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

Download 14.05 Mb.
Size14.05 Mb.
1   ...   83   84   85   86   87   88   89   90   ...   96

to contribute in whatever way I can-your contributions

and this site have been so helpful to me.

Dave Johnson
See the following pdf:
It gives a historical review of psychopathology

and on page 4 it first describes how Kraeplin saw it

(a normative view for the first third of the 20th

century). Later, on p. 10 of the pdf (corresponding

to p. 333-334 in the book), there's a detailed

description which I"ll put down here in its entirety.

The approach to the disorder of psychopathy derived

principally from somatic descriptors evolved from

German theorists who explained it by utilizing massive

typological systems (Craft, 1966). By 1915, Kraepelin

expanded Koch's psychopathic inferiority terminology

to contain categories essentially defined by the most

vicious and wicked of disordered offenders (Ellard, 1988).

Prior to Kraepelin, the categories of psychopathies

contained various personality descriptions.
Kraepelin, however, wanted to narrow the classification

to only those characteristics that were the most

devastating and most frequently detected by physicians

working in institutions. His psychopathic personalities

described in detail the "born criminal . . . the

excitable, shiftless, impulsive types, the liars,

swindlers, antisocial and troublemaking types" (Schneider,

1958, p. 23). Kraepelin portrayed "morbid liars and

swindlers" as manipulative, glib, charming, and

unconcerned for others (Millon et al., 1998, p. 19).

Another category designated by Kraepelin included

criminals by impulse, who were overcome by uncontrollable

desires to commit offenses like arson or rape for

purposes unrelated to material gain.

A third classification included professional criminals,

who acted out of cold, calculated self-interest

rather than from uncontrollable impulse.
Finally, a fourth type consisted of morbid vagabonds,

who wandered through life with neither self-confidence

nor responsibility (Millon et al., 1998).
Clearly with these characterizations, Kraepelin

moved the focus of psychopathy back to one of moral

judgment and social condemnation. Interestingly, as

Millon et al. (1998, p. 19) note, his categories of

psychopathic personalities more closely represent our conceptualization of

psychopathy and ASPD today. This

association is found in Kraepelin's statements on the

classification of antisocial personalities.

He described these disordered individuals as The

Confusion Over Psychopathy 333 the enemies of society . . .

characterized by a blunting of the moral elements.

They are often destructive and threatening . . . there

is a lack of deep emotional reaction; and of sympathy

and affection they have little. They are apt to have

been troublesome in school, given to truancy and running

away. Early thievery is common among them and they

commit crimes of various kinds. (quoted in Millon et

al., 1998, p. 10).

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3857. . . . . . . . . . . . Meditation

From: Henrik Rue . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 3:44:00 PM

Does anyone have a a definition of what meditation

was defined as, at the time of writing Alcoholics

I do not expect it to be some eastern way of


Henrik Rue
- - -
"Meditation" in traditional western Christianity

had always meant reading a text, commonly from

a meditational book or pamphlet (like "The Upper

Room" or "Twenty-Four Hours a Day" in AA), and then

musing thoughtfully upon how the text helps me to

understand my own life and problems, and my

relationship to God.
See The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

for the traditional Catholic understanding:

Meditation is "mental prayer in discursive form.

It is the type of mental prayer appropriate to

beginners and as such accounted its lowest stage;

and it is commonly contrasted with Contemplation.

Its method is the devout reflection on a chosen

(often Biblical) theme, with a view to deepening

spiritual insight and stimulating the will and

affections. Among the many methods of meditation

advocated by modern schools of spirituality, that

expounded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 'Spiritual

Exercises' ... is widely used."
[Sister Ignatia used Loyola's "Spiritual Exercises"

during her early spiritual formation, and would often

give little books composed of excerpts from that

work to AA people who went through her program at

St. Thomas Hospital.]
[Ralph Pfau -- Father John Doe -- uses the same

traditional western definition when he talks

about meditation in his Golden Books. He was one

of the four most-read early AA authors, so his ideas

are extremely important for the understanding of

what AA people meant by meditation.]

