Carl Gustav Jung

Carl Jung

By bob k In 1961, Bill Wilson, reached out, rather belatedly, to the famous psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, in order to express some gratitude to him, on AA’s behalf, for “…the conversation between you (and Rowland) that was to become the first in the chain of events that led … Continue reading

Anne Smith

Anne Ripley Smith

For some reason, we alcoholics seem to have the gift of picking out the world’s finest women. Dr. Bob Smith By bob k “In 1898, Anne Robinson Ripley was spending a holiday with a college friend in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where she met Robert Holbrook Smith…. She was … Continue reading

Jim Burwell

Another Friend Bumper Sticker

By bob k Bill Wilson wrote the Twelve Steps in 1938, “one night, late in December. He was frankly pleased with what he had written and was in no way prepared for the violent reaction when he read his steps to the group a few nights later… The … Continue reading

Key Players in AA History

Review by Roger C. Our friend, bob k, has written an exceptional book. But before we have a look at Key Players in AA History, let’s back up just a little bit. Bob first starting writing on AA Agnostica a little over three years ago, in December, 2011. He … Continue reading

Dr. Bob – Part Two (Akron-Style AA)

Dr Bob

From his last drink in June, 1935, AA became the centerpiece of Dr. Bob’s life… (He) worked with Sister Ignatia… to treat thousands of alcoholics, who were then channeled into AA. He provided all of these services without charge. (Slaying The Dragon, William L. White, p. 186) By … Continue reading

William Duncan Silkworth


By bob k The “Roaring Twenties” ended not with a bang, but a whimper, as the stock market crash of 1929 plunged America into the darkness of the Great Depression. Throughout the twenties, and into the thirties, the “noble experiment” of national Prohibition was failing miserably. The fundamental intention had been to … Continue reading

Lois Wilson

Lois Wilson

By bob k There are few people who better epitomize the sentiments of  the Tammy Wynette country classic “Stand By Your Man”, than Lois Wilson. As the founder of Al-Anon, she is lovingly remembered by hundreds of thousands, or more, who have seen loved ones recover, or have, at least, been comforted, and … Continue reading

Bill Wilson and Other Women

Bill and Lois

History cannot proceed by silences. The chronicler of ill-recorded times has none the less to tell the tale. If facts are lacking, rumors must serve. Failing affidavits, he must build with gossip. Winston Churchill By bob k In “Bill’s Story,” the protagonist lets us know that among his problems as … Continue reading

Sylvia K. – First Lady of Chicago AA

Sylvia K.

By bob k AA’s earliest efforts to rehabilitate women had not gone well. The ink was barely dry on the newly printed “Big Book,” when Florence Rankin, author of A Feminine Victory (BB, 1st Edition), returned to the bottle. Shortly thereafter, and still in the Spring of 1939, Dorothy Snyder … Continue reading

William James and AA

William James

By bob k For better or worse, whether real or imagined, drug-induced, or brought about by the most desperate need, Bill Wilson’s spiritual experience at Towns Hospital is perhaps the foundation point of Alcoholics Anonymous. Shortly before the famous “hot flash,” Bill’s old friend Ebby had laid out the … Continue reading

Dr. Bob, AA Co-founder – Part One

Dr Bob

By bob k St. Johnsbury, Vermont Dr. Bob Smith remembers his childhood hometown of St. Johnsbury, some 100 miles northeast of the East Dorset birthplace of Bill Wilson, as having a general moral standard “far above the average.”  The consumption of alcohol was considered a question of morality.  “No beer or liquor … Continue reading

Young Bill Wilson – Part Two

Wilson House

By bob k The Prequel Begins It was the night before Thanksgiving when the pains of child labor drove Emily Griffiths Wilson from preparations for the next day’s meal. Emily’s pains drove her from out of the kitchen into the north parlor. She lay on a couch there, trying to … Continue reading