Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The 11th Tradition

I was recently honored by a request from a student journalist to submit written answers to questions about my sexual addiction and recovery. Upon sharing this news with a long-time member of the "Alpha" 12-step fellowship -- AA -- I was quickly reminded of the 11th Tradition, which says: "Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, film, and other public media. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow S.L.A.A. members."

With the help of this friend, I was also able to recognize that I might not be respecting the 11th Tradition as it relates to my own personal blog either. So, I went out in search of AA's stance on how the 11th Tradition relates to today's technologically connected world.

Here's what I found:
MySpace, Facebook and other social networking Web sites are public in
nature. Though users create accounts and utilize usernames and passwords,
once on the site, it is a public medium where A.A. members and
non-A.A.s mingle.
As long as individuals do not identify themselves as A.A. members, there
is no conflict of interest. However, someone using their full name and/
or a likeness, such as a full-face photograph, would be contrary to the
spirit of the Eleventh Tradition, which states in the Long Form that, “…
our [last] names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast,
filmed or publicly printed.”
Experience suggests that it is in keeping with the Eleventh Tradition not
to disclose A.A. membership on social networking sites as well as on any
other Web site, blog, electronic bulletin board, etc., that is not composed
solely of A.A. members, is not password protected or is accessible to the public.

That said, I will take the advice of some other bloggers who have addressed this issue and continue to talk about my recovery, about meetings, about the 12 Steps, but I will not make mention of any particular fellowship to which I belong on this blog, as I attempt to honor the 11th Tradition.


Anonymous said...

wonderful ..................................................

legally_barb said...

Isn't it the use of your full name or likeness (full face photo) that would be the problem, rather than the mention of a particular group? As long as you are an anonymous person online, I don't think you are violating the 11th tradition, even if you specifically reference a particular group. Just my thoughts.

legally_barb said...

And no, that is not my real face. :)

Mary (MPJ) said...

I find the 11th tradition stuff to be so tricky sometimes. I think blogging under an assumed name, like you and I both do, is a gray area -- we're being very anonymous, but we are sharing with folks who are not in 12 Step.

I stopped referring to the specific group I'm attend most often some time back because I just started to feel weird about it. However, I'm realizing now that I did mention going to an OA meeting (something new for me) in a few posts. Hm...

オテモヤン said...