Protecting DA From Us


Thought for today:

We are not a secret society.  Through the Traditions of AA, we have found that people are better off not publicly proclaiming their affiliation with DA.  Not for our sake, but for DA’s sake, do we want to not align with a person’s opinions outside of DA, which will inevitably come to surface.

We can just hear the controversy bubbling to the surface…  “Oh, I know Joe Smith.  Isn’t he of such-and-such political party?  So he’s in DA, huh?  I guess DA belongs with that party too!”

DA has no opinion on outside issues, so that it’s not drawn into public controversy.  It takes this stance in its Traditions out of experience of many earlier fellowships…

DA Tradition 10

Debtors Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the D.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

DA Tradition 11

Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

DA Tradition 12

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

A member shares:

“DA has no opinion on outside issues.  We don’t do debt consolidations.  We don’t recommend one tax advisor over another.  We aren’t advocating fund-raising for any other purpose.  Our primary purpose is to stay solvent, and help other compulsive debtors achieve solvency.

“DA is bigger than any one person.  It is not the place for arguing about politics, world affairs,or any other outside influences.  We place ‘principles before personalities’ here.  The fellowship detaches itself from personalities.  I can learn a lot from that.”

Where did this idea come from?

DA members use AA Literature as well as DA literature, to understand the nature of compulsive disease.  In AA’s book, Twelve Steps and Twelve TraditionsTradition 10 talks about the Washingtonians, a group that had a lot in common with AA groups of a later era, in that they were helping the suffering alcoholic.  Abraham Lincoln was one of their most prestigious speakers.

What tore the Washingtonian apart was the public controversy surrounding the American Civil War and slavery.  Members took either side on the issue.  Today, it seems strange to hear this.

Decades later, the Oxford movement, another fellowship devoted to helping alcoholics, got involved in public support of prohibition.  The group shrank to the point of insignificance, primarily over “the wet/dry controversy”.

History repeats itself, unless we learn from it.  We must stay vigilant against diluting the DA message.  This is not to say that we can’t,on our own time, advocate for other civic purposes.  It’s just that, since DA has brought us solvency, we must, in turn, help keep DA alive.  DA would not survive the muddy waters of public controversy.

Thankfully, DA offers a wealth of experience with dealing with such group problems.  The Twelve Traditions of DA evolved from hundreds of AA groups’ experiences on staying unified. These Traditions work – if we work them!


Do I keep my outside opinions separate from my involvement in DA?  

Meditation for today:

Human nature is to care for each other.  It is only when fear and pride overwhelms our thinking that we resort to base instincts for survival.

We should always take the opportunity to return to love.  Love will bring us back to a state of grace when we seek its healing.

When we let love guide our decisions and actions, we find that there is plenty for everyone.  We have what we need to make this world work for the good of all.

As the leaves change, so can we.  All we have to do is share love, and humbly walk in a spirit of blessing, and we transform into channels of peace.

Affirmation for today:

“I have everything I need to do what my Higher Power inspires me to do.”

Recommended reading: 

DA’s Eighth Tool is D.A. and A.A. Literature: “We study the literature of Debtors Anonymous and of Alcoholics Anonymous to strengthen our understanding of compulsive disease and of recovery from compulsive debting.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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