In a development without precedent in the world of 12-step organizations, hundreds of recovering alcoholics and addicts from around the world who describe themselves as atheists or agnostics will gather in Santa Monica this November for the first ever We Agnostics and Freethinkers International Alcoholics Anonymous Convention (WAFT IAAC).
The event will be held November 6 to 8, 2014, at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Santa Monica under the theme “Many Paths to Recovery”.
The keynote speakers will be Rev. Ward Ewing, past chairperson of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Marya Hornbacher, noted memoirist and author of several works on addiction and recovery for nonbelievers.
“Freethinkers have constituted a significant presence in AA from the beginning,” said Dorothy H., convention chairwoman. “Meetings founded by atheists and agnostics and dedicated to free expression have proliferated in recent years and now number some 150 worldwide. This convention will amplify their voice and strengthen efforts to maintain an inclusive Fellowship, one that assures nonbelievers they can find sobriety without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or deny their own.”
In addition to the speaker program, the convention will feature meetings, workshop, panels and social events. More than 500 attendees are expected, from ten countries, including the US, Canada, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Spain, France, Australia, Ireland, Australia and American Samoa.