Progress Report »« Vitriol and Vitriolage – Acid Burns and the usage of victims in Atheist Bullying

Official Warning – Pitchguest

This is an official warning to Pitchguest.

As many readers know that in all of FTB, I have one of the more relaxed comment policies here. Despite many myriad claims to the contrary, the people who have been banned or been warned have gotten such warnings due to breeching EVEN the more generous comment policy that I do have.

I normally do not  post such letters in the blog, however knowing that Pitchguest is part of the Slymepit has effectively forced my hand. Should I post this solely via E-Mail, my words can be twisted to fit the narrative that FTB is filled with blood sucking ghosts and howling demons of the wastes.

Everyone gets a chance here, to be kicked off my blog you really have to break the rules and be unrepentant about it. The people who have been banned have all received warnings and failed to change. The only person who was outright banned was clearly unlikely to change his ways and directed a series of personal attacks on me and my family. To be banned here is to be realise

Melody Hensley is an executive director of CFI who’s called other people shit, too, including trying to get a YouTube video deleted by throwing her followers at it.

Judging by the photoshop brigade and their current work you will forgive me for assuming that said video was probably not all that nice and probably breeched various rules of youtube and/or good taste.

She’s called other women “sister punishers” and when it came to emphatise with a blind man at a CFI sponsored convention, when the blind man complained about lack of accomodation for the disabled she said, and I quote, “I know how it’s like be disabled because I once broke my ankle and I couldn’t go upstairs.” Granted the blind man comes off as a whiny diva who seems to expect things on a silver platter, but that still doesn’t excuse Hensley on just how enormously stupid that comment is.

And this means it is acceptable to not only conduct a campaign of harassment but also to pretend to be a charity and utilise the good works of the charity to denigrate and bully another person?

An utterly incompetent woman who’s unable to take criticism in any form, whose psyche is so sensitive she develops PTSD from Twitter. PTSD? Pretty damn serious. You don’t fuck around with claims of PTSD. So if Melody says she has it, we better believe it. However, if she has it, and her ailment originated online of all places – Twitter, specifically – then maybe she should stay away from Twitter? Moreover, soldiers who come back from warzones who’ve developed PTSD get panic attacks from fireworks. (Or as you say, from the various things you say the trigger first came from.) So how is it Melody can safely browse online, on Twitter, on Storify (which she has claimed is a tool for harassing people [like from @Elevatorgate]), respond and sometimes even address her so-called “harassers” and be completely fine?

Did you read my post?

There are soldiers who survived  the worst that war could throw at them and who broke down at the sight of something as common place as an abandoned toy. PTSD is not about a single traumatic incident but can be about the slow grind of your mental state.

And you did not read my post. How you fight your monster is upto you. There is no hierarchy of PTSD. My PTSD is not better than hers. We do not engage in debates to rank the validity of trauma.

I am triggered by fireworks because I have come from a warzone. I however have responded to therapy and indeed dealt with my triggers in my own way. I avoid that which I can but I am not averse to setting off fireworks despite not enjoying them to the level of others.

Soldiers who came back from warzones do retreat from public life to avoid their triggers and it isn’t healthy for many. If the trigger for  an individual is something banal then there is nothing they can do to change it. If it is something specifically aimed at them such as the people who terrified me when I was a lot younger by bursting balloons then such behaviour is not normal but a special set of circumstances designed by the art of human hand to trigger. Soldiers who fear explosions may not be able to stop Bonfire Night but they can at least expect people to not chuck cherry bombs at their feet while walking through town.

And we call that bullying.

Must I force you to face your fears solely because you are a jerk?

As for sensitive psyche?

I may have PTSD but it is not indicative of a sensitive psyche. It is indicative of experienced trauma and the association of things with the memory of trauma and reasonable anxiety associated with the trauma being expressed on a permanent basis.

I know for a fact that most people cannot do what I do. They may say that they can but there are enough people who have tried and failed or tried and decided to just give up. PTSD does not mean your psyche is weak and I know that I have not only lived through things that are horrible but also still do so.

We do not know anything about Melody. We really do not. You are making a grandiose assumption about her PTSD as an untrained layman. I would not make assumptions that you do as a trained medical person and I am sure that a specialist in the field of psychiatry and indeed traumatic psychology would not make such a clearly layman guess at the aetiology of her PTSD.

You have been defending the actions of someone or a group of people who thought it was acceptable to use the victims of acid attack to harm and harass a person just because they disagreed with her and her friends.

You didn’t care about ASTI. Do you think this is just about the atheist or about them too? You didn’t care about the charity in question, the things the victims of vitriolage have faced or their struggles. Do you even understand why I am irritated by this and why people think it’s bad?

ASTI to the people who made this and by extension you due to your defence of them are not an organisation that does great work but  a tool to beat down someone you didn’t care for. You may say that you care for the victims of acid attacks but frankly your actions seem like you only care for them unless you need to win an argument on the Internet then they are just another acceptable tool.

You may think Melody deserves this and that’s bullying at it’s simplest.

But you never really stopped to think whether ASTI deserve it.

I know the anti-FTB lot will yell “FREE SPEECH” and other things but here is the long and short of it. You may personally have not engaged in bullying but you are justifying the bullying of someone else by others who you affiliate with. The utilisation of ASTI and your ignoring of that problem is probably because you have no real defence for that thing.

This is an official warning. Knock it off. You are harming a lot of people.

Comments

  1. Alan Branflakes says

    I bet this “Pitchguest” character is shitting himself now. Maybe your warning will give him PTSD!
    Anyway, Avi, I think you’re losing the plot a bit here. I recommend you eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and avoid sugar for at least a fortnight. Trust me, I’m a greengrocer.

  2. says

    Melody also tweeted the broken ankle thing was not correct (_twitter.com/MelodyHensley/status/404378651942084609). Not that this is likely to mean anything to PG and the pitters, they have a good story so they’ll repeat as if true forever. Also a great example of how to respond to criticism, Melody apologised profusely, but much more important promised to fix for WIS3 (We will see!). As far as I know this is the only public mistake Melody has made in her job and she handled it as well as anyone could be expected to. Not a lot of defensiveness even though she thought things were wrong in the post, presumably the ankle being one of them. _twitter.com/Laura_Rhymes/statuses/338002024849358848

    Anyway given “the blind man” as PG calls him, otherwise known as Chris Hofstader is clearly a hero to the slyme. We should have some of his words …

    Then, after the conference had ended, I read Ron Lindsay’s blog post attacking Rebecca Watson with a pile of ad hominem statements and a pathetic attempt to defend his own privilege. Rebecca is my friend and one of the only people at WiS who made it bearable for us unprivileged people with disabilities [Other being Surly Amy, two evil misandrists from Skepchick!]. He says that Rebecca must live in an “alternate universe” which may be true, she inhabits the universe where the glaring privilege of someone like Lindsay is so thick that the only three people with obvious disabilities attending the conference were made by his organization to feel invisible.

    Perfect example of how PG and pals work, an example that paints Rebecca and Amy in a very good light is only ever referenced to prove how shitty Melody is. Confirmation bias in action.

  3. Steersman says

    Methinks that thou doth protest rather too much. While “vitriolage” is, of course, an egregious and horrific manifestation of barbarism, of “man’s inhumanity to man”, and while the photoshop linking Hensley and ASTI might arguably be considered somewhat in poor taste, I think it a bit of a stretch for you to suggest that it is capable of tarring all atheists with the same brush. I at least tend to judge an argument on its merits rather than on who it comes from.

    In addition, when Ophelia Benson can compare TAM with Nazi Germany, when she can suggest, with some justification, that those two cases were somewhat analogous (1) – a concept she seems somewhat unclear on, one might suggest you’re being a little hypocritical in throwing stones at one use of an analogy but giving a pass to another use that is virtually identical – except for their sources and targets. “In-group morality; out-group hostility”, indeed.

    As for the justification for and credibility of that analogy in Hensley’s case, something which you seem not to have delved into to the degree one would expect of a skeptic, you might check this YouTube video from Justicar (2) which discusses the incident in some detail. He also references the YouTube that was the target of Hensley’s umbrage, and of her efforts to get her supporters to downvote it and/or have it deleted for engaging in “harassment”. An effort which seems to have been successful since that video seems no longer available.

    While the source of that video, “WoolyBumbleBee”, tends to cut rather close to the bone at times even to the point of being malicious, that the video has been deleted raises some questions as to whether or not there were some justifications for her argument. As I expect you know and realize, people do have a general tendency to be “unhappy” about being confronted with the truth. One would have thought you would have wanted to check that out before assuming, as you apparently did, that Hensley’s actions have been above reproach – or beyond the reach of sarcasm and satire.

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy#Identity_of_relation”;
    2) “_http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN5LQeFeV4M&feature=player_embedded”;

  4. says

    In addition, when Ophelia Benson can compare TAM with Nazi Germany…

    Do you do this shit on purpose just to be an asshole Steersman? You know perfectly well she retracted that and said she was wrong to make the comparison. You also know it annoys Ophelia when you and the assorted liars from the pit keep repeating what you know is a lie. So it just looks like a childish game from where I’m sitting, how many digs can you get at the FTBullies, regardless of truth or accuracy.

    BTW if that video is removed then it is removed by YouTube because it was found to be in violation of their ToS and they agreed it was bullying. Sort of proves Melody’s point about it…

  5. Steersman says

    Oolon:

    She retracted it because she doesn’t understand analogies – my point, speaking of “truth and accuracy”, which neither she nor you are prepared to address. You might actually try reading and comprehending the source I linked to since you also seem unclear on the concept.

    As for the YouTube video being deleted, given their tendency to respond to “false flagging”, I would hardly say that that is proof-positive of “bullying”. But then again, you, and others, seem to have a fairly selective, not to say “self-serving”, definition of that.

  6. johngreg says

    PTSD is a terrible thing — as your previous post plainly shows. I do not think anyone, on any side of this argument (including Pitchguest), is trying to minimize PTSD. That is not the issue.

    Over the years, I’ve had three friends/acquaintances who suffered from it: one was a Vietnam vet (I think it was still called combat fatigue back then, if memory serves), one was a vet from one of those terrible Canadian forces events in Bosnia (or wherever it was over there), and one was a friend whose leg was crushed between two machines at work.

    Yes, PTSD can develop after traumatic events other than war combat.

    Each one of us experiences traumatic events in different ways and to different degrees, which is to say that one individual’s emotional discomfort can quite distinctly be another individual’s traumatic event leading to the devlopment of PTSD — Wiki’s article is not bad (http stuff removed): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PTSD

    Yes, some of the throwback, or whatever we might call it, that Melody Hensley has received after making her claim to having developed PTSD using Twitter is foul; nonetheless, to associate (and tacitly defend and support) Hensley’s unsupported claim (meaning, no proof of actual professional medical diagnosis, or of following therapy and/or time off from stress-causing activities), to have developed PTSD through using Twitter (with a sometimes caveat that Twitter was not the direct cause), shames, diminishes, and belittles real-world PTSD sufferers. And that should be taken into account.

    Having personally known three PTSD sufferers, and known the traumas they experienced, and the later effects on their lives and the behavioural changes (and therapy) they had to undergo, I find it extremely difficult, almost impossible to accept to any degree as valid that Hensley’s Twitter use has directly lead to her developing PTSD, especially in light of her ongoing use of Twitter. PTSD victims do not make a habit of intentionally yet casually, daily, exposing themselves to the things that trigger PTSD reactions. They just don’t do that.

    Finally, if Hensley has legitimately been diagnosed as suffering from PTSD then, please, explain to me why no-one, particularily those of you who present yourselves as friends and supporters, why have none of you strongly, emphatically, supportively encouraged her to stop setting off her own firecrackers until she finds a way to deal with her condition through therapy and through avoiding Twitter, and the ‘net, and other direct PTSD-event triggers in the short term? And why do you keep feeding off of her distress? No one, certainly none of the Pit people, force her to to engage in combat on Twitter. Do they? Do you?

    Avicenna said:

    We do not know anything about Melody. We really do not. You are making a grandiose assumption about her PTSD as an untrained layman.

    Yes, it is true that some folks on the so-called opposing side are doing this. But so are you, as are some of her other uncritical, unskeptical supporters. So if people who do not wholly support or wholly believe her claim should stop feeding off of it, I think the same should be true for people who do support and believe her claim: stop feeding off of her distress by bringing it up, and putting her in the sptolight, over and over again.

  7. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Congratulations, Avi. You’ve given the pit a new place to spread lies. If you don’t want your blog to descend into the sewer you might consider more moderation.

  8. Holms says

    While the source of that video, “WoolyBumbleBee”, tends to cut rather close to the bone at times even to the point of being malicious, that the video has been deleted raises some questions as to whether or not there were some justifications for her argument.

    What a understated, euphamistic way of describing the usual Slymepit abhorrence. But since you mention that it was ‘to the point of being malicious’, one wonders why you struggle to find a reason for its removal. Methinks your own words contain the answer to the questions that you raise.

    One would have thought you would have wanted to check that out before assuming, as you apparently did, that Hensley’s actions have been above reproach – or beyond the reach of sarcasm and satire.

    The point is not whether she conducted herself poorly, but whether her conduct – poor or otherwise – justifies harassment.

    P.S.
    It doesn’t.

  9. Steersman says

    Considering the “sewer”, the echo-chamber, the Internet Silo (1), that you – and Aratina and Oolon – frequent, i.e., Pharyngula, that is really rich coming from you Josh.

    As for “spreading lies”, and speaking of that “sewer”, what do you think of PZ’s suggestion that everyone who disagrees with his rather flawed and odious conception of “feminism” carries the name Marc Lepine? Looks like the behaviour and actions of a demagogue to me.

    —-
    1) “_http://www.edge.org/response-detail/23777″

  10. Holms says

    Yes, some of the throwback, or whatever we might call it, that Melody Hensley has received after making her claim to having developed PTSD using Twitter is foul; nonetheless, to associate (and tacitly defend and support) Hensley’s unsupported claim (meaning, no proof of actual professional medical diagnosis, or of following therapy and/or time off from stress-causing activities), to have developed PTSD through using Twitter (with a sometimes caveat that Twitter was not the direct cause), shames, diminishes, and belittles real-world PTSD sufferers. And that should be taken into account.

    Did you miss the bit about her childhood sexual abuse? You seem to have missed a vital piece of this puzzle.

  11. Steersman says

    Holms said (#8):

    But since you mention that it was ‘to the point of being malicious’, one wonders why you struggle to find a reason for its removal.

    I didn’t say that that particular video was guilty of that, only that she, “at times”, was. But since the minions of Joe McCarthy have caused its deletion we can’t really decide if it was harassment or not, can we? Or should we just accept your “Papal Encyclical” that it was?

  12. Louis Farrakhan says

    Dear Miss Avi,

    It would seem that you feel the world is against you!

    You are living in a democracy, so get used to people expressing themselves!

    If they think you are a “little shit head”, reflect!

    Ask yourself, “Am I a “little shit head”?

    Maybe you are!

    Maybe you are also a “pain in the arse”!

    Maybe everything about you screams – SHIT!

    Maybe you need to go back to your SHIT Country, where people SHIT everywhere!

    OK?

  13. opposablethumbs says

    Avi, I’m sorry you have a slymepitter incursion here. They really do make a nasty mess, but I hope you manage to get rid of the infestation.

  14. says

    For the 47 thousandth time – I did not compare TAM to Nazi Germany.

