HOW TO MAKE A 12th STEP CALL

Courtesy of the Chicago Area 19 Archives, with an investigated date of 1968: the text of a two-sided 4x5” printed card, distributed by Chicago’s Central Office.©

…the A.A. way, as we understand it, with excerpts from “the basic text of our society”, the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” Chapter 7, entitled “Working With Others.”

When a 12th Step call is received, we begin with the assumption that another human being’s life is at stake, literally. This means that without delay, this call is to be answered at once.


1st – Arrange for another member to go with you.

2nd – Have a Quite Time; read Chapter 7 in the Book.

3rd - Maintain Anonymity.

4th - Talk to the prospect alone, if possible.

5th - Congratulate him on wanting to do something about his drinking. 

6th – Give him the 4-page folder “Just What is Alcoholics Anonymous” calling his attention to the 20 questions.

7th – Note well what the Book says at the bottom of page 94, “On your first visit tell him about the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If he shows interest, lend him your copy of this book.”

8th - Each of you tell him “What you used to be like, what happened, and What you are like now.” 

9th – If he wants to talk, let him.

10th – At the top of page 95, it advises you, “Give him a chance to think it over. Sometimes a new man is anxious to proceed at once, and you may be tempted to do so. This sometimes is a mistake; if he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed him.”

Continuing, it says, “If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval.” (At least urge him to read the first 164 pages.) “After doing that (reading the book), he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on.”

11th – When you are ready to leave, tell him that you will call on him the following day if he wants, and will have had time to read the first 164 ages; or, whenever he would suggest.

12th – Note that the 2nd paragraph of page 96 says, “Suppose you are making your second visit to a man. He has read this volume, and says he is prepared to go through with the 12 Steps of the Program of Recovery.”

At this point, you review the 12 Steps with him; and arrange to bring him to your Group Meeting.


If he does not want to go on; or he feels he can do it some other way, pick up your copy of the Book; and invite him to call you again if he changes his mind later on; or whenever he feels A.A. can be of help.

And finally, note how the Book, at the top of page 96, says, “We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot, or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself.”


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