When the first edition was published in 1939 was NOT when the steps were started to be taken. The first writing by Bill was sent to Akron for review. I don't know how many times the first part of Ch. 5 including the steps were revised but the result was the 12 steps as we know them and appear in chapter 5.avaneesh912 wrote: Agree, 12 steps wasn't there and but it didn't take several years. From 1935 till 1939 when the first edition came out. Before that there was the 6 steps that was followed by oxford group.
The folks in Akron weren't waiting for publication to use the steps nor were those in Cleveland, New York and the groups scattered around the country. Only a trickling of orders had been received by December of 1940.
Interested people contacting the little AA office in New York were passed on to the alcoholics people who had gotten sober in Akron, New York and Cleveland and returned home to start AA there. The BB was NOT sent out for free and at the price charged for the BB few if any were bought. Oddly enough to us today not even members at that time bought the BB. The BB was known to be being written for isolated alcoholics to use to get sober if they so desired. Only in 20/20 hindsight did the BB become the "basic text" for alcoholics.
AA grew as it did by one drunk staying sober and helping another drunk achieve sobriety just like Bill did when he "12 stepped" Dr. Bob.
The big boost to AA growth, Jack Alexander's Saturday Evening Post article, spoke of the groups of AA, who were helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety.
This is not going to be a popular but Bill tried to help other alcoholics, an estimated 40 such folk, on the theory that only an alcoholic could help another alcoholic but only succeeded to help himself stay sober. Let that sink in. Zero alcoholics helped when Bill was carrying the message by himself.
Yet AA was growing like wildfire when groups were formed by AA pioneers in the communities across the country. All these early groups had was their experience staying sober and the simple 12 steps.
The 12 steps were talked about but no one told anyone how to take them or held their hands. My sponsor in 1963 didn't tell me how to take them. I didn't tell my pigeons how to take them and from what I hear, my pigeons aren't telling their pigeons how to take them. Need I remind you that according to the forward to the 2nd Edition, the rate of sobriety was 50% of the people who gave AA a try, never found it necessary to drink again. 25% stopped but went out and tried drinking again but returned and stayed sober. The other 25% we don't know what happened.
Compare those success rates to the successes of those who had a sponsor guide them through the steps. I'm sure the sponsors benefited greatly but the "sponsees" aren't having that kind of success.