Why Stephanie Zvan’s defence of PZ Myers’ ‘haven for rapists’ smear is not reasonable based on the evidence

by Michael Nugent on October 31, 2014

In the absence of any public comment by PZ Myers, Stephanie Zvan has posted a defence of part of his smear that I am defending and providing a haven for rapists. You can read Stephanie’s post here.

Stephanie interprets the phrase ‘providing a haven for rapists’ in a way that encompasses even the police and prosecutors providing a haven for rapists, and in a way that does not require the haven for rapists to actually have any rapists availing of it as a haven.

I believe this argument trivialises a very serious allegation – that a person defends and provides a haven for rapists. This is an allegation that should have serious consequences for the target if it is true, and for the maker if it is false. It should not be watered down into a vague ambiguity that could encompass almost anything you want it to.

In this post I will show why Stephanie’s is not a reasonable interpretation of PZ’s smear, either based on the evidence of PZ’s own words, or based on what a reasonable person would read it as meaning, which is the first test for whether it is, on the face of it, defamatory.

1. PZ’s own words make clear what he means

During this overall incident, PZ is repeatedly on record – before, during and after making his Twitter allegation – as describing my blog as “a haven for the nastiest of the slymepitters” and as “Slymepit Ireland”, then as “a haven for slymepit scum” where “Nugent is fostering some rather wretched characters”. Indeed PZ describes one such person by name as “frequently commenting” on my blog.

Taking all of these uses of ’haven’ together, it is unambiguous what PZ means by me “providing a haven” in this context. He means that identifiable people are actually commenting on my blog who also post on the Slymepit, people who PZ frequently refers to in dehumanising terms.

Indeed, when asked, PZ specifically said that the presence of these people as commenters on my blog was “the evidence” that I am providing a haven for rapists. You can read here how PZ repeatedly failed to substantiate or withdraw that smear.

Here are his before, during and after uses of the word haven.

On 19 September PZ wrote in a comment on Stephanie’s blog:

“Yes, please, do go ahead and complain about that mean poopyhead Myers (in the politest possible language, of course!) — I’m not going to care. Nugent’s site is already a haven for the nastiest of the slymepitters, so how much does he think an accusation of rudeness coming from that cesspool is going to impress me?”

On 4 October, just four minutes before he tweeted the ‘haven for rapists’ smear, PZ referred to my blog as “Jaysus. Slymepit Ireland.”

pz slymepit ireland

Just four minutes later, in his very next tweet, PZ made the ‘haven for rapists’ smear, then specifically stated that “the evidence” for the smear was that people who post on the Slymepit also comment on my blog.

PZ Smear APZ Smear B

Derek Walsh – “It’s increasingly odd to see @DaylightAtheism continuing to declare what he believes @micknugent really thinks.”
PZ – “It’s not about what he thinks, but what he’s doing: defending & providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists.”
Derek – “that’s an incredibly serious accusation and one completely unsupported by evidence. But you know both those things already.”
PZ – “Nope. The evidence is right there: his blog commentariat is populated almost entirely by slymepitters.”

PZ was then asked five times the question of how people commenting on my blog who also post on another website constitutes evidence that I defend rapists, in response to any of which he could have clarified and withdrawn and apologised for the claim, if that was not what he meant. Instead he continued the exchange on the basis of this claim. He answered questions that were specifically about how I am defending rapists, by referring to who is commenting on my blog, making a hypothetical analogy with the Ku Klux Klan praising him.

Stephanie has recently suggested that it is the comments, not the commenters, that PZ was concerned about.

Stephanie comments tweet

However, PZ was clear that he was not asking me to delete any comments by these people but was judging me by the company that I keep.

PZ Smear F

On 7 October PZ wrote on his blog:

“[a blog post elsewhere] was apparently made in retaliation for me pointing out to Michael Nugent that his blog is a haven for slymepit scum, so one of those scum had to vent his fury… As for my suggestion that Nugent is fostering some rather wretched characters, this same Cavanaugh person is frequently commenting there, and here’s his latest.”

So that is PZ repeatedly on record – before, during and after making his Twitter allegation – as describing my blog as “a haven for the nastiest of the slymepitters” and as “Slymepit Ireland”, then as “a haven for slymepit scum” where “Nugent is fostering some rather wretched characters”. Taking all of these uses of ’haven’ together, it is unambiguous what PZ means by me “providing a haven” in this context.

2. How a reasonable person would read PZ’s words

Even without the repeated corroboration by PZ that he uses the word haven to refer to identifiable people who actually comment on my blog and also post on the Slymepit, most reasonable person would read the Twitter exchange as meaning what it says on the face of it.

That is the first interpretation test of whether an allegation is on the face of it defamatory – whether it would lower a person’s reputation among reasonable people, not whether an esoteric benign interpretation could be hypothetically put on part of it, four weeks later, by somebody else.

And that is even without putting the smear into its full context, which is a wider allegation that I am defending and providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists. For most reasonable people, that would conjure an unjust image of me as a very unpleasant and immoral person, who actively defends and shelters serious criminals.

For the time being, I am parking the allegations that I am defending and providing a haven for harassers and misogynists, partly because of the flexibility of interpretation that some people grant themselves in using the words harasser and misogynist. But I also strongly dispute both of these smears, and I will return to them once I have finalised the smear about rapists.

3. My email correspondence with PZ

As I said in my last post, I have also emailed PZ to ask him to withdraw and apologise for his smear.

I am not publicly discussing the detail of that email exchange, other than to say that he has also declined to withdraw and apologise, and when I asked him to clarify some ambiguous assertions in his response, he replied ‘Not interested.’

However, given Stephanie’s intervention, I will add that the context in which PZ used the word ‘haven’ in these emails was unambiguously referring to people who actually comment on my blog.

4. Stephanie’s interpretation of the word ‘haven

Independently of PZ’s smear against me, I will grant that Stephanie has outlined her own personal interpretation of the term ‘providing a haven for rapists’, and in a later post I will ask her several questions that arise from applying that standard to commentary on FreeThought Blogs and elsewhere.

But in the meantime, let us not conflate discussion of Stephanie’s interpretation of the term ‘haven for rapists’ with discussion of PZ’s interpretation of the term ‘haven for rapists’, because on the basis of the evidence before us those are two different things.

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{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

The argument is like this:

Person P accuses Person M of growing pot in his greenhouse.

Person M challenges P to show him the pot.

Person S argues that ‘greenhouse’ might include a conservatory or a shed with large windows; in any case 10% of all plants are pot.

Various gnomes point out Person M was once falsely accused of possessing a bong and currently has a triffid-sized skunkweed called O perched in his window box.

2 Stephanie Zvan October 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

I don’t understand, Mick, why you would repeat all of this when you were copied on the entirety of my argument with Peter Ferguson on these very points yesterday. Why on Earth would you act as though I hadn’t already responded to your points?

3 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Maybe someone better versed in logical fallacies can answer this.

Shifting the debate onto the meaning of ‘haven’ is ‘begging the question’ of the presence of rapists?

And waving rape stats around as if the prove the presence of rapists is an ‘ecological fallacy’?

4 Pitchguest October 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Stephanie, you said the problem was not rapists commenting but Michael *supporting* rapists.

When have anyone here, Michael especially, *supported* rapists? Are you out of your fucking mind?

5 Esper October 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Keep digging, Stephanie!

6 Martha October 31, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Among the FtBers, I’ve always though Zvan was the most toxic, and this proves it. To a reasonable person, P.Z. statement meant what it said: he’s providing a safe space on his site for people who have raped. Using twisted logic, Svan claims that P.Z. really meant something else: a safe space for people who support rapists (and there’s no evidence for THAT, either). She is almost theological in her ability to twist an argument so it means something different from what it seems to say.

Zvan should be ashamed of herself. Nugent never defended or sheltered rapists in any way, and theres no evidence of either that or his providing a “haven” for those who support rapists. Zvan is a miserable failure, even at being P.Z.’s bulldog.

7 Darby October 31, 2014 at 7:14 pm

So, who wants to take odds on Stephanie actually sticking around to defend her “reasoning” or just buggering off after chiding Michael for not accepting her “logic” ex cathedra?

8 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Good to see Zvan sticking her head out of the bunker, even if it’s just to claim she’s answered the questions rather than post them here.

Here’s some of her batshit crazy:

I’ll quote from the post that Ferguson refers to: “A haven isn’t a gathering place or a hangout. It’s a place of refuge, originally a port, but now any shelter. It remains a haven whether it’s used or not.” A haven remains a haven whether the people who are there are taking advantage of its safety or not.

See? Pissing around with definitions of ‘haven’ rather than addressing the issue of rape.

Then into the next strata of chiroptera feces:

Gather that many people in one place, and the odds start to get good one of them is a rapist. Gather specifically people who have shown an interest in shutting others up on the topic of rape, and those odds improve. Still, they are just odds, and whether or not any of those people are rapists themselves is irrelevant to whether the blog and blogger provide a haven (make a place safe) for rapists.

That’s the level we are dealing with here.

Still, she managed to pull in 6 whole comments.

FTB is dying on its arse.

9 Katie October 31, 2014 at 7:25 pm

White supremacist, rapist, paedophile, psychopath, misogynist – these accusations are thrown around daily on PZ’s odious blog, and he does nothing to intervene. At the same time he takes the most tendentious and irrational side in any internet drama, defending confirmed bigots and charlatans like Suey Park and CJ Werleman. He’s an extremely vindictive and nasty piece of work – if possible Michael, I’d advise ignoring him.

10 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Hey, Zhan – you realise the odds of a blog harbouring a rapist rise exponentially when one of them admits he’s a rapist?

11 John D October 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Stephane Zvan is a typical rage-blogger and click-baiter. I refuse to visit her site. The only way to get these types of bloggers to go away is to just stop visiting their blogs. NO MORE CLICKS!

12 Pitchguest October 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Hahahahaha. So basically what she’s saying is, Michael isn’t providing a haven for *known* rapists but for people that *might* be rapists, and he isn’t supporting *known* rapists but people that *might* be rapists. The odds are good, she says. Haha.

The despicable nature of Zvan knows no bounds.

13 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm

I should probably apologise to Ariel for assuming Zvan was making an argument stronger than Ariel was capable of conveying; having read Zvan’s own words I see Ariel is the intellectual giant of the two.

14 allison October 31, 2014 at 7:33 pm

A Zvan in the wild, daring to stray from the safety of her habitat! A most exceptionally rare sight – somebody call David Attenborough!

-Too late, she’s already retreated back to her lair. Did anyone get photos?!?

15 aleprechaunist October 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm

My brain hurts after reading the post Zvan linked above, ironically titled “Basic Reading Comprehension”. As far as I can make out, she is claiming:

– A haven is a haven whether anyone ever uses it as a haven or not.

– It can be a rape haven regardless of whether anyone connected with it has actually raped or not.

There is just no arguing with these people, they are just too far gone in “women’s ways of knowing”. All one can do is document their lunacy, in which Michael is doing a Herculean job, and hope that the wider freethought/skeptic movement recognizes their toxicity and stops rewarding them with conference junkets and blog hits.

16 Acleron October 31, 2014 at 7:42 pm

@S Svan
Read your list of tweets, spend the click money wisely.

Not sure what you are trying to prove, Myers is accusing MN of providing a haven for rapists. If he isn’t claiming anyone here is a rapist then why doesn’t he say so.

Incidentally, those tweets make more sense and are even less convincing when the timeline has been unjumbled.

17 Darby October 31, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Once you understand that the words “rape” and “haven” mean whatever Pope Stephanie mean them to then it all makes sense.

18 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm

You know that massive sense of anti-climax you feel when the opposition have been bigging up their star player all day and then he’s wheeled onto the pitch with a broken leg and a neckbrace?

19 Eskarina October 31, 2014 at 7:51 pm

I’m intrigued. Why does Myers need Zvan to explain what he actually means?

20 Jonathan October 31, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Eskarina (19):

Because he doesn’t have the guts to do it himself.

21 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 8:09 pm

She’ll be rage blogging in a moment about how she was ‘silenced’ by rape apologists at Castle Nugent.

‘Silenced’ having an entirely different meaning than in real life.

22 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Zvan is truly despicable. What a disingenuous excuse, what a ridiculous pomo rationalization.

I’d say these people are morally bankrupt by now, if I thought they had any bank to start with.

Disgusting.

23 Harrison October 31, 2014 at 8:22 pm

I think now would be an appropriate moment to invoke the rule of “intent is not magic.”

Asserting that based on certain extremely broad definitions of commonly understood terms that an accusation is not as serious as it looks does not in any way excuse it. As Michael points out, third parties are going to take the claim at face value. And Myers and Zvan know this.

I view this as a deliberate, malicious attempt to use language as a weapon.

24 JetLagg October 31, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I’m probably in the minority here, but I’d like us all to ease off and give Zvan and opportunity to say her piece. By shouting her down you just let her off the hook. She can retreat to her blog and say we weren’t willing to listen.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you all. But it would be cool if we could avoid dogpiling with accusations of dishonest, incompetence, etc…

25 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 8:40 pm

JetLagg:

I disagree. Strongly. It’s time to call out the bluff. Enough games. Zvan can say whatever she wants in her bunker, but it has to be clear to outsiders what games they’re playing.

26 JetLagg October 31, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I think the best way to do that is to let her speak where outsiders are more likely to see it. Here, in other words. I have faith the free market of ideas. Obviously, I can’t force anyone to do anything, but there’s my position.

27 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Yes, sure. Last time Zvan agreed to participate in a discussion here, started by Michael, she freely admitted that she just did it to sabotage the effort and show the evil ways of the other side. What the hell do you expect now?

28 lvlln October 31, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Re: JetLagg (24)

No one’s shouting her down, though. In fact, no one CAN shout her down in this space other than Michael Nugent himself, as he’s the only one who can edit/delete comments or give power to others to do the same. Zvan is as free as anyone else here to submit her comment and have it be read.

Though, to be fair, I’ve noticed to some people, the definition of “shouting down” is quite fluid. Perhaps I’m not thinking of the proper definition of the phrase?

29 Shatterface October 31, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I don’t see anyone stopping Zvan speaking.

Accusing critics of ‘shouting her down’ is FTB logic.

30 A Bear October 31, 2014 at 9:21 pm

SZvan wrote:

He does say he’s referring to the commentariat. He does not say slimepitters are rapists. Even when he elaborates, he says they’re bigoted (KKK) harassers (trolls and creeps). Not rapists.

Want some basic reading comprehension? When someone calls a group of people rapists, refuses to retract the statement, then calls the same group bigoted KKK harassers, trolls and creeps, this doesn’t change the fact that that he called them rapists. It just means he added more smears.
Care to explain that Ms. Zvan? You claim to have responded to Michael’s points. Do you consider that piece of tortured logic a response?

31 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Ah, yes, KKK, that worldwide movement that is not at all constrained to the United States of America.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit we have the same kind of cretins in Europe or elsewhere, but why not use “white supremacists” instead? KKK has more shock value, maybe?

32 Matt Cavanaugh October 31, 2014 at 9:38 pm

1, This blog provides a haven for rapists;
2. A haven for rapists is likely to attract a greater than average percentage of rapists;
3. Stephanie Svan commented at this blog;
>> The likelihood that Stephanie Svan is a rapist is greater than average.

1. Stephanie Svan has just been accused of possibly being a rapist;
2. False rape accusations are exceedingly rare;
>> The odds are great that Stephanie Svan is a rapist.

Sure you wanna pursue this line of reasoning, Steph?

33 JetLagg October 31, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I’ll defend my usage of the phrase “shouting down” at another venue, if anyone is really that interested (be at the pit tomorrow, or Sunday). Here, it’s just a derail. I’ve said my piece.

Phil, could you PM me the link to where Zvan did what you’re talking about?

34 Crackity Jones October 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Stephanie, I’d ask you this question at Almost Diamonds, but we both know it would not pass your “moderation”.

Since you, or at least your commentators, are reading here. I ask you this question.

Since your latest article on Ogvorbis incorporates a lot of justifications for distinguishing one rape from one alleged rape, are you admitting there are GRADATIONS of rape?

It seems that way to me, but perhaps YOU could “explain” why it is not the same as when Dawkins pointed out that legally there are gradations. Remember, Dawkins got a lot of “pushback” for making the suggestion.

35 Shermertron October 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm

It seems that Stephanie is only willing to have discussions in her space and on her terms.

Why might that be the case?

36 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Jet: just ask the Pit. I think there may be a dedicated thread to this.

I’ll just ask myself, to be sure.

37 Blueshift Rhino October 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm

No-one but PZ should read the following. This is a private message from me to PZ and it would be rude if anyone else peeked.

Hey, Paul –

I know that you know where this is all heading if you don’t come out and deal with it, like, really soon. But if you decide to try to ride it out, maybe because of your recent success in a similar situation, can I make at least one (little) suggestion? Yes? Cool.

Don’t let Stephanie anywhere near your lawyer. Seriously. Tell your lawyer she died. Choked on a Chicken McNugent or something. Anything. Just keep her away. She’s not just digging the hole you’re in deeper, she’s come close to tossing the shovel down onto your head.

38 Tigzy October 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm

So let me get this straight –

On FTB, a self-admitted child rapist is treated with respect and given *hugs if you want them* because he himself was sexually abused and was a kid himself at the time of the rapes. Even though he was still old enough to be legally culpable, wrote that he knew what he was doing was wrong, and that even the woman (a rape victim herself) for whom the thread was purportedly about wrote that she was very uncomfortable with the support the child rapist was being given. Which went even to the point of some commentators saying that they would happily have the child rapist babysit their own kids.

On the Slymepit, where there are no self-confessed rapists, many commentators believe that victims of rape are morally bound to report the crime to the police. This may be an overly harsh view to some, but there ya go. Point is, more than a few there share it.

And yet, in the view of PZ Myers et al, it’s the Slymepit which is the haven for rapists – and by extension, Michael Nugent’s blog, because the man has the temerity to allow Pitters to comment here (and no, Steph, your sophistry about what constitutes a ‘haven’ carries about as much weight as me claiming that my local park is a haven for giraffes, despite there being no giraffes in it).

You know, bizarre as it may seem, I’m pretty sure that any lurking members of Myers’ ‘Horde’ will not actually be able to see what’s wrong with this picture.

Course, some amongst the ‘Horde’ will undoubtedly go, ‘Aha! What about [name deleted] then, eh? Eh? You Pitters are all over him like scabies! Yeah, you ain’t so pure of mind and heart, like we are.’

Though this would be despite the fact that [name deleted] has never confessed to any rapes, nor has he been convicted of such. He remains *accused* of rape, which, in bizarro FTB land, means – somehow – that he is deemed worthy only of the utmost vilification, whereas the self-confessed child rapist…gets group hugs and puffs about what a great babysitter he’d make.

And all this from a blog network whose luminaries – such as they are – sneer constantly about ‘MRA dudebros’ who think that being falsely accused of rape is a worse crime than being raped itself.

It would be funny if it wasn’t just so downright nasty.

39 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Very classy, BSR… :/

40 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Jet: this is all I’ve found so far: http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=286

41 Pitchguest October 31, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Tigzy – No, no. See. The park may not have any giraffes in it now, but it could! In the future! Maybe? Is it big enough for a giraffe? Well, there you go!

Odds are good, is all I’m saying. You never know!

42 Blueshift Rhino October 31, 2014 at 10:49 pm

@Tigzy –

It may be worth mentioning that, unless something happened while I wasn’t paying attention, the accuser of he-who-shall-not-be-named has actually retracted (or maybe just regretted) the use of the label “rape” for what happened between them.

In contrast, because Ogvorbis is sheltered in the haven known as FTB (who know his real name and location), we have no idea what his victims think of what happened to them or whether they have ever received the treatment that they may need. For all we know, they are somewhere out there, blaming themselves for what Ogvorbis did to them and/or, because of what happened and hasn’t been treated, they are about to do it to another generation.

But Michael Nugent is the bad guy in this regard.

43 Jan Steen October 31, 2014 at 10:53 pm

@Michael,

And that is even without putting the smear into its full context, which is a wider allegation that I am defending and providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists. For most reasonable people, that would conjure an unjust image of me as a very unpleasant and immoral person, who actively defends and shelters serious criminals.

Of course that is what all reasonable people who are unacquainted with the Myers and Zvans of this world would think, if they didn’t know you. There is no reason to give Myers the benefit of the doubt here: he was out to harm you as deeply as he could.

His loyal attack poodle Stephanie Zvan probably knows this as well, but that doesn’t stop her from attempting to muddy the waters with her ridiculous apologetics. It doesn’t help Myers at all. But who else wants to defend the indefensible? That takes someone as unscrupulous as Stephanie Zvan.

44 Harrison October 31, 2014 at 10:55 pm

The only thing I will say with regard to “dogpiling” is that there seems to be excessive levels of snark building up and feeding on itself. Snark is the favorite weapon of FTB but it’s not a very effective one in the long term. In fact it’s precisely their snarky reaction to Michael’s calm yet firm and harsh demands for them to apologize or back up their claims that makes him look like the only adult in the conversation.

45 Phil Giordana FCD October 31, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Harrison:

Snark is fine. There’s nothing wrong with snark, as long as it is substantiated with facts, quotes and links to said quotes.

Snark, just like jokes, puns, parody… is fine. When it is not ridiculously used in such disingenuous ways as used by FTBers.

46 Tigzy October 31, 2014 at 11:06 pm

BSR wrote: ‘It may be worth mentioning that, unless something happened while I wasn’t paying attention, the accuser of he-who-shall-not-be-named has actually retracted (or maybe just regretted) the use of the label “rape” for what happened between them.’

Dunno about that – it may be largely academic now anyways. I do recall the FTBers being quick to label he-who-must-not-be-named a rapist, even to the point where I recall noted and prolific Pharyngula commentator Nerd of Redhead actually referring to the accused as a ‘proven rapist’.

47 john welch October 31, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Phew, I just got done building my dinobot haven.

There aren’t any dinobots in it yet, but they COULD show up there, and then they’d be in a place where they aren’t immediately attacked. So it’s a haven, a safe place for dinobots.

Funny how when you replace rapists with something imaginary, you see how stupid Zvan’s attempt at logic is.

And again, by her own definition, unless she cares to show us the continual, ongoing process by which she and the rest of the FTB lot keep all rapists out, and prevent them from having a safe place, then she too is providing a haven, a safe place for rapists.

The best part of Zvangic? No proof is ever needed. Hell, you don’t have to even be plausible. As along as you really, really believe, then it’s true.

Again, PZ said a specific thing: there are rapists here. Zvan supports this by some magical statistical B.S. Probably will work in quantum mechanics at some point.

Neither of them has provided any evidence. When, pray tell, are they planning on doing that.

48 Blueshift Rhino October 31, 2014 at 11:43 pm

@Tigzy –

I don’t agree that the issues surrounding he-who-shall-not-be-named (aka [name deleted]) are “academic” (to which I also take mild offense, being an academic, myself, but we’ll deal with that elsewhere). I’m pretty sure that all of this started with that particular incident, followed by MN’s insistence that weak claims (in the sense of evidence) of serious crimes are not to be repeated in his space. In fact, if PZ were to have said that “MN provides a haven for folks who have been unofficially accused of serious crimes with little supporting evidence,” then we wouldn’t all be here now.

It is also relevant to PZ’s attack on Dawkins, who inartfully pointed out that folks who were drunk at the time of an alleged crime make lousy witnesses for the prosecution. (Dawkins was, as usual, correct, but still seems to need much more practice at the whole make-a-complicated-point-in-140-characters thing.)

Slightly farther aside, the incident is also relevant – at least, in my opinion – to explaining why PZ is behaving as he is right now. Following the throwing of a certain grenade, [name deleted] initiated a legal process against PZ that soon fizzled to nothing. I’m pretty sure that PZ gained some confidence and momentum from this, causing him to underestimate what he is currently facing.

49 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 12:08 am

He does say he’s referring to the commentariat. He does not say slimepitters are rapists. Even when he elaborates, he says they’re bigoted (KKK) harassers (trolls and creeps). Not rapists.

Trumped up allegations of rape where one of the KKK’s main pretexts for lynchings.

It’s not posters here who are hooding up and burning crosses.

50 Stephen Duggan November 1, 2014 at 12:31 am

I have only read the 1st Section:
This is my comment.
Now I’m a rapist apparently, who have I raped, and when should I face criminal charges. Please advise.
Thanks.

51 SF November 1, 2014 at 12:38 am

Thankfully nobody cares what Stephanie Zvan and all the clownish fools at freethoughtblogs say about anything anymore. The boys and girls have cried wolf for the thousanth time about tiny irrelevant bits of nonsense, and the rest of the world has moved on. Their obsessions are best suited for psychiatrists.

52 SF November 1, 2014 at 12:55 am

In PZ Myers freethoughblogs lunacy land:

Disagreeing with PZ Myers = being a rapist or rape apologist.

This is the level of ‘thinking’ we are dealing with.

53 Blueshift Rhino November 1, 2014 at 1:04 am

ps. if my previous comment that “MN does not allow weak claims (in terms of evidence) of serious crimes to be repeated on his blog” came across as a criticism, it definitely was not meant that way; I completely agree with this position, both morally and legally, just as I agree with The ‘Pit’s one commandment: thou shalt not dox

54 Aneris ✻ November 1, 2014 at 1:40 am

How difficult can this be…

Oxford Dictionaries: A haven: A place of safety or refuge

“Haven” referred to Michael Nugent’s blog and its comment section.

PZ Myers tweeted: “Nope. The evidence is right there: his blog commentariat is populated almost entirely by slymepitters.”

Alexander Spotswood: Charles Eden is providing a haven for pirates! The evidence is that Edward Teach and his crew were seen in Bath Town.

It means: A) Edward Teach and his crew are pirates. B) They hang out and are tolerated in Bath Town. C) Governor Charles Eden has control over it, tolerates it, but is expected to do something against it.

A) PZ Myers does believe that Slymepit registered users are “harassers, misogynists, and rapists” and if not, it is too close to what he and his faction commonly attribute to posters, and thus another reasonable assumption that he believes it. B) PZ Myers recognizes names from the Slymepit on Michael Nugent’s Blog C) Mick has control over his comment section, and is expected to do something about it – to act on unsubstantiated views held by PZ Myers.

PZ Myers and his faction believe the world outside is an evil place, and seek confirmation for that view, which validates their own “safe space” community concept that stands in contrast. It’s almost by definition authoritarian since it goes beyond comment sections with rules. Comment sections (fora, boards etc.) with rules are absolutely standard and they maintain that if some person abides the rules, they’re fine.

Originally “safe-spaces” were places where LGTB minorities could meet and exchange among themselves. That made sense, since it requires some special rules that aren’t in place in other locations (e.g. in a pub where every adult can hang out, and people are free to say whatever they can get away with). Like many things with social justice warriors, in the online context it doesn’t make sense and requires a redefinition.

“Safe spaces” online are decidedly about policing thoughtcrimes, or speechcrimes that occurred elsewhere. When the influential people (ding! authoritarianism) governing such a “safe space” are convinced another person holds dubious views, they believe that they should be barred from commenting and made a pariah. Likewise, when behaviour deemed dubious becomes known, but occurred elsewhere, the person likewise should be banned from the “safe space”.

There are several ideas from PZ Myers and his faction how this could be achieved. Originally, a person was labelled as “slime” which functions exactly like a Scarlet Letter. In Puritan America a red symbol was branded onto someone’s cheek or sewn to their shirt, marking that they were now of low status or shunned. Individuals of that status were known as outsiders, no longer part of the community. In medieval Germany, criminals could be declared as “vogelfrei” (literally “free-like-a-bird”) which effective revoked all their rights. That means, everyone could do whatever they wanted with such a person (robbing, assaulting, murdering them etc.).

PZ Myers preferred method was the “slime” label. Ed Brayton believes that constant reminders of what someone wrote or did should function like that Scarlet Letter. If you wrote something deemed dubious, it was meant to become like an epithet to your name to always remind everyone, in particular people who don’t know you yet, what kind of person you are – according to Brayton and Myers (and their faction, who see themselves as the arbiters of this all).

This obvious attempt of exporting these highly questionable community constructions was one of the main reasons why the failed project Atheism Plus – which was launched by the FreeThoughtBlogs & SkepChicks community – was met with such a resistance, because it was already known that PZ Myers, Ed Brayton and the other arbiters are authoritarians who simply seek to impose their views on everyone else by assigning Scarlet Letters to anyone who dares to disagree with them. By the time, PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson had shown to everyone that they are the ones with the podium and the louder voice and that they would use that to make sweeping claims about what other people allegedly believe, while denying their subjects an opportunity to clear this up. Again, the “safe space” concept and the firm belief that dissenters are evil people rationalized these methods. They convinced themselves that other people would then maybe write things that could upset the people they allegedly want to protect, and that can’t happen, therefore, it’s safer indeed to just remove all platforms. On occasion, PZ Myers would pretend that other people are free to share their views elsewhere – which is of course big time bullshit. If he could, he’ll do everything to prevent that, too. If they had a say, they’d control Google, YouTube and Wordpress too, just to make sure some person is throughout expunged.

What happened at the time anyway, was that PZ Myers sided with Rebecca Watson, and swung his ban hammer. Abbie Smith sided with McGraw and did not moderate at all. Both community sections fired their broadsides at each other, but PZ Myers had the bigger guns. That’s when her comment section acquired the name of being a “slime pit”. When Abbie’s ship sank, the pirates went on and founded the Slymepit, a kind of Queen Abbie’s Revenge.

Edward Teach and his crew were bored in Bath Town and turned to piracy again, on the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It did not end well for them, but analogies end somewhere. The End.

55 A Bear November 1, 2014 at 2:08 am

A Modern internet fairy tale:-)>
Last year, a blogger that had won a feminist of the year award accused a science blogger of sexually harassing another science blogger. It had turned out the blogger that had made the claim of being harassed had been flirting with the accused and was embarrassed with his own behavior and apparently fabricated the rumor that the other blogger was harassing him to placate his wife.
When the feminist of the year discovered her error, although it took a while, including her own allies turning on her, she eventually did the right thing and apologized. She even apparently retreated in shame
by not blogging for a while.
It was a weak apology, but an apology none the less, and her blogging break gave indications that the feminist of the year had a real conscience.
But it turned that out no, she had no shame or self awareness and decided to circulate cheesy rumors and even slanderous accusations of people she somehow decided were her targets soon after.
The End
* the preceding fairy tale makes no real world accusations of real bloggers and even if it did the words don’t mean what you or the dictionary say they do

56 Matt Cavanaugh November 1, 2014 at 6:59 am

Shermertron wrote: “It seems that Stephanie is only willing to have discussions in her space and on her terms. Why might that be the case?”

From Cultwatch.org
http://www.cultwatch.com/howcultswork.html

Information Control

“Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is considered evil, especially if it is opposing the cult. Members are told not to read it or believe it. Only information supplied by the cult is true…. Cults train their members to instantly destroy any critical information given to them, and to not even entertain the thought that the information could be true.

“Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it not on the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history.

“If you are instructed by a group not to read information critical of the group, then that is a sign of a cult.

“Legitimate groups have nothing to fear from their members reading information about them.”

57 Karmakin November 1, 2014 at 11:49 am

My complaint remains the same. I think it’s all too common for this type of progressive to simply not understand that every criticism does not come from the “right”. Sometimes criticisms come from the left of them.

People who believe that rape/sexual assault should be reported to the police is a criticism coming from the left. People who believe that harassment policies should outline behavior and not rely on reaction is a criticism coming from the left. People who believe that prevention of rape/sexual assault should be a priority in terms of this issue, generally by targeting binge drinking, is a criticism coming from the left. People who believe that women are not a monolith and have different needs, wants, and experiences are WAY to the left.

In my opinion this is people complaining that egalitarians are better feminists than they are.

58 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

From Cultwatch.org

http://www.cultwatch.com/howcultswork.html

Information Control

Well worth reading.

Some of these people literally never leave their house so a few ideologically vetted blogs represent their entire ‘contact ‘ with the outside world.

When your partner starts to refer to himself as your ‘caretaker’ it’s time to acknowledge you might not be arguing from a place in reality.

59 tina November 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Let’s see what we’ve got in Zvan’s comment section. This one is good from ‘leftwingfox’.

I’ve noticed an odd dynamic with [named persons] defenders

To project the idea that MN and others are defenders of [named person] who is already guilty of rape and sexual harassment by blog fiat rather than due process. Nice.

So we’ve got the following disconnect. Our position is “The balance of evidence supports the probability that [named person] is a serial sexual harrasser/rapist. Based on his defence of his behaviour, it is appropriate to revoke his attendance from places where he can prey on other women.”

Let’s allow the premise for a second. In order to revoke his attendance from places where he can prey on other women, it is required to lock [named person] up, otherwise he can prey on women everywhere. You are not in control of everywhere.

Their position* is “Rapists are terrible and deserve to be punished severely. Since we cannot conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that [named person] is worthy of these terrible punishments, he should be assumed innocent.”

Even PZ Myers has written that he believes in the presumption of innocence. If you don’t, you need to explain what is going to replace it in a fair system of justice. Partial guilt? A bit of locking up? What?

With Oggvorbis, we have the reverse. “By his admission, Oggvorbis committed rape as a minor. Based on his admission, remorse and the circumstances surrounding the rape, we do not believe he is a continuing threat in this forum.”

That’s it? You’re safe then? And you are qualified to assess the risk to others how exactly? Og has written elsewhere that he still struggles with his demons and so the FtB sex offender unit is monitoring him closely for recidivism to ensure no other children are at risk, right? Does he work with children?

And the reverse from the ‘pit*: “Oggvorbis admitted to being a rapist, therefore he is guilty and deserves terrible punishment.”

That a quote is it? Where from? Not projecting again, are we?

Charitably. I think there’s probably a number there who are sexual abusers who are being willfully dishonest, but I tend to think idiots outnumber and amplify the actions of dedicated monsters.

You mean as opposed to the scrupulously honest sex abusers?

I don’t know what these people use for brains. It’s a mystery.

60 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Charitably. I think there’s probably a number there who are sexual abusers who are being willfully dishonest, but I tend to think idiots outnumber and amplify the actions of dedicated monsters.

That’s the charitable view? That there’s ‘probably’ a ‘number’ of sexual abusers? Can we have the maths on this? What the hell would an ‘uncharitable’ view look like?

What we leant from the Satanic ritual abuse hoax was that you don’t start by counting broomsticks then multiply that number by a percentage of witchy broomstick owners you pulled out of your arse to ‘prove’ the prevalence of abusive Satanists in a given community.

61 piero November 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm

That there’s ‘probably’ a ‘number’ of sexual abusers? Can we have the maths on this? What the hell would an ‘uncharitable’ view look like?

Well, zero is certainly “a number.”

62 Phil Giordana FCD November 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Shatterface; yep, this is now going into very dangerous territory for the FTB clique. Lawsuit-wise, it is not a good idea for Zvan and friends to let those comments go published.

It’s good to keep in mind that Myers, Zvan, Benson, etc… strongly moderate their blogs, letting pass only what either agrees with them, what they agree with, or trollish comments that will show how the “other side” is bad. In other words, they have editorial responsibility, as compared to a moderation-free (or lightly moderated like here) blog/forum/website.

If Zvan let this comment pass, it must surely mean that she agrees with it, doesn’t it?

63 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

If Zvan let this comment pass, it must surely mean that she agrees with it, doesn’t it?

It’s not just a matter of letting a comment stand since she made the same claim herself:

Gather that many people in one place, and the odds start to get good one of them is a rapist. Gather specifically people who have shown an interest in shutting others up on the topic of rape, and those odds improve.

It’s a Bayesian argument even if she doesn’t explicitly state the probabilities.

The prior probability – the probability that a man is a rapist – is the same for FTB as for Michael’s.

64 Larry November 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Myers has now said he has blocked Michael on Twitter and email, so the chances of an apology are now as near to zero as makes no difference

65 john welch November 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm

The funny part, to me, is the idea that everyone is blindly in the bag for HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED, now called “Voldemort”, because it amuses me to do so.

I know more than a few people who think Voldemort’s kind of a dumbass for the way he behaves. Being on a relentless poon patrol is in its own way just as moronic as Watson and her friends being unable to give a talk that doesn’t start out with some variant of “Y’all, I got so crunked last night, and I am SO hungover so be kind.”

It’s stupid immature behavior, and the fact that it’s making him look like an ass should be of no surprise whatsoever. Now, there is a huge, HUGE difference between someone with a terminal case of “stickitin” and rape, at least to the rational. But when you’re dealing with deliberately irrational people, and handing them a lot of material for “Well, where there’s smoke…”, you have to be unbelievably naive to not think “this is probably going to cause me problems”. Given how unsubtle Voldemort is, yeah.

And one could make the case, against both voldemort and watson, that this isn’t the kind of behavior one wants from one’s speakers. That maybe, just maybe, we should stop looking at conferences as a combination free saloon & cathouse where everyone can explode in a multi-day “what’s inside walter mitty’s brain”-fest and as at least semi-professional gatherings where pub crawls are not on the fucking agenda!

But if you do that, then you have to start telling *everyone* to shape up, even the people you like, so it’s not going to happen.

So while I have yet to see any solid evidence supporting Voldemort being a rapist, he’s definitely an asshole.

But somehow, I’m in the bag for him. Because Zvangic.

66 Jan Steen November 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Since Ms. Zvan is too cowardly to engage the commenters here directly, let’s copy some more opinions from her supporters.

Anthony K says
October 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Now, you’ll notice that those comments are on Pharyngula for anyone to see. They haven’t been deleted. No one denies that they exist. No one is saying they weren’t rapes.

That’s really a major point. I saw a ‘pitter making the What about Ogvorbis? argument somewhere around here. Well, what about him? Besides the points you raise in the bit I’ve quoted, nobody’s claiming the victims don’t deserve to be heard. Nobody’s asking what they were wearing, or how drunk they were, or how they should have just left. Nobody’s saying that if there’s no conviction it can’t even be talked about. Ogvorbis isn’t suing the pit for libel. It’s being talked about.

Yes, someone could make an argument for certain equivalencies. But that someone won’t be a pitter. They really don’t have much in their bag of skeptical thinking tricks beyond tu quoque.

“nobody’s claiming the victims don’t deserve to be heard”

Only Oggie knows who the victims (if any) are. I have seen no evidence of an attempt from him to reach out to them. Nobody among his huggers, as far as I am aware, has asked him to do anything of the kind. The victims are effectively kept out of the whole affair. Their story has not been heard, and Oggie is making sure that it never will be.

“Nobody’s asking what they were wearing, or how drunk they were, or how they should have just left.”

Could that be because they were little kids? Even if they weren’t, there is still a difference between victim blaming (which is apparently what Slymepitters do, as Anthony is suggesting here without providing any evidence) and pointing out that people can and should do things to enhance their personal safety.

“Nobody’s saying that if there’s no conviction it can’t even be talked about.”

Oggie is, or at least poses as, a self-confessed rapist, so there is no need for a conviction in order to be able to call him a rapist.

“Ogvorbis isn’t suing the pit for libel.”

This is bizarre. Suing for what? For repeating his own words? We have now entered alternative reality territory.

“It’s being talked about.”

It’s being talked about on FTB in the sense that it is repeated over and over again that Oggie was the abuse victim who has been groomed, who has shown remorse, who was only a child, and who is “one of us”, so therefore he can be accepted as a valued member of the commentariat, showered with declarations of love and hugs, and has even been offered baby-sitting jobs. Nobody there dares to follow up on Oggie’s hints that he is still struggling with his dark side. For all we know, the guy may be a ticking time-bomb (if you take him at his word). Nobody asks about the victims. So it is talked about in a one-sided fashion only. Criticising Oggie in any way is considered bad form.

“Yes, someone could make an argument for certain equivalencies. But that someone won’t be a pitter.”

Since when does the value of an argument depend on who is making it? This is the ad hominem fallacy in almost textbook form. But let’s savour this: “someone could make an argument for certain equivalencies.” What would those ‘equivalencies’ be? Providing a haven for rapists, perhaps?

“They really don’t have much in their bag of skeptical thinking tricks beyond tu quoque.”

Anthony evidently doesn’t understand what the tu quoque fallacy is. Pointing out hypocrisy is not an instance of the tu quoque fallacy. When you are doing bad thing X, and then try to defend yourself by pointing out that the accuser is also guilty of X, that would be an instance of tu quoque. This would be the case when the Slymepit would have a self-confessed rapist among its members, and then, when challenged, a Slymepitter would point out that there is this guy Ogvorbis on Pharyngula, what about him? That would be a tu quoque. But there is no equivalent to Oggie on the Slymepit, so there is no tu quoque.

The following comment shows how entrenched the support for Oggie is over there.

NateHevens. He who hates straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied men (not really) says
October 31, 2014 at 11:46 am

I am getting so fucking sick and tired of them going after Ogvorbis.

Og was fucking 12 YEARS OLD! OG WAS FUCKING ABUSED AND RAPED! OG WAS FUCKING GROOMED INTO THIS! OG DIDN’T HAVE A FUCKING CHOICE!

And yet here these pathetic little fucking shitweasels are using Og as a political cudgel.

This is what’s wrong with the fucking Slymepit. This is why they are evil beyond words. They are fucking sick human monsters. Yes, they are humans. That doesn’t make them any less monsters. Fuck them. Fuck them all.

We are sick human monsters for pointing out actual, blatant rape apology, present even in this comment (OG WAS FUCKING GROOMED INTO THIS! OG DIDN’T HAVE A FUCKING CHOICE). We are monsters for suggesting that maybe Oggie has made it all up (which is what I am inclined to believe). We are monsters for suggesting that Oggie should make amends to the victims, should get himself examined by a psychiatrist, maybe give himself in to the police, and that FTB people should stop accusing others of providing a haven for/defending rapists, when: A. They themselves are doing both, and B. There is neither a confession nor a conviction in the case of [famous sceptic], whose case has been discussed extensively on the Slymepit, with opinions ranging from probably guilty to probably not guilty, and with “don’t know” in between. If this is why we are evil beyond words, then I suppose that NateHevens must be using a definition of ‘evil’ that is not in any dictionary.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141101151002/http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2014/10/31/the-ogvorbis-boondoggle/

67 Blueshift Rhino November 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm

@Shatterface –

WRT suing the US-based controller of a moderated blog for comments made by others, this is rather complicated. One highly relevant law to look into is called “Section 230″ of the 1996 CDA. It’s pretty clear that the controller of an unmoderated blog is in the clear; it is equally clear that reposting something that you found elsewhere doesn’t protect you at all unless you are doing so to make critical comments (please read that twice, O.B., as it’s important). But the level of intervention by the blog’s controller that is required to remove all of Section 230’s protections for the blog’s controller WRT comments by others is not at all clear.

There is precedent from the middle 1990s (including one case that the 1996 CDA was trying to prevent from happening again; viz Stratton Oakdale v Prodigy) to suggest that moderation will play a role, but I don’t see this as being decided and clear. And all of that was about suing the ISP, instead of the blog’s (direct) controller, anyway, and the CDA took the ISPs off the hook (I guess because it’s “indecent” to allow big corporations be sued for following their own business model). Where the responsibility now lays is a bit murky by my reading.

But things are quite different in the UK and Ireland. The laws over there (relative to my location) – which I really shouldn’t comment on – are very good at not letting defamers hide and not letting defamation slide. Michael has good reason to be more careful than US-based folks.

All of this brings me to the question: if MN sues PZ, where will this occur. MN’s case under Irish law appears rather strong and easy to make. The same case in the US would be difficult and expensive. We could end up with PZ being in what I call the Dick Cheney International Non-Travelers Club: those who can’t venture outside the US due to their actions. That would be great for the European atheist scene. For those of us in the US, not so much.

68 JetLagg November 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm

We’ve had, Sawrs, a FTB commenter here at Michael’s blog tell us Ogvorbis was not a rapist, as he was a child and therefore it was impossible for him to consent. It was pointed out that this doesn’t make sense legally (I’m aware of children as young as 10 being prosecuted for rape) or morally, in the eyes of most people.

It was also pointed out that, if we take this logic to it’s conclusion, no minor could commit rape. In other words, a 14 year old jock could, of his own free will, penetrate a girl against her will, and this would not meet the FTB Sawr’s definition of rape.

Sawrs declined to comment, which is par for the course.

69 Jan Steen November 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Myers finally responds.

There has been a rather one-sided ‘conversation’ going on with Michael Nugent for the past month or so. It’s a little bit disturbing, and I provide here a chronology. If it’s too long for you, I’ll understand — I’ve found it hopelessly tedious — and the bottom line is that I won’t be talking to him again, and it ends here, as far as I’m concerned.

In the rest of his post he consistently cites Michael’s words between ‘Gumby quotes’. That will surely hurt Michael, someone who has dealt with the IRA and the Roman Catholic Church in Ireand. Right, Peezus?

What a pathetic, obnoxious little clown the man is.

Really, the commentariat on his blog consists almost exclusively of familiar names from the slymepit: people who have been harassing me, Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, Melody Hensley, Stephanie Zvan, and others for years. That they have found a welcoming environment at Nugent’s place tells me all I need to know about his commitment to ending harassment within the atheist community.

Poor Peezus & C0. They are being ‘harassed’ on an obscure website they don’t have to visit.

Satire and well-evidenced criticism = harassment.

So gosh, no, he won’t be getting a retraction or an apology. What he has gotten is blocked on Twitter and email, and a listing of his obsessive behavior.

Peezus is so predictable.

But it’s heartening to see that he has to show tweets by the likes of Latsot, Rorschach (=clinteas) and even *shudder* oolon to be able to suggest that he still has supporters out there. A handful of creepy nobodies fighting for him in the cold are all he has left, while he is cowering in his bunker.Mit dem Angriff Steiners wird das alles in Ordnung kommen.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141101153435/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/01/the-end-of-the-micknugent-saga/

70 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm

FTB regulars seem to be shifting its ground away from calling him a rape apologist for allowing Slymepitters to post to calling his a rape apologist for not naming Voldemort.

So their defence of the rape apologist accusation is essentially that Nugent is complying with Irish libel laws.

Also, they are currently hinting Michael might have skeletons in his closet.

71 John Greg November 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Just to show how deeply Ariel dives into pure sophistry, bafflegab, and empty rhetoric, here’s a related comment of hers at Zvan’s House of Horrors:

It’s weird indeed and I can’t fathom it even after reading Hornbeck’s comment. From my point of view, the strangest (and at the same time the saddest) aspect is that the fury concentrates on a behavior which (without much difficulty) can be seen as decent. I can only repeat that it’s really very strange. I mean: the Horde is not a bunch of angels and if you detest the Horde, you could certainly find something better for the object of your criticism. But no, no way, it is exactly an example of a decent behaviour that is chosen. For me, all of this is completely fucked up and barely understandable.

By the way, the whole case could be used *just as well* for arguing that “providing a haven for rapists” is *not* employed here as a synonym for “having a person who raped someone in the comment section”. Reverse the hypocrisy argument and you obtain exactly that: “accepting Ogvorbis is fine by our standards, providing a haven for rapists is not fine by our standards, therefore – since we are reasonable enough – we must have meant something else by “providing a haven for rapists”, don’t you think?”.

But of course no one in the pit will buy such a reasoning and presenting it to them in this way is a waste of time. As I came to see it, the pitters do not argue for the hypocrisy of the FtB-ers; they just assume it in advance, with every possible example being bound to confirm it.

There are at least two things clear from this comment:

1. She loves her some empty rhetoric with a fluffy frisson of sophistry.

2. She doesn’t understand what the fook she’s talkin’ aboot.

I mean somehow, even though it has been explained to her more times than I can count, the issue regarding Oggie is not the content of FTB’s fawning (decent or otherwsie, but no, it is not “decent”); it is the hypocrisy of such fawning. But, well, if she wants to play LaLa LaLa I can’t hear you, so be it. Empty heads beget empty heads.

And her second paragrah just makes my head explode with it’s spiral (never mind circular) reasoning and convoluted idiocy.

72 SF November 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

So PZ Myers has officially ended his monologue with Michael Nugent. Another pseudo-relationship bites the dust. But when has Myers ever had anything but a monologue with anyone. A monologue diatribe of demonization toward anyone who disagrees with him or sycophantic cheerleading by his echo base of ever diminishing horde followers. Thankfully virtually everyone has figured it out by now, the clickbaiting rage routine has worn quite thin by now, nobody wants anything to do with PZ Myers or freethoughtblogs, it’s an abject failure.

73 Matt Cavanaugh November 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

John Greg @ 72

“She doesn’t understand what the Foucault she’s talkin’ aboot.”
FTFY

Once it’s removed from the shelter of Gender Studies courses & “safe spaces” into the harsh light of the rational world, PoMo gibberish like Ariel’s withers rapidly.

74 Tigzy November 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Well, I’m sure most of you have seen Myers’ response to this ongoing saga. I offer the subsequent quotes from his Hordelets in order to bolster my earlier point that it is enough to simply be accused of rape to be adjudged as an actual, honest-to-gosh rapist by the court of Pharyngula:

‘When he demands that PZ apologize to Name Redacted, what exactly is that if not defending a rapist? He posted the demand on his blog, ergo his blog is a place where he defends rapists.’

‘He’s a misogynist asshole. Sure he’s clueless too, but it doesn’t stop there. He’s willfully ignorant like any other bigot. It doesn’t matter why he is actively trying to silence the victims of rapists like Name Redacted.’

‘One of the nastier bits is that Nugent always paints criticism of himself (and rapists who he defends) as being mindless smears orchestrated by The Peez…That, and the whole “don’t name rapists in public you’re making us look bad, here let me name names and assign sinister motives to my critics” hypocrisy. Dude can piss up a rope, he’s really a shitty person and a coward.’

‘I gotta admit, I was turned off by the “he defends rapists” thing. I had no idea he wanted people to be quiet about who is sexually abusive, though. Jesus fuck, does he actually not see the connection?

Yeah, Mick, you defend rapists. You defend sexual abuse.’

‘Nugent thinks it’s more important not to embarrass Name Redacted by calling him a rapist than to warn potential victims about Name Redacted’s raping.’

Bizarre, isn’t it, this demand to accept the legitimacy of the Pharyngulites’ judgement on pain of being considered a scumbag if one would prefer not to trust the likes of PZ Myers, Nerd of Redhead, Janine, Anthony K etc. etc. as some sort of authorative body. Arrogant too, to say the least. We can see it here, in these comments, where Mick is referred to than in less than glowing terms simply for holding the position that a person accused of rape may not necessarily be a rapist. Indeed, at least one Hordelet has gone so disgustingly far as to suggest this:

‘All makes me wonder how many skeletons are in [Mick Nugent’s] closet. This feverish obsessiveness with silencing voices against sexism, sexual harassment, and rape has to come from somewhere other than mere friendship with a creep.’

Oh, stop press – Ophelia Benson has just chimed in with this gem:

‘Ha. Michael Nugent is perfectly happy to host possibly libelous comments on his blog.’

I’m gonna be charitable, and suggest that Ophie hasn’t actually read the comments on Pharyngula yet…

75 Jan Steen November 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Even Nerd of Redhead weighs in. Michael will be devastated.

Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
1 November 2014 at 9:10 am
MN is just another dudebro who needs to shut the fuck and listen. But is incapable of doing either.

