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)

Endnotes:

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  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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  
Tags: , , , , ,

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)

Excerpt from “Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps”

[The 12 Steps were given to A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson by a familiar spirit. We have brought this hideous deception into our churches, and our hearts, and we are paying dearly for it. Below is an excerpt of an article dealing with Bill Wilson's unholy activities--the same Bill Wilson who is being portrayed by some as a Bible believing Christian...]

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.”[4]

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. 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, “[I]t 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]

One of the most beloved pieces of 12 Step literature is the collection of essays, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, written by Wilson in the 1950s. This popular book is often called, simply, the “12X12.” While working on it, Wilson exchanged letters with Father Ed Dowling, a Catholic priest Bill often looked to for advice. In his letter of July 17, 1952, the A.A. cofounder informs Dowling he is receiving help with the book from the spirit world.

Wilson writes, “One turned up the other day calling himself Boniface. Said he was a Benedictine missionary and English. Had been a man of learning, knew missionary work and a lot about structures. I think he said this all the more modestly but that was the gist of it. I’d never heard of this gentleman but he checked out pretty well in the Encyclopedia. If this one is who he says he is—and of course there is no way of knowing—would this be licit contact in your book?”[7]

Examined over several decades, it is clear A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson repeatedly and willingly gave himself over to familiar spirits. A.A. historian Ernest Kurtz notes, “So profound was Bill’s immersion in this area that he at times confused the terms ‘spiritualism’ and ‘spirituality.’”[3]

The rest of the article and endnotes can be linked to Here

A.A. co-founder’s LSD experiments and “God”

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson’s involvement with LSD began in the 1950s. Wilson hoped ingestion of the chemical would help alcoholics. He wrote, “It is a generally acknowledged fact in spiritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of God’s grace possible. If, therefore, under LSD we can have a temporary reduction, so that we can better see what we are and where we are going–well, that might be of some help.” (PASS IT ON, pg. 370)

In the 1950s LSD was a recent development. Wilson, aware that A.A. simply did not work for every motivated alcoholic, was searching for things that would help.

For those who have heard or read that Bill Wilson was a Christian, the fact that he believed LSD could possibly facilitate the “influx of God’s grace” demonstrates much. There was no understanding of the grace of Christ. According to his secretary, Nell Wing, during Bill’s own ingestion of LSD, “He had an experience [that] was totally spiritual, [like] his initial spiritual experience.” (PASS IT ON, pg.370)

PASS IT ON, Wilson’s official A.A. biography, also states, “Bill was enthusiastic about his experience; he felt it helped him eliminate many barriers erected by the self, or ego, that stand in the way of one’s direct experience of the cosmos and of God.” (pg.371)

“Almost to the end, [Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson] engaged in serious and prolonged experiments with spiritualism, hallucinatory drugs such as LSD and megavitamin doses of niacin,” states Nan Robertson. (emphasis mine; quote from Getting Better: Inside Alcoholics Anonymous, by Nan Robertson, pg.124)

Robertson notes Wilson “felt that no one should have to believe in any particular religious faith or dogma; that each member was entitled to a personal interpretation of the words ‘God as we understand Him,’ including the concept of the A.A. group as a ‘Higher Power.’” (pg. 124)

Nan Robertson is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and Alcoholics Anonymous member.

Bill Wilson’s first personal use of LSD was on August 29, 1956.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder considered himself a psychic

“[He] knew little of psychics and had heard nothing before this of my adventures.”–A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, from his official A.A. biography, Pass It On, pg.277

“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)

READ

The dark side of A.A. culture

A.A. co-founder Bill 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,” writes Gabrielle Glaser, author of Her Best Kept Secret: Why Women Drink and How They Can Regain Control. [1]

phi·lan·der
1. To carry on a sexual affair, especially an extramarital affair, with a woman one cannot or does not intend to marry. Used of a man.
2. To engage in many love affairs, especially with a frivolous or casual attitude. Used of a man. (freedictionary.com)

“Though he could not know it,” writes Glaser, “the early tolerance for Bill’s sexual conduct would set a behavioral precedent for [Alcoholics Anonymous].” [2]

Wilson’s last A.A. mistress was Helen W., and the affair lasted 15 years. Although Wilson’s wife Lois remained married to him through years of alcoholism and decades of adultery, Wilson nevertheless arranged that after his death, Helen W. would receive a percentage of the royalties from sales of Wilson’s A.A. books. [3]

Endnotes:
1. Gabrielle Glaser, Her Best Kept Secret: Why Women Drink and How They Can Regain Control, Chapter 4

http://books.google.com/books

2. Ibid.

3. http://mywordlikefire.com/2011/09/03/a-a-co-founders-last-a-a-mistress-received-profits-from-alcoholics-anonymous-big-book-and-others/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 339 other followers