Barney’s Big Lie


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From Footnote 7 to the current article, "Barney's Big Lie":

"But why donate at all? What does Barney get out of giving money to ARI and TOS? His Prometheus Foundation? Why is he trying to get into 'organized Objectivism,' perhaps ultimately to become it?"

From "Yaron Brook on Scientology":

"(Update: Brook left the board of CEHE in 2018 and Barney left ARI in March 2019. Barney continues to support ARI’s affiliate The Objective Standard and ARI continues to promote Barney’s Prometheus Foundation.)"



Did Barney return to ARI?  I think you said something in an earlier thread about his returning, but I'm not sure if you did.


Yaron sounds incoherent.


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You’re right, Ellen, I need to change the verb tense for ARI.  Barney stopped donating to ARI in mid 2018 and the ARI website announced his departure from the board in  March 2019.

I have this information in paragraphs beginning  “UPDATE” in the article Who Is Carl Barney?

ARI still advertises Barney’s Prometheus Foundation.

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"Barney continues to support ARI’s affiliate The Objective Standard and ARI continues to promote Barney’s Prometheus Foundation"

The Objective Standard was once an affiliate of the ARI, but there was a split after Peikoff excommunicated Dr. Diana and Biddle.  They have to some extent made up, but TOS isn't an affiliate.  (The ARI has its own journal, New Ideal).

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From Who’s Who: Craig Biddle:

When in 2010 Leonard Peikoff had John McCaskey ... thrown out of ARI, to his credit Mr. Biddle sided with John McCaskey. ARI then cancelled all his scheduled speaking engagements.

Eight years later, on 24 August 2018, The Objective Standard website carried an announcement by Crraig Biddle saying “I’m pleased to announce that The Objective Standard and the Ayn Rand Institute have resumed cooperation.”  ARI’s new President and CEO, Tal Tsfany said in an interview after the Objectivist Summer Conference 2018 that “there is now renewed cooperation between ARI and The Objective Standard” The ARI Impact Weekly of 1 February 2019 announced that ARI “has formally resumed cooperation with The Objective Standard (TOS) ... .”

ARI put up a notice on its website about this at the time. However, by January 2020 the notice had disappeared.

It looks like on again off again.  My impression is that Barney of the deep pockets has decidedly gone over to TOS.  ARI had to cut its staff drastically when he left however they still have other well-heeled donors to keep them going.  The following is from the first footnote to The Objectivist Gravy Train:

Other major current or past donors to ARI are the BB&T Charitable Foundation (John Allison), the Balyasny Foundation (Balyasny Asset Management), the Howard Charitable Foundation, the Rodney Fund, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Snider family, and several charities associated with the Koch brothers: the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Donors Capital Fund, the DonorsTrust (one word), the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Large current or past donors include Ed Snider, Edward Lampert (ESL Investments), Donald Smith, Arthur Dantchik, Kenneth Moelis, Monroe Trout.


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On 3/6/2020 at 2:35 PM, Jon Letendre said:

The Storm will envelope Barney, just watch. I guarantee there are already indictments with his name on them. Hopefully he is Scientologically allergic to arrest and chooses a doorknob and finds a red scarf.


I’ll pass over the doorknob remark and say a few words about indictments.  The statute of limitations has expired for anything done  (excepting major crimes like murder) as long ago as when Barney was in the Church of Scientology.

Years ago he was sued in multiple courts for alleged fraud in running his trade schools.  These are civil suits, so “indictment” – which applies only to a felony – isn’t appropriate.  He’s fighting these lawsuits, of course, and they’re dragging on and on.  He stands to lose a lot of money but won’t go to jail.  That’s my understanding anyway.

There are a few remarks about the current state of the lawsuits at the end of Andrew Bernstein’s Tribute to Carl Barney on ARIwatch.

As for a storm in what might be called “organized Objectivism” – the Ayn Rand Institute & The Objective Standard – I think not.  I’ve studied these people and they are shameless.  They can brazen out any embarrassment.

When Barney left ARI, Yaron Brook said they had to cut back by about a third.  I suspect the fraction was more than that, but say it was a third.  And suppose that that third went to TOS and Barney's Prometheus Foundation, which were both getting money from Barney already.  That, combined with Barney making Craig Biddle (the editor of TOS) the CEO of  Prometheus, makes TOS/Prometheus significantly more than half the size of ARI, perhaps even comparable in size.

Though ARI isn’t going to disappear any time soon – see the last part of my last post – the center of gravity of “official Objectivism” has shifted from ARI a long way towards TOS.

In other words and to exaggerate, a former Scientologist (and current I don’t know what) is taking over organized Objectivism.


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A reader told me about a strange reference Leonard Peikoff once made.  First the background.

Peikoff gave his The Art of Thinking lecture series at Conceptual Conferences in 1992.  The lectures were recorded and later sold on audio cassette tape.  ARI put them on YouTube a couple of years ago.

In the second Q&A a woman asks Peikoff if it would be good to “jazz up” Objectivist lectures by making them more visual.  Peikoff replies that movies rather than audio tapes would be a big improvement, the problem is that movies are very expensive to produce.  At 1:16:43 he says (omitting the “you knows” and false starts):

“If we had the kind of money that Dianetics has, put everything on that fabulous professional-quality tape, certainly I would do it.  It’s absurd to do it the way we’re doing it.”

Why not say General Motors or Rockefeller or anything except L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics?  Living in Southern California as he does, he might have passed a Dianetics franchise not long before, still, it was a lapse in taste considering Objectivism's critics, and considering  Carl Barney at the time was their largest donor (and Andrew Bernstein says Barney's past was no secret with him at least).

Here’s a link which starts automatically at the woman's question:

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