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

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,

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.

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

  1. Dan Says:

    I often hear the 12 Steps of ACoA referred to as “Tony A’s original 12 Steps.”

    This statement may perhaps not be accurate. In the talk given in 1991, Tony admits that he wrote 12 steps for Adult children after ACoA was formed, and had a psychiatrist put them in a “we” format. Apparently the first 12 Steps written by Tony were in “I” statements.

    Those first 12 steps written after the formation of ACoA would be the original steps.

    The 12 steps that Tony offered to ACA/AA at the convention he said he took authorship of 2 or 3 of them, and the others he had collected over the years…and that he had been directed by his own higher power to put those 12 steps together, put them in his book, and talk about them at the convention.

    I always refer to those 12 steps in the Laundry List Book as the 12 steps of ACoA, and not Tony A’s 12 steps.

    I doubt Tony ever called the 12 steps of ACoA “Tony A’s 12 Steps.”

    I believe in the heart of the 12 steps of ACoA, though I do have to admit they need to be updated to reflect all that we have learned since 1991.

    It is natural that the focus of the ACoA program in 1977-1978 was naturally alcoholism, and the effects of growing up in an alcoholic family.

    However, a child growing in in a drug addict family, a family of sexual abuse, a family of a single parent who is never home because they are working several jobs, a family of mental illness, children raised in the foster system, children put up for adoption and a variety of other family types produce the same impact on children as alcoholism.

    Those effects are fear, abandonment, abuse, a lack of love and validation, devoid of spiritual values, etc.

    It nearly 40 years since the birth of ACoA. It is well over 25 years since Tony wrote the Laundry List book.

    The focus in Tony’s books is still on alcoholism. I am not an alcoholic, and neither am I a para-alcoholic…but I was programmed to be a co-dependent. Using words that are more generic and universal helps develop a greater sense of what we have in common and more of a real community for healing and recovery.

    I believe the focus should be first and foremost on dysfunctional family systems. Alcoholism is but one type of dysfunctional family systems.

    To focus on one type of family system over the other family systems is to reduce a sense of inclusion for all adult children.

    We know more about the nature of childhood trauma now, and that the body keeps the score. We know more about the nature of the brain development during the formative years.

    If ACoA or ACA are to grow and be more inclusive, they need to rebrand away from AA and alcoholism, and focus more on what all adult children have in common, irrespective of what that family system was.

    The solution offered by Tony A. in the steps and the philosophy is universal for all adult children. It needs to be non-denominational in respect to promoting a certain type of family system.

    We need Adult Children Anonymous that is all inclusive and a revision of Tony’s steps and the Laundry List traits to replace alcoholism with the word dysfunction. Alcoholism is a subset of dysfunction, not the reverse.

    The more inclusive, the more all adult children from all different kinds of dysfunctional families will feel at home.

    This keeps it truly spiritual in nature, with the focus on the nature and cause of dysfunction, rather than a particular manifestation of a single type of dysfunctional family as being the “primary” dysfunctional family.

  2. […] Uppdate 2018-06-01 There is another set of steps suggested by Tony Allen, often claimed to be the founder of ACA.  I like them a lot better than the ones the official ones that are just a copy of those in AA. I might compare them step by step in a future post but until then you can read them as well ass comments to them here: Tony Allen’s 12 steps of recovery’ […]

  3. Dan Says:

    When the alcoholics came into ACoA in the 80’s, it was like Germany invading Poland. The Alateens who wanted nothing to do with AA or Alanon, and Tony A. were pushed aside and AA mentality took over.

    Very sad.

    When Tony introduced the 12 Steps of ACoA at the convention in Orlando, he was given the worst possible time slot. 8 am Saturday morning.

    Why wasn’t the founder of ACA given the Keynote Speaker time slot?

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Dan, thanks for the info… This is the most that I have ever heard about any interactions between Tony A and the ACA organization. So, sadly, I have no answer for you and no idea where you would go to find any answers to your question.

  4. Russ Goebel Says:

    Hello Lexxie
    My name is Russ Goebel Hudson Valley New York
    I’m working on finding old members of the original ACOA members from Miniola Long Island and possibly contacting Mrs Allen
    any help greatly welcomed

  5. […] ACA 12 Steps by Tony A: “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.” […]

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Hi Kay, it is good to hear some of the background on Tony A. and his interactions with the ACA Organization.

  6. Shane G Says:

    Hello, I’m a grateful member of ACoA in Sydney.

    I just stumbled across this website, I interested in contacting other members of ACA (ACoA) who are following the 12 Steps by Tony A. Are there any individual members who read this blog that are following Tony A’s 12 steps or does anyone know of any skype groups that follow Tony A’s 12 Steeps?

    Thank you
    Shane G.
    Sydney Australia

  7. Hello Lexxie,
    I am from Kitchener Ontario , Canada, I want to thank you and all the people on here that have commented, I have learned a great deal, I have been attending Acoa here for that past 9 weeks and the last meeting I went to was very disturbing for me as there was a young lady discussing suicide. What really disturbed me was this idea that the group felt they were capable of handing the situation, not once was there any mention of the need for outside help. At the beginning of the meeting I inquired about why I don’t hear a lot about solution in the meetings and I was quickly re directed that each individual can discuss what they wanted. It was a great growing experience for me as I was so aware of my walls going up , an intense sense of being guarded, I felt very uncomfortable within, later that night in my journal I discovered some new things about myself, the higher power works in mystical way
    I was also informed, as I am a recovering alcoholic that Tony A never found peace until he entered acoa and that the steps were written by him, which clearly; both of these statements are false, hence I found this site and a few others is search of truth,
    I have found that the meeting is very controlled and seems to follow a lot of the characteristics that others are discussing on here,
    Again thank you for the site, was enlightening for me to read this and I think I am going to search out some of the literature that has been discussed on here, as I am more into solution then sitting in the problem I want to heal.
    If anyone knows where the meeting is held in Toronto that was mentioned on this blog I would love to hear from you,
    be well all,

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Mark, Thanks for your comments. Sadly, I have seen meetings also where how things are handled make me uncomfortable also. Keep reading, keep coming back. Members being able to talk about whatever they want to also means that YOU can talk about whatever YOU want to as well. I would suggest having BRB (Big Red Book) quotes to back your position up though. As adult children we tend to throw tantrums when someone challenges what we believe to be the RIGHT way… Good Luck!

  8. Gus Says:

    Would anyone have a copy of a talk by Tony A. recorded Feb. 25th, 1991 in Orlando, Florida at the 7th Annual National Convention of Children of Alcoholics or know where to get a download of it?


  9. Bill D Says:

    Is anyone following this blog? I am the planning committee chair for the upcoming WSO ABC and Inaugural World Convention to be held in Florida in April and would love to connect with you all via the internet or phone. My email is and the convention website is Thanks!

  10. S.E. Ruckman Says:

    I read these posts regarding Tony A.and his phenomenal contribution to ACA. I did not know him or meet him. But I did know the Red Book’s author, Omer G. I worked with him professionally and on the program. An agnostic, he underwent a spiritual transformation as a result of writing the ACA big book. He wrote that book in a general sense so as to attract every kind of people to ACA. Every word, every comma, every period was lovingly considered. He wrote that book without compensation in order to give a cohesive foundation to ALL ACAs. He met and spoke to Tony A. during the writing process. Omer G was careful to a fault in writing the Red Book text to make sure it aligned with the vision Tony A. had. If some feel he was too general, it was only to serve the idea that ACAs are more alike than different but he wrote the book on the premise of self-love through reparenting ourselves. Omer G. (red book author) would ask me literally everyday if I remembered to love myself that day. The lifeblood of ACA is our common experience, the Red Book is the mirror that we look into to see we are not alone in our sojourn in life having grown up in an alcoholic/dysfunctional home. The individuals who work the steps and go to meetings give ACA its personal characteristics and its solidarity. With that said, I concur that the Red Book is too expensive. Its shipping options limit our Native American group from buying
    extra books. I would like to see that change to bulk rate for media books as per the postal classification. I believe that when ACA books are accessible, then more folks will come to understand self-love and the paradox of ACA in a way that will improve life for untold numbers. That is what Omer G. sought. He respected Tony A. as the rightful father of ACA and did not discount Tony A.s expertise. He included the professional therapists in his forewards etc in the hopes that other counselors would recommend the Red Book and/or ACA to their clients. We do need Tony A.s The Laundry List but ACAs need not discount the Red Book either. Consider putting an end to this “all or nothing” thinking. God Bless all ACAs.

    1. Hi (S E Ruckman). My name is Maree. I live in New Zealand. # months ago I discovered ACA. Last night I discovered Tony A’s ACA adapted 12 steps, as in above article. Do you know of any skype groups that are using Tony A’s ACA adapted steps to run a 12 step program as I would like to join it. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give. My email is Please put ‘re Tony A’s 12 step in subject line or email so I’ll know it’s not spam, if that’s alright.

    2. Kadri Liisa Says:

      Hi SE Buckman, thx for mentioning about Omer G as BRB author. Due complicated language of BRB as international acoa member whos mother language is not english, i tried to understand development process of BRB as Omer G put it together. Audio of BRB presetantion was quite insightful as there was listed named who wrote which chapter etc but if you know more information about it i am interested to know it. My email is .
      Thank you!

  11. Mark H Says:

    Hi, Mark H here , Tony A was a mentor and good friend to me. Tony changed my life, probably save me? He was a wonderful guy full of so much hurt and wisdom, he would always say this trip is not about me well and your not, this about us all getting better together. The man lived a life that was wild and crazy, he overcame so much in his life to help so many people. George B, and I spent alot of time with Tony, he was just an amazing human being. Tony was hurt and his wisdom came from alot of that hurt. I could tell you bazar stuff that happened to him in his life from his mother being murder over top of him in his crib to his father disciplining by rubbing his face in the toliet. Tony overcame so much! I called once , i had not seen him in a while , he was in the hospital, he answered the phone in his room after the phone ringing for 5 minutes. I said “Hey Tony” he said who is this , I said it’s Mark. He said to me , I was going, I said would you like me to call you back he said NO, I mean , I was dying when you called? He said when the phone rang he was heading down a tunnel following a bright light. He said I think you stopped me , so what was the reason ? I said I just had not seen you in a while and when I called your house Carline told you were having hip surgery. He would tell people after that , kiddingly , I stopped him from going to the other side. If you were around Tony enough things happend. Tony’s LOVE meditations changed peoples lives, I know it did mine!

    1. Hi Mark. My name is Maree. I live in New Zealand. # months ago I discovered ACA. Last night I discovered Tony A’s ACA adapted 12 steps, as in above article. Do you know of any skype groups that are using Tony A’s ACA adapted steps to run a 12 step program as I would like to join it. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give. My email is Please put ‘re Tony A’s 12 step in subject line or email so I’ll know it’s not spam, if that’s alright.

    2. Bob Says:

      Hi Mark, I’m interested in knowing more about your meeting Tony A.

      The whole when were type stuff. Can you, will you help me?

    3. Kadri Liisa Says:

      Wow those who remember Tony A should publish their memories to keep up memory of Tony A!

  12. 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!!

  13. Brandi Says:

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

  14. 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:

    Thanks for providing the forum and letting us post Lexxie.


  15. 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.


      1. Hi Lexxie, My name is Maree. I live in New Zealand. # months ago I discovered ACA. Last night I discovered Tony A’s ACA adapted 12 steps, as in above article. Do you know of any skype groups that are using Tony A’s ACA adapted steps to run a 12 step program as I would like to join it. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give. My email is Please put ‘re Tony A’s 12 step in subject line or email so I’ll know it’s not spam, if that’s alright.

    2. Hi Ed. My name is Maree. I live in New Zealand. # months ago I discovered ACA. Last night I discovered Tony A’s ACA adapted 12 steps, as in above article. Do you know of any skype groups that are using Tony A’s ACA adapted steps to run a 12 step program as I would like to join it. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give. My email is Please put ‘re Tony A’s 12 step in subject line or email so I’ll know it’s not spam, if that’s alright.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Carline Says:

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

    1. Bob Says:

      Hi Carline, I would really like to talk to you. I’m having difficulty understanding what happened. I think you can help me. Maybe you can explain more to me. You see I know the truth about the real tony. I’m not concern about any copyrights or money for that matter. I’m only interested in the truth. IF it’s all about money for you then I have my answer already.

  19. john Says:

    Hi Lexxie,

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


  20. 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.

  21. john Says:


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


    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

  22. Carline Says:

    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.

  23. 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’

      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

  24. 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,


  25. Tracey Says:


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


    1. Wright Says:

      Is there any way for me to get a copy of Tony A’s recorded talk when he described the difference between ACA’s 12 Steps and his 12 Steps.

  26. 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??

  27. 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!


  28. beczkowozy Says:

    This is precisely what i was seeking. Thanks!

  29. Since this is very informative, I took the time to bookmark 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.

  30. Penny Says:

    Thank you Lexxie for this comprehensive info…… 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…………… 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.

  31. 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!!

    1. Rhonda N. Says:

      How do I find these meditations?

  32. 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.

    1. Kadri Liisa Says:

      Wow thx for your comments i agree on red book stuff.

    2. Rory McKeever Says:

      Hello Lynn B, and thank you for your wonderful letter. This is the most sensible assessment of what Tony A was saying. And you are so right about the Big Red book too.

      AA have far too much influence on ACA – an organisation which, in my view, has led so many astray for years, and continues to do so. What i am suffering from has NOTHING to so with alcohol – or ‘experts’ etc.

      How can i find out more about your meetings – I certainly hope you are still in existence – my mail address is

      anyone who knows Lynn B or Steps to Recovery, please pass this on to Lynn, or send me the relevant info. f.ex. where meetings are held, times etc etc – and website address – or an email addresss to contact for further info.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. Patrick Says:

    Hi Lexxie,

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

    Health Communications, Inc.,
    Deerfield Beach,

    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.


  36. Patrick Says:


    “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

    2. Kadri Liisa Says:

      Wow patrick thx for sharing it.

      1. Carline Says:

        I am Tony’s widow and hold the copyright of his steps and book. The book has been available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for a number of years.

  37. 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 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..


    2. Kadri Liisa Says:

      I like Tony A steps too….you have done big work resesrch history. I am very grateful for all clues that are in your site.
      Audio i found and i saved it for our group.

      Kadri liisa recovering acoa from Tallinn estonia

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