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7 Secular Interpretations of the 12 Steps of AA

There are several agnostic versions of the 12 Steps, and we've compiled a .pdf of seven versions that you can download by clicking here or on the image below.


The Agnostic Approach to the 12 Steps

The wording was, of course quite optional, so long as we voiced the ideas without reservation."

--Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) pg. 63

Below is a secular version of the steps used by the Beyond Belief Group in Toronto. This agnostic interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is one example of many. It may or may not be read at Toronto agnostic AA groups and is posted here for information only. AA World Services and GTA Toronto Intergroup neither endorses nor oppose such an interpretation. To ensure there is no confusion, this interpretation of the Twelve Steps of AA IS NOT A.A. Conference Approved literature. A.A. World Service has neither reviewed nor approved this content and does not necessarily agree with the views expressed herein.

The 12 Steps:
An Interpretation from The Beyond Belief Group in Toronto

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to accept and to understand that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the A.A. program.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
7. Humbly sought to have our shortcomings removed.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through mindful inquiry and meditation to improve our spiritual awareness, seeking only for knowledge of our rightful path in life 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 alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Excerpts from Concept XII, Warranty Six:


"It is probable that we A.A.s possess more and greater freedom than any fellowship in the world today.

We set such a high value on our great liberties and cannot conceive a time when they will need to be limited. We enjoin our General Service Conference to abstain completely from any and all acts of authoritative government which could in any wise curtail A.A.s freedom under God.

We expect that our Conferences will always try to act in the spirit of mutual respect and love—one member for another. In turn, this sign signifies that mutual trust should prevail; that no action ought to be taken in anger, haste, or recklessness; care will be observed to respect and protect all minorities; that no action should ever be personally punitive; that whenever possible, important actions will be taken in substantial unanimity.

Our Conference will ever be prudently on guard against tyrannies, great or small, whether these be found in the majority or in the minority."

-- From The A.A. Service Manual: Combined with Twelve Concepts for World Service, by Bill W., reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services Inc.

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