RA offers hope, sanity, and recovery, especially to those who, despite their best efforts, have yet to find full recoveries, no matter what their problems or behaviors may be and their family and friends.
 Part 1: Absorbing the program and philosophy
B) Reading and Discussing the Foreword to the Second Edition
This Foreword describes the history of the Program and the Traditions. It contains important information you will need in order to work the Twelve Steps!


1. Now please turn to the Foreword To Second Edition. In R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book, it is on page T.  In A.A.'s Big Book, it is on page xv, which is Roman numeral fifteen.

2. Starting with the title, it says:

"Foreword To Second Edition"

"Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955."

3. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page T, the first paragraph says:

"Since the original Foreword to this book was written in 1939, a wholesale miracle has taken place. Our earliest printing voiced the hope 'that every alcoholic who journeys will find the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination. Already,' continues the early text 'twos and threes and fives of us have sprung up in other communities.' "

3. Notice that they say that what happened after the Big Book was written was "a wholesale miracle." The quote from their earliest printing that they are referring to, is now on page 75 in the Multilith Big Book.

4. Continuing in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, the second paragraph says:

"Sixteen years have elapsed between our first printing of this book and the presentation in 1955 of our second edition. In that brief space, Alcoholics Anonymous has mushroomed into nearly 6,000 groups whose membership is far above 150,000 recovered alcoholics. Groups are to be found in each of the United States and all of the provinces of Canada. A.A. has flourishing communities in the British Isles, the Scandinavian countries, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Alaska, Australia and Hawaii. All told, promising beginnings have been made in some 50 foreign countries and US possessions. Some are just now taking shape in Asia. Many of our friends encourage us by saying that this is but a beginning, only the augury of a much larger future ahead."

5. Please notice that, they are still using the term "recovered," here in the foreword to the 1955 Second Edition.

6. The importance of this paragraph from the Big Book is very simple. The program in this book works. If it didn't work, it wouldn't have grown. As a matter of fact, it would have been impossible for it to grow. People would have tried it, found it didn't work and abandoned it. But that didn't happen. So this validates the program that is in this book, because that is the program the "150,000 recovered alcoholics" worked to get well.

7. For those who may not know, "augury" means, "a sign of something coming; an omen."

8. If you have, or can get a copy of A.A. Comes of Age, we suggest that you read pages 26 to 31 and page 84 through page 87, after you go through this presentation.

9. These pages describe how many of the early groups started, and make two very important points. First, people were able to get well just by reading the Big Book and following its directions. They could do this even if they did not have contact with other people or groups.

10. Second, family, friends, priests, ministers, and social workers could successfully carry the Big Book's message of recovery to those who still suffered, even though they did not have a problem themselves.

11. Continuing in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, the third paragraph says:

"The spark that was to flare into the first A.A. group was struck at Akron Ohio in June 1935, during a talk between a New York stockbroker and an Akron physician. Six months earlier, the broker had been relieved of his drink obsession by a sudden spiritual experience, following a meeting with an alcoholic friend who had been in contact with the Oxford Groups of that day. He (Bill Wilson) had also been greatly helped by the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, a New York specialist in alcoholism who is now accounted no less than a medical saint by A.A. members, and whose story of the early days of our Society appears in the next pages. From this doctor, the broker had learned the grave nature of alcoholism. Though he could not accept all the tenets of the Oxford Groups, he was convinced of the need for moral inventory, confession of personality defects, restitution to those harmed, helpfulness to others, and the necessity of belief in and dependence upon God."

12. The New York stockbroker was Bill Wilson, the Akron physician was Doctor Bob, and Ebby Thatcher was Bill's alcoholic friend. The Oxford Groups were a spiritual movement that was open to anyone, and whose goal was to return to the simplicity of first century Christianity.

13. Dr. Silkworth was a Doctor, on the staff of Towns Hospital, in New York City. Towns Hospital used the methods of the day to treat alcohol and drug addiction.

14. However, as we will soon read in "The Doctor's Opinion," the best they could do was to sober someone up, try to make them more comfortable, release them, and then wait for them to come back, as happened several times with Bill Wilson before he found the program.

15. This paragraph makes it clear that Bill learned the basic principles of the program from the Oxford Groups. These are the same principles he later expressed in the Twelve Steps.

