Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last leg of Dick B. Recovery Meetings in California

For almost three weeks now, my son Ken and I have been traveling, meeting, speaking, and holding conferences with recovery folks in California.

The audience reception has been heart-warming.

Here is a brief report of our work so far:

1. Spoke at The James Club Fellowships of Southern California in Covina and reviewed the Christian origins of Alcoholics Anonymous.

2. Met with benefactor Charles P. Mau in Newport Beach shortly prior to his recent death.

3. Met with Pastor Mike Belzman, President of Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute to discuss forthcoming conference in Palm Springs and discuss growth potential of the organization itself.

4. Met with Larry Webb and his wife. Larry is the organizer of the first Big Book/Good Book Study Group and had many suggestions on how to facilitate and
simplify our presentations of the recovery movement Christian potential today.

5. Met with Jerry McDonald of Betty Ford Center to review and plan our talk at the Awareness Program at Betty Ford next February

6. Spoke at a very large meeting of Lifelines at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa. The topic was the Origins and History of the Christian Recovery Movement.

7. On to Escondido where we spoke to a Big Book/Bible oriented recovery group.

8. Next night in Carlsbad, spoke to an A.A. group on the topic "Stick with the Winners"--particularly as A.A. sprang from the work of Dr. Bob, Prince of All Twelfth Steppers, and the 5000 he helped without pay in Akron; and the tremendous growth and new program introduced in Cleveland by Clarence Snyder and the 93% success rate, growth from one group to 30 in a year, and Clarence's bringing from Akron the Bible and the Four Absolutes and incorporating the newly published Big Book and Twelve Steps.

9. Two days later, spoke to a very large A.A. meeting in Carlsbad, emphasizing the applicability of "old school" A.A. to the A.A. program and its abc's today.

10. Back to Huntington Beach and His Place Church where David Roman's Roman Cucina Restaurants provided the food, noted combo of David Paulsen provided the music, Roger M. presided, and we spoke of the early A.A. program.

11. Highly successful meeting with City Team leaders in San Jose where a new way of
training the leaders was used. We would speak for 35 minutes, the leaders would discuss that segment, they would report to the group, and we would proceed to the next topic. The audience participation and apprehension was absolutely great. And this procedure planned by training leader Wade Hess will be used widely by us hereafter where appropriate.

12. Successful meeting at the Turning Point Fellowship in Livermore where emphasis was placed on our new "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" Class, our The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., and the need for a Stick with the Winners guide to taking the steps and incorporating our history and Bible roots in the process.

13. Next nite, an excellent meeting on our history at Church of the Nazarene in Auburn.

Results so far:

1. Continued growth of A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly groups among AAs, NAs, church recovery workers, treatment programs, Christian counselors, and leadership groups in California--a real inspiration for other groups in California and Hawaii and elsewhere.

2. The importance of using our three main tools to train the trainers: (1) Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery class. (2) Use of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed by leaders and groups. (3) Development of a short guide to "Stick with the Winners" to be used in Step Work, History Work, and Fellowships.

3. Urging recovery groups--AA, NA, Christian, Church, and others to establish once-a-week Leadership Training and Conference Meetings where Leaders can learn, understand, and guide those in recovery in an A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly approach to recovery.

4. Enlarging area cooperation and contacts among the many leaders we have encountered.

Onward and upward with the last leg--Oroville, California tonight; Chico, California tonight; Brentwood, California Friday; Maui return on Saturday.

Aloha and God Bless, Dick B.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Alcohol/addiction harm to others: The case for candidate John Willoughby

The case for John Willoughby as candidate for Congress in the State of Hawaii.

For several years, I have been explaining to public officials and politicians that, as one who has recovered from alcoholism, who has attended thousands of recovery meetings, who has helped dozens in their recovery efforts, and who has researched and written on the history and origins of Alcoholics Anonymous, just how much harm I am now seeing among the people hurt by alcoholic and addictive behavior. Not the alcoholics and addicts. We know about them. But about the people they harm.

Who are they? Mothers, aunts, siblings, offspring, grandparents! Unions, businesses, schools, health care facilities, teachers, law enforcement personnel! Schools, prisons, jails, emergency rooms! Military, veterans, bosses, laborers, partners! Coaches, athletes, sports teams! Doctors, dentists, clergy, teachers, professors, laborers, children! Vehicles drivers, accident victims, insurance companies! Abandoned families, abused spouses, abused or abandoned children!

These folks are not necessarily alcoholics or addicts. They are the people who are hurt by the activities of alcoholics and addicts--by store break-ins, embezzlements, petty thefts, burglaries, robberies, drunk driving, loss of employment, physical and mental abuse, divorce, child endangerment!

Sending alcoholics and addicts to jail, to prison, to rehabs, to treatment, to drug courts, to counseling, to doctors, and to clergy. Even intervention. None of these efforts to cure alcoholics and addicts take account of, or marhsall our resources to defeat the problems the alcoholics have caused to others.

Tonight I had a long talk with John Willoughby here in Kihei-Wailea on Maui. I knew that John was a decorated military person. I knew he was a man of faith. I knew he was a family man. I knew how he emerged as an "amateur" among the professional politicians, but has been at every single function--and more--that I have attended in the last several months. He was determined to make his way--newcomer or not.
And he's well qualified. Now his time has come. He needs to win in the primaries, and he needs to defeat the incumbent congresswoman.

I explained to John again how much I was concerned about the harm that alcoholism and addiction have caused to 75 million American families--huge spending on research and pharmaceuticals; huge spending on law enforcement and prisons; huge spending on health care; huge losses of time by laborers, unions, businesses, partners, employers, huge misery in families.

Then I learned that, as a military officer, John had worked with alcoholics and addicts in rehabilitation efforts. He saw hands-on how tough the problem was. He saw the harm inflicted on the military and on families. He saw the frailty of focus just on treatment to the detriment of the innocent members of society continually harmed by those abusing alcohol and drugs and engaging in reckless and hurtful behavior.

Can one Congressman help? This candidate can! He cares. He reads and studies. He listens. He believes. He talks to union leaders, clergy, public workers, teachers, and families. He has listened to my plea. And I think John Willoughby can bring a breath of fresh air to a Congress riddled with habits of spending money, taxing citizens, putting out markers for local oddities, and devoting themselves to campaigning. John is an idealist as well as a man of action. In 20 years of research, I have not seen even recovery folks do much more for and with Congress than plead for research money, plead for facilities, plead for laws favoring alcoholics, plead for drug war money, and all the rest. John can and will do better! And I just went to the polls and voted for him. I hope you will too.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous & Earlier Christian Influences: The Dick B. Seminars and Conferences in California September-October

Alcoholics Anonymous and The Young Men's Christian Association--A Christian Source

There were five Christian groups and organizations that impacted on the origin, history, founding, original program, and astonishing success of the A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935. We have discussed each of the five at some length in The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide: Historical Perspectives and Effective Modern Application, 3rd ed., 2010. You can also find them discussed in terms of the upbringing of Dr. Bob of A.A. See Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont.

These are the five influential Christian sources of A.A.: (1) The evangelists and revivalists such as Charles G. Finney, John B. Gough, Dwight L. Moody, Ira B. Sankey, F.B. Meyer, Allen Folger, and Billy Sunday. And many of these Christian evangelists were much involved with the YMCA. (2) The Young Men's Christian Association. (3) The Gospel Rescue Missions. (4) The Salvation Army. (5) The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.

But the YMCA had a very special role to play in influencing A.A. Also in the lives of its cofounders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. And let's start by sketching the beginnings of the YMCA and of its influence on the cofounders in their younger years.

The YMCA history begins in England. In 1836, when George Williams was about 16 years old and working as a sales assistant in a London draper's store, he gave his life to Jesus Christ, and began to pray and to seek God. In 1844, Williams--together with a group of fellow drapers--founded the first Young Men's Christian Association in England. The date was June 6, 1844. Its purpose was "to substitute Bible study and prayer for life on the streets."

The American effort began in Boston. The first YMCA in the United States (and the second in North America) was established in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1851. Cephas Brainerd, Chairman of the International Committee, identified two "distinctive features" of the YMCA in America: (1) It has been wholly undenominational, and based upon the belief that the average American young man, outside of church influence, was more open to the approaches of such an agency; and
(2) Work has been performed almost wholly by Christian laymen, because these were bestg fitted to carry it on; and, also, because the ministry could not under the limitations ofhuman strength, as well as denominational exigiences, perform it.

The St. Johnsbury Association of the Young Men's Christian Association was formed on October 1, 1855. In 1885, Professor Henry Fairbanks erected a building on Eastern Avenue, the western section of which was donated to the Association. Dr. Bob was born in St. Johnsbury on August 8, 1879.

And the trail to YMCA impact began shortly before that date with "The Great Awakening of 1875." Under the auspices of the State Committee of the Y.M.C.A., YMCA brethren came to St. Johnsbury. They conducted Sunday revival meetings in Avenue House Hall, at South Church, and even in the machine shop of the local factory. Finally, in one gospel meeting, some 1500 people gathered at the St. Johnsbury Academy. And, in that season, 1500 souls were converted. The village was transformed.

