Chapter 14: Progress not Perfection

Chapter 14: Progress not Perfection

There were, however, controversies that emerged in the preparation of the Santa Monica, and the next, Austin, convention. For the first secular AA convention, the problem was sometimes trying too hard to be acceptable to all in AA. To conform, as it were, to conventional AA. One of those controversies … Continue reading

Chapter 13: Santa Monica Convention

Chapter 13: Santa Monica Convention

Word about a plan to hold a first international convention for agnostics, atheists and freethinkers in AA began to circulate in early April 2013. The plan had originated with two alcoholic women, Dorothy H and Pam W, both members of We Agnostics, the meeting started in Hollywood in 1980 by … Continue reading

Chapter 11: Conference-approved Literature

Chapter 11: Conference-approved Literature

More than forty years ago, Ed and Paula, two members of an AA trustees Literature Sub-Committee, wrote that a pamphlet written by and for agnostics and atheists in AA was “needed to assure non-believers that they are not merely deviants, but full, participating members in the AA Fellowship without qualification.” … Continue reading

Chapter 10: Conformity and Conventional AA

Chapter 10: Conformity and Conventional AA

Conventional AA meetings can be both religious and conformist. Religiosity: There can be a lot of God on placards and in readings and in Conference-approved pamphlets and books on literature tables. And meetings can end with the Lord’s Prayer (even though AA claims to be “spiritual not religious”). And this … Continue reading

Chapter 8: Accepting Special Composition Groups

Chapter 8: Accepting Special Composition Groups

Since the very beginning, there have been special composition groups in Alcoholics Anonymous. And their acceptance, sadly, has always posed a problem. “‘Special’ groups have always been viewed with suspicion, alarm and sometimes outright hostility within AA.” (Special Composition Groups in AA1) We nonbelievers are thus not alone when it … Continue reading

Chapter 7: Agnostics and Human Rights

Chapter 7: Agnostics and Human Rights

Let’s begin by looking at some dates of historical significance. May 31, 2011. Two agnostic AA groups, Beyond Belief and We Agnostics, are voted out of the Greater Toronto Area Intergroup (GTAI) and off of the area AA meeting lists. The motion to de-list the groups was carried by a … Continue reading

Chapter 6: Changing the 12 Steps

Chapter 6

As time passes our book literature has a tendency to get more and more frozen – a tendency for conversion into something like dogma. This is a trait of human nature which I am afraid we can do little about. Bill Wilson, Correspondence, 1961 Much of the controversy with regard … Continue reading

Chapter 5: More Rejection

Chapter 5

Service, not Governance One of the co-founders of AA, Bill Wilson, wrote this in the July, 1946, Grapevine: So long as there is the slightest interest in sobriety, the most unmoral, the most anti-social, the most critical alcoholic may gather about him a few kindred spirits and announce to us … Continue reading

Chapter 4: Early History

Chicago It all began, ironically enough, in a church, the Unitarian Universalist Church. And it was started by a guy by the name of Wilson, but not Bill, Don Wilson. Don was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church and had been for a number of years. He had first … Continue reading