For what its worth, every time I have been asked or told to go to an NA meeting in the last 4 years, (and I've been asked or told to go to an NA meeting many, many times now) I have asked the person recommending it if it was all just a religious meeting. Every time I've asked this question or stated that I had heard it eventually brought you down a path toward religion, or every time I've stated that I've heard rumors of AA and NA being almost cult-like, I've been given the same answers. They all say "They are spiritual based." and "You don't have to be catholic or christian, you don't have to have a structured popular religion as an influence in your life." and "At a certain point in the 12 steps, your asked to surrender to your peers that have had more experience in quitting, and your asked to surrender to a higher power if your comfortable doing so." And "You don't have to be religious, but believing that there is something that created this universe, the stars, and the planets that orbit those stars, whether it be a conscious being, or what humans would classify as a supernatural force, or glue, or primordial soup, that is encouraged and spoken of at some points in the program." And "If there is a religious man or woman that likes to talk, then you will hear about religion influencing sobriety, if there isn't, you wont"
So thats what I've got. I've never opened the book. I'd have to imagine that there are religious points in the book, considering the man that wrote the book in 1933 was a religious man and he did model the steps around the values of the christian bible, right? So the book could possibly have some religious parts to it, but as far as the meetings go... What I have been told by numerous different people, is that they are not inherently religious based. The content of an AA or NA meeting depends almost solely on the characters that show up for the meeting. AA & NA take anyone, from Atheists to Satanists to Jews. The majority of the book does not specifically speak about the christian religions, rather it speaks for the lessons and values of the christian doctrine in a way that leaves the dogmatic traditions and specific scriptures of the religion out of it. But at one point in the program, spirituality IS discussed. (but from what I hear it is unbiased discussion that all boils down to the suggestion that spirituality in general can help those in need of guidance out of an addict lifestyle) And like I said, it can depend on who is there. If a really talky muslim is there, you may hear about his or her religion more than any other. If a Pagan is there, you may hear about his or her religion.