Thursday, February 28, 2013

Synopsis of the all but buried Christian upbringing of A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson

What we now know is that historians completely missed the boat when it came to reciting and making known Bill Wilson's extensive Christian upbringing in Vermont. Shortly we will have our new book (Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont) released where you can see the whole picture in detail. For now, these points are important:  Bill's parents and grandparents attended East Dorset Congregational Church on the lawn between Griffith House and Wilson House. The Wilsons helped found the church, contributed to it financially, and owned Pew 15 in that church. We have also seen the Congregational Confession and Creed of that church as well as some of its literature. Bill Wilson attended the church and its Sunday school. His parents were married in that church. And, as a youngster, Bill studied the Bible with his grandfather Griffith and his friend Mark Whalon. He attended conversion, revival, and temperance meetings and even reminisced about the sermons he had heard in East Dorset. Next, Bill was enrolled in Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester, Vermont and attended there for four years. He took a four year Bible study course there. He attended daily chapel there where there were Sermons, reading of Scripture, hymns, and prayer meetings. Students also frequently attended Manchester Congregational Church where the Burr and Burton Seminary owned a pew in which the students sat. Bill was President of the Seminary YMCA. His lady love Bertha Bamford was President of the Seminary YWCA; and both attended YMCA activities together. From there, Bill soon attended Norwich Military Academy in Northfield where there was also required a similar daily chapel and church attendance routine. Bill's friend Ebby Thacher boarded with the Manchester Congregational Church pastor while Ebby also attended Burr and Burton as well as Norwich with Bill

The Use of the Word "Cured" by Early AAs

The Use of the Word “Cured” by Early AAs


The following resources published by A.A. World Services, Inc., contain reproductions of hundreds of newspaper articles from 1939-1944, many of which include uses of the word “cure” to describe the victories of A.A.’s pioneers over alcoholism:


[[** (M-42) Archives Scrapbook 1939-1942 [$75.00] ** This item is not in the 2011-2012 catalog; it may now be out of print. [1985?]


(M-66) Archives Scrapbook 1943. Offset reproduction of newspaper clippings about A.A. 18 ½” x 16 ½”.[$65.00]

[Publisher: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Incorporated, 1996; ISBN: 0916856909; 9780916856908:; accessed 2/28/13.]


(M-69) Archives Scrapbook 1944. See description above. [$65.00]

[Publisher: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Incorporated, 2003; ISBN: 1893007332; 9781893007338


[“M-66” and “M-69” are found in the “2011-2012 Conference-Approved Literature & Other A.A. Material” literature catalog. 

“M-42” was listed in one or more earlier A.A. literature catalogs and may now be out of print.]


The following article in the Box 459 publication discusses the “Archives Scrapbooks” above:


“News Clippings Open Window on A.A.’s Early Years,” Box 459: News and Notes from the General Service Office of A.A., Vol. 49, No. 6 / HOLIDAY ISSUE 2003, 6-7


Standing on the promises of God in Alcoholics Anonymous

Here's a note received from my son Ken when he responded to his article about the importance of standing versus sitting in our daily work. Check it out.

Go, Dad!

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor 7:1 KJV)

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pet 1:4 KJV)

Your son, Ken, who loves you!

On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Dick B. <> wrote:

Standing on the promises of God

God bless

The big saving in Dick B.'s Offer of a Complete Reference Set for $249.

We have had some good responses, but some are saying they can't afford $249 which gives them a 32 volume reference set  on A.A. history and Christian recovery right now.

But just look at the list price of 8 or 10 of Dick B.'s books; and you will realize that the price of the  32 volume set right now is less than that involved in buying a much smaller number of books.

Why? Because we now have all of our books in print-on-demand, and a few in electronic form. So we don't have to ship them to and fro from printer to Maui. We don't have to store them at  great  expense in Maui. And we don't have the delay and expense of taking them out of storage and shipping them to the buyer.

Don't miss this opportunity: $249. with free shipping in the USA.

Have  your own storehouse of factual A.A. history. Read the parts you like at your own pace, or read them with those who ask questions you didn't know how to answer accurately.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

32 Volume A.A. History Christian Recovery Set for Only $249.

We've reduced the price of buying all 32 of these valuable A.A. History and Christian Recovery reference volumes by Dick B. We can do it  because we are now doing print-on-demand publication and are able to eliminate the cost of shipping to and fro, storing, and having a large inventory on Maui that belongs in the hands of A.A. members and Christians hungry for all the details about their origins, principles, practices, history, and successes. Total price $249. Shipping and  handling free in USA. Contact or 808 874 4876

4 Spiritual Tools for Christians in 12 Step Groups Today

Four tools we use the most for applying early A.A. principles and practices in today's fellowships: (1) Co-Founders of AA, pp 13-14; (2) Dover Reprint of Big Book 1st edition with Introduction by Dick B.. (3) 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; (4) Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God's Role in Recovery Confirmed. All 4 inexpensive. All 4 fit together like a hand in a glove. All 4 give an important guide to melding old school AA with today's AA

AA: A Brainstorming Session on Maui with Visitors to the Islands

We were delighted two days ago to receive a phone call from a certified Internal Medicine physician from Alaska who came to the Big Island for vacation. He is a Christian who has a deep understanding of medical and other aspects of alcoholism and addiction--particularly addiction. He has a host of ideas about how to work up a number of effective housing, treatment, and medical assistance facilities which are founded on Christian Recovery ideas--both in Alaska and in Maui.

Now we have an office at the County of Maui Salvation Army facility, where we do films, studies, interviews, meetings, and assessments. Because of the generosity of Sally, this office is provided free. And more and more we meet with people in the Islands and who are visiting the Islands; show great promise of being effective Christian recovery leaders, effective participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition; and want to assist us as reporters and content providers helping to define and disseminate the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original Christian A.A. Fellowship program of 1935 and its successes. And can play today.

In their realm of expertise, outreach, and experience.

Why this brief article? We would like those who are attracted to the Hawaiian Islands for residence, business, golf, vacations, cruises, scenery, and recreation to feel free to contact us and arrange to meet with us here on Maui in our well stocked AA history and Christian recovery resources. And brainstorm. We realized after yesterday that this is far more likely, far more practical, and far more feasible economically than traveling to the many spots on the Mainland and in other countries who want us to come there for conferences, summits, seminars, and personal networking.

We want to hear their story. We want to hear what they are doing in the Christian recovery field. We want to know what their Christian recovery work plans and visions are. We want to hear their needs, their wish lists, and their questions. Then we enjoy their company, "train the trainers," and are blessed by the visit. It has been happening for a good many years now.

In His Service, Dick B. 808 874 4876;

PS: Just so you know the scope of the previous visits to Maui, we have had leaders from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Kaui, Oahu, the Island of Hawaii, the East Coast, Canada, Mexico, Washington, and some other areas.

What Early AA Said This. And Where?

"Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!"

A.A.'s Christians, Variety of Beliefs and Unbeliefs, and the Articles that Miss the History and Facts

[About an article just  posted by a persistent critic of A.A. and Christians who participate in A.A.]

The article ignores the extensive record of Christians in A.A.--tens of thousands of them; the Christian organizations like YMCA, Salvation Army, evangelists like Moody and Meyer, Gospel Rescue Missions, and Christian Endeavor Society that were not pre-occupied with being AGAINST liquor and helping the derelicts and drunks, but FOR healing the alcoholic by the power of God. Any reputable discussion does not ignore these long documented and much discussed facts. See Dick B., When Early AAs Were Cured and Why. Moreover the continuing staccato snippets like those in this article ignore the intensive Christian upbringing in Congregational churches and academies, as well as the YMCA and Christian Endeavor, that were part  of the lives of A.A. Co-founders in their youth in Vermont.. Finally, it ws not until Bill Wilson sat down with three others (one a secretary) in 1939, just before the A.A. Big Book went to press, and introduced the idea that those who were atheists and agnostics might find something of use in A.A. But the dozens of continued references in t he Big Book to God, Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, Father of Light, etc. demonstrate the continued influence of the Bible on every facet of early A.A. Contrast this with the fact that belief in God and coming to Him through Jesus Christ was a  requisite for membership in the A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935. See The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 4th ed, 2012. And perhaps it these facts are repeated and repeated and repeated, some of the "higher power" "new thought" "protestant liberalism" jargon will be seen for what it is--of no interest to the tens of thousands of believing and practicing Christians who are learning real A.A. history and forming hundreds of Christian Recovery Fellowships and programs in all   50 states and in other countries where a return to and practical application of the First Century Christianity principles and practices of early AAs are allowed out of the shadows by critics and unbelievers, and seen as the new great wind of present-day Christian Recovery Movement leaders, workers, newcomers, and concerned public. Today, the Christian Recovery Movement is on the move; and it certainly is not limited to Christians in NA, A.A., Al-Anon, Overcomers Outreach, Alcoholics for Christ, Alcoholics Victorious, Celebrate Recovery, Teen Challenge, and YWAM - to mention a few.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Continuing Series: Support for Old School AA in Present-day AA

