Mid-Southern California Area 9
P.O. Box 51446
Irvine, CA. 92619-1446
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The Twelve Traditions (Long Form):
1. Each member
of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a
great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of
us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes
first. But individual welfare follows close
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate
authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in
our group conscience.
3. Our membership ought to include all who suffer
from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish
to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend
upon money or conformity. Any two or three
alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call
themselves and A.A. group, provided that, as a
group, they gave no other affiliation.
4. With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group
should be responsible to no other authority than its
own conscience. But when its plans concern the
welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups
ought to be consulted. And no group, regional
committee, or individual should ever take any action
that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without
conferring with the trustees of the General Service
Board. On such issues our common welfare is
5. Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a
spiritual entity having but one primary purpose---
that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who
6. Problems of money, property, and authority may
easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We
think, therefore, that any considerable property of
genuine use to A.A. should be separately
incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material
from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should
never go into business. Secondary aids to A. A.,
such s clubs or hospitals which require much
property or administration, ought to be incorporated
and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be
freely discarded by the groups. Hence such
facilities ought not to use the A.A. name, Their
management should be the sole responsibility of
those people who financially support them, For
clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred, But
hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation,
ought to be well outside A.A.—- and medically
supervised, While A.A. group may cooperate with
anyone, such cooperation ought never to go so far as
affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied . An
A.A. group can bind itself to no one.
7. The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully
supported by the voluntary contributions to their
own members. We think that each group should soon
achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of
funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is
highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs,
hospitals, or other outside agencies; that
acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of
contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is
unwise. Then, too, we view with much concern those
A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent
reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A.
purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing
can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as
futile disputes over property, money, and authority.
8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever
nonprofessional. We define professionalism as the
occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or
hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are
going to perform those services for which we might
otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics. Such special
services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A.
Twelfth Step work is never to be paid for.
9. Each A.A. group needs the least possible
organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The
small group may elect its secretary, the large group
its rotating committee, and the groups of a large
metropolitan area their central or Intergroup
committee, which often employs a full-time
secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board
are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee.
They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and
the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by
which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at
New York. They are authorized by the groups to
handle our overall public relations and they
guarantee the integrity of our principal newspaper,
the A.A. Grapevine. All such representatives are to
be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders
in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of
the whole. They derive no real authority from their
titles; They do not govern. Universal respect is the
key to their usefulness.
10. No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a
way as to implicit A.A., express any opinion on
outside controversial issues — particularly those of
politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The
Alcoholics Anonymous Groups oppose no one.
Concerning such matters they can express no views
11. Our relations with the general public should be
characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A.
ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names
and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast,
filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations
should be guided by the principle of attraction
rather than promotion. There is never need to praise
ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends
12. And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe
that the principle of anonymity has an immense
spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to
place principles before personalities; that we are
to actually to practice a genuine humility. This to
the end that our great blessings may never spoil us;
that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation
of Him who presides over is all.
(c) by the AA Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission.