Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Salvation Army/An A.A. Source/Article One

The Salvation Army/An A.A. Source/Article One

It took many years of research before I was able to find and discuss the many strong links between the Salvation Army and Alcoholics Anonymous. And the links were of several different types:

(1) The Salvation Army work with drunks and derelicts is legenday, and very successful as well. And my introduction to this work first came through the pages of Harold Begbie, Twice Born Men. (NY: Fleming H. Revell, 1909). This early book became very popular in an A.A. predecessor, the Oxford Group; and it was widely read by early AAs. In short, it discussed the outreach and successes in the slums of London, and I will discuss it in another Salvation Army article shortly.

(2) The Salvation Army as it existed at the time of early Alcoholics Anonymous, and the program as described at Yale, and to be summarized in this article.

(3) The Salvation Army, its ARCs, and its program of today--the description of which I leave to their own writings and people. But it is the County of Maui Salvation Army here in Hawaii which is enabling us to partner with them at their local outpost in Lahaina so that we can effectively bring to their leaders and those adherents who are not involved in an Adult Rehabilitation Center program a preceding introduction through their local outpost study group and perhaps train recovery leaders there or some who return from as ARC so that these returnees are challenged to serve others in a typical Salvation Army manner. And this is a work-in-progress right now.

But I feel that Christians in recovery and those whom we have seen at the group in Lahaina can be helped throughout Maui through our partnership to consolidate (a) Bible study, (b)prayer, (c) conversion to God through Jesus Christ, (d) Christian Fellowship such as that which existed in early A.A. and in First Century Christianiy, and (e) the still dominant 12-Step principles and practices such as those found in Alcoholics Anonymous today. And we will discuss that in another article also

This article--the one dealing with the Salvation Army of the 1940's--will present for view the valued work of The Reverend Howard J. Clinebell, PhD, in his thorough study of counseling for recovery and prevention using psychology and religion. See Howard Clinebell, Understanding and Counseling Persons with Alcohol, Drug, and Behavioral Addictions: Counseling for Recovery and Prevention Using Psychology and Religion, Rev and enl ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1984).

Dr. Clinebell (now deceased) was Professor Emeritus, School of Theology at Claremont, California. He spent many years studying the Salvation Army, Rescue Missions, Alcoholics Anonymous, and various Christian recovery approaches and programs.

His Understanding and Counseling study makes these important points about the Salvation Army:

". . . the Salvation Army has put its recovery principles into this series of nine Christ=centered steps paralleling some of the important Twelve Steps of A.A.-modeleed recovery programs:

1. The alcoholic must realize that he is unable to control his addiction and that his life is conpletely disorganized.

2. He must acknowledge that only God, his Creator, can recreate him as a decent man.

3. He must let God through Jesus Christ rule his life and resolve to live according to His will.

4. He must realize that alcohol addiction is only a symptom of basic defects in his thinking and living, and that the proper use of every talent he possesses is imnpaired by his enslavement.

5. He should make public confession to God and man of past wrong-doing and be willing to ask God for guidance in the future.

6. He should make restitution to all whom he has willfully and knowingluy wronged.

7. He should realize that he is human and subject to error, and that no advance is made by covering up a mistake; he should admit failure and profit by experience.

8. Since, through prayer and forgiveness, he has found God, he must continue prayerful contact with God, and seek constantly to know His will.

9. Because the Salvation Army believes that the personal touch and example are the most vital forces in applying the principles of Christianity, he should be made to work continuously not only for his own salvation but to help effect the salvation of others like himself." (pp. 188-89)

And if you looked at Original A.A. program, founded in 1935 as a Christian Fellowship, you could see in the foregoing the footprints of its leader Dr. Robert H. Smith and of the program as it was summarized for John D. Rockefeller, Jr., by his agent Frank Amos in 1938.

It is this view of the Salvation Army in the 1940's which we present in this article. It is this view which can help Christians in recovery better understand how they can be in 12-Step recovery programs today and still call on the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship.

Please remember, the Salvation Army is only one of five principal Christian roots that impacted on A.A.'s founders and on its first program. But this mid-way description of the Salvation Army illustrates what the Salvation Army may have contributed then, and it offers some solid thinking to Christians in recovery today and to their leaders. See our new class Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery (www,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A.A.-Christian Recovery Talks by Dick B, September, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous and Christian Recovery Talks and Meetings by Dick B. and Ken B. in California during their September 10-October 2, 2010 Trip. Itinerary will be expanded on arrival, and these are the dates and times booked as of August 25, 2010

Saturday, 11th - Flying from Maui to LAX & on to Orange County
Staying at Wyndham Hotel, 3350 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Sunday, 12th - Open time - staying at Wyndham Hotel in Costa Mesa

Monday, 13th - Open time - Checking out of Wyndham at noon Then:

Staying at Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel, Newport Beach, California

Tuesday, 14th - Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel

11:00 AM - private luncheon meeting

7:00 PM - Speaking to James Club Fellowships at Neighborhood Christian Fellowship
Church, Covina, California

Wednesday, 15th - Open time - Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel

Thursday, 16h - Open time - Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel

Friday, 17th - Moving back to Wyndham Hotel, Costa Mesa, California

7:00 PM - Dick B. will speak at the Lifelines meeting, The Crossing Church, Costa
Mesa, California

Saturday, 18th - open time - Wyndham Hotel, Costa Mesa

Sunday, 19th - open time - Wyndham Hotel, Costa Mesa

NOTE: During the foregoing week, we expect to be meeting in the Orange County area with the CEO of the Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute; the President of New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc.; a leader of the International Christian Recovery Coalition; a biblical scholar who is a professor; and other Christian recovery group leaders who have been in touch with us. We also would welcome personal visits with others in the Orange County Area. For those who would like to meet with us, Suggest they call Ken B. at 808 276 4945 to arrange visits.

