Saturday’s Free Secular AA Zoom Conference

By Joe C.

It’s a little of the latest science. It’s a little AA folk-wisdom, some entertainment, some community. That’s what you’ll find at the International Conference of Secular AA free December 5th mini-conference.

Washington DC was slotted for our fourth biennial gathering (Santa Monica 2014, Austin 2016, Toronto 2018 and COVID cancelled our in-person 2020 gathering). So we’re going virtual.

We have some keynote speakers including Dr. Koob, director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). We have panels including “When is it Okay to Leave AA?” + “Not an Outside Issue: Are Gender Bias and Sexism holding AA back?” + a history panel with the authors of Key Players in AA History, Drunks: The Story of Alcoholism and the Birth of Recovery + Writing the Big Book: The Creation of AA. Our “It Came from London” panel looks at the history of The “God” Word leaflet and how it may be a bridge to more secular AA stories in mainstream AA literature. But wait – there’s more; we have a stand up comic from Kansas City and a skit from the worldly Hank Parkhurst Blackout Players.

There will be polls and announcements, discussions about diversity in AA and starting meetings and more. No registration is required. It’s on zoom and $0.00 to attend.

See the program for links, times and a full schedule. ICSAA 2020 doors open at 8:30 Pacific, 11:30 Eastern and 4:30 GMT. View the program in the link below for more details. The after-party entertainment and fellowship starts at 1 PM PST, 4 PM EST, 9 PM GMT.

We hope to see you online. More details below.

Virtual ICSAA Saturday, December 5, 2020

By John S.

The International Conference of Secular AA is meeting via Zoom on December 5, 2020, at 9:00 AM Pacific, 12:00 PM Eastern, 5:00 PM GMT. The doors will open thirty minutes before the official start time.  The conference is free and there is no need to register. There will be two conference rooms and a hospitality suite, so all you need to do is enter the Zoom ID and passcode for the room you want to enter. There will be events taking place simultaneously, but don’t worry if you can’t decide which room to visit, everything will be recorded so you can listen later.


12:00 PM Beyond Belief Room (passcode 121212): George F. Koob, PhD. is an internationally-recognized expert on alcohol and stress, and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction. He is the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), where he provides leadership in the national effort to reduce the public health burden associated with alcohol misuse.

12:30 PM: Beyond Belief Room (passcode 121212): A Discussion on Diversity in AA, (Special Purpose Groups: LGBTQ+, Young Peoples, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Women’s, Secular, and other). Tell us about starting your meeting.

1:00 PM Beyond Belief Room (passcode 121212) It Came from the Kitchen: Not an Outside Issue: Are Sexism and Gender Bias Keeping AA Stuck? with Marya Hornbacher, author Waiting: A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power, Beth H, Phoenix AZ, Heather CV, Los Angeles CA.

1:00 PM: OMAGOD Room (passcode 662463): Is it Ever Okay to Leave AA? Featuring Jon Stewart from the band Sleeper, John Huey from DC, and Vic Losick from New York, NY.

2:00 PM Beyond Belief Room (passcode 121212): Dr. George Kolodner is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist who specializes in the intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment of substance use disorders. He founded Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers in 1973. Today, he serves as the Chief Innovation Officer. He works to increase awareness of IOP and keep Kolmac on the cusp of leading-edge treatment for women and men. Also featuring Brian Gill,  a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the Clinical Director of the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers.

2:00 PM OMAGOD Room (passcode 662463) It Came from London: The “God” Word and a way forward for a secular voice in AA literature chaired by Barry, with Cyril, London AA Freethinkers, Antonia, Stonehenge AA Freethinkers Steps, and Brendan, Rainham AA Freethinkers

3:00 PM OMAGOD Room (passcode 662463) Kathy Mitchell is the Vice President and International Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Ms. Mithcell has a Master of Human Services degree and is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor with thirty years of experience as a national educator, clinician, and lecturer.

3:00 PM Beyond Belief Room (passcode 121212): It Came from Our Past. What it was like...Hosted by Jackie B., 2022 Chair of the AA History Symposium, and featuring Chris Finan., author of Drunks: The Story of Alcoholism and the Birth of Recovery, AA History Panel, Bob K., author of Key Players in AA History, and William Schaberg, author of Writing the Big Book: The Creation of AA.

4:00 PM Beyond Belief Room (passcode 121212): Entertainment and Afterparty hosted by comedian David S. from the Kansas City We Agnostics and Freethinkers Groups, and featuring a skit by the Hank Parkhurst Blackout Players, “Is a belief in God(s) necessary for sustained sobriety?” post-program Q&A and discussion. Written by Sri Rahm Ohio with assistance from TJ Green, Rick Hill, and Terry Green Theatrical adaptation Terry Green Ohio Director TJ Green Iowa Producer Terry Green Technical Director Tracy Coates Ohio Actors in order of appearance Mark the panel moderator TJ Green Iowa Joel Holstein. Mega Church minister. Tracy Coates Ohio Jackie Black Recovery author. Leslie Ross Iowa Helmut Vin Schnitzel Clinical Psychologist. Michael Allen Ohio Grod. DanCoffey Thailand Zeus and Hera Rick and Judy Hill. California.

About Secular AA | ICSAA

Secular AA | ICSAA has a mission to assure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or deny their own. The International Conference of Secular AA occurs every two years. The first conference in 2014 was known as We Agnosics and Freethinkers International AA Conference, the second conference in 2016 was known as the We Agnostics, Atheists, and Freethinkers International AA Conference, and since meeting in Toronto in 2018, the conference has been known as the International Conference of Secular AA.

Secular AA Links

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10 Responses

  1. Krista says:

    Are there any secular Under Earning/Financial meetings? I’m so sick of the God meetings.

  2. Michael T says:

    Thank you. I saw in some text a reference to a 4.00 time without an am or pm, which prompted my comment.

  3. Daran N. says:

    Thank you to everyone who put in the time and effort to make this happen! Attending the ICSAA in Toronto was extremely helpful and inspiring for this former drunkard. So looking forward to this.

  4. Roger says:

    Perhaps the simplest thing to do Cecilia is to give them a link to today’s article about the virtual ICSAA:

  5. Cecilia E. says:

    What’s the best way for me to give a link to our Mostly Agnostics secular AA group in San Antonio? Our meetings are at 8 pm EST daily, and I’d like to get the word out tonight or tomorrow at the latest. Thank you.

  6. Paul M. says:

    Paul M from Rochester, Minnesota
    We Agnostics Group

    I will be without bells on!

  7. Raymond B. says:

    This is very exciting. I was sorry I couldn’t go to the in person convention, but now I can! See you all there.

    Ray B (Vancouver area)

  8. GMT, doors at 4:30 PM, 16:30. Thanks for pointing that out.

  9. John S says:

    I’m sorry. In the post, I indicated it was PM. Did we get the time wrong for Europe? The conference starts at 12:00 noon Eastern Time. In my opinion, when dealing with time zones, it is best to use one time zone, let people know what time zone is being used, and let them calculate the time wherever they live. All of the times listed in the schedule are in the Eastern Time Zone. In the introductory paragraph, we provide three time Zones; Pacific, Eastern, and GMT.

  10. Michael T says:

    You give the GMT time as 4:30. Is this am or pm? It would be a great deal simpler if you used the 24 hour clock when dealing with different time zones.

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