AA & Big Book Related

As Sick as Our Secrets

"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." Luke 12:2


"Fight Club" is a powerful film, cemented within pop culture. It's notorious, in particular, for the famous line of its main character, Tyler Durden's, often quoted within our society...

"Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!"

And it got me thinking about secrecy.

Alcoholics Anonymous – How the First Three Got Sober

And Where to Learn the Facts


The first three members of Alcoholics Anonymous were Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Akron attorney Bill Dotson. When these three got sober by turning to God for help, there was no Alcoholics Anonymous. There was no Big Book. There were no Twelve Steps, or any steps at all. There were no Twelve Traditions. There were no drunkalogs. And there were no meetings as we know them today.

Snippets for More Study

How did Bill Wilson, Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous get well?

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Beyond the 12 StepsPremium Content

note: there is a worksheet at the bottom of this article

I have spent a lot of years struggling with drug addiction and alcohol abuse. At one point the drug addiction had completely taken me over. I began trying desperately to stay clean but every time I got a little taste of sanity the world would come crashing in and I would crumble under the weight of it all. Before I knew it I was escaping the pain or responsibility of life by using drugs. I had been through the court system, rehabs, 12 step programs, counseling (behavioral and substance abuse), and many psychiatric visits for medications. Nothing seemed to stick very long. Most of the people trying to help me eventually threw their hands up in defeat and passed me off as a hopeless case. I got to a point I started to agree with them. Nothing seemed to work for me. I was living in constant commendation from the world and in my own mind. Every mistake seemed magnified. I would beat myself up in my head over and over until my only relief was escape.

Through divine intervention I was given a book named "Freedom From Addiction." It captivated my attention because it was such an honest account of the thoughts bombarding an alcoholics mind. Not only an alcoholic but a Christian. Now I have to say that believing Jesus Christ died for my sins did not automatically make me Christ like. I was continually going against God. The shame I felt about knowing what was right but not being able to live it was more shame than I could bear. But then this book was placed in my path. As I read it something started to stir deep within me. There was a message of hope written on those pages that spoke to my innermost heart. The message was not about what I have done as a sinner (that already plagued my mind enough) but a message of who God says I am as his child. I started hearing a message telling me he doesn’t see what the world sees when he looks at me.

When I looked at myself and compared myself to the world’s expectations of me I saw all of the bad things I’ve done and how I just didn’t measure up. I owned my bad behavior as my identity but that’s not the truth. God says I am precious,

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Problems with AA and ChurchPremium Content

These questions were part of a survey conducted by Dick B. and are worthy of consideration

Problems You Have Experienced from Those within A.A.

Q1: Have you been told in a meeting not to mention the Bible (either because that is an “outside issue,” because such mention violates A.A. Traditions, or because A.A. is not a “religious program”)?

Q2: Have you ever brought the Bible to a meeting and been told that the Bible is not “A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature” and therefore cannot be the subject of a meeting?

Q3: Have you ever tried to place the Bible or other Christian literature on a literature table and been told that such action violates A.A. Traditions?

Q4: Have you ever organized a Bible study-oriented A.A. group and been denied a listing in A.A. meeting schedules?

Q5: Have you ever mentioned the Bible in a meeting and been told that you could not do so?

Q6: Have you ever received a letter on an A.A. letterhead stating your group cannot be listed because it studies the Bible and that such meetings cannot be held in A.A.?

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"Purpose" in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Quotes on "purpose" from the book Alcoholics Anonymous (aka "The Big Book"):

All changes made over the years in the Big Book ( A.A. members' fond nickname for this volume ) have had the same purpose: to represent the current membership of Alcoholics Anonymous more accurately, and thereby to reach more alcoholics. ( p. xii )

To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. ( p. xii )

Alcoholics Anonymous & Bill Wilson's Bible Witnessing

Fragment Number Eight

The Bill Wilson that many do not know became an "evangelist" almost immediately after he was discharged from Towns Hospital, having had a spiritual experience. For example, Lois Wilson's biographer wrote:

    The doctor [Dr. Silkworth] always allowed Bill to share his God-experience with some patients, hoping somehow it might help... Dr. Shoemaker [the Episcopal rector at Calvary Church] 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. [See William G. Borchert, The Lois Wilson Story: When Love Is Not Enough: A Biography of the Cofounder of Al-Anon (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2005), 170.]

In fact, Rev. Sam Shoemaker wrote to Bill on January 22, 1935, commending Bill for his witnessing to Frederick E. Breithut who became known as the "chemistry professor." Shoemaker wrote:

Christianity in Early A.A.? Absolutely!

Where to Find "the Rest of the Story" in A.A. History Sources

My dad (pen name: "Dick B."; main website: www.DickB.com) and I have spent the last 25 years researching A.A. history, and the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early Alcoholics Anonymous-particularly in Akron and to some extent in Cleveland. As you may know, in many parts of the United States, Christians involved with A.A. (and other 12 Step Fellowships, such as N.A. and C.A.) often get "yelled at" for talking about Jesus or the Bible at meetings (and sometimes even for talking about God!) Why? Very simple. Because the vast majority of members of 12 Step Fellowships today either don't know about the Christianity in early A.A.; or they don't like the fact that it was there, and in some cases are even trying to suppress the facts of its existence. What should a Christian involved with A.A. and/or other 12-Step Fellowships (such as N.A. and C.A., in particular) do?

You may want to practice answering the following three questions relating to your attending 12-Step Fellowship meetings:

1. Are you sure God put on your heart to go to a particular meeting?

2. If yes, are you sure God put on your heart to say something at that meeting?

3. If yes, are you sure you know what God wanted you to say at that meeting?

Think back to meetings at which you have been "yelled at" for talking about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and/or the Bible. If you can't answer "Yes" to the three questions above, why are you surprised that you got yelled at? Rom 8:31 (KJV) states: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" The key, then, is to make sure God is "backing your play," by making sure you know and are doing God's will. And not merely "trying to do the right thing" or "faking it 'till you make it"! (And see, for example, Eph 6:10-17.)

Do You "Prompty Admit It" When You are Wrong?Premium Content

The very first time that
I ever saw and read all the 12 Steps,
I have to say that it really was love at first sight.
It was like, Wow! Where have you been all my life?
I simply fell in love with the 12 Steps,
and since that first time, I have gone from
strength to strength and never really looked back.

I do recollect that the step which caught my
attention most of all that very first time, was Step 10.
And the phrase in Step 10, which caught my attention
was "promptly admitted it"

For years I had grown up and been around adults
who found it very hard to admit they were wrong.
In fact I don't re-call any adult relatives as I was

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Dissecting the 12 StepsPremium Content

We struggled for years with our addiction. We tried to do things our way. It didn't work. We found recovery by working the Twelve Steps. And in the process we...

1. "Admitted we are powerless over our addiction - that our lives have become unmanageable."
Those of us with addictions may have many reasons for seeking help in literature, support groups, counselors and treatment facilities. Some of us are divorced, jobless, despised by our children, depressed and we have nowhere to turn. We have lied to those who trusted us the most, but they are now tired of our excuses. For months and even years, we have lost our homes and our health - we've lost everything. We are alone, hopeless, and our lives are completely unmanageable - a.k.a. "rock bottom".

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