THE A.A. PREAMBLE
The original version of the “current preamble” as it was first introduced to AA in the June, 1947, Grapevine.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking . AA has no dues or fees. It is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. Does not wish to engage in any controversy. Neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Written by the then editor to describe AA to the Grapevine’s non-AA readers, it has become a part of AA literature. It came to be called the “preamble” because it is so often read at the opening of AA meetings.
Much of the phrasing was borrowed from the foreword to the original edition of “Alcoholics Anonymous,” where “an honest desire to stop drinking” is described as “the only requirement for membership.”
In the September, 1958, Grapevine, the preamble was first published in its present form. It now appears in much of our literature to tell what AA is and does, as well as what it is not and does not. The Twelve Traditions present a fuller development of most of these ideas.
The current version of the preamble appears on the inside front cover of each Grapevine issue.