The nonprofit nature of all 12 step programs

All 12 Step programs have literature outlining non-affiliation with for-profit enterprises:  

Most 12 Step programs have statements that make it clear that they have no public affiliation with any for-profit enterprises. In addition organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (the original 12 Step program) take great care not to publicly affiliate with any famous individuals.

This however, is not in any way a repudiation of any for-profit enterprise or individual. In fact, other Alcoholics literature also makes it clear that the organization does not “endorse or oppose” any outside individual or enterprise. The posts on the old website (that discuss this policy) in fact did not mention any outside enterprises or individuals by name that might be making such an affiliation at all. In the early days of Social Phobics Anonymous, such affiliations were sometimes made, although in later years this was reexamined.

Due to the very limited nature of available volunteers, the tiny size of the organization and also the fairly disorganized nature of the website (and it’s many, many pages), as well as many come-and-go website editors over the years,  the old website was never fully cleared of all links from it’s early days when such affiliations were sometimes made.

The implied assumption here is that both profit and non-profit organizations have value and can help people. But that non-profit organizations have to keep certain boundaries in order to function and provide the unique benefits that non-profits can offer.

The Social Anxiety Anonymous  original literature has many places where it keeps a very open mind about outside literature and services (including for profit) and never disparages them. Keeping a certain distance from for-profit enterprises is not meant in any way to condemn them.  And Social Anixety Anonymous literature never does so.

There was also nowhere on the old website site where any individual was ever disparaged for having a for-profit association to Social Anxiety recovery.

Note: The old website had many editors over the years, and many, many sometimes not well organized pages, but I believe this to be true.

Individuals who promote their name publicly:

(This is a discussion and policy restatement of an issue that came up just before the old website went down, it is not addressing any current issues).

There “appeared” to be a concern among some group members that the restatement of the old policy meant that they could not simultaneously promote their businesses or personal names publicly and still be support group members, which was never the case, so that’s why it is being clarified here.

This affiliation limitation has never been meant to say that individual group members can not do business outside of the groups or promote their names in doing so. It simply means that while “wearing one’s public hat” one does not publicly affiliate with a 12-Step program. Alcoholics Anonymous, the grandparent of all 12 Step programs, has had such a policy since it’s early days.

What public non-affilliation has always meant is that one does not associate with a 12 Step program in a public way in order to sell goods or services but one may still be a member, attend groups (in private in all other ways).

On the old Social Anxiety Anonymous website, the statements related to this meant the exact same same thing:

1) No (public) affiliations

2) No opposition to outside enterprises.

3) People who have public identity may take their “public hats” off and then be members (in private) just alike anyone else.

Also, for several years this automatic email reply message has been active on our email services (one outgoing message did stop working after about a year of being unattended– hotmail does that sooner than gmail, I think, don’t quote me).

Anyway, this automatic email reply message for Social Anxiety Anonymous / Social Phobics Anonymous says the following about how can star their own support group at any time without restriction, These messages have been going out to anyone emailing us long after the main website went down.

Here the is part of the automated email reply message for Social Anxiety Anonymous / Social Phobics Anonymous (still working to this day).

The email addresses for Social Anxiety Anonymous are listed in various places on the Internet and have also been widely shared.

It still gives out this message about starting support groups (explaining that anyone can start a Social Anxiety Anonymous / Social Phobics Anonymous support group, no special requirements, other than local groups following Social Anxiety Anonymous / Social Phobics Anonymous general policies):

A VOLUNTEER WILL GET BACK TO YOU BASED ON AVAILABLE TIME: This will
depend on the availability of volunteers & also the nature of social anxiety disorder which we suffer from. Consequently sometimes this email service goes uncovered for long periods of time so we can’t guarantee a response. Social Anxiety Anonymous is a nonprofessional collection of volunteers often struggling with the unpredictability of their own social anxiety issues & so can’t guarantee sponsorship or personal contact with anyone. Therefore any service provided does not imply any further service owed. Nor can Social Anxiety Anonymous guarantee any other kind of service. Neither is formation of local or telephone support groups our responsibility, although Social Anxiety Anonymous reserves the right to only lend it’s name to groups that agree to follow it’s program of recovery, policies & codes.

The other publicly listed  email service said almost exactly the same thing (I am pretty sure). That automated message was wiped because the answering service wasn’t checked for over a  year after the web site was abandoned due to no volunteers for that and the olast person having increased problems with social phobia.

**PLEASE NOTE (the following is meant with love and respect): These posts are not to make anyone wrong. Misunderstandings happen all the time and we are not against or in disagreement with anyone,  Very best to all.

Also:

To keep some perspective on the size of Social Anxiety Anonymous (which made it vulnerable to outside interference) was the fact that the three phone groups were never larger than 15 people each and often only about half of that [and also usually the same regulars in each group]

The reality is, people who have social phobias have an extremely hard time attending live (telephone or face to face) support groups. So it has always been an extremely small organization. Not that it isn’t a great idea and not that it can’t help people (it is and it has)– ed group that was opposed to the new security restrictions (probably still active) and some local (public and private / unlisted) groups. Social Anxiety Anonymous has always been a very, very tiny organization. Not that it isn’t a great idea and not that it can’t help people (it is and it has)–

Please note: Although Social Anxiety Anonymous makes no public affiliations, there are many truly wonderful, valuable and worthwhile written sources of self-help (or famous self-help leaders) in both the commercial and / or more publicized non-profit sector and we never mean to discourage anyone from availing themselves of such helping resources in their personal lives.

 

 

Advertisements