EDA Web Outreach Ad Hoc Working Group



This web site was authorized according to EDA's Fourth Tradition. The motion adopted by group conscience during a regular Sunday Phone Meeting business meeting was to have this web site serve EDA's Primary Purpose as defined in the Fifth Tradition, "Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message of recovery to others with eating disorders."

It occurred to members at that time that a phone meeting is accessible to all people in the world, and that the Sunday Phone Meeting, being in English could serve all those with both English listening skills and either hearing or a device for the deaf. There are probably millions that fit this description with eating disorders worldwide. Most of them do not have a face to face EDA meeting within a day's travel radius.

Missing Access to Overseas Recovery

The main EDA web site is well established and contains many useful features, providing access to literature, news, and information to EDA members, it is designed in a way that primarily supports face-to-face meetings and world service. It was not originally designed to be discoverable by people who are not already familiar with the name Eating Disorders Anonymous through a simple web search.

In other words, if one does not type, "Eating Disorders Anonymous," into the search field and then know that phone meetings exist so that the visitor searches for the link on the page, it is highly unlikely they would discover the EDA phone meeting groups.

This, combined with the fact that EDA meetings are not nearly in every major populated in the world yet, effectively excludes millions of potential recoveries through the Twelve Steps of EDA and regular phone fellowship. The existence EDA phone meetings is not easy to discover short of meeting someone who knows they exist, which is very exclusive.

Concequently, EDA Phone Meetings, to this day, have largely formed from word of mouth and grown through announcements at meetings or through individual relationships. Access to the millions who could benefit simply does not effectively exist in any practical form.

This was obviously not by design, but by negligence, and it was on this basis of recognizing these facts that this web site was established by the Sunday Phone Meeting's group conscience.

Extended Purpose

The groups other than the Sunday group and EDA's webmasters, having independent business processes and therefore autonomous group consciences, decided to place all phone meeting dates, times, group formats, and group names onto this site, but the primary purpose of this site is still outreach per the Fifth Traditions Primary Purpose clause.

The secondary purpose of posting a schedule does not conflict with outreach. In fact, they are sybiotic (each purpose enhances the effectiveness of the other).

World Service Design

Authority and Constraints in Ads and Sites

It was decided in the history of recovery community world service, first by the original 12 step fellowship, then by other fellowships, that individual groups could create local ads. The constraint on this right of group autonomy was guided by the whole of the 12 Traditions and the 12 Concepts for World Service. The main concern has been that copyright laws of the fellowship are followed per Tradtions Six and Ten.

It was deemed that providing information about the value of a meeting and where and when it occurred was not promotion, provided it did not use psychology to plant the value of meetings into the minds of readers or viewers. Simply stick to the facts.

This idea of using technology for outreach eventually extended to web sites, so many large groups maintain their own web site today in multiple fellowships.

Intergroups do this too, and there has been discussion about creating a EDA Phone Meeting Intergroup. However, thus far, there has been an insufficient number of people willing to actually maintain an intergroup.

We have only recently developed phone meeting formats for each group and only have a business chairperson and secretary, as well as large pool of facilitators, in one of them. Another indicator that we need more growth before we form a Phone Meeting Intergroup is that the motion adopted by the group conscience of each individual phone meeting group to have a single person maintained an aggregate phone list for all the phone meetings was never actualized. That may change, and that topic is a side note. Forming an intergroup is not part of the Ad Hoc Working Group's charter.


The Sunday Group informally clarified the motion to form the Ad Hoc Working Group during subsequent discussion that all other phone meeting groups and pertiennt service committess at any level of service should be invited and included in the work. The only prerequisite to participation in the Ad Hoc Working Group is that the participant, according to the Third Tradition, have a, "Desire to recover from an eating disorder," and wish to contribute to the work at hand.

Constructive critique during the process is useful, but one should fully participate in the work required to reach the goal if one has more than a minor comment. It is disheartening to volunteers to have a non-volunteer sit along the sidelines and criticize the work without participlation. In the Twelve Concepts of World Sercice, this is covered in detail by Concept Ten.


Working Group then Group Process

The process followed for an Ad Hoc Working Group is that such a group makes a recommendation to the Group Conscience that formed it. The Group Conscience then responds either with comments or by adopts the recommendation as is, with or without minor edits.

In this case, the other phone meeting groups will also have such opportunities to review the recommendation and either comment or adopt it.

Since those most interested in the Web Outreach would naturally participate in the creation of the recommendation, it is often the case that the recommendation is adopted as a first cut toward the unreachable goal of perfection. Sometimes the recommedation is adopted with edits, but that is impractical since we have several phone meeting groups with independent group consciences. Each group should submit comments in reply if further refinement is required.

Working Groups

In world service, a committee is a group of representatives that convene to make a decision or decisions through a democratic process. A working group does not make policy decisions. It follows policy already created, in this case, all of the above.

Ad Hoc

An ad hoc entity disolves automatically once it reaches its goal. In this case the recommendation made by the Ad Hoc Working Group may require editing, improvement, or redesign. The Sunday Phone Meeting group conscience that formed the Web Outreach Ad Hoc Working Group may decide to extend the goal to address some reasonably necessary additional work. Once all of that work is complete, the Ad Hoc Working Group ceases to exist.

Focus of an Ad Hoc Working Group

All processes and discussion within a working group is toward the completion of a task, in this case a recommendation and perhaps some content details to go onto the web site. It does not change the web site or challenge any of the motions passed or the traditions and their interpretation by world service organizations throughout the recovery community. It's job is to get work done, not deliberate.

Collaboration is key. Making points is useful only in the achievement of the specific goal of the Ad Hoc Working Group. The leader, in this case a Facilitator, of the working group must maintain this goal oriented focus.


The current Facilitator of the Web Outreach Ad Hoc Working Group is Alexander. Other contributors include Lynn and Poochis (current Webmaster). We would all love additional contributors from world service, the Sunday Phone Meeting, or other Zoom EDA phone meetings, Skype EDA meetings, or other online EDA meetings.

Get Involved! — Carry the Message

The Twelfth Step of EDA states, "Having had a spiritual awakening2 as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others with eating disorders, and to practice these principles in all our affairs." Although not all those involved with EDA phone meetings have reached the Twelfth Step formally, many have done so in other fellowships, and even newcomers can be involved with twelfth step calls when accompanied by those who have had the spiritual awakening, which is the case with this work.

The long standing recovery slogan is, "We have to give it away to keep it."

We will not provide your contact information to anyone else or send you anythong other than information related to the Web Outreach Ad Hoc Working Group.

Additional comments:

Additional Information

Conflicting Group Consciences

If there's is a lack of unanimity (consensus) during the process of adopting the Web Outreach Ad Hoc Working Group recommendation, the process of improvement will continue until there is unanimity or some other adopted motion prevails. Obviously, people need to be mature and reaonsonable as the work is done by volunteers, and excessive scrutiy is somewhat rude.

If no concensus is reached, the group conscience of the Sunday Group that started the web site in the first place may chose to draw the Ad Hoc work to conclusion. If such must occur in the interest of the Primary Purpose, it is the right of individual groups to secede from the web site or the working group as they see fit.

The Primary Purpose of the Fifth Tradition demands that we consider the millions of those who do not have a viable solution to their eating disorder and would benefit from EDA phone meetings. This consideration must outweigh any minutia (detailed concerns) that could be addressed over time.

Those who still suffer are the intended recipients of this service work, not the existing members of the groups.

A Few Key Areas of Work

More Links for You

More of EDA World

Business Address

Eating Disorders Anonymous
P.O. Box 55876
Phoenix, AZ 85078‐5876