Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today’s excerpt from the soon-to-be released Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous:


My wife and I have known, visited, and traveled with Dick B. for quite a number of years. And he has been as a guest in our Ohio home many times when he has come to Akron, Ohio, to visit, research, and speak on early A.A.’s spiritual roots and successes. We both know Dick as an AA who has not only devoted many years and many books to making the history of early A.A. more widely known, but also that Dick has had a particular interest in the wonderful contributions that Dr. Bob and his wife Anne Smith made to that recovery scene at the beginnings of A.A.

As archivist at Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, Ohio, and as one who takes the archives all over the country so that others will be blessed with an opportunity to see and learn, I have welcomed Dick’s many books on Dr. Bob, Anne, Henrietta Seiberling, and the Akron roots.

But this new book uncovers, to an extraordinary degree, a virtually unknown and yet vitally important part of Dr. Bob’s past—his days as a youngster in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Dr. Bob had made a number of telling statements about his beginnings both in Vermont and in Akron.

He said that he had had “excellent training” in the Good Book “as a youngster.” He twice remarked that he had refreshed his memory of the Good Book in order to set forth the elements of recovery and cure. And he said many times, “We believed that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book,” and he added that old timers believed that the Book of James, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 were absolutely essential to their program.

Dick has relentlessly pursued Dr. Bob’s library and reading, Anne Smith’s spiritual journal, Henrietta Seiberling’s papers, T. Henry and Clarace Williams’ remarks, and the original Akron seven-point program as Frank Amos reported it to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. He has put a useful picture before us all. More importantly, he showed what pioneer AAs actually did as they emerged from a seemingly-hopeless, medically-incurable state to establish their relationships with God. They achieved a documented, 75%-to-93% success rate—a real model that needs to be known today.

The loose end, the one that aids materially in understanding how and why the early AAs put together such a remarkable program, was what Dr. Bob had learned as a youngster. What Dr. Bob had meant when he said he had received “excellent training” in the Good Book. And Dick and his son Ken have not only traveled to St. Johnsbury, Vermont; assembled books and records; interviewed; and corresponded; they have produced a detailed picture of the biblical influences on Dr. Bob from his parents, his North Congregational Church, his Sunday School, his Christian Endeavor Society activities, and his matriculation at St. Johnsbury Academy. Bob was surrounded by wholesome, godly, Christian training; and he brought the results to Akron to help thousands of AAs get well as he and Bill W. fashioned their early spiritual program of recovery.

I recommend this book highly to AAs and to all those who want to know why Dr. Bob so certainly and emphatically believed he was qualified to say, “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” Dick shows you the sources at St. Johnsbury that produced such conviction.

Ray G., Archivist, Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, Ohio

Be a Part of Something Great –

To the Glory of God

I would like to ask your help in fulfilling a great need and dream concerning Dr. Bob and his “excellent training” in the Bible “as a youngster” in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Particularly as 2007 closes and we look forward to a stellar 2008.

My son Ken and I were finally able to visit St. Johnsbury recently, after having wanted to do so for a long time, for investigation and research there, beginning at 297 Summer Street where Dr. Bob was born. Our trip led to the idea and conclusion that we needed to secure benefactors to enable us to buy, acquire, and assemble a first-class library of manuscripts, books, records, pictures, and other items that would accurately portray the immense amount of religious training that we could see was made available to Dr. Bob by his parents, his church, his Sunday School, the Christian Endeavor Society, revivals, Gospel meetings, conversions, and YMCA outreach. These, as well as the whole Congregational atmosphere in Vermont; in St. Johnsbury; and, in particular, at the famous St. Johnsbury Academy where Bob’s parents were involved and where Dr. Bob received further extensive training through Daily Chapel, required church and Bible study attendance, Congregationalist sermons and talks, and texts.

This plan to put Dr. Bob’s youth back in the recovery picture has enormous proportions and immense value to those who really want to know where the early Akron A.A. program came from, how its ideas were shaped by the “Good Book,” and what Dr. Bob learned in St. Johnsbury and translated to the Akron pioneer program he and Bill W. founded, and he led.

We have been assembling this history for a decade. And, since our trip to St. Johnsbury, we have worked unceasingly for over a month preparing a core library--a multi-volume set of resource binders with thousands of pages of exhibits, citations, and resources. We have also begun work on a new, companion book about Dr. Bob’s youth to accompany the core library.

We request that you (or a group of like-minded people you know) help us fulfill this dream by:

  • Purchasing for $50,000.00 my “core library” of resources on early A.A.—especially including thousands of pages of materials relating to Dr. Bob’s youth in St. Johnsbury.

  • Purchasing my remaining inventory of about 20,000 A.A. history books at a minimum average price of $10.00 per book—which is about a 50% discount on the book prices. Benefactors may arrange to have boxes of these historical books sent to Dr. Bob’s Home, church, and/or archives in Akron, Ohio; or to the Griffith Library at the Wilson House in East Dorset, Vermont; or to Stepping Stones; or to GSO; or to the Seiberling Home in Akron, Ohio; or to other mutually-agreed-to places which will help carry the message to those who still suffer. These would be sent as boxes of books, one or more at a time, for $400.00 per box.

In order to encourage participation in this information outreach idea by those of you who have shown a consistent interest in making known the facts concerning the documented, 75%-to-93% success rate of the pioneer AAs among seemingly hopeless, medically-incurable, real alcoholics who thoroughly followed the original path, I have decided to present to you free of charge in serial form (i.e., one by one) the Introduction and chapter highlights of the more than 20 volumes of historical information I have assembled that will form a part of the core library to be donated at no charge to the non-profit facility most willing to steward and promote the history outreach.

Please consider:

  • Donating $50,000.00 (by yourself or with others as a group) to make possible the immediate placement of the entire Dick B. “core library.” As an alternative, please also consider donating $5,000.00 (or more in multiples of $5,000.00) to make possible an immediate, partial shipment of one or more of the ten (10) segments of the “core library”; and

  • Donating $400.00 (or more in multiples of $400.00) to make possible the sending of one (or more) box(es) of my history books to the historical spots that AAs and other 12 Step people really cherish, hunger to see, and frequently visit—such as Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, the Seiberling Gate Lodge in Akron; the archives in Akron; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron; the Griffith Library at, and the Wilson House itself in, East Dorset, Vermont; Stepping Stones; and/or other, mutually-agreed-upon places.

Please enjoy the enclosed or attached Introduction, excerpts, or chapters from the forthcoming companion volume about Dr. Bob as they come to you. Please send your check to: Dick B., PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837; and, if you wish your contribution to be deductible for tax purposes, make your check payable to: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron.

For more information, please see: Or email Dick B. at:

** Revised on November 14, 2007 **

Gloria Deo

The Morning Quiet Time Practices of our A.A. Pioneers

The Morning Quiet Time Practices of our A.A. Pioneers by Dick B., February, 2008

© 2008 by Anonymous. All rights reserved.

When one hears about prayer and meditation in A.A., I immediately turn today to what the study of A.A. history has disclosed:

First, Dr. Bob boldly made the statement in Youngstown, Ohio that early AAs started their day with a study of the Book of James, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Sermon on the Mount. In his last major address, he said the oldtimers believed these three segments of the Good Book were absolutely essential. And I invite our fellowship people to open their Bibles--morning or not--and take the time to read these three segments. Not some commentary on them. Not some devotional that quotes them. The verses themselves. And I predict it will open your eyes to the simplicity, beauty, and power in early AA lives. See The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials by Dick B.

Second, Anne Smith gathered AAs and their families each morning at the Smith home at 855 Ardmore Avenue in Akron. There, she would open with prayer, read the Bible with the group, involve them in group prayer and seeking guidance, often share from her journal, conduct a discussion, and close with prayer. See The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous and Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939 by Dick B.

Third, there was a practice long before A.A. In Christian Endeavor (to which Dr. Bob belonged) it was called the Quiet Hour. In the 1880's and in the Oxford Group thereafter it was called Quiet Time. In the YMCA and Shoemaker's early days, it was called the Morning Watch. Generally, it called for prayer, Bible study, reading of a devotional like the Upper Room or The Runner's Bible, and then asking God for guidance. That practice--whatever called--was a required part of the early A.A. program in Akron--a must. See Good Morning: Quiet Time, the Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. by Dick B.

Finally, as an example for all of us, Dr. Bob observed a period of prayer three times a day. He would pray, study a familiar Bible segment, ask God's guidance, and then--as he put it--go about his Father's business. See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers and Pass It On.

All these observances led most of the early AAs to suggest that The James Club be the name for their fellowship. That, said Wilson, was because the Book of James was their favorite Bible book.

Perhaps knowledge of these practices will be of those looking for a way to turn to God each day the same way that the members of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron did.

God Bless, Dick B.

A Brand New godless Recovery Approach Today

A brand, new godless recovery program hits the internet

Dick B.

© 2008 by Anonymous. All rights reserved

I’m not going to dignify the new idolatrous internet presentation by providing the URL. But I will tell you that it is becoming widely circulated. It represents the worst of revisionist recovery chatter. Boldly, it asserts that, while A.A. had Christian beginnings (and it erroneously describes them), someone agreed that it should be changed to admit people of all faiths and persuasions. True! It does, and that’s a settled situation. But it does not preclude believers from believing.

The problem is that it just shakes off totally our early A.A. program and successful history which, according to Dr. Bob, took its basic ideas from the Bible. The presentation doesn’t mention the decisions for Christ or the pioneer Christian Fellowship (as Dr. Bob called it), and the essential studies of James, the Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians. Nor does it mention Morning Quiet Time—a must in early A.A. Nor the prayer meetings. In short, it just doesn’t mention real A.A. See my title Real Twelve Step Fellowship History.

Now don’t get your hopes up about finding information from this new lecturing crowd. If you are a believer in God, a Christian, a Bible student, or one in search of a relationship with God, you will find little in this presentation that is accurate, and even less that is helpful. Oh sure. If you want to choose your own god, it will tell you that you can. If you don’t want to believe in anything, it will tell you that you can. If you prefer giving some higher power idol a name, why of course you can call it Ralph, Gertrude, a Coke bottle, a radiator, a tree, the Big Dipper, good orderly direction, or your A.A. group. And these days people won’t even laugh at you.

You’ve heard it all in meetings. You’ve read it all in recent literature. And the woods are full of therapists and learned teachers who don’t believe in God, who remind us of the First Amendment, and who know they won’t get their government grants or insurance payments if they tell the truth about A.A.’s being a religion—a fact that has been established by court after court in recent litigation. So, of course, they call it “spiritual, but not religious.” You may ask “what religion?” I would answer—the religion, denomination, church, and Bible of your choice. For in today’s A.A. you still have that religious choice. You’ve got the history to show that it always existed. And you’ve got the new research that shows it was the real position of the founders before Bill and Hank decided to form a corporation, sell stock, and revise the ideas so that stock could be sold, then books could be sold, and then members of all types could buy.

When confronted with erroneous truths and tempting but evil offers, Jesus took the position: Get thee behind me, Satan. The author of the Book of James wrote in James 4:7: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” But remember, he will be back! And it’s OK accidentally to let him light in your hair, but be sure not to let him make a nest there. Perish the day when I will waste any more time listening to teachers or preachers talk about some unknown “higher power” or “spirituality” or “god of their understanding.” Anyone still has the right to believe in the God that the founders worshipped, prayed to, and asked for guidance. See James, Chapter One—a favorite of Bill’s and Bob’s/

What’s the bottom line? Don’t we have enough people already trying to move Americans, schools, churches, and even the poor AAs and addicts away from God? I think so, but I also suggest that the more you listen, the more you might begin to wonder if God has any place in your life. After all these dudes (there’s a man and a woman at the start) have college degrees and sincerity. But for those who rightly wish to choose the power of God, it is not only unpleasant but distracting to listen to the new, recover less recovery speakers tell us why we need to move ourselves completely out of the path to a relationship with God which the Big Book mentions so often. I submit my Heavenly Father is available at all times in all places and in all situations. Dr. Bob said it far better in the last line of his personal story: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” (Big Book, p. 181).

