Documents concerning AAWS history
Business Report of Works Publishing in full length
Original Author unknown, perhaps A. Nonymous
Edited and corrected by, and notes added by,

The unknown original author stated:

Keep in mind, that one Dollar in 1938 could buy, what today 11.84 Dollars can. A post card needed a 1 Cent stamp only and the average monthly income of an employed worker was around $40.

The following page states that both Bill Wilson and Henry Parkhurst were donating their shares in Works Publishing to The Alcoholic Foundation.
Note that there were no outstanding shares of "Works Publishing". Bill Wilson and Henry Parkhurst were entitled to shares in the "ONE HUNDRED MEN CORPORATION". The repeated references to Bill and Hank's shares of "Works Publishing" are just a cover-up.
Actually, Bill Wilson was just avoiding a fight he couldn't win. He had already stolen and spent all of the money that had been collected for printing the "Big Book", and the people who were now resurrecting the publishing company were not about to give Bill Wilson anything more. Hank Parkhurst really did surrender his shares of the 100 Men Corporation, but he simply wanted nothing more to do with the whole thing. He had quit A.A. in disgust after Bill Wilson stole and spent the book-printing money, and then schemed to take both the future book sales money and Ruth Hock away from Hank. Hank returned to drinking, and never returned to A.A., which Bill Wilson described as "He never again showed any real sign of recovery." Likewise, Bill Wilson never showed any real sign of honesty.

And while the trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation were "pleased to announce that Mr. Wilson and Mr. Parkhurst have declined to accept any stock for their services," the optimistic author of this financial report didn't realize that Mr. Wilson still had them all by the balls: Bill Wilson had taken out the copyright in his own name, and would blackmail them with it to get still more money out of the deal -- a lifetime of income, in fact.

This page documents the fact that Bill Wilson was paid $1,558.00 to write the opening chapters of the Big Book. In reality, he got much more than that, because he stole and got to keep all of the money. The figures for pay going to Henry Parkhurst and Ruth Hock are false -- they were both really "satisfied" with worthless stock certificates, not spendable cash. Bill pocketed the real cash.

And Cornwall Press was not paid, not for the multilith or the printing ($165.00 + $2,414.71). Bill Wilson stole that money too. When it came time to pay for the printing of the Big Book, there was no money in the till -- "all were broke" and "we had no money to pay the printer".

Thus the following document is largely a fraud.

Bill Wilson will end up getting paid for writing the book three times. That is,

  1. First, he was paid $1558.00 cash to write the book, when he was only supposed to be paid $1000.

  2. Then Bill Wilson stole a great deal of the book publishing fund. Nobody filed criminal charges against him, so he got to keep the money. So that's when he got paid for the second time.

  3. Then Bill claimed that he was the sole author of the book Alcoholics Anonymous when he filed for the copyright, breaking his promise to the other A.A. members that they would all share the ownership of the book. The book really had at least 42 authors, but that fact does not seem to have bothered Bill Wilson.
    Original Big Book copyright certificate, front side. -- Note that Bill Wilson wrote that the author was "Wm. G. Wilson, trading as Works Publishing Co." Effectively, Bill claimed that he was the publishing company, that he owned it all as a sole proprietorship.
    Original Big Book copyright certificate, back side.

    Then, later, Wilson traded the copyright for a lifetime of collecting royalties. That's when he got paid for the third time. For all practical purposes, Wilson blackmailed the other alcoholics, "The Alcoholic Foundation", because he had the copyright in his own name, and they believed that they had to have the copyright to be able to continue publishing the Big Book. (They were wrong; the copyright was invalid and worthless.) Wilson actually managed to get himself royalties for life, in spite of his having stolen all of the original money and not paid it back.
    Original Big Book assignment of copyright to Works Publishing, Inc. document.
    More details about the Big Book here...

Look here for a far more detailed analysis of the following numbers.

April 1939 until end of June 1940 covers a period of 15 months.
2,405 books in 15 months makes for an average of 160 books per month.
$2.50 revenue per book makes for $400 income per month.

Works Publishing Inc. was founded June 20th, 1940.
Herbert Taylor was the President and Horace Crystal was the Vice-President.
Bill Wilson was not allowed to be involved, for a good reason. He had previously taken and spent thousands of dollars of stock subscriber cash, plus Charles B. Towns' donations and other monies. When the book was printed, and Bill didn't pay the printer, the police came after him, because he had also taken the money for Cornwall Press Inc..

But Bill still had one more ace up his sleeve. He had filed for the copyright in his own name, so that he could force Works Publishing, Inc. to give him royalties for a lifetime in trade for the copyright. Bill Wilson was actually blackmailing the Alcoholics Anonymous organization...
Original Big Book copyright certificate, front side.

Search the Orange Papers

Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 7 November 2008.
The most recent version of this file can be found at