A.A. “Conference-approved” Literature That Frequently Mentions the Bible and God
Yep! You heard or read that correctly
A Two-Part Discussion of the Long Overlooked Big Book Personal Stories
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Part Two: Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition, Segment 2A
(Dover Publications, Inc., 2011)
About Part One
In Part One, we discussed the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book published in 2003, which restored to “Conference-approved” status so many of the Big Book personal stories that were removed—piece by piece—over the years by printing new editions that simply eliminated them and replaced them with stories deemed more suitable to the powers that be.
We pointed to the lame excuses that the replacement took place because First Edition stories were written by the “uneducated;” merely to show “what we were like’ (emphasis added), and that they were written in an alleged “flying blind period,” “trial and error” by nature, and with plenty of “mistakes.”
About Part Two: How The First Edition, Personal Stories, and Dick B. Introduction in the Dover Publications Book Can Really Help Drunks Seek and Be Helped by God
In Part Two, we propose that those in 12-Step Fellowships freely use today two major tools:
(1) Point to, and boldly state that all the Big Book personal stories are now “Conference-approved” and thereby overcome the “bleeding deacon” test which consigned them to oblivion as relics of by-gone days. This can be done by citing the new “Conference-approved” publication by A.A. itself Experience, Strength and Hope
(2) Use for general reading, authoritative facts, and application of old school A.A. principles today, the 2011 publication Alcoholics Anonymous “The Big Book” The Original 1939 Edition Bill W.: With a New Introduction by Dick B. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2011). In so doing, you can treat the personal stories and the testimonies that were intended to show how and why the original, old school program—summarized by Frank Amos in DR.BOB and the Good Oldtimers, at page 131—had produced the successes (75% claimed in Akron, and 93% documented in Cleveland) attained by reliance on God, accepting Christ, obeying God’s will, using the Bible and prayer, and helping others. Bearing in mind and taking special note that the stories did not and could not mention the Big Book or the Twelve Steps because neither existed prior to the date of publication in 1939.
What You Will Learn From the Dover Publications Edition
• Despite shopworn and disarming statements that are frequently made with the claim that the Big Book language has never been changed, you will see the error of that claim. And you will see that the entire Bill Wilson conversion experience program was completely altered by eliminating the A.A. Solution—A “Spiritual Experience.”
• You will see from the original First Edition personal stories just how many times Christ and Christianity were mentioned, how many times the Bible was mentioned, and how very frequently reliance on God (not some nonsense god or illusory higher power) was stressed.
• You will see from the extensive introduction by Dick B. the importance of the First Edition stories; precise places where God, Christianity, and the Bible were mentioned; and how these stories fit so neatly with the real Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program that has been the subject of so many Dick B. books and articles. See for example The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010
Probative Direct Quotes from Personal Stories, Segment 2A–Using Dover’s Pages as References
1. The first story is Dr. Bob’s. And the last page—193—will suffice:
If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. . . . Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!
2. The Unbeliever, pp. 194-205:
I asked him desperately what it was. And he said, “God.”
. . . if I will humble myself, if I will give in and bow in submission to that SOMETHING and then try to lead a life as fully in accord with my idea of good as possible, I will be in tune. And later the word good contracted in his mind to God.
God, have mercy on my soul!
3. The European Drinker, pp. 206-216:
You can’t win unless you try God’s way.
. . . he made God seem personal to me, explained Him as a being who was interested in me, the alcoholic, and that all I needed to do was to follow His way; that as long as I followed it I would be able to overcome my desire for liquor.
And he further said that God would not accept me as a sincere follower of His Divine Law unless I was ready to be thoroughly honest about it.
That day I gave my will to God and asked to be directed. . . . So I began to pray; to place my problems in God’s hands.
I have proven to myself and to many others who know me that God can keep a man sober if he will let him.
4. A Feminine Victory, pp. 217-225:
The ability to accept them as my own has been derived from trying with the un-ending help of God. . .
He asked me if I believed in God. . . Well, I did believe in God. . .
“Our Father which art in Heaven.”
I had been taught to realize there is a God and to “love” him.
“Here it is God, all mixed up. I don’t know how to un-mix it, I’ll leave it to you”
Finally I . . . briefly asked God to show me how to do what He wanted me today.
Well, I got the Bible and “Victorious Living” [“Victorious Living” is a book read widely by early AAs and written by E. Stanley Jones—whose books Dr. Bob’s wife recommended as “all good.”] and sitting down in full view of the bottle of whiskey, I commenced to read. I also prayed
I must keep myself worthy of Divine help.
5. Our Southern Friend, pp. 226-241:
Suddenly a thought comes. Can all the worthwhile people I have known be wrong about God?
“Who are you to say there is no God?” It rings in my head, I can’t get rid of it.
I tumble out of bed onto my knees. I know not what I say, But slowly a great peace comes to me. I feel lifted up. I believe in God. I crawl back into bed and sleep like a child.
Today as I become more harmonized within, I become more in tune with all of God’s wonderful creation. . . and a host of other things tell me of the glory of God.
And with it, direction by the Spirit of God.
And above all else comes a greater thankfulness to, and a greater love for Our Father in heaven.
6. A Business Man’s Recovery, pp. 242-251:
The thing that Bill told me was his own story. . . I had always believed in God even though I was not a devout church goer.
Crazy as the idea seemed when broached to me by these men who had found it worked, God did come right into my work, when permitted, as He had come into the other activities connected with my life.
7. Traveler, Editor, Scholar, pp. 254-264: [A.A. itself wrote: “Originally published under the title “Traveler, Editor, Scholar” in the first edition. The title was changed to “The News Hawk” and the story was edited for the second edition.” (underlining added)
I found my friend was there for alcoholism and now he was insisting that he had found the only cure. I listened to him, rather tolerantly. I noticed a Bible on his table and it amazed me. I had never known him to be anything but a good healthy pagan with a propensity for getting into liquor jams and scrapes.
I had never, since the believing days of childhood, been able to conceive an authority directly the universe. But I had never been a flippant, wise-cracking sneerer at the few persons I had met who had impressed me as Christian men and women. . . No conviction was necessary to establish my status as a miserable failure at managing my own life. I began to read the Bible daily. . .
I can remember the urge of the Prodigal Son to return to his Father. . .
. . . in those days I had no one to whom I might take my troubles. Toda y I have. Today I have Someone who will always hear me. . .
The Next Segment – 2B – More First Edition Stories about God, Christ, and the Bible