Alcoholics Anonymous past and present

We, OF Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all. FORWARD TO THE FIRST ADDITION

Who is the we of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have heard that the we is everyone at a home group. Everyone at any particular meeting. Everyone at the coffee shop after the meeting.
The we of Alcoholics Anonymous is best described in the FORWARD TO THE SECOND ADDITION:
It was now time, the struggling groups thought to place their message and unique experience before the world. This determination bore fruit in the spring of 1939 by the publication of this volume. The membership had then reached about 100 men and women. The fledgling society, which had been nameless, now began to be called Alcoholics Anonymous from the title of its own book. Pg xvii

So now the we of AA is clear. It is the men and women who wrote the book, and they are all gone now. All of them have died, but the good news is that they wrote a book to show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW THEY HAD RECOVERED. This must have been important because they have stated this several times:
If we keep on the way we are going there is little doubt that much good will result, but the surface of the problem would hardly be scratched. Those of us who live in large cities are overcome by the reflection that close by hundreds are dropping into oblivion every day. Many could recover if they had the opportunity we have enjoyed. How then shall we present that which has been so freely given us?
We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it. We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge. This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem.
Pg 19

They needed to carry the message of what they had done to alcoholics everywhere so they wrote a book describing the problem as they saw it! This is very important because if you suffered from what they saw that they suffered from, they were going to show you how they got well. On the very next page they said that if you are starting to relate to what they are talking about they are going to answer your questions specifically:
You may already have asked yourself why it is that all of us became so very ill from drinking. Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking -"What do I have to do?"
It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done.
Pg 20

This expert opinion to the contrary can be found in the Doctors Opinion:
The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.
This immediately precipitates us into a seething caldron of debate. Much has been written pro and con, but among physicians, the general opinion seems to be that most chronic alcoholics are doomed.
3rd edition pg xxviii / 4th edition pg xxx

Doctor Silkworth describes Bill Wilson as:
In late 1934 I attended a patient who, though he had been a competent businessman of good earning capacity, was an alcoholic of a type I had come to regard as hopeless. 3rd edition pg xxiii / 4th edition pg xxv

In the basic text book they refer to the hopeless alcoholic as chronic also. On the same page Doctor Silkworth gave his definition for hopeless or chronic:
I personally know scores of cases who were of the type with whom other methods had failed completely. 3rdedition pg xxviii / 4th edition pg xxx

Now the we of Alcoholics Anonymous have told us who they are and why they wrote the book. In the chapter We Agnostics they tell us what the basic text is all about:
If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us
would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter
how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we
could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.
Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a
Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.
Pgs 44-45

They also tell us why we need to find this Power! Because as humans we don't have the power to overcome alcoholism. As we, (you and I), go further along we are going to talk about some of the major points of the big book or basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous and I will do my best to lay out quite simply what was presented to me by a recovered alcoholic, and through my experience and research into the fellowship of AA. What you will see is that most of the common practices of AA today are not what the pioneers did, and that some of the slogans of AA today are not used in the proper context. You will also see that some of todays AA practices are nonsense and are helping to kill the real alcoholic one day at a time.
There are a lot of absolutely loving and kind people in AA today who mean well and are trying to be of help to the real alcoholic, unfortunately:
Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See
to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
Pg 164
You can't transmit something that you haven't got! But you will transmit what you do have!!!

In the basic text they are showing us precisely what they did to Recover from a hopeless state of mind and
body. What you won't see them show us in the basic text is:
god of your own understanding, such as a group of people or _____ (fill in the blank).
90 meetings in 90 days.
Put the plug in the jug.
Just don't drink and keep coming back.
Use your lifeline before you drink.
Remember your last drunk.
Think through the drink.
Fake it till you make it.
Never get hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
Change your playmates and play grounds.
Hang out with the winners.
Meeting makers make it.
Anything on ism's.
Anything on stinking thinking.
Learning to love yourself.
A step a year.
It's a selfish program.
There are many more slogans and sayings. You know what you are hearing at meetings and what you have heard in the past. Is it in the basic text? If it is not why am I attempting to use it as part of my tools to recover? Oh yeah, I'll always be in recovery! We are going to do away with many myths and misconceptions that are simply not true.
Why don't you grab your big book and join me?

If you don't have a big book right now or you would like to download one FREE to your computer go to You can also purchase the CD that is an excellent computer companion for a recovered alcoholic.