86: Tradition 6 – An NA Group Ought Never Endorse, Finance or Lend the NA name… (Sort Of)

The 6th Tradition: An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose. Tradition six deals with the problems that can go wrong when we decide to get involved by endorsing, financing or lending the name of the 12 step group to outside facilities or ventures. What happens is that money, property and prestige can divert us from our primary purpose. What does that mean? Well that’s what we look at in the Sixth Tradition episode. We talk about ways this can go wrong if we were to do it. While the tradition seems self-explanatory, we look at the why’s and how’s it can all go wrong. We even mention the part where it talks about persons and literature from other fellowships being used in our meetings. This tradition can be a slippery slope. We do our best to understand how this tradition can apply to our personal lives, and the community at large. Listen in and learn about Tradition 6 and why it matters. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com,  or find us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.

The Tradition 5 episode

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Transcript:

recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy doing what i can to not get high and i’m billy i’m a person in long-term recovery and we’re going to talk about the sixth tradition which i gotta be honest just last month we were like oh my god the tradition episodes they’re so good and so fun and so informative and then i did the reading for this tradition and i’m like it’s dumb well it’s so [ _ ] long they pretty much spell it out in the tradition itself yes yes so what is the sixth tradition you may say the sixth tradition an na group ought never endorse finance or lend the n a name to any related facility or outside enterprise lest problems of money property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose what the [ _ ] did i just say exactly right all right sounds boring yeah well and by the time i got to the end i don’t even remember the beginning you know the only reason i remember this tradition is because there’s so many p’s in it i always think of people who might have speech issues because i don’t seem to have speech issues and i still struggle saying things property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose good god who wrote this um so an n a group right should never endorse finance or lend the n a name to any related facility or outside enterprise so basically we should never give money or our name to anything outside of n a or what will happen is there’ll be problems with money property or prestige because they will move us away from that primary purpose we talked about whatever month that was of carrying the message last month was it last night that’s tradition five oh okay well at least that makes sense i couldn’t remember if it was three five one so i’m just at a glance like what the hell are we talking about here uh on it’s the the i say easiest way to think of it is we don’t have endorsements or affiliations with other organizations we don’t affiliate with rehabs recovery houses uh churches event centers that sponsor our you know well not that sponsor our events host our events yeah see how tricky freudian slippery

but uh you know that gives us our independence and our autonomy it’s like we we don’t uh affiliate with churches and work hand in hand with churches which we can get into that in the seventh tradition there’s a whole another discussion around that but you know we are supposed to be an independent organization that rents facilities or halls or places to use to host our meetings but we are not affiliated by those organizations so when you go into a treatment center that treatment center can’t say oh you know we’re blah blah recovery center we specifically work hand in hand with narcotics anonymous and you know whatever like that’s a that would be an affiliation that can divert you know the 12-step fellowship from its primary purpose it’s so weird though because i feel like at its root if i just thought of the word affiliate and i’m sure it’s got a very technical definition of what it means but if i just think of the word affiliate i would say like oh i affiliate with billy he’s pretty cool right like we hang out to me that’s an affiliation we’re just we’re around each other we we co-mingle right we do things together and i think well we we’re in churches right we we do rent these halls we go we take meetings specifically into a lot of these rehabs that we’re not supposed to affiliate with to me that’s affiliation like we’re we’re mingled in there somehow i get that we’re supposed to try to keep a separation between hey this is the recovery facility we bring in a meeting we’re an outside thing and all that great stuff but it it does seem very intertwined and i would imagine for anybody just walking in the door super confusing yeah so i’m running through the tradition does it say we don’t affiliate i don’t know you use that word so i was running with that oh okay so i guess it doesn’t it says we don’t endorse endorse finance yes so i guess if you wanted to take out affiliate we we don’t promote or endorse other organizations you know you don’t come to an n a meeting in here hey guess what if you want the real recovery you got to go to so-and-so’s recovery house or you got to go to so-and-so’s you know treatment center like that’s the place where the real recovery’s at right like as a fellowship we’re not supposed to do that and i guess that’s where i told you i had some like boring but interesting questions to me maybe this is where i get to bash uh the be more recovery group finally yeah for all the [ __ ] i see on there that pisses me off which is just a resentment because they don’t want me to post on there yeah they’re dumb bastards i looked at that group dude i don’t know i mean i saw a shared post the other day i see people post memes about using i see people post they got openings in their recovery house but if you talk to the moderators it’s like oh well we only uh allow certain recovery things to post on here not like blogs and stuff and i’m like so you’re choosing what recovery things are good for people and authentic and basically it’s if it’s a 12-step fellowship right then it’s fine then you can post anything you want or you know somebody in a 12-step fellowship right they want to recommend a recovery house or people always ask for treatment center recommendations and i’m like huh so you you say you’re not affiliated with 12-step programs but you only allow 12-step programs but then you allow anybody in those to yeah yeah that stuff’s all sketchy very political it’s very sketchy i mean and to be frank it’s kind of here we run into the same thing yeah i i feel like like that’s part of my struggle with saying what program i belong to and all that like are we endorsing or affiliating the program i mean i i guess i mean i don’t know like how do you so we are not n a sanctioned part of my question you know for you was all right so i understand like as a fellowship we don’t endorse finance or lend the n a name to any you know related facilities or whatever and that goes vice versa we are supposed to kind of maintain our anonymity within places you know but as an individual is it okay for us to come in and say i went to xnx treatment center i went through so-and-so’s recovery house like if i’m sharing my individual experience is that also a violation of this i’ve always thought that that would be fine but i always think it’s weird that people give the disclaimer in their share they’re like i went to a recovery house and that’s just my story that doesn’t mean everybody has i’m like yeah we know your story that’s why we invited you here to share your story i i don’t know it’s always sounded weird to me that that it needed a disclaimer to it well and in my head i put all kinds of weird criteria on it like if you are you know the chairperson or if you’re you know a secretary or a position of authority you shouldn’t be doing those things but if you’re just sharing your experience from the floor then that’s weird because i’ve thought so and and that’s one of the interesting things at a speaker meeting which most of them are around baltimore the speaker can share from the table up front but i heard and and i don’t know that i follow this today because it just seems awkward but in like 2002 or something when i got here my sponsor recommended that if you were the secretary and you wanted to share from the floor you should get up and go out to like the crowd and not share from the secretary position because you seem like you’re the authoritative person in the meeting and nobody that’s new should take your share is more important than anybody else’s yeah and i had a sponsor that i wasn’t exactly his version of that was that when you’re in that position you are being of service and you don’t get to share you shouldn’t share yeah i think i think that was generally it like you you shouldn’t share but if you really feel like you need to you should get up and come out don’t do it from the floor so yeah i and i’m like i mean i get it i i definitely thought that person ran in a when i came in right like oh they’re running the meeting they’re they’re big-time yeah there’s somebody who’s in a charge yeah somebody hired them all right so uh do you want to get into some of the pieces of the book i feel like the pieces i chopped out of the book are so goddamn long but okay uh so the first one was let’s take a look at what this tradition says yeah hey that sounds good let me copy that uh the first thing a group ought never do is endorse to endorse is to sanction approve or recommend endorsements can be either direct or implied we see direct endorsements every day in television commercials an implied endorsement is one that is not specifically stated and so that just kind of and that’s one thing i did like about the reading is it kind of just laid out what these pieces of this you know long as tradition are and what they mean and so we don’t either directly or indirectly endorse anything and i think that’s kind of what we were just talking about we don’t say joe’s recovery house is the place to be we don’t say you know recovery centers of america is the treatment center you really need to go to because they’re doing it right and i think that makes sense like that would kind of get confusing because what if that treatment center fell off and started sucking or yeah or like in my case this time i didn’t even go through a treatment center you know i just decided i wanted to stop and started going to meetings you know right so if nine out of 10 people in na had gone to this retreatment center that na recommends and then you come in without having gone through that treatment center you’re instantly going to feel apart from right you’re not going to feel like you did anything but how would that divert us from helping the still suffering addict well because our message is that an addict any addict can stop using lose a desire to use and find a new way to live so that’s i think we decided last week that’s our primary purpose

i’m pretty sure he met last month but that’s okay we love billy we’ll forgive him and if you start telling people you know you have to fit into this criteria you need to do this you need to do that of course we do that anyway but you know you need to go to this treatment center you need to go to that recovery house and they either can’t don’t or won’t then it takes them out of the any addict category i guess i just see this you could do this without saying you have to you could say hey if you need to get clean uh any treatment center that uses you know this method that we approve of and think is good whatever that method may be maybe it’s 28 days maybe it’s introduction to 12 steps something right we say hey these are these are pretty good you know treatment centers if you need to go to one now you have to how does that mess up the like we’re not excluding anyone no but who’s gonna who’s in charge of monitoring or paying attention to those treatment centers to make sure they’re doing what they need to do and then updating that list because we can’t even update a [ _ ] meeting list for our own area you know what i mean like right now you can’t you know to figure out what meetings are meeting where and there’s meetings that are happening that aren’t on the list and you know what i mean like they’re in different places we can’t even [ _ ] keep up with that as an area with 30 meetings let alone you know how many treatment centers are in you know maryland versus the east coast versus the united states right right well and and which model n a supports the next paragraph i think does delve a little further into it says many other organizations wish to ride on the n a name to allow them to do so would be an implied endorsement and a violation of this tradition hospitals drug recovery houses probation and parole offices are some of the facilities we deal with in carrying the n a message while these organizations are sincere and we hold n a meetings in their establishments we cannot endorse finance or allow them to use the n a name to further their growth so i think this is thinking of it as like and this is interesting that they wrote this tradition before na was like really popular whatsoever like this was early on and or they didn’t write it they stole it but whatever yeah they stole one yeah but i mean we weren’t even popular and we had already decided we can’t let other people ride our name like we were really important uh i don’t know i guess so if we do you think that applies to this podcast are we writing the n a name i don’t uh i don’t believe so i mean certainly my intention isn’t yeah right i mean that’s certainly not my intention uh i you know i i try to be mindful of what i say and affiliation and things like that so i would say no so we start up billy’s detox right and we are like man uh n a loves us and then that gets conflicting because then i get mad at you and start jason’s detox and now i want them to promote me more than you and maybe i offer my kickback and i’m like hey if you guys let’s say that my recovery house is more better than billy’s you know detox uh you know i’ll give you this much per year cut and i guess i that is how that could get really really confusing yeah convoluted i mean hence the money property prestige divert us from our primary purpose right maybe when they wrote these traditions they just had some insight into human nature it wasn’t that they thought they were so popular it’s like people are [ _ ] greedy and narcissistic you know it’s so easy to lead them astray with a [ _ ] carrot on a stick right right it really is same i have a carrot uh all right so the next thing we all never do is finance this is more obvious to finance means to supply funds or to help support financially so we should not finance anything why i guess if we finance the treatment center we would definitely be more likely to send people there to make money yeah and how would you decide i mean gosh it would be so tricky what if it didn’t make money how would you make enough money to support itself what would you charge you know would it be profit or non-profit who would get to go for free because again the narcotics anonymous message is that any addict you know this way of treatment is available to any addict that wants to in essence show up at a meeting for free you know you can walk in the door say you’re an addict and get what we have to offer it really feels like n a 12-step aaa whoever decided all this decided we want to do one thing and we want to do that thing hopefully well but we don’t want to get it confused by trying to do a ton of things and i feel like everywhere else in society we want to do a ton of things right they always talk about like diversify your portfolio when you’re talking about invest in money and if you’re a business you want to diversify where money can come in from right because you don’t want to rely on just one funding stream and it’s like all these places in life they tell us to diversify but we as 12-step only want to do one thing because if not like you said we’re going to get confused right well now we’re funding recovery houses well now we’re trying to make money selling n a clothing well now we’re you know like who knows where we end up we got an a restaurant somewhere right and i think some of this ties into the self-supporting part but i can tell you like uh i think i’ve been pretty obvious enough my wife runs you know that non-profit voices of hope that’s our sponsor and she has found them struggling with some issues around money because they’re mostly grant funded and despite what you might think about grants the government just doesn’t go oh you applied for this grant here here’s however x amount of dollars there’s you know things that you have to do to qualify for that grant there’s certain benchmarks that you have to hit there’s certain services that you have to offer and so what she’s kind of found herself doing sometimes is like tailoring or creating programs to suit a specific grant versus doing what they want to do you know what their mission statement and goals are to the best of their ability and in the beginning she’s becoming more aware of that now and being like whoa wait a minute you know what i mean i need to kind of watch because if you have no money you can’t help anyone you know if you’re not in business you help no one right so having money and being able to operate is a need but then how do you balance out you know your primary purpose getting diverted off to like in their case let’s say it turns into homeless services or adolescent services or some of these other things that they’re definitely a need and there’s definitely money to go get but is that what you want your organization to be you know and do you have the foresight to be like well wait a minute you know yes we might be able to go get this money but is it going to take us away from what you know our what what and voices of hope case their primary purposes is to provide recovery support to people in recovery you know that’s right one of the main objectives and helping homeless people is great setting up adolescent programs are great if we can do those things great but you don’t want to divert the direction of your program in that area because that’s where the money is even with all the best intentions right right no i get it and i think that is an interesting take on it right because that’s when you’re doing recovery services supports when you’re helping people find treatment centers you do end up interacting with a lot of the the homeless population right and some of them might not need recovery but they’ve learned the right things to say like but yeah okay so now and i think recovery cafe kind of talked about that how people have tried to branch out too far from the you know do one thing well model and it got convoluted and and it got dicey and it’s like you can’t help everybody and if you’re good at getting people recovery supports well you might not be as good at getting people recovery supports a year from now if you decide you’re also going to do this other thing which is help the population of the homeless right because now you got to be good at two things and maybe you’re not quite as good at either one of them anymore so that’s interesting maybe that maybe that is why we do it right and then i mean even to get into you know like the medicated assisted treatment and things like that you know the fellowship despite what a lot of the individuals in the fellowship will tell you the fellowship in and of itself doesn’t really have an opinion on that i mean it’s it’s not whether it’s right or wrong or good or bad or the best way to handle treatment you know an addiction problem the fellowship does not have an opinion on that you know it doesn’t say yes it’s okay no it’s not okay you know it releases some i won’t call it vague literature it gives some there’s some information out there and narcotics anonymous about its opinion on those things but as far as a treatment modality for addiction it doesn’t have an opinion you know it doesn’t say oh that’s the right way or that’s not the right way let’s uh let’s pop on to the next one says the third thing warned against in this tradition is lending the n a name to fulfill the purposes of other programs for example several times other programs have tried to use narcotics anonymous as part of their services offered to help justify funding so i would that be like voices going to get a grant and saying we offer n a here yeah i don’t think they’re allowed to well they can’t right don’t right yeah i don’t think they can do that so interestingly enough we just had this conversation last night now this surprised me in a way um they host a lot of recovery meetings here different fellowships different 12-step fellowships you know besides just n a right and i said to jen you don’t have like a flyer or something that you hand out that tells what night of the week what meetings are and she said no we can’t that would be a violation of that tradition and i i not a hunter i mean immediately i’m like that sounds dumb you know like you know if a new person comes in and says hey i’m you know fresh off the streets i want to stop using i can’t really go to treatment uh i’m in some inpatient counseling and i need to find some meetings you know you can’t hand them a piece of paper that says we have these meetings for these different 12-step fellowships these nights of the week yeah and she said no so i i actually tried to look into this further because i disagree with that idea too i think it’s ridiculous like why can’t they post that the meeting is here and i i never did get a full answer uh i tried to send out an email to ask to like n a world services and i got a call and we’ll talk about it and and i never did get around to call and it just happened at bad timing but and for me a similar thing would come up with churches i know a lot of churches you know allow meetings to rent their space and have meetings there and at times they’ve wanted to promote them in their bulletin and i just promote loosely they hand out a bullet in a church if you’ve never been to a church it’s pretty common that they hand out a bullet in each week and with upcoming events and things going on and is that really so terrible or such an endorsement for the church to say wednesday night n a meeting tuesday night aaa meeting you know i was like is that really an endorsement i mean affiliation i guess i don’t know i so i struggle with those kind of things like what where does that line come in of promotion and yeah endorsement i’m lost there too because i’m like okay you can go on the n a website somewhere hopefully if they got their schedule right uh and find that there’s a meeting at this church it’s not like we don’t mention the church name right on the n a website right and the address uh but you can’t stumble across it on the church website like why right seems dumb we think we’d want our name right not our name everywhere but you’d think you’d want people to however they find out that the meeting exists to find out and i could see there’s some danger in perceived affiliation within organized religion but the [ _ ] meetings happen in churches when you show up for your meeting even if you find the address on a website and somehow it cryptically hides that it’s in new beginnings christian fellowship church you know when you pull up to a church you know if you’re so [ _ ] up by god that you know that’s gonna scare you off i i don’t know i’m glad they don’t have the church names because there’s been a bunch of times when you hit that little uh map marker on the website and it supposedly directs you to the place and then i get to wherever the map marker directs me to and i’m like in the middle of [ _ ] nowhere and then i gotta look up the name of the church and it’s five minutes away and i’m like this was awful gps how did that happen so but yeah i’m not i mean most of those things are meant to be for the protection of the fellowship and the the best intention to try to not affiliate with outside organizations and it’s meant to protect the fellowship more than anything um and to keep us as a fellowship directed in the right way right uh it’s just it’s another one of those things where it’s like man can’t we give a little like or is it really that important and i guess i guess it is that’s the whatever ties that bind us together stronger than those that would tear us apart kind of thing i don’t know so i i think it’s interesting that voices will hand out a sheet that has every other recovery meeting on it and they’ll also have those on the website right like thursday recovery dharma outback fireplace right like uh and i don’t know that anybody has ever checked to see if that’s okay or not either they just have a good idea they think that it’s not for n a so i was told by a reliable source they don’t promote meetings on the website or facebook now i gotta look that up they definitely have in the past i yeah did they change that i’m not sure this the conversation i’m talking about just happened yesterday so there could so there a change of policy or a change yeah there was events on on facebook for sure like for certain meetings and they had a printout calendar that showed the meetings here so i could talk about the flip thing that happened and i might have talked about this once before already i know i probably talked about it with you but there was a meeting that was taking donations that said we are accepting donations right now this was a n a meeting that during the meeting they said we are taking donations for voices of hope to you know because they’ve helped so many people we believe in their cause and they would take donations during the n a meeting to give to voices out yeah so that’s uh that’s not now they took their own seventh tradition donations too and they made it clear that it was separate but that was definitely uh you know one of those areas where it’s like you can believe in a mission but it’s easy to see how that sort of can compromise i mean there’s been people that have had bad experiences with voices of hope for one reason or another justified or unjustified they don’t [ _ ] like it they have their opinions against it they’re been hurt by someone affiliated with voices of hope whatever right those things happen it’s life people make mistakes [ _ ] happens um if you were a person that went to what you thought was a 12-step anonymous program and then they tell you they’re taking donations for so-and-so’s recovery organization it’s like well wait a minute what the [ _ ] you know well i heard someone away i have seen them pass a basket in a meeting a second time and say this is un un n a related but so and so has a big hospital bill and we really love and care about them and so if you’d like to donate to that and i’m like you can’t [ _ ] do that during the meeting like look you want to take a donation in the parking lot after the meeting and talk to people who know the person sure feel free but during the [ _ ] meeting you can’t do that that one’s tough yeah oh so i’m on voices of hope maryland’s facebook right now meditation mondays is a scheduled event recovery dharma is a scheduled event smart recovery is a scheduled event they’re all on here so i i don’t know who told you they weren’t but they are events on facebook yeah i would have to ask i don’t know so but i what i was getting at with that was i don’t know like whoever decided that n a couldn’t be promoted on the website or on facebook or any of that that’s probably because they’re familiar with n a and had an idea of what this tradition said but i can almost guarantee they have no [ _ ] idea what the rules are for smart recovery or recovery dharma and they just ran with it because they don’t say i wonder do they have trade i don’t know either well and i reached out to those two organizations as well when i was trying to figure all this out because i’m like i bet we don’t know and we’re just doing it we just do whatever yeah until we find out we’re wrong um and so i started reaching out to these places and again like that was it just happened to be i never got to finish that task yeah i was trying to finish it and then you know i’m not here anymore so i didn’t finish but um yeah i don’t know that we have any clue if it’s okay for any of those organizations but we just assume it is right because we don’t know better because we’re familiar with the 12 steps and 12 traditions i’m not sure we can’t tell people that there’s an enemy i really don’t know i’m not sure i could understand i guess kind of if we couldn’t but i’m really not so sure that that’s true i think we can i mean i’ve thought about this not just this last couple days but i’ve thought about it before and i thought i don’t know that it’s endorsement to say such and such church hosts an a meeting on wednesday nights so if a church put their their n a meeting on their website you think that’s fine i i do i do too you know i’m sure there’s people that would disagree but i i don’t putting him in a church bullet i mean again as long as you’re not saying we proudly support you know billy’s going to call world services for us and find out well i mean so we are talking a little bit about the church’s thing and i can tell you and my home group may fall into this how is it not [ _ ] endorsement when you pay ten dollars a month or twenty dollars a month to rent a church facility for an hour once a week like if they were gonna charge rent to somebody else would they really only charge them that much or do they offer groups this super cheap rent because we say well we have to pay something okay we’ll just give us 10 bucks i mean is that really being self-supporting or is that being [ _ ] affiliating with a church that wants to do good deeds i don’t know i i hear what you’re saying but at the same time i feel like we’re not we’re a non-profit for one we don’t have a million dollars um and we’re trying to help the community so i think in the sense of trying to be good for the community and provide support for people in the community us and the church have similar goals in that aspect right and so we’re kind of like hey uh we also want to do this helpful thing for the community right so we’re not rich can we get a discounted rate so i think that’s maybe where the discount comes from like well they’re here doing a good thing they’re not here selling stuff to make money they’re not here you know doing some crazy stuff they’re here to also further a similar mission to ours we don’t need to charge them a billion dollars i would definitely think though that somebody behind the scenes establishing this first n a meeting in a church right because they probably they started in people’s houses because no church was going to let no [ _ ] junkies in uh and and then finally we talked him into look look guys well they let the alcoholics for a long time and nothing got stolen so they maybe nothing got stolen right yeah i’m sure some [ __ ] has gotten stolen at some point but i can picture the back end meeting like listen listen here rev just let us in the basement we ain’t going dirty up where you have your mask just let us in the basement and eventually as some of these people come to believe in god they’re going to come to your church right we’re going to increase your numbers i can almost guarantee somebody was at least thinking that at some point to let us in yeah our numbers go up when they believe in god damn it i don’t know this episode has been brought to you in part by voices of hope inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at

www.voicesofhopemaryland.org and consider donating to our calls all right so i i’m gonna count on you to call any world services and get back to me about that okay so that we know what the real deal is um further the tradition tells us that a related facility is any place involving n a members this is an interesting piece it might be a halfway house a detox center a counseling center or a clubhouse people are easily confused by what is n a and what are the related facilities recovery houses that have been started or staffed by n a members have to take care that the differentiation is clear that can be confusing and it talks about uh clubhouses at some point you know being probably the most confusing because it’s really just n a people hanging out right at a building um and so that that is confusing for the newcomer right when you come in and you don’t understand how the hierarchy of na works and how you know groups run the show and the group is really the program or the meeting even though it’s not i still [ _ ] i don’t understand this anymore the more we talk about these traditions the less i understand the group is the highest service structure but the group is not the program the 12 steps are the program correct so the group is the highest service structure of the fellowship and who the [ _ ] cares about the service structure and the fellowship because as far as we talk about it the fellowship is like

very non-existent to some extent like it’s not like an official entity it’s just kind of the thing that happens because we have the program yeah so i’m baffled by this like the group is not the service structure of the program because the program is just the 12 steps correct am i off here am i missing something like i’m just it’s all baffling to me now i feel like we have traditions for the fellowship not the program true um but the program wouldn’t exist in and of itself like the group is the vehicle by which the program is activated so it’s like saying you know exercise and lifting weights is great but if you don’t have a [ __ ] gym then you don’t none of that matters the group is how the pyramid scheme runs well you made two or more addicts getting together to do steps and traditions else you’re stuck with yourself and you have no power greater than yourself well and whenever two or more addicts gather that’s a meeting but as a group i think a group is defined as a two or more people that meet regularly for the purpose of recovery at a regularly scheduled time or something like that it’s got something about regularly scheduled programming in a physical space and location that isn’t the internet i don’t know if they believe in n a yeah it’s very specific here i i don’t know man i’m i’m more and more baffled as we go into this this deep dive because it doesn’t make any sense i don’t know how you have traditions for the program but the program is the 12 steps and the fellowship is what the traditions kind of keep in mind well like the program can’t lend it’s like there’s no buddy in charge to lend the name you know it says any group i’ll never endorse finance or lend that can only be done by a group right you know there is no where there isn’t supposed to be i see isn’t supposed to be a hierarchy that can decide when the affiliation happens

oh boy all right uh yeah we we gotta we’ve really gotta delve into that topic of uh n a world service versus the people who disagree with whatever it is they’re doing uh yeah one of these days an outside enterprise is any agency business venture religion society organization related activity or any other fellowship most of these are easy to identify except for the other fellowships narcotics anonymous is a separate and distinct fellowship in its own right our problem is addiction the other 12-step fellowships specialize in other problems and our relationship with them is one of cooperation not affiliation so they do use the word affiliate in here the use of literature speakers and announcements from other fellowships in our meetings constitutes an implied endorsement of an outside enterprise you [ _ ] hear that people who get aaa speakers there’s not much rules in these traditions yeah that moment is specifically laid out you are wrong yes you have a responsibility when you get speakers and when you go into treatment facilities as an a panel leader yeah don’t bring your aaa speakers in all right it’s not okay one of the only actual rules and guidelines in the traditions and you all violate it oh well uh so i actually just put that in there just to rag on people who’ve done that it’s the total purpose of that um i did think it was interesting that it said any outside religion because as i read that i was like we should start at any religion i think we could do it inside religion yeah somehow uh and the last one it says the sex tradition goes on to warn us what may happen lest problems of money property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose these problems often become obsessions and shut us off from our spiritual aim for the individual this type of abuse can be devastating for the group it can be disastrous i would actually say that different i would think for the individual it could be disastrous for the group it could be devastating yeah devastating sounds worse do you think devastating or disastrous is worse uh i don’t know that i would differentiate that damn it and after it doesn’t doesn’t isn’t the last line right after that many will die like that everyone will the very last thought the very it reminded me of last week you know what it’s like if we get away from our primary purpose people will die it said the same thing at the right after i thought i was nobody we were going to read it i didn’t have that piece yeah it says and many will die everyone will perish in brutal flames it sounds very much uh hellish it’s very much do the right thing or hell will happen you will meet satan so i yeah i think i apply this a lot more i don’t want to say i apply it more in my personal life but i think about it more often as it applies to me personally which is interesting because most of these traditions i don’t think about me personally right this one i specifically do because i frequently maybe i don’t apply it to me but i apply it to other people like listen here [ _ ] don’t let money property and prestige divert you from your primary purpose of recovery because i see that so often people come around they’re like yeah sponsor me work steps with me and then they work like two steps and then they’re working 80 hour weeks in construction to make lots of money right and i’m like there it is uh money property and prestige diverting you from your primary purpose it just seems so easy to see in people’s lives oh for sure for sure and for myself it’s the same it’s like that that is i have to remind myself a lot like as money property or prestige diverting me from you know what i think is my primary purpose i think the main thing is most people don’t take the time to thoroughly work a fifth tradition and figure out what is their primary purpose what are they going to do and i know for myself what’s happened you get a family you buy a house you want to do fun stuff and take vacations and put your kids in private school and do all these things so it’s easy to justify like yeah i need money to achieve my primary purpose you know because my primary purpose is taking care of my kids and taking care of my family and having a [ _ ] boat so that i can enjoy my weekends and you know whatever else and without really you know formally coming to an understanding of what is my primary purpose and then how are my actions in alignment with that primary purpose it’s very easy to justify you know working too much people can do it with na service you know you get involved in service and you know i’m going to be the chair of this and the vice chair of that and now i’m in charge of [ _ ] and i’m running some stuff and either you start running into a lot of clashes with people in the fellowship because you think you should just be able to do what you want because you have the best ideas or you can be neglecting your responsibilities at home because you get all this clout and notoriety and and quote-unquote you know power being at all these n a things and in charge all this [ _ ] yeah and that’s uh i think it ties into the way we’ve lived before we get here too right we’re we’re searching this never-ending search for something outside of us to make us feel whole or better or fulfilled or heal us or whatever it is and so you know we remove the drugs and then i i don’t i don’t want to say for all of us but at least for most of us or many of us it’s very natural to switch over to something along the money property in prestige lines to start filling that outside of us right maybe it is making a lot of money maybe it is notoriety maybe it is uh that attractive significant other that we feel like makes us more important because we have them or something right but we we’re still it’s very easy before working the steps and taking that internal look to get diverted and not even know what our primary purpose is for one but just still trying to feel better as our primary purpose right i just want to feel better drugs did that for a while they stopped working now what else outside of me is going to help me feel better right money toys new car new house right look i’m socially acceptable and i’m getting things and i and i’m i’m looking important because i have now the boat the house the whatever else the camper the you know i don’t know what the hell people buy i don’t buy [ _ ] but whatever it is people buy to feel good right the expensive car i don’t know well and that like money property and prestige like when you see the when you hear those things they sound like obvious evils like they sound like ooh that’s like the obviously bad evil [ _ ] and i’ll recognize that when it’s coming up in my life like that’s me turning into a bad person right the truth is at least for myself with the you know prestige part of it that can come in some other more insidious ways you know i can justify oh i can sponsor 10 guys and i can speak at meetings and i can be gone from my house five nights a week for recovery stuff but it’s recovery stuff and i’m helping people and i’m doing good you know but again is that diverting me from my primary purpose and what is my primary purpose right i mean is recovery more important than my children is that really [ _ ] true i mean right maybe it is put it first maybe you’ll put your kids in the cooker or something but those are the types of questions that are not unreasonable to ask you know what i mean or to figure out and how do i balance those things in a way that gives me the right amount of energy in each of these different areas and then and i say that because work is another one you know again if you’ve been a person that’s ever been in a place where you’ve had to struggle with money it’s [ _ ] hard to be broke you know what i mean it’s [ _ ] hard to like not like trying to figure out like [ _ ] man we can’t pay the electric this month is this gonna be the month they shut it off like you got kids and [ _ ] at home well i can take a second job and i can work 70 hours a week but i’m not gonna really make many meetings and i won’t see my wife or kids very much but the [ _ ] electric’s on and we got food so you know how do you balance that [ _ ] out no absolutely and i’ve heard about the uh the convention circuit speakers right people who go from city to city state to state and speak at conventions you know maybe not every weekend but a lot of weekends out of their month or year and you know the toll that that can take and and then figuring that out like is that prestige chasing or is that being of service right i mean obviously if you have a i don’t want to call it a powerful message but a message that a lot of people identify with and feel uplifted from like yeah you would want to be able to go and share that with a lot of people of course right and and i guess it all depends it’s unique for each situation is it the guy who’s retired and his kids are all moved out and like they don’t have grandkids yet and he’s got all that free [ _ ] time like maybe that is more being of service and he just wants to be useful is it the guy you were talking about who’s kind of never around for his family maybe he needs to cut back like i don’t know it’s for everybody to decide but but yeah like that that that’s where the prestige is hard to see right that’s where it’s like am i just being of service or am i getting a really big fulfillment out of the fact that they’re calling me and putting me up in hotels and flying me out to their city and you know what i mean like that’s gonna feel good yeah it would feel [ _ ] good for me if somebody was like bro we’ll pay to have you fly out to california like yeah hell yeah yeah i’ll do it right one weekend i’ll cancel everything else and that’s the thing with any of this money property or prestige none of it is bad it’s not inherently bad stuff it’s you know if you can go out and work and make a [ _ ] ton of money and have yourself a second house and a boat and all that other stuff great there’s nothing wrong with that it only is a danger for us as addicts because we already i’m not a consistently good decision maker for myself but when you start adding things in like the money the property and the prestige i can really be led astray really [ _ ] easily you know and it’s it’s not the things that are the problem it’s me that’s the problem so it’s not having money that’s the problem if you can make it great if you can go be that circuit speaker and you’re still fulfilling your other responsibilities in your life and being the best version of you that you can [ _ ] spread that message and live your life fully in recovery and you know what better way to like be like i’m all in on recovery i go to conventions every weekend i’m surrounded by recovery all the time like that’s a beautiful thing i don’t know i always feel like when i’m only hearing my [ _ ] voice there’s a problem i mean i would hope that if these are people going to conventions they go to other meetings maybe not

they’re just going to hear themselves well you do catch like 10 minutes of the person before you so you can mention something they said in your share like well i was listening to you know that’s always the nice shout out but you hear at least for myself like i know i’ve also heard those people that come and say hey i came here with 10 or 15 other friends and we’re here you know as a guy’s weekend and we’re hitting a lot of meetings and fellowshipping and like that’s a beautiful thing you know if you can do that i can tell you first i don’t know 10 years of my recovery maybe more uh my wife and i generally operated from a place of if work said there’s overtime or more hours or something like that we just took it yeah it just always felt like the right thing to do a didn’t want this point work right right i don’t want to disappoint them guys and b more money sounds great sure yeah i’m going to take every hour you give me right and that was like my default and it’s really has been since kind of defining what am i hoping to gain out of this what goal is my ultimate goal that i’ve i’m able to say i don’t really want more hours i was just asked to come on full time at the place i’m at now and i was like i really need to sit and think about that because 40 [ _ ] hours sounds like a lot of my week to day anything right i don’t know if i want to and i ca i call that the blessing of recovery one the blessing and the gratitude that we’re in a position in my family and household that i don’t have to if i don’t want to but two the ability to see clearly and know no i really need to think through is this where i’m gonna find my true joy and happiness because that’s my ultimate goal right yeah i know i got to do some work and i enjoy a lot of the work i do which is great but i also know that the most important thing in my life is to feel fulfilled and enjoy my time right and i want to do some things that aren’t work and i’m not going to get paid for and i’m fine with that not getting paid for them i just don’t want to donate all my time to something even if i like it i don’t want to donate so much time to it that i don’t like it anymore right yeah and and even with this with the podcast like it’s easy to start to say yeah this is fun and we do it because i want to help people and i get a lot out of it and i enjoy talking with you but then there is always that part of me is is like creeping in like so what can we do to make it more popular how can i turn this into a way to make money and then do i want to you know being aware that like i don’t want to sell myself out or have us sell out what we want to do because we want it to be popular and make money and quit our you know so i can quit my day job and just do podcasts all day like way that sounds great you know it sounds great but do i want to compromise what we do to achieve that goal so far the answer has been no so and i think about this like what if a treatment center or a recovery house brand was like hey uh we want you to sponsor us and and do a little ad for us in the middle of your thing like we believe in voices yeah it’s so easy to say when nobody’s asking i am gonna uphold my right because nobody’s asking what if they offer us like you know so much money per episode to have an advertisement for one of these for for a i don’t know oxford house what do you do do we do that do we say hey go stay at the oxford house they offer this this and this server like do they i don’t know i don’t go there yeah and i’ve heard other people say they will you know endorse stuff that they believe in you know at the moment i couldn’t say i’d have to look at what it was i would like to think that i would want to know what their mission was and what they were trying to achieve and did we go live there for six months before we decide if we can endorse them well i’ve lived here for six months i feel good about saying that they’re good yeah or at least looking into what they do i mean i’m like if you just fellowship by some of the meetings you went to you’d think n a was a [ _ ] joke yeah so you can’t necessarily judge it by that but anyway i don’t know i would like to think i would only want to endorse things that i believed in that i felt were worthwhile i feel like people who would want us to endorse them not that there’s anything wrong with us but it’s going to be recovery or detox related in some way i don’t know why detoxes would want to advertise with us nobody that is getting high is listening to us i highly doubt that yeah i don’t know maybe maybe maybe people getting higher the only ones listening to us i don’t want to sound like those animals listen to these [ _ ] guys right god i’m gonna keep getting high um pontificating bastards i don’t know i i’ve questioned that because i i mean at some point somebody’s gonna reach out and say run a hat for us and i’m gonna i’m gonna feel weird about that i’ve always felt weird about advertising for anything yeah me too i didn’t even want to record the voices at and i love them i was like billy you gotta do that yeah i i don’t know man yeah so i have nothing wrong with endorsements so it’s easy i’ll take the money jason’s turning down his share so i’ll do the read all right there we go uh we we say you know it’s easy for the money property and prestige to divert us from our primary life purpose but what about endorsing or lending the name to other things like would you endorse or lend your family name to something or do you feel like that gets confusing in some way especially i mean like a lot of money making ventures i’m not saying all but a lot of money making ventures are have some shady aspect to them at some point along the way whether that’s you make your product for four dollars and sell it for 50 or you know like there’s some piece of it that i’m probably in the process if i really knew not all that okay with that’s how making money works yeah right um so would you lend your family name to something like that or or something that mattered to you i don’t know is that like writing a review for something with a public persona that’s interesting i mean i’ve done that with like my name i’ve written reviews for things you know posted them on media sites i endorse the school that my kids go to and we’ve always said oh if anybody wants to talk you know we’ll talk to other families our kids will talk to other kids i endorse the counseling center i work at yeah so i i don’t know obviously i endorse the company that i work for i like them i believe in what they do my full-time job interesting yeah this one is really hard to relate outside of n a like i i just don’t know that it transfers it transfers to the individual level but i don’t know that it transfers to like the community level or the us level like we always try to take them there to some aspect but yeah i mean i would say there are some you know christian you know in the the uh ten commandments type stuff that tie in about greed and envy and you know lust like those things are those are inherent in all people you know and i think just as addicts were even more sensitive and susceptible because they feel that like money property and prestige can all give us that endorphin high you know that we’re chasing to feel good about ourselves and so i think everyone’s susceptible to it but as addicts we seem to be as like most things even more sensitive to that susceptibility so i feel like the amish people don’t have electric i know amish people right where does that come from but i just think about these people sometimes because i i like their way of living to some extent i don’t i honestly don’t know that i could do it but i think it’s beautiful well and for those in other parts of the country we live in an area where there are tons of amish farms around so you see people on amish buggies we’re right outside of the lancaster area they’ve actually moved they’re taking over this cecil county maryland area they’re buying up farms and land so we see a ton of amish farms right and if you don’t know what that is you’d have to look it up because my description would be terrible but generally they like farm they avoid technology electricity for the most part there’s no apparently set rule about that but that’s generally how they operate and the idea is they don’t want to participate in things that separate them from their closeness in their relationship to their god which i think is beautiful right because i do think the hours i spend looking at my [ _ ] phone all day does separate me from my relationship with god right i i totally get it i’m like yeah y’all are i butch i grew up that way i’d probably love it but they make money and that’s one of the ones i get confused on i’m like how in the [ _ ] are they like that seems like that would separate you from god chasing money yeah they apparently make a lot of money and they don’t get taxed on any of it so really yeah can we be honest i i don’t know what does it take to be honest and not get i’m not sure how that works lots of things are done under the guise of the church i’d say guys i don’t know that that’s true i i don’t know how money works in those communities i don’t think um it’s like i i don’t believe it’s the same as us like you go out and earn 500 i i don’t believe you just keep that money i believe the way it works is that money goes to the church you get your needs met and then the money goes to the church i could be completely wrong on that now because i’m basing this off i watched a documentary years and years ago and it’s been a long time on the amish and it said a lot of the things that you had talked about but like in this area you know like there’s a sort of famous like oh get the amish to build your [ _ ] for you because they build good stuff and you can get amish builders and what happens is they hire some american guy to drive them around in a pickup truck and take them to [ __ ] lowe’s and home depot and whatever to buy all the materials but then they do all the actual work you know and they just they can ride in the car but they can’t drive the car some things like that yeah they can oversee the money but they can’t handle the money or pay it to the store like there’s some weird weird quirky rules that you know they found some ways to skirt around

so i don’t know i uh i guess i mean we kind of are endorsed by voices they lend their name i don’t how does that work are they saying we’re good uh they’re sponsoring yeah i don’t know i mean i think they’re good i got no problem saying that so i think they do good work so nothing’s perfect everything’s got its problems and it’s issues and whatever i could pick out some of the 12-step fellowship i belong to we could sit here and pick it apart oh my god but can we you know as far as i would steal anyone that came to me and asked i’d say hey come to this 12-step fellowship it’s the [ _ ] best thing going for people like us i mean i believe so yeah and uh i’m not sure i believe that but because i endorse something doesn’t make it perfect you know i’m not perfect hmm i don’t know what other thoughts you got about tradition six ah that’s about it okay so we we excitingly uh made our first initial donation and opened up and yeah this is i guess kind of bragging i don’t know but i also just want to let people know like what we do we made a donation from recovery sort of to uh voices of hope and started a recovery sort of fund yeah so people uh we talked about we were going to do this and we were trying to set it up it is finally in place uh people who are coming from the substance use world who don’t have things and they get a place you know there’s there is some funding out there for recovery houses and stuff to get you started and so they they get in this recovery house and maybe they got one set of clothes and maybe they have a baby and don’t have food or diapers or whatever it is right uh we have a fund that they can come and they can talk to people at voices and spend some time with a peer recovery specialist you know which builds that peer recovery relationship somebody to talk to somebody who’s not guilty or shaming you they’re just like hey you know what do you need how can we help and they start to form a relationship and then the stuff gets ordered sent in the mail hopefully quickly as possible then the person has to come back they go through the stuff together make sure it’s all there there’s more time there connecting and spending time so it kind of like is a dual purpose here we’re like increasing their relationship with somebody who’s in recovery and at the same time helping them get some supplies they need to get started in their recovery life and uh that’s exciting man i i never thought when we sat down with a goddamn microphone at episode one and just started babbling or even before that when we were just meeting up and meditating and [ _ ] and talking about doing this and what we would possibly talk about i never thought we would be donating money and starting a fund to help people or give back to the community like that was not really what was on my head it was like i’m gonna talk and it’s gonna sound so [ __ ] great

right so it’s it’s kind of so much good stuff the world needs to hear right people need to listen to me life would be so much better um it’s kind of amazing that we’ve come to a place where yeah we probably still like to talk but we’re doing something man we’re helping to get back to somebody who needs it hopefully right i guess i’m thankful for this experience right i do hope people get something out of what we talk about i i do hope this is useful i hope it’s stuff that if nothing else keeps recovery ideas and questioning yourself fresh in your brain throughout the week but beyond all that it has just helped to change me right right i’ve been more open-minded i feel like i’m just a little less self-centered and i feel like the process of us doing this podcast has really been instrumental in and helping me get there so thank you recovery sort of for changing me yes thank you listeners yeah all right everybody uh have a good week bye

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