Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous Founder. Nope. Founders!

Probably the two most up-to-date accounts of Alcoholics Anonymous Founders - plural - not "founder" are these Alcoholics Anonymous History books by Dick B. and Ken B.:

Alcoholics Anonymous Founder: Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, affectionately called "Dr. Bob." The book is Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont. See If you want a great book to circulate among your friends at this year end, that's the book for you. It introduces the entire history of early A.A.'s Roots in the Green Mountain State. It covers the Town of St. Johnsbury, The Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Dr. Bob's family and church and Academy years. And most students of recovery will be astonished at the details about the role of the YMCA brethren and their revival and conversion meetings. At information about the great evangelists--Dwight L. Moody, Ira D. Sankey, F. B. Meyer, Henry Moorhouse, Allen Folger, and later Billy Sunday. At information about the important and simple program of the Salvation Army publicized in Twice-Born Men by Harold Begbie. At the information about the rescue missions made famous by the conversion work of Jerry McAuley and S.H. Hadley - and later by the decisions for Jesus Christ by Bill Wilson and his sponsor Ebby Thacher at Calvary Rescue Mission in New York. And then at the enormous parallels between the program of the Young People's Christian Endeavor Society and the original Akron program. There's more about Dr. Bob in,, and

So get schooled in Old School A.A. by learning about its roots with Dr. Bob.

Alcoholics Anonymous Founder: William Griffith Wilson, known as Bill W.. The book is Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creator's Role in Early A.A. See If you want the other great book to circulate among your friends as the year closes, then this second book is also for you. It tells you facts you've never heard. Facts that show how early AAs really got well. It tells about the contributions of William James, Carl Jung, William D. Silkworth, Rowland Hazard, Ebby Thacher, Calvary Rescue Mission, Bill's decision at the altar, Bill's blazing white light  experience in Towns Hospital, his early witnessing with a Bible  under his arm, his marching with Rev. Sam Shoemaker in a processional to Madison Square where the participants carried the sign "Jesus Christ changes lives." It tells you why conversion to God through Jesus Christ became an essential part of the early A.A. program. There's more about Bill and the early factors in, www.dickb/realhistory.shtml, and

Two books that will tell you documented, complete, accurate facts about the real roots of Alcohlics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movment--facts you've undoubtedly never heard in or out of A.A. until the last two  years when Dick and Ken published these two books.

Blockbuster book, The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, now an eBook

As the expansion of Dick B.'s Alcoholics Anonymous History titles moves forward, it's a pleasure to announce that his important title about early A.A.'s founding in Akron has just become available in electronic form. For a picture of the cover and a full description of the book itself, see

Non-Christian Community Outreach - Dale Marsh

“An excellent new article by one of our International Christian Recovery Coalition speakers who is out in the field harvesting

and articulating a valuable approach to all who need help from

Christian leaders and workers.” Dick B.


Dale Marsh

Global Evangelism ORT-2013

Project Proposal

Non-Christian Recovery Community Outreach

   The purpose of the paper is to suggest ways to reach people in the recovery community with the Gospel. This is sometimes done in a hostile environment. However, it is also a great opportunity to meet people at a point of brokenness in their lives, in a time when they are receptive.

    There are a wide variety of recovery groups that use the 12 Step (see attachment A) program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), originally developed by Bill Wilson, Dr Robert Smith and others between 1935 and 1939. Due to the success of the 12 Step methods it has become the standard for self help in recovery from addictions of all kinds. Although the 12 Steps are biblically based, in many ways the programs today do not reflect the original intent or methods of the groups begun in Akron and Cleveland Ohio between 1935 and 1939. As a matter of fact in many cases you risk ridicule or worse with the mention Jesus Christ or the Bible at many modern 12 Step meetings.

     One of the first off shoots of AA was Narcotics Anonymous (NA). NA was begun due to a tendency in AA to not understand the needs of those addicted to narcotics and other drugs. As our culture has changed, most people entering AA today are dually addicted. Other off shoots from the original program include; Gamblers Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous and others. With the addition of these variations in the program came more changes to the original intent of AA’s founders.

       Many other changes have occurred in the treatment of addictions since those early days. Treatment facilities have practically become an industry. The options include palatial mansions with doctors and therapists on staff for celebrities and other wealthy people, to programs designed for the poor and those coming out of prison.  Fees range from free to five and even fifty thousand dollars a month. The method of delivery of treatment options is as varied as the price ranges available. These include intensive inpatient treatment, sober living environments, and out patient services. Although I cannot go into in depth descriptions of each method in this paper, most of these methods are 12 Step friendly. Although some facilities are not 12 Step friendly, they tend to use the same principles without actually using the 12 Step of AA. The principles that have the most effective results, although many in recovery have no understanding of this, are biblical.

     Let’s take a moment to look at the original AA program as developed in Akron Ohio between 1935 and 1939. The following is an outline of the program taken from the book, “Dr Bob and the Good Old Timers.”  In these early days there was no misunderstanding what the original AA’s thought about who God was. Without exception they were all Christians. The outline below was laid out prior to the publishing of the AA Big Book.

The Actual, Seven-Point, Original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” Program

Summarized by Frank Amos for Rockefeller

·         An alcoholic must realize that he is an alcoholic, incurable from a medical viewpoint, and that he must never drink anything with alcohol in it.

·         He must surrender himself absolutely to God, realizing that in himself there is no hope.

·         Not only must he want to stop drinking permanently, he must remove from his life other sins such as hatred, adultery, and others which frequently accompany alcoholism. Unless he will do this absolutely, Smith and his associates refuse to work with him.

·         He must have devotions every morning–a “quiet time” of prayer and some reading from the Bible and other religious literature. Unless this is faithfully followed, there is grave danger of backsliding.

·         He must be willing to help other alcoholics get straightened out. This throws up a protective barrier and strengthens his own willpower and convictions.

·         It is important, but not vital, that he meet frequently with other reformed alcoholics and form both a social and a religious comradeship.

·         Important, but not vital, that he attend some religious service at least once weekly.

(DR. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p 131).

It is important for those of us in the Christian Recovery movement to understand this history if we are to be prepared to witness within the non Christian recovery setting.

Recovery Community Culture

    The message about God has been distorted since those early days of the 12 Step movements. This can be distressing to the Christian in recovery, or it can be seen as an opportunity.  The simple fact is that AA has changed no more then our American culture has changed over the last seventy-six years.

   These changes can be seen throughout our society and AA as well. There has developed a clearly visible drug and alcohol culture which has also shaped the culture in the rooms of AA and NA. With the advent of New Age thinking, we can see this influence in the recovery movement as well.

    Some people in the recovery community have had bad experiences with the church. Others have been misled by pop culture and other influences to believe many untrue ideas about the church. Some have legitimate concerns due to highly publicized failures in the church. Others are just angry at God for the way their lives have turned out. Still others want to be sober but do not want to give up other sins they like, sins which are forbidden in the Bible. There are a myriad of reasons why Christians can find a hostile environment in a non Christian recovery meeting. Sometimes Christians have literally been shouted down for expressing there views on spiritual matters.

      Other cultural issues in modern recovery include things that Christians find distressing such as, foul language, anti-Christian bigotry, sexually suggestive behavior, lewd joking, 13th Stepping (entering romantic relationships), and odd conceptions of “a” god. AA misconceptions of God include: the group, a light bulb, a door knob, and many others. This is an out growth of the phrase “God as we understood Him” in Step3 and Step11. “God as we understood Him” came from an Oxford Group saying, “Give as much of yourself as you understand to as much of God as you understand.”  This is just another thing that has been distorted from the original meaning. With this knowledge the Christian can point out the true intent of “God as we understood Him.”

      These things are considered perfectly normal to many in recovery. However it can be very confusing to the new comer and frustrating to the Christian.  These issues and more have left a vacuum and an opportunity into which Christians stepped with the advent of the Christian Recovery Movement.

      Since the origins of the twelve step programs were Christian in nature, it is easy to make connections between the programs and the teachings in the Bible. With a little knowledge of these historical origins, Christians in recovery can have a great impact on the lives of fellow recovering persons on the journey to wellness. The question is: How do we go about outreach to the recovery community? Do we attempt to mold recovery to the church culture or do we come along side in the rooms of AA and NA and work within that culture? I believe the answer to these questions is “Both!”

Christian Responses to Twelve Step Recovery

There are many responses by Christians to Twelve Step Recovery. They are as varied as the denominational differences we see throughout Christendom today. Some are very wrong, and some are just differences in the approach each Christian community takes in the ministry to which God has called them. Some take a mold recovery to the church culture approach, and others come along side the existing recovery program and work within the recovery culture. Some methods are a blending of both.

       I will not spend much time on the Christian approach which is totally against twelve step recovery programs.  In this approach you will hear things like the twelve steps are against God, God is not present at AA and NA, or AA and NA are a cult. This approach drives AA and NA folks away from Christ and encourages Christians who have had their feelings hurt at AA or NA to be completely negative and legalistic about the two programs. In my opinion this destroys a testimony that could have been leading people from AA and NA to the Lord.

     Taking a more middle ground on this are ministries that tend to get AA’s and NA’s to conform to church culture. I find that these ministries can be quite successful and that this is not a huge detriment to helping folks in recovery find Christ. Since there are many options, the net result is often positive.

     Here are some of the things I think can hold us back in Christian recovery ministries. Referring to AA and NA as secular. First of all in the strict definition of the word, secular refers to anything devoid of reference to god or spirituality. For many Christians, the word secular simply means non Christian. This tends to be a general understanding in the church. However those outside the church such as AA’s and NA’s do not have this understanding and can find it demeaning and insulting.  

      Another controversial issue is How AA’s or NA’s introduce themselves prior to sharing at a meeting. Hi I’m __________ I’m an alcoholic (or addict). I understand the theological reasoning behind the Christian dismissal of this introduction. I do believe we are new creations is Christ. But I am also reminded of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Although this is not necessarily always controversial, strict enforcement of how people introduce themselves can make AA’s and NA’s feel unwelcome.

     The last one I often hear is this “You can’t get sober without Christ.” Personally I know many people who have done just that, people with many years of sobriety who don’t know Christ as their personal savior. As a matter of fact these folks tend to be one of my top priorities as I witness in the recovery community. It is true that one will not have a life as joyous and free as he or she could without Christ; and, of course, in the end, not knowing Christ is disastrous. But to say that you can’t get sober with out Christ simply is not true. There are not many things more exciting to me then leading a brother in sobriety with many years of clean time to the Lord. All of a sudden ten or more people will have a Christian sponsor. What a blessed impact this has on the lives of people in the recovery community. When we say “You can’t get sober without Christ,” we look either ignorant or dishonest to those in AA or NA. This again hurts our testimony in the recovery community.

Working within the Culture

1Corinthians 9:19-23 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.

    “In Paul’s cultural flexibility he never compromised the absolutes of the gospel message. Some scholars have felt that there is a disparity between Paul’s principles and his practices as recorded in Acts. However, it was only in cultural matters that he was flexible to avoid offense to the gospel and totally consistent with his principles as stated above.”  (What in the world is God Doing p.276).

    The basic principles of AA are governed by the 12 Traditions (see attachment B). These principles tend to be followed to greater and lesser degrees at any given meeting. The idea of the Traditions is to regulate to some degree the method and management of the meeting environment. These loose regulations leave much room for interpretation and confusion. The Traditions do make it clear that all are welcome no matter what they believe, or what religious background they come from, including none.  This is attractive to many seeking help. If we are to operate within the Traditions, which is conforming to the culture, it becomes inappropriate to be preaching Jesus constantly in the AA or NA setting. 

     Using a good working knowledge of the history of the Christian foundations in the early recovery movement and following Paul’s example we have an excellent opportunity as Christians to have an effective witness. As one of my early Christian mentors in AA still reminds me, “AA is the best fishing hole in town!”

       The following list of AA slogans and sayings came directly from the bible or were heavily influenced by the bible. As we witness within the confines of the Twelve Traditions these slogans and sayings can be leveraged into conversations about Christ.

Just for Today / One Day at a Time ------------ Matthew 6:34

First Things First ---------------------------------- Matthew 6:33

Faith with out works is dead. -------------------- James1:20

We were reborn. ----------------------------------- John 3:3

Thy will be done.  --------------------------------- Matt 6:5-13              

The Lords Prayer ---------------------------------- Matt 6:5-13    

    Not only do we have these and many other sayings inspired by the Bible, we also have the founders’ own accounts of how AA began--such as the following quote from Dr Bob. “But we were convinced the answer to our problem was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians and the book of James.” (The Cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous / Biographical Sketches / Their Last Major Talks / Pamphlet P-53 p13).

Also, in the same publication, we find: “I didn’t write the twelve steps. I had nothing to do with the writing of them. But I think I probably had something to do with them indirectly. After my June 10th episode, Bill came to live at our house and stayed for about three months. There was hardly a night that we didn’t sit up until two or three o’clock, talking. It would be hard for me to conceive that, during these nightly discussions around our kitchen table, nothing was said that influenced the writing of the Twelve Steps. We already had the basic ideas, though not in terse and tangible form. We got them, as I said from out study of the Good Book.” (The Cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous / Biographical Sketches / Their Last Major Talks / Pamphlet P-53 p14).

      The list of AA slogans, and the two quotes from Dr Bob, are just a small sampling of the biblical influence on the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are many more to be found throughout AA literature. Another excellent source of information about AA’s biblical history is books by AA historian Dick B in his over forty publications about AA history.

The Practical Application

    Now let’s consider the practical applications of this knowledge. First of all let’s discuss Christ Centered Recovery. At Serenity Group we constantly use the knowledge of our AA roots to connect people to Christ. We teach AA history classes at least twice each year, and I use AA history throughout the opening devotionals each week. In our small groups we instill the value of the recovery movement and use of the Bible throughout the discussion. Our Serenity Bible is an excellent way to help those interested in Jesus to see how their recovery fits with the Bible and God’s church. Many have come to know Christ and become able to relate their relationship with Him to their healing in the recovery process. Recovery is so much more fulfilling with Jesus, the true higher power personally involved in our lives.

    One of the other values that helps us be more effective is our desire to instill the feeling of being “ok” to be at a Christ Center recovery program. We want the newcomer to feel comfortable. We do this by making Serenity feel like AA or NA with extras. We do not tell our folks how to introduce themselves, and we don’t lay a lot of church culture on them. One example of this is cussing. We don’t even mention that we don’t cuss at Serenity. It has just never been a problem. If I need to confront someone about cussing, I do it privately so as not to embarrass them. In the twenty years we have been doing the ministry I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to deal with the cussing issue. Most of the time, people who have attended a few times let folks know that we don’t cuss in church. About the only inappropriate behavior I deal with publicly is when someone begins to bad mouth other recovery programs. We simply do not allow this and all our group leaders are trained on this issue. We cannot have rumors starting in the community that we talk against other recovery efforts.

    An often heard criticism of AA and NA is that it is all a bunch of whining. Let’s face it; people are dealing with very difficult issues if they have entered a recovery program. There will be much discussion of some depressing circumstances in people’s lives. We counter this with a time of praises during the opening devotionals before we break into small groups. This is sometimes the most inspiring part of the evening. Here is a little example of what I am talking about. One evening there were two lady newcomers. Of course, there are always new comers at the meeting. During the praises, they got up and walked out. One of them was clearly quite upset. Once we were breaking for small groups, they came back in and emphatically demanded to speak to me. I was a little nervous as I thought we had offended them. I was surprised by her question that followed.  The lady asked, “Is this real? Are these people really this happy?”  At this point, a sense of relief came to me as I could see the Holy Spirit was working on them. As one of our small groups leaders passed by, I asked her to share a bit of her testimony. I am a strong believer in ladies sharing with ladies. I stepped back for a few minutes and let them interact. Shortly our ladies group leader was praying with her. As the prayer came to a conclusion I asked the newcomer if she would like to accept the Lord. She answered “Yes.” We prayed again. If we can help folks to relax and understand that we are not at odds with others in the recovery community, folks seem to be more receptive.

     One other thing we insist on is taking announcements for any and all recovery events in Oroville. Although AA and NA will not announce Serenity events, we take that in stride and just love on them. The next thing you know people are telling everyone what we’re doing out of a sense of fairness. A supreme value is that we love God and love others especially in the Recovery Community of Oroville.

      Next let’s consider participation in AA and NA meetings. One thing we always do is respect the rules (The Twelve Traditions). Even though in my heart I want to stand and shout about Jesus from the roof tops, this would only destroy my ability to reach those I am trying to reach. It is quite easy to intertwine scriptural principles with the program. It is also easy to use quotes from AA approved literature which proclaim Christ. As long as it’s AA approved, there is not a problem. Although some don’t like it when I do this, I am acting within the spirit of the 12 Traditions.

     There are other little things we can do as Christians to reach our brothers and sisters in recovery. I like to say things like “I finally decided to just go with the same higher power at Dr Bob and Bill Wilson”. That one always gets someone asking questions after the meeting. Likewise I can say something like “I always like to use the same book that Dr Bob always read when he did his 11th step work”. You might have guessed, that book is the Bible. It is not hard to be a bit creative and loving to make great strides for the kingdom.

       I will never forget one of the finest compliments I ever got at an AA meeting. This grumpy old time AA guy who was as tough as nails came up to me and stuck his finger in my chest. I didn’t know what was coming next. He looks me in the eye and says “Hey, you’re the guy who leads the Christian meeting that respects us.” Only a short time later he became very ill. Before he passed, one of our Serenity guys lead him to the Lord in the hospital. I am so glad that I get to see him again on the other side of eternity. He was a member of AA for over twenty years before he accepted Christ.

Vision for the Future

    When our people know our recovery history, it gives them a sense of empowerment to operate within the meetings throughout the community. In the past many Christians abandoned AA and NA because of the treatment they received for their opinions about the Bible and Jesus Christ. Our goal is to teach them to couch their discussion of Christ and the Bible in the historical context, and to do so with humility. When we do this, things change.

     It is our desire that everyone in the recovery community of Oroville gets the chance to hear about Jesus. We want them to know that in truth He is the author of the recovery movement. We want our lives to represent Him to them. My friend and Mentor Brother Al who likes to call AA the best fishing hole in town also likes to tell me that Christians cannot give up on AA.  He reminds me that we may be the only Jesus that many in recovery may ever see.

   The results are impressive. At Serenity we are usually around 150 in attendance on a regular night. On our dinner / speaker night we usually run over 250.  We draw from at most a population of about 27,000. It has been estimated that Nation wide statistics claim that about ten percent of the population is in active addiction. If half of them are seeking recovery, which I doubt, that means we are reaching over ten percent of our local recovery community on a regular night and over twenty percent on our dinner / speaker night. The other impressive result is that at any given AA meeting. half of the folks in the room will be Christians. Only a few years ago almost no one in the room was Christian. Without our trying to change the culture of AA, the culture changes when half the people there are Christians.

 We love to use this little motto from St Francis of Assisi.

 “Preach the gospel everywhere you go, if necessary, use words.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous History Study Groups of Chaplain Grubb

Good morning dick... wanted to copy you on this email.. something I've been sending out locally - your feedback and critique are always welcome !!

By The Power of God

A Guide to Early AA Groups & Forming Similar Groups Today

Author: Dick B.

Everybody has a right to be wrong in their opinions, but nobody has a right to be wrong in their FACTS; Get the facts on recovery from the founders and authentic historical documentation...

Hello Family;

I want to introduce you to a publication that is being read in and around AA as a vital part of understanding the success that the pioneers of AA had in the program. And it is also a source of vital statistical information pertaining to the "Faith of the Founders" and the "God of their understanding".

I have been asking myself why most of the people I meet in our family and fellowship are reluctant to look back into the factual history of the program that many say has saved their lives ? What is it about the talk of God, or more particularly Jesus, that has so many people troubled to the point they won't even mention God or Jesus in a meeting ?

I have shared this book with a number of old timers and a few new comers who have raved about the authenticity, and accuracy of the information contained in it... and the clarity with which this information has been presented!

I want to get back to the successes they had early on, by opening the discussion and witness among those members of this fellowship who have had the very same experiences as the founders; and have been relieved of the compulsion that is part of the phenomena of craving; and have done so by the Grace of God as a result of sincere and fervent prayer!

You can log on to the site at and begin to read and examine the materials, or you can contact me and let me know if you would like a copy of this book for yourself...

I'm looking for 10 to 20 people who profess Jesus and the God of the Bible as their higher power and would like to participate in a good old fashioned "Good Book & Big Book Meeting" just as the founders did in Akron !

I'm open to your thoughts so contact me and let me know if you'd be interested in being a founding member of an AA meeting group that is committed to bearing witness to the truth and history of the program!

I'm grateful for the fellowship, but disappointed by the lack of knowledge that is conveyed by it's membership with respect to the Power of God and Jesus Christ as it was acknowledged and presented by the founders

Let me hear from you !

SOB Date 12/28/1984

Leonard Grubb
Phone 440-354-5922
Cell 216-496-0406

Sovereign Confidentiality Notice:
This private email message, including any attachment(s) is limited to the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain Privileged and/or Confidential Information. Any and ALL Political, Private or Public Entities, Federal, State, or Local Corporate Government(s), agent(s), investigator(s), or informant(s),, and/or Third Party(ies) working in collusion by collecting and/or monitoring MY email(s), and any other means of spying and collecting these communications Without my Exclusive Permission are Barred from Any and All Unauthorized Review, Use, Disclosure or Distribution.
With Explicit Reservation of ALL My Rights, Without Prejudice and Without Recourse to Me.
Any omission does not constitute a waiver of any and/or All Intellectual Property Rights or Reserved Rights.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chaplain Leonard Grubb, Coalition Participant, Launches New A.A. History and Recoveery Site

Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 10:03 AM
Subject: HI Dick.. just got your email on the new web presence...

I guess I should be keeping you informed....

Check this out...

It is my intention to feature your writing and information as my authoritative source

On much of the content that we will be producing ...

JUST Launched !!

I am an Internet marketer remember ??

Leonard Grubb
Phone 440-354-5922
Cell 216-496-0406

Join my mailing list; Grubb & Associates : Mailing List Signup

Sovereign Confidentiality Notice:
This private email message, including any attachment(s) is limited to the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain Privileged and/or Confidential Information. Any and  ALL Political, Private or Public Entities, Federal, State, or Local Corporate Government(s), agent(s), investigator(s), or informant(s),, and/or Third Party(ies) working in collusion by collecting and/or monitoring MY email(s), and any other means of spying and collecting these communications Without my Exclusive Permission are Barred from Any and All Unauthorized Review, Use, Disclosure or Distribution.
With Explicit Reservation of ALL My Rights, Without Prejudice and Without Recourse to Me.
Any omission does not constitute a waiver of any and/or All Intellectual Property Rights or Reserved Rights.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Dialogue with an AA Who Likes A.A. History, But Fears Christian Viewpoints in A.A.

A Dialogue with an AA Who Likes A.A. History, But Fears Christian Viewpoints in A.A.

Dick B.

Dear Paul P.

Thank you for writing. A.A. is not a Christian Fellowship today. It

cannot be a Christian Fellowship today. And it will not be a Christian

Fellowship in the future. In fact, I cannot think of a quasi religious

program that is more diverse and varied than A.A. You might consider the

difference between Bill's "broad highway" and Dr. Bob's Twelfth-stepping

Christian techniques in Akron. They did not quarrel or split. I believe you confuse my 42 volume, 700 article reports on our roots--biblical, new thought, Oxford Group, Jungian, Jamesian, Roman Catholic, secular, agnostic, atheist, humanist, and unbelieving with my devoted attention to letting Christians who are in recovery be free from intimidation and ignorance coming from those who do not recognize the difference between diversity and tolerance. I hold with what may be the best of A.A. today:

(1) A focus on helping the newcomer who still suffers. (2) Love and service

as the essence of the Steps, and (3) love and tolerance as a code for members. There is plenty of room for Christians in A.A. today.

And there is more than enough room for those who are in therapy, hospitals, detox, rehabs, recovery, in treatment, in churches, in synagogues, in Ashrams, in Indian Sweat tents, in Buddhist shrines, and humanist organizations to help others recover from alcoholism by learning what A.A. was, is, and should continue to be.

Former General Manager, Chairman of the Trustees, and "senior advisor" Bob P. hit the nail on the head when, on his retirement, he said his biggest concern is the rigidity the fellowship has developed--trying to control others, telling them what they can do and read, and barring them from writing about what they believe. Thanks for expressing your view and interest in our history. It is this latter point in your message that propels me to take the time to answer your courteous letter.

Should you wish to support and further the historical quest, let me know.

Dick B.

Author, 42 titles & over 700 articles on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement

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.

Facebook: DickBmauihistorian




-----Original Message-----
From: Paul P
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 1:22 PM
Subject: Your AA history blog

  I have read some of your blogs with interest. You are certainly

correct the history is not discussed anymore, at least not within the

meetings I attended. My recent attempt to bring some history to my home

group has been met with apathy and poor attendance during our book

studies of Pass It On, Dr Bob and the Good Old Timers, and AA comes of age.

I am a little, and i think this is the only word I can use, disturbed by

what appears to be an attempt, desire or wish on your part to make AA a

christian organization once more.

Many of us have sought out groups that are specifically not within a

church or religious setting as we do not believe in the idea of Jesus

been our savior.

The program works because of a God of OUR understanding. Not mine not

yours nor the particular group chairman's but yet as an all inclusive

God that we can all believe in.

I look forward to reading more of your blog and my own personal history

search into the roots of AA.

Paul P

Alcoholics Anonymous History: Accurate, Complete, Unrestricted Contriibutions

A New Group to broaden unrestricted, accurate, ongoing contributions to and comments on Alcoholics Anonymous History: Group name: dickbaahistory
Group home page:
Group email:
Facebook friends, Twitter Followers, and Those Focused on helping the alcoholic and addict who still suffers are invited and welcome.
dickbaahistory: Dick B., Accurate A.A. History

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A.A. Holiday Studies, James, Jesus' Sermon, 1 Cor 13

Alcoholics Anonymous History

Holiday Study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Alcoholics Anonymous History:

Alcoholics Anonymous History -- the origins, the roots, and the early tools can be your special, simple, inexpensive way of reading, studying, learning, and applying three of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship program's absolute essentials--as Dr. Bob called them. The three, in the order of your holiday study of A.A, can be (1) The Book of James in the Bible. (2) Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in the Bible, and (3) 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible--the so-called chapter on love.

Studying Each Chapter in the Bible along with A.A. Literature - one portion at a time

Your study can be easy. You can take one Bible chapter at a time. You can use one of Dick B.'s commentaries on the segment and the chapter. And you can have the Big Book and Steps at your side.

Asking Guidance from God, and Learning A.A.'s Roots in the Bible

The starting place, of course, is seeking God's guidance as to what He wants you to read, absorb, and apply from the particular chapter of what Dr. Bob called "the Good Book." See: Dick B., The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible. You can order it online..

Alcoholics Anonymous and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Bill W. and Dr. Bob—both cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous—each said that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5, 6, and 7) contained the underlying spiritual philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous. And there is much much more to the link than that.

Relevant Items to Look for:

These three chapters of the Gospel of Matthew (5, 6, and 7) form the foundation for many specific expressions and also many of the words in the A.A. Big Book and program. One can start with “Thy will be” done which is found in the Big Book and Matthew 6:10 where Jesus used those words in what some call the “Lord’s Prayer. And in the beginning of A.A. and for many years thereafter, the Lord’s Prayer closed each meeting of the fellowship.

Sermon ideas can be found in Jesus’ Sermon as well as Big Book-Step ideas such as the Third Step “decision,” the Fourth Step Inventory where one is called on to look for his part or wrong in a resentment or harm situation. Also in Steps 8 and 9 where one is called on to agree with his adversary and to settle up any wrongs (make amends) before he goes to the altar to worship. Step 10, of course, is a repeat of many of the ideas in 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9. Dr. Bob’s frequently used “Heavenly Father” language comes from this and other Gospel segments. “Practicing the principles” in Step 12 originally encompassed obeying the Ten Commandments (of which Jesus spoke when he talked of loving God and your neighbor), the Beatitudes which Dr. Bob’s wife called “Christ-like virtues to be cultivated,” and the so-called “Golden Rule” embodied in so many of the suggestions for kind, loving, patient, and forgiving nature.

Holiday Study Groups incorporating Jesus’ Sermon

Since we first featured this piece of history, many AAs, Christian and otherwise, have formed Big Book/Bible Study groups. Some called "James Clubs."

Your Specific A.A. Guide: The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials:

Use this all-important guide by Dick B., The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials. This guide book covers each of the three “essential” Bible segments considered absolutely essential. And therefore it is a great guide to A.A. and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. You can order this online.

You'll find a chapter by chapter, verse by verse, comparison of portions of Matthew 5, 6, and 7 (the entire sermon) with significant Big Book and other A.A. literature.

Three Suggested Study Tools:

Again, your study tools: The Book of James, The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials, and The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible. All available to you on line., 808 874 4876.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

God is not a "chair." Not in A.A. Not anywhere!

God is not a “chair.” Not in A.A. Not anywhere!

Dear Dave: Thanks so much for your important points and letter.

Yes. There certainly is an organization that is seeking to do something

about the drift away from God. The organization is International Christian

Recovery Coalition. And participating free in the Coalition is the first step to helping still further. I am having

my son Ken forward that information to you right away.

Please look at the mission statement on

If this is acceptable, please---at no cost to you---send me your listing which

can read something like this:

            “David C. Eanes, Recovered Christian believer, mail address, city, state, zip, phone,

You should know that the Coalition is a growing world-wide fellowship of Christian participants who are

“Bible Friendly, A.A. Friendly, History Friendly, and Recovery Friendly.”

Growing in participants every day. You can see the names on the website

There is a strong movement of Christians IN A.A., 12 Step Fellowships, and treatment work who disdain the idolatry,

appreciate and serve in A.A. or recovery area, and who believe the early A.A. Christian Fellowship program and ideas

can be applied IN A.A. today. We have just completed almost 30 meetings in California, Maui, and

Oahu reporting the history and the progress of the movement. Like you, we see no point in fleeing A.A. just because

the Adversary is---as he always is---lurking in the fellowship to blind people to the power of God. 1 Peter 5:8!

Thanks again for calling, and don’t hesitate to phone.

Dick B.

Author, 42 titles & over 650 articles on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement

(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.

Facebook: DickBmauihistorian

From: Dave
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:31 AM
Subject: An Early A.A. Suggestion: May You Find God Now!

Hi Dick,

I just read your “An Early A.A. Suggestion: May You Find God Now!” on and I wanted to applaud you for telling it like it is.

As a matter of fact I was in a noon meeting today and after hearing someone say that ‘Program’ tells him that it’s ok for him to call a ‘chair’ his higher power, I just couldn’t resist commenting.  I’ve heard this kind of thing over and over in meetings and I just couldn’t take any more.

I responded firmly but respectfully: “Nowhere in the Big Book does it say that a ‘chair’, ‘Good Orderly Direction’ or even ‘The Group’ can be a substitute for God.  That philosophy is one that’s evolved in the fellowship over the years and IMHO it’s not what Bill W. meant when he writes of the ‘God of Your Understanding’.  Of course there was rebuttal.  Fortunately I didn’t get nailed to the cross.

I read recently that the success rate of newcomers staying clean and sober in A.A. has dropped to an all-time low of 5%.  That amazes me, or more accurately it appalls me.  Quite a far cry from the 75% that’s mentioned in the Big Book.  If the 5% is accurate, then what’s the point.

I firmly believe that the decline of the Program is a direct result of the Fellowship getting away from the roots of the program.  And GOD is at the very center of those roots.

I’m a Born Again Christian and my Savior died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.  Jesus Christ is “The Way, the Truth, and the Life”, “no one comes to the Father but through him”.  This belief is at the very core of my being and the answer to recovery for me.  I struggle not to share that in meetings.  Yet, I contain myself and don’t.

But when we take GOD (i.e. The Father, The Creator of Heaven and Earth) out of the program we have completely lost our way.  We have stepped so far away from what Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the first 100 intended that we’re in danger of becoming completely ineffective.

It seems to me that it’s way past time that we do something about this.  There must be a significant number of folks in the Program that believe and agree with what you’ve said in your article.  I’m wondering if there’s any group that is trying to work within A.A. (the key word being within) to change this trend and move back towards what the Program was intended to be.  If so, I’d like to take an active part in it.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous History: Early A.A. with families and in the homes

There is a wealth of historical material now which makes it clear that early A.A. in Akron embraced the family and the home. Alcoholics Anonymous History is really a history that begins in Akron--Akron Christian Fellowship, Akron Number One. Men were members. Wives and family members participated. And the focus was in the homes of the pioneers.

The home: The focus of early Alcoholics Anonymous History can be found in the homes of the pioneers. They fellowshipped together daily. They daily met at the Smith Home for Quiet Time led by Dr. Bob's wife Anne. They visited each other, broke bread together, and phoned each other (if they could afford phones) and profited from the warm welcome they received in Akron homes. In addition, once each week, they met for a "regular" meeting on Wednesdays with the tiny Oxford Group people at T. Henry Williams' home in Akron. They had address books with the names, phones, and addresses of each of the pioneers

You can find it all in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, A.A.'s Co-Founders Pamphlet P-53, and Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous Dr. Bob's kids also detailed much of the same material in their excellent book Children of the Healer.

Of course, a number of the early AAs actually lived in the homes of Dr. Bob and Anne, Tom Lucas, Wally G. and others. This was during their shaky period and enabled them to have fellowship with other believers, counsel from Anne Smith, Dr. Bob, Henrietta Seiberling, and others. And to have many of the benefits of the First Century Christianity which observers saw in the Akron fellowship.

See also: and

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous History: Our Latest Project

Alcoholics Anonymous History: Our Latest Project

By Dick B.

© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

For many years, my son Ken and I have watched as book after book, guide after guide, "Bible" after “Bible,” workbook after workbook, and "scholarly" papers on A.A. have uniformly tended to miss the boat when it came to researching and reporting "real" Alcoholics Anonymous History.

By this, I mean they have often and erroneously attributed A.A.'s origins to the Oxford Group. In so doing, they have failed to research or report the Christian upbringing of A.A.'s cofounders. They have failed to report how the first three AAs got sober without the Oxford Group and without Steps, Traditions, or Big Book. They have failed to report the immense influence of the Bible on A.A. and its founders--in the case of Akron A.A.--and of Rev. Sam Shoemaker--when it came to the language of the Big Book and 12 Steps. And they have failed to give the Bible the prominence it had in early A.A. where it was used at every meeting, taught by the leaders, and read by the newcomers and old-timers alike.

They have fallen into the trap of emphasizing the supposed importance of the Washingtonians while ignoring the fact that this movement--though large--was of short duration, failed utterly, and did not at all emphasize belief in or reliance on God.

They have often failed to report the importance of the Book of James, Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 in early A.A. and even of the quotes in Bill's Big Book from these sources. They have also failed to note how many times the early writings--devotionals like The Runner's Bible and The Upper Room, and books like Drummond's The Greatest Thing in the World (1 Corinthians 13)--popped up again and again in the books and pamphlets of early A.A. and even in the Oxford Group at times.

This is not a treatise on what has been missing.

It is a report on why we have recently undertaken several projects in which fine Christian writers who are deep into recovery work have invited us to write introductions or appendices for their publications, including books, workbooks, and even a reprint of the first edition of the Big Book. These publications simply introduce readers of all stripes and hues to the important Christian origins, history, founding, original program, and great successes of the Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship.” They document the principles of the Akron program. They detail the 16 practices that the early AAs used. All when there were no Steps, no Traditions, no Big Book pages, no drunkalogs, and no meetings as we know them today.

There is a growing, mighty wind of interest and desire to learn accurate Alcoholics Anonymous history, to report it widely, to present it completely, to teach it frequently, to incorporate it in Christian recovery work and literature, and to apply it IN today's 12 Step programs.

We can now name four major publications which have added or are about to add such an A.A. history Foreword, Introduction, or Appendix; and also a number of recent books and articles which we have written that set the stage for the new Christian Recovery Movement. They can and will turn A.A. and recovery eyes back on the origins of A.A. and encourage a reinstatement IN today's fellowships of those principles and practices which led early A.A. to claim an overall 75% success rate in early A.A. and a documented 93% success rate in Cleveland A.A. (where the first A.A. Group was founded on May 11, 1939.)

We are eagerly awaiting any and every opportunity to "beef up" the already-successful Christian recovery work with the Alcoholics Anonymous history elements. Please consider the importance and value of this ongoing Christian recovery tool.