When I was first getting out of the sex industry myself, I turned to my uncle. My uncle belonged to a group founded by a man named Clancy. Clancy created “Pacific Group” in Los Angeles, California. This group held an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every night of the week. Each member of this home group was required to attend a mandatory Wednesday night meeting in Santa Monica.
I became angry. So angry I decided to go complain to Clancy directly. I went and made an appointment to come spend the day with him down at the skid row mission and talk over my feelings Pacific Group was making it impossible for women like myself to get, and stay out, as well as clean and sober. To say he was gruff with me was an understatement. Clancy bragged to me Pacific Group regularly donated the largest amount of money to the AA General Office every year, and that they had the highest rate of sobriety in the country and how “dare” I challenge what he was doing as “wrong”.
At this point, Clancy said to me “maybe you need to start your own group” where we would invite only those seeking to leave sex work. Of course pointing out how easy it is to criticize another person than it is to create something yourself. I got his point and reached out to contact the AA General Office in New York to do this.
When I showed up to meet Bob, he first took me on a tour of the office. We started in the warehouse filled with literature, books, and key tags. He then explained the “World Service Office” was nothing more than a “subcommittee directly responsible to those they serve” to fill literature, book and product orders.
- In the 1990's, the power structure in Narcotics Anonymous dramatically changed. The service guide “The Tree” where the seat of power resided in each individual member of NA, and their voice was carried in a “group conscience” up to the WSC to carry out their directives each year, was changed dramatically. NA adopted the service structure of AA which included “The Concepts”. This transferred power from the individual member to that of “trusted representatives” who instead became the voting members of NA instead of servants carrying the vote of each member as a form of service. This is a very simplified explanation from my view only, but it changed the seat of power dramatically within their program to that of being more like AA (instead of the “opposite” Jimmy Kinnon, their founder, along with early founding members, were spiritually inspired to create). Further, the Basic Text was altered from the “group conscience version” on the way to the printer. Words were changed in the 7th and 9th Traditions so new members did not learn the “world service office” was not NA itself, and anything but a trusted printing distribution outlet essentially meant to only operate at the directive of the fellowship at large. The office refused to repair the book to the “approved” version of the fellowship and a lawsuit erupted. The defendant, Dave Moorhead, died before the lawsuit could be completed. At the time of his death, the World Service Office was in contempt of the judge's order to repair the book back to the “group conscience version” originally authorized for printing. A new version of the Basic Text was written, then copyrights transferred to the fellowship, no longer being held in a “fiduciary duty” to individual members collectively. A series of motions were approved which altered the name of the “world service office” to now be the “Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office” which technically then transferred copyrights, trademarks, and also the money and power, then to the office away from the fellowship. The fellowship was TOLD this was to “save money” without the caveat we hear in the program “if the money isn't there then God's will isn't either”. Bob Stone, along with other men such as Chuck Skinner, confessed to starting what is essentially the “abduction of NA” away from the members in his book “My Life by Bob Stone” available at www.nawol.org We however at this time in SWA are instead operating by a version of “The Tree” adapted to our needs as we're still small in number.