Ever since its original publishing, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous makes many references to God. At Discovery Place, a concerted effort is made to avoid placing restrictions on, or promotions toward, any particular form of spirituality; here, spirituality is always purely a matter of personal discernment and choice. Though most of our guests have been raised in some form of Christian environment, some have not.

Recently, a Moslem guest completed the thirty-day residential recovery program at Discovery Place, and never at any time did he proselytize or promote Islam as a part of his daily participation in our activities. More than likely, except for the guys in the kitchen, most of the other guests on campus would have never known the actual spiritual views of our Moslem friend. Often, we will have guests that will protest the use of the word “God” in our groups and prayers. Our Moslem friend never voiced a single complaint. Sure, concessions were made for our brother’s abstinence from pork, as well they should have been. At no time did our friend ask for special allowances concerning his participation in traditional Moslem prayers. In other words, he did his best to practice one of the most basic spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous: total inclusion and absolutely no exclusion. In 1939, the word “spirituality” had a widespread connotation to it.When people in this country heard of spirituality or religion, their natural instinct was to presume a definition along the lines of Christianity in one of its many forms. Today, we find no problem with that assumption; in fact, some of our guides, board members, staff and guests happen to be Christian. But what about the feelings of the thirty-something alcoholic who has been barraged with an overdose of grandiose Christianity? What about the man who has disdain for the very concept because as a child he had some form of religion crammed down his throat? What about the young men who come here who are JewishMoslemNative AmericanBuddhist, or practitioners of another of the myriad forms of religion or spiritual practices this planet has to offer?

The good news is that, here at Discovery Place, no special accommodations need to be made for such inidividuals. We have no opinion concerning another’s opinion or conception of God, or if you wish, Higher Power. When the Oxford Group was formed, the basis of their program was definitely Christian. Calvinistic in its basic concepts, it naturally existed as an essentially Christian organization. In “Bill’s Story“, his friend comes to him and announces “I’ve got religion!” Bill’s reaction was less than enthusiastic. Bill Wilson had his own prejudices against the “Czar of the Universe”. Then Eby T., a member of the Oxford Group at the time, introduced a concept that was actually out of order in his own group. He said to Bill, “Why don’t you come up with your own conception of God?” This was a declarative question that still confuses many today. How does one come up with a “concept of God” on one’s own?I can explain it in terms that I call “reducing it to the ridiculous”. I have nine children. Each one has their own pet name they call me. I have a relationship with each child that is as uniquely different as the wonderful uniqueness of my children. All of them love me, but some need more comfort than the others, some are more independent than the others, some are difficult to deal with because of their own personalities, and still others are easygoing and laid back. To each of my children, I am Dad; however, each of them relates to me in their own unique way. Each of them views their father differently… even though I am, of course, the same man. Can we not parallel that with our own individual concepts of another father, or grandfather, or God?

In Alcoholics Anonymous, we have come to understand that regardless of what a man or woman comes to perceive as his/her “Higher Power”, it’s a good thing. Love and tolerance is our code, therefore we have come to know that even the smallest of a flicker, can be fanned into a flame by the working of all Twelve Steps. When we, as members of Alcoholics Anonymous or as staff, alumni, volunteers, or friends of Discovery Place meet a new guest, or another alumnus that was here long before us, can we honestly say that we endorse their conception of God with the same enthusiasm as we endorse our own? If love and tolerance is our code, then it has to extend beyond personal appearance, language, color, creed, and social status. Our tolerance must extend into the heart, mind, soul, and spirit of all we meet. Always inclusive, never exclusive. Simple but not easy; a price had to be paid.



  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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