How SCA Operates

How SCA Operates

The Twelve Traditions influence how our meetings operate, as well as how SCA operates as a fellowship. Here is a brief explanation of how each Tradition influences SCA.

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon SCA unity. As an organization, SCA tends to move slowly and deliberately, not taking action unless there is a sense that members are agreed with that action.

  2. For our group purpose there is but one authority — a loving God as may be expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. At every level of SCA, decisions are made by “group conscience.” That is, issues are discussed thoroughly, and we are typically not satisfied with bare majority votes to set a policy. We want members to feel ownership of the fellowship and the decisions that are made. We have no “gurus,” and we deliberately rotate service positions to insure that a diversity of experiences with recovery are recognized. Everyone should be given an opportunity to serve in some manner, as we have learned that service is an important component in recovering and in maintaining recovery.

  3. The only requirement for SCA membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex. In general, someone is a member of SCA if they say they are. If it is clear that someone has no desire to stop having compulsive sex, however, the group may ask that person to leave. Such a measure is rarely taken and is considered as carefully and collectively as are policies decided by group conscience.

  4. Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or SCA as a whole. SCA groups may be formed by two or more members and are totally self-governing. A group might be asked to stop calling itself an SCA group if it is clearly violating the Traditions, but such an action would be considered extreme. In areas where there are several SCA groups meeting, an Intergroup is typically formed to assist with the development of the fellowship in that area and with reaching out to sexually compulsive people who still suffer. The International Service Organization (ISO) of SCA consists of representatives from meetings and Intergroups. ISO carries out some of the same outreach tasks as Intergroups, except on an international scale. ISO also supervises the creation of literature and approves literature for distribution to individual members and meetings.

  5. Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the sexual compulsive who still suffers. SCA exists to provide a safe place for sexually compulsive people to share their experience, strength, and hope with recovery from the disease brought about by their sexually compulsive behavior. Each SCA group should be focused on recovery from the disease of sexual compulsion. Groups that focus, even inadvertently, on staying in the disease, as opposed to recovery, typically do not continue over time.

  6. An SCA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the SCA name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose. SCA remains a safe place because its members agree that the focus is on telling each other our stories so that we might recover. Focus on outside entities, such as treatment centers, religious or self-help movements, or even philosophies of therapy can take us away from our primary purpose and make meetings unsafe for some people. SCA deliberately operates at minimal budgetary levels to avoid quarrels over money at any level.

  7. Every SCA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. SCA takes donations only from its own members. There are no dues or fees required for participation, and each group takes responsibility for insuring that its expenses are paid promptly and that a prudent reserve is held so that the group may continue even during difficult times.

  8. Sexual Compulsives Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers. SCA is operated solely by volunteers, serving on a rotating basis. This tradition allows SCA to hire paid employees, if the need were to arise, but at the moment no SCA member receives any payment, other than reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, for that member’s services to individual meetings, Intergroups, or ISO.

  9. SCA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. As a member-operated organization, SCA relies on individuals and committees to accomplish its work. At the intergroup level, committees are organized around the completion of one or more specific projects, such as developing a piece of literature or operating a conference or retreat for the benefit of members residing in a certain area. Committees are expected to report their work regularly to the group (a meeting, Intergroup, or ISO) who appointed that committee. As of 2008, ISO organized its operations around three standing committees: (a) an Inreach committee charged with keeping in touch with individual meetings and intergroups and developing new literature for the fellowship; (b) an Outreachcommittee charged with responding to requests for information from potential SCA members and representatives of press and other media, as well as assisting members to start new meetings; and (c) aFiduciary committee charged with creating and monitoring an annual budget so that ISO can remain on a secure financial footing, insuring that literature can be sold and distributed, maintaining accounts into which contributions can be deposited and bills can be paid, and filing the reports ISO needs to make to insure its continuing status as a non-profit, educational organization in the eyes of various government oversight groups. All SCA members are welcome to participate in these committees. To become involved with the ISO standing committees, complete the Contact SCA form indicating on which committee you are interested in serving.

  10. SCA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SCA name ought never be drawn into public controversy. Just as SCA does not endorse outside entities, so SCA does not take positions on controversial issues, even if its membership might have expertise necessary to make appropriate judgments about those issues. SCA avoids controversy to maintain its meetings as a safe place to recover.

  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, television and films. Well-known people who are sexually compulsive need a safe place to recover as much do as little-known people. SCA aims to reach out to the sexual compulsive who still suffers, but we do not measure our success by the number of people who attend meetings and work a program of recovery. Rather, we stay anonymous at a public level, so that people won’t come to SCA or stay away from SCA due to who any of its members might be. For example, as both perpetrators and victims of sexually compulsive behavior are welcome at SCA meetings, those meetings need to provide a place where each member can share honestly with other recovering people, no matter what might be the story of anyone else in the room.

  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. SCA tries to treat each member equally, and each member is valued for being at a particular meeting, willing to share in that meeting’s recovery. Anonymity helps to maintain that sense that we are all merely recovering people who do so by sharing our stories with each other. There is no competition to see who can recover the quickest. We each recover one day at a time. As being anonymous helps us to be honest enough to recover, we jealously guard an individual’s anonymity. If we meet a fellow program member, we do not acknowledge our common membership in SCA except in private. We do not disclose to others what is shared at a meeting. Likewise, the group conscience of meetings typically asks each member not to share things that might trigger other members, such as specific details of acting-out experiences, locations of acting-out places, or names of acting-out partners. Our program is a spiritually-based one, and sharing about the spiritual process one goes through in recovery is the desired focus of each SCA meeting. All and all, we try to treat each other as imperfect creatures, striving for a higher level of recovery, one day at a time.