Gloria Deo

A.A. and Religion Today

A.A. and Religion Today

Dick B.

Copyright 2008 by Anonymous. All rights reserved

A.A. is a religion

I think it fair to say that those who claim A.A. is not a religion are probably those who do not want A.A. to be a religion. Also those who don’t realize that it doesn’t matter a whit whether A.A. is or isn’t a religion. Days, months, and many recent years have been fruitlessly devoted to arguing that A.A. is not a religion.

What A.A. literature says: Take a look first at the Third Edition of A.A.’s basic text and personal stories, which contain these statements:

“They had told of a simple religious idea and a practical program of action” (3rd ed., p. 9)

“It began to look as though religious people were right after all” (3rd ed., p. 11)

“Of necessity there will have to be discussion of matters medical, psychiatric, social, and religious” (3rd ed., p. 19)

“Not all of us join religious bodies, but most of us favor such memberships” (3rd ed., p. 28)

“Is it possible that all the religious people I have known are wrong?” (3rd ed., p. 56)

“If we belong to a religious denomination which requires a definite morning devotion, we attend to that also” (3rd ed., p. 87)

“If not members of religious bodies, we sometimes select and memorize a few set prayers which emphasize the principles we have been discussing (3rd ed., p. 87)

“Be quick to see where religious people are right” (3rd ed., p. 87)

“The big A.A. book had not been written and there was no literature except various religious pamphlets” (3rd ed., p. 291)

“Dr. Bob always emphasized the religious angle very strongly, and I think it helped” (3rd ed., p. 292).

“Our more religious members call it ‘God-consciousness’.” (3rd ed., p. 570)

Read my titles Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed.; Anne Smith’s Journal, 3rd ed.; The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2d ed.; The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible; 2d ed,; The James Club and The Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials; Real Twelve Step Fellowship History, God and Alcoholism, and The Conversion of Bill W. ( There you will find hundreds of documented statements about early A.A. and the Bible, its old fashioned prayer meetings, required conversions to Jesus Christ, its Biblical references, and even the very name (“James Club”—from the Book of James in the Bible) that AAs favored as the name for their Society.

Co-founder Dr. Bob’s own personal story set the frame and religious challenge:

“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!” (3rd ed., p. 181)

Co-founder Bill Wilson explained in the following words his own cure by the power of God:

“Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people” (3rd ed., p. 191)

The point is not whether A.A. is a religion. It is. Nor is the point that A.A. is allied with some particular sect or denomination. It isn’t. The point is that its own Bible roots, its own religious practices, its own history of religious conversions, and the words of its own founders show that this “unique” religion was and is in fact a religion—whatever importance that fact may have in helping the still suffering alcoholic to be cured. In fact, early members called themselves a “Christian Fellowship.” Likened to the meetings described in the Book of Acts, the organization could hardly escape the religious label.

The “religion” findings and rulings in six court decisions: The United States Court of Appeals

for the Ninth Circuit has now joined four other courts in ruling that Alcoholics Anonymous is a

religion.and therefore that government compulsion of A.A. attendance violates the First

Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Recently, Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., and Charles Bufe with Archie Brodsky published their title Resisting 12-Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participation in AA, NA, or 12-Step Treatment (Tucson, AZ: See Sharp Press, 2000). Summarizing the court decisions to that date, the authors wrote:

Griffin v. Coughlin (1996). New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, prohibited (in and 5-2 decision) the Corrections Department from making a prisoner’s participation in the Family Reunion Program conditional on his attendance in the prison’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse (ASAT) Program. The court ruled that such participation violated the Establishment Clause (pp. 110-11)

Kerr v. Farrey (1996). The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana), reversing a district court decision, unanimously held “that the sate . . .impermissibly coerced inmates to participate in a religious program, thus violating the Establishment Clause.” An inmate was threatened with being sent to a higher security prison and with rejection of his parole applications for refusing to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings (p. 114)

Warner v. Orange County Department of Probation (1999). The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed 2-1 a district court ruling that recommending an inmate plaintiffs participation in Alcoholics Anonymous as a condition of probation violated the Establishment Clause (p. 118)

Evans v. Tennessee Board of Paroles (1997). The Supreme Court of Tennessee, responding to petitions from two inmates, regarding their failed parole hearings, found unanimously that the trial court erred in dismissing one of the inmates’—Anthony Evans’—claim for injunctive relief as to the Board’s requirement that he participate in Alcoholics Anonymous. The court remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether AA was religious in nature, while citing case evidence that this was indeed the case (p. 124)

The four decisions do not stand alone of this matter of A.A.’s religious character.

De Stefano v. Emergency Housing Corp (2002). The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined that A.A. is a religious activity and accordingly OASAS funding of providers who mandate patient participation in A.A. and, by extension, other government funding of providers who mandate participation in A.A. is a violation of the principle of separation of Church and State (This is a summary taken from Volume 8 of Visions, July, 2002, published by NAATP).

Appeals court says requirement to attend AA unconstitutional” Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer [San Francisco Chronicle, September 8, 2007]

“Saturday, September 8, 2007

“Alcoholics Anonymous, the renowned 12-step program that directs problem drinkers to seek help from a higher power, says it's not a religion and is open to nonbelievers. But it has enough religious overtones that a parolee can't be ordered to attend its meetings as a condition of staying out of prison, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

“In fact, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the constitutional dividing line between church and state in such cases is so clear that a parole officer can be sued for damages for ordering a parolee to go through rehabilitation at Alcoholics Anonymous or an affiliated program for drug addicts.

“Rulings from across the nation since 1996 have established that ‘requiring a parolee to attend religion-based treatment programs violates the First Amendment,’ the court said. ’While we in no way denigrate the fine work of (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous), attendance in their programs may not be coerced by the state’."

The authoritative status of these six decisions has yet to be decided by the United States Supreme Court as far as the First Amendment aspect is concerned. But the factual determinations are persuasive on the question of A.A. as a religion.

Tribunal after tribunal has taken a look at the Big Book and its 400 references to God; a look at the Twelve Steps and their unmistakable references to God and the Biblical phrase
“Father of light,” the prayers in A.A. meetings; and the language which puts the steps on a path to a relationship with God. While there has been much sympathy for the A.A. cause by various courts in various jurisdictions, the majority see A.A. as a religion; and so do I. In fact, when I was practicing law, a distinguished California court ruled that a humanist organization was a religion. The dictionary places A.A. in the religion category by very definition. But newer A.A. literature keeps pumping out irrelevant and illogical statements that A.A. is “spiritual but not religious,” that you may need a “higher power” as part of the program, and that this “higher power” can be Something or Somebody or nothing at all.

A.A.’s basic text provides a conclusive answer to the reasoning mind: Compared to the ruling that a humanist organization is religious, even these obfuscations do not remove A.A. from the religion category. In fact, I have found no significant writing between 1935 and 1939 that alters the Big Book declarations which explicitly speaks of “that Power, which is God” (3rd ed., p. 46), saying, “Each individual, in the personal stories, describes in his own language and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God” (3rd ed., p. 29), and “many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the Presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives” (3rd ed., p. 51), and “Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us” (3rd ed., p. 77), and “How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done” (3rd ed., p. 85). In fact, many an AA goes into a church and kneels to say his “Third Step Prayer.” Bill adds: “We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. . . The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God’ (3rd ed., p. 68).

And how much more time will be spent by good-hearted people denying the obvious. The real question is not what A.A. is or what it isn’t. The real point posed by Hebrews 11:6 and by Rev. Sam Shoemaker and by Bill Wilson in the Big Book is that God either is, or He isn’t. Bill added, “We had to have God’s help” (p. 62). The alcoholic has a choice. According to A.A.’s basic text, he can choose to believe that God is, and rewards those who diligently seek Him; or he can go on to the disaster, destruction, and even death yielding to temptation and resuming self-destruction.