Monday, 20th - Checking out of Wyndham and on way to San Diego Area - accomodations not yet settled.

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM Private Meeting with leaders/patients at Pacific Hills
Treatment Centers at San Juan Capistrano, California

7:00 PM - Dick B. will be speaking at the Neighborhood Church in Escondido, CA

Tuesday, 21st - in San Diego Area - open time.

Wednesday, 22nd - in San Diego Area - open time.

Thursday, 23rd - Dick B. will be speaking at a large A.A. meeting in Carlsbad, CA

Friday, 24th - returning to a hotel in Newport Beach or Costa Mesa - open

Saturday, 25th - 6:00 PM - At His Place Church, Huntington Beach, California, there
will be a large meeting with music and with food catered by David Roman,
Roman Cucina Restaurants. At 7:00 PM, Dick B. will speak to the group.
Meeting open, but expected to fill up early. So check in early.

Sunday, 26th - 2:00 PM Depart from Orange County Airport for San Jose Airport and
will stay at a hotel in San Jose, California

Monday, 27th

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM - private meeting with leadership, CityTeam Ministries

7:00 PM - Dick B. will speak at Cornerstone Fellowship, Livermore Campus

Tuesday, 28th

- Dick B. will speak at recovery meeting, Parkside Church of
Nazerine, Auburn, California

Wednesday, 29th

- Dick B. will speak to Serenity Group. Church of the Nazarene,
Oroville, California

Thursday, 30th - open in evening after traveling from Oroville

Friday, Oct 1 - Dick will speak to two evening recovery meetings at Golden Hills
Community Church, Brentwood Campus

Saturday, 2nd - Fly from Oakland Airport to LAX and then on to Kahului, Maui.

If you have questions, need for directions or contacts in your area or possible invitations to speak or meetings, please feel free to contact Ken B. at 808 276 4945
before we leave and on or before September 8th. As stated, you may also contact us at the same number when we arrive in California.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hear Dick B. of A.A. in California in September

Dick B., writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered member of the Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship will be speaking at various locations in California between September 10 and October 1, 2010.

Dick is the author of 39 published titles and more than 450 articles on the history and Bible roots of Alcoholics Anonymous. He has addressed 8 seminars at The Wilson House in Vermont, groups at Dr. Bob's hometown of St. Johnsbury in Vermont, meetings in New York City and Washington, D.C., Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, British Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Hawaii, and California, as well as history cruises in the Caribbean and to Alaska.

Each talk has carried a different historical message, but all have been centered around the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron, Ohio in 1935. And also around the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the early A.A. principles and practices can play in Alcoholics Anonymous and recovery fellowships today--whatever their diversity, variety, composition, or approach. Dick has, of late, been accompanied either by his son Don B. or his son Rev. Ken B.

The requests from recovery, treatment, counseling, and Christian groups have continued, and this Fall, Dick and his son Ken will be meeting with individuals and leaders and speaking at meetings in

The San Diego Area, as well as Escondido and Carlsbad.

Orange County at San Juan Capistrano, Huntington Beach, and Costa Mesa. A highlight of his appearance will be his talk at Lifelines The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa.

The James Club Fellowships in Covina

The CityTeam Leadership in San Jose

The Serenity Group at the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville

A recovery group at the Church of the Nazarene in Auburn

The Turning Point Fellowship at Cornerstone Church in Livermore

Two recovery group meetings at Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Effective recovery service today--a simple approach

After twenty years of travel, investigation, study, research, collecting materials, and then disseminating the results, I believe every person who wishes to quit permanently his or her self-destructive addictive, alcoholic, and at-risk behavior, can learn from the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early Alcoholics Anonymous Christian Fellowship founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1935.

How to do it in Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Step Fellowships today?

Abandon the nonsense gods where people call their "higher power" a light bulb, a chair, a rock, Something, Santa Claus, and other absurd names. Abandon the nonsense talk about a supposed difference in Alcoholics Anonymous between "spirituality" and "religion" where advocates try to tell newcomers Alcoholics Anonymous is "spiritual, but not religious." Abandon the idea that people in recovery cannot and should not turn to God for help, cannot and should not establish a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and cannot and should not read the Bible, Christian literature, or Christian devotionals. Abandon the idea that Christians are not welcome in Alcoholics Anonymous, should not seek help there, and are hell-bound if they do. Abandon the small, hard-core of writers today who devote themselves to trying to tear down Alcoholics Anonymous, drive Christians out of recovery fellowships, and misquote the Bible as "authority" for their promises of damnation for those who are seeking recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Find out the original program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Get the facts from our new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" Check out A.A.'s own description of the early program--five simple points that were required and are published in A.A.'s own "DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers." Pick up your Big Book. Read the Twelve Steps. Learn how both differ from the original Alcoholics Anonymous program. See how a Christian in Alcoholics Anonymous or a Twelve Step Fellowship today can and should feel free to turn to God for help, share his relationship with Jesus Christ, document the fact that early AAs did just that, and ask people to study the abc's on A.A.'s own Big Book, page 60.

A.A. today tells its readers that "God could and would if he were sought." And He can and will if people stop making up absurd names for a god, trying to create self-made religion, and uttering half-baked prayers instead of following the guidance laid out by our Creator in the Word of God.

