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Unity - The 12 Traditions of AA

As the AA community grew, questions arose among it about group management, shared funds, personal affairs, public relations, anonymity, etc. Expanding experience through trial and error gave rise to AA's twelve traditions. Bill W initially published articles on the subject in the AA Grapevine magazine. They evolved into the "Twelve Points for Securing Our Future." In print, AA's Twelve Traditions were published in 1946, and the current wording was confirmed at the First International Celebration Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in 1950.

  1. Our collective success should come first, personal recovery depends on the unity of AA.

  2. For the purposes of our group, there is only one basic authority - a loving God as he may express himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are only trusted servants - they do not rule.

  3. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

  4. Each group should be independent, except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

  5. Each group has only one main purpose - to take their message to still suffering alcoholics.

  6. The AA group should never become a guarantor or financier or lend the name of AA to any kindred organization or outside company, lest the problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our main purpose.

  7. Each AA group should be completely self-sufficient and reject outside aid.

  8. AA should always remain non-professional, but our offices may employ specialist staff.

  9. AA as such should never be organized, but we can form service bodies or committees that are directly responsible to those they serve.

  10. AA does not take a position on external issues; because of that, AA's name should never be dragged into public controversies.

  11. Our outgoing behavior is based on attraction rather than attention; we should always maintain personal anonymity in the press radio, television and film circles.

  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our traditions, always reminding us to put principles before personal matters.

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