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Mother of AA
AA World Bibliography 1994
Stories and Early AA-Oxford Group Members
Writings ofSearcy W. 54
of St. Francis Sanskrit Prayer
AA How it Works
Page on Alcoholics Anonymous
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Rev. Frank Buchman founded the Moral Re-Armament Movement, a global
group espousing peace.
�Throughout his long life, some hated him, others loved him, but
no one could deny Buchman's ability to inspire others.�
more about Buchman click here
Buchman click here#2
It was 1915, and a young American missionary named Frank N.D. Buchman
was setting British India afire for Christ. He so impressed his British
colleagues that one of them asked if the N.D. in his name stood for
Buchman was starting on the road to an international and
controversial career. By the 1920s and '30s, his Oxford Group and
fourpoint doctrine of absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute
unselfishness and absolute love were household words.
In the late 1930s, he founded another movement called Moral
Re-Armament, based on his belief in the need for moral regeneration
during World War II and then the Cold War. And in the late 1940s and the
'50s, such was Buchman's moral authority that he brought together former
enemies Germany and France and helped found the Common Market.
Throughout his long life, some hated him, others loved him, but no
one could deny Buchman's ability to inspire others.
Franklin Nathaniel Daniel Buchman was born in Pennsburg on June 4,
1878, the son of a wholesale liquor dealer and restaurant owner and a
pious Lutheran mother.
About 1894 the family moved to 117 N. 11th St. in Allentown. Even
when he was known around the world, he would return to the house he
regarded as his home. Today the building is a house museum run by the
Lehigh County Historical Society.
After graduation from Muhlenberg College, Buchman became a Lutheran
minister. While attending a worship service in England, he became
convinced that God was calling him for something more. He returned to
America, became the YMCA secretary at Pennsylvania State University and
started converting campus hell-raisers left and right.
After his time in India, Buchman had a particular affection for
Britain and the British Empire. He made London his headquarters in the
early '20s. In the skeptical but confused Europe between the wars, he
offered hope of a middle Christian way between communism and fascism. By
the 1930s the Oxford Group, named for the many graduates of the British
university who were its members, held what were called ''house parties''
for several thousand people at country homes of the gentry.
To those who felt it was the duty of preachers of the Gospel ''to
comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,'' Buchman's attempt
to make ''spiritual live wires'' out of the titled upper class seemed
like a watering down of Christ's message. But he made no apology for
trying to lead nations to God by converting their leaders.
The low point for the Oxford Group came in 1936 when Buchman made
some favorable comments about Adolf Hitler, suggesting the German
dictator had done a service by stopping communism and that a man with
absolute power, if he became a Christian, could solve the world's
problems. Buchman's words were picked up by newspapers around the world,
making him sound as if he wanted Germans to goosestep to God. In fact,
Buchman probably had little understanding of Hitler or Nazism.
Suffering a stroke in 1942, Buchman returned to Allentown, where he
stayed until the end of the war. Later he established Moral
Re-Armament's headquarters in Switzerland.
Many, particularly those on the left, distrusted Buchman, accusing
him of being an agent for British Intelligence or the CIA. Others who
were attracted to Buchman's view of world unity were turned off by his
rigid views on sexual matters.
On Aug. 7, 1961, Buchman died at a Swiss country hotel. His body was
returned to Allentown, where he was buried surrounded by followers from
around the world.
-- FRANK WHELAN
Four Absolutes or Four
of the Oxford Group
As Applied to AA Program
From 30-40 year old AA Pamphlet
Printable PDF Version 5 pages
Four Absolutes or Four
of the Oxford Group
Soon Known as the
"Alcoholic Contingent of the Oxford Group" or the
"Alcoholic Squadron of the Oxford Group"
1. Absolute Honesty
2. Absolute Unselfishness
3. Absolute Purity
4. Absolute Love
1. Is it true of false
2. is it right or wrong??
3. how will it affect others??
4. is it ugly or beautiful??
4 questions from:
life of Clarence S Cleveland Ohio By Mitchell K
Definition of Alcoholic:
still used today in some orthodox AA meetings
"an alcoholic who, through application and adherence to rules laid
down by the organization, has completely forsworn the use of any and all
alcoholic beverages. The moment he wittingly drinks so much as a
drop of beer, wine, spirits, or any other alcoholic drink he
automatically loses all status as a member of Alcoholics
Anonymous"...and goes on to say (paraphrased) he regains his
membership again when he returns to the group and again states his
desire to stop drinking...absolutely."
