Q: At our January OA meeting, a member read from another Twelve-Step program’s daily reader. Another member felt, although the information was pertinent for our discussion, it was inappropriate to use literature other than OA-approved material. We took a group conscience but couldn’t decide what the suggested guidelines are for literature at our meetings. Some felt all AA literature should be included; others felt only those specific to OA were allowed. Please explain what the guidelines are and why.
A: The following OA policies are found in the Business Conference Policy Manual, which is given to each World Service Business Conference Delegate and posted on oa.org. The policies listed below address the issue of outside literature.
- “It is the group conscience of the 1993 World Service Business Conference that sale or display of literature other than OA-approved literature and AA conference-approved literature (as described in WSBC Policy 2010a) is an implied endorsement of outside enterprise and therefore in violation with Tradition Six” [1993b (amended 2010)].
- “Statement on Approved Literature: In accordance with our Traditions, we suggest that OA groups maintain unity and honor our Traditions by using, selling and displaying only approved books and pamphlets at their meetings. This includes OA Conference- and board-approved literature; AA Conference-approved books, booklets, and all future editions thereof, with original edition copyright 2010 or earlier; and locally produced OA literature. Locally produced literature must be developed according to the OA Guidelines for Locally Produced Literature, and should be used with the greatest discretion. Local literature should be considered temporary and discontinued when OA literature approved for general use is available to cover the topic” [2010a (amended 2012)].
Also see page 154 in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous: “In the past, some OA groups have given away or sold a wide variety of non-OA-approved literature, pamphlets, and books published by outside enterprises. As OA has matured, however, more and more groups have decided to distribute only OA-approved literature at meetings. Whenever an OA meeting displays or sells non-OA-approved literature it implies that OA endorses the philosophy of whoever wrote that piece. OA-approved literature reflects the experience of many members of the Fellowship whose recovery is strongly rooted in the twelve steps and twelve traditions.” You can find the complete list of OA-approved literature, including the AA literature that is OA-approved, at this link: www.oa.org/pdfs/oa approved literature list.pdf.
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