 PM
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Hi Arthur,
I believe the article you referred to was written

by Kathy McCarthy, who is the daughter of the late

Ray McCarthy, a pioneer in alcoholism treatment.

I knew Kathy about 20 years ago but haven't been in

touch with her recently.
I don't have the article at hand but I seem to

remember that she said something like "it is commonly

believed that Peabody died drunk," or something like

that.
"Commonly believed" is hearsay and not real

verification. Nell Wing also thought Peabody drank

again, but had no proof of it. I'm suspecting that

all this may have been rumor from an early AA such

as Jim Burwell, who may or may not have had proof to

support the claim.
In fairness to Peabody's memory, somebody ought to

track this down to determine what was the real cause

of Peabody's death, as reported on his death certificate.

Unless alcoholism was specifically stated there, we

cannot assume he actually went back to drinking.
Mel Barger
melb@accesstoledo.com

(melb at accesstoledo.com)


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++++Message 3695. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Re: Richard Peabody died drunk?

Documentation?

From: michael oates . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/9/2006 10:29:00 PM
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[Over 75% of the AA members whose stories appeared

in the first edition of the Big Book in 1939 were

sober as of AA's twentieth anniversay in 1955.

The false statement (heard passed around in some

AA circles) that "the majority of the early members

died drunk" is totally erroneous, and built on the

incorrect assumption that those whose stories were

replaced in the second edition had their stories

removed from the Big Book because they had gone back

to drinking. As Arthur Sheehan says, what they were

trying to do in 1955 was get what they thought was

a better and more carefully written set of stories

to replace some of those which had been hastily

tossed together for the first edition when they

were in a big hurry to get the book done and to

the printer. --Summary by the moderator]


We need to look back at Arthur Sheehan's message

No. 2464, which appeared here in the AAHistoryLovers

on June 11, 2005, which is a carefully researched

statement of the actual facts. Let us give Arthur's

entire original message here:

__________________________________


This posting is an appeal to exercise care that

AAHistoryLovers not be a vehicle for the propagation

of myth .... A very durable myth within AA today

is the assertion that many early members, whose

stories appeared in the 1st Ed Big Book, died

drunk.
To state that this myth is built on a meager thread

is putting it mildly. Even more meager is the

presentation of solid evidence to substantiate

the assertion. The myth is principally based on

anecdotal hearsay and its presumption of validity

is based solely on droning repetition.
Myths are easily spawned within AA and two common

practices fuel their propagation. The first is the

construal of the figurative as the literal; the

second is the presumption that a member's duration

of dry time somehow equates to their degree of

knowledge and accuracy. It's one thing for a member

to give testimony about what they have personally

observed and quite another if the testimony is

about what they sincerely believe. The strong verbal

tradition in AA provides an easy means for the

propagation of myth. Repetition then gives the myth

the semblance of validity.


Let's look at the myth in question.
In the introduction to the story section in the

2nd Ed Big Book it states:


"When first published in 1939, this book carried

twenty-nine stories about alcoholics. To secure

maximum identification with the greatest number

of readers, the new Second Edition (1955) carries

a considerably enlarged story section, as above

described. Concerning the original twenty-nine

case histories, it is a deep satisfaction to record,

as of 1955, that twenty-two have apparently made

full recovery from their alcoholism. Of these,

fifteen have remained completely sober for an

average of seventeen years each, according to our

best knowledge and belief."


In the introduction to the "Pioneers of AA Section"

stories of the 2nd Ed it goes on to state:


"Dr Bob and the twelve men and women who here tell

their stories were among the early members of AA's

first groups. Though three have passed away of

natural causes, all have maintained complete sobriety

for periods ranging from fifteen to nineteen years

as of this date 1955. Today, hundreds of additional

AA members can be found who have had no relapse for

at least fifteen years. All of these then are the

pioneers of AA. They bear witness that release from

alcoholism can really be permanent."


22 of the stories that appeared in the 1st Ed Big

Book were dropped for the 2nd Ed.


