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Recovery Is Possible

Recovery Is Possible

We had fun, we played pranks, we were young and carefree. Every once in a while, we would say, “Maybe we should take a break,” and we would. Then we’d start drinking again a month later, having proven ourselves able to control our drinking…

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Podcast Episodes

Episode 73: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

Episode 73: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

Episode 73: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

In this episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast, I spoke with Serge Prengel, author of The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery. Serge is a therapist and life coach…

Episode 72: Dr. Nicole Labor and the Science of Addiction

Episode 72: Dr. Nicole Labor and the Science of Addiction

Episode 72: Dr. Nicole Labor and the Science of Addiction

Dr. Nicole Labor practices addiction medicine at Summa Healthcare in Akron, Ohio. This is the old St. Thomas Hospital where Sister Ignatia opened the first alcoholic ward in the United…

Episode 71: Drunks: An American History

Episode 71: Drunks: An American History

Episode 71: Drunks: An American History

This week’s podcast features an interview with Christopher M. Finan, author of Drunks: An American History. The book provides a fascinating history of alcoholism and its treatment from the…

Episode 70: Refuge Recovery

Episode 70: Refuge Recovery

Episode 70: Refuge Recovery

In this week’s episode, I speak with Dave Owens from Refuge Recovery in Kansas City, Missouri. Dave is an atheist who wasn’t comfortable with most of the AA…

Episode 69: Petrina S.

Episode 69: Petrina S.

Episode 69: Petrina S.

In today’s episode, we meet Petrina S., who helped found the Curl Curl Secular ID meeting located about 18 kilometers from the central business district in Sydney, New South…

Episode 68: Jennifer C.

Episode 68: Jennifer C.

Episode 68: Jennifer C.

Jennifer grew up in an alcoholic home and had all the characteristics of an alcoholic before she even had her first drink. An Alateen at 13 and a member of…

Episode 67: Smashed

Episode 67: Smashed

Episode 67: Smashed

In this episode, Benn and I discuss the 2012 film Smashed, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate, a young woman coming to terms with her addiction to alcohol. Kate recognizes…

Episode 66: Paul A.

Episode 66: Paul A.

Episode 66: Paul A.

Paul started drinking excessively while in his teens and lost control early on. He tried various ways to get his life and drinking under control, but nothing worked. He was…

Episode 65: Garth R. and the We Agnostics Group in South Africa

Episode 65: Garth R. and the We Agnostics Group in South Africa

Episode 65: Garth R. and the We Agnostics Group in South Africa

In today’s episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast, we meet Garth R., a co-founder of the We Agnostics Group in Johannesburg, South Africa. The group started up…

Episode 64: We Agnostics and Freethinkers at the 2017 Florida State AA Convention

Episode 64: We Agnostics and Freethinkers at the 2017 Florida State AA Convention

Episode 64: We Agnostics and Freethinkers at the 2017 Florida State AA Convention

Glenn G. a co-founder of the Beaches Agnostics AA group in Jacksonville, Florida hosted a workshop at the Florida State AA convention held in Jacksonville from July 27-30…

Episode 63: Don M. Seeking (the definition of) Spirituality

Episode 63: Don M. Seeking (the definition of) Spirituality

Episode 63: Don M. Seeking (the definition of) Spirituality

In this episode of AA Beyond Belief The Podcast, we speak with Don M. from The Broader Path Group in Odessa, Ontario. Don shares a little of his story, his…

Episode 62: Carmen X.

Episode 62: Carmen X.

Episode 62: Carmen X.

I met Carmen at my home group, and have always enjoyed her thoughtful comments, intelligence, and her honest, open, and warm personality. This podcast features a portion of her story…

Episode 61: PJ and Sydney’s Brookvale Quad A Group

Episode 61: PJ and Sydney’s Brookvale Quad A Group

Episode 61: PJ and Sydney’s Brookvale Quad A Group

PJ started drinking as a teenager in his native Ireland, and to this day, he can remember the effect of that first drink he had at a pub in Dublin…

Episode 60: Secular Ontario AA Roundup

Episode 60: Secular Ontario AA Roundup

Episode 60: Secular Ontario AA Roundup

This week’s podcast features a conversation with Jack V., one of the organizers of the Secular Ontario AA Round up or SOAAR. The event will take place on September…

Episode 59: Thanks for Sharing

Episode 59: Thanks for Sharing

Episode 59: Thanks for Sharing

In this week’s podcast, Benn and I have a conversation inspired by the movie, Thanks for Sharing; a film that describes 12 Step culture through the experiences and relationships…

Episode 58: The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K.

