At the point where the writing of the Basic Text was completed, there were only three Regional Service Committees fellowship-wide. With the creation of the Basic Text, a large number of participants got quite an education in NA, our 12 Steps and our 12 Traditions. With the Text done, we expanded our primary service center, WSO with a vastly increased cash flow. We went from three Regions to twenty-eight in one Conference year. Unfortunately, a sort of gulf grew between the volunteer service workers of NA and the paid WSO staff.
As one member put it succinctly:
"Part of the Group's responsibility is to provide the service structure with direction as well as the human and financial resources to accomplish the expressed Will of the Groups. Our service committees and the service structure as a whole has a responsibility to carry out the will and spirit of the Groups. Only the Groups have a right to vote. All other votes must faithfully represent the expressed will of the Groups. Members vote according to their will or what they think best for themselves or the group in which their Fellowship GSR has already expressed their personal vote and must then carry the Group's conscience to the Area. ASRs (RCMs) must in turn cany their Area's position to the Region and so on down the service structure to the WSC who in turn have the responsibility to govern and direct world services in the name of the Groups. Our Second Tradition makes this clear.
"Sound like a pipe dream? _ It's what was promised to me when I came in."
A strange animosity grew between the two viewpoints. An example of this were the typos in the original printing of the Basic Text. The unpaid, grateful members who wrote the Text were blamed for the typos by the paid WSO staff. Nobody thought it through at the time that WSO was in charge of production and the literature service volunteers had no opportunity to proofread the document before WSO issued the print order. This type of confusion fueled the separation of the two classes of workers: the volunteer and the paid professionals. And of course the problem was never retified or amended, with the knowledegable members insulted and the WSO staff blithly unaware. The spiritual service volunteers are still active in NA today and do much needed work.
About the time I was entering college, I read the first editorial in an underground newsletter, The Great Speckled Bird a.k.a. 'The Bird* in Atlanta in the 1960's which made clear from the beginning that the newspaper would have a bias so as to present views and opinions not be found in other newspapers. The point of this document is to bring into print things I have said and heard for years and years. Since a corporation controls the copy and policies in all the official Fellowship publications, we are quite happy to present another view in this, our unofficial/official publication.
After all, our primary service inNA is personal service, member to member. The paid service workers are still around also but much less numerous. They control the paperwork that goes out from WSO. The power has been concentrated in a few hands on the NAWS, Inc also known as the Super Board. Problems of money, property and prestige have resulted in the notion that we get our strength and guidance from a corporate authority. This is perfectly fine with someone who has never experienced anything else. It is not tine with those who got clean on group conscience processes.
Today, WSO and NAWS, Inc. are so walled off from the rest of us, they believe those who speak out against their policies are misinformed and not too numerous. That is because they are not accustomed to hearing from informed members and don't check source documents, even where sources are cited. Newer members who go along with what they say are regarded as more valuable over the longer term members who may ask embarrassing questions and challenge the authority of the corporate members who seem to think they know better. Also, in any society, those who track, discuss and study are fewer than the main body who trusts to the few to look out for them.
The only legitimate role of our service structure is to serve. Our Twelve Traditions dictate that our leaders ought never govern (Tradition 2) - and while we may create service boards and committees, they remain directly responsible to the groups and