<< ARI Watch

Barney Tells His Story
- through Craig Biddle -

The editor of The Objective Standard, a magazine affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, [1]  has finally responded to the revelations in ARI Watch’s exposé “Who is Carl Barney?” about ARI’s historically largest donor.  So that our reply will make sense without having to read the earlier ARI Watch articles on the subject, and to emphasize certain aspects of the case such as Barney’s age, we begin with a timeline of Barney’s career focusing on his early association with the Church of Scientology and later association with the Ayn Rand Institute:

  • Born 9 May 1941,  England.

  • In 1959 he travels across Europe, Asia and India.

  • In 1960 he moves to Australia. He spends five years there, from about the age of 19 to 24.

  • Sometime during the early years in Australia he embraces Scientology.

  • In 1965 he moves to New York.  He is about 24 years old.

  • He rapidly works his way up the Scientology hierarchy, occasionally visiting Church headquarters, then called Mission Office World Wide at Saint Hill Manor in Sussex, England.

  • In 1967 he wins something called the Saint Hill Award, mentioned in the Church of Scientology publication The Auditor, issue #26.

  • In 1968 he graduates from the Saint Hill Special Briefing course. The Auditor, issue #43 mentions that he was “awarded Honours.”

  • The Auditor, issue #45 (February 1969) lists Barney as having become Clear #1637, out of a total of 1,663 Clears to date. A Clear is a person whose mental processes have reached a certain level prescribed by Dianetics after many sessions with a Scientology auditor using an  E-meter.  He is about 28 years old.

  • The same issue of The Auditor says that later Barney attended “an intensive 5 day, 13 hour day, training course in Standard Tech.”  There is a picture of Barney taken during the course and  it is of  ARI / TOS ’s  Barney.

  • No slouch, by 1970 Barney controls five Dianetics franchises or “Missions” in California:  one each in Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Barbara, and San Fernando Valley – which together are called The Church of Scientology of Los Angeles – and one in San Diego, all five together being called Scientology Coordinated Services.  Page 12 of Source  “the official publication of Scientology Coordinated Services” from 1970 shows the location of Carl Barney’s five Missions.  “Scientology Coordinated Services operates all the centers shown on this page. Its President is Carl Barney, Class VIII Auditor, Clear ... .”  On page 17 Barney is referred to as Executive Director.

  • At some point Barney sets up a division of SCS called Nationwide Acceptance Corporation. This is a bank, presented to SCS students as independent of SCS, that loans students money at interest, to pay for the expensive Scientology courses.

  • April 1970 or soon after finds Barney aboard L. Ron Hubbard’s yacht Apollo as part of Hubbard’s Flag Executive Briefing Course.

  • Apparently the course could be tough going because the archived website FACTnet reports that at one point:  “Carl Barney went psychotic on the Apollo and was guarded by three other people on the ship. Carl Barney had been made to sit for months doing ‘blinkless TRs’ ” – whatever those are. (TR stands for “training routine” – Scientologists love acronyms.)

  • In June 1971 he is still on the Apollo.  One of Capt. Hubbard’s memos from that time lists him among those who need to complete a certain Training Routine Course.

  • Back on land, in August 1974 he receives the Award of Merit “given quarterly to those Missions which have produced consistently high stats” for his Mission on Sunset Strip covering the quarter April to June. (Likely he received many such awards.)

  • The Auditor #110 reports that Barney performed a marriage ceremony in Pasadena, California on 16 March 1975, referring to him as Rev. Carl Barney.  He is about 34 years old.

  • If Barney’s rise was meteoric his fall is precipitous.  In 1979 Hubbard claims to have discovered financial irregularities in his conduct, confiscates – specifically, has placed in receivership – all five of his Missions, declares him SP – Suppressive Person – and expels him from the Church of Scientology.  He is about 38 years old.

  • According to a statement by former Scientologist Peter Green, as late as December 1981 Barney is “wanting to connect up” with the Church of Scientology again and get his Missions back. At that time he attends a meeting with some other Scientologist honchos who had had their Missions taken from them. In his case, at least, the result is unsuccessful. [2]  Barney is about 40 years old.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Intermission ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • It’s unknown how much money Barney took away from the Church of Scientology racket. The next we hear of him he is invested in real estate, charging people rent to live in apartments.  (It’s possible he went into this business before getting kicked out of Co$ but it seems unlikely.)