It is important to note that "meditation" was a

thoughtful process, NOT the blanking out of all

conscious thought (which was called "contemplation"

instead in traditional western terminology -- see

St. Bonaventura's "The Mind's Path to God,"

St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross for

more on the subject of western techniques for


In AA circles however, "meditation" also took on some

of the characteristics of what the Oxford Group called

"having a morning quiet time." So AA members might in

fact spend a short time blanking out all their conscious

thoughts and just remaining still and quiet in God's

presence, while waiting for God's "guidance" to give

them instructions for the day.
Richmond Walker's Twenty-Four Hours a Day gives the

best introduction to what the concept of meditation

meant in early AA. He refers to the period of Quiet

Time as "entering the divine Silence" and recommends

it as a way to restore our spirit of peace and calm,

and as a way to obtain the power of the divine grace

for changing our lives.
In the Big Book, Bill W.'s short section on meditation

and the eleventh step gives instructions for quiet

time and seeking guidance. By the time he wrote the

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Bill W. had become

convinced however that too many AA members were getting

into trouble by assuming that their own screwiest thoughts

were in fact "God's guidance," so we can see him trying

to steer AA members away from doing that too much.

- - -
Modern AA confusion about the meaning of the term

"meditation" arose during the 1960's and 1970's,

and we've never totally recovered from this.
In the 1950's a guru in India named Maharishi Mahesh

Yogi began teaching what he called Transcendental

Meditation, based on a technique going back to Shankara.

We recite a mantra (a simple word like "Om") over

and over in our minds as we attempt to remove all

conscious thoughts from our minds, and attempt to merge

ourselves into the impersonal divine reality which

is all that truly exists (this material world is an

illusion, and even our feeling of being individuals

is an illusion).

In the 1960's and 1970's this kind of Transcendental

Meditation was popularized in the United States by a

number of prominent entertainers and other public

figures, above all the rock music group called the

In addition, during that period, the famous professional

football player Joe Namath also preached Transcendental

Meditation, along with the music group called the

Beach Boys, comedian Andy Kaufman, and stage magician

Doug Henning. Clint Eastwood, famous for shooting people

without qualms in so many of his movies ("make my day"),

also started preaching the virtues of transcendental


As a result, Henrik, as you have pointed out, to this

day newcomers to AA read the eleventh step, and

immediately come to the false conclusion that they are

expected to sit crosslegged and start chanting "Om."

In traditional western terminology, this is

"contemplation," not meditation. Hindu and Buddhist

techniques are perfectly O.K. for AA people who want

to use them. Many AA members today come from one of

those Asian traditions.
And attempting to practice Transcendental Meditation

while listening to Beatles' records does not do anyone

any real harm. But if we ask the historical question

of what the earliest AA people did, and we look at

what the eleventh step actually says, it is NOT telling

us to try to shut off all conscious thought while we

try to become "one with All," but to do something very


- - -
"Sought through prayer and meditation [a] to improve

our CONSCIOUS contact with God as we understood Him,

praying only for [b] knowledge of His will for us and

[c] the power to carry that out."

Summed up, this means:
[a] Thinking about spiritual texts to help us develop


[b] Seeking guidance (in the Oxford Group sense).
[c] Having a brief Quiet Time because when we finish

our prayer and meditation, we will find that during

this Quiet Time, God's grace has quietly entered our

souls, so that we will have new power and strength

(God's power and strength dwelling in our souls)

enabling us to do that which we could never do before.

- - -
The fine print sections at the bottom of each page

in Richmond Walker's Twenty-Four Hours a Day tell

you how to do that, and do it very effectively.

That is the reason why Rich was the second most-read

early AA author, second only to Bill Wilson himself.
To my own mind, this is one of the ten best books

on spirituality (East or West, from any century)

which has ever been written. People who read that

book every morning make more spiritual progress, far

more quickly, than with any other meditational work

I have ever seen. If you go though the fine print

sections of Twenty-Four Hours a Day carefully, you

can see the whole theory and practice of meditation

laid out in great detail.
Beyond that (and reading what Bill W. had to say, of

course) the best way of understanding what meditation

meant to early AA people is to go back to the Oxford

Group literature and see what they had to say about

quiet time and guidance.
Father Ed Dowling and Sister Ignatia would recommend

that one also look at St. Ignatius Loyola's

Spiritual Exercises for further guidance on the subject

of meditation.

Glenn C., South Bend, Indiana
++++Message 3859. . . . . . . . . . . . Irwin Meyerson

From: Tommy . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/11/2006 2:46:00 PM

I recently heard a talk given by Jimmy Burwell

in 1957. He states that a big Jewish fellow named

Meyerson from Cleveland was responsible for starting

AA meetings all over the South. He just went around

planting AA seeds and helping AA to get started.
Does anyone here know about Meyerson and where I

can find more information on this subject.