16. Bill expressed the need for a moral inventory in the Fourth and Tenth Steps, and the confession of our personality defects in the Fifth Step. He used the Eighth and Ninth Steps to focus on restitution, the Twelfth Step to deal with helpfulness to others, and the First, Second, Third, and Eleventh Steps to detail the necessity of, belief in, and dependence upon, God.

17. Continuing in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, the fourth paragraph says:

"Prior to his journey to Akron, the broker had worked hard with many alcoholics on the theory that only an alcoholic could help an alcoholic, but he had succeeded only in keeping sober himself. The broker had gone to Akron on a business venture which had collapsed, leaving him greatly in fear that he might start drinking again. He suddenly realized that in order to save himself he must carry his message to another alcoholic. That alcoholic turned out to be the Akron physician."

18. It turned out that Bill's theory was wrong on two counts. First, Bill wasn't able to help anyone get sober. Second, when you read the pages from A.A. Comes of Age, that we suggest, you will see that the program was able to grow, because non-alcoholics, using the Big Book, could, and did, help alcoholics.

19. However, Bill learned one very important fact. His intensive effort to help others had worked to keep him sober.

20. Trying to carry his message of recovery, to others, had kept him from drinking. So when his business trip fell apart, he was broke and alone. So he thought of going into a bar for some company. He knew that the way to maintain his sobriety was to find someone to work with.

21. The person he eventually found was an Akron physician. This was of course, Dr. Bob.

22. Continuing in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page U, the first paragraph says:

"This physician had repeatedly tried spiritual means to resolve his alcoholic dilemma but had failed. But when the broker gave him Dr. Silkworth's description of alcoholism and its hopelessness, the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he had never before been able to muster. He sobered, never to drink again up to the moment of his death in 1950. This seemed to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as no nonalcoholic could. It also indicated that strenuous work, one alcoholic with another, was vital to permanent recovery."

23. By the time he met Bill, Dr. Bob and his wife had been members of the Oxford Groups for two and one half years. However, Dr. Bob said that he tried everything those good people had told him to do, and then had gone home and gotten drunk every night.

24. If you do not have a copy of Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, please just listen to the following passage. If you do have a copy of Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers available, please open it to the top of page 60, where Dr. Bob says:

"They told me I should go to their meetings regularly, and I did, every week. They said that I should affiliate myself with some church, and we did that. They also said I should cultivate the habit of prayer, and I did that—at least, to a considerable extent for me. But I got tight every night…"

25. In the A.A. pamphlet "The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous," Dr. Bob's quote continues by saying:

"and I mean that, it wasn't just once in a while, it was almost every night. I couldn't understand what was wrong."

26. So the fact that Dr. Bob had tried spiritual principles but failed was the condition in which Bill found him.

27. He did everything those good people had told him to do, and it hadn't worked.

28. In the first paragraph on page U, the second sentence says: "But when the broker gave him, Dr. Silkworth's description of alcoholism and its hopelessness the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he had never before been able to muster."

29. The broker was of course, Bill. Now there is a quote describing what Bill told Dr. Bob that finally made the difference.

30. In "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers," on page 306, in the second paragraph, it says:

"It is possible to theorize that Dr. Bob's search began earlier, but according to his own account, it started when he first contacted the Oxford Group, in early 1933.

"Paul S. (the Akron pioneer whose brother, Dick, also joined the program) said of Dr. Bob, 'At this time, he began his conscious search for truth through a concentrated study of the Bible over two and one half years before his meeting with Bill. He felt that God had not heard his prayers for this entire period,' said Paul. 'And he could not blame Him. He felt that he was undeserving of any consideration. The revelation in Dr. Bob's life came when he made his second discovery: that spirituality couldn't be absorbed by someone emulating a sponge, but that one might find it in healing and helping to free those afflicted and in bondage.'

"This, of course, was what Dr. Bob meant when he said that Bill had brought him the idea of service."

31. In the A.A. pamphlet "The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous," Dr. Bob shares about his first meeting with Bill. He says that, by the time he met Bill, he had already heard almost everything that Bill had to say before.

32. However, there was one thing that he hadn't heard before. There was one thing that Bill had learned in his five months in New York that Bob hadn't learned in his 2 1/2 years in Akron.

