A little ditty on the “Big Book”, Alcoholics Anonymous (To Employers).
Did Bill W also write this chapter as he did all the others?
Interestingly enough, this is the one chapter Bill did not write. Although there is some disagreement about details. Hank P was the first alcoholic, after Bill, to sober up at Towns Hospital in New York and became the second AA member in the New York area. Hank wrote Chapter 10. He was a business man who had held positions in some large corporations. He also helped Bill to get the book published. Hank had much experience in the world of big business. It was fitting at the time that Bill have Hank write this chapter.
Why did they find it necessary to write a chapter to employers?
The Big Book was published in 1939. At that time there were no “Employee Assistance Programs” or anything like that. Alcoholics were thrown into insane asylums, as it was understood there was no cure for this disease. Most hospitals, at best, might patch them up if they were injured but put them right back on the street. The need to reach out to employers was a forward thinking idea of Bills. He took advantage of Hanks experience in the world of big business and to see where AA could help make a difference there as well.
This chapter suggests to the leaders of large companies to give the drunks in their ranks a chance to get well, to see if they may want a sober way of life, rather than just firing them first. The point is emphasized that it takes money to train employees, especially management positions. So this chapter gives a new alternative for employers dealing with alcoholism. Rather than simply firing the man or woman, they can be given an opportunity to get sober first, introduce them to these AA members. This was very much new thinking when this book was first published.
If this chapter is for employers are there any benefits for the alcoholic to read it?
Yes, many. One of the benefits are all the tragic experiences the employer relates about three of his past alcoholic employees and their horrible deaths that followed. Not a bad thing for a concerned problem drinker or user to read.
Does Alcoholics Anonymous have treatment centers?
No. AA has no affiliation with any of the treatments centers, sober livings, or detox centers that are so common place today. But it was something founding member Bill W did want to do. Bill had the image of AA hospitals all over the country sobering people up. Bill was also very broke and needed income at that time. However, the majority of the original members were against making AA a professional organization of any kind. Hence AA is not affiliated with any outside institution and has lasted 82 years to date.