An AA and Akron Founders Day Call for Looking at the “Bethlehem of A.A.” rather than the Outpouring of Hero Worship Films

I was one of the people interviewed at length for this film, along with T. Willard Hunter and others I knew. I am sure we thought the film was aiming at a full and accurate A.A. picture. But that was not to be. Instead, the historical materials were completely cut; a great many tributes to Bill Wilson were overdone; the commentators in the film were certainly not representative of rank and file A.A. active members; and the film therefore joins the long line of biographies and video presentations which are long on Bill Wilson, short on accuracy and facts, propelled by those who are overwhelmed with their own point of view that A.A. is about not-god-ness and the meandering ethics of Bill–rather than helping the still suffering alcoholic and addicts who have reached the bottom of the pit, seen the potential release in A.A. itself, grasped the importance of reliance on God and the Christian principles and practices of early A.A., and learning that A.A. is not the product of the man who engaged in spiritualism, LSD, adultery, and all the rest. Instead, it can be and has been spawned by the simple, dedicated lessons learned by the TWO founders–Bill and Bob and how they both got well by turning to God before there were any Big Books or Steps, taking their basic ideas from the Bible, and then going out and helping others. Dr. Bob helped over 5000, and Bill dubbed Bob the “Prince of all Twelfth-Steppers.” Congratulations to Kevin and Dan for their years long efforts. But we still await those movies and biographies, and speakers who can avoid hero worship and focus on the heart of A.A.–which is still trusting God, cleaning house, and working with others. Dick B.


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.
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