The 12 Traditions serve as a guideline or manual for 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and Al-Anon. Here we are discussing Tradition 6.
What tradition 6 says
In order to maintain the integrity of the program and maintain its primary spiritual goal, 12-level support groups do not support outside organizations and causes.
Tradition 6: Our groups should never endorse, fund, or give our name to any related entity or outside company lest problems of money, property, and prestige distract us from our primary purpose.
And the Al-Anon version adds, “Although this is a separate entity, we should always work with Alcoholics Anonymous.”
The long form version
A.A. has a long version of all the traditions that explain them in more detail. Here is the long form from Tradition 6:
“Problems with money, property, and authority can easily distract us from our primary spiritual goal. We therefore believe that any substantial property that is of real use to AA should be recorded and administered separately in order to bring material away from the spiritual.” One AA As such, the group should never be put into service. Secondary aids to AA, such as clubs or hospitals that require a lot of property or management, should be included and segregated so that they can be freely discarded by the groups if necessary Therefore, such establishments should not use the AA name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those who sponsor them. AA managers are usually preferred for clubs. However, hospitals and other resorts should be fine outside of AA – and medically supervised while an AA group is working with someone such collaboration should never go as far as actual or implicit affiliation or endorsement. An AA group cannot tie their elves to anyone. ”
What it means
As individuals, members of 12-step support groups can support, fund, or join any organization, religion, political party, nonprofit, or civil organization that they desire. But as a group, such affirmation could lead to misunderstanding and confusion.
Given that in recent years so many outside organizations have tried to use the name of Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon Family Groups to promote their treatment programs or therapeutic approaches, it is more important than ever that Tradition 6 is followed becomes.
Although individual members may recommend or even be employed by such organizations, the entire group should avoid associating their names with these outside companies, namely professional treatment facilities or therapists.
Why tradition 6 is important
Even worthy projects like starting a 12-step club or helping a shelter for abused spouses should be carried out not as a group project but as an effort by members as individuals if they so choose. Without exception, these situations can lead to financial and control battles and distract a group and community from their primary focus on recovery.
Members come to the rooms every week and seek help based on the experience, strength, and hope of other members. This process can be interrupted if the group spends some of the allotted time discussing external activities. When a group’s discussion is dominated by external issues, individual members are deprived of their meeting time. In short, Tradition 6 creates unity within the group.