12-Step Programs at 75. A History Worth Remembering.

"At $3.50 a copy, his book hardly sold a copy in its first year – many of those inquiring about it wanted to know if they could rent a copy rather than buy one. A post card blitz to 20,000 physicians celebrating its publishing resulted in a grand total of two book orders. - See more at: http://www.edgewood.ca/index.php?page=31&p=1517#sthash.MrJem16T.dpuf
“At $3.50 a copy, (Bill W’s) book hardly sold a copy in its first year – many of those inquiring about it wanted to know if they could rent a copy rather than buy one. A post card blitz to 20,000 physicians celebrating its publishing resulted in a grand total of two book orders.” – See more at: http://www.edgewood.ca/index.php?page=31&p=1517#sthash.MrJem16T.dpuf

AA turned 75 years old in April.

As fallen believer who was restored to Christ, I’ve fostered a Christian “One Step” option for “12-Step Refugees” for more than a decade (LetgoLetGod.org.) But I’ve never had anything except love and respect for 12-step systems, particularly of course,  Celebrate Recovery.  We’re more than blessed to be involved with CR and CRI.

The fact is, that like many — perhaps most — my wife and I began our road to recovery in secular 12-step meetings and continue to suggest them as a means for those who aren’t able quite yet… to give their God a Name.

Neil Conan, host of the NPR program “Talk of the Nation” summarizes his reporting on the 75 year mile stone of the publication of the “Big Book” with these words: (View his full commentary and transcript at this page online.)

“You probably know the story about a drunk named Bill Wilson who saw God in his hospital room and never took another drink. Wilson also vowed to help others to stop the same way he did, and Alcoholics Anonymous marks its foundation from the day Bill W. made his first convert 75 years ago last month. Meetings in church basements and the 12 steps have since been adapted to any number of addictions from narcotics to overeating because it works, not for everybody, not all the time, not most of the time maybe, but better than anything else. But after 75 years, no one knows exactly how it works.”  Neil Conan, NPR.

A writer for one of our favorite Treatment Communities (which happens to be in British Columbia) gives a sensitive and excellent recounting of AA / Al-Anon History.  Jeff recounts roots extending back to the Oxford Group and quotes Carl Jung:

Dr. Carl Jung had told an alcoholic Rowland H. that the only hope he had to avoid sanitariums and death was to seek out and have some kind of spiritual conversion experience, a union with God.

See his article at: http://www.edgewood.ca/index.php?page=31&p=1517

The thought occurs that, as we bring more and more people into helpful Recovery Programs — It’s important that the community clearly recall it’s roots.

Thanks Bill W and Dr. Bob.

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One thought on “12-Step Programs at 75. A History Worth Remembering.

  1. Reblogged this on NW CRI News and commented:

    Something to digest.
    Hey, you-all at the CR Seattle One Day event? Bring home the goods for those of us not able to attend! Thank you! Have a blast!

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