From the August 1970 magazine.

6th Tradition

An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

BEFORE I understood even dimly what AA was, I was sure I could improve it. Looking back, I realize now that my pure gall was appalling, since it was rooted so firmly in ignorance. I knew almost nothing about the externals of the Fellowship and much less about its spiritual principles. Since I was too proud to admit that there was anything I did not know, I almost never asked questions.

Practically nothing in the very skimpy AA literature we had then (in 1945) explained how AA or its component units functioned, so my knowledge was based on what I heard and saw in one group. Then as now, we AA members (like other human beings everywhere, I suppose) talked a bewildering melange of facts, guesswork, inspired wisdom, gossip, and nonsense. Yet I assumed that what I heard was the whole AA truth, and, armed only with my small collection of quick impressions and misinformation about AA, I wanted to change it.

-- B. L.

Manhattan, New York

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