Friday, June 29, 2007

Creationist In-fighting

Inside the Creationist dispute

It's all detailed in a 40-page report by Clarrie Briese, a former chief state magistrate in Australia, and a member of CMI.

The report is a must read if you want a behind-the-scenes look at the foremost proponents of the idea that God created the universe from nothing in six days, 6,000 years ago.

Briese chaired a committee that CMI formed to investigate allegations that AIG had made. AIG didn't cooperate with the investigation.

After looking over about 700 pages of evidence, Briese found no wrongdoing by CMI, but lots on the part of AIG.

In his view, the dispute began in August 2004, when officers of both groups asked Answers to reorganize, in part to make the ministry less dependent on its founder, Ken Ham.

The reformers also wanted to address the problem of low staff morale at Answers.

According to Briese, in a letter to the Answers board, then-Answers COO Brandon Vallorani wrote, "Ken's track record with staff has been To Put It Mildly less than desirable. He is perceived to be harsh and unforgiving .... There is an unhealthy fear of Ken."

Until the reform attempt, the two ministries had excellent relations. They had common board members, they shared articles, they even shared the Answers in Genesis name and the same Web site.

But that all changed quickly.

AIG in America fired Vallorani, its second-in-command, and gave him a payout on condition of silence, according to Briese.

When Ham sees a threat to his dominant position in the worldwide creationism movement, he retaliates, Briese wrote, and that's what he proceeded to do to CMI.

I don't have a huge amount of personal experience with Ken Ham, but what first and secondhand experience I do have lines up with these accounts.

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