Lois Wilson’s grandpa’s Swedenborgian book

One of the most significant of the unholy influences that shaped A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s spirituality was the Swedenborgian religion.

Swedenborgians do not believe that Salvation is exclusively through Jesus Christ. They love the Bible, even while denying biblical doctrine that Jesus is Savior.

The Swedenborgian religion is founded on the teachings/writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a brilliant man who made contributions in fields such as metallurgy, zoology, physics, and many others. Demonically deceived, Swedenborg believed that the true meaning of the Bible had been revealed to him by the Lord. It was his destiny, he believed, to explain this new revelation through his writing.

Bill Wilson married into a Swedenborgian family. In fact, according to a biography, “Bill learned that [Lois’ family] were all Swedenborgians, and the mystic aspect of the faith so fascinated them they vowed to explore it more deeply one day.”[1]

Swedenborgian scholar Robert D. Merrill states, “In her autobiography, ‘Lois Remembers,‘ she recounts fond memories of her New Church home life, including her delight in Sunday dinner discussions with the visiting minister and other friends from the church. She tells of the strength and guidance she received from Swedenborg’s teachings… In January of 1918 Bill and Lois were married in the Swedenborgian church in Brooklyn, New York.”[2]

This is not to say that Bill Wilson became a Swedenborgian per se, yet his obsession with spiritualism and view of Christ and the Bible must be attributed, at least in part, to exposure to Swedenborgian teachings. Wilson’s understanding of the Bible was further twisted by his acceptance of the Scripture-quoting but Christ-rejecting teachings of New Thought purveyor Emmet Fox.

These influences are why any reference Wilson made to Christ or the Bible should always be taken with a grain of salt.

Further Swedenborgian influence on Wilson came through William James, who himself came from a Swedenborgian family.

As a quick aside, if you want to read about Swedenborg’s twelve steps, which he wrote about long before Bill Wilson was born, go HERE. 

Interestingly enough, Bill’s wife, Lois Wilson, had a grandfather who was a Swedenborgian minister. N.C. Burnham’s Swedenborgian book, Discreet Degrees, can be found HERE.

Source Notes:
1. Robert Thomsen, Bill W., pg.85

Published in: on January 24, 2015 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sharing tender Christian moments with A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson

In PASS IT ON, A.A.’s official biography of Bill Wilson, Lois Wilson recounts some of her husband’s experiences of 1941. Saturday was generally the scheduled day for these psychic adventures. “Bill would lie down on the couch. He would ‘get’ these things. He kept doing it every week or so. Each time, certain people would ‘come in.’ Sometimes, it would be new ones, and they’d carry on some story.”[1]

So, “every week or so,” Wilson would open himself to this entity (or entities), and “certain people would ‘come in.’” Today this is known as channeling.

“There shall not be found among you…a medium or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, 12)

Want to know more? click here and here

Source Notes:
1. PASS IT ON, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., pg. 278-79

Published in: on January 13, 2015 at 5:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Swedenborgian twelve steps

Throughout A.A.’s history are indications of the devil’s handiwork. These are small things, perhaps, but indicative nevertheless. It was still astounding to discover that occultist Emanuel Swedenborg had written about ‘twelve steps’ more than one hundred and fifty years before the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, who wrote the A.A. twelve steps, married into a Swedenborgian family.

Swedenborg writes, “[Angels] picture wisdom as a magnificently and finely decorated palace. One climbs to enter this palace by twelve steps. One can only arrive at the first step by means of the Lord’s power through joining with Him…As a person climbs these steps, he perceives that no one is wise from himself but from the Lord…the twelve steps into the palace of wisdom signify love in union with faith and faith in union with love.”[4]

Did Wilson copy this term from Emanuel Swedenborg? I do not believe so. I believe that Wilson click here for entire article

Published in: on November 25, 2014 at 1:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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A.A. co-founder bought into New Thought rejection of Christ

“But messages as to the availability of grace, salvation, and the mind of Christ presented a strange and soon unacceptable Christian package for Bill and Lois Wilson. Yes, they bought the sugar-coated cover up by the Emmet Fox message to A.A. people and others that the Bible has no plan of salvation and that salvation is a myth.”

Source: Dick B., When Early A.A.’s Were Cured And Why, pg. 26

Published in: on November 19, 2014 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More on A.A.’s spiritual roots: William James

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, had a profound effect on the development and formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. According to A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s official A.A. biography, “[Wilson] would later say that James, though long in his grave, had been a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.” [1]

Just like other key players in A.A.’s spiritual history such Emmet Fox, Carl Jung, the Oxford Group, Norman Vincent Peale, and Harry Emerson Fosdick, the influential William James was not a Christian.

Pulitzer Prize winner Nan Robertson, an A.A. member, writes, “A favorite of Bill and Dr. Bob was The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, by William James, the great American psychologist and philosopher.” [2]

Reading James’ book reinforced Wilson’s occultic white light experience in the hospital, which he tragically believed was God. He never drank after the experience.

What was so appealing about The Varieties of Religious Experience?

James writes, “A form of regeneration by relaxing, by letting go, psychologically indistinguishable from the Lutheran justification by faith and the Wesleyan acceptance of free grace is within the reach of persons who have no conviction of sin and care nothing for Lutheran theology. It is but giving your private convulsive self a rest, and finding that a greater Self is there.” [3]

Related: More on William James and A.A.

Let’s face it. If A.A. had started out as a truly Christian movement, it would have remained so. It was never meant to be Christian, only to give the illusion of once having been so. (Ephesians 6:12) This has lured many into its sphere of influence.

Source Notes:
1. PASS IT ON, pg.124
2. Nan Robertson, Getting Better, pg. 47
3. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, from the chapter The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness

Did A.A. co-founder claim to be reincarnation of Christ?

You make the call:

“[A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson] imagines himself all kinds of things. His hand ‘writes’ dictation from a Catholic priest, whose name I forget, from the 1600 period who was in Barcelona, Spain—again, he told Horace Crystal he was completing the works that Christ didn’t finish, and according to Horace he said he was a reincarnation of Christ. Perhaps he got mixed in whose reincarnation he was. It looks more like the works of the devil but I could be wrong. I don’t know what is going on in that poor deluded fellow’s mind.” [1]

“[He] knew little of psychics and had heard nothing before this of my adventures.”–A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson [2]

“Do not seek out mediums and spiritists; do not seek out and be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)


1. Letter from Henrietta Seiberling, who introduced Bill Wilson to Dr. Bob Smith: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-Henrietta_Seiberling.html
2. From Bill wilson’s official A.A. biography, Pass It On, pg.277

A.A. co-founder’s comment about his “terrific heresy” from Christian point of view

“No blind faith either, for it was fortified by the consciousness of the presence of God. Despair had turned into utter security. Darkness was banished by cosmic light. For sure I’d been born again.” (Bill W., My First 40 Years, pg. 47)

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

According to author Mel B., “[Wilson’s] was clearly a kind of ‘born-again’ experience, but he did not think adherence to the Christian religion was a prerequisite for such an event in one’s life. ‘Christ is, of course, the leading figure to me,’ he wrote to an A.A. member. ‘Yet I have never been able to receive complete assurance that He was one hundred percent God. I seem to be just as comfortable with the figure of ninety-nine percent. I know that from a Christian point of view this is a terrific heresy.’” (Mel B., New Wine, pg. 87-88) (bold mine)

Published in: on September 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A.A. co-founder spiritualism research

[Another look at a subject people continue to investigate on My Word Like Fire]

So, “every week or so,” A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson would open himself to this entity (or entities), and “certain people would ‘come in.’” Today this is known as channeling. Author and A.A. apologist Dick B. has written of Wilson’s spiritualism, but gives it no emphasis as a factor in the origin of either A.A. or the 12 Steps.  

Writer Matthew J. Raphael is far less coy. A member of Alcoholics Anonymous himself, Raphael observes, “it might be said for the cofounders at least, A.A. was entangled with spiritualism from the very beginning.”[5]  

Raphael explains, “Wilson himself seems to have been an ‘adept,’ that is, ‘gifted’ in the psychic sense; and he served as a medium for a variety of ‘controls,’ some of them recurrent. ‘Controls,’ in the lingo of spiritualism, are the discarnate entities who seem to usurp a medium’s identity and literally speak through him or (far more usually) her. Sometimes a control answers questions; sometimes a spirit seems to materialize.”[6]  

“There shall not be found among you…a medium or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, 12)

For source notes and the entire article click HERE

The quote that wouldn’t go away

“The ouija board got moving in earnest. What followed was the fairly usual experience—it was a strange mélange of Aristotle, St. Francis, diverse archangels with odd names, deceased friends—some in purgatory and others doing nicely, thank you! There were malign and mischievious ones of all descriptions, telling of vices quite beyond my ken, even as former alcoholics. Then, the seemingly virtuous entities would elbow them out with messages of comfort, information, advice—and sometimes just sheer nonsense.”– A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, quoted in his official A.A. biography, PASS IT ON, pg. 278



Published in: on August 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Married A.A. co-founder preyed on vulnerable A.A. women

A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson justified his adultery by rationalizing that his wife was more like a mother to him…

According to Gabrielle Glaser, Wilson’s “philandering was an open secret. In the 1960s longtime A.A.’s became so alarmed by his constant attention to young female newcomers, they formed what they called ‘Founder’s Watch,’ a group of friends delegated to steer Bill away from pretty women who caught his eye during functions.” [8]

“Bill’s personal behavior was certainly painful for and may have had a detrimental effect on the recovery of at least some of the women he behaved inappropriately with. He also had ample reason to feel bad about his betrayals of [wife] Lois,” wrote Francis Hartigan. [9]

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Hartigan contacted early A.A. member Tom Powers, a man who knew Bill Wilson very well, and asked about Bill’s response when Tom told Wilson his depressions came about because of guilt about all the adultery. Powers said Bill always agreed this was so, but would say he couldn’t give up the adulterous behavior. “What would really kill me,” Powers told Hartigan, “is when he’d say, ‘Well, you know, Lois has always been more like a mother to me.’ Which somehow was supposed to make it alright for him to cheat on her.” [10]

(The above endnotes and further information can be found in the latter half of this article: READ)


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