Quantcast

«

»

Aug 31 2013

Thunderfoot shocked to learn he can’t harass believers

It’s definitely asshole Saturday.

Thunderfoot has a new video about how feminism is roooning atheism, part 5. Yes seriously, it’s part 5.

I watched almost 5 minutes of it. He gets his facts wrong. He starts by saying American Atheists “just” invited PZ to speak at the next convention, after he went and did that terrible thing by posting the email a woman sent him about Michael Shermer. Wrong. They asked him long before the post. It’s laughably easy to confirm that, because they also announced it before the post.

Mason never pauses, in the part I watched, to ask himself what if it’s true. He never pauses to consider the grapevine reports that have been circulating for years. He just rages about PZ and feminism.

And he rages at American Atheists’ harassment policy, and the fact that it says you can’t harass people based on a long list of things, one of which is religion.

So?

Imagine someone religious attends the convention, out of interest or curiosity or whatever. (Or because she’s Amanda Knief’s mother, which was the case last March.) Nobody should harass them there! Voluntarily discuss and argue, yes, but harass, no.

Mason either is or pretends to be too dense to grasp that point.

Phil Plait did have a point, didn’t he.

68 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Great American Satan

    OMG, but Amanda Knief’s mom won’t be able to see the troof becuz the marketplace of ideas freeze peach argglle!!! No dissent tolerated FfTBoolies!@@!!!

  2. 2
    michaeld

    Facts are hard…

  3. 3
    Ace of Sevens

    If there were some way to make points other than harassing or mocking people, Thunderf00t would know.

  4. 4
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I keep trying to remind people that T-footie became a YouTube sensation for being a mid-late 20s grad student who stalked a mentally-ill teenaged high school student on social media until that mentally ill child’s parents had to step in. And the “atheist community” was cool with it.

  5. 5
    cubist

    Apparently, Mr. Mason is genuinely convinced that “disagreement” and “harassment” are interchangeable? If this is indeed the case, much of his verbiage regarding harrassment policies, and related matters, becomes a good deal more comprehensible.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Joe – I didn’t know that.

  7. 7
    John-Henry Beck

    Only 5 videos hating on feminism? I mean, as horrible and awful and dangerous as feminism is, that seems like practically apathy….

    (No, I haven’t the energy to go actually watch more of his videos. In the past they’ve been far too painfully wrong.)

  8. 8
    Tom Foss

    This is the guy who thought consent was equivalent to forms filled out in triplicate, and that gnawing on someone’s leg was flirting.

    And that rational discourse was best achieved with lots of all-caps, font changes, and crazy colors.

    He is not known for nuance. There’s no slope too slippery, no dichotomy too false, no strawman too distorted, to deter Phil Mason.

  9. 9
    arthur

    Agreeing with Improbable Joe here. Phil Mason (Thunderf00t) was demonstrably an awful guy long before he got invited to blog here at FTB.

    I was disappointed when he became a blogger here. And unsurprised when it all when horribly wrong.

    PZ , and a lot of other cheerleading atheists who supported Mason’s behaviour, should shoulder the blame for encouraging that asshole in the past.

  10. 10
    smhll

    Mark R -

    Without a screenshot, it sounds like you are misunderstanding what you saw.

    It’s possible that someone tweeted that all drunken sex is rape, which might surprise you.

    Let’s break it down. I’m pretty sure you know that having sex with someone who is unconscious is a crime (rape) due to the fact that the unconscious person could not consent.

    It’s also true that having sex with a person who is almost, but not quite unconscious is also rape, because they are so impaired they cannot consent.

    You can research the relevant laws on the internet.

  11. 11
    cafeeineaddicted

    I wouldn’t go say the atheist community was “fine with T-Foot stalking a mentally-ill child”. Sean, or VenomfangX, the student in question didn’t appear obviously disturbed in his original videos. He was parroting Kent Hovind material at the time, and while quite popular on the creationist set, was no apparently different from the dozens of other webcam warriors of the medium. The initial responses by T-foot were against the arguments, not the boy.

    The whole thing escalated with DMCA suits, apparent embezzlement accusations, a public breakdown and a whole bunch of private drama I didn’t follow.

