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Practicing Attraction

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Tradition Eleven: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication.


Tradition Eleven encourages us to publicize our program without promoting it. We can use various forms of media to get the word out: billboards, internet, TV, and more, but we don’t use personal appeals, celebrity endorsements, or other forms of persuasion. This protects members from becoming stars and encourages humility.

At the meeting level, we are also a program of attraction. When newcomers attend an OA meeting and see others who have what they want, they have a desire to return. At my first meeting, a woman shared, “I haven’t eaten compulsively in fourteen years.” She gave me hope. It was through attraction, not promotion, that I returned to OA.

I am learning to practice this Tradition in my personal life as well. When I begin to promote my views or myself to others, I can take a deep breath, say a prayer, and let go. I can take comfort in the knowledge that I don’t have to be in control; all my needs will be met.

“The respect and appreciation we really need will come to us once we stop grasping for them,” says the first edition of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous (p. 197). I experience this in my professional and personal life. When I stop fishing for compliments, recognition, and respect, they come to me, and that is a result of working our Twelve Steps, in our Fellowship, and with my Higher Power.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Area Intergroup, October 2013

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