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G.S.O. Archives

This article is written by nationally recognized historian and oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.

It is fairly obvious that the purpose of the archives at G.S.O. is to save the Fellowship's history FROM the Fellowship and NOT FOR the Fellowship.

This is not what Bill Wilson or Nell Wing envisioned when they set up the archives to preserve A.A.'s history FOR AA members. I have and will continue to strongly encourage any A.A. member of family of an AA member considering to donate any historical information or memorabilia to the archives at G.S.O. NOT to do so because the Fellowship will never be able to see the A.A. history material. The archives at G.S.O. is more of a security vault to keep our history from us than to preserve our history for us.

Anyone considering G.S.O. as a place to donate A.A. history material to, should be encouraged to consider if they want their A.A. history material available to the Fellowship and to researchers or to be locked away forever. I recommend a place like Brown University which already has the papers and collections of people like Marty Mann, Ernest Kurtz, Clarence Snyder, Dr. Bob Smith and is available to study as a future home for donations of A.A. memorabilia and history. Even many local A.A. archival repositories have become more security vaults withholding our history from the Fellowship rather than sharing it with A.A. members to whom our history belongs. These local repositories, rather than share their local history with the local A.A. members, keep it from the members, locked away under rules - problems of property, money, power and prestige diverting A.A. from its primary purpose - to carry the message and not hide the message and how it was carried.

Is A.A.'s primary purpose to share how the message was carried or hide how the message was carried from the A.A. Fellowship under the guise of Money, Power, Property and Prestige? G.S.O. talks about copyright and another name for copyright is intellectual property. G.S.O.'s Archives is allowing PROPERTY to keep how we carried the message FROM the very Fellowship it is supposed to be the guardian for.

Please pass this along to every A.A. member who has an interest in fulfilling A.A.'s primary purpose of not only carrying the message but knowing how that message was originally carried. Why is G.S.O. protecting property when problems of property and power diverts us from our primary purpose?

More will be revealed…

Mitchell K.
the_archivist@excite.com

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