Whether you’re a member of alcoholics anonymous, cocaine anonymous, drug addicts anonymous, narcotics anonymous or any other anonymous 12 Step based fellowship…We’re here to share our experience, strength and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from any and all addictions.
Learn “How It Works” — Take all 12 steps in this 4 hour “ZOOM” workshop!
Last Sunday of Every Month: 12 Steps in 4 Hours
(Click here to pre-register!)
Through our own experience of working with others, many hopeless, suffering addicts lack the necessary power to “keep coming back” to meetings and fail to get sober or clean. Chronic relapsers do not have the luxury of working the steps slowly — they NEED POWER NOW, they cannot wait months to a year to work the steps — they’re barely hanging on as it is and it’s just a question of WHEN they are going to pick up again.
This a Big Book Sponsorship Workshop. We shall be interested to hear from those who are getting results from this book, particularly those who have commenced work with other addicts. We have no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured—these are the conditions we have found most effective. We have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even cocaine and all mind-altering substances. Love and tolerance of others is our code. We don’t talk down to an addict from any moral or spiritual hilltop; we simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for your inspection and show others how they worked for us. We offer friendship and fellowship. If you want to get well we will do anything to help. To show other addicts precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this meeting…
It takes only four hours to learn how to work a 12 Step Program and a lifetime to practice it.
Download this FREE 12 Step Workbook that guides the newcomer through all 12 steps in approximately 4 hours!
Helpful aids to the workbook.
Step One Worksheet-My Log List & Loser List
The Wheel-of-Misfortune: World of Self vs. World of Spirit
The Step Three Decision Chart
Responsibility FOR Myself and TO Others
Step Four Worksheets
Step Ten Worksheet
How to effectively tell your “war” story
Step 3 Prayer Meditation
Step 7 Closing and Prayer
This workshop is for newcomers/beginners who want the original, undiluted 12 step program of the 1940’s when recovery rates were 50-75 per cent. This workshop is also for recovered members who want to work with others. Seating is limited.
Download Cameron F.’s most recent “mucked” 12 Steps in 4 Hours Workbook.
Listen to the audio version of the 12 Steps in 4 Hours workshop as presented by Cameron F.
38 thoughts on “BB Workshop”
I just wanted to pass along a big thanks from me on this bigbook sponsorship guide. I have been in a 12 Step Program for 27.5 years combined with 16 years in therapy and I just did the first step at depth for the first time 6 months ago. After going through your sponsor ship guide with a sponsee your log list and loser list in Step 1 really made it so much clearer for me what I had done in really admitting my powerless and the unmanageability of my life. The rest of the guide is excellent as well. Hopefully I will be able to get out to the afternoon workshop one day. Thanks again for your 12 Step work. — Jim L.
I have been using the big book sponsorship format for a long time! I have 28 years of sobriety and find this format 2 really be beneficial! God bless you all and enjoy trudging the happy road to our destiny! Hope to see you in the SPIRIT!
Very nice – direct and clear
I JUST WANTED TO THANK YOUR GROUP FOR PROVIDING A SPONSORSHIP GUIDE THAT REFERS TO THE BASICS AND KEEPS THE INTEGRITY OF THE AA PRINCIPALS AND STEPS ALIVE TODAY IN A SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND VERSION FOR TODAY’S SPONSOR!!!
Fantastic. I’m looking to be taken through the book again. Did you do this with a sponsor?
I hope you don’t I d me asking your experience.. thanks
I attended the October (2019) session of the How it Works seminar, and was blown away. Can’t say enough good things about. Tons of great information, simple and clear. Kudos to all the terrific people that put this workshop on.
Hi, is there any difference between this and the aa back to basics book? Just wondering what the difference is before I pay £20 plus for it. Thanks.
Wally’s B2B contains much more… historical references, and other passages. The workbook is a pared down, just the specific instructions on how to do each step as described in the Big Book.
Hi again, thanks for getting back to me. Is there a digital copy anywhere of the highlighted big book that Scott g talks about in one of the articles?
This is GREAT!
Is there a part 2 with the following pages?
Thank you very much for your reply
This is definitely NOT my experience with the Big Book and having a sponsor.
I agree with AA that my problem today is alcohol in the form of the first drink and everything else is just a situation or a fact of life. Today, I need God’s help as much as the day i came to AA and these worksheets definitely do not match up with my experience with living the steps one day at a time by finding the causes and conditions that block me from God which I learn is the only defense against the first drink which AA states is the problem today.
I don’t disagree that your experience hardly resembles the following of instructions outlined in the Big Book. I started out in those “mainstream” discussion meetings, and I also relapsed repeatedly.
And, unfortunately, your experience matches the majority of people who have attended the typical AA meeting. In other words, you will find more people in the rooms that will agree that you are right and that I (We) are wrong. So, sheer quantity of consensus for your position does not make it right.
When I finally found a group grounded in 1) studying the book and, 2) carrying the message as our primary purpose, only then did I find permanent sobriety. Naturally, that leaves no time for any discussion meetings. No want for them either.
At my group (Dallas PPG), we succeed with approximately 200 newcomers per month, every month, who pickup a 30-day chip (prior to Covid-19). By 30 days, they have worked all the steps and are carrying the message and sponsoring other newcomers (who will repeat the process next month).
I know … that sounds utterly inconceivable from from the perspective of a cold, metal chair in a church basement.
Most can be led thru all the steps in one weekend… more than a week, and the risk for relapse skyrockets (ie: mainstream discussion meetings. Talk is cheap. And fatal.)
This Study Guide simply highlights the specific instructions for permanent sobriety. If you don’t want permanent sobriety, this is not for you.
Your sobriety only lasts for one day (at a time). Mine is a lifetime commitment to God. He’ll take care of the day, if I do my little part. It’s a design for living that really works.
These instructions have been proven to work by millions of real alcoholics, regardless of any “conditions.”
While the book clearly states that they have no monopoly on recovery, as theirs being the only way, as alcoholics we have all tried many of the ways that have PROVEN NOT TO WORK. One of which is your “plan of recovery.” Tried, tested and proven to fail with every and any REAL ALCOHOLIC.
And, unfortunately, versions of your “plan” are often touted as a way to recovery in most mainstream discussion meetings today. These well meaning people literally sentence real alcoholics to death, without even realizing it.
The gimmicky phrases and group talk works for them. Every try 30 meetings in 30 days? It almost killed me. For Disco Drunks, life gets better. For us, we die.
We have a completely different problem and a completly different solution. This has been proven time and time again.
If you’re not a REAL alcoholic, then your “plan” might very well “work” to maintian sobriety. It failed for me. Thankfully, I made it out of AA and into God.
Let’s unpack your post …
August 20, 2020 at 12:46 am
<< This is definitely NOT my experience with the Big Book and having a sponsor.
<< I agree with AA that my problem today is alcohol in the form of the first drink and everything else is just a situation or a fact of life.
WRONG. The "alcohol in the form of the first drink" IS NOT "your problem." It is THE SYMPTOM of your real problem. Read the FIRST STEP.
"Lack of power, that was our dilemma." (AA p. 45).
"Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. (AA, p. 62).
"Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations." (AA, p. 64).
You continued … [CAPS ARE MY WORDS]…
[I DON’T KNOW HOW ONE WOULD “LIVE THE STEPS ONE DAY AT A TIME” IF THEY HAD NEVER DONE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. SOBRIETY REQUIRES ACTION. A DAILY REPRIEVE, BASED ON MY SPIRITUAL CONDITION, WHICH IS BASED ON MY WORKING/DOING THE STEPS, WITH OTHER PEOPLE].
[THIS IS A REFERENCE TO THE “COMMON MANIFISTATIONS” REVEALED ONLY BY COMPLETING A 4TH AND 5TH STEP WITH A SPONSOR. YOU CANNOT FIND THEM ALONE].
[SIMPLY “FINDING THOSE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS THAT BLOCK YOU FROM GOD” ARE NOT NEARLY SUFFICIENT FOR PERMANENT SOBRIETY. IT REQUIRES THE COMPLETION OF STEPS 6, 7, 8, STARTING 9, THEN LIVING 10-12 ON A DAILY BASIS].
