This 10 Day Workshop was held at The Recovery Group on October 16, 2006.

October 16th October 26th

Share and Questions ~ Tradition Nine

"OA, as such, ought never be organized;
but we may create service boards and committees
directly responsible to those they serve.


My name is Nancy and I am a compulsive eater. Being a part of the Workshop has been a real learning experience for me and I hope it is for you too.

When in the development stages of the Traditions, Bill W wrote "We need to distinguish sharply between spiritual simplicity and functional simplicity. When we get into questions of actions by groups, by areas and by AA as a whole, we find that we must to some extent organize to carry the message - or else face chaos. And chaos is not simplicity."

When I first read Tradition Nine I wasn't exactly sure what they meant. It says OA shouldn't be orgnaized yet our group belonged to an Intergroup and our Intergroup was a part of the Region and then there is the World Service Organization that every OA member is a part of. The Recovery Group has trusted servants.... loop coordinators, meeting leaders, division coordinators, and even administrators. Isn't that all organization? I had missed the word Service.

One of the diffirences between OA and all other orgnaizations is the people giving service do so spiritually, not for a paycheck, power or even prestige. Most of the OA servants do service for no other reason than so they and all other compulsve eaters will have the oppurtunity to be free of the disease of compulsive eating.

No one in authority has ever stopped us from overeating/bingeing or anorexia. No doctor, no other person has ever been able to accomplish this for us. We know that only through spirituallity has that been possible and thus OA must remain spiritual in all that it does.

Another difference between all other organizations and OA is that no member can be forced to comply to any directions. By the time the Traditions were written it was well known that no Alcoholic (compulsive eater) will take orders.

So Tradition Nine suggests that OA, as a whole, have no bosses, does not issue orders, only makes suggestions, and that each of us has the opportunity to give service in whatever way we can best serve. Yet, each person serving in any way is responsible to all of us, the members.


1. Do I exercise patience and humility in any OA job I take?

2. Do I take any responsibility for the well being of OA and my recovery or do I expect "them" to take care of things for me?

3. If I am doing OA Service do I take that job seriously?

4. Do I listen to my HP when thinking about doing, or actually am doing service for OA?

5. Do I feel OA should be more organized? If so in what way and why?

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