Wednesday, March 25, 2015

“Old-School” A.A.—Yesterday and Today

“Old-School” A.A.—Yesterday and Today

By Dick B. and Ken B.
© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved 

As we feature the highly-effective “old-school” A.A. as seen in early Akron and Cleveland days, recovery ideas, and Christian fellowship treasures—“the rest of the story”—we urge individuals, meetings, groups, conferences, seminars, programs, and fellowships to add to their repertoire presentations that will enhance alcohol and addiction healing and cure; and prevent relapses, confusion, and diverse experiments today. 

1.      A Guide to the founding, development, glitches, detours, needs, information, and improvements of A.A.

2.      First Century Christianity and the Book of Acts.

3.      Three centuries of Christian miracles.

4.      Early emphasis on conversion, baptism, and the Bible.

5.      1870’s—Revivals, and evangelists; e.g., Moody, Sankey, Meyer. Folger, Booth, McAuley.

6.      Christian concerns for unsaved, down-and-outers, and derelicts.

7.      Young Men’s Christian Association, Congregationalism, Salvation Army, United Society of Christian Endeavor, the “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Rescue Missions.

8.      Emphasis of churches, academies on the Bible, healing, temperance, and conversion meetings, and revivals. Prohibition.

9.      The scene just before A.A.—Bill W. Dr. Bob, Bill D.—How the first three got sober.

10.  The Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship”—qualifying, hospitalization, Bible study, prayer, hospital visits, quiet time, circulated literature, Anne Smith morning quiet time; prayers, reading of the Bible, surrender to God at the hospital.

11.  Counting noses of recoveries in November 1937 in Akron. Upwards of 40 staying sober.

12.  The seven-point summary of the Akron program as of late February 1938; and 16 Christian principles and practices implementing the seven points of the program.

13.  Bill W. was authorized in Akron by slim vote to write a book.

14.  Though disputed, the book’s 12 Step program was said to have been based on six steps: No!

15.  Wilson was fashioning a program based on Oxford Group teachings and God. John Henry Fitzhugh M., a Christian, argued to have Christian and biblical materials included. Bill’s partner Hank P. wanted the book to be irreligious; he demanded that the word “God” be excluded, but was partial to a “universal” book.

16.  Just before printing, a “committee of four” compromised. They replaced “God” in Step Two with the phrase “a Power greater than ourselves.” They added the modifying phrase “as we understood Him” after the word “God” in Steps Three and Eleven. Wilson claimed these changes paved a “broad highway” upon which “anybody” could travel. Wilson claimed this was the great contribution of atheists and agnostics although they were not identified.

17.  As the years rolled by, “God” began to be called a “higher power.” Also, a “Power.” Nonsense “gods” such as “Mickey Mouse,” a “chair,” a “table,” the “Big Dipper,” a light bulb, and a door knob followed. Finally, A.A.’s Conference-approved literature claimed one didn’t have to believe in anything at all to “take” the Steps. Certainly not “God!”

18.  A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob identified the Bible as the source of the basic ideas in the 12 Steps. Wilson claimed the Steps came from three main sources: Professor William James, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, and Dr. Silkworth. Finally, their source was said to mean a “Power” was anything greater than oneself, or nothing at all. Is the newcomer to get sober and stay sober with a professor, a reverend, a physician, a Power, a Bible, or nothing at all!

** For more information, please contact Dick B. at 1-808-874-4876 or **

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