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I found the original thread about the Tulsa Atheist and ripping off Abbie
RayvenAlandria
Great news! I walked into the bedroom to lay down and my laptop was open...guess what page it was on? The original thread about the Tulsa Atheists and how Kenny ripped off Abbie! I was able to copy everyone's posts and save them! Woohoo! I will post them here and then copy what my last reply was when the site when down and we should be back where we were in the conversation, (unless someone else posted while I was typing my reply to Bob, which is highly possible.)


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Apparently the NYCA and the RRS are not the only Atheist cults. I am very sad to report that my local meetup group has become one too.

See the thread about the NYCA craziness if you don't know what I'm talking about...it was nuts, utterly nuts.

http://atheiststo...ead_id=160

I have had some concerns about one of our organizers for a while. I got into a heated debate a couple of months ago with him about the NYCA and things have been stressed since then. Besides the NYCA argument, he has been handling the group's money in a very unprofessional manner and I was worried we were going to have some problems dealing with him.

Problems is putting it mildly.

Please refer to this thread to see the beginnings of this situation. It was a thread about Hovind, but you know how we tend to meander, so it ended up being about my worries concerning the meetup group.

http://atheiststo...#post_3968

After the meetup this afternoon I emailed Abbie to make sure she made it home safely and she told me that Kenny had not given her one cent. She felt taken advantage of. Yes, she had originally told him not to take up a collection, but when he did so anyway she assumed he was planning to give her some money. He told the members that the collection bowl was a donation for her and that a little of it would also go towards *advertising expenses*. I am sure most members assumed most of it was to go to her and that's why they gave.

I could not believe he would do something that shitty after making such a huge spectacle of taking up a donation for her. He passed around a huge bowl and made it very clear that the majority of the funds were going to be given to Abbie, and then he gave her nothing. I was pissed, to say the least. Abbie is someone I consider a friend, even though today was the first time we'd actually gotten to meet in person. I've known her online for years and think very highly of her. It was my idea to bring her to speak to our group and then he ripped her off. I was furious and wanted an explanation. I will not stand by quietly while someone gets shafted, especially a friend.

I sent the following email to the group and posted it on the message board. (In true NYCA style he deleted the thread.) I will post the subsequent emails as well. There were a couple of private exchanges between Kimberly and myself but since those were not on the public list I won't post them. If she reads this and wants to post them I give my permission to do so. (Same with Abbie, if she decides to post what we talked about, that's okay with me also.)


I would like opinions from my friends. Do you think I went overboard? I don't, but I'm open to criticism. I was very angry at the time but I truly feel he deserved every word I said. He ripped off a wonderful person and then tried to bullshit his way out of it. He also misled the members by claiming the money was mostly for Abbie when he had no intention of giving it to her. After I confronted him, he freaked out, starting calling me names, and then removed me from the group. I suppose he really does consider it his group, he doesn't even ask other members if they want to ban people, he just does so himself.

IMO, the Tulsa Atheists have most definitely become and offshoot of the NYCA cult. (remember, he is a member of the NYCA and adores them). If the other members of Tulsa Atheists cannot see through his lies I will be sorely disappointed. His excuses for not giving Abbie any money are just lame, totally lame. He's going to run the group into the ground and it will become the butt of jokes, just like the NYCA cult is.

Anyhoo..here we go, on with the sad spectacle....

________________________________________________

On Sep 28, 2008, at 6:53 PM, Rayven wrote:

I want to discuss the financial situation in our group. I was not comfortable with the *pass the donation bowl* thing today so I paid Abbie twenty bucks directly. I want to know where my donations are going, so I plan on paying the speakers myself. I will not donate to a fund that none of us besides Kenny seem to know anything about. We need a financial committee and we need to know how much is collected and where the money is going. I wasn't planning to say anything about this subject but I just found out Abbie was not paid for her appearance today and I am now rather pissed off.

I sent an email to Abbie to make sure she made it home okay and asked her what Kenny paid her. She told me he did not give her any money. I want an explanation Kenny. Why did you not give Abbie any of the money that was collected?

Rayven

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Whoaaaa! Good for you, Rayven, and excellent point. Bob Hooper

