Understanding Anonymity in A.A.
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities”
If we look at the history of A.A. from its beginning in 1935 until now, it is clear that anonymity serves two different yet equally vital functions.
At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers.
At the level of press, radio, TV, films, and new media technologies such as the Internet, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.
Over the years, anonymity has proved to be one of the greatest gifts that A.A. offers the suffering alcoholic. Without it, many would never attend their first meeting. Although the stigma has lessened to some degree, most newcomers still find admission of their alcoholism so painful that it is possible only in a protected environment. Anonymity is essential for this atmosphere of trust and openness.
Text Copyright © 1981
Excerpts from pamphlet