These stories were not removed because the members

went back to drinking (although some did). According

to Bill W's introduction to the stories in the 2nd Ed

Big Book, 75+% (22 out of 29) of these early members

were sober as of AA's 20th anniversary (1955).
7 of the 29 had returned to drinking but subsequently

sobered up again.


Another 7 of the 29 returned to drinking and did

not sober up.


The stories of 22 members were removed to establish

a more representative sampling of the cross-section

of the AA membership - not because they were drinking

again or had died drunk.


If anyone is overly concerned that any of these

early members returned to drinking, please keep in

mind that every one of them had at one time been

considered hopeless. Also keep in mind that the

chief characteristic that makes an alcoholic an

alcoholic is the inclination to drink again despite

all kinds of evidence that says they have no business

picking up that first drink (i.e. the jaywalker story).


If anyone has credible evidence to the contrary

regarding the above, please submit it for scrutiny.

There are similar myths circulating in AA about the

success rates and growth rates achieved in AA today

compared to the 1940s and 50s. Those too are premised

on the most slender of threads and appear far more

agenda-driven than fact-based.
Arthur
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++++Message 3696. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: The Vicious Cycle, removed or

not?


From: timderan . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10/2006 6:25:00 PM
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"So, if "The Vicious Cycle" was eliminated and published

in ESandH, then why is it still in my copy of the 4th Edition

of the Big Book? Does everyone else have "The Vicious Cycle"

in their Big Books? Which is in error, ESandH or the Big Book?

They can't both be right, can they?:
It is my understanding that Experience, Strength and Hope was to include

all


stories from all 4 editions of the Big Book. That at least was the

information conveyed through the delegates to the Assemblies when the book

was coming out. Why it was labeled as you describe it, I do not know. You

could try contacting AAWS/GSO on this. They are usually helpful. This can

be done personally or through your area delegate.
tmd
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++++Message 3697. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The Vicious Cycle, removed or

not?


From: Shakey1aa@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10/2006 3:25:00 PM
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Jimmy B's story "The Vicious Cycle" is on pg.219 of the 4th Ed. of

the Big


Book. On Pg 220 of Experience Strength and Hope, I do not see any mention of

the story nor does it appear in that publication.

I do know that the stories of Clarence S, "Home Brewmeister, and

Sackville

M. "The Career Officer" were removed from the Big Book and that

may members

were concerned about that and some expressed their feelings.

The book ESandH is a very valuable addition to any member of AAHL. The

stories

included here are our history and I personally do not think that there is



enough use of this book amongst the AA fellowship.
Yours in Service,

and getting closer to Baton Rouge,

Shakey Mike Gwirtz
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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++++Message 3698. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: A good children''s book on Bill

W.

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10/2006 10:40:00 PM


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Hi Glenn,

I was delighted to see your report on Tom White's book about Bill W. I

recommend this book highly. I met Tom 43 years ago in New York City, when

he was editor of The Grapevine and also edited a trade magazine. He and I

both knew Bill W., although I think Tom saw Bill more often than I did.

Tom is currently working on a similar book about Dr. Bob, and I think this

will be another fine contribution to our literature. I'm sure he would

appreciate having any information about Dr. Bob that might not be known to

the general fellowship.

Mel Barger


melb@accesstoledo.com

(melb at accesstoledo.com)

______________________________________
TOM WHITE MAY BE CONTACTED AT:
tomwhite@cableone.net (tomwhite at cableone.net)
______________________________________
----- Original Message -----

From: "Glenn Chesnut"

Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:30 PM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] A good children's book on Bill W.


> Tom White, "Bill W., a Different Kind of Hero:

> The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous" (Honesdale,

> Pennsylvania: Boyds Mills Press, 2003), 64 pp.,

> ISBN 1-59078-1, $16.95.

>

> Recommended for ages 10 to 14, but it would surely



> be appropriate for high school students too, and

> adults would be impressed at the level of psychological

> analysis, even if it is put in simple language.

