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

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++++Message 3879. . . . . . . . . . . . Just for today card

From: dobbo101 . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/22/2006 3:27:00 PM

Can anyone tell me where the just for today cards

we use in the UK originate from. Also are they used

in the rest of the world, USA, etc.?
++++Message 3880. . . . . . . . . . . . Roland Hazard and Oxford group


From: Fred . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/22/2006 10:15:00 AM
In a discussion with a friend about the forging

of the fellowship,in many places and different

publications Roland Hazard is mentioned and his

association with The Oxford Group. The discussion

centered around SPONSORSHIP and its origins.
Many times Roland Hazard's name is brought into

the discussion as carrying the message to Ebby and

working with Dr. Sam Shoemaker at Calvary Mission.

We could not determine, nor verify any reference

to Roland Hazard having an Oxford Group sponsor.
The Question for the group is, "Who was Roland

Hazard's Oxford Group Sponsor?"

++++Message 3881. . . . . . . . . . . . AA birthday celebrations

From: robinjshearer . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/21/2006 6:45:00 PM

I am curious as to when and how the AA birthday

celebration started.

++++Message 3882. . . . . . . . . . . . 1st alcoholic trustee of AA''s

Indenture of Trust ?

From: Shakey1aa@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/21/2006 6:00:00 PM
At the Pioneers Meeting of AA's International

Convention last year in Toronto, former AA

non-alcoholic trustee Michael Alexander mentions,

after the first speaker, about AA having an

"Indenture of Trust" and that the first Chairperson

was an alcoholic.

As a former Chairperson of the Southeastern

Pennsylvania Intergroup Association, I know that

on the legal papers I was listed as President

and CEO rather than Chairperson. This was done for

legal purposes.
Mr. Alexander states that for this reason all

subsequent Chairs have been non-alcoholic so that

they can use their full name and so there will be

no anonymity concerns.

In post 3244 Art S. posted the following,
"The first two Alcoholic Foundation Board Chairs

were alcoholics:

08/38 to 02/39 - William "Bill" R. Returned to

drinking and had to resign.

04/39 to 12/39 - Harry B. Also returned to drinking

and had to resign.

Following Harry B the board chair has been a

non-alcoholic ever since."

These two men were the chairs of the Alcoholic

Foundation which later became the General Service

Board of AA.
Who was the chair during the Time of the

Indenture of Trust ?

Hoping for an answer..
Shakey Mike Gwirtz


P.S. The speakers of this Pioneers of AA Meeting were
1. Harry "the Wino" V. my sponsor
2. Margaret C
3. George D
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3883. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Use of the word "slip" in early


From: James Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/21/2006 12:21:00 AM

Use of the word "slip" in early AA
Not sure about the Grapevine article but the term

slip or slipper was used very early on.

The first edition story "The Backslider" clearly

explains what the term slip means. In a "spiritual

life one is either going forward or backwards and if

one continues going backwards, one will surely slip

and fall."
I used to have an old bible tract book titled "The

Backslider." A backslider in most churches is a

person who once experienced grace but turned away.
++++Message 3884. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Use of the word "slip" in early


From: Tom Hickcox . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/25/2006 4:14:00 PM

The word slip, meaning a recovering alcoholic

drinking again, is used twice in pp. 1-164 [current

editions] of the Big Book, on p. 100 and again on

p. 139.
Bill W used it in eleven entries of A.A. Way of

Life/As Bill Sees It: pp. 11, 28, 68, 99, 153, 184,

197, and 251.

He also used it in the article "Ours Not to Judge"

in the August 1946 Grapevine.

Ernie G's story in the First Edition Big Book was

titled "Seven Month Slipper."

Nancy O, the founder of this group, used it

repeatedly in her bios of Big Book story authors.

The word has been in the A.A. lexicon for almost

seventy years.

Tommy H in Baton Rouge
- - -
At 23:21 11/20/2006, James Blair wrote:
Use of the word "slip" in early AA: Not sure about

the Grapevine article but the term slip or slipper

was used very early on. The first edition story

"The Backslider" clearly explains what the term

slip means. In a "spiritual life one is either

going forward or backwards and if one continues

going backwards, one will surely slip and fall."
++++Message 3885. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Rowland Hazard and Oxford group


From: diztitcher . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/25/2006 4:41:00 PM
I have never read anywhere that the Oxford Group

ever had sponsorship. Rowland never joined AA,

the only one of his friends that did was Cebra

- - -

"Fred" asked:
Who was Rowland Hazard's Oxford Group Sponsor?
- - -
From the moderator (Glenn C., South Bend):
This was not sponsorship in the AA sense, but see

Richard M. Dubiel, The Road to Fellowship: The

Role of the Emmanuel Movement and the Jacoby Club

in the Development of Alcoholics Anonymous.


and http://hindsfoot.org/kdub2.html)

Courtenay Baylor of the Emmanuel Movement became

Rowland Hazard's therapist in 1933, and continued

to work with him through 1934. It is under the

influence of Baylor's Emmanuel Movement therapy

that Hazard actually began to recover. Hazard

was also attending Oxford Group meetings, but

his family was paying Baylor to be his regular


Boston AA arose out of the context of the Emmanuel

Movement and the Jacoby Club (their group was

never part of the Oxford Group, unlike Akron,

New York, and Cleveland AA).

++++Message 3886. . . . . . . . . . . . Meditation

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/26/2006 3:39:00 PM

Glenn C., "Twelve-Step Meditation in the A.A. Big

Book and the 12 and 12," describes the way Bill W.

recommended that we meditate in Alcoholics Anonymous

and in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This

is a Microsoft Word document, requires MS Word

to read:

(found on page http://hindsfoot.org/spiritu.html)
In the eleventh step, "meditation" does not mean

the same thing as the Hindu technique called

Transcendental Meditation. But it is recommended

that part of our period of morning prayer and

meditation be a brief "quiet time." Various methods

of quieting the mind, including using mental

imagery (suggested by Bill W.), Jacobson's method

of progressive relaxation, and so on. Richmond

Walker's Twenty-Four Hours a Day and Emmet Fox's

Golden Key.

- - -
Responding to Message 3857

from "Henrik Rue" henrik.rue@edb.dk

He asked for "a definition of what meditation was

defined as, at the time of writing Alcoholics

Anonymous? I do not expect it to be some eastern

way of meditation."

- - -
It is very difficult to translate the English word

"spirituality" into German. For German speaking AA's,

it is easier to understand what was being talked

about in the Big Book by looking at Jakob Friedrich

Fries' idea of obtaining an Ahnung (a hint, intuition,

or presentiment) of the Infinite, Friedrich

Schleiermacher's idea of the Gefuehl (feeling) and

Anschauung (intuition) of absolute dependence upon

God, and especially Rudolf Otto's idea of the Gefuehl

of das Heilige (the awareness of the holy or sacred

dimension to reality). That was what Bill W. was

talking about in the Big Book on pp. 1, 10, and 12

(the experience at Winchester Cathedral and Bill's

grandfather's experience when gazing at the starry

heavens above and experiencing what Immanuel Kant

called the experience of the Sublime).

It is not the same as a Begriff (an intellectual

concept). Unfortunately, the philosophy of G. W. F.

Hegel (1770-1831) turned the German word Geist into

an intellectualized notion (philosophy, political

theory, economic theory, legal theory, and so on

became die Geisteswissenschaften in post-Hegelian

German usage). In German culture to this day, the

word Geist therefore tends to have that kind of

intellectualized sense.
That was why Carl Jung used Latin instead of German

to speak of the solution to the alcoholic's problem

as "Spiritus contra spiritum." The English word

"spirit" still preserves the original meaning of

the Latin word "spiritus," so in English we do not

have to use the Latin word to make it clear that

we are talking about a non-intellectualized realm

of immediate feeling and intuitive knowledge and

awareness when we speak of the "spiritual."
This may help German speaking AA's to understand

what is meant by the "quiet time" which is part of

our eleventh step morning prayer and meditation.

The brief period of quiet time means a few minutes

when we stop thinking constantly in terms of Begriffe

and open our minds up instead to feelings of gratitude,

appreciation, being surrounded by God's love and

care, the beautiful and the sublime, the holiness of

the universe and everything in it (from the starry

heavens above to the wildflowers growing in an Alpine

meadow), the moral dimension of our lives, and so on.
- - -
Rudolf Otto, "Das Heilige: ueber das Irrationale in

der Idee des gottlichen und sein Verhaeltnis zum

Rationalen" (1917). The most useful book ever written,

I believe, for helping German speaking people in the

twelve step program to understand what the English

speaking people are actually talking about when they

talk about "spirituality" all the time.
Friedrich Schleiermacher, "Reden ueber die Religion"

(1799), English translations use titles like "Speeches

on Religion to its Cultured Despisers." Schleiermacher

was part of the same world as Goethe, Novalis,

Hoelderlin, and Schelling (and in music Mozart,

Beethoven, and Wagner). The tradition of German

spirituality (in the English sense of the word

"spirituality") began with Schleiermacher.