It's all in the new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery." The class is short. It's simple. It's accurate and reliable. And it will point you toward effective recovery service today with a simple approach. See

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maui County Salvation Army & International Christian Recovery Coalition

August 17, 2010: Formation of Maui County Salvation Army-International Christian Recovery Coalition partnership for Christian recovery outreach in Maui County, Hawaii

Today A/Captain Mark Merritt of the Maui County Salvation Army reached an agreement with Richard G. Burns, J.D., Executive Director of International Christian Recovery Coalition, enabling the two groups to partner together on Christian Recovery Outreach in Maui County, Hawaii.

The partnership focus for the present will be on three items:

1. Salvation Army will provide an office for International Christian Recovery Coalition on SA property in Kihei. And at this office thousands of Christian recovery books will be stored and distributed free to Christian recovery groups, treatment programs, counselors, and 12 Step Fellowships throughout the county.

2. At the office, the new 4 DVD film series "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" ( will be shown to small groups of those in recovery, to leaders of recovery groups and programs, and to Christian leaders fostering recovery from alcoholism, addictions, and other life-controlling problems.

3. The Salvation Army Outpost in Lahaina will begin a new 12 Step study program, primarily at its regular Monday Night step study meeting in Lahaina. The new program will introduce members to the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron, Ohio in 1935. Members will be working with A.A.'s Big Book, 12 Steps, the Bible, and A.A. history. They will be taught how to "take" and "practice" the 12 Steps in today's recovery fellowships. Emphasis will be given to the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the recovery movement from the 1800's through the founding of A.A. and can play in recovery today for those who want God's help and will go to any length to get it.

The initial three-phase program will thus be providing throughout the county the carefully researched literature on Christian recovery development. Also a 4 hour video presentation with guides and documentation that tell the details as they have been researched and presented by Dick B. and his son Ken B. in recent years throughout United States and Canada and--via the internet--throughout the world. Finally, the outreach program will be specifically aimed at "training the trainers" so that there will be a cadre of leaders in Maui who can present an effective Christian recovery picture throughout the county.

Details available through Dick B.,, 808 874 4876, PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A.A., Jesus' Sermon, 1 Cor 13, Book of James

A.A.'s Cofounder Dr. Bob said many times that, at the beginning, they had no Steps, no Traditions, and no significant stories. He went on the say that the oldtimers felt that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 -7), 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James were considered absolutely essential to their Alcoholics Anonymous program. Further, he added that he did not write the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He had nothing to do with writing them, he said. But he pointed out that the basic ideas of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous came from their effort and study in the Bible. And to see what he was referring to, we have published Dick B., The James Club & The Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials (See

Now many AAs may hear the expressions "First Things First," "Easy Does It," "Thy will be done," and those referring to forgiveness, making amends, taking a moral inventory, purity, love, etc.
Few realize how much better they could understand these ideas if they looked to the portions of the Bible known as Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7.

Similarly, AAs hear expressions like "Faith without works is dead," "taming the tongue," confessing faults one to another, eliminating grudges, "loving thy neighbor as thyself," and avoiding temptation. Here also, better understanding of God's will in these matters can be found in the Book of James.

Lastly, AAs are quite familiar with expressions like patience, tolerance, kindness, and love. But they would more easily relate these ideas to the Bible and to a better understanding of the Twelve Steps and Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous if they read the short chapter in 1 Corinthians 13.

That is why we published our title The James Club. That is why a number of A.A. study groups across the United States and Canada have called themselves The James Club--because early AAs considered the Book of James to be their favorite and wanted to call their society The James Club.

To find a line-by-line, verse-by-verse comparison of the Biblical ideas in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James with specific quotes or specific references to these basic Bible ideas in Alcoholics Anonymous, its Big Book, and its literature, we encourage you to purchase The James Club, either on our website, or by going to

Get up to speed on the facts as to where A.A. ideas first came from. Get a Bible. Read Matthew 5-7, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James. All three segments are easy reading. And our title The James Club will make the whole picture quite clear to you and strengthen your recovery efforts.

See also our new Introductory Class with 4 DVD's and guides--"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery." This class is meant to be a startup for study groups, history inquiries, treatment programs, counseling, prison and homeless outreach, and Christ-centered recovery groups and fellowships. It will show you how A.A. began and why the Bible backdrop is important for you to know if you don't just want to spew forth opinions and speculations about A.A. and its ideas that have no foundation in fact.


A.A., Jesus' Sermon, 1 Cor 13, Book of James

Alcoholics Anonymous History: See You in California

In one month, my son Ken B. and I will be speaking at conferences and seminars and having personal meetings in many California locations.

The topic, as always, will be the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935. And. The role they can and should play in recovery today among those who want God's help and will go to any length to seek it. Hebrews 11:6

If you live in the Orange County or Los Angeles areas, we will be staying at the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel in the first week (Sept 11--). We will be glad to meet with you. And we will be speaking at Covina on Tuesday to the James Club Fellowships of Southern California. I will be speaking at Lifelines--The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa at 7:00 PM on Friday. We'll be meeting with the staff at Pacific Hills Treatment Centers in San Juan Capistrano--and later we will conclude at Huntington Beach at His Place Church--Food by Roman Cucina. Music by a great combo. And then the talk.

If you live in the San Diego area, we will be speaking at Escondido, San Diego, and Carlsbad the next week.

And our last week will be filled with talks at San Jose with the CityTeam staff, at Livermore at a Cornerstone Church location, at Auburn, at Oroville--in both cases at a Church of the Nazarene, and at Brentwood at the Golden Hills Church.

