Holy crap.

Comments

  1. #1 ERV
    October 23, 2010

    Luckily OU played tonight and Im buzzed enough for me not to get too raged out until tomorrow– But if youve bought anything from the US RD store, your money didnt go to science education. It went to Josh Timonens girlfriends “custom backyard pool and spa area with a wonderful waterfall and glass block fire pit plus custom seating for the ultimate outdoor living and entertaining experience”.

  2. #2 Joel
    October 24, 2010

    Wow, that changes the context of all that drama around the RD forum changes rather dramatically.

  3. #3 ERV
    October 24, 2010

    I KNOW, RIGHT?

    But it seems that THAT drama is what tipped Timonens hand:
    Dawkins says he found out about the scam this year, when the Foundation decided to wrest control of the store from Timonen.

  4. #4 Glendon Mellow
    October 24, 2010

    What a depressing fucking betrayal. How awful.

  5. #5 Sylvie
    October 24, 2010

    Greatest Show on Earth was dedicated to Josh. I guess a new printing would have that changed. Too bad it’s too late for the paperback.

  6. #6 William Wallace
    October 24, 2010

    Well, I agree that to a biologist $80,000/year is exceedingly generous and well above-market for someone of Timonen’s age and experience, particularly for someone providing the bulk of his efforts to a “charitable” organization. But for what this guy did, it was exceedingly cheap. I find it odd that there have been no arrests, if what Dr. Dawkins says is really true.

  7. #7 Cain
    October 24, 2010
  8. #8 Sputnik
    October 24, 2010

    What a dishonest piece of work. Sadly, I remember Dawkins frequently thanking and praising the guy for all his ‘great’ work…which I always found baffling since I find everything on Dawkins’ site/store to be either poorly designed or maintained (including the scarlet a). I don’t think Timonens was/is even worth a fraction of what Dawkins paid him.

  9. #9 Rorschach
    October 24, 2010

    I guess Josh is going to get his day in court to prove that

    This lawsuit is a joke, and completely ridiculous.The accusations are baseless and unfounded.

  10. #10 dexitroboper
    October 24, 2010

    The real tragedy is that no more will RD & PZ wear the crocoduck tie.

  11. #11 Rorschach
    October 24, 2010

    The real tragedy is that no more will RD & PZ wear the crocoduck tie.

    Huh, why not? I got mine from here.

  12. #12 Peter Venkman
    October 24, 2010

    I can’t say I’m shocked–the old RDF forums were overrun with right-wing asshattery. Posters would be bullied and ridiculed for opinions (e.g. opposition to the Iraq war) that Dawkins himself actually espoused. It seemed to me at the time that if Dawkins were to post there under a pseudonym he’d have been run out on a rail inside of a week.

  13. #13 The Chimp's Raging Id
    October 24, 2010

    Wow. Well that explains his bizarre behaviour during Teh Drama.

    the old RDF forums were overrun with right-wing asshattery

    Indeed. That’s the main reason I avoided them.

  14. #14 daedalus2u
    October 24, 2010

    I think a better headline might be “A-holy crap”, seeing as how Dawkins is an atheist.

  15. #15 Laurent Weppe
    October 24, 2010

    So, the guy who was amoung other things paid to make sure that something like:

    the old RDF forums were overrun with right-wing asshattery

    never happened turned out to be a vulgar alms thief? Now I will have a hard time refraining a sarcastic grin, despite how disgraceful this story is.

  16. #16 ERV
    October 24, 2010

    The retard has open comments. I expect things to stay that way until he figures out how to close them, but in the mean time, I expect them to be deleted.

    My morning-after contribution. Its rare I get to direct my knives towards a non-Creationist/non-wooer, so I kinda enjoyed it:

    It is one of the most creepily immature comments I have ever seen from someone her age. And I write in LOLSpeak, for Christs sake.

    To be fair to RD, she does look twice Timonens age. I do not believe she is ~36, and all Ive got to go on are beauty shots, which almost certainly look better than real life. And, I have dated men ‘significantly older’ than me, and it was commented on constantly. Misdirect FAIL. Enjoy your boy-toy and the gifts he buys you with stolen money, but dont disgrace women further by refusing to age gracefully and for making your boy-toys theft a ‘SEXIST’ thing.

    On topic– I wonder if that $5K check OESE got last year could have been $10K, $20K, $50K, if so much money hadnt been stolen? I wonder if Josh understands what that money, even the $5K, meant to those of us fighting anti-science in the trenches? What that money might have meant to a kid in OKs panhandle, if his/her science teachers got to come to OESEs teacher training events? Or did he just see RD getting to fly all over the world, having a marvelous time, and didnt think stealing from him was really a bad thing at all?

    There are also many levels of internet FAILs here, from the substance-free post (as others have pointed out) which flatly implies guilt to anyone who has seen at least a weeks worth of ‘Judge Judy’, to the connections and info we get from your girlfriends comment via her FB/twitter/blog (I would have had to look for those, but here they are, wrapped up with a pretty bow!). I would expect more internet intelligence from someone who moderated a forum as large as RD net for several years.

  17. #17 John Marley
    October 24, 2010

    @ Willy Wally

    But for what this guy did, it was exceedingly cheap.

    That seems dubious, but is beside the point anyway. Even if it was a fair salary, according to the article it wasn’t his salary. He misreported the store’s intake and pocketed almost 90%. That is theft. If he felt he was paid too little he should have asked for a raise.

  18. #18 William Wallace
    October 24, 2010

    That seems dubious, but is beside the point anyway. Even if it was a fair salary, according to the article it wasn’t his salary. He misreported the store’s intake and pocketed almost 90%. That is theft.

    As I previously pointed out, this also seems dubious. I presume embezzlement is a crime in the U.K., as it is in the U.S.A. Why no arrest, no police report, no mention of a criminal investigation?

    Another interesting counter claim is that Josh’s contributions were being “airbrushed out,” while his work was not. He claims the RDF removed his name off of articles that he wrote on RichardDawkins.net. He cites two articles, which I just looked at. Authorship is now credited to Josh.

    Either Josh lied, or the RDF corrected its error after it realized how bad it looked for a foundation named after a supposed scholar to ex post facto take authorship credit.

  19. #19 Ivan
    October 24, 2010

    Shit. Shit. Shit. Damn. Fuuuuck.

    All that money for such a shoddy website? I always figured it was so crappy because it was maintained by volunteers. Dawkins needs better technical advice, stat.

  20. #20 Jon
    October 24, 2010

    People keep bringing up the lack of a criminal investigation, but the articles make clear that Josh is arguing that much of the material was his intellectual property, while the RDF is arguing that his salary was supposed to compensate for that. In other words, it’s a contract issue, which (and I’m no lawyer, so I could be off) means that it needs to go through civil litigation before any other action can be taken (ie, RDF has to establish it was theft, before they can get him for it).

  21. #21 Laurent Weppe
    October 24, 2010

    @Jon:

    Yet I cannot shake the feeling that the intellectual property issue is a last minute, panicked, caught-with-my-finger-in-the-jam line of defense

  22. #22 ERV
    October 24, 2010

    omfg. This dude and his chick are fucking nuts.

    They are fucking nuts.

    There is now, in addition to the previous post, a creepy homemade ‘engagement’ style pic of Josh and his girlfriend.

    Why???

    ROFL!

    OMFG! I went to screen grab the creepy pic– AND IT CHANGED. ITS A CREEPY SLIDE SHOW! AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    WHAT THE FUCK???

  23. #23 DB
    October 24, 2010

    I was aware of, but basically ignored the whole dawkins forum drama. I would appreciate a quick recap about what exactly happened and how it fits into the embezzlement allegation.

    I did not pay attention to the problems with the forum because I did not ever use it and find most internet drama very tedious. But allegations of defrauding a charity, especially one that I have purchased things from is another matter. I kinda feel I’m playing catch up in all this so I would be grateful for any help understanding how it all fits together.

  24. #24 ERV
    October 24, 2010

    I would appreciate someone else piping up on that topic too. I wasnt a member of RDnet, so when that shit went down, I ‘thought’ I knew why, but I now question that.

  25. #25 Johan
    October 24, 2010

    Jon, yes you are indeed of. I can not think of any situation where you need to win a civil suit before criminal charges can be filed.

    But that we have not heard of any criminal charges does not strike me as strange. The police might be conducting an investigation for all we know. Or they have perhaps not have had time to start one. Or they refuse to investigate cases where people who do not believe in group selection are the victims. Or Dawkins thought it would be more embarrassing with a criminal trial and did not file a report for that reason. Or the police want to question Dawkins before making any arrests, and Dawkins have not had time to come over to the US yet. There are a million possible reasons for the apparent lack of police action yet besides there not having been any crime.

    We are talking fraud here, not murder. I do not think the police will drop everything at hand to investigate this alleged crime the moment they get a report. And there is no reason for Dawkins, that I can see, to hold of taking civil action until the police decide what to do.

    Dawkins is of course free to pursue civil action regardless of what the police does. Just as you can sue someone for murdering a family member, regardless of what the criminal justice system decides. (Remember OJ Simpson?)

  26. #26 Ivan
    October 24, 2010

    People keep bringing up the lack of a criminal investigation

    Where people equals Willy Wally, concern troll extraordinaire, who is best ignored. Or mocked, if you must.

  27. #27 sharl
    October 24, 2010

    Here is one post on the self-immolation of the Dawkins forum. I read enough – “about author” site, a few paragraphs in – to make sure the source is legitimate, and it seems so to me. But I haven’t looked at the whole thing, nor the promisingly titled links at the end of the post; it looks like the author has regularly added updates since the original posting in Feb 2010.

    As noted elsewhere, Josh Timonen’s name pops up in that brouhaha as well.

    If anyone has anything more and/or better, I’d add my name to those requesting further information.

  28. #28 Shirakawasuna
    October 24, 2010

    It’s not a slideshow for me. wtf is going on? Glamour shots must be more important than I ever realized.

  29. #29 The Chimp's Raging Id
    October 24, 2010

    This blog post by a former RD.net forum mod sums up the sorry affair pretty well. As I said, I was never a regular visitor to the site so can’t speak from direct experience of the incident. However, Peter Harrison’s account is consistent with those given by the other volunteer forum mods who were unceremoniously booted out by Timonen.

  30. #30 sharl
    October 24, 2010

    That’s an excellent link, TCRI @28. Thanks!
    As a forum moderator, the poster at that link had an inside view of the whole sordid process leading to the demolition of the forum.

  31. #31 ERV
    October 24, 2010

    Sorry, sharl, Johans comment got stuck in spam and now your numbers off hehe!

    I cant believe Im the only person who got to see that ‘engagement’ pic.

    And thanks for the links, guys!

  32. #32 Childermass
    October 24, 2010

    Next time when one does an enterprise with many thousands of bucks potentially changing hands, get professional advice on the proper way to set it up. Seeking appropriate and independent expertise is an important part of skepticism and it is so easy for even a skeptic to forget it.

  33. #33 Fred
    October 24, 2010

    @32 Childermass:

    I agree with you on your points. It seems incredible that the Foundation wasn’t doing independent financial audits of the money flowing through the store. Even more unbelievable they didn’t do any audits for three years!

    Basic accountancy 101 states that you don’t put your whole financial situation in control of one person. You break it up into easily audited parts. Timonen should have only been responsible for website operations, he shouldn’t have had anything to do with the financial side of the store.

    Hopefully the Foundation has learned its lesson, an expensive lesson to be sure, but a lesson nonetheless.

  34. #34 William Wallace
    October 25, 2010

    Ivan, I don’t think concern troll means what you think it means. Just pointing out the facts.

    Still, kind of funny. Even if the money was embezzled, what grounds does a Darwinist atheist have to complain?

    If ERV fanboy theories are correct, Josh was just trying to impress a member of the opposite sex, probably to procreate, and maybe even start a new branch on the tree of life, perhaps leading to a new species that survives by feeding on gullible atheists.

  35. #35 Sigmund
    October 25, 2010

    William Wallace said:
    “Still, kind of funny. Even if the money was embezzled, what grounds does a Darwinist atheist have to complain?”
    I guess your point is that atheism means no acceptance of religious moral teaching thus there can be no restraint – anything goes.
    While I guess it may give you a temporary thrill to think in this way, you cannot possibly believe that atheists don’t have a moral sense of right and wrong. If that was the case then Sweden would have descended into Somalia-like debauchery years ago.
    The basis of a functioning society is the acceptance of a basic rule of altruism that is common to many religious and non-religious thinking – namely the golden rule – do onto others as you would have them do onto you. The vast majority of atheists try to live according to this principle as it is one that leads to a society where people tend to look out for one another. You will get some that will cheat the system for their own gain, but I would suggest you actually open your eyes to how atheists respond to that cheating to see whether they fit in with your idea of not having an expectation of decent behavior. And perhaps compare atheists reaction to the reaction of religious organizations when members are accused of serious crimes. Compare the actions of the Catholic Church regarding the child rapists in their ranks to Dawkins behavior in the current situation.
    Dawkins doesn’t come off well in the current situation. He doesn’t seem to have applied sufficient monitoring of his organization but his main fault in the current situation is more of excessive trust and lack of oversight rather than the sort of actions that would put more individuals at risk.

  36. #36 Laurent Weppe
    October 25, 2010

    Wow, just… Wow.

    At first I thought that Timonen had been a neglectful admin because he was too buzzy embezzling the charity money, but if Peter Harrison’s account is to be believed, Timonen actually sabotaged Dawkins forums.

    ***

    @ Sigmund:

    Compare the actions of the Catholic Church regarding the child rapists in their ranks to Dawkins behavior in the current situation.

    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it is actually quitte difficult to put embezzlement and child rape on the same scale.

    Even if one disregard the unfortunate and most probably involuntary moral implications of your sentence (thousands of child rapists; one alms thief: kif-kif), it is just not possible to compare the two:

    First, just look at the Catholic Church itself: when it comes to embezzlement, the bishops actually aknowledge the problem and its extent: larceny just does not inspire the kind of denial Church’s authorities display when it comes to more heinous crimes.

    Besides, the day a prominent atheist is arrested for child molesting, you can be absolutely certain that a lot of his or her admirers will pull a Polanski (There is just no way that *I*, an intelligent and well adjusted human being would respect/admire/love a rapist ergo the object of my admiration is not a rapist) and find numerous ways to dismiss accusations (no matter how damning the evidences are) and/or to excuse the crime (no matter how much revulsion they display when the same crime is committed by someone they don’t know/don’t like).

    It has nothing to do with beliefs, or ideology, or whatever: the tendency to stubornly refuse to aknowledge the presence of wicked individuals in one’s entourage is pretty much part of human nature, and if you add the fact that the Catholic Church is not behaving with embezzlment the way it behaves with child molesting, your example is a shoddy one.

  37. #37 Sigmund
    October 25, 2010

    Laurent, you are half correct. It is almost impossible to compare the two crimes and it is probably disrailing the thread to even try but I think your own description of the Catholic Churches reaction to the abuse problem is misleading since we are not talking about unproven accusations in that situation. Most of the terrifying serial abuse came about through the church choosing to ‘forgive’ known abusers and protect them from the law – not from some sort of refusal to believe there was abuse in the first place.
    As for financial scandals within different churches? These are hardly rare – I’m sure one can easily find plenty of examples where they were taken to court in the same manner as the current case. And probably plenty of other examples where they were hushed up for fear of discrediting the church. Neither means much other than pointing out that William Wallaces attempt to link immoral behavior to atheism is pathetic.

  38. #38 stripey_cat
    October 25, 2010

    Assuming the assorted accusations (both of fraud and of the forum mess) are true, Dawkins seems to have made the classic error of assuming that someone he likes personally must be morally upstanding. We’re wired to think like that, and it takes a lot of self awareness to not base trust on emotional appeal.

  39. #39 David Marjanović
    October 25, 2010

    Ivan, I don’t think concern troll means what you think it means. Just pointing out the facts.

    And curiously neglecting the fact that Dawkins is in England while Timonen is in California. Given that fact, did you seriously expect an arrest the same day the accusation surfaces?

    You didn’t. Probably you didn’t even think that far in the first place.

    Still, kind of funny. Even if the money was embezzled, what grounds does a Darwinist atheist have to complain?

    <yawn>

    Customers of the RD store (I’m not one, BTW) obviously have reasons to complain that their hard-earned money wasn’t used for the purpose they had intended it for.

    Everyone else, if the accusation is true, has a reason to complain that there is one more asshole in the world that they need to shun for their own good. Having to keep track of such a list is annoying.

    probably to procreate, and maybe even start a new branch on the tree of life, perhaps leading to a new species that survives by feeding on gullible atheists.

    The theory of evolution, concern troll, doesn’t describe an ought. It describes an is. There is no law “thou shalt procreate”, let alone “thou shalt found a new species after thou pickest thy favorite species concept from amongst the 147 or more in the literature”.

    Besides, the day a prominent atheist is arrested for child molesting, you can be absolutely certain that a lot of his or her admirers will pull a Polanski

    Ten bucks sez no.

    Seriously. Religion comes with inbuilt hero worship; lack of religion does not.

    Haven’t you noticed the love-hate relationship so many atheists have to Christopher Hitchens?

  40. #40 ERV
    October 25, 2010

    Dum-Dum finally figured out how to close comments!

    And it only took ~24 hours! What an 31337 haxor!

    THIS guy ran RD.net??

    *collapses in a fit of laughter*

  41. #41 Mu
    October 25, 2010

    Lets hope you don’t have to eat crow for it when it all played out. All we know so far is that RD gave control of his name and finances in the US to one guy, and three years later became unhappy with it. During that time RD paid the guy over a quarter of a million of RDF money, and at the same time didn’t notice the guy withheld even more in profits? Even if every accusation in RD’s lawsuit is correct, he’s shown himself incompetent to run (or choose the people who do) a major foundation that doesn’t notice financial issues like this.

  42. #42 Prometheus
    October 25, 2010

    Contrary to a lot of comments I don’t think Dawkins was naive, I think he was preoccupied.

    The RDF is attempting to sustain its non-profit tax deductible status in at least 3 different countries. It has a board of directors. It has accountants and attorneys retained everywhere it is active. It also has the overactive legal machine of American Charismatic Christianity lying in wait to fire a volley broadside on the basis of the slightest technical glitch.

    Dawkins’ job is promotion, writing etc..

    The fact that he was the one who got wise first is not a valid criticism. It is to his credit that he is involved so directly in what is becoming such a large venture with such a rapidly expanding bureaucracy and still caught this before the little dirtbag and his ogre fleeced RDF out of millions.

    American celebrities generally don’t notice they are being robbed until they are in foreclosure on a dozen mansions and the IRS is threatening to put them in the can for the ten million dollars they are in arrears.

    Dirtbag got tagged in year three. It generally takes three years to know if a venture is going to get any traction.

    Do you guys think “Sir Elton” goes over the double entries in the ledgers of the Elton John AIDS Foundation every morning before he decides what shade of nail polish the Cocker Spaniels should have?

  43. #43 Laurent Weppe
    October 25, 2010

    I think your own description of the Catholic Churches reaction to the abuse problem is misleading

    Wait a minute…
    Where did I describe the abuse problem in the Catholic Church?
    The only thing I said was that Catholic authorities have been more forthcoming when it comes to embezzlment than when it comes to child abuse (as in “Yes it happens, it is a big problem, and we’re having a lot of trouble fixing it” compared to “This never happens! And when it happens, we make sure that it does not happen again! And anyone contradicting us is an anti-catholic racist!”).

    William Wallaces attempt to link immoral behavior to atheism is pathetic.

    And I completely agree with this: what I disliked was the fact that the example you gave to illustrate this point was really, well, not very pertinent.

    ***

    @David Marjanović

    You know, considering how you wrote your post, I kinda have the feeling that you did not realize that Wallace and me are actually two different persons having two very different opinions.

    Anyway, you claim that:

    Ten bucks sez no.
    Seriously. Religion comes with inbuilt hero worship; lack of religion does not.

    Well, a few decades ago:, there was this cunning and ruthless guy known as Chairman Mao. Mao was not a child molester: he was one of the few individual who would have made the worst members of the fellowship of child molesters look away in disgust. Yet at the time, a lot of bright, sometimes brilliant, educated, non-religious people started to worship him, calling him the “Never Setting Red Sun”, or “The Great Helmsman”, the “Supreme Arbiter” (sounds almost like a Doctor Who villain), the “Genius Inspirator”…

    Whether hero worship is a “built in feature” or not is irrelevant: what we know (and knowledge trumps belief isn’t it?) is that hero worship happens everywhere, so don’t bet on a horse who lost his race 50 years ago. Besides, as stripey_cat said: assuming that someone you like is morally upstanding is a classic error: you do not need to worship someone to pull a Polanski.

  44. #44 Prometheus
    October 25, 2010

    Whoops, my bad.

    Dawkins didn’t spot the discrepancies.

    Liz Cornwell caught it when she was going over their “quickbooks”.

    Apparently they had already been advised they were going to get fired because a change in the British law allowed the Foundation to operate the Forum and the Store without little dirtbag and his ogress. When Liz finally got them to cough up the books it was revealed that the foundation had been paying for stuff like Shrek’s Blue Cross, gourmet celebrity diet meals from “Freshology” and mystery payments to Maureen’s parent’s and adult children.

    Yuck.

  45. #45 ERV
    October 25, 2010

    What a crazy random happenstance he quit in May, and handed over the books in June!

    Thats so WEIRD!

    What a COINCIDENCE, ey Prom?

  46. #46 sharl
    October 25, 2010

    PZM has posted a link (.pdf) to the actual 18-pg. legal filing by Dawkin’s lawyer.

  47. #47 Prometheus
    October 25, 2010

    If you want to throw up, check out the luscious website the little dirtbag built for his cave troll while the RDF Forums were going down in flames.

    http://thebeautybutler.tumblr.com/

    Yea, like I want advice on beauty from an lady who looks like a cross between a manatee and Bronco Nagurski. I also know better than to have a forum fun by a hygienically challenged pop musician never-was whose best technical/aesthetic effort looks like this:

    http://upperbranch.com/

    Don’t get me wrong, a sycophant is good for the emotional posture. I keep one or two around (nobody can toady like a legal intern) but you must:

    1. Change them out regularly (they go sour).

    2. Answer your own phone from time to time (they filter challengers to their authority)

    3. Lock your desk drawers when you leave the office and never leave your house keys lying around.

    Those kids will go Grima Wormtongue on you in a heart beat. You are guaranteed to go from credit for everything from godlike ingenuity and sunshine to being characterized as a drooling moron who owes them the very air you breathe.

    You bounce them before they shape shift.

    Dawkins should have jettisoned this kid one year after they met.

    It’s not like he couldn’t swing a dead cat and hit 20 smelly hipster atheist douchebags working “in media”.

    Hell, the Dead Baby Moms and My Little Pony People run better organized and moderated forum sites/istores than the RDF ever had.

