Nostalgia time. Let’s look back at the first blushing days of the new Global Secular Council, later to be the Secular Policy Institute – by which I mean, let’s look back at what I had to say about it starting in May 2014.
In Global shmobal, for instance, the first whisper of its arrival.
Oops. There’s a thing called the “Global Secular Council.”
First? It’s not so global. They’re nearly all American or Ukanian, and the whole thing is clearly Anglophone.
Last? Its team of experts – 23 of them. Five women. Five.
Look at the glam picture at the top of the front page – what do you see? Four men and three women – not parity, not more women than men, but close to parity. Funny how the conspicuous glam photo on the front page looks as if there are almost as many women as men when in fact, there are not.
That’s not all you see, but I won’t go into that.
They’re adding stuff, the Top of Their Field geniuses at The Global Secular Council. We get to watch them add stuff.
They’ve added a page for something called The Bella & Stella Foundation, which has a link at the bottom of the Team page. It’s some sweet whimsy-whamsy so that we’ll know they don’t take themselves too seriously. (Right, because a few US/UK white guys declaring themselves a Global Council has no trace of taking themselves too seriously.)
These two furry heathens do not suffer fools lightly, as they are both staunch proponents of the separation of church and state. When lounging in direct sunlight, they have a propensity for summoning the unwitting to their soft stomachs. A simple enough gambit, they let others pet them for the perfectly calculated amount of time, before the naïve are swatted at with more speed than a Hitchens one-liner.
Both have advanced degrees in the theory and practice of self-cleansing, and follow in the pursuit of each other’s genius toin cat-naptology.
Isn’t that just adorable? Doesn’t it make you forget all about wondering what the hell this handful of white mostly-males from the US/UK has to do with anything global? Aren’t Bella and Stella just a perfectly fine substitute for people with some actual global reach and experience? Why wonder where Taslima Nasreen and Maryam Namazie and Gita Sahgal and Pragna Patel are when you can have Bella and Stella?
We understand about the cats now. It’s Lloyd Rubin. Who? Stephanie pulled it all together a couple of months ago:
It took Edwina Rogers being fired by the Secular Coalition for the money behind Bella and Stella to come forward.
“I can be a good and generous friend, or I can be a very effective adversary,” wrote one major donor, Lloyd S. Rubin, in an email to board members and the heads of member organizations last week.
One day in the mid-1980s, Rubin, a portly American in his 50s, steps off a plane. In no time, he is ensconced in opulent offices, complete with an imitation jungle brook. He proceeds to filch millions from visiting countrymen, despite repeated complaints to the U.S. embassy. He tools around in a wine-colored Jaguar. Even after Noriega falls, Rubin continues to con with impunity. He seems untouchable…but is he?
In June, 1991, Rubin travels to Thailand with his new Panamanian wife, Rachell Constante. They drive to a dusty village, where Lloyd is admitted to a drug rehabilitation center run by Buddhist monks. Constante returns to Panama alone. Some weeks later, a New York judge hearing a fraud case against Rubin gets a Thai death certificate in the mail. It states that Rubin died on July 26 at the rehab center and was cremated. As translated, the cause of death is listed as “complication disease, unhealthy.” He was 60.
Rubin is back in Panama now, having failed to convince anyone that he died. He’s done his time in prison and is now funding secular start-ups.
Classy, classy stuff.