Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us that we must place principles before personalities.
If we consider the history of A.A. from its origin in 1935 to the present day, we will clearly see that anonymity has two different but equally important functions.
At the personal level, anonymity protects all members from being identified as alcoholics, a safeguard which is often particularly important for newcomers.
At the level of the press, TV, radio, and films, anonymity highlights the equality, within the fellowship, of all the members and curbs those who could exploit their affiliation with A.A. to gain fame, power, or personal advantage.
Throughout the years, anonymity has turned out to be one of the best gifts A.A. can offer the still-suffering alcoholic. Though the stigma has gradually diminished, most newcomers still find admitting their alcoholism so painful that they are able to do so only in a protected environment. Anonymity is essential to creating that environment of trust and frankness.