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

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> explained by your sponsor. You will read the

> Upper Room, or whatever you think best for

> yourself."


> Mitchell K., How It Worked: The Story of Clarence

> H. Snyder and the Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous

> in Cleveland, Ohio, chapters 3.8 and 5.5.


> Clarence Snyder told Mitchell that "new people

> were told they had to read the Bible .... They

> were instructed to do this on a daily basis.

> Clarence said that newcomers were also told to

> read The Upper Room daily and to read The Sermon

> on the Mount by Emmett Fox."


> "Clarence believed that in order for a prospective

> member to get well, his entire family had to get

> well also .... Family members were invited to

> attend meetings, were given a copy of the book

> Alcoholics Anonymous, and were told to read the

> Upper Room."


> From A.A. historian Dick B., whose books on A.A.

> history include "The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics

> Anonymous," "The Oxford Group and Alcoholics

> Anonymous: A Design for Living That Works," and

> "New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker,

> and A.A." In an article at

> http://www.dickb.com/goodmorn.shtml, Dick says:


> In the A.A. "spiritual recovery program which

> produced such a high success rate in the 1930's

> and early 1940's .... the growth part of the

> program had a great deal to do with Quiet Time

> -- a Quiet Time that included Bible study, prayer,

> receiving revelation from God, and the use of

> devotional books and periodicals such as The

> Upper Room as ancillary study materials and as

> a spur to spending substantial time with God

> each morning."


> From Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana), The St.

> Louis Gambler and the Railroad Man: Lives and

> Teachers of the A.A. Old timers, page 246:


> John D. ("J. D.") Holmes, the tenth person to

> get sober in A.A., left Akron in 1938 and moved

> to Evansville, Indiana, where he eventually was

> able to start the first A.A. meeting in Indiana.

> "Although Rhoda was not an alcoholic, she and

> J. D. held something like an A.A. meeting every

> Wednesday night in their home in order to help

> him keep sober .... Like so many A.A.'s from the

> very early period, J. D. and Rhoda used an

> extremely popular devotional manual called The

> Upper Room for their private daily meditation

> and also to provide a discussion topic for this

> little Wednesday meeting."




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++++Message 3938. . . . . . . . . . . . Correction - MIDNIGHT at Towns

Hospital on December 10th

From: mweemwow . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/9/2006 6:22:00 PM
The correct date and time for the ceremony at

Towns Hospital is Sunday, December 10, at

11:59 p.m. (just before MIDNIGHT).
(mweemwow at yahoo.com)
- - -
Message No. 3920 from Robt Woodson

(wdywdsn at sbcglobal.net)

The Charles B. Towns Hospital

293 Central Park West

New York, NY

11:59 a.m., or, one minute before Noon on

December 10th.



A Candle will be lit in the window of the former

Town's Hospital, outside two lights will be lit

symbolizing Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob...from these

two lights, those of us who have gathered will

light our own, and hopefully return to our lives,

to our homes, and to our groups, with some part

of this light remaining in each of us that we

might each share a bit of what we have received.

A vision of a fellowship yet to come (BB p. 14)...
"While I lay in the hospital the thought came

that there were thousands of hopeless alcoholics

who might be glad to have what had been so freely

given me. Perhaps I could help some of them.

They in turn might work with others."
++++Message 3939. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Use of "The Upper Room" in early


From: Doug B. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/9/2006 3:25:00 PM

I have all of the Upper Rooms that were printed

from 1935 to 1953 with the exception of the

Oct/Nov/Dec 1942 issue..... In case anyone needs

to check something....

Doug Barrie


- - -
From the moderator:
http://hindsfoot.org/uprm1.html gives some

excerpts from some of the issues of The Upper

Room from 1938 and 1939, along with some

references in various AA written sources to the

use of The Upper Room in early AA.
Glenn Chesnut
++++Message 3940. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Use of "The Upper Room" in early


From: Hugh Mulliken . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/9/2006 9:14:00 AM

I have a complete set of the

Upper Room from 1935 to 1945.

++++Message 3941. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Bleeding deacons or bleating


From: Jim Lynch . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/9/2006 10:53:00 PM
The Grapevine of September, 1962 had a column

called the "Bleating Deacon's Corner". It

featured comments from various members which

might be classifed as complaints or criticisms

of the way other members behave. The January,

1963 column had a comment from the editor

explaining the title as "This is a column where

bleeding deacons can bleat".

Info gleaned from the Grapevine digital archives.
Jim L

On 12/9/06, Azor521@aol.com wrote:


> AA Grapevine 1962 and 1963


> "Bleating Deacons' Corner"

> "Bleeder's Bleat"


> AAGrapevine.org .... AA Grapevine Digital Archive


> Azor

++++Message 3942. . . . . . . . . . . . Ed Webster, author of The Little Red


From: Ken Ring . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/10/2006 8:55:00 AM
Just a minor irritant, but one that seems to

go on and on.

Ed Webster's sobriety date is December 13, 1941.

As listed in his story in his book Our Devilish

Alcoholic Personalities (Hamar Publishers, Edina,

Minnesota 1970).

Documented in the Archives Collection of the

Alano Society of Minneapolis, Inc.

It was not October 10, 1942, as given in

Message 3936.

- - -
As an aside, Ed Webster went to meetings there

in his very early sobriety, taught Beginner's

Classes (in December, 1942) and only left to

join his Group (the Nicollet Group) when it

sought another meeting place along with (but

later than) Barry Collins in 1944. His delay

in leaving was to offer support to his friend

John Harrington until he finished his term as

President of the Alano Society (formerly known

and referred to as the Minneapolis Group).

As a further aside, Barry Collins (the 1st

known sober member of A.A. in Minnesota) was

a signatory to the Articles of Incorporation

of the Alano Society on March 28, 1942.

Ken Ring (former, I think) Archivist/Historian

Alano Society of Minneapolis, Inc.

- - -
My apology for the mistake. The web pages had

been corrected quite a while ago, but not loaded

on the web server (which of course didn't do

anybody any good!), and I went by mistake to the

uncorrected version. The correct dates for Ed

Webster are, I believe:

born March 21, 1892

sober December 13, 1941

died June 3, 1971
But please do check through the web pages on

Ed Webster and early Minnesota A.A., all of

which I just reloaded right now, and make sure

that I have gotten all the corrections inserted,

and did not miss any places where I had the

old, incorrect version:







Glenn C.
++++Message 3943. . . . . . . . . . . . My Utmost for His Highest

From: chief_roger . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/13/2006 12:25:00 AM

History Lovers,
I have found a hardback copy of Oswald Chambers,

"My Utmost for His Highest." It is from a 1964

reprint of the original copyrighted in 1935.

I recalled reading that this book was read by

early AA members.
A Google search brought up articles where Dick B.

claimed that early Akron AA members read this

book, among other devotionals and Christian


I also discovered a quote claiming Lois Wilson

said she and Bill read this book regularly.

I would be interested to know if there are more

corroborations and details available about the

use of this book by AA members and any potential

direct impact it played on our fellowship's

Thank you as always for your wonderfully detailed


Roger W.
- - -
From the moderator:
Can members of the group come up with other early

sources and written citations? If some of the

early AA people read this book, how widely was it

Dick B., "Dr. Bob's Library," says on page 32

that "Sue Windows informed the author that her

mother and father frequently used [My Utmost for

His Highest] as a daily Bible devotional. Lois

Wilson informed the author of 'AA The Way It

Began' that she and Bill frequently read this


Lois' statement is then footnoted to Bill

Pittman, "A.A.: The Way It Began."

That book was later retitled "The Roots of

Alcoholics Anonymous." Pittman's statement is

on page 183 of my edition: "According to Lois

Wilson, she and Bill frequently read 'My Utmost

for His Highest' by Oswald Chambers. This book

contains daily inspirational readings which cover

all phases of Christian life and service."
- - -
Oswald Chambers was born in 1874. He was a

Scottish minister and teacher. In 1910, he

married an American woman named Gertrude "Biddy"

Hobbs, who was extremely good at taking shorthand,

and transcribed a large number of her husband's

lectures, sermons, and meditations.

