How To Think About The Traditions, 6

Read This First: How To Think… it’s important to understand that we as a greater society have lost the ability to think critically…

6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Problems of money, property, and authority may easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable property of genuine use to A.A. should be separately incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should never go into business. Secondary aids to A.A., such as clubs or hospitals which require much property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them. For clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred. But hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation, ought to be well outside A.A.-and medically supervised. While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never to go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.

Here’s where we can learn from Bill W’s mistakes as well as the words of the Traditions. The General Service Office and AA World Services, Inc are a business. They are a publishing company. Here is the story, by Bill W. about why we went into business as our own publishing company. It seemed like a good idea at the time, however it has just caused so much trouble for us, perhaps it was meant only for a short period of time to get the word out.

We did end up losing the Copyright to the Big Book, 1st and 2nd editions. This actually is a boon for us – because as we break away from the sinking ship that is AAWS, we can print our own books or buy from Anonymous Press. We don’t really need the heavy weight of the AAWS anymore now that we have access to the internet. We could get rid of the Conference, AAWS, GSO all together and just operate on a small regional scale around the .country, much more effectively.

But, just to use them as an example of what NOT to do – we don’t want to go into business because it will distract us from our primary purpose – problems of money, property and authority –

The latest fiasco example of this was when the AAWS Board found out the original manuscript – one of many copies- was f,or sale for a 2nd time at Sotheby’s and in 45 minutes they decided it would be a good idea to file an injunction to stop the sale. This was back in 2018, I think. Filing the injunction cost about $100k of our money, and it also immediately went out on Reuters, bringing in public eyes on our private affairs. In the end, we walked away apologetically with our tail between our legs, because we realized we could not win. We don’t need that copy – even though it had been stolen. We didn’t even realize it was missing – for about 5 years – and we don’t need it because we don’t use it. It’s just property.

Authority – problems of authority – we have one authority – God. So we would be best off if we stayed out of business. It diverts us from our primary purpose – Tradition 5, and our common welfare… because of course, the guy who was selling the manuscript was a member – so he was getting attacked financially. He had bought it from another auction house – we didn’t notice that time- and then Fox News writer who was a member wrote a scathing post on the Fox News blog about AAWS – oh my God. We need to stay out of business so we can concentrate on helping alcoholics and stay sober ourselves.