  • At some point he learns that it is possible to buy a college and own it outright – at least a trade school type of “college.”  Quoting a New York Times interview:  “Wow,” he thought, “you could actually buy a college? That’s what I want to do.” [3]  What’s more he doesn’t need a NAC cutout, the federal government will loan money to the students, who in turn give it to him. And the taxpayer holds the bag, that is, ultimately guarantees the loan, while he – Barney – gets to keep the money whether the student pays the loan back or not.

  • By 1985 he has purchased at least one trade school and later sets up others. The details of the history aren’t public but by 2012 he owns several partly brick and mortar schools and one solely online school, and has acquired many millions of dollars.

  • In 1985 as well, he starts donating money to the Ayn Rand Institute, which was founded that year. (Eventually his donations will total over 20 million dollars.)

  • In 1995 or thereabouts the Ayn Rand Institute places Barney on its board of directors.

  • In 2012 Barney puts his schools in a foundation controlled solely by himself called the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, turning his for-profit schools into nominal non-profit ones. He says he is doing it to preserve his legacy, not to evade a planned regulation that would cap the government grant or guaranteed loan revenue of a for-profit school at 90%.

  • According to CEHE’s Form 990 its receipts for 2014 are $194,019,539; expenditures $161,921,960; assets $569,929,222.

  • Barney / CEHE becomes embroiled in three lawsuits, brought in 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively, whose plaintiffs claim his schools engage in various frauds and illegalities. (The lawsuits have been grinding on for several years now.) [4]

  • In April 2017 “Who Is Carl Barney?” goes online, revealing for the first time that the Co$ Barney and the ARI Barney are one and the same man.

  • In 2018 Barney suddenly stops donating to ARI. (ARI is forced to downsize to about two thirds its former staff.)

  • In March 2019 ARI announces that he is no longer on their board of directors. (He continues to support The Objective Standard, the Ayn Rand Center Israel in Tel Aviv, and ARI’s undergraduate newspaper The Undercurrent. ARI’s website, under “Other Resources,” continues to recommend his Prometheus Foundation. Under “eStore” it continues to sell an audio recording of his talk “The Objectivist Ethics Applied to Life and Business.” He participated in one event at OCON July 2018 but none in OCON July 2019.)

  • About the same time, he disappears from the advisory board of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism as listed on their website. His listing as the Chief Executive Officer of LePort Schools disappears. That leaves his position on the board of the Cato Institute, which he retains.

  • The Scientology points in the above timeline were gleaned from contemporaneous records, recent statements of Barney, and recollections of contemporaneous Scientologists. Even if the last two are less than reliable there is enough evidence from the first to show that Barney was no naïve innocent who just briefly dabbled in Scientology. Barney became a major executive in the Church of Scientology and remained such for at least nine years.

    During those years David Miscavige controlled the San Francisco territory and Carl Barney controlled the Los Angeles territory. The two men seemed about on the same level in the Co$ hierarchy. Miscavige managed to stay in Hubbard’s good graces, and took complete control of Co$ after his death.

    Barney has a record of being less than truthful about this part of his life. The following is from a New York Times article [3 again]  based on an interview Barney gave:

    “As a teenager, he traveled to Australia ... and later ended up in California — dabbling briefly, he admits with some embarrassment, in Scientology — seeking meaning here and there while engaging in the great American tradition of self-improvement.”
    Then the article immediately continues, leaving a time gap unfilled:
    “By the 1970s, he participated in another American tradition: making money in real estate.”
    Where did the seed money come from?  We aren’t told.  And given Barney’s actual history – not the “dabbling briefly” fairytale – it would be amazing if he had been in the real estate business, beyond the auspices of the Church of Scientology, before Hubbard discarded him in 1979.

    -oOo-

    Now let’s look at Craig Biddle’s response to all this in “Regarding Carl Barney and Scientology” (The Objective Standard online, 15 July 2019).

