Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Guide for Beginners’ Recovery from Alcoholism and Addiction Today

The Guide for Beginners’ Recovery from Alcoholism and Addiction Today

By Applying Old School Akron A.A. in Today’s Recovery Scene

Dick B.

© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved


Summary of the Stages of Healing Techniques, Beginning with the Apostles, and How They Lived Their Lives--Praying, Witnessing, converting others, healing,  fellowshipping in homes and  temple, and breaking bread together

How Recovery “Christian techniques” Began to be employed in the manner of First Century Christian Fellowships

The Turning by Christian groups in the 1850’s to Ministering to the “Unworthy”

The Christian Entities That Led the Way

Christian Revivals in the Upbringing of A.A.’s Co-founders

[The Great Revival of 1876 in St. Johnsbury]

Congregationalism in Vermont and in the Families of A.A.’s Co-founders

Participation of Grandparents and Parents

Church, Sunday School, Sermons, Reading of Scripture, Hymns, Prayer Meetings, Young Men’s Christian Association, Christian Endeavor Societies

The Congregational Domination of Academies Attended by Dr. Bob, Bill W., and Ebby Thacher; and the Christian Practices Required of Students

The Spiral Downward (glass in hand) by Dr. Bob and by Bill W. as They Departed for College


The Early Formative Days for Alcoholics and Addicts

How the First Three AAs Got Sober

A.A. Number One. Bill W. became born again at Calvary Chapel in New York. Then Bill was cured of his alcoholism at Towns Hospital when Bill cried out to God for help, there experienced a blazing indescribably white light in his hospital room, and concluded, “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures.” Bill never again doubted the existence of God, and never drank again.

On a rug on the floor of the home of T. Henry Williams, Dr. Bob (the alcoholic) had joined a small group of friends in prayer for his deliverance from alcoholism. A miraculous phone call soon emerged from the prayers. Bill W., a stranger, phoned Henrietta Seiberling seeking a drunk to work with. She introduced two men (Bill W. and Dr. Bob) at her home; and, after a six hour talk, the two men were bound to the principle of serving others. But Dr. Bob had yet to be cured. Before long, after a bender, Dr. Bob undertook scheduled surgery. Bill and Bob’s family were concerned that Bob was too shaky to operate. But Bob proceeded. He told Bill he had placed the surgery and his life in God’s hands. The operation was a success. Dr. Bob was cured then and there of his drinking problem and said so. It was June 10, 1935; and Bob never drank again.

Bill W. and Dr. Bob  visited attorney Bill D. in Akron City Hospital, persuaded him to admit to his seemingly hopeless alcoholism. Bill D. got on his knees and gave his life to God. He also promised to help others get well. And he walked out of the hospital a free man. He never drank again. And Bill W. announced that the date was July 4. 1935—the founding of Akron Group Number One.

All three men had renounced liquor for good. They believed in God and were students of the Bible. They were Christians. And in their darkest hours, they sought God’s help for their ascent from the abyss.


The First Program of Recovery

The pioneers soon developed a recovery program consisting of seven points; investigated by Rockefeller agent Frank Amos and reported on page 131 of DR. Bob and the Good Oldtimers. The summarized seven points are accompanied in our book, Stick with the Winners and details the 16 principles and  practices the pioneers used to implement the seven point program published in A.A. literature; and Dick B. and his son Ken B. have set forth their summary of those principles and practices. In Stick with the Winners! How to Conduct More Effective  12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., (2012). Dick and his son Ken have set forth on pages 27-38, with documentation those 16 principles and practices


The Next Major Program Development Was the Remarkable Cleveland Program Offshoot and Its Top Success

There are five reliable summaries of the Cleveland application of old school A.A.

(1) They are Our A.A. Legacy to the Faith Community For Those Who Want to Believe, By Three Clarence Snyder Sponsee-Old-timers and Their Wives: Compiled and Edited by Dick B. (Winter Park, FL: Came to Believe Publications, 2005.) The three author-couples were sponsored by Clarence, sponsored many others, put on retreats organized by Clarence, and were at his side for many years until his death. And, after Clarence died, they later devoted almost a year to interviews, phone calls, correspondence, and manuscript work with Dick B. It is widely used by AAs, at the retreats, and by hundreds who use it as a guide to A.A. and how to take its steps.


(2) Dick B. spoke at many retreats with Grace Snyder. He and his son Ken B. interviewed Grace extensively, and reviewed such books, papers, and records owned by Clarence as Grace made available when Dick and Ken spent a week at the Grace Snyder home in Florida. And her biography  is That Amazing Grace: The Role of Clarence and Grace S. in Alcoholics Anonymous published by Paradise Research Publications, Inc. (Kihei, HI Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1996. It was authored by Dick B.


(3)  The next significant Snyder book was written by Mitchell K. and titled How It Worked: The Story of Clarence H. Snyder and the Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland (1991). Mitchell had been sponsored by Clarence, gained possession of most of Clarence’s papers, and told the story of Clarence and Cleveland quite well.



There were some principal points that Grace and Mitchell made clear to me. They incorporated these in their writings about the Cleveland fellowship founded by Clarence in 1939. And  these are the important parts of A.A. history Clarence brought with him to Cleveland: (Big Book, Twelve Steps, “most of the old program” including the Four Absolutes and the Bible). The “old program” which included belief in God, surrender to Him through Jesus Christ, study of the Bible, visiting newcomers, particularly in the hospital; and participating in a great deal of fellowship—including sports, choir, braking bread, dances, and group prayer.

            In Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A. pp. 21-22, Bill  W. described what Cleveland had done with “most of the old school A.A.” program,” and wrote:


We old-timers in New York and Akron had regarded this fantastic phenomenon with deep misgivings. Had it not taken us four whole years, littered with countless failures, to produce even a hundred good recoveries? Yet here in Cleveland we now say about twenty members, not very experienced themselves, suddenly confronted by hundreds of newcomers as a result of the Plain Dealer articles. How could they possibly manage? We did not know. But a year later we did know for by then Cleveland had about thirty groups and several hundred members. . . . Yes, Cleveland’s results were of the best.


Bill W.’s new book and “New Version of the Program” the Twelve Steps

No sooner did the presentation of the Akron Christian Fellowship practices and accomplishment take place, than Bill W. wanted a book, hospitals, and missionaries. But his proposal failed with the Akron group. He did gain approval of the book by a slim vote; but he began writing untethered as to its contents. Dr. Bob had merely commented: “Keep it simple!” And Bill’s product came up with the “new version”—the one that enabled the original or “First” manuscript draft to be written and circulated. But the AAs felt a story or case history was needed—evidence in the form of living proof, written testimonials of the membership.

But there was dissension. For example, Fitz M., the Episcopal minister’s son and the  second man to recover at Towns Hospital constantly traveled to reinforce the position that the book ought to be Christian in the doctrinal sense of the word and should say so. Fitz favored using Biblical terms and expressions to make this clear. But the atheists and agnostics, were still to make a tremendously important contribution, said Bill. The protesters, led by Bill W.’s friend Henry, were for deleting the word “God” from the book entirely. Henry had come to believe in some sort of “universal power.” He wanted a psychological book

There was still argument about the Twelve Steps. Bill wrote: “All this time I had refused to budge on these steps. I would not change a word of the original draft, in which I had consistently used the word “God.’ But praying on one’s knees was still a big affront to Henry. He argued, he begged, he threatened. . . He was positive we would scare off alcoholics by the thousands when they read those Twelve Steps. A detour was fashioned. Bill pointed out that the steps could be made suggestive only.

And the totally compromised draft of the First Edition manuscript was chopped up by a committee of four—Wilson, Hank Parkhurst, Fitz, and the secretary, Ruth Hock. And then an endless number of parties took a crack at it. The Multilith was the name given for the text of the, working manuscript. And it contained “accepted” changes, “rejected” changes, the marginalia, and the “proof sheet” changes. Later editors insisted that it was badly mangled. But a bidder at auction paid almost a million dollars for the manuscript. Then it was published for sale as The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of “Alcoholics Anonymous”  (Center City, MN, Hazelden, 2010).

And, though there are suspect additions, and many hand-written opinions and suggestions, one can look at the Hazelden publication and see the manuscript that contained the First Edition of the Big Book, published by Works Publishing Company in New York

There was a huge compromise in Bill’s 12 Step version. And regardless how you regarded the great compromise, it proposed language such as describing God as a “Power greater than ourselves and inserting the words “God as we understood Him”

So the real “new version” of the program and its steps were compromised in tenor and purpose. In Bill’s language, “God was certainly there is our Steps, but He was now expressed in terms that anybody—anybody at all—could accept and try, , , , “Such were the final concessions to those of little or no faith. . . so all who suffer might pass through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.”


The Present Program as Embodied in the Several Published Manuscripts That Has Left God in the Dust

Was He a “power?” Could He merely be described as a “Power greater than ourselves?” Was He a light bulb or Big Dipper as some frequently said? Could you –with the stroke of a pen--change God into someone or something anyone or anything could expect to heal him?

 Jim H., probably the A.A. with the most sobriety when he died, once said to me: “Dick. If you take God out of A.A., you have nothing.”

Should a newcomer hear that he should pray to nothing for help? That he need believe in nothing for rescue? That A.A. is just about not-god-ness? That he can select a rock, a chair, a door knob, a table, or some undefined “higher power” for healing?

We think the newcomer needs to hear the whole story and not just about rocks and tables, higher powers, light bulbs, or “nothing at all” and expect to be cured of alcoholism with such an approach. Or should he hear the rest of the story and believe affirm what his basic text claims: that the Creator of the heavens and the earth could have, would be able to wield, can, and does have more power than any product of man’s mind, book, or hands?

You decide.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Your Suggestions for Effective Christian Recovery

Your Suggestions as to Effective Christian Recovery Help

By Dick B.

Please contact me if you can suggest a Christian Recovery Residential Facility, a Christian Treatment Facility, or a Christian Recovery Fellowship

Day in and day out, we receive phone calls, emails, or personal conversations with alcoholics, drug addicts, and codependents who may or may not be involved in A.A., N.A., or a Twelve-step fellowship.

Or who may or may not be looking for solid, well planned, effective Christian recovery help: Help In a  residential facility, a treatment facility, or a recovery fellowship that believes God can help those who still suffer. That believes competent –preferably recovered==Christian personnel can aid the process whether clergy, recovery pastors, program directors, counselors, interventionists, therapists or recovered Christian Twelve-Steppers who may offer help for you or yours. That believes help can or should include Bible study, prayer, quiet time, personal counseling, Christian fellowship with like-minded believers, and tolerance of the expressed needs of others who have exhausted their own resources, found no help elsewhere, and have a genuine desire to work in a “First Century Christian” fellowship atmosphere much like that in the old school A.A. founded by Akron A.A.’s Christian Fellowship in 1935.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the need, talked to those who want help, visited facilities or people who have had successful experience as recovered Christians who care and serve.

You need not judge the entity or person suggested. And we won’t. But your suggestions should include a name, a location and contact, a phone and email, and a URL along with illustrative literature.

We’ve seen enough inadequate, albeit well-intentioned, efforts; those that are too expensive; and those that lack leaders and staff equipped to minister, teach Bible, conduct prayer sessions, counsel, and give the afflicted a real shot at in depth reliance on God, His Son, and the Bible.

Please contact Dick B. at 808 874 4876 or; and look at our websites such as Make your suggestion. Make your comments. And stay in touch with us if you see the kind of help that might meet your need.

Gloria Deo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Restore Your Faith in Today's A.A. and Embrace the Rights and Views of Others

Now that 25 years of research has been completed, the emphasis will be on teaching the actual facts--the "rest of the story", and the ignored links--in digestible bites. The basic documentation is available in 46 titles, 1700 articles, blogs, newsletters, and personal conversations. But the wide dissemination now will allow viewers, speakers, diverse training folks, and leaders to conduct their own programs in their own ways, but to have access to regular input from Dick and Ken.
How? Radio, videos, webinars, interviews, and ample, personal communications, facebook, twitter, and other media. Expensive travel to conferences will be replaced largely by specific, brief, topical segments that will help trainers, help trainees, enhance recovery, and help others.
Mindless meeting chatter, war stories, and entertaining circuit speakers can give place to groups that learn chunks of recovery facts, ask questions, receive pointers to resources, and make comments. Fellowship, Big Book study, Step study, history study, and information about the role played and that can be played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible will enable old school A.A. to supplement the experience of members in helping others with today's spiritual tools.
No change in A.A. Just enabling serious recovery facts to beef up learning at a local, personal, nationwide level.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Faith in A.A. Comes From Learning What It Has Done and What It Plans to Do. Study groups build faith

Frank Mauser, now deceased, was the second archivist of A.A. upon the retirement of Nell Wing. Frank became a good friend of mine, and he was a strong supporter of suggesting to AAs that they heed the saying about how a civilization or society perishes or declines because there is always one condition present. They forgot where they came from.

It's time to think through the opportunities for success and growth in A.A. that can and will come when the importance and diversity of study groups is once again recognized and organized.

Of late, we have women's groups. We have atheist groups. We have agnostic groups. We have gay and lesbian groups. We have Step Study groups, Big Book study groups, Traditions groups, and history groups.

But when it comes to the kind of study groups that emanated from the Joe and Charlie Big Book Seminars, lots of learning is shelved in favor of roundups, flings, dances, and circuit speakers. Content is not the test of value and quality; but large crowds, famed speakers, "spirituality" groups, and Buddhist groups seem to trump the kind of research, preparation, and utility that can come from learning how AA began, what it's strong points were, what has been changed, what has been eliminated, and what is sometimes barred by moderators, "conference-approved" barriers, and arguments about what Traditions permit or don't permit.

We will be inviting your comments on and suggestions concerning some often-mentioned and very important studies that more and more in the fellowship are seeking to conduct.

It's not about what's permitted. It's not about what's banned. It's not about which "evidence-based" pharmaceutical or psychological counseling has been discovered and found useful. It's not about what some office manager, secretary, "trusted servant," or delegate thinks A.A. is, should be, and should do.

What will soon be evident is that the strength, duration, and value of A.A., its roots, its literature, its Steps, and its discussions can and should be led by avid researchers who employ history, medicine, religion, community, archives, interviews, and great teachers to tell us what we did. To tell us what we have forgotten. To tell us the facts about working with drunks and addicts and helping them to be cured.. And to point us to the speakers, the literature, and the meetings that help us to grow.

What kind of meetings? Big Book, Step, Bible, History, Roots, the personal stories of the pioneers, and the recorded success rates of such groups as early Cleveland A.A. developed, polished, enhanced, and assured great success--far more than had been achieved theretofore. There can be prayer meetings, devotional meetings, guidance meetings, and a host of others whose very names have been forgotten.

Well that's what is in the burner. It's coming from those who have faith in A.A., see the shortcomings of the "wisdom of the rooms," and want to thinking and leadership of those who founded some of the great recovery ideas of yesteryear.