Part Eight: What old school AAs and present-day AAs alike can do in an anonymous fellowship based on Bill Wilson’s new version program ideas is appropriate, often recommended, frequently quoted, and much needed in a society drowning in “evidence-based” criteria, research statistics, government regulations and subsidies, licensing of healing methods, and piling dollar after dollar into recovery efforts that have done little to honor God, help  the newcomer to permanent victory, or challenge the newcomer to change.

(a) There is a well-known saw in A.A. rooms: What do you have when a drunk horse thief gets sober? Answer: A sober horse thief.

(b)The idea that a Christian sins when he spots a horse thief, helps him get sober, offers him salvation and “sanctification”  to boot is perfectly absurd. It is as fitting in today’s Twelve-Step fellowships as it was in the Akron Christian A.A. Fellowship.

(c) The theme that can be used today is being used in hundreds of Christian recovery programs, Christian recovery fellowships, Christian sober houses, Christian counseling, and Christian hospitals which  are part of  the Christian Recovery Movement and often a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition missions and projects.

(d)The theme is a poster-child example of what worked and produced born again Christians free from the clutches and bondage of drunkenness and sickness in the Apostolic period. And that worked with the Salvation Army and Rescue Missions in the 1850’s; that

in earliest A.A. days, and works today. It certainly includes: (1)  Qualification of the newcomer. (2) Hospitalization to avoid seizures and DT’s. (3) Hearing the Word of God. (4) Meeting in homes and churches. (5) Breaking bread together. (6) Praying together. (7) Healing others. (8) Witnessing and converting. And add to these: (9) Going to A.A. and/or Celebrate Recovery and/or Teen Challenge and/or the Salvation Army and/or a Rescue Mission and/or a counselor for instruction and comfort does not a sinner make.

(10) Those who claim otherwise are simply ignoring the sickness, the loneliness, the terror, the bewilderment, the confusion, the temptations, the regrets, the guilt, and the shame faced by almost anyone who starts on the road to recovery today. The Bible has answers for all of these. And it can as effectively be taught by and heard from a recovered person as it could by the Gentiles of biblical days who were told the good news. Salvation, “sanctification,” healing, thankfulness, forgiveness, love, and well-doing are as Christian and necessary to a solid relationship with God as they always have been. And the promises of John 3:16 and 10:10 are the added anchors that go with all of these.

Continuing Series: Supporting Old School AA in Present-day AA


Part Eight: The Option We Strongly Suggest for Those Who are Christians or Who Believe They Need God’s help for healing and salvation and A.A.’s Support for Sobriety.

            The Mix in the Recovery Scene Today:

(1)        Alcoholism, addiction, and the harm to society therefrom are increasing in cost, destruction, numbers, and recidivism.

(2)        Criminals, patients, mentally ill, the afflicted, and the affected are frequently dumped on 12 Step programs by compulsion – neither by attraction nor promotion.

(3)        Money fuels the growth of grants, “research,” publications, and government agencies for health; of new treatment “models,” of government-controlled certification qualifications, of secular-oriented professionals, of varied religious and humanist approaches, and of “poly addiction” facilities that receive insurance and public money for their programs.

(4)        The very shift away from Christianity, the Bible, and God today by government; by religious organizations; by atheists and agnostics; by former 12-Step failures; and by AAs themselves bodes ill for reliance on God as a remedy even though the early experiences with “medical incurability,” the inadequacy of personal efforts, and the ineffectiveness of human institutions birthed the self-help ideas that themselves sprang from reliance on God and the Christian helpers of the 1800’s.

