This website is meant to be a helping hand for the alcoholic who reaches out to Alcoholics Anonymous and finds that she or he is put off by the religious content of many AA meetings.
It is not affiliated with any group in AA or any other organization.
There is an increasing number of groups within AA that are not religious in their thinking or practice. These groups don’t recite prayers at the beginning or ending of their meetings nor do they suggest that a belief in God is required to get sober or to maintain sobriety. If the readings at their meetings include AA’s suggested program of recovery, then a secular or humanist version of the 12 Steps is shared.
If you asked the members of these non-religious groups about their vision of the fellowship, they would probably describe it this way:
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution: neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
The AA Agnostica website does not endorse or oppose any form of religion or atheism. Our only wish is to ensure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in AA without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or having to deny their own.
Who we are, as individuals
Website Manager. The website was created in June of 2011 by Roger C who, as a member of the agnostic group Beyond Belief, had been excommunicated a few weeks earlier by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Intergroup.
He continues as the manager of the website, and as an occasional writer. His first piece, A History of Agnostic Groups in AA, inspired him to launch the website in order to have a place where this history could be shared. He is also the author of The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps.
Roger has a Masters degree in Religious Studies and for several years taught ordinands (men and women studying to become minsters of various churches) at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University. He was the resident atheist at McGill and treated with great respect. In AA in later years, not so much.
Roger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chat Room Manager. In charge of the chat room is Life J. He got sober in Oakland in 1988 and has been involved in service work of every kind ever since, but now thinks the most important work is to help atheists and agnostics feel safe and welcome in AA. He moved to a Northern California coastal mountain village in 2002 and helped wake up the sleepy fellowship that was there. A few months ago he started a freethinker’s meeting, which is attended by people from as far as 50 miles away. Fought for 10 months with Mencocino County Inland Intergroup to get the meeting listed, but finally had to give up, and focus on something more productive. This is it. He wrote the post My Path in AA, in the middle of 2013. That was his introduction to AA Agnostica.
You can reach Life at email@example.com.
New Group Contact. Many people want to be part of agnostic groups and AA Agnostica is pleased to help. In particular we have a form, An Agnostic Group in my Community, that many, many people complete. Someone has to take care of those forms and putting people in touch with each other.
That person is Chris G, who simply loved booze and drank with increasing abandon until it took over his life. At 65 he got serious about AA and got sober, trying very hard to accept the God Thing. While sobriety has taken hold, religion has not. Happily, it is not necessary. Today he spends a lot of time with meetings, sponsees, and expanding his understanding of secular recovery.
Besides looking after new groups, Chris has written several reviews of “AA Agnostica-approved literature,” such as The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery. He also has the technical expertise to turn this book – and others – into an ebook, available in all formats.
If you want some solid support in starting a new agnostic group in your town or city, Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving forward, with your help
By the very nature of our work and what we are attempting to accomplish, our work is of necessity a collective effort.
We invite you to be a part of this effort, in two different ways.
First, we invite women and men to share their “experience, strength and hope” with others by means of articles posted and shared on the AA Agnostica website.
That is a very genuine and heartfelt invitation.
All contributors to the website are members of Alcoholics Anonymous, unless otherwise indicated. The views they express are neither their groups’ nor those of AA, but solely their own.
The experience strength and hope of these women and men form the basis for the pages and posts on this website and are often a comfort and an inspiration for others in AA. If you have something similar that you would like to share, then this is a place where your contributions will be warmly received.
Second, we rely on the financial support of like-minded women and men in the world of recovery from alcoholism and addiction. We are an ambitious lot, here. We not only post a new article every week, AA Agnostica also publishes a number of books and pamphlets, both in regular print format and as ebooks. All of these are available through the formal business side of our undertaking: Recovery 101.
And of course we have a chat room.
Much of what we do and share is done at or below actual costs. Labour is volunteered. The contributions of those who support the mission of AA Agnostica help us cover the ever-growing day-to-day operation and maintenance expenses of the website and to do the crucial work of publishing and distributing a wide array of literature.
It is, as we have noted, a collective effort. It can only be the result of the generosity and commitment of the members of our unique and ever-growing community. You can help by making a contribution here: Support AA Agnostica. We sincerely thank you for your support and what it allows us to accomplish as we strive, one day at a time, of course, to move forward.