Letter from Dick B. to physicians, psychiatrists, professors, recovery leaders, and Christian leaders
© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved.
This is addressed primarily to the two MD’s who will be visiting Ken and me on Maui before the September Conference. I’ve included the world-authority on addiction medicine—Darv Smith MD—who cannot make the conference but is a long-time experienced supporter. I’ve included John J. Mooney MD, professor of psychiatry at Deaconess Hospital who has been a strong supporter since he attended my Heritage Seminar at the Wilson House years back. John will be at the conference. I’ve included Robert Turner MD—professor at Medical University of South Carolina-who is now working toward establishing a private practice, having just retired. I have included Karen Plavan, Ph.D.—assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania, for counseling and addiction recovery (and I hope she can come.) She is president of our Coalition and has supported our work for years. She is a director of Oasis Center in Pittsburgh, and professor of theology at Pittsburgh Seminary. I also include Timothy Eldred, Executive Director of Christian Endeavor International who had me speak in Washington, D.C. at this group’s 125th Anniversary and is now on a world-wide mission emphasizing youth and prayer. Timothy will be abroad at a Conference but will be working with us and wanted very much to be present in Maine.
The subject is a book by David Kipper, MD, titled The Addiction Solution: Unraveling the Mysteries of Addiction Through Cutting Edge Brain Science. He touts: (a) “The New Paradigm in the Medical Treatment of Addiction, (b) An Empowering Personalized Recovery Plan, (c) A Revolutionary Program That Breaks the Cycle of Relapse” I know nothing of this man, but one of my long-time sponsees is conversant with all we do. He lives of Maui and supports our work. He is a Christian and thought I’d find the book interesting. And I did.
The primary thrust of this book is “the discovery that addiction originates in brain chemistry brings a new era of successful medical treatment of addiction. This is the new paradigm, the cornerstone of The Addiction Solution. The new paradigm will universally establish addiction as a medical disease, not a behavioral malfunction. Medical treatment in the new paradigm will rely primarily on pharmacologic breakthroughs that target neurotransmitter imbalances” (p. ix.) “Close to 90 percent of addicts return to substance abuse within a year of receiving treatment—the same rate of recidivism that existed 20 years ago.” (p. xv).
I don’t pretend to have read the whole book as my sponsee did; but I can say that neither the index nor the pages I speed-read said anything that indicated that Kipper is a Christian, that he even discusses A.A. or God or Jesus Christ or the Bible or the 12-Steps. On the other hand, I find the book of great interest to me because of the people I am sending this email to, and because of the growing steps away from Christian recovery and from Alcoholics Anonymous and the Steps.
From what I’ve seen, practitioners often appear to have had no experience as excessive users or drinkers; nor experience in helping others from that vantage point; practitioners often have no religious inclinations at all and rarely touch on A.A. History, the power and love of God, the Bible, the old school A.A. program, or Bill Wilson’s “new version” in the Steps that eventually saddled us all with the “nonsense god” “higher powers. One history professor has staked his writing on “not-god-ness” and “spiritual, but not religious. One of his colleagues who is a sought-after ghost writer and has an MA and occupies the status of having written the highly informative Dragon book which covers every phase of alcoholism, leaves out the heart of A.A.’s roots and original beliefs, and cries out for a new therapeutic approach.
I know every one of the recipients of this email. I know each is a Christian. I know this message is heavily weighted with doctors of medicine. And I know that, to a person, they are very conversant with 12 Step programs, that they work with others extensively, and that—whatever their particular convictions—they are participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition. Have purchased my 29 volume reference set, have probably spoken at our conferences or meetings, are partial to including the success techniques of the old school Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship as part of their orientation, knowledge, and perhaps particular field of treatment.
And these recipients can be immensely helpful and influential to the mission of www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com. They can understand and supplement treatment by the power of God with whatever their knowledge of pharmacology, psychiatry, medicine, emergency treatment, recidivism, relapse prevention, sober living, Christianity, church, detox, intervention, and rehab adds to the quiver. Our motto has been: “We Christians in the recovery arena are not alone.” “We are A.A. friendly, Recovery friendly, Bible friendly, Newcomer friendly, and Friendly friendly.” We are devoted to helping the afflicted and affected who still suffer. And many of us have been blessed with the healing, guidance, forgiveness, help, power, and love of God that has brought deliverance to the fore and helped make victory a reliable and attainable transformation. Colossians 1:13.
Ken and I are not championing a Christian A.A. today; it isn’t going to happen; nor are we receptive to excluding God from the recovery platter. We believe that scientific, medicinal, treatment, prescriptions, counseling, intervention, detox, “scholarly,” and other models have already shoved secularism to the fore, attempted to remove God from the recovery scene, and invented versions and improvements on the same techniques that caused Bill and Bob to believe Dr. Silkworth’s opinion that, without a vital religious experience, based on a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the abc’s of A.A. obtained, the alcoholic was “medically incurable.”
See you in Maui or Maine or California or Arizona as your time and concern permit.
“Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., page 181
Richard G. Burns, J.D., CDAAC
Author and A.A. historian, retired attorney, Bible student (pen name “Dick B.”)
46 published titles & over 1,500 articles on A.A. history and the Christian Recovery Movement
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
Christian Recovery Resource Centers - Worldwide
Christian Recovery Radio
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837