The Portland Maine International AA History Conference- Synopsis of Events

Friday, a number of top A.A. history leaders and hands-on workers shared at length on their areas of major interest and substantial expertise: Tim K. of Colorado on Came to Believe Retreats worldwide; Mark G. of Ontario Canada on Akron A.A.’s techniques reaping great success today; Father Bill W. of Texas on the merits of listening to God and Quiet Time; Jim H. of Washington on the 1000 or more films he has produced during the A. A. history research trips on history in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Cleveland, and Akron; Gary A. of Connecticut–long recovered counselor for AAs, prisoners, and homeless vets–with his excellent historical video presentation of AA history; Robb Hicks, M.D., of Missouri on the neuro science discoveries about universal relapse causes in the brain and methods for ending them; and Chris P. of Toronto on the major victory of Christian CAs in Canada who held the line for freedom of speech in meetings and reversed an entire area’s restrictive prohibitions. Participants asked numerous questions of the speakers.

Saturday, these speakers had a brief opportunity to appear again and summarize their major points made on Friday. Dick B. and Ken B. presented at length five major A.A. history topics–The historical roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, beginning with the Book of Acts and moving forward through 1939; The Neglected Sponsor; Facts that newcomers need to hear from the beginning; The parallels so often observed as to the resemblance of First Century Christianity and the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship principles, practices, and techniques; Application of Old School A.A. in recovery programs today–using conference-approved literature.

Sunday through Tuesday: A group of researchers went to St. Johnsbury, Vermont–heart of A.A.’s Christian historical roots. There they met with community leaders who expressed great interest in furthering the historical resources in Dr. Bob’s home and village. They met with the head of the new and beginning St. Johnsbury historical museum director and discussed plans to incorporate A.A. Vermont history in the presentations. They heard local community TV station interviews of Dick B. and Ken B. on the objective of A.A. history quests in Vermont and St. Johnsbury. They viewed the Dr. Bob Core Library and church archives at North Congregational Church on Main Street–the church in which Dr. Bob and his family were active. They met with the village historical project leaders to discuss resources and plans. They met with a prosecutor who suggested a tremendously appealing pre-arraignment plan for those arrested for drug and alcohol charges. They met with the Christian 12-Step leader and his wife who manage Covered Bridge–an effective residential Christian treatment program located in the heart of St. Johnsbury.

Prior to departure, Dick B. returned with Ken to Portland and delivered at a regular A.A. meeting the story of his own continuous 27 years of sobriety and his 24 year quest with his son to locate, define, describe, publish, and encourage information on early A.A.’s Christian roots, history. and successes.

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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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