AA Beyond Belief-logo

AA Beyond Belief

Arts & Culture Podcasts >

A space for Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers in AA

A space for Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers in AA
More Information


United States


A space for Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers in AA






Episode 124: Step Three

Step Three, in its original form reads as "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." The words "God" and "Him" lead many nonbelievers to disregard this stop altogether. However, is there a more practical way to view this step? In this episode Angela and John take a secular view of a step which is essentially the experience of making a decision or commitment to change.


Episode 123: Joe C. at the KC Secular AA Anniversary Celebration

This episode features a recording Joe C. speaking in Kansas City, Missouri at the anniversary celebration for the We Agnostics and Freethinkers groups. Joe is from Toronto's Beyond Belief group. He is the host of the podcast Rebellion Dogs Radio, and author of "Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. "


Episode 122: Step Two

Angela and John respond to listener email and then have a conversation about Step Two. In its original form, Step Two reads, "came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." In everyday language, one might say, "I can stop drinking and have a decent life." It is essentially the experience finding hope that sobriety is possible, but acknowledging that it will require resources beyond one's own to achieve.


Episode 121: SOAAR 2019 Panel “The Practical 12 Steps”

This episode features a panel discussion about the twelve steps that was conducted by Jeffrey Munn, author of Staying Sober Without God, and myself. It was nice to meet Jeffrey and an honor to participate on this panel with him. Jeffrey discussed the Steps as he wrote them for his book and then went into a little detail behind some of those steps. I shared my experience with the Steps since I first was introduced to them some 31 years ago, and how my understanding and appreciation of them...


Episode 120: When a Man Loves a Woman

This episode features a discussion of the 1994 film, When a Man Loves a Woman. The film starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia does an amazing job in depicting the relationship between an alcoholic and her spouse and how the dynamics of the relationship changes as the alcoholic gets sober and begins to recover. Benn B. and John S. bring their own experiences as recovering people into the conversation.


Episode 119: The First Step

In this episode, Angela B. and John S. discuss the first step in the recovery process, which for many of us is whatever happened that helped us escape the grip of denial, admit we had a problem with alcohol and to seek help. Angela and John go into more detail about Step One and the principles behind it, while covering a few other topics along the way.


Episode 118: Wally K.

This episode features Wally K from the Atheists, Agnostics, and All Others group in Boise, Idaho. Wally has been sober for 47 years, and he's here today to share his story.


Bonus Episode: Secular Ontario AA Roundup

On September 7, 2019, the Secular Ontario AA Roundup will be held at the First Unitarian Church at 170 Dundurn Street South, Hamilton, Ontario. Registration and information can be found at the website soaar.ca. In this special bonus episode, I’ll be speaking with Murray J. and Carolyn B. who will go into more detail about what you can expect at the roundup.


Episode 117: Taking Steps

This is the first in a series of episodes dedicated to understanding and working the Twelve Steps as an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, or anyone interested in a secular approach to the Twelve Steps. Angela B. from the Agnostics, Atheists, and All Others group in Boise, Idaho will bring her insight and perspective as co-host with John S. for the duration of the series. In this episode, Angela and John discuss their own personal experiences with the Steps, and how they may approach upcoming...


Episode 116: The Sober She Devils

If you would like to attend a secular AA meeting, but don't have one in your community, there are now several online meetings listed on the Secular AA website that you might want to try. In this episode, I speak with four women from The Sober She Devils, an online secular women's meeting. Carol, Gail, Kimberly, and Maria join me to talk about their experiences with the meeting and how it has enhanced their sobriety. The Sober She Devils meets Sunday at 10:00 am Eastern, and on Monday at 9:00...


Episode 115: Sugar Addiction

Today’s episode features a conversation with Mike Collins, founder of sugaraddiction.com and Chair of the Food Addiction Institute, an organization that is making headway informing the public about sugar addiction as a substance abuse disorder. Mike and I talked about the science of sugar addiction, the experience of detoxing from sugar, the necessity of abstinence, and the importance of a supportive community to maintain it.


Episode 114: Who We Really Are – A Determined Atheist’s View

This episode features a conversation with John H. from the We Agnostics Group in Washington, DC. John, who describes himself as a "determined atheist" is of the opinion that the Secular AA organization should severe its ties to traditional AA, and he explains his reasoning in this discussion.


Episode 113: An AA Beyond Belief Update

In this episode, I talk about my experience at AA Beyond Belief, both the podcast and website. I discuss the challenges and rewards that come from doing this work, and what you can do to get involved to help.


Episode 112: Staying Sober Without God

Staying Sober Without God: The Practical 12 Steps to Long-Term Recovery from Alcoholism & Addictions, by Jeffrey Munn is a welcomed addition to the growing library of secular recovery literature. Munn provides a reasoned and practical approach that while targeted for atheists and agnostics can be used by anyone interested in learning about the Twelve Steps. In this episode Wes B. and John S. discuss their impressions of the book while sharing their own personal experiences as atheists who...


Episode 111: We Agnostics North Bay

This episode features a conversation with Lena R. from the We Agnostics Group in North Bay, Ontario. Lena discusses her experience of working with her District to approve a request to add the "secular" category for her group on the Area meeting directory. After considering Lena's arguments, the District voted unanimously to approve the group's request. This is an uplifting story about how one group's involvement with their local AA community and General Service.


Episode 110: Safe Injection Comedy Fundraiser Toronto Edition

The opioid epidemic is a crisis, it's an emergency, and thousands of people are dying. In fact, more people have died from the opioid epidemic than the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. The Toronto Overdose Prevention Society is responding to the crisis in their city by creating and operating pop-up safe injection sites. These sites cost about $150 a day to operate and because they don't receive government funding, they need donations to operate. Mark Hughes, a recovering addict and comedian from...


Episode 109: Simon P.

For this episode, I spoke with my friend Simon P., who I met a few years ago at the We Agnostics group in Kansas City. Simon has recently started a secular AA speaker meeting which has been doing well. In fact, we have turned the meeting into a podcast, which is fun but also makes the meeting more accessible. It was nice to have Simon over to my house and to get to know him better as he shared his journey of recovery.


Episode 108: Angela B. Sharing Her Recovery as an Atheist in AA

Today's episode features a recording of a talk given by Angela B. from the Atheists, Agnostics, and All Others Group in Boise, Idaho. Speaking at the Saturday Night Live Speaker Meeting in Boise on December 28, 2018, Angela shares her story and how she experiences the 12 steps as an atheist.


Episode 107: Esprit Ouvert

"Esprit Ouvert" translates from French to English as "Open-mindedness", and it's the name of a new secular AA group that meets in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec every Friday night at 8:00 pm. In this episode, Ernest B. and William B. talk about what motivated them to start the group, the challenges they faced, and how their group approaches the AA program from a totally secular perspective. The group has rewritten "How it Works", as well as the Steps and Traditions. Those documents are...


Episode 106: John S. at the Paseo Group’s Alkathon

In this episode, I share my experience, strength, and hope at an Alkathon hosted by the Paseo AA Group in Kansas City, Missouri. I talk about what got me into the AA, how I feel about the first three steps, my experience as an atheist, starting a secular AA meeting, my thoughts on Steps 6 and 7, and the importance of service work.