Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Toronto Victory Report on the Restoration of God to His Proper Role in Twelve Step Recoveru Groups

Chris P. of CA in Toronto Explains How Their Large Following Uses Bible and Christianity for Recovery and Offers Help


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


No group has been more fervent in Toronto than the CA people Chris P. describes in this message. And they have maintained their integrity, stand for God—Jesus Christ—and the Bible—despite efforts to silence them. These folks assembled the evidence of the wide variety of agnostic and other groups in the 12 Step  community. They overcame an almost unanimous vote in the area level that they couldn’t be listed in the directory because of  their belief in and mention of God, Jesus Christ, and  the Bible in their meetings – and more! When push finally came to shove, they were victorious and believed their example will be of great help to the hundreds of other groups who have had similar blockage and wonder what to do. Here is Chris P.’s letter: And Chris will be a speaker and participant in The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference September 6-7, 2013 in Portland, Maine. He is also a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition.




This is the current meeting and business format that we are currently using at our local C.A. meeting -  Recovered With Life in Toronto. Supporting our introductory efforts ( to Christ )  at the meeting, we have a men’s and women’s bible study – so that those that are interested, can learn how to walk with Christ.


As you know, we currently won a decision at C.A. Area to keep our biblically based format meeting on the C.A. meeting list. The ramifications of this decision has spread across the world, and it has had a major impact on C.A. – and will have a ripple effect on all of the twelve step fellowships in the very near future.


We strongly believe that it is important to articulate and present our case to the Christian Recovery movement, so that others can do what we have done, if they desire to do so. We will be preparing more information around the particulars, and events at a later date.  


The meeting has been progressing at a steady pace, and the threat from Area has dissipated – for now. This meeting format is now being used by other groups, and one of members that speaks at C.A.conventions globally has been instrumental in assisting these groups with the implementation of this format ( as an example there are now groups in the U. K. that are using this meeting format ).  The group member that I referenced earlier, speaks regularly, and you can hear one of older talks on X.A. speakers, her name is Layla N.  Layla N is one of the only, real……. biblically based Christian women that that exists in C.A. today ( in Canada ) that has been sober for many years, is a student of the big book, of the bible, that works with others ( and has done so for years ). She has had a lot of experience with and in, delivering the afflicted from many forms of evil – and she has personally been involved in many deliverance prayer sessions, were Christ has used her to lead the afflicted many forms of addiction and alcoholism, all forms of self indulgence and……..demon possession…….. to being, saved by God, through his son…..and then, leaning to obey and  serve him – to honor, and glorify him.


Layla was instrumental in introducing Dick B’s work ( and this current format ) to C.A. in the U.K. , and as a result they are now well versed in the truth.


We are currently working on a website for Recovered With Life that should be ready by the fall. This website will have many helpful resourced listed for all to utilize.


It is important for Christian to know, that God will not be replaced, mocked, or “willed” out of our 12 step fellowships – and what I have listed above, supports that truth – it’s a beautiful thing.


God Bless,




Here is the Format the Toronto Group Uses



Recovered With Life

Founded January 12th 2007

Step Study / Speaker

Meeting Format

1.         Welcome to The Recovered With Life Group of Cocaine Anonymous.

The sole purpose of our group is to show other cocaine addicts and anyone else suffering from any manifestation of untreated addiction, precisely how we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, body and spirit, through surrendering to God through Christ, by following God’s word and his teachings in the Bible and by practicing the 12 steps, as described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our group does not speak for or represent CA as a whole, as no individual, group or committee has the authority to speak for or represent CA as a whole. There are many other CA meetings that do not use the Bible – that you are welcome to visit!

This is a 12 step study group, in which we will read a step out of the Serenity 12 step companion book and share on what has been read.

I’m a recovered addict and your chairperson, and my name is__________.

Are there any other addicts present? Welcome! A special welcome to guests and newcomers.

2.         We open our meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity prayer. May we take that moment now please.

2. b) To read the original version of the serenity prayer I have asked ________.

3. The Chairperson briefly qualifies.

4. Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience and knowledge with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction. We are not an organization in the conventional sense of the word. There are no fees or dues whatsoever. The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind altering substances.




5. How do we recover?

In our group we use the 12 steps within the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Bible. The clear-cut directions that are given showing how we recovered are found in the Big book and in the Bible. We use this program of recovery because it results in developing a loving and direct relationship with God, required to recover and to be permanently delivered from addiction.  To read the twelve steps I have asked _________.

6. How can Cocaine Anonymous stay whole and survive?

These questions are best answered by the 12 traditions of Cocaine Anonymous. To read the 12 traditions I have asked__________.

7. What is a sponsor?

To read the Big Book’s answer to that question, I have asked ________.

8. To give out clean time key tags, I’ve asked _________.

9. We will now hear from our Group Secretary.


10. Tonight is a step study in which we will be using the Serenity 12 step companion book. What did the early AA’s do to recover before the steps, before the Big Book was published, before there were formal meetings, during the times that they experienced close to a 90 percent success rate? They admitted defeat, they surrendered to God through Christ, they then turned their will and life over to God, they took inventory, they made amends and they helped others – they also prayed together and sought the wisdom and guidance necessary to live, from God’s word – The Bible.


There are copies of the Serenity 12 step companion book on or under your chairs so that you can follow along with us.

We use this book to help us stay focused on the 12 steps and on God’s word. As the chairperson for tonight I will read about the step we are on from the Big book as well as what the other contributors to the Big book said about the step in Our AA Legacy To The Faith Community: A 12-step Guide For Those Who Want To Believe. I will then ask the assigned readers to read the Bible readings that coincide with the step we are on. We will then open the floor for the sharing part of the meeting

If you get lost or confused, let me know and we’ll help you get back on track!


NOTE to CHAIRPERSON: it is your responsibility to recap where we are in the step study, spend no more than a few minutes talking about what we covered last week, and where we are, so that everyone, especially newcomers, understands where we are at.

11. We are now at the sharing part of the meeting. If you are taking the steps and developing a relationship with God, please take a moment now and share with us your EXPERIENCE with the steps and how your life is being changed by working this spiritual program of action. No matter how little experience you have in the solution, if you are IN the solution, please share that with us. If you’re new or confused and have any questions about the material we covered tonight, please wait until after the meeting to ask those questions.

Please remember and respect that this is not a discussion meeting or group therapy, if you have a problem, or are struggling, wait until after the meeting for an opportunity to share with us and visit with us, but this is not the time to do that. If you do, as the Chair person I will kindly stop you.

12. Our time is up. It is our group’s custom to read an excerpt from the chapter “A Vision For You” beginning on page 151 in the Big book –To read that tonight I have asked___________.

13. That concludes the formal portion of our meeting. Please remember to visit our Librarian’s table for free copies of the meeting list of CA that will direct you to other meetings that use different literature, if that is what you are looking for. Please stick around for fellowship and to have any questions answered. We are here to help.

Please stand so that we may close our meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Lord’s Prayer.











Secretary’s Announcements


My name is _________ I'm a recovered addict and I am this group’s secretary.

Welcome to the Recovered with Life meeting of Cocaine Anonymous. We meet here every Friday night at 7:30p.m. This is a twelve step study group, where we use the Big book and the Bible to watch the original recovery process come alive 3 Fridays of the month. The last Friday of every month is a speaker meeting.

While the announcements are being read I’ll ask you to please remain quietly seated and we’ll practice the 7th tradition. The 7th tradition states: “Every C.A group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions” Your contribution is completely voluntary. The money collected pays for this meeting space and coffee.


Are there any out of town guests who would like to tell us their name and where they’re from?

If you would like to join our group, please see me after the meeting and I will take your first name and your telephone number for our group list. Our Group Conscience meeting is held three times a year on the last Friday of January, May and September at 8:30 pm in this room. Group members are asked to attend.

Not to embarrass you, but so that we may get to know you better, would those of you in your first 30 days clean, please raise your hand...welcome!

Welcome to new members: ___________.

If you or someone you know is celebrating a medallion this month in C.A, please come and let me know after the meeting, so that I can add it to my announcements next week. 


If you have information that is related to any committee or event within C.A, or are interested in getting involved in that type of service, you may see me after the meeting or visit the Librarian’s table.

Our C.A. library table includes meeting lists and pamphlets which are free, conference approved literature and copies of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous which are sold to you at cost. 

We also have our group member’s library table which includes copies of the Serenity 12 step companion book as well as additional literature and devotionals that may be of interest to you. If you need a Bible or devotional but can’t afford one right now, please see me after the meeting and I will give one to you.


Also, the church asks that bicycles are to be locked up outside and not to be brought inside the building.  The coffee and tea are free and are located in the kitchen just outside this room.













What is a Sponsor?



A sponsor is a recovered addict who is best described on page 18 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as quote:

“But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.

That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured--these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again.” end of quote


We the members of The Recovered With Life Group suggest that you get a sponsor now.










Key Tags

Cocaine Anonymous gives out key tags, for the purpose of showing newcomers The Truth, that permanent recovery is possible, if we precisely follow our 12 step recovery program. The key tags symbolize number of days, months or years, free from cocaine and all other mind altering substances, today or in the last week.

Will those of you with 30 days, please come up and get a key tag……

Will those of you with 60 days, please come up and get a key tag……

Will those of you with 90 days, please come up and get a key tag……

Will those of you with 6 months, please come up and get a key tag…..

Will those of you with 9 months, please come up and get a key tag…..

Will those of you with one year, please come up and get a key tag……

Will those of you with 18 months, please come up and get a key tag…..

Will those of you with multiple years, please come up and get a key tag….

From the Chapter “there is a Solution” and I quote:

“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.”

End of quote. If you’re new, or just coming back, and would like to learn about the common solution which many of us have found, please come up and get a newcomer key tag.

I would now like to ask, that all those who have recovered as a result of taking  all 12 steps and are developing a relationship with God, please raise your hand, so that those who are new and without a real solution, will know who to approach. Thank you.






Recovered With Life

Group Conscience




1)         Any motion that proposes to alter the meeting format in any way will be automatically tabled for three consecutive group conscience meetings, before any discussion takes place.


2)         Any motion that proposes to change the group conscience in any way will be tabled for three consecutive group conscience meetings, before any discussion takes place.


3)         Only group members who have attended three consecutive group conscience meetings can make motions and vote at the group conscience meetings.


4)         All joining group members are strongly urged to participate in the group’s Bible study groups.


5)         The speakers chosen are to be recovered addicts, alcoholics, or those that have overcome other addictions, that have been saved by God’s Grace, though his Son; chosen with consideration of our primary purpose, and that our format be fully understood and adhered to by the Chairperson.


6)         All Chosen Chairpersons and group leaders must be chosen by a unanimous group vote


7)         Any motion that proposes to alter the group conscience or group format must be passed with a unanimous group vote.
















(Known as the Business meeting)


Recovered With Life Group



              Welcome to the Recovered With Life Group Conscience Meeting, held the last Friday  

              Of every January, May and September.


May we open this meeting with a moment of silence followed by the serenity prayer.


Before beginning the official meeting spend 20 minutes in prayer and Bible reading as a group (The Book of James/psalms/Jesus’ Sermon on the mount/ etc.)


The 12 Traditions are our pathway to unity and will be read by: _________________.


Pass the dated attendance sheet around the table….


The purpose of this meeting is to develop and determine the collective informed conscience of the group membership, always mindful of our “primary purpose”, stated in tradition 5 and “our ultimate authority being a loving God”, stated in tradition 2.


Our group is a spiritual entity separate as much as possible from the material and thus we NEVER conduct commerce in our open meeting and strive to keep discussions of money and property in our group conscience meetings to a minimum as directed in tradition 6.


Tradition 7, “fully self-supporting” phrase is defined as “the costs of our group services and other expenses of services of our area organization are to be totally liquidated by our group contributions.” The Recovered With Life Group's monies, in surplus to our needs, will be contributed to our area organization to achieve this objective.


We further affirm the following:


The term “informed group conscience” implies that pertinent information has been studied and all views have been heard before the group votes.


Unanimity on an issue should be achieved before action is taken.


Tradition 12, placing principles before personalities, implies that our group be wary of dominant personalities and strive for a well-informed group before arriving at decisions.


Group conscience rests on more than a “yes” or “no” count—precisely because it is the spiritual expression of the group conscience. Our group works slowly on sensitive issues, discouraging formal motions until a clear sense of our collective view emerges.



The group secretary will now read the previous Group Conscience meeting’s minutes.


Business arising from the previous minutes.


Secretary’s announcements.


Treasurer’s report.


Librarian’s report.


G.S.R’s report.


Coffee report.


Coffee person nomination for the month.


Medallion’s for this month. Ask if it will be a celebration or just receiving.


Medallion’s for next month. Ask if it will be a celebration or just receiving.


Chair dates: Before electing any chair person, for the speaker meeting every last Friday of the month, or to be the Study leader, our group conscience will be read:  This group conscience states that the speakers chosen are to be recovered addicts, alcoholics, or those that have overcome other addictions, that have been saved by God’s Grace, though his Son; chosen with consideration of our primary purpose, and that our format be fully understood and adhered to by the Chairperson. The Chairperson is also required to be at the church by 7:00 pm, and stay until 9:00pm, being responsible for the set up and breakdown of the meeting.


The chairperson to lead the Study will be responsible for the entire duration of the study from step 1-12. It will be their responsibility to get another trusted member to cover for them, if they are unable to attend.


All Chairpersons must be voted in with substantial unanimity by the group.


Old Business.


New business:

Before new Business is to be discussed, our group conscience will be read regarding New Business: Any motion that proposes to alter the meeting format in any way will be automatically tabled for 3 consecutive group conscience meetings (1 year), before any discussion takes place, during which time there should be a lot of thoughtful consideration and prayer before bringing forth any motion.


Any motion that proposes to change the group conscience in any way will be tabled for 3 consecutive group conscience meetings (1 year), before any discussion takes place, during which time there should be a lot of thoughtful consideration and prayer before bringing forth any motion.



Only group members who have attended 3 consecutive group conscience meetings can make motions and vote at the group conscience meetings.

Any motion made that proposes to alter the group conscience or group format must be passed with a unanimous group vote, or no go!


Business to be held over.


Motion to close meeting.

Close with the Lord’s prayer.





Chapter 11 (Page 151-153)




FOR MOST normal folks, drinking means conviviality, com-panionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt-and one more failure.

The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did-then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!

Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, "I don’t miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time." As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.

We have shown how we got out from under. You say, "Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?"

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.

"How is that to come about?" you ask. "Where am I to find these people?"

You are going to meet these new friends in your own commu-nity. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of "Love thy neighbor as thyself."



Come to The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference September  6-7, 2013 in Portland, Maine. Learn the freedom you have to help those who still suffer, do so in Twelve Step Fellowships, and believe what you wish to believe about the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in old school Akron A.A.’s Christian Fellowship and its astonishing successes. And can play today.



Gloria Deo










Friday, August 30, 2013

Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B. - A Brief Sketch of Early A.A. History

You may hear Dick B. give a brief sketch of early Akron A.A. history on the August 29, 2013, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show here:


or here:


Episodes of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show are archived at:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Learning the Spiritual Roots of Old School Akron A.A. History, and Applying Them in Recovery Today

Alcoholics Anonymous History


 What Learning "Old School” Akron A.A.’s Program, Technique, and Resources Can Accomplish Today


Dick B.

© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved


[Do you want to know only a few things about A.A.? Or would you like to learn, study, and apply ALL of A.A. today? If it is the latter, here’s what you can do right now].


About Our "Old School” Akron A.A.


What “Old School” Akron A.A. Is  Not Today. Because It Is:


Not for "reforming,” "universalizing," or "revising" A.A., its Steps, or its Traditions.


Not desirous of turning, or aiming to turn A.A. into a Christian Fellowship today.


Not suggesting exclusion of atheists, agnostics, unbelievers, nonsense god worshippers, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, or those who have no religious beliefs or affiliations.


Not teaching or promoting special recovery classes, special Christian conferences, alleged "basics," or reform literature.


Not ignoring A.A. and 12-Step Conference-approved literature.


Not changing A.A. or  its Conference-approved literature.


Not advocating your leaving A.A. or your Twelve-Step Fellowship in favor of some church, unaffiliated church group, religious group, anti-A.A. group, Christian fellowship, recovery group, therapeutic treatment plan, or splinter group.


Not proposing a return to the life-changing program of “A First Century Christian Fellowship” known as the Oxford Group and later as Moral Re-Armament.


Not approving or carrying out efforts to condemn, ridicule, insult, stifle, or prohibit some belief, religion, Bible, church, liturgy, religious literature, and religious teaching that mentions something you don’t or won’t like.


Not suggesting new therapies, treatment programs, rehabs, or therapeutic communities



What “Old School” Akron A.A. Advocates Are Trying to Enhance Your Recovery Today By Talking About:


A program that respects and tolerates a belief or practice within A.A. that advocates studying, learning, and applying the effective facets of Akron A.A. and its Christian Fellowship founded in 1935; Bill W.’s “new version” of the Twelve Steps in the Big Book, published in 1939; and the primary purpose of both A.A. programs in helping the alcoholic who still suffers—particularly the one or ones that want God’s help.


Learning, studying, respecting, and remembering our history before we forget of just lose it.


Looking at real early A.A.–Pioneer A.A. of Akron–the group Frank Amos described and summarized on page 131 of A.A. General Service Conference-approved DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers.


Reading and absorbing the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, and particularly the personal stories of the A.A. pioneers—most of which were removed from sight and publication for decades.


Applying the language of “There is a Solution” which appears to this day on page 25 of the latest edition of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Discovering how the first three AAs – Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Bill D. – got sober, and how they did so before there were any Steps, Traditions, Big Books, drunkalogs, or meetings like those today.


Hearing about the religious upbringing of Dr. Bob as a youngster in Vermont, and how his “excellent training” in the Bible later was applied in early A.A.—training involving belief in God, coming to Him through Jesus Christ, Bible study, prayer meetings, hymns, sermons, Scripture reading, church and Sunday school and Christian academy attendance, as well as Y.M.C.A. and Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor participation.


Comparing to Dr. Bob’s religious training the very similar religious training of Bill W. as a youngster in Vermont, and Bill’s attendance at East Dorset Congregational Church and Sunday school, Manchester Congregational Church, Burr and Burton Seminary, Norwich University, and the other features of Bob’s upbringing mentioned above. Plus adding to it Bill W.’s later decision to follow Dr. Silkworth’s advice about Jesus Christ the Great Physician, and Bill’s trip to Calvary Rescue Mission in New York to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at Calvary Mission in New York. Plus Bill’s writing in his autobiography—“For sure I’d been born again.” Plus Bill’s decision in a drunk and despairing condition to call on the Great Physician for help at Towns Hospital. Plus Bill’s cry to God for help, the blazing extraordinary white light that filled his hospital room, Bill’s sensing that he was on a mountain top and felt the breeze of the Spirit, and concluded: “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures” Plus Bill W.’s conviction that he had seen and heard from—the One whose presence he sensed in his hospital room.


Reading and learning what the first three AAs all wrote about their cure of alcoholism, their individual church backgrounds, their Bible study, and their desire to help others—epitomized by their statements about their deliverance. Thus both Bill W. and A.A. Number Three said: “The Lord has cured me of this terrible disease, and I just want to keep talking about it and telling people” (Big Book, 4th ed., 191). And Dr. Bob wrote at the end of his personal story on page 181: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”


Mastering the truth that the early Akron A.A. Pioneers recovered when there were no Steps, no Traditions, no Big Books, and no drunkalogs—while at the same time, conducting prayer meetings, Bible studies, Quiet Times, and ceremonies leading members to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior This occurred when A.A., had no “nonsense gods” and idols, and no ridicule or ostracism of those with differing religious views.


Defining the real pioneer Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program—the one which claimed a 75% success rate in Akron and spawned the Cleveland A.A. program which produced a ninety-three percent success rate, documented by Cleveland rosters, by DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, and by Cleveland A.A. founder Clarence H. Snyder.


Passing on to others A.A.'s own General Service Conference-approved literature statements by its founders about Pioneer A.A. See Big Book, 4th ed., pp. 181, 191.


Putting on a "new pair of glasses" that will enable viewers to read and learn what early Akron A.A. "Spirituality" really was.


A stentorian shout that early Akron A.A. was a Bible-based, Christian fellowship that relied on God. And that present-day A.A. is currently stating in pamphlets that a newcomer need not believe in anything at all, and that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. In short, today’s A.A. is not and will not become a Christian Fellowship. It is simply a recovery fellowship peopled with thousands of Christians.


What the “Old-school” Akron A.A. proponents today research, and urge fellow-members to learn and respect as to:


Looking first to our Creator for healing, forgiveness, and deliverance–just as Pioneers did, and just as present-day Conference-approved literature does today as exemplified by Big Book, 4th edition’s statement proclaims on page 25 that “There is a Solution” and that the Creator is at the heart of it.


Looking in the Bible as the old-school Akron AAs did for our Creator's will, promises, and commandments.


Avoiding "listening" to God today until and unless (as the Akron A.A. pioneers did)  one sees in A.A. Conference-approved literature that the Big Book frequently speaks explicitly about God and, twelve different times,  asserts God,  the Creator, is the “God of the Scriptures” mentioned in the first verse of the Bible, and enabling the inevitable conclusion that one does not “listen to,” cannot and does not reasonably speak to, and would not—in sound mental condition--advocate for some light bulb, door knob, or group of drunks as an object of worship, praise, and thanksgiving..


Avoiding “listening” (versus praying and communicating with God, the Creator) until you have first established a relationship with Him as His child, you've learned why AAs "surrendered" to Him by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, and you know why our founders looked to the Good Book for instruction on who God is, who His Son is, what the Bible is, what it offers, and what it says about prayer, "meditation," and obedience.


In fact, studying the Book of James, Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, and 7), and 1 Corinthians 13 to find out why these segments of the Bible were considered “absolutely essential’ to success in the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program. See The James Club,


Abstaining from prattling about the "nonsense gods of recovery"–higher powers, chairs, groups, rainbows, “good orderly direction,” the Big Dipper, Gertrude, and something that is “spiritual, but not religious.”.


Why? Because early Akron A.A. pioneers knew about and talked only about the one true living Creator, Yahweh, who certainly had the “power” that early AAs  thought was necessary to a cure. See Big Book, 4th ed., pp. 181, 191.


Reflections and Suggestions about “old school” pioneer Akron A.A. That Could Help You!


Help you to add and utilize "Old School” Akron A.A. approaches in today’s 12 Step programs. And teach you how and why it should be a primary history teaching made available to those who choose God’s help today. And why such information in no way constitutes making A.A. into a “Christian Fellowship.” Something long abandoned after 1939 when A.A.’s Bill Wilson and three others (a secretary, a Christian, and a man who wanted A.A. to be “irreligious”) decided to call their deity “a power greater than ourselves” and/or “God as we understood Him.”.


The “broad highway” of the Big Book does not lead to a Christian Fellowship today. It is neither “inclusive” nor “exclusive” in that realm. It enables Christians who are still suffering from alcoholism and addiction to join others with the common objective of abstinence and new life.


Helpful Reflections about A.A.’s Diverse Recovery Arena


There is no real substitute for one-on-one sponsorship, witnessing to those who still suffer, and fellowshipping with those who choose not to drink and to change their lives for the better.


Remember, literally just about anyone can form a group, hold a conference, start a class, buy tapes, and study some materials on Pioneer Akron A.A.'s biblical roots and program.


Then he or she can put his recovery efforts into learning the facts of A.A.—its origins, history, cofounders, the cofounders’ backgrounds, the way the founders got sober, the original Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship—consisting of the seven-point summary, and at least sixteen practices. See Stick with the Winners,


Then, having learned about A.A.’s Big Book and other principal General Service Conference-approved literature, about the biblical sources of A.A.’s basic ideas, and about whence came the ideas for (1) the original 1935 program and later (2) Bill W.’s “new version of the program—the Twelve Steps in the Big Book—published in 1939 and then changed many times over since that time. See Alcoholics Anonymous: The Original 1939 Edition With a 23-Page Introduction By Dick B., published by Dover Publication, 2011.

Pass this information on to old-timers, newcomers, speakers, leaders, groups, meetings, and conferences and anyone else inquiring about A.A.


But Note: Adequate A.A. Teaching Begins Only with Good Teachers, Good Texts. Good Sponsors, and Good Speakers


Start with A.A.'s personal sponsorship idea. You learn. You share and compare. Then serve.


There is no substitute for learning the facts first. Therefore, start with A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature.


Master the Big Book, Twelve Steps, and the Frank Amos Reports of 1938.


Read DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers for a sketch of what pioneer A.A. was really like.


Read A.A.’s Co-founders pamphlet (Pamphlet P-53), particularly the excellent address by Dr. Bob.


Then learn the major Biblical roots of early Akron A.A.’s Christian Fellowship: (1) The Bible, (2) Quiet Time, (3) Anne Smith’s Journal, (5) The religious books early AAs read. (6) Group prayers. (7) the teachings of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, (8) The details of Bill W.’s conversion to God—per the recommendation of Dr. William Silkworth (Bill W.’s surrender and new birth at the Calvary Mission altar, (9)  Bill W.’s vital religious experience in his hospital room where he cried out to God, sensed the presence of God in his hospital room, said to himself, “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures.” (10) Bill then lost all of his doubts about God, and he never drank a drop again. (11) the life-changing program of  A First Century Christian Fellowship, later called the Oxford Group, and still later Moral Re-Armament., and (10) the religious books early AAs read.


Also learn to recognize how early A.A. thinking was touched by the ideas of Professor William James; by "new thought" writers such as Ralph Waldo Trine and Emmet Fox; by the "higher power" language that later overwhelmed A.A. literature and by the ensuing babble in the 1950's and the many years following Dr. Bob’s death. These ideas emerged in A.A. from a small group of new thoughters who often disputed the biblical teaching of salvation and then countered with the idea that everyone had “Christ in him.”


Finally, see the difference in origins, approach, content, and beliefs between "Akron A.A." and "New York A.A.": (1) Akron developed ideas from the Bible in a Christian fellowship, with "old fashioned prayer meetings," Bible study, Quiet Time, and Christian literature. (2) New York fashioned today’s basic text primarily from ideas of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Dr. William D. Silkworth, Professor William James, and the life-changing principles and practices of the Oxford Group. Or so said Bill W.


Next comes your decision, mission, and work with others carrying a helpful message about the foregoing


Will you continue to be a student? If so, there’s lots more to study.


Do you want to be a teacher? If so, there’s lots more to learn and organize.


Do you want to be a speaker? If so, prepare to tell our complete A.A. story; your own story of  how you entered the rooms of A.A., how you established your relationship with God, whether  and how you have taken the 12 Steps, and what you have done and will do to help others.


Do you want to be the leader of a group? If so, first find  members, topics, literature, a format, and a cadre.


Find a cadre of two or three who first are willing to learn, to study, to strive for accuracy, and to help and lead.


Help others by helping them to learn–individually, as a cadre, and--only then--as a group


Suggested Resources You and Your Cadre can Acquire, Study, and Use


You can begin your work with one or more of the Dick B. or Dick B. and Ken B. titles or groups of titles. E.g.:


Use Turning Point for a comprehensive overview of our spiritual history and roots, or


The Akron Genesis of A.A. for an accurate picture of how Pioneer Akron A.A. took shape, or


Study of our major biblical roots: (1) The Good Book and The Big Book, (2) Good Morning!–(quiet time, etc.), (3) Anne Smith’s Journal, (4) New Light on Alcoholism–Shoemaker, (5) The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous, A.A., and (6) Dr. Bob and His Library and The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth.


For background: (1) Making Known the Biblical Roots of A.A., (2) That Amazing Grace, and (3) The Golden Text of A.A.


For your cadre, your teaching, or study group itself: (1) The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible. (2) Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. (3) God and Alcoholism: Our Growing Opportunity in the 21st Century. (4) By The Power of God: A Guide to Early A.A. Groups & Forming Similar Groups Today. (5) Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today (A Bible Study Primer for AAs and other 12-Steppers). (6) Utilizing Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today. 


For our latest– (1) Cured!: Proven Help for Alcoholics and Addicts. (2) The Conversion of Bill W., (3) Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont. (4) Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont. (5) A.A. Articles on our History: A Collection of over 1500 Articles by Dick B. (6) The acquisition of the Dick B. 29 Volume A.A. History Reference Set, for only $249.00


My own suggestions for planning your purchases, studies, and future service and glorification of God, and service to our fellow men


Don’t start a group. Start learning from texts, as an individual, with a sponsor, or with friends.


Purchase my entire 29-Volume A.A. History Reference Set at the substantial discount of $249. Shipping and handling free in the USA


Then you can pick and choose your books for study, or


Instead, purchase one of the books that interests you; or, preferably, if you know what you want to organize and study, select one or several titles for you group and receive these at the substantial group discount of 50% of retail, plus shipping and handling, or


When and if you start a group or gather as a group, you may purchase 10 or more titles of your choosing at a 50% discount plus shipping and handling [i.e., 10 Good Books (worth $179.95) at half price ($89.97), plus 10% retail shipping and handling].


Please don't hesitate to contact Ken B. or me for further details: Email:; Ken B. (c) 808 276 4945; Mail: Dick B., PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837. To order now, simply use our online Order Form and adapt it, deducting discounts allowed above.



Dick B.

P.O. Box 837

Kihei, Hawaii


Ph/fax: 808-874-4876


Gloria Deo


Monday, August 26, 2013

The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference Next Week (Sep 6-7) Portland, Maine

The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference


September 6-7, 2013

Portland, Maine

[A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob was a member of Christian Endeavor

(Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed.,172), founded here 2/2/1881]


Featuring A.A. Historian Dick B. of Maui, Hawaii,

and Special Guests


Conference Theme:


“The History of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Another View Which Includes Its Christian Beginnings in New England”


Meetings, Roundtables, Speakers, Research, and Workshops in Portland, Maine

[Plus:  (1) Research tour of Dr. Bob’s birthplace, St. Johnsbury, VT, Sept. 8-10;

           (2) Free At Last Group A.A. meeting, Wed., Sept. 11; 5:30 pm potluck dinner;

    7:00-8:30 pm speaker discussion mtg.; guest speakers Dick B. and Ken B.]


Main Conference Location:


The First Baptist Church of Portland, Maine

360 Canco Rd., Portland, ME 04103;


Conference Schedule


(** NOTE: Admission is FREE. Registration is required. **)


Friday, September 6 (** New start time to allow for additional speakers! **)


12:30 to 1:00 pm:        Initial on-site conference registration

1:00 pm:                     Conference begins with prayer by Ken B.

1:05 to 1:10 pm:          Welcome and Introduction by Dick B. and Ken B.

1:10 to 2:00 pm:          Mark Galligan, Ontario, Canada:

                                    The Akronites and Canadian Successes

            2:10 to 3:00 pm:          Gary Agnew, Connecticut:

A.A. History, Veterans, and Correctional Outreach

            3:10 to 4:00 pm:          Jim Haselhuhn, Washington:

Pictures from 2012 research in Vermont, Cleveland, and Akron

            4:10 to 5:00 pm:          Tim Kolstad, Colorado:

Clarence H. Snyder and the Came to Believe Retreats,

The Our A.A. Legacy to the Faith Community Workbook

5:10 to 6:00 pm:          Father Bill W., Texas

                                    Quiet Time

6:00 to 7:20 pm           Dinner break—on your own

            7:30 to 9:30 pm           Roundtable discussions w/presenters and conference participants;                                                   moderated by Dick B. and Ken B.


Saturday, September 7


9:00 to 9:45 am:          Conference registration (cont.), coffee and tea, hospitality

            9:45 to 9:55 am:          Second day of conference begins with prayer and brief overview

by Ken B.       

            9:55 to 10:00 am:        Welcome by Wally C., conference host

10:00 to 10:50 am:      Session One: Russell S., Miami:

                                    The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

11:00 to 11:50 am:      Session Two: Dick B. and Ken B.:

A. A. Origins, History, Founders, and Facts

12:00 to 1:15 pm:       Lunch Break: $5.00 onsite or on your own

            1:15 to 2:05 pm:          Session Three: Dick B.

Sponsorship Today: The Neglected Sponsor

2:15 to 3:05 pm:          Session Four: Dick B. and Ken B.

Orienting, Prepping, and Informing Newcomers

3:15 to 4:15 pm:          Friday’s speakers each summarize their talks in eight (8) minutes

            4:15 to 4:30 pm:          Break

4:30 to 5:20 pm:          Session Five: Dick B. and Ken B.:

“Stick with the Winners!—Part One”:

The Vermont story, and Christian training of Bill W. and Dr. Bob; how the first three AAs got sober; the original Akron A.A. Group Number One “Christian fellowship” program

5:30 to 6:20 pm:          Session Six: Dick B. and Ken B.

“Stick with the Winners!—Part Two”:

Personal Stories of A.A.’s Pioneers; Conference-approved literature that supports the pioneers’ message of reliance on God; applying “old-school” A.A. in recovery today

6:20 to 6:30 pm:         Conference ends with prayer by Ken B.


** We encourage conference participants to meet with each other for dinner and otherwise following the close of the conference on Saturday evening. **              


For more information about “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference,” please contact Dick B.’s son Ken by email at:



Conference Mission


The mission of this conference is to present an accurate and comprehensive picture of Alcoholics Anonymous history which includes the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A.’s astonishing successes.


Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses; and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., xx]


Records in Cleveland show that 93 percent of those who came to us never had a drink again. [DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 261]


Your Heavenly Father will never let you down! [Dr. Bob in Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 181]


Bill [W.] looked across at my wife and said to her, “Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.” [AA # 3, Bill D., in Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 191]


When we [Bill W. and Dr. Bob] started in on Bill D., we had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions.

            But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. [Dr. Bob in The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks (A.A. pamphlet # P-53), 13]


Conference Audience


This conference is for members of 12 Step Fellowships (including old-timers, speakers, sponsors, newcomers, and garden variety drunks and addicts); other International Christian Recovery Coalition “participants”; physicians, clergy, recovery pastors, and other Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena; and professionals working in the fields of intervention, detox, treatment, sober living, counseling, psychology, and psychiatry.


Conference Registration


Admission for “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference” is FREE! Registration is required. For more information about the conference please contact Ken B. by email at or by phone at 1-808-276-4945. To register for the conference, please send to Ken B. by email at (1) your name; (2) your postal mailing address; (3) your email address; and (4) your telephone number. Ken B. will send you by email a confirmation as to the acceptance of your registration.


If you would like to make a donation to help offset the costs involved in putting on this conference, please contact Ken B. by email at or by phone at 1-808-276-4945. Thank you!


Ongoing Conference Developments: Expansion!


Substantial, valuable, expansive changes are here announced as to “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference” in Portland, Maine, and related events over the seven-day period from September 6 through 12, 2013.


We are delighted to see many valued and distinguished registrations for this admission-free conference pouring in. Dick B. and Ken B. will be available to meet with many leaders and speakers before and after the Friday and Saturday conference events.


And a number of Christian leaders and workers in recovery arena from around the world will be giving presentations in which they will tell us about what they are currently doing in the recovery arena; how well the work is going; how others can help; and their vision for the future.


We are looking forward to having speakers and others attendees from throughout the United States and from other countries participate in “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference.” Conference topics will be diverse; e.g., Quiet Time and the Eleventh Step; the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous; Sponsorship; Focus on Newcomers; the real, historical, Christian roots of A.A.; and how “old-school” A.A. ideas can and should be applied in today's recovery fellowships and programs as a powerful opportunity for those who want God's help in overcoming alcoholism and addiction, and who are willing to go to any lengths to get it.


As our list of speakers grows, we hope to include topics such as the Wilson House, Burr and Burton Seminary, the YMCA, Rescue Missions, Evangelists, the Salvation Army, Congregationalists, and Christian Endeavor, and others.


Are you one of those would like to learn more about the following topics:


·         “Old-school” A.A.—particularly as it could be observed in Akron and in Cleveland during A.A.’s earliest days;

·         How much A.A. has changed since Bill W. included what he called “the new version of the program, now the ‘Twelve Steps’” in the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (“the Big Book”) published in April 1939 (see Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 162); and

·         How “old-school” A.A. principles and practices--which drew on the power and love of “the God of the Scriptures” (as Bill W. called the Creator of the heavens and the earth on page 284 of The Language of the Heart: Bill W.’s Grapevine Writings)—may be applied today. Using A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature, and without “violating the Traditions.” Even in a Fellowship that certainly today includes Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, unbelievers, and those with no belief at all.


There is room in our Society for all when one heeds both the spirit and the letter of key statements in the Big Book, such as the following one about the Twelve Traditions:


. . . [W]e had to evolve principles by which the A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous . . .

            This was the substance of A.A.’s Twelve Traditions, . . . [N]one of these principles had the force of rules or laws. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., xix]


There is no room in our Society for those who try to blockade free exercise of rights and privileges by any particular approach so long as that free exercise maintains the primary purpose of carrying the message to alcoholics and addicts who still suffer. There is plenty of room in the Fellowship for the individual who wants to share with the newcomer


. . . in his own language and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 29]


And who wants to make known the major role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in early A.A.’s astonishing successes (according to A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature), and can play in recovery today. Room for those who want truth, not opinion. Room for those who help, instead of criticize and hinder. Room for those who want healing, instead of in-and-out bondage, temptation, and relapse. Room for those that recognize that the heart of A.A. was and is “the Solution”:


There is a solution. . . .


The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 25]


Sound familiar? Of course! That was the message Bill W. said his friend Ebby T. had carried to him:


But my friend sat before me, and he made the point-blank declaration that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. His human will had failed. Doctors had pronounced him incurable. . . . Then he had, in effect, been raised from the dead, . . .

            Had the power originated in him? Obviously it had not.

            . . . It began to look as though religious people were right after all. . . . My ideas about miracles were drastically revised right then. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 11]


The “solution” set forth in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is grounded on the Creator’s entering into the hearts and lives of those who have come to believe that Divine Aid is the solution for their alcoholism; and those who have recognized that they can't help themselves, that probably no human power can, that God can and will, and that they can choose to exit from the "medically incurable" category and enter into the “recovered” category.


Tens of thousands—if not hundreds of thousands--of Christians and potential Christians are currently involved in, or will soon be entering the rooms of, Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step Fellowships. They are puzzled by talk of nonsense gods, higher powers, spirituality, and atheism. They are often intimidated by remarks in meetings to the effect that talk of Jesus and the Bible (and sometimes even talk of God) is against “the Traditions,” and/or that the Bible is “not Conference-approved.”


They need not be puzzled or intimidated! A major purpose of “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference” is to educate those who want to know about the facts of A.A.’s history and A.A.’s Christian predecessors who were successful in healing alcoholics and addicts. You will meet Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena who work with garden-variety alcoholics and addicts; as well as those who are knowledgeable of various disciplines and areas of study, including religion, medicine, psychiatry, “old-school” A.A., the origins of A.A., the founding of A.A., and the original “Christian fellowship” of A.A.


Many of the conference speakers have had the opportunity to observe what both Bill W. and Dr. Bob stressed: (1) Love and tolerance as our code. (2) Love and service as the essence of the program--old and new--and the form it took in A.A.’s early days and is taking today.


A Further Conference Update


The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference will be held in Portland, Maine, on September 6-7, 2013. The conference itself will run from 1:00 pm to 9:30 p.m. on Friday evening, September 6; and it will continue from 9:45 a.m. until about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, at the following location:


The First Baptist Church of Portland, Maine

360 Canco Rd., Portland, ME 04103


Dick B. and Ken B. will be staying at the following hotel from September 5-12:


Hilton Garden Inn Portland Airport

145 Jetport Blvd., Portland, ME, 04102



Dick B. and Ken B. check in Thursday, September 5, and check out on Sunday, September 8. Dick and Ken will be available for pre- and post-conference personal, small-group, and workshop meetings with Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena. These meetings will cover Dr. Bob’s wife, Anne Smith, and Quiet Time-Eleventh Step practices and resources; and other subjects being formulated as speakers emerge. The meetings are broadening in number and topic as Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena are registering right now.


We are also offering a research tour of St. Johnsbury, Vermont (about three hours away), September 8-10. (St. Johnsbury is the birthplace and boyhood home of A.A. cofounder Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith.) We will depart from Portland, Maine, by automobile on Sunday afternoon, September 8, about 1:00 p.m. We will depart from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, about 4:30 pm on Tuesday evening, September 10. This will allow for two full days of research and touring with Dick B. and Ken B. in St. Johnsbury. Dick B. will staying at the following hotel in St. Johnsbury—checking in on Sunday, September 8, and checking out on Tuesday, September 10:


Comfort Inn & Suites

703 US Route 5 South

Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819

Phone: (802) 748-1500


If you would like to participate in this optional research trip to St. Johnsbury—which will involve securing a hotel in St. Johnsbury on Sunday, Sept. 8, and Monday, Sept. 9--please contact Dick B.’s son Ken ASAP by email at or by phone at 1-808-276-4945. [Please remember Dick B. and Ken B. live in Hawaii. 3:00 pm in New York (EDT) = 12 noon in California (PDT) = 9:00 am in Maui, Hawaii (H.A.S.T.)]


Other Meetings and Events with Dick B. and Ken B., September 6-11, 2013:


Sun., Sept. 8, to Tues., Sept. 10:         Research trip to Dr. Bob’s birthplace, St. Johnsbury, VT


Wednesday, Sept. 11:                                     Portland: Morn./afternoon: pers. mtgs. w/Dick & Ken B.;

Evening: Free At Last Group A.A. meeting, Wed., Sept. 11; 5:30 pm potluck dinner; 7:00-8:30 pm speaker discussion mtg.


To register for “The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference” (Admission is FREE!), or for more information about the conference, please contact Dick B.’s son, Ken, via email at or on his cell phone at 1-808-276-4945.


Please join us in Portland September 6-7, 2013!