Traditionally, AA members have always taken care to preserve their anonymity at the "public" level: press, radio, television, and films. In the early days of AA, when more stigma was attached to the term "alcoholic" than is the case today, this reluctance to be identified—and publicized—was easy to understand. As the Fellowship of AA grew, the positive values of anonymity soon became apparent.

First, we know from experience than many problem drinkers might hesitate to turn to AA for help if they thought their problem might be discussed publicly, even inadvertently, by others. Newcomers should be able to seek help with complete assurance that their identities will not be disclosed to anyone outside the Fellowship.