Monday, March 26, 2012

Norcal Workshops Just Ahead Mar 29 (Livermore), March 30 (Brentwood)

Northern Cal Workshops March 28-April 1st Being Set and Confirmed



We [Dick B. and Ken B.] will be flying from Maui to the San Francisco Bay Area March 28 for a series of very new, very differnt workshop meetings tailored to the programs of our host groups.

(1) Thursday, March 29, we will be hosted by the Cornerstone Fellowship - Livermore Campus, Livermore, California. They have a regular Big Book/Bible Study meeting; and we will be there to listen to, talk about, and help them incorporate our old school A.A. project in their New Hope Ministries, Turning Point Group. We have been there before. The leaders have always turned out a good audience with lots of interest.

(2) Friday, March 30, we will be hosted by Golden Hills Community Church, New Hope Ministries, Brentwood, California. We have also been there before with same results. Again the focus will be a teaching-workshop where we listen, learn, suggest, and help.

(3) We hope also to touch bases in Livermore and Brentwood and San Jose Area with Christian Recovery Fellowship leaders from Oroville and that area, Foster City, Los Gatos, and others who have been in touch with us or with our International Christian Recovery Coalition leader and speaker Dale Marsh, Serenity Pastor, leader of Serenity Group, Oroville Church of the Nazarene.

(4) CityTeam International, headquartered in San Jose, California, has long worked with us and hosted events. They have a new "international" name, are reaching out globally to the "lost," and are particularly interested in a Nicaragua effort. We hope to be in dialogue with President Pat Robertson, Vice President Mike Pounds, and Training Leader Wade Hess.

These events are open to the public and for godly discourse. They will be much more in the nature of training, formatting, teachings meeting plans, and formats than our past, frequent, International Christian Recovery Coalition conferences in Oahu, Northern California, Orange County, and San Diego.

We particularly want working groups who involve leaders, workers, and newcomers who can network and collaborate with each other in the meeting areas, across the United States and Canada, and in the other countries participating in www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com

Please contact Ken at 808 276 4945, or Dick at dickb@dickb.com for any initial contact and preliminary information; and we will be issuing specific program details as time goes on. This isall part of the "Blooming, Booming Responses and Explanded Plans of the Christian Recovery Movement" of which we just wrote. It will have at its base the new Guide "How to Conduct "Old School" 12 Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena." For an inexpensive ($9.95) prepublication download of this guide, go to the center column of the www.dickb.com website.

God Bless, Dick B.
Executive Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition
www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com

Big Book-Good Book Conf. Cornerstone Church, Livermore, this Thursday


Big Book – Good Book Event, Livermore Calif. May 29, Cornerstone Church Campus



Be sure to plan on attending the hour and a half workshop meeting at Cornerstone Church, Livermore, California, at 7:00 PM, Thursday, May 29, 2012



A Unique Event:



The Big Book-Good Book Meeting at Cornerstone has set up this special meeting.



Introduced by Dominic D., Dick B. and Ken B. of Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, will be addressing three important aspects of Big Book-Good Book History; and then the floor will be open for questions from the audience.



This is to train the trainers as to the opportunities to apply and benefits of applying the practices of early A.A. in Akron. Enabling recovery meetings, speakers, and fellowships today to use the highly successful old school techniques that the pioneers  used. And taking advantage of the help from today’s 12 Step Fellowships accompanied by Conference-approved literature as well as the Bible and the history of early A.A.



Those who come and participate will learn and understand better the importance of utilizing A.A.’s own literature, A.A.’s own history, and A.A.’s own highly successful old school techniques which closely resembled First Century Christianity as described in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible. They will learn the many specific presentations in the Big Book that support such practices today.



You will learn what an early A.A. meeting in Akron, in the early 1940’s, was like; how the fellowship was conducted; and how the old school A.A. reliance on the power of God and the Good Book continued in importance for the decade following publication of the Big Book in 1939. And why it is important now.







Christian Recovery Conferences and Workshops

Of

International Christian Recovery Coalition



Dick B.



Growing List of Sponsors of Conferences and Workshops



Sponsors



Jeff and Debra Jay, Authors, Love First, Grosse Point, Michigan



Bob J., Believer and Philanthropist, Maui, Hawaii



Rock Recovery Ministries, ABC Sober Living, Soledad House, San Diego



Rev. Bill Wigmore, Chairman of  Episcopal  Diocese of Texas Recovery Committee, Austin, Texas



Rick S., Writer-Speaker, San Jose, California



Scott C., Men’s Group Leader, Honolulu, Hawaii



Hazelden Educational Services, Center City, Minnesota



Golden Hills Community Church, Brentwood, California



Cornerstone Church Fellowship, Livermore, California



His Place Church, Westminster, Orange County, California

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Importance of Benefactors


The Importance of Benefactors



By Ken B.

© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved


Over the years, benefactors have played a significant role in making possible travel, research, writing, and book distribution by my dad, Dick B. And, it turns out, a benefactor played a key role in a series of meetings that very likely had a profound impact on the family of A.A. cofounder Robert Holbrook Smith (“Dr. Bob”), his boyhood church, his town, and his Christian upbringing. These meetings became known as “the Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.[1]

During our first research trip to St. Johnsbury in October 2007, my dad and I learned of the “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury in a book I found in the small reading room library of North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury. This amazing series of meetings, spread over a number of months beginning on February 6, 1875, was launched when laymen from the Young Men’s Christian Association—led by H. M. Moore of Boston and R. K. Remington of Fall River—began the first of a series of “Gospel meetings” in St. Johnsbury. These meetings resulted in the conversion of somewhere between 500 and 1,500 people in that town of about 5,000 people. The town historian, Edward T. Fairbanks, said: “. . . [T]he influence of the religious uplift here was extended for a hundred miles around, and left its permanent mark on this community.”[2]

In fact, what eventually led to this “Great Awakening” began in a meeting at Detroit in 1868 between Henry Martyn (H.M.) Moore and his friend, the evangelist K. A. Burnell, where they decided that “by the help of God the old Bay State [of Massachusetts] should be conquered for Christ.”[3] Then Moore made an “extended visit” to the home of his friend Burnell, who lived near Aurora, Illinois, in the summer of 1871. That meeting “produced the ‘regular canvass of Gospel meetings’ that started in the State of Massachusetts (in January 1872), was expanded into the State of New Hampshire (in November 1873), and was further expanded into the State of Vermont” on the basis of decisions made at the State YMCA Convention in Norwich, Vermont, on November 19-20, 1874. H. M. Moore and R. K. Remington of Massachusetts both attended that Vermont YMCA Convention.[4]

K. A. Burnell was selected by the State of Massachusetts YMCA Committee to lead the first and following “regular canvass of Gospel meetings” in Massachusetts. And he was involved, at least to some degree, in the canvasses in New Hampshire and Vermont that followed. Burnell did a great deal of traveling in sharing the gospel—not only in going from his home in Illinois to Massachusetts to lead the “canvasses,” but also in traveling to many other parts of the United States. How he was able to pay for the expenses involved in his evangelistic work is the subject of the following three short articles.




What a Christian Banker May Do[5]



Mr. K. A. Burnell,[6] the Evangelist, has been supported by Mr. C. D. Wood,[7] a banker in New York,[8] who was one of his playmates in their boyhood. Zion's Herald tells how this partnership was brought about. The banker invited the western itinerant to his house in the country, in the vicinity of New York. After tea they had a ride, and after the ride a long walk, and many questions were asked about his mission work. The next morning Mr. Burnell was asked, “How would you like a salary and go forth as the banker's representative to do the Master's work as it shall open before you?” “Nothing could be more gratifying.” Thus the firm was organized and began business. The older partner just enters upon his twenty-seventh year of continuous service, for seventeen of which C. D. Wood has supplied the sinews of war. Certainly firms like this should multiply. Boston has several of them. There are men who could furnish the capital for such a firm and reap the richest interest on their investment. The junior partner has many other investments of this character. Colleges and seminaries have received many thousands at his hand, and he has often had as many as a half dozen young men and women in college and seminary training for future usefulness. These two partners are still comparatively young, and look forward to many years of labor in the Lord's vineyard.—Honolulu, (H. I.), Friend.





Personal. Trustees.[9]



“A noble instance of long-continued and unostentatious giving to a single cause is that of Mr.  C.  D.  Wood, a Wall street banker.  For seventeen years he has paid a salary of $1,000 per annum to Mr.  K.  A.  Burnell, the well-known evangelist, and the whole sum given him that time now exceeds $22,000, Mr. Burnell devoted himself most assiduously to gospel work, helping many a soul to a better spiritual life.  Would that there were hundreds of such copartnerships as this between Mr. Wood and Mr. Burnell.” Mr.  Wood is one of the largest yearly donors to the college.





