Sunday, June 27, 2010

"a.a. history"

You can find many leads today on the internet if you search such terms as "a.a. history" or Alcoholics Anonymous History, or History of A.A., or A.A. Origins, or A.A. History, or Early A.A. History, or Historical roots of A.A., or A.A. spiritual roots, or just plain AA-History.

What you find may not be what you are searching for. If, that is, you want a complete, accurate, documented account of the various phases of early A.A. or original A.A. origins, founding, program, and successes.

And therefore here are a few guides that will help:

For an overall survey of A.A. history, see Turning Point: A History of the Spiritual Roots and Successes of A.A. (; Making Known the Biblical history and Spiritual Roots of A.A. (; and Real Twelve Step Fellowship History (

For a history of the Vermont roots of A.A., see Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous (; The Conversion of Bill W. (; "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" (www.dickb.IFCR-Class.shtml).

For a history of the founding and original program of A.A. in Akron, Ohio, see The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous (; When Early AAs Were Cured and Why (; Introduction to the Sources and Founding (

For a history of the major roots of A.A. 12-Step ideas, see The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible (; The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous (; New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A. (

For a history about the major figures in the Akron founding of A.A. in 1935, see Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939 (; Dr. Bob and His Library (; The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference (

For specific history on the language and roots of A.A.'s Twelve Steps, see By the Power of God (; Twelve Steps for You (; The Good Book-Big Book Guidebook (

For our latest comprehensive title on the origins, founding, program, and successes of A.A., see Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 (

For questions, suggestions, and further information, contact author Dick B.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

AA Tolerance of Diversity of Views and Members on Religion

This is just to get folks thinking about tolerance in, of, and about Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery fellowships. Tolerance of diversity. Tolerance of different viewpoints. Tolerance of varied convictions about religion, God, church, Jesus Christ, and the Bible--Pro or Con.

Why ask?

There may be many reasons. First, in A.A. itself, there are many who rise up in wrath and voice objections to any statement by someone about his own religious beliefs or practices. Second, such folks often invoke the claim that such expressions violate this or that A.A. Tradition. Third, many invoke the argument that comments about the Bible or other religious literature cannot be made because the material is not A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature. Fourth, some minority Christian thinkers and writers today are claiming that Christians will go straight to hell and violate God's commandments if they participate in a fellowship which has Christian members of a variety not acceptable to the commentators. Fifth, some claim that A.A. has no Christians, never had Christians, is not Christian, had founders who couldn't have been Christians, and that A.A. principles and practices could not be based on the Bible, the teachings of Jesus Christ, or the practice of leading newcomers to belief in God and coming to Him through Jesus Christ. Finally, there are several writers who claim that A.A. is a cult, is religious, and is based on wrong-teaching and beliefs.

Who is right?

This article rejects the question because you can safely assume that many of the foregoing statements are correct. And some are. But they beg the question.

Where do you start in appraising A.A.?

The answer lies in learning where and how A.A. ideas grew out of Christian organizations' and leaders' principles and practices--largely used in the 1800's to help drunks get well. They were the evangelists, rescue missions, YMCA lay worker revivals, Salvation Army outreach, and Young People's Christian Endeavor Society practices which find an almost exact parallel in the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935. You can find the details in two major sources today: "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010 ( and the newly released start-up recovery class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" (

The next answer lies in learning exactly what the first A.A. group in Akron did and where the details can be found. One place is our title: "When Early AAs Were Cured and Why" (, and also in "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010 (

The next answer lies in realizing how much A.A. changed between 1935 and 1939 when it abandoned the original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program, tossed out Christian and Bible materials in the proposed draft, and adopted a program largely based on the life-changing ideas of the Oxford Group as taught to Bill Wilson largely by the Episcopal priest, Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. ( and (

The final answer is still being unraveled as this writing is penned. That is the changes that Bill Wilson and three others alone--one not even an alcoholic--made when they changed the wording of the proposed Twelve Steps to accomodate atheists and agnostics and altered many other words and phrases in the proposed text.

Take all these points together. You therefore have an A.A. which became very diverse in membership beliefs and practices beginning with the Big Book, published in 1939. You also have an A.A. which has increasingly broadened its membership base by eliminating all requirements for belief in God, acceptance of Jesus Christ, study of the Bible, prayer meetings, and Quiet Time observances ( And you have an A.A. which outspokenly publishes pamphlets and other materials that plainly invites and incorporates as members gays and lesbians, atheists and agnostics, varied ethnic groups, those of varied religious affiliations, and most assuredly many who are told they don't need to believe anything at all.

