Sunday, October 30, 2011

Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks: A Contemporary Perspective

Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks

A Contemporary Perspective

Dick B.

© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

An Introductory Look at Silkworth as One of A.A.’s Co-founders

William Duncan Silkworth, Jr. was born in Brooklyn on July 22, 1873. His family remembers him as a deeply spiritual man, not interested in any particular denomination. But he was, they said, a devout Christian. For many years he did attend Shoemaker’s Calvary Episcopal Church in New York. He matriculated at the College of New Jersey, later known as Princeton University and did pre-med studies there. His biographer said Silkworth was told quite early of the need for crisis, reform, and conversion when dealing with alcoholism. In his medical studies, he eventually specialized in neuropsychiatry. And at a time when Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were looking at varied approaches to spiritual healing of the mind, Silkworth was busy with medicine and neuropsychiatry. He graduated from Princeton in 1896. He sought an obtained an internship at Bellevue Hospital Medical College and received his medical degree in 1899. Bellevue was one of the only hospitals in the United States with a department that focused on alcoholism treatment. And Silkworth spent many years connected with many hospitals focused on treating alcoholics. He studied under and was tutored by a prestigious physician and professor named Dr. Alexander Lambert—a doctor who had been especially interested in narcotic addiction and treatment. Finally, in the spring of 1929, Silkworth was hired as physician in charge of alcohol rehabilitation at Towns Hospital. And it was at Towns, that Silkworth became much involved with his patient, William Griffith Wilson.

Silkworth, a Spiritual Experience and Medical Treatment—His Foundation for Long-term Recovery: It Depended, He Said, on the Great Physician Jesus Christ

Throughout his medical career in dealing with alcoholic patients until his death in 1951, Silkworth—according to his biographer—had believed a spiritual experience and medical treatment formed the foundation for long-term recovery. He spoke frequently about the need for reliance upon God and a firm foundation of spiritual strength in order to handle the obsession to drink. In the beginning, the recovery success rate was less than 2 percent.

He became a man who believed in a spiritually sound approach to healing. By 1934, Bill Wilson had attempted recovery at Towns Hospital on three separate occasions. Each time, he wound up drunk, and his wife had all but given up hope of his getting sober.

But it is now known that on the third visit, Bill and Dr. Silkworth discussed the “Great Physician.” And Bill understood that to mean that the Great Physician could cure the alcohol sickness. Bill mentioned this option several times. Silkworth finally told Bill how he had read about the successes of other spiritual transformations. He told Bill though, though he was a man of science, he was well aware of the success a spiritual conversion could have. Silkworth used the term “The Great Physician” to explain the need in recovery for a relationship with Jesus Christ. And early on, Bill Wilson insisted on references to God and Jesus, as well as the Great Physician. Silkworth had told Bill and at least one other patient that the Great Physician could complete the healing. He said, “His name is Jesus Christ.”

The Early A.A. Big Book Solution: A Vital Spiritual Experience--A Conversion

I have several times told how Bill acted on Silkworth’s advice. First Bill learned that his old friend Ebby Thacher had made a decision of Jesus Christ at Shoemaker’s Calvary Rescue Mission. Bill decided that the Great Physician might be able to help him as He had helped Ebby. Bill went to Calvary Mission, made a decision for Jesus Christ, wrote that for sure he had been “born again.” He then staggered drunk to Towns Hospital, decided to call on the Great Physician for help. He cried out to God for help. He sensed the presence of God in his hospital room. He described a blazing white light that had taken over the room. He concluded, “So this is the God of the Scriptures.” And he never drank again. In fact, in A.A.’s own literature, Bill wrote: “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.”

In short, Bill had—through Silkworth and through his own experience—found the solution to alcoholism, which was the original solution set forth in his 1939 Big Book. A spiritual experience.

And years later, Bill wrote the famous Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung to tell him about the solution, to thank him, and to confirm that the spiritual experience had worked.

As he had done with Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Bill Wilson called Dr. Silkworth a “founder” of A.A. Wilson confirmed many times that Silkworth was “very much a founder of A.A.” He also said, “Perhaps no physician will ever give so much devoted attention to so many alcoholics as did Dr. Silkworth. It is estimated that in his lifetime he saw and amazing 40,000 of them.

The Silkworth Formula—The Essential Features of the New Approach

Silkworth’s biographer quotes Silkworth’s article titled “A New Approach to Psychotherapy to Chronic Alcoholism.” In brief, Silkworth said:

  1. The ex-alcoholics capitalize upon a fact which they have so well demonstrated, namely: that one alcoholic can secure the confidence of another in a way and to a degree impossible of attainment by a non-alcoholic outsider.

  1. After having fully identified themselves with their “prospect” by a recital of symptoms, behavior, anecdotes, etc., these men allow the patient to draw the inference that if he is seriously alcoholic, there may be no hope for him save a spiritual experience.

  1. Once the patient agrees that he is powerless, he finds himself in a serious dilemma. He sees clearly that he must have a spiritual experience or be destroyed by alcohol.

  1. The dilemma brings about a crisis in the patient’s life. He finds himself in a situation which, he believes, cannot be untangled by human means. He has been placed in this position by another alcoholic who has recovered through a spiritual experience. Under these conditions, the patient returns to religion with an entire willingness and readily accepts a simple religious proposal. He is then able to acquire much more than a set of religious beliefs; he undergoes the profound mental and emotional change common to religious experience.

  1. The fellowship is entirely different concerning the individual manner of spiritual approach so long as the patient is willing to turn his life and his problems over to the care and direction of his Creator.

  1. The suggestion is made that he do certain things which are obviously good psychology, good morals and good religion, regardless of creed: (a) That he make a moral appraisal of himself, and confidentially discuss his findings with a competent person whom he trusts. (b) That he try to adjust bad personal relationships, setting right, so far as possible, such wrongs as he may have done in the past; (c) That he recommit himself daily, or hourly if need be, to God’s care and direction, asking for strength; (d) That, if possible, he attend weekly meetings of the fellowship and actively lend a hand with alcoholic newcomers.

