The more and more that which we post about the History of Alcoholics Anonymous, about Bill W. and Dr. Bob and their roles in A.A., and about God, the more the forums, the chats, the Tubes, videos, tapes, DVD’s, movies, the blogs, the newsletters, the commentaries, the censorship, the proliferation and inadequate films and videos proliferate. And the selective reporting abounds!
I’m one who takes a certain amount of time perusing the piles and piles or writings and resources because many a time there will be a germ of truth or a lead or a pathway that comes to light and is worthy of further search. You don’t learn it by berating the writer. You learn it by studying and evaluating his or her work.
That doesn’t mean anyone is handing out History of Alcoholics Anonymous on a platter or correctly or organized. Some do their best. The same is true of the Christian roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and of the various A.A. programs through the years.
What does hinder is when some moderator refuses to post truth, or when some critic personalizes criticisms, or others just plain distort or limit or bury facts. Therefore, there’s work to be done. Look at them all even if they slander and slither. If you don’t know about it, they may pass you on the highway and leave you groveling in the dust. You may not be able to duplicate, but you need not replicate.
And don’t expect to find it all on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Tumbler, Linked-in, Hub, WordPress, In the Rooms, Blogger, cyber recovery social, daily recovery, newsletters, or other proliferating comments.
Just plow through your own reservoir of A.A. History facts. Plough through A.A. Conference-approved literature. Plumb through those complete websites like Silkworth.net that have a vast array of pictures and facts and sources. Plug through the many books on Alcoholics Anonymous History you can find on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Ebay, Google, etc. Many a writer just never gets that far and moves toward opinion and away from pursuit.
In fact, many a writer or historian or academic just never got around to working with a newcomer; traveling to Vermont where it all started germinating, visiting GSO in New York where you could find the archives and Nell Wing and Frank Mauser; visiting the libraries or buying the books that contained the facts, interviewing in Akron, Maryland, Cleveland, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Texas, Michigan, and so many other places where the doers were doing.
In fact, though I have been to all of them many times researching, reading, interviewing, and speaking, I often see that East Dorset Vermont, Manchester Vermont, Northfield Vermont, St. Johnsbury Vermont, Barre Vermont, Montpelier Vermont, Burlington Vermont, and the churches at Calvary Church in New York, St. George’s Parish in New York, Calvary Church in Pittsburgh, St. Paul’s Church in Akron, Princeton Archives and Library, Stepping Stones, Hazelden,Yale, and so many other places have enabled us to get far far far ahead of those who are still taking pictures of Bill Wilson’s paramour, his Bible pledges, his LSD friends, and the Ph.D.’s who opine about them hat they’ve never seen or studied the thousands and thousands of A.A. history treasures that contain manuscripts, pamphlets, correspondence, books, photos, tapes, and the rich records of the Salvation Army, YMCA, Rescue Missions, Evangelists, churches, academies, Christian Endeavor Society, Shoemaker archives in Texas and Pittsburgh and the immense First Century Christianity records in England, Washington DC, Claremont California, Fort Myers Beach, Connecticut, and elsewhere.
For example, the Episcopal Church Archives in Austin, Texas had over fifty boxes of materials we examined for a week (and that was long after at least two other persons or groups had lifted they had thought was the wheat from the chaff)
You don’t need to visit them today. Lots of us have already posted the treasures on the internet. In fact, one distinguished professor at Harvard has lodged a set of my books there; and another Oxford Grouper saw to it that many were placed in the Library of Congress with the Purdy Collection. Just plug along, learn the facts, and do the best to document then and be accurate in the references.
Remember too that moles get their sustenance underground and termites in the woodwork. Lawyers don’t look for evidence in the courtroom; they look for it where it is owned or kept. That doesn’t mean their feasts are appealing. It just means that there is more than one way to get fed what you need or at least what others think you need.
Try going to God first. Look at James Chapter 1 (www.dickb.com/James.Club.shtml); and if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally. But in faith. Without doubt. God has the answers to life; and he’s made them available in many places besides the internet and the Bible and the newspapers. God speaks. Men can listen. The Spirit of God is what enables spiritual understanding, not the natural man’s conjectures. And “Thy Word is truth.”
I like the old school A.A. approach: Admit that you are licked. Concede that neither you nor others around you can provide all the answers for curing alcoholics and addicts. Believe in, seek, and obey our Creator. Grow in understanding. And help others! Help others!
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