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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: The founder of AA, Bill W, discovered early on that individuals and groups adapted the 12 Steps as found in Alcoholics Anonymous and he encouraged and supported them
Author: Fraser Trevor
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AA Big Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) There are many versions of the 12 Steps. In fact, there are about as many versions as there ar...
AA Big Book
AA Big Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many versions of the 12 Steps. In fact, there are about as many versions as there
are alcoholics in AA who use the program to get sober and to maintain their sobriety.
The founder of AA, Bill W, discovered early on that individuals and groups adapted the 12
Steps as found in Alcoholics Anonymous and he encouraged and supported them. In 1957, Bill
recounts that when AA was started in countries where Buddhism was the dominant religion,
the new AA groups being formed there felt that in order to join AA they needed to replace
the word “God” with “good” so that the practice of the Steps would be compatible with their
non-theistic beliefs. After hearing about the changes to the Steps by these Buddhist AA
groups, Bill wrote:
To some of us, the idea of substituting ‘good’ for ‘God’ in the Twelve Steps will seem
like a watering down of AA’s message. But here we must remember that AA’s Steps
are suggestions only. A belief in them as they stand is not at all a requirement for
membership among us. This liberty has made AA available to thousands who never
would have tried at all, had we insisted on the Twelve Steps just as written.
(Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age)
In keeping with Bill’s encouragement, agnostic groups in AA often create their own
alternative 12 Steps, replacing religious words like “God,” “Him” and ”Power” (all capitalized
in the Steps) with secular alternatives. These versions are not meant to replace the original
12 Steps, but are solely for the use of the group, based upon the conscience of its members.
We are happy to present a fair sampling of versions of the Steps in this document, used and
written by both individuals and groups. It's just one way to help the suffering alcoholic
understand that the Steps - adapted as need be - can be an important tool in the process of
recovery from the terrible affliction of alcoholism.
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