Tommy H.

++++Message 3860. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: The reading of "How it Works" at

the beginning of meetings

From: Charles Grotts . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/9/2006 9:27:00 AM
Charles G. tells us about the Hotel Cecil in Los

Angeles, which is still in existence. This was

where reading "How It Works" at the beginning of AA

meetings first began:

The Hotel Cecil, where the first AA meeting (that

didn't fold right away) in Los Angeles took place, in

1940, is at 640 South Main Street (about a block from

Skid Row). It was built in 1927 and it's been

remodeled. The mezzanine, where the meeting took

place, is gone. Here are two recent reviews:

"This place is terrible for anyone capable of looking

up this review. The hotel is dirty, stained carpets,

12x10 rooms IF you get a shower-included room, brown

water, just disgusting. I highly suggest staying

somewhere else if you value your life or things. "

travelocity.com - negative - traveler comment

"Great Value" - Alex Devito

"For $45.00 I wasnt expecting it to be that nice. My

room was great with nice view of LA, staff very

friendly and I liked going to the new art galleries in

the area. This reminds me of NY SOHO before it

changed. Couldnt beat..."

--- Robert Stonebraker

> Los Angeles in 1940, see AA Comes of Age, p. 93

> --- from Bob S., tom2cor134@yahoo.com>, James R.,

> and Debbie U.


> Greg asked: " Can someone point me in the right

> direction as to the origin of the custom (at least

> for some groups) of reading "How It Works" at the

> beginning of meetings.


> From: "Robert Stonebraker"


> (rstonebraker212 at insightbb.com)


> Please read page 93 of AA COMES OF AGE. The year

> seems to be 1940 and a member named Mort J. insisted

> on reading Chapter 5 at the start of every session.

> This took place at the Cecil Hotel in downtown

> Los Angeles. I think that hotel was on Hill Street

> or perhaps Broadway (Near Pershing Sq. Park). It

> is probably torn down now, but it was still there

> in the 1960s.


> Bob S., Indiana

++++Message 3861. . . . . . . . . . . . Who wrote the preface to the 3rd

edition of the Big Book?

From: dano5551212 . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 12:44:00 PM
I am curious to know about the preface to the third

edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous." Specifically the

part that states on page xii: "If you have a drinking

problem, we hope you may pause in reading one of

the forty-four personal stories and think: 'Yes,

that happened to me'; or more important, 'Yes, I've

felt like that' ...."
What I am wondering is , since the 2nd edition preface

does not give this suggestion (specifically) and

the 4th edition does, what is the history of who wrote

this preface and why, including any possible special

Also, is there a preface to the 1st edition?
Any info will be greatly appreciated.

- - -

NOTE FROM THE MODERATOR: In other words, if I

understand the question correctly, were there things

going on in AA circa 1976 that prompted the writers

of the preface to put a special emphasis on the

stories at the end of the book?
Or was this final sentence in the prefece part of

the justification for changing the stories at the

back of the book yet again, to make them (hopefully)

easier to identify with for a greater number of

Glenn C., South Bend, Indiana
++++Message 3862. . . . . . . . . . . . Yev G. -- Nassau County, Garden City

From: Corwyn G Billard . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 7:47:00 PM

On Thu (11/2) jlobdell54 mentioned that:
> Yev G was a founder in Bethlehem PA and Granden City NY.
As a member here in Nassau county, Long Island, NY -

I believe you meant Garden City.

I have been involved here in Intergroup in Nassau

(after a stint in General Service) and Yev is very

much a part of the expansion of AA into Nassau county

(half way out toward Montauk Point from NYC). Local

"tradition" has it that he had started a meeting by

45/46 in his home in Garden City. Other early meetings

were in Glen Head, Manhasset, Freeport and Baldwin,

all dating from 45/46 or earlier. Members prior to

that time, had to head in to Forest Hills in Queens,

where Bill supposedly did stop in upon occasion. Got

to the point with gas rationing (guess this was 43/44?),

that people could not make the trip even with car

pooling. It has recently come to my attention (through

this group), that Sgt Bill, also got his start in

Yev's Garden City group of the time.
The Garden City Group remains one of the most active

groups here in Nassau to this day with 11 meetings

spaced over 3 nights a week. There are times that

they conduct 3 different meetings at the same time.

