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Minutes of February 15, 2004 SLAA Business Meeting

Members present are: Circe=Susan, DaveofMA, Jane, Jonathan3, Marabel, RickB, Steve, TimF=Tim, VJ=Vicki, BobS, Donna, Justitia, Lamplighter=Chuck, Lynn, SteveS, ValerieR

Vicki opens the meeting at 10:00 pm U.S. ET with the following announcements:

A We would like to welcome our new operators since 1/15/02 -- bringing us to 88 operators: KatherineR=Katherine (1/??); Jane (1/24); `Pug`=Andrew (1/28); DougG=Doug (1/28); jonathan3=Jonathan (1/28); and JWR=Jaime (2/1). We have also heard from three others recently that are pending as Trusted Servants: DarrenJ; PattiS; and lamplighte=Chuck (who was a Trusted Servant previous until March, 1999). We currently have obsolete email addresses for four of our 88 Trusted Servants: twosheds=Bri; ^jakester^=Jay; Myra; and SarahR=Sarah.

B We like to list upcoming SLAA conferences or retreats (here and on our website). Please let us know if you know of any we may add.

C The “Website Committee” was formed in June, 2003. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

D The “Speakers Committee” was formed in February, 2003. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

E The “Openletter Committee” was formed in January, 2003. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join. We hope to have a new "Open Letter" in place by the end of November.

F The “Daytime Meeting Committee” was formed in December, 2003. If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

G Our operator Debbie (US, not Australia) has a baby granddaughter Tue-9-Dec-03. To see baby pictures, visit http://mywebpages.comcast.net/timothyf/baby.

H One operator (on 10/21) suggested adding an "OPEN MEETING" to our schedule. So far, all our meetings are CLOSED to only sex addicts. This would permit attendance by therapists, cleregy, and laypersons. They suggested starting this meeting on a monthly basis instead of weekly, citing 7pm ET on the first Monday of every month. Begining such a meeting would not require group conscience; only the volunteering of at least two trusted servants to host this meeting on a regular basis.

I For about two months, alexpal=Alex has been "unofficially" conducting a Step Meeting at 8pm ET for one hour in #SLAA. Unlike the 10pm ET Feedback Meetings which study Step One throughout January, Step Two throughout February, and ultimately Step Twelve throughout December -- these meetings move from each Step to the next from meeting to meeting. Presently these are conducted about five evenings each week, depending upon Alex's availability. He and the #SLAA Online Group would welcome acquiring Trusted Servants to expand these meetings to seven "official" evenings every week with a leader and a greeter.

J On Wed-04-Feb-2004, a journalist-trainee writes:
Hi,
I am a trainee journalist at the London College of Printing and I am currently researching Sex Addiction as part of a feature on Addiction.

I am interested in interviewing (confidentially) any former sex addicts who have fought their addiction and come through it.

I can assure you that I will treat all information with the utmost confidence.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me either by email or on 0775 2369 466.

Kind regards,
Simon McDermott mcdermos@hotmail.com

Jane asks Vicki, “I become confused when someone only uses the word s*x and not slaa, I cannot separate them.”

Vicki responds, “These were just announcements before the meeting’s started. Maybe contact Tim about that more in pc.”

Vicki begins the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, at 10:05 PM U.S. ET.

Tim asks to make a comment about announcements. “While we always like to start off the business meeting with announcements to allow others to join a few minutes late, these announcements are often different than the ones in the room. I’d like to draw members’ attention to the last three… ‘Consider having ONE “OPEN” MEETING a month’, please, ‘Consider volunteering to make the 8pm ET STEP MEETING “official,”’ please.
And regarding that journalist, I would never announce that AT a regular meeting (outside interests)…but occasionally people here actually wish to participate in that kind of thing, and to anyone that does, please review the SLAA 12 Guidelines for the media, at:
http://www.slaafws.org/pamphlets/12RecommendedGuidelines.pdf
Done, and thanks.”

Vicki says, “You can find the tentative agenda for the members meeting today at:
http://slaaonline.org/meet.html
I didn’t realize there are 2 sets of meeting minutes to approve, but the first set of minutes to approve are on http://slaaonline.org/minutes/031215.html
Please go over these and we will give you some time to review these and then discuss/approve.”

After five minutes, Tim moves, “I was at the December meeting and found no corrections to Marabel’s minutes. Unless anyone else has any, I move to accept.”

Marabel responds, “I second, unless there are any questions.”

Vicki states, “Ok, motion and second on the floor, no votes necessary. Moving on to the next set of minutes, if I am correct. This set of minutes can be found on:
http://slaaonline.org/minutes/040115.html

After three minutes, Tim moves, “I was at the January meeting and found no corrections to Marabel’s minutes. Unless anyone else has any, I move to accept.”

