SPECIAL STUDY REGARDING COURT SUPPORT-Could we appear in court as S.L.A.A. members and testify to the effectiveness of the Program?

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.

Question:  A member of my group suggested that an SLAA committee conduct a study on the effectiveness of SLAA for sex addicts that could be used to support recovering addicts in court (or solicit some research in this area). Is this supported by the traditions?


[T]his suggestion conflicts with our primary purpose which is to help the addicts who wish to stop acting on their self-defined addictive behavior. Tradition 5: Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the sex and love addict who still suffers.

It also conflicts with the tradition that there are no professionals in SLAA who do research and treat this addiction.

Tradition 8: SLAA should remain forever nonprofessional,

In order to “help” an addict in court we would have to defend a position and have an opinion that is outside the 12 Step Recovery Fellowships and would certainly court controversy.
Tradition 10: SLAA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SLAA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

When a member goes to court and identifies himself as a member of this fellowship they are giving up their anonymity. SLAA may then be judged by how well that person recovers and the person could be thought of as a representative for SLAA. This is not helpful to SLAA or the person. This would make such research if it existed, unusable without violation of the traditions.

Tradition 11… We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow SLAA members.

I don’t think that our traditions say that research can’t be done. However, how that research is conducted and how it is used might have more tradition related issues.

Alternate approaches to consider:

I would think that composing a letter which stated honestly the difficulty of recovery, but the outstanding results for those who DO come to work our program or that of other “S” groups and providing a handout for those in a given area to reach meetings might be a reasonable form of outreach.

The idea of an outreach tool such as the one on For the Professional could be a great and valuable tool for judges and probation officers alike.


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.