Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pilot Christian Recovery Program Being Launched

Dick B. and Ken B. have spent 20 years researching the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing, documented 75% success rate achieved by the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron, Ohio, on June 10, 1935.

To that end, Dick B. has published 39 titles, over 475 articles, and many web posts on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous as well as its roots in the Bible and the Christian organizations (such as Salvation Army, YMCA, rescue missions, and Christian Endeavor) that spawned it.

For the past two years, Dick B. and his son Ken B. have been traveling widely, particularly in California and Hawaii, to see how the early program is being received in Alcoholics Anonymous, in churches, in treatment programs, among counselors, and in Christian recovery fellowships.

The end result has been the unearthing of many elements of the recovery movement today which are, as Dick B. puts it, "A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, and History Friendly." Moreover, many former alcoholics and addicts who are practicing Christians have begun organizing Christian recovery fellowships, Christian Step Studies, and Christian A.A. history groups--to the end that the successes of early A.A. can be duplicated today if the recovery community simply learns the history and decides to rely on God for recovery and use the early A.A. Christian techniques.

In the next day or so, the regular Dick B. newsletter will contain the plans of International Christian Recovery Coalition ( of which he is Executive Director. These plans call for the development of a pilot program which will embrace the various elements of Christian recovery that are in use and available today, but are not being integrated into a simple, single program that resembles the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron.

You can subscribe to the Dick B. newsletter on Dick B.'s main website

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 as a top A.A. information and resource site

One website stands out among the several that contain information about the origins, history, founding, original program, astonishing successes, and many changes in the original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship.

The site presents the viewpoints of several of us who write extensively on the subject. It seems to contain no biased or subjective moderating. It offers an ongoing, highly valuable historical resource for those who love and want to study the roots, history, recovery program, fellowship, and successes of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I'm pleased and thankful to say that the website managers have done an extensive layout of my historical books, articles, and materials. Illustrated pages detailing the contents of most of my 39 published titles are there. Click through listings of many of my articles are there. And the site also features my particularly important findings and writings on Dr. William D. Silkworth and Jesus Christ and the Oxford Group roots of A.A.

Thanks very much. God Bless, Dick B.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Christian Recovery Roots Becoming Very Clear

To make clear to readers and viewers the progress we have made in twenty years of investigating, interviewing, traveling, analyzing, publishing and disseminating the history of Christian recovery efforts and successes in the field of alcoholism and addiction, I'll show you in brief where we are in 2010 and what we have learned thus far:

1. First came the very clear evidence from A.A. Cofounder Dr. Bob himself that he had had excellent training in the Bible as a youngster in Vermont; that he had read the Bible cover to cover three times as he was getting sober; that the early program of A.A. in Akron placed heavy reliance on the Bible (Jesus' Sermon on the Mount; 1 Corinthians 13; and the Book of James; that the oldtimers felt that the answer to their problems was in the Bible; and that the basic ideas for the program had come from the Bible. See Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous Also, Dick B., The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible

2. Later, we were to find a host of information about the Christian upbringing and Bible studies of A.A. Cofounder Bill W.--his frequent hearing of his grandfather's conversion and total sobriety in a mountain top experience; his attendance at the East Dorset Congregational Church and its Sunday school; the emphasis there on salvation and the importance of the Bible; his attendance at revivals and conversion meetings; his study of the Bible with his grandfather Griffith and his friend Mark Whalon; and his attendance at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester Vermont where he took a four-year Bible study course, attended chapel daily, attended services at the Manchester Congregational Church each week, and was president of the YMCA. See Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.

3. Still later we went to St. Johnsbury, Vermont where Dr. Bob had been born and raised and received Christian upbringing. Bob's Christian training was even more intense than that of Bill's. Bob's birth followed on the heels of the Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury. His parents were staunch Congregational Church members (father a Deacon and Sunday school teacher; mother superintendent of the church school and Sunday school teacher). His parents emphasized salvation and the Bible in Bob's upbringing. Bob himself attended church about five times a week, including Sunday school and the meetings of Young People's Christian Endeavor Society. His father was president of the YMCA, and the YMCA was active in his church and Academy. He attended St. Johnsbury Academy, taking courses in religion; attending daily chapel; attending weekly church services; and attending Bible studies. See Dick B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous

4. All this occurred at a time when there was intense effort and success by various Christian organizations and leaders in helping drunks to get sober forever. There was the work of: (a) Evangelists like Moody, Meyer, Sankey, and Sunday. (b) Work of the rescue missions. (c) Outreach of YMCA lay evangelists. (d) Work in the slums by Salvation Army people. (e) The program of conversion meetings, Bible study meetings, old fashioned prayer meetings, Quiet Hour, reading of Christian literature, and the motto of love and service inculcated into Bob and actually into the early A.A. program from the Young People's Christian Endeavor Society in which Dr. Bob was active. See Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010

5. Then there was the recently uncovered evidence as to Bill and conversion. First, Dr. Silkworth advised Bill that the Great Physician Jesus Christ could cure him. Second, Bill's friend Ebby Thacher had gone to Calvary Rescue Mission, made a decision for Jesus Christ, and persuaded Bill to do likewise. Third, Bill had gone to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission, made a decision for Jesus Christ, and then written that "for sure" he had been born again. Finally, still drinking and despondent, Bill decided to call on the Great Physician for help; went to Towns Hospital drunk for the last time; cried out to God for help; had a white light experience in which he sensed the presence of "the God of the Scriptures," and never drank again. See

6. Just this week we saw for the first time the long missing interview of Dr. Bob in 1939 for "Faith" magazine. There, in the simplest of terms, Dr. Bob ascribed his own recovery in terms of the power of prayer, Bible study, Jesus Christ, and then witnessing to others. see

The time is drawing near for a rebirth of Christian recovery--not a recovery by Steps, not recovery by an anonymous group, not recovery by treatment, but recovery by Christians in a First Century Christian Fellowship such as that described in the Book of Acts. See Dick B. and Ken B. "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery";

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For the latest Dick B. Articles on A.A. history & roots

There are several ongoing, topical locations you can go to in order to keep updated and informed on the latest Dick B. research, talks, and articles on the biblical roots, Christian origins, and history of A.A.

The first, of course, is this blogsite

The second, today, is more than 100 articles by Dick B.

The third is the Search Warp material

Then there are the social network forums

Cybersocialrecovery forum
Christian social ministries forum
Recovery Internet Fellowship
aa sober living forum.

In addition, numerous earlier Dick B. articles are available on; mental health matters;;; and

Pacific Hills Treatment Centers is beginning to run Dick's articles, as is I Love A.A. Also aabibliography.

There are now more than 475 articles by Dick B. available for your viewing on the internet sites mentioned above--free.

And there are more and more Dick B. audio talks being posted.

Christian A.A. Recovery: A Classical Anti-AA Diversion

Nothing could be more clearly and specifically documented as we complete 20 years of research, investigaton, study, and visits to A.A. historical locations and archives than this simple statement: Alcoholics Anonymous had its origins in Christianity. Even clear, its basic ideas came from their study and efforts in the Bible.

In fact, the early A.A. Christian Fellowship was very much shaped by and developed from such well-known Christian organizations of the 1850's as the Vermont Congregational Churches, Young People's Christian Endeavor Society, Evangelists and revivalists (such as Dwight L. Moody, F. B. Meyer, Ira Sankey, Bill Sunday, and John Gough), the YMCA lay workers of that period, the rescue missions, and the Salvation Army. For reasons not much understood, A.A., its historians, and its non-AA writers have steered clear of this history--even repudiated it. But see and

The Alcoholics Anonymous Christian roots begin as described. But they had a specific impact and training when it came to A.A.'s two co-founders to be, Robert H. Smith and William G. Wilson. These men were born and raised by practicing Christian femilies. They attended Congregational Churches and Sunday Schools. They were much involved in the YMCA. At their Academies (St. Johnsbury and Burr and Burton), each co-founder-to-be attended required daily chapel, weekly church services and Bible studies. Dr. Bob was active in Christian Endeavor founded in 1881, and Bill Wilson not only studied Bible with his grandfather Griffith and friend Mark Whalon but took a four year Bible study course at Burr and Burton Academy. We have examined the Sunday school and church sermons and literature at the Congregational Churches where Bill and Bob were raised and attended. And it is clear that salvation and the Word of God were paramount in the teachings.

Later, of course, Bill Wilson went to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission in New York and made a decision for Jesus Christ--just as his sponsor Ebby Thacher had done, and just as his psychiatrist William D. Silkworth had recommended, in telling Bill that Jesus Christ could cure him of his alcoholism.

But two or three insignificant Christian writers of today (seemingly well financed in their anti-A.A. diatribes) persistently publish material such as the following on their websites. And here is the nature of their problem and misrepresentations:

A typical anti-AA piece of nosense that disturbs Christian AAs and historians is the following statement by two authors:

"The authors suggest that AA did not originate in Christianity since it has never required members to believe in Christ crucified."

Misleading and erroneous on its face, the statement ignores the well documented origins of A.A. in the rescue missions, YMCA, evangelists, Salvation Army, and Christian Endeavor. Also the "requirement" in early A.A. that one accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior--just as both co-founders had done.

Are these gross fabrications worthy of comment and repudiation? The answer is "yes." And the reasons are that there is an abundance of anti-AA writing today ranging from the charges of atheists, the objections of humanists, the detours of New Thought and New Age proponents, the resentments of founders of large organizations like Celebrate Recovery, and A.A. lambasters like Agent Orange and Stinkin Thinkin websites.

Only God knows who and who is not a Christian--certainly not this diverse, minority of naysayers who cannot and do not document their charges leveled seemingly at anyone and everyone who sets foot in an A.A. room and timidly peeps that he or she is a Christian, a follower of Jesus, a believer in God, or a student of the Bible.

The Bible lays down some basic principles such as those found in John 3:16, John 14:6,Acts 4:12, and Romans 10:9. In fact, the Book of Acts is filled with accounts of how people became born again of the spirit of God upon hearing and believing the words spoken by the Apostles Paul, Peter, James, and John.

For a good study of the real facts about A.A.'s Christian origins, see Dick B. and Ken B. "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010; and our class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"

Christian A.A. Days: The Runner's Bible a Must

Now that we have thoroughly researched and reported the books and devotionals that the early AAs really used and studied, it's time to highlight the major ones--most of which have been reprinted and are available today.

So let's talk about "The Runner's Bible: Spiritual Guidance For People On the Run."
In the early 1900's, Nora Smith Holm compiled and edited this great, inspirational, daily Scripture study guide.

The biblio today is The Runner's Bible, published by Acropolis Books Publisher, under its I-Level Imprint, Lakewood, Colorado, 1998 ISBN 1-889051-27-6.

Here are some key points:
1. Dr. Bob's son told me that this was one of his dad's favorite daily study devotionals.
2. The book is mentioned in A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature even today.
3. And several of the early A.A. Christian pioneers have specifically mentioned this book as one of the daily devotionals they used.

Here's why I like it--without detailing all the chapters, you can see the point.

Chapters, with appropriate Bible verses, cover the following topics and others:

"In the Morning Will I Order My Prayer To Thee"
"Him That Filleth All In All"
"His Image and Likeness"
"Walk in Love"
"Rejoice Always"
"In Everything Give Thanks"
"Fear Not, Only Believe"
"Get Wisdom. Get Understanding"
"Ask And Ye Shall Receive"
"He That Is The Greatest Among You Shall Be Your Servant."
"Forgive and Ye Shall Be Forgiven"

"I Will Help Thee"
"Behold, I Will Heal Thee"
"For Thine Is The Power"
"The Lord Shall Guide Thee Continually"
"Thou Shalt Walk In Thy Way Safely"
"Peace Be Unto You"

"The Lord Will Lighten My Darkness"

What a platter of victory verses for the alcoholic and addict who still suffers today. Instead of looking at a verse or a thought for the day in the endless "meditation" books that have poured out of publishers--even A.A. General Services, the suffering person can look to what God has said.

For me, the greatest problem in early sobriety was fear--fear that the other shoe would drop, fear of being "caught," fear of being unable to cope with the plethora of problems I had caused, and fear of the "unknown."

This little book, if the verses are mastered and believed, is the key to victorious Christian living today.

For a great discussion of the importance of these Bible verses and inspirational presentations, see Dick B., Good Morning: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.

Let there be no doubt: Today there are great recovery ministries like that conducted in the Rock Church in San Diego that have members texting each other each day with appropriate thoughts and verses from such devotionals as "The Upper Room." This daily communion with God was a "must" in early A.A.

God Bless, Dick B. The Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible

In his last major address to AAs in 1948, their co-founder Dr. Bob said specifically that the basic ideas for the Twelve Steps came from their effort and studies in the Bible. He said the early AAs believed that the Bible contained the answers to their problems. And he pointed to the Book of James, Jesus' Sermonn on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 as "absolutely essential" to their highly successful program of the 1935 founding and developoment period.

These simple facts called for a foundational book that explained the Bible roots of Alcoholics Anonymous. And "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible" put solid facts behind ideas that AAs had long believed.

To underline the importance of this fact, my book "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible" is the favorite of my readers for explaining how the Bible influenced the ideas of A.A., the language of the Big Book, and the content of the Twelve Steps. See

Another book that expands the information is my book "The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials"

The biblical foundations of A.A. are thoroughly covered in A.A.'s own Conference-approved literature: "DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers." This in turn drew upon the words of Dr. Bob's last major talk as spelled out in A.A.'s Pamphlet P 53-- "The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks."

The towering fact presented in "The Good Book and The Big Book" is that the real basic root of early A.A. was the Holy Bible. Other sources such as Dr. Bob's books, Anne Smith's Journal, Quiet Time, the daily devotionals, the Oxford Group, and the teachings of Rev. Sam Shoemaker ALL contained the Bible links. See

Monday, October 18, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous: God vs. No God in My Recovery

It seems like a battle has been raging over the importance of God in Alcoholics Anonymous, in 12-Step fellowships, and in treatment models and programs. If the "Not-God" book is any evidence of the battle, then the battle has raged for some years prior to my getting clean and sober in Alcoholics Anonymous in 1986. In fact, the newly released "The Book That Started It All" with the many alterations and deletions in the working manuscript of A.A.'s Big Book--just prior to its submission to the printer in 1939--shows that Bill Wilson himself was battling with a select few untrepreneurs and doubters to retain the reliance on God that had so clearly been the theme of the original A.A. program founded by Bill and Dr. Bob in 1935.

Perhaps I was so thoroughly defeated by the time I walked in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous that I never even recognized the war, let alone the warriors. In fact, it wasn't until my immature sponsor (with 6 months of his sobriety under his belt) began insisting that I not read the Bible, that the Big Book should be my only reading matter, and that AAs who studied the Bible got drunk, that I began to awaken.

Still my sickness and confusion and fear were so great that I just ignored the sponsor--and even his surreptitious sponsor--and their antipathy to God and the Bible. Let me be explicit: I had been a sleeping pill addict since law school--from which I graduated in 1951. I had become an alcoholic by about 1968. And I truly did not recognize the addiction, the trouble I was causing, or the destruction of my body and mind that were under way. But those were just a few of the problems that my alcoholism and addiction and bizarre behavior were causing.

I was plagued by insomnia--which just fed the desire for more sleeping pills and booze. I was plagued with bodily aches and pains--which seemed the product of "stress." These fed the "need" for muscle relaxants and other remedies. I was sinking into persistent depression, scarcely realizing what a potent effect it had on my desire to "escape"--to Hawaii, to fishing vacations, to conventions, to parties, and finally to what we AAs like to call "lower companions."

Even these changes were not enough to suggest surrender. What really happened was the beginning of unethical behavior, immoral behavior, and unprofitable behavior.

By the time I was ready for Alcoholics Anonymous, I was ready for a psychiatrist and more pills. I found both very quickly. But neither allayed the creeping terror, secretive behavior, trouble-making, anger, and just plain inexplicable focus on things I ought to have known enough to avoid.

The bottom line is that I didn't "need" Alcoholics Anonymous. What I needed was to quit the booze, quit the sedatives, eliminate the depression, and get well. Alcoholics Anonymous was suggested to me, and it fit the bill extremely well. I stopped the drinking and pills almost at once. I had three grand mal seizures in early withdrawal. I was confused, forgetful, bewildered, frightened, anxious, depressed, and despairing. And the troubles I had caused suddenly confronted me with the "wreckage of the past." That meant possible loss of my law license, painful attacks in the newspaper, police and District Attorney investigations, possible fines and incarceration, possible lawsuits, and the utter loss of my livelihood--not to mention my reputation, most friends, my former wife, and all self-esteem.

Were all these problems to be solved in Alcoholics Anonymous? If they were, I'd never have made the grade. Instead, I dived into Alcoholics Anonymous with fervor. I sought every kind of help I could think of--lawyers, doctors, accountants, tax specialists, support from my sons, VA facilities, treatment facilities, and therapists.

But the terror was still there--with all the misery, insomnia, depression, and difficulties that engendered it. And, at 8 months of sobriety , in the VA Psych Ward in San Francisco, I sought God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, to paraphrase Dr. Bob's remark: "My Heavenly Father did not let me down." With this new found power, forgiveness, strength, guidance, and healing, I charged forward with a new zeal to succeed. And I did. More than 24 years ago.

Nobody can tell me that Almighty God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the assurances of the Bible were not vital. They were! Hence, I've never told a newcomer that I can remember that he didn't need God. I've encouraged every one to seek, believe, and obey. And that is why the idea of "no god," or "not-god," or nonsense gods in recovery is not, and never has been on my platter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Overcoming the Myth that A.A.'s Big Book is the A.A. Bible

In their zeal to promote the newly published manuscript of one of the preparatory documents used to publish the Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book" in 1939, one of the executives of the publisher is trumpeting the idea that somehow this manuscript has special value because the "Big Book is the Bible of A.A."

This ridiculous myth has been circulating long before the publisher's promotional use of it. But it simply puts another nail in the proposed coffin being prepared for Christians in the recovery arena.

Our many books establish clearly the wide use of the Holy Bible (King James Version) in the early Christian Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous founded in Akron in 1935.
At the time of A.A.'s founding and for some four years thereafter, A.A. pioneers had no Big Book, no Twelve Steps, no Twelve Traditions, and no meetings at all like those in A.A. today. What they did have, use, study, and quote was the Holy Bible that they often called "The Good Book."

For documentation, see Dick B., "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible"; "The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials"; "Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A."; "The Conversion of Bill W."; and "The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous"

In his last major address to AAs in 1948, Dr. Bob pointed out the foregoing facts. He said the oldtimers felt that the answers to the problems were in the Good Book. He said they believed that the Bible segments--Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 were "absolutely essential" to their program of recovery. And he concluded by saying that he did not write the Twelve Steps, nor did he have anything to do with writing them. Instead, he said, the basic ideas for these Steps came from their studies and efforts in the Bible between 1935 and 1938.

In other words, the "Big Book" is not; nor has it ever been, the "Bible of A.A." The Holy Bible--the "Good Book"--was the only Bible the AAs ever had or even have today. And their Big Book is filled with quotes from and references to the Holy Bible even though the attributions are missing.

For Christians and Bible students, it is vital for them to learn and know that the Alcoholics Anonymous to which they belong today, the Big Book they read today, the Twelve Steps which they "take" today are plainly and simply derived from the Holy Bible. Any story equating the Big Book with the Holy Bible is a confusing and deceptive means of promoting a non-A.A. book, or even the Big Book itself.

See Dick B., The Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010

God Bless, Dick B.

AA--Attempting to Eliminate God from the Big Book Manuscript

First, this is about a new book published this month (October) by Hazelden which contains the "printer's manuscript" of the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous acquired by Ken and Krista R. at a Sotheby's auction in 2007 for almost $1 million.

Second, the title is "The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of 'Alcoholics Anonymous'."

Third, we will have many comments about this new book as the months go by, but here is one that all viewers should consider important.

The "printer's manuscript" repeatedly mentions a "Dr. Howard." Whoever this dude was, he certainly bent every effort to substitute "faith" for "God" in the manuscript before it went to press. Fortunately, he failed. But his persistent, failed efforts prove just how devotedly both Bill W. and Dr. Bob wanted to keep Almighty God in the fore of the solution--despite Bill's famous compromise and substitutions in the language of Steps Two, Three, and Eleven. As Bill himself later claimed, "God was still there." And God certainly was--in one way or another, explicitly described in biblical terms and plain English over 400 times even in the Third edition of the Big Book.

For the readers, we suggest you note the following endeavors that are obvious in the manuscript. Time and time again, the word "God" is circled--clearly as a word to be eliminated. Time and time again, the word "faith" appeared as the proposed substitute. Time and time again, the deletion effort failed. Just look at the manuscript! In fact, in his last ditch effort to remove God, "Howard" tried to delete the words "Heavenly Father" from the last line of Dr. Bob's personal story (now appearing on page 181 of the 4th edition of the Big Book. "Howard" wanted to replace "Heavenly Father" with "faith." And Dr. Bob would have none of it. As a result, today our Big Book still says on page 181: "Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!" On page 191, Bill Wilson is quoted as saying the "Lord has been so wonderful to me curing me of this terrible disease." On page 59, the Big Book says: "There is One who has all Power. That One is God." On page 60, it says: "God could and would if He were sought."

The survival of these key phrases describing Almighty God, and the refusal of Bill Wilson to shove "God" out of his manuscript and compromise the Creator by calling Him "faith" is proof that those who today want to invite atheists and agnostics into the A.A. literature by resolving that anyone--whether he or she believes or not, whether he or she is an atheist or a Hindu, whether he or she rejects God--can still "take" and "work" the Twelve Steps and somehow conclude, as does the Big Book, that God has done for him what he could not do for himself. Anyone can join A.A. today. Anyone can fool around with the Twelve Steps and substitute all kinds of words. But nobody, just nobody, can align himself with "establishing a relationship with God" (see Big Book page 29) and reject God for a light bulb, a door knob, or "faith."

In the forthcoming months, there may well be all kinds of articles and comments talking about Ken Roberts' "Holy Grail." Many will echo Hazelden's own triumphant opinion that this document makes A.A. "spiritual, but not religious." Still others may point to a sentence or two which epitomize Bill's great compromise that appeased the atheists and agnostics, but nonetheless retained Almighty God as the paramount source of power--the Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, Father of lights, God of our fathers, and Almighty God.

Let's examine this important and valuable document to see what it contains, and not try to use it to show and prove a "faith" that never made the cut--not when it came to trumping God.

God Bless, Dick B.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hazelden's new release: "The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of 'Alcoholics Anonymous'"

My son Ken and I had a role in working with the owners, Ken and Krista R., on the preparation of this valuable historical piece for publication by Hazelden. And we are delighted now that we have seen the actual evidence that this work is being published, promoted, and made available as Ken and Krista wanted it to be.

We will have many comments on certain facets of the book as time goes by, and we certainly will be citing certain portions in our ongoing writing and historical materials.

