Monday, December 31, 2012

God either is, or He isn't - where did that come from?

Are you familiar with Dick B.'s exploration of the origins of Bill's statement in the Big Book that God either is, or He isn't?

You can find lots of information in my large study of Sam Shoemaker and A.A. - Sam being the man Bill dubbed a "cofounder of AA.."

See - New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A.

Dick B. Radio Interview of Monty of



The A.A. History Show with A.A. Historian Dick B.


This Week Dick Interviews

The Monty'man

From and KHLT Recovery Broadcasting



or cut and paste the below url below into your browser





Listen to the best in Recovery Talk and Positive Music at

Our 3 CROSSFlorida Workshops on February 9th

Many thanks to the hard-working organizers of CROSSFlorida. We were delighted to be invited as presenters of the real A.A. history that demonstrates the Christian roots of the growing Christiam Recovery Movement, plants them firmly in the Bible and Vermont and the Christian upbringing of Bob and Bill, and explains in simple terms how the original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in 1935 succeeded and can restore God's role in recovery today.

Our workshops will be featuring our two most  recently published books (in print on demand and electric book form). The first is "Stick with the Winners!: How to Conduct More Effective 12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena." The second is "Personal Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God's Role in Recovery Confirmed.!

There has been enormous growth in the Christian Recovery Movoement since International Christian Recovery Coalition was organized in July 2009. In just a short time, there was soon a listing of Christ ian Recovery leaders and workers in all  50 states and in several other countries.
Study groups (of the Bible and the Big Book and Steps) grew in states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Deleaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska, Hawaii, and elsewhere.

In our workshops, we plan to acquaint Christians and alcoholics and addicts in recovery with what God has done for them in recovery, what He still can do, and how they can find support for their efforts in fellowships today. Also, how they can organize them. Also how to focus on beginner orientation and meetings. Also, providing new opportunities for those who want God's help to find the programs, churches, fellowships, groups, meetings, leaders, and conferences which can enrich their entire recovery efforts and recovered lives.

We will welcome newcomers, leaders, workers. We will welcome questions, suggestions, and reports. We can arrange special meetings during the period of our stay. And we believe those who come will sally forth with a new zeal to put to use the simple program, extraordinary success, and Bible-oriented early A.A. Fellowship.

Dick B.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

History of Alcoholics Anonymous: Bill W. and His "Higher Powers"

The History of Alcoholics Anonymous
Ever Wondered How Bill W. Invented a “Higher Power?”

Dick B.
© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved.

My Search for the Curious Nonsense “gods” Floating Around in Recovery Talk

As many know by now, my searches for the history of A.A. began when a young man told me when I was three years sober that A.A. had come from the Bible. I told him I had never heard such a thing in the thousand or more meetings I had attended. He then suggested I read the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. Which I did. And the young man was right.

Then, as many have also heard, I realized that A.A. had many roots. Some had never been researched. Some were scarcely known in the Fellowship. Some had systematically and intentionally been discarded; or, at best, they had been distorted.

By 2000, I was speaking at the archives meeting of the A.A. International Convention in Minneapolis. I reviewed for the large audience A.A.’s major roots--in the Bible, in the Oxford Group, in the writings of Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, in Anne Smith’s personal journal, in Quiet Time, and in the literature of Dr. Bob’s own library. But there was much more to be learned.

By the end of that ensuing decade, I had researched and identified many more roots—some large in importance, some mythical or incomplete as they had been reported, some virtually unknown, and some correctly highlighted.

These included Dr. William D. Silkworth, Professor William James, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, the Salvation Army, the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, the Young Men's Christian Association (the YMCA), gospel rescue missions, conversions, and the evangelists like Dwight Moody, Ira Sankey, F.B. Meyer, and Billy Sunday.

But by that time, critics of A.A. were pumping out new assertions and assumptions. They erroneously claimed that New Thought was the basis for A.A. They also pointed to spiritualism as the basis for A.A. They pointed to Bill Wilson’s obsession with adultery and LSD as evidence of imbalance. They even claimed that Free Masonry had put its nose under the tent of A.A. Little documentation, but lots of attacks.

Critics also made stronger arguments that A.A. was not for Christians, that it was the product of “automatic writing,” and that it amounted to “twelve steps to destruction.” Most important, they claimed that no Christian could fellowship with other AAs based on what the naysayers termed biblical injunctions. Strangely, some critics recognized that those who mentioned God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, and religion in A.A. were often intimidated and denounced by a few “bleeding deacons” who cited “the Traditions” and “Conference-approved” status as supposed authority for their remarks. And these objections fostered new Christian fellowships like Teen Challenge, Celebrate Recovery, and Footprints.

The First Look at What Rev. Shoemaker Called the “Absurd Names for God”

Along the way, I was asked to publish a study of all the “nonsense gods” that had crept into the A.A. picture— idols like a “Higher Power,” “a Power greater than ourselves,” “God as we understood Him,” and one’s “own conception of God.” Plus some 50 or more other absurd names for the new deity that was emerging in A.A., in treatment, and in writings. An A.A. that ranged from light bulbs to the Big Dipper to a rock to Mighty Mouse—not Mickey, but Mighty! And, to explain as much as I had found to that time, I published God and Alcoholism: Our Growing Opportunity in the 21st Century in 2002.

Still, the clamor against A.A., by a few Christians, by many atheists and humanists, and by many many disgruntled AAs—as well as “erudite scholars” seeking to change the recovery movement and foster a new “therapeutic” program—increased and reached far beyond the darkness that was already clouding A.A.’s original reliance on the Creator for deliverance from alcoholism.

The Increasing Body of Evidence about Modern Recovery’s Nonsense “Higher Powers”

Many years ago, I accurately identified the fact that it was mostly the New Thought writers who had invented the “higher power” idea as an integral part of their theology.

Their curious chain of efforts began at least around 1900 with Ralph Waldo Trine and Professor William James. It grew with the Emmanuel Movement. And it reached a temporary peak in the writings of Emmet Fox. But these people and movements were just seed planters as far as the revision of recovery ideas was concerned. Successors to and admirers of the early planters somehow believed they could fertilize and propagate widely the idea that higher powers, not-gods, and pseudo “spirituality” were an integral part of the origins and history of A.A. and effective recovery. But they weren’t. Dr. Bob did a lot of reading about such matters; but, as he pointed out in his last major address, they believed the answer to their problems was in the Bible. And the Bible sure didn’t talk favorably about not-gods, “spirituality,” or some man-made “higher power.”

In another article just posted on my main blog (, I listed all the subsequent advocates of some peculiar higher power, of some strange and undefined spirituality, and of absurd names for “a” god. Just any old god that came to their mind—a Coke bottle, Santa Claus, “Something,” a  tree, a door knob, a light bulb. These folks were not all New Thought advocates. To their ranks I added an occasional Oxford Group writing, an occasional remark by Rev. Shoemaker, numerous theories by a few A.A historians, and lots of inventions by counselors, clergy, and AAs themselves.

But there remained the puzzling question: Why did Bill Wilson use such strange synonyms for what he openly acknowledged that they key to recovery and healing was the power of the Creator. Almighty God, the “God of our fathers,” our Maker, our Heavenly Father, and the Father of Light—all biblical descriptions of Yahweh.  However, Bill capitalized all sorts of strange names, and he put them in his writings. In so doing, he bequeathed a state of total confusion about what these strange new gods were and what they could do for the alcoholic who still suffers.

The Best Early Resource for the Wilson Self-made god Language that I Have Thus Far Found

Ralph Waldo Trine was a New Thought writer who published In Tune with the Infinite. Trine may have been the first to invent this new “Higher Power.” But even Trine never seems to have stooped to calling his higher power a light bulb, the Big Dipper, Something, Ralph, or “not-god.”

Recently, however, I stumbled upon the following book Trine published in 1917. Here is the citation: Ralph Waldo Trine, The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit (New York: Dodge Publishing Company, 1917). And it is filled with data which foreshadowed Bill Wilson’s love affair with New Thought writing and idolatrous language.

Here are some ideas which can provide homework for those who wonder about strange A.A. Big Book language—language that never came from the Bible, but was usually capitalized to indicate it referred to some “God,” and was concurrently accompanied by all sorts of quotes from the Bible and references to the Creator, Almighty God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible itself.

The “Higher Power” That Ralph Waldo Trine Promoted

Here are some references by Trine to “this higher power”:

. . . we open our lives so that this Higher Power can work definitely in and through us. [p. 40]

. . . guidance of this higher wisdom and in all forms of expression to act and to work augmented by this higher power. [p. 166]

Here are some of the sources for ideas that Trine mentioned in support of his characterizations:

Our own William James, he so splendidly related psychology, philosophy, and even religion, to life in a supreme degree, honored his calling and did a tremendous service for all. [p. 9]

Containing a fundamental truth deeper perhaps than we realize, are these words of that gifted seer, Emmanuel Swedenborg: There is only one Fountain of Life, and the life of man is a stream there from, which if it were not continuously replenished from its source would instantly cease to flow. [p. 33]

The Emmanuel Movement in Boston in connection with Emmanuel Church . . . is an attestation of this. That most valuable book . . . Religion and Medicine. [p. 142]

[the higher power] is making actual the proposition enunciated by Emerson . . . [p. 166—This was a reference to Ralph Waldo Emerson who some have claimed was the author of the whole “New Thought Movement.”]