. . . K. A. Burnell[10]



In 1868, Mr. C. D. Wood of Brooklyn suggested that Mr. Burnell devote his life to evangelistic work from wherever the call should come and he would furnish the salary. For 37 years he led a life of intense activity along many lines. In 1869 he settled in Aurora, Ills., and from that center he traveled at the rate of 1,000 miles per month. He was intimately associated with that wonderful circle of workers, Mr. McGranahan, Major Whittle, P. P. Bliss, D. L. Moody, B. F. Jacobs, and Ira D. Sankey. . . . Mr. Sankey was singing in meetings Mr. Burnell was holding in Ohio when Mr. Moody first heard him, and soon secured his services. In 1875 Mr. Burnell made a trip around the world, spending three of the fourteen months with his brother Thomas, for forty years a missionary in India.





Perhaps you may be such a benefactor!



[1] For much more information on “the Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, see Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2008). http://dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml
[2] Edward Taylor Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury, Vt; A Review of One Hundred Twenty-Five Years to the Anniversary Pageant 1912 (General-Books.net reprint of: St. Johnsbury, VT: The Cowles Press, 1914), 234-35.
[3] Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 6.
[4] Again, please see Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, for these and many more details.
[5] “What a Christian Banker May Do,” in The Sailors’ Magazine and Seamen’s Friend, Vol. 56, July, 1884. No. 7. (American Seamen’s Friend Society), 227; http://goo.gl/2uggw ; accessed 3/20/12.
[6] Kingsley A. Burnell (1824-1905) was born in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. He learned the trade of carpenter and builder in Northampton. He married Cynthia Pomeroy, of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, daughter of “Old Deacon Pomeroy.” In 1852, Burnell decided to “drop the jack-plane” and entered Sunday-school work under the American Sunday-school Union. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he entered the service of the Christian Commission, meeting Dwight L. Moody. See “. . . K. A. Burnell,” in The Advance, September 21, 1905, 318-19. http://goo.gl/v7AnG ; accessed 3/20/12.
[7] Cornelius Delano Wood (1832-1906) was born on December 12, 1832, in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was a member of the banking firm of Vermilye & Co. during the Civil War and “exercised a large and useful influence upon the financial arrangements of the Government at that crisis.” He later lived at 880 St. Mark’s Avenue, Brooklyn.
He was a Trustee, a member of the Executive Committee, and a Vice President of the Union Trust Company for many years; and he was one of the most prominent men in Wall Street. His listing in the book Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899 reads: Wood, Huestis & Co. (Special Partner), Bankers. Here is other information about that firm: Wood, Huestis & Co., bankers, No. 31 Pine Street, New York. Government securities. Stocks and bonds, bought and sold on commission: New York Stock Exchange sales, October 14, 1887. Sales of bonds and stocks from 10:00 A.M. to 12 M. [Wood, Huestis & Co. were the successors to Wood & Davis (C. D. Wood and S. D. Davis), bankers and brokers.]
In Brooklyn, he took a large share in the foundation of the Children’s Aid Society, donated $125,000.00 to erect the Young Women’s Christian Association building, and had a large share in building the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church. He was widely known in Wall Street as the representative of the affairs of the Congregational Church. See “Cornelius D. Wood . . . The Former Banker Was Well Known as a Philanthropist,” in The New York Times, published June 12, 1906; http://goo.gl/K0cxZ ; accessed 3/20/12.
[8] “C. D. Wood.—Banking and securities. Was formerly with Vermilye & Co., New-York City.” See “American Millionaires: The Tribune’s List of Persons Reputed to be Worth a Million or More,” in The Tribune Monthly, Vol. IV. June, 1892. No. 6., page 36; http://audio44.archive.org/details/cu31924029948258 ; accessed 3/20/12.
[9] A note in the Lafayette College Journal, Vol. 9, No. 5, February 1884, 78; http://goo.gl/ktk8J; accessed 3/20/12. Cornelius D. Wood was a Trustee of Lafayette College.
[10] “. . . K. A. Burnell,” in The Advance, September 21, 1905, 318-19. http://goo.gl/v7AnG ; accessed 3/20/12

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3 Immediate Projects We'd Like Your Help On


Three Christian Recovery Projects

We Would Like to Undertake Right Now, with Your Help



By Dick B.

© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved



Christian Recovery Project #1



Conducting, recording, and posting free of charge on www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com interviews with Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena.



For many years, my son Ken and I have spoken of interviewing key people we have met in our travels, such as members of Rev. Samuel Shoemaker’s family, Dr. Bob’s children, Seiberling family members, Oxford Group activists and Sam Shoemaker associates and friends, archivists, historians, and devoted AAs and Christian leaders. During our September 2011 International Christian Recovery Coalition North American Summit Conference at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa, California, I mentioned this idea publicly from the platform. And we received a very positive response. As a result, we secured the www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com domain name, began building a Web site, and posted some early audios and new videos on the site.



