How we let the Therapeutic/Treatment Industry WATER-DOWN the 12 Step Recovery Program from Big Book Sponsorship
GNN Note – After volunteering for the past three years within the “recovery industry” the author is going straight at the falsehoods perpetrated by the “industry”. / END
Editor’s Note: For the past several years, Wally P. has been conducting seminars on the success of the Beginners’ Meetings during the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous. He has used a series of schematics to emphasize his findings and conclusions. Now, he has made these pictorial representations available for anyone in the fellowship to view and comment on.
A Spiritual Program of Action
Treatment for alcohol addiction in the 1940’s consisted of a three to five day withdrawal process in a sanitarium, hospital or “jitter joint” where the patient was safely detoxed from the bodily effects of alcohol. The process of withdrawal management was conducted by health professionals and semi-professionals. Moreover, these facilities were receptive and worked with recovered members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
After detox, the “dry” alcoholic would be directed to Alcoholics Anonymous where the “dry drunk” would be directed to a “Beginners’ Meeting”. There the recovering alcoholic would take the A.A. 12 Step Program and learn how to help others through the 12 Steps and help lead meetings taking approximately three to six months lay treatment (alcoholics helping alcoholics) for alcoholism.
On-going mutual aid support was provided by the A.A. fellowship through meetings that were either, big book study, big book discussion, or Open Speaker meetings base on the 10 minutes of “What we were like”, 10 minutes on “What happened”, and 40 minutes on “What we are like today”. It worked! Recovery rates were 50 to 75 percent successful, in fact, in Cleveland they were as high as 75 to 93 percent successful. These statistics were written in 1955 in the Forward to the Second Edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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. (p. xx, A.A. 4th Edition)