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We have never before allowed in any recording equipment at any of our meetings. The reason is obvious - confidentiality is the key to our program's safety. If people couldn't trust that we would protect their identities they wouldn't come forward. But the members at this meeting said it was okay to be recorded because we've just been getting not only so many questions - but also so many misconceptions about us. Another reason why we never released a recording before is because each meeting and each group is so different. There's not two groups nor ever two meetings the same. We have large meetings held in churches, coffee houses, parks, treatment centers, clinics, and conference rooms as well as jails and crisis centers. There are large and small meetings. Some people prefer to be more private so they have "coffee" meetings where two or more just get together at a coffee shop. Others are either so remote or they are so careful about who sees their face - they prefer to stick with our "phone" meetings which are held at regular times weekly where members call in from all over the world. Sometimes if the car breaks down or the weather is bad they come to the phone meetings. This way they can call in even if they're at a payphone or a motel. Other meetings are done "one on one" by telephone, mail or in person. Some meetings even have more "concentrations" of groups - such as our West Hollywood meeting that tends to be mostly men or the jail meeting in Chicago for just transgenders. Meetings can be light and funny or dark and deep. But whatever the meetings are - they're part of our recovery program where the "therapeutic value of one helping is without parallel". This is just a window into our program where "empathy" is a tool for healing.
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