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Question

Postby Ragpicker » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:21 pm

First of all I would like to say hello to everybody as this is my first time on here. I have been a friend of Bill W. for quite a while now.

Now for the question...A friend of mine in the program said while in a Big Book Study one night during the reading they heard (you can do your 5th step with your sponsor or trusted advisor) it goes something like that, that is not word for word. It's not pages 72-74, like I thought. It might be in a story, I am trying to find it online by searching different ways but nothing yet.

Since I have been asked this I can not rest until I find it, and now I am reaching out for help. I told my firend that if this is a way out of trying to do your 5th step then it's not cool. Do it with your sponsor or another human being and stop trying to be so politicaly correct.

That's my two cents. If anyone care to help look for the passage where it says something about a (trusted advisor) then thank you!

Love in service
Ragpicker
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who should hear our 5th Step

Postby Dallas » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:23 am

Two facts to consider to provide an answer to your question:

1. When the Big Book was written and published, it was expected by the authors that you would NOT have a sponsor. So, the directions were actually written in such a way -- that the alcoholic that was going to take the Steps, as prescribed... would have no guidance and have no sponsor at all. They would be alone -- and only have the book.

It was expected -- that the person reading the book and following the directions in the book -- "had purchased the book by mail order" and had received the book in the mail.

By the time that the book was finally printed in April 1939, there were less than 100 sober alcoholics in all of AA. If you didn't live in Akron, or Cleveland, Ohio, or in New York, and by then, Philadelphia -- you wouldn't have had the luxury of having a sponsor. No meetings. No phone list. No local central office to call. And, not one other AA in the entire city that you lived it.

This fact alone -- blows away any theories about the Big Book and the 12 Steps, that "they must be done with a sponsor" and also blows away the theory that a person can not take the Steps without a sponsor or without another AA.

There is NO MENTION of having a sponsor in the Big Book. And, above is the reason why. It goes from "taking the Steps" yourself -- (front cover through the end of Chapter 6) and immediately ASSUMES that in Chapter 7... YOU will be the sober AA in your town that is now qualified to "BE" as sponsor to someone else.

The only requirement is:

a. "it must be another human being" which means, it can't be your dog, or a light bulb or door knob. "someone else" and "somebody" ~pg 72, Big Book.

and

b. ~pg 74 mentions suggestions on "who we might consider" and offers a variety of options.

c. Then, goes on to say, that, it can be postponed ONLY for one reason:

"Notwithstanding the great necessity for discussing ourselves with someone, it may be one is so situated that there is no suitable person available. If that is so, this step may be postponed, only, however, if we hold ourselves in complete readiness to go through with it at the first opportunity. We say this because we are very anxious that we talk to the right person. It is important that he be able to keep a confidence; that he fully understand and approve what we are driving at; that he will not try to change our plan. But we must not use this as a mere excuse to postpone."

and:

d. it is important that the person we choose can

d-1. keep a confidence.
d-2. they fully understand and approve what we are driving at (which eliminates a drunk that's blacked-out sitting on a bus bench or park bench).
d-3. they will not try to change our plan.

2. The AA History: Particularly, in Cleveland, Ohio, (and also in Akron) the Catholic Clergy became concerned about the alcoholics "hearing confessions." So, the Catholic Church was at first against -- the AA's there -- until it could be demonstrated that the AA's would not be "hearing the confessions of their church members." Which is why you have particular mention of this on page ~74:

"Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it. Though we have no religious connection, we may still do well to talk with someone ordained by an
established religion"

Summary: According to the Big Book instructions, you can do your 5th with ANY HUMAN BEING... as long as they can: keep confidence, they understand and approve of what you're attempting to do -- and they won't try to change your mind or talk you out of it.

Dallas B.
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who should hear our 5th Step

Postby BrandyeW » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:17 am

I believe trusted adviser (actually referred to a "spiritual adviser") is the paragraph following the 3rd step prayer on page 63...

"We found it very desirable to take this spiritual step with an understanding person, such as our wife, best friend, or spiritual adviser. But it is better to meet God alone than with one who might misunderstand."
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Postby Dallas » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:29 am

Wish I could find that like button BrandyeW! :wink:
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Re: Question

Postby Camel » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:49 am

Ragpicker wrote:First of all I would like to say hello to everybody as this is my first time on here. I have been a friend of Bill W. for quite a while now.

Now for the question...A friend of mine in the program said while in a Big Book Study one night during the reading they heard (you can do your 5th step with your sponsor or trusted advisor) it goes something like that, that is not word for word. It's not pages 72-74, like I thought. It might be in a story, I am trying to find it online by searching different ways but nothing yet.

Since I have been asked this I can not rest until I find it, and now I am reaching out for help. I told my firend that if this is a way out of trying to do your 5th step then it's not cool. Do it with your sponsor or another human being and stop trying to be so politicaly correct.

That's my two cents. If anyone care to help look for the passage where it says something about a (trusted advisor) then thank you!

Love in service
Ragpicker


You may rest now, Ragpicker. It's not in the Big Book. It's in the 12&12. "We shall want to speak with someone who is experienced, who not only has stayed dry but has been able to surmount other serious difficulties. Difficulties, perhaps, like our own. This person may turn out to be one's sponsor, but not necessarily so. If you have developed a high confidence in him, and his temperament and problems are close to your own, then such a choice will be good. Besides, your sponsor already has the advantage of knowing something about your case." (Page 61, Step Five, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions)

Rest well,
Hub
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