The Six Practices of the Oxford Group = 12 Steps (2023)

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The Oxford Group's practices were:

* 1) Admission of personal defeat (You have been defeated by sin).
2) Personal Inventory. (List your sins.)
* 3) Confession of one's sins to someone else.
* 4) Make amends to those who have been harmed.
5) Selflessly help others.
* 6) Pray to God and ask for guidance and strength to put it
commandments in practice.

There was another very important requirement, viz
Apparently not listed in these six practices: "Go recruit more members
for the group.” Indeed, many believers in the Oxford Group would say, “That's it
It's listed like this. It's exercise five. Convert people to the right
religious beliefs and "principles" to enable them to enter Heaven
Plus, it definitely helps them. So work all day to get new ones
converting from the group is 'to help others unselfishly'".
because the Oxford Groups and Moral Re-Armament had official policy
never, ever giving alms to anyone and recruiting more people
in the cult was the only way the Bookmanites "helped
others disinterested".

These were essentially the original six steps of alcoholics.
Anonymous, years before the group had that name
it was simply "The Alcoholic Squad" from the Oxford Group. Some
very early AA members mention the original six steps in the Great
Book", Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps are listed in the history
autobiographical story He was briefly sold (on page 292 of 3
Big Book edition and page 263 of 4th edition):

(Video) 12 Steps and the Oxford Group

* 1. Totale Deflation.
2. Dependence on and guidance from a Higher Power.
3. Moral inventory.
* 4th confession.
5. Refund.
6. Continual work with other alcoholics.

In December 1938, while writing the Big Book, Bill Wilson simply wrote
rewrote the list of Buchmanite practices, well done, added
enough words to make the six or seven "principles" twelve.
Bill's wife Lois reportedly described the process this way: (I say
"allegedly" because the book was probably written for her by the spirit
aa loyal to. Lois supposedly wrote this book when she was very old.
and sick and almost dead so it's hard to tell which part of the
Book are your memories, and what part of your illusions and
Repeating the standard party line.)

At this point, Bill was ready to begin the fifth chapter, “How
works." It didn't feel right, but the writing had to go on, so
he took notebook and pencil to bed with him. How could I bring the program?
alive so that those who were far away reading the book could apply it
yourself and maybe improve? It had to be very explicit. the six
The principles of the Oxford Group used by the Brotherhood were not
defined enough. It must broaden and deepen its implications. O
he relaxed and asked for guidance.
When he finished writing and reread what he had written,
he was quite content. Twelve principles were developed, the Twelve Steps.
Lois remembers, Lois Wilson, page 113

Bill Wilson also described the writing of the Twelve Steps as follows:

Well, we finally got to the point where we really needed to say something
This book is about how this business works. how did i tell you that
so it had been a six-step program.
The idea came to me, well, we need a definitive statement
concrete principles that these drunks cannot escape. can not
There was a way out of this deal and this six step program had it
two big gaps where people came out.
Bill Wilson, transcript of tape, Fort Worth, 1954, the [dead link]

* Notice how Bill Wilson viewed his fellow alcoholics
Be a bunch of crooks who will "get out of this business" if they can
get away with it, which Bill doesn't allow.
* And see how Bill Wilson became the leader he was
the right to impose the specific recovery conditions on others
* Also notice how Bill Wilson thought about "spirituality."
Development' to be a business with a contract that cannot be
Escape, like selling your soul for sobriety.

(Video) 1-17-09 - Stairway Group 101 club tk 12 - 6 steps of the oxford group

And Bill also wrote:

Where did the first AAs find the material for the remaining ten?
Steps? Where we talk about moral inventory, making amends for harm done,
surrender our will and life to God? where we learn something
Meditation and prayer and everything else? the spiritual substance
our remaining ten steps came directly from Dr. Bob and I
earlier association with the Oxford groups as they were ushered in
America by this Episcopal Dean, Dr. Samuel Schuhmacher.
The Language of the Heart, William G. Wilson, page 298, published
1988 posthumously.

So Bill Wilson picked up Frank's various practices and procedures.
Buchman's Oxford Groups and turned it into a 12-step program for
Alcoholics Anonymous:

* 1. [We] admitted that we were powerless over alcohol in our lives
it became uncontrollable.
* 2. I came to believe that God could restore our sanity.
* 3. We have made the decision to surrender our will and life to it
care and guidance from God.
* 4. We have taken a full and bold moral inventory of ourselves.
* 5. Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being
exact nature of our mistakes.
* 6. They desperately wanted God to remove all these shortcomings
* 7. We humbly ask you on our knees to remove our mistakes.
without hiding anything.
* 8. We made a list of all the people we've hurt and hit the road
to make peace with them all.
* 9. Made direct amends to these people whenever possible, except
this would hurt her or others.
* 10. We constantly take personal stock and when we do something wrong
he soon admitted.
* 11. We try to improve our contact through prayer and meditation
with God and prayed only for the knowledge of His will for us and for power
to achieve that.
* 12. Having had a spiritual experience as a result
In this way we try to convey this message especially to others
alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The wording at the end of Step 12 is misleading and inaccurate: The 12th
The steps are worship practices, not "spiritual principles." Does not exist
real spiritual principles are there 'in all your practise'

So Bill introduced his Twelve Steps to the other early AAs. members,
who quickly freaked out and yelled bloody murder. she clearly
predicted that Bill's dogmatic religiosity would put many off
from the same alcoholics the program was designed to help. According to
A screaming match ensued and Bill had to resign.


So Bill Wilson softened the language a bit: The word "God" in
Step 2 has been replaced with "a force greater than us". The sentence
“as we understand it” was added after the word “God” in step 3 (and
later in step 11). In Step 7, the phrase "on his knees" was removed.
from "Humbled On Our Knees We Beg You To Put Away Our Shortcomings."

But the rest of the steps were left almost unchanged except for
this gigantic concession: The Twelve Steps were in the Great Book
with the preceding note that they were only "as implied".
recovery program.” (True believers laugh and say, “Yes, that's right.
just a suggestion but you will die if you don't follow it

This partial edit led to an amusing advancement:

* In Step 2, we just have to believe in some good, vague "power".
bigger than ourselves."
*But then they do a quick bait-and-switch trick on us and so on
Step 3, suddenly it's "God", a "God" that you define yourself as we do
We understand," they say, who we have to give our will to and for
our life. But even that is a misleading double-talk: we really aren't
free to define "God" for ourselves. It must be a version of
"God" is able to control our will and our lives, and He is able to do so
and willing to take care of our lives, and also a stupid god
Don't waste any more time with this...
* And then, in steps 5 and 6, it's just "God", no
qualifiers at all.
* Then we are told that He is a God whom we must confess, and
pray to...
* And then we are told what to pray for the removal of our "defects."
character" and our "defects" and "knowledge of his will and
the power to do it."
* Therefore, we must spend the rest of our lives professing ourselves
sins and “seeking and doing the will of God” and following the commandments
that we think we hear in our heads during meditation sessions.

This is a religion, not an alcohol cessation program.

These are the steps that emerged from this process (as shown on the
original multilithic edition from 1939):

(Video) [MIRRORED] - Frank Buchman / Oxford Group --- #1 Two Way Prayer A Short History of AA’s 12 Steps

* 1. [We] admitted that we were powerless over alcohol in our lives
it became uncontrollable.
* 2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could
restore us to sanity
* 3. We have made the decision to surrender our will and life to it
God's care and guidance as we understand it.
* 4. We have taken a full and bold moral inventory of ourselves.
* 5. Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being
exact nature of our mistakes.
* 6. They desperately wanted God to remove all these shortcomings
* 7. We humbly ask you to remove our shortcomings so that we have nothing
* 8. We made a list of all the people we've hurt and hit the road
to make peace with them all.
* 9. Made direct amends to these people whenever possible, except
this would hurt her or others.
* 10. We constantly take personal stock and when we do something wrong
he soon admitted.
* 11. We try to improve our contact through prayer and meditation
with God and prayed only for the knowledge of His will for us and for power
to achieve that.
* 12. Having had a spiritual experience as a result
In this way we try to convey this message especially to others
alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelfth Step no longer promises a "spiritual experience." After
the Big Book was published, many AA members complained about it
They didn't have great spiritual experiences or see God as one
Result of Bill Wilson's 12 steps. So in the second edition of
in the Big Book, Bill changed the wording of step 12 to "Having had a
spiritual awakening..." which is so vague that it makes no sense.

Nowhere in the 12 steps does it say you have to quit smoking.
drink or help someone stop drinking. nowhere in it
The Twelve Steps Make the Words "Sobriety", "Recovery", "Abstinence"
"Health", "Happiness", "Joy" or "Love" appear. The word "alcohol"
was only mentioned once where it was corrected in the first step
Replace the word "sin" written by Bill Wilson
“We have become powerless over alcohol and our lives
instead of the Oxford Group slogan,
"We are powerless before sin and have been defeated by it."
And then the phrase "especially alcoholics" was corrected in 12
Step as a target for future recruitment efforts:
“...we try to spread this message especially to others
Alcoholic" ...
(But regular non-alcoholics were still fair game to recruit
in Bill's "spiritual community"...)

The Twelve Steps are not a formula to cure or treat alcoholism,
and never were.
(See this review of the Twelve Steps.)
The Twelve Steps are not "spiritual principles" and never have been.
The Twelve Steps are worship practices designed to convert people
Confirmed true believers in a proselytizing cult religion, as well
Frank Buchman's so-called "spiritual principles" do this.

The command from Step 12 repeated in Tradition 5 was
"Carry this message on to others, especially alcoholics."

Take what message?

(Video) 4 Absolutes and the OXFORD GROUP

The news that William G. Wilson's version of Dr. Frank N.D.
Buchman's religion is the answer to alcoholism, the message that
enthusiastic obsession with the pseudo-religious practices of Frank Buchman
will save people from alcoholism.

Bill Wilson believed that "the only radical cure ... for dipsomania
it is religious mania". Meaning: The only cure for alcoholism is religion.
religious madness fanaticism. This suggestion allegedly came from Carl
Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, and when Carl Jung said "Mania",
he really meant "mania", as in "maniac".

Read the full article here:


What were the steps of the Oxford Group? ›

The Oxford Group worked to improve members by teaching a formula for spiritual growth that is similar to the 12 Steps in Alcoholics Anonymous: inventory, admitting mistakes, making amends, praying and meditating, and carrying the message to others.

What are the 12 principles of recovery? ›

The 12 spiritual principles of recovery are as follows: acceptance, hope, faith, courage, honesty, patience, humility, willingness, brotherly-love, integrity, self-discipline, and service.

Where are the 12 Steps in the AA Big Book? ›

The Twelve Steps are outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. They can be found at the beginning of the chapter “How It Works.” Essays on the Steps can be read in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

Where did Rule 62 come from? ›

Rule 62 comes from the rules and regulations that were determined when the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was created to try and inspire the people in recovery to have a common values, beliefs and lifestyles that they were working towards. The main takeaway from Rule 62 is “don't take life too seriously.”

What is the Oxford Group called today? ›

Moral Re-Armament (MRA), also called Buchmanism or Oxford Group, a modern, nondenominational revivalistic movement founded by American churchman Frank N.D.

What are the types of Oxford Movement? ›

Oxford movement, 19th-century movement centred at the University of Oxford that sought a renewal of “catholic,” or Roman Catholic, thought and practice within the Church of England in opposition to the Protestant tendencies of the church.

Why is it called Oxford group? ›

The name Oxford Group appeared in South Africa in 1929, as a result of a railway porter writing the name on the windows of those compartments reserved by a traveling team of Frank Buchman's First Century Christian Fellowship followers. They were from Oxford and in South Africa to promote the movement.

What did the Oxford Group believe? ›

The Oxford Group is founded upon the 4 absolutes: Love, purity, honesty and unselfishness. These 4 absolutes are Christian principles for healthy living that help us to become more acquainted with God.

What are the 6 principles of recovery? ›

maximising choice • supporting positive risk-taking • the dignity of risk • medico-legal requirements • duty of care • promoting safety.

What do the 12 steps mean? ›

The 12 Steps outline a path to spiritual progress through a series of actions designed to elicit what The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous refers to as a “psychic change” – a complete mental, emotional, and spiritual shift in perception. We believe the 12 Steps can be a critical element of a long-term recovery program.

What is the basic concept of a 12 step program? ›

The basic premise of the 12-Step model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from the substances or behaviors to which they are addicted.

Is Jesus mentioned in the Big Book of AA? ›

The final version of the book directs AA followers to embrace a "higher power" and "God of your understanding" instead of "God" or "Jesus Christ" as they follow a path to sobriety.

Who wrote the 12 Steps in AA? ›

Bill Wilson, a former member of Alcoholics Anonymous, created the 12 Steps in 1938. During his experience, he wrote down his ideas and tips regarding sobriety. After combining these tips with a few other teachings and Christian inspiration, Wilson put the 12 Steps into action.

What are the 4 absolutes? ›

What are the four absolutes? The “Four Absolutes” of Alcoholics Anonymous were considered “yardsticks” in the earliest days of the recovery program —standards for determining appropriate behavior as measured through God's eyes. The Four Absolutes are Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

What is the 4th tradition of AA? ›

4. With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted.

How many rules are there in AA? ›

History of Rule 62

The group who started it all decided that there needed to be rules and regulations involved in the AA recovery process, and they wanted input from everyone involved. Naturally, not everyone agreed on everything, which in turn caused them to send their 61 rules to the NY offices of AA.

Why did AA split from the Oxford Group? ›

Bill and the New Yorkers broke with the Oxford Group in 1937 or, as his wife Lois put it, “they were kicked out” for focussing too much on alcoholism and not enough on Christ.

Do Oxford groups still exist? ›

In England, Oxford Groups continue to exist and follow the original tenets of the movement more closely than the groups descen- dant from MRA. In 2001, MRA changed it's name to Initiatives of Change.

What is God in AA? ›

In Alcoholics Anonymous, “God” is simply defined as a Higher Power or a Power greater than ourselves.

Who founded the Oxford Movement? ›

Led by four young Oxford dons—John Henry Newman, John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, and Edward Pusey—this renewal movement within the Church of England was a central event in the political, religious, and social life of the early Victorian era.

Who began the Oxford Movement? ›

The Oxford Movement was initiated in the early 1830s by members of the University of Oxford, notably Oriel College, largely as a response to the threats to the established Church posed by British Dissenters, Irish Catholics and Whig and Radical politicians who seemed poised to subjugate or even abolish the established ...

Why was the Oxford movement important? ›

The Oxford Movement resulted in the establishment of Anglican religious orders, both of men and of women. It incorporated ideas and practices related to the practice of liturgy and ceremony to incorporate more powerful emotional symbolism in the church.

Why did the Oxford Group fail? ›

In 1938, Buchman proclaimed a need for moral rearmament and that phrase became the movements new name. The oxford groups failed because they where aggressively evangelical they set out to save the world. They talked about absolutes and purity and had a highly coercive authority.

Who was alcoholic number 3? ›

Bill Dotson, the "Man on the Bed," was AA number 3. At his death, he had not had a drink in more than nineteen years. His date of sobriety was the date he entered Akron's City Hospital for his last detox, June 26, 1935. Two days later occurred that fateful day when two sober alcoholics visited him: Dr.

What are the 3 principles of Oxford House? ›

1. Each house should be democratically self-run, 2. Each house should be financially self-supported, and 3. Each house should immediately expel any resident who returns to using alcohol or drugs.

Was the Oxford Movement successful? ›

The Oxford Movement failed to revive Catholic orthodoxy or to check the rising Liberalism in the Church of England. Its successful revival of Anglo-Catholic sacramental and liturgical practice, however, has greatly influenced the spirit and form of contemporary Anglican worship (see anglo-catholics).

What is Oxford Movement and its characteristics? ›

A nineteenth-century movement which reasserted the apostolic and catholic heritage of Anglicanism. The Oxford Movement is also known as the Catholic Revival. It emphasized the church's identity as the divine society and the sacramental character of the church's corporate life.

What are the 6 major principles? ›

They are popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, federalism, checks and balances, republicanism, and individual rights.

What is the 6 principle? ›

Cialdini's 6 Principles of Persuasion are reciprocity, scarcity, authority, commitment and consistency, liking and consensus. By understanding these rules, you can use them to persuade and influence others. Of course, doing so isn't always an ethical thing to do.

What is one of the 6 core principles of trauma informed care? ›

Healthcare organizations, nurses and other medical staff need to know the six principles of trauma-informed care: safety; trustworthiness and transparency; peer support; collaboration and mutuality; empowerment, voice and choice; and cultural issues.

What is the hardest of the 12 steps? ›

Whether you're working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Al-Anon, or any other program, the most difficult of all the steps probably step 5. This is the one that asks us to admit "our wrongs" and to do so in front of our higher power and another person.

Why is the 12th step so important? ›

4) Freely given – The twelfth step of Alcoholics Anonymous states: “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 of our affairs.” This critical step encouraged by all who work the steps ensures that the message of ...

What does Step 1 of the 12 steps mean? ›

What is Step 1 of the 12 Step Program? Step 1 of the 12-Step Program is: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Which is an example of a 12-step group? ›

Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) became the first 12-step support group. AA is the largest and most well-known of the 12-step groups. However, there are many other "Anonymous" groups based on the same 12-steps.

