"The Twelve Traditions point straight at many of our individual defects. By implication they ask each of us to lay aside pride and resentments. They ask for personal as well as group sacrifice. They ask us never to use the AA name in any quest for personal power or distinction or money. The Traditions guarantee the equality of all members and the independence of all groups. They show how we may best relate ourselves to each other and to the world outside."
Bill W., 1967AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, p. 96
The Traditions that follow bind us together in unity. They guide the groups in their relations with other groups, with A.A. and the outside world. They recommend group attitudes toward leadership, membership, money, property, public relations, and anonymity.
The traditions evolved from the experience of A.A. groups in trying to solve their problems of living and working together.
Tradition 1: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.
Tradition 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.
Tradition 3: The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Tradition 4: Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
Tradition 5: Each group has but one purpose: to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Tradition 6: An A.A. Group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Tradition 7: Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Tradition 8: Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
Tradition 9: A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Tradition 10: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Tradition 11: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV and films.
Tradition 12: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.