Sunday, December 15, 2013

A.A. and the 12 Steps

A.A. did not create the plan of action we know of as the Steps, nor did Bill Wilson. Nor does Bill take the credit for that.
. . .
He wrote a chapter and the other sober drunks at the time helped write the rest of it.
So where DID the steps come from? The Oxford Groups which tried to help a number of folks in need of help. . . . . Oxford Group folks were just practicing non-denominational 1st Century Christianity.
Bill couldn't get drunks to respond to his Blue-Light Special experience, so he was fine with leaving the God-Talk out of it... until Lois told him, "Don't you dare forget Whom got you sober! You'll be drunk again! "


  1. The original 6 Steps of the Oxford Group can be found on Page 292 of the BB (3rd. Edition)

    Note that he and Dr. Bob knelt when they did what is now Step 6. That is why I do it with my sponsee's when
    I am taking them through the Steps for the first time.

  2. Hey Patrick , I'm curious to know what your source is on the latter part of the above. That's the first I've ever heard that. I know a lot of the book was written by Hank Parkhurst. Also there was one specific guy in the New York group who was an atheist and it was him who constantly was one of the guys taking out not bill

  3. Actually, I heard it from Bill Wilson.

    He informed us of this in a talk the day Dr. Bob Smith died when Bill was about 16 years sober.

    You ought to listen to it sometime.

    It was a great talk when Bill was still a human being and he sounded like a Massachusetts person... not like a pompous god like he did in he and Lois's last talk.

  4. The vid don't work right. Find it somewhere else and listen to it though.

  5. Jim Burwell was one of the atheists in the NY group. He's "Ed the atheist" in the 12x12 3rd Tradition story. He was the inspiration for "God as we understood him". Thank you, Jimmy B.

    His buddy Hank identified as agnostic. Jim drank early on then recovered and helped start AA in Philadelphia and San Diego. Hank didn't last. There's a lot of info on them if you do the Google.

  6. What did not work for Bill in working with new drunks was cramming his Blue Light Special up.their ass.

    What did work for Bill was telling them how he drank. Then when they matched him story for story, and he was satisfied he had someone who at least seemed a candidate for being a real alky, he did not shy away from the God stuff nor the plan of action.

    He did not intend to shy away from the God stuff when writing Chapter 5. Others forced a soft-soaping of it, but that was against his inspiration.

    He also shows reluctance to showing folks how to pray and meditate on or near pages 85-88.

  7. So far all I can find is what appears to be a recording of a radio performance or a play. I'd love to find the original and will search around when I have some free time.

    I'm fortunate enough to have known some people early on who knew Bill. I would have loved to be able to ask them the questions I have now. Oh wells.

  8. Is this the talk you heard? I can't load the Youtube video so have no way of telling. It's a "docudrama" by Bill M, based on talks and other information about Bill W. No problem with the message but it ain't the horses mouth.


    1. I don't know who Bill M is. It's just Bill Wilson talking on the day Dr Bob died.

    A Narrated Docu~drama as told by Bill M. Portraying Bill Wilson on the date of November 16, 1950

    On this recording Bill M portraying Bill Wilson, is speaking on the day that Doctor Bob died in 1950. Bill M has taken information from many of Bill Wilson’s speeches and writings and combined them into a well delivered narrative which will take you on the journey up to, and including the meeting of Bill and Bob at the Gatehouse, and continues on the path of their vision of salvation and how they wanted to share it with other Drunks.

    This Historical Story-Telling contains information about Bill Wilson that had never been heard before. Based on re-enactments of historically accurate conversations and speeches, this intimate sharing of Bill W portrayed so well by Bill M, recalls significant moments in his life, his downward spiral into alcoholism, his climb out of the doleful pit of suffering, and

  10. Yeah, but I heard Bill Wilson speaking.