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Letter to A.A. Members
article is written by nationally recognized historian and
oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.
Fellow AA Member:
the 1998 General Service Conference rapidly approaches we
take this opportunity to make an urgent plea for assistance.
over a decade now, the AA World Service Board of Trustees
has been involved in several court cases or has given their
approval for several others. AA members have been incarcerated
and have met with severe financial hardship. AA World Services
has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of OUR money
in legal fees including consultation. There is currently
a court case pending in Germany that threatens an AA member
with jail and financial ruin.
of these cases were in order to "protect AA's property."
This property is our copyright on Literature and Trademark.
Unfortunately, the Board of Trustees let the copyright lapse
on both the First and Second Edition of the Big Book. Both
of these editions are now in the public domain and anyone
is free to reprint them. AA World Services has spent over
$118,000.00 alone just in the failed litigation regarding
the "Circle and Triangle" Trademark infringement
to Warranty 5 of Concept XII in the Twelve Concepts for
World Service we should take no action which is personally
punitive, nor should we take matters into the public courts
inciting public controversy. The Board of Trustees has chosen
to either ignore the Twelfth Concept, or interpret it according
to their own agenda.
are asking that each AA member contact their respective
Delegate to the 1998 World Service Conference to ask the
a moratorium on all current and pending litigation be
immediately put into place until the Conference can be
able to develop an informed group conscience so that they
may be able to vote upon whether or not this litigation
is, or is not, in violation of Warranty 5, Concept XII.
the World Service Conference, representing the membership
of Alcoholics Anonymous be empowered to make decisions
regarding litigation, if any, in the future.
a complete and independent audit be undertaken to determine
the EXACT cost of legal expenses authorized by the Board
of Trustees and other World Service entities.
this audit be undertaken by a completely impartial accounting
firm that has not had, currently or in the past, any affiliation
with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, The AA Grapevine
or the Stepping Stones Foundation. There have been several
members of the Board of Trustees and other Service Personnel,
including AA's Accounting Firm and other officers who
have been affiliated with the Stepping Stones Foundation,
an outside enterprise which has been the recipient of
over $10,000,000.00 in Royalty payments from AA literature.
the General Service Conference call for a two-third's
vote of all registered AA Groups to either void or enforce
Warranty 5 of Concept XII.
a General Service Conference Committee ( NOT a Board of
Trustees Committee) be empowered to look into any conflict
of interest relating to legal matters and expenditures
to ALL Legal Firms, Consultants and AAWS Staff, past and
present, including ANY connection to the Stepping Stones
a report be generated by this General Service Conference
Delegate's Committee and be made available to the ENTIRE
FELLOWSHIP so that an informed Group Conscience Vote may
be taken at next year's Conference.
Statement of Censure was addressed to the General Service
Board and requested their response. The General Service
Board never answered to that Censure. Instead, the General
Service Board neglected their Duty, Responsibility, and
Accountability to those they serve by sending the Statement
of Censure off to a Conference Committee so as to not
have to answer it themselves. We request that the General
Service Board answer that Statement of Censure now.
the incentive payment made to AA, and approved by the
AAWS Board of Trustees by the City of San Diego, California
for hosting the 1995 World Service Convention be returned
to the City of San Diego due to its being in violation
of our Seventh Tradition of accepting money from outside
enterprises and remaining fully self-supporting. The total
amount of money accepted from this municipality as an
incentive payment for hosting the 1995 Convention was
$250,000.00. There are plans to accept $100,000.00 from
the host city of the year 2000 convention.
urge ALL AA members to copy this request and pass it along
to their Delegates, Service entities, any other AA members
and WEB SITES relating to Alcoholics Anonymous for posting.
Only a grass roots effort made by the Fellowship will get
the attention of the Board of Trustees and the General Service
Conference. The time is now! the general service conference
will be held in april, 1998!
requests to the Board of Trustees relating to the above
stated concerns have either been ignored or swept under
the carpet. Several requests for the names and addresses
of Delegates to the Conference have also been met with failure.
The Board cited confidentiality as their reason.
is up to you as a member of alcoholics anonymous to bring
these important votes to the general service conference.
Only you can contact your conference delegate as the board
of trustees refuses to allow us to do so.
you want A.A. to remain as a spiritual entity rather than
a government the time to act is now! If you believe in the
steps, traditions and 12 concepts for world service, the
time to act is now! If you believe in the future of A.A.
so that it may continue to save lives, the time to act is
you for your time.