A new way to stir up trouble

Well not exactly new, because this was last January, but it’s new to me. I’m quite amazed by it.

karla

Karla Porter tweets

@wbcshirl Have u heard of Women in Secularism 2 and if so, will u grace it with your presence? http://womeninsecularism.org #wiscfi

Shirley Phelps-Roper tweets

@karla_porter Where do they show themselves? Is there a schedule?

Karla Porter tweets

@wbcshirl schedule not up yet May 17-19 wash DC

That’s Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church. She’s the spokesperson of the Westboro Baptist Church.

That is, indeed, a novel way to stir up trouble.

Update May 7

if

Justin Vacula tweets

If Ophelia Benson really wants WBC at Women in Secularism 2, I can call Steve Drain and maybe have that arranged…but I have no plans to.

Wtf? If I want them there? What the hell does he even think he’s saying? I didn’t tweet at Shirley Phelps-Roper to ask if she was going to WiS, and then give her dates and location.

Not to mention the whole quasi-threat thing. I have no [current] plans to, but I can. You want WBC at your event? I can maybe have that arranged. Nice little place you got here, shame to see it messed up.

Dig dig dig.

Comments

  1. Jean says

    That shows how much good faith there is in them wanting to discuss things up. And anyone claiming both sides need to make an effort should try to justify this.

  2. satanaugustine says

    What a horrible human being! Seriously, why the fuck does anyone have even the slightest hint of a problem with Women in Secularism, much less this kind of hatred?

    Who the fuck is Karla Porter and why is she such a monster?

  3. says

    I just realised that it doesn’t matter who Karla fucking Porter is – she will now and forever be known as the dumbfuck who sicced the Westboro nutjobs on her “enemies”, just for the lulz.

    If they do indeed show up at WiS (and any other subsequent event), we all know who we can thank.

    This is how the Pit rolls, people – cozying up to the slime of humanity, just to score some cheap fucking points.

  4. Stacy says

    Seriously, I hear they’d love to have you on their show, Ophelia!

    Why oh why are you unwilling to have a discussion with Justin and Karla? Scared of their razor-sharp acumen?

    P.S. Vacula is totally looking forward to being a thoughtful and impartial conference attendee at WiS2, and how dare anyone intimate otherwise.

    /obligatory snark tag

  5. Anthony K says

    Now that’s an example of someone working hard at writing, research, outreach, and popularising of skepticism.

  6. evilDoug says

    Karla Porter, braveZero, can be found with minimal googlefu.

    No. It’s called “sub-contracting”.

    I believe the legal term is conspiracy to commit … (let’s see if they can get some mileage out of that at the Septic Tank).

  7. brianpansky says

    the logic is epically bad in that youtube video. basically a run-on red-herring victim-blaming thing.

  8. ~G~ says

    #11, Stacy- Yes, these constant insincere requests for Ophelia to come on the show reek with self-importance. Hey Sam Harris! Why don’t you come over clean my litter boxes while I tell you what I think you got wrong about X? What? Too scared of my cat’s disgusting poo? Huh? You are just scared of my intellect and my stinky basement. I can’t imagine any other reason you’d refuse to come over and scrape up shit while I say annoying things to you. (crickets from Sam) Ha! I win, Sam! That loser doesn’t want to face me. His refusal to acknowledge me and my ridiculous request says more about him than it does about me. :)

  9. says

    On the bright side, since the whole planet hates the Phelpses, maybe publicizing that they were there picketing could actually drum up support?

    Can we officially start referring to them as the “MRA/Slymepit/Westboro Baptist” side of the “debate” now?

  10. brianpansky says

    her on twitter just now:

    “They have Internet and choose where they want to go, they don’t need anyone’s tips. I’m not the least bit influential.”

    perfect, eh? denial of responsibility is a well known bully tactic.

    do we need to prove she 100% will cause westboro to arrive? no, it doesn’t matter. it was wrong to guarantee they were aware of it.

    very basic logic here that she fails (or pretends to, who knows, doesn’t matter)

  11. carlie says

    I’m sure she’ll say it was a joke. Never mind that a joke would have been to tweet it to her own followers, not to tweet it directly to the person she’s “joking” about bringing to WIS.

  12. carlie says

    Ah, I see that she is saying it was “tongue in cheek” and nobody gets it. Honest question: did she seriously expect the WBC people to “get” that it was tongue in cheek? Have those people ever not taken anything literally?

  13. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    “What? You thought we were serious? What can we have possibly done to give you the impression we might do something that low? I mean, it’s not like we’ve been belittling WISC2 at every opportunity, or attacking the attendees, or are sending someone vocally opposed to everything WISC2 and the people involved stands for in an attempt to change people’s minds about going/ruin the experience for those who are already going. I mean, if we’d done any of that you’d be right to see soliciting help from the Westboro Baptist Church as a scumbag move rather than a joke.”

    Self-awareness. They lackz it.

  14. brianpansky says

    it’s a hate group. she alerted a hate group.

    that’s a joke to her.

  15. says

    She’s actually accusing me of “drama” now. She and Renee are teeheeing that I’m looking high and low for something to nail her with. (Not true; a friend found this.) Yup uh huh, it’s not that Porter did a shitty thing, it’s that I pointed it out! How dare I.

  16. says

    @27 brianpansky

    it’s a hate group. she alerted a hate group.

    that’s a joke to her.

    “So what if I alerted the local KKK chapter to your school’s Black History Day. It was tongue in cheek!”

    “Hey, who knew the skinheads I tweeted would actually show up at that Holocaust Memorial? It was totes jokes yo!”

    “Come on, noone could have foreseen that the vicious anti-choice lunatics I messaged Facebook would miss my comedic genius and show up at that clinic and start harassing pregnant women!”

    ___
    Cripes. Porter’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, is she?

  17. great1american1satan says

    pansky- they already court the men’s rights movement, which is regarded as hate groups by the SPLC, so… pretty much par for the slyme trail.

  18. Ulysses says

    Porter got caught being an asshole and is falling back on the bully’s defense: “It was just a joke. Can’t you take a joke?” If it was a joke, how come we’re not laughing?

  19. says

    C’mon guys.
    Maybe they invited Westboro Baptist Church so that they can have an interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper. I smell a Brave Hero Radio exclusive!!!!

    As we all know, good skeptics (sceptics?) are open to every idea- even that “God hates Fags” and “Thank God for dead soldiers”. Why do we FtBullies have to be soooooo closed minded?

  20. says

    @brianpansky:

    it’s a hate group. she alerted a hate group.

    that’s a joke to her.

    It’s only a hate group according to the notoriously unreliable Southern Poverty Law Center, who names anyone they disagree with or don’t like a “hate group”–just look at what they said about that men’s rights support and awareness website, A Voice For Men.

    I mean, it’s not like Karla went out and contacted a real hate group, like the KKK or Stormfront or the Family Rights Council or the Westboro Baptist Church or anything.

  21. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Tom,

    I mean, it’s not like Karla went out and contacted a real hate group, like the KKK or Stormfront or the Family Rights Council or the Westboro Baptist Church or anything.

    Not sure if you’re an idiot or just can’t read. She DID contact Westboro Baptist Church.

    Also, lol at your defense of AVFM. Yeah…okay.

  22. says

    Possibilities:

    Alerting a world-infamous hate-group to WiS was honestly meant as humourous, but Porter failed dismally – so dismally, in fact, that I am forced to conclude she’s working from, shall we say, a “non-traditional” definition of “humour”. However, she lacks sufficient intestinal fortitude to say “My joke sucked – sorry I alerted the world’s most insane family to your conference,” and instead defaults to Pit 101, saying “It was a joke. Get over it,” and claiming victim status in response to the well-deserved barrage she’s now receiving.

    OR

    Alerting WBC to WiS was, in fact, a spur-of-the-moment decision made for the pure spiteful lulz of seeing people she clearly and openly loathes (due to Reasons) subjected to the WBC spectacle; Porter is now backing away from it claiming “tongue in cheek” because she’s starting to realise that she’s done something bone-jarringly stupid and careless but is too devoid of class to spine up and say “Sorry I alerted the world’s most loathed cult to your gathering”.

    Neither possibility paints a particularly rosy picture of Porter’s or sense of humour, sense of decency or common fucking sense.

    The Pit will probably now name a #bravehero award after her.

  23. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Sassafras wrote:

    Who does she think she’s fucking kidding? She gave Shirley Phelps the link to Women in Secularism 2′s website. That’s providing ALL the details. What a sniveling sack of shit.

    Well, to be fair, this is someone who deals almost exclusively with ‘pitters, and we know it doesn’t exactly take rocket science to confuse them. If any of them start asking questions of her, all she needs do is produce a quick photoshop of a prominent FTB/Skepchick writer and they’ll be so caught up in praising the ‘satire’ they’ll forget all about whatever it is they thought they were confused about.

  24. Stacy says

    @Hankstar

    However, she lacks sufficient intestinal fortitude to say “My joke sucked – sorry I alerted the world’s most insane family to your conference,” and instead defaults to Pit 101, saying “It was a joke. Get over it,” and claiming victim status in response to the well-deserved barrage she’s now receiving.

