I have had a misunderstanding about Bill Wilson’s “White Light” experience in Towns Hospital in 1934. I got my impression of that evening from watching a movie with an actor portraying Bill W’s experience. In the movie there is a supernatural experience, complete with a blinding white light and a rushing wind, a combination of a science fiction movie and a horror movie in its special effects.
On December 11, 1934, while under treatment at Towns Hospital for alcoholism, Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, experienced a profound and lasting spiritual experience. This intense and life-changing spiritual awakening left Bill with an overwhelming sense of well-being and freed him from his obsession and craving for alcohol. Bill said this about his “hot flash,” “I knew I was a free man”.
I would like to share some of my thoughts on the long tradition of cooperation that the U.S. Armed Forces have enjoyed with Alcoholics Anonymous. As you probably know, the program of AA was co-founded by a former WWI Field Artillery officer of the U.S. Army - Lt. Bill Wilson. I have often wondered how Bill's war time experiences may have intensified his alcoholism and his subsequent recovery therefrom. If you doubt that WWI had a profound affect on Bill, you need only look at the first word of the first chapter of the Big Book - "War fever ran high..."