Atheist Group Cancels Event to Avoid Bankruptcy

A national atheist group has announced that it is canceling a big secular convention planned for October in Boston, Mass., admitting if it went ahead with it, the group would go bankrupt.

"Big dreams at the founding of an organization must be abandoned or modified to suit reality," said Troy Boyle, president of the National Atheist Party, in a statement that said the group will not hold NAPCON 2012 in October.

"After this year's amazing Reason Rally, and flush with our successful recruiting and a spike in donations, we decided to hold our OWN secular event," Boyle said. The planned conference, he added, was supposed to be "our biggest and best public event; our chance to show the U.S. that we could fund and organize a large, noteworthy and impressive 'Secular Summit' that would attract media buzz and even more interested members and donations."

The donations, Boyle went on to say, "simply aren't there and if we went ahead with the event as planned, it would bankrupt us."

The group, which plans to become a full-fledged political party in the near future, had announced in June that it would hold a "historic" national atheist convention on Oct. 5 and 6 in Boston. "Friday night will begin the event with a VIP meet & Greet fundraiser where guests will get to rub elbows and take pics with many of our VIP speakers and musicians," it said on June 8.

However, as Boyle said in the latest statement, "the plain fact of the matter is that we have to cancel the event and spend more time and careful planning to make our 2013 convention a solid and better organized success." He said he was "disappointed and disheartened," but "I'm also committed to learning the lessons of this 'failure to launch.'"

The group was founded about one and a half years ago as "a Constitutional movement dedicated to the preservation of the Founding Fathers' vision of a secular nation." It seeks to "politically represent U.S. atheists and all who are drawn to our mandate, in a political process that has thus far marginalized and ignored one of the largest and growing segments of the U.S. population."