Sunday, May 26, 2013

A.A., Big Book, and Bible

A.A. Big Book Grounded on the Bible


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


Let’s Start at the Right Place


Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in June, 1935. There was no Big Book. There were no Twelve Steps. There were no Twelve Traditions. There were no drunkalogs. There were no meetings as newcomers see them today.


What was there? The Bible!


In the A.A. pamphlet P-53 (The Co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks), A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob stated, in the plainest and most easily understood words: (1) In the early days, we had no Twelve Steps and no Twelve Traditions. (2) The old-timers believed the answers to their problems were in the Bible. (3) The parts they considered absolutely essential were Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, the Book of James, 1 Corinthians 13. (4) It wasn’t until 1938 that the 12 Steps were written. Dr. Bob did not write them and had nothing to do with the writing of them. But the basic ideas came from the teachings, efforts, and studies that had been going on since 1935. Those basic ideas came from the Bible.


Start with the Bible – Where AAs Found Their Answers


As you start with the Bible and look for the foundations of Alcoholics Anonymous, the source of the basic ideas it took from the Bible, and the facts and documents that prove the biblical origins.

You can find them in A.A.’s DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, page 131. You can learn more of the facts from Dick B., The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible and The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolutes Essentials. Then you can read two recent titles by Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners! www. and Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous  And, before you look at the rantings of half a dozen writers (who think the Twelve Steps are the pathway to destruction and that even an association with unbeliever is an assurance that you are hell-bound), be sure to read the personal stories of the pioneers of A.A. as published in the First Edition of its Big Book.


Let the Facts Lead You to the Truth and to Seeking God’s Help


It matters not that some participant in A.A. has a beef against religion, his church, the nuns, or God. Nor does it matter that some anti-A.A. critic wants to paint A.A. with a brush of devilishness.


Nor is talking about what A.A. is or does or believes, or supposedly requires or teaches.

Such erroneous speculation helps nobody—whether it is from the “wisdom of the rooms” or the erroneous reporting from those who fancy themselves liberators of Christians from A.A., rather than among those dedicated to liberating Christian AAs from the ravages of alcoholism and addiction.


Begin with what early AAs studied in the Bible:


In Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” And move to the verse that led all early AAs to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)


For further information on Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book biblical roots and sources, contact A.A. author and historian Dick B. at


Gloria Deo

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The AA Myth-makers Are at It Again

Re: Clarence Snyder was paid for his story?
Posted By:
Fri May 24, 2013 4:07 pm |
  • Options
From: James E Williams <jamesewilliams@...>
(jamesewilliams at

He was not.

My source is the man himself.

I have been sober for 32 years, I sobered up in Castleberry at the Rebos Club,
Clarence was my grandsponsor. He also 12th stepped me. I have been to his house
several times and to meetings with him.


The Wild Goose Chase............................................................. and Glenn C.

Recently, half a dozen history "lovers" have perpetrated a no rules barrered A.A. wild goose chase.

With no documented evidence whatever, they keep tossing around the "question" whether Clarence

H. Snyder got paid for his story in the Big Book.

Of course, he was not.

And what new kind of myth-making or mischief-making has prompted this waste of time and effort and love and service which should be pursued for the benefit of AAs for others to answer.

But the foregoing testimony of James E. Williams is just one of the many eye-witness statements that puts the truth way way ahead of the deceptive "questions" now promulgated by a handful of speculators.

There is other testimony by Steve Foreman, one of four Clarence Snyder sponsees who not only knew Clarence's wife Grace quite well, but also were Clarence's sponsees. Steve, these other sponsees, and their wive have--to a person--put to rest the canard--in which the "lovers" have added a scurrilous letter of half a century ago where the AAWS chastized Clarence for objecting to the royalties being paid to Bill Wilson for his A.A. writings.

For accurate and further information, contact Steve Wilson, Winter Park, Florida who has all the details and would be happy to put this nonsense to rest in your minds.

See also

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dr. Normana Depew of Cheyenne, Wyoming, is latest to become a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition

Welcome to Dr. Normana Depew of Cheyenne Wyoming.

Latest to become a participant Christian leader in International Christian Recovery Coalition

In His Service, Dick B., Executive Director

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Look to the Good Book for Directions on What AA's 11th Step, "Meditation," and "Quiet Time" Meant

A.A., the Eleventh Step, “Quiet Time,” “Prayer and Meditation,” and “Listening to God”


By Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All Rights Reserved


Our Complete Guide for You


For a complete guide, thorough study, and format for study groups—when it comes to setting aside time for God each day and at least following that suggestion in the Big Book--we strongly recommend that you acquire a copy of Dick B., Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. (www.dickb/goodmorn.shtml).


This book tells you the roots of Quiet Time, the real biblical sources for the suggestion, the varied pieces of literature, devotionals, and pamphlets the early AAs used. And it lets you proceed in a way that God’s own Word describes, that early AAs followed, and that was recommended by A.A.’s Christian predecessor organizations and individuals like the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, evangelists like F.B. Meyer, Oxford Group activists, and Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.—whom Bill W. called a co-founder of A.A.


The “Batterson” Substitute


Recently I received several emails from a web manager who does a bang-up job of posting all sorts of A.A.-related historical books, articles, and exhibits. He was asking what I knew about John Batterson, his pamphlet, and status, if any, in the Oxford Group.


While I had never seen anything significant about Batterson in all my Oxford Group-Shoemaker-A.A. history research, I did know that MRA old-timer Jim Houck had passed around an unpublished, undated pamphlet by Batterson on the subject of "listening to God." I leave the merits of that presentation to others. But I did point the web manager to a host of writings through the years on the subject of "The Morning Watch," "Quiet Time," "Quiet Hour," "Meditation," "Guidance," "Listening to God," and so-called “two-way prayer.”


As did Oxford Group leaders and Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Jr., I also looked first to the Bible to see the origins of these ideas--whether they are completely presented or not. And I have covered these items in detail in my title Dick B., Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. (


The Bible and What It Says about How God Communicates


There are many ways in which God and His Son Jesus Christ communicate with man. And any portrayal that sways one away from all of the possibilities simply shortcuts what God Himself had to say in the Scriptures.


God actually spoke to Adam and Abraham. He actually spoke out loud to the children of Israel. He spoke out loud and wrote on two tablets the Ten Commandments. He spoke through angels, prophets, and visions. And, of course, He revealed His Word to holy men who "spake as they were moved" by the Holy Ghost. He spoke through His Son Jesus Christ. And He made communication with believers possible through the gift of the Holy Spirit and the manifestations of word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, tongues with interpretation, prophecy, and so on.


Later writers--except leading biblical scholars like B. H. Streeter, who wrote The God Who Speaks--began shortcutting the process. They added to and subtracted from Scripture. They devised formulae for a way one could "listen" to God. Some called it “two-way prayer.” Some who were familiar with the biblical origins of "Morning Watch" and "Quiet Hour" usually pointed out that a morning quiet period began with prayer, study of Scripture, seeking God's guidance, and often using devotionals in the process. Some added "journaling" and "checking" to the process


Hence I have never viewed simplistic statements of how to get in touch with my Heavenly Father, how to pray to Him, how to "hear" from Him, how to "speak" with Him, and how to discern what is or is not a message from Him as being of much value unless the writer is able to tie the simplistic approach to what the history of God's communications and the illustrations in the Bible actually tell us. Also, to what the Word of God and early AAs had to say about the inability of the “natural man” (one not born again) to understand “the things of the Spirit of God” because they were spiritually discerned by those who had received the gift of the Holy Spirit.


