Impaired No More
Why Early A.A. Succeeded and How You Can Too

By Dick B.
Copyright 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved

The Core Ideas

• Old Testament healings by the power of God: Ex 15:26; Ps 103:3.
• The healings of Jesus: Matt 4:23; Acts 10:38.
• Healings by the Apostles and other Christians: Matt 10:1; Acts 3:1-16; 8:5-13; 14:8-10.
• Healings from Apostolic times through the ages: (
• Christian organizations and individuals dealing with alcoholism from the 1850’s to A.A.
1. Rescue Missions.
2. The Young Men’s Christian Association.
3. Evangelists like Dwight Moody, Ira Sankey, F. B. Meyer, Billy Sunday.
4. The Salvation Army.
5. The United Society of Christian Endeavor.
6. The Oxford Group.
7. Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr.
• The Christian upbringing of Dr. Bob: (
• The Christian upbringing of Bill W. (
• The “streams” that flowed from the early days:
1. New York: Rowland Hazard, Dr. Carl Jung, Dr. William D. Silkworth,
Ebby Thacher, Bill W., Calvary Mission, Towns Hospital, Witnessing.
2. Akron: James Newton, Russell Firestone, Oxford Group 1933, Henrietta Seiberling and T. Henry Williams, prayer on the rug, phone call from Bill.
3. Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet at Seiberling Gate Lodge--discuss alcoholism, conversion, power of God, and service to others.
• How the first three (Bill W., Dr. Bob, Bill Dotson) got sober by turning to God.
• Alcoholics Anonymous deemed founded in June 1935 when Dr. Bob took his last drink.
• Akron Number One--July 4, 1935, when A.A. Number 3 discharged from hospital.
• The “Christian fellowship” Bill and Bob founded and built between 1935 and 1939.
1. The original, seven-point Akron program as summarized by Frank Amos.
2. The 16 practices of the A.A. pioneers in Akron.
3. The “first 40” (Nov. 1937) and early A.A.'s claim of a 75% success rate.
• Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”) and its Twelve Steps published.
1. Three primary sources: Dr. Silkworth, William James, Sam Shoemaker.
2. Changes made in the “printer's manuscript” (The Book That Started It All)
3. The first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous published on April 10, 1939.
• Cleveland A.A. organized May 11, 1939: The Big Book, the 12 Steps, the Bible, the Four Absolutes, and “most of the Old Program.”
• The “nonsense gods” grew when Bill wrote the A.A. group could be your “higher power.” [Building on the “committee of four” compromise--A.A. Comes of Age, 166-67.]

Author's Bio: 

Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, Active recovered AA member. Author 42 titles and over 700 articles on Alcoholics Anonymous History