We will have books available.

And we will be talking lots about our new class: "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" -- a 4 DVD class (1 hour each) with guides--that will get you up to speed on the Christian roots of A.A. in Vermont and New England, the Christian upbringing of Bill W. and Dr. Bob in Vermont, the special emphasis Bill Wilson received about what the Great Physician Jesus Christ could do for him, the real details of Bill's "white light" experience at Towns, how the first three AAs got sober, the simple 7 point program they used, the 14 practices they employed, the 75% success rate they attained, and the changes that took place as the Big Book was being printed.

Contact for details on the schedule, the class, and possible personal visists.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A.A.'s Cofounder Dr. Bob & The Core Library

The Dr. Bob Core Library, located at the North Congregational Church on Main Street in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was established during our two extensive research trips to Vermont a couple of years ago where we sought out the real facts about the upbringing of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith as youngsters in Vermont. We made two different extended trips to St. Johnsbury.

Dr. Bob was born and raised in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. His boyhood home is still there. His family church--North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury--is just a block or so away. So are the other frequently unreported and undiscussed sites in St. Johnsbury that figured so prominently in Dr. Bob's excellent training in the Bible and in his Christian upbringing. In all, the sites included the boyhood home, North Congregational Church, the Athenaeum (town libary), Courthouse (where his father was a probate judge), the YMCA building site (though the building was destroyed), and St. Johnsbury Academy where Bob attended and from which he graduated as class orator. His father was an examiner there. And his mother had been a student, then a teacher, then very active in alumni affairs, and also a historian.

Spending lots of time in these historic sites, my son Ken B. and I were able to gather some 2000 manuscripts and papers in St. Johnsbury itself; as well as many books about the Smith family and St. Johnsbury and the important institutions and events there--the Great Awakening of 1875; the Church sermons and officials and Sunday school teachings; the church positions held by Judge Walter Smith as Deacon, Sunday School Superintendant, Sunday School teacher, and member of several committes; the church positions held by Bob's mother Susan H. Smith as head of the school classes, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday School teacher, singer in the choir, historian, and member of many committees; and the church Year Books that marked the participation of the entire Smith family in so many phases of church life. Similar data was gathered as to the Fairbanks Museum, the Athenaeum library, the YMCA, the Fairbanks family and its Fairbanks Scales plant, the courthouse, the Congregational and missionary activities in which the Smiths were involved, and the many details about St. Johnsbury Academy. These and many other important, relevant, Vermont, A.A., Christian Endeavor, YMCA, revival, evangelist, conversion, and activities of the Smiths in the business world, the law, the courts, the legislature, the state library system, the banks, the schools, and Village government, are lodged there now.

But the great news is that some of the most important treasures are on their way. A generous benefactor and Christian A.A. gentleman from Ontario has raised the funds to secure the original printer's manuscript of the important A.A. General Service Conference-approved book--DR. BOB and the Good Oltimers. The manuscript shows many hand-written and other changes that were made prior to publication and uses full names just as the early AAs themselves did. This treasure will soon be in the hands of the benefactor and be preserved and copied by him with one copy to be placed in the Dr. Bob Core Library in St. Johnsbury.

And this is only one of many St. Johnsbury and A.A. historical treasures, now in the hands of Dick B. in Maui, that will be finding their way to the library--now that the DR. BOB manuscript and several other treasures are being acquired and readied by their benefactor.

My son Ken and I were not content with the several thousand historical items already placed in the Dr. Bob Core Library because these new, additional "treasures" should be, and now will be, a part of the historical banquet that awaits Christians, A.A. and Al-Anon members, historians, and writers.

See: Dick B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (

Also The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 (available on

Also our new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" ( for many more details about Dr. Bob and his role in the founding of A.A. This class can also now be obtained through Dick B.'s website

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two Pennsylvania Organizations Presenting Our Class

We are delighted that two, effective, recovery organizations in different parts of the state of Pennsylvania have now acquired and will present our new foundational class--a startup class--for those in recovery who need and want God's help and want to know how it all started.

The class, of course, is "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" The price has been very substantially reduced to $99.95 and $199.95 for individuals and groups, respectively. And is now much more affordable to any people, groups, fellowships, programs, counselors, and agencies that want to start that patients and/or clients and/or newcomers with accurately researched and presented facts on how the Christian recovery movement really began in the 1800's and moved from its New England base to the first A.A. program in Akron.

The two new presenting groups are:

The Oasis Recovery Center of Western Pennsylvania. And the news came from its Vice Chairman Karen A. Plavan, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical Dependency and Counseling at University of Pennsylvania, and also Adjunct Professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

The Council on Chemical Abuse, 601 Penn Street, Suite 600, Reading, Pennsylvania. This news came from Drew Eisenhauer, M.Ed., CPS.

Both of these leaders and presenters have long been supporters of our efforts to research and disseminate the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob on June 10, 1935. Also the role that they can play today for those who want God's help in recovery and will go to any length to receive it and pass it along to others.

Again, the class is fully described at

Monday, August 09, 2010

Welcome, fresh effort in the Duke Aiona Election Team

This is an applause and thank you article.

For several years, we have been in touch with Hawaii's Lt. Governor James R. (Duke) Aiona, Jr. about a new approach to the immense impact alcoholism, addictions, and life-controlling problems have on the people of Hawaii. In fact, I have been writing and speaking about this impact at international, national, regional, state, and local levels for some twenty years now.
And plenty of folks are listening and acting today--particularly as participants in our International Christian Recovery Coalition ( But the eyes of Hawaiian people needed to be brought into focus right here in Kihei, in Maui, in Hawaii!