Meanwhile, here are some comments we just sent to the owner, Ken Roberts:

"Comments to Ken and Krista R. on the publishing of this treasured manuscript:

1. The cover, the printing, and the manuscript copies are beautifully presented.
2. You can be very pleased that you were able to make this valuable publication available through the Hazelden establishment.
3. At long last, I had an opportunity to see all the changes that were made, and they were most revealing.
4. A few of the most significant ones (that will receive my comments in various writings) are these: (a) The overwhelming attempts by “Dr. Howard” to interject his distaste for “God,” to substitute “faith” in place of "God," and to suppress any Oxford Group ideas he saw. (b) The overwhelming presence of Hank Parkhurst in the process, exemplified by his frequent initials. (c) The very clear and persistent and consistent effort—even at this late juncture—of Bill’s pointing to God as the solution.
5. I was dismayed by the unwillingness of Hazelden and some of the “editors” to recognize the very clear departure of Bill’s book and manuscript from the Akron program; their unwillingness properly to acknowledge and footnote the role of the Oxford Group and Shoemaker in the language; their utter unwillingness to cover the biblical emphasis in Akron on James, Jesus’ Sermon, and 1 Corinthians 13 as well as the direct contribution of those sources to Big Book language.
6. While the Big Book writing changes are not of great interest to me because most of them have become known in the past few years, the authenticity of this piece of evidence, the battles which it underlines, the shift from God to universalism, and the attempt even to suppress Dr. Bob’s “Heavenly Father” remark on page 181 are.
7. I’m well aware of the power of the publisher to force its views into the promotions and actual language. And the most egregious example is the attempt to sell the “spiritual but not religious” nonsense so continuously espoused by Kurtz and some of the later commentators.
8. The segment on A.A. Conference Approved literature is an accurate and joyful piece of revelation which seems to have survived the cut.
9. In all, therefore, Ken and I are most appreciative of the part we were allowed to play, of seeing the basic utility of this work, and now in having its resplendent embodiment before us.
10. We thank you for the confidence placed in us and the frank discussions we were able to hold with you."

God Bless,

Dick B.
Author, 39 titles on A.A. History
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
(808) 874-4876
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

Friday, October 15, 2010

A.A.-Step 12-Teachings of Dr. Bob's Wife

If you wonder where our Twelfth Step ideas came from, it would be a good idea to ask the wife of the man (Dr. Bob) whom Bill Wilson called "the Prince of all Twelfth-Steppers." Dr. Bob was the man of action who helped more than 5000 drunks without charge. All the while, Dr. Bob's wife, Anne Ripley Smith, was journaling and teaching the co-founders, their wives, and their families the principles of "Working with Others" that were to become the heart of A.A.'s outreach.

Let's just review a few of the statements that Anne Smith made in her personal journal that she wrote from 1933-1939. The citations are from my book, Dick B., Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939. See

Here are some of the things Anne taught to the little group of A.A. pioneers and their families who gathered each morning for a Quiet Time led at the Smith Home in Akron by Dr. Bob's wife, Anne Smith:

"Giving Christianity away is the best way to keep it" (69)

"We can't give away what we haven't got" (69)

"When we have that [a general experience of God], witnessing to it is natural, just as we want to share a beautiful sunset. . . . Share with people--don't preach; don't argue. Don't talk up nor down to people. Talk to them, and share in terms of their own experiences, speak on their level" (69)

"People reveal themselves and their problems by: 1. Silence. A sudden silence indicates that you have touched some real problem. 2. Talkativeness. Sometimes they filibuster so that you know they would not talk so much unless there was something they didn't want to say. 3. Nervousness. That goes back to some unsurrendered, unshared thing in their lives. Nervousness generally comes from an inner conflict,. Watch the hand. You will be able to see that this person is hopelesslydivided inside; a divided personality. Criticism. In order not only to answer criticism, but to meet the needs of others, we must acquire the knowledge, first, that's what the Groups teach is biblical; second, of what psychology teaches. It is sometimes difficult to answer criticism because it has to do not onlywith our own mistakes, but with things beyond our control. . ." (69-70)

"In the early stages, win confidence. Think of meeting the other person's needs. If you have a aense that something in him is not shared, it will block progress in meeting his real needs" (71)

"Confidence. We need to make friends with people first. Get a person to talk about his interest. Reverence what other people reverence. Don't stifle the truth they have, but lead on from that. . . . Learn to feel at home with all sorts of people. Learn to intrigue people with stories of individual lives that have been changed. Tell a business man how a business man has been changed; and how he finds it works in his business" (70).

There is more, and we will write more. But those of us who cherish working with newcomers will find ideas we use already, ideas that have parallels in the Big Book, and ideas that we can add to our arsenal of personal work techniques.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christian A.A. Days and the "Absolute Essentials"

Let's look at the original program of Alcoholics Anonymous, founded on June 10, 1935; successfully developed in the next two and a half years; summarized in A.A.'s own General Service Conference-approved book DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers at page 131; and documented as to its 75% success rate.

Add to that summary the fourteen practices of the A.A. pioneers, which included qualifying the newcomer, hospitalization, belief in God, acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, obedience to God's will, old fashioned prayer meetings, Bible studies, daily Quiet Time, reading of Christian literature, use of Christian devotionals, "real surrenders" where AAs confirmed their acceptance of Jesus Christ and asked God to take alcohol out of their lives and guide them to proper Christian living, spending each morning with Dr. Bob's wife at the Smith Home in her morning quiet time, attending one "regular" meeting a week, holding daily Christian fellowships, living in the homes of the winners, and helping others to do likewise.

In the center of it all--all this healthy Christian Endeavor--were three segments of the Holy Bible that were considered "absolutely essential" to the success of one's program.

The first was the Book of James. It was filled with practical concepts AAs embraced--avoidance of temptation, seeking God's guidance, being "doers" of God's Word and not hearers only, obeying the royal law (love thy neighbor as thyself), confirming that faith without works is useless, guarding their tongues, eliminating grudges, eliminating envy and jealousy, submitting themselves to God and resisting the devil, confessing their faults one to another, and praying for one another that they would be healed. The book was so popular the oldtimers wanted to call their Society the "James Club." See Dick B., "The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials",

The second was Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Both Dr. Bob and Bill stated that Jesus' sermon contained the underlying philosophy of A.A. This sermon covered such important A.A. concepts as reconciling with one's brother, msking amends, forgiving, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, taking the position of "Thy will be done," closing their meetings with the Lord's Prayer, taking one's own inventory and looking for one's own part in wrongdoing, living the "golden rule," and doing the will of Jesus' Heavenly Father. See Dick B. and Ken B., "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010.

The third was the famous "love" chapter (1 Corinthians 13). The most popular book discussing it was Henry Drummond's "The Greatest Thing in the World." The parallels are set foth in The James Club

Whe not inform every Twelve Step adherent of these essential roots before he becomes enmashed in the "wisdom of the rooms." God Bless, Dick B.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AA - Stick with the Winners - A New Approach to Newcomers

We have just published a more extensive article on this new approach. And we elaborated on the details in a subsequent posting of the material on a number
of sites, particularly including

The point we make is very simple: Newcomers are often thrown to the lions from a variety of unhelpful spectator locations. See 1 Peter 5:6-9:"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Whom resist stedfast in the faith. . ."

Here's what we mean: A newcomer is persuaded to go to A.A. or a 12 Step program by a friend, family member, doctor, minister, or priest. But when he arrives, he is ill-prepared to face the confusing and garbled descriptions he hears about how to recover. If he is not prepared to stand his ground on seeking God's help, stand his ground on feeling free to mention Jesus Christ, and stand his ground on mentioning his religion, his church, and his study of the Bible, he may immediately succumb to the nonsense statements that he can't talk about God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible; that he can't read the Bible; that he must only look at "Conference-approved" literature; and that any other stance violates A.A. Traditions. Nonsense! But if he is not prepared with the truth, the facts about A.A., and his own freedom of expression, he may fail to seek the one help the program really suggests: God!

Let's say the newcomer is persuaded to go to A.A. by an intervention, by a treatment program, by a rehab, by a court, by a probation officer, by a parole officer, or by a counselor. If that newcomer is not informed in advance that the origins of A.A. were Christian, that the original program embraced a Christian Fellowship, that the recovery ideas came from the Bible, and that early AAs were required to believe in God, accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and study the Bible daily, he may never overcome the wave of anti-religious, anti-Christian, anti-Bible chatter that is pumped at him by a sponsor, a speaker, or an oldtimer. He may never feel free to rely on God as the Big Book actually suggests he do.

There is lots more, and we will be talking about the importance of orienting, preparing, and informing the newcomer that his own religious convictions are a primary factor in his recovery effort, and that he has a perfect right to hold to them, rely on them, and reject criticisms of them.

Our article on Stick with the Winners gives many details about the things a newcomer should learn before he is ever thrust to the roaring lions who will devour him if he lets out a peep about God, his Savior, and his religious beliefs. See

Dick B.

