Our public relations policy is based
on attraction rather than promotion;
we need always maintain personal anonymity
at the level of press, radio, t.v., film,
and other public media.
We need guard with special care
the anonymity of all fellow MA members.
Tradition Eleven permits us to publicize our fellowship. Many marijuana addicts find our meetings because of our public relations policy. Public service announcements are often heard on local radio stations. Newspapers describe our fellowship in their self-help sections. We are listed in phone books and public directories. We provide free literature to doctors, hospitals, jails, and schools. These are but a few ways that MA publicizes its existence.
If we did not publicize we would be relatively unknown, and those who need us might never find us unless they happened to know someone in the fellowship. However, our public relations policy is limited to what we have to offer—a successful way of living a marijuana-free life. Our attraction is that our program works.
Tradition Eleven means that we while we may publicize our principles and our work, we do not make public the identities of our individual members. That is what “we need always maintain personal anonymity” means. This tradition reminds us that personal ambition has no place in MA. There is no room for self-praise at the public level. Anonymity insures us that no one member becomes bigger than MA.
Tradition Eleven also insures that MA does not become filled with irresponsible promoters using their personal stories to boost MA or themselves. We cannot afford to rationalize that the public use of our names could show how courageous we have become in the face of disaster, even though our personal stories might make great news stories.
If we break our personal anonymity in the public media, we run the risk of violating one of our other traditions. In the event that a member of our fellowship breaks anonymity and also supports an outside cause, it would be easy for someone to associate the name of MA with an outside enterprise or a controversial issue. The anonymity clause in Tradition Eleven insures that MA is not publicly identified with any individual and keeps individual members from being viewed as spokespersons for the fellowship.
We also have the responsibility to protect each other’s personal anonymity. We do not exploit the names of our members who are well known in the public eye.
The anonymity discussed in Tradition Eleven only applies to our public relations policy. In other words, if we make ourselves available to the public as fellowship members, we should only use our first names, and never show our faces on public media. However, within the fellowship it is perfectly acceptable to use our last names. This way the members in our group can find us if they need our help.