Auf Deutsch

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter "Unity: The Second Legacy" (in the book Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age), and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That they knew not what they were publishing.

(b) That they knew not what they were doing.

(c) That God knew and knew if He were sought.

Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age a brief history of A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing, Inc. 1957, 1985, 1990), page 127/128:

After long debate, we at the Headquarters saw that the conscience of Alcoholics Anonymous, acting through the delegates, was wiser than we were. So the Congress of the United States was never asked to incorporate A.A.

The moving resolution by which the Conference took this action ought to be set on the record. It was drawn by delegate Bob T., a Mississippi lawyer. Reporting for his committee, he said:

"We have reviewed all of the arguments pro and con on this subject, have discussed it with many members of A.A. within the Conference and outside of it, and we have come to these conclusions:

  1. The evils which caused the question to arise have largely abated.
  2. A Congressional incorporation would create by law a power to govern which would be contrary to, and violative of, our Traditions.
  3. It would implement the spiritual force of A.A. with a legal power, which we believe would tend to weaken its spiritual strength.
  4. When we ask for legal rights, enforceable in Courts of law, we by the same act subject ourselves to possib1e legal regulation.
  5. We might well become endlessly entangled in litigation which, together with the incidental expense and publicity, could seriously threaten our very existence.
  6. Incorporation of A.A. could conceivably become the opening wedge that might engender politics and a struggle for power within our own ranks.
  7. Continuously since its beginning, and today, A.A. has been a fellowship and not an organization. Incorporation necessarily makes it an organization.
  8. We believe that "spiritual faith" and a "way of life" cannot be incorporated.
  9. A.A. can and will survive so long as it remains a spiritual faith and a way of life open to all men and women who suffer from alcoholism.

Therefore, keeping in mind the high purpose of the General Service Conference as expressed by the Chairman last year when he said, "We seek not compromise but certainty," your Committee unanimously recommends that Alcoholics Anonymous does not incorporate.

Thus the final foundation was laid for Tradition Ten, "Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy."