Jung & Alcoholics Anonymous

This clip describes the relation between the theories of Carl Gustav Jung, and the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. It also elucidates the connection between Jung’s pioneering theory and its more contemporary applications.

3 comments On Jung & Alcoholics Anonymous

  • “…..In it’s symptomatic or compulsive form….” Hum mm. Maybe Jung had something there. This is an interesting posting–really it’s something to think about, if you like abstractions, (or distractions).

  • A member of our World Wide A.A. History Fellowship sent me this tape with favorable comment. May I echo his approval because I have devoted 19 years of research and 33 published titles to the subject of early A.A.’s documented 75 to 93% success rates among seemingly hopeless, medically incurable real alcoholics who went to any lengths to establish their relationship with God and grow in fellowship with Him. See http://www.dickb.com/titles.shtml.
    As you know, Jung was a central figure in Bill Wilson’s enthusiasm for conversion as a cure for alcoholism. Today, many have strayed so far into idolatry, higher powers, and nonsense gods like radiators and trees that they have totally missed the significance of Jung’s prescription for Rowland Hazard and how much it lined up with Bill Wilson’s own experiences with conversion cures. The first involved his own grandfather. The second involved his training in conversion in the East Congregational Church in his home village, as well as his training at Burr and Burton Academy. Years later, his old drinking buddy Ebby Thacher was guided into Calvary Rescue Mission by Rowland Hazard and other Oxford Group activists. Ebby went to the altar, was converted, and decided to witness to Bill–still in Bill’s cups. Meanwhile, Dr. William D. Silkworth had been urging on Bill that Jesus Christ “the Great Physician” could cure alcohlism. Struck by Ebby’s seemingly remarkable conversion and by Silkworth’s suggestion, Bill Wilson went drunk to Calvary Mission, made a decision for Christ at the altar, and twice wrote that he had been born again. Still drunk, Bill said that if there was a Great Physician, he’d better call on him. Bill went to Towns Hospital, decided there to call out to God for help, and had his famous “hot flash” conversion experience. The experience was very very similar to that had by Bill’s grandfather Willie Wilson years before. In both cases, the two Wilsons never drank again. Checking with Silkworth, Bill was told he’d had a genuine conversion experience. Not satisfied, Bill dived into the William James study of a variety of “religious” experiences, particularly the conversion cures at missions that had been studied by professor Starbuck. Wilson concluded he too had had a valid conversion experience. And his simple message for a time is reported at page 191 of A.A.’s Big Book. It was: “The Lord has cured me of this terrible disease, and I just want ot keep talking about it and telling people.” Six months later, Wilson met Smith who had long before been converted, but was still drinking. When Smith achieved sobriety about June 10, 1935, the two men developed their spiritual program of recovery. Central was reliance on God and the requirement of a decision for Christ. Today this evidence has all but been erased from the recovery picture. But it is covered in my recent title The Conversion of Bill W. http://www.dickb.com/conversion.shtml. Today, A.A. is certainly not Christian, but there are thousands of Christians in A.A. and thousands more who would turn to Christ if apprised of the history, facts, and choice. I consider your tape a valuable signpost. Congratulations. God Bless, Dick B.

  • Dick I totally agree with your views on AA today. I use the word heresy. Our meetings hear in contra Costa county, California and Alameda county which comprise many cities, the meetings have not grown in size. I’m 12 years sober because of my relationship, faith and belief in GOD. My hope is that I’ll wake up tomorrow, make that game next week, make that cruise next year, etc. I dont know if ill be able to do any of these things but my faith and trust in GOD lets me know ill be sober. Hope is not being certain of the outcome. Faith says whatever happens GOD will help me stay sober. I believe this and suggest this belief to my sponsees and I’ve watched them grow. Because of prayer and faith 80% of the guys I sponsor stay sober. We lay the “kit of spiritual tools” at the newcomers feet. That kit is hope. If he picks them up GODs’ miracles begin in his life. We can only give hope. GOD does the miracles.

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