Changes to The BB

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

Changes to The BB

Postby btnben » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:11 pm

My copy of the BB is the 3rd Edition, Seventh Printing (UK) 1985. A friend was looking at it and mentioned that the stories are different to the 4th Edition. On inspection, I was surprised to see Clarence Snyder's story "The Home Brewmeister", has been removed. Can anyone shed any light as to why that is? Who decides which stories are to be included/excluded?
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Jude76 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:41 pm

Each edition of the big book has retained some stories, removed some and added some. This is a function of GSO/AA World Services and each change is approved by conference to which AA all over the worlds has delegates. There is a conference approved publication that has all the stories that have been removed. It is called Experience, Strength and Hope...56 retired stories from the first 3 editions.

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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:11 pm

Clarence Snyder in his own speech talks about not liking the anonymity traditions. He says in is speech that he has been as anonymous as the barber pole. That didn't go quite with with some of the pioneers of AA. That may be one of the main reasons for his story being dropped.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Jude76 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:26 pm

Clarence started the first A.A. group in Cleveland in 1939, in part because
some Roman Catholic priests in Cleveland were refusing to let Catholics
attend the Oxford Group meeting in Akron.

This was the first group to use the name Alcoholics Anonymous. Nell Wing,
Bill Wilson's long-time secretary, said that Bill had been using the name
since 1938 in letters and a pamphlet, but on this slender basis, Clarence
forever claimed to have founded A.A.

There was no love lost between Bill and Clarence, but in later years they did acknowledge each others contributions to the movement. Clarence started the 3rd meeting/group of AA in Cleveland in 1938.

No matter what Clarence contributed greatly to the success of early AA and is one of the Pioneers.

Lest us not forget..."Principals before Personalities"

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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby PaigeB » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Clarence started the first A.A. group in Cleveland in 1939.... Clarence started the 3rd meeting/group of AA in Cleveland in 1938.


Forgive my lack of AA history, but did Clarence start the first or the third Cleveland meeting? My sponsor would send me to the book Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, but I am too tired to look it up tonight!

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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Jude76 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:37 pm

Sorry my bad and a typo 1939 is the year that Clarence started the meeting in Cleveland.

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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby PaigeB » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:45 pm

Thanks! (I promise to read AA Comes of Age...soon)
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Jude76 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:17 pm

Paige

Its a sleeper, educational and informative but not a rousing read. But it is a must for all AA's. However, there are informative bios of Pioneers of AA that are not conference approved...one can be found on [link removed in accordance with the forums' links policy, see "Start Here" forum] of Clarence Snyder. Bill W. marveled at the success of the Cleveland AA when NY was having very little success. I also suggest reading Bill W. by Francis Hartigan and very well researched bio of Bill.

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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby leejosepho » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:04 am

btnben wrote:My copy of the BB is the 3rd Edition, Seventh Printing (UK) 1985. A friend was looking at it and mentioned that the stories are different to the 4th Edition. On inspection, I was surprised to see Clarence Snyder's story "The Home Brewmeister", has been removed. Can anyone shed any light as to why that is? Who decides which stories are to be included/excluded?

The "Why?" of the changes is at least partly summarized here:

"All changes made over the years in the Big Book (A.A. members' fond nickname for this volume) have had the same purpose: to represent the current membership of Alcoholics Anonymous more accurately, and thereby to reach more alcoholics." (Foreword To Second Edition)

... and I say "partly" because some of that is objective and some of that is subjective ...

... and I also know nobody since Bill has been able to add comments or make changes without in some way being in conflict with something. For example:

The dust cover on my third edition in English says "The Basic Text For Alcoholics Anonymous", but the Spanish edition from the same era says "... de ('of') Alcoholics Anonymous".

One can only speculate as to why "The Home Brewmeister" was removed, but getting him out of the way in order to "represent the current membership" a little more accurately would be my guess.

Jude76 wrote:Bill W. marveled at the success of the Cleveland AA when NY was having very little success.

Akron, Cleveland and New York each had their unique "flavors" in the early days, and Bill could have never written our book as it reads today if there had been none in Cleveland. However, I suspect some of the "distance" now being placed between Clarence and the book might have to do with some of the later "religious activities" (my term) of Clarence, his wife and others there.
=======================
"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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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Jude76 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:55 am

[quote="leejosepho"][quote="

One can only speculate as to why "The Home Brewmeister" was removed, but getting him out of the way in order to "represent the current membership" a little more accurately would be my guess.

