Monday, November 29, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous History - Dick B. News Bites

Reading and studying religious literature was a regular and important part of the activities of the original A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron. Books were circulated by Dr. Bob. Books were recommended by his wife Anne Smith. Daily Christian devotionals were used by Bill W., Dr. Bob, Anne Smith, and other pioneers. A number of key Oxford Group books were available at meetings. And later, when the role of Sam Shoemaker in teaching Bill W. the Twelve Step ideas, Shoemaker's books became key indicators of what Bill actually learned from his good friend, the Episcopal Rector--Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. of Calvary Church in New York.

The books, pamphlets, articles, and other writings numbered in the hundreds. And one good bibliographic source is my book "Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous: A Sixteen Year Research Writing, and Dissemination Project"

Here, in brief, are several important books in each category in which AAs read and
discussed the biblical ideas:

Dr. Bob and His Library (

The Bible
The Greatest Thing in the World, by Henry Drummond
I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, by Glenn Clark
Soul Surgery, by Howard A. Walter
Several studies of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (by Oswald Chambers, Glenn Clark,
Harry Emerson Fosdick, Emmet Fox, and E. Stanley Jones)
Heal the Sick, by James Moore Hickson
The Quiet Time, by S. D. Gordon

Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939 (

Love: The Law of Life, by Toyohiko Kagawa
Twice-Born Men, by Harold Begbie
Children of the Second Birth, by Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.
The Meaning of Prayer, by Harry Emerson Fosdick
The Life of Jesus Christ, by Rev. James Stalker

Daily Bible Devotionals (

The Runner's Bible, by Nora Smith Holm
The Upper Room (Methodist quarterly)
Daily Strength for Daily Needs, by Mary Wilder Tileston
My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers
Victorious Living, by E. Stanley Jones
The Quiet Time, by Howard J. Rose

Key Oxford Group Books (

The Venture of Belief, by Phillip Marshall Brown
The Principles of the Group, by Sherwood Sunderland Day
The Guidance of God, by Eleanor Napier Forde
When Man Listens, by Cecil Rose
For Sinners Only, by A.J. Russell
Why I Believe in the Oxford Group, by Jack C. Winslow

Key Books by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. (

Realizing Religion
Religion That Works
National Awakening
Confident Faith
The Gospel According to You
The Conversion of the Church
"The Way to Find God" (article)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A.A. History: Dozens of the Dick B. Talks Now Online

Audio Files Free for Your Listening Pleasure
A.A.’s Leading “Unofficial” Historian Offers You These
A.A. History Details Online


This is a listing of a truly remarkable series of recorded talks by Dick B. on the many subjects of his twenty years of research, 40 published titles, and almost 500 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and on the role played in the Christian Recovery Movement, including A.A., by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible; and the role that they can play today.

All these talks can be heard by clicking in to the Dick B. audio talk listing on the navigation bar of Dick's main website

This is a synopsis of the huge and varied number of talks on A.A. and its Christian origins that you can now hear from the voice of the recovered AA who researched and published on each of the following topics:

Group One (4 parts)

The Dick B. Story
The Heart of A.A.
A New Way Out - Part One
A New Way Out - Part Two

Group Two (4 parts)

Dick reviews the entire content
of his book on Bill Wilson --
“The Conversion of Bill W.”

Group Three (5 parts)

Here Dick reviews the seldom discussed,
little known facts about the real Bill
Wilson story. The title of this series:
“How Bill W.’s Story Really Begins”

Group Four (5 parts)

Few know the details about the Christian
upbringing, boyhood and parental influence,
and excellent training in the Bible that
Dr. Bob received as a youngster in Vermont.
These revealing details show where early A.A.
really obtained the ideas for its Original
Christian Fellowship program founded in Akron
in 1935. The title of this series:
“Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous”

Group Five (5 parts in this first segment)

This is a truly remarkable over-view of the
ingredients of A.A. history by the recovered
AA and historian who knows the facts best.
This title of this series:
"The A.A. History Online Audio Talks by Dick B.
Parts 1-5"

