Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

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

Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby leejosepho » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:11 pm

Maybe others here have heard these kinds of excerpts from "How It Works" in the "original manuscript" (prepublication multilith) of our book of experience ...

"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our directions ...
"At some of these you may balk. You may think you can find an easier, softer way. But we could not ...
"Remember you are dealing with alcohol -- cunning, baffling, powerful. Without help it is too much for you. But there is One who has all power -- That One is God. You must find Him now!
"Half measures will avail you nothing. You stand at the turning point. Throw yourself under His protection and care with complete abandon.
"Now we think you can take it! (and) Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as your Program of Recovery ..."

"Charlie and Joe" used to share that with us A.A. folks and our O.A. friends in the "Big Book Seminars" they freely gave in the '80s and on into the '90s, I believe, and sometimes the entire room would howl in laughter at even just the thought of one alcoholic telling another alcoholic what to do! But at the same time, there are some great insights that can be drawn from reading that pre-publication text, and I hope to be posting at least some of my own favorite parts here in the days ahead.

Note: Anything I might post here is being done with permission I have requested and received from AAWS.
=======================
"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: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby Tommy-S » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:16 pm

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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby leejosepho » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:01 am

Tommy_S wrote:I find it fascinating to learn how “Children of Chaos” united under the Lash of ALCOHOL, provided the Lifeline we have today.

"We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue ... however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.
"The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism." (page 17)

One long-timer used to say, "Our message was given *to* us, and we were 'tricked' into it!"
=======================
"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: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby johnd » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:17 am

I love AA's history,
The growing pains of the early pioneers who tried many ways to make their lives manageable.I can only imagine trying to find a way to get sober in those early days must of been harder than we have today. With all the rehabs and other facilities that recognize that alcoholism is a desease any one who wants to get sober can get the help they need.
I am also glad that "How it works" was the BB version "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thouroghly followed our path". was the one that was presented to me, as opposed to "MUST". Not saying for me that there were no "MUSTS" but simplified what the actions were needed to get sober and stay sober. Thanks guys for the post Johnd :)
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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby leejosepho » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:38 am

johnd wrote:... I can only imagine trying to find a way to get sober in those early days must of been harder than we have today. With all the rehabs and other facilities that recognize that alcoholism is a disease any one who wants to get sober can get the help they need.

I can see that, and here is a related excerpt from our book:

"... the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished." (page 18)

When I was first sober, however, I wondered what "facts about himself" were being mentioned there ...

Height?
Weight?
Favorite hair color or style of music?

... and I eventually got an answer by looking at our prepublication multilith (manuscript):

"... the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with certain medical information ..." (italic added)

Prior to eventually talking with Dr. Bob, Bill had been going around telling other alcoholics about his spiritual experience, but nobody was accepting what he was suggesting. Bill was frustrated and depressed about that, then Lois told Silky and Silky told Bill to "keep the spiritual stuff to himself at first", so to speak, and to just talk about the realities of the *physical* aspect of alcoholism:

First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink.

A problem at that time, however, was that not all doctors agreed ... and avoiding that possible controversy seems to be the reason "certain medical information" got changed to "facts about himself". Dr. Silkworth had already stuck his neck out a bit in even suggesting such a thing, and now to this very day our book does not ever refer to alcoholism as a disease!

Rather, we just share 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." (Bill speaking in "The Doctor's Opinion", emphasis added)

The entire world might now believe alcoholism is a disease, but our own "position" on the matter has never changed:

============================
TRADITION TEN (Appendix I)
Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

TRADITION TEN - The Long Form (Appendix I)
No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues - particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever. (emphasis added)
============================

Instead, we have this:

"That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured - these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again." (pages 18-19)

And now to tie all of this together ...

"[Dr. Bob] had repeatedly tried spiritual means to resolve his alcoholic dilemma but had failed. But when the broker [Bill W.] gave him Dr. Silkworth's description of alcoholism and its hopelessness -- (certain medical information) -- the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he had never before been able to muster." (Foreword to Second Edition)

It is interesting that a stock broker had just educated a doctor about his own malady, eh?!

Overall, however, Dr. Bob was far from ignorant of the idea of a spiritual solution for his alcoholism -- he did not need to be told about that -- but it took Bill telling him about "alcoholism, as we understand it" (page 28) to finally help him muster the willingness necessary to "completely give himself" to what he had already suspected might actually be "the solution".
Last edited by leejosepho on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
=======================
"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: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby johnd » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:38 pm

Thanks Lee I appreciate your posts keeps me connected during my day at work.
JohnD Alcoholic :)
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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby Tommy-S » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:37 pm

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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby leejosepho » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:40 pm

Tommy_S wrote:There seems to be something prophetic or maybe just lucky in AA never using or switching to the term "Disease", as some where in the 1960's, laws began to change and Lay Therapists needed recognized training and certification, which has kept AA out of the debate of 'practicing medicine'.

Thanks!

"AA Comes of Age" reprinted with permission AAWS

Ah, I had never caught that -- bad pun there -- before:

We do not declare ourselves "religious", of course, and interfere with those folks, and then neither do we declare ourselves "diseased" and presume to "play doctor" treating alcoholics!

Providential.

Note: "leejosepho" is Joseph Lee O., and you can call me as you please as long as you do not miss calling me for dinner.
=======================
"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: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby johnd » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:02 am

I wanted to mention,if you ever get a chance to take a trip, you might, if you haven't done so already, check out Dr Bob's house in Akron, there is someone there to share the experiences there. I was really fascinated about the history of where AA got it's initial start. But, Think about this. Both Bill & Bob were originally from Vermont as most of us know. Tell me that a HP hadn't been working for these two. Just thought I'd share that with you John D :) and keep up the great posts Thanks
Last edited by johnd on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby leejosepho » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:12 am

johnd wrote:... if you haven't done so already, check out Dr Bob's house in Akron, there is someone there to share the experiences there. I was really fascinated about the history of where AA got it's initial start.

Yes, nice experience! My wife and I were there not long after some renovations/repairs had been done, and we got a small piece of wood from the original porch ... and I thought it was interesting and considerate that the work crew had cut the removed material into pieces as souvenirs rather than just tossing it in a dumpster!

johnd wrote:But, Think about this. Both Bill & Bob were originally from Vermont as most of us know. Tell me that a HP hadn't been working for these two ...

I do not get the connection there. Are Vermonters inclined to be drinkers or visionaries?!
=======================
"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: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby johnd » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:02 am

Just my own take of divine intervention if you will, Meaning a preplanned destiny I hope that makes sense
John D :o
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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby Tommy-S » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:00 pm

Delete
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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby leejosepho » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:19 pm

"Ed" was a really great guy who moved to the area of my home group some years ago and soon joined our group, and he eventually told me he and I had previously made some kind of arrangement to meet here on earth at that particular time and in that place!

Not too likely, at least not as I see things, but Ed was both quite-sane and quite-convinced!

Note: Everybody who ever met Ed really loved him, but I never told the rest of the group what he had said.
=======================
"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: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby DannyB II » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:19 pm

Tommy_S wrote:Actually, Roland H, Ebby T, Bill W & Dr Bob all had roots in Vermont, even if only spending summer vacations there...kinda "Area 51" strange, don't you think?

Maybe the Mother Ship really will return for me... :)


I had heard this before myself. I did find the parallel very funny. :lol:
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Re: Insights from our prepublication multilith (manuscript)

Postby ann2 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:13 am

Welcome Danny to the e-AA forums!

I once took a bike-riding vacation through Vermont . . . :mrgreen:

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