Beyond Belief Sobriety is a podcast that explores topics of interest to people who are seeking or who have found a secular path to recovery from addictions of all kinds. We got our start in September 2015 as “AA Beyond Belief”, and during our early years, we were podcasting about issues specific to agnostics, atheists, and freethinking members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our episodes focused primarily on the personal stories of AA members who worked the 12-Step program from a purely secular and practical interpretation. Over time, our interests expanded to addictive behaviors other than alcohol use disorder, and in secular recovery options other than 12-Step programs. So, in January 2021, we changed the name of the podcast from “AA Beyond Belief” to “Beyond Belief Sobriety”, to better reflect our expanded subject matter.
We started our YouTube Channel as an alternative platform for posting our audio content. However, we soon became interested in live-streaming and producing video content, which is now the channel’s focus. You can find video versions of our podcast episodes, as well as videos that provide information and resources helpful to those seeking a secular path to addiction recovery.
Beyond Belief Sobriety features personal recovery stories and interviews with authors and experts in addiction science. We also highlight mutual aid groups that provide secular support for people in recovery. These groups include secular meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, LifeRing, SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, and groups without any particular affiliation. We also have episodes that showcase support options for the family and friends of people in recovery.
John Sheldon is the creator and host of the Beyond Belief Sobriety podcast. He is a person in long-term recovery, a Certified Peer Specialist in the State of Missouri, and he has completed training to become a meeting facilitator for SMART Recovery. His interest in secular options to recovery began after he came out as an atheist in AA and found that other AA members were not accepting of his secular and practical interpretation of the 12-Steps. In August of 2014, after learning about secularly-formatted AA meetings, John helped start a secular AA meeting in his community. Today, he remains involved in the recovery community, attends meetings of SMART Recovery, and is involved with the Recovery Advocacy Project.