The bottom line, however, that this diversity of members generally lack any real knowledge of the early A.A. program, of its origins, of its Christian principles and practices, and of its astonishing successes. And, whether they are informed of their history or not, there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Christians among the world-wide membership of some two million who believe what they believe, practice what they believe, and profess what they believe while actively and fully participating in every phase of A.A. activity from attending meetings, speaking at meetings, serving groups as leaders, climbing the service ladder involving GSR people, DCM people, delegates, "trusted servants," and paying employed non-alcoholics at various levels.

Yet this diverse membership offers to all members the so-called abc's--which tell them that God can help them if they seek Him; can expel no members for religious or irreligious expressions and beliefs; embraces two important codes--"love and tolerance" and "love and service;" and enables most members to focus on the primary purpose of the fellowship today--to help the alcoholic who still suffers.

And therein lies the reason for continued diversity and for grateful folks of all beliefs or no beliefs to focus on the primary purpose--whatever their beliefs and practices concerning God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible. They were helped, and they want to help others. A.A. calls in "service."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous Christians

Some writers intent on establishing A.A. as a religion, or intent on proving that is not fit for Christians, or intent on misreporting the true Christian nature of early A.A. are now using the expression "Alcoholics Anonymous Christians."

This is just a heads-up on where that phrase should lead a leader in search of information about Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, 1939, and today.

To what does the phrase "Alcoholics Anonymous Christians" refer? I think the answer depends on what you want to know.

One answer is that there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Christians participating in the two million member fellowship of A.A. today. So the answer is: Of course, there are Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, you may, if you wish, call me an Alcoholics Anonymous Christian.

Another is that Christians are or should be welcome in A.A. just as are any of those with a drinking problem totally welcome--Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, zulu tribesman, or unbeliever.

Stilll another is that it's time to stop buying into all the tricky language being used by anti-AA folks--Christians and others--who seem more determined to drive people out of A.A. than they are to learn what A.A. offers Christians today and how Christians can serve and glorify God and His Son today just as they did in the 1800's in the rescue missions, YMCA, Salvation Army, and revivals and just as they did in the old fashioned prayer meetings, Bible studies, and conversions to Jesus Christ that were required fare in the Akron "old school" A.A. of 1935.

The best perspective from which to answer the Alcoholics Anonymous Christians questions is found in our new "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery Class" See

AA Spiritual Readings

What do members of Alcoholics Anonymous read for spiritual growth? What can be called their AA Spiritual readings? What can be called A.A. Spiritual Literature?

There are many answers--some misreporting the facts. Some failing to state which A.A. period is involved in the question. Some omitting important literature and reading. And here are suggestions for getting your information straight.

First, let's talk about the early A.A. program founded in Akron, Ohio in 1935.

And there are several different answers plus the tools to find them:

a) Unquestionably, the Bible--King James Version--was the authoritative spiritual book read, quoted, and used to answer questions about the program. See Dick B., "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible" ( and "The James Club and The Original A.A. Program's "Absolute Essentials" (

b) Next, the A.A. pioneers observed Quiet Time. They observed it individually. They observed it daily. They observed it in their regular Wednesday meeting. And they observed it, with their families, each morning at the home of Dr. Bob and Anne Smith. Quiet Time involved opening with prayer, reading the Bible, asking God for guidance, and discussing relevant topics--particularly those presented by Dr. Bob's wife in the spiritual journal she kept from 1933-1939. See Dick B., "Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939" (

c) Individually, and as a group, they used daily Christian devotionals--particularly in their regular weekly meeting, in individual fellowships, and in Quite Time. The major devotionals they used were "The Runner's Bible," The "Upper Room," "My Utmost for His Highest," and "Daily Strength for Daily Needs." Dr. Bob was particularly fond of The Runner's Bible. See Dick B., "Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A." (

d) In addition, Dr. Bob regularly circulated and recommended several Christian books to AAs and their families--(1) The Greatest Thing in the World, by Henry Drummond. (2) Books on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount by Oswald Chambers, Glenn Clark, E. Stanley Jones, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and Emmet Fox. (3) Life-changing books such as Soul Surgery, Life Began Yesterday, For Sinners Only, Twice-Born Men, Life-changers, and Twice-Born Ministers. (4) There were others as well. See Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed. ( and The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed. (

e) Still others were circulated with less frequency; and they are thoroughly covered and cited in Dick B., Making Known the Biblical Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous (

Others came later, particularly after the Big Book was published in 1939. Many writers mention only these because of a seeming distaste for acknowledging the Christian origins, history, founding, program, and successes of the early Akron Christian Fellowship founded in 1935 by Bill W. and Dr. Bob, and led primarily by Dr. Bob in Akron. See Dick B., Real Twelve Step Fellowship History (

See Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 (

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous Origins and You as the Reporter

This is a shortie.

It repeats the theme: Most of us go to meetings, groups, seminars, and conferences expecting to take something away. And maybe we do if it's the right meeting, the right speaker, the right topic, the right agenda, and the right group. Right from our perspective that is.

But how many of us go to share information that others may not have heard and might consider very relevant to their reason for attending.

I am talking about an accurate, succinct, piece of information on the real origins of Alcoholics Anonymous, of the Christian recovery movement, of the original Akron Christian Fellowship founded in 1939, and about how the first three AAs really got sober simply by turning to God.

Most of the time you won't hear a word about these matters. Yet 20 years of communicating to others have demonstrated to me that there is a hunger on the part of newcomers and particularly some of the earlier members to hear how it all started, why it was so successful, where it came from, and what the real "old school A.A." program was.

You don't have to teach or preach or reach to convey what you know. You just have to know that you know that you know. And that means preparation.

How about going to something like a Founders' Day Celebration, an area or state or national or international conference, a roundup, or a birthday event and dropping a piece of information about the origins and history and development of A.A. that someone may want to hear.

Today, we have prepared two major sources that will provide you with a start. The first is The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed, 2010 ( The second is a four part, brief series of classes that lay out the whole picture in video, audio, and guidebooks. ( - the "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery Class" just filmed and released within the last month or so.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"alcoholics anonymous" christ: A.A. Christian roots

Alcoholics Anonymous sprang from Christian organizations who were successful in the 1800's in helping alcoholics get cured by the power of God. We cover this extensively in our new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" The information is also extensively covered in such new titles as Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. ( and Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous(

In short, the Christian roots included: (1) Evangelists like Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey, and Allen Folger. (2) The rescue missions like Jerry McAuley's Water Street Mission, later headed by S. H. Hadley. (3) The YMCA lay workers who conducted conversion and revival meetings in Vermont, particularly following the Great Awakening of 1875. in St. Johnsbury. (4) The Salvation Army gained wide notice for its work with derelicts and drunkards in the slums. (5) The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor--founded in Williston Church, Maine, in 1881 and in which Dr. Bob became active in his North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury.

Add to these influences the Christian upbringing of Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in Vermont--Bob at North Congregational Church and St. Johnsbury Academy as well as the YMCA in St. Johnsbury, and Bill Wilson at East Dorset Congregational Church in East Dorset, Vermont; and Manchester Congregational Church, the YMCA, daily chapel and a four-year Bible course at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester.

Finally, it was Dr. William D. Silkworth's advice to Bill Wilson that the "Great Physician" Jesus Christ could cure him; Bill's friend Ebby's decision for Jesus Christ and rebirth at Calvary Mission, and Bill's own subsequent decision for Jesus Christ at Calvary Rescue Mission that seemed to propel the subsequent Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship requirement that every member must believe in God and come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

When founded by the first three AAs, who were Christians, the Akron Fellowship was studying the Bible, holding prayer meetings, observing Quiet Time, and leading members to Christ, as well as praying for their cure.

Much much more is available in our new book The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. (

Despite this clear and overwhelming evidence of the importance of God's help in early A.A., some recently, and apparently persistent and well-financed, campaigns have appeared on the search engines, facebook, and similar venues. These lambaste A.A. They lambaste Christians in A.A. They devotedly attempt to persuade people that A.A. is evil and must be avoided by Christians. And they use such ridiculous labels as Alcoholics Anonymous christ, Christians Alcoholics Anonymous, Christian Alcoholics Anonymous--all the while vainly attempting to drive folks away from recovery fellowships based on the power of God.

Fortunately, most of these efforts drive visitors to our websites which lay out the comprehensive picture of A.A. as it was and as it is. And today, it is not a Christian Fellowship. It has some two million members of all faiths, no faith, and no religion at all. Yet there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Christians in A.A. today who stick to their faith, turn to God for help, seek it in the name of Jesus Christ, get well, and carry that message to others. Our websites are;;;;; and more.

When you see the phony labels on the web, think "Christian Recovery," "Christians in Recovery," "Christian Recovery Fellowships," "James Club," "A.A. Bible Study Groups." Obtain and enjoy the new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" (

God Bless, Dick B.

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.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

AA-Step One - The Backdrop of "Powerlessness"

Many of us enter the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous with bandages, wants and warrants, tax problems, family problems, custody problems, liver problems, seizure problems, criminal prosecution problems, business and job problems. You name it. Many of us have it or quickly recognize it.

Many of us can blame it on anything but booze. In fact, a large number of us are not looking for a reprieve from drinking. We're looking for a way out that doesn't require us to stop drinking or even own up to the drinking episodes and disasters that preceded our grand entry into "the rooms."

Then someone starts talking about the "First Step"--the first of the Twelve Steps. If we are in A.A., we'll hear talk about being "powerless." Some get so carried away with foolish thinking that they start announcing they are "powerless" over people, places, and things. And, if you take that position, you may just "helplessly" stay "in the rooms" and whine. If you are in a treatment program, there will be lots of talk about "denial" and having to overcome denial. Some don't even want to admit that they are "denying" that their problem is alcohol. They still think it is their wife, the IRS, worry, or whatever.

Then there is the unmanageable life. That's an easy one. We wouldn't be in A.A. if everything hadn't gone awry and spilled onto the sawdust. But how about this "powerless" and "denial" stuff?

Here are some approaches from early A.A. that may enable people to "take" and understand Step One without consulting a dictionary as to what "powerless" means.

First of all, Bill Wilson put the point well with a simple statement in his Big Book story:

He had not yet had enough trouble. But he was beginning to learn. He wrote "I had met my match. Alcohol was my master." (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 8).

Second, Bill Wilson summarized what he called the six word-of-mouth "steps." And he began with the statement, "We admitted that we were licked. . ." (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 160). And he said that several other times.

Third, with his usual brevity of speech, Dr. Bob laid out his rules. In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, at page 281, there is the account of a member who went to a grill for a meal and felt leery of the back bar. Dr. Bob said: "Stay away from that place. They've got nothing in there that you can't get somewhere else, whether it's food, cigarettes, or a Coke." He commented: "You don't ask the Lord not to lead you into temptation, then turn around and walk right into it." He made clear that not one drink was permissible, saying: "The first one will get you" (page 191).

Fourth, in Akron, it all started with Dr. Bob's friend Henrietta Seiberling. She commented: "I, who knew nothing about alcoholism (I thought a person should drink like a gentleman and that's all) was saying a prayer for Bob. I said, 'God, I don't know anything about drinking, but I told Bob that I was sure if he lived this way of life, he could quit drinking. Now I need Your help, God.' Something said to me--I call it 'guidance': it was like a voice in my head--'Bob must not touch one drop of alcohol'. . . . I told him [Dr. Bob] that my guidance was that he mustn't touch one drop of alcohol." (DR. BOB, pages 58-59).

Fifth, as early AAs frequently did, one pioneer put it in biblical terms. This man--a radio engineer--had become connected with AAs in New York and had endeavored to work the Steps, but failed. As a solution, he said: "I went to my room alone--took my Bible in hand and asked Him, the One Power, that I might open to a good place to read--and I read, 'For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?' That was enough for me--I started to understand. Here were the words of Paul a great teacher. . . From that day I gave and still give and always will, time everyday to read the word of God and let Him do the caring. Who am I to try to run myself or anyone else?" (Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st ed., 1939, page 347). This man--whose personal story is called "Smile With Me, At Me"--was quoting from a version of the Bible that contained the verses from Romans 7:22-24.

Powerless? You can wrestle with that one if you like. But my own experience was that, despite the differences in their troubles and sharing, the "winners" in the A.A. fellowship were the ones who made it crystal clear that their problem had been alcohol. And they made it equally clear that--in today's language of the rooms--you don't drink, no matter what. And before long, with God's help, I learned that He could relieve me of the desire to drink; that He could help me make a new way of life without needing alcohol to do it; and also that He could and would and did enable me to overcome all the other problems that, whether caused by drunkenness, by sin, by evil behavior, or just by troubles of my own making, with God nothing was impossible. And that the addendum to the First Step is the language that Dr. Bob used: ". . . we had no Twelve Steps. . . we had no Traditions. But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book" (The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biograpical Sketches Their Last Major Talks, Pamphlet P-53, page 13).

And I certainly learned from the Good Book--which is what early AAs called the Bible--that, with God's help, I had the "power" to quit drinking, to trust in God with all my heart and lean not unto my own understanding, and to believe that if I acknowledged Him in all my ways, He would direct my paths.

See "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" (

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Christians Alcoholics Anonymous: Trick or Treat

This a second, but brief, commentary on the new "minority Christian" technique for bashing Christians in A.A. and, of course, A.A. itself. And this is not a pro-A.A. article. It is a caveat emptor signal to Christians in recovery, Christians in A.A., and AAs who may want to seek God and come to Him through Jesus Christ--just as the highly successful A.A. pioneers did between 1935 and 1938.

"Christians Alcoholics Anonymous" is neither gramatically correct; nor is it at all what it appears to be. It is simply a monniker used by highly inflammatory anti-A.A. writings that a very few minority Christians are currently employing to join together in attack, attract Christian attention, and then tell those tricked into listening that they will probably burn in hell if they are Christians and set foot in the doors of A.A. That's unadulterated nonsense and ignores the very roots of what Jesus Christ accomplished for sinners.

Just a couple of additional caveats:

An honest, truthful title would not be Christians Alcoholics Anonymous. It would be "We are Christians who don't like Alcoholics Anonymous and are using some irrelevant Bible verses to tackle A.A., blacken its founders, distort the Christian origins and original program of A.A., and do so in the name of piety and reproof."

Here are the facts:

1. A.A. today is no longer a Christian Fellowship. Nor does it claim to be. Nor want to be.
2. A.A. today has tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Christians who participate in its fellowship. They are in the present-day fellowship because they were helped, delivered, and challenged to do the same things for those who followed.
3. A.A. today also welcomes atheists, agnostics, buddhists, hindus, humanists, New Thought folks, New Age folks, and those who just don't believe in anything at all, nor want to.
4. The tension, if any, is resolved by the A.A. code of "love and tolerance." At least that is how I look at the situation. The small number of uninformed and vitriolic Christian writers who attack A.A. may well detract from Christianity in A.A., deflect Christians from going to A.A., and detour existing A.A.'s into some other arena--be it medical, psychological, religious, pharmaceutical, nutritional, behavioral, or religious worship outside of A.A. That's their purpose without any significant Christian alternative. Rebels without a cause, you might say.
5. Fortunately for our work, we can be and are tolerant of those in A.A. who are not Christians and don't want to be. They lost that opportunity in 1939 when Bill Wilson and three others opened the door to atheists and agnostics. But neither Wilson nor anyone else tried to exclude, nor did exclude, nor could have excluded co-founder Dr. Bob, A.A. Number Three Bill Dotson, the founder of Cleveland A.A. (Clarence Snyder), or the thousands and thousands of Christians who poured into A.A. beginning in 1940. And these later multitudes were focused on love and service and love and tolerance and said so. They pursued their particular Christian principles, practices, and creeds as well as their own modes of Christian worship. They were not hindered. They did not turn to the nonsense "higher powers" than began to abound. Nor to idolatry. Nor to pseudo "spirituality." They relied on God, retained their fidelity to Jesus as Lord, and read the Bible. And--in keeping with A.A.'s primary purpose--devoted themselves to helping the alcoholic who still suffered. They did not require a litmus test of the alcoholic's religious beliefs. They did not require a litmus test of the religious beliefs of other AAs. They worked together to help the still suffering alcoholic. Together, a number helped me. And they didn't move me one inch away from God, from Jesus Christ, from the Bible, from prayer, or from worship. In fact, their lack of information about their own Christian beginnings challenged and catalyzed me into the fruitful 20 year investigation that established to a large extent the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, Christian upbringing of the founders, founding, program, and successes of the original A.A. program.
6. The Christian minority writers have, with their seemingly well-funded barage of websites, helped to drive hundreds of inquirers TO my websites which report accurately the origin, development, and changes in A.A. See;;;;;; and many other sites that regularly publish my materials.
7. In conclusion, if you see on your search engine a reference to Christians Alcoholics Anonymous, remember that it is a meaningless trick or treat effort to engage Christians, bash A.A., and carry a message of erroneous bibliotatry and distorted facts about the real A.A. history. See When you see the faulty line, "Christians Alcoholics Anonymous," translate it to a site of your choice and search out Christian recovery, Christians in recovery, A.A.'s Christian origins, A.A.'s original Christian Fellowship, A.A.'s first three members--all Christians, History of A.A., A.A. History and Bible roots, and The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. And if you do, you'll have the opportunity to weigh all the evidence, not make a judgment based on someone's opinion, and come up with a choice to seek God's help with your alcoholism and addiction problems--whether it be in or out of A.A., N.A., Overcomers, Teen Challenge, Celebrate Recovery, or a Christian treatment or counseling program that also incorporates the truth about the early A.A. Christian fellowship, its origins, Christian founders, Christian recovery program of 1935, and astonishing successes coming from trusting God.

Christians Alcoholics Anonymous

There has been a widespread destructive campaign under way in the last twenty years, and particularly since the web has become a major way to bash and misinform desperate alcoholics and addicts about the role of God in recovery.

