From the BlogMeet Ron


Happy Sober Thanksgiving from Shenyang; China everyone.

Happy Sober Thanksgiving from Shenyang; China everyone.

37 years ago today; it had snowed 7 inches in Western Kentucky, USA, the cold wind blew across and off the Ohio River from the Southern Illinois plains. 

This Alkie was one “sick puppy”. 

I was less than 30 days Sober for the second time in AA; alone; scared; defeated; broke; wet; cold and hopeless.

Sitting in the Farmer’s Market Cafeteria in Paducah, Kentucky USA eating a $3.50 Thanksgiving tray lunch; I felt so lucky to have enough money to pay for the lunch.

 I was 34 years old. My life was over. 

I was a full-blown Alkie; washed up professional; derelict husband; run-away father of two boys; hiding out from creditors all alone in strange city; trying to stay off “the juice” one minute at a time and “shake it out” another 24 hours…. until 7 PM when the AA hall opened up with free hot coffee; stale donuts and a bummed cigarettes. 

That was Thanksgiving Day 1981; the loneliest day of my life.

I hope I never forget the way I felt on that Thanksgiving Day. I couldn’t get drunk and I couldn’t get Sober…… I was at the “jumping off place”.

I didn’t drink that day..I didn’t jump off the bridge into the cold; black Ohio River….instead I walked in the wet; snowy slush and prayed for God’s help and forgiveness. 

Somehow; I made it to 4th and Elizabeth Street in Paducah that Thanksgiving night around 6:30 PM and got those bummed cigarettes; coffee and stale donuts…..but I also was given HOPE by Guys and Gals like you…..who came out on Thanksgiving night to help a lost man; 34 years old whose life had been destroyed by “booze”. 

Most holidays I spend with old drunks like me. We talk about AA and the miracle that God performed on people like me; through drunks like you. 

We talk about God’s love and providence…… God supplies all our needs today.

My Thanksgiving prayer goes something like today:

Thank You God for AA. Thank You God for that first Sober $3.50 Thanksgiving Dinner at the Farmer’s Market so many years ago.  

Thank You God for who ever it was that night at the AA Hall; in Paducah, Kentucky, USA who opened up; made coffee; put out the donuts and shared a cigarette with this down-trodden; lonely drunk.

Thank You God for AA’s around the world who care and have cared so much for me and other AA Loners over the years.

Thank You God for the AA 12 Steps and the “Gift of Sobriety”.

Thank you God for the “Forgiveness of my sins and my continued shortcomings”.

Thank You God for Step 9 and the gift of restitution.

Thank You God that others have forgiven me because I have stayed Sober and lived the 12 Steps as best I can. 

Thank You God that I have been forgiven of my past by most people I harmed. 

God for those who could not forgive me… I ask You to bless them today.

I am not perfect Lord… But I do love You God and I love Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Bless AA. Bless all those who are lonely today….. Keep them from suicide like you kept me so many years ago….on that lonely Thanksgiving Day so long ago.

Thank You God for my Sobriety.

Rod M. AA Loner Sponsor in Shenyang; Liaoning, P.R. Of China


Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

The 12 Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous

The 12 Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous
To understand the concepts of AA you have to dig deep or attend a workshop/step speaker series on these important components of the program.

A lot of groups don’t teach the concepts and a number of Alcoholics Anonymous members are not familiar with them. It is best to have some sobriety under your belt before you attempt to familiarize yourself and study the concepts because they are complex.

Here, then are the 12 Concepts of AA as referenced on Page 574 of Alcoholics Anonymous’ textbook, also known as “The Big Book”:

Concept 1 – Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our fellowship. 
This means that the fellowship is guided by rules and regulations that may not be changed by any authority other than the main headquarters’ trusted servants and that the proper channels have to be gone through for any changes to take place.

Concept 2 – The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society in world affairs. 

Concept 3 – To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A. – the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives – with a traditional “Right of Decision”. 

Concept 4 – At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of Participation”, allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge. This translates into meaning that every decision from whether to add a meeting to a schedule to changing the format of meetings has to be pre-approved through a business or group conscience meeting.

Concept 5 – Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration. This usually takes place at the business meeting which any member is welcome to attend.

Concept 6 – The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board. This board is the final authority that our fellowship turns to in all matters, controversial and not.

Concept 7 – The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness. 

Concept 8 – The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities. This would apply to secretary and treasurer positions among others.

Concept 9 – Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees. 

Concept 10 – Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined. 

Concept 11 – The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualification, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern. The definition of this concept is that our program takes seriously all responsible members of each committee and the duties they perform. 

Concept 12 – The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action. 

This means that we don’t have anyone “in charge” in AA; that we are all but trusted servants.

The principles of the 12 steps can be very difficult or very simple to understand.

The principles of the 12 steps can be very difficult or very simple to understand.
This is an effort to simplify the meaning of the principles of the 12 steps for those who may be having difficulty. These are the principles that are incorporated into our daily lives as ‘we walk the walk’. Employing each of these behaviors will help to rebuild a life of increased self esteem and self confidence. So, in my never ending quest to keep it simple, here are the action principles behind the twelve steps:
1. Honesty – The operative principle behind step 1 is honesty. If you cannot get honest about the scope of your problem, and honest about a sincere effort to resolve it you will not succeed. How about a definition of honesty as the absence of the intention to deceive? Who do we try to fool? Ourselves
2. Hope – In order to engage in a course of addiction recovery, we must have hope of success. If there is no hope, why try? Perhaps we have failed on our own, how about enlisting some help? A way to instill hope is to realize recovery is not a question of ability; after all there are millions in recovery, but rather persistence and application. 
3. Faith – This stage of action is to begin to employ the recovery skills being learned. You can seek out help, but it is also necessary to utilize it. Our job is to become willing to do the right thing. A simple way to view the ‘next right thing’ is don’t engage in your behavior. Have faith it will work.
4. Courage – This step is really about courage to honestly (see step 1) look at ourselves. Take a look at how our behavior has become warped to justify our continued behavior. We are here to take an honest assessment of ourselves.
5. Integrity – If we have truly done a thorough job of introspection and evaluation of our assets and shortcomings do we have the integrity to own up to it? It can be very difficult to be open and honest about our past behaviors. We accept the need for a dose of humility.
6. Willingness – Now that we have accomplished an inventory of the good and not, c  so good aspects of our character and behavior, are we willing to change them? All of them? The important part in this 12 step principle is the willingness to let go of old behaviors. 
7. Humility – Here we move further into action, in step 6 we became willing to as let go of our old behaviors, now we ask for help in actually letting go. Can we learn to forgive ourselves?
8. Discipline and Action – We are continuing to remove the barriers that can block forward sober growth. We are getting ready to sweep our side of the street clean. Make a list of all those people we have harmed both through actions and not being present to live up to obligations. 
9. Forgiveness – Asking for the forgiveness of those we have intentionally or unintentionally injured is the order of the day. A key point here is to try to correct those injuries through action, not just words. It is highly recommended that guidance and help is utilized here. Asking forgiveness is not a gift to the other person, but rather an act of kindness to you. 
10. Acceptance – To be human is to make mistakes. Hopefully our journey has led us to the point where we can readily admit mistakes and accept ourselves for being imperfect. We must also learn not to judge others but accept them for who they are, not our vision of who they should be.
11. Knowledge and Awareness – Here we search and become aware of following our path being aware of our purpose in life and actively pursuing it. I view this principle as just being aware, not being got up in the rush of life, making conscious effort to do the right thing and to be at peace.
12. Service and Gratitude – Having brought about a personality change sufficient to remain in recovery; we are empowered to demonstrate the new principles by which we live, in our daily life through example. We seek out and are available to help others in need.
There you have it. Simple actions you can practice each and every day to improve the quality of your life in addiction recovery and those people you come in contact with. These are the simple one word action principles of the 12 steps.

Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

A Tribute to Dr. Bob

Robert H. ‘Dr. Bob’ Smith
August 8, 1879 — November 16, 1950
Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

A Tribute to Dr. Bob
by Bill W., A.A. Grapevine, January 1951

SERENELY remarking to his attendant, “I think this is it,” Dr. Bob passed out of our sight and hearing November sixteenth at noonday. So ended the consuming malady wherein he had so well shown us how high faith can rise over grievous distress. As he had lived, so he had died, supremely aware that in his Father’s House are many Mansions.

In all those he knew, memory was at floodtide. But who could really say what was thought and felt by the five thousand sick ones to whom he personally ministered and freely gave a physician’s care; who could possibly record the reflections of his townsmen who had seen him sink almost within the grasp of oblivion, then rise to anonymous world renown; who could express the gratitude of those tens of thousands of AA families who had so well heard of him but had never seen him face to face? What, too, were the emotions of those nearest him as they thankfully pondered the mystery of his regeneration fifteen years ago and all its vast consequence since? Not the smallest fraction of this great benefaction could be comprehended. He could only declare, “What indeed hath God wrought?”

Never would Dr. Bob have us think him saint or superman. Nor would he have us praise him or grieve his passing. He can almost be heard, saying, “Seems to me you folks are making heavy going. I’m not to be taken so seriously as all that. I was only a first link in that chain of Providential circumstance which is called AA. By Grace and great fortune my link did not break; though my faults and failures might often have brought on that unhappy result. I was just another alcoholic trying to get along–under the Grace of God. Forget me, but go you and do likewise. Securely add your own link to our chain. With God’s help, forge that chain well and truly.” In this manner would Dr. Bob estimate himself and counsel us.

It was a Saturday in May, 1935. An ill-starred business venture had brought me to Akron where it immediately collapsed leaving me in a precarious state of sobriety. That afternoon I paced the lobby of Akron’s Mayflower Hotel. As I peered at the gathering crowd in the bar, I became desperately frightened of a slip. It was the first severe temptation since my New York friend had laid before me what were to become the basic principles of AA, in November 1934. For the next six months I had felt utterly secure in my sobriety. But now there was no security; I felt alone, helpless. In the months before I had worked hard with other alcoholics. Or, rather, I had preached at them in a somewhat cocksure fashion. In my false assurance I felt I couldn’t fall. But this time it was different. Something had to be done at once.

Glancing at a Church Directory at the far end of the lobby, I selected the name of a clergyman at random. Over the phone I told him of my need to work with another alcoholic. Though I’d had no previous success with any of them I suddenly realized how such work had kept me free from desire. The clergyman gave me a list of ten names. Some of these people, he was sure, would refer me a case in need of help. Almost running to my room, I seized the phone. But my enthusiasm soon ebbed. Not a person in the first nine called could, or would, suggest anything to meet my urgency.

One uncalled name still stood at the end of my list–Henrietta S. Somehow I couldn’t muster courage to lift the phone. But after one more look into the bar downstairs something said to me, “You’d better.” To my astonishment a warm Southern voice floated in over the wire. Declaring herself no alcoholic, Henrietta nonetheless insisted that she understood. Would I come to her home at once?

Because she had been enabled to face and transcend other calamities, she certainly did understand mine. She was to become a vital link to those fantastic events which were presently to gather around the birth and development of our AA society. Of all names the obliging Rector had given me, she was the only one who cared enough. I would here like to record our timeless gratitude.

Straightway she pictured the plight of Dr. Bob and Anne. Suiting action to her word, she called their house. As Anne answered, Henrietta described me as a sobered alcoholic from New York who, she felt sure, could help Bob. The good doctor had seemingly exhausted all medical and spiritual remedies for his condition. Then Anne replied, “What you say, Henrietta, is terribly interesting. But I am afraid we can’t do anything now. Being Mother’s Day, my dear boy has just brought in a fine potted plant. The pot is on the table but, alas, Bob is on the floor. Could we try to make it tomorrow?” Henrietta instantly issued a dinner invitation for the following day.

At five o’clock next afternoon, Anne and Dr. Bob stood at Henrietta’s door. She discreetly wisked Bob and me off to the library. His words were, “Mightly glad to meet you Bill. But it happens I can’t stay long; five or ten minutes at the outside.” I laughed and observed, “Guess you’re pretty thirsty, aren’t you?” His rejoinder was, “Well, maybe you do understand this drinking business after all.” So began a talk which lasted hours.

How different my attitude was this time. My fright of getting drunk had evoked a much more becoming humility. After telling Dr. Bob my story, I explained how truly I needed him. Would he allow me to help him, I might remain sober myself. The seed that was to flower as AA began to grow toward the light. But as dear Anne well guessed, that first tendril was a fragile thing. Practical steps had better be taken. She bade me come and live at their menage for awhile. There I might keep an eye on Dr. Bob. And he might on me. This was the very thing. Perhaps we could do together what we couldn’t do separately. Besides I might revive my sagging business venture.

For the next three months I lived with these two wonderful people. I shall always believe they gave me more than I ever brought them. Each morning there was devotion. After the long silence Anne would read out of the Good Book. James was our favorite. Reading him from her chair in the corner, she would softly conclude “Faith without works is dead.”

But Bob’s travail with alcohol was not quite over. That Atlantic City Medical Convention had to be attended. He hadn’t missed one in twenty years. Anxiously waiting, Anne and I heard nothing for five days. Finally his office nurse and her husband found him early one morning at the Akron railroad station in some confusion and disarray–which puts it mildly. A horrible dilemma developed. Dr. Bob had to perform a critical surgical operation just three days hence. Nor could an associate substitute for him. He simply had to do it. But how? Could we ever get him ready in time?

He and I were placed in twin beds. A typical tapering down process was inaugurated. Not much sleep for anybody, but he cooperated. At four o’clock on the morning of the operation he turned, looked at me and said, “I am going through with this.” I inquired, “You mean you are going through with the operation?” He replied, “I have placed both operation and myself in God’s hands. I’m going to do what it takes to get sober and stay that way.” Not another word did he say. At nine o’clock he shook miserably as we helped him into his clothes. We were panic stricken. Could he ever do it? Were he too tight or too shaky, it would make little difference, his misguided scalpel might take the life of his patient. We gambled. I gave him one bottle of beer. That was the last drink he ever took. It was June 10, 1935. The patient lived.

Our first prospect appeared, a neighboring parson sent him over. Because the newcomer faced eviction, Anne took in his whole family, wife and two children. The new one was a puzzler. When drinking, he’d go clean out of his mind. One afternoon Anne sat at her kitchen table, calmly regarding him as he fingered a carving knife. Under her steady gaze, his hand dropped. But he did not sober then. His wife despairingly betook herself to her own parents and he disappeared. But he did reappear fifteen years later for Dr. Bob’s last rites. There we saw him, soundly and happily sober in AA. Back in 1935 we weren’t so accustomed to miracles as we are today, we had given him up.

Then came a lull on the 12th Step front. In this time Anne and Henrietta infused much needed spirituality into Bob and me. Lois came to Akron on vacation from her grind at a New York department store, so raised our morale immensely. We began to attend Oxford Group meetings at the Akron home of T. Henry W. The devotion of this good man and his wife is a bright page in memory. Their names will be inscribed on Page One of AA’s book of first and best friends.

One day Dr. Bob said to me. “Don’t you think we’d better scare up some drunks to work on?” He phoned the nurse in charge of admissions at Akron City Hospital and told her how he and another drunk from New York had a cure for alcoholism. I saw the old boy blush and look disconcerted. The nurse had commented, “Well, Doctor, you’d better give that cure a good workout on yourself.”

Nevertheless the admitting nurse produced a customer. A dandy, she said he was. A prominent Akron lawyer, he had lost about everything. He’d been in City Hospital six times in four months. He’d arrived at that very moment; had just knocked down a nurse he’d thought a pink elephant. “Will that one do you?” she inquired. Said Dr. Bob, “Put him in a private room. We’ll be down when he’s better.”

Soon Dr. Bob and I saw a sight which tens of thousands of us have since beheld, the sight of the man on the bed who does not yet know he can get well. We explained to the man on the bed the nature of his malady and told him our own stories of drinking and recovery. But the sick one shook his head, “Guess you’ve been through the mill boys, but you never were half as bad off as I am. For me it’s too late. I don’t dare go out of here. I’m a man of faith, too; used to be deacon in my church. I’ve still faith in God but I guess he hasn’t got any in me. Alcohol has me, it’s no use. Come and see me again, though. I’d like to talk with you more.”

As we entered his room for our second visit a woman sitting at the foot of his bed was saying, “What has happened to you, husband? You seem so different. I feel so relieved.” The new man turned to us. “Here they are,” he cried. “They understand. After they left yesterday I couldn’t get what they told me out of my mind, I laid awake all night. Then hope came. If they could find release, so might I. I became willing to get honest with myself, to square my wrong doing, to help other alcoholics. The minute I did this I began to feel different. I knew I was going to be well.” Continued the man on the bed, “Now, good wife, please fetch me my clothes. We are going to get up and out of here.” Whereupon AA number three arose from his bed, never to drink again. The seed of AA had pushed another tendril up through the new soil. Though we knew it not, it had already flowered. Three of us were gathered together. Akron’s Group One was a reality.

We three worked with scores of others. Many were called but mighty few chosen; failure was our daily companion. But when I left Akron in September, 1935, two or three more sufferers had apparently linked themselves to us for good.

The next two years marked the “flying blind” period of our pioneering time. With the fine instinct of that good physician he was, Dr. Bob continued to medically treat and indoctrinate every new case, first at Akron City hospital then for the dozen years since at famed St. Thomas where thousands passed under his watchful eye and sure AA touch. Though not of his faith, the Staff and Sisters there did prodigies. Theirs is one of the most compelling examples of love and devotion we AAs have ever witnessed. Ask the thousands of AA visitors and patients who really know. Ask them what they think of Sister Ignatia, of St. Thomas. Or of Dr. Bob. But I’m getting ahead of my story.

Meanwhile a small group had taken shape in New York. The Akron meeting at T. Henry’s home began to have a few Cleveland visitors. At this juncture I spent a week visiting Dr. Bob. We commenced to count noses. Out of hundreds of alcoholics, how many had stuck? How many were sober? And for how long? In that fall of 1937 Bob and I counted forty cases who had significant dry time–maybe sixty years for the whole lot of them! Our eyes glistened. Enough time had elapsed on enough cases to spell out something quite new, perhaps something great indeed. Suddenly the ceiling went up. We no longer flew blind. A beacon had been lighted. God had shown alcoholics how it might be passed from hand to hand. Never shall I forget that great and humbling hour of realization, shared with Dr. Bob.

But the new realization faced us with a great problem, a momentous decision. It had taken nearly three years to effect forty recoveries. The United States alone probably had a million alcoholics. How were we to get the story to them? Wouldn’t we need paid workers, hospitals of our own, lots of money? Surely we must have some sort of a textbook. Dare we crawl at a snail’s pace whilst our story got garbled and mayhap thousands would die? What a poser that was!

How we were spared from professionalism, wealth, and extensive property management; how we finally came up with the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” is a story by itself. But in this critical period it was Dr. Bob’s prudent counsel which so often restrained us from rash ventures that might have retarded us for years, perhaps ruined us for good. Nor can we ever forget the devotion of Dr. Bob and Jim S. (who passed away last summer) as they gathered stories for the AA Book, three-fifths of them coming from Akron alone. Dr. Bob’s special fortitude and wisdom were prime factors in that time so much characterized by doubt, and finally by grave decision.

How much we may rejoice that Anne and Dr. Bob both lived to see the lamp lit at Akron carried into every corner of the earth; that they doubtless realized millions might someday pass under the ever-widening arch whose keystone they so gallantly helped carve. Yet, being so humble as they were, I’m sure they never quite guessed what a heritage they left us, nor how beautifully their appointed task had been completed. All they needed to do was finished. It was even reserved for Dr. Bob to see AA come of age as, for the last time, he spoke to 7000 of us at Cleveland, July, 1950.

I saw Dr. Bob the Sunday before he died. A bare month previous he had aided me in framing a proposal for the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA’s third legacy. This bequest, in pamphlet form, was actually at the printers when he took his final departure the following Thursday. As his last act and desire respecting AA, this document will be sure to carry a great and special meaning for us all.

With no other person have I ever experienced quite the same relation: the finest thing I know how to say is that in all the strenuous time of our association, he and I never had an uncomfortable difference of opinion. His capacity for brotherhood and love was often beyond my ken.

For a last word, may I leave with you a moving example of his simplicity and humility. Curiously enough, the story is about a monument–a monument proposed for him. A year ago, when Anne passed away, the thought of an imposing shaft came uppermost in the minds of many. People were insistent that something be done. Hearing rumors of this, Dr. Bob promptly declared against AAs erecting for Anne and himself any tangible memorials or monument. These usual symbols of personal distinction he brushed aside in a single devastating sentence. Said he, “Annie and I plan to be buried just like other folks.”

At the alcoholic ward in St. Thomas his friends did, however, erect this simple plaque. It reads:




Sixteen relapse symptoms to watch out for: For any time, any place, any where !

Sixteen relapse symptoms to watch out for: 
For any time, any place, any where ! 

1. Exhaustion – Allowing oneself to become overly tired; usually associated with work addiction as an excuse for not facing personal frustrations. 

2. Dishonesty – Begins with pattern of little lies; escalated to self-delusion and making excuses for not doing what’s called for. 

3. Impatience – I want what I want NOW. Others aren’t doing what I think they should or living the way I know is right.

4. Argumentative – No point is too small or insignificant not to be debated to the point of anger and submission. 

5. Depression – All unreasonable, unaccountable despair should be exposed and discussed, not repressed: what is the “exact nature” of those feelings?

6. Frustration – Controlled anger/resentment when things don’t go according to our plans. Lack of acceptance. See #3.

7. Self-pity – Feeling victimized, put-upon, used, unappreciated: convinced we are being singled out for bad luck.

8. Cockiness – Got it made. Know all there is to know. Can go anywhere, including frequent visits just to hang-out at bars, boozy parties.

9. Complacency – Like #8, no longer sees value of daily program, meetings, contact with other alcoholics, (especially sponsor!), feels healthy, on top of the world, things are going well. Heck may even be cured!

10. Expecting too much of others – Why can’t they read my mind? I’ve changed, what’s holding them up? If they just do what I know is best for them? Leads to feeling misunderstood, unappreciated. See #6.

11. Letting up on disciplines – Allowing established habits of recovery – meditations, prayer, spiritual reading, AA contact, daily inventory, meetings – – to slip out of our routines; allowing recovery to get boring and no longer stimulating for growth. Why bother?!

12. Using mood-altering chemicals – May have a valid medical reason, but misused to help avoid the real problems of impending alcoholic relapse.

13. Wanting too much – Setting unrealistic goals: not providing for short-term successes; placing too much value on material success, not enough on value of spiritual growth.

14. Forgetting gratitude – Because of several listed above, may lose sight of the abundant blessings in our everyday lives: too focused on # 13.

15. “It can’t happen to me.” – Feeling immune; forgetting what we know about the disease of alcoholism and its progressive nature.

16. Omnipotence – A combination of several attitudes listed above; leads to ignoring danger signs, disregarding warnings and advice from fellow members.

— Akron Intergroup News, December 1998

Emotional sobriety is when:

Emotional sobriety is when:

1. I am free of resentments, jealousy, and envy–and free to forgive quickly.
2. My emotions are not so violent that they cause me to go or be on a dry drunk. 
3. I am able to make normal everyday decisions without my vision being unduly influenced by my emotions. 
4. I am able to identify & live by my personal values without compromise to emotional pressure. 
5. I am able to enjoy life as spiritual principles would dictate–such as being properly revolted by ugliness, sin and suffering, and positively rewarded by happenings of love, beauty and principle. 
6. I am happy when others do things better or quicker than I have done them.
7. My emotions are in sync with my intellect and both are in synch with God’s Will.
8. I can live freely without being emotionally subservient to another human being.
9. I can move freely between the emotional states of child, adult and parent.
10. I derive genuine, healthy pleasure from helping others without thought of reward, money, prestige or station.

The Fundamentals–In Retrospect –  Dr. Bob

AA Grapevine 
September 1948
The Fundamentals–In Retrospect – 
Dr. Bob
THE feeling that one belongs to and has a definite personal part in the work of a growing and spiritually prospering organization for the release of the alcoholics of mankind from a deadly enslavement is always gratifying. For me, there is double gratification in the realization that more than 13 years ago, an All-wise Providence, whose ways must always be mysterious to our limited understandings, brought me to “see my duty clear” and to contribute in a decent humility, as have so many others, my part in guiding the first trembling steps of the then infant organization, Alcoholics Anonymous.
It is fitting at this time to indulge in some retrospect regarding certain fundamentals. Much has been written, much has been said about the 12 Steps of A.A. These tenets of our faith and practice were not worked out overnight and then presented to our members as an opportunist creed. Born of our early trials and many tribulations, they were and are the result of humble and sincere desire, sought in personal prayer for Divine guidance.
As finally expressed and offered, they are simple in language, plain in meaning. They are also workable by any person having a sincere desire to obtain and keep sobriety. The results are the proof. Their simplicity and workability are such that no special interpretations, and certainly no reservations, have ever been necessary. And it has become increasingly clear that the degree of harmonious living which we achieve is in direct ratio to our earnest attempt to follow them literally under Divine guidance to the best of our ability.
YET, withal, there are no “shibboleths”

Definition of shibboleth
1 a :a word or saying used by adherents of a party, sect,
or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning

 in A.A. We are not bound by the thongs of theological doctrine. None of us may be excommunicated and cast into outer darkness. For we are many minds in our organization and an A.A. Decalogue

Definition of decalogue
1capitalized :ten commandments
2:a basic set of rules carrying binding authority

 in the language of “Thou shalt not” would gall us indeed.

Look at our 12 Points of A.A. Tradition. No random expressions these, based on just casual observation. On the contrary, they represent the sum of our experience as individuals, as groups within A.A. and similarly with our fellows and other organizations in the great fellowship of humanity under God throughout the world. They are entirely suggestive, yet the spirit in which they have been conceived merits their serious, prayerful consideration as the guidepost of A.A. policy for the individual, the group and our various committees, local and national.
We have found it wise policy, too, to hold to no glorification of the individual. Obviously, that is sound. Most of us will concede that when it came to the personal showdown of admitting our failures and deciding to surrender our will and our lives to Almighty God, as we understood Him, we still had some sneaking ideas of personal justification and excuse. We had to discard them but the ego of the alcoholic dies a hard death. Many of us because of activity have received praise not only from our fellow A.A.s but from the world at large. We would be ungrateful indeed to be boorish when that happens yet it is so easy for us to become, privately perhaps, just a little vain about it all. Yet, fitting and wearing halos is not for us.
WE’VE all seen the new member who stays sober for a time, largely through sponsor-worship. Then maybe the sponsor gets drunk and you know what usually happens. Left without a human prop, the new member gets drunk too. He has been glorifying an individual instead of following the Program.
Certainly we need leaders but we must regard them as the human agents of the Higher Power and not with undue adulation as individuals. The 4th and 10th Steps can not be too strongly emphasized here–“Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves . . . continue to make personal inventory . . . promptly admit it when we are wrong.” There is your perfect antidote for halo-poisoning.
So with the question of Anonymity. If we have a banner, that word, speaking of the surrender of the individual–the ego–is emblazoned on it. Let us dwell thoughtfully on its full meaning and learn thereby to remain humble, modest, ever-conscious that we are eternally under Divine direction.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS was nurtured in its early days around a kitchen table. Many of our pioneer groups, some of our most result-full meetings and best programs have had their origin around that modest piece of furniture with the coffee pot handy on the stove.
True, we have progressed materially to better furniture and more comfortable surroundings, yet the kitchen table must ever be appropriate for us. It is the perfect symbol of simplicity. In A.A. we have no V.I.P.’s nor have we need of any. Our organization needs no title-holders nor grandiose buildings. That is by design. Experience has taught us that simplicity is basic in preservation of our personal sobriety and helping those in need.
Far better it is for us to fully understand the meaning and practice of “Thou good and faithful servant” than to listen to “With 60,000 members you should have a 60 stories high administration headquarters in New York with an assortment of trained ‘ists’ to direct your affairs.” We need nothing of the sort. God grant that A.A. may ever stay simple.
Over the years we have tested and developed suitable techniques for our purpose. They are entirely flexible. We have all known and seen miracles–the healing of broken individuals, the rebuilding of broken homes. And always, it has been the constructive personal 12th Step work based on an ever upward-looking faith which has done the job.
IN as large an organization as ours, we naturally have had our share of those who fail to measure up to certain obvious standards of conduct. They have included schemers for personal gain, petty swindlers and confidence men, crooks of various kinds and other human fallibles. Relatively their number has been small, much smaller than in many religious and social uplift organizations. Yet they have been a problem and not an easy one. They have caused many an A.A. to stop thinking and working constructively for a time.
We cannot condone their actions, yet we must concede that when we have used normal caution and precaution in dealing with such cases, we may safely leave them to that Higher Power. Let me reiterate that we A.A.’s are many men and women, that we are of many minds. It will be well for us to concentrate on the goal of personal sobriety and active work. We humans and alcoholics on strict moral stock-taking must confess to at least a slight degree of larcenous instinct. We can hardly arrogate  the roles of judges and executioners.

Definition of arrogate
arrogated; arrogating
transitive verb
1 a :to claim or seize without justification
b :to make undue claims to having :assume
Thirteen grand years! To have been a part of it all from the beginning has been reward indeed.
Dr. Bob
AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948
The Best of the Grapevine, Volume 2

Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813


God in His wisdom selected this group of men and women to be the purveyors of His goodness. In selecting them through whom to bring about this phenomenon He went not to the proud, the mighty, the famous or the brilliant. He went instead to the humble, to the sick, to the unfortunate. He went right to the drunkard, the so-called weakling of the world. Well might He have said to us, “Unto your weak and feeble hands I have entrusted a power beyond estimate. To you have been given that which has been denied the most learned of your fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not even to my priests or ministers have I given this gift of healing other alcoholics which I entrust to you.”
“It must be used unselfishly; it carries with it grave responsibility. No day can be too long; no demands upon your time can be too urgent; no case be too pitiful; no task too hard; no effort too great. It must be used with tolerance for I have restricted its application to no race, no creed, and no denomination. Personal criticism you must expect; lack of appreciation will be common; ridicule will be your lot; your motives will be misjudged. You must be prepared for adversity, for what men call adversity is the ladder you must use to ascend the rungs toward spiritual perfection, and remember, in the exercise of this power, I shall not exact from you beyond your capabilities.”
“You are not selected because of exceptional talents, and be careful always, if success attends your efforts, not to ascribe to personal superiority that to which you can lay claim only by virtue of my gift. If I had wanted learned men to accomplish this mission, the power would have been entrusted to the physician and scientist. If I had wanted eloquent men, there would have been many anxious for the assignment, for talk is the easiest used of all talents with which I have endowed mankind. If I had wanted scholarly men, the world is filled with better qualified men than you who would be available. You were selected because you have been the outcasts of the world and your long experience as drunkards has made or should make you humbly alert to the cries of distress that come from the lonely hearts of alcoholics everywhere.”
“Keep ever in mind the admission you made on the day of your profession in AA, namely that you are powerless and that it was only with your willingness to turn your life and will unto my keeping that relief came to you.
Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

True to Ourselves 

Several years ago I shared this because “To Thine Own Self Be True” is on many of the chips given out. Some may not know the true origin of the quote. Thought would resend.
In Fellowship
Chuck D.
True to Ourselves 
This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.—–William Shakespeare
  To thine  own self be true. A grounding statement for those of us who get caught up in the storm of needs and feelings of others.
  Listen to the self. What do we need? Are those needs getting met? What do we feel? What do we need to do to take care of our feelings? What are our feelings telling us about ourselves and the direction we need to go?
  What do we want to do or say? What are our instincts telling us? Trust them– even if they don’t make sense or meet other people’s rules or expectations.
  Sometimes, the demands of other people and our responsibilities toward others–can create a tremendous complicated mess.
  We can even convince ourselves that people-pleasing, going against our nature and not being honest, is the kind, honest thing to do.
  Not true. Simplify. Back to basics. Let go of the confusion. By honoring and respecting ourselves, we will be true to those around us, even if we displease them momentarily.
  To thine own self be true. Simple words describing a powerful task that can put us back on track.
Today, I will honor, cherish, and love myself. When confused about what to do, I will will be true to myself. I will break free of the hold others, and their expectations, have on me.
                                                                                                                       Chuck D.