Important Tributes

Reader’s Digest writes of Silkworth a few months after his death:

Dr. Silkworth was a great man who failed with all human science and was humble enough to use God for a medicine.

Dr. Bob said:

The Silkworth theory was what triggered him into a new way of life. Dr. Silkworth’s conversion ideas, as confirmed by William James, had struck him at great depth.

Bill Wilson wrote:

We drunks can thank Almighty God that such a man was designated by the divine Providence to inspire and guide us, individually and as a group, on the long way back to sanity.

Silkworth himself wrote:

Since I have been working with A.A. the comparative percentage of successful results has increased to an amazing extent.

The percentage of success that A.A. has scored leaves no doubt that it has something more than we as doctors can offer. It is, I am convinced, your second step. Once the A.A. alcoholic has grasped that, he will have no more slips.     


The materials here are based largely upon quotes from and opinions expressed in the following writings:

Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2002).

Bill W., My First 40 Years (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2000)

Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2006)

Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st ed. (NY: Works Publishing Company, 1939)

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4tb ed. (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2002)

The Language of the Heart: Bill W.’s Grapevine Writings (NY: The AA Grapevine, Inc., 1988)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Garden Grove Pastor is Latest to Establish Christian Recovery Resource Center

Welcome to Rev. Jerry Liversage of Garden Grove, California. He is the latest to establish a Christian Recovery Resource Center--a project of International Christian Recovery Coalition. Jerry has an extensive ministry in Orange County, California. He is the autthor of  "Responding 12 Step Recovery." He has joined the Speakers Bureau of the International Christian Recovery Coalition. And he is host of a new Skype show which hosts Christian Recovery Movement leaders, workers, and others.

Jerry's listing is:

Rev. Jerry Liversage, Responding Recovery Ministries
Jerry Liversage Ministries, Inc.

Member of Speakers Bureau, International Christian Recovery Coalition
Jerry is the author of Responding 12 Step Recovery: Responding to the Truth Recovery through Jesus

A Christ-Centered Workbook to support groups and individuals for freedom, deliverance and wholeness from addictions and damaged emotions
Mailing Address: 11245 Mac Nab St. Garden Grove, California 92841

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Report on the First Nationawide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference Held in Phoenix

After years and years of a virtual vacuum when it came to literature or talks about Alcoholics Anonymous History, a group of alcoholics and their families gathered in Phoenix to hear and present the First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference, and the book here discussed reports the principal points made.

AAs have had International conferences every five years. They have had regional conferences throughout the United States. Not too long ago, they instituted archives conferences. But these were A.A. meetings per se. The opportunity to have a nationwide, non-A.A. supervised, member participant nationwide A.A. History Conference had really never occurred.

The last significant, complete history account took place when Bill Wilson convened the AAs in St. Louis when, as he put it, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age.[[ASIN:091685602X Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A. A.]]. There Bill had present many of the folks who played a part in early A.A. during its first twenty years. But thereafter, history took a nose dive. Many years later, the "history book from hell" (as one historian described it) was undertaken by two extremely well-paid A.A. "leaders." But the project was finally shelved.

Although extensive research and valuable discoveries were involved after the initial 20 year St. Louis meeting, they were not utilized or reported to any appreciable degree-and certainly not by A.A. itself.

As a result or in spite of the results, there was still a great need for an history conference that covered as much as was then known about the entire early A.A. history and picture. A man in Arizona asked Dick B. to be the principal speaker at such a nationwide gathering. And the conference was held in Phoenix. Dr. Bob's son, Robert R. Smith, joined the speaker's panel, as did Ray Grumney, archivist at Dr. Bob's Home. And an enormous amount of Alcoholics Anonymous History information was laid before the 200 plus people attending from many parts of the United States.

The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference book relates in full the exclusively history items that were covered. The conference was so successful that The Second Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference took place later in the year in Delaware, with several of the same speakers. And its subject matter was reported in the Dick B. book, "When Early AAs Were Cured and Why."

The precedent that was set by the book here reviewed was an important one. The people at A.A.'s offices in New York often said to others that they knew little of the early days because Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob, and most of the pioneers had passed away. Picking up the baton, Dick B. began his Alcoholics Anonymous History quest across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain; and a large number of A.A. History landmarks and facts were disseminated by written publication. But the Phoenix conference was the first to be presented live. And the format and content of this important history convention is one that can and should be emulated in years to come.

Today, there are many talented writers who have discussed very parts of Alcoholics Anonymous History. They certainly are not in harmonious agreement about the subject. But each has something important to contribute to the overall picture--disagreement or not. The Phoenix and Delaware conferences were the last efforts. But they were small and took place some time ago. Meanwhile, the A.A. history community has seen a divided view. The one that Dick B. has taken is concerned with the origins, history, founding, original program, and successes of early A.A. But there is another camp which prefers to leave out all vestiges of A.A.'s biblical roots and even most of the details about A.A.'s later appropriation of Oxford Group life-changing ideas.

Hopefully this first book will restore comprehensive history to its proper place and enable Twelve Step people to apply that history in anonymous fellowships today in order to help alcoholics and addicts who still suffer to achieve the same successes with God's help that were so predominant in the early A.A. Christian Fellowship

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Week for Reviewing Important Alcoholics Anonymous History Books

If you look on Amazon.comDickBbooks, you will find my reviews of the following important Alcoholics Anonymous History Books:

1. Jerry McAuley, Down in Water Street
2. Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury
3. The Conversion of Bill W.
4. Dr. Bob and His Library.
5. The Golden Text of A.A.
6. Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous
7. The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous
8. The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous History and "Courage to Change"

When Bill Wilson conducted A.A.'s Convention in St. Louis, it was a first for many things pertaining to Alcoholics Anonymous History. It was the first major Alcoholics Anonymous event following Dr. Bob's death. And that made it the first Alcoholics Anonymous History landmark since publication of the Big Book in 1939. It was the first contention by Bill Wilson that A.A. had "come of age."[[ASIN:091685602X Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A. A.]]. It was an introduction to A.A.'s new conference system and Twelve Traditions. And it gathered together many notables who had figured in A.A.'s beginning. Perhaps most significant, Bill brought in two religious leaders he felt played a major role in A.A. They were featured speakers. Their remarks are still important to an understanding of A.A. in its Big Book stage. The first religious leader to speak was Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. The second was Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., rector of Calvary Episcopal Church.
The remarkable thing at the convention was Bill's introduction of Showmaker to the AAs assembled. Bill reported Shoemaker's talk in his Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age book. And in it, he commented that there came to the lectern a man that most AAs didn't know. That appearance was so successful that Bill invited Shoemaker to be a speaker at the next convention--which was in Long Beach, California. And still very few AAs are treated to Shoemaker's relevant ideas--even though Shoemaker was invited to write articles for A.A.'s own "Grapevine" publication.
But it was to be years before the real significance of Shoemaker to A.A. would be revealed in detail. As the years went on, Bill wrote many tributes to the role that Shoemaker had played.[[ASIN:1885803273 New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A. (2d ed.)]]. Bill wrote Sam that without Sam, A.A. would have been nothing. And later, in an article published in A.A.'s The Language of the Heart, Bill pointed out that almost every idea in the last ten of A.A.'s Twelve Steps came from the teachings of Rev. Sam Shoemaker. Bill called Sam a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Both Bill and his wife Lois made it clear that Bill and Shoemaker became close personal friends. And Shoemaker made it clear that he had been a part of the A.A. movement from its very beginnings.
One part Sam played was covered in his first radio talk to America. It was titled "Good Morning." [[ASIN:1885803222 Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.]]. And the "Good Morning" book by Dick B. showed the important role that Sam played in the practices of Quiet Time--which became a part of early A.A. practices. In fact, Quiet Time was said to be a "must" in early A.A. It involved prayer, Bible study,seeking God's guidance,and use of devotionals like Henry Drummond's The Greatest Thing in the World (1 Corinthians 13 and "love"). Its ideas of "prayer and meditation" found their way into Step Eleven which Bill fashioned as part of his suggested steps to recovery in the first edition of A.A.'s Big Book published in 1939.
But the heart of Sam Shoemaker's spiritual ideas was still in need of publication and commentary. For Sam's actual language could be found in almost every one of Bill's suggested Twelve Steps. And "New Light on Alcoholism" lays out many of the parallels. And this is something most AAs didn't know, and probably still don't know. Therefore the book "Courage to Change" by Bill Pittman and Dick B. was published by Baker Book House (Fleming H. Revell) and then republished by Hazelden. Finally it came out in ebook form. It stands as an authoritative review of the biblical ideas Sam contributed to A.A. Steps and to its Big Book.
Why read it? Because two of A.A.'s leading historians collaborated to make this book an easy-to-read study of Sam Shoemaker's real contributions to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. They kept it brief. They made it a tutorial. They used accurate Alcoholics Anonymous History materials. And even today this book stands as an outstanding, concise, and accurate study of the Twelve Steps as Sams Shoemaker helped Bill Wilson to fashion them.

The New Alcoholics Anonymous History website

The new website "Alcoholics Anonymous History" ( has just been launched. Shortly, it will begin displaying Alcoholics Anonymous History articles that are devoted to reporting the comprehensive, accurate, complete history of Alcoholics Anonymous both prior to its founding and up to about 1942--the latter being the period when Bill Wilson went into his deep 12 year depression.
AA History: Dick B.’s Alcoholics Anonymous History & Bible Roots site discusses the roles of God, Jesus Christ & the Bible in early A.A.’s successes

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Responding Recovery Ministry Skype Panel Undertakes our first new project

The Dick B. Collaborative Effort for Christian Recovery

This is a new project of the International Christian Recovery Coalition. It was introduced as an idea at our Palm Springs, California talk to Assocation of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute Conference just a few days ago.

One of the first planned projects of The Dick B. Collaborative Effort for Christian Recovery was a TV show coming from Skype panel interviews; and we just had two of them taped from Maui to Orange County.

The first responder to the Dick B. Collaborative Effort for Christian Recovery came on board today. And that responder was and is

Responding Recovery Ministries, an outreach of Jerry Liversage Ministries, Garden Grove, California

Jerry is alive with Christian recovery plans and network approaches. He is a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition. And the contact information is:

Jerry Liversage Ministries,Inc./Responding Recovery Ministries
Mailing Address
11245 Mac Nab St
Garden Grove, California 92841
Telephone: 951 212 6100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 951 212 6100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Jerry came to our Southern California summit meeting at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa. He participated in the pre-conference Friday Night Workshop. He attended the Lifelines Program as well, and he attended the summit meeting on Saturday.

We then had the privilege of spending thirteen plus hours with him discussing his Christian recovery visions and our own Collaborative plans. And here was the resultant outcome.

1.   Jerry is going to conduct a series of panel shows on Skype, which will then be replayed on TV.

2.  We did two of those shows today (Thursday), and they will be appearing soon.

3.  He has engaged us to write an introductory foreword to his well-done Step workbook, and that fulfills our desire for many such introductions--based on the explanatory Introduction we did for the new Dover Publications 1st Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous reprint just released.

4.  He has a deep desire to collaborate with Christian recovery leaders, workers, and newcomers and working with them to reach a common understanding--an understanding of how to look at the Twelve Steps and then work out the relevant subject matter through specifically related Bible study. And this has great promise as a new Christian recovery tool model.

5.  For many years, people have been sending in to General Services in New York sheets setting forth a Step, a related Bible verse; another Step, etc. And the supposition was that these were credible examples of A.A.'s relationship with the Bible. Next came the so-called recovery Bibles, and they would work Steps into many pages of the Bible and include explanatory discussions of how the Bible could help "take" and use or interpret this or that Step. Of late, there have been a number of meetings--particularly Christian Recovery fellowship meetings which read the Twelve Steps--Step by Step--and then read a Bible verse that the group feels expresses a Biblical idea behind that particular Step. But none of these efforts is really representative of the Bible relationship of early Akron A.A. There the primary program resource--not of the Steps because there were no Steps--was the Bible; and the studies were of the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13. These three Bible segments, said Dr. Bob, were "absolutely essential" to the early program. We have urged study of the Big Book and Steps along with James, the Sermon, and Corinthians to see how closely some of the basics resemble basic ideas from the three Bible segments.

Jerry Liversage's new workbook is a very practical, scholarly, well-written workbook titled "Responding 12-Step Recovery: Responding to the Trust-Recovery Through Jesus" (Xulon Press, 2009). Its approach is to examine each Step, first in terms of its language, and then lay out biblical discussions which show a sponsor or sponsee how to understand the particular Step in terms of what the Bible has to say about the subject. It presents the Step in easy-to-read manner, and then it provides a thorough biblical explanation of the relevant subject. This means that a reader need not plough through the Bible, looking for what an editor thinks is a a related Step tool, and reading the editor's view of how the Step should be understood. And for the newcomer, looking through the thousands of Bible pages is a daunting task. Reading the explanations in the middle of the Bible is a daunting task. And the simplicity of first looking at a Step and then reading the various aspects of a Step and absorbing as much as he can of the Bible-related Step commentary.

Our Foreword will add a further component--the kind we believe should be at the beginning of all such workbooks, guidebooks, study books, or Step commentaries. The reader and the leader should begin with a simple explanation of the biblical origins of A.A., and then read a concise explanation of the simple layout of the original A.A. program of Akron--giving up alcohol permanently, believing in God, coming to Him through Jesus Christ, asking His help, obeying His will, growing in understanding through Bible and prayer  and Quiet Time studies, and then helping the alcoholic who still suffers.

When complete, Jerry's revised workbook will provide an example of what we think is needed in every Christian recovery program effort--our own historical Christian foundations.
And this we believe will be the first of many collaborative efforts by recovery leaders to make the Bible a vital and authoritative tool for recovering the "old school way"--by finding God's will, and then following His directions for recovering from alcoholism and addictions

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous History Blog and Its Content

Dick B. is a writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and an active recovered member of the Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. He has published 42 titles and over 675 articles on Alcoholics Anonymous History as well as the Christian Recovery Movement. He is Executive Director of the International Christian Recovery Coalition.

Several websites incorporate various aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous History, the biblical roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Christian Recovery Movement today, These include;;; www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition; and

This blog will supplement the materials posted on Alcoholics Anonymous It will present materials primarily devoted to Alcoholics Anonymous. It will cover titles, articles, blogs, forums, facebook, twitter, digg, in the rooms, tumbler, stumble upon, and several social network forums. But the materials covered here will be those pertaining to Alcoholics Anonymous History.

Probably the beginning work is the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous just published by Dover Publications. It contains the original First Edition reprint with all the personal stories--most of which have since been removed from later editions. It also covers the original solution---a "spiritual experience"--not just a spiritual awakening or personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholism. Of great importance is the lengthy introduction by author Dick B. explaining the origins of the Big Book, its sources, the changes in the manuscript, the purpose of the personal stories, and the way in which the personal stories were included to provide evidentiary testimony as to how the program in the edition worked.

Any Alcoholics Anonymous History presentation with integrity does not merely start with some writer's conception of a "higher power," a fellowship that it "spiritual, but not religious," a theory that claims you can choose your own conception of "a" god, or an assertion that you do not need to believe anything at all in order to recover from alcoholism by the path outlined in the A.A. Big Book.

To me, accurate and truthful Alcoholics Anonymous History includes the origins, history, founding, original A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in June, 1935. It also includes Bill Wilson's claim that there were "six" word-of-mouth ideas that were commonly used to "work" the program, but also were varied in wording, varied in their reference to God, and varied in acceptance by different groups of AAs. It includes the original seven point summary of the original Akron Christian Fellowship program and the 16 principles and practices of the Akron pioneers. It includes the shift in program promulgated by Bill Wilson and his partner Henry Parkhurst as they formed a corporation and sought to write a book primarily emanating from the 28 Oxford Group life-changing ideas which were ultimately codified into the Big Book and Steps. It includes the Christian and Bible materials tossed out before the Big Book was printed. It includes the sources of the Steps named by Bill Wilson as Dr. William D. Silkworth, Professor William James, and the Oxford Group teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. It includes the last minute changes in the Big Book manusript just prior to its going to the printer. It includes full details as to how and why a committee of four changed the word "God" in the Steps and substituted "Power greater than ourselves" and "God as we understood Him" in God's place. It explains how Bill Wilson resisted these changes, but finally relented in order to appease atheists and agnostics who might try to get sober by the Steps. It includes the change of the solution from "spiritual experience" to "spiritual awakening" and "personality change." It includes the person by person stories removed from Big Book editions and the vacancy their removal left in testimonies about either the Akron Christian Fellowship program or the original Big Book program.

There is much more to Alcoholics Anonymous History. And the items have theirit place in any effort to answer such questions as to whether Alcoholics Anonymous History proves that A.A. is a "cult." Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History has no Christian origins. Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History does not prove that all three of the first AAs--Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Bill Dotson believed in God, were born again Christians, had studied the Bible extensively, and had been cured by simply turning to God. Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History proves that A.A. is not religious or a religion. Or that Alcoholics Anonymous History establishes A.A. as a program whose recovery comes from "Someone" or "Something" or "not-god-ness," but not and never from reliance on "the God of the Scriptures" as Bill Wilson himself referred to Yahweh, the Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, God of our fathers, and Father of Light.

Each year of our 21 years of research has brought before the fellowship and historians mountains of manuscripts, books, correspondence, news articles, church records, creed and confession statements, historical accounts, and obscured writings by A.A. founders and pioneers as well as virtually ignored news accounts across America. This blog will be reporting them as found, analyzed, verified, and published.
God Bless, Dick B.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

International Christian Recovery Coalition Projects for the next 3 months

Coalition projects scheduled for the next three months: (1) A new, revised, expanded 4th edition of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide. (2) A substantial number of radio interviews conducted by Dick B. with outstanding Christian recovery leaders in all fields ranging from A.A. and N.A. to pastors and recovery pastors, counselors, interventionists, Christian Fellowshiips, Christian treatment programs, medicine, religion, sober living, after-care, and community resources and agencies. (3) Continued expansion of Christian Recovery Resource Centers and Persons Worldwide. Dick B.
International Christian Recovery Coalition: An informal fellowship of Christian Leaders and Workers in the recovery arena

Alcoholics Anonymous History

Alcoholics Anonymous History

A Spiritual Tool for Recovery, or Material to be Locked in Glass Cases?

By Dick B.

© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Let’s talk very very briefly about the purpose, value, and use of Alcoholics Anonymous History when it comes to helping the newcomer who still suffers from alcoholism, addiction, or at-risk behavior. Also the affected person or entity harmed by the malady.

The Challenge

As one who has devoted 21 years to researching and publishing on A.A. History, I have a strong view (based on my 25 plus years of continuous sobriety) that the sooner the newcomer, the sponsor, the speaker, the group, the professional, or the treatment center incorporates introductory material on A.A. History in the approach, the more likely it is that a new discovery will be made and the newcomer will be blessed.

So many historical materials I have seen are simply locked away in glass cases with no keys to enter, no docent to explain, and no literature to describe the contents. Many of these materials are my own. Many are locked away in well-known university libraries, archives, collections of books, and back rooms. These items are of immense value and importance—but only if seen and understood. See

A Helpful New Approach

Some of us are bird dogs or book worms or tireless readers. And lots of our findings wind up in books (, articles (, blogs (, radio programs, Facebook, Twitter, and forums. Yet often the material is either unknown or unread or discarded or misquoted.

The answer, I believe, is training the trainers to master and pass on the content to the affected and the afflicted. This doesn’t mean enforced schooling. It means that those who want to do something other than mouth the “wisdom of the rooms” or the pedantic surveys of academics need to do some homework. The resources are there. They are becoming ever more voluminous. And they can really help the newcomer and others who want God’s help.

My Aim

I readily concede that I was healed of alcoholism by the power of God. And so did the early AAs. For example, see the writing of Bill Wilson on page 191 of the most recent edition of Alcoholics Anonymous: “The Lord has cured me of this terrible disease, and I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.” A.A. Number Three endorsed the applicability of this statement to his own situation on the same page. And Dr. Bob repeatedly said he was cured of alcoholism by the power of prayer.

My aim has been and is to provide convincing, documented, complete, accurate information that shows the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played in the origins, history, founding, original Christian Fellowship program, and successes among the early A.A. pioneers in Akron and Cleveland.

Why? Because they have played a major role in my own recovery. And because they can be applied in every kind of recovery and treatment approach today where people are willing to look at early A.A. history, master the contents of A.A.’s own “Conference-approved” literature of the earlier years, and apply the power of God so well demonstrated historically to those who suffer in misery today.

But only if the suffering soul wants to quit, is willing to do whatever it takes, and seeks God’s help.

God could and would if He were sought. Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., page 60.

Gloria Deo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dr. William D. Silkworth, His Advice about the “Great Physician,” Bill W.’s Decision for Jesus Christ, and the Oxford Group

Dick B.

© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

 Excerpt from forthcoming The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 4th ed.

Many do not know a number of important facts about Rowland Hazard, Dr. William D. Silkworth, Ebby Thacher, and Bill Wilson. It has now been researched and documented, that a decision for Jesus Christ was part and parcel of the solution that was tendered to Bill before his “white light” experience at Towns Hospital. And Bill had responded by going to Calvary Mission in New York, making a decision for Jesus Christ, and writing that, for sure, he had been “born again.” Bill soon staggered on drunk to Towns Hospital and – after calling on the “Great Physician”—had the well-known “white light experience” that gave rise to the A.A. “Solution.”

We now know from the writings of T. Willard Hunter and also Jay S. that: (1) After consulting with Dr. Carl G. Jung, Rowland Hazard returned to the United States and made a decision for Jesus Christ. (2) He evidently passed this solution along to Ebby Thacher—in addition to teaching Ebby the Oxford Group’s principles and practices. Ebby was then lodged in Calvary Mission. And there, Ebby made a decision for Jesus Christ that preceded Ebby’s witnessing visit to Bill W. This series of events caused Bill to conclude and say that Ebby had been “reborn.”

Just before Ebby visited Bill, Dr. William D. Silkworth (a devout Christian) had told Bill Wilson on his third visit to Towns Hospital that if he did not quit drinking, Bill would die or go insane.

Silkworth also told Bill that the “Great Physician” Jesus Christ could cure Bill. And Silkworth was known to have given this same prescription about the “Great Physician” to at least one other patient, known to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

Acting on the information about the decisions made by Rowland and by Ebby, and the information received from Dr. Silkworth, Bill came to believe that the “Great Physician” Jesus Christ could cure him too. Bill went to the same Calvary Mission where Ebby had been reborn; and Bill there made a decision for Jesus Christ also. Bill wrote that he had been born again for sure.

[The full details, with documented footnotes, are set forth in the forthcoming Christian Recovery Guide, 4th edition, which is now a work in progress]

There was also an undeniable Oxford Group component in the information Bill had been receiving from Rowland Hazard, and two other Oxford Group members Cebra Graves and Shep Cornell. And he then, or soon, heard extensive Oxford Group details from Rev. Sam Shoemaker, who was to become, in Bill’s words, a “co-founder” of A.A.

It was from Rowland Hazard, Ebby Thacher, Reverend Sam Shoemaker, Jr., and the Oxford Group meetings in New York that Bill was regularly hearing the Oxford Group life-changing principles. However, he was also learning from Rowland Hazard, Dr. William D. Silkworth, and Ebby Thacher the necessary importance of a decision for Jesus Christ—whom Silkworth frequently called “the Great Physician.” And this historical observation was made by the author of Silkworth’s biography who said:

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 the Alcoholics Anonymous history. In the formation of AA, Wilson initially insisted on references to God and Jesus, as well as the Great Physician. As the AA fellowship grew, however, other members persuaded Bill that a purely Christian format would alienate many, keeping potential members from joining the group. Silkworth challenged the alcoholic with an ultimatum. Once hopeless, the alcoholic would grasp hold of any chance of sobriety. Silkworth, a medical doctor, challenged the alcoholic with a spiritual conversion and a relationship with God as part of a program of recovery. His approach with Bill Wilson was no different.[1]

It is now not surprising to see, from Bill Wilson’s own autobiography, how Bill Wilson picked up on the “Great Physician” language and solution. Bill mentioned the “Great Physician” three different times.[2] And this was in company with remarks about religious conversion and religious experience, conversion experience, being born again, and cure.[3]

The Oxford Group had no “steps.”[4] It had no “old fashioned prayer meetings” such as those the original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” conducted.[5] It had no major focus on Bible study, hospitalization, and outreach to drunks such as that which was required in Akron.[6] While it originally spoke frequently about Jesus Christ, it shied away from the idea of “conversion” and adopted the idea that a person was “changed” when he followed Oxford Group precepts. He must “change.”[7]

On the other hand, when Bill Wilson actually wrote his Big Book and Twelve Steps, he used many Oxford Group words and phrases; codified many of the Oxford Group life-changing techniques; and often referred to the Oxford Group contributions to A.A. ideas.[8] In short, as he fashioned his Big Book ideas and Steps, Bill W. seemingly returned to Bill’s earliest sober days and the East Coast Oxford Group ideas he had heard with daily frequency before he met Dr. Bob in the summer of 1935.

And there were, in fact, some 28 Oxford Group ideas that impacted on the A.A. of 1939.[9]

[1] Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2002), 50.
[2] Bill W.: My First 40 Years (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2000), 139, 145.
[3] Bill W.: My First 40 Years, 125, 138, 147. 148.
[4] “According to Bill, their word of mouth program had thus far been a pretty consistent procedure, containing six steps to achieve and maintain their sobriety. There is no evidence that the Oxford Group had such a specific program.” “Pass It On,” 197. “In later years, some A.A. members referred to this procedure as the six steps of the Oxford Group. Reverend T. Willard Hunter, who spent 18 years in full time staff positions for the Oxford Group and M.R.A., said, ‘I never once saw or heard anything like the Six Tenets. It would be impossible to find them in any Oxford Group-M.R.A. literature.’” “Pass It On,” 206.
[5] See the characterization of the meetings by Clarence Snyder’s wife Dorothy as “a regular old-fashioned prayer meeting.” DR. BOB, 101.
[6] See Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous: A Design for Living That Works, 3rd ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1998).
[7]  See Dick B., Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes (San Rafael, CA: Paradise Research Publications, 1997), 56, 334,-35, 403.
[8] See the comments of Jared C. Lobdell, This Strange Illness: Alcoholism and Bill W. (New York, NY: Aldine DeGruyter, 2004), 271, 75.
[9] See Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed.

The Long-Ignored and Important "Faith" Remarks by Dr. Bob of A.A.

The Long-Ignored, and Importance of, Dr. Bob’s “Faith” Remarks

Dick B.

For decades, an interview of Dr. Bob by D.J. Defore in the September 1933 issue of “Your Faith” Magazine, at page 84, seemed to lie unnoticed, undiscovered, and virtually “lost” to many a researcher’s eyes. But what a treasure of simple statements, powerful teaching, and clear-cut faith in God, it was. And here are a few comments attributed to Dr. Bob:

But Dr. X handled his liquor problem differently. He came close enough to degradation to see how the jaws of hell were reaching out for him. But then something interfered and saved him.

What saved his life and reputation? What force made him into a new man? It was simply religion, brought home to him in a way he could use it. Simply the new habit of living his religion, and the discovery that he could utilize the power of prayer.

As long as you conceal your difficulties, no one can help you. But once you bring your trouble out in the open, you can invite help and encouragement from friends. And you can benefit by strengthening the power of prayer.

What enabled him to hold fast to his resolution was the discovery that he, who had just started to climb back to sobriety and respectability, had the ability to help other desperate and disheartened drunks to live decent lives too. In fact, that’s a big part of the cure. . . . Forty-three of them, no less, owe their new lives to him.

When a drunk in the hospital starts to sober up, Dr. X closes the door and starts to talk to him. “I know where you hide your bottles,” he’ll say. “I know every sneaky little thing you do to get liquor when you’re not supposed to have any. I’ve been there myself. And I want to tell you, my fine young friend, it’s getting you nowhere. You’re rotten. Your’re ashamed of yourself. Not let’s do something about it.”

So there in that white, silent hospital room they read the Bible together. Then they pray. First, the Doctor, then, falteringly, the man himself. He finds his voice gains in confidence. He finds it easy to talk to God, and talk out loud. He finds a huge load is lifted off his chest. . . He becomes enthusiastic and eager about going straight. He promises to read the Bible, and Dr. X leaves him. . . . And then, because he knows the fight the sick man is going through, Dr. X comes back in time to bring new comfort and new cheer and to again call forth the searching and every-available help of prayer..

“No, I don’t dare let you tell about this,” Dr. X said to me when I asked him for a signed interview. “We can’t publicize these cures.”

“Do you remember when Christ turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched me?” And some woman confessed she had touched his robe because she wanted to be cured? Christ felt some of his power pass out from him in that touch. It’s the same way with helping people.

“Moreover, I’m not sure we could set up a sanitarium and cure people effectively in any wholesale manner. I’m convinced this idea has to grow, one cure at a time.”

Then he handed me this final thought. “I have found that no one can be permanently happy unless he lives in harmony with the rules set down in the Good Book,” he said. “Try it some time! You don’t need to wait till you’re down and out before you ask for help. There’s help waiting for you right now, if you just ask God to help you.”

A.A. History - A.A. and First Century Christianirty

A.A. History – A.A. and First Century Christianity

Dick B.
© 2011. Anonymous. All rights reserved

The Multiple First Century Christianity-A.A. Quotes Among The Rockefeller People Who Investigated

Five of the Rockefeller people involved with the Frank Amos report commented as follows on the First Century Christianity nature of the Akron A.A.:

Frank Amos: As stated, Rockefeller’s investigator Frank Amos had observed that the meetings of Akron people had, in many respects, taken on the form of the meetings described in the Gospels of the early Christians during the first century (Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, pp. 135-36)

Albert Scott: In December, 1936. a meeting was held in John D. Rockefeller’s private board room. Bill W., Dr. Bob, Dr. Silkworth, Dr. Leonard Strong, and some alcoholics from New York and Akron met with Rockefeller’s associates Willard Richardson, A. Leroy Chapman, Frank Amos, and Albert Scott. The meeting was chaired by Albert Scott, chairman of the board of trustees of New York’s Riverside Church. Each alcoholic was enjoined to tell his own personal story, after which, the chairman Albert Scott exclaimed, “Why, this is first-century Christianity. What can we do to help?” (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 148)

Nelson Rockefeller: In February of 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. had arranged a dinner for Bill and the AAs. John D. had intended to attend, but was too ill to do so and sent his son Nelson Rockefeller to host the dinner. As Bill’s wife Lois Wilson records in her memoirs, “When Nelson finally got up to talk, there was a great deal of expectancy. He told how impressed his father [John D., Jr..] was with this unique movement, which resembled early Christianity.” (Lois Remembers, pp. 128-29)

Willard Richardson and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., himself: What they’d been hearing, he [Albert Scott] said, was like first century Christianity, where one person carried the word to the next. . . . Willard Richardson was in charge of all John D. Jr.’s philanthropies. . . Willard Richardson added his approval to the report and immediately passed it on to Mr. [John D.] Rockefeller. . . Rockefeller was impressed. He saw the parallel with early Christianity and along with this he spotted a combination of medicine and religion that appealed to all his charitable inclinations (Robert Thomsen, Bill W., pp. 274-75).

New Opportunities for Learning A.A. History and Christian Recovery Resources


For 21 years, I have been researching, reporting, and publishing materials on
A.A. History and--after many discoveries--on the history of the Christian Recovery Movement and its impact on A.A. and recovery.

Once material is discovered and openings are available, we bend every effort and use all possible blogs, sites, forums, facebook and twitter entries, as well as books and articles, to let the affected and the afflicted have the benefit of such knowledge. And also to train the trainers!

My blog is www.mauihistorian.blogspot. My main website is
The special site on Dr. Bob is My main website leads viewers into facebook and twitter. And the new and rapidly growing International Christian Recovery Coalition site ( has a special focus on the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in June, 1935.

God Bless, Dick B.
Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active, recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 675 articles.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We Christians in the recovery arena are not alone

Want to learn, know, and apply A.A. history?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

News Brief: Statistical Surveys of Success Ingredients in A.A. Today

Ever since one of my heritage seminars on A.A. History at the Wilson House, a psychiatrist who attended has been sending me informative news and support. He is on staff at a Harvard medical facility. And he has placed a set of my books in the Harvard Library, sent me ongoing materials on alcoholiism emanating from Harvard professors, and kept me in touch with how my writings fare in the Harvard search systems.

Just now, he sent me three very informative and instructive new academic articles on how A.A. succeeds today if certain techniques are applied, and why it is succeeding. I'll be using it in future writings and postings.

News Brief: Radio Interviews

Following the Summit Conference at The Crossing in Costa Mesa, a young gal suggested she would be able to produce a show with radio interviews where I could contact one of the dozens of people active in Christian recovery over these 21 years, and let them have an hour or so talling us about their journey, plans, and successes. It looks like it's going to happen. Soon.
This can be A.A. History and Christian Recovery resources at their best. Dick B.

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 4th Edition, by Dick B. & Ken B.,

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 4th Edition, by Dick B. & Ken B.,
Is Nearly Ready to Go to Press

By Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Previous editions of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, by Dick B. and Ken B. have been widely distributed over the last two-and-a-half years. They have been sold directly from our main Web site, They have been sold as part of our “Christian Recovery Resource Centers and Persons” package: They have been displayed, distributed, given away, or sold at our recent North American Summit Conference Meetings of the International Christian Recovery Coalition on September 17, 2011, in Costa Mesa, California, and on September 24, 2011, in Brentwood, California. And the first three editions of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide were intended to bring together in one place considerable Christian Recovery resources for the newcomer, the sponsor, the Christian recovery leader or pastor, A.A. Study Groups, Bible study groups, and the many Christian Recovery Fellowships now springing up or already organized.

The fourth edition, which we have substantially revised and expanded, is now well on its way to completion. We plan on releasing it in both Print-On-Demand and eBook format and distributing it widely within the Christian Recovery arena. The reasons for this new edition are numerous:

1. We want an updated, single, Christian Recovery resource guide for leaders, students, and newcomers, that brings together in comprehensive but summary form many things of the key things we have learned and published and spoken about over the last 21 years.

2. There have been many Christians and AAs coming on board, and there has been much acquisition of biblical tools, as well as A.A. history documents, books and manuscripts that disclose all aspects of the Christian Recovery Movement and the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program which developed from it.

3. A number of books—many published or reprinted recently--are now available to help illustrate the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in A.A.'s origins, history, founding, original program, and success:

 Bill Wilson’s own autobiography, Bill W.: My First Forty Years, published by Hazelden (

 Dover Publications' Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition with all of the original personal stories included in the first edition and a 23-page introduction by Dick B. (

 Hazelden Publishing’s October 2010 publication, The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous, which contains very high quality scans of the pages of the original “printer’s manuscript” of Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”). The scans show the many changes in point of view and language that were ultimately included in the first edition of the Big Book published on April 10, 1939 (

 Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks. This is a biography of Dr. William D. Silkworth, the medical doctor who played such an important role during the early years of Alcoholics Anonymous. (

 William G. Borchert, The Lois Wilson Story: When Love Is Not Enough, a biography of the wife of A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson (

 Mel B., Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W. (

 D. Samuel Hopkins Hadley, Down in Water Street: A Story of Sixteen Years Life and Work in Water Street Mission, A Sequel to the Life of Jerry McAuley (

 John Wilbur Chapman, S.H. Hadley of Water Street: A Miracle of Grace (

 T. Willard Hunter, World Changing Through Life Changing , an updated, recently-published version of Hunter's master's thesis (;

 T. Willard Hunter, “It Started Right There”: AA & MRA: Behind the Twelve Steps and the Self-Help Movement, a booklet discussing the relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and Moral Re-Armament (a later name of The Oxford Group).

 Several new Twelve Step Guides and Workbooks—some secular and some Christian.

 Jeff Jay and Debra Jay, Love First: A Family's Guide to Intervention (

 Michael Belzman, Handbook for Christ-Centered Substance Abuse and Addiction Counselors (

 The Life Recovery Bible (

 Celebrate Recovery Bible (

 Richard Beck, A Proud Tradition, A Bright Future: A Sesquicentennial History of St. Johnsbury Academy ( Dr. Bob attended St. Johnsbury Academy from 1894 to 1898.

 The Castle in the Pasture: Portrait of Burr and Burton Academy ( Bill Wilson attended Burr and Burton Academy from 1909 to 1913 (and almost graduated in 1913). The text and research for this book was done by Frederica Templeton, the historian/archivist for Burr and Burton Academy.

 The biographies and autobiographies of Dwight L. Moody, F. B. Meyer, Francis Edward Clark (founder of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor), Allen Folger [Twenty-five Years as an Evangelist (], Ira Sankey, and Billy Sunday. And the histories of the revivals of the mid-to-late 1800's and early 1900's, the Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, the town of St. Johnsbury, and the Fairbanks family.

4. Thousands of pages of records, notes, pamphlets, correspondence, and manuscripts pertaining to Dr. Bob’s parents and grandparents; the family and its involvement with North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury; North Congregational Church sermons, Sunday school teachings, and Year Books; the United Society of Christian Endeavor in Vermont, generally, and St. Johnsbury, specifically; the Congregational Church in Vermont, generally, and St. Johnsbury, specifically; the YMCA in Vermont, generally, and St. Johnsbury, specifically; the schools of St. Johnsbury where Dr. Bob’s father was a superintendent; the government records of the Town of St. Johnsbury and of the Vermont Legislature, where Dr. Bob’s father held positions; the histories of North Congregational Church and of St. Johnsbury which Dr. Bob’s mother helped author; the Town of St. Johnsbury library known as the Athenaeum; birth records; the Fairbanks Museum; The Caledonian, the newspaper of St. Johnsbury and many of its articles; the courthouse where Dr. Bob’s father was Probate Judge for many years; the Vermont library system of which Dr. Bob’s mother was a Commissioner; the extensive curricula, photos, flyers, announcements, student grade records, campus news, information about debaters and fraternities, the glee club, alumni activities, YMCA events, articles of incorporation and deeds and resolutions; and other news of St. Johnsbury Academy where Dr. Bob’s mother had been a student, a teacher, an alumni committee member, and a school historian, where Dr. Bob had attended and graduated, and where his father had been an examiner; and more.

5. Hundreds of photos of Bill Wilson’s East Dorset Congregational Church, of his family, of the church’s records, church confession and creed, Sermons, Sunday school teachings, and founders, as well as pews owned (one by the Wilson family), and of church members (who included the Wilsons and the Griffiths—grandparents and parents of Bill Wilson and his wife). Also, records of Bill’s four-year required Bible study, daily chapel, weekly church attendance, presidency of the YMCA, and concerning his girl friend at Burr and Burton Academy, who was president of its YWCA

6. Recently-acquired, scanned copies of, among others: (a) Bill Wilson’s 1943 “In Christ” inscription in a copy of Alcoholics Anonymous to a Christian church leader; and (b) Dr. Bob’s hand-written roster listing all the original AAs with their length of drinking, sobriety dates, relapses if any, and ultimate status.

7. The immense amount of information we have gained in the past two and a half years as to the following elements of the recovery movement—particularly of Christian participation and outreach: assessment of a newcomer, detox centers, interventions, counseling, treatment programs, Christian treatment and residential treatment programs, after care and transitional housing, sober living, Bible studies, prayer meetings, A.A. history study meetings, films, Christian fellowships, Step studies, Big Book studies, prison outreach, homeless outreach, veterans outreach and programs, disaster information, community resource information, and programs to help discharged or entering recovered AAs and NAs to get housing, employment, trade education, medical attention, mental health attention, food, welfare, job training, job interview, and other aspects of life that free such person from temptation, slippery places, slippery people, and relapse potential—also guide him to wholesome personal hygiene, public hygiene, nutrition, fitness, exercise, recreation, and pursuit of hobbies, music, entertainment, sports, and the like.

8. To enlarge participation in the International Christian Recovery Coalition; to establish “Christian Recovery Resource Centers and Persons”; to enlarge greatly publication of all aspects of Christian recovery by Internet, radio, TV, interviews, newsletters, blogs, conferences, seminars; distribution of Dick B. books, establishment of resource libraries, enlargement of a Speaker’s Bureau and The Dick B. Handbook for Christian Recovery Resource Centers; and to encourage networking, sharing of methods and approaches by Christian recovery leaders; to encourage seminars, renewal conferences, area work teams, and inclusion of every possible aspect of current and potential Christian recovery programs.

Gloria Deo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A.A. Daily Readings and Devotionals

For those who engage or want in A.A. and recovery fellowships to engage in daily prayer, "meditation," use of devotionals, Quiet Time, and the regular reading that early AAs were urged to do by Dr.Bob and his wife Anne Smith, here are some major guides:

First, The Runner's Bible, the quarterly Upper Room, My Utmost for His Highest, Victorious Living, Daily Strength for Daily Needs, and The Greatest Thing in the World top the list. And most are still available and in fact have been reprinted. See The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed.

Second, Quiet Time (sometimes called Quiet Hour or Morning Watch) was a broader term for daily Bible reading, prayer, devotionals, and asking God for guidance. See Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.

Third, for an understanding of the specific literature Dr. Bob owned, studied, recommended and circulated, see Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed.

Also, a major part of early A.A. observances took place at the Smith Home each day early in the morning. They were led by Dr. Bob's wife. They were held for AAs, their wives, and their children. Anne's own perspective on these important readings and devotionals can be found in Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939,