One of AA’s early supporters, the minister Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, related this recommendation of AA meetings for those trying to help alcoholics in their communities. In his autobiography, The Living of These Days (Harper, 1956),
Dr. Fosdick wrote:
Alcoholics Anonymous, grown to its present astonishing strength, is a godsend to us ministers. How can we understand an alcoholic — his compulsive desire for liquor, the hopeless captivity against which he futilely contends, one determined decision after another to stop drinking ending in collapse? When we talk to an alcoholic, he knows that never having been in his place we cannot understand his plight. But when an ex-alcoholic, who has been in the depths himself and has taken the Twelve Steps to freedom, talks to an alcoholic, amazing results can follow and have followed in countless thousands of lives.
Taken from "About AA", A news letter for professionals