Episode 58: The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K.

Episode 58: The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K.

This week’s podcast features an interview with Steve K. who discusses his book The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K. Inspired by Stoic philosophy…

Episode 57: Alcohol Explained

Episode 57: Alcohol Explained

Episode 57: Alcohol Explained

This episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast features an interview with William Porter, author of Alcohol Explained. William lives in London, England with his wife and two young children…

Episode 54: The Five Keys: 12 Step Recovery Without A God, by Archer Voxx

Episode 54: The Five Keys: 12 Step Recovery Without A God, by Archer Voxx

Episode 54: The Five Keys: 12 Step Recovery Without A God, by Archer Voxx

Our podcast this week is an interesting interview I conducted with Archer Voxx, author of the book The Five Keys – Twelve Step Recovery Without A God. This short book is…

Episode 53: Secular AA

Episode 53: Secular AA

Episode 53: Secular AA

In this week’s episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast, I speak with Courtney S., the webmaster for Secular AA, a new service organization created by the Board of…

Episode 52: Dale K. Studying the Big Book from a Secular Perspective

Episode 52: Dale K. Studying the Big Book from a Secular Perspective

Episode 52: Dale K. Studying the Big Book from a Secular Perspective

Hello. My name is Dale, and I’m an alcoholic. Also, I’m what many call an atheist. That label is for you. I don’t find a personal label…

Episode 51: Kayleigh P. and Freethinkers of Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland

Episode 51: Kayleigh P. and Freethinkers of Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland

Episode 51: Kayleigh P. and Freethinkers of Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland

Kayleigh P.’s drinking crept up on her seemingly out of nowhere. It was a problem long before she knew it was a problem. This is her story. As a…

Episode 50: Benn B.

Episode 50: Benn B.

Episode 50: Benn B.

Telling one’s story can be daunting. While sharing at meetings, I have felt pressure to make my life sound completely awful so there could be a wonderful chance to…

Episode 49: John S. from We Agnostics Kansas City

Episode 49: John S. from We Agnostics Kansas City

Episode 49: John S. from We Agnostics Kansas City

In recording this podcast, I was interviewed by my co-host, Benn B. and thanks to his excellent interviewing skills; I shared my story in perhaps more detail than ever…

Episode 48: Larry K. and the Settlement with Toronto Intergroup

Episode 48: Larry K. and the Settlement with Toronto Intergroup

Episode 48: Larry K. and the Settlement with Toronto Intergroup

When I first heard the story of the Toronto Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous removing the agnostic groups from the Greater Toronto Area meeting directory and preventing them from having a…

Episode 47: Step 12 with Benn and John

Episode 47: Step 12 with Benn and John

Episode 47: Step 12 with Benn and John

It’s been a while since I’ve recorded a podcast and it’s been way too long since I’ve had a chat with Benn. Life got in the…

Episode 46: Len’s Story

Episode 46: Len’s Story

Episode 46: Len’s Story

In this episode, I speak with Len R., from Jasper, Georgia. I first became acquainted with Len shortly before the International Secular AA Convention that was held in Austin last…

Episode 45: Step 11 with Benn and John

Episode 45: Step 11 with Benn and John

Episode 45: Step 11 with Benn and John

Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t a program, it’s a fellowship. As stated in the AA preamble, its a “fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope…

Episode 44: Love and Service

Episode 44: Love and Service

Episode 44: Love and Service

For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity to speak at the Paseo Group’s annual holiday Alkathon, which is a time during the Holiday’s when…

Episode 43: Joe C. Talks AA Service

Episode 43: Joe C. Talks AA Service

Episode 43: Joe C. Talks AA Service

This week, we speak with Joe C., author of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life, a co-founder of Canada’s first agnostic AA group, Beyond Belief, and…

Episode 42: Willow

Episode 42: Willow

Episode 42: Willow

Willow F. got sober just before her 16th birthday, and on December 26, 2016, she will celebrate 28 years of sobriety. Her story confirms what AA experience over the past…

Episode 41: Bob K. on AA’s Past, Present and Future

Episode 41: Bob K. on AA’s Past, Present and Future

Episode 41: Bob K. on AA’s Past, Present and Future

When they suggested he pray, Bob K. responded, “what else you got?” He wasn’t buying the God business and he wasn’t shy about letting anyone know; and though…

Episode 40: Richard H. from We Agnostics Calgary

Episode 40: Richard H. from We Agnostics Calgary

Episode 40: Richard H. from We Agnostics Calgary

This week’s podcast features Richard H. from the We Agnostics group in Calgary. By the time that Richard made it to his first AA meeting, he was ready, he…

Episode 39: Reflections on WAAFT IAAC

Episode 39: Reflections on WAAFT IAAC

Episode 39: Reflections on WAAFT IAAC

This podcast episode was recorded shortly after returning from the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention that was held in Austin, Texas from November 11-13th. Included in…

Episode 38: Yvonne H. Mainely Agnostic

Episode 38: Yvonne H. Mainely Agnostic

Episode 38: Yvonne H. Mainely Agnostic

In today’s podcast we meet Yvonne H. from the Mainely Agnostics Group in Portland, Maine. The group celebrated its first anniversary in June of this year, which pleased Yvonne…

Episode 37: Step 10 with Benn and John

Episode 37: Step 10 with Benn and John

Episode 37: Step 10 with Benn and John

It was nice to catch up with Benn and talk about Step Ten, the first of the three maintenance steps. This step calls for us to continue to take personal…

Episode 36: Jeb B., Freethinkers in AA Denver and the Process of Recovery

Episode 36: Jeb B., Freethinkers in AA Denver and the Process of Recovery

Episode 36: Jeb B., Freethinkers in AA Denver and the Process of Recovery

Jeb B. is a founding member of the Freethinkers in AA Group in Denver, Colorado. The group meets Monday nights from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm, and Saturday…

Episode 35: Coffee with Cope

Episode 35: Coffee with Cope

Episode 35: Coffee with Cope

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure to start my day with a cup of coffee and a chat with an AA friend, Cope C. from the Many Paths group…

Episode 34: Ed W. Talking WAAFT

Episode 34: Ed W. Talking WAAFT

Episode 34: Ed W. Talking WAAFT

Ed grew up in New York in a typical New York family with the typical New York dysfunction. As a teenager, he somehow avoided the rite of passage of getting…

Episode 33: Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

Episode 33: Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

Episode 33: Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

There were exactly three occasions when I saw my father cry; the night he learned that his grandmother died, the night his wife (my mother) died, and the day I…

Episode 32: Mark C: Recovery, Holy Wars and Doubling Down on Honesty and Tolerance

Episode 32: Mark C: Recovery, Holy Wars and Doubling Down on Honesty and Tolerance

Episode 32: Mark C: Recovery, Holy Wars and Doubling Down on Honesty and Tolerance

Last week we published Mark C.’s story in which he described from his own experience, the insidious progression of alcoholism and the challenge he faced as an atheist in…

Episode 31: On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

Episode 31: On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

Episode 31: On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

Pat N. will be a keynote speaker at the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention that will be held in Austin, Texas from November 11th through the 13th…

Episode 30: AA Freethinkers Secular Recovery in Japan | A Talk with Chris R.

Episode 30: AA Freethinkers Secular Recovery in Japan | A Talk with Chris R.

Episode 30: AA Freethinkers Secular Recovery in Japan | A Talk with Chris R.