Today I had a wonderful offer to become a member of the Assistance league, a nonprofit that focuses on young people, children whose family might be in distress, homeless, single parent, or other situations that might create life problems for young folk.

I was not a good father, the disease got me while I was very young and was raised in a world of fear, anxiety, all of the defects which take hold of a child, parentless and alone in a world of adults whose only answer to a young person was ” you’re smart, you can do it.”( do what?)

As a result, I never learned a thing except how to prey on others and I did that well into my sobriety.

When asked this morning would I like to become a member, I was astounded. My ninth step amends to the world has gone on for many years, and I fled two marriages and two wonderful children and drank my ignorance into the ground, reading literature way beyond my ( and may others) ability to comprehend studying the literature of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Orage,Bennett ( my favorite) and many others too numerous to write here. I became a Sufi, with no knowledge of Sufism, an Arican, at a loss as to purpose, Nam Yo ho, all over the place, Endeavor Academy for two and a half years, A Course in Miracles) started with Meher Baba, Baba Muktananda, and way too many to remember or discuss here.It made no difference how I was accepted into the world by others, I knew that if they found out who I was they would withdraw their love from me and I would die of the most of the most terrifying thing imaginable, a broken heart. (STILL MY BIGGEST FEAR)  Reading of Christ in the Urantia book, ung with those folks for 10 years, and then one day read about Christ on the cross and how when offered a narcotized wine by a league of Jewish women, ( it was a Roman punishment) refused as he wanted to be in the human mind when He met His Heavenly Father, I flushed the booze down the toilet, and the pakalolo down the trash shoot. I realized that I wasn’t in the human Mind.God comes at strange times and is always there. July 24th, 1984.See, the reading did do some God in my life.

At one time here in the 70’s I was to be the master of ceremonies for a gathering of all of the Spiritual communities coming together as ONE., at a place in the Honolulu Zoo, and I fled that day back to Berkeley, terrified if they found out who I was, they would withdraw their love from me and that fear chased me out of the community I had come to have accepted as my own. When I joined a fellowship that said they loved me and understood my aimlessness and I now had to learn how to accept myself and help others find that love also.It has been a long and rough trip, made so by my fears and anxieties but have learned how to, in a way, deal with.Mainly calling on a Higher Power that I ran away from all of my life, fearing rejection by a God of others and having been a God, whom I make no claim to know, I remember a quote that best answers my relationship with God as I understand Him, This is by Mother Theresa and will add it now.

  Joseph Goldstein is fond of recounting that an interviewer

once asked Mother Teresa what she says to God when she prays. 

“I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I just listen.“ 

Then the interviewer asked what God says to her. 

“He doesn’t say anything,” she said. “He just listens. 

And if you don’t understand that, I can’t explain it to you.”

So today, when ask to become a member I felt a part of a wonderful organization whose goal is to help children who are being, possibly, like me, abused. I felt elated.
I remember when I wanted nothing more than to give my life to this organization who has let me volunteer my time.
The Assistance brought a little boy over from off-island who had never had a new pair of shoes
there was only one pair among three siblings.When asked what he would like, he said, a pair of shoes in a box  and he was able to go home with three pair of shoes in a boxes.

  I went into the bathroom and sobbed uncontrollably, and gave my heart to this wonderful of group of people who do so many different things for children who were raised like myself .They have asked me what I would like to do and I find that just pricing and separating and testing the many things that come in, I would stay doing what I know best and, hopefully, grow in understanding and love for a wonderful community, outside my wonderful fellowship, in helping to share as best I can, get others in our community to remember my words when they want to give to a charitable organization.There are quite a few stores on the mainland.
Thank you for helping me in my life ninth step,Ron 

Ron Richey
545 Queen St. #701
Honolulu, HI. 96813

Neal Milner: Pointers For When You’re Stuck Talking Politics

Neal Milner: Pointers For When You’re Stuck Talking Politics
These are conversations many of us try to avoid. But when the time comes, you might as well be persuasive.
By Neal Milner  / About 18 hours ago
A month or so ago when my wife, Joy, and I were at a family celebration at an Italian restaurant not far from Washington, D.C., some people at our table decided that they wanted to talk politics.
The discussion that followed stunk, a total waste of time. No one learned anything useful. No one changed his or her minds about anything.
Looking at how badly this discussion went is a good way of considering why today’s politics are so depressing and what might be done to change this.
Is political discourse a means to achieve what this sign-carrier advocated at Honolulu’s March For Science in April? Not unless the people talking know how to be persuasive.
Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat
The hook is this: I will not be talking issues or parties. I am going to focus on how neuroscientists say your brain works because brain science tells us a lot about the sad state as well as the potential of politics today.
The dinner table discussion that night was brainless because all of us, conservatives and liberals, behaved instinctively with total unself-consciousness about how the human brain works.
The discussion immediately went down the wrong path when it turned into an argument. As the neuroscientist Tali Sharot puts it, “When it comes to arguing, our instincts are wrong.” (“The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others”).
These instincts are based on the “old brain,” those ancient but still present parts of the brain that lead us initially to imagine the bad things that can happen and respond by warning people of calamitous consequences.
So let’s take a close look at that misguided family dinner interchange in light of what neuroscience tells us about how to get people to change.
How Not to Change People
Before the main course had been served, somebody at the long banquet table where we sat asked a leading question about politics. Right away it became clear that some people, myself included, did not want to talk about it. But it went on anyway as if everyone was enraptured.
This misreading violates Sharot’s:
• Persuasion Rule No. 1 — You can’t successfully talk about something that others do not want to talk about.
Our intuition is that if we have something that we think is important to say, others will want to know about it. Nothing ignites this intuition more than today’s politics.
But the temptation is counterproductive. No matter how important you think something is and how eloquently or passionately you think you present it, you will make no headway if others don’t want to get involved.
If people find a subject painful, they will work even harder to avoid it because of your passion.  They turn off your bubble machine.
And then those at the table who were engaged began to argue. 
Which is counter to:
• Persuasion Rule No. 2 — You don’t convince by arguing.
People resist information that makes them feel bad. Talking about dire consequences typically makes people resist even more.
Soon the discussion became a fact contest, which then segued into a truth contest. 
Thus bye-bye to:
• Persuasion Rule No. 3 — Facts, are overrated.  Numbers and stats may tell a truthful picture, but as persuaders not so much.
As Sharot says, a data-based approach “ignores the core of what makes us human: our motives, our fears, our hopes and desires.”
On the other hand, stories create vivid picture that stick in mind and are easily retrieved.
After awhile, someone said to Joy, “I am an independent thinker. I’m disappointed that you aren’t.”
This self-proclaimed independent thinker had worked for Republican candidates and once considered running for his state legislature. He thinks Obamacare is a disaster. He thinks the media are biased. 
This person is not an independent thinker. Neither is my wife. Neither am I, and neither are you.
The independent free thinking voter is a powerful myth, but it is totally contrary to human behavior, violating:
• Persuasion Rule No. 4: When it comes to adopting ideas, individuals are not autonomous or independent.
We are social beings.  Our brains have evolved in ways that encourage us to do what others we trust do.  And we typically do this implicitly by developing attachments or watching others.
The human brain is adaptable but very stable. It has taken millions of years to evolve. Still, much old brain remains in your head.
Presently our brains are up against contemporary developments that stimulate old brain thinking like that dinner table behavior.
Seek Commonality
Think of three developments: social and political polarization, social media and a politics and president stressing grievance, difference and isolation.
In her book, Sharot also points out the other side of the coin. People are more likely to be persuaded if you frame things in terms of commonality rather than difference; if something is seen as pleasant and affirming rather than dire (see her discussion of the Virgin America Airlines pre-flight safety video:, and if the persuader acts in synch with the emotions of the folks she is trying to change or motivate.
There are some awkward but encouraging signs that this is happening. Many conservatives talk of finding a common narrative about America that unites us despite our other political differences.
Typically that is not an approach liberals take, but things have changed.
Here is what a Democratic Party pollster recently said about this shared story:
Until we (Democrats) can better engage these voters in a conversation that lessens their very real angst about the changes that are happening in the country and pivot to a compelling narrative about how we all win the future together or divided we will certainly lose it to our competitors.
There are so many reasons to be pessimistic about these attempts to engage voters this way, but at least some influential political thinkers and doers have begun to take the need for engagement and commonality more seriously.
That’s a start. Now pass the pasta.
About the Author
Neal Milner is a former political science professor at the University of Hawaii where he taught for 40 years. He is a political analyst for KITV and is a regular contributor to Hawaii Public Radio’s “The Conversation.” His most recent book is The Gift of Underpants.
Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

A.A./Carl Jung/Rowland Hazard/Ebby Thacher Myths or subjects of Hindsight Quarterbacking

A.A./Carl Jung/Rowland Hazard/Ebby Thacher
Myths or subjects of Hindsight Quarterbacking
Dick B. ©2005
The Core of Early A.A.
One of A.A.’s core New York underpinnings, as embodied in the Big Book and Twelve Steps, is the “solution”—a conversion experience—said to have been prescribed in the 1930’s for Rhode Island businessman Rowland Hazard by Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung. Jung recommended it as the necessary ingredient for Rowland’s overcoming his alcoholism characterized by Rowland’s having the “mind of a chronic alcoholic.” But it’s really under fire!
At this late date, you might wonder at the relevance of the following questions: Did Rowland Hazard ever treat with Dr. Carl Jung at all? If so, did Jung tell Rowland his primary hope lay in a transforming religious conversion? If Rowland was treated by Jung, was it only after the previous, alleged formative A.A. events that had led Rowland from Jung to Ebby Thacher and in turn to Bill Wilson—who co-founded A.A. thereafter? Finally, if Rowland actually recovered, did whatever success Rowland achieved come from following Jung’s advice, or through his treatment by therapist Courtney Baylor and the Emmanuel Movement, or by his simply undergoing a life-changing experience in the Oxford Group?
I don’t know for sure the answer to any of the foregoing questions.
The Challengers
But I seriously suspect the validity of the evidence presented by those who would answer “no” to most of those questions. Those people who today are claiming there is no record of the Jung/Hazard treatments. Those “new thought” advocates who are laying Rowland’s successes at the feet of the Emanuel Movement and the therapist Courtney Baylor. Those who seem to reject the fact that a number of alcoholics well known in Oxford Group circles (Rowland Hazard, F. Shepard Cornell, Cebra Graves, Victor Kitchen, Charles Clapp, Jr., and later Jim Houck) attributed their sobriety to their having followed Oxford Group principles and practices. 
I question this belated historical challenge, and the adequacy of the evidence on which it rests. For the challenges seem more calculated to lambaste the Oxford Group, the Bible, evangelical Christianity, and “religion” than to prove that these vital ingredients were never the heart of early New York’s recovery program. That their historical challenge deserves attention is not disputed by me– especially as I look at the secularization in the A.A. atmosphere of today. But these newly presented theories repudiate the foundation stones of A.A.’s Big Book premise. That premise is that you must establish a relationship with God by a conversion experience. That you do so by taking 12 life-changing steps. Many AAs have accepted that premise, and their stories are, in part, related in A.A.’s Came to Believe are neither factually substantiated nor historically reliable.
After 15 years of research into the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, I would challenge the revisionists by pointing to a good deal of evidence they have either ignored, minimized, or inadequately refuted.
The Real Rowland Hazard/Carl Jung Facts
First, the most compelling piece of evidence as to the accuracy of the story Bill Wilson wrote about Rowland Hazard and Carl Jung can be found in the extant correspondence between Bill Wilson and Dr. Carl Jung himself. I personally have copies of the correspondence that I obtained with permission from Bill’s home at Stepping Stones. And see Pass It On. NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984; Francis Hartigan, Bill W.; Lois Wilson. Lois Remembers, p. 93 in a letter to Bill Wilson. 
Second, the Rowland Hazard/Carl Jung account has been related by Rowland Hazard personally to many on the New York A.A. scene—people such as Bill’s sponsor Ebby Thacher, Rowland’s pastor Dr. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Rowland’s Oxford Group colleagues—F. Shepard Cornell and Cebra Graves, Bill Wilson himself, Professor Philip Marshall Brown of Princeton, and Shoemaker’s associates Rev. W. Irving Harris and his wife Julia.
Third, many others with no axe to grind have repeated the story. Bill Wilson has written several times on several different occasions of the Rowland/Jung events. So has Rev. Sam Shoemaker who personally knew and worked with Rowland. So has Rev. Irving Harris. And so have Oxford Group friends of Rowland such as James D. Newton, Eleanor Forde Newton, Victor Kitchen, and Hanford Twitchell.
Fourth, as if seeking to enshrine the account in the very foundation of Calvary Church in New York, the story persists to this day as visitors are guided through Calvary and shown the stained glass windows in the church which are dedicated to Rowland Hazard—A.A.’s Rowland Hazard, as their literature remarks.
The Defective Challenges
Those who are known to espouse the rejection of Hazard’s visit are long on their support of the Emanuel Movement and New Thought and clearly deficient in their familiarity with the Oxford Group, with Oxford Group writings, and with Oxford Group members. They make no claim of having read or interviewed or reviewed the works and remarks of the Oxford Group people just mentioned.
They make much of dates, but little of facts. They purport to have reviewed Carl Jung’s records years and years after they were made. But they cannot and do not cite the entirety of Jung’s records or even claim to have examined them.
The detractors reject the very theory that enabled Bill Wilson to sell his whole East Coast version of the Alcoholics Anonymous road to recovery. That version, simply stated, was: (1) That the “medically incurable” and seemingly hopeless Rowland Hazard was told by Dr. Carl Jung that medicine could not help Rowland, but that a conversion might. (2) That Rowland sought a conversion via the Oxford Group—which happened to prefer the expression “change” in its own unique parlance for seeking for persuading “converts.” (3) That Rowland was changed and cured; sought out Ebby Thacher; and taught Thacher the Oxford Group life-changing principles. (4) That Ebby then had a conversion—albeit by accepting Jesus Christ at the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission (a fact seldom mentioned by historians). (5) That Ebby’s witness persuaded Wilson to go to Calvary and himself accept Christ (a fact seldom if ever mentioned by historians). (6) That Wilson then soon checked into Towns Hospital for treatment, was again indoctrinated by Ebby in the Oxford Group life-changing principles, and submitted himself to God as Bill said he then understood God. (7) That Bill had his resultant “hot flash” conversion experience in which Bill “found God,” and never drank again. (8) That Bill consulted the famous book by Professor William James on Varieties of Religious Experience, concluded that he had validated his own conversion in one of these experiences, and that James’s “deflation in depth” was also a necessary condition to conversion, and (9) That deflation in depth, application of Oxford Group principles, receiving a consequent conversion or “spiritual” experience as the result, was—when coupled with the Oxford Group idea of “sharing for witness” and thereby helping others to such an experience—the essence of a program developed by Bill Wilson himself in company with Rev. Sam Shoemaker and embodied in the language of Bill’s Big Book and Twelve Steps suggested as a program of recovery. 
And I believe the erroneous hindsight quarterbacking of several detractors of the Oxford Group/Conversion/Rowland Hazard/Carl Jung story (these being Dr. Ernest Kurtz, Dr. Glenn Chesnut, and Dr. Richard Dubiel) demonstrates in content that the analysts just plain missed the boat when it came to thoroughly investigating, describing, analyzing, and critiquing the actual events described above.
What has been demonstrated
There is ample evidence today that as many alcoholics get sober and stay sober outside the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous as do so within.
There is ample evidence today within the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous that between one and five percent of today’s members do get sober and stay sober within the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.
There is, to my satisfaction, observable evidence that a great many long-time sober AAs today got sober and stayed sober within A.A. whether they were Jews, Protestants, Roman Catholics, agnostics, and possibly even atheists.
