“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
We had a meeting tonight during which someone brought out the concern that a group meeting in a new place might be placing meeting attendees in the public eye due to the fact that the meeting room is viewable as folks walk into the building. Someone also was perceiving that the oldtimers of the group appeared to not give this the consideration it ought to have. So…
From the pamphlet “Understanding Anonymity” we are informed;
“If we look at the history of A.A., from its beginning in 1935 until now, it is clear that anonymity serves two different yet equally vital functions:
* At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers.
* At the level of press, radio, TV, films and new media technologies such as the Internet, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.
Anonymity on a person-to-person basis
From its earliest days, A.A. has promised personal anonymity to all who attend its meetings. Because its founders and first members were recovering alcoholics themselves, they knew from their own experience how ashamed most alcoholics are about their drinking, how fearful they are of public exposure. The social stigma of alcoholism was great, and those early A.A. members recognized that a firm assurance of confidentiality was imperative if they were to succeed in attracting and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Over the years, anonymity has proved one of the greatest gifts that A.A. offers the suffering alcoholic. Without it, many would never attend their first meeting. Although the stigma has lessened to some degree, most newcomers still find admission of their alcoholism so painful that it is possible only in a protected environment. Anonymity is essential for this atmosphere of trust and openness.”