A Brief History of Bill

1.  White Light

Bill Wilson was a New York pitchman who could sell lumber to Paul Bunyan. In 1934 Bill co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Bob, a proctologist from Akron, Ohio. In an act of divine providence this Wall Street huckster and his hemorrhoid surgeon partner formulated a highly successful spiritual treatment for alcoholism. In the process they revolutionized health & social services by creating the self-help industry.

By using the avocational, non-professional social model consisting of 12 Step meetings Bill and Dr. Bob created the most successful treatment program for recovery from the disease of alcoholism ever known. Bill synthesized well-known spiritual principles and applied them in day-to-day, nuts and bolts, practical ways. Bill and Dr. Bob went beyond the symptom of drinking alcohol.  They went to the underlying causes of alcoholism.  These AA old timers created a highly effective 12 Step method of treatment for recovery from mental illness and emotional disorders associated with alcoholism.  

In his mid-thirties Bill was desperately seeking a cure for his own deteriorating condition. His wife was about to have him permanently institutionalized for late stage chronic alcoholism, as was customary at that time.

Then suddenly in his hospital bed at an alcoholism sanitarium he had a white light hot flash spiritual experience. The psychic and emotional impact catapulted Bill W. into the fourth dimension. Bill made conscious contact with God and then with his usual marketing brilliance he renamed it Higher Power. He wrote about it in his first book: Alcoholics Anonymous. 

2.  Alcoholics Anonymous Creates the New Pop God Called Higher Power

Bill the synthesizer and repackager made the concept of God popular by rebranding American divinity as Higher Power. The Bible-thumping Ohio faction of Alcoholics Anonymous wanted to use the word God. Ohio was conservative and Bill the educated aristocrat had a legal background and gave 12 Step party line a constitutional flair. The holy rollers were not professional marketers or negotiators like Bill was and the New York Higher Power faction won out.

Bill had an authentic spiritual experience and he wasn’t about to let the words mess things up. Bill the professional researcher had already investigated various “religious cures” of his day and found them to be just another social scene for lackluster proselytisers.  

As a child Bill was abandoned by both of his parents and was raised with a healthy exposure to formal religion by his grandparents in Vermont. He knew that the diseased alcoholic mind could not or would not easily digest a preconceived notion of a formal religious “God” with long gray hair and beard dressed in flowing robes. Bill was a killer competitor who wasn’t going to preach to the choir or reach for the low-hanging fruit. Bill was a big thinker who wanted big numbers. 

Bill was success oriented and wanted his spiritual book to sell. He knew he had to keep the meetings free but the concept of selling the book at cost did not exist to him or anyone else back then. The free book concept came much later. Bill knew the midwest Christers were all suckers for the God word and he didn’t want to limit himself. Bill Wilson the mover and shaker lived in 20th Century angst in the city that never sleeps where he wanted to reach the really hard core alcoholics that were either too smart or too dumb to pray.  

The master showman became a quiet, articulate and humble program of attraction and was able to write about how to find and listen to the small, still voice of God. Bill also analyzed his own emotional health component of the disease. Alcoholics Anonymous is a spiritual program to get honest about one’s emotionally disordered, impatient and eccentric behavior. Bill defines alcoholism as an emotional illness characterized by the futility of overdependence on seeking external gratification. Bill finally found spiritual help for his alcoholism by practicing meditation, and developing higher consciousness. 

Bill was a World War I veteran who went to Europe in the final days of the war but the only action Bill saw came out of a foaming mug of grog. When he got back to the states he went to law school with no intention of becoming a lawyer. Bill just wanted to learn how to think like an attorney. Bill was far too intelligent and self-motivated to have worked in a law office where the rules and rigors of real life legal practice would have just held him back. 

Bill used his legal and financial skills to research investments and make money for himself and other investors. Bill was a natural at sizing things up. He could analyze, create, qualify prospects, pitch the products and sell. Bill was a predator eating what he killed in the asphalt jungle before you had to dodge the bodies leaping from buildings on Black Friday.

Some people said that Bill was a snake oil salesman but then other people said that he was a flim flam man. Bill Wilson was an info-freako, hunter & gatherer of raw data that he could smoke into valuable merchandise. I learned a lot from Mr. Wilson, can’t you just tell?  

Some people say Bill Wilson smoked too many unfiltered cigarettes. Bill would just fire up another Lucky Strike, blow a few smoke rings as he flipped back his fedora and smiled: “Everybody smokes in hell.”

3.  On The Road 

alcoholics anonymous co-founder bill wilson
Bill and Lois Wilson, wheeling and dealing on the information highway

Bill was a social animal who could speak to anyone, intellectually frisk them, and relieve them of their valuable information before they realized it. The sign of a true alkie is that he is master manipulator.  Bill could work a board room or a bar room but most importantly like all red-blooded American males Bill Wilson was into cars and girls. 

Bill was a sponge of valuable business and technology intelligence as he methodically cruised the new super highways of post-industrial America on a Harley with his long-suffering and saintly wife Lois diligently writing down important business & financial notes while riding in the sidecar right beside him. He would find and analyze undervalued companies, pitch investors and play wheeler dealer. See. Bill. Make. Lots. Of. Things. Happen. Alkies are like that, can’t you just tell?

Bill knew how to make money and this grandiose overachiever wasn’t shy about talking about it. Bill Wilson was ahead of his time. He was a self-described “big shot” who thrived on being at the center of attention.

Bill Wilson changed lives and he changed history by turning his biggest liability into his greatest asset. Bill researched, synthesized and packaged spiritual principles into practical methods for recovery from mental illness and emotional disorders. Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, said that Bill was the greatest social architect of the 20th Century.

Bill Wilson was an American saint directly responsible for helping me to transform my biggest liability into my greatest asset. I have the ability to demonstrate how to transform your own emotional health and well being and recover from mental illness. The purpose of this website is to demonstrate how to heal your own heart and soul. 

The best Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are not about swapping clever drinking stories. AA is a place to find God. AA is about emotional health and the futility of seeking external gratification. The best Alcoholics Anonymous meetings teach the application of spiritual principle in daily life. If a depraved and degenerate alcoholic like me can change, they you can change too. If you really want personal help for alcoholism and you live in Southern California then you owe it to yourself to check a spiritual treatment meeting. 

cult of primetime alcoholics anonymous