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Good point Rayven,
Abbie had told me previously that she did not want any payment, and actually did not want the event to be charged for. I explained to her that her appearence at the meeting was also a fund raiser for the group to pay our bills, such as the advertisment's. However, I intended to ask Abbie again at the meeting if I could give her some money for her travel at least, but she was talking at length to other people and I did not want to take away their one on one time with her. Instead, I thought I would just email her a thank you note and ask her if I could send her some money in the form of a check.
One of the things I forgot to cover in todays meeting is the last bill I recieved from Cox communications. It was for $140. I have paid this bill with donations totalling $175 in checks cashed from members.
I agree that a group of you should volunteer you're time to oversee the movement of funds. Personaly, I understand you're concerns and will applaud the members willing to do this. I am happy to show anyone at anytime the bill's from Cox, and the cash collected from the group. As of this morning, I am holding $214 in cash, (yes it's the actuall cash handed to me by the membership) and counting the money collected at today's meeting of $77, we have $291 plus the $35 left over from the cashed checks for a total of $326. We also have on record at Cox Comm. a $200 deposit. This is in place to insure that the ad's that are placed do run in case I can't get a paper check to them before the scheduled first airing. Cox will not run ads until the ad is paid for in advance.
Now, having said this, I want everyone that get's this email to understand who I am, what I am, and what you can expect from me.
I am one of the designated leaders of the Tulsa Atheist Meetup. I am nothing without my reputation as a person who has led my entire life above board. If I own someone a dime, I will see to it that they have been paid and if someone loses something and I find it, you can expect me to go out of my way to see to it that they get it back.
If any one of you has a heightened level of histeria and just can't resist the need to create a witchhunt for you're own desperate need for attention, you really need to look somewhere else. I am working for the group for free (and that means no pay even from the donations) and spending ALL of my very little free time devoted to the Tulsa Atheist, and if my little free time does not allow me to email each of you every time I fart, then maybe that should tell you that I sure could use a helping hand in moving this group forward and handleing things like bookeeping, and other things. I welcome a group of not less than 4 volunteers (to make sure everything is ok with everyone) to actually step up to the plate and 'swing away' as they say at taking care of this. Truthfully, I am not comfortable at all handling the money anyway and would prefer someone with more time (again any voluteers?) to take this on.
Kenny

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Passive Aggressive bullshit doesn't work with me Kenny. Nice try though.

You handed Abbie a folded white piece of paper while we were standing around outside after the meetup. I assumed there was money inside of it so I left, thinking she'd been paid. If you truly wanted her to accept the money, you would have slipped some in there. I gave her twenty bucks before the meetup started. I made her take it. I felt she deserved to be paid and if you thought so too you would have made sure she was.

When you passed the donation bowl you stated that it was for Abbie and other things. By saying that you led Abbie and us to think she was going to receive some of it. You then never gave her any. You misled everyone. Talk all the shit you want, but facts are facts. If you really intended to pay her something you would have done so then.

You made our group look bad. Luckily I am friends with Abbie so she does not feel that the whole group ripped her off. What about the other speakers? Did you pay them the whole amount of money that was collected in thier names, or was part of those collections also kept for *other expenses*?

Rayven

BTW, hysterical witch hunts aren't hysterical witch hunts if there's really a witch.
___________________________________

The following is an email he supposedly sent Abbie. I have no idea why he sent it to our meetup group, but I'll post it here since it was part of the conversation thread. Abbie is most likely asleep at this hour so I won't IM her and ask if he actually sent her this. She and I have been talking this evening about the situation. I've sent her the emails so she'll have a head's up when he contacts her and tries to pretend he was going to pay her all along. Abbie is an amazing person and very sweet. He is a creep for screwing her over the way he did. He may be trying to justify what he did but anyone with half a brain can see he's completely full of shit.

_____________________________



Dear Abbie,
I wanted to personally thank you for you're talk with the Tulsa Atheist Meetup group. They where genuinely thrilled with you're appearance.
I wanted to take you out before you left but you're schedule didn't allow me to take you to dinner as I had offered to you last summer when you told me you did not want any payment for you're appearance at our group. I also wanted to offer to you at least some money for you're gas. I know you recently incurred some veterinary bills and maybe you should take at least some of the donations.
I would be happy to send you a check if you will give me an address.
Thanks again Abbie!
Kenny Nipp
Tulsa Atheist




____________________________________
From another member, Brad...



I wasn't at the meeting, so I do not feel that I have a valid right to argue the financial situation of the group.
However, I would like to point out ( just for future reference) that "you're" is short for "you are." I know, it's a small thing - but in a letter sent to a professional as representation of the group, it seems rather juvenile.

I apologize if I am offending anyone here - it is not my intention. Still, when a group such as this wants and demands respect from the community, it is important to be presented in the most educated and literate manner possible.



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Hmm,
Well Rayven, you didn't see me give Abbie anything. I guess once again your imagination is working overtime.
I told everyone that the donations where for Abbie and the proceeds are for the Tulsa Atheist. If Abbie Chooses not to take any money that is her business. And no, I didn't 'make our group look bad'. Abbie and I have exchange email regarding her upcoming appearance at our group and she said in several emails that she didn't want the money. And as I have stated here, I did send Abbie another note expressing my thanks and to offer (yet again) to pay her.
Rayven, your hysteria is ridiculous. and truly not wanted. I see now why you've been tossed off of various group sites and frankly, your going to add one more.

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I haven't asked Abbie about the white folded paper I saw, I thought he handed it to her but perhaps he was just tapping her on the hand. It's not really relevant though. He's trying to misdirect the conversation because he can't answer for why he didn't offer her money. He cannot justify his actions so he's trying to distract with meaningless details.


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I sent the following but he had apparently removed me from the group. I don't think the other members ever received this message. Okay, I admit I was royally pissed at this point and went on a bit of a tangent. I still think he deserved it though. He was lying through his teeth and I knew it. Liars piss me off to no end.


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Keep hanging yourself. It's almost amusing to watch, in a morbid sort of way. You are ever so professional, you must make the members proud.

I suppose your speaking of the place I met Abbie, when you speak of the sites I was tossed off of. Yes, I was banned for arguing with some pedophiles who had crashed an Atheist fora and were spreading NAMBLA propaganda. I refused to apologize to one who insisted that children like to have sex with adults. Evil me, I am such a bitch. I was banned. (BTW, Abbie quit that board because she was getting edited left and right by the power crazed mods.)

Goodbye All,

Rayven

____________________________________________

I sent this farewell to the members whose emails I had. I suppose the rest will never even know why my family and I vanished. Since Kenny deleted my post on the board they will never know he ripped Abbie off and I confronted him and ended up getting banned.

Evil me. I go to bat for people I like. I wear my bitch hat proudly.


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Kenny is a dictator. Your group is headed down the same path
the NYCA took. It has become a cult and dissent is not
tolerated. He removed me from the group so of course I will no
longer be attending. Perhaps now would be a good time for the
group to decide what kind of person you want representing you.

Goodbye to all and good luck,

Rayven

I received the following...



___________________________________________
You have been removed from The Tulsa Atheists Meetup Group.

The person who removed you, Kenny Nipp, said:
------------------------------
----------------------------------
Your ridiculous accusations are unwarranted and like yourself, unneeded. You're a delusional, sad person who seems to want to start a war with everything you are involved with. I see now why you've been thrown out of a laundry list of groups and sites.
DO NOT ATTEMPT to attend another Tulsa Atheist meeting. If you
do I WILL have you arrested for trespassing. This email will
serve as your legal notice of warning. Any attempt to attend
another Tulsa Atheist meeting will result in police
intervention.
The Tulsa Atheist meetup was fine before you came and will be better now that you are gone.
Kenny Nipp
Tulsa Atheist meetup Assistant Organizer.

The Assistant Organizer has just removed you from the group.
______________________________________________



Laundry list of places I've been banned from? Ummm yeah, there was one. I told him about it one night at dinner. It's the fora I spoke of earlier. I and probably 500 other people have been banned from there. It's become a bonding thing nowadays. You meet someone who was banned from iidb and go "Really? Me too!" and have a good laugh.

He's going to call the cops on me if I show up at a meetup? Tad bit paranoid are we? And he calls me hysterical? Jeez, Go take your meds Dude.

I am afraid to join any more organized groups at this point. I am utterly freaked out that some Atheist groups are turning into cults. What is going on? I thought only religious zealots were supposed to be this crazy and behave like dictators.

I am just going to socialize with my buds here at Atheists Today from now on. I am skeered of other places. I'm going to hide over here with the nice people ;

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That was the original post,now I will copy in the thread replies that were lost when GoDaddy *accidentally* deleted our whole site.


________________________________________________________________

I knew when I had that coffee I was going to be up all night. Yes, it's 4:30 am and I have more to say. ;moon;

I would like to mention that Kenny's excuses make no sense. I don't believe he had any intention of trying to pay Abbie. Innocent people do not freak out the way he did. I was demanding an explanation, yes, but my original email was not out of line. It was rather bizarre to react the way he did to it. If there were truly a misunderstanding a rational person would have felt remorse and tried to fix the situation, they would not have gone off on a tangent and accused people of being on an "hysterical witch hunt".

If anyone finds themselves believing his BS, ask yourself if you would have made a huge spectacle of collecting money for a speaker and then allowed that person to leave without so much as saying a word about the money. I don't see how any rational person would do something like that. IMO, he's lying through his teeth. Even if by some bizarre stretch of the imagination he's telling the truth and he was going to ask to mail her a check....how is it appropriate to ask a young woman what her home address is? That raises red flags as well. Any way you look at the situation he was an asshole and he is not someone who should be representing an Atheist group. (or any group for that matter).

Rayven
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So darned Christian, ain't it. Neil

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Skeeve

Shades of NYCA...

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Bob of QF

*sigh*

Personally, I think BOTH sides went way, way over the top, and let it get so far blown out of the water as to be embarrassing to all parties concerned.

The minute harsh words were exchanged should have put the brakes on, for a cooling-down.

Strong egos (on both sides) got in the way of civil discussion, and then "can't take back" words are exchanged and .... well, the results is not useful to anyone on any side. Just a mess for someone else to clean up--if that even happens.

If issues were as important as the e-mail trail appears, it SHOULD have been brought up in the meeting, in person, in front of EVERYONE.

Otherwise, starting with private e-mail first might have been a bit more diplomatic, but who knows if that would've helped.

I don't have a axe to grind for either side: I saw assumptions and presumptive statements on both sides from the very start.

If you START OUT with extremely negative assumptions about a person, you often get rewarded with them fulfilling those assumptions as result. At least, this has been my experience in the past.

On the other hand, giving someone a place to stand from the outset, often gives room for simple misunderstandings to be cleared up, and opportunities for better solutions to the basic issues as well.

But, eggs all over the floor-- no matter what is said, now there's a mess that cannot be put back into the eggshells no matter the good intentions (or lack) of anyone, anywhere.

