1. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, in "Bill's Story," on page 7, in the first paragraph, Bill shares something that his friend, Ebby, told him. Ebby said that it was "imperative to work with others, as he had worked with me." Ebby then continues. He says that if someone "failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead." In R.A., we believe that this again emphasizes the importance of working with others.
2. We are now going to read and discuss Chapter Ten, "To Employers." It details how to work with people we are in authority over.
3. Then, the next chapter is Chapter Eleven, "A Vision for You." It tells us why we need to work with others, and the results of doing so.
4. Many people, when they are new to the program, do not read Chapter Ten, "To Employers." They do not think this chapter relates to them.
5. In R.A., the first time many people read this chapter is when they do R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction. R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction suggests going through the entire Big Book, highlighting and underlining on every page.
6. Then R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction suggests reading all the highlighted passages, and then the entire book. When these suggestions are followed, most people find "To Employers" to be a very helpful chapter.
7. This chapter contains the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working with people we are in authority over. It is an extension of the previous chapters, "Working With Others," "To Wives," and "The Family Afterward."
8. It has been widely reported that Henry "Hank" Parkhurst wrote the chapter "To Employers." He also wrote the story "The Unbeliever." This story is right after Dr. Bob's story in the back of R.A.'s Multilith Big Book.
9. However, since this chapter was subjected to the same editorial and group conscience approval process as the rest of the Multilith Copy of the Big Book, we are still going to refer to the pioneers' sharing.
10. This chapter also presents a blueprint for working with others. In it, the pioneers, based on their experience, give "clear-cut directions" about how to work with people we are in authority over.
11. We will now share R.A.'s understanding and experience. Please keep in mind that the Twelve Steps are a specific process that produces a specific result.
12. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, please turn to page 62, in the first page of "To Employers." Starting with the first paragraph, and continuing through the eighth paragraph, the last on the page, the pioneers introduce this chapter by sharing their experience. They say:
"One of our friends, whose gripping story you have read, has spent much of his life in the world of big business. He has hired and fired hundreds of men. He knows the alcoholic as the employer sees him. His present views ought to prove exceptionally useful to businessmen everywhere.
"But let him tell you:
"I was at one time assistant manager of a corporation department employing sixty-six hundred men. One day my secretary came in saying that Mr. B--- insisted on speaking with me. I told her to say that I was not interested. I had warned this man several times that he had but one more chance. Not long afterward he had called me from Hartford on two successive days, so drunk he could hardly speak. I told him he was through — finally and forever.
"My secretary returned to say that it was not Mr. B--- on the phone; it was Mr. B---'s brother, and he wished to give me a message. I still expected a plea for clemency, but these words came through the receiver: 'I just wanted to tell you Paul jumped from a hotel window in Hartford last Saturday. He left us a note saying you were the best boss he ever had, and that you were not to blame in any way.'
"Another time, as I opened a letter which lay on my desk, a newspaper clipping fell out. It was the obituary of one of the best salesmen I ever had. After two weeks of drinking, he had placed his foot on the trigger of a loaded shotgun — the barrel was in his mouth. I had discharged him for drinking six weeks before.
"Still another experience: A woman's voice came faintly over long distance from Virginia. She wanted to know if her husband's company insurance was still in force. Four days before he had hanged himself in his woodshed. I had been obliged to discharge him for drinking, though he was brilliant, alert, and one of the best organizers I have ever known.
"Here were three exceptional men lost to this world because I did not understand as I do now. Then I became an alcoholic myself! And but for the intervention of an understanding person, I might have followed in their footsteps. My downfall cost the business community unknown thousands of dollars, for it takes real money to train a man for an executive position. This kind of waste goes on unabated. Our business fabric is shot through with it and nothing will stop it but better understanding all around.
"You, an employer, want to understand. Nearly every modern employer feels a moral responsibility for the well being of his help, and he usually tries to meet these responsibilities. That he has not always done so for the alcoholic is easily understood. To him the alcoholic has often seemed to be a fool of the first magnitude. Because of the employee's special ability, or of his own strong personal attachment to him, the employer has sometimes kept such a man at work long beyond the time he ordinarily would. Some employers have tried every known remedy. More often, however, there is very little patience and tolerance. And we, who have imposed on the best of employers, can scarcely blame them if they have been short with us."
13. Remember what was read back on page 41. The pioneers shared, "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure your own immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other spiritual activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are fatally ill."
14. In other words, the pioneers share that alcoholics, addicts, gamblers, overeaters, and all those others who have a spiritual malady "are fatally ill."
15. Today, many people do not like to think that alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, or eating disorders, etc., can be fatal.
16. However, these problems and behaviors can cause long-term medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, and heart disease. These are not the only fatal consequences. Physical, emotional, and psychological damage often lead to depression and suicide.
17. There are yet others who are affected. We have already discussed the spouse or significant other, as well as the rest of someone's family and friends.
18. Now, this chapter discusses the consequences to someone's employer and co-workers.
19. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 63, starting with the first paragraph, and continuing through the fourth paragraph, the pioneers share their experience. They say:
"Here, for instance, is a typical example: An officer of one of the largest banking institutions in America knows I no longer drink. One day he told me about an executive of the same bank who, from his description, was undoubtedly alcoholic. This seemed to me like an opportunity to be helpful. So I spent a good two hours talking about alcoholism, the malady. I described the symptoms and supported my statements with plenty of evidence. His comment was, 'Very interesting. But I'm sure this man is done drinking. He has just returned from a three-months leave of absence, has taken a cure, looks fine, and to clinch the matter, the board of directors told him this was his last chance.'
"My rejoinder was that if I could afford it, I would bet him a hundred to one the man would go on a bigger bust than ever. I felt this was inevitable and that the bank was doing a possible injustice. Why not bring the man in contact with some of our alcoholic crowd? He might have a chance. I pointed out I had had nothing to drink whatever for three years, and this in the face of difficulties that would have made nine out of ten men drink their heads off. Why not at least afford him an opportunity to hear my story? 'Oh no,' said my friend, 'this chap is either through with liquor, or he is minus a job. If he has your will power and guts, he will make the grade.'
"I wanted to throw up my hands in discouragement, for I saw that my banking acquaintance had missed the point entirely. He simply could not believe that his brother-executive suffered from a deadly malady. There was nothing to do but wait.
"Presently the man did slip and of course, was fired. Following his discharge, our group contacted him. Without much ado, he accepted our principles and procedure. He is undoubtedly on the high road to recovery. To me, this incident illustrates a lack of understanding and knowledge on the part of employers — lack of understanding as to what really ails the alcoholic, and lack of knowledge as to what part employers might profitably take in salvaging their sick employees."
20. All these years later, it is still common to hear someone say that stopping is only a matter of "will power and guts."
21. It is very difficult for some people to understand that if all it took were "will power and guts," most people would have stopped long ago.
22. Please remember what we read back on page 20, in the first paragraph. The pioneers shared, "In the preceding chapters, you have learned something of alcoholism. We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if, when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer."
23. This fact is sometimes not clearly understood in some other programs. They insist that someone stop their problem or behavior, before working the Twelve Steps. They don't understand that the "real" alcoholic simply can't do that.
24. As the pioneers share, the "real" alcoholic is "suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer." In other words, they can only stop after they have fully worked all Twelve Steps by following the pioneers' "clear-cut directions."
25. This course of action results in them having a spiritual experience, or spiritual awakening, that brings them into conscious contact with a loving Creator. God can then restore them to sanity, remove their obsessions, and have them behave sanely and normally in the same situations that used to baffle them.
26. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 63, in the fifth, sixth, and seventh paragraphs, the pioneers specifically address employers. They say:
"To begin with, I think you employers would do well to disregard your own drinking experience, or lack of it. Whether you are a hard drinker, a moderate drinker or a teetotaler, you have but little notion of the inner workings of the alcoholic mind. Instead, you may have some pretty strong opinions, perhaps prejudices, based upon your own experiences. Those of you who drink moderately are almost certain to be more annoyed with an alcoholic than a total abstainer would be. Drinking occasionally, and understanding your own reactions, it is possible for you to become quite sure of many things which, so far as the alcoholic is concerned, are not always so.
"As a moderate drinker, you can take your liquor or leave it alone. Whenever you want to, you can control your drinking. Of an evening, you can go on a mild bender, get up in the morning, shake your head and go to business. To you, liquor is no real problem. You cannot see why it should be to anyone else, save the spineless and stupid.
"When dealing with an alcoholic, you have to fight an ingrained annoyance that he could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may still have to check this feeling and remember that your employee is very ill, being seldom as weak and irresponsible as he appears."
27. Here the pioneers are saying that the employer should rely on the pioneers' experience, instead of their own. They say that this is especially true if the employer is a "moderate drinker."
28. Please remember what was read all the way back on page 9. The pioneers share that "Moderate drinkers have little trouble in giving up liquor entirely if they have good reason for it. They can take it or leave it alone."
29. It can be very difficult for someone who is a "moderate drinker" or even a "hard drinker" to understand the "real alcoholic."
30. Also back on page 9 the pioneers share that "Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit bad enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason — ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor — becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.
31. Someone who has been able to stop or moderate on a non-spiritual basis will not understand that not everyone is able to exercise this kind of control over their problems and behaviors.
