Alcoholics Anonymous A Note of Thanks – A Request for Continued CooperationFrom 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 deep gratitude to you. From the beginning of AA in 1935, its members have recognised 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 AA 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 AA members, reminding us that we are a program of principles, not personalities, and that no individual AA member may presume to act as a spokesman or leader of our fellowship. If an AA 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 members’ faces may be recognised. Again, we thank you for your continued cooperation. Those who wish to know more about our fellowship are welcome to visit the AA Australia – Fact File of this website www.accso.org.au Our fellowship does not comment on matters of public controversy, but we are happy to provide information about AA to anyone who seeks it.
Like all of AA, the primary purpose of members involved with public information service is to carry the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Working together, members of local Public Information committees convey AA information to the general public, including the media.
History of Alcoholics Anonymous USA
The 1939 publication of our Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous was the first AA information available for the public. By 1941, several articles on AA in national publications helped to encourage understanding and acceptance of AA. Also significant were good relations with professionals, such as Dr. W. D. Silkworth, Rev. Sam Shoemaker and Dr. Harry Tiebout.In 1956, the Public Information Committee of the General Service Board was formed, with a corresponding Conference P.l. Committee established in 1961. The General Service Conference established this policy for AA Public Information:
In all public relationships, AA’s sole objective is to help the still – suffering alcoholic. Always mindful of the importance of personal anonymity, we believe this can be done by making known to the still suffering alcoholics, and to those who may be interested in their problem, our own experience as individuals and as a fellowship in learning to live without alcohol.We believe that our experience should be made available freely to all who express sincere interest. We believe further that all efforts in this field should always reflect our gratitude for the gift of sobriety and our awareness that many outside of AA are equally concerned with the serious problem of alcoholism.Reprinted with permission AA World Services Inc. The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is effective when a practising alcoholic wants help. Part of the AA program incorporates our declaration of unity and our I am responsible banners.
Since the fledgling beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous, the fellowship has become truly global, illustrating that AA’s way of life can still transcend most barriers of race, creed and language.