To those now in its fold, Alcoholics Anonymous has made a difference between misery and sobriety, and often the difference between life and death. AA can, of course, mean just as much to uncounted alcoholics not yet reached. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.
The “12 Traditions” of Alcoholics Anonymous are, we AAs believe, the best answers that our experience has yet given to those ever urgent questions. “How can AA best function?” and, “How can AA best stay whole and so survive?” Here are AA’s “12 Traditions”.
THE TWELVE TRADITIONS
Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
AA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
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