And if you are wondering how a few Christian A.A. critics have managed to manufacture, label, tar and feather A.A. as spiritualist and an offspring of Emmet Fox (an adherent of New Thought), just look at the roster of Trine’s New Thought advocates—William James, Emmanuel Swedenborg, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. And at least two of these had in fact dabbled in spiritualism. Just as Bill Wilson himself had through having been introduced to Swedenborgian ideas by his marriage to and the family of Lois Burnham Wilson, his wife.

The contemporary erring Christian critics ignored the plain teachings of the New Testament that “even” Christians walked after  the flesh, were carnal in their meanderings, and violated God’s commandments. See Romans, Chapter 8, for example. But Wilson’s vagaries—ranging from New England Congregationalism in his youth to atheist thinking after his girl’s death in high school to Swedenborgian influences to born-again Christianity at the Calvary Mission to spiritualism so common to Lois’s religion to Roman Catholic doctrine to psychic experiments—could not alter A.A. or even Wilson’s status as a Christian.

For Wilson’s long experience with Christianity stems from recently documented about the role that Bill’s grandparents played at East Dorset Congregational Church (where Bill heard Scripture read, salvation and the Word preached, Christian hymns sung, and Christian confession and creed a part of the church doctrine). It  came from Bill’s Bible study with his grandfather Fayette Griffith, the Sunday school Bill attended, the revivals he saw,  the conversions he beheld, and the conversion experience of his grandfather Willie which cured Willie of alcoholism for life. Bill’s experience also came from extensive Christian training at  the Congregational-dominated Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester Vermont where Bill attended daily chapel, heard sermons, heard Scripture read, participated in prayer meetings, and attended Manchester Congregational Church. Bill was also president of the Young Men’s Christian Association at the Seminary. And years later, after uncontrolled drinking, Bill made his decision for Jesus Christ at Calvary Mission—the validity of which is for God and God alone to judge—not some anti-A.A. Christian writer. Bill wrote at that time: “For sure I’d been born again.”

The “Higher Power” Deities Which Crept into Bill’s Later A.A. Thinking

Here are some of New Thought advocate Ralph Waldo Trine’s own capitalized deity names along with other ideas that so typically seemed to invite Wilson’s creation of unique and strange new gods and a supposed possible “relationship” with them:

Infinite Power [p. 10]

Life Force of all objective material forms [p. 10]

The Supreme Intelligence God [p. 11]

Divine Wisdom . . . Divine Power . . . Divine Voice [no page number given]

Voice of the Spirit [no page number given]

Eternal Divine Life . . . Divine Being [p. 25]

. . . eternal, Unity. . . . This Unity is God. All things have come from the Divine Unity [p. 29]

God-consciousness [pp. 33, 91]

Let’s look at Wilson’s capitalized man-made “gods” whose presence is still extant in one form or another in the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, published in 2001:

Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind . . . Spirit of Nature . . . Czar of the Heavens [p. 12]

Power beyond ourselves . . . Supreme Being . . . Power greater than ourselves [p. 46]

All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence [p. 49]

Spirit of the Universe [p. 52]

Great Reality deep down within us [p. 55]

Presence of Infinite Power and Love [p. 56]

Our Director . . . the Principal . . . new Employer [pp. 61-62]

Great Fact [p. 164]

These man-made Wilsonian deities can simply not be found in the King James Version of the Bible that early AAs studied prior to publication of the Big Book in April 1939.

Were these new gods? New names for a “god?” Wilson’s own self-made “god?” Or lingo that he had picked up from his association with writings of William James, Swedenborg, and Fox? I don't know.

What we do know is that Wilson also placed a far greater emphasis on biblical descriptions of God—as God is known or described in the Bible from which Dr. Bob said the basic ideas of the Twelve Steps had come. Originally, there were no absurd names for God in the Steps. And the Big Book refers to Almighty God with biblical descriptions many many many times—e.g., “God,” “Creator,” “Maker,” “Father of Lights,” “Father,” and “Heavenly Father.”

But the duality of references—some New Thought and some biblical—clearly opened a door to what Wilson called the “broad highway” which he paved when he deleted “God” from Steps Two, Three, and Eleven just before the first edition of the Big Book went to print. And Wilson himself made it clear he created the Step duality to appease atheists and agnostics.

[See, for example, the photo of the hand-written notes and amendments in the “printer's manuscript of the Big Book found in The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2010), page 58. See also Bill’s explanation on pages 166-67 of Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age that the substitution of “a Power greater than ourselves” for “God” in Step Two, and the addition of the modifying phrase “as we understood Him” (emphasis in the original) to “God” in Steps Three, and Eleven were changes made to assuage atheists and agnostics.]

Bill seemed to lay the primary responsibility for those major changes in the Twelve Steps at the feet of his partner, Henry Parkhurst, claiming that Parkhurst “had come to believe in some sort of ‘universal power.’” [Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 163]. But this was the same “[partner”] who was drunk soon after Big Book was published.

And Bill’s wife, Lois Wilson, confirmed that a “universal” program had been agreed upon. In fact, her comments indicated a leaning in that direction. In Lois Remembers: Memoirs of the Co-founder of Al-Anon and Wife of the Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (NY: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1987), Lois made the following remarks:

The pros and cons were mostly about the tone of the book. Some wanted it slanted more toward the Christian religion; others, less. Many alcoholics were agnostics and atheists. Then there were those of the Jewish faith and, around the world, of other religions. Shouldn’t the book be written so that it would appeal to them also? Finally, it was agreed that the book should present a universal spiritual program, not a specific religious one, since all drunks were not Christian. [p. 113]

Then, near the close of 1935, the powers-that-be behind the Calvary Mission forbade the alcoholic boys living there to come to the Clinton Street meetings, saying that Bill and I were “not maximum.” This not only hurt us but left us disappointed in the group’s leadership. . . . In spite of the rebuff, Bill and I were not immediately discouraged with the Oxford Group as a whole. . . . But in the summer of 1937 Bill and I stopped going to OG meetings. [p. 103]

God, through the Oxford Group, had accomplished in a twinkling what I had failed to do in seventeen years. One minute I would get down on my knees and thank God . . . , and the next moment I would throw things about and cuss the Oxford Group. [p. 99]

I felt I already had the knowledge and discipline these kinds of folks were seeking. [p. 98]

Bill belonged to a team for a while, but I didn’t. [p. 93]

I felt no personal need for their teachings. I had had a sound spiritual training [from her Swedenborgian family and church]. . . I did not think I needed the Oxford Group. [p. 91]

As for me, I had never believed in emotional conversions. [p. 88]

I tried to get the Y to send me abroad as an aide to the wounded. . . . But the National Board of the YWCA refused because of my religion. Their letter of rejection stated that Swedenborgians (the sect to which I belonged) and Unitarians were not considered Christians! . . . This seemed to me not only narrow but illogical, a “non-Christian” could instruct children but could not aid wounded soldiers. [p. 26]

It will be for others to decide how much Lois’ background and prejudices influenced Bill Wilson’s eventual surrender to universalism and Swedenborgian ideas. This surrender had taken place despite Bill’s Christian upbringing as a youngster in Vermont, his conversion to God through Jesus Christ at Calvary Mission, and his active participation in the Bible studies, prayer meetings, required conversions, and Quiet Times in Akron.

But then there were Lois’s Swedenborgian convictions (including those perhaps pertaining to the Wilson obsession with spiritualism); Lois’s distaste for conversions; her resentments against the Christian ideas of the Oxford Group; and her strange omission of mention of A.A.’s biblical roots and practices. These certainly could have added fuel to the fire for the last-minute compromise that resulted in the major changes relating to “God” made in Steps Two, Three, and Eleven, and opened up the “broad highway” to multiple gods and no God that swept into A.A. as the years went by.

Note also that in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, Bill had said of the Episcopal clergyman
Sam Shoemaker: “It was from him that Dr. Bob and I in the beginning had absorbed most of the principles that were afterward embodied in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous” (p. 39). And, before he yielded at the last minute to the urgings of his partner Henry Parkhurst, Bill said:

We were still arguing about the Twelve Steps. All this time I had refused to budge on these steps. I would not change a word of the original draft, in which, you will remember, I had consistently used the word “God,” and in one place the expression “on our knees” was used. . . . Though at first I would have none of it, we finally began to talk about the possibility of compromise. [Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pp. 166-67]

And sadly, the compromises that resulted have moved many a sick alcoholic away from the God of the Bible through the years since the Big Book was first published.

Is All This Confusion Fuel for Condemning A.A.? Absolutely Not!

For many it is. For others in A.A., it all seems perfectly normal. Settling for a “convenient” God or an “expedient” God is okay with them. A.A. historian Wally P. so claimed. One thing we know is that many AAs don’t know Who God is, or how to “find” Him, or to Whom they are supposed to pray. Is it the Creator? Is it a rock? Is it Somebody? Is it Santa Claus? Is it the Great Fact? Is it the Spirit of the Universe? Is it Creative Intelligence? Is it Ralph? Is it Gertrude? Is it a tree? Or is it a light bulb? For all these absurd names keep popping up—regularly!

If Dr. Bob were still alive, he would be focusing on God, his Heavenly Father. If Bill Wilson were still alive, who knows? If a few want to condemn A.A. because of some strange ideas emanating from Trine, Swedenborg, James, and Fox—who were not involved in A.A.--so be it. But for me, there was a clear challenge based on the history of A.A. itself to find out and report the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the A.A. that was founded and flourished before the nonsense gods made their mysterious and confusing entrance into “recovery.”

Some of us still want to help drunks. Some of us came into A.A. as drunks and were helped by AAs. Some of us saw the clear promise in A.A.’s Big Book that God could do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Lots of us have learned by experience what God actually can do. Lots of us do not support those who talk of the gods of Ralph Waldo Trine, spiritualism, and some “scholar’s” linguistic manufacture. More and more of us are becoming part of a current, growing movement to report and talk about the deeds, healings, power, forgiveness, and love of the one true living God.

My own experience is that a newcomer (properly armed with the same power of which Dr. Bob spoke—“Your Heavenly Father”) has little or no taste for or interest in relying on rocks, trees, light bulbs, or idols. The malady is too serious; the consequences unchecked are too disastrous; and the stakes too high to warrant playing around with a man-made creation that couldn’t answer the prayer of a cricket.

Those who today argue that A.A. is not Christian are right. Those who argue that no Christians should be in A.A. are patently ignorant of the thousands and thousands of Christians who participate in A.A. They don’t know AAs’ own ignorance of the great compromise based on the fears of Wilson, the prejudice of Parkhurst, the belated carnal Christian walk of Bill, or the influence of Bill’s wife. A compromise that has caused many to stop helping drunks rely on Almighty God for their recovery.

The revisionists patently ignore the fact that today the Red Cross, the United Way, the YMCA, the Armed Forces, the Congress, and the Constitution authorize no litmus test that will bar either Christians or non-Christians from the service work that all constantly render. Isolation and prohibition will not stop the devil’s intrusion, nor can they stop the work of Almighty God—with Whom nothing is impossible.

Gloria Deo


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ken B. Interview on Christian Recovery today

"Ken B. speaks about the new title, Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God’s Role in Recovery Confirmed!, on the December 29, 2012, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show.



By Dick B.

© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved


You can hear the Ken B interview right now!


You may hear Dick B.'s son Ken speak about their new title, Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God's Role in Recovery Confirmed! (December 2012), on the December 29, 2012, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show here:


or here:



Episodes of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show are archived at:



[Ken’s attention is directed particularly to our new book just released: Personal Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God’s Role in Recovery Confirmed! The latest title is available right now in paperback and in eBook formats on (Kindle), and will be available any day now in a variety of eBook formats through (use “Dick B.” as the search term and deactivate the “adult filter, even though these are not “adult” books), and other regular distribution sources.]


Synopsis of Ken B. Christian Recovery Radio Interview


Dick B.'s son Ken talks about the new book he and his dad released this month, Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God's Role in Recovery Confirmed! (December 2012). When Bill W. and Dr. Bob met in Akron, Ohio, on May 12, 1935 (Mother's Day), both were members of a group named "A First Century Christian Fellowship" (also known as the Oxford Group). Bill and Bob developed a program of recovery over the summer of 1935 which John D. Rockefeller's agent Frank Amos summarized in seven points in February 1938. (See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 131.)


As Dr. Bob said in his last major talk: "In early A.A. days, . . . we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book." (See The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks, Item # P-53, page 13.) After Bill and Bob "counted the noses" of those who had recovered as of November 1937, Bill was commissioned to write a book that would present the highly-successful, original Akron A.A. "Christian fellowship" program. (See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 123 and 118.) Bill W., however, wrote what he called "the new version of the program, now the 'Twelve Steps.'" (See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 162.)