To bring Scripture into focus, consider these excerpts: (1) “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen 1:30 NKJV). (2) “So God created man in his own image . . . in the image of God created he him: male and female. . . Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; and replenish the earth and subdue it . . .” (Gen 1: 27-28). (3) “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Gen 3:13). (4) “And the LORD said unto Moses in Miian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.” (Gen 4:19). “Now after the death of Moses, the servant of the LORD, it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ minister. . .” (Joshua 1:1)


Nonetheless, the Eleventh Step of Alcoholics Anonymous, and much of the other prayer portions of the Big Book, do bring these ideas into play. Therefore, I thought it best to answer my friend by pointing to the wealth of A.A.-history-related material that preceded A.A.'s Big Book and Twelve Steps. And here is what I said about these things and about Batterson:


The little bit that I saw in Batterson's pamphlet and considered relevant is quoted in my Good Morning! book. You can search its contents on Google Books,, or on my web site (using the search box on the "navigation bar" on the left-hand side of the front page). I repeat the following:


1.      F. B. Meyer's The Secret of Guidance was a lead book long before the Oxford Group, A.A., or Batterson came onto any scene.

2.      My research of Christian Endeavor (in which Dr. Bob was active) turned up a large number of Quiet Time books and guides, including one by Dwight L. Moody.

3.      Oxford Group founder Frank Buchman's biographer, Garth Lean, made no mention of Batterson. Nor did long-time Oxford Group activist Willard Hunter ever mention him to me that I can recall.

4.      Sam Shoemaker's books and my books about Sam have a great deal to say about Quiet Time; and Shoemaker's first radio talk was called, "Good Morning." See Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism, 2d ed,


The many Oxford Group and quiet time writers whose books were frequently quoted in connection with guidance, Quiet Time, and "two-way prayer" were:


·         B. H. Streeter, The God Who Speaks

·         Eleanor Forde, Guidance: What It Is and How to Get It

·         Donald W. Carruthers, How to Find Reality in Your Morning Devotions.

·         Howard J. Rose, The Quiet Time

·         Cecil Rose, When Man Listens

·         W. E Sangster, God Does Guide Us

·         Jack C. Winslow, Vital Touch with God: How to Carry on Adequate Devotional Life

·         Jack C. Winslow, When I Awake

·         Hallen Viney, How Do I Begin?

·         Frank D. Raynor and Leslie D. Weatherhead, The Finger of God

·         Miles Phillimore, Just for Today

·         Philip L  eon, A Philosopher's Quiet Time

·         Bremer Hofmyr, How to Listen

·         Philip Marshall Brown, The Venture of Belief

·         Kenneth D. Belden, The Satellites: Is God Speaking-Are We Listening?

·         Mrs. George W. Becker, Quiet Time in the Home

·         Harry J. Almond, Foundations for Faith

·         The Upper Room (a Methodist periodical)

·         Mary W. Tileston, Daily Strength for Daily Needs

·         Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

·         Harry Emerson Fosdick, The Meaning of Prayer

·         S. D. Gordon, The Quiet Time

·         Glenn Clark, I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes

·         E. Stanley Jones, Victorious Living

·         Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

·         The Layman with a Notebook, What is the Oxford Group?

·         Theophil Spoerri, Dynamic Out of Silence

·         Clarence I. Benson, The Eight Points of the Oxford Group


·         More precise and detailed bibliographic information on the foregoing books can be found in Dick B. New Light on  Alcoholism, 2d ed.


I think you should realize that quite some time before Jim Houck dug up and touted the Batterson pamphlet, Jim personally sent me a copy of what he said was the most popular Oxford Group Quiet Time book of the later years. The title of that book is: D. M. Prescott, A New Day: Daily Readings for Our Time, new ed. (London: Grosvenor Books, 1979). As you probably know by now, the Batterson pamphlet that I saw lists neither date nor publisher. See Dick B., The Books Early AA's Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1998).


Working with the Best of the Best


A.A.’s cofounder Dr. Bob called the Holy Bible the “Good Book.” When asked a question about the early A.A. program, his usual response was: “What does it say in the Good Book?” Daily study of the Bible and daily prayer were stressed. And even in their Vermont Christian upbringing, both Dr. Bob and Bill W. were required to study the Bible, attend church, participate in Young Men’s Christian Association activities, attend prayer meetings, and attend Daily Chapel in their respective Christian academies. Daily chapel involved sermons, reading of Scripture, hymns, and prayers and—in Bill’s case—was accompanied by his taking a four year required Bible study course. It was also tied into religious services at Manchester Congregational Church in Manchester, Vermont.