    It’s also true that I thought better of what I did say, and corrected myself, but what I did say was NOT “TAM is like Nazi Germany.”

  15. Nepenthe says

    Something tells me that johngreg did not receive medical records of his friends with PTSD for evidence that they really had it. So thus his tacit defense of their unsupported claims is damaging and insulting to real PTSD survivors, or so I hear.

  16. M can help you with that. says

    Maybe the Slymepitters saw the whole “Saudi Arabia is beyond the acceptable level of feminism” thread over at HPfM and assumed that FtB had taken a hard-right MRA-totalitarian position? I mean, we can’t blame them if they assume that standards of acceptability are consistent across the site…(oh, wait, yes we can.)

  17. Holms says

    Or should we just accept your “Papal Encyclical” that it was?

    – You noted that this user has a trend of maliciousness.
    – You note that a complaint was made that this video matches the trend.
    – Youtube sided with the complainee and deleted the video.
    – You remain sceptical …why? Everything is right there matching an established pattern that you were clearly already aware of. But OH NO! It might not be so unless we directly witness it!

    Good ol’ hyperscepticism when it suits you; you are living up to slymepit standards.

    Dear Miss Avi,

    It would seem that you feel the world is against you!

    You are living in a democracy, so get used to people expressing themselves!

    If they think you are a “little shit head”, reflect!

    Ask yourself, “Am I a “little shit head”?

    Maybe you are!

    Maybe you are also a “pain in the arse”!

    Maybe everything about you screams – SHIT!

    Maybe you need to go back to your SHIT Country, where people SHIT everywhere!

    And people wonder why Slymepitters are reviled! Here we have examples of sexism, xenophobia and plain assholery all in one.

    But I see the bugle has been sounded over there and the brave internet warriors are mustering for some brave anonymous name calling, so conversation here is likely to be fruitless. Avi, once you warn / ban one, the rest come in droves. Get your banning finger ready!

    @Ophelia,
    I don’t follow your blog nor your broader work elsewhere, I don’t know of this incident of which you refer to, and only have your word versus theirs…

    …And yet, I am aware of the slymepit dishonesty, haveing witnessed severall occurrances of it directly. Based on the provenance of the allegations against you alone – the mere fact that they are being made by slymepitters – I am heavily inclined to dismiss them out of hand.

    It truly amazes me that they insist they are the good guys in this rivalry. I guess this is just another facet of their dishonesty.

  18. Steersman says

    Ophelia said (#16):

    For the 47 thousandth time – I did not compare TAM to Nazi Germany. … what I did say was NOT “TAM is like Nazi Germany.”

    My name stick in your craw there Ophelia? Little bird told you I was broaching the subject once again?

    In any case, let’s have a review of the bidding, shall we, particularly since you seem to have some difficulty with “thinky work”, at least when it pertains to your own assumptions and premises. But you quoted (1) Rebecca Watson saying:

    I should apparently put on a smile and pretend it doesn’t happen, because by reporting on my treatment, I am creating “a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe.”

    To which you immediately responded with:

    As Jews in Germany circa 1936 might have created “a climate where Jews — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe.” As the Southern Poverty Law Center creates a climate where people who are the object of systematic vocal hatred end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe. That’s not to compare TAM with Nazi Germany or racist pockets of the US, of course, but then Rebecca didn’t name TAM in the item DJ quoted, either; she (or rather USA Today, indirectly quoting her) said “the free [from] thought community.”

    Now if you had actually put brain in gear before putting mouth in motion and had read that reference I provided (2), largely to forestall this apparently needed remedial lesson in logic and language, you would have noted the following:

    Specific analogical language comprises exemplification, comparisons, metaphors, similes, allegories, and parables, but not metonymy. Phrases like and so on, and the like, as if, and the very word like also rely on an analogical understanding by the receiver of a message including them. Analogy is important not only in ordinary language and common sense (where proverbs and idioms give many examples of its application) but also in science, philosophy and the humanities.

    Seems to me that your “As Jews in Germany …”, with its implicit “if” following the “as”, and with the Germany in question being that under Nazism, is a rather clear manifestation of “analogical language”, the upshot of which is to compare two similar scenarios or situations (2):

    Analogues are often used in theoretical and applied sciences in the form of models or simulations which can be considered as strong analogies. … For instance, an analogy commonly used in electronics textbooks compares electrical circuits to hydraulics.
    ….
    Analogies as defined in rhetoric, are a comparison between words, but an analogy can be used in teaching as well. An analogy as used in teaching would be comparing a topic that students are already familiar with, with a new topic that is being introduced so that students can get a better understanding of the topic and relate back to previous knowledge. …. Step three is finding relevant features within the analogy of the two concepts. Step four is finding similarities between the two concepts so students are able to compare and contrast them in order to understand.

    The point being to compare and contrast different concepts, ideas, or situations with an eye to seeing where they are the same and where they are different which tends to clarify and improve understanding. But no one – at least anyone with a bit of sense – is saying in the case of the comparison between hydraulic and electrical circuits that one has to be careful, in the latter case, of spilling some electrons on the ground, or that one will need some solvents for cleanup in the event.

