Monday, July 23, 2012

You have lost your way, JREF

I love Randi and what he’s achieved, but it’s been clear for a while that I can no longer support JREF.  The decision hurts me more than it hurts JREF, of course, I’ve donated not much more than a hundred or two dollars or so a year, although I’ve done so for 15 years or so now, I guess. They won’t miss me, but I will miss them.

Much has gone wrong with that organisation recently. I’ve had personal disappointments that I won’t go too far into (but see later) and there have been more important public failures which we all know about.

Sadly, the organisation has fallen into the hands of the politically motivated.  I supported that move when it happened. I was excited by it. I thought JREF would grow as a result. But we ended up with presidents like Phil Plait who didn’t really seem to do anything at all and then DJ Grothe who has squandered away much of the goodwill built over the decades.

The JREF was a lot better when it was just Randi with his million dollars and I don’t think it has survived the transition to whatever it thinks it is now. Super sorry for supporting that transition.

I’ve been told off a few times (by the author and the editor) on the Swift blog for politely disagreeing with the author in the comments. A few days before one of those incidents, three regular commenters disagreed with one of my comments and spent a lot of time attacking me personally.  I don’t mind being attacked, but it was amazing that those people who made horrible, unwarranted personal remarks weren’t disciplined at all, but I, who only argued politely with the author of a later post was told to shut up. I complained about those attacks, by the way.  The JREF editor told me that the people shouldn’t have written those things.  Thanks, that helped a whole lot.

The JREF has lost its way. It has employed entirely the wrong people and embraced the wrong things. It will never get another penny from me. 

I never thought I’d say that.

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