The 12 Traditions
The Twelve Traditions are the means by which OA remains unified in a common cause. These Twelve Traditions are to the groups what the Twelve Steps are to the individual. They are suggested principles to ensure the survival and growth of the many groups that compose Overeaters Anonymous.
Like the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions have their origins in Alcoholics Anonymous. These Traditions describe attitudes which those early members believed were important to group survival.
The Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous:
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on OA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or OA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
- An OA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the OA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every OA group ought the be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- OA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television and other public media of communication.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Spiritual Principles in the Twelve Traditions
A spiritual principle is associated with each of the Twelve Traditions.
The Principles in the Twelve Traditions (as listed in the Service, Traditions and Concepts Workshop Manual)
Tradition One: Unity
Tradition Two: Trust
Tradition Three: Identity
Tradition Four: Autonomy
Tradition Five: Purpose
Tradition Six: Solidarity
Tradition Seven: Responsibility
Tradition Eight: Fellowship
Tradition Nine: Structure
Tradition Ten: Neutrality
Tradition Eleven: Anonymity
Tradition Twelve: Spirituality
Permission to use the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for adaptation granted by AA World Services, Inc.
For an in-depth study of the Twelve Steps, read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, available from our online literature catalog.