This afternoon I gave a talk at The Troy New York Public Library introducing the new book, “Out of the Woods” published by Central Recovery Press.
Part of the talk included some history of Alcoholics Anonymous and how it integrates Albany history, Carl Jung and The Oxford Group—an evangelical, Christian sect that was lifesaving for Roland Hazard, then Ebby Thacher and ultimately Bill Wilson and Bob Smith.
Many folks in recovery and almost no one outside of recovery knows that early history, and that Bill and Bob were part of the Oxford Group, and the debt we all owe to their yes, religious fundamentalism in the 1930’s.
But we need only read the Six Steps of the Oxford Group to see how deeply indebted we are. Here are those Six Steps that Oxford Group members used for the purposes of religious conversion:
The Oxford Group’s Six Steps
1. A Complete deflation.
2. Dependence on God.
3. A Moral inventory.
6. Continued work with others in need.
AA also benefited from mistakes made by the Oxford Group. One reason the Oxford movement no longer exits is because they got all tangled up in politics, international affairs and had opinions on all manner of public matters.
Today, AA has as one of its Traditions this statement: “AA has no opinion on outside issues.” A lesson that AA learned from The Oxford Group.