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WHO CAN JOIN:
Nine Step Pagans will not keep an "official" membership list. Any Pagan* or Pagan-friendly adult** who has come to feel enslaved by addiction or compulsions, (behaviors one wishes to stop but is unable to), and wants to gain or maintain their freedom from such, is welcome to review the organizations 3 PRINCIPLES and guidelines, attend meetings if they are willing and able to follow those guidelines, and consider themselves a member. Targeted behaviors may include but are not restricted to: unhealthily compulsive drinking, drugging, smoking, eating, bingeing, starving, copulating, gambling, risk-taking, raging, hiding, isolating, self-injuring, or accepting abusive or otherwise unacceptable behaviors from others or self. No one will be barred for reasons of race, nationality, culture, sexual preference, gender, disability, political belief, or religion; members are asked to behave respectfully in regards to the belief systems of each other, refraining from proselytizing, recruiting, or disputing. This is not intended to prevent individuals from speaking of how their faith is helping their return to health and freedom, but rather to prevent a counter-productive spirit of debate.
NINE STEP PAGANS, (pagans rising above chemical or behavioral slavery) is an organization of individuals who recognize in themselves a tendency toward addiction or unhealthily compulsive behaviors, and a desire to overcome this tendency. Initiated as a Pagan-friendly (but not other-exclusive) alternative to Judeo-Christian oriented recovery groups, it is being started as an internet e-group support list with on-line chat meetings. It is hoped that in time NSP will grow into a nationwide non-profit organization with a large enough membership to hold meetings in physical space as well as on the internet. Basic precepts of the organization are found in The Nine Step Freedom Trail.
There are and will be no fees or membership dues to join NINE STEP PAGANS, which hopes to make its support available to people all of all classes and income levels. Should the organization expand beyond the internet into face to face groups requiring physical meeting spaces, or become so large as to require administrative services over and beyond those able to be performed by volunteers, expenses may be incurred and free-will donations requested. However, no one is to be turned away for lack of donation money, or pressured for same.
WHAT NINE STEP PAGANS IS NOT:
NINE STEP PAGANS is not a treatment provider or medical facility; it offers support, not treatment. Members help themselves by experiencing, participating, and sharing; there is no one person in the organization or its groups entitled to charge consultation or treatment fees to NSP members for NSP sponsored activities or services.
NINE STEP PAGANS is not a religion, cult, political party, or social reform organization. Focus will remain on its members and their well-being. We will assume that each adult is responsible for their own behavior, and will not seek to label or reform any individual or group of individuals. Members of NSP make the decision to join on their own initiative, to participate in the service of their own health and freedom only, and are asked not to proselytize.
NINE STEP PAGANS does not support or endorse any one political candidate, party, agenda, legislation, or religion; obviously members are free to be active citizens of society in any way they choose, but will not claim the endorsement of NSP for any particular point of view. Neither will members of NSP proselytize for any religious, political, or social, or therapeutic agenda within the organization.
NINE STEP PAGANS is not part of or endorsed by Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12 Step program, though it has and will shamelessly borrow from that source and any other sources of valuable knowledge it needs to, to the end of encouraging health and freedom, while endeavoring to give credit where it is due.
*Pagan: There are many definitions of this word, none of which will satisfy everybody. Once it meant "country-person", and later was used as a putdown of people who still worshipped the old Gods in the old ways, writing them off as rustic, outdated country bumpkins. In modern everyday usage, the term Pagan (capitalized, as is Christian or Hindu or Sikh or Jew, etc.) usually means neo-Pagan, but many consider this term an oxymoron, while others enjoy the paradoxical implication of "modern-old fashioned". For the purpose of the organization NINE STEP PAGANS, the noun "Pagan" refers to a person whose faith and worship includes a deep, abiding respect and love for the Creation of which humans are a part, and a desire to live in well-balanced relationship with self and the rest of the natural world. Although not exclusively, people who identify themselves as Pagan tend to honor the "Old Ways" of some of our pre-Christian ancestors, or the religious teachings of modern day "indigenous" peoples whose lives and mores are interpreted to emphasize the need for a mutually beneficial integration with the world of nature. Pagans are extremely varied in the details of their beliefs, and may be polytheistic, duo-theistic, monotheistic, or other; lifestyles may range from emulation of the Middle Ages to 21st century cutting edge technocracy, at times superimposed upon each other.
** Pagan-friendly refers to those who tolerate or even enjoy the company of the sorts of people described above, but may not identify themselves as Pagans. Just as many people not holding Judeo-Christian heritage or beliefs have benefited enormously from 12 Steps, it is hoped that many people not identifying themselves as Pagans will benefit from 9 Steps.
About Nine Step Pagans