Live Meetings and Daas Torah
Regarding the recent discussion on the forum about the dangers of live 12-Step meetings adversely affecting people's yiddishkeit, and about the chilul Hashem of joining meetings in a Church (in a side room), and the suggestion that every person needs to ask Daas Torah first before joining a live meeting, this is our response:
1. It is true that live 12-Step meetings are not for everyone, but someone who has tried many things and has not succeeded until now, should be encouraged to join a live 12-Step group. If you tell him that he needs to ask a shailah, then he will likely just not go. He will be afraid to ask a Rav because it's too uncomfortable. So he will spend the rest of his life doing grubeh aveiros because he is such a tzadik that he doesn't want to go to meetings without daas Torah, and he is afraid to ask.
2. Did these people ask Daas Torah if they are allowed to look at shmutz and be mz"l? So why are we suddenly so worried that each person must ask a shailah for his individual case when it comes to recovery?
3. The rare cases when people in the live meetings become shvach in their yiddishkeit, is because their yiddishkeit lechatchila was completely empty. Now that they are working on emes, they see that it was empty so they drop it. Rabbi Twerski once said that this is not such a big tragedy because it's a siman that their yiddishkeit was completely empty anyway. (I am not sure I agree with it not being a tragedy, but) in any case, we don't have to be choshesh for such a miyut when it can save so many other people from the machlah of addiction - and has ALSO been known to strengthen people's yiddishkeit in many cases. (Not to mention that we are talking about a person who is anyway doing big aveiros, so who is to say his yeridah in yiddishkeit is worse than his stopping to do these aveiros?)
4. Lastly, it is better to avoid these discussions on the forum that could discourage people from trying something that could help them. Our mehalech on GYE is that everyone should share what works for them, but never put down a derech that has worked for others.