AA members as “Bill W. In 1946 they formally established the twelve traditions to help deal with the issues of how various groups could relate and function as alcoholics anonymous twelve and twelve pdf grew.
As AA chapters were increasing in number during the 1930s and 1940s, the guiding principles were gradually defined as the Twelve Traditions. A singleness of purpose emerged as Tradition Five: “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers”. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. His will for us and the power to carry that out. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. In some cases, where other twelve-step groups have adapted the AA steps as guiding principles, step one is uniquely different for each organization, these are sometimes altered to emphasize principles important to those particular fellowships, or to remove gender-biased language. The Twelve Traditions accompany the Twelve Steps. The Traditions provide guidelines for group governance.
They were developed in AA in order to help resolve conflicts in the areas of publicity, politics, religion and finances. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. In the twelve-step program human structure is symbolically represented in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. The problems the groups deal with are understood to manifest themselves in each dimension.
For addicts and alcoholics the physical dimension is best described by the allergy-like bodily reaction resulting in the compulsion to continue using substances after the initial use. The statement in the First Step that the individual is “powerless” over the substance-abuse related behavior at issue refers to the lack of control over this compulsion, which persists despite any negative consequences that may be endured as a result. The mental obsession is described as the cognitive processes that causes the individual to repeat the compulsive behavior after some period of abstinence, either knowing that the result will be an inability to stop or operating under the delusion that the result will be different. The description in the First Step of the life of the alcoholic or addict as “unmanageable” refers to the lack of choice that the mind of the addict or alcoholic affords concerning whether to drink or use again. The illness of the spiritual dimension, or “spiritual malady,” is considered in all twelve-step groups to be self-centeredness. The process of working the steps is intended to replace self-centeredness with a growing moral consciousness and a willingness for self-sacrifice and unselfish constructive action. In twelve-step fellowships, “spiritual awakening” is believed to develop, most frequently, slowly over a period of time.