Steve Paulson at Slate magazine snagged an interview with “Harun Yahya,” the pen name of Turkish creationist and convicted criminal Adnan Oktar. What’s most enlightening about it is the lavish lifestyle of Oktar (where did all that money for the opulent giveaway volume Atlas of Creation come from?), and his paranoia.
I asked Oktar about his legal troubles. In 2008, he was sentenced to three years in jail for extortion and running a crime gang, a conviction he’s now appealing. Earlier he’d been charged with drug possession and sexual assault, but both cases against him fizzled. (In the 1980s, he spent 10 months locked up in a mental institution.) In response, Oktar launched into a rambling account of how he and his friends had been threatened with torture and death: “If you were given electricity or were tortured, you would sign the documents which were put in front of you. This is what we did. We would be dead otherwise.” He said he’d faced many assassination attempts and then recounted how he was once framed by a policeman who’d slipped cocaine into his kabob. Why has he been targeted? “Because I’m fighting against Darwinism, communism and other terrorist organizations.” So Darwinists are terrorists? Their work is “a Satanic plot” that nurtures terrorism around the world, “like the development of mosquitoes in mud or in ponds. So many fascist and communist leaders have stated very clearly that they have been affected by the teachings and ideals of Darwinism.”
The New Humanist also ran a profile of Oktar a while back.