Bevell Blast – AlcoholicsAnonymous.com, the Twelve Traditions and Doing the Right Thing
I wanted to take a little detour this week and revisit the Bevell Blast. The subject this week isn’t what you might expect but something that needs to be addressed…in my humble opinion. My focus this week is sadly directed towards someone I have known for a long time and have considered a friend and business associate. Hopefully he will hear this and do the right thing.
As many of my readers will remember, a few weeks back I wrote about an opportunity for those of us in the recovery community to do something completely selfless and purchase the alcoholicsanonymous.com url and donate it to AA as a token of our appreciation for the role they have played in the reconstruction of many of our lives. I will admit that it initially was a bit pricey but after a little negotiation, we were getting to an acceptable number. However as we made contact with AA World Service to first get their permission and to make sure that we were operating within the traditions, we were told that while they were grateful for the sentiment they felt that it would not be appropriate. So we left it at that and hoped that no one would try to obtain this site and use it for personal gain.
Unfortunately my faith in mankind was naïve. This is particularly disturbing to me because the individual who was attempting to sell the url professed to be a friend of Bill W., as well as the person who owns the company who bought it. So this is my Bevell Blast to you Peter Harrigan owner of Palm Partners Treatment Center.
Beyond the nice gesture, the reason for returning the url to the proper individuals was not only the right thing to do, but also a way to ensure that something as powerful and important as AA isn’t used as a misleading marketing tool for some treatment center looking to fill beds. There are countless unscrupulous entities in our community and this business is cut-throat in some circles. That said, competition is one thing but deception is something completely different. I can only hope that you did not get this idea because you are on my email list. I thought you would have learned from the Watersheds experience – with this same kind of issue.
If you visit the url right now, you will find an “unofficial” AA website, which it is. It also happens to be a site devoted to driving business to a treatment center in Florida. Sure, there is some basic AA information cut and pasted from elsewhere but what really troubles me is the fact that this site is designed to harvest unsuspecting referrals for financial gain. Again, even if there were other options for treatment or some assortment of resources, that would be more understandable; however, the hotline number and all requests for help go directly to one facility and that is not right.
We built Treatment Solutions in an effort to find the best possible treatment for the individual…that doesn’t come from one center, it comes from relationships we have with countless centers around the country. People are going to alcoholicsanonymous.com because they are desperate and with desperation comes vulnerability. We would never use AA or NA or any other 12 step fellowship as a front to promote our business. It is incomprehensible to us that you would even think that this is ok. So Peter I am putting you on Bevell blast and I hope that you will rethink your approach. The only way you can make this right is to donate the site to AA or if they cannot accept because of the traditions then you need to simply point it to AA.org and leave it be.
For now, we can hope for the best, but the truth will manifest and if there is an ounce of deception, we are going to open a whole new category for the Bevell Blast and the repercussions will not be pretty. I am sure that I am the least of your worries however; I am sure AA World Service has sufficient legal representation and this would appear to be a blatant case of Trademark infringement.
Let me know what you are going to do Peter – you know how to reach me.
CEO Treatment Solutions