From the October 1957 magazine. First printed in October 1944.

Classic Reprints

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH IN THE GRAPEVINE

THE OCTOBER 1944 GRAPEVINE was notable for two reasons: it announced the formation of the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism (now the National Council on Alcoholism); and it presented what were then regarded as good reasons for the first important deviation from the principle of anonymity at the public level. Not until 1946 did this experiment--along with several others which had been tried in all good faith--clearly reveal that "the good is often the enemy of the best." It took that much time to demonstrate the fact of AA life that any departure from anonymity at the public level opens a Pandora's Box from which both the individual AA and the movement as a whole can suffer badly.

It was in the light of such experience that Bill W., one of AA's co-founders, wrote two subsequent articles (in 1946) on both the spiritual and the practical aspects of anonymity, which became the basis of AA's now widely observed. Traditions Eleven and Twelve.

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