Saturday, June 30, 2012

A.A.'s Spiritual Roots and our Planned Vermont Tour

A.A.’s Spiritual Roots: They Center on New England

An International Christian Recovery Coalition Fall Leaves Workshop

Informative Visits to Historic A.A.-Related Locations in Vermont

By Dick B.

© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Come Join Us!

Here are some principal leads:

We are planning a Fall Leaves Workshop centered on the New England Area and definitely zooming in on historic A.A.-related locations in Vermont: the Green Mountain territory of Bill W.’s and Dr. Bob’s youth. It’s where my son Ken and I identified and examined in great depth some of the Christian roots of A.A. And we gathered an immense amount of historical evidence, embodied it in our books and articles, posted it on the Web, and included it in our presentations. But there’s nothing like the excitement of seeing it all for yourself with excellent guidance.

If we can get the response and assured funding of our own travel from Maui to Vermont, you will be able to participate in September 2012 events involving:

1.      St. Johnsbury and Dr. Bob’s boyhood home;

2.      North Congregational Church—the Smith Family church and location of the historical collections in Dr. Bob Core Library;

3.      Identifying Akron A.A.’s  “Christian fellowship” program with Dr. Bob’s Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor;

4.      The immense historical resources in the St.  Johnsbury Athenaeum (library);

5.      The St. Johnsbury Fairbanks Museum, the Courthouse where Dr. Bob’s dad was probate judge, the former location of the YMCA building where Dr. Bob’s father was President;

6.      St. Johnsbury Academy—where Dr. Bob’s mother was a teacher and later an historian, where Dr. Bob’s father was an examiner, and where Dr. Bob attended daily chapel and weekly church services and Bible studies, and participated in YMCA events;

7.      East Dorset and Bill W.’s birthplace;

8.      The Wilson House where Bill W. was born and where many A.A. meetings, seminars, and tours and offered;

9.      The Griffith House where Bill was raised by his maternal grandparents for several years and where he studied the Bible with his maternal grandfather, Fayette Griffith;

10. The Griffith House Library which probably contains the largest collection

of A.A. historical books and articles and pamphlets and memorabilia of

any place in the world

11. East Dorset Congregational Church, where Bill, Bill’s parents, and

both sets of grandparents attended; and where Bill attended church and

Sunday school, along with revival and conversion and Temperance meetings;

12. The Bill and Lois Wilson gravesites;

13. Manchester, where Bill attended Burr and Burton Academy, attending its

required daily chapel and four-year Bible study course, and was its president

of the Young Men’s Christian Association during his senior year; and

     14.Your optional personal detour to see the Fall Leaves display.

Want to come? This tour and workshop will give you a take on A.A. history, A.A. historical collections, and A.A.’s Christian roots and origins you’ve probably never heard about or understood. It will provide you with important keys to the Christian upbringing of Dr. Bob and Bill W.  It will show you more about real “spirituality”; ie., the relationship with God that the Big Book talks about. You visit a location with thousands of A.A.-related historical items. It will take you to an area filled with New England charm. It will be far more than just a walk through a memorial building or two. It will be at a time when the Fall Leaves displays and Leaf pickers are about. And Dick B. and Ken B. will be there to show you what’s what.

What is needed to make it happen:


A real interest in learning something very vital about “old-school” A.A. ideas and their applicability today.

A zest for a guided tour to inspect and handle scads and scads of historical evidence, attend meetings if you wish, and hear Dick B. and Ken B. report on 22 years of research as you move about and stop for some short talks.

Benefactors to provide funds for our travel are needed.

Your plans for a car or car pool with friends.

Accommodations at the St. Johnsbury Marriott hotel and in East Dorset.

And an essential willingness to walk, look, listen, and learn.

Since this will be an International Christian Recovery Coalition workshop, we are looking for a cadre of Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena who want to learn and pass on to others what we’ve found and you have actually seen.

This will be unlike other history and archive conferences, seminars, and forays.

You’ll see and enter the buildings. You’ll pick up and examine the historical items. You’ll explore on your own, too. You’ll hear from two speakers who have researched, written about, and spoken about the whole scene—many times.

This may be the only time in your life that you will have such an opportunity.

July is the month to plan and let us know if you’ll be coming and when. It is also the month to help fund our trip. And then to make your car and hotel reservations.

If the light is green in July, we’ll go. In August, we’ll act. If the light is other than green, at least you’ve had a chance to make the trip or plan a future one.                                  

For more information, contact Dick B. by email at

Gloria Deo

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