AAWS Inc., NY, is proud to report:
1. We have successfully prosecuted one member of the Mexican AA General Service Board in 95. We thought their retail prices for big books were too low and somehow in competition with our other Spanish speaking AA organizations. He was properly sentenced for a term of one year in jail. 2000 groups collected some bail money and helped Javier G. out. Too bad! But anyhow, we picked up almost all of those dumping priced AA literature stuff and had it locked up together with drugs, guns and other highly dangerous crap. And last not least, crazy chairman Javier G. is properly branded in public as being a duly sentenced criminal now. And that's a nice result, isn't it?
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2. We have brought more law suits: Against one book manufacturer, Elsner GmbH, in Berlin who accepted money to print tens of thousand of pocket size big books for California jails and Russian suburbs. We would not have been bothered too much had they not been given away entirely for free. During our 1998 AA World Service meeting Swedish delegates reported pirate copies coming in. The General Service Board warned the Fellowship about this project via announcements and notices published in the Servicebladet, newsletters and bulletins. We wish to thank our Swedish executives for making such valuable and extended efforts to block the AA message from being carried. In full accord with our long-standing policy the Board pointed out the damaging effect that copyright violation could have on our finances. In a letter to the Big Book Study Group, AA-Forlaget noted the illegality of the group's action and demanded that distribution of the pirated version cease and desist.
We sell a big book for US$44 in Sweden. To our knowledge about 5000 pirates appeared to enter prisons and treatment centers all over the country. These institutions are generously supported by public taxpayer funds and used to purchase our beautiful overpriced big books for US$ 44 each. The market was saturated with those free pirates in short. Hell, we could have taken in US$ 200,000.00 and more of outside contributions according to AA tradition Seven. And the worst: Countless dumb drunks appreciated those booklets and recovered without our participation. They are giving us pressure to follow BBSG's example and supply them with pocket editions. Our cartel is ruined! Father knows . We recommend to fully support the integrity of our monthly paychecks!
3. Additionally we brought suit against one mail order book shop in Wetzlar (nonalcoholic). Mr. Lauer bought among thousands of other titles he sold about 20 of our AAWS big books. That was pretty cool. Unfortunately he was so stupid to sell 16 big books that originated from Intergroup World Service/IWS (now: Anonymous Press) for a total of $85 or so. Poor chap! We hate IWS. At home we have had no chance to, because we have no copyright at all. Despite that IWS complied with almost all our requests. So we could not make war with them. But in Germany we had a chance. Half measures availed us nothing! For his $85 dollar sales we sued Mr. Lauer for half a million German Marks. He was pretty scary having three little children and a wife to feed each day. It was foreseeable that we loose our case against him, but it was worth the money. The word was spread and some of our beloved renegades are much more careful now. They know they could too easily become our next victims.
4. A good bunch of civil law cases was brought by us against a one stubborn long time AA member near Frankfurt. He insisted to give away big books without charging those damn newcomers a single cent! Isn't that ridiculous? Already in April 1997 we asked the local police to investigate as many members of his group as possible to bring criminal charge against them all. Much to our regret German Police were not too successful against these people who destroy our precious AA unity. Think! These renegades dared to create more correct translations than our official G.S.O. executives.
To make a long story short: Imagine all those drunks who are now informed by the thousands that spiritual experience of God's presence in their lives could relieve their alcoholism. We approved and endorsed another translation of the 12 steps, telling them they remain powerless over alcohol forever, need not apply "moral" in step 4 and can "intellectually wake up" in step 12 and thus gather cute "psychological experience".
Note: This site may sound funny and like a hoax. Unfortunately it is not. AA Inc. has gone stray from basic AA principles. The editors of this website are not on the payroll of AAWS Inc. and the WE version of above text did not originate from a paid member of AAWS Inc. However, this text originated from their actions, duly observed, documented and hereby submitted.
| || Click here to see the original letter|
Written request from our Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Board, Inc., Regional Trustee Tony, to the delegates of that AA Region, dated Nov15, 1999
"If any of you hear or are contacted regarding an "already published" 4th Edition of the Big Book, please let me know -- who, from where, etc. There is a group that has created this which on the cover says 4th Edition, but is really a copy of the first edition. There does not appear to be any charge for this book nor has it been copy written [sic]. Please keep this between us -- so as not to alarm the entire Fellowship. OK?"
|March 22, 2000|
I understand that you have requested of the delegates of the Northeast Region to ferret out and expose those members of Alcoholics Anonymous who have given away 'free' Big Books (the 4th Edition) to other members of the Fellowship.
It would appear that you and our other elected trusted servants now have become police persons and are enlisting the aid of other Conference members to spy and inform. Then you asked the delegates to keep this quiet and not "alarm" the Fellowship. Should we proceed in secrecy and stealth to prosecute members of AA? What shall we tell newcomers now, Tony, when they read in the Big Book, "Give freely of what you find and join us?" Should we warn them that may mean loss of property, fines, and imprisonment? What public controversy would appear when AAWS begins suing its own members? The 5th Warranty warns us of this, but, what the matter, the General Service Board and the General Service Conference have no use for the 5th Warranty and refuse to acknowledge it. The 5th Warranty states, "Nothing could be more damaging to our unity and to the world-wide good will which AA enjoys, than public contention, no matter how promising the immediate dividends might appear."
Why the secrecy? Is it so the Fellowship won't be aware that AAWS is looking into filing litigation action on any and all that have given away the 4th Edition? There isn't a copyright on the first 164 pages of the Big Book. What will the charges be? Unfair competition? There are quite a few AA members who have freely given away the 4th Edition of the Big Book. There should be quite a few lawsuits.
In your opinion how does this all relate to the 6th Warranty of AA? It states clearly that the Conference
You have involved the General Service Conference when you requests the delegates to take part in this action.
| shall never perform any acts of government … further … |
| that no action ought to be taken in anger, haste, or recklessness … |
| that no action should ever be personally punitive … and|
| Freedom under God to grow in His likeness and image will ever be the quest of Alcoholics Anonymous. |
It is high time the Fellowship discusses the surrendering of all intellectual properties to the public domain. If we adhere to our spiritual principles, we cannot fail and we should have no fear. What are you all afraid of? Loss of money, power and prestige?
Jake Ham, Past Northeast Regional Trustee
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- Gary Glynn, Chairman of AA General Service Board, Inc., 475 Riverside Drive, New York City,
- Greg Muth, General Manager of the plaintiffs, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 475 Riverside Drive, New York City
- Michael Alexander, Trustee Eremitus
- Attorney General, State of New York (Ombudsman)
To see an open letter to one AAWS Inc. Board member click here