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article is written by nationally recognized historian and
oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.
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.
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.
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?
will be revealed