Bill's statement at the Rockefeller Dinner on February 8, 1940, that A.A. claimed a 75% success rate among "seemingly-hopeless," "medically-incurable" alcoholics who thoroughly followed their path is mainly speaking about the original Akron program, as the Big Book had only been published April 10, 1939. When Clarence S. founded the A.A. group in Cleveland, which had a documented 93% success rate without relapse(!), he had done it with "by keeping most of the 'old program,' including the Bible and the Four Absolutes." (See Mitchell K., How It Worked, 108.) Our new book talks about success!


[I took the liberty of closing out Ken’s enlightening talk about God and A.A. and mentioned the many healing books and talks and conferences that have taken place over the years since 1850. Efforts by Christian people and organizations such as

the great evangelists (Moody, Sankey, Meyer, Folger), the Gospel Rescue Missions, the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, and the Vermont Congregational Churches. These and the Congregational churches and academies that figured so prominently in the Christian upbringing of Bob and Bill in Vermont were focused on employing the power they received as children of God and helping others by serving God.


I read the following from Power to Heal: Experiencing the Miraculous, by Joan Hunter, where she wrote:


God is not looking for your ability. He is looking for your availability. He is not looking for superstars; He is looking for servants. Does the Scripture say: “Well done, good and faithful superstar”? No, it says, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23), page 49.]


Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Bible for the Half-dozen anti-AA Christian writers

Man alone is not going to stop devilish name-calling, mudslinging, false accusations, and straw man arguments condemning Christians who belong to A.A., N.A., and 12-Step organizations.

Even though A.A. sprang from Christian roots (the great evangelists like Moody, Sankey, and Meyer; Gospel Rescue Missions; Young Men's Christian Association; Salvation Army; Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor; and strong Vermont Congregationalist leaders and revivalists and churches).

Even though both of A.A.'s co-founders were raised Christians by their parents, Congregational churches, Sunday schools, Sermons, reading of Scripture, hymns, baptisms, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and frequent conversion revivals and meetings. Even though they also both attended strong Congregational academies (St. Johnsbury and Burr and Burton) with daily chapel, prayer meetings, Bible studies, church services, and YMCA activities.

For many years, these historical facts were ignored, laid to one side, or distorted. But the last 23 years of research have brought them to the fore. And the first three AAs were believers in God, Christians, and Bible students. They were healed by God before there were any A.A. groups, Twelve Steps, a Big Book, Twelve Traditions or drunkalogs.

Yet about a half dozen persistent anti-AA critics have been bending every effort to "prove" that a Christian cannot belong to A.A., associate with A.A. or AAs, or help alcoholics in A.A. These souls seem to have ignored the difference between Christians walking by the spirit and those walking after the flesh, and the ability of the latter to be delivered and forgiven.

The critic weapons have nothing to do with the love of God, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are simply hateful attempts to tie A.A. and its founders to Masonry, spiritualism, New Thought, LSD, the "sins" of the founders, and the belated "new" A.A. program of 12 Steps not even published until four years after A.A.'s Christian Fellowship was founded in Akron and achieving great success.

For good measure, these same anti-AA critics don't seem to miss a chance to condemn Rick Warren, Dick B., and assorted other Christians who seek to  help alcoholics and addicts believe in God, come to Him through Jesus Christ, and take the Bible as their authority and guide. They somehow regard "recovery" as some monolithic single-minded society of sinners instead of diverse members having a common problem or common problems and, in some cases today, turning to God for help.

To be sure, God has given Christians the tools to tackle the Adversary who fosters such accusations and falsehoods. See Ephesians chapter 6 and James  4:7, 10. But many a Christian and those of other persuasions shrink before guilt accusations, fear, intimidation, and pride. They don't consult and believe biblical truths. They rely on senses knowledge feelings and opinions of men.

Of late, it has seemed appropriate to offer these anti-AA Christian writers the following verses to ponder from Ephesians chapter 4:

[21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
[25] Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
[26] Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
[27] Neither give place to the devil.
[28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
[30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
[31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
[32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you

Christians, beginning with the times of Jesus and the Acts of the Apostles, have been helping, converting, healing, praying for, speaking the Word to, and witnessing to the sick, the poor, the sinner, and the alcoholic; and they do so because God has given them the power that comes with being a child of God and expressing the love of God in word and deed.

Senses knowledge condemnations of those Christians who help others in jails, hospitals, mental wards, rehabs, recovery facilities, 12 Step programs, A.A. meetings, and conferences defy the right and privilege of Christians to do those very things, help others come to God through Christ, and to be healed and become new men in Christ--just as has been the case when the mystery was revealed to the saints and to Paul centuries ago.

Jesus ministered to the Jews. Paul ministered to the Gentiles. And to those who believed, there was no difference. There was no difference because of the spirit of God in all the believers; and there was no bar on witnessing to and ministering to all those still suffering in sin, sickness, death, and disasters. And listening to the message of early Christians: "Come and see."

