A.A.’s Dr. Bob and Some Quotable A.A. History Remarks
About the Matter of “Cure”
© 2008 by Anonymous. All rights reserved
- Bill Wilson said: “By the fall of 1937 we could count what looked like forty recovered members. One of us had been sober three years, another two and a half, and a fair number had a year or more behind them. As all of us had been hopeless cases, this amount of time elapsed began to be significant. The realization that we “had found something” began to take hold of us. No longer were we a dubious experiment. . . . If forty alcoholics could recover, why not four hundred, four thousand – even forty thousand?” (The Language of the Heart (NY: The AA Grapevine, Inc., 1988), p. 10.
- Bill Wilson said: [about meeting A.A. Number Three]: “Two days before this, Dr. Bob had said to me, ‘If you and I are going to stay sober, we had better get busy.’ Straightaway, Bob called
Akron’s and asked for the nurse on the receiving ward. He explained that he and a man from City Hospital had a cure for alcoholism. . . . Knowing Dr. Bob of old, she jokingly replied, ‘Well, Doctor, I suppose you’ve already tried it yourself?’” (The Language of the Heart, p. 361). New York
- Dr. Bob said about his first meeting with Bill Wilson: “But this was a man who had experienced many years of frightful drinking, who had had most all the drunkard’s experiences known to man, but who had been cured by the very means I had been trying to employ, that is to say the spiritual approach.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 180).
- Bill Wilson said to Henrietta Dotson, wife of AA Number Three: “Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 191).
- Bill Wilson had the following conversation with
newcomer Al. G.: “ [Al G. related]. . . when I cam home Clarence [Snyder] was sitting on the davenport with Bill W. I do not recollect the specific conversation that went on but I believe I did challenge Bill to tell me something about A.A. and I do recall one other thing: I wanted to know what this was that worked so many wonders, and hanging over the mantel was a picture of Gethsemane [Jesus praying in the garden] and Bill pointed to it and said, “There it is. . .” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed., pp. 216-17 – a story that A.A. World Services has removed from the later edition). Cleveland
- Bill Dotson [A.A. Number Three] said: “I thought, I think I have the answer. Bill was very very grateful that he had been released from this terrible thing and he had given God the credit for having done it, and he’s so grateful about it he wants to tell other people about it. That sentence, ‘The Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep telling people about it,’ has been a sort of golden text for the A.A. program and for me” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 191).
- Frank Amos reported to John D. Rockefeller, Jr.: “Dr. Howard S---, general practitioner at
, aged about 35. S--- had been an alcoholic and had been cured by Smith and his friends’ activities and the Christian technique prescribed” (DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 1980, p. 129). Cuyahoga Falls
As documented in A.A. literature, accounts by pioneer AAs, newspaper articles across the U.S., and the founders themselves: Early A.A. had a 75% to 93% success rate among seemingly hopeless, medically incurable, real alcoholics who went to any lengths to establish their relationship with God.