Friday, June 22, 2007

Into the valley of the dulls

Elizabeth McKenzie,

Dear Ms McKenzie,

I intend to exercise my rights under Clause 6b* of the NZARH
Constitution, to appeal against my expulsion from the NZARH, at the
AGM on Sunday 24th June.

Please let me know what time I should arrive.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Litterick

* "Any member suspended or expelled shall have the right of appeal to a General Meeting of members and a majority decision of two-thirds of the members present shall be final."

Dear Mr Litterick,

We note that you have been trespassed from Rationalist House.

We do however acknowledge that you may put your case to the membership. We believe that they will support our decision.

We are therefore willing to allow you onto the premises solely for the purpose of appealing your expulsion, provided that you agree to behave in a civil manner, not raise your voice, and comply with the directions of the Chair both with respect to speaking rights, and with any request to leave.

We suggest that your appeal could be heard at 2:45pm, by which time we would expect the majority of business to be concluded. We suggest that you arrive then.

Following the meeting we give you notice that the trespass notice remains.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth McKenzie
President, NZARH

Dear Ms McKenzie,

I am of course aware of the trespass order, which you obtained without any justification, other than a malicious and untruthful allegation by Malcolm English.

I intend to make my case to the membership, as is my right under the NZARH Constitution, and answer any questions that members might ask. I expect to be given the opportunity to do so.

I resent your suggestion that I might behave in an uncivil manner or that I would not comply with the directions of the Chair.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Litterick


harvestbird said...

Dude, does something, like, really bad happen when you raise your voice? Are you particularly fearsome at increased decibels?

I await the next instalment with interest.

Anonymous said...

Paul, Having read your detailing of your problems with Dr Cooke and academia I must say I do find your attitude to be rather extreme and over censorious. it is obvious that he used spurious connections to puff himself up, but is that a crime? no. It is evidence of a sad, insecure personality. I think the proper thing for you to have done with the information was perhaps to put it into the public domain and leave it at that. Make no demands on the basis of it etc, just fling it and see if anyone else cares.

It may well be that the membership is well aware that the man is problematic, but he also seems to be energetic. The reality in all such organisations is that energetic people rise because the bulk of the membership does not wish to put in that sort of energy. The peccadiloes of such people can be large and manifest, but that is not in and of itself reason bring them down unless a credible and equally energetic alternative candidate comes forward.

Since Dr Cooke's sad exaggerations are not actually germane to the operation of NARH your campaign can then easily be seen as irrelevant and vexatious, despite the veracity of the facts.

So I would advise you to be contrite. Admit you may have gone too far. Ask politely and humbly for readmission with all necessary promises of good behaviour. For one thing, you can do no good from outside. So do whatever is required to get back inside and bide your time. Anything else, any sign of beligerence or defiance and you will give them ample reason to exclude you.

Peter in Jute City

Paul said...

Harvestbird - apparently so; I have an agreement with the Defence Department that, in the event of invasion, I will shout at the enemy.

Paul said...

Peter, I appreciate you thoughts. Perhaps Dr Cooke's behaviour is more to be pitied than condemned. However, it is germane to the operation of the NZARH. I posted the results of my research on his academic credentials to illustrate the power he has over the NZARH. It is now over a year since I first showed the NZARH Council a letter from the head of the Philosophy department at Buffalo, saying that he had never been an Assistant Professor there. Despite this, and a second letter from the same source, the NZARH still persist in this fiction.

From my own experience, I know that the NZARH Council are terrified of Dr Cooke. They fear that he will split the Association if he is angered. My own troubles started after I reported to the Council some misdemeanours on his part: I found he was using the NZARH journal for his own benefit and that he had lied to the Council in an attempt to cover up a major blunder. The Council did nothing to censure him. He then made a complaint about my behaviour towards him. When the Council failed to do his bidding and punish me, he resigned from the Council and his editorial position. The Council persuaded him to withdraw his resignation by sending me a letter criticising my behaviour and threatening my job if I persisted.

From then on, it was downhill all the way for me. I found my job being reorganised for me, against my will and quite unlawfully; they wanted me to do administrative work. Months later, then NZARH President Judith de Leeuwe told me (at the last meeting between the NZARH and my lawyer) that this was done because "Bill Cooke wanted to be Spokesman."

Then the Council, also at Bill Cooke's instigation, tried to force me out of the accommodation they had provided as part of my remuneration, again quite unlawfully. I had to take them first to mediation (which they refused to take seriously) and then to the Tenancy Tribunal. I won. Still, I had to go.

Energetic Bill Cooke certainly is. He put a lot of effort into having me removed and ensuring his own position. The tragedy for the NZARH Council is that all his energies are for his own benefit. The NZARH Council know that his grip on the Association is strangling it. As current NZARH President Liz McKenzie used to say, "we will get no change until Bill Cooke's supporters have died off." Everyone knows that the journal he edits is tedious and unrepresentative of the Association. Hardly anyone agrees with the bizarre crypto-religion he presents as Humanism. Members resign from the Association because of it.

The NZARH has about 300 members, the majority aged over 60. Its membership has declined by 25 percent in the last ten years. It is not looking healthy. I tried to make it relevant and attractive to new members, with the Council's full support. I made it politically active and successful. I introduced new, young, bright, members to the NZARH. Bill Cooke did everything he could to stop me. I was that energetic candidate of whom you speak. That is why I had to be removed.

I could try contrition but it would make no difference. The Council are too complicit in this matter. They have too much to hide from the membership. I can only hope that enough members share my concerns.



Anonymous said...

Paul, have you given consideration to starting up a hipper, more active secularist group of your own, rather than wasting your talent and energies on the old fogies at NZARH?

In solidarity with you, I don't intend to support that organisation, given its relative conservatism on issues of church/state separation and freedom from religion, as instanced
by its incredible silence over the
anti-belting bill recently...

Craig Y.

Paul said...

Craig, you have me thinking about an idea a few of us had a while back to create just that - a hip, active group, based largely online and with a loose structure; perhaps something like MoveOn, tackling issues rather than bleating on about belief systems.

I will put something on this blog soon. And thanks for the solidarity - I appreciate it.


harvestbird said...

In all seriousness, Craig and Paul, I have been thinking the same thing: something literate, politicised, loose and online. Please keep me in the loop.

Paul said...

Literate, politicised, loose and online - you know me so well.

Consider yourself in the loop.

Apathy Jack said...

I reckon Olthwaite would belong to that - and the rest of Brain Stab would come aong, if there were donuts.

Remember the donuts.

stephen said...

I'll sign up, provided I don't have to eat doughnuts.

Paul said...

More doughnuts for Brain Stab then.

This could work. Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

If I were domiciled back home, I would most certainly wish to join such a group. So please, it would be a very good thing to come to.

In Jam City

Anonymous said...

How about @theist @ction?

Craig Y

Swimming said...

Craig, too fringy
sonds too much like a piss take of C@tholic @ction.

David Farrar said...

So how did the AGM go?

Anonymous said...

Have you considered adopting the Japanese approach to to IWC? Just ensure a bunch of people who will back you up join the NZARH. Bob's yer mother's brother & all that...

Names for an alternative? How about the Peoples' Rationalist Fron of NZ? That might already be taken - bastards!

Anonymous said...

Oh this is hilarious

Paul leaves NZARTH because he exposes how Cooke faked his academic credentials and then he considers forming a new group with Craig Young . Given the fact that Craig has falsely claimed to have a PhD on numerous occasions and hence is also a credential faker the irony in this is very amusing.

Perhaps Paul you can explain to me why you kicked up a fuss over Bill to faking his credentials. Kicked up a fuss over the Logan plagiarism and yet at the same time he thinks it’s ok to rely on the research of a proven academic fraud and would consider forming a new group with him ?

Look forward to your reply Paul.

Matthew Flannagan,

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in joining Paul.


Matthew R. X. Dentith said...

Mr. Ransome signals his interest. Using a foghorn.

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling said...

Foghorn? How archaic.