    The first thing you notice is that Mr. Biddle provides no reference for what he is responding to, so the reader can look it up and judge for himself. He refers to an “attack” that “someone posted.”  What, who, where ?  But no matter, use any search engine on “Carl Barney” and a link to “Who Is Carl Barney?” appears at the top. Whoever the someone Mr. Biddle refers to is, the facts of the case are presented in that article.

    Mr. Biddle calls the attack a “smear.” Well, there are two parts to a smear: it must be bad, and it must be untrue. The claim that Carl Barney is a monumental liar about a monumentally disreputable past is indeed bad. But is the claim true or false? – that is the question !  If something is unsavory and you describe it as such, the description is not a smear, it is merely a report. To convince the reader that the attack is a smear, Mr. Biddle must show that Carl Barney’s past is reputable and he has been telling the truth about it.

    Mr. Biddle summarizes his opponents’ position as follows:  “Carl is immoral for having been involved in the [Scientology] cult, and ... he should not be praised but condemned.”  Calling that vague statement a summary of his opponents’ position is disingenuous. A passable summary would be:  Carl Barney helped manage a lucrative cult for at least nine years, selling snake oil to dupes. (You need to read about the Church of Scientology to appreciate why its detractors abbreviate it Co$. And to learn that snake oil would actually have been an improvement.)

    Mr. Biddle summarizes his own position in a brief paragraph which we quote in full:

    “That attack is absurd and unjust.”

    OK, the fighters are in their respective corners. Mr. Biddle comes out with two paragraphs telling us how for forty years “Carl has embraced and advocated the philosophy of Objectivism ... .”  One could question that claim – in fact Carl Barney has embraced and advocated ARI-ism, disparate political positions many at odds with Objectivism – but in any case the claim is irrelevant to the question at hand:  Barney’s earlier activity and current truthfulness. Then Mr. Biddle delivers another mini-paragraph:

    “Yet Carl has been attacked because, earlier in life, he was involved with Scientology.”
    Involved ?  Well, Mr. Biddle, that won’t satisfy the wide awake reader.  Again vagueness covers “Who Is Carl Barney?” like a soft blanket of snow. Barney wasn’t just involved in Scientology, for a decade he was a major player in the swindle – and today he pretends he just dabbled briefly.

    Now will Mr. Biddle get to the point and address at least some of the specific journalistic details hidden under the snow? He leads with another of his mini-paragraphs (again speaking of Carl Barney):

    “I asked him about his involvement with Scientology, and here’s what I learned.”
    The fox himself is going to tell us what happened the night before in the chicken coop. Mr. Biddle learned that Barney (I’ve silently corrected a punctuation typo):
    “... first heard about Scientology sixty years ago, when he was a teenager. This was in the organization’s early years, and its appeal to him was that it offered a system of ideas for self-improvement and business success. He got involved because he thought Scientology was a system of ideas for good living. Not only is there nothing wrong with this motive, it’s a good motive. That’s exactly what a young person (and every person) should want in life. And Carl found certain aspects of Scientology helpful in this regard. So he embraced and used those aspects in an effort to make a good life for himself, and encouraged others to do so.”
    This tries to make a purse out of a sow’s ear.  “Teenager” is vague, any age from 13 to 19. Barney was in fact no younger than 19. The story is that he wanted to better his life, and later he wanted to help other people to better their lives. The first part could be true, for a short time. Even an intelligent and honest man could get ensnared in a cult. But such a man would eventually see through it, especially at the higher levels of management. Those at the top know it is a fraud.  And note that Barney found certain aspects of Scientology helpful.  What of the rest of it ?

    The second part of Biddle’s paragraph, that Barney remained with Co$ because he wanted to help other people, could not have been true for long. Nor was he a teenager for long. Nor just a student.

    Mr. Biddle makes much of the fact that Barney began in the early days of Scientology rather than later, as if Hubbard’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health had not been published ten years previous, with its repellent view of man as a stimulus response machine.

    Now at this point Mr. Biddle runs into a problem.  In continuing Barney’s story he must get him out of Co$ without the reader asking how long he was in it and how high he rose in its management, or even if he was in its management.  The soporific vagueness of “over time,” like snow falling over the ugly truth, will do the trick:

    “Over time, the leaders of the movement began steering Scientology less in the direction of ideas and tools for good living and more in the direction of mysticism and collectivism.”
    Note that the Co$ cult is now a “movement.” At this point Mr. Biddle (or Barney) grasps at handy Objectivist hate words; just throw in “mysticism and collectivism” and whatever you want is irremediably blackened. How could a good man, a nascent Objectivist, a man like Carl Barney, not be repelled by a movement gone to mysticism and collectivism ?

    Mr. Biddle (or Barney) continues:

    “Carl rejected this development, and he and others who wanted to focus on personal growth and business success clashed with the leaders. In time, these success-focused rebels either left or were kicked out of Scientology (as Carl was) for not toeing the line and conforming to the cult.”
    After ten years of raking it in ?  Mr. Biddle expects his readers to believe this ?

    Well, naturally he does, but it’s probably a vain expectation !

    According to Mr. Biddle, for a quarter of a century since its founding what the Church of Scientology offered was “ideas and tools for good living” with a “focus on personal growth and business success.”  Is this what Objectivism has come to, writing advertisements for Scientology ?  After this unrelieved hogwash Mr. Biddle tells us that the Co$ leadership – in other words L. Ron Hubbard – suddenly changed it all to “mysticism and collectivism”  and Barney is some kind of hero for trying to keep Scientology pure.  In truth all along Hubbard and his mission franchise owners were raking in a fortune using ego-destroying, dependency inducing techniques common to all cults.

    It is the innocent rank and file of a cult who pay and suffer, and the guilty top administrators who receive and get rich.  With amazing speed and agility Barney installed himself in the receiving end of the Co$ cult. He knew what was going on, and for a few years more than the at least nine years when he headed several “Missions.”

    Mr. Biddle continues his account of Barney, how this good man read Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged and used its ideas to become a huge financial success, even greater – we point out, not Mr. Biddle – than he had been in the Co$ racket.  Then:

    “Given his benevolent attitude, he wanted others to benefit from the philosophy of Objectivism. And given his success and the wealth he created, he was in a position to help financially. So he began supporting organizations that sought to advance the philosophy, including, and primarily, ARI.”
    This guy is so virtuous. Don’t you feel mean and small and low for ever having harbored doubts about his character?  I know I just hate myself.  Not that I’m being sarcastic or anything like that, LOL.
    “From ARI’s inception until recently, Carl was its top contributor and a key board member. Earlier this year, he parted ways with ARI because he didn’t approve of its focus and direction.”
    It’s hard to understand. ARI had been trucking along as usual, promoting war abroad and open immigration at home, all decked out in Objectivist verbiage.  Nothing had changed.  A more plausible explanation for Barney’s departure is that he read ARI Watch and became aware of the high salaries Yaron Brook and several others at ARI were paying themselves, salaries he was subsidizing. Or his legal troubles made him worry about his own financial situation. [5]

    At any rate he still spends money in Objectivist circles:

    “He now funds and runs an organization he created, the Prometheus Foundation, which includes the Objectivist Venture Fund ... .”
    Not to mention partly funding TOS, including its editor Mr. Biddle.  Mr. Biddle goes on to praise the Prometheus Foundation, then:
    “Carl’s goal is simple:  to introduce as many people as possible to the philosophy that has helped him to live a beautiful life — so that they can live such a life, too.”
    As the saying goes, you can’t make up this stuff.

    Next a long paragraph begins:

    “Many people subscribe to bad ideas or systems of thought in their youth and later repudiate those ideas or systems and adopt better ones.”
    Mr. Biddle gives several examples and concludes:
    “Countless people have gone through such transformations. You probably know some personally. I know many. We don’t condemn them for it. We champion their progress. This is the rational, just way to evaluate them.”
    Obviously he intends this paragraph to apply to Carl Barney.  The application is an extended lie.  Barney believed in Scientology – or professed to believe in it – until he was about 40 !  He ran five Co$ Missions for ten years until about the age of 38.  He was no youth.  Mr. Biddle could title his article “Carl Barney for Dummies” and really mean it.  How stupid does he think his readers are ?