It's not about the alcoholic or the alcoholic.

It's not about the recidivism, relapses, and revolving door treatment efforts.

It's not about the disappointments with 12 Step programs, prisons, treatment, and counseling--pertaining to the afflicted person. Society has had its fling at each one ever since Prohibition and before.

It is about the immensity of the problem and its one-on-one impact today. Regrettably, it is about the focus on the alcoholic and the addict; the focus on intervention and celebrities; the focus on imprisonment and treatment; and the focus on the center-piece--the afflicted person. But that's easy. Just look at the newspapers, the drunk driving citations, the prison records, the treatment and recovery programs, and the crime reports.

The real impact is the impact on all society, and all its members and activities--the impact on: 1) Families. 2) Parents. 3) Siblings. 4) Children. 5) Friends. 6) Churches. 7) Schools. 8) Unions. 9) Employers. 10) Employees. 11) Partners. 12) Fellow-workers. 13) Drivers and passengers. 14) Police. 15) Emergency rooms. 16) Mental wards. 17) Jails. 18) Prisons. 19) Doctors. 20) Pastors and priests. 21) Hospitals. 22) Social workers. 23) Treatment efforts. 24) Recovery fellowships. 25) Military. 26) Veterans. 27) Government agencies. 28) Non-profit agencies. 29) Budgets. 30) Appropriations. 31) Grants. 32) Violence. 33) Crime. 34) Business establishments. 35) Sports. 36) Colleges and universities. 37) Insurance companies. 38) Highway and public safety; and an unaware, un-challenged, uninformed public which does not see the forest and often sees only a tree--the drunk in the living room or jail.

The solution: There are many. They start with an alcoholic or addict who really wants to stop. But today the unexamined solution is the solution as to how the affected others can DO something. Not just the time-worn referrals, interventions, anonymous groups, rehabs, and jails. What can the public--the aforementioned 38 groups (and more) do to end the grief, the anxiety, the financial burden, the emotional hurt, the social consequences, the overwhelming damage.

Is it enough to say, "Something ought to be done" and then "But I don't know what."

Here's what we proposed to a Duke Aiona campaign person who really listened!

1. Start "talking story" with specific affected people--parents, uncles, business owners, school teachers, union members, business owners, girl friends, boy friends, wives, priests, doctors, police, ambulance drivers, sergeants, veterans, jailers, and, yes, even those operating treatment, counseling, and 12 Step efforts. Talk to them. Find out where they are hurt. Find out how little help they are receiving. Find out what they've tried. Find out what they suggest.

2. Start holding events--NOW. These can be televised and reported coverage of the talking story efforts. They can be held at a union, a military facility, a veterans facility, a rehab, a church, a business, a school, a hospital, a community center, a service club, a senior group. Not for publicity, but to assure full public expression and input. To let the public know someone cares!

3. Establish a commission to work on the problem - NOW. Not just the usual "recovery month" press releases, but a gathering of people who know the problem, are concerned with the solution, and have the expertise to bring some careful examination to the table. Who? A judge. A cop. A drunk. An addict. A minister. A teacher. A physician. A social worker. A claims adjuster. And on and on. They can be university deans, bishops, public officials, medical leaders, bankers, union leaders, military leaders, convicts, alcoholics, and so on. No limit on talent--just limit entrenched folks who are still intent on grinding old axes and protecting old ideas.

4. Can Duke and his team start this now? After following Duke around for about 4 years, I thought so. Then the campaign started. And I couldn't seem to reach anyone but those who requested I hold up a sign, give a coffee klatch, or make a phone call. The recipients just didn't seem to want to tear themselves away from concerns about taxes, schools, jobs, energy, and spending. But that's the cry of all politicians. What the public could understand, I have said, is that they know where they are hurting PERSONALLY. They know who is in prison, who is in the hospital, who just had an overdose, whose kids have been abandoned, who just shot up on drugs, who has been in and out of rehabs 20 times, who plays the game of rationalization and denial, and who just doesn't care about the impact of the excesses that produce the damage.

5. Today, an Aiona leader responded. He listened patiently. He resonated with my comments that Duke Aiona is a man of compassion, experience, heart, expertise, and familiarity with Hawaii at the grass roots level. I have the feeling the public will see Duke outrun, outhink, outspeak, and outdo his opponents for the simple reason that he has listened to my plea and done something about it.

Thanks to Duke Aiona--a man who loves God, family, and Hawaii. A man who can touch the hearts of people who never knew anyone understood about their kid, their boyfriend, their grandparents, their church, their teacher, their grief, their anxiety, or their business and how much the alcoholism and addiction of someone else was hitting them square between the eyes, hurting them, and leaving them seemingly without defense.

God Bless, Dick B.,;

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Major Price Reductions Aug 8 on Introductory Class

Tomorrow, Sunday, August 8, 2010, we are announcing and sending out newsletters telling our subscribers that "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"--our 4 DVD Class with guides--will be reduced in price as follows:

For individuals: $99.95

For group presentations: $199.95

These are dramatic reductions.

The Class has now been used successfully as a pilot in:

Three Christian Recovery Treatment Programs--two in Orange County and one in Delaware

Three 12-Step Christ-centered fellowships--one in the Miami area, one in the Auburn California area, and one in the Ohio area.

Three Christian Recovery Leadership Entities--one in San Diego, one in Costa Mesa, one in Oahu

Three Christian recovery history leaders--one in Texas, one in New Jersey, and one in Long Island

Two James Club Fellowships in the Los Angeles area

Others are in the wings and may well be enabled by this dramatic price reduction now that the class has been tested, presented, and found very valuable as an introduction to Christian and 12-Step recovery and counseling.

You may find the details on our class website:

You may purchase it there and on our main website:

You may request details by subscribing to our newsletter on, following announcements on our facebook page and blogsite, or contacting us at

Alcoholics Anonymous: Do You Believe?

This is a powerful new article just published by Dick B. on; Articlesbase; several social network forums; searchwarp; and sent out by newsletter to his large subscriber list.

Do you believe God raised Jesus from the dead?
Do you believe Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?
Do you believe Peter raised Tabitha from the dead?
Do you believe Paul raised Eutychus from the dead?

As Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book: God either is or He isn't. The phrase was not new. The idea came from the writings of Blaise Pascal and was quoted by Bill's spiritual teacher Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York.

Each of the first three AAs believed in God, was given a Christian upbringing, and had studied the Bible extensively. All three spurned God's help in favor of drunkenness. But when they finally decided they had had enough, they turned to God for help, believed He would come through, and were healed by the power and love of God.

Don't miss this important article which succinctly explains it's all about belief. Belief in God. Belief in Jesus Christ. Belief in the Bible. And belief that with God nothing is impossible. If the four accounts of raising of the dead are believed, why not believe the obvious and well documented history of the early cures of alcoholism among those Christian A.A. pioneers who believed.

God Bless, Dick B.

The article can be obtained by writing Dick B. at

Friday, August 06, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous & Earlier Christian Influences: The Dick B. Seminars and Conferences in California September-October

Dick B. and his son Ken B. will be in California during the period from September 11 through October 2, 2010 meeting with Christian and recovery leaders; speaking at recovery centers and programs; and addressing a number of groups that have organized and are conducting Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-Step, and/or Christ-centered fellowships.

Following is the schedule as of August 6, 2010 with adjustments possible depending on needs and availability of host locations:

Note: On all occasions, Dick B. will be accompanied by his son Ken B. who will be introducing Dick, making arrangements, and speaking as well. Open times mean that Dick and Ken will, on appointment, either be speaking for or meeting with International Christian Recovery Coalition leaders and concerned people in the Los Angeles or Orange County or San Diego areas. Updated information and exact times and places of meetings will be posted within the next week when all engagements and transportation are confirmed. Contributions to Dick B. for the support of trip expenses can be made through the paypal donate button on our main website Questions and requests for meetings or talks are welcome and should be sent to in the next month.

Orange County and Los Angeles Area - Monday, September 13 through 18th:

-- Saturday September 11 Flying from Maui to LAX
-- Sunday September 12 - open and probably at Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel

-- Monday September 13 - Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel - Meetings with leaders
-- Tuesday September 14 - Orange County - Dinner Meeting with International Christian
Recovery leader and/or conference at The James Clubs Fellowships hosted by Neighborhood
Christian Fellowship Church of West Covina
-- Wednesday September 15 - open
-- Thursday September 16 - open
-- Friday September 17 - Dick B. speaking at Lifelines, The Crossing Church, Costa Mesa
-- Saturday September 18 - open
-- Sunday September 19 - open
-- Monday September 20 - Meeting with staff of Pacific Hills Treatment Ctr, San Juan Capistrano

San Diego Area - Tuesday September 21 through Friday September 24

-- Tuesday September 21 - open
-- Wednesday September 22 - open
-- Thursday September 23 - open
-- Friday September 24 Dick B. speaking at Neighborhood Church, Escondido
-- Saturday September 25 - open or flying to San Jose
-- Sunday September 26 - flying to San Jose

Northern California Area - Monday September 27 through Friday October 1

-- Monday September 27

Speaking to leaders of CityTeam Ministries in San Jose from 11 AM to 2 PM
Speaking at the Cornerstone Campus of Cornerstone Church in Livermore

-- Tuesday September 28 - Dick B. speaking at Church of the Nazarene, Auburn
-- Wednesday September 29 - Dick B. speaking at Church of the Nazarene, Oroville
-- Thursday September 30 - open
-- Friday October 1 - Dick B. speaking at Golden Hills Church, Brentwood Campus, Brentwood

Saturday - October 1 flying from Oakland to LAX to Maui

Purpose of the trip: On all the foregoing events, the main objective is to define for the recovery community and the public the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played in the Christian origins, history, founding, original program, and successes of early A.A. and can play today if God's help is wanted and sought. There is a new way out! Serving and glorifying God are primary. Helping the still suffering is the specific aim. And broadening the understanding of the scope and impact of alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse, recidivism, and revolving door treatment is a vitally important adjunct--this means how society, parents, children, family, friends, schools, hospitals, churches, prisons, courts, correctional workers, social workers, government agencies, veterans, military personnnel, mental health facilities, rescue missions, homeless relief, police, and the public at large are in need of immediate attention and help. Particularly how to embrace Dr. Bob's statement: "Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!" (A.A. Big Book, page 181).

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A.A.-Step 10: Teachings of Dr. Bob's Wife Anne Smith

We have recently covered Steps One through Nine of the Alcoholics Anonymous suggested steps for recovery. We did so by pointing out the applicable remarks on those topics by Anne Ripley Smith, wife of A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob, "Mother of A.A." as Bill Wilson called her, and one of the founders of Akron Number One--the first Alcoholics Anonymous group.

The primary source for those discussions and for this discussion of Step Ten is Dick B., Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939: A.A.'s Principles of Success, 3rd ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1998)--ISBN 1-885803-24-9. See

In each of the Twelve Steps, there is a strong indication of the role that Anne Smith played in formulating the step ideas with Bill W. and Dr. Bob. You can find this influence particularly in Anne Smith's Journal, from whose original notes Anne shared the A.A. ideas at the Smith home in Akron each morning with AAs and their families.

Now to what Anne wrote and shared as to the Tenth Step ideas of Alcoholics Anonymous. The subsequent suggestions in the Big Book speak about continuing to take personal inventory, and thus continuing to make a daily surrender. And here is what Anne said prior to the Big Book:

"Continuance. Stay with the newly surrendered person until he grows up and becomes a life-changer. Laugh him out of his growing pains. When he becomes a life-changer, we need not fear for him, because other people's needs will drive him back to God" (Anne Smith's Journal, 50-51).

"Be willing to live a day at a time, an hour at a time" (51)

"3. What are the symptoms of let down or compromise in myself? . . . 5. Are quiet times increasingly real? . . . 7. Is there some relationship I am content to leave where it is? 8. Am I giving the right nurture to those changed? . . . 13. How much better do I know my Bible this year than last? . . . 14. Is my reading guided?" (51)

"Be willing to ask God where I am failing and to admit sin. 1. Am I nicer to live with? 2. Better to work with? 3. More efficient with my job?" (51)

"Paderewski [the famous concert pianist]: If I go one day without practicing the piano, I notice it in my playing; if I go two days my friends notice it; if I go three days the audience notices it. . . Am I so living with God that Christ is being breathed around? You cannot sublimate an instinct that you don't recognize. You can't surrender sin if you don't admit it. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ depends on doing difficult things" (51).

"Willingness to maintain an antiseptic attitude with regard to personal situations while in the process of redemption. To be willing to face up that I alone am responsible for my attitude. Claim from God humility, patience, courage, faith, and love. These are gifts. We cannot qualify for them" (51).

"Let your waking thought be surrender, a 100% daily surrender" (51).

"After surrender [italics in original paper]: The difference is that when you discover sin and problems in your life, you know the answer, and you have the cure. There must be a focus of the issue when the mind is made up; then follows development. As we grow closer to Christ we keep seeing more sin, but we know the cure" (51-52).

"Continue in the faith. . . . and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel. Colossians 1:23" (52).

"One of the weakneses of what may be termed the "Old Evangelism" of the mass type was the lack of continuance. It seemed to be taken for granted that a surrendered person would naturally be able to continue what he had begun and would henceforth know of himself what the steps of strengthening should be. The truth is that many many peopole reached by the mass method did discover and take these steps, but it is safe to say that the majority fell by the wayside. The Oxford Group Movement believes strongly in Continuance. It further believes that every person (surrendered) needs careful nurture and help in life changing" (52).

There is more, and it will be discussed at another time.

But let's highlight the Tenth Step ideas that Anne was teaching daily before there were any steps at all:

1. Continuance.
2. Daily surrender to God
3. Inventory "a day at a time."
4. The Bible is the guidebook; the guidance of God needs to be sought
5. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is vital
6. The closer one moves toward Jesus Christ the more quickly sin is seen, but Christ is the cure.
7. Surrender is a daily task in order for development and strengthening to take place.
8. Salvation is the beginning and continued self-examination and nurture must follow.
9. Part of overcoming sin is admitting it--regularly.

The student of the Twelve Steps needs to see Step Ten in perspective. A careful examination of pages 84 and 85 of the Big Book will readily show how what Anne Smith taught in the early days found its way into the final three A.A. steps of recovery--beginning with Step 10.

Again, refer to Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939 for further specifics and documentation Compare also Dick B., Twelve Steps for You: Take teh Twelve Steps with the Big Book, A.A. History, and the Good Book at Your Side. ISBN 1-885803-98-2

To get the entire beginnings of A.A. in perspective, be sure to acquire, see, and disseminate our new foundational class: "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"

God Bless, Dick B.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Missing the Boat on Truth Based on Hostility Toward Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous

What is truth? That's what Pontius Pilate asked.

The devil is a liar and the father of it, Jesus pointed out elsewhere, and He said of God's Word that it was truth.

Sometimes, a few Christians who oppose A.A. have become so angry, confused, frustrated, and animarted that they mount continuous web statements charging that no Christian should attend A.A., that A.A. was never Christian, that nobody can be a Christian and belong to A.A., that A.A. did not originate with Christian organizations, that the two A.A. cofounders were not given a Christian upbringing, and that the fruits of their labors in 1935 were not "of the Lord."

Sounds good to those who hate A.A., but there aren't that many. Sounds worthy of investigation to those who have never heard of, looked into, or read about real A.A. history ( Sounds pretty Christian to those who don't know their Bible. And sounds like sound advice to those who believe what they hear instead of requiring documentation for what they conclude. The hatred lingo is false and needs to be seen as such.

That's the problem. Sure, A.A. has its detractors--particularly those who gave it a lick and a promise, went back to drinking, and used A.A. as the scapegoat and excuse. Some few are Christians who quote the Bible out of context, misrepresent history, and try to frighten Christians away from or out of Alcoholics Anonymous by libeling the founders, mischaracterizing the beliefs and unbeliefs of two million members, and trying to throw modern-day AAs into a common pot--a pot that actually has tens of thousands of Jews, Protestants, Roman Catholics, folks of other Christian beliefs, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and hordes who are told they don't need to believe in anything all. Then, as part of the pot, there are those poor newcomers who hear that their higher power can be a rainbow, a chair, a light bulb, a rock, Somebody, Something, it, or "not-god." That's not A.A. That's nonsense!

