The following is a two page letter written by Bill W. to Dr. Bob, the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Dated 1941, the same year that the Alcoholic Foundation (now the GSO) was practically bankrupt, Bill admits to Dr. Bob that he has been using funds from AA for his personal living expenses. Note that hundreds of dollars in the 1940’s is equivalent to thousands of dollars today (2012).
While the other board members were working legitimate jobs to support themselves and their families, Bill W. lived off of the Alcoholic Foundation and used profits from Big Book sales to pay his mortgage and “buy coal”, etc. That money however was supposed to represent relevant stock for the shareholders and ensure that the AA movement carried on.
Notice how Bill tries to entice Dr. Bob to accept stolen funds as well:
“But I gather the impression that maybe you need some of this dough just as much as I do so I have pried $500.00 out of the book and I am sending you herewith two checks, one for $300.00 endorsable back to Lois and one for $200.00 which I want you to hang on to if you are pressed in the least”.
Bill Wilson regularly preached serenity and sound spiritual principles to his peers. However, while encouraging them to take responsibility for their lives, actions, and display “honesty and morality”, he lived greedily while stealing from the very same people that he lectured.
His hypocritical life style will continue to be revealed.
Link to see the letter closer up and readable:
Edited with the following addition:
A memo from February, 1941 discloses an analyzation regarding the then current financial status of the Alcoholic Foundation and the predicted costs for future enterprises.
"MEMORANDUM TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE ALCOHOLIC FOUNDATION"
"SUBJECT: - Estimated cost of operating The Alcoholic Foundation office at 30 Vesey
St., New York City, for the 12 months beginning April 1st, 1941."
"Miss Hock and I have just been going over the financial requirements of the 30 Vesey St. Foundation office for the coming 12 months. After examining the cost of operation during the year just passed, taking into consideration the coming Saturday Evening Post article and the rapid growth of the groups everywhere, we believe we are facing a very serious deficit which in the next 12 months will amount to $4,000 if we reply to all inquiries and do not curtail our services." ~Bold emphasis is mine.
According to the memo it was predicted that upcoming costs to run the foundation for 1941 was $8,200.00, however it was maintained that only $1,00.00 would be accumulated from Big Book sales. Therefore, the remaining 7,000.00 would need to come from outside contributions.
*Nowadays this comes to roughly $120,000, a substantial amount of money for a non profit corporation that in it's infancy was functioning mainly by donations.
"Practically all of the money received from The Alcoholic Foundation re-presented donations from individuals outside the A.A. groups."
"It is my understanding that the funds of The Alcoholic Foundation are almost exhausted; that while some funds may come in from outside sources during the year we can count on $1000 from Mr. R. as a certainty now."
Nowhere througout the memo and the detailed chart summaries is it listed or mentioned that the mortgage and livelihood of Bill Wilson should be accounted for. Contrary to this, Bill expresses that the finances of the foundation be known not only to the trustees but to the group as well.
By his own acknowledgement, Bil W. impressed upon others the need to be frugal and use finances only to spread the message. However he himself used funds for his own personal gain and financial stability:
"A final suggestion. In asking the groups to adopt this plan, I feel it very important that they be assured their contributions will be used for office ex-penses only. I think the Alcoholic Foundation should set up a special account to be called "A.A. operating expenses". All contributions from the groups should be segregated in this fund. Moreover, I think each group is entitled to know exactly how such money is spent. Therefore an accounting ought to be made by the Trustees every six months showing receipts and expenditures from this group fund.
It also ought to be stipulated that no alcoholic can ever be paid a salary out of this account since its purpose is to provide office expenses -- and office expenses only.
Of course you Trustees understand that these are merely my own ideas which you may wish to modify or discard entirely. As you will doubtless recall, the affairs of Works Publishing Inc. have been entirely out of my hands since it was incorporated in June 1940. The Alcoholic Foundation now controls and principally owns this company. Consequently the Trustees may new administer the book company funds as they think best."