There is, to my satisfaction , observable evidence that many sober AAs today came into the fellowship, grabbed a Big Book and a Sponsor, studied the Big Book, “took” and endeavored to practice the principles of the Twelve Steps, and remained sober.
There is, to my satisfaction, observable evidence that among those A.A. believers—be they Jews, Roman Catholics, or Protestants—there are many who believe in God, pray, study the Scriptures, seek God’s guidance, attempt to find and apply His will, and provide love and service to others within the fellowship. That being true whatever the religious convictions of their neighbors may be. This legion of helpers has helped to make A.A. as famous as it is.
There is, to my satisfaction, observable evidence that far too many AAs, therapists, treatment center people, clergy, physicians, and counselors have little or no knowledge of A.A. history, of its Christian roots, or its early program in Akron, or of the enormous difference in the success rates in early A.A. as compared to those today.
There is, to my satisfaction, irrefutable and abundant evidence that: (1) In early Akron A.A., Bill Wilson—AA number one; Dr. Bob Smith—AA number two; and Bill Dotson—AA number three, all believed and stated they had been cured of alcoholism by Almighty God. (2) The program of recovery that was developed and used in Akron between 1935 and 1938 produced cures of alcoholism among 75% of those members who really tried and completely gave themselves to the program that was specifically described by Rockefeller’s agent Frank Amos after careful investigation in Akron. (3) That the Akron program was far different—definitely Christian in character and fellowship—than the one which Bill Wilson fashioned in New York primarily from Oxford Group life-changing principles taught him by Rev. Sam Shoemaker and embodied in the Big Book and Twelve Steps. (4) That if any AAs today were to hear of, learn, and apply the program developed and used in Akron throughout Dr. Bob’s life, those AAs would achieve the same 75% to 93% success rates that were achieved from the Akron program. (5) That many of us in today’s A.A. (myself included) have been in the trenches, have grabbed the Big Book program with enthusiasm, have dived into fellowship activities, have—with or without knowing what early AAs did—received the same help, healing, guidance, forgiveness, and love of God that is still available to those who want it and seek it. (6) That there is virtually no likelihood that the A.A. of today will, as a fellowship, ever accept, endorse, apply, or return to the A.A. of the pioneers. (7) That there is still a rampant hunger within the ranks of A.A. people today for facts about early A.A.’s Biblical program, Christian fellowship, and astonishing cures. (8) That if the early A.A. facts are widely disseminated within A.A. itself, there can be an enormous difference in the lives lived, the sobriety attained, and the service rendered by those who work within the fellowship and emulate the program which worked so successfully among the Akron pioneers.
No profit in ignorance
For years, perhaps at least 50, AAs have drifted farther and farther from any knowledge of, or resources about, their early program and its successes. For years, perhaps at least 50, AAs have been fed an idolatrous diet about higher powers and spirituality and good deeds that supposedly represent the real program of recovery. For years, perhaps at least 40, AAs have increasingly grown boisterous in their condemnation of religion, Christianity, the Bible, and even God—the number of such activists may well be few, but the sound of their voices is deafening and intimidating. For years, perhaps as many as 65, AAs have been spoon fed myths that detract from the Jung/Hazard/Thacher conversion beliefs, the Oxford Group program of the 1920’s and 1930’s, the vital importance of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. in New York, the supposed failures of churches and of clergy and of religion, and New Age pap about strange gods, pseudo-Christianity, and outright unbelief. For at least 40 years, the spotlight has been focused on an irrelevant Washingtonian Movement, an unsuccessful Emanuel and New Thought movement (the latter being unsuccessful in penetrating A.A. ranks), and the shortcomings and supposed traitorous beliefs of Oxford Group Founder Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman.
All these tides have washed away valuable history, vilified sound reports, and produced increasing ignorance of what A.A. is really about. In fact, the less that is known, the less A.A. has to offer except for meetings and abstinence—neither of which have had everlasting success within or without A.A.
If A.A. is a spiritual program of recovery—and it is; and if A.A. distinguished itself originally in its reliance on the Creator, the truths in the Bible, the power received in a new birth, and the outreach of love and service by ordinary drunks, then those are the facts which should be made known. This is true whether you believe in the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Bible, the new birth, and conversions or not. That is the history that is missing in too many of today’s “Bill W.” biographies, irrelevant studies of tangential alcoholism movements, and the long temperance events of past centuries.
Using A.A.’s Real Early A.A. History to Compare other present-day contenders
If we are going to talk about the Washingtonians, let’s start with the fact that God was not part of their program. If we are going to talk about New Thought, let’s start with the fact that it rejected the born-again faith found in early A.A. If we are going to talk about conversion, Rowland Hazard, Ebby Thacher, Carl Jung, and William James, let’s start with the nature of the Oxford Group, the religious beliefs of Carl Jung, and the New Thought orientation of William James. But if we are going to talk about A.A., let’s start with the Book of James, the Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13, and find just what ideas therein were proclaimed by Dr. Bob to be absolutely essential to the early A.A.’s basic program. Yet I don’t see these discussed at all by the quarterbacks. A few, however, are finally beginning to recognize that they have never really looked into, reported on, or accurately summarized the real early A.A. history, particularly the whole program in Akron, the program as reported by Frank Amos to Rockefeller, the United Christian Endeavor roots of the Akron program, and the significance of James, the Sermon, and 1 Corinthians. I suggest contrasting and looking at the materials in three of my latest titles: When Early AAs Were Cured and Why; Twelve Steps for You; and The James Club and The Early A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials.
Copyright © Dick B.


This may have been too large for a text message. Here is what I attempted this morning….

Good morning Ron. Did some research online that you could pass on. The Hazard family was one of the most prominent families in New England, and I like that although Rowland never left the Oxford group, he demonstrated that our disease of alcoholism has never shown any mercy for race, class, or culture. Below is an excerpt from one of the sources I finished reading. At the end, I found it interesting that although the Hazard family was, and is still, a prominent Quaker family, Rowland had two sons die in WW II and a grandson die in Viet Nam. My connection to the family is that my brother is married into that family. His wife’s grandmother was Rowland’s baby sister. Here you go:                                                                                                                                                 Rowland “Roy” Hazard III (1881-1945) was the eldest of five children of woolen magnate Rowland Gibson Hazard II (1855-1918) and Mary Pierrepont Bushnell (1859-1936).He was a graduate of the Taft School in Waterbury, Conn., and of Yale University, class of 1903. He then worked briefly for the Solvay Process Company in Syracuse, N.Y., a family business. After 1907, he was involved with the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company, the family’s flagship woolen mill in South Kingstown, R.I., eventually becoming treasurer. This company was sold outside the family after the death of Rowland G. Hazard II in 1918.

