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Reflections at One Year by Martha M. and DYSfunction, by Chloe D.

Reflections at One Year by Martha M. and DYSfunction, by Chloe D.

Our first feature today is Martha M.’s reflection on her one-year anniversary.  Our second feature is a poem by Chloe D. who is an Al-Anon member and subscriber to the website.  We are learning that more Al-Anon folks are following us who appreciate our secular focus.   Since these two pieces are sharing a comments section, please…

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Podcast Episodes

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…

Ed W. Talking WAAFT

Ed W. Talking WAAFT

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…

Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

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…

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

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

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…

On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

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…

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

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

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…

Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

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…

Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

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…

Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

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…

John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

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…

Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

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…

Not Alone Anymore

Not Alone Anymore

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…

Step Five and Sponsorship

Step Five and Sponsorship

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…

Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

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…

Roger C. and AA Agnostica

Roger C. and AA Agnostica

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…

Vic L. and Secular AA

Vic L. and Secular AA

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…

Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

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…

Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

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…

We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

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…

Spiritual John

Spiritual John

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…

Step Three with Benn and John

Step Three with Benn and John

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…

A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

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…

Steps One and Two with Benn B.

Steps One and Two with Benn B.

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…

Four Elements

Four Elements

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…

Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

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…

Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

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…

Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

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…

A Talk with Holly

A Talk with Holly

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…

Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

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…

Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

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…

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

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

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…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: A Conversation with Thomas B.

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: A Conversation with Thomas B.

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: 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…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: Myth of the Angry Atheist

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: Myth of the Angry Atheist

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: 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…

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

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

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…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

AA Beyond Belief Podcast Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

AA Beyond Belief Podcast 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

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…

Living Sober (the book)

Living Sober (the book)

Living Sober is by far the best AA book — the only one I could recommend. I remember when it was…

Floggings, Strychnine, Leeches, and Worse

Floggings, Strychnine, Leeches, and Worse

New World immigrants brought over European alcoholic beverages, drinking customs, and social attitudes. Many early settlers assumed that people got…