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Think, Think, Think

When we go to meetings we usually see the five signs; But For the Grace of God, First Things First, Live and Let Live, Easy Does It and Think Think Think displayed prominently somewhere at the groups.

I have often wondered where the "Think Think Think" sign came from? But For the Grace of God, is on page 25 in our AA book. First Things First, Live and Let Live and Easy Does It come from our text book on page 135. But the "Think Think Think" slogan is found no where in our literature.

A lot of old timers don't like this sign and it is often found hung up-side down.
This answer comes by way of a trusted friend, sober for 40+ years and friend to another old-oldtimer who attended the same group as the story's principle. We checked with three separate old-timers active in AA around New York during the '70s and they remember the same story being told: We don't claim to be archivists or historians but would like pass along the story for what it is worth.


The phrase "Think" was the corporate slogan of IBM during the early decades of AA's history. A senior IBM executive wound up in a motel room drinking for a week or three, then the AA boys got him, and began to running him to meetings. There he became familiar with the other AA slogans. Eventually he reappeared at work and found that while he was away, a shipment of about 2000 of the "Think" signs had arrived. They were intended to be displayed on work desks and looked like this, just the tile, about 7 inches by 3 inches in the color brown:

Our IBM fellow decided that this "think" thing would be good for AA meetings, so he got as many meeting schedules and "Where-N-When" booklets he could find and mailed one to each group — at his own expense. There was no group effort involved. It caught on as a slogan out of eventual familiarity.

Between September of 1956 and February 1957 the AA Grapevine published one slogan per month on the inside back cover of five issues and the last one was "Think, Think, Think."

____________________________________ The phrase also appears in an early "self help" book entitled The Science of Being Great by Wallace Wattles and published in 1910. At the end of chapter 17 is the phrase "Think! Think!! THINK!!!" which may have influenced the IBM fellow, IBM and/or The Grapevine.

Do you think this answer is accurate?