Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published February 2012.

Web Exclusive: Self-Supporting

A member discusses the spiritual significance of supporting ourselves

As a fledgling fellowship, our founders were eagerly looking for any way to fund our endeavor. Hope was our book would become a best-seller returning huge profits to the stockholders. Yes they had sold stock in “Works Publishing” to fund the printing of our beloved Big Book. It was not selling. On February 8, 1940, at the exclusive Union Club in New York City, a meeting was arranged with the Rockefellers and seventy-five of their associates in hopes of obtaining a large sum of money to underwrite our now successful attempts to help drunks. Those hopes were dashed when Nelson Rockefeller, speaking on behalf of his father John D. II, while profusely praising us as a wonderful altruistic movement, emphatically declared that large outside donations would surely bring our new society to a grinding halt. What a crushing blow that must have been, the early members were flat broke as individuals and as a fellowship, fortunately a small donation was obtained that evening enabling us to survive in the short term.

In just seven short years our attitude toward money had changed radically, it had become obvious that Mr. Rockefeller was absolutely correct, Bill W. was convinced that our spiritual way of life would remain safe as long as we refused any contributions from sources outside our fellowship. It was his contention that we certainly understood but sometimes forgot that if we do not remain self-supporting our effectiveness in helping others as well as ourselves would be compromised.

-- Mike S.

Morgantown, Indiana

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