Chris grew up the son of an Anglican priest in a city in Saskatchewan originally founded as a temperance colony. When he started drinking as a teenager, there were a…

Episode 29: Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

Episode 29: Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

Episode 29: Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

I met Erica in March of 2015 when she came to a meeting at my home group, We Agnostics. Her confidence was shaken, her sobriety was fragile, and she was…

Episode 28: Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

Episode 28: Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

Episode 28: Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

Roger C. from the We Agnostics group in Hamilton, Ontario gave a talk in Kansas City, Missouri on August 6, 2016 to commemorate the anniversaries of two secular AA groups…

Episode 27: Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

Episode 27: Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

Episode 27: Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

A few days ago, Benn and I recorded this podcast on Steps Six and Seven. We never know where these conversations will lead, and we are often surprised at the…

Episode 26: John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

Episode 26: John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

Episode 26: John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

John C. grew up in Amarillo, Texas where he says, “God was good, and if you’re going to be good, you’re going to follow God, and the people…

Episode 25: Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

Episode 25: Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

Episode 25: Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

This November at WAAFT IAAC, Jerry F. from Gilbert, Arizona will give a presentation about ongoing changes that have been made to the Big Book, and how he was able…

Episode 24: Not Alone Anymore

Episode 24: Not Alone Anymore

Episode 24: Not Alone Anymore

June of 1989 was my original sobriety date. I was what is described in our literature as a classic “two-stepper.” You could have never convinced me I would ever…

Episode 23: Step Five and Sponsorship

Episode 23: Step Five and Sponsorship

Episode 23: Step Five and Sponsorship

I was transformed by the Twelve Steps, but there wasn’t anything supernatural or magical about it. The change I experienced was the result of what I learned from the…

Episode 22: Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

Episode 22: Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

Episode 22: Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

In November of 2014, we agnostics, atheists and freethinkers followed AA’s broad highway to Santa Monica, California, and Alcoholics Anonymous has not been the same since. It was there…

Episode 21: Roger C. and AA Agnostica

Episode 21: Roger C. and AA Agnostica

Episode 21: Roger C. and AA Agnostica

After Roger’s first year in AA, he learned that his home group “Beyond Belief”, had been disenfranchised by the Greater Toronto Area Intergroup. Without warning, their group’s web…

Episode 20: Vic L. and Secular AA

Episode 20: Vic L. and Secular AA

Episode 20: Vic L. and Secular AA

My name is Vic L. and I am definitely an alcoholic. I first went to AA on February 11, 1979 when I was 35 years old. I do not distinguish…

Episode 19: Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Episode 19: Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Episode 19: Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Over the years, I’ve frequently heard in meetings that there’s a reason the steps were written in order. The implication being, that to do them correctly, one must…

Episode 18: Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

Episode 18: Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

Episode 18: Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

Mike started drinking early in life, and by the age of 18 he had already been to jail and treatment. He loved alcohol and he drank for the effect, but…

Episode 17: We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

Episode 17: We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

Episode 17: We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

It was very nice to sit down and visit Dianne P., who is the Chair of the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention that will be taking place…

Episode 16: Spiritual John

Episode 16: Spiritual John

Episode 16: Spiritual John

When John H. attended his first A.A. meeting in 1957, he was the youngest person in the room, and the speaker that night was a man in a suit…

Episode 15: Step Three with Benn and John

Episode 15: Step Three with Benn and John

Episode 15: Step Three with Benn and John

At first glance, this step may seem impossible for a nonbeliever. God and the capital “H” in “Him”, make it pretty clear that we will be dealing with the supernatural…

Episode 14: A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

Episode 14: A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

Episode 14: A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

In this episode John L., the author of A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous joins Kevin P and myself for a conversation about John’s early experiences in A.A., and…

Episode 13: Steps One and Two with Benn B.

Episode 13: Steps One and Two with Benn B.

Episode 13: Steps One and Two with Benn B.

In this episode of AA Beyond Belief-The Podcast, we explore the first two steps in AA’s program of recovery. Benn B. from Lincoln, Nebraska joins us for an…

Episode 12: Four Elements

Episode 12: Four Elements

Episode 12: Four Elements

Jerry V adapts the “Four Elements of Wretched Old Age” from the Opera L’incoronazione di Popea to his own recovery. The Four Elements of Drunkeness and the Four Elements…

Episode 11: Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

Episode 11: Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

Episode 11: Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

This podcast was produced by Joe C from Rebellion Dogs Radio and we are honored to republish it here on this site. In this episode of Rebellion Dogs Radio, Joe…

Episode 10: Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

Episode 10: Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

Episode 10: Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

This speech delivered by Roger C. at the Widening the Gateway AA Conference earlier this month will go down as a classic. I believe this will be referenced and talked…