The YMCA continued to be an influential root in St. Johnsbury. Bible studies were held in the YMCA building. YMCA evening activities were conducted at North Congregational Church where the family of Dr. Bob were pillars and attenders. YMCA activities were conducted at St. Johnsbury Academy which Dr. Bob attended and where his mother and father were active. Also, Bob's father, Judge Walter Smith, was President of the local YMCA from 1895 to at least 1897.

Bill Wilson's involvement with the YMCA was even more direct and is fully documented. Bill attended Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont from 1909 to 1913. Bill was President of the YMCA, and his girl friend Bertha Bamford was President of the YWCA. Both were active together in school "Y" activities.

To conclude, the Young Men's Christian Association (as it existed at the time of Dr. Bob's youth) was emphasizing the following ideas which can be found in the earliest days of A.A. development: (1) Conversion to God through Jesus Christ. (2) Bible study. (3) Prayer meetings. (4) Personal evangelism--often called "personal work"--by lay Christians. (5) A non-denominational approach.

At its founding in 1935, A.A. embraced all five of the foregoing principles. Some of the principles were also embraced by the other four Christian groups and organizations, but the YMCA was at the fore in the lives of both Wilson and Smith.

Dick B. Interviewed on Alcoholics Anonymous Story

Recently, Dick B.--writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and an active and recovered A.A. member for over 24 years--was interviewed at some length as reported on the following site:

Dick is the author of 39 published titles and over 450 articles on the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successees of early A.A. These publications also provide a comprehensive study of the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the recovery movement both before and during the early days of the A.A. pioneer Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935 by Bill W. and Dr. Bob. See

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide & California Talks by Dick B.

During his three-week series of conferences and meetings in California between Sep 12and Oct 2, Dick B., along with his son Ken B., will be covering a large number of different talks on: (1) The Origins of the Christian Recovery Movement. (2) The Christian up-bringing of A.A.'s two co-founders Dr. Bob and Bill W. (3) The elements from A.A.'s Christian roots that impacted on the original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in 1935. (4) What the original, "old school" A.A. program was--as investigated and summarized by Frank Amos--and published in A.A. literature. (5) The original practices of the early fellowship. (6) The actual, documented success rate of the original program in 1937, and in Cleveland in 1939-40 after the Big Book was published. (7) The relationship of A.A. to the Oxford Group. (8) The importance of the teachings of Rev. Sam Shoemaker in the language of A.A.'s Big Book and Twelve Steps. (9) The changes made in both the original program and the Shoemaker teachings just as the Big Book was going to press. (10) The application of the original program principles and practices in A.A. today.

There will be at least 11 conferences and many individual meetings throughout California. And no one meeting or conference will be covering all of the forgoing subjects.

Those who are coming to the talks can prepare themselves beforehand. Those who attend the talks can obtain documentation at the talks. And those who want to be able to document, study, and understand all the materials can do so at their leisure afterward. And those who don't attend can study it all in our 2010 The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed.

You can see The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., discussed at some length on this web page:

You can order this guide from that page and by using the donate paypal button on the main page of Dick's website

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide can also be obtained by phoning Ken B. at 808 276 4945, giving Ken your credit card #, expiration date, and mailing address.

And we urge all who want the complete materials to be covered in Calfornia to purchase a copy of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., now or at the conferences.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

History of A.A.: Three weeks of talks in CA Sep 12-Oct 1

History of A.A., A.A. History. A.A. Origins. Origins of Christian Recovery Movement. The details of the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in June, 1935. And an explanation of the role played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the whole history of curing alcoholics long before there was an A.A., as well as in the early fellowship in Akron.

Three weeks of talks by Dick B. and Ken B. in California on these topics--from Sep 12to Oct 1. Talks in Covina, Costa Mesa, Escondido, San Diego, Carlsbad, Huntington Beach, San Juan Capistrano, San Jose, Livermore, Oroville, Auburn, Brentwood and in personal meetings.

For the itinerary, please contact us in Maui before we leave. 808 276 4945, or

Here is a rare chance to hear A.A.'s leading unofficial historian tell it like it was so that you--as an alcoholic, addict, at-risk person, or individual impacted by the alcoholism and addiction of others--can learn how to deal with it by the power of God today, as it is.;;

God Bless, Dick B. 808 874 4876

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dick B. Research Posts on

For an ongoing, regularly updated, posting of the research articles I write, has graciously continued to post a large number of them in easily readable chronological order.

The website:

This Real Power Blogsite and the Go Articles posts are excellent resources for AAs, NAs, historians, scholars, A.A. History Lovers, counselors, treatment programs, rehabs, prisons, homeless shelters, transitional housing and sober living, and those who want to keep up to speed on the continuing search for the real origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. program--as well as the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in all of these, and can play today for those who want God's help and seek it diligently.

Check out