Special Bulletin: Dissolution of Refuge Recovery Nonprofit
Attention: Portland and surrounding area meetings
PLEASE READ THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IN YOUR MEETINGS.
This past Saturday, July 6, the Refuge Recovery Board of Directors posted a joint statement with Noah Levine (link available here), the legal owner of the Refuge Recovery name and book, announcing the dissolution of the existing Refuge Recovery non-profit. To paraphrase the statement, “Noah’s team is creating a new non-profit, Refuge Recovery World Services, and the Board will foster a new non-profit called Recovery Dharma Collective.” We encourage you to read the statement in its entirety. The effective date of this dissolution is August 1, 2019.
Since September, 2018 the Board has been publicly publishing bulletins addressing their ongoing efforts “to clearly delineate the separation between the non-profit organization that serves the Refuge Recovery community and Noah’s for-profit businesses.” This work was complicated by allegations against Noah of sexual assault, for which an internal investigation “concluded it was likely that Noah had violated the ethical code for Buddhist teachers against causing harm with sexual conduct”.
In January, 2019 the Board announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Noah for such things as breach of fiduciary duty and various trademark matters (suit available here). Noah, in turn, filed suit against the board for trademark infringement. The legal struggles carried on for a few months, then in May, 2019 the Board announced that it had voted to remove Noah from the Board of Directors, and that new literature was being field tested in advance of being made available at Refcon, which takes place next week, 7/12 - 7/14.
This dissolution of the Board, and the announcement regarding the creation of Refuge Recovery World Services (RRWS) and the Recovery Dharma Collective (RDC), are part of a settlement of all these matters (settlement agreement available here).
The Recovery Dharma Collective has indeed created a new book, which is still in draft form and not published. A community review draft of that book, titled “Dharma of Recovery”, is available as an electronic .pdf file which is included with this email. The book is also posted on Portland’s refugerecoverypdx.org website and Facebook pages.
Many groups around the country are choosing to align themselves either with Noah’s RRWS program, or with the new Recovery Dharma Collective. Portland area meetings will need to discuss with their groups how they want to proceed. Many individual members of the current Intersangha, including several of the elected officers, intend to join the RDC and continue practicing peer-led recovery.
Several people from Portland will be attending Refcon next week, at which events and discussions are likely to be noteworthy. In order to share the experience of Refcon with the PDX sangha, there will be a post-Refcon debrief and social held on Sunday, 7/21, 3-6pm. Most people who attended Refcon will be at the social to share their experiences and give everyone a chance to talk and feel and think about how to move forward and how best to continue to support our community and practice our recovery. We encourage all to attend.
Please take time to discuss these matters with your sangha. We recommend taking time at the end of your meetings to read this announcement in its entirety.
Download and read the book “Dharma of Recovery” and make the link available to your group.
Attend the Post-Refcon Debrief and Social on Sunday, 7/21, 3-6pm. Bring a snack or drink if you can, and chat with the people who attended Refcon about the conference, any news, and events in the larger community
Come to the Urgent Intersangha meeting on Saturday 8/3 11am - 2pm ready to discuss the path or paths your group is choosing to take. More next steps can be determined by the PDX sangha at that time.
Remain mindful of our collective goal of recovery. Be available to and connect with your sanghas, speaking and acting with wisdom and compassion.