Traditions War: a pathway to peace
Florida Literature Committee Chair account – page 215
Stone – page 220
Open letter to the trustees concerning the printing of the
3rd Edition, revised Basic Text – page 221
was to get attention on negative factions within world services by agitating
At Fellowship conventions and passing our copies of home made Basic Text
and desist letters from WSO to members – page 223
on history leading up to Baby Blue Case – page 225
member response to C&D letter – page 227
Tremendous Amount of Pain
N. shares receiving a Cease and
Desist letter – page 228
Dave's Fight – page 229
Dave’s Home Group – page 229
takes bait and goes to court in Philadelphia to sue Grateful Dave
exerpts from the Baby Blue Court Case – page 230
I had the unfortunate luck of being the area literature chair [of and area in South Florida] when the 4th Edition fiasco occurred in '88. It seems that the World Lit Committee (WLC), at either the 85 or 86 WSC (can't remember for sure), put in a motion asking for permission to perform a "LIGHT EDIT" (their words, my emphasis) of the Basic Text, to correct problems of inconsistency of grammar, tense, gender, number, etc. (e.g., sentences that began in the past tense and ended in the present tense.) Obviously, nobody had a problem with that. Unfortunately, they couldn't leave it at that.
When the 4th Edition came out, there were people actually in tears, saying, "They've gutted our book!" In a classic example of "exceeding one's mandate," the WLC had changed a lot more than grammar and tense. They had rewritten whole passages, altered the meaning of many phrases, and worst of all, totally deleted many phrases, sentences and even paragraphs.
My friends were adamant that, as lit chair, I hold a workshop. So, I sat down with both books for a couple of days and detailed the alterations. Indeed, I found out that my friends had not exaggerated; there was no rational way that a literate person could describe the changes as merely "grammatical." I typed up my findings into a report.
At the workshop, members of the "royal family" (addicts who belonged to the sponsorship tree that has often exerted a dominant role at the WSC) came to try to shout us down and call us trouble-makers. When that didn't work, they pretty much said we were lying. Their position was that there had been no substantive changes of the Basic Text, and that we were just spreading division and distrust in the fellowship. (This was not the first or last time that the "NA Gurus" stuck their feet in their mouths, embarrassed themselves, and ended up being mad at me for bringing the meeting back to order and standing on principle.)
We carefully laid out the history of the 4th edition, the details of the changes, and the furor that was already taking place across the fellowship by mail and phone. (One of the least pleasant stories circulating was that the changes were made to appease Comp-Care and Hazelden, who were then distributing more Basic Texts than the Fellowship itself; they wanted the changes to make the book less "raw & street-wise," and more literary. Many addicts said that less rawness reduced its realness.)
Once we held up the books and showed the changes, they could no longer claim that there were no substantive changes. So instead they admitted, yes there were changes, but they were GOOD changes! We said, one's opinion about the changes is not the point; the point is that the fellowship was lied to and the WLC exceeded its mandate in a spectacular example of self-will run riot.
The 4th edition split the fellowship that year; the 5th edition came out as a compromise which satisfied nobody, because while it restored the out-and-out deletions, it did not change back the alterations of text.
Some addicts continued to object, and tried to bring motions through their groups, areas and regions that would stop publication of the 5th Edition, would restore the publication of the 3rd Ed. revised (which was, after all, the last edition that had actually gone out to the groups in a group-conscience process), and would put in place a standing rule that changes in the NA literature would not be possible in the future without strict adherence to consulting the group conscience. These motions were defeated, not by a strict democratic process, but by parliamentary maneuvers and being declared out of order.
So as you can see, many members -- including many of the most idealistic members, and including many of the people who had helped write the book felt disaffected, felt that their input was not merely not being considered but rather was being actively discouraged. Naturally, they objected. Ironically, those who spoke out to this steam rolling full-speed-ahead rejection of the voices of caution, were suddenly being called "rebels," "trouble-makers," and "self-willed addicts in denial."
Again proving that the disease has been to so many meetings with us that it can use the language of recovery against us. (In another age, a teacher pointed out that "The devil can quote scripture, and twist it to his purpose." Similar concept.)
Despite being a voice of moderation, caution and co-operation, I was painted with this same broad brush locally by those with strong loyalties to the WLC. I was being called a "dangerous addict!" Me, a chubby, non-violent, vegetarian, gentle jokester! I had never said a word publicly against any person, I had just called for the WLC and WSC to listen to the objections of the members and find a path of mutual understanding consistent with our principles and the group conscience. But that fell short of total loyalty and acquiescence, so now I was being attacked and even slandered. Fortunately it didn't work. The newcomers and GSR's already knew me to be a helpful and honest person, and calling me names just bounced egg back on the faces of the NA gurus. Which of course only made them madder.
It was during this time that I made the acquaintance of a member known as "Grateful Dave." He was sick with HIV and felt he had little to lose by being brave. He was one of the members who began printing the Baby Blues, and he was pretty up-front about it; but when he explained his purpose he was not alone for long. A number of areas, and even a region or two, bought the books and supported Dave's efforts. I neither jumped on Dave's bandwagon nor opposed him, but I did admire his guts, and understood that he was not merely motivated by self-will.
Dave said that proceeds from the sales of the BT were being used to build a bureaucracy at the WSO; that because of the high cost of that office they needed more saleable "product," but that the old group-conscience process that had created the BT was "too slow;" that those members who had been the creative forces that made the Text possible, were now consistently pushed aside -- no longer welcome in world lit. because they had the annoying habit of standing on principle and demanding accountability; and because NA's best writers were discouraged and shunted aside in this manner, all the writing projects being developed by WLC were mediocre at best, and would continue to be rejected by the fellowship.
One had only to look at the utter failure of the "professional writer" project on It Works, which wasted over $80,000 of the fellowship's money, to see that Dave was not far off the mark. Dave believed that what the WSC and WLC needed was a wake-up call. They had gotten too caught up in money, and too out of touch with grass-roots addicts who raised the money and wrote the literature. While the BT was written by any addicts who wanted to participate, without regard to "official position" or even clean-time, the WLC was now becoming so restrictive in who could participate that even bona-fide regional lit committees were being told, "Don't call us, we won't call you."
They couldn't see that encouraging the creative urges of the fellowship would create MORE literature; they could only see that literature not created by the WLC would become harder and harder to control. Legalities had superceded principles. His sources on the WLC and WSB (trustees) told him he was right on.
Dave said that the whole problem with the set-up was that we had failed to follow AA's model. (Dave, by the way, was no ‘anda'; but he would not argue with a successful model.) In AA, literature did not fund world services. Donations by the groups (and incidentally legacies and bestowals left by richer members before AA had the Traditions) were the primary source of revenue for AA's services and offices. AA's literature prices had consistently and deliberately stayed low; furthermore, AA was not terrified by the prospect of electronic distribution of the Big Book and other AA lit., because the wider the distribution the greater chance that would bring in new members -- hence guaranteeing a continued fund flow through the best source, Self-Support! (7th Tradition)
In NA, the WSO had grown explosively BECAUSE of the Basic Text! When revenues began to falter, officials began to react with fear because it might mean the loss of some jobs. The 4th-edition effort to "tone down" the book to "sell more product" to treatment centers and distributors had backfired, which now had the prospect of wrecking WSO and WLC's long-range funding plans -- a major new writing project every 5 years. It was essential that the credibility and loyalty of the objectors be called into question, and the attention of the fellowship drawn away from the major blunder that had been caused by ignoring group conscience.
Dave was determined to prove that the emperor had no clothes. The Baby Blue was designed to prove that the BT could be published dirt cheap, and given free to any newcomer who needed it. Dozens of groups around the fellowship ( but especially in the eastern US) bought thousands of copies, and gave them away free -- asking only for a "donation suggested" if possible. It said on the cover, "Fellowship Approved" -- which was not untrue per se, because in fact the 3rd Edition revised was the last version of the book that HAD been approved by the fellowship at large! (Though, certainly, the Baby Blue was never CONFERENCE approved. Nor did it say it was.) While previous versions of the BT, from gray review & input to the 3rd revised, had gone out to the groups, the 4th and 5th had never gone out to the groups. Dave had convinced quite a few thousand addicts that the Baby Blues were more authentic expressions of the group-conscience process than the official version was!
Of course, this was a challenge to be sued. Dave was awaiting the prospect with relish; he had done his homework.
Grateful Dave wanted a test case, to challenge the WSO's claim to owning the copyrights to NA literature. He did not hide his role in the Baby Blue affair, he flaunted it. And in short order, he was awarded: with a lawsuit. He was ordered to appear in Federal Court in Philadelphia to defend his actions, and he was ready. WSO sent its assistant director and an expensive lawyer. Dave sent Dave. He represented himself. WSO told the judge that the Basic Text had been a work-for-hire, and that Dave had infringed on the copyright.
Dave disagreed. And he had a witness, a man who could rightfully be called "Mr. Basic Text" himself. Bo S. of PA came to testify on Dave's behalf. Bo had been the first world lit. chair. He had started the process that led to the Basic Text. He had shepherded the whole process through to its conclusion, even though many had told him it couldn't (and even shouldn't) be done. Bo was a recovery hero to many addicts. Bo told the judge that the BT had never been a work-for-hire; that in fact the then-officers of the WSO had strongly objected to a book not produced within the WSO.
Bo told the judge in detail the story that is briefly outlined in the Basic Text. (In the 3rd edition it is called the foreword; in the 5th addition it's called the preface.) He described how hundreds of people contributed thousands of man-hours to create a "synthesis of the collective group conscience of the Fellowship as a whole...". A few other members who had also "been there" to witness the creation and birth of the Basic Text, also spoke to corroborate Bo's description.
Dave and his witnesses also described how the rights to the book had been given to the fellowship in trust, and that the WSO could be described as the trustee but in no way the "owner" of the book; and that in any case it was never foreseen that the WSO would protect the book from use by its members, just against copyright infringement from outsiders. From all descriptions, the judge seemed unusually hip to the unique concept of a "Spiritual Fellowship" as opposed to a corporate business. For once the meek did inherit; he dropped a bombshell on the court by announcing to the representative of the WSO that he was ready to find against WSO and in favor of Dave. However, he was offering him a chance to come to some mutually agreeable compromise with Dave, if Dave was willing to be magnanimous -- and that he STRONGLY suggested that WSO get humble and ask!
It seems that in a flash, the tables were turned. Dave had every right to gloat, but he didn't. In fact, he was actually invited out to Van Nuys and spent some time at the Office with that official, hammering out the agreements. It appeared in the CAR.
Dave agreed to stop publishing the BBs, and WSO agreed to hold a fellowship-wide referendum on the BT. Both sides were duty-bound to stop all finger-pointing and name-calling. The judge was satisfied. And most of this story was never broadcast to the fellowship, "in the interests of unity."
Unfortunately, the referendum was kicked out at the next WSC. Too expensive, too time-consuming, too blah-blah-blah. Dave grew much sicker, and died before he could pursue the matter further. Most of the impetus for exposing the naked emperor died with him. And the name-calling crept back.
You may have heard of the much-vaunted "4th Step" of WSC and WSO in the past three years. This largely grew out of the above problems. Yet the results of that inventory are still much in doubt. Corporate mentality still seems to rule at the world level. The only reason It Works came out at all is because the window was reopened for a short while on group-conscienced literature to let it happen.
But people like Bo are not being asked to come back and restore the process. Rather, an atmosphere of distrust and polarization has still remained regarding all this stuff; I see no immediate solution, as both sides are absolutely convinced that they are right.
A few years ago, Bo S. and a few trusted friends decided that it was time for a new group-conscience process, to be called "the NA Way of Life." It was meant to be a broad view of the culture of recovery that develops in the lives of members as they spend many years living clean. He composed an outline, and did some writing himself; but then he turned to the workshop process. Getting "just folks," regular members, to participate in the work, he held various workshops around the country to encourage the same spark of contribution and collective creation that had led to the BT.
People who have participated in these workshops describe it as a wonderful opportunity to share the miracle that has transformed their lives. They also are amazed to see the group-conscience process in action; it works.
In the mood of distrust that has gone on ever since Jimmy K was locked out of the WSO, it is hard for some members to believe that some people serve in an independent role, not because that would be their first preference but because that is the only way they can serve. Bo S. is not trying to lead a coup, and I am confident that neither was Dave. They were trying to light a spark, and Frankenstein's monster could only respond, "Fire bad."
Despite the fact that my moderateness has been a matter of impatience to those more partisan than I, the very fact that I can view the contributions of people like Dave and Bo, not with anger and outrage but with appreciation and understanding, makes me "unreliable" and "potentially disloyal" in the view of those who support the party line. Despite good shares at good conventions, (again one of those "independent roles" I was mentioning,) and 10 years of writing pretty good recovery articles and ideas, I consider the chance of my being considered as a WCNA speaker or WLC member as so close to nil, it would stun me for a week if I got an offer.
The party line, that all the above were merely stunts pulled by malcontents, thrives when people only know one side of the story. I do not liken the division, as one member did, to the political division between conservatives and liberals; there are lots of liberals who are very grass-roots, and lots of conservatives who can't wait for government to get into your bedroom and tell you what to do. I think the problem is the "heady rush of power." Those at the center can be intoxicated by their position, and many say that's why they sought it. Just like "it takes one to know one," so those in power are apt to believe the motives of those who oppose them are all about power. It's hard for them to believe that it's about principle. And when it gets polarized enough, each side demonizes the other, and it's hard for both the ins and the outs to even believe that their opponents HAVE any principles.
I am sure that all members want the best for NA, and that no-one wants to "tear NA apart." I fear that addicts on all sides of disputes fail to thoroughly consider the thoughts and the legitimate grievances of those who disagree, and in the process create enmity and division needlessly.
But our problems are not going to go away until we really LISTEN to each other, instead of jumping to conclusions and calling each other names. The fact that even highly informed and experienced members can view some of our most valuable and creative members as distant stick figures wearing "kick-me" signs, shows that we still are quick to believe the worst about each other, rather than seeking to know the facts. I don't believe that this is really the Evil Empire vs. the Rebel Alliance, or its reverse. But if we don't back up and show love & respect, it could get a lot worse.
Love and Blessings,
DH in South Fla.
“Dave was invited out to Van Nuys and spent some time at the Office with that official, hammering out the agreements. It appeared in the CAR.” We need to find any documents or CAR reports relating to these agreements. Did the WSO carry out court order, or not? Is WSO in default, yes/no? Something happened at WSC that next year where WSO was not going to do something called for by court order, and got 11th hour call from Judge Pollack and WSO backed off. Can’t recall details. - Ed
by Bo S.
Bob Stone was offered the job at the WSO on 6/11/1983, a Saturday. So, Jimmy was the office manager until that day. Bob Stone went to work on Sunday, 6/12/1983.
This kind of makes the point moot that Stone was around for the various office moves from 1976-1983. Stone was the Parliamentarian of the WSC prior to becoming office manager. He was only present during the World Service Conference held in late April/early May period. There was no hovering about the Office by Bob Stone looking to take over. As perceived successor to Jimmy Kinnon, whatever went wrong at WSO was hung around Bob's neck. Surely the staff played a significant role in this. I can see Bob taking a fall for a staff action or decision. He was that kind of man. Also, just as surely, Bob was mislead by addicts near him to believe the unlikely or the implausible. Remember this if you plan to read his book. It is interesting how the ‘good guys' and ‘bad guys' changed from time to time.
Bob Stone was also an ardent believer in our NA philosophy of inclusion. Allowing members from far away to have a hand in NA issues and decision making is a rare and special quality. I believe for someone to be trustworthy, it helps if they feel trusted. It is harder for an individual to be trustworthy if they know they are going to be treated as badly as someone who is known to be untrustworthy. Perhaps this is simple reciprocity - expect me to steal and I might, treat me with dignity and respect and I'll go hungry before I steal. People in NA long for dignity and respect but can shift gears quickly if they feel betrayed. Therefore, in both WSC Administration and the WSC Sub-Committee for Literature (WLC), we made a point of trusting people and expecting the best. We were careful to arrange backup plans if things were to go badly, but we never advanced these plans as an insult or a threat. Plan A was if everybody did what they said, when they said they'd do it. Plan B was what we would do if Plan A failed. A good Plan B seems to have helped Plan A go well. It was also our announced policy to give applause for doing a good job. If you did a poor job, you were simply passed over. In other words, we gave attention to good performance and ignored non-attendance or incomplete work assignments where the person did not ask for help. If they asked for help, we would get them as much as needed. The WSO had different policies: they had payrolls, job titles and responsibilities and everyday management problems. The slight clash between our volunteer system and the WSO management system made for problems. When staff developed tendencies to treat elected WSC officers and chairpersons like employees, there was an air of superiority among Office workers. Like they were for real and the elected volunteers couldn't be expected to do much. While this may have only shown itself as mild competitiveness, it may be the real source of antagonism and friction.
If Bob Stone's book, My Years with Narcotics Anonymous is accurate, then Bob was not expected to be a big supporter of the policy changes planned by the WSO Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees and the WSC Administration in the late 1980's. You don't subject an executive director to non-renewal if his is in on the planned changes.
Grover N. shares receiving a Cease and Desist letter:
To my knowledge there was no other letters prior that, that
were sent out to members or regions. As stated on nawol site, we had a group of
subversive members going from area to area spreading untruths, bringing the same
harsh tone to the region. Some of these were from outside of our state. I am
sure that a list of names was sent in to the principle with more harsh untruths,
in a hope to have us expelled.
We saw the writing on the wall, the service structure was being manipulated, the fellowship was being told horse shit and ate every bite. So for some of us we did not wait to be expelled we quit. We had been part of a world full of lies and mistrust during our using, it is one of the things we rebelled against. Our sanctuary of hope, truth and service was being ripped apart by a few, and an apathetic whole. Hell. Logan said “there is no sanctuary“ ( See Logan’s Run - The movie ). To some of us he was right, prophetic even.
Now I know the sanctuary we sought was internal. I had not been clean long enough to mature enough in this understanding. For all those that tore down the churches, they forgot the church is in the person not the building.
So here we are. For those that survived and made it back, my hope is to honor the time and those that did not, with this work. We can not change the nature of man or disease. There is always going to be the apathetic majority, along for the party and dates. There will be those seduced by the illusion of power, and corrupted by the dollar. “We have no opinion on outside issues” These our outside issues, our focus should be on our recovery and our work. When we stop trying to change what we can not and work on what we can our lives and work will become much more pleasant. Our road smother. God will be in control and we will be of service to our fellow man, member and most of all a loving God, without which it is all insane anyway.
When the power politics started up in Narcotics Anonymous, there were men and women who were not at all afraid or disoriented. The Viet Nam War was fresh in people's minds and experience. Activists or all sorts wound up in NA seeking recovery. To watch a few players try to wrest power and control from the Fellowship was absurd. But when they changed the Basic Text, they went too far. One member who got clean in Charleston, West Virginia was David Moorhead. He had some rock and roll business in his background. Since most of the serious service workers had families and jobs to tend, Dave elected himself to take on the Office. Greg Pierce said it infuriated him that Dave lured them into the court battle so easily - after announcing that was his main plan and intent. He wanted to draw out what he saw as negative elements within the world service system who were anything but surrendered and loving. One member of World Services said it all with the line, "Dave deserves what he gets." as they prepared to launch the law suit.
Tapes exist of these sad periods. The violence and degradation shared on these tapes is terrible.
Dave created a persona for himself, wrote himself lines designed to infuriate the Office and traveled to major conventions and spent so many hours on the phone I found bloody scabs on his ear during a visit. He could be found spreading concern for the breech of trust and existing NA policy as exemplified in changes to Narcotics Anonymous, our Basic Text. He had taken the 3rd Edition Revised and inserted material deleted from Traditions Four and Nine in confused WSC action a few years before. In short, the lines referred to ‘all else is not NA' and service boards and committees do not have the power to ‘rule, censor, dictate or decide.' Grateful Dave produced and distributed about 17,000 copies of this book but there are more being produced even to this day.
The WSO was hard pressed to locate the RSC vote that warranted the deletion based on a vote after Conference a few years earlier. And yes, people did not put it beyond the WSO to falsify the voting tally to have their way. Trust in WSO had been shattered by their actions during this period. When WSO committed an incredible $100,000 dollars to sue Grateful Dave to stop his Baby Blue campaign, Dave finally got Fellowship attention.
Walking through a park in Allentown behind Billy A's home, I had a long talk with Dave. He had been diagnosed with AIDS and said that he wanted to be remembered this way: "Dave? Dave was a son-of-a-bitch - but he was right!" The results of his efforts are found in the Fellowship Intellectual Properties Trust. Many of the members who worked at WSO or took sides with the Office were amazed to find that the Fellowship really did write the book and did in fact own the book! There is a blindness that comes from being at or near the center: presumption and lack of perspective make it hard to see the real proportions of things. – Personal Recollections by Bo S.
Part Two of New Material:
GD: What you're saying, basically is the same thing I've heard lots of other people say, is that our groups, a) don't give a chit; b) they're not responsible; c) they can't make a decision.
I don't think you will find some agreement, but with qualifications from us, that I don't know any addict that don't have an opinion on something if they've been given some information. If they were given correct, broad-based information, I would say that a lot of them would welcome the opportunity to participate in that way. We have created an atmosphere, maybe unintentionally, where "let's let the service junkies do it." I think it's more of a matter of education, where we encourage participation, where we coax people along, where we tell them the things that we were told when we got here, like "You matter."
GD: We need a media that is responsive to all points of view.
Z: And not biased. It doesn't take sides. They're just so tired of all this game playing and what they perceive is just disorder. It's like noise. The only way they can do it is shut it out and tend to their newcomers, and take care of their home group.
GD: When asked, they say that's all political bullshit and I don't want to get involved. I think that attitude has been cultivated. I think that attitude is very well understood.
You tell somebody that their behavior is unspiritual and they're going to relapse, they're going to stop. They're going to stop quick and look because they don't want to die. We've been playing on fundamental insecurities here.
We've been saying that this one is going to destroy Narcotics Anonymous, that one, and we've been saying a lot of these things. I was in the media business for years, so I understand a little bit about mass psychological things.
X: And respect a good one when you see it.
GD: Yeah, absolutely. What's gone, in my opinion, forth from world services in the past five years has been a masterful job. I will say that these addicts, because they're insecure, and we all want to know it all, would just say "That don't mean anything. I'll do my H&I."
When really what they're saying is, "I don't have enough information, I feel inadequate, I feel stupid. Every time I go to a service forum and because of my personal recovery, my understanding of the traditions, and I stand up and say, "Well, it seems to me, that because of our 5th, 9th, and 12th traditions, that this is so..." And some service structure sharpie jumps up and goes, "Well, you don't understand. We have this policy and that policy..." and cuts him into fishbait. Everybody goes, "Oh chit, well I'm never going to ask another question."
Z: Well, their feelings get hurt.
GD: Of dealing from a moral or sensitivity position, there's very few people that can stand that kind of chit like I can.
GD: We have an educational process to embark upon, if we are really serious about healing the spiritual sickness in our fellowship. we're ow moving onto concepts.
Another thing I guess I've got to comment on. I support movement or alternatives, viable alternatives, be they within the context of the current service structure or without. I see these various approaches and attempts as more of an act of desperation by a whole bunch of people that don't really know what to do. They've been shut out. I would say that if we trust a loving God and if we allow parallel tracks to exist, that maybe we'll all be better off, because we can all learn from these different tracks. We have enforced an approval-seeking. We've indoctrinated our members, "You do this, you talk this way, this is how you do meetings, and this is how you do service. If you don't follow guidelines to the letter, then we have your head."
Z: Or a goon squad walks into your home group.
GD: Absolutely. Our little statement of unity seems to have been lost on those who were most in need. Here you sit here talking to the radicals of the fellowship, and we're really not radicals. We haven't done anything wrong. But your rampant world supporters are still running around ripping books out of people's hands.
GD: Is there anyone here besides me that knows exactly what the last sentence in the 12th tradition says? "Anonymity in action renders personalities and their differences powerless." If that is true, then we all have a ways to go. I'm hopeful, yes there's a dialogue. Yes, this conversation could have, but wouldn't have taken place five months, six months ago.
Z: The point is, we were willing a year ago.
GD: Years ago. ... I struggle to get eight hours a day awake anymore. I have a sense of urgency that may not be falling on anyone else. I would like to go to my rest with a good feeling that there has actually been an observable change, observable by anyone who chose to look. I've dedicated my entire life since walking in the door here to serving and bettering this fellowship. Some of you may not believe that. I sat and read literature to coffee pots. I don't know how long I'll be alive. That's a fact, that's just reality. My disease is running me down quick.
AIDS dementia, I guess. No, it's just that it's the same thing. I would like to get a little personal peace and feel good in my gut about what's going on. I had a glimmer of hope a few months ago. I want to continue to have that, even if it's small. It's very, very depressing for me. Whatever my motives may have been, I know there's been a lot of discussion of what they were. It had nothing to do with world service or a vendetta or anything. It was we've got to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. George was in my home group, and he can tell you. He can communicate to you, seeing all those detoxing and toothless wonders on welfare with $3.00 in the basket, but they all had a blue book and their eyes were bright. That's what counts to me.
Philosophically, I applaud the ideals of the WSO, and I applaud the ideals of the WSC, and I think it's a wonderful experiment that we've become far too rigid about. I think that we have worked to the point where a lot of the things that we do are kind of unnecessary. We need to be able to trust developing fellowships with the literature that we currently have. Let them translate it and then come back to us and work out the little bugs. We'd be saving a hell of a lot of money, and we'd be getting a lot more literature translated.
X: A hell of a lot more recovery there.
GD: Absolutely. This gift of recovery and our literature, it was given to all of us, and to those to come, freely by a loving God. We are standing in the way of God's gift to humanity. Some people accept barriers and limitations. Jim Miller wrote in my book when I had 45 days clean, "Argue for your limitations and they will be yours forever." I have refused, because there is the power of a loving God, I have refused to accept those limitations in my own personal life, which has set me outside the norm or status quo. What my home group did in group conscience, I am completely okay with on the level of spiritual and what was the right thing to do. It may have interfered with somebody's plans. It may have rocked somebody's boat. It may have pissed somebody off. If there wasn't a WSO or WSC, that's what would be happening today. It's not unrealistic to imagine that those people who might perceive our world structure as being a barrier to carrying the message, might arrive at basically the same moral conclusion.
That's a very powerful motivation to walk into a prison and have a hard back book or two stuck in a counselor's office because they've caused fistfights, or because somebody ripped the pages out. I have watched those blue books going into prison, and they're having step and book study meetings now. They weren't having them before. Yeah, there was a certain amount of it going on, but I've watched this whole thing very carefully. The people who are not involved in the politics of it, love it. The people that we're trying to reach, ostensibly, are benefiting from it.
Maybe we have to look at the whole enchilada. There will be people who will refuse to allow any barriers between them and the thing that keeps them alive. That's what keeps me alive. I have a sponsee with four days clean. That's what keeps me alive. That's what keeps our fellowship alive. God, let's hope that we stop turning them off. Service, yeah, come on, let's go. "f**k that, I went there once."
BS: You kind of lost me on that last one.
GD: I'm going to take my new sponsee to the area service. Tell him that he counts, that he matters. Service is where we need to be. I'd be talking out the side of my neck, and it didn't used to be that way. It really didn't.
GD: They let me write do's and don't's with 40 days clean, man. It's approved. There's newcomers all in that Basic Text. I think Bo was right earlier in saying that we had a process. Nobody could understand it, but damn it worked, and we tried to f**k around with it and we've got paid people and this and that. That's a brand new idea. It didn't work before, and I don't think anybody can say that it's working now. Maybe we have to back up a little bit. Maybe all this progress is not what we need to be in. Maybe we need to back up a little. Emotional sap and drivel. That's where I'm at. I have to bare my soul. I guess I have been for a long time. I don't know how long I've got, and I want to see it right. If it comes to me that there's something I have to do, then I have to do it. I don't mean to really leave it dangling there, but...
Z: Don't leave it dangling. You've done your part. You haven't put out anymore Baby Blues, right?
GD: I have honored my agreement to the letter.
GD: I am a man of honor, whether anybody believes it or not. All I have is my word. That's all I can take to my maker. I've given my word, and I've kept my word.
GD: One last closing comment to you guys. I'm not going to be there. I tried every way I could to be there, but I want to ask you Stu, remember when I said please don't send any letters out until we get a chance to talk? I want to ask you to please try to, all of you who have the ability to address the conference, try to prevent the conference from reeling off. We have a problem. That problem cannot be resolved by a vote of the conference. If you can get the conference maybe to even hold off. I think George knows what I'm talking about. I think Stu knows what I'm talking about. Let's downplay all this stuff, in terms of exclusive property and all that stuff, cause I know it's going to be very...I'm almost sorry I'm not going to be there.
I'm going to do everything I can to have the issue addressed, guarantee that. I'm usually pretty good at that.
Z : To have the issues addressed like...
Y: Well, I'm not...We're going to talk about everything that's in the agenda. We're going to discuss some of the difficulties in the fellowship with the intellectual properties. It's not going to be washed under the rug.
GD: Well, if you create a separate account for Blue Book sales at $1.50, and limit the distribution, like we talked about before, and dedicate all that money to assisting other fellowships in other parts of the world to translate their literature.
Y: There are a lot of things that will be discussed about that, Dave. I really think you're jumping to a conclusion, and really should be patient. Let's see what the conference does.
GD: The conference will do what it's told.
GD: Also, I'm still waiting on the communications registered on the Basic Text and the other things that were supposed to be forth-coming. I know you guys are busy out there, but if you have it, send it. And the amplifications.
LIT TRUST TALKS
X: This background statement, very simply needs to be focused on the fellowship rather than services, and most particularly, that portion of the fellowship exemplified by the 1981, before the literature conferences. The composition of the literature committee, the process that was happening then, and the four conferences that occurred then. I believe that it needs a simple description of the bond of trust that does exist between the spiritual fellowship of N.A., and its services, including ASCs, RSCs, WSC, WSB and their agents, primary service center, WSO. To the statement, "our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern." That's kind of what the background statement needs to be focused on in my opinion.
The '81 literature committee and those four conferences were something that happened in the fellowship, was a phenomenon that didn't have a precedent and hasn't happened since. The members that worked there, and the fellowship that they were representative of developed a trust bond with the service structure that the results of their work would be used in the same spirit and manner that the work was developed. This must be, in my opinion, the foundation and the basis of this literature trust document.
GD: I agree. The fellowship and the people who wrote and participated are actually the authors and the owners. I think you've got it switched around. I didn't send any input because I've got some minutes of the conference here, it says to me that the things that we had discussed in Harrisburg and other times, and the promises that were made to Jim and Kathleen and Bo and myself and others that were present at the time, were ignored. It's like you've got the exclusive rights to do whatever you want to do as far as I'm concerned, it seems like that is "your" trust. The trust that I had that you wouldn't ask for these things and you wouldn't do the things that you have done, you violated that trust.
Y: I never said that we wouldn't ask for it. I put it in the Conference Agenda Report. That's not true, Dave. I told you I was going to ask for it.
X: What I understand, Stu, what I remember was that in those documents that you gave us your assurance that you would share that something was in process, and that after the process was completed, that you would ask for this, and mention that in any requests for it. I felt you made yourself very clear and agree substantially with Dave.
Y: No. What I agreed to was the fact that I would ask for this in lieu of producing any other document. I agreed that this document was premature to distribute at the conference at that time. It needed some work. I instructed the conference that we would be working on this document and would send it out.***
GD: Did anybody get the amplifications and the other materials that were supposed to be send, because I received nothing.
Y: They were just done. They'll be coming in the next package.
GD: I feel like it's kind of a waste of time. I do so because of my own personal intimate knowledge and understanding of the promises that were made. The last conference call, I said that I had fulfilled my end of the bargain 100%, Stu, you said yes, and everyone was amazed that you had said yes. The fact of the matter is, from what I understood in the court, you were supposed to go from the court to the vote, without any comment.
Y: No, no, no, no, no. The only comment that wasn't supposed to be taken, was I wasn't supposed to put a prelude to the motions that went out to the fellowship. That's what was indicated by the court.
***REFERENCE PAGE #19 FROM APRIL LIT TALK TAPE
GD: Was there not a three-hour discussion before the votes were taken at the conference? Was there not papers sent out four or five days before the conference to RSRs about...I have it, it's dated March 28 "For distribution. An essay on the fourth and ninth tradition changes."
Y: The only thing that was sent out that had anything to do with those three motions was the issue of the low cost text, and that was ordered by the court that it was done. That was it. We said nothing, we publicized nothing, we did nothing.
GD: Was there not a three-hour discussion before the votes were taken at the conference? Was there not papers sent out four or five days before the conference to RSRs about...I have it, it's dated March 28 "For distribution. An essay on the fourth and ninth tradition changes."
Y: The only thing that was sent out that had anything to do with those three motions was the issue of the low cost text, and that was ordered by the court that it was done. That was it. We said nothing, we publicized nothing, we did nothing.
GD: There wasn't three hours were of discussion before the votes were taken at the conference?
Y: At the conference, I gave my report.
GD: And then Terry Middlebrook gave her report, and all that information in which I saw nothing positive, not even in the WSO Report, nothing positive at all...
Y: Dave, those RSRs came there with the vote. There's no votes after the discussion. Those votes were taken by their respective fellowships. Those votes were taken back in their fellowships. They went out in the agenda report. They all came with a vote from their fellowship.
GD: Then why was there a need for three hours of discussion?
Y: Because I give a report every year. There was no cross discussion. There were questions and answers after the report, which they cut short and forced the end of discussion. We went into session, I asked for a committee of the whole, and they refused it and wanted to vote. They voted and then they went into a committee of the whole after the vote. That's what came then.
X: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Stu, but I believe we need to move on from here. A lot of us weren't there, and we're just really not positive what happened. The reports that we get indicate that you betrayed the trust that we felt we had established. I think that that's something we must deal with. However, for us to deal with it, when I don't have all the details and facts, and Dave seems to have a whole lot of it, but all of us aren't on the same page. I don't think that we're going to make any progress toward dealing with it. Dave and I, and perhaps to a lesser degree, Bo think that this process that we're participating in right now may be of some value. I'm questioning the value from what I've heard of the conference. However, I'd like to go through the motions of it, and see if we can set some positive change. I think if we discuss this any further on this particular conference call, until I have minutes of the conference and Bo has too, and Dave and Bo and I and perhaps others, Billy, have had a chance to visit, we're going to be spinning our wheels. There isn't any sense doing that.
Let's go on to your agenda and deal with it, and any other input that might come up. Deal with these things that come up point by point and see where we're going to go as a working group from here. If you guys, in fact, have snared us into something, deluded us, and Bo can trust, I guess I'm not going to have to make amends for that. If I do this work and it's all for naught, at least it's built character some. Dave doesn't have a lot of time to build character, but I'm going to go ahead and do that.
GD: I'm sitting here with the minutes of the conference, and I see all the motions. You tell me one thing, and 20 people that were there tell me another. The only way we're ever going to know what's right is if you were to send the tapes of that day to all of us, so we could determine what, in fact, did actually occur at the conference. If you want me to trust you...
GD: There's a lot of stuff here, I'm sure, that spanned over four or five hours. I'm looking at the minutes, making that determination.
literature, the WSO presentation, the motions, the votes, the committee of the whole.
If you could get those copies and send them out, then we would have a better idea of what the conference felt like, and what they wanted. If you want me to at least modify my feelings at this trust, then that would go a long way. I don't like to operate from a position where I've got no information. I don't like to make a mistake or get something wrong. From what I'm looking at here, and from what people have told me, and from the publications and things that people have sent me, and looking at the WSO Report, I didn't have much faith to start with, and I put all whatever remaining faith that I had in Narcotics Anonymous and the principles, and the trusting when we went to court, I put whatever I had left there. I don't have any left.
Y: Let me try to put it into perspective for you, Dave, at least what I believe. This trust document will supersede all previous decisions. The decisions that were made by this year's conference were temporary if we find that those decisions are no longer usable in the trust document. That's how I tend to look at that and what we discussed at the conference. I understood Stu to make a commitment that he would not present the trust document, which will the be the policy that is established when we get through the review period, hopefully, and the fellowship approves it. The decisions made by the conference are temporary in that light, because the trust document will supersede all of that.
GD: It seems that the perception that the members that were together in Harrisburg and various other communication that you and I have had personally, that you see things one way, and I know I see things another way, and I'm taking a straw poll down the ranks of the people we have on the phone here. You've got people on the phone here who have not been intimate to this stuff, but Oma and myself, Jim and Kathleen, and Bo and his girlfriend that were in Harrisburg, in that room with you, we made, all of us, made agreements together. It sounded like there was something that could come out of all of it that we would all be happy and satisfied with, and there were things discussed at that time. One of those things was that three months after the conference, when we should take and put out the trust document. That was one item. The second item was the idea of exclusivity and ownership of the properties. You would have the exclusive rights to ownership, that was going to be held in abeyance. You promised that you would not ask for those things and/or the right to sue any group, area, or region, or member, until such time as we had developed the document.
Y: I didn't promise that. Anybody else who was on the phone that was there, did I promise that?
X: Yes, I do believe that approximately what he's saying is what we agreed to as a group. However, I really don't think that we need to spend a lot of time right now going over that and salving up those wounds. If in fact, our impression of what you said was made in good faith by you, George's word that this trust document will supersede all previous decision, including temporary decisions made at WSC '91, is enough for me to go ahead and not waste the fellowship's money and time, and my time, any further trying to do this, trying to salve this up. It's a waste of time, but I may be wrong. I just need to feel that everyone involved here agrees with George's perception that what we're working on shall supersede anything that's been done previously.
Y: Now, that's what I promised.
X: Does everyone agree that what we're working on is something that can transcend all previous policy in this area and the areas attached to it?
GD: It seems to me that if it's a legal instrument that's executed, then that will, in fact, supersede even the decisions of the conference. The conference will have to ratify whatever it is that we end up coming up with, because we'll not have any rights to put something like that out, without the fellowship. I may be going even further to say that the fellowship, as a whole, has an opportunity to look at it. The other thing is, that we talked about having a little budget last time so we could communicate with one another. I can't afford to communicate with anybody. If we're going to proceed, I'm willing to proceed. I've given most of my input to Jim, because Jim and I have a relationship where we understand each other, so I gave him most of the input that I had, and he factored most of that into his input.
We've already done some initial work. I just think that our ideas, and I would like to hear from the other people on this particular question, Roy and Billy, and others. Does corporate N.A. own our property, or does the "creator," being the fellowship, own the property? We're looking at the question here of whether...The first literature document that you sent us made the owners the beneficiaries. That's kind of screwy. You guys get the budgets and the travel and the office, you guys are the beneficiary of our work. It's really the other way around. I think we have a chasm between corporate N.A. and spiritual N.A. We have to decide as a fellowship, whether we are a corporate entity, and go on with that, or whether we are a spiritual entity.
Y: We have a corporate entity, because a corporate entity does certain things on behalf of the fellowship. Service. It only exists for the fellowship. They benefit its worth. It has no other purpose.
GD: I'm looking at it, and we may argue over two million dollars, but I'm looking at twenty million dollars over the past five years, and I'm wondering what we got for it.
Y: That's quality judgement. It doesn't exist for anything else other than services to the fellowship. That's what it was intended to do. Now whether the services were good, bad, indifferent, that's something that has to be dealt with from a quality control situation, not from...
GD: Stu, I know what you believe. I think that we're just talking and we could not be further apart, I don't think.
Z: What do you think Stu believes?
GD: I think he believes that it's a business, an agency, this, that, and the other thing. If that's the case, efficient business and successful businesses run on spiritual principles, on good sound principle and practice. It's like it says in the 11th step, "results count in recovery." I haven't seen the results that one would expect for the amount of income that's passed through that office over the years. The controversies and controversial issues that have come perhaps as a result of perhaps me, or the tension created in different philosophies. Do we want to carry the message to the addict who still suffers? Well yeah, we do, but we only want to do that when we can do it with computers and...
Z: Dave, let Stu way what he believes. In view of what you've said, what do you believe, Stu?
Y: I believe that there's a business aspect to Narcotics Anonymous, and that's why you have a corporate arm. I believe that corporate arm operates in that capacity. I don't believe the corporate arm is a beneficiary of the fellowship. I believe actually the reverse. I believe that the corporate arm solely services the spiritual arm. It has no other function other than to protect, and pursue the aims of the fellowship of NA. It has no other...
Z: Don't you understand, though, the reason we're on the phone? There have been some serious breaches of fellowship trust? And like I said on the last phone call, that these are not mysterious, will of the whist, variations on how people who live in different parts of the United States express themselves in English? The severe disorders...
R: Hey everybody, this is Roy. I think what I'm hearing, and I realize that I'm just being brought in on this whole process here, is that we really do have sort of a difference of opinion. I have to tend to agree with Jim at this point, though. We do have five things that were written down here. If we're going to progress at all, and maybe some day we'll reach perfection, but let's go with progress for now, maybe we ought to try to do what we can with these five issues here for today.
I have one question regarding number one off the bat: What background statement? Either I didn't get that, or it's part of this document, and I just haven't been able to pick it up.
Y: Your copy doesn't have it, Roy, and I apologize. Neither you nor Billy received the background statement.
Z: The thing that seems to be evolving in some of my talks with Jim and Dave, and just in general as a result of working on that input, was that there was a verbal trust statement that we told people so commonly that we didn't realize what it was. But it went like, "there will be no by-lines, no royalties paid to us for doing this work, and the proceeds will go to the fellowship" That was basically our operating, verbal trust document agreement. That was delivered to lit workers by the hundreds. Since they liked that, they came and did the work.
GD: That is a quasi contract.
Y: The problem that we have with it is there's a three-tier situation where you have the world service office, and then you have the collection of people of the conference, and then you have the members at large. We're trying to write to capture the whole thing. In some cases, the office is not the voice of the fellowship, it's not an attempt. It's hard. You have the collection of all the regions everywhere that give the direction to the office. The office does work for the whole.
Z: Let me hone in on that, with the support of this working group on the phone. Because I think that's a very primary, that's a really big question. We've always thought of the office as being the primary service center, and every time it's broken out of that role of service center, and became publisher, became governor, minutes or motions or elections or reports seemed to be waived for or again the question in preparation, anytime any of that came up, it's been the office's disservice, and really injurious to the common welfare and body of Narcotics Anonymous. I sort of feel like you agree with that, that the office is the primary service center, not a publishing agency. If the office is a publishing agent, then it could go into the movie business.
Y: Right, but it's a publishing agency as the fellowship says to publish its work, ITS work, total work. It doesn't do anything without...
GD: I think that's skirting the issue that Bo writes.
Z: I hope we can clear up that. I've listed four things here, there's another agenda, but I really think that the four points that stand out at this point, and maybe if nothing else, it'll clarify something for others: The fellowship owns the Basic Text. And all the names and properties, and all our literature and all our stuff that's going to come. And that needs to be held in trust, however it's held. It can be held by an agent in trust, but it's not done for hire, it's not the kind of product that's subject to the bump and grind of the market place. Our stuff has to be the kind to reach into our people in the middle of the night when they want to use, and the book's there and their sponsor just died. As opposed to the kind of literature that the local hospital may like. We have a different image.
GD: I've spent a lot of time in the music business, and I understand publishing, and I understand royalties and all this stuff. We're still...
Z: Dave, the reason I take time to bring up this, is the key word is "publishing." Publishing has come up a lot in these trust documents in the first few pages, and I hit them with a highlighter everywhere I see the word "publish, publisher, publishing agency." Even line 23 on page one, it says, "The World Lit Committee specifically conveyed the copyright." All I remember is that the office was going to copyright the Basic Text so that they could protect the copyright and distribute it to the fellowship.
Y: Anytime you print, that's publishing.
Z: I know, but the "specifically conveyed" and all that stuff. If that happened, they sure kept it quiet. All we know is we did the work on faith, we turned it in, kept the faith, and there's been some problems, and we want an end to the problems. Those other items, I'm going to recommend that maybe we could just take a quick statement from everybody on questions numbered 1,2,3,4,5. Try to make that our primary focus of what we're trying to do on the phone here. I think the verbal trust statement needs to be emphasized in question number one. What needs to be stated in this section, is that I think this is a long overdue formalization of a verbal literature trust. That's what I think. What do the other guys think?
GD: I'm flying blind, but I kind of figure the same way. I understand that a company needs to make money. They need to have help, bottom line, they need to have all these things. I'm not so sure what we do about that. I'm not suggesting that we do away with the WSO, I'm suggesting that we do some radical reorganization of it. How many people do you need to do the job? Do you need 42 or do you need 1500?
BA: I agree with Bo's statement, basically. I have real problems with the whole trust, where I believe in the basic of literature statements made between '79 to '81 when I was involved with the fellowship early in my recovery. I believe that the WSO, what it was supposed to be doing, and what transpired afterwards are two different things. It was just supposed to be a basic statement of our eighth tradition, that it was a primary service center. It was not supposed to end up with ownership, but was supposed to have a trust to protect our literature from being printed by outside agencies like Hazelden, Compcare, or any other hospital or institution. Our literature was not supposed to be a profit making venture. Those are the sort of things I'd like to see in our opening statement.
GD: The judge in court steered us away from five counts. He kind of looked at that stuff, and said that yeah, probably a real good case could be made that all of this stuff is public domain. The literature itself could be taken into the public domain. I think that was the intention of the authors. Somehow, we've got to split the difference between if we choose to continue to have the corporate arm being supported from the literature, the creative output of anonymous members throughout the fellowship, then we need to split that difference?
You've got $25.00 sweats, and jewelry and all this stuff going on, and people making money left and right on Narcotics Anonymous, printing the stuff on you-name-it. Nobody with the exception of "Creative Arts," which was a corporate entity that could be sued by another corporate entity, nobody has bothered to do convention corporations and what have you. So here we go with somebody who wants to produce a Basic Text, at cost, and deliver that to the addict who still suffers, and this is the one who gets sued. To me, that is kind of indefensible. Again, I'm probably off on a tangent again, but I'm not hearing in this conversation, to the degree that would make me comfortable, is this wide gap between the corporate and the creative.
Z: I'm Billy Eason, and I wasn't privilege to the original statement, but I really liked the paragraph that Jim read. We need to decide whether we are a corporate entity or a spiritual entity. That's my opinion, and I am familiar with the literature process from '79 to '82. Things were a lot different then than they are now. I'm confused about what George said earlier about motions. When I look at motions #112 and #113, he said that they would be null and void if this were adopted, is that correct?
Y: What I was saying, Billy, is that eventually the trust document becomes our permanent document, so if there are differences that exist between past positions, including the most recent, and what the fellowship adopts in the trust document, it will supersede the previous decisions.
X: Let's go on to two. I'll read it, that'll give me something to do. I get bored when I can't talk all the time and monopolize the conversation. Don't understand? I'm an addict. "How does the fellowship direct the service office as it administers the trust?" "Does the World Service Conference act as that voice? If not, how, who, or what does?"
My first brief note was new direct method. I'll go into that if anybody would like to hear it. There's been a lot of talk lately about an alternative service structure. It bothers me and it bothers a lot of people. It bothers me positive and negative. We need an alternative channel within the existing service structure so that the responsibility becomes more direct. The very indirect route that's now available should be changed. Much good should not be changed, much good can happen as the fellowship passes direction from member to group to area to region to WSC. However, a more responsive, more specialized, and more direct channel should be opened. Every issue regarding the fellowship's property, every issue, should be finally decided by a group poll, directly between the N.A. groups and the WSO Board of Directors.
X: Very general policy decisions should be made through the existing structure, and then parameters for daily operations between the WSC should be made by a) WSO Board of Directors. I think the WSO Board of Directors needs to be established with direct yearly elections and reconfirmations of half that WSO Board by an act of the World Service Conference, the other half of WSO Board elected directly from regions. The election procedure of WSC, supposing 12 Board of Directors, four of them would be elected each year to serve only one three-year term. There would also need to be a provision that the conference to remove any of the remaining nine.
Then the election procedure by regions, supposing 12 Board of Directors, elected directly by 60 regions in a service area, each region would elect a director for a five-year term every five years, four years of that term as an advisory director welcome to attend Board of Director meetings at the expense of the region, able to participate in motions and discussion, but not vote, and one year of active directorship. So of the 60, only 12 would be voting and equal the WSC directors. Active directorship, attending Board of Directors meetings at the expense of WSO, to wit, participate as a voting director. Some lottery situation could be developed so that when the active role came to each region, could be a term. It could be cumbersome to develop that. However, if the WSC, as just a side note, were an effective voice for the fellowship, we wouldn't have the current problems that we've got fellowship-wide. The statement that WSC anywhere near mirrors group conscience of Narcotics Anonymous, has been an absurdity for some time. Maybe it always was. Maybe it always will be, I don't know. I know that it distresses me and others greatly now.
Additionally, I think that this particular thing like was originally planned, needs a literature trust fellowship panel, which should be formed to consist initially of five folks who were among those who helped to write the book. This panel would be charged with three responsibilities: A) to solicit and act upon mature fellowship input regarding the conservation, maintenance, and development of our literature and property; B) to be a non-voting participant at WSO Board of Director meetings, with veto power on actions affecting the fellowship's literature property. Essentially, let me clarify what I mean by veto power: to postpone changes until a poll of the groups could occur, that's all I mean; and C) to foster open fellowship-wide communication and continuation of the process that effectively developed our literature.
How would this panel be selected? One suggestion is willing nominees could be volunteers from those registered at world literature conferences. All the members that were registered at world literature conferences could be contacted and elect the panel by a mail ballot. I would suggest a 12-year term rather than life, as was previously mentioned. Replacements to this panel could possibly be selected by the panel so that there would be a continuity of service.
GD: We're looking at an administering structure that is equally representative of the varying...Each element of our service structure, including the fellowship has parochial concerns. The trustees have their concerns, the admin has their concerns, the Board of Directors has their concerns, and the fellowship has its concerns. Then you throw the conference in there, and when we're discussing the conference, I tend to echo everything Jim says. I think everything needs to be direct when we're talking about significant decisions that will affect our literature or our properties. It has to be direct.
I'm not upset with the idea of an alternate service structure. I'm not upset with it, because I see the possibility of working along a parallel track and being able to learn from the mistakes that our current structure has made, and to not have the constrictions that have been placed on the current structure. Maybe in developing an alternate structure we learn something. Maybe it will all merge somewhere down the road, that we'll finally get enough information and share enough experience, strength and hope within the context of the two structures.
We're looking at international issues, service structures in different parts of the world, this and that. I noticed something in the minutes: Are we a North American fellowship with worldwide outreach? If that's the case, then we make the rules and that's the way it is. It doesn't matter what anybody else, anywhere else, wants to do. That will cause even more divisiveness that we currently have. We have to become okay.
So if we must get this multiple-tiered trust organization together that will provide the checks and balances that will create policy, create a structure and will eliminate the necessity for all these parochial concerns and bickering back and forth...
GD: ... because we have control issues, or we think that our way is best, that keeps that tension going. You have that tension between the service arms of Narcotics Anonymous. You have all this infighting in the service structure, and when you take somebody from the fellowship who maybe wants to be involved in area service or something like that, and they look up the tree and they go, "Oh chit, this is nuts" Everything they try to make an entrance into it, the energy that's going on in all of this other stuff, it's like a forcefield on Star Trek. They bump up against it and are repelled.
If we use that kind of a single board made up of representatives to represent all these interests, then I say let's do that. Five years from now, or ten years from now, we could modify that too. It may become unnecessary. There are contractors out there for everything. They say this is the cheapest bid, we can get it to the people for the cheapest bid, and that's what they do. I don't say adopt what they do, but I say that there are lessons they have learned. When bootleg literature was coming up, they sent a letter out that was very nice. If you find that the literature suits your needs, fine. We're looking at a tone and a way of handling. That's got to change too. It's the kind of heavy handed ways that the difference in N.A. today are...
Z: Well, world level positions feel powerful. It takes a trusted servant mentality to not buy into that feeling of power and remain a servant worthy of trust. Can we hear from some of the other people? My answer to #2 is group conscience is the answer to all that. It's strange but group conscience might be at the world service conference on some items or some issues, and if it's not, then those items and issues continue to be a problem. Like the target area we're dealing with. We're functioning as a group conscience right here and now.
GD: Well, I've got one comment. Looking at the minutes, you've got votes that are 23 to 51, 21 to 55.
GD: Yeah, this year's minutes, and I'm sorry that you don't have them. The point I'm making with this is that there are four ways to rule on a vote: Is it a 2/3, or is a majority? I guess that this was considered to be 2/3, but you're looking at 23 to 20 regions that thought that in their conscience, we're talking about a third of the fellowship taking out the trustee and others votes. What I'm trying to say is, you're looking at maybe 40% of the fellowship that thought that this stuff was a good idea, motions 113 - 115. That to me is indicative that maybe on issues such as this, the fellowship needs to be a voice. Group conscience needs to be the voice.
Z: I'll just make the statement that I'm sort of ignorant, and I'm being a little boggled by what's going on here. If it was kept a little more simple, I might be able to follow in a little better. I'm just going to kind of sit back and listen to what a lot of the other folks have to say.
GD: Well, thank you for sharing that. When somebody reads something like that by us, and we don't have it in front of us to study, all that input is overwhelming. I would like to see as a document, so you could input, I could input. Basically I'm a policy kind of nut. There's a lot of things in there that sounded good, but it was a little too complex, too fast for me to absorb. I'm not scared of complexity so much, as long as what seems to be complex sometimes is really simplicity being manifested. It seemed to me that there was a lot of real good basic ideas in what he was reading. In all fairness to you and to Jim and to myself and all the other people that are on the line, that don't absorb things that fast, we probably need to take a look at those suggestions.
I'm for something like 12, 12, and 12, since 12 seems to be a pretty cool number. Like we have 12 people directly elected from the fellowship, in maybe a zone way, and then 12 people elected from the conference, and then we have the Board of Directors. The trustees, I don't know where they would fit into this, maybe a six director committee, and six trustees.
GD: We need video conferencing.
Y: The thing that everyone seems to be pointing out. I still have a concern that I voiced on the last conference call. A good deal of what we're talking about needs to show the trust of the fellowship with its service boards. This document was never meant to show that in any way. This document would simply show the service structure relationship with its service center, and how the administration of the trust would take place. All the different things that we have brought up are things that to different degrees, I'm sure we all have agreement about that things need to be changed. However, this document, in my belief anyway, is not the appropriate place to bring those changes about.
GD: Why not?
Y: You have a great deal of problem with the service structure, and we need to take care of that. But again, that's the limitations I think we feel in drawing up this document. Those decisions are going to have to be made by the fellowship. I don't know many times in our history in Narcotics Anonymous has made a group by group decision. That is a whole different concept altogether. We thought maybe that point this year that they had adopted motion #15, but it's a completely different concept from what we currently have. There should be two documents. One is something, for lack of a better name, a conference charter that shows the relationship and the trust that the fellowship conveys in the service structure. Then there's a literature trust with service structure in understanding the trust from the fellowship through ways to the appropriate body to take care of it.
GD: Hold on a sec, let me change the tape. I want to get all this wisdom down.
Y: I don't think that we're going to be able to proceed with the idea that we can take care of all of Narcotics Anonymous ills in this document.
GD: Again, I have to go back to something Jim told me a lot of years ago, argue for your limitations and they'll be yours forever. It seems like all of this stuff is either we're developing two documents concurrently, or what we are actually attempting to do here and nobody's comfortable enough to say so, is we're trying to develop a new structure as we speak.
Y: If that is true, we need to admit that and get that on the table.
Z: Well, I know that in my report on the structure that really got into a couple of other things, but an interesting thing came out that a social movement like ours goes through four separate distinct phases. One, sell it. One is popular. One is formalization. One is institutional. The book was written by a bunch of zealots and in the hurry, the lit trust was not properly written down and defined carefully. Now, there's admission of a popular agreement that there's a need to be addressed here, and now we're formalizing that trust document. That is very central to our entire structure and our philosophy and how Narcotics Anonymous really exists in application instead of theory.
Jim reminded me over this past weekend we went to Cleveland about just how many oldtimers in the late 70s and early 80s were confirmed members of other fellowships and were very surprised to see dedication among the N.A. people. The reason I bring that up is it reminds me of just how deeply I had to walk a razor's edge to stay in service and stay effective while I was upsetting these oldtimers by doing what they regarded as impossible, and possibly improper. In Narcotics Anonymous, where we're enormously much more free today.
X: Relating back to the question, "How does the fellowship direct the office as it administers the trust?" and following that up with the question, "Does the World Service Conference act as that voice?" My response to that would be, in an ideal world and an ideal situation, yes. In the practicality and reality of today, no one would be on the phone together. "If not, how, who, or what does?" I don't know that I've made a viable proposition, but I really think that this is a significant area we need to work on. However, I think it will clear it up a whole lot, unless someone's got a burning desire, if we just leave this hanging in the air with the discussion that we've had now, and move onto #3. I think #3 might give us some illustration of our real differences and where we need to come together on this document and whether or not we need to use this document to institute a new method of fellowship direction of the World Service Office or not.
GD: Well, would somebody be kind to read it?
Y: Let's go on and talk a little bit about #3, and I'll read it for you. There is a question as to the assignment of the parties of the trust: "Who is the beneficiary, trustor, and trustee? Who are these specifically?" One of the reasons why I picked this out of Jim's input: He offered two levels, one being the beneficiary being the membership...The beneficiary being the trustor. Do that at two specific levels, one being the addict who still suffers, and one being the member. That's why I basically picked up that difference. The question that I asked at that particular time was the trustor had to be some entity that could in some fashion, direct the trustee, or being that the member at large and the addict that still suffers, don't have any real parameters around, a real entity. It would be hard to identify them as a specific trustor to direction. The original document was organized as the beneficiary being the members.
Let me clarify where I come from in this input: I think what we're talking about here, when we talk about, and I like to call it the tangible property of the fellowship. What we're talking about here, everything that is our tangible property are symbols, indications, the written word, vehicles that we as members of Narcotics Anonymous use to fulfill our individual 12th Step. We carry the message to the addict that still suffers. If these are the vehicles that we use to carry the message to the addict who still suffers, in that, they are so extremely precious to us. There are definitions on property, of what we are and who we are and how we function, and how we function as a group in our 5th Tradition. There are the vehicles of the primary purpose, and therefore the definition. I just see the reality of the situation is that the trustor is the owner, that spiritual fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous who is and can be the only owner, the only entity, however definable or discernable, that has and holds this property, and therefore the trustor.
I see the trustee as the entire service structure culminating with the agent's service center, WSO, Inc. The beginning of that trustee is the GSR, the ASC, etc., on down through the service structure through the World Service Conference, which makes specific guideline instructions to the agent (the publisher), the legal entity, the copyright defender, etc., WSO, Inc., the corporate arm. That is how we function, that the trustee of our property, of that thing the defines us tangibly in society, culminates, ends with an agent, a corporate arm designed solely to serve us. In that, I see I concur with those who say we need spiritual and corporate.
The beneficiary is obvious. The beneficiary is that "addict who still suffers" in the 12th step and the "addict who still suffers" in the 5th Tradition. Maybe that's you and I, maybe that's somebody out on the street, we can't be specific in definition of that beneficiary. It certainly isn't the trustor. It certainly isn't the owner, because we need to give it away in order to keep it. Except in that, this vehicle is necessary, the integrity of this vehicle needs to be maintained because our recovery depends upon it, (giving it away in order to keep it). I believe that we need to mirror reality in this document and define clearly "trustor" as the spiritual fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.
Y: The way that I approach it is that every member, whether it be the addict who still suffers, is of benefit as a result of whatever the properties or whatever the trusts are. So in my viewpoint in looking at it, they're the ones that gain the benefit of the service structure that they created. The "trustor" is the entity that they place their trust in. The administrator of that trust, the person who carries out the wishes of the trustor. That's the way that I structurally see it.
GD: This is David. I see a two-tiered definition of beneficiary. The varying elements that we've talked about here, there may be overlapping or interconnecting definitions that apply. It may take some creativity to allow our minds to expand a little bit and tell the lawyers that "this isn't a boilerplate kind of arrangement that we're making here, it is a little eclectic," but once we all agree to it and sign it is, it is in fact binding. I see the beneficiary and the owner as the same. In other words, addicts that come in perpetuity and addicts that were here. We own the property. We are also beneficiaries. We benefit in a number of ways.
Z: Because you own your car, you drive your car.
GD: Right. Spiritual ways that as Jim was sharing about with the 12th Step and the 5th Tradition, which to me should be the overriding guiding principle in everything we do. Reality is reality and we have to have some kind of a corporate entity. How we develop that and administer those things, the trustor and the trustee may have some overlapping areas of responsibility. But we need to be a little bit looser and freer in our thinking if we're going to have a document that will stand the legal test of time and the spiritual test of time. I frankly, with my illness, I don't know if I'm going to live to see these things rectified. I know I've mentioned that before, but I'm listening to a number of people here today saying...to the limits of our ability accommodate and know all these potentialities. I am firmly in the camp of that the fellowship owns it, and any document that we were to come up with, if that wasn't the basis of the document, then I don't see how. Maybe you could show me how I could get behind it. I don't see how.
Z: Well, the real rub here seems to be not who owns it so very much per se, because I believe a lot of people agree philosophically, but that ownership not be seen as the same as it has been so that the feeling out in the fellowship is that the office owns it, it belongs to WSO. It's a feeling of loss, whereas the fellowship...
GD: One thing I know for sure is that I don't want the Office to own it, and I don't want the conference to own it.
Y: Isn't that the nature of the fiduciary relationship? What you articulate is the fellowship's ability to revoke it.
Z: What I'm trying to do is direct the topic out in the open and put it on the table.
Y: If the fellowship has the ability to revoke the trust...
Z: Yeah, through a complicated action. We've had some really rough things happen the last five or six years.
Z: Hold it. Let's get for real here, okay? I get real frustrated when I'm listening. You're all being soft and nice to each other now, okay? But if we were in a conference setting, it would be devastating. People would be having their hearts ripped out like I did before, and the bottom line is real specific. Jim talked about it as the trustee and the trustor, it's real simple. The fellowship itself owns its own literature. That's always been what we've been brought up to believe. I was brought up to believe that World Service Office was only going to be a fiduciary rights corporation to hold our property for us. That's what we were brought up to believe. This conference...I'm real fucking pissed off because I know there's dishonesty, because World Service Office's Conference lead the fellowship to believe that they are the owners, and reaffirmed that damn thing at the conference. So who the hell are we bullshitting here? You proved that there. This section violated quasi contractual relationships. Always violated those relationships with the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.
Y: No, it didn't.
Z: It always has.
Y: Look in it, it says the owner...of the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. That's all it says. That's what it says. And when you do that...
Z: Sure. In the "parties of a traditional trust document are trustor, trustee, and beneficiary. We don't have any problem with that. In which case, it indicates here that Narcotics Anonymous owns the property and is the trustor." Being part of the literature committee and part of the effort in creating the book, that's kind of the way that I understood it to be at that given time, was that none of us were to benefit anything other than in continued recovery and spiritual good things, and that really the only people that were going to be beneficiaries of this whole things were us and the new people, which is any member when they say they're a member, etc. There's also another sort of unwritten trustor here who as I recall, Bo, in a lot of the conferences when we talked highly of the Higher Power, and that we were trusted servants of that power. Therefore, we should all be included as trustors and beneficiaries. To kind of close that loop, to be at the beginning and the end, is just that little analogy of owning the car and driving it. It just makes too much sense to say that that's now valid. As Jim's indication of who the trustee is, if the trustee is in fact the WSO, and the WSO is created from the boards and committees directly responsible to the trustor and the beneficiary, then that just completes the whole circle.
Y: Looking at it, I'm trying to think of a way to reorganize it, but it just seems kind of weird to have the service structure serve membership benefitting in being a benefactor. It kind of feels wrong.
Z: As far as being the beneficiary, Stu?
Y: Yeah, being a benefit. You're usually doing something to benefit someone else. It just kind of has a weird feeling.
GD: It's certainly a different way of looking at it than we are used to. When we're speaking of the World Service Office and its employees and directors, who are in some way, shape, or form... To me there's kind of like a dichotomy here. I don't mean to put anything more on this than what it is, but it's kind of like an honor and a privilege and what have you to be able to fly out a couple times, three or four times, and eat and things be taken care of as a Director of the Board. The employees certainly are, if we take into literalism the 8th and 9th tradition, and we understand the 12 steps work, and if not, something that we pay for, it would appear to me that each and every employee of the office is directly benefitting through medical, dental, insurance, job security, feeding their families and that kind of stuff from the creative efforts of members of the Fellowship that are not.
GD: We're prodding around with some sensitive personal areas. I, for one, was a member of World PI in 1984 and 1985. I came into the service structure in the heyday and the melee, and it was different. Something changed around '86. I began to reevaluate did I want to do this. Today, I wouldn't want to be an RSR. I wouldn't want to be a trustee. I wouldn't want to be an employee of the office. None of those positions are taking away the fact that my region might think that I was a wonderful guy and wanted to send me out there because they trusted me. Taking that and bringing that into the equation, I don't know why we need all the traffic. In my own personal recovery, I had to evaluate what was it about me that made me want to be this or want to be that
The reality is that everybody who makes a salary in Narcotics Anonymous as a result of the creative spirit, is benefitting in their own personal lives in their own personal way. That's just real.
Y: There's no doubt about that, Dave, I agree wholeheartedly that an employee benefits from...But the problem I have is the trusted servants. To me, service is giving, and I never look at service as a form of getting something.
GD: Stu, I agree with that. But we're looking now at travel policies and plane tickets are paid for and this and that. Initially, my experience has been in the early days of service, my own personal experience was that you called somebody that lived 100 miles away and they picked you up, or you hitchhiked and you got there. I know that was hard and cumbersome at times, and it cost a great degree of personal resources, and I know why we set up that policy. That policy was so that we could have the people most qualified to serve serving and not have to be financially over-burdened. There has been a subtle shift in, I'd say across the board, but in my perception, there's been a subtle shift across the board in our service structure that has made it one of now it's convenient and attractive and comfortable to serve, for all servants from the RSR, and even some areas, ASRs get overnight expenses. I know they do in Florida. They stay in fine hotels. There's an element that is there that we have to deal with, we have to look at. I'm sure that that's A) a personal recovery issue for the servants, and B) also a recovery and responsibility issue for the electing body.
X: On that note, it's kind of unique how each next item seems to lead us out of the tangle of the previous item.
Z: Let me throw in my term from the last tape to this one. The problem there being conflict of interest. That people would want those jobs, want those positions, want those plane tickets, want those hotels, want those dinners and adulation, money, property, and prestige, and that would in some way compromise their service and create conflict against the 5th Tradition, against our primary purpose, against N.A. message in N.A. literature. Against "let's change the book to where we can sell more copies to the hospitals. Then that extra income will justify making the changes regardless of what the fellowship wants or even if they know about it. We can always confuse them at the conference."
GD: 950 changes between the 3rd Edition Revised and the 4th and 5th Editions.
Z: Nobody quite knows how all this happened, but we know it happened.
Y: Come on, guys. They view to travel is self-centered? That's hard for me to believe.
X: I really think if we move onto the next one, that we can see some of the real problems that we have here. I guess my main concern wasn't with that, but rather with the fact that we decided years ago that we should have an $8.00 book to get an office started and we never changed the price back, never rolled the price back when it was appropriate. The real beneficiary, I believe, has been what I'll call "pet projects" of world services that have been on consensus thrust upon the fellowship and funded by these profits. Not that they might not have been advantageous to the fellowship, they might be. It was a misrouting of request and information response, requested services responses. This was funded through these profits. I think if we deal with what ability the office has to effect trust property without prior permission, we'll come up with some input on pricing.
Z: You're talking about like "The Guide to Service" project, $50,000 for five years, right? That's a quarter of a million dollars.
X: Yeah, etc., etc.
Z: Who asked for it?
GD: It's a joke.
X: Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Z: Well, I just thought I'd throw in a couple of specifics.
GD: We've squandered millions of dollars and we're no closer to anything.
Y: Some people would say, "Hey, this project sucks," or "This project is okay." Somebody's got to make that determination. I'm in line with you on "The Guide to Service," but the idea is that we're going to have projects, they're either going to be successful or not. Somebody has to determine what these projects are. Hopefully, we get the right people proposing the projects, and the right people carrying them out.
GD: Kevin Fahey said that in his report, when in 1984 in March when they sent out "please don't copy, please don't copy. We're going to do this, we're going to do that." The planned price reduction that he talked about...We have been broken faith with year after year after year, and I told you that I was a GSR who'd just gotten clean when that report came out. I made a motion not to copy literature and to quit buying keytags from the Atlanta Lit Committee. But things have changed. We've got just a trail of broken promises. From ideas and things that have been squandered.
Y: You took on a different approach.
GD: You know how many IP's five cents will produce in America?
GD: Do you know how many IP's might produce in India? Our priorities...to me it's mismanagement across the board and bush league bullshit.
Z: Let's not get into namecalling here.
GD: I read a letter once from an AA member that was sent to the trustees that said, "I feel like my 50-year old mother is being raped." That was all the addicts running into the AA meetings. My sentiment and my feelings about what has occurred in the course of services, at least in my short time being clean, I have sentiments that run to that degree. I'm looking at a grand lady, a wonderful and beautiful shining light in the darkness that can go out worldwide. Why is our growth diminishing? What's going on here? There are reasons. There are billions of addicts, and we are not doing the job. We're just not doing the job that we should and could be doing. If we didn't have an office to support and 42 employees to support, if we didn't have a conference that spends a half a million dollars a year for nothing. Would we load up 30 cent books and translate the chit and send it to these places around the world? That's what I'm trying to say.
Y: Well, we do that to a degree. We do send books places.
Z: Hey, that's terrific.
GD: But at $2.07, or do you charge it off to the office for $8.00. When you send literature, do you send a pamphlet and charge 1.2 cents, or do you charge it at the retail price?
X: There's abject misunderstanding of the 9th tradition among RSRs. I believe that's an issue that we need to attend to, just like George specified earlier. The structure needs a revamp. Perhaps my discussion of revamping the structure in this vehicle is inappropriate. Perhaps it is appropriate. I think that first we need to have some kind of consensus of who the parties of this trust are. When we have some kind of consensus who it is, owns the literature, who it is, we owners trust to administer the literature, both primarily and then finally, where we intend the benefit of the literature and all other property to go. Then we'll have an inkling of how we should arrive at decision. If we say the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous that organized spiritual entity is the owner of this property, if we specify that every place that it needs to be specified, that the owner of the property is and only can be the spiritual fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, then obviously we need a vehicle that's satisfactory for the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous to make decisions regarding this property.
What I hear Billy saying is the vehicle we now have isn't satisfactory. I concur with that. It's not satisfactory because of a rampant misunderstanding of the 9th and 2nd Traditions across the fellowship. Just to illustrate that, a friend of mine just became a member of the H&I committee, spoke to the chairperson who talked about the interpretation of traditions. I think if we as a fellowship are so devoid of quality trusted servants that we must elect someone to the chair of a world service subcommittee who considers interpreting traditions, then we're in sorry shape. That's enough of that tone.
GD: What the group conscience put down in that Basic Text in the original traditions is what we are, at least I feel, morally and spiritually bound to operate under. Even if it's not right, if it's not right, then show us through documentation and an education process, that it's not right. The way to keep the trust is to follow those guidelines, but we throw them away.
Y: "What ability does the World Service Office have to affect the trust property without provision of the trustor?"
GD: Oh, yeah. Zero.
Y: I felt zero. Jim picked out a few points in there. It appeared that the document gave it some authority. For my sake, I don't believe we have use with that principle.
Z: I made a written comment. I said "None, but may express opinions, etc." I don't think we should have any special workers or trusted servants who can't speak. That would be horrible, but they shouldn't govern or control or manipulate. We can tell when documents are weighted or biased.
GD: But a lot of people can't. Most people can't because they're operating from another place, perhaps spiritually than we do. This man is neither a pessimist nor an optimist. He sees things as they are. Most of us on this telephone call have enough experience to know that basically if it comes out laser printed and well written, even if it's bullshit, most everyone in the fellowship who reads it is going to take it as the gospel. There is a responsibility for accurate communication. All the way around, don't break the circle anywhere. You take the most inflammatory chit and put it in there, and you take the most... it's like mind control. Mass psychology. We can't afford to play those games anymore, because what happens is we find ourselves in a situation such as where we are now, where you have a limited amount of players who have any ability to dissect the results of things.
X: I feel real strongly about #4, that any and all actions affecting the fellowship's property must first be considered by the fellow-ship. The fellowship should decide what products and services should be available from WSO, and the fellowship should decide the price for these. The fellowship should at least provide general parameters. The office from time to time may need to take temporary, specific action until the fellowship has had time to act.
Z: I think the office has to have all of the ability to communicate the effect that the trust property may have on the office itself, but none of the affect.
X: Definitely. In pricing, I think this is maybe one of the real critical things we need to tend to quickly. In pricing, it's contingent upon the office to offer the fellowship now and in its time of question, some sort of analysis. Let's say if the book were to cost $2.00, what services would be funded, or what services would have to fund...
GD: You mean how many employees would have to be let go for the good of Narcotics Anonymous?
X: Etcetera, etcetera. What the real effects are. If it cost $3.00, $4.00, and $5.00, in increments. I think dollar increments are not too much of a chore, even though I know the magnitude of the chore I'm asking for.
Y: Well, I hope that things run smoothly again. They have before. That's all everybody knows about. Make a decision one way or another and what the effects would be and what it would take. When we make a clear decision...
Z: On #4, did I hear you say that the office should have no affect at all with no prior permission of the fellowship?
Y: The World Service Office really shouldn't have anything to do with the trust property, other than to produce and distribute it, or any of that.
Z: Exactly. That's what we've all been trying to say, Stu.
Y: Such as changes, revisions, new development, all should be directed to the office. The office should have nothing to do with any of that.
Z: And I heard that at this year's conference. I heard George make that statement too, "Hey, just tell us what you want us to do." It was pretty simple. In this #4 then, all we're really doing is defining who the trustor is.
GD: Yeah, and the methodology by which it's administered. How about #5, folks?
Y: See, we all did agree on something.
Y: #5 "Does a member have immunity of prosecution for infringing on the trust property?"
X: Here's something I'd really like to say, that I've really thought about for a long time. I think this matter just requires a little common sense. Members and groups are part owners of the property, so no infringement has occurred. However, if, after a study of all the facts and the impacts concerned by the fellowship, which isn't the current situation, the fellowship then decides the nature of products to be sold and their price. Then, if an individual or group should be approached, they should be approached by the Board of Trustees if they choose to print or distribute on their own. Such action would be approached in the same method that trustees visit gently and kindly with other people who are violating or compromising our traditions.
GD: Trustee Guidelines, Section 8B, clearly delineates how they're supposed to handle it. If the Trustees are the guardians who protect our traditions, then no other service body, element, or arm has the right to initiate any type of action, legal or otherwise, until our policy that the trustees will place that issue, inform the fellowship and place the issue on the agenda has occurred.
X: All I'm saying is "infringement" happens outside the fellowship.
GD: That's correct. I'll prove that legally if I need to.
X: I firmly support the protection of our property from anyone who is infringing on it's being held by the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous through whatever agent.
GD: I agree, Jim, I agree. If we had a true group conscience on it, set a price, all those elements that you articulated were present and in place and done, then I agree that we may have a problem. But as I said at the beginning of our conversation today, when that happened with Alcoholics Anonymous, they treated it with more in line with what you're talking about than before. They didn't do anybody, they announced it to the groups and said "If you find that it better suits your needs, fine. We just wanted to inform you that this is not official GSO stuff."
Y: Well, there's two points I'm going to make. Because of the fact that Narcotics Anonymous has only one requirement, the desire to stop using, which is a self-admittance, anyone can make that statement and not be prosecuted because they say they are an N.A. member. Such is the case, and I'm sure Stu would have pointed this out, as the person who had Creative Art, brought to the forefront, and he told Stu he was a member. The same situation would have happened. It's a real difficult situation when you only have one requirement for proof of membership that is so unrecognizable to say whether or not that person is a part of the fellowship.
GD: There's nowhere, any place in our literature, a statement that says "You are a member when you say you are." It says membership in Narcotics Anonymous is not automatic when someone walks in through the door, or when the newcomer decides to stop using. Now?
Y: The point is, Dave, that if I say that I am a member, you have no way of saying that I am not. Alcoholics Anonymous has changed their point of view in how they are handling this situation.
GD: If you have some communication from them on this, or a file that you've gotten, I would appreciate getting it. I want to say that it was the World Service Office that singled Billy and Lou and myself out acting as individuals which could have put us outside and into that definition that you have just articulated. The fact of the matter was that none of us were operating outside the group principle, the group concept. If we're looking at members, suing individuals, you've got permission to sue, individuals, groups, areas, and regions, what's going to happen? There are areas, groups and regions that are going to do what they're going to do no matter what kind of legal threat you put out there. We've got to look at it. What's infringement? The fact of the matter is, what Bo, in Bo's signed deposition in court and what I'm sure, Roy articulated earlier, that the legal definition that would be applied surrounding these statements that have been made as to the intent of the authors, their financial arrangements and agreements. A case can be made through the fair use doctrine and other points of law having to do with copyright, ownership, and authorship to take this into public domain where anybody can. I'm trying to point up these things, bring them to the forefront. Is Joe Blow's group in San Diego that prints up meeting schedules with "Just For Today" on it? All the underground step guides. Suppose another book is written that uses any of the steps in it or refers to N.A.?
Y: We're talking about exact replication, for sale for profit.Simple.
Y: The proper way to handle it is to apply for permission. You've got situation where you have some delineation for flexibility. Therein lies the point: What actually constitutes infringement? If we set up a trust, and no matter whether or not you are a beneficiary, you have the potential for violating that trust. Just because you are an owner or a beneficiary of that trust, does not remove you, or place you in a position of immunity from infringing that trust.
GD: I think as long as the two legal viewpoints that you're putting out, and the legal point I'm putting out, which are on opposite ends, basically of the spectrum, are unresolved, then we're going to find ourselves in the continuing tenuous situation.
X: I think what we need to realize here is that we have two potential situations. One as illustrated by the current thing in a state of flux, where a member or a group, because of difference of opinion, what it's given to be, or appears to be, or is used as the group conscience takes action on its own, or his or her own, strictly for the benefit of their personal program or their personal approach to service. Another where an entity removed from the fellowship, whether they claim membership or not, takes action motivated by profit. I think it's two pretty distinct situations that most mature groups of folks could establish the distinction. I'm not saying that there's not going to be difficulty. But I think we need to take an appropriate stance on those two different situations. I don't think that the stance is to treat everything and everyone the same. That needs to be part of this. This is a valid question. I don't want to be a member of a group even if they take AA's 12 and 12 and put the N.A. logo on it and change a few words and start to publish it, I don't want to see them treated as Dave was treated. Because of our failure to learn from our mistakes. I think that what was done was a mistake, and I think everybody will agree that the expenditure was not using money effectively to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. The only good that can come out of it is for us to come up with something that's going to work effectively in the future. The critical point is, how do we treat somebody who's rooted in N.A. and may technically infringe on the trust properties...
GD: It's easy to determine who is a member and who isn't. It's not that difficult of a process.
GD: Stu, I remember our conversation of July 5. I begged you not to send out those letters. It probably would have died a death. It probably would have gone to about ten groups and nobody would have given a chit about it. It was like you guys handled it all wrong.
Z: Stu, you have an indemnification clause in the section under "Trustee." Would it be conceivable to create an indemnification clause under each of the other two sections? In regard to the trustor and the beneficiary?
Y: Yeah, and also articulate in the operational instrument how you handle an individual who's termed "a member" in relation to an infringement. To something like Jim's talking about, instead of a defined process, less rigid is kind of what I had in mind.
Z: I think that terminology of indemnification, if we just come together on what that definition is, we can take care of that.
GD: My definition of indemnification, as far as I know legally, if there is no malice aforethought, carelessness, or harm intended by an action, then the insurance carrier, or the corporation in separate cases will take care of the cost. If however, that carelessness, waste, fraud, mismanagement, those types of things are shown, then the corporation is liable and directors and employees are personally liable as well.
Y: Right. If the of offer of indemnification in those areas are violated...I've been looking at how to re-work, how to word that section. I remember working on that part of the indemnification. I'll try to reword that.
Y: Well, the problem is that you have to have the ability to sue an infringer. So to make a determination to degree of infringement and that somebody is exclusively void of any kind of prosecution for wrongdoing, what is considered wrongdoing or violating trust, violating Narcotics Anonymous. For people to take advantage of it, it leaves us wide open. I believe that N.A. needs the ability to protect itself, but then also take in the concerns that Jim and Dave talked about.
GD: If a service board, committee or group were to print literature that a definition of what constitutes "for profit" needs to be included. Such as 20% over and above for shipping and handling, and administering that. Whereas, somebody that was on the outside that fits the definition of what an infringer would be, would be selling at 100% or 200% or 900% markup. We need to look at what constitutes a "for profit" infringement.
Y: Right. You've have to orchestrate that in the organizational instrument, but the actual trust has to say you'll pursue infringement.
Y: What that allows you to do if you use that as the sole motive for indemnification, Compcare, Hazelden, all those guys can qualify.
GD: I didn't mean them, because they are outside the fellowship.
Y: But if you can prove in the eyes of the law, that they are existing of the same conditions, irregardless of the fact that they are outside of the fellowship, then in the eyes of the law, they will be looked at equally.
GD: I don't know if I support that. What I'm trying to say is that if copious records and notes are kept by the "member infringer..." I mean yeah, we've talked about it here. It's just input, it's feedback. It looks like this may be an alternative, or a way to determine what in fact institutes within the fellowship.
GD: What are the reasons, spiritual or otherwise, where a group, area or region would do that? On the other hand, we must frown very hard against anyone outside profiteering on N.A. Clear up our own internal profiteering on N.A.
Y: Let me give you a scenario, Dave. If I understand what you're saying, you're creating a system by where an identifiable part of the fellowship can, in fact, infringe through revision and infringe through changing Basic Narcotics Anonymous philosophy, and the fellowship itself has no way to straighten out the situation. You're giving them permission to do so.
GD: No, I'm talking about exactly duplication of conference-approved literature.
Y: I think we had better take time to work on it a little bit. I think if we expanded our thinking a little bit, we could come up with some viable options.
GD: When you take a look at the gross revenues of all the conventions put together, I wouldn't be opposed to say a 5%, or 10% net as an automatic donation for the use of logos on articles. It has nothing to do with recovery. It has to do with money. We need to stop the profiteering within the fellowship, or at least license these conventions to give us money that would go directly to support our volunteer service structure. The World Convention Corporation, when the change was made back in '85, used to have a percentage that went automatically to the WSC, a percentage that went here and there. When the office took it over, that stopped. We need to look at the resources that we have both internal and these conventions, extra-curricular. Convention committees would probably get smart and not put the logo or the tradename on it, and we would kill two birds with one stone. We'd end the profiteering with the logo and the trademark internally, would create an additional profit center for our service structure.
If you're going to apply some kind of policy that has to do with property, trademarks and logos, and all this other stuff, it's got to be fair. It's got to be equitable. It's got to be across the board and address all these areas.
GD: I don't mean conference approved, I mean fellowship approved. And I mean it in context with what Billy said. We need a direct vote on what is and what isn't, then we need to follow that. Same thing as Jim articulated earlier. We get into this term of convenience that's more laziness than anything else. I meant Fellowship approved.
THIS IS THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP ME THE W.S.O., INC. (AND THEIR FINE ATTORNEYS) ABOUT THE BIRTH OF THE FREE BASIC TEXT BETTER KNOWN AS
I know, I know, some of you have probably heard and innocently believed one of the different rumors and lies that have been floating around for years about who was responsible for first printing the Free Basic Text, better known in some circles as the dastardly 'Baby Blue.' But, where did it really happen? Why was it really done? Who did it? What are the REAL facts?
Most of those who think they know, think that is was all done by Grateful Dave, may he rest in peace. After all, wasn't it Grateful Dave who was actually sued in Federal Court by our own World Service Office, Inc and their fine attorneys? WSO Inc. actually misspent thousands upon unknown thousands of our 'dollars in the basket', without even attempting to obtain the Fellowships' conscience, in order to try to prove in court (how spiritual!) that our Basic Text and indeed all of our
Literature and intellectual property really belonged to them, the World Service Office, Inc., by virtue of copyright. Those who continue to try to govern us arbitrarily instead of serving us keep insisting that it does not belong to us, the N.A. Fellowship at large. However, the members who wrote our literature always intended that it would always be freely ours, we know because they told us.
Those same 'dollars in the basket' which you and I donated to help carry the message to the suffering addict, were also misused by the WSO, Inc. in a Fellowship wide, slanderous propaganda campaign against Grateful Dave and his 'gang of evil cohorts' accusing all those involved in printing and giving away free N.A. Literature of high treason against N.A. and of attempting to destroy our beloved World Service Office, Inc. by taking away their well earned profits! But that is another story. Maybe someday, someone will write a detailed account of that exercise in fear, manipulation and control (WSO, Inc. at its best!).
We also remember with great sadness the time when the main speaker at our World Convention in Portland stood right on that podium and spewing arrogance and hatred slandered and berated Big Lou P., God rest his soul, intimating that it was Big Lou who was the evil force behind the Free Basic Text and the attempted destruction of WSO, Inc. And so it goes on and on, many other dedicated members all over the country received threatening letters from the WSO, Inc. and their lawyers warning them to cease and desist or they would all face litigation.
Well, as one who was there and involved at the time I can tell you that the way this whole thing really began was as follows. There were some totally committed and very well informed members in the South Dade Area of the then Florida Region (soon to become the liberated South Florida Region) who were fervently looking for some kind of Spiritual solution to the problems that had surfaced at the time with relation to the purity of message content, quality and most of all, the cost of our literature.
On the one hand the Fourth and Fifth Edition fiasco was still very fresh in our minds. Just in case you have never heard about this important part in our history, about nine years ago the WSO, Inc. had printed and distributed to the unsuspecting Fellowship, the 'gutted' Fourth Edition of the Basic Text. Then, even after they got caught red handed and forced to stop by the Fellowship at large, and exhibiting a large measure of their customary arrogance, they still refused to follow the Fellowship's desire to return to the last approved edition, the Third Revised.
Instead, they went ahead and rammed the Fifth Edition through the WSC without sending it back to the Fellowship for the input and review process which would have been the only sane course of action to follow under those questionable circumstances. They then slapped a five year moratorium on the Basic Text so that the Fellowship could not force them to also throw out the Fifth Edition like they had the Fourth.
At the same time, more and more of the home groups in our Area and as it became apparent afterwards, many other areas and regions were suffering financially due to the exorbitantly inflated prices that were being charged for all our literature by the Florida Regional Service Office Incorporated and the World Service Office, Incorporated. The only way our areas and regions could pay for the services that helped carry our message was to generate funds artificially through merchandise sales and fund-raising dances, picnics, conventions, etc. The Spiritual Principle of the Seventh Tradition was being strangulated by the ignorance and greed that the corporations we had formed were exhibiting. The over ruling priority was the survival of the corporations, Spiritual Principles be damned. The welfare of the suffering addict and the N.A. Groups be damned! The Corporation MUST survive at all costs. We had created a monster and the disease was using that monster to destroy us! The tail was wagging the dog! We had enough of money, property and prestige! It was time to take action!
It is a well known fact that for services to be most effective they must be provided as close to the need as possible. If a group can provide a particular service, then as area has no business being involved. If an area can better provide a service, then a region should not be involved, etc., etc. And yet, here was the least important service body, the WSO, Inc. which sits at the very bottom of our inverted pyramid structure draining every last resource from the groups, areas and regions, and therefore the World Service Conference. In this very scenario, the proper and logical fund flow of the Seventh Tradition, from member to group, group to area, area to region and only then, from the region on to the WSC, gets totally distorted. What to do? How to make sure that anyone who could not afford to pay the 4 or 5 hundred percent profit (and even more in some cases) for OUR OWN literature could still be able to have access to it.
As one possible solution to our problem and armed with the sincere knowledge that our N.A. literature (up to that point) had been written freely by addicts for addicts and that it belongs and will always belong freely to any N.A. member and to no-one else, and that no corporation, especially one we had created ourselves had the right to rape us at will, a couple of members of that group (I was one of them, so you are getting this story first hand, this is not hearsay or propaganda) decided to take the bull by the horns and try to reduce our costs as much as possible so that we could continue to support our services based on the Spiritual foundation of generosity and self-support.
Because our God always gives us what we need, it just so happened that another home group members was working at a print shop at the time, so we took a Basic Text, tore off page by page, pasted it back up and made a master (without the stories) so that we could print is as inexpensively as possible. We used the Third Edition Revised because that we the last Edition that had actually been circulated throughout the whole Fellowship for approval. The Fourth and Fifth Editions were never even seen or approved by the Fellowship. And so we did it, printed it, the first 'Baby Blue' ever to see the light of day - did so about nine years ago right here in Miami, Florida.
We experimented widely, tried different methods of binding, varied designs and wordings on the cover itself: "FREE BASIC TEXT", "SUPPORT YOUR HOME GROUP", "FELLOWSHIP APPROVED", etc. We also tried different colors on the cover: white, light brown, and various shades of blue until we settled on "Baby Blue".
Once we had a book we were happy with, we started printing as many Free Basic Texts as we could with our very limited resources and giving them away for FREE. We gave them to the prison system and to state and county run treatment centers, detoxes, etc. One area gave some to each of their groups at area service and we started giving them away individually, one on one to all newcomers or to anyone who wanted and needed one.
The idea started to catch fire and very soon other individual members, groups and even areas started printing their own Free Basic Texts and other N.A. literature too: information pamphlets, white books, Grey Forms, etc., etc.
To date, many other variations of the "Baby Blue" Free Basic Text have been and some are still being produced: "The Colorado Resentment Baby Red", "London Lime Baby Green", "Georgia Baby Peach." I have seen and have in my archives right now Free Basic Texts with Yellow covers, Purple covers, Brown covers, White covers, and I am sure there are some others around that I have never seen. There was even a home group called O.D.O.P. in the South Broward Area, South Florida Region, that produced a Fifth Edition of the Free Basic Text with a white cover. They also printed their own Information Pamphlets. There is also a "Baby Grey" available to all.
Well, there you have it, there is a lot more to this story but here at least, for the first time in print, are the real circumstances that necessitated the creation of the Free Basic Text "Baby Blue."
Please always remember that WE are N.A. and that WE own the literature. It is our legacy from the addicts who wrote it for us. Any one of us can, at any time, reproduce it for our own use and no corporation can stop us!
- from a member in South Florida
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
WORLD SERVICE OFFICE, INC., a:
Charitable Corporation and
Trustee of the Copyrights,
Trademarks and Service Marks
for the Fellowship of
Civil Action No. 90-7631
Having come before me this 4th day of January, 1991, upon the joint Application of the parties, it is hereby finally ordered as follows:
Defendant, David Moorhead is hereby permanently enjoined, subject to the terms and conditions of the Agreement appended hereto and incorporated by reference as if set forth in full, from:
1. Using, selling, or trading in any manner utilizing the federally registered and common law trademark and service mark "NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS";
2. Reproducing, copying, distributing, or selling works identified in the following subsisting copyright registrations, or portions thereof:
(a) United States Copyright Registration TX2 837 638,
entitled "Narcotics Anonymous" (5th Edition);
(b) United States Copyright Registration TX2 254 607,
entitled "Narcotics Anonymous" (4th Edition);
(c) United States Copyright Registration TX2 250 588,
entitled "Narcotics Anonymous" (3rd Edition Revised);
(d) United States Copyright Registration TX2 342 402,
entitled "Narcotics Anonymous" (3rd Edition);
(e) United States Copyright Registration TX2 250 589,
entitled "Narcotics Anonymous" (2nd Edition);
(f) United States Copyright Registration TX2 112 598,
entitled "Narcotics Anonymous" (1st Edition);
3. Using, authorizing, or causing the use of "Narcotics Anonymous" or any colorable imitation thereof, in or on any books, pamphlets, letterhead, business cards, signs, brochures, directories, advertisements, promotional items, or otherwise, as a name of mark purportedly identifying the Defendant Moorhead or any services or good offered or proposed to be offered by Defendant Moorhead;
4. Directly aiding, abetting or encouraging others to engage in any of the proscribed activities set forth in paragraphs 1 to 3.
The Court hereby retains continuing jurisdiction over the enforcement of this Order and the Agreement appended hereto.
Date: ___________________ _______________________
This is an Agreement entered into this 4th day of January, 1991 between World Service Office, Inc., (hereinafter "WSO") a charitable corporation with a principle place of business at 16155 Wyandotte Street, Van Nuys, California, 90025, and David Moorhead an individual residing at 1110 Pamler Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19120 (hereinafter "Moorhead").
Whereas WSO and Moorhead have been engaged in litigation in Civil Action No. 90-7631, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, concerning certain copyrights, trademarks and service marks held in trust by WSO;
Whereas the parties are desirous of amicably resolving the above noted litigation;
1. Civil Action 90-7631 shall be terminated subject to the entry by the Court of the ORDER, attached hereto as Exhibit A.
2. Moorhead hereby covenants and warrants: that he produced approximately 9,000 copies of a book incorporating portions of the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous, which was identified as an infringement in the Complaint in Civil Action No. 90-7631; that he is no longer in possession of any of said approximate 9,000 copies; and that he has destroyed any and all printing plates or other apparatus associated with the manufacture or production of said approximate 9,000 copies.
3. Moorhead and WSO hereby agree, that is an effort to heal any wounds caused by the controversy which led to the above referenced litigation, a Statement shall be published in the January 1991 Fellowship Report and the next editions of the "Newsline" and the "NA Way" containing in the signatures of Messrs. George Hallohan, Stuart Tooredman and David Moorhead. The contents shall be agreed to by all three individuals and be published to the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. This Statement shall: (a) reference the controversy which led to the above litigation, and include a call for peace within the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous; (b) include a call for a full and adequate discussion of the issues which led to the above litigation; and (c) include an admonishment against any recrimination with the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous as a result of the controversy which led to the above litigation.
4. WSO agrees to place, without comment, but with an introduction, the following Motions in the 1991 Conference Agenda Report of the World Service Conference ("WSC"), which shall immediately follow the publication, in their entirety, of the closing remarks of the Honorable Louis H. Pollack entered at a Preliminary Hearing held on Wednesday, January 2, 1991, and in the United States District Court in Philadelphia, PA., prior to the announcement of any judgment.
That the Fellowship reconsider its decision on which Edition, or parts thereof, (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd Revised, 4th, or 5th) of the Basic Text shall be produced and distributed by the WSO as the official and accepted text of Narcotics Anonymous.
In order for this Motion to be considered, a description of the differences between the respective Editions will be sent to each registered area and region, along with a copy of the complete Basic Text Third Edition, Revised. It is expected that the WSC will rescind the motions adopted in 1988, which adopted the Fifth Edition as the Basic Text, as well as the motion restricting any change to the Text for five years.
That the WSO produce, at a reduced price, the Edition of the Text ratified by the WSC. The actual price of this text should be determined in view of the following factors: its afford ability to the membership at large; a change in the cost and quality of materials used in producing the book; the responsibility of the WSO to provide services from the income generated by sales of the Basic Text; and whether it includes personal stories or only the first ten chapters.
That the WSC be directed to obtain a group by group tally of all the groups registered with the WSO, on Motions 1 and 2 above. This procedure will begin on July 1, 1991 and continue through December 31, 1991. All registered groups shall receive a copy of a paper detailing the differences between the Editions of the Basic Text, and a complete copy of the Basic Text Third Edition Revised. In addition, each group shall receive complete information concerning the issues relevant to a reduction in the price of the ratified Text.
The committee appointed to supervise this tally shall consist of the following: four RSR's in attendance at the 1991 WSC; two Trustees to be nominated by the members of the World Service Board of Trustees; two WSO Directors, to be nominated by the Directors of WSO; and the WSC Chairperson. Those nominated by the RSR's, Trustees and Directors, respectively , are to be submitted to the World Service Conference in 1991 for confirmation by two-thirds published roll-call vote, failing which, those not confirmed shall be replaced by others nominated by the RSRs the Trustees, or the Directors, respectively. Two members of the WSO staff shall also be assigned as non-voting advisory members. The results of the group by group tally shall be published in the Fellowship Report and confirmed as official at World Service Conference in 1992.
5. This agreement represents the complete agreement of the parties and is to be construed and enforced pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
6. WSO and Moorhead hereby unconditionally grant mutual releases to each other, their successors, predecessors, officers, employees and directors for all causes, claims or demands, both in law and equity, arising from the beginning of the world until the execution date of this agreement.
Date: 1/ 4/ 91 _____________________________________ (Seal)
World Service Office, Inc.
Date: 1/4/91 by __________________________________(Seal)
Assistant Executive Director
Court action did not go as planned. When this court case turned up support for Grateful Dave's position from the bench, WS immediately threw its policies out the window and instigated the 10 year inventory process which effectively tied the Fellowships hands and led to changes in our service structure that would have been deemed incredible ten years earlier. It took me a while to realize that while portions of world services, the WSC and its sub-committees did not function, WSO continued doing business as usual. You know, you just don’t like to think stuff like this can happen.
First the 12 Concepts were pushed through the WSC. The Fellowship had many groups who did a through discussion of the proposed material. I attended three, one in Aliquippa, one in Ohio and one in Michigan. Each one started with two side representing opposing views. Some for and some against with the numbers and force evenly divided. After about an hour, the supporters began verbalizing exceptions and issues within the material they could no longer support. All ended rejecting the proposed Concepts. The 12 Concepts were voted in by members who did not do the workshops but simply trusted world services. The NA scholars of the times were shocked at their approval.
This is important to note because the ‘group conscience process' used to run from group to world services in an unbroken chain. Now the ‘delegates' at world level can vote as they please, the Super Board is in place and no one seems to really know or care what is going on. This is breeding out the vigorous, informed type of NA membership that was so attractive in the 1970's and 1980's. NA groups in Charleston, West Virginia are down from fifteen to one. Charleston is Dave Moorhead's hometown.
hits in 2004!
Reprinted from the
N.A. FELLOWSHIP USE ONLY
Copyright © December 2001
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.
NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA
All rights reserved. This draft may be copied by members of Narcotics Anonymous for the purpose of writing input for future drafts, enhancing the recovery of NA members and for the general welfare of the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship as a whole. The use of an individual name is simply a registration requirement of the Library of Congress and not a departure from the spirit or letter of the Pledge, Preface or Introduction of this book. Any reproduction by individuals or organizations outside the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is prohibited. Any reproduction of this document for personal or corporate monetary gain is prohibited.
Last update January 12, 2006