Beginners' Meetings of the 1940's were an integral part of the
"original" Alcoholics Anonymous program that produced a
50-75% recovery rate from alcoholism.
For a period of time, these meetings became a lost piece of
But with the publication of Back to Basics--The
Alcoholics Anonymous Beginners' Meetings in 1997, these
very effective and successful meetings have been re-introduced to
Beginners' Meetings have proven, once again, that A.A. is
Under Divine guidance, Alcoholics Anonymous will continue
to provide a spiritual solution to those who suffer from "a
seemingly hopeless state of mind and body."
the 1940's and 1950's the "original" program of recovery
months (Newcomers take the Steps, "sponsored"
others through the Steps, and, if possible, they led the
Speaker Meetings (10/10/40 Format)
Closed Discussion Meetings (to discuss the Big Book and the
A.A. "design for living.")
"plan of action" produced a 50-75% recovery rate from
alcoholism. The fellowship grew rapidly.
Membership doubled every ten years from the 1950's through
the 1980's, the recovery program had changed dramatically.
It consisted of:
||The predominant meeting format became:
1980's, the recovery rate dropped from 50-75% to 5-10%.
The A.A. rate of growth slowed dramatically.
From 1992-1995, membership in the United States stopped
In 1992, world-wide membership peaked and by 1997 it had
declined by 20%.
1997, two dramatic changes had taken place.
First, the insurance companies had cut back on the amount
of money they were willing to spend for "Treatment" and
the Beginners' Meetings were re-introduced to the fellowship:
the early 2000's, the "modified" program of recovery
||3-6 months (Newcomers take the Steps, "sponsor"
others through the Steps, and, if possible, lead the meetings)
many areas, the Open Discussion Meetings have been
- Big Book Studies
("Big Book" passages that explain how to
- Speaker Meetings
- Eleventh Step
membership has started to increase once again.
on A.A. membership has been obtained from A.A.W.S., Inc. General
Service Conference Reports. Specific
numbers are not quoted because the reports are confidential.
Anyone interested in verifying the figures will find them
in the Conference Reports, under the heading, Estimates of
Groups and Members.)
more about the Beginners' Meetings here.