Something is rotten at the Center for Inquiry and inquiring minds want to know what happened why Paul Kurtz was removed from office. The Friendly Atheist has been following this issue closely over the past few days. First, he reported former CFI leader R. Joseph Hoffmann’s account, which Friendly Atheist described thusly:
He has a lot to say about how Kurtz has shaped the movement (he affected you whether you heard of him or not) and how his vision never quite came to fruition. There are also several strong barbs in there. It’s a compelling read, though I still haven’t figured out how much of it is accurate, how much is speculation, and how much is just sheer frustration at how Kurtz operated.
Then Friendly Atheist reported the account by current CEO of CFI, Dr. Ron Lindsay. And then finally Kurtz himself spoke out here and in this open letter to R. Joseph Hoffmann. And it seems, Kurtz ain’t too happy about what went down:
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.
And from the open letter to Hoffmann:
I am dismayed by Raymond Joseph Hoffmann’s uncharitable ad hominem attacks upon me. I had considered Joe a friend, and colleague, and I am deeply wounded by his scathing remarks about my personal integrity, scholarship, and my dedication to humanist ethical values — in theory as well as praxis.
It looks like things have gotten ugly already. We’ll just have to wait and see how this one plays out.