Explorers Club Member Blogs On Club’s Internal Conflict

It has been a few weeks since I last posted anything in regards to the reportedly on going internal disputes at the Explorers Club. The last time I wrote anything about the situation, it was to note that explorer and club member Mikael Strandberg had posted a letter of support for EC President Lorie Karnath on his website. That post has since been removed, although I don’t have any insights into why that would be the case.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve heard from a couple of club members who continued to say that there are all kinds of issues with the leadership and management of the club. Those members wished to remain anonymous, and really didn’t want me to say much about what they told me, but the message that I received was clear – I don’t even know the half of what is going on, and the things that I’ve wrote about over the past few months are just the tip of the iceberg.

Apparently, I’m not the only one taking notice of the conflict that is playing out inside the EC, as another club member has stepped forward with some thoughts on the situation. Earlier today, Greg Bledsoe, who is a doctor of expeditionary medicine and one of the founders of ExpedMed, posted this article on his website offering some more insights into the affair. Greg has a lot to say about this story, and makes a public request to Karnath to provide answers to a variety of questions.

Bledsoe says that he first became aware of the situation from the New York Post article from a few weeks back. That story, which I wrote about as well, featured some rather significant quotes from EC members Ken Kamler and Jim Clash, who called out the President for disciplining television personalty Josh Bernstein in what was seen as a vindictive move against a potential threat to her office. Kamler in particular had some harsh things to say on the matter.

What was interesting about this is that in his blog post Bledsoe says that he has gotten to know Kamler very well over the years and that he had never heard him so upset. From his writing, it is clear that Greg holds Kamler in very high regard and says that “He (Kamler) has a long list of accomplishments, but carries himself with sincere humility and dignity. He is one of the most genuine people I know, and one of the easiest to get along with.”

That doesn’t sound like someone who would fly off the handle for no particular reason. Especially when you couple it with the fact that Greg goes on to say that Ken “absolutely loves The Explorers Club.”

While he was disturbed by the story in the Post and my own writings on the situation, Greg says that he didn’t think or do much about the emerging story until Karnath sent an internal e-mail to the membership that caused him to take pause and consider the big picture of what was happening. That e-mail is posted on his blog and does nothing to address the concerns of members, who continue to wonder the exact nature of the disciplinary action against Bernstein, or why 10 of the 12 Flag and Honors Committee members resigned in protest.

As a long time member of the Explorers Club, and someone who respects the institution greatly, Bledsoe attempted to reach out to the leadership of the organization and get some answers. As of the time of the publishing of his story, he has received no response at all.

If you’ve been following his ongoing story and want to get yet another perspective of the situation, than I urge you to read Greg’s blog post. Remember, this is coming from a member of the Explorers Club, who was actually willing to go on record and publicly call out the EC’s leadership. I think it shows that not only is this internal conflict still raging on, but that it also seems that the club is in disarray over the whole affair. Why else would leadership of the organization not respond to a member’s needs?

I think my source from a few weeks back was right. This is only the tip of the iceberg and there is A LOT more to the story than any of us really know.

Kraig Becker

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