I am aware that Yev, who got sober in 41, served as

Marty Mann's assistant, but would love to hear more

of his PA connection, how he came to be involved with

Marty, was he one of those who worked on the early

Grapevine. Have seen a couple of secondary references

to him (in material about Marty), but have not been

able to find much information about him directly.

Especially interested since he resided here in Nassau.

He was also affiliated with a historic Episcopal

church in the middle of Hempstead. Was quite surprised

a number of years ago, when on a visit to the Wilson

House, saw a photograph of Bill on the wall that

had been inscribed by Bill "To Yev...".
Would appreciate being pointed to where I might

be able to find out more about Yev, Sgt Bill or

other information concerning early AA here in

Nassau county.

Cory B
Please Note:
No trees were destroyed in the sending of this

contaminant free message. We do concede however,

that a significant number of electrons may have been


- - -
Sgt. Bill S., "On the Military Firing Line in the

Alcoholism Treatment Program: The Air Force Sergeant

Who Beat Alcoholism and Taught Others to Do the Same"

-- see http://hindsfoot.org/kBS1.html -- tells the

story of the way that Yev Gardner (and Mrs. Marty Mann)

helped Sgt. Bill set up the first officially recognized

alcoholism treatment program in the U.S. military at

Mitchel Air Force Base on Long Island in 1948.

Glenn C., South Bend, Indiana
++++Message 3863. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: How did Bill W. annual dinner

begin in New York?

From: James Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 8:31:00 PM
Sasha wrote
"This year I had a strong sense of being at a

historical event, and I wondered what you all

know about it."
The December 1944 issue of the GV reported on the

gathering of 1500 people, most of them drunks at the

Hotel Commodore to celebrate the 10th anniversary

of the founding of AA. Bill gave a report on the

first 10 years of AA and a female member also shared.

Fulton Oursler of the Reader's Digest was the

non-AA speaker.
(The date of the dinner is not mentioned).
The November, 1945 issue of the GV announces the

annual Metropolitan group dinner is November 7, at

the Commodore Hotel.
The December, 1945 issue containes a full page article

on Bill's talk at the dinner to over 1500 persons.

The October 1946 issue announces the annual dinner

of Alcoholics Anonymous to be held November 7 at the

Commodore Hotel.
The December 1947 issue reports on the 13th anniversary

banquet held November 6 at the Hotel Commodore and

sponsored by the New York Intergroup Assocation.
++++Message 3864. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Irwin Meyerson

From: Shakey1aa@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 6:42:00 PM

You may be thinking of the venetian blind salesman

Irwin M who was from Cleveland. He was a big man,

over 250 lbs. He went to Atlanta, and Jacksonville,

New Orleans etc. He had an unorthodox style of 12

stepping and started many AA groups.
Yours in Service

Shakey Mike Gwirtz

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3866. . . . . . . . . . . . Irwin Meyerson: started AA in

Birmingham and Indianapolis

From: TBaerMojo@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 8:23:00 PM
He came from Cleveland, was a venetian blind salesman,

large, and he came on the train to start AA in

Also started AA in Indianapolis, Indiana.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3867. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Irwin Meyerson

From: Mitchell K. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 11:14:00 PM

Meyerson was sponsored by Clarence Snyder. Irwin was

responsible for starting many meetings throughout the

US and 12 Stepping lots of other "founding" members

from states he traveled through as a salesperson.

Irwin had a very difficult time staying sober for any

continuous length of sobriety during his travels but

always carried the message wherever he went even

though he couldn't "get it" himself for much of his

time in AA.
++++Message 3868. . . . . . . . . . . . Irwin Meyerson and Indianapolis AA

From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/13/2006 8:25:00 PM

Tommy H. asked: Does anyone here know about Meyerson

and where I can find more information on this subject.

- - -
Dear Tommy,
Here follows an excerpt from a recent AA history of

Indianapolis written by Neil S., who is the current

Inter-group Archivist.
Bob S, from Indiana
[FROM THE MODERATOR: For more details, see

http://hindsfoot.org/nIndy1.html and


Share with your friends:
1   ...   83   84   85   86   87   88   89   90   ...   96

The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2019
send message

    Main page