1. "Using and Applying Our Original Program
and Roots Today to Serve Our Primary Purpose"

2. "Getting to Know Dr. Bob of Alcoholics

3. "What We Can Learn and Verify from A.A.'s
Own Literature, from Original Documents, and
from Other Important Roots"

4. "Nobody Invented A.A." (from Bill W.'s
famous explanation of A.A.'s ancient and
varied sources)

5. "Train Up A Child in the Way He Should
Go. . . Proverbs 22:6. Dr. Bob His Family,
and His Congregational Church"

Group Six (7 Parts in the Second Segment)

"The A.A. History Online Audio Talks by Dick B.
Parts 6-10"

1. "Was A.A. a Unique Treasure"

2. "A.A. Origins and History The YMCA"

3. "A.A.'s Salvation Army Factor"

4. "An Opportunity for Christian Treatment

5. "The Power of God in Earliest A.A.--How
the First Three AAs Got Sober"

6. "Where Did A.A. Come From"

7. "Introduction to Dick B.'s Talks"

Group Seven

Dick B. Talks on the Recovery Broadcasting website
[From the Archives]

1. 5 Talks on The Wilson House

2. 7 Talks on the Oxford Group

3. 4 Talks on Rev. Sam Shoemaker,
"Cofounder of A.A."

4. 2 Talks on Meditation, Prayer,
and Quiet Time.

5. 5 Talks on Alcoholism, A.A.,
and Cures.

6. The Bible and A.A.

7. A.A. Successes

8. "The James Club and the
Original A.A. Program's
Absolute Essentials", 4th

9. Studying A.A. History

Group 8 (75 Talks)

Dick B.’s Personal A.A. History Blog Site Audio Talks

Group 9

Dick B.’s Ongoing Talks at Recent California Conferences
(Livermore 1 & 2, Huntington Beach 1 & 2, Covina, Oroville, Escondido, Carlsbad)
Parts 1-5

Group 10

Recent California Talks
Parts 6-8

Group 11

Miscellaneous Talks
[A New Way Out 1 & 2]

Group 12
Dick B. on Radio

Group 14
New Dick B. Talks from November, 2010 Forward

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------; 808 874 4876; PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837;

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christian Recovery Resource Centers - World-wide

We are launching a new International Christian Recovery Coalition effort! Christian Recovery Resource Centers throughout the world! Precded by a survey of what you do, what you need, and what you will incorporate,implement, and support.

International Christian Recovery Coalition is launching a new effort.

We plan to stimulate Christian Recovery Resource Centers throughout the world.

We are clear as to what is presently going on in the Christian Recovery arena. We have devoted 20 years to traveling all over the United States and communicating with Christians in the recovery arena throughout the world.

Now we want to bring before you many of the things we have seen, and also learn from you by survey questions just where you might fit into our worldwide plan to encourage Christian Recovery Resource Centers throughout the world.

The effort will be to enable a village, community, city, county, and area to have a Christian Recovery Resource Center where dedicated, experienced, qualified Christian recovery leaders can point Christians, their families, their friends, their churches, their counselors, their recovery groups, their treatment centers, their sober living facilities, their physicians, their therapists, their service agencies, their veterans, their military, their homeless, their at-risk members, their government workers, and others to a place where full and adequate information is available on what a Christian can do to recover from alcoholism and addiction today.

We know the need is there. We know a large number of Christian recovery leaders and groups that are providing pieces of the puzzle right now. And we have watched them unite through the years to attain a common goal: (1) Describe the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and successes of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935. (2) Encourage those who want God's help to apply these principles and practices, and the role of God, Jesus Christ,and the Bible, in their pursuit of recovery, wholeness, and victory today.

The next announcement will provide the beginning survey to learn the facts before we propose the particulars. See also The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010,; "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery," a four DVD Class, for some details.

God Bless,

Dick B., Executive Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837; 808 874 4876;;;

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AA History - Christian Recovery Movement: Dick B. Talk

The 2010 Annual Christian Addiction Professionals Conference was held this year November 19th to 21st at Palm Springs, California.

