Bob was asked where the AA principles came from that he
has on his page; Barefoot's
Writings — and as he remembers, as
they are shown below, these came from a plaque on the wall
in the Orange-Olive Friendship Club where he got sober
ago, Feb 28, 1974, ... and may have come from an article
in the Grapevine or the local area newsletter . . . ???
12 Steps of AA ARE the Principles of the Program that we
practice, as listed in the Big Book, pages
59 and 60! Over the years many lists of virtues that correspond
to each of the Twelve Steps and their underlying spiritual
nature have been printed in local area AA newsletters and
on pocket cards. The origins of these lists are unknown,
although they are used by many Twelve Step members.
Principles and Virtues
1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol
- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than
ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to the care of God as we understood him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another
human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all
these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing
to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except
when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were
wrong promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with God as we understood Him, praying
only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to
carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result
of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others,
especially alcoholics and to practice these principles
in all our affairs.
Bob went out on the web in search of possible further historical
documentation of their origins and found two more listings
different from the above ...
of the 12 Steps
(Capitulation to hopelessness.)
(Step 2 is the mirror image or opposite of step 1. In step
1 we admit that alcohol is our higher power, and that our
lives are unmanageable. In step 2, we find a different Higher
Power who we hope will bring about a return to sanity in
management of our lives.)
(The key word in step 3 is decision.)
(An inventory of self.)
(Candid confession to God and another human being.)
(Choosing to abandon defects of character.)
(Standing naked before God, with nothing to hide, and asking
that our flaws - in His eyes - be removed.)
(Who have we harmed? Are we ready to amend?)
Amendment. (Making direct amends/restitution/correction,
(Exercising self-discovery, honesty, abandonment, humility,
reflection and amendment on a momentary, daily, and periodic
(Becoming as one with our Higher Power.)
(Awakening into sober usefulness.)
Step 1: Honesty — After many years of denial,
recovery can begin when with one simple admission of being
powerless over alcohol — for alcoholics and their
friends and family.
2: Faith —
It seems to be a spiritual truth, that before a higher power
can begin to operate, you must first believe that it can.
3: Surrender —
A lifetime of self-will run riot can come to a screeching
halt, and change forever, by making a simple decision to
turn it all over to a higher power.
4: Soul Searching —
There is a saying in the 12-step programs that recovery
is a process, not an event. The same can be said for this
step — more will surely be revealed.
5: Integrity —
Probably the most difficult of all the steps to face, Step
5 is also the one that provides the greatest opportunity
6: Acceptance —
The key to Step 6 is acceptance — accepting character
defects exactly as they are and becoming entirely willing
to let them go.
7: Humility —
The spiritual focus of Step 7 is humility, asking a higher
power to do something that cannot be done by self-will or
8: Willingness —
Making a list of those harmed before coming into recovery
may sound simple. Becoming willing to actually make those
amends is the difficult part.
9: Forgiveness —
Making amends may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but
for those serious about recovery it can be great medicine
for the spirit and soul.
10: Maintenance —
Nobody likes to admit to being wrong. But it is absolutely
necessary to maintain spiritual progress in recovery.
11: Making Contact —
The purpose of Step 11 is to discover the plan God as you
understand Him has for your life.
12: Service —
For those in recovery programs, practicing Step 12 is simply
"How It Works."
all of the above comes a prime Principle of Alcoholics
have to give it away to keep it!"
of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain
Bob goes on to say:
"As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics,
our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at
the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History
of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In
Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy
"History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will
not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!"
to Barefoot Bob's: A B C from the Big Book of
Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 60