Am I Agnostic Enough?

Am I Agnostic Enough?

When I walked into the rooms over eight years ago, I would have simply told you that officially I was a lapsed Catholic or ‘fallen away’ as my dear departed mother used to say. Now make no mistake, this was not my first go around in AA…

Faith and Belief

Faith and Belief

Most often when I hear discussions about the second step, folks have gone way beyond the sentiment of the step and are busy attempting to define God, or at the very least trying to reach some conclusions about what constitutes a belief. One of the most restricting of those old…

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…

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…

Paul Cox, AA, and the Law

Paul Cox, AA, and the Law

On the night before New Year’s Eve, 1988, Paul Cox and two friends were at a keg party near Larchmont, New York. When the beer ran out, the three went to a local bar where they continued drinking. Then the three men walked toward Cox parents’ house where he…

Widening the Gateway Regional Conference

Widening the Gateway Regional Conference

I was most pleased that my schedule and some professional matters came together in a way that allowed me to attend the Widening the Gateway regional conference for secular AA members in Olympia WA on January 16. There were 70 very engaged members of the fellowship there which was more…

Why I Stopped Going to AA and Why I Feel Guilty About It

Why I Stopped Going to AA and Why I Feel Guilty About It

When I first came into recovery in 1990 I had a higher power. The higher power was making me pee in a cup randomly. I don’t know if I could have stayed sober without my higher power. I also had the dilemma of no faith. I had a de…

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…

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…

AA Grapevine: In the Spirit–Not the Letter–of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA Grapevine: In the Spirit–Not the Letter–of Alcoholics Anonymous

My friends (and enemies) had diagnosed the problem–I could not drink without getting drunk. They weren’t telling me anything I didn’t know. And they offered no solution except, “Just don’t drink,” or, “Stop when you’ve had enough.” If I could have done that, I would…