    Seeing his subsequent behavior, I can see ulterior motives in his continuing this fight with Sean that I didn’t at the time, but to call it a stalking campaign is over the top.

  12. 12
    Kelseigh

    Thing is, gnawing on someone’s leg CAN be flirting…if they’re someone you know well and they’re acting cool with the activity. In the context of horsin’ around with a buddy who’s going along with it (laughing, holding up said leg for culinary purposes, etc.) then that’s 100% fine. Don’t count on Mason getting that though.

    Pretty sure Joe’s getting at the whole mess with VenomfangX, but not totally sure.

  13. 13
    arthur

    Just to clarify: ‘Mason (thunderf00t) made his name spending years exposing and humiliating a clearly unwell teenage You Tube blogger, the (admittedly daft) creationist who called himself ‘VenomFangX’.

    When VenomFangX posted videos of himself in various stages of mental deterioration, Mason continued to encourage his followers to degrade him. The whole drama stunk and Mason should have been rejected by atheists with any sense.

    Phil Plait is right. Don’t be dick. Don’t be a dick like that guy: Phil Mason, for example.

    But then Phil took a lot of heat for saying that, so…

  14. 14
    cafeeineaddicted

    “Phil Plait is right. Don’t be dick. Don’t be a dick like that guy: Phil Mason, for example.

    But then Phil took a lot of heat for saying that, so…”

    Most of the heat Plait took was for not including examples, As every side could place themselves in the “not-a-dick” category, this made the argument pointless.

    But I agree, Mason’s uglier side showed when Sean started to deteriorate, although I have to say I didn’t notice it at the time.

  15. 15
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Joe is referring to the case of VenomFangX, a YouTube Young-Earth Creationist and preacher, and he’s leaving out a bit of information, like the fact that Venom stole money from his fans and a children’s hospital, filed hundreds of false DMCA claims on YouTube (as far as I know, to this day he’s known as the worst of the filers) even after being legally warned to stop, accussing Dprjones of being a pedophile (making the case, based on the incident, that Dprjones doesn’t have the highest of respect for women is easy, and an understatement… but he’s not a pedophile) and so on.

    He’s also leaving out that Venom’s parents are actually the ones who started that whole process. To be fair, T-Foot forced them to go public with what they were doing because I guess he wanted X taken offline and either didn’t know about Venom’s parents’ actions or didn’t think they were moving fast enough, but they were already making moves to get their son help, or at least get him offline, because they disagreed with what he was doing.

    The only reason people say that Shaun (VenomFangX) is “mentally unstable” is because of his behavior during that third return, between the continuing false DMCAs, slandering DPRJones, and his father admitting to Jordan Owens that they moved Shaun into a college dorm essentially to get rid of him. So it’s mostly armchair psychology. To be fair, he did display a lot of signs, but still… armchair psychology is bad for everyone involved. To this day I wish someone had gotten him help.

  16. 16
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    While my comment’s in moderation, I want to make a correction that will make sense when (if… :( ) Ophelia approves my post:

    I don’t actually know if Shawn’s parents instigated the process. I thought they had, but it appears I was wrong. I guess it was JordanOwen42 who instigated it… I’m not sure.

  17. 17
    kaboobie

    I didn’t know of Thunderf00t before he joined FtB (I just don’t follow videobloggers in general) and I had no desire to know of him afterward.

    While I do think we need a variety of tactics, and I believe Atheist Anger is justified, I appreciated Phil Plait’s “Don’t Be a Dick” speech. I often find myself wondering what would have happened if he had stayed on as President of the JREF, given his active support of Rebecca Watson on his blog.

  18. 18
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ophelia,

    Other folks specified the VenomFangX issue. VenomFangX/Shawn was a mentally ill high school student who made foolish creationist videos. Thunderf00t, being not especially smart and even less wise, decided that a physics grad student could find no greater nemesis than a child with obvious issues, and decided to make a name for himself by abusing a child. So T-footie made himself a minor celebrity by attacking a mentally ill teenager to the accolades of other other ethically stunted sociopaths.

    Much of the atheist/skeptical community considers an adult stalking a mentally ill teenager to be the height of ethical/intellectual achievement. No wonder the rest of us are desperate to shun them in bulk and as quickly as possible.

  19. 19
    jake s.

    Jesus. Thunderf00t really is a willfully dishonest cretin, isn’t he?

    TAA is a jerk, but I’d take him over Phil Mason any day of the week.

  20. 20
    otrame

    caffeeineaddicted has a more accurate description of T foot vs. VenomfangX. That Sean may have had some mental health issues (other than his swallowing Kent Hovind whole) was not at all obvious. About the time of all the DMCA crap, when VFX was forced to make a video stating that he had no right to DMCA Tfoot and that he committed perjury when he did so, I lost interest. But before that, VFX was one of the most popular creationists out there and arguing against his ridiculous contentions was useful and fun. Tfoot wasn’t gentle about it. That does not mean he was torturing some poor innocent kid.

    My impression of VFX is that he was a somewhat volatile teenager being a teenager and gradually getting more and more frustrated by those (Tfoot was definitely NOT the only one) who made his arguments on Youtube look ridiculous (not difficult because they were ridiculous) and getting more and more out of hand until his parents found out he was doing some genuinely illegal stuff and stopped it. I’m not sure if he actually had some mental health issues, though it is possible.

    My impression is that Tfoot may have some issues himself. Apparently being forced to either shut up or get a lawyer made him so mad–even though he won– that he lost all interest in actual arguments against creationism. It was about this time that his anti-islam videos showed up and everything on his channel got more and more off the wall and I stopped watching him. Tfoot strikes me as the kind of person who is eager to be your best friend until you cross him, even just a little, at which point you become his enemy. There is no such thing as a simple disagreement to people like that. It is best friends or war. So when he put up his first blog on FtB whining about harassment policies and acting less mature than Sean and then he got jumped on by, well, pretty much everybody, it became, for him, war.

  21. 21
    Jacob Schmidt

    <blockquote.Much of the atheist/skeptical community considers an adult stalking a mentally ill teenager to be the height of ethical/intellectual achievement.

    You know what’s gross? He got me here. I found his videos, and thought they were great. I then moved onto Aron Ra and The Atheist Experience, and then to Pharyngula. And now I find myself here.

    In hindsight, his obsession was friggen creepy.

  22. 22
    Hank_Says

    My experience of the VFX/Tfoot saga was similar to a couple of those above: I quite enjoyed Tfoot ridiculing VFX’s arguments (and those of other creationist stooges) as they were just that: ridiculous and little more than mindless repetitions of those characteristic of Hovind and Ham. At the time I was just starting to watch other atheist ‘tubers like AronRa, QualiaSoup, NSC and TAE. It didn’t occur to me until after all the DMCA drama – and after VFX issued an apology on youtube (which can’t have been easy and he did look extremely upset) for abusing the system to try and shut Tfoot up – that VFX might actually have a problem. Plus, during the entire pre-DMCA period of their conflict I never once saw anyone from the atheosphere do anything but cheer TF on, frequently linking to the videos debunking VFX and even using TF’s epithet for VFX: “Poster-boy for Creationist Stupidity (“PCS” for short)”. It wasn’t until much later in the piece that it was made clear to anyone that VFX had problems. By that stage I’d lost interest in Tfoot anyway as he’d switched from anti-creationism and pro-science to railing against Islam, getting more and more pompous and grandiose and getting involved in one petulant ‘tube-war after another.

    Despite that, when FTB announced TF’s addition, I thought that might be a good thing – at that stage I still hadn’t become aware of VFX’s problems and was no longer following TF’s videos. However, the misgivings started as soon as I read his intro post and noticed what a frankly sub-par writer the guy is. No big deal, I thought, if at least his content were to be similar in quality to his earlier videos. Obviously it didn’t turn out that way, with his first substantive post signalling the beginning of his descent into paranoid anti-feminist raving.

    Hell, maybe we ought to be just as concerned for TF’s mental health as we are for VFX’s. TF went almost overnight from a staunch ally to an obsessed mortal enemy, catalysed by little more than a discussion about what people deem acceptable behaviour and whether event organisers hold any responsibility toward attendees. His position and behaviour are as far from rational as VFX’s arguments against evolution.

  23. 23
    sprocket

    I was initially impressed with his videos about creationism and even some of his science videos. But the Thunderf00t has no sense of humour to the point of pathology. He must have some kind of personality disorder or something but he just obsesses over stupid things.

    I feel like I owe coughlin666 an apology.

  24. 24
    darkwater

    As one who came to the whole Tf00t/VFX issue late and relied on Encyclopedia Dramatica to fill me in on the details (I know, I know), I have to say that at the time I was not aware of the possibility that VFX was mentally ill, although in retrospect it does clear up some things about his activities and the gaps between them, and it also certainly doesn’t put Mason into much of a positive light.

    My impression of VFX at the time was that he was a popular creationist, although one who was unfairly championed by other creationists as proof of how they were winning the culture war with teens, when I thought he was just a good spokesmodel. As things went on, he seemed increasingly unhinged, but, given that he was a creationist, and a creationist who was able to cogently and competently parrot Hovind even as he was becoming more unhinged, I paid it little mind. Yes, it was somewhat untoward that a physics grad student was attacking a teenager, but given that it was a physicist, not a biologist, doing it, given that I’m from a part of the STEM establishment that expects physics grad students to do shit like this, and given that VFX seemed to give it as much as he took it, I paid it little mind.

    Hearing that there were real mental health issues at play, and that VFX’s parents’ intervention could have been based on that as much as it was on keeping him out of legal trouble, and watching Tf00t’s actions at FTB in real time makes me that much more disappointed in Tf00t. While I could wave away his pre-FTB actions as juvenile, I’m increasingly moving towards the belief that they were just as malevolent as his actions on FTB were.

  25. 25
    deepak shetty

    caffeeineaddicted has a more accurate description of T foot vs. VenomfangX.
    I agree.

  26. 26
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ 18. otrame

    Tfoot strikes me as the kind of person who is eager to be your best friend until you cross him, even just a little, at which point you become his enemy. There is no such thing as a simple disagreement to people like that. It is best friends or war. So when he put up his first blog on FtB whining about harassment policies and acting less mature than Sean and then he got jumped on by, well, pretty much everybody, it became, for him, war.

    Agreed.

    FWIW. PZ and TFoot were good friends for a number of yeras before TFoot joined FTB while or so I gather.

    I watched the TFoot video in full -later on he ha s ago at his old (anti)”favourite” of harrassment policies and also mocks the idea of transpeople getting more than merest cursory mention in such policies.

    (I do think hard as it can be to stomach, watching a full video is a good thing if you’re going to blog about it – but I also know how limited time and energy can be as well. So, can see both sides of that.)

  27. 27
    left0ver1under

    Thunderfoot is a dunderhead.

  28. 28
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh and Tfoot ends his clip linked here with an off topic quote* by (I think) Richard Dawkins loudly using the gendered slur also used to describe female gendered canines. Just in case anyone wanted to know if it gets any better – youtube says no.

    *Starting with science flying planes and rockets “Science it works..”

    In case anyone doubted the misogyny here.

  29. 29
    John Morales

    Improbable Joe:

    Thunderf00t, being not especially smart and even less wise, decided that a physics grad student could find no greater nemesis than a child with obvious issues, and decided to make a name for himself by abusing a child.

    (sigh)

    Your speculation about his mental capacities and his motive aside, your point would have been made just as well if you’d written ‘someone’ instead of ‘a child’.

    (‘Twas vlogger vs vlogger)

  30. 30
    RainbowSlushie^.^

    Thunderfoot was ‘before my time’ but by all accounts he’s a real asshole from what little I’ve heard of the incidents and drama. I’m barely online in freethinker communities due to offline needs not being met, and it’s been that way for years now. Apparently I’ve missed tons of drama from assholes. Too much isolation, no family, no extended family, ex cult member, other forms of trauma and bigotry a lifetime of which will remain nameless, the last thing I need is some idiot mysog like Thunderfoot reaching into my life to ruin it more. Which reminds me, I should dissapear again soon back to the extreme isolation.

  31. 31
    Francisco Bacopa

    Cutting off Thunderf00t’s youtube channel a year and a half ago was a painful decision. I had met him a little earlier at the Texas Freethought Convention a couple of years ago in Houston.

