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May 04 2013

Page o’ nonstop monitoring and harassment

May 4

First thing in the morning. Again, why Twitter blocking doesn’t work – because any old asshole can reply to someone you’ve blocked and then her sniping at you turns up in your feed. Lucky you.

amb

AmbrosiaX tweets

One more thing, @OpheliaBenson , try doing some actual critical thinking instead of just applauding any article that makes men look bad.

Pfunk-the original @ Gluonsrule tweets

@AmbrosiaX@OpheliaBenson yeah, maybe that will happen.

“One more thing” is it – so there’s a whole series then. “AmbrosiaX” is obsessed with me, and I don’t even know who the fuck she is apart from being someone who spends hours every day sniping at me and other Hated Ones. Yet she accuses me of doing nothing but “applauding any article that makes men look bad.” Is that really what I do nothing but? No.

May 3, again

amb

In reverse order, hence chronological order

Ambrosia X tweets (and tweets and tweets)

@Eunecromancer@aratina@tkmlac@ool0n I’ll tell you what happened with the acid story. As I said, Ophelia blogged about an acid attack and

tried to relate it to her “activism” as though she could be a target for such a horrific attack…

A tweeter who followed many of us (but no one seemed to know him well) said something about OB having

a facial. I think he was trying to make a juvenile jab at her appearance. It definitely was not a

threat. We all said it was inappropriate and he deleted his account, probably out of embarrassment.

I’ll take the lies in order too. No I did not say anything about “my ‘activism’” – I never say anything about my activism, because I’m not an activist, and I don’t claim or pretend to be. What I said was

Interesting. One minute it’s just hacked Facebook accounts, the next it’s acid attacks. Maybe I should start wearing protection.

That’s all. I said it at the end of a post that quoted from a news item about the Bolshoi artistic director who got acid thrown in his face.

The tweeter did not say “something about OB having a facial.” He said

Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good.

Followed by a long-winded version of “you’re incredibly ugly.” Yes, of course part of the idea was to say that a vial of acid in my face would make me less ugly and thus do me some good, but that was only part of the idea. “Ambrosia” announces that it was definitely not a threat. That’s easy for her to say. It’s less easy to say “definitely” when the threat (or “joke” with threat-like overtones) is aimed at you as opposed to someone else. I would feel distinctly uncomfortable – in fact I would feel like a complete shit – looking at a ”Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good” said to someone else and dogmatically announcing it was definitely not a threat. But not “Ambrosia.” “Ambrosia” apparently feels perfectly fine about going on and on and on and on and on about how no threats aimed at me are actually threats and I deserve all the shit thrown at me for musing on the possibility that an extended campaign to throw shit at me could eventually turn violent.

May 3

The shameless lying never fails to surprise me.

A comment on a demented, paranoia-riddled post by David Osorio at Skeptic Ink:

hog

Theo Ffensivatheist

There are some people in the comment section of Butterflies & wheels that are trying to convince (I’m not sure who) that Justin represents a REAL threat & some are seriously talking about bottles of acid being thrown in Womens faces as a real possibility (all without ANY kind of evidence of course). Is there anyone here willing to truthfully say they think they’re trying to be honest & genuine here. Personally i see it as the worst kind of hyperbole &/or downright dishonesty & another example of what we’ve come to expect from many at FtB. The ONLY person who’s even possibly facing any kind of threat is Justin, who’s going to be surrounded by several hundred people, the vast majority of which will disagree on many issues & idea/l/s he holds dear. We can only hope that the most impressionable of those in opposition to his presence don’t try to play the hero. I wish him all the best but can honestly say, “Rather him than me”. I know he’s doing this for all of us. (Even if some don’t realize or appreciate it).

 Daosorios

Why am I not surprised!

Shameless lie. Nobody has said one word about Vacula throwing acid in anyone’s face.

May 1

I was told Vacula is chirping aggressively at me again. Sure enough. I suppose this is by way of demonstrating to a fascinated world that he’s not harassing me in the least and never has been.

ass

Justin Vacula tweets

So, how much longer until Ophelia Benson drops out of #WIScfi speciously claiming she is threatened? She did it once before… #ftbullies

A bystander comments.

ass2

Jessie Lewis tweets

@justinvacula Your hatred for others is all that’s keeping you in the public eye, isn’t it?

Justin Vacula tweets

@Jessie_XL I don’t hate. Anyway, feel free to check out my activism and appearances – some of which made global, national, state, local news

Jessie Lewis tweets

@justinvacula You are deliberately offensive to others and then seem angry when they refuse to engage with you.

@justinvacula You have a massive ego as well and bask in the attention you are getting from your petty vendetta.

Vacula tweets

@Jessie_XL I find intellectual dishonesty quite repugnant – when people talk a big game and refuse to defend their ideas with detractors

Deliberately offensive? How? …and I thought offense was the problem of the person claiming offense, not the person giving it?

That’s what he thought?! Well that would explain a lot!

Sure, and rudeness is the problem of the person claiming rudeness, not the person giving it; same with cruelty, aggression, lying – it’s all the problem of the person “claiming” rudeness et al., not the person giving it. All is subjective! Nothing is real! And everything is “the problem of” the person being acted on, not the agent. How very convenient – until of course you are the person being acted on.

April 29 part 3

Because of the sheer weirdness.

jerm3

April 29 part deux

Dang, it’s hard to keep up at the moment, even with the tiny fraction of the total that I choose to document. My audacity in telling Vacula to leave me alone after he tweeted about hoping I would chat with him at WiS2 has triggered a new avalanche.

Like…

carl

And like

justy

And like

Farrenkopf

April 29

blackf

Russell Blackford tweets

Whether or not you agree with Justin Vacula’s opinions (and I disagree with many of them), this witch hunt against him has to stop.

This “witch hunt”? What witch hunt? I told him not to approach me. That’s not a witch hunt. He’s been relentlessly monitoring and harassing me for almost a year, and I do not want to interact with him in real life. Telling him that is not a “witch hunt.”

Vacula is complaining that I also said that if he didn’t leave me alone I would file a complaint. Well? I’ve told him to leave me alone before and he has never done so, therefore I wanted him to know that I would in fact make an official complaint if he refused to leave me alone at the conference. It’s that simple. He doesn’t leave people alone simply because they ask him or tell him to. More is needed.

And this has nothing to do with Vacula’s “opinions” or “disagreement” – it has to do with actions.

may2

Sara E Mayhew tweets

Report real online stalking/harassment to ISPs. Using the terms irresponsibly like @pzmyers@opheliabenson hurts real victims. #ftbullies

may3

PZ Myers tweets

Exactly. What’s so hard about that? RT @InMyUnbelief: @saramayhew So…don’t approach them. @MsMondegreen@OpheliaBenson

Eristae tweets

@saramayhew@pzmyers@OpheliaBenson
Seriously, why the F is the response to this not, “Oh, you don’t want to talk to me? Okay, I won’t.”

Mayhew tweets

@Eristae@pzmyers@OpheliaBenson they just want to setup a chance to kick someone out. Regardless of whether it’s harassment or not.

Mayhew doesn’t know that, and it’s not true.

mayhew4

Mayhew tweets

@MsMondegreen They are drama-mongering metabloggers acting like high schoolers. NO one should approach them. @pzmyers@OpheliaBenson

There are more like that, but I’m bored with posting them. But I wanted to post a sample because Mayhew has been ordering me to remove her from this page, on the grounds that harassment is a crime.

April 28 item 3

Mayhew is back. I was hoping she would never sneer at me again, then I could refrain from ever mentioning her again. It was not to be.

fuckingmayhew

Sara E Mayhew

#wiscfi is already an unwelcoming atmosphere thanks to @pzmyers @opheliabenson’s decrees of who may approach them. immature unprofessional.

Right. It’s terribly immature and unprofessional to tell a harasser to stay away from you. The mature professional thing to do is just shut up and take it, whatever it is.

April 28 part deux because I missed it before -

brave3

Justin Vacula tweets

@caias@OpheliaBenson@karla_porter Too bad Ophelia won’t come on #BraveHero but we appreciate early promo. Maybe she will chat at #wiscfi ?

Ok this is specifically for Vacula: do not approach me at WiS2. Stay away from me.

As you know, ignoring such instructions is grounds for removal. If you don’t stay away from me I will make an official complaint.

April 28

Some guy I don’t know from Adam.

arandom

Caias Ward @caias

@karla_porter @OpheliaBenson @justinvacula some people like the bravery of being out of range.

Ophelia Benson

Why did you @ me on this?

Caias Ward

was hoping you would respond to karla_porter since you have been talking about her.

Wut? What’s that first one about? To find that out I had to make some effort, because both Porter and Vacula have blocked me. [And before we go on let's get one thing straight - they're the ones who talk about me, not the other way around. They started talking about me with that podcast in which they lied about the emails I got warning me about the dangers of going to TAM. Vacula refused to correct the lies when I told him they were lies, and instead demanded that I go on his podcast. No. That's not how that works.] So I made that effort, and found what it was about.

bravebrave2

Justin Vacula tweets

@opheliabenson – Your blog post mentioning @karla_porter gave me a good giggle. Tune in to #BraveHero Radio tonight and consider calling!

Karla Porter tweets

@justinvacula Seriously, please call in @opheliabenson.

Justin Vacula tweets

@karla_porter@opheliabenson We’d love to have her on the show. Too bad she’s unwilling to have discussion – but she is welcome regardless

That’s so typical of those two. They did it with that podcast about me last summer and they’ve been doing it ever since. It’s such a transparently childish, schoolyardish, bullying game – endlessly taunting someone while at the same time extending aggressive bullying “invitations” to interact (and to give free publicity to their enterprises).

No, I’m not going to have “a dialogue” with hostile sneery people who make a career of taunting me and others. No, I’m not going to “have discussion” with them. No, I’m not going to tune in to one of their podcasts. No, I’m not going to call their podcast. No, I’m not going to be on “the show.”

brave2

“Outwest” tweets

@justinvacula@karla_porter@OpheliaBenson afraid to have her hypocrisy  revealed?

Karla Porter tweets

@jeh704@justinvacula – This is what I practice: I wouldn’t talk about anyone I wouldn’t be willing to talk with. – But to each their own.

Caias Ward tweets

@karla_porter@OpheliaBenson@justinvacula some people like the bravery of being out of range.

So that’s where that came from.

As I said, I don’t know Caias Ward from Adam, and I have no idea why he saw fit to tweet at me. Note his reply to my asking him that question -

was hoping you would respond to karla_porter since you have been talking about her.

Well that’s bullshit. He didn’t tweet at me to say “please respond to Karla Porter”; he tweeted at me to say “some people like the bravery of being out of range.”

So that’s one fraction of the bullshit from yesterday and this morning.

April 26

howto

Skepdigger @SkepDirt

If Ophelia Benson wants to stop being called out when she says stupid things, she should stop saying stupid things.

AmbrosiaX

I think I tweeted that to her once

Of course everything I say is stupid, so it’s necessary to “call me out” for saying stupid things whenever I say anything at all in public. Of course “Skepdigger/SkepDirt” knows this, because “Skepdigger/SkepDirt” is infallible when it comes to separating stupid things from not stupid things. Thus it is perfectly reasonable and right that “Skepdigger/SkepDirt” and “AmbrosiaX” and their many colleagues “call me out” every hour of every day. (People in Australia and India and South Korea have to “call me out” later in the day because of the time difference, so the fact that I’m asleep and so not saying anything stupid right that second is beside the point.)

April 24

I haven’t updated this in awhile. But this one is just so…wtf?

hog

felch grogan

I bet this is what the #skepchick backchannel sounds like http://is.gd/O13ts8 #FTBullies #atheismplus #CuntPunt #MeanGirls

[with a link to a video of some random young women doing something or other]

“cunt punt” – hear that #OpheliaBenson? Time to put your gumboots on. I mean you are consistent aren’t you? #FTBullies#atheismplus#frauds

And another wtf?

http://storify.com/ElevatorGATE/conversation-with-opheliabenson-and-slignot

Birthday tea with Claire at Macrina. Almond cupcake w choc ganache for me, cherry lemon coffee cake for her. omg.

Wut???????????

April 10

One of those…”huh?” items. Included because of the “huh?” factor.

dc

DC in Detroit

It also means you, @OpheliaBenson, who I paid to see speak and was shitty to me for no reason.

The funny thing there is that it sounds like part of an ongoing conversation but isn’t. What is the “it” that also means me? I have no idea. I looked at her feed to try to figure it out but no real luck, except that she’d been feeling irritable a few hours before. Yes but what’s that got to do with me? I don’t know. I asked her – but she didn’t reply. After awhile, when she’d made some more recent tweets, I asked her again, but still no reply. A chickenshit as well as a pest, then. What a brat.

That business about “who I paid to see speak” – the hell she did. She was at the American Atheists conference, apparently, but she didn’t pay to see me speak; she paid to attend the conference despite the fact that I was one of the speakers. I was one of a great many speakers and I’m clearly not of the type that she wants to see. But the implication is some obnoxious “I pay your salary so do my bidding” schtick, which is bratty entitled bullshit.

An hour later - how I was “shitty” to her and why.

dc2

It’s obvious enough, I’m sure – her implication was that I ain’t got no expertise so why do I write for Free Inquiry? That was my first ever encounter with her. That’s a meme among the people who target me – I ain’t got no expertise. Notice especially how she doesn’t even admit that’s what she was doing, even though she’s anonymous so it can’t do her any damage. Typical of this kind of crap.

April 7

Another fresh sparkling morning.

asteve

asteve2

asteve3

I don’t even know who that is. I can’t keep track of them all.

But that’s not harassment. Oh no no no no no. Good heavens no. Singling people out and calling them names over and over again for no reason whatever – that has nothing to do with harassment. It’s something else altogether. It’s water polo, or scrimshaw, or bricolage. It’s not harassment. Obv.

April 6

Golly, that weird Reap Paden video from yesterday wasn’t even the first. He did one on Wednesday, too. It’s possibly even creepier.

creepy

As so often with these things, it’s self-undermining. My role in this one is to keep saying I’m being harassed, oh oh, I’m being harassed. Haha, thigh-slapper, because haha, obviously I’m not being harassed, for instance by this very video. How dare I say I’m being harassed? I must be punished, by 40 thousand videos and photoshops mocking me for saying I get harassed. Roundandroundandroundandround

April 5 part 2

amhyp

The video is here.

April 5

No comment; none needed.

goatgoat2goat3goat4

Richard Reed @ RichardReed84 March 4

.@opheliabenson you literally copied and pasted the entirity of my blog post and put it on your blog? Plagarism! :)

I would comment on this post, but I don’t think it would get through moderation! :)

.@opheliabenson if I am a troll, you’ve just fed me. OMNOMNOM! :)

.@opheliabenson please stop monitoring me. I find it distressing.

I don’t think Ophelia Benson is a real person. Real people have self awareness! :)

Seriously though, I photoshopped Ophelia Benson’s head onto a picture of a goat to show that it isn’t harassment. WHY DOES SHE CARE? :)

BTW I don’t do this for attention. This post has had about 50 extra views since Ophelia Benson linked to it. :)

I might make some more goats today! :)

@JDofAndersonia this kind of goat! http://richardreed84.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/where-i-harass-barack-obama-and-ophelia-benson/

April 4

Humanisticus aka Peter Ferguson.

hum

Another part of the forest.

jerms2

In reverse order, which is real chronological order:

Jeremy Stangroom@PhilosophyExp 2 Apr

Here’s what we do about the problems in the online atheist community. 1. Marginalize & isolate the incendiary, know-nothing, bloggers.

2. Disavow this toxic callout culture. 3. Promote credentialed expertise;

4. Have a conversation about gender, race, etc., but recognize these are complex issues & that rational people can disagree in good faith.

5. And it should go without saying that we need to recognize the humanity in our opponents, which means you’ve gotta have bloody good reason

if you’re going to photoshop their head on top of a cow. Or indeed any other kind of animal.

3 is interesting. It’s a common talking point, and it’s interesting. I never know what people think they mean by it. Only people with PhDs in sociology should be allowed to say anything?

That’s not a rule. It’s never been a rule. It’s a rule for academic jobs, certainly, but it’s not a rule for public writing and talking in general. Credentials are good things, knowledge is a good thing, expertise is a good thing, but it’s not a good thing to deploy them as barriers to public spaces. It’s not a good thing to deploy them as a way to exclude and ostracize people you dislike from public spaces.

4 is…annoying. There’s some truth in it, but only some, and it’s too easy, not to say smug. It’s easy to say “recognize that rational people can disagree in good faith” when you’re not the one who could be treated as an inferior in that scenario.

And then 5. You mean like this?

That’s from “Richard Reed’s blog.”

March 27

A new jeer from Justin Vacula, because it’s what he does.

justin

Justin Vacula 23h

I must say, Ophelia Benson never fails to lighten up my day and elicit laughter. Ty for a compilation of Peezus and O! #ftbullies#satire

Commentary

Helpful of him to admit that he monitors me.

March 25

Still monitoring monitoring monitoring, day in and day out, watching watching watching, looking for something to snipe at, tireless, dedicated, obsessed. Oh and still using “#ftbullies”.

creepy

March 22

As the deep rifts are closed. Or not.

metal

March 21

This is an oldy, but I didn’t see it at the time. I saw it now because Aratina told me about it. “Pitchguest” went to the trouble of saying on Daniel Fincke’s civility post that I had called ”GirlWritesWhat” a #stupidbitch on Twitter, and I told him that was not true, I was calling myself that, ironically. (The irony referred to the slimers’ way with epithets.) I didn’t see his eventual response.

dearpitch

Pitchguest February 17, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

Ophelia – It wasn’t a lie. It was just an example of ‘intent isn’t magic.’ You still used the word ‘bitch’, though, a huge faux pas by your own standards.

But I’m not going to sit here on ceremony. If you want to be understood, you need to make yourself understood. How was I — or anyone else, for that matter — to know you meant to refer to yourself in a sarcastic manner, when a) you’re not on AVfM and b) you don’t use the word ‘bitch’? But I digress. Better to let sleeping dogs lie. I want to apologise to Dan Fincke for turning his blog into a place for drama unrelated to his pledge. That was uncalled for. If Ophelia wants to take it to another venue, say, the Slymepit, we could continue it there. (I’m afraid I’m banned on your blog, Ophelia.)

