Unfortunately, this sort of situation crops up on occasion. Members don’t get well instantly.  

Although having a sponsor is very helpful in these situations, having a sponsor is not required for membership in OA. Tradition Three tells us, “Nobody is expelled from OA for not working the Steps, not getting a sponsor, not respecting the Traditions, or not adopting the Tools and practices many of us employ” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 108).

It appears that two Traditions (One and Three) contradict each other here. In some cases, we may need to choose which has priority. Ideally, we might be able to find some way we can honor both Traditions at the same time. Tradition One tells us that the survival of the group has to come first, because without the meeting other members will lose the opportunity to recover. Tradition Three tells us to welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. All members can work the program as they choose—but this does not come at the expense of the OA group. 

The first consideration is the good of the Fellowship and its survival. While each member has the freedom to work the program as he or she chooses, that freedom may not come at the expense of the OA group. If a member’s actions are disruptive or dangerous, the OA group needs to protect itself. If it doesn’t, the meeting may fold, and everyone will lose the opportunity for recovery.  

Groups and members may always refer to the “Guidelines” at oa.org/guidelines-meetings to read or download OA’s Guidelines for Addressing Disruptive Behavior Affecting Overeaters Anonymous Meetings.