Historic atheist and freethought activist Paul Kurtz has had the Center for Inquiry stolen from him by operatives of Ron Lindsay. Below is an official statement from Paul Kurtz. Paul has been an outspoken activist for the rights of atheism, humanism, and freethought. I am witholding future donations to the Center for Inquiry until he is treated with the respect he deserves. Below is an official statement from Dr. Kurtz:
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
May I set the historical record straight. I was unceremoniously ousted as Chairman of the Center for Inquiry/Transnational on June 1, 2009. It is totally untruthful to state that I was not. The effort by the CEO to cover up this deed offends any sense of fairness and I do not wish to be party to that deception. It was a palace coup clear and simple by those who wish to seize immediate power.
I founded the various organizations of the Center for Inquiry (CFI), including CSICOP (now the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry or CSI) and the Council for Secular Humanism (CSH) and I labored tirelessly for years. And I served without any compensation whatsoever for over 33 years, devoting my life blood to these organizations and the high ideals that they represent. The broad goals of CFI are to defend the scientific outlook and critical thinking in the public at large and to develop secular ethical humanist values as alternatives to religion. There are now 40 Centers and Communities world wide. We are the largest secular humanist and scientific rationalist organization of its kind in North America.
The Board of Directors removed me as Chairman (I am “Chairman Emeritus”) and stripped me of any authority or responsibility to see that the Center for Inquiry continues to grow during the current economic crisis. I had agreed to a succession plan, but it was supposed to be a gradual process. I am concerned that the direction CFI will be changed.
I should further state that at one point, the Board majority notified me that if I did not agree with my ouster that they would eject me from my office from our world headquarters in Amherst, New York, a building that I designed and raised the funds to build. It is across the street from the State University of New York at Buffalo campus, where I served for many years as Professor of Philosophy.
I have agreed to remain on the Board for now–though I feel completely demoralized by the power grab–after a degrading Inquisition conducted by the Board a year ago and my final Expulsion from an organization, which I love dearly, and whose future survival I fear is now endangered.
I've been a CFI member for two years, and I have not renewed my membership yet. I wasn't aware of this conflict before, but I have to wonder if it has affected some of the bizarre choices for Free Inquiry submissions of late: (Tibor Machan's one page ramble on free will in the latest issue, for example).
I have to agree that especially considering Paul Kurtz's age, and the fact that he has been the guiding force from the beginning of this organization, it's shameful for a group calling itself "humanist" to just kick him to the curb like this week's garbage! Humanists that don't live by their principles are no better than religionists that don't practice what they preach!