Some Points From an NA Member

I have been told about your site for a while now and just got around to checking it out today… of course, this topic has been floating around in recovery circles for months and considering I don’t live in Volusia County, I haven’t worried about it too much. Upon reading over your site, I have to say I agree with a few of your points and I have a couple of objections. I’m an open minded person, I’m not one to think that as soon as someone opposes twelve step recovery they are immediately wrong. I question the program a lot myself. I’ve been a devoted member of NA for over X years and I think I’m qualified to present my opinion. First, in many larger cities NA doesn’t meet in parks…its something they tend to do around here. If you care to have a party or use a park for the day, parks and recreation generally wants you to rent a pavilion or something of the sort, so I agree that using a pavilion 5 days a week for free is indeed accepting an outside contribution. Often times, there is a lot of conflict within the program about the traditions and how people interpret them. Just like laws, different people take them different ways. Also, I personally have always had an issue with the park meetings because I am not a big fan of all of the smoking and I also figure that an anonymous fellowship meeting in such close proximity to a playground or a shuffleboard court, etc… poses somewhat of a conflict of interest. I will attend these meetings, however, when I need to make a meeting and there is nothing else available. I am not able to make group decisions about meeting locations or tradition interpretation, I can only offer my opinion and my single vote. I think we are clearly guilty of taking the easiest route…as finding other meeting locations can be difficult and meeting in a park is cheap (free) and easy. I am not advocating this. I also think you raise an excellent point about drug court. In three years, I have seen very few, very very few, drug court members stay in recovery after getting off of drug court. It does not appear to be a program that works and it brings a lot of people into our fellowship that do not want to be there. To say these people represent NA isn’t fair, because our third tradition tells us that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using. Many of these people don’t have that, they have a desire to not go to jail. Therefore, they are not members, they are simply taking up space. I have empathy for them and hope they will hear something that will help them get clean, but a person sitting on a bench at a park who is not seeking recovery is not an NA member. Minors should not be mandated to go to NA meetings, and special consideration should indeed be taken for young women (by the courts, not by NA). Our program was not designed for people who are forced into recovery. As far as the religious aspect goes… I am an agnostic. I have no religion. I may use the word god because people in meetings prefer it, but the word itself means nothing to me. NA is not a religious organization. It is not an organization at all. We are often refused meeting space at churches because of our lack of religious affiliation. NA World Service has officially mandated we not use the lord’s prayer in our meetings. We have plenty of literature stating that we should not use any language in our meetings that may confuse a new person and lead them to believe the program is religious. The word “god” is used often in our program…but without a need for recovery, the way it is used will not be understood. Our literature literally speaks against dogma. Very literally. “God” does not reflect religion, it reflects the spiritual aspect of the program. If NA was a religious program, I would have immediately headed for the door, as nothing makes me more ill. I know very few religious people in recovery and many spiritual beings. I hope you will understand that I have taken all of your points seriously, agreed with a lot you have to say, and consider my views. NA is powerless over what the courts are doing, we cannot kick the drug court people out of meetings. Our traditions tell us we are to accept and love everyone, regardless of their past. NA has helped me find a new way to live, as it has done for countless others…but I think your heart is in the right place if you are looking out for your community. NA members should not be taking over local parks, littering, having meetings next to playgrounds, etc…but not everything you are saying is accurate. Feel free to use my letter in any capacity you wish.Thanks for reading.

10 thoughts on “Some Points From an NA Member

  1. Now we have a political group trying and intimidating those wanting to use the park. Just the other day a political fund raising business took over the Sunrise Park Pavilion without paying any rent. When a local business owner went inside the pavilion to speak to someone he knew, a man declaring A bouncer like guy tried to intimidate this business owner to leave the unrented pavilion. He was acting like a body guard for this political group.

    Well he got a surprise when the police were called on him!

  2. This confirms the sexual deviant problems in Holly Hill Parks.It is good that they finally did a sting at Ross point as this has been a problem there for years.But it has also been a problem at Holly Hill’s other parks, including Sunrise Park. There are problems there too with men using the bathrooms for sex,as well as court mandated attendees at AA/NA meetings that have harassed residents,and drug dealing in the parking lot.Bernard Cowart had been arrested in the past for cocaine possession,possibly is a court mandated Daytona NA member.Yet The City of Holly Hill dismisses the concerns brought to them about Sunrise Park. Mark Barker says they will move to other parks outside of Holly Hill.Yet he does not deal with the problem that this activity has moved up the street to Sunrise Park where there are playgrounds as well.

