We, the undersigned, are sending the following statement to CEO Ronald
Lindsay and the Board of the Center for Inquiry. We do this out of a deep
concern for the present policies and future direction of the Center. If you agree with our proposal please sign the the petition which follows and send your response to the email reply address of this message:
PETITION TO RONALD LINDSAY AND THE BOARD OF CFI
We believe that all of you and all of us are genuinely interested in and concerned with the future of Humanism. We also believe that, as Humanists, we should be able to resolve difficult and divisive issues through negotiation and trust. Therefore we would like to present the following points for discussion:
It is clear from the history of the past two years, and even more
dramatically in the past few months, that we are critical of
the performance of the Mr. Lindsay and the Board of CFI, both at an
organizational level and a personal one. We understand
that both Mr. Lindsay and the Board have acted in the belief they were
doing their best in both regards but as you know from
email correspondence we disagree. It is also clear that the charges and
counter-charges are not in the best interest of the Humanist movement.
We could continue this struggle by communicating our views to the chapter members, donors and the press but realize that this can lead to a kind of internecine warfare which can be seriously detrimental to CFI and will only serve to compound an already difficult financial and organizational problems. We want to avoid that experience if at all possible.
It is in that tone and spirit that we recommend the following:
Historically, CFI has not had a process which would allow for elections
of Board members. We feel this is an opportune time to change the
organizational structure of CFI to a democratic one, one that would
reflect the will and vote of its supporters. We think that this change would greatly encourage present followers of CFI to become more involved and supportive of the organization. It would also signal to the Humanist world and beyond that we are truly a democratic organization.
Mr. Lindsay has, in what seems to be more of a concern for the future of
CFI than his own personal one, offered to resign at the end of the year
if certain fundraising conditions were met by Mr. Kurtz. This effort has apparently failed. However, given the divisiveness (rightly or wrongly) that Mr. Lindsays presence creates he might reconsider that offer and resign in the best interests of the organization. If he chooses not to do so then a new freely elected Board should make the choice for a CEO once it is installed. The Board and CEO can then make decisions on policy changes for the newly structured organization.
These are our recommendations. We hope you will consider them seriously. We can leave behind the unhappy events of the past two years and turn a fresh page in the future of CFI. It is time we put our disagreements, grievances and personal egos aside and put, as our highest priority, the future of CFI and Humanism
Please let us know of your response.
Stan Friedland, Phd.
R. J. Hoffman
Jonathan Kurtz, President, Prometheus Books
Professor Paul Kurtz, philosopher
Vincent Parr, Phd.
Toni Van Pelt