Commentary.

How was he to know what I meant, he asked indignantly. Great god almighty, what a stupid question. I wasn’t talking to him! Or about him. He doesn’t actually have to monitor my tweets looking for something to attack. If I were using Twitter to talk shit about him every day, then I could understand his looking at my tweets, but I’m not, so his snooping into what I say to other people on Twitter is  harassment. Textbook harassment.

And more creepy meddling and harassment and getting it wrong for the sake of scoring some stupid point.

jj

J. J. Ramsey February 18, 2013 at 11:52 am

I hope I don’t regret writing this. (Ulp!)

Anyway, I’m afraid that you just demonstrated why one should be very careful with an accusation like “liar.” I tracked down the tweet to which you and pitchguest referred, and saw that you wrote “And I don’t know who GWW is! #stupidbitch #nowondersheisonAVFM.” Now I can see you being sincere in saying that “stupid bitch” was a tongue-in-cheek reference to yourself and not GWW, even given the “#nowondersheisonAVFM”. While GWW writes for AVFM and thus can be easily said to be on it, your face was shown on the AVFM site too, so you were on it as well, in a different way. However, given how easy it is to read your tweet as saying that GWW was the “bitch” in question, it’s unfair to call someone a liar for reading it that way.

Brilliant. The only trouble is, the second hashtag was the same as the first – I was talking about myself. Ironically. “No wonder she’s on AVFM, being such a stupid bitch and all.” Ramsey managed to spot that I too was on AVFM, but not that that made nonsense of his assumption that I meant “GirlWritesWhat.” As I said, when I did the tweet, I didn’t know what “GWW” meant.

March 20

Very trivial, these, but it’s just so bizarre, and in that way typical of the nonstop quality. I blocked this guy ages ago, and I never interact with him. I can’t imagine what he tagged me in these tweets for. I saw one because Amanda replied, so then I found the other. Maybe he does it every day, I don’t know. It’s creepy and harassy to tag people that way.

[Update May 2: Peter Ferguson says he didn't tag me, he simply replied to Amanda Marcotte and got me as a bonus. Let the record so state.]

dearpeter

Peter Ferguson

@Amanda Marcotte @OpheliaBenson Not everyone who disagrees with you is some misogynist against inclusiveness. It is actually this sort of

Commentary.

That was before I was even online. I wasn’t part of that conversation. What did he tag me for? I have no idea.

dearpeter2

Peter Ferguson

@OpheliaBenson It is when people constantly lump those who disagree with the ones who are the issue

Ya I have no idea what that means, and no idea why he addressed it to me.

dearsara2

Sara E Mayhew

Ophelia Benson now moving on to bullying Canada!! Are you gonna take that, from a bunch of blog hosers?! [link to here]

Commentary.

Just saying my name for the sake of saying my name, that one. Ars gratia artis.

dearsara

Sara E Mayhew

Rebecca Watson and Ophelia Benson should know better than to misuse claims of libel; intimidation tactic skeptics have fought against.

Commentary.

That’s really quite staggeringly stupid. She was just telling me I should sue! I said no, not necessarily, and there are principled reasons not to as well as other reasons. That’s one of the principled reasons! Der.

March 19

awfuljst

Justin Vacula

Ophelia Benson really hates critical commentary which she can’t control. Don’t give in to pressure @micknugent – allow open discussion.

No. But what’s going on at Nugent’s blog is not “critical commentary”; it’s endless repetitive smearing by people such as “tina” and “Eu” and “Jack” and “Trophy” – it might as well be by people such as 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, or A and B and C and D. I’m not interested in “dialogue” with people who use anonymity to smear real, named people with no risk to their own reputations.

dumbfuck

Sara E. Mayhew

If it’s libel, it’s illegal, and you should sue, not blog. But Ophelia Benson doesn’t know That’s (not) libel http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/03/thats-libel/‎

Commentary.

Nonsense. There’s no moral imperative to sue for libel. It’s not true that “if it’s libel, you should sue.” There can be (and are) principled reasons for not suing.

It’s also not true that you should sue and not blog. There can be (and are) principled reasons for blogging, too, just as there are principled reasons for blogging about incessant harassment and monitoring and smearing.

Sara Mayhew is way too preoccupied with me.

316 comments

11 pings

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  1. 1
    LeftSidePositive

    How nice that Sara Mayhew is so eager to place all the financial, emotional, and personal burdens on the victim to pursue a byzantine, exhausting, and glacially slow legal system to get justice before she will even acknowledge wrongdoing and speak up against poor behavior! Its almost as if she doesn’t know that social norms are a hell of a lot more predictive of behavior than what laws are on the books, or whether or not people can get them justly enforced.

    Also, great Just World Fallacy there, Sara…
    1) The legal system must, I assume, be perfect and just.
    2) No one should have any qualms or hesitations becoming involved in such a perfectly just legal system.
    3) The presence of the legal system obviates any and all other approaches to solving a problem.
    4) Because you did not avail yourself of this perfect and just legal system, you could not possibly have a legitimate complaint, because if you did you’d just take it to the legal system.
    5) Therefore, the treatment of you is clearly just.
    6) ???
    7) PROFIT!!!

    Well done, “skeptic” movement, well done!

  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    Have you heard (yet) from Mayhew’s attorney concerning the link given the 2nd picture included here?

  3. 3
    carlie

    I just peeked in on it and saw verifiable lies – people saying that certain things were said about them on certain Pharyngula threads, and when you go back to that thread it’s nowhere to be found. Truth doesn’t matter though, I guess – apparently anything goes there unless you actually call someone a liar.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Not to mention the principled reasons for not wanting to sue people. Not to mention how would one go about suing “Commander Tuvok” anyway? The cowardly coward is anonymous.

    But can I point out that “Commander Tuvok” is libeling me? Certainly.

    And Sara Mayhew pays way too much attention to me. I really have no idea why.

  5. 5
    carlie

    “It” being Nugent’s blog, sorry for the unclarity.

  6. 6
    carlie

    I wonder if Sara Mayhew could manage to go a whole week without writing something about you? It would be an interesting test, to see if she has enough to talk about on her own without the crutch of having someone else to pick at.

  7. 7
    jose

    She doesn’t seem to be able to leave you alone, no. You, personally, not your ideas or principles.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Quite. And why? I do not know.

  9. 9
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Ophelia wrote:

    Quite. And why? I do not know.

    Well, as carlie already noted, what else does she have? What else do most of them have? They’re parasites, plain and simple. If you and the others shut up shop, they’d be screwed.

  10. 10
    Jackie the wacky

    That reminds me of the “If you were really harassed, why didn’t you call the police?” line.
    Or
    “If you were really threatened, why didn’t you call the police?”

    It is almost funny to me too that the people who call others drama queens etc. think that they should take more drastic action than they already are.

    Just blogging/tweeting about it = too much drama
    But people should sue, press charges etc?

    Why shouldn’t you blog about the lies people are telling about YOU? She clearly cannot stop tweeting about you, but you can’t write about you?

    I
    Don’t
    Even…

  11. 11
    EllenBeth Wachs

    Oh how nice that she thinks it is so easy to just SUE. As someone that happens to be doing just that and spending a goddamn fortune against an asshole that continually defames me, can I just say right here, right now, Sara Mayhew, you cray cray, so chill…girl. ;)

  12. 12
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    The truth of the matter is this:

    You were blogging and writing professionally and going on with your life on- and off-line long before the Slymepit losers showed up. Without them, you’ll continue like you always have.

    Them? Without you and Rebecca Watson and FtB, what do they have? Nothing. They’ve gained a little notoriety by being terrible people, not from any decent or useful thing they’ve done. They can’t leave you alone, because then they go right back to the nothing they came from.

  13. 13
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    What Improbable Joe said. History will remember the Slymepit as a grubby shit-hole where assholes and those who enjoyed their attention gathered to co-ordinate bullying attacks and whine about being banned from popular blogs.

    There will come a time when few, if any, will freely admit to having been regulars there.

  14. 14
    throwaway

    “If X really happened, then why didn’t you report/press charges?” Hidden assumption: convictions are trivially easy to get and establish the defendant’s guilt… why does Sarah consider herself skepticaler and most rational and given to free thought more than you or anyone else again? I may be parroting things already said but at least I know the people who feed me my crackers have clean hands.

  15. 15
    cethis

    Sometimes it is better to just respond than to press legal challenges. I considered suing someone a long time ago, but decided it wasn’t worth it. The statement was untrue, but it would have been expensive, and the case wasn’t easy to explain. So I ended up writing a letter to the publication. The publisher shutdown production, and the letter was never printed. Not sure if the two were related. ;)

    I don’t know the laws in Canada, but there is a very high threshold when it comes to libel and slander cases in the US. It’s not something to enter into lightly.

  16. 16
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Heh. Imagine the outcry, the squeals, the rending of clothes and the gnashing of teeth, if you did sue one of them. The pressure wave from the assplosion of ‘pitter heads would be felt around the world.

  17. 17
    tonyinbatavia

    And that’s a big CHA-CHING!!! Monies deposited in Ophelia’s account on behalf of Sara E. Mayhew. “You Hate and Obsess Like a Grade A Asshat, Ophelia Profits!”

  18. 18
    hjhornbeck

    Weird, I was just thinking of posting on the very subject. There’s four problems with launching a lawsuit:

    1. It’s expensive, time consuming, etc.
    2. Who are ya gonna sue?
    3. The odds of winning are long.
    4. It won’t work, they just won’t shut up.

    Point one doesn’t seem much of a problem. We’ve got no shortage of people willing to do research, and the SlymePit’s love of free speech and volume means there’s plenty of material to gather actionable items from. Money-wise, we’ve been donating a tonne over the last little while, so donating to a law fund would be a natural transition. Kickstarter, anyone?

    Two, I don’t see as much of a problem, either. Some on the Slyme Pit are public, such as Vacula. While finding the identity of Tuvok and others would be an issue, why would you want to? A subpoena to the SlymePit’s web host would get you Lsuoma’s info, and as the person who owns and edits the ‘Pit, he’s responsible for what’s posted on it.

    Three, what about Canada? There’s hate speech laws which defend against discrimination and hate speech based on sex and age. We’ve got victims up North too, such as Anthony K. The UK is also an option, but while they’re much more biased in favour of the plaintiff, they’re also much more expensive.

    Four… yeah, that’s true. Even if the suit were successful, it wouldn’t stop the Slyme Pit; they’d just set up shop elsewhere, and continue their obsessions.

    It might, however, cause them to tone things down a bit. That alone might be worth the risk of failure.

  19. 19
    Dave W

    hjhornbeck @18:

    A subpoena to the SlymePit’s web host would get you Lsuoma’s info, and as the person who owns and edits the ‘Pit, he’s responsible for what’s posted on it.

    No, they’re not. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 says, in part, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” It means that forum hosts and blog owners aren’t responsible for stuff written by commenters.

  20. 20
    Eucliuwood

    Okay, I’ll bite. You don’t need to reply to me at all but that comment was really out of hand being directed at me. “Teenage girls, do like me and share your address and name with the world even though its my JOB to blog with my information and not everyone wants to be famous or I get to say you’re hiding in anonymity” isn’t the best thing you could’ve written on your blog.

    You have no idea what I’ve been through or what additional reasons on top of plain security that I have for being anonymous. I am filed as a victim in a database.

    You really need to watch what you say. I just replied in a more passionate nature on Nugent’s “On the primacy of…” page. I’m not asking you to reply to that. Just watch it.

    And it may not just be ME that takes additonal risks if she were to put herself out there. If I were to be completely safe I’d not even allow my name to be published in college news which could go to the site, etc. I’ve been “hunted” before, I’ll tell you that.

    Wow, you have me so boiling mad I misspelled my handle. My arms hurt from how fast I typed out those last po… okay, Im sounding dorky. Whatever.

  21. 21
    hjhornbeck

    D’oh! That’s what I get for being ignorant of US law.

    On the upside, that puts the SlymePit line of “but blogger X allows nasty comments!” in a whole new light…

  22. 22
    Tom Foss

    Mayhew’s making an almost definitional No True Scotsman argument, taking some irrelevant qualification, assuming it to be part of the definition of a term, and then using that definition to “refute” the position, ignoring the circularity of the argument. Whether it’s amending the definition of “man from Scotland” to include “who doesn’t put sugar on his porridge” or “published defamation” to include “that has been the subject of a lawsuit,” it’s an obvious fallacy and a stupid fucking point.

    It’s astounding to see so-called skeptics resorting to such obviously and profoundly unskeptical arguments in service of this obsession, but it’s nice of them to demonstrate that they really don’t have anything reasonable to say or offer.

  23. 23
    Dave W

    hjhornbeck @20:

    On the upside, that puts the SlymePit line of “but blogger X allows nasty comments!” in a whole new light…

    Really, it just highlights their hypocrisy more, doesn’t it? There’s the legal stance and the principled stance. The “nasty comments” stuff is a (supposedly) principled stance, and not the legal stance, due to section 230 of the CDA. But here’s Mayhew insisting that Ophelia should go the other way.

    Of course, as has already been pointed out, allowing “nasty comments” is FREEZE PEACH friendly, so it’s a double-dose of hypocrisy.

  24. 24
    mildlymagnificent

    Cha ching! indeed. More money for good food, good deeds, or self-indulgent fripperies. All yours.

  25. 25
    sheila

    Ka-ching! Another donation for Ophelia. To be spent however she likes.

  26. 26
    Great American Satan

    LSP @1, Brilliant takedown! Motherfuckers acting like legal action is always an option are just showing their privilege of wealth, if not simply their ignorance. As a small-time freelancer, I have to weigh legal fees against injustice, and settle for being directly ripped off by clients pretty much EVERY FUCKING TIME IT HAPPENS.

    Go to hell, Mayhew. And that isn’t a threat y’all actual fake victims, since hell isn’t real. It’s just a turn of phrase.

  27. 27
    hyperdeath

    She’s now linked approvingly to that @ElevatorMABUS obsessive, or whatever his name is.

  28. 28
    Ophelia Benson

    Eucliwood @ 20 – what are you talking about? What comment directed at you?

    Oh wait – you mean you’re “Eu”?

    How the fuck was I supposed to know that? Why the fuck would you assume I did know that?

    You’re boiling mad? Is that a fact. Well I’m pissed off that people use their anonymity as a shield to protect them from the consequences of harassing people.

    I never said anonymous people have to go public. But I do say anonymous people should not exploit their anonymity in order to harass non-anonymous people.

    “Teenage girls, do like me and share your address and name with the world even though its my JOB to blog with my information and not everyone wants to be famous or I get to say you’re hiding in anonymity” isn’t the best thing you could’ve written on your blog.

    My JOB? What the hell are you talking about? It’s not my job. Nobody hired me, nobody pays me a salary, I don’t take orders from anyone. Blogging is not my job.

    To repeat – I’m not saying share your address and name with the world – I am saying it’s shitty behavior to exploit anonymity to harm non-anonymous people. If you’re doing that, you’re doing a shitty thing. (And this teenage girl shit – am I supposed to know you’re a teenage girl? I don’t know a damn thing about you. That’s how anonymity works, remember?)

  29. 29
    hjhornbeck

    And where’s my head at? Dooo-NATED!

  30. 30
    kestra

    Ophelia, some possibly relevant background on Eu/Eucliwood: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/01/10/well-that-escalated-quickly/

    Eucli, you’ve been told before, you have an unhealthy obsession with this topic and the people involved in discussion about it, and an unfortunate tendency to make everything extremely and inappropriately personal. I’d advise you to disengage for a while.

  31. 31
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, that’s who that is; thanks. Yeesh. And she posted about six ragey comments about this on Nugent’s blog – an important part of the “peace talks” doncha know – including a “fuck you!”

    “Eu” I’m not telling you to stop being anonymous, I’m telling people like you to stop using your anonymity to fuck up other people’s lives.

  32. 32
    Ophelia Benson

    And thanks all for harassment-donations! I intend to use this as a record of the monitoring and harassing, so I’ll update it whenever. Don’t feel you have to donate every time!

  33. 33
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh look, I have to update already.

  34. 34
    MyaR

    Donated, a little more than usual as I missed a couple of opportunities.

    I’m particularly annoyed at the people using anonymity to shield themselves from consequences. And the people (using the most charitable interpretation I can think of) who are so naive, privileged, and authoritarian* that they don’t understand what the personal consequences** are of pursuing legal or criminal action for libel, harassment, and similar actions.

    * This is something I’ve been thinking about. The thinking seems authoritarian in the sense that they seem to act like there is a set of simplistic yes/no, black/white “rules” that can be applied to any given interaction to determine who is right/wrong, good/bad, or winning/losing. And the most important of those is the “winning”. (Also links to the libertarian element in their thinking, which has always seemed ironically authoritarian to me. [Ironically in the sense of they think they're less authoritarian and much freer-thinking than thou.])

    ** To spell out just a few of those consequences: financial, further harassment, time (why do people seem to think that the time of their opponents is limitless and worthless?***), having to repeatedly re-view harassment and libel in order to document it.

    *** Yes, that was rhetorical. It’s because they think their “opponents” are worthless wastes of time.

    **** I apologize for all the footnotes, especially the nested one. And all the embedded clauses and asides.

  35. 35
    Raging Bee

    Oh, THAT Eucliwood. Yeah, I wouldn’t trust a single thing she says unless it’s independently verified.

    In all fairness, I’m sure she’s in some sort of real emotional distress, and is in need of serious counseling and support — but there’s nothing we can do for her, because a) she seems unwilling to listen to any advice from us; b) we can’t really assess exactly what’s wrong with her; because c) nothing she says is at all credible.

  36. 36
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Every time I see a tweet from a known ‘pitizen, all I can picture is someone so desperate to be liked that they continually make ridiculous comments, then hold up their hands for an expected high-five and say, “Am I right? Am I right?”

  37. 37
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    She actually said “hosers.”

  38. 38
    Ophelia Benson

    Mya, don’t apologize for that! Very David Foster Wallace. I love nested footnotes.

    Interesting point about the authoritarian aspect of libertarianism. Very interesting.

  39. 39
    Ophelia Benson

    She meant “losers” right? Or not.

    I forgot to provide more visible versions of the last 3 screencaps. Apologies; will fix.

  40. 40
    Marcus Ranum

    History will remember the Slymepit as a grubby shit-hole where assholes…

    Most likely, history will not remember them at all. Why would anyone bother? “Oh. Icky people.” turn the page. The only lesson they’ll leave for posterity is that nasty people suck, which posterity already knows.

  41. 41
    Marcus Ranum

    History will remember the Slymepit as a grubby shit-hole where assholes

    Me too – especially wrapped in the flag of Free Speech. The great examples of Free Speech are those who did not cower behind Free Speech as a shield, but who carried other banners, to good end, enabled by Free Speech.

  42. 42
    Raging Bee

    Ophelia: IIRC, “hosers” is Canadian for “fuckers.” I think they use the former in the same generic, indiscriminate, mostly-but-not-always-insulting way as many Americans use the latter.

  43. 43
    Ophelia Benson

    Ah; new vocabulary, cool. Poutine; washroom; hosers. I can do Canadian.

  44. 44
    ildi

    I was thinking that Bob and Doug McKenzie made ‘hoser’ common knowledge, then I looked it up – “Strange Brew” is 30 years old…

    They were allowed to say it in a PG-rated movie; does that mean the ratings people didn’t know the meaning, or it’s ok to swear in Canadian?

  45. 45
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I have a suggestion for Sara Mayhew:
    Next time she participates in traffic she makes a list how many times people clearly violate laws and how many times anything is prosecuted.
    And then she shuts up forever about the “if it’s not being prosecuted clearly nothing wrong happened”

  46. 46
    MyaR

    How would one, as an individual without an army or nuclear warhead or other means of physical threat, bully a country? Economic sanctions, maybe? So, Ophelia, you’re now threatening to take down the Canadian economy if they don’t… what, exactly? And how will you bully that whole country? By… making fun of their raised vowels? And how they wear a lot of plaid flannel? And how they’re so pleasant, generally speaking? Yeah, I’m pretty sure an individual blogger can’t really bully a country. Not even a teeny tiny one. Well, maybe a really big-name blogger could bully Tuvalu. (Not that they should!)

  47. 47
    MyaR

    (Just to be clear — my comment about bullying countries is meant to highlight what Mayhew’s operational definition for bullying seems to be — saying something negative about me/something I strongly identify with, be that Canada or TAM.)

  48. 48
    Ophelia Benson

    And besides, [plaintively] I love Canada.

  49. 49
    MyaR

    Heh, I was about to post something about how I can’t even find anything negative about Canada anywhere in the conversation(s).

  50. 50
    Pierce R. Butler

    Tangentially off-topic – False Noise personality on defending one’s wife:

    If you love your wife, say it. If some moron tells you that you’re merely a “newlywed” or that you’re still just “too young to understand,” correct them. Openhanded slaps to the face are preferable.

    The next wave of male feminism is gonna be so much fun…

  51. 51
    Anthony K

    Ophelia: IIRC, “hosers” is Canadian for “fuckers.”

    Except way milder and goofier. It’s only an insult if you are a sixth grader in the 80s who watches a lot (or is vaguely aware) of SCTV, or are ironically referring back to the time when you were a sixth grader in the 80s who watched a lot (or was vaguely aware) of SCTV.

    It’s practically like shouting “Ni” at someone in a Michael Palin falsetto it’s such a dorky reference.

  52. 52
    sueinnm

    Please see Stephanie Svan’s post on MIchael Nugent’s call for dialogue to dispel the “deep rifts.” Stephanie feels it will be useful. I believe it’s a waste of time, for reasons I outlined on her blog. Should we dialogue with “well-intentioned people” like Sarah Mayhew, Vacula, Thunderfood, Paden? They are, after all, respected and even glorified in some circles. (Mayhew is a speaker at TAM). And according to Michael Nugent, we can have “respectful” dialogue with them.

    I’ve never suffered direct abuse from these people since I don’t Tweet, don’t blog and don’t put myself out there, so maybe I shouldn’t have a say. But I have very little hope for Nugent’s plan.

    Sue

  53. 53
    evilDoug

    Was’t “hoser” derived from “hose bag”, that is, douche bag? Back when that was being made popular I was already a decade or so “too old for it”, though I do use “Blowed up. Blowed up good!” (probably because I occasionally blow something up).

  54. 54
    A Hermit

    A “hoser” or “hose head” is someone who makes a habit of stealing gasoline from other people’s cars (or more likely pickup trucks and tractors) by siphoning it through a hose. The implication being that inhaling all those fumes have affected one’s intellect.

    Now take off, eh?

  55. 55
    hjhornbeck

    Ah, Canada. Where the rednecks are pro-choice atheists, health care is a sacrament, and the government is muzzling scientists.

    [wipes away patriotic tear, then spits on an image of Harper]

  56. 56
    FelixBC

    Hosers is definitely not “fuckers” in the land of the north. It’s a goofy term for Canadian, involving beer, red lumberjack shirts, tuques, and watching hockey in your parents’ basement. Bob and Doug forever, eh? Can’t even guess what a blog hoser is, tho. Oh, and Canuck isn’t derogatory, either.

  57. 57
    Nicole Introvert

    I wonder if Sara also believes that it’s not rape if you don’t press charges.

  58. 58
    Tom Foss

    That’s what I thought of when I saw this tweet. I think I’m going to use that as a defense if I’m ever accused of a crime: “Obviously I couldn’t be a thief, I’ve never been convicted of theft!”

  59. 59
    Aratina Cage

    Is this just for the Mayhew clan on Twitter, or are you cataloging other people and places, too? Because Pitchguest has once again told a big whopper about you at Michael Nugent’s, saying that you coined the slur “Rebitchka” when it was one of those anonymous assholes who did that in August 2011.

    I know I’ve debunked that one before at B&W (and Sven from Pharyngula debunked it on the original pit right before their eyes and got that acknowledged by the original ‘pit homeowner), but apparently they ignored all that and the rumor grew into one of those slimepit myths about you where their special prosecutor’s unit (mikelf, ape+lust, and Victor Ivanoff) “researched” it and came to the shoddy conclusion that no mention of it occurs before yours.

    Unbeknownst to them, an extraneous “k” had slipped into your mention of it. But since their crackpot investigation ended with documents written by you, they felt that gave them license to accuse you in comment after comment of making the term up yourself to use against them or alternatively to amuse yourself with. It would be an epic fail if it weren’t so cruel and libelous of them.

    But who cares about the truth or charitability, am I right?

  60. 60
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, gawd.

    No, this is definitely not just for the Mayhew-and-related Twitter harassment; it’s for any of it that I decide to document. Obviously it’s only a tiny tiny splinter sample of it – I could just dump in the whole of the pit’s output every day, for a start, along with godonlyknows how many tweets – but where the sample comes from can be anywhere. Nugent’s 17 “hey harassers come harass at my place” posts are certainly eligible.

    I saw that yesterday, and since Nugent had said to report defamation to him, I reported it to him, but I used permalinks instead of numbers (because numbers can get thrown off by deletions or approvals), and those don’t work for him so now I’ve sent numbers.

  61. 61
    Ophelia Benson

    And now “Eu” on Nugent’s branch of the slime pit has worked herself up into such a rage that she’s wishing us dead. And so the rifts are closed.

  62. 62
    Aratina Cage

    Re #60: I’m glad you reported it. I tweeted to Michael Nugent when Gurdur ignored me and posted an almost identical smear to the one where he had named me earlier, and Michael was kind enough to link to my side of the story and ask Gurdur to be more charitable in his interpretation of events and people (which seems to have run Gurdur off–imagine that). I haven’t seen Michael do that for you about Pitchguest yet, but I think if he is going to open his blog up to these guys, then he needs to keep on top of it and correct them when they make false accusations (sincerely held out of ignorance or deliberately vicious smears). Over here, we already know how off-the-wall, uncharitable, and persistent the slimepitters are. So I do hope Michael Nugent realizes he will be seeing this more and more the longer he lets them camp out at his blog.

    Unfortunately, on Michael Nugent’s blog, when it gives you the permalink to a comment on a thread, it doesn’t add the comment-page # to the link. So if the current comment page is greater or lesser than the one that you have the permalink for, the permalink will not work. It is fixable, though. Here is the corrected link to Pitchguest’s “mistake”: http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/20/a-proposed-agenda-for-structured-dialogue-to-move-beyond-the-rifts-in-the-atheist-and-skeptic-communities/comment-page-1/#comment-203933

    And the real, googleable first time use of the slur for her name by some anonymous hater (most likely Justicar since he bragged about on the slimepit at ERV) is at the blog Furious Purpose: http://furiouspurpose.me/the-i-do-not-endorse-the-abusive-and-derogatory-remarks-by-abbie-smith-and-some-of-her-commenters-on-rebecca-watson-during-the-course-of-elevatorgate-thread/#comment-2789

  63. 63
    Ophelia Benson

    I absolutely think Nugent should keep on top of the comments, but he isn’t, he’s making it our job to point out the defamations, and then of course there’s a long delay, because he’s busy with other things.

  64. 64
    Argle Bargle

    Remind me about what Nugent’s purpose was in opening the “dialog” on his blog. Right now all I’m seeing is the mildew using it as the Slymepit Annex.

  65. 65
    Aratina Cage

    And now “Eu” on Nugent’s branch of the slime pit has worked herself up into such a rage that she’s wishing us dead. And so the rifts are closed.

    :) It’s always enlightening when a real spoiled brat reminds us of how nasty spoiled brats can be. And they’ve already had one misogyny session of calling a man on Pharyngula a “twat” while Michael Nugent was not looking. Business as usual, per the ‘pit.

  66. 66
    Ophelia Benson

    I can’t remind because I’ve never known. I do not see how [inviting a dozen or so mostly anonymous people whose sole contribution to "Atheism/Secularism" is posting an infinity of hatred-rants on a forum to post more hatred-rants on his blog] is going to do anything to mend any rifts.

  67. 67
    Aratina Cage

    Well, I broke down and made the correction on Nugent’s blog myself. We’ll see if Pitchguest or any of the others apologize to you. Link: http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/20/a-proposed-agenda-for-structured-dialogue-to-move-beyond-the-rifts-in-the-atheist-and-skeptic-communities/comment-page-2/#comment-204666

  68. 68
    Ophelia Benson

    I just saw that. Thank you.

    Pitchguest apologize to me! Hahahahahahahahahaha

  69. 69
    Aratina Cage

    :D

  70. 70
    Ophelia Benson

    Huh. I see Nugent hasn’t even removed the 3 comments I reported to him because they said things about me that were not true. Two of them were the Pitchguest ones – making a claim that, as you say, has been corrected several times.

    Dang. I can’t even get him to remove plain old falsehoods about me. Yet he’s planning a “formal” dialogue next week.

  71. 71
    SallyStrange

    I meant to say this a while ago, but Sara Mayhew’s approach to libel appears to be identical to Thunderfoot’s approach to sexual harassment: either take it to the cops, or STFU.

    Since taking it to the cops is a pain in the fucking ass, this is a great recipe for getting people to STFU.

    Gosh it’s almost like getting the people they don’t like to STFU is the real goal here.

  72. 72
    carlie

    Not even a week. A single day. Could Sara Mahew go a single day without trashing Ophelia? Even one? I wouldn’t bet money on it.

  73. 73
    rowanvt

    I read *part* of that comment thread over at Nugent’s blog…. and there is no way in hell I am EVER reading anything over there again.

  74. 74
    Jafafa Hots

    I wonder how long Nugent is going to let the point go whizzing repeatedly over his head.

    The elephant set up camp in his own living room and he seems oblivious.

  75. 75
    Great American Satan

    OK, I thought of this the other day and wanted to say something about it, but haven’t worked out all the kinks in it yet. Let’s give it a try:

    The following is a hypothetical situation.

    Someone has an objection to some kind of progressive action. Not the movement – just a nitpick about the way they’re doing it. It’s tone trolling, but earnest. He (usually a he) writes about it.

    The comment section quickly becomes a bunch of regressives screaming slurs and braying like donkeys. Mr. Someone tries to calm them down. He thinks, I’m not like that. I just wanted to voice my quibble. Why does no one agree with me but screaming rage boners?

    The reason is that his tone trolling was motivated by a blindness to his own privilege. It really was a prettied up version of regressive horse shit all along. Therefore, it will only be beloved by ignorant jerks like himself, and the more honest regressives in the Pit.

    Nuge’s big idea is that these guys can make their case without resorting to harassment, and if they can just do that, we can get to “agreeing to disagree” and make nice and so on. But even without the harassment, their central thesis is just prettied up MISOGYNY, and the only people who appreciate it are libertarian peach-humpers and bona fide hate groups. They couldn’t be truly civil if they wanted to.

    That sound about right?

  76. 76
    Great American Satan

    Another beautiful example of a prettied up regressive message spinning out of the originator’s control:

    “He’s an Arab!” *cheers from crowd*

    “No, no, I’ve worked with him, he’s a good family man, uh…”

  77. 77
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Dang. I can’t even get him to remove plain old falsehoods about me. Yet he’s planning a “formal” dialogue next week.

    Would it be possible to counterprogram that with an “undialogue” where we specifically exclude the slymepitters and figure out some effective way of dealing with them, or better yet making sure voices like that aren’t representing the whole community?

    That is, if there’s anything left we haven’t tried. There are after all only so many ways one can say “shape up or ship out”.

  78. 78
    Great American Satan

    Yeah, I’m starting to think the PR damage people like pitters do to Atheists is analogous (but not quite as bad) as the damage the Taliban does to moslems. The reason we’re unpopular with the public at large is because of religion. The reason we’re unpopular with progressives is that, plus we’re associated with self-obsessed manbabies who are still mad at their moms for making them be nice to their sisters. “Religion is stupid because my mom made me go to church! Freedom means freedom from all social responsibility! Shuddup bitch!” I bet the average person who knows an outspoken atheist knows one of those guys. Seems like my partner dated more than his share of them.

  79. 79
    'dirigible

    “Yeah, I’m starting to think the PR damage people like pitters do to Atheists is analogous (but not quite as bad) as the damage the Taliban does to moslems.”

    Atheists start out by attacking minority religious identities so it’s hardly surprising they’d be misogynistic as well.

    (I’m being sarcastic, but you’d be surprised.)

  80. 80
    Ophelia Benson

    He did remove two of the three comments.

  81. 81
    A Hermit

    Speaking of Pitchguest here’s his take on Steubenville: (Trigger Warning)

    To be fair he backs down a little …here.

    But not much…

  82. 82
    whysoskeptical

    SallyStrange said:

    I meant to say this a while ago, but Sara Mayhew’s approach to libel appears to be identical to Thunderfoot’s approach to sexual harassment: either take it to the cops, or STFU. Since taking it to the cops is a pain in the fucking ass, this is a great recipe for getting people to STFU. Gosh it’s almost like getting the people they don’t like to STFU is the real goal here.

    Slightly off-topic but I just came across a guy who was sure Adria Richards was lying about receiving threats or at least the threats weren’t that big a deal, maybe “trolling”, because she would have contacted the appropriate authorities if she had actually received any or if they were actually threatening. Same nonsense all over the place, jeez.

  83. 83
    PatrickMefford

    I like to think I’ve been fairly critical of Ophelia (once anyways) and was never silenced or threatened with it.

  84. 84
    doubtthat

    I’m just here to make sure Ophelia apologizes to Pitchguest for making him say stupid, mean things about her.

    After all, fair is fair. A completed punch needs a fist and a face, so I think we should all acknowledge that responsibility.

  85. 85
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes, well, you’re not the only one trying to make sure I interact with “Pitchguest” in some nice or friendly or rift-mending way.

    If I wanted to interact with Pitchguest in any way at all I would be a regular on the pit. There’s a reason I don’t interact with those people. I don’t want to interact with people who call me names and/or photoshop me and/or monitor and harass me and/or smear me in multiple places on the internet. Pitchguest has taken a lot of trouble to talk untrue shit about me in an effort to shut me up. I have zero interest in interacting with him. I am staggered that anyone would try to pressure me to do so. It’s all too reminiscent of those judges in Morocco who mandate that rape victims marry their rapists.

  86. 86
    maddog1129

    doubtthat forgot his /sarcasm tag

  87. 87
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh I knew it was sarcasm. It’s just that the pressure on me is annoying me a good deal right now, so I replied in a literal vein.

  88. 88
    Stacy

    I like to think I’ve been fairly critical of Ophelia (once anyways) and was never silenced or threatened with it.

    She’s making you say that, isn’t she? Blink once for yes, twice for no.

  89. 89
    doubtthat

    I just find it endlessly strange that it takes about 20 comments on any of Nugent’s posts for someone from the pit to say, “Yeah, well, commenter X from FtB Blog Y said this once…”

    It’s just this endless upchucking of obscure grudges – almost all of which are entirely false, and those that have some truth behind them are just twisted and intentionally misread to support their bizarre narrative.

    They are very strange people, and I understand that I am in a position to find them more absurd than harmful because I haven’t been targeted. In addition to the obvious malice, the obsession is just incomprehensible.

  90. 90
    Pogsurf

    How did the #ftbullies hashtag come into being. I wasn’t around when it was first used.

  91. 91
    daniellavine

    Martin Wiesner@90:

    Probably when Zvan started the petition to prevent Vacula from working for SCA.

    To a general audience:

    Anyone else getting the sense that Stangroom is nervous Crommunist is going to do his profile next?

    Incidentally, here is Crommunist being classy in his comment thread on that post:

    I certainly did not intend this piece to read as mockery – I just thought the combination of elements hit the nail rather too squarely on the head. Clearly my sense of humour is more mean-spirited than I realized, and I shouldn’t have wrote this.

  92. 92
    clamboy

    I thought Crommunist’s post was mean, almost to the point of bullying. All he sought to do was mock people that, as far as I know, he has never met and who have never done him harm, and some of the mockery was of appearance and use of language. Though quite mild by comparison, some of what he said was kinda…’pitty.

    Now, I have no truck at all with the abysmally stupid ftbullies crap, and I agree with Ms. Benson that there are those who are always on the lookout for anything, ANYTHING, to fit their narrative of FtB, but I read the post and found it disappointing.

  93. 93
    hjhornbeck

    Martin Wiesner @90, ask, and ye shall receive:

    If you’re on Twitter, you have to check this out.

    If you’re not on Twitter, you might want to join now, just to check this out.

    A couple/ few days ago, someone (I lost track of who) who doesn’t like Freethought Blogs started the Twitter hashtag, #FTBullies, for Twitter discussions of how… um, I guess how Freethought Blogs are bullies.

    Plus, from our very own host:

    I just settled down to a few minutes of joking, and then people joined me, and then it kept going.

    #FTBullies

    I had to. Because of this one, by Paula Kirby, which is just too funny -

    More RTs coming up. If you are sick of the #FTBullies, it is safe to speak up – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And if you don’t speak up, who will?

  94. 94
    hyperdeath

    To be fair to Stangroom, that post by Crommunist was mean spirited. Then again, it takes a special level of mental control to complain about that, while studiously ignoring the stream of bile coming from the other side.

  95. 95
    Ophelia Benson

    Quite, and that was the point. Yes about the post, but the censoriousness coming from someone who swaps guffaws and jeers with for instance “Justicar” is…less than convincing.

  96. 96
    hyperdeath

    He does the same thing with the Atheism Plus forum. He either reads it avidly, or is getting tips from people who do. Every so often, he complains bitterly about one of the regulars being rude, while utterly ignoring (the usually much worse) comments that triggered the rudeness.

  97. 97
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh yes? I hadn’t noticed that so much. Self-serving bias, I guess – since I think the constant sniping at FTB is a very thinly veiled way of sniping at me.

  98. 98
    hjhornbeck

    This might cheer up the thread a bit: Slyme Pit Bingo! Here’s a card, too.

    All right, now who has “Ophelia Benson,” “PZ Myers,” and/or “Punny Names” on their card? Anyone?

  99. 99
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    5. And it should go without saying that we need to recognize the humanity in our opponents, which means you’ve gotta have bloody good reason
    if you’re going to photoshop their head on top of a cow. Or indeed any other kind of animal.

    So, what was the bloody good reason that Richard Reed has to excuse his animal-body photoshop?

    Can I assume that Stangroom has personally contacted Richard Reed to chastise him for his lack of sufficiently bloody-good reasons? Or is Stangroom merely blowing smoke with his tweet,, not caring to follow where it drifts off?

    From my neutral observer’s point, they’re both asses. Maybe not both equally culpable, but still, both asses.

  100. 100
    Ophelia Benson

    No, of course Stangroom didn’t chastise Richard Reed, because obviously Richard Reed had a bloody good reason, which he (Reed) fully explained in his post. His reason is because Obama.

  101. 101
    Ophelia Benson

    (Ironically, or something, I didn’t even know about the photoshop until I saw that tweet, which prompted me to look for it. I can’t keep up with the harassment, the harassers keep up with it better than I can.)

  102. 102
    mouse

    “Marginalize & isolate the incendiary, know-nothing, bloggers.” Hardly an objective standard for marginalizing individuals.

  103. 103
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    #one-note_boring-ass_slymepit

  104. 104
    oolon

    “Marginalize & isolate the incendiary, know-nothing, bloggers.” –> Ironically would constitute a good definition of Richard Reeds blog, ElevatorGates blog, Hoggles blog, etc, etc…. What else do you call blogs that only have posts about fellow atheist-sceptics in increasingly desperate attempts to find some grievance against them?

  105. 105
    screechymonkey

    I’m intrigued by the dissonance between Stangroom’s points 1 and 2:

    1. Marginalize & isolate the incendiary, know-nothing, bloggers.

    2. Disavow this toxic callout culture.

    I’d like to know what definition of “callout culture” would allow one to “marginalize and isolate” certain people while not calling them out. For that matter, I’d like to know what definition of “callout culture” makes it ok to criticize Public Figure X for promoting bogus paranormal claims, but not to criticize Public Figure Y for promoting bogus claims about gender.

    I admit that I am assuming that “marginalize and isolate” means some form of drawing attention to/criticizing the persons to be marginalized and isolated, as opposed to merely ignoring them. I think that’s a safe assumption, given that the whole harassment issue wouldn’t exist if the haters were content to just ignore Ophelia et al. (Apparently, “just ignore the trolls and they’ll go away” is only good advice for others….)

  106. 106
    Margaret

    rational people can disagree in good faith

    A disagreement is not in “good faith” if it is over whether on not I am a human being with the full rights of such.

  107. 107
    peterferguson

    Ophelia,

    I am at a loss as to why you decided to include me in a post about nonstop monitoring and harassment. The reason you were include in those tweets is because I had simply hit the reply function. In fact, after those two tweets I removed your name from subsequent tweets as me and Amanda continued the exchange. As for the third tweet, you had replied to one of the two tweets above and I was simply replying to that.

    So how does three tweets constitute nonstop monitoring or harassment? How is it “typical of the nonstop quality”? You say maybe I do this everyday but you are unsure, yet my twitter profile is public and you could have easily have checked. It took me less than 3 minutes to reveal that between the time you blocked me and now, those are the only three tweets which you are tagged in.

  108. 108
    PZ Myers

    Have a conversation about gender, race, etc., but recognize these are complex issues & that rational people can disagree in good faith.

    OK, I’d like further clarification on how we’re supposed to recognize good faith disagreement about gender and race. Is it OK to use “cunt” and “nigger” now? Under what circumstances?

  109. 109
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Stangroom’s a hypocrite; his major gripe is that he doesn’t like PZ, and will happily side with pretty much anyone who also dislikes him, no matter how ethically bereft they are.

  110. 110
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes it’s ok to use “cunt” now but apparently not “nigger.” This has been officially ruled (without spelling out the part about “nigger,” but instead just not mentioning it).

  111. 111
    Ophelia Benson

    peterferguson @ 107 – I’m at a loss as to why you’re at a loss, since I said why. Read it again.

  112. 112
    peterferguson

    I have read it. This post is about nonstop monitoring and harassment. How does three tweets constitute harassment or monitoring?

  113. 113
    Ophelia Benson

    Want a fourth?

    https://twitter.com/Humanisticus/status/318565460176158720

    @BirdTerrifier I want to be the OB of SIN. Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V @NotungSchwert @D4M10N

    That’s one of the endlessly recycled memes about me. It’s not just your authentic opinion derived from your reading of what I write; it’s a meme passed around by the harassers.

    That was March 31. All of four days ago.

    Fuck off.

  114. 114
    peterferguson

    Ophelia,

    I am aware it is one of the recycled memes, in fact, I said that in the context of numerous tweets where a few of us on twitter were recycling silly arguments such as that one. It wasn’t my serious opinion, I was actually mocking those who this argument.

    Also you are not tagged on this tweet, your name isn’t even mentioned, simply your initials. Are you saying that this tweet and the three above actually constitute harassment?

  115. 115
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes, you weasel. I don’t believe for one second that you were mocking the people who make that “argument.” (It’s no more an “argument” than the goat saying “I’m a bad writer” is an argument.) You were talking to three other harassers. You were adding your little mite to an existing torrent of monitoring, mocking, sneering, photoshopping, complaining, jeering, insulting, ranting, lying, slandering, spying, and other such bullshit. Yes, piling on to that does constitute harassment. Fuck off.

  116. 116
    peterferguson

    Ophelia,

    I came here to be civil and discuss a serious matter. Accusing somebody of harassment is a serious matter, especially when it is based on such silly evidence as three tweets. If you believe that the fourth tweet was adding to the existing torrent, then I apologise and I will refrain from making such remarks in the future. But let’s remember this is only one tweet and does not come near to what constitutes harassment.

  117. 117
    Ophelia Benson

    That sounds like a threat.

    No, accusing somebody of harassment is not “a serious matter”; not necessarily. In some circumstances it is, but in all? Of course not. Don’t bullshit me. I’m not harming you. You on the other hand have helped a bunch of people harass me. Yes it’s trivial, but then I said that in the post – “this is very trivial, but…”

    However, thank you for the apology. If you do refrain from making such remarks in the future, that will be good. We’re all free to dislike each other; it doesn’t follow that we should persecute each other.

  118. 118
    Aratina Cage

    Accusing somebody of harassment is a serious matter

    Yes, it is serious, Peter! You ought to take it seriously and reconsider the shit you have been doing!

    I will refrain from making such remarks in the future

    I seriously doubt it if you are “humanisticus”. But time (I give it a day or two at most) will tell.

  119. 119
    peterferguson

    I’m not too sure which sentence came across as a threat but if there is something which can be interpreted as such, I can assure that was not my intention.

    I think I will decide if I am being harmed or not. If I wasn’t being harmed I would not be here defending myself. You accused me of harassment based on nothing but a few tweets. I have not engaged in harassment and such accusations are unfounded. I do not know how many people have viewed this post, but I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that many people may view me as a harasser when I clearly am not.

    I apologised to you as you felt one of my tweets was hurtful, I did not try to explain to you that you were not being harmed, I apologised. I expect similar treatment, I have been accused of something which is untrue, and yes I have been harmed by it.

  120. 120
    LeftSidePositive

    You accused me of harassment based on nothing but a few tweets where I joined in with a bunch of people who were harassing you.

    FTFY, Peter…

  121. 121
    Ophelia Benson

    No I’m not going to apologize to you. You’ve been needling me, not the other way around. I did not accuse you of harassment. The closest I came is saying “It’s creepy and harassy to tag people that way.”

    You’re being disgusting. Nothing is happening to you, I did not accuse you of harassment, and you have zero concern for the harm being done to a small number of people you dislike. Your pitching this fit is like going to a burn ward and complaining about the weather.

    (And I said nothing about your tweet being “hurtful”: I hate that word.)

  122. 122
    peterferguson

    This is going to be my last comment as I feel I am getting nowhere.

    Yes you did accuse me of harassment. You used my tweets as evidence that you were being harassed.

    You’re being disgusting. Nothing is happening to you, I did not accuse you of harassment, and you have zero concern for the harm being done to a small number of people you dislike. Your pitching this fit is like going to a burn ward and complaining about the weather.

    The harm that is being inflicted upon you does not give you the right to make a false accusation about me. I can pitch this fit if I like, you are employing the same fallacious logic Dawkins did with his Dear Muslima letter. Does the harm of one negate the harm of another? No – especially as I am not the one inflicting any of the harm.

    I don’t know where you get the audacity to explain to me that I am not being harmed. You don’t get to decide that.

    Simple fact of the matter is you made a false accusation about me – you should apologise and retract.

  123. 123
    Ophelia Benson

    I did not make a false accusation about you. You’re doing the equivalent of shouting that my face got in the way of your fist. Fuck off.

  124. 124
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    peterferguson wrote:

    This is going to be my last comment as I feel I am getting nowhere.

    If only you possessed the awareness that would lead to you applying that in a broader context.

  125. 125
    Nadai

    3. Promote credentialed expertise

    So from now on only Women’s Studies majors can discuss sexism? I might be able to live with that.

  126. 126
    Jadehawk

    Only people with PhDs in sociology should be allowed to say anything?

    oh yeah. let’s reduce this entire shitfest to Stangeroom vs. SC and/or MAJeff. That would be hugely entertaining for all of us who aren’t SC or MAJeff (and those are probably not the only Sociology PhDs on this “side”, but they’re the only ones I know about for sure.)

    :-p

  127. 127
    michaeld

    Easy fix. Have to have a PhD and be actively researching the area in question.

  128. 128
    MyaR

    Wow, that Richard Reed dude is just stupid. Even if your “copying” of his post was a violation of his copyright (it’s not), it still wouldn’t be plagiarism. Hint: you would have had to not attributed it, not put it in blockquotes, and claimed to have written it yourself. Dumbass.

  129. 129
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh but he put a smiley on it, so any mistakes or dumbassery are to be taken as irony.

    But seriously. Yeh I’ll violate their “copyright” all day long if all it consists of is photoshop + stupid. He stole that photograph, for a start.

  130. 130
    ewanmacdonald

    Peter Ferguson on Twitter:

    “Ophelia Benson has accused me of harassment for tweeting her 3 times a few weeks ago, she refuses to retract. I am not happy about this.”

    Someone asked him what he tweeted. His response (bold mine):

    “@Dubhghaillix No idea, something about Michael Mugent’s blog post a couple of weeks. It wasn’t actually to her.

    Why would you tag someone into something you don’t want them to read? This makes no sense. Probably because it’s a pack of lies.

    Hear that? That’s the sound of more money in Ophelia’s tip jar. Keep up the good work, Peter!

  131. 131
    hyperdeath

    Have you considered installing The Block Bot for Twitter? It blocks all of these people (plus their many sockpuppets) and automatically blocks new trolls as they emerge.

  132. 132
    karmacat

    the whining of some people (Peter Ferguson)….”Oh, no, I am being called a harrasser by a blog writer… poor, poor me… my poor ego” Wow, talk about someone who thinks everything is about him. Peter, why do you care about what Ophelia Benson thinks of you? Is your ego that fragile? Never mind. I already know the answer

  133. 133
    ewanmacdonald

    I hope she doesn’t, because “ignore them and they’ll go away” doesn’t work in the skeptic movement. These people need to be called out.

  134. 134
    ewanmacdonald

    karmacat: very important to note that Ophelia didn’t call him a harasser. She said his behavior was harassy, which is quite different. Similar, but different enough to be distinct.

  135. 135
    karmacat

    You are right. She didn’t call him a harrasser. Even if she did, he is still an idiot

  136. 136
    rbier

    BTW I don’t do this for attention. This post has had about 50 extra views since Ophelia Benson linked to it.

    Well, sure they don’t get extra views from me, since I strictly avoid visiting this kind of website. I’m content with the things reproduced here, no need for more revulsion, thanks.

  137. 137
    hyperdeath

    I hope she doesn’t, because “ignore them and they’ll go away” doesn’t work in the skeptic movement. These people need to be called out.

    I agree they need to be called out, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is obliged to do so.

    Furthermore, several of the bot’s users are people who do engage with the trolls. They just like to use Twitter without having to wallow in filth.

  138. 138
    oolon

    In regard to the block bot, anyone wanting to install it I’d also recommend using tweetdeck as you can set up searches for your nym/name and when you have the spoons/time/inclination to see what the idiots are wittering about you still can. Just on your terms as they are blocked!

    Peter Ferguson… Oh dear. I doubt he’ll read this but I had an argument with him about his statement that “Rebecca Watson called Ed Clint a rapist”. Pretty serious accusation that he had no qualms in making when he is now very concerned about accusations made to him. Even after he could provide no quote where she did any such thing… Just his *opinion* that was her intent from the post where Ed made a fool of himself trying to hyperscepticise her “drunk=no consent=rape” tweets. Now he is not harassing Ophelia due to his *opinion* that she cannot be harassed by his actions. Big call out to you Peter – consider some other course than the solipsistic one you are following. People other than you do exist, they have different opinions and feelings about your words and actions. What you say and think is not gospel. Not that hard really, you are a “Humanist” after all?

    Who said this?

    In the future I will handle my disagreement in a more mature, productive manner. That’s what I’m, going to do.

    Yup, Reap Paden in his “apology” to Stephanie… http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/03/26/engaging-in-dialog/#comment-221619

  139. 139
    oolon

    Yeah as Hyperdeath says, one thing to ignore, another to deal with on your own terms. I don’t even see the Block Bot as a tool for totally ignoring. You can just deal with them on your terms, especially when using TweetDeck as I linked to above. Some days I’ve been very close to upgrading from Level 2 blocks to all of them at Level 3 (Blocks are split into three levels – 1=worst, 2=Hogglers, 3=Annoying)… Even those like Peter who is marked as “Mildly Annoying” or Level 3 need shutting out sometimes. Why should you have to log off Twitter to get that break?

  140. 140
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    BTW I don’t do this for attention. This post has had about 50 extra views since Ophelia Benson linked to it.

    aka I’m not looking for attention, but allow me to point out the attention I’m getting!

  141. 141
    A Hermit

    I thought I would give Reap Paden another chance after he notpologized to Stephanie Zvan, so I went and listened to couple more of his podcasts. Including a sycophantic bootlicking session he held with Paul Elam of AVfM

    He’s even worse than I thought…

  142. 142
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    So, Reap Paden is a fan of Paul Elam, the man who is on record as saying that, were he ever on the jury for a rape case where the victim was female and the accused male, he’d refuse to convict the man – even if he thought he was guilty of rape.

    And we’re supposed to WANT to “heal the rifts” with Reap Paden, the Rape-Denier’s Grinder Monkey?

    Um, no.

  143. 143
    oolon

    Reap and Stefanelli have done podcasts and blog posts about him… I was particularly amazed by Al Stef doing a fawning post on AVfM then one saying A+ is just like McCarthyism and the moderation is as bad as the Spanish Inquisition!

    Would be great to have them all in one big atheistic tent! /notreally

  144. 144
    Rutee Katreya

    3. Promote credentialed expertise;

    What Stangroom is telling me is that he used his time getting a phd learning about how to shut down minorities so that he could actually do so.

  145. 145
    PZ Myers

    Ugh. Reap Paden is remarkably creepy.

  146. 146
    Aratina Cage

    I was particularly amazed by Al Stef doing a fawning post on AVfM then one saying A+ is just like McCarthyism and the moderation is as bad as the Spanish Inquisition!

    Good riddance, then. We are really at that hairy point in activist atheism where you have to wonder if you’ll be meeting the Als & Reaps of atheism or not when you join a new atheist group.

  147. 147
    Jadehawk

    What Stangroom is telling me is that he used his time getting a phd learning about how to shut down minorities so that he could actually do so.

    yup.

    and I still think our sociology PhDs could kick their sociology PhDs’ asses :-p

  148. 148
    Margaret

    I was going to try to make a pair of earrings (rather than $ in the tip jar) for every harassing comment, but I can’t keep up or keep track. (Earrings go to the thrift store for the local women’s shelter since Ophelia doesn’t wear earrings.) I just made my first trip to the SafeHouse thrift store and gave them 50 pairs of earrings and some other stuff. So thanks to Reap, Sara, etc., etc., I have a new charity to support instead of selling my jewelry at a craft fair.

  149. 149
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Margaret, that’s excellent. Do you sell your jewelry online?

  150. 150
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, Stangromm’s 1&2 are just setting up the “very good reason” needed for 5.

  151. 151
    Pierce R. Butler

    That “American Hypocrite” April 5 part 2 video frame, with the start-arrow button over Prof. Myers’s left eye, makes him look charmingly piratical.

    Arrgh matey!

  152. 152
    sheila

    I don’t know where you get the audacity to explain to me that I am not being harmed. You don’t get to decide that.

    While claiming that he gets to decide whether Ophelia has been harassed.

    Double-sized donation – once for this and once for Reap.

  153. 153
    jhickp

    OK, I’d like further clarification on how we’re supposed to recognize good faith disagreement about gender and race. Is it OK to use “cunt” and “nigger” now? Under what circumstances?

    It’s only “cunt” that is acceptable, for whatever reason. This has been unofficially, wordlessly decided.

    For example, at the moment, the Slymepit is pillorying one of their members because they referenced the British National Party positively. One of his critics is the guy who calls himself “cunt”.

  154. 154
    Ophelia Benson

    Not altogether wordlessly; Russell Blackford has written some words to that effect. He did a post on the word “cunt” the other day and while he said he dislikes it himself, thinks it can sometimes have sexist overtones, etc, he wouldn’t “impose” that view on anyone else. Very liberal, and yet…I’ve never seen him say that about words such as “nigger” or “Abo” or “kike.”

    But it doesn’t matter. They had a “civil, thoughtful” discussion about it and that’s the important thing.

  155. 155
    rnilsson

    Yes, I know it is very bad form to make fun of people’s names — but please: can Blackford not see himself called “NiggaCrossing”? And would he not perceive a slight problem with that? (I takes mylatte black, see, no sugar)

    Also, please accept a belated cuntribution [sic] to the cookie fund. In acknowledgement of hardships endured, streams of abuse graciously overcome etc.

  156. 156
    rnilsson

    Oh, and Ferguson: a painfully underpowered little semi-antique tractor I remember from my childhood in a completely different century. Not to say millennium (too hard to spel rite). Lots of noise, stuck in the mud. No roll-over bar for protection of the operator. Still, kinda cute in its own way. So there’s that.

  157. 157
    Ophelia Benson

    Heh. And thank you! That goes for all of you.

  158. 158
    Margaret

    @Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt

    Do you sell your jewelry online?

    No. I sell only a few things, mostly to co-workers, and mostly at xmas (I do some very nice little snowmen earrings) and other holidays (for example, some skull earrings and skeleton pins for Halloween). With a few exceptions, my stuff is way too cheap to be worth paying the postage to ship anywhere.

    If you or any other FTB regulars are ever in Albuquerque, I’d be happy to give you a free pair of earrings.

  159. 159
    oolon

    @SteveWCoA nee @Secular_Steve’s abuse was out of nowhere as well. He was laughing at @latsot and I over something that was presumably due to him misinterpreting as it made no sense. We pointed that he looked a bit dim as his claim we were “serious” and “whining” referred to an exchange where we were laughing over how “terrible” it was to be on a list of his. FTBullies list or something, in retaliation to the block list… Then he drags you in for no discernible reason!

    Just seems to be a retaliation for being made to look an idiot. Try and wind the “#FTBullies” up with some gratuitous nastiness. Then argue that its not abuse and whine about how he tried arguing with you and Greta et al to no effect. So presumably your fault somehow in his opinion. I’d imagine that given verbal abuse just does not exist in his world the only abuse that is real is physical.

  160. 160
    sheila

    Kerching! Another donation to Ophelia’s sock fund.

  161. 161
    Aratina Cage

    One of his critics is the guy who calls himself “cunt”.

    That would be one Victor Ivanoff, aka Franc Hoggle, aka (his socks are nearly endless… must I go on?).

  162. 162
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    I must confess, when I stumbled upon FTB (thanks to a Zinnia Jones vid) I originally suspected the “whining about harassment” was melodramatic and overblown.

    Only a few weeks later, after looking at the evidence, I can’t deny it not only exists but shows no sign of stopping. While I count myself among the “Can we please discuss something else?” crowd, I have no intention of ignoring abusive behavior or accepting non-arguments for the validity of it in the context of rational discussion. These are people who change the definitions of words when you provide evidence that word describes something they’ve said or done. Harassment, misogyny, even atheism itself–nothing is what you think it is if you think it makes them bad. And they seem to think this is a winning strategy.

    That said, I see no way to win them over to reason through debate. It’s not working because they refuse to let it. They’re either going to fall victim to a similar campaign themselves or see it happen to someone they care about and realize how wrong they’ve been, or go on indefinitely denying reality because acknowledging the harm of their own behavior makes them feel icky, therefore Nazi fascist misandry.

  163. 163
    Ophelia Benson

    That’s a major part of why I’m doing this – to provide one quick way to see a tiny fraction of the evidence for what we’re talking about. (It really is tiny. I haven’t so much as glanced at the slyme pit in weeks, and what’s here is only a fraction of what I see. And then there’s all the non-overlapping stuff that other people get.)

    I too count myself among the “Can we please discuss something else?” crowd.

  164. 164
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    And they accuse you of being a bully or dogmatic when you point out the way they keep intentionally pulling you into their abusive rants. They tag you but it’s still your fault. Fun how that works. It reminds me of elementary school.

  165. 165
    oolon

    Elementary school indeed! You can see @ElevatorGate camping on the #skeptech tag at the moment being a racist, transphobic, misogynistic asshole and pretending to be the official skep tech con account. People have been caught out tweeting to him. Must be getting his rocks off Hoggling away!

    However in other news I see when he changed his account name from @braveher0 to @SkepTechMI then @SkepTechCon someone jumped in and parodied his old account. Have a look – I saw one of the teen Skepchicks retweeting the new parody ->

    https://twitter.com/Skeptisquatch/status/320988136048046081

    and where the fake @ElevatorGate sock is tricking people into thinking its the official account ->

    https://twitter.com/DavidGamut/status/320988861956239361

  166. 166
    mildlymagnificent

    Ka ching! This really is ridiculous.

    Does anyone think they “monitor” here enough to pick up just how many times you get cash for worthy/ essential/ frivolous purposes? Though I simply cannot think of another way to get the message across.

    The message
    (In simple words. Read this carefully. Say it aloud if you need that bit extra to be able to remember) …..

    The more often you clowns do this stuff, the more often Ophelia gets money from other people. She doesn’t ask for it. It just happens. Ophelia doesn’t control our payments, you do.

    Most importantly, she gets to choose how it is spent. Not us, not you.

  167. 167
    Great American Satan

    Al Stef posted something positive about AVFM? I don’ t think there’s any coming back from that.

    I’m feeling a bit like Natalie when she wrote the “Fuck your Atheism” post. I see the endless sea of horrible little shitheels on that side and it makes me think atheism really is a bastion of self-aggrandizing know-it-alls with serious deficits in empathy and basic humanity.

    I’m following my cat’s religion. It isn’t a religion and it doesn’t involve gods, but there isn’t a word for it either, because the people who want to control the word “atheism” the most make me want to jettison words altogether. I sink now into dreams. L8rz, y’all.

    -

  168. 168
    oolon

    @great1american1satan, well weirdly I cannot prove that as he has apparently deleted his wordpress blog. Just had a look as the two posts side-by-side made for interesting reading. I personally liked the comments sections as on the A+ post he was shown to be inaccurate about a few things and rather than concede just said its an “opinion” piece and there is therefore no need for journalistic accuracy! So you’ll have to take my word that he posted those…

    As for being fawning of Paul Elam, I’ve never listened to this and not sure I really want to. But Reap and Al having a little fireside chat with Elam – http://www.reapsowradio.com/?tag=paul-elam

    Apparently “mens rights” means fighting for equal rights.. bleaugh…

  169. 169
    oolon

    Al got back to me on Twitter, posts are all archived here for your delectation ->
    http://alstefanelliarchives.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/mensrights/
    and
    http://alstefanelliarchives.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/atheism-plus-radical-feminism-and-the-new-mccarthyism/

    Doesn’t seem that balanced a view point to me… But I’m biased given I hang out at the HUAC forum ;-)

  170. 170
    Funny Diva

    Hey, Ophelia

    Look who else doesn’t think it’s cool to have people use fake twitter accounts and impersonate them at other people’s blogs:
    Paul Krugman

    Clearly, the man just needs to chill the heck out and not be so sensitive!

    FunnyDiva
    (sorry if the formatting is borked, it sure looks funny in preview…)

  171. 171
    Ophelia Benson

    That’s interesting.

    This comment is cute -

    The irony here is almost too rich for words and it sails right over Krugman’s puffed-up head. That there are people questioning whether or not the parody account on ZH is really Dr. Krugman or not speaks to just how extreme, absurd, and ridiculous his failed neo-Keynesian positions are.

    Much like the impersonator on Google Plus from a couple of years ago following the Fukushima disaster, the parody account on ZH is merely regurgitating ideas and policy prescriptions about economics and finance that are stylized after things Krugman himself has said endorsed, based on his own writings.

    In other words, it may not actually be Krugman writing those comments, but they’re such a close parallel to things he’s actually said that there really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference. And it exposes the lunacy and fanaticism of his worldview.

    No, the impersonator clearly isn’t you, Paul Krugman, but he is adeptly showing the world what you truly believe.

    Sure! We really really hate you so it’s perfectly fine to do parody versions of what you say under your real name because that will show people what you really believe – which we can’t just let your actual work do, because…well uh never mind that free speech.

  172. 172
    Stacy

    on the A+ post he was shown to be inaccurate about a few things and rather than concede just said its an “opinion” piece and there is therefore no need for journalistic accuracy!

    @oolon (and anyone else who’s interested), for a laugh–and for a quick way to gauge Stefanelli’s honesty–just check out his twitter handle (Stefanelli) here:

    http://fakers.statuspeople.com/Fakers/Scores

    (That app will tell you what percentage of someone’s twitter followers are fakes.)

    @Ophelia

    It also means you, @OpheliaBenson, who I paid to see speak and was shitty to me for no reason

    I find it difficult to believe you were “shitty to her for no reason.” Any idea what she’s talking about?

  173. 173
    Ophelia Benson

    I put the reply in the post as an update.

  174. 174
    Funny Diva

    Expertise. I do not think that word means what she thinks it means.

    Also: clear communication, she’s doin’ it rong.

    Ophelia @#171, wow. That comment is a miracle of…something. Just not of clarity.
    I don’t see how his “neo-Keynesian policies” can have “failed”, since they actually haven’t been tried in this country within the last several decades. I’m totes willing to implement a bunch of them in order to obtain empirical evidence of failure, however!

  175. 175
    Stacy

    Wait–she’s claiming those Twitter responses are you being “shitty” to her? Seriously?

    Passive-aggressive crowd, innit.

  176. 176
    Stacy

    –And you get called a “professional victim” for drawing attention to actual abuse and non-stop shittiness.

    I’ll be in my corner, muttering profanities.

  177. 177
    oolon

    @Stacy, hehe that is cool, cheers! I’ll be maxing my API limit out checking on various ppl now :-D

  178. 178
    Argle Bargle

    My dinner is now utterly inadequate. I blame you! :p

    So this person will not present their custom to the Benson Nourishment Centre GmbH ever again.

  179. 179
    rorschach

    If you and the others shut up shop, they’d be screwed.

    So please, can we finally stop talking about, mentioning, retweeting and rehashing all of this endless stream of inanities, hate screeds, infantile poop flinging and trivialities from the side Nugent is having a dialogue with already? The Mayhews, Blackfords, Hales, and the pile of worthless spineless clueless bullying fleas that have attached themselves to them over the last 2 years? Can we not finally let them hang out to dry? I am really getting exasperated with this constant blogging of what some irrelevant harrassing flea said on Twitter today.

    It’s tedious, it gives them publicitiy they don’t deserve or warrant, and it makes it look as if anyone should give a flying fuck about what these creeps excrete. When we should not.

  180. 180
    daniellavine

    rorschach@179:

    Yeah, bullies really hate it when their victims don’t fight back. Why don’t you just shut up about it already, Ophelia?

    /sarcasm

  181. 181
    rorschach

    Why don’t you just shut up about it already, Ophelia?

    Don’t be a fucking asshole. I am one of the people who have reblogged, retweeted and commented on most of these threads for 2 years, besides being present at the fucking Elevatorgate big bang. What Wowbagger and I are saying is that the creeps Nugent is having his dialogue with are not worth the light of the day, and if we stop taking them seriously, they will fade away into irrelevance just like Dawkins’ fleas would without their host. Then we can maybe finally have the discussion needed with those potentially more amenable to rational discourse amongst A- atheists.
    Not that I’m holding my breath.

  182. 182
    daniellavine

    Don’t be a fucking asshole.

    I’m pretty sure I just gave you the same exact advice, dude. Calm yourself and remind yourself that Ophelia and I are both entitled to our own opinions on this. Or go fuck yourself. Up to you.

  183. 183
    rorschach

    Lavine,

    your comment @ 180 shows a remarkable ignorance about who has said what in the last 2 years. So while Ophelia and I go to Dublin to talk to Mick Nugent and try to make a difference this coming June, feel free to sit in your armchair and write clever comments on the internet. I’m sure someone cares.

  184. 184
    daniellavine

    your comment @ 180 shows a remarkable ignorance about who has said what in the last 2 years.

    Quiz me, shit sniffer.

    Get off your high horse while you’re at it. If your sense of self-worth is so tied to going to atheist conferences that you’re compelled to sneer at people who you assume aren’t going to conferences then I actually feel kind of sorry for you.

  185. 185
    Ophelia Benson

    rorschach, I don’t know why you say “if we stop taking them seriously, they will fade away into irrelevance.” For one thing, I’m not taking them seriously; I’m documenting a tiny fraction of their unserious bullshit. (Michael Nugent is taking them seriously, yes, but I’m not.) For another thing, no they won’t fade away. It’s become a huge entertaining game/social life for them, and they’re never going to stop.

    For one more thing this “we” usage doesn’t work. I’m a target, you and Wowbagger aren’t.

  186. 186
    Ophelia Benson

    Er. My comment was before I saw 183. What?? You and I are going to Dublin to talk to Michael Nugent? First I’ve heard of it!

  187. 187
    hyperdeath

    On the subject of what-the-fuck? creepyness…

    https://twitter.com/AtheistLoki/status/327440936248426497

    What is wrong with these people?

  188. 188
    rorschach

    First I’ve heard of it!

    Sure. And while you get to go for free, it costs me 3000 dollars since I’m residing on the wrong side of the planet. And yet, I think it’s worth it.

    I’m a target, you and Wowbagger aren’t.

    I beg to differ. We are all targets, because we don’t let the bullies get away with their bullying. Whether it’s Aratina, me, Wowbagger or whoever. Read through my blog comments on related posts sometime to relish the hate. But yes, I agree that the vitriol has been centered on you and PZ for a while now, and this sucks and I wish I could do something about it other than arguing on the internet.

    I was the last of us to talk to Blackford as far as I know, and I want to speak to Mick Nugent now. I’m merely a paying customer of these conferences, but at least I try.

  189. 189
    Ophelia Benson

    hd – wo.

    What indeed.

    rorschach – well fine, good, but don’t use it as a stick to beat others with, especially since you don’t even know the others aren’t also going.

    Targets. Yes up to a point, but when your real identities aren’t in play, it’s different. Also (as you say) the amount, persistence, intensity, quality, etc all also make a difference.

    At any rate I don’t see why the thing you found to do about it today was to shout at me for documenting one item on my blog.

  190. 190
    Jackie the wacky

    Roschach isn’t your real name. I’d say your situation is quite different. I for one am terrified to blog, use my real name or even talk in the Lounge about my personal life because of threats of doxing and harassment. I get that you may feel the same and for many of the same reasons. Yes, they harass others to silence us as well, but we are not in the line of fire in the same way Ophelia is. I don’t know why you think it appropriate to ask Ophelia and others to keep quiet about this harassment. I don’t know what makes you think hiding our heads in the sand would make these people stop or the problem go away. While you are certainly welcome to spend your money and time as you like, I don’t recall anyone asking you to intervene on their behalf or for advice on what to blog about. I’m confused as to why you’d do either.

  191. 191
    Jackie the wacky

    …and just fyi, I do take them seriously. I do find the connection with MRassholes and the obsessive monitoring, misogynist slurs, threats etc. to be alarming. These things have a way of escalating. The bullies clearly get some sort of thrill out of the harassment and they claim to see progressive atheist bloggers (feminists especially) as a danger to “their” community. That’s not the kind of thing you sweep under the carpet and hope goes away.

  192. 192
    rorschach

    I don’t know why you think it appropriate to ask Ophelia and others to keep quiet about this harassment.

    Jesus. Everyone knows about this harassment, it’s what we’ve been dealing with for 2 years now. That’s not my point at all. I will spell it out again: There are those in the atheism movement who we may potentially have a rational and reasoned discussion with about our recent differences wrt conference anti-harassment policies, the representation of women, the ingrained sexism in the movement, and the like.

    And then there are those who create fake twitter accounts, photoshop images, think Smellody and PeeZus and Baboons and Twatson are funny word games rather than infantile attempts of basement bullies to, well, bully.

    The former we may possibly have a debate with. The latter, not so much. And that was my point.

  193. 193
    TGAP Dad

    Al Franken used to occasionally speak on his show to the ratings, and comparing his to Rush Limbaugh’s. He would always preface this segment with a disclaimer something on the order of “there’s nothing more boring about radio than the business of radio.” These cyber-spats between you (and others) and the cabal of harassers play out on your pages like a tiff between two second-graders on the playground, and is, frankly, boring. All I hear when these pseudo-exchanges play out is:
    “You’re a meanie!”
    “Nuh-uh. YOU’RE the meanie!”

    Speaking only for myself, I come here for the posts on science, freethought, feminism, etc., which I find very interesting. I would be happier coming to this page and finding that you have left the sliders to angrily splash about in their own cesspool, while you keep bringing us interesting content.

