Thanks for sharing that! The Big Book has other examples of how newcomers took the Steps as soon as the alcohol fog cleared out of their brain -- usually, no longer than two weeks after leaving a hospital, and sometimes while they were in the hospital. That's precisely how Dr. Bob and Bill W., were doing it in Akron, when A.A. first began.
Then, Dr. Bob, sponsored another guy from Cleveland, named Clarence S.
His story may still be in the book, if they haven't taken it out -- he was the "Home Brewmeister" -- Dr. Bob led him through the Steps, and Clarence founded A.A. in Cleveland. It is said that Clarence, then led hundreds -- and even thousands of alcoholics through the Steps, in one or two days, when they were new... just like Dr. Bob took him through the Steps.
Bill D., who was AA #3, last time I looked his story is still in the book, took his Steps while he was still in the hospital.
Then, we have Earl T., "He Sold Himself Short" -2nd and 3rd and 4th Big Book editions, story in Pioneer's section in back of Big Book)
For a quick reference - check it out ... it is a prime example of how Dr. Bob, led his Sponsees through the Steps. He did it in one afternoon, within a couple of weeks from the day that the guy was released from the hospital.
The next day, it was decided by Dr. Bob and Earl T., that Earl was to go to Chicago -- and start AA there!
Here, we have a newcomer, sober two weeks, gets out of the hospital, and Dr. Bob took him through the Steps on Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Bob, DID NOT
say "Earl! Don't you make any major decisions for the first year!
Dr. Bob, told him "Earl, you leave tomorrow morning and go start A.A. in Chicago! And, since you'll be alone, no sponsors, no fellowship, no meeting, AND NO BIG BOOK! ... you come back to Akron every two months to catch a meeting with us! (So much for 90 meetings in 90 days?
Get a Sponsor?
Read the book?
Go to meetings?
Hang out with the winners?
I could cite a number of examples of this, in the AA book, and through our other history books, and through speaker tapes of the old-timers "Pioneers of AA" who said the same thing!
In AA Comes of Age, and Dr. Bob & the Good Old-timers, (official AAWS books)... it indicates that in the early days in Akron ... that a new guy couldn't attend a meeting... until his "Sponsor" vouched that the guy had "made the surrender." (That's where the word and term sponsor originated in AA, it was the guy who "witnessed that you had made your surrender." ) We surrender....... by taking the 12 Steps.
How long did it take Bill W. to do his Steps? One day. Read his story, it's Chapter 1, in the Big Book. How long for Dr. Bob? One day. (Dr. Bob was out making his amends... and Bill and Dr. Bob's wife, Anne, thought that Dr. Bob was out drinking! They later found out he was out and came in late because he was out making his amends! )
Have you ever noticed how many in the AA Fellowship relapse either right after Step 3, or while working on starting Step 4? I've never known ONE AA relapse, who had taken the 12 Steps, continued to practice the 12 Steps daily... (which includes helping another alcoholic).
Can an AA relapse after taking the 12 Steps? I know of one. That AA refused to work with other alcoholics.
When AA finally got some good publicity around 1941, newcomers were coming in to Cleveland AA by the droves. They didn't have enough old-timers to work with the newcomers, so Clarence was the first to start having "AA Classes" -- they were like a workshop type meeting, where there were a very few old-timers and a whole bunch of newcomers -- and Clarence would lead them all in taking the Steps together in the meetings!
Have you ever watched the whole meeting getting down on their knees and taking the 3rd Step together? It's an awesome thing to see and to participate in! (I've experienced it a few times -- and if you're ever Chairing AA meetings -- it's an experience that you'll not want to miss! ).
Anyhoot... that's what I've got to say about "Fred, pages 42 and 43, and taking the Steps -- ALL OF THEM -- RIGHT NOW!"
Another cool experience -- is taking a newcomer through the 12 Steps, that is sponsored by someone else.... I've had them go back to their Sponsor and lead their Sponsor through the Steps! Go figure!
Of course... I've had one guy, too -- his sponsor said "Sure it's a good idea if Dallas takes you through the Steps this weekend. I give you my blessings and I approve."
Guess what happened? Two weeks after the guy took his Steps with me, (that his sponsor approved of -- and blessed, because he didn't have the time or experience to do it ) his sponsor FIRED the sponsee... and told him "I don't think I can help you now, because I've never heard of anyone going through the Steps in a couple of days!"
This sure threw the new guy for a loop -- but, he stayed sober and found another sponsor. I'm not sure how his old sponsor is doing.