Gloria Deo

Freedom House, Costa Mesa California

Freedom House

(John 8:32)

3133 Van Buren Avenue

Costa Mesa, California 92626

A Small, Well-founded, Residential Transitional Recovery House

Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved.


This is a brief article to tell you what networking in International Christian Recovery Coalition can produce for the alcoholic and addict who still suffers by focusing his attention on the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played and can play in recovery from alcoholism and addiction today. And by bringing together recovered Christian recovery leaders and workers skilled in the workings of treatment, recovery, and 12-Step programs, and placing special focus on the power of God that is so much needed by the afflicted.

First, about the three remarkable men who put the Freedom House project together.

David Roman is a dedicated young recovered Christian who is also the proprietor of four very successful Orange County Restaurants (Cucina Roman). He has been a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition since its inception in July, 2009. And he has generously distributed our Alcoholics Anonymous History books widely in the Orange County recovery arena. He is also very much involved in his Christian church’s “Recovering Our Freedom” group which highlights John 8:32 in this particular work:

Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).

David had a strong leading that a residential transition recovery house was needed that would have a Christian fellowship background—Bible based—resembling the First Century Christian apostles and their daily gatherings and actions described in the Book of Acts. So David is the provider of the house located at 3133 Van Buren Avenue, Costa Mesa, California. It enables newcomers to support each other while avoiding the vulgarity and drugs and idolatry that so often accompany the newcomer as he seeks relief from his addiction problems.

Danny Simmons is a mature, authoritative, recovered Christian AA who lives in Costa Mesa. Danny has been extremely active in both  church, 12 Step fellowships, and working with newcomers. We met him at one of David’s restaurants. And, when we are in Orange County, he cannot do enough to serve and glorify the Lord and put us in touch with other recovered Christians who grasp and want to apply the successful Christian techniques of early Akron A.A.’s Christian Fellowship in recovery today. He chairs meetings. He helps newcomers, He is a church-oriented Christian. He studies. He distributes books free. And he is well suited to be the manager of Freedom House. The men there need loving concern, discipline, and sound teaching. And Danny provides it.

Dr. Robert Tucker is founder and president of New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc., in Huntington Beach, California. He runs a church, treatment program, a Christian counselor training and certification program, presents recovery classes, and conducts counseling. He also sees to it that his clients are safely housed during their treatment period. And Danny Simmons worked with Dr. Tucker in that arena. Dr. Tucker is also president of the prestigious Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute; and his wife Stephanie works alongside him particularly in the codependency treatment area. She is an author as well. Dr. Tucker has been a speaker on programs with us; participated in TV panels; and filmed our introductory foundations class. His office is Huntington Beach is the Orange County Headquarters for our Coalition.

The Importance of Diverse Christian Talents in the Growing Christian Recovery Movement

International Christian Recovery Coalition is an informal, no cost, fellowship of Christian recovery leaders, workers, newcomers, and concerned people disseminating the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original Christian Fellowship program of A.A., and its successes. They want to see the techniques and successes of that First Century Christian Fellowship returned to view and applied where wanted in today ‘s recovery scene.

The mission, participation, programs, projects, and media presentations are spelled out on People from many parts of the United States and Canada have participated in its conferences, panels, and seminars. They get to know each other. They are able to refer people who want God’s help to others who will help them get it. They participate in our research, book distribution projects, and media presentations.

And the work at Freedom House in Orange County is just one of dozens of projects that utilize the talents of Coalition participants and bring them together from such widely dispersed locations as Alaska, Arizona, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Washington, Oregon, California, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, New York, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, West Virginia, Idaho, the Dakotas, Kansas, New Mexico, Florida, Maryland, Oklahoma, Arkansas, United Kingdom, Ireland, Wales, Netherlands, Sweden, or many other spots.

These participants are travelers, phoners, and communicators. On our panels, conferences, research efforts, and interviews, they have come together from British Columbia, Alberta, Toronto, Ontario, the East Coast, Midwest, South, West, and Northern U.S. to meet each other and then to return and keep in touch.

Though One Group of Many, Freedom House Provides Unique, Needed Help Today

Gloria Deo

Historic Meeting of Bill W. and Dr. Bob in 1948 in Shrine Auditorium of LA

Bill W. & Dr. Bob together at The Shrine Auditorium in March 1948: "The Tidings" article 03 26 48.PDF [sent by Hermine Lees of The Tidings staff to Ken B.]