    So hard to give him up, but he crossed the line.

    His campaign against VenomFangX was why I liked him. Pure cruelty delivered where it was due. I would love to see that rage and hate directed against rape and harassment apologists, but he seems to be mostly supporting them these days.

  32. 32
    hjhornbeck

    It explains why anti-feminist posters were starting to invade threads about Shermer; I didn’t know T’F00t had endorsed the legal offense fund, until I wandered over to the video.

    *shrug* Ah well, it just means more counter-trolling for me.

    [goes back to sharpening his citations]

  33. 33
    baryogenesis

    Still have a soft spot for Plait as he was the one who linked me to Scienceblogs and PZ and helped me slough off the last bits of New Age drek. Thunderfoot seems like another one of those who feel butthurt and refuse to see beyond his entrenched POV.

  34. 34
    Hank_Says

    [I know it might be because I recently changed my nickname, but moderation is cold and lonely!]

  35. 35
    Stephanie N.

    @27 hjhornbeck

    Indeed, your citations are quite sharp — my compliments on your effective counter-trolling elsewhere, in case it wasn’t clear.

  36. 36
    Charly

    I have to second (third, fourth…) the notion, that Shawns/VenomfangX’s mental problems were far from obvious at the beginning of WDPLAC series, that made Tf00t/Mason famous on youtube. I was following Mason’s youtube channel almost from beginning and it was through him I found AronRa and PZ. At those times he really attacked the arguments rather than the argumentee, and did so in so unapologetic a style not so far from what PZ doez. Some fallacies got through and were not called out, true, but it was still entertaining and informative at the same time.

    A few years later it became clear Shawn has mental issues. He was forced from Youtube based on false DMCA claims, he, Mason and DPR Jones and some more people had a semi-private phone conference about his mental health and Shawn himself subsequently said in one video, that all of them (including Mason) were very supportive in dealing with his problems and getting the mental care he needs. This seemed as decent move.

    Mason did not retract or/annotate previous videos, AFAIK. This was somewhat asshole move, because once Shaw’s mental issues got public, he deserved some slack, even retroactively. That was first red flag for me, bu I pushed it aside (damn that confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance).

    After that Mason refocused his WDPLAC series on Ray Comfort and DI and the series was at times (my subjective assessment) more person-focused than argument-focused. Not so much later Mason joined FtB, made it clear that he is not a decent person who occasionally makes asshole-ish things but is a complete asshole who may sometimes do decent things and I lost track and began to start to forget I ever followed him.

    What I would now enjoy is a series of blog-posts “Why do people laugh at Thundef00ts fear of feminism” but I do not think anyone could endure the necessary pain to watch his regurgitations on this theme in full. I know I don’t…

  37. 37
    Jafafa Hots

    His campaign against VenomFangX was why I liked him. Pure cruelty delivered where it was due.

    This is absolutely disgusting.

  38. 38
    johnwalkr

    Only 5 videos hating on feminism?

    He has many more than that, such as the “feminism vs FACTS” series and multiple videos about PZ and FTB.

  39. 39
    Great American Satan

    Maoist – Back to extreme isolation? Why for? Some of us will miss you.

  40. 40
    pneumo

    I can’t help feeling though that blogposts about TF is something that looks a lot better on his resume than on yours.

    Ya, ya I know. Just so tired of it right now.

  41. 41
    Tom Foss

    StevoR @21: I think the quote actually originates with the webcomic XKCD. I have the t-shirt, from a time when I was ignorant/stupid about the whole gendered slurs/insults issue.

  42. 42
    tiberiusbeauregard

    Nobody should harass them there! Voluntarily discuss and argue, yes, but harass, no

    And because…

    (A) We know that even questioning religious beliefs openly is often construed as harassment

    and

    (B) We know that even questioning youknowwhat openly is often construed as harassment

    …he is completely right in assuming that this sort of “anti-harassment” policies will not just ensure proper behaviour towards other people, but will eventually be used in order to create nonsense drama…

    Before you know it, someone will complain about what another person’s T-Shirt says…

  43. 43
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    tiberiusbeauregard,

    If you come to a religious gathering with an atheist T shirt, it’s possible some asshole will accuse you of harassing other conference goers by offending their religion and you will be asked to leave.
    Don’t you think an atheist conference isn’t likely to interpret any kind of questioning religion as harassment, so that an attendant complaining that another attendant’s shirt holding a giant red A constitutes harassment would be politely asked to knock it the hell off?

