Third AA International Conference

From Plastic Tub

AA International Conferences

An Early Bloom, or the March of Dimes

July 10-17, 1965, Reno, Nevada. The conflict surrounding the primacy of the Accident or the Association began as a joke between Stimes Addisson and Stimso Adid in the editorial pages of Reticent 27. Adid had begun to feel that the AA was descending into a "lovefest" that discouraged healthy debate and put the reins on any proper exploration of the philosophical concepts embedded within. The first salvo was fired in July, 1960, when Adid wrote a bitter denunciation of Addisson's "Waspish insistence on correspondences and need for order... his latest work is nothing short of an apologia for Poobism; he may as as well come out for Christ at this point." Addisson responded: "Adid is a hop-head, Dada-slave and the kind of irrationalist one finds lurking about grade school philosophy classes. Anyone can see his mania for accidents is more Pooban than anything I have ever proposed."

Put briefly, Adid's premise was that the Accident is separate from the ensuing Association and is closer to to poetic reality. The Association is mere elaboration, "dumb matter reflecting upon itself." Addisson said that the Accident was not a priori to the Association: the Association created the illusion of the Accident.

The Nagging Wife

Although the AA "core" were startled, a few quick telephone calls convinced them it was in jest, albeit one played with an impeccably straight face. Unfortunately, for hundreds of Reticent 27 subscribers, the jest was taken at face value. Distressed letters poured in by the dozens. Some pleaded for a reconciliation, or at least decorum. Some realized the entire argument was absurd. One clever reader accused them both of "trying to invent the one-sided coin." Others, however, already predisposed to one "A" or the other, took up the cause. They traded barbs and debated, becoming increasingly bitter. Initially overjoyed at the response, Addisson and Adid said nothing; on the contrary, they became increasingly antagonistic and resorted to puerile ad hominem attacks.

Things snowballed quickly. The joke grew beyond their control and, without their initiative, a third conference was called for and organized by rank and file AA supporters.

Wild Life Captured!

Planned for July 10-17, 1965, the delegates became increasingly factionalized. By the fourth day, they had split the AA into Accidentalist and Associationalist camps. The delegates were especially aggressive and insulting. Several splinter movements grew from this conference, chiefly Accidental Action and the Association of Association. A third, Incidentalist faction never formed a group but has held an annual barbecue, the Incidentalist Dead Flesh Bonanza, to this day.

Alexandre Dacusse was arrested at this convention after he pummeled a young delegate who had referred to Wilhemina Forkes as a "fat Nazi whore." Dacusse didn't mind the insult, but he could not support the inaccuracy. As Adid later remarked, however, "Given that she was a skinny, prudish anarchist, the remark was quite accurate."

A Foreskin Handbag

The conference was held in Reno, Nevada, whose city council voted unanimously to ban the AA from their city after a series of public brawls between delegates.

Generally considered to be the nadir of the AA. "When the bickering lost its fun," mused Stimes Addisson, generally thought to be drunk the entire week of the convention. The conference marked Addisson's retreat from the public eye with regard to the AA.

God is the Devil

Said Reno hotelier Harmo Zwinn in the aftermath of the fiasco, "And what the fuck was all that boinging noise coming from their rooms? Sounds like someone was gettin' slapped around real good the whole durn time."