Today, we know personally hundreds of Christians who are long-sober alcoholics and addicts, historians, authors, archivists, professional recovery people, treatment and sober living leaders, counselors and interventionists, clergy, pastoral counselors, recovery pastors, or otherwise informed and truthful people who can tell their stories, share how they serve, and present their ideas for advancing the International Christian Recovery Coalition’s mission. Because we know them, we can easily arrange interviews, record them, and post them on the Web free of charge.



Christian Recovery Project #2



Sharing with people in person, by phone, and via Skype how and where to study A.A. history, develop Christian recovery outreach, and conduct programs and group studies of various types that carry three important messages: (a) Conference-approved literature supports Christians’ sharing in their stories at 12-Step meetings and in their work with newcomers “how they established their relationship with God”—including mention of Jesus Christ and the Bible. (b) The seven principles and major practices of the early, highly-successful Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” are known from current, Conference-approved literature, and are therefore well within the Traditions. (c) The application in early A.A.—especially in Akron and Cleveland—of practices of First Century Christianity as found in the Book of Acts produced much-desired healing, love, forgiveness, power, and status as children of God.



Christian Recovery Project #3



Publishing my existing and future research on the history of A.A. and its Christian heritage in the form of print-on-demand books, and in Internet-friendly forms such as electronic books, audios, and videos, in order to reduce selling prices substantially (and to make possible free distribution frequently). Help us make known the unknown, little-known, and/or previously-distorted facts!

Questions for Christian Recovery Leaders and Workers


Dick B. Introduction and Questions for Christian Recovery Leaders and Workers

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

1.       Dick B.’s areas of expertise: Dick B. has published  43 books (several of which have gone through multiple editions), written more than 900 articles, given more than 100 recorded audio talks, produced a 4-video class (with a second one in production right now), done 16 YouTube videos, and conducted meetings and conferences throughout the United States and in Canada. This over the course of 22 years of active research, writing, and speaking on the following topics:

a.       The history of Alcoholics Anonymous; specifically, relating to:

                                                               i.      Did A.A. “come from” the Bible?

                                                             ii.      What roles did God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible play in early A.A.’s astonishing successes with “medically-incurable” alcoholics (and addicts!) who thoroughly followed the early (Akron) A.A. path.

b.      The Christian predecessors to A.A. who influenced A.A., N.A., and C.A. and/or were effective in working with alcoholics and addicts; e.g.:

                                                               i.      The Young Men’s Christian Association;

                                                             ii.      The Salvation Army;

                                                            iii.      Rescue Missions;

                                                           iv.      The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor;

                                                             v.      Christian evangelists, such as Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey, Henry Moorhouse, Henry M. Moore, Allen Folger, and F. B. Meyer.

c.       Key First Century Christianity concepts, principles, and practices—particularly as found in the Gospels and the Book of Acts—which were successfully employed by A.A.’s Christian predecessors and by early A.A., and which can be used to enhance Christian Recovery efforts today.

d.      Modern Christian Recovery Efforts

                                                               i.      Working within A.A.;

                                                             ii.      Christian-oriented, 12-Step efforts outside of A.A., N.A., and/or  C.A. that incorporate attendance at these fellowships;

                                                            iii.      N.A., C.A., and other 12-Step efforts to deal with alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, and addiction to illegal drugs;

                                                           iv.      Encouraging non-12-Step Christian Recovery efforts—such as Teen Challenge—to incorporate the lessons learned from the godly aspects of A.A. and its Christian predecessors as to working effectively with alcoholics and addicts.

2.       Questions for Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena:

a.       What program(s) are you working on now that are focused on alcoholics, addicts, and others with life-controlling problems, and/or those impacted by the lives of alcoholics and/or addicts?

b.      Why did you start the program(s)? What need(s) did you want to address?

c.       Which program(s), if any, did you start and later abandon?  Why?

d.      What would you like to see happen in “carrying the message to those who still suffer” in the short-term? How about the long-term?

e.      What problems, if any, have you encountered along those lines with which you would like help in resolving?

f.        How many times each week do you offer meetings addressing these issues? Why that frequency?

g.       What other local churches or groups, if any, do you work with in these efforts?

h.      What other Christian Recovery efforts are you networking with in other parts of your state, other states, and/or other countries? Do you want to do more of that?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Book - Good Book Workshop May 29, Livermore CA


Big Book – Good Book Event, Livermore Calif. May 29, Cornerstone Church Campus



Be sure to plan on attending the hour and a half workshop meeting at Cornerstone Church, Livermore, California, at 7:00 PM, Thursday, May 29, 2012



A Unique Event:



The Big Book-Good Book Meeting at Cornerstone has set up this special meeting.



Introduced by Dominic D., Dick B. and Ken B. of Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, will be addressing three important aspects of Big Book-Good Book History; and then the floor will be open for questions from the audience.



This is to train the trainers as to the opportunities to apply and benefits of applying the practices of early A.A. in Akron. Enabling recovery meetings, speakers, and fellowships today to use the highly successful old school techniques that the pioneers  used. And taking advantage of the help from today’s 12 Step Fellowships accompanied by Conference-approved literature as well as the Bible and the history of early A.A.



Those who come and participate will learn and understand better the importance of utilizing A.A.’s own literature, A.A.’s own history, and A.A.’s own highly successful old school techniques which closely resembled First Century Christianity as described in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible. They will learn the many specific presentations in the Big Book that support such practices today.



You will learn what an early A.A. meeting in Akron, in the early 1940’s, was like; how the fellowship was conducted; and how the old school A.A. reliance on the power of God and the Good Book continued in importance for the decade following publication of the Big Book in 1939. And why it is important now.







Christian Recovery Conferences and Workshops

Of

International Christian Recovery Coalition



Dick B.



Growing List of Sponsors of Conferences and Workshops



Sponsors



Jeff and Debra Jay, Authors, Love First, Grosse Point, Michigan



Bob J., Believer and Philanthropist, Maui, Hawaii



Rock Recovery Ministries, ABC Sober Living, Soledad House, San Diego



Rev. Bill Wigmore, Chairman of  Episcopal  Diocese of Texas Recovery Committee, Austin, Texas



Rick S., Writer-Speaker, San Jose, California



Scott C., Men’s Group Leader, Honolulu, Hawaii



Hazelden Educational Services, Center City, Minnesota



Golden Hills Community Church, Brentwood, California



Cornerstone Church Fellowship, Livermore, California



His Place Church, Westminster, Orange County, California

Jesus? Or Emmet Fox and Fox's higher power?


The Emmet Fox Myths Regularly Promulgated by A Few Against A.A



Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved



First, when someone asks about a supposed New Thought foundation for A.A. and tosses aside the very clear basic ideas A.A. took from its studies and efforts in the Bible, I often like to point out these two truths:



(1)   Emmet Fox did not deliver the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus did! See Matt. 5-7.



(2)   Emmet Fox rejected the idea of “born again” and salvation. Jesus made these available. Early AAs in Akron required acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

           

Here is a relevant quote (with some new additions) from one of my articles:



Number Fifteen: New Thought. Also beginning to take wing through the impetus of Christian Science and similar movements that started to flower at almost the same period as the first two sources [of A.A.] But the New Thought focus was on a new kind of god—a higher power—that took descriptive words from the Bible but saw God, good, and evil in non-salvation terms. New Thought words and phrases like higher power, cosmic consciousness, fourth dimension, and Universal Mind filtered in to the A.A. stream. Even the “Christ in you-Christ in everybody” nonsense that still floats in recovery circles.The New Thought expositors included Mary Baker Eddy, Waldo Trine, William James, Emmanuel Movement writers, and Emmet Fox. See The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed; When Early AAs Were Cured and Why; Dr. Bob and His Library; Good Morning: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.; God and Alcoholism. See for further relative research, see New Wine, written by an advocate for New Thought among his A.A. friends.



[Source for the quote above: "A.A.’s Fifteen Major Well-Springs" by Dick B. Copyright 2007 Anonymous. All rights reserved: http://dickb.com/15wellsprings.shtml].



Fox’s book, along with many others, was widely read by a few early AAs. So too were the books of Oswald Chambers, Nora Smith Holm, E. Stanley Jones, Thomas a’Kempis, Leslie D. Weatherhead, Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Harold Begbie, Brother Lawrence, Ebenezer MacMillan, Sherwood Day, Julian P. Thornton-Duesbury, B. H. Streeter, Cecil Rose, Hallen Viney, Howard J. Rose, Jack Winslow, Upper Room, Robert E. Speer, Charles Sheldon, Rev. James Stalker, T.R. Glover, Geoffrey Allen, The Fathers of the Church, Henry Drummond, Toyohiko Kagawa, Glenn Clark, Mary Baker Eddy, James Moore Hickson, Ethel R. Willitts, Star Daily, Mary W. Tileston, and the Holy Bible, were all widely circulated, read, and quoted. HH  HoHoh       I suggest you familiarize yourself with them. Go, if you like, to Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, to the Dr. Bob Core Library in Vermont, to the Wilson House in Vermont, to Brown University, to the Shoemaker Room at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. Viewed as a whole, you can see the foregoing books early AAs read, and many many others. But cherry picking this or that author or book and labeling it as representative of the Christian faiths, denominations, creeds, and beliefs of early AAs is just another path to the myths now being manufactured by some who are violently opposed to A.A. I also suggest you read page 13 of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet with your sponsees:



“But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts that we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James.”



There is no mention there of some particular book—only of three essential parts of the Bible the pioneers studied with regularity.



The "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5-7) was, of course, given by Jesus, not by Emmet Fox. I suggest you encourage your sponsees to read the "real thing" to which Dr. Bob was referring rather than a watered-down version peppered with the New Thought, anti-salvation positions and declarations, and personal opinions of one man.



Also, I hope you have your group or fellowship purchase many (!--even 500) copies of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet (Item # P-53) from A.A. and that your are giving and will continue to give a copy to every person who walks through the doors of your meeting, group, and fellowship. It is also a great tool to give to ministers, recovery pastors, sponsors and speakers. That plus The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible by Dick B. have been really blessing people throughout the U.S. and in other countries such as Canada. 






Gloria Deo


Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's Support and Utilize These 3 Recovery Approaches


Overcoming Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Joining in Support, Not Splitting in Departure



By Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved



Some Comments and Some Questions



Introduction and Three Approaches



It would be na├»ve to think that there are only three ways—mutually exclusive ways—to overcome alcoholism and addiction. Why?



All three of these three ways have fathered strong failure rates, particularly as they are seemingly and frequently viewed today. Regrettably, they are often considered to be exclusive of each other. They are often called unscientific, irreligious, ineffective, or downright devilish or dangerous. But those roads have been traveled before. And there may be a new way to examine and utilize them together.



This article does not presume to be authoritative, “evidenced based,” or “peer reviewed.” This should be clear even though (in addition to being a recovered alcoholic and addict with more than 25 years of continuous sobriety)—I am often introduced as an historian, writer, speaker, Bible student, CDAAC, and thoroughly “qualified” alcoholic and addict who has paid his dues.



Additional Approaches with Mixed Results



I would be the first in line to mention that there are additional and alternative ways which have succeeded—and also have produced an impressive failure rate.



The first has been is to quit cold turkey and never touch a drink or an addictive drug again. I’ve seen such cases succeed. One personal example I learned occurred when my father quit a heavy smoking habit before I was born. He never smoked again. Nor have I. Nor have my two sons. And apparently not even my two adult granddaughters. Yet there are also widely respected arguments that one can never quit by himself or with human help alone if really hooked—if a “real” drunk or an addict. Nonetheless the legacy of stringent abstinence has worked at times.



The second approach has been to set up guard rails in advance. Prevention! Perhaps a “just say no” technique. Sometimes a kid will see his father or mother die of cancer-related smoking, of drug overdose, or of alcoholism and its outpourings. Yet that very same kid will sit in an A.A. meeting, telling about his parent’s horrible death and his own resolve never to start—only to titillate his audience with his own drunkalog and disaster story. Can one resolve in advance to avoid the plague of alcoholism and drug addiction? I did not. And, for a variety of reasons and innumerable crazy excuses. Still, both of my sons—now in their fifties—seem to have no desire to follow my path. And they haven’t. For most, however, neither willpower nor personal experience nor intensive education have shown invincible strength and resistance when temptation or peer pressure or bad company or fear or anger or ungodly behavior have intervened to offer solace or joy as a reward for taking a chance. “This one didn’t get me” is a brave and hollow victory cry as one steps into the drunk tank.



A third method has often involved enforced isolation. I talked about this option with a distinguished narcologist from the USSR. And he pointed out that the Russian solution was often to chain the addict to his bed. But he didn’t say for how long. And imprisonment itself has often proved to be a spawning ground for making booze, sneaking drugs, and trading poisons. I know because I was in prison and saw these things happening. Courts have watched frequently jailed offenders return time and time again. And, as an attorney and A.A. sponsor, I frequently saw such futile punishments. I believe it fair to say that neither punishment, nor imprisonment, nor enforced isolation have amassed high success scores in my areas of observation. In fact one man that I tried to help in Maui had been jailed 7 times for drunk driving. He remained piously dry on our beautiful island for a short time only. He then returned to booze and many more court adventures until he finally was forced to stand alongside the highway with a sign stating he was a drunk driver. The result? He soon went back again to his beloved booze.



