(RNS) The basic text used for Alcoholics Anonymous
programs, known as "The Big Book," initially used stronger religious language but was reduced to appeal to a wider audience, The Washington Post is reporting.
Hazelden, a nonprofit addiction treatment center, will release the working manuscript of the book written by AA's co-founder, [Bill] Wilson, including hand-written edits and comments, according to The Post.
The changes marked in red, black and green reveal a debate on how openly God should be a part of addiction recovery in the published manuscript, according to "The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous."
The adoption of more vague religious terms in "The Big Book," including phrases like "higher power" and the "God of your understanding," show how Wilson scaled back the religious tone to engage a broader group of people.