To be brief, our cofounders worked with the best of the best. The best meant conversion to God through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That meant following the precepts in the Bible. It meant prayer. It meant sermons. It meant hymns. It meant prayer meetings. It meant teaching of the Bible by Christian faculty members at the academies and seminaries they attended. It meant the focus of the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Congregational churches they attended, the intense weekly training in Dr. Bob’s case by the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor—in which he and his parents were involved at North Congregational Church. It meant parental training, Sunday school training, and church focus on salvation and the contents of the Word of God.


Here is what “quiet time” for early AAs did not encompass: (1) Spending five minutes or less looking at some periodical like the Upper Room and learning a verse for the day, a brief prayer for the day, and a thought for the day. (2) Placing the Bible before devotionals and Christian literature in matters of importance. (3) “Listening” for anything that came their way – “anything.” (4) Writing down “everything” they thought they heard – “everything.”. (5) And comparing notes as to what they thought God had told them.


Compare this lack of intensity in expenditure of time and effort that the Bible directs to be spent with God as contained in Psalm 119 where verse after verse spoke of the Word as a lamp to the feet and a light to one’s path, walking according to the law, following God’s precepts, obeying God’s commandments, directing one’s steps by God’s word, meditating on God’s precepts, and having God teach His statutes.


In 2 Timothy 3:15-17; the following injunction is given:


And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


And in Hebrews 13:9:


Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.


Later, when early A.A. was founded, one’s quiet time observance meant spending an hour in the morning with Dr. Bob’s wife Anne Smith. Anne led AAs, their families, and  their children in reading from the Bible, individual and group prayer, a quiet period of seeking God’s guidance, and Anne’s teaching from her journal—See Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal 1933-1939.



Gloria Deo


About the Author



Dick B. is an author, historian, Bible student, retired attorney, CDAAC, and active recovered member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. He has written 46 published titles on A.A. History and Bible roots

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How Our A.A. History Conference in September Will Revive the Movement to Apply Old School A.A. in Recovery Today

Help us grow in understanding, knowledge, and enthusiasm for helping suffering drunks and drug addicts; in defining the niche in recovery for those who depend upon Almighty God for help; and in sharing the many ways these open ideas are growing and can grow today.

We now have groups and individuals of one persuasion and area of service or another all over the United States and in other countries. Many have graciously listed themselves as participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition. But that list needed more details, more accurate identifications, more useful contact information, and more ways in which it can be used to serve.

Now with the International Christian Recovery Coalition Conference in Portland Maine in September 6-7, we saw a great need for updating our participant list. This is so that people in one state or country can readily reach and identify those in another .Another reason was to make available the wide variety of those deeply interested in recovery matters, in Alcoholics Anonymous History, in the Christian Recovery Movement, and in showing people today exactly how present-day A.A. and its conference-approved literature fully support our widespread and growing effort to carve out the niche in recovery for the thousands who want to depend on God for recovery, to learn how it was done in early A.A., how its roots preceded A.A. by almost 100 years, and why those pieces of healing, recovery, spiritual, guidance, and reliance information should be readily known today.

And should be applied by those who finally learn--in the midst of more and more secularization, idolatry, and just plain nonsense gods and "spirituality"--that the A.A. Solution (on page 25 of the Big Book) has always offered hope to the suffering; has charted the path for those who want God's help, and is as applicable if known today as its has been since A.A.'s founding in 1935 to and including 2013.

To that end, my son Ken is contacting each of the individual asking them for renewed and updated listings; showing them the needed mission; and inviting widespread participation in the Maine Inernational Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference.

Quite rapidly, the diverse contributions of the history conference participants are growing day by day. We have doctors, psychiatrists, clergy, pastors, recovery pastors, recovery leaders, treatment program owners and directors, counselors, sober living leaders, impaired professionals groups, leaders familiar with the Salvation Army, the Rescue Missions, the Young Men's Christian Association, the great evangelists like Dwight L. Moody, Congregationalism, Christian Endeavor Society, the Christian upbringing of A.A.'s founders, how those men got sober, where the original A.A. program came from, the successes it achieved. And how the field is wide open for those who are thankful for what they have received and given in 12 Step work, positive about God's role in their work, and desirous of having freedom of viewpoint, belief, expression, and techinque returned to those things which put A.A. on the map beginning in 1935.

We will have speakers, leaders, and particpants telling about Quiet Time, about Conference-approved approaches to the Big Book--Steps--and Fellowships, about eliminating the barriers of anger and distrust that arise when people in our fellowship try to judge, censor, and eliminate those who have different backgrounds and beliefs than they do today.

Please respond when you hear from my son Ken, phone him at 808 275 4945 if you like, contact me when convenient, and let us have your believing, wisdom, experience, solutions, techniques, and support based on A.A.'s own, rich history--so long resting in the shadows and in dire need of revival today.

God Bless, Dick B.

Gloria Deo

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Here's How Your Attendance and Participation in 1st Int. A.A. History Conference, Maine, Sept, Can Really Bless Others

The First International A.A. History Conference

September 6-7, 2013, Portland, Maine, Specifics


By Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved



How and Why You Can Bring Your Mission and Expertise to the Birthplace of Christian Endeavor via the Christian Fellowship, Book of Acts, and Practices of “Old-School” A.A.


September is always a busy month. But the beginning of September is the time for you to plan to join us at The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference in Portland, Maine, on September 6-7, 2013--and even before and after those dates in specific meetings and discussions which will enhance your efforts and teach others your heritage for recovery from alcoholism and addiction using the tools of early A.A.’s Christian Fellowship, the practices and successes of First Century Christians, and the untarnished biblical relationship with God that was the epitome of early A.A. success. And still is planted on the firm “conference-approved” Solution set forth on page 25 of the 4th edition of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Special features:


·         Participation will be free and international in leadership and techniques.

·         Participants will be folks from all over who want to apply A.A.'s effective historical, biblical, successful principles and practices today.

·         As covered below, the range of contributions and skills of participants, leaders, and speakers will either encompass your heritage and techniques today and/or inspire you to work with, support, teach and learn from other skill sets that apply to you and to all of us.


A full two conference days; and a week (Sept. 6-12) to meet with Dick B. and Ken B. and learn how to:


·         Start an A.A. History-Bible Study Group that is a Fellowship, shows you the roots of A.A., and tells you how and why to seek and apply God's help in recovery today.


·         Five major talks on:


1.      The new era of A.A. history and how recovery successes really began to be molded and pointed at the suffering drunk in New England—particularly Vermont.

2.      How to look at A.A.'s historical roots as a tool to enhance and apply in recovery today the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played and can play in the recovery arena and programs today.

3.      What sponsors need to add to their spiritual tool kits.

4.      How more personal and direct information to and focus on the newcomer can be restored and enabled to produce more recoveries today.

5.      How the alarming impairment of physicians, nurses, dentists, technicians, pharmacists, clergy, lawyers, and treatment leaders can be prevented, corrected, and bring hope and effectiveness back to the treatment scenes.


·         Special talks on Friday by leaders on topics of special interest in such fields as:


o   Quiet Time and the Eleventh Step.

o   Techniques of Quiet Time.

o   The real roots of A.A. in Vermont as manifested in the YMCA, Rescue Missions, Evangelists like Dwight Moody, Congregationalism, Salvation Army, and United Society of Christian Endeavor

o   The potential today arising out of insights by Christian Endeavor International, Rescue Missions, Salvation Army, and Young Men’s Christian Association

o   The Christian upbringing of A.A.'s cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob.

o   How the first 3 got sober; the program, principles, and practices they employed; and the manifestations of that original program reported in Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners!; Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous; A.A. Pamphlet P-53; and the First Edition reprint of Alcoholics Anonymous with Introduction by Dick B. (Dover Publications)

o   The Program and Radio Show of International Christian Recovery Coalition (;

o   Programs for impaired professionals.

o   Christian treatment programs

o   Christian counseling programs – for AAs, NAs, Codependents, etc.

o   Christian sober living programs

o   Christian Recovery Fellowships

o   Overcoming restrictions and censorship of program activity through standing on Conference-approved literature for openers.

o   How groups are already dealing effectively with rigidity at "governing" levels in 12 Step Fellowships.

o   How groups are starting, forming, and conducting Christian recovery fellowships and groups today—around the globe.

o   What International Christian Recovery Coalition offers, at no cost, to enhance information about the role played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible.

o   The effectiveness of spiritual retreats for AAs, families, and newcomers today.

o   How the Steps and Big Book can be presented in terms of the Traditions and A.A. facts.

o   The role that Christian Recovery Radio and its interviews are playing today.

o   Community recovery outreach programs at The Crossing, Rock Recovery, Manna House Ministries, Won Way Out, CrossFlorida, Serenity Groups, Residential recovery programs like “Rescue,” Study groups like those at Cornerstone Fellowship and Calvary Church of Los Gatos.

o   More . . . to be suggested by you.


·         Special groups conducted by leaders on the foregoing talks and embodying participation by those attending.


·         An introductory roundtable of leaders who share their work, their plans, their needs, their visions, and what they bring to the Conference.


·         Meetings of individuals and small groups throughout the week with Dick B. and Ken B. in the restaurant or lobby of their hotel, in their hotel room, in other restaurants, and/or where otherwise convenient. To arrange a meeting, please contact Ken B. in advance of the conference on his cell phone at 1-808-276-4945.


·         As more and more attendees register and make their schedules, needs, and desires known, the conference plans are flexible and designed to produce networking, sharing of friendships, and development of new avenues of outreach.


·         Just since the First Nationwide A.A. History Conference in May 2009 at the Mariners Church Community Center, conferences, seminars, interviews, meetings, fellowships, participants, and networking have grown into the International Christian Recovery Coalition ( with “Participants” in nearly all 50 states and 14 other countries. There is a Christian Recovery Movement on the march; and it provides a badly needed restoration of the role of Divine Aid today. You can become one of the movers and leaders and commentators.


To stay up to date on the details concerning “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference,” please check the official conference Web page on the Web site:



Gloria Deo

The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference - Web Page

There is now a web page, including programs, projects, topics, speakers, location, date, participants in

The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference

Web Page:

Answers to the Clarence Snyder of Cleveland A.A. Myths

Putting the Plug in the Jug Pouring Out Myths and Erroneous Stories


The Nonsense about Alleged Payments to Clarence H. Snyder


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


I couldn’t believe it when someone pointed out to me that a censored, moderated forum was loaded with questions, answers, and intimations that Clarence Snyder had been paid for his story in the Big Book. Almost uniformly, the myth was championed by people who couldn’t possibly have a clue or know the truth. Many said so. But they repeated the suggested myth again and again—several pages worth..


So, like Dragnet, I just went out looking for “Just the facts please, ma’m.” I contacted three long-time sponsees of Clarence H. Snyder who originally gathered all of Clarence’s papers and began putting them in such publications as “Going Through the Steps,” “My Higher Power the Light Bulb,” and “Our Faith Legacy.” Which are now widely known and frequently used or quoted by AAs and others. I simply asked these folks if the writers were in error, and/or were circulating mythical questions and answers, and had misstated the facts.


Here are some facts—that constitute evidence not unlike that which I myself had with Clarence Snyder’s widow in the week-long interview I had with her in Florida.


Item One: Aloha to you, Steve, from Maui, Hawaii! This my son Ken wrote to Steve


Thank you for setting--and keeping--the record straight! Hope to see you and Sue and Jack (and others from the "Came to Believe Retreats" family) at "The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference," September 6-7, 2013, in Portland, Maine. Perhaps you folks could even join us on our research tour to St. Johnsbury, Vermont (about three hours from Portland) on Sept. 8-10.