(5)        The continued mis-labeling, misquoting of Scripture, and anti-A.A. bias of some Christians looms larger and larger in the efforts to paint A.A. as a threat to Christians, as heretical, and as being “not of the Lord.” This by writers who themselves give little more than a nod to the destructiveness of addiction, to the dearth of compassionate and understanding human help, to the Christian ideals and ideas from which A.A. sprang, and to the opportunities for born again Christians to go to A.A., N.A., and other anonymous fellowships for sobriety and becoming drug-free; receiving free and altruistic help from others who have recovered; and doing so without the stigma that often permeates church views, society’s ideas of alcoholism and addiction, and the destruction and condemnation that the afflictions cause families, society, and the economy.

(6)        The self-righteous souls who somehow think that there is no provision in the Bible for pardon and forgiveness of the born again repeater who falls, sins, and wants to attain righteousness again as provided in1 John 1.

The Need to see A.A.’s present-day diversity and composition of believers, non-believers, and unbelievers as the very social challenge any and every Christian meets in the government, business, military, in the job scene, in educational institutions, in service groups, in sports, in youth groups, and on the streets.

(1)        Compassionate comfort, assistance, and tolerance of the faults of others such as these does not constitute sin. It should not be prohibited, controlled, criticized, or condemned any more than walking down a crowded hall and bumping into others constitutes sin.

(2)        Such conduct often fits the description of pure and undefiled religion found in the first chapter of the Book of James.

(3)        The idea that an elderly crippled Christian who accepts help from a Jewish Boy Scout in crossing the street is sinning by association with a non-Christian is just as absurd as the castigation of a Christian who comes to A.A. to get sober and change but helps others along the way and yet is somehow a sinner. And quoting a Bible verse or two to condemn that Christian does not make the accuser right or holier than the Christian helper.

The recommended, appropriate application of old school A.A. principles and practices in today’s anonymous groups is just as much expected in Bill’s new version as it was in 1935.

i.          Quit permanently;

ii.         Turn to God;

iii.        Obey His will;

iv.        Grow in understanding of God and His word;

v.         Serve God and others;

vi.        Fellowship together;

vii.       Choose to utilize or to ignore religious observances and associations;

viii.      Believe:

1.         The angel told Mary: “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37)

2.         The LORD told Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the LORD” (Gen 18:14)

3.         Jesus told his disciples: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26)

4.         Jesus responded to the report that the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter was dead: “Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” (Luke 8:50)

Continuing Series: Support for Old School AA in Present-day AA

Part Five: Transmission of the Original Lessons

          The Learners:

                                                             i.      Dr. Bob – a Christian

                                                          ii.      Bill W. – a Christian

                                                       iii.      Ebby Thacher – a Christian

                                                        iv.      Bertha Bamford—a Christian and Bill’s high school love

                                                           v.      Rowland Hazard – a Christian who followed Jung’s advice; and taught Ebby ideas from the Bible, Christianity, and prayer, as well as the Oxford Group.

                                                        vi.      Shep Cornell – a Christian who taught Ebby and Bill

                                                     vii.      Cebra Graves – a Christian who taught Ebby

The Teachers and the Transmitters

                                                  viii.      Parents, grandparents, and the Bible

                                                        ix.      Church and Sunday school

                                                           x.      Seminaries and academies

1.     Required church

2.     Required  Bible courses

3.     Required daily chapel (Scripture reading, sermons, hymns, prayers)

4.     YMCA activities

                                                        xi.      Evangelists – Moody, Sankey, Folger, Meyer

                                                     xii.      The Young Men’s Christian Association

                                                  xiii.      The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor

                                                   xiv.      Professor William James – varieties of religious experiences

                                                      xv.      Rev. Sam Shoemaker – Must “find God” through vital religious experience and need Jesus Christ

                                                   xvi.      Dr. William D. Silkworth – Jesus Christ could cure

b.     What were they learning

                                                             i.      Belief in God

                                                          ii.      Salvation (John 14:6; Rom 10:9-10; Acts 4:12; Rom 15:3-8);

                                                       iii.      The word of God;

                                                        iv.      Creeds and confessions;

                                                           v.      (From) sermons;

                                                        vi.      Group and individual prayers

                                                     vii.      Hymns

                                                  viii.      (From) revivals

                                                        ix.      (From) Temperance meetings

                                                           x.      (From) the YMCA meetings in the churches

c.     Laboratories

                                                             i.      The “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury;

                                                          ii.      The Young Men’s Christian Association

                                                       iii.      Rescue missions

                                                        iv.      The Salvation Army

                                                           v.      The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor

d.     Bill W.’s special emphasis

                                                             i.      A vital religious experience [Bill cried out to God; his hospital room blazed with an indescribably white light, and he experienced the presence of god—“the God of the Scriptures”]

