Cover of Freethinker in AA.


John Lauritsen, A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous, Pagan Press 2014, 120 pages, ISBN 978-0-943742-23-6, $12.

    A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous is written by an A.A. member with 46 years of continuous sobriety, who believes that he owes his life to the A.A. Fellowship. 
    There are plenty of books that attack Alcoholics Anonymous — or defend it uncritically — or supplement it with personal testimonies or various tweaks. A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous will be the first one to celebrate and defend the things in A.A. that are right, but also, with no holds barred, to criticize the things that are wrong and ought to be changed.
    An atheist for all of his adult life and a long-time contributor to the secular humanist press, Lauritsen bases his recovery on the what he calls the True A.A., the A.A, that works: the 24-Hour Plan and the Fellowship.  He regards the religiosity in A.A. as detrimental to recovery from alcoholism.
    A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous is especially written for nonbelievers in recovery, who face difficult choices: going it alone or attending regular A.A. groups, secular A.A. groups, or secular alternative groups.  But everyone who has an alcohol problem, or who knows someone who has one, can benefit from this book.
    Chapters describe Lauritsen's experiences in recovery, his analyses of the 24-Hour Plan and the A.A. Fellowship, his research on early A.A. history and forerunners of A.A., his objections to recitation of the 
Lord's Prayer in meetings, his own Freethinker's Steps for Recovery from Alcoholism, a heavily annotated Select Bibliography on Alcoholism, his advice for freethinkers in recovery, and his suggestions on how A.A. should be reformed.

    A fine review by Thomas B. was published by AA Agnostica. To read it click here.


For Caroline McCullagh's Page Turners review in Mensa Bulletin click here.

For Joe C.'s review in Rebellion Dogs Publishing click here.


    A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous is sold by Amazon.com and Provincetown Bookshop.
    It can be ordered directly (with free shipping) from Pagan Press
— to do this just say in an e-mail how many copies you'd like. Pagan Press will then send you a PayPal invoice, which can be paid with a PayPal account or with any credit card. Upon receipt of payment Pagan Press will mail your book(s).

Back to Freethought.
Back to Alcoholism: Recovery Without Religiosity.