T.A. McMahon, Editor of the Berean Call, writes, “A.A.’s official biography indicates Bill Wilson received the details of the 12 Steps through spirit dictation. Does anyone see a simple, idolatrous problem here?”
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 Emanuel Swedenborg had written about ‘twelve steps’ more than one hundred and fifty years before the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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.”
Did Wilson copy this term from Emanuel Swedenborg? I do not believe so. I believe that Wilson, having opened himself up to communication with spirits, received his twelve steps from the same place as had Swedenborg.
Professor Leon James notes, “Swedenborg reports conversations with historically known figures such as Moses, David, Mary, Aristotle, Luther, Newton…” Interestingly, Bill Wilson also records having had experience with [a spirit posing as] Aristotle.
According to his official A.A. biography, and describing it as “the fairly usual experience,” Wilson states:
“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.” (Pass It On, pg. 278)
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Wilson married into a Swedenborgian family. click_to continue_reading_article