A.A.'s Leading Christian Historian Dick B. of Kihei, Hawaii, was a principal speaker at the Conference. His major subject was Alcoholics Anonymnous History and The New Christian Recovery Program Movement - the New Wave.

Synopsis of the Dick B. Talk:

Four Stories about the Gap in Alcoholics Anonymous History:

A young alcoholic John asked Dick if he knew A.A. came from the Bible. Answer: No
Dr. Bob's son "Smitty" was asked by Dick to endorse his forthcoming book on Rev.
Sam Shoemaker's role in A.A. and with the Steps. Smitty said: "Who is he"
The author of "Not-God" recently explained that no signficant research had been
made into the Akron scene due to financial limitations and the thought that
the facts were primarily to be found in the East.
Dr. Robert Schuller was on the "Hour of Power" program and went into great lengths
to point out that he had searched long and hard to see if A.A. had Bible
roots; and said he had found the answer in Dick B.'s The Good Book and The Big
Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible

The heavy price paid by Christians in recovery because of the A.A. history gap:

Due to the abysmal lack of research, there is little knowledge of the full history
Into the vacuum have flowed idolatry, "spirituality," "choose your own conception
of a "god," absurd concepts of an "higher power"--light bulb, door, radiator.
More on the way toeday: Literature telling AAs they don't need to believe in
anything at all, and now that there should be new literature telling how
atheists can "take" and "work" the 12 Steps.

The Alcoholics Anonymous History which is the focus of Dick B. research and books

Role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the recovery movement.
Origins of Christian recovery movement and "Old School" A.A. original program
Applying the foregoing historical facts in recovery today.

The call for a stronger, broader, licensed, well-trained cadre of Christian Counselors

Dick B. was never introduced to this resource - through psychiatry, Alcoholics
Anonymous, therapy, a treatment program, or a VA psychiatric organization
The need is for a complete Christian Recovery Program today:
Qualifying the newcomer, hospitalization, orientation, routing; and this is
the area of opportunity for the Christian counselor.
There is a new Christian Recovery Movement wave in process, and it offers hope!

On Christian Counseling:

There is a call for expanding this realm because:

Growing distance from Almighty God in 12 Step movements; danger of seizures and DT
the absence of God in most treatment programs; and the diminishing support for
Alcoholics Anonymous in the growing psychological treatment ideas.

Opportunities for Christian counseling: (1) Initial assessment - qualifying the
newcomer, introducing to God and Jesus Christ, assuring detox or medical help,
routing the Christian after initial assessment. (2) Orientation to what early
A.A. was about: "Introductions to Christian Recovery"
Class.shtml; and "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed, 2010 (3)The need of the Christian newcomer
today--intervention; explanation of the 12 Steps, Bible, history; what
Christianity offers to recovery; what the Bible offers; and what prayer offers;
(4) Routing to the complete Christian recovery resources.

What the Christian counselor can do: (1) Explain the original, successful
Christian Fellowship program of Akron. (2) Counter the distortions today --
idolatry,"higher power" nonsense, lack of need for belief, New Age spiritality
words and ideas; and real program and purpose of the 12 Steps as Dr. Bob saw
them.(3) Saturate the newcomer with a genuine, tolerant, service-oriented
Christian recovery program

On an effective Christian Recovery Program;

KNOWING where the early A.A. Christian Fellowship program in Akron came from;
(1) No Steps. (2) Christian organizations. (3) Boyhood Christian upbringing of
Dr. Bob and Bill W. (4) How the first three got sober. (5) The original program
summary in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. (6) The 14 practices of the early
fellowship. (7)The astonishing 75% success rate.

KNOWING the origins of the 12 Steps better to understand and to avoid distortions:
(1) Dr. Bob said the basic ideas came from the Bible and that the three essential
parts were the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13. (2)
The language and ideas of the Big Book and 12 Steps came primarily from the
teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. (3) How the proposed 12 Step program
was changed in order to appease atheists and agnostics.

KNOWING how to "take" the Twelve Steps.

LEARN THEIR PLAIN OBJECTIVE: (1) Relationship with God. (2) Attaining recovery.
(3) Being cured by the power of God.

AVOID INVENTING NEW 12 STEP PROGRAMWS - the influence of the Adversary in detours.
Why "recovery" Bibles; Why so many different "Step Guides;" substituting the
"Beatitudes" for the 12 Steps; claiming a bogus "back to basics."

SATURATE the Christian newcomer--just as they did in Akron--with Bible, prayer,
testimonies, events.

UNDERLINE SIMPLICITY: Abstain from liquor; submit to God and come to Him through
Jesus Christ; Obey God's will; Grow in fellowship through Bible study, prayer,
God's guidance, Christian devotionals, and literature; Help others; Pattern the
program on First Century Christianity as described in the Books of Acts.

On growing a new wave Christian recovery movement:

Participating in the rapidly growing International Christian Recovery Coalition

Christian Recovery Fellowships such as those now bursting in San Diego, Costa
Mesa, Huntington Beach, Antioch, Livermore, and Oroville, California

Christian Treatment Programs such as those in ABC Sober Living Soledad House,
Calvary Ranch, New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc., and Dunklin Memorial Church.

Christian alcoholism and addiction counselors - such as Association of Christian
Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute

Christian Residential Treatment such as those conducted by CityTeam Ministries

Christian Sober Living Facilities - such as ABC Sober Living in San Diego

Conducting or outsourcing to conversion meetings, Bible teaching and
studies, prayer groups and meetings, religious gatherings, speaker meetings.

Embracing church and recovery pastors

Establishing Christian Recovery Centers which can handle the newcomer, route that
newcomer, provide resources, and link the Christian recovery movement elements.
There are a variety of locations possible: ACADC Institute Centers, Christian
treatment programs like WonWayOut, Manna House Ministries, Church sponsored
Christian Recovery Fellowships, rescue missions, Teen Challenge locations.


Counselors urged to obtain and use "Introductory Foundations for Christian
Recovery" class; and "The Dick B. Christian
Recovery Guide," 3rd ed.

ACADC Institute urged to broaden the role for its counselor training and ministry
facilities through partnerships and expansion--with advertising and publicity

Pilot Christian Recovery Programs should be established such as the one we are
undertaking in partnership with the County of Maui Salvation Army.

Conference participants urged to help us grow the new Christian Recovery Movement
worldwide - with a book, website, facebook, twitter, blog, articles, newsletters,
radio shows, forums, funding of expenses, donations.

God Bless, Dick B.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dick B.'s AA History/Christian Recovery Research Books

Chunks of Alcoholics Anonymous History and Christian Recovery Movement Research by A.A.'s leading "unofficial" historian - A placement and listing of Dick B.'s writings in specific categories you may wish to study and pursue:

1. Origins of the Christian Recovery Movement - books by Dick B.

"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" Class, with 4 DVD's and an
Instructor Guide and a Student Guide. by Dick B. and Ken B.

"The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010, by Dick B. and Ken B.

"Introduction to the Sources and Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous"

"The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference"

"Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous:

2. The Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

"Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous" by Dick B. and Ken B.

"The Conversion of Bill W."

"A New Way In: Reaching the Heart of a Child of God in Recovery with His Own,
Powerful, Historical Roots"

"A New Way Out: New Path - Familiar Road Signs - Our Creator's Guidance"

"The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth," 7th ed.

3. The Original A.A. Christian Fellowship Program in Akron, Ohio

"The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous"

"Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.'s Spiritual Roots and Successes"

"Dr. Bob and His Library"

"Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939: A.A.'s Principles of Success"

"When Early AAs Were Cured and Why"

4. The Success Elements of the Early Alcoholics Anonymous Program

"The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible"

"The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials"

"Good Morning!: Quiet Time, the Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A."

"The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous: A Design for Living that Works"

"Cured!: Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts Today"

5. Learning the How and the Why Today

"The Golden Text of A.A."

