Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Clarence Snyder Oldtimer A.A. Talks About "Why It Works"

Several years back, three oldtimer Clarence Snyder sponsees and their wives put together a workbook which they called "Our Legacy." I had the privilege of compiling and editing this extremely useful A.A. Step guide and discussion of the Snyder retreats and how their sponsor Clarence H. Snyder took AAs through the Steps in one sitting.

The end product was a very inexpensive workbook which is still available and is widely used by those who want to take others through the Steps the way Clarence Snyder did. You can get the details and information on how to acquire the "Our Legacy" workbook by turning to

Today, one of these oldtimer Snyder sponsees sent me the following article which I reproduce and recommend for your reading. I confess that I made a few minor changes such as correctly spelling the name of Dr. Bob's wife, Anne Ripley Smith, and a word or two about "spiritual experience" as an earlier rendition of the end result of the Steps. And here it is, as edited, for your review and enjoyment:


·         The Big Book of AA was written by (and about) approximately 40 men who had RECOVERED from a hopeless state of body and mind. (At the time of the writing,) their longest time of sobriety was 3 years, with an average 18 months. They were and still are the “we” in the Big Book.                                                                                                                                          

·         Bill & Bob’s understanding of God came, in part, from teaching they received from (Bob's wife) Anne Smith. It also came from the extensive training and study they had in the Bible as youngsters in Vermont. Anne taught them from the Bible during the 3 months Bill lived with them. During the early time, B/4 the Big Book was written.  Anne taught them about God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (The Higher Power) of the program.  Back then they also attended meetings of the Oxford Group.  Reverend Sam Shoemaker, Calvary Church NY and Oxford Group supporter was referred to by Bill as a Co-founder of AA.  The Big Book and the Program are the result of this powerful spiritual influence.                                                                                                                                       

·         These first 40 had life changing experiences they called “spiritual experiences” or “spiritual awakenings” and labeled recovery.                                                                                                                                    

·         Recovery does not mean getting back the old person, the person we used to escape from. It is: “The restoration from a sickness or evil."                                                                         

·         THE STEPS ARE THE PROGRAM of recovery … a MUST (not suggestion) should you choose the AA program suggested in the Big Book.                                                                         

·         It’s not words on a printed page or meeting room wall that make the steps work.  It was their God in each and every step that changed lives.                                                                            

·         “May you find him now.”  How you do that depends on your concept of God.  Anne Smith’s Bible states that the way to the Father is through the Son.                                                     

·         In Cleveland, when Clarence took people through the steps, the success rate was 93%.                

·         God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit have not changed.  And that is why the steps still work today.                                                                                                                                           

·         The steps haven’t changed.  AA or we have changed, and through the years we haven’t gotten any smarter.  If we do what they did, we can expect the same results.                             

·         It is our responsibility to present the program (THE STEPS) as they were presented when it worked.


No comments: