Twelfth-Step References, Techniques, Tips, & Sponsorship Tools in the Big Book

Twelfth-Step References, Techniques, Tips, & Sponsorship Tools in the Big Book Compiled by Mike L. & Barefoot Bill L. for Big Book Sponsorship

(All page number references refer to Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition)

There are 124 references to working with others throughout the first 6 chapters of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Chapter 7, ‘Working with Others is entirely devoted to the subject of working with other alcoholic addicts. Obviously the Big Book authors are trying to tell us something here — work with another alcoholic addict is vital to our recovery!

Here is a list of all Twelfth Step references in the 1st 89 pages of the original, unchanged text of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

From ‘Forward to First Edition’:

  1. Page xiii, Paragraph 1: “To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.”
  2. Page xiv, Paragraph 0: “We simply wish to be helpful to those who are afflicted.”
  3. Page xiv, Paragraph 1: “We shall be interested to hear from those who are getting results from this book, particularly form those who have commenced work with other alcoholics. We should like to be helpful to such cases.”

From ‘Forward to Second Edition’:

  1. Page xv, Paragraph 3: “The spark that was to flare into the first A.A. group was struck at Akron, Ohio in June 1935, during a talk between a New York stockbroker and an Akron physician.”
  2. Page xv, Paragraph 3: “Six months earlier, the broker had been relieved of his drink obsession by a sudden spiritual experience, following a meeting with an alcoholic friend…”
  3. Page xvi, Paragraph 1: “Prior to his journey to Akron, the broker had worked hard with many alcoholics on the theory that only an alcoholic could help an alcoholic…”
  4. Page xvi, Paragraph 1: “He suddenly realized that in order to save himself he must carry his message to another alcoholic.”
  5. Page xvi, Paragraph 2: “But when the broker gave him Dr. Silkworth’s description of alcoholism and its hopelessness, the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he had never before been able to muster.”
  6. Page xvi, Paragraph 2: “This seemed to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as no nonalcoholic could.”
  7. Page xvii, Paragraph 0: “It also indicated that strenuous work, one alcoholic with another, was vital to permanent recovery.”
  8. Page xvii, Paragraph 1: “Hence the two men set to work almost frantically upon alcoholics arriving in the ward of the Akron City Hospital.”
  9. Page xviii, Paragraph 0: “Businessmen, traveling out of existing groups, were referred to these prospective newcomers.”
  10. Page xviii, Paragraph 0: “…A.A.’s message could be transmitted in the mail as well as by word of mouth.”

From ‘Forward to Third Edition’:

  1. Page xxii, Paragraph 2: “…A.A. is reaching out, not only to more and more people, but to a wider and wider range.”
  2. Page xxii, Paragraph 4: “Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.”

From ‘The Doctor’s Opinion’:

  1. Page xxiii, Paragraph 4: “As part of his [Bill W.’s] rehabilitation he commenced to present his conceptions to other alcoholics, impressing upon them that they must do likewise with still others.”
  2. Page xxiv, Paragraph 0: “These men may well have a remedy for thousands of such situations.”
  3. Page xxiv, Paragraph 1: “You may rely absolutely on anything they say about themselves.”
  4. Page xxiv, Paragraph 4: “Though we work out our solutions on the spiritual as well as an altruistic plane, we favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is very jittery or befogged.”
  5. Page xxiv, Paragraph 4: “More often than not, it is imperative that a man’s brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer.”
  6. Page xxv, Paragraph 4: “We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulties beyond our conception.”
  7. Page xxv, Paragraph 5: “Many years ago one of the leading contributors to this book [Bill W.] came under our care in this hospital and while here he acquired some ideas which he put into practical application at once.”
  8. Page xxv, Paragraph 6: “Later, he requested the privilege of being allowed to tell his story to other patients here [Towns Hospital]…”
  9. Page xxv, Paragraph 7: “Of course an alcoholic ought to be freed from his physical craving for liquor, and this often requires a definite hospital procedure, before psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.”
  10. Page xxvi, Paragraph 2: “The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight.”
  11. Page xxix, Paragraph 2: “He accepted the plan outlined in this book.”
  12. Page xxx, Paragraph 1: “…he did become “sold” on the ideas contained in this book. He has not had a drink for a great many years.”
  13. Page xxx, Paragraph 2: “I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.”

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