33. The missing ingredient that Bill had learned was that he should attempt to be helpful to somebody else.

34. Bill had brought Dr. Bob the idea of service.

35. Continuing in "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers," on page 307, in the top paragraph, Dr. Bob explains this idea:

"'I think the kind of service that really counts,' Dr. Bob said, 'is giving of yourself, and that almost invariably requires effort and time. It isn't a matter of just putting a little quiet money in the dish. That's needed, but it isn't giving much for the average individual in days like these, when most people get along fairly well. I don't believe that type of giving would ever keep anyone sober. But giving of our own effort and strength and time is quite a different matter. And I think that is what Bill learned in New York, and I didn't learn in Akron until we met.'"

36. So this is the concept of service that made the difference for Dr. Bob.

37. Giving time and effort to helping others are what really counts.

38. Giving money, even quiet paper money instead of coins, is important. But it is not enough!

39. When Dr. Bob learned this important fact, and put it into practice, he stopped drinking.

40. Back in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page U, continuing in the top paragraph, on the fifth line, it says: "He (Dr. Bob) sobered, never to drink again up to the moment of his death in 1950. This seemed to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as no nonalcoholic could."

41. However, once again, as we read earlier, time has proven that it doesn't seem to matter who shares the program's message of hope, sanity, and recovery, but the message itself!

42. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to read all those stories from A.A. Comes of Age about a non-alcoholic successfully carrying the program to an alcoholic.

43. Time has now proven that anyone, for example, a non-alcoholic or someone that has a different problem, can very easily and effectively work with others, if they are armed with the information that is in the Big Book.

44. Continuing on page U, with the last sentence of the first paragraph, it says: "It also indicated that strenuous work, one alcoholic with another, was vital to permanent recovery."

45. There is a lot to digest in this one sentence.

46. First, the work we do to help others needs to be strenuous, not casual, or incidental.

47. Second, doing this strenuous work is vital to permanent recovery.

48. The concept of "permanent recovery" is not something you hear discussed very often.

49. Perhaps that is because the concept of strenuous work with others is not discussed very often.

50. All of the time and energy Bill spent working with others kept him sober.

51. However, when he was stranded in Akron, Bill was afraid that he would take a drink.

52. So, to keep sober, Bill put a lot of time and effort into finding someone to work with. This led him to Dr. Bob.

53. Bill's strenuous effort to find someone to work with, and then his strenuous efforts to work with Dr. Bob, kept him sober, and was important to his permanent recovery.

54. This is the real goal of the program. This is what we are really looking for: a permanent recovery and a contented useful life.

55. The next quote is an example of this. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page U, in the second paragraph, it says:

"Hence the two men set to work almost frantically upon alcoholics arriving in the ward of the Akron City Hospital. Their very first case, a desperate one, recovered immediately and became A.A. number three. He never had another drink. This work at Akron continued through the summer of 1935. There were many failures, but there was an occasional heartening success. When the broker returned to New York in the fall of 1935, the first A.A. group had actually been formed, though no one realized it at the time."

56. This third alcoholic was Bill D., and he was approached almost immediately after Dr. Bob took his last drink.

57. It is important to note that, until they perfected the program, they had many failures. This is because they did not know all of the ingredients that were essential to being successful.

58. This is no longer the case. The Big Book, especially R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, now gives "clear-cut directions" for working the program.

59. Today, if the program does not work for someone, the chances are that it is because they simply have not yet fully followed the pioneers' "clear-cut directions."

60. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page U, in the second paragraph, the last sentence says: "When the broker returned to New York in the fall of 1935, the first A.A. group had actually been formed, though no one realized it at the time."

61. No one realized it at the time because Bill in New York, Dr. Bob in Akron, and the people they were working with were all still attending Oxford Group meetings.

62. Continuing on page U, the third full paragraph says:

"A second small group promptly took shape at New York, to be followed in 1937 with the start of a third at Cleveland. Besides these, there were scattered alcoholics who had picked up the basic ideas in Akron or New York who were trying to form groups in other cities. By late 1937, the number of members having substantial sobriety time behind them was sufficient to convince the membership that a new light had entered the dark world of the alcoholic."

63. As an aside, we need to note that, in the Third Edition of the Big Book, the above paragraph was split into two paragraphs. The third sentence was placed in its own paragraph, in front of the paragraph containing the first two sentences. This was corrected in the Fourth Edition of the Big Book.

64. Continuing on page U, the fourth paragraph says:

"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. The flying-blind period ended and A.A. entered a new phase of its pioneering time."

65. The Big Book was written as the result of the pioneers' years of experience. It contains what had worked for them all. It contains their "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps.

66. When the Big Book was published, there were fewer than 100 recovered men and women.

67. It was not until after the Big Book was published, in 1939, that anyone started using the name Alcoholics Anonymous.

68. The first group to call themselves Alcoholics Anonymous was in Cleveland.

69. Then, the New York group, which had left the Oxford Groups, but did not use a name, also started calling themselves Alcoholics Anonymous.

70. Finally, the Akron group broke away from the Oxford Groups and started calling itself Alcoholics Anonymous.

71. Continuing on page U with the bottom paragraph, it says:

"With the appearance of the new book a great deal began to happen. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, the noted clergyman, reviewed it with approval. In the fall of 1939 Fulton Oursler, then editor of LIBERTY, printed a piece in his magazine, called 'Alcoholics and God.' This brought a rush of 800 frantic inquiries into the little New York office which meanwhile had been established. Each inquiry was painstakingly answered; pamphlets and books were sent out. Businessmen, traveling out of existing groups, were referred to these prospective newcomers. New groups started up and it was found, to the astonishment of everyone, that A.A.'s message could be transmitted in the mail as well as by word of mouth. By the end of 1939 it was estimated that 800 alcoholics were on their way to recovery."

72. The Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick was the pastor at the Riverside Church in Manhattan.

73. Now why is this worth mentioning?

74. It's interesting because, several years earlier, John D. Rockefeller Jr., had saved Bill and Dr. Bob from bankruptcy with a donation of $5,000. He had placed this money in the treasury of the Riverside Church for Dr. Bob and Bill's personal use.

75. That $5,000 contribution made in the 1930's would be worth approximately $75,000 today.

76. Dr. Bob was able to use some of this money to pay off his mortgage and save his home from foreclosure.

77. Bill and Dr. Bob were also able to draw a weekly allowance so that they had money to live on as they wrote the Big Book and developed the program.

78. "Liberty" was a magazine that was very popular at that time.

79. The fact that people, whose only contact was through the mail, were able to start groups, proved that it doesn't take a person, much less an alcoholic to transmit the program's message. The written word can be used to carry the program's message to those who still suffer.

80. Further demonstrating this point is a story that was in the First Edition of the Big Book. "Lone Endeavor" is now in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. We suggest that you read it later, when you have the time.

81. Using the mail and word of mouth, it took 4 years for the fellowship to grow from 2 recovered alcoholics to approximately 100. However, once the Big Book was printed, it only took 8 months for the fellowship to grow to approximately 800 members.

82. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page V, in the first full paragraph it continues:

"In the spring of 1940, John D. Rockefeller Jr. gave a dinner for many of his friends to which he invited A.A. members to tell their stories. News of this got on the world wires; inquiries poured in again and many people went to the bookstores to get the book 'Alcoholics Anonymous.' By March 1941 the membership had shot up to 2,000. Then Jack Alexander wrote a feature article in the SATURDAY EVENING POST and placed such a compelling picture of A.A. before the general public that alcoholics in need of help really deluged us. By the close of 1941, A.A. numbered 8,000 members. The mushrooming process was in full swing. A.A. had become a national institution."

83. The dinner guests and Mr. Rockefeller donated $3,000. That $3,000 contribution made in the 1930's would be worth approximately $45,000 today.

84. The dinner guests and Mr. Rockefeller continued to give that $3,000 donation every year for the next four years. This provided A.A., Bill, and Bob, with the money they needed for the first five years of the fellowship's existence, from 1939 through 1944.

85. The next paragraph continues:

"Our Society then entered a fearsome and exciting adolescent period. The test that it faced was this: Could these large numbers of erstwhile erratic alcoholics successfully meet and work together? Would there be quarrels over membership, leadership and money? Would there be strivings for power and prestige? Would there be schisms which would split A.A. apart? Soon A.A. was beset by these very problems on every side and in every group. But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.'s had to hang together or die separately. We had to unify our Fellowship or pass off the scene."

86. It was a confusing time for people. There were different interpretations of the program. Sometimes several groups would start up in the same city, each claiming to be the "original" program.

87. The next paragraph describes how they solved these problems:

"As we discovered the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which the A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous and there was to be no professional class of therapy. There were to be no fees or dues; our expenses were to be met by our own voluntary contributions. There was to be the least possible organization, even in our service centers. Our public relations were to be based upon attraction rather than promotion. It was decided that all members ought to be anonymous at the level of press, radio, TV and films. And in no circumstances should we give endorsements, make alliances, or enter public controversies."

88. These principles are of course, the principles that went on to become the Twelve Traditions.

89. In fact, the concept we just read in the previous paragraph, "that A.A.'s had to hang together or die separately," went on to become the basis of the First Tradition.

90. The statement that "It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society" became the Third Tradition.

91. The thought "that our leaders might serve but never govern" became part of the Second Tradition.

92. The next thought, "that each group was to be autonomous" became part of the Fourth Tradition.

93. The next one said, "and there was to be no professional class of therapy." This became part of the Eighth Tradition.

94. The next thought became part of the Seventh Tradition. It says, "There were to be no fees or dues; our expenses were to be met by our own voluntary contributions."

95. The next one became part of the Ninth Tradition. It says, "There was to be the least possible organization, even in our service centers."

96. The next thought became part of the Eleventh Tradition. It says, "Our public relations were to be based upon attraction rather than promotion. It was decided that all members ought to be anonymous at the level of press, radio, TV, and films."

97. And the next one became part of the Sixth Tradition. It says, "And in no circumstances should we give endorsements, make alliances, or enter public controversies."

98. You may not be able to see it now, but the Twelve Traditions will play an important part in your recovery.

99. We suggest that you read the essays about the Twelve Traditions that Bill wrote in A.A.'s Twelve and Twelve. You can also read the full A.A. and R.A. versions of the Traditions in the back of R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book.

100. R.A.'s application of the Traditions is slightly different from the applications you may be familiar with, so we are going to take a few moments to talk about them.

101. Tradition One, within R.A., means that we need to voluntarily do whatever is necessary to promote the unity and welfare of the fellowship. However, we also protect each individual. No one can be punished or expelled. No one can compel another person to do anything. Everyone is encouraged to seek and follow their own direction and guidance from their Higher Power.

102. Tradition Two makes it clear that while our leaders are trusted servants, and do not rule by decree, we do have leaders.

103. The Third Tradition makes it clear that someone is a member when they say they are. Each person declares when they are in; nobody can keep them out.

104. Tradition Four says that every group can set up whatever rules and regulations they want. However, the Traditions make it clear that each individual who is in that group has the right to follow these rules, or not. This tradition also lets us know that autonomy does not give the group the right to do anything that might negatively affect other groups, or the fellowship as a whole.

105. Tradition Five emphasizes that the great paradox of the program is that "we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of [sanity] unless we give it away," to others who still suffer.

106. Tradition Six makes it clear that the individual group, or the entire fellowship, is not supposed to have any connection to any outside organizations, or to endorse any outside interests. We are also not supposed to use the program as a platform to promote our own individual ideas or philosophies.

107. The Seventh Tradition lets us know the goal is for each group to become self-supporting. However, most groups cannot usually start off that way. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with another group within a fellowship helping and supporting a new group within that fellowship. This is not against this tradition. It is also important to note that A.A. did not start to decline outside contributions until after they were financially secure. This was ten years after they started. If they had not accepted outside help, from Rockefeller, and non-alcoholics, the program would never have survived.

108. R.A. is supported by the contributions of those who benefit from our program. Therefore, if R.A. is helping you, please make a contribution to support our efforts to carry our message of hope, sanity, and recovery to those who still suffer.

109. While you may contribute as little as $1.00, or as much as you wish, we suggest a one-time tax–free contribution of $50.00 if you are going through R.A.'s Step Presentation.

Please click here to make a contribution to R.A.

110. Tradition Eight makes it clear that no one should be paid for Twelfth Step work. However, this tradition also recognizes that someone who is hired to do a job for a group or for the fellowship. For example, a secretary, a janitor, etc., needs to be paid for their services. This is true if the person hired is a member of the program or not.

