Sunday, April 03, 2011

A.A. History: Descriptive Titles Bill W. Gave to Two A.A. Founders

A.A. History: Descriptive Titles Bill W. Gave to Two A.A. Founders Dick B. © 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved Most accurate and complete A.A. history accounts tell of the position of A.A. Cofounder Bill Wilson in recognizing and appreciating the important service of others who were principals in the shaping of Alcoholics Anonymous ideas. In fact, the titles which Bill W. bestowed were not only descriptive; they highlighted the type of service rendered. Comments about A.A. Co-founder Dr. Bob One of the good sources for this information about Dr. Bob’s titles is the book by Bill’s long-time secretary and archivist: Nell Wing, Grateful to Have Been There: My 42 Years with Bill and Lois and the Evolution of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2d exp and rev ed. (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 1998) “Fisher of Men”: Nell wrote, at page 89: “Dr. Bob, in Bill’s phrase, was the “fisher of men. . .” In Matthew 4:18-19, Jesus called to Peter and Andrew who were casting a net into the sea and were fishers: “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” “Prince of all Twelfth-steppers”: Nell wrote at page 90: “Dr. Bob became, as Bill described him, ‘the prince of the Twelfth Steppers’—a title for which he was well qualified, growing out of his natural instinct as a doctor for helping people, combined with his intense desire as an alcoholic to administer to his fellow sufferers.” Bill Wilson himself said: “It had been decided that Bob would attend mostly to the questions of hospitalization and the development of our Twelfth Step work. Between 1940 and 1950. . . he had treated 5,000 drunks at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron. His spiritual example was a powerful influence, and he never charged a cent for his medical care. So Dr. Bob became the prince of all twelfth-steppers. Perhaps nobody will ever do such a job again.” See The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1972, 1975), page 34. “The Rock Upon Which A.A. Was Founded”: Nell wrote at page 90: “Bill often described Bob as ‘the rock upon which A.A. was founded.’” In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-25), Jesus said: “Therefore whosoever heareth these saying of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” Comments about Dr. Bob’s Wife, Anne Ripley Smith “Founder and Mother of A.A.”: Bill W. wrote: “Anne was the wife of Dr. Bob, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. She was, quite literally, the mother of our first group, Akron Number One. . . . In the full sense of the word, she was one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous” The Language of the Heart: Bill W.’s Grapevine Writings (NY: The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., 1998), pages 353-54. And both of Dr. Bob’s children stated quite clearly that “Bill W. called her the ‘Mother of A.A.’” Children of the Healer: The Story of Dr. Bob’s Kids By Bob Smith and Sue Smith Windows as Told to P. Christine Brewer (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 1992), pages 29, 41, 132); Gloria Deo

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