AA - Stick With the Winners - Preparing Newcomers

"Stick with the winners!"

Dick B.

Copyright 2010 Anonymous. All rights reserved.

"Stick with the winners!" That's one of those often heard, but little understood suggestions a newcomer hears both in his treatment program and in the recovery rooms of Twelve Step Fellowships. The problem is: Who are the winners! How do I find them! What do they do and say that is recognizable and profitable. And if the newcomer is not prepared to spot them, seek them, and follow them, he can't reap the benefit of "sticking" with them. We believe the winners will subscribe to the following.

This is a new approach. It's one that can and should be applied by counselors, treatment programs, speakers, sponsors, and helpful friends. It should occur first thing. It should occur before the newcomer gets pelted with all sorts of puzzling words, phrases, and suggestions as he comes into the recovery rooms--often confused, often brain damaged, often timid, often cautious, and often incredibly frightened.

Here's a list of things that can prepare him if he is successfully to seek God and rely on God's help as he moves into sobriety and on to a better way of living.

First, he needs to know the origins and successes of early A.A. He needs to hear that various well-known Christian organizations and people were helping alcoholics, addicts, and derelicts fashion new lives long before A.A. and its Twelve Steps were even thought of. These included the rescue missions, the Salvation Army, the YMCA lay workers, the evangelists, and the Young People's Christian Endeavor Society.
He needs an understanding of their success factors and how they apply today.

Second, he needs to know the tools they used to bring success to their suffering friends. He needs to know that they were mostly lay people--not professionals, nor clergymen. He needs to know that their most effective input came through personal work and outreach--going out as compassionate people who had "found" God and wanted to help others without charge. He needs to know that they uniformly told the newcomer that he could only be helped if he wanted to be helped; that they themselves had an answer; and that it meant believing in God, coming to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and growing in understanding and action through reliance on the Bible, prayer, seeking guidance, and uninterrupted quiet time with the Creator and His Son. It meant fellowshipping with like-minded believers as was done by the First Century Christians whose actions were described in the Book of Acts--breaking bread together daily, praying together daily, searching the Scriptures daily, gathering in each other's houses daily, and witnessing to others about the "Way" daily!

Third, he needs to know about the tricks of the Adversary that he will face the very first moment he seeks help. He will be offered every kind of temptation. He will be offered every kind of excuse for continuing his old ways. He will be surrounded by the familiarity and appeal of old places, old friends, old habits, and old "drug dealers" or bars or fellow drunks. He will be confronted with an unimaginable pile of difficulties--domestic and family problems, divorce problems, tax problems, court problems, jail problems, health problems, mental problems, employment problems, loss of friendship problems, and an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame and fear and anxiety. He will be surrounded by a seemingly inescapable loneliness, lack of resources, lack of respect, guilt, fear, and thoughts even of taking his life as an easy escape.

Fourth, he will be tempted to think of himself more highly, more fully equipped to handle his difficulties, and better informed about himself and his plight than those who may try to help him. His pride may be so great that he cannot fathom the need for humbly asking for God's help, receiving instruction, and following directions.

Fifth, he will find himself in the midst of all sorts of "jail house" law, religion, medicine, home remedies, financial advice, friendship advice, program advice, money-borrowing, pill-swapping, and nonsense gods. The gods may be offerred as "higher powers." Or as a "god of his own conception." Or as a form of "spirituality, rather than religion." Or "learned" talk about how neither God, nor Jesus Christ, nor the gift of the Holy Spirit, nor the Bible, nor the church, nor religion have any place in his much-desired victory. Or "half-baked" prayers, doctrines of unending suffering, dogma about how religion has failed, dramatic suggestions that he himself is to blame, that he has selfishly erred in his ways, and that he can only recover by following some ritualistic rules about making amends, owning his faults, and turning his thoughts to others--rather than toward God.

Sixth, he will be uprbraided for mentioning church, religion, God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, and Bible. He will be urged to believe he need not believe in God, in prayer, in religion, or the Bible to get well. He will find it is popular for unbelievers and bleeding deacons to condemn those who espouse faith over the Twelve Steps or the Big Book or the A.A. group itself. He will even find many calling their "Big Book" the A.A. "Bible." Insted of calling the Holy Bible the Bible.

Seventh, he will rarely if ever hear of the original A.A. program, of its astonishing and documented 75% success rate in Akron, and 93% success rate in Cleveland. He may never learn that early A.A. was a Christian Fellowship whose members were required to believe in God, accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, study the Bible daily, and participate in old fashioned prayer meetings. He may never learn that early members were hospitalized because of the grave health problems involved in unsupervised detoxing. He may hear that A.A.'s co-founders were scoundrels, freemasons, spiritualists, money-grabbers, users of drugs, adulterers, and heretical unbelievers. Excluding, of course, that the fellowship itself is loaded with such behavior--to the end that it is to be overrcome with God's help, not used to sow unbelief and despair among members.

Honest. These are the things he will hear and learn before he ever gets to the point of selecting a knowledgeable sponsor, hearing any talk like that above, reading or asking about the Bible, turning to Amighty God for help from his very first day of need, and hanging out with those who know the foregoing facts and will affirm them for him.

Does God have a place in the solution? Of course He does. And, as the Bible points out, "With God, nothing is impossible."

How do you prepare the newcomer--BEFORE he gives up the option of depending upon God, accepting Jesus Christ, studying the Bible, growing in understanding, learning effective prayer, seeking God's guidance, and running swiftly for God's plenteous healing, forgiveness, mercy, and grace?

You tell him--tell him with a sense of urgency. You learn the documented facts yourself. You refrain from the phony talk. You stand tall for God. You stand tall for Jesus Christ. You stand tall for the Bible. You stand tall for accurate history. You recognize that the Adversary will falsify, accuse, intimidate, and use flesh and blood to conceal the real battle. And you support those very clear portions of the Big Book and Twelve Steps that show how much its writers and A.A.'s founders believed in the power of God, how solidly they believed their Heavenly Father would never let them down. And how boldly and consistently they stated that the Lord had cured them of their terrible affliction and that they wanted to talk about it and keep telling people--giving Almighty God the credit.

We have some new and very important tools for you to use, including this article:

1) Our 4 DVD classes (1 hour each) called "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" with the Instructor Guide, the Student Guide, and the Questions and Answers Guide. See

2) Our thoroughly documented and footnoted new Christian recovery work--"The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010. See

3) A willingness to act as consultants in helping you get started and in setting up a segment on "Stick With the Winners" in your own church, Christ-centered recovery group, Christian Recovery Fellowship, Christian treatment program, Christian counseling training and practice, rehab, sober living, transitional living, veterans outreach, military outreach, homeless outreach, and correctional facilities outreach.

4) A willingness to help you set up leadership conferences and seminars where you can compare notes, improve, and enjoy the support of like-minded Christian recovery leaders.

Can you do this with God's help and guidance? Try this advice that God gave to Abraham in

Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

Jeremiah 32:17 "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou has made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm [and] there is nothing too hard for thee."

Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?"

Gloria Deo

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A.A.Recovery: Twelve Steps to What!

Folks who study the Big Book, take the Twelve Steps, and carefully consider the Alcoholics Anonymous program of recovery as it is laid out in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" should really have no problem defining the recovery program, its specified course of action, and the intended objective of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

So we will begin by looking at what the Founders and the Big Book have said about the Twelve Step program of recovery and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Bill Wilson put these important comments in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and here is how they are still expressed today:

Page 17: "The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action."

Page 29: "Each individual, in the personal stories, describes in his own language, and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God."

Page 57: "He humbly offered himself to his Maker--then he knew. Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. . . He has come to all who have honestly sought Him. When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us."

Pages 58-59: "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. . . . Remember that we deal with alcohol--cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power--that One is God. May you find Him now!. . . We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery."

Page 60: "Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertnent ideas: (a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if He were sought."

Page 68: "We never apologize to nnyone for depending upon our Creator."

Page 98: "Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house."

Page 181: "If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. . . . Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!"

Page 191: "Bill [Wilson] . . . said, "the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.'"

How plain must the language be! The Alcoholics Anonymous program of recovery suggests a solution, based on the conclusion that God can and will relieve us of our alcoholism if we thoroughly follow the path. And that proposition is what kept me motivated at the beginning, and that is the solution I have found after these 24 plus years of continuous sobriety.

Now here's the problem! Despite the foregoing language, intruders have inserted the following language into A.A. literature, obtained "Conference approval," and expected newcomers to believe that the new intrusive contentions represent the recovery program of A.A. Here is what one A.A. General Service Conference-approved pamphlet states in Pamphlet P-24:

"There is a lot of talk about God, though, isn't there? The majority of A.A. members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the A.A. group, still others don't believe in it at all. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and nonbelief."

Now don't think for a moment that the foregoing represents the program of recovery spelled out with clarity in the Big Book quotes above and by co-founders Dr. Bob and Bill W. But the statement represents the crack in the door through which writers for A.A. and others are pouring nonsense gods, atheism, and unbelief.

Thus today A.A. General Services is about to consider a recommendation, stated in general terms, that the Literature Committee prepare a pamphlet on spirituality that includes the stories of atheists and agnostics who have successfully gotten sober in Alcoholics Anonymous. And one objecting group summarizes the effort as one to prove that you can work the program of Alcoholics Anonymous without God.

If you can, what are the Twelve Steps for? What does a newcomer do about the common solution, about finding God, about the solid concept that the steps lead to the conclusion that, since the individus cannot relieve himself, nor can any other human being, he turns to God for deliverance, concluding that God could and would if He were sought.

Now, outside of A.A., we have growing amounts of well-funded efforts that contend, in some cases, that the Twelve Steps are "Twelve Steps to Destruction," that you are hell-bound if you fellowship with the "godless" members of A.A., that A.A. is a religious cult, and that A.A. itself is really about "not-godness."

There is no doubt today that A.A. is not a Christian Fellowship. There is no doubt that its basic ideas came from the pioneers' studies and efforts in the Bible. There is no doubt that there are tens of thousands of Christians in A.A. and the recovery arena who rely on Almighty God for recovery. There is no doubt that the program in the Big Book fully supports their studies, efforts, and beliefs today. What is really in doubt is, that if the intruders keep forcing into literature the foreign idea that you don't need God in A.A., the newcomers, the atheists, the agnostics, and the opponents of A.A. will most assuredly try to promote a mass exodus from an A.A. program that nonethelesst still declares "God could and would if He were sought."

If the nonsensical moves really can equate love and tolerance with support for atheistic and unbelieving recovery, can't we properly ask, then, "Twelve Steps to What!" Are they Twelve Steps to self-reliance? Are they Twelve Steps to drug courts?Are they Twelve Steps to intervention? Are they Twelve Steps to destruction? Are they Twelve Steps to an irrational cult? Are they Twelve Steps to something that can no longer be defined as much more than sitting in meetings, whining, and forgetting about the newcomers who would certainly seek God's help if they were assured it is available?

Dr. Bob put it simply. He said that "First Things First" derived from the passage in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:33: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Both Bill and Bob declared that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount contained the underlying philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I'll go along with that rather than Twelve Steps to nothing.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A.A. Step, Bible, History, Recovery Groups Growing

We have just completed a 17 meeting and conference trip to California to survey, report, and encourage A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly learning and listening by AAs, NAs, 12-Step groups, sponsors, speakers, meetings, conferences; by treatment and counseling programs; by A.A. Bible and Step Study groups and Big Book Study Groups; by Christ-centered and Christian recovery fellowships; by sober and transitional living recovery homes; by prison, military, veteran, hospital, and homeless message carriers; and by you.

Here's what we see from the audiences, the leadership response, the outpouring of emails and phone calls, and the visitor records on our internet site:

1. A.A. Study Groups: Today there are dozens and dozens more groups in A.A., N.A., churches, Christian recovery programs, treatment facilities, and counselor training groups than there were 20 years ago when we started unearthing and widely disseminating the neglected facts about A.A. origins, history, founding, original program, astonishing successes, and changes made just before the Big Book was published. People then didn't know the facts. Today they want to know them. And today we are receiving all kinds of requests from AAs, NAs, and Christian leaders who want to start study groups in their area and their church. And these are being facilitated by our continued production and distribution of the 4 DVD introductory class--"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" They are being facilitated by the hundreds of articles we are posting on the internet, our blog, facebook, and email newsletters. They are being articulated with the help of our new The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010--widely distributed and acquired by audiences during our California

2. What about the flak received by a few about their study, distribution, and talk about these resources? The flak is there. But so are the appropriate answers: (a) There is no index of forbidden literature or books in A.A. AAs have been studying and reading the Bible and discussing it since the earliest meetings in Akron and in Cleveland. Dr. Bob urged AAs in 1948 to cultivate the habit of prayer an read the Bible. He insisted that the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 were "absolutely essential" to the program. Can you then read what co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob read? Can you study what the first three AAs studied? Can you read from the Bible at a meeting like Dr. Bob, A.A. Number Three Bill Dotson, Cleveland A.A. founder Clarence Snyder, and a host of others did in the years of early A.A. success? Can you invite clergy to talk to your meetings, as Bill Wilson did in St. Louis and in Long Beach AFTER the Twelve Traditions were adopted--having Father Ed Dowling, S.J.; Rev. Sam Shoemaker, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church; and a Roman Catholic Archbishop from the Los Angeles area speak to A.A. International Conventions in 1955 and 1960? Has A.A. suddenly and officially become anti-church, anti-religion, anti-Bible, anti-Christian, anti-Protestant, anti-Roman Catholic, and anti-Jewish? Has atheism, agnosticism, Buddhism, and humanism replaced the Creator with some new kind of nonsense god--called an higher power--and described as a light bulb, a tree, Ralph, Santa Claus, and the Great Pumpkin?

3. Not on your life! A.A. today is diverse, varied, tolerant, and inclusive when it comes to religion, church, Bible, and Christianity--as well as gay and lesbianism, atheism, agnosticism, unbelief, and worship of false gods. It's going on all the time in meetings all over the world. How do we know this? The Big Book, the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions, the plethora of A.A. Conference-approved literature state so specifically. Pamphlets published by A.A. encourage membership by women, blacks, prisoners, gays and lesbians, and those who don't believe in anything at all.

4. What can you call your study group or recovery fellowship? Some call them The James Club. Some call them a Step Study group. Some call them a Big Book Study group. Some call them a Big Book/Bible study group. Some call them a History Study Group. And more and more and more are wising up and calling them "A.A. Recovery Study Groups." The virtue of that name is that some bleeding deacon in a Central Office or GSO cannot say that the name of the group is too religious, too Christian, too biblical, too violative of Traditions, and is sanctioning study of non Conference Approved literature.

5. Call your study group an "A.A. Recovery Study Group." So long as the group involves two or more people gathered for purposes of sobriety, it is and can be called an A.A. group.

6. As early AAs did, and as many do today, you can study the Bible, daily devotionals, religious books and literature; you can talk about your experience with God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and water baptism; you can tell how you established your relationship with, or found, or rediscoverd God; you can talk about the history of A.A.; you can talk about the Christian origins of A.A.; you can talk about the Christian up-bringing of Bob and Bill; you can talk about the early A.A. surrenders to Jesus Christ as Lord; you can talk about the Upper Room, The Runner's Bible, My Utmost for His Highest, The Greatest Thing in the World, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, 1 Corinthians 13; you can talk about the origins of the language in the Big Book and the Twelve Steps; you can compare the Big Book language and Twelve Step language with the teachings of the Bible, Dr. Bob, Dr. Bob's wife Anne Smith, Henrietta Seiberling, T. Henry and Clarace Williams, Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Father Ed Dowling, S.J., Father Ralph Pfau and his "Golden Books," Rabbi Abraham Twerski, Hazelden, William James, Professor Starbuck, Jerry McAuley, H.H. Hadley, Harold Begbie and the Salvation Army, Carl Jung, Emmet Fox, and the literature of the Young People's Christian Endeavor Society--which attained a membership of 4.5 million around the world at or after Dr. Bob was active.

7. Bill Wilson was called many years after his death "one of the most permissive guys I ever knew" or some such language. The man who called Bill that was Bob Pearson who not only befriended Bill but served A.A. for years as its General Manager, Chairman of the Trustees, and finally Senior Advisor. And Bob decried the rigidity and enforcement attitudes that have developed recently.

The bottom line? Let's stop bashing A.A. and AAs. Let's report the truth about our fellowship. And let's support it. It is not a cult. It is not a Christian Fellowship. It is not an anti-God, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-Protestant, anti-Muslim, anti-Buddhist, anti-Bible, anti-Morman, anti-church, anti-religious outfit. It is just a fellowship of men and women gathered together to maintain their own sobriety and to help others recover. Bill Wilson often called it a Society. Dr. Bob often called it a Christian Fellowship. Clarence Snyder called it Alcoholics Anonymous.

Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of belief, freedom of studies, and freedom of reading and discussion are the watchwords of "love and service" and "love and tolerance." Both of these are stated codes about A.A.

Can you form and conduct an "A.A. Recovery Study Group" under such conditions? Of course you can!;; www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition;

Gloria Deo

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Richard G. Burns and Dick B. Access Data 10/ 6/10

October 6, 2010

At last, after being virtually unable to contact, facebook, and twitter friends during our intensive three weeks of meetings and conferences in California, our web manager and consultant rescued us today with the following access information you can use if you want to contact Richard G. Burns (Dick B.) by the methods below:

1. Dick B. main website:
2. Dick B. email:
3. Dick B. Facebook:
4. Dick B. Twitter: twitter mauihistorian
5. Dick B. Regular blog posts:

If you have difficulties, please do not hesitate to phone me at 808 874 4876 in Hawaii.

God Bless, Dick B.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous & The So-called "Original Manuscript"

Many who follow my blogs, articles, books, and talks on real Alcoholics Anonymous history have asked if I have heard of the so-called Alcoholics Anonymous "original manuscript" being published by Hazelden. A typical publicity article can be found in the Boorstein article published by The Washington Post.

As a writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and an active and recovered member of the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship, I have devoted 20 years to investigating Alcoholics Anonymous origins, history, founding, original program, astonishing successes and changed. See

Several remarks are appropriate at this time:

1. The manuscript and its changes are not the "original" manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have many other writings by Bill Wilson that I discovered at his home at Stepping Stones, and it would be far better to describe the document as the printer's manuscript with all the handwritten changes that, with further changes, went to the printer in 1939. We hope publicists don't turn this document into some kind of priceless "original." For example, A.A.'s own publication Pass It On makes it clear that some 400 pages of manuscript material were thrown out before publication. Also Bill Wilson's "autobiography" now published by Hazelden was found by me at Hazelden and shows Bill had made many other statements about his early recovery including the fact that he had been "born again," that he had called on the "Great Physician" (Jesus Christ) and had been delivered from his alcoholism by a "white light" experience in which he sensed the presence of God in his hospital room at Towns and declared, "So this is the God of the Scriptures" (as reported in A.A.'s The Language of the Heart.

2. The new published title has immense historical significance--but not that being claimed by the commentators quoted in The Washington Post article. Thus the publicists make statements now established as incorrect. They claim, for example, that Wilson "didn't attend church." This distortion ignores my own research which discloses, among others, that Bill and his family attended East Dorset Congregational Church, that the family owned Pew 15 in that church, that Bill attended Sunday School at that church. Bill went on to Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont. There he regularly attended Manchester Congregational Church, daily chapel at the Academy, and a four-year Bible study course.

3. The new published article ignores Bill Wilson's decision for Christ at Calvary Rescue Mission after which he wrote that "for sure I was born again." It ignores his decision to call on the "Great Physician" that Dr. William D. Silkworth had said could cure him--the Great Physician, in Silkworth's own words, was Jesus Christ. Having made his decision for Jesus Christ at the Calvary Rescue Mission, having received the advice of Silkworth that Jesus Christ could cure him, and having decided--in bis moments of deep depression and despair--to call on the Great Physician. Bill checked into Towns Hospital for the last time, cried out to God for help, sensed the presence of God in his room, observed that "this was the God of the Scriptures," and had a "white light"--not a "white flash" experience. After this, Wilson never drank again and declared that the Lord had cured him. See Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.

4. What the unearthed manuscript does provide for historians is a plain proof of the battle Bill had with three other persons (Hank Parkhurst, John Henry Fitzhugh Mayo, and Secretary Ruth Hock). This is laid out in full in A.A.'s Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age and in context in The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 (

5. Hazelden has previously published some very important titles that fill in part of the critical history period and contradict the statements of publicists about this latest manuscript. Those are "Bill W.: My First 40 Years;" "Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks;" and "The Lois Wilson Story: When Love is Not Enough." Since this current publication provides visual evidence, it would have been wise for its publishers to refrain from characterizations at variance with its own previously published accounts, as well as the research of the last 20 years.

6. For those who want to pay $65.00 or such for this piece of history, the new manuscript will be a helpful evidentiary item. For those who want to know the full story of A.A.--including the entire program that was first founded in 1935 in Akron--this will explain the changes in the Big Book made to appease atheists and agnostics. It will not alter the fact that the word "God" and other descriptive pronouns about Him, as well as Biblical descriptions such as "Creator," "Maker," "Heavenly Father," "Father of Light" are permanently embedded in the latest Big Book edition of 2001 and number over 400. God is there. Jesus Christ and the Bible--vital components of the original program in the Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship--have been removed. For Christians in recovery, the real program, plus knowledge of Wilson's last-minute changes in 1939, simply document the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have really played in the recovery movement--long before there was an A.A.;;

God Bless, Dick B.;

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous

Here is a helpful outline of the real beginnings, the real origins, the real history, the real founding, the real original program, and the real original astonishing successes that gave rise to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholics Anonymous origins in the 1800's--Evangelists and revivalists; rescue missions; YMCA lay workers and their gospel meetings; Salvation Army and the slums of London; Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.

Alcoholics Anonymous beginnings in the youngster days of co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith--The Conversion of Bill W. and Dr. Bob of Alcoholics

Alcoholics Anonymous Founding and How the First Three AAs Got Sober and were Cured when there were no Steps, Traditions, Big Books, drunkalogs, or meetings.

The original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program founded in 1935 and summarized for John D. Rockefeller in February, 1938 by his agent and A.A.-trustee-to-be Frank Amos. Published in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, page 131. The 7 point program.

The emergence of the Twelve Step ideas before the Spring of 1939, ideas that Bill Wilson learned primarily from the teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York and an American Oxford Group leader.

The compromise changes prior to the publication when 400 pages of manuscript were thrown out, when multiple Christian and Bible passages were discarded with them, and when the language of Steps Two, Three, and Eleven was changed to appease the atheists and agnostics.

The beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous as thus outlined are thoroughly covered and discussed in The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010; and in the new 4 DVD class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"

God Bless, Dick B.

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed URL

Alcoholics Anonymous: How do you find the discussion of the new The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. This is the premier, important documented presentation of the findings of Dick B. and Ken B. over the past twenty years of research, travel, and publishing about the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Christian origins of Alcoholics Anonymous, the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, the original Alcoholics Anonymous program founded in Akron in 1935, the astonishing 75% success rate, and the changes that occurred in the whole program when the Big Book was published in 1939. And then many specific details and suggestions as to how and why you can in your "Recovery Study Group" be miles ahead in your understanding of how A.A. came about and produce the footnotes, documentation, and evidence to back it up.

This Guide is for AAs, NAs, 12-Step fellowship members, meetings, groups, conferences, seminars, treatment programs, sober living and transitional housing programs, prison outreach, VA outreach, military outreach, counselors, sponsors, trainers, facilitators, homeless outreach, shelter outreach, and others who want to know that they know that they know our history of Alcoholics Anonymous and can point to Alcoholics Anonmous General Services Conference-approved literature, as well as many other sources, to verify what they say and have learned.

Details on The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 are discussed in full on this URL page: The Guide can be purchased there or on the main page of Dick's website:

An Alcoholics Anonymous must for those who want to report the truth.

Participating in Alcoholics Anonymous as a Believing Christian

This will be the first of several reports on what our latest series of 17 meetings and conferences in California have suggested for Believing Christians and Their Widespread Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Step Fellowships.

1. A new information dissemination effort by International Christian Recovery Coalition (

a) Searching out, listing, and enlisting "A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly" A.A. and N.A. meetings, groups, fellowships, seminars, conferences, and literature.

b) Encouraging the strong recovery leadership now emerging in such places as Rock Church in San Diego, Neighborhood Alcoholics for Christ in Escondido, Pacific Hills Treatment Centers in San Juan Capistrano, New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc. in Huntington Beach, Lifelines at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa, His Place Church in Huntington Beach, The James Club in Norco, The James Club Fellowships in Covina, Good Book/Big Book Solution Seekers in Roseville, CityTeam Ministries and its many residential treatment centers on the West Coast, Turning Point at Cornerstone Church in Livermore, Serenity Group at Oroville Church of the Nazarene, recovery meetings at Auburn Church of the Nazarene, recovery meetings in Chico, Golden Hills Commmunity Church in Brentwood.

c) Conducting Christian recovery leadership workshops such as the one we conducted at CityTeam in San Jose. These will involve instructive talks to leadership people, discussion by them of what they have heard, and reports to the workshop at large of what they have learned and what they would change to improve Christian recovery outreach.

d) More area talks where travel, meals and lodging, and other expenses are funded and A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, and A.A. History Friendly audiences are willingly and eagerly seeking to know about "old school" A.A. and its applicability today. Thus we will be speaking at the conference of the Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Institute, Inc. in Palm Springs this November, and an Awareness program at Betty Ford Center in February of 2011.

e) Continued efforts to sell and distribute our three major tools: "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"--a 4 DVD class that visually depicts the Christian origins, history, founding, original program, and successes of the original Akron program--as well as the changes made in 1939 and the applicability of the original program in recovery today. "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010 which is a thoroughly researched, reported, documented, and useful coverage of the Christian recovery movement from the 1850's through today--an essential documentation source for leaders. A new "Stick With The Winners" brief, simple, and highlighted workbook telling leaders and the afflicted exactly how they can present Christian recovery today in meetings, groups, fellowships, treatment programs, counseling, counselor-training, prison and jail outreach, sober and transitional housing programs, homeless outreach, VA programs, Military programs, and programs of such groups as the Salvation Army, Overcomers, Alcoholics Victorious, and Celebrate Recovery.

f) A planned "First International Gathering of Recovered Saints" on the Island of Maui. Leaders, their wives, friends, and kids will come to Maui at their own expense, enjoy the beauties and activitiews, and gather together for instructive workshops conducted by Dick B. and Ken B.

g) Continued intensive free information outreach via websites, blogs, facebook, twitter, widely posted articles, newsletters, emails, and phone conferences.

h) Funding efforts to meet expenses that will invite special sponsors, benefactors, a spiritual 40 club, onsite donations, and purchase of "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" classes ( and "The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010 (

i) Encouraging acquisition of and sending and distributing free old and new copies of vital A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature such as "The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous" (P-53) and "DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers" We strongly urge leaders, fellowship members, and others to purchase these two items and distribute them widely at no cost, and/or to send us the materials so that we can do that.

j) We will be doing a pilot leadership training program on Maui in partnership with the County of Maui Salvation Army.

k) We will continue to invite you to purchase boxes of Dick B. books at a very substantial discount and distribute them free to others in your friendship circle and area. Just a day or so ago, a good A.A. friend Rob O. brought a box of the Dick B. title, "Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth," 7th ed. He distributed them free and extensively at our great conference at Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood, and came up to me to have their copies signed.

l) Lots more. Stay tuned. God Bless, Dick B., 808 874 4876,,

Friday, October 01, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous: A.A.'s Greatest Sponsors

How would you like to have had the world's greatest sponsor in your own Alcoholics Anonymous recovery efforts?

Here are some historical tips:

1. A.A. Cofounder Dr. Bob. Bill Wilson called Dr. Bob the "Prince of All Twelfth-Steppers." You can find that in A.A. General Service Conference-Approved Pamphlet P-53. Bill pointed out that Dr. Bob had helped over 5000 drunks to recover and never charged a penny for his services. Bill said that probably no one would ever have attained such a record.

2. The Orginal A.A. Program itself, as reported on page 131 of DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, consisted of 5 required actions and two recommended actions. Not 6 word-of-mouth steps that Bill talked about. Not the 12 Steps which were unpublished until the spring of 1939. But a program that, by November of 1937, had a documented 75% success rate among the seemingly hopeless, medically incurable, last gasp real alcoholics who went to any lengths to establish their relationship with God and get well. All these details are spelled out in detail and documented in the new The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010 You can find and acquire it on

3. The Cleveland Program founded by Clarence H. Snyder on May 11, 1939. Clarence brought to Clevelanders the newly published Big Book and 12 Steps, the Bible, and the Oxford Group's 4 Absolutes - Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love. This was a group for alcoholics only. It was called "Alcoholics Anonymous." Clarence took beginners through the 12 Steps in two days or less. The first Cleveland group grew from one group to 30 groups in a year. It had a documented 93% success rate. And Clarence became the A.A. with the longest sobriety by the time of his death. He sponsored hundreds of folks--men and women.

Stick with the Winners Old School Alcoholics Anonymous

Here's what we are seeing in today's recovery community as we publish books and articles on the Christian roots and Original Christian Fellowship Program of early Alcoholics Anonymous;

1. A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly recovery programs, counselors, fellowships, churches, drug courts, rescue missions, Salvation Army offices, A.A. meetings, N.A. meetings, Celebrate Recovery meetings, and Christ-centered leaders and groups in the recovery arena.

2. Organization such as Rock Church in San Diego, The Crossing in Costa Mesa, His Place in Huntington Beach, Pacific Hills Treatment Centers in San Juan Capistrano, Neighborhood Alcoholics for Christ in Escondido, The James Clubs in Norco and in Covina, Church of the Nazarene in Auburn, Oroville, and elsewhere, CityTeam Ministries up and down the West Coast, Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute in Southern California, New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc. in Huntington Beach, Cornerstone Church in Livermore, Golden Hills Church in Brentwood, and more in the wings.

3. A growing cadre of informed, effective, Bible believing AAs who are speaking and being invited to speak in their areas--Roger M. of Huntington Beach; Dale M. of Oroville; David P. of San Diego; Randy Moraitis of Costa Mesa; and many many more.

4. More and more individuals are acquiring our new 4 DVD class with guides--"Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery"
These are now available at Rock Recovery Ministries in San Diego, Lifelines at The Crossing in Costa Mesa, His Place Church in Huntington Beach, Serenity Group at Oroville Church of the Nazarene, CityTeam Ministries headquartered in San Jose, a drug court alternative option program, a rescue mission, a Salvation Army outpost, New Life Spirit Recovery, Inc.--treatment program and counselor training, Pacific Hills Treatment Centers, Oasis Center in Pittsburgh, PA, Won Way Out Program in Delaware, Alive Again in Miami, and individuals in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Oahu, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, and elsewhere.

Our task is to train the trainers so that folks and recovery can learn and apply the role played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the recovery movement, and can play today for those who want, need, and seek the power of God for their healing of the problems of alcoholism, addiction, and life controlling problems.

Our major resources now are the new Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery class, The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., Dick's 39 published titles, Dick's more than 450 articles, his Facebook, blog, twitter, and website presentations, and the talks Dick and his son Ken are giving across the country.

Contact;; Dick B. at PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

We believe as to Alcoholics Anonymous: (1) It should not be knocked ore bashed. (2) It should be truthfully, accurately, and fully reported. (3) It should then be supported by those who are A.A. friendly, Bible friendly, and history friendly with the assurance given by Dr. Bob on the last page of his personal story : "Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!" Page 181, "Alcoholics Anonymous" 4th ed 2001.