  48. #48 ERV
    October 25, 2010

    Prom, my local legal buddy :-D What about a class-action lawsuit? Everyone who bought merchandise from the RDF US store was told, by Timonen, that “All proceeds go to RDF”. We were defrauded as consumers, right?

    Also, regarding “upperbranch”, check out this gem:
    http://www.upperbranch.com/brittany/

    Guess we know who the ‘Brittnay’ is that got $350. I also bet that +$1K ‘Ohana Farms’ charge was to that PayPal account for Brittnays medical bills, not actually to ‘Ohana Farms’.

    Sad story.
    http://www.smdp.com/Articles-c-2010-02-04-68740.113116_Victim_in_hitandrun_recovering.html

    Not the RDFs responsibility.

  49. #49 Prometheus
    October 25, 2010

    ERV,

    “What about a class-action lawsuit? Everyone who bought merchandise from the RDF US store was told, by Timonen, that “All proceeds go to RDF”. We were defrauded as consumers, right?”

    Love to assemble a class in consumer fraud, 45% to PromLaw okay with you guys? The oh so sophisticated legal hitch is “ripeness”.

    If Dawkins prevails (including fees and costs) the money will go to RDF so assembly of a class is a ripeness issue i.e. depends on the outcome of the present suit.

    We’ll see. If Dawk loses I am certain somebody will be up for 50,000+ tiny bites out of Josh’s ass.

    What I am curious about now, is why the independent charity monitors were not all over the RDF about this ding dong living out of the cash register and what kind of a charitable organization status federal audit this will trigger and who is going to hang for it.

    I am all about revising my former opinion of Liz Cornwell today. I always regarded her as a bit of an off-the-shelf social science feather weight.

    Turns out she’s doing a Miss Marple while Josh was still telling Dawk what flavor Ipad best suited their mutual awesomeness.

  50. #50 Prometheus
    October 25, 2010

    Oh and sorry to double post but since Orac has his hand in your pocket today I will answer his legal question here.

    Orac asks:

    “Although I find his denial self-serving, I do find it odd that there have been no arrests. After all, embezzlement is a criminal offense. If I ran a charitable organization and discovered that an employee had embezzled close to $1 million, I’d have called the police, not the lawyers. Something more than meets the eye appears to be going on here.”

    Dawkins and Timonen had an oral agreement, if it is found that under the agreement Timonen and “upperbranch” were to act as bailees for RDF then the elements of criminal Embezzlement by Bailee may be established.

    It is not always the case that the civil action is filed because of too little ammunition (lower standard of proof) often it is because there is too much and the discovery process lets us go fishing with greater breadth.

    There is also a magic trick wherein the judgment/settlement in a prior civil case (pay it back) is wrapped into a restitution plea agreement in an after-filed criminal case.

    If that is rolling down the pike then Josh’s potential cooperation and payout settlement (while planning bankruptcy) is tidily transformed into a “late on a payment go directly to hoosegow” proposition.

    All litigation is based on an ancient game called “rats and shovel”. Dawkins’ council seems to be doing a lot of tidy bonking for a first volley.

    This is why you call your lawyer before you call the D.A..

  51. #51 ERV
    October 25, 2010

    Hey, guys… hey… look up “Goldie Norton-Timonen” on facebook.

    ……

    NUTBARS!!! ROFLLLLLLLLL!!!!

  52. #52 Alex
    October 26, 2010

    If the RDF win, do they get the dog?

  53. #53 Anonymous
    October 26, 2010

    When Liz finally got them to cough up the books it was revealed that the foundation had been paying for stuff like Shrek’s Blue Cross, gourmet celebrity diet meals from “Freshology” and mystery payments to Maureen’s parent’s and adult children.

    “Freshology” looks suspiciously like an “Organic Liaison” type front for the Super Adventure Club (pimped by Jenna Elfman, J Lo (the latter’s father was in the Guardian’s Office IIRC)).

  54. #54 Sigmund
    October 26, 2010

    Having read the legal document there are a number of things which appear weird. First, why describe Timonens partner as a significantly older girlfriend? There is a ten years age difference between Timonen and Norton – exactly the same age gap between Dawkins and his current wife, Lala Ward!
    Secondly, why the accusations about how Timonen and Norton used the money on home improvements? It doesn’t sound relevant here – they could have used the money on saving kittens and puppies in peril and it still would be just as (il)legal.
    If the allegations are true it does seem that Dawkins will have to hold himself at least partially to blame for the gross lack of oversight in this case. The actual wages paid to Timonen were not that excessive (they sound a lot to me – a poorly paid post-doc geneticist – but for IT work they are at the low end of the scale). Dawkins says he paid Timonen in advance and expected this to be adequate compensation for both his regular RD website, video media production AND for running a company that sold the merchandise. And all of this was based on an oral agreement rather than written contract?
    It seems remarkably ill judged that it was set up in this way. IF the work involved in the merchandising business turned out to be significant then it seems inviting trouble to fail to anticipate that the merchandising income received might not be used as ‘compensation’ for the extra work.

  55. #55 Dude
    October 26, 2010

    I was going to ask if anyone knew why no criminal charges have yet been filed, but Prometheus seems to have provided an answer.

    I guess they want to get his bank accounts before he lands in the clink?

  56. #56 Prometheus
    October 26, 2010

    Sigmund@#54

    “First, why describe Timonens partner as a significantly older girlfriend?”

    Svengali tactic. They are being described as co-conspirators.

    ( “Lalla” btw, her first husband just turned seventy four. She was forty one, famous and rich when she married Richard i.e. no power differential.)

    “Secondly, why the accusations about how Timonen and Norton used the money on home improvements?”

    If they were claimed as a business expense by Upperbranch then IRS, if not, a lien on equity acquired by misappropriated income of the RDF.

    Based on her “beauty blog” it appears Norton ate a lot of the money.

  57. #57 Sigmund
    October 26, 2010

    Prometheus, given the shady business seems to have happened in the past couple of years I don’t think Timonen (in his mid to late twenties) can be seen as a valid victim of a Svengali figure (his girlfriend was hardly a famous Vamp before the current bruhaha!). I really don’t see the ‘power differential’ between them – the same way I don’t see any great power differential between Richard and Lalla.
    As for the business expenses question – well I don’t know the full details but it did seem that the problem is really that the fact there was no written contract between Dawkins and Timonen allowed for him to run the merchandising operation in such a way that he was able to pay an additional salary from it to himself and Norton and also to pay for their medical insurance. It was not a direct theft of the profits, rather a use of the profits to pay salaries. The end result was the same for Dawkins in terms of what happened to the money but it may be different legally. We’ll have to wait and see.

  58. #58 Prometheus
    October 26, 2010

    “I don’t think Timonen (in his mid to late twenties) can be seen as a valid victim of a Svengali figure…”

    My bad. I didn’t explain what it was for. It is to break up the ranks.

    Remember it isn’t about your perception it is about the perception of a judge who’s qualifications consist of having better hair than his last political opponent, losing at golf to the Schwarzeneggers or the aesthetics of twelve people who were too dumb to get out of jury duty.

    First Upperbranch, Maureen and Josh have to be characterized as one clump acting in concert so that the money (lion’s share to Maureen et al)is recoverable under a misappropriation by Josh claiming an unjustifiable expense of Upperbranch.

    The cash in the register is RDF, the register is upperbranch Josh is the fingers in the register and Maureen is the mouth the money went in.

    Then, the Svengali defense already having been indicated in petition to be something under consideration by plaintiff, Josh turns on Maureen cuts a restitution deal consisting of “I will pay in installments whatever you cannot squeeze out of Maureen with my testimony.”

    Atty: Mr. Timonen are you saying this was all Mr. Norton’s idea.

    Grungy: It’s Miss Norton

    Atty: *cleans glasses* “oh…..sorry.” *shudder* “are you saying this was all Miss. Norton’s idea.”

    Grungy: “Yes, she was the older experienced production manager who told me that all of this was standard practice. I’m just a messy kid from Portland with a chinchilla and a Shelly Winters fetish. She touched my special place, everything went hazy and she had new patio furniture.” *tears*

    Ha ha ha. This is my area of practice. I sometimes forget how horrible it is until I have explain it to somebody else.

    I’m a monster.

  59. #59 Sigmund
    October 26, 2010

    “Shelly Winters fetish” Ha!
    Dawkins should have hired you!
    By the way, Richard, if you’re passing by, I managed to prevent your mini-Dave Grohl from pocketing a few more dollars by taking the precaution of downloading your entire “Growing Up in the Universe” series from Youtube!
    No need to thank me!

  60. #60 Dale Husband
    October 26, 2010

    William Wallace said:

    Even if the money was embezzled, what grounds does a Darwinist atheist have to complain?

    If ERV fanboy theories are correct, Josh was just trying to impress a member of the opposite sex, probably to procreate, and maybe even start a new branch on the tree of life, perhaps leading to a new species that survives by feeding on gullible atheists.

    Thus proving once more his classic idiocy and grade school style attitude. Yawn.

  61. #61 Dale Husband
    October 26, 2010

    William Wallace said:

    Even if the money was embezzled, what grounds does a Darwinist atheist have to complain?

    If ERV fanboy theories are correct, Josh was just trying to impress a member of the opposite sex, probably to procreate, and maybe even start a new branch on the tree of life, perhaps leading to a new species that survives by feeding on gullible atheists.

    Thus proving once more his classic idiocy and grade school style attitude. Yawn.

  62. #62 Dale Husband
    October 26, 2010

    Sorry for the double post. Please delete the first one.

    If you want more evidence of Josh Timonen’s immature attitude, see this:
    http://joshtimonen.com/post/1000529190/feart-dreambutt-fanny

    I was repulsed by such blatant sexism.

  63. #63 Dave W.
    October 26, 2010

    ERV wrote, “Dum-Dum finally figured out how to close comments!”

    I just found out that I had an unclosed browser window from when Timonen’s blog post still had 20 comments on it. If anyone wants their comments back, let me know.

  64. #64 ERV
    October 26, 2010

    Dave– Put em up on a Skeptic Friends thread for posterity!

    Also, because I have no soul– Everyone check out this pic of Shrek soaking her feet in Italy.

    In a bidet.

    In a bidet.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27428224@N02/2557939017/

  65. #65 Dave W.
    October 27, 2010

    ERV wrote, “Dave– Put em up on a Skeptic Friends thread for posterity!”

    I would, but since this situation is already in litigation, I’d much prefer to keep my site as far as possible from any potential copyright infringement claims. So I’ll either send people who ask their original comments, or repost them on SFN only with explicit permission.

    ERV also wrote, “Everyone check out this pic of Shrek soaking her feet in Italy.”

    I made the mistake of assuming that that was just an uncharacteristically horrible picture all around, and looked through some of the others in that Flickr set for better ones. Wow, was I wrong.

  66. #66 ErkLR
    October 27, 2010

    Now I keep reading instructions and watching videos about using a bidet.

  67. #67 Dave
    October 27, 2010

    All right. At first, I thought the ogress and Shrek comments were a bit over-the-top.

    After looking through the Flickr set, I now want to gather up a group of villagers to chase her with pitchforks.

    As an aside for Josh: Buy a razor. The facial hair doesnt make you look more mature, just more creepy.

  68. #68 Prometheus
    October 27, 2010

    Dave@#66

    “After looking through the Flickr set, I now want to gather up a group of villagers to chase her with pitchforks.”

    I was feeling remorseful. I really liked the “Bat Out of Hell” album and she did a fantastic job with “Hot Patootie”.

  69. #69 Prometheus
    October 27, 2010

    Sorry for the double post but I just realized that flikr set is from an inclusive VBT Tuscan tour package and the assholes even paid extra for Meatloaf to get the tour cycling souvenir shirt.

    May 2008

    They are eating and drinking their way through about eight grand within sixty days of Josh getting his $20,000.00 annual advance to run the RDF store and forum.

    I hate these people a little more each day.

  70. #70 ERV
    October 27, 2010

    Dave– My minion and I are fond of calling them “Shrek and Donkey”, cause Joshy is so damn dumb. And fluffy.

    They might get off legally for some reason, but I dont feel any moral obligation to put on any pretense of ‘civility’ with these assholes.

    Prom– Its not just Shrek and Donkey that went to Italy. That is her family. Once again, *her* family. Once again, as much as some of you hate Joshy cause he “TUK MAH FOROOM!”, and the theft required his cooperation, Chubbs is the sociopath in this story.

  71. #71 Sigmund
    October 27, 2010

    “I really liked the “Bat Out of Hell” album and she did a fantastic job with “Hot Patootie”. ”

    Well, I would do anything for love…
    But I won’t do THAT!

  72. #72 Dave
    October 27, 2010

    My minion and I

    You have a minion?!? I thought graduate students WERE minions. If I had known that I could get a minion in grad school, I might have gone past my Masters. Instead I had to claw my way up the corporate ladder to get minions.

    I mean really! Whats the point of having minions if everyone is going to have one?

    BTW, “fluffy”?!?

  73. #73 Reynold
    October 29, 2010

    And as can be expected, the theistards like Vox Day are making hay of this.

    Happily, there’s two posters there who put things into perspective:

    See Lando at 10/28/10 9:32 AM

    The problem with this is that Christian organizations have also been caught with some sort of fraud. Dawkins makes the claim that atheists can be just as moral as Christians. He doesn’t say they always are.

    Really, Christians should be asking why they’re not better than the rest of the world in this respect. Link

    He and Underacheiver try to reason with them, but you can guess what happens.

    (Yes, my link is a plug; feel free to remove it if you want, Abbie).

  74. #74 Reynold
    October 29, 2010

    Whoops. That quote was done wrong. All of the following should have been italicized:

    The problem with this is that Christian organizations have also been caught with some sort of fraud. Dawkins makes the claim that atheists can be just as moral as Christians. He doesn’t say they always are.

    Really, Christians should be asking why they’re not better than the rest of the world in this respect. Link

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