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A space for Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers in AA

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






Episode 145: Joe K. from The Only Requirement Group

In this episode Joe K. from The Only Requirement Group in Chatham, New Jersey shares his story of recovery as an atheist in Alcoholics Anonymous, and his experience with helping start a secular AA meeting.


Episode 144: Bill H.

Bill H. has been sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 52 years and he was our featured speaker on December 1, 2018. Bill talks about his early days getting sober in AA in the late 60's and early 70's, his days on the AA speaker circuit and how he approaches recovery today.


Episode 143: Step 10 with Angela and John

Angela and John discuss Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. A step that many see as an effort to continue keeping our side of the street clean, but it can also be looked at as striving to live at our full potential. At other times this step is best expressed by the acronym H.A.L.T., take care of yourself and try not to become too hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.


Episode 142: Emotional Sobriety, the Next Frontier

Archer Voxx, author of The Five Keys: 12 Step Recovery Without A God, and Alcoholics Anonymous Universal Edition spoke on the topic of emotional sobriety at the 2018 International Conference of Secular AA in Toronto, Ontario. Archer describes emotional sobriety having an awareness of the negative impact that unhealthy dependencies on people, places, and things can have on our emotional well-being.


Episode 141: Toward a Secular Recovery

In this episode, John H. from the DC We Agnostics Group talks about his secular recovery as described in a series of articles that he authored and posted at atheisticaa.com. The series entitled Toward a Secular Recovery features five articles: Making a Decision, Meetings, Sharing, Abstinence, and Helping Others.


Episode 140: AA Beyond Belief Live Call In Show. We’ll do it live!

On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at 7:00 pm Central Time, the AA Beyond Belief Podcast will be posted as a live stream on our YouTube Channel, our public Facebook page, and our Private Facebook group. This will be a live call-in show where you can participate by calling in to our toll-free number 844-899-8278.


Episode 139: Steps 8 and 9

In this episode, Angela and John take a look at the amends steps, 8 and 9. John talks about his experience with direct and indirect amends, and explains why in some situations he felt that indirect or "living amends" were the better choice. Angela describes the process she used as she learned it from the book, The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide.


Episode 138: Christmas at the Paseo Group

A few days before Christmas, I spoke at the Paseo Group’s Alkathon in Kansas City, Missouri. I wasn’t terribly prepared for my talk, but I arrived about half an hour early which gave me time to jot down a few ideas on a napkin. Using the napkin as a guide, I talked about the language of recovery, the action I took and continue to take in recovery, and my thoughts about the steps and AA literature. I also outlined my experience of getting and staying sober: Defeat Hope Decision Getting honest...


Episode 137: Secular Al-Anon Boise

In this episode, you will meet Kim L., who helped start a secular Al-Anon meeting in Boise, Idaho. While Kim isn't entirely uncomfortable at traditional Al-Anon meetings, she was motivated to start a secular meeting because she knows of people who wouldn't avail themselves to the help they can find in Al-Anon because of their perception that it is religious. Unfortunately, her group has been met with resistance from the Al-Anon World Service Office as well as the local Al-Anons in Boise. Kim...


Episode 136: Are the 12 Steps Relevant?

Are the Twelve Steps really relevant in the 21st Century, and is there any point for an atheist or agnostic to work out secular interpretations? Maybe it's better to abandon them altogether? John H. from the We Agnostics Group in Washington DC thinks so, and he makes a compelling case in this talk that he delivered at the third biennial International Conference of Secular AA that was held in Toronto, Ontario in September 2018.


Episode 135: Steps Six and Seven with Angela and John

Angela is back to discuss the steps from a more secular point of view, and in this episode, we take a look at steps six and seven, which in their original wording read as “were entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character”, and “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Sounds like these should be discarded if you're an atheist or agnostic, but when you think about what is really going on, it turns out that there’s nothing supernatural about it at all.


Episode 134: Wes B.

This episode features a talk by Wes B., who attends meetings at the Freethinkers and We Agnostics groups in Kansas City, Missouri. Addiction to drugs and alcohol brought Wes close to death several times, and as a self-described strident atheist, he had difficulty with the overly religious language that he was confronted with during treatment and at the AA meetings he attended early in his recovery. Today, Wes plays an important role in the secular AA community in Kansas City, and his service...


Episode 133: A Conversation with Barbara G.

Barbara G. had her last drink in Munich, Germany in 1983, and the god bit gave her trouble from her first AA meeting. However, she quickly learned to interpret the Steps to comport with her agnostic worldview. Now living in Maryland, Barbara attends meetings at the We Agnostics group in Frederick. In this episode, Barbara briefly shares her story, and then we have an interesting conversation covering topics such as the challenges facing agnostics and atheists in AA, the importance of unity...


Episode 132: International Conference of Secular AA-An Update

In this episode, Gregg O. Chair of the Host Committee for the International Conference of Secular AA provides an update on the conference to be held from October 30 - November 1, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. Registration is $125 and is now open at the Secular AA website.


Episode 131: Step Five with Angela and John

In this episode, Angela and I continue our discussion of the 12 steps. Today, focusing on step five, which involves sharing our story with another person. We cover a lot of ground here, taking a look at who we should choose to listen to our fourth step, the role should that person should play as the hearer, the value is gained from doing this, and how thorough should we be. This is followed with a brief discussion of our experiences with therapy and the benefit we each found in seeking...


Episode 130: Dancing on a Piece of Wood

This episode features a conversation with Douglas S. from my home group, We Agnostics Kansas City. Douglas has been skateboarding his entire life and recommended a podcast to discuss the film "The Way Out" by professional skateboarder Jim Greco. The film is a view into Jim Greco's 11th and 12th year of sobriety. The following week, we recorded this episode which includes a discussion of the film, skateboarding culture, and learning how to enjoy activities in sobriety that we used to do when...


Episode 129: Dave E.

In this episode you will meet Dave E. from Toronto, Ontario. Our conversation begins with Dave sharing his personal story of recovery, the difficulty he had with interpreting the god-speak that he heard in AA meetings, and the relief he felt from finding secular AA meetings. Later in the podcast, we talk about what we do with our sobriety. How we spend our time, and what we do to stay engaged and content as people in recovery.


Episode 128: Twelve Secular Steps

This episode features a talk by Bill W., author of Twelve Secular Steps: An Addiction Recovery Guide. Bill's book is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in a secular interpretation of the Twelve Steps, but I think it is particularly useful for someone who is just beginning their recovery journey. This is a rebroadcast of the KC Secular AA Speaker Meeting podcast. That meeting and podcast is now defunct, so I thought it would be nice if we could post those episodes at AA Beyond...


Episode 127: Benn B. at the KC Secular AA Speaker Meeting

This episode features a talk by Benn B. from Omaha, Nebraska who visited Kansas City last summer to speak at the KC Secular AA Speaker Meeting. Benn covers a lot of ground in this short talk. He describes his years growing up before he started drinking, how is drinking became a problem, and his experience with AA as he got sober. The overall take-away is the important role a supportive community can play in one's recovery. Benn's personal experience in recovery coupled with his training as a...


Episode 126: Step Four with Angela and John

In this episode Angela and John discuss Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We will continue discussing this step as we go into Step Five, and we would love to hear from you. Please email your experiences, questions, or comments about this step to john@aabeyondbelief.org, and we may discuss your email on that episode.