111. As it says in A.A.'s 12&12:

"...our Twelfth Step is never to be paid for, but those who labor in service for us are worthy of their hire."

112. Tradition Nine says that our service structure is responsible to the fellowship. It cannot issue commands to the members. They can make suggestions that the members can follow voluntarily.

113. Tradition Ten lets us know that our groups and our fellowship should not get involved in outside issues. For example, politics, and religion, are outside issues. In R.A., we extend this to how someone defines their spiritual life, their sobriety, or abstinence, or their emotional stability, etc. All of these are also outside issues.

114. Tradition Eleven states that we are only supposed to use our first name at the level of press, radio, films, TV, and other public media of communication. It also makes it clear that at any other level it is perfectly permissible to use our full name, if we choose, and identify ourselves as members of Recoveries Anonymous.

115. Tradition Twelve has two parts. First, it is not good for the person or for the program, for someone to become publicly identified with the program. Second, when someone shares something in confidence, we are expected to keep what he or she shares with us as confidential.

116. To read more about the distinctive way that R.A. puts the Twelve Traditions into practice please read R.A.'s Twelve Ideals. A copy is in each of R.A.'s Books and "How To Begin…" Guides.

117. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page V, continuing with the bottom paragraph, it says:

"This was the substance of A.A.'s Twelve Traditions, which are stated in full on page 564 of this book. Though none of these principles had the force of rules or laws, they had become so widely accepted by 1950 that they were confirmed by our first International Conference held at Cleveland. Today the remarkable unity of A.A. is one of the greatest assets that our Society has."

118. The Twelve Traditions are also on page HH in the back of R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. While the Twelve Traditions were on page 564 in both the Second Edition and the Third Edition of the Big Book, they are on page 563 in the Fourth Edition of the Big Book.

119. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page W, continuing with the first paragraph, it says:

"While the internal difficulties of our adolescent period were being ironed out, public acceptance of A.A. grew by leaps and bounds. For this there were two principal reasons: the large numbers of recoveries, and reunited homes. These made their impressions everywhere. Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these—about two out of three—began to return as time passed."

120. The figures in this last paragraph are very important. These figures about recovery in early A.A. come from an outside, independent psychiatrist.

121. They are very important because where no hope had been before; there were suddenly consistent results.

122. The psychiatrist reported that 50% of those who really tried got sober at once and remained that way. This meant that they really worked the program, not just talked about it, or read about it.

123. No one can claim that the program is 100% effective for 100% of the people who come into it. However, it is astonishingly effective for all of the people who take the time to understand and thoroughly work the program following the pioneer's original "clear-cut directions."

124. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page W, in the second paragraph it says:

"Another reason for the wide acceptance of A.A. was the ministration of friends—friends in medicine, religion, and the press, together with innumerable others who became our able and persistent advocates. Without such support, A.A. could have made only the slowest progress. Some of the recommendations of A.A.'s early medical and religious friends will be found further on in this book."

125. There are a number of appendices at the back of the Fourth Edition of A.A.'s Big Book. There are more in the back of A.A. Comes of Age. These appendices contain many of these talks and articles by religious and medical friends of the program.

126. Continuing in the next paragraph, it says:

"Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization. Neither does A.A. take any particular medical point of view, though we cooperate widely with the men of medicine as well as with the men of religion."

127. All of this is also true about Recoveries Anonymous.

128. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page W, in the fourth paragraph it says:

"Alcohol being no respecter of persons, we are an accurate cross section of America, and in distant lands, the same democratic evening-up process is now going on. By personal religious affiliation, we include Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and a sprinkling of Moslems and Buddhists. More than 15% of us are women."

129. Remember that this was written in 1955.

130. The last paragraph says:

"At present, our membership is increasing at the rate of about seven per cent a year. So far, upon the total problem of several million actual and potential alcoholics in the world, we have made only a scratch. In all probability, we shall never be able to touch more than a fair fraction of the alcohol problem in all its ramifications. Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly. Yet it is our great hope that all those who have as yet found no answer may begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on the high road to a new freedom."

131. The Foreword to the Third Edition of the Big Book was written in 1976.

132. The Foreword to the Fourth Edition of the Big Book was written in 2001.

133. While they are interesting, they have no relevance to working the Twelve Steps by following the pioneers' "clear-cut directions." Therefore, we will not discuss them here.


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