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December 05, 2015

Alcoholics Anonymous History
Utilizing Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today

By Dick B.

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Utilizing Early A.A.'s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today

Alcoholics Anonymous, A.A., Utilizing Early A.A.'s Spiritual RootsAs his eleven years of research and writing on the subject of early A.A.’s spiritual roots was drawing to a close, author Dick B. was asked to deliver another annual seminar at The Wilson House in Vermont. By that time, he had substantially documented six major biblical roots of early A.A.’s spiritual program of recovery.

These roots were defined as the Bible, Quiet Time, Anne Smith’s Journal, the teachings of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Jr., the life-changing program of the Oxford Group, and the Christian literature early AAs studied. Each of those roots has been the subject of major titles by Dick, but it seemed very important to tie them together in simplified form so they could be viewed as a unit and utilized as a unit by those seeking recovery today the early A.A. way. The title commences with a chapter on the spiritual beginnings of A.A.

Piece by piece, the author details what AAs took from the Bible and utilized in framing the various Steps. The same approach is carefully taken with "Quiet Time"-–pointing out the importance of accepting Christ and using the Bible (elements frequently omitted in discussions of early A.A. "meditation"). Then follow the core Oxford Group ideas about God, sin, surrender, the power of Jesus Christ, the life-changing Five C’s, restitution, daily surrender, and the concluding spiritual awakening with witness and practice of principles. Again, their incorporation into the Steps is described. A similar presentation is given as to Sam Shoemaker’s teachings, the materials Anne Smith (Dr. Bob’s wife) used to teach the pioneers, and the subject matter of the literature.

The difficulty today is reviewed. Bill Wilson confessed to a dilemma that he didn’t seem to know how to solve. We point out the contributing elements-–Lois Wilson’s universalization view, Roman Catholic concerns, atheist hoopla, treatment jabber, additions in publishing, and a conservative Christian recoil.

The author suggests how a believer can still use the A.A. program and its roots with success today. The basic suggestion is to combine Big Book study with historical roots study; and many across the United States are now doing just that. Dick concludes by urging that the Good Book be first on your study list, then the details of Quiet Time as the pioneers did it, then the contents of Anne Smith’s journal, then taking the Oxford Group ideas as guides to understanding rather than theology. Most of all, returning to the early A.A. understanding of God as He understands Himself.

A practical, timely, simple review of the author’s eleven years of research and how he has used it to help more than 80 men in their recovery.

Contents of Utilizing Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today

Chap. 1:           The Spiritual Beginnings of A.A.
Chap. 2:           The Bible in Early A.A.
Chap. 3:           Quiet Time, Morning Watch, and Meditation
Chap. 4:           The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous
Chap. 5:           Sam Shoemaker, “Co-founder” of A.A.
Chap. 6:           Anne Smith, “Mother of A.A.,” “Founder,” Dr. Bob’s Wife
Chap. 7:           The Books and Materials Early AAs Read
Chap. 8:           Utilizing A.A.’s Spiritual Roots Today

Paradise Research Publications, Inc.; 106 pp.; 6 x 9; perfect bound; 1999; $20.95; ISBN: 1-885803-28-1


Dick B.'s son Ken
P.O. Box 837
Kihei, Hawaii
Tel.: (808) 276-4945
Fax: (808) 874-4876

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Trademarks and Disclaimer: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS®, A.A.®, and Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Dick B.'s web site, Paradise Research Publications, Inc., and Good Book Publishing Company are neither endorsed nor approved by nor associated or affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.