Dick B. discusses the meaning and significance of the subtitle of the forthcoming, five-video series “Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story” on the November 11, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show
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YOU MAY HEAR THIS RADIO SHOW RIGHT NOW!
Note: Dick B. and Ken B. have now presented six radio shows previewing their forthcoming five videos and accompanying study guide. The six shows are archived and may be heard by you at your convenience.
The first show provided an outline of the scripts for the five videos—particularly highlighting what the videos would contain. The next three were a presentation of the dozens and dozens of questions about A.A. that will enable the reader and viewer to decide for himself just how much of the A.A. History story he has heard, read about, or studied. The next show enabled Dick to present the Introduction that will be part of the videos and open the Study Guide. And this evening, Monday, November 11, 2013, Dick told what the “rest of the story is.”
In substance, it is about the endless details of A.A. history that have virtually never been researched, published, or discussed by writers and historians. It outlines for the listener the various epochs of “the rest of the story.” The first has to do with the many remarks that early Akron A.A.’s Christian Fellowship practices much resembled the activities of First Century Christians as recorded in the Book of Acts.
The next epoch has to do with the pre-A.A. Christian organizations and people who, from the 1850’s forward, were helping drunks to be delivered by the power of God—the YMCA, Salvation Army, Rescue missions, Great evangelists like Moody and Sankey, Congregationalism in Vermont, and Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. Next, the Christian upbringing of both Bill W. and Dr. Bob in the Congregational churches at their villages—North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury, East Dorset Congregational Church, and the Manchester Congregational Church. The cofounders heard sermons, hymns, reading of Scripture, prayer meetings, training in salvation and the Word of God. They went on to matriculate at Congregational dominated academies. And the curricula and requirements of each were very much the same: Required church attendance, required Bible study, required prayer meetings, daily chapel which always consisted of a sermon, reading of Scripture, hymns, and prayer. And the YMCA was active in both academies—St. Johnsbury Academy and Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester (where Bill attended and took his four year Bible study course.
The activities in Vermont bore fruit when the first three AAs got sober. Each was a believer in God and a born again Christian. Each had studied the Bible extensively. Each was licked and determined to give up liquor for good. Each turned to God for help. Each was cured. And each was told he must help others once he got well. And this is what each did.
Next came the original Akron A.A. Christian fellowship recovery program—summarized on page 131 of DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. And the sixteen Christian practices that implemented the program summarized. Next, Bill obtained permission to write a book; and he began in the spring of 1938. However the book had two distinctly different parts: (1) The chapters that Bill had written based on the teachings of Dr. William Silkworth, Professor William James, and Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. (2) The personal stories of the pioneers in which they told how they established their relationship with God and what they had done in the Akron program. Their stories told how they had practiced the Akron A.A. program—there was no format but for an alleged six “word of mouth” ideas that were conducted differently by different areas and had distinctly different approaches. (3) The Wilson portion of the book was not complete until the Akronite stories were written, and the stories were about the Akron program—not the unwritten book being produced by Bill.
Finally came to compromise in the printer’s manuscript in which a mere four people completely changed Bill’s steps and removed God from Steps 2, 3, and 11. And the entire character of the fellowship changed in the ensuing 15 years during which Bill was deeply depressed and in which Dr. Bob and his wife died.
The last portion of the missing link was and is the procedure by which the old school program can be applied in A.A. today, using A.A.’s own conference-approved literature. It calls for hearing and learning the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in early A.A. and its astonishing results, as well as hearing and learning that they can play that same role today for those who want God’s help in overcoming alcoholism and addiction.
You may hear Dick B. discuss the meaning and significance of the subtitle of the forthcoming, five-video series “Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story” on the November 11, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show here:
Episodes of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show are archived at: