On November 14, 2003 upon discovery of factual errors this article was deleted from my.aamo.info by the site manager. The errors were reported to us by the author. It remains in the archive for site historical purposes only. The author added a reply to our deletion below. --usher


Commentary: Skyrocketing costs of delivering the AA message to those who still suffer
Origianlly posted to "My Minority Opinion" by: Norm on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 09:56 AM

August 24, 1986, 1500+ AA groups took inventory of themselves and decided they could no longer associate with the General Service Office of their geographical area because of that office's violations of AA principles. They still needed services and literature so they formed another General Service Office and a new General Service Structure to communicate with their new service center.

March 15, 1999 a trustee of this AA Service Office was finally sentenced to jail. It only cost AA $300,000 of 7th tradition donations to punish this AA member and virtually excommunicate the groups the General Service Structure represented which had grown to beyond 2,400 groups. Considering it took 5 years of litigations this averages out to about $25 per group/per year to keep the AA message from being freely shared with those who still suffer.

Throughout the late 1980s dozens of groups complained to their local General Service Office and offered numerous proposals to correct the terrible translation of the Big Book in their country. By 1992 groups were frustrated and still submitting conference agenda items and 'draft translations' of the big book for the conference and GSO to consider. 1996 the Los Angeles Arch Diocese asked for help to supply Big Books to local prisons and jails. One group responded and provided thousands of free books. They produced these books with 7th tradition donations. While they were at it, they published some accurate translations since this issue was still going nowhere.

On October 7, 2003 this generous AA group and one of the singled out members of that group were sentenced to pay astronomical fines and were scheduled for futher punishments as well. AAWS Inc, and AAeV effectively excommunicated that one AA group from AA, and the one AA member will land in jail in just a few days if they can not pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars they are required to pay for carrying the AA message. These litigations ran nearly ONE MILLION dollars of AA 7th tradition contributions over 6 years. This averages out to $166,666.67 per group/per year to keep the AA message from being freely shared with those who still suffer and for almost the same punishment that was doled out to an entire Service Structure of groups.

Our complaint, beside the unbelievable violations of traditions and AA principles by AAWS and their franchises, is the mere business fact that in the four years from 1999 to 2003 the cost of punishing AA members and groups, using group contributions, has risen 6667%. That is an inflation rate of 1667% per year! If any necessary commodity in the world rose 1667% per year there would be riots in the streets and leaders would be facing guillotines.

Based on this information alone, despite how immoral and destructive to AA this AAWS behavior is, the entire AAGSB should unanimously dissolve all their holdings (AAWS Inc. The Grapevine Inc.), vacate all their publishing contracts and exclusive franchising licenses, place the assets of the AA fellowship into the public domain, then resign and go home in shame.


Norm submitted a review of his article to make corrections. Below is the content of the original article review posted on 11-14-03. --usher

The original article is archived at: This is that page -- usher
      Since the article is still in the site archive I figured I'd just pass along my factual errors here in a review so those interested could take the good stuff and plug in the correct information where I was mistaken.
      First I want to thank a reader of the article (who wants to remain anonymous) -- who did some research, and emailed me with their concerns.
      They are a math wizard beyond my talents for math and explained to me "inflation". My "inflation rate" is mistaken. They provided an example for me that made 1500% seem about right but their presumption of the expenditures in the first year was not correct so 1500% isn't the right inflation percentage either. I'd fix it but I have come to realize I probably don't have the necessary math skills to do that. I simply divided the total amount spent by the years and number of groups to reach the $166,667 number which is roughly accurate for litigations but not necessarily for the German litigation. Which was another point they helped me with.
      My numbers come from AAWS tax returns then I extrapolate to 'guess" the years I don't have tax returns. This is why I say "roughly accurate". I had to make some assumptions of recent years using what I know has happened, what happened in previous years and how much the previous years actions cost in litigation fees. It was pointed out to me that there are also litigations in Canada and the ongoing Brown case and numerous attorney fees related to harrassing web sites AAWS doesn't like. In my haste to publish I hadn't considered these other litigations so my extrapolation is probably off to some major or minor degree as well.
      On the Seccion Mexico information I was told litigation in Mexico started in 1994 and that it was not paid for by AAWS. They suggested the Central Mexican Board members spent US$300,000 of 7th tradition money on lawyers and pointed out that both board members and lawyers were closely associated in the Masons -which is something I know nothing about (masons). I assume there is some twisted quirk of morality suggested in that side trip between the lawyers and Central Mexican board members.
      I was also informed that the German lawsuits started in 1997 and were paid for by AAeV and that AAWS did not enter into the litigations until 1999.
      I was questioned about what figures I could prove from the tax returns since there were other litigations ongoing as well, and gently chastised for appealing to fear in people, but also encouraged for sharing what I did and they explained they knew I was trying to do well and agreed with the intent. - for which I'm grateful. -- Norm