    OR

    Alerting WBC to WiS was, in fact, a spur-of-the-moment decision made for the pure spiteful lulz of seeing people she clearly and openly loathes (due to Reasons) subjected to the WBC spectacle; Porter is now backing away from it claiming “tongue in cheek” because she’s starting to realise that she’s done something bone-jarringly stupid and careless but is too devoid of class to spine up and say “Sorry I alerted the world’s most loathed cult to your gathering” [emphasis added]

    This “brave hero” is as cowardly as they come. She wouldn’t even admit that she disagrees with the goals of the event. Note the weaselly repeat-the-question evasion:

    Ryan Munroe @NoTheOtherGuy
    @karla_porter Tounge in Cheek? You encouraged haters to attend and protest an event whose speaker and goals you disagree with? Funny

    Karla Porter ‏@karla_porter 1h
    @NoTheOtherGuy I disagree with the speaker and goals of the event? Do we know each other? I wasn’t encouraging.

    (copypasta from Twitter.)

  25. Aratina Cage says

    Going to the Westboro Baptist Church like they’re the authority figures who you tattle to has happened twice, then. Karla Porter did it first (“Waah! Mommy Phelps, please discipline those mean Women in Secularism people!”) and then NYBoxTurtle/Mark Panzarino did it (“Waaah! Daddy Phelps, I’ll pay you to hurt those mean FTB people!”). It’s more than a little disturbing that it has happened not once but twice already.

  26. says

    I was, indeed, joking, and perhaps should have included a sarcasm tag.

    That said, it might have been passable for Karla to have written “Maybe we should tell the WBC about WIS” or something as a joke. It’s a dumb and tasteless and not very funny joke, but it’s perhaps acceptable as a joke.

    To actually go and direct WBC to the website for the event is, even at best, a colossally terrible idea, and does not meet even the most basic standards of a joke. Prank? Maybe, but even then it’s not much of a prank. “Ha ha, you thought that was a birthday present but it’s actually a rabid raccoon in a box ha ha.”

    In other words, the “why can’t you take a joke/it was just satire” crowd further demonstrates that they have no idea what the fuck humor is.

  27. says

    In other words, the “why can’t you take a joke/it was just satire” crowd further demonstrates that they have no idea what the fuck humor is.

    I think they’re actually just assholes, cowards and liars.
    I’ve noticed those three traits often come together.

  28. says

    Wow.

    Apart from a petulant, pissy, troll-baiting lackwit, who the fuck is Karla Porter anyway?

    Someone seeking to steal the mantle of attention seeking pissant away from Justin Vacula apparently.

    On the one hand, I shouldn’t be surprised, given the tactics and attitude of so many of the SlimeCrew, but really…? The Westboro Baptist *fucking* Church?
    Picketing funerals of soldiers, filled with grieving family members is fucked up on so many levels. These are people who are suffering a great tragedy and Phelps and co. take this time to hound and harass them. They have mastered the art of taking such a deep personal loss and cranking the dial up to 12.

    Then Insult and Injury meet up and queers get the blame from this “church” for every damn thing under the sun? Yes, according to these morally bankrupt douchebags, *I* and legions of queers across the United States are responsible for god unleashing unspeakable horrors upon pretty much everyone. We’re responsible for natural disasters, war, famie, pestilence, death. According to the WBC, when the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse are looking for guidance, they pray before our queer altar.

    To even jokingly (which I’m sure Karla will attempt to say to cover up her shit coming out of the wrong orifice) Tweet this makes light of everything the WBC has done.
    She may as well say “oh ha ha, you little faggots! So what if these people want you to pass go and head straight to hell? Marriage equality? Awww you poor little things. Can’t adopt? Woe is me. You want to simply carry on through life without being discriminated against? Oh here’s an itsy bitsy violin. I don’t give a flying fuck. FtB is going down. Feminism will be dead as a dodo. Rebecca Watson crossed the wrong person.”

    These people have said some horrible things in the last few years.
    They’ve torn people down over absolutely nothing.
    They’ve waged a campaign of harassment, on multiple fronts against people who are guilty of the crime of seeking equality for women in all its forms.
    They’ve issued thinly veiled or even NON veiled rape threats, displayed misogynistic behavior that would make Yahweh have a damn orgasm, and they just keep fucking going.

    It’s like they want to take their campaign to the next level. Yeah, I’m mad as fuck right now and they *all* get to share responsibility for this.
    They have cultivated this.
    They have built up this atmosphere.
    They have caused the schism in the “community”.

    Thanks. I’m glad for that. Some day when I do make it to one of these conventions, I’ll be *glad* to not have to share convention breathing space with scumbag asshole shitstains like Karl fucking Porter.

    I need a fucking drink.

  29. Forbidden Snowflake says

    The Westboro Skeptic Church. Rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?

  30. A Hermit says

    Just have to say, I am in awe of this comment:

    Well, to be fair, this is someone who deals almost exclusively with ‘pitters, and we know it doesn’t exactly take rocket science to confuse them. If any of them start asking questions of her, all she needs do is produce a quick photoshop of a prominent FTB/Skepchick writer and they’ll be so caught up in praising the ‘satire’ they’ll forget all about whatever it is they thought they were confused about.

    And this is why Wowbagger is the designated snarker. Do NOT try this level of snark at home people! Leave it to the professionals!

  31. athyco says

    Today she tweets that she’s a nobody:

    They [WBC] have Internet and choose where they want to go, they don’t need anyone’s tips. I’m not the least bit influential

    Karla Porter tweeted directly to Shirley Phelps, however, when she was a contact (for vendors and display tables) for the Pennsylvania Women Veterans Symposium 2013 (held March 8-10). This woman tweeted to WBC ~6 weeks before that inaugural event. Someone checking out why they got this tweet out of the blue would find that easily. Someone scrolling down the feed just a little bit would certainly see her NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania Atheists) connection. Would her “tongue in cheek” and “[they...] choose where they want to go” have washed if the WBC had shown up in Gettsyburg for the symposium or any of the NEPA events?

    What gets me is that three minutes before she tweeted directly to Shirley Phelps, she had a tweet to @justinvacula and @JentheHumanist (She and Vacula interviewed her about her book on bullying in their second BraveHero podcast). Three minutes–and she doesn’t include Vacula or Jen when she goes “tongue in cheek.”

    There’s a problem with bullying innocent people in this country@wbcshirl what’s ur opinion on it? @justinvacula @JentheHumanist

    (The @wbcshirl didn’t link in that one–I’m guessing because there was no space between it and “country”?)

  32. says

    Jean @6:

    And anyone claiming both sides need to make an effort should try to justify this. STFU

    Apologies for the tweaking, but holy FSM, I would love it if the BothSiders and the SlimePitters would just stop talking.

    ****

    Tom:

    That said, it might have been passable for Karla to have written “Maybe we should tell the WBC about WIS” or something as a joke. It’s a dumb and tasteless and not very funny joke, but it’s perhaps acceptable as a joke.

    I wouldn’t find it passable even if she’d written that. To even joke about that, given everything the WBC stands for (which is a galaxy far, far removed from what WIS stands for) would be less than tasteless. If the WBC weren’t such an out and out hate group who bleed bigotry and had some *inkling* of a reasonable point, *maybe* she could make such a joke.

  33. says

    Whatever was going on in the cracked clay pot Karla Porter calls a brain pan, her siccing the WBC on WiS2 could hardly be a negative for the conference. Considering the entire civilized world hates the Phelpses, this will just bring more positive publicity to the conference. Way to be stupid, Karla.

  34. Anthony K says

    Whatever was going on in the cracked clay pot Karla Porter calls a brain pan, her siccing the WBC on WiS2 could hardly be a negative for the conference.

    The attendees may feel differently about that. The civilised world hates the Phelps precisely because of what they say at events like these. If there were no negative associated with them showing up, they’d hardly be as loathed as they are.

    Let’s not try to spin it as some sort of accidental favour on her part.

  35. blulanturn says

    @Martin

    Somehow I doubt anyone attending will be as pleased with those garbage bags screaming at them from the sidewalk. Might drum up some sympathy, sure, but I certainly don’t think that’s worth the cost of putting group of adversarial assholes right outside the convention hall.

    First, the 9/11 trufin’, Moon-Hoaxin’ Joe Rogan, now the Phelps’? Does Vacula have absolutely NO standards about which group of cruel loudmouths he’ll ally with just to shout down the rest of the community?

  36. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Comment submitted:
    Hey! She responds on her blog!

    http://personal.karlaporter.com/post/49834626607/words-at-odds Some high(low?)lights:

    It has come to my attention that some people view my Twitter exchange that day with a representative of the sect asking if they had plans to attend an upcoming event – as a provocative action on my part, interpreting it as though I was inciting a protest by alerting them to something they could easily research on their own had they interest whatsoever, or could simply follow via the hashtag conversation on Twitter itself.

    It isn’t a ‘secret’ event – there is a website, social media, etc., and if one does not know of the event it would be only due to the lack of a good PR job by event promoters and or lack of interest in the subject matter. To the contrary, I find they have done a diligent job of promoting the event. To be clear, I have no interest in or wish for this group to protest the event. The attendees, the respected organization behind the event, and the presenters don’t need protest drama, and I wouldn’t cast an evil spell like that on the venue even if I could.

    While I find it intriguing that it appears to some I had the power to do just that, let me state for the record, I have no such power at all. Actually – no one does, at least to my knowledge.

    For some reason, I hear lots of corporate speak about challenges and no one having the power to make you feel bad without your permission. Must be an ear tick.

    You can read the rest for yourself, but heh. “This is all SOOOOOO five months ago, the fact that the con is coming up should play no role, and what DRAAAMAAA LAAAMAAAAS! It’s worse that you’re repeating this! Fear-mongering! LOL!” Basically sums it up.

  37. says

    The civilised world hates the Phelps precisely because of what they say at events like these.

