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There Is A Solution!

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RA RA's Logo There Is A Solution! The E-Newsletter of Recoveries Anonymous; The Solution Focused Twelve Step Fellowship.
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R.A.’s Ninth TraditionRA
R.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. RA
    This is the next in a series of articles about R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Even though A.A. has granted us permission to adapt the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Recoveries Anonymous is a unique Fellowship with a distinctive way of looking at and working the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. R.A.'s experience is that, when someone thoroughly follows the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," they will duplicate the pioneers' results. They will find the same recovery that the pioneers found.RA
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LquoteR.A.'s Ninth Tradition makes
two statements. First, it says that Recoveries Anonymous should never
be organized. It then says that R.A.
may still create service boards,
or committees...
Rquote
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    R.A.'s Ninth Tradition makes two statements. First, it says that Recoveries Anonymous should never be organized. It then says that R.A. may still create service boards, or committees as long as they are directly responsible to the people they serve. These statements may seem to contradict each other. However, R.A.'s experience is that this is not the case.RA
    Bill Wilson wrote an editorial explaining the Ninth Tradition to the fellowship. It was published in the August 1948 issue of A.A.'s magazine, The Grapevine. In the first paragraph, Bill says that the ideal is for the fellowship to have as little organization as possible. He says that there are no fees or dues for membership in the program. He goes on to say that the fellowship cannot force anyone to follow any rules. Finally, he shares the essence of the program. He says that it is simply one person carrying the program's message of recovery to another.RA
    In R.A., we note that in this editorial, Bill is very clear. He does not suggest that the program not be organized at all. He simply says that it should have as little organization as possible. Bill calls this the program's "universal ideal."RA
    Starting in the next paragraph, Bill explains how the pioneers learned to achieve this "ideal." Bill says that, in the early days of the program, people had two very different points of view. There were those who wanted things to be simple. Bill says that they were afraid of having things organized. They believed that money, committees, elections, and paid workers, were all unnecessary complications. Bill says that these people believed that the only thing that the program needed was "simplicity." Bill says that they were content to let newcomers find the program by chance. They believed that, if someone happened to find their way to the program, they should be cared for, but that is all. RA
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LquoteBill is very clear. He does
not suggest that the program not
be organized at all. He simply says
that it should have as little
organization as possible.
Rquote
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    In the following paragraph, Bill describes those who had a very different point of view. Bill calls them promoters. Bill says that they would have liked the program to run its own hospitals, have large paid staffs, and hire skilled public relations professionals to publicize everything. RA
    Bill continues by saying that he was happy that the program had both points of view. He says that the program learned from them. He says that those who wanted simplicity would make sure that the program would not become too organized. While the others who wanted to publicize the program would never let us forget our responsibilities. They would be sure to remind us that we have to be here for the newcomer and for those who have yet to find that there is a solution.RA
    In the next paragraph, Bill says that the program will follow what he called a "firm and safe middle course." He says that the program should never become too structured. However, he goes on to insist that some things must be organized. Bill then addresses some of the specific things that must be done for the program to be able to effectively work with others.RA
    Bill says that the groups must have service people to function smoothly. Next, he says that the fellowship also must have some organization. This is needed so it can provide needed services. This includes being able to collect contributions, manage an office, and print literature. He says that effectively working with newcomers, making contact with medical professionals, and maintaining good public relations cannot be left to chance. Bill specifically states that the program must have people responsible for doing these tasks. He says that sometimes this might include people who are paid to perform these services.RA
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LquoteWe have as little organization
as possible. However, we have found that having a small amount
of organization is essential.
Rquote
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    Bill ends his editorial by stating that services such as these greatly aid the program. He says that they do not interfere with the spirituality of the program. He says that having these services does not mean that the program is actually organized. He says that this does not mean that the program's Twelfth Step work has been handed to professionals.RA
    In R.A., we believe that the Ninth Tradition states our "universal ideal." We have as little organization as possible. However, we have found that having a small amount of organization is essential. We can create service boards or committees. These, in turn, help us to maintain our identity as a spiritual entity. A small amount of organization allows us to fulfill our primary purpose. We can effectively carry R.A.'s message of hope, sanity, and recovery to those who still suffer.RA
    This is a preview of the chapter about the Ninth Tradition that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
View an HTML version of R.A.'s Twelve Traditions!  Download R.A.'s Meetings Guide!
 
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The Least Possible OrganizationRA
There are several misunderstandings about the Ninth Tradition. The first one happens because many people who come to R.A. have been in other programs. Therefore, they are usually only familiar with the short form of this tradition. They often do not know that there is also a long form of this tradition.RA
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LquoteEach A.A. Group
needs the least possible organization. Rotating
leadership is the best.
Rquote
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    These people also do not know that the long form of the Ninth Tradition continues to be in force. It is still printed in the current Big Book and in A.A.'s 12&12. In R.A., we believe that it is important to understand the long form of the Ninth Tradition.RA
    The original long form version of the Ninth Tradition was first published in the April 1946 issue of A.A.'s magazine, The Grapevine. It says, "Each A.A. Group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its secretary, the large group its rotating committee, and the groups of a large Metropolitan area their central or intergroup committee, which often employs a full-time secretary. The Trustees of The Alcoholic Foundation are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office in New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our over-all public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principal newspaper, 'The A.A. Grapevine.' All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness." RA
    Recoveries Anonymous has its own service structure. R.A. Universal Services is the custodian of R.A.'s Traditions. It receives the voluntary contributions that are used to support the R.A. Universal Service Office. It has also been given the authority to take care of R.A.'s public relations. It assures the integrity of R.A.'s Newsletter, There Is A Solution! It produces and distributes the rest of R.A.'s Solution Focused Literature. All R.A.'s representatives are only trusted servants. They do not govern. They also demonstrate "universal respect." This is the key to their usefulness to those they strive to help. RA
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LquoteRecoveries Anonymous
has its own service structure. R.A. Universal Services is the custodian of R.A.'s Traditions.
Rquote
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    R.A. has graciously been granted permission by A.A. to adapt their Twelve Traditions. Therefore, in R.A., we completely embrace the long form of the Ninth Tradition. In R.A., we have found that it is very helpful. It can be used to correct other common misunderstandings about this tradition. RA
——————RA
    In R.A., we believe that there is a misunderstanding about the Ninth Tradition that was inadvertently caused by Bill. He wrote an essay about the Ninth Tradition. It is in A.A.'s 12&12, starting on page 172. In the first paragraph, Bill says that in the years after the long form of this tradition was written, the pioneers changed their minds. He says that, instead of "the least possible organization," they came to believe that the program should "never be organized" at all. Bill then says that the program should still have special service boards and committees that are organized. He calls this a "seeming contradiction." RA
     In R.A., we believe that anyone who has ever attended a meeting in a Twelve Step program can easily see that there must be some organization. For example, most groups have service people. They usually have a secretary, a treasurer, and a literature person. Many groups also have someone responsible for refreshments. They may have someone who can be depended upon to open the meeting room. Another person may set up the chairs. Without people willing to perform these tasks, most groups would not be able to function. Therefore, most people can easily see that some degree of organization is needed for things to run smoothly. RA
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LquoteIn R.A., we believe that
anyone who has ever attended a
meeting in a Twelve Step program
can easily see that there must be
some organization.
Rquote
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    In addition, most people can see that there must also be people doing service at the fellowship level. Literature must be written, printed, and distributed. Contributions must be collected. Questions about the program must be answered. Without a certain amount of organization, there would be no one to provide these vital services. RA
    R.A.'s experience is that the wording in the short form of this tradition does not make sense to many people. First, it says that the program should "never be organized." Then, it calls for the creation of service boards or committees. This has caused much confusion. Therefore, in R.A., we believe that the wording from the original long form of the Ninth Tradition better describes how things actually work. It calls for, "the least possible organization." RA
    This is a preview of the chapter about the Ninth Tradition that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
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  A page from R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery.
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The Miracles Revealed:
R.A.’s Journal of Recovery
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The page to the right is from R.A.'s second book, "The Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery." This book will give even the most experienced person a fresh look at the program. You can read it like a daily journal, or you can read it straight through. R.A.'s Journal will help everyone come to a deeper understanding of our program of recovery. If you enjoy this sample, please visit R.A.'s web site and download a copy of "The Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal of Recovery."RA
A Story of RecoveryRA
Our experience is that the stories in the original Multilith Big Book were written to validate the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps. To help your recovery, we encourage you to visit R.A.'s web site and get "The Original Way Out Revealed: R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book" and read all of these original stories. The following passage is from the story "THE UNBELIEVER." In R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book, in the personal story section, on page PS9 it says:RA
RA"He's trying ... idealistic as hell ... nice fellow, too. Oh, why do I have to suffer with this revolving brain? Why can't I sleep? What was it he said? Oh yes, came in and told about his terrific drunks, his trips up here, this same thing I'm going through. Yes, he's an alcoholic all right. And then he told me he knew he was cured. Told me he was peaceful ... (I'll never know peace again) ... that he didn't carry constant fear around with him. Happy because he felt free. But it's screwy. He said so himself. But he did get my confidence when he started to tell what he had gone through. It was so exactly like my case. He knew what this torture is. He raised my hopes so high; he looked as though he had something. I don't know, I guess I was so sold that I expected him to spring some kind of a pill and I asked him desperately what it was.RA
RA
"And he said 'God.'RA
RA"And I laughed.RA
RA"A ball bat across my face would have been no greater shock. I was so high with hope and expectation. How can a man be so heartless? He said that it sounded screwy but it worked, at least it had with him ... said he was not a religionist ... in fact didn't go to church much ... my ears came up at that ... his unconventionality attracted me ... said that some approaches to religion were screwy ... talked about how the simplest truth in the world had been all balled up by complicating it ... that attracted me ... oh, for God's sake get out of my mind ... what a fine religious bird I'd be ... imagine the glee of the gang at me getting religion ... phooey ... thoughts, please slow down ... why don't they give me something to go to sleep ... lay down in green pastures ... the guy's nuts ... forget him.RA
RA
Lquote...talked about how
the simplest truth in the world had been all balled up by complicating it...that
attracted me...
Rquote
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RA"And so it's the nut house for me ... glad mother is dead, she won't have to suffer that ... if I'm going nuts maybe it'd be better to be crazy the way he is ... at least the kids wouldn't have the insane father whisper to carry through life ... life's cruel ... the puny-minded, curtain hiding gossips ... didn't you know his father was committed for insanity? What a sly label that would be to hang on those boys ... damn the gossiping, reputation-shredding, busybodies who put their noses into other people's business.RA
RA"He'd laid in this same dump ... suffered ... gone through hell ... made up his mind to get well ... studied alcoholism ... Jung ... Blank Medical Foundation ... asylums ... Hopkins ... many said incurable disease ... impossible ... nearly all known cures had been through religion ... revolted him ... made a study of religion ... more he studied the more it was bunk to him ... not understandable ... self-hypnotism crap ... and then the thought hit him that people had it all twisted up. They were trying to pour everyone into moulds, put a tag on them, tell them what they had to do and how they had to do it, for the salvation of their own souls. When as a matter of fact people were through worrying about their souls, they wanted action right here and now. A lot of tripe had been built up around the simplest and most beautiful ideas in the world.RA
RA
RA
LquoteI came to the conclusion
that there is SOMETHING.
I know not what It is, but It
is bigger than I.
Rquote
RA
RA"And how did he put the idea ... bunk ... bunk ... why in hell am I still thinking about him ... in hell ... that's good ... I am in hell. He said: 'I came to the conclusion that there is SOMETHING. I know not what It is, but It is bigger than I. If I will acknowledge It, if I will humble myself, if I will give in and bow in submission to that SOMETHING and then try to lead a life as fully in accord with my idea of good as possible, I will be in tune.' And later the word good contracted in his mind to God.RA
RA"But mister, I can't see any guy with long white whiskers up there just waiting for me to make a plea ... and what did he answer ... said I was trying to complicate it ... why did I insist on making It human ... all I had to do was believe in some power greater than myself and knuckle down to It ... and I said maybe, but tell me mister why are you wasting your time up here? Don't hand me any bunk about it being more blessed to give than to receive ... asked him what this thing cost and he laughed. He said it wasn't a waste of time ... in doping it out he had thought of something somebody had said. A person never knew a lesson until he tried to pass it on to someone else. And that he had found out every time he tried to pass this on it became more vivid to him. So if we wanted to get hard boiled about it, he owed me, I didn't owe him. That's a new slant ... the guy's crazy as a loon ... get away from him brain ... picture me going around telling other people how to run their lives ... if I could only go to sleep ... that sedative doesn't seem to take hold.RA
RA"He could visualize a great fellowship of us ... quietly, semi-secretly passing this from alcoholic to alcoholic ... nothing organized ... not ministers ... not missionaries ... what a story ... thought we'd have to do it to get well ... some kind of a miracle had happened in his life ... common sense guy at that ... his plan does fire the imagination.RA
RA
"Told him it sounded like self-hypnotism to me and he said what of it ... didn't care if it was yogi-ism [yogi-sim], self-hypnotism, or anything else ... four of them were well. But it's so damn hypocritical ... I get beat every other way and then I turn around and lay it in God's lap ... damned if I ever would turn to God ... what a low-down, cowardly, despicable trick that would be ... don't believe in God anyway ... just a lot of hooey to keep the masses in subjugation ... world's worst inquisitions have been practiced in His name ... and he said ... do I have to turn into an inquisitionist ... if I don't knuckle down, I die ... why the low-down missionary ... what a bastardly screw to put on a person ... a witch burner, that's what he is ... the hell with him and all his damn theories ... crap ... witch burner.RA
RA
LquoteHe could visualize a
great fellowship of us...nothing organized...not ministers...not missionaries...what a story...
Rquote
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RA"Sleep, please come to my door ... that last was the eight hundred and eighty-fifth sheep over the fence ... guess I'll put in some black ones ... sheep ... shepherds ... wise men ... what was that story ... hell there I go back on that same line ... told him I couldn't understand and I couldn't believe anything I couldn't understand. He said he supposed then that I didn't use electricity. No one actually understood where it came from or what it was. Nuts to him. He's got too many answers. What did he think the nub of the whole thing was? Subjugate self to some power above ... ask for help ... mean it ... try to pass it on. Asked him what he was going to name this? Said it would be fatal to give it any kind of a tag ... to have any sort of formality.RA
RA"I'm going nuts ... tried to get him into an argument about miracles ... about immaculate conception ... about stars leading three wise men ... Jonah and the whale. He wanted to know what difference those things made ... he didn't even bother his head about them ... if he did, he would get tight again. So I asked him what he thought about the Bible. Said he read it, and used those things he agreed with and understood. He didn't take the Bible literally as an instruction book, for there was no nonsense you could not make out of it that way. If ministers could only just advise people and not try to tell them what they HAD to do, he figured religion would be more successful with fellows like us ... figured most preachers tried to pour people into some mould of their own.RA
RA"Thought I had him when I asked about the past sins I had committed. Guess I've done everything in the book ... I supposed I would have to adopt the attitude that all was forgiven ... here I am pure and clean as the driven snow ... or else I was to go through life flogging myself mentally ... bah. But he had the answer for that one too. Said he couldn't call back the hellish things he had done, but he figured life might be a ledger page. If he did a little good here and there, maybe the score would be evened up some day. On the other hand, if he continued as he had been going there would be nothing but debit items on the sheet. Kind of common sense.RA
RA
RA
LquoteBrrrr, this floor is cold on
my knees...why are the tears running like a river down my cheeks...God, have mercy
on my soul!
Rquote
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RA"This is ridiculous ... have I lost all power of logic ... would I fall for all that religious junk ... let's see if I can't get to thinking straight ... that's it ... I'm trying to do too much thinking ... just calm myself ... quietly ... quiet now ... relax every muscle ... start at the toes and move up ... insane ... wet brain ... those boys ... what a mess my life is ... mistress ... how I hate her ... ah ... I know what's the matter ... that fellow gave me an emotional upset ... I'll list every reason I couldn't accept his way of thinking. After laughing at this religious stuff all these years I'd be a hypocrite. That's one. Second, if there was a God, why all this suffering? Wait a minute, he said that was one of the troubles, we tried to give God some form. Make It just a Power that will help. Third, it sounds like the Salvation Army. Told him that and he said he was not going around singing on any street corners. Simply, if he heard of a guy suffering the torments, he told him his story and belief.RA
RA"There I go thinking again ... just started to get calmed down ... sleep ... boys ... insane ... death ... mistress ... life all messed up ... business. Now listen, take hold ... what am I going to do? NEVER ... that's final and in caps. Never ... that's net no discount. Never ... never ... and my mind is made up. NEVER am I going to be such a cowardly low down son of a bitch as to acknowledge any God. The two faced, gossiping Babbitts can go around with their sanctimonious Christ mouthings, their miserable worshipping, their Bible quotations, their holier-than-thou attitudes, their nicy-nice Christian, Sunday-worshipping, Monday-robbing actions, but never will they find me acknowledging God. Let me laugh ... I'd like to shriek with insane glee ... my mind's made up ... insane, there it is again.RA
RA"Brrrr, this floor is cold on my knees ... why are the tears running like a river down my cheeks ... God, have mercy on my soul!."
 
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A Newcomer AsksRA
Q"I used to attend a meeting in another program. The members of this group refused to have anyone in charge of anything. No one was responsible for unlocking the meeting room door. We never knew when we were going to be able to get into the building to hold a meeting or if we would have to sit out in the parking lot chatting about the weather until someone showed up to open the door. Even when the room was open, no one would set up the chairs. No one would make sure that the literature was put out. Every meeting was chaos. When I questioned this, the older members would quote the part of the Ninth Tradition that says we should 'never be organized.' I found Recoveries Anonymous online. What I've read seems to make a lot more sense than what I've seen elsewhere. Now, I'm thinking of starting an R.A. meeting. Will I still have to deal with these same issues, or does R.A. have a different understanding of the Ninth Tradition?"RA
QThank you for wanting to start an R.A. Group. We are sure it will be a rewarding experience. When you start an R.A. Group, you will not have to deal with the same misunderstanding of the Ninth Tradition that you encountered in that other program.RA
RA
Lquote...each group should
use the least possible organization needed for it to function effectively.
Rquote
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RAIn R.A., we use the original long form of the Ninth Tradition. We especially refer to its first sentence. It says, "Each A.A. Group needs the least possible organization." This version of the tradition was first published in the April 1946 issue of A.A.'s magazine, The Grapevine. This long form makes it clear that the pioneers understood that groups would need some structure to function. However, it emphasizes they should have the "least possible" organizational structure.RA
RAThe pioneers realized that the full original version of the Ninth Tradition is rather long. They later decided the traditions should be similar in length to the steps. Therefore, they wrote a short form of each tradition. The short form of the Ninth Tradition now says, "A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve."RA
RASo now there are two versions of the Ninth Tradition, the original long form, and the later short form. Both versions are still in force. However, they are intended to serve two different purposes and each addresses a different part of the program. In R.A., we have found that many people in other programs do not understand this. Therefore, they become confused. This results in situations such as you experienced.RA
RAThe first sentence of the long form of the Ninth Tradition is directed at the individual groups. It says that each group should use the least possible organization needed for it to function effectively. The first sentence of the short form of the Ninth Tradition is directed at the entire fellowship. It says that the fellowship should never be organized in a way that would give it a governmental structure. The pioneers did not want anyone to be in a position of authority over the members of the program. They wanted to limit the authority of those doing service.RA
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LquoteBill says that we first start living by spiritual principles because we must. If we do
not do this, we die.
Rquote
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RAIn R.A.'s experience, the pioneers used the short form of the Ninth Tradition to deal with some problems that had surfaced in the early days of the program. Many pioneers wanted to keep the program as simple as possible. However, there were other pioneering members who had tried to create rules and regulations. They then tried to force the other members to follow them. When they met resistance, they tried to discipline or expel those who did not agree with them. These efforts at control always created problems. RA
RAThis does not mean that the pioneers were against any form of structure in the program. We know this because the short form of the Ninth Tradition says that there can still be "service boards or committees." Therefore, the short form of the Ninth Tradition allows groups to have service people. It recognizes the need for people to do the tasks that are necessary for each group to function smoothly. It allows someone to be responsible for opening the meeting room. It permits a group to have a secretary and a literature person, and any other service people that they feel they need.RA
RABill Wilson wrote an essay about the Ninth Tradition. It is in A.A.'s 12&12. In R.A., we believe that Bill uses this essay to explain why the program does not need people in authority to force members to work the Twelve Steps. On page 174, in the second half of the first paragraph, Bill says that if someone does not follow the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" to work the Twelve Steps, no matter how imperfectly, he or she will surely die. Bill then says that this death sentence is not imposed by anyone in authority. He says that it will be the result of refusing to live by the "spiritual principles" that are in the Twelve Steps. RA
RA
LquoteThen, [Bill] says that we begin to follow these same principles because we love the sanity doing this produces in our lives.Rquote
RA
RA
RABill continues in the next paragraph. He says that the same grim warning also applies to the group. He says that, unless a group follows the Twelve Traditions as closely as possible, it too can fade and disappear. RA
RAIn R.A., we believe that what Bill shares next is one of the most important aspects of the program. Bill says that we first start living by spiritual principles because we must. He says that if we do not do this, we die. Then, he says that we begin to follow these same principles because we love the sanity doing this produces in our lives. Bill says that we do not need to have anyone in authority to discipline us. He says that we already have our own history of suffering, followed by our own recovery, to keep us on our spiritual path.RA
    This is a preview of the chapter about the Ninth Tradition that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.
 
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R.A.’s “How To Begin…” GuidesRA
To find out more about our Twelve Step Fellowship, and how you can get started working the Twelve Steps of our Solution Focused Program of Recovery, we suggest that you visit our web site and Download R.A.'s "How To Begin…" guides. This includes R.A.'s Newcomer Guide, "How To Begin Living In The Solution."

R.A.’s Solution Focused BooksRA
Move up to the next step in your search for recovery by downloading and reading the PDF versions of R.A.'s Solution Focused Books. We do not charge for the PDF versions of our books. Instead, we give the passwords needed to open our books to thank those who support our efforts to help others. You can show your support by making a small, one time, tax-free contribution to R.A., or, if you truly cannot afford to make a contribution at this time, by filling out our Feedback Form. RA
    If you are reading this, you have probably spent a lot of time and energy trying things that did not work out the way you hoped they would. Doesn't it make sense to invest a little more time and energy in this time-proven method of finding the recovery you've been seeking? As the pioneers promise in the Multilith Big Book: ''It works—it really does. Try it.''

R.A. Is Self-supportingRA
If R.A. has helped you, please consider making a contribution in support of our efforts to help others.

Recoveries AnonymousRA
For more information about our Twelve Step Program Of Recovery visit our web site at www.R-A.org

 
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