Shut up and listen. That’s what these SJWs expect you to do when deranged ragebloggers accuse you of providing a haven for rapists.

And the attempts to smear Michael’s person don’t take long to materialize. Par for the course on FreethoughtBlogs.

Take it away, Kevin Kehres.

All makes me wonder how many skeletons are in his closet. This feverish obsessiveness with silencing voices against sexism, sexual harassment, and rape has to come from somewhere other than mere friendship with a creep.

(I think the ‘creep’ mentioned here is Richard Dawkins.)

Are these people capable of writing any kind of criticism at all without throwing in at least one or two personal smears? That’s what you get when your philosophy includes “the personal is political.”

http://web.archive.org/web/20141101153435/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/01/the-end-of-the-micknugent-saga/

76 SF November 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm

PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, and Greta Christina have no problem whatsoever using McCarthy like tactics with anyone who disagrees with them; they like to pride themselves as being super duper progressives, but ironically they have a lot more in common with right-wing authoritarians.

77 Guestus Aurelius November 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I’d like to point out that Orac—whose demolition of all things woo I’ve long admired—has called Michael Nugent a “twit” in a comment on PZ’s recent post.

How can someone so smart, someone with such a strong BS-detector, be hoodwinked by an obvious and noxious cult leader? This isn’t the first time Orac has unjustifiably thrown others under the bus seemingly because PZ says they’re persona non gratae.

The answer is tribalism and groupthink.

Nobody’s immune to these things, and sometimes I even wonder if certain highly intelligent people are particularly blind to their fallibility in this regard. Orac is just one example; two of my favorite science bloggers, Phil Plait and Sean Carroll, also come to mind for the politically correct nonsense I’ve seen them both occasionally spew.

Here is an interesting (and, I think, germane) tidbit about Carroll that I’ve shared elsewhere:

Back in January 2006, after Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke affably debated gender and science in the wake of the Lawrence Summers affair (“_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hb3oe7-PJ8”), and after Pinker defended Summers over at Edge (“_http://edge.org/q2006/q06_3.html#pinker”), Carroll made a blog post lambasting Pinker, ironically titled “Dangerous, Stupid, or Simply Dishonest?”

Here is the URL, which you’ll notice goes nowhere: “_http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2006/01/02/dangerous-stupid-or-simply-dishonest/”

Yup: it’s been memory-holed, with no explanation or mention in any of his other blog posts that I can find.

But you can view it on the Wayback Machine (seems to have been memory-holed some time in 2010): “_https://web.archive.org/web/20100616131652/http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2006/01/02/dangerous-stupid-or-simply-dishonest/”

Here is a lovely snippet from the end, which comes after Carroll has himself misrepresented both Summers and Pinker, as well as the (copious) relevant scientific literature (watch the Pinker–Spelke debate if you’re curious):

… I can see two possibilities:

1. Pinker is an idiot, and can’t understand the difference between suggesting that differences exist and claiming that they explain the gender gap.
2. Pinker knows exactly what he is doing, and is lying intentionally to score some points of his own.

I honestly don’t know which it is. But I agree that spreading these lies, intentionally or not, is truly dangerous.

It’s nothing but a smear, “justified” by tribalistic political correctness. I can see why Carroll deleted the post eventually, though I wonder what specifically prompted him to do so, and I wonder if he ever apologized. I know that he and Pinker were on a panel together earlier this year: “_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cqt3CXKCWk”

My point is this: when there are social consequences for considering a viewpoint disfavored by your compadres, you’re less inclined to consider it than you’d otherwise be, regardless of the evidence. Along the same lines, if there are social benefits to demonizing those who hold that viewpoint, then you’re more inclined to demonize them than you’d otherwise be.

Peer pressure is the ubiquitous enemy of reason. It turns even skeptics into partisans. Nobody is immune.

78 SF November 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Michael please don’t stop posting your ‘tedious’ remarks on PZ Myers. In fact do about 20 more posts on the subject, just for fun. If nothing else, his reply shows how much it really gets under his skin and as well as what a tedious predictable hack he really actually is (Chuzpah!!!) as well as all of his followers.

79 JetLagg November 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

SF@76

PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, and Greta Christina have no problem whatsoever using McCarthy like tactics with anyone who disagrees with them; they like to pride themselves as being super duper progressives, but ironically they have a lot more in common with right-wing authoritarians.

Politics is (at least) two dimensional. You could see it as liberal/conservative on the x-axis, authoritarian/libertarian on the y-axis. Myers is every bit as authoritarian as many of the conservatives he hates so much.

I see

80 Aneris ✻ November 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I am amazed, how trivial it seems to be for PZ Myers. He’s well read I suppose and is in the top scientist on Twitter ranking. He brings another activst into context of rape in a very careless way (to say the least) — someone who simply abides the laws of his country (concerning libel and defamation) and who has no reason to get involved with what the american Voldemort did five years ago (same goes for me, I am perplexed what people want from me).

Instead of providing evidence, clarification what PZ Myers really means, or an apology he just shrugs it off as it was nothing. The same nonsense as usual: “oh, just some mild disagreement. Michael Nugent (RD, SH etc) aren’t infallible leaders and some mild criticism should be okay, what are they complaining about! We want to them to be better…”

PZ Myers is utmost irresponsible, but alas it isn’t unsual. He has shown often enough that he would use his privilege and outreach to destroy other people who somehow cross his ways. A person’s presence on the internet are their views, and their reputation. PZ Myers, as well as Stephanie Zvan simply take that, override it with their distortions and lies with their louder voice and then prevent that the other person can in anyway defend against it. That’s evil bully behaviour. And a reason why such people don’t belong in any leadership position.

81 John Greg November 1, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Well, Zvan has now jumped in with both feet. She too now makes a direct accusation that Nugent is providing a haven for rapists:

I wrote my post because I wanted to say, in my own words, that Mick Nugent has provided a haven for rapists. I’ll still say it. Mick Nugent has provided a haven for rapists by his actions with respect to [named person]. I don’t have to consult with PZ in order to say it. I don’t have to be defending PZ in order to say it. I said it. I believe it. I said why I believe it. I’ll stand by it on my own, thank you very much.

Popcorn time.

82 Rashiv November 1, 2014 at 7:23 pm

PZ Myers. Formerly, a respected member of the scientific, atheist and skeptical communities who rubbed elbows with the likes of Richard Dawkins and made positive contributions to the advancement of reason in the face of religion’s squalor. Now, a cowardly and morally deficient has-been and internet blowhard, desperate for any kind of notoriety at all… reduced to hysterically libeling anyone who doesn’t buy into his vicious spittle-flecked lunacy as “rapists”, “misogynists” and “rape apologists” on his blog and Twitter to an ever-dwindling and ever-crazier group of emotionally stunted rage-a-holics.

The good thing is that every day, more and more people are discovering just how low PZ Myers has sunk. And since Myers is a coward who won’t leave the safety of his blog and Twitter account because he knows full well his hideous bullshit doesn’t hold even a molecule of water, he is reduced to hiding behind his own safe space, where he weakly lashes out at people who correctly call him out on his poisonous little vendettas.

PZ Myers, through his libels and completely irrational viciousness, has backed himself into a corner he can’t escape from. He has utterly destroyed his reputation and standing in the community, for what? Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

From what I’ve seen on the internet these last few years, the initially relatively small number of people who first realized he was sliding into the moral and ethical abyss has grown into thousands of people who watch aghast as PZ commits metaphorical suicide and tries (unsuccessfully) to take his former colleagues down with him.

It’s one of the ugliest internet meltdowns in years, and watching this bratty child PZ as he stands almost entirely alone, pathetically pointing his finger and hysterically screaming “RAPIST!!!” while knee-deep in a heap of the libelous excrement he’s tried to smear everyone around him with, is not a pretty sight at all.

83 doubtthat November 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Hey, I notice there’s a high concentration of really interesting people with intelligent, fresh opinions. What do you guys think of Gamergate?

84 JetLagg November 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Just read Zvan’s latest. It’s breathtaking, watching her desperately attempt to rewrite the narrative into one where Myers never claimed pitters posting here was evidence of Nugent defending rapists, but rather, “misogynist” and “harasser” were the terms directed at pitters, and “rapist” was directed at Voldermort.

Except that is clearly not the case to anyone who goes back and reads the original exchange with Myers. Zvan is either quite delusional, quite idiotic, or quite dishonest.

85 JetLagg November 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

@Doubtthat

I’ve been vocal in my support of Gamergate both at the pit and at the subreddit, but I don’t think Michael’s blog is really the place to discuss this.

86 Steven Carr November 1, 2014 at 7:40 pm

PZ Myers heavily moderates comments on his blog, and so can be considered to fully back every single bit of malicious slander that appears in comments on his blog.

87 SF November 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm

JetLagg: “Zvan is either quite delusional, quite idiotic, or quite dishonest.”

If past history is any clue, all three.

88 Blueshift Rhino November 1, 2014 at 8:01 pm

@Steven Carr –

I won’t question your “right” to hold PZ morally responsible for the comments on his blog because he employs rather strong moderation (especially as I happen to agree with you), but you’ll want to read and digest Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act before you try to turn that into a legal argument (e.g., “slander”) within the US.

89 Mel November 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Mr. Nugent, you should brace yourself for an “anonymous” accusation of rape or some other sexual impropriety. It’s what these people do when backed into a corner, and you’ve got them so backed into a corner right now they’re absolutely flailing.

90 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Myers might have ‘rubbed shoulders’ with Dawkins at a urinal but he’s always been a non-entitity in atheist circles.

91 tina November 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Over in FtB La La land they’ve gone into full Death Eater mode trying to conjure up Voldemort in their desperation to justify themselves.

A couple of posts from PZ and Zvan declaring it all over and they’re into euphoric post match analysis. A tad prematurely perhaps.

92 john welch November 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Guestus at 77:

Orac is actually quite the little tool about such things. At one point, he wrote how abbie better watch her step or he might go “all Orac on her”.

The response was about what you’d expect: howling laughter and “I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU”.

Orac is a perfect example of someone using a pseudonym as an excuse for being an asshole. SBM I read regularly. Orac, not so much, and every time Gorski pulls something like that, I wonder if maybe I should stop reading SBM too.

93 Blueshift Rhino November 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm

With regard to possible anonymous accusations against MN in the near future (which I actually don’t predict, but wouldn’t be all that surprised by, either), my only suggestion to MN as a form of protection is to buy some new polo shirts in a color other than red.

94 Acleron November 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm

So Myers now wants it all to end. It is as though he realises that MN has an unassailable position re the evidence and the high ground. It also looks as if he understands the damage he has done himself but it also appears that he has neither the intellectual or emotional equipment needed to repair that damage.

I sincerely hope this rumbles on to complete his demotion despite his earlier work as an antitheist. I also hope he has learned that spreading unevidenced smears and unproven accusations around is not a good idea, but don’t place a high probability on that one.

95 SF November 1, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Another thing Myers has quite a lot of Chuzpah to try to tell Nugent to police his commentariat, when he does nothing about his own horde who have no problemo going out of there way declaring Nugent (as well as anyone else who disagrees with him), as a creep as well as multiple other slurs. I hear dead silence from PZ on policing those comments.

96 piero November 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

@Guestus Aurelius:

Peer pressure is the ubiquitous enemy of reason. It turns even skeptics into partisans. Nobody is immune.

Indeed. We should always consciously try to eradicate biases from our worldview. I’m not perfect in that respect by any means, but it seems to me that some posts in this thread are excessively loaded. I’m all for sharp, even brutal criticism of ideas; not so keen on insulting people. For example, describing Myers as a “non-entity” is not only false, but needlessly dismissive. Myers has done a lot of very good things for the A/S movement, and was rewarded for his efforts with a huge (and deserved) following. Yes, he has also made mistakes, and he is far too pugnacious in his approach. Yes, he smeared Michael Nugent for no good reason other than egolatry. But calling him insignificant is silly: the guy has a huge pool of followers, some of which we could call sycophants, but still…

This latest episode of smearing is ugly, and emotions can easily impair our judgement. We should do our best to avoid that.

97 Guestus Aurelius November 1, 2014 at 8:46 pm

piero,

When I said “nobody is immune,” I forgot to add “except for people who agree with me.” So you have nothing to worry about.

98 piero November 1, 2014 at 8:47 pm

@Blueshift Rhino:

my only suggestion to MN as a form of protection is to buy some new polo shirts in a color other than red.

Seconded! He’s too readily identifiable. Unless he hides behind the strawberries, as every elephant (and rhino) knows.

99 piero November 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm

@Guestus:

Meta-biases? Too complicated! I quit.

100 Gurdur November 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm

doubtthat at 82 wrote:

Hey, I notice there’s a high concentration of really interesting people with intelligent, fresh opinions. What do you guys think of Gamergate?

What I think is you’re trying for an evasion, by attempting a derail. Something wrong for you in tackling the actual issue at hand?

101 Crackity Jones November 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Take it away, Kevin Kehres.

All makes me wonder how many skeletons are in his closet. This feverish obsessiveness with silencing voices against sexism, sexual harassment, and rape has to come from somewhere other than mere friendship with a creep.

Kevin Kehres strikes me as coming from the same scum stock as CJ Werleman. Kevin has seen his master, PZ Myers, humiliated and exposed as a malicious fibber, and by his OWN vapid logic, a provider of a haven for a child rapist, so now he tries to respond with an absurd claim, a bit like Werleman did to Harris. Werleman, of course, had it blow up in his face (his sympathisers at FTB are mysteriously quiet about the exposure of this charlatan) when his claims were quickly debunked in public with brutal facts from Harris.

Kevin is playing the CJ Werleman role. I reckon he’s just as much a charlatan and rape apologist as the rest of the Horde.

102 Patrick November 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Steven Carr @85:

PZ Myers heavily moderates comments on his blog, and so can be considered to fully back every single bit of malicious slander that appears in comments on his blog.

If that’s the case legally as well as morally, this parenthetical from Jackie, commenting on Myers “end of the saga” thread, is defamatory on its face:

(At least Dawkins admits that either he thinks incapacitated women are asking for it and so deserve to be raped and silenced or that fucking them without their consent isn’t rape. He has yet, to my knowledge, to deny the events that the victims call rape occurred.)

Now, I follow Richard Dawkins on Twitter and I have never seen him claim anything of the sort. I suppose asking for evidence would be considered harassment?

103 JetLagg November 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Contacting someone in any fashion on twitter (up to, and including, for the purposes of apology) is harassment under certain forms of logic.

104 piero November 1, 2014 at 9:09 pm

All makes me wonder how many skeletons are in his closet. This feverish obsessiveness with silencing voices against sexism, sexual harassment, and rape has to come from somewhere other than mere friendship with a creep.

Yeah, Michael, show us your skeletons! You know you have them, we know you have them. Because nobody can actually be a decent person and refuse to smear somebody else only because it is the decent thing to do.

What a sad world these people live in.

105 Lancelot Gobbo November 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Orac lost my respect when he automatically supported the lazy and inaccurate Skepchick/Grounded Parents article by Jamie Bernstein this last March. Bernstein had attempted to prove Amy Tuteur (The Skeptical OB) wrong in her analysis of home birth death rates. While Tuteur made one unwarranted assumption, she was mostly spot on. Bernstein’s counter analysis showed all the fine qualities of Skepchick science, and Tuteur pounced on her and told her so. In came Orac, defending the indefensible and making a fool of himself for all the wrong reasons.

Tuteur’s article: _http://www.skepticalob.com/2014/01/homebirth-midwives-reveal-death-rate-450-higher-than-hospital-birth-announce-that-it-shows-homebirth-is-safe.html
Bernstein’s: _http://groundedparents.com/2014/02/26/guest-post-homebirth-safety-and-risk/
Orac’s: _http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/03/13/neonatal-death-rates-after-home-births-and-a-strange-skeptic-kerfuffle/

106 Blueshift Rhino November 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm

@Patrick –

If your legal comment concerned the US, can you cite a case after the 1996 CDA where heavy moderation made a defamatory comment on a blog the responsibility of the blog’s controller?

107 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Somebody please do a Downfall spoof of yet another atheist activist calling him on his bullshit.

108 Patrick November 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Blueshift Rhino @105:

Please note that I phrased my comment as a hypothetical.

While I would definitely partake of the schadenfreude should Myers be sued for libel by any of those he has given reason to do so, I was not offering a legal opinion. My intention was to add to the ever growing body of evidence that Myers commentariat, like the man himself, have no honesty and no integrity.

I do agree with Steven Carr that Myers’ heavy moderation of his blog strongly implies his approval of what he allows to remain in his comment sections.

109 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I think if you are considering legal proceedings you should start with Kevin Kehres, not least because he’s fuckwitted enough to post rape apologetic accusations and hints of actual rape under his own name.

A legal reaming for such an inviting asshole would not be uncalled for.

110 Blueshift Rhino November 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Folks who are interested in the legal precedents for someone in Ireland suing someone from elsewhere for defamatory statements that could be seen by folks inside Ireland, the place to start is Shevill v Presse Alliance.

111 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

It’s not doxxing to contact Kehred therapists and/or appropriate adult to notify them he has access to the internet.

112 IM608 November 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm

@Lancelot Gobbo #104

While Tuteur made one unwarranted assumption, she was mostly spot on.

And IIRC, when brought to her attention, she quickly owned up to it and made the correction without a fuss or making excuses.

113 Shatterface November 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm

I’m not vindictive, I just wasn’t to see Kehres skewered on a stick.

114 john welch November 1, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Kevin K. being a jackass does not require everyone else to be even worse a jackass.

115 Iamcuriousblue November 2, 2014 at 1:59 am

Well, looks like Stephanie Zvan has weighed in on this (and I swear, I didn’t mean that as a pun when I first wrote it, but I’ll run with it) and provided a clarification. Apparently the comments section of this blog is haven for “harassers”, but Nugent’s “haven” for rapists is an intellectual one, in that he hasn’t jumped on the anti-Michael Shermer bandwagon, and is apparently trying to “silence” Shermer’s critics.

But as for the claim that this comments section for “harassers”, it comes down to PZ and company expecting his personal blog blacklist to be in force everywhere, including other people’s blogs. This, of course, is an outrageous thing to demand, and shows him to be in the worst kind of neo-McCarthyist in spirit.

116 Acleron November 2, 2014 at 8:35 am

@Iamcuriousblue

This lesser accusation that MN is trying to silence anyone is symptomatic of all of them. AFAIK MN has merely said ‘who you name and I will not’. That is a disagreement. It might even be interpreted as an attempt to change their minds about this naming and shaming but is not an attempt to silence them. An attempt to silence them could be identifying individuals and forcing them off the web, or perhaps falsely accusing them of stalking on twitter. None of this has happened.

As was seen from the start of A+, you either agree with 100% of anything they say or you are public enemy number one.

117 Gerhard November 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

“Orac is actually quite the little tool about such things. At one point, he wrote how abbie better watch her step or he might go “all Orac on her”.”

Is it just me, or is anyone else noticing the tendency for bloggers of a certain type to go all ideological. The type in question relies heavily on cliched put downs replete with phrases like “the stupid, it burns!”. I used to read Orac but did get a little irritated with the monotonous and unimaginative recycled rhetoric. There are some parallels with Myers in that Orac goes after people who really deserve it, usually, so we don’t see the dogma. Until he strays onto subjects where things are less “scientific”.

Myers really has come full circle now. It was the preserve of Creationists to accuse Myers of being obsessed an of just hating god (substitute women now). It was they who favoured censorship and Myers who derided them for their moderation policies. Is there any doubt what Myers would have said had a Creationist tried to pull the “I’m bored now” stunt with him. There is a long list of people whom Myers has flat out misrepresented and then refused to acknowledge when challenged on it, one of the most disgusting examples being the Anthony Navarro affair.

Michael, if you have any reservations about what you are doing, that you are “making it all about yourself” then dispel them now. The stuff that Zvan and co. are coming out with right now about you is what they have been doing to unwelcome commenters on their blogs for years (only less extreme with you) and there is seldom any substance to it. It is quite baffling, and amusing, that Zvan appears to have not the slightest clue how transparent and comical her Red Queen act is.

You’d think that it would dawn on the Pharyngulites that they seem to forever be looking for off-dictionary and obscure interpretations to explain away statements by FTB bloggers and then doing the same to incriminate the likes of Dawkins. How can you operate like that and not question yourself?

118 FishCakes November 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Gerhard @117,

How can you operate like that and not question yourself?

I think this has much to do with confirmation bias. A narrative has already been established, and every subsequent comment or blog post is read and perceived in light of that pre-existing narrative.

Given a pre-existing belief or assumption (e.g., that misogyny, harassment, rape culture, etc. are rampant; or that a particular person is a rapist or rape apologist; etc.), these bizarre interpretations and the twisted/tortured logic makes sense. In fact, no matter how bizarre and far-fetched the interpretations and rationalizations get, they still represent the path of least resistance, because the alternative would mean over-turning a well-entrenched narrative (or really a web of inter-related and intertwined narratives) and acknowledging previous mistakes. Both of which are very difficult for some people to do.

The mantra for many of these people is “check your privelage,” but, as skeptics, we ought to be checking our cognitive biases instead. If people focused more on that, many of the disagreements and flame wars would be avoided.

119 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I trust you read my comment before deleting it, Michael Nugent?
I hope I am starting to get through to you.

120 Patrick November 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm

theophontes @119,

Please post your deleted comment in one of the discussion threads at FtB, and post a link, so that we can all see an example of Michael’s moderation policy (and your insightful argument, of course).

121 Looper November 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

They should be shouted down at this point, and treated like academic terrorists with their criminal accusations and doxxing.

If it’s not clear to you lot that the Myers/A+ crowd are sociopathic agitators hungering for page hits and power, you’re disconnected from the reality you claim to be based in. They are scumbag filth deserving of every ounce of derision we can muster. They *know* are spouting bullshit and can’t answer you questions. It’s not a mistake, it’s a *tactic*.

They burned the bridges, so I say blow up the dam to wash away the bridge debris. No rebuilding. Isolation and quarantine like the human Ebola they are.

122 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

@ Patrick

I have posted it earlier to Pharyngula. (Link here.)

123 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm

@ Michael Nugent
When you first started blogging, would you ever have imagined that, within a few years, you would be playing host to the likes of Looper, or censoring people like myself?

124 Michael Nugent November 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I edit content, not people. And I make my editorial policies clear. Feel free to comment on issues without alleging that named people are responsible for serious crimes.

125 Michael Nugent November 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm

When I first started blogging, I would never have imagined that, within a few years, I would be subjected to the vile unsubstantiated personal smears I am now subjected to.

126 Patrick November 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm

theophontes @122,

Thank you for the link. In that comment, you make a potentially libelous accusation against a named individual, an inaccurate and potentially defamatory claim about another named individual, and an accusation about yet another named individual based on news reports about an ongoing police investigation in Hong Kong.

It seems to me more likely that Mr. Nugent removed your comment for legal and ethical reasons rather than that he found your argument, such as it is, irrefutable.

127 John Greg November 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Theophony, Michael probably deleted your comment — if in fact you actually tried to post it — because, aside from the fact you are constitutionally incapable of rational discussion, debate, and discourse, you make the following proof- and evidence-free assumptive/presumptive accusations:

1. That Michael, in fact, supports rape apologism.
2. That Michael, in fact, supports silencing accusations.
3. That Michael, in fact, supports not naming the names of convicted sex offenders.

Also, just for fun, you threw in a ton of utter irrlevancies and non sequitors regarding Jutting and Ghomeshi. Their cases represent the challenges and problems with the legal systems in democratic countries, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the current issues Michael is dicussing. It sounds like, if one can read through your hysterical rage, you would rather vigilanty justice than and form of democratic legal recourse.

You also made additional misrepresentations and groundless implicit accusations (par for the course).

Seriously, Theophail, if you want to be taken seriously, go to school and learn how to think like an intelligent adult. For a change.

Ah, yes, for another thing, the bottom line is that you misunderstand, willfully or otherwise, Michael’s statements regarding not naming names. He is not saying “Do not name the names of convicted sex offenders”. He is saying “Do not make absolutist accusatory claims (and name the names of legally innocent people) regarding the presumed guilt of supposed criminals when pointing fingers at people who have neither been convicted, nor even charged with any such crimes”.

There is a world of difference there that you and your fellow Flocklings have willfuly, intentionally, and with presumed malice, misinterpreted and distorted.

128 John Greg November 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Michael said:

When I first started blogging, I would never have imagined that, within a few years, I would be subjected to the vile unsubstantiated personal smears I am now subjected to.

Not to take away from the good work you are doing regarding this issue as well as your other, more real, work, but, seriously, this is one of the things that the Pit, even if you disagree with Pit language, has been saying and pointing out for about 4 years now: Disagree with FTB, Skepchick, A+ at your peril!

And, many of us get really, really, frustrated that when people like yourself, in a serious position of legitimate authority on these issues, condemns us for our language and iconoclastic ways, and then come around to see that what we have been saying for years is absolutely true, you still tend to ignore the amount of hostility, abuse, and smears that Pit people underwent (and continue to endure), simply because the Pit blazed the trail in the first place.

Pit people have had their places of work, and professional associates, contacted with malicious intent to harm careers and reputaions by FTB and Skepchick folks; Pit people have been Doxxed for no reason beyond disagreement; Pit people have been labelled rapists, rape apologists, harrasers, misogynists, MRAs, terrorists, mass murders, and on, and on, and on, simply because we disagree with much of what FTB and Skepchick and A+ represent and proselytize, and yet no one, outside the Pit, cares much about that. It’s sort of a case of, Well, Pit people say some mean things, so it’s OK for them to be misrepresented and smeared however false those smears might be; who cares, they’re only Pit people.

It gets bloody tiresome.

/rant over, and apologies. Keep up the good work.

129 John Greg November 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Whoops! Sorry for the italics error — are you able you fix? Italics should end at end of “They’re only Pit people”.

130 John Greg November 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Thanks.

:)

131 tina November 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I see Og has left FtB. He should come here. It’s a haven.

132 Jan Steen November 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm

@Theophontes,

When you first started blogging, would you ever have imagined that, within a few years, you would be playing host to the likes of Looper, or censoring people like myself?

It’s a scandal, I say, that someone would censor righteous people like your good self, who merely calls the blog owner a supporter of rape apologism and suggests that a rapist would find a haven here. What is the world coming to when an honest libeller like you isn’t welcomed by his victim? Outrageous.

133 Esper November 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

OgVorbis will be back as Ognaji, don’t worry.

134 Shatterface November 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm

@ Theofarties:
When you first started blogging, would you ever have imagined that, within a few years, you would be playing host to the likes of Looper, or censoring people like myself?

Are you sure you submitted your missing comment here and not some scat site you had open in another window? Even they have standards.

135 Jan Steen November 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm

@tina,

Did you see this respones?

Anne, Lurking Feminist Harpy & Support Staff

3 November 2014 at 8:36 am

Ogvorbis, please don’t go. This isn’t your fault, they were looking for a target, and if it hadn’t been you it would’ve been someone else. Or they would’ve just made something up.

“Or they would’ve just made something up.”

But ‘they’ didn’t need to make anything up, genius.

136 Shatterface November 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I have posted it earlier to Pharyngula. (Link here.)

Don’t give them the clicks.

If they have anything to say let them do it here, in an open forum.

137 Jan Steen November 3, 2014 at 8:44 pm

If they have anything to say let them do it here, in an open forum.

Or use this archived link (comment #424):

http://web.archive.org/web/20141103203954/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/06/thunderdome-55/comment-page-1/

138 JetLagg November 3, 2014 at 9:38 pm

@Theophontes

Having a comment removed because it violated the commenting policy is not an example of you being singled out for censorship you fruitloop.

139 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

@ Michael Nugent

And I make my editorial policies clear.

Well then this part of my prior comment should be well above board:

Bye the bye: You appear to be allowing your blog to be used as a platform to attack a child victim of rape. Last year you told people to stop and even redacted the person’s name. Why the sudden change in policy?

@ John Greg

your comment — if in fact you actually tried to post it

I guess you should address Michael in this regard, for obvious reasons. Go on, ask him.

@ Shatterface

Are you sure you submitted your missing comment here

Ask Michael if you really want to know.

140 Jan Steen November 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

@Theophontes,

You appear to be allowing your blog to be used as a platform to attack a child victim of rape.

There should be an equivalent to “quote mining”, to be called “fact mining.”

What you should have written is this:

You appear to be allowing your blog to be used as a platform to attack a blog network that provides a haven for and offers hugs and love to a self-confessed child rapist who was also allegedly a child victim of rape, and yet accuses others who do no such thing of providing a haven for rapists.

141 aleprechaunist November 4, 2014 at 9:39 am

So now Zvan has “clarified”: Michael’s blog is a “haven for rapists” because of “a hypothetical commenter–presented in the future subjunctive for language geeks–who would find haven” here. Good friggin’ grief – the verbal gymnastics and intellectual dishonesty she goes through to deny what’s as plain as the nose on her face – Myers is equating pitters with rapists, just because they disagree with him. And the other FTBullies are frantically carrying water for him because they would rather burn the atheist movement to the ground than apologize and thereby lose face with their even more mouth-foaming horde.

142 JetLagg November 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

@Theo

Perhaps this will help.

Please don’t speculate on specific unproven allegations against other specific named people.

It was from an earlier post, so you may have missed it. Most of us have been participating from the beginning and just know the rules by now.

Note that what you were doing violates this rule, while discussing Ogvorbis does not, as it’s been proven he did what we’re saying he did (i.e. confessed to rape).

143 LeSchlumb November 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

tl;dr

FTB says: “Michael Nugent provides a haven for rapists*”

*haven doesn’t actually mean haven, and rapists doesn’t actually mean rapists, although we deliberately chose these words to make outside readers who’re unfamiliar with our smearing tactics think exactly that.

End of feed.

144 Carrie November 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

139 theophontes

As I understand it, Michael is not allowing unsubstantiated smears in the comments section. This would include speculation regarding the innocence or guilt of any named person, since that is not relevant to his blog posting. Speculation and belief are not the same as proof. If you have proof that a rapist is defended or given a haven by Michael, then that is a different matter and should, in fact, be taken to the police rather than spread about on blogs. Michael lives in Ireland, where the laws are (I believe) clear on this. When it comes to the hypocrisy that is mentioned in these threads, we are talking about the one actual rapist who outed himself and is being loved on at FtB. That actual admitted rapist does not hang out at the Slymeit nor does he hang out here.

When you talk about things that other prominent atheists have said, you immediately fall into the trap of misinterpreting the words. We have had that discussion on previous threads here, and it has nothing to do with the smear that Michael defends or provides a haven for rapists.

The other issues that are in your moderated comment have nothing to do with the posts on Michael’s blog. We can cite all sorts of miscarriages of justice or terrible things that people have done, and they are not relevant to the slurs that have been thrown at Michael.

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