July 25, 1994 letter from Dr. Jose Ignacio Guzman Mejia, Chairman of Section Mexico General Service Board, to Chairman of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Esther H. and others
July 25, 1994
Dear Fellow A.A.:
We're glad to say hi and afterwards we would like you to know about the events we have been going through, and which have just resulted in a crisis.
Since the beginning of the AA program in Mexico, a service structure named Central Mexicana de Servicios Generales, A.C. had been in charge of providing the general service to the groups in this country. However, on account of motives of money and power, the structure dangerously deviated from the AA traditions and principles. Notwithstanding, our efforts and requests to get Back to Basics, we weren't ever heard by the authorities, yes, the authorities within AA. All these facts have been gathered and are verbatim contained in our booklet, Regreso a lo Fundamental (Back to Basics). We named our withdrawal and new service structure movement after this expression.
Effective August 24th, 1986, about fifteen hundred AA groups in this country decided not to keep in with Central Mexicana de Servicios Generales, A.C., and simultaneously, we all approved the creation of a new general service structure, named General Service Conference, Mexico Section (Seccion Mexico de la Conferencia de Servicios Generales), as well as its two operating entities; the General Service Office and "Dimension" Magazine.
Through correspondence issued since 1984, addressed to the General Service Office and to the General Service Board in New York, all of the antecedents and the facts that came about were properly informed by us. For most of these letters we are certain that the same were received, but for the rest we still don't know about since we never got a response, not even as an acknowledgment of receipt.
In a reiterative way the reply from New York, particularly at the beginning, was in the sense of not getting involved in this matter. There was an emphasis on the fact that this structural problem would have to be solved internally, this is, in Mexico itself. However, sometime later and in an unusual and mysterious way, some letters from New York GSO asked us to refrain from printing and distributing any AA literature. Coincidentally, there was some correspondence through which NY GSO was granting the legal rights to Central Mexicana de Servicios Generales, so as to use, print and distribute the publications from AA World Services, Inc., as well as the granting of the license to Central Mexicana so as to register the trademarks, the logos and the name of Alcoholics Anonymous before the Mexican Government dependencies. It's clear that this sides-taking attitude by NY GSO, generated serious conflicts and confusion.
As per the agreement of both the AA groups and the Section Mexico of the Conference, the legal Chart for the General Service Board, as well as the two entities of service (General Service Office and "Dimension" Magazine) were duly legalized. Under this chart, the General Service Board has the duty of looking after the spiritual aspects and message of AA publications for its printing and distribution to the alcoholic members. The GSO has the responsibility to provide services as per The AA Service Manual, and the Dimension" Magazine publishes a bi-monthly magazine. The Trustees service committees are a vital importance in providing service to the members. All of this structural service keeps itself abiding by the principles from the Twelve Concepts for World Service and the Twelve Traditions of AA.
There are currently twenty-four hundred AA groups supporting our Section Mexico and this figure keeps increasingly growing and interested in the services that this Section Mexico provides.
We have deemed necessary this introduction, whereas through correspondence issued on February 19th, 1994 from AA World Service, Inc., subscribed by Thomas J., Service Director, Central Mexicana, A.C. was approved to sue our service entity, in care of printing and distributing AA literature, suing us also for using the name, "Alcoholics Anonymous" and for using the AA logo. An action thoroughly contradictory to one of the 43rd US/Canada General Service Conference conclusions about the AA logo, in which one paragraph states: "In the end, the Committee was in doubt about suing - 'What would the benefit be in suing? We guess that the damage inside our Fellowship would be much worse than the harm done out of AA." (This is an indirect translation for where we got this quotation from was a Spanish version from the 43rd General Service Conference Final Conference Report) Anyway, isn't it this harm the same that has been done to the 2,400 AA groups we serve?
This last point of view is based on the trust we have toward the very same AA bedrock principles as well as our God-trusting way, which we have as the principle for our AA program, and also of our lives. We do also hope that the AA principles will serve t protect our beloved name. Warranty Five in one paragraph reads, "It seemed certain that we could confidently trust AA opinion, public opinion, and God Himself to take care of Alcoholics Anonymous in this respect.
Having this principle in mind, we don't get to understand the NY GSO attitude, which, in every aspect, seems to us to be out of AA Tradition spirit. Last July 5th, Central Mexicana sued criminally our service entity, Section Mexico (that is, the Mexican GSO) and in a shameful action, some Mexican law-enforcers, accompanied by several loaders, and two truck impounded our AA literature. It's a pity that our principles had been so abused. What about our Fifth Warranty? What about the money contributions according to Tradition Seven from the groups which, instead of being channeled to reach the still suffering alcoholic, will surely have to be paid as attorney's legal fees and expenses for both Central Mexicana, ourselves, and yet the ones yourselves might sometime need, due to this legal action?
For the above mentioned reasons and motives, and bearing in mind the important service that minorities achieve within AA as a whole, and abiding to the "Right of Appeal and the redress of personal grievance, we respectfully beg your to take into consideration, as well as to make way to our following petitions:
We want you, fellow AAs, to take into account that the service structure of Section Mexico Conference is supported by and fully trained to service 2,400 AA groups; that the criminal suit filed by Central Mexicana, supported by A.A. World Services, Inc. is not but delaying the structural problem-solution in this country, whereas hindering the life message to the still suffering alcoholic.
We wouldn't like to say this but, if we don't get an adequate response to our Petition, we would be in the situation to consult the New York Bar of Attorneys, so we could have the advice in authorial-laws from those professionals, since not having your support, we'd be in a position of a legitimate defense.
Concept V says, "The well heard minority, therefore, our chief protection against an uninformed, misinformed, hasty or angry majority."
"All around us in the world today we are witnessing the tyranny of majorities and even worse, tyranny of very small minorities invested with absolute power. De Tocqueville would have neither, and we A.A.'s can heartily agree with him."
SERVICIOS GENERALES DE A.A. SECCION MEXICO