Against – against against against

It’s been a day for Displaying the Nasty, so I’ll display some more.

There’s a horrible Facebook page called Skeptics and Atheists against Rebecca Watson. It’s public, so you can look at it if you’re on Facebook.

Its profile picture is…symptomatic.

Cute, isn’t it? Just “No Rebecca Watson” – just like that.

And who sets up a page “Against” an individual? Unless the individual is “Mother” Teresa or a bishop or some other truly harmful person of that kind. I reported it to Facebook ages ago, but of course they replied that they’re fine with it. It’s not a woman nursing a baby, so let a thousand flowers bloom, amirite?

Rebecca tweeted about it yesterday (using her dreaded weapon of sarcasm, as usual), so I feel able to post a sample from its wisdom.



And a longer one that I’ll just quote. This is from two days ago, and is no doubt what prompted Rebecca’s tweet.

So with everything being as it is, I just.sent this email to the people over at.SGU. let’s see if we get a reply.

Good day, my name is Cecil Fuson. Together with Brandi Olson and a member of the Atheist news group (A news) we run a small Facebook group that is called Skeptics and Atheists against Rebecca Watson. We currently have 87 members and are growing everyday. It should be noted that a fair number of our fans are also fans of the SGU as well as on the personal friend list of some of the members of the SGU

We were wondering if you could give us a quote and answer a question for us. Why is Rebecca Watson still on the SGU?
It is clear that by her own blog post that she no longer supports the JREF, the CFI or Richard Dawkins. It is clear by the large number of posts, groups and petitions that the Skeptic and Atheist community no longer support Watson. It is clear that Watson uses the fame from programs like the SGU to spread her own agenda and misinformation. While we fully agree that Rebecca Watson has every right to speak her mind, we feel that her actions , no matter how well meaning they may be, are doing more damage than good.
the SGU seems to support the same groups that Watson boycotts and the same groups that want nothing to do with Watson.
So with the public opinion being what it is, why dose Rebecca Watson still have a spot on the SGU?

Thank you for your time. And we hope to get a reply soon.

 Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, are they.

Update Just to round out the picture – a couple of posts from May 20, the day the page was born.


How stupid is that? It starts by talking about “pushing particular philosophies or ideologies” and then instantly changes its mind and talks about “her personality” instead.

Plus it announces that she’s divisive and hostile, on a brand new page set up to be hostile and divisive.


Nothing creepy about that. Nothing divisive and hostile about that, or authoritarian, either. Nothing there that’s anathema to the free exchange of ideas. Gosh no.


  1. ajb47 says

    It is clear by the large number of posts, groups and petitions that the Skeptic and Atheist community no longer support Watson.

    From what I’ve read, the “large number” of crap is all by the same people. Which actually does seem pretty clear to me.

  2. LeftSidePositive says

    Reading that actually just makes me wonder–when is the SGU going to show some decency and stop supporting the JREF and RDF?

    Probably not the reaction Fuson et al hoped for.

  3. seraphymcrash says

    Actually, I think they may have a case for Rebecca Watson being “Authoritarian”. There was that petition to get her removed from SGU, and Rebecca Watson signed it. But then Rebecca Watson didn’t remove Rebecca Watson from SGU. *GASP*

    She’s so mad with her own power that she won’t even do what she wants!

  4. says

    “personal friend list”

    Let me repeat that: “personal friend list”

    Not “we’re your friends”. Not “we interact with you on a friendly basis”. No, their claim to relevance is “some of you accepted friend requests on Facebook once”. To tell you exactly how much that means, Rebecca herself had to unfriend several of the people who liked that page. I had to unfriend one. I couldn’t remember ever having seen his name before.

  5. says

    That petition, seraphymcrash, appears to have been from the same guy, Cecil Fuson. I like how he pretends that “the Skeptic and Atheist community no longer support Watson,” when his petition couldn’t garner more than a few hundred signatures, even when 4/5 of the ones on the main page are jokes.

    I guess when the facts don’t make your point, you just make up new facts. It’s the skeptical way!

  6. says

    Some of us have been trying to press them for specifics on what’s so bad about Watson other than her opposition to sexual harassment. She speaks out against prominent members of the atheist movement, which hurts atheism, apparently. Speaking out against her is different, though. It’s like punching smoke.

