General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous
ANONYMITY AT THE PUBLIC LEVEL
A NOTE OF THANKS, A REQUEST FOR COOPERATION
From time to time we write our public media friends to thank them for helping us observe our long-standing tradition of anonymity for members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
First, let us express our gratitude to you. From the beginning of AA in 1935, its members have recognized that word-of-mouth is not sufficient by itself to carry the program’s message of hope and recovery to the many people still suffering from alcoholism. The public media has been a vital part of this effort, and today we estimate that there are more than 2 million successfully recovering members of Alcoholics Anonymous in more than 180 countries.
Second, we respectfully request that you continue to cooperate with us in maintaining the anonymity of our members. The principle of anonymity is a basic tenet of our fellowship. Those who are reluctant to seek our help may overcome their fear if they are confident that their anonymity will be respected. In addition, and perhaps less understood, our tradition of anonymity acts as a restraint on our members, reminding us that we are a program of principles, not personalities, and that no individual A.A. member may presume to act as a spokesman or leader of our fellowship. If an A.A member is identified in the media, we ask that you please use first names only (e.g. Bob S. or Alice F.) and that you not use photographs or electronic images in which member’s faces may be recognized.
Again, we thank you for your continued cooperation. Those who wish to know more about our fellowship may write or phone, or visit the section "Media Resources" on http://www.aa.org. Although our fellowship does not comment on matters of public controversy, we are happy to provide background information about AA to anyone who seeks it.
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Public Information Committee
of Alcoholics Anonymous