1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
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In the first pamphlet put out in Alcoholics Anonymous, "A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous" published in early 1940, shortly after the Big Book, by AA Group No. 1, Akron, Ohio, after Dr. Bob's Home Group had moved from his home to the Kings School in January 1940, is the following statement about the status of "Slippers". Dr. Bob probably was instrumental in the writing and distributing of this pamphlet.

"An Alcoholic Anonymous is an alcoholic who through application of and adherence to rules laid down by the organization, has completely forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverages. The moment he wittingly drinks so much as a drop of beer, wine, spirits, or any other alcoholic drink he automatically loses all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous."

That statement is still very true today, and will always be true.

The following clarifies some misunderstandings that found among today's current Fellowship taking exception to this very important statement.

As soon as a member wittingly takes a drop, they have broached the only requirement for membership, the desire to stop drinking, and they lose all status as a member ... They are always welcome back, of course, but they start over as newcomers, from day zero and counting again, to try to see and learn how they tried to short cut the program ... hopefully to learn how to not make the same mistakes again.

The Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is one hundred percent effective for those who faithfully follow the rules. It is those who try to cut corners who find themselves back in their old drunken state, and newcomers again if they make it back alive.

The opening paragraph of Chapter Five very plainly states who these people, the slippers, are, those who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, who will not or cannot get honest with themselves.

This, incidently, implies that some of us may not make it, we may come to the program (the Twelve Steps) over and over and yet again and we still may not make it ... Why? For one reason only, we cannot get honest with ourselves.

And if we do make it we have to stay honest with ourselves. To do that we must continue to practice the Steps, One Day At A Time.

The book in the opening paragraph of the Foreward to the First Edition uses the word "precisely" ie, "To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book..."  If we are to recover, we must follow the same path, the Program, the Steps, as precisely as we are able.

One thing we must come to realize once and for all is that the "Fellowship" is NOT the "Program". The Steps are the "Program". The Fellowship is where we learn to practice the Steps so that we can learn to form true partnerships with our Inner Self, with our Fellows and our Higher Power.

Many have gotten sober and stayed sober with the BigBook and the Steps alone, not being in a place where a fellowship existed, or can exist, being sponsored by Bill and Dr.Bob in the first 164 pages, and in a meeting with their fellow alcoholics as they read the stories in the back of the book...They are the Loners, although they now, for the most part, have a fellowship going over the years via shortwave radio, letters, and now the net ....

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book



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