For 18 years, I have been researching, analyzing, publishing, and disseminating information about the early history and spiritual roots of A.A. I have previously established and still maintain through my webmanager TerryDunford the following sites: http://www.dickb.com/index.shtml; http://www.dickb-blog.com;
http://freedomranchmaui.org; and http://aa-history.com/bookstore. In all, these various sites cover just about every aspect of the many contributing roots of the early A.A. program--United Christian Endeavor, The Salvation Army, Rescue and Gospel Missions, the Bible (which AAs affectionately called "Good Book"), the theory of the famed psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung that alcoholism could be cured by a conversion, the verification of this idea by Professor William James of Harvard whose great treatise Varieties of Religious Experience documented the many cures through conversion in rescue missions and elsewhere, the role of Rowland Hazard in passing this information along both to Ebby Thacher (Bill Wilson's sponsor) and to Bill Wilson himself at a later point, the role of Rowland and Ebby in acquiring information about the Oxford Group's life-changing program and passing this along to Wilson, the role of Ebby Thacher in witnessing to Bill Wilson that he (Ebby) had gone to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission in New York, been converted, "got religion," and had been cured--affirming to Bill that God had done for Ebby what Ebby could not do for himself, the message which Bill received from his psychiatrist William Duncan Silkworth, M.D., at least as early as Bill's third visit to Towns Hospital (where Silkworth was chief psychiatrist) that Bill cured by cured by the Great Physician Jesus Christ--a message confirmed by Norman Vincent Peale in his book The Positive Power of Jesus Christ, the consequent decision and action of Bill Wilson in going to Calvary Rescue Mission, attending the service, going to the altar and making a decision for Christ, anouncing that he too had "got religion," been "born again" for sure, and been converted, Bill's meandering drunk to Towns Hospital where he met Dr. Silkworth again for the fourth time, said he felt if there were a Great Physician he should call on him, was visited by Ebby Thacher and reviewed some Oxford Group life-changing principles, and then decided to call on the Great Physician, crying out "If there be a God, let him show himself now," which was followed by Bill's oft-told "hot flash" conversion--an event which closely resembled the conversion of Bill's grandfather Willie Wilson in East Dorset Vermont, when Willie was converted on Mount Aeolus, rushed to the local Congregational Church, announced that he had been saved, and never drank again for the rest of his life.
Bill reported his own conversion to Silkworth and later to his wife Lois. Both confirmed to Bill their belief that he certain had experienced a conversion. Ebby gave Bill a copy of the William James title where such experiences are voluminously described. Bill "devoured" the book and spent the greater part of the day studying it. At the conclusion, Bill announced that James had verified that such conversions were genuine and hence verified that a conversion could cure alcoholism--Bill proving the point for himself by never drinking again for the rest of his life. This conversion idea became the cornerstone for Bill's theory on the "solution" for alcoholism; and he went around (page 191 of his Big Book) telling everyone that the Lord had been so wonderful to him, curing him of the terrible disease, that he just wanted to tell everyone about it. These details are revealed, in many cases, for the first time in the title just released by Paradise Research Publications, Inc.: "The Conversion of Bill W." by Dick B. See http://www.dickb.com/titles.shtml.
Other factors have emerged from the research about the work of Bill and Bob together in Akron, about the successful experiment in Akron by their Christian Fellowship--a 75% documented success rate, and the 7 point program that was described in detail by A.A. trustee-to-be Frank Amos, reported to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and later published in A.A.'s DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers.
These details are verified and amplified with other facts by my titles: Making Known the Biblical History and Roots of A.A.; The Good Book and The Big Book; The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous; Dr. Bob and His Library, The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, Why Early A.A. Succeeded, Cured!, When Early AAs Were Cured and Why, The First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference, Henrietta Seiberling: Ohio's Lady with a Cause; The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials; The Good Book-Big Book Guidebook; A New Way In; A New Way Out; Real Twelve Step Fellowship History; Turning Point: A History of Early A.A. Spiritual Roots and Successes; God and Alcoholiswm; The Golden Text of A.A.; and Utlizing Early A.A.'s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today.
I have encouraged AAs and 12 Step people to incorporate a segment of this A.A. history in their own programs, their groups, their meetings, their recovery programs, and their writings. For without this knowledge, AAs today are lacking a full understanding of how and why their original program worked with astonishing success and how and why it has diminished in success today for a variety of reasons, not the least of which has been its turn from the Creator, His Son, the Bible, and conversion to a secular, universalized, illusory deity or downright unbelief. These points, along with the role of Anne Ripley Smith, the Oxford Group, and Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., in the Big Book program that evolved and chanaged the picture, are covered in my titles New Light on Alcoholism, Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939, Good Morning: Quiet Time, The Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A., By the Power of God, and The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous, and Twelve Steps for You.
To make this important and large body of material available to individuals, groups, programs, therapists, scholars, and history writers, I have provided for selling a 25 volume reference set including almost all the foregoing titles for the much discounted price of $299.95 which includes free shipping. It can be purchased through our bookstore: http://aa-history.com/bookstore.
The long-awaited and much needed comprehensive historical research and publication--something that is simply not a part of the A.A. mission at GSO--is now close to complete. It remains for those who really want to save lives through the power of God as the pioneers did in Akron to have this life-long recovery resource and use it piece by piece to study and disseminated the astonishing story of Real Twelve Step Fellowship History.
More to come. And more available. God Bless, DickB. firstname.lastname@example.org.