It's been 30 years of messaging youth for Sean Clarkin, the Executive Vice President for research and external relations at Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. I can't point the finger; just as looking at my 1986 wedding photos in my all white suit and shoes with Royal Blue cummerbund and bow-tie looks dated and maybe embarrassing today, maybe the ad, "This is Your Brain on Drugs," is more a source of parody today that how we talk with youth about substance use in 2016. Thousands of ads later, Clarkin talked to me about three decades of helping parents, helping kids and trying to bridge the generation gap. “In the early years, we were almost exclusively a public service advertising (PSA) campaign agency,” Clarkin says. “In a much simpler media world, we got a lot of visibility.”
In Renew Magazine Sean and I talk about messaging and adapting to cultural changes and I was especially interested in talking about how someone in recovery talks to their kids about drugs. Are we in a compromised position or a position of strength when our kids know we did drugs at their age?
Do you remember Jack Grisham the front man from LA's punk band, TSOL? He has 25+ years sobriety and he wrote a book called, A Principle of Recovery: An Unconventional Journey Through the 12 Steps; remember? He was a guest on Rebellion Dogs Radio in the Fall of 2015. Now in Renew Magazine, Joe C and Jack talk more about his individual approach to working with others.
“Don’t be surprised if you have more oh-shit awakenings than you have of those delightful ah-ha realizations,” he says. “I write the book the way I would talk to you or anyone — just like I have done with many men over the years. In the book, I confront objections I hear all the time. I use my own life as an example. That’s how we do it in the rooms." Read the discussion HEREin RENEW Magazine.
As requested, a transcript is now available in for the radio show (Rebellion Dogs Radio #24 Courage to Change). I put it together in the form of a blog. There's more expanded data on areas of interest based on feedback from listeners. This blog includes excerpts from:
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
Jon R. Weinberg PhD, Hazelden Foundation Inc., 1975 AA: An Interpretation For the Nonbeliever
GSO (Box 4-5-9) stats of AA membership + a look at World Convention attendance (1985 - 2015)
Commentary on the current AAWS/Toronto Intergroup matter and how it might look like by centennial members of AA in the year 2035
A link to Intergroup's now released defense filing to allegations of discrimination/harassment contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code
CLICK HERE for the Courage to Change Blog + links.
Who visits, Rebellion Dogs Publishing page? 1000s of visitors from 100s of cities visit each week. Of course, it's mostly English-speaking countries but here is the top-15 so far in June:
New Delhi (India)
Los Angeles (USA)
New York City (USA)
San Diego (USA)
San Francisco (USA)
The spirit of rotation is alive and well in secular AA. Five years ago, AAagnostica posted it's first essay and five years later, editor, Roger C signs off with his reflections on his years of service, the AA community and the assurance that it was never a chore - always a privilege and a pleasure. And in the spirit of rotation, aaBeyondBelief.com has been working in cooperation as readers, writers and the community transition from one site to the other. Goodbyes are important and I am moved by Rogers thoughtful "Last Post." Until further notice, www.AAagnostica.com will remain for archive purposes. Read Roger's Farewell HERE.
June's podcast, Rebellion Dogs Radio asks, "Is AA up for change or are we slaves to inaction? It takes courage to change; does AA have the compassion to be courageous or the humility to show leadership?"
We look at the latest AA stats on population, we visit the humorous fiction of Christopher Moore who looks at the plight of a 2000 years old messiah, we listen in on biologist's Rupert Sheldrake's Ted talk where he asks if science suffers from dogma + we share some nuggets from a 1975 pamphlet from Hazelden that our friend Jackie B found called, "AA: An Interpretation For the Nonbeliever."
"Let us never fear needed change. Certainly we have to discriminate between changes for the worse and changes for the better. But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual, in a group, or in A.A. as a whole, it has long since been found out that we cannot stand still and look the other way. The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.” Bill W. A.A. Grapevine July 1965, As Bill Sees It p. 115
Episode 24 of Rebellion Dogs Radio looks at change and Alcoholics Anonymous. This show includes:
The latest change in AA membership brought to you from General Service Office's Box 459 Examples of how AA does change - a look at Accessibility and accommodating AAs with special needs Examples of AA resistance to change - Toronto Intergroup, AA World Services and Human Rights A great new find or is it an old find? AA: An Interpretation For the Nonbeliever (Hazelden) News and music included
Hear all about it! Dianne P., conference chair for this November's We Agnostics, Atheists & FreeThinkers International AA Conference spends 15 minutes with AA-Beyond Belief podcast host, John S to update all of us on what to expect in Austin, November 11th - 13th, 2016. Listen Here on AA-Beyond Belief.com
Hope to see you in Austin.
Get How I Became My Father from Rebellion Dogs store now.
March 4th to 6th a Symposium on AA History was hosted at Sedona Mago Retreat Center. The presentations were educational and emotional. There wasn't a single hour that dragged. Rebellion Dogs was on site to present about the continuing history of Atheists and Agnostics in Alcoholics Anonymous. Visit our Episode 21 Rebellion Dogs Radio for audio, YouTube and/or a transcript of the presentation. All presentations were recorded and are available from the Sedona Mago Retreat Center. For now, call this a free sample.
The audio's a bit weak so following along with the PDF slides/notes is recommended.
Rebellion Dogs has something to say in TheFix.Com, "Five AA Myths that Critics and Zealots Share." Big Book thumpers talk about AA as being a program or a movement started by a book. AA critics share the same stereotype of what AA is. "Happily for everyone, this conclusion is erroneous." Read on and join the conversation if you wish.
We know you’re talking up Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life because while we don’t have 5,000 friends, you do. In January we crossed a threshold whereby Beyond Belief is found on 5,000 reading nook and bedside tables, smartphones and eReaders. THANKS for telling your friends. It matters to a wee little publisher like Rebellion Dogs. To celebrate we posted a YouTube video. It’s kind of the book’s bio. It’s five minutes of telling the story. So if you’re sick of talking about Beyond Belief and you still feel like helping out, let Youtube do the tellin’ :-)
Have a look and let us know what you think.
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 AABeyondBelief.com. Please join up and lurk to your delight or join the conversation.
REBELLION DOGS bookstore offers Amazon Gift Card for yourself or others - it's like the gift of #knowledge about #addiction and #recovery.
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 TREATMENT & INSTITUTIONAL PUBLISHER DIRECT SPECIALS HERE (welcome Counselor Magazine readers)
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.
The following are notes, sometimes expanded and sometimes the same as the script for Rebellion Dogs Radio show # 24 Courage to Change.
Read away or if you want to just listen,click here:
If you prefer to read from a PDF (online or print yourself) CLICK HERE
As is the season, let's visit AA’s annual membership survey as reported in the Summer Box 4-5-9. Let’s take inventory of current events and take AA’s pulse. While not all of us will be alive to see it, AA’s 100th anniversary is 19 years away. What are…
I though about calling this blog something more musical, like "With a Little Help from our Friends" as we take a look at the role of nonalcoholic trustees in helping guide AA policy and management.
DOWNLOAD or VIEW a PDF Building a more barrier-free AA has been part of a larger discussion about AA’s future. AAs practice what we preach; we admit when we are wrong, we see where we can’t progress without direction and we are willing to make changes. Case in point: The results of AA’s own inventory are published…
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
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
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
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…
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 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
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
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: A…Read more
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.
Get your reading spectacles on – It’s Book Club time!Podcast #6 looks at great recovery books that widen our gateway.
On www.RebellionDogsPublishing.com 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.
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.”
READ, PRINT or DOWNLOAD as a PDF: “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
Read, view or print as a PDF 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
pics courtesy of circlerougestudios.com
Portraits in Blasphome
The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps by Roger C.
Two great ways to start the day, Beyond Belief & The Little Book