Saturday, October 11, 2014

A History of Agnostic Groups in AA by Roger G.

A History of Agnostic Groups in AA, Roger C. Toronto: AA Agnostica, 2012. ebook, 40 pps.

     In 2011, two Alcoholics Anonymous groups were kicked from the list of A.A. meetings in the Greater Toronto Area. Reason: the groups used a modified form of the twelve steps. Agnostics, atheists, and secular humanists in recovery have a long history of conflict with christians in recovery. To be sure, some christians get along with non-believers. But some percentage does not. Unfortunately, the percentage that does not "won" the G.T.A. vote during that particular session.

     Jim Burwell was the first known non-theist in Alcoholics Anonymous. He was the fellow who contributed the "as we understood him" part of the third and eleventh steps. He got sober and stayed sober for thirty years or so until his death.

     A History of Agnostic Groups in AA provides history ranging from the first known agnostic group in Chicago to Los Angeles, Austin, Des Moines and more. Toronto was not the first area to deny a Quad A group listing. Indianapolis We Agnostics group was-- in 2010. They were kicked out again in 2011 after a brief re-instatement.

     The appendices in the back of this too-short book include a secular version of the twelve steps. Rather than ending a meeting with the Serenity Prayer, folks in agnostic groups generally hold hands and recite "Live and Let Live" together. And that is the indeed the slogan that fits.

sapphoq reviews says: Although A.A. as a whole does not kick out individual members who are non-believers, it is troubling that several areas have voted to kick out whole groups. This is in direct violation of what Bill W. wrote in the July 1946 Grapevine magazine, quoted on page 24 of the e-book:

You may download to your computer and save, you may upload to any site.
n.b.: This is a correctly attributed quote. So bugger off copyright trolls and
copyright monopolists and others of the same ilk.

For those in recovery interested in secular versions of working the steps [n.b.: which have always been optional], absolutely highly recommended.


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