The History of Alcoholics Anonymous

The Washingtonian movement also called (Washingtonians or Washingtonian Temperance Society or Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society) fellowship was an established in the 19th on April 2, 1840 by six hard drinkers (William Mitchell, David Hoss, Charles Anderson, George Steer, Bill MCurdy, and Tom Campbell) at Chases Tavern on Liberty Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The meetings and movement grew in at an amazing rate. There were parades, Temperance Pledges and hospitals amongst the support of the group. Sadly enough The Washingtonians grew to such a magnitudes of members reaching the tens of thousands and possibly as high as 300,000 members. With the membership reaching such numbers that they forgot what the original intentions of the society were. (Washingtonian movement)
The Sharing of our sins and temptations with another Christian life given to God, and to use Sharing as Witness to help others, still unchanged, to recognize and acknowledge their sins. 2. Surrender of our life, past, present, and future, into Gods keeping and direction.
Restitution to all whom we have wronged directly or indirectly.
???In 1934, Ebby Thatcher, childhood friend of Bill Wilsons, was locked up in a hospital as a chronic alcoholic in Bennington, Vermont. The Oxford Group sent a member Rowland Hazard to see Ebby in the hospital. He acted as a sort of sponsor and told his story. He taught Ebby the precepts he had learned from the Oxford Group. Later, as we know, in December of that year, Ebby had his chance to relay these precepts to Bill Wilson.???(Dick)
???Ebby was staying at his mission when Bill W. shows up there drunk, looking for Ebby but couldn??™t cant find him, and he then goes to Towns Hospital. Bill looked prosperous compared to our usual mission customers so we agreed that he go to Towns Hospital where Ebby and others of the group could talk to him.???(Bill) This was the first of four hospitalizations treating his alcoholism in 1933-1934. It was at Towns Hospital that Dr. William Duncan Silkworth declared Bill W. a hopeless alcoholic. According to Norman Vincent Peale, Dr. Silkworth said the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, could cure alcoholics who were declared hopeless. Soon after Ebbys visit with him, Bill was admitted for the last time to Towns Hospital in December 1934. It was during this hospitalization that Bill experienced his “white light” spiritual experience. Bill reported this experience to Dr. Silkworth and was soon after released from the hospital never to drink alcohol again until his death in 1971. Bill W. had heard the mission that Ebby was staying at on the previous Sunday at the Calvary Church, had witnessed that with the help of God he had been sober a number of months.” Bill W. said that if Ebby could get help here, then he, Bill needed help, and he could get it at the mission, also. Bill W. was introduced to the Oxford Group by Ebby T., an old boyhood friend in November of 1934. He was a drinking buddy of Bills who had gotten “religion” through the Oxford Group after being introduced to it by Rowland H. Rowland reportedly had been in therapy with Doctor Carl G. Jung an in alcoholic rehabilitation doctor from Switzerland. Doctor Jung had told Rowland, according to official AA history, that there was no hope for him. No hope that is, unless he were to experience a “vital spiritual experience.” Rowland reportedly was introduced to the Oxford Group by Doctor Jung and then passed the message along to Ebby Thatcher.
Bill W. was one of those men. In fighting his own battle against drinking, he had already learned that helping other alcoholics was the key to maintaining his own sobriety, the principle that would later become step twelve in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill Wilson stated we admitted we were licked. We got honest with ourselves. We talked it over with another person. We made amends to those we had harmed. We tried to carry this message to others with no thought of reward. We prayed to whatever God we believed in. (Bill)
Do to the organizational rulings of the Oxford Group and its key leaders, Frank Buchman and Sam Shoemaker; events conspired to make possible this meeting between Dr. Bob and Bill W. possible. A lady named Henrietta Seiberling, the wife of John Seiberling of the Seiberling Tire and Rubber Company, found herself with personal and marital problems, and separated from her husband. She turned to the Oxford Group and attended the first meetings at the Mayflower Hotel. She went with a woman named Anne Smith, the wife of a well-known Akron surgeon Dr. Bob who was in deep trouble with his drinking. Frank Buchman–Sam Shoemaker– Rowland Hazard–Jim Newton–Eleanor Forde–Ebby Thatcher–Shepard Cornell–Henrietta Seiberling–Rev. Walter Tunks–Norman Shepherd– Russell Firestone–T. Henry and Clarence Williams.According to AA history these people were to first cofounding members who held their meetings at the Gate House of the Seiberling Estate in Akron which is known as the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. At that time Dr. Bob Smith also attended these meetings with his wife, Anne. He stayed away from talking about his problem publicly, and continued drinking. In her concern for Bob, Henrietta suggested to T. Henry that if they could set up a smaller, more private meeting perhaps Bob might feel more at ease and be able to make a confession in the Oxford Group fashion, and a commitment to sobriety.
From this simple meeting of two men with a common cause would transpire into a movement that would literally affect the lives of millions in the years to come.
The first A.A meetings were starting in an upstairs room at Dr. Bobs home. Dr. Bob and Bill W. began helping alcoholic??™s one candidate at time. Four short years later in 1939 there were 100 documented recovering members. This number quickly rose in the now known Cleveland group to 500 after the release of A.A.??™s first publication ???Alcoholics Anonymous???. The outcries of many afflicted also increased as a series of articles written about the A.A. groups in the ???Cleveland Plain Dealer??? were released. This year the Big Book was printed. This famous book is well known amongst the recovering alcoholic and was written by members in the Oxford Group of Akron Ohio.
A.A. members share their experience, strength and hope with each other at meetings to achieve sobriety one day at a time. Only those with a drinking problem may attend closed meetings or become A.A. members. Anyone may attend open A.A. meetings. But the closed meetings are limited to those who have genuine desire to stop drinking. A.A. recommends the person to attend meetings as much as they drink example; if the person drank every other day then it is recommended the person attend meetings every other day and so forth.
A.A. is based on the Twelve Steps of recovery which are.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol??”that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Theses step are taught and learned from fellow A.A. persons at the meetings one attends. These steps are also taught through a sponsor in the program. The sponsor usually has many years of sobriety. Newly A.A. candidates are encouraged to seek such a sponsor/trusted friend through the meetings he /she attends. Not only will the sponsor/ trusted friend help you understand the twelve steps, but how to live a happy life without the use of alcohol.
The A.A. program, set forth in the Twelve Steps of recovery which offers the alcoholic a way to develop a healthier way of living without the use of alcohol. The A.A. member may have many problems that need addressing while achieving sobriety. Though its multimillion membership one may achieve such resources; for example locating a job or assistance on legal matters. The suffering malnourished alcoholic has the means available to him for concerns like locating food and possible housing if homeless.
The program equally serves all walks of life; Judges, Lawyers, Police Officers, Doctors and the local street living bum amongst its members. Ones abilities for helpful resources are endless. All a person needs to do is attend meetings, get a sponsor at some point which is recommended and practice the 12 Steps of Recovery ???One Day at a Time???. Finding help for one in needs will become obvious, noticeable or even offered by fellow members. According to the A.A.??™s 5th Tradition ???Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.??? (Alcoholics Anonymous)
Works Cited
Alcoholics Anonymous, The Twelve Traditions. 3rd. New York City: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1976. 565. Print.
Wikipedia contributors. “Washingtonian movement.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Oct. 2009. Web. 28 Feb. 2010.

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