Search This Blog

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rare Video of "Bill's Story" and the Birth of A.A. and Al-Anon: Featuring Bill and Lois Wilson

In rare video footage Bill and Lois Wilson recall their struggle with Bill's alcoholic addiction, the fateful visit by Ebby T., and Bill's sudden and profound "spiritual awakening" that relieved him of his addiction.

Note that in recalling his sudden spiritual awakening - the "central experience" of his life - he describes how "the room instantly lit up . . . in a blinding glare of white, white light."  This is a classic description of satori, or the 'enlightenment experience' that Richard M. Bucke describes it in his book "Cosmic Consciousness;" a book which Bill owned and undoubtedly referenced, along with William James' "The Varieties of Religious Experience," in writing "Alcoholics Anonymous."

[The first half-minute or so of the first video is somewhat choppy. After that, it is smooth sailing.]

The remaining clips of this rare footage may be found on Youtube by following the links, below.

In these clips, Bill recounts the full story, or "chain of events" that resulted in the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous (ranging from Carl Jung's advice to Rolland Hazzard, to Bill's work with Dr. Bob, and their work with Alcoholic Anonymous 'Number Three'), while Lois recounts how Al-Anon came to be.

The video appears to be shot at "Stepping Stones," Bill and Lois' home outside of New York City. If anyone knows how this home movie came to be filmed and/or who filmed it, please let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment