Tony A. gave a talk, recorded Feb. 25th, 1991 in Orlando, Florida at the 7th Annual National Convention of Children of Alcoholics. The talk was given at an optional support group meeting before the main conference began.  During this recording  Tony briefly explains his version of the 12 Steps of ACoA.   However,  by the time Tony was making this presentation,  ACA had already approved their “official” version of the 12 Steps in 1984 at a Business Conference.   Tony didn’t get his version of the steps completed and presented to the fellowship until 1991 when he published his book.  Also, with the steps being presented through his book, along with his Laundry List of 14 characteristics of ACoA’s, they were and still are under copyright protection.

The original source for this steps list is Tony’s book The Laundry List.   This book being out of print you have to work to find the book and or the 12 Steps as Tony wrote them.   I finally found a copy on    http://www.guesswhatnormalis.com/2007/09/the-other-step-.html

You might check out their website to see some of the other great resources they have there!

Also, I have been working on adding what Tony said in his book, The Laundry List about each of his steps.  You can find this on the pages for each individual step.

The way that I am doing this is putting Tony’s step, then what he said about it and next is the comparable Alanon step and eventually I will put what Alanon says about their step.

Hopefully, by looking at each one individually and then blending the two it will be helpful in figuring out what each of the steps is about and how to work with them.  Leave me a message and let me know if you like the idea or think it is stupid….  lol… not that that will stop me…  but it could start a great discussion…  Later, Lexxie

*If anyone holding a current legitimate copyright, has issues with this or anything else from the book, The Laundry List being copied on this blog, please contact me directly and I would be happy to discuss this with you.  I have attempted to find the legitimate copyright holders, however with the anonymity of the 12 Step program I have been unable to locate them.

Tony A’s 12 Steps of Recovery

The Laundry List
by Tony A  with Dan F

Published by:
Health Communications, Inc.,
Deerfield Beach,
Florida

1. We admitted that we were powerless over the effects of living with alcoholism and that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could bring us clarity.

3. We made a decision to practice self-love and to trust a Higher Power of our understanding.

4. We made a searching and blameless inventory of our parents because, in essence, we had become them.

5. We admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our childhood abandonment.

6. We were entirely ready to begin the healing process with the aid of our Higher Power.

7. We humbly asked our Higher Power to help us with our healing process.

8. We became willing to open ourselves to receive the unconditional love of our Higher Power.

9. We became willing to accept our own unconditional love by understanding that our Higher Power loves us unconditionally.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and to love and approve of ourselves.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry it out.

12. We have had a spiritual awakening as a result of taking these steps, and we continue to love ourselves and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

44 Responses to “ACA 12 Steps by Tony A.”

  1. Cindy D. Says:

    Although I have not heard anything new about the book The Laundry List being published again, I am happy to share that the book is available on Kindle. Amazon is selling the electronic version for $9.99. I think this is the greatest thing. Now the book is affordable again!!

  2. Brandi Says:

    Thank you for sharing Tony A’s steps and am very interested in your process of understand all of the steps.

  3. john Says:

    Hi Folks,

    At this time, there are about 20 spots left for the Arizona ACA Mingus Mountain Retreat the September. We have folks from at least 6 different states joining us this September. If you’d like to read more about it, here is a link: http://aca-arizona.org/retreat/

    Thanks for providing the forum and letting us post Lexxie.

    John

  4. Ed Garbarino Says:

    Hi Lexxie, I’m so glad to read that the “Laundry List” is being reprinted and that you have made contact with the rightful owner of the copyright. I haven’t read all the post yet but wanted to convey my appreciation for your part in making this happen. I have purchased used books from Amazon and give them to others. I love the steps that Tony wrote and explained in the book. It has changed and is changing my life. While much of my energy has been put into treatment for multiple myeloma (a blood cancer) I still want to treat my disease of alcoholism and how it has affected me from conception to this moment. Thank you for your service to those of us who suffer from the effects of living with alcohol.

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Ed, It doesn’t really seem like I did much, but I so glad that it has been of benefit to you and others.

      Lexxie

  5. Barbara Shinton Says:

    i am presently listening to Tony’s recording and he is so comforting to me.He speaks so easly and in very simple language. Thank u Tony.

  6. Barbara Shinton Says:

    i am so glad to hear that Tony’s book is going to be reprinted. i have a photo of it that is being used in a ACA group here in Toronto. Canada. i ordered a used copy from Amazon a couple of days ago.

  7. Carline Says:

    It appears not, but that is being handled by my attorney.

  8. john Says:

    Hi Lexxie,

    So far the only flyer is the registration page. We’ll work on one tho. Thanks.

    John

    http://aca-arizona.org/retreat-registration-forms/

  9. Carline Says:

    I am the owner of the rights to my late husbands book, The Laundry List. It is in the process of being reprinted, so stay tuned.

    1. Cindy D. Says:

      Does Dan F. have any survivor’s or claims to the book since he is sighted as a co-author?

      1. Lexxie Says:

        Cindy, I have no idea. I was not able to find any information about Dan when I was researching. However, check out the new post I made regarding Tony’s book getting reprinted. I am so excited about it! I am sure that Carline will wade through all of the legalities of this, since she does have an attorney helping her make this happen.

      2. Cindy D. Says:

        Thank you Lexxie. I was posting the statement to Tony’s widow. I am pleased to hear that the book in going to be reprinted. I think it is great. Please keep us posted with the details.

  10. john Says:

    Hi,

    Any chance you could give our ACA retreat some exposure on your site?

    http://aca-arizona.org/retreat/

    Thanks,
    John

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Do you have a flyer that we could print out for our group meeting?
      I did make a post about your retreat. I would love to hear back as to how many online follow the link to the Retreat page on your website. Just idle curiosity on my part.

      Thanks, Lexxie

  11. Carline Says:

    Lexxie-
    Please understand that I have the legal rights to my late husband’s book (The Laundry List). I am in the process of re-printing the
    book . I have an attorney helping me. I would ask you to not publish any more excerpts from the book.
    Thank you so much.

  12. Cindy D. Says:

    I was reading the post and wanted to know how the search for the current holders of the copyright to ‘The Laundry List’ is going? Were the posts that cliam to be Tony A.’s heirs real?

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Cindy, I gave up the search for legitimate copyright holders for Tony A’s book. There are actually 2 authors if you will notice. I could not find ANY information on the co-author, Dan F., other than he is also deceased. I did as much research as I knew how to do online.

      As far as the communication with Tony A’s son and widow truly being who they say they are, your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know how I would go about validating that they are who they say they are without it being rather expensive, and honestly I just don’t have the money to investigate.

      I could not come up with any reason that anyone would contact me claiming to be related to Tony A and encouraging me in my efforts to keep his information alive if that were truly not the case. But, I guess stranger things have happened.

      I choose to take their statements at face value. I have done what I could to invite open dialog with anyone who feels that I have broken some kind of copyright laws and I will address the issue with them if I am ever approached. Until that happens, I will leave things as they are.

      Just Chatterin’
      Lexxie

      1. Cindy Davis Says:

        Thank you so much for responding to my inquiry. At this point I figure the family does not have any interest in the copyright. I which they would ‘relinquish’ it, if there is such a process. With the Red Book out, there is renewed interest in ‘ The Laudry List’. I was fortunate to purchase the book before the prices became too high. HCI the publisher was no help. It seems like they would know. It costs too much to have a search done by the Library of Congress.   I love Tony’s Steps better. To me, his concept of the steps are intergrated into the ACA 12 Steps discussion in the Red Book. It is all about learning to love self. The book should be reprinted. HCI still prints Ms. Woitiz’s books. Her brother may be behind that. I asked ACA WSO if they would be willing to look into it. I never got a response. I have a bad taste in my mouth as far as that organization is concerned.   Well, I am thankful for websites like yours to keep Tony’s Steps available to those who are interested.   In Love, Peace, and Recovery, Cindy D.

        “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”       -Marianne Williamson

  13. Tracey Says:

    Hi Again,

    I just had a look on the aca site and Tony’s talk is still there. It’s under the ACA Speaker Meetings.

    Hope this helps,

    Tracey

  14. Tracey Says:

    Hi,

    I recorded Tony’s step talk to my electronic recorder thingy. That way then I could listen to him whenever I needed to.

    Tracey


  15. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

    1. Lexxie Says:

      what is the link to your zynga group so that I can check it out??
      Lexxie

  16. Ed Garbarino Says:

    Thanks for getting back to me Lexxie. I plan to attend the ABC (Annual Business Meeting) as a delegate this year There is such a need for ACA and so few meetings. The boards decision to abandon the website in favor of face to face meetings should be looked at again. I think there just wasn’t enough help to monitor the site as they wished. It’s funny that one of our characteristics is that we are afraid of authority figures but the board of ACA has set itself up as one. thank you again for your good work.

