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AA History

THE COMMON SENSE OF DRINKING | Richard R. Peabody (1931)

THE COMMON SENSE OF DRINKING | Richard R. Peabody (1931)

Alcoholics Anonymous was not the only therapy for alcoholics that flourished in its time. Other approaches to treating alcoholism, although they derived from sources very different from the influences that impinged on AA, used similar methods and even incorporated some of the same ideas that a forgetfulness of history leads…

Willard Richardson and the Rockefeller People

Willard Richardson and the Rockefeller People

As Bill Wilson progressed through his third year of sobriety, his personal finances remained a struggle. He was forced by the compelling arguments of the “group conscience” to decline a very appealing offer from Charles Towns to practice as a “lay therapist” at the upscale, but declining facility. But if…

Paul Cox, AA, and the Law

Paul Cox, AA, and the Law

On the night before New Year’s Eve, 1988, Paul Cox and two friends were at a keg party near Larchmont, New York. When the beer ran out, the three went to a local bar where they continued drinking. Then the three men walked toward Cox parents’ house where he…

Remembering Ernie Kurtz

Remembering Ernie Kurtz

Catholics priests are not among those who one would expect to find heading a list of crusaders for the freethinker movement in Alcoholics Anonymous. Nonetheless Ernest Kurtz, ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1961, was a dear friend of AAAgnostica.org, and an enthusiastic proponent of the work being…

The Washingtonian Society

The Washingtonian Society

“Jack Alexander, Saturday Evening Post, was also one of the friends to whom Bill sent material. Of the Twelve Tradition essays, Alexander has this to say: ‘The only serious (in my view) defect is that you have treated the old Washingtonian Society too briefly; most people never heard of it…

The Fraud That Is AA Fundamentalism

The Fraud That Is AA Fundamentalism

It may be that Alcoholics Anonymous has never been more polarized than it is in the mid-teens of the new millennium. A consolation is that there was another time of great divisiveness. As the book was being written and discussed in late 1938, there was “strong but warm-hearted…

AA’s Sister Ignatia

AA’s Sister Ignatia

St Thomas Hospital… (was) where the resourceful Sister Mary Ignatia, a nun who seems to have stepped out of The Bells of St. Mary, abetted the surreptitious admission of alcoholics for treatment. (Bill W. and Mr. Wilson, Matthew Raphael, P. 2-3…

The LSD Experiments

The LSD Experiments

How could Bill W., Grand Poobah of sobriety ever have allowed himself to join the Learyesque acidheads and “turn on, tune in, and drop out?” (Bill W. and Mr. Wilson, Matthew Raphael, p. 164…

Jerry McAuley – The Water Street Mission

Jerry McAuley – The Water Street Mission

Salvation from alcoholic dissipation through religious conversion is not unprecedented. The tale of Jerry McAuley is a classic one, as he was able to achieve sobriety via a spiritual experience, and then to maintain this new lifestyle by means of service to his fellow man. His story is in William…

Henry Parkhurst

Henry Parkhurst

Throughout the second half of 1938, the Honor Dealers’ little office was abuzz with activity. The hubbub involved neither the sale of auto polish, nor the organization of a buying co-op, but the production of the text Alcoholics Anonymous. Two fallen, forty-something entrepreneurs viewed their new venture as…