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New 12-step program launched internationally

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the.guard Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski believes that this is the most significant development for porn addicts since the establishment of GuardYourEyes almost 10 years ago! And he also predicts that PA will grow fast and help tens of thousands of people one day. Already in less than one month, 10 new groups have launched internationally, including in the U.S. and Israel.

Click the image below to watch Rabbi Twerski making a 'shechiyanu' at the GYE Conference in Jerusalem last month, when the PA fellowship was first publicly announced:

Many people have asked us about Porn Anonymous, so we turned to one of the founding members of PA to answer some of the questions that we've received:

Q: What’s the story behind PA? Why a new 12-Step fellowship?

A: Well, in recent years the number of participants in SA groups has grown, and thank-G-d, we are seeing many people recover from addiction.

I got to GYE over 6 years ago, and after being on the GYE phone-conferences, I joined SA on Dec 22, 2011, and I have been clean ever since. It's a real miracle! Since then, I have been involved, together with other friends, in giving back and carrying the message to other addicts. We are always looking for ways to do this better.

A few months ago, a few SA members got together (all who had been sober for several years already) and decided to set up a new fellowship called Porn Anonymous (PA), based on the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

In the past several years, we have seen many porn addicts, who, even after overcoming the barrier of shame and guilt of coming to SA meetings, felt disconnected from others in the group, and, therefore, ended up dropping out of the program or not succeeding in staying clean. These people felt as though they were "light addicts," that they "didn't go low enough" in order to recover. In contrast to many others in their groups, they haven’t crossed many boundaries, haven’t visited prostitutes or had affairs, etc. It wasn’t necessarily that these people’s addictions were less severe, just that they failed to develop the identification and connectedness, which is so essential for recovery through the 12 steps. We believe that for these people, a fellowship that has a narrower focus would work better. There is such a rapid growth in porn addiction these days, and for many SA doesn’t seem to be the ideal place.

Also, we found that in some rare cases, due to exposure to more serious behaviors, some in SA fell to behaviors that they previously would never have dared. These people reported that exposure to stories about sexual behaviors that they only fantasized about, led them after a while to cross these boundaries. We became aware that for this reason, many therapists and religious community leaders who want to refer many young, single males to a 12-step program, will not recommend SA.

These above issues kept coming up over and over again, until a number of us decided to start this new fellowship.

Q: Who is this new fellowship intended for?

A: The PA fellowship is intended for anyone who is suffering from the compulsive viewing of pornography. If you wish to stop your compulsive viewing of pornography you can join us and call yourself a "PA member."

Q: What is the PA Sobriety Definition?

A: The official PA sobriety definition that was accepted by a vote in the new PA intergroup reads as follows:

1) The root of our problem is the intentional consumption of sexual materials of any kind, for the purpose of arousing sexual desire. We refer to all such content by the inclusive term Porn. This includes videos, images, chats, erotic literature, phone-sex, etc. Sobriety means the abstention from using such stimuli.

2) We also consider as symptoms of our addiction any compulsive sexual acts, or sexual acts which do not constitute healthy sexuality, whether done alone or with a partner, live or virtual.

3) Our end goal is not merely technical sobriety. We strive for true sobriety that manifests in our progressive freedom from our compulsive behaviors and obsessive thinking.

Q: Who decided on these guidelines?

A: After the first PA groups were set up, a discussion took place between group representatives and the guidelines for defining sobriety were decided together and approved by a vote of the intergroup. Since the fellowship is still undergoing maturation, it was decided that these guidelines would be temporary for a number of months until additional groups would be set up. It was agreed that at a later time there would be further discussion and vote by before finalizing these guidelines.

Q: When and where do the meetings themselves take place?

A: There are new groups in Israel and the U.S. and the fellowship is expanding rapidly to other parts of the globe. We are happy to announce that this Thursday (April 26th) we will have the first meeting of a new PA group in Monsey! (for information contact: For information about a group near you visit the PA website:

Q: I would like to join and maybe help start a local PA group. How can I help?

A: Excellent! You are invited to contact us by email at or use the “Join a Meeting” tab on the PA website. We appreciate any and all assistance for setting up new groups. We are especially looking for help to start new groups this month in Brooklyn, Lakewood, LA, London, Toronto, Montreal, South Africa and Australia. If you live in these areas please be in touch with us, or fill out the form online.

Q: Is PA connected to GYE?

A: Porn Anonymous is a fellowship like all other 12 Step fellowships. In accordance to the traditions, it has no affiliation to any other organization. GYE has referred thousands of people to SA in recent years, and it seems that it will now also do the same for PA. The PA fellowship itself is totally independent, with its own internal leadership and intergroups.

For more Q&As about PA and for help to decide if it’s for you, see the FAQ section on the website.

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