Correspondence history between Lea and AiG


Monday, July 6, 2009


      Correspondence history between Pastor Kevin Lea and
Ken Ham (CEO of AiG) pertaining to Pastor Kevin’s July 6, 2009
 letter documenting Dr. Steven A. Austin’s plagiarism and poor
            science being featured in AiG’s museum
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Lea" <kevinl_XXXXXX
To: "Mike Matthews" <MMatthewsXXXX [Sent To Mike Matthews For Him To Give
To Ken Ham]
Cc: "Walt Brown" <waltXXXXXX
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 6:38 PM
Subject: Letter from Pastor Kevin Lea - Plagiarism in AiG Museum
July 6, 2009
Dear Ken Ham,
I have attached a preliminary letter that I believe requires your very careful attention and
It documents Dr. Austin's plagiarism of Dr. Brown's work on the Grand Canyon and,
more importantly, how his actions have had such a detrimental effect on the creation
science movement.
You have become involved in this dispute because your museum and other products of
AiG are featuring this plagiarized material. My detailed letter to Mr. Mike Matthews on
14 March [2008], a letter he requested, was ignored.
Please read my attached letter to Mr. Matthews to determine if you and AiG still want to
stand behind Dr. Austin's plagiarisms. This letter proves, using Austin's own words, the
serious errors and deceptions that he authored and that your museum is now spreading. I
want to give you every opportunity to correct me if I have misunderstood the matter in
any way.
If you or Austin can provide documentation showing where I have erred, I will make the
necessary corrections to the attached letter before posting. If you cannot (and others who
are also being solicited for rebuttal and comment cannot), then the attached letter with its
Attachments will be posted at our website as written. It will also be distributed to about
200 creationist organizations with a website presence.
You may note that some of the links are not yet active, but they will be by the time of
actual posting in early August.
I encourage you to more carefully research the facts. When you do, I think you will
change your stated position. If you communicate to me in a certified letter that your
position has been changed based on these facts, then I will modify the Internet posting
You may not realize that on 5-6-2008 Dr. Brown sent Dr. Austin a copy of Endnote 34 in
Brown's Grand Canyon chapter. (Dr. Brown's Endnote 34) This was a month before it
was placed in his 8th Edition. Brown offered to correct any errors Austin could identify-
or remove the entire endnote if Austin publicly corrected the record. Austin ignored his
offer. Unfortunately, 30,000 copies of that are now in print, not to mention on the
Internet. Many people are reading it.
I will be leaving for Africa tomorrow and will not return until July 25. Feel free to
respond now if you wish, some of my assistants are very familiar with the material and
may be able to assist you and the others that are receiving this preliminary letter.
However, some matters may have to wait till I return.
Pastor Kevin Lea
cc: Mark Looy, Mike Matthews
   The following is a letter from Mark Looy of the Answers in
Genesis (AiG) ministry. This letter was sent via US Postal service
 on July 27 as a response to Pastor Kevin’s letter of July 6, 2009.
   For the purposes of being able to intersperse comments, Mr.
   Looy’s letter was carefully retyped. The scanned pdf of the
                  original letter is available here.
July 27, 2009
Pastor Kevin Lea
PO Box 151
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Dear Pastor Lea,
Greetings. In response to your July 6 letter, I point out that I have no issue with either
Walt Brown or Steve Austin. If either has a problem with us, then per Matthew 18, we
should be approached, and that has not occurred. You have no Matthew 18 standing in
this situation.
      KL – AiG’s museum features plagiarized and false information. AiG markets a
       video with plagiarized and false information, which I have watched. AiG has
       marketed to ME false information and bad science.
       I first came to you in March of 2008 with documentation proving that you were
       spreading false information. Others joined me in writing to you, encouraging you
       to do what is right. You chose to continue spreading falsehoods.
       From that time on, AiG knew or should have known that it was spreading
       plagiarized and false information, as well as bad science to all museum visitors
       (and to those you send your DVDs to). Because of AiG’s failure to correct the
       false statements, plagiarism and bad science, AiG is now complicit in deceiving
       tens-of-thousands of additional people who have attended the museum since then.
       I do have standing in accordance with Matthew 18. I have gone to you, others
       have joined me, and now it is posted for all the church to be warned, in
       accordance with Matthew 18.
Moreover, the former dispute between Drs Brown and Austin has already been settled. A
joint statement was signed by both parties (with mediation help) in 1994; at that time, the
mediator stated both parties “request your prayers and support in their commitment to
implement this agreement. Your acceptance of this statement without additional
investigation or discussion will be one of the ways you can be of assistance” (emphasis
added by me).
       KL – I encourage you to carefully read my July 6, 2009 letter. The facts show
       that the dispute between Drs. Brown and Austin was supposedly settled in a
       mediation session held on June 21, 1994. However, shortly thereafter Dr. Austin
       violated the agreements of that mediation. Dr. Austin’s unethical actions after
       mediation are clearly documented in the letter I sent you. I am sure Dr. Austin
       would prefer that you accept his false statements to you without additional
       investigation but all the facts are now posted at our website and many are now
       able to determine the truth of the matter for themselves. It is likely they will be
       wondering why you want to continue spreading falsehoods in your museum.
       If Dr. Austin told you that there was a Joint Statement that was signed by him and
       Dr. Brown, then I suggest that you ask him to provide you a copy. If I understand
       the facts correctly, a joint statement was never signed by both parties. If Austin
       did tell you that one exists, but does not provide you with a copy signed and dated
       by both Austin and Brown, then it will be one more addition to Dr. Austin’s many
       false statements. I will update this response if and when you or Austin provide me
       with additional information.
It was proper (and ultimately efficacious) in 1994 to have an impartial, independent third
party be the mediator of the dispute, and the matter has already been settled per both
      KL – Not true, as noted above.
Inserting yourself and reigniting any past differences does not make you a mediator,
much less a peacemaker. In addition, you have already drawn your conclusions (even
with your proclaimed willingness to be open to seeing more evidence) and thus can’t be
       KL – I am not “inserting myself” into this dispute. Please read my letter of July
       6, 2009 and my letter to Dr. Henry Morris III (now posted at our web site) which
       explain how statements made by ICR to me (directly and indirectly) brought me
       into an awareness of this dispute.
       I am not trying to be a mediator, but rather am trying to provide a complete and
       accurate answer to the many questions raised by Dr. Austin’s actions (with ICR
       and AiG support). People who visit your museum are shown a Grand Canyon
       display showing an incorrectly named Lake (Canyonlands Lake – Properly called
       Grand Lake by the one who discovered it). They also see an animation of the lake
       breaching through the Kaibab up warp without any explanation for how this is
       possible (30 mile thick, 2,000 foot high limestone). You advertise Dr. Austin as
       the Grand Canyon expert, but your expert does not provide a working explanation
       for how the breach occurred nor does Dr. Austin provide answers to the many
       other enigmas surrounding the Grand Canyon.
       Others are reading Dr. Brown’s work (suggest you Google {origin “Grand
       Canyon”} – where Dr. Brown’s web book is the most popular hit out of hundreds-
       of-thousands). Those who find Dr. Brown’s work read about a properly named
       lake and get a 38-page, scientifically sound explanation for how it breached and
       carved the Grand Canyon. Doubtless thousands are wondering why there is this
       conflict in lake names, why Austin provides no evidence or explanations while
       Brown does. They especially wonder why AiG and ICR do not recognize Brown’s
       work or his contribution to the Creation Science movement in light of these facts.
       Our website is dedicated to giving them a truthful answer. That answer includes
       the exposure of your false displays.
       I am very sincere in my desire to be shown additional, documented, factual
       information that would remove my concerns that Dr. Austin’s plagiarism and bad
       science are featured in the AiG museum. You never provided me with any
       evidence in our earlier email exchanges. Others also have not. The second
       version of the “Joint Statement” (which you allude to above) is not evidence
       against my concern. I have added the history of this second Joint Statement into
       the July 6, 2009 version of the letter I sent you in March of 2008 (I do regret that
       I was not aware of the second Joint Statement before I wrote the March 08 letter).
       The facts surrounding this second Joint Statement only expose the depths that Dr.
       Austin was willing to go to cover his plagiarism rather than supporting any
       rebuttals he makes to you or others.
You have already come up with your verdict, which would disqualify you as a mediator.
But that is moot any way, for the dispute was settled in 1994, your current efforts
notwithstanding. You are attempting to override an established agreement and usurp the
role of the 1994 mediator, only fanning the flames and keeping the dispute alive and,
sadly, in the public eye.
This all begs the question: in light of Matthew 18 and John 13:35 (i.e., non-Christians
will know us by our public actions of love) and the fact that a settlement was reached in
1994, why have you taken it upon yourself to issue very public postings (and mail dozens
of letters) about an already-resolved matter and sully the name of Christ as you keep this
matter in the public eye and also display a harsh, unloving spirit? What is your biblical
justification for your actions?
       KL – The matter was not settled in 1994. You have not been told the truth. The
       Jesus that I serve is The Way, THE TRUTH and The Life. Those who serve Him,
       rather than themselves, have a love of the truth and hate all lies. You are
       spreading falsehoods, which Jesus tells you not to do.
               Col 3:8-9 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath,
               malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one
               another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, (NKJ)
       I pray for the day you stop deceiving people who come to you for scientific
       information and instead get Christian fairy tales.
       Kevin Lea
       Pastor, Calvary Church of Port Orchard
       Cc – All who want to know the facts
Mark Looy
Cc Walt Brown, Steve Austin