  44. 44
    tiberiusbeauregard

    @Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    If you open up the door to random, subjective interpretations of an already flimsy terminology, you’ are inviting trouble with open arms.

    The person who thought she had to report the “offence” in question, could rightfully claim to be in accordance with the policy and on what reliable basis of judgement would you expect the conference organisers to discard her claim then ?

    People simply don’t want to be bothered with other peoples’, mostly unforeseeable and often not so reasonable interpretations of behavioural rules. I can’t blame them for that.

    Keep it simple, keep it clear and clean – that’s how you make people understand what you want.
    And those freaky individuals who don’t care about common decency, wouldn’t care about any amount of rules whatsoever anyway.

  45. 45
    Tom Foss

    A reasonable application of this kind of harassment rule, even given disingenuous theists, would look like this:

    Atheist Non-Asshole: You’re religious? Can you defend your beliefs?

    Disingenuous Theist: You’re harassing me! I’m telling convention security!

    Convention Security: Is there a problem here?

    Disingenuous Theist: She’s harassing me because I’m a Christian!

    Atheist Non-Asshole: I just asked if he could defend his beliefs.

    Convention Security: Let me take down your information. Whatever happened, you should stay away from each other, or we’ll have to do something more formal.

    Atheist Non-Asshole: Stay away from that guy? Gladly.

    Convention Security (to theist): Is there anything else I can help you with?

    And…scene.

    The reason that the rules don’t contain a bulleted list of verboten behaviors is that some enterprising asshole would find the one that’s not on the list and treat it as license. The room for discretion is necessary, and as long as it’s being enforced by people who are trained, the chance for abuse should be small. And, of course, making frivolous complaints about the innocuous behavior of one or multiple people is itself harassment, and an abuse of the system.

  46. 46
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    tiberiusbeauregard,

    Any rule can be misused. I’m guessing you’re against all harassment policies then, since people can lie just about anything.
    In which case I would like some evidence of anti-harassment policies bringing ruin upon all the companies, organizations and conferences which apply them.

    The person who thought she had to report the “offence” in question, could rightfully claim to be in accordance with the policy and on what reliable basis of judgement would you expect the conference organisers to discard her claim then ?

    On the basis that no, wearing a shirt with a big red A is not harassment.

  47. 47
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Or rather, people can try to misuse any rule. That’s why you’re supposed to put responsible, trained people on the other side, to treat every accusation seriously and fairly.

  48. 48
    Tom Foss

    Beatrice @46:

    On the basis that no, wearing a shirt with a big red A is not harassment.

    I doubt that would be harassment on any grounds. But wearing a t-shirt that contained a personal attack or mockery of a specific attendee, speaker, or group of attendees/speakers, might very well be considered harassment. And the situation that tiberiusbeauregard is obliquely referring to has much more to do with personal attacks than with people claiming to be harassed by an innocuous t-shirt.

  49. 49
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Tom Foss,
    Ah, I think I know what you mean. I forgot about that incident.

  50. 50
    Ophelia Benson

    Really, it makes good sense for AA to include religion in the categories – because not including it would look terrible (and you know someone would spot that and turn it into a thing). It’s the same kind of thing as the point Dave always makes, that when a church or mosque is vandalized he is always quick to condemn it, because he of all people has to.

    This is just like that. “No, we don’t give ourselves a special dispensation to be assholes to believers. Not being an asshole is for everyone. You can argue, of course, as long as the other parties are willing. But you can’t harass.

  51. 51
    SallyStrange

    And those freaky individuals who don’t care about common decency, wouldn’t care about any amount of rules whatsoever anyway.

    Which is why it’s nice to have procedures in place that lay out how to deal when they inevitably do what they do, right? Seriously, you people never seem to think a goddamn thing all the way through.

