Did Bill W. have a mistress?
At a meeting this morning I was told that Bill W. had a mistress and that Lois knew about it. Can this really be true?
Yes, it is true. Her name was Helen Wynn and she was 22 years younger than Bill.
Bill was no saint but, like many of us, a deeply flawed man. In sobriety he suffered from long bouts of depression, had a strong tendency toward self promotion & wild exaggeration and did indeed have at least one mistress.
Toward the end of his life Bill was supported by royalty payments he received as "the author" of the Big Book. Though it was a group project, Bill claimed he was the author. Bill made his wife Lois the executrix of his will and in it instructed that a 10% portion of the future royalty payments go to his mistress.
Lois had to pay the mistress and each person buying a Big Book was supporting both ladies.
Another reason why we rely on God and not people in our recovery. AA is not about Bill. When they wrote about principles before personalities it was the types of defects displayed by Bill they were talking about.
You can read the will at http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-BillWill.html and more on the topic at http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-otherwomen.html
The later two links are from a stridently anti-AA site but the facts presented are usually accurate. Good facts mixed with unbalanced opinion. You can check the sources sited there for further research.