    Similarly, no one with any sense was inferring that you were insisting with your comparison that DJ Grothe was about to embark on any “Final Solution”, or the invasion of Poland. It was, I think, a perfectly credible analogy comparing two somewhat analogous situations, and highlighting the problematic nature of Grothe’s comments. And if you weren’t so quick to listen to that collection of “nattering nabobs of negativism” and sycophants that passes as much of your commentariat then you might have realized you were on the right track to begin with.

    —–
    1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/rebecca-explains/”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy#Identity_of_relation”;

  19. Steersman says

    Holms said (#19)

    Everything is right there matching an established pattern that you were clearly already aware of.

    And if you saw 4 white swans you would, no doubt, swear on a stack of Bibles that all swans were white. And be ready to burn anyone at the stake who said otherwise. Absent a review of the supposedly offending video in question, that “established pattern”, and its applicability to the case is only in your own mind. You may wish to reduce your ignorance somewhat by reviewing the Wikipedia article on “The problem of induction”. (1)

    And people wonder why Slymepitters are reviled! Here we have examples of sexism, xenophobia and plain assholery all in one.

    What unmitigated horse shit. And a further example of that problem of induction, and of tarring everyone with the same brush. You have any evidence whatsoever that “Louis Farrakhan” is now or ever been a contributor at the Pit? Or that their opinions are representative of it? Christ in a sidecar – I sure hope you don’t call yourself a skeptic.

    —–
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_induction”;

  20. johngreg says

    Holms said:

    Did you miss the bit about her childhood sexual abuse?

    No, certainly not; that was covered by “with a sometimes caveat that Twitter was not the direct cause” which, perhaps, would have been better worded as primary cause.

    Nepenthe said:

    Something tells me that johngreg did not receive medical records of his friends with PTSD for evidence that they really had it. So thus his tacit defense of their unsupported claims is damaging and insulting to real PTSD survivors, or so I hear.

    Actually, for one of those folks I frequently drove them to their psychologist’s appointments — they had no car. And those appointments were arrranged after they had been officially diagnosed.

    For one of the other folks, I often talked with them about their doctor’s diagnosis, and their psychologist’s conversation, discussing where they, my friend, thought the docs might be right or wrong about things.

    As for the third, I took them, as a longstanding friend in meatspace, at their word, and also knowing that they went to a psychiatrist for some time, I assumed, oh dreadful me, that those appointments were arranged after diagnosis.

    Holms said:

    And people wonder why Slymepitters are reviled!

    And on what grounds do you assume and presume that “Louis Farrakhan” is a Pit person? There is no Louis Farrakhan in the members list.

  21. splen says

    There’s no point in arguing with them at this point. Some of these people have been at this since 2011.

  22. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Avicenna, with all seriousness and respect, instead of warning Pitchguest to stay away from here, I would give you the same advice.

    While I am truly impressed, and I am, with your medical career and your clear dedication to help the lives of others, I have never seen anything come from this blog other than seemingly wildly insane logic of yours, enormous misunderstandings, overflowing poutrage, and at times, apparent threats to that career you love.

    This blog does nothing for you. The company you keep here is filled with hateful idiots that thrive on the misfortune of others and wield that misfortune as an axe to grind their petty battles. It causes you grief and misfortune in your career.

    Think about it dude.

    Also, I read this post word for word and have no idea why you are warning PitchGuest for anything. I understand and sympathize with you that he has caused your tummy to ache.

  23. Nepenthe says

    Ah, so there is no evidence that they have PTSD in the same way that there is no evidence that Melody has PTSD. Thank you so much for clarifying. Please refrain from discussing these persons and their supposed illness in the future. It “shames, diminishes, and belittles” those who actually have PTSD, i.e. those who provide explicit medical documentation of their condition and who act in the way that johngreg–medical expert–expects people with PTSD to act.

    /sarcasm

  24. Holms says

    And if you saw 4 white swans you would, no doubt, swear on a stack of Bibles that all swans were white. And be ready to burn anyone at the stake who said otherwise. Absent a review of the supposedly offending video in question, that “established pattern”, and its applicability to the case is only in your own mind. You may wish to reduce your ignorance somewhat by reviewing the Wikipedia article on “The problem of induction”. (1)

    I like the way you omit the other stuff I said, leaving this one point bare and unsupported. This is not an example of an error of induction, so much as an application of Occam’s Razor. Most importantly, you omit the fact that this video was reviewed, and a determination was made with direct knowledge of the footage. The only problem here is that we onlookers were not privy to the footage, but we do know that the allegation, and the result of that allegation, align well with the pattern of past behavior.

    This silliness is similar to a closed trial, in which a guilty verdict is found based on evidence that we are not privy to. You can cry “But but how do we know the verdict is correct?” all you like; the verdict was reached by people who do know and we have no reason to doubt them.

    This is epecially blatant given that we know the verdict is a good fit with the past behavior of the uploader; hence, this reeks of hyperscepticism simply because you want to justify continued aspersions cast on Hensley.

    What unmitigated horse shit. And a further example of that problem of induction, and of tarring everyone with the same brush. You have any evidence whatsoever that “Louis Farrakhan” is now or ever been a contributor at the Pit? Or that their opinions are representative of it? Christ in a sidecar – I sure hope you don’t call yourself a skeptic.

    I like the way you don’t disagree that Louis’ post is pure bilge, but I honestly don’t know why you are bothering to distance yourself and the Slymepit from him; he’d blend in perfectly.

    But I’m sure it is just a coincidence that he arrived at the same time as several other slymepitters, in the same thread, with the same childish offensiveness.

    No, certainly not; that was covered by “with a sometimes caveat that Twitter was not the direct cause” which, perhaps, would have been better worded as primary cause.

    Seems to me that that somewhat glossed-over detail provides ample reason to believe that she has PTSD, so why do you try to cast doubt on the claim with that paragraph I quoted?

  25. Holms says

    Avicenna, heed ‘wtfwhateverd00d’s warning! He has concerns that your medical career in Britain / India will somehow be smeared by association with FTB! Somehow!

  26. brive1987 says

    Steersman #20

    OB cleared it all up with her ‘clarification’-

    “However – he does have a point. It wasn’t a good example for the point I wanted to make. That point was just that targets of hatred and vilification should not be blamed or rebuked for saying they are targets of hatred and vilification. That does, certainly, apply to Jews in Germany circa 1936, but that’s not the best example to choose because it’s colored by what happened to Jews in Germany in 1942.”

    So she was victim blaming German Jews (1936) for victim blaming other German Jews (1936) – which was awkward because they were all killed (1942).

    See? Nothing at all to do with the Nazis. You were probably confused by the surgical use of professional writing skills and missed her nuance…

    No harm done, but you should be ashamed you thought ill of the lady.

  27. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Holms, maybe you don’t read here too often, but

    > Avicenna, heed ‘wtfwhateverd00d’s warning! He has concerns that your medical career in Britain / India will somehow be smeared by association with FTB! Somehow!

    That’s by Avicenna’s own admission.

    Three months ago he worried about what he characterized as faux rape allegations from a person he claimed was a pitter that would very likely harm his career in India.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2013/08/28/faux-rape-accusations-and-richard-sanderson/

    I honestly and truly think that crapola on the net should remain on the net (for the most part) and it would be a tragedy and enormous loss not just for Avicenna who would clearly be the biggest victim for everyone should such conflict here boil over to his career.

    That’s why I find it difficult to understand why he sticks around Free Thought Blogs. PZ, Zvan, Benson, … these people have made this place a hell. Get out, save yourself.

  28. Steersman says

    Brive1987 (#28):

    Where and when? Recently? Her blog?

    In any case, I think that is still missing the point: she quite clearly referred to the Jews in Nazi Germany in 1936 as being, to some extent, analogous to the women supposedly being harassed at TAM. Ergo, comparing TAM and Nazi Germany.

    But you too might want to take a close look at that Wikipedia article, in particular this bit:

    The same notion of analogy was used in the US-based SAT tests, that included “analogy questions” in the form “A is to B as C is to what?” For example, “Hand is to palm as foot is to [sole]?”
    ….
    It’s important to note that the above analogy is not comparing all the properties between a hand and a foot, but rather comparing the relationship between a hand and its palm to a foot and its sole. While a hand and a foot have many dissimilarities, the analogy is focusing on their similarity in having an inner surface.

    A comparison, at least through analogy, is not – repeat NOT – asserting every aspect, feature and, more importantly, relationship is the same in each case, only that some are.

    However, in passing, I rather doubt she would thank you much for suggesting that she should be given any sort of a “free ride” for being a “lady”. Although one might suggest that if she doesn’t want to give some credence to the thought that she is implicitly expecting that then she should be prepared to defend her position or concede the point. As men are sort of expected to do ….

  29. Steersman says

    That’s a real thigh-slapper there Joe. Particularly considering that PZ seemed to take some satisfaction in portraying and promoting Pharyngula as the most bad-ass blog going. Which, considering testimonials from a diverse spectrum including Julian, Chris Clarke, and EllenBeth Wachs, it well deserves. And not just bad-ass but hypocritically so – y’all are so brave hiding behind his skirts but whenever there’s a chance of some unpleasant insults coming back your way you turn tail. Bunch of gutless wonders.

  30. Schlumbumbi says

    @Avicenna
    The advice directed at you is more honest and more useful than some people here would ever admit.

    The general climate @ FTB is a humongous hurricane of hypocrisy, drama mongering and perpetuating extremist ideological views. I have yet to see regular attendee, whose psyche and intellectual integrity haven’t been corrupted by this infestation, at least to some degree. Being visibly associated with this place is almost inevitably going to have severe negative consequences for people like you in the long run.

    Several Ex-FTBloggers have understood this as well, and transfered their blogs to a more sane network.
    Do the right thing.

  31. Holms says

    Three months ago he worried about what he characterized as faux rape allegations from a person he claimed was a pitter that would very likely harm his career in India.

    Uhhhhhhh an unscrupulous bastard from the slymepit tried to fuck with a stranger in order to make a point in an argument against another stranger, all because they happen to belong to FTB. I fail to see how the actions of someone from the slymepit reflects badly on the FTB group.

    P.S. it is incredibly obvious that you are just concern trolling. No one is going to your disingenuous advice, may as well call it a day.

    In any case, I think that is still missing the point: she quite clearly referred to the Jews in Nazi Germany in 1936 as being, to some extent, analogous to the women supposedly being harassed at TAM. Ergo, comparing TAM and Nazi Germany.

    In which Steersman acknowledges that his argument has been refuted but carries on with it regardless.

