Tradition Eight (Short): C.A. as such, should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centres may employ special workers.
Tradition Eight (Long): Alcoholics (Cocaine) Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional. We define professionalism as the occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are going to perform those services for which we might otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics. Such special services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A. “12 Step” work is never to be paid for.
AA, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, P. 166
Alcoholics Anonymous will never have a professional class. We have gained some understanding of the ancient words “Freely ye have received, freely give.” We have discovered that at the point of professionalism, money and spirituality do not mix. Almost no recovery from alcoholism has ever been brought about by the world’s best professionals, whether medical or religious. We do not decry professionalism in other fields, but we accept the sober fact that it does not work for us. Every time we have tried to professionalize our Twelfth Step, the result has been exactly the same: Our single purpose has been defeated (Tradition Five). Alcoholics simply will not listen to a paid twelfth-stepper…The money motive compromises him and everything he says and does for this prospect.
Clarifying Questions and Answers:
Q: How should Cocaine Anonymous forever remain? A: Non-professional.
Q: How do we define professionalism? A: The occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or hire.
Q: Where may we employ addicts? A: Those services for which we might otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics.
Q: How should such services be compensated? A: Well recompensed.
Q: What is never to be paid for? A: Twelve Step work.
Q: What does not mix? A: Money and spirituality.
Q: What happens when we try to professionalize our Twelve Step Work? A: Our single purpose has been defeated (Tradition Five).
Q: What will addicts not listen to? A: A paid twelfth-stepper.
Q: What does the money motive do? A: Compromises everything we say and do for this prospect.