Refuge Recovery World Services "To Provide Uninterrupted Support" To All Refuge Recovery Groups

The full text of yesterdays announcement from Refuge Recovery World Services:

A Statement from Refuge Recovery World Services

As explained below, we are the Refuge Recovery non-profit group that will be serving the peer-led Refuge Recovery Sangha in the wake of the Refuge Recovery Board's impending dissolution.

Some of you may be aware of what the Refuge Recovery Board's lawsuit against Noah, now settled, has been about. But many people in our community are not aware, in part because seriously inaccurate accounts of the claims and the history have been spread far and wide via email and social media.

None of us wish to dwell in the past or re-litigate matters that now have been dropped. However, it is important that we move forward with wisdom and skill, rather than with reactivity.

With that in mind, below is a link, which contains 13 sworn statements from many of the key figures in the history of the Refuge Recovery movement, documenting that history. These include not only Noah’s account as the founder, but also sworn statements from one of the first two Refuge Recovery meeting facilitators, the incorporator of Refuge Recovery, three of the original four members of the RR Board of Directors, and members of Refuge Recovery communities in North Carolina, California, New York, and Washington State.

These statements, submitted to the Court under penalty of perjury, amount to a definitive, accurate account of the background of the dispute and the recent Board's lawsuit. Noah’s Amended Counterclaims are also included. Please consider becoming familiar with the true history, in order to help us create a better future. Here is the link:

Link to Statements and Counterclaims

You are likely to receive e-mails in the month of July from persons promoting the “Recovery Dharma Collective.” This is a new organization formed by people who have chosen to break away from RR and who are starting their own program. Refuge Recovery World Services does not endorse this group’s mission.

The first non-profit Refuge Recovery was created in 2015, to provide support services to peer-led Refuge Recovery groups. In light of today's Joint Statement by the Board of the Refuge Recovery non-profit corporation and Noah announcing the upcoming dissolution of the RR corporation, RRWS and Noah believe it is critical to offer uninterrupted support to all of the peer-led Refuge Recovery groups. For this purpose, and effective immediately, we are announcing Refuge Recovery World Services, a non- profit service group. Our group begins with a board of directors, staff and advisory committee made up entirely of Refuge Recovery members with proven records of service to our fellowship. Our group includes a current, elected, Refuge Recovery State Representative, a former RR Region One Representative, a former member of the RR Board of Directors and current State Inter-sangha Chair, a former RR Treatment Center professional, as well as a highly skilled trademark and copyright attorney who is a member of RR.

We believe as a recovery organization that an essential part of the ethical path forward is to return Noah, now cleared of unsubstantiated accusations made against him, back to one of the leadership roles with Refuge Recovery. We believe the goodwill extended to our non-profit by Noah, including Noah’s ability and willingness to speak, to write, and to teach as an expert in recovery and Buddhist practice, and as the author of the book that is the basis for the Refuge Recovery fellowship and program, is critical to our program’s success. Noah’s willingness to tour and to speak about his experience, and the benefits of the Refuge Recovery program, have been the source of much of the enthusiasm for Refuge Recovery’s initial five years of growth.

The mission of Refuge Recovery World Services is to provide the following support services to all Refuge Recovery groups as follows:

1. Provide and maintain the main Refuge Recovery website. Listing all meetings, and providing material and guidelines needed to start new meetings as well as to run current meetings and Inter-sangha.

2. To write new bylaws that provide for a stable RRWS Board of directors and allow for a return to the original vision of RR. This will include a separate, but affiliated non-profit group for the training of Refuge Recovery teachers and facilitators to lead RR workshops and retreats, as well as a separate, but affiliated, non-profit, to train treatment professionals in RR treatment modalities and establish RR Treatment Centers.

3. RRWS will maintain and promote goodwill between the Refuge Recovery trademark and copyright holder, its licensees, and the RRWS board. The goal is to create both a long-term asset sharing agreement to include an eventual Fellowship Intellectual Property Trust, as well as a practical, short term, “in-case of emergency” plan for all RR marks and rights.

4. RRWS will handle the day-to-day business side of Refuge Recovery. Maintaining all of the obligations of the non-profit. Accepting and administering funding from groups to cover these shared expenses. Administration of all current RR social media accounts. Providing legal, tax, and banking solutions to RR groups.

5. Create for the first time an unbroken line of democratic infrastructure for Refuge Recovery, beginning at the meeting level and extending to the board of a World Service convention. RRWS will be providing guidelines and implementing the building of a direct democratic infrastructure, starting now. State and Regional Service conventions will be held, culminating in the first RR International Service Convention. RRWS will be responsible for the organization of future World Service Conventions.

From our experience in RR service, we believe as a group that these are the actions necessary to prevent the division and harm suffered this year from happening again. In order for RR to continue to succeed as a program, we will need an unprecedented level of unity going forward. To achieve this unity, we will need to put down our differences,

look for our similarities, and work towards our common purpose; the growth of a stable RR program to help those who suffer from addiction.

To be clear, local groups benefiting from the Refuge Recovery format, the Refuge Recovery book, and the RR program of freedom from addiction, have no need to do anything differently to remain a RR group. Keep practicing. Keep helping those in your sangha.

In the coming days we will be reaching out to all of you. The original spirit and vision of Refuge Recovery continues.

Your humble servants,
Refuge Recovery World Services

—The American Buddhist