|08-18-2011, 07:02 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2011
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Did Early A.A. Have a "Flying Blind Period?"
Thursday, August 18, 2011An Answer to a Courteous Jewish A.A. Who Wonders If A.A. had a "blind period"
Thank you for (1) Writing. (2) Your courteous remarks – because I don’t answer the other kind. (3) Your thoughtful exposition of how a Jew of your convictions looks at A.A.
I don’t care to debate with you. I do think you need to consider some important points and then ponder them and use them for yourself.
First, there was no “flying blind” period in Alcoholics Anonymous. Try that on Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Bill Dotson and the pioneers who voted to let Bill write a totally different book and progrram. That is a product of the secularism you so wisely observe. I would never call “blind” a period such as the one summarized in the Frank Amos report and covered in detail in several of my books (including The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous and The James Club and the Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials). That “blindness” expression was coined by some paid, well-known A.A. writers of the 1980’s. And they are welcome to their view—unsupported as it is. Read page 191 of the latest edition of the Big Book (2001)
Second, in your zeal to take umbrage at the unquestioniable and thoroughly documented “cures” and successes of early A.A., you have allowed yourself to fall into the trap of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The “baby: is God – Not Jesus Christ, but Yahweh. Check out your Big Book which refers to God, to Creator, to Maker, to Heavenly Father, etc. You appear to worship God. So do I. But you totally miss the historical quest that started my research and writing 21 years ago. I did not start out trying to “prove” anything. I started out trying to establish what had not been even closely or accurately or comprehensively reported—the roots of A.A., its origins, and what it looked like before the Great Compromise in 1939 when God was deleted from Steps 2, 3, and 11.
Third, as a practicing Jew you probably want Jews to be comfortable with Yahweh, with reliance upon Him, and with the freedom to do so in A.A. Why not! I have sponsored several Jews, taken them through the Steps, and impressed upon them the abc’s and the “May you find Him now” that have never been deleted or removed or superseded..
Fourth, today, A.A. and many members are pumping out the nonsense that you can pray to a Pumpkin, you can corrupt religion into New Age spirituality, and you can ignore the ruling of a great majority of courts that A.A. is a religion and that the “spiritual but not religious” nonsense doesn’t alter the clear facts.
Fifth, (and I doubt this) if you are advocating that dedicated Christians and Jews in A.A. are to surrender to a light bulb, to worship a chair, to pray to “Something,”, and to peddle the idea – now widely voiced in new A.A. literature – that you don’t have to believe in anything at all, you would be describing the A.A. of today and not the successful A.A. of the “early years.” You seem to overlook the fact that when Cleveland A.A. was founded in May of 1939s, it embraced the Bible, the Four Absolutes, the Big Book, and the 12 Steps. It grew from one group to thirty in a year, was the fastest growing area in the country—bar none, and had a documented 93% success rate. They weren’t blind. They were highly and demonstrably successful. And even Jews and Roman Catholics could be found among them.
Sixth, I have published 42 titles and over 650 articles; and until you have digested the origins of A.A., the history of A.A., the founding of A.A. when the first three AAs -- all believers in Almighty God, all Christians, and all totally successful with continuous sobriety, then I really wouldn’t care to discuss this further. But if you cover the first three and also learn the Akron program, the Cleveland program, the success rates, and the great compromise of 1939 when a committee of four removed God from the Steps, then you will be on a firm footing in believing what you believe, reading what you wish, practicing whatever religious ideas you have, and witnessing to your successes. And not condemning the dedicated work of another AA.
I am one of those dudes who has attended and/or served honorably in the Boy Scouts, the Army, college, law school, the Rotary Club, and the Stanford Law Review. Never did I dispute what someone else said or believed or practiced concerning himself. I just served where I was, I believed what I believed. And I tried to heed the injunction found in both the Old and the New Testaments that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as yourselves. You will also find it in the Big Book. And you won’t find it among the “bleeding deacons” who want to tell everybody else what they must believe in order to be a Boy Scout, a soldier, a university student, a lawyer, a Rotarian, and a Law Review Editor. I found many Christians, Jews, Roman Catholics, and humanists in all these outfits. I didn’t call them “blind.” And I ddn’t leave any of them. I merely drank too much before I successfully joined A.A. over 25 years ago, maintained continuous sobriety, and helped more drunks and addicts than I can count.
|aa "blind period?"|
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