    Furthermore, Mr. Barney did not merely hold erroneous ideas, if in fact he sincerely believed in Scientology. He managed a massive sales campaign that duped thousands of young men and women. Who knows how much of his ill-gotten wealth became his future seed money.

    And note the contradiction.  First the story is that the Church of Scientology began with lots of good in it and later, despite Barney’s efforts, went bad. Then the story is that Barney’s involvement with “bad ideas or systems of thought” was just a youthful escapade.  Which is it?  But then it doesn’t matter because both are false.

    Mr. Biddle winds down with a recapitulation:

    “Carl Barney got interested in Scientology as a teenager. When he came to see that it was harmful, he rejected it. He then discovered Objectivism, lived by its principles for decades, and still does. With his success, he funds the advancement of Objectivism so that others can learn about the philosophy and use it to live rich and meaningful lives as well. Far from being cause for condemnation, this is cause for admiration and praise.”
    The article should come with a barf bag.  As we have noted elsewhere:  Iago, rubbing his hands with glee at his own iniquity, is strictly a work of Shakespeare’s imagination. In real life evil is always self-righteous. You cannot tell the heroes from the villains by the emotional noises they make.

    -oOo-

    Seven comments follow Mr. Biddle’s article.  Mr. Biddle moderates all submissions.

    The comment (16 July 2019) by Robert Begley – who writes for TOS and works as the Legacy Giving Manager at ARI – calls the article an “act of justice for a modern day Midas Mulligan,” likening Carl Barney to the banker in Atlas Shrugged.  In my opinion the thousands of mostly young men and women whom Barney convinced to pay for SCS courses or work for nothing were cheated, so I would ask if Mr. Begley has an act of justice for them.  More than a few of Barney’s CEHE college students have asserted that they have been cheated. Does anyone in the orbit of ARI care?

    The author of another comment (16 July 2019) is saddened that Barney’s critics   “find the need to smear a good man ... particularly when he has done so much good for the Objectivist movement.”  Well, the truth is never a smear. Barney’s critics explain why he is rather less than a good man. And setting aside his Scientology past, his dissembling about it, how he financed his subsequent career, and his current method of acquiring money, helping finance the mis-named Ayn Rand Institute did more harm than good for the Objectivist movement.

    Then there is a comment by one Roger Boswarva (17 July 2019). He says that he met Barney in Melbourne, Australia in 1963 and again in London, England in 1968.

    “The thing I observed about Carl was the intense integrity and wholeness of purpose with which he pursued objectives and what interested him. This of course, is a characteristic of anyone who attains any measure of success or greatness.
    “...
    “I am sure Scientology will have been one of a number of areas of investigation based on a valid purpose of wanting to know what brings betterment to life – and that is a purpose that should be honored, not condemned.

    “Carl’s accomplishments speak for themselves – nothing more needs be said.

    “Craig did right to set the record straight.”
    Now there is something very fishy about this. The comment engine of TOS’s website is connected to Disqus, and by clicking on “Roger Boswarva” you find a post he wrote ten years ago that links to a post on the Ex Scientologist Message Board he wrote under the name he uses there, RogerB, same avatar. On that discussion group you find that he was in the upper echelons of Scientology at least from the early 1960s to 1983, over twenty years. He wanted to remain, as he says, but got kicked out. Then, and it seems only then, did he begin to publicly criticize Scientology. Several of his posts mention Carl Barney. The following statements are of interest here. [6]

    23 March 2017
    “I knew Carl Barney in Melbourne ... and he is a person in need of a great deal of ‘self improvement.’ ”
    28 March 2017  (He begins by referring to the photo of Barney in Patricia Cohen’s NYT article of 2016.  “Oz” is slang for Australia.  “PE” is the Personal Efficiency course, the first course in Scientology.  “Carlie-baby” mocks “Carl Barney.”  The ellipses are his.)
    “Yes, that is the Carl Barney I knew in Melbourne.