What's the truth. Early A.A. had its origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes grounded in Christian organizations and leaders of the 1800's--revivalists and evangelists, Christian Rescue Missions, YMCA lay workers, the Salvation Army, and the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor. Its sucesses were grounded in the Christian upbringing of cofounders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith when they were youngsters in Vermont--attended Congregational churches and Sunday schools, were steeped in conversions and salvation, had extensive training in the Bible, and heard their share of prayer meetings, temperance meetings, conversions, and revivals. Its successes were grounded in the view of Dr. William D. Silkworth that Jesus Christ was the answer to alcoholism; the decisions of its predecessor folks like Rowland Hazard and Ebby Thacher who made decisions for Christ and its cofounder Bill Wilson who made a decision for Christ at Calvary Rescue Mission. Its successes were also grounded in the Christian and biblical teachings of the Episcopal priest, Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. All of these--plus the early A.A. decisions for Christ, old-fashioned prayer meetings, Bible studies, Christian devotionals, and Christian literature they read--factored in to the simple program that was founded and developed in the summer of 1935 as a Christian Fellowship. A.A.'s first three members--Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Bill Dotson--all believed in God, all were Christians, all had studied the Bible extensively, and all had attended Christian churches. They founded a Christian Fellowship that--in two and a half years--achieved a documented 75% success rate among the seemingly hopeless medically incurable real alcoholics who went to any lengths to be cured by the power of God.

Where does the limited, present-day hostility of a few Christian writers, and a substantial number of unbelievers, come from? If one does not know how the Adversary operates, he will never know the answer to the question. But see John 10:10. If one does not recognize the present-day drift away from God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, Christian churches, and Christian religion, he will not see that A.A. as it exists today is little different.

But the truth has been laid out above. The Christian religion espouses love of God and love of neighbor. So did early A.A., its founders, and pioneer members. When, in 1939, the doors were opened to atheists and agnostics and those of all religions and those of non-religious persuasions, the change began. But that change did not call for the hatred, the intolerance, and the fabrication of the truth that have flooded the recovery community today. In fact, two of the most important A.A. slogans have persisted today--"Love and Service" and "Love and Tolerance."

To the reader, I suggest: Don't miss the boat on truth and substitute hatred toward Christians for the real mission of both early A.A. and today's A.A.--to help the newcomer who still suffers.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Dick B. Alcoholics Anonymous History Website

We encourage all those who are studying Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-Step Program history, as well as those who are members of 12-Step Fellowships and groups, Christian recovery groups, Christ-centered recovery programs, treatment programs, counseling programs, and support groups to go to my main website (

In the center column of the front page of this main website, you will find a succinct statement of where A.A. came from, what it used to be like, what happened, and what it is like now. Also, some of the principal factors involved in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Christian fellowship founded in Akron, Ohio in 1935. Also, the resources that are available on my website to help those who still suffer, those who work with others, and those who want to know more about alcoholism and addiction programs, recoveries, and cures.

Again, go to the main website: There are ample navigation guides, and you can even use Google to help you find books, articles, names, and historical items. It's all on the main website, and it's for your assistance and ease of documentation and research.

The material on this main website is the product of my 24 years of continuous sobriety as an active and recovered A.A. member, my 20 years of research and writing, and the end products--39 published titles, over 450 articles, audio talks, radio programs, and recordings of my addresses at conferences. There is more. Much more. You are invited to check it all out.

God Bless, Dick B.; 808 874 4876.

AA Origins, History Conferences in CA, September

This is a tentative schedule based on dates during our California Alcoholics Anonymous origins, history, and recovery talks while on our trip from mid-September to early October, 2010.

Though tentative, this announcement will help you plan where you wish to hear Dick B. and his son Ken B. speak, where you would like to meet with them, and what you might wish to plan if time and schedule permit.

September 13 (Monday evening): Large meeting at Christ's Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA--hosted by The James Club Fellowships.

September 17 (Friday evening): Large meeting at Lifelines, The Crossing Church, in Costa Mesa, CA.

September 23 - 26 (Thursday through Sunday): Many meetings in the San Diego area.

September 25 (Saturday evening): Meeting at the Neighborhood Church in Escondido--hosted by Neighborhood Alcoholics for Christ.

September 27 (Monday, 1 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.): Meeting with CityTeam Leadership in San Jose, CA.

September 27 (Monday evening): Possible meeting in Livermore, California--hosted by Turning Point Group, Cornerstone Fellowship, Livermore Campus.

September 28 or 30 (Tuesday evening or Thursday evening): Possible meeting in Auburn, California--hosted by the Men's Group, Auburn Church of the Nazarene.

September 29 (Wednesday evening): Large meeting in Oroville, CA--hosted by Serenity Group, Oroville Church of the Nazarene.

October 1 (Friday evening): Possible meeting, Golden Hills Church, Brentwood, CA

Other probable meetings to be penciled in:

Pastor Mike Belzman, Ph.D., CEO of Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Inc.
Robert Tucker, Ph.D., President of ACADC and President of New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc.
Staff and patients, Pacific Hills Treatment Centers, Inc., San Juan Capistrano
Charles Mau, MRE, Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition
Pastor and members, His Place Church, Huntington Beach, California
Bob Noonan, Ph.D., Radio personality, counselor, and leader of group at Church of the Open Door, Glendora, California.
Daniel McConaughey, Ph.D., Professor and biblical scholar.