    But there’s no backwash from that that negatively affects whomever the WBC has chosen to protest, is my point. No one thinks less of dead military veterans because the WBC shows up to their funerals. Rather the opposite. I wasn’t implying this idiot Karla was doing the conference a favor, only that she couldn’t have chosen a more useless and futile means of hurting it.

  38. Anthony K says

    Martin, it’s not about the conference: it’s about the people attending it, and how it would feel to pay good money to fly from wherever, make accomodations to take time off work, etc. and then have to deal with WBC every time you stepped outside.

    I agree with you that no one is going to think worse of WiS because the WBC protests it, but having them there would not be a futile and useless way of hurting the conference-goers.

  39. Anthony K says

    Oops, make that first sentence “it’s not just about the conference”.

  40. says

    No one has to deal with WBC. They stand there with their idiotic signs, looking lonely and pathetic, and you walk past and ignore them. The WBC picketed the Reason Rally, and I never laid eyes on them once, as they stood way off by themselves and my attention was on the people on stage.

    I’ll grant that their presence at things like funerals can be far more hurtful and triggering, just because of what funerals are. But if they turn up at some conference or rally? Meh.

  41. says

    Gen @51:
    Oooooh, you shouldn’t have given me that link….
    That little shitstain upon humanity is lucky I need to get to sleep and I’m a bit buzzed. I’m ready to throwdown (in a verbal eviscerating manner) with her sorry excuse for human being. You don’t throw people under the bus becuase you hate feminists or FtB. You don’t fucking throw equality the middle finger because you can’t handle someone saying “Guys don’t do that”. You don’t make light of the plight of marginalized people just because you are a petulant fuckwit who wants the world to bow down before you.

  42. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    But if they turn up at some conference or rally? Meh.

    This is your attitude towards it. Good for you that you’re unaffected by it, I guess. You’re privileged like that and should be grateful for such a circumstance.

  43. says

    Wow, I know she thinks the Vac is some sort of sceptical wonder boy so she ain’t the sharpest tool in the box but to call this a joke? Maybe if she hadn’t @’d the Phelps it would be a par for the course sick joke from the pit.. I wonder how many their side think this is “going too far”, the usual response to prove they at least are not a hive mind. Totally ignoring that there is no disapproval until the ratcheting of hyperbole goes just “too far”, maybe if they weren’t running hand in hand down the path that leads here it would mean something. From acid attacks to this its no good to claim you don’t approve then go back to laughing about baboons and psychopathic ideologues at ftbs. Looks like self serving plausible deniability from where I’m sitting.

  44. ChasCPeterson says

    This is your attitude towards it. Good for you that you’re unaffected by it, I guess. You’re privileged like that and should be grateful for such a circumstance.

    Come on; that’s not fair.
    Nobody has to give a shit about those oblivious jackasses.
    Shrugging them off as irrelevant pissants is just as rational a response as fighting their hate tooth and nail. For anybody. It’s not about “privilege” by any definition.

  45. A Hermit says

    It’s not about “privilege” by any definition

    Yeah it is Chas; I personally wouldn’t be bothered by the Phelps crowd showing up anywhere I happened to be, but I’m a middle aged monogamous straight white guy; they aren’t looking at me. Hell, I won’t even be at WiS so it doesn’t affect me at all, does it?

    But I’m not about to tell anyone who actually is the target of that harassment that they don’t have to give a shit about it. I’m in no position to tell them how they should feel about it.

    And why Karla Porter thought it was a good idea to draw their attention to this event is the real question here, regardless of whether you or I are personally affected. It’s just another example of the mean spirited, malicious attitude of the anti-feminists.

  46. says

    Katherine, I won’t try to tell you you have nothing to fear. I do want to add my voice to those telling you you’ll be surrounded by friends, though.

  47. A Hermit says

    LMAO!

    Vacula has a comment up on Porter’s blog, ranting about how PZ once mentioned A Voice for Men and WiS in the same blog post so that;s EXACTLY like Tweeting WBC and inviting them…

    and he ends with this classic line…

    What if writers from A Voice For Men attended the conference?

    Ummm i think at least one IS going, Justin…or have we forgotten about this…http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-lies-feminism/censorship-and-stupidity-from-free-thinking-feminists/

  48. screechymonkey says

    ~G~ @19:

    these constant insincere requests for Ophelia to come on the show reek with self-importance

    Self-importance? From people who call themselves “brave heroes”? Surely you jest!

  49. artymorty says

    Interesting tidbit: Karla Porter tweeted this yesterday:

    Apparently there are people who have no notion of ‘will you be gracing us with your presence’ as being tongue in cheek.

    Notice she changed the wording from “gracing it” to “gracing us“. Is Karla Porter saying she plans to attend WIS? Because I think encouraging the Westboro Baptist Church to picket the conference is grounds for barring Porter from attending it.

