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Friday, February 1, 2008

Bill Wilson; the man, the myth...


the legend?

The more I research one of founders of aa, the more astounded i get
that this guy could be a major part of creating 12 step recovery.

excerpt from "the orange papers";

Bill Wilson declared that he was "powerless" over just about every urge or craving that he ever had, no matter whether it was a thirst for alcohol, cravings for cigarettes, greed for money, the desire for self-aggrandizement, the temptation to lie, or the urge to cheat on his wife Lois by having sex with all of the pretty young women who came to the A.A. meetings seeking help. That's an interesting excuse for cheating on your wife, one of the more novel ones, but it doesn't wash.3

Bill Wilson was habitually unfaithful to the wife who was working to support him, both before and after sobriety. He invented the A.A. tradition of "thirteenth stepping" the attractive young women who came to A.A. looking for help. Bill was such an outrageous philanderer that the other elder A.A. members had to form a "Founder's Watch Committee", whose job it was to follow Bill Wilson around, and watch him, and break up budding sexual relationships with the pretty young things before he publicly embarrassed A.A. yet again.3 When other early A.A. members, like Tom Powers, who helped Bill to write his second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, told Bill Wilson to quit the philandering, Bill whined that he couldn't give it up.

So just how was Bill's behavior an example of a life "lived on a spiritual basis"? Besides the fact that he held séances and played with Ouija boards, and constantly hypocritically yammered words like "God", "working selflessly", and "absolute purity", just what was "spiritual" about William G. Wilson?

there is an amazing degree of contradiction and hypocrisy concerning a man many consider a great inspirational leader



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12 comments:

~m2~ said...

john, you are taking all of your sources from the orange papers? the links that micky gave you??

have you checked the references?

Fireman John said...

I have done extensive research on the men behind AA.
biographies about bill & dr bob offer quite the eyeopener
for the inquisitive reader.
From wikipedia;
Wilson was serially unfaithful to his wife Lois.[14] Wilson 's affairs with women caused controversy and concern within AA and it was common knowledge in New York AA circles. His interest in younger women increased with his age, and caused Barry Leach and other friends of Wilson to form a "Founders Watch". People were assigned to keep an eye on Wilson during the socializing that followed AA functions and to separate and steer away those young women who caught Wilson's interest. Wilson, like many in his generation, could be sexist, but he was also "capable of treating the women who worked with him with dignity and respect". In the mid 1950s he began an affair with Helen Wyn, a woman 22 years his junior, "in duration, intensity and scope" this was different from his other affairs. Wilson at one point discussed divorcing Lois to marry Helen. Wilson with determined perseverance was able to overcome the AA trustees objections, and renegotiated his royalty agreements with them in 1963, which allowed him to include Helen Wynn in his estate. He left 10% of his book royalties to Helen and the other 90% to his wife Lois. In 1968 with Wilson's illness making it harder for them to spend time together, Helen bought a house in Ireland.

MICKY said...

Dear Jack,

He (orange papers) has done his homework. He has been an inspiration to me.

We need more people like him who have the “guts" to stand up & challenge the false doctrine - BUCHMANISM.

Hopefully, you will have the courage to expose AA - its mind altering, soul destroying, satanic, evil, & above all, ANTI CHRIST.

I hope you are prepared for the negative comments you will receive, from AA FUNDAMENTALISTS?

You can't go back now, Jack?

I imagine you would prefer to feel alive (and feel your emotions) & passionate about challenging AA?

The only alternative is to go back into your “shell” (AA) & be just another BILL WILSON ZOMBIE - EMOTIONAL COWARD?

I, MICKY, AM THE TRUTH & BEAUTY THAT SURROUNDS THE LORD.

Shadow said...

sheesh, i didn't know all that?!?!?

but whatever he may be, he has helped a lot of people, even today, to be sober. so take the good he gave and discard the rest... maybe that's why it's called aa and not bill's something or other.

Fireman John said...

i have always said i am in awe of the program they created, but i digress from the many who actually revere these 2 wingnuts.don't forget there's , as bill sees it, dr bob & the good old boys, and countless homage books and sites dedicated to these MEN

~m2~ said...

i agree with shadow - i believe their programs have helped a lot of people (myself included).

however -- as is true with certain evangelistic preachers and such -- when you take your eyes off of God (Jesus, to me), and put your eyes on the one giving the message, then you can tend to lose focus on what is real. these were men and all men, sadly, are hopelessly flawed.

(same as me :)

penni

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the words. I too am someone who has greatly benefited from 12-step programs, but Bill never had real recovery in my eyes. In fact, he might have had use for a sex addicts group, or even SLAA.

I can relate though, as I have attended SA for years and am really struggling to overcome some of my compulsions like overeating and sex. This is why addiction cannot be viewed as a one symptom problem, and has to be holistically treated. Too many AA people I know have become far more sexually obsessed after quitting alcohol, or far more food obsessed. Life can still be hell with these addictions, and people still get hurt.

Bill is no hero, and no one in any 12-step group should purport to be one. We're all messed up in our own way and need the help of others. But, there are valuable messages in AA that should not be overlooked.

Joan McGilvery said...

John, Thank you so much for the your comment on Bill Wilson. I too have read the "Orange Papers" and can tell you from experience I totally agree with the book and have seen the "lack of fruits" from the AA program. Many members of AA have told me that they embraced if you would AA because of "all the girls" available in AA. By the way, Lois Wilson did not write the Alanon book Message to Women Bill Wilson did that it was a maniupulative control writing basically saying "be a good girl dont' complaint or nag or he will run to his mistress". Bill Wilson himself always said "I introduce the new girls to the tweleve step and teach them the thirteenth step in the bedroom." I applaude your comments and am so grateful I read the orange papers to enable me to step away from Alanon. All the best and we in Boston will never forget "the brave 343 of FDNY". God Bless you always, Joan

Anonymous said...

When I was fairly newly sober in AA, a friend and I were walking over the bridge to our respective apartments. She mentioned to me that Bill Wilson "couldn't keep it in his pants." Yeah, far from perfect. And, by the way, he co-founded an organization that has helped many people.

I don't hang with the "Saint Bill" true believers. I also don't believe that he was 100% evil. I try to be someone that women (and men) newcomers (and not-so-newcomers) can trust. If I see some joker hitting on a newcomer, I try to explain to her (it's usually a her) what's going on; then it's up to her (or him). Some people are sick enough to enjoy the attention. I'm not a freaking miracle worker.

Mick the Quick sounds like a megalomaniac. If he's trying to save us from Bill Wilson's "cult," well, it takes one to know one. He can build his own cult, no doubt. I've met wonderful people in AA; I've met scumbags. But most AA people have been regular persons, getting by in their lives day by day. Don't disrespect them.

I love music, much more than I love most musicians. Look at some of the artists who transformed music. Would you want to spend much time with Hank Williams or Charlie Parker? Better check your wallet. Joe Strummer, John Lennon, Leonard Bernstein - all incredibly imperfect. But all created lasting works of beauty, maybe DESPITE themselves. Bill Wilson's actions were often horrible. He also helped many people. I don't find perfection, anywhere; I find what I need or love (a Bird sax solo, the score to West Side Story, sobriety) - in amounts just large enough, just barely large enough. And I won't find it from some crazy mofo who thinks he's god. Not even Bill Wilson was that "loco en el coco."

David said...

Interesting that this blog is on a Fire/EMS site, I am a “Defrocked” Paramedic/FF, they call it early retirement…
I found out about Bill Wilson’s imperfections from listening to his tapes, the man never claimed to be a saint or in any way less than what he was, a human being with alcoholism. That is what I found in AA, imperfect people who are real! Not pious “perfect” people who I can never attain… in fact I find the imperfect people so much easier to approach and be honest with.
The only ones who demand (dream up in some fairy tale) perfection from their leaders/founders is dogmatic religion. I am so glad that AA was founded by a man who was far from perfect and another who struggled for years to get over his desire to drink. I have been involved in churches and with the devout; give me a room full of smoking, tattoo covered, coffee drinking, cussing, and sexually active people any day!!
Get a grip idiots… LOL

David P

David said...

Interesting that this blog is on a Fire/EMS site, I am a “Defrocked” Paramedic/FF, they call it early retirement…
I found out about Bill Wilson’s imperfections from listening to his tapes, the man never claimed to be a saint or in any way less than what he was, a human being with alcoholism. That is what I found in AA, imperfect people who are real! Not pious “perfect” people who I can never attain… in fact I find the imperfect people so much easier to approach and be honest with.
The only ones who demand (dream up in some fairy tale) perfection from their leaders/founders is dogmatic religion. I am so glad that AA was founded by a man who was far from perfect and another who struggled for years to get over his desire to drink. I have been involved in churches and with the devout; give me a room full of smoking, tattoo covered, coffee drinking, cussing, and sexually active people any day!!
Get a grip idiots… LOL
David P

David said...

Interesting that this blog is on a Fire/EMS site, I am a “Defrocked” Paramedic/FF, they call it early retirement…
I found out about Bill Wilson’s imperfections from listening to his tapes, the man never claimed to be a saint or in any way less than what he was, a human being with alcoholism. That is what I found in AA, imperfect people who are real! Not pious “perfect” people who I can never attain… in fact I find the imperfect people so much easier to approach and be honest with.
The only ones who demand (dream up in some fairy tale) perfection from their leaders/founders is dogmatic religion. I am so glad that AA was founded by a man who was far from perfect and another who struggled for years to get over his desire to drink. I have been involved in churches and with the devout; give me a room full of smoking, tattoo covered, coffee drinking, cussing, and sexually active people any day!!
Get a grip idiots… LOL

 
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