  194. 194
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 192 – then I too will say it again – we have not been dealing with this harassment for the past two years, not in the same sense. You and I don’t make a “we” when it comes to this harassment. You don’t speak for me when it comes to this harassment, just as Michael Nugent doesn’t speak for me when it comes to this harassment.

    You’re perfectly free to discuss conference anti-harassment policies if you want to; this post isn’t preventing you. I don’t have to stop documenting a tiny fraction of the harassment I get in order to make it possible for you to discuss conference anti-harassment policies.

    And by the way if that really is what you meant to say @ 179 you did a very bad job of it. As far as I can see all you were saying @ 179 was that you were sick of hearing about it and wished I would just drop it.

    @ 193 – Most of the time I do post on the other subjects that you prefer.

  195. 195
    rorschach

    As far as I can see all you were saying @ 179 was that you were sick of hearing about it and wished I would just drop it.

    What I’m suggesting is that if we all drop”it”, it being the relentless stream of bullying and intimidating social media commentary, then the fleas will eventually starve and shut up. Right now, we are constantly encouraging them through blog entries, retweets and the like. That’s my opinion, feel free to not like it and moderate it out. I was by no means suggesting that you as a main sufferer of their bullying and intimidation should shut up about it.

  196. 196
    Ophelia Benson

    Well you’re wrong, they won’t. They’re self-perpetuating. As I said: it’s a game, and it’s social. It’s how they hang out with their friends. (Yes of course that’s pathetic, but it’s true.) They carry on whether we pay attention or not. And it’s a wild exaggeration to say I (you keep saying “we” and I keep saying there is no such “we”) constantly produce blog entries, retweets and the like.

  197. 197
    doubtthat

    @193

    Apologies if others have made the same point, but a founding myth of the pro-pointless-harassment wing of the skeptical community is that Ophelia and Rebecca Watson and others are just whining and complaining about imagined slights.

    Not wanting to speak for Ophelia, I would be willing to bet that the very second the harassment stops, the posts highlighting the harassment stop, as well.

    A traditional move of all abusers (from the very worst to the merely obnoxious) is to convince the target or victim that the poor treatment is all in their head. It’s called “gaslighting.” Posts like this are important for the whole community so ALL parties suffering this treatment can battle against that attempt to paint them as “emotional” or “crazy.”

    Spend you effort criticizing the harassers and be glad that you’ve never been the target of this bullshit and are therefore able to roll your eyes at the discussion.

  198. 198
    Maureen Brian

    @ 193

    This isn’t about you, sweetie, and if an occasional mention of the 24/7, wall-to-wall harassment she experiences helps Ophelia to reduce the pressure just a little then who are you to complain?

    Have you any plan or proposal to help ameliorate the abusive behaviour or are you just having a good old moan yourself?

  199. 199
    Maureen Brian

    On a broader point, we have trolls in England too. We prosecute them – not often enough but we do it!

    On what basis? On the basis that a death threat is an act of violence which puts someone in fear. As does a campaign of harassment, whether conducted by one person or several. Our top Prosecutor has recently firmed up the guidelines and urged police investigators to look for patterns of behaviour, rather than concentrate on taking seriously only the rare exceptionally horrible act.

    Here’s a case going through the courts now – http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/26/internet-troll-kill-tennessee-students

  200. 200
    Ophelia Benson

    What an interesting story. Thanks, Maureen. And thanks doubtthat for reminding me that this isn’t just about me me me, it’s also about people who watch all this and wonder if they’re next.

  201. 201
    Jessie

    Ophelia
    I’m really sorry this harassment shows no sign of ending. Thank you for not giving in to the pressure to just accept it without complaint. Your strength, and the strength of others on the internet, is opening people’s eyes to the sheer volume of this crap. It helps when people know that they are not alone.

    The longer this goes on, the more determined I am to fight for change.

  202. 202
    Ophelia Benson

    Thanks Jessie.

  203. 203
    PZ Myers

    I have to concur with your latest statement. Vacula can just stay away from me, too — I want nothing to do with him.

  204. 204
    Ophelia Benson

    Yeh. I sent him the same message directly, via Facebook, to make sure he saw it. I don’t want there to be any room for doubt on this!

  205. 205
    Argle Bargle

    Ophelia,

    You’re not allowing Vacula to spew his vileness all over you. You’re denying him FREEZE SPEECH! Don’t you know FREEZE PEACH is guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence or the Geneva Conventions or the East Poodunk Fire Safety Inspection Code or something like that? Have you no shame?

  206. 206
    Ophelia Benson

    He’ll always have Twitter.

  207. 207
    hyperdeath

    Does Vacula really intend to attend WIS? I think he’s preparing for a mast minute martyrdom act.

  208. 208
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh I think he would much prefer to do the martyrdom act there rather than stay home to do it. I don’t know for sure of course. #otherminds

  209. 209
    Argle Bargle

    If I remember correctly Vacula had a fundraiser at the slymepit to help him defray the costs of attending WIS.

  210. 210
    sheila

    Kerching! Another donation to show my admiration for Ophelia’s courage and tenacity.

    @rorschach: the fleas feed each other, therefore it’s not in our power to starve them.

  211. 211
    Ophelia Benson

    He did.

  212. 212
    Walton (shiningartifact)

    I’ve said it before, but I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry you’re enduring all this harassment and abuse from assholes, Ophelia. :( This shouldn’t happen to anyone.

  213. 213
    Walton

    Sorry, accidentally posted my last comment without logging in. Ophelia, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you’re having to endure all this harassment and abuse. It shouldn’t happen to anyone. The slimepitters are vile.

  214. 214
    Ophelia Benson

    Thanks Walton.

  215. 215
    Eristae

    @rorschach

    @rorschach: the fleas feed each other, therefore it’s not in our power to starve them.

    ^This.

    Vacula went and successfully raised money to help him go pester his targets at WIS. I don’t know how anyone can expect the people who are being harassed to “drop it” when the harassers are willing to go to these lengths. How can the people who are being harassed drop it when “it” leaps back into their hand without fail?

    Whether or not you mean to say that the people who are being harassed should shut up, that is in fact what you are saying because when you say “we” should drop it, who is this “we” that you are talking about? Because it seems to me that this “we” is the people who are being harassed. What other motivation can you have to come here and post that “we” should drop it if you don’t mean Ophelia?

    It doesn’t even work. Surly Amy stopped responding to her harassers for months and they kept at it, including Vacula, if I remember correctly. She still basically doesn’t respond to them and they still go at it.

    What “we” need to do is present a united front against harassment. We need to support those who are being harassed. We need to make it so that the targets don’t need to bear the weight of the assault on their own. We do not need to isolate and silence those who are being harassed so that the harassers can successfully drive away the targets and make everyone else afraid to be a target.

  216. 216
    A Hermit

    I notice Vacula has been completely absent from the Nugent “dialogue” he was previously pushing…

  217. 217
    amandamarcotte

    I fully accept not everyone who disagrees with me is a misogynist. For instance, I disagree with many friends on the merits of Bruce Springsteen, but none of us are misoynists.

    However, considering that the disagreement at hand is over whether women are full human beings, then yes, those who disagree are accurately labeled misogynists.

  218. 218
    Stacy

    All Vacula has is his opposition to Ophelia and PZ and Stephanie, et al. Who is he otherwise? He’s made a minor name for himself playing #bravehero against the feminists. He decided to attend WiS2 as a publicity stunt. If nobody interacts with him there, he’ll have a sad. I’m sure he’d love to get expelled from the conference so he can go all Ben Stein on us–his friends are already fantasizing about it.

  219. 219
    Stacy

    The more likely problem is Justin could be speaking to someone or a small group….

    (From the link @ #218.)

    Sorry, Ed Clint. The more likely problem–except it isn’t a problem for anybody but Justin–is that nobody is going to want to talk to him at all.

    Nobody on our side wants to give Vacula the publicity he craves. If he gets kicked out, it will be because he makes a pest of himself.

  220. 220
    tonyinbatavia

    And that there is yet another CHA-CHING, half on behalf of Justin and half on behalf of Sara. (They’ve contributed so much to your cause, I feel as though we’re on a first name basis now.) Ophelia, enjoy a little something extra at the conference on behalf of those brave, brave heroes. They really are special, aren’t they?

    “You Hate, Ophelia Profits!”

  221. 221
    PZ Myers

    Jesus. They keep inflating the threat level: we’re up to Code Red already! Vacula enters a room occupied by Myers, he responds by firing an RPG at him!

    Nope. It is in my interest to avoid giving Vacula any excuse to claim martyrdom. I have announced my intent to avoid him and not engage him in any way — the only way he’d get evicted is if he is persistent, making an obnoxious ass of himself trying to start a conflict. My plan is to shrug and walk away from him.

  222. 222
    Eristae

    Vacula enters a room occupied by Myers, he responds by firing an RPG at him!

    Turn based RPG or live action RPG? Console or computer? Single player or multi-player? Text based or graphics based?

    *blinks innocently*

  223. 223
    hjhornbeck

    Geez, has it been this long since my last donation? I’m doubling my usual amount, in honour of Vacula and Mayhew.

    A few months ago, back when the news of Vacula heading to WiS2 was fresh, I suggested it was no big deal (and got creamed for that). Since then, I’ve watched Vacula try to win over people to his side… by spamming two atheist conferences’ twitter feeds with feminist bashing, conferences he didn’t attend or even watch. He walked away from Nugent’s peace process, I suspect, because he couldn’t control the playing field. It explains why he’d rather meet Benson on his or a friend’s podcast, rather than neutral ground. And yet, he’s raised funds to visit a conference where he’ll be vastly outnumbered by people who disagree with him?

    He’s not attending WiS2 to debate or duscuss, he’s attending to disrupt. And not in a troll-y, borderline acceptable way either. I misjudged him, back then.

  224. 224
    mildlymagnificent

    Ka ching!

    Don’t care what you spend it on. Coffee, charity, shoes!, groceries. You might even give it to even more people at WiS2 who don’t want anything to do with them.

    Sara, Justin and co. seem to be the gift that just keeps on giving. Talk about not getting the message.

  225. 225
    hyperdeath

    Ophelia Benson:

    Oh I think he would much prefer to do the martyrdom act there rather than stay home to do it. I don’t know for sure of course. #otherminds

    If I were him (that is, if I were an acquisitive attention-seeking manchild), I’d aim to get thrown out on the first morning, by doing the smallest possible thing, and then play the martyr while enjoying a free holiday in DC.

    Even if he’s not aiming to get thrown out, I predict he’ll do something within the letter of the law, but calculated to aggravate, much like a child who’s been told not to touch something, holding their finger just above its surface.

  226. 226
    ischemgeek

    Commenting on Canadian slang cuz it’s basically the only thing that isn’t awful about this whole situation: “hoser” is basically Canadian for “loser”. It used to be a classist derogatory term for those who siphoned gas in the Great Depression (called so because they carried around hoses…) but now is just generally used for loser-in-the-derogatory-sense, not loser-in-the-literal-sense. You’d call a deadbeat a hoser, but not someone who lost a soccer game (unless you’re joking with them).

    Fair warning: You’ll come off a hick or old-fashioned if you use “hoser” in Atlantic Canada, at least – cityfolk don’t use it here. Unless they’re hipsters or joking. “Got hosed” is more common – as in “you got hosed!” which can either mean “got shitfaced drunk” or “got ripped off,” depending on context.

    To the original topic of the post: Those people are assholes and need to learn to find joy in pursuits that aren’t sadistic and malicious.

  227. 227
    Aratina Cage

    Here is someone with something interesting to say about bullying that I was made aware of today on Twitter: Emily Bazelon. According to her, a lot of what people refer to as bullying is really nothing more than conflict, fighting, unkind encounters, or people just being mean (trolling, perhaps). Bullying has to be more than that, she argues, and I agree. Real bullying will look “like a campaign to make someone miserable” (source). That’s been my belief from day one of this, with all the accusations of bullying being flung about by people like Vacula and the rest of the “#FTBullies” shouters. They’re not just wrong about the things FTBers do being bullying (it’s not), they’re also diluting the meaning of the word so much that it has become useless. So let’s just think about it. Who is engaging in a campaign to make other people miserable? The answer seems plain as day to me.

  228. 228
    hjhornbeck

    There are more like that, but I’m bored with posting them. But I wanted to post a sample because Mayhew has been ordering me to remove her from this page, on the grounds that harassment is a crime.

    So posting what someone said about you on your own blog is considered harassment? I suppose Mayhew will now blast the SlymePit for engaging in harassment, as a significant chunk of their posts are quotes about themselves made elsewhere.

  229. 229
    hyperdeath

    Sara Mayhew says:

    Report real online stalking/harassment to ISPs. Using the terms irresponsibly like @pzmyers@opheliabenson hurts real victims.

    Sara Mayhew also says:

    #ftbullies

    Please tell me this was irony. Please.

    Does anyone else get the impression that Mayhew kind of wandered into skepticism? Perhaps if the Jehovah’s Witnesses had knocked on her door first, then she’d be producing a Manga edition of The Watchtower?

  230. 230
    Stacy

    Does anyone else get the impression that Mayhew kind of wandered into skepticism? Perhaps if the Jehovah’s Witnesses had knocked on her door first, then she’d be producing a Manga edition of The Watchtower?

    @hyperdeath, I beg your acceptance of this elegant internet.

  231. 231
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    hjhornbeck – I wondered about that, too.

    I figure that Sarah Mayhew doesn’t mean that what Ophelia is doing is harassment,

    What Sarah Mayhew probably means is that examples of Sarah’s tweets should not be repeated on a page named “….harassment” because using them as examples is the same as accusing Sarah of being a criminal who is committing the crime of harassment. Of course it’s not true that Ophelia implies that this “monitoring/harassment” by Sarah is the same as a crime.

    Sarah Mayhew can’t even keep her own story straight – at least, as I recollect, Sarah is one who sides with the slime-types in proclaiming that verbal and online harassing is NOT a crime because it’s protected as Free Speech. Which, if true, means that it’s perfectly OK for Ophelia to post whatever she freeze-peachedly chooses to copy of Sarah’s regardless of whether or not Sarah starts to feel harassed by it. Suck it up, Sarah!

    Or try suing for libel on the grounds that you’re being accused of being a criminal, you big baby, Sarah.

    Exposure is bad for Sarah Mayhew’s reputation, and she’s a un-selfaware fool for complaining that anyone (Ophelia, say) dares to expose her tweets to public scorn and mockery when she herself was the one who chose to express her sub-standard thoughts for public view in the first place.

  232. 232
    Kevin

    Might I suggest buttons?

    Big red STOP buttons.

    Full text: STOP: Justin Vacula stay away from me.

    Just so there’s no question by him as to who wishes to “speak” with him and who doesn’t.

    You could make it a fund-raiser. $1 a button. Then, his attendance at the conference would actually serve a noble purpose.

  233. 233
    Rob

    Mayhew has been ordering me to remove her from this page, on the grounds that harassment is a crime.
    Funny. Sad, but funny.

  234. 234
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 231 – yes, that’s it; I wasn’t clear. Mayhew told me to remove her name from this page because by putting it here I’m accusing her of a crime. I told her not all harassment rises to the level of a crime and she said “not true” – which seems staggeringly uninformed.

  235. 235
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Ophelia wrote:

    I told her not all harassment rises to the level of a crime and she said “not true” – which seems staggeringly uninformed.

    If I were to pick a two-word phrase that best described Sara Mayhew, ‘staggeringly uninformed’ would probably be it. And I suspect it’s how history will remember her, since she’s rapidly becoming the Sarah Palin of the atheist community.

  236. 236
    michaeld

    It always comes back to youtube comments doesn’t it….

  237. 237
    Ophelia Benson

    Heh. Not with me it doesn’t.

  238. 238
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ophelia:
    I’m so glad I don’t tweet.
    Once again, I’m sorry you have to put up with this crap.
    Sara Mayhew and Justin Vacula are sad, pathetic, attention craving douchebags. I hope your time at WIS2 comes and goes with nary a hint of drama.

  239. 239
    hjhornbeck

    This freakout makes it clear this is all about priviledge, doesn’t it? In the online world, it’s tough to block someone completely, so they can always shove their words into your face. Offline, however, it’s a different story; they have to be physically present to get their word to you. A ban from a conference means they lose their priviledge to say what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, and there’s nothing worse than that.

  240. 240
    A Hermit

    Might I suggest buttons?

    Big red STOP buttons.

    Full text: STOP: Justin Vacula stay away from me.

    Nope, too reminiscent of Harriet Hall’s T-shirt stunt. That would play right into his hands by letting him claim HE’s a target. No need to stoop to their level, let him be the one walking around with the provocative T-Shirt on.

    Best to just ignore him, and if he does try to approach just politely tell him you’re not interested in talking to him and turn your back on him.

    The less drama there is the worse it is for Vacula. Don’t give him what he wants.

  241. 241
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Best to just ignore him, and if he does try to approach just politely tell him you’re not interested in talking to him and turn your back on him.

    Yeah, that sounds like the best idea – if you aren’t someone he’s already threatened with harassment like PZ and Ophelia. Their putting on the record that they want nothing to do with him makes sense given he’s already indicated he hopes to get in their faces; for others that wouldn’t make much sense.

  242. 242
    PZ Myers

    Jeez, that Carl Silverman thingie is just creepy and disturbing. “Claw her breasts…”? What kind of sick fuck draws that kind of thing, or distributes it with a giggle?

    As for Vacula: No, I’m not threatened by him in the slightest. I’m disgusted by him. That’s why I want nothing to do with him; it’s certainly not because I’m afraid. I haven’t threatened him at all, but have only said to stay away from me.

    It’s getting rather annoying that he keeps bringing up the fact that I had my picture taken with him a few years ago. Yes, but it says nothing about him. What it means is that I’m obliging when people come up to me, even strangers, and ask to have their photo taken. I don’t know why he keeps bringing up the fact that I was not hostile; it’s not a testimonial of any kind to his behavior.

    It does say I’m trusting even when ignorant of the people I’m with. Nothing more.

  243. 243
    cethis

    When I first heard about Phil Plait’s “Don’t Be a Dick” speech, I thought he was trying to weaken skeptical activism. After seeing Sara Mayhew and Justin Vacula’s comments over the months, I now understand what Phil was talking about. Phil was ahead of his time, and I’d liked he think he would have steered the JREF in a better direction had he stayed on as president.

    PZ, don’t feel too bad. My first skeptical speech mentioned Sara, and when I first met her, I said I liked her work. I still like her art, but I’ve since see how immature she is.

  244. 244
    Stacy

    wiscfi is already an unwelcoming atmosphere…

    I feel a sudden urge to get a tee shirt made.

  245. 245
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Ophelia Benson : You have my admiration and respect and my sympathies for being put through this hate campaign for whatever little that may be worth.

    Vacula and your fellow slimepitters – you seem to be such utterly contemptible, sad and petty people. My advice to you is just drop this whole issue and rethink your lives and attitudes. Please.

    Justin Vacula if you do go to the Women In Scepticism Secularism [ed] conference you have an opportunity.

    An opportunity to sit back, listen seriously, learn and gain a new perspective or two and an improved understanding and appreciation of others views.

    Alternatively its an opportunity if you so so to be a silly schmuck who perhaps annoys a few people who already dislike you, humiliate yourself and perhaps get thrown out for your own misbehaviour.

    So you probably have an opportunity here to surprise us and prove us wrog about you by choosing wisely -the former option over the latter one. That’s my challenge to you, refute me, Ophelia, PZ and others by showing you can behave like a reasonable decent human being who is capable of learning and not just being a internet clown whose unfunny performances turn off and disgust most people who encounter you.

  246. 246
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    It’s funny how Vacula leaves out the all important “just leave me alone” part of yours and PZ’s message.
    I guess funny isn’t the right word. The word is dishonest

  247. 247
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @236.michaeld :It always comes back to youtube comments doesn’t it….

    Does it?

    Meh, I’m not too fussed with youtube comments myself and think of many, many more important things in life than them. Not that all youtube comment are bad but just, meh, they’re not something I’d usually regard as having much significance.

  248. 248
    carlie

    I told her not all harassment rises to the level of a crime and she said “not true”

    That’s the thing with them, isn’ t it? Either it’s illegal behavior, or it’s perfectly ok and STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. There is no room in their worldview for actions that are legal, but still should be refrained from if you want to exist in society.

  249. 249
    Brian E

    I just wrote a post that I thought cool and witty, I clicked submit, and I was told I wasn’t logged in. I clicked ‘back’ and the ‘cool and witty’ was gone. So, I’ll just say, respect Ophelia. You have mine.

  250. 250
    Sassafras

    Mayhew told me to remove her name from this page because by putting it here I’m accusing her of a crime. I told her not all harassment rises to the level of a crime and she said “not true” – which seems staggeringly uninformed.

    That must be why all incidents of workplace harrassment end in arrests, not firings or civil lawsuits.

    wait

  251. 251
    Kevin

    @245 SteveR: Beauty is only skin deep, but schmuck goes clear down to the bone.

    Now, like most bullies, I think this one is fundamentally a scared little boy with massive self-esteem issues. Like most bullies, he strikes when he is protected and safe from repercussions. And especially when he has a cadre of hangers-on sniggering in the background and prodding him to misbehave.

    If any of the rest of the slyme is at the conference, they might goad him into unacceptable behavior — but if left to his own devices, my prediction is that he’ll be way too insecure to “pull” anything other than to try to shake PZ’s hand (or whatever).

    I have long advocated ostracizing and minimizing contact with bullies and harassers. This is a perfect opportunity to just ignore him. Turn and walk away if approached, don’t respond if spoken to, move one seat over if sat next to, and all the rest. If not. one. word. is spoken to him during the entire conference, maybe just maybe he’ll start to get the idea that behavior has consequences.

    But schmuck does go clear down to the bone, so I don’t have any hopes. He’s just too self-absorbed to have any empathy for those around him. No matter what happens, he’s going to make the weekend about him, which is a shame for the conference organizers. I hope the output from the meeting (eg, YouTube videos) is devoid of his presence. I’m more interested in what’s going to be presented than I am the antics of this ass.

  252. 252
    doubtthat

    What I love about this is that it’s yet another case of those folks being prepared for OUTRAGE no matter what happens.

    Ophelia preemptively warns Vacula not to approach her, putting him on notice that she’s not interested in his “dialog,” and they whine and cry about…something. I’m not entirely clear what they’re upset about.

    If Ophelia doesn’t send that message and instead uses the PUBLICLY AVAILABLE policies of the conference to have Vacula removed when he approaches and bothers her, then they whine and cry about nobody warning poor Vacula and if you read the online dictionary (and only read the definition that suits your purpose) harassment requires more than one incident, so Ophelia or PZ or whoever just set up Vacula and is being irrational…blah blah.

    it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  253. 253
    Ophelia Benson

    Vacula posted a comment on that revolting “kick her in the cunt and claw her breasts” picture – a comment jeering at me for documenting it.

    I was thinking he possibly hadn’t seen it yet, and possibly would have the common sense to remove it. But no. He’s fine with it.

    That’s useful to know.

  254. 254
    SallyStrange

    That’s the thing with them, isn’ t it? Either it’s illegal behavior, or it’s perfectly ok and STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. There is no room in their worldview for actions that are legal, but still should be refrained from if you want to exist in society.

    Yup, that was exactly Thunderfoot’s stance on sexual harassment: either take it to the cops, or STFU. Since taking it to the cops is a pain in the ass and unlikely to help, it’s a pretty handy recipe for getting everyone to STFU.

  255. 255
    Argle Bargle

    Kevin @251

    I have long advocated ostracizing and minimizing contact with bullies and harassers. This is a perfect opportunity to just ignore him. Turn and walk away if approached, don’t respond if spoken to, move one seat over if sat next to, and all the rest. If not. one. word. is spoken to him during the entire conference, maybe just maybe he’ll start to get the idea that behavior has consequences.

    You obviously have little experience with bullies. It takes two people to ignore bullies, the one doing the ignoring and the one to be ignored. The ignorer can ignore all they want but if the ignoree refuses to be ignored then ignoring the ignoree is useless.

  256. 256
    Ophelia Benson

    Travis Roy said exactly that to me on Twitter yesterday – report it to law enforcement or ISP, or shut up. (Not literally “shut up,” but “why post about it?”)

  257. 257
    kaboobie

    Phil was ahead of his time, and I’d liked he think he would have steered the JREF in a better direction had he stayed on as president.

    I’ve had that same thought on many occasions. He certainly would never have accused female bloggers of frightening women from going to TAM, or dismissed harrassment complaints as “locker room talk about regretted sexual exploits”.

  258. 258
    Anthony K

    Travis Roy said exactly that to me on Twitter yesterday – report it to law enforcement or ISP, or shut up. (Not literally “shut up,” but “why post about it?”)

    How very odd. For all the ink such self-styled skeptics spill over the supposed terrible actions of Greg Laden, I’m unaware of any of them actually reporting him to law enforcement, as per their advice.

  259. 259
    chasstewart

    How’d you catch my conversation with Peter Ferguson? I thought we’d not bother you by just saying OB.

  260. 260
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Ulysses & Kevin – I think there’s two very different kinds of ignoring. If ONE person, the victim, ignores the bully, then it’s no good. In general the bully will escalate until they do get a reaction. But if a large number of people in concert deliberately ignore the bully – even when they’re not the targets, even when he’s not in the act of bullying – then it’s a social act (shunning) that lets the bully know they’re not welcome in that community. I’m not quite sure which you are discussing.

    Also, here’s a large pile of virtual hugs, cookies, puppies, shoes and pineapple desserts for Ophelia

  261. 261
    Aratina Cage

    How’d you catch my conversation with Peter Ferguson? I thought we’d not bother you by just saying OB. –chasstewart

    How’d you get wind of this post? (Oh! Got you there!) But seriously, quit playing Charlie Brown. You thought using her initials to make fun of her would not bother her? How daft can you get?

  262. 262
    chasstewart

    I guess I was making fun of her but more making fun of the way words can seem more aggressive than they are meant (even when the receiver is being honest and not twisting the speaker’s words needlessly). and Benson’s example was fresh on my mind.

    I think we can easily assume that a blog published by a popular network has a greater chance of catching my attention than a twitter conversation between one unknown dude and a blogger.

  263. 263
    Aratina Cage

    I guess I was making fun of her but more making fun of the way words can seem more aggressive than they are meant (even when the receiver is being honest and not twisting the speaker’s words needlessly). and Benson’s example was fresh on my mind.

    Hey, we all know where you stand on that issue: Not a single one of you should have tweeted about that tweet of hers until you had called up Benson on the phone and asked her privately about what she had meant. But you didn’t do that, did you? NOOOooooOOO! You all ran with your blatantly wrong misinterpretation of what she had tweeted and berated her about it to everyone you could including disinterested third parties. Bad form, Chas. Bad form. You should be apologizing to her still to this day for what you did, not mocking her over your misunderstanding!

    I think we can easily assume that a blog published by a popular network has a greater chance of catching my attention than a twitter conversation between one unknown dude and a blogger

    You’re killing me, Chas, with all this doubling down. It would be best for you to admit that there is nothing wrong with what the blog host has done regarding your tweet and move on.

  264. 264
    peterferguson

    Not a single one of you should have tweeted about that tweet of hers until you had called up Benson on the phone and asked her privately about what she had meant. But you didn’t do that, did you? NOOOooooOOO! You all ran with your blatantly wrong misinterpretation of what she had tweeted and berated her about it to everyone you could including disinterested third parties.

    I don’t know what Chas said during that whole debacle, I can only speak for myself. But I defended Ophelia and said that A) they should have asked for clarification and B) they should have accepted her explanation. I can provide the tweets if you like, but I’ve never seen you let proof stand in your way of making unevidenced assertions. It is only in that context, and the context of the conversation that preceded, can that tweet be properly interpreted. But my tweet was taken out of context and taken in the worst possible manner.

    I also find it interesting that you, rightly so, decry the misinterpretation of tweets but defend Ophelia who has done the same to mine, and who has also refused to rectify these misinterpretations even though I have informed her above that I did not tag her in the tweets – she was already tagged – I simply hit the reply button on a tweet that appeared on my feed. I do believe that is one of the functions of Twitter. The third was also a reply to Ophelia who sent a tweet to me. Despite me informing Ophelia of these facts, she has refused to acknowledge them and amend the misinformation contained in the above post.

  265. 265
    daniellavine

    peterferguson@264:

    You keep whining like that and people are going to start mistaking you for a professional victim.

  266. 266
    Aratina Cage

    Vacula is back at it again today, chirping aggressively at you.

  267. 267
    Aratina Cage

    Peter,

    I also find it interesting that you, rightly so, decry the misinterpretation of tweets but defend Ophelia who has done the same to mine, and who has also refused to rectify these misinterpretations even though I have informed her above that I did not tag her in the tweets – she was already tagged – I simply hit the reply button on a tweet that appeared on my feed. I do believe that is one of the functions of Twitter. The third was also a reply to Ophelia who sent a tweet to me. Despite me informing Ophelia of these facts, she has refused to acknowledge them and amend the misinformation contained in the above post.

    Hmmm…

    I want to be the OB of SIN. Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V

    Nope, no misinterpretation there, just mean-spirited sniping about her from you. By the way, don’t ever quote anyone again. I wouldn’t want to see you violate your own standards, after all!

    I defended Ophelia and said that A) they should have asked for clarification and B) they should have accepted her explanation. I can provide the tweets if you like, but I’ve never seen you let proof stand in your way of making unevidenced assertions.

    Stop trying to deflect–let’s see the tweets, Pete!

  268. 268
    peterferguson

    https://twitter.com/Humanisticus/status/307476922554802177

    To add some context. The discussion was not just about who the #stupidbitch was directed towards but also about whether it was originally ambiguous or not. I argued that is was ambiguous to begin with but people should have asked first and accepted her clarification instead of jumping the gun and trying to misrepresent Ophelia. I even said anyone who said Ophelia was calling GWW a bitch after her clarification are being idiots.

    Now, how about you answer why you have double standards regarding people misrepresenting tweets?

  269. 269
    daniellavine

    peterferguson@268:

    What if you idiots just entirely stopped obsessing over OB and PZ? Then there wouldn’t be any reason to misinterpret anyone’s tweets, right?

    If you can’t understand why you’d get “misinterpreted” after saying stuff like what Aratina Cage quoted you saying in 267 then you’re pretty clueless.

    When you stop joining in the slimepit circle jerk and start consistently calling out bad behavior on that side maybe you’ll get a little more respect from people one the other side. “Hey, I was being fair that one time!” just ain’t that much to brag about.

  270. 270
    peterferguson

    What if you idiots just entirely stopped obsessing over OB and PZ? Then there wouldn’t be any reason to misinterpret anyone’s tweets, right?

    I rarely, if ever, talk about or mention PZ or Ophelia. I’d say I mentioned either of them a total of 5-6 times in a total of six months and I have never written a blog post about them. Is that obsessing? I fear you are attributing other people’s actions to me.

    If you can’t understand why you’d get “misinterpreted” after saying stuff like what Aratina Cage quoted you saying in 267 then you’re pretty clueless.

    I was talking about that tweet, I was discussing the other three. I understand how that tweet looked and I have apologised above.

  271. 271
    Ophelia Benson

    Peter – ok, I accept your apology.

    I don’t take the tweet you provided as really great evidence for your non-hostility or whatever you’re claiming, since it concludes with “But claiming it wasn’t originally ambiguous is dishonest.” But whatever. If you want to start over, I’ll be happy to. It’s true that you don’t (as far as I know) do anything like the amount of jeering and sneering that the truly dedicated assholes do.

  272. 272
    Ophelia Benson

    Vacula is chirping at me today? [sigh] Where?

  273. 273
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, I see it.

  274. 274
    peterferguson

    I don’t take the tweet you provided as really great evidence for your non-hostility

    It was evidence for Aratina that I wasn’t one of those who “ran with your blatantly wrong misinterpretation of what she had tweeted and berated her about it”, it was not evidence of my non-hostility; however, surely my complete lack of hostility is evidence of my non-hostility – innocent until proven guilty and all that.

    It’s true that you don’t (as far as I know) do anything like the amount of jeering and sneering that the truly dedicated assholes do.

    Or any jeering and sneering in fact. I rarely comment on the on-goings of the atheist/skeptic community, I mainly focus on the issues at home (Ireland). And in the rare occasion I do comment I try to be subjective and respectful (I, of course, fail at times, I am human)

    If you want to start over, I’ll be happy to.

    I’d be happy to do so too but I would need an admittance that my tweets (the other 3) were not “creepy and harassy”. As I said before, I did not tag you, a tweet came across my feed and I simply hit the reply button, it’s something I do a dozen times a day, a hundred times a week.

  275. 275
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @peterferguson : First rule of holes – stop digging. I suggest you please drop this now. Take a break from this thread and maybe the computer for a while. I find that can sometimes help.

    @ 245. (me)

    if you do go to the Women In Scepticism Secularism [ed] conference

    D’oh! Of course. (Blushes.) Sorry – and thanks for fixing it OB.

  276. 276
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    PS. Guess many of you will already have seen this post :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/04/30/a-familiar-story-of-pettiness-and-spite/

    on Lousy Canuck but if not, well worth a read and a follow through to the linked story there too.

  277. 277
    daniellavine

    peterferguson@274:

    I rarely, if ever, talk about or mention PZ or Ophelia. I’d say I mentioned either of them a total of 5-6 times in a total of six months and I have never written a blog post about them. Is that obsessing? I fear you are attributing other people’s actions to me.

    As I said before, you’re part of the pit circle jerk. I can’t tell you idiots apart. Say a bunch of people form a circle around someone taunting that person. It’s not necessarily obvious that one of the people was just standing there cheering his buddies on instead of joining in.

    In fact, one could take cheering the buddies on as part of the taunting. It’s hard to tell.

    Yes, I’m attributing other people’s actions to you because you not only fail to vocally disapprove of those actions but actually seem to support those actions. Surprised? Well guess what, buddy, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what you say in particular. Why would I? All I see is the circle of bullies and you standing there as part of it.

    Quoting myself:

    When you stop joining in the slimepit circle jerk and start consistently calling out bad behavior on that side maybe you’ll get a little more respect from people one the other side. “Hey, I was being fair that one time!” just ain’t that much to brag about.

  278. 278
    Donnie

    Seriously, is Justin Vacula the Sarah Palin of the athiest/skeptical movement, or is that too big of an insult…to Sarah Palin. Read Ed’s “Sarah Palin: Is that bitter I smell” and replace Sarah Palin with Justin Vacula’s name and the parallels are eerie. A person desperately trying to cling to “fame” and lashing out at others in order to stay in the limelight.

    Justin “a professional victim” Vacula

  279. 279
    Ophelia Benson

    Peter Ferguson – no. I said if you want to start over – and that’s it. Daniel @ 277 put the reasons very well.

  280. 280
    peterferguson

    As I said before, you’re part of the pit circle jerk. I can’t tell you idiots apart. Say a bunch of people form a circle around someone taunting that person. It’s not necessarily obvious that one of the people was just standing there cheering his buddies on instead of joining in.

    How am I part of the circle jerk? How am I cheering them on? Care to provide evidence for any of these assertions?

    Yes, I’m attributing other people’s actions to you because you not only fail to vocally disapprove of those actions but actually seem to support those actions.

    Again, any evidence to support this? This is a skeptic blog, surely claims should be backed up by evidence, no?

    There seems to prepossessed conclusion and in their effort to arrive at it people are either making unevidenced claims or resorting to personal invectives.

    Also, even if these claims were true (they’re not), does it give somebody the right to misrepresent somebodies tweets as “harassy and creepy”? No, of course it doesn’t.

  281. 281
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh for fuck’s sake, Peter. From my point of view the tweets were harassy and creepy. I didn’t “misrepresent” them. You say you didn’t intend them to be harassy and creepy; ok, I’ll take your word for it, but no I’m not going to say they didn’t come across as harassy and creepy. It’s not my fault that you apparently didn’t understand the context you were operating in.

  282. 282
    Argle Bargle

    Peter Ferguson,

    You might consider dropping out of this conversation. All you’re doing is digging deeper and deeper. You may (and that’s MAY) not have been creepy and harassy in this particular instance, but considering the company you keep, it’s not unreasonable to lump you in with the creepy harassers.

  283. 283
    peterferguson

    Ulysses,

    What company do I keep? I don’t know what you are on about here.

  284. 284
    Anthony K

    What company do I keep? I don’t know what you are on about here.

    Maybe have somebody else tweet some sensible replies to the people here, Peter, and you can simply retweet them, since you apparently have no fucking idea of what’s going on and you’re simply one of those drinking bird desk toys that bobs its head up and down, hitting the ‘retweet’ button a dozen times a day, a hundred times a week.

    For fuck’s fucking sake.

  285. 285
    daniellavine

    How am I part of the circle jerk? How am I cheering them on? Care to provide evidence for any of these assertions?

    Doing enough “research” to find examples would lead to an afternoon of nausea — something I’m not willing to put up with to hold your hand through the bloody fucking obvious.

    How would you describe your relationship with the ‘pit?

    Not everyone who disagrees with you is some misogynist against inclusiveness.

    Sounds like a context-free parroting of the ‘pit party line to me. And that’s one of the tweets you stand by.

  286. 286
    peterferguson

    Daniel

    Doing enough “research” to find examples would lead to an afternoon of nausea — something I’m not willing to put up with to hold your hand through the bloody fucking obvious.

    If you haven’t the evidence already then how did you come to the conclusion? Surely, as a “skeptic”, you didn’t come up with a conclusion without viewing the evidence first? And if you you are not willing to collect the evidence then how about you don’t make untrue assertions – skepticism 101.

    And it’s not “context-free”, it was reply to a tweet and only makes sense when viewing the tweet I was replying to, it is not my fault Ophelia decided to take a tweet out of context. Also, have a look at what is happening here, I am being lumped in with the ‘pit and the harassers, based on what? Nothing – not a shred of evidence has been presented. This shows my tweet clearly has some validity. As for my relationship with the ‘pit, I don’t have one, never been on it.

    Ophelia,

    If you want to utilise that logic, if you want to represent my tweets as harassy and creepy despite their intent then the people who said that you called GWW a stupid bitch can do so. You simply can’t have it both ways. You can’t decry how people misrepresent yours intentions based their perception while misrepresenting my intentions based on your perception.

    Also there are facts which are being misrepresented despite me pointing out the truth numerous times:

    “I can’t imagine what he tagged me in these tweets for.” – I already explained I didn’t tag you, I simply hit reply

    “Maybe he does it every day, I don’t know.” – I clearly don’t.

    “It’s creepy and harassy to tag people that way.” – Like I said, I didn’t tag you.

    Regarding the third tweet:

    “Ya I have no idea what that means, and no idea why he addressed it to me.” – I already explained this tweet was a reply to a tweet you sent me, that is why it was addressed to you.

  287. 287
    oolon

    I feel I must speak up for Pete here as he is a well known “harsh critic” of the Slymepit, in his own words. Now mind you after many tweets and comments politely [honest] asking for one citation, anything, searching his blog posts and public pronouncements I found nothing. It does look bad, especially his tendency to accidentally parrot pit memes. However I can proudly announce I found the harsh criticism, it was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’. Totally my fault for not finding it, why did I ever doubt him? So I think that really should clear it all up for us and anyone being mean to him might deserve some of his harsh criticism, so be afraid.

  288. 288
    daniellavine

    If you haven’t the evidence already then how did you come to the conclusion? Surely, as a “skeptic”, you didn’t come up with a conclusion without viewing the evidence first? And if you you are not willing to collect the evidence then how about you don’t make untrue assertions – skepticism 101.

    Then I guess I’m not a “skeptic”. Oh woe is me, some idiot I’ve never met named Peter Ferguson is going to lose all respect for my “skeptical credibility.”

    And it’s not “context-free”, it was reply to a tweet and only makes sense when viewing the tweet I was replying to, it is not my fault Ophelia decided to take a tweet out of context.

    It’s context-free in the sense that it’s not clear what you’re characterizing as an “accusation of misogyny”, nor do you directly deal with the accusation — you simply deny that you’re a misogynist. Perhaps the initial tweet did not actually accuse you of being misogynist — I just don’t know. That would be consistent with the behavior of many ‘pitters who take umbrage at being called, for example, “potential rapists” even though in context that is quite clearly not an accusation or insult (in fact, it’s a fairly obvious observation that follows directly from the problem of other minds).

    Also, have a look at what is happening here, I am being lumped in with the ‘pit and the harassers, based on what? Nothing – not a shred of evidence has been presented. This shows my tweet clearly has some validity. As for my relationship with the ‘pit, I don’t have one, never been on it.

    Nonetheless, the evidence just in this thread shows you parroting ‘pit memes. Perhaps if the “Ctl C Ctl V” thing was a legitimate criticism in the first place one might excuse you for having repeated it. As it is, it looks like back-patting between you and the ‘pitters. (Or perhaps more like sucking up to the ‘pitters. “I’m saying the same things you are! Acknowledge me! Follow me on twitter!”) Ditto with the “misogyny” thing.

    When I was picked on in school I didn’t go about investigating the social circles of the people tormenting me or spend a lot of time trying to determine whether they colluded on their taunts or arrived at them independently. I avoided them. Ophelia does not have that luxury. So she find some other ways of dealing with the taunting — documenting some of it for one. Your taunts look exactly like all the others so they get lumped in with the others. Do you really expect her or anyone else to make a deep investigation into the internet history of every single person throwing these same taunts around? Or do you think she should just make that kind of effort for you and no one else, you special little snowflake?

  289. 289
    daniellavine

    Note on accusations of misogyny: it’s pretty fucking obvious to me that one can be racist without realizing or acknowledging as much. In fact, it happens all the time. “I’m not racist, I just think black people are naturally violent.” Stuff like that.

    It follows that not believing oneself to be a misogynist — and indeed, not having any conscious misogynistic intent — does not mean that one is not actually a misogynist. Again, racists often believe themselves not to be racist and not to have racist intentions. They often believe their racist beliefs are not racist but simple truth corroborated by empirical evidence.

    Thus the bare denial of misogyny is meaningless.

    Besides that, there is no clear fact of the matter of whether a person, behavior, or attitude constitutes “misogyny”. Clearly whether or not something constitutes “sexism” or “racism” or “misogyny” or any other kind of bigotry is at some level a moral question. If we were religious we could adjudicate such disputes by referring to scripture. Since we are not and do not accept an authoritarian moral creed there will doubtless me conflicts of values — including conflicts about what constitutes “misogyny” — and it’s hardly surprising that some beliefs are believed by others to be “misogynistic” when interpreted through the lens of their own moral values.

    While accusations of “misogyny” where the target thinks they are undeserved are understandably frustrating and while I’d like to discourage flinging around the word “misogyny” in lieu of actual argument the two following principles should be observed:
    1) The belief that one is not a misogynist is not sufficient to make one not a misogynist.
    2) Accusations of misogyny reflect personal opinions about the moral status of the target and a more sensible response than simple dismissal would be to say something like “how are you interpreting my statements such that you think they reflect misogyny on my part?” Or, if one believes the accuser to be too hostile to reason with, to walk away.

    If you need some ridiculously good evidence that misogynists often believe themselves not to be misogynistic and frequently and vehemently claim not to be misogynists I will be happy to provide.

  290. 290
    peterferguson

    Daniel,

    Re your first comment, it is nothing but a combination of the genetic and association fallacies. How about we concentrate on things I actually did myself.

    I wasn’t being accused of being a misogynist, that’s not what I was replying to.

    Re second comment, I agree with pretty much all of it.

  291. 291
    daniellavine

    Again, Peter, I’m not writing a doctoral thesis. I’m explaining to you why you’re getting lumped in with the ‘pitters. If you don’t want to accept the explanation that’s your prerogative, I suppose, but since you keep asking why it happens I thought I’d let you know.

    I just don’t care enough about you to go researching what a wonderful guy you are. You’re not important to me.

  292. 292
    daniellavine

    And if you agree the second comment then you must acknowledge that sometimes disagreeing with someone does make you a misogynist — if only in the opinion of that person and only when disagreeing on certain moral questions.

  293. 293
    peterferguson

    Daniel,

    I’m not asking you to sing my praises, simply asking not be slandered based on little or no evidence, not too much to ask surely.

  294. 294
    peterferguson

    Yes, sometimes. But as I said, I wasn’t accused of being a misogynist so I am unsure of the relevance to this conversation.

  295. 295
    daniellavine

    “Slander” is a massive exaggeration. “Creepy and harassy” isn’t an accusation — it’s a statement of opinion about how those comments come across (kind of hard for subjective impressions to be “false” — they are what they are). You state your intention was not to harass or be creepy. Fine, I accept your intention. I also accept that Ophelia can’t read your fucking mind and her subjective perception of the intention of such statements may be influenced by other factors.

    I’ve already explained at length where Ophelia might have come by that opinion. Again, if you don’t want to accept that explanation I can’t force you.

    The “evidence” is the statements themselves. The “slander” is a statement about how those statements made the target of those statements feel. Yes, asking people not to express how your written statements about them make them feel is a little too much to ask.

  296. 296
    peterferguson

    Agreed with the word slander, should not have used it there.

    I also understand that Ophelia may have perceived my tweets as “harassy and creepy” originally , but after explaining surely I have shown they have been perceived wrongly? Maybe not. Also remember there are some factual errors in the post above, so my contention isn’t simply based on subjective perception.

    Look at an analogous situation, look at how the pitters perceived Ophelia’s tweet to be calling GWW a stupid bitch, by your logic, surely their perception is just as valid, regardless of Ophelia’s intent. You can’t have it both ways.

  297. 297
    kellym

    peterferguson, you Tweeted a false, mean-spirited, Slymepit-generated accusation against Ophelia. And you accuse her of slander? Next time you want to plagiarize a smear, you might want to check to see if it’s true or not. Hint: Slymepitters aren’t the most honest of folks.

  298. 298
    peterferguson

    Kellym

    I have already apologise for that and I have also said slander was the wrong the word to use.

  299. 299
    Ophelia Benson

    Peter. I did an update saying you say you didn’t tag me. Now go away.

  300. 300
    Feline

    Shorter Peter Ferguson:
    I demand an excuse for overhearing when I was badmouthing you with my mates! OR I am too gods damned dumb to understand what I’m saying!

    The hell? I don’t care that you are to stupid to understand the discussion you join, a bully is by fucking definition a person who engages in bullying and I care not one whit why you act this way.

  301. 301
    daniellavine

    Look at an analogous situation, look at how the pitters perceived Ophelia’s tweet to be calling GWW a stupid bitch, by your logic, surely their perception is just as valid, regardless of Ophelia’s intent. You can’t have it both ways.

    It would only be analogous if the pitters were under the same sort of monitoring and constant taunting that Ophelia is. To my knowledge none of them are and so the situation is not analogous.

    I’ve already explained this at length. I’m sure Ophelia would not have had such a negative reception to your tweets if she wasn’t subjected to all this other bullshit. The pitters are looking for excuses to taunt and Ophelia just wants the taunting to stop. Those are very different situations.

  302. 302
    Kevin

    Why surely no one would throw acid in Justin’s face…would they? Maybe hold him down and shave his mustache…or give him a massive wedgie…or invite him to the pig roast as the guest of honor (aka, the pig)…

    Or actually … none of those things.

    But you see what he’s trying to do, right? He’s trying to get someone to actually threaten him with bodily harm so that he can do a tu quoque and withdraw. He’s actually really and truly afraid of being around people who disagree with him. His massive ego hasn’t caught up with his tiny tiny … self-esteem. “Brave hero” indeed.

    Sorry, Justin. Your personhood is safe. Completely and utterly. In fact, if I had to guess, I would think you’d be the most-safe person at the conference. Because everyone will know where you are at all times. Like a family of mongoose watching a snake.

  303. 303
    Anthony K

    We can only hope that the most impressionable of those in opposition to his presence don’t try to play the hero.

    Too late to stop promoting #braveheroism now, fuckhead.

  304. 304
    tonyinbatavia

    Congrats, Theo Ffensivatheist. You are the latest to have contributed to the “You Hate, Ophelia Profits” fund. On behalf of you, though, I’m temporarily renaming the fund to “You Lie Like a Snot Weasel, Ophelia Profits!”

    Just as an aside, I’m particularly fond of the whole “There are some people in the comment section…” Who? Who exactly? It would be incredibly easy for a four-year-old to copy-and-paste the names, yet it’s beyond the ass-kissing Theo to execute that task. If there were actually someone, anyone, posting those types of comments here, that person should/would be called out, shamed, and ridiculed by the other commenters. Instead, because it’s a fiction pulled out of his ass, we are left to point out that Theo is a gaping pusbag and a lying sack of shit.

  305. 305
    sheila

    Kerching! Another small token of my admiration for Ophelia. To be spent however she sees fit, of course.

  306. 306
    Ophelia Benson

    Thanks Tony – and everyone else over the past few days.

    The lying really does surprise me. Every damn time.

  307. 307
    daniellavine

    Look at an analogous situation, look at how the pitters perceived Ophelia’s tweet to be calling GWW a stupid bitch, by your logic, surely their perception is just as valid, regardless of Ophelia’s intent. You can’t have it both ways.

    Incidentally this is another fine example of Peter Ferguson parroting ‘pit talking points without stopping to think about it at all. Are you cheering them on or not, Peter? You can’t have it both ways.

  308. 308
    Argle Bargle

    Why do I have a mental picture of Peter Ferguson typing with one hand while having the other one behind his back with fore and middle finger crossed?

  309. 309
    Stacy

    The only threat posed by Vacula is to our peace of mind, because we know he’s dishonest and he’ll spin any sound bites he gets against us. That’s it. All we want is for him to LEAVE US ALONE.

    We’re not physically afraid of the little douchecanoe. JV, you and your dimwitted followers really need to stop dramatizing everything.

    We can only hope that the most impressionable of those in opposition to his presence don’t try to play the hero.

    Cupcake, the vacuous dude you’re defending so breathlessly? He and his little friends are the only self-styled “Heroes” around the atheo/skeptic blogosphere.

  310. 310
    hyperdeath

    Is “Theo Ffensivatheist” yet another Hoggle sockpuppet?

  311. 311
    Ophelia Benson

    Probably, or maybe it’s someone imitating his heavy-footed “playfulness” with names.

  312. 312
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Sorry, Justin. Your personhood is safe. Completely and utterly. In fact, if I had to guess, I would think you’d be the most-safe person at the conference.

    It’s worth making the point that anti-harassment policies benefit Justin Vacula, too. They work for everyone!

  313. 313
    lpetrich

    Seems like this thread is getting a bit long. Ophelia Benson, it looks like you may have to start another thread for the abuse that you continue to receive.

    BTW, Atheist Skeptic Dialogue | on atheist and skeptic communities and advocacy has gotten bogged down on making a shared statement for the first part, areas of agreement. It’s yet to get to where it would get interesting.

  314. 314
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes, I guess I should start chapter 2 now.

  315. 315
    John-Henry Beck

    I know I’m not the best at picking out trends and all. But it hadn’t occurred to me that Ophelia has any notable tendency to applaud articles making men look bad. Am I just being oblivious, unlike the very observant AmbrosiaX?

  316. 316
    Stacy

    John-Henry Beck, I haven’t noticed that tendency either. But I’m sure AmrosiaX will offer evidence of her claim. Any minute now. What with her being an arbiter of critical thinking and all.

  1. 317
    Pre-emptive announcement » Pharyngula

    [...] I’m going to be at Women in Secularism in a few weeks, which I expect to be great. However, certain nuisances are talking about approaching the people they’ve been harassing online for years, and trying to harass them in real life, getting them to be grist for their podcast mill. Ophelia has made a clear declaration: [...]

  2. 318
    Policing Their Own » Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] 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 hate and threats of rape, violence, and death. I do not want to [...]

  3. 319
    An Open Letter to Ron Lindsay | atheistlogic

    [...] Benson’s Page o’ Nonstop Monitoring and Harassment in which she records all the bullying she receives to try and silence her [...]

  4. 320
    #mencallmethings: “fucking ugly. Kill yourself.” » Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] get the worst of it: other women get it worse than I do, and more consistently. (Documentation; more documentation; still more documentation.) If you’re wondering why we need events like Women in Secularism, [...]

  5. 321
    BREAKING: Palace joins Feminist Hivemind. | perry street palace

    [...] be viciously harassed to this day, as do many who speak out to defend her. So does Jen McCreight. Ophelia Benson. Amy Davis Roth. The brave and brilliant Greta Christina, who has been open about her battles with [...]

  6. 322
    Unskeptical Complaints | Dubito Ergo Sum

    […] feels the need to do so. There are plenty of people on the Block Bot’s lists, and on the various pages documenting this harassment who are perfectly willing to say abusive, offensive, and […]

  7. 323
    Items » Butterflies and Wheels

    […] aimed at women over even the tiniest suggestions of how to make the movement more female-friendly is absolutely stunning. Watson herself has been subject to two years of non-stop online harassment because she made a […]

  8. 324
    THE SELF I’M NOT PROMOTING | The Blog I'm Not Writing

    […] at women over even the tiniest suggestions of how to make the movement more female-friendly is absolutely stunning. Which is, of course, major bad.  But, as little Ms. Sunshine moiself is noticing, the fact […]

  9. 325
    Skepticism and Secularism Have a Serious Sexual Harassment Problem |

    […] aimed at women over even the tiniest suggestions of how to make the movement more female-friendly is absolutely stunning. Watson herself has been subject to two years of nonstop online harassment because she made a […]

  10. 326
    Why We Need to Keep Fighting » Greta Christina's Blog

    […] 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 hate and threats of rape, violence, and death. I do not want to […]

  11. 327
    John Pike: An object lesson in mockery. | perry street palace

    […] right, people: Lt. Pike was treated as badly as a typical rape victim, or a woman on the Internet with an opinion, and thereby permanently […]

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