Marabel responds, “I second these also, unless there are any questions.”

Vicki states, “No need for a vote. The meeting minutes from December and January have been accepted as read.”

Old Business:

“On Tuesday 25 November 2003, a member writes:

Hello,
Today while sharing in a meeting I was called on the language I used. I share like I speak. My emotions through all this hold sway and the need to censor myself would probably lead to my not sharing and ultimately dropping out of the room.

I feel that this is a matter for a group conscious discussion. And obviously I will abide by that decision.

I do recognize that on the slaaonline site at http://slaaonline.org/etiguide.html it says:
“…BUT we do not need the use of triggering words or offensive language in a share to be effective…”

Jane interrupts, “Depends on the words used and how it may trigger someone.”

Vicki reminds, “Almost done,” and continues on with the letter.

The letter ends, “This seems vague and at the very least needs to be more specific. Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter.”

Vicki then says, “Done. This matter is open for discussion now.”

Jane continues, “I believe people when sharing need to use language, acceptable to the general public. Even if not for triggering effect.”

Steve raises his hand. Vicki responds, “Please share, Steve.”

Steve shares, “I believe this needs to be a place of recovery, and part of recovery is changing the way we relate to others. Sure, I’ve heard all the street language, used plenty myself too…but not so much today, and not in a room of recovery. So I believe our behavior guidelines should be amended to address this issue of offensive language, and our scripts should be modified to include another ‘gentle reminder’.”

Jane shares, “I agree with Steve, that way it takes it off of one person who is made to look like the bad person.”

Chuck agrees, “I also agree with Steve. This room is not a “therapeutic” environment, but one of sharing and hope. We cannot begin to know the emotions of someone’s sharing, and this room should provide a forum for only that, not verbal abuse.”

SteveS makes a motion, “My read of the language cited by the writer addresses offensive language, so I move that the guideline remain as is.”

Vicki asks the room, “Is there a reminder for triggering and offensive language that OP’s are given when someone !T or objects to offensive language?”

SteveS looks for a second to his motion, and Vicki replies, “So noted.”

Marabel offers, “VJ, there is something for crosstalk – “No questions”, “No religion”, “Keep short/no frowns”, and also “Feedback for ESH” – nothing for language as far as I know of.”

Tim mentions, “A couple of things:

1. Steve, Vicki and Marabel all mentioned “gentle reminders.” We recently added a fourth to our scripts-some have the original three:

‘A Gentle Reminder: In being an “active listener,” we do not interrupt, judge, ask questions or become involved with crosstalk or cross commenting while others are sharing,’

‘A Gentle Reminder: In being an “active listener,” please keep comments to a word or short expression like “nods” or “WTG” so as not to be distracting. Even a frown can be interpreted as disapproval – please be vigilant in your support.’,

‘A Gentle Reminder: As a fellowship, S.L.A.A. has no opinion on outside issues, and seeks no controversy. S.L.A.A. is not affiliated with any other organizations, movements or causes, either religious or secular.’,

‘A Gentle Reminder: Even during feedback, please remember to focus on yourself, sharing from personal experience, strength, and hope as it relates to the original share.’.

Actually, it is the third of those that was most recently added. Adding NEW ones is very simple, and I fully support this no matter what outcome happens from this.

2. Tim stated that Vicki mentioned “!T.” The #SCA group uses !T to signify that the sharer is being a bit too ‘triggering’. The #SLAA Online Group considered this a while back, and group conscience decided AGAINST instituting that policy here in this room. It would need to be documented in the opening readings and our website (easy to do if group conscience changes on this issue), but currently, we do NOT ‘officially’ recognize the !T – even though most Trusted Servants understand this, and sometimes the same thing is done via private messages to the leader (or other Trusted Servants that convey this situation to the leader or ALL ops in room). Often the leader uses private message with the sharer to explain “tone it down please”, so these things are frankly often being addressed – just not so that all the membership sees it.

3. And lastly, the ‘new’ but ‘unofficial’ website (actually sub-website) has a very detailed page about ‘behavior guidelines’, the things that will generate a warning and/or ban. There is ALSO a page (blank – pending construction) for ‘etiquette’ that will explain other more subjective suggestions for behavior, even things like waiting until some say, “Hi, I’m Tim, a sex and love addict”, before saying all the “Hi, Tim” lines in room…just SUGGESTIONS and things that in and of themselves will NOT get you warned or banned. So…just wanted to have you all see a ‘bigger picture’ as we contiune to move on this item. I have no vested interest (but encourage this “gentle reminder” in scripts).

Susan says, “Thanks for the history, Tim.”

Vicki asks, “SteveS, would you like to re-word your motion?”

Steve replies, “’Bout forgot what it was…lol. As I read the guideline that was quoted. It seems to address offensive language…therefore I move that the language stay as is, and I will add that there be a gentle reminder added to the script for the trusted servants to use at their discretion.”

Vicki asks if there is a second to this motion, and Jane raises her hand for the floor.

Jane says, “Sorry, I don’t know procedure here. I like Vicki’s ‘!T’.”

Vicki asks, “Do we want that slipped into the current motion of Steve’s? Or is that a separate issue?”

Steve replies, “I would like to see that as a separate motion. Mine leaves the discretion to the leaders, that was intentional.”

“Is there a second to the motion as read?” Vicki asks.

Susan and Steve both second. Jonathan3 said, “Yeah, I’d second.”

Tim raises his hand to bring a friendly amendment to the floor.

Vicki asked, “Ok, there are several seconds to the motion. Now let’s open it up to discussion. Yes, Tim?”

Tim answers, “Looking for the actual motion – one moment.”

Tim then quotes Steve’s original motion, “…therefore I move that the language stay as is, and I will add that there be a gentle reminder added to the script for the trusted servants to use at their discretion,” followed by his suggestion and amendment, “Since things that are in place are already in place, I suggest simplifying this to be: ‘Add to Trusted Servant scripts a gentle reminder to use for any triggering language – to be used at their discretion’ without mention of leaving language stay as is.”

SteveS agrees, “Works for me…I’ll amend my motion to read as presented.”

Steve (not SteveS) puts up his hand for a friendly amendment to the friendly amendment.

Steve suggests, “I’d suggest adding the word offensive as offensive and triggering have different meanings to me…thus, “Add to Trusted Servant scripts a gentle reminder to use for any triggering or offensive language – to be used at their discretion.”

Vicki asks, “Other discussion? To review the two motions on the floor currently,
“Add to Trusted Servant scripts a gentle reminder to use for any triggering or offensive language – to be used at their discretion,” or “Add to Trusted Servant Scripts a gentle reminder to use for any triggering language – to be used at their discretion.”

Tim nods approval with friendly amendment.

Vicki continues, “So that one is, ‘Add to Trusted Servant scripts a gentle reminder to use for any triggering or offensive language – to be used at their discretion.’ Is there a second to this amended motion?”

SteveS, Jane and Lynn second, and Dave said, “Works for me.” Susan says, “Me too.”

Vicki then says, “Let’s vote then, ok?”

Vicki asks, “All in favor +, all opposed, - .”

(12 members voted yes, and three members did not vote.)

Vicki answers, “That is over 2/3. The vote carries.”

Vicki continues, “Next on the agenda, committee reports? Or new business? I don’t remember giving committee reports before.”

Jane raises her hand for the floor again, and Tim wonders in channel, “if anyone still wanted to address using !T in this room.”

Susan answers, “No.”

Jane then asks, “When I see the scheduled trusted servants, they are not the servants actually running the meetings. Is the schedule going to be changed?”

Vicki shares, “This is getting confusing, so may I?”

Jane answers, “Yes.”

Vicki continues, “This would address the daytime scheduling…”

Jane then interrupts, “Yes..No, all.”

Vicki interjects, “It is being discussed in the daytime committee, and that is part of the daytime committee meeting report, as well as many new members who have become op’s. We hope to assign someone to take care of the scheduling, and having Donatella as our new chairperson, we are still under construction but progressing nicely.”

Vicki asks, “RE: Tim’s request about the !T’s…do you want that on new business Tim, or to discuss the committee reports? I’m not sure by the agenda given.”

Tim responds, “With so many committees, I thought (time permitting) we could start hearing reports at meetings. What you said is fine.”

Vicki agrees, “Ok then, Committee updates - Website Committee (TimF) 8 members.”

TimF replies, “This committee is important, but has been stagnant for a long time. We just heard from a new member interested, and will be e-mailing all on committee soon. Some pages at the site need review for final approval here with group conscience, and we can take them one or two at a time (like the guidelines.html page – which is a top priority).

“Openletter Committee (Marabel) 8 members,” Vicki continues.

Marabel takes the floor. “The Openletter is complete, and has been used for the last 6 months. It is pared down quite a bit to about 5K in size, and contains a number of links to pages in our site. All that is left really is to formally close the committee, and I need to send an e-mail asking for any final corrections or suggestions before closure. That is the current status of the Openletter Committee.”

Tim comments, “I really applaud Marabel for her work on this (along with the committee). She mentioned reply is now 5K – it used to be 16k. The committee’s goal was having it in place by November – and it was before that. The small reply size is due to having slaaonline.org with it’s MANY pages, so that the reply directs newcomers to exactly what they need (such as mIRC or Java or Ircle or MSN-TV). Thanks Marabel.”

“Scripts Committee (TimF) 7 members,” Vicki continues.

“The Scripts Committee is entrusted to work on making the scripts better, more complete AND easy as well as intuitive, such as adding the new Gentle Reminder we addressed earlier. We have been aware throughout 2003 that some Java members cannot see some of the opening and closing readings well, because of the colors being used. This Committee will start e-mailing again more often in the coming quarter or two – I invite more to join this committee,” Tim states.

“Bot Committee (TimF & Steve) 6 members,” Vicki shares.

Tim responds, “I’ll take this. The Bot Committee was formed in November for a 6 month period of testing. Admittedly we have done nothing to date, so another committee that I hope we all start taking advantage of with e-mail and generating a timeline of goals.”

Lamplighter asks, “Sorry, but what is the Bot Committee?”

Tim answers, “A ‘bot’ is a computer that can do things by living in a room (like Cstar). Our group conscience decided to allow us to ‘test’ its benefits for 6 months. See the November minutes for a LOT more info.”

“Speakers’ Committee (Carrie) 4 members. There is a note on this in the next line…or was that the December minutes?” Vicki asks.

Vicki then shares, “In 2002 we had seven Speaker Meetings for the 6-year anniversary. In 2003 we had ten Speaker Meetings for the 7-year anniversary (with those shares available at http://slaaonline.org/member.html). In 2004 we had twelve Speaker Meetings for the 8-year anniversary. This year’s schedule was co-ordinated by Marabel. Good Job Marabel.”

Vicki then plays the following script in reference to the 8-Year Anniversary Celebration. “The 2004 schedule was: Fri-30-Jan Marabel; [Sat-31-Jan regular meeting]; Sun-1-Jan Vicki; Mon-2-Feb james2=James; Tue-3-Feb ThomasBurt=Tom; [Wed-4-Feb regular meeting]; Thu-5-Feb Steve; Fri-6-Feb Jamie-S=Jamie; Sat-7-Feb debbie=Debbie; Sun-8-Feb Sue; Mon-9-Feb emm=Emmanuel; Tue-10-Feb JWR=Jaime; Wed-11-Feb Renny; and Thu-12-Feb touchstone=Gina.”

“Our meeting attendance record was 37 on Wed-7-May-03 (for 2000 through January, 2004). During our 8-Year Anniversary celebration of twelve Speaker Meetings, we broke that record FIVE TIMES! Our new meeting attendance record now stands at 47 on Wed-11-Feb-04. The average attendance was 36.7 for the twelve evenings we conducted Speaker Meetings. [TimF accidentally reported the average was 37.3 (in the chat room near the close of the final Anniversary Speaker Meeting on Thu-12-Feb-04.].”

Vicki then asks about the Forum Committee. “Forum Committee (forming soon – will need participants)…What is this and the next one?”, referring to “Entertainment Committee (3 members interested)?”

Tim laughs, and yields to Marabel (with an additional comment or two).

Marabel, puzzled, said, “Eh?”

Vicki remarks, “VJ guesses that Tim and Marabel are leading these up?”

Marabel replies, “Um, yep…” and smiles.

Vicki asks, “Ok, any reports?”

Marabel answers, “This Committee (the Entertainment Committee) was formed as a part of an idea that we got from having attended a ‘Treasure Hunt’ in #townhall. We are hoping that at our next anniversary celebration, we will have something similar set up. The Treasure Hunt was a little game they had at Halloween (and other times) where members would answer questions, and if they got the correct answer, they would land in the correct room, and if not, they would be stuck until they got the right answer. The ones who finished first got their names listed in the MOTD. It was really fun and interesting, and I think we can do the same thing, with recovery kind of questions. That is one of the things I hope this committee can do, to help build community and just have fun, since fun can also be a tool of recovery.”

Vicki “requests we wrap up soon,” and gives Tim the floor for an addendum to Marabel’s share.

Tim adds, “Marabel summed that up well…but the Entertainment Committee could also develop COLORED LIGHT SHOWS and also help members with understanding how sounds (like songs) work with IRC, and maintaining an archive somewhere of songs that members can download at their leisure. As to Vicki’s other question – the Forum Committee, the slaaonline.org website had a FORUM being tested for several months in 2003. We hope to launch that Forum officially very soon. While the OFFICERS of #SLAA Online Group can be moderators, moderators could be yet another method of service for members (that might not even care to be Trusted Servants/operators). So a committee can help with the organizational structure as well as adding more to the FAQ’s as ‘common questions’ arise that aren’t previously covered.

Vicki moves for the meeting to close, and Tim seconds.

“Since all old business and reports have been done, would someone care to lead us in prayer?” Vicki asks.

Marabel prays, “Thank you God, this meeting is over. It has been a pleasure doing business with you HP…and thanks for everyone here. Amen.”

Meeting is closed with a chorus of “Amen’s”at 11:34 PM US ET.

Respectfully submitted by Marabel, Secretary #SLAA Online Group