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 Page: Profile: Local Clergy   Total Views: 3,690,294  



Wvox Stats

Vox ID: 248429

Clergy Id: 5607

Posted: Jul.13.2005

Views 10660
Pagan Clergy

Ari C.

Located in: Tulsa, Oklahoma



Clergy Profile: I facilitate a substance abuse/behavioral program, Pagan Sanctum Recovery, which is based in part on A.A.'s 12 Steps and 12 traditions. I saw a need for Pagan support in the recovery community as I heard about or saw from afar the suffering Pagan trying to find place at the table of A.A. Some like myself understood the program (by reading the book, duh) but the Unfortunate Ones ran afoul of the 12-step group populated, or dominated, by zealous Christians intent on promoting the one and only, one size fits all, Higher Power.

It is no surprise that these Pagans, having been blasted with a face full of major-league Christian Fundamentalism, fled these meetings for a safe, quiet place that was not a psychiatric institution.

No small number of our brethren walked away from these meetings . . . and the recovery community forever. Disillusioned, many returned to their addictions, with a vengeance.

Very few of our brethren survived. The others we honor at Samhain as we grieve, and wonder, did it really have to be this way?

The program of A.A. is spiritual, not religious, defined by innumerable groups worldwide. Members proudly declare that A.A. saved their life, etc., and are eager to help others.

I have witnessed an ongoing, non-stop miracle as Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups reveal new hope to alcoholics who had forgotten what hope meant. (myself among them) . The successes of A.A. are many, and without clear written records of same, debatable. I know only that I see in the mirror a person who is ready to seize the day by the balls, with something resembling clear headedness.. The same person who once spent the early hours of the morning arguing with everything he'd drank and snorted and swallowed for the last twelve hours, as it surged up, over, and out on the floor, in a language he didn't know he could speak, in public venues that guaranteed maximum public humiliation. That person . . . doesn't do that sh*t any more. He has a life. A pretty good one, too.

Unfortunately, while all groups are self-governing, individual members with their own agendas often cannot resist this golden opportunity to proselytize a vulnerable addict into their pain-filled belief system. This is not the spirit, or letter of A.A.., it is exactly what it looks like. A Betrayal of trust to carry the message of A.A. And it is Ugly.

A.A.'s structure gives the groups all the space in the world to function autonomously, with few restrictions (For example: the use of A.A approved literature only in meetings, and the use of group names that are generic, and not affiliated with religions or other enterprises) . Somehow, this structure works, after a fashion..

No One Speaks for A.A. Unfortunately, most newcomers, pagan and other, don't know this vital point; and assume the whole program is geared towards spreading Christianity.

PSR is one of several PIR (Pagans in Recovery) programs available. I support all Pagan recovery groups and associated philosophies, and encourage free exchange of ideas. I offer PSR with humility (not pride) , as its facilitator (not founder) only.

I am clean and sober today five plus years now, only because I have shown others how I did it, and helped them. .

PSR is a method I use to share the the message of recovery, with techniques and tools I have acquired from mainstream 12-step wisdom. Some of these methods are unique to my program; most are not. I have no original ideas regarding the nuts and bolts of substance abuse recovery; all I know has been given to me at some time in my recovery career over the past 20 years.

Though PSR is a program of recovery, it's dual purpose is to create a safe place for Pagans to develop and define their recovery concepts without harassment, and also to enjoy the fellowship of other Pagans, no matter what tradition. or lack thereof . Having a support network, if it consists of only one other, goes a long way towards banishing the illusion of aloneness we share.

Hmm. I guess that's all for the time being.

Rates: Each PSR group is self-supporting, with no dues or fees. , I can perform legal marriages in Oklahoma. Contributions (for example, mileage) accepted, but not required.



Mailing Address: P.O. Box 657
Website: http://www.pagansanctumrecovery.org/
Telephone: (918) 712-8145
To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

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