Jon Stewart

Wednesday, April 22 2015 at 8:00PM

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White Hill
East Sussex

Jon Stewart

What's the talk about?

Alcoholics Anonymous has become a commonly accepted and media endorsed remedy for problem drinkers. Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged its efficacy rate, estimated at around 5%, appears comparable merely to that of natural spontaneous remission. Can a non-existent Higher Power really offer meaningful solutions to the debilitating and potentially fatal condition of alcoholism? If so, what do we do to help all those atheist and skeptic alcoholics?

AA’s famous 12 step programme actually evolved from the foundational precepts of a long-forgotten 1930s Christian fundamentalist mass movement, and remain entirely unchanged since first codified eighty years ago. How did this out-dated methodology become a go-to treatment option for one the great social health scourges of our age? It's half-way through the second decade in the twenty first century, and this is the best we have to offer?

Jon Stewart co-founded and played guitar for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper with whom he enjoyed three UK Top 10 albums and eight UK Top 40 singles. Jon has been sober since 21 August 2000, and was an active and enthusiastic member of Alcoholics Anonymous for thirteen years. He now campaigns for more up-to-date and evidence-based secular treatment options via his blog “Leaving AA & Staying Sober” at

Jon lectures in popular culture and philosophy at the BIMM Institute in Brighton, and is a PhD researcher at University of Southampton. Author of a long-running column in Guitarist magazine, he has published a wide range of peer reviewed academic research in journals and edited volumes: