recovered in established centers, who travel to other communities, or who find employment in new places. Such individuals turn up sooner or later where new groups are in process of formation contributing to their success and relating them to the older memberships.
When it is considered that we have increased one hundred fold in the last five years and when it is remembered that we are growing by a sort of geometrical progression, each alcoholic as a part of his own treatment working with others, one begins to ask h ow far A.A. may go. Though we alcoholics are plagued with over active imaginations, we shall surely have thousands of new members every year.
Then, too, it should be remembered that for each alcoholic three or four other persons are vitally affected spiritually as well as economically. Even now it is evident that these collateral benefits of our work are large.
Cleveland, Ohio, is an interesting example. In the Fall of 1939 approximately 25 Cleveland alcoholics were attending meetings with the already large group at Akron, Ohio. The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a series of articles on A.A. featuring them upon its editorial page. A rapid and successful growth ensued. This community has many active groups totaling hundreds of alcoholic men and women. This activity includes perhaps thousands of additional individuals-families, employers, and friends, who say they have been vitally touched and benefited. Suppose several thousand alcoholics, most of them able and energetic men and women coming from all walks of life, eventually recover. Surely the effect upon this city would be potent.
There is another aspect of our activity which has often been overlooked. Though no accurate census has been taken, it is probable that 90% of active A.A. members are now employed. Most of them reestablished themselves economically with no other help than we give each other. We believe we have demonstrated that when an individual commences to think straight and elects a sound spiritual basis for his life, he will presently find a way to maintain himself. This spiritual principle, which looks to many people like threadbare rationalization, seems to be practically proven by our employment record. The simple arithmetic of the situation tells the story.
One might elaborate for pages upon what has taken place in the past few years. Stories of spectacular recoveries, of intense spiritual experiences, of happy social contacts, of regained health, of hundreds who have returned to their churches, of families reunited, of seemingly impossible differences composed, of renewed business success; such narratives might be set down by scores. Nor should we fail to mention other hundreds who have quietly stopped drinking and resumed normal life. We could also tell of heartbreaking failures, of seeing those for whom we have formed great attachments continue to disintegrate before our eyes. Such is the warp and woof of A.A. everywhere.