Rebellion Dogs our every step

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Episode 20 of Rebellion Dogs Radio features Bob k and a look at story telling and the ongoing history of addiction & recovery. HEAR it now HERE now has the latest from Widening the Gateway in Olympia Washington, January 16th, 2016.
January 19th is day that we remember Ernie Kurtz (September 9, 1935 - January 19, 2015) and his literary contribution to 12-Step culture. Here's a 1997 speech he gave celebrating AA's local archivists that he calls, Varieties of AA Experiences. I hope you enjoy it. Click to enjoy.

bob k., author of Key Players in AA History has written about Ernie Kurtz today and I would encourage anyone to visit this link:  @ to lean the history of this historian and join the conversations if you're so inspired. 

Here's a small excerpt from Ernie's Varieties of AA Experience. He is talking about Dr. William Silkworth who authored "The Doctor's Opinion" in Alcoholics Anonymous. Here is something profound that the doctor wrote two years before the Big Book would be written. In the Journal of the Medical Society of New York, an article was penned dealing with the distinction between two terms, two words: decision and resolution.

Those who ponder that article may never hear the words of the Third Step in exactly the same way again. Under the title, "Reclamation of the Alcoholic," Silkworth observed to his fellow physicians:

“Without quibbling over words, I wish to differentiate between a decision and a resolution or declaration - of which the alcoholic has probably made many already.

A resolution is an expression of a momentary emotional desire to reform. Its influence lasts only until he has an impulse to take a drink.

A decision on the other hand is the expression of a mental conviction based on an intelligent conception of his condition. Often when a resolution is made, an individual must fight constantly with himself. The old environment forces are still arrayed against him and he finally succumbs to his old means of escape. However, if he has made a decision through understanding of facts appealing to his intelligence, he has changed his entire attitude. No will power is needed because now he is not tempted.

Varieties of the Alcoholics Anonymous Experience, by Ernie Kurtz (1997)


Renew Magazine's review of the Amy Winehouse movie by Joe C., called, "Daddy's Girl" is now available CLICK HERE to share, re-post, like or download. Below is a link to buy for yourself or or a friend, the DVD or BlueRay of the full-length 2015 movie AMY. You can read the whole Fall issue of Renew Magazine which  features Rob Lowe, Trauma, Al-Anon, consumer addiction, "Thriving in Recovery" and more.

Read Renew Magazine for Free HERE. (See pg 74, 75 for "Daddy's Girl) - See the trailer for #AMYMOVIE Here (Amy the movie is now available on DVD and BlueRay from the Rebellion Dogs Bookstore. Click the link to the left)
The new place to hang out on Sundays. Roger of AA-agnostica has turned the reins of Sunday morning discussion over to John and our community has migrated to Please join up and lurk to your delight or join the conversation.

REBELLION DOGS Says, "Who wouldn't want a Happy New Year gift card?" You can now buy an Amazon Gift Card for yourself or others - it's like the gift of knowledge.

Beyond Belief reaches a new milestone. Rebellion Dogs thanks you for your support to spread the word so that Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life hit the 5,000 mark)

Beyond Belief is continues to find its way to 100 to 200 more bedside tables, breakfast nooks and mobile devices each month. Thank-you for chatting up the book. Check our Bookstore page for special. Home-groups: buy six, we will discount the book and cover shipping. Buy the eBook and paperback together for $20. Check for other specials.


Finally, Recovery Books for Nonbelievers, Freethinkers and Everyone
(welcome Counselor Magazine readers)

Order Beyond Belief from Amazon HERE.

Great eBook deals: Barnes & Noble have Beyond Belief available for $US10.19 and paperback for $17.22. Compare with Amazon for Kindle.

If you're a KOBO customer click HERE and find out how your purchase of our eBook can support your favorite independent book store.

Two books that belong together. If you visit or live in Toronto, North America's largest mental health book store is Caversham Booksellers at 98 Harbord, steps west of Spadina. You can find (and buy) Beyond Belief and The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps or anything you are looking for in addiction/recovery, psychotherapy, philosophy, science and religion. I find it hard to leave there empty handed. Drop in say "Hi," if you find yourself near Bloor and Spadina in Toronto, Canada.

Roger C's new book called, The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps is something I am quite excited about it. It is the ultimate mate to Beyond Belief; one is a daily reflection book and the other is a freethinker's workbook for the Twelve Steps. You can order it from our Beyond Belief page.

News and Blogs from Rebellion Dogs
From "A Newcomer Asks..." AA pamphlet p-24 Q: “There is a lot of talk about God, though, isn't there?”

A: The majority of A.A. members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the A.A. group, still others don't believe in it at all. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 27 “You can, if you wish, make A.A. itself your 'higher power.' Here's a very large group who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough.”

Check our links for great Freethinking places to go. The recovery community consists of 20 million addicts who have turned the corner on addiction to booze, drugs, sexual and romantic obsession, online-gaming, food, gambling, workaholism and more.

Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life
Finally a daily reflection book for nonbelievers, freethinkers and everyone.


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Symposium on AA History

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Sedon Mago Retreat, 3500 E. Bill Gray Rd, Sedona, AZ, 86336

From $365 (all inclusive)

I'll be doing a presentation on the History of Unbelievers in AA including the growing demand for Atheist/Agnostic groups, 40 years of trying & failing to bring an atheist, freethinker pamphlet to AA literature tables and the inclusion of We Agnostics at AA's International Convention.

Other presentations will include Marty Mann, Lois Wilson, Charles Towns and a one-on-one with Rev. Ward Ewing. for more details.


Rebellion Dogs Blog

Rebellion Dogs Blog December 2015 Stigma & Tribalism: What are we really fighting over? 

A familiar 2015 mantra was “let’s end the stigma associated with addiction and mental health.” This political rally call suggests that ten thousand protesters can stop people from drawing stereotypes. That sounds naïve to me.
Download/View the PDF Transcript

Unite to Face Addiction[i] drew a crowd of thousands October 4th at the Washington Monument. People cheered Surgeon General Vivek Murthy as he declared, “We’re going to stop treating addiction as a moral failing, and start seeing it for what it is: a…Read more

Speaking recovery from the four corners of the world(views) 

Rebellion Dogs Blog for August 2015
Recovery for 12-Steppers from all worldviews: Learning the North, South, East & West of 12-Step language. Twelve Step rooms were designed to invite every still-suffering member of society to be dignified as equals. The language of early AA recovery, that may have been cutting-edge in it's day, has not kept pace with transforming demographics that make up today's world. This blog is a little bit different. It’s an invitation into Rebellion Dog’s next book idea, looking at…Read more

AA History didn't just happen 80 Years Ago - It's happening now. 

In this blog: What did I learn during my trip to New York City to explore GSO Archives in search of the history of Agnostic/Atheist AA members? History is ongoing. This month we look at what AA’s latest statistics say, how AA members and GSO are shaping AA’s future. Also, let's talk about sober adventures in New York City.

View or download a PDF of July 2015 Blog: AA History didn't just happen 80 Years Ago.

Where are we now? One idea that solidified for me when I was surrounded by AA history in our archives…Read more

Science behind the 12 Steps? Joe Nowinski PhD's new book Podcast

This year, a new book looks at 12 Step outcomes. It’s called, If You Work It It Works! The Science Behind 12 Step Recovery by psychologist and award winning author, Joe Nowinski PhD. It is a jargon-free look at how, 12 Step modality help alcoholics/addicts. I read it, I interviewed Dr. Nowinski and I will share our conversation with you in this show.

There is lots of debate on both sides of the 12 Step campfire. Gabrielle Glaser wrote a 2015 feature for the Atlantic called "The Irrationality of Alcoholics

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Rights and the Duty to Accomodate in AA: getting ready for the 2015 conference Podcast

 As A.A. readies for its annual business meeting (for Canada & USA) in April, I just came back from C.E.R.A.A.S.A., the Canadian Eastern Regional A.A. Service Assembly which was held outside of Toronto – Mississauga February 20th to 22nd. There are ten districts from the Ontario/Manitoba border east to the Atlantic Ocean. GSRs, delegates and any member who wants to buy a ticket can come have their say as the ten delegates get a feel for the room, or hear from members as we discuss the agenda items for the…Read more

January 2015 - Pluralism: The language barrier to getting along  

January 2015 - Pluralism: The language barrier to getting along
Worldviews that divide us in politics, religion and recover & the hope for reconciliation.
#JeSuisCharlie is the hash tag that tells the world that you condemn violence in the name of creed; Vive la freedom of the press! An antagonistic French atheist newspaper was terrorized by angry Muslims in retaliation for insensitive depictions of Islamic religious symbols. Let’s not forget that most Muslims condemn violence, too, but they’re hardly…Read more

Food Junkies: Food and other process addictions Podcast

Listen now to Episode 10 of Rebellion Dogs Radio on Pod-0-matic HERE

What do Maxwell House Coffee, Grape-Nuts cereal, Kool-Ade, Jello and Marlborough cigarettes all have in common? Well their formulas are engineered by chemists that all work for the same companies. Companies that continue to get sued over misleading us about the health issues of their cigarettes are now processing many of the foods we eat each day.

How about that; “Don’t smoke, Suzzie, it’s addictive and it will make you unhealthy,” we say to…Read more

Rebellion Dogs Radio Episode 9 - We Agnostics & Freethinkers International AA Conference in Santa Monica Podcast

Welcome to Rebellion Dogs Radio Episode IX where we bring you highlights of the first ever We Agnostics & Freethinkers International A.A. Conference from Santa Monica California, November 2014. So much content is available on this and we include many links included in this blog. Rebellion Dogs Radio # 9 will include segments from the keynotes given. Click on the link above or bellow to start listening. We have a teaser for Phyllis H., A.A. General Service Office GM, Marya H, author of Waiting: ARead more

Rebellion Dogs Radio Episode 8 - Coping with ADHD or OCD Podcast

Dual-diagnoses: Addiction + OCD or ADHD and how to deal with it.
Rebellion Dogs Radio #8 features Dr. Tim Bilkey and professional rocker, Paul Nelson

Just listen by scrolling down and playing our embedded Radio player or click on the track above.

Download a PDF of Episode 8. This download complements the Radio Show. It doesn't follow it as a transcript exactly.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – what if you have these traits as well as addiction? Dr. Tim Bilkey and…Read more

The Big Book: Sacred or outdated? What AA Stewards, past and present say about progress vs protection Podcast

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous - On one side are the thumpers, muckers and literalists who claim than no modality has touched the healing force of the Twelve Steps as outlined in Alcoholics Anonymous. On the other side, reformers say it's misogynistic, religious, archaic, while it was a good start to the mutual-aid discussion, as the center-piece of any AA meeting today, it makes us look Amish-like, declining modern customs for the ways of our ancestors.

I have been in the middle of these debates…

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Rebellion Dogs Book Club: Podcast 6 talks about good reads Podcast

Get your reading spectacles on – It’s Book Club time!Podcast #6 looks at great recovery books that widen our gateway.

On you will find a bookstore. We’re talking about reading on this blog-post (and podcast). Not only is planet Earth’s first secular daily reflection book, Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life available in our book store but many eBooks and hard-copy books by and for addicts/alcoholics/codependents are available.

As 12-Steppers, we are all…Read more

Boyhood: Cinematic clues to life, maturity, family & values 

A boy says, “Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a songwriter.” The Mother smiles and replies, “Now darling, you know you can’t do both.”

“Rebellion dogs our every step” in our constant quest of self-improvement. Sometimes it’s time to put the pop-psychology books aside and look for answers elsewhere. In this blog-post we visit the film, music, comedy and art festival, North By North East to see what we might see. NXNE was stoked to host Richard Linklater’s…Read more

Get your Pride On, AA: What AA can learn from World Pride Podcast

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For 30 years, Toronto has celebrated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual & queer (LGBTQ) Pride. This year, Toronto was host to Word Pride. According to the World Pride Toronto website the full diversity of celebrants June 22 to 29th, 2014 is an estimated attendance of over 1.2 million people honoring the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s (and the world’s) LGBTTIQQ2SA communities. The full acronym includes: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender…Read more

I am a sample—not an example! John L’s A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous celebrates diversity  

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I am a sample of recovery; I am not an example. I hear ya, “Come on Joe, you’re playing the semantics game, again. You’re not going to write a whole blog on it, are you?” Hear me out. What I am saying is this: isn’t it enough to show that it can work, without laying claim to how it works? If it works for me, it can work for you; if it works for her, it can work for him.
  Our Declaration of Unity was unveiled at the Miami Beach International Convention of AA in 1970:Read more

Will and Recovery: Is English adequate to translate the language of the heart? 

Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will. ~Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964)

(Print, read or distribute with PDF version) If will has no place in sobriety, what is meant by "willingness?"

This word is the first of three indispensable attributes (willingness, honesty and open-minded). While I would have loved at one time to be able to learn to drink in moderation (and I can't), I can channel moderation in my recovery. I must use my will according to…Read more

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