[NO, “AA” DOES NOT STATE THAT IS THE PROBLEM, TODAY NOR ANY OTHER DAY.]
I hope that you don’t find me argumentative or devisive. I spent years believing exactly as you. I know the pain and suffering of that life.
It’s my prayer that you find your solution and your God. Life will become a thrilling adventure of love and laughs, previously unimaginable.
Hi Bill — Is your group open to online membership/sponsorship? My daughter is a chronic relapser and is looking for a group like yours. She has found nothing but “90 Meetings in 90 Days”-type AA here in our area, which has led to the slow death you spoke about. She desperately wants to find power through God.
In every addict/alcoholic u will find a codependent. Have her try the Monday nights womens Codependents Anonymous meeting out of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 12 steps done somewhere btwn a weekend & a month.
Zoom ID: 590 443 0709
Your 4hr workshop sounds like something I need to attend because I’m still on step 1.
I’m a member of the SA program.
Are you workshops on Sundays only?
Thank you so much.
Last Sunday of everymonth… visit us at https://howitworksgrouptoronto.org
On behalf of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous that I have known and been a part of for 33 years, I would like to apologize for the (to my mind) hurtful, shaming and condescending comments from our well-meaning but overly enthusiastic brother Bill Rylan. Our textbook suggests that “love and tolerance of others is our code” rather than “my way or the highway” which is how I, rightly or wrongly, interpret Mr Rylan’s remarks. My experience has shown me that there are many many ways to learn and live this life-saving program and to successfully maintain a joyful and contented sobriety one day at a time for many years.
This exchange between Mr Rylan and yourself troubles my heart and saddens me deeply. Such displays of pride, smug superiority and self-righteousness are now commonplace in the world-wide AA community. This is the unfortunate result of an increasing trend toward a kind of Big Book fundamentalism (ie, “a religious movement characterized by a strict belief in the literal interpretation of a religious text” according to dictionary.com). This ever-growing movement cites non-existent or inaccurate statistics (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/the-surprising-failures-of-12-steps/284616/), cherry picks some Big Book passages to support a point of argument while ignoring those passages which completely refute the same arguments, and most troubling, exhibits a cultish worship of certain AA figures (Clancy is a good example, who apart from his great works has also been self-serving, exploitative and abusive of fellow AA members in many disturbing ways). Personally, I believe that this approach is hurting AA. The “cultish” vibe attracts some folks, and is probably helpful but may in fact be turning off many more than one might wish (https://www.thefix.com/content/cult-aa-Atlantic-Group-Clancy-Pacific-Group-London-Joys2092).
I would also remind Mr Rylan that the textbook he reveres and holds in such high regard is also considered by historians and others to be a poorly written rush-job comprised of a mishmash of borrowed ideas, outright lies, deceptions, discrepancies, contradictions, inaccuracies and false-hoods mostly but not entirely compiled by a chain smoking, traumatized, acutely depressed untreated sex addict who in his will left 10% of this textbook’s earnings to his mistress. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Wally P. (or, see https://aaagnostica.org/2014/10/01/bill-wilson-and-other-women/ ). Is the book still useful. Of course. But it wasn’t written by God on two tablets. It was “assembled” by one of us.
Lots of ways up the mountain. Honesty, sincerity and willingness are necessary and good companions, no doubt. So if anyone tells you their way is THE way, that they’re the REAL alcoholics –yes, those well-meaning, self-righteous and judgmental folks– just run for the hills and find another meeting where you feel welcomed and safe; a place where you can get sober and stay sober a day at a time and pass it on to the next one. At the end of the day, AA is just people. All kinds of people: glorious, miserable, whacky, sick, slimy, darling, funny, fine, criminal, kind, shy, lovely, and blessed. You name, it we got it. The same but different. One size doesn’t fit all in AA or anywhere else.
THE alcoholic/IC mind thinks in black and white/either or. Reality is in the solution, as received by Higher Power, it is And/BOTH when we are truly on the broad highway and living in the sunlightof the spirit! Principles above personalities! Group unity! Allow God to express Himself thru group conscience! No group think or governance. NO ONE has all the answers. True humility and becoming less so God can work thru us means I am open amd willing to go and be and do and say as HE directs. I confess I do not have all the answers and I surrender to HP showing me and guiding us to a solution. It is OK to say I dont know
..let us see together what HP reveals..in mutual regard, openness and willigness and honesty. I consider this post a 12 th step of service. Thank you for the opportunity.
I am sorry for your continued suffering. I hear you. Misery is miserable and torments us in our hopeless state of mind and body. The experience of the founders teaches us that when no sobriety happens we have failed to truly work the steps completely, in some way we were dishonest or skipped a step or simply don’t complete them or live the daily reprieve. It is true that rarely is there a failure/no recovery.
Why? Because God ***never fails** us. It is impossiblebfor God to fail.
He never fails as he his God and all powerful all mighty. NOTHING is impossible for him, rather we fail to be honest . He Is THE solution and our recovery. There is NO hopeless or impossible case.
What is displayed on this forum are crosstalk and several Traditons and concepts being violated. Traditions and concepts are actually RESULTS/FRUIT of recovery..not rules. This program is one of attraction, not promotion and frankly I am not attracted to what either commentors are offering. Rather, the infighting and rebuking another is offputting. They each made it about personalities vs principles and you dear John are left holding your share and truth as they made it about them NOT recovery. Staying close to God and doing his work well as recovery teaches us means ego and pride are put on back burner for a greater good to serve another. HP in our recovery asks us to receive His love and share it, this is manifested at first, by the “pity [compassion], tolerance and patience”.
None appeared to be exhibited here.
That said, I have the experience of BOTH what Mr. Bill and Another Trudger Share! The discipline of the program and precisely following the steps as the foundation lays out is necessary for true, authentic recovery. Being beat in the jead with the BB and precise directions. Big Book is an amazing program of instructions for actions..and more actions…which lead to the spiritual awakening. And its about experiences… not black amd white but both. Action and experience…..living the fruit of working the steps is MODELED in our behavior…Lead by example.. Surrender and service. Discipline and freedom. I was abused by my sponsors and fired by quite a few., they tried to dictate my reality by using finite minds to interpret my behavor and rashly judge my motives. I was so sick and tolerated and allowed this in my false pride and victim think to get attention, acceptance and fear of rebuke and rejection. Truth is I was on the path HP set me on..and created miracles in me. I honored my truth as connected to HP.
When traditions and concepts Are violated, HP is not permitted to express thru group conscious nor tolerated..much like I see here.
I often witness and Experiemce what appears to be living a LETTER of the LAW/Program (follow the precise directions) and not a SPIRIT of the LAW/PROGRAM. (living and modeling the program as a living example..attraction..practicing What I preach and not beimg a hypocrite!)
Somehow living the letter of the program Leads to living the spirit of the program..in fullness. It is the FRUIT the result of healthy progress and recovery! BUT only if one truly surrenders to HP and allows Him to direct..and we live our daily reprieve and be Brutally honest with self about what is unmanagable in our lives! THIS is difficult or impossible when sponsors assume a position of authority, superiiority or rigidity…and have not assumed a fellow traveler position exhibiting that tolerance patience and pity….genuine kindness and care. GIVING authentically becomes our guiding principle. That includes GIVING gift of self..of humility, meekness, vulnerability, transparency, time, attention and patience.
I people pleased and groveled for my recovery. I had the gift of desperation. I NEEDED it like that at first. God gave me what He knew I needed . Then as I recovered I realized I was allowing my self to be abused by my sponsors, I witnessed group dynamics that broke all manner of tradition and concepts. I was literally shut up, hung up on, blocked when trying to seek a soution with the group…but the finite mind could not see that these methods were our sickness…They were HUMAN solutions..a form of self will, control and management or manipulation. Do as I say or ELSE!! Just like our abusive families whos trauma landed us here. Violating the traditions and concepts silences a “minorty voice” And “conformity” and group think prevailed..NOT God’s voice. Governance and dominance became the norm in our groups. It was a letter of the law not spirit of the law example.
All were destructive group practices. I realized my group was still as sick as my spouse/family of origin!! Not much recovery. I didn’t want what was being offered. I realized thru conscious contact with God that the BB is not God, my sponsor is not God, the program or steps are not my God…but they all serve as tools to get me reliably connected to God.
Truth is John, recovery is BOTH/AND of what they shared, not either/or. In that sense they both share some truth. It is the discipline of the program and steps which lead us to the love and tolerance and patience. This is a program of Healing..that is straight from BB. Rigidity and authority guised as discipline of program without the love is not recovery nor is the love and compassion without the discipline and firm guidance.
Authentic recovery is BOTH because one leads to the other in a healthy balance that sets us on the broad highway and the 4th dimension spiritual experience. We are placed in a position of neutrality..neither acting out ….nor acting in..a place where we are aware, accept and discern HP’s will to take action. We no longer manage our addictions or symptoms nor do we avoid places, ppl or events that once tempted us. THE PROBLEM IS REMOVED….GONE!! Recovery does NOT stop at our addiction..they are but a surface symptom of deeper wound/lies(s). Our symtpoms serve to avoid dealing with this..to numb, distract, avoid, blame and not deal with the pain. Recovery goes way down deep into sources and causes and truly God heals us from deep within amd transorms us. All selfishness is based in fear..selfish behavior tries to hide and protect and avoid those fears..they are defense mechanisms to avoid our own truth and pain.
Too many ppl of pride and false recovery believe sobriety from X addiction is the goal..that is only the superficial surface. Takes the scab off the festering wound of our hearts. there is MORE pain and sufferi g in avoiding the pain than there is in going THRU it in this program! THEN! THERE IS SWEET RELIEF and we see how we only porlonged unnecessarily our own suffering!
HP does so much more than merely heal the addiction. The BB actually states this program can benefit everyone!.. We cannot allow our finite mind to think so SMALL of HP’s and power and capabilities. HIS power is truly supernatural and beyond our comprehension and imagination. We must not allow ..our own LIMITING beliefs to shrink this reality, it actually serves to STUNT and control what God is actually desiring . We become our own blockage to him trying to help us.
I pray you find the right group and program/method. You are not hopeless and you are WORTH it. HP waits for your surrender. He longs to heal your heart and tenderly minister to you..witness your pain and truth and above all tell you that he is proud of you as you are his beloved son.
12 steps Primary purpose can lead you there when done with authentic humility.
Is this just a how to work the 12 steps or do we complete the worksheets and actually do the steps in the workshop! I think this is great regardless! :)
Yes, complete the worksheets!
thanks again Cameron and all other people involved with Big Book Sponsorship. any doubts i was having or had about sponsoring other alcoholics and addicts was smashed !! this was my 2nd time doing the workshop i learned something else about myself each time ,, we are to remain teachable i wanted to say this is a amazing thing to do for yourself and for the benefit of future sponsees Thank you all so very much x
Currently looking for a sponsor. Female.
Since May 27, 2007, the “12 Steps in 4 Hours” Group of C.A. has now taken more than 5,150 people through the 12 Steps in 4 hours—some 2550 addicts since April of 2020 to July of 2021.
Thanks to the Virtual ZOOM platform we, the 12 Steps in 4 Hours C.A. Group, have become a global recovery fellowship ! Our attendance for the past several months have been 150 or more with peaks at 308 in January 2021 and 255 in February 2021.
We’ve had addicts attend the workshop online from all over the world, including Canada (from every province) and the United States (all 50 States, including Hawaii), Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Scotland, Siberia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the Ukraine.
