Endigar 463 ~ The Determination of Our Founders

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven more.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 159)

If it had not been for the fierce determination of our founders, A.A. would have quickly faded like so many other so-called good causes. I look at the hundreds of meetings weekly in the city where I live and I know A.A. is available twenty-four hours a day. If I had had to hang on with nothing but hope and a desire not to drink, experiencing rejection wherever I went, I would have sought the easier, softer way and returned to my previous way of life.



Flow Chart of AA's Founding

I created this flowchart for the founding of AA.  I will end this article with sources that I used to establish it.  I love the flow of history because, if you stand back, you can see that there is a bigger picture populated with individuals struggling to survive.  There is something out there that gives a damn about us.

1.  It is my understanding, told to me in a meeting in Augusta, Georgia, that Rowland H. was a man of means who was looking for the best therapy he could find to counter his alcoholism and was originally looking for Sigmund Freud.  Because Mr. Freud was unavailable, he went to his associate Carl Jung.  Imagine what would have happened to us if Rowland had laid on the couch of Sigmund Freud.  According to subsequent historical research, this event occurred in 1926 rather than 1930.

2.  Ebby Thatcher, Bill Wilson’s friend, was rescued from the asylum and Roland relayed the need for the Vital Spiritual Experience and introduced him to the Oxford movement.

3.  Ebby resided at the Calvary Rescue Mission and had heard the concept of choosing a God of your own understanding from Rev. Sam Shoemaker who maintained the mission.  Ebby would relay this to his agnostic friend Bill Wilson later on when he was reaching out to his still suffering friend.

4.  Bill W checked into the  Charles B. Towns Hospital a fourth time to dry out.  Dr. Silkworth presented the disease model of alcoholism to Bill and suggested sharing his actual experiences with alcoholics rather than preaching to them.  He then had an appearance of light and interaction with what he believed to be God.

5.  While in Akron, Ohio on business that had proven unsuccessful (Imagine if Bill W.’s business venture had been successful), in a desperate attempt to remain sober, sought out another alcoholic to help.  A local church put him in contact with Dr. Bob.  This meeting proved the ability of one alcoholic sharing his experience, strength, and hope with another one served to help both alcoholics.  AA’s anniversary is based on Dr. Bob’s sobriety date; June 10th, 1935.

The founders were desperate drunks.  They were not saints.  They connected with one another and with the Invisible Painter of the Big Picture.  I am grateful for the following concepts and those chosen to inject them into the collective consciousness that has now become Alcoholics Anonymous:

Carl Jung ~ The Need for a Vital Spiritual Experience beyond Religion.

Dr. Frank Buchman ~ Founder of the Oxford Group ~ The Seeds for the 12 Step Program, Sponsorship, and Spirituality over Religion – Pragmatic Morality.  Provided negative example for the need of the spiritual principle of Anonymity.

Samuel Shoemaker & Ebby Thatcher ~ The concept of a God of my own understanding which is the birth of GOMU.

Dr. William Silkworth ~ The Disease Concept of Alcoholism and the need for a Psychic Change, a Spiritual Awakening, echoing Dr. Jung.

Bill W. and Dr. Bob ~ the power of one alcoholic to another, the birth of the Fellowship.

The Invisible Painter of the Big Picture ~ doing for us -united- what we could not do for ourselves -isolated-.






There are hyperlinks and primary source footnotes if you are interested in further research.  I love wikipedia.


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