"Historians may one day recognize A.A. to have been..."

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.
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"Historians may one day recognize A.A. to have been..."

Post by leejosepho »


In 1951 the Lasker Award was given Alcoholics Anonymous. The citation reads in part as follows:

“The American Public Health Association presents a Lasker Group Award for 1951 to Alcoholics Anonymous in recognition of its unique and highly successful approach to that age-old public health and social problem, alcoholism . . .

“In emphasizing alcoholism as an illness, the social stigma associated with this condition is being blotted out . . .

“Historians may one day recognize Alcoholics Anonymous to have been a great venture in social pioneering which forged a new instrument for social action; a new therapy based on the kinship of common suffering; one having a vast potential for the myriad other ills of mankind.”

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbo ... diceiv.pdf
"Historians may one day recognize Alcoholics Anonymous to have been..."

At least one A.A. Historian has at one time or another conveyed the words "to have been" as indicative of The Lasker Award having been posthumous, but that could only be possible if we had ever been an organization or "national institution" (Foreword to Second Edition) in any conventional sense in the first place.

Believing there is nothing controversial in any of this, here are some excerpts and thoughts for possible discussion:
"...approach to that age-old public health and social problem, alcoholism..."
While outsiders are free to perceive our groups and/or what we all actually do in any ways they might wish, of course, anything like that could still only be circumstantially secondary to our focus upon simply trying to help others like ourselves.
"...emphasizing alcoholism as an illness...social stigma...being blotted out..."
Same thing there. We "emphasize and re-emphasize...[wish to] smash home upon our alcoholic readers [that] the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge" (page 39) in relation to our seeming allergy, but we have yet to ever make any statement or declaration that alcoholism is an actual disease...and yes, neither do we say it is not. In place of either opinion on that outside issue, we only say this:

"The doctor's theory that we have an allergy to alcohol interests us. As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course, mean little. But as ex-problem drinkers, we can say that his explanation makes good sense. It explains many things for which we cannot otherwise account." (our comment within our sharing of "The Doctor's Opinion")
"...great venture in social pioneering...new instrument for social action..."
If we stick to our Traditions, we will never even try...and then no "to have been" will have ever even been possible!
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)

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