Monday, August 31, 2015

Christ, the Cross, and the Holy Ghost in the Big Book? Yep.

By Ken B. (based on research by Dick B.)
© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Did you know that there have been at least five (5) versions of A.A. cofounder Bill W.’s personal testimony known as “Bill’s Story” in the current (fourth, 2001) edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (“the Big Book”)?

1.      Bill Wilson, “W. G. Wilson’s Original Story.”[1]

2.      “Another ‘pre-original manuscript’ draft of chapters [one and two] in the Big Book.”[2]

3.      “Chapter One: Bill’s Story” in what Bill W. called the “prepublication copy of the text and some of the stories,” also known as the “Multilith Edition” and as the “Original Manuscript.”[3]

4.      “Chapter One: Bill’s Story” in the printer’s manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous.[4]

5.      “Chapter One: Bill’s Story” in Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism (New York City: Works Publishing Company, 1939).[5]

A number of people have pointed to Bill W.’s mention of Christ in the current (fourth, 2001) edition of the Big Book:

To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man, not too closely followed by those who claimed Him. His moral teaching—most excellent. For myself, I had adopted those parts which seemed convenient and not too difficult; the rest I disregarded.[6]

But they have often failed to note several important points relating to Bill’s comment about Christ: (1) The context of Bill’s statement; (2) Bill’s Christian upbringing and the Christian training he experienced in common with Ebby T. at Burr and Burton Seminary during Bill’s senior year there (1912-1913); and (3) Bill’s life experiences up to the time of his late-November 1934 meeting with his old school friend Ebby.

As to the context of Bill’s statement, on page eight, Bill discusses his release from Towns Hospital after his third stay there in September 1934 for treatment of alcoholism by Dr. Silkworth. He then moves on to “the end of that bleak November [in 1934],” when he received a telephone call from his “old school friend,” Ebby T. And Bill continues writing about his late-November 1934 interaction with Ebby until page 13, at which point Bill moves on to discuss his fourth and final stay “at the hospital” for treatment of alcoholism by Dr. Silkworth—an event which took place from December 11-18, 1934, at Towns Hospital. His discussion of his interaction with Ebby and his (Bill’s) thoughts about that meeting occupy about one-third of “Bill’s Story.” His reunion with Ebby and what they discussed made up a very important part of what Bill hoped to get across through his story about A.A.’s proposed solution for overcoming the problem of alcoholism.

As to Bill W.’s Christian upbringing, see, for example: Dick B.’s The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creator's Role in Early A.A.[7] As to some of the Christianity in Ebby’s upbringing and family, see Mel B., Ebby.[8] And as to Bill’s life experiences up to the time of his meeting with his friend Ebby, it is important to remember that—despite Bill’s Christian upbringing—after the unexpected death of his Burr and Burton Seminary school mate, and “girl friend,” Bertha Bamford, in November 1912 during Bill’s senior year at Burr and Burton, Bill blamed God for Bertha’s death and turned his back on God. And, with the exception of Bill’s brief-but-profound spiritual experience with God at Winchester Cathedral in England in August 1918 on his way to fight in France during World War I, he had not really thought much about God since. That is, until Dr. Silkworth had discussed with Bill during Bill’s third stay at Towns Hospital for treatment of alcoholism in September 1934 that the Great Physician (Jesus Christ) could cure Bill of his alcoholism.[9] And then, about two months later, his friend Ebby showed up sober at Bill and Lois’s house at 182 Clinton St. in Brooklyn talking about how he (Ebby) had been saved (Ebby said, “I’ve got religion.”[10]) and that God had done for him what he could not do for himself.[11]

Now let’s look at an earlier version of Bill W.’s discussion of Christ found in “W. G. Wilson’s Original Story,” an account which would seem to be the earliest version of what has come to be known as “Bill’s Story” in the Big Book.

Late one afternoon near the end of that month of November I sat alone in the kitchen of my home. As usual, I was half drunk and enough so that the keen edge of my remorse was blunted. . . . Just as I was trying to decide whether to risk concealing one of the full ones within easy reach of my side of the bed, the phone rang.

. . . Over the wire came the voice of an old school friend and drinking companion of boom times. By the time we had exchanged greetings, I sensed that he was sober. This seemed strange, for it was years since anyone could remember his coming to New York in that condition. I had come to think of him as another hopeless devotee of Bacchus. Current rumor had it that he had been committed to a state institution for alcoholic insanity. I wondered if perhaps he had not just escaped. Of course he would come over right away and take dinner with us. A fine idea that, for I then would have an excuse to drink openly with him. . . .

The door opened and there he stood, very erect and glowing. His deep voice boomed out cheerily - the cast of his features - his eyes - the freshness of his complexion - this was my friend of schooldays. There was a subtle something or other instantly apparent even to my befuddled perception. Yes - there was certainly something more - he was inexplicably different - what had happened to him?

We sat at the table and I pushed a lusty glass of gin flavored with pineapple juice in his direction. . . .

"Not now", he said. I was a little crest fallen at this, though I was glad to know that someone could refuse a drink at that moment - I knew I couldn't. "On the wagon?" - I asked. He shook his head and looked at me with an impish grin.

"Aren't you going to have anything?"- I ventured presently.

"Just as much obliged, but not tonight" I was disappointed, but curious. What had got into the fellow - he wasn't himself.  

"No, he's not himself - he's somebody is else - not just that either - he was his old self, plus something more, and maybe minus something". I couldn't put my finger on it - his whole bearing almost shouted that something of great import had taken place.

"Come now, what's this all about", I asked. Smilingly, yet seriously, he looked straight at me and said "I've got religion".  

So that was it. Last summer an alcoholic crackpot - this fall, washed in the blood of the Lamb. [H]eavens, that might be even worse. I was thunderstruck, and he, of all people. What on earth could one say to the poor fellow.

So I finally blurted out "That's fine", and sat back waiting for a sizzling blast on salvation and the relation of the Cross, the Holy Ghost, and the Devil thereto. Yes, he did have that starry-eyed look, the old boy was on fire all right. Well, bless his heart, let him rant. It was nice that he was sober after all. I could stand it anyway, for there was plenty of gin and I took a little comfort that tomorrow's ration wouldn't have to be used up right then.

Old memories of Sunday School - the profit temperance pledge, which I never signed - the sound of the preacher's voice which could be heard on still Sunday mornings way over on the hillside beyond the railroad tracks, - My grandfather's quite scorn of things some church people did to him - his fair minded attitude that I should make up my mind about these things myself - his convictions that the . . . spheres really had their music - but his denial of the right of preachers to tell him how he should listen - his perfect lack of fear when he mentioned these things just before his death - these memories surged up out of my childhood as I listened to my friend. My own gorge rose for a moment to an all time high as my anti-preacher - anti-church folk sentiment welled up inside me. These feelings soon gave way to respectful attention as my former drinking companion rattled on. Without knowing it, I stood at the great turning point of my life - I was on the threshold of a fourth dimension of existence that I had doubtfully heard some people describe and others pretend to have. 

He went on to lay before me a simple proposal. It was so simple and so little complicated with the theology and dogma I had associated with religion that by degrees I became astonished and delighted. I was astonished because a thing so simple could accomplish the profound result I now beheld in the person of my friend. To say that I was delighted is putting it mildly, for I realized that I could go for his program also. Like all but a few . . . human beings I had believed in the existence of a power greater than myself. True atheists are really very scarce. It always seemed to me more difficult and illogical to be an atheist than to believe there is a certain amount of law and order and purpose underlying the universe. The faith of an atheist in his convictions is far more blind then that of the religionist for it leads inevitably to the absurd conclusion that the vast and ever changing cosmos originally grew out of a cipher, and now has arrived at its present state through a series of haphazard accidents, one of which is man himself. . . .

Such was the picture I had of myself and the world in which I lived, that there was a mighty rhythm, intelligence and purpose behind it all despite inconsistencies. I had rather strongly believed.

But this was as far as I had ever got toward the realization of God and my personal relationship to Him. My thoughts of God were academic and speculative when I had them, which for some years past had not been often. That God was an intelligence power and love upon which I could absolutely rely as an individual had not seriously occurred to me. Of course I knew in a general way what theologians claimed but I could not see that religious persons as a class demonstrated any more power, love and intelligence than those who claimed no special dispensation from God though I granted that Christianity ought to be a wonderful influence I was annoyed, irked and confused by the attitudes they took, the beliefs they held and the things they had done in the name of Christ. People like myself had been burned and whole population put to fire and sword on the pretext they did not believe as Christians did. History taught that Christians were not the only offenders in this respect. It seemed to me that on the whole it made little difference whether you were Mohammedan, Catholic, Jew, Protestant or Hotentot. You were supposed to look askance at the other fellows approach to God. Nobody could be saved unless they fell in with your ideas. I had a great admiration for Christ as a man. He practiced what he preached and set a marvelous example. It was not hard to agree in Principle with His moral teachings but like most people, I preferred to live up to some moral standard[s] but not to others. At any rate I thought I understood as well as any one what good morals were and with the exceptions of my drinking I felt superior to most Christians I knew. I might be weak in some respects but at least I was not hypocritical. So my interest in Christianity other than its teaching of moral principles and the good I hoped it did on balance was slight.

Sometimes I wished that I had been religiously trained from early childhood[12] that I might have the comfortable assurance about so many things I found it impossible to have any definite convictions upon. The question of the hereafter, the many theological abstractions and seeming contradictions - these things were puzzling and finally annoying for religious people told me I must believe a great many seemingly impossible things to be one of them. This insistence on their part plus a powerful desire to possess the things of this life while there was yet time had crowded the idea of the personal God more and more out of my mind as the years went by. Neither were my convictions strengthened by my own misfortunes. The great war and its aftermath seemed to more certainly demonstrate the omnipotence of the devil than the loving care of an all-powerful God

Nevertheless here I was sitting opposite a man who talked about a personal God who told me how he had found Him, who described to me how I might do the same thing and who convinced me utterly that something had come into his life which had accomplished a miracle. The man was transformed; there was no denying he had been reborn. He was radiant of something which soothed my troubled spirit as though the fresh clean wind of mountain top blowing through and through me I saw and felt and in a great surge of joy I realized that the great presence which had made itself felt to me that war time day in Winchester Cathedral had again returned.

As he continued I commenced to see myself as in as in an unearthly mirror. I saw how ridiculous and futile the whole basis of my life had been. Standing in the middle of the stage of my life's setting I had been feverishly trying to arrange ideas and things and people and even God, to my own liking, to my own ends and to promote what I had thought to be true happiness. It was truly a sudden and breath-taking illumination. Then the idea came – “The tragic thing about you is, that you have been playing God.” That was it. Playing God. Then the humor of the situation burst upon me, here was I a tiny grain of sand of the infinite shores of God’s great universe and the little grain of sand, had been trying to play God. He really thought he could arrange all of the other little grains about him just to suit himself. And when his little hour was run out, people would weep and say in awed tones—“How wonderful.”

So then came the question – If I were no longer to be God than was I to find and perfect the new relationship with my creator – with the Father of Lights who presides over all ? My friend laid down to me the terms and conditions which were simple but not easy, drastic yet broad and acceptable to honest men everywhere, of whatever faith or lack thereof. He did not tell me that these were the only terms – he merely said that they were terms that had worked in his case. They were spiritual principles and rules of practice he thought common to all of the worthwhile religions and philosophies of mankind. He regarded them as stepping stones to a better understanding of our relation to the spirit of the universe and as a practical set of directions setting forth how the spirit could work in and through us that we might become spearheads and more effective agents for the promotion of God’s Will for our lives and for our fellows. The great thing about it all was its simplicity and scope. [N]o really religious persons belief would be interfered with no matter what his training. For the man on the street who just wondered about such things, it was a providential approach, for with a small beginning of faith and a very large dose of action along spiritual lines he could be sure to demonstrate the Power and Love of God as a practical workable twenty four hour a day design for living.

This is what my friend suggested I do. One: Turn my face to God as I understand Him and say to Him with earnestness - complete honesty and abandon that I henceforth place my life at His disposal and direction. forever. . .  [13]

It is intriguing to note Bill W.’s references in his personal testimony to “the blood of the Lamb;” “salvation and the relation of the Cross, the Holy Ghost;” “Christianity;” “the name of Christ,” and “Christians” that did not make it into later versions of “Bill’s Story.” But their presence in this very early—perhaps “original”—version of his personal story begins to make sense once one has an understanding of Bill W.’s and Ebby’s shared Christian experience at Burr and Burton Seminary during Bill’s senior year there in 1912-1913. During that school year:  

1.     Bill and Ebby attended Burr and Burton Seminary’s required Bible study course;[14]

2.     Bill and Ebby attended Burr and Burton Seminary’s required daily chapel (which included hymns, prayers, Bible reading, and sermons);[15]

3.     Bill was president of the seminary’s Young Men’s Christian Association;[16]

4.     Bill’s “girl friend,” Bertha Bamford, was president of the seminary's Young Women’s Christian Association;[17] and

5.     Ebby lodged for the entire school year with Rev. Sidney K. Perkins, minister of the First Congregational Church in Manchester, Vermont (where Burr and Burton Seminary was and still is located).[18]

In closing this article, it is also important to remember that A.A.’s cofounders, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, were Christian laymen, not ministers or theologians.

[1] Bill Wilson, W. G. Wilson’s Original Story, no date, typescript, Stepping Stones archive, Katonah, New York. Dick B. was given permission by the Stepping Stones archivist at the time, Paul Lang, to photocopy this unpublished manuscript. Each line in the manuscript is numbered, with the lines numbers going from 1 to 1,180. And Dick B. discussed this document in a number of his published titles, including: (1) Dick B., The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous, new, rev. ed./3rd ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1992, 1995, 1998), 373 [called “Bill Wilson’s Original Story”]; (2) Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, Newton ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1992, 1998), 327-28 [called “Bill Wilson’s Original Story”]. Dick B. states in footnote 31 (on page 28) concerning this manuscript: “The author obtained a copy of this manuscript from Bill’s home at Stepping Stones during his October, 1991, visit there.” (3) Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1994, 1999), 580 [called “Bill Wilson’s Original Story”]. (4) Dick B., Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes (San Rafael, Calif.: Paradise Research Publications, 1997), 82, fn. 1 (continued from page 81) [called “Bill Wilson’s Original Story”];
Here are two places on the Internet where (purported) reproductions of this manuscript may be seen currently: (1); accessed 8/29/2015; and (2) “Message 6500 . . . Original draft of Bill’s Story; From: bbthumpthump . . . 5/1/2010 3:47:00 PM;; accessed 8/28/2015.”
[2] In this (purported) document, the chapter titled “There Is a Solution”—now chapter two in the book Alcoholics Anonymous—is chapter one. And the chapter titled “Bill’s Story”—now chapter one in the book Alcoholics Anonymous–is chapter two. Bill W. said about these two chapters: “Some time in March or April [1938] I began to work on what was to become the book Alcoholics Anonymous. [—Bill’s wife Lois, who kept a diary, stated in her memoir, Lois Remembers, that the start date for the Big Book was actually in May 1938.] By the time our big money push was under way {“from early summer to early fall [1938]”—page 152 in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age} I had completed my own story and had roughed out what is now the second chapter of the A.A. book. Mimeographed copies of these two chapters were part of the paraphernalia for the money-raising operation, . . .” See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1957), 153.
This (purported) document—with no accompanying explanation as to where it came from—appears in several places on the Internet; e.g.: (1); accessed 8/29/2015; (2) “Pre-Original Draft of Chapter 1 & 2”:; accessed 8/29/2015; and (3) “‘There Is A Solution’ & the 2nd Draft of ‘Bill's Story’”:; accessed 8/29/2015.
[3] “‘Chapter One: Bill’s Story’ in the ‘Original Manuscript’”:; accessed 8/29/2015. Bill W. stated concerning what he called “a prepublication copy of the text and some of the stories”: “By January [1939] the Akronites had produced eighteen fine stories. . . . With somewhat more difficulty the New York group produced ten stories. . . [T]he story section of the book was complete in the latter part of January, 1939. So at last was the text. . . . But someone . . . sounded a note of caution. . . . ‘. . . Had we not better make a prepublication copy of the text and some of the stories and try the book out on our own membership and on every kind and class of person that has anything to do with drunks?’ . . . Four hundred mimeograph copies of the book were made and sent to everyone we could think of who might be concerned with the problem of alcoholism.” See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 164-65.
[4] See “Chapter One: Bill’s Story” in The Book That Started It All: The Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 2010): For additional information on the printer’s manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous, see, for example: “The ‘Holy Grail’ of Alcoholics Anonymous”:; accessed 8/29/2015. Bill W. stated about the preparation of the printer’s manuscript: “By now great numbers of the 400 mimeographs which had been sent out had been returned. . . . Nothing now remained except to prepare the printer’s copy of the book. We selected one of the mimeographs, and in Henry’s clear handwriting all the corrections were transferred to it. [“Henry” was Bill’s business partner and first “successful” sponsee in the New York area, Henry (Hank) P., who later got drunk around September 1939.] There were few large changes but the small ones were very numerous. The copy was hardly legible and we wondered if the printer would take it, heavily marked up as it was.” See Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 167, 169.
[5] The first printing of the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous was published in April 1939. Its copyright date was April 10, 1939. On April 10, 2014, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., published the 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous , an exact reprint of the first printing of the first edition of the Big Book: See also: Alcoholics Anonymous: “The Big Book”: The Original 1939 Edition, with a new Introduction [23 pages] by Dick B. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2011).
[6] Chapter One, “Bill’s Story,” in Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed. (New York City: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001), 11.
[7] Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creator’s Role in Early A.A. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2006).
[8] Mel B., Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W. (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 1998).
[9] Dick B., “A.A., Dr. William D. Silkworth, and the ‘Great Physician’”:; accessed 8/30/2015.
[10] Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 9.
[11] Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 11.
[12] Bill W.’s comment here about his wishing he “had been religiously trained from early childhood” is misleading. Dick B. has written about Bill’s Christian upbringing and training in several of his published titles and in numerous articles. Bill’s Christian upbringing included: (1) Bill’s mother’s recounting to him from his earliest childhood days his paternal grandfather  William C. (“Willie”) Wilson’s religious conversion experience which freed Willie from his alcoholism; (2) Bill’s attendance at Sunday school at East Dorset Congregational Church; (3) Bill’s reading the Bible with his maternal grandfather, Gardner Fayette Griffith; and (4) the various Christian activities in which Bill participated at Burr and Burton Seminary. Here’s just one example: Bill Wilson's pastor, D. Miner Rogers of East Dorset Congregational Church, awarded Bill a New Testament for one quarter-of-a-year’s perfect Sunday school attendance right after Bill and his sister Dorothy returned from Rutland in 1906. There is an inscription in the New Testament Bill received. It reads:  “Will Wilson, for perfect attendance at Sunday School, Fourth Quarter 1906 from his pastor D. Miner Rogers East Dorset Vt. Jan 1, 1907 II Tim.3/14.15.” See: “The Library of Books found at Stepping Stones, the historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson”: [This information is found near the end of the document under the listing for “various” (i.e., miscellaneous/otherwise unclassified items)].
[13] “Bill’s Original Story”:; accessed 8/30/2015. Please note that I have corrected a few obvious typos, but have left several of the typo’s in the text—some of which were in the typed manuscript, and some of which were introduced by the person who attempted to reproduce my dad’s (authorized) copy of the typed manuscript.
[14] Ken B., “A.A. Cofounder Bill W.'s Four-Year Bible Study Course While Attending Burr and Burton Seminary”;; accessed 8/30/2015.
[15] Dick B., “A.A. Cofounder Bill W.: His Younger Years at a Glance”;; accessed 8/30/2015.
[16] Bill W., My First 40 Years (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 2000), 29.
[17] Manchester Journal [Manchester, Vermont], Number 31, Thursday morning, November 21, 1912, Volume LII, page 3 (unnumbered) under “Manchester Center”:; accessed 8/30/2015.
[18] Mel B., Ebby, 51.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Standing on the Promises of God

Standing on the Promises of God 

By Dick B.
© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved

When I first entered the rooms of A.A. in April 1986, I frequently heard a disabled Army colonel who had lost his hearing, gone through several divorces, encountered seemingly-endless troubles. The colonel often said, “It’s not a bed of roses out there.” But I took his statement to mean that though the going might be rough, we all could make it if we tried. Here are the Bible verses which I frequently reviewed and which enabled me to be victorious. One such verse is found in the book of Exodus: 

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. [Exod 15:26 KJV] 

Another verse I often recited to my self is found in the book of Psalms: 

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. [Psa 103:1-5, 8 KJV] 

Another is found in Mark chapter 16:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. [Mark 16:15, 17-20 KJV] 

Both A.A. cofounders, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, placed great emphasis on the importance of the book of James, 1 Corinthians 13, and “the Sermon on the Mount.” And we stress that standing on the promises of God should be grounded on the following verses from the book of James: 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. [Jam 4:7, 10 KJV] 

Standing on the promises of God is what early AAs did. 

Gloria Deo

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Huge Opportunity to Serve God, Help Others, and Improve Your Life

A Huge Opportunity to Serve God, Help Others, and Improve Your Life


By Dick B.

© Anonymous 2015. All rights reserved


·         I will be 90 years old tomorrow. (I was born May 15, 1925.)

·         I have more than 29 years of continuous sobriety in A.A. (I got sober April 21, 1986.)

·         I have dozens of clean, sober, accomplished, service-oriented, new friends in recovery.

·         I know thousands of Christians in recovery.

·         I encourage those who believe or seek to believe that they—and others suffering from alcoholism and addiction—can depend upon Almighty God for their recovery.

·         I well remember the many people who came from all over the United States and Canada to the huge conference my son Ken and I hosted at Mariners Church Community Center in May 2009 (with tremendous help from Rev. Jim Gaffney and others) for Christians concerned about recovery. And at that conference, Ken and I were able to describe and report the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible play and can play in recovery from alcoholism and addiction.

·         I know many Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena who have become “Participants” in the International Christian Recovery Coalition Ken and I founded in July 2009 (

·         I know many people who do not want to support any takeover of Alcoholics Anonymous by the atheists and agnostics who are trying to exclude God from recovery or re-write a program that will blot out the need for “Divine aid,” and obscure the facts about what God can do for those still suffering (

·         I know many who have not read or heard what Dr. Bob wrote in his Big Book story about his feeling sorry for atheists and agnostics, followed by his asserting in the final sentence of his personal story: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”

·         I continue to reach out to all those who are friendly to each other.

·         I continue to reach out to those who believe they can help others by love and service.

·         I continue to reach out to those who grasp the fact that hatred of other beliefs or unbelief is poisonous.

·         I continue to seek out and encourage those who are friendly to A.A. fellowships.

·         I continue to encourage groups, meetings, and participants who are friendly to any who seek recovery from alcoholism and addiction, and want to stop the destroyers.

·         I continue to seek out and encourage people who are friendly to those in the fields of religion, science, education, charity, medicine, and psychology—fields composed of those who seek to help others and become informed themselves.

·         I continue to appreciate the dozens and dozens of sponsees who have asked and allowed me through the years to help them.


There has been growing a loud voice from opponents and destroyers of fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. Most of you know how much you have enjoyed and profited from all the activities, achievements, and rewards of A.A. Most believe that God can and will and does do for suffering alcoholics and addicts what they could not do for themselves.


·         Please consider that thousands have participated in the International Christian Recovery Coalition and its conferences. We believe the strong testimonial approach of the original AAs is the most persuasive and effective method of standing tall for God’s help. It allows the many who have been rebuked for mentioning God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible to tell believers, other recovery participants, and others who strongly seek to help others, to stand on the ideas that A.A. will perish, if we forget where we came from; and that,  if we do not have before us the truth that God has the (best) solution for overcoming the problem of alcoholism, do not carry that message to those who still suffer, the (original, highly-successful) A.A. program will be lost.


·         Please communicate with us in any way you choose; and let us know your suggestions, questions, and views as to how to keep God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Bible in the same, clear, successful role that prompted millions to choose the “old-school” A.A. program for their complete healing. 


Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov 3:5-6 KJV)



Gloria Deo

Monday, May 4, 2015

Orthodoxy looks at A.A. and Author Dick B.'s Research

The 12 Steps are the Green way to recovery.
Yes, I am kidding.
Sure, the recovery rate in AA is low... because the meetings are open and most people take years to get to a point of willingness.  AA is meant for the 'hopeless alcoholic,' not the newbie abuser with plenty of spunk and lots of ambition.  Read the histories written by Dick B. and you will see that AA has changed dramatically in that respect.
The 'pill' does not rebuild the relationships broken by addiction, nor does it cure the inner suffering the Steps address.
No pill can replace the healing of repentance and conversion.  No pill can make your amends for you.  No pill can replace the sense of God's love and mercy.
No pill can make you Sober.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tables of Contents for All 31 Volumes of "The Dick B. A.A. History & Christian Recovery Reference Set"

Tables of Contents for the 31 Volumes of

“The Dick B. A.A. History and Christian Recovery Reference Set”


By Dick B. and Ken B.

© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved



The 31-Volume


“Dick B. A.A. History and Christian Recovery Reference Set”





Contents of A New Way In


Part 1:  The Akron A.A. Christian Program That Cured Alcoholics

Part 2:  Teach the Puzzled Seeker Some Special Fragments of Early A.A. History and Roots

Part 3:  Tell the Newcomer the Pioneers Were Cured. Ask, “Why Not You?”

Part 4:  For Facts about Why Early A.A. Succeeded, Look at the Successful Powerhouses That Preceded and Influenced It

Part 5: Look at Several Newly-Researched Factors That Point up the Major Structure of the Early A.A. Program

Part 6:  What Every Christian in Recovery Ought to Know Individually



Contents of A New Way Out


Chap. 1:           Directions for “The New Way Out”

Chap. 2:           Additional History on Programs That Have Gone Before

Chap. 3:           The Two, Diverse Recovery Program Origins; and the Three Emerging, Varied Approaches in Akron, Cleveland, and New York

Chap. 4:           Parallels from the Groups Contributing to Akron’s Pioneer Program

Chap. 5:           Jerry Dunn’s Relevant Viewpoints [He wrote God is for the Alcoholic]

Chap. 6:           Picking Your Way along Today

Chap. 7:           Hindrances Today Blocking the Path of Return to Original Spiritual Roots and Power

Chap. 8:           The Importance of Choice

Chap. 9:           The Choice of “A New Way Out”





Contents of Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939


Foreword to the First Edition

Preface to the Revised Paradise Edition



Chap. 1:           A Lady of Faith, Courage, and Love

Chap. 2:           The Elements of the Twelve Steps

Chap. 3:           The Books That Anne Read and Recommended

Chap. 4:           Anne’s Discussion of 28 Oxford Group Concepts

Chap. 5:           Spiritual Principles

Chap. 6:           Conclusion


Appendix:       28 Oxford Group Principles That Influenced A.A.



Contents of By the Power of God





Part 1:  The Starkness and Darkness of the Problem and the Simplicity of the Early Solution


Chap. 1:           My Personal Debt to, and Opportunities from, A.A.

Chap. 2:           What Believers Involved in Today’s Twelve Step Programs May Be Seeking

Chap. 3:           The Simple Program as A.A.’s Pioneers Described It

Chap. 4:           The Real Foundations of A.A.’s Pioneer Program


Part 2:  You Can Start a Good Book/Big Book Group in a Variety of Ways


Chap. 5:           The Basics Early AAs Borrowed from the Bible

Chap. 6:           The Oxford Group Path in Pioneer A.A.’s Steps

Chap. 7:           Quiet Time, Devotionals, and the Guidance of God

Chap. 8:           Anne Smith’s Specific Journal and Twelve Step Ideas


Part 3:  Sam Shoemaker, Bill’s Acknowledged Mentor, and A.A.’s Six Basic Roots


Chap. 9:           Oxford Group Leader Sam Shoemaker’s Input

Chap. 10:         Putting the Steps and Their Sources Together


Part 4:  A Vision for You


Chap. 11:         Can There Be Pioneer Groups in Today’s A.A.?