"Utilizing Early A.A.'s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today"

"By the Power of God: A Guide to Early A.A. Groups and Forming Similar Groups

"The Good Book-Big Book-Guidebook"

"Why A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and
Today"(A Bible Study Primer)

6. The Twelve Steps and a Turnabout

"New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A."

"Courage to Change: The Christian Roots of the 12-Step Movement" (with Bill
Pittman)- Hazelden

"Real Twelve Step Fellowship History"

"Twelve Steps for You"

"Our Legacy to the Faith Community" by Three A.A. Oldtimer Sponsees of Clarence
Snyder and Their Wives. Compiled and edited by Dick B. Came to
Believe Publications, Winter Park, Florida

7. People and Programs

"Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio's Lady with a Cause"

"That Amazing Grace: The Role of Clarence and Grace S. in Alcoholics Anonymous"

"Hope!: The Story of Geraldine D., Alina Lodge & Recovery" Tincture of Time

"Hope!: The Story of Geraldine Owen Delaney, Alina Lodge & Recovery," 2d ed.,
Tincture of Time Press, 2002 (published after Mrs. Delaney's death)

"Women Pioneers In 12 Step Recovery," Hazelden, 1999. Dick B. wrote the chapter
"Henrietta Seiberling," pages 25-41

"God and Alcoholism: Our Growing Opportunity in the 21st Century"

"The Healing Power of Spirituality: How Faith Helps Humans Thrive," (3 volumes,
J. Harold Ellens, Ph.D., Editor. Dick B. wrote the chapter on Alcoholics

"The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript
of 'Alcoholics Anonymous' With essays and notes by leading AA historians"
Hazelden Foundation, 2010. Dick B. and Ken B. were engaged by Ken R., owner
of the manuscript, to write an explanatory essay, whose contents and notes
are a part of or were used in publication of the the volume.

"The Original AA of Akron Alcoholics Anonymous Program: A Christian Recovery Plan
The Shows How You Can Apply It Today" by Dick B. and Ken B., to be released
January, 2011.

Finding and acquiring the foregoing titles:

Go to Dick B.'s main website and
Or go to and check Paradise Research Publications, Inc.
Most of the titles are listed with Books In Print with ISBN's.; 808 874 4876; PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is Alcoholics Anonymous History Important?

Is Alcoholics Anonymous History important? Not to those who don't know it, don't want to know it, misquote it, won't study it, won't learn it, don't believe it, and refuse to pass it on accurately to those who could be helped and recover if they heard it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous and The Bible

You would be surprised at how many people in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings today think that you can't mention the Bible, share from the Bible, discuss the Bible, or even place a Bible on a table in the meetings.

This is a sketch of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Bible--by no means comprehensive, but definitely informative and useful.

1. The first three Alcoholics Anonymous members--Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and attorney Bill Dotson--all had Christian upbringings. All had studied the Bible long before A.A. began. And all believed in God.

2. When Bill and Bob were formulating the Akron Alcoholics Anonymous Christian recovery program in the Smith Home in Akron in the summer of 1935, Dr. Bob's wife read the Bible to Bill and Bob every single day.

3. From the beginning, Alcoholics Anonymous members considered the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 to be "absolutely essential" to their program. And even today, the Alcoholics Anonymous text is filled with references to, and quotes from the foregoing three segments of the Bible.

4. Dr. Bob said in his last major address to AAs in 1948: (a) Older members believed that the answers to all their problems were in the Bible. (b) He spoke of the study and effort that he and Bill had put into discussing the Bible in the early days. (c) He said the basic ideas of the Twelve Steps came from their study and effort in the Bible.

5. In the early Akron Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, daily Bible study was required. Daily Quiet Times--with use of Bible devotionals, prayer, Bible reading, and seeking God's guidance--were required. Belief in God was required. Declaring that Jesus Christ was the beginner's Lord and Savior was required. And, in the regular meeting on Wednesday, the meeting opened with prayer, and then the leader read to the group from the Bible.

6. Through the years of Alcoholics Anonymous from its founding in 1935 to Dr. Bob's death at the end of the next decade, Dr. Bob frequently and openly urged members to "cultivate the habit of prayer" and to "study the Bible." This is documented from Dr. Bob's interview published in "Your Faith Magazine" in September of 1939. It is documented from the news report of Dr. Bob's address to the Youngstown, Ohio club. It is documented from Dr. Bob's address to 4500 members of Alcoholics Anonymous and their families at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1938, where Bill Wilson was also present on the stage and spoke. And there are plentiful records of Dr. Bob's reading from the Bible in A.A. meetings throughout his years of sobriety.

7. The most significant memorial of the importance of the Bible in Alcoholics Anonymous can be found in the still-continuing first A.A. Group which met and meets on Wednesdays in Akron. At the beginning of each meeting, Dr. Bob's Bible is brought to the front of the room and placed on the podium-there remaining throughout the meeting. It contains inscriptions by Dr. Bob, by Bill W., and by Bill Dotson--the first three AAs. And then it is returned from the podium at the close of the meeting.

See: Dick B., The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible; The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials; Good Morning: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.; Real A.A. History

God Bless, Dick B.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Christian Recovery Program on Maui: Salvation Army Outpost

People send me emails, phone me, and write me with much frequency these days about where to find a Christian Recovery Program in Hawaii or on Maui. And we have lately been in close touch with the County of Maui Salvation Army Outpost in Lahaina. This outpost provides everything but a Christian Recovery treatment program; and when the officers find someone who really needs treatment help, they frequently arrange for the person to go to a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center on Oahu.

We will be talking much more about the opportunity for establishing a Christian Recovery Program on Maui, and our International Christian Recovery Coalition expects to be partnering with the County of Maui Salvation Army on just such a pilot program right after the first of the year in 2011.

What's the plan, and how did it come about?

First, in the last two years, my son and I have traveled widely in California and on Oahu. And we were speakers at many A.A., N.A., alumni, treatment, counseling, Christian Recovery Fellowships, Christian bridge groups, and Christ-centered groups. We also met with many of the experienced leaders of these groups. We still have a couple to go. We will shortly be in Palm Springs speaking at the annual convention of the Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Early next year, we will be at Betty Ford Center, speaking at the Awareness event.

Second, our focus has always been on learning and reporting: (1) The role God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played in the recovery movement for over a century, and can play today. (2) The correlative Christian origins, history, founding, original program, successes, and changes in Alcoholics Anonymous. (3) How Christians in recovery today can function comfortably and successfully in such existing programs as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, Overcomers Outreach, Christian treatment programs like Won Way Out and New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc., and the burgeoning number of church-centered groups which really need to be characterized as A.A. friendly, Bible friendly, and history friendly. (4) Always, of course, my own orientation has been to see if the highly effective original "old school" Akron Alcoholics Anonymous Christian Fellowship program founded in 1935 can be applied today in harmony with the widespread 12-Step, Christian, and faith-centered groups today. The end, from my standpoint, is to bring salvation, forgiveness, healing, guidance, and a new life in Christ to the alcoholics and addicts who still suffer and profess and belief in God and confess their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Third, we will shortly be naming the different ideas in action and the places where they are being applied with very demonstrable success at the conferences, meetings, fellowships, centers, and groups we attended. It is clear that there is no one size that fits all. Some of the most outstanding efforts are neither new nor disposed to expand into a complete Christian Recovery Program. And that is perhaps one of their strengths because they show how various existing Christian community efforts can be called upon to contribute to the loop without diminishing their particular areas of expertise and structure.

Fourth, we will shortly be spelling out what we have come to believe are the excellent elements in a modern-day application among Christian leaders and Christians in recovery of the key points of the early A.A. program--the one that produced a documented 75% success rate in Akron, and then--when the Big Book was published in 1939--was adapted by Cleveland Alcoholics Anonymous so that it grew from one group to thirty in a year and attained a documented 93% success rate.

