Yeah, I bet the whole CFI incident would not really appear that different to a Martian anthropologist from what goes on in some monkey tribe.
“Homo” yes, but “sapiens”...?
Nor what happens in many organizations, religious, non-religious and particularly famuly founded business organizations, when the founders see them as a personal accomplishment rather than as a public organization with intentions of ongoing influence and activity.
LETTER OF GRATITUDE TO DR. PAUL KURTZ AND SUPPORT FOR CURRENT CFI BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND MANAGEMENT
This letter was drafted and signed by Center for Inquiry (CFI) staff and local advisory board members completely independent of CFI management and Board of Directors.
We, the undersigned CFI staff and local advisory board members, wish to express our profound gratitude to Paul Kurtz for his many decades of service to the causes of secular humanism and skepticism. Through his tireless efforts, Dr. Kurtz has been an inspiration for the entire secular and skeptic community. We thank Dr. Kurtz for founding and leading the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Center for Inquiry, all organizations that we look forward to continuing to serve. Without a doubt, Dr. Kurtz will forever be known as the Father of Secular Humanism.
We would also like to take this opportunity to voice our support for the CFI Board of Directors and management. In the past two years, under the sound guidance of CEO Ronald Lindsay, they have successfully demonstrated both the desire and the ability to advance Paul Kurtz’s vision well into the twenty-first century. More than ever, we are confident that CFI will continue to prosper and grow while maintaining its founder’s dedication to fostering a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.
Let me be the first to call for Mr Lindsay’s resignation.
In little more than two years, he has driven the organization deeply into debt, reduced both the prestige and intellectual capital of a once-serious contender to be the best humanist and secularist organization in the world, tried to use the CFI “pulpit” for his own narrow range of interests, basically First Amendment issues–and at some point in the near future will probably sell the whole kit and caboodle to a more stable organization, like Americans United. He will then wash his hands of the whole matter having mergered what he could not accomplish.
I don’t think Hoffmann’s view is totally unbiased, and there may be an axe to grind there. Nor is his characterization entirely fair. Ron Lindsay inherited a bloated, overextended organization and had basically an impossible task as a recession hit all charitable giving. Now, with apparent sniping from disgruntled former employees, and bitter public critiques from its former chairman, no doubt donations will continue to fall. If people cared more about the institution and its ideals, they would work to guide and support the organization, develop greater dialogue and constructive criticism within and surrounding it, and worry less about their egos and legacies. It’s sad to see this come down to this sort of internal warfare and airing of dirty laundry.
A logical question is that if mankind is the product of a genetic crossbreeding, is there any reason why the average human cannot attain a greater portion of the powers and longevity of one of his parent stocks, i.e. evolve to the next step: Homo sapiens sapiens sapiens?
Off hand, I can’t think of a single reason why not.
... If people cared more about the institution and its ideals, they would work to guide and support the organization, develop greater dialogue and constructive criticism within and surrounding it, and worry less about their egos and legacies. It’s sad to see this come down to this sort of internal warfare and airing of dirty laundry.
I agree that it is sad, but why did the “institution and its ideals” need to change (did they change?).
An interview with Paul revealing his side of things is found HERE.
Edit to add: That link also includes a link to Lindsay’s response so you can hear both sides directly from the sources. Toward the end of the text at that link, the changes in the tactics of CFI are given by Lindsay.