    Anyways, I hope to hell the WBC don’t actually show up at the event. Karla Porter oughtta be hoping to hell the same. (Then again, she just tweeted she thinks they might “learn something” from WIS, which, oh fucking brother, such simpering disingenuousness! That doesn’t sound like someone who was only kidding when she invited the WBC. It sounds like a hint that she still hopes the WBC picketers turn up.)

  50. says

    @Martin – There have been attendees who have already expressed their fear and anxiety if WBC shows up. There will be plenty of LGBTQ people attending and just folks in general who do not respond well to verbal abuse.

    I’d like to note if anything DID happen and WBC shows up, as someone who volunteers as a clinic escort, I will happily walk with anyone who feels unsafe at the conference as a buffer.

  51. Anthony K says

    Then again, she just tweeted she thinks they might “learn something” from WIS, which, oh fucking brother, such simpering disingenuousness! That doesn’t sound like someone who was only kidding when she invited the WBC. It sounds like a hint that she still hopes the WBC picketers turn up.

    I’m sure she doesn’t actually, at least not now, since it’ll look bad on her. This is her just trying to cover her ass and make it look like she’s not a grade A pile of shit.

    If anything, this just shows what a bag of cowards the Slymepit and their cronies are. Say one thing, and then walk it back when it explodes. That’s #realhero bravery.

  52. Anthony K says

    I’d like to note if anything DID happen and WBC shows up, as someone who volunteers as a clinic escort, I will happily walk with anyone who feels unsafe at the conference as a buffer.

    That would be good. And a couple of commenters on Pharyngula had a good suggestion for how to handle the Westboro Baptist Church protesters themselves (the quote in quote below is from the comment preceding it):

    My take on the WBC people, who are mostly all family and extended family of the founder, is that most of them are victims. They are victims of an abusive, controlling man who has brainwashed them through fear and probably physical violence.

    If you read the accounts of the family members who have escaped, they all tell a story of verbal, mental and physical abuse and skirt around the topic of other forms of abuse.

    Should I ever be in a position to attend one of their protests I will have a sign and maybe small cards with an easy to remember phone number for an appropriate organization that can help victims of such abuse and I will be trying to convince the WBC members that they do not have to live like they are living, they can get help, safe shelter and be free of coercive damaging abuse.

    I was in a cult myself, two of them actually, one for like nine years. I definitely think this is the most compassionate and appropriate approach and would highly encourage FTB staff members, should they encounter WBC cult members, to have such materials on hand to hand out to them, and be willing to give them hugs too; they need hugs. What they are going through is very traumatic. :(:

    None of this detracts from the odiousness of Karla Porter’s actions: we’re left with the potential clean-up resulting from the fact that she’s a fucking dangerous idiot, despite her own admission of being a useless, inconsequential, waste-of-time fuckface*.

    *That’s not a direct quote: just a paraphrase for clarity.

  53. says

    Iris @60 – nice! WBC can kiss my shiny metal ass.

    I’d like to note if anything DID happen and WBC shows up, as someone who volunteers as a clinic escort, I will happily walk with anyone who feels unsafe at the conference as a buffer.

    Seconded. And Katherine Lorraine, echoing the others who’ve said that you’ll be surrounded by friends.

  54. changerofbits says

    Ugh, Vacula is such a passive aggressive, dysfunctional clown. Everyone is susceptible to their own ego, but I wonder if he was ever taught about sharing as a toddler…

  55. doubtthat says

    @64 Katherine

    I saw you posting on the Pharyngula thread as well. I don’t know if this will make you feel better, but I cannot stress enough how totally ridiculous these people are in person.

    They have the amazing effect of unifying all onlookers against them, to the point that you’ll find crowds applauding when same-sex couples engage in PDA in front of the protests in backward, bigoted Kansas.

    They are never physical, they aren’t really confrontational, the most they do is yell, but rarely even that.

    They are obviously odious and vile, but concern over their attendance should not derail what stands to be a wonderful weekend. I PROMISE you that you will have far more eager allies than the 5-10 putzes who show up with obnoxious signs.

    I have no doubt that you will come away from that weekend — should the little pests attend — with more hilarious stories about what creative people did to counter-protest or mock Westboro than you will have memories of whatever, trite, bigoted nonsense they spew. They were present at every major event I attended from 8th grade until I graduated from college, and my only memories are of laughing at them.

    Recognizing that I have a certain amount of privilege in this as a straight guy, I can also tell you that all of my homosexual friends feel the same. Hell, the LGBT groups at Kansas and Kansas State Universities have practically made trolling those idiots a credited course.

  56. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I keep saying to myself that I won’t be shocked by whatever these toxic creeps do next, but then they still somehow manage to shock me with just how low they’ll stoop. Somebody tell them that this is not a limbo contest.

  57. freemage says

    Okay. After choking back the bile that rose up in my gorge from this reprehensible behavior, I’ve figured out the one and only acceptable response.

    If WBC does sent a protest group, it’s worth noting that the asshats are always very, very careful to stay inside the legal boundaries (much like I suspect Vacula will be attempting to do during his visit to the conference proper). They WANT a confrontation, one that steps over the line of the First Amendment, because it gives them Persecution Brownie Points.

    This generally means that they are also disinclined to actually commit violence; they just try to pretend counter-protestors aren’t making them look like twits.

    My suggestion: If WBC makes an appearance, someone with a bit of self-security (ie, someone who has the privilege of not fearing an attack by these scum) should go out, as close to them as possible, and hold up a sign reading, “WBC message of God’s Love brought to you by Karla Potter of Brave Heroes.” She wants to pull this shit, make her freaking own it.

  58. numenaster says

    @freemage, Now THAT is a superb suggestion. I love it.

    @Katherine Lorraine: I’ve counter-protested Westboro Baptist out here in the Pacific Northwest, and I can second Doubtthat’s assessment of them. Their reputation is far more frightening than their reality. It’s always a small group, most of them young, and mostly they just look miserable. The group we were countering actually seemed to be afraid of engaging with us. Only one actual rabble-rouser came with the group, and the rest didn’t speak, or chant, or even respond to polite conversation.

    They really do look like they need hugs, but I’m afraid that’s a bad idea. Considering that the church makes a lot of its expenses by suing people for assault, you should stick to handing them paper with helpline numbers. The more they see that the “outside world” isn’t what they were told, the more of their young people will find their way out. The one rabble-rouser in the group that I counter-protested looks a lot like the pictures of the girl who is now working for gay rights.

  59. Eristae says

    As people have been saying, the WBC isn’t really scary in real life. I went to one of their counter protests, and there were dozens more counter protesters than there were WBCers. So, if at all possible, don’t be afraid of them. The only people who they really have the power to hurt are the people in the WBC (which they do).

    However, as this very discussion shows, the WBC have a powerful effect on people’s minds, making people nervous when the WBC isn’t even there, to say nothing of those who may find signs like “Matthew Shepard, X years in hell” or “Thank God for 9/11″ triggering.

    Directing WBC at WIS2 is a move designed to generate fear, whether or not WBC shows up. It’s a vile, unconscionable thing to do, and Porter is admitting it with her “Oh, but they won’t actually show up because of ME” schlap. She knows damned well that this wasn’t okay for her to do. She’s just upset that she’s getting push-back and she can’t reasonably defend herself.

  60. says

    I’ve only just caught up with this disgusting effort.

    Directing WBC at WIS2 is a move designed to generate fear, whether or not WBC shows up. It’s a vile, unconscionable thing to do, and Porter is admitting it with her “Oh, but they won’t actually show up because of ME” schlap. She knows damned well that this wasn’t okay for her to do. She’s just upset that she’s getting push-back and she can’t reasonably defend herself.

    She strikes me as a highly practised back-peddler here. For someone who likes accusing others of being drama llamas*, she displays a habit of stirring the pot to make sure that her “wit” is continually being high-fived by somebody/anybody, and then doing the “what did I do?” shrug towards any critics while enjoying the backing-track of sycophantic sniggerers.

    IMO, the only defensible engagement with @wbcshirl on Twitter would be a critical RT-with-comment of some WBC-crap-tweet that forced itself on one’s awareness. To actually seek her out, and provide her with information she didn’t already have on an event you’ve been mocking for months, is a blatant arsehat-wearing-weasel move, and Porter is being disingenuous as all get out to try and paint it as anything else.

    *paraphrase

  61. Aratina Cage says

    Remember the National Atheist Party? Remember Lee Moore who wanted you and others to have a dialog with Reap Paden after all the nastiness he had aimed toward you and others? Well, Oolon dug up something I had totally forgotten about after Damion Reinhardt started trying to call Karla Porter’s thing she did (she refuses to acknowledge what it really was) “good publicity”. Imagine that? Inviting the Westboro Baptist Church to protest your event for publicity? Dear atheist friends, I give you…. Lee Moore! *trumpets*

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/03/14/national-atheist-party-responds-to-criticism-about-inviting-westboro-baptist-church-to-reason-rally/

    Can you believe we’ve already been through this same exact thing with the same exact group of people? At least Moore didn’t pretend it wasn’t an invitation as Porter is doing.

  62. says

    Yikes! I remember Lee Moore, and several people told me about the NAP’s invitation after I did the post about Porter…but I didn’t know (or had forgotten) the two were connected…

  63. says

    You know what? One thing that pisses me off big time about this particular angle is the fact that Lee Moore didn’t mention it when he was all up in my face about agreeing to “discuss” things with the assholes who are harassing me. He didn’t bother to tell me “oh by the way I’m not actually famous for diplomacy or tact or playing well with others myself, in fact a whole bunch of people think I acted like a major asshole when the NAP unilaterally invited WBC to the Reason Rally and I wrote a ‘hey folks no problem’ guest post on Hemant’s blog.”

    That’s the guy who spent weeks and lots of messages trying to coerce me into talking to his thuggish friends.

    Holy fucking shit.

  64. Aratina Cage says

    When he popped up to advocate for Reap Paden, his written defense of the invitation of a hate group to the Reason Rally would have been the only thing any of us would have remembered Lee Moore for (and even that was forgettable, luckily for the NAP and him). I wonder if Karla Porter had that in mind when she contacted the Westboro Baptists about Women in Secularism. Justin Vacula and her are live-streaming his attendance at the conference now, you know, and an encounter with the Phelps gang would have probably been great excitement for their viewers/listeners.

  65. says

    @aratina, well spotted, I didn’t think of the connection of it being Lee Moore…

    With Damion going on about how having the WBC there would have been good for PR I also sort of wonder in some fucked up way if Karla used the PR angle to justify her action. Good for #bravehero radio so she wanted to know if they would be there… Oh Ms Phelps you want to know where it is, here is the schedule just for you! Not inviting you or want you there or anything of course.

  66. athyco says

    It has been a knotted mass of stupid from the beginning, and each one contributes their little bit to the mess.

    I looked over the comments to Karla’s It’s Personal blog post dismissing this WBC contact, then clicked on her banner to look at some other post titles. I wasn’t looking for anything that would relate to a tweet/con problem, but one surprised me.

    Did you know that Karla, as one of four organizers, was not at all happy to have a tweet to #NEPABlogCon (single day September 2012 con for Northeast Pennsylvania bloggers) from someone who wasn’t interested in promoting/attending the con?

    She writes:

    I used TweetChat to livestream hashtagged tweets on the screen behind a presenter who did not bring a visual presentation. As the presenter was half way through his excellent talk on how to monetize a blog, the audience was exposed to the following tweet on the screen behind him:

    How many people were raped at #NEPABlogCon? Like, 50/60? I trust fake neck things were banned; they always lead to rape.

    Do you know who this horrid FTB/Skepchick/A+/Social Justice Warrior was? (/sarcasm) It was ElevatorGATE. The very one who started the Brave Hero stuff that Justin Vacula and Karla Porter use as the title of their radio show. The one who has AmbrosiaX (declared “twitter sister” by Karla Porter) as his co-author on WP. Karla continued:

    Can you imagine the confusion and even horror experienced by attendees of a blogger / social media conference seeing this on the screen behind an internationally respected presenter at the conference they were attending? The looks on their faces were quite telling. How would they know the tweet by @ElevatorGATE was a joke?

    I knew what was going on, what the reference was to but no one else in the room did except Justin Vacula. I couldn’t allow attendees to feel uncomfortable and so I didn’t hesitate to reply:

    Well, if you must know, 0. Model attendees without a con policy. RT @ElevatorGATE: How many people were raped at the #NEPABlogCon? Like 50/60?

    As you can see Matt [Dillahunty], attendees did not understand the context of @ElevatorGATE’s remark – because they have no idea whatsoever about the drama of the paranoid, sick and dysfunctional element of the online atheist ‘community’. [Excuse me, but exactly which part of the online atheist 'community' sent this tweet to your con?]

    But I did, and I felt rather fortunate that I was in the room at that moment to provide the response I did to calm rather than incite. It’s called damage mitigation. If it would have been one of the other organizers in the room instead of me, I can only imagine they would have felt the event was being hijacked and assaulted for no apparent reason. [But you can't imagine the feelings of WiS2 conference organizers only a few months later. Huh.]

    I’m not happy at all that any of the content filtered to this event, completely removed from the freakish sideshow that occurs on a daily basis on the Internet by people proselytising in ways harmful to one another about the viscosity of mud.

    All typographical emphasis above is mine. The emphasis of “confusion and even horror,” “hijacked and assaulted,” “paranoid, sick and dysfunctional,” and “freakish sideshow” are all Karla’s.

    She wrote this angry stuff to Matt Dillahunty because he commented on the situation, but I can’t find a word of reproach to ElevatorGATE for his hashtag “joke,” and I’m positive that she never reminded Justin Vacula of it when he later camped on a couple of con hashtags. I wonder if she ever explained to the other three women organizers of NEPABlogCon what it was all about.

    http://personal.karlaporter.com/post/32648460794/when-worlds-collide

  67. says

    Wo!!! Seriously? Mr GATE trolled her own con’s hashtag at a moment when it was visible to the con itself and she blamed Mr GATE’s targets?

    Godalmighty.

  68. carlie says

    So she thinks it’s a terrible, awful thing when someone uses a con hashtag for something other than official con events. Huh.

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  1. [...] lists and make content from those emails public. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who alert the Westboro Baptist Church to atheist events, and ask if they plan to attend. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who bombard other people with a constant barrage of [...]

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