Thursday, 3 June 2010

Blood on the carpet at CFI

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Last year we published a piece by R Joseph Hoffman about the internal disputes over at the American Center for Inquiry. In the article Hoffman was very frank about his relationship with CFI founder Paul Kurtz, including being critical of aspects of Kurtz's leadership style, which led some people to criticise us for publishing an 'ad hominem' attack. I always thought we were justified in publishing because the piece was a well-written insider's account of the travails of running a humanist organisation (something close to my heart), especially revealing about what happens when objective commitments to other humans clash with ego.

Now news reaches us via Joe Hoffman, passing on the words of Paul Kurtz (which suggests that theirs was not an irrevocable falling out), of sackings and recriminations at CFI headquarters. We have received a public email from CFI explaining that they have a funding crisis, so perhaps these sackings were inevitable, but the manner in which they have been done certainly seems to warrant further investigation. I don't know the players personally (I met Joe and Paul Kurtz once) but I did admire Norm Allen's anthology of African American humanism, an especially important contribution to a movement which is often rather too white.

If anyone knows more about this let us know in the comments.

1 comments:

foolfodder said...

Some more info here: http://friendlyatheist.com/2010/06/02/cfi-budget-cuts-lead-to-a-number-of-firings/ , I believe (including the comments).