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Bob S.
Subject: Non-Conference approved literature
Dear AA Friends,
Our Fourth Dimension Group's Big Book Step Study in Richmond, IN,

spends the

first two Tuesdays studying AA history - we show a short movie, "DAWN


HOPE" and sometimes A HOUSE FULL OF MIRACLES" from Dr. Bob's Home.


make great effort to make these 90 minute sessions interesting. I have

learned lot's of interesting little stories about Ebby Thacher, Rowland

Hazard, Carl Jung, Rev Shoemaker, Clarence Snyder and all the rest of those

early historical participants from non-conference approved materials. Here

are listed a few of our current book collection:

* EBBY, the man who sponsored Bill W., by Mel B.

* CHILDREN OF THE HEALER, by Bob Smith and Sue Windows

* DIARY OF TWO MOTORCYCLE HOBOS, by Lois Wilson, edited by Ellie Van V.


* HOW IT WORKED, the story of Clarence Snyder, By Mitchell K.

* SISTER IGNATIA, Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Mary C. Darrah

* NOT GOD, a history of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Ernest Kurtz

* BILL W., by Robert Thomsen

Here are a few other non-AA history books we use for reference because they

were often read by early AA members:


* AS A MAN THINKETH, by James Allen

But naturally our main source of historical information come from the

Conference approved books from GSO .

Bob S.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3379. . . . . . . . . . . . Was Bill a Swedenborgian?

From: Gene . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/22/2006 2:26:00 PM

Having done some reading on Swedenborg's beliefs and understanding of

spitituality, I wonder how much Bill W. was in contact with the

The higher power as we understand him sounds very close to their


Gene in Westchester


This from some of their beliefs:
Love Is Life

Love, Swedenborg says, is the basic element of reality. It is the

source of all life, the essence of God. Our souls are individual

finite forms of love, our bodies serving as mirrors of that inner

essence. As we live, we choose what kind of love we will be. We may

choose to regard ourselves as the only reality--our own needs,

desires, and feelings as all important. Or we may choose to focus on

others. In the former instance, we shrink in spirit, allowing a part

of our potential as loving beings to atrophy. In the latter instance,

we grow spiritually, heightening our awareness of the nature of love

and thus also of the nature of ourselves and God.
Truth Is Love In Action

Truth is the way love works. Most of us sense that. Actions we

perform out of love are honest actions, genuine expressions in a

physical form of what love means, or the truth of love.

Swedenborgians feel that ultimately the two are inseparable, a part

of the same reality. Actualized love is truth, and hence faith and

charity are especially significant in human living. Swedenborg

defines faith as a kind of inner sight, a perception of what is true.

Charity is founded in the desire to do service and live a useful

life, beginning with the choice of career or life work. The spiritual

life involves the active development of a useful and meaningful life

in service to the betterment of the world as a whole. Whereas the

religious life often connotes withdrawal from the world and life,

active participation in the world is a commitment to actualizing

faith and charity. The life of charity and faith parallel the union

of love and truth which is the essence of God.

Freedom of the Will

Swedenborg emphasizes the responsibility of all people to develop

their own beliefs and live their lives accordingly.
Without free will in spiritual things the human being can in no wise

advance into light, i.e., into truths and goods of the church, or

procure himself a life. Without that free will he would not be a

human being but only a figure and a phantom. For his thought would be

without reflection, consequently without judgment and thus in Divine

things which are of the Church he would have no more ability to turn

than a door without a hinge, or with one fastened with a bolt of

steel. His will, too, would be devoid of decision, hence no more

active towards justice or injustice than the stone on the mound under

which lies a dead body...." (Coronis, 24 28)

An Inner Meaning Within the Bible

Swedenborg likens the Spiritual teachings to a parent teaching a

... explaining all things according to their genius and capacities,

although he himself thinks from an interior or deeper ground.

Otherwise it would be like teaching what would not be learned.

(Arcana Coelestia, 2533)

Thus the scriptures are written on the literal level in plain

language expressing the truth and wisdom of God as it is adapted to

our limited human understanding. The Bible also contains a deeper

meaning, an inner essence, in addition to its obvious and overt

meaning. Swedenborg notes in The True Christian Religion:
The Word in its essence is spiritual. Descending from Jehovah the

Lord, and passing through the angelic heavens, the Divine (in itself

unutterable and imperceptible) became level with the perception of

angels and finally the perception of man. Hence, the Word has a

spiritual sense, which is within the natural, just as the soul is

within the body, or as thought is in speech, or volition in action.

The belief that all things have an inner reality, as well as an outer

manifestation is a significant concept for the whole of Swedenborgian


This, then, is the living reality of Swedenborg's teachings. In

stressing freedom, diversity, and individualism, he issued a

challenge to individuals, churches, and other organizations to be

committed to the human growth processes and to express their personal

commitment in ways as diverse as their numbers. Sensitivity to, and

respect for, each individual's "internal church," or spirituality,


what Swedenborgianism is really all about.

One primary pathway advocated in the Swedenborgian Church for

spiritual growth is a specialized study of scripture, enabling the

diligent student to become aware of the inner-penetration of nature

and spirit, of our natural world here and the universal spiritual

world. In addition, an expanding awareness of spiritual reality is

encouraged by the exploration of dreams and by prayer and meditation

practices. And perhaps the most popular of Swedenborg's spiritual

growth practices is his Zen-like discussions on "being useful."

Teilhard de Chardin once said, "Do not forget that the value and

interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous (although we have

this ambition) as to do ordinary things with the perception of their

enormous value." For Swedenborg, such a focus provides the ground for

future spiritual growth. As Paul Zacharias, a Swedenborgian minister,

observes in his pamphlet This We Believe, "Everyone who lives up to

the best he knows, whether Christian, Jew, Moslem, or Pagan, is truly

a member of the church Invisible."


Now if you have had the patience to get this far...

the idea of service...giving of yourself...It's all there.
++++Message 3380. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 95% First Year Dropout Myth

From: Ernest Kurtz . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/22/2006 2:58:00 PM

There was also an article in the *Alcoholism Treatment

Quarterly* a few years ago that dissected this too

widespread fallacy. Perhaps someone can give the

exact citation, which I do not have at hand right

ernie kurtz
++++Message 3381. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Reading lists for AA study


From: Robert Stonebraker . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/22/2006 11:32:00 AM
Joe A. asked: "Can you tell us where these films are available for


I believe "A HOUSE FULL OF MIRACLES" is still sold at Dr. Bob's

Home and the

earlier one, "DAWN OF HOPE," which came from the same place, may

be out of

circulation. I would suggest you write or check out their website. Both

are about 30 minutes long which makes them convenient to play at meetings.

Bob S.
----Original Message-----

From: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

[mailto:AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Joe Adams

Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:48 AM

To: AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [AAHistoryLovers] Reading lists for AA study groups

Can you tell us where these films are available for

local sharing?

Joe Adams

(sober_in_nc at yahoo.com)

Robert Stonebraker

(rstonebraker212 at insightbb.com) wrote:

Our Big Book Step Study Group in Richmond, IN,

spends the first two Tuesdays studying AA history -

we show a short movie, "DAWN OF HOPE"

and sometimes "A HOUSE FULL OF MIRACLES"

from Dr. Bob's Home.
Yahoo! Groups Links
++++Message 3382. . . . . . . . . . . . RE: Hazelden Foundation and book


From: ArtSheehan . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/22/2006 5:21:00 PM
Bottom line on Hazelden:
If it wasn't for them numerous outstanding history books would not be

available to the general public (and especially to folks interested in

AA history).
++++Message 3383. . . . . . . . . . . . A De-Briefer For Treatment Center


From: Glenn . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/23/2006 11:36:00 AM
A friend shared the following passage, but cannot remeber anyting

about the book he got it from. Has anybody in this Group heard of

this book and have any idea where I could get a copy? The only

thing that I presently have is a one page "The Difference between

your Sponsor and your Therapist", to help newcomes understand the

differance between the complexity of the tratment industry and the

simplicity of the Program of Action that has worked best for most

ALCOHOLICS for over 70 years.

