Why the Sparkly A Course in Miracles is Bill Thetford’s Edit.

I was having an email exchange with Doug Thompson, publisher of the UR (Original) Text A Course in Miracles and we got into the discussion about the different versions of A Course in Miracles. I had mentioned to him that with all the research I have done for this ACIM Documentary it has become quite clear that the Sparkly Version (which came from the Hugh-Lynn-Cayce (HLC) version) was Bill Thetford’s edit. I shared with Doug my discoveries and his response to me was “That, Britney, is very well done” and “… you’re right as far as you go.” Having this response from a long time Course scholar who has been part of the Course different versions debacle from the beginning was  a wonderful complement.  Because of this, I thought I would share with you what I wrote to Doug. Enjoy, and comment below if you have any questions or thoughts on this subject. 

“I say “Bill’s Edit” because it was the last one that he had a hand in. 
Its true he typed the UR text (but no edits), it’s true Helen re-wrote that multiple times. 
But with HLC, I feel he felt the need to be more apart of it, in order to have it readable FOR Hugh-Lynn Cayce, whom he highly respected and appreciated.

I also say “edit” lightly. 
As he did NOT do anything with it except the following.

1) Bill asked Helen to ask Jesus when the time was to add titles and subheadings. The first time he asked it the answer Jesus gave them was a no. The second time they asked Him it was a yes, and they did together. Here is the quote: In the summer of 1971, “Bill told Helen that his feelings about “doing something” to make the material more readable had become much more intense, and he asked her if she would be willing to go through the text with him, and ask for help in making it less formidable to the eye. Helen agreed to ask if this should be done, and the answer she received was a very clear affirmative! Thus began a project that was almost as time consuming as was the original scribing of the material. Whenever they had free time and almost every Saturday afternoon, Helen and Bill read slowly through the Text, feeling and asking where the natural breaks might occur. In this manner, over a fourteen month period, the Text was broken down into thirty-one chapters with two hundred and fifty-five separate sub-chapter headings.”  pg 78 journey without distance

—I bet, like with the quote you referenced about Bill saying Helen was doing the titles/subheadings was indeed the case sometimes, she was the main scribe. But I do believe this was a joint adventure between the two, to add these headings together with Jesus’ guidance. 
2) Jesus told Bill that he was the one who was in charge of what stays in and is taken out of the course. He was also told to take out what is personal, and is in charge of making those decisions. When I look at HLC, that was done. What was personal was taken out and what was still generalizable was there…. and so… to me… that is Bill doing his job as directed by the Voice. I do believe more formal editing such as grammar, spelling etc was DEFINITELY needed still. Hence why Ken agreeing to help would have been relieving. However, I don’t think Bill would have known that Ken was going to massacre it in the way that he did….. and by the time he did,  it was too late to do anything about it… but as for what Bill was instructed to do, he did what he was asked to do. And the result of that is the HLC version. Jesus also said that Bill is very good at keeping his “personal opinions or preferences or prejudices out” ( Shuchman H.  Helen’s Notes  page XYZ) Helen says this about Bill in the book Absence of Felicity:   Bill was adamant in opposing any changes at all, except for deleting the too personal early references and correcting actual typing errors. I wanted to change just about everything,  but I knew that Bill was right. Any changes I made were always wrong in the long run, and had to be put back. The strict editorial attitude not only helped me get through a long and difficult job, but also proved to be the most helpful as far as the actual material was concerned.

Jesus also talks to Helen about Bill and says:
“Ask him (Bill) later if this should be included in the written part of the course at all or whether you should keep these notes separately. He is in charge of these decisions.” (T.1.B.25i.)

I do believe Helen was the LEAD editor. If anything WAS taken out in this HLC version that was NOT personal (which I think Robert told me there was 23,000 words taken out here, not sure how much was personal) I do believe that was Helen as she took the lead role as you know, and that’s what she did, cut cut cut lol!!! She even admits this in the only interview we have of her speaking, which is found here. 

3) When Bill was reading and applying ACIM text, for 6 months before workbook came through it is reported that he proclaimed the following: “Bill came to profess with great certainty of the “absolute consistency of the work” noting that he “could find not a single conflicting passage or idea throughout its entire length.”  (Journey without distance p73) If that be the case, which IS the case for me and my experience with the Course… its a perfect work of perfect consistency… then there would be no need for him to do anything BUT put the chapter headings and subtitles in. But which could very well be left to Helen who was the scribe of it anyway. He just got the ball rolling on asking for that….

So to conclude, HLC (Sparkly) is Bills Edit because it was the one he signed off on. 
He signed off on it as he gave it to Hugh-Lyn Cayce himself and would not have done so if he did not approve of it as the final version and compilation of his work. 
He was also the one given the role to decide what personal material stays in and is taken out, and he did that. 
His role was complete and perfect in that. 
Jesus never said “edit grammer Bill“. Anyone who was willing could have done that. 
But Bill did make important decisions about what is too personal and what is not. If there was more than the personal taken out, well, we know Helen well by now. “

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Welcome to my blog. My name is Britney Shawley. I write and make videos to help  people to choose peace in every situation. I aim to demonstrate the practicality of Love and miracles in my everyday life and work, so that you can do so too. Thank You for being here. 



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