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Criminals & Gang Members Anonymous

 Our 12 Traditions to Safety

Our Tradition ensures that our CGA family continues

To Be a Safe and Warm Haven for All

Where the Love of a Power Greater than Ourselves

holds us All Together for a Purpose Greater than Ourselves

One Day at a Time

 

OUR 12 Traditions TO SAFETY

 

 

  1. OUR "GOALS TO RECOVERY" SHALL ALWAYS COME FIRST; WE WILL CONTINUALLY SEEK SIMILARITIES WITHIN ONE ANOTHER Ė RATHER THAN ANY "DIFFERENCES", AS OUR INDIVIDUAL RECOVERY DEPENDS UPON OUR COMBINED SUPPORT AND CGA UNITY.
  2. *****

    Each of us in participating in a recovery group of Criminals and Gang Members Anonymous came with the desire to resolve our common problems and to seek recovery from our lifestyle addiction to illegal activity or gang involvement. Our efforts toward positive change should always be our main concern. To be effective in our primary purpose requires the full support of one another. Let us ever be careful to watch for and listen to the similarities that draw us closer together rather than find negative differences that push us apart . There is also a great need to avoid any issues of controversy; this include topics or issues unrelated to our recovery that merely create potential to weaken or divide us.

    Together, we create and strengthen CGA. Our recovery revolves around the honest Ė open sharing or our personal experiences and freely giving help and support to one another. It is our responsibility to protect and maintain the unity that links us together. To continue being effective, let us avoid the unnecessary conflicts of character or selfish judgements that cause hostility. It is important to remember that we are not in recovery because we are perfect, and our imperfections will surface at any time. If we fail to be tolerant and understanding of our faults and mistakes, the group participation could fade away. Unity among us means "oneness" of purpose; sharing together in the same goals. If we do not stand together, the links are broken and then our hopes for recovery as individuals are seriously weakened.

    Therefore, our sincere efforts to obtain recovery require individual commitment to protecting our CGA group through preventing unnecessary disputes among ourselves. Our individual hopes of change depend upon the combined unity of the greater whole.

  3. OUR CGA LEADERS, WHO ARE ELECTED BY EACH INDIVIDUAL GROUP, ARE "TRUSTED" TO SERVE THE GREATER CGA COMMUNITY, NOT THEMSELVES; AS WE BELIEVE GOD HOLDS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY OVER EACH ONE OF US.
  4. *****

    The leaders we elect in our CGA groups are those selected to serve as our "guides" to progress. They have accepted the commitment to "serve" the greater whole in our process of recovery. Their positions are not designed to give power or control, nor to impose self-centered judgments. Their purpose is to simply lead the way toward positive change not to create obstacles.

     

    We further believe that God intends for us to embrace each other with kindness, fairness, and mutual concern and trust. Through action and practice, any discussions regarding any policies, activities or needs of the group will be humbly decided with full intentions of being helpful in serving the collective group as a whole. In seeking a "group conscience opinion" it should not come through a system of direct concern. We can like or respect an individual as a person and not agree with their opinions or choices on all issues. The spirit of our CGA "group conscience" shall allow for each individual to have freedom to make good choices, based upon unselfishness and fairness for all. Freedom of choice is ours, judgment is for God to decide.

    As we embrace and accept each other as equals and focus on helping one another, then relief from our common problems and recovery from our addictions is certainly achievable.

  5. OUR ONLY REQUIREMENT FOR CGA MEMBERSHIP IS TO HAVE A SINCERE DESIRE TO CHANGE, TO CEASE PRACTICE OF ALL ILLEGAL ACTIVITY AND REJECTING ANY RELATED HARMFUL ADDICTIONS.
  6. *****

    We shall never refuse nor reject anyone suffering from our common problems of addiction to a destructive lifestyle surrounding illegal activities or gang involvement. When an individual comes to CGA with a genuine desire to abandon any forms of illegal activity and disassociate themselves from gang involvement, we shall welcome them and encourage their intentions to recover. We ought not place any demands upon them, nor suggest to hold them accountable to any form of contract or agreement regarding any matters relating to finances or CGA concepts involving recovery. We may all come, go, and return to CGA as we so please.

    Whenever any three individuals who genuinely desire to withdraw from criminal activity and gangs come together with this common commitment to recover from their addictions, they may call themselves a CGA group, providing that as a group or individually they are willing to sincerely adhere to the principles and traditions of Criminals & Gang Members Anonymous.

  7. EACH CGA GROUP IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITSELF, RELYING UPON A GROUP CONSCIOUSNESS FOR ALL DECISIONS FOR THE GREATER GOOD, RATHER THAN INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS ON MATTERS AFFECTING THE GROUP AS A WHOLE OR OTHER GROUPS WITHIN THE CGA COMMUNITY.
  8. *****

    Each individual CGA group shall be self-efficient and self-functioning with respect to and adherence of CGAís principles and traditions. Each group will be responsible for itís own decisions developed through the choices agreed upon by itís "group conscience."

     

    However, when the plans of one group concern or affect the well-being or activities of any other CGA groups, such groups being affected should be contacted and any issues of concern resolved to the common good of all concerned.

     

    At no time should any respective group, individual participant, representative or CGA Service Office ever take an action that creates potential of seriously affecting the CGA organization as a whole without first contacting and having the explicit written approval of the "General Service Board" which requires agreement of the trustees who create the decision making quorum. On theses such issues it is the responsibility of the General Service Board to make a decision in the best interest of our entire CGA organization collectively.

  9. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF EVERY CGA GROUP IS TO OFFER FULL AND CARING SUPPORT TO ONE ANOTHER IN DEVELOPING A POSITIVE WAY OF LIVING FREE OF DESTRUCTIVE CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES.
  10. *****

    Every participant in a CGA group equally shares one ultimate purpose: to seek and obtain recovery from our common destructive addictions to illegal activity and gang involvement. This one essential purpose extends to our commitment to help others who still live in the grips of our common problems, whenever we can reasonably do so.

     

    As we respect the nature of other unrelated diseases and addictions and may understand the consequences of their affects, we cannot resolve such. And if we fail to focus on problems and the addictions we possess Ė by matters unrelated, we diminish our effectiveness. Thus, we believe it is to our best interest to remain clearly focused on our common lifestyle addictions so our primary purpose can be achieved without unnecessary distractions.

  11. NO CGA GROUP WILL EVER INVOLVE ITS GROUP, OR CGA AS A WHOLE IN ANY ISSUES OR MATTERS OUTSIDE CGA, WHERE CONCERNS OF MONEY, PROPERTY, OR PERSONAL GAIN AND DESIRES FOR PRESTIGE COULD DIVERT US FROM OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE IN RECOVERY.
  12. *****

    Each CGA recovery group is responsible to and equally protects CGA as a whole. To accomplish this, we shall avoid any problems concerning money or property of any sort, and the human desire to seek power, authority or selfish forms of recognition that can easily distract our attention away from achieving our primary "spiritual quest" to resolve our common problems and recover from our addictions.

    There may be property or business affairs to arise that could genuinely become as asset to improve CGA operations or the organization as a whole. On such matters, it is a wise advantage to detach them from CGA through separate purchase or incorporation and overall operations. This will protect the integrity and functions of CGA through dividing and maintaining "things of material value" entirely separate form our "spiritual purpose."

     

    No CGA group should ever go into any business for themselves. Although we cooperate with others outside of CGA, this shall not mean that our CGA groups may become affiliated, or endorse others, whether it be an individual or a business. A CGA group shall not make obligations to anyone directly or by implying "they may" through any unclear, undefined terms.

  13. EACH CGA GROUP IS COMMITTED TO BEING FULLY SELF-SUPPORTING; NEITHER ASKING FOR NOR ACCEPTING ANY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM OUTSIDE RESOURCES.
  14. *****

    It is a general practice and commitment of the collective CGA organization that any of our fellowship groups be entirely self-supporting through each groupís voluntary contributions system as expressed through the plan offered by the CGA General Service Board. We genuinely feel that each group should function according to the CGA suggested plan. This will avoid any public solicitation of funds by using the name of Criminals & Gang Members Anonymous in a manner that carries great potential of endangering CGA as a whole. Also, avoiding the acceptance of any substantial amounts, in any form of gifts, or receiving contributions that may include some type of obligation would be an unwise decision.

    Our General Service Board also encourages all CGA group treasuries to avoid accumulating funds in group accounts that can not be justified as having a specific CGA purpose, with the exception of maintaining an adequate "emergency reserve."

    Our reason for taking this position, as stated above, is to: (1) Never allow wants or desires to distract us away from our primary purpose, (2) To protect the spiritual integrity of CGAís name as a whole, and (3) To prevent potential problems between any individuals of CGA over unnecessary conflicts or serious disputes over any forms of property, money or desires for authority or control at any time.

  15. CRIMINALS & GANG MEMBERS ANONYMOUS IS A SELF-HELP ORGANIZATION OF RECOVERING ADDICTS, NOT PROFESSIONALS; BUT WE MAY, WHENEVER NEEDED, EMPLOY SPECIAL WORKERS IN SERVICE CENTERS OF CGA.
  16. *****

    For our specific purpose, Criminals & Gang Members Anonymous shall define "professionalism" as any occupation which requires special study or training to include clerical, accountants, legal, maintenance or counseling which requires fees and the hiring of qualified persons to perform these functions.

    If ever CGA offices or fellowship groups should have a definite need to employ "special professional workers" on a temporary or long term basis, we should first seek to employ qualified individuals from within the CGA fellowship to perform any necessary services for which we could otherwise seek to hire non CGA participants to fulfill such jobs needed.

     

    Our only exception to the above is regarding work which we consider to be normal "twelve step sponsorship responsibility", which will never, in respect to our traditions, be paid for.

     

     

  17. CGA SHALL AVOID RIGID OPERATIONS WITHIN THE CGA ORGANIZATION; YET UPON NECESSITY MAY DEVELOP SPECIAL COMMITTEES OR SERVICE BOARDS RESPONSIBLE ONLY TO CGA.
  18. *****

    Every CGA fellowship group should make every effort to "keep it simple" regarding structure and overall operations I their particular group. To fairly rotate group leaders in a reasonable time frame is a wise practice. Each group shall elect their own officers based upon a majority of the groupís approval.

    Service boards or committees within any fellowship group is for those specific groups to decide upon, depending upon their own internal group needs.

    The Central Service Headquarters is vitally connected to, extending from our main service office. It shall be the "center of services" for our fellowship groups. It will be primarily responsible for general information and assistance to groups and the public; will receive and answer correspondence; and distribute literature.

  19. CRIMINALS & GANG MEMBERS ANONYMOUS SHALL HAVE NO OPINIONS, OR TAKE ANY STAND ON ISSUES, SITUATIONS OR CONTROVERSIES OUTSIDE OF CGA, AND THE NAME OF CGA SHOULD NEVER BE DRAWN INTO ANY TYPES OF PUBLIC CONTROVERSY.
  20. *****

    At every level of the CGA fellowship, a group or individual should never involve CGA in controversial issues, debates or situations. In particular, any matters with regard to politics, different types of criminal or substance abuse rehabilitation, religions, or any other belief system. We shall also respect the works of any other recovery groups outside of CGA. Criminals & Gang Members Anonymous fellowship groups and its individual participants thereof, oppose no one, for any reason concerning matters outside of CGA.

    Any forms of public or private controversy can never have a positive end result that could potentially serve any benefit. Therefore, concerning all matters of conflict, CGA as a whole will not express any views whatsoever.

     

  21. AS MEMBERS OF CGA, OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PUBLIC IS BASED ONLY ON THEIR ATTRACTION TO US, RATHER THAN OUR PROMOTION OF CGA TO THEM; OUR PERSONAL AND GROUP ANONYMITY SHOULD ALWAYS BE SAFE GUARDED AT ALL LEVELS OF PRESS, RADIO, FILMS AND OTHER PUBLIC MATERIALS.
  22. *****

    Our relationship with the general public should be one of cooperation. Yet, we shall accomplish "cooperation" while also protecting "personal anonymity." CGA defines such, by meaning that every participant of our collective fellowship shall withhold the name of Criminals & Gang Members Anonymous (CGA) and last names of every participant when speaking for oneís self.

     

    We believe too, that CGA should avoid, at all times, "highly visible" advertising. All individual "full names" and "pictures" of participants of CGA should not be on televised broadcast, a video, film or publicly printed in newspapers, magazines, etc.

    CGAís "public relations" is guided by "attraction" instead of promotion. This shall be defined as meaning that participants of CGA need not go out into the public to urge, attempt to sell or popularize our purpose, recovery process or personal achievements. These issues are better explained and our usefulness earned through quiet practiced examples of our progress in recovery. There is never any need to praise ourselves in the public eye.

     

     

  23. OUR UNITY AND THE FOUNDATION OF ALL CGA TRADITIONS IS GUIDED BY "SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES" RATHER THAN "SELF-CENTERDNESS", REMINDING EACH MEMBER OF CGA TO PRACTICE PRINCIPLES OF RESPECT, BALANCE, HARMONY, COMPASSION AND LOVING KINDNESS Ė REFRAINING FROM TAKING OTHER PEOPLEíS INVENTORY AND HAVING SELF-DEFEATING JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDES.

*****

Our spiritual principles, we believe, is our guiding force that builds and maintains unity among us; is the foundation of our personal recovery and will protect us as individuals and CGA as a whole from problems or controversy. The spiritual foundation of CGA guides us to always seek harmony, respect, understanding, compassion and loving kindness through a peaceful manner of living; carrying the message of recovery to others in need, and through doing so effectively, we strengthen our own characters.

Our twelfth tradition reminds us that as we keep in mind any of our twelve steps or twelve traditions, we shall place these CGA principles before judging any personalities. We will refrain from taking other peopleís inventory and having any self-defeating judgmental attitudes. We should practice genuine humility, meaning to avoid being rude, over-powering, deceitful, aggressive or violent. We should never harm anyone or pretend to be self-righteous or overly self-important. Let us avoid making someone feel down to bring ourselves up. We shall concentrate our efforts toward our own self-improvement.

Remember, that any faults we seem to find in others should show us the greater defects we still possess. We are exactly the way we are and so is the next person. Let it be so. As we practice these fair principles, the many great blessings given to us will never spoil us, instead guide us further into a spiritual awakening of our true purpose.

 

 

 

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 Copyright © 2003 by California Gangs Anonymous; All Rights Reserved.

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