12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) follow a guideline that is called the 12 traditions. Which is basically a sort of manual with rules that the 12-step groups try their best to abide by. The 12 traditions of AA are all important, but this article specifically examines the 6th tradition. Basically, the 6th tradition states that 12-step groups should not endorse, or be affiliated with any other organizations or causes. They also shouldn’t receive money or lend their name to any other organizations, businesses or causes because outside problems of money and property distract the group from their primary purpose.
It’s an important rule, and it is vital to all A.A. groups for their members to uphold it. A.A. has a mission to keep everything in the meetings focused on the members and their reason for being there. They don’t want any outside forces or influences affecting the environment of the meetings because it is unfair to the group as a whole. That’s why any property used by A.A. must be separately managed and incorporated. A.A. groups should never go into business or allow other infrastructures to use the A.A. name. Even though A.A. groups may cooperate with whoever they please, but they must never even be considered affiliated or endorsed to them because an A.A. group can attach itself to nothing.
This doesn’t mean that as individuals, members can’t be affiliated to whatever group, religion, or political party that they want to be a part of. It does mean that as a whole those affiliations are dropped and everything is centered around A.A. Any such affiliations could lead to confusion which is one thing that they really want to avoid. All of this is for the improvement and bonding of the group. Members come in seeking help and support with very serious problems every meeting and don’t need any outside distractions. These meetings are a place to feel safe and only focused on helping members with their recovery. Tradition 6 makes sure there are unity and strength within the group. You can’t advance as one with distractions and obstacles interrupting your path. The dedicated members of A.A. are on a mission, and it’s within everyone’s best interest that if you remember any tradition, please let it be the 6th tradition and its rules.