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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

'Pass It On': The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A.A. Message Reached the World.

Alcoholics Anonymous. (1984).
New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc

ISBN: 0-916856-12-7

Description: Hardcover, 429 pages.

Contents: Foreword, 25 chapters, afterword, significant dates, Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, sources.

Excerpt(s): As he [Bill Wilson] observed the work closely, he arrived at this conclusion: It was not "the material itself [that] actually produces these experiences. It seems to have the result of sharply reducing the forces of the ego temporarily, of course. It is a generally acknowledged fact in spiritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of God's grace possible. If, therefore, under LSD we can have a temporary reduction, so that we can better see what we are and where we are going well, that might be of some help. The goal might become clearer. So I consider LSD to be of some value to some people, and practically no damage to anyone. It will never take the place of any of the existing means by which we can reduce the ego, and keep it reduced." (page 370)

Nell continues her story: "Anyway, Bill wanted to see what it was like. He was intrigued with the work that Osmond and Hoffer were doing in Saskatoon with alcoholics. And he thought: 'Anything that helps the alcoholics is good and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Techniques should be explored that would help some guy or gal recover who could not do it through A.A. or any other way.' He gave his full enthusiasm [to] what other people were doing along that line. That's why he took it himself. He had an experience [that] was totally spiritual, [like] his initial spiritual experience."

Bill first took LSD in California, under the guidance of Gerald Heard. Also present was Sidney Cohen, psychiatrist at the Veterans Administration Hospital. The date was August 29, 1956. Tom P. was there, and he and Gerald Heard took notes about the events of the afternoon.

Bill was enthusiastic about his experience; he felt it helped him eliminate many barriers erected by the self, or ego, that stand in the way of one's direct experience of the cosmos and of God. (pages 370-371).

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