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Ed, I completely agree with everything that you said! I attended the ABC a couple of years ago and there was discussion at that time about how time consuming it was to monitor the website and the forums. I also agree that ACA’s have huge issues with authority and it is not only the WSO but actually most areas of our lives where we want to be the authority figure in charge… lol… Please let me know how it goes at the ABC and what you think of it. You might check with some of the Board members, especially the person in charge of maintaining the website, about where to get a copy of the talk by Tony A. about the ACA steps that he developed. If you find a link to it please forward that to me and I will post it as well. Thanks, Ed!

      Lexxie

  17. beczkowozy Says:

    This is precisely what i was seeking. Thanks!


  18. Since this is very informative, I took the time to bookmark http://thelistacagroup.wordpress.com/tony-a-12-steps/ on Twitter. I figured the title – ACA 12 Steps by Tony A. The L.I.S.T. ACA Group – was best to use for people to find this info, so that is what I used.

  19. Penny Says:

    Thank you Lexxie for this comprehensive info……..here in southern california we’re getting ready to start a women’s step meeting using the yellow book. I’m 23 years sober and have worked the AA steps many times and i really get that they don’t apply as written to ACA’s……………..so we have to figure out how to use the yellow book and incorporate Tony’s great 12 steps. Anyone have experience with that?

    1. Ed Garbarino Says:

      We are in the same place. We just started our 12 step group in Yuba City, CA using the yellow book. I purchased Tony’s book “The Laundry List’ from Amazon. I found a used book for about $40.00. He explains each step and of course the emphasis is quite different than the AA or conference approved ACA 12 steps. The emphasis is on the unconditional love of our higher power for us and love for ourselves. According to ACA World Services a group can use either. Our group has chosen the steps put forward by Tony A. We read the yellow book and steps but we also use Tony’s steps and keep them in mind as we practice incorporating them into our lives.

      1. Lexxie Says:

        If you look around on here, I have also quoted Tony’s book extensively for the Steps, the Laundry List and characteristics of Adult Children.

  20. Mark H Says:

    Hello all, Tony A (Allen) was a wonderful Man! He changed my whole life, he, through his work that was inspired by God… Changed Me and SAVED ME!
    The Laundry list is such a wonderful breakdown of what makes up a person who we are as a part of ACF groups. Tony was amazingly wounded and it was always apparent to you when he was around. He worked with so many people and his attitude never changed he was one of us, never fixed or cured. He did do a series of workshops, they consisted of Meditations (Love Meditations) Love is a cleansing agent and purifies . The workshops lasted 3 years, in the end there were just a handful of left. Not everyone wanted to change their lives. I still tell people a 65 year old man taught me how to love, through his work he taught us all how to Love ourselves. He saved my life, he enriched the quality of my relationship with everything. I quote him all the time. He would always SAY: Mind appears as thought and acts as thing. “What you put in you mind each day becomes your reality in life” or Crap in Crap out!! Load prosperity in you head and that’s what will appear. I have thought about starting these Love Meditations…Again! I know how much they changed me! Tony A. He was so perfectly…IMPERFECT!!

  21. lynn Says:

    Hi all from Toronto Canada, my name is Lynn….My partner and I started an
    ACA group called Steps to Recovery…we have been in existence for almost two years….we use both Tiony A.’s steps and his book, The Laundry List, as the primary focus of our meetings. We feel his version of the steps is more appropriate and fitting for issues of family abuse and domestic trauma.

    The AA steps are an adaptation of the Oxford Group 4 steps. The Oxford Group steps were essentially distilled religion for the purpose of producing a religious conversion in its members. Bill WIlson adapted AA’s steps for alcoholics only. His language and the fellowship’s focus are tailored to their main market …i.e. alcoholics. The AA program offers a spiritual awakening —personality change-conversion process to alcoholics.

    We at Steps to Recovery believe an attack on self will-self centered selfishness is not approriate or effective for people who are survivors of abuse or trauma. That is why we support and use Tony’s steps. We also feel the Red Book and its offspring (i.e. the Workbook) has been overly influenced by the ambitions of psychology and therapy/psychological gurus.(i.e. Claudia Black, Charles Whitfield, Rochelle Learner, John Bradshaw…just to name a few.

    The Red Book’s laguage is presumptous of expertise and overly wide reaching. It is telling you about you without knowing you. It claims to much as does the fellowship that gave it birth. At least AA admits its limitations (ie. it singleness of purpose principle) It knows it can’t be all things to all problems or people. This humility seems to be lacking in the Red Book and the Workbook. Tony’s book reflects his AA experience in that it is written in both humble and pragmatic language.

    Yours in love and service,

    Lynn B.

  22. Carline Allen Says:

    I am Tony Allen’s widow. If you have any specific questions, I may be able to help answer them.

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Wow, Carline, thanks so much for contacting me. I don’t really have any specific questions, but I appreciate your offer. Actually, all I would really like is permission to use the excerpts from your late husbands book, The Laundry List, on my blog. I contacted the publisher and I spoke with the Board of Trustees of the ACA World Service Organization and no one was able to tell me how to contact the family in order to get permission to use his book as I have done so extensively on my blog. I realize that the book is no longer in print and I am assuming that there are no plans to do a reprinting of the book. That was why I decided to go ahead and put so much on my blog as to what Tony had written in his book.

      If you have any concerns about how the information is presented on my blog or would like all of the excerpts removed from my blog please let me know, and I will do so.

      Thanks again for contacting me.
      Lexxie

  23. Patrick Says:

    Lexxie you wrote:”I contacted the publishing company for Tony A.’s book. And yes, the book is out of print. Apparently, both authors, Tony Allen and Daniel Fitzgibbens (not sure about that spelling at the moment), are both deceased.”

    In my understanding Tony Allen was not Tony’s name, at least according to the Omer G.,The Chicago Workshop “ACA Handbook Presentation” DVD, from 2007.

    Perhaps Tony Allen was his name after the family changed it, Tony’s family seemed to be ashamed of the Jewish name. I can’t remember if I read that or heard that on his presentation but it was changed. Where did you get the Tony Allen name if you don’t mind me asking?

    1. Lexxie Says:

      I think that is what the publishing company told me. I would have to check my notes to be sure… I got my copy of his book yesterday. His story is pretty intense.

      I agree, Tony Allen was not his birth name, but every time I think I have a name for him I find it leads to something else. And the only name I can find any obituary under is the Tony Allen. As far as I can tell he was living in Palm Beach Florida when he passed away.

      I am going to try to talk with Omer G When I go to the business meeting next month. While I can find this Dan F. has published about 3-4 books, each in a different genre it seems, I can’t find anything else about him. I can’t find an obituary or any web presence. It is kind of frustrating. I may have to resort to geneology searching to find the heirs, or to even be able to actually confirm names and when they passed away.

      But I will keep chipping away at it for a while, till I get too frustrated by the whole process, lol.. later.

      1. John T. Allen Says:

        I am the son of Tony (A) Allen, Hamilton Allen jr. if there is anything that I can help you with in regards to your questions please feel free to contact me.
        Allen was the name of his science teacher in grade school.

  24. Patrick Says:

    Hi Lexxie,

    I tried to contact the publishers.( I have been seeing their name around alot lately)

    Health Communications, Inc.,
    Deerfield Beach,
    Florida

    I never received a reply. If I am not mistaken they owned that now “missing link” where Tony’s Steps where posted. As for helping I would be glad to try yet not so sure how or where else to go.

    I would think as far as The Tony A. Presentation goes he said in his own words “He is offering these steps to the fellowship.” The back of his book says “Potentially The Big Book of the ACOA Movement.”

    I would hope we could use it as such and/or at least incorporate it without having to pay $105.00 to purchase it new. Maybe if enough speak up they will print another batch-“printing”?

    The Handbook Chair at ACA WSO claims to have set with Tony just before he died. (see ACA Text page 267, Tony A. conversation 2004).Perhaps he could answer a few things?

    Page 625 in the ACA Text quotes two full paragraphs of Tony’s book. I would hope they had permission and knew where to go to ask for this permission.

    As for the ABC I won’t be able to make it. Perhaps we could talk after an ACA phone bridge meeting one day and/or exchange phone numbers by e-mail.

    Patrick

  25. Patrick Says:

    ACA TEXT
    page
    xxxvi

    “Some ACA groups use Tony’s Steps and his book, which is allowable
    under the suggested ACA literature policy.”

    Yes, I too do want to go with the group conscience and use these steps, I also know enough about control to sense that old group conscience may have been deeply influenced by alot of heroes.

    As with the ACA Text and the current ACA WSO board members, each had a chapter and this ACA WSO is only about 7 people, ACA WSO board capacity is 20. I feel it is not a good time to be “Letting others Take the Initiative.”

    This organization is in the infant stages and I feel needs all that can to step up for service. I tried and felt Im was actually abused by ACA WSO and their website.

    I personally feel the entire ACA Text needed a larger “group conscience” before it was published and feel “controlled” even cross talked by the Text, way too many “we statements” for me. I actually hope to see a revised 2nd edition as ACA grows and more have input.

    I appluad their efforts but sense way too mane “authority figures” around this current ACA WSO. Maybe it is time for another “global group” conscience concerning the steps, etc…

    I hear sometimes peoples rejection is H.P.’s protection.

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Patrick, You seem to have sparked my interest in a ACA 12 Step and History Quest. I contacted the publishing company for Tony A.’s book. And yes, the book is out of print. Apparently, both authors, Tony Allen and Daniel Fitzgibbens (not sure about that spelling at the moment), are both deceased. That means that the copyright rights for the book have passed to their spouses or heirs. I am debating how serious I want to get in tracking down the actual current copyright holders for this book. It seems it could be rather difficult since this is an ANONYMOUS program… lol However, I have already found Tony’s obituary from Florida. I would imagine I could find Dan’s fairly easy also, when I confirm the spelling of his last name. It would be wonderful if I, we, someone, could track them down and get permission to put the book on the internet in the interest of preserving this valuable piece of ACA history and making it accessable to everyone. If you have any ideas or suggestions or information towards this goal I would appreciate hearing it. If you have any interest in helping with this project let me know that too.

      I am just beginning to run across references to dissatisfaction with the current board members in various places. It would be interesting to get the scoop on all of that.

      Do you have any intention of attending the WSO Annual Business Meeting next month in Tulsa? I think I am going to be there. It would be great to meet you and have a chat over coffee if you could make it.

      Thanks, Lexxie

  26. Patrick Says:

    So glad you found these steps at Amy’s site I had posted them there. I was looking them up again and found them here too. As a tribute to Tony A. I hope they find the main stream of ACA’s new come back.

    It took me over a year to find them and as soon as I did I posted them on the ACA WSO website and the http://www.higherpower link immediately disappeared along with my post. I was reprimanded for posting copyrighted material. Ironically the paragraphs in the ACA Text,page 625 Appendix A comes right from Tony A.s Copyrighted book The Laundry List. I get the feeling this current ACA WSO does not want these steps out on the web.

    Thanks for posting

    1. Lexxie Says:

      I know! It took me several days of searching to find a copy of them that I could put on this blog. I also just ordered Tony A.’s book from Amazon.com. I actually got it at a reasonable price so I grabbed it. The only reference I could find anywhere on the ACA WSO website was a recording from Tony A. where he runs through the steps as he wrote them. It has been somewhat of a debate in our group as to whether to use the “official” ACA 12 steps or the Tony A. 12 steps. The only reason that I am inclined to go with the ACA 12 steps is because that was what they used for the 12 step workbook. But I find it completely baffling that as to why they did that.

      I want to thank you for putting them out there for me to find. But in researching before I posted them I also tried the http://www.higherpower link and found it currently non-existent. That was why I took the reference to that website off of the information before I reposted it.

      1. Ed Garbarino Says:

        Thank you for your contribution to recovery. I’m glad to have found this site some time ago and now that I have an internet connect available in my home I can take advantage of this resource. I’ve been involved with ACA for just 16 months. Not real happy with WSO. I too purchased Tony’s book and we are using it, the yellow step book and the BRB. I started an ACA meeting in Yuba City, CA 13 months ago. We meet twice a week and have adopted Tony A’s 12 steps for our meeting’s readings. We also have a step study meeting on a third night and have limited it to 6 people for this first time through the steps as a group. We are using the yellow workbook and Tony’s book “The Laundry List.”
        I can no longer find Tony’s talk on the 12 steps that used to be available on the WSO website. Do you know where I might be able to find it? Also do you know how other groups are doing the step study. Tony’s approach is so right on, in my opinion. I wish we could get permission to reprint the book. Thanks again for your work.

      2. Lexxie Says:

        Sorry Ed, that I am so slow in responding to your comment. I didn’t realize that WSO had trimmed down their website so much! I agree, I am not really pleased by that either. Sadly, I could not find a copy of Tony’s recording about the 12 steps either.

        In response to how other groups are doing their Step Studies, unfortunately, I don’t know. Our group is the only group in the Kansas City, Missour/Kansas area. The next closest group is about 3 hours away from us and I have not had any contact with them… I am sure however you do it will be right for your group. This is not something that needs to be written in stone, although many ACA’s believe that they would like it to be that way. However, my experience has been that when they do get things with that much structure they tend to rebel..

        Lexxie

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