Bob K

Writed 16 posts and 15 comments

Bob K. lives in the Metropolitan Toronto area, and has been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 24 years, and an out-of-the-closet atheist for that entire time.

He has been a regular contributor to the AAAgnostica website for almost 5 years, and in January, 2015, published “Key Players in AA History” In 2013, he cofounded the Whitby Freethinkers meeting.

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 together for mutual support in the effort to stay sober. Some of these groups have been religious or spiritual, others, not. In all cases, the ongoing interaction with other alcoholics was a critical ingredient in ensuring sustained sobriety, perhaps THE…

Toronto Agnostic AA Groups Win Fight for Inclusion

Toronto Agnostic AA Groups Win Fight for Inclusion

On the evening of Tuesday, January 31, at the monthly gathering of Toronto area Intergroup reps, the executive committee announced that they had reached a settlement of the Human Rights complaint launched against GTAI some two years earlier. Details of the basic case and settlement can be found at AAAgnostica.org in Roger C.’s February 2cnd posting, “Toronto Intergroup…

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 drunk because they wanted to, not because they had to; also, that drunkenness was a natural, harmless consequence of drinking. In 1673, Increase Mather published his sermon ‘Woe to Drunkards,’ deploring the frequency of excessive drinking in the Colonies. By…

Not Just The Washingtonians

Not Just The Washingtonians

There exists a mythology which has been perpetrated and perpetuated by those who take pleasure in perpetrating and perpetuating mythologies – Regarding the treatment of alcoholism, the pre-AA world was one of darkness, total blackness, a vacuum, a void. Not only had human power efforts done poorly, they had failed completely. In rare cases, through the direct intervention of the…

Henrietta Sieberling

Henrietta Sieberling

Bill Wilson was having some panicky moments in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel, in the early afternoon of the second Saturday of May, 1935. Much has been made of his “hot flash” spiritual experience of five months earlier at the Towns Hospital, but at least equally important was his theory that attempts made to reach out and help others…

THE COMMON SENSE OF DRINKING | Richard R. Peabody (1931)

THE COMMON SENSE OF DRINKING | Richard R. Peabody (1931)

Alcoholics Anonymous was not the only therapy for alcoholics that flourished in its time. Other approaches to treating alcoholism, although they derived from sources very different from the influences that impinged on AA, used similar methods and even incorporated some of the same ideas that a forgetfulness of history leads later thinkers to associate with Alcoholics Anonymous. In particular, the…

Willard Richardson and the Rockefeller People

Willard Richardson and the Rockefeller People

As Bill Wilson progressed through his third year of sobriety, his personal finances remained a struggle. He was forced by the compelling arguments of the “group conscience” to decline a very appealing offer from Charles Towns to practice as a “lay therapist” at the upscale, but declining facility. But if he couldn’t work for Towns, perhaps he could BE…

Remembering Ernie Kurtz

Remembering Ernie Kurtz

Catholics priests are not among those who one would expect to find heading a list of crusaders for the freethinker movement in Alcoholics Anonymous. Nonetheless Ernest Kurtz, ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1961, was a dear friend of AAAgnostica.org, and an enthusiastic proponent of the work being done there, and of the “gate-widening” cause in general…

Positive Affirmations and the Placebo Effect

Positive Affirmations and the Placebo Effect

To the average AA member, the hardcore nonbeliever poses a conundrum. In the words of Sir Winston, most appropriately spoken in 1939, he “is a riddle. wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Fred, or Jane, or Tom, in a sincere effort to assist in overcoming the encountered “belligerent denial,” offers up, “I was a militant atheist when I got…

The Washingtonian Society

The Washingtonian Society

“Jack Alexander, Saturday Evening Post, was also one of the friends to whom Bill sent material. Of the Twelve Tradition essays, Alexander has this to say: ‘The only serious (in my view) defect is that you have treated the old Washingtonian Society too briefly; most people never heard of it.’” (Pass It On, p. 354). In the twenty-first century…