Episode 6: Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Jon Stewart from Brighton, England was kind enough to join me for a conversation which I found immensely interesting, and I hope you do as well. Unlike guests from past episodes, Jon is not a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, he left AA after fourteen years in the program, and his blog Leaving AA, Staying Sober: New Perspectives on Recovery tells the story.

Jon’s experience certainly isn’t foreign to me. I was once at that crossroad. I was no longer comfortable in AA and honestly had I not learned about the Secular AA groups, I may have chosen another path. I can understand why he left and why scores of others leave. It’s something we in AA should think about. Why are people leaving, and should we care?

During the conversation Jon makes it clear that he is not anti-AA, in fact he wants AA to succeed. His primary complaint about AA is that it’s not sharing the spotlight with other options that could help people suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. I think he makes a good point. After all, don’t we acknowledge that we know only little, that we aren’t the only way? Well if that’s the case, why not be aware of SMART, and Life Ring, CBT or for that matter Naltrexone?

Whether you agree or not, I am sure you will enjoy this thoughtful discussion.

About Jon Stewart

Jon is a lecturer in cultural history, a blogger, and a public speaker on secular recovery. His blog Leaving AA, Staying Sober: New Perspectives on Recovery provides useful information for anyone interested in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. 

Referenced in the podcast

Leaving AA, Staying Sober, Jon’s blog

SMART Recovery

Life Ring

aacultwatch, a site based in the UK that keeps a watch on AA.

The Sinclair Method

One Little Pill, A documentary film about the Sinclair Method

Asch Conformity Experiment

The Thirteenth Step, A documentary by Monica Richardson

Safe Recovery, Monica Richardson’s blog and podcast

Common Sense of Drinking, by Richard Peabody

Why We Believe in Gods, Andy Thomson

The Ra-Men Podcast, Aron Ra’s podcast on which Jon will appear as a guest in January, 2016.