Over a three-month period, visitors to the Alcoholism forum participated in a study of the Twelve Traditions by sharing their experience, strength, and hope on the bulletin board. The result is a multi-faceted, in-depth study of the principles which guide 12-step support groups and help them to maintain unity.
- Tradition 1: Unity
Without unity within the group, members of 12 step support groups will find it difficult to make progress.
Tradition 2: Authority
In 12 step groups there is no such thing as individual authority, but there are leaders.
Tradition 3: Eligibility
The emphasis on this tradition is to keep the primary focus of the fellowship from becoming diluted.
Tradition 4: Autonomy
The freedom individual groups have in this tradition carries with it the admonition to protect the fellowship as a whole.
Tradition 5: Carrying the Message
The primary purpose of any 12 step group is to carry its message and give comfort to others who are still suffering.
Tradition 6: Outside Enterprises
In order to preserve the integrity of the program, groups do not endorse any outside organizations and causes.
Tradition 7: Self Supporting
By declining outside contributions, the group protect its basic structure and spiritual foundations.
Tradition 8: Giving It Away
There is a saying in the rooms, "In order to keep it, you must give it away, with the key word "give."
Tradition 9: Authority
By not being highly organized, support groups keep the emphasis on true fellowship and their primary purpose.
Tradition 10: Outside Opinions
By avoiding opinions on outside issues, support groups attempt to avoid controversy.
Tradition 11: Public Relations
Anonymity in the media protects not only the individual member but the fellowship as a whole.
Tradition 12: Anonymity
A hallmark of 12 step recovery programs is the offer of anonymity to participants, but the principle goes much deeper than just not revealing last names.