Australian Group Sues Creation Museum Leader Over Magazine

Jun 22, 2007 11:38 AM EDT

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - An Australian evangelical group has filed a suit against the founder of the Kentucky-based Creation Museum alleging he stole subscribers away from its magazines.

The lawsuit, filed in the Queensland state Supreme Court on May 31, alleges that Ken Ham and his evangelical group, Answers in Genesis, violated a 1993 agreement to distribute two magazines produced by the Australian-based Creation Ministries International.

The court papers allege Ham used a database containing the names and addresses of 39,000 subscribers to the two Australian-produced magazines - "Creation Magazine" and "The Journal of Creation" - to distribute his own magazine, "Answers," in December 2005.

The Creation Museum, in northern Kentucky, tells a Biblical version of the Earth's history, asserting that the planet is just a few thousand years old and rejecting scientific theories of evolution.

Answers in Genesis, based in Petersburg, Ky., declined to comment on the suit, but issued a statement that said the accusations "are baseless and without merit."

"Their decision to litigate this dispute ... is at best troubling, and is contrary to the biblical standard for Christians in handling disputes with other Christians," the statement said.

The complaint alleges that Ham and his company "automatically switched subscribers to the magazines to 'Answers' without the agreement or the consent of the ... plaintiff."

Further, Ham "failed to give United States-based and Australian-based subscribers to the magazines a true choice or election between continuing their subscriptions to either or both of the magazines or switching to a comparable publication," the Australian group said.

Creation Ministries International is seeking unspecified damages and full legal costs. It also is seeking an injunction to stop Ham, who was born in Australia and moved to the United States in 1987, from using the distribution list to promote his own magazine.

The Queensland state Supreme Court has not said whether it will hear the claim. No court date has been set.