Secular Recovery Online Meetings for Atheists, Agnostics, & Freethinkers
Secular Recovery Online Meetings for Atheists, Agnostics, & Freethinkers
AA Agnostica is meant to be a helping hand for the alcoholic who reaches out to Alcoholics Anonymous for help and finds that she or he is disturbed by the religious content of many AA meetings. AA Agnostica is not affiliated with any group in AA or any other organization.
AA Beyond Belief was a website and podcast that served the community of agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, and all others who seek a secular path of recovery within Alcoholics Anonymous. The stories that are presented here reflect the broad and varied experience of those who choose to walk the secular path in AA, and all of the content found here was created by secular members of AA.
Welcome to Rebellion Dogs Publishing, home to Rebellion Dogs Radio, Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life and a community for freethinkers in recovery.
Our mission is to assure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or deny their own. Secular AA does not endorse or oppose any form of religion or belief system and operates in accordance with the Third Tradition of the Alcoholics Anonymous Program: “the only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking”
Secular NA is intended to support a secular, non-religious approach to NA recovery. This is a collaborative effort among non-religious secular Narcotics Anonymous groups and members who support a non-sectarian, approach to recovery and the 12-step program. We, Secular NA members, seek to bring together information and resources for recovering addicts worldwide. It’s not always easy for non-religious people to feel comfortable in NA meetings.
A lot of people have a problem with "the God thing" when they seek recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Problems with their previous experience with religion, the way they were brought up, the way God seems to treat them - these are all things a potential member must face when they first reach the doors of A.A. Our group was founded by members of various fellowships to provide a safe place for people to get sober and to stay sober. We have found that the A.A. 12 Step Program really does work for our group of drunks. We may interpret things a bit differently than traditional AA members do, but we're still members of the same club.
LifeRing Secular Recovery is an organization of people who share practical experiences and sobriety support. There are as many ways to live free of illicit or non-medically indicated drugs and alcohol as there are stories of successful sober people. Many LifeRing members attend other kinds of meetings or recovery programs, and we honor those decisions. Some have had negative experiences in attempting to find help elsewhere, but most people soon find that LifeRing’s emphasis on the positive, practical present-day can turn anger and despair into hope and resolve. LifeRing respectfully embraces what works for each individual.
LifeRing believes you DO have the power to overcome your addiction. It’s hard, there are often setbacks, but in every addict there exists the desire to find lasting sobriety. We think of that as the Sober Self. With addiction, that part of us has been beaten down and relegated to a corner of our brains, but it’s still there. We also have an Addict Self that wants to control our decision-making and lead us to use the substance that is wrecking our lives.
Recovery Dharma is a peer-led movement and community that is unified by our trust in the potential of each of us to recover and find freedom from the suffering of addiction. We believe that recovery means empowerment, and we support each other as partners walking the path of recovery together. Our program uses the Buddhist practices of meditation, self-inquiry, wisdom, compassion, and community as tools for recovery and healing. We believe that recovery is about finding our own inner wisdom and our own path. We believe that the traditional Buddhist teachings, often referred to as the Dharma, offer a powerful approach to healing from addiction and living a life of true freedom.
Our program is based on the idea that every one of us is our own guide in recovery from addiction, with the help and understanding of our wise friends and sangha (community). We believe that’s what the Dharma teaches us. So it’s with great joy and excitement that we come together to build this recovery community and support structure, informed by the spirit of democracy.
The Sober She Devils is an international secular online women’s meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This is a closed meeting of AA, welcoming any woman who has a desire to stop drinking. We recognize that not everyone believes in god or even a higher power; we want to create a safe place for women to express themselves regardless of their world views, beliefs, religion, spiritual experience, or rejection of them. Sober She Devil meetings are for those who identify as WOMEN ONLY.
In 2017, John S. of Beyond Belief Recovery (then known as “AA Beyond Belief”) hosted a secular Zoom meeting at 1 PM Eastern on Sunday afternoon (AABeyondBelief.org). A group of women attending those meetings started having informal chats following the meetings. During one of the post-meeting chats, one of them exclaimed, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a secular women’s meeting?” Shortly thereafter, it happened! The first online secular women’s AA meeting was hosted on August 26, 2017. Then, on January 29, 2018, the Sober She-Devils name was adopted.
SMART Recovery is an abstinence-oriented, not-for-profit organization for individuals with addictive problems. Our self-empowering, free mutual support meetings focus on ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying. SMART Recovery does not use labels like “addict” or “alcoholic.” We teach scientifically validated methods designed to empower you to change and to develop a more positive lifestyle. After you have become familiar with SMART and are free of any addictive behavior, we encourage you to become a volunteer, so that we can keep expanding the number of meetings we offer.
Addictive behaviors can serve a purpose — to cope with life’s problems and emotional upsets. There can be drawbacks, however: while addictive behaviors may be effective coping methods in the short term, but they may cause harmful problems in the long term.
In SMART we focus on learning coping skills that work well short- and long-term. We base our ideas on what addiction science has shown to be effective. We have adapted these ideas into SMART’s tools for change. We are not much concerned with the past, except to learn from it. We focus on present-day events and the causes of self-destructive behaviors. We concentrate on what to do about them to achieve a positive lifestyle change, especially in the areas of our lives that are related to harmful addictive behavior.
Note: To attend SMART Recovery meetings, you will need to register on their website.
The Secular Recovery Group was created to allow authors and persons seeking recovery from substance abuse, a place to share experiences outside the constraints of Religiosity.
To provide “Zoom” Online Recovery Meetings that are safe and well moderated
A place to enjoy the sharing of “experiences”: One on One without over-arching fundamentalism.
Open debate and innovation are encouraged here.
The Secular Recovery Group offers online meetings each day of the week. Get support and share your stories of sobriety with an international community of interesting people. Join from your computer or phone. Featuring end-to-end encryption for your privacy.
The Secular Recovery Group lists over 540 Face to Face Group Meetings Worldwide. No Religion – No Prayer – Just warm friendly folks like you, gathering together for Support and Sobriety. Local maps and Directions to Brick & Mortar meeting locations around the World.
The weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous attempt to maintain a tradition of free expression and conduct meetings where alcoholics may feel free to express themselves about their own experiences, beliefs, or feelings (including any doubts or disbeliefs they may have).
As freethinkers, we aspire to open-mindedness and to appreciate the sharing of others—particularly those with whom we disagree. We ask only that everyone share without attempting to dissuade, argue, or disrespect anyone else or their beliefs.
As a group, we are secular. That is, we do not endorse or oppose any system of belief, nor do we have any quarrel with any form of religion. We also do not include prayers of any kind in our meetings and workshops. Our only wish is to assure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in A.A. without having to accept anyone else’s belief or having to deny their own.
AZ Secular AA is a loosely organized ever-changing group of individuals throughout Arizona that provides a presence to support the secular AA community in Arizona.
Our goal is to work toward an acceptance of AA meetings that "endeavor to maintain a tradition of free expression where alcoholics may feel free to express any doubts or disbeliefs they may have and to share their own personal form of spiritual experience, their search for it, or their rejection of it. In keeping with A.A. tradition, we do not endorse or oppose any form of religion or atheism. Our only wish is to ensure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in A.A. without having to accept anyone else's beliefs, or having to deny their own" (from the Beyond Belief Meeting Format).
Brown Baggers Group was created in 1994 and ran as a fairly “traditional” meeting for about 20 years. Realizing that there were incongruities between what AA “said” and what it did, a group conscious decision was made to close our meetings with the AA Responsibility Statement.
This was the beginning. We continued to make decisions at group business meetings to enhance our policy of inclusiveness. As of January 2020, Brown Baggers became officially listed as a Secular AA group.
We created a statement that is read at every meeting:
“In the true spirit of our Steps and Traditions, we at Brown Baggers, encourage everyone here to share their truth as it is for them pertaining to their recovery. And to do so without fear of judgment or censure. We feel that if it is within a member, it belongs within this room. We respect and welcome all points of view and paths to spirituality as well as our individual right to introduce ourselves as we feel comfortable. We honor the concepts of freedom of choice and speech. We ask that all those attending our meetings do the same so that we may all learn from each other and grow together in recovery. Thank you.”
This website is here primarily to encourage members of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish more secular meetings of A.A. in Michigan. Currently, there are ten A.A. groups in Michigan that identify themselves as secular and fourteen secular meetings of A.A. weekly in the state. There are hundreds worldwide.
This website is administered by Eric C. from Suttons Bay, Michigan. Eric has been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous since Jan. 10, 1983.
Eric’s story is featured in the October 2017 edition of the A.A. Grapevine magazine and in the 2018 Grapevine book A.A. in the Military under the title “Incoming!”
Secular A.A. is an international movement within Alcoholics Anonymous that seeks to widen our gateway so that all who suffer from alcoholism may feel free to join us and maintain long-term sobriety in A.A. “regardless of their belief or lack of belief”* in a God.
The secular A.A. movement traces its roots to one of A.A.’s first atheists, Jimmy B., who helped convince A.A. co-founder Bill W. to substitute the term “Higher Power” for God and add the words “as we understood Him” in a few places in our Big Book. Jimmy B. was also a driving force behind our Third Tradition: “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”
Anyone with a desire to stop drinking is welcome to attend secular meetings of A.A. or even start A.A. groups that identify themselves as secular.
In Freethinkers Recovery, you are free to have your own beliefs, but we do not emphasize any particular view.
We do not open or close our meetings with prayer. Our main purpose is to recover and to help others who want recovery in their life.
At Tús Nua everyone is welcome, you are welcome regardless of what you believe or don’t believe. Come late, leave early.
Our website is not affiliated with A.A, N.A or CoDA.
You can listen back to some of the speakers at our meetings and also interviews with people in 12 step recovery on our website. We have also converted all the speaker recordings into podcasts as it gives a better playback experience.
What Is Quad-A?
A.A. Members, especially newcomers, are urged to attend various meetings to find the meetings that are the most helpful to them. All A.A. Meetings have their own special characteristics. Quad-A is a collection of AA group meetings attended mostly by atheists, agnostics, and humanists in the greater Chicago area; however, anyone with a desire to stop drinking is welcome. Quad A is NOT separate from "general" AA- it's just a fellowship of these particular meetings that share this website so folks can find the meetings easily if they are interested in checking out secular AA meetings in the area.
Quad-A meetings function no differently than other A.A. Meetings—allowing recovering alcoholics to gather on a regular basis as autonomous groups using the suggested Twelve Steps for the individual and the Twelve Traditions for the group as the foundation for recovery and spiritual growth. We share and learn how to live sober and rewarding lives. Like all A.A. Meetings, Quad-A meetings are for all people with a desire to stop drinking. There are no further qualifiers or disqualifiers
"To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all-inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all..." (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46).
Quad-A acknowledges recovering persons may have valid and fulfilling sobriety with or without belief in a Higher Power as traditionally understood. For many regular Quad-A meeting-goers, the "Power greater than ourselves" and "God as we understood Him" are interpreted by the individual or ignored altogether. For some of us, it is A.A. itself or the group. Our members have been reared with and without many different forms of religious training; we prefer to refrain from proselytizing for or against any particular creed. We accept the beliefs of the individual without contempt, condescension, or approbation.
The first meeting of the Mostly Agnostics of San Antonio AA group was in September of 2014, but like any AA group, how and why it came to be is a story in itself. It is said in AA that all you need to start a new meeting is a coffee pot and a resentment, which sounds cynical, but it's actually a lighthearted jab that is more of a celebration of AA’s resiliency and its ability to turn human shortcomings into assets than it is a criticism.
Whatever the motives, the proliferation of new and different groups is central to AA’s success. AA owes its effectiveness in no small part to the diversity of its groups. Each group has a unique ability to reach certain individuals, which illustrates the importance of the fourth tradition (“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”), probably the most underappreciated AA Tradition. Without group autonomy, AA would lack the adaptability that makes it accessible to so many disparate individuals.
AA is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person might completely turn someone else off, so rather than expecting to conform to set norms, AA gives individuals the freedom to choose what works for them. It’s been said that for every nut that ends up in AA, there’s a wrench that is the right size to fit. That happens through one-on-one relationships, but the diversity of the groups plays a big part.
Each group has its own identity. The wording of AA’s fifth tradition suggests that each group even has its own distinct message: “Each group has but one primary purpose— to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” Individual groups, by tailoring how they talk about recovery, are able to be responsive to specific needs.
In short, secular groups are the epitome of AA’s commitment to accessibility.
Worldwide Secular Meetings:
A list of worldwide secular meetings compiled from various online sources. It also includes 24/7 meetings, which are not secular, but may be helpful. This list is provided as a service for information only and aims to be inclusive rather than exclusive when including multiple Fellowships and meeting styles.
AA NA Secular Recovery Online Meetings for Atheists Agnostics and Freethinkers
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