Traditions War: a pathway to peace

Chapter 12 
The Superboard




Voted down again and again in the 1980's the idea of having a single superboard over all of world services was finally accomplished by creating a Fellowship that did not know what was happening. In the ten years of the WSO inventory plus a few years for its implementation, members who would have opposed the changes fell away. These were not complainers or members who did not work their Steps. They were the most devoted and brave members in our history. They helped form all the new regions, areas and groups. Some few were able to stay clean through it all, but many will have nothing to do with service beyond group level. Others who got clean after our group conscience process was shut down for the inventory never knew what they were missing. By the late 1990's, the opposition had moved on with their lives, members had adapted by beginning to ignore the going’s and coming’s of world service and concentrate more on their personal recovery and carrying the message. Somehow, NA survived all this and alternative service efforts began to bubble up like water springs in a parking lot. You can cover it up, but water will find a way. You can block the Spirit but the Spirit will find a way. Using manipulation and control to take advantage of people who have surrendered to a terrible disease and trust you with their lives is not only un-thinkable, it is illegal. But you will never hear an outcry because our internal struggles are just that – we keep them within NA. It is not our way to appeal to the law of the land. We are in touch with a much higher power.


Distanced from World Services by what began as part of the California legal code - that a corporation could not be under the direct control of another, unincorporated, group or undefined body of people, the World Board now controls effectively everything that happens in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. While the shadows of our former organization are still in place, they only have a say if the Board wants to listen. Some members will attack you if you point this out as if you had done it to them, since you are aware of it.


Board Authority Motion to be inserted here - Ed


The path to self determination is still open to us, although in the past several years there may be things established as a matter of law that we have no knowledge of or fail to understand. Many still believe that something voted in can later be voted out but this might not be the case. We don’t need a lawyer to stay clean or work our NA program. We can even write books if we want to and no one can stop us. We live in a free country. The attractiveness of being a part of a spiritual Fellowship bonded together by gratitude, concern for others and a sense of wonder is great. Joining a corporation might be a fine thing also but it is a different thing.


[I have asked for some current information on the Super Board and what it is doing right now. Hearing nothing is not the same as imagining nothing is going on. I believe there are people who are so fear based, they would cheerfully throw out the ‘baby with the bath water’, forgetting what is important here to the members.  We’ll see what comes in. NOTE:Ron - do what you can to check for recent minutes, reports, anything you can dig up. – Ed]


The blindness of the ‘un-spiritual’ is incredible and they will inevitably come up with statements like one heard several years ago. One of the NA members working with the group master minding the super board repeated what he had heard in a session: “This new structure is just setting in place what we have been doing for years.” By announcing this, he was in effect describing the actions of people who circumvented our structure by power of association and with full view and knowledge of participants in their closed circle. So, by not playing ‘above board’, they have cancelled out the service structure written and supported by the Fellowship in the seventies and eighties and substituted a new structure that no one understands. Well, there might be a few hundred who understand but that is not enough to bind the Fellowship to their agreements. And certainly we cannot approve that which we don’t understand. NA members have never thought putting the entire control in the hands of a few people was a bright idea. It was opposed in year after Conference year through the 1980’s until the inventory suspended the WSC for a decade and a new Fellowship was allowed to grow up without fully understanding the issues. That is why there is a disparity of feeling and experience between members who got clean before 1988 or after 1990.

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Reprinted from the 
Traditions War: a pathway to peace
2003 Form

Copyright © December 2001
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.

NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA


All rights reserved. This draft may be copied by members of Narcotics Anonymous for the purpose of writing input for future drafts, enhancing the recovery of NA members and for the general welfare of the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship as a whole. The use of an individual name is simply a registration requirement of the Library of Congress and not a departure from the spirit or letter of the Pledge, Preface or Introduction of this book. Any reproduction by individuals or organizations outside the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is prohibited. Any reproduction of this document for personal or corporate monetary gain is prohibited.

Last update January 12, 2006