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Jun 05 2014

The Best Defense

It’s been a few days since I put up my post about D. J. Grothe’s record of lies and his most recent threat (that I know of) to lie again. In the meantime, the reactions from Grothe’s supporters have been coming in. I already posted about the first one I saw, but there have, of course, been plenty more. People just keep sending me links.

After Rebecca Watson tweeted the piece and said she’s one of the people who thinks Grothe is a psychopath and Monette Richards retweeted it, EllenBeth Wachs had her say. I’ll spare you pictures of this one, though I have them if anything disappears. It’s long.

@BlameEllenBeth: @rebeccawatson @MistressOfFrog Really disappointing Monette. How is this different than the hate and lies Rebecca gets thrown at her

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth @rebeccawatson Show me the lies in this piece, please, EllenBeth.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog The link to the photo claiming assault @rebeccawatson

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth @rebeccawatson can you be a bit more specific. There are a lot of links in this piece.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog Stephanie’s title and her disclaimer not to be armchair pyschologists is the height of hypocrisy -

Referring to a question that I think is reasonable and open by using a question mark but insisting that people not try to answer the question because they’re not qualified is the “height of hypocrisy” now. What would she have had left to say had I tried to diagnose him rather than declining to answer because I’m not qualified?

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog The one that claims to prove to show Pam was sexually assaulted only to show her having a blast with Shermer

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth Not at all. She’s talking about the path of lies he has left behind him as he made his way through this movement. #1

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth The psycopathy has been mentioned to her again and again by people who have been hurt by those lies.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth How does that make it a lie?

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog Sorry- got a phone call- Listen, I have seen the tweets, I have seen the photos, I have been on recv’ng end of Zvan’s lies

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog I know what she does and how she twists things. She is an evil, mean person

Here are the posts I’ve written about Wachs. They’re largely quotes. Feel free to find the twists.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog what path of lies? What nonsense.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth You are very wrong about her. She upset you. That doesn’t make her evil or a liar.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog She is a liar- She wrote lies about me

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog I know others she has lied about.

What lies? Be specific.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth Again, how does this picture make anything a lie?

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog She used it to prove assault.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog I have to go to work. Have you ever met DJ?

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth I think you should read the piece again. Stephanie was not using that image as prove of assault.1/2

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth DJ was using as proof of no assault happening.

I quote from the piece Wachs is complaining about: “He has threatened to do this despite the fact that his photographic “evidence” has already been seen, having been dug up by the slime pit and passed around by a “helpful idiot”, and is entirely consistent with Gay’s tale of making the best of bad things because it is dangerous to object.” and “Maybe he points at pictures and project plans and uses the Radford defense, saying Shermer couldn’t have assaulted Gay because she was nice to Shermer afterward.” [Emphasis added.]

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog I stay away from her toxicity if at all possible. If you haven’t met him, I don’t think you should be RTing about him

Says the woman who continued to manually retweet me after I blocked her months ago.

Why should we have to meet someone in order to talk about their documented behavior and how it affects other people, particularly when much of that behavior hasn’t happened face to face? Grothe certainly didn’t meet me before he claimed I drummed up controversy for hits and scared women away from conferences. For that matter, Wachs has never met me. It’s just a silly, arbitrary way of saying, “Shut up.”

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth And I am at work. No, I do not care to.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth I don’t believe she is the toxic part of this situation.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog Right, because you might see you are wrong, SMH

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog Step out for a few minutes and you might be able to see she is the toxic part

He lies. I point out that it’s a pattern. I point out that it’s such a pervasive pattern that people talk about it being a personality disorder. That means he’s someone you need to meet in person, and I’m toxic. Uh-huh.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth You have not shown me one place in her piece where she lies. Multiple people have shown where DJ lies.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth No. Trying to stop the bullshit is not toxicity. The bullshit is.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog No, they really haven’t. *shrug* You’re too deep into your bias

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth Are there untrue items in her piece somewhere?

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog WHAT multiple people? “They said” “people told me” puhlease I’m not here to defend DJ. He gave explanations about tweets

One of those people came forward on her own, which is what started this Twitter exchange. Others probably won’t, because they’re afraid of Grothe’s vindictive streak.

Anyone know where Grothe defended his tweets?

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth Which tweets?

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog If you can’t see what a mean vindicative piece that is, that’s sad.

@MistressOfFrog: @BlameEllenBeth If you can’t see the diff between stopping someone from hurting a woman and the hate Rebeeca gets, that is really sad.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog red herring

Yes, pointing out that Wachs’ original question has an obvious answer is a red herring.

@BlameEllenBeth: @MistressOfFrog Now I’m going to work. Have a nice day

Then a couple other of the usual suspects weighed in.

@metaburbia: @MistressOfFrog @BlameEllenBeth she called DJ a psychopath in the title of the piece then told ppl not to be armchair psychiatrists. Nuts.

Someone doesn’t understand punctuation marks, apparently. I really wish I could say he were the only one.

@RichSandersen: @MistressOfFrog @BlameEllenBeth Then you are completely ignorant. #FTBullies

@RichSandersen: @MistressOfFrog @BlameEllenBeth Zvan is the woman who TOASTED Greg Laden the SAME NIGHT he was fired from #FTB after threats of violence.

If Grothe were removed as JREF president tomorrow, I would probably toast that as well. Would it mean I approved his behavior? No, it would mean the end of something.

@BlameEllenBeth: @metaburbia @MistressOfFrog Are you fucking kidding me??? I just read Pamela’s blog. YOU and SHE and Stephanie don’t know what PTSD is

That would be the same Wachs whose companion in Florida atheist lawsuits harassed Melody Hensley over daring to have PTSD from non-military experiences. That would also be the same Wachs who has or had PTSD from being woken up and arrested in her bedroom.

@metaburbia: @BlameEllenBeth they take the Humpty Dumpty approach to psychiatric diagnosis: it means what they choose it to mean // @MistressOfFrog

@metaburbia: @MistressOfFrog trying to stop the bullshit is what Szvan is doing with her internet diagnosis of psychopathy is it?@BlameEllenBeth

The slime pit is being its usual, relevant self.

Picture of a cane toad with a mouse tail sticking out of its mouth. FtB logo necklace around its neck and another toad's hand on its arm. Cane toad: Is D.J. Grothe a psychopath? Greg, get off my back. Other toad: I'm not Greg. It's PZ.Apparently it doesn’t matter that Grothe threatened to lie in order to get someone to recant her story of an attempted sexual assault because I’m fat, ugly, and having sex with the men who agree with me. Also, they can’t or won’t tell the difference between a three-word title and the evidence presented in a 3,000+ word post.

JREF Educational Programs Consultant, Barbara Drescher, also appears to feel that the best way to address Grothe’s behavior is to tell us we shouldn’t talk about it. Selections from that conversation:

Barbara A. Drescher: Jeez, I can’t take a three-hour break from the internet to pick my husband up at the airport without craziness exploding all over it. There is no end to the amount of hypocritical, ideological…LUNACY (that’s the best word that I can think of) being spewed. Good god.

Yes, it’s insane (says the psychology lecturer) to look at patterns in people’s behavior and put names to them–like “lunacy” or “narcissism“.

Richard Murray: It really is like an annual thing… 4-5 weeks ahead of TAM, suddenly this coordinated effort to discredit kicks off…

Jeremy Stangroom: I’m tempted to pay a visit to TAM just to spite the rage bloggers. (I’m sure there are lots of good reasons to turn up, but I don’t tend to go anywhere there are other people if I can avoid it!).

Knock yourself out, Stangroom.

Ryan Long: Jeremy I went to TAM last year, and nobody gave two flying fucks about stupid rage bloggers. We listened to good talks, saw entertaining shows, had fun afterwards. There is so much real stuff to do, Internet nonsense is quickly remembered to be stupid and fake. I’d go again this year if I weren’t unemployed.

Does threatening or lying to someone become “nonsense” just because it happens on the internet?

Nathan Bupp: Lunacy is a good word for it!

Ryan Long: I know from experience that if you ignore these assholes, they continue to write about you anyway, for weeks on end. Once they’re done milking whatever idiotic fake controversy for all its worth, they simply move on to someone else to attack.

So here’s the last post I wrote about Grothe before Monday’s. Here’s the one before that.

Abbey Sanders: It’s interesting they whine and nothing happens. Where’s the difference? The movement? They haven’t ever made any sort of movement. Just a bitch blog.

And an atheist radio show on commercial radio. And a growing local atheist group. But really, nothing but a bitch blog.

Barbara A. Drescher: Torkel, they’re not happy with a boycott. They won’t stop trying to destroy it all. And it’s really one giant tantrum.

Barbara A. Drescher: I don’t know why I’m even trying to read any of this shit. These people don’t even know the meaning of the word “assault”, much less do they know what a “lie” is.

Assault. Lie.

Barbara A. Drescher: But opinions are useful if what you’re trying to do is damage someone’s reputation. After having my own trashed (on screwmyprofessors), I’ve come to recognize that such things matter a whole lot more than real character when it comes to one’s ability to get stuff done in the real world.

Barbara A. Drescher: Is there a word that is stronger than “vile”, yet still appropriate to describe these people? I mean, what kind of person writes a couple of thousand incredibly hateful words about someone, just for blog hits or to try to destroy something they can’t have the way they want it (e.g., themselves and their friends on the stage)? And what kind of people praise it and spread it?

No kidding. What kind of person writes about someone who has unearned credibility and is using it to try to threaten someone else?

BJ Kramer: Barbara: I don’t think “just for blog hits” is fair…or necessarily accurate. I’ve found there to be no limit on what people can convince themselves is not only true, but worthy of a moralistic crusade.

Barbara A. Drescher: You’re right of course, BJ, but I can’t for the life of me think of what else Zvan could possibly get from writing and posting such an ugly piece of shit.

I can take away Grothe’s ability to hurt someone who has done nothing worse than speak up about what an “important” person did to her against her will.

Ryan Long: She’s a monumental asshole, and that’s not me demonizing an ideological opponent, that’s just a totally reasonable observation of one person who routinely acts like an asshole.

Barbara A. Drescher: Good point. [responding to someone else --SZ] And one I often make, so thanks for reminding me. But I have to say that this kind of thing makes it sooo difficult. I get that they probably believe that they are morally righteous, but I am finding it very difficult to see Zvan and Watson and their ilk as anything other than vile, horrible people.

Abbie Smith: Again. Every year. For three years now.

Dear Skepchicks: Hes just not that into you.

Barbara– We are dealing with people who are a) losers and b) narcissists. These outbursts are just pantomime to maintain the actors personal delusion that they are important and influential people. Artificial drama to deal with the mind-numbing tedium and meaninglessness of their otherwise uneventful lives.

Dear Abbie: What happened last year before TAM?

In 2012, Grothe claimed that those of us who were talking about harassment policies were scaring women away from TAM. This year, he threatened Pamela Gay. If you’re looking for an explanation of the timing, you should talk to Grothe.

Torkel Ødegård: Am I the only one who feel that some of these self-proclaimed skeptics who are going on and on about drama, rageblogging, misogyny, sexism, harassment, conference policies, etc. all the time are starting to sound like a bunch of crazy ass conspiracy theorists?

They make a claim, you make a counter claim, they call you sheeple, apologist, enabler, misogynist, asshole, TAMmer, Bigfoot skeptics, dictionary skeptics, etc. There’s no nuance or even an effort to have a discussion. It’s their default comeback to any criticism.

Like how someone who’s REALLY into alt med crap or anti-vax will dismiss skeptics as being part of big pharma or how those who claim the moon landing weren’t faked are brainwashed by NASA propaganda.

Ryan Long: You are not alone, they are True Believers.

It’s such a reach to think that Grothe might be working with Shermer, whom he copied on emails, when he threatened Gay.

Amanda Devaus: Sigh. Normally I don’t like to say it about someone but they are really horrible creatures.

Barbara A. Drescher: You know what else? I keep thinking this is an attempt to destroy what they can’t control and I find that very, very disturbing. It also makes Zvan’s post particularly ironic in light of who else does that sort of thing.

Accountability doesn’t actually destroy most people.

Robert Blaskiewicz: ” I can’t for the life of me think of what else Zvan could possibly get from writing and posting such an ugly piece of shit.” A lawsuit?

A lawsuit for documenting a bunch of behavior and pointing out that it makes a pattern? Really?

John C. Welch: Zvan’s ego may in fact be beyond human comprehension. She wrote a post not long ago that was basically “I AM THE ULTIMATE RHETORICAL WARRIOR” as some kind of bizarro warning to anyone who might cross her. At this point, calling her and the rest a joke is a major upgrade of their status.

Her head is SO far up her own ass that she’s gone full Klein bottle. Never go full Klein bottle.

It was actually a post about how gender affects perceptions of authority and how that, in turn, affects the outcome of debates, but you just go ahead and feel threatened, Welch.

Martin Robbins: What an astonishingly ugly thread, and how bizarre for people to gang up like this rather than confront serious issues within the community. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Abbie Smith: Barbara– They have no control or influence over anything. Eventually they wandered off after nothing worked on me, but I have a feeling they will remain fixated on people like Grothe to maintain their delusions.

Thank god Martin is here to bring The Word to us unwashed savages. Another Usual Suspect I didnt have blocked yet. *BOOP!*

Talking to National Geographic did work on you. That’s why the slime pit is no longer under the ScienceBlogs banner. Then, having succeeded in decoupling the harassment from the authority that platform granted it, we moved on. But thanks for undermining the narrative that we’re obsessed with certain people.

Barbara A. Drescher: Are you kidding, Martin? Please tell me you’re kidding, because that’s a pretty insane statement when you realize that we’re talking about a bunch of people going on and on about how my friend is a psychopath. A bunch of people who have done everything they can think of to destroy something that they can’t control.

John C. Welch: Yaaaay! The voice of Moral Superiority is here!

Now we can FINALLY learn how “it’s okay when WE do it” is a rational, moral, equitable philosophy.

 

And…go!

When “we” do what? Last time I checked (about four words ago), I wasn’t threatening anyone to get them to recant allegations of sexual assault.

Amanda Devaus: Martin – I actually work very hard to help people, both in my profession and through skepticism. Right or wrong if someone who is my friend and who I respect is being the subject of a hate campaign I will step up and defend them – every single time.

No matter what they’ve actually done. Team Us, right or wrong!

Barbara A. Drescher: You know how we address “serious issues”? We actually take actions that make change, like ensuring gender parity of speakers. Manufactured controversy and moral panics don’t help. They hurt the very cause they claim to be trying to help.

Therefore, because you won’t address it, Grothe threatening to lie in order to get someone to recant her story of sexual assault is not a serious issue.

One of Grothe’s defenders at least tried the direct route. Yes, instead of attacking me, he actually stood up for Grothe.

D.J. Grothe is my best friend. I have also worked with him on a few projects including my internship at the JREF and TAM last year. I could name flaws of his, as I might for anyone I’ve ever known.

The truth is, I have never known anyone so scrupulously conscientious. He does not point out how he has steadfastly worked against entrenched cultural discrimination of women and other minorities because he has the rarest of qualities these days, an ounce of humility. Within the skeptic movement, there is nobody I can think of who has actually done more for said groups than he has. Just knowing him has me made more thoughtful about my own possible biases and prejudices and in more contexts.

I have never known him to lie. I have never known him to act maliciously for his own interests. Instead, time and again, I have seen others exploit his kind nature and subvert his hard work. He tells the truth, even when it is personally or professionally costly or difficult to do. He innately sees the best in people, even the most awful, the most flawed. For his humanistic spirit, he is roundly punished.

Much like our dear friend Eric Broze who passed away this year, DJ somehow remains untarnished by all the ugliness and venom. Ever steadfast and looking to the glimmering possibilities on the horizon. For those who value reason over tribe and evidence over party line, I say to you that we are fortunate to have such a resilient and indefatigable ally.

In the hindsight of history, this will be obvious, but I want you to know now, while it is most useful to know. Those who know me know I don’t take much in the way of risks and this is no risk at all: I stake my name on all of this being true to the extent of my (quite significant) experience.

Yes, Ed Clint, originator of FreethoughtBlahgs, for which he has now paid for nearly two years of hosting, has given Grothe a touching, if somewhat purple, character reference. He has never known Grothe to lie or to act maliciously for his own interest, which means he either hasn’t read my post and followed the links before responding to it, or he’s willing to say that even after having been presented with documentation of Grothe lying. I wonder whether he’s staking his name on careful ignorance or dismissal of contrary evidence.

What is Grothe doing during all of this? Being comforted on Twitter, as far as I can tell.

@JayTeeAitch: @DJGrothe I Don’t bother checking the TAM schedule anymore, I just monitor FTB for a flurry of negative activity :)

@DJGrothe: @JayTeeAitch Predictable as clockwork. Every year about this time I feel prophetic. But we always take care not to get too distracted.

Given that Grothe selected the timing of both events, as already noted, I don’t see how he would find it anything other than predictable. Unless it’s just poor impulse control on his part?

The other exchange Grothe had about this on Twitter, however, was truly touching. Such bonding.

@thunderf00t: @DJGrothe funny how FTB decided we were both psychos after we disagreed with them! #witchhunt

“FTB” hasn’t decided that anyone is “a psycho”. I left unanswered a question about Grothe, while pointing out that there wasn’t any doubt his pattern of behavior–behavior which has nothing to do with disagreeing unless you’re someone who defines lies and threats as disagreement. Richard Carrier raised the question about Thunderf00t, but he also laid out specific behavior criticisms while leaving the question open, though he did claim a “sociopathic amorality” for Thunderfoot. And Carrier did so, not after simple disagreement, but after Thunderf00t hacked his way onto our private email list (finding nothing damning int he process) and made a series of videos about how feminism was “poisoning atheism”.

@DJGrothe: @thunderf00t It’s the ultimate unfalsifiable catchall smear. That said, I haven’t engaged them in years; a man’s defined by who he battles.

@thunderf00t: @DJGrothe I’m kinda the opposite. I am the beast whose name they do not speak! :-) pic.twitter.com/CD2D4zxxWN

Sure. Uh-huh. If you say so.

@DJGrothe: @thunderf00t Yeah we were both former insiders, which is much worse than being an theological enemy or cultural competitor.

@DJGrothe: @thunderf00t But I’d prefer Stalin’s airbrush to being the focus of the fixated unrelentingly.

So here’s the last post I wrote about Grothe before Monday’s. Here’s the one before that.

@thunderf00t: @DJGrothe Oddly, I really don’t mind them flinging dung at me n elsewhere. Sure its not pleasant, but it says a lot more about them than me!

@thunderf00t: @DJGrothe Vitriolic dung flinging over trivial matters has pretty much become their trademark. Sadly its really poisoned the community.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

@DJGrothe: @thunderf00t Right. And I think the best thing about fact claims is they are amenable to evidence.

@DJGrothe: @thunderf00t Can’t fight the fog, but can expose demonstrable lies. That mud doesn’t stick.

And he–and everyone else who is condemning my post will actually start exposing those lies any time now instead of bullshitting.

Any time now.

Any time.

Really.

40 comments

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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    So, the argument is, you’re mean, you’re fixated, and DJ can do no wrong because he’s a close personal friend. Good argument. Don’t respond to any actual claim or report, or dispute any specific facts. That would be oh so totally unskeptical.

    Really, though, are you certain these people aren’t just a guild in some crappy online Flash game?

  2. 2
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, none of them, not a single one of them can point to anything you said and say “look, this is wrong and here’s the evidence”.
    Yeah, that’s totally skeptics. Or septics.
    And yes, the person stirring up shit in order to get publicity is Grothe. Nobody mentioned him much before he started to threaten Pamela L. Gay. Right before TAM

  3. 3
    A. Noyd

    Someone doesn’t understand punctuation marks, apparently. I really wish I could say he were the only one.

    Right? They could have spun the title as being unforgivably click-bait-y or something. As spurious as that would have been, it would have at least shared a planet with plausibility. Their sudden, affected ignorance of how question marks work is beyond ridiculous.

  4. 4
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Perhaps not worthy of much attention, but there was another similar (but shorter) conversation here.

  5. 5
    Stacy

    Yeah, I have yet to read a SINGLE defense of DJ that actually addresses any of the specific criticisms or the evidence offered in Stephanie’s original post.

    It’s true, some of our evidence is based on personal testimony. Figuring out the character and motivations and actions of human beings is a lot harder and less exact than figuring out chemical reactions, or mathematical proofs. Nevertheless, when you have multiple credible people over time offering first-hand testimony that converges on a coherent picture, you’ve got evidence for a decent inductive argument.

    And of course that’s not counting the more solid evidence–that backed up by computer records, audio tape, etc.

    Good job, Skeptics. You’d of all gotten Ds, at best, in the critical thinking class I took at UCLA in the ’80s.

    She is a liar- She wrote lies about me

    EB, skeptics do not make vague, unsupported claims. Stephanie hasn’t. Please be specific. Give examples of Stephanie lying. Give us at least one example, with evidence that she has lied about you.

  6. 6
    hyperdeath

    Their collective response is a bit like punching someone in the face, and then psychoanalysing their behaviour while ignoring the fact that you’ve just punched them.

  7. 7
    gworroll

    So. Yeah. Ed Clint doing better than the rest of them, without stooping to unsupported attacks on people he doesn’t like.

    I’m not saying his defense is perfect in all respects, it certainly isn’t. As Stephanie says, he could have addressed the accusations themselves. But he actually defended, instead of just throwing out unsupported insults and accusations at his enemies.

    Who expected him to come off as the most decent of the bunch here? Not me, I can tell you that much. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a little digging finds him to be just as bad in this situation.

  8. 8
    LykeX

    Abbie Smith: Again. Every year. For three years now.

    I guess if a person continually misbehaves, you’re supposed to just shut up about it. You can mention it once or maybe twice, but after that, you just have to suck it up and keep quiet.

  9. 9
    John-Henry Beck

    It’s rather looking like the reason they stick with bigfoot, chupacabra, and homeopathy debunking is because that’s about the limit of their critical thinking skills.
    I just can’t fathom where they’re coming from, with all the viciousness and blatant hypocrisy.

  10. 10
    kellym

    Isn’t Ed Clint the guy who created the SkepticHunt site designed to trash the Skepchicks?

  11. 11
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Did Drescher try to impart motives for blogging about this based on mind-reading that your goal is to get on stage at TAM? I feel so sorry for her students. She really must believe that psychology gives you superpowers and the ability to decipher complex situations, ignoring the forthrightness of the person, in order to get to the subconscious motivations that only an expert like her can tease out. Beyond hilarious.

  12. 12
    ysoldeangelique

    I find it disgusting that DJ Grothe is a confirmed liar and everyone ecognizes that while at the same time the Atheism+ board moderaters have clearly lied and been proven to be liars, but no one cares. Why is that?

  13. 13
    Sassafras

    I am the beast whose name they do not speak!

    Only because being reminded of his existence is like smelling an open dumpster.

  14. 14
    Alice Wilde

    How do these people get away with calling themselves critical thinkers. When is comes to honesty and integrity it’s like the TAM crowd has become the Fox News to FTB’s MSNBC.

  15. 15
    Stephanie Zvan

    ysoldeangelique, to the extent that this is true (I have no idea), there is a significant difference between the situations. If an A+ moderator lies about or to you, the consequences are, at most, losing access to the forum. If D. J. Grothe lies about or to you, the consequences are potentially much greater, including reputational and financial costs. There’s a huge difference in power weilded. If people were paying attention to the A+ forums, which they’re largely not because the forums are isolationist, the situation would be different.

  16. 16
    LykeX

    I find it disgusting that DJ Grothe is a confirmed liar and everyone ecognizes that while at the same time the Atheism+ board moderaters have clearly lied and been proven to be liars, but no one cares. Why is that?

    Because nobody gives a shit about the A+ boards, in general.

    Seriously, you’re comparing a random internet forum with the director of a national organization that runs an annual meeting with over a thousand attendees. Perspective, please.

  17. 17
    LykeX

    Stray thought: Perhaps you’re suffering from the common misconception in some parts that FtB is at all connected with the A+ forums?

  18. 18
    Flewellyn

    I think it’s more along the lines of a random attempt at tu quoque, combined with an old grudge that this person feels the need to air.

  19. 19
    ysoldeangelique

    You and Lyke are correct in the matter of perspective. I hadn’t thought of it in that way.It is something that only affects a few hundred people not thousands like say TAM does. It is still annoying that these Atheists aren’t called out by any other for their behaviour though.

    As for #18 Flewellyn I admit that it just pisses me off that a so-called “social justice” forum is filled with lying sacks of shit for moderators. Especially when it was advertised as a “safe space” and then said moderators went on to shit on that idea. #18 fFewellyn being the biggest lyingest sack of shit that has ever graced a forum.

  20. 20
    Hj Hornbeck

    And he–and everyone else who is condemning my post will actually start exposing those lies any time now instead of bullshitting.

    And that’s the most damning part. Here are a bunch of skeptics being presented with a claim. If they were skeptics beyond the name, their first instinct would be to analyze it, find the weak spots and expose them.

    What do we see them actually doing? Denying, lying, distracting, shooting the messenger, and circling the wagons. Their own actions out them as poor skeptics, preferring to mime out the actions on safe targets rather than use their tool-set to examine reality. They don’t have the courage to self-analyze and realize how much harm they’re perpetrating, happy to parrot the words that suit them but not understand what they mean.

    Which gets me to the saddest part: I think most of us predicted this.

  21. 21
    kellym

    I couldn’t look it up until I got home, but Skeptic Hunt is one of the fake bloggers on FreethoughtBlahgs. So the guy who spent hundreds of hours creating a site, in part, because calling the Skepchicks cunts is the apotheosis of hilarity, is vouching that DJ “steadfastly worked against entrenched cultural discrimination of women and other minorities because he has … an ounce of humility.” Wait, so DJ worked against you, Ed Clint?! I mean, I know “entrenched cultural discrimination” is different than casual online misogyny, but they are at least related. I wish more people knew that Skeptic Hunt guy tables at TAM and is best friends with the president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. The JREF’s support of harassment is more active than most people realize.

    In addition to Clint, DJ has Phil Mason, and the founder of the Slymepit vouching for his character. With those prize endorsements, the success of TAM is assured.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Stephanie Zvan

    That’s your “biggest lyingest sack of shit that has ever graced a forum”? Oh, go away.

  24. 24
    Flewellyn

    I was WONDERING which of our disgruntled banned asshats this was…

  25. 25
    kellym

    Ed Clint is also the guy who preferred to brag that he has had sex with people who were too drunk to consent “many times over,” than to agree with Rebecca Watson’s tweets that having sex with people too drunk to consent is rape.

    Did Clint list that accomplishment on his resume he submitted for his internship at the James Randi Educational Foundation? Or did DJ Grothe google for people with an obsessive hatred of Watson and send them offers? Again, it should be more widely known that being a harasser is something that helps people get jobs at the JREF and speaking gigs at TAM.

  26. 26
    hyperdeath

    Flewellyn

    I was WONDERING which of our disgruntled banned asshats this was…

    Didn’t that happen last year? I’m almost impressed by the stamina with which people can bear grudges.

    Returning to something vaguely on topic, it’s the stamina that strikes me most about that FreethoughtBlahgs site. It has dozens of sub pages, each with a substantial amount of content, including “parody” comment threads. It must have taken weeks of work. I can just about see why someone would start on something like that, but I’d expect the “why the fuck am I doing this?” realization to kick in after a day or so.

  27. 27
    kellym

    Inferring from Dr. Gay’s post, the proximate cause of DJ Grothe’s threat to try to ruin her career, unless she lied about the attempted sexual assault by Michael Shermer, was an email indicating that there are recordings of DJ discussing the attack at either the JREF or CFI. Reading DJ’s tweets here, he now seems wholly unconcerned about the recordings, whereas on May 28th, or shortly thereafter, he was rattled enough to threaten the career of a scientist. What the hell happened to the recordings? How has the threat of the recordings becoming public been neutralized?

  28. 28
    Stephanie Zvan

    It hasn’t been, as far as I know. No more than his deposition or testimony has gone away. No more than Carrie Poppy’s original statement on PZ’s blog had gone away when he pointed to someone else’s interpretation of that testimony. No more than Ashley Miller’s blog posts had gone away when he mischaracterized them.

    I know it’s weird to see, but this is how Grothe acts. He really seems utterly unconcerned that what he says is contradicted by the evidence.

  29. 29
    Stephanie Zvan

    Xanthë, thanks. I’d forgotten that tweet. I don’t know why. It’s certainly memorable enough as full-out aggression from someone who usually sticks to the passive sort.

  30. 30
    hyperdeath

    Stephanie Zvan:

    I know it’s weird to see, but this is how Grothe acts. He really seems utterly unconcerned that what he says is contradicted by the evidence.

    He’s good at speaking in a convincing and confident manner. And for many “skeptics”, that’s all it takes.

  31. 31
    Tom Foss

    @Xanthë, Amy of my threads: Does…does that thread have Mykeru of all people acting as the voice of reason and decrying an obviously ludicrous comparison? That would explain why the sky is black as sack cloth and the moon as red as blood.

    @throwaway #11:

    Did Drescher try to impart motives for blogging about this based on mind-reading that your goal is to get on stage at TAM? I feel so sorry for her students. She really must believe that psychology gives you superpowers and the ability to decipher complex situations, ignoring the forthrightness of the person, in order to get to the subconscious motivations that only an expert like her can tease out. Beyond hilarious.

    As I recall, Barbara Drescher had no problem with diagnoses of disorders made from online conduct when it came to calling Jen McCreight a “narcissist.” She didn’t even leave it as a question.

    @kellym #21:

    In addition to Clint, DJ has Phil Mason, and the founder of the Slymepit vouching for his character. With those prize endorsements, the success of TAM is assured.

    It astonishes me that, at no point do any of these people stop and look at who’s supporting them and say “whoa, wait, hold on a minute.”

    @hyperdeath #30:

    He’s good at speaking in a convincing and confident manner. And for many “skeptics”, that’s all it takes.

    Maybe it’s a larger problem, but I seem to notice it most in the atheoskeptisphere that people are so quick and so willing to elevate minor celebrities into leaders and heroes without them exhibiting good leadership or heroism. Go back and look at the glowing, laudatory pablum offered in the wake of Brian Dunning’s guilty plea; somehow a guy who was okay at doing a skeptical podcast became a “leader,” “hero,” and “shining light.” I mean, I know the halo effect is a thing, but how does “having a reasonably popular podcast” translate into being a good candidate to lead a non-profit organization, being incapable of sexual misconduct, being incapable of fraud, or being incapable of compulsive lying, when the facts say otherwise?

    It’s like we’ve traded “no gods, no masters” for “everyone’s a hero.”

  32. 32
    hyperdeath

    Tom Foss:

    As I recall, Barbara Drescher had no problem with diagnoses of disorders made from online conduct when it came to calling Jen McCreight a “narcissist.” She didn’t even leave it as a question.

    Accusing people of narcissism is a bit of a thing with her.

  33. 33
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Hi Tom, I think it’s axiomatic that @Mykeru/Michael Cortese is never the voice of reason.

    The only redeeming feature of that thread are the comments by FTB’s own Avicenna.

  34. 34
    Hj Hornbeck

    @kellym #21:

    In addition to Clint, DJ has Phil Mason, and the founder of the Slymepit vouching for his character. With those prize endorsements, the success of TAM is assured.

    Tom Foss @31:

    It astonishes me that, at no point do any of these people stop and look at who’s supporting them and say “whoa, wait, hold on a minute.”

    Those two hold pretty similar views on feminism, and I know that because I’ve actually talked to DJ Grothe about feminism.

    Well OK, “talk” wasn’t quite the right word, as he mostly lectured at me for three-ish hours on the subject about two years ago. Admittedly I was encouraging that, as I was hoping he’d open up and reveal some blatantly anti-woman view he held. Didn’t happen. Instead, I got an earful of plain ol’ egalitarian feminism.

    For those not in the know, that’s the assertion that if there is no legal discrimination on the basis of sex, then there cannot be any discrimination by sex. If women make up 10% of chess players, and there is no rule saying that only 10% of women can be chess players, then that situation is fair and just even if we have no plausible mechanism to explain the low numbers other than discrimination. Egalitarian feminism rejects “gender” plus all related concepts, and leaves unquestioned the idea that there are fundamental differences between men and women. Based on that conversation I had with him, Grothe buys into it whole-cloth.

    I’m not as familiar with Thunderf00t’s views, but after some quick reading and viewing he seems to be in the same camp. If there’s any difference between them, it’s over the name “feminism” itself; Grothe is comfortable using the term and even labeling himself as such, while Thunderf00t would reject it outright and label with just “egalitarian” or similar.

  35. 35
    Hj Hornbeck

    Hmm, on second thought that conversation might have taken place a year ago, not two, given who I was hanging out with. I’m pissed I can’t track down the email I sent to him (he asked for more info about feminism), as that would set a firm date.

  36. 36
    MrFancyPants

    @thunderf00t: @DJGrothe Vitriolic dung flinging over trivial matters has pretty much become their trademark. Sadly its really poisoned the community.

    That produced an involuntary snort in me. Thunderf00t bemoaning “vitriolic dung flinging” and “poison(ing) the community,” that’s pretty rich, coming from a divisive poisoner and dung-flinger of his sort.

  37. 37
    Mick

    While I’m loathe to give thunderf00t any attention at all, he linked to Rebecca Watson’s video which is another tragically fine example of how Grothe has been behaving over time

    [edited to keep video from autoplaying --SZ]

  38. 38
    kellym

    Rebecca mentions in the video in @37, her first experience of DJ Grothe lying to her. When she told other people about this odd little incident, all of them had stories of DJ lying to them. I’ve noticed that each of DJ’s lies that I know about, taken in isolation, could be a case of misremembering, or mild incompetence. But taken as a whole, they point to a pattern of willful deception, or possibly gross incompetence.

    One I remember, that I haven’t seen discussed widely, is when Jen McCreight tweeted more than a year ago now that DJ had blocked her. He immediately flatly denied it. Then when Jen insisted, DJ reluctantly admitted that he had blocked her, but didn’t remember doing so. One incident, easily understandable. Who hasn’t made an error just like that? But dozens? The skeptic in me can’t help but notice the pattern.

  39. 39
    ysoldeangelique

    Go away? Why?

    Dismissing evidence of people lying is beneath you. Especially in a thread where you’re complaining about a liar.

    I’ll go back to lurking here though and put the evidence on the new Thunderdrome.

  40. 40
    Stephanie Zvan

    Go away? Why?

    Because your concern is petty, as already noted, and you apparently can’t tell the difference between claims and evidence.

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