I would like to thank the following people who examined the gathered sensitive information:
Ashley and I have decided to immediately pass on full control of Atheist Nexus to Richard of lifewithoutfaith.com. Richard will take Atheist Nexus to the next level, bringing on others to form a board of directors and establish a solid leadership structure. Ashley and I will remain active members so that we can continue to forge relationships in the community.
Thank you very much for the positive response and support we have received from you all! Thanks also to all those who have volunteered to work on the various aspects of this project. It feels very good to have started a community like this and see it grow so rapidly.
Thor (Kim’s Screen Name)
Reluctantly, I accepted and wrote this letter to the members of Atheist Nexus:
Atheist Nexus Members,
I must say that I was shocked (and disappointed) that Kym decided to step down from all leadership in Atheist Nexus. I tried greatly to convince him to stay. However, Kym and his wife felt that it was best for the community. At Kym’s request, he and his wife have been removed from any access to all administrative functions for this site. Also, all passwords and master keys have been changed.
I sincerely wish Kym and his family the best. With my many discussions with him, he has become a close friend, and there is no way I will let him get very far from his baby!
Please note that we are committed to finishing our investigation and making it available to all of you. It should be available within a few days.
I must admit that I did not want (or need) this responsibility. I only accept it because I am committed to the atheist community and dedicated to build unity within it.
We desperately need volunteers in the following categories:
1. Web Developers to design and improve site.
2. Lawyers (for incorporation, bylaws, trademarks, etc.)
3. Graphic Designers for Logos and promotional items.
4. Bloggers to promote and represent the site.
5. Podcasters to promote the site and talk about the changes. (Also, we may need help with our own weekly show).
6. Moderators who can be online at various hours of the day to monitor activity.
7. Representatives from each of the 50 US states.
8. Representatives from other countries.
9. Donations. I am committed to keeping this membership free on this site.
However, it is going to have to pay for itself and for its promotion.
Thanks so much for all your support and please help me get the word out.
Here are a list of all the concerns and the resulting investigation:
A. Concern One: Who is Kym?
1. He is the founder of Atheist Nexus and his user moderator name was Thor.
2. By occupation he is a Freelance Web Designer.
3. He is married to Ashley and they have two children.
B. Concern Two: Is he a Christian or an atheist?
1. For most of his life he was a Christian. Over the past few years he has been quite confused and doubted his faith. By reading Dawkins, Harris, etc., he became an atheist. He wrote his story and you can read it here: Kym’s Story
2. His wife has also commented on their past in the forums: Ashley
C. Concern Three: What is his association with Divine Christian Center?
1. It was discovered that Kym is the recorded registrant of xenonvisual.com, atheistnexus.org and divinechristiancenter.org. This was due to the fact that Kym is a web designer and does not discriminate against clients.
2. It was discovered that the same fax number appeared on the Atheist Nexus, The Xeno Visual (Kym’s company), and the Divine Christian Center websites. This was because his design software uses his information by default and this site was a sample for the church. It is clear when you look at the lack of information on the site. Also, Kym changed the numbers once it was revealed. As evidence, it should be noted that the same number can be found on other template sites (i.e. Google cache for this www.alibaba.com/member/us100764026/contactinfo.html" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; text-underline: single""> warehouse).
D. Concern Four: What is his association with http://onlinebiblecollege.com?
1. A prayer written by Kym was found on this site. He dealt with this in his earlier mentioned explanation (See I.B.1.) His de-conversion, even though it was a slow process, was not finalized within him until a few months ago.
2. It should also be noted that Kym is not the registrant of this site. Kym also talked about this in the Atheist Nexus forums. He clarified that his de-conversion was within the last few months.
3. Kym’s wife Ashley also spoke of their recent atheism in the forums.
E. Richard’s Notes: With the above information and my many conversations with Kym, I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. He did many things to prove this.
1. Even though it was not necessary, Kym almost immediately asked for my involvement and gave me administrative control of Atheist Nexus.
3. For those who think it matters (I for one do not), Kym also took the “Blasphemy Challenge” several times in the forums.
A. Concern Five: Was pertinent information being collected on Atheist Nexus members to be turned over to Christian zealots?
1. The site is built upon the Ning.com platform. Members sign up to Ning and the individual Administrator’s (like Kym) do not have access to personal information like passwords. The only information accessible is the information provided by the members. This includes email and User Name. The other info City, State, Age range, etc., is collected for networking within the site.
2. It is against the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies to use info in dishonest ways. The following links explain more:
B. Richard’s Notes: With the first issue solved, this is resolved as well. Individuals are no more at risk in the Ning Network as they are on MySpace, Facebook, or MeetUp. I recommend anyone concerned set up a separate email account from their primary account (gmail, yahoo, msn, etc). Also, don’t use the same passwords.
A. Concern Five: How is Atheist Nexus organized as a company?
1. Kym and his wife applied for and received an EIN number from the IRS.
2. Since the site was about a week old, they were in the process of forming a leadership team for their non-profit.
3. Absolutely no money was collected from any members, and Kym has paid for the entire site as of this moment.
B. Richard’s Notes: In my opinion, this is where the mistake was made. In setting up the site, Kym said on the about me page that, “We are organized as a non-profit.” This was not the case. He should have said, “We will be organized as a non-profit.” I don’t however feel that this was intentional deception. The site was a little more than a week old and Kym did not expect the site to grow so quickly. Also, as noted, no money was collected from anyone.
A. Concern Six: Why do you have to register before you can see information on Atheist Nexus?
1. This is standard on many networking sites. You cannot automatically view everyone’s information on Facebook unless you register. There were many in the comment sections of Pharyngula that said pre-registration was reason enough not to trust Atheist Network. Ironically, the Pharyngula chat room requires registration before you can see even its front page.
2. Also, there are many members on Atheist Nexus who are “in the closet” with their atheism. We feel this is none of our business and we will not be a part of “outing” anyone. I have even read the concerns of a non-American Muslim who was very afraid for his security if his non-belief was found out.
B. Concern Seven: Who has access to member’s information?
1. At this point, I (Richard) am the only one who has “Network Creator” status. This is limited as mentioned above (See II.A.1).
2. As standard for this type of site, Moderators are chosen to police the site for problem members and inappropriate posts. They are highly monitored and have to sign written agreements before they are allowed to moderate the site.
C. Concern Eight: Who has been banned from the site?
1. As is common for this type of site, we reserve the right to ban anyone for any reason.
2. As of July 14, 2008, only four people have been banned. This was due to duplicate accounts, inappropriate behavior, and trying to impersonate other people.
D. Concern Nine: With the absence of Kym, what is the future of the site?
1. First, I need to obtain legal advice and make sure matters are handled correctly.
2. Second, a team of designers need to be in place to improve the site.
3. Third, the site has to pay for itself. I will not come out of pocket for this site. If the community wants it, they need to help out if possible.
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