Finally! Back to the little Salvation Army outpost on Shaw Street in Lahaina. We have talked to a County Salvation Army Captain in Kahului and Kihei, and to a Salvation Army Lieutenant in charge at Lahaina. We have visited their existing "12 Step" meeting which is patterned largely on a Celebrate Recovery handbook. And yesterday we attended their Sunday holiness worship meeting.

These are the working and workable pilot elements we found already in place: (1)The Sunday Holiness Meeting which included praise and worship, an opening prayer, relevant Scripture, Announcements, Testimony, Prayer Requests, A Love Offering, a "Message" (actually a Sermon) by one of the officers, a closing song, and lunch.
(2)A schedule on Sunday that includes Sunday School, the Holiness Meeting, and a Softball fellowship. (3)Monday a meeting with an Hawaiian name, and a Co-Ed 12-Step Bible Study. (4) Tuesday a Home League Meeting and a Discipleship Study. (5) Wednesday a Praise Profession session. (6) Thursday. Band practice, sewing class for all, and Men's Bible Study. (7) Friday Songsters and Movies. (8) Saturday. Cleaning of the Chapel and Multi-Purpose Room.

One of the features of early A.A. was its resemblance to "First Century Christianity" as reported in the Book of Acts. Some have equated this with a name that Oxford Group people gave to their groups. But Akron had no regular Oxford Group connection in its day-in-day out in-home fellowship and meetings; Dr. Bob called their group a "Christian Fellowship;" and many of the ingredients of the Book of Acts fellowships were there--breaking bread together, learning doctrine together, meeting in the homes, praying together, witnessing to others, and converting hundreds and thousands to God through Jesus Christ.

On the two occasions we have visited the Lahaina outpost, we saw many of the same people in attendance, very much participating, welcoming others, testifying to deliverance, asking for prayers, expressing thankfulness, listening attentively, and being part of the singing. The entire group on Sunday not only introduced each other to nearby attendees, but--at the conclusion--made a point of visiting each and every person and shaking hands or exchanging hugs.

As stated, our pilot program plan in partnership with the Salvation Army will be centered around a 24/7 fellowship such as that which the outpost offers participants. It will add effective Twelve Step instruction; early A.A. principles and practices; Bible teaching; community speakers and teachers; historical roots--both Christian and 12-Step; and encourage participation in other fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery--something that the Outpost is doing now.

Just as we were pulling our pilot program together and sending it out for others to appraise and make suggestions about, we found ourselves right in the middle of an Hawaiian style prototype. And there is certainly room for much more of this as others plan to set up programs in the Island and avail themselves of the winning activities being employed elsewhere. This, we believe, is exactly what Christians who hunger for healing and recovery are looking for. And this, we know, is the successful idea that was planted in Akron, Ohio, and grew into the unique recovery fellowship that came to be known as Alcoholics Anonymous.; www.dickb/Christian-Recovery-Guide.shtml;

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Real "Principles" of the Twelve Steps and of Alcoholics Anonymous

If you want to walk into a state of confusion, just ask an A.A. member if he or she can tell you what the "principles" of the Twelve Steps and/or the A.A. Big Book and/or the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous are.

I've attended more than one large speaker conference where someone has run through each of the Twelve Steps and ascribed some "principle" to that Step. But the problem is that the language of the Twelfth Step gives no hint of what the principles are. So too, you can search the Big Book endlessly and fruitlessly to find out what those "principles are." Yet the Twelfth Step concludes with the suggestion that we "practice these principles in all our affairs." And as with so much of the talk in the rooms and speeches of A.A., when something is not clear from the literature, the talker is apt to make up something as a guestimate, as a speculation, or as a supposedly authoritative explanation.

Here's the problem.

If you had addressed such a question to Dr. Bob, he would have commented: "What does it say in the Good Book." He wouldn't have manufactured some idea. He would have adhered to his statement that the basic ideas for the Twelve Steps came from their study and effort in the Bible.

So what would the Good Book tell you about the "principles." The answer is that it would provide you with a host of choices--principles that early AAs studied in the Bible and believed. What are they?

The Ten Commandments. These are specifically mentioned in the AA of Akron Pamphlets that Dr. Bob commissioned.