Finally, there have been repeated, vast, costly government-financed grants and research projects, and the investigations of scientists and academics attempting perhaps to add other options to the previously mentioned alternative ways. Relapse prevention has become a profession and a frequent prelude to recidivism. Pharmaceuticals have become a bountiful source for scientific writings. Behavioral analyses have been tendered. So have counseling and psychological techniques proliferated. Have they proved effective answers? I attended and spoke at one prestigious statewide conference in Pittsburgh where the medical speaker was explaining: “Relapse is OK.” Maybe it is, in his learned view; but the number of revolving door prisoners, treatment patients, A.A. failures, and even vitamin therapies have seemed to have failed to meet the requirements for successfully beating frequent relapses. Boldly, Bill Wilson himself (a law student for years and an A.A. co-founder) erected a confession and avoidance guard by stating that AAs had no “monopoly on God.” Despite his premise, more and more AAs today are substituting higher powers, meeting makers, nonsense gods, and unbelief for the Creator’s power that gained such prominence in early A.A.



The Three Ways of Approaching Recovery That Were First Mentioned Above



The first approach could be called that of medical and psychiatric management and perhaps hospitalization. I leave that discussion to those who dote on the reliability—exclusive reliability, they claim—of evidence based professional techniques and outcomes. The problem for me is that I’ve seen and participated in them all and watched them fail in my own case and in the case of the countless drunks and addicts I have sponsored and/or tried to help. More persuasive to me were the three points made by the physicians who had a connection with the A.A. story itself. The first, of course, was the eminent Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Carl G. Jung who treated the case of Rowland Hazard, failed, and said that—except for a few conversion cases—he had never seen one case like Rowland’s recover. “You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic,” Jung told Rowland. The second medical evaluation involved the repeated writing and testimony of Dr. William D. Silkworth, who was chief psychiatrist at Towns Hospital. Silkworth had treated Bill Wilson three times—along with thousands of others--and then pronounced Bill and his fellow suffering alcoholics: “medically incurable.” But Silkworth then told Bill that the “Great Physician” Jesus Christ could cure Bill. The third medical encounter among early AAs included the story of two top psychiatrists who met with two recovered drunks and observed the miraculous result. But they stated clearly that, in their opinion, had these men come to their hospital, they would have been pronounced 100% incurable. Without Divine help, they said.

So, in my own experience, a number of doctors I’ve met have said: “Alcoholics Anonymous is the only thing that works.”



The second approach is that which doubters often label “the spiritual.” But—holding their noses-they may actually concede that this approach means salvation and walking by the Spirit of God. Those who applied such techniques had great success before and at the time of A.A.’s founding. There are ample records of the successes of the Salvation Army, the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Christian Rescue Missions, and evangelists like Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey, and F. B. Meyer. In fact, at a gathering of eminent clergymen, doctors, and scientists where Bill Wilson himself was a speaker, one of the speakers (a clergyman) made this statement:



This illusory “spiritual” part that some of the academics, professionals, and even physicians and clergy have sometimes refused to honor is that thousands have been healed by the power of God. (Perish the thought that they would call the approach “religious”). They’ll skirt the results with excuses that the proofs—the facts—the written evidence—the testimonies--are “anecdotal” and not “science based.” And, while such erudite judgments may satisfy colleagues at a conference, they just don’t stand the test, for example, of the complete cure of the first three AAs. These three believed in God, were or became Christians, had studied the Bible, had been pronounced medically incurable but turned to God for help, and were completely cured. At that time, there was no A.A. program. No Twelve Steps. No Twelve Traditions. No Alcoholics Anonymous basic text. No drunkalogs. And no meetings of the type  known today in the many “self-help” groups that number in the hundreds.



The final approach is that found in what some scientific detractors like to call “mutual help groups,” or “self-help groups” or “12 Step Groups” or “anonymous fellowships.” And despite the extraordinary successes of the early AAs between 1935 and 1942, A.A. has been violently attacked in verbiage by at least three diverse groups.



(1) The first anti-A.A. detractors are composed of a few prolific posters who hold themselves out as Christian and attempt to link A.A. to Free Masonry, LSD, spiritualism, and “automatic writing.” They condemn the Steps as Twelve Steps to destruction and A.A. as an entity which “real” Christians must eschew. The lack of validity in such criticisms has been the subject of many of our writings to this very date.



(2) The second anti-A.A. groups are composed of a polyglot mix consisting of humanists, atheists, unbelievers, the irreligious, academics, and professionals who essentially label today’s A.A. as a peculiar kind of ineffective religion founded by a continually sinning Bill Wilson who yielded to greed, drugs, adultery, spiritualism, mental illness, and other human shortcomings and maladies. The lack of validity in these criticisms is based largely on the bias of the critics against church, religion, the Bible, Christianity, and God. They are strong in advocating that A.A. just doesn’t work—despite ample evidence that it does work for those who go to any lengths to follow its path and actually place their recovery in God’s hands.



