Birth of the BDA Intergroup — God said “not yet” …
We've attached our final approved September 2020 newsletter below. The front article is very different than the one provided provisionally just over a week ago. And so is this BDA Intergroup service opportunity, for that matter.
This eBlast is about the willful assassination of the BDA Intergroup, as a Traditions-adhering service body, by the GSB. The next eBlast will be about the new service offering that will take the BDA Intergroup's place. Rebirth and renewal is not just for springtime!
We tried to do everything right, by the GSB playbook, as we reported in previous eBlasts, in order to avoid causing our DA and BDA fellows, and especially the GSB itself, to act out of fear and control to thwart our efforts at carrying the message, at serving our fellows, and at embracing our own 12th Step as a vehicle to maintain and enlarge both our spiritual lives and our recovery, including our successful commitment to solvency, one day at a time.
Yes, we do mean "thwart": "prevent [a group, in this case] from accomplishing something." It's not the first time. Many of you remember the GSB's negative reaction to and undermining of Let's Grow DA — https://letsgrowda.wixsite.com/lets-grow-da — a registered DA group (#13017) with no purpose other than following our DA and BDA Traditions, especially Traditions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
An aside: The fact that the "odd" Traditions are most relevant may speak to the "oddness" of the trusted servants involved, and here we are again.
Our efforts, on behalf of the BDA Intergroup, to follow the rules of the GSB — not the principles of the DA and BDA program, but the self-appointed authority the GSB holds over us during and between annual World Service Conferences — have failed. That was apparent from the beginning, when we registered as a new Intergroup in May, June, and July and were refused acknowledgement, a group number, and participation at this year's World Service Conference by the GSB.
We pushed back, of course, and then the antagonism got worse. The GSB invoked a single sentence from the 164-page 2020 edition of our DA Manual of Service (DAMS) — "The Intergroup is a local or regional organization that supports, and is supported by, the area DA groups." (page 159) — to refuse us participation in the service structure, while ignoring the other 37 instances of the word "regional" in the DAMS. All 38 uses of the word "regional," by the way, based on context, appear to be meant to EXPAND service opportunities to and from compulsive debtors and business owners, not to LIMIT them. Misinterpretation is a powerful tool in the wrong hands.
We've also asked why this didn't apply to the other non-regional Intergroups on the GSO meeting schedule, but we received no response. From there, it got worse. We'll save those details unless and until asked. What we can tell you now is that the GSB's undermining of our offer of service, both within our DA and BDA fellowship and to the still-suffering debtors who need us most, has been effective. The GSB simply refused to acknowledge our right to serve, to belong, or even to exist. Then the fear-mongering began.
We haven't been around long enough to understand what BODA was and what happened. If the stories about that negative experience is in our online archive somewhere, please point us toward them. For now, we can tell you that all of our efforts have been about expanding service to BDA groups and members and outreach to debtor business owners and others who would meet our 3rd Tradition and find BDA helpful. We have no interest in leaving DA; we have no desire to leave or to undermine the existing service structure. So why does it feel like we're being shown the door? Is it just us the GSB wants to banish and eliminate — kidding, sort of! — or is it fear of BDA outgrowing and overpowering DA? Or is it something else entirely? None of this feels either spiritual or rational.
Of course, with no support from the folks whose entire purpose it is to support us — including our personal and group growth and recovery, our services to one another and to our still-suffering future members, our adherence to our program principles, and our general sense of safety and belonging in relationship to each other and to this program — it took only three months for our service group to implode and to burst into flames.
BDA members have been harmed; two have threatened to leave the fellowship because of all the turbulence. We think helping us to avoid experiences like this is exactly the purpose of our principles, our service structure, and our GSB. All three have failed us.
We need to be better than this. Our trusted servant leaders need to be better than this.
Please feel encouraged to reach out to bdaintergroup.org with questions and keep an eye out for the next — forward-looking — eBlast from us.
This website is live now and ready for BDA meetings that want to be listed, for BDA events -- face-to-face, online, and phone -- and for subscriptions and 7th Tradition contributions from BDA groups and members. firstname.lastname@example.org is live now, too.