Eighth Tradition. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional. 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 may 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.
Short: Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
This Tradition holds that regular members of Alcoholics Anonymous will not be paid for being such, that counseling, sponsoring, chairing meetings, etc. will all be uncompensated. The only time an alcoholic will be paid by AA is when their sole alternative is to hire a professional outsider. Professionals – licensed therapists, doctors, non cultic addiction counselors, ordained clergy, etc. – are not welcome in AA unless they put the cult party line above their expertise.
As we discovered in prior Traditions, AA prohibits the discussion of “outside materials”. And as we learned in the Steps, AA believes it alone can address alcoholism, that medical experts, mental healthcare providers, traditional religious instruction, and the love of a good woman weren’t enough. AA founder Bill Wilson particularly loved to hammer home that last point, as it gave his verbal and emotional abuse of wife Lois a spiritual gleam.
AA does not respect the churches it secures discount rent from. Nor does it respect the hospitals and treatment centers AA members started sneaking into for converts since the Oxford Group days. Alcoholics Anonymous rigidly rejects outside influence into their insular program even while promoting its insertion into drug courts, rehab, and religion. AA thinks it is too good to change, and that nothing else is. That is cultic thinking.