Tradition 6

Short Form:

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

Long Form:

“Problems of money, property, and authority may easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable property of genuine use to A.A. should be separately incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should never go into business. Secondary aids to A.A., such as clubs or hospitals which require much property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them. For clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred. But hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation, ought to be well outside A.A.—and medically supervised. While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never to go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.”


Overriding Idea of T6:
We Keep It In-House and Remember T5

Reading Assignment:
12&12: Pgs. 155-159


From the Foreword of the 12 & 12:  “A.A.’s Twelve Traditions apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which A.A. maintains its unity and relates itself to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.”


We Keep It In-House and Remember T5

Would you be surprised if I told you that I found the solution to my worries about financial problems by working the sixth tradition in my life? When I was drinking my primary purpose was pursuing sex and finances. In my early sobriety I did the same thing by devoting my energy to acquiring “money, property, and prestige.”

I was a bankrupt idealist. “We are all perfectionists who failing perfection, have gone to the other extreme and settled for the bottle and the blackout.” (“12 & 12”, Sixth Tradition, p. 156). The areas that affected my “money, property and prestige” and sex were the areas I gave all my perfectionist energy.

Without realizing it, I was losing my dedication to sobriety from my primary purpose: carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

It never occurred to me that God would take care of financial and relationship concerns a day at a time if I would let go of them and trust his plan with the same patience he had waited for me to come to him for sobriety. By devoting time and efforts to pursuing relationships and finances I was endorsing these things as my primary purpose by lending my name to their pursuit.

The first half of Tradition Six will likely never occur if I stay focused on Tradition Five. The more I stick to carrying the message, the less worries I have – a wonderful paradox. Bill Wilson comments in “A.A., Comes of Age”, (p. 109) on a similar paradox concerning the fellowship, “The more A.A. sticks to its primary purpose, the greater will be its helpful influence everywhere.”

Step-Tradition Parallel

The sixth step poses the question, how can I become entirely ready to have my defects of character removed? The answer is in the sixth tradition. In fact the sixth tradition describes my main character defects: the problems involved from seeking money, property, and prestige. The sixth tradition contains the solution to my problems of money, property and prestige: the more primary in my life carrying the message becomes, the less problems of any kind I have!

Therefore, observing the sixth tradition in my life by placing my primary purpose of carrying the message first, and not problems of my property, prestige or worthy outside interests, keeps me sober.

(Excerpts from the text above come from the Traditions Study developed by the Unity Insures Recovery Through Service A.A. Group, Los Angeles, CA.)

Tradition Illustrated



As it states at the top of this page, the 12 Traditions were created to help each A.A. group maintain unity and relate better to the world about us.  With that in mind, they have been widely used in helping us learn how to be in better relationships with everyone in our life.  Below is a snapshot inventory you can take to see how well you are honoring the spiritual principle found in this Tradition (in and out of the rooms of A.A.).

(The foundation of this inventory is from the A.A. Tradition’s Checklist first published in the A.A. Grapevine)

  1. Should my fellow group members and I go out and raise money to endow several AA beds in our local hospital?
  2. Is it good for a group to lease a small building?
  3. Are all the officers and members of our local club for AAs familiar with “Guidelines on Clubs” (which is available free from GSO)?
  4. Should the secretary of our group serve on the mayor’s advisory committee on alcoholism?
  5. Should my home group align itself with a treatment center for alcoholics?
  6. Should my home group support any other type of treatment plan other than the one found in our basic text?