The Traditions War: a pathway to peace
The purpose of this book is to open an avenue for all who have been burned by lack of participation in our 12 Traditions. We have seen members utilizing power in NA service to bolster their views, increase their power base, or simply to get rid of those who oppose their way of carrying the message. These abuses can be found on any and all levels of NA service. Sadly, they often lead not to disagreements and arguments, but to threaten the lives of NA members who leave the fellowship, use and possibly die.
Narcotics Anonymous service brings together an odd lot who’s ideas very as widely as the forms of drugs they used. Many have a natural talent for structured service, analytical, cold, calculating, often times shrewd and cunning. Many of their talents came from life on the streets where it was kill or be killed. Survival of the fittest was the name of the game and often those that gravitate to the top of the food chain in NA service have honed those skills to an art form.
On the other side are those who believe in self-less service. Who have been taught to give freely, expecting nothing in return. They learn that giving this was has it’s own reward, a deep sense of self worth and gratitude that is worth much more than gold or fame and titles. NA service often pits these two forces against each other, often with disasterous results, not only for the individuals but for the fellowship as a whole.
The Basic Text reminds us that honest sharing is the antidote to our diseased thinking. The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off! Some will be thrilled and thankful that the truth is being told, others may feel threatened, while others will shout loudly, how dare you? We who write this book say back to them, “How dare you???” Sadly, some day down the road, we are all going to have a Judge Judy moment. Probably when large sums of money have been diverted for personal gain, someone will say something like, “So, where were the checks and balances? You dissolved the Board of Trustees, what were you thinking?” The fact that members lives were saved by Narcotics Anonymous and they can cold bloodedly manipulate the system to create a closed non-fellowship participatory system to suit their private needs is beyond belief. It staggers the imagination that members whose lives were useless and pathetic were loved back to health and sanity, and their response is to highjack the service structure and ostracize a loving God as expressed through NA individual group conscience is unfathomable!
No one of us is completely without sin when it comes to Traditions War. Many of us who cry the injustice of structured service have been party to our own use of Traditions as weapons in the war to purify NA. How many members have we sent back our because they did not share our vision of NA unity? We berated them for being sober and not clean, for sharing about Alcoholics Anonymous in “our” NA meetings, like we could truly own something that was God given.
Early NA is littered with the bodies of addicts who never got clean because the fellowships had not written the Traditions. Individual egos ran the show right into