IT IS NOT true that Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 steps were inspired by Moral Rearmament. The AA's founders, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, were both members of the Oxford Group and used to bring their "pigeons" (morning drunks) to meetings. This was not an entire success: members did not like the fumes of alcohol and not all the "pigeons" liked the talk about God and the four absolutes - absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love.

When Bill Wilson wrote the 12 steps he had been away from the group for over a year, though he always acknowledged his debt to its teachings.