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Not only was that sermon considered absolutely essential, but both Bill and Bob stated that it contained the underlying spiritual philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The nine "ingredients" of "love" that are laid out in 1 Corinthians 13. These are stated and reviewed in Henry Drummond's The Greatest Thing in the World. And, not only was 1 Corinthians 13, considered essential, but Dr. Bob highly recommended Drummond's book as an explanatory essay.

Then there are all the chapters in the Book of James. This book was the favorite in early A.A. The members wanted to call their Society "The James Club" because they considered the book absolutely essential as well as easily understood and specifically related to their problems. See Dick B., The James Club and The Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials

Perhaps the foregoing are "principles" enough, but we could go further. For example, the so-called "Four Absolutes" of the Oxford Group were, for Dr. Bob, the only "yardsticks" the pioneers had. For Bob's wife Anne, these Four Absolutes--Absolute Honesty, Absolute Purity, Absolute Unselfishness, and Absolute Love--were the "standards"--the moral standards by which to test conduct by biblical standards. See Dick B., Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939

Some might look to the Oxford Group for the "principles." But the problem is that a major Oxford Group thinker and writer said in 1923 that the Oxford Group Principles were the Principles of the Bible. The writer was Rev. Sherwood Sunderland Day, who said that in his pamphlet "The Principles of the Group."

In sum, before I tried to define the "principles" that AAs are to practice, I would look to the history of the phrase. I would then look to the Bible, to the Four Absolutes (which came from biblical teachings in a book written long before A.A. was founded), and I would pay particular attention to the teachings and principles in the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13.

In fact, I see no value in trying to reduce the principles to twelve in number, or nine in number, or four in number. The pioneers recommended daily study of the Bible, and this is and can and should be the work of a lifetime if one wishes to know anything about the "principles" that God instructed man to follow.

Dick B., The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible

Monday, November 01, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous Oxford Group Facts (1)

Probably the first extensive research that I began twenty years ago had to do with the Oxford Group and its impact on Alcoholics Anonymous. And, though it has been revised and reprinted several times, my landmark book was and is The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous: A Design for Living That Works.

There followed a number of my later books which can be very useful to one who has heard of the Oxford Group, sensed that certain ideas in that group were incorporated into the Alcoholics Anonymous program, and wished to learn the whole story.

My own principal books on the subject, therefore, are:

The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous

New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A.

Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.

Turning Point: A History of the Spiritual Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous

Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of A.A.

Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939

Twelve Steps for You

This first factual article is limited to the suggestion that any student of the Oxford Group--Alcoholics Anonymous connection begin with the thoroughly researched, thoroughly documented, heavily footnoted books mentioned above--and pay particular attention to the bibliographies in those books.

Far too many writers have simply made the Oxford Group the subject of a mere scan, the victim of inadequate reading and research by the writer, or a template for some well-known criticisms of the group. These have been fomented by Roman Catholic periodicals, by those who focused on one remark by Frank Buchman about Hitler, by those who bought into Bill Wilson's apologetic remarks about learning more from the Oxford Group about what NOT to do, than what to do.

The correct approach is to read my books, note the immense amount of Oxford Group materials that were incorporated into A.A.'s Big Book and Twelve Steps, place those materials in context with other major A.A. sources such as the Bible, Anne Smith's Journal, Quiet Time, Anne Smith's Journal, and the teachings to Bill W. by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.

The facts in the articles that follow will simply hit the high points: (1) The origins of the Oxford Group. (2) The principal books by Oxford Group adherents that heavily influenced the thinking of some AAs. (3) The 28 Oxford Group ideas that impacted A.A. (4) The proper view of the differing Oxford Group roles in the early A.A. Akron Christian Fellowship, the things that Bill Wilson learned originally from Rowland Hazard and Ebby Thacher, the actual participation by Bill Wilson in a number of Oxford Group activities, the substantially lesser participation and imitation at the Akron level, the major importance of Rev. Sam Shoemaker's teachings, and the residual importance of the Oxford Group today taken in the context of the other major influences on the Big Book program.;