Episode 9: Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

Episode 9: Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

Episode 9: Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

Steve Bergier, a certified SMART Recovery Facilitator in Orange County, California was kind enough to not only submit a story to AA Beyond Belief, but also to spend his Sunday…

Episode 8: A Talk with Holly

Episode 8: A Talk with Holly

Episode 8: A Talk with Holly

Perhaps our greatest asset for helping others is our past, our stories of recovery, and in this episode Holly D. from Orlando, Florida shares her story with us. Like many…

Episode 7: Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

Episode 7: Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

Episode 7: Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

In this episode we meet Westin W. from Indianapolis, who shares his experience, strength and hope as an atheist in Alcoholics Anonymous. As his drinking and life became increasingly unmanageable…

Episode 6: Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Episode 6: Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Episode 6: Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Jon Stewart from Brighton, England was kind enough to join me for a conversation which I found immensely interesting, and I hope you do as well. Unlike guests from past…

Episode 5: A Conversation with Mikey J from Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks

Episode 5: A Conversation with Mikey J from Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks

Episode 5: A Conversation with Mikey J from Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks

What a pleasure it was to spend a Sunday morning speaking with Mikey J. from Orlando, Florida. Mikey is a founding member of Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks (OMAGOD…

Episode 4: A Conversation with Thomas B.

Episode 4: A Conversation with Thomas B.

Episode 4: A Conversation with Thomas B.

In Episode Four of AA Beyond Belief-The Podcast, we will speak with Thomas B. from Seaside Oregon. We’ll talk about his experience getting sober in New York during…

Episode 3: Myth of the Angry Atheist

Episode 3: Myth of the Angry Atheist

Episode 3: Myth of the Angry Atheist

In episode three, I interview John H. from the We Agnostics AA Group in Washington DC. We talk about his story, the beginnings of the DC We Agnostics Group, his…

Episode 2: A Conversation with Kevin P. | Freethinkers in AA Kansas City

Episode 2: A Conversation with Kevin P. | Freethinkers in AA Kansas City

Episode 2: A Conversation with Kevin P. | Freethinkers in AA Kansas City

Many years ago, maybe twenty or more, I would occasionally attend a speaker meeting on Friday nights and at those meetings I would see Kevin P. I never got to…

Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

On this week’s podcast, we speak with Jerry F. from Phoenix, Arizona about the upcoming regional conference for agnostic, atheist and freethinking AA members in Arizona. The conference to…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: An Introduction

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: An Introduction

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: An Introduction

In this episode we take a look back at the great work of Roger C. at AA Agnostica and talk about the future of AA Beyond Belief…

Addiction Treatment

Alcoholism: The Brain and The Beast

Alcoholism: The Brain and The Beast

The human body is a wondrous thing. When a foreign substance, such as alcohol, a toxic chemical, is ingested in large amounts over a considerable period of time, the body…

Doctor, Doctor! Interacting with Health Care Providers

Doctor, Doctor! Interacting with Health Care Providers

I vaguely recall noticing, in my first foggy reading of the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” while in rehab, that my profession seemed to be curiously over-represented. There are, in…

Alcoholism and Depression

Alcoholism and Depression

The first time I became clinically depressed I was in graduate school and it happened overnight. I had been drinking for several days. I went to bed on a crisp…

These Are Only Suggestions

These Are Only Suggestions

I like AA – especially the fellowship. In most locales, it’s the only show in town and the price is right. When I was a kid, my family went to…

AA History

My Name is Bill by Susan Cheever – Book Review

My Name is Bill by Susan Cheever – Book Review

After AA found its sea-legs in the early 1940s Wilson morphed into its inspirational and organizational CEO. He was…

AA’s Declaration of Independence

AA’s Declaration of Independence

God was very much on their minds as Bob Smith and Bill Wilson began their pursuit of drunks in the…

Secular AA Comes of Age

Secular AA Comes of Age

Pam W. and Dorothy H. met at the We Agnostics meeting in Hollywood, California, where it’s common to see…

Not Just The Washingtonians Part II

Not Just The Washingtonians Part II

Throughout pre-AA history, the unique power of one alcoholic helping another has been repeatedly demonstrated, as drunks have gathered…