AA’s Public Relations Policy

In 1956 the U.S./Canada General Service Conference of AA adopted unanimously the following statement of “AA’s Public Information Policy”:

In all public relationships, AA’s sole objective is to help the still-suffering alcoholic. Always mindful of the importance of personal anonymity, we believe this can be done by making known to him, and to those who may be interested in his problem, our own experience as individuals and as a fellowship in learning to live without alcohol.  We believe that our experience should be made available freely to all who express sincere interest. We believe further that all our efforts in this field should always reflect our gratitude for the gift of sobriety and our awareness that many outside AA are equally concerned with the serious problem of alcoholism.

In short, this means: Tradition Eleven reads: 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. Nothing more and nothing less. I am still struggling to deal with the lack of passion to maintain the 12 Step Program’s bylaws standards and wording as necessary to maintain our nonprofit status. It is true that we are all just an organized bunch of soberdrunks, but we still have to function in a world of rules and regulations. How we word our bylaws, how we handle our funds, and how we keep abreast of the legal paperwork is essential in keeping the doors of AA open. So, when they say “easy does it; don’t forget the remainder of that saying “but do it!”

Here are some questions to ask yourself, and to help others understand how Tradition #11 can be honored going forward: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-131_en.pdf

1. Do I sometimes promote AA so fanatically that I make it seem unattractive?
2. Am I always careful to keep the confidences reposed in me as an AA member?
3. Am I careful about throwing AA names around—even within the Fellowship?

I am not as fervent about sobriety as I have been in the past. I used to want to rescue every drunk in my life. But, I have learned from many a bruised ego event, that staying sober and practicing “live and let live” is the best I can do for loved ones. I do talk in general to my sponsor about certain difficult personalities that I encounter. I am sure I have worn her ears out. But, in all other matters, I do keep my confidences. If someone is hurting, I may ask others to pray for them or to give them a call. And, I never drop names of who I know or where I know them from. I like to say, “she/he is a friend of a friend.” (they do not need to know that friend is named Bill W.!) So, we have learned a few more things about tradition #11. I will introduce some more tomorrow. Have a great day.

More Group Tradition #9 Work

In AA, we have experienced how things work out for the best when organization is kept at a minimum. ~ AA Traditions

Here are some more tradition #9 questions that a group could use to determine if they could be stronger once traditions are better adhered to. Traditions are homicide prevention. They keep us from killing each other. They are the glue that keeps us together, keeps us coming back, and gives us clear directions on a true democratic process that most organizations can only dream of.

  1. Do we try to understand and support the service structure?
  2. Do we do our part in helping AA’s different service bodies carry the message?
  3. Do we use patience and humility in performing each AA job we take on?
  4. Are we aware of all those to whom we are responsible in any AA job?
  5. Has our group made a point of to discuss the 12 traditions and how they apply to us?                                                                                                                                              The strongest meetings stick to the AA traditions and teach(through workshop, study, and sponsorship) its members how to apply the traditions in all of our affairs. Stick with the winners.

Group Inventory

We are winding down on my first month of this blog. So far, I feel I am gaining a lot out of just writing this. I hope those who read this are as well. The final part of tradition #6 involves some interesting group inventory questions that I would suggest you take to your business meetings. Here you go:

  1. Do we respect the 12 traditions and teach the newcomers how to apply them in our meetings and lives?
  2. Do we discourage members from sharing or pitching outside agencies, hospitals, treatment centers, etc.?
  3. Are we careful not to use AA money to finance outside enterprises, churches, businesses, etc.?
  4. Do we sell outside (non-AA conference approved) literature?
  5. Are we careful not to use other members or AA contact lists to sell things or to promote our own businesses for our own personal gain?
  6. Do we avoid endorsing outside entities (such as treatment programs, experts, hospitals, etc.)                                                                                                                       These should help your meetings get and stay on track. We all want and need healthy meetings, right? The only way to ensure this is to have regular monthly steering (business) meetings, do group inventories now and then, and follow the traditions. http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-122_en.pdf This will keep those doors open for the next generations who will need AA in the future. For this, we are responsible.