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September 1988

PO Box 1980

More about anonymity

As I read the anonymity article by Bernice of California I found myself progressively wondering: is this what my sponsors and many other good old-timers shared with me over the past twenty years? But rather than pick apart the sharing of a caring member, I decided to take a personal anonymity inventory. I would like to share my conclusions.

All of the Traditions were written just as much for me as anyone else, including prominent and/or famous members. We all have the same illness and I need all the tools of recovery.

Anonymity applies to all forms of public disclosure, including TV and public speaking.

We want everyone to know about AA, but personal disclosure is dangerous outside AA and can have these and other harmful effects:

  1. The wet alcoholic can be scared away, not wanting to have his name splashed around as the speaker is doing.
  2. The speaker has a relapse, just as any of us can. The unknowing or those in defense and denial can easily conclude that AA does not work.
  3. The speaker is popular and becomes more in demand. What a golden opportunity for ego building. What a very dangerous spot to be in.
  4. Within AA, I need to be more open with my identity so people who want to can reach me. Outside AA, personal identity needs to be handled very, very carefully.

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