Thanks to all our CO-Hosts: John M. (Toronto), Lynda C. (Toronto), Francine T. (Ingersol, ON), Kimia (Toronto) and our Step Facilitators: Nikki M. (Toronto, ON), Kimia (Toronto, ON ), Rivkah (Los Angeles, CA), Nick S. (Brampton, ON), Anthony B. (UK), Molly L. (Los Angeles), Leila J. (Los Angeles, CA), Sarah B. (Toronto, ON), Janey B. (Palm Beach, FL), Bianca (Pennsylvania, USA), Rich E. (Novato, CA), Hannah H. (Worcester, MA) Lydz (California, USA), Leah C., (Fredericton, NB), Naiika (New York), Tom S. (Toronto, ON), Sarvy (Fresno, California), Kristina T (NYC), Sean B. (Dallas, TX), Marcus B. (California), and Anita O. (Toronto, ON).
The 12 Steps in 4 hours workbook has been downloaded more than 630,000 times and has been translated into following languages: French, Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Swedish, Yiddish and Punjabi. There is also a Hindi and an Icelandic version in the works.
It only takes a day to learn ‘how it works’ and the rest of our lives to practice it.
I was rapidly taken through the big book workshop steps 11.15.12 and have not drank since. I was a chronic relapser. My sponsor is an atheist and took me thru as a last ditch effort to save my life. TEN YEARS I went to meetings. I went from 2nd class Petty officer to homeless, schizo effective alcoholic addict on L.A. Skid Row (the nickel). Since then I have taken over 40 people thru the steps. I also started feeding people started an animal shelter, and even ran for mayor! THIS WORKBOOK SAVED MY LIFE! Thank you for my life and my sobriety.
Thanks for being a bright spot in my day!
Just about to go through the work book with a new sponsor I’ve been doing this workshop 7 times now it’s amazing I’m starting work with a new sponsee taking them through the work thanks Cameron and everyone else who helps put the workshops on we pass on a message of hope and a way out God does for me what I can’t do for myself it’s a beautiful program ❤️
Is this download able book available in German?
Not yet… hope we get one soon.
Absolutely game changer. I floated around the rooms for 8 yrs.. not drinking but acting out in other ways. I did the workshop and then was taken through the workbook with a qualified member.. since then I’ve taken on sponsees and taken them through the work. Has changed everything for me. I’m so so grateful
If it weren’t for the “Muckers” version of the STEPS, which r the SOLUTION for our Addiction(S), I would not be here—Awakened & Alive, in Mind Body & Spirit today. I would not be celebrating 18 years shortly. I am so happy I found this website to help me continue to help the newcomer! Thanks for being here. If u r searching for a solution & aren’t sure if you have a problem or not, I remember what my 1st sponsor told me: most ‘normal’ ‘drug users’ & drinkers, DONT question if they have a problem. Welcome. Thank you all again.
I think going through program again in 4hrs would give me confidence to pass message onto still suffering addicts and know that it would be fantastic for my own recovery as I’m feeling very disconnected and I always have to remain teachable. Thanks
I participated in the January of 2023 workshop. The organization of materials, the combined experience of presenters on each of the steps and the simplicity & ease of how it’s all put together is fantastic. Exactly 4 hours long. If you’ve never taken the 12 steps or haven’t taken them in years, this workshop is for you! If you have doubts this process works, let me share a little experience – a man who lives on another side of the country from me, wanted to have someone walk beside him in taking the 12 steps. We agreed to use the BBSG. In just over 2 weeks through the use of only phone calls, we took the steps and each of us had a spiritual experience! Cannot begin to describe how profound the experience is when you do it quickly (and thoroughly) and you do it walking beside another person. We’re now each off to walk beside the next man.
You clearly DO NOT even understand the Picture You have posted . Because what it is SHOWING, IS- that trying to do AA Online – is just NOT any comparison to the way it is SUPPOSED to be done (as shown in the Original Oil Painting of- The Man on the Bed) – AA HAS to be done- WITH HUMAN CONTACT , FACE TO FACE.
Absolute rubbish. As it says in the BB: Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity. (A.A. p. xxiv)
Moreover I have taken more than 8500 people through the steps online and seen thousands of miracles take place and are continuing to place which those the practice the 12 Step program as outlined in the BB.
P.S. God works face to face as well as modem-to-modem. When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crises we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?