Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago Has 
Videographer Brutally Arrested & Prosecuted

Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago
We received the following statement from the Ad Hoc Committee for Reason & Dropping the Charges:

The Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago (EHSC) claims that “the supreme aim of human life is working to create a more humane society… Our commitment is to the worth and dignity of the individual and to treating each human being so as to bring out the best in her or him.” It also claims to promote “intellectual, philosophical, and artistic freedom.”

Why then did a small group within the leadership of the EHSC spearhead a campaign to cancel a long-scheduled talk on Morality without Gods by Sunsara Taylor, a nationally known speaker and writer for Revolution newspaper, based on gross distortions of her positions just days before her talk was to take place?

And then, when she came to make a brief statement against this unprincipled and unethical disinvitation before the event on the day of her canceled talk, why did Matthew Cole, the President of the EHSC, have the police brutally attack and arrest Gregory Koger, a volunteer videographer who was standing there silently documenting Sunsara’s statement?

Not only has the leadership of the EHSC continued to move forward in pressing charges against Gregory (who faces trial on June 29), they have attempted to silence public discussion and debate about their reprehensible behavior, going so far as to urge the State’s Attorney to file contempt charges against Gregory in an attempt to shut down the website of his defense committee - The contempt petition was defeated and the committee continues to build opposition to this outrageous prosecution.

What Principled People Are Saying About The Unethical Behavior 
of the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago

“Sunsara Taylor is well-known and does not hide her perspective; you know when you invite her to speak, that you will be getting the views of a revolutionary communist, just as you know if you invite me to give a talk that I will be representing the blaspheming godless biologist side of the story...

What I can’t understand is how someone who identifies themselves as an ethical humanist would decide this fellow human being [Gregory] was nothing but a mad dog brought to the event to provoke a violent incident. What they don’t understand is that I’m not speaking out because I idolize Bob Avakian (I don’t) or think Maoism is the answer (I don’t) or that I think Sunsara Taylor should not be criticized (not at all) — it’s because the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago is betraying what ought to be the basic principles of such a society: tolerance, engagement, argument, discussion.”

-P.Z. Myers, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Minnesota - Morris, writing on his top-rated science blog Pharyngula

“I write to express my great surprise, and disapproval, on learning that EHSC has decided to rescind its speaking invitation to Sunsara Taylor... Please reconsider your decision, which does just not reflect badly on your organization, but, if allowed to stand, will represent one more victory for ‘safe’ opinion over full and vigorous debate.”
-Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, 
New York University

“I wanted to write to you to criticize in the strongest possible terms both your organization’s ‘disinvitation’ of Sunsara Taylor and its insistence on pursuing criminal trespassing charges against Gregory Koger...

Obviously, you’re within your rights to rescind an invitation, even from bad motives.  But pushing for someone’s criminal prosecution on such shaky grounds is something else entirely—quite reprehensible.

I wanted you to know how strongly I object.”

-Aaron Baker, one of Gregory’s college professors

“...True humanists, Ethical Culturalists, etc. should be primarily concerned with testing their ideas, listening to others, and learning to value the opinions of those with whom they disagree. Otherwise, why not just be religious? By now it should be absolutely clear that your organization should allow Ms Taylor to address your members. Please do the right thing.”
-Norm R. Allen Jr., Executive Director, African Americans for Humanism 
(for identification purposes only)

“Please take a long moment to consider  the outrageousness of your present decision of pressing charges against video journalist Gregory Koger. I have known Mr. Koger since I provided him opportunities to publish his articles in our newspaper, the Public i. He is a dedicated pursuer of justice and the irony of an ‘ethical’ organization pressing the charges under such benign circumstances would be laughable if they were not so serious.”

-Sandra K. Ahten

“...Once again, I urge you to reconsider what you are doing, and stop the compounding of your error because of false pride and emotional investment. Think clearly, presumably also a humanist value, about what has happened here. End a sad chapter and move on. Pressing charges will only compound the errors yet again, and insure that the stain on your record of adherence to humanist principles will not be erased.”

-Paul K. Eckstein, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religion, 
Bergen Community College, Bergen NJ

“Sunsara’s smart, energetic and she’s always gathering information from where the action is. Does she have an opinion? Sure but an exchange of views is what we believe in, right? I’ve featured her on my tv and radio programs on many occasions and always find her contributions valuable to the mix.”

-Laura Flanders, Host of GRIT TV on Free Speech TV

“...To hear that you invited police officers into your space to beat a person documenting [Sunsara’s] comments is shocking and makes me embarrassed to have ever referred to myself as a humanist. I hope you will drop all charges and make a full apology to her, her photographer and the larger community. Further, you should re-invite her to speak and follow through this time.
-Fred Lonberg Holm, Jazz musician, Chicago

For Those Who Truly Value—--and Live—Humanist Ethics...
Speak Out Against This Outrageous Prosecution!

Send your comments to the Ad Hoc Committee for Reason & Dropping the Charges at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and let us know if they are for publication.

Messages urging these charges be dropped can be sent to the prosecuting attorney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donate to Gregory’s legal defense fund by sending a check to Scott Frankel, his attorney, at Frankel & Cohen, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1720, Chicago, IL 60602 (memo: Koger defense). Gregory also has medical expenses of almost $1,000 for treatment after the police beat and maced him, in the halls of EHSC.

If you are in the Chicago area or have ethical friends there, come to the trial on June 29 at the Cook County Courthouse, 5600 W. Old Orchard Boulevard, Skokie, IL

Stay in touch and get more information on the case through our website -

Ad Hoc Committee for Reason & Dropping the Charges This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further background information, see the Chicago Reader article dated 1/14/10, Party Crashers: When a commie showed up insisting she'd been invited, the Ethical Humanists called in the cops by Deanna Isaacs.