Thursday, March 15, 2012

Does Dick B. only write on one subject? You decide

To Jack who asks what I write about. I suggest he check, Barnes & Noble, the titles on my website - 43 of them (, the 850 articles I have written - published on dozens of sites and forums and blogs ( On digg, word press, on, on wryte stuff. Plenty options, Jack. Just plug into; 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 ( 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.;

Dick B.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Winners in Recovery

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time line of A..A. Development

The Real Time-lines (two of them) that marked the beginnings of A.A.

March 11, 2012

Akron Events:

Russell Firestone got saved and healed of alcoholism 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.

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

The Oxford Group (not Groups) founder, Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman, and other Oxford Group members put on a series of meetings in Akron beginning on Thursday, January 19, 1933, and extending to Monday, January 23. Rev. Walter F. Tunks, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, was actively involved in hosting the meetings. [Russell was among the many who attended the huge number of meetings, widely publicized in Akron papers said during these January 1933 meetings in Akron. He and others gave testimony as to their Oxford Group life-changes through Jesus Christ.

Henrietta Seiberling (of the well-known rubber dynasty family), Dr. Bob’s wife Anne, and two other ladies attended the  1933 events and soon started attending a small Oxford Group meeting, persuading Dr. Bob to join the group.

Shortly after the January 1933 events, a small group of Oxford Group members began meeting every Wednesday night in the home of T. Henry and Clarace Williams. Henrietta Seiberling, and Dr. Bob and Anne Smith, were among those attending weekly.

Henrietta believed she had received revelation from God that her friend, Dr. Bob, must not touch one drop of liquor—a message she conveyed to Bob. But Bob continued to drink excessively and told Henrietta he guessed he was just one of those “wanna wanna” guys.

During this period, and while still drinking, Bob felt it necessary to “renew” his familiarity with the Bible in which he said he “had had excellent training” as a youngster in Vermont. He read the Bible three times from cover to cover. He joined a Presbyterian Church. He read 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.

Around the end of April 1934, Henrietta Seiberling asked group members that they be prepared to be straightforward about shortcomings and to “share something costly” at the next meeting.

Dr. Bob shared at that (next) meeting: “This may cost me my profession, but I am a silent drinker and I can’t stop.”

Henrietta asked Bob if he would like the group to pray. Bog agreed; and there in the Williams’ living room they went down on their knees and prayed for Dr. Bob’s deliverance from his drinking problem.

Two weeks later, Bill Wilson arrived in Akron.

Bill Wilson had failed in a business venture, was tempted to drink; but instead he called Dr. Walter Tunks from the Mayflower Hotel in Akron.  Tunks  gave Bill a referral that led to Henrietta Seiberling. Bill told her: “I am a rum hound from New York and a member of the Oxford Group. And I need to talk to a drunk.”

Henrietta thought Bill was “manna from heaven.” She arranged to have Dr. Bob come to her home at the Seiberling Gate Lodge. And the two agreed.

Bill W. and Dr. Bob met on Mothers  Day, May 12, 1935

The principal thing that came out of the six hour meeting was that Dr. Bob concluded that, despite his and Bill’s association with the Oxford Groups, only Bill had grasped their idea of “service”—helping others get well. Something he said he had never thought of, considered, or done.

Soon Bill moved into the Smith home during the summer of 1935. Bill and Bob listened each day as Dr. Bob’s wife read the Bible to them. They particularly favored the Book of James. The two men stayed up until the wee hours of the morning studying the Bible, discussing a possible program, and developing their ideas for recovery.

Dr. Bob went on one more binge and then quit for good – something he had never been able to do. Henrietta and he felt his cure (which is what he called it) t was in answer to the prayers.

Bob and Bill decided they had better get busy, find another drunk, and help him. And they phoned the nurse at Akron City Hospital. Bob told her they had found a cure for alcoholism. And they met Bill D. (A.A. Number Three-to-be). Bill D. told them he already believed in God, was a Deacon in his church and a Sunday school teacher, and didn’t need to be sold on religion. Bill and Bob told him to give his life to God and that he must help another once he was cured. Dotson did just that, was immediately healed, and stepped from the hospital a free man—who participated in A.A. meetings and service for the rest of his life.

As Bob said, at that time, they had no Steps, no Traditions, and (of course) no Big Book, nor drunkalogs, and no meetings as we now know them. The date of Dotson’s discharge from the hospital was July 4, 1935; and Bill declared that that was the founding date of the first A.A. Group—Akron Number One.

