Bob K

Writed 22 posts and 25 comments

Bob K. lives in the Metropolitan Toronto area, and has been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 24 years, and an out-of-the-closet atheist for that entire time.

He has been a regular contributor to the AAAgnostica website for almost 5 years, and in January, 2015, published “Key Players in AA History” In 2013, he cofounded the Whitby Freethinkers meeting.

New Thought and AA

New Thought and AA

The most obvious connecting link between Alcoholics Anonymous and the New Thought movement comes through William James who “had found answers to his own depression and doubts about his self-worth from… New Thought teachings, which he termed ‘mind-cure’… While New Thought organizations never became very large, their ideas have wide acceptance in general society and also influenced early…

Dr. Benjamin Rush

Dr. Benjamin Rush

“Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was the first member of the (American) medical community to write about alcoholism and suggest it might be an illness… a ‘disease process’”. (The Roundtable of AA History, Silkworth.net) This was fully one hundred years before the disease concept of alcoholism was fully developed and articulated in…

Rowland Hazard

Rowland Hazard

A certain American businessman had ability, good sense, and high character. For years he had floundered from one sanitarium to another. He had consulted the best known American psychiatrists. Then he had gone to Europe, placing himself in the care of a celebrated physician (the psychiatrist, Dr. Jung) who prescribed for him. Though experience had made him skeptical, he finished…

Florence Rankin

Florence Rankin

Florence was the first woman to get sober in AA, even for a short time. She came to AA in New York, in March 1937. She had several slips, but was sober over a year when she wrote her story for the Big Book.
(Silkworth.net, Biographies, “A Feminine Victory…

Ebby Thacher – An Unhappy Life

Ebby Thacher – An Unhappy Life

Late November 1934 seemed to be the worst of times for Bill Wilson, an unemployed and completely discredited stockbroker living in Brooklyn, New York. He had fallen from a lofty place in life. Less than six years earlier, everything had been going his way: a luxury apartment, fat profits in a booming stock market, expensive vacations in resorts areas, and…

Selling AA – Early Publicity

Selling AA – Early Publicity

Dreams of alcoholic hospitals, a book, and paid missionaries were perhaps, simultaneously grand and grandiose. These schemes would require money, and lots of it. “If a world-wide movement was going to take millions of dollars to launch, no problem: they’d raise millions…

Not Just The Washingtonians Part II

Not Just The Washingtonians Part II

Throughout pre-AA history, the unique power of one alcoholic helping another has been repeatedly demonstrated, as drunks have gathered together for mutual support in the effort to stay sober. Some of these groups have been religious or spiritual, others, not. In all cases, the ongoing interaction with other alcoholics was a critical ingredient in ensuring sustained sobriety, perhaps THE…

Toronto Agnostic AA Groups Win Fight for Inclusion

Toronto Agnostic AA Groups Win Fight for Inclusion

On the evening of Tuesday, January 31, at the monthly gathering of Toronto area Intergroup reps, the executive committee announced that they had reached a settlement of the Human Rights complaint launched against GTAI some two years earlier. Details of the basic case and settlement can be found at AAAgnostica.org in Roger C.’s February 2cnd posting, “Toronto Intergroup…

Floggings, Strychnine, Leeches, and Worse

Floggings, Strychnine, Leeches, and Worse

New World immigrants brought over European alcoholic beverages, drinking customs, and social attitudes. Many early settlers assumed that people got drunk because they wanted to, not because they had to; also, that drunkenness was a natural, harmless consequence of drinking. In 1673, Increase Mather published his sermon ‘Woe to Drunkards,’ deploring the frequency of excessive drinking in the Colonies. By…

Not Just The Washingtonians

Not Just The Washingtonians

There exists a mythology which has been perpetrated and perpetuated by those who take pleasure in perpetrating and perpetuating mythologies – Regarding the treatment of alcoholism, the pre-AA world was one of darkness, total blackness, a vacuum, a void. Not only had human power efforts done poorly, they had failed completely. In rare cases, through the direct intervention of the…