“Stick With The Winners” Old School A.A. Resources 9, 10, and 11

“Stick With The Winners” Old School A.A. Resources (Numbers 9, 10, 11); (9) RHS; (10) The Co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks; (11) Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition: With a New Introduction by Dick B.

Dick B.

International Christian Recovery Coalition Old School A.A. Resources, Numbers 9, 10, 11

Number Nine: RHS (NY: A.A. Grapevine, Inc., 1951)

This is the memorial article written at the time of Dr. Bob’s death. It contains a summary of many facts about the life and contributions to A.A. of its cofounder Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith (RHS)

Number Ten: The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1972, 1i75)

Of special importance is the fact that this pamphlet (Numbered P-53) contains a transcript of Dr. Bob’s last major address to AAs in Detroit, 1948. In it, Dr. Bob tells how he refreshed his memory of the Bible, as to which he said he had excellent training as a youngster in Vermont. He points out that when he and Bill began working with A.A. Number Three, Bill Dotson of Akron, they had no Twelve Steps, no Twelve Traditions, and no drunkalogs of any significance. And, of course, they had no Big Book or meetings as we know them today.

He makes these important points: Early AAs believed that the answers to their problems were in the Bible. He pointed out that the parts considered absolutely essential were Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, and 1 Corinthians 13. He said the early AAs had daily meetings.

As to the Twelve Steps, Dr. Bob said he did not write them and had nothing to do with the writing of them. But, he said, he believed that the study and effort in the Bible that had been going on between Bill and himself from the summer of 1935 until the Steps were written in December of 1938 must have impacted on the steps because they already had the basic ideas from the Bible, though not in terse and tangible form.
Bill Wilson’s portion in this pamphlet contains Bill’s important statement that Dr. Bob had helped over 5000 drunks without charging a cent; that probably no such record would ever again be achieved; and that Dr. Bob therefore should be recognized as “The Prince of All Twelfth-steppers.”

Number 11: Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition: With a New Introduction by Dick B. (Minneola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2011)

The extensive introduction by Dick B. points out that this reprint restores to view the many personal stories that were part of the original edition of 1939 and that all but three were removed by A.A. itself as subsequent reprints and editions were published.

The importance of these restored personal stories is that they were designed as testimonials establishing how the early AAs had conducted their programs, practiced the old school principles, established their relationship with God, and in many cases been cured by the power of God. Their testimonies affirmed the effectiveness of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron and had nothing to do with the prior pages of the Big Book which Bill Wilson developed and published in 1939, virtually ignoring the principles and practices in Akron, and focusing on Twelve Steps he developed with the assistance of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. and took from three major sources—Dr. William D. Silkworth, Professor William James, and primarily from Rev. Shoemaker.

The Dick B. introduction reviews the changes since made in the Big Book. He points up the evidence of what really took place in Akron and resulted in the astonishing successes that accompanied the old school A.A. Christian Fellowship program.


About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement. www.dickb.com
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3 Responses to “Stick With The Winners” Old School A.A. Resources 9, 10, and 11

  1. Old School AA, I was just talking up AA yesterday. I wish I had thought to use the phrase old school. That is great, I will use it in the future. Thanks.

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