Sunday, June 20, 2010

AA-San Antonio Convention an opportunity to give

Thousands will soon converge on San Antonio to participate in another of A.A.'s international conventions held every five years.

Most will hear drunkalogs galore--from distinguished and well-known drunkalogers.

And they will leave amused, entertained, and perhaps even kept sober for another five years.

What, unfortunately, will not happen is the opportunity to give information to fellow AAs about A.A.'s origins, founding, history, original program, and successes. There may be a reversion to an "oldtimer" meeting or two. But the A.A. heirarchy does not permit history conferences. In Minneapolis, they confiscated flyers announcing Archives International where Dr. Bob's son spoke, as did the author of Pass it On. But the location had to be a church next door to the convention for which rent was paid. The meeting was so successful that the space had to be expanded. And I am delighted that I was one of those who joined to report on my historical research, findings, and publications. My talk was recorded and then published on the internet.

And now comes San Antonio. And now an opportunity for hundreds, if not thousands, of AAs to prepare for the convention, learn their roots and history, and just "pass it on." Word-of-mouth is far more effective than hours of scholarly reports (which won't occur anyway).

In other words, I can think of no more timely opportunity to "give" rather than attempt to "receive." And the giving can bless all those who engage in conversations that bring out the preparations, information, and resources AAs can now bring to the table. And this means any information. There will, to be sure, be "history lovers" who meet with each other. But the question is just how much history they will share, be able to share, or share accurately instead of with guarded censorship of ideas they find objectionable--ideas about the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the origins, history, founding, program, and successes of the original A. A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935.

Here are some details you can brush up on and give away free. Word-of-mouth if you wish.

1. Information about co-founder Dr. Bob--"Prince of all Twelfth-steppers." See and

2. Information about Dr. Bob's wife Anne Ripley Smith--"Mother of A.A." This was the name given her by Bill Wilson. See and

3. Information about Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York--the Episcopal priest who taught Bill almost all the ideas for the Twelve Steps, was actually asked by Bill to write them, but declined, and was called a "cofounder" of A.A. See and also

4. Information about Bill Wilson's decision for Jesus Christ at the altar of Calvary Rescue Mission in New York, after which Bill wrote that he had been "born again," then cried out to God for help, had his "white light" experience, felt the presence of the "God of the Scriptures" as he put it, and was cured of alcoholism. See

5. Information about the changes in A.A. that occurred between 1935 and the publication of the Big Book in 1939. About how Bill ignored the Akron Christian Fellowship program in his text, discarded pages and pages of Christian and Bible materials, and then substituted gods of "his own conception" in the Steps just before his book went to press in order to placate atheists and agnostics. See: (a) "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010 ( (b) "Real Twelve Step Fellowship History" (; and (c) "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" Class (

Pick your topic. You need not try to become a history guru or try to master all the subjects. Maybe you can just learn some more about Dr. Bob. Maybe you can learn how important his wife Anne Smith was in early A.A. Maybe you can learn what Rev. Shoemaker taught Bill that went into the Twelve Steps. Maybe you can learn about Bill's conversion to Jesus Christ and how that became a "must" in early Akron A.A. Maybe you can learn how almost all of these five foundational pillars were cast aside in 1939. Maybe you can realize that all of these treasures are still available to alcoholics in A.A. today if they want to receive God's help and learn the facts.

Maybe you can just give some AA the incentive to learn for himself. And that is probably the greatest service you can render. Don't miss the chance to talk to some in the fellowship about where A.A. really came from. Just think. An audience of 50,000 individuals to talk to; and you can pick out the ones to whom you want to give truth.

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