Dick B. is a writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and an active recovered member of the Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. He has published 42 titles and over 675 articles on Alcoholics Anonymous History as well as the Christian Recovery Movement. He is Executive Director of the International Christian Recovery Coalition.
Several websites incorporate various aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous History, the biblical roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Christian Recovery Movement today, These include www.dickb.com; www.dickb-blog.com; http://drbob.info; www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition; and http://freedomranchmaui.org.
This blog will supplement the materials posted on Alcoholics Anonymous History.com. It will present materials primarily devoted to Alcoholics Anonymous. It will cover titles, articles, blogs, forums, facebook, twitter, digg, in the rooms, tumbler, stumble upon, and several social network forums. But the materials covered here will be those pertaining to Alcoholics Anonymous History.
Probably the beginning work is the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous just published by Dover Publications. It contains the original First Edition reprint with all the personal stories--most of which have since been removed from later editions. It also covers the original solution---a "spiritual experience"--not just a spiritual awakening or personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholism. Of great importance is the lengthy introduction by author Dick B. explaining the origins of the Big Book, its sources, the changes in the manuscript, the purpose of the personal stories, and the way in which the personal stories were included to provide evidentiary testimony as to how the program in the edition worked.
Any Alcoholics Anonymous History presentation with integrity does not merely start with some writer's conception of a "higher power," a fellowship that it "spiritual, but not religious," a theory that claims you can choose your own conception of "a" god, or an assertion that you do not need to believe anything at all in order to recover from alcoholism by the path outlined in the A.A. Big Book.
To me, accurate and truthful Alcoholics Anonymous History includes the origins, history, founding, original A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in June, 1935. It also includes Bill Wilson's claim that there were "six" word-of-mouth ideas that were commonly used to "work" the program, but also were varied in wording, varied in their reference to God, and varied in acceptance by different groups of AAs. It includes the original seven point summary of the original Akron Christian Fellowship program and the 16 principles and practices of the Akron pioneers. It includes the shift in program promulgated by Bill Wilson and his partner Henry Parkhurst as they formed a corporation and sought to write a book primarily emanating from the 28 Oxford Group life-changing ideas which were ultimately codified into the Big Book and Steps. www.dickb.com/Oxford.shtml. It includes the Christian and Bible materials tossed out before the Big Book was printed. It includes the sources of the Steps named by Bill Wilson as Dr. William D. Silkworth, Professor William James, and the Oxford Group teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. It includes the last minute changes in the Big Book manusript just prior to its going to the printer. It includes full details as to how and why a committee of four changed the word "God" in the Steps and substituted "Power greater than ourselves" and "God as we understood Him" in God's place. It explains how Bill Wilson resisted these changes, but finally relented in order to appease atheists and agnostics who might try to get sober by the Steps. It includes the change of the solution from "spiritual experience" to "spiritual awakening" and "personality change." It includes the person by person stories removed from Big Book editions and the vacancy their removal left in testimonies about either the Akron Christian Fellowship program or the original Big Book program.
There is much more to Alcoholics Anonymous History. And the items have theirit place in any effort to answer such questions as to whether Alcoholics Anonymous History proves that A.A. is a "cult." Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History has no Christian origins. Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History does not prove that all three of the first AAs--Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Bill Dotson believed in God, were born again Christians, had studied the Bible extensively, and had been cured by simply turning to God. Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History proves that A.A. is not religious or a religion. Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History establishes A.A. as a program whose recovery comes from "Someone" or "Something" or "not-god-ness," but not and never from reliance on "the God of the Scriptures" as Bill Wilson himself referred to Yahweh, the Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, God of our fathers, and Father of Light.
Each year of our 21 years of research has brought before the fellowship and historians mountains of manuscripts, books, correspondence, news articles, church records, creed and confession statements, historical accounts, and obscured writings by A.A. founders and pioneers as well as virtually ignored news accounts across America. This blog will be reporting them as found, analyzed, verified, and published.
God Bless, Dick B. email@example.com