Monday, May 30, 2011

AAOrigins: The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous

Though the precise date of June 10, 1935 has been the subject of some dispute, there has been no dispute among members of the A.A. Fellowship that Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob at the Smith Home on 855 Ardmore Avenue in Akron, Ohio in June of 1935. When the cofounders helped a third man (Bill Dotson)to seek God's help and attain recovery, the date was July 4, 1935; and Bill Wilson proclaimed that to be the date of the founding of the first A.A. Group--Akron Number One.

The facts about how A.A. got to the founding point are scarcely known by many AAs because those facts are not covered in the "basic text" of A.A. that Bill Wilson and his partner published four years later in 1939.

For that reason, I thoroughly researched the real origins of Akron A.A., received the endorsement of the children of Dr. Bob and others who were present at that time. The result was the book "The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous"

For an accurate, thorough, and valuable work on just how Akron A.A. came to be, this book, The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, is the book you would enjoy reading and studying.

In brief, it covers a number of founding factors which were later elaborated upon in other titles written by me on A.A.'s founding. However, in summary, the factors were these:

1. Russell Firestone, one of the heirs of the famous Firestone Tire & Rubber dynasty, was a seemingly hopeless drunk.

2. Russell's father, Harvey Firestone, Sr., had spent a great deal of time in Florida with his friends Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison. While there, he met a brilliant young man named James Draper Newton who had been assisting Edison when visitors came to meet the famed inventor.

3. Firestone, Sr., was so taken with the abilities of Newton that he brought Newton to Akron and was grooming him to become head of the rubber company. And during his time in Akron, Newton became a good friend of Russell Firestone--at first not knowing about Russell's severe problem with alcoholism.

4. Newton was a staunch "member" of the Oxford Group at that time, was a friend of Oxford Group founder Dr. Frank N.D. Buchman, and of the American Oxford Group leader, Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. And Jim Newton arranged to have Russell, Russell's father, and Newton himself travel with Sam Shoemaker on a train trip to an Episcopal Conference in Denver. Meanwhile, Russell was drinking heavily all the while.

5. On the return trip to Akron, Shoemaker took Russell into a train compartment. There he led Russell Firestone to a decision for Jesus Christ. And Russell was healed. I have seen the diaries of Shoemaker and of Newton and they confirm the foregoing details. And, by the time the train arrived in Akron, the family doctor pronounced Russell's recovery a miracle.

6. For two years Russell and Jim Newton traveled together as Oxford Group activists and witnessed in many locations. Finally, in 1933, the Firestone family was so elated with Russell's success in overcoming drinking that they brought Oxford Group founder Dr. Frank Buchman to Akron to celebrate and witness. Buchman and some 30 Oxford Group people took over the Protestant pulpits and other places in Akron. They gave Christian testimonies and were joined by Russell who spoke of his rebirth, his Bible study, and his victory over alcohol. Most of these facts were widely reported in Akron newspapers, whose articles I have personally read.

7. Aware of Dr. Bob's drinking problem and also having problems of her own, Henrietta Seiberling (wife of one of the Seiberling family members, and an Oxford Group enthusiast, Christian, and Bible student)persuaded Dr. Bob's wife, and two other ladies to come and hear the 1933 testimonials. The four ladies were persuaded that God could help Dr. Bob. They also persuaded T. Henry Williams, husband of one of the ladies, to help them form a small Oxford Group, which later moved to the home of T. Henry.

8. And it was at the small meeting at the home of T. Henry and Clarace Williams in Akron that Dr. Bob admitted he was a "secret drinker." When asked if he would like to pray, Dr. Bob said, "Yes." And he and the group knelt on the rug and prayed for his deliverance.

9. There is much much more to the Akron story. And it is covered in The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous. It details the contributions of Dr. Bob, Henrietta Seiberling, Dr. Bob's wife, T. Henry and Clarace Williams, and Bill Wilson who seemed, in Henrietta's view, to have been the answer to their prayers when he called out of the blue and sought to work with another drunk. That drunk was Dr. Bob.

For the full details, read The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous

Dick B.,,

"celebrate recovery" or recovery and then celebrate: the difference

Shall we "celebrate recovery" or shall we recover and then celebrate. Recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction is hard work--not an occasion for celebrating, but a challenge to turn one's life of misery and despair to a life pledged to the service and glory of God and His Son Jesus Christ. "By his stripes we were healed." Wholenesss, healing, fellowship, and witnessing mean decision, discipline, and determination to seek God's help diligently and believe He cares and rewards. Dick B.

Reverend Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., who spoke to AAs at two of their International Conventions (St. Louis and Long Beach), and who was dubbed a cofounder of A.A. by Bill Wilson addressed the question of what a "spiritual awakening" amounted to.

Shoemaker said it involved four elements: Conversion, Prayer, Fellowship, and Witness.

These all involve work and a process, and that is what early AAs set out to do with the help of Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible.

Dick B.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Forming "A.A. Literature Study Groups"--a New Plan

International Christian Recovery Coalition exists to inform, to encourage, and to support.

Consequently, in its two years of existence, it has held a major conference of Christian leaders and workers in the recovery community at the Mariners Church Community Center in Irvine, California. It then made available The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed.; followed by "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" a class of four DVD's with guides Next came the launching in January 2011 of our project to establish worldwide Christian Recovery Resource Centers and Persons. This was followed by the publication of The Dick B. Handbook for Christian Recovery Resource Centers. Then followed the establishment of a Speakers Bureau. Finally in the Spring, some 14,000 A.A. history books were distributed free, but for shipping cost, to many parts of the United States and other countries.

Why! To make sure that those in recovery who want God's help know what that requires, where to start, whom to see, where to go, whom to trust, and what the next steps should be.

But recovery means hard work and study and continuing a relationship with God which A.A. itself strongly encouraged in the 1930's.

Our latest project is encouraging and guiding the establishment of "A.A. Literature Study Groups." These will allow recovering AAs and others freely to study all kinds of literature related to Alcoholics Anonymous. It will enable them to do what the early AAs did in both Akron and Cleveland--get informed by study.

This will be announced repeatedly and accompanied by details presented on the internet. Stay tuned.

Dick B., Executive Director,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Nonsense about A.A.'s Basic Text and 164 Pages

Let me stick to what I have frequently heard in 25 years of attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and now in reading cautionary remarks in various internet posts.

First, I was told that the "basic text" of Alcoholics Anonymous consisted only of the Doctor's Opinion and the first 164 pages.

Next, I watched a number of members tear out the personal stories in the Big Book because they were not a part of the "basic text."

Finally, A.A. itself began publishing material minus the personal stories--having already deleted many of them in prior editions.

As many know, I am very clear from my research that A.A. had two distinctly different programs in the early years after its founding.

(1) The first program was that of the A.A. of Akron Christian Fellowship that Bill W. and Dr. Bob founded in June of 1935. As Dr. Bob pointed out, there were no Steps, there were no Traditions, (and there was no Big Book), there were no drunkalogs, and there were no meetings as we later saw them progress. Dr. Bob further pointed out that AAs believed the answers to their problems were in the Bible. The parts of the Bible considered "absolutely essential," he said, were Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, and 1 Corinthians 13. He also said he did not write the Twelve Steps or have anything to do with the writing of them. The basic ideas, he said, came from their study and effort in the Bible. When Frank Amos did a survey of the Akron program, he specifically enumerated seven points which, Amos said, comprised the "Program" They are set forth on page 131 of A.A. General Service Conference-approved book DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. And around those seven points, there were about 16 principles and practices that the early AAs applied in seeking and receiving God's help. They are set forth in our book The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010.

(2) The second program culminated in the "basic text" which Bill published in 1939 under the name "Works Publishing Company." To paraphrase Bill's statement, the Twelve Steps came from three primary sources--Dr. William D. Silkworth, Professor William James, and the Oxford Group as then led in America, he said, by the Episcopal Rector, Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. The end result was the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition to forewords and back matter, it consisted of the Doctor's Opinion, the material where Bill laid out many chapters describing his program, and many personal stories which were written by various members prior to publication. The three segments were tied together by Bill's references to Dr. Silkworth, by his specifying Twelve Suggested Steps of Recovery with instructions for taking them, and then laying out the personal stories. He referred to these stories by saying that each person in his own language and from his own point of view explained how he had established his relationship with God.

And now for the random opinions, deletions, and unwarranted statements I saw and heard.

‎"This is the Fourth Edition of the Big Book, the Basic Text for Alcoholics Anonymous." That is what the cover of the latest Big Book edition states today, and it was published in 2001.

Whoever invented the absurd idea that a book with 575 pages and xxxii pages of introductory material is somehow not a basic text. A text includes every word in a book. And to cut out Prefaces, Forewords, The Doctor's Opion, Personal Stories, and Appendices defies reason and the English Language. Moreover, it invites students of the text to stop reading until they reach page 1 and quit reading when they hit page 164. I have never seen a teacher or a professor or a drill sergeant tell a student that he or she must not read certain pages because the teacher doesn't like them or think them important. The Personal Stories were to have been the entire content of the original outline of the Big Book prior to 1939.

Whether one prefers to study the original A.A. program of Akron or to study the Big Book program assembled by Bill Wilson with the personal stories, if that student wants to know from a "text" what the program is about, he needs to read the text and not some abbreviated version meeting the desires of some meeting voice.

AA-"dickbchannel" You Tube 1st Program Now Available

AA History-Christian Recovery - Commencing Now the Dick B. YouTube Channel Presentation Series

Video Name: Dick B. 01ws AA History & Christian Recovery: Introduction

URL address:

Tune in now if you like!

This is the first and introductory program by Dick B. on his YouTube Channel: dickbchannel. The foregoing name and URL address should enable you to hone in on this important introductory program that summarizes what our series will cover.

I have been blessed to have my son Ken work tirelessly on getting this series started, and we have both been blessed to have Neal Pearson of Texas donate hours of his time getting the material ready for presentation and uploading.

The series will be extensive and the summaries will be exhaustive in their scope. It will cover 21 years of research and writing by Dick B. on Alcoholics Anonymous History and on the history of the Christian Recovery Movement.

Each program is designed to provide a viewer with a brief chunk of history, accompanied by pictures of appropriate, relevant books. And the material can be seen online, heard by groups and meetings, and studied by individuals.

Dick B.

Gloria Deo

Buying Dick B. Books Today: Amazon or Paypal

With mega bookstores closing and publishers becoming more and more remote from the reading public, the place to buy Dick B. books on AAHistory, A.A. Roots, and the Christian Recovery Movement is: - where all the Dick B. books are listed and available with "Search Inside the Book," reviews, and bibliography data. OR

Alcoholics Anonymous History: Dick B.'s Website - where you can go to the titles pages, see the book, find a summary, and purchase on or buy directly from the author by contacting 808 276 4945 or, and using paypal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

AAHistory: Where to find the documents and see them

In the 21 years since I first began traveling, interviewing, visiting archives and libraries, and reading the books really involved in A.A. history, things have changed.

Today, both histories and historians abound. Yet access to the materials which can verify the writings is seldom sought. Nor are the locations very much discussed or known. Nor do writers meticulously document their historical statements with footnotes, bibliographies, indices, and endorsements. Many just write. And with the internet providing so many outlets, it is not hard to find what they write.

But suppose you wanted to verify their work. Suppose you wanted to investigate for yourself. Suppose you wanted copies of the real materials that would support or disprove their writings. Could you succeed?

Well here's what I know from having visited so many of the places where a wide variety of historical materials lie awaiting the searcher.

The Griffith Library at the Wilson House in East Dorset, Vermont. Before Ozzie Lepper died, he devoted years to building a library, collecting books, and even cataloguing them. The library is across the green from the Wilson House in the Griffith House where Bill Wilson was raised as a youngster. You can stay at the Wilson House and visit. You can stop and visit. And you can have your fill. My own collection of some 23,900 items was, thanks to benefactors, donated to the Griffith Library; and it will keep you busy for months on end. Books and items are still being donated and/or collected.

The Dr. Bob Core Library at the North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. My son Ken and I made two separate visits to this charming village where Dr. Bob was born and raised. We tried to leave no repository untouched. We visited Dr. Bob's boyhood home, but there was little to see or collect. We visited the St. Johnsbury Academy which was attended by Dr. Bob, where Bob's mother had been a student and a teacher and a historian, and where Bob's father had been an examiner. The archivist there opened the doors to scads of history about the Smiths. We visited the Athenaeum, the town library where Dr. Bob studied and visited. It is filled with good library materials and the resources to find and study them. We spent hours in the North Congregational Church where there are many records about the Smiths, their activities in the church, the sermons, the Sunday School teachings, the Year Books, and much much more about the members and their service. We obtained materials from the Fairbanks Museum across the street. And we marched into the Town Hall and obtained a copy of Dr. Bob's birth certificate. And we procured many books about this community, its famous families, and its Great Awakening of 1875. We lodged over 3000 items in the church thanks to its Pastor Jay Sprout. And you can go there, visit, read, study, and learn.

The Shoemaker Room at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. From the Episcopal Church Archives in Texas; from the Princeton archives; from Hartford Seminary Archives; from Shoemaker's church in New York; from the Shoemaker daughters; from the widow of Shoemaker's assistant minister; and from many who knew Shoemaker and wrote about him, we gathered as many Shoemaker books and papers as we could find. And, thanks to the rector, Dr. Harold Lewis, they are now lodged in the church. And Professor Karen A. Plavan is the contact person, and there is also an archivist who knew Shoemaker.

These three places, plus a visit to the Akron Intergroup Archives, the Annex at Dr. Bob's Home in Akron, to the former archivist Ray G., to the Bierce Library, to the Summit Library, to the Akron Beacon Journal, to the Seiberling Gate Lodge, and to historian Gail L. should provide ample additional material on Akron--even though most of the materials there are under glass and lock and key and not that easy either to study or to copy. Not so as to the materials Ray G. has collected over many years. He is a gracious host and a learned "teacher."

In the next article, I will list the books I have written which describe all these materials and make them come alive when you read about them and the place they have in A.A. History.

The Purported Anne Smith Journal Materials "Hindsfoot" Published

The following brief message was sent by me to the email address specified on Glenn Chesnut's "Hindsfoot" Website which has published two purported papers, said to be Anne Smith's Journal--one part typed, and one part handwritten. Of course, there is no such document; and by making the claims, Hindsfoot and the writer ignore the actual manuscript, ignore the fact that I procured it from A.A. General Services with permission of the Archivist and Trustees, and ignore the fact that one of the two purported documents has stamped on it: "From the Research Collection of Dick B." with my address.

Had I not just written extensively on what Anne Ripley Smith actually did write in her journal, and also on the book I published about it--"Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939"--I might not have noticed this misleading material.

Certainly the real Anne Ripley Smith papers are treasures, and here is what I wrote to the email address on Chesnut's site:

"Some day it would be interesting to learn where you obtained the two sets of papers which you denominate as Anne Smith’s Journal.

I note with some interest your inclusion of the stamp which says it came from the Research Collection of Dick B. with my address. However,
nobody asked my permission to print any of it, and the statements about who typed the “typed” portions are erroneous.

Moreover, your separating “typed” pages from “handwritten” pages does not correctly reflect the fact that Anne’s handwritten annotations can be found on many
of the typewritten pages.

I also note that you used the title of my book Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939 without citation or attribution.

Will these erroneous situations be rectified, or is Chesnut unwilling to print the true document or the accurate facts about the papers, which I obtained from General Services Archives in New York with the permission of the Trustees. And that I compared them with the copy I found at Stepping Stones Archives. And that I compared the materials with Sue Smith Windows and later found some of the
missing pages and sent them to her before she died."

Purported "historical" "documents" are neither historical nor historical documents when they don't exist as portrayed. And Anne's writings are far too important to be handled incorrectly and inaccurately. See my book: Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939 Also the articles I have recently posted on this blog site of mine about Anne, "the Mother of A.A." as Bill Wilson called her.

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Location of International Christian Recovery Coalition Participants

ICRC Locations worldwide

Here Are Locations of International Recovery Coalition Participants Who Subscribe to our Mission Statement and Can Help Advance Your Recovery by the power of God
(For names and details, see}

United States of America


Birmingham, Calera, Webb




Peoria, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tucson, Yuma,


El Dorado, Rogers


Auburn, Brentwood, Calabassas, Capistrano Beach, Carlsbad, Clayton, Concord, Costa Mesa, Escondido, Glendora, Gridley, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Lakeport, Lakeside, Orange, Livermore, Lodi, Monarch Beach, Newport Beach, Norco, Olympic Valley, Palmdale, Pleasanton, Pasadena, Pittsburgh, Point Richmond, Rancho Santa Margarita, Reseda, Rohnert Park, Rowland Heights, Sacramento, San Anselmo, San Diego, San Dimas, San Juan Capistrano, San Pedro, San Rafael, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Sherman Oaks, Sunset Beach, Torrance, Upland, Valencia, Van Nuys, Venice, Woodland, Woodside


Aurora, Boulder, Colorado Springs


Bethlehem, Bridgeport, Columbia, Groton, Mashantucket


Newark, Townsend, University of Delaware, Wyoming,


Bradenton, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Hollywood, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Lake Worth, Melbourne, Miami, Naples, Niceville, Ocala, Okeechobee, Oldsmar, Orlando, Palm Harbor, Ponte Vedra Beach, Port St. Lucie, Seminole, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tequesta, Vero Beach, Winter Park


Albany, Atlanta, Douglasville, Jackson, (Romans 7 Ministry), Winder


Aiea, Honolulu, Kaneohe (Oahu); Haiku, Kihei, Wailuku (Maui)


Boise, Garden City, Weiser


Chicago, Deer Grove, Shorewood, St. Charles


(Joe Rizzo)


North Winthrop


Eureka, Wichita


Franklin, Louisville, Prospect, Radcliff


Lafayette, Metairie


Bangor, Falmouth


College Point, Millersville, Smithburg,


Ashland, Boston, Swansea


Saugatuck, Sheboygan


Crookston, Lino Lakes, Orr




Bismarck, Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis,


Black Eagle


Norfolk, Omaha


Minden, Reno, Las Vegas

New Hampshire


New Jersey

Atlantic City, Morristown, South Orange, Waretown, Washington, Whiting

New Mexico


New York

Clay, Centerreach, Jamestown, Long Island, Mexico, Middleburgh, Nesconset, New York, Northport, Nyack, Wading River,

North Carolina

Kingston, Morehead City, Reidsville, Wilmington

North Dakota



Akron, (Bikers for Christ, South Central) Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls, Dayton, Kettering, Milford, Newton Falls, Norton




Albany, Medford


Cheswick, Matamoras, McKeesport, Newmanstown, Pittsburgh, Warren

Rhode Island


South Carolina

Charleston, Florence, Hamer, Hilton Head Island

South Dakota



Franklin, Jamestown, Lawrenceburg, Lenoir City,


Athens, Austin, Caldwell, Center Point, Central Texas, Cibolo, Dallas, Euless, Ft. Worth, Hitchcock, Houston, Hunt, San Antonio, Sugarland, Texarkana




Burlington, East Dorset, St. Johnsbury




Maple Valley, Redmond, Shelton, Spokane, Tacoma,

West Virginia






Countries Other Than the United States


Cowes Phillip Island
New South Wales


(Philippe V.)


Rio de Janeiro


British Columbia
Collingwood, Ontario
Kelowna, British Columbia
Peterborough, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario

Costa Rica

(Corporacion Anonymo SA)


Binfield, Berkshire
Buckfast Abbey, Plymouth






The Netherlands


New Zealand


My Answer to: How do I start a Christian Fellowship for AAs and NAs

Dear M///

I was delighted to receive your message; and I hesitate to try to answer the format point because there are so many good options. And here are some:

A Christian Fellowship meeting – some of which are in progress in Oroville, Brentwood, Livermore, Huntington Beach, Escondido, and Glendora. And they all differ somewhat, but here is their general approach: (a) Limited, brisk, Christian singing and music. (b) Open with genuine Christian prayer “Heavenly Father, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ…..” (c) A speaker who can explain how he hit his low, how he determined to quit for good, how he decided for Jesus Christ, how he realized that the new birth was just the beginning of learning God’s truth both by revelation and from the Bible, how he tries to walk by the spirit each day, and how he seeks to serve and glorify God by bringing others to Jesus Christ, helping them turn to God for healing, and lead the abundant life that Jesus came to make available. (d) Close with prayer.
A Christian Recovery Fellowship meeting – embracing the learning of: (a) Origins of Christian recovery in Bible healings, in the work of Christian organizations in the late 1850’s [Salvation Army, Rescue Missions, Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, Evangelists (b) Learning the Christian upbringing of both Bob and Bill. (c) Learning how the first three AAs got sober without steps, traditions, Big Book, drunkalogs, or endless meetings. (d) Learning the essence of the original Akron Christian fellowship: Prayer meetings, Bible studies, Quiet Time, acceptance of Jesus Christ, fellowship, and witnessing. (e) Learning how to recognize and repudiate today’s idolatry which comes from higher powers, “spirituality,” New Thought ideas, and “not-god-ness.” (f) Learning that, whatever the treatment or fellowship program, Christians need to understand their roots, turn to God for help, and grow through prayer, Bible, revelation, fellowship, and witness.
A full fledged Christian recovery program: (a) Reaching out to newcomers with programs that are A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly, and Newcomer Friendly. (b) Teaching all the elements of Christian recovery: assessment, detox, counseling, true Christian treatment, Bible study, Christian fellowship meetings, emphasis on newcomers, daily fellowship and communication, prayer meetings, fitness, nutrition, employment, housing, education, vocational training, wholesome recreation, and striving for quality achievements. (c) Encouraging a seven-day-a-week effort involving such things as daily prayer, daily Bible study, church or Bible fellowship attendance, eating together, recreating together, witnessing and fellowshipping together. The Book of Acts is the theme.

Frankly, Mario, the longer I research, write, study, and remain sober—and see others in action—the more I favor what we did both in Marin County and then in Maui: (a) I would find a newcomer at an A.A. meeting and qualify him to the end of sponsoring him. (b) I would insist, as did Dr. Bob, that he believe in God, come to Him through Jesus Christ, and study the Bible. (c) Not discourage him from attending A.A. or counseling, but making sure he put God first. (d) Holding regular—sometimes almost daily—Bible fellowships where we would sing together, pray together, hear Bible teaching together, eat together, go to meetings together, go to the movies and the beach and retreats and seminars and musical events together, and work with newcomers. (d) Here some of the A.A. ideas were vital: assessment, detox if needed, commitment never to drink or use again, dealing with temptation, dealing with idolatry, dealng with atheism, and emphasizing victory in the spiritual battle.

Here I will once again have my son Ken send you our materials on participation in the International Christian Recovery Coalition; and establishing a Christian Recovery Coalition Resource program. The latter is important because it provides the class, the recovery guide, the handbook for centers, and a plan for networking and referral.

I trust this is not too big a mouthful, but I like to think we are growing instead of merely establishing. And the growth has come in the last two years of seeing what works with others who share our common emphasis on the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible---and healing! Each of our participants seems to take part, but they don’t leave the rest. And we encourage them to start where they are.

Please ponder what Ken is going to send you now. And soon, also, you can get small chunks from my new short YouTube presentations on “dickbchannel.” Should you find yourself able to fund and support a trip by us to speak to your group and/or leaders, we would consider that. This is what we did in California and Oahu in some 23+ meetings, seminars, and conferences.

God bless,

Dick B.

Author, 42 titles & over 500 articles on A.A. History

Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition

Christian Recovery Resource Centers - Worldwide

(808) 874-4876

PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

Ps 118:17 (NJB):
I shall not die, I shall live to recount the great deeds of Yahweh.




Christians in A.A.? A Comment on a Good Article

Myke: It would be hard, if not impossible, to say that Dr. Bob "consented" to the "God as we understood Him" and "Power greater than ourselves" insertions in the Big Book manuscript just prior to its going to press.He was not present when the four people made the change. We have the "printer's" manuscript where the changes were made; and it is clear that an attempt was made to change "Your Heavenly Father will never let you down" to "Your faith will never let you down." Dr. Bob refused to allow that change. Pamphlet P-53 contains the last major address by Dr. Bob in 1948, where he said, "I didn't write the Twelve Steps. I had nothing to do with writing them" And he goes on to say the basic ideas came from their study and effort in the Bible." Just prior to that, Dr. Bob said that the early AAs believed the answers to their problems were in the Bible. And he specified the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 as "absolutely essential." One needs to review the four AA of Akron pamphlets commissioned by Dr. Bob and which are a far cry from "secular."

In other words, I have made two points over and over. The Akron A.A. program--a Christian Fellowship--was not at all the same as Bill's Big Book program established four years later. I have four eye witness statements by Akronites showing that Akron continued to require decisions for Jesus Christ as a condition to "membership." However, one has to recognize the storms of doubt that assailed. Sister Ignatia was helping Dr. Bob at St. Thomas Hospital. Roman Catholics flooded in. Jews joined. So did a few atheists.

What is the answer? I think you stated it well. There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Christians in A.A. and even other 12-Step fellowships today. A.A. won't become Christian--never! And the Christians in A.A. are baffled by the "New Age," "New Thought," "higher power," "not-god-ness," and phony "spirituality" that are apparent in the fellowship and other later literature.

Since I entered A.A. a little over 25 years ago, dived into A.A., and became more and more a Christian who walked by the Spirit, I have to say that the 24/7 support, service, and availability of A.A. came to my life at its lowest ebb. And at a time of my greatest need. And I have not seen anything in the last 25 years that could have met my needs and challenged my Christian love more than A.A. did. Certainly neither my church, nor even my Bible fellowship.

I think it is fair to encourage those who seek God's help to do so whether they do it in A.A., N.A., Celebrate Recovery, Alcoholics Victorious, Overcomers Outreach, Teen Challenge, counseling, treatment, or with a clergyman. Severe alcoholism and drug addiction pose life and death threats. And "thorough," "going to any lengths," full-time commitment worked in 1935 and will work today with God's help. But I would not turn my back on a nurse, a Red Cross worker, a Salvation Army helper, or an atheist soldier if I were dying in battle. I would do what I did as I found my mind returning in A.A. I would tell them I was going to seek God's help and also tell them they could go whistle at the breeze if they couldn't provide nursing, Red Cross, Salvation Army, or secular help just because I loved God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

By the way, thanks again for this venue, for your strong position, and for your gracious acknowledgement. I believe the big battle today is to convince Christians IN A.A. that they have roots and a proper place. See International Christian Recovery Coalition and my books The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials and The Golden Text of A.A.

In His Service, Dick B.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Preview Briefs on Dick B. YouTube First Eleven Programs

Preview Briefs on the First Eleven Dick B. YouTube Programs

Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

The following brief announcements will be found at the close, respectively, of each of the first eleven programs Dick B. will present on the dickbchannel. The programs, of course, cover A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement. These brief announcements have been put in script form, published in audio form, and forwarded to production for inclusion in the programs. The announcements also direct that, at the end of each program, a few designated, relevant books will be displayed on the screen channel.

[Add at the end of Video One:] This first video has briefly introduced you to a number of videos to follow that will lay out for you the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and of the Christian Recovery Movement. And, to highlight the major resources involved in studying these topics, I am displaying two books. The first book is the Holy Bible—from which, according to A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob, came the basic ideas of the Twelve Steps. The second book is the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, (affectionately known within A.A. as “the Big Book”) with its “circus cover” dust jacket. As the first edition of the “basic text” of A.A., it illustrates where A.A. cofounder Bill W. changed course from the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program (which had the Bible as a major source) to the Oxford Group’s life-changing program set forth in the Big Book.

[Add at the end of Video Two:] This second video has been about the six major Christian influences on the origins and founding of early A.A. And since all these six influences were the wellsprings from which flowed the ideas used by A.A. cofounders Dr. Bob and Bill, I am displaying two books that exhaustively cover the influences and how they impacted on the co-founders. The first is “Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Bible as a Youngster in Vermont.” The second is “The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creator’s Role in Alcoholics Anonymous.”

[Add at the end of Video Three:] This third video has been about “The Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.” And we have assembled in one book, Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, the wide variety of accounts of this amazing epoch which occurred in Dr. Bob’s home village. That is the book displayed here.

[Add at the end of Video Four:] This fourth video has been about the unique role of the YMCA lay brethren who catalyzed the changes in the Vermont scene and brought about “the Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury.” To highlight these points, the first book displayed is The Conversion of Bill W. The second is Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous. The third is The Castle in the Pasture: Portrait of Burr and Burton Academy. And the fourth is The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide.

[Add at the end of Video Five:] This fifth video has been about the role of the great Christian Evangelists who brought about conversions to God through Jesus Christ in New England and elsewhere, attracted thousands to the Bible and salvation, and in many cases healed drunks. We display here the books: The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide; Roger Bruns, Preacher: Billy Sunday and Big Time American Evangelism; and Roger Towns and Douglas Porter, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever.

[Add at the end of Video Six] This sixth video has been about the enormous successes of the Gospel Rescue Missions, particularly as seen in Jerry McAuley’s Water Street Mission, the work of S.H. Hadley at Water Street, and the conversions of Ebby Thacher (Bill W.'s “sponsor”) and of Bill W. at Calvary Mission. The books we display here are Samuel H. Hadley’s book, Down in Water Street; J. Wilbur Chapman’s book, S.H. Hadley of Water Street; and my book The Conversion of Bill W.

[Add at the end of Video Seven:] This seventh video has been about that great example of personal work with derelicts and drunks, the Salvation Army. And we display three books: my title, The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide; Harold Begbie’s Twice Born Men; and Howard Clinebell’s book, Understanding and Counseling Persons with Alcohol, Drug, and Behavioral Addictions.

[Add at the end of Video Eight:] This eighth video has been about the very special impact of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor on the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program. The books we display are three of my own: The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide; The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials; and Dr. Bob and His Library.

[Add at the end of Video Nine:] This ninth video has been about how the cluttered explanations of A.A.’s alleged roots contrast with the actual six Christian sources we have covered. And we display four of my titles which will lay out the details for you. The first is The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials. The second is When Early AAs Were Cured and Why. The third is The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous. And the fourth is New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A.

[Add at the end of Video Ten:] Video Ten has been about the plight of the “seemingly-hopeless” alcoholic or addict as he or she enters recovery today. Today’s A.A. says he or she is “powerless.” Early AAs often used the expression, “I was licked. Alcohol had become my master.” At the close of this video, I am displaying two of my titles which point out that the newcomer is neither licked nor without a solution. The first is my book, A New Way Out. The second is my book, Cured! Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts. Both are about the way to God’s power.

[Add at the end of Video Eleven:] Video Eleven has been about the solution to which early AAs turned for help. That solution was God. And I am displaying three books which highlight that solution. The first is the Holy Bible. The second is my book, God and Alcoholism. The third is a book Dr. Bob owned, Healing in Jesus Name, by Ethel Willitts.

Quotable Quotes for A.A. History Lovers

Quotable Quotes for A.A. History Lovers
Dick B.

Dale Mitchel, who wrote the biography of Bill Wilson’s doctor, William D. Silkworth, M.D.,

During his third visit to Towns Hospital, Bill [Wilson] had a discussion with Dr. Silkworth on the subject of the “Great Physician.” . . . . In fact, Bill Wilson himself wrote that he had thought about this discussion before he decided to check himself into Towns for the last time. . . . Wilson wrote: “Alcoholism took longer to kill, but the result was the same. Yes, if there was any Great Physician that could cure the alcohol sickness, I’d better find him now, at once” See Dale Mitchel, Silkworth The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks: The Biography of William Duncan Silkworth, M.D. (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2002), 44.

Silkworth has not been given the appropriate credit for his position on a spiritual conversion, particularly as it may relate to true Christian benefits. Several sources, including Norman Vincent Peale in his book The Positive Power of Jesus Christ, agree that it was Dr. Silkworth who used the term “The Great Physician” to explain the need in recovery for a relationship with Jesus Christ. If true, this reference to Jesus has all but been eliminated from Alcoholics Anonymous history. In the formation of A.A., Wilson initially insisted on references to God and Jesus, as well as the Great Physician. See Mitchel, Silkworth, 50.

Bill Wilson said: “Henrietta, 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” See Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., page 191.

Dr. Bob Smith said: “It is a most wonderful blessing to be relieved of the terrible curse with which I was afflicted. . . . Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., pages 180-81.

A.A. Number Three Bill Dotson said: “That sentence, ‘The Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep telling people about it,’ has been a sort of golden text for the A.A. program and for me.” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., page 191.

Mitchell K., who wrote a biography of Clarence H. Snyder {who founded A.A. in Cleveland in 1939), stated: “Clarence was ‘called on the carpet’ numerous times for using of his full name wherever he went. Some of his programs and flyers said, ‘Clarence Snyder of Alcoholics Anonymous will speak on this new cure for alcoholism.’ These even listed Clarence’s place of work so people could contact him.” See Mitchell K., How It Worked: The Story of Clarence H. Snyder and the Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, Ohio (NY: Washingtonville, AA Big Book Study Group, 1999), 171.;

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Old School A.A. and Old School A.A. Groups Today

Old School A.A. and Old School A.A. Groups Today
Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Reflections and Suggestions about Pioneer A.A. that Could Help You! Utilize "Old School A.A." Approaches Today
There is no real substitute today for beginning with one-on-one sponsorship, fellowship, and witnessing
Right now, just about anyone can join a group, attend a conference, take a class, buy tapes, and study some materials on Pioneer A.A.'s biblical roots and program. But the next step is learning how to utilize and “pass it on.” You could learn the facts, understand them, and pass them on to someone else. But that's backwards. Start with A.A.'s personal sponsorship idea. As an individual, become a real, adequate, instructive, truly helpful sponsor first: You study. You learn. You share. You compare. Then you sponsor another, and serve your fellowship or group.
There is no substitute for learning the facts first. And beginning your study with A.A.'s General Service Conference-approved literature
Master the Big Book, Twelve Steps, and the Frank Amos Reports of 1938.
Read DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers for a sketch of what pioneer A.A. was really like.
Read A.A.’s Co-founders pamphlet P-53, particularly the last major address by Dr. Bob.
There is no real substitute for learning the six Biblical roots of early A.A.’s Christian Fellowship: (1) The Bible, (2) Quiet Time, (3) Anne Smith’s Journal, (4) the teachings of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, (5) the life-changing program of the Oxford Group, (6) and the religious books early AAs read.
Then, also becoming able to recognize how early A.A. Christian basics came under the non-biblical influence of (1) Professor William James and psychology; (2) the "new thought" writers such as Ralph Waldo Trine and Emmet Fox; (3) the self-made "higher power" “gods” that overwhelmed A.A. literature in the 1950's; and (4) the New Age “spirituality” of “not-god-ness” that emerged in the 1970’s.
And, finally, distinguishing the difference in origins, approach, content, and beliefs between "Akron A.A." and "New York A.A.": (1) Akron developed its ideas from the Bible in a Christian fellowship, with decisions for Jesus Christ, "old fashioned prayer meetings," Bible study, Quiet Time, daily devotionals, and Christian literature. That was a major factor in “Old School A.A.” (2) New York fashioned A.A.’s 1939 text primarily from ideas of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, William James, and the life-changing principles and practices of the Oxford Group. That factor might be called the revised “Big Book A.A.”
Next come your decision, mission, and work with others to tell the foregoing
Will you continue to be a student? If so, there’s a lot more to study.
Do you want to be a teacher? If so, there’s a lot more to learn and organize.
Do you want to be a speaker? If so, prepare to tell our whole story and all of the facts.
Do you want to be the leader of a group? If so, select the format, members, topics, and a cadre.
Now find a cadre of two or three who will join your efforts, will study, will learn, will help, and will eventually become leaders as your “Old School A.A.” group and approach grow
You can call your group or groups whatever you like—just don’t empower the naysayers by begging your local office to list you when they ask you to fill out a form for approval in New York or simply tell you that you can’t use a particular name. Just remember, early AAs wanted to call themselves “The James Club.” Dr. Bob did call them a “Christian Fellowship.”
What can your “Old School A.A.” Group be called? It could be called “The Old School A.A. Group,” “The James Club,’ a “Big Book/Bible Study Group,” a “Step Study/Bible Study Group,” an “A.A. Spiritual Roots Group,” a “Men’s and Women’s Study Group,” an “A.A. History and Origins Group,” and many many others. Lots are already being used.
Help others by helping them to learn–individually, as a cadre, and only then as a group
Suggested Resources You and Your Cadre can Acquire, Study, and Use
You can begin your work with one or more of my titles or groups of my titles. E.g.:
Use The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd, 2010 for a comprehensive overview of our spiritual history and roots, or
The Akron Genesis of A.A. for an accurate picture of how Pioneer A.A. took shape, or
When Early AAs Were Cured and Why to learn what they actually did.
To study each of our six major biblical roots: (1) [Bible roots] The Good Book and The Big Book, The Big Book-Good Book-Guidebook, The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials. (2) [Eleventh Step, Prayer, Meditation, Devotionals] Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.) (3) [What Dr. Bob’s Wife Anne actually taught pioneer AAs] Anne Smith’s Journal-1933-1939, (4) [The role of Rev Sam Shoemaker as the “cofounder of A.A.” who taught Bill Wilson the step materials] New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A.. (5) [The Oxford Group life-changing ideas that became the heart of the Twelve Step and Big Book program of 1939] The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous;, and (6) [Extensive literature read and circulated among the pioneers by Dr. Bob, his wife, Henrietta Seiberling, and the meeting tables of books] Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed. and The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed.
For background: (1) By The Power of God: A Guide to Early A.A. Groups & Forming Similar Groups Today. (2) Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today (A Bible Study Primer for AAs and other 12-Steppers). (3) Utilizing Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today
My own suggestions for planning your group, studies, and purchases. and future work
Don’t start a group. Start first by learning, as an individual, with a sponsor, or with friends.
Purchase my entire 29-Volume Reference Set at the substantial discount of $289.00 plus $30.00 for shipping and handling. Then you can pick and choose your books for study, or
Purchase one of the books that interests you; or, preferably, if you know what you want to organize and study, select one or several titles as a group and receive these at the substantial group discount plus shipping and handling, or
When and if you start a group or gather as a group, you may purchase 10 or more of the same titles of your choosing at a 50% discount plus shipping and handling
Please don't hesitate to contact me for further details: Email:; phone 808 276 4945, or 808 874-4876; or mail: Dick B., PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837. To order now, you may buy on, or simply use our online book order forms (

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A.A. Big Book and 12 Step Sources

A.A. Big Book and 12 Step Sources

Identifying the Roots and the References

A.A. Big Book and 12 Step Sources
Identifying the Roots and the References

Dick B.

P. O. Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837
Ph/fax: 808 874 4876
Email:; URL:

© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved.

Summary of the Identifiable Sources

My materials which have covered in much detail the seven major Bible sources will be referenced in this article. Those which cover the other sources will refer to my own limited writings, to other studies, and to the areas where further research and writing are appropriate and very much needed.

The identifiable sources, in substantial totality, are:

The Seven Major Bible Roots:

 The Bible (King James Version) which AAs called the “Good Book.”

 Quiet Time – the period of prayer, Bible study, seeking of guidance,
reading from sources such as Anne Smith’s Journal and devotionals such as The Upper Room, and discussing of thoughts and ideas.

 Anne Smith’s Journal – a booklet written between 1933 and 1939 in the hand of Dr. Bob’s wife, with discussions of Bible, Oxford Group, recommended literature, and practical ideas for Christian living. Whose contents Anne Smith shared each morning at the Smith home with AAs and their families.

 Oxford Group Principles and Practices – some twenty-eight ideas that impacted on the A.A. fellowship, were codified into its Big Book and 12 Steps, and are contained primarily in a large number of writings by various Oxford Group activists—beginning with the book Soul Surgery published in 1919.

 The Teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. – Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York in A.A.’s formative years, a close friend of and teacher of Bill Wilson’s, and the author of over 30 titles, many sermons, and frequently published articles whose language can be found in the Big Book, Steps, and fellowship jargon. Called by Bill Wilson a “co-founder” of A.A.

 Religious literature widely circulated among and read by Pioneer AAs — books, pamphlets, and articles, primarily Christian and Protestant, by such popular authors as Henry Drummond, Oswald Chambers, Glenn Clark, E. Stanley Jones, Charles Sheldon, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Emmet Fox, James Allen, Harold Begbie, Samuel Shoemaker, Victor Kitchen, Stephen Foot, and A. J. Russell. Also, daily devotionals such as The Upper Room, My Utmost for His Highest, The Runner’s Bible, The Meaning of Prayer, Victorious Living, Practicing the Presence of God, and the Imitation of Christ

 The Young People’s Christian Endeavor Society—
It was this group (founded in Maine in 1881) in which A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob Smith was active as a youngster in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. And this society of young people had the following principles and practices which became a major pillar of the original Akron Christian Fellowship program founded in 1935: (1) Confession of Jesus Christ. (2) Conversion meetings. (3) Prayer meetings. (4) Bible study meetings. (5) Quiet Hour. (6) Discussion of Christian literature. (7) Furthering the two important sets of mottoes (For Christ and Church; and Love and Service). Of course, A.A. was not—like Christian
Endeavor—aligned with any sect, church, or denomination.

Other Significant Influences on Bill’s Big Book and Steps:

 William Duncan Silkworth, M.D. — the psychiatrist in charge of Towns Hospital in New York, who frequently treated Bill Wilson for alcoholism, seems to have fostered A.A.’s “obsession and allergy” theories about the so-called “disease” of alcoholism, and who wrote the Doctor’s Opinion contained in each edition of Bill’s Big Book. Silkworth also advised Bill Wilson that the “Great Physician” Jesus Christ could cure Bill of his alcoholism.

Carl Gustav Jung, M.D. — the world-renowned Swiss psychiatrist who treated Rowland Hazard, recommended affiliation with a religious group, and opined there was no cure for Rowland’s chronic, alcoholic mind, except through a religious conversion experience—the solution thought by Bill Wilson to have been the source of his own cure and to be the foundation for the later Twelfth Step “spiritual experience”
idea in A.A.

 William James, M.D. –- called by many the father of American psychology, long dead before A.A. was founded, a Harvard Professor whose focus was on psychology, experimental psychology, and philosophy, whose work impacted the writings and beliefs of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Jr. and whose book The Varieties of Religious Experience was, to Bill Wilson, a validation of his “white light” experience and also a foundation of Bill’s First Step idea about “deflation in depth.”

 Richard Peabody – an alcoholism therapist whose title The Common Sense of Drinking was owned by both Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob and who, though he did not teach reliance on God and died drunk, appears to have influenced Bill’s writings and language with such ideas as “powerlessness,” “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic,” “no cure for alcoholism,” “surrender,” “half measures availed us
nothing,” and a few other therapeutic ideas.

Other significant religious influences on either Akron A.A. or Wilson’s Big Book:

o The United Christian Endeavor Society –a worldwide organization, numbering in the tens of thousands, consisting primarily of young people supporting their particular church. Espoused most of the principles and practices that characterized the unique Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program—conversion to Christ, reliance on the Creator, Bible study, prayer meetings, Quiet Hour, fellowship, witness, love, and service. Its ideas have simply vanished from A.A. historical discussions yet Dr. Bob’s participation as a youngster seems to have poured into many specifics of the Akron program, items that bore little or no resemblance to Oxford Group practices.

o Also the following five groups of organizations or people who more directly contributed to A.A. founders the effectiveness of: (1) Salvation, the Bible, and Witnessing. (2) Curing alcoholics by conversion. (3) Doing personal work with the afflicted without denominational or church affiliation. (4) “Rescuing” the down-and-out in their earliest days by “soup, soap, and salvation in missions, (5) Testimonials brining about transformations and rebirth.

The Salvation Army, Gospel and Rescue Missions, the famous evangelists like Dwight L. Moody, the “Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury Vermont, and the personal work of YMCA lay brethren.

 The New Thought Movement –a unique spinoff from conventional
Christian denominations that includes Christian Science, Unity, Science of Mind, Divine Science, Religious Science, Psychiana, Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion, and Process New Thought— probably contributing unusual “spiritual” words to A.A. language such as “Higher Power,” “Fourth Dimension,” “Universal Mind,” and other metaphysical terms differing substantially from Biblical words used by A.A. pioneers from their King James Version Bibles- words such as “Creator,” “Maker,” “Father of light,” “God of our Fathers,” “Heavenly Father,” and “Our Father.”

 New Age Ideas – though identification of “New Age” as a “Movement” is difficult and controversial, the movement is said to focus on “One World Government” and “One World Religion” substituting its apparent new definitions for words that have long established biblical meaning—words changing “Jesus” and “Yahweh” to “the
Christ,” “the Lord,” and “the One” and then defining a new theology that tells us we all have Christ in us, that there is “a new god,” and that man can be “saved” by a “message” in which he “believes” rather than through believing on Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Just read certain Big Book language that implies that “faith” in the “idea of God” can be found deep within us; or the contemporary writing that fashions spirituality” out of a “not-god-ness”thesis, and that “Something” saves, but not Jesus Christ.

The Bill Wilson Legacy

Bill Wilson was the author of the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous and of the Twelve Steps of recovery suggested therein. Questions have been raised about the authorship of the chapters “To Wives” and “To Employers” in the Big Book; but Wilson said he had asked Dr. Bob’s wife to write the chapter to the wives, that Anne Smith declined, that Lois Wilson (his wife) was angry about the slight, and that he wrote the chapter. As to the “To Employers” chapter, I leave that authorship quandary to someone else’s research and conclusions.

Some A.A.-related shibboleths to be discarded.

 First, that there were “Oxford Group Steps.” No! Non-existent. Both Bill Wilson and his wife Lois suggested that the Oxford Group (an A.A. source) had six steps. But the Oxford Group did not have “six steps.” They had no steps at all, no six steps, and no twelve steps, whatever you may have heard.

 Second, that the Twelve Steps were derived from the Exercises of St. Ignatius Exercises or John Wesley’s Principles of Holiness. No. Not involved. As to Father Ed Dowling, S.J., who met Bill Wilson after the Twelve Steps were written: According to one writer, Dowling “was interested in the parallels he had intuited between the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Exercises of St. Ignatius. . . . That . . . Wilson wearily confessed ignorance of the Exercises at once endeared the diminutive cleric to Bill” (Kurtz, Not-God, p. 88). Parallels, not product. And the same may possibly be said of some of Wesley’s ideas on works on grace and mercy. But I have found nothing in the accounts of A.A. or its Biblical progenitors that suggests any significant relationship at all between early A.A. and either Ignatius or Wesley. In fact, as we will point out, the Steps bear an unmistakable Oxford Group imprint and more precisely the imprint and language of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, who, Bill said, had taught Bill almost every step idea.

 Third, that A.A. originally had an alleged six “word –of-mouth” steps. Bill suggested that there were six word-of-mouth steps being used before the Twelve Steps were written (Pass It On, p. 197). That’s possible, but these steps, if there were any, were certainly not well defined or consistently described. Lois likened them to a supposed six Oxford Group steps (Lois Remembers, pp. 113, 92). Today, it’s quite clear that the Oxford Group had no such six steps (Pass It On, pp. 197, 206 n. 2). Moreover, there is no convincing evidence to support Bill’s assertion of a supposed six steps. Sometimes, they were referred to as the Oxford Groups six steps—which, as we have said—did not exist. On other occasions, Bill described these “word-of-mouth” steps in varying and inconsistent ways (See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 160; The Language of the Heart, p. 200; Lois Remembers, p. 113; and my review in Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed., pp. 256-260).

And Bill added his own disclaimer as to any fixed steps in any form, stating that the six were subject to considerable variation—which they were (The Akron Genesis, supra, p. 256). In fact, long after Bill’s death, his secretary and long-time aid Nell Wing personally handed me one of the versions in Bill’s own handwriting. But this version in no way resembled Bill’s other descriptions.

The final myth about the “six steps” seems to stem from a personal story in the Big Book’s later edition which purportedly was the story of Earl Treat of Chicago. There is a description there of a supposed six steps used by Dr. Bob (Alcoholics Anonymous 3rd ed., p. 292; Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pp. 22-23). However, Dr. Bob was then dead and the procedure attributed to him uses words like “Complete deflation” and “Higher Power” that were simply not characteristic of the descriptive words such as “God” and “Heavenly Father;” the need for abstinence; and the references to “sins” accurately attributed to Dr. Bob and his technique by Frank Amos (See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, p. 131). I therefore strongly believe, that the descriptive words were not those of Dr. Bob and that that portion was most probably written or edited and changed by someone other than Earl Treat. Even a cursory glance shows that Treat himself spoke of a number of other “Oxford Group” procedures that Dr. Bob used in Bob’s session with Earl in Dr. Bob’s office. And the first two of the supposed Bob Smith six steps employ language that I have never found in any records of what Dr. Bob said in those days—deflation in depth and “higher power.” These were phrases and ideas that came from Bill Wilson, and they were used by Wilson long after the early Akron days in which Dr. Bob and Bill formulated the seven-point program reported to John D. Rockefeller by Frank Amos and specifically set forth in A.A.’s Conference Approved biography of Dr. Bob.

In describing his actual writing of the Twelve Steps, Bill spoke of six ideas then in use, and he and Lois both indicated he expanded the six to twelve so that there would be no “wiggle room” for those taking the steps. The problem is that all of the major ideas that Bill incorporated into the twelve steps were long previously in Bill’s reservoir from what his own sponsor Ebby Thacher had taught him in 1934—at least four years before the steps were written. (See Alcoholics Anonymous 4th ed., pp. 13-16; also my extended treatment and review of the Stepping Stones manuscripts and what Bill originally wrote about the Oxford Group teachings from Ebby and others, as found in my title, Dick B., Turning Point: A History of the Spiritual Roots and Successes of Early A.A. They were also in Bill’s reservoir of what the Oxford Group had been teaching since 1919—(1) the five C’s of “Soul Surgery,” (2) the “Four Absolutes” borrowed from Dr. Robert E. Speer, (3) the moral inventory ideas that came from the Oxford Group and Matthew 7:1-5 of the sermon on the mount, (4) the confession ideas that came from James 5:16, (5) the restitution ideas that came from many parts of the Bible, particularly the Sermon on the Mount, (6) the Quiet Time ideas that began in the previous century with the “morning watch” and writings of F. B. Meyer, as well as the materials in the first chapter of the Book of James, (7) the “spiritual experience,” “pass it on,” and practice of spiritual principles that came at the very least from 1 Corinthians 13, the Ten Commandments, and portions of the Sermon on the Mount.

Some have objected to my specific footnotes and citations which abound in my books; but they are the foundation of my writings. When I find something, I identify its source if I can. Then I identify its link to A.A. if I can. And then I specify my sources so that others can check them out and discuss or dispute them if they wish. The end result during the past twenty years has been heart-warming. This despite occasional sarcastic remarks now and then about my supposed “preaching,” my supposed “agenda,” my alleged status as a “hobbyist.” All this nonsense may keep me out of the hair of some revisionists and bleeding deacons. But the perpetrators seldom if ever offer documentation of any kind whatever that discusses, disputes, or analyzes the sources. Therefore I stick to the evidence and let the nay sayers throw stones if they care to. And a few do.

Now let’s get down to cases. Let’s see what Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Dr. Bob’s wife Anne Ripley Smith had to say about the sources embodied in the Big Book and Twelve Steps. Then we can get specific about those sources, the documentation, and the references. And the references to those specifics are described here only in limited and in outline form.

Some enlightening statements by the founders as to sources:

 Bill Wilson wrote the following:

[I’ve compacted them into the following, though they were written at different points in time:] (1) A. A. was not invented. (2) Nobody invented Alcoholics Anonymous. (3) Each of A.A.’s principles, every one of them, has been borrowed from ancient sources. (4) Having now accounted for AA’s Steps One and Twelve. . . . Where did the early AAs find this material for the remaining ten Steps. . . . The spiritual substance of the remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob’s and my own association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker. (5) The early A.A. got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgment of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and from nowhere else. (6) [As to] the “co-founder” tag [Bill wrote Shoemaker] . . . I have no hesitancy in adding your name to the list. (7) I’m always glad to say privately that some of the Oxford Group presentation and emphasis on the Christian message saved my life. (8) Now that Frank Buchman [founder of the Oxford Group] is gone and I realize more than ever what we owe to him, I wish I had sought him out in recent years to tell him of our appreciation” (See Dick B. Turning Point, pp. 12-13).

 Lois Wilson wrote the following:

[Here again compacted:] (1) Alcoholics Anonymous owes a great debt to the Oxford Group. (2) Bob already understood the great opportunity for regeneration through practicing the principles of the Oxford Group. He stopped drinking. (3) God, through the Oxford Group, had accomplished in a twinkling what I had failed to do in seventeen years. One minute I would get down on my knees and thank God. . . and the next moment I would throw things about and cuss the Oxford Group. (4) Finally it was agreed that the book [Big Book] should present a universal spiritual program, not a specific religious one, since all drunks were not Christian” (Lois Remembers, pp. 92, 96, 99, 113).

Dr. Bob said quite plainly in his last major address in 1948:

In the early days, there were no Steps, no Traditions, no basic text
materials, no drunkalogs, and no meetings as we know them today.

Dr. Bob said the oldtimers felt that answers to all of their problems were in the Bible (which he almost always called “the Good Book”)

He said the parts which oldtimers considered “absolutely essential” were Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, and 1 Corinthians.

Bob stated explicitly that he did not write the Twelve Steps and had nothing to do with the writing of them. He went on to say that he was
certain the basic ideas for the Steps had come from the study and effort in the Bible that had been going on since the founding of A.A. in 1935—the Big Book and Steps not having been published until 1939.

The foregoing statements by Dr. Bob can be found in A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature: DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, and The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (Pamphlet P-53).

Alcoholism Solution Throughout the Ages: Divine Aid and dickbchannel

"dickbchannel" -

The Eleventh Dick B. YouTube Channel presentation is a gem you will enjoy.

It covers the "Solution."

It follows the 10th on the absymal plight of the newcomer alcoholic and addict.

It documents the early A.A. Solution - "Divine Aid"

You will hear what the first three AAs--Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Bill Dotson told specifically about how God had "cured" them.

See also

The "Lord's Prayer" and A.A. Votes on it

The following is a response of mine to one of the many troubled folks who contact me and ask "what about the deletion of the Lord's Prayer by group conscience."

Craig: Thank you for your concern and for writing.

1. When I first came in over 25 years ago (maintaining continuous sobriety
from that day forward until now), not knowing what A.A. was or could enable me to do with God's help, I was delighted to hear and join in the
Lord's Prayer at the end of meetings.

2. As you observe, God is being moved out of the meetings--not because the
folks don't want Him but because the bleeding deacons are trying to destroy the A.A. that was in the beginning--a Christian Fellowship. That doesn't mean that it is or even could be a Christian Fellowship today. It does mean that it is or should be open to the principles and practices of anyone who believes in Almighty God--as the founders did! Then it's a question of what God wants, not what some individual would like to vote on.

3. The "group conscience" thing proceeds without God despite the talk about
"a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience." They don't pray because they don't believe. They don't ask Him because, if they
did, God would not "vote out" the Bible, would He? Better, they say, like my first grandsponsor naively said: "Let's let the finger move around the room and point." That kind of subjective nonsense can vote idolatry, "spirituality," and baloney into the fellowship anytime the "finger" points--in the view of the perpetrator.

4. The answer today involves several important truths whether we like them
or not: (a) A.A. is no longer a Christian fellowship, and that's not going
to change. (b) AAs are not learning about their Christian origins, history,
Founding, Christian fellowship, and its astonishing successes. (c) There are
still tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Christian believers in A.A.,
And they don't let out a peep when someone tells them there is an "higher power"--whatever that is, or when some idiot tells them their higher power can be a rock, table, chair, light bulb, or Santa Claus. (d) The newcomers are sick, need intelligent help, and are being fed poisoned nonsense instead of the "fruit of the Spirit". (e) And if one believes in the devil, he will readily see where the idolatry and atheism and crafty New Age "spirituality" is coming from.

5. Is there a solution if you love A.A., as I do? Of course! It is to
learn what early A.A. was like, learn that you can apply its principles
and practices in your A.A. life today, do it, and pass it on to those
who want God's help and ask for it--going to any lengths to get it.

6. I strongly urge you to buy two of my important books, which you can
order on my main website: (a) "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s
Roots in the Bible" (b) "The Dick B.
Christian Recovery Guide," 3rd ed., 2010,
Recov-Guide.shtml. And then to obtain from a meeting or Central
office the Co-Founders Pamphlet P-53. You can use it to show others
precisely what Bob and Bill were saying about A.A. in 1948. And
it's about God, Jesus, and the Bible. It is "General Service
Conference-approved" literature.

Keep those cards and letters coming! Thank you.

God bless,

Dick B.
Author, 42 titles & over 500 articles on A.A. History
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
Christian Recovery Resource Centers - Worldwide
(808) 874-4876
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dick B. Channel on You Tube: "dickbchannel"

The new Dick B. channel is now up and running on To watch my A.A. History videos, enter "dickbchannel" as Google search term.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recovered Christian Pastors Helping Coalition on Maui

God keeps opening doors so fast we can hardly keep up with them. Yesterday, Dale Marsh, Recovery Pastor of the Oroville Church of the Nazarene, Serenity Group, in California put us in touch with two wonderful recovered Christian gentlemen who are eager to establish a solid Christian residential recovery home on Maui. It will serve for prison outreach, the homeless, alcoholics and addicts, members of Celebrate Recovery, church members, AAs and NAs, and others who want God's help and are willing diligently to seek Him.

The following two men have just become participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition. And their names and listings are these:

“Pastor Richard DeJacimo, Set Free Christian Fellowship, 77A Kihau Place, Unit A, Haiku, Maui, Hawaii 96708, Phone: 268 3200” Pastor Rick, an Arizona businessman, has been active in contacting those on Maui who may wish to help Christian recovery outreach and resource centers be established in the Islands.

“Kenny Munds, Staff Pastor, Church on the Street (Phoenix); President, Kenny Munds Ministry, 20701 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 107-260, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255;
Singer and entertainer Kenny travels throughout the U.S. sharing his music and testimony in County jails, State Prisons, churches, camps, rescue missions, recovery programs, and “wherever God opens door of opportunity;” 623 521 5382;;” Ken has immense experience in field and ministry experience in Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and South Dakota.

This marks a new and highly significant growth and progress concerning Christian Recovery Resources and Outreach in Hawaii. Our first helper was Pastor Ed Gazman of Maui who was doing prison outreach in Maui and distributing Dick B. books there. Next, thanks to the efforts of former Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, we were able--through the funding of benefactors--to send two different sets of free cases of Dick B. history books to each of the fourteen Hawaii correctional institutions wardens and their libraries. Then came our extensive work with Scott Craven in Honolulu who works with Men's Step Study Groups there, providing Step information, A.A. history information, Bible study, and Christian recovery help to alcoholics and addicts. Then came our new partnership with the County of Maui Salvation Army where A/Captain Mark Merritt authorized our use free of an office in Kihei, Hawaii where we maintain the Dick B. and Ken B. Maui Christian Recovery Resource Center.

All this accompanies our growing number of participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition in almost every state and in several other countries; and it accompanies our growing number of Christian Recovery Resource Centers--numbering 27 and growing.

Aloha, Dick B., Executive Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011A.A. Women – Non-Alcoholics – Who Helped Found A.A.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011A.A. Women – Non-Alcoholics – Who Helped Found A.A.
A.A. Women – Non-Alcoholics – Who Helped Found A.A.

Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Women Actually Helping in A.A. Founding in Akron in the 1930’s?

Early A.A. was a Christian Fellowship. Its “membership” consisted of men only. Its founding occurred in June, 1935. Its first group was founded on July 4, 1935. And, by late 1937, its Christian program of recovery was in place. Unquestionably, the co-founders were Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, and their first success was Akron attorney Bill Dotson. Dotson is known as A.A. Number Three. The ensuing Akron fellowship was a family program. Though not “members,” women taught, counseled, and attended meetings. Women hosted fellowship member visitors in their homes and answered their phone calls at times. Even the kids attended early meetings in Akron—the Smith children and the Seiberling children are good examples.

The following three are the women, highly intelligent teachers, devoted Christians, who were very much involved in prayers, teachings from the Bible, attending meetings, circulating religious literature, and observing Quiet Times.

The Three, Principal, Non-Alcoholic Women Important to Akron A.A. in the 1930’s

Anne Ripley Smith, wife of A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob Smith. Anne was a graduate of Wellesley. She had been a teacher. She served early AAs as cook, housekeeper, teacher, counselor, evangelist, and strong Bible advocate. Anne and her husband Dr. Bob were charter members of an Akron Presbyterian Church. And early A.A. was founded in their home at 855 Ardmore Avenue in Akron. See Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal-1939: A.A.’s Principles of Success, 3rd ed. ( I have recently posted several articles about Anne Smith’s teachings on my blog site,

Henrietta Buckler Seiberling was the woman who persuaded Dr. Bob to pray with his group for Bob’s own deliverance from alcoholism. She was a graduate of Vassar and a Presbyterian. She fielded the call from stranger Bill Wilson that answered the group’s prayers. She introduced Bill Wilson to Dr. Bob Smith in her Gate Lodge home on the Seiberling Estate in Akron. And, according to one account, Henrietta “called the shots” at the regular Wednesday A.A. meetings. She taught from the Bible and devotionals. And she and her three children—John, Dorothy, and Mary—attended the early meetings. See Dick B., Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause, 4th ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2006) – ISBN 1-885803-93-1

Clarace Williams, wife of T. Henry Williams, and the initiator of Oxford Group contacts by T. Henry in Akron. The story of T. Henry and his wife Clarace has scarcely been known or accurately reported. But the details are now available in Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2d ed., pages 65-78. Key points regarding Clarace are these: (1) She was the second wife of T. Henry, marrying T. Henry in 1921. (2) Clarace had attended a Baptist missionary school in Chicago and went on to graduate from Ottowa University, a Christian institution in Ottowa, Kansas. (3) Clarace attended an Oxford Group gathering in Akron and later persuaded T. Henry to become interested. (4) She and T. Henry designed the home on Palisades Drive in Akron where the first “regular” weekly meetings of A.A. were held. (5) Clarace decided to go to Oxford and learn more about witnessing work. (6) Later she and T. Henry dedicated their home to God. (7) Both T. Henry and Clarace were close friends of Dr. Bob and Anne Smith; got to know Bill W. and then his wife Lois; and provided a Monday set-up meeting, the regular Wednesday meeting, and a Saturday social meeting for the fledgling alcoholics in Akron. (8) Clarace and T. Henry were non-drinkers, were devoted to their church and the Bible, and regularly observed Quiet Time and other Oxford Group practices (9) T. Henry had been a deacon in a large Baptist Church in Akron and a Sunday school teacher; but later he and Clarace joined a Methodist Church nearer to their home.

Gloria Deo
Posted by Dick B. at 5:59 PM

Monday, May 16, 2011

Maui Christian Recovery Outreach Blessed by Recovered Christian Singers

It hasn't happened all at once. But Maui has seen some well-known recovered Christian singers doing Christian recovery outreach in this Valley Isle.

The first one I heard of was Walter Santos (Santos Ministries) of Carslbad, California. Walter contacted me years back to say he was in Oahu and would be in Maui "Singing for the King." Santos has been honored with the DooWap Hall of Fame. And he charges up audiences in prisons, in meetings, and in conferences (including ours) all over the United States. He has also been closely associated with the famous Calvary Ranch in Lakeside--a remarkable Christian recovery facility where Santos himself found healing years ago. Santos has delivered Christian music at a number of the conferences of participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition. He's still at it!

Next came Darrell Mansfield. This recovered Christian harmonica king has entertained widely for years. We met him first in Orange County thanks to an introduction by a leading radio and TV personality who is also a leading Christian Marriage and Family Counselor. The man is Dr. Bob Noonan. We learned that Darrell lives in Orange County and has been elevated to the Blues Hall of Fame. He absolutely wows audiences with his harmonica and combo people that support him. And not too long ago, he visited Maui and performed on a wonderful sunset cruise for a church group. He appeared at several other Maui entertainment spots. And always, he makes clear his love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

And just now, Dale Marsh of the Oroville Church of the Nazarene in California, leader of their Serenity Group and recovery work, phoned to tell us who is now on Maui. We will be having lunch with him tomorrow (May 17th). And he has a website, a Christian ministry, and a long history of bringing the love of God to the homeless and imprisoned as well as those suffering from alcoholism and addiction. His name is Kenny Munds. He has just brought his signing ministry to the imprisoned at Maui Correctional Center and will be serving other needs on Maui while he is here. Kenny Munds has a strong ministry in Arizona.

Bless these men. I strongly believe that the outreach to folks who are in prison, are homeless, are hospitalized, and are endeavoring to recover from alcoholism and addiction is much strengthened when these folks hear talented (and also famous)recovered Christian ministry singers who unselfishly travel widely to enable the suffering to say "I saw the light."

Better URL for Dick B. YouTube Channel

Progress. Progress. Here is a better URL for our YouTube Project and Channel:

Clicking on Dick B. YouTube Channel Programs

Here is a URL address that will take you to the first video on the Dick B. channel on

DickB Channel on YouTube the Latest A.A. History Resource

As of May 16, 2011, Dick B. has not only produced and posted eleven programs on the new DickB Channel of The Dick B. Official Channel on YouTube.

These programs have become another and new resource to inform AAs, NAs, alcoholics and addicts seeking recovery, and the Christian Recovery community of the two major subjects: History of A.A. and History of Christian Recovery Movement.

These resource materials will regularly be posted as well on the International Christian Recovery Coalition programs, blogs, and resources.

Today, the person seeking God's help in recovery has many new resources to help that person get started. International Christian REcovery Coalition aims to disseminate, stimulate, and report on those resources.

The means of dissemination are now:, the Dick B. postings on, the Dick B. Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, In the Rooms, Digg, social networks like cyber recovery ministries, recovery internet fellowship, daily recovery strength, and the many websites that are generously publishing and making available the Dick B. articles on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement history.

How to Become a Christian Recovery Resource Center (or Person) Now

Monday, May 16, 2011How to Become a Christian Recovery Resource Center (or Person) Now
Details on How to Become a Christian Recovery Resource Center (or Person) Today

Note: We now offer a deep discount on the "license fee" for the "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" ("IFCR") class by Dick B. and Ken B. (2010) on four DVDs. And we also offer the IFCR class as part of the "new Participant package" received by individuals, groups, and organizations that become a "Christian Recovery Resource Center or Person."

Here is some current information as to how to become a "Christian Recovery Resource Center or Person," a project of the International Christian Recovery Coalition.

Each individual, group, or organization that becomes a "Christian Recovery Resource Center" (or "Person") receives a "new Participant package."

The "Christian Recovery Resource Center" new Participant package includes a "site license" for the "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" ("IFCR") class for Groups and Organizations (2010) by Dick B. & Ken B. on four DVD's.

The "site license" for the IFCR class for Groups and Organizations includes:

The four IFCR class DVDs (about one hour each);

One hard copy of the IFCR Class Guide for Students (8 1/2" x 11", spiral bound);

One hard copy of the IFCR Class Instructor's Guide (8 1/2" x 11", spiral bound); and

One hard copy of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., by Dick B. and Ken B. (8 1/2" x 11", spiral bound)

The "site license" for the IFCR class for Groups and Organizations also comes with limited reproduction rights for the books in the class--specifically, the right to duplicate one (1) copy per class instructor of: (1) the IFCR Class Instructor's Guide; and (2) The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. In addition, you may reproduce as many copies of the IFCR Class Guide for Students as will be necessary so that each student in any class you personally oversee may have one (1) copy of that Guide.

In addition, the "Christian Recovery Resource Center" new Participant package also includes The Dick B. Handbook for Christian Recovery Resource Centers Worldwide by Dick B. with Ken B. (2011) in 8 1/2" x 11", spiral bound, format.

Finally, the new Participant package includes a free case (box) of new books by Dick B. that you may use for free distribution or for resale to support your Christian recovery work.


If you need further background information about "Christian Recovery Resource Centers," please see:


To become a "Christian Recovery Resource Center," a one-time, $500.00 donation is required, payable to "Dick B." To make the donation, you may call me (Ken B.) on my cell at (808) 276-4945 with your credit card (MasterCard or VISA) or debit card information. Or, if you would like to pay securely online using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal, please call me for payment instructions. Or, you may send a money order or check payable to "Dick B." to:

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

(Please write "CRRC" in the money order or check "memo field" so we know what it is for.)

We look forward to hearing from you.

Ken B.
Cell: (808) 276-4945

Posted by Dick B.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Healing Solution of A.A. Is Not New

The History of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement

Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

The Healing Solution for Drunks is Not a New One

This is the eleventh article in a series. And it moves forward from the tenth which described the seemingly-hopeless plight of the alcoholic. This article covers the solution to alcoholism and addiction that has been available throughout the ages and was the heart of the Christian Recovery Movement and of the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program that emerged from it in 1935.

My name is Dick B. I am an active, recovered member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the previous article, I lumped together many of the difficulties that confront an end-of-the-line alcoholic or addict who faces the possibility of interminable disasters versus a hope that emerges from seeking a solution that works.

Today, recovery fellowships, treatment programs, scientists, writers, and even a number of religious entities have been veering farther and farther from the power of God as a demonstrable, effective option for the alcoholic or addict who suffers and suffers and suffers, and returns for more. Arguments against Divine Aid emanate from those who don’t believe in God, don’t like religion, don’t believe history, don’t seems to believe in much but research, therapy, science, pharmaceuticals, and psychology, and in many cases blame their own failures on a program that turns to God. Some religious people regularly try to drive alcoholics and addicts from recovery fellowships based on establishing a relationship with God through Jesus Christ by claiming the recovery fellowships are “not of the Lord,” involve “steps to destruction,” and are non-Christian and contrary to biblical texts.

But here are some demonstrable, long-standing, experiential testimonies and witnesses of the ages. And we will merely summarize a limited number of these here: (1) In Old Testament times, there are accounts of the miracles God performed for Noah, Abraham, Moses, and countless others. (2) In reports in the Gospels, there is testimony of healings by Jesus of blindness, deafness, dumbness, lameness, leprosy, and other oppressions. There are solid examples of his raising the dead. (3) Once early Christians received the gift of the Holy Spirit in its fullness on the Day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), they accomplished the very things that Jesus had accomplished—they raised people from the dead (Tabitha and Eutychus); they healed people lame from birth; they healed other sick people, they healed people vexed with unclean spirits, they healed many paralyzed and lame folks; Ananias restored Saul’s sight; Peter helped Aeneas to be made whole from paralysis; Paul healed a man who never had walked and cast a spirit of divination out of a woman; Paul was healed from the viper’s bite, and he healed the father of Publius of fever and dysentery; and others where Paul was shipwrecked were healed as well.

In several of my books, I have listed account after account of healings by Christians from Apostolic times to the present. As I have shown, evangelists, rescue missions, Salvation Army people, and other Christians healed alcoholics with God’s power. And this particular situation seems to have caught Dr. Bob’s attention when the great evangelist, Ethel Willitts, spent 15 weeks in Akron from October 1938 through January 1939, carrying out Christian healings. In fact, her book, Healing in Jesus' Name, along with many other healing books, was found by me in Dr. Bob’s own library of books.

Even early AAs clearly testified in newspapers and articles that they has been healed (“cured” was the word often used) of alcoholism by the power of God.

As we progress in future articles, we will see how the early AAs time after time professed their belief in God, came to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and were cured of alcoholism. And it was this unique situation involving drunks helping drunks to obtain help from God that put early A.A. on the map. It is also mentioned over and over and over in the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as “the Big Book”) that Bill Wilson assembled in 1938 and 1939. And it was left in place in the Big Book even after his famous compromise with three other people on the language of Steps Two, Three, and Eleven that took place on the East Coast just before the Wilson text went to print.

And what was the solution presented to seemingly-hopeless drunks by the founders of A.A. and their early counterparts?

Bill Wilson said, in quoted remarks on page 191 of the fourth edition of his Big Book (2001), “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.”

A.A. Number Three, Bill Dotson of Akron, recounted Bill’s words on that same page of the fourth edition of the Big Book and said: “That sentence, ‘The Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep telling people about it,’ has been a sort of a golden text for the A.A. program and for me.”

A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob was the second AA to be cured and phoned a nurse at Akron City Hospital to inform her that he had found a cure for alcoholism and been cured. In his personal story, he wrote: “It is a most wonderful blessing to be relieved of the terrible curse with which I was afflicted.” And at the close of his personal story, he assured others: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”

Bill Wilson later embodied the solution to alcoholism with a challenge and an emphatic statement in the Big Book he published in 1939. He wrote: “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!” He concluded his discussion of the suggested Twelve Steps with the assurance “That God could and would if He were sought.”

Whether an afflicted alcoholic or addict wants to receive God’s power, love, forgiveness, and healing or not, there is little doubt that this was the solution offered in A.A.’s earliest views. Its veracity was based on what the Bible itself assured. And it is a solution for which early A.A. claimed a 75% success rate among the early drunks who had thoroughly followed the suggested path. And, when the same ideas, coupled with the Program of the Big Book, were introduced in Cleveland in 1939, those ideas produced a documented 93% success rate.

These articles, then, will explain in brief summaries the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in healings throughout the centuries—including in early A.A. and still available today. And God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible are still available—in or out of A.A., in or out of church, in or out of a hospital, in or out of treatment, in or out of therapy, in and out of Christian fellowships, and in many other places where the afflicted start their journey toward recovery.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sketching the Plight of the Sick, Bewildered Newcomer Today

Sketching the Plight of the Sick, Bewildered Newcomer Today

Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

The State of the Alcoholic or Addict Entering Recovery

This person has made some terrible mistakes. He has wronged many around him. He sometimes blames everyone but himself. And he is frequently the last to conclude that he has a problem with alcohol, with drugs, with society, with sin, and with life—all mixed into one big mess.

Worse, if he quits, he endangers his life. If he has quit before, he is sure to remember that it was far more difficult to stop and suffer than to resume and march toward seeming relief and yet oblivion. If he continues, he dwells in misery and watches things get more and more difficult. And then he faces the music.

It may be a judge who jails him. It may be a boss that fires him. It may be a wife who divorces him. It may be a child who flees from him. It may be a family that lectures him and speaks down to him. It may be a lawyer who sues him. It may be a doctor who sends him to A.A. or N.A. It may be a psychologist or psychiatrist who diagnoses him as dually addicted—today it could be ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety disorder, or almost irreparable brain damage; and an answer may be offered through diagnosis, drugs, counseling, and confinement. It may be a clergyman who tells him he has sinned and must repent and be saved. It may be a “codependent” who tries to “save” him, to admonish him, to control him, and yet to enable him. It may be another A.A. or N.A. who tells him he just needs to quit drinking and go to meetings. It may be another 12-Step zealot who tells him he will have a “spiritual awakening” and overcome his problems if he “works” the program. It may even be an atheist or agnostic or a naive A.A. individual, who tells him he simply needs to go through some exercises, change his behavior, and get rid of his self-centeredness—and thereby have a “personality change.” He is almost certain to meet an anti-God, irreligious person who tells him he must get rid of all his religious trappings and training and either rely on himself or invent some “higher power” of his own conception. He may encounter a Christian minority who insist that A.A. is of the devil, that believers must not go there, and that the Bible forbids such fellowshipping. He may also encounter those who tell him all the “terrible” practices and beliefs of the early AAs which allegedly tainted the entire fellowship then and now. And on and on.

All this while he is facing criminal charges, debt or bankruptcy, divorce or abandonment, loss of job or reputation, lectures from his family, custody battles over his kids, and some of the most unexpected results of DT’s, seizures, and withdrawal that he could ever have imagined. And he may be “enjoying” or “enduring” these situations in a jail or prison or mental ward.

On top of that, today’s scene is peppered with treatment programs, pastoral counselors, secular counseling programs, required abstinence programs, interventions, detox centers, assessments, lack of funds, lack of insurance, lack of support, and probably joblessness.

He faces these—often alone—with brain damage, fear, bewilderment, confusion, anxiety, shame, guilt, condemnation, despair, and hopelessness.

This person is one sick, sad, hurting, despondent “sinner.”

And he is heavily pounded with dogmatic insistence that his problems are of his own making. Bottles, they tell him, were only a symbol. He has been playing God and discovered he wasn’t. One seer wrote that his real problem was “not-god-ness.” Yet nothing seems to work out.

It is not uncommon for him to take his own life, overdose and threaten it, or ponder suicide.

Almost all of us who have attended A.A., N.A., or recovery meetings have heard these details or even told them ourselves over and over and over. In fact, the funnier they are, the more popular they are. The more horrid the events, the more engaging they are to the audience.

Is There a Solution?

Stay tuned for the next article. Learn the varied ways in which the sick newcomer is told he can “recover,” but never get well. Learn how this approach differs from earlier ones in the 1800’s, early 1900’s, and earliest A.A. days. Learn how God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible became a part of the picture.

Gloria Deo