Heretical book always in early “Christian” Akron A.A.

The following was the suggested reading for alcoholics from A.A.’s Akron Manual of 1939-1940. Please note that the heretical New Thought book, Sermon on the Mount, by Emmet Fox, is included:

SUGGESTED READING

The following literature has helped many members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous (Works Publishing Company). The Holy Bible. The Greatest Thing in the World, Henry Drummond. The Unchanging Friend, a series (Bruce Publishing Co., Milwaukee). As a Man Thinketh, James Allen. The Sermon on the Mount, Emmet Fox (Harper Bros.). The Self You Have to Live With, Winfred Rhoades. Psychology of Christian Personality, Ernest M. Ligon (Macmillan Co.). Abundant Living, E. Stanley Jones. The Man Nobody Knows, Bruce Barron. (bold mine)(Source: http://hindsfoot.org/AkrMan2.html)

But the Emmet Fox book was used by Alcoholics Anonymous long before this. When early A.A. was meeting in the home of  Oxford Group member T. Henry Williams,*** newcomers were instructed to read it. According to the biography of Clarence Snyder, “New people were told they had to read the Bible – The KING JAMES VERSION of the Bible. They were instructed to do this on a daily basis.  Clarence said that newcomers were also told to read THE UPPER ROOM daily and to read the SERMON ON THE MOUNT by Emmet Fox. ” (Source: http://www.silkworth.net/chs/chs0308.html)

This is why pro-A.A. author Dick B.’s portrayal of Akron A.A. as solidly Christian is ridiculous. The only “Christians” who could accept the Emmet Fox book would have been liberal Christians–those who did not interpret the Bible as the fundamentalist Christians did, and did not place a rigid emphasis on eternal salvation.

Consider what Emmet Fox taught in Sermon on the Mount (which, incidentally, was used as a guide before the A.A. Big Book was written):

pg. 4-5: “‘The Plan of Salvation’ which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran.”

pg. 14:“No suffering for another man’s original sin, but the reaping of a harvest that we ourselves have sown.”

pg. 44: “Because the change caused by prayer is a radical one, Jesus refers to it as being ‘born again.”  Since it makes you into a different man, it is actually as if you had been born anew.”

pg. 124: “[In] the Bible the term ‘Christ’ is not identical with Jesus, the individual. It is a technical term which may be briefly defined as the Absolute Spiritual Truth about anything.”

pg. 3: “The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever.”

pg. 3: “There is absolutely no system of theology found in the Bible; it simply is not there.”

pg. 13: Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden “was never intended by its author to be taken as history, but literal-minded people did so take it, with all sorts of absurd consequences.”

The A.A. co-founders were never biblical Christians. A.A. has never had a Christian or biblical origin.

Who is the liar but the one who denies Jesus is the Christ? (1 John 2:22)

***(1937) “Oxford Group meetings for alcoholics continue at the large home of T. Henry and Clarace Williams (right), with Dr. Bob sometimes joining Mr. Williams to lead meetings. The recovering alcoholics of the group refer to themselves as the “alcoholic squadron of the Oxford Group.” (Source: http://www.aa.org/aatimeline/timeline_h2.php?lang=_en)

Related: Was Bill W. saved or not? READ

Related: How Heretics Shaped Alcoholics Anonymous: READ

Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How Heretics Shaped Alcoholics Anonymous

When it comes to AA’s alleged “Christian” roots, God’s people have been—to use a technical term—snookered.

Scripture is clear. We were never meant to be part of an all-gods religion. It is not “legalism” to point out that the Lord will absolutely not be seen as one higher power among many. (Isaiah 42:8, Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

AA’s murky history can seem very confusing. Prolific pro-AA author Dick B. continues to present AA’s origin as biblically rooted. But Alcoholics Anonymous is like a pie. One can claim it is made with lemon meringue ingredients, but if tar, rat poison, and glass shards are also in the mix, was it ever really a lemon meringue pie? A little leaven… (1 Corinthians 5:6)

AA’s origin must include AA co-founders Bill Wilson’s and Dr. Bob Smith’s biblically forbidden spiritualism, Dr. Bob’s freemasonry, the meditative Silence/spirit communication learned from the Oxford Group,[1] and the anti-Biblical teachings of William James.

It doesn’t stop there. Many other influences helped give birth to AA, including Carl Jung, Emanuel Swedenborg, and the New Thought heresy of Emmet Fox.

Those who have heard early AA’s “roots” were biblically pure might want to investigate Emmet Fox and AA’s use of his heretical book, The Sermon on the Mount. This text was actually used as a teaching manual in AA until AA’s own instructional Big Book was completed.

As pro-AA author Dick B. himself acknowledges, Fox’s “writings were favored by [AA co-founders] Bill W. and Dr. Bob.”[2] (Bold mine)

That is correct. And the AA co-founders could not have been Christians if they “favored” and used these writings in AA.

Why? In The Sermon on the Mount, Emmet Fox teaches: “The ‘Plan of Salvation’ which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as the Koran. There never was any such an arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all.”[3]

Link to rest of article and Endnotes: http://raptureready.com/soap/Lanagan4.html

Published in: on September 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

What part of “demonic” don’t you understand?

According to International Christian Recovery Coalition founder and pro-A.A. author Dick B., “I have already written that earlier in my research and writing, I missed the boat on the significance of new thought ideas in early A.A.” [1] (bold mine)

Dick B. also acknowledges, “You may, as I did for quite some time, fail to appreciate or study the effect on A.A. ‘theology’ of the ideas of William James, And Ralph Waldo Trine, Emmet Fox, and others.” [2]

This is why all further claims of a Christian or biblical origin should have ceased. The spiritual roots of Alcoholics Anonymous are mixed, and include new thought influence, demonic influence via spiritualism and contemplative prayer, and much else.

But A.A. is in the hearts and minds of many, while the Bible is not. It is not difficult to see that A.A. is in opposition to Christ. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Galatians 1:6:9, Isaiah 42:8)

But as long as we are linked to a 12 Step system, including Celebrate Recovery, we will remain linked to Alcoholics Anonymous. Since the origin of the 12 Steps is not of Christ, but from the evil one, pro-A.A. author Dick B.’s inaccurate promotion of these supposed Christian/biblical roots only serves to tighten the chains of deception.

Source: http://mywordlikefire.com/2012/05/17/admitting-error-in-chronicling-a-a-alleged-christian-roots/

Was the heretical Emmet Fox book used by the pre-A.A. Oxford Group?

The following is from How It Worked, by Mitchell K., a fascinating and well written biography of early A.A. member Clarence Snyder. It is amazing that Clarence Snyder states the Oxford Group instructed newcomers to read Emmet Fox’s Christ-denying book, The Sermon on the Mount.

According to Mitchell K.:

Clarence said that when a new person was invited to the regular Wednesday meeting, he or she, one at a time, was taken aside, and had the tenets of the Oxford Group explained to him or her. A major Oxford Group practice involved “Guidance,” and, as stated, “Guidance” at meetings took place during mandatory “quiet time.”

Clarence told how when Doc explained to him about Guidance that, “The good Lord gave me two ears and one mouth.  That should give me an indication that I should listen twice as much as I should pray.”

New people were told they had to read the Bible – The KING JAMES VERSION of the Bible. They were instructed to do this on a daily basis. Clarence said that newcomers were also told to read THE UPPER ROOM daily and to read the SERMON ON THE MOUNT by Emmet Fox. (pg. 69)

Published in: on September 5, 2012 at 2:28 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Another Dick B. admission (and spin) about New Thought influence in A.A.

Pro A.A. author Dick B. writes that a scholar scolded him for “overlooking the New Thought ideas in A.A.’s early years. He even bought me the Portable Emerson. He told me I needed to learn about this father of New Thought and Transcendentalism. He also suggested I read the Big Book with a greater focus on Emersonian ideas.” [1]

So Dick B. began to study up–something that he should have done years earlier when he first realized the early A.A. members read New Thought authors such as Emmet Fox and Glenn Clark.

At any rate, Dick B. writes, “…I came eventually to see a real unity among [A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson's] unusual references to ‘Fourth Dimension,’ ‘choosing your own conception of God,’ ‘Power greater than ourselves,’ ‘Higher Power,’ ‘Creative Intelligence,’ ‘Spirit of the Universe,’ ‘Realm of the Spirit,’ ‘God consciousness,’ ‘Great Reality,’ and ‘Infinite Power and Love.’”  [2]

Then, Dick B. attempts to make a separation between Wilson’s use of New Thought terminology and concepts in the Big Book, and the supposedly Christian roots of early A.A. in Akron. He writes, “Such capitalized references strongly suggested to me that Wilson had, for sure, picked up a lingo, totally new and different from that he had gleaned … from the Smiths in Akron. As he penned the Big Book, he used language you didn’t see or hear when you looked at Akron A.A. And you just can’t square the New Thought stuff with what Bill heard and absorbed from the Bible in his early Akron days.” [3]

If you are one of the people who has been following the Dick B./New Thought/A.A. trail on this blog for the last month or so, you know that we have now quoted Dick B. a number of times about the New Thought influence in early A.A. in Akron. We have quoted Dick B. to demonstrate that Dick B. himself has documented repeatedly how early A.A used New Thought material–in both New York and Akron.

Dick B. states Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders Bill Wilson and the Akron-based Dr. Bob Smith “favored the writings“ of Emmet Fox. [4] And, in his book, The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dick B. writes, “Bob E., Clarence S., and Al L., all Akron [A.A.] oldtimers of the 1930s, mentioned the importance of James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh, Fox’s Sermon [On The Mount], and Drummond’s book on Corinthians.” [5](pg.213) (bold mine)

As covered elsewhere, the New Thought book by Emmet Fox denies that the Plan of Salvation can be found in the Bible. (Read) It is a Christ denying book, yet was a favorite in early A.A.

Dr. Bob Smith, who Dick B. continues to portray as a biblical Christian, was at least as involved with New Thought concepts as Bill Wilson. According to author Trysh Travis, Dr. Bob “attended the New Thought retreats known as Camps Farthest Out, and followed the teachings of the Unity Church as well as various Theosophical leaders.” [6]

Travis refers to a “box of Dr. Bob’s personal effects in Brown University’s Hay Library contain[ing] a carefully maintained clipping file documenting New Thought lectures in and around Akron, as well as publications from Theosophical and Unity Church publishers from around the Midwest. Dr. Bob Archives, John Hay Library, Brown University, Box 2.” [7]

Travis further notes that Bill Wilson’s secretary Nell Wing provided a list of the books read by early A.A. members–and only three of them were not New Thought books. [8]

Why is this important? Why all this effort and energy to correct Dick B.? Very simply, the purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve steps has always been to weaken the Body of Christ, and to point unbelievers away from the Savior. Its origin is unholy. Men like William James, Emanuel Swedenborg, Emmet Fox, Carl Jung, Glenn Clark and others have had a spiritual influence on A.A. and/or the twelve steps–but not a biblical influence.

As the false church continues to rise, contemplative prayer and the twelve steps will be integral in its religious practices. Indeed, take a look around.  The remnant is being warned–yes, warned–about this deceptive spiritual system. As always, the Lord is giving his people the knowledge to do what is right in His eyes.

If you are involved in twelve step spirituality, I ask that you investigate what I am saying. Compare A.A. to the Bible’s instruction. And carefully, carefully, examine the claims of Dick B. and others. The kindest thing you could do is to pray for him.

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. (Proverbs 16:18)

Here are a number of Dick B.’s quotes:

The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox – “Dr. Bob often read and recommended this Emmet Fox book.” (Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library: A Major A.A. Spiritual Source, pg. 42) (bold mine)

“…the fact is that Dr. Bob did read and recommend Fox’s The Sermon on the Mount. And Dr. Bob owned and read several other Fox books and pamphlets.” (Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library: A Major A.A. Spiritual Source, pg. 67) (bold mine)

Dick B. also lets us know that, “Early A.A. used Emmet Fox’s The Sermon on the Mount, Oswald Chamber’s Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, E. Stanley Jones’s The Christ of the Mount, and Glenn Clark’s books to help them study and interpret Matthew Chapters Five to Seven.” (Dick B., Utilizing Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots for Recovery Today, pg. 11)

According to Dick B., “Dr. Bob studied specific commentaries on The Sermon on the Mount by Oswald Chambers, Glenn Clark, Emmet Fox, and E. Stanley Jones.” (Dick B., When Early A.A.’s Were Cured And Why, pg. 75) (bold mine)

At the risk of seeming redundant, why would Dr. Bob study a heretic’s commentary? Why would he recommend Fox’s heretical book? Well, if Dr. Bob had been a blood bought Christian, he absolutely wouldn’t have. But Dr. Bob was not a Christian, so he did.

Endnotes:

1. Dick B., Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady With A Cause, pg. 19

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid

4. http://silkworth.net/dickb/earlyresources.html

5. Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 213

6. Trysh Travis, Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah, pg. 75

7. Ibid., pg. 292

8. Ibid., pg. 292

*** As always, I appreciate WordPress–but these punctuation errors in the article cannot seem to be corrected.

Admitting error in chronicling A.A.’s alleged Christian roots

According to International Christian Recovery Coalition founder and pro-A.A. author Dick B., “I have already written that earlier in my research and writing, I missed the boat on the significance of new thought ideas in early A.A.” [1] (bold mine)

Dick B. also acknowledges, “You may, as I did for quite some time, fail to appreciate or study the effect on A.A. ‘theology’ of the ideas of William James, And Ralph Waldo Trine, Emmet Fox, and others.” [2] (bold mine)

This is why all further claims of a Christian or biblical origin should have ceased. The spiritual roots of Alcoholics Anonymous are mixed, and include new thought influence, demonic influence via spiritualism and contemplative prayer, and much else.

But A.A. is in the hearts and minds of many, while the Bible is not. It is not difficult to see that A.A. is in opposition to Christ. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Galatians 1:6:9, Isaiah 42:8)

But as long as we are linked to a 12 Step system, including Celebrate Recovery, we will remain linked to Alcoholics Anonymous. Since the origin of the 12 Steps is not of Christ, but from the evil one, pro-A.A. author Dick B.’s inaccurate promotion of these supposed Christian/biblical roots only serves to tighten the chains of deception.

It should matter that the A.A. co-founders used and distributed a book by new thought heretic Emmet Fox where Salvation through Christ is declared non-existent. You decide for yourself: (click_here_to_read)

For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another. (Isaiah 48:11)

Endnotes:

1. Alcoholics Anonymous History, Big Book and 12 Step Sources, Identifying Spiritual Roots and Study References by Dick B.

2. The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous: Part 2 by Dick B.

More on early A.A. new thought influences

While clearly the most significant, Emmet Fox (Here) was not the only new thought influence in early A.A.

According to prolific pro-A.A. author Dick B., “[AA co-founder] Dr. Bob especially admired Glenn Clark, owned and circulated his healing book, and even attended his prayer camp with [Dr. Bob’s] wife, Anne.”[1]

Okay, Dr. Bob attended his prayer camp. What was Clark’s understanding of prayer?

According to Dick B., ”Clark said it was not the prayer that created the miracle, but the healing state of consciousness that prayer induces.”[2] (Bold mine) That is far from a Biblical understanding. As we continue to investigate the alleged Biblical faith of Dr. Bob, more and more of these discrepancies pop up. 

Clark, like Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob, was okay with his fellow new thought advocate, Emmet Fox. Of course Clark was: “New Thought people regarded [Clark] as one who spoke their language.”[3]  Clark actually “spoke at the International New Thought Alliance Congress held in 1939, and appeared again at the San Francisco Congress…”[4]

In a footnote on pg. 62 of Dr. Bob and His Library, Glenn Clark recommends, “and the Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox for those who lean toward New Thought.”[5]

As we have seen in ‘How Heretics Shaped Alcoholics Anonymous,’[6] Emmet Fox denied that Jesus was Savior, promoted new thought heresy, and yet his book was used in A.A. as a spiritual teaching text. Here is Clark, another early A.A. favorite, giving his okay to Emmet Fox.

The fact is, AA has always been syncretistic.

Syncretism: –noun

1. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion. (dictionary.com)

A.A. is a mixture of all sorts of spiritual influences. We shall continue to take a look at these influences and our hope is that Christians will realize 12 Step spirituality is not truly rooted in the Christ of the Bible.

Endnotes:

1. Dick B., God and Alcoholism, Chapter Three: The Good News: What God Can Do About Alcoholism

2. Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library, pg. 62

3. http://glennclark.wwwhubs.com/

4. http://glennclark.wwwhubs.com/

5. Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library, pg. 62

6. http://raptureready.com/soap/Lanagan4.html

Published in: on March 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

“Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders were not Christian” article soon to pass 18,000 views

While the  A.A. is really, really, really okay for Christians Conference (as I call it) will soon take place, this historically accurate article, Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders were not Christian, continues to pick up steam. It will pass 18, 000 views very soon. Thank you so much for taking the time to examine the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders were not Christian can be read right HERE.

Contemplative and New Thought roots of Alcoholics Anonymous

It is well known that Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith reached out to the spirit world through seances and the like. But there was also a contemplative (meditative) factor.

Contemplative practices, in fact, have been inherent in Alcoholics Anonymous from its inception. A.A. co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith attended, together and separately, Frank Buchman’s neo-evangelical Oxford Group in the 1930s. Pastor H.A. Ironside, who preached during the 1930s and 1940s, was familiar with the Oxford Group in his own city. He had grave concerns about its meditative practices:

“Each member is urged … to sit quietly with the mind emptied of every thought … waiting for God to say something to them…. Sometimes they tell me nothing happens, at other times the most amazing things come. Tested by the Word of God, many of these things are unscriptural. They lay themselves open for demons to communicate their blasphemous thoughts to them.” [1] (Bold and italics mine)

According to A.A. historian Glenn C., “In A.A. circles however, ‘meditation’ also took on some of the characteristics of what the Oxford Group called ‘having a morning quiet time.’ So A.A. members might in fact, not only read and think about what the reading for the day said in their meditational book, but also spend a short time blanking out all their conscious thoughts and just remaining still and quiet in God’s presence, while waiting for God’s guidance to give them instructions for the day. [2] (Bold mine)

Glenn C. continues, “Richmond Walker’s Twenty-Four Hours a Day gives the best introduction to what the concept of meditation meant in early A.A. He refers to the period of time as ‘entering the divine silence’ and recommends it as a way to restore our spirit of peace and calm, and as a way to obtain the power of the divine grace for changing our lives.” [3] (Bold mine)

A.A.’s murky spiritual history can seem very confusing. Prolific pro-A.A. author Dick B. continues to present AA’s origin as biblically rooted. But Alcoholics Anonymous is like a pie. One can claim it is made with lemon meringue ingredients, but if tar, rat poison, and glass shards are also in the mix, was it ever really a lemon meringue pie? A little leaven… (1 Corinthians 5:6)

A.A.’s origin must include AA co-founders Bill Wilson’s and Dr. Bob Smith’s biblically forbidden spiritualism, Dr. Bob’s freemasonry, the meditative Silence/spirit communication learned from the Oxford Group [4] (READ), and the anti-biblical teachings of William James.

It doesn’t stop there. Many other influences helped give birth to A.A., including Carl Jung, Emanuel Swedenborg (READ) and the New Thought heresy of Emmet Fox.

Those who have heard early A.A.’s “roots” were biblically pure might want to investigate Emmet Fox and A.A.’s use of his heretical book, The Sermon on the Mount. This text was actually used as a teaching manual in A.A. until A.A.’s own instructional Big Book was completed.

As pro-A.A. author Dick B. himself acknowledges, Fox’s “writings were favored by [A.A. co-founders] Bill W. and Dr. Bob.”[5] (Bold mine)

That is correct. And the A.A. co-founders could not have been Christians if they “favored” and used these writings in A.A.

Why? In The Sermon on the Mount, Emmet Fox teaches: “The ‘Plan of Salvation’ which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as the Koran. There never was any such an arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all.”[6]

“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)

Fox’s book bristles with “teachings” that sincere Christians would not share with alcoholics.

Like the Gnostics, Fox was a purveyor of “secret knowledge.” He writes, “Wonderful as the ‘outer’ Bible is, it is far less than one percent of the ‘inner’ Bible—the Bible that is hidden behind the symbols. If you have been reading the Bible without the spiritual interpretation, you have not found the real message of the Bible, for that lies below the surface.”[7]

Fox’s influence should always be considered when one hears of references to the Bible in early A.A. People assume, logically enough, that if the co-founders were mentioning the Word of God, this must mean they were Christians. But the unsaved Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith viewed the Bible along the lines of Fox’s esoteric spiritual wisdom, rather than believing it to be the literal Word of God. One cannot, after all, promote anti-biblical heresy and simultaneously believe and obey the Word of God.

And, like many in A.A., they looked to the Bible for generic spiritual principles—love your neighbor, help your fellow man, and so on.

Interestingly, Bill Wilson had already been exposed to those who greatly admired the Bible, yet still didn’t believe it to be the Word of God. He married into a Swedenborgian family, and became very familiar with this religion’s Christ-rejecting interpretation of God’s Word.

Fox’s new thought teachings likely strengthened what Bill already believed—the Bible was indeed a book of spiritual wisdom, although not the inerrant Holy Book of the fundamentalist Christians. 

It is important to understand Fox’s book was not some casual read by early A.A. According to author Mel B., Fox’s “1934 book The Sermon on the Mount became one of the society’s most useful guides until the publication of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939.”[8]

New Thought adherents believe that Jesus was just a man who tapped into the source of Divine Power, and that we too can accomplish this. According to Fox, man has “essential Divine Self-hood.” [9]

Since Dr. Bob Smith has been portrayed for years as a biblical Christian, just how strongly, then, did Dr. Bob oppose Fox’s heretical book? He didn’t. He recommended it.

According to a woman quoted in AA’s official biography of Dr. Bob, “The first thing [Dr. Bob] did was get me Emmet Fox’s The Sermon on the Mount.” [10] (Bold mine)

That seems pretty enthusiastic. What else was in this book Dr. Bob was so eager to share? This book that Bill Wilson claimed was so important to AA? Well, as it turns out, more heretical stuff. According to Fox’s Sermon on the Mount:

pg. 124: “[In] the Bible the term ‘Christ’ is not identical with Jesus, the individual. It is a technical term which may be briefly defined as the Absolute Spiritual Truth about anything.” 

pg. 3: “The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever.”

pg. 3: “There is absolutely no system of theology found in the Bible; it simply is not there.”

pg.13: Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden “was never intended by its author to be taken as history, but literal-minded people did so take it, with all sorts of absurd consequences.”

Imagine a hurting alcoholic, a man or woman who does not know Christ. Now, imagine an A.A. member as prestigious as Bill or Dr. Bob saying that this CHRIST-DENYING book will help. 

“You may, as I did for quite some time, fail to appreciate or study the effect on AA ‘theology’ of the ideas of William James, Ralph Waldo Trine, Emmet Fox, and others,” writes Dick B.[11](Bold mine)

Even after conceding this, Dick B.’s books promoting the biblical roots of A.A. and the 12 Steps have just kept coming. 

Yet, I alerted this author about Dr. Bob’s promotion of the Emmet Fox book back in August of 2002. I stated:

“Dick, there is no way a Bible believing Christian would recommend such a book. No more than you or I would place the Muslim Holy Book in the hands of a hurting alcoholic. …If early A.A. was solely Christian, why was Fox’s book used? Was not early A.A. syncretistic?”[12]

Fox felt “helpful teaching” was fine wherever one got it, but “You do not owe an atom of loyalty to anyone or anything in the universe except your own Indwelling Christ, your own personal integrity.”[13] (Bold mine)

There is simply no way to justify promotion of this Christ-denying book. It means thousands of alcoholics were encouraged to read a new thought teaching that states there is no Plan of Salvation and that Christ is not Savior.

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all…” (1 Timothy 2:5)

When reading about the use of the Bible in the history and development of A.A., please consider the influence of Emmet Fox’s new thought heresy.

There are a number anti-biblical roots to A.A.,  but please be aware of the contemplative potential of A.A.’s 11th Step: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. (Bold mine)

“Meditation is something that can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height,” writes AA co-founder Bill Wilson. [14] Indeed. The same is true for the A.A. higher power.

Contemplative spirituality and Twelve Step spirituality have changed the culture–and the church. It can be stated, with no exaggeration, that these interconnecting spiritualities are foundational to the false church.

Endnotes:

1. http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-Ironside.html

2. http://westbalto.a-1associates.com/FOR%20THE%20NEWBY/twelvestep_meditation.htm

3. http://westbalto.a-1associates.com/FOR%20THE%20NEWBY/twelvestep_meditation.htm

4.  Contemplative Spirituality and Alcoholics Anonymous  http://mywordlikefire.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/contemplative-spirituality-and-alcoholics-anonymous/

5. Alcoholics Anonymous History and the Bible: Dick B.’s Early AA Resources

6. Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount, pg. 4-5

7. Herman Wolhorn, Emmet Fox’s Golden Keys To Successful Living, pg. 59

8. Mel B., New Wine, pg.111

9. Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount, pg. 124

10. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., Dr. Bob and the good oldtimers, pg. 310

11. The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous: Part 2, Dick B.

12. Dick B. email August, 2002

13. Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount, pg. 149

14. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 101

AA’s co-founders were not Christians

It is a fearful thing, leaving AA. The Big Book (the AA “bible”) states, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”[1] Because this passage of AA “scripture” is taken literally, alcoholics rarely look elsewhere for help. Christians continue to jam their God, the Ancient of Days, into AA’s chameleon theology.

“Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11-12)

It is not just fear that keeps us bound to this all-gods religion. The 12 Step experience becomes an idol–long term involvement almost always results in a transference of faith. Bluntly stated, when it comes to sobriety, many Christians end up with more faith in the power of the 12 Step program than in Jesus Christ.
This transference of faith is subtle, gradual, and frequently inevitable. The result is that sobriety without the 12 Step program will not even be considered. Biblical wisdom, given by concerned and caring believers, is rejected.

This idol worship is by no means limited to those in AA, but applies to many in “Christian 12 Step” groups.

For many years Christians have justified their involvement by pointing to numerous books that claim AA and the 12 Steps are Christian in origin. If this is true, then obviously AA’s cofounders had to have been Christians. Indeed, this belief is also a primary rationalization for remaining in the AA religion.

Did AA cofounders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith follow Christ? Many believe Dr. Bob to have been a student of the Word and dedicated to the Faith. To a great degree this assumption stems from the writing of Dick B., author of ‘Anne Smith’s Journal,’ and numerous other works.

Dr. Bob certainly did read the Bible. Yet, as Susan Cheever states, “Bob began every morning with meditation and prayer and twenty minutes of Bible study. Like Bill, Bob believed in paranormal possibility and the two men spent time ‘spooking,’ invoking spirits of the dead.”[2]

Early AA member Tom Powers saw the AA cofounders firsthand as they engaged in spiritualistic practices the Lord detests. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) “Now, these people, Bill and Bob, believed vigorously and aggressively. They were working away at the spiritualism; it was not just a hobby.”[3]

It is not well known that Dr. Bob was a Mason. Suspended in 1934, he gained reinstatement after being sober for some years.[4] According to John Weldon, “The truth is that Masonry is a distinct religion that espouses teachings incompatible with Christian faith in the areas of God, salvation, and other important doctrines.”[5]

Interestingly, the description of the Mason god, the Great Architect, is similar to the higher power worshiped in Alcoholics Anonymous. Masonic researcher Carl H. Claudy notes, “Masonry does not specify any god or creed; she requires merely that you believe in some Deity, give him what name you will…. A belief in God is essential to a Mason but…any God will do…”[6]

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches the “higher power” could be a doorknob, a spirit, a fruit salad, the universe, the Dallas Cowboys (when they are winning), a new age version of Jesus, or anything else. Like the Masons, it doesn’t matter what god you believe in-only that you believe in something.

It seems that someone as allegedly devout and well versed in the Bible as Dr. Bob would stay far away from spiritualism and the Masonic organization. He most emphatically did not. Equally perplexing is Dr. Bob’s enthusiasm for Emmet Fox’s sweet-sounding but heretical book, ‘The Sermon on the Mount.’[7]

This is no minor point, since this book denies that Jesus Christ is Savior. The book was used as a teaching tool by Alcoholics Anonymous before the Big Book was written. In ‘The Sermon on the Mount,’ author Emmet Fox states there is no such thing as original sin; that the account of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden is not intended as literal history; he did not believe that Jesus  walked on the water as the Biblical God. He writes, “The ‘Plan of Salvation’ which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran.”[8]

Fox instructs, “In the Bible the term ‘Christ’ is not identical with Jesus, the individual. It is a technical term that may be briefly defined as the Absolute Spiritual Truth about anything.”[9] Clearly Emmet Fox, dead for decades, would have made an ideal guest on one of Oprah Winfrey’s New Spirituality shows.

Fox was an eloquent adherent of the New Thought religion. This belief system teaches that our thoughts determine our reality, and that we too can learn to tap into the same divine power that Jesus the man harnessed.

As scholars Anderson and Whitehouse note, “New Thoughters are fond of such affirmations as… ‘The Christ in me salutes the Christ in you.’ Rather than viewing Jesus as the first and last member of the Christ family, many New Thoughters believe that Christ is a title that we can all earn by following Jesus’ example.”[10]

‘The Sermon on the Mount’ is based on Fox’s heretical interpretation of Scripture. So why would Bible-believing Christians have anything to do with such a book? Would a Christian cofounder of AA really participate in using it as a teaching tool? Or place such heresy in the hands of another alcoholic? AA cofounder Dr. Bob Smith did just this.

In a recorded 1954 interview, early AA member Dorothy S.M. reminisced, “The first thing Bob did was get me Emmet Fox’s ‘Sermon on the Mount.’”[11] Dorothy then recalled how it went with the alcoholics who wanted help: “As soon as the men in the hospital, as soon as their eyes could focus, they got to ‘The Sermon on the Mount.’”[12]

Archie T., the founder of Detroit AA, stayed with Dr. Bob and Anne Smith for more than ten months. He became sober in September of 1938. Archie T. recollected, “In Akron I was turned over to Dr. Bob and his wife. …I spent Labor Day in the hospital reading Emmet Fox’s ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ and it changed my life.”[13]

Documenting the AA history of Archie T., Detroit Archivist Cliff M. verifies, “He says he got his AA direct from one of the founders. Archie read Emmet Fox’s ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ and he said it changed his life.”[14]

It is interesting that, after many months with the Smiths, having “got his AA direct from one of the founders,” Archie T. emerged not as a Bible believing Christian, but in agreement with Emmet Fox’s New Thought theology.

Was Dr. Bob a Bible believing Christian? The Bible says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3)

Some have tried to explain early AA’s enthusiasm for various New Thought books simply because the people were, well, voracious readers. But Emmet Fox’s ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ was used to teach.

People who believe along New Thought lines often read genuinely Christian literature, as well as the Bible. They simply filter, or interpret, according to their New Thought understanding. Emmet Fox himself had no objection to his followers reading diverse spiritual books, or attending churches, or listening to speakers if it proved helpful. He warned, however, that loyalty should be to one’s own “Indwelling Christ.”[15]

This theological “filtering” may well be what Dr. Bob himself did as he read the Bible and Christian literature. Like Emmet Fox and others, Dr. Bob may simply have interpreted the Bible through a New Thought understanding, or variant thereof. Fox valued the Bible, calling it “an inexhaustible reservoir of Spiritual Truth.”[16] Dr. Bob valued it as well.

Such esoteric interpretation of the Bible-while denying the Salvation of Christ-is not confined to New Thought; it is practiced by Unity, and the Swedenborgians, each with their own anti-Biblical understanding of the Word of God.

Dr. Bob’s pursuit of spiritualism, Masonic membership, and promotion of Fox’s heretical book do not seem indicative of a deep, Bible-believing faith. Certainly he spoke highly of the Bible. But a New Thoughter who gives Jesus verbal accolades or discusses Scripture can sound quite similar to a born again Christian.

After reading the Emmet Fox book, I emailed the following question to Mel B., author of the well-researched ‘New Wine.’ Mel B. is an authority on Emmet Fox and a man who personally knew Bill Wilson:

“Hey Mel, I’ve been reading Fox’s ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ and what he is saying (I think) was that Jesus is just a man who understood the principle laid out in the book and had power through them. He says “Christ” is not Jesus but a title (for Absolute Spiritual Truth.) So I am inclined to think that Dr. Bob, both when he referred to the Bible, and when he spoke of Jesus, saw things along the lines of what Fox taught. Do you think this is possible?”[17]

Mel emailed this reply:

“Hi John, Yes, I think Dr. Bob thought that way about Jesus. Bill certainly did. In my view, this takes nothing away from Jesus and makes his teaching more relevant. Dr. Bob also emphasized The Sermon On The Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James as being particularly important to us.”[18]

Important as general spiritual principles, perhaps, but not as words from the God of the Bible.

Author Glen C. notes that Dr. Bob’s AA homegroup (roughly between 1939-1940) emphasized the following passages in the Bible: ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Matthew 5-7), the letter of James, 1 Corinthians 13, and Psalms 23 and 91. These “were especially useful for AA purposes because none of them required the newcomer to believe in the divinity of Christ or that Salvation could be found only by praying to Jesus.”[19] (Emphasis mine)

Some years ago Dick B., after convincing thousands that AA’s 12 Steps are Christian in origin, wrote, “You may, as I did for quite some time, fail to appreciate or study the effect on AA ‘theology’ of the ideas of William James, Ralph Waldo Trine, Emmet Fox, and others.”[20]

Having admitted Emmet Fox’s heretical influence, this author should not have written one more book about AA’s alleged Christian origin.

One of Dick B.’s more recent books is ‘The Conversion of Bill W.,’ a sadly misleading title considering everything AA cofounder Bill Wilson was involved in. In experiments in the 1950s, hoping alcoholics could be helped by LSD, Bill Wilson stated, “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 we can better see where we are going-well, that might be of some help. The goal might become clearer.”[21]

Call me legalistic, but LSD to facilitate “the influx of God’s grace” doesn’t sound all that Biblical.

Wilson’s explanation for choosing the triangle within the circle as AA’s symbol is equally pagan. In ‘Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age,’ he writes, “That we have chosen this symbol is perhaps no mere accident. The priests and seers of antiquity regarded the circle enclosing the triangle as a means of warding off spirits of evil, and AA’s circle of Recovery, Unity, and Service has certainly meant all that to us and much more.”[22]

He also “felt it would be unwise to have an allegiance to any one religious sect. He felt AA’s usefulness was worldwide, and contained spiritual principles that members of any and every religion could accept, including the Eastern religions.”[23]

Somewhere, somehow, we must examine the 12 Step program in light of Scripture. We must take Paul’s admonitions about a false gospel seriously. (Galatians 1:6-9) We are being offered a wonderful mission field, if only we can understand neither AA nor the 12 Steps are from Jesus Christ.

It is also time we stop accepting that one or both AA cofounders were Christians. Clearly, they were not.

Endnotes:

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, pg. 58

2. Susan Cheever, My Name Is Bill, pg. 197

3. PASS IT ON, A.A. World Services Inc., pg. 280

4. Cedric L. Smith, PGM, Grand Secretary of Masons in Vermont

5. John Weldon, The Masonic Lodge and the Christian Conscience, CRI DM 166, pg. 1

6. Carl H. Claudy, ‘Belief in God,’ in ‘A Master’s Wages’ in Little Masonic Library vol.4

7. DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, A.A. World Services Inc., pg. 310-311

8. Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount, pg. 5-6

9. Ibid., pg. 124

10. C. Alan Anderson and Deborah G. Whitehead, New Thought and Conventional Christianity http://www.gis.net/~caa/church.html

11. 1954 excerpts of conversation between Bill W. and Dorothy S.M. http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/en-pdfs/f-151_markings_spring_06.pdf

12. Ibid.

13. http://www.Akronaaarchives.org/archieT.htm

14. AA General Services of Southeast Michigan-Area 33, A Brief History of A.A. in Detroit-by Cliff M. (Past Archivist)

15. Emmet Fox, ‘The Sermon on the Mount,’ pg. 149

16. Ibid., pg. 12

17. email to Mel B. 3/14/08

18. email from Mel B.

19. Glen C., justloveaudio.com/resources/assorted/Akron-Recommended_Reading _List_1939_Or_1940

20. The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous: Part 2, DickB.com

21. PASS IT ON, AA World Services Inc., pg. 370

22. Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, A.A. World Services Inc., pg. 139

23. PASS IT ON, A.A. World Services Inc., pg. 283

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 247 other followers