My watch list  

Twelve traditions

The Twelve Traditions of many twelve-step programs, as originated by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, define the guidelines for relationships between the twelve-step groups, members, other groups, the global fellowship, and society at large. Questions of finance, public relations, donations, and purpose are addressed in the Traditions.[1]


The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
  2. 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.
  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose--to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. 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.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


After the publication of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, by 1944 the number of AA groups had grown along with the number of letters being sent to the AA headquarters in New York asking how to handle disputes caused by issues like publicity, religion, and finances.[2] By 1946 AA cofounder Bill Wilson had derived basic ideas for the Twelve Traditions directly from such correspondence with groups, setting guidelines on how groups and members should interact with each other, the public, and AA as a whole.[1] The Traditions were first published in the April 1946 AA Grapevine under the title Twelve Points to Assure Our Future[3] and were formally adopted at AA's First International Convention in 1950.[1] Wilson's book on the subject, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, was published in 1953.[4]

The Traditions in Other 12-Step Programs

Other 12 Step Programs like Marijuana Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Nar-Anon have also adopted the Twelve Traditions. Narcotics Anonymous published It Works: How and Why as its own study of the Twelve Traditions.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, New York: Alcoholics Anonymous, 2003, ISBN 0-916856-06-2.
  2. ^ Francis Hartigan Bill W p. 161-162
  3. ^ Pass It On (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc, 1984), p. 305-306
  4. ^ Pass It On (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc, 1984), p. 354
  5. ^ Narcotics Anonymous World Services. "NAWS Product Catalog" 2007
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Twelve_traditions". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE