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AA Comes of Age: A Brief History of AA

AA Comes of Age, An Excerpt (p 81)


A poignant story comes from the book AA Comes of Age. In the mid 1950s AA’s reach extended to alcoholics around the world.  Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, was quite clear about liberty for individual AA groups in his “Chapter on Unity” from A. A. Comes of Age.  On page 81 he talks about Buddhists who said that they would like to be part of AA, but also would like to replace the word “god” with “good” so that the practice of the Steps would be compatible with their atheistic belief. In 1957, Bill Wilson writes:


“To some of us, the idea of substituting ‘good’ for ‘God’ in the Twelve Steps will seem like a watering down of A.A.’s message. But here we must remember that A.A.’s Steps are suggestions only. A belief in them, as they stand, is not at all a requirement for membership among us. This liberty has made A.A. available to thousands who never would have tried at all had we insisted on the Twelve Steps just as written.”


 ​--"Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age", pg. 81, reprinted with permission of A.A. World Service Inc.

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