Tradition 11 & Checklist

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.

Tradition 11 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:43 pm

Tradition Eleven, Long Form: Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.

Attraction rather than promotion? The world seemingly functions as party X highlights its virtue over party Y’s. Charity ‘ABC’ heralds it’s endorsement by every well-known name it can garnish support from. This product is best because this athlete or that movie star says so.

“WE of AA... do have to soberly face the fact that being in the public eye is hazardous, especially for us.” (12 x 12, pg 181)


(As stated in Tradition Ten, viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10368) a few years back, half of a noted film critic pair wrote in his newspaper blog a piece praising Alcoholics Anonymous. Because of AA, the critic celebrated 30 years of sobriety. Though his intentions may have been the best, this Anonymity break was followed about six months later with the critic making news again, as apparently he was being accused of making remarks considered ‘racial’. For regular readers of this column, his actions may have gotten some thinking AA was racist... and what a controversy that would be for us.

Now, AA faces new circumstances and situations in the Guarding of Anonymity as due to technology unavailable, if not unknown when the Tradition was first proposed.

“Unless password-protected and for members only, an A.A. Web site is a public medium, and, therefore, requires the same safeguards that we use at the level of press, radio and film” (e-AA is NOT password protected and for members only)....
“When we use digital media, we are responsible for our own anonymity and that of others. When we post, text, or blog, we should assume that we are publishing at the public level. When we break our anonymity in these forums, we may inadvertently break the anonymity of others.” AA Guidelines on Internet
http://www.aa.org/lang/en/en_pdfs/mg-18_internet.pdf

“... It represents far more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant reminder that personal ambition has no place in AA. In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.”(12 x 12, pg 183)


We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.
Below are some tough questions for each to ask themselves as to how well we attract, rather than promote :)

Thanks

++++++++++++++++++++

Practice These Principles…**

Tradition Eleven: 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.

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?

4. Am I ashamed of being a recovered, or recovering, alcoholic?

5. What would AA be like if we were not guided by the ideas in Tradition Eleven? Where would I be?

6. Is my AA sobriety attractive enough that a sick drunk would want such a quality for himself?

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** These questions were originally published in the AA Grapevine in conjunction with a series on the Twelve Traditions that began in November 1969 and ran through September 1971. While they were originally intended primarily for individual use, many AA groups have since used them as a basis for wider discussion.

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http://www.aa.org/1212/
http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/smf-131_en.pdf
12 & 12 and Traditions Check List reprinted with Permission AAWS
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Re: Tradition 11 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:15 pm

3. Am I careful about throwing AA names around—even within the Fellowship?


I have often wondered whether it was proper for those who use the full names when quoting someone else in the fellowship, alive or dead, who qualify such with "They gave me permission to break their anonymity".

It seems (to me) that it IS still a 'break in anonymity', and maybe more so here as many of these discussions are open to any and all surfing the web???

Any thoughts?
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Re: Tradition 11 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:45 am

5. What would AA be like if we were not guided by the ideas in Tradition Eleven? Where would I be?


Where would I be? DEAD. Period. Plain and simple.

Promotion looks more like elitism. Maybe that is because it is an election year and all the promotions become sickening. Parrying back and forth about who is best. If alcoholic ego's get into this, promoting AA in such a way, I would not have made it. I would have been "too ____" to be part of it.

Promotion costs money which AA would then want from me and I didn't/don't have it. Promotion that my Home Group is better than yours would surely get ugly, maybe uglier than the elections, because we can also be articulately cruel. Broadcasting all that for 6 months (let alone 60+ years) would be enough to sour any drunk who is looking for every excuse to not go to AA. Another excuse to hold onto hate and to the fatal drink.

But then let us add names. OHHH the names we could drop! It would be like the school yard picking of a baseball team when even your best friend with the thick glasses doesn't get picked by you. Promotion somehow equals winning. I got Albert Einstein and you got Kid Rock. My team has more doctors and lawyers then yours. And we got THE Joe from Jersey - nanner nanner.

One of the most attractive qualities about AA is the equal playing field. Thanks to the ideas of Tradition 11, AA has practiced what it preaches on page 84 - Love & tolerance of others is our code. Tolerance of me not being the best team player when I arrived, not needing my money for promotions and not needing me to be "all that" in name or in any other way. We are all just a bunch of drunks trying to survive. No other games are being played here.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Tradition 11 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:47 pm

It's great the way you tied in the connection to other Traditions concerned:

Promotion costs money which AA would then want from me and I didn't/don't have it. TRADITION 7

Promotion that my Home Group is better than yours would surely get ugly, maybe uglier than the elections, because we can also be articulately cruel. TRADITION 1

Promotion somehow equals winning. I got Albert Einstein and you got Kid Rock. My team has more doctors and lawyers then yours. And we got THE Joe from Jersey - nanner nanner. LOL...TRADITION 12

No other games are being played here. TRADITION 3 & 5

Thanks :)

BTW, here's a link to a Grapevine article by Bill W, Oct 1948 (courtesy of Karl :))

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=6554
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