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Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

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Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

I know I've been wanting to write a blog post about that since day one and in fact I've written quite a bit, but there's one problem: Every time I intend to click "publish", something new has come up that once again makes me rethink what I've written. Not because what I said was wrong, but because it still wasn't harsh enough.

Probably all of you will have heard of "Elevatorgate", where Rebecca Watson got into an awkward position in a elevator, asked the guy to leave, no harm done. She then posted it online to a) make sure it doesn't happen to other women and b) make sure policies are put in place to prevent that sort of thing. On the one hand it was successful: A few organizations made available rules of conduct and specific anti-harassment policies. On the other hand, this brewed up a shitstorm and nearly resulted in a two-way split: A+ and everything else.

After that, people basically chose sides. Many women posted about their own experiences with misogyny and harassment in the Atheist-community, others curiously chose the side of the oppressors. (Stockholm syndrome much?) Many men, for example Richard Dawkins, acted like it wasn't a big deal. Basically, they were jerks about it.

That was a year or two ago. (I think it started two years ago at my very first atheist-convention in Ireland and it continued for a year.) Last year, so 2012 to 2013, was pretty calm. Everybody seems to have gotten better at being polite... or maybe I just didn't realize it was still going on?

It was the latter. Ever since the elevator incidence, a guy on Twitter (using the pseudonym @elevatorGATE) has been harassing women with tweets and retweets of... well, I'm not even sure what the guy's tweeting. It's weird, really.

But that's not the only problem, far from it. Back in January this year, Ophelia Benson called out Michael Shermer on saying stupid sexist things in front of a camera. Did he apologize? Noooooooo! Of course not, he couldn't have been wrong. He defended himself in a real shitty way.

And yet, if that were all, I wouldn't be writing this post. On August 8th, PZ Myers posted a short letter from a woman saying she was... well, raped, I can't call it anything else... by Michael Shermer. I don't think that was the right way to handle the situation, to be clear, but Michael Shermer's reaction was even worse: He issued a cease and desist, effectively trying to get the post taken down. Great, so now we'll have war in the community. Again.

I'm really annoyed by the whole thing. I liked Michael Shermer, he was a beacon and always had great things to say. But this? :(
At this point, I've put my blog post on hold until I figure out exactly what I want to say and how I want to convey it. In the mean time, more politics, education and maybe the odd biology post.

Anyway, I'll leave you all with this:
Image
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:14 am
Darkprophet232User avatarPosts: 226Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

I'm not going to address your summery of Elevatorgate because I feel that it has been debated to death already and the two sides of the issue will never see eye to eye.

However, I will address this sentence as I am utterly appalled at your priorities:

Inferno wrote:...Michael Shermer's reaction was even worse: He issued a cease and desist, effectively trying to get the post taken down. Great, so now we'll have war in the community. Again.


If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that a man who has been accused of rape, from an incident seven years ago, through an anonymous letter, on a blog, shouldn't try to defend himself through legal means because it will cause more drama in the atheist movement.

That's disgusting and cultish; telling members who might otherwise defend themselves to just let it go, "for the good of the church/movement." Should we just assume that the letter is true and Shermer is a rapist? It would only go against the very foundation of United States law that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Or is an anonymous letter about an event from seven years ago enough to prove someone guilty of rape?

Regardless of how you feel about the issue, look at it like a skeptic with an understanding of common law. Shermer has been accused of a career-ending crime, is stability in the atheist movement more important than the rights of its members?
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down." -The Judge
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:14 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Darkprophet232 wrote:I'm not going to address your summery of Elevatorgate because I feel that it has been debated to death already and the two sides of the issue will never see eye to eye.

However, I will address this sentence as I am utterly appalled at your priorities:

Inferno wrote:...Michael Shermer's reaction was even worse: He issued a cease and desist, effectively trying to get the post taken down. Great, so now we'll have war in the community. Again.


If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that a man who has been accused of rape, from an incident seven years ago, through an anonymous letter, on a blog, shouldn't try to defend himself through legal means because it will cause more drama in the atheist movement.

That's disgusting and cultish; telling members who might otherwise defend themselves to just let it go, "for the good of the church/movement." Should we just assume that the letter is true and Shermer is a rapist? It would only go against the very foundation of United States law that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Or is an anonymous letter about an event from seven years ago enough to prove someone guilty of rape?

Regardless of how you feel about the issue, look at it like a skeptic with an understanding of common law. Shermer has been accused of a career-ending crime, is stability in the atheist movement more important than the rights of its members?


You misunderstand me. I don't have anything against Shermer defending himself, I would be very happy indeed if he was proven innocent. (Though given the amount of information coming forward against him, that seems unlikely.)

No, instead I'd like to see him defend himself in a manner that doesn't make him look like a complete jackass.

Let me recap: PZ did the wrong thing by posting the letter online. Instead, he should have contacted Shermer first and talked to him about the issue. But PZ being PZ, he published it. Fine. Dick move, but there you go.

The IMO correct response from Shermer would have been to either own up to the charges (if they are true) or to directly challenge them (if they are wrong). The way he chose is the way of the guilty bully: Let's silence the guy, pretend nothing happened and carry on as usual.

No, I'm sorry, that's not the right way. I had to learn that the hard way myself.
If a black person accuses you of being racist, which is arguably also a career-killer, do you silence them? Or do you look back at what you said and then either agree that what you said was not intended as such but might have been misunderstood? (...or alternatively, having looked back, disagree with the accuser and have a sensible conversation?)

Again, no matter whether Shermer was guilty or not, the above was a dick move. And also again, so was PZ's. Dick moves, both of them.

As for the "war in the community" part: I should have written that in a different paragraph, it gives an incorrect perception of where my priorities are, that's true. I should have written it after the "PZ posted a letter"... Anyway, I just hope this turns out to be one big misunderstanding, but I don't have much hope for that.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:45 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5007Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

I don't know this guy from Adam, and I don't particularly care about PZ Meyers. I do care about treating people like human beings, though. If true, it is better in the long run that it's in full public view because the tossers who see little more than a collection of holes rather than an equal must be shown for what they are.

Why do people put these arseholes on pedestals as tenured, de facto leaders? Oh yeah, because atheism is a shit reason for having a movement, the only qualifier being non-belief in gods. It was bad enough having horrid little racist wankers like Sam Harris taking up the invisible mantle...

Pfft, I'm annoyed now.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:18 pm
Darkprophet232User avatarPosts: 226Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

The problem as I see it is that you are addressing this as if it were merely a blog-to-blog misunderstanding that could be hashed out with discussion, like your example of a misunderstanding over a statement on race. However, this is ignoring the actual weight of the charge PZ has levied.

PZ Meyers has posted an unverified* (and second hand, if the affidavit is true) account of woman who claims Shermer had sex with her against her will. He doesn’t name her, the convention, give a definite date, or give Shermer any avenue to defend himself except either say “I have never raped anyone,” or to issue a cease and desist in prelude to suing the man for slander. And that’s what this is, unless PZ has some other form of evidence he’s hiding. And the affidavit is public information; we will always have a record of Shermer denying the rape charges, so, in essence, he’s doing both. He is answering the charge, just not on a blog. He's using the legal options available to anyone when accused of committing a crime.

This isn’t like the other examples you posted where maybe Shermer didn’t mean to be as misogynistic as he came off as. This is accusing a man of committing a Class C felony with a punishment of up to 10 to 25 years in prison. If he's innocent, then he’s completely justified in trying to remove the unsupported charge from the internet. You may think it’s dickish, but I see it as prudent. If he's guilty, he'll have to answer to the evidence in the slander hearing, and based on that testimony, he can be formally charged and tried with rape.

Accusations of serious crimes should be handled by the legal system, not the blogosphere.

*edited from unverifiable
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down." -The Judge
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:20 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Darkprophet232 wrote:The problem as I see it is that you are addressing this as if it were merely a blog-to-blog misunderstanding that could be hashed out with discussion, like your example of a misunderstanding over a statement on race. However, this is ignoring the actual weight of the charge PZ has levied.

PZ Meyers has posted an unverified* (and second hand, if the affidavit is true) account of woman who claims Shermer had sex with her against her will. He doesn’t name her, the convention, give a definite date, or give Shermer any avenue to defend himself except either say “I have never raped anyone,” or to issue a cease and desist in prelude to suing the man for slander. And that’s what this is, unless PZ has some other form of evidence he’s hiding. And the affidavit is public information; we will always have a record of Shermer denying the rape charges, so, in essence, he’s doing both. He is answering the charge, just not on a blog. He's using the legal options available to anyone when accused of committing a crime.

This isn’t like the other examples you posted where maybe Shermer didn’t mean to be as misogynistic as he came off as. This is accusing a man of committing a Class C felony with a punishment of up to 10 to 25 years in prison. If he's innocent, then he’s completely justified in trying to remove the unsupported charge from the internet. You may think it’s dickish, but I see it as prudent. If he's guilty, he'll have to answer to the evidence in the slander hearing, and based on that testimony, he can be formally charged and tried with rape.

Accusations of serious crimes should be handled by the legal system, not the blogosphere.

*edited from unverifiable


I have neither the time nor the legal knowledge to go into this, but I'll rebut one point and add another:
1) Shermer can NOT be tried and charged for rape, simply because the incident is too far in the past. Statute of limitations is passed.
2) Popehat, the lawyer defending bloggers and YouTubers, is defending Myers. I don't think he'd do that if there was clear guilt he'd do that.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:42 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4345Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Thank you for reminding me why I choose not align myself with any supposed atheist "community".
Image
Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:28 pm
Darkprophet232User avatarPosts: 226Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

The statute of limitation on rape varies by state, with some states not having one at all. We'd have to know where the act supposedly took place to know for sure, which is information PZ won't tell anyone. Now it is very likely that Shermer can't be sued in a civil trial over the rape, as that normally has a 2-8 year statute of limitation.

Popehat isn't a person; it's a group of bloggers. A representative of this group, who is a criminal defense attorney based out of LA named Ken White, has agreed to help PZ find pro bono council for this case. Neither of us knows if White has seen the evidence PZ would present at a possible trial, if they even discussed it at all. If that's enough to convince you of anything in regards to a possible trial, more power to you. It's just not good enough for me.
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down." -The Judge
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:44 pm
NothPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 335Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:25 pmLocation: the Nether-regions Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Wholly apart from Shermer's guilt or non-guilt in this whole situation, it was an incredibly, frustratingly stupid and completely misguided post by PZ in the first place. The picture with the 3 scenarios you posted was also given by PZ as a response to criticism he received for posting this accusation.
While it looks like it's clever and covers all possible avenues, it shows where PZ's thinking went completely off track.

Now I will not deny that there is an issue with reporting abuse or rape to designated authorities, but regardless of this it is not up to PZ to play the arbiter. There ARE ways to report a rape. While this may be a very big hurdle for victims of rape, it in no way justifies PZ's course of action. As the cease and desist letter stated, PZ not only made a number of unproved accusations and defamations, he also lied about his relation with the source, calling his information "straight from the horse's mouth" while in fact he had heard it via a third party.

If I were in mr Shermer's position (that of being accused of rape) I'd have done the exact same thing. This is not a war to be fought on the blogovlogosphere. This should go - and should have gone - through the proper channels. PZ's actions have ensured that - before any guilt has been proved - numerous people have already declared Shermer guilty. IF mr Shermer is guilty, people can (and should) express their outrage. Yet until such a thing has been proved, even if it is hard to swallow, there is good reason why someone is 'innocent until proved guilty'. It baffles me how PZ and FTB in general are quick to discard any skepticism (resorting to calling any dissent from the accepted opinion "hyper skepticism") when it suits their agenda (and, quite frankly, defaming Shermer does suit his/their agenda) but claim to be skeptics nonetheless.

Now personally I will allow for the possibility that Shermer might be innocent of the whole thing. He may very well be a tad misogynistic - I wouldn't know, I'm not generally interested in his persona - but as always there are reasons why there are laws in place and why mob justice is disallowed. FTB and PZ seem to be favouring the name-and-shame tactics and mob justice routine mostly.

Anyway, here's someone's response to this whole debacle. This was actually one of the milder responses I've read and one I most emphasised with.

And this is the official cease and desist letter to PZ for reference.
Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:07 pm
DustniteUser avatarPosts: 531Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Given PZ Myers' proclivity for saying anything for blog hits, this kind of thing doesn't surprise me. Read this final comment from his blog on this article and it should tell you the kind of person you are dealing with.

PZ Myers
12 August 2013 at 6:05 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment
I’m closing comments here, since Shermer has decided to invoke the Streisand effect and make more noise about this — and he may try legal compulsion to force me to delete the post and your comments. All this may disappear if that happens, so I’ll call a time out on further additions.


If someone publicly called me a rapist with no evidence except anecdotes he received from an anonymous source, I would be doing the same exact thing. It libel pure and simple. Also, if anyone takes PZ seriously have we not forgotten about a little thing called innocent until proven guilty?
"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:39 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

I just talked to two people who studied law and they agree with Shermer's actions. Guess I was wrong. I'll shut up about law-related stuff in the future. :)
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:24 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Inferno wrote:I just talked to two people who studied law and they agree with Shermer's actions. Guess I was wrong. I'll shut up about law-related stuff in the future. :)

I have to say I agree with Shermer's chosen path also. The accusation is of such damaging nature that there is no real way of combatting them without getting the law involved. What I really don't know is did PZ really expect that Shermer wouldn't take this to a legal team? Or does he just expect to come out of this stronger. Personally I can't imagine anyone but his strongest supporters to back him up. Oh well, another day in the "atheist community".

Oh, and don't shut up about law related stuff. Maybe next time you'll be right :D

P.S. Funny that PZ brings up the Streissand effect. I have a feeling that he might want to forget this debaccale before it's over.
Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:38 pm
NemesiahPosts: 429Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 8:00 amLocation: Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Inferno wrote:I know I've been wanting to write a blog post about that since day one and in fact I've written quite a bit, but there's one problem: Every time I intend to click "publish", something new has come up that once again makes me rethink what I've written. Not because what I said was wrong, but because it still wasn't harsh enough.

Probably all of you will have heard of "Elevatorgate", where Rebecca Watson got into an awkward position in a elevator, asked the guy to leave, no harm done. She then posted it online to a) make sure it doesn't happen to other women and b) make sure policies are put in place to prevent that sort of thing. On the one hand it was successful: A few organizations made available rules of conduct and specific anti-harassment policies. On the other hand, this brewed up a shitstorm and nearly resulted in a two-way split: A+ and everything else.

After that, people basically chose sides. Many women posted about their own experiences with misogyny and harassment in the Atheist-community, others curiously chose the side of the oppressors. (Stockholm syndrome much?) Many men, for example Richard Dawkins, acted like it wasn't a big deal. Basically, they were jerks about it.

That was a year or two ago. (I think it started two years ago at my very first atheist-convention in Ireland and it continued for a year.) Last year, so 2012 to 2013, was pretty calm. Everybody seems to have gotten better at being polite... or maybe I just didn't realize it was still going on?

It was the latter. Ever since the elevator incidence, a guy on Twitter (using the pseudonym @elevatorGATE) has been harassing women with tweets and retweets of... well, I'm not even sure what the guy's tweeting. It's weird, really.

But that's not the only problem, far from it. Back in January this year, Ophelia Benson called out Michael Shermer on saying stupid sexist things in front of a camera. Did he apologize? Noooooooo! Of course not, he couldn't have been wrong. He defended himself in a real shitty way.

And yet, if that were all, I wouldn't be writing this post. On August 8th, PZ Myers posted a short letter from a woman saying she was... well, raped, I can't call it anything else... by Michael Shermer. I don't think that was the right way to handle the situation, to be clear, but Michael Shermer's reaction was even worse: He issued a cease and desist, effectively trying to get the post taken down. Great, so now we'll have war in the community. Again.

I'm really annoyed by the whole thing. I liked Michael Shermer, he was a beacon and always had great things to say. But this? :(
At this point, I've put my blog post on hold until I figure out exactly what I want to say and how I want to convey it. In the mean time, more politics, education and maybe the odd biology post.

Anyway, I'll leave you all with this:
Image


A few thoughts about your post:

Inferno wrote:Probably all of you will have heard of "Elevatorgate", where Rebecca Watson got into an awkward position in a elevator, asked the guy to leave, no harm done. She then posted it online to a) make sure it doesn't happen to other women and b) make sure policies are put in place to prevent that sort of thing.


Emphasis mine

What happened to Rebecca? AFAIK the guy said "Hey, lets go to my room for drinks", "No thanks" she answered and the guy left. I don't see what is it that happened. Which measures are to be put in place? don't talk to women? don't try to hit it off with a girl you like and could potentially have similar values at a convetion for atheists?

Inferno wrote:And yet, if that were all, I wouldn't be writing this post. On August 8th, PZ Myers posted a short letter from a woman saying she was... well, raped, I can't call it anything else... by Michael Shermer. I don't think that was the right way to handle the situation, to be clear, but Michael Shermer's reaction was even worse: He issued a cease and desist, effectively trying to get the post taken down. Great, so now we'll have war in the community. Again.


PZ says he got a letter (this has not been proven, it could have been created by himself).
He says it is from a trusted source (since the author has been withheld this can't be ascertained)
He says other women have contacted him (again this can't be proven)

Now I don't know PZ or Shremer well enough (or at all relly) to have the slightest idea wether either one of them is lying but it seems to me that if someone posted stuff about a known person (known to some anyway) they should be able to back their alegations in some way, otherwise it comes accros as slander. Anyone could make a post saying "I got a letter a from a fearful little girl that swears that she got gangbanged by PZ and two others outside the university where he works, her name will be withheld since the little girl just wants to prevent other women from suffering the same fate" even though it was false. I understand as a journalist one has to protect his/her sources but this should not mean that acusations can be made without any proof.

In the case of a crime as serious as this, the police should be involved, an investigation should be started, a trial should be followed and Shremer should be found either guilty or innocent and there should be concequences should the accusation be proven intentionaly false.

The problem with making such a blog post is that there are no concecuences so it is harmless for the person making them to say whatever he / she wants.

Now PZ could be telling the truth, Shremer could be a fiend and have raped that one woman and gotten another drunk and be a despicable human being, but should people believe this witout any proof?

A final thought on the whole "Shremer got me drunk" thing:

"Michael Shermer was the guest of honor at an atheist event I attended in Fall 2006; I was on the Board of the group who hosted it. It’s a very short story: I got my book signed, then at the post-speech party, Shermer chatted with me at great length while refilling my wine glass repeatedly. I lost count of how many drinks I had. He was flirting with me and I am non-confrontational and unwilling to be rude, so I just laughed it off. He made sure my wine glass stayed full.
And that’s the entirety of my story: Michael Shermer helped get me drunker than I normally get, and was a bit flirty. I can’t recall the details because I was intoxicated. I don’t remember how I left, but I am told that a friend took me away from the situation and home from the party. Note, I’d never gotten drunk at any atheist event before; I was humiliated by having gotten so drunk and even more ashamed that my friends had to cart me off before anything happened to me.
But I had a bad taste in my mouth about Shermer’s flirtatiousness, because I’m married, and I thought he was kind of a pig. I didn’t even keep his signed book, I didn’t want it near me.
Over the years as rumors have flown about atheist women warning each other about a lecherous author/speaker, I thought of all the authors and speakers I had met during my time as an atheist activist, and I guessed that Shermer was the one being warned against.
Now there are tweets and blogs about his sexually inappropriate behavior as well as his fondness for getting chicks drunk, so I feel quite less alone. I don’t think he realizes he is doing anything wrong. Men who behave inappropriately sexually never think they are doing anything wrong.
I have mixed feelings about your grenade-dropping. I have heard arguments both for and against what you did. Whether or not I agree with it, I just want to say that the accusations against Shermer match up with my personal experience with him, insofar as he seemed hellbent on helping me get drunk, and was very flirty with me. Take it for what you will. I believe the accusers."


How does any one get a woman drunk? Did he forcibly put a liquor bottle down her throat? probably not since this would have been noticed by others at the convention. Did he go "You really should take another sip of your glass there"? I don't think any one would have anything to do with such a creep, did he put something in her drink? That doesn't seem to be case being made in the "letter". The supposed lady (again with no proof offered, one can dsmiss the idea immediatly, many of us do it with the accounts of the bibble) got drunk, nobody forced her to drink, then she realized she had made a fool of herself and could get in trouble with her husband for being flirty with Shremer. Why is this lady not accepting responsability for getting drunk. If this account is true Shremer is at no blame here other than having a few drinks with a married woman (was he informed she was married?)

I don't drink alcohol, at all, ever. I have an alcoholic father that is about to die at 60 of chronic liver failure, he ruined my childhood, destroyed my family and much more. I have been asked by my boss to drink at her house and I have remained dry even when she told me to have "just a sip of the very expensive champaigne". People can't "get you drunk" if you don't want to get drunk. I don't know if the woman of the tale exists or not, but if she does exist, it is pathetic to read how she is trying to frame another one for her own mistakes and ever worse to see PZ using such a lame account to give creedence to his past one.
Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:38 pm
nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

The whole rape accusation sounds a bit shady.
If people ask question against him/her aggressively, i can understand that it feels like a guilt-trip. Wouldn't surprise me since some people shame people who got raped as people "who asked for it".
still, it does beg the question that she didn't take it up with the real authorities, aka the police.
If the police doesn't do a thing, the internet might be the next best thing. the Stubbenville rapecase is where anonymous took it apoun themselves to make sure justice was served by making it public news to the rest of the world, since that community shrug it off like it was nothing.

The whole elevator-gate to me seems to me to be inflated beyond its original point and that shes milking it for self-promotion.
That she felt uncomfortable, thats ok, situations like that happens.
That he tried to get her say yes, ok, that can be uncomforatble.
But since he didn't persue it any further or tried anything 'funny', complaining even further just made her look whiney.

there is one big misconception that hurts this whole atheist movement: This kind of behavior can ( and probably IS) happens in any group.
By making it a self-centered issue, she is hurting atheists more then trying to get such behavior out of the 'movement'; she makes it look like all atheists are rapists.
This off course helps those religous groups who love to make the argument that atheism leads to more crime.
Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:59 am
DaealisUser avatarPosts: 235Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:48 pmLocation: Tampere

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

I can't recall where I read about it, but surprisingly enough it was the Thunderf00t video of this that I agreed with the most.

Moments after the incident, this woman is alarmed enough to go to the organizers, but when they turn her away, not the police? Bullshit.

Seven years after the incident, when the only way to even prove that they were in the event at the same time is with a photo, she suddenly opens up with the most vague description of events ever? I don't claim to know how long it takes to get over a rape(if you ever even truly recover), but still this smells like bullshit.

Even if true, PZ Myers and the woman who did this post originally are a barrel of dicks for the way they handled it. She's had ample opportunities to come out with the accusations. Now when all that you have to back this fable up is hearsay and 3rd party accounts of a blog of a friend, all of a sudden you expect me to give a flying fuck?

Nope.

Yes, this reminds me of the Elevatorgate. A woman craving for attention is getting it by imaginary events and blowing shit up to ridiculous proportions. A coffee invitation in an elevator escalated to a damn near sexual assault. Oh the terror of awkward silence for a while. This time it's just worse, because it's at the expense of Shermer, whilst back then I think the man remained anonymous(Thankfully, there would've been a fucking witch hunt over one. goddam. question.).

I'm pretty sure every venue has anti-raping policies already in place, so even the little benefits of harassment policies that Elevatorgate created are absent this time. Even if true, which would of course be abhorrent, there simply is no way of proving it, save for confession from Shermer himself. And since PZ is aware that it is too late for legal action and must see for himself that the whole story is sketchy at best, this feels to me like an attempt to tarnish Shermers name.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein
Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:37 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Fuck being part of a "movement" I say!

Be a lone wolf. That way you get to not be associated with bullshit and idiots (and you get to eat all the cake to yourself).
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Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:57 am
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1210Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

Laurens wrote:Fuck being part of a "movement" I say!

Be a lone wolf. That way you get to not be associated with bullshit and idiots (and you get to eat all the cake to yourself).


Yeah! That's a movement I could join :)
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:34 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

WarK wrote:
Laurens wrote:Fuck being part of a "movement" I say!

Be a lone wolf. That way you get to not be associated with bullshit and idiots (and you get to eat all the cake to yourself).


Yeah! That's a movement I could join :)


Tired of idiots and bullshit?

Want to eat all the cake to yourself?

Join Lone Wolf(s)+ today.
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Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:44 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Unruly behaviour in the atheist "movement"

In all seriousness though. I have one short comment to make:

Irrespective of the allegations themselves which may or may not be the truth. PZ Myers should not be bringing to light allegations, based upon vague and tenuous evidence which amounts to hear-say at this stage in an effort to smear somebody whom he believes is a misogynist. Even if Michael Shermer is the biggest misogynist in the world, he shouldn't have done this. Even if there might be some truth to the allegations, he shouldn't have done this. PZ Myers is a pathetic and I'd rather saw my own genitals off with a bread knife than be associated with the likes of him.

And no I am not defending rapists, making light of rape accusations, defending Shermer and/or his supposed misogyny. Nor do I hate women and want to rape and objectify them. But apparently in certain circles disagreeing with PZ Myers qualifies you for most of those things, so I thought I'd clear that up.
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Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:56 am
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