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 1944 A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet

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Join date : 2010-10-13
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Location : Redwoods California

1944 A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet Empty
PostSubject: 1944 A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet   1944 A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet Icon_minitimeThu Oct 14, 2010 1:15 pm

1944 A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet
by Clarence Snyder
This is the first pamphlet ever written concerning sponsorship. It was
written by Clarence H. Snyder in early 1944. Its original title was
to be "A.A. Sponsorship...Its Obligations and Its Responsibilities."
It was printed by the Cleveland Central Committee under the title:

"A.A. Sponsorship . . . Its Opportunities and Its Responsibilities."


Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is a potential sponsor of a new
member and should clearly recognize the obligations and duties of
such responsibility.

The acceptance of an opportunity to take the A.A. plan to a sufferer
of alcoholism entails very real and critically important
responsibilities. Each member, undertaking the sponsorship of a
fellow alcoholic, must remember that he is offering what is frequently
the last chance of rehabilitation, sanity or maybe life itself.

Happiness, Health, Security, Sanity and Life of human beings are the
things we hold in balance when we sponsor an alcoholic.

No member among us is wise enough to develop a sponsorship program that
can be successfully applied in every case. In the following pages,
however, we have outlined a suggested procedure, which supplemented
by the member's own experience, has proven successful.


No one reaps full benefit from any fellowship he is connected with
unless he wholeheartedly engages in its important activities. The
expansion of Alcoholics Anonymous to wider fields of greater benefit
to more people results directly from the addition of new, worth-while
members or associates.

Any A.A. who has not experienced the joys and satisfaction of helping
another alcoholic regain his place in life has not yet fully realized
the complete benefits of this fellowship. On the other hand, it must
be clearly kept in mind that the only possible reason for bringing an
alcoholic into A.A. is for that person's gain. Sponsorship should never
be undertaken to -

1. Increase the size of the group.

2. For personal satisfaction and glory.

3. Because the sponsor feels it his duty to re-make the world.

Until an individual has assumed the responsibility of setting a
shaking, helpless human being back on the path toward becoming a
healthy useful, happy member of society, he has not enjoyed the
complete thrill of being an A.A.


Most people have among their own friends and acquaintances someone
who would benefit from our teachings. Others have names given to them
by their church, by their doctor, by their employer, or by some other
member, who cannot make a direct contact.

Because of the wide range of the A.A. activities, the names often come
from unusual and unexpected places. These cases should be contacted as
soon as all facts such as: marital status, domestic relations, financial
status, drink habits, employment status and others readily obtainable
are at hand.


Much time and effort can be saved by learning as soon as possible
if -

1. The man* really has a drinking problem?

2. Does he know he has a problem?

3. Does he want to do something about his drinking?

4. Does he want help?

*The masculine form is used throughout for simplicity, although it is
intended to include women as well.

Sometimes the answers to these questions cannot be made until the prospect
has had some A.A. instruction, and an opportunity to think. Often we are
given names, which upon investigation, show the prospect is in no sense
an alcoholic, or is satisfied with his present plan of living. We should
not hesitate to drop these names from our lists. Be sure, however, to
let the man know where he can reach us at a later date.


A.A. is a fellowship of men and women bound together by their inability to
use alcohol in any form sensibly, or with profit or pleasure. Obviously,
any new members introduced should be the same kind of people, suffering
from the same disease.

Most people can drink reasonably, but we are only interested in those
ho cannot. Party drinkers, social drinkers, celebrators, and others
who continue to have more pleasure than pain from their drinking, are
of no interest to us.

In some instances an individual might believe himself to be a social
drinker when he definitely is an alcoholic. In many such cases more
time must pass before that person is ready to accept our program.
Rushing such a man before he is ready might ruin his chances of ever
becoming a successful A.A.. Do not ever deny future help by pushing
too hard in the beginning.

Some people, although definitely alcoholic, have no desire or ambition
to better their way of living, and until they do........ A.A. has nothing
to offer them.

Experience has shown that age, intelligence, education, background, or
the amount of liquor drunk, has little, if any, bearing on whether or
not the person is an alcoholic.


In many cases a man's physical condition is such that he should be
placed in a hospital, if at all possible. Many A.A. members believe
hospitalization,with ample time for the prospect to think and plan
his future, free from domestic and business worries, offers distinct
advantage. In many cases the hospitalization period marks the beginning
of a new life. Other members are equally confident that any man who
desires to learn the A.A. plan for living can do it in his own home
or while engaged in normal occupation. Thousands of cases are treated
in each manner and have proved satisfactory.


The following paragraphs outline a suggested procedure for presenting the
A.A. plan to the prospect, at home or in the hospital.


1. In calling upon a new prospect, it has been found best to qualify
oneself as an ordinary person who has found happiness, contentment,
and peace of mind through A.A. Immediately make it clear to the prospect
that you are a person engaged in the routine business of earning a
living. Tell him your only reason for believing yourself able to help
him is because you yourself are an alcoholic and have had experiences
and problems that might be similar to his.


2. Many members have found it desirable to launch immediately into
their personal drinking story, as a means of getting the confidence
and whole-hearted co-operation of the prospect.

It is important in telling the story of your drinking life to tell it
in a manner that will describe an alcoholic, rather than a series of
humorous drunken parties. this will enable the man to get a clear picture
of an alcoholic which should help him to more definitely decide whether
he is an alcoholic.


3. In many instances the prospect will have tried various means of
controlling his drinking, including hobbies, church, changes of
residence, change of associations, and various control plans. These
will, of course, have been unsuccessful. Point out your series of
unsuccessful efforts to control drinking...their absolute fruitless
results and yet that you were able to stop drinking through application
of A.A. principles. This will encourage the prospect to look forward
with confidence to sobriety in A.A. in spite of the many past failures
he might have had with other plans.


4. Tell the prospect frankly that he can not quickly understand all
the benefits that are coming to him through A.A.. Tell him of the
happiness, peace of mind, health, and in many cases, material benefits
which are possible through understanding and application of the A.A.
way of life.


5. Explain the necessity of reading and re-reading the A.A. book. Point
out that this book gives a detailed description of the A.A. tools and
the suggested methods of application of these tools to build a foundation
of rehabilitation for living. This is a good time to emphasize the
importance of the twelve steps and the four absolutes.


6. Convey to the prospect that the objectives of A.A. are to provide
the ways and means for an alcoholic to regain his normal place in
life. Desire, patience, faith, study and aplication are most important
in determining each individual's plan of action in gaining full benefits
of A.A.


7. Since the belief of a Power greater than oneself is the heart of the
A.A. plan, and since this idea is very often difficult for a new man,
the sponsor should attempt to introduce the beginnings of an understanding
of this all-important feature.

Frequently this can be done by the sponsor relating his own difficulty
in grasping a spiritual understanding and the methods he used to overcome
his difficulties.


8. While talking to the newcomer, take time to listen and study his
reactions in order that you can present your information in a more
effective manner. Let him talk too. Remember...Easy Does It. TAKE TO
SEVERAL MEETINGS* 9. To give the new member a broad and complete
picture of A.A., the sponsor should take him to various meetings
within convenient distance of his home. Attending several meetings
gives a new man a chance to select a group in which he will be most
happy and comfortable, and it is extremely important to let the prospect
make his own decision as to which group he will join. Impress upon him
that he is always welcome at any meeting and can change his home group
if he so wishes.


10. A successful sponsor takes pains and makes any required effort to
make certain that those people closest and with the greatest interest
in their prospect (mother, father, wife, etc.) are fully informed of
A.A., its principles and its objectives. The sponsor sees that these
people are invited to meetings, and keeps them in touch with the
current situation regarding the prospect at all times.


11. A prospect will gain more benefit from a hospitalization period if
the sponsor describes the experience and helps him anticipate it, paving
the way for those members who will call on him.


These suggestions for sponsoring a new man in A.A. teachings are by no
means complete. They are intended only for a framework and general guide.
Each individual case is different and should be treated as such.
Additional information for sponsoring a new man can be obtained from
the experience of older men in the work. A co-sponsor, with an experienced
and newer member working on a prospect, has proven very satisfactory.
Before undertaking the responsibility of sponsoring, a member should
make certain that he is able and prepared to give the time, effort,
and thought such an obligation entails. It might be that he will want
to select a co-sponsor to share the responsibility, or he might feel
it necessary to ask another to assume the responsibility for the man
he has located.


(* These headings were not in the original draft for this pamphlet.
They were added for the first, and subsequent printings.)
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