Category Archives: ANONYMITY

Anonymity and Recovery Advocacy | Blog & New Postings | William L. White

The recent surge in social media discussions about anonymity and recovery advocacy (see here and here for examples) have triggered increased email inquiries about my thoughts as a recovery historian on these discussions.  Some have pointedly asked which side I am on, as if an anonymity war had been launched forcing one to choose one camp or the other.  If there is such an emerging split, I find myself challenging all who frame this issue as a war.  I challenge recovery advocates who feel anonymity is a musty, outdated concept that has lost all value in the 21st century, and I challenge those in 12-Step fellowships who suggest that public disclosure of one’s recovery status is a breach of 12-Step Traditions.  Here are selected excerpts from what I have written on this topic over the past 15 years.    A.A.’s predecessors had been wounded by leaders and members who either used visibility as a springboard for financial profit or whose public downfall brought discredit to the organization. A.A. avoided both of these pitfalls by declaring that no one with a name (at least a full name) could speak for A.A. Anonymity, while practiced as a spiritual exercise, also protected A.A. as an organization and brought many individuals into recovery who saw in anonymity a shroud of protection from the injury that can result from one’s being linked to a socially stigmatized condition. (2001)

Source: Anonymity and Recovery Advocacy | Blog & New Postings | William L. White