Oxford Group called its conversion process "soul-surgery." Its
so-called surgical procedure broiled down to five concepts:
Buchman and his followers held certain theological beliefs, including
Sovereignty and Power of God.
The reality of sin.
The need for complete surrender to the will of God.
Christ's atoning sacrifice and transforming power.
The sustenance of prayer.
The duty to witness to others.
Lean, ON THE TAIL OF A COMET -
Six Steps of Oxford Group
From "Bill Wilson and how the A.A message
reached the world":
1. We admitted that we were licked, that we were powerless over alcohol.
2. We made a moral inventory of our defects or sins.
3. We confessed or shared our shortcomings with another person in
4. We made restitution to all those we had harmed by our drinking.
5. We tried to help other alcoholics, with no thought of reward in money
6. We prayed to whatever God we thought there was for power to practice
Although those steps had helped in the recovery of New York and Akron
alcoholics, Bill felt the program was still not definitive. "Maybe our six chunks
of truth should be broken up into smaller pieces," he said. "Thus we could better get the
distant reader over the barrel, and at
the same time we might be able to broaden and deepen the spiritual
implications of our whole presentation."
Pass It On, p.197
Dick B AA Historian writes me July 21, 2000 via email
"I want to point out to you that the Oxford Group did not have any
steps, or six steps, or twelve steps. That error has been perpetuated by
those who have not studied the Oxford Group or talked to its people or
read its books. In fact, Pass It On quotes Willard Hunter (who wrote the
Foreword to my Oxford Group
book) who correctly says there were no 6 steps."
"Please List My site:
Site: Alcoholics Anonymous
& Alcoholics Anonymous History: Dick B.'s Works on the History
of Early A.A.'s Spiritual Roots
Description: Books, articles, resources, links, and frequently updated
what's new on A.A.'s spiritual roots. "
"Please keep in touch and I would be very happy to see you become
one of our informed history people."
God Bless, Dick B.
"there is much more about Dick B's Books website and writings on my
book-history page 4 and also on the start page"
What was the Oxford Group??
By Mitchell K from his book on Clarence H Snyder
Cleveland Ohio AA Pioneer
Click here printable pdf (adobe acrobat version)
In the autumn of 1922, the Lutheran Minister, Rev. Frank N.D.
Buchman, and a few of his friends, formed what they called,
"A First Century Christian Fellowship."
Frank Buchman had resigned his connection with the Hartford
Theological Seminary around 1921 and had begun his evangelical work of carrying a message of life-changing by "getting right with God."
Around 1927, Buchman began working in England. Several of
his followers were connected with Oxford University; and when
they began to tour South Africa, the press called the evangelical
team "The Oxford Group." This because most of the team was
from Oxford University; but Frank Buchman was never officially
connected in any way with Oxford University. This name stuck. By 1932, A.J. Russell's book
FOR SINNERS ONLY was published, and made frequent reference to The Oxford Group.
In 1937, the group was officially incorporated in Great Britain
as a not-for-profit entity, known as The Oxford Group.
The fellowship held small group meetings, prayer meetings and
what were called "house parties," at which its adherents spent
"Quiet Time" in meditation seeking "Guidance" from God.
Part of these meetings involved "witnessing," or giving testimony
regarding prior sins, and what God had done in their lives to
remove these sins, or defects in character (or shortcomings).
Frank Buchman and his followers held certain theological beliefs,
including the following*:
1) Sovereignty and Power of God.
2) The reality of sin.
3) The need for complete surrender to the will of God.
4) Christ's atoning sacrifice and transforming power.
5) The sustenance of prayer.
6) The duty to witness to others.
*Garth Lean, ON THE TAIL OF A COMET - p. 73
Its beliefs included other elements added as the movement
grew and became more popular. Examples are as the belief
that an experience of Christ would transform a believer, IF he
truly believed - beyond anything he had dreamed possible.
The belief that an adherent could and should make prompt
restitution for personal wrongs revealed to him by his
life-changing experience. And the belief that adherents
should be part of a sort of "chain-reaction" of life changing
experiences by sharing the experience of what Christ had
done for them with others.
