Relationship to the 12-Steps
New Thought attracted (and still attracts) spiritual intellectuals because it made so much sense. Teachers and authors like Emma Curtis Hopkins, Thomas Troward, Emmet Fox, Joel Goldsmith, Carl Jung, and Charles & Myrtle Fillmore brought New Thought to the forefront of spiritual living, and it was a huge movement during the 1930's. With the popularity of 12-Step, New Thought is now making a comeback. As the result, New Thought today is also practiced within many traditional Christian denominations, as well as non-Christian-based religions including Judaism and Buddhism.
Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the co-founders of AA, both of them highly intelligent and intellectual, were drawn to New Thought literature during the '30's. So it is no surprise they were avid readers of the aforementioned teachers and authors. In fact, before the Big Book was published in 1939, books by these authors were used in meetings, and in particular, Emmet Fox's Sermon on the Mount. The early AA leaders pulled FORM from The Oxford Group and FUNCTION from New Thought, and the 12-Step program of recovery was born.
*New Age spirituality utilizes physical elements to experience divinity, such as crystals, tarot cards, plants, etc. New Thought does not, as it is mainly about thought, belief and attitude. But it is often lumped together with New Age because New Agers also tend to practice New Thought, and some New Thoughters also practice New Age. 12-Step philosophy practices New Thought, but does not name it as such. And as we know, 12-steppers comprise a wide range of religious, spiritual, and non-religious paths.