Does Al-Anon really have “promises”?
Question: At a recent Al-Anon convention I attended, one of the Al-Anon speakers quoted the “Al-Anon Promises.” I am not familiar with a list of promises (similar to the ones used by A.A. members) for Al-Anon. Does Al-Anon really have “promises”?
Answer: Al-Anon does not list anything in our literature as "promises," because the World Service Conference, Al-Anon's largest group conscience, has not designated anything as such.
Among our wide and varied fellowship, members find hope and "promise" from many different sources. Some members cite certain pages from One Day at a Time in Al-Anon (B-6) or From Survival to Recovery (B-21). Others refer to our Suggested Welcome and Closing, Hope for Today (B-27), and other places in our literature.
In recent years, some individual members have titled and labeled one such passage without permission as "The Promises of Al-Anon." This is a violation of the copyright and page 96 of the 2006-2009 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual, “Requests to Reprint.” Distribution of such pieces is not Conference approved and they should not be used at Al-Anon meetings, events, or conventions.
This action on the part of a few has given some members the mistaken impression that our fellowship as a whole has elevated this excerpt to the level of importance accorded our Steps, Traditions, and Concepts of Service. In fact, it has no more or less value than any other passage from Conference Approved Literature. Separated from the context in which it was originally intended, the excerpt began gaining a life of its own. A request was submitted a few years ago for the Policy Committee to consider this sharing as the Al-Anon promises. After much thought and thorough discussion, it was the consensus of the Policy Committee that that Al-Anon has no "promises." They determined that the passage in question was not any more or less valid than any other sources of hope in our literature, and that it should not be promoted as "promises" or "gifts."
In Al-Anon we offer each other our experience, strength, and hope. We don't make promises because each individual's needs and situations are different.