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Old 05-20-2009, 04:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Court Ordered NA

My little town in California was a pilot program for court slips many years ago. It worked and no one minded. So the judges began sending more and more. It got chaotic with 90 percent in meetings being court ordered. We began having violence and anger issues.

The court people didn't seem to put money in the basket. The oldtimers who always donated slowly left the Alano Club meetings and started having meetings in their homes.

After 25 years, the Alano Club couldn't pay the rent and closed. Now the judges get no signed court slips. The county rented a building for AA to meet in and no oldtimers would go there.

Now a probation officer runs the meeting and records who is there. You have to list your first and last name, address and phone number and your PO. I go some times and it's ok, other times I go to meetings in peoples homes

Like I said, at first it was very effective.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The oldtimers have fled NA because of the courtslips. I have 26 years and none of my friends that I got clean with go citing the lack of anonimity. But I didn't leave. I drive an hour each way to a meeting where no one knows me just to keep my anonimity. The courtslips really have made it harder for me to stay clean but NA really is not impressed with oldtimers any more so they don't care if I'm there or not. I usually don't mention my clean time. It just makes things easier ( no attitude toward me).

I've watched the passing parade for years and still watch it. True, I see courtslippers get clean but the problem is they have killed the host. How would you like to have 5 or 10 years and realize all the oldtimers had been run out by the chaos of courtslippers. I would be pissed. I had to have lots of people with lots of cleantime to teach me how to go double digit. Now you have to figure it on your own. A real blow for those who really value their recovery and worked hard for it. But the codependents rule. NA's days are numbered. The latest thing is shutting the meetings down early. You drive an hour to a meeting full of courtslippers and it only lasts half an hour.

By pushing drug court affiliation, NAWS has lost it's most valuable asset, oldtimers. It would be like a university losing all it's professors or a football team losing all of it's experienced players. This is a disaster of biblical proportions.

It's true that the newcommer is the most important person, but the last part of that sentence is "because we can only keep what we have by giving it away".

It's kind of like the US sending all it's jobs overseas and now we wake up and realize we are screwed with ten percent employment.

NAWS will someday wake up and realize that the charge "There is no clean time in NA " could have easily been prevented just by being civil to it's oldtimers.

The last time I was asked to speak was in 1999. My friend with 25 who still attends meetings never gets asked to speak. We are an embarrassment to NAWS because we will not be railroaded.

We oldtimers are their worst nightmare. We can't be bought off by a junket overseas and we say " The Emperor has no clothes on".

It's going to be interesting watching NAWS deal with lack of funds. They killed the money tree and now have pissed off courtslippers who will not give money to the basket.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I suppose one of the most bizzare aspects of the court affiliation is the closed meetings. The court people come under duress and even share in closed meetings that they are not addicts and were pinched by mistake.

I think it's like cutting the ends off the ham, no one even remembers why we have closed meetings any more. They are just going thru the motions. The codependents will rule. We are always looking for a softer easier way and courtslips are easier than jail.

The host has been killed. And who will suffer, the addicts who are just starting to use now. When they seek help M
NA will not exist for them.

I saw Cocaine Anonymous collapse. They would say "CA will always be here." it was a way to shut us up.

I went to Eureka, CA where the oldtimers all split and the meeting secretaries were courtslippers. The county vans would circle the dark churches. The courtslippers were too spun to unlock.

But no one wants to hear this ****. They are mesmerized because some courtslippers got 30 days, so what if it's destroying the program. Who cares.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tsar7 View Post
I suppose one of the most bizzare aspects of the court affiliation is the closed meetings. The court people come under duress and even share in closed meetings that they are not addicts and were pinched by mistake.

I think it's like cutting the ends off the ham, no one even remembers why we have closed meetings any more. They are just going thru the motions. The codependents will rule. We are always looking for a softer easier way and courtslips are easier than jail.

The host has been killed. And who will suffer, the addicts who are just starting to use now. When they seek help M
NA will not exist for them.

I saw Cocaine Anonymous collapse. They would say "CA will always be here." it was a way to shut us up.

I went to Eureka, CA where the oldtimers all split and the meeting secretaries were courtslippers. The county vans would circle the dark churches. The courtslippers were too spun to unlock.

But no one wants to hear this ****. They are mesmerized because some courtslippers got 30 days, so what if it's destroying the program. Who cares.

It's called Gresham's Law.

Bad currency drives out the good and heterodoxy becomes orthodoxy.

To quote the author of Gresham's Law and Alcoholics Anonymous, "Who cares to drive a stick shift when the model with the automatic is a hundred dollars cheaper?"
Jim
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The fellowship has broken into two parts. Those over twenty years and those under five years. Being over twenty years I find myself flying into cities and being picked up by people I have never met with over twenty years. You know them by the color of their shirt or cap and the voice on a cell phone. You are whisked away to their house. The next day you meet more dinosours. Meetings are held. None of these people are ever asked to speak at conventions. Because they have clean time they are the lepers of NA. No one wants anything to do with them. Then you fly homebSunday night. Next weekend it is Atlanta, next weekend it is Vegas. Always
the shirt it cap, always meeting more dinosours. Always talking recovery and why is NAWS doing what it is doing. Don't they understand. Then back home on Sunday night.

For those with less than five, it's burning up meetings.

For the five to fifteen year bunch it's no mans land. Fragmented. No dinosours to guide them as they argue with us dinosours.

The under five crowd needs sponsors but there are none as they are fragmented. The five to fifteen crowd needs sponsors but want to argue with them, so have trouble getting them.

As for me, I still burn up meetings. I get attacked if I tell the truth so I tend to smile, slide in and out of the meetings and don't go into my clean time much or where I live so they are unable to blow my anonimity when they try to.

It's a wild and whacky world. It's NA world where the circuit speakers have 7 years and the guys with 25 years listen to their wisedom.

The student pilot speaks and Scully listens to his pointers on how to ditch a plane.

You gotta love it or it will drive you nuts.

So press on, rewrite the book one more time and remember to stop and smell the coffee.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Went to two meetings this
morning . It was three hours roundbtrip. But I got my fix.

A young fellow there had 7 months and went out. He introduced himself as an addict/alcoholic. "Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse".

Another relapsers had been "sober" three days.

I wonder if these people drive on the right or left hand side of the road.

The the guy next to
me starts talking meds.

It seemed so easy, so clear cut, so logical to mebwhen I came in.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Our group signs slips on sunday night and I never go any more last time I went the Judges boy and girls were rude ,load, burped ,and farted through the whole meeting I guess, I stayed about 15 mins and havent been back. If someone is serious I'll see them and support them at another meeting.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A couple of thoughts. (First of all I go to AA not NA but I consider this a minor difference).

Court ordered AA has been ruled illegal in many places because of the religous aspect of the program. I can only assume NA would fall in the same boat.

Secondly, many of the AA groups in my area refuse to sign court slips. There were 1 or 2 judges that were momentarily pissed off, but they are powerless here as no one in any particular AA group has been court ordered to do anything. Your local NA groups might consider this in their next group conscience meeting.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Tsar7,

have you ever read this?

Meeting Attendace Cards
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Twelve Traditions that keep our fellowships alive and free
have not magicaly dissapeared because of ignorance or abuse.

They upheld by the same force that helps us to stay clean
and recover on a daily basis. It is what it has always been!

"As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger
then those that would tear us apart, all will be well."

"The Traditions protect us from the internal
and external forces that could destroy us."

Thanks for starting the thread, but can we all have
a little faith that God is continuing to do for us what
many of us seem incapable of doing for ourselves??
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am not a big fan of a meeting full of court cards but if I find that they stop "MY" meeting from keeping an atmosphere of recovery then I attend a business meeting for the group and bring a motion to not sign court cards at the meeting and IF the group shares my concerns then usually we can fix it by not signing court cards.

I think having a once a week "court card" meeting is a great idea , it takes care of the Jokers and the serious people can go to the other meetings during the week.

I am not judging but sometimes when we get double digits we forget to be open minded perhaps it isn't that people don't value you as a messenger but that your message it being lost by your stance that you are right no matter what.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I only have 15 months clean, but I have issues with court slips too. There are some court slippers (in my area, it's the vast minority) that are serious about recovery, but I'm still not into court slips.

I have always said that it goes against our traditions. You are supposed to want to stop using to be a member. Some court slippers don't want to get clean. They want to keep out of jail. If there is a room full of people just trying to stay out of jail instead of trying to support each other with experience, strength and hope to stay clean a day at a time, then it becomes something different from the NA that I want to be a part of.

Luckily, in my area, most people are in the rooms to at least try to get clean.

Here's one idea, for what it's worth: let them get the slip signed at the door signifying that they came to the meeting. Then they have what some of them came for. After they get the signature, we could invite them in, lovingly and without any pressure. If they wanted to, they could then come to a meeting of their own free will, as the court slip has already been signed. I don't want anyone there that isn't at least mildly curious to find out about getting clean.

I just don't think we can deal healthily with the issues presented by people who are there by force. I dealt with it at work for the first time last week. A down-and-out addict was brought in (I work in the court systems) and saw me in the hallway. She shouted out "Hey! I know you from NA! How's it going? Remember me? I'm still using. Hah! That Sh!t didn't work for me! I got violated (she meant parole) on a dirty urine and I'm back inside." I did remember her, so I approached quietly and reminded her "It's an anonymous program, and it works for me. If you want to try it again, give me a call and we'll talk, but please don't shout about it in here. I need my job." I then handed her my number quietly. She was good enough to stop talking about it when I asked her, but some people in the court system are bitter and might intentionally put me as a court system rep. out there, given the chance.

Fear of being exposed as an addict on the job kept me from coming in for some months. I was convinced when I called the hotline in desperation that it is anonymous, and that other addicts are in the same situation as I am, and that we therefore are respectful of each other's anonymity in the community. I wasn't aware when I came in that there would be a lot of people there on court slips. And as I've said, in my area, they are the minority. It would be hard for me to be in a meeting where most people are there against their will. Just my opinion, for what it's worth. I'm all for any addict with a desire, court slip or no, but I have trouble with those who don't want to be there.

Maybe there is some way we can deal with court slips better. Maybe some type of service commitment where a court slip person could be partnered with a volunteer that would go to probation/court with her and tell the judge or parole agent they are attending faithfully. Maybe this special H and I person would explain traditions and anonymity to the person on slips. Kind of like a temp. sponsor with court service. I don't know. I'm just trying to think of ways we can help the addict on court slips without changing the core of NA. Maybe they could start a court-ordered 12-step program separate for them. I guess that would be hard, because I know most people with time clean wouldn't attend. I wouldn't be able to go to that type thing until I retire.

Love,
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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But as far as people with just a couple of years clean, people like me in the middle, not newcomers and not old-timers, not valuing old-timers, I just don't see it. I'll tell you, I see some two-decade people with too much ego to welcome me when I was new and others in my area.

Snobbishness keeps some apart. They might not accept our offers to go for coffee after a meeting, but someone with 7 years will go. So the ones with 7 years end up as our default leaders. Because they let us get to know them. So they get asked to speak because that is who we know. JMO

There is only one woman in my are with over 20 years clean who still goes to meetings. She lets it be known that she will not sponsor nor return calls from anyone with less then 10 years clean. You have to get one of her sponsees if you like what she has. This sets up an artificial hierarchy in the area.

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Old 07-13-2009, 01:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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This is a hot topic across the country.
It will pass in time. It has been my experience that these issues come and go as the world of NA grows. We will continue to face many internal and external forces inside of NA. I experienced them in the early 80s, 90s and now in the 2000s.
My role is to go to meetings, stay clean and help others. Tradition One tells me I need everyone and NA needs everyone.
This is an emotionally hot topic which tells me I must focus only on my job....staying clean.... I promise you this will pass in time. Have a great day!!! unless you have made other plans...
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just got back from tonight's meeting which is an hour from my home. I do not attend the meetings in my town because I get outed as being an addict by the courtslippers. So I drive. After an hours drive to a room of courtslippers the meeting was closed after 40 minutes because no one would share so I turned around and drove another hour home.

Tomorrow night is a three hour round trip drive but it will be a full hour meeting.

People can fire arrows at me but one thing they cannot accuse me of is leaving the fellowship. I'm in the meetings damn near ever night. In the trenches. I'm currently going thru the meeting schedule attending each and every meeting on the schedule.

And, yes, I've tried starting non-courtslip meetings but the possee always shows up and changes them to courtslip signing. Right now every single meeting in our state is courtslip signing. And most are closed. Go figure.

The problem with bulletin 31 from NAWS is that it is not fellowship approved. Just as the recent bulletin that said NA is a program of complete adstence from all drugs except prescription medication. The fellowship butted up and they had to withdraw it.

To me signing legal documents to be used in criminal court trials for a federally funded agency is affiliation. If that is not affiliation, then what is?

I tell you, this affiliation will be our undoing.

I toss out a challengs, get your local meeting schedule, unplug the tv and do ninety in ninety. Go to every meeting on the schedule at least once. Get out of that coffee clatch meeting and go into the hood. Bring a carload.

They told me "Do ninety in ninety and watch your life change.".

Our fellowship is melting. Check it out for yourself.
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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There is a very good chance that someone with seven years has something to offer the person with 25 who complains`that no one asks them to speak
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree with Joe. Times change, things change, people change. Either this thing about court cards/papers will be accepted or it won't. Thank God group's have autonomy and can decide what works best for themselves.

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The problem with bulletin 31 from NAWS is that it is not fellowship approved.
Not being fellowship approved doesn't make it illogical or lack value. There's a lot of writings by addicts for addicts that are sound and firmly rooted in the spiritual principles of our program. I, for one, have not ignored or misunderstood that the groups dictate to the WSB, and not the reverse. Bulletin #31 is merely a tool to aid discussion for the groups (and a good one, at that!!). It was clearly stated at the intro of the bulletin:

The group is the final authority in this matter. The suggestions offered here are merely intended to aid groups in their decision-making processes.

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To me signing legal documents to be used in criminal court trials for a federally funded agency is affiliation. If that is not affiliation, then what is?
Maybe I'm dense or something, but I've never known court cards to be used in trials. I can't see why they'd be relevant. I've known judges to order people charged with crimes (whether innocent or guilty) to attend meetings as part of their "pre-trial release" or as a part of their post-trial sentencing or supervised release (after serving time). But that's just me and my experience is limited. Yet...as bulletin #31 talks about, as an addict trying to carry the message, it isn't my concern to focus on what the card is being used for. I can't speak for anyone else here, but I'm certainly not qualified to decide who is ready to hear the message of recovery and who is not. As a member of NA, to sign a court card would only affiliate me with that addict who requested me to do so. I see it as no different than NA members who go to treatment facilities or halfway houses and carry the message to their clients. Is NA also "affiliated" with these organizations? Or is it a matter of cooperation?

Then again, maybe this issue isn't a big deal for me because I live in a fairly large NA area. We get addicts coming to our meetings all the time with papers (of all sorts) to be signed. Courts aren't the only organizations that require their "clients" to verify their meeting attendance. Halfway houses, treatment facilities, outpatient programs, and others do it as well. The vast majority of those who attend the meetings in my area DO NOT have papers to sign. So it isn't a big deal.

Quote:
I tell you, this affiliation will be our undoing.
I doubt it. NA is much bigger and stronger than some of us tend to recognize. Court cards aren't a problem in every town, city or state. Just as bulletin #31 suggests, it is up to each group to determine which strategies to apply. Once the group has spoken, individual members who are disgruntled will either have to accept it or vote with their feet.

NA can survive wthout me....
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The comment that perhaps the person with 7 years has something to offer the person with 25 years and is never asked to speak may be true.

Perhaps having 25 years was obtained by sliding thru the system. Perhaps it's easy to stack up 25 years. Could be there are no hard choices to make between 7 and 25 years. It could be kind of a freebee.

Perhaps the person with 25 years is an *******. Thatbis a real problem, all these dinosours that are not spiritual.

About 99 percent of people that I've seen pick up a ten year chip are gone now.

When I talk to my dozens of friends with 20 plus years they never ever speak anywhere.

My opinion is thatbthe dinosours are on a stricter program. When they do speak it probAbly sounds like they are lecturing.

Like I paid off my bills and my sponsees get a twenty cents on the dollar offer and take it. To me, you actually should pay interest on the debt too.

So we dinosours become benchwarmers while the 7 year guys knock us.

I would ask the 7 year guy;

do you still go to meetings every day

have you had stitches without pain pill

have you had a root canal without meds

have you had a colonosopy without meds

have you had your sponsor relapse and been in the room when he died

have you seen you fellowship stolen and continued to put money in the basket every night

have you hAd your ass handed to you in a meeting while everyone watches with glee, every few weeks, for the last fifteen years and kept comming back

have you started noncourtslip signing meetings, only to have the possee show up and change them to courtslip signing, then area declares all meeting must be courtslip signing and when you complained you were informed that you didn't understand the traditions

have you had a sponsee od and the family blamed you

have you complained about cop killer rap music at NA dances and been told you were trying to make newcommers relapse

It goes on and on. The point is that you earn every chip you get.

Yea, the latest song is that the dinosours are jerks. They are ungrateful.

Well, time will tell who's around in ten years. The people shooting arrows at the guys that literally devoted their lives to growing NA or the dinosours that still get out every night and go to meetings an hour a way that close after 40 minutes.

Time will tell. Talk is cheap. This month in Kansas City the birthdays are 23,12,7,7,5,3,2. So where are all those 7 year folks from a few years ago.

There used to be respect for oldtimers and now they are disdained. No wonder they fled the fellowship. But I didn't take the bait

As they say, sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.

I'll keep going to meetings, have my ass handed to me by guys with seven years and continue to watch the passing parade.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Wow....thats some experience, strength, but what happen to the hope?
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:34 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Tsar7 you and I have chated several times by private message.

I run the risk of tarnishing my personal reputation on SR by agreeing with you in public however I never worry too much about that stuff these days. I do however have somewhat of a different side to offer.

Most of the time the source of my anger and frustration is my hurt feelings. These feelings I tend to not express or deal with very well. I have had the pleasure of attending other fellowships and seen the rooms there filled with former NA members. I however get my needs met in NA.

NA does not need a marketeer to drag them back...they are doing fine where they are...What NA does need out of me is to offer an attractive representative of recovery. IF and I mean IF I am practicing the spritual priciples of tradition one...surrender, commmittment, love and acceptance (many more for those that experience it) I find that I can maintain my own personal serinity in the mist of this disfuction.

I too want NA to see things as I feel they should however this would deny NA the right to go through a process. You and many others allowed me to go through a process when I got here...sick as it was you still let me bounce off the walls till I got better.

NA/We...have made it through the civil rights movement, long before the politically correct words of "diversity" were used. We were practicing diversity in the mist of racial discrimination. We made it through prohibition days...(alcohol is a drug), We survived the traditions wars, and many other internal conflicts that attempted to tears us apart.

It is a very exciting time to be clean in NA. Due to many addicts practicing the first tradition NA has grown so fast in such a short period of time. We have recovery in countries that never had the message before. Some of the countries we may very well some day be at war with... NA will survive this too.

You and many others like you didnt give up on me when I was the guy that your sponsor told you to stay the hell away from. You gave me time to see that it ant about the drugs,,,,hell it NEVER WAS. I do not condone my past behavior in the early days of recovery however I can not deny someone else' process to finding out what this is all about.

The day will come soon...I promise...When one of those wild ass radical young bucks pulls you aside and says tearfully "thank you" for not giving up on me. I did and I understand now. I do not and will not give up on the other addict's "process".

My point is ...keep it up> Keep driving, keep sharing, keep offering the still learning addict in the rooms time to see the big picture. You town may struggle, however my side of the river is alive and well. If and when you visit it is MY job to make sure you see my behavioral, measureable unity building behavior in full swing. I want you to see NA in my town and walk out of the rooms with a positve taste in your mouth. Thats my job as a member. To treat every addict that still suffers with respect, dignity and love. Even it they got time...

I love your posts because they make me think and feel. They make me seach and dig deeper. Greg P explained to me that NA is a spritual program...in that context it is spritually protected.

You bring to the table a great side of the discussion. I offer a twist to it...is my behavior pulling addicts into recovery or is my behavior pushing them away, that is the point. My first guru NA sponsor with 11 months more time than me told me if I EVER went to an AA meeting to get another sponsor WHILE I was there....little did he know there is nothing more silent or deadly than the open mind of a recovering addict slaming closed. I left NA for 10 years and went to AA. I am glad to be back in NA and I will never deny anyone their personal process to figuring out where they belong or how they should behave.. Tsar7 please dont give up on NA...NA never gave up one me. Thank you...thank you thank you....
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