            Rowland III served on the South Kingstown town council from 1908, and then in the Rhode Island state senate from 1914 to 1916; he was an active supporter of the Republican Party throughout his life. During the first World War, he served as captain in the Chemical Warfare Service of the Army. After the war, with the family business sold, he participated in the organization of the Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation. In 1920, he joined the New York City banking firm of Lee, Higginson & Co., residing on Long Island. While there, he remained active in Rhode Island affairs, and served as president of the Washington County Agricultural Society, which staged the annual Kingston Fair. Hazard resigned from his banking position in 1927 to travel in Africa.

            While in Africa, Hazard contracted a tropical illness, and spent several months convalescing in New Mexico. In the town of La Luz, he discovered large deposits of high-grade clay, purchased land, and formed the Aguadero Corporation to market pottery. He formed Rowland Third Inc. as a personal holding company in 1930, registered in the state of Vermont. Soon afterward, two new companies were spun off from the Aguadero Corporation: Timonel Farms, and the La Luz Clay Products Company. Though none of these New Mexico companies were as successful as hoped for, they remained active for the remainder of Hazard’s life.

            Hazard returned to Rhode Island in 1931, and acquired one of the family homes, “Druid’s Dream” in Narragansett. He also kept residences intermittently at 52nd Street and other addresses in Manhattan; in La Luz, New Mexico; at “Ladyhill” in Shaftsbury, Vermont; and at “Sugarbush” in Glastonbury, Vermont. In the 1930s, he commercially marketed maple syrup that had been tapped at his Vermont vacation home. He incorporated a real estate company, the What Cheer Realty Company, in 1932 (none of the records for What Cheer survive, but reference can be found in the Rowland Third Inc. records).

            He struggled with alcoholism for much of his life, and was active in the Oxford Group, a pioneering spiritual response to the disease. He played an important and well-known role in founding Alcoholics Anonymous, though he never became a member. Through the Oxford Group, he was active in the Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City, and became a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1936. He was active as officer or director of several organizations in his later years, most notably as executive vice-president of the Bristol Manufacturing Company of Waterbury, Connecticut. Rowland Hazard III died in Waterbury, Connecticut on December 20, 1945.

            Hazard married Helen Hamilton Campbell in 1910. They were divorced on February 25, 1929 in South Kingstown, and remarried on April 27, 1931. They had four children:

Caroline C., born April 15, 1911, died May 28, 1953. Married Russell Troy Hunter, 1946. She had one son, Troy H. Hunter (1949-1968), who died in Vietnam.

Rowland G. III, born on February 18, 1917, died April 29, 1944 in World War II. Married Mary F. Pitney in 1940; they had one daughter.

Peter Hamilton, born June 27, 1918, died March 27, 1945 in Okinawa. No children.

Charles B., born April 10, 1920, died 1995. Married Edith D. Bruce in 1943. 3 children.

PS This is a friend who is connected to the Hazzard family through marriage.

Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813


The Science of Sex: good for solving engineering problems.

The Science of Sex: good for solving engineering problems.

“People often don’t think about sex as a feedback loop, but it is perhaps one of the most powerful and successful loops of all time.”


Sex uses positive feedback. The ‘positive’ part doesn’t mean happy or good; it means that the output intensifies the input.

You do something. You like it. You want to do it more. The stimulation of the erogenous zones is relayed to the brain, which registers pleasure, encouraging you to continue the pleasurable activity, which leads to more pleasure, and so on, until orgasm shuts the whole thing down.


But a healthy sex life doesn’t only depend on positive feedback: We also need negative feedback after sex so that we do other things too—like eat and sleep and go to work. Negative feedback is a major part of many of the body’s regulatory systems. So, for instance, if your body’s blood pressure shoots up past normal levels, your brain controller will take steps to bring it back down. Your thermostat is another example of a negative feedback loop.

Malfunctioning negative feedback may lead to hypersexuality—the inability to inhibit sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior. Consequences of compulsive sexual behaviors can include increased risk for STDs, financial loss, greater risk of illegal activities, strain on interpersonal relationships, warped understanding of intimacy, and personal shame and guilt. Many scientific articles point out parallels between sexual impulse control and substance abuse disorders.


The body is chock full of feedback loops—loops for pain, growth, repair, movement, balance, hunger, and on and on. The scientific record is brimming with discussions of biological feedback, therapists encourage to communicate effectively, but the systematic study of sexual feedback is woefully thin. This blind spot is unwarranted considering how common sexual problems are, and those problems can often be traced back to flawed feedback loops.

If you are having a sexual experience solo, the feedback loop is simple. You do more of what feels nice and less of what does not. But sex with another person can create an imperfectly closed loop—the information doesn’t get fed back to properly affect the subsequent action. What engineers call a “noisy” system.

The trouble is, when two (or more) people are involved, feedback is based on secondary clues. Like that thermostat installed right by the drafty window, if the signals coming in are not spot on, the experience is going to suffer.


The sexes seem to differ in terms of interpretation of physical feedback. Women’s subjective experience is more strongly influenced by context—am I safe? How do I feel about this person? Is this socially acceptable? This means that in women, the feedback loop may be noisier, with multiple inputs, and more chances to derail.

If people who have a difficult time reaching climax can watch their brains as they try, so the thinking goes, perhaps they can learn better how to get there. The technique, called neurobiofeedback, most commonly uses EEG, and it is being tried to treat everything from attention and behavioral disorders to migraines. At its heart, neurobiofeedback seeks to close the feedback loop so things will run more smoothly. Better feedback loops might mean better sex.


The complexity of biology is staggering, but I think it is no coincidence that similar problems tend toward similar solutions. Maybe sex therapists should invite an engineer for a consult. Maybe engineers should branch out a bit and pay more attention to sex, one of the most deeply human questions.


How Sex Is Like Your Thermostat – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus


a technology that seems to be converging on the sharing of consciousness?

“What are the implications of a technology that seems to be converging on the sharing of consciousness?

It would be a lot easier to answer that question if anyone knew what consciousness is. There’s no shortage of theories. Their models – right or wrong – describe computation, not awareness.”


Physics describes a world of intelligent zombies who do everything we do, except understand that they’re doing it. That’s what we should be, that’s all we should be: meat and computation. Somehow the meat woke up.

This is all preamble, though, a set‑up to the question posed at the outset: what are the implications of a technology that wires brains together, that in theory at least permits the existence of hive minds?


The local personae are obliterated, absorbed into a greater whole; as the Finnish computer scientists recently declared in the International Journal of Machine Consciousness, ‘the biological brain cannot support multiple separate conscious attentional processes in the same brain medium’. Remember that. It could end up biting us in the ass a few years down the road.

If we do stop short of a hive mind, it’s unlikely to be because we lack the tech; it’ll only be because we lack the nerve. Consciousness remains mysterious. But there’s no reason to regard it as magical, no evidence of spectral bonds that hold a soul in one head and keep it from leaking into another. And one of the things we do know is that consciousness spreads to fill the space available. Smaller selves disappear into larger; two hemispheres integrate into one.

Keep the bandwidth too low and you lose the experience; edge it too high and you lose yourself. Throughout history we’ve communicated via the equivalent of dial‑up, through speech and writing and images on screens. A fat enough neural interface could turn everything broadband, act as a next-gen corpus callosum that fuses we into some new kind of I that’s never existed before.


There’s a machine in a lab in Berkeley, California, that can read the voxels right off your visual cortex and figure out what you’re looking at based solely on brain activity. One of its creators, Kendrick Kay, suggested back in 2008 that we’d eventually be able to read dreams (also, that we might want to take a closer look at certain privacy issues before that happened). His best guess was that this might happen a few decades down the road – but it took only four years for a computer in a Japanese lab to predict the content of hypnagogic hallucinations (essentially, dreams without REM) at 60 per cent accuracy, based entirely on fMRI data.

Do we really want to fuse our brains together? – Peter Watts | Aeon Essays
Do we really want to fuse our brains together? – Peter Watts | Aeon Essays

Transpersonal Psychology

little girl and animal people