Florida is a weird place

It confuses me, anyway. But you can contribute to diminishing one bizarre episode by signing this petition to end a smear campaign against John Kieffer and EllenBeth Wachs.


  1. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Don’t know if it’s the one we all know and laugh at but someone named Terri Jones left a message on the petition talking about how un-Christian it is to attack others.

  2. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Nope. Not the Koran burning Terry Jones, just someone similar in name and seeming lack of self-awareness.

  3. says

    It’s funny how the situation with EllenBeth Wachs has reversed. She was once friendly with us, while the other side taunted her with names like “EllenBeth Wackjob”, accused her of sexually harassing children, and called her a criminal. Now she is friendly with them, and we taunt her with… err wait… no we don’t

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Can someone please post a link or two to give more background on this mess?

  5. says

    @Pierce R. Butler
    Well there’s this:
    examiner article
    and there’s this:
    forum post
    (which I believe was a newsletter supplement???)
    Its all very murky, and reminds me of the recent ousting of the artistic director of a local theatre. She organized protests when the board decided to remove her. It became quite spiteful, just as it seems this has.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Jackie … @ # 7 – Thanks! That’s a nice summary of the controversies around Wachs in the public eye, but says nothing about what’s going on inside Atheists of Florida (the issue of the current petition).

    joshuabennett @ # 8 – Those articles do provide much of the intra-group story (though not enough for me, at least, to choose a side), but date back, respectively, over 2 and 1 years ago. The (undated) petition seems much more recent, with the oldest displayed comment labeled “about 4 hours ago” – I’m sure the feud has grown more convoluted since then.

    For example: EB Wachs was also involved with the Humanists of Florida, and resigned “for personal reasons” from its presidency on March 30th of this year.

    Sometimes I think we need to call in Serge Storms to straighten everybody out…

    Also of potential interest to free-thinking/wheeling Floridians: American Atheists plans to put a 1,500-lb granite bench inscribed with excerpts from the Treaty of Tripoli and the bible at the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, FL, at noon on Saturday, June 29, with David Silverman (& other AA leaders), Teresa MacBain, and, yes, EllenBeth Wachs (of “Atheists and Humanists of Florida” (?)) in attendance.

  7. says

    There is a Facebook event for the dedication of an atheist monument in north Florida: https://www.facebook.com/events/100100006866227/

    Back on topic regarding the petition, here is my take:

    Mark Twain once wrote,”A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”

    The smear campaign launched eighteen months ago was, and is, incredibly shameful. I was there at ground zero. As one of the board members approached by Ed Gollobith, (alias “Ed Golly”), I was treated to so-called “shocking revelations” about his targets that turned out to be exaggerations, half-truths, and outright fabrications. Distracted at the time by my brother’s terminal illness, I did not see the machinations at work until after the reputation of Atheists of Florida was fatally damaged.

    Many have been exposed only to the smears. But hope is on the way, because I think those boots Mark Twain mentioned are now laced up and the truth of the matter will be exposed.

    One more thing. It has come to my attention that Ed Gollobith told others that he wants to discuss with his attorney the prospect of suing other atheists who are on his “enemies list”–and he specified me by name. Who has the time for this kind of nonsense?

    This is not infighting; this is a loose canon who is willing to sacrifice other atheists on the altar of his own ego, just because he can.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    John Kieffer @ # 11 – That link provides more information (from one of the factions involved – yours), but also raises more questions.

    First among which, in my little mind, is: why is this petition being launched and promoted now, when (according to your link and those of joshuabennett @ # 8), the dingleberries hit the Atheists of Florida fan more than a year ago?

  9. jmadkins says

    It has come to the attention of the Board of Directors of Atheists of Florida that a hostile petition has been created online that accuses our organization of “smearing” people and legally preventing them from participating in the atheist movement. Such an allegation is ludicrous on its face; no court could order such a thing under our constitution, and we do not seek it. It is true our organization is in litigation with the people referenced in the petition. The complaint against Ms. Wachs and Mr. Kieffer is a matter of public record, as are all of the pleadings. The substantive issues of this matter will be resolved in the courtroom, and not online, or in the court of public opinion. The character assassination and defamation in this so-called petition create serious legal issues of its own for those responsible.