Tag Archives: Alcoholics Anonymous History

A.A. History: The Rest of the Story! With Author and Historian of A.A. Dick B.

  A.A. History: The Rest of the Story! With Author and Historian of A.A. Dick B.   Our New Website: http://www.AAHistoryChristianRecovery.com   By Dick B. © 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved   28 Years Serving in A.A.; 25 Years Researching … Continue reading

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Questions about Alcoholics Anonymous – A Quiz by Dick B.

Questions about Alcoholics Anonymous   By Dick B. Copyright 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved   Would you like to know where Bill W. took his four year Bible study during his upbringing in Vermont?   Would you like to know … Continue reading

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Alcoholics Anonymous History: Expanded and Revised by Dick B. for 2014 Alcoholics Anonymous History – Expanded and Revised for 2014 Early A.A. and Its Successful Christian Roots, The Real Pre-AA Influential Christians and Christian Organizations, The Christian Upbringing of A.A.’s Cofounders, How Its First Three Got Sober Before There Was Any Recovery Program, the Centrality of the Bible, and Akron’s Christian Fellowship with Dick B. © 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved This study, and our website, and our six video study guide for 2014, plus the accompanying Guidebook. intend to focus readers on accurate, truthful, comprehensive Alcoholics Anonymous History—particularly as it extends from the pre-A.A. Christian roots of the 1850’s to the period just after Bill Wilson published the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous in April 1939. It will lay out the history in various chunks that can be examined and studied as time permits and that should prove useful to the recovery community. Particularly to those who wonder what happened to God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible and yielded to nonsense gods, “spirituality,” and self-made religion as well as unbelief. [Draft updated to January 1, 2014, with Dick B. and Ken B.’s latest titles, articles, videos, and radio show episodes. The final draft will contain full bibliographic references and publication data, and will be updated as well. In other words, the final revision and editing are still works in progress; but this material has already been widely read on the internet and elsewhere in the first two editions of the article.] Let’s Begin with Useful Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Conference-Approved Literature I began my own search for Alcoholics Anonymous history by reading all the available, accurate, relevant literature published by A.A. itself. I still get grounded there and recommend looking at A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature first—instead of speculating on what A.A. is or isn’t. Once that foundation is mastered, the reader can begin filling in the holes, straightening out the distortions, correcting the misrepresentations, eliminating the undocumented “wisdom of the rooms, and finding out what most in the recovery community have simply not heard. And the recommended A.A. books, in the order of the publication, are: Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism, 1st ed. (New York City, N.Y.: Works Publishing Company, 1939). [Note that Dover Publications has now released a complete reprint of the First Edition in trade paper and has included a 27 page introduction by author Dick B.] RHS (New York 2, N. Y.: The A.A. Grapeine, 1951). This issue of the AA Grapevine is dedicated to the memory of the Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, DR. BOB (i.e., Robert Holbrook Smith—“RHS”) Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism, 2d ed. (New York City, N.Y.: Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing, Inc., 1955) Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Publishing, Inc., 1957). The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks (New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1972, 1975). Item # P-53. This pamphlet is currently available online from A.A.: http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-53_theCo-FoundersofAA.pdf; accessed 1/30/13. Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed. (New York City: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1976). DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, (New York, N.Y.: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1980). ‘PASS IT ON’: The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A.A. Message Reached the World (New York, N.Y.: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984). The Language of the Heart: Bill W.’s Grapevine Writings (New York: The AA Grapevine, Inc., 1988). Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed. (New York City: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001). Experience, Strength and Hope: Stories from the First Three Editions of Alcoholics Anonymous, (New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2003). Next, Look at Relevant, Reliable Books and Other Literature about Alcoholics Anonymous History That Can Be Helpful Piece by piece, manuscript by manuscript, research trip by research trip, archive by archive, library by library, interview by interview, Alcoholics Anonymous history—in its full form, and in a form that is comprehensive, accurate, and able to be used and applied in recovery today—emerged from and is reported in the following Alcoholics Anonymous History literature: Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous: “The Big Book”: The Original 1939 Edition, with a New Introduction by Dick B. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2011) AA of Akron Pamphlets, n.d.: Available at Akron Intergroup Office (revised several times) A Guide to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous Second Reader for Alcoholics Anonymous Spiritual Milestones in Alcoholics Anonymous Akron A.A.’s: What Others Think of Alcoholics Anonymous Central Bulletin, Box 1638, Station C, Cleveland, Ohio (3 Volumes) Cleveland: A.A. (articles in Houston Press), A.A. in Cleveland, A.A. Sponsorship Cleveland Plain Dealer Articles (before edited, altered, and republished under new name) [All available Cleveland Intergroup archives materials were reviewed by Dick B. and Ken B. in 2012, and discussed by Wally P., But for the Grace of God, 1995], 30-46. Autobiographies of Bill Wilson: Bill W., My First 40 Years (Center City, MN: Hazelden). Chapter 1 “Bill’s Story,” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 2001, 1-16. The many manuscripts by Bill that Dick B. found, was permitted to copy, and which are contained in a bound volume in Maui, Hawaii. All found at Stepping Stones, most of which are discussed at some length in Dick B., Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, 1997). Biographies of Bill W.: Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., 2006. Susan Cheever, My Name is Bill W., 2004. Tom White, Bill W.: A Different Kind of Hero, 2003. Francis Hartigan, Bill W., A Biography . . , 2000. Matthew Raphael, Bill W. and Mr. Wilson, 2000 Nan Robertson, Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous, 1988. Robert Thomsen, Bill W., 1975 Bill W. (New York: The AA Grapevine, 1971). Biographies of Dr. Bob RHS, 1951. The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks, Item # P-53. “Doctor Bob’s Nightmare,” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 171-81. DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 1980. Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster, 2008 Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the Green Mountain Men of Vermont The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, Newton ed., 1998. Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed., 1998. http://drbob.info “Alcoholics Anonymous and Dr. Bob,” http://mauihistorian.blogspot.com/ “16 Specific Practices Associated with the Original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” Program,” http://internationalchristianrecoverycoaliti.blogspot.com “Get Honest with Yourself, Pray. Alcoholics Anonymous Advise,” The Tidings, Page 17, Friday, March 26, 1948. D. J. Defoe, “I Saw Religion Remake a Drunkard” in Your Faith (September 1939), 84-88. (Your Faith is “a McFadden Publication”)–Dr. Bob is called “Dr. X” in this article. http://www.silkworth.net/aahistory/drbob/drbob_interview_fm_0939.html Beck, Richard, A Proud Tradition; A Bright Future: A Sequicentennial History of St. Johnsbury, Academy, 1192 Biographical on A.A. Number Three, Bill D. Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. “Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three,” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 182-192 ‘PASS IT ON,’ 356-57. “Bill Dotson: A.A Number Three’s Recovery by the Power of God” http://MauiHistorian.Blogspot.com “Bill Dotson – AA’s Number Three, http://silkworth.net/aahistory/print/bdotson2.html “Bill Dotson: A.A. Number 3”: http://www.barefootsworld.net/aabilld-aa3.html Biographical on Rowland Hazard [Rowland Hazard, an alcoholic businessman, had been told by Dr. Carl Jung that he had the mind of a chronic alcoholic but could possibly be cured by a vital religious experience—a conversion. Rowland returned to America, became associated with the Oxford Group, studied with Rev. Sam Shoemaker, and became active in Shoemaker’s Calvary Church. Rowland had been impressed by the simplicity of the early Christian teachings as advocated by the Oxford Group. Rowland made a decision for Jesus Christ. Rowland and two other Oxford Group friends (Cebra Graves and Shep Cornell) had decided to witness to Ebby Thacher and told Ebby many Oxford Group principles and practices. Ebby Thacher, an old drinking friend of Bill Wilson’s who had become a “real alcoholic,” recalled that two of Rowland’s Oxford Group friends one of whom was (an old friend of Bill Wilson’s and a “real alcoholic”) had told Ebby “things they had gotten out of the Oxford Group based on the life of Christ, biblical times.” Ebby said: “It was what I had been taught as a child and what I inwardly believed, but had lain aside” The men had suggested that Ebby call on God and try prayer. Rowland and the two others lodged Ebby in Shoemaker’s Calvary Mission. Occasionally, a religious writer—either disdainful of, or unfamiliar with, A.A. facts and origins will say erroneously: “Alcoholics Anonymous does not use the words sin or conversion” See Linda Mercadante, Victims & Sinners, 1996, 70. Or, as she does on page 91: “God does not ask any more than simple acknowledgement of divine existence.” But our readers should look at A.A.’s Third Step prayer—“May I do Thy will always” and A.A.’s Seventh Step prayer—“Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” Then spend a moment with Exodus 15:26, Exodus 20:1-17—the Ten Commandments; Matthew 22:36-40—the two Great Commandments; James 2:8-11; and read all of Hebrews 11:6.] T. Willard Hunter, “IT STARTED RIGHT THERE,” 2006 Bill C. and Jay S., Kitchen Table A.A. Sponsorship Workshop, Carlsbad, 2007 Jay Stinnett, “Why Our Lives Were Saved,” A.A. Spiritual History Workshop, Reykjavík, Iceland, March 11, 2007. ‘PASS IT ON,’ 1984. Mel B., Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W., 1998. Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. Bill W. My First 40 Years Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the Green Mountain Men of Vermont: Vermont Connections to A.A. Personalities and Early A.A.’s Original Program (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2012) Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed. Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A. Tom White, Bill W.: A Different Kind of Hero, 2003. Fredericka Templeton, The Castle in the Pasture: Portrait of Burr and Burton Academy Biographical on F. Shepard Cornell Bill W., My First 40 Years ‘PASS IT ON’ Mel B., Ebby Leslie B. Cole, Rogers Burnham: The Original Man behind Bill W. Charles Clapp, The Big Bender, pp. 105-50 Bill Pittman and Dick B., Courage to Change: The Christian Roots of the Twelve-Step Movement, pp. 135-50. Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the Green Mountain Men of Vermont. Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, Newton ed., pp. 5, 19, 28, 142-45, 152, 159, 162, 168-70. Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, new rev ed., pp. 128-30. Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A., Pittsburgh ed., pp. 333-35. Helen Smith Shoemaker, I Stand by the Door, p. 177. John Potter Cuyler, Calvary Church in Action, p. 57. Lois Remembers, p. 91. Biographical on Cebra Graves Bill W., My First 40 Years ‘PASS IT ON’ Mel B., Ebby Leslie B. Cole, Rogers Burnham: The Original Man behind Bill W. Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont Biographical on William D. Silkworth, M.D. [Silkworth’s name itself may not be well known to most AAs. But they certainly know of the “Doctor’s Opinion” written by Silkworth as an introduction to their Big Book. And they probably have grasped the fact that Silkworth established in Bill Wilson’ thinking that alcoholism was a disease—an allergy of the body kicked into gear by an obsession of the mind. But, as Silkworth’s biographer observed after he had researched Silkworth’s life and papers, Silkworth has not been given credit for the role he played in convincing Bill and others that they could be cured of their alcoholism by the “Great Physician,” Jesus Christ. And that solution—long since tossed aside before the Big Book was published–became the foundation of Bill’s conviction that “conversion” was the answer to alcoholism and that it was manifested by a “spiritual experience.” “Divine Aid,” Bill was still calling it in his address at the Shrine Auditorium in 1948 with Dr. Bob on the stage with him as well. The information about the Great Physician and cure was conveyed to Bill on his third hospitalization when he was given a virtual death sentence promise if Bill did not quit drinking immediately. The specifics of Silkworth’s advice on alcoholism were confirmed by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.] Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks. Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. The Language of the Heart Dick B. and Ken B., The Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 Bill W., My First 40 Years Norman Vincent Peale, The Positive Power of Jesus Christ Biographical on Edwin Throckmorton Thacher, “Ebby,” Bill’s Sponsor [While Ebby, a chronic alcoholic, was in Calvary Mission, he went to the altar and made a decision for Jesus Christ. He then visited Bill as he himself had been visited by Rowland Hazard, Cebra Graves, and Shep Cornell. Ebby told Bill he had “found religion,” and that he had tried prayer—something he specifically recommended to Bill Wilson. Ebby was sober. Bill concluded that Ebby had been “reborn.” But taking no chances on Ebby’s version, Bill went to Shoemaker’s Calvary Church, listened to Ebby’s testimony, and then decided that if the Great Physician had helped Ebby, he (Bill) could probably receive the same help. Armed with Silkworth’s advice and Ebby’s eye-witness testimony, Bill went to Calvary Mission himself. He went to the altar. He made his own decision for Jesus Christ. He quickly wrote, “For sure, I had been born again.” And then, still drunk and still despondent, Bill made his way to Towns Hospital where he decided to call on the Great Physician, cried out to God for help, and had the vital religious “white light” experience—which Silkworth called a conversion experience. Bill mentioned the indescribably white light that blazed in his room. He said he sensed he was on a mountain top he had not climbed and that he had felt the breeze of the Spirit. He sensed the presence of God in his room. He was cured. He never again doubted the existence of God. He reflected: “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures.” And Bill never drank again.] T. Willard Hunter, “IT STARTED RIGHT THERE.” 2006 Bill W., My First 40 Years, Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks. Mel B. Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W., 1998 ‘PASS IT ON’ Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Richard M. Dubiel, The Road to Fellowship, 2004, 79-80: “[Rowland Hazard] must have had some sort of influence on early A.A.’s who knew about him, whether at first or second hand . . . it is clear that behind Ebby Thatcher [sic], the messenger who brought the message of salvation to Bill Wilson in the kitchen of Bill’s apartment in November 1934, lay the figure of Rowland Hazard III, the mysterious messenger behind the messenger.” Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. 2010. Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont Biographical on Dr. Bob’s Wife, Anne Ripley Smith Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939, 3rd ed., 1998 Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2d ed., 1998 Bob Smith and Sue Smith Windows, Children of the Healer, 1992 Charlotte Hunter, Billye Jones, Joan Zieger, Women Pioneers in 12 Step Recovery, 1999 DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers RHS The Language of the Heart Biography on Bill W.’s Wife, Lois Wilson Lois Remembers, 1979. William Borchert, When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story Bill W. My First 40 Years Dick B.., New Light on Alcoholism, Pittsburgh ed. Biography on Henrietta Buckler Seiberling Dick B., Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause Charlotte Hunter, Billye Jones, Joan Zieger, Women Pioneers Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2d, ed, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Biography of T. Henry and Clarace Williams Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2d ed. DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Biographical on Dr. Frank N.D. Buchman, Founder of the Oxford Group Garth Lean, Frank Buchman: A Life, 1985 Frank Buchman, Remaking the World, 1961 H. W. “Bunny” Austin, Frank Buchman as I Knew Him, 1975 Peter Howard, That Man Frank Buchman, 1946 The World Rebuilt: The True Story of Frank Buchman. . . , 1951 Frank Buchman’s Secret, 1961 R.C. Mowat, The Message of Frank Buchman, n.d. T. Willard Hunter, World Changing Through Life Changing, 1977 Alan Thornhill, The Significance of the Life of Frank Buchman, 1952 Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, Newton ed. Biographical on Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A., 2d ed. Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous,Newton ed. Real 12 Step History Irving Harris, The Breeze of the Spirit, 1978. “S.M. S.—Man of God for Our Time,” Faith at Work, 1964. AJ Russell, For Sinners Only Norman Vincent Peale, “The Unforgettable Sam Shoemaker,” Faith at Work, 1964. Louis W. Pitt, “New Life, New Reality: A Brief Picture of S.M.S.’s Influence,” Faith at Work, Sherwood S. Day, “Always Ready, S.M.S. as a Friend,” Calvary Evangel, 1950 Helen Smith Shoemaker, I Stand by the Door, 1967 Bill Wilson, “I Stand by the Door,” The A.A. Grapevine, 1967 “Ten of America’s Greatest Preachers,” Newsweek, “Calvary Mission, “ Pamphlet, NY Calvary Episcopal Church, n.d. John Potter Cuyler, Jr., Calvary Church in Action, 1934. The Language of the Heart Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Samuel M Shoemaker, Jr. So I Stand by the Door and Other Verses, Pittsburgh, CalvaryRectory.1958 My Life Work and My Will, Pamphlet, 1930 “A First Century Christian Fellowship,” Churchman, Calvary Church Yesterday and Today, 1936. Realizing Religion, 1923 “How to Find God,” The Calvary Evangel, 1957. Get Changed; Get Together; Get Going: A History of the Pittsburgh Experiment, n.d. Biographical on Clarence H Snyder Three Clarence Snyder Sponsee Old-timers and Their Wives, Comp & ed. by Dick B., Our A.A. Legacy to the Faith Community: A Twelve-Step Guide For Those Who Want to Believe, 2005 DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 1980. Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Clarence Snyder, Going through the Steps, 2d ed., 1985 My Higher Power-The Light Bulb, 1985 A.A. Sponsorship Mitchell K., How It Worked: The Story of Clarence H Snyder and the Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, 1997. Dick B., That Amazing Grace, 1996. Biographical on Sister Ignatia [Though author Mary Darrah endeavors to select an earlier date for the A.A.-Ignatia connection, it is clear that Ignatia came on the A.A. scene about mid-August 1939. And her contributions were with Dr. Bob at St. Thomas Hospital from that point on. Her book makes clear that Father John C. Ford, S.J. had—like Father Dowling, S.J.—had a real part in editing Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and his Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age—both published in the 1950’s] Mary Darrah, Sister Ignatia, 1992, 13, 25-26, 33-37. DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 1980 Biographical on Father Ed Dowling, S.J. [Though Dowling did not meet Bill until the winter of 1940, he became a friend and sponsor to Bill, and edited Bill Wilson’s Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions] Robert Fitzgerald, S.J., The Soul of Sponsorship, 1995. See 55-66, 89] “Pass It On,” 1980, 240-243, 281-282, 354, 371, 387. Uncategorized Central Bulletin, Volumes I – III, Cleveland Central Committee, Dec. 1942-Dec. 1945 Nell Wing, Grateful to Have Been There, 1992. Stewart C., A Reference Guide to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, 1986. Bill Pittman, AA The Way It Began, 1988. Ernest Kurtz, Not-God, 1979 Jared Lobdell, This Strange Illness Wally P., But for the Grace of God. . . . The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous. 2010 How to Study, Learn, Teach, and Apply the Historical Elements Today [As I have said, the place to start is with A.A. General Service Conference-approved Literature. The primary reason is that so many involved with Alcoholics Anonymous tend to feel and state that if a piece of writing is not “Conference-approved,” it should not be read. There is no authority for such a position; but if AAs themselves are to learn their history, the least controversial source for some is their own literature. But it falls far short of being complete or covering certain subjects or relying upon certain authors and historians; hence an accurate, comprehensive, reference point would include most of the topics and books included in this history. The following are some suggested sources for your journey.] Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners! How to Conduct More Effective 12-Step Recover y Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena, 2012 Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God’s Role in Recovery Confirmed!, 2012 The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 Dick B., Making Known The Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous: A Sixteen Year Research, Writing, Publishing, and Fact Dissemination Project, 3rd ed., 2005 The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible The Good Book-Big Book Guidebook, 2006 Cured!: Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts, 2d ed, 2006 The James Club and The Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials, 4th ed., 2005 Twelve Steps for You: Take the Twelve Steps with the Big Book, A.A. History, and the Good Book at Your Side, 4th ed., 2005 God and Alcoholism: Our Growing Opportunity in the 21st Century, 2002 Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today (A Bible Study Primer for AAs and other 12-Steppers), 2001 By The Power of God: A Guide to Early A.A. Groups & Forming Similar Groups Today, 2000 Utilizing Early AA.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today, 2000. Now to Alcoholics Anonymous History: Item by Item, on the Origins of A.A. Dick B., Introduction to the Sources and Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2007 Real Twelve Step Fellowship History: The Old School A.A. You May Not Know, 2006 Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed. 2006 The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference, 2d ed., 2006. Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes, 1997. When Early AAs Were Cured and Why The Golden Text of A.A. Mel B. New Wine: The Spiritual Roots of the Twelve Step Miracle, 1991 My Search for Bill W., 2000. Alcoholics Anonymous History: Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A., 2d ed., 1999. Bill W., I Stand by the Door, The A.A. Grapevine, 1967. Charles Taylor Knippel, Samuel M. Shoemaker’s Theological Influence on William G. Wilson’s Twelve Step Spiritual Program of Recovery, 1987 Helen Smith Shoemaker, I Stand by the Door: The Life of Sam Shoemaker,1967. John Potter Cuyler, Jr., Calvary Church in Action, 1934. W. Irving Harris, The Breeze of the Spirit, 1978. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Calvary Church Yesterday and Today, 1936, Samuel M. Shoemaker, Realizing Religion, 1923 Alcoholics Anonymous History: the Oxford Group Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, Newton ed., 1998. Frank N. D. Buchman, Remaking the World, 1961. Garth Lean, Frank Buchman: A Life, 1985. Good God, It Works, 1974. James D. Newton, Uncommon Friends, 1987. Henry B. Wright, The Will of God and a Man’s Life Work, 1909. Howard A. Walter, Soul Surgery, 1928. Harold Begbie, Life Changers, 1927. Howard J. Rose, The Quiet Time, 1937. Cecil Rose, When Man Listens, 1937. Harry J. Almond, Foundations for Faith, 1980. Peter Howard, That Man Frank Buchman, 1946. Robert E. Speer, The Principles of Jesus, 1902. B. H. Streeter, The God Who Speaks, 1930. Sherwood Sunderland Day, The Principles of the Group, n.d. T. Willard Hunter, It Started Right There, 2006. World Changing Through Life-Changing, 1977. The Layman with a Notebook, What is the Oxford Group? 1933. Kenneth Belden, Meeting Moral Re-Armament, 1979. Beyond the Satellites: Is God Speaking? Are We Listening, 1987. Alcoholics Anonymous History and the “Temperance Movement” [Temperance, Abstinence, and the Widespread Concerns of Society: Bill Wilson had made such a fuss over the “failures” of the Washingtonian Movement that it can be said that his A.A. took no position on “liquor” issues. But the Washingtonian Movement was but a speck on the temperance front. It lasted only a short time. It was dismissed by many as not a religious movement, and it is fair to say that its emphasis was on “pledges” and not on healing by God. Nonetheless, the backdrop of Dr. Bob’s and Bill’s boyhood days was temperance—abstinence from drink—however much people may have disagreed on what was really involved—religion, morality, social problems. There are several pieces of literature that may or may not be known by, or of interest to those who might just dismiss the whole picture by saying, “We don’t want to be like the Washingtonians. They failed.” But the failure occurred before the major influences on A.A. background got under way.] Harry S. Warner, Rev. Francis W. McPeek, and E.M. Jellinek, “Lecture 19, Philosophy of the Temperance Movement” Alcohol, Science and Society, As given at the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies, 1945, 267-285; McPeek: “I don’t believe that the temperance movement can be understood in any sense unless the framework in which it developed is understood, and this framework is essentially Christian.,” 279. Rev. Roland H. Bainton, “Lecture 20, The Churches and Alcohol, Alcohol, Science and Society, 287-298 Rev. Francis W. McPeek, “Lecture 26 – The Role of Religious Bodies in the Trreatment of Inebriety in the United States, Alcohol, Science and Society, 1945, 406-411. Jared C. Lobdell, This Strange Illness: Alcoholism and Bill W., 2004, 30-38. William L White, Slaying the Dragon, 1998, 4-14. [Alcoholics Anonymous History: the Co-Founder Dr. Bob’s Christian Roots and Upbringing in Vermont] Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont, 2008. Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont, 2012 [The Town of St. Johnsbury—Dr. Bob’s birthplace] Edward Taylor Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury, Vt; A Review Of One Hundred Twenty-Five Years to the Anniversary Pageant, 1912 Claire Dunne Johnson, “I See By the Paper,” 1987. [The People, including the Fairbanks family and the Smith family] Albert Nelson Marquis, Who’s Who in New England Charles G. Ullery, Men of Vermont, 1894. Hiram Carleton, Geneological and Family History of the State of Vermont, Vol I. Lorenzo Sayles Fairbanks, Geneology of the Fairbanks Family… 1897 The “Fairbanks Papers” 1815-1889, William H. Jeffrey, Successful Vermonters, 19 [Congregationalism, Vermont, and North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury] John M. Comstock, The Congregational Churches of Vermont and Their Ministry, 1762-1942. 1942. John E. Nutting, Becoming the United Church of Christ in Vermont, 1995 History of North Congregational Church, 2007 Arthur Fairbanks Stone, North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury, Vermont, 1825-1942, 1942. T. Seymour Bassett, The Gods of the Hills: the Nineteenth –Century Vermont, 2000 Michael Sherman, Gene Sessions, and P. Jeffrey Postash, Freedom and Unity: A History of Vermont, 2005 [Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor] Francis E. Clark. Memoirs of Many Men in Many Lands, An Autobiography, 192 Christian Endeavor in All Lands, 1906 World Wide Endeavor: The Story of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and in All Lands, 1895. Amos R. Wells, Expert Endeavor, A Textbook of Christian Endeavor Methods and Principles, 1911. John R. Clements, The Francis E. Clark Year Book: A Collection of Living Paragraphs From Addresses, Books, and Magazine Articles by the Founder of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, John Franklin Cowan, New Life in the Old Prayer Meeting, 1906. [St. Johnsbury Academy] Arthur Fairbanks et. al. [including Dr. Bob’s mother], An Historical Sketch of St. Johnsbury Academy 1842-1922 Charles Edward Russell, Bare Hands and Stone Walls, 1933 Richard Beck, A Proud Tradition A Bright Future Robert Miraldi, The Pen Is Mightier: The Muckraking Life of Charles Edward Russell, 2003. The Academy Student (1897), (1898) [Young Men’s Christian Association] Year Book of the Young Men’s Christian Association of North America, 1896 C. Howard Hopkins, John R. Mott, 1865-1955. Laurence L. Doggett, History of the Young Men’s Christian Association Richard C. Morse, History of the North American Young Men’s Christian Associations, 1919. Sherwood Eddy, A Century with Youth, 1884-1944, 1944 [Salvation Army] [In Lecture 26, cited below, Rev. Mc Peek states: “Much work was done in the city missions and particularly by the Salvation Army. . . . Generally speaking. The Salvationists have capitalized on the same techniques that have made other reform programs work: (1) Insistence on total abstinence. (2) reliance upon God. (3) the provision of new friendships among those who understand. (4) the opportunity to work with those who suffer from the same difficulty. (5) unruffled patience and consistent faith in the ability of the individual and the power of God to accomplish the desired ends.” 414-415] William Booth, In Darkest England and the Way Out, 1890 Harold Begbie The Life of General William Booth: The Founder of the Salvation Army (Vol I and II), NY: MacMillan, 1920. Twice Born Men, 1909 Rev. Francis W. Mc Peek, “Lecture 26 – The Role of Religious Bodies in the Treatment of Inebriety in the United States,” Alcohol, Science and Society, 1945, 403-418. Howard Clinebell, Understanding and Counseling Persons with Alcohol, Drug, and Behavioral Addictions, 1998, 184-194. [Alcoholics Anonymous History: the Christian Upbringing of Co-Founder Bill Wilson] Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men Lois Remembers William Borchert, The Lois Wilson Story: When Love is Not Enough [The conversion that cured Bill Wilson’s grandfather Willie of alcoholism] Francis Hartigan, Bill W.: A Biography…, 10-11 Robert Thomsen, Bill W., 14 Bill W., My First 40 Years, 6 Susan Cheever, My Name is Bill, 17. [The Evangelists] Allen Folger, Twenty-Five Years as an Evangelist, 1906 Bob Holman, F. B. Meyer: “If I Had a Hundred Lives…,” 2007 Edgar J. Goodspeed, The Wonderful Career of Moody and Sankey in Great Britain and America, 1876. Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, 2000 J. Wilbur Chapman, Life and Work of Dwight L. Moody Mark O. Guldseth, Streams, 1982 Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World [East Dorset Congregational Church] Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., 7-10, 27-28, 72-73 Susan Cheever, My Name is Bill W., 4, 44 Francis Hartigan, Bill W., 175 Robert Thomsen, Bill W., 15, 30-9. 