    Police cite 6 men in Holly Hill park bathroom sex sting
    November 19, 2011 12:05 AM Posted in: Crime – East Volusia Tagged: sex crimes
    Six men were rounded up in a weeklong bathroom sex sting at a Holly Hill park, police said.

    Police Chief Mark Barker said the operation was initiated after residents complained about suspicious activity at Ross Point Park in the 600 block of Riverside Drive.

    Undercover agents set up in the park and observed several men meet one another and then go into the bathroom, Barker said. Once inside, the men exposed themselves and were found performing various misdemeanor sex acts, Barker said.

    On Nov. 10, Terry Allen Stamps, 50, of Daytona Beach; 50-year-old Eric Dreisbach of Ormond Beach; and Don Allen Cupit, 48, were each charged with one count of unnatural and lascivious acts. Stamps and Dreisbach were released on their own recognizance while Cupit, who is homeless, remains at the Volusia County Branch Jail with bail set at $500.

    On Wednesday, David Mecco, 80, Bernard Henry Cowart, 52, and 61-year-old Paige A. Blakely, no hometowns available, were each charged with one count of indecent exposure, Barker said.

    Cowart was additionally charged with one count of resisting arrest without violence. He was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail after posting $1,000 bail.

    Barker said he was concerned about the type of activity that was taking place in close proximity to a playground.

    “We take this very seriously,” Barker said. “This is a reoccurring problem at public restrooms. Unfortunately, when we enforce the laws it just moves to other parks out of our jurisdiction.”

    Barker said he will ask the city to change the bathroom at Ross Point Park to a single-use facility to limit sexual activity.

  3. You say that NA is not religious.Well you might want to tell the leader of the More Will Be Revealed Group that meets at Sunrise Park.That guy is pushing religion BIG TIME!

    Total bible thumping for everyone in the park to hear.He is not only preaching in Sunrise Park, he is VERY loud and the little kids can hear that he is an addict etc.

  4. great post …proving that all NA members are not bad as we both know. I
    agree with alot you say here however, I have some points I would like to
    discuss with you. The 3rd tradition is just that… a tradition. Not a law,
    procedure or a policy. All Organizations have these. Polices and procedures
    that state the purpose of the Non-profit which NA & AA are. They are Real
    Corporations that have license, tax returns, abiding by laws that all normal
    non profits have to abide by. NA is not different then these but has been
    getting away with using a city park for free for 17 years.

    NA & AA are highly organized with Headquarters in Los Angeles for NA World
    Service and AA in NY for it’s World Services. AA takes in about 12 million
    dollars a year. With an additional 12 million more in assets.

    I have not searched online for NA’s Income Tax return which is required by law
    to be open to the public to see. SO I don’t know what NA’s income is. Maybe you
    can let us know.

    These meetings should all be held in a court house for the DUI’s and plea
    bargaining criminals that are currently being sent. Like Sex offenders and
    violent criminals that are being sent unbeknownst to the innocent member.

    Minors should not be allowed to attend. I plan to create something new for
    minors that is “Safe” where all involved will need a background
    checks. There will be no stupid sponsor who orders some young person around
    with their ego tripping foolishness. Telling them who to sleep with, who to
    marry and what job they should or should not take. ANd no old timer 20 years
    their senior wanting to have sex with newcomers in the early 20’s or minors as

    I love the fact that NA mandated that no Lords Prayer be said. Interesting
    terminology. NA Mandated it. That means that NA could Mandate that there be a
    zero tolerance for sexual harassment as well. Like NA members could obey the
    laws of the USA just like I do, in the grocery store or at the friggen post

    FInally, NA is NOT POWERLESS over the courts. Yes NA members could all agree
    all over the country to not sign any court cards at ALL! NA WORLD Service could
    decide this is no longer good for NA and tell the judges we are no longer
    accepting these in our meetings as they are destroying they have DESTROYED
    the atmosphere of recovery in our meetings …PERIOD!

    Or is NA selling books to rehabs and Prisons and Treatment Centers Like AA is
    doing to pay their High Salaries and expensive conventions. etc. I agree NA’s
    Board is much saner then AA ‘s Board and Office workers.

    “Our traditions tell us to accept & love everyone” Are you
    kidding?….even the Buddhists dont let just anyone in their temple.
    Pedophiles, Rapists, Predators, Con Artists. The stupid traditions are not laws
    , rules, regulations or polices or procedures. AA was very very small when
    these silly 12 traditions were written. NA should have been smarter when it was
    writing its Manual in 1981 and changed these to something that was true, honest
    and made sense in todays world. Then When NA agreed to let the courts send
    DUI”s and then agreed to send 3rd level Sex offenders and violent
    criminals in their plea bargains it should have written safety statements ,
    made sexual harassment policy of zero tolerance etc.

    Or is NA like AA… with a service Board filled with Wardens , Parole Officers
    , Judges and the like. Or is NA’s Board filled with average nice people. I know
    some NA Board members and they are really great men. So this is a real
    question. You seem like an open minded individual, however you seem to be just
    drinking the koolaid when you read the traditions and act like you are
    powerless. That is complete BS. Change it. Make it better. Cause it is not
    working. People are being raped by NA and AA members. I get letters from them.

    People have been murdered by AA members. After 36 years in AA I left to change
    what I could not change from the inside. Now you know. Now you have a
    responsibility to make sure no one is raped and sexually harassed ever again. I
    can not do this without your help and the help of hundreds more.

  5. NA is not a religious orginisation each member is free to choose
    a Higher Power of their own understanding. any judgement on
    the use of the word God would be from the judges perspective
    or understanding of the word God.. misinformation is ripe.

  6. There is a serious safety issue now in AA and NA.
    You are putting your head in the sand when it comes
    to 13 stepping and sexual harassment AA and NA needs to
    get with the times.12 step needs to just implement safety
    statements to be read before or after the preamble which
    btw is 50 % a lie now like the 12 traditions are about 50 %
    a lie. Re write something that makes sense and actually works.

    Antidenial- right on! Tell it like it is. The COurts ruled it religious.
    Sorry but 12 step is very religious.
    Having to turn my Will and my life over the the Care of GOD
    Hmmmmm that is religious Stop calling it spiritual .
    AA and NA now a days is so NOT spiritual.

  7. It is so refreshing to hear honest discussion from people who actually care
    what’s really going on when it comes to recovery! Safe, accountable recovery
    programs for minors and for vulnerable adults. It’s truly unbelievable ,that in
    this day and age with addiction so prevalent, there are so few safe, sane
    options. Maybe that’s why this worldwide priority seems to have, for the most
    part fallen completely through the cracks. What’s really happening is so
    unbelievable that, go figure, most people don’t believe it’s really happening.
    So keep on speaking the truth and raising public awareness promoting safe
    accountable recovery options for everyone! I implore everyone to honestly look
    into this for themselves and open up a dialogue with one another for the sake
    of the vulnerable.

  8. Interesting letter. Appreciate the insight. I have to say that the part where
    you say God because people in the group prefer it is an eye opening statement.
    Well if you are agnostic and nothing would make you more sick than if you were
    in a religious program-I think you are in a little bit of denial.Many courts have
    determined that AA/NA are indeed “religious enough” to qualify as religious.

    The fact that you feel peer pressure to use the word God when you do not state
    you believe in God shows that religious conformity is desired by members.

    I would not use the word God if you do not believe in God just to please
    others. Be true to yourself. Maybe consider why most people do consider AA/NA
    religious-yet AA/NA want to be less than honest about it.

    A church is religious-no problem,because they are being honest with who they
    are. People get upset that AA/NA keeps stating they are not when they clearly

  9. Courts have already determined that AA/NA is a religious group.
    As far as your statement about predators in AA,I am really not surprised
    at your lack of concern. It is because of your lack of concern and AA/NA as a whole that
    members including their children are being sexually abused and some even
    murdered. Your statement that you do background checks is really a joke.First
    of all,people are anonymous are they not? How do you do background checks if
    you do not know their name? Also some meetings have well over 100 members,
    with a large turnover.You cannot possibly do background checks on all the members
    even if you had their names.It is also not just the parents responsibility to watch their
    children but AA/NA as a whole should have safety guidelines-which they do not.
    Alateen has guidelines and they are 12 step. Why not incorporate those?
    I know,too much of a hassle for you guys.The children are not important enough
    to AA/NA.In fact they are just throwing them along with other vulnerable members
    to the wolves!

  10. One NA member cannot speak for our fellowship.. our groups are autonomous
    and they make mistakes our members are their by their own desire (card or no card)
    no we are not powerless over the courts we can give presentations to them via our P.R.
    committees, they would have to actually listen to us over that we are
    powerless. We are not a religious program we are a spiritual program any member that
    tells you we are is misinforming you. We use the word God in our lit
    because we are free to choose one of our own understanding if you infer
    anything on the use of that word well then it is because of your understanding
    or misunderstanding of it, we do not tell members what God or lack of God they
    must choose.

    As for the predator thing and the pedophile thing I have a daughter and i will
    do background checks on members it is my responsibility as a parent to protect
    my child and supervise my child. It is not my right to deny recovery to a
    predator nor is it my right to share anything i know of someone in the
    fellowship with anyone else.
    in cooperation not affiliation.

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