> There are some interesting photos reproduced in this

> book, and some very interesting new insights into

> Bill W.'s early life. A very positive and sympathetic

> account of his life and development.

>

> The publisher's description is a good summary of



> the book:

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

> There are heroes of politics, religion, war, and

> history. There are heroes of sport, science, and

> legend. Bill Wilson was an entirely different kind

> of hero. After years of unhappiness and hospitalizations

> for alcoholism, Bill Wilson hit bottom. Although

> not a religious man, he lay in a bed in Towns Hospital

> and in desperation called out to God. In response

> he experienced a tremendous inner vision. Instantly,

> he was a changed man. Although many difficulties

> lay ahead, Bill drew strength from his vision and

> his own experiences an alcoholic. He became the

> co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. He

> created the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions that

> would serve as the foundation of AA's program for

> recovery from this widespread addiction. He wrote

> and compiled AA's "Big Book," which became a kind

> of Bible for AA members. In the almost 70 years since

> Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, Bill's words, ideas,

> and personal dedication have brought hope to millions

> of "hopeless drunks" throughout the world. Few heroes

> in any field have contributed so much to human

> well-being. This book offers Bill Wilson's story.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

>

> Very positive reviews in the "School Library Journal,"



> "Publishers Weekly," "Booklist," and a number of

other


> places.

>

> The author, Tom White, may be contacted for more



> information at:

>

> tomwhite@cableone.net (tomwhite at cableone.net).



>

> More information online at:

>

http://www.boydsmillspress.com/authors.tpl?command=showpageandauthorid=078



3

>

> This webpage then links to:



>

http://www.boydsmillspress.com/detail.tpl?command=showpageandisbn=1_59078_

067_1andbo\
okid=0633andauthorid=0783andbkcategory=NonfictionandBookTitle=Bill%20W

.%20%20A%20Diffe\


rent%20Kind%20of%20Hero%3A%20The%20Story%20of%20Alcoholics%20Anonymous [11]

>

> ______________________________



>

> Note by the moderator:

>

> Not just a very good book to buy and contribute



> to Alateen groups, I learned some interesting things

> myself about Bill W.'s life and the psychological

> pressures on him in his childhood and youth from

> reading this book. Beautifully printed and illustrated,

> a really first class little book.

>

> I'm breaking the normal rule we follow in the



> AAHistoryLovers by not just listing this book as

> available, but also including a note of recommendation,

> because I am afraid that it being a children's book

> might cause it to be overlooked or discounted by the

> members of the group.

>

> Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)


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++++Message 3699. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 1st International Conference

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10/2006 11:23:00 PM


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Hi Art,

The best proof that Alcoholics Anonymous was used prior to the May startup

in Cleveland is in the Big Book. I have an original copy of the first

printing of the first edition, often identified by its red cover. The

Foreword, on page vii, reads this way: "We, of Alcoholics Anonymous,

are


more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly

hopeless state of mind and body."

This book was published in April, 1939, a month before the Cleveland

beginning. But the actual writing and typesetting would have been completed

earlier, perhaps in January or February. So the name was already in use and

had been generally accepted. Nell Wing told me that the AA name was being

used in mid-1938, though probably not in Akron, where the break with the

Oxford Group occurred in November, 1939. Bill W. told me that the Akron

Group stayed with the O.G. this long only because of their devotion to T.

Henry and Clarace Williams, the gracious couple who turned their home over

for weekly meetings. When the break finally came, Dr. Bob described it as

getting out from under the yoke of the O.G., which certainly suggests that

the alcoholics were becoming restive in that situation, despite their

gratitude to the Williamses.

Clarence Snyder deserves lots of credit for his marvelous work in

Cleveland and the way he sponsored and helped many people over the years.

But the heavy lifting in starting AA had already been done before he got

sober in 1938, and he had the Big Book and other advantages when he launched

that first group in Cleveland. In fact, he had a number of Cleveland members

who had been traveling to Akron with him and learning from Dr. Bob and

others. Even if Clarence had not started that Cleveland group in May, other

groups around the country would have come into being at the same time using




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