Chap. 12:         Guides for Groups Direct from A.A.’s Pioneers

Chap. 13:         What Such Meetings Can Accomplish

Chap. 14:         What You Can Do Today


Appendix:       Dr. Bob’s Bible and A.A. Group No. 1

Select Bibliography



Contents of Cured! Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts





Chap. 1:           The Earliest A.A. Days

Chap. 2:           Let’s Use Simple Words That People Understand

Chap. 3:           Newcomer Netting

Chap. 4:           What History Can Teach You in, and about, A.A. Itself

Chap. 5:           Offering More than Abstinence

Chap. 6:           Facing “Reality” with “Divine Help”

Chap. 7:           Talking Plainly about the Creator

Chap. 8:           There Is More to Cure than Abstinence

Chap. 9:           My Own Table of Tips

Chap. 10:         Cured and Victorious! Putting the Pieces Together





Contents of Dr. Bob and His Library


Foreword to First Edition

Preface to the Third Edition



1.      The Story of Dr. Bob’s Reading

2.      Sources of Information about His Books

3.      The Books Dr. Bob Owned, Read, and Recommended

a.       The Bible

b.      Books about the Bible

c.       Christian Classics

d.      The Life of Jesus Christ

e.       Daily Bible Devotionals

f.       Prayer

g.      The Sermon on the Mount

h.      Love

i.        The Oxford Group

j.        Dr. Samuel M. Shoemaker

k.      Two of A.A.’s Other “Founders” (William James & Carl Jung)

l.        Authors of Special Interest to Dr. Bob

m.    Religion and the Mind

n.      Quiet Time

o.      Miscellaneous

p.      The Weatherhead Puzzle

q.      The Calvary Evangel List of Oxford Group Literature

r.        Healing

4.      What’s New

5.      Dr. Bob’s Biblical Sources Emerge

6.      Some Final Thoughts


Appendix 1: Dr. Bob’s Biblical and Christian Background

Appendix 2: Inventory of Books on Hand at Calvary House, September 12, 1933







1.         The “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont                        

2.         The Challenge and Direction of the Dr. Bob Resource Volumes                  

3.         A.A.’s Dr. Bob and His St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Roots                              

4.         Dr. Bob’s Birthplace and Boyhood Home                                                    

5.         North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury                                                

6.         The Christian Endeavor Society and Its Legacy to Alcoholics Anonymous

7.         The St. Johnsbury Academy                                                                          

8.         The Fairbanks Family of St. Johnsbury, Vermont                                         

9.         The Town of St. Johnsbury of Dr. Bob’s Youth                                           

10.       The YMCA and St. Johnsbury, Vermont: 1875-1898                                   

11.       The Original, Akron A.A. Spiritual Program of Recovery







Contents of God and Alcoholism: Our Growing Opportunity in the 21st Century


Chap. 1:           The Real Facts about A.A.’s Pioneer Group

Chap. 2:           A.A.’s Great Role: A Review of, and Experiences with, the Practices, Principles, and Values of A.A. in the 20th Century

Chap. 3:           The Good News: What God Can Do about Alcoholism

Chap. 4:           The Nonsense “gods” of Recovery

                                    Let’s Begin with Some Definitions

                                    Some “Higher Power” Homework

                                    Some Additional “Higher Power” Homework

                                    What Is “a Power greater than ourselves”?

                                    Another New “god” in A.A.? Or the Creator?

                                    “God as we understood Him”

                                    An Alleged Compromise That Opened the Door

Chap. 5:           The Opportunity

Chap. 6:           Why Bring up God—Again!





Contents of Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.


Preface to Revised Edition



Chap. 1:           What’s It All About?

Chap. 2:           It Began in the Bible

Chap. 3:           Listening through the Ages

Chap. 4:           Quiet Time Roots

Chap. 5:           Quiet Time Practices

Chap. 6:           What Early AAs Borrowed

Chap. 7:           History to the Rescue






Contents of Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause


Chap. 1:           A Brief Glance at Henrietta’s Life

Chap. 2:           An Accurate Description of A.A.’s Real Spiritual Roots

Chap. 3:           Henrietta’s Special Role as a Non-Alcoholic Woman Who Helped Found A.A.

Chap. 4:           Akron’s Oxford Group Encounters

Chap. 5:           Distinguishing Akron’s Program from Bill’s Later 12 Steps

Chap. 6:           The Exit of the Oxford Group: Observations about A.A.’s Connection with the

Oxford Group

Chap. 7:           Let Go and Let God



Contents of Introduction to the Sources and Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous


1.      Introduction to the Sources and Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

2.      Part One: The Akron Genesis Period

3.      Part Two: The New York Conversion Period

4.      Part Three: The Original A.A. Program That Akron Developed

5.      Part Four: The Works Publishing Company Program That Bill W. Fashioned

6.      Part Five: The Reshaping of the Big Book Program Beginning in 1939

7.      Conclusion






Contents for Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous




Part 1:  Historical Research Papers, Letters, Pictures, and Tapes


            Manuscripts, Correspondence, and Papers in Dick B.’s Personal Files

                        Materials Gathered from Archives

                        Materials Gathered on or about A.A. Founders

                        Materials Gathered Concerning A.A.’s Spiritual Sources

                        Materials from the Founders’ Homes

                        Materials about Special Early A.A. Personalities

                        Fragments of, on, or about A.A. History

                        Concluding Materials Pertaining to Dick B.’s Research

            The George Vondermuhll, Jr. Materials on the Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament

            The Danny Whitmore Historical Materials

            The Dennis Cassidy Collections of Recordings of All Bill Wilson’s Public Talks

            Rare Items


Part 2:  Historical Books, Pamphlets, and Articles on Alcoholics Anonymous


            Publications about Alcoholics Anonymous

            Publications Approved by Alcoholics Anonymous

            Pamphlets Circulated in Early A.A.

            Alcoholics Anonymous: Pro, Con, and Evaluated


Part 3: Spiritual History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous


            The Bible Versions of and Books About

Quiet Time and Inspirational Books, Pamphlets and Bible Devotionals Popular with Dr. Bob and Early AAs, as Well as More Recent Meditation Books

Publications by or about the Rev. Dr. Samuel Moor Shoemaker, Jr.

Publications by or about the Oxford Group and Oxford Group People

Books by or about Oxford Group and A.A. Christian Mentors

Christian and Other Religious Literature Pertaining to Early A.A.

            The Books of Dr. Bob’s Library

            Background Books A.A. Pioneers Read

Miscellaneous Books Used in Dick B.’s Research and Writings


Part 4:  Temperance, Anti Saloon League, Prohibition, Abstinence, Alcohol Books and Pamphlets of an Earlier Time


Part 5:  Recent Books and Articles on Alcoholism, Addictions, and Dependency


Part 6:  Details on Contributors and Their Collections


Part 7: Our Advisory Council Supporting Members



Contents of New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A.


List of Appendices

Foreword to the Pittsburgh Edition

Foreword by Nickie Shoemaker Haggart

Foreword by Julia Harris




Part 1:  Sam and A.A.’s Heart


Chap. 1:           Sam Shoemaker, “Co-founder” of Alcoholics Anonymous

Chap. 2:           Sam Shoemaker’s New Light

Chap. 3:           Sam’s Unmistakable Footprints in the Twelve Steps

Chap. 4:           The Parallels between the Shoemaker Language and Alcoholics Anonymous Language


Part 2: Sam’s Writings and Talks, and A.A.


Chap. 5:           The Shoemaker Writings Prior to A.A.’s Big Book

Chap. 6:           Sam’s Remarks to and about A.A.


Part 3: The Shoemaker Relationship with A.A.


Chap. 7:           Shoemaker’s Relationship with Bill Wilson

Chap. 8:           Sam, the Great Communicator, and His Letters

Chap. 9:           Shoemaker and His Bible

Chap. 10:         Shoemaker Ideas That “Took” in A.A.


Part 4: Sam’s Legacies for Us Today


Chap. 11:         The Pittsburgh Afterglow

Chap. 12:         What Shoemaker’s Contributions Can Mean for All of Us Today


Appendix 1:    28 Oxford Group Principles That Influenced A.A.

Appendix 2:    The Oxford Group Literature Read by AAs

Appendix 3:    The January 22, 1935, Letter from Sam to Bill W.

Appendix 4:    The Irving Harris Memorandum Regarding Bill W. and Sam

Appendix 5:    Entries in Sam Shoemaker’s Journals (1934-1939) about Bill Wilson

Appendix 6:    the Oxford Group Businessmen’s Team

Appendix 7:    Lois Wilson’s Oxford Group Notebook

Appendix 8:    Two Important Bill Wilson Letters

                                    Bill’s Letter of April 23, 1963, to Sam

                                    Bill Wilson’s April 1953 Memo as to “Original AA Steps”

Appendix 9:    The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Appendix 10:  Excerpts from The Calvary Evangel and Calvary Church Yearbook

Appendix 11:  Lessons from the Original Personal Stories of A.A. Pioneers

Appendix 12:  Alcoholism Statistics and A.A. Success Rates

Bibliography (pages 575-595)



Contents of Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous: God’s Role in Recovery Confirmed!


Chapter 1:       Experience, Strength & Hope: Stories from the First Three Editions of Alcoholics Anonymous

Chapter 3:       Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition: Part 2

Chapter 4:       Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition: Part 3


Appendix 1:    “Why Don’t You Choose Your Own Conception of God?”

Appendix 2:    Key Highlights in the Writing of the Big Book with Approximate Dates

Appendix 3:    The Expression “Religious Experience” and the “Solution” to Alcoholism

Appendix 4:    Occurrences of the Phrase “Spiritual Experience” in the 4th Edition

Appendix 5:    The 20 Personal Stories in “the Printer’s Copy” of Alcoholics Anonymous



Contents of Real Twelve Step Fellowship History: The Old-School A.A. You May Not Know




Part 1:  The Original A.A. Program of Recovery


Part 2:  The “Absolute Essentials” of the Good Book Program in Akron


Part 3:  The Substantial Changes in A.A. from 1939 to 1955


Part 4:  How Adding a History Element to Recovery Can Help the Newcomer Today


Appendix:       New Testament Healing Records Categorized

                                    Dead or Nearly Dead People Made Alive or Healed

                                    Lepers Cleansed

                                    Paralyzed People Healed

                                    People with Fevers Healed

                                    Woman with the Hemorrhage (or “Flow of Blood”) Healed

                                    Blind People Healed

                                    A Man with a Withered Hand Healed

                                    A Man with Dropsy (or Edema) Healed

                                    A Man with an Infirmity 38 Years Healed

                                    Lame People Healed

                                    People Who Were Lunatick Were Healed

                                    Several Types of Sickness and Disease Healed in the Same Setting

                                    Evil Spirits Were Cast Out




Contents of Stick with the Winners!


           Introduction: “Old-School” Christian Recovery         9


1.      Resources for “Old-School” 12 Step Recovery Meetings      15

Conference-approved Resources  17

Other Resources    18

2.      Conference-Approved Literature Foundations          23

Alcoholics Anonymous            23

The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous   28

DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers     29

3.      The Real Akron A.A. Program           33

4.      16 Key Practices of the Real Akron A.A. Program    35

5.      “Old-School” A.A. and First Century Christianity    47

Many Compared Early A.A. to First Century Christianity    48

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his representatives        49

 “First Century Christianity” in the Book of Acts      51

A.A.’s Christian Predecessors            55

The Vermont of Dr. Bob and Bill W.’s youth            55

Christian Recovery before A.A.         57

Dr. Bob and Bill W.’s Christian Upbringings 68

The Conversion Factor in Bill W.’s Life         69

Many Early AAs Claimed They Were “Cured”         71

6.      “Old-School” Elements That Can Be Used Today    75

7.      How to Conduct “Old-School” Recovery Meetings  85


Conclusion      93



Contents of That Amazing Grace: The Role of Clarence and Grace S. in Alcoholics Anonymous






Part 1:  Getting Acquainted with Grace and Clarence


Chap. 1:           My Introduction to Grace

Chap. 2:           “Amazing” Grace: A Biographical Sketch

Chap. 3:           Now about Clarence


Part 2:  As Grace Recalls


Chap. 4:           Clarence and A.A.’s Founding Years

Chap. 5:           A.A.’s Roots in the Bible

Chap. 6:           The Oxford Group Ideas and Influence

Chap. 7:           T/he Big Book, Steps, and A.A. Fellowship


Part 3:  The Ministry of Clarence and Grace


Chap. 8:           Ambassadors for Christ in A.A.

Chap. 9:           Grace Carries On

Chap. 10:         The Point of It All







Contents of The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous


List of Appendices

Foreword to First Edition






Part 1:  The Beginnings


Chap. 1:           The Roles of James D. Newton and Russell (“Bud”) Firestone

Chap. 2:           A Grateful Harvey Firestone, Sr., and the 1933 Oxford Group Events


Part 2:  A.A.’s Akron Progenitors and Their Major Contributions


Chap. 3:           An Overview

                                    Their Qualifications

                                    The Oxford Group Literature

                                    28 Oxford Group Principles That Influenced Alcoholics Anonymous

                                    Dr. Bob and His Wife, Anne

                                    Lois Wilson’s Oxford Group Notes

                                    Bill’s Synopsis of What He Found

Chap. 4:           T. Henry and Clarace Williams

Chap. 5:           Henrietta Seiberling’s Spiritual Infusion

Chap. 6:           Anne Smith, Her Love, and Her Spiritual Workbook

Chap. 7:           Dr. Bob, His Library, and His Spiritual Studies

Chap. 8:           Bill Wilson and the Akron Genesis

Chap. 9:           The Oxford Group Crucible: 1933-1935


Part 3:  The Alcoholic Squad of the Oxford Group in Action


Chap. 10:         The Laboratories

Chap. 11:         Frank Amos Reviews the Evidence

Chap. 12:         Akron’s Part in the Big Book

Chap. 13:         The Alcoholic Squad in Akron Becomes Alcoholics Anonymous


Part 4:  The Akron Taproot


Chap. 14:         Akron as One Part of the Picture

Chap. 15:         Traces of Akron in the Big Book

Chap. 16:         Conclusion


Appendix 1:    Excerpt from The Upper Room

Appendix 2:    Excerpt from My Utmost for His Highest

Appendix 3:    Excerpt from Victorious Living

Appendix 4:    Excerpt from Daily Strength for Daily Needs





Contents of The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed.



Preface to the Seventh Edition




Chap. 1:           The Bible: “The Main Source Book of All”

Chap. 2:           Dr. Bob’s Reading and Recommendations

Chap. 3:           Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939

Chap. 4:           The Upper Room and Bible Devotionals

Chap. 5:           Henrietta Seiberling’s Books

Chap. 6:           T. Henry and Clarace Williams’ Library

Chap. 7:           The Oxford Group Literature

Chap. 8:           The Reverend Sam Shoemaker’s Books and Writings

Chap. 9:           Bill and Lois Wilson’s Comments

Chap. 10:         Nell Wing’s Recollections

Chap. 11:         Pioneer Clarence S.

Chap. 12:         Comments of Other A.A. Oldtimers

Chap. 13:         Some Suggestions for You

Chap. 14:         Conclusion


Appendix:       Inventory of Books on Hand at Calvary House September 12, 1933




Contents of The Conversion of Bill W.




Ch. 1:   “The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth”

Ch. 2:   The God of the Preachers

Ch. 3:   Two Heralds of Divine Help on Its Way for Alcoholics

Ch. 4:   The Turning Point: Bill’s Decision for Christ

Ch. 5:   “For Sure I’d Been Born Again”

Ch. 6:   Repent, and Be Converted

Ch. 7:   “If There Be a Great Physician, I’ll Call on Him”

Ch. 8:   “Ye Shall Know Them by Their Fruits”

Ch. 9:   Open Their Eyes That They May See: Manna from Heaven

Ch. 10: The Touch of the Master’s Hand

Ch. 11: “With a Mighty Hand, and with an Outstretched Arm”

Ch. 12: As Bill Saw It: “Thy Will Be Done”



Appendix: “Conversion” in the Bible




Contents of The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference


Part 1:    The Theme and Purpose of the Conference

Part 2:    Alcoholics Anonymous, the Founders, and Belief in Almighty God

Part 3:    The Spiritual Beginnings of A.A.

Part 4:    The Real Program of Early A.A.

Part 5A: Introduction

Part 5B: The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)

Part 5C: The Book of James

Part 5D: 1 Corinthians 13

Part 6:    Rev. Sam Shoemaker, an A.A. “Co-Founder” and Spiritual Source

Part 7:    What the Creator Did and Can Do for Our Fellowship





Contents of The Golden Text of A.A.: God, the Pioneers, and Real Spirituality


Chap. 1:           We Will Tell You about . . .

Chap. 2:           What Early AAs Thought about God Almighty

                                    The Pioneers Believed in God

                                    The Pioneers Understood Who God Is

                                    Willing Unbelievers Came to Believe in God

                                    The Pioneers Believed That, When Sought, God Heals

Chap. 3:           Their Path, Jesus Christ, and a Relationship with God

                                    Steps along the Path

                                    The Miraculous Result

Chap. 4:           The Golden Text of A.A. They Adopted

Chap. 5:           The Critical Need to Seek God Again Today

                                    Self-help Will Not Cut It. That Is Not a Solution

                                    Medical Help and Psychological Help Have Not Cut It

                                    The Four Early A.A. Factors Needed Today

Chap. 6:           Two Challenges for Real Spirituality Today



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


Foreword to the First Edition




1.      "Lest We Forget Early AAs and Their Bibles!"

Early A.A.'s Success Rate Compared to Today

The Historical Evidence of A.A.'s Good Book Roots

The Oxford Group-Shoemaker Impact

Bible Devotionals and Other Early A.A. Literature

The Purpose of Our Book

2.      God!

The Frequency of Biblical Names for God

God is

A Loving God

A Special "god" for A.A.?

Whence Came "Higher Power?"

Bill Wilson's Higher Power

"God As We Understood Him"

"A Power Greater Than Ourselves"

3.      Biblical Impact on Big Book Language

Direct Quotes from the Bible

Recognizable Biblical Words and Concepts

A.A. Slogans and Watchwords with Biblical Roots

Two Other Biblical Concepts

4.      The Parts Dr. Bob Found "Essential"

The Thirteenth Chapter of First Corinthians

The Book of James

The Sermon on the Mount

5.      The Good Book and the Twelve Steps

Step One and Deflation at Depth

Step Two, Willingness, Belief, and Seeking

Step Three and the Decision to Surrender

Step Four and Self-examination

Step Five and Confession

Step Six, Conviction and Readiness to Change

Step Seven, Humble Submission and Rebirth

Step Eight, Willingness To Make Amends

Step Nine, Restitution

Step Ten and Daily Corrective Action

Step Eleven, Prayer, Guidance, Growth, Power

Step Twelve, Awakening, Witness, Practice of Principles

6.      Keeping It Simple

The Original Six Steps

Simmered Down to the Last (Love and Service)

7.      The Good Book and A.A. Today






Contents of The Good Book-Big Book Guidebook:

How to Include the Creator’s Impact on Early A.A. in Recovery Programs Today


Chap. 1:           History: The Inclusion in Recovery of A.A.’s Biblical Origins and Christian Fellowship

Chap. 2:           The Healing Evidence at the Time When A.A. Was Born

Chap. 3:           Alcoholics Anonymous, the Founders, Belief in Almighty God, and Divine Healing

Chap. 4:           The Spiritual Beginnings of A.A.

Chap. 5:           The Real Program of Early A.A.

Chap. 6:           The Materials from the Bible That Dr. Bob Considered “Absolutely Essential”

Chap. 7:           The Approach Early Akron AAs Took While They Sought Christian Healing

Chap. 8:           The Practical Use and Application of This Guide


Selected Bibliography

Appendix 1:    Catch the Wave

Appendix 2:    A.A. History Study Meetings



Contents of The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials




Chap. 1:           AA.’s Book of James

Chap. 2:           The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in A.A.

Chap. 3:           A.A.’s Connection with The Greatest Thing in the World


Appendix 1:    Outline of the Original Program

                                    The Akron Crucible Where It All Began

                                    The Real Program of Early A.A.

                                    An Overview of What They Did in Akron

                                    The Frank Amos Reports in 1938

                                    The Big Book Publication in 1939

Appendix 2:    Comparing the Christian Endeavor Root

Appendix 3:    The Two Different A.A. Root Streams

Appendix 4:    Background on the Bible’s Book of James and James the “Author”

Appendix 5:    The Difference an Identification of the Creator Makes



Contents of The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous






Ch. 1: The Roots of Early A.A.’s Success Rate (pp. 1-37)

Ch. 2:  Mentors Who Influenced the Oxford Group’s Founder (pp. 39-72)

Ch. 3:  Frank Buchman and His First Century Christian Fellowship (pp. 73-105)

Ch. 4:  Sam Shoemaker’s Oxford Group Role (pp. 107-35)

Ch. 5:  The A.A. Links: Arrivals and Departures (pp. 137-48)

Ch. 6:  28 Oxford Group Principles That Influenced A.A. (pp. 149-297)

Ch. 7:  Oxford Group Traces in A.A.’s 12 Steps and Big Book Language

Ch. 8:  Conclusion


            Bibliography (pp. 371-90)

            Index (pp. 391-411)



Contents of Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes






Chap. 1:           The Lacuna


Part 1:  A Spiritual Program for Drunks


Chap. 2:           The Oxford Group Roots

Chap. 3:           A.A.’s Spiritual Beginnings


Part 2:  The Good Book Source


Chap. 4:           God

Chap. 5:           The Sections of the Bible Dr. Bob Found “Essential”

Chap. 6:           Biblical Impact on Big Book Language

Chap. 7:           The Good Book and the Twelve Steps


Part 3:  The Oxford Group’s Contribution


Chap. 8:           28 Oxford Group Principles That Influenced A.A.

Chap. 9:           Sam Shoemaker—“Co-Founder” of A.A.

Chap. 10:         Oxford Group Traces in A.A.’s Twelve Steps


Part 4:  Other Spiritual Sources


Chap. 11:         Anne Smith—“Mother of A.A.”

Chap. 12:         Dr. Bob and the Literature

Chap. 13:         Quiet Time and the Devotionals


Part 5:  History to the Rescue


Chap. 14:         Putting It All Together

Chap. 15:         Use It or Lose It!


Appendix 1:    The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Appendix 2:    Parallel Oxford Group-Big Book Phrases





Contents for Twelve Steps for You:

Take the Twelve Steps with the Big Book, A.A. History, and the Good Book at Your Side




Chap. 1:           Begin Your Step Study by Reviewing the Original Akron Program and Learning How A.A. Really Began

Chap. 2:           Begin Your Study of the Steps by Looking First at the Bible and at Each Step’s Known Bible Origins

Chap. 3:           With the Bible Origins in Mind, Study Each Step to Learn the Basic Ideas It Contains from the Oxford Group

Chap. 4:           Once You Have Learned the Bible Sources and the Oxford Group Ideas, Then Study Each Step, Observing How Closely It Parallels the Language of America’s Oxford Group Leader, Sam Shoemaker

Chap. 5:           . . . Then See How Much of the Bible Material, Oxford Group Ideas, and Shoemaker’s Writings Were Being Taught in Early A.A. in Anne Smith’s (Dr. Bob’s Wife’s) Writings

Chap. 6:           Read Carefully This Study and Critique of What Bill W. Claimed Were Six Steps—Six “Word-of Mouth” Ideas Already in Place

Chap. 7:           . . . Consider the Steps in Company with the Three Bible Parts Dr. Bob Called “Absolutely Essential” Lest Some Highly Important Spiritual Resources of the A.A. Program Be Forgotten

Chap. 8:           Studying the Steps Mindful of Other Major Contributing Literature

Chap. 9:           Start Taking Your Steps Precisely as Directed by the Big Book—Then Make Your Judgments

Chap. 10:         Consider This Possible Biblical View of the 12 Steps Using History as Your Guide


Additional References



Contents of Utilizing Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today


Chap. 1:           The Spiritual Beginnings of A.A.

Chap. 2:           The Bible in Early A.A.

Chap. 3:           Quiet Time, Morning Watch, and Meditation

Chap. 4:           The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous

Chap. 5:           Sam Shoemaker, “Co-founder” of A.A.

Chap. 6:           Anne Smith, “Mother of A.A.,” “Founder,” Dr. Bob’s Wife

Chap. 7:           The Books and Materials Early AAs Read

Chap. 8:           Utilizing A.A.’s Spiritual Roots Today



Contents of When Early AAs Were Cured and Why


Chap. 1:           What They Were Saying at Yale (in the 1940's about the Miracle of God’s Cure for Drunks)

Chap. 2:           The Spiritual Origins of Alcoholics Anonymous:

A Much Needed Historical Perspective.

Bill Wilson's "Religious" Background

Dr. Bob's Bible training, Christian Beliefs, and Religious     Affiliations

Historical Void Resulting from Failure to Distinguish Between Differing Inputs of Founder

The Bible Dr. Bob Source

The Akron Genesis and Its Bible/Dr. Bob Source

Dr. Bob's Youth, Religious Training, and Christian Church Involvement

Dr. Bob's Assertions on the Bible's Importance

Old Fashioned Prayer and Revival in Akron Meetings

The Christian Endeavor Movement Impact

Descriptions of Christian Endeavor

The Oxford Group Bill W. Source

The Rowland Hazard Starting Point

Bill Wilson's Conversion

The Real Message as to the New Man in Christ Not Yet Fashioned, and Not from Bill

Melding the Two Different Sources Was the Appointed Task of Bill W.

Chap. 3:           The Akron Crucible Where It All Began

The Real Program of Early A.A.

An Overview of What They Did in Akron

The Frank Amos Reports in 1938

The Big Book Publication in 1939

The Akron A.A. Recovery Pamphlets

The Special Role of Three Women Pioneers—Anne Smith, Henrietta Seiberling, Eleanor Forde

Chap. 4:           The Real Spiritual Roots of Early A.A.'s Program of Recovery

The Six Major Biblical Roots

The Bible

Quiet Time

Anne Smith's Journal

The Teachings of Rev. Shoemaker

The Life-changing Program of the Oxford Group

The Christian Literature the Pioneers Studied

Other "Spiritual" Roots

Carl Jung

William James

The “New Thought” crowd

The "Farther Out" crowd

Bill Wilson's Tight Rope

Confusions Among the Conclusions

Chap. 5:           Who Let the "goofy gods" into A.A.

Who Is God as Early AAs Spoke of Him

Bill's Injected Substitutionary Words—Never Intended to Invent "Other" gods

Not Intended as False gods

“God as We Understood Him”

“A Power Greater Than Ourselves”

“Higher Power”

Enter the "goofy gods" through the Back Door

A.A. People May Be Sick But They Are Not Stupid

Is There Any Prospect That the Nonsense Will Go?

Chap. 6:           The Bible and Alcoholics Anonymous

The Overview

Yahweh, the Creator

Three Segments Dr. Bob Considered Essential

Additional Parts

A Different Scene Today

A Study of the Sermon on the Mount in A.A.

A Study of the Book of James in A.A.

A Study of 1 Corinthians 13 in A.A.

Chap. 7:           The Creator and the Cure of Alcoholism: Miracle or Myth?

What Is the "Alcoholism" of Which the Pioneers Were Cured?

The Countless Claims of Cure by Early AAs

There Is Nothing New When It Comes to God's Miracles and Cures

The A.A. Detour

Back on the Path to Yahweh and Accomplishing the "Impossible"

Cure! A Miracle or a Myth. You Decide


Appendix 1:    The Creator's Personal Name Is Yahweh
Appendix 2:    Rev. Sam Shoemaker, an A.A. "Co-founder" and Spiritual Source
Appendix 3:    Miracles Not to Be Forgotten—Miracles through the Ages Documented
Appendix 4:    For A.A. Pioneers, Alcoholism Was Curable and Cured






The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today

(A Bible Study Primer for AAs and Other 12-Steppers)






1.      The Way Out (The real heart of early A.A. and its quest for deliverance by Almighty God)

2.      What Early AAs Said about Reading the Bible (The real Good Book endorsements by AAs)

3.      The Bible and Recovery (What the Bible was in A.A., what has been lost, where to find God)

4.      Begin Your Bible Study by Learning about God (God’s existence, kids, name, and qualities)

5.      Learning about God’s Word (God's Word--the Bible, His Will, guidance, victory)

6.      Learning about God’s Son, Jesus Christ (The vital importance of keeping Jesus in the picture)

7.      Sin, Love, Choice, Obedience (God’s ways, sin, the need to obey, questions for critics)

8.      Release from Your Prisons (God’s Will; the many releases available; free indeed!)

9.      More to Learn (Prayer, renewed mind, Holy Spirit, resisting the Devil, believing, understanding the Bible as an Eastern Book, figures of speech, manuscripts, word studies)

10.  It’s Not so tough (Believers and students have every right and need to stand tall on the Bible)

11.  What’s on the Platter Today  (What God says; the Bible in A.A.; know the Bible, be bold about God, His Son, and His Word; grow; learn your resources; pass it on; trust God!)


Appendix 1: The Creator’s Name is Yahweh!

Appendix 2: The Materials Dr. Bob considered "Absolutely Essential"

Appendix 3: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (statistics and more)




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The Dick B. A.A. History & Christian Recovery Reference Set