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You may have read in ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE, page 165

The title "Alcoholics Anonymous" had appeared very early in the discussion, probably in October, 1938. We do not know who first used these words.

That is questionable. As we discovered recently it appeared more than half year earlier around March 1938. How do we know that? We read ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE, page 159.

"At 17 William Street, Newark, New Jersey, Henry had an office which was the headquarters for a rapidly failing business. He also had a secretary named Ruth Hock, who was to become one of A.A.'s real pioneers. The other assets consisted of a huge desk and some plush furniture.

Each morning I traveled all the way from Brooklyn to Newark where, pacing up and down in Henry's office, I began to dictate rough drafts of the chapters of the coming book. As we seemed unable to come up with any genuine outline for the publication, I worked from a hastily drawn-up list of possible chapter headings. Week after week, Henry raced around among the stock subscribers, prodding them for their installments."

One of us questioned the phrase "a hastily drawn-up list of possible chapter headings". What was that? Some overdue research revealed the answer. In fact said a hastily drawn-up list of possible chapter headings was a complete outline for our book Alcoholics Anonymous, created and written by Hank Parkhurst around March 1938. download document hank38.pdf 471kB

Chapter 1 - Being dictated - 
Preface of the Book - 
History of this work - 
Questions & answers - 
Why the Book - 
What is needed - 
The Program - 
List of Chapters - 
The aim of the book - 
What is an alcoholic - 
The medical chapter - 
The Sales Promotion Possibilities - 
In the book should be suggestions regarding 
Dr. silkworths [sic]  letters. 

[Bill Wilson's handwriting]   Hanks ideas 

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Why the Book 

  It has been estimated by the Rockefeller 
Foundation that there are over a 
million incurable, from medical or 
psychiatrical standpoints, alcoholics 
in the United States. 
  These men realize their vital 
need and are desperately seeking 
the answer.  The book should be so 
written that it will prove the 
answer to these people. 
  The work has become so broad 
that full time assistance and 
direction is needed.  This costs 
money (which has been offered 
by foundational funds) however the 
alcoholics believe it should 
come from within their own 

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Questions & Answers - 

1. The question is often asked -  where does the money 
   come from for this work? 
2. How do I know this will work with me? 
   Why is this method better than any other religious 
   method?  (It is not - this is only a step toward a 
   religious experience which should be carried forward 
   in christian fellowship no matter what your church) 
3. Will I fail if I cannot keep my conduct 
   up to these highest standards? 
4 - What happens when an alcoholic has a sexual 
5. There is so much talk about a religious experience 
   - what is it? 

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 Sales Promotion Possibilities 

The Market - 
  1. Over million alcoholics (Rockefeller Foundation) 
  2. At least million non alcoholics 
     that have definite alcoholic 
  3. Every employer of 100 or 
     more people 
  4. Those that take an 
     academic interest. [a] 
  5. Two hundred & ten thousand ministers [b] 
  6. One hundred sixty nine thousand 
  7. The total would be well 
     over three million prospects [c] 

[a] this entry was first written as number 6, 
    but the 6 was written over by a 4 and the 
    entry was promoted with an arrow 
[b] First written as "Half million ministers" 
[c] The word "three" was written over "a" 

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Suggestion for Chapter 1 - 

   A History of the work - 
Possibly this could be carried on 
the first two pages of the book. 
   This history should establish 
proof of success of the work 
and carry hope to everyone 
that reads that much. 
   The opening to the book 
should arouse the emotion 
of hope. 

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    Mail order 

   A form letter of acknowledgment 
must be worked out. 
   This will acknowledge the receipt 
of the enquiry [sic] and will inform 
that the writer can secure the 
book by mailing two dollars [d] 
or through their local bookseller 
who can secure from 
         Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. 
         Post Box xxxx 

   The profits of the book are administered 
by a foundation for promotion of 
cure and understanding of alcoholism. 

[d] first written as "mailing a buck for" 

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Title Page 

Alcoholics Anonymous 

   Published by 
      A NON PROFIT organization 
      for the promotion of 
      cure and understanding 
      of alcoholism. 

   Profits accruing from sale 
   of this book will be [e] administered 
   by a foundation for promotion 
   of cure and understanding 
   of alcoholism.  Members of 
   this foundation......... 

Post Box... 
xxxxxxxxx  xx 

[e] first written as "are" and changed 
    to "will be" 

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     Observations - 

  One of the easiest and most talked of 
things among us is a religious experience. 
I believe that this is incomprehensible to 
most people.  Simple & meaning words 
to us - but meaningless to most of 
the people that we are trying to get 
this over too. - In my mind religious 
experience - religion - etc - should 
not be brought in.  We are actually 
irreligious - but we are trying to be 
helpful - we have learned to be 
quiet - to be more truthful - to be 
more honest - to try to be more 
unselfish - to make the other fellows 
troubles - our troubles - and by 
following four steps we most of us 
have a religious experience.  The fellowship - 
the unselfishness - appeals to us. 
  I wonder if we are off the track. 
  A very good merchandising 
procedure is to find out why 
people do not buy our 
products - it is good reasoning 

to find out WHY - I am fearfully 
afraid that we are emphasizing 
religious experience when actually 
that is something that follows 
as a result of 1-2-3-4. 
In my mind the question is not particularly 
the strength of the experience as 
much as the improvement over 
what we were.  I would ask a 
man to compare himself as follows 
after say a month - 
  #1 - as compared to 2 months ago 
      do you have more of a feeling
      that there is a power greater 
      than you? 
  #2 - Have you cleaned out more 
      completely with a human being 
      than ever before? 
  #3 - Have you less bad things 
      behind you than ever 
  #4  Have you been 

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      more honest with yourself & your 
      fellow man - Have you been 
      more thoughtful of people with 
      whom you are associated - Has 
      your life been cleaner both by 
      thought & action - Have you 
      looked at others less critically and 
      yourself more critically this past 
      30 days.  You will never be 
      perfect but the question is 
      have you been more perfect? 
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   May be best be defined to the 
average person by pointing out 
its leading symptoms and indicating 
how these reactions differ from the 
affects of alcohol on normal persons. 
   1. Total inability to control drinking 
      once drinking is started. 
   2. Antisocial behavior of these people 
      when intoxicated 
        A. Marked insanity 
            1. Little relation the - persons normal 
               behavior or ordinary 
               exuberant drinker or drunk 


When book is nearly ready to 
leave the presses a short mat 
article should be sent to the 
12,285 newspapers in the U.S. 
   This article would briefly cover 
the work as it has gone to date. 
Case histories would be covered. 
 - It possibly would be a brief 
case history of the work and 
announcement of the book. 
   At least four news bulletins 
should be published at weekly 
intervals, ahead of the book. 

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  Here is such article -- pushed by Hank
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Read manuscript of 1938 
Read pre-publication of February 1939