AA was founded in the 1930s just after prohibition ended by a man named Bill Wilson
, a stockbroker from New York who had tried several times to overcome his habit of drinking a couple of pints of whisky a day. To cut a long story short, Wilson had a religious experience in hospital, where he had staggered one day while drunk, and "the room lit up with a great white light". He saw God and subsequently quit drinking for good. When he co-founded AA shortly afterwards he based its principles on the beliefs of the evangelical Oxford Group
, which taught that people were sinners who, through confession and prayer, can get back on the right track.