32. Back on page 10 the pioneers share "But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink."
33. Once again, the only solution for the "real" alcoholic, addict, gambler, or overeater, etc., is to have a spiritual experience by fully working all Twelve Steps.
34. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 63, starting with the last paragraph, and then continuing through the third paragraph on page 64, the pioneers continue addressing the employer. Giving "clear-cut directions," they say:
"Take a look at the alcoholic in your organization. Is he not usually brilliant, fast-thinking, imaginative and likeable? When sober, does he not work hard and have a knack of getting things done? Review his qualities and ask yourself whether he would be worth retaining, if sober. And do you owe him the same obligation you feel toward other sick employees? Is he worth salvaging? If your decision is yes, whether the reason be humanitarian or business or both, then you will wish to know what to do.
"The first part has to do with you. Can you stop feeling that you are dealing only with habit, with stubbornness, or a weak will? If you have difficulty about that I suggest you re-read chapters two and three of this book, where the alcoholic sickness is discussed at length. You, as a business man, know better than most that when you deal with any problem, you must know what it is. Having conceded that your employee is ill, can you forgive him for what he has done in the past? Can you shelve the resentment you may hold because of his past absurdities? Can you fully appreciate that the man has been a victim of crooked thinking, directly caused by the action of alcohol on his brain?
"I well remember the shock I received when a prominent doctor in Chicago told me of cases where pressure of the spinal fluid actually ruptured the brain from within. No wonder an alcoholic is strangely irrational. Who wouldn't be, with such a fevered brain? Normal drinkers are not so handicapped.
"Your man has probably been trying to conceal a number of scrapes, perhaps pretty messy ones. They may disgust you. You may be puzzled by them, being unable to understand how such a seemingly above board chap could be so involved. But you can generally charge these, no matter how bad, to the abnormal action of alcohol on his mind. When drinking, or getting over a bout, an alcoholic, sometimes the model of honesty when normal, will do incredible things. Afterward, his revulsion will be terrible. Nearly always, these antics indicate nothing more than temporary abberations, and you should so treat them."
35. In these passages the pioneers are trying to convince the employer that the alcoholic is sick.
36. They tell the employer that if they have trouble accepting this, they should "re-read chapters two and three of this book, where the alcoholic sickness is discussed at length."
37. They then go on to explain that when someone has a spiritual malady, it causes physical and psychological symptoms that affect their ability to think and act sanely. Sometimes they "will do incredible things. Afterward, his revulsion will be terrible."
38. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 64, starting with the fourth paragraph, and continuing all the way through the first full paragraph on page 65, the pioneers share their experience and their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"This is not to say that all alcoholics are honest and upright when not drinking. Of course that isn't so, and you will have to be careful that such people don't impose on you. Seeing your attempt to understand and help, some men will try to take advantage of your kindness. If you are sure your man does not want to stop, you may as well discharge him, the sooner the better. You are not doing him a favor by keeping him on. Firing such an individual may prove a blessing to him. It may be just the jolt he needs. I know, in my own particular case, that nothing my company could have done would have stopped me for, so long as I was able to hold my position, I could not possibly realize how serious my situation was. Had they fired me first, and had they then taken steps to see that I was presented with the solution contained in this book, I might have returned to them six months later, a well man.
"But there are many men who want to stop right now, and with them you can go far. If you make a start, you should be prepared to go the limit, not in the sense that any great expense or trouble is to be expected, but rather in the matter of your own attitude, your understanding treatment of the case.
"Perhaps you have such a man in mind. He wants to quit drinking and you want to help him, even if it be only a matter of good business. You know something of alcoholism. You see that he is mentally and physically sick. You are willing to overlook his past performances. Suppose you call the man in and go at him like this:
"Hit him point blank with the thought that you know all about his drinking, that it must stop. Say you appreciate his abilities, would like to keep him, but cannot if he continues to drink. That you mean just what you say. And you should mean it too!
"Next assure him that you are not proposing to lecture, moralize, or condemn; that if you have done so formerly, it is because you misunderstood. Say, if you possibly can, that you have no hard feeling toward him. At this point, bring out the idea of alcoholism, the sickness. Enlarge on that fully. Remark that you have been looking into the matter. You are sure of what you say, hence your change of attitude, hence your willingness to deal with the problem as though it were a disease. You are willing to look at your man as a gravely-ill person, with this qualification – being perhaps fatally ill, does your man want to get well, and right now? You ask, because many alcoholics, being warped and drugged, do not want to quit. But does he? Will he take every necessary step, submit to anything to get well, to stop drinking forever?
"If he says yes, does he really mean it, or down inside does he think he is fooling you, and that after rest and treatment he will be able to get away with a few drinks now and then? Probe your man thoroughly on these points. Be satisfied he is not deceiving himself or you."
39. In R.A., we think it is easy to see how all of the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for the employer relate back to the "clear-cut directions" that we read back on page 43. Starting in the second paragraph, they say to, "Outline our program of action, telling how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past, and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. Make it plain he is under no obligation to you, that you hope only that he will try to help other alcoholics when he escapes his own difficulties. Show how important it is that he place the welfare of other people ahead of his own. Make it clear that he is not under pressure, that he needn't see you again, if he doesn't want to. You should not be offended if he wants to call it off, for he has helped you more than you have helped him. If your talk has been sane, quiet and full of human understanding, you have probably made a friend. Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions."
40. In the next paragraph they continue by saying, "Your candidate may give reasons why he need not follow all of your program. He will rebel at the thought of a drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other people. Do not contradict such views. Tell him you once felt as he does, but you doubt if you would have made much progress had you not taken action. On your first visit tell him about the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If he shows interest, lend him your copy of this book."
41. Then, in the fourth paragraph, they say, "Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself, do not wear out your welcome. Give him a chance to think it over. If you do stay, let him steer the conversation in any direction he likes. Sometimes a new man is anxious to make a decision and discuss his affairs at once, and you may be tempted to let him proceed. This is almost always a mistake. If he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed him. You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform. Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out your kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship. Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help."
42. Continuing in the next paragraph on page 43, the pioneers share "If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, drop him until he changes his mind. This he may do after he gets hurt again."
43. Then, in the next paragraph the pioneers share "If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to be sure to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he is to decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He is not to be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within."
44. Back in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 65, in the second, and third paragraphs, the pioneers share more of their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"Not a word about this book unless you are sure you ought to introduce it at this juncture. If he temporizes and still thinks he can ever drink again, even beer, you may as well discharge him after the next bender which, if an alcoholic, he is certain to have. Tell him that emphatically and mean it! Either you are dealing with a man who can and will get well or you are not. If not, don't waste time with him. This may seem severe, but it is usually the best course.
"After satisfying yourself that your man wants to recover and that he will go to any extreme to do so, you may suggest a definite course of action. For most alcoholics who are drinking, or who are just getting over a spree, a certain amount of physical treatment is desirable, even imperative. Some physicians favor cutting off the liquor sharply, and prefer to use little or no sedative. This may be wise in some instances, but for the most of us it is a barbaric torture. For severe cases, some doctors prefer a slower tapering-down process, followed by a health farm or sanitarium. Other doctors prefer a few days of de-toxication, removal of poisons from the system by cathartics, belladonna, and the like, followed by a week of mild exercise and rest. Having tried them all, I personally favor the latter, though the matter of physical treatment should, of course, be referred to your own doctor. Whatever the method, its object should be to thoroughly clear mind and body of the effects of alcohol. In competent hands, this seldom takes long nor should it be very expensive. Your man is entitled to be placed in such physical condition that he can think straight and no longer physically craves liquor. These handicaps must be removed if you are going to give him the chance you want him to have. Propose such a procedure to him. Offer to advance the cost of treatment, if necessary, but make it plain that any expense will later be deducted from his pay. Make him fully responsible; it is much better for him."
45. Since the pioneers were not doctors, they later deleted the sentences that speak to the courses of action that doctors may recommend. However, in R.A., we believe that this information is still of interest to those going through this process.
46. In R.A., we think it is important to note that when this was written, the treatments that were available to help someone's "physical condition" were very limited. Mental health options were not widely accessible, or effective.
47. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, in "The Doctor's Opinion," on page 3a, Dr. Silkworth says, "Men have cried out to me in sincere and despairing appeal: 'Doctor, I cannot go on like this! I have everything to live for! I must stop, but I cannot! You must help me!'
48. In the next paragraph, Dr. Silkworth continues by saying, "Faced with this problem, if a doctor is honest with himself, he must sometimes feel his own inadequacy. Although he gives all that is in him, it often is not enough. One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change. Though the aggregate of recoveries resulting from psychiatric effort is perhaps considerable, we physicians must admit we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach."
49. Today it is common for someone to enter some sort of "rehab." These facilities usually offer some combination of psychological treatment and the Twelve Step approach. However, if the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" are not thoroughly followed, the positive results of a stay in rehab, if any, are usually short lived.
50. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 65, in the fourth paragraph, the pioneers continue to share their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"When your man accepts your offer, point out that physical treatment is but a small part of the picture. Though you are providing him with the best possible medical attention, he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart. To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude. He must place recovery above everything, even home and business, for without recovery he will lose both."
51. In R.A., we think it is important to note that the pioneers make a very important statement in this paragraph. They say, "To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude. He must place recovery above everything, even home and business, for without recovery he will lose both."
52. The whole point of thoroughly following the pioneers "clear-cut directions" has been to bring about a "transformation of thought and attitude."
53. In other words, this process is designed to bring about a change in attitude where someone can change from being "selfish—self-centered" to being willing to "place the welfare of other people ahead of" their own.
54. R.A.'s Step Presentation has been designed so someone can say, "This I cannot do today, perhaps, but I can stop crying out 'No, never!' " This change in attitude helps someone become willing to "place recovery above everything, even home and business, for without recovery he will lose both."
55. In other words, the pioneers designed this entire process to produce a spiritual experience. In fact, the original Twelfth Step says, "Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others..."
56. As we also read back on page 11, the pioneers shared that "The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences, which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves."
57. The pioneers also shared, on page 12, that "Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them."
58. Continuing in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 65, in the fifth paragraph, the pioneers continue to share more of their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"Show that you have every confidence in his ability to recover. While on the subject of confidence, tell him that so far as you are concerned this will be a strictly personal matter. His alcoholic derelictions, the treatment about to be undertaken, these will never be discussed without his consent. Cordially wish him success and say you want to have a long chat with him on his return."
59. In this passage, the pioneers make it clear that is as important for the employer to respect someone's anonymity is as it is for everyone else.
60. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 65, in the sixth paragraph, the pioneers continue to share their experience and "clear-cut directions." They say:
"To return to the subject matter of this book: It contains, as you have seen, full directions by which your employee may solve his problem. To you, some of the ideas which it contains are novel. Perhaps some of them don't make sense to you. Possibly you are not quite in sympathy with the approach we suggest. By no means do we offer it as the last word on this subject, but so far as we are concerned, it has been the best word so far. Our approach often does work. After all, you are looking for results rather than methods. Whether your employee likes it or not, he will learn the grim truth about alcoholism. That won't hurt him a bit, though he does not go for the remedy at first."
61. In this passage the pioneers share about the Big Book. Speaking to the employer, they say that the Big Book "contains, as you have seen, full directions by which your employee may solve his problem."
62. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book back on page S, the pioneers share that "To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW THEY CAN RECOVER is the main purpose of this book."
63. Then, back on page 13, the pioneers say that in the Big Book, "clear-cut directions are given showing how an alcoholic may recover."
64. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 66, in the first paragraph, the pioneers continue. They say:
"I suggest you draw our book to the attention of the doctor who is to attend your patient during treatment. Ask that the book be read the moment the patient is able — while he is acutely depressed, if possible."
65. Please notice that in later editions of the Big Book, the "I" at the beginning of this paragraph was changed to "We." This is because these are the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," not just a suggestion from Hank.
66. This paragraph also says to "draw our book to the attention of the doctor who is to attend your patient during treatment."
67. This reflects what the pioneers share back on page 42. They say, "The family should not try to represent you. When possible, avoid meeting a man through his family. Approach through a doctor or an institution is a better bet. If your man needs hospitalization, he should have it, but not forcibly, unless he is violent. Let the doctor tell him he has something new in the way of a solution."
68. The final sentence of this paragraph says that the newcomer should read the Big Book as soon as they are able to do so, while the newcomer "is acutely depressed, if possible."
69. This repeats what the pioneers share back on page 42. They say, "When your man is better, let the doctor suggest a visit from you. Though you have talked with the family, leave them out of the first discussion. Under these conditions your prospect will see he is under no pressure. He will feel he can deal with you without being nagged by his family. Call on him while he is still jittery. He will be more receptive when depressed."
70. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 66, in the second paragraph, the pioneers share more of their experience and "clear-cut directions." They say:
"The doctor should approve a spiritual approach. And besides, he ought to tell the patient the truth about his condition, whatever that happens to be. The doctor should encourage him to acquire a spiritual experience. At this stage it will be just as well if the doctor does not mention you in connection with the book. Above all, neither you, the doctor, nor anyone should place himself in the position of telling the man he must abide by the contents of this volume. The man must decide for himself. You cannot command him, you can only encourage. And you will surely agree that it may be better to withhold any criticism you may have of our method until you see whether it works."
71. Most of this paragraph was later deleted. In R.A., we believe that this is because the pioneers did not think it was appropriate for them to tell doctors what they should do.
72. In the current version of this passage, all that it says is, "We hope the doctor will tell the patient the truth about his condition, whatever that happens to be. When the man is presented with this volume it is best that no one tell him he must abide by its suggestions. The man must decide for himself."
73. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 66, in the third paragraph, the pioneers continue to share their experience and "clear-cut directions." They say:
"You are betting, of course, that your changed attitude and the contents of this book will turn the trick. In some cases it will, and in others it will not. But we think that if you persist, the percentage of successes will gratify you. When our work spreads and our numbers increase, we hope your employees may be put in personal contact with some of us, which, needless to say, will be more effective. Meanwhile, we are sure a great deal can be accomplished if you will follow the suggestions of this chapter."
74. In this paragraph, the pioneers share that "if you persist, the percentage of successes will gratify you."
75. This brings to mind what the pioneers wrote back on page 45. They say, "Both you and the new prospect must day by day walk in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen to you. When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God's hands were better for us than anything we could have planned. Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!"
76. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 66, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraphs, the pioneers share more of their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"On your employee's return, call him in and ask what happened. Ask him if he thinks he has the answer. Get him to tell you how he thinks it will work, and what he has to do about it. Make him feel free to discuss his problems with you, if he cares to. Show him you understand and that you will not be upset by anything he wishes to say.
"In this connection, it is important that you remain undisturbed if the man proceeds to tell you things which shock you. He may, for example, reveal that he has padded his expense account or that he has planned to take your best customers away from you. In fact, he may say almost anything if he has accepted our solution which, as you know, demands rigorous honesty. Charge this off as you would a bad account and start fresh with him. If he owes you money make terms which are reasonable. From this point on, never rake up the past unless he wants to discuss it.
"If he speaks of his home situation, be patient and make helpful suggestions. Let him see that he can talk frankly with you so long as he does not bear tales or criticize others. With this kind of employee you want to keep, such an attitude will command undying loyalty."
77. R.A. believes that the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" in these paragraphs do not need further comments from us.
78. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 66, in the seventh and eighth paragraphs, as well as starting in the bottom paragraph, which continues on page 67, the pioneers share more of their experience. They say:
"The greatest enemies of the alcoholic are resentment, jealousy, envy, frustration, and fear. Wherever men are gathered together in business there will be rivalries and, arising out of these, a certain amount of office politics. Sometimes the alcoholic has an idea that people are trying to pull him down. Often this is not so at all. But sometimes his drinking will be used as a basis of criticism.
"One instance comes to mind in which a malicious individual was always making friendly little jokes of an alcoholic's drinking exploits. In another case, an alcoholic was sent to a hospital for treatment. Only a few knew of it at first but, within a short time, it was bill-boarded throughout the entire company. Naturally this sort of thing decreases a man's chance of recovery. The employer should make it his business to protect the victim from this kind of talk if he can. The employer cannot play favorites, but he can always try to defend a man from needless provocation and unfair criticism.
"As a class, alcoholics are energetic people. They work hard and they play hard. Your man will be on his mettle to make good. Being somewhat weakened, and faced with physical and mental readjustment to a life which knows no alcohol, he may overdo. Don't let him work sixteen hours a day just because he wants to. Encourage him to play once in a while. Make it possible for him to do so. He may wish to do a lot for other alcoholics and something of the sort may come up during business hours. Don't begrudge him a reasonable amount of time. This work is necessary to maintain his sobriety."
79. Most of what the pioneers discuss in these three paragraphs do not need any additional comments.
80. However, please look at the end of the last paragraph. Speaking about the newcomer, the pioneers share that "He may wish to do a lot for other alcoholics and something of the sort may come up during business hours. Don't begrudge him a reasonable amount of time. This work is necessary to maintain his sobriety."
81. Notice that the pioneers, referring to the newcomer, say that working with others "is necessary to maintain his sobriety."
82. Please remember the passage from page 41 that has already been read a number of times. The pioneers share that "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure your own immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other spiritual activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are fatally ill."
83. In another passage that was read back on page 59, the pioneers share that even "though the family does not fully agree with dad's spiritual activities, they should let him assume leadership. Even if he displays a certain amount of neglect and irresponsibility towards the family, it is well to let him go as far as he likes in helping other alcoholics. During those first days of convalescence, this will do more to insure his sobriety than anything else. Though some of his manifestations are alarming and disagreeable, dad will be on a firmer foundation than the man who is placing business or professional success ahead of spiritual development. He will be less likely to drink again, and anything is preferable to that."
84. Please notice that the pioneers share that working with others is important from the very beginning. They say, "During those first days of convalescence, this will do more to insure his sobriety than anything else."
85. The pioneers did not expect someone to have a specific length of recovery behind them before they started working with others. They recognized that working with others was an essential part of the recovery process. Therefore, working with others was something that should be started as soon as possible.
86. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 67, in the first full paragraph, the pioneers share another of their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"After your man has gone along without drinking a few months, try to make use of his services with other employees who are giving you the alcoholic run-around — provided, of course, they are willing to have a third party in the picture. Don't hesitate to let an alcoholic who has recovered, but holds a relatively unimportant job, talk to a man with a better position. Being on [a] radically different basis of life, he will never take advantage of the situation."
87. Here the pioneers suggest that the employer put the newcomer to work helping others within the company. They also share their experience that it is okay for employees to talk to each other regardless of their position in the company.
88. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 67, in the second, and third paragraphs, the pioneers share more of their experience, and their "clear-cut directions." They say:
"You must trust your man. Long experience with alcoholic excuses naturally makes you suspicious. When his wife next calls saying he is sick, don't jump to the conclusion he is drunk. If he is, and is still trying to recover upon our basis, he will presently tell you about it even if it means the loss of his job. For he knows he must be honest if he would live at all. Let him see you are not bothering your head about him, at all, that you are not suspicious nor are you trying to run his life so he will be shielded from temptation to drink. If he is conscientiously following the Program of Recovery he can go anywhere your business may call him. Do not promote him, however, until you are sure.
"In case he does stumble, even once, you will have to decide whether to let him go. If you are sure he doesn't mean business, there is no doubt you should discharge him. If, on the contrary, you are sure he is doing his utmost, you may wish to give him another chance. But you should feel under no obligation to do so, for your obligation has been well discharged already. In any event, don't let him fool you, and don't let sentiment get the better of you if you are sure he ought to go."
89. Once again we believe that the pioneers are so clear that we do not need to comment.
90. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 67, in the fourth, and fifth paragraphs, the pioneers continue sharing their "clear-cut directions" and experience. They say:
"There is another thing you might do. If your organization is a large one, your junior executives might be provided with this book. You might let them know you have no quarrel with the alcoholics of your organization. These juniors are often in a difficult position. Men under them are frequently their friends. So, for one reason or another, they cover these men, hoping matters will take a turn for the better. They often jeopardize their own positions by trying to help serious drinkers who should have been fired long ago, or else given an opportunity to get well.
"After reading this book, a junior executive can go to such a man and say, "look here, Ed. Do you want to stop drinking or not? You put me on the spot every time you get drunk. It isn't fair to me or the firm. I have been learning something about alcoholism. If you are an alcoholic, you are a mighty sick man. You act like one. The firm wants to help you get over it, if you are interested. There is a way out and I hope you have sense enough to try it. If you do, your past will be forgotten and the fact that you went away for treatment will not be mentioned. But if you cannot or will not stop drinking, I think you ought to resign."
91. Here the pioneers suggest giving copies of the Big Book to the junior executives in the company. Once they have read the book, they will have a course of action they can propose to their employees who have a problem and want to get well.
92. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 67, in the sixth paragraph the pioneers share more of their experience. They say:
"Your junior executive may not agree with the contents of our book. He need not, and often should not show it to his alcoholic prospect. But at least he will understand the problem and will no longer be misled by ordinary promises. He will be able to take a position with such a man which is eminently fair and square. He will have no further reason for covering up an alcoholic employee."
93. The pioneers make it clear that even if the junior executive does not agree with the contents of the Big Book, reading it will at least have given them an understanding of the problem. He will then be able to deal with other employees on a different basis. The pioneers share that he "will have no further reason for covering up an alcoholic employee."
94. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 67, in the seventh paragraph, and in the first paragraph on page 68, the pioneers continue sharing their experience. They say:
"It boils right down to this: No man should be fired just because he is alcoholic. If he wants to stop, he should be afforded a real chance. If he cannot or does not want to stop, he should usually be discharged. The exceptions are few.
"We think this method of approach will accomplish several things for you. It will promptly bring drinking situations to light. It will enable you to restore good men to useful activity. At the same time you will feel no reluctance to rid yourself of those who cannot or will not stop. Alcoholism may be causing your organization considerable damage in its waste of money, men and reputation. We hope our suggestions will help you plug up this sometimes serious leak. We do not expect you to become a missionary, attempting to save all who happen to be alcoholic. Being a business man is enough these days. But we can sensibly urge that you stop this waste and give your worth-while man a chance."
95. We think that the pioneers' experience in these paragraphs does not need any additional comment from us.
96. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 68, in the second, third, and fourth paragraphs, the pioneers change direction slightly and share their experience with approaching an employer. They say:
"The other day an approach was made to the vice-president of a large industrial concern. He remarked: 'I'm mighty glad you fellows got over your drinking. But the policy of this company is not to interfere with the habits of our employees. If a man drinks so much that his job suffers, we fire him. I don't see how you can be of any help to us for, as you see, we don't have any alcoholic problem.' This same company spends millions for research every year. Their cost of production is figured to a fine decimal point. They have recreational facilities. There is company insurance. There is a real interest, both humanitarian and business, in the well-being of employees. But alcoholism — well, they just don't have that.
