Had been in AA for 30 yrs...sober the last 25. My sponsor knew Bill Wilson, and several others.
Bill W. was agnostic. Study the other books and you will see. Read the part when Ebby is speaking to him about what he has.....and Bill's reply. I finally quit going to AA. I have several people come to the house now, or wherever they wish. It actually took a couple months of "withdrawal" after not going. I found that i was still seeking to belong, and when I do that, I was not learning to be myself. Still following and "acting" as if....These groups in my town are clicks, cults...You get shunned if you do not "follow the path" (their path)..I did not pray afterwards, I do not pray. No need to. When I skipped this in the group, others actually said "we will pray for you"...what egos there huh? I have never felt free until I left AA. It/they actually brainwash you to think you HAVE to have it, or else...What a crock...Any group that has routines to stay away from alcohol and states without it you will fail is dangerous.
Hi, I'm also an alcoholic and an atheist and was pleasantly surprised to stumble on this posting. I've just gotten out of treatment a couple of weeks ago and been attending lots and lots of AA meetings here. I've yet to find very many people who will just out and out admit to atheism, especially potential sponsors, but I've got a temporary sponsor that seems like he'll be pretty good. Now, this is the midwest, so... yeah. A lot of God a lot of the time, although they do try to be accommodating to the best of their ability. In treatment, I found them *very* accepting, and got through Step 5 before leaving.
In addition to reading as much freethought literature as I can on top of the piles of recovery literature, I've begun blogging about the experience as well, and will probably continue. If interested, it's at http://anatheistataa.wordpress.com/ . Thanks! Looking forward to more posts here and elsewhere in this group.
I know exactly how you feel, after almost 3 years of no drinking, daily attendance of AA meetings and no belief in any Higher Power I got fed up and simply stopped attending AA. I was nervous about this because in AA all I ever heard was that if you left you would drink again. I also was scared to leave my circle of friends there, I was scared to be alone. Despite this I could no longer reconcile my lack of belief with the basic premise of AA which is that some sort of Higher Power would keep me from drinking, I felt no urge to drink and was sick and tired of hearing everyone, chronic relapser or long time sober blather on about God God God ad infinitum. I knew that I was no longer attending AA to keep myself sober, but attending it because I had incorporated it into my daily life. I knew that if I was never going to drink again it was ultimately up to ME, not any one else (either another AA member or an invisible man in the sky). So I left!
in 4 days I will have not had a drop to drink for 4 years, and will not have set foot inside an AA room for 1 year. I found a new group of "normal" people to hang out with who are aware that I don't drink and why, and are cool with it. I also found a girlfriend (normal) and graduated from college, got a promotion at work, and moved into a nicer house. I cannot say that all of these things wouldn't have happened if I stayed in AA but I don't think they would have. AA became a place where I stagnated and stopped growing. I saw people there who had been stuck in the same position for over 30 years, regardless of staying sober. I didn't want to be "that guy" in 30 years, the so called "elder statesman" who everyone looks up to simply for the fact that they managed to not drink for a long period of time, regardless of the fact that they haven't grown in any way since they finished their first set of 12 step work. Not for me! AA helped me stop drinking and was what I needed at the time. Now I consider myself a former alcoholic, I don't need AA anymore. as an analogy if I got sick and needed medicine to get better, once I was cured I wouldn't need the medicine anymore. AA was the same way.
I can't tell you to not go to AA anymore, but I will tell you that I think AA is a strictly religious organization and I am a living testament to the fact that once you have gotten over the compulsion to drink you no longer need to go to AA. I am an atheist and as the AA coin sez "To Thine Own Self Be True" for me that was no longer going... -William G in San Antonio TX
@ Curtis @ William, Thank you for your different perspectives on A.A. I too, have seen people become the "elder statesman" with basically nothing else to show for their sobriety except being sober. While I have done service work for A.A., including District Chair member, it's not really for me. I do want to help others who are still suffering though, so I think I'll stick around for awhile more. In the meantime I've also begun to expand out more. I volunteer at a homeless shelter now, the local cable access channel, and I'm on an advisory committee for the city council, among other things. I'm working to expand my circle of friends to include more than members of A.A. Also, I've started contributing to Atheist Nexis! Hmmm.. I just got an email saying I'm now a member of the Google group "Evolution Education Update email list". I've forgotten what that is exactly, I'm going too fast! Curtis, I'll check out the Google group you mentioned, too. I think I joined a Yahoo group, but then it said it was more of an anti-12 step group, so I really haven't gone back there. The messages didn't apply to anything anyway.