From the January 1986 magazine.

Don't Pass It On

"LET THERE BE no gossip or criticism of one another. . ." I have heard these words at the closing of some AA meetings, and there is much wisdom behind them. Alcoholics Anonymous is probably the most effective equalizer of all organizations because each of us knows that we share the same disease, despite how we arrived at recovery. In the Traditions, we are advised to place principles before personalities, and to remain anonymous in order that our principles can work effectively in our recovery.

Gossip undermines this basic tenet of AA philosophy and tradition. Gossip personalizes events and incidents so that the underlying principles frequently become obscured. If we pass on information about which we are not certain, we run the risk of unnecessarily dividing our group, or causing harm to individual members.

-- Anonymous

New Haven, Connecticut

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