Monday, August 31, 2015

A reply to a "critique" of my article about Christ in the Big Book

By Ken B.
Copyright 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved
John, in reply to your response to the article I posted titled "Christ, the Cross, and the Holy Ghost in the Big Book? Yep.", I have some questions and comments for you: (1) When you spoke of "you people," to whom were you referring? (2) You spoke of "the first 164 pages." Could you please provide your definition of the phrase "the basic text" as it is used: (a) on the front cover of the dust jacket of the hardback fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous; (b) on page xi of the Preface in the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous; and (c) on page 17 of the Foreword in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions? (3) You spoke of "Your opinions" (i.e., my "opinions"). I provided 18 footnotes in my article, some of which contained multiple sources for the statements I made. Please identify my "opinions" to which you alluded. (4) You mentioned "the original program of Alcoholics Anonymous." The "original program of Alcoholics Anonymous"--as of late February 1938--was summarized in seven points on page 131 of the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. (5) You claimed: "Your premise that earlier, unused versions of Bill's Story should now be given the prominence and treatment of the original is flawed." Your asserting that that is what I did is not the same as proving that that is what I did. I made no such claim. My article provided A.A. history-related facts for which I provided the sources. (6) Your claim that "Just as gold is refined by removing the impurities found in common ore, Bill's Story was refined by removing immaterial items that distracted from the primary purpose of recovery from alcoholism." is your unproved assertion. It is an analogy. It is no more valid in this case that the analogy summed up in that old "saw": "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." (7) You said: "Is yours or anyone's sobriety improved by gratuitously injecting a Christian angle into the program . . . " implying that I was "guilty" of "gratuitously injecting a Christian angle into the program." I provided A.A. history-related facts and documented those facts with sources. Your implying that something is a fact doesn't make it so. (8) You stated: "If all that extraneous information regarding Bill Wilson's experience with Christianity was crucial to recovery from alcoholism, don't you think they would have included it in the original publication?" Your statement implied that "Bill Wilson's experience with Christianity" was "extraneous information." And you referenced "the original publication." I provided A.A. history-related facts and related documentation concerning information A.A. cofounder Bill W. himself provided in his personal testimony (i.e., "Bill's Story") in chapter one of Alcoholics Anonymous ("the Big Book"). Let the readers of this post judge from the following statement made by Bill W. whether Bill believed that his "experience with Christianity" was "extraneous information": "I am always glad to say privately that some of the Oxford Group presentation and emphasis upon the Christian message saved my life." [Source: The A.A. General Service Conference-approved book, 'PASS IT ON,' 171]. (9) You put forward the possibility (you said: "It is possible that . . .") that Bill W.'s ". . . his intent was to spread the solution, recovery from alcoholism through "God as we understood Him," . . " A.A.'s solution for overcoming the problem of alcoholism ""is stated clearly on page 25 of the chapter titled "There Is a Solution," chapter two in the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous: "The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves." (10) You stated "Perhaps . . ." and then ". . . I think not." Those words are not statements of fact. Here is a statement of fact from the mouth of A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob as found in ". . . Dr. Bob's last major talk, as transcribed from a recording made at Detroit, Mich., in December 1948"--as found in the A.A. General Service Conference-approved pamphlet The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks on page 13 " (Item # P-53): "In early A.A. days, . . . our stories didn't amount to anything to speak of. When we [A.A. cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob] started in on Bill D. ["Alcoholic Anonymous Number Three"], we had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions. But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book." And in that same talk, Dr. Bob also stated: "It wasn't until 1938 that the teachings and efforts and studies that had been going on were crystalized in the form of the Twelve Steps. . . . We already had the basic ideas []of the Twelve Steps, though not in terse and tangible form. We got them, as I said, as a result of our study of the Good Book." [The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, 14.] Those are facts, not opinions. As stated in the "Foreword to Fourth Edition" in Alcoholics Anonymous: ". . . our literature has preserved the integrity of the A.A. message, . . ." Ken B.

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