Which is unfortunate, really.

*sigh*
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seeker

I think that things like this are always best approached as a group. As long as you are acting alone its relatively easy to paint you as a troublemaker and shunt you aside. You might have considered getting a few allies and approaching the situation as a group.

I don't think you were off base but by keeping the interaction just between you and Kenny it allowed him to paint your concerns as 'radical' or 'out of line' before you could really make your case to anyone else.

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Theory_Execution

I think a group trips up at the very moment you assign a treasurer and event organiser title to the same person. This is a no no for any group, team or business. One person holds the money, another figures out what to organise, how much it costs and then approaches the treasurer for money infront of the whole group.

AGM or MGM or WGM are the places that funding should be sorted out. A collection should have been done in advance, money secured in a held account until after the meeting (so refunds could be made if it failed) and then noone has to worry about money.


Now I dont know this guy, but when you meet a question as he did, with accusations of insanity, preoccupation with hating, or some such thing, on a public forum, he is hiding something.

Now to you RA you should not have mentioned what you gave to your friend, the 20$, it didnt need to be said. Other than that you were ok.


Start your own group RA.
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Rathpig

Well it seems drama brings me back around to say hello,

As a complete outsider, who was also banned from IIDB for speaking my mind, let me ask a few questions:

1). Was Ravyen excommunicated from the Tulsa group by vote or is this a unilateral action by one person?

2). If meetings are held in a public venue and no court order exists, how can one citizen threaten other citizen with arrest? (This is hilarious)

3). Someone needs to address the fact that a group representative collected money for a quest speaker who had stated clearly that she didn't want a stipend. That is bait and switch at the very least.



Now for the more "meta" aspect of this event: there seems to be a trend lately where atheism attracts the same passive-aggressive form of self-appointed and quick to claim martyrdom leaders as does a church. In the several cases I have examined, most of these "leaders" come directly, even if after several years of inactivity, from similar positions in a church. Atheism literally becomes the new religion.

Because atheist groups are often even more passive than a traditional church, the membership is often hesitant to say anything least they upset someone "working" in the interests of the "cause". I think it is time to rethink the entire concept of having a "cause" and needing groups founded around "a-" theism because this defines everything that is done in the context of religion whether people realize it or not. Even "passing the plate" for the "cause" smacks soundly of the reaction of a life-long church member.

I may be approaching this from a somewhat unique perspective because I have not had similar church experiences, but in every secular situation where I've participated in an informal collection of funds, the person doing the collecting was held to their exact word as to distribution. That seems to be the problem here.

Someone was allowed to collect funds for "THE SPEAKER, and stuff" and now they are saying that "and stuff" was the real reason because "the speaker" had already disclaimed a stipend. Well that is simply bullshit. Completely removed from the personalities involved and completely removed from "I didn't get a chance to talk", the burden was on the money holder at the time the money was collected.

Tulsa Atheists better address this problem.

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seeker

Rathpig - Unfortunately my experience is that people who want to be in charge usually have agendas. Religion usually isn't a consideration when it comes to greed or a desire for control.

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Hypatia

Many good points have been brought up here, i.e. Seeker, T_E, Rathpig, Bob.

As soon as Rayven brought to Kevin's attention the fact that he told the membership a collection was being taken to pay a speaker (in this case Abbie), regardless of what she previously said about wanting to be paid, and any other member agreed with Rayven questioning this, a meeting of members should have been held to discuss the issue.

At the moment Kenny passed around a donation bowl and announced to the group that he was collecting money to pay the speaker - Abbie - and as a fund raiser to pay the groups bills, the intent was to pay Abbie 'some' money, regardless of what she'd said previously about not wanting any money. But because Abbie wasn't actually given any money, that in fact then made this a valid issue.

Also, for Kenny to remove Rayven from the membership without holding a meeting and putting up for member vote is completely unacceptable. What has happened with Rayven with any other group has nothing to do with it and is no excuse for removing her from the Tulsa Atheist group in the manner he did. Member vote is the only acceptable way to handle removing someone from membership, and something tells me he must know the membership wouldn't have voted Rayven out so he took it upon himself to be judge and jury.

IMO, the membership should take a vote on outing him from the group for the way he's chosen to handle things - and not in their best interest. At the very least they'd better be watching their own backs very carefully.

No office holder in an organization should hold two positions - that's asking for trouble.

Like I've said before - people are people are people. There are greedy, power hungry asses anywhere. We have to be leery and on the watch for them, and be willing to speak up, like Rayven has, when things don't smell or look right. Even if they haven't been exposed yet, they aren't to be feared. Stand up to them.

I understand what Rathpig is saying about atheist groups often being passive, passing the plate for 'the cause' and atheism becoming 'the new religion'. I also understand the reasons for these groups existence. I'm all for them. Sometimes they need to be overhauled and cleaned up, some asses kicked and straightened up and the chance to let everyone be heard and cast votes.

Rayven, I agree with T_E - you could start your own group, through Meetup.com, or whatever. You have enough experience and plenty of hutspah.

*Edit - another thing, this business about deleting threads and posts is a downright dishonest practice, no matter the 'excuse' for it. My guess is it's been done for reasons in addition to the deleter not liking/agreeing with the posts.

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RayvenAlandria

Bob, I did handle this publicly. I sent out an email to the entire group, I also posted a thread so we could discuss it. Kenny deleted the thread. No one else addressed the issue or asked Kenny for an explanation in the email thread. You got the email, why didn't you jump into to the discussion? If you agree it needed to be discussed by the group, where were you? Are you discussing it with him now?

Every dollar that went into that bowl and did not go to Abbie was one of our dollars, every person there had a right to know what happened, that is the very reason I asked to handle it in the public eye. I do not believe in handling things like this in private. I believe in open and honest communication, even when that communication gets heated. It needed to be dealt with as a group. So where is the group demanding to know what's being done with their money? Where is the group's displeasure at Abbie feeling screwed over. You liked Abbie, I could tell, why are you not upset that she now feels used and violated? Is this how you want speakers to feel when they leave our meetups? I was outraged when I found out. Where is your outrage?

I wasn't going to wait and entire month to discuss this in person when Abbie was feeling shafted and used, right now. My question needed to be answered immediately. Email and the message board were my only options to make this public.

Bob, put your loyalty aside and reread the discussion. How can you possibly support a leader who behaves the way Kenny does? My first email asked him why he didn't pay Abbie, that's it. No accusations, no name calling, nothing. Just a demand for an explanation. His response to being questioned was way over the top and rather bizarre. When outsiders look in at the TA, is this the kind of person you really want them to see? I know he's charming on the surface but look deeper. Look at the way he handles conflict. One thing to remember here, I am not your leader. I can get away with being unprofessional a bit more than someone who represents a group can. Try to keep in mind that he represents the entire group. I represent only me. If I were representing a group, I'd be much more professional than I was here.

He took up money in Abbie's name. You were there. You know it happened. He never gave her any or even bothered to discuss it with her. This is fraud. It is a crime.

You're now part of a group that condones fraud. Is that okay with you?

Speaking of fraud, he also embellished her credentials even though she asked him more than once to stop. She even sent him a bio to put on the website and asked him to change the description he had on the website. He didn't do it. When he introduced her, again he embellished. She's upset about that issue as well. Abbie is incredibly ethical, she feels strongly about being honest when presenting someone's credentials. It's an important issue for her.

Is it being discussed with Kenny? Are you making sure that he doesn't stretch the truth when he advertises a speaker?

Taking up money in Abbie's name under fraudulent pretenses and embellishing her credentials puts her reputation at stake. There's more going on here than a little *oops*. Things like this can derail a person's career. This is a very serious issue.

Have you questioned Kenny about the situation?

No one ever seems to question Kenny. Herein lies the problem.

This situation should have the group up in arms demanding answers. Does it? Has anyone confronted Kenny and asked if he paid the other speakers we've had, or if he kept some of that money? Did you even notice that he did not answer me when I asked him that? Has anyone demanded to know why he took up a collection in Abbie's name and then never gave her a dime? Do you honestly buy his lame excuses? If you do, it scares me. I have the feeling most of the TA members will though, it's easier for people to swallow sweet poison than to swallow bitter medicine.

The TA is an incredibly passive group. They let Kenny do things any way he chooses to. That would be fine if he were doing things in an ethical and legal manner, but he's not.

Why am I the only member who stands up and says "Whoa, wait a minute, this ain't cool." ??

There is another issue you need to confront Kenny about. I found out from Abbie that Kenny tried more than once to get her home address. It made her VERY uncomfortable.

Do you think it's appropriate for your leader to be trying to score young womens' addresses? That's a whole 'nother issue you guys need to be discussing. Is anyone discussing that?

I thought not.

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RayvenAlandria

Another issue you might want to discuss with the group Bob.

Are you okay with the TA being Kenny's Kingdom?

He banned a user without asking a single other person whether they wanted her banned. If you go look at Dan's blog, even Dan didn't seem to know I had been removed from the group.

I was planning to quit, but Kenny had no way of knowing that. Kenny does not pay our meetup fees, Hell not even Dan pays the fees. We members pay the fees. (I paid twenty bucks towards the meetup fees last month, so I am stockholder of sorts, so is every other member who paid those fees) We, as a collective *own* the group and yet no one else is even asked whether they want another member banned.

That is a dictatorship.

A dictatorship may be okay with some members. Some people have no problem with a situation like that. I sure do, but I am no longer a member so my opinion is no longer relevant.

How about you? Are you okay with a dictatorship?

If you are, carry on. If you're not, you might want to start a discussion.

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Hypatia

Obviously I've never met Kenny. Don't want to. He doesn't sound the least bit charming - and I sure the hell wouldn't accept a dinner invitation from him, without ever having met him (not him anyway, you can tell), and I certainly wouldn't give him my address. Ha!

He has to be cracked to think a woman would do either, especially the latter. Oy.

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Hypatia
I'm pretty sure there were other posts following this last one of mine. *

Or are you not finished reposting them all Rayven?

Edit - * Oh yeah, I know there were, 'cause one of them was mine.
Edited by Hypatia on 09/30/2008 02:11
 
RayvenAlandria

Bob of QF wrote:
Rayven, yes I sent Kenny an e-mail. I wanted to hear what he had to say-- but currently, he has declined to
respond.



I'm glad you emailed him. I hope he responds. I have the feeling he'll stick to his excuses and claim he was planning to offer her money and mail her a check. I don't believe him, but he'll probably stick to that story. Even if that were true, it's not appropriate behavior. He should have discussed the money with her before she left and he should not be asking young single women for their home addresses. It's creepy.

At present, several members, including myself, have called for a business meeting, to discuss the way things were handled, and several (myself included) feel things were handled pretty poorly.

Kimberly was the first to start that rolling, and wanted you to be invited to that meeting, since part of it would involve your unilateral dismissal.
Again, I seconded what she said in a group-email this time.



Yes, Kim is a very nice person. I like her a lot. I'm glad that at least a few people are unhappy about the situation and are asking questions. Warren is also pretty upset. He's emailed me privately and was shocked that Kenny banned me for these email exchanges. He thought maybe I'd threatened him or something, but I told him, "Nope, nothing but what you see in the emails, no threats, just a demand for an explanation and a few insults. It is kind of bizarre that Kenny threatened to call the cops on me. I'm not exactly physically intimidating.

Since I am no longer in the group I can't get any of the group emails but Kim did send me an email letting me know she's asked for a meeting to discuss the situation and that she is not pleased that Kenny bans people without input from others.


I'm not one of those people who thrives on this sort of conflict.



I think that's the way most members feel, which is why Kenny is never called to the carpet. When he starts pressuring people for money I can tell it bothers quite a few of the members but no one ever says anything. Most people don't like to start confrontations so they just sheepishly do as they are told.

To me, the proper response to Kenny's weird reply to your first email would have been to TAKE HIMUP ON HIS OFFER!



Things were all ready too far gone at that point. To be honest, I knew the day we had the fight about the NYCA that one of us would end up leaving. He not only supports their tactics but he's good friends with Bronstein and Jane. I'm sure my name has come up in conversation and as rathpig pointed out, Kenny has probably considered me a *problem* to get rid of since that day.

Not respond with insulting language, from the very first sentence-- that is where I think you went wrong, but that's just my opinion.



I agree I got angry, or rather, I started out angry and got more angry. Go back and read the exchanges, he accused me of being hysterical and of being on a witch hunt in his first response. In my first email I was just demanding an explanation, that's it. When he took the route he did, I knew it was over and quite frankly, I just wanted to give him a piece of my mind and let the other members know what kind of a dirtbag he was. I all ready knew the dude was going to ban me.
I wasn't trying to repair the situation at that point. We've been down that road, quite recently, so it was easy to recognize it. Jane did the same thing, panda and rathpig contacted her and were very professional and respectful. She accused panda of being a Vatican
child molester and claimed they were both theist spies and other crazy crap. Same shit, different unprofessional "atheist leader".. (Maybe they are clones.)

For it is clear from there, the discussion was over, and all that came after was just trading of insults, which got exactly nowhere, and egg all over everyone's face.

If Kenny was sincere about letting others' handle the money, jumping on his offer would have ended it right then and there.

If he was not sincere? He would've been exposed for what you _assume_ he really is.



Like I said, I knew I was going to get banned. I guess at that point I had a *might as well go out with a bang* attitude. He was acting just like Jane at the NYCA. I'm surprised he didn't call me a catholic pedophile. Instead he called me delusional and whatever other silliness he said and tried to claim I have been banned from a "laundry list" of sites. LOL. Hey, I'm proud of getting banned from iidb. I was in the right and I refused to back down. I'm a stubborn asshole that way. Kind of like now. When I am wrong, I usually see it and make amends. For instance, I offended some people at iidb because I said that most people into BDSM have emotional problems, now a bunch of people hate my guts for it. I apologized but they still hate me. At least
I tried though. I did realize I was being rude and I felt badly about it.

I did angry and go off on Kenny, I agree with you there. I also think he deserved it. Someone I care about was mistreated, plus I get offended when I see injustice and deception and I was angry that our members were being lied to and manipulated.

I do tend to go on a rampage when I feel someone is being picked on. I know that personality trait freaks some people out, but in all honesty, it's not one I want to change. I enjoy caring deeply about people. Yeah, it brings me more drama than I'd like, but I feel it's something I have to do. I don't have a choice in the matter. I am completely unable to turn a blind eye and walk away. The guilt would kill me faster than the drama would. I can survive drama, although I fucking hate it. I feel it's my responsibility to speak up when I see unethical stuff happening.
It's probably going to get me killed some day.

Would it be better if I could present my case in a less emotional manner? Yeah, probably. I am emotional, so it's not an easy task to tone it down. I can do so, and manage to do so in a professional setting, but in a setting such as this, I am just a member, not a "leader". I allow myself to let loose a bit more than I would if the positions were reversed.

So far, mostly all I've seen is _your_ side of things-- and I admit, you are a very sympathetic person, and your side is most compelling.



I don't expect people to take what I say on faith and I do not at all mind someone wanting to see all the evidence. I am that way as well. I think that's part of why I dislike Kenny's tactics. He collects money
and expects people to have faith in him. When they question him, he comes unglued. Even if a person is innocent, they should not mind being questioned, especially by a bunch of normally skeptical people.

It's a bit odd to expect a group of Atheists to have faith in you and follow blindly.


That being said, there are others in the group who appear to be quite upset with your summary ejection (including me) and I strongly suspect that something will happen as result.



I doubt I'd go back, it would feel too weird at this point, but I do hope the group has an uprising of sorts. Things are not healthy the way they are and I have been alarmed by a number of things. Aside from this drama I am also alarmed that one of the members (who seems to be Kenny's best buddy) volunteered to have a "debaptism ceremony" and is a certified "bishop" in an Atheist church. You have no idea what kind of warning bells that set off inside me. I thought at first he meant it as a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing, but I am not so sure anymore. The TA is starting to act so much like NYCA it is frightening. At the meeting before this one that same member suggested we draw up commandments and elect a Pope. (Which I assume would be his buddy Kenny) I consider that shit cult-like and it totally freaks me out. I really hope the TA don't go down that path. I don't understand why an Atheist organization would want to emulate religion. It's not logical to me.

It may be a complete melt-down of the budding group, which will be unfortunate--- I hope not, as in a short time, I've come quite fond of them (you, too-- even though I've not said previously).

Meanwhile, I would strongly suggest, for now, keeping
your own council at present.

That's just my advice-- take it or leave it.

Words once posted are not easily retracted.



Well, I really like you too. there are many members I really like. That's why I confronted Kenny instead of just walking away quietly. I wanted the group fixed, (although after his first response I could see that wasn't going to happen.) In my opinion it's currently in an unhealthy place. I hope y'all manage to fix it.

As for watching what I write. I know the laws of the Internet well enough to know what's legal to post. I can post the emails I posted because they are public property. I will make sure to watch what I write though, although I don't think I've crossed any lines so far.

I haven't said anything about Kenny that could get me sued. He on the other hand....
 
RayvenAlandria
Hypatia wrote:
I'm pretty sure there were other posts following this last one of mine. *

Or are you not finished reposting them all Rayven?

Edit - * Oh yeah, I know there were, 'cause one of them was mine.


Darn, I was worried there were more posts once I read through these. The one I was replying to wasn't here and I thought I remembered people posting some points that I didn't see in this batch. Crap. I was able to copy the page that was open on the laptop, but since the thread no longer actually existed, I could not go to any other page. Well, that sux. GoDaddy needs GoButtKicking.
Edited by RayvenAlandria on 09/30/2008 04:34
 
Bob of QF
Well, we got a group e-mail today from Kimberly.

From her tone, I wonder how much longer she will be a group member-- I would expect at the least to see less of her admin efforts.

Which will only enable a less diverse group. *bleah*

I may have to give up on TA, and look into the TH group instead, even though I'm not any sort of activist.

We shall see-- I'm planning on attending the movie thing on Friday.

I may even investigate some of the UU churches around here-- but again, I'm not activist and most churches seem to push that.


Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
RayvenAlandria
You might to email Warren, Bob. He attends one the UU churches and seems to enjoy it. He is not an activist type either, which was part of why he wasn't comfortable in the TA. Warren said one of the UU churches was pretty religious, but the one he likes isn't. You might want to check them out. I may someday. For now I think I'll hide. I'm kind of freaked out and depressed that what I thought was a neat group of Atheists seems to be a cult. Not all of the members are cult-like of course, some are really awesome people, but if there is not outrage and mutiny over this situation then they have most definitely become a cult.

Their *leader* is unethical and dishonest. He lied and ripped off a speaker, then when confronted, he banned a member. They should be demanding he leave the group. If they don't, something is very wrong with them.

I could not stay in a group that allowed a leader to behave the way he has. Abbie is a wonderful person and she gave the best presentation we have ever had at this meetup...instead of rewarding her, Kenny used her name to collect donations and then didn't give her one dime. If he tries to claim otherwise, ask her. You know where she blogs. She feels used and she feels bad about him using her name to manipulate members into donating to the "Kenny Fund". What happened is an outrage and any group that has NOT become a cult would be demanding that the perpetrator leave.

If they don't, those of us who are ethical need to to leave. Well, I all ready have, but even if he hadn't of banned me, I'd be leaving.
 
catman
On the subject of UU churches, there is one within walking distance of my house which I occasionally attend that has a large atheist contingent in its membership. I told the pastor that I am an atheist and he said that was fine. He gave a 'sermon' on gay marriage a few weeks ago that was absolutely spot-on. The people are very friendly...I must say that I rather like it.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Doubting Thomas
I wish there was a UU church around here. I'd probably attend once in a while. At least saying that you're a Unitarian would go over much better with Christians than saying you're an atheist.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Rathpig
Hey guys, I think the Tulsa Meet Up group is confused about me.

Hasn't anyone informed these peeps that once the lulz get released into the sphere, we are going to show up and investigate the situation. Perhaps someone need to tell the guys that "internal issues" no longer exist once rantsnraves.org gets the info.

We have our mission, and even when we are seemingly inactive on an issue - we are still there waiting watching wondering wildly wintering wistfully. Tulsa Atheists just made the list and the attention can't be eradicated.


I also think they fail to understand the internets and this is lulz-worthy even in isolation.

Legion - we are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a lulzy day, so don't be niggling.
 
Hypatia
What's a 'lulz'?

 
Rathpig
Hypatia wrote:
What's a 'lulz'?



Even asking the question.
 
Hypatia
Rathpig wrote:
Hypatia wrote:
What's a 'lulz'?



Even asking the question.


What?

Somehow your sentence seems incomplete.

I hope you aren't telling me that if I don't already know what it means I shouldn't be asking.

That would be way too reminiscent of the religious folks answering back when I'd ask them 'why' and 'how come' - 'Because the bible says so. Don't ask so many questions.'

So, since you've used the term in your post and I don't know what it means, I'm asking you to explain it.

Thanks.
 
Skeeve
Lulz is a juvenile form of LOL. A condescending LOL actually, invented and used by a pretentious crowd of "anonymous" users.


"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Hypatia
Thanks Skeeve. I appreciate it.

Rathpig - was it too difficult for you to explain that? Thfffpt! Grow up.

 
Rathpig
Oh, I am so sorry. I assumed Goggle access was much more widespread than is obvious. Perhaps there will be an installation in your neighborhood in the near future. Frankly I blame deregulation of the financial sector and hope a bipartisan plan will be formulated in the near future.

Skeever stank-up the definition anyway. My reply was purist.




Is humor a lost art in this sector?



ETA: throwing in the Christian stuff was lulzy, so I am going to assume that you countertrolled. Touche' (Because if it wasn't a counter-troll and you're serious: LULZ)
Edited by Rathpig on 10/01/2008 20:10
 
RayvenAlandria
You need to see this. It is utterly insane. The lies are mind-boggling. Kenny claims I never spoke to Abbie about the emails she had with him, when in fact, I sent out PUBLIC emails because she instructed me to ask him to not take up a collection or to at least make it so that the fee was optional. I posted his private email to me in which he admitted the money wasn't all for her. He tried to talk with me about it privately and still keep the website the way it was, claiming that the fee was for Abbie. That made me uncomfortable so I posted his email and my response in a public email so everyone else would know what he was up to. Only then did he change the wording on the website. I'll go hunt up that email and post it here.


He claims that I didn't know about his emails with Abbie, that makes no sense when I was the one who told him Abbie wanted him to remove the mandatory fee. Does he really think the members will forget I sent that email? Maybe he does. I also spoke to her many other times before the talk, and after the talk. He's trying to claim that I went on a tirade for no reason. He's so full of shit.

He claims I attacked the NYCA because they allowed Rook to speak. That's absurd. I attacked JANE because she was abusing Panda and Rathpig. Everything I've said is public record. It's very, very easy to see what my focus was. Panda, Rathpid and others were annoyed at Jane for lying about Rook, I was annoyed at Jane for abusing people who contacted her to discuss the situation. His comment about how he "did damage control" with the NYCA proves he's been wanting to get rid of me since the day he and I had words about them. What's bizarre is that he claims I am the one who was out to get him. That makes no sense, I could have walked away from TA at any time, he only the other hand is an organizer who is deeply invested emotionally in his little kingdom, walking away is not an option for someone like that. The only option is to get rid of the *troublemaker* so you can regain control.

Everything I have said concerning TAM and the NYCA is public record . I have no idea how he thinks he will convince people that he's telling the truth. Then again, no one seems to be calling him on his lies, so apparently it will work. It depresses me that people can actually fall for such lies.

What depresses me even more is that I take a stand in defense of others and when I get attacked, called absurd names, and vilified, there's no one around to say a word in my defense. I thought some of the members of TA were my friends, now I am feeling abandoned. I am seriously rethinking life right now. I am thinking of becoming a hermit.

http://atheists.m...ad/5523186
 
Rathpig
I will defend you, you have my sword....
 
RayvenAlandria
Rathpig wrote:
I will defend you, you have my sword....


Awww, that made me cry. Seriously. I think I am feeling a bit battered and my emotions are raw right now. When I saw Kenny's rediculous post it floored me that he could lie to that extreme and to be honest, it kind of hurt my feelings that no one told him he was full of shit. Well Warren basically told him he was full of shit, but Warren is so kind and polite that I doubt Kenny even noticed he called him a liar.

Thanks Rathpig. I actually feel somewhat better now.
 
Hypatia
RATHPIG - I've left you a message in the Steel Cage.

 
Rathpig
Hypatia wrote:
RATHPIG - I've left you a message in the Steel Cage.



Please do yourself a favor and let this go. Challenging me is not a good thing for either one of us.

PM Ravyen, ask her. She knows enough about me to advise.
 
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