WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF S.L.A.A. – What is the message we are to be sharing?

The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The Question:
Is the message of S.L.A.A. which is mentioned in the 5th Tradition only about the 12 Steps or does it include principles of the organization as expressed in the preamble of sex and love addicts anonymous?


I do not think any of the Traditions apply except Tradition 5. I think the most relevant reference here is to the 12th Step. It states “practice these principles (of the Steps) in all areas of our lives.” The message is the spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps and the principles of the Traditions that are referenced in the Preamble.
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The message referred to in the Fifth Tradition is the message of the Twelfth Step. “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps…” Our message is that the Steps bring about a spiritual awakening. The spiritual awakening means that we can “…do feel, and believe, that which we could not do before on (our) own unaided strength and resources alone.”
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I found the information in Chapter 6 of the Basic Text. The Author points out that all we can do is to share our own personal experience and rely on guidance from our higher power that these individuals who need to hear this message would be led to us. The author reminds us that our mission is not to recruit others, but to remember the Eleventh Tradition of “attraction not promotion.” (p.18, Para. 2)

I understand this to mean that any of the 12 Steps and/or the Preamble that have specifically been a part of our own experience, strength and hope are part of our S.L.A.A. message. To me, when we share the S.L.A.A. message, we share our pain, what our patterns looked like, what we had to do to get sober, and finally what we are doing to stay sober.

It is important, according to the author of our Basic Text, to be ready to admit that there is much we do not know. For example, we don’t know where our recoveries are headed or whether another’s patterns might actually qualify them as sex and love addicts. We don’t know why others could behave a certain way and not be powerless, but we could not. It is necessary for us to be humble and admit that there is much we don’t know. (p.119, para.2)
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I guess the S.L.A.A. message to me is my experience, strength and hope.
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In response to the question at hand, the message of S.L.A.A. is definitely the 12 Steps and how my life has changed as the result or working and living the 12 Steps. The 12 Steps are summed up quite neatly in the 5 major resources listed within the preamble; Sobriety, Sponsorship/Meetings, Steps, Service, Spirituality. The Preamble absolutely should be included in the message of the Program which we are carrying to the suffering addict.


What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.