Monday, May 27, 2013

A Few Encouraging Remarks to an AA Who Wants to Further Knowledge of A.A. History IN the A.A. Fellowship

Dave: Just happened to review your excellent comments on the importance of A.A. history today. You place emphasis on restoring this history within A.A. And why not! I am an active, recovered AA with over 27 years of continuous sobriety and have spoken  to AAs and A.A. meetings all over the United States--calling attention to the big gaps that have existed in our fellowship when it comes to accurate history. For example, as of this May of 2013, I have published 46 titles and over 1500 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous. We disseminate our information on my websites (;; my blogs (ie:; on numerous forums such as WordPress, In the Rooms, cyber recovery social, daily living, recovery internet, linked-in, facebook, twitter, and on many audio and video presentations. In my judgment, a major reason for the big black history hole in A.A. circles is the fact that A.A. itself neither researches the complete scene, nor publishes nor encourages nor assists in the digging that can and does produce the results. By contrast, with no encouragement or assistance from GSO, my benefactors donated over 30,000 of my books, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, photos and other relevant items to the Griffith Library, Wilson House, East Dorset, Vermont. More recently, they donated six shelves of historical gems at the Dr. Bob Core Library at Dr. Bob's family church--North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Also hundreds of books and papers of Rev. Sam Shoemaker to the Shoemaker Room at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, PA. Also to the Seiberling Gate Lodge in Akron. Also to the retired archivist Ray G. who served so long and well as archivist at Dr. Bob's Home in Akron, Ohio. Also to such recovery libraries as Rutgers, Brown, University of Washington, University of Virginia, Episcopal Church Archives in Austin, Texas, and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.. But, as to the splendid 58 boxes of Shoemaker papers we foundl when my son Ken and I recently researched there and spent a week reviewing and copying materials at the Episcopal Church Archives in Texas, only four people had visited this large collection of Shoemaker papers containing relevant Wilson-Shoemaker-Oxford Group and other historical treasures. Should you wish to join us in fnding, discussing, sharing, posting, and disseminating the truthful, accurate, complete history of A.A. -- to the end that it can truly help the alcoholic who still suffers--check out which right now is helping present The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference in Portland, Maine, September 6-7, 2013. And see its website: These recovery leaders, workers, newcomers, and concerned members of the public are--as they put it-- "AA Friendly, History Friendly, Recovery Friendly, Bible friendly, and Friendly Friendly." Meaning, they include and welcome recovery-oriented folks from A.A., NA, Al-Anon, clergy and recovery pastorships, treatment and counseling programs, history research work, universities and medical schools, archives, etc. Only by such a wide cooperative effort will the important and relevant history of A.A. be known and applied in our fellowship today. God Bless, Dick B., Author, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, and Recovered-active A.A.

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