Visits from Prominent Humanists and Atheists

Over the years, prominent people from humanist/secular/atheist circles have visited the HAO:

Dan Barker
Freedom From Religion Foundation
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Dan BarkerIn 1975, Dan Barker was ordained as a preacher. In 1984, after meeting his future wife, Annie Laurie Gaylor, he announced to his friends that he was an atheist.

As a successful musician, Dan has composed over 200 songs that have been published or recorded, as well as books about freethinking, including books for children. He is the current co-president with his wife of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that promotes the separation of church and state.

Dan paid a visit to Ottawa circa mid 1990's.


Dr. Robert Buckman
Past President of Humanist Association of Canada

Dr. Robert BuckmanDr. Buckman, an oncologist, is well known for his humour and excellent medical information programs on television and radio. He is also a published author of several medical books. In 1999, he became president of HAC and wrote a book-Can We Be Good Without God?-Biology, Behavior, and the Need to Believe.

Robert visited the HAO in January of 2000 to talk about the future of the HAC.


Warren Allen Smith
Author of Who's Who In Hell

Warren Allen Smith


Warren Allen Smith, author of Who's Who In Hell, was a guest speaker in September of 2001. Warren kindly raffled his book as a fund raiser for HAO. Martin Pariseau was the lucky winner. Warren resided three blocks away from the World Trade Center and was witness to the second plane crashing into the south tower.



Eddie Tabash
Atheist Civil Rights Lawyer from
Beverly Hills, California, USA

Eddie TabashIn November of 2001, the HAO invited Eddie to Canada to debate the Campus Crusade for Christ on Does God Exist? Eddie had debated in both Windsor and Kingston, Ontario; his last stop was Ottawa. The debate took place at Carleton University, where the auditorium was filled to standing room only capacity. Before Eddie left Canada, the HAO gave a party in his honour, demonstrating our Canadian hospitality.



Norm R. Allen, Jr.
The Council for Secular Humanism
Amherst, New York, USA

Norm R. Allen Jr.Norm visited the HAO in October, 2002 and spoke about the ground breaking work he did when he edited African American Humanism-an anthology.

About a dozen HAO members joined Norm at Beechwood Cemetery to place a wreath on behalf of the HAO, at the September 11th Memorial. This memorial is dedicated to all those Canadians who died that day. The wreath carried the inscription: "In memory of freethinkers who were among those whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001".

Roy Brown
Past President of IHEU

Roy Brown

Roy Brown, past president of the International Humanist & Ethical Union, paid a visit to Ottawa with his daughter, Diana. Roy now resides in Switzerland and is IHEU's representative to the United Nations in Geneva. He has been very active as the watch dog for Human Rights' violations by the UN member states.

Bobbie Kirkhart
Atheist Alliance (USA)

Bobbie Kirkhart


Bobbie Kirkhart was born into a devout Protestant family in Enid, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she became a social worker in South Central, Los Angeles. Bobbie began to doubt the existence of a supernatural power when the conditions of black and Latina single mothers never changed, despite their deep religious convictions. Their belief in their god was certainly not helping them. This doubt eventually directed Bobbie towards freethought groups. Bobbie visited Ottawa in October, 2003 and spoke to the HAO about atheism.



Homa Arjmand
The Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada

Homa ArjmandHoma Arjmand, (see arrow and insert), was born in Iran, and fled the Islamic regime in 1989, escaping through the mountains with her young family of two small children and her husband. Since coming to Canada, she has been relentless in bringing attention to the human rights abuses practised by political Islamic extremists, particularly in Iran. Homa gave a talk to the HAO in April 2004 on the plight of Iranians still suffering this abuse. This picture displays some promotional material for that battle.


Tom Flynn
Editor of Free Inquiry magazine
Amherst, New York, USA

Tom Flynn


A committed atheist, Tom refuses to even participate in the secular activities of the Yule season as he explained in his book: The Trouble with Christmas. For many years, Tom has edited the respected magazine Free Inquiry.

Tom spent two days in Ottawa in November, 2004 at the invitation of HAO, where he spoke about Christmas and humanism in science fiction.


Daniel Dennett
Author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

Daniel Dennett visited Carleton University during Darwin Week of February 9th to February 13th, 2009. The year 2009 was the bi-centennial of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book On the Origin of Species.

Daniel Dennett


Daniel Dennett, (holding coat) with members of HAO, the Carleton Secular Alliance and Ottawa Skeptics, at the reception following Dennett's February 9th lecture: Darwin and the Evolution of Reasons".