July 15, 2008

Atheist Nexus is Not a Scam

As one of the atheist bloggers selected to render judgment on Atheist Nexus and the questions raised over whether it might be a Christian sham, I am ready to do so. I believe that Atheist Nexus is safe and encourage my readers to join and promote the site. Of course, no social networking site is truly 100% safe. Members should still be mindful of the personal information they disclose there. However, I do not believe that Atheist Nexus, regardless of its origins, is now a Christian sham. To understand how I reached this decision, read on.

Shortly after the investigation of Atheist Nexus was launched by the temporary administrator, Brother Richard, a surprising turn of events rendered it mostly moot. The individual who created Atheist Nexus and about whom many questions were raised, Kym, stepped down and turned the entire operation over to Brother Richard from Life Without Faith. This is no longer a temporary situation pending the results of our investigation, but a permanent one. Therefore, the actual investigation is of minimal importance in determining whether to utilize Atheist Nexus. Still, because of the interest surrounding this subject, I'll highlight the following:
  1. Kym is a fairly recent de-convert to atheism. After a period of confusion over his Christian faith, he read some books about atheism and managed to escape from delusion. You can read his story here. He has identified as an atheist only for a few months.
  2. Kym works as a freelance web designer and has done some work for Christian groups.
  3. Atheist Nexus is built on the Ning platform, which prevents administrators from ever accessing user passwords. The only information an administrator ever has access to is the information provided by members on their profiles. Ning appears to be as safe as Facebook and similar sites. Like these, users should use common sense.
  4. Kym applied for and received an EIN number from the IRS. I have seen documentation of this. The initial statement Kym made that the site was "organized as a non-profit" was inaccurate because the process was still underway. But no money was ever collected from anyone.
In my opinion, Atheist Nexus was never designed as a Christian scam. Some mistakes were made, however, I do not attribute malevolence to Kym. I am content to view this matter as put to rest and encourage others to do the same. I would be happy to answer additional questions to the best of my ability, but I am satisfied that Atheist Nexus is something we can all support.