“As long as we seek to stop our addictive sexual behavior, we belong in SAA.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 81
In my pursuit of religious learning and spiritual fellowship, I have often been frustrated by the admissions requirements of the organized institutions. For several years of a prison sentence, I worked in the chaplain’s office as a clerk. In this position I was exposed to a wide variety of religious organizations. During this time, a close friend of mine wanted to deepen his commitment to a specific practice. He was blocked by a complex initiation ceremony and by the sewing of a religious garment, which the prison authorities would not approve. Neither the prison nor the religious authority would budge on this situation. As a result, he was incapable of being recognized as a member of the religion he loved.
Thankfully, I’ve never experienced any membership requirements except the desire to stop addictive sexual behavior, or any initiation ceremonies in Sex Addicts Anonymous. I have been a member from the moment I declared myself one. Nobody can declare me out. No matter who I am, no matter how grave my emotional complications—or even my crimes—Sex Addicts Anonymous can’t deny me membership. What’s more, Sex Addicts Anonymous doesn’t want to keep me out. I am welcome here, just as I am.
Do I offer the same welcome to newcomers that I received that desperate day at my first meeting?