Cleveland Plain Dealer--1942 (undated)
Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous Is Speaker
An Akron physician,
co-founder of an organization which in the seven years of its existence
has restored thousands of hopeless alcoholics to normal living, spoke in
Berea last Friday night.
The organization is
Alcoholics Anonymous and the occasion was a "round-table"
discussion sponsored by the Berea Group of the fellowship. Since
anonymity is observed names cannot be published. The co-founder was one
of three men participating in the special program. Another was a leader
of the movement in Cuyahoga County and the third, a man who was one of
the first five members of the fellowship.
Open only to members,
the program on Friday night was attended by more than 100, including
visitors from various of the 22 groups in Cuyahoga County.
The basis for the
fellowship was discovered by a New York stock broker more than seven
years ago. Confined to a sanitarium as a hopeless drunk, he underwent a
spiritual experience which revealed a way to sobriety. Months later, and
still sober, he was in Akron on a business deal of great personal
importance. The deal fell through and filled with disappointment he
realized that unless he did something about it, he would return to the
hell of his drinking days.
directory of Akron churches he picked one at random and phoning the
pastor asked him if any member of his congregation was afflicted with a
drinking problem. Through this phone call the broker and the physician
met and Alcoholics Anonymous was born.
For several years
development was slow, with small groups in Akron and New York. Later an
Alcoholics Foundation was founded in New York and a book
"Alcoholics Anonymous" was published. Since then Liberty,
Saturday Evening Post and various newspapers have carried articles about
the fellowship. It is estimated that there are now more then 7,000
members in the United States. Most rapid growth has been in the
Cleveland area where membership is now near the 2,000 mark. The Berea
Group has been in existence for a year and a half.
Not at all concerned
with liquor as a social evil or a moral problem, AA members are not
reformers in any sense of the word. In fact, they respect the man who is
what they term a "social" drinker. But realizing that
alcoholism is an affliction as deadly as cancer these ex-drunks have
banded together to help another in molding a new way of life. Effects
achieved have astounded medical authorities.
The fellowship has no
doctrines of sectarianism, and does not require members to take pledges
of any sort. It costs nothing to join and there are no dues. In the
groups will be found members of all religious faiths and those who have
religious affiliations. Lawyers, doctors, salesmen, carpenters,
mechanics meet on the same plane.
Requirements are that a
man or woman admits a drinking problem and honestly desires to do
something about it. Spiritually, new members must believe only in a
power greater than themselves, and their personal conception of this
power does not enter into the picture. Members make no effort to
"sell" the plan, but will go to any lengths to help an
alcoholic once he seeks their aid.
The fellowship, however,
does endeavor to make itself accessible to those who desire to learn
more of the movement. For this purpose a post office box is maintained
in Cleveland and communications can be addressed to Alcoholics
Anonymous, P.O. Box 1688, Station C, Cleveland, Ohio.
BUY DEFENSE BONDS