For a long time, atheists and others simply focused on why they thought folks could get well without God, why A.A. was supposedly a religion, and why people were being entrapped in a cult if they joined A.A. And at least these prolific writers and publishers laid their cards on the table. They didn't believe in God. They didn't like religion. And they felt A.A. needed to be "unmasked."

Next in line, perhaps, came several anti-A.A. authors and writers who focused on the shortcomings of A.A. founders. These men, or at least Bill W., were nuts, they claimed. They were greedy, they claimed. They said the founders were involved in all sorts of questionable pursuits in relation to alcoholism--LSD, Niacin, spiritualism, adultery, and much much more. These folks also laid their cards on the table. They were not necessarily fighting God. They were just bashing particularly the foibles of A.A.'s co-founder Bill W. In the course of writing some accurate statements of fact, they devotedly sought to take A.A. itself down.

Then came the minority Christians. And today their seemingly well-financed websites and some writings have one major theme: Christians shouldn't be in A.A., they say. Their arguments are fallacious in that they don't contain correct facts about A.A.'s Christian origins, the Christian up-bringing of its founders, the original strong emphasis on accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and the Christian Fellowship that was founded in Akron in 1935 and had a documented 75% success rate among the seemingly hopeless, "medically incurable," last-gasp real alcoholics who went to any lengths to establish a relationship with God and be healed.

Today, these minority Christians have gathered together on the web under a new banner: "Christians Alcoholics Anonymous." Perhaps this title might actually attract Christians in A.A., Christians who are considering A.A., and Christians who just don't like A.A. And, in a nation where free speech rules, why shouldn't they use this monniker!

Actually, though their sites themselves have different titles and often different authors, they might be considered a blessing to all those Christian leaders in recovery and Christians in recovery who don't know the facts about the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron and become interested in finding out the truth.

We have written plenty about these facts in such books as The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, When Early AAs Were Cured and Why, The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials, and The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible.
And these titles are described and reviewed on our main website at
Actually, the plethora of Christian anti-AA, Atheist anti-AA, and Anti-Bill Wilson writings have driven many an inquiring Christian to our websites:;;;;; and And that's exactly what we like--not the "anti" but the attention of those who want facts. We have no problem answering the critics--be they Christians, atheists, or ad-hominem souls. Our twenty years of research, our 39 published titles, and our more than 400 articles have provided facts that were virtually unknown or unreported or just plain distorted in 1990.

Right now, when you see "Christians Alcoholics Anonymous" on your search engine, think of the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in early A.A. and can play today for the tens, if not hundreds of thousands, or Christian leaders and Christians in recovery who want God's help. Our new start-up foundational class is "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery." It is simple, concise, thorough, and factual. And it is up to date--having been produced in 2010. See details on

And remember "Christians Alcoholics Anonymous" can best be translated "Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous," or "Christians in recovery," or those in Alcoholics Anonymous or recovery who want to know how the early Akron Christian Fellowship achieved its astonishing successes. In His Service, Dick B.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

AA Cofounder Bill W.--Recent New Highlilghts

By Dick B., Copyright 2010 Anonymous. All rights reserved.

Much of the writing about Bill Wilson, whether by Bill himself, or by other historians, has not included our recent historical findings: (1) Bill's Christian upbringing by the Wilson and Griffith families at East Dorset Congregational Church. (2) Bill's witnessing of revival, conversion, and temperance meetings. (3) Bill's frequent reminders from his mother that his grandfather Willie Wilson was cured of alcoholism by a white light spiritual experience at the top of Mount Aeolus near East Dorset. (4) Bill's study of the Bible with his grandfather Griffith and his friend Mark W. (5) Bill's years at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester Vermont where he: (a) Attended daily chapel. (b) Attended weekly church services at Manchester Congregational Church. (c) Took a four-year Bible study course. (d) Was president of the school YMCA when his girlfriend Bertha Bamford was president of the YWCA and they participated in "Y" activities at that time. (6) Bill's slipping into deep depression at the time of Bertha's unexpected death, his turning his back on God, and his religious hiatus until he met Dr. Silkworth. (7) Dr. Silkworth's advice to Bill that the Great Physician Jesus Christ could cure Bill of alcoholism--this occurring on Bill's third hospitalization at Towns Hospital. (8) The decision for Jesus Christ by Bill's friend Ebby Thacher at the Calvary Rescue Mission. (9) Ebby's relating to Bill Ebby's new birth. (10) Bill's checking out Ebby's story by hearing Ebby's testimony at Calvary Church. (11) Bill's decision to go to Calvary Rescue Mission to get what Ebby had received. (12) Bill's decision for Jesus Christ at the Calvary Rescue Mission Altar. (13) Bill's writing twice "For sure I was born again." (14) Bill's slipping into another deep depression, deciding that he should call on the "Great Physician" for help. (15) Bill's final trip to Towns Hospital, his cry to God for help, his immediate "white light" spiritual experience where Bill sensed God's presence in his room and said: "So this is the God of the Scriptures." (16) Bill's conclusion that his white light experience was valid, his turnabout in never again doubting the existence of God, and his cure of alcoholism for life. (17 ) Then there was Bill's immediate witnessing with a Bible under his arm--going to Towns, to the Mission, to Oxford Group meetings, to drunks on the street, and to fleabag hotels--telling the drunks to give their lives to God. (18) His apparent story--on page 191 of the Big Book--that the Lord had cured him of his terrible disease and that he just wanted to keep talking about it and telling people. (19) His utter failure to get anyone sober in the New York arena. (20) His real story when he finally met with Dr. Bob for six hours at the home of Henrietta Seiberling in Akron, Ohio.

These facts have been described in detail and documented in the following works: Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.; Dick B., Real Twelve Step Fellowship History; The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010; and our new four session class--"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"

Those who want to get up to date on the real history of Bill Wilson can direct their studies to the foregoing books as well as three books recently published by Hazelden--the Bill Wilson Autobiography, the Silkworth biography, and When Love is Not Enough--the Lois Wilson story.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Perspective on Christian Recovery on Coalition Website

The main page of the International Christian Recovery Coalition website has been updated and expanded to give you the backdrop, the mission statement, and an excellent summary of the new Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery class.
For the Coalition page, see
For full details on the recovery class and how to obtain it:

We believe you will want to get on board the International Christian Recovery Coalition--an informal, no cost, gathering of Christian leaders and Christians in recovery who want others to know the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the recovery movement before, during, and after A.A. was founded in 1935, and can play today. Let us know if you would like to become a participant.

We believe you will also want to steep yourself in the foundations for Christian recovery that our new Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery class offers. This so that teachers and students alike can have something other than the "wisdom of the rooms" and the opinions of secular professionals and historians. Early recovery movements were based on reliance on the Creator. And their successes were widely known--evangelists, rescue missions, YMCA, Salvation Army, Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, and even the Oxford Group and the teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker--a cofounder of A.A.

Get up to speed by participating in the International Christian Recovery Coalition and by obtaining the Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery class. Again: See And Just contact me and ask!

Contents of New, Startup Foundational Class Summarized

To see the new "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" class summarized; the alternative packages available; and how to order it, go to Or God Bless, Dick B.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Now you can see and buy the New Class online

"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" is a starting point class suitable for any and every recovery approach. The class, the alternative packages, and the means for purchase are now up and running on our website page:

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Studying the Christian Origins of the Recovery Movements

There is a new class designed to introduce all recovering Christians and Christian leaders to a fact they barely seem to know today. This class is "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery." The class consists of 4 DVD's, an instructor guide, a student guide, and "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010. It is described on my main website And it is described on the International Christian Recovery Coalition website It is available now. It can be obtained now. And you can have your questions answered by Ken B. at 808 276 4945.

Why study the Christian roots of the recovery movement? Isn't it enough to study A.A.'s Big Book, "take" A.A.'s Twelve Steps, participate in a 12 Step Fellowship and go to church of your choice? Isn't it enough to get one of the four "recovery" Bibles and either read through them or have them taught by your counselor, treatment program, therapist, Christ-centered group? Isn't it enough just to list the Twelve Steps and then list next to each Step the Bible verse or verses which seem relevant to the Steps? These things may have value for a Christian seeking recovery. But, unless he or she learns the depths of God's love, promises, and salvation, and the tools He provides for revelation, the abundant life, and eternal life, and the obedience, believing, and renewed mind walk by the spirit that go with Christian victory, the alcoholic or addict is being short-changed even though he is espousing "Christian" treatment or recovery .

Answer: The Bible states that God wants all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. In early Akron A.A., every member was required to profess belief in God; and Hebrews 11:6 provided a good reason and instruction for that. Every member was required to become born again of God's spirit by confessing Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. And Romans 10:9 provided good reason and instruction for that. Every member was "qualified" to make sure he was serious and determined to quit forever. Almost every member was initially hospitalized for a few days to prevent seizures, DT's, and other withdrawal dangers. Every member surrendered to God, accepted Christ, and received a Bible as an instruction guide. Every member heard, studied, and learned the portions of the Bible considered "absolutely essential"--the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13. Every member observed a quiet time with God that involved prayer, Bible reading, seeking God's guidance, and often listening to Dr. Bob's wife Anne Smith's sharing from her spiritual journal. And, of course, every member was urged to get busy and help others get well by the same means. There were fourteen practices. They were summarized in seven points. And they produced a documented 75% success rate by November, 1937. Reliance on God for help was the vital component because all newcomers had admitted they couldn't manage their own lives or be relieved of their alcoholism by themselves. All had concluded that they were "medically incurable" and couldn't be helped by any human power. And all decided to seek God's help because there was no other effective alternative.