200 [Bible study-in East Dorset and in a 4 year Bible study course at Burr and Burton Seminary] Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men Susan Cheever, My Name is Bill, 37-38, 47-48. Robert Thomsen, Bill W., 30-39, 200. [Christian Revivals and Conversion Meetings Bill attended] Bill Pittman, AA The Way It Began, 79 Francis Hartigan, Bill W., 10-11, 53, 58, 59 Matthew Raphael, Bill W., 77 Susan Cheever, My Name is Bill, 44-45, Mel B, New Wine, 127-28 Bill W. My First 40 Years [Gospel Rescue Missions] D. Samuel Hopkins Hadley, Down in Water Street: A Story of Sixteen Years Life and Work in Water Street Mission: A Sequel to the Life of Jerry McAuley, n.d. J. Wilbur Chapman, S.H. Hadley of Water Street, 1906. “Pass It On,” William James. The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1990, 188-9, 146 John Potter Cuyler, Jr., Calvary Church in Action Howard Clinebell, Understanding and Counseling, 172-193 [Burr and Burton Seminary and the Manchester Congregational Church] Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide 3rd ed Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men Bill W.: My First Forty Years Frederica Templeton, The Castle in the Pasture: Portrait of Burr and Burton Academy, 2005,, 25, 42. 44, 56, 67 Mel B., Ebby Dr. Robert J. Wilson III and Phebe Ann Lewis, The First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont 1784-1984 (Manchester, VT: Bicentennial Steering Committee, 1984), 88-91, 128. [The few A.A. history writers and Christian critics of A.A. are often quick to assert that Bill Wilson could not possibly have been a Christian because of his alleged beliefs about Jesus Christ. The problem is that there is no evidence that they have examined or understood the Confession of Faith and Church Covenant of both the Manchester and the East Dorset Congregational Churches which would readily clear up their misunderstanding should they choose to accept the facts discovered. In fact, one of the first A.A. history writers made the untenable statement that little is known about Wilson’s religious background because there is little to know—a blatant admission that there was lots about Wilson’s Christian upbringing, his Congregational Churches and chapels, and his Bible studies that such writers just never investigated or perhaps even wanted to learn, and hence don’t know.] [Young Men’s Christian Association-Bill as President, girl- friend as YWCA President, active in both] Bill W., My First Forty Years, 29 Robert Thomsen, Bill W., 57 Frederica Templeton, The Castle in the Pasture, 78-79, 69 Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men Borchert, The Lois Wilson Story [Bill’s return to Jesus Christ, the “Great Physician,” in despair, on the advice that this Great Physician can and does cure alcoholics]. Dick B., Turning Point: A History of the Spiritual Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, 99-100. The Conversion of Bill W., 47, 94, A New Way In: Telling the Truth, 61-66. Norman Vincent Peale, The Positive Power of Jesus Christ. 1980. Bill W. My First 40 Years Dale Mitchel, Silkworth, The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 60-63. Mel B., Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W. New Wine: The Spiritual Roots of the Twelve Step Miracle “Lois Remembers: Searcy, Ebby, Bill & Early Days”: Recorded in Dallas, Texas, June 29, 1973. T. Willard Hunter, It Started Right There W. Irving Harris, The Breeze of the Spirit “Pass It On” William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience [Bill Wilson’s first unsuccessful attempts for six months to carry a message] William Borchert, When Love is Not Enough Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 191. Lois Remembers, 94-95 Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 64-65 The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, 9-10, 26. [Alcoholics Anonymous History – The Fellowship Begins] How the First Three AAs Got Sober by simply turning to God for help. Bill W. [As a youngster in Vermont, Bill had repeatedly heard the story of how his alcoholic grandfather Willie had been converted to God through Jesus Christ on a mountaintop next to Bill’s village. Willie was saved, said so, and never touched a drop during the remaining years of his life. And Bill was no stranger to revivals, conversion meetings, temperance meetings, and salvation teachings—the latter in his church and Sunday school] (1) Dr. Carl Jung had told Rowland Hazard that he had the mind of a chronic alcoholic and that a conversion experience [a vital religious experience. such at that on page 25 of Big Book, might heal him (2) Rowland Hazard made a decision for Jesus Christ, joined the Oxford Group, and worked actively with Rev. Sam Shoemaker. (3) Rowland and two other Oxford Group friends told Bill Wilson’s long-time drinking friend Ebby Thacher the solution that Jung had proffered. Rowland taught him about the efficacy of prayer. They also told Ebby some Oxford Group ideas and particularly about Jesus Christ and Bible time—things Ebby had learned as a youth and believed. They informed Ebby of a number of the Oxford Group’s Christian principles. Then Ebby was lodged in Calvary Rescue Mission in New York. (4) Meanwhile, Bill Wilson had made his third visit to Towns Hospital. Dr. William D. Silkworth, Bill’s psychiatrist, had a long talk. Silkworth had given Bill a virtual death sentence contingent upon his continuing to drink. Dr. Silkworth, a devout Christian and a long-time parishioner of Sam Shoemaker’s Calvary Church, told Bill Wilson that the “Great Physician” Jesus Christ could cure Bill. (5) In this same period, Ebby Thacher had made a decision for Jesus Christ at Calvary Mission, decided to witness to Bill, visited Bill, and told Bill what had happened at the Mission—Ebby’s actual rebirth. (6) Bill decided to check out Ebby’s story and went to hear him give testimony at Calvary Church. (7) Bill decided that since the Great Physician had helped Ebby recover, he might help Bill. (8) Bill W. accepted Jesus Christ at Calvary Mission, wrote in his autobiography that “For sure I had been born again.” (9) Bill continued to drink, became severely depressed, and thought, If there be a Great Physician, I had better call on him. (10) Bill staggered on to Towns Hospital drunk and very depressed and was hospitalized. (11) He said to himself, “I’ll do anything, anything at all. If there be a Great Physician, I’ll call on him. (12) He cried out, “If there be a God let him show himself.” (13) He said the effect was, instant, electric. Suddenly my room blazed with an indescribably white light. (14) He continued: Then, seen in the mind’s eye, there was a mountain. I stood upon its summit where a great wind blew. A wind, not of air, but of spirit. In great, clean strength it blew right through me. (15) The light and the ecstasy subsided. Bill became more quiet. A great peace stole over him. (16) Then he became acutely conscious of a presence which seemed like a “veritable sea of living spirit.” (17) He thought, “This must be the great reality.” And in one account, he said to himself: “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures.” See The Language of the Heart. (18) He said, “I thanked my God who had given me a glimpse of His absolute Self. (19) Ever since his girl-friend Bertha Bamford’s untimely death, Bill had turned his back on God and harbored that doubt and resentment through his drinking years. But this changed with his vital religious experience—an experience which he later called the Solution in his Big Book. (20) He said that faith had suddenly appeared—no blind faith—but faith fortified by the consciousness of the presence of God. (21) Briefly, Bill retained his doubts about God. He had his “hour of doubt.” But Bill said shortly he never again doubted the existence of God and said “this great and sudden gift of grace has always been mine.” (22) He never drank again. On page 191 of the latest edition of the Big Book, Bill said that the Lord had cured him of his terrible disease and that he just wanted to keep talking about it and telling people (23) Dr. Silkworth appeared and sat by Bill’s bed. Bill told Silkworth what had happened. Bill asked: “Doctor, is this real? Am I still perfectly sane?” (24) Sikworth assured him that he was sane. He said “You have had some kind of conversion experience.” (25) Ebby showed up at the hospital, agreed with Bill that he and Bill had a release that was a gift, real. He handed Bill a copy of a book by Professor William James. It was called “The Varieties of Religious Experience.” Bill devoured it. He said he had read it “all day.” (26) The James book was filled with studies and stories of the cure of alcoholism at missions such as the one founded by Jerry McAuley at 316 Water Street in 1872, and later (in 1882) at 104 West Thirty-second Street, known as Cremorne Mission. In 1886, S.H. Hadley took charge of the Water Street Mission. Hadley had been converted at Jerry McAuley’s Cremorne Mission, and in the years of service in Water Street not less than seventy-five thousand persons came to the mission for help. Hadley died in 1906. (27) Before his discharge from Towns Hospital in December of 1935, Wilson had been inspired to help drunks everywhere. (28) On his discharge, he raced feverishly to the streets, the missions, the hospitals, the Bowery, and flea bag hotels. He went with a Bible under his arm and insisted that drunks give their lives to God. (29) Bill’s story is briefly told as follows in the Big Book: “Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.” (30) But in his first six months of witnessing, Bill was unable to get a single person sober.] Dr. Bob [Dr. Bob was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont when the entire state was still swirling from the effect of “The Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury.”] (1) His parents were married when the Awakening events were taking place. They taught Bob about salvation and the Word of God. In fact, their church urged this training of youngsters. (2) He heard similar sermons and teachings in the family’s North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury. (3) Temperance was in the air. (4) The Young Men’s Christian Association had been active in bringing about the Great Awakening and was still very active during Bob’s growing-up period. (5) The great evangelists—Moody, Sankey, Moorehouse, Meyer, H. M. Moore, K.A. Burnell, and Folger–had inspired Vermont with their talk of salvation, the Bible, and God’s healing power. (6) The Salvation Army was becoming well known for its outreach and the resulting healing of derelicts and drunks. (7) So too were the rescue mission events involving Jerry McAuley, Water Street Mission, and S.H. Hadley. (8) The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, in which Dr. Bob was active, had laid out a program of confession of Jesus Christ, conversions, Bible study meetings, prayer meetings, Quiet Hour observances, and reading and speaking on Christian literature. Their program, though not aimed at drunkards, was certainly focused on bringing young people back to their churches. (9) In his early sobriety, Dr. Bob had turned back to church for himself and Sunday school for his children. And the program of the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship closely resembled the conversions which were so much a part of Bill’s life, and the principles and practices of Christian Endeavor which were so much a part of Bob’s life and turned up in the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program.] [Dr. Bob’s road back to sobriety could—like Bill Wilson’s—be said to have begun when he was at the bottom of the heap in 1931. I learned little about him at that time. But I researched and learned a lot about what happened in Akron in 1931. It revolved around the Firestone family, and Harvey Firestone, Sr.’s protégé Jim Newton—a young man from Florida. When Jim arrived in Akron, he befriended Russell Firestone but found that Russell had a serious drinking problem. Jim tried to help Russell by Oxford Group techniques. But finally, the family decided to call in Rev. Sam Shoemaker of New York—an Oxford Group leader of that time. They (Harvey, Russell, Jim and Sam) boarded a train for a Bishop’s conference in Denver—with Russell well supplied with liquor. But on the trip back, Sam Shoemaker took Russell into a train compartment and led Russell to a new birth in Christ. By the time the train arrived back in Akron, Russell was healed, and his doctor felt it was a miracle. Russell and Jim then began traveling together and witnessing to others about the Oxford Group’s life-changing program. By 1933, the family was elated at Russell’s progress. They invited Dr. Frank Buchman and a retinue of some 30 Oxford Group activists to come to Akron, speak in the pulpits and public places, and inform the press. I have personally seen the Akron newspapers of that early 1933 period; and they are alive with talk of Russell and his “miracle,” with Jesus Christ, of the Bible, and of Christianity. And a large part of the town turned out to hear Russell, Jim, Buchman, and others give testimony.] [The wheels of sobriety began to grind for Dr. Bob. His friend Henrietta Seiberling and his wife Anne attended the 1933 functions. They were excited. They persuaded Dr. Bob to join a small Oxford Group. And, though he continued to drink, Dr. Bob read all the Oxford Group literature he could get his hands on. He studied the Bible extensively once again. He read it from cover to cover three times. He prayed. And he enjoyed the Group’s people. But he confided to Henrietta that he just didn’t want to quit drinking and was a “wanta wanta” guy. But Henrietta was undeterred. She convened a tiny group, including Bob. They all engaged in life-changing stories. Dr. Bob joined in and confessed that he was a “secret drinker.” Henrietta asked him if he wanted to pray for his deliverance. And Bob joined the group on his knees on the rug at the T. Henry Williams home, asking God for help. Help did not come at once. But shortly a seemingly miraculous phone call reached Henrietta from an unknown stranger from New York. It was Bill Wilson saying that he was an Oxford Grouper, a rum hound from New York, and needed to talk with a drunk. Henrietta was sure this was an answer to the prayers and thought of Bill, “This is manna from heaven.” She arranged a visit at her home between Bob and Bill. It lasted six hours. Bob said he had heard what Bill said all before, but that Bill talked his language—the story of a drunk. Bob said he picked up on the idea of “service” which was something his religious endeavors had not gotten through to him. And, after one last binge, Bob quit forever while Bill Wilson was living with the Smiths in their home.] [Bill Dotson (A.A. Number Three)] [We have run across very little concerning Bill Dotson, except as set forth in the biographical information above. However, we know for sure that: (1) Dotson was an attorney in Akron. (2) Dotson believed in God, went to church, taught Sunday school, and became a Deacon in the church. (3) His alcoholism had progressed to the point that he had been strapped to a hospital bed eight times in the preceding months. He had beaten up on two nurses (4) And when Dr. Bob inquired of a nurse whether there was a hospitalized drunk who needed help, she told them she had a dandy—Bill Dotson. (5) Bill and Bob visited Dotson, told him their stories, told him he needed to seek God’s help, and that—upon being healed—he must go out and help others in like situations. (6) Dotson did turn to God for help and was instantly cured. In fact, he subscribed to Bill Wilson’s statement on page 191 of the Big Book that “the Lord had cured” him and that he just wanted to keep talking about it and telling people. He called the statement the “golden text of A.A.” for him and for others. (7) And, when Bill and Bob had returned to the hospital, Dotson had been relieved of his drinking problem, He left the hospital with his wife. The date was July 4, 1935; and Bill Wilson proclaimed that as the founding date for A.A.’s first group—Akron Number One. Dotson remained active in A.A. and often led groups with a Bible in his lap, ready to help someone who needed help.] The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (Pamphlet P-53) Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed,, 2010. “Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery” Class [The Original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship Program Founded in June, 1935, and the first group—Akron Number One—founded July 4, 1935 when Bill D. was cured.] DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible Turning Point: The Spiritual History of Alcoholics Anonymous Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 66-72. [The Principles and Practices of the Original Akron A.A. Pioneers] Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide 3rd ed., 2010 Stick with the Winners! Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God’s Role in Recovery Confirmed Dick B., When Early AAs Were Cured and Why Real 12 Step Fellowship History DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Sue Smith Windows and Robert R. Smith, Children of the Healer, 1992 [The Role of the Bible in Earliest A.A.] The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Dick B., The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible The Good Book-Big Book Guidebook The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials Anne Smith’s Journal 1933-1939 Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. Why Early A.A. Succeeded (A Bible Study Primer) Cured: Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference [“Prayer and Meditation” in Earliest A.A.] DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Dick B., Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. Howard Rose, The Quiet Time Donald Carruthers, How to Find Reality in Your Morning Devotions, Penn State College, n.d. Nora Smith Holm, The Runner’s Bible Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest Henry Drummond: The Greatest Thing in the World E. Stanley Jones, Victorious Living Mary W. Tileston, Daily Strength for Daily Needs The Upper Room [The “Real Surrender” to Jesus Christ in Early A.A.] Dick B., The Golden Text of A.A. A New Way In When Early AAs Were Cured and Why That Amazing Grace A New Way Out: New Path, Familiar Road Signs, Our Creator’s Guidance Mitchell K., How It Worked Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide [The Akron Formula for Christian Fellowship Recovery] Our books Stick with the Winners!. Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous, The New Dover Publications Reprint of the Original Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, and DR. BOB of Alcoholics Anonymous—particularly page 131 tell precisely what the Pioneers did in the morning at the Smith Home with Anne Smith and her Quiet Time, what they did at their daily meetings with their Bible reading and prayer and quiet time, what they did in requiring belief in God and coming to Him through Jesus Christ, and their “regular” Wednesday night meeting where they met with a small band of Oxford Group people and AAs and families for a time. They engaged in some sixteen Christian practices that practiced the seven principles of their program as summarized by Frank Amos in DR. BOB, 131/ [The need to bring back into recovery focus for those who want God’s help A.A.’s Bible based, Christ-centered, reliance upon the Creator’s Power and Cures. And we believe the following are the ingredients common to most all successful Christian efforts to bring deliverance to alcoholics: 1. The choice of abstinence. 2. The choice of avoiding temptation. 3. The choice of entrusting one’s life to the care, direction, and strength of the Creator. 4. The choice of establishing a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. 5. The choice of obeying His commandments and eliminating sinful conduct—putting off the “old man.” 6. The choice of growing in knowledge and fellowship with Him, His son, and His children through Bible study, prayer, religious fellowship, worship, and witness—putting on the “new man.” 7. The choice of passing along to others with love and service the message that will enable those others to help and be helped in the same manner if they wish to go that route.] Dick B., A New Way Out, 63-64. [The Daily Meetings, Family Emphasis, and Close Contacts Among Members—Resemblance to First Century Christianity] See Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners! [A.A. History – A.A. and First Century Christianity. There were multiple “First Century Christianity at Work” quotes about early A.A. Among The Rockefeller People Who Investigated. Five of the Rockefeller people involved with the Frank Amos report commented as follows on the First Century Christianity nature of the Akron A.A.: 1. Frank Amos: As stated, Rockefeller’s investigator Frank Amos had observed that the meetings of Akron people had, in many respects, taken on the form of the meetings described in the Gospels of the early Christians during the first century (Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, pp. 135-36) 2. Albert Scott: In December, 1936. a meeting was held in John D. Rockefeller’s private board room. Bill W., Dr. Bob, Dr. Silkworth, Dr. Leonard Strong, and some alcoholics from New York and Akron met with Rockefeller’s associates Willard Richardson, A. Leroy Chapman, Frank Amos, and Albert Scott. The meeting was chaired by Albert Scott, chairman of the board of trustees of New York’s Riverside Church. Each alcoholic was enjoined to tell his own personal story, after which, the chairman Albert Scott exclaimed, “Why, this is first-century Christianity. What can we do to help?” (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 148) Nelson Rockefeller: In February of 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. had arranged a dinner for Bill and the AAs. John D. had intended to attend, but was too ill to do so and sent his son Nelson Rockefeller to host the dinner. As Bill’s wife Lois Wilson records in her memoirs, “When Nelson finally got up to talk, there was a great deal of expectancy. He told how impressed his father [John D., Jr..] was with this unique movement, which resembled early Christianity.” (Lois Remembers, pp. 128-29) Willard Richardson and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., himself: What they’d been hearing, he [Albert Scott] said, was like first century Christianity, where one person carried the word to the next. . . . Willard Richardson was in charge of all John D. Jr.’s philanthropies. . . Willard Richardson added his approval to the report and immediately passed it on to Mr. [John D.] Rockefeller. . . Rockefeller was impressed. He saw the parallel with early Christianity and along with this he spotted a combination of medicine and religion that appealed to all his charitable inclinations (Robert Thomsen, Bill W., pp. 274-75). The best comparative material showing what the Apostolic Christians did can be found in Acts 2:41-47: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Not surprisingly, Dr. Bob, co-founder of A.A. frequently called the early A.A. Akron program a “Christian Fellowship” DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. [The Counting of Noses in November, 1937 that proved God had shown the founders how to succeed ] [DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers also comments on the November 1937 meeting between Bill W. and Dr. Bob which led to the decision that a book about their cure for alcoholism would be needed. In November of that year [i.e., 1937], Bill Wilson went on a business trip that enabled him to make a stopover in Akron. . . . Bill’s writings record the day he sat in the living room with Doc, counting recoveries. “A hard core of very grim, last-gasp cases had by then been sober a couple of years,” he said. “All told, we figured that upwards of 40 alcoholics were staying bone dry Up to then, prospects had come to the founders from other cities. Now, the question was whether every alcoholic had to come to Akron or New York to get sober. Was it possible to reach distant alcoholics? Was it possible for the Fellowship to grow “rapidly and soundly”? This was when Bill began to think . . . of writing a book of experiences that would carry the message of recovery to other cities and other countries. Let us now look at this vitally-significant, November 1937 meeting in more detail. In an October 1945 article in the A.A. Grapevine titled “The Book Is Born,” Bill referred to his meeting with Dr. Bob in Akron in November 1937 as follows: By the fall of 1937 we could count what looked like forty recovered members. One of us had been sober three years, another two and a half, and a fair number had a year or more behind them. As all of us had been hopeless cases, this amount of time elapsed began to be significant. The realization that we had “found something” began to take hold of us. No longer were we a dubious experiment. Alcoholics could stay sober. Great numbers, perhaps! While some of us had always clung to this possibility, the dream now had real substance. If forty alcoholics could recover, why not four hundred, four thousand — even forty thousand. RHS: Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous: Our Beloved DR. BOB (NY: A.A. Grapevine, Inc., 1951), 8. The article from which this quote is taken also occurs in The Language of the Heart and is titled “Dr. Bob: A Tribute.” This quote appears on page 359 of that article. In the quote above, Bill spoke of having counted “what looked like forty recovered members.” He also speculated about possible, much larger numbers of alcoholics—”even forty thousand”—recovering. Bill W. spoke more clearly and at greater length about his November 1937 meeting with Dr. Bob in Akron in his tribute to Dr. Bob in the special memorial issue of The A.A. Grapevine in January 1951 titled “RHS”: Meanwhile a small group had taken shape in New York. The Akron meeting at T. Henry’s home began to have a few Cleveland visitors. At this juncture I spent a week visiting Dr. Bob. We commenced to count noses. Out of hundreds of alcoholics, how many had stuck? How many were sober? And for how long? In that fall of 1937 Bob and I counted forty cases who had significant dry time — maybe sixty years for the whole lot of them! Our eyes glistened. Enough time had elapsed on enough cases to spell out something quite new, perhaps something great indeed. . . . A beacon had been lighted. God had shown alcoholics how it might be passed from hand to hand. Never shall I forget that great and humbling hour of realization, shared with Dr. Bob. But the new realization faced us with a great problem, a momentous decision. It had taken nearly three years to effect forty recoveries. The United States alone probably had a million alcoholics. How were we to get the story to them? Here again, Bill declares that he and Dr. Bob “counted forty cases who had significant dry time” and refers to “forty recoveries.” And note that Bill credited God with having shown them “how it might be passed from hand to hand.” RHS: Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous: Our Beloved DR. BOB (NY: A.A. Grapevine, Inc., 1951), 8. The article from which this quote is taken also occurs in The Language of the Heart and is titled “Dr. Bob: A Tribute.” This quote appears on page 359 of that article. Bill wrote about his November 1937 meeting with Dr. Bob in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: . . . [T]his trip [in the fall of 1937] gave me a much needed chance to visit Dr. Bob in Akron. It was on a November day in that year [of 1937] when Dr. Bob and I sat in his living room, counting the noses of our recoveries. There had been failures galore, but now we could see some startling successes too. A hard core of very grim, last-gasp cases had by then been sober a couple of years, an unheard-of development. There were twenty or more such people. All told we figured that upwards of forty alcoholics were staying bone dry. . . . [A] benign chain reaction, one alcoholic carrying the good news to the next, had started outward from Dr. Bob and me. Conceivably it could one day circle the whole world. What a tremendous thing that realization was! At last we were sure. . . . We actually wept for joy, and Bob and Anne and I bowed our heads in silent prayer. Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 76. See also: Debra Jay, No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 2006), 287-88. Here again, we see Bill commenting about the “upwards of forty alcoholics” who “were staying bone dry,” while speaking almost in the same breath about how “it could one day circle the whole world.” The A.A. General Service Conference-approved book “Pass It On” also discusses this November 1937 meeting. “Later in 1937, Bill . . . did visit Bob and Anne in Akron. It was on this visit that the two men conducted a “formal” review of their work of the past two years. What they came to realize as a result of that review was astounding: Bill may have been stretching things when he declared that at least 20 cases had been sober a couple of years; but by counting everybody who seemed to have found sobriety in New York and Akron, they concluded that more than 40 alcoholics were staying dry as a result of the program! “Pass It On”: The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A.A. Message Reached the World” (New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984), 177-78. Bill W. also spoke briefly about this meeting with Dr. Bob—without mentioning numbers of recoveries—in his May 1955 article in the A.A. Grapevine titled “How AA’s World Services Grew, Part 1,” in The Language of the Heart, See also: Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 224-25. Bill W.’s wife Lois remarked on the 40 in her memoirs: The business depression returned in 1937, and toward the end of the year Quaw and Foley had to let Bill go. He went to Detroit and Cleveland looking for new job ideas and, of course, stopped off at Akron on the way He and Bob assessed the current status of the movement. They were surprised to find that, although many of those they had worked with had fallen by the way, forty members enjoyed an average of two years’ solid sobriety. This was flabbergasting, awe-inspiring. They really had hit on a program for helping alcoholics. Now they saw it could develop into something tremendous—if it was not diluted or garbled by word of mouth. Lois Remembers: Memoirs of the Co-founder of Al-Anon and Wife of the Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (New York: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1987), 107. Here are some key comments about this important tally of successes by other writers. And we believe that all these comments should be taken as a whole, compounded, and absorbed. For a few cynical A.A. writers have said that talking about this November “nose counting” and the forty sober alcoholics is somehow frivolous worship of a non-existent golden age of A.A. In fact, however, A.A. with its inadequate funding, unknown founders, and somewhat tawdry group of alcoholic organizers were hardly capable of producing a “golden age.” But what they did produce was an astonishing record in the face of repeated declarations that medical cure of alcoholics was an impossibility, that there was little hope of anything but death or insanity for the addicted sufferer, and that repeaters were so commonplace they weren’t worth the effort to help them—except for such benign people as Dr. Silkworth, the Salvation Army, the Rescue Missions, the

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AA History: Answer to Question about Reading Dick B. Reference Set of 29 books

Dear M. . . . [Name deleted to protect anonymity] Thank you for writing. Your message is far too complex to enable an easy answer. But I will start from certain points and invite you to phone me if I … Continue reading

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Alcoholics Anonymous History on Radio: Dick B.’s 3rd Set of Questions

Dick B. says more about the Study Guide for the forthcoming, five-video series “Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story” on the November 7, 2013, episode on http://www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com Dick B. © 2013 Anonymous. … Continue reading

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Alcoholics Anonymous Origins and Roots: A.A. Author Dick B. Recommends. Order from Site

http://www.dickb.com/aa-history-books.shtml

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God, Help Me!

God, Help Me! By Dick B. © 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved The Cry to God for Help and God’s Answer Psalm 30:2-3 (KJV): O LORD, my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O LORD, thou … Continue reading

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