Tuesday, March 27, 2012

John L. and His Attacks on Christians in A.A.

The queer question keeps popping up in the minds of those who see Lanagan pounding away at A.A.
Where did his beef come from? Did he ever read anything about the roots of A.A. beside the New Thought views of Mel B. and Glenn C.? Did he ever read any of the hundreds of Christian books that Dr. Bob, Anne Smith, Henrietta Seiberling, T. Henry Williams, Clarace Williams, and Clarence Snyder regularly read, recommended, and circulated to pioneer AAs?
Has he ever read the personal stories in the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous to see how those AAs described their relationship with God? Has he looked beyond Hartigan’s book which asserts Bill could not have been a Christian because of how he viewed Christ? Has he seen the evidence that Wilson wrote in his own hand that makes clear his real belief, as a Christian, in the Creator and His Son?
Has Lanagan ever helped a drunk? Has Lanagan ever tried to help a drunk? Has Lanagan any idea of the participants in the growing International Christian Recovery Coalition who are working within A.A., N.A., the suffering alcoholics and addicts, and other recovery programs to bring people to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior–just as the early A.A. Christian Fellowship members did?
Has Lanagan ever even been able to learn about and help a drunk–particularly a wet drunk–who is sick, confused, in pain, in despair, depressed, angry, afraid, anxious, despondent, bewildered and overwhelmed by a sea of troubles he did so much to create?
Has he ever looked into the life-threatening circumstances a newly sober alcoholic faces when he or she begins to detox? In fact, other than building a small number of writings on how he hates A.A. and why he seeks to drive Christians away from helping drunks and addicts, has he ever realized that the first three AAs–believers in God, Christians, Bible students–turned to God for help and were cured?
Has Lanagan ever learned what the 7 principles and 16 practices of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship were that achieved such astonishing success? Has Lanagan ever done anything but detour his readers away from his own queer motivations, animus, and undocumented statements by mentioning a writer or two who espouses New Thought, who is not even close to the Christian beliefs of early A.A.? And is he aware that the writers he cites actually have a close affiliation with today’s A.A. and not with Akron A.A.?
Has Lanagan ever learned the Christian roots of A.A. in the Salvation Army, the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Christian Rescue Missions, the evangelistic work of Moody, Meyer, Moorehouse, Burnell, Sankey, Francis Clark, Amos Wells, Moore, Folger, and their contemporaries?
Has he ever even heard of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and their Christian program which laid the foundation for the early A.A. Christian Fellowship? Has he studied the abundant writings of and about this organization that attained a membership worldwide of 4.5 million young Christians?
Has he ever even been to, read about, or learned anything concerning the North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury, the East Dorset Congregational Church, and the Manchester Church in Vermont where Bob and Bill and their families worshipped and were deeply involved? Has he examined their sermons, Sunday school teachings, creeds, confessions, records, and literature? Has he ever looked into the Christian requirements of daily chapel, Bible study, church attendance, and Young Men’s Christian Association activities at St. Johnsbury Academy where Dr. Bob attended for four years and the Burr and Burton Academy where Bill Wilson attended for four years.
Have any of the two or three New Thought adherents whom Lanagan quotes and limits his remarks to (including his new friend Fosdick) or the spiritualists he has invented or the Swedenborg religion or the Masonic straw men he has erected ever made one statement that appears or even is mentioned in A.A. literature or talks or writings that purport to represent what 2 million AAs believe or don’t believe? In fact, has Lanagan decided that two million members of anything (the Boy Scouts, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Israel nation, the Rotary Clubs, the golf clubs, or the football fans are all of one mind? Apparently he contends that AAs are all of one mind, devilish in their activities, and anti-Christian in their beliefs? What’s his authority for such queer reasoning?
Has Lanagan ever made any attempt to look at the hundreds and hundreds of pieces of early A.A. Christian literature that were daily fare in early A.A.? Does Lanagan still believe his own queer reasoning and past somehow qualify him to fight against drunks, Christians, and AAs though he never documents his statements or even provides relevant bibliographic material? Has he studied alcoholism? Has he studied addiction? Has he studied the Bible? Does he attend a Christian church? Has he resurrected his previous queer viewpoints?
Read Lanagan’s stuff. Then present your comment on it in his own two or three literary outlets. Then either ask the readers the foregoing questions or provide the foregoing answers. Lanagan hasn’t. And readers are entitled to take their turn at literary accuracy, integrity, and fact dissemination as opposed to trying to fathom why Lanagan has so singlemindedly picked one or two ad hominem targets to divert readers from his own undocumented and queer theories with the caveat that he is eing “mocked”
Right now, I am busy helping a Christian newcomer to get through the shakes and the confusion and the fears and the self-loathing that alcoholism and the great Tempter put before his road to recovery? The answer I put forth is that this Christian newcomer needs to attend his Christian church, read his Bible, fellowship with like-minbded believers, renew his mind, claim his victory through what Jesus Christ accomplished, and then tender to others the Gospel message.
And that, to me, is only one part of the process by which a real alcoholic, a real addict, a real dependent person can gain access to the power of God and the grace of God and look for the everlasting and abundant life that Jesus Christ made available.
As an added note, I wouldn’t waste a moment now or hereafter commenting on Lanagan’s diatribes if he hadn’t chosen to mention my pen name (and even my own name) with such frequency in company with his hatred of A.A. and distortion of its Christian roots and present-day Christian member views. This technique of cherry picking a widely read target–like his previous focus on the “Shack”–perhaps draws more viewers to his site. But it doesn’t prove its points–only its queer approach.
Contrary to what Lanagan asserts, I believe that when AAs and drunks read the words Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, Spirit, and God of our fathers that appear so often in A.A. language and writing, the readers are not seeing a door knob, a higher power, or Santa Claus. And certainly not a self-conceived god or idol or deity. They are seeing Genesis 1:1 and the power of Almighty God therein described. They are not falling for the views of the great deceiver and the nonsense gods explained so well in Psalm 115.
On the other hand, it seems queer to me that Lanagan simply doesn’t indicate he has studied or learned the facts about Alcoholics Anonymous History and the Christian Recovery Movement that can be found in my 43 books and over 900 articles. For these would enlighten him as to the facts he so totally ignores. Nor has he indicated his study of God’s Word. For the truths therein would highlight his real problem. He doth err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God,
Alcoholics Anonymous History, Alcoholism and God, Jesus Christ and Early A.A., the Bible and A.A., and the Book of Acts and early A.A.’s Christian Fellowship.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dick B., Brentwood CA Workshop Friday March 30


The International Christian Recovery Coalition Presents

Dick B. of Kihei, Hawaii

Speaking at “Stick With The Winners” Workshops and Conference

Hosted by

Golden Hills Community Church – Brentwood Campus

2401 Shady Willow Lane, Brentwood, CA 94513


Golden Hills Community Church Multi Purpose Room 151

The Pre-Conference Workshop Meetings

Friday, March 30, 2012, 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Meetings in Room 151 or smaller room with individuals and/or groups to discuss:

(1) Their particular fellowships or groups or meetings,

(2) How Old School A.A. can be used there to enhance their programs with Conference-approved literature, films, resource libraries, and Guides,

(3) How their programs can become connected with other recovery programs, events, speakers, resources, fellowships, and church sponsored recovery work in their communities,

(4) Their suggestions for collaboration, networking, community events, and individual groups.]

Break for Dinner (5:00 PM to 6:15 PM)

Main Conference

 (6:30 PM to 8:00 PM)

Dick B. and Ken B. Speakers

Topics To Be Covered:

·         Old-School Pioneer Recovery and Parallels to 1st Century Christianity (Book of Acts)

·         The Special Present-day Role Christian recovery leaders, groups, and fellowships have in making more effective the power, love, and healing by God in all recovery aspects today.

·         Variety of ways individual recovery efforts can use and present enhanced Christian healing and cure.

  • The call for integrating various Christian recovery programs, fellowships, and church-sponsored spiritual growth today in company with other community resources. 

For more information, you may also contact:

Dick B.                                                or                     Ken B.

Email: DickB@DickB.com                                        Email: kcb00799@gmail.com

Gloria Deo

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Importance of Benefactors

The Importance of Benefactors

By Ken B.

© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Over the years, benefactors have played a significant role in making possible travel, research, writing, and book distribution by my dad, Dick B. And, it turns out, a benefactor played a key role in a series of meetings that very likely had a profound impact on the family of A.A. cofounder Robert Holbrook Smith (“Dr. Bob”), his boyhood church, his town, and his Christian upbringing. These meetings became known as “the Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.[1]

During our first research trip to St. Johnsbury in October 2007, my dad and I learned of the “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury in a book I found in the small reading room library of North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury. This amazing series of meetings, spread over a number of months beginning on February 6, 1875, was launched when laymen from the Young Men’s Christian Association—led by H. M. Moore of Boston and R. K. Remington of Fall River—began the first of a series of “Gospel meetings” in St. Johnsbury. These meetings resulted in the conversion of somewhere between 500 and 1,500 people in that town of about 5,000 people. The town historian, Edward T. Fairbanks, said: “. . . [T]he influence of the religious uplift here was extended for a hundred miles around, and left its permanent mark on this community.”[2]

In fact, what eventually led to this “Great Awakening” began in a meeting at Detroit in 1868 between Henry Martyn (H.M.) Moore and his friend, the evangelist K. A. Burnell, where they decided that “by the help of God the old Bay State [of Massachusetts] should be conquered for Christ.”[3] Then Moore made an “extended visit” to the home of his friend Burnell, who lived near Aurora, Illinois, in the summer of 1871. That meeting “produced the ‘regular canvass of Gospel meetings’ that started in the State of Massachusetts (in January 1872), was expanded into the State of New Hampshire (in November 1873), and was further expanded into the State of Vermont” on the basis of decisions made at the State YMCA Convention in Norwich, Vermont, on November 19-20, 1874. H. M. Moore and R. K. Remington of Massachusetts both attended that Vermont YMCA Convention.[4]

K. A. Burnell was selected by the State of Massachusetts YMCA Committee to lead the first and following “regular canvass of Gospel meetings” in Massachusetts. And he was involved, at least to some degree, in the canvasses in New Hampshire and Vermont that followed. Burnell did a great deal of traveling in sharing the gospel—not only in going from his home in Illinois to Massachusetts to lead the “canvasses,” but also in traveling to many other parts of the United States. How he was able to pay for the expenses involved in his evangelistic work is the subject of the following three short articles.

What a Christian Banker May Do[5]

Mr. K. A. Burnell,[6] the Evangelist, has been supported by Mr. C. D. Wood,[7] a banker in New York,[8] who was one of his playmates in their boyhood. Zion's Herald tells how this partnership was brought about. The banker invited the western itinerant to his house in the country, in the vicinity of New York. After tea they had a ride, and after the ride a long walk, and many questions were asked about his mission work. The next morning Mr. Burnell was asked, “How would you like a salary and go forth as the banker's representative to do the Master's work as it shall open before you?” “Nothing could be more gratifying.” Thus the firm was organized and began business. The older partner just enters upon his twenty-seventh year of continuous service, for seventeen of which C. D. Wood has supplied the sinews of war. Certainly firms like this should multiply. Boston has several of them. There are men who could furnish the capital for such a firm and reap the richest interest on their investment. The junior partner has many other investments of this character. Colleges and seminaries have received many thousands at his hand, and he has often had as many as a half dozen young men and women in college and seminary training for future usefulness. These two partners are still comparatively young, and look forward to many years of labor in the Lord's vineyard.—Honolulu, (H. I.), Friend.

Personal. Trustees.[9]

“A noble instance of long-continued and unostentatious giving to a single cause is that of Mr.  C.  D.  Wood, a Wall street banker.  For seventeen years he has paid a salary of $1,000 per annum to Mr.  K.  A.  Burnell, the well-known evangelist, and the whole sum given him that time now exceeds $22,000, Mr. Burnell devoted himself most assiduously to gospel work, helping many a soul to a better spiritual life.  Would that there were hundreds of such copartnerships as this between Mr. Wood and Mr. Burnell.” Mr.  Wood is one of the largest yearly donors to the college.

. . . K. A. Burnell[10]

In 1868, Mr. C. D. Wood of Brooklyn suggested that Mr. Burnell devote his life to evangelistic work from wherever the call should come and he would furnish the salary. For 37 years he led a life of intense activity along many lines. In 1869 he settled in Aurora, Ills., and from that center he traveled at the rate of 1,000 miles per month. He was intimately associated with that wonderful circle of workers, Mr. McGranahan, Major Whittle, P. P. Bliss, D. L. Moody, B. F. Jacobs, and Ira D. Sankey. . . . Mr. Sankey was singing in meetings Mr. Burnell was holding in Ohio when Mr. Moody first heard him, and soon secured his services. In 1875 Mr. Burnell made a trip around the world, spending three of the fourteen months with his brother Thomas, for forty years a missionary in India.

Perhaps you may be such a benefactor!

[1] For much more information on “the Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, see Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2008). http://dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml
[2] Edward Taylor Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury, Vt; A Review of One Hundred Twenty-Five Years to the Anniversary Pageant 1912 (General-Books.net reprint of: St. Johnsbury, VT: The Cowles Press, 1914), 234-35.
[3] Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 6.
[4] Again, please see Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, for these and many more details.
[5] “What a Christian Banker May Do,” in The Sailors’ Magazine and Seamen’s Friend, Vol. 56, July, 1884. No. 7. (American Seamen’s Friend Society), 227; http://goo.gl/2uggw ; accessed 3/20/12.
[6] Kingsley A. Burnell (1824-1905) was born in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. He learned the trade of carpenter and builder in Northampton. He married Cynthia Pomeroy, of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, daughter of “Old Deacon Pomeroy.” In 1852, Burnell decided to “drop the jack-plane” and entered Sunday-school work under the American Sunday-school Union. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he entered the service of the Christian Commission, meeting Dwight L. Moody. See “. . . K. A. Burnell,” in The Advance, September 21, 1905, 318-19. http://goo.gl/v7AnG ; accessed 3/20/12.
[7] Cornelius Delano Wood (1832-1906) was born on December 12, 1832, in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was a member of the banking firm of Vermilye & Co. during the Civil War and “exercised a large and useful influence upon the financial arrangements of the Government at that crisis.” He later lived at 880 St. Mark’s Avenue, Brooklyn.
He was a Trustee, a member of the Executive Committee, and a Vice President of the Union Trust Company for many years; and he was one of the most prominent men in Wall Street. His listing in the book Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899 reads: Wood, Huestis & Co. (Special Partner), Bankers. Here is other information about that firm: Wood, Huestis & Co., bankers, No. 31 Pine Street, New York. Government securities. Stocks and bonds, bought and sold on commission: New York Stock Exchange sales, October 14, 1887. Sales of bonds and stocks from 10:00 A.M. to 12 M. [Wood, Huestis & Co. were the successors to Wood & Davis (C. D. Wood and S. D. Davis), bankers and brokers.]
In Brooklyn, he took a large share in the foundation of the Children’s Aid Society, donated $125,000.00 to erect the Young Women’s Christian Association building, and had a large share in building the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church. He was widely known in Wall Street as the representative of the affairs of the Congregational Church. See “Cornelius D. Wood . . . The Former Banker Was Well Known as a Philanthropist,” in The New York Times, published June 12, 1906; http://goo.gl/K0cxZ ; accessed 3/20/12.
[8] “C. D. Wood.—Banking and securities. Was formerly with Vermilye & Co., New-York City.” See “American Millionaires: The Tribune’s List of Persons Reputed to be Worth a Million or More,” in The Tribune Monthly, Vol. IV. June, 1892. No. 6., page 36; http://audio44.archive.org/details/cu31924029948258 ; accessed 3/20/12.
[9] A note in the Lafayette College Journal, Vol. 9, No. 5, February 1884, 78; http://goo.gl/ktk8J; accessed 3/20/12. Cornelius D. Wood was a Trustee of Lafayette College.
[10] “. . . K. A. Burnell,” in The Advance, September 21, 1905, 318-19. http://goo.gl/v7AnG ; accessed 3/20/12

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three Important Projects; and your help, please

Three Christian Recovery Projects

We Would Like to Undertake Right Now, with Your Help

By Dick B.

© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Christian Recovery Project #1

Conducting, recording, and posting free of charge on www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com interviews with Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena.

For many years, my son Ken and I have spoken of interviewing key people we have met in our travels, such as members of Rev. Samuel Shoemaker’s family, Dr. Bob’s children, Seiberling family members, Oxford Group activists and Sam Shoemaker associates and friends, archivists, historians, and devoted AAs and Christian leaders. During our September 2011 International Christian Recovery Coalition North American Summit Conference at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa, California, I mentioned this idea publicly from the platform. And we received a very positive response. As a result, we secured the www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com domain name, began building a Web site, and posted some early audios and new videos on the site.

Today, we know personally hundreds of Christians who are long-sober alcoholics and addicts, historians, authors, archivists, professional recovery people, treatment and sober living leaders, counselors and interventionists, clergy, pastoral counselors, recovery pastors, or otherwise informed and truthful people who can tell their stories, share how they serve, and present their ideas for advancing the International Christian Recovery Coalition’s mission. Because we know them, we can easily arrange interviews, record them, and post them on the Web free of charge.

Christian Recovery Project #2

Sharing with people in person, by phone, and via Skype how and where to study A.A. history, develop Christian recovery outreach, and conduct programs and group studies of various types that carry three important messages: (a) Conference-approved literature supports Christians’ sharing in their stories at 12-Step meetings and in their work with newcomers “how they established their relationship with God”—including mention of Jesus Christ and the Bible. (b) The seven principles and major practices of the early, highly-successful Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” are known from current, Conference-approved literature, and are therefore well within the Traditions. (c) The application in early A.A.—especially in Akron and Cleveland—of practices of First Century Christianity as found in the Book of Acts produced much-desired healing, love, forgiveness, power, and status as children of God.

Christian Recovery Project #3

Publishing my existing and future research on the history of A.A. and its Christian heritage in the form of print-on-demand books, and in Internet-friendly forms such as electronic books, audios, and videos, in order to reduce selling prices substantially (and to make possible free distribution frequently). Help us make known the unknown, little-known, and/or previously-distorted facts!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Does Dick B. write on more than 1 subject? You decide

To Jack who asks what I write about. I suggest he check Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, the titles on my website - 43 of them (www.dickb.com/titles.shtml), the 850 articles I have written - published on dozens of sites and forums and blogs (http://MauiHistorian.Blogspot.com). On digg, word press, on goarticles.com, on wryte stuff. Plenty options, Jack. Just plug into www.dickb.com; and you will be busy for hours and hours and hours reading about Alcoholics Anonymous History, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Big Book, the Twelve Steps, alcoholism, addiction, recovery, Bill W., Dr. Bob, Bill D., Clarence Snyder, Grace Snyder, Anne Ripley Smith (www.dickb.com/annesm.shtml) and on and on and alanon. God Bless. It's not about drill baby drill, it's about read baby read.

Plus dozens of articles about the Christian Recovery Movement, the changes in A.A., the role that God, His Son, and the Bible played in the origins, history, founding, original program, astonishing successes, and changes in 1939. www.dickb.com/realhistory.shtml. www.dickb.com/goodbook.shtml; www.dickb.com/conversion.shtml.

Dick B. dickb@dickb.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Christian Winners in A.A.

YOU Can “Stick With the Winners”

Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

The Apostles -- the First Century Christians – were winners – Daily they healed and were cured.


Daily in their homes or in the Temple, they prayed together, heard God’s Word together, ate together, and witnessed to others together

                                Acts 2:47.

As Peter instructed, they repented, were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and received the gift

of the Holy Ghost; and 3000 souls were added

                                Acts 2:38-41.

                They cast out unclean spirits, and healed all manner of sickness and all manner of disease

                                Matthew 10:1; e.g.: Acts 3:1-10; 5:12-15;  6:8; 8:13; 9:33-34, 37, 40-42; 10:10-12.         

The early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship (Group Number 1) were also winners.

            Daily they met together in the homes, contacted each other, prayed together, studied the Bible

                together, sought God’s guidance in Quiet Times together, and led newcomers to accept

                Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior

                                DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers; Dick B., The Golden Text of A.A., Mitchell K., How It Worked

They were or became born again. They turned to God for help. They were cured of alcoholism. And they told this to newcomers and helped them get straightened out.

                                Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 57, 63, 191; The Golden Text of A.A., Bill W., Autobiography.

A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature suggests AAs can become winners.


They can  meet together daily – and frequently do this more than once each day. They can contact each other daily. They can study the Bible together daily. They can pray together daily. They can read Christian books and devotionals together daily. They can eat together daily. They can  help others daily.

                The Co-Founders, 11;  DR. BOB; Alcoholics Anonymous,14-17, 20, 85-88, 91, 98, 100, 191.

You, Your sponsees, Your brothers, Your group, and Your Fellowship can daily grow in their relationship with God and their fellowship with Him, His Son, and other believers; follow the path of Apostolic Christians and early A.A. Christian Fellowship; and achieve the same results as those before them did. And here are some specific suggestions for you:

Arrange for daily contact with other believers: in fellowships; snacks, coffee, or meals together; prayer together; Bible study together; 11th Step Quiet Times together; communication by phone or in meetings together; service to and meeting  together in A.A., church, your Christian fellowship; study and leadership of others through the Big Book, the Steps, Bible, other literature, films, tapes, and A.A. commitments and activities; utilization of Christian programs of other churches, groups, meetings, conferences, entertainment, and recreational activities; sponsorship of  others; and meeting, welcoming, greeting, and helping newcomers; leading them and others who want God’s help into the Word and into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.


Remain committed and faithful daily to these Christians recovery efforts; and be bold in your willingness to take a stand for God, His Word, His healings, His forgiveness, His guidance, and a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

Gloria Deo

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Real Time Lines - Two of Them - That Marked A.A.'s Beginnings

The Real Time Lines —Two of Them—That Marked the Beginning of A.A.

March 12, 2012

Akron Events

September 1931

Russell Firestone gets saved and healed of alcoholism with the help of Rev. Samuel Shoemaker on the train back to Akron from the 50th triennial General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church—a General Convention of the Episcopal Church—held in Denver, Colorado, September 16-30, 1931.

October 1931 through January 1933

Russell and his friend James D. Newton travel widely for the Oxford Group in the ensuing months, giving their testimony in the United States and elsewhere.

January 1933

At the request of Russell Firestone’s father, Harvey Firestone, Sr., Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman—founder of “A First Century Christian Fellowship” (also known as “the Oxford Group”)—and other Oxford Group members, hold a series of meetings in Akron from January 19-23, 1933. Rev. Walter F. Tunks, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, is actively involved in hosting the meetings. Russell Firestone attends and speaks at several of the many Akron meetings, which are heavily covered by the Akron papers . He and others give testimony as to their Oxford Group life-changes through Jesus Christ.

January 1933

Henrietta Seiberling (of the well-known rubber dynasty family), Dr. Bob’s wife Anne, and two other ladies who attended the large, January 1933 Akron Oxford Group events, soon start attending the small, weekly, Thursday night West Hill Oxford Group meeting, persuading Dr. Bob to join the group. He attends Oxford Group meetings regularly until Mothers Day, May 12, 1935, when he met Bill W. (and for several years thereafter).

January 1933 through May 1935

During this period, and while still drinking, Bob feels it necessary to “renew” his familiarity with the Bible in which he said he “had had excellent training” as a youngster in Vermont. He reads the Bible three times from cover to cover. He joins a Presbyterian Church. He reads all kinds of Christian literature (which is still available for view at Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron as to one part, and at Brown University as to the other). Bob said he read all the Oxford Group literature he could get his hands on.

Late April, 1935(?)

Henrietta Seiberling feels guided to have a meeting for Dr. Bob and asks Oxford Grouper members T. Henry and Clarace Williams if their home could be used for the meeting. Henrietta then gathers some Oxford Group members to attend. She wants them to share things that were very costly to them to make Dr. Bob lose his pride. She warns Anne Smith about the meeting and tells her: “Come prepared to mean business. There is going to be no pussyfooting around.” But she doesn’t tell her the meeting was for Dr. Bob.  At this meeting, Dr. Bob shares: “I am going to tell you something which may cost my profession. I am a secret drinker, and I can’t stop.” The other group members ask if he would like them to pray for him. Dr. Bob says, “Yes,” so they pray for him. That was the beginning of the Wednesday night meetings at the Williams’ home.

The next morning, Henrietta says a prayer for Bob and says, “God, I don’t know anything about drinking, but I told Bob that I was sure that if he lived this way of life, he could quit drinking. Now I need  Your help, God.” She said: “Something said to me—I call it ‘guidance’; it was like a voice in my head—‘Bob must not touch one drop of alcohol.’” Henrietta calls Bob and tells him she had guidance for him. He comes over at ten in the morning, and she tells him that her guidance was that he mustn’t touch one drop of alcohol.  [See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, pages 53ff. for these details.]

Bob continues to drink excessively until he meets Bill W. He would say to Henrietta Seiberling: “’. . . I think I’m just one of those want-to-want-to guys.” And she’d say, “No, Bob, I think you want to. You just haven’t found a way to work it yet.” [DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 59]

May 1935

Two weeks later, Bill Wilson arrives in Akron.

May 1935

Bill Wilson had failed in a business venture and was tempted to drink. Instead, he calls Dr. Walter Tunks from the Mayflower Hotel in Akron.  Tunks  gives Bill a referral that leads to Henrietta Seiberling. Bill tells her: “I am a rum hound from New York and a member of the Oxford Group. And I need to talk to a drunk.”

May 1935

Henrietta thinks Bill W. is “manna from heaven.” She arranges to have Dr. Bob come to her home at the Seiberling Gate Lodge to meet with Bill W.

May 12, 1935

Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet on Mother’s Day, May 12, 1935. After talking with Bill W. for six hours, Dr. Bob concludes that, despite his and Bill’s association with the Oxford Groups, only Bill had grasped their idea of “service”—helping others get well. Something Dr. Bob said he had never thought of, considered, or done.

June 1935 through August 1935

Bill W. moves into the Smith home and lives there over the summer of 1935. Bill and Bob listen each day as Dr. Bob’s wife Anne reads the Bible to them. They particularly favor the Book of James. The two men stay up until the wee hours of the morning studying the Bible, discussing a possible program, and developing their ideas for recovery.

June 10, 1935

After one more binge in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the annual American Medical Association conference, Dr. Bob quits drinking for good—something he had never been able to do. Henrietta and he feel his cure (which is what he called it) was in answer to the prayers.

Late June, 1935

Dr. Bob and Bill W. decide they had better get busy, find another drunk, and help him. And they phone the nurse at Akron City Hospital. Dr. Bob tells her they have found a cure for alcoholism. And they meet Bill D. (A.A. Number Three-to-be). Bill D. tells them he already believes in God, was a Deacon in his church and a Sunday school teacher, and doesn’t need to be sold on religion. Bill W. and Dr. Bob tell him to give his life to God and that he must help another once he is cured. Bill D. gives his life to God, is immediately healed, and steps from the hospital a free man. He participates in A.A. meetings and service for the rest of his life.

July 4, 1935

A.A. Number Three, Bill D., is discharged from the hospital on July 4, 1935; and Bill W. declares that that is the founding date of the first A.A. Group—Akron Number One. As Bob said later, at that time, they had no Steps and no Traditions. There was not yet a Big Book. And there were not yet drunkalogs or meetings as we now know them.


From that point forward, they have daily meetings. Dr. Bob calls their meetings a “Christian fellowship.” All the early AAs are hospitalized. All read the Bible with Dr. Bob in the hospital, are asked to confirm their belief in God, are asked to get out of bed and on their knees, and are asked to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.


Every morning the AAs, their wives and families gather at the Smith Home for a Quiet Time led by Dr. Bob’s wife. Anne would open with a prayer, read from the Bible, have group prayer, have a group quiet time, and then usually share from her personal journal [See Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939] and have discussions on it. Copies of The Upper Room—a quarterly Christian devotional—are distributed by Mother G.


On Wednesdays, there is one regular meeting of the “self-styled alcoholic squad” at the home of T. Henry Williams. Sometimes the few Oxford Group people would hold their meetings in one room, and the alkies in another. Every single member is required to make a “real surrender.” This means he is taken upstairs with two or three members (usually Dr. Bob and T. Henry). The newcomer would kneel. The others would  pray with him and over him. He would ask Jesus Christ to become his Lord and Savior. He would ask God to take alcohol out of his life and guide him to live by Christian principles. Because these meetings are characterized as “old fashioned revival meetings” focused on healing drunks, they are referred to as a “clandestine lodge” of the Oxford Group and distinguish themselves from the Oxford Group which held other kinds of meetings and were focused on teams’ doing “world changing through life changing.”


The daily meetings begin with prayer. There is reading from the Bible, group prayer, group Quiet Time, and a period when newcomers are taken upstairs with two or three old-timers to do a full surrender. In their homes, AAs read Christian devotionals like The Runner’s Bible, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, The Soul’s Sincere Desire by Glenn Clark, and The Christ of the Mount by E. Stanley Jones. These are circulated among them by Dr. Bob and read. So are innumerable Christian books Dr. Bob and Henrietta Seiberling and Anne Smith were reading—Kagawa’s Love: The Law of Life; Henry Drummond’s The Greatest Thing in the World, Healing in Jesus’ Name by Ethel Willitts, Christian Healing, Soul Surgery by Walter, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Oswald Chambers, Twice Born Men and Life Changers by Harold Begbie, and many many others.

November 1937

In November 1937, Bill and Bob “count the noses” of the recoveries and find that  40 alcoholics they personally know—men who have gone to any lengths to follow the path—have maintained sobriety. Twenty have never had a drink since committing to Bill W. and Dr. Bob’s “program.” And early A.A. claimed a 75% success rate among these “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable,” “real” alcoholics who had thoroughly followed the early A.A. program and had been cured.

February 1938

Frank Amos, a representative of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., sends to a report to Rockefeller resulting from Amos’ investigation of Dr. Bob’s work in Akron. The reports presents a seven-point summary of the highly-successful Akron program. [See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 131.]

May 11, 1939

Clarence S., Dr. Bob’s sponsee, founds the third A.A. Group in the world in Cleveland. It is the first meeting called “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Clarence said he brought to Cleveland the Big Book and its 12 Steps, the Four Absolutes, the Bible, and “most of the old program.”  The work grew in one year from one group to 30 groups. It took people through the Twelve Steps in a day or so. And its records disclosed that they had attained a 93% success rate with no relapses!

New York Events


Rowland Hazard had developed a serious alcoholism problem. He treats with Dr. Carl Jung in Switzerland. But he relapses. He returns to Jung, who tells him he cannot help him because he has the mind of a chronic alcoholic. Jung suggests that a real conversion might relieve Rowland.

By the summer of 1934

Rowland joins the Oxford Group, begins associating with Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, makes a decision for Christ, and thoroughly masters Oxford Group ideas.

Summer of 1934

Ebby Thacher, Bill W.’s childhood friend and soon-to-be “sponsor,” meets Oxford Group members Shep Cornell, Cebra Graves, and Rowland Hazard. Ebby decides to get sober in Manchester, Vermont. His three Oxford Group friends tell him about the Oxford Group’s Christian principles and about the power of prayer.

Late Summer/Early Fall, 1934

Ebby accompanies Rowland Hazard to New York and stays for a short time with Shep Cornell. He then moves into Calvary Mission in New York which is run by Rev. Sam Shoemaker’s Calvary Episcopal Church.

September 1934

Bill’s third stay at Towns Hospital: Dr. William D. Silkworth, a top psychiatrist, tells Bill that if he does not stop drinking, he will die or go insane. Dr. Silkworth, who is a devout Christian, also tells Bill that Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, can cure him of his alcoholism.

November 1, 1934

Ebby Thacher makes his surrender—i.e., he accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior—at Calvary Mission in New York.

Late November, 1934

Ebby visits Bill W. at his 182 Clinton Street home in New York. He tells Bill about the Oxford Group’s Christian message, about the power of prayer they advocated, and about his own rebirth at Calvary Mission, and that God has done for him what he could not do for himself. Bill concludes that Ebby had been born again.

Early December, 1934

Ebby comes back to Bill’s home again, this time bringing with him Shep Cornell of the Oxford Group.

About December 6, 1934

Bill goes to Calvary House (run by Rev. Sam Shoemaker’s Calvary Episcopal Church) and hears Ebby give his testimony.

About December 7, 1934

The next day, Bill W. goes to Calvary Mission. Bill kneels at the altar and  accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Bill writes to his brother-in-law that he had “found religion.”

Years later, Bill writes in his autobiography [Bill W., My First 40 Years, 147] and in another manuscript saying, “For sure I’d been born again.”

December 11, 1934

On his way to Towns Hospital, Bill decides that he should probably call on the Great Physician for help.

December 11, 1934

Bill arrives at Towns Hospital for his fourth and final visit.

While there, he says: “If there be a God, let Him show Himself!”

This is when, Bill says, his hospital room filled and blazed with an “indescribably white light.” He says he experienced the presence of God, and he declares that this must be “the God of the Scriptures.”

He declared this, after this event, he never again doubted the existence of God.

He is released from Towns Hospital, permanently cured, on December 18, 1934. He then scours New York City with a Bible under his arm—going to the Bowery, to Calvary Mission, to flea bag hotels, to Towns Hospital, etc.—telling drunks his story (that the Lord had cured him of the terrible disease of alcoholism), and that they too could get healed of their alcoholism by giving their life to God.

May 12, 1935

Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet on Mother’s Day.

June 10, 1935

Bill W. and Dr. Bob identify this date—on which Dr. Bob took his last drink—as the date on which Alcoholics Anonymous was founded.