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12 Traditions of A.A.

During its first decade the founders and early members of A.A. acquired experience indicating certain attitudes and principles would help to preserve the integrity of the A.A. Fellowship. These principles were first published in the A.A. Grapevine in 1946 and they became known as the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. They were accepted and endorsed by the membership as a whole at the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950.

While the Twelve Traditions are not binding on any A.A. group, a majority of members and groups have adopted them as a basis for conducting A.A.’s internal and public relations. Below is the short form of these traditions; there is also a "long form" of the traditions at

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity. (lf)

  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. (lf)

  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. (lf)

  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole. (lf)

  5. Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. (lf)

  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. (lf)

  7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. (lf)

  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers. (lf)

  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. (lf)

  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy. (lf)

  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. (lf)

  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. (lf)

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