We wish to thank Joan G. for
her generous donation of materials to the Southwest Archives. She
supplied us with the following...
October 1936 (Article: "How the Oxford Group
Challenges America" p. 34)
May 22, 1937 (Article: "Will Oxford Group Drive Get into
Politics?" p. 61)
February 15, 1937 (Article: "Buchman's Oxford Groupers
Marching as to War" p. 44)
January 3, 1938 (Article: "Speaking of Pictures--Oxford
Group's Magazine" p. 2)
October 1939 (Article: "Buchman and Moral
Re-Armament" p. 32)
Companion, September 1938 (Article: "The Oxford
Group--What is it?" p. 10)
God Bless you Joan
We have had numerous
requests for archival materials that demonstrate the legitimacy of
the Back to Basics program and show how the "original"
A.A. Beginners' Meetings came into existence and produced a 75%
recovery rate from alcoholism in the 1940's and 1950's. In keeping
with our philosophy that, "Its all about saving lives,"
we have compiled a few of these archival materials (23 items) into
a display that can be used used to answer the naysayers and
skeptics. Yes, the "original" Beginners' Meetings worked
and they continue to work for the over 2,000 groups and meetings
that have started up since 1997.
The first thing you can do
to stop any controversy surrounding or animosity toward a Back to
Basics meeting is to register the group that is hosting the
meeting with GSO. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the
Group registration form and forward it to New York City. Most
groups register as a "Beginners' Group."
Once the group is
registered, there isn't anything anyone can legitimately say
because "each group is autonomous." You have the God
given and the GSO sanctioned right to use the an
"original" A.A. meeting format, if your group so
The second thing you can do
is display the Back to Basics archives and show everyone "Why
it Works." As of 3/6/01, the Back to Basics archives are at
the Macomb Intergroup Office in Center Line, MI. The archives are
to be displayed at the Indiana Area Assembly on 3/9-3/11/01. They
will be on display in Austin, TX during the Back to Basics AA
workshop being held there later in March (3/23-3/31/01).
The Alcoholics Anonymous
Integral Part of the 75% Recovery Rate of the 1940's and 1950's
This all but lost
piece of A.A. history was resurrected in the late 1990's and has
produced a dramatic revitalization of the A.A. fellowship. This
original program of recovery was developed by Dr. Bob and many of
the A.A. pioneers. The
Beginners' Meetings solved the problem of how to take newcomers
through the Twelve Steps in an orderly and effective manner.
At the time, the fellowship was growing so rapidly, the A.A.
pioneers needed a way to quickly train sponsors as well as to
assist those reaching out for help.
In these four one-hour sessions, newcomers gained a
fundamental understanding of the principles upon which the A.A.
program was built, and sponsors had the opportunity to practice
working with others.
Many today are
unfamiliar with "How it really worked"
during the early days. They
think the A.A. program of today has been in existence since the
beginning of the movement. Sadly,
this is not the case. , In many respects, A.A. today doesn't even
remotely resemble the program of the 1940's and the 1950's.
Back then a large percentage of newcomers attended
Beginners= Meetings, took all Twelve Steps in one month, recovered
from alcoholism, and came back to help others through the Steps.
Others say it
doesn't matter what happened fifty or sixty years ago.
They are oblivious to the fact that, although A.A.
membership used to double every ten years, the growth rate has
slowed since the 1980's, and since 1992 membership has fallen 20
have died who would be alive today if we were still practicing our
"original program of recovery."
In this archival
display you will find some of the A.A. Grapevine and other
newsletter articles, early correspondence, group pamphlets, and
General Service Office (Alcoholic Foundation) materials that
demonstrate why we had a 75% recovery rate during the 1940's and
1950's. Dr. Bob's
"Keep it Simple" philosophy was in full effect,
the treatment centers hadn't come into prominence, and there was
no dilution of the message that A.A. provided a God based,
spiritual solution to alcoholism.
various articles on display are numbered and a summary sheet
explaining the significance of each piece is included.
P., A.A. Archivist and Historian