Hi, AA group members ! Stop your 12th step work or else ...

click to see original letter !

From: AA Inc., Germany, Munich
September 13, 1996

certified mail - return receipt

To: all members of AA Big Book Study Group

Subject: Your Distribution of copyrighted literature 

Beloved  Burkhard [sic],

This letter signed by the all three members of the AA GSB is directed to your group as a whole. Moreover, we send one extra copy  to Marion, Burkhard and Matthew by certified mail return receipt.  We do so, because we want to make sure  today's letter will not be ignored. 

Your group distributes AA literature, for example
The Big Book using the title "Das Blaue Buch".  Your publication is based on Bill's manuscript in its first version, which has been translated by yourselves or somebody else did it for you.
The comic pamphlet "Zu jung?"  wherein two AAWS publications are contained, that is Too Young and It Happened to Alice.
Bill´s Story in three different translations (issue 11/95, of your irregular newsletter "A-A-ktuell")

Said literature (and other material which is not important here) is bulk mailed by you to other AA groups. We believe you do so misusing addresses stolen from our AA directory, which was published by us. These mailings were unsolicited and very often unwelcome by the groups. We know that from various complaints and objections.  Your "success" with AA literature sales [1] (see footnote) was explained by you in your letter of July 12, 1996 in detail.  We got knowledge that recently you started to add a small piece of paper showing your "prices" [2] (see footnote) and delivery cost.

We hope that this ugly matter can be thereby settled forever.  Should you not be ready for that, we will get us an attorney who is experienced in the matter, and who will take  further action.  This may include criminal charges [3] (see footnote) because copyright violations are a crime.  Moreover, we were told that if certain crimes were committed by anonymous persons then these persons are investigated and uncovered [4] (see footnote)  by the Department of Justice and its legal arms directly.

In finishing this letter something about anonymity: It is set down in the Traditions Ten, Eleven and Twelve and among other things, has the purpose to protect the individual.  Despite that, anonymity is not meant to be a shield for individuals to do harm to AA as a whole, or even to commit crimes.  We are in perfect unity with AAWS about this point of view.  Under such circumstances, names can be given away to anyone without restrictions. [5] (see footnote)

Of course, we are ready to talk.  But, a postponement of our ultimatum is impossible because we have already tried for years. [6] (see footnote)

Very truly yours,

Mr. Bodo Dombrowski
President of the Board (class A trustee)

Heinz-Peter Ricken
Vice President  (class B trustee)

Hans Prussky
General Manager (class B )
PS. By the way, your publication violate German "Law of the Press" too. Printer and publishers full name and address must be given in each and every copy. We are less interested in this violation, however, we assume justice authorities will prosecute this matter once informed.

draft of statement [7] (see footnote)
photo copy of title pages of big book and AA newsletters 11/95 7/96

[1] editors note: This is very confusing. The German word used here is "Vertrieb" and implies sale. AA BBSG never sold anything. The group did never charge anyone for cost of printing and shipment. All was done based on voluntary contributions only.

[2] editors note: This is even more confusing. AA Inc. asked AA service structure officers to act as "moles" and subsequently a good deal of them sent in letters to AA BBSG asking questions about printing and shipment cost and to what bank account they could send donations. There were about 10 such inquiries in total. The writers received an honest answer on a small separate piece of paper listing said cost. Because the group was not organized it never had a bank account. This answer, in turn, was mailed in by the moles to AA Inc. and they used it for "evidence" that the bad guys form AA BBSG sell literature for a profit. Based on that allegation all German groups were asked to put their money in the basket and rather send it to AA Inc. in Munich than to break tradition 6 by supporting an outside enterprise (meaning AA BBSG), which probably was a cult (lit. Sekte) misusing the AA name. Groups were also told to send mailings back unopend or throuw them into grabage. Morover they were informed, it was not another AA group sending them the literature, but an individual with a resentment against AA who was making quite a buck on cost of the AA fellowship. AA Inc. instructed trusted servants in the entire local service structure to ignore this individual, because he was representing a business and was out in revenge against AA.

[3] editors note: AA Inc. first hoped to get a hair-splitting workaround for Warranty V "... a public lawsuit is a public controversy, something in which our Tradition says we may not engage." AA Inc. promoted  their point of view that criminal charges were not a law suit in the name of AA, but something different, because police and Attorney of State would do the job for AA Inc. and punish AA BBSG members. However, Attorney of State and Attorney of State General both repeatedly refused to be exploited that way. Thus in 1997, 1998 and 1999 several civil lawsuits were brought by German AA Inc. and AAWS Inc.

[4] editors note: Implies they do not break anonymity, but wash their hands in innocency. The authorities would investigate and find out the identity of AA BBSG members themselves. However this was all academic, because AA Inc. attorney Roth with help of AA Inc. General Manager and one service structure "mole" got hold of an internal, confidential list with over 130 people (members, supporters of BBSG, and a handful self declared enemies as well). AA Inc. attorney Roth managed to reveal this list in a public law suit in Munich early 1997.

[5] editors note: In fact, AA Inc. Germany and AAWS Inc. are abandoning AA's most important spiritual principle here. As soon as it serves the best interest of the corporations they put personalities above principles.

[6] editors note: The literature in dispute was published few months ago. So what do the mean by "we have already tried for years" ???

[7]  editors note: legal agreement to be signed by all AA BBSG members to refrain from giving away any AA literature forever except with permission of AA Inc. prior to distribution. To carry the message of AA is our main purpose. To have an AA group make a legally binding commitment to stop carrying the message means kicking this group out of the AA fellowship.