Why did this work? It worked because the ingredients of recovery had been in the works and succeeding long before there was an A.A., a Big Book, Twelve Steps, drunkalogs, or meetings. And A.A.'s earliest members had been exposed to those ingredients and needed to pick up the spiritual tools necessary to apply them. But without this knowledge, A.A. today, as well as other Christian and secular approaches, have become an easy target of the devil, of a well-intentioned few Christians who have no knowledge of the A.A. program in Akron or of the religious background of the first three AAs, and AAs themselves who have allowed the publication of materials today that tell them they need not believe anything at all in order to be in A.A. And recover?????

Here's what the "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" Class adds to the foregoing included, documented details. It lays out the century of Christian recovery success before A.A. began. It introduces the nature and successes of seven different Christian organizations or people who heavily influenced recovery.

In the next few days, we will discuss each of the seven organizations--one by one. We will summarize what each brought to the Christian recovery table. We will provide you with the excellent books and materials which can be purchased or found in any library or bookstore and that were written by people who were there.

The seven organizations or people to be discussed are: (1) The Evangelists and Revivalists like Dwight L. Moody and Alan Folger. (2) The rescue missions like those run by Jerry McAuley at the Water Street Mission, by S.H. Hadley (his successor), and by the Episcopal Church at Calvary Mission where Bill Wilson himself was converted to Christ and shortly healed by the power of God. (3) The YMCA which spurred the Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury and brought salvation and the truth of the Word to the fore in Vermont and among its people. (4) The Salvation Army which was founded to bring people to Christ, teach them the Word, and then encourage them to join "God's Army" and help other derelicts and drunkards be saved and made whole. (5) The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor which rose to a membership of over 4 million and laid out a practical program of confession of Christ, prayer meetings, conversion meetings, Bible study meetings, the Quiet Hour, and love and service that were seemingly translated to Dr. Bob and to form the original Akron program. (6) The Oxford Group founded as "A First Century Christian Fellowship" which stressed its view of life changing: Sin is the problem. Jesus Christ is the cure. And the result is a miracle. Bible study, prayer, quiet time, restitution, and many of the ideas that Bill Wilson was to incorporate in his steps and Big Book were adopted from this group. (7) Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. His Calvary Episcopal Church ran the Calvary Mission where Bill Wilson and his "sponsor" Ebby Thacher were converted to Christ. And then Sam Shoemaker befriended Bill, taught him the Oxford Group ideas, and helped him write the Twelve Steps and Big Book ideas published in 1939. Bill called Shoemaker a "Cofounder of A.A."

All seven of these elements brought enormous change to the previously "medically incurable" alcoholic; brought thousands to Christ; taught them the Bible; inspired their prayer meetingss; observed Quiet Time to obtain God's guidance; read Christian literature; and emphasized the vital importance of serving God and others by witnessing.

We will give you a taste of each organization, the place to look for accurate details, the work we have done on each, and how a knowledge of that organization's successful recovery work by Christian means wrought a change in man's view of what he couldn't do, others couldn't do, but God could and did do for the drunkard, the derelict, and the truly "lost" souls. And we believe you will want to acquire, utilize, and pass on to others the materials in our "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" Class.; to learn and pass along these treasures of recovery.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

AA Founding and Anniversary Celebrations for 2010

On this occasion of Founders Day activities in Akron, Ohio, and the International Convention in San Antonio, Texas, we celebrate the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, founding, program, and astonishing successes of the Christian Fellowship program of pioneer A.A. founded in Akron in 1935.

We thank Pacific Hills Treatment Centers, Inc., a Christian treatment program located at San Juan Capistrano, California. They have promulgated a number of articles that underline the seven Christian organizations and people that gave rise to the Original A.A. program. These are the evangelists and revivalists; rescue missions; YMCA; Salvation Army; Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor; later the Oxford Group; and then the teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York.

Pacific Hills is one of the increasing number of treatment programs, Christian recovery groups, individual recovery leaders, and counselors, as well as A.A. and N.A. groups that are studying and presenting our new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" which can be found described on the International Christian Recovery Coalition website and our main website