    “The NYTimes article states he moved to Oz from London as a teenager.

    “He got a girl I knew there pregnant (a fellow Scn) . . . he was married to someone else (whom I had audited 12-18 months earlier) but don't know where wife was at the time, but I believe he and his wife came to St. Hill together later. He actually attended my PE/Intro Lectures in London . . . students used to come up to see how/what I did so they could use the info in their missions back home.

    “The bad news on Carlie-baby is that I ended up helping the pregnant girl out with the $$$’s need[ed] to get her scene handled . . . Carlie-baby was nowhere to be found[.]

    Either (1) Mr. Boswarva is confused, or (2) he has a rather broad idea of intense integrity, wholeness of purpose, and betterment of life, or (3) he lied to the Ex Scientologist Message Board, or (4) he is lying to TOS now, to what end isn’t clear.

    Mr. Boswarva has posted thousands of words on ESMB. He comes across as an arrogant blowhard with a fantastic – in both senses – opinion of himself.

    Richard Salsman, an economist, president of InterMarket Forecasting, frequent speaker at ARI events, and TOS writer, begins his comment (18 July 2019):  “Thank you, Craig, for defending a good man ... .”  Consider one of his arguments:  “... obviously she [Rand] wasn’t a ‘born Objectivist,’ because she hadn’t yet identified, developed, or named her philosophy. That’s no reason to doubt her subsequent demonstrations of rationality, morality, or sincerity.”  No one said it was, or made a similar argument about Carl Barney. What moron would argue “Rand was born without knowing Objectivism therefore she was immoral” like the pagans in the first circle of Hell? How is Salsman’s painfully obvious observation relevant to our criticism of Barney?

    Though Barney wasn’t born knowing that Scientology is a snare within a delusion, he for sure knew by 1969 – and apparently he liked operating the snare.

    Later in Mr. Salsman’s comment he seems to think that to criticize Carl Barney is to criticize Ayn Rand. How else to explain this precious bit of bad writing and muddled thinking. Take a deep mental breath, you’ll need it to get to the end:  “The truly troubling (and immoral) case is when people hear about or glimpse a great philosophy or way of life but then elect to ignore or evade it and refuse to pursue or adopt it, so as to not to work too hard, or lose friends, or make enemies — like any of those who once came to Objectivism but thereafter elected to leave it, misrepresent it, and/or smear its genuine adherents and sincere allies.”

    Then there is a comment (16 July 2019) by C. Bradley Thompson, another ARI regular. Like Misters Biddle and Salsman he has benefited financially from Barney’s donations. He has been a senior writer for ARI. He is the executive director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He was once on the board of Barney’s Center for Excellence in Higher Education (might still be, I don’t have time to investigate) and is currently on the board of Barney’s Prometheus Foundation.

    He writes:  “The recent smears against Carl Barney are unjust and symptomatic of a deeper malady within the Objectivist movement.”  Again that epithet “smear” as if repeating it over and over will make it stick. How about addressing the facts that have been uncovered? Then Mr. Thompson, like Mr. Biddle in his main article, lists a number of people who once held erroneous ideas and subsequently reconsidered. As pointed out earlier, however, the problem with Barney involves more than just his thoughts.

    Mr. Thompson hopes that one day Objectivists will understand that  “no successful intellectual movement can survive when its best advocates — those serving on the front lines and taking direct fire from the enemy — are also taking hostile fire from their supposed allies skulking in the rear.”  Good grief. One could hardly imagine a worse spokesman for Objectivism than Carl Barney. If he must be counted as among Objectivism’s best advocates then Objectivism is doomed.  As for his critics being furtive cowards “skulking in the rear” and (this comes later in Mr. Thompson’s comment) “taking pot shots at the backs” of the likes of Carl Barney bravely marching to the fore – it’s a raft of name calling and bullyragging.  These are New Intellectuals?

    Mr. Biddle (19 July 2019) thanks everyone for their, as he says, thoughtful comments, then writes:

    “It’s astonishing that people who claim to advocate objectivity would treat unsubstantiated claims floating around the Internet as evidence. But they have. It’s even more astonishing that they would treat their arbitrary assertions and slanderous accusations as deserving reply. Yet they do. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but it’s very strange and sad.

