Click on the links below to view the Telemeeting script and readings:
Sobriety Statement (First Meeting of the Month)
Full meeting scripts and readings can be found in their entirety below (additional links also provided):
Please remember to mute your phones when not speaking. You may dial *6 to mute/unmute your phone during this telemeeting.
Does anyone want to read any of the scripts? You can find them online at Castimonia.org
Welcome to the (Day + Time) telemeeting of Castimonia – also known as the Men’s Sexual Purity Support & Recovery Group. My name is ___________and (optional) I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ (choose one) recovering from sexual addiction or who is fighting for sexual purity. Castimonia is a Christ‐centered support and recovery program for sexual impurity or sexual addiction with the goal to achieve a Biblically‐based sexual purity. We share our experience, strength, and hope with each other so that we may achieve sexual purity and help others overcome sexual impurity or compulsive sexual behaviors. Although we believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, Christianity is not a requirement for attending meetings or working the 12‐step program. We are open to any group or denomination. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop compulsive sexual behavior and reach sexual purity. Therefore, this group is open to any man who struggles with any type of sexual impurity.
Please share with me a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity and Opening Prayers.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Father, I ask you that you bless this meeting and the men on this call;
that You give us courage to share our experience, strength, and hope
and that we encourage each other to be the sexually pure men You intend us to be.
Will the person with Our Problem, please read it.
For those members new to this program of spiritual recovery, I urge you to listen to the following “How it Works” section very closely. It is the path we must follow that will help set us free. Will the person with How it Works, please read it.
Will the person with The Ten Commandments please read any two of them.
(1st meeting of the month) Will the person with the Sobriety Statement, please read it.
This is a closed meeting. If you feel you cannot relate to the material you have just heard or feel you do not struggle with maintaining sexual purity, we ask that you leave at this time. By staying you agree to the following guidelines:
1. Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings (use “I” or “me” statements, not “you” or “we”). Limit your sharing to three to five minutes. The leader has a timer and will notify you when the time has expired. The leader will notify everyone when it is OK to share more.
2. There is NO cross talk. Cross talk is when two individuals engage in conversation excluding all others. Each person is free to express his feelings without interruptions. This includes consoling members who are sharing. I ask that everyone only unmute their phones while they are talking and return them to mute when finished.
3. We are here to support one another, not “fix” another. Leaders are but trusted servants, they do not give feedback during the meeting.
4. Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in the group, stays in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others (or admits to committing an unprosecuted felony‐level sex crime. The leaders are required, by law, to report these activities.)
5. Offensive language has no place in a Christ‐centered recovery group. Furthermore, names, locations, websites, or explicit examples should NOT be shared. If something offensive or triggering is mentioned, the leader or a member should bring attention to the person sharing.
Will all present please introduce yourself using first names only? New members need not admit to having a problem with sexual purity or sex addiction, but let us know if this is your first recovery meeting or first time attending this specific meeting. (if a new member exists) Please hang on until the end of the phone call and I will exchange information with you so that we can send you a Newcomer’s packet. You may also acknowledge your Higher Power if you choose. Hello, my name is __________(state your higher power if you choose) and (choose one) I am recovering from sexual addiction or who is fighting for sexual purity.
The Empty Chair:
The Virtual Empty Chair in the middle of our circle awaits the return of those members who are currently suffering the consequences of their addiction in prison. Also, the chair awaits the return of those members who have left the program in search of their true bottom. Finally, the empty chair is to remind all present the loss of those members whose disease drove them to take their own life.
There will be a Virtual Parking Lot at the end of the meeting intended to allow time to exchange phone numbers and gather information on new members.
Testimonies should be scheduled one week in advance by notifying the leader. The first meeting of the month is a step study. We will review the step of the corresponding month. (i.e. January – Step 1, February – Step 2, etc…)
The floor is now open for comment on the topic. Other topics and check‐ins are always welcome. Also, if you choose, please include your prayer request at this time. We will pray at the end of the shares.
With 10 minutes remaining in the meeting:
The time for sharing has ended unless someone has a burning desire to share one last time. A “burning desire” is defined as a desire to share one last thing in order to avoid acting out because of not sharing.
Let us take 30 seconds to silently pray for the men in this meeting, for what they shared or did not share, for their recovery, and for the group.
Are there any group announcements?
Our group conscience has suggested that sexual sobriety means compliance with an individual’s Sobriety Plan. A Sobriety Plan is a written description of the sexual behavior for which a person is willing to be responsible.
Does anyone here have:
One Month? Two Months? Three Months? Six Months?
Nine Months? One Year? 18 Months? Two Years?
Three Years? Multiple Years?
In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here were strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest. The things you heard were spoken in confidence and should be treated as confidential. Please keep them within the walls of this room and the confines of your mind. Whatever problems you have, there are those among us who have them also. If you keep an open mind, you will find help. Let us talk to one another and reason things out, but let us not gossip or criticize one another. Instead, let the understanding, love, and peace of Christ Jesus grow in each of us, one day at a time. Will the person with the promises please read them?
Let us close with the Lord’s Prayer.
Many of us found that we were powerless and unable to control our behaviors. Our sexual activities had taken over as the dominant part of our lives. These compulsive activities were damaging our business, family, and all we could feel were shame, despondency, anger, rage, and the exhilarating high that engulfed us as we engaged in our sexual activities. For many reasons, we had reached a point of no return in our lives. We experienced obsession, which is mental preoccupation with sexual behavior or fantasies. We experienced compulsion, which is an urge that is stronger than our will to resist. Both were destructive, because they led us to addictive sexual behavior. We refer to these behaviors as acting out.
As children, many of us had learned to withdraw from the chaos and craziness around us, to trust no one but ourselves and to play great games of fantasy wherein we felt loved, needed, and important. As we became older, these innocent fantasies of childhood turned into compulsive sexual activities and we found we were powerless to stop our insane behaviors. Our partners, whether known or anonymous, became objects. The only difference among us was the scope of our acting-out and how fast it progressed.
No matter how sincerely we desired to stop our preoccupation with sex and our destructive sexual behavior, we found that we were powerless to change. Others may have engaged in the same behaviors without ill effect, but we could not. Our will power repeatedly failed. We could not stop acting out sexually, even when we faced negative or disastrous consequences. We came to realize that we were powerless to change on our own.
Thus, many of us became sex addicts. We were unable to live in reality. We could not engage in healthy intimate relationships. Our time was occupied with the worship of our pursuits. We were spiritually dead. Many of us were in danger of losing our jobs, our families, our freedoms, or even our lives. Through the often-painful intervention of God, we have been brought to this point of our journey. We now know that we do have serious problems. We are proving our courage just by being on this call. We are determined to do anything it takes to recover from our problem.
For some of us, we believed we had not reached the point of addiction and only struggled with “minor” lustful thoughts and actions. We felt that we could control this lust and it would not become an addiction. However, from the experience of those before us, this is how the addiction began, and those that were able to confront this problem early on spared themselves the pain and suffering brought about by the addiction. Remember, the Enemy will lie to us, telling us we won’t become addicted! However, there is help for all of us in this spiritual program of recovery.
From those who have gone before us, we have learned what has to be done to overcome our illness. We must attend and support recovery meetings, share with and listen to others, continue to work the 12 Steps, gratefully serve the fellowship, and reach out to others who still struggle. Then, each of us will know freedom and we will find ourselves truly alive in the serenity and joy of a spiritual recovery in Christ Jesus.
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program. They cannot develop a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. There are those, too, who suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember that we deal with sexual impurity – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find God now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at a turning point. We asked God’s protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God, as we understood God.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:40)
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
7. We humbly ask Him to remove all our shortcomings.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:10, 18)
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in our lives.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it!” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not perfect, as Christ. The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
- That we violated the sexual boundaries laid out in scripture by God for every man and could not manage that part our lives.
- That no human power could change us and restore us to sexual purity.
- That God could and would if God were sought.
“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God…’
1. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’
2. ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’
3. ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’
4. ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’
5. ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
6. ‘You shall not murder.’
7. ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
8. ‘You shall not steal.’
9. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’
10. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
(First Meeting of the Month)
Our primary purpose is to abstain from sexually compulsive behavior, and help others to achieve sobriety. In line with this purpose, we feel that a brief statement regarding the meaning of sobriety is in order.
First, we define sobriety in terms of behavior rather than mental states. We do not focus all our efforts upon being sober from mental “lust”, but from compulsive sexual behavior. Just as A.A. focuses on the need to stop the behavior of drinking, and as O.A. focuses on stopping compulsive eating as the point of sobriety, so Castimonia focuses on compulsive sexual acting out. We do, however, strive for continued victory over mental lust as we work our recovery program. The lust of the mind may take years to drain away as one works the twelve steps of recovery; sobriety from the destructive and addictive behaviors, however, can begin today, and is the basic foundation upon which all subsequent personal growth depends. “Progress rather than perfection” is the atmosphere for growth that we seek to promote.
Secondly, sobriety will be different for each member of Castimonia, depending upon what behaviors are compulsive and lead to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. Some individuals can engage in sexual behaviors from which others find they must abstain; in Castimonia, we leave the choice up to the individual. However, the leaders of Castimonia recommend a base sobriety point of normal, non-compulsive, & non-addictive sexual behaviors, void of pornography, within the context of a committed relationship.
Finally, sobriety does not imply the complete elimination of sexuality from the addict’s life; rather, it lays the foundation for learning new approach to the intimate experience of sex and relationships which is non-compulsive and non-destructive. Such an approach is possible to all who earnestly desire it.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.