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Big Book Study - Post #3

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  • Jim K.
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to those who have just joined us! Turning to page xv and reading through to the end of the foreword to the second edition,
    Message 1 of 87 , Aug 1, 2007
      Good morning everyone, and welcome to those who have just joined us!

      Turning to page xv and reading through to the end of the foreword to
      the second edition, we have a brief history of AA presented. At the
      top of page xvi the "alcoholic friend" was Ebby Thatcher, sober two
      months in the Oxford Groups. The Oxford Groups were a fundamentalist
      Christian movement that sought to practice the principles of first
      century Christianity. Vestiges of this movement survive to this day,
      although the movement has experienced many transformations and is
      no longer called the Oxford Groups or Movement. Dr. William D.
      Silkworth is the physician who introduced Bill to the allergy theory
      and the mental obsession of alcoholism.

      Bill and Dr. Bob Smith met at Henrietta Sieberling's house (of the
      Sieberling Rubber and Tire family) through an introduction by Rev.
      Walter Tunks. When Bill was pacing up and down the hotel lobby of
      the Mayflower Hotel in Akron he was trying to choose between going
      to the bar and scraping up an acquaintance or search for an
      alcoholic to help. Fortunately for all of us, he looked at the
      church register. He picked Rev. Tunks' name because it was an
      unusual name and he had a thing for unusual names. Turns out that
      Rev. Tunks was a member of the Oxford Group in the Akron area and
      steered Bill toward Dr. Bob Smith through Henrietta Sieberling. Dr.
      Bob was also involved with the Oxford Group, though still unable to
      stop drinking. The first time the two of them met they spoke for
      five hours, and this after Bob had elicited a promise from his wife
      Anne that the meeting would last no more than 15 minutes.

      Paragraph 1, page xvii - AA number three was named Bill Dotson -
      "the man on the bed". When Bill and Bob approached Bill Dotson in
      the hospital they had him moved from the open communal ward to a
      private room known as "The Flower Room". The only people who had
      private rooms in hospitals in those days were the rich or, in the
      case of "The Flower Room", the people about to die. Bill D., being
      destitute, thought he was dying after being brought to "The Flower
      Room", maybe it helped Bill and Bob carry the message to him.

      Keep in mind that the book hasn't been written yet and Bill and Bob
      would work through the next couple of years carrying the message.
      They used the Oxford Group's Four Absolutes Absolute Love, Purity,
      Unselfishness and Honesty. Tall order for any alcoholic. It wasn't
      until the "Drunk Squad" of the Oxford Groups separated from the
      Oxford Groups, starting in New York, in 1937-38 that AA itself
      became a separate entity. The first meeting to be called "a meeting
      of Alcoholics Anonymous" was held in Cleveland under the auspices of
      Clarence S. in 1939.

      More on the foreword to the second edition and the beginning of the
      Doctor's Opinion with our next post.

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars
    • Jim K
      Good morning everyone! Turning to page xv and reading through to the end of the foreword to the second edition, we have a brief history of AA presented. At the
      Message 87 of 87 , Aug 1

        Good morning everyone!

        Turning to page xv and reading through to the end of the foreword to the second edition, we have a brief history of AA presented. At the top of page xvi the "alcoholic friend" was Ebby Thacher, sober two months in the Oxford Groups. The Oxford Groups were a fundamentalist Christian movement that sought to practice the principles of first century Christianity. Vestiges of this movement survive to this day, although the movement has experienced many transformations and is no longer called the Oxford Groups or Movement. Dr. William D. Silkworth is the physician who introduced Bill to the allergy theory and the mental obsession of alcoholism.

         

        Bill and Dr. Bob Smith met at Henrietta Seiberling's house (of the Seiberling Rubber and Tire family) through an introduction by Rev. Walter Tunks. When Bill was pacing up and down the hotel lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in Akron he was trying to choose between going to the bar and scraping up an acquaintance or search for an alcoholic to help. Fortunately for all of us, he looked at the church register. He picked Rev. Tunks' name because it was an unusual name and he had a thing for unusual names. Turns out that Rev. Tunks was a member of the Oxford Group in the Akron area and steered Bill toward Dr. Bob Smith through Henrietta Seiberling. Dr. Bob was also involved with the Oxford Group, though still unable to stop drinking. The first time the two of them met they spoke for five hours, and this after Bob had elicited a promise from his wife Anne that the meeting would last no more than 15 minutes.

        Paragraph 1, page xvii - AA number three was named Bill Dotson -
        "the man on the bed".
        When Bill and Bob approached Bill Dotson in the hospital they had him moved from the open communal ward to a private room known as "The Flower Room". The only people who had private rooms in hospitals in those days were the rich or, in the case of "The Flower Room", the people about to die. Bill D., being destitute, thought he was dying after being brought to "The Flower Room", maybe it helped Bill and Bob carry the message to him.

        Keep in mind that the book hasn't been written yet and Bill and Bob would work through the next couple of years carrying the message. They used the Oxford Group's Four Absolutes Absolute Love, Purity, Unselfishness and Honesty. Tall order for any alcoholic. It wasn't until the "Drunk Squad" of the Oxford Groups separated from the Oxford Groups, starting in New York, in 1937-38 that AA itself became a separate entity. The first meeting to be called "a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous" was held in Cleveland under the auspices of Clarence S. [The Home Brewmeister] in 1939.

        More on the foreword to the second edition and the beginning of the Doctor's Opinion with our next post.

         

        Have a great day!

         

        Jim K. - The Into Action Group of Manhattan
        6:30pm Wednesdays at St. Francis De Sales Church
        135 East 96th Street (Near Lexington Avenue)
        On Manhattan's Upper East Side

         

        Weekend retreats with Jim: http://www.spiritualawakeningsretreats.com

         

        The Wilson House – The Birthplace of Bill Wilson - Weekend Retreats and Workshops -http://www.wilsonhouse.org/



        It is better to be loved for what you have given
        than to be admired for what you have gained
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