From the December 1952 magazine.

Tradition Eight

The eighth of a new series of articles explaining The Twelve Traditions. . .

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS will never have a professional class. We have gained some understanding of the ancient words, "Freely ye have received, freely give." We have discovered that at the point of professionalism, money and spirituality do not mix. Almost no recovery from alcoholism has ever been brought about by the world's best professionals, whether medical or religious. We do not decry professionalism in other fields, but we accept the sober fact that it does not work for us. Every time we have tried to professionalize our Twelfth Step, the result has been exactly the same: our single purpose has always been defeated.

Alcoholics simply will not listen to a paid Twelfth Stepper. Almost from the beginning, we have been positive that face-to-face work with the alcoholic who suffers could be based only on the desire to help and be helped. When an AA talks for money, whether at a meeting or to a single newcomer, it can have a very bad effect on him too. The money motive compromises him and everything he says and does for his prospect. This has always been so obvious that only a very few AAs have ever worked the Twelfth Step for a fee.

-- Bill W.

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