From the April 1964 magazine.

12 Stops to Sobriety

A prefabricated pattern for perpetuating a perfect purgatory, permanently

  1. I admit that I am powerless over--nothing. I am capable, clever and conniving; everybody else is a poor, misguided, stupid fool. My house is in order, and my future looks rosy.
  2. I believe that a power greater than myself just hasn't been born yet, and there is little likelihood that I will ever change this view.
  3. As to making a decision to turn life and will over to the care of God, it's those other people who ought to.
  4. Yes, I took a fearless and searching inventory--of friends, neighbors and other hypocrites. I came to the conclusion that a smart man has neither friends nor neighbors.
  5. How could I admit to God, myself and another human being, the exact nature of my faults? I never could do that. Besides, I have none.
  6. Willing to have God remove my defects of character? What defects?
  7. Humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings? What about yours? Clean up your own house first, I always say, and you won't have time to worry about anybody else's.
  8. Make a list of all persons I have offended, and offer to make amends to them? Come off it, Jack, this is 1964: rugged individualism, dog eat dog, swindle your buddy before he gets a chance at you. You want them to think I've gone soft?
  9. Make amends without hurting anyone else? Never. If I get into a spot, I lie my way out--with pleasure.
  10. I do take a daily inventory, and things always add up the same: those stupid fools never change.
  11. I do lie awake at night and ask God to let some of the smarter idiots--especially those who are pretty well-heeled, or have connections--in on the fact that I'm a shrewd apple who's on his way up--up--up, if you get what I mean.
  12. There's something missing in my life--probably something minor, trivial. I can't put my finger on it yet, but when I do, Boy, look out!
-- B. C.

Trenton, New Jersey

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