Legal controversy between Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International

Legal controversy between Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International

Answers in Genesis is an organization promoting Young Earth creationism that was started from the merger of two Australian creationist organizations in 1980. However, in February 2006 Answers in Genesis-USA and the UK office "withdrew" from the AiG "family", retaining the brand name and the website. Meanwhile, the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and South African branches rebranded themselves as Creation Ministries International (CMI). [cite news | url= | title=Answers in Genesis in legal turmoil |publisher=National Center for Science Education | date=June 21, 2007 | first= | last= | accessdate = 2008-04-06]


A legal and personal dispute broke out between the Australian and US arms of AIG in 2005, involving claims of unethical dealing in the handling of magazine subscriptions and autocratic leadership on Ham's part. AIG, in return, accused the leaders of the Australian ministry of "spiritual problems", [ [ Creation Ministries International] ] asking, in correspondence to the Australian CEO Carl Wieland, if he had issues with immorality, and enlisting a former enemy to exhume decades old allegations [] of witchcraft and necrophilia against a CMI staffer (now Wieland's wife). A brief analysis of the situation is described in an account in the "Reports of the National Center for Science Education". [ [ "Trouble in Paradise: Answers in Genesis Splinters"] , Jim Lippard, Reports of the National Center for Science Education, 26 (6): 4-7, November 2006.]

In March 2006, the ministries split, and the offices in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, "by unanimous vote of their respective Boards, rebranded" as CMI [ [ Creation magazine and Journal of Creation] ] . Only the US and UK offices still retain the AIG brand.

A lawsuit was filed on 31 May 2007, by CMI in Supreme Court of Queensland against Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, seeking damages and accusing "unbiblical/unethical/unlawful behaviour" in Ham's dealings with the Australian organisation. [,20867,21843706-2702,00.html?from=public_rss Biblical battle of creation groups] , The Australian]

CMI produces "Creation Magazine" and the "Journal of Creation", formerly distributed by the US and UK AIG offices to their respective countries prior to the split. The Australian group maintains it was disconnected from all its American subscribers when the US office "announced on its web site (without telling us, the publishers) that it was ceasing to distribute both of these publications (and simultaneously announced its own magazine)." [ [ Creation magazine and Journal of Creation] , Creation Ministries International] CMI further alleges in the lawsuit that AIG misrepresented their own magazine to subscribers as a replacement of "Creation". CMI is claiming $252,000(US) in damages for lost revenue by misleading and deceptive conduct in relating to lost subscriptions [ [ Photocopy supplied at the CMI website] ; [ Official court files listing] ] . The case also concerns use of the trademark "Answers in Genesis" within Australia, and alleged misuse by Ken Ham of his position as a director for the Australian group to cause it detriment.

Answers in Genesis has had little to say in public to these accusations, but in comments to news reporters Ken Ham dismisses them all as "totally preposterous and untrue". When a Christian publication attempted a telephone interview of Ken Ham and mentioned the dispute, he hung up. When the editor of that publication attempted to meet Ham at the opening of the Creation Museum, the response was "abrupt and aggressive" and the matter was again shut down [ [ Christian Faith and Reason Magazine] ] .Creation Ministries had made a large collection of documents available detailing its side of the case [ [ CMI-AiG, What's the Dispute All About] ] .

In July 2007, CMI posted an addendum on its website, stating "settlement meetings [will be] taking place... in Hawaii on August 14 and 15, 2007." CMI went on to comment that the meetings were "the first time that [CMI] have been permitted [to meet] with no restrictions on any of [their] director’s participation" since the dispute started. [ [ Briese Committee Menu] ]

In November 2007, CMI again updated their website to inform readers that, although the Hawaii talks resulted in a verbal settlement acceptable to both parties, AiG had subsequently reneged by substantially modifying the written result of the talks through the omission of major planks of the verbal agreement and the insertion of new, unagreed clauses (which were not specified) in a new written proposed contract. [ [ Lawsuit Breakdown] ]

Throughout the spring and summer of 2008, AiG and CMI filed various legal documents with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. According to CMI the filing were for AiG to avoid "accountability under the Australian legal system before Australian courts. It has also ignored/rejected several previous offers by CMI of Christian arbitration under that Australian legal system." [cite news | url= | title=Our response to AiG-US’s latest legal maneuverings |publisher=Creation Ministries International | date=2008 | first= | last= | accessdate = 2008-04-06] In summer 2008, AiG "objected to conditions" in a "relationship-restoring mediation" with a Christian judge, who then dropped out of the mediation. [cite news | url= | title=A brief chronology of events |publisher=Creation Ministries International | date=2008 | first= | last= | accessdate = 2008-04-06] [cite news | url= | title=Judge withdraws from mediation meeting |publisher=Creation Ministries International | date=2008 | first= | last= | accessdate = 2008-04-06]


External links

* [ Answers in Genesis v. Creation Ministries International] in Law Courts, Brisbane

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