Atheist Alliance International (AAI) has published what they have called a ‘Disclosure Document’ to their current membership. One of those current member groups has shared that document with me, which makes a series of absolutely breathtaking admissions. A full copy of the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ is available at the bottom of this page. There are three categories of new information in the document, which are:
- staggering admissions of wrongdoing and incompetence over many years, which the current AAI Board has been repeatedly lying about but now openly admits
- overt gaps where the current AAI Board makes heroic efforts to avoid dealing in any way with some of the most serious wrongdoing that they have been responsible for
- brand new lies, where the current Board has offered more demonstrable and deliberately false statements in an effort to cover up their very serious wrongdoing
There is so much mendacity in this document that three separate articles are required to deal with these three separate categories of dishonesty. A previous article has described the incredible admissions of wrongdoing and corruption that have already been accepted within the document. This article describes the very important questions that the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ studiously avoids answering.
How Was There Even A Board At All?
The failed 2017 Board that refused to facilitate the AGM required by the Bylaws, and refused to publish annual accounts, consisted of the following Directors:
- Gail Miller
- Bill Flavell
- John Richards
- Howard Burman
- CW Brown
- Pearl Osibu
- Elizabeth Mathes
Of these people, only Gail Miller had ever been elected. The others had all been co-opted onto the Board. A full copy of the AAI Bylaws is available at the bottom of this page, and Bylaw 63 is very clear about the status of co-opted Directors:
“Any Director appointed in accordance with clause 62 [co-opted] may remain a Director until the next Annual General Meeting, at which time that person must nominate for election by the Members or resign as a Director.”AAI Bylaw 63
That is, by the end of 2017 all of the co-opted Directors had to either arrange an AGM at which they would submit themselves for election by the members, or else resign. In 2017, there was no AGM and no election and so from 1st January 2018, none of the co-opted people were any longer Directors on the Board of AAI. Moreover, a full copy of the minutes from the bogus 2018 AGM are available at the bottom of this page. At that meeting, Gail Miller was purportedly elected as President but nobody else was elected. After that meeting, Bill Flavell, Howard Burman and John Richards went on to run AAI for years, but none of them were ever elected, co-opted or appointed to the Officer roles that they claimed. They just called themselves Directors and behaved as if they had a mandate or an authority that they did not actually have. In fact, Bill Flavell still claims to be a Director on the Board of AAI today.
The ‘Disclosure Document’ recently published by AAI purports to address this issue without dealing with it at all. Firstly, in the extract illustrated below the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ makes the breathtaking admission that those who controlled AAI for years were never elected.
This was the most serious breach imaginable of the longstanding democratic AAI Bylaws, and as a result there was then no basis whatsoever for Bill Flavell, John Richards or Howard Burman to make any decisions or to take any action on behalf of AAI. However, when the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ considers how anything that these people did after 2018 could be considered the valid actions of AAI, it discusses this issue while avoiding the most important question. Specifically, in the extract illustrated below from their ‘Disclosure Document’, AAI makes their best effort at describing how there could be considered to have been a Board at all after 2018.
AAI are arguing that once the bogus 2018 Bylaws came into force, new Directors were elected by the Board and not by the Members, such that Bill Flavell, John Richards and Howard Burman were elected by the Board at the bogus 2018 AGM. Those 2018 Bylaws are still available in the web archive, and the new Bylaws 31 and 32 that were introduced do indeed remove the power to elect Directors from the membership, and transfer that power to the Board.
The core question remains unaddressed by the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ though. Who was the Board that elected Bill Flavell, John Richards and Howard Burman after the 2018 Bylaws were introduced? By their own admission, nobody other than Gail Miller was elected at the bogus 2018 AGM. By their own bogus Bylaws that they imposed at that 2018 AGM, there was no Board unless at least four Directors were elected. This is articulated in Bylaws 17 and 18, which are still available in the web archive and illustrated below.
When AAI now tell us that Bill Flavell was elected as a Director at the 2018 AGM, according to the new 2018 Bylaws, they explain that these Bylaws allowed him to be elected by the Board rather than by the members. This AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ does not however disclose who the Board was that elected him. There was no Board. He wasn’t elected. Bill Flavell is a charlatan and an imposter. He is a fraud, who along with John Richards and Howard Burman and others, took over control of AAI with no authority or mandate from anyone. The same self-appointed people have retained control of AAI until today, through the same expedient of appointing their friends to Officer roles, while excluding all others from all aspects of managing AAI. The entire so-called Board of AAI remain totally illegitimate and their ‘Disclosure Document’ does nothing but avoid the core questions of their legitimacy.
How Was There Even A Quorum?
In one of the most stunning admissions within the recently published AAI ‘Disclosure Document’, AAI accepts that they packed voter rolls with their friends and awarded votes to those who had no entitlement to vote. This is illustrated in the extract from the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ below:
However, in pretending that there was merely confusion between associate (non-voting) and affiliate (voting) members, this AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ fails to disclose the full extent of their manipulation of the electorate. In fact, they didn’t just unlawfully allow their friends within associate member groups to vote. They also packed the voter rolls with brand new affiliate members who had not validly joined the alliance. Some emails illustrated below describe which groups the then President of AAI considered to be members of AAI during January 2018.
Between January and May of 2018 then, somehow an organisation called “Mindful Meditation of Secular Buddhism” was added as an affiliate member of AAI. This could not have been possible though, as during this period there was no Board with any mandate or authority to add new affiliates, and in any case the “Mindful Meditation of Secular Buddhism” organisation did not meet the onerous requirements in the Bylaws in order to become an affiliate member of AAI. A full copy of the minutes from the bogus 2018 AGM is available at the bottom of this page, and the extract illustrated below describes the vote of this organisation being used to adopt the anti-democratic new Bylaws.
Of the 8 groups listed above that participated in this vote, at least Mindful Meditation of Secular Buddhism was not validly added as an affiliate members of AAI. Moreover, the recently published AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ also admits that the Guatemala Humanists, the Iranian Atheists and Agnostics and the Atheist Union of Greece were all associate members such that they should not have been allowed to vote either. That leaves a maximum possible valid participating electorate of:
- Atheist Alliance of America
- Atheist Society of Nigeria
- Progressive Atheists of Australia
- HALEA Uganda
A full copy of the AAI Bylaws is available at the bottom of this page, in which it can be seen that Bylaw 87 defines the quorum as 5 affiliate members. The Illegitimate Board at AAI unlawfully excluded so many of the valid affiliate members, that they did not even have a quorum of voting members before they started packing the voter rolls with their friends who were not entitled to vote. Nothing whatsoever about the current AAI Bylaws or the current AAI Board is in any way legitimate. This entire operation is just kabuki, with a few self-appointed charlatans pretending to be a democratic organisation.
How Can AAI Know That Intentions Were Honest?
In admitting to unlawfully excluding most valid members of AAI and instead packing the voter rolls with their friends who were not entitled to vote, the recently published AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ claims that all of this happened through good faith human error. We’re told that the Illegitimate Board simply failed to understand the AAI Bylaws correctly. Of course, even if this were true it would still be sufficient reason to declare all votes taken in this improper manner to be null and void. Instead, the current Illegitimate Board of AAI prefer to cover up the wrongdoing and carry on regardless. However, it is not remotely credible to suggest that all of this happened through human error, which was made with the best of intentions. For clarity, the following is a brief summary of the relevant timeline:
“Hi Michael: Your reform proposal has generated a lot of discussion among Board members and we are having a meeting this Sunday to discuss it further. Let me get back to you next week. Gail Miller, President AAI.”6th March 2018 – President of AAI writes to Chair of Atheist Ireland
“You are invited to participate in the 2018 AGM on 20th May. Howard Burman, Secretary AAI.”23rd March 2018 – Secretary of AAI invites only selected groups to an AGM
“Sorry for the delay. Can we plan for something next week? Howard is on vacation in France and my Vice President Bill Flavell is in Zambia. I would like both to be involved in this.”10th April 2018 – President of AAI writes to Chair of Atheist Ireland
In the email extracts quoted above, Gail Miller as the then President of AAI is reporting the interest among the supposed AAI Board, to adopt the democratic reform proposals from Freedom For Religion Foundation and Atheist Ireland. It is clear that Howard Burman and Bill Flavell are also involved in this process as part of that supposed AAI Board. However, the very next day after the final 10th April 2018 email above, the then President of AAI contacted Fotis Frangopoulos and offered him membership of AAI for the Atheist Union of Greece at a fee of just $1. This was to allow Fotis Frangopoulos to vote at the bogus AGM that was being kept secret from Freedom From Religion Foundation, Atheist Ireland and others. Subsequently, a member of the AAI Advisory Council published this post on their social media page:
“AAI told Atheist Ireland and Freedom From Religion Foundation to take their corporate bullying elsewhere. Yes, AAI practically said ‘take a hike’ and terminated their memberships.”Social Media post from AAI Advisory Council member
It is perfectly clear that there was an intentional strategy to keep the planned vote a secret from Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Atheist Ireland, and all other groups that preferred the democratic reform proposals. The Illegitimate Board of AAI sent the procrastinating emails to Atheist Ireland pretending to be interested in democratic reform; and then sent the emails to their friends offering them access to the vote for $1; literally on consecutive days. Somehow, those interested in democratic reform were not told about the plan to hold a vote on a different approach. The extract from the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ illustrated below describes how the current Illegitimate Board expects us to interpret these facts:
The current Illegitimate Board of AAI seeks to pin all of the blame for this debacle on Gail Miller and John Richards, as two people who have since resigned from AAI. They tell us that they “cannot say” why these people went out of their way to include their friends on the voter roll (even where those friends were not lawfully entitled to vote) the very next day after they studiously kept the planned vote secret from valid members who had alternative democratic reform proposals.
The AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ does not disclose how they can possibly know that all of this was a result of “genuine misunderstanding” if at the same time they “cannot say” why those in control of AAI behaved as they did. These statements are mutually contradictory. AAI cannot both claim that they don’t know why certain decisions were taken by previous Directors, while at the same time insisting that all decisions were taken in good faith and with the most ethical of intentions. The AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ makes no effort whatsoever to resolve these issues, despite the fact that those directly involved went on to control AAI for many years, and Bill Flavell still claims to be a Director of AAI today.
How Did AAI Come To Publish So Many Lies About These Issues?
In many ways, the most central issue that is most studiously avoided by the recently published AAI ‘Disclosure Document’, is why these new admissions directly contradict so many previous statements from so many of the same people. It is perfectly obvious that consciousness of guilt explains the very many false denials that have been published by AAI on their website previously. The reason why they published so many lies about their behaviour, is that they were intensely aware of their own wrongdoing and they sought to cover it up. However, whereas the so-called findings of fact from the most recent internal investigation directly contradict the so-called findings of fact from previous internal investigations, there is no explanation attempted for why false statements were previously published by the current Illegitimate Board of AAI.
To take just one example, the current AAI web site, states as follows:
“The AAI vice-president [Bill Flavell] checked the records for the AGM … and all were invited in accordance with the timetable established in the bylaws …”Jason Sylvester writing on the AAI web site on April 2nd 2021
Subsequently, the same Illegitimate Board checked the same AAI records and in the most recent ‘Disclosure Document’ they state as follows:
“There were 8 affiliate members that did not receive invites to the AGM. Members were notified of the AGM late. These were infringements of the bylaws.”Admission within AAI ‘Disclosure Document’
The first statement published on the AAI web site was just a lie. In fact the second statement published in the recent AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ is also a lie, because there were many more than 8 valid affiliate members unlawfully excluded by the Illegitimate Board. However, at the very least it is incumbent upon AAI to disclose how the same members of the same Illegitimate Board could check the same records, and issue two such diametrically opposed statements. Both of these statements remain published today, without correction or explanation.
There are innumerable examples of lies published by AAI that remain unexplained. For example, Fotis Frangopoulos wrote to all AAI members claiming that the anti-democratic changes to the Bylaws were only intended to be temporary, whereas a self-styled AAI Board Meeting subsequently admitted that those changes were always intended to be permanent. If the AAI ‘Disclosure Document’ will not disclose the reasons for so many intentionally false statements being published by AAI, then on what basis could anyone be asked to believe the current version of events as compared to any of the previous versions?
The current Illegitimate Board of AAI has suggested that there should be an Emergency General Meeting in January 2023 to discuss all of the very serious wrongdoing, and vote on a way forward. Anyone who participates in such a discussion without first obtaining clear answers to the consequential issues that remain undisclosed within the ‘Disclosure Document’, is participating in a cover up. Anyone who offers credibility to the current Illegitimate Board or the current invalid Bylaws by participating in a vote under their auspices, is part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Only the valid members can save AAI, and democratic control of AAI must be returned those affiliate groups from which it was unlawfully taken.