Subject: The Tidings article 03 26 48.PDF [sent by Hermine Lees of The Tidings to Ken B.]

[Note to readers: If you would like a copy of this vitally important historical record of Bob and Bill in Los Angeles where they were talking of Divine Aid, prayer, cultivating the habit of prayer, and studying the Bible, see for yourself. Contact; and we will see that you get a pdf sent to you]

Aloha to you, Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena!!


Dick B. ( has quoted from and referred to a copy of an article from The Tidings he received several years back which discussed an event held in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles at which Bill W. and Dr. Bob spoke together. Here is some background information about this important article in which Bill W. and Dr. Bob note the role of the Creator of the heavens and the earth (and--in Dr. Bob's case--of the Bible) in early A.A.'s astonishing successes.


Because the last number in the year date (i.e., the "8" in "1948") was difficult to read in the copy given to Dick B., he cited the article as being from page 17 of the Friday, March 26, 1943, issue of The Tidings. Because the staff of The Tidings had been unable to locate such an article with the date of March 26, 1943, they reported to a least one person--in addition to reporting to me this month (i.e., March 2008)--that they didn't have such an article.


After considerable personal research, I came to the conclusion that there was probably a simple "typo" involved in which the "8" in "1948" had been mistaken for a "3" (as in "1943"). When I contacted The Tidings and suggested that the date might actually be Friday, March 26, 1948, Hermine Lees, a Staff Writer at The Tidings, was able to confirm to me almost immediately that there was such an article. At my request, she faxed the article to me. I have attached a scanned copy of her fax to me ("The Tidings article  03 26 48.pdf"). She told me in an email message that she had felt that she needed to retype the two paragraphs in the first column of the copy of the article she faxed to me, and I hand-wrote her comments at the bottom of the document she faxed to me. And I drew a line around what Hermine typed so that it would be clear that that portion of text was separate from the photocopy of the article she sent me. Please also note that the copy sent to me by Hermine Lees does not include the ads and other information surrounding the original article about Alcoholics Anonymous.


I am also including a scanned copy of the original article which Dick B. had used in his various discussions of the appearance of Bill W. and Dr. Bob at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


And, speaking of the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A.'s astonishing successes with "seemingly-hopeless," "medically-incurable" alcoholics who thoroughly followed the path of the pioneer AAs, please see our just-released titled, Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God's Role in Recovery Confirmed! by Dick B. and Ken B. (2012), now available in paperback and eBook formats from




     eBook (Kindle):    [This book will be available in other eBook formats any day now from]


Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous quotes many examples of A.A. pioneers sharing about God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, and Christianity in the "Personal Stories" section of the first edition of the Big Book (1939). Those pioneers were testifying to the tremendous effectiveness of the "old program" which John D. Rockefeller's agent, Frank Amos, summarized in seven points--not six, not 12!--on page 131 of DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. Those 29 testimonies--26 of which were not included in the fourth edition of the Big Book (2001)--are not talking about what Bill Wilson called "the new version of the program, now the 'Twelve Steps'" (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 162) which he wrote in the first 11 chapters of the first edition. Bill's "new version of the program" didn't exist yet! No, here is what Mitchell K., the biographer of Clarence S, the founder of A.A. in Cleveland, states:


"Two years after the publication of the [Big] book [on April 10, 1939], Clarence made a survey of all of the members in Cleveland. He concluded that, by keeping most of the 'old program,' including the Four Absolutes and the Bible, ninety-three percent of those surveyed had maintained uninterrupted sobriety." (Mitchell K., How It Worked: The Story of Clarence H. Snyder and the Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, 108; bolding added. See also DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 261.)


Would you like to see a 93% success rate among "medically-incurable" alcoholics (and addicts)--with no relapses among them!--in your A.A. meeting and/or Christian recovery meeting today? Please check out the resources mentioned in this article.


One more thing: Whatever you do, please have a large stack of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks (Item # P-53-- available at all of the A.A. meetings and Christian Recovery meetings you attend and/or supervise, and give them to everyone who comes to those meetings. Consider highlighting key pages in Dr. Bob's and Bill's talks in that pamphlet about the "Good Book," our "Heavenly Father," and "the Master." And perhaps include a business card and/or write your name and phone number in the back of the pamphlet. Atheists and agnostics have become children of God reading this pamphlet! (Want to know more about this pamphlet? Please ask me!)


In GOD's love,


Dick B.'s son, Ken


Dick B.'s main Web site:

Dick B., Executive Director

The International Christian Recovery Coalition:

"Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.," "Russell S. Talks," and other Christian Recovery resources: