AA Back to Basics
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Fourth Step Inventory

One of the key concepts Wally P. asserted in the Back to Basics Beginners' Meetings is that this is a WE program.  WE attend  the Beginners' Meetings together, WE read the "Big Book" together, WE take the Steps together, and WE recover together.  This is especially true for the Fourth Step.  In the early days, the Fourth Step inventory was filled out by the Sponsor and the Newcomer TOGETHER.

Old-timers used to say, "Put no block between the newcomer and Step Twelve."  This meant that if newcomers couldn't read, the sponsors would read the "Big Book" to them, and if new-comers couldn't write, the sponsors would write the Fourth Step inventory for them .

Today, some newcomers are being told to write the Fourth Step inventory on their own.  This was not the way it was done in the early days.

In the Back to Basics Beginners' Meetings, there is a handout titled, "Suggested Guidelines for Beginners" Meetings," Under the heading, "For the Sponsor or Sharing Partner," we find the following:

"Offer to help the newcomer with his or her Fourth Step. If necessary, write the inventory based on what the newcomer tells you. Remember, the newcomer is still very sick and may not be able to complete the inventory without your assistance."

For a copy of the entire "Suggested Guidelines for Beginners' Meetings," handout, click here.

For a comparison of some of the Assets and Liabilities Checklists used by AA's in the 1940's and 1950's, click here


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  page updated 3/26/2018