In GOD's love,


Dick B.'s son, Ken


Item Two: Steve’s Plain, Simple, and Factual Answer to the Myth:


On Thu, May 16, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Steve Foreman <> wrote:

Dick and Ken:


Any thoughts or rumors that Clarence Snyder received any money for being a part of the Big Book or sales of any other AA material is pure “Baloney” (I cleaned that up).


Clarence was livid with Bill for the money Bill made from each copy sold of the Big Book and “12 Steps and 12 Traditions” plus all of the Al-Anon material Lois wrote. He would not even take fees for speaking at engagements throughout the US. He would ask for his expenses to be paid, and that was it.


AA was a “Labor of Love” as described by Clarence and, as he said, was “his avocation”, not a money-making venture. These people are “making this stuff up” (misinformed, or lying, in other words), and I can be quoted as so saying.


Love those B. . . . Boys. Keep the pot stirred and all of us mushrooms informed with “Just the facts”.


God Bless,


Steve Foreman

2211 Lee Road, Suite 100

Winter Park, FL  32789

(407)862-5900 - Fax (407)869-7560


Item Three: The Actual, Confirming Truth as Conveyed to us (Dick B. and Ken B.) at the home of Clarence Snyder’s widow—Grace Moore Snyder—and her son Duke Moore and Duke’s wife and father-in-law at the dinner table at Jacksonville Beach, Florida.


The group was seated at the dinner table, discussing the book which I had come to write—That Amazing Grace: The Role of Clarence and Grace S. in Alcoholics Anonymous (San Rafael, CA: Paradise Research Publications, 1996).


Duke’s father in law turned to Grace and asked her how much she was being paid by me for the biography I was writing and going to publish. She looked the gentleman straight in the eye. She said: “Not one cent.”


With that, Duke got up from the table and left the dining room. Grace followed him. And Grace said her son told her: “Mom, I’m proud of you for what you said about the being “paid” remark. That’s exactly what Clarence said of himself so often. And that’s the way he would have answered.”


As soon as I saw the myths proposed in the censored and moderated “history” forum, I contacted Clarence’s own sponsees in Florida and elsewhere. I asked for their comments on the question whether Clarence had been paid for his story. My son and I received the answer above, and it certainly shows how far people who dislike others in A.A. may start a false question or false rumor or request for false information. And then try to destroy the person mentioned.


Item Four: The Forty-Five Feathers: Ed Andy, a good friend of Clarence’s, and the owner of the “First A.A. Museum” in Lorain, Ohio, put out a videotaped interview about the “45 feathers.” A man had told a bald-faced lie about another person and caused lots of harm. The man went to a priest to confess. The priest told him to get 45 feathers and place one in the lawn at each home where he had spread the damaging lie. This he did. And he returned to the priest. The priest told him to return and bring the feathers back to the church. The man went to all forty-five places; and there was not one feather to be found. He returned to the priest and reported the missing forty-five feathers. And the priest told him to remember the 45 feathers story. The priest said to the man that the feathers had blown away to some other location, not even known to either of them. He told the man: “That is what happens when you tell a damaging lie or false rumor about someone and harm them. The lie—whether one or forty-five—doesn’t stop with a listener. It gets spread and spread and spread. You don’t know how far it will travel and harm and perhaps not ever stop. The lie blows on to the next listener just like each feather blew away to do many endless, unknown harms in your case.


So too the false stories that circulate and circulate and circulate in the “rooms” and in such “history forums.” They should never be told in the first place—whether by insinuation or question or bald-faced lie. If these false legends, rumors, stories, and insinuations are floated out today on the internet, who knows how many read, talk, repeat, and alter the canard. Clarence is dead. His wife is dead. And the truth could have died with them. And this one about Clarence deserved to be investigated. And I trust this article will show the harm that has already been done.


In fact, there is a well-known saying: “A lie travels half way around the world before the truth even gets its shirt on.” ‘Nuff said!”