Krauss Played For A Fool By AAI Board

The corrupt so-called Board of Atheist Alliance International (AAI) lies constantly. A few weeks ago they lied to the Attorney General of California within their financial statements. A few weeks before that they lied to an OnlySky writer about putting at atheist asylum seeker at risk. A few weeks before that a member of their Advisory Council lied to AAI Members about the circumstances of his resignation from the organisation. It is now clear that Lawrence Krauss also seriously misled AAI Members about issues of significant consequence. In fairness though, it seems reasonable to assume that Lawrence Krauss did not himself deliberately lie, but instead that he was merely played for a fool by the dishonest AAI Board.

Among many other scandals, the Board of AAI has been involved with very serious financial wrongdoing, which started in 2017 and has continued to the present. In January 2023, they arranged an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in order “to clear the air and allow AAI to make a fresh start”. The so-called Board invited questions from AAI Members and promised “full disclosure” at the EGM. Before this meeting could get to the questions about the wrongdoing though, there was more than an hour of choreographed praise for the Dear Leaders on the supposed AAI Board. Pre-prepared statements were read about how crucial the charitable work of the AAI Board is in helping atheists at risk. Lawrence Krauss enthusiastically endorsed the rehearsed veneration, by emphasising “the importance of AAI” in helping atheists at risk through their “powerful” charity work.

However, the reality is that for almost a year now the Board at AAI have been legally restricted from using the funds of the organisation for any such purpose. When they prepared and delivered this presentation to AAI Members, they knew that they had not used the funds of the organisation for such charitable purposes for many months, because it would have been unlawful for them to have done so. These legal restrictions continue to apply today.

A Useful Idiot On Charitable Work

The letter below from the Attorney General of California confirms that restrictions on “expending charitable assets” have been in place on all Directors within the AAI Board since the 1st of June of 2022. Since this date, any Director on the AAI Board who used AAI funds to help atheists at risk would be “personally liable” for this unlawful expenditure.

Correspondence from California Attorney General
Correspondence from California Attorney General

Moreover, it is clear that since they had become “personally liable” for any such “prohibited expending of charitable assets”, the Board of AAI had decided that they would no longer be involved in any charitable activities. As well as distributing assets, they knew that it would also have been unlawful for them to “solicit assets for charitable purposes”. The last occasion on which they sought any such financial assistance was on 28th May 2022. Subsequent to that date, even when one of their own Affiliate Member Groups was raising funds for an important court case, they reneged on a promise to provide financial help and wrote about the issue so as to carefully avoid soliciting any donations.

Post by Michael Sherlock, former Executive Director at AAI
Post by Michael Sherlock, former Executive Director at AAI

At a time when they knew it was unlawful for them to “solicit or distribute assets for a charitable purpose”; and they knew they had long since stopped all charitable activity because they would each have been “personally liable”; the AAI Directors prepared an hour of North Korea style propaganda about their own supposedly “important” and “powerful” charity work. The AAI Board deliberately misled the AAI Members about the state of their charitable activities. In contrast, it seems that Lawrence Krauss was more like a North Korean newsreader, enthusiastically cheering on the Dear Leaders while unable to distinguish the misinformation from the reality.

A Useful Idiot On Accountability

Even if he was unaware that the AAI propaganda about their charitable work was misinformation, Lawrence Krauss was a more proactive participant in at least some parts of the Potemkin governance at AAI. Having arranged the EGM for the explicit purpose of “clearing the air” about their very serious financial wrongdoing from 2017 until the present, the purported AAI Board then decided that they didn’t want to answer any such questions. They had solicited questions on these topics. They had received questions on these topics from fully paid-up AAI Members. They had arranged the EGM for the explicit purpose of answering questions on these topics. However, when asked to provide answers during the EGM, one Director on the AAI Board argued that:

“… they will find a little something and they’ll make another question out of that. These people have become obsessed with that, and okay for these people I have a very clear message actually. Go get a life, man.”

Quote from AAI Board Member at their 2023 EGM

One Affiliate Member Group even proposed a formal motion to have the questions answered by the Board. Another Affiliate Member Group seconded that motion. During the ensuing debate, a longstanding AAI Affiliate Member Group argued for this motion as follows:

“If I’m putting forward one reason to vote in favour of this motion, it is to see it as the end of all this. The end of this process. The final set of questions that are to be asked. Okay. That’s what I’m for here, you know. The point is not to drag on and on and on. It’s to end it, actually. To put a seal on it. That’s what the whole point of this is.”

Quote from Kareem Muhssin representing an AAI Affiliate Member Group at their 2023 EGM

Lawrence Krauss was supposed to be an independent Facilitator at this meeting, but he responded directly to this argument, indicating that he was “dubious” about the proposition. On one side the AAI Board didn’t want to answer any questions; while on the other side multiple Affiliate Member Groups wanted the answers provided; and Lawrence Krauss responded to the comments above by proactively supporting the AAI Board position as follows:

“Thank you Kareem. I have to say that I certainly hope whatever happens will end this, but I’m dubious.”

Quote from Lawrence Krauss at the AAI 2023 AGM

While seeking to avoid accountability for their financial wrongdoing, it was certainly useful for the dishonest AAI Board to have Lawrence Krauss help suppress efforts from AAI Affiliate Member Groups to have questions answered.

Having solicited questions about events dating back to 2017, the AAI Board also insisted that asking questions about 2017 was entirely unreasonable. As the purported President of AAI, Brian Kernick argued that nobody should be concerned about wrongdoing, if that wrongdoing had occurred in the past.

“Yeah I just was, you know, again, this is stuff that happened in the past. A lot of the questions are dealing with 2017 and 2018. We need to work on our important work helping atheists. We need to move forward.”

Quote from Brian Kernick as President of AAI at their 2023 EGM

There are two lies in this comment, and the corrupt AAI Board managed to make Lawrence Krauss complicit in both. It is not true that AAI is working on helping atheists, as it would be unlawful for them to do so. Nevertheless, all AAI Members were informed by Lawrence Krauss how “important” and “powerful” this charitable work continues to be. Moreover, neither is it true that the AAI Board are avoiding questions about 2017 and 2018 because this is “in the past” and they are going to “move forward” instead. Just days after Brian Kernick made this argument to AAI Members, the AAI Board got busy submitting false financial statements to the Attorney General of California about 2017 and 2018. The financial statement illustrated below covers the 2017 accounting period, and it was received by the Attorney General of California on 1st February 2023.

AAI Financial Statement to California Attorney General
AAI Financial Statement to California Attorney General

AAI Members seeking answers to questions about financial wrongdoing had their concerns suppressed by the AAI Board, with proactive assistance from Lawrence Krauss. Instead, the purported President of AAI insisted that they are no longer “dealing with 2017 and 2018” because they “need to move forward” with their “important work helping atheists”. However, the truth is precisely the opposite of that. The truth is that they are not helping atheists because they are still dealing with their financial wrongdoing from 2017 and 2018.


It would be one thing for any Board to become frustrated by continued interrogation, in a context where no wrongdoing is ever uncovered by answering any of the questions posed. In the case of AAI however; the financial accounts for multiple years remain missing; the AAI Affiliate Member Groups who built the organisation have never been told how their money was spent by the unelected Board; contrary to self-dealing laws for nonprofits, the Board diverted thousands of pounds to themselves personally; tens of thousands of dollars remain unaccounted for; the charitable status of AAI has been revoked by the Attorney General of California; all Directors of AAI are prohibited from soliciting or expending assets under threat of personal liability; and yet they are still refusing to answer questions from fully paid-up AAI Members about what happened.

The AAI Board played Lawrence Krauss like a fool in order to avoid accountability and to falsely pretend that they are doing charitable work. Whereas he may well have been an unwitting accessory to all of this, as a public supporter of the AAI Board he would do well to address his role in it.

3 responses to “Krauss Played For A Fool By AAI Board”

  1. AAI are still soliciting charitable donations to this day, despite their charitable status being revoked in June last year.

    This page explicitly asks for financial support for a list of items:

    … and if you hit the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page, it’s made clear that your donation will be used for this charitable purpose.

    If that’s not “soliciting charitable assets” then I don’t know what is.

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