In 1911 he founded and became principal of the

Bible Training College in Clapham in London.

During the First World War, he became a YMCA

chaplain, and he and his wife (and their

two-year-old daughter Kathleen) went to Egypt

in 1915, where he ministered to soldiers from

Australia and New Zealand. He died there on

November 15, 1917, from a ruptured appendix.

Biddy put together a book containing 366 daily

readings, which was published in London in 1927,

entitled "My Utmost for His Highest" (the

American edition came out later, in 1935).

Her foreword explains how she compiled the


"These daily readings have been selected from

various sources, chiefly from the lectures given

at the Bible Training College, Clapham, during

the years 1911-1915; then, from October 1915 to

November 1917, from talks given night by night in

the Y.M.C.A. Huts, Zeitoun, Egypt. In November

1917 my husband entered into God's presence.

Since then many of the talks have been published

in book form, and others from which these readings

have been gathered will also be published in due

course .... A large proportion of the readings

have been chosen from the talks given during the

Devotional Hour at the College -- an hour which

for many of the students marked an epoch in their

life with God."
Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
++++Message 3944. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The Brattleboro Retreat

From: Jan . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/12/2006 8:16:00 PM

I'd like to add that, for the past 40 years at least,

the Brattleboro Retreat, a private mental hospital

that has always been prominent in the treatment of

alcoholics in Vermont, is known throughout Southern

Vermont as "The Retreat", and in other parts of

Vermont as "the Brattleboro Retreat".

It is set on the edge of the village of Brattleboro

next to a rural area known for a long time as the

"Retreat Meadows". Although it is possible that it

was known by a different name during the 19th century,

I have never once heard it referred to as an asylum,

or any other term of that ilk.

The Retreat today continues its historic mission of

treating alcoholics, other types of drug addicts, and

various types of mental illness. AA meetings are

held there every week, and have been for decades.

Jan S.




Do you Yahoo!?

Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.

++++Message 3945. . . . . . . . . . . . What it was like

From: Mike B. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/7/2006 9:37:00 AM

Message 3923 talks about:
a "speaker meeting" when the speaker tells his/her

story encompassing what it was like (qualifying

one's alcoholic behavior), how it was, and then

what it is like now (sober life).

Why do so many people say "what it was like" when

the Big Book tells us to say "what WE were like,

what happened and what WE are like now?"
Mike Barns
- - -
Well, as a point of fact, the actual text of the

Big Book doesn't say what you said either. It says

"what we USED to be like."
++++Message 3946. . . . . . . . . . . . The Little Red Book 25th printing

From: John Wikelius . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/9/2006 6:52:00 PM

Was the 25th printing the larger format?
"John Wikelius"

(nov85_gr at graceba.net)

++++Message 3947. . . . . . . . . . . . Meetings and recovery

From: David Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/10/2006 12:34:00 PM

I would like to second the sentiment it would be

great if we had access to the original author's

last revision of The Little Red Book.
In addition, I'd like to comment on the line of

historical thought which claims meetings aren't

vital to recovery.
In order to do this, I'll just list some quotes

from "A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous," From

AA Group No. 1, Akron, Ohio, 1940, from Dr. Bob's

home group referenced from:

Of course, this has been referenced many times

before in this group (see the Search function),

so I'm not breaking any new ground here. I just

thought I'd cull the statements which mention

meetings. Inference is risky, I know, but I

"infer" that Dr. Bob's influence on his own

group was strong enough to ensure this manual

did not go out to the newcomer containing views

which he himself did not subscribe to.
>>>When your patient is out of the hospital your

work has not ended. It is now your duty not only

to him but to yourself to see that he starts out

on the right foot. Accompany him to his first

>>>There may be a meeting of an A.A. group. Attend

it without question. You have no valid excuse

except sickness or being out of town, for not


>>>Your sponsor will take you to your first

meeting. You will find it new, but inspirational.

You will find an atmosphere of peace and

contentment that you didn't know existed ....

After you have attended several meetings it will

be your duty to get up on your feet and say

>>>AT MEETINGS don't criticize the leader.<<<
>>>IT HAS BEEN found advisable to hold meetings

at least once a week at a specified time and place.

Meetings provide a means for an exchange of ideas,

the renewing of friendships, opportunity to

review the work being carried on, a sense of

security, and an additional reminder that we

are alcoholics and must be continuously on the

alert against the temptation to slip backward into

the old drunken way of living.
In larger communities where there are several

groups it is recommended that the new member

attend as many meetings as possible. He will

find that the more he is exposed to A.A. the

sooner he will absorb its principles, the

easier it will become to remain sober, and

the sooner problems will shrink and tend to


>>>So attend your first meeting with an open

mind. Even if you aren't impressed try it again.

Before long you will genuinely enjoy attending

and a little later you will feel that the week

has been incomplete if you have not attended at

least one A.A. meeting.<<<

>>>Remember that attendance at meetings is one

of the most important requisites of remaining

sober.<<< [note: this was bold print in the

original document]

++++Message 3948. . . . . . . . . . . . Bill W.''s 1960 response to a

Chicago Group

From: doci333 . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/11/2006 4:20:00 PM
Bill W.'s 1960 response to a Chicago Group for

taking his inventory

Good Day AA History Lovers,
In listening to track 8, Disk 7, of "Big Book

Workshop" facilitated by Scott L. and Bob D.;

read was a response letter which was written

by Bill W. to the Chicago group who had sent

Bill W. a seething letter taking his inventory.
Any of you Buffs know where it may be found in

a literature piece for further documentation?

The letter reads (as transcribed from the CD):
(A letter from a group in Chicago was mailed to

Bill W. in 1960, taking his inventory and this

was Bill W's response. Bill was 26 years sober

at the time.)

"That you seemed disillusioned with me personally

may be a new and painful experience for you but

many members have had that experience with me.

Most of their pain has been caused not only by

my several shortcomings but by their own insistence

on placing me, a drunk, trying to get along with

other folks, upon a completely illusionary

pedestal; a station which no fallible person

could possible occupy."
"I'm sure that you will understand that I have

never held myself out to anybody as either a

saint or a superman. I have repeatedly and

truthfully said that A.A. is full of people who

have made more spiritual progress than I ever,

or can make. That in some areas of living I

have made some decided gains but in others I

seem to have stood still. And in others, still

other ways I may have gone backwards. I am

sorry that you are disillusioned with me but I

am happy that even I have found a life here."
Bill Wilson

Any info would be an AA vitamin for me.

Thx. and AA Hugs -0- -0- -0-

Dave G.

++++Message 3949. . . . . . . . . . . . Bleeding deacons in the 12 and 12

From: Jim S. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/11/2006 8:46:00 AM

On page 135 in the 12 and 12, as cited in "As Bill

Sees It," page 138, the term is "Bleeding Deacons."

This would seem to predate a 1962 "Grapevine"

Jim S.

- - -
From the moderator. The reference is to the

chapter on the Second Tradition, where the

section reads as follows:
This brings us straight to the question "Does

A.A. have a real leadership?" Most emphatically

the answer is "Yes, notwithstanding the apparent

lack of it." Let's turn again to the deposed

founder and his friends. What becomes of them?

As their grief and anxiety wear away, a subtle

change begins. Ultimately, they divide into two

classes known in A.A. slang as "elder statesmen"

and "bleeding deacons." The elder statesman is

the one who sees the wisdom of the group's

decision, who holds no resentment over his

reduced status, whose judgment, fortified by

considerable experience, is sound, and who is

willing to sit quietly on the sidelines patiently

awaiting developments. The bleeding deacon is

one who is just as surely convinced that the

group cannot get along without him, who constantly

connives for reelection to office, and who

continues to be consumed with self-pity. A few

hemorrhage so badly that - drained of all A.A.

spirit and principal - they get drunk. At times

the A.A. landscape seems to be littered with

bleeding forms. Nearly every oldtimer in our

Society has gone through this process in some

degree. Happily, most of them survive and live

to become elder statesmen. They become the real

and permanent leadership of A.A. Theirs is the

quiet opinion, the sure knowledge and humble

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