Image Via Facebook
Since February, I’ve been trying to get answers as to the status of – and spending of the crowd-sourced funds Michael Wilson (@GodlessAtheist) received for his planned documentary ‘God Is Incredible‘ back in 2012.
Shortly after Michael received nearly $12,000 in crowd-sourced funds, he made a handful of sporadic updates, took a holiday to Japan, then appeared to drop off the face of the earth – going completely silent for periods of over a year until I began investigating. You can read a detailed timeline of events here.
In an update dated 19 June 2015, Wilson made some more promises, but also pledged to facilitate refunds for those who request them directly:
The ‘Clip’ referenced above arrived on YouTube two days later, which was nothing more than a crude trailer promising more footage ‘next week’.
I think it’s now fair to say this project has not been undertaken with the professionalism, sincerity and commitment promised to its funders. Given the format of the movie appears to have changed, and no indication has been given as to whether rewards will be fulfilled and no documentation has been provided to show how nearly $12,000 has been spent in over 3 years – I would urge contributors to request a refund.
To do so, send Michael Wilson an email at [email protected], stating the amount of your contribution and your INDIEGOGO funder name. Please copy me in to the email at [email protected]. I will monitor the refund process, ensuring it is honoured and provide any updates via this blog.
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.
Michael Wilson (@GodlessAtheist). Image uploaded to his Facebook account in Jan 2015
UPDATE 21 June 2015 – Michael Wilson has offered to refund all funders who no longer wish to wait for this project to materialise. You can read full instructions on how to receive your refund here.
Back in February I blogged a piece about Michael Wilson (AKA @GodlessAtheist) and the $11,583 of crowd sourced funds he received in 2012 to make a documentary. Shortly after Michael received the funds, he made some sporadic updates, took a holiday to Japan, then appeared to drop off the face of the earth – going completely silent for over a year until I began investigating. I’ll summarise the timeline of events below, continue to update it with any new developments, and suggest some action for moving forward:
Michael Wilson – Facebook Cover Photo From Jan 2015
I recently blogged a piece about Michael Wilson’s crowdfunded documentary ‘God Is Incredible’. Funds of nearly $12,000 were received by Wilson back in June 2012 thanks to the generosity of 152 backers.
In the years following, promised release and preview dates came and went without being fulfilled and updates became sparse until they ceased altogether in January 2014. I set out investigating this with the hope of getting some information for those who are wondering how their money has been spent. In the process of writing my blog piece I reached out to Wilson for comment. His statement is reproduced below, verbatim – with permission:
I have been terrible at providing updates and I apologize for this. I have been delayed for several reasons including major surgery, change if employment that made things difficult, the near arrival of my first child but mostly being overwelmed with the massive task that I was completely underprepared for. I wanted to have something to show before I made another update but this kept drifting later and later as I kept second guessing what I was producing.
I know I have disappointed a lot of people. My plan going forward is to release a short of each interview on a monthly basis with the final feature out towards the of the year.
I am committed to this project still and have taken on an editor and an animator to help me out. I know this feels like waiting for the second coming but it will be happening and you will start to see fruits soon.
Thanks for your support
My suggestion would be to remain charitable in your judgement, but questions still remain as to how exactly the $10,000 (and additional $1500) has been spent, and why updates ceased on a project that is now 2 years overdue. I will follow-up this piece later on in the year. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
UPDATE 01 June 2015
– Michael once again failed to fulfill the promises outlined above. Further updates (and promises) can be read here
You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.
Update 17 Feb 2015: I have now received a statement from Michael Wilson via email – you can read it here.
In 2012, when I first decided to dip my toe into the sea of anti-atheist (or athiest) sentiment on Twitter, it was a surprise to note how few people had taken on a similar hobby. Happily, that’s changed over the years – but at the time certain atheist Twitter accounts stood out for their ubiquity and high follower count.