    “... I’m glad to have posted this piece, and I appreciate your support of this heroic man who has done more to advance Objectivism than anyone except Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff.”
    No comment is necessary but I’ll say this:  Evidence has been provided for our claims, they are not arbitrary. The key points are how long a time this hero spent in the Church of Scientology and how high he rose in its management. Mr. Biddle’s phrase “floating around” is a fine choice of words. It saves him from citing the articles anchored here.

    Now I ask all these gentlemen:  How low would Barney have had to sink so that no amount of money he might donate to your cause could raise him up in your eyes?  And given the depth to which he did sink, what is your price, bought and paid for, to evade that fact?

    Michael Hurd, the psychotherapist behind Living Resources Center, weighs in (20 July 2019).  He says he knows Barney personally.  “He is a fine person and the real deal when it comes to integrity and the love of ideas.”  Mr. Hurd then works the mere youthful transgression line. No one is justified in “condemning Carl’s character for his youthful interest in ideas he no longer embraces. ... If anything, his willingness to correct such errors is evidence of his integrity, not the lack of it.”  Again, “youthful interest” is far from reality.  And setting aside Barney’s thoughts, what of his actions? To quote Richard Ruggiero on his Facebook page:  “No one is condemning Carl Barney for his initial involvement in Scientology, but there’s a big difference between initial study and leadership.” [7]

    Then Mr. Hurd says that Barney’s recent withdrawal of support from ARI is “even further evidence of integrity and character.”  It’s hard to follow given the mutual support of ARI and TOS, and of TOS and Barney. (Perhaps the fact that Mr. Biddle allowed this comment indicates a weakening of the first.) There has been no public statement from ARI as to why Barney left ARI. The same can be said for his departure from Clemson Institute and from LePort Schools.  At any rate, which is it:  first we are to praise Barney for supporting ARI, then for withdrawing that support – while, to repeat, nothing had changed at ARI.  Maybe Barney is as sincere about his reason for leaving ARI as for making his schools nonprofit.

    -oOo-

    Detractors of Objectivism frequently accuse it of being a cult. Instead of looking at reality and thinking for themselves, Objectivists worship a leadership and do what is expected of them. So the detractors say.

    Now look at the method and manner of Craig Biddle and Barney’s other supporters. Cultish describes it pretty well. They seem unable to look at facts or examine an argument; they just repeat “smear, smear” over and over like an incantation.

    Venal might describe them pretty well too. Would they be so willing to sing Barney’s praises were it not for his cash?

    Honest admirers – and critics too – of Rand’s work will run from these people.


    1  The Objective Standard was founded in 2006 with the help of the Ayn Rand Institute. Yaron Brook was a contributing editor. Craig Biddle was, and remains, its managing editor. When in 2010 Leonard Peikoff had John McCaskey thrown out of ARI  Mr. Biddle sided with McCaskey, ARI immediately broke off all relations with TOS. Eight years later 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 ... .”

    2  See footnote 19a of  Who Is Carl Barney?  on this website.

    3  “An Ayn Rand Acolyte Selling Students a Self-Made Dream” by Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, 7 May 2016.

    4  See footnotes 23 through 26 of  Who Is Carl Barney?  on this website.  As pointed out in the body of that article, even if a politically liberal person begins investigating something out of sympathy for liberalism, their motivation doesn’t make what they discover any the less true.

    5  One possibility is off the table:  that after Yaron Brook read “Who Is Carl Barney?” he urged Barney out of ARI.  In fact, judging from one of Mr. Brook’s podcasts around that time, July 2018, he was quite surprised that ARI had lost what he called “a large donor” without naming who it was.

    6  Locations of Roger Boswarva’s posts:
    www.forum.exscn.net/threads/carl-barney.43653/#post-1136359
    www.forum.exscn.net/threads/famous-former-scientologist.43683/#post-1136857

    7  Location of Richard Ruggiero’s post:
    www.facebook.com/richard.ruggiero.90/posts/10157900258974162