  32. Steersman says

    Horse crap there Joe. Considering that you originally said “There’s nothing they say that isn’t dripping with insult spread hither and yon”, maybe you care to actually put your money where your mouth is and actually provide evidence for that. Maybe, like list everything ever said by any Pitter and prove each statement is “dripping with insult”?

    Otherwise, you know, FLOOSSH, with the conclusion being that you’re simply blowing smoke out of your ass ….

    You might want to learn to not make statements you can’t defend.

  33. Steersman says

    Holms:

    If you think that my “Ergo, comparing TAM and Nazi Germany” is a case of me acknowledging that my “argument has been refuted” then I would say your reading comprehension is not worth a damn. Or that you’re more deluded than the most fundamentalist Christian.

  34. Steersman says

    Joe:

    You seem to think that stating facts qualifies as making an insult. More or less proven when you’re unable to address much less refute them.

  35. says

    John Greg

    As for the third, I took them, as a longstanding friend in meatspace, at their word, and also knowing that they went to a psychiatrist for some time, I assumed, oh dreadful me, that those appointments were arranged after diagnosis.

    So, you, being close to these people had good reasons to believe that they had been diagnosed with PTSD and got therapy to deal with it*.
    This relates to Melody how?
    Do you regularly dismiss the claims people who are not your close friends/family make about their health because you cannot evaluate those claims via personal experience, or do you just do that when it’s a woman and her history doesn’t meet your pulled out of the ass criteria about what exactly you have to suffer in order to be allowed to have PTSD?

    What are your reasons to dismiss her claims?

    *Although I’m wondering why you assume that they went there only after a diagnosis and not to get a diagnosis.
    BTW, depending on how and where you get treatment it is entirely possible to not get an official diagnosis at all.

  36. says

    Slymed thread, @Steersman shows what a petty bore he is by wittering on about some post from over a year ago which Ophelia retracted. @JohnGreg beautifully demonstrates the double standards and total lack of awareness that typifies the pitters. His friends and the vets he has heard about having PTSD are not lying, despite him not having seen the diagnoses of PTSD. Although being a true “skeptic” I’d have to point out that these diagnoses could well be incorrect or the person faked it to the psychiatrist. Therefore I would have to be an asshole and try and trigger them to suicide to get the required proof, seemingly the pitters aim (Not a great leap given the comments from them when Jen McCreight quit). Regardless he would be an awful person to have around if you have PTSD or any other mental illness as he apparently thinks it’s the role of friends and acquaintances to tell you what you should be doing to get better.

    … explain to me why no-one, particularily those of you who present yourselves as friends and supporters, why have none of you strongly, emphatically, supportively encouraged her to stop setting off her own firecrackers until she finds a way to deal with her condition through therapy and through avoiding Twitter, and the ‘net, and other direct PTSD-event triggers in the short term?

    I feel this is an utter lie, John and the pitters could care less about any “FfTB’ers” mental health, apart from the ability to leverage it for attacks in the hope they quit. It isn’t for random prats on the internet to tell her what to do, and I include myself and other people who incidentally know her. The job of someone who actually cares about another persons mental health is just to ignore it if you are not a friend/ally and be supportive of whatever they are doing if you are. *Maybe* close family and friends can do more, but certainly not in public on the internet FFS.

    Also shows John also did not read or understand Avi’s post, given Avi does expose himself to his trigger purposely. There is also research that shows that controlled exposure to triggers can diminish their effect over time. I’m pretty sure the pitters sending her unsolicited abuse on Twitter doesn’t qualify for this as the person with PTSD needs to be in control.

  37. says

    It does not amaze me here that in the past 15 hours, no one’s been able to stay on topic.

    The entire problem here is that Pitchguest was justifying the bullying of someone because he thinks she deserved it.

    That’s the battle cry of bulllies everywhere. Why did you push F over and kick him in the shins. Well sir! F is being an insufferable tosser and that sorted him out!

    EVEN if Melody fit the description of the horrific person as presented by the anti-FTB brigade, do you think the response is to turn her experience online into a hell of harassment? If this sort of behaviour is considered bullying in children it’s considered bullying in adults.

    But She Deserves It, is not a reason but a rationalisation. It is an excuse.

    How can we as atheists proudly shout with solidarity that “It gets better” when we ourselves are busy bullying each other in the same way that kids who are different are?

    Criticism? I think your shirt doesn’t match and doesn’t fit you that well.
    Bullying? I think your shirt fucking sucks! Did your blind dog dress you up? That’s it! You deserve to never use twitter again because your fashion sense will doom us all.

    It sounds ridiculous but frankly….

    What do you think this looks like to me? I have been working for the past 12 odd hours and I have to come back to a thread that couldn’t even stay on topic arguing over whether or not it’s acceptable to bully someone by writing fake messages from a charity organisation. Never mind the charity or the victims of the charity.

    From outside looking in, we don’t seem like we have any answers. It looks like we have no scruples when it comes to silencing those we disagree with. That there is nothing we won’t do.

    The reason for my lax policy on comments is because I am away from the laptop for long periods of time. While it is tempting to change the policy, it is tragic that I have to in the first place. I treated you like adults, must I treat you like infants?

    Pitchguest tried to justify bullying. It’s why he is being warned.

    Oh and the anti-FTB person named Louis Farrkhan? He can go type idiotic things elsewhere. He has clearly brought nothing of value to this comment thread and has just outright been insulting.

    Me warning him is unlikely to change his persona which is designed to troll. He can think of witty things to say in his head but he cannot post them here.

    Louis is banned.

  38. says

    Avicenna, with all seriousness and respect, instead of warning Pitchguest to stay away from here, I would give you the same advice.

    You’re warning Avicenna to stay away from his own blog? Yet another shining example of Slymepit stupidity and childishness.

  39. says

    BTW, Avi, for what my opinion is worth, I really don’t think you need to give any explicit warnings to the ‘pittiful — it only gives them more of the attention they crave, without deterring them from being the assholes they enjoy being. And it’s not like you’re telling us anything about Pitchguest that we don’t already know. We don’t need it explained why you’re banning well-known pond-scum like Pitchguest or Thunderf@rt — it’s one of those questions that can be considered “settled.” As in, the Earth is round, the sky is blue, water is wet, the Holocaust really happened, and Slymepitters have nothing worthwhile to contribute to any grownup dialog and there’s no point in letting them hog our attention in any venue outside of their own designated toxic-waste dump.

  40. A Hermit says

    John Greg bleats:

    Actually, for one of those folks I frequently drove them to their psychologist’s appointments — they had no car. And those appointments were arrranged after they had been officially diagnosed.

    For one of the other folks, I often talked with them about their doctor’s diagnosis, and their psychologist’s conversation, discussing where they, my friend, thought the docs might be right or wrong about things.

    As for the third, I took them, as a longstanding friend in meatspace, at their word, and also knowing that they went to a psychiatrist for some time,

    Anecdotal, anonymous evidence even less detailed than the evidence of sexual harassment you were so dismissive of in another thread.

    But not being a raging asshole myself I’m inclined believe you anyway…

  41. A Hermit says

    It’s amazing how any post criticizing a Slymepitter gets a torrent of defensive, derailing comments from other `pitters dredging up irrelevant, out of context ancient grievances to distract, deflect and excuse the original subject’s offense.

    Talk about hiveminds…

    Here’s Avicenna trying to draw attention to an issue of serious violence he has personally dealt with and you assholes have to make all about your hurt feelings, lies about Melody Hensley and something Ophelia Benson didn’t actually say two years ago. How fucking pathetic is that?

  42. says

    The rationalisation will be that bullying “FTBullies” is the only language they understand … Teh FTB feminazis wander about “bullying” by calling things JohnGreg, PitchGuest and Steersman say horrible terms like “misogynistic”, and even sometimes label them “MRA’s” *faint* … Therefore it’s “sauce for the Goose”, and yes Steersman at least has used that very phrase. Dunno about the other two, but I’d bet they think along similar lines given they all circlejerk at the Slymepit.

    Of course if they never went to the place where they get this horrible “bullying” they’d be ignored and forgotten about after shooting their load in some Pharyngula thread and being banned. But they absolutely cannot let that go, ever. So they need to prove how superior they are by “applying FTB standards” and demonstrating how horrible the “FTBullying” is by doing it themselves back to their targets at FTB. No flaws in that reasoning!

  43. says

    That’s why I find it difficult to understand why he sticks around Free Thought Blogs. PZ, Zvan, Benson, … these people have made this place a hell.

    A Slymepitter tried to damage Avi’s career, therefore you can’t see why Avi would stick around with people who DIDN’T try to damage his career? Wow, Slymepitter logic gets more arcane every day…

  44. johngreg says

    Giliell said:

    So, you, being close to these people had good reasons to believe that they had been diagnosed with PTSD and got therapy to deal with it. This relates to Melody how?

    It doesn’t. Stick with the program kiddo. It is in reply to Nepenthe’s groundless presumption, to wit:

    Something tells me that johngreg did not receive medical records of his friends with PTSD for evidence that they really had it. So thus his tacit defense of their unsupported claims is damaging and insulting to real PTSD survivors, or so I hear.

    Giliell, I am not dismissing Hensley’s claim to have PTSD; I am approaching her claim with skepticism and critical thinking to try and winnow out the veracity of her claim. Basically, I am saying four things:

    1. There seems scant proof to support her claim to having PTSD, such as explanations from her regarding diagnosis, follow-up therapies, recommendations and/or encouragement from friends to avoid trigger points, and so on. There are many things, beyond paradoxical (ironic?) Twitter expostulations that could support such a claim, not including some dry medical diagnosis.

    2. While perhaps possible, it seems extremely unlikely that Twitter was the primary cause of her postulated PTSD (her initial claim).

    3. Her making so much market value out of her claim to have developed PTSD from using Twitter, especially while continuing to use Twitter, diminishes and dismisses real-world PTSD sufferers, you know, people who are seriously damaged and cannot play victim-point games, and puts them on the backburner so that she can continue to claim victim points with the sorority. I thought you people actually cared about the problems of real-world PTSD sufferers in a general sense?

    4. If she really has PTSD, why does she continue to daily play on the place she supposedly developed it from, and why do supposed friends continue to encourage her to do so. No one else, and most certainly no one at the Pit, is twisting her arm or forcing her to joust with the dragon of her supposed demise.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>