Archive for April, 2013

List yourself, fellowship, organization free on

April 4, 2013

How to Become, or Update Your Listing as, a “Participant” (free!) in
the International Christian Recovery Coalition

Ken B.

Aloha! My dad (Dick B.— and I are in the process of updating the “Participants” page of the International Christian Recovery Coalition Web site. As you probably know, it is FREE to become a “Participant” in the International Christian Recovery Coalition, and there is no obligation. Our concept is to make it as easy as possible for Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena, and those who want God’s help in overcoming alcoholism and/or addiction, to find those in their city, state, and/or country who could be of help.

If you are a Christian leader or worker in the recovery arena, please consider listing yourself, and/or or your Christian group, organization, or church on the “Participants” page. (If you are already listed on the “Participants” page, would you please take a few moments to review your current listing to make sure we have presented accurately as much or as little contact information as you would like to make available to the public?) Here are the key pieces of information to consider listing:

Name of individual (and relevant titles): __________________________________________

Name of group, organization, or church: __________________________________________

Mailing address: ____________________________________________________________

Home/Work/Cell phone number(s): _____________________________________________

Email address(es): ___________________________________________________________

Web site URL address: _______________________________________________________

B-R-I-E-F description of group’s Christian recovery focus: ___________________________
Thank you!

Dick B.’s son, Ken
Cell: 1-808-276-4945

Dick B.’s H/O tel.: 1-808-874-4876
Dick B.’s email:
Dick B.’s main Web site:
Dick B., Executive Director
The International Christian Recovery Coalition:
“Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” & other resources:


Eleventh Step of AA

April 3, 2013

To gain a full understanding and the historical perspective of A.A. “prayer and meditation,” Quiet Time, and the Eleventh Step backdrop, be sure to obtain and study

Quotes from the Journal Dr. Bob’s Wife Shared with Early AAs and Their Families

April 3, 2013

Quotations from the Original Journal kept by Anne R. Smith—“Mother of A.A.,” “A.A. Founder,” and Wife of Dr. Bob

Pioneer A.A.’s Most Ignored, Forgotten, yet Critically Important Resource

Dick B.
© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved

I said, in the series on Anne Smith, it is virtually impossible today for AAs to see, enjoy, and utilize the original journal that Dr. Bob’s wife assembled and used from 1933 to 1939. We have set out many portions of it in our title Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939, 3rd ed. See Those quotes were used to illustrate how much of Anne’s language can still be found in A.A. itself.

Here we want to introduce you to some specific segments that illustrate the diversity, practicality, and love that can be found in the comments of this wonderful woman of early A.A.–a non-alcoholic, yet perhaps its most articulate teacher. For it was Bill Wilson himself who said that during his stay at the Smith home in the summer of 1935, it was Anne Smith and Henrietta Seiberling who gave him and Dr. Bob a much needed spiritual infusion.

“GENERAL PRINCIPLES [From page 2 as numbered by GSO]

1. A general experience of God is the first essential, the beginning. We can’t give away what we haven’t got. We must have a genuine contact with God in our present experience. Not an experience of the past, but an experience in the present – – – actually genuine.

When we have that, witnessing to it is natural, just as we wish to share a beautiful sunset. We must be in such close touch with God that the whole sharing is guided. The person with a genuine experience of God and with no technique will make fewer mistakes than one with lots of technique, and no sense of God. Under guidance, you are almost a spectator of what is happening. Your sharing is not strained, it is not tense.

We must clearly see and understand our own experience and carefully articulate it, so as to be ready to know what to say or use parts of it, when the need comes to share with others, in order to help them.

Act only on prayer and under guidance. Prayer is real, and prepares the way for people.

Share with people – don’t preach, don’t argue. Don’t talk up nor down to people. Talk to them, and share in terms of their own experiences, speak on their level.

Proceed with imagination and real faith – expect things to happen. If you EXPECT things to happen, they DO happen. This is based on FAITH IN GOD, not on our own strength. A negative attitude toward ourselves or others cuts off God’s power; it is evidence of lack of faith in His power. If you go into a situation admitting defeat, of course you lose.”

[Comment: Those who are familiar with A.A.’s Big Book will quickly recognize the large number of ideas in the foregoing half-page of quotes that correspond to language Bill Wilson used in A.A.’s basic text. Thus on pages 18-19 of the Third Edition of A.A.’s Big Book, Bill talks about presenting no “Holier Than Thou” attitude, nor lectures, but rather a sharing of experience. Bill even refers to a Bible expression in saying, “many take up their beds and walk again” See John 5:8: “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”). See also, the Big Book’s comments about being “beyond human aid” (p. 24). About “the loving and powerful hand of God” (p. 18). About contact with “that Power, which is God” (p. 46). About “consciousness of the Presence of God” (pp. 51, 63). About “All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God” (p. 68). About “we ask God what we should do about each specific matter” (p. 69) About “God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him.” And there are many more examples.]

“THE FIVE C’S” (From page 4, as numbered by GSO) . . . .

Try to bring a person to a decision to “surrender as much of himself as he knows to as

much of God as he knows. Stay with him until he makes a decision and says it aloud.


This is the turning to God, the decision, the surrender.”

“WHAT SURRENDER MEANS” (From page 42, as numbered by GSO)

Surrender is a complete handing over of our wills to God, a reckless abandon of ourselves, all that we have, all that we think, that we are, everything we held dear, to God to do what he likes with. . .”

[Comment: Again, just look at the Big Book Third Edition: “We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon” (p. 59). “3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” (p. 59)]

“(a) What are the conditions of receiving God’s guidance?” (From page 38, as numbered by GSO)

We must be in such relationship with God that He can guide us; He will not force Himself on us. The Sons of God are those who are guided by the Spirit of God. If we are wholly surrendered we can absolutely count on guidance. Constant renewal of consecration is necessary. Surrender is not an attitude attained; it is an attitude maintained. The major condition is being absolutely willing and looking for God’s direction in all things. We cannot receive guidance if we hold back an area, an habit, a plan. We must be alert to His direction in Everything; little things, as well as big ones such as career and marriage”

[Comment: Anne had her eye on passages in the Good Book that were familiar to our pioneer AAs. See 1 Corinthians 1:17-24; 2:9-16; 3:11, 16; 12:3-13; 2 Timothy 1:14; James 1:5-8; 1 John 2:27, 4:1-6, 13; 5:1-5].

“8. LET ALL YOUR READING BE GUIDED” (From page 16, as numbered by GSO)

What does God want me to read? A newly surrendered person is like a convalescent after an operation. He needs a carefully balanced diet of nourishing and easily assimilated food. Reading is an essential part of the Christian’s diet. It is important that he read that which can be assimilated and will be nourishing. If you do not know what books to read see someone who is surrendered and who is mature in the Groups. Biographies, or stories of changed lives are very helpful for the young Christian. “Life Changers ” by Begbie; “Children of the Second Birth” Shoemaker; “New Lives for Old,” Reynolds; “For Sinners Only,” Russell; “Twice Born Men,” by Begbie, story of the Salvation Army in London Slums; “Twice Born Ministers,” Shoemaker; and others.

Books like, “He That Cometh,” Allen; “Conversion of the Church,” Shoemaker; all of E. Stanley Jones’ books are very good. Some have found Fosdick’s little books, “The Meaning of Prayer,” and “The Manhood of the Master” helpful. One should by all means read at least one book on the life of Christ a year for a while. More would be better. “The Life of Christ,” Stalker; “Jesus of Nazareth,” Barton; “The Jesus of History,” Glover; “The Man Christ Jesus,” Speer, are all good. See your ministers for others if you desire. But get those biographies of the Master which bring out his humanity. An understanding of the Cross and its meaning for life is absolutely essential. The best popular interpretation I know is, “If I be lifted Up,” by Shoemaker. It is a group of lenten sermons. Christ ought to be as real to us as our nearest and best friend.

Of course the Bible ought to be the main Source Book of all. No day ought to pass without reading in it. Read until some passage comes that “hits” you. Then pause and meditate over its meaning for your life. Begin reading the Bible with the Book of Acts and follow up with the Gospels and then the Epistles of Paul. Let “Revelation” alone for a while. The Psalms ought also be read and the Prophets.

[Comment: Early AAs read all these items. I found them in Dr. Bob’s library (See Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed. I found them in Henrietta Seiberling’s reading (See Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous and The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th ed.). I found them in Clarence Snyder’s library as shown to me by his wife Grace in Florida (See Dick B., That Amazing Grace and The Books Early AAs Read, supra). And I found many mentioned in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers and in early A.A. pamphlets and articles. Anne was the Bible student, the teacher, and the one who conducted the Morning Watch at the Smith home. It is therefore not surprising to see the language on page 87 of the Big Book, 3rd ed.: “There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be obtained from one’s priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.” And when I see communications from people that say “A.A. is not for Christians only” or Lois Wilson’s remark that “not all drunks are Christians,” or hear someone in a meeting talk about excluding all but Conference Approved books from meetings and discussions, I bemoan the lack of knowledge of our own history and of the Big Book itself that exists today. There is no index of forbidden books in Alcoholics Anonymous, and there never was one. Dr. Bob was an avowed Bible student, Christian, and member of Protestant churches. But he read, recommended, circulated, and studied the works of Roman Catholic writers, of Protestant writers, of Confucius, of “new thought” writers like Trine and Fox, and of the Bible itself. He went to Roman Catholic retreats, Bible and tooth brush in hand. And he seems never to have spoken ill of any religion or denomination–an example today’s AAs would do well to observe.]

“Barriers to a full surrender.” (From page 18, as numbered by GSO)

Is there anything I won’t give up?

Is there an apology I won’t make?

Is there any defeat in my whole life, I refuse to count as sin?

Any person I don’t like to meet?

Any restitution I won’t make?

Is there any guidance I have had but refused to follow?

Is there anything I won’t share? Let my surrender be wholesale.

Narrow vision, rigidity, a staleness in your relationship with Christ.

Telling a lie.

If you are sore in yourself, do you work it off on somebody else.

Intellectual doubts arise out of an attitude of mind.

You can’t ask forgiveness from someone you don’t believe in.

Ideas about self – holding on to my own judgment of things, people, common sense and reason.

“You can’t use a fine needle to do rough darning”– Are you willing to take any amount of trouble to win others that Christ has taken to win you?

Each confession a fresh humiliation breaks down another barrier. You can get to the place where you have nothing left to defend – that is release. You can go naked to God.

[Comment: There are dozens and dozens of similar phrases, guides, observations, challenges, and ideas in Anne’s 64 pages, plus those we still need to find. You can see many discussed in my title, Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939, 3rd ed. You will be surprised, as so many are each day, to see just how much of Anne’s thinking and teaching underlies our fellowship ideas. And do you see any mention of “higher power,” or of “acceptance,” or of “things happen for a reason,” or “there are no coincidences in A.A.” Whatever you think of such expressions, they should certainly balanced against an understanding of what some of us now “old school A.A.”

Let’s learn what we were and how successful we were before we start inventing new gods, nonsense gods, higher powers, new philosophies, and new interpretations of “reality.” The Big Book and the chatter in meetings, if not accompanied by our history, could be likened to a conversation with Thomas Jefferson without a knowledge of the Declaration of Independence.]

Our Great Opportunity Today

What a great and unusual day it could be in Twelve Step Fellowships if we actually saw a copy of Anne Smith’s Journal –mine or hers–on the literature table at a meeting.

What a great and unusual day if someone read just one page from the real, the original, the un-edited Anne Smith’s Journal at an A.A. meeting on the 4th week of every month.

What a great and unusual day if A. A. World Services started publishing the real history of early A.A. instead of the diverse opinions and conjecture by those who haven’t the resources, the understanding, or even a clue as to where we came from.

What an opportunity to change the failing “wisdom of the rooms,” the psychological treatment ideas, and the secularized “spirituality. And abandoned these in favor of the early “Program” of Akron Number One that Bill and Bob founded in 1935. Doing this by simply reading at a treatment program what that early program was, as exemplified by Anne’s Journal.

What a great and unusual day if speakers and International Conventions and other Conferences began talking about something other than their own experience, strength, and hope. These talks may be and often are humorous, inspiring, and attracting. But they seldom deal with the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in A.A. and can play today. See

By contrast, you can read the Book of Acts, as Anne suggested, and see plenty of victorious experience, strength, and hope that was based on “effectual, fervent prayer” by righteous people who were children of God, part of the body of Christ, and shared belief in, and reliance upon, the power of God. These First Century Christians shared this kind of experience: They lived together, prayed together, broke bread together, healed together, and witnessed. The lame walked. The dead were raised. The sick were healed. And that’s what early A.A. was really about. That is why so many characterized it as “First Century Christianity in action.”

Take a moment and look at the 12 times the word “Creator” is used in our Big Book today. If you also learn that the word “God” with a capital “G” is set forth–by description or specific language or explicit reference–over 400 times in today’s Big Book, you might be hesitant about questioning the literature that gave rise to the “Power” (the power of Almighty God, our Creator). The Almighty God—Creator, Maker, Heavenly Father, Father of Lights–Whose kindness, healing, and forgiveness put Alcoholics Anonymous on the map as a viable life-changing society that really had an answer to the alcohol and drug problem from which our founders suffered.

For further information, contact Dick B. at or 808 874 4876. And make a copy of Anne Smith’s Journal 1933-1939 an integral part of your knowledge of the principles and practices of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Gloria Deo

AA’s Bill Wilson Was Convinced that the “Lord” Had Cured Him of Alcoholism

April 1, 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous History
Why Bill Wilson Came Firmly to Believe That Alcoholism Could Be Cured by Conversion

Dick B.
© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved.

For many years during his childhood, Bill Wilson repeatedly heard that his paternal grandfather William C. (“Willie”) Wilson had been cured of alcoholism in a conversion experience atop Mt. Aeolus in Bill’s home town village of East Dorset, Vermont.

Throughout his youth, Bill was exposed to the account of his grandfather’s conversion and cure of alcoholism. And his exposure to the Bible, to Christian upbringing and training in the Bible, and to spiritual growth was far more substantial than has previously been known.

For example, Bill and his paternal and maternal families attended the East Dorset Congregational Church. The Wilsons helped found it. There the Wilson and Griffith families listened to sermons, and recited the confession and creed. There were tent meetings and revivals, and Bill witnessed conversions.

Moreover, Bill and his maternal grandfather, Fayette Griffith, read the Bible individually and together. Grandfather Fayette enrolled Bill in the East Dorset Congregational Church Sunday school. We are still investigating what transpired of a religious nature, if anything, during Bill’s residence in Rutland, Vermont. However, during his matriculation at Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester, Vermont, Bill regularly attended the daily chapel, and heard Scripture reading, sermons, prayers, and hymns. He attended the Manchester Congregational Church. He took a required, four-year Bible study course at Burr and Burton. And Bill was president of the Academy YMCA, while his girlfriend, Bertha Bamford, was president of the Burr and Burton YMCA, and both attended chapel together at the Academy.

It was only after his girlfriend Bertha met an untimely death just before graduation time, that Bill blamed the event on the Creator and turned his back on him—during many years of drinking.

Some years later, Bill’s psychiatrist, Dr. William D. Silkworth, explained to Bill that Bill could be cured by the “Great Physician,” Jesus Christ. This explanation occurred during Bill’s third hospitalization at Towns Hospital in New York, where Silkworth told Bill that there was a need in recovery for a relationship with Jesus Christ, Silkworth using the term “the Great Physician.” [Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2002), 50]. Bill himself wrote about this “Great Physician in his autobiography, My First 40 Years.

Then Bill’s old friend, Ebby Thacher, made a visit to Bill. Ebby related to Bill that the celebrated psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, had made a statement—“the one which saved Rowland Hazard’s life and set Alcoholics Anonymous in motion. . . . : ‘Occasionally, Rowland, alcoholics have recovered through spiritual experiences, better known as religious conversions.’” [Bill W.: My First 40 Years (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2000), 125]. Ebby also told Bill that he had been lodged at Calvary Rescue Mission on the East Side in New York. [Bill W., 131]. Ebby was sober. He said to Bill, “I’ve got religion.” [Bill W., 133]. He touched upon the subject of prayer and God. [Bill W., 133-34]. And then, as Bill stated in his own words

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. Society was about to lock him up. Like myself, he had admitted complete defeat.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed. (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001), 11].

I found a manuscript at Stepping Stones which, at lines 935-942, told of Bill’s further statement:

Nevertheless here I was sitting opposite a man who talked about a personal God, who told me how he had found him, who described to me how I might do the same thing and who convinced me utterly that something had come into his life which had accomplished a miracle. The man was transformed; there was no denying he had been reborn.” [See Dick B., Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes (San Rafael, CA: Paradise Research Publications, 1997, 99-100.]

Bill also pointed to a further statement by Ebby, and said:

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. Society was about to lock him up. . . . That floored me. It began to look as though religious people were right after all.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 11].

Bill’s next move was to go to Calvary Church to hear Ebby’s testimony and check out his story. Bill stated:

Remembering the mission where Ebby stayed, I figured I’d go and see what did they do, anyway down there. I’d find out. . . . There were hymns and prayers. Tex, the leader, exhorted us. Only Jesus could save, he said. . . . Then came the call. Penitents started marching toward the rail. . . . Soon I knelt among the sweating, stinking penitents. Maybe then and there, for the first time, I was penitent too. Something touched me, I guess it was more than that. I was hit.” [Bill W.: My First 40 Years, 136-37].

Several witnesses confirmed what Bill did at that altar: (a) Mrs. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., talked with me on the telephone and told me she was present when Bill made his decision for Christ. [Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2006), 61]. (b) Bill’s wife, Lois Wilson, confirmed Bill’s decision for Christ. Speaking of Bill’s trip to the altar at the Mission, Lois Wilson said: “And he went up, and really, in very great sincerity, did hand over his life to Christ.” [“Lois Remembers: Searcy, Ebby, Bill & Early Days.” Recorded in Dallas, Texas, June 29, 1973, Moore, OK: Sooner Cassette, Side 1]. (c) Rev. Sam Shoemaker’s assistant minister, W. Irving Harris, wrote this: “It was at a meeting at Calvary Mission that Bill himself was moved to declare that he had decided to launch out as a follower of Jesus Christ.” [Dick B., New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A., 2d ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1999), 533-35.]. (d) Bill twice made a further statement of great interest. It is not clear whether Bill was referring to his decision for Christ at the Calvary Mission altar or to his subsequent blazing indescribably white light experience after calling on the “Great Physician” at Towns Hospital not long thereafter. But Bill Wilson twice wrote, “For sure I’d been born again.” [See Bill W., My First 40 Years, 147; Dick B., Turning Point, 94-98; and Dick B., A New Way In (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2006), 61-62)]. (e) At Stepping Stones, I (Dick B.) personally found a letter that Bill had written to his brother-in-law stating that he [like Ebby] had “found religion.” [Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., 62].

After his born again surrender at the Calvary Rescue Mission altar, Bill wandered drunk for a time and then staggered into Towns Hospital for his last visit there. Bill said:

I remember saying to myself, ‘I’ll do anything, anything at all. If there be a Great Physician, I’ll call on him.’ Then, with neither faith nor hope I cried out, ‘If there be a God, let him show himself.’ The effect was instant, electric. Suddenly my room blazed with an indescribably white light. . . . I became acutely conscious of a presence which seemed like a veritable sea of living spirit. I lay on the shores of a new world. ‘This,’ I thought, ‘must be the great reality. The God of the preachers.’ [In an article in The Language of the Heart, Bill recounted that he had thought: “Bill You are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures”]. . . I thanked my God who had given me a glimpse of his absolute Self. . . . Save a brief hour of doubt next to come, these feelings and convictions, no matter the vicissitude, have never deserted me since.” [Bill W.: My First 40 Years, 145-46].

As Lois Wilson’s biographer related the situation, Bill said, “I thanked my God, who had given me a glimpse of his absolute Self. . . . It was December 11, 1934. Bill had just turned thirty-nine. He would never again doubt the reality of God.” [William G. Borchert, The Lois Wilson Story: When Love Is Not Enough (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2005), 166].

When Bill consulted Dr. Silkworth after the experience, Dr. Silkworth said to Bill, “You have had some kind of conversion experience.” [Bill W.: My First 40 Years, 148]. And the recent biography of Bill Wilson’s wife, written by William G. Borchert, tells the details of Bill’s immediate, enthusiastic witnessing as follows:

The doctor [Dr. Silkworth] always allowed Bill to share his God-experience with some patients, hoping somehow it might help. And Bill began learning about the mental and spiritual part of his alcoholic malady from Dr. Shoemaker, who had now befriended the former Wall Street analyst. Dr. Shoemaker encouraged Bill to spread the message of change and spiritual recovery to others like himself.

Bill took the preacher at his word. With Lois’s full support, he was soon walking through the gutters of the Bowery, into the nut ward at Bellevue Hospital, down the slimy corridors of fleabag hotels, and into the detox unit at Towns with a Bible under his arm. He was promising sobriety to every drunk he could corner if they, like he, would only turn their lives over to God.” [Borchert, The Lois Wilson Story, 170]

And what was the simple message, as Bill explained it to the wife of A.A. number three and set forth in his “Basic Text” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed.) at page 191:

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.

Bill’s conviction about his permanent cure was so strong that he arranged a meeting in December 1937 at the boardroom on the 56th floor at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The meeting lasted five hours. Four Rockefeller associates—Albert Scott, Leroy Chipman, W. S. Richardson, and Frank Amos—were present. So, too, were Dr. Silkworth and Bill’s brother-in-law, Dr. Strong. In addition, there was an array of what Frank Amos called “the following ex-alcoholics, William G. Wilson, Henry G. Parkhurst, William J. Ruddell, Ned Pointer and Bill Taylor, all of New York and vicinity; Mr. J. H. F. Mayo of near Baltimore, Maryland; Dr. Robert H. Smith and J. Paul Stanley of Akron, Ohio.” Frank Amos stated that Bill Wilson had briefly told Mr. Richardson,

the story of how, after many vain attempts to discontinue the use of alcohol, he had achieved what he believed was a permanent cure, through what he termed a religious or spiritual process.”

Dr. Silkworth stated “without reservation that while he could not tell just what it was that these men had which had effected their ‘cure’ yet he was convinced they were cured and that whatever it was, it had his complete endorsement.” [The foregoing is contained in the “History of the Alcoholic movement up to the formation of The Alcoholic Foundation on Aug. 11, 1938.” I personally obtained, with permission, my copy of this second report by Frank Amos at the Stepping Stones archives in Bedford Hills, New York.]

For further details, please see Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.: (, and contact

Gloria Deo