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

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> deeply we of AA realize this at Christmastime. Together, we count and

> ponder our blessings of life, of service, of love.


> In these distraught times, we have been enabled to find an

> always-increasing measure of peace within ourselves. Together with all

> here at AA's General Service Offices, Lois joins me in warmest

> greetings to each and all of you, and me share our confident faith

> that the year to come will be counted among the best that our

> Fellowship has ever known.


> Bill W.


> Copyright (c) The AA Grapevine, Inc. (December 1970). Reprinted with

> permission.


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


> --- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "mertonmm3"

> wrote:

> >

> If you look closely at his life you'll see that Bill formally


ALCOHOLIC FOR WHOM AA DID NOT WORK. Thats really what the sub-secret

LSD papers at Stepping Stones reveal. Its also what the enormous work

he did on nicotinic acid aka niacin aka vitamin B-3 and its effect on



++++Message 3076. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: An AA apology?

From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 3:43:00 PM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] An AA apology?

A few years ago, a group called IWS published the Big Book in paperback

for sale in the U.S. and Canada and elsewhere,
IWS can not sell in Canada as the BB has separate Canadian copyright and it

did not expire in Canada.

++++Message 3077. . . . . . . . . . . . Pronounciation of "Shoemaker"

From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/18/2006 8:21:00 AM

I have always pronounced Reverend Sam Shoemakers name as "Shoe -

maker" just

as it is spelled. However, Clarence Snyder pronounces it as "Shoe

- mocker."

I would like to know the correct articulation. Any help would be


Bob S., from Indiana
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3078. . . . . . . . . . . . Inscription on Dr. Bob''s Desk?

From: Karen . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/17/2006 10:25:00 PM

Someone sent me an email saying that he heard in Missouri that there

was an inscription on a desk plaque of Dr. Bob that says:

"The task ahead of us is never greater than the POWER behind us."
I have been unable to find anything that confirms this. I did find

several websites that quote what is on the plaque and it does not

include the quote from above. I also found a website of quotations

(http://www.gratefulness.org/mb/quotes.cfm) that credits Alcoholics

Anonymous with the following:
"The power behind us is never estimated greater [than] the force of

the task that is ahead of us."

Does anyone have any information about the source of these quotations?


++++Message 3079. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: An AA apology?

From: wilfried antheunis . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 4:44:00 PM



page (27) 28
"copyright were brought up under new business. It was felt the

literature of

Alcoholics Anonymous belongs to A.A. as a whole and A.A.W.S. (US/Canada)


these copyrights in trust for all of us The committee recommended that


Inc should continue to grant exclusive licenses to one service structure per

country It was suggested that future W..M.s be kept aware of problems


copyrights In A.A."

Other Board Action
Ann Warner, Gary Glynn and George Dorsey met with three representatives of

Intergroup World Services, Inc (IWS) in January 1995. It was a cordial


and although we did not always see eye to eye, there was an understanding on

some important issues After further communications following the meeting, an

understanding was reached and reported to delegates, alternate delegates.

intergrourp/central offices. overseas GSOs and World Service Meeting


GSO/Staff Operations: The Financial Reports are >>snip<<
page 42
Reports from the A.A. Grapevine
Other Board Business:
. Technological Challenges- >>snip<<
. lWS-As a result of the meeting withIntergroup World Services (IWS) in


considerable progress has been made on an understanding and we are very

optimistic about the final outcome

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

From: Charlie Bishop Jr.

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 5:36 PM

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] An AA apology?
Hi again...more help needed...
//From "Charlie Bishop Jr." (bishopbk

at comcast.net)

A few years ago, a group called IWS published the Big Book in paperback for

sale in the U.S. and Canada and elsewhere, so that for a while there were


different editions of the Big Book available in print in English, one


by IWS and the other published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. AAWS

objected and in a settlement between AAWS and IWS, AAWS agreed to apologize


every AA group in the world for its harassment of IWS, Inc. That AAWS


was published in Box 4-5-9 and in the 1995 Final Report of the General


Conference. Could someone email me a copy of either the Box 4-5-9 or 1995


Final Report apologies or both? Thanks.

