Anonymity –Three Components
I participated in a conference call with a number of Public Information and Institution coordinators as well as officers from the WSO on Saturday. The topic “How do I maintain anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV?” was discussed in great length.
I had the privilege of representing Al-Anon along with several other members during a taping of Fix My Life on the Oprah network. The issue of anonymity was resolved by only using our first names and filming us from the back during the sharings.
However, I choose not to remain anonymous when meeting with professionals in order to insure the credibility of the Al-Anon Program. This is a personal choice that Al-Anon allows me to make.
Anonymity has three components: Anonymity within the membership, Anonymity as it relates to personal growth, and Anonymity as it is utilized outside of Al-Anon.
Anonymity within the membership works because we trust that nothing we say at a meeting will be revealed to anyone outside of the meeting. Most meetings read the Anonymity Statement: “Anonymity is an important principle of the Al-Anon/Alateen program. Everything that is said here, in the group meeting and member-to-member, must be held in confidence. Only in this way can we feel free to say what is in our minds and hearts, for this is how we help one another in Al-Anon/Alateen.” These simple words assure the newcomer that he is safe and can share his deepest thoughts.
Anonymity as it relates to personal growth maintains that we are equals. No member speaks for everyone but only for themselves. We are all heard regardless of financial stature, ethnicity, religious or sexual preference.
Anonymity as it is utilized outside of Al-Anon protects us from members seeking personal recognition. Unlike commercials that use famous people to endorse their products, Al-Anon is a fellowship of equals who have realized that what they learn in Al-Anon is far more important than the member who is sharing. This allows the message of Al-Anon to remain clear and the
spirituality of the program allows us to keep principles above personalities.
NIAFG Panel 55