  7. bcmystery says

    Rebecca Watson is pretty much the only reason I still listen to SGU. It’s a little too thigh-slappy, boys-club for me when she’s absent. And the TAM connection just gets more and more troubling with each new revelation.

  8. tuibguy says

    Considering that Rebecca is one of the main reasons that I listen to the show, I think I should start a meaningless petition to DEMAND that she is kept on the show.

    I don’t think that the Novellas are offended by her personality, by the way, and like having her as part of the podcast.

  9. says

    I’m with bcmystery and tuibguy, in that I don’t think I’d continue listening to SGU without Watson. Not that I’ve ever been all that impressed, but I think she’s a notable addition to it. (I also note that she seems to do pretty well on that ‘science of fiction’ thing considering being younger and less of an (academic) science background…)

    As far as the first sample post goes, I can grasp where they’d get accusations of divisive and hostile. But authoritarian?

  10. F [is for failure to emerge] says


    Does anyone take these guys seriously? Or do they just note them for examples and thank them for publicly declaring how idiotic and juvenile they are.

    It is clear that by her own blog post that she no longer supports the JREF, the CFI or Richard Dawkins.

    Wait, so who was the authoritarian again? It is to lol.

  11. Scr... Archivist says

    I wonder how many of these RW-haters were guys asking her to marry them back when she first joined SGU.

  12. notsont says

    I wonder how many of these RW-haters were guys asking her to marry them back when she first joined SGU.

    I would bet folding money, at least half. I remember those and I remember thinking it was really creepy at the time.

  13. Pieter B, FCD says

    I enjoy SGU a good deal. I have listened to the shows prior to Rebecca’s joining as a full-time Rogue, and IMO they don’t have the same chemistry. I spend my commute listening to podcasts, and Monday always begins (and usually ends) with SGU.

    When Ophelia and I reported the page back at the end of May, it had IIRC about 74 likes/members. Despite “growing everyday (sic),” they have yet to break 100 members, at least as of yesterday. I am also amused by the thought of a relatively slow-moving page with fewer than 100 members having “staff.” Clearly Mr Fuson suffers from delusions of adequacy.

  14. fwtbc says

    Oh, their group has 87 members.


    Yeah, real compelling case you’ve got there, dipshit.

  15. dogeared, spotted and foxed says

    The best part is the link to AVfM. Really doesn’t jibe with their pseudo-neutral “concern.”

  16. Loqi says

    How dare she not support Richard Dawkins?! This is an outrage. I bet she doesn’t even do the Dawkins salute when someone says the word “evolution.”

  17. Bjarte Foshaug says

    the SGU seems to support the same groups that Watson boycotts and the same groups that want nothing to do with Watson.

    Which is a major part of the reason why I unsubscribed. The final nail in the coffin for me was when they did that awful interview with Jamy Ian Swiss from last year’s TAM. In the context of everything that had happened before then, that interview couldn’t have made it clearer which side Novella and his little fanclub are on. I didn’t even finish the episode and haven’t listen to them since.

    Oh, and btw. I know you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but if Perry Di Angelis was no fucking skeptic. His views on climate change were definitely 100 % ideology-based and 0% science-based. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember hearing him make a single argument – on any topic what so ever – that didn’t boil down to Come oooooon!

  18. great1american1satan says

    Trini- That deserves to be repeated in all caps with a larger font size. Let’s start a dialog with that page’s fans! We can compromise! *blurrggggggh*

  19. says

    Really weird, assuming the SGU sacked RW to appease the shitweasel brigade and hired say Sara Mayhew to replace her… Would I create a facebook page “against” Sara Mayhew because she/SGU didn’t respond to my petulant demands to remove her? (Not that I would demand that, hiring is up to them) No, I’d stop listening to them… I also wouldn’t specifically listen to find every little error by her and blow it up into some case against her intelligence. Same as Bob (I think) in the latest one not knowing that the displays at the Smithsonian are called dioramas (I think he called them panoramas) and needing to be corrected by RW doesn’t make him a total fool.

  20. says

    Bjarte: I’m not sure that’s entirely fair. Rebecca’s said (and I think Steve has as well) that the guys support her 100%, I just think they’re mostly oblivious to the harassment issue and the associated history.

    That said, there have definitely been some times recently where I’ve just skipped the interviews.

  21. Arawhon says

    If you have a facebook account, report the page. Facebook usually requires several reports before it does anything about the page.

  22. jefers says

    If I hadn’t seen all the evidence of this bizarre animus against her I’d probably think it was being exaggerated. People have spent so much time and expended so much effort trying to make her life more difficult that I’m utterly at a loss as to how they think it’s proportionate to anything she’s ever said or done.

  23. says

    How can you see the identities of those who Liked the page?

    When I visited it, it reported how many of my facebook friends “liked” the page, and offered a list of my other friends to recommend it to, in a box on the right hand side.

    I’m happy to report that of my 5,000 facebook friends, only one liked it. And now when I go there, it shows that none of my friends liked it.

  24. says

    So once again the “Men’s Movement” act like junior-high-school mouth-breathers, with the same relentlessly personal cyber-bullying we’ve seen from teenagers. I can’t find the words to describe how surprised I’m not.

  25. kaboobie says

    My heart sinks a little bit when I don’t hear Rebecca’s intro at the beginning of SGU. I enjoy the Novellas and Evan, but sometimes without Rebecca’s presence it gets into a bit of a pissing contest (in one case, literally, as they recounted Jay’s childhood ability to pee really far).

    These campaigns to remove Rebecca have happened before, and they will happen again. I do think the rest of the cast genuinely supports her. At last year’s live SGU at Dragon Con, Jay brought up a whiny douchebro email they received and said Steve eviscerated the guy in his reply. Sure, I would like it if the rest of the rogues stopped supporting TAM and the JREF, but I can relate to their deep affection to Randi.

  26. freemage says

    I laughed at one post–the one where they asked for a chance to talk to RW directly. The narcissism is strong in this one.

  27. kellym says

    When I visited it, it reported how many of my facebook friends “liked” the page, and offered a list of my other friends to recommend it to, in a box on the right hand side.

    Thanks PZ, I just saw the “Invite Your Friends to Like” part. But none of my friends are shitheads, so I won’t be sending any invitations.

  28. Pieter B, FCD says

    I have a deep and long-lived (50+ years) affection for Mr Randi. When he asked for pledges to raise the Challenge from $10,000 to $100,000, I was in the front rank of those personally pledging $1000 to be remitted should someone win the prize, and it would have hurt a lot to pay up. I think I still have my Pigasus card from that campaign. Randi said when he asked for pledges that it was obvious that he could sandbag the challenge with a shill and run off to Rio with the money, but that if we knew him we’d know he wouldn’t do that.

    However, I cannot support TAM or JREF until things change. It grieves me to think I may never see Mr Randi again, but my principles won’t let me do otherwise, just as Randi’s wouldn’t let him swindle his backers.

  29. yazikus says

    I just reported it, and loved (and by loved I mean did not love) how they have a special choice for “targets a religious group”, but nothing for plain old bullying. Super job Facebook!

  30. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Just saw one of the shitheads on Twitter accuse us of having “a narrow view of social justice.” Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Holy dogturds, Batman, they’re the ones who don’t care about anything that doesn’t affect them personally! But we’re the narrow ones.

  31. says

    I was going to like the page so I could better keep up on their posts, which are a great opportunity for Socratic trolling. Look at all the knots they’ve twisted themselves into trying to argue that they don’t support sexual harassment and don’t advocate unquestioning loyalty to JREF and have other, totally legit reasons to campaign against Watson, who they don’t hate. That seems like a fast way to get unfriended, though.

  32. kellym says

    Pieter B, FCD:

    I have a deep and long-lived (50+ years) affection for Mr Randi. When he asked for pledges to raise the Challenge from $10,000 to $100,000

    My affection for Randi is also decades long (30+ years, from when I was a ten-year-old nerd). And I remember the $10k Challenge, too. It physically sickens me that DJ Grothe pissed away all of that goodwill with his personal support of misogyny-based harassment and now unambiguous rape apology. The way he treated Amy Davis-Roth, who over the years had raised tens of thousands of dollars for the JREF, alone should have gotten him fired immediately.
    Randi and DJ will be speaking at a conference local to me this November (Freethought Florida). I won’t be attending.

  33. Sili says

    I wouldn’t really mind if Rebecca left the SGU by now.

    It’d be a good way for me to avoid having to listen to Jay and Evan. Bob is getting on my nerves, too.

  34. says

    I go driving from Newfoundland to New York City over three days and all hell breaks loose. Well, at least I had beautiful vistas and hopefully they equal the beauty the atheism and skeptic movements will have in five years once all the shit is shovelled.


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