Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dick B. on A.A. "Conference-approved" Myths and Motivations

New Email From AA Historian
Dick B of Hawaii

JANUARY 1, 2012

What “Conference Approved” Literature Means

Please post this much needed article from Pete's Stuff. It incorporates the long-ignored Box 459 article that GSO said it couldn't find.

I receive questions about this all the time; and people at conferences, Central Offices, and meetings are confronted with the conference approved nonsense with great frequency. Any AA can read anything any time anywhere for any purpose. There is no Tradition that says otherwise.

There is no law or rule or Tradition that can or should or will censor or censure what is presented at a meeting.

And if someone thinks they've found the mythical tradition, tell them the Traditions are not laws, are not binding on anyone, and were never intended to prohibit free speech or freedom of religion by AAs or others. Those who suggest otherwise just don't know A.A. Nor do they know that early Alcoholics Anonymous was a Christian Fellowship, studied the King James Version of the Bible, read all kinds of literature--Protestant, Roman Catholic, New Thought, medical, and otherwise, and put out reams and reams of pamphlets and guides as the years went by. See and The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed.

Included were pamphlets from many Central Offices and Intergroups--including the long-running Cleveland Central Bulletin—which had the Oxford Group’s Four Absolutes on its Masthead for  years. Also, the four AA of Akron AA pamphlets, which contained all kinds of quotes from and about the Bible. Also The Four Absolutes themselves as explained in a mid-western A.A. pamphlet—all about the writer’s interpretation of Absolute Honest, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

Then there were other writers mentioned below and not mentioned below--Clarence Snyder, Sister Ignatia, Marty Mann, Father Pfau, Richmond Walker, Ed Webster, and on-and-on. Writings by these AAs or A.A. friends were widely read in A.A. and quoted in A.A. Pfau even had a radio program.

Not to forget over 500 Oxford Group and Sam Shoemaker books and pamphlets that were read and circulated by Dr. Bob himself. And I have read them all and seen them available in many archives.

And, let's not forget that the most ignored and suppressed writing of all - Anne Smith's Journal – which contained the heart of early A.A. was read and discussed almost every morning at the Smith home Quiet Times. In attendance were AAs, families, and kids. See

Take off the shackles, and use your mind! Better still, see what someone else has had to say. Particularly, the Creator through what He revealed in His Word. Our basic ideas came from there.

My recent title Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous specifically identifies hundreds and hundreds of writings that have contributed to the origins, history, founding, principles, and practices of A.A. in just the few years it has been in existence:

God Bless, Dick B.;;;

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