The Oxford Group believed one must surrender to God, not
only to be "converted" from sin, but to have his entire life
controlled by God. They believed in "Quiet Time," or meditation,
during which a believer would get guidance of what to do or in
as to the direction he should take. They believed in open
confession of sin, one-to-another, following James 5:16 in the
scriptures. They believed in the healing of the soul and in
carrying the message of personal and world-wide redemption
through the sharing of members' testimony by witnessing.
Frank Buchman, and his followers believed that people had
sick souls, most of which was caused by "self-centeredness."
Oxford Group members believed that people were powerless
over this human condition, this defect of the soul. To recover
one had to admit he was separated from God and his fellow man,
and that God could manage their lives. Then they made a decision to turn their lives over to the care and direction of God. They had
to make an inventory of their lives and of their sins, and to make full restitution to others, those they had hurt by their sins, or
shortcomings. hey also had to witness to others as to their own conversion from sin and be available to convert others
from sin. Oxford group members believed and were taught
that the only way you could keep what you had been given
by God, was to give it away to another. They did not try to
force anyone into their path. They were to live their lives as
an example, which would inspire others to want to follow.
The Oxford Group called its conversion process "soul-surgery."
Its so-called surgical procedure broiled down to five concepts:
Oxford Group people also believed that their followers should
have a formula for checking their motives in following this path.
Part of the checking procedure involved the Four Absolutes;
HONESTY, UNSELFISHNESS, PURITY and LOVE. Oxford Group
people believed these were the four absolute standards of Jesus.
We mention the Absolutes in the text of our book. A.A. members
knew that no one could ever hope to attain the perfection of
absolute anything. They instead were told to strive for perfection,
as their guide for progress, knowing that they would never fully
attain it. Bill Wilson was visited by Ebby T., an Oxford Group
follower (who never really attained sobriety, and died destitute).
Bill was told by Ebby, "I got religion." Bill went to Calvary Mission in
New York City with Ebby and late surrendered to Christ, making
open confession of his alcoholism at the mission which was run
by Calvary Episcopal Church.Bill soon had his "white light"
spiritual experience at Towns Hospital and after this surrender,
never drank alcohol again. [Author's note: According to Mel B.'s
biography of Ebby (EBBY, The Man WhoSponsored Bill W. -
Hazelden Pittman Archives Press, Hazelden Publications, 1998),
Ebby "had two years and seven months of continuous sobriety in
the beginning,a long period of about seven years' sobriety in Texas
in the 1950's, and about 2 1/2 years' sobriety just before he died"
in 1966. Mel B.states that in a letter from Bill Wilson to an
A.A. member in Texas, that Ebby was paying for his own care at
McPike's Farm (a treatment facility in Ballston Spa, N.Y.) with
his Social Security and with "financing of $200 a month that
comes out of the A.A. book money at headquarters." Ebby died
at a hospital near Ballston Spa and McPike's Farm where he
had been living under the care of Margaret McPike. Bill knew when
he was going to have a binge. Prior to his spiritual experience,
Bill had been a patient at Towns Hospital and knew that
he had to make reservations at Towns Hospital. He would call up
two weeks in advance of binge and tell Towns when he was going
to be there. His binges were planned. After his spiritual experience,
he never found the need to call for reservations again.
Dr. Bob too, had had experience with the Oxford Group. After
Frank Buchman's series of Oxford Group meetings at the
Mayflower Hotel in Akron in January 1933, Henrietta Seiberling
and Dr. Bob's wife, Anne Smith, convinced Dr. Bob to attend
the meetings which were, by now, being held at the home of
T. Henry and Clarace Williams.
Dr. Bob, though he had confessed his drinking and had been
a devotee of the Oxford Group and of its writings and teachings,
had not been able to stop drinking. It was not until he had met
with Bill Wilson, another Oxford Group member, and was relating,
one-drunk-to-another, that he eventually surrendered. Dr. Bob
met Bill on Mother's Day in May of 1935, and later drank while
going to and attending a medical convention in Atlantic City,
New Jersey in June 1935. Bill Wilson gave Bob his last drink
of beer just prior to performing surgery on June 10th , 1935.
This was to be Dr. Bob's last "slip."
Bill Wilson was once quoted as saying that even though he
did not want the connection to the Oxford Group and its
religious teachings associated with Alcoholics Anonymous,
he had incorporated most of their ideals and precepts in the
Steps and in the writing of what to become the A. A. Recovery Program.