My email address is (bishopbk at comcast.net)
Also, is anyone aware of a Regional Forum that discussed

"lawsuits" in

Again thanks, servus, Charlie B.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Yahoo! Groups Links
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3080. . . . . . . . . . . . Re:J.H.Fitzhugh Mayo and James

McCaleb Burwell

From: Shakey1aa@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/18/2006 11:09:00 AM
A couple of years ago I sat on a panel which included AAHL's Nancy O.and the

topic was discovering more about Fitz Mayo.The following are some of the

things I discovered when researching this topic.

Jimmy Burwell's sister was Marjorie and her husband was Churchill M.(not

Mayo) Churchill did not drink. His best friend was Fitz Mayo.Fitz, Jimmy and

Churchill all went to an Episcopal high school in Virginia .Jimmy and

Churchill both served overseas in WWI.Fitz did not serve (see his


Southern friend") because the war was over when he enlisted and he was


home.When Fitz was down on his luck(drunk) Churchill gave him land in

Cumberland Md

where Fitz built a house.Fitz had two wives. The first was Elizabeth who

became ill and was attended to by Lois Wilson. After she died, he married

Arabella.Fitz and both of his wives were visited several times by Bill and


Wilson. Fitz did get into the service in WWII, until he got ill. He was


on by Dr. Bob. He had a cancer and died 10/4/1943.

While Fitz was sober in NY he obviously heard about Jimmy's


Jimmy was staying at his mothers house and she was hiding his clothes so he

couldn't go out and get drunk.He had another AA member Jackie carry the


to Jimmy. Jackie never had permanent sobriety and died of alcoholism.

Fitz was AA number 3 in New York and Jimmy was AA number 5 in New York.

Both got sober with the help of Bill W. Fitz believed in God ( his father


an Episcopal minister) and Jimmy did not. ( see his story "The Vicious

Cycle") Jimmy coined the expression "God As We Understand

Him", and started


in Philadelphia(Feb 28,1940), Wilmington,De, Harrisburg, Pa. and helped in

Baltimore, Md.

Jimmy insisted along with Hank P for "Higher Powered" and a


greater than ourselves" to be used. He was the salesman" Ed"

described in the

Third Tradition. It is thought that Bill took some liberties with his story


make a point.

At the first open meeting of AA in Philadelphia, Fitz as well as several

other New York members(including Mr. and Mrs Bill Wilson) made the trip. The

date was March 6, 1940 .Jimmy returned the favor by going to Washington D.C.

and helping Fitz get AA started there. Jimmy died Sept 8, 1974 and both He

and Fitz are buried just feet apart in the Christ Episcopal Church in

Owensville, Md.It is the same church that Fitz's father was a minister.

As an observation; They were so opposite and so alike. Both had the

tremendous drive and energy that was so characteristic of early members to


sober and to "pass it on" to others. Some of what I discussed is


knowledge to history buff's,but since AAHl has members new to AA history I


included it. I apologize for the repetition.

Yours in Service,

Shakey Mike G.

p.s. Jimmy was known as "Jimmy of Philadelphia" and wrote a can


"Memoirs of Jimmy"
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3081. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: James Houck and Bill at Maryland

OG House Parties

From: Bill Lash . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2006 7:28:00 AM
I think it's interesting the way that the group is going about


James Houck and the things he has said and been a part of. It's almost

as if he

were one of the first one hundred in AA (who are no longer alive) so we are


left with being able to study what they wrote and what they said on

recordings, or

perhaps even what they said to others. But since James is still alive,


it be better to simply contact him and ask questions of whatever is needed

to be

clarified instead of reading into what he has said and making judgments of

scattered and incomplete information? So much criticism and accusation

when a mere

phone call with a few questions to a wonderful man might just set the record

Just Love,
Barefoot Bill
++++Message 3082. . . . . . . . . . . . The Dr. Howard/Hank P. manuscript

From: mertonmm3 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2006 1:26:00 AM

bout a month ago Chuck P. (no known relationship to Hank P. at this

time) made available to me the 4 pages from the Sotheby's catelog

where the heavily annotated manuscript that was sold for well over

$1Million appeared. Having personally owned numerous handwritten

documents that were given to me by Hank's living relatives and viewed

numerous other of Hank's original documents at GSO, Stepping Stones

and Clarence's letters from Hank now housed at Brown University, I've

concluded (to my own satisfaction anyway) that except for the much

later dated page signed by Bill the vast majority of the commentary

was pened by Hank P.

Hank had 3 different styles of handwriting, one being block letters

(which I call H1) the second being a very neatly written style (which

I call H2 and somewhat rare) and third a rapid scribble (which I call

H3 and the most typical. On the bottom of several of the pages the

initials HGP appears (Hank's initials the G. standing for Giffen).
Also note that the well known Dr. Howard (See PIO) appears several

times and it seems very likely that this is the manuscript lent to Dr.

Howard for review. Dr. Howard was the individual who told them that

the book was all wrong and they must remove the "You musts" from


book and replace it with more suggestive language. Note that my review

of the Montclair City Directory from 1937-1940 revealed no Dr. Howard

and its quite likely that this was a pseudonym. (also his first name

is unknown and he seems to have vanished from all historical accounts

of the era after the review). Jim Burwell says in his history

something to the effect that he was the head psychiatrist of New

Jersey, though I could not find such a position to have existed then.

Any doctor at the time of the writing of the book (other than Dr.

Silkworth) would be reluctant to attaching his name to this idea or book.

There are references to some of the material being "too groupy"

and to

the Oxford Group explicitly demonstrating that there was a perception

that the book should avoid such appearence.(at least by Hank).

I,m not a handwriting expert but absent a great forgery I'm quite sure

of my analysis of the majority of the handwriting being that of Hank.

I've also only seen evidence regarding these 4 pages so it goes

without saying that I have no knowlege of what appears on any of the

other pages.
As always anyone should feel free to challenge any of this (preferably

having viewed the document or fascimiles in the above-referenced

auction catelog).
That such an extraorinary document should surface at this late date

demonstrates that their is still original material out there that

hasn't been noted by anyone.
All the Best,


++++Message 3083. . . . . . . . . . . . God-shaped hole

From: Glenn Chesnut . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2006 5:04:00 PM

Messages 952, 954, 956, and 962 asked about the origins of the idea of


God-shaped hole in the human soul." I have written a piece about this

which is

too long to post in the AAHistoryLovers, so I have posted it online


and will simply give a link to it here for those who might be interested.
In the language of AA spirituality, the only thing that will fill this


void is developing God-consciousness, the sense of God's presence, which

Bill W.

talked about in the opening pages of the Big Book (see pages 1, 10 and


He had experienced it as a young military officer while visiting Winchester

Cathedral, but had failed to realize its importance, and had turned away


Learning to develop God-consciousness was the central motif in much of the

evangelical theology of the early twentieth century. The meditative practice


the Oxford Group's morning Quiet Time was designed in part to help us


this awareness of the constant presence of God's power and grace and love.

This kind of meditation was further developed in Richmond Walker's Twenty


Hours a Day, where Rich (the second most published early AA author) spoke of

entering the Divine Silence and the Eternal Now, where we learned to simply


still and delight in the awareness of God's peace, and let it flow in and


our souls.

Emmet Fox, whose book Sermon on the Mount was a standard piece of


reading among early AA people, showed us how we could use our awareness of


presence and power as a way to heal our souls and our lives when we found

ourselves embroiled in troubles of any kind, either in our external lives or

within our souls.**
But in this piece I talk about the ancient roots of the spiritual wisdom

contained in idea that human beings are creatures who must have God in their

lives in order to realize their full human potential:


Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)


As we see for example in a famous passage from Emmet Fox which is quoted in


versions (like the Detroit version) of the set of four early AA beginners

lessons called the Table Mate or Table Leaders Guide:

**Emmet Fox, Staying on the Beam
"Today most commercial flying is done on a radio beam. A directional

beam is

produced to guide the pilot to his destination, and as long as he keeps on


beam he knows that he is safe, even if he cannot see around him for fog, or


his bearings in any other way.
As soon as he gets off the beam in any direction he is in danger, and he

immediately tries to get back on to the beam once more.

Those who believe in the All-ness of God, have a spiritual beam upon which


navigate on the voyage of life. As long as you have peace of mind and some


of the Presence of God you are on the beam, and you are safe, even if outer

things seem to be confused or even very dark; but as soon as you get off the

beam you are in danger.

You are off the beam the moment you are angry or resentful or jealous or

frightened or depressed; and when such a condition arises you should


get back on the beam by turning quietly to God in thought, claiming His

Presence, claiming that His Love and Intelligence are with you, and that the

promises in the Bible are true today.

If you do this you are back on the beam, even if outer conditions and your


feelings do not change immediately. You are back on the beam and you will


port in safety.
Keep on the beam and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3084. . . . . . . . . . . . Update about Fitz M.wives

From: Shakey1aa@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 12:48:00 PM

I received the following from Jared L.
"Hi! Shakey -- Thank you. A possible correction. Fitz and Libby were

divorced in

1936-37, according to their son. Libby died, I believe, in 1984. Fitz


Arabella in 1943, when he already knew he was dying of cancer. She died in

Westchester County NY in early 1972 (I think) at the age of 93 -- she was


years older than Fitz or Libby, and I believe she rented rooms in DC (to


among others) when her husband was trying to recover. I have seen her name


Arabella or as Ruth J.

-- J"
Thanks, Jared for the update,Sorry for any misinformation. My information

was a

copy of an interview with a relative of Jimmy B. What is known is that Fitz


2 wives .Can anyone else add to what is known about Fitz M?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3085. . . . . . . . . . . . Sam Shoemaker

From: jlobdell54 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 6:19:00 PM

When I met him, I was introduced to him as Sam Shoemaker (not Shoe-

macher). That was not long before he died. Moreover, in

conversations with Episcopal clergy I have always heard him referred

to as Sam Shoemaker (not -macher). -- Jared Lobdell

++++Message 3086. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 100 Hundred Men and Women?

From: Arkie Koehl . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 4:57:00 PM

Message 3073 from James Flynn (jdf10487 at

yahoo.com) said:

"I would like to know why the preface to the first edition to the BB

makes a

statement about 100 men and women, when there are only approximately 40


in the BB and by some accounts that I have read a maximum of 70 members in

AA at

the time the book was published."


From: Arkie Koehl (arkie at arkoehl.com)
In my business, advertising, this is known as "acceptable puffery"

and is

allowed by the Federal Trade Commission :-)
Arkie Koehl


From: "Mitchell K."

(mitchell_k_archivist at

There have been several stories circulating about that. One is that because


AA members and their spouses attended gatherings together there were at


100 people involved. Another story I was told by Ruth Hock was that Bill


liked to make the story sound better than it was. It sounded much better to

round it off from 40-70 members to 100 members. I would think that there


be more stories which will surface.

From: "mertonmm3" (mertonmm3 at


Women in the plural because, I believe in the NY/NJ/CT area (which

functioned as

one during most of the time) they began with one woman (Florence R. of


N.J.), and around the time of the release of the book Marty M., then a


of Blythewood Sanitarium, became number 2.
The reason for the inflationary numbers is twofold. 1) they included the


and 2) they were lying.
They were trying to sell the idea of 1) a book that hadn't been written, 2)

about a cure to a disease that no one thought

of as a disease, 3) for which there was no known solution since the dawn of


(contra - Jerry McAuley's Water Street Mission) to an audience which


the richest oil trust's philanthropic people in the world (the Rockefeller

Foundation) and even more difficult, the members themselves and, 4) to sell

stock subscriptions in a company that had not yet been formed, for the

incredibly high price of $25 a share (with inflation I'm guessing today's =


- $ 500/sh.)

This was called "puffing" or "salesmanship"!!!
All the best,


From: Tom Hickcox (cometkazie1 at cox.net)
I believe it is pretty generally accepted that he was exaggerating on

Either Nell Wing or Ruth Hock said that Bill never let the facts stand


him and a good story.

He was promoting A.A. and the Big Book.
Tommy H in Baton Rouge


From: Jim Blair (jblair at videotron.ca)
It is a nice round number.


From: Gotogo2002L@aol.com (Gotogo2002L at aol.com)
Hi all
Were they not referring to the first 100 drunks from the Oxford Group era?