(3) The third are a growing number of AAs who have their own special difficulties. For one thing, a large number of them are not “attracted” to A.A. but rather “forced” to A.A. by treatment programs, professionals, courts, probation personnel, and even interventionists. For another, most have no significant knowledge about the successful, early A.A. Christian Fellowship, and its totally new Christian technique that worked so well in Akron and Cleveland and has been

dumped by many A.A. leaders, servants, and employees. For another, they work with literature that was altered and is being altered in increasing amounts and ways to portray A.A. as a program that works for atheists, agnostics, “meeting makers,” those who believe in nothing at all, and those who subscribe to various religions such as Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem, and pantheism.

The answer is that the A.A. program has such a diverse population today that it includes all of the above and might be likened to a floating, desperate, group of shipwrecked individuals who can’t agree on a lifeboat let alone locate it. And this troubled group should not be likened to the tens of thousands of fervent AAs who follow their program, trust in God, and help others.



The International Christian Recovery Coalition Approach



In a general way, I present two sets of facts about myself with great regularity: (1) I am a writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and an active recovered A.A. member with more than 25 years of continuous sobriety. And I have published 43 titles and over 850 articles on Alcoholics Anonymous History and the Christian Recovery Movement. (2) I am Executive Director of an informal, growing, world-wide fellowship of Christian leaders, workers, newcomers, and others who publicize and disseminate the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played in the origins, history, founding, original A.A. Christian Fellowship, and its astonishing successes. And can play today.



After two and a half years since its founding in Orange County, California, the International Christian Recovery Coalition has been joined by hundreds of participants in every state of the United States and in many countries outside of the United States. It has held a number of nationwide conferences and summits. It has mounted a website, a blog, a forum, a Facebook, and a Twitter presence and regularly publishes ongoing research and news about Christian recovery. It has established a number of Christian Recovery Resource Centers, enlisted a number of participants in its Speakers Bureau, maintained a main office in partnership with the County of Maui Salvation Army, and a Southern California office in Huntington Beach, California. It has established a ChristianRecoveryRadio.com site with films, audios, and radio programs.



And, in a serious, but jocular way, the Coalition folks have often called themselves Recovery friendly, History friendly, Bible friendly, 12 Step and A.A. friendly, Newcomer friendly, and Friendly friendly. They have a desire now to encourage collaboration among 12 Step groups and fellowships, treatment programs, counseling programs, hospital and detox programs, sober living programs, clergy, churches, recovery leaders and pastors, sober clubs, chaplains, social agencies, prison and institution outreach groups, and individual leaders and workers who subscribe to our mission statement.



The Three Approaches—“Medical,” “Religious,” and “12-Step”--Can Combine Together Cooperating and Affirming Their Reliance on God for Recovery and Living a New Life



Most in the recovery field have lost site of the breadth and faith involved in the old school Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program. This really was a three-fold approach bringing together:



(1) Hospitalization, medical attention, and detox as musts. As Bill Wilson put it, the doctors are the experts, “we are their assistants.”



(2) Heavy insistence on helping the suffering alcoholic to recover. This involved a host of important ideas—7 summarized as the Original Program and the 16 practices that typified the daily recovery efforts of the old school AAs. A newcomer was required to profess belief in God and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He was required to renounce liquor permanently. He was required to bend every effort to obey God’s will. He was required to grow spiritually through prayer, Bible study, Quiet Time, and reading religious literature. He was urged to keep religious and social comradeship with other members. And he was urged to attend a religious service once a week. But, at every turn, he was urged to “work with others;” to carry the recovery message to those alcoholics who still suffered; and to provide an exemplary life of principles and practices that conformed to those laid out in the Bible. Helping others, then, was a must.



(3) So was reliance on God. And, despite whatever changes, amendments, deletions, and shifts have occurred in A.A. meetings, groups, conferences, speaker presentations, and literature, reliance on God is today as much a part of the basic text and pronounced program of Alcoholics Anonymous as it was in the days of the Christian Fellowship in Akron. To be sure, the door has been opened to those who invent higher powers, pseudo spirituality, nonsense gods; eliminate prayers to our Heavenly Father; and denounce mention of the Bible. But the International Christian Recovery Coalition is peopled today with strong world-wide support for a program that rests on the power of God, practice of the principles in the Bible, and help for others to get straightened out by turning to God for help if they want that help and will go to any lengths to get it.






Gloria Deo