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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: In his last years Bill Wilson stopped going to meetings.
Author: Fraser Trevor
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
He was unable to be anonymous in any meeting, he complained, so he never got the benefit that meetings had for normal recovering alcoholi...
He was unable to be anonymous in any meeting, he complained, so he never got the benefit that meetings had for normal recovering alcoholics.

Just as some A.A. members concluded that his depressions might mean that A.A. didn't work, they now decided that Bill's search for voices beyond the grave somehow cast aspersions on the program. Closer to home, the men who worked with Bill almost every day--sophisticated men and women who had come from fields like advertising and publishing--were concerned about Bill's activities in the spook room and on the living room couch at Stepping Stones.

Some members thought the psychic activity Bill indulged in made him look crazy; others, who actually believed that he was able to summon spirits from another world, were afraid that he was speaking with evil spirits, or a hodgepodge of ghosts who would almost definitely given him bad advice or try to confuse him.

One of the members of the Chappaqua A.A. group, Tom P., remembers that he and group of fellow recovering alcoholics got so upset about Bill's spooking that they decided to do something about it. To the men who counted themselves his followers, many of Bill's activities came to seem ones unbecoming to a great leader. Since Bill Wilson never wanted to be leader, he was not inclined to listen.
The Chappaqua group, which met in the small, wealthy town of Chappaqua near Bedford Hills and had become the self-appointed guardian of local A.A. powers, was joined by another recovering alcoholic named Summer Campbell and a few of the men who worked with Bill. Another one of the men, Tony Guggenheim, wrote to a man they all respected -- C.S. Lewis at Cambridge, England -- to describe Bill and Lois's activities and to ask what he, Lewis, thought of them. Tom P. remembers that Lewis wrote back with total disapproval. "This is necromancy," he wrote. "Have nothing to do with it." Apparently, Bill's colleagues thought that an indictment from a man like Lewis would influence Bill to change his private beliefs. Apparently, they didn't know him very well.
By this time Bill and Lois were drawing away from the many rules and regulations that the membership of Alcoholics Anonymous would have liked to impose on their lives. So despite the controversy, they continued to communicate with spirits. In the evening, with a few friends, they would watch the light fade through the big oak and maple trees and arrange themselves around a table in the room at the back of the house, or in the wooden and upholstered chairs in the double-height living room in front of the big fireplace. Sometimes they would be joined by believing neighbors, sometimes by A.A. visitors from out of town, sometimes by one or two people from the office or one of the local A.A. groups. Their séances were never a secret. 
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