A.A.’s Casting Their Nets

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It was typical of many Morgan Blake columns to contain multiple subjects within the same column. The first two sections involved World War II. The discussion of Alcoholics Anonymous begins afterwards.

Atlanta Journal, MORGAN BLAKE, January 2, 1945

Hard-Boiled Hermann’s Proclamation

IT IS our duty and our task in the coming year to carry war gain into the enemy’s territory.

This was the New Year’s proclamation to the German army and people by Hard-Boiled Hermann Goering.

One cannot believe that this suggestion will be received with any great enthusiasm by those to whom it was addressed. I doubt, for instance, if even the boldest of the German troops relish the thought of another invasion of Russia, even if such were possible.

There has been quite a change in the fortunes of war since the Germans, so blythe and gay, invaded France in 1940. It was a picnic then. Now even a short offensive thrust into Belgium, as powerful and well-timed as that was, has evidently only brought them a bloody nose, at best, with a real military disaster possible.

Too Many Bar Way

There are too many well-equipped American, British Canadian and French soldiers barring the way on the western front, and too many well-equipped and hard-boiled Russian troops on the other side. The Germans would be a super race indeed if, after what they’ve gone through, they could muster up  serious and prolonged offensive anywhere. There may be sporadic thrusts and counterattacks, but they will become more and more suicidal.

The main hope—the only hope—of the Germans is to outlast us. In other words that we will be completely fed up in “dishing it out” before they will be in “taking it.” But that would seem to be wishful thinking. It is much easier to dish out punishment than to take it in any realm of endeavor. If the Germans insist on many more months of war we ought to be able to accommodate them.

A.A’s Casting Their Nets

This is the season of the year when many people decide to “swear off” and to separate themselves from the coils of John Barleycorn. Therefore it is the busiest season for Alcoholics Anonymous, that group of men and women who are specialists in affecting a cure for alcoholics. The methods by which the pitiful condition is reached may be sinful, but after a man or woman becomes a total alcoholic, it is a disease.

Only in rare cases can medical doctors cure this disease. Physicians will tell you so. Religion and psychiatry have effected cures, but not until Alcoholics Anonymous was formed some 10 years ago did real specialists tackle the proposition.

These specialists were former alcoholics themselves. They know all the ropes and all the angles and all the miseries and physical and mental torture of the disease, and the technique they use is a combination of medicine and religion. And having been victims themselves, they can give an understanding to the disease, and a greatly needed fellowship to the victims, that doctors and preachers usually are unable to give.

I have seen some cures performed by the Atlanta group, many of whom are my good friends. The basis of the cure is that the victim must realize he is at the end of his rope, that he has no power within himself to conquer it. And that he must cast himself upon the strength of a higher power. He must believe in a higher power whether he calls it God, or Nature, or what. No man unless he is stripped of his ego and self-sufficiency can find that higher power.

No man can be truly repentant until he is humble. With this humbleness, and this awareness of the need of a power greater than himself, plus a good understanding pal at his elbow, even the worst alcoholic can be cured.

Club Rooms Open Each Evening

The club rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous are located at 57 ½ Broad Street in the heart of the downtown section. The telephone number is Jackson 8173. The club rooms are open each evening from 6 o’clock to 10. Three formal meetings are held weekly, a class for beginners, a meeting for members only, and on Friday night an open meeting for everybody, in which the purposes and creed of the organization are presented interestingly.

There is no expense attached to joining the organization. There are no dues. It is a work of love entirely. There is no magic in it. No alcoholic can be helped unless he wants to be helped. The members will call on any one desiring help. It must be by invitation of the alcoholic. They do not way-lay anybody or thrust themselves upon people uninvited.

They have many failures, of course, but in them, and through them, my friend, lies your best chance to conquer the disease that is blasting your life and breaking the hearts of your loved ones.

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