From that point forward, they had daily meetings. They called themselves a Christian Fellowship. All were hospitalized. All read the Bible with Dr. Bob in the hospital, were asked to confirm their belief in God, and then got out of bed and on their knees and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Every morning the AAs, their wives and families would 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 journal [Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939] and have discussions on it. Copies of the Upper Room—a quarterly Christian devotional—were distributed by Mother G.

On Wednesdays, there was 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 was required to make a “real surrender.” This meant he was 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. The prayers were that God take alcohol out  of his life and guide him to live by Christian principies. Because these meetings were characterized as “old fashioned revival meetings” focused on healing drunks, they were referred to as a “clandestine lodge” of the Oxford Group and distinguished 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 opened with prayer. There was reading from the Bible, group prayer, group Quiet Time, and a period when newcomers were taken upstairs with two or three oldtimers. 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, The Christ of the Mount by E. Stanley Jones. These were circulated among them by Dr. Bob and read. So were 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.

By November of 1937, Bill and Bob counted noses and found that  40 alcoholics they personally knew—men who had gone to any lengths to follow the path—had maintained sobriety. Twenty had never had a drink. Ten had relapsed but returned and succeeded. This meant that 75% of these seemingly hopeless, medically incurable real alcoholics had been cured.

Clarence Snyder: First meeting called “Alcoholics Anonymous” held on May 11, 1939, in Cleveland, Ohio.

This meeting took to Akron the “best” of the old program—the Bible, the Oxford Group 4 Absolutes, the Big Book, and the 12 Steps. It grew in one year from one group to thirty 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.

New York Events

Rowland Hazard had developed a serious alcoholism problem. He treated unsuccessfully with Dr. Carl Jung in Switzerland. But he relapsed. Jung told him he could not help him because he had the mind of a chronic alcoholic. Jung suggested that a real conversion might relieve Rowland.

Rowland affiliated with the Oxford Group, began associating with Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, made a decision for Christ, and thoroughly mastered Oxford Group ideas.

Ebby Thacher, Bill W.’s childhood friend and soon-to-be “sponsor,” meets Oxford Group members Shep Cornell, Cebra Graves, and Rowland Hazard. Ebby had previously decided to get gets sober in Manchester, Vermont. Then his three Oxford Group friends told him about the Oxford Group’s Christian principles, about the power of prayer, and lodged him in Calvary Mission in New York. It was at that Calvary Mission altar that Ebby made a decision for Jesus Christ.

Bill’s third hospital visit was in September 1934. This is when Dr. Silkworth told Bill that if Bill did not stop drinking, Bill would die or go insane. And Dr. Silkworth also told Bill that Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, could cure Bill of his alcoholism.

Ebby Thacher surrendered (accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior) on November 1, 1934, at Calvary Mission in New York.

Ebby then visits Bill at his 182 Clinton Street home in New York in late November, 1934. He told Bill about the Oxford Group’s Christian message, about the power of prayer they advocated, and about his own rebirth at Calvary Mission—Bill concluding that Ebby had been born again.

Ebby came back to Bill’s home again, probably in the first days of December 1934, with Shep Cornell of the Oxford Group.

Bill then heard Ebby give his testimony at Calvary Church.

Then next day, probably about December 7, 1934, Bill went to Calvary Mission as Ebby had done. Bill knelt at the altar and  accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Bill He wrote his brother in law that he had “found religion.”

Bill wrote in his autobiography and in another manuscript about that event saying, “For sure I’d been born again.”

On his way to Towns Hospital, Bill decided 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 said: “If there be a God, let Him show Himself!”

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

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

He was released—cured--from Towns Hospital on December 18, 1934. He then went everywhere with a Bible under his arm—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 could get healed of their alcoholism by giving their life to God.

The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous

The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous

A best-selling scholarly study of the founding, nature, practical life-changing program of A First Century Christian Fellowship, later known as the Oxford Group, and still later as Moral Re-Armament. Founded by Dr. Frank Buchman, with Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. (rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York) as an American leader, and the substantial original association with and impact upon early Alcoholics Anonymous and its co-founder Bill Wilson.

Friday, March 02, 2012

One Man Awake!

One Man Awake

Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

What Do You Say When you hear . . .

“They won’t let us study the Bible in our A.A. group. They say the Bible is religious. They say that A.A. is spiritual, but not religious. And they say the Bible is not conference-approved literature!”

“Every time I mention God in my A.A. meetings, some oldtimer says: “If they had used the word God when I came into A.A., I’d have left the meeting and gotten drunk.”

“When I bring a Bible devotional into my A.A. meeting, place it on the table in front of me, and begin to read—reading from something like the Upper Room, I hear: ‘You can’t do that. It’s against the Traditions.”

Do you. . .

Leave the meeting. Leave the group. Leave A.A. Or start an argument?

Comment that you are not going to any more meetings because you are a Christian, because the others are wrong, and because A.A. is drifting more and more to unbelief and away from God?

Open Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition and try to find a quote that shows everyone how wrong the statements are and therefore why you have a right to go right ahead with the  supposedly “forbidden” act?

Or, are you ready to LEARN and then act like the “One Man Awake?”

But: Maybe you could just settle for a compromise

And concede to yourself and others that the members, the meetings, and the objectors are just trouble?

And then open your Big Book, read from it, and straighten them all out?

And then open your Bible and start quoting verses you think will show others what the “Master” would do?

And then clinch the deal by telling everybody that those troublesome remarks are not even what your sponsor told you was right?

We hope not! For there is a better way: Learn the truth and BECOME the “One man awake!”

The truth is available if you look for it, curb your tongue, learn the correct facts, and then BE the ”One Man Awake”

Maybe you’ll think one man just can’t do what’s needed

But here’s a poem that may help you stiffen your spine, patiently search, ask God’s help, find the facts, and then go and tell to the next one—the one who wants to know


One man awake, awakens another.

The second awakens

His next door brother.

The three awake can rouse a town,

By turning the whole place

Upside down.

The many awake

Can make such a fuss,

It finally awakens the rest of us.

One man up with dawn in his eyes,

Surely then


Gloria Deo

Thursday, March 01, 2012

How To Conduct Old School A.A. Meetings Today

The Blooming, Booming Responses and

Expanded Plans of the Christian Recovery Movement

By Dick B., Executive Director

International Christian Recovery Coalition

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

Just since our visits in Southern California in January of this year, we have had an increasing volume of messages from those wanting to participate in our planned meetings this spring. So the following is the way things are going and being planned as of February 29th.

The Basic Approach Is Announced in This New Guide

How to Conduct “Old-School” 12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena

By Dick B. and Ken B. (2012)

There Is No “One Size Fits All” Plan

An A.A. or N.A. meeting listed with a local office may conduct and adopt a “Group Conscience” stand and also then establish a regular meeting founded on “Conference-approved” literature. A Christian recovery fellowship may choose to reach out to alcoholics, addicts, prescription drug abusers, and others with life-controlling problems. A Christian, Christian-Track, or other type of treatment program—limited by expense and time constraints—may decide to prepare “graduates” for the long haul beyond the discharge date. Groups like Teen Challenge and Celebrate Recovery may recognize and plan for the “daily” or “24/7” or Christian fellowship after-care needs of its Christian graduates or weekly meeting attenders in order to keep all of them in full bore recovery or recovered mode; continuing service to others; and sustained spiritual growth loop—all being often-accepted components of real, life-long, Christian healing, abundance, and ultimate salvation. Detox programs, interventionists, counselors, after-care facilitators, alumni gatherings, and sober living operators and managers may emphasize a variety of ways in which recovered “clients” or “students” can build on the strength of First Century Christian and early Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” principles and practices.

Program Content Which Each Servant Can Adopt, Adapt, and Then Apply as Desired

The emphasis here is on fostering long-range deliverance, sustained fellowship and service, and effective and continued reliance on the power, love, forgiveness, guidance, healing, and will of God “in all our affairs.” Early Christian outreach extended first to the Jews. Then to the Gentiles. Then to both as members of the “body of Christ.” Included among these groups were the lost, the poor, the sick, the deaf, the blind, and even dead who were still being raised—just as Jesus had raised the dead.

The Present Plans for Implementing This “Old-School,” First Century Christianity Success Story in Forthcoming Hawaii and California Gatherings This Spring and Summer

And Here Is Where We Will Be Listening, Assembling, Teaching and Facilitating with You

[Details Still Need Further Attention and Firming, But This Will Show You the Plans]

For Maui, Hawaii:

County of Maui Salvation Army Partnership with our Coalition: to learn the existing 24/7 program at the Lahaina Outpost, The Salvation Army, 131 Shaw Street, Lahaina, Hawaii, 96761. (Initial two-hour meeting at our Kihei Office, Friday, March 2, Noon-2:00 PM)

Speaking on the Second Step and A.A. roots at a regular A.A. meeting in Kihei: followed by a meeting to discuss plans for a new “old-school” recovery meeting to be formed in the near future. (Saturday, March 3, 7:00 AM—with a private after-meeting)

For Oahu, Hawaii:

An evening meeting in Honolulu, Thursday, March 22 (6:00 PM) evaluating and initiating Christian Recovery Movement hands-on outreach to alcoholics and addicts in three different Christian recovery efforts: (1) The long-standing men’s outreach to alcoholics and addicts led by an NA-oriented Christian skilled men’s group leader. (2) The plans of this leader’s pastor who is extending outreach in Oahu as well in China, Japan, and the Pacific Rim. (3) The current work of an Oregon-based faith-centered Christian fellowship pastor in Germany and Europe. All three are looking for ways to utilize First Century Christian practices, to adapt early A.A. “old-school” fellowship techniques, and to present 12-Step approaches with individuals needing direct help and structured practices with long-term recovered Christian living as the aim.

For Cornerstone Fellowship—Livermore Campus, Livermore, California

Workshop/Participation/Study Meeting for all (Thursday, March 29, evening).

For Golden Hills Community Church, Brentwood, California

Workshop/Participation/ Study Meetings with Leaders and public (Friday, March 30,

afternoon and evening).

For San Francisco Bay Area, California –

Dialogue with leaders of recently renamed CityTeam International and its ministry to the

“lost” in Nicaragua and West Africa (Either morning, March 29, or on March 31).

In Kihei, Maui, Hawaii –

 A meeting of several days with Rob W. from Utah (April 2-6) – Planning and funding

In Southern California:

We will be in Orange County, California (arrive on Sunday, May 13 and depart on Monday, May 21). Quartered at the beginning and end at The Costa Mesa Marriott Hotel, and during the week at a private home in Orange County. The agenda for any and all includes the following planned:

Individual meetings with:

Rev. Michael Liimatta, City Vision College, Kansas City, Missouri

                        Wally Lowe, Christian businessman, Vero Beach, Florida

                        Russell Spatz, Christian attorney and speaker, Miami, Florida

                        Robert Turner, M.D., Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

                        Gary Martin, Mariners Church, Planning regular “Old School” training meetings, Irvine, California

                        Pastor Joe Furey and Roger McDiarmid, His Place Church, Westminster, California (the location of our May 18-19 major conferences)

                        Rev. James Moody, Manna House Ministry, Jamestown, Tennessee

                        Bob Noonan, Marriage and Family Counselor, Orange, California

                        Danny Simmons, Sons of Thunder and Book Distribution, Costa Mesa, California

                        Rev. Bill Wigmore, Chairman of Episcopal Diocese of Texas Recovery Committee, Austin, Texas

                        Gary Moates, attorney, Houston, Texas

                        Richard Skolnik, Recovery Historian and believer, Nesconset, New York

                        Other local and out of area visitors and speakers


Conference on Friday evening, May 18 and all day Saturday, May 19, at His Place Church, Westminster, California: focused on participation, panels, workshop, classes, programs, questions and answers, and full leadership sharing

            [Orientation, Leader presentations, Panel, and Q and A – Friday evening;

                        Main Conference – Saturday all day – Music, prayer, Orientation by Dick B. and Ken B., lead speaker, orientation, leader speakers, and panel with Q and A.]

           Working with individual and group Christian Recovery leaders on formats and content for regular meetings, guides, videos, Conference-approved literature, and other resources on how best to employ all these to help directly those suffering alcoholics and addicts rely on God for help today; to learn the First Century Christianity practices in Acts of the Apostles; to learn how early “old school” A.A. practiced these principles with such great success; and to suggest how these foundations can be or are being used today hands-on.

The Actual Programs We Will Be Outlining, Discussing, Formatting, and Planning

·         A program of your own fashioning on How to Train, Teach, Cooperate, and Disseminate Christian Recovery programs, conference information, and media—programs that will emphasize God’s power and Christian recovery efforts.

·         Sample suggested programs suitable for and tailored to each particular Christian, treatment, sponsorship, and supportive approach and area.

·         Training the Trainers so that others may pick up the torch and move it forward.

·         Distributing free literature through benefactors.

·         Continuing dissemination by blogs, forums, newsletters, videos, radio, audio, conferences.

Coming Shortly: Dates, Places, Times, Contacts, Programs, Subjects, and Resources

To produce effective results, in the most compact way, we will welcome your phone calls and emails in advance; welcome any literature or suggestions you have; welcome your donations to help defray expenses; and welcome any particular approach you wish to take with your own program, practice, fellowship, and church.

Gloria Deo