***Update***: Here’s a fact sheet released by CFI (PDF) regarding their financial situation and the lapsed donor in question.
***Update2***: You can read a response from one person with more knowledge of what happened here.
There’s been a lot of bitter back and forth between the Center for Inquiry and founder Paul Kurtz (who recently resigned).
This time, Kurtz is reacting to the unceremonious downsizing that is happening:
I arrived at the Center for Inquiry at shortly after 1:00PM today. Norman Allen (Director of International Programs and Director of African Americans for Humanism) was carrying a box of books to his car.
I said to Norm, “How are you, Norm” He replied, “I have just been fired by [CEO] Ron Lindsay!”
Neither Lindsay nor [executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism Tom] Flynn thanked Norm for his years of service. Norm was stunned. He recently returned from the most successful meeting that African Americans for Humanism ever had (in May in Washington, DC) and that they received world-wide news stories. Moreover, he was enthusiastic about the continued growth of humanism in Africa. There are now 72 groups in over 30 countries! Norm had visited them several times, and he had been in constant contact. Norm believes that the African American Humanist program–the only one of its kind in the North America– will suffer irreparable damage. Similarly for his significant role, not only in Africa, but world-wide, as Norm Allen heads up our international programs….
Four other people were fired today in a similar way: Toni Van Pelt, Henry Huber, Rick O’Keefe, and Matthew Sapara. Meanwhile, the Office of Public Policy in Washington, DC and CFI Florida in Tampa have been closed. The downward spiral of the Center for Inquiry continues under the regime of Ronald Lindsay.
Budget cuts have affected all the organizations in the atheist/Humanist world, but CFI acted on their woes in a rather callous way, it seems.
This is obviously only one side of the story. The firings don’t surprise me, because when your budget falls, people have to be let go. That’s how it goes. And it’s the leaders’ responsibility to figure out who stays and who doesn’t.
I’m more curious as to why it seems to have occurred in a way unbefitting a Humanist organization.
(via R. Joseph Hoffmann)