I hope not, if so I believe Bill and Bob are rolling over in their graves. Well I thing Bill and Bob are rolling over in their graves anyway. But that's just me. Getting a handle on representing AA membership views is like trying to herd feral cats. It is virtually impossible. I know this from my travels all over the world. How often I have been in a meeting where the how to do it views represented were different to my own. At the meeting after the meeting I find that there was hundreds of years of sobriety around the tables. So who am I to challenge their particular flavor or emphasis.

Clarance it is reported would tell his pigeons to not mix AA and religion at meetings. That part of the program was for sponsor pigeon...oh ya I was a pigeon.

It is my belief that everything in the BB is there for a reason. Over the years I have seen passages in the BB completely ignored by many because it does not fit their views. On the other hand I have done that myself.

I try to make it a point to read one story from one edition every week....because of this thread I am gonna grab my 2nd edition and read The Home Brewmeister.
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby PaigeB » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:50 am

Jude - links are removed as a policy. Nothing personal.
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby leejosepho » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:30 am

Jude76 wrote:
leejosepho wrote:One can only speculate as to why "The Home Brewmeister" was removed, but getting him out of the way in order to "represent the current membership" a little more accurately would be my guess.

I hope not, if so I believe Bill and Bob are rolling over in their graves.

I understand the sentiment there, but I doubt either of them would be very surprised or disturbed. They began by wondering, "What hath God wrought?!", and today they would still be doing just as they had always done even while watching things continue to unfold or be played out.

Jude76 wrote:How often I have been in a meeting where the how to do it views represented were different to my own. At the meeting after the meeting I find that there was hundreds of years of sobriety around the tables. So who am I to challenge their particular flavor or emphasis.

One of the most-impressive stories I have ever heard came from a friend in Key West many years ago. He had been some kind of advertising executive in New York, and none of his involvement with A.A./AA anywhere had ever made any difference in his life. During one of his visits to his mother in Key West, however, he somehow ended up in a home in Deerfield Beach where some people regularly helped alcoholics. Upon leaving there a few weeks later, he knew his alcoholic problem had been taken away ... and on his way out, he asked those people how they had done that. They told him his relief had come from his doing the stuff contained within "Alcoholics Anonymous", the book, but that they had been careful to be sure to not let him know that at the time. Acknowledging that it never would have worked if he had known what they had been doing, he thanked them profusely and went on his way.

Jude76 wrote:I try to make it a point to read one story from one edition every week....because of this thread I am gonna grab my 2nd edition and read The Home Brewmeister.

I used to read through to page 164 and then read a story, and then go back and read through to page 164 again and then read the next story ... and so on!
=======================
"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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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby 12StepBookworm » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:43 pm

I recently found an ebook online that claims to be an updated version of the Big Book. I ordered it through Kindle and it's the same as the 1939 original but much more reader-friendly. It's called the EZ Big Book. Has anyone else read it?
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Tosh » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:22 pm

Jude76 wrote:Clarance it is reported would tell his pigeons to not mix AA and religion at meetings. That part of the program was for sponsor pigeon...oh ya I was a pigeon.


It's a great term, 'pigeon'. A lot of the early guys, like Bill W, would've served in France during WW1. Pigeon's would be used to carry messages; sometimes the troops going over the top would take pigeons and when they reached and breached the first lot of enemy trenches, if they were still alive, they would release the pigeons to let their Headquarters know that their objective had been successful.

As the pigeons flew, any enemy who saw them would shoot at them; but these pigeons carried the message regardless of the incoming flak.

The Dickin Medal - a UK bravery award issued to animals wasn't introduced until 1943, and many pigeons have won this award (about 32 according to my google source), but had it been introduced prior to WW1, then no doubt many more pigeons would've won this bravery award.

I like the term because it reminds me that even though I may be having a hard time with my own personal circumstances, that I have to be brave, like the pigeon, and carry the message regardless of the incoming flak I'm taking.

Apologies for taking it off topic. :mrgreen:
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Re: Changes to The BB

Postby Marc L » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:43 am

If it weren't for the carriers the message would not have gotten through.
And we won't ever be able to repay that debt, oh well.
So we pass it on the best we can.

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