"Perhaps this is a typical attitude. We, who have collectively seen a great deal of business life, at least from the alcoholic angle, had to smile at this gentleman's opinion. He might be shocked if he knew how much alcoholism cost his organization a year. That company may harbor many actual or potential alcoholics. We believe that managers of large enterprises often have little idea how prevalent this problem is. Perhaps this is a guess, but we have a hunch it's a good one. If you still feel your organization has no alcoholic problem, you might well take another look down the line. You may make some interesting discoveries.
"Of course, this chapter refers to alcoholics, sick people, deranged men. What our friend, the vice-president, had in mind, was the habitual or whoopee drinker. As to them, his policy is probably sound, but as you see, he does not distinguish between such people and the alcoholic."
97. In R.A. we believe that the pioneers are suggesting that someone should approach an employer in the same way the pioneers suggest that someone should approach any other newcomer.
98. In other words, as we read back on page 43, when approaching an employer about using the program within their company, the pioneers say to "Outline our program of action, telling how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past, and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him."
99. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 43, the pioneers continue sharing their "clear-cut directions." They say, " If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, drop him until he changes his mind. This he may do after he gets hurt again."
100. In the next paragraph on page 43, the pioneers continue sharing. They say, "If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to be sure to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he is to decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He is not to be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within."
101. Finally, in the bottom paragraph on page 43, the pioneers share "If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. You have no monopoly on God; you merely have an approach that worked with you. But point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you would like, in any case, to be friendly. Let it go at that."
102. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 68, in the fifth paragraph, the pioneers share a summary of this chapter's "clear-cut directions." They say:
"Being a business man, you might like to have a summary of this chapter. Here it is:
One: Acquaint yourself with the nature of alcoholism.
Two: Be prepared to discount and forget your man's past.
Three: Confidentially offer him medical treatment and cooperation provided you think he wants to stop.
Four: Have the alcohol thoroughly removed from his system and give him a suitable chance to recover physically.
Five: Have the doctor in attendance present him with this book, but don't cram it down his throat.
Six: Have a frank talk with him when he gets back from his treatment, assuring him of your full support, encouraging him to say anything he wishes about himself, and making it clear the past will not be held against him.
Seven: Ask him to place recovery from alcoholism ahead of all else.
Eight: Don't let him overwork.
Nine: Protect him, when justified, from malicious gossip.
Ten: If, after you have shot the works, he will not stop, then let him go."
103. Please note that this entire paragraph was deleted from later versions of the Big Book.
104. We in R.A. cannot be sure why, but there are several possible reasons.
105. To begin with, the pioneers might have felt this summary would discourage an employer from reading the entire book, or even just this chapter. They may have thought that this paragraph might lead someone to mistakenly believe this summary contains all the information about the program they needed.
106. In other words, the pioneers might have thought that these ten points would compete with the Twelve Steps. Following the "clear-cut directions" in these ten points in no way equates to working the Twelve Steps.
107. In addition, the pioneers found that medical treatment, removing alcohol from a newcomer's system, and a physical recovery were optional, not required, before someone could work the Twelve Steps.
108. In any case, in R.A., we believe these ten points can be helpful to an employer, if kept in their proper relationship to the rest of the Twelve Step program of recovery.
109. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 68, in the sixth, and bottom paragraphs, the pioneers share a final clear-cut direction for the employer and more of their experience. They say:
"It is not to be expected that you give your alcoholic employee a disproportionate amount of time and attention. He is not to be made a favorite. The right kind of man, the kind who recovers, will not want this sort of thing. He will not impose upon you. Far from it. He will work like the devil and thank you to his dying day.
"Today I own a little company. There are two alcoholic employees, who produce as much as five normal salesmen. But why not? They have a better way of life, and they have been saved from a living death. I have enjoyed every moment spent in getting them straightened out. You, Mr. Employer, may have the same experience!*"
110. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, back on page 26, the pioneers share their experience. They say, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our directions."
111. This has also been R.A.'s experience. It does not matter if someone is an employer, or a newcomer. If they thoroughly follow the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" they will duplicate the pioneers' results.
112. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 69, the first full paragraph says:
"*See appendix -- The Alcoholic Foundation. We may be able to carry on a limited correspondence."
113. In later editions of the Big Book, this was changed to "See Appendix VI -- We shall be happy to hear from you if we can be of help."
114. In the current version of the Big Book, this was again changed to simply read, "Alcoholics Anonymous will be glad to hear from you." This is followed by their postal address.
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