I Share therefore I am
Who would have believed that from a few disciples gathered around their ‘Guru’, the deeply disturbed ‘Bill W,’ in a church basement in Akron Ohio in 1935 there would grow a movement, Alcoholics Anonymous, that would become the largest ‘secular’ self-help organisation in the Western world. But how has AA become so successful? Perhaps at that moment in that church basement ‘Bill W’ had the foresight to see that the ‘Group’ would be the lungs for his epiphany; ‘I share therefore I exist’, he must have had the insight to envisage that it was ‘Sharing’ in the ‘Group’ that would make AA endure.
‘Are you a friend of Bill’s?’ is a coded Masonic type question to determine whether you are in Alcoholics Anonymous or not; today there are many who are and they vastly outnumber the Freemasons. Currently A.A. has a presence in over 170 countries, with an estimated total of 114,070 groups and more than 2 million members worldwide. The so-called Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, now in its fourth edition, has sold over 30 million copies and has been translated into 67 languages. Its 12-step formula has given birth to numerous look-alike self help therapies: there is NA, (Narcotics Anonymous) OA, (Overeaters Anonymous) Al-Anon (for relatives of alcoholics) Al-Ateen (for children of alcoholics), OCA (Obsessive Compulsive behaviour) Gamblers Anonymous, Sexual Compulsive Anonymous, Choc Anon; need I go on?
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