Thanks, Glenn L. Birdsboro, PA, USA
Suffering from a terrible hangover co-founder-to-be Dr. Bob

grudgingly consented to engage in a brief conversation with Bill W.,

an alcoholic stranger from New York. Bill elaborated on his dramatic

recovery from alcoholism--the doctor listened for five hours! Dr.Bob

especially identified with Bill's battle with the physical allergy

to alcohol--and his mental obsession. Hope began to return--the

evidence stood before him.
Truly, one alcoholic sharing with another (about alcohol) can become

fascinating business. If Bill's sharing would have been about drug

addiction, or some other terrible problem, the conversation surely

would have been short lived. As it were, this incident signals a

founding moment of A.A. history.

When we identify ourselves as simply "alcoholic" we are abiding

with the spirit of our Third and Fifth Traditions. But if we add to

it we are indicating that A.A. has an opinion on different outside

issues--such as drugs, etc., (see Tradition 10). Besides that, we

separate ourselves from our fellow alcoholics. There is no need to

do this. This custom came from treatment center rap-sessions--and

that's where it should have stayed.

A.A. does not compete for membership with members (or potential

members) of other 12-Step fellowships. Our co-founder Bill W. has

written that he could see no way of making non-alcoholic addicts

into A.A. members ("Problems other than Alcohol--Excerpts"). Non-

alcoholics are invited to our open meetings for help and inspi rati

on, but they will not become members of Alcoholics Anonymous. If you

may think you may be an alcoholic, but don't really know, you are

welcomed to attend all A.A. meetings. Our Third Tradition

states: "The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire tostop


In effort to abide by our code of singleness of purpose most A.A.

members (both open and closed) request that those in attendance

confine their sharing to alcohol related subjects. The mention of

other problems is often necessary and, of course, not taboo; but it

is easy to see that alcoholic recovery must remain our chief

Bill's recovery message to Dr. Bob was from one alcoholic to another

alcoholic; it worked! That should never change! Let! us f! orever

keep this legacy available for the millions of alcoholics who will

desperately need a real alcoholic to help in the years to come.
A De-Briefer For Treatment Center Graduates, pages 19and20"
++++Message 3384. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: conference approved literaure

From: archie . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/23/2006 11:44:00 AM

Conference-approved--What It Means to You
The term Conference-approved describes written or audiovisual material

approved by the Conference for publication by G.S.O. This process assures

that everything in such literature is in accord with A. A. principles.

Conference-approved material always deals with the recovery program of

Alcoholics Anonymous or with information about the A.A. Fellowship.
The term has no relation to material not published by G.S.O. It does not

imply Conference disapproval of other material about A.A. A great deal of

literature helpful to alcoholics is published by others, and A.A. does not

try to tell any individual member what he or she may or may not read.

Conference approval assures us that a piece of literature represents solid

A.A. experience. Any Conference-approved booklet or pamphlet goes through a

lengthy and painstaking process, during which a variety of A.A.'s from all

over the United States and Canada read and express opinions at every stage

of production.
Look for the statement on books, pamphlets and films: "This is A.A.


Service Conference-approved literature"
All A.A. Literature is not Conference-approved
Central offices and intergroups do write and distribute pamphlets or

booklets that are not Conference-approved. If such pieces meet the needs of

the local membership, they may be legitimately classified as A.A.

literature. There is no conflict between A.A. World Services, Inc.

(A.A.W.S. --publishers of Conference-approved literature), and central

offices or intergroups--rather they complement each other. The Conference

does not disapprove of such material.
G.S.O. does develop some literature that does not have to be approved by the

Conference, such as service material, Guidelines and bulletins.

Most local A.A. groups purchase and display a representative sampling of

Conference-approved pamphlets, and usually carry a supply of hardcover

books. Conference-approved literature may be available at central offices

and intergroups, or it may be ordered directly from G.S.O. Groups normally

offer pamphlets free of charge, and the books at cost.
Conference-approved literature is copyrighted with the Copyright Office,

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. To insure the continued

integrity of A.A. literature, and to make sure the A.A. recovery programs

will not be distorted or diluted, permission to reprint must be obtained

from A.A.W.S. in writing.
However, A.A. newsletters, bulletins, or meeting lists have blanket

permission to use the material, providing proper credit is given to insure

that the copyrights of A.A. literature are protected.
The A.A. Preamble is copyrighted by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.--(not by A.A.

World Services). Beneath it, these words should appear: Reprinted with

permission of the A.A. Grapevine, Inc. The Steps and Traditions should be

followed by these words: Reprinted with Permission of A.A. World Services,

from BOX 4-5-9
(August-September 1978, Vol.23, No. 4
When you see this emblem (omitted) and the words This is A. A. General

Conference-approved literature, they mean only one thing.

Such a publication represents the broadest possible consensus of A.A.

thinking. It is not just one small locality's interpretation, nor the ideas

of only one member.
As far as humanly possible, the seal says, in effect, this piece reflects

the spectrum of opinion of our whole Fellowship.

Any such A. A. material has been very carefully prepared under he close

scrutiny of the G.S.O staff, of the appropriate trustees and Conference

committees, and of our General Service Conference (U.S. and Canada) itself,

expressing the group conscience of A. A. as a whole.

The reason behind this procedure is simple. It is a way of preserving A.A.'s

traditional independence. We are not affiliated with anyone else, and we do

not oppose, nor do we endorse, any other ideas. We simply state (that is,

publish) our own.

It does not mean the Conference disapproves of any other publications. Many

local A.A. central offices publish their own meeting lists. A.A. as a whole

does not oppose these, any more than A. A. disapproves of the Bible or books

on health or any other publications from any source that A.A.'s find

What any A.A. member reads is no business of G.S.O., or of the Conference,

naturally. But when you see the emblem shown at the top of this article,

(omitted) you can be sure the material has been through often tediously

slow, sometimes tortuous screening and revisions by the necessary committees

and the Conference.
Many groups have found that the place where literature is displayed in the

meeting room can be very important. Is it clearly visible? Can newcomers

pick up some A.A. literature without feeling conspicuous?
It may be even more important that all Conference-approved A.A, material is

exhibited clearly separate from any other publications. If new members or

visitors see religious or medical pamphlets or other material about

alcoholism mixed up with A. A. literature, they can become terribly confused

about A.A.
We are not affiliated with, nor do we endorse, any viewpoint on alcoholism

except our own. But Tradition Six becomes blurred when people see church,

health, and A.A. publications all stacked together.
How about taking a look at your group's literature display at the next

meeting? Pretend you are absolutely new. What impression of A. A. does the

literature display give you?


When the 55th General Service Conference convenes in April, several of its

standing committee agendas will call for approving or developing new and

revised pieces of literature. The Literature Committee will look at proposed

revisions of three pamphlets, as well as one idea for a new one. The

Correctional Facilities, Public Information, and Report and Charter

committees also have literature items on their agendas. At the end of the

week, the Conference may recommend that some projects be carried to the next

stage of development, that some not be pursued any further, and that some be

approved. Those that are approved by the full Conference carry the words

This is A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature.

This phrase means that a pamphlet or book reflects the widest possible

spectrum of A.A. experience and that it maintains the integrity of the A.A.

message. Achieving those goals requires a lengthy (two years or more),

painstaking, even laborious process.

It begins with a need widely expressed by the Fellowship. Sometimes, the

call for a new piece of literature will be heard from many directions, as

were requests for a fourth edition of the Big Book. At other times, though,

the idea will start small, possibly with only one member or one group

sending a request to the General Service Office. Since the ideas of a few do

not necessarily reflect the needs of a majority of members, these requests

rarely reach the agenda of a Conference committee right away. Instead, they

follow a tried and true path through the service structure, designed to

widen the group conscience with every step and ensure that by the time a

proposal reaches the Conference body, a significant number of members

believe it should be considered by the entire Fellowship.
A member who sees a need for a new pamphlet or book often takes it to his or

her home group for discussion. If the group decides it has merit, the G.S.R.

forwards the request to the district meeting for discussion, and if the

district is in favor, the D.C.M. forwards it to the area assembly for even

wider consideration. From there, the area delegate sends it on to the

General Service Office and the G.S.O. staff forwards it to the appropriate

trustees' committee. Eventually, the item may be placed on the agenda of a

Conference committee.

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