Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ken B. Christian Recovery Radio Interview on A.A. and the Seiberling Family Role

Ken B. speaks about Henrietta Seiberling on the January 10, 2013, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show

You Can Hear this Radio Interview Right Now!

Dick B.

Copyright 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved

[An interview with special attention to Dick B.’s book Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause, 4th ed. 2006. That book is about Henrietta Seiberling, “One of A.A.’s Non-Alcoholic Women Founders.” Reasonably priced at $15.95 – print on demand – from the printer to you! Available on and also through Dick B.’s main web site]


You may hear Ken B. speak about Henrietta Seiberling on the January 10, 2013, 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:




The Dick B. Seiberling family, A.A. History, Akron A.A books tell you about the Seiberlings—Henrietta, her son Congressman John Seiberling, and her two daughters Mary and Dorothy. As with so much of his historical research, Bill was able, while all were alive and well and extremely gracious and informative, to interview some principal A.A. history people at the beginning of the 1990’s. He visited, communicated with, and received information from all three Seiberling children. Also, from Dr. Bob’s daughter Sue Smith Windows, and his son Robert and Robert’s wife Betty.  Dick even interviewed and received A.A. history treasures from Dorothy Culver—daughter of T. Henry Williams, whose Akron home was the scene of the regular Wednesday night meetings of old school A.A. in the years from 1935-39 when A.A. was founded and its program was being developed.

The Seiberling tie was, for Dick, a very special one. In 1935, all four Seiberlings were crammed into the little Seiberling Gate House on the huge Seiberling estate. All four attended all the early A.A. meetings as did Dr. Bob’s children with Smitty sometimes absent. The three Seiberling children told Dick many specifics about their mother—her Vassar education, her intense interest in Dr. Bob and his sobriety, details about early A.A. history and founding and meetings, her immense reading of Oxford Group books, her frequent quotations from the Bible, her “spiritual infusion” into Bill W. and Dr. Bob (as Bill wrote) during A.A.’s most formative period in the summer of 1935.

Congressman John Seiberling wrote a Foreword to two of Dick B.’s books—The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous and The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth. Congressman John was the lead speaker (at a panel including Dr. Bob’s daughter, John Seiberling, Oxford Group activist James Draper Newton, and Oxford Group leader and writer T. Willard Hunter). The event took place in the hall above the Akron AA Intergroup Office.

Later, Hazelden asked Dick B. to write a biographical sketch of the relevant life of Henrietta Seiberling. John Seiberling proof read and assisted in providing facts for the work. It is titled, Women Pioneers in 12 Step Recovery, 1999. And the complete chapter on Henrietta can be found at pages 25 to 41.

Then, when a million dollars was raised to renovate and establish an archive and museum at the famous Seiberling Gate House—where Bill W. and Dr. Bob had met for the first time, and where the four Seiberlings lived—it was Congressman John who provided help and much information. He also read the first edition of the book on Henrietta that Dick published in 2004, and which was featured in Dick’s talk and seminar at the dedication of the Seiberling Gate House.

Brief Synopsis of the Ken B.’s Christian Recovery Radio Interview

I deliberately refrain from summarizing in detail my son Ken’s excellent talk on today’s Christian Recovery Radio about the Seiberlings, about Henrietta’s role and well-known recorded talk about early A.A. and its cofounders, and about the importance of learning about the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in early A.A. and can play today.

Ken reads portions of the documents involved in the Seiberling story, summarizes the books about A.A. and the Seiberlings, and quotes many of the remarks by John Seiberling and his mother that make the contributions of this great family so very very clear. And also make them part of the foundation involved in applying old school A.A. today by those who realize the early A.A. program’s clarity, simplicity, and relevance in recovery today. And who want to seek, believe in, or learn about the help that God can provide to those still suffering.

This talk by Ken B. should propel you toward a bookstore or online purchase of Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause. It will enable you to see the intertwined relevance of the particular historical contributions of the Akron A.A. founders—Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, Anne Ripley Smith, Henrietta B. Seiberling, T. Henry and Clarace Williams. And it will illustrate just how fortunate Dick and Ken have both been in the time so generously accorded to each of them by the Smith children, the Seiberling children, and T. Henry’s daughter.

Thus, just Dick’s trip to the town house of Dorothy Seiberling in New York not only yielded sister Dorothy’s remarks and correspondence about her mother. It enabled Dick to spend substantial time with the Bible of Henrietta Seiberling—a Bible used to guide early AAs, and a Bible filled with notes, under-linings, and comments the fit so well with the other biblical roots Dick was able to find and write about concerning the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron.

Assembling and accurately reporting the long ignored history of Alcoholics Anonymous has been a joint project for over 23 years of Dick and Ken; and those who are now rising to form Christian recovery fellowships, Christian counseling programs, Christian treatment programs 12-Step meetings for Christians, pastoral recovery work and chaplaincy are in almost daily contact by phone, skype, email, and letter with Ken. And those who hear this interview will be among the favored recovery folks who hear how much Ken can inform and help them if they contact him personally here in Maui – 808 874 4876

Ken’s interview is not only available now on with Dick B., but will later be re-broadcast on where every Tuesday the producer broadcasts talks by Dick and those he interviews. Talks under the title A.A. History with Dick B.  

Gloria Deo


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