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"Comments Remastered"

The Remastering of A.A. Internal Document 5M/12-90/TC

(Actually, it's a release. I mean, to release before it's released? ;->
Also, to verifiy its authenticity, download the MD5 utility from:

Citation Information:

I did not write the "Comments" document. I merely repackaged it into .PDF form.

For those who cite it, the correct citation would be:

"Comments On A.A. Triennial Surveys", Dec. 1990, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services (internal document)

You could also add:

"Available at" case anyone wishes to follow up on the citation.


Having learned of a key internal document from A.A. known as "Comments On A.A.'s Triennial Surveys" (A.A. document identification number 5M/12-90/TC) through a graph and commentary presented within Vince Fox's book, "Addiction, Change and Choice: The New View of Alcoholism," I was curious as to the whereabouts of this document.

My search started upon Ken Ragge's online forum upon his website,, where I inquired as to how I would get a hold of the document. Ken directed me to a person who may have access to that document. I contacted that person and I was in luck to learn that the document survived as that person's other research into A.A. was destroyed.

After some initial prodding the project was underway. Despite his other work he found the time to scan and E-mail each individual page in ultra-high resolution to me via dialup internet access. Upon receipt of the pages I was impressed at how the documentation so far has been consistent with my own findings based upon my own observations, other people's work and other information within A.A. itself.

As more pages arrived a project emerged where I would document the process in how all of this raw data will become the final product: A fully text-searchable .PDF version of the document in question with a size highly suited for immediate dissemination upon the Internet. As the project progresses parts of it will become immediately available to all who access The ARID Site.

The project consists of four stages: Imaging, Transcription, .PDF Pre-release and Remastering. Each part of the process will take some time to complete. The end result will be a document with the filename 5M1290TC.PDF available for immediate download.

Special thanks will be inserted as time goes on and when I get permission from my source for their identity to be revealed. Update 2005/04/15: Special thanks go out to Chaz Bufe and See Sharp Press for the document. It took a weekend but it was time well spent.

Update 2005/06/19: The importance of this document cannot be emphasized enough! Commenting on the 5% success rate as defined as attendance in A.A. meetings as proven by the document in question:

But even this 5% success rate is questionable if AA's success in dealing with alcohol problems is defined as the very modest level of one-year's continuous abstinence, because, as anyone who has spent much time in AA can attest, far from all AA members are abstinent. AA's self-reported rate of recovery (as derived from membership retention) is far from impressive; in fact, it appears to be no better than the rate of spontaneous remission, which has been estimated at anywhere from 1% to 33% per year of those with alcohol problems (Prugh, 1986, p. 24). One survey of the spontaneous remission literature estimates its prevalence at 3.7% to 7.4% per year (Smart, 1975/76, p. 284). If this is true, AA's recovery rate of 5% or less could well be lower than the rate of spontaneous remission.
This is most curious when one considers the nature of the disease of alcoholism (in reality, a behavioral problem). Given such a disease, one would expect a powerful placebo effect (from participation in AA), which in itself would substantially raise the rate of recovery in AA above that of spontaneous remission. But the placebo effect, judging from the available evidence, simply doesn't exist here. There seem two likely explanations for this: 1) There are so many coerced persons participating in AA, who very often dislike and actively resist AA's program, that AA's success (and concomitant membership retention) rate is skewed sharply downward; 2) AA is actively harmful. This is definitely possible, given AA's "powerless" and "one drink, one drunk" dogmas; and the evidence on binge drinking supplied by the Brandsma et al. study certainly seems to suggest this interpretation.
--Charles Bufe and Stanton Peele, "The Effacy of 12-Step Groups and 12-Step Treatment", pp. 50-51 Resisting 12-Step Coercion

Download 5M/12-90/TC now!

Stage One: Imaging

Each page is to be scanned in 600DPI 24-bit truecolor format and E-mailed to The ARID Site for archival storage and further conversion. Status: Completed on 2005/04/02:

Pages 1-6 received 2005/04/01
Pages 7-24 received 2005/04/02

Stage Two: Transcription

As each page is scanned and E-mailed to The ARID Site I transcribe the contents of each scanned image into ASCII plaintext files. The transcriptions are E-mailed back to the source of the scanned pages. I will also present PGP-signed versions of those transcriptions for immediate download. Status: Completed on 2005/04/03:

Stage Two Log:

Pages 1-6 Transcribed 2005/04/02 @ 08:48:02 - 09:59:44 EST:
(Files PGP-signed at around 10:00AM on that date as a last-minute consideration for authenticity verification)

Page 1

Download/view AACOMM01.TXT

Page 2

Download/view AACOMM02.TXT

Page 3

Download/view AACOMM03.TXT

Page 4

Download/view AACOMM04.TXT

Page 5

Download/view AACOMM05.TXT

Page 6

Download/view AACOMM06.TXT

Pages 7-8 Transcribed 2005/04/02

Page 7

Published/signed @ 13:42:04

Download/view AACOMM07.TXT

Page 8

Published/signed @ 14:57:22

Download/view AACOMM08.TXT

Pages 9-10 Downsampled 2005/04/02 15:17 - 15:45 EST

Page 9

Download/view AACOMM09.GIF 8.5x11.0in @ 300DPI

Page 10

Download/view AACOMM10.GIF 8.5x11.0in @ 300DPI

Page 11 Transcribed 2005/04/02

Page 11

Published/signed @ 16:32:44

Download/view AACOMM11.TXT

Page 12 Downsampled 2005/04/02 16:42 EST

Page 12

Download/view AACOMM12.GIF 8.5x11.0in @ 300DPI

Pages 13-18 Transcribed 2005/04/02

Page 13

Published/signed @ 16:48:34

Download/view AACOMM13.TXT

Page 14

Published/signed @ 17:06:25

Download/view AACOMM14.TXT

Page 15

Published/signed @ 19:09:38

Download/view AACOMM15.TXT

Page 16

Published/signed @ 19:25:53

Download/view AACOMM16.TXT

Page 17

Published/signed @ 20:49:38

Download/view AACOMM17.TXT

Page 18

Published/signed @ 20:55:27

Download/view AACOMM18.TXT

Pages 19-24 Transcribed 2005/04/03

Page 19

Published/signed @ 09:10:47

Download/view AACOMM19.TXT

Page 20

Published/signed @ 09:21:19

Download/view AACOMM20.TXT

Page 21

Published/signed @ 09:35:34

Download/view AACOMM21.TXT

Page 22

Published/signed @ 09:54:42

Download/view AACOMM22.TXT

Page 23

Published/signed @ 10:08:59

Download/view AACOMM23.TXT

Page 24

Published/signed @ 10:24:50

Download/view AACOMM24.TXT

All pages successfully transcribed.

Stage Three: .PDF Pre-release

When I receive all 24 pages I will downsample them down to 300DPI monochrome and prepare a pre-release .PDF containing the relevant content of the documents. Likewise each individual page will be E-mailed back to the source in .GIF format for further use upon the Internet. The resulting .PDF will be significantly smaller in size due to the downsampling but will nonetheless be the original documents. Status: Completed on 2005/04/03:

Pages 9-10 were downsampled during Transcription on 2005/04/02 due to the graphic content.
Page 12 was downsampled during Transcription on 2005/04/02 due to the graphic content.
Pages 1-8 and 11 have been Downsampled on 2005/04/03 @ 13:38 - 14:33 EST.
Pages 13-24 have been Downsampled on 2005/04/03 @ 14:57 - 15:35 EST.
Pre-Release .PDF created and released on 2005/04/03 @ 16:23 EST.

Download/view AACOMMPR.PDF
MD5 Signature:

Stage Four: Remastering

Using a desktop publishing package I will recreate the formatting of the original documents and, through the transcribed text and relevant images from the source documents, create a .PDF file containing the full text and images. Since there will be far fewer graphics involved in the remastering process the .PDF file will be even smaller than the .PDF Pre-Release but will have the benefit of being fully text-searchable. This will be the final form of the document and, for this project's namesake, will be "Comments Remastered". Status: pending.

Back to the 12th Files page.

Updated 2005/10/10 (Added citation information)
Created 2005/06/19

(c)2003-2005 dr.bomb & The ARID Site - All Rights Reserved
Quotes are attributed to their appropriate sources.
E-mail policy: If I feel it's outrageous enough in an informative sense I'll publish it at my own discretion.

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