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
oftheir belief in and mention of God,
Jesus Christ, andthe 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 andserve 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.
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
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
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
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
CHAIRPERSON, YOU ARE
REQUIRED TO SUPERVISE THE COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF THE ROOM AND THE STORAGE of
SUPPLIES. Do not leave until this is completed!!!!
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.
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.
NEWCOMERS ARE NOT
OBLIGATED TO CONTRIBUTE.
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
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
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.
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
I would now like to
ask, that all those who have recovered as a result of takingall 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
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
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
Recovered With Life
Welcome to the Recovered With
Life Group Conscience Meeting, held the last Friday
Of every January, May and
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 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
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
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.
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.
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
Motion to close
Close with the Lord’s
Chapter 11 (Page
A VISION FOR YOU
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
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
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
Come to The First
International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference September6-7, 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.
[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. IsNot 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
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
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
Not suggesting new therapies, treatment programs, rehabs, or
What “Old School”
Akron A.A. Advocates Are Trying to Enhance Your Recovery Today By Talking
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
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.
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"
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, www.dickb.com/JamesClub.shtml.
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
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
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, http://mcaf.ee/s50mq.
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
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,
whetherand 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
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
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 RecoveryToday.
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: email@example.com; 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.
(** 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:
Akronites and Canadian Successes
3:00 pm:Gary Agnew, Connecticut:
Veterans, and Correctional Outreach
4:00 pm:Jim Haselhuhn, Washington:
2012 research in Vermont, Cleveland, and Akron
4:10 to 5:00
pm:Tim Kolstad, Colorado:
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
6:00 to 7:20 pmDinner break—on your own
9:30 pmRoundtable discussions w/presenters
and conference participants;moderated by Dick B. and
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:
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.
The Neglected Sponsor
2:15 to 3:05 pm:Session Four: Dick B. and Ken B.
and Informing Newcomers
3:15 to 4:15
pm:Friday’s speakers each summarize
their talks in eight (8) minutes
4:30 to 5:20 pm: Session Five: Dick B. and Ken B.:
“Stick with the
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
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
For more information about “The First International
Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference,” please contact Dick B.’s son Ken by
email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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 #
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.
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 email@example.com or by
phone at 1-808-276-4945. To register for the conference, please send to Ken B.
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org: (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
email@example.com 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
Are you one of those would like to learn more about the
·“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 . . .
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”:
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, . . .
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
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:
Dick B. and Ken B. will be staying at the following hotel
from September 5-12:
Hilton Garden Inn
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,
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
Evening: Free At Last Group A.A.
meeting, Wed., Sept. 11; 5:30 pm potluck dinner; 7:00-8:30 pm speaker
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 email@example.com or on his cell phone at