release of a new version, the new PI guide. I was concerned because my group had not voted on this and I was told that my RSR had...I tried explaining to him that my RSR did not have anything to do with my group because my group is traditionalist with no ties to the NAWS, Inc. structure. Somewhere in our conversation I brought up Bo S. and the comment from Steve was, 'Bo S. has been trying to destroy NA for the last 25 years.'
“As an informed member ofNA, I know that nothing could be further from the truth. If it wasn't for Bo S., and a small group of people that believed that God could direct us to write a book, we would riot have the fellowship of NA we do today. I have a very clear understanding of the fact that the people who wrote the book went on to start 10,000 meetings. It is at the very least unprofessional and at the worst it is blatant character defamation. This type of behavior should not ever be tolerated and certainly not from someone who is a paid professional of a non-profit organisation. Not only is this allegation unfounded and insulting, it is directed at one whom I and thousands of other members consider to be one of the last defenders and pillars of the truth of what is in our Traditions and the ability of groups to promote recovery in complete creative freedom in accordance with our Higher Power's will. "
This kind of consistent character assassination is inconsistent with spiritual principles. It creates a new category of "personalities before principles." And it happens all the time. Rather than get into a he-said, she-said conundrum, there are other examples that can be found. Like a rock rolling down a hillside, it will not stop until it hits a bigger rock or rolls all the way to the bottom.
What Changed NA?
And why does this kind of problem exist in the first place? The writers of the Basic Text were all asked to say a prayer, "God, free me of self-will and ego and give me the strength and guidance to do your footwork." I believe this prayer changed the nature of NA. Each member experienced a degree of transformation wherein they felt appreciated, their self-worth rose to a level of effective comfort, and their personal growth and development was restored. Not only could they write, they could do other things as well.
After they wrote the Basic Text, as members steeped in the Twelve Steps of recovery as well as the spiritual Twelve Traditions, they went home and started meetings. Ohio went from none in 1980 to four the first year, forty the next year, eighty the year after that, a hundred and twenty the next year and on and on. The program of Narcotics Anonymous was enhanced by the experience of writing it's Basic Text and there were more informed addicts seeking recovery than ever before.
The 2007 CAR describes the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous in the United States as "flattened." What an odd choice of words. It seems to mean that NA stopped growing at twenty-seven thousand meetings. This is seventeen years after WSO demanded an inventory to 'find out what the Fellowship expected of world services.' It is also about ten years after the creation of the Super Board. And this was published in the 2007 CAR report. A quick check revealed the number of US NA meetings dropped in 2008 to 25,000 meetings and stayed at 25,000 meetings in 2009.
The rapid growth of our fellowship for decades after the release of the Basic Text versus the "flattening" of it now, indicates there is a problem. One strong possibility is by strangling the group conscience process, altering the service structure and writing strangely worded new ‘literature’ is clearly sending a message to anyone caring to listen.
I have been careful to make clear when I speak to large groups that no one is complaining about the secretaries, the shipping department or any other WSO employees. Just the incredible 'agree to disagree' line from the telephone inquiries and the general management by the NAWS, Inc. corporation. If world services were still known for friendliness and transparency, this letter would be pointless. It is not our wish to defame or heap scorn or ridicule on those who are already having a rough time trying to steer the NA ship. Perhaps that is the purpose behind the Second Tradition. No small group of people can ever expect to satisfy the needs and methods of the many. But where are our WSC and RSC leaders in this storm and why aren't they asking for help?
Asking for money is not asking for help. It is like, "We blew what you sent in last year, so we need you to buckle down and support our corporate maneuvers financially so everything can work out swell." Well, what about that? It is starting to look like the national government and our wonderful US financial corporations! What an unwieldy model to emulate.
As someone who got clean on the first NA service structure, the NA Tree, witnessed and participated in writing the next several versions, including the Green Service Manual where the sections Member, Group, Area and Region were approved, I have seen