I am so disappointed

The lawsuits between Carl Wieland and Ken Ham have been settled out of court. In case you hadn’t been following it, both were originally members of the same creationist organization in Australia; Ham emigrated and set up the American branch; they drifted apart and for years have been sniping acrimoniously at each other. It’s been quite fun to watch, and I would have loved to see it move into a courtroom where all of Ham’s sleazy tactics would have had wriggle in the light of day. What little we’ve seen has been very ugly.

Creation Ministries had for years criticized Answers in Genesis on Web sites and in e-mails for its financial dealings and its approach to creationist teaching. Wieland also accused Ham and others of trying to take control of his organization, stealing mailing lists and spreading false and vicious rumors about him and his ex-wife.

“It is astonishing that respected leaders of Christian organizations would stoop so low as to resort to gutter tactics of the kind mentioned here to besmirch the character of Wieland,” wrote Clarrie Briese, who in 2007 led a commission of Australian religious leaders that investigated the dispute.

I have to disagree on one point: it isn’t astonishing at all.


  1. Goldenmane says

    Aww… poor widdle creationists.

    I’m disappointed too. The drama could have been so much fun, and I don’t watch soaps.

  2. JackC says

    I like the note their efforts to settle through a “Christian Mediator” … failed.

    Well Duh.


  3. One Eyed Jack says

    No, no surprising at all. Lying and cheating for Jebus is more like S.O.P.

  4. raven says

    Australians tell me that Ham was a hillbilly from their version of backwoods Dogpatch.

    Apparently his little toxic cult had a schism and accusations were traded back and forth that included charges of witchcraft and incest.

    Whether any of this is accurate, who knows? It certainly sounds plausible. Witchcraft in those circles are things like opening a real biology book and surfing real geology websites.

    He also IIRC, makes $140,000/year pushing snake oil in salary. Most likely at least that much in perks, bennies, and expenses. Executives have many clever ways of boosting their salary without it being taxable. Not saying all lunatic fringers are in it just for the money. But they don’t turn it down and some are.

  5. recovering catholic says

    OK you all–I see that PZ has a new feature here called “trackbacks”–what’s that?


  6. says

    I agree: not astonishing at all! There seems to be a trend that the louder and preachier that a “respected leader of a Christian organization” is, the more likely it is that he turns out to be either a liar, a thief, an adulterer, a blackmailer, or a closeted homosexual (I guess I could have just said “liar” and saved a whole bunch of words).

  7. LtStorm says

    Really, is a schism in a religious organization all that surprising?

    They need to go nail copies of their mission statements to each other’s doors.

  8. Outsider says

    Heh, this is soap opera material. Perhaps a miniseries is in order. It could air on the SciFi channels since it involves fantasy.

  9. says

    Damn! I’m disappointed, too!

    Ken Ham used the U.S. mailing list for Creation magazine (a Creation Ministries publication) to tell subscribers that Creation was being replaced by Answers magazine. I know because I was on that mailing list. Ham was supposedly working as the Creation Ministries representative in the U.S., but in reality he was setting himself up as a separate entity. Stealing the Creation subscriber base for Answers was just his most blatant move. Creation readers in the U.S. were given the clear impression that the magazine was being discontinued, not that it was being superseded by a rival publication.

    I’m sure that deep in his heart Ken Ham figures it was all okay, because he was doing it for Jesus. You can break lots of commandments if you do it for Jesus.

  10. says

    Quick O/T, but thought y’all should know about this:

    The once-great Terry Eagleton has devolved into a concern troll of the first water. He’s now saying that since Dawkins and Hitchens (who he calls “Ditchins”) haven’t memorized every translation of the Bible and read the writings of every third-century theologian to put quill to paper, that their critiques are worthless. My response to this is as follows:

    Eagleton hasn’t memorized the Necronomicon, so it must be true!

    That’s essentially his argument against Dawkins et al. It’s a remarkably childish one, just packed with the sort of special pleading and goalpost-moving he used to fiercely attack back before his brains fell out of his skull.

    I haven’t read any source material on phlogiston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston_theory) and ‘powder of sympathy’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_of_sympathy), yet I can have a reasonably strong assurance that the former doesn’t exist and the latter doesn’t work (unless you’re using it to torture dogs and not as a navigation tool).

    Go out there and have at him, kiddies!

  11. Kimpatsu says

    Christian fellowship at it’s finest.
    Hey, JD, don’t blaspheme against proper grammar; use the wonderful apostrophe (the only example of cases in the English language) correctly!

  12. tsig says

    “You can break lots of commandments if you do it for Jesus.”

    When Jesus says it it is a commandment and since they are listening directly to Jesus their morality comes from the voices in their head.

  13. Ouchimoo says

    Wow. I just did a browse by in the AnswersinGenesis evidence. That stuff is seriously funny. It’s not written offensively. More like, “did. . did you really just say that?!”
    It really is a shame it got settled. Two of the biggest creationist duddies butting heads. In THIS CORNER a mild manner doesn’t get it while he tries to be bestest buds with science, and In THIS CORNER is the man known for his sleazy tactics as lying for Jesus and spreading misinformation.

  14. MrFire says


    Yeah, I don’t get it – what is Eagleton, or least his reviewer, trying to say? Of course Dawkins and Hitchens go for some low-hanging fruit in their respective books. They also have a simple, fundamental point: it’s all arbitrary, patently false nonsense – why believe it?

    Sorry, just felt like a rant.

  15. recovering catholic says


    Thanks for your remark on apostrophe usage–I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels I’ve been smacked in the eye when I see “it’s” used to mean “belonging to it”. Seems such an insignificant thing compared to the big battles we have to fight here, but we also know that proper use and understanding of language is key: “it’s (‘it is’) just a theory”.

  16. franz dibbler says

    Wait … Carl Wieland has an “ex-wife”? Doesn’t divorce make baby jesus cry?

  17. cmotdibbler says

    Wait … Carl Wieland has an “ex”-wife?
    Doesn’t divorce make baby jesus cry?

  18. ShadowWalkyr says

    “It is astonishing that respected leaders of Christian organizations would stoop so low as to resort to gutter tactics of the kind mentioned here. . . .”

    I think I speak for everybody here when I say that we would be astonished if they did anything else.

  19. Sili says

    What the Dibblers said.

    And enough with the “its”/”it’s” gripes. They’re completely different parts of speech (and writing) there’s no way they could ever be confused. They even represent the same friggin’ sound. STOP PLAYING GOTCHA!

    Sheeesh – I’ll have to stop using them, myself, in sympathy with ERV at this rate. Every time you pick an ortographical nit, God kills an apostrophe.

  20. Number8Dave says

    Wait, what’s this about Carl Wieland’s EX-wife? The former Margaret Buchanan was a cause celebre in this corner of the creationist world. About twenty years ago she was Ken Ham’s personal secretary, but was accused of witchcraft (and of having sex with the corpse of her dead husband!) by John Mackay, who had learned all this through a process of “spiritual discernment”. Mackay now has his own organisation, Creation Research.

    Margaret Buchanan told her story in a booklet, available at http://aufiles.creation.com/images/pdfs/mackay/salem_revisited.pdf (scanned and non-searchable). She later married Wieland. I hadn’t heard they’d split up.

    I once went to one of Wieland’s creation meetings, he comes across as sincere, intelligent and humble, not your usual creationist at all. He’s probably far too nice to go head to head with a slimebag like Ham. It’s a shame they’ve settled their differences, I prefer it when they’re fighting with each other.

  21. says

    Number8Dave: The Enquirer’s reference to rumors about Wieland’s “ex-wife” is in error; the rumors were about his current wife, the former Margaret Buchanan. Carl Wieland was previously married to another woman named Vicki; they divorced some time in the late 1980s.

  22. MadScientist says

    What a pity – let’s pray for the lawyers who have just lost their jobs.

  23. Number8Dave says

    Thanks Jim. And may I also say thanks for your coverage of the AiG/CMI split on your blog, which is where I first learned about the Margaret Buchanan affair.

    On reflection I suspect this will only be a temporary lull in hostilities between AiG and CMI, there’s just too much money in the global creationist industry these days. Carl Wieland’s ‘Softly, Softly’ approach has been very effective in building up a substantial grass-roots support base for creationism in Australasia, and it’s obvious that Ken Ham really wants a piece of it.