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A Study of Tradition 9

The 12 Traditions of A.A. and Al-Anon

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Updated February 09, 2014

By not being highly organized, 12 step groups keep the emphasis on true fellowship and the focus on their primary purpose.
Tradition 9: Our groups ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
In the real world businesses and other groups are "organized." There is a hierarchy of authority established so that some members of the organization have the authority to "direct" the actions of others. But in 12 step rooms, no one has this kind of authority. The groups are a "fellowship of equals." Decisions are made by the group as a whole and not by one or a few members.

By creating and maintaining this atmosphere of "true fellowship" 12 step groups insure that even the newest members can quickly gain a feeling of "belonging."

But not being organized has other benefits to the group, as visitors to the About.com Alcoholism site pointed out on the bulletin board:

More About Tradition 9

Never Organized
"If we try to organize the newcomer, whose life is already unmanageable, he will flee."

Responsibility
"Sometimes just offering a telephone number is being responsible to those we serve."

Back to The Twelve Traditions Study

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