Thursday, October 28, 2010

Devil in the clubhouse

A few years ago, I was saddened to hear that one of my favorite singers, the Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, had apparently been fleeced financially by a female associate while he was playing around at being a Buddhist monk in a California retreat. [I say "apparently", and I refrain from quoting names, because there still seems to be some wrangling going on in this sordid domain.] For me, it's difficult to imagine that anyone would set out deliberately to injure, by betrayal, such a fine individual. But I guess I'm naive. Maybe Cohen, too.

I have similar sad feelings when I learn that the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is suing an employee named Josh Timonen for reasons that include fraud and embezzlement.

Click the photo to access a website that provides details on this affair.

The main reason I mention this unexpected matter is to explain why I decided to remove the red A (for atheism) banner from my blog. Apart from displaying that A banner, I've never had any contacts with the foundation or the people who appear to gravitate around Richard Dawkins. I'm in no way a member of the Dawkins "club". Personally, I would be far happier if my scientific hero were a more reserved and inconspicuous individual, avoiding the limelight. In my humble opinion, he should limit himself to what he's really good at: writing or maybe documentary movies. I can't understand why he wanted to start his foundation, create a website, get into public debates with idiots, etc. I have the impression that it's through this flamboyant worldly dimension of his existence that Dawkins has ended up getting screwed, apparently, by one of his closest friends: in fact, a highly-paid collaborator.

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