is the Foreward as it appeared in the first
printing of the first edition in 1939
We, of Alcoholics
Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered
from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics
precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For
them, we hope these pages will proveso convincing that no furthur aunthentication
will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help
everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Mant do not comprehend that
the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our
way of living had its advantages for all.
It is important that we remain anonymous because we are too few, at present
to handle the overwhelming number of personal appeals which may result
from this publication. Being mostly business or professional folk, we
could not well carry on our occupations in such an event. We would like
it understood that our alcoholic work is an avocation.
When writing or speaking publicly about alcoholism, we urge each of our
Fellowship to omit his personal name, designating himself instead as "a
member of Alcoholics Anonymous."
Very earnestly we ask the press also, to observe this request, for otherwise
we shall be greatly handicapped.
We are not an organization in the conventional
sense of the word. There are no fees or dues whatsoever. The only requirement
for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. We are not allied
with any particular faith, sect or denomination, nor do we oppose anyone.
We simply wish to be helpful to those who are afflicted.
We shall be interested to hear from those who are getting results from
this book, particularly from those who have commenced work with other
alcoholics. We should like to be helpful to such cases.
Inquiry by scientific, medical, and religious societies will be welcomed.