registration fee of $ 12 and all their travel and food. We gave them copies to offset the Monday morning effect of, "God, I had the weirdest dream last week. I thought we were writing a book!" The copies not only gave them evidence in being able to read through the newly written chapters, we gave them plenty to give to their friends! Of course not many members know these factoids but it is part of your heritage and you should know it.
The world has seen wonders worked against unfair and impossible odds by non-violence. Every time a person changes their mind, they change their life. Every time we sit in an audience and have the feeling, "Yea, I felt that way" in response to a spiritual speaker, the world changes just a little bit. If in reflection, we find truth in the words we heard spoken, that change becomes potent, able to make things better. In today's NA, we not only have cd's and audio cassettes of inspirational speakers, we have dvd's, transcripts and free downloads.
Here are some questions you might want to get answers for if there is any chance your position will have an effect on NAWS, Inc.'s move to tour the country making a case for the changes they think are important.
1. Where did they get their direction to make these changes? Who is in charge here?
2. Since they authored the last changes in our service structure, why would they think they are knowledgeable?
3. Do you think efficiency or the will of the Fellowship is most important?
4. Do you think we should model NA after a church style organization or a business like Wal-Mart?
5. Is it more important to make money or keep NA spiritual?
6. How much does it cost to operate NA WS, Inc. ?
7. What do we as a Fellowship get out of it?
8. Do we want a corporation writing our literature?
9. As an NA trusted servant, who are you responsible to?
We in NA are modern people faced with modern problems. There is always a chance that those entrusted with our world services will be lured into roles and decisions that once begun are hard to rescind. We have to do our own housekeeping. Conflicts or interest are nothing new. Many of those who designed our service structure.
Chuck Skinner, one of the most devoted and honorable of our long time trusted servants once shared with me when talking about some of the changes in the early 1990's. I asked him if I hadn't put my concerns clearly enough or if they just couldn't hear me. He was my sponsor at the time and we were close. He said, and I will never forget, "No, Bo. We heard you and understood what you were saying. We just couldn't believe something like this could happen in NA." Honestly, I can not recall just what the item was but I guess the principle is the important thing. We have to be up-front and clear if our communications are to be effective. The important thing is that because they could not believe 'something like this could happen in NA' a serious mistake was made. I think the matter at hand was the hiring of a professional writer to work on some of our literature. Chuck is among the best and most loyal, dedicated members of NA ever and yet he was man enough to admit a mistake!
If all goes well in an organization, there are no complaints and no suspicions. Unwarranted suspicions and accusations may be written off to a lack of faith and surrender or simple projection. But after a long time, it becomes obvious that the problems may be real and the simplest explanations that fit the facts are the first to be considered. The trust of the newcomer is underscored by their belief if something were really going wrong, the old-timers would speak up. But what if the old-timers were afraid they might be subjected to a smear campaign like so many others? What if the old-timers had never been prepared to face such an internal crisis? Hey, how about, "It's not my problem." or "I'll let someone else more qualified solve this. I'm outta here! I didn't sign on for this."
Fifty years of miracles down the tube. Sound a little dramatic? If the indications in the recent NAWS,