Hello 918gma! I'm so glad to see you here! And, I'm really glad that you are into the history of AA! It shows me that you really care about your sobriety, your life, and about AA! And, if AA is around for generations to come, it will be members like you who keep it going and growing!
I know what you mean by the difference in the final version of Chapter 5, How it works, compared to the original, that was in the last manuscript of the Big Book, before it was published in 1939. I love reading it and noticing the difference.
In a famous quote that is often attributed to some famous, anonymous person, that I never knew, and that I'm just repeating, it says; "Whenever a civilization or society perishes or declines, there is always one condition present, they forgot where they came from."
The Washingtonians, and other endeavors that seemingly showed promise for providing a viable solution to the alcoholic problem forgot where they came from and got away from their primary singleness of purpose. They watered-down and made changes to their programs, got away from their primary purpose, and it eventually led to their demise.
An interesting note in the book AA Comes of Age, indicates that in 1944, of those entering AA, 50 percent never drank again. 25 percent remained sober throughout their lives after experiencing some early difficulties and the remaining 25 percent could not be accounted for. It goes on to say that 75 percent of AA members recovered. And, if the early 1940's Cleveland, Ohio, groupâ€™s records are accurate, it would indicate that they were experiencing an amazing 93 percent success rate for recovery.
In 1987, I remember discussions that we had in our AA Central Office in Van Nuys, California, about the unusually high number of newcomer chips that we were ordering (chips for less than 1 year) compared to the one year chips that we were ordering. We came to the erroneous conclusion that "well, maybe it's because their are so many more meetings, that newcomers are going to several meetings to collect newcomer chips and by the time they reach one year, they've kind of settled downâ€