                                                          ii.      “For sure I’d been born again”

e.     The Bible (The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous)—How the first three got sober



Continuing Series: Supporting Old School AA in Present-day AA

Fellowship Ideas; Confirming their Propriety by A.A.’s Own Conference-Approved Literature; and Pointing to Bill W.’s “New Version of the Program” as it stood before the Great Compromise

1.         Taking a good look at what “Old-School” A.A. means:

a.         First Century Christianity (applied in Acts 1-6)

b.         What First Century Christianity is     

i.          Jesus  and the Book of Acts  

1.         Jesus [daily; It is written];

2.         The Book of Acts [Daily fellowship; meeting in home or temple; praying together; hearing the word of God together; breaking bread together; witnessing; converting; healing; and evidencing that the church of God grows daily]

c.         Results from Scriptures:

i.          Salvation—required acceptance of Jesus as Lord Rom 10:9;

ii.         Holy Spirit was received and sealed within

iii.        Power as part of the package;

iv.        Obeying and following what Jesus did [John 14:12];

v.         In Acts, doing what Jesus did:

1.         Healing the sick

2.         Raising the dead

3.         Healing the lame (Acts 3-4)

4.         Casting out evil spirits

d.         Christian organizations and individuals reproducing First Century Christianity from the mid-1800’s onward

i.          Congregationalism;

ii.         The Young Men’s Christian Association;

iii.        Evangelists;

iv.        The Salvation army

v.         Rescue missions

vi.        The Young People’s Society of  Christian Endeavor

vii.       “A First Century Christian Fellowship” (aka “the Oxford Group”)

viii.      Rev. Sam Shoemaker

ix.        The Akron “Christian fellowship”;

x.         The Rockefeller observations—“Why this is First Century

Christianity at work. What can we do to help!”

Continuing Series: Supporting Old School A.A. in Present-Day A.A.


Part Three Sobriety, Recovery, and Deliverance require a SOLUTION: Four Approaches to the Solution that were tried:

1.         For theorists: “a vital religious experience”—language used by Professor William James, Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, Dr. Carl Jung, and the earliest Wilson writings themselves.

2.         For those who believed the answers were in the Bible—“the Good Book”:

a.         Believe God, confess Jesus as Lord (Hebrews 11:6; John 14:6; Rom 10:9-10), learn the truth (John 8:31-32), God’s will – Thy will be done! (1 Tim 2:4)

b.         The Book of James—the favorite:

i.          Resisting temptation;

ii.         Asking God’s guidance, without wavering;

iii.        “Doing” the Word;

iv.        Love;

v.         Royal law—“Love thy neighbor as thyself;”

vi.        Works required;

vii.       Submit to God;

viii.      Resist the Devil;

ix.        Humbly asking the Lord’s help

x.         Praying (James 5:16)

xi.        Confess faults;

xii.       Heal

c.         The Sermon on the Mount—the underlying spiritual philosophy of A.A.—as both Bill W. and Dr. Bob put it.

i.          Reconciliation and amends;

ii.         Forgiveness;

iii.        Love;

iv.        Thy will be done;

v.         Put God first;

vi.        Judge not, that ye be not judged;

vii.       Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

d.         1 Cor 13: the renewed mind principles of love to live by

3.         The stated path to the solution: to find or rediscover God (as it was phrased in the Multilith Edition)

a.         “Old-School”:

i.          The first three—Abstained; Asked God’s help; helped others; were cured,

ii.         The seven point “Christian technique” in Akron—DR. BOB, 131;

iii.        The 16 practices—See “Stick with the Winners”

b.         Bill’s “new version of the program”:

i.          Lack of power to overcome the problem

ii.         Must “find” God;

iii.        12 Steps to the solution—10 were Oxford Group ideas;

iv.        ABC’s;

v.         Biblical language (Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, Thy will be done, Love thy neighbor) and helpful Christian books

4.         The agreed solution—a vital religious experience (Big Book, page 25)

Continuing Series of Support for Old School AA Today


Part One: Four Powerful Reasons for Re-examining and Applying Old School A.A. Ideas Today

1.         So you can recover immediately—like the first three AAs did

2.         To prevent relapse—based on a standard of permanent abstinence, rather than accepting or excusing revolving-door recidivism approaches

3.         To guide speakers and sponsors—and instruct newcomers on the foregoing

4.         To enhance recovery itself—through belief in the Creator and His healing and forgiving power, fellowship with like-minded believers, avoiding temptation, effectively praying, receiving God’s guidance, and claiming real healing and cure of alcoholism.

Part Two: Four Major Barriers to Present-day Recovery Potential

1.         The “Higher Power” craze [“the fool hath said there is no god”; just select some nonsense god (See Psa 115) Use absurd names and call “it” a “higher power.” And return to emphasis on human help, treatment, and “therapeutic” approaches.

2.         Stopping short of turning to and relying upon God—the “power source” named as our “Heavenly Father” in Big Book page 181, and “the Lord” in Big Book page 191.

3.         The failure to know God and grow in knowledge of Him and denying the necessity for seeking and relying on God—See Hebrews 11:6.

4.         The day-in day-out swallowing of myths:

a.         Belief not required—But see Heb. 11:6.

b.         Declaring A.A. is “Spiritual, but not religious”—a meaningless detour.

c.         Saying Relapse is okay—a growing excuse for failing programs.

d.         Choosing your own conception of some unknown “power”—But see Psa 115.

e.         Denying that A.A. was ever Bible-based or Christian, and naming multiple irrelevant and unproven “sources” for its variety of phases and ideas—Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Oxford Group, Emmet Fox, New Age, spiritualism, Free-Masonry, and the lack of importance of sin and the devil as causative factors.

Why We Support "Old School" A.A. in Present-day A.A.

[a series of several articles on the subject:]
Why We Support “Old-School” A.A. in Company With

Bill W.’s “New Version of the Program”

Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Introduction to the Problem

Several ideas severely critical of Alcoholics Anonymous are gaining support in the recovery arena today primarily because A.A.’s detractors ignore the various phases of Alcoholics Anonymous development and posture. They just don’t report its history correctly or at least misinterpret  or distort that history. The anti-A.A. ideas lie among a few Christians, many AAs, numbers of atheists and agnostics, others with non-Christian religious beliefs, and many today with no belief in anything at all. But this diversity, this variety, these scattered sources have severely challenged the biblical roots and Christian origins of A.A., the Christian beliefs of its founders, and the Christian nature of its original fellowship.


And here are the phases, which are discussed and documented elsewhere in my writings, that need to be at the heart of any examination of the society of Alcoholics Anonymous—whether speaking of its origins, or of its beginnings, or of its various activities and so-called membership.


 One is the phase that catalyzed the development of A.A. ideas long before A.A. was founded. Another is the phase involving the Christian upbringing and beliefs of the first three AAs including its cofounders. Still another is the phase where the first three AAs were cured by the power of God before there was any A.A. group at all, or were any Steps or Big Books at all, and only shortly after A.A.’s “founding.” by the first two members. There was also the phase that has been shelved for years and yet involved the original A.A. Christian Fellowship of the 1930’s and thereafter together with its emergence from study and effort and teaching from the Bible and Christian principles/

Then there was the phase where Cofounder Bill W. was turning away from the Akron A.A. Christian fellowship technique and program and being strongly influenced in part by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., and the Oxford Group life-changing ideas. Next, Bill called his writing and publication of the Big Book and the Twelve Steps a “New Version of the Program”—an incontrovertible situation. Finally there was the phase where the entire A.A. “new version” was further changed just before the Big Book went to press; and the idea of “One” God, the Creator, the Maker, the Father of Light, the Heavenly Father of the Lord Jesus Christ gave way to an intentional effort to inject new gods and no gods into Wilson’s new version and the original plan he had for the Twelve Steps—a plan that stood on Bill W.’s initial written and unqualified references to “God” and God alone.

This dramatic shift at the threshold of publication of the Big Book underlines the fact that today there is no A.A. dogma, creed, liturgy, religious idea, or rule that unites members to a particular delivering belief or to any belief at all.
But the problem does not have to do with what A.A. is or isn’t, or what A.A. ought to be or ought not to be. For A.A. “is what it is.” And neither analysts nor AAs can do much but say today that anyone can walk in the door and sit down whether a drunk or not and whether he or she wants to quit drinking or not.
Our discussion of the importance of knowing about "old school" early A.A. begins there.