Some Predecessors of AA

A little bit of info gathered a few years back from a presentation by Nell Wing and Frank  (previous Archivists in GSO).


 Native American sobriety circles (c. 1750-1830)


Washingtonians: ~c 1825 - 1850
    Basic purpose: to solve people's problems.
    Operated for a period of approximately 25 years
    Sharing by personal experience
    Held public meetings
    Gathered members by personal contact
    Had a desire to help others
    Had more than a million signatures
    Were strongest about 1841-1842
    Began dying out about 1846-1847
    Had basic principles of love, sympathy, kindness, charity

        Declined because:
            They had no adequate organization
            Had no guidelines (such as traditions, etc.)
            Had no real direction
            Work with alcoholics not required (although they did work with alcoholics to a   certain extent)
            Had no anonymity function


Recovery-focused Fraternal Temperance Societies (Many evolving out of the collapsing Washingtonian groups)


Emmanuel Movement:  ~1908 - 1929
            Took part of the ideas of Washingtonians
            added the religious content
            started about 1908-1909
            treated people with alcohol problems and nervous disorders
            used Christian principles (religious)
            used physical medicine
            strongly psychological
            stressed total abstinence
            had strong group support
            existed through to about 1929
            Decline: perhaps a little slower than with Washingtonians but basically from drifting from their basic ideas.


Recovery groups associated with Inebriate Homes (e.g., the Appleton Temperance Society) (1860-1900)


 Recovery groups associated with Inebriate Asylums (e.g., the Ollapod Club) (1860-1900)


 Recovery groups associated with private, Addiction Cure Institutes (e.g., the Keeley Leagues) (1860-1900)


 Ribbon Reform Clubs (Purple, Blue, Red) (1870-1900)


*Moderation Societies (e.g., The Businessmen's Moderation Society) (1870-1900)


* Mission Recovery Groups (Boozers' Brigade, United Order of Ex-Boozers) (1870 - 1915)


 The Drunkard's Club (1870s) 


 The Harlem Club of Former Alcoholic Degenerates (1898-?) (Probably fictional as no information extant)


Edward Worster-somewhere about 1910


Another man by the name of Baylor at approximately same time.


Jacoby Club-1909
    tried to help alcoholics
    stressed being honest
    regular meetings
    members contribute regularly
    work on rehabilitation
    self help
    much of problem to be blamed on spouse
    spiritual and psychological help
    still operated in Boston in 1940's
    much work of the club performed by salaried people
    after 1940's concentrated on helping people with other than alcohol problems.


Oxford Groups-1921-Frank Buchman, ordained Lutheran minister 1908:
        first-century Christian Fellowship began to be known as Oxford Group
        bible study
        1200 students
        world changing by personal soul changing
        1928 in South Africa:
        500,000 copies of Oxford Book printed
        1930: Sam Schumacher became involved with Oxford Groups
        1931 Roland Hazard got sober, began working with Sam Schumacher at Calvary Mission, subsequently carried the message to Ebby Thatcher, who carried the message to Bill Wilson

The rest is AA history.


Richard Peabody, Peabody Movement-1930's wrote a book called "Common Sense Of Drinking"
        stressed physical condition (medical)
        surrender, deflation at depth
        removal of doubts and anxieties
        control of thoughts
        control of will power
        self-expression


William James (Varieties of Religious Experience) Gained much of his knowledge and experience from his students
        aware of the religious conversion experience in many people
        added the importance of psychology
        stressed personal contact with God
        talked about fears, moral ideals, remorse


Along the way other people got into the act with some of the same basic ideas and some good principles but fell apart for a variety of reasons-generally from getting away from their basic principles.
 


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