Those drunks roaming around aimlessly until the title of the BB came to

++++Message 3087. . . . . . . . . . . . AA and Cuba

From: robin_foote . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 9:40:00 PM

Cuba and AA Take First Step
By Mike Fuller
Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) After 13 years of spreading sobriety in Cuba,

Alcoholics Anonymous can now count on more support from State sectors to

save lives of people suffering from this incurable, progressive and lethal

Amid thundering applause at the opening of Alcoholics Anonymous first

National Convention in Cuba, Guillermo Barrientos of the Cuban Ministry of

Public Health said the door is open for cooperation between the State and

More than a decade in Cuba, the international self-help group has

experienced prodigious growth on this island, and health authorities here

are ready to extend a hand in the fight against alcoholism.
Barrientos, chief of the Operative Group for Mental Health and Addictions,

said to Prensa Latina "Alcoholism transcends the level of health, and


enter other sectors like the Federation of Cuban Women, Committees for

Defense of the Revolution, Federation of Universities and NGO’s like

Alcoholics Anonymous."

"We started backwards," he explains, "with a public

declaration, but now we

must define our relationship," and cited a pending meeting with the


of Justice to elaborate legal aspects. "We have to work on issues like

technology, training and community integration," he said.

The hundreds of alcoholics here in recovery with AA’s 12 Step program


grateful their experience, hope and strength is being recognized.
Andy X, manager of the AA General Services Office said "It’s like

a dream

come true."
But as the banner said at the event, the fight against alcoholism is most

important for those to come.

++++Message 3088. . . . . . . . . . . . Announcing outside events during AA


From: Gotogo2002L@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 5:54:00 PM
Hi All
Can alcoholics announce there will be a sober dance following the AA

meeting, when we want to have a dance in the same hall?

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3089. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: An AA apology?

From: Jim Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 9:51:00 PM

From: Jim Blair (jblair at videotron.ca)
Charlie Bishop wrote:
"Also, is anyone aware of a Regional Forum that discussed

"lawsuits" in A.A.?"

I was at the Regional Forum in Burlington, VT. in '95 and

"lawsuits" were

discussed at length.


From: Gotogo2002L@aol.com (Gotogo2002L at aol.com)
Hi There.
Please let me know if you get the info...........what was the final result


the paper back edition? Can we in the US have it also?

Message 3071 from "Charlie Bishop Jr."

(bishopbk at


//A few years ago, a group called IWS published the Big Book in paperback


sale in the U.S. and Canada and elsewhere, so that for a while there were


different editions of the Big Book available in print in English, one


by IWS and the other published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. AAWS

objected and in a settlement between AAWS and IWS, AAWS agreed to apologize


every AA group in the world for its harassment of IWS, Inc. That AAWS


was published in Box 4-5-9 and in the 1995 Final Report of the General


Conference. Could someone email me a copy of either the Box 4-5-9 or 1995


Final Report apologies or both? Thanks. My email address is

(bishopbk at comcast.net)//


//Also, is anyone aware of a Regional Forum that discussed

"lawsuits" in A.A.?//

++++Message 3090. . . . . . . . . . . . Smitty and Smithy

From: Tom Hickcox . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/21/2006 9:25:00 PM

Didn't Bill call Dr. Bob "Smithy" and the son's nickname was


Smitty/Smithy/Tommy in Baton Rouge
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3091. . . . . . . . . . . . Circle and Triangle

From: J. Carey Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2006 6:55:00 PM


At an Aero show in Lantana, Florida, I observed a reconstruction

of a Civil Air Patrol (CAP on the fuselage) airplane used to spot

submarines off the Florida coast in the early 1940's. This plane had a

circle surrounding a (solid) triangle as the logo for this operation.

My informant wasn't sure of the exact dates these planes were

used, but agreed that it was early in the second world war.

In love of service,


(o o)

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3092. . . . . . . . . . . . 4 or 6 years sober on page 192 in

1st printing?

From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/22/2006 12:13:00 PM
Question on quote from Dr. Bob's Nightmare
My first edition, 16th printing, Big Book states on page on page 192:


was June 10, 1935, and that was my last drink. As I write nearly six years

have passed."

Of course, the Big Book was written in 1938 and 39, so only "nearly


years" would have passed when Dr. Bob wrote this article.
My second edition also states six years (p. 180), but my third and fourth

editions state four years (p. 180).

I thought that probably this mistake had been corrected when the third

edition was published in 1976, but my first edition, first printing, replica

from Anonymous Press states four years! So my question is this: Did the

original first printing of the first edition use the number four or six on

page 192?
Thank you for your research and answer.
Bob S., Richmond, IN
The "Anonymous press" first printing says 4 years

The first edition says 6 years

The second edition says 6 years!

The third edition says 4 years

The fourth edition says 4 years
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3093. . . . . . . . . . . . Re:Quote from Dr. Bob''s Nightmare

From: Mel Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/23/2006 2:20:00 PM

Hi Bob,
I have an original copy of the First Edition. It says, "As I write,


four years have passed." It's obvious that somewhere along the line,

when six

years had passed, somebody took the liberty of changing it. However, they


back to four years in the 3rd and 4th editions.
Mel Barger
++++Message 3094. . . . . . . . . . . . Steering Committees at the Group


From: Mike Breedlove . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/23/2006 7:09:00 PM
Greetings fellow AA History Lovers:
Could you please help me understand the origins of steering committees at

the group level? I checked the AAHistoryLovers archive of messages and got

several "hits" for steering committee, but the references are

actually to

Intergroup or District Level Steering Committees, not to group steering

committees. Of course I could easily have missed something.

Does anyone have an idea of when the first group level steering committee

might have started, in which section of the country, and why? If anyone

knows anything about the history of how a steering committee started in

their town or city I would be interested in hearing about it, and would be

willing to compile that information for the list.
Please reply to me with any information you might have, and with any

documentation you might possess, to my email address, mikeb415@knology.net

(mikeb415 at knology.net),

not to the list as a whole.

This next question is a very broad one, and perhaps to some extent

unanswerable. Does anyone know if there is a steering committee being formed

very early and then changing its modus operandi when the traditons appeared.

Again, reply to me at my email address, mikeb415@knology.net (mikeb415 at

knology.net), not to the list.
Thanks very much for any assistance you might give.
Peace, Mike B., Prattville, Alabama
++++Message 3095. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The Dr. Howard/Hank P.


From: ricktompkins . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/24/2006 9:30:00 PM
The "Printer's draft" manuscript of the Big Book was sold in June

2004 for 1.56

million dollars, through a telephone bid from California to the auction site


NYC. Bill P. of Hazelden Press verified its authenticity at the time, after


report of viewing the entire manuscript on what we know as our 'first 164

pages.' From what I have learned, this one manuscript was brought to


Press in the Nyack, New York area of the Hudson River valley in February

1939---the linotype operators made the galleys of Alcoholics Anonymous from



$1.56 million is a great deal of private money, but I wonder if the artifact

will ever be shown to the general AA public. Such a shame! even the AA


at GSO stayed away from the auction fracas, with AAWS having no opinion on


outside issue: the fiscal speculation of AA archival items.

The manuscript was the property of Barry L., confidant of Lois and the

writer of

AAWS' Living Sober in 1973. Lois gave it to him the mid-1970s and Barry's

grand-nephew put it up on the auction block last year

Honestly, I was saddened that the nephew never considered contributing it to


AA Archives at GSO, even with its potential tax write-off.

In serenity,

Rick, Illinois
++++Message 3096. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: AA Corporations?

From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/25/2006 1:46:00 PM

Hi Charlie
Your assertion about AA's corporate entities that "In effect, they are

temporary, albeit long-lived, committees which could all be thrown

away and Alcoholics Anonymous would still exist" seems a bit cavalier.

What I read in AA history and literature indicates very much the

Given the Fellowship-wide "essential" service duties defined for


corporations (GSB, AAWS, GV) in AA's Traditions and Concepts, it would

require approval of 75% of all known AA groups worldwide (in writing)

to alter the Traditions and Concepts to allow them to be "thrown


(see the last item in this posting).
The practice of forming an incorporated (or equivalent) General

Service Board, General Service Office, and corporate publishing

entities with a corresponding General Service Conference oversight,

has extended well beyond that of the US/Canada to numerous countries

overseas (I believe there are more than 50). If these were all "thrown

away" I doubt AA, as we know it, would long survive and would likely

dissolve into a number of factions. There are so many members with

intense, and intransigent, convictions on what AA "ought to be."


the general nature of the prevailing public rhetoric these days is so

critically harsh and vitriolic toward opposing viewpoints, I really

couldn't imagine what "would still exist" that would be labeled

"Alcoholics Anonymous."
The AA Service Manual (which can be downloaded from the aa.org web

site) contains history and explanations of how the various AA

corporations came to be and how they function. There is also a concise

explanation in the pamphlet "The AA Group"(which can be downloaded

from aa.org web site as well).
First off, it would be useful to begin with the premise that the word

"corporation" is neither a bad word or a pejorative. Corporations


the primary means for "separating the material from the

Incorporation has been an integral part of AA since 1938 to establish

legal (i.e. lawful or official) entities that hold in trust all of

AA's assets in behalf of the entire Fellowship. Those assets include

literature inventories and copyrights, trademarks and logos and funds

from donations and literature sales.
Among the trademarks and logos held in trust are "AA"


Anonymous" "The Big Book" "Box 4-5-9" "The

Grapevine" "GV" "Box 1980"

and "La Vina" (you were seeking info on this in a different

posting -

re the Service Manual, Chapter 10).
In Apr 1947, Bill W sent a paper to the Alcoholic Foundation titled

"Our AA General Service Center - The Alcoholic Foundation of

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." It outlined a history of the

Foundation and recommended implementation of a General Service

Conference. Bill W wrote
"In Part One of this Foundation story we saw how an informal group of

early AA's and their non-alcoholic friends banded together in 1938 to

spread the AA message as best they could; how this group formed The

Alcoholic Foundation, and how some of them became its first Trustees.

We saw how the Foundation helped Dr Bob and me through difficult

years; how the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and the AA Office came


being and how, later, the Foundation acquired ownership of the AA

book. We observed that the Foundation was chosen by the Groups in

1941, as custodian of their voluntary contributions for the support of

the AA General Service Office at New York. We also have learned that,

more recently, the Foundation assumed a responsibility for

effectiveness and integrity of THE AA GRAPEVINE and that some time ago

the AA Groups designated the Foundation Trustees as the overseers of

our general public relations. Then early last year, on publication of

"The Alcoholics Anonymous Tradition - Twelve Points to Assure Our

Future," the Trustees of The Alcoholic Foundation were named the

Custodians of these traditions as well.

Such has been the gradual process of evolution and common consent by

which the Foundation Trustees have come to be regarded, first

nationally, and now internationally, as THE GENERAL SERVICE BOARD OF

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Custodians of AA Tradition, General Policy and

Headquarters Funds."
In the April 1946 Grapevine article, mentioned by Bill W, titled

"Twelve Suggested Points for AA Tradition" (which later became the

long form of the Traditions) Bill acknowledged the importance of the

corporate entities of the Alcoholic Foundation and Grapevine and what

was then called "AA General Headquarters and today called

"GSO" [I've

truncated the wording for emphasis]:
4 ... no group, regional committee or individual should ever take any

action that might greatly affect AA as a whole without conferring with

the Trustees of The Alcoholic Foundation. On such issues our common

welfare is paramount.

6 Problems of money, property and authority may easily divert us from

our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable

property of genuine use to AA should be separately incorporated and

managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual ...

9 ... The trustees of The Alcoholic Foundation are, in effect, our

General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our AA tradition

and the receivers of voluntary AA contributions by which they maintain

AA General Headquarters and our General Secretary at New York. They

are authorized by the groups to handle our overall public relations

and they guarantee the integrity of our principal publication, The AA

Grapevine ...
In April 1962 the Conference approved the "Twelve Concepts for World

Service." Bill further acknowledges the importance of the corporate

entities in several of the long form Concepts:
III. As a traditional means of creating and maintaining a clearly

defined working relation between the groups, the Conference, the AA

General Service Board and its several service corporations, staffs,

committees and executives, and of thus insuring their effective

leadership, it is here suggested that we endow each of these elements

of world service with a traditional "Right of Decision."

VI. On behalf of AA as a whole, our General Service Conference has the

principal responsibility for the maintenance of our world services,

and it traditionally has the final decision respecting large matters

of general policy and finance. But the Conference also recognizes that

the chief initiative and the active responsibility in most of these

matters should be exercised primarily by the Trustee members of the

Conference when they act among themselves as the General Service Board

of Alcoholics Anonymous.

VII. The Conference recognizes that the Charter and the Bylaws of the

General Service Board are legal instruments: that the Trustees are

thereby fully empowered to manage and conduct all of the world service

affairs of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is further understood that the

Conference Charter itself is not a legal document: that it relies

instead upon the force of tradition and the power of the AA purse for

its final effectiveness.
VIII. The Trustees of the General Service Board act in two primary

capacities: (a) With respect to the larger matters of over-all policy

and finance, they are the principal planners and administrators. They

and their primary committees directly manage these affairs. (b) But

with respect to our separately incorporated and constantly active

services, the relation of the Trustees is mainly that of full stock

ownership and of custodial oversight which they exercise through their

ability to elect all directors of these entities.

IX. Good service leaders, together with sound and appropriate methods

of choosing them, are at all levels indispensable for our future

functioning and safety. The primary world service leadership once

exercised by the founders of AA must necessarily be assumed by the

Trustees of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous.
X. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service

authority -- the scope of such authority to be always well defined

whether by tradition, by resolution, by specific job description or by

appropriate charters and bylaws.

XI. While the Trustees hold final responsibility for AA's world

service administration, they should always have the assistance of the

best possible standing committees, corporate service directors,

executives, staffs, and consultants. Therefore the composition of

these underlying committees and service boards, the personal

qualifications of their members, the manner of their induction into

service, the systems of their rotation, the way in which they are

related to each other, the special rights and duties of our

executives, staffs, and consultants, together with a proper basis for

the financial compensation of these special workers, will always be

matters for serious care and concern.
In Apr 1969 at the 19th General service Conference, Bob H, the newly

chosen general manager of GSO summarized AA's service structure and

the relationship of its parts "To sum up: the Board formulates policy;

the Conference approves policy; and GSO implements policy."

The 1976 Conference (and prior Conferences) expanded a 1955 provision

of the Conference Charter to specify that any change to the Steps,

Traditions or Concepts and 6 Warranties of Article 12 of the General

Service Conference Charter, would require written approval of 75% of

the AA Groups worldwide. The Conference Advisory Action makes any

change whatsoever to the Steps, Traditions, Concepts and Warranties a

virtual impossibility (even so much as adding or removing a comma).
They are our "Three Legacies" of Recovery, Unity and Service,


we are supposed to pass on - not "throw away."

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

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

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


Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 4:30 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] AA Corporations?

Hi all: help needed on below:
//The following are all CORPORATIONS: Alcoholics Anonymous World

Services, Inc.; the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous,

Inc.; and the Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine, Inc. They are service

organizations and corporations whose purpose and existence is to serve

the Fellowship. In effect, they are temporary, albeit long-lived,

committees which could all be thrown away and Alcoholics Anonymous

would still exist. Historically speaking, what group or body of AA

members had the authority to form these three corporations? How would

they have to be called together if they ever wished to vote on

dismantling or discarding these corporations? Is provision made for

dismantling and discarding any of these corporations in the Twelve

Concepts, and who is given the power to take this action in the Twelve

Thanks, servus, Charlie B.
"Charlie Bishop Jr." = (bishopbk at


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Yahoo! Groups Links
++++Message 3097. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Announcing outside events during

AA meetings

From: Joe Nugent . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/26/2006 8:38:00 AM

If the dance is being put on by AA not a problem.

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

[mailto:AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gotogo2002L@aol.com

Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2006 10:54 PM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Announcing outside events during AA meetings
Hi All
Can alcoholics announce there will be a sober dance following the AA

meeting, when we want to have a dance in the same hall?

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
* Visit your group "AAHistoryLovers

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