A Probable Suffering Newcomer Viewpoint

My own experience: I didn’t come into A.A. looking for a religion. I already had one—the Christian religion. I didn’t come into A.A. thinking I was joining a church. I already belonged to one—a community church in Marin County, California. I didn’t come into A.A. to get born-again of the spirit of God. I had already accepted Jesus as my Lord and believed that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). I didn’t come into A.A. to “find God.” God was not lost, but I sure thought I was. I came into A.A. because I was thoroughly licked—just as many do, whether suffering from alcohol or other drug addictions. I think that an understanding of alcoholism was the farthest thing from my mind or my mission. I had had a week’s blackout. I had undergone nine months of incredible depression and excessive drinking. I was inundated with all kinds of legal problems—professional, domestic, business, and criminal. Confusion, fear, anxiety, bewilderment, and loneliness dominated my every thought. I simply came into A.A. at the suggestion of my former wife and figured it was the last house on the block. The words “God,” “religious,” “higher power,” “spirituality,” and church were not part of the picture whatever. I did see the word “God” in the Twelve Steps hanging on the wall and decided I was on the right track. I was surrounded at every meeting by people who greeted me, welcomed me, gave me their phone numbers, and offered help. What were my objectives? To learn what an alcoholic is? No! To learn who God is? No. To adopt a new religion? No. To achieve a new social status? No.

I simply had one objective at the beginning—to feel better than I did. Quickly I got the point that alcohol and sleeping pills might possibly be at the heart of my troubles, and that quitting these was part of the game. My understanding of the miseries of alcoholism was hastened when I had three grand mal seizures in the first week, was taken to ICU in an ambulance, and wound up in a 28 day treatment program—but only after I had met and grabbed a sponsor who insisted that I was to attend an A.A. meeting every day. That’s something I did before I had the seizures. And that’s something I did for many years after I left the treatment center. Turning to God later became a necessity to whip the fear, the depression, the anxiety, and the seemingly insuperable problems. I did so with my sponsor and his sponsor battling my religious inclinations at every opportunity. That was 21 years ago. I am fully enthusiastic about A.A. I am fully recovered, and I have been healed of alcoholism—this despite the fact that modern A.A. literature says you can’t be cured. And to make a long story short, I wasn’t cured by quitting drinking. I wasn’t cured by going to meetings. I wasn’t cured by studying the Big Book and taking the Twelve Steps. I wasn’t cured by finding some absurd “higher power,” or by attaining “spirituality,” or by relying on a light bulb or a tree or a group or “something” or “somebody.” No. I was cured by Almighty God; and so were the early A.A. pioneers between 1935 and 1938.

The earliest message in pioneer A.A. and the optional message today: Early AAs had to be told about and renounce alcohol as their nemesis, their temptation, their poison. Most had to be hospitalized to avoid the seizures that I had naively walked through. Most had to be introduced to God at the earliest possible moment. Dr. Bob’s most significant question at the close of brief early hospitalization was: “Do you believe in God?” And there was only one satisfactory answer. When Ebby Thacher witnessed to Bill Wilson and said “I’ve got religion,” Bill noticed what had happened. Ebby declared to Bill that God had done for him what he hadn’t been able to do for himself. Bill went to Calvary Rescue Mission, knelt at the altar, accepted Christ, wrote “I’ve got religion” and also that he was “born again.” At Towns Hospital, Bill reached out to Jesus Christ as the Great Physician, had a conversion experience, and never drank again. But he couldn’t get anybody sober. At Akron, he met Bob who believed in God, was a Christian, was a Bible student, was a man of prayer, and who recognized the importance of Bill’s concept of “service.” Taking the Bible of his youthful activities in Christian Endeavor, Bob worked with Bill in the summer of 1935 and developed a simple program—abstinence, reliance on God, obedience to God’s will, growing in fellowship with God through Bible study, prayer, guidance, and helping others get straightened out. “Love and service”—the slogan of Christian Endeavor—was the essence of the program described by Bob. Bob wrote: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down.” And to all who believed it, their Heavenly Father healed them. Fifty years later, I grasped the same message. I quit! I turned to God. I used the Twelve Steps to turn me to a life of obedience to God’s will. I returned to Bible study, prayer, and asking God for guidance. And I plunged into A.A. That meant doing everything AAs did—meetings, sponsoring, Big Book study, taking the Twelve Steps, participating in every kind of A.A. activity, serving as a leader and helper in groups, and trying to apply the Steps. To the more than 100 men I have sponsored, I tried to carry that message. Those who did these things—many only 21 years of age when I started sponsoring them—are enjoying the abundant life today that God provides to those who believe in Him, love Him and others, and serve. It worked in 1935. It works today. And the Bible is filled with the promises and instructions that establish exactly how it works. Moreover, it can work in A.A. You don’t have to leave A.A. or consider it a religion or look at it as a church or get swallowed up in secularism and universalism to make our Creator the number one item in your life. Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!


Gloria Deo

A.A.'s Dr. Bob and Some Quotable A.A. History Remarks - on "Cure"

A.A.’s Dr. Bob and Some Quotable A.A. History Remarks

About the Matter of “Cure”

Dick B.

© 2008 by Anonymous. All rights reserved

  • Bill Wilson said: “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. . . . If forty alcoholics could recover, why not four hundred, four thousand – even forty thousand?” (The Language of the Heart (NY: The AA Grapevine, Inc., 1988), p. 10.

  • Bill Wilson said: [about meeting A.A. Number Three]: “Two days before this, Dr. Bob had said to me, ‘If you and I are going to stay sober, we had better get busy.’ Straightaway, Bob called Akron’s City Hospital and asked for the nurse on the receiving ward. He explained that he and a man from New York had a cure for alcoholism. . . . Knowing Dr. Bob of old, she jokingly replied, ‘Well, Doctor, I suppose you’ve already tried it yourself?’” (The Language of the Heart, p. 361).

  • Dr. Bob said about his first meeting with Bill Wilson: “But this was a man who had experienced many years of frightful drinking, who had had most all the drunkard’s experiences known to man, but who had been cured by the very means I had been trying to employ, that is to say the spiritual approach.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 180).

  • Bill Wilson said to Henrietta Dotson, wife of AA Number Three: “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” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 191).

  • Bill Wilson had the following conversation with Cleveland newcomer Al. G.: “ [Al G. related]. . . when I cam home Clarence [Snyder] was sitting on the davenport with Bill W. I do not recollect the specific conversation that went on but I believe I did challenge Bill to tell me something about A.A. and I do recall one other thing: I wanted to know what this was that worked so many wonders, and hanging over the mantel was a picture of Gethsemane [Jesus praying in the garden] and Bill pointed to it and said, “There it is. . .” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed., pp. 216-17 – a story that A.A. World Services has removed from the later edition).

  • Bill Dotson [A.A. Number Three] said: “I thought, I think I have the answer. Bill was very very grateful that he had been released from this terrible thing and he had given God the credit for having done it, and he’s so grateful about it he wants to tell other people about it. That sentence, ‘The Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep telling people about it,’ has been a sort of golden text for the A.A. program and for me” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 191).

  • Frank Amos reported to John D. Rockefeller, Jr.: “Dr. Howard S---, general practitioner at Cuyahoga Falls, aged about 35. S--- had been an alcoholic and had been cured by Smith and his friends’ activities and the Christian technique prescribed” (DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 1980, p. 129).

As documented in A.A. literature, accounts by pioneer AAs, newspaper articles across the U.S., and the founders themselves: Early A.A. had a 75% to 93% success rate among seemingly hopeless, medically incurable, real alcoholics who went to any lengths to establish their relationship with God.

Gloria Deo

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dr. Bob and Alcoholics Anonymous

New Featured Information Website devoted exclusively to information on Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, providing little known information about Bob's days as a youngster in St. Johnsbury, Vermont; his excellent training there in the Bible; his days at North Congregational Church, Sunday School, prayer meetings, Christian Endeavor Society, YMCA activities, and daily chapel at St. Johnsbury Academy where weekly church attendance and Bible study were required. Featured too are the basic Bible ideas such as conversions, prayer meetings, Bible study meetings, Quiet Hour, love, and service Bob transmitted into the first and earliest A.A. Fellowship he and Bill Wilson founded in Akron in 1935. Also the basic points of the early Christian Fellowship program in Akron. The site is: God Bless, Dick B.