What is the 12-step prayer? ›

God, I offer myself to Thee — To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!

What is the H in Jesus stand for? ›

In partially Latinised form, the IHC component is rendered JHC or JHS. This is the origin of the interjection, which seems to imagine that H is Jesus' middle initial, and Christ his surname, rather than his title (ho khristos: the anointed).

What religion is AA based on? ›

Is it religious? Alcoholics Anonymous has only one requirement for membership and that is the desire to stop drinking. There is room in AA for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.

What are the 4 Horsemen in the AA Big Book? ›

Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding com- panionship and approval. Momentarily we did—then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.

What is the 6th step prayer in AA? ›

Sixth Step Prayer

Dear God, I am ready for Your help in removing from me the defects of character which I now realize are obstacles to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself and guide me toward spiritual and mental health.

What is a 12 step call in AA? ›

Twelfth Step Calls occur when an A.A. member has a conversation with a newcomer about how they recovered from alcoholism. When an alcoholic gains the confidence of another by having this conversation, both the newcomer and the A.A. member benefit.

What is the difference between the 12 steps and the 12 traditions? ›

The 12 steps are the guidelines by which to get sober and recover. The 12 traditions act as the principles behind the steps and are meant to keep people focused on the primary purpose.

What is the prayer at the end of AA? ›

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

What is the oldest 12-step program? ›

The oldest original and most commonly known 12-step program is AA or Alcoholics Anonymous.

What are steps 6 and 7 in AA? ›

AA's Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character. AA's Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. But Steps Six and Seven are only briefly discussed in the book Alcoholics Anonymous—commonly called the Big Book.

What is the step 6? ›

Step 6 Alcoholics Anonymous says, “We became willing to ask God to help us remove our defects of character.” In brief, this Step is about understanding and acknowledging that one cannot achieve change without the assistance of some kind of higher power; whether that power be a deity or some kind of secular driving ...

Where are steps 6 and 7 in the Big Book? ›

There is little written in the Big Book about these two Steps, actually just one brief paragraph on each, found on page 76. Some people believe there should be written “work” for Steps 6 and 7. Others believe that we simply request that God remove our character defects.

How do I humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings? ›

Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.

What step is the hardest in AA? ›

The 4th and 5th steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can be the hardest. After a higher power has been found, it's time to do some soul searching. Step 4 of the A.A. model is as follows: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Admitting to oneself that they have a weakness can be the hardest thing.

What does Step 6 mean in AA? ›

Each of the 12 steps of recovery outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous is focused on helping people with an alcohol use disorder work toward long-term recovery. Step 6 is focused on acceptance, which involves accepting character defects exactly as they are and then being willing to let them go.

What is the 6th step prayer? ›

6th Step Prayer

God, thank you for removing my fear and from showing me the truth about myself. I need your help to become willing to let go of the things in me which continue to block me off from you. Please grant me your grace and remove these objectionable characteristics, defect and shortcomings from me. Amen.

What does the 7th step mean? ›

The seventh step of Alcoholics Anonymous urges us to embrace pursuit of humility as a fundamental aspect of staying sober. Humility is equally vital on the path towards a useful, happy life. Yet AA and NA meeting participants often struggle when trying to define humility.

What is the resentment prayer? ›

The AA Resentment Prayer

God, Please help me to be free of anger and to see that the world and its people have dominated me. Show me that the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, has the power to actually kill me.

What is Chapter 6 in the Big Book about? ›

Chapter 6 of the Alcoholics' Anonymous Big Book is all about taking action. While the chapter covers many of the 12 steps, beginning with #5: “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” it doesn't just talk about them: it lays out a path to action.


1. Jay S. AA History (Part 1) 12-Step Origins and The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
(Odomtology 12-Step Recovery Media)
2. My Secular 12 Steps
(We Agnostics Kansas City)
3. Alcoholics Anonymous - Bill Wilson Meets Dr. Bob Smith
(AA - Recovered - Alcoholics Anonymous - AA100011)
4. JUNE 14, 2022 --- AA HISTORY ON ZOOM !
(AA - Recovered - Alcoholics Anonymous - AA100011)
5. Steps 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 - Wally P and Mike M
(AA - Recovered - Alcoholics Anonymous - AA100011)
6. Jay S. AA History (Part 2) - Oxford Group Origins, William James, Conversion Alcoholics Anonymous
(Odomtology 12-Step Recovery Media)
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