12th tradition

"Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, constantly reminding us that principles, not individuals, are central."

(12th tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous. Short form)

Why is anonymity in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous needed? Why is it considered the main protection of the Partnership and a reliable basis for its existence and development?

If we turn to the history of A.A. from 1935 to the present day, it becomes clear that anonymity serves two different, but equal in importance functions:

  • on the level of personal communication, anonymity allows members of the Commonwealth to prevent the disclosure of the fact that they are alcoholics. This factor is especially important for beginners;

  • in its contacts with the press, radio, television, cinema, anonymity emphasizes the equality of all members of the Commonwealth, thereby preventing possible attempts to use AA membership to achieve recognition, power, and other personal gain.

An interesting insight into AA anonymity by one of the founders of the fellowship, Bill W., can be found in the article “Why Alcoholics Anonymous” for Grapevine magazine (1955) simply by clicking here.