Rudolf Otto, "The Philosophy of Religion Based on

Kant and Fries" (1931). I assume that the original

German edition of this book is available in Germany,

but I must apologize, because I do not know the

exact German title. Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773-1843)

was the first great Kantian commentator (see his

"Neue oder anthropologische Kritik der Vernunft").

He applied for the position as Professor of Philosophy

at the newly created University of Berlin, but

G. W. F. Hegel (who tried to completely intellectualize

spirituality, as the unfolding of the Geist in human

history through a sequence of thesis, antithesis, and

synthesis) was given the position instead. And poor

Fries, who had spoken out openly in favor of democracy

and having democratically elected parliaments, was

stuck at the University of Jena, where the Grand

Duke of Weimar (who controlled that area at that

time) forbade him to lecture on philosophy for many

years, during which time Hegel's style of philosophy

took over the German speaking world. There has

recently been a revival of interest in Fries' work

in both the German and English speaking worlds, so

perhaps this brilliant philosopher may finally

receive his due.

I don't think I agree with Fries' solution to the

Kantian problem, but I can guarantee that Kant will

never look the same again to anyone who studies

Fries' detailed analysis of what Kant was actually

doing in his "Kritik der reinen Vernunft," and

why Kant's continued assumption of many Platonic

concepts of the world made him believe (falsely)

that our human minds could not gain access to

anything outside the box of space and time in

which they were imprisoned.

Richmond Walker talks about that part of Kant's

thought in many passages in "Twenty-Four Hours a

Day," but argues that our minds can in fact pierce

through the veil of the box of space and time through

a kind of meditation based on feeling and intuition.

This little book could also be useful to German

speaking AA's, in better understanding the feeling

and intuition based experience which is being

referred to by the English word "spirituality" in

the Big Book.

Glenn F. Chesnut, South Bend, Indiana


(glennccc at sbcglobal.net)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3887. . . . . . . . . . . . Circle and Triangle lawsuit

From: Edgar . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/26/2006 8:24:00 AM

The Dec. 1993 Grapevine article says that two

companies were sued for refusing to stop using the

Circle and Triangle emblem, as requested by New

York. More than 100 other companies making doo-dads

and trinkets had already acceded to NY's request.
My questions are: What companies were those two?

What law firm represented AA in what court? What

was the outcome of the suits?
Edgar C, Sarasota, Fla.
++++Message 3888. . . . . . . . . . . . The doctor on p. 122 in "The Family


From: nick675833 . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/26/2006 9:46:00 AM
Who is the doctor that Bill is referring to on

the bottom of page 122?

regards nick
- - -
"A doctor said to us, 'Years of living with an

alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child

neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent,

- - -

Note from the moderator: this is the "founding

manifesto" (if we may) of Al-Anon Family Groups,

Alateen, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and the

other twelve step groups which were formed to deal

with this enormous problem. Glenn C.
++++Message 3890. . . . . . . . . . . . Significant December Dates in A.A.


From: chesbayman56 . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/1/2006 12:28:00 AM

Dec 1934 - Bill and Lois start attending Oxford Group meetings.

Dec 1934 to May 1935 - Bill works with alcoholics, but fails to sober

any of them. Lois reminds him HE is sober.

Dec 1938 - Twelve Steps written.

Nov/Dec 1939 - Akron group withdrawals from association with Oxford

Group. Meetings moved from T Henry and Clarence Williams to Dr Bob and

other members homes.

Dec 1939 - First AA group in mental institution, Rockland State

Hospital, NY.

Dec 1939 - 1st home meeting in Los Angeles at Kaye M.'s house.

Dec 1939 - Matt Talbot Club has 88 members, uses wagons to collect

old furniture to recondition and sell, not A.A., used A.A. program,

material, marked 1st effort reach alcoholics outside married middle-

class category.

Dec 1940 - 1st AA group formed in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dec 1940 - group started Ashtabula, Ohio due to Plain Dealer

articles. A.A. Cleveland has about 30 groups.

Dec 1948 - Dr. Bob's last major talk, in Detroit.

Dec 1950 - Grapevine article signed by both Bill and Dr Bob recommend

establishing AA General Service Conference.

Dec 1955 - 'Man on the Bed' painting by Robert M. first appeared in

Grapevine. Painting originally called 'Came to Believe'

Dec 1982 - Nell Wing retires from GSO after 35 years of service.

Dec 1, 1940 - Chicago Daily Tribune begins a series of articles on AA

by Nall Hamilton.

Dec 5, 1985 - Dave B, founder of Montreal Group dies weeks before

50th anniversary. His story added to the 4th Edition Big Book.

Dec 6, 1939 - Bert the Tailor lends Works Publishing $1000.

Dec 6, 1979 - Akron Beacon reports death of Henrietta Sieberling.

Dec 7, 1949 - Sister Ignatia received Poverello Medal on behalf of


Dec 10, 1975 - Birds of a Feather AA group for pilots is formed.

Dec 11, 1934 - Bill admitted to Towns Hosp 4th/last time

(fall '33, '34 in summer, midsummer and final admittance).

Dec 11, 1941 - Dallas Morning News reports 1st AA group formed in


Dec 12, 1934 - Bill has Spiritual Experience at Towns Hospital.

Dec 12, 1937 - Bill meets with Rockefeller Foundation and tries to

get money.

Dec 13, 1937 - Rockland State Mental Hospital takes patients to

meeting in New Jersey.

Dec 13 or 14, 1934 - Ebby visited Bill at hospital, brought William

James's book, "Varieties of Religious Experience".

Dec 19, 1939 - Los Angeles hold their 1st AA meeting there.

Dec 20, 1945 - Rowland H dies (he carried the Oxford Gp message to


Dec 27, 1893 - Rev Samuel Shoemaker is born.

++++Message 3891. . . . . . . . . . . . Baltimore Chip House -- name of

chart on wall

From: twelvestepswetook . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/29/2006 2:31:00 PM
I'm trying to locate the name of a consumption chart

that was on the wall of the Baltimore Chip House

(Charles Village meeting on Calvert Street) when I

got sober there in 1991. I don't think it was Dr.

Jellinek's curve, although it may have been a variation.
It showed how an alcoholic's tolerance would

increase to a certain point and then start going

down as the disease progressed.
I was told that this had been hanging on the wall

in the Chip House for many years, and when I was

there it was on the main floor near the staircase.
Thanks to anyone who might know the answer to this,

I'm on the West Coast now and can't look myself to

see if it's still there!
++++Message 3892. . . . . . . . . . . . Fulton Oursler Article

From: Bill Lash . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/29/2006 8:34:00 AM

"High Praise for the Charm of Recovering Alcoholics"
by Fulton Oursler
There are times when I wish I were an alcoholic.

I mean I wish I were a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The reason is that I consider the AA people the

most charming in the world.

Such is my considered opinion. As a journalist,

it has been my privilege to meet many people who

are considered charming. I number among my friends

stars and lesser lights on stage and cinema; writers

are my daily diet; I know ladies and gentlemen of

both political parties; I have been entertained

in the White House; I've broken bread with kings,

ambassadors and ministers; and I say that I would

prefer an evening with my AA friends to any person

I've indicated.

I asked myself why I considered so charming these

alcoholic caterpillars who have found their butterfly

wings in AA. There are more reasons than one, but I

can name a few. The AA people are what they are, and

they are what they were, because they are sensitive,

imaginative, possessed of a sense of humor, an

awareness of the universal truth. They are sensitive,

which means they are hurt easily, and that helped

them become alcoholics. But when they found their

restoration they are as sensitive as ever; responsive

to the beauty and the truth and eager about the

intangible glories of this life. That makes them

charming companions.
They are possessed of a sense of universal truth

that is often new in their heart. This fact that

this at-one moment with God's universe had never

been awakened within them is the reason they drink.

They have found a power greater than themselves,

which they diligently serve. And that gives them a

charm that never was elsewhere on the land and sea;

it makes you know that God is charming, because

the AA people reflect his mercy and forgiveness.
They are imaginative, and that helped make them

alcoholics. Some of them drank to flog their

imaginations onto greater efforts. Others guzzled

only to block out unendurable visions that arose in

their imaginations. But when they found their

restorations, their imagination is responsive to

new incantations and their talk abounds with color

and might, and that makes them charming companions,

They are possessed a sense of humor. Even in their

cups they have known to be damnably funny. Often

it was being forced to take seriously the little

and mean things of life that made them seek their

escape in the bottle. But when they found their

restoration, their sense of humor finds a blessed

freedom and they are able to laugh at themselves, the

very height of self-conquest. Go to their meetings

and listen to their laughter. At what are they

laughing? At ghoulish memories over which weaker

souls would cringe in useless remorse. And that

makes them wonderful people to be with by

(Fulton Oursler was a magazine editor, religious

author, and Hollywood screenwriter, and was an early

Oxford Group member and friend to AA. He passed

away in the year 1952. His official relationship

with AA is as follows: Sept. 30, 1939, the very

popular weekly Liberty Magazine, headed by Fulton

Oursler, carried a piece titled "Alcoholics and God"

by Morris Markey (who was influenced to write the

article by Charles Towns). It generated about 800

inquiries from around the nation. Oursler (author

of The Greatest Story Ever Told) became good friends

with Bill W and later served as a Trustee and member

of the Grapevine editorial board. In Oct. 1949, Dr.

William D. Silkworth and Fulton Oursler joined the

Alcoholic Foundation Board.)
++++Message 3893. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Rowland Hazard and Oxford group


From: James Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/26/2006 4:43:00 PM
Diz wrote:
"I have never read anywhere that the Oxford Group

ever had sponsorship."

They did not formally refer to helping a new man

as "sponsorship." They did have a saying that went:

"Walk with the new man until he becomes a life

changer. Then, leave him alone as the needs of

others will drive him back to God."
++++Message 3894. . . . . . . . . . . . How many internet AA members?

From: spebsqsa@att.net . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/30/2006 1:03:00 AM

Does anyone have estimated numbers on the growth

of online A.A. meeting participation? How many A.A.

members use their digital meetings as their home

groups with little or no face-to-face meeting

{Please, this information request is not an

invitation to debate the need/value of F2F

++++Message 3895. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Baltimore Chip House -- name of

chart on wall

From: Rob White . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/2/2006 3:40:00 PM
this a good link for the Jellinek Curve.
see if that looks familiar.
I can check on the actual chart.
Rob W.


Robert White



>>> "twelvestepswetook"

11/29/06 2:31 PM


I'm trying to locate the name of a consumption chart

that was on the wall of the Baltimore Chip House

(Charles Village meeting on Calvert Street) when I

got sober there in 1991. I don't think it was Dr.

Jellinek's curve, although it may have been a variation.
It showed how an alcoholic's tolerance would

increase to a certain point and then start going

down as the disease progressed.
I was told that this had been hanging on the wall

in the Chip House for many years, and when I was

there it was on the main floor near the staircase.
Thanks to anyone who might know the answer to this,

I'm on the West Coast now and can't look myself to

see if it's still there!
University of Maryland, Baltimore, Department of Psychiatry

Confidentiality Notice: This email message, including any attachments,

is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain

confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized use,

disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended

recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all

copies of the original message
++++Message 3896. . . . . . . . . . . . Photo of Rowland Hazard

From: ollie_olorenshaw . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/26/2006 7:22:00 PM

I have been putting together a one page pictorial

history of the formation of AA for my sponsees.

I have been unable to find a picture of Roland

Hazard. Does anyone know if one exists?

many thanks
- - -
From the moderator: Mel Barger gave us a photo

of Rowland Hazard, taken around 1943 or 1944,

which is posted on the internet at:
It's an old snapshot taken with a brownie

camera, but it should be good enough to get an

idea of what he looked like.
See the recent research by Amy Colwell Bluhm Ph.D.

and Cora Finch. The two of them, working completely

independently, came upon the same archival documents

and established that Rowland arrived in Zurich in

May 1926 (not 1931, the date given in the older

AA literature). See Bluhm's article "Verification

of C.G. Jung's analysis of Rowland Hazard and the

history of Alcoholics Anonymous" in the American

Psychological Association's journal History of

Psychology in November 2006 and Cora Finch's long

account of Rowland Hazard's life and struggles

with alcoholism at

if you want to get the most up-to-date information

on Rowland Hazard and the period when he was Carl

Jung's patient in Switzerland.
Glenn Chesnut (South Bend, Indiana)
++++Message 3897. . . . . . . . . . . . Money Back Guarantee on 1st edit.

Big Book

From: sober_in_nc . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/2/2006 2:11:00 PM
Someone surprised me the other day with a question

I've never heard ...

On the dust jack to the first edition, on the back,

at the bottom, is a money back guarantee that the

publishers will refund the $3.50 and postage, if

the buyer is dissatisfied with the book.

Do we know how many people took Works Publishing

up on this offer?

++++Message 3898. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Circle and Triangle lawsuit

From: hartsell . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/26/2006 7:37:00 PM

Edgar, I can not quote you "scripture and verse"

but someone here no doubt can and hopefully will,

but my memory is that the outcome was A.A. lost,

dropped out of the suit, could not of course Prove

Their Case.
This dropping out resulted in NY stopping the use

of the Circle and Triangle as symbol of "official

literature"; but of course ANY A.A. CAN use the

symbol as it is in the public domain, just as it

was at the time A.A. brought suit.
My memory of the sequence, and only reason I do

recall is because of a personal conversation I had

with Wayne P. of Ark. at a NETA function when

the whole mess began.

Sherry C.H.
-----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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

Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 7:25 AM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Circle and Triangle lawsuit

The Dec. 1993 Grapevine article says that two

companies were sued for refusing to stop using the

Circle and Triangle emblem, as requested by New

York. More than 100 other companies making doo-dads

and trinkets had already acceded to NY's request.
My questions are: What companies were those two?

What law firm represented AA in what court? What

was the outcome of the suits?
Edgar C, Sarasota, Fla.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3899. . . . . . . . . . . . Alcoholism and AA in modern American

detective novels

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3/2006 1:38:00 PM
Richard M. Dubiel, "Sober Sleuths: Lawrence Block

and James Lee Burke" (1999), discusses the life

and writings of these two best-selling authors of

detective fiction, and their fictional heroes

Matthew Scudder and Dave Robicheaux, who are

portrayed in the novels in sensitive and insightful

fashion as alcoholics who got sober in A.A. The

article may be found at either

or http://hindsfoot.org/sleuth.html
- - -
Prof. Dubiel is an unusually perceptive historian.

The influence of AA on popular culture in the

United States has been incredibly deep and pervasive.

Most other contemporary American historians have

not begun to realize this yet, or write about it,

but its impact has been at least as great as that

of the Great Awakening on the Thirteen Colonies in

the period right before the American Revolution,

and is well on its way to achieving the same broad

cultural influence which Frontier Revivalism had

on nineteenth century American history.
In the 1940's, the typical fictional hero in

American detective literature was a hard-boiled,

hard-bitten, hard-drinking character who had a

bottle of whiskey tucked in his desk drawer,

which he regularly turned to as a solution to

all of life's difficulties. But by the 1990's,

there were hardly any heroes left in the popular

detective novels who were drinking much alcohol

at all, and a surprising number who were portrayed

as men (and now women too) who had had a history

of alcohol abuse, but were now staying away from

the bottle and realizing the destructive effect

it had had on their lives.
And a few were now being protrayed in these novels

going to AA meetings and gaining strength and

solutions to their problems from the little meetings

in the church basements. The two best-drawn

characters of this new breed of fictional hero

were Matthew Scudder in Lawrence Block's novels

(set in New York City, one of the classical

settings of the traditional American detective

story), and Dave Robicheaux in James Lee Burke's

novels (which are placed in a very different kind

of setting, the exotic, French-speaking world of

Cajun Louisiana, where the strains of "Jolie

Blonde" drift from the little dancing and

drinking establishments, and Spanish moss drapes

from the trees while the ghosts of Conferate

cavalrymen ride tirelessly through the mists

hanging over the dark bayous).
- - -
During the same period, one can also see the

same quiet spread of A.A. ideas and the ethic

of the twelve steps into American television,

particularly the sit-coms and comedies. Jokes

and comic situations and characters in various

humorous episodes revolve around making amends

or trying to maintain one's self-affirmation or

something else that is clearly drawn from twelve

step culture, and -- which is the important part

-- the audiences recognize what is going on.

There is no air of puzzlement, or "what are they

talking about?" They understand the twelve step

culture, at least to a certain extent, and they

laugh, and keep on turning the television knob

back to that station every week.
Nineteenth-century frontier revivals were

flamboyant and noisy, and everybody in town knew

when one was going on. The great revivalists

were promoters who went to great lengths to make

sure that their pictures and names were put up

in lights everywhere people turned. A.A.

meetings are quiet and unobtrusive. You can walk

past on the street and not even realize that

people are sitting around a table in the basement

of the building, talking about the twelve steps.

The anonymity rules in the twelve traditions have,

as their almost sole purpose, restraining the

flamboyant promoters (of whom the fellowship has

many!) until they are safely dead.

So A.A. comes into a town, and no one notices it

all that much, at the conscious level. But it is

said that every alcoholic who keeps on drinking

has a traumatically destructive effect upon a

great number of "earth people," non-alcoholics

(both in the family and the workplace and elsewhere),

and we can see that the reverse must also be true,

by observing what has happened in the United States

over the past seventy years. Recovered alcoholics

can redeem their pasts by quietly spreading an

atmosphere of peace and harmony and personal

responsibility for one's actions to the "earth

people" around them, not by preaching, but by

actually living by the principles of the twelve

steps and twelve tradtions. "You are the salt of

the earth," it says in the Sermon on the Mount,

where even a tiny pinch of salt can give flavor

to the entire dish.

Something good may be happening in the United

States, and we hope that it will keep on happening.

And as we can see from the fictional exploits of

Matthew Scudder and Dave Robicheaux, we don't

have to be boringly conventional people in the

way we do it, or totally destroy our alcoholic

love of words, and our love of flamboyance and

romance and adventure and our larger-than-life

enthusiasms. We just have to learn how to do

it in ways where we don't hurt people.

Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
- - -
Lawrence Block's novels
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse. NewYork: Avon, 1992.

Even the Wicked. New York: William Morrow, 1997.

Everybody Dies. New York: William Morrow, 1998.

In the Midst of Death. 1976. New York: Avon, 1992.

The Sins of the Father. 1976. Arlington Heights, IL.: Dark Harvest, 1992.

When the Sacred Ginmill Closes. New York: Arbor House, 1986.

- - -
James Lee Burke's novels
A Morning for Flamingos. 1990. New York: Avon, 1991.

Black Cherry Blues. 1989. New York: Avon, 1990.

Heaven's Prisoners. New York: Henry Holt, 1988.

Sunset Limited. New York: Doubleday, 1998.

The Neon Rain. 1987. New York: Pocket Books, 1988.
- - -
Richard M. Dubiel is also the author of "The Road

to Fellowship: The Role of the Emmanuel Movement

and the Jacoby Club in the Development of

Alcoholics Anonymous" (2004), the book which

first opened up the question of Rowland Hazard's

real relationship to the Swiss psychiatrist Carl



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3901. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Meditation

From: Kimball ROWE . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/27/2006 6:08:00 PM

The only true test of Step 11 Prayer and Meditation

is contained in the step itself, "Did your prayer

and meditation improve your conscious contact with

If all you get out of meditation is a relaxed

feeling or an empty mind, perhaps you should

abandon what you're doing and try something new.

As with the Big Book and the 12 by 12, there are

specific topics and subjects to focus on in

meditation (BB, pgs 69, 83, 86-87, 12X12, pg 99).

As Father Joe once said, "Meditation is the

contemplation of God's truth for me." From that

simple statement, I can extract all of BB pgs

86-87 and the 12x12 pg 99, and much much more.
++++Message 3902. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: The reading of "How it Works" at

the beginning of meetings

From: Tom Hickcox . . . . . . . . . . . . 11/28/2006 3:50:00 PM
I found the following when I got bored in a

meeting and started browsing through my PDA.

It is from Significant March Dates in A.A. History

from the series that is posted here monthly:

"March 1940 - Mort J. came to LA from Denver;

started custom of reading Chapter 5 Big Book

at Cecil group."
Now the question may be, was it a custom in the

Denver area to read How It Works at the start

of meetings?
Tommy H in Baton Rouge
++++Message 3903. . . . . . . . . . . . A ceremony at Towns Hospital at noon

on Dec. 10

From: Robt Woodson . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/2/2006 4:35:00 PM
AAHistoryLovers et al,
I have a new date for December, I just received

and confirmed an invitation to attend a Candle

Lighting Ceremony to honor Bill's Spiritual

Experience and his subsequent sobriety at Town's

Hospital in New York City.
If any of you are interested, four of my AA

friends from Mexico City, myself and a sponsee

(from Akron) will be there the ceremony at 11:59pm

just before Noon on the 10th of December...it is

our great hope that some of you might join us

there for a moment of reflection...at 11.59pm a

candle will be lit inside the window there...

followed by the lighting of two lights outside,

one for Bill and one for Doctor Bob...other

lights will be lit and passed on from the first.

This will be the second year that this ceremony

has been held and the first that it was opened,

as here, to the fellowship and friends of AA.

I hope that we might see some of you there.

Thankyou for your interest,

Best Wishes in this busy Season of

Holidays and Celebration,

Woody in Akron

++++Message 3904. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Photo of Rowland Hazard

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/2/2006 8:31:00 PM

The photo of Rowland Hazard is posted on the

internet at:

Hi Ollie,
Here's all I have on Rowland Hazard. This photo

was obviously taken in 1943 or 1944, as it shows

their son Peter in his Naval officer's uniform, and

he had most likely just graduated from officers'

training school or perhaps flight school. They

are in front of their home in Peace Dale, Rhode

Island. Peter was lost in early 1945 and was

listed as missing in action when Rowland died.

The brief account of his death is recorded in a

book titled "The Little Giants," published by the

Naval Institute. He was a pilot on one of the

baby flattops and was killed while pursuing a

Japanese Val; he flew through some flak from our

own antiaircraft guns. The Hazards had previously

lost another son as a result of an accident, so

they had their share of profound grief.

Mel Barger


(melb at accesstoledo.com)
++++Message 3905. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Photo of Rowland Hazard

From: Tom Hickcox . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/2/2006 9:00:00 PM

I see the Brattleboro Retreat referred to again

as the Asylum.

My maternal grandmother lived in Brattleboro as

did an aunt and uncle. The locals call it "The

Retreat" and their web site says the term goes

back to when it was founded in 1834.

I have sent them an email asking what the

historical name of the institution was and if

it changed from asylum to retreat, when that


++++Message 3906. . . . . . . . . . . . "Qualification"

From: johnpublico . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3/2006 3:10:00 PM

Lawrence Block, in his Matthew Scudder detective

series set in NY City, uses "qualification" and

"qualifying" in apparent reference to an AA

speaker's story. In Charlotte and several other

cities where I've attended meetings, I've never

encountered this usage. Can anyone tell me

whether the terms are still used and if so how

widespread they are?

++++Message 3907. . . . . . . . . . . . Tommy H. on Big Book changes ("at"

vs. "for")

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3/2006 3:01:00 PM
From: Tom Hickcox

(cometkazie1 at cox.net)

We had the "at" vs "for" discussion and I have

found where As Bill Sees It changed the wording

of "Deep down . . . . is a fundamental idea of God"

from p. 66.

As Bill Sees It has "idea of a God," which is a

lot different. It's like that in the first printing.

There are a number of changes, but the editors

tell us some changes are made "in the interest of

clarity." They changed victory in the 3rd Step

Prayer to transcendence, but that doesn't seem to

me to add clarity.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3908. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: A ceremony at Towns Hospital at

noon on Dec. 10

From: doclandis@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3/2006 9:44:00 AM
"ceremony at 11:59 pm just before Noon on the

10th of December"

I hope that you mean 11:59 a.m., instead of

p.m., because while noon does eventually follow

midnight, it is 12 hours away.
Then again, perhaps we should bring really

BIG Candles!

It sounds like a really cool gathering. I wish

I could be there.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3909. . . . . . . . . . . . Is there a distinctive "California


From: Jon Markle . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3/2006 12:40:00 PM
Has there been, historically, a distinctive kind

of "California AA"?

In another forum, I recently made a (mistaken?)

off-the-wall comment, using the phrase "California

Program" and "California AA" . . . and I'm

wondering . . . where did this originate and what

exactly was it meant to convey, if anything?
I know I did not make it up . . . I've heard it

all my AA life (I'm on the East Coast, never

been to meetings west of Denver, but plenty of

others in other parts of this side of there

. . . and I've heard the phrase more than once,

usually by "old timers" in "fundamentalist"

type meetings.
My suspicion is that it came about probably in

the same way as did other similar type of labels,

like "New York AA" and "Akron AA" and "Cleveland

Style" . . .

Anyone shed any enlightenment on this for me?
Jon (Raleigh)

PS: I didn't get a good reaction from

some folk who happen to be from California,


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3910. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Circle and Triangle lawsuit

From: jenny andrews . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3/2006 4:53:00 AM

Surely "NY" (i.e. presumably GSO) had no power

to abitrarily drop the circle and triangle symbol

from all our literature etc - surely that would

have been a Conference decision?

Laurie A.
>From: "hartsell"

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