  52. 52
    Jackie

    I just want to say that I agree with Nate’s take on the TF vs VFX debacle. Shawn just seemed to be a foolish rich teen who was bent on becoming a preacher for profit like his hero Hovind. He appeared to have too much time on his hands and alot of hate for atheists, Jews and anyone who wasn’t a fundamentalist Christian. His videos were very popular and I think there was nothing wrong with mocking them ruthlessly. He was a thief and a bigot on top of being a witless creationist. I don’t think his health problems were obvious in the beginning. If I remember correctly, TF and other did respond with concern once they were. Shortly after that TF made some horrible videos and it became apparent that while he knew more about science than a troubled high school student, he wasn’t all that good at thinking or at honesty. That was when I stopped watching his videos entirely. Much like The Amazing Atheist, the worse he got, the more popular he become with some of his fans. Other vloggers called him out, but his fans didn’t care. As I stated earlier, VFX had a popular channel too. Not everyone cares about what is right or real. They like hearing their cherished beliefs defended and the people they don’t like insulted. I don;t think anyone shoulders the blame for TFs hideous behavior but TF, but I don;t think highly of his fans either. They keep his ego inflated and that keeps him making videos. I hate that I ever supported his channel. The man’s a douchebucket.

  53. 53
    Ophelia Benson

    And that of course is the word on us – our readers and/or commenters keep our egos inflated and shield us from taking valid criticism seriously.

    It is something to beware of, fer sher.

    Fortunately, though, I’m flawless, which is confirmed for me every day because people read my blog.

  54. 54
    Jackie

    tiberiusbeauregard is not arguing in good faith. He’s an MRA supporter and antifeminist. That’s his real issue with harassment policies.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2013/09/01/a-voice-for-me-big-mistake/comment-page-1/#comment-134326

  55. 55
    Jackie

    Fortunately, though, I’m flawless, which is confirmed for me every day because people read my blog.

    Well, yes. I think that’s something we can all agree on. After all, we’re required to. ;)

  56. 56
    Jackie

    Does anyone know the proper sacrifice to make to the goddess of typos? I must appease her.

  57. 57
    cafeeineaddicted

    Jackie Papercuts:

    It’s death by typewriter, as it says in the scriptures.
    http://houseofcat.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/BatmanTypewriter.jpg

  58. 58
    Ophelia Benson

    No, actually just reading the blog (aka clicking on it) is all that’s required. Don’t forget: we do it for the hits.

  59. 59
    Lyra

    Tom Foss @ 45

    I’m not sure if you meant to imply this is the beginning of a conversation but I think starting off a conversation with “Atheist Non-Asshole: You’re religious? Can you defend your beliefs?” could be considered harassment especially at an Atheist convention where a religious person might feel vulnerable. The religious people would be the outliers at the conference and to be approached and have this said to them out-of-the-blue seems particularly targeting to me.

    I can easily imagine a scenario where some self-righteous atheists hear about a believer at a conference and they all take turns approaching them and putting them on the spot asking them to defend themselves. I would feel harassed in this case especially after the forth or fifth time it happened.

  60. 60
    cafeeineaddicted

    I can definitely see that as harassment, if it is uninvited and if it doesn’t stop at “I don’t wish to discuss this atm”, especially if it seems as an organized campaign against a single person.

  61. 61
    SallyStrange

    I’m not sure if you meant to imply this is the beginning of a conversation but I think starting off a conversation with “Atheist Non-Asshole: You’re religious? Can you defend your beliefs?” could be considered harassment especially at an Atheist convention where a religious person might feel vulnerable. The religious people would be the outliers at the conference and to be approached and have this said to them out-of-the-blue seems particularly targeting to me.

    I can easily imagine a scenario where some self-righteous atheists hear about a believer at a conference and they all take turns approaching them and putting them on the spot asking them to defend themselves. I would feel harassed in this case especially after the forth or fifth time it happened.

    Indeed, and, although I’d disagree with that person’s beliefs, I also think they should have the right to attend a conference without being harassed. If they asked people to leave them alone, that wish should be respected. Which is why anti-harassment policies are good for EVERYONE.

  62. 62
    Ophelia Benson

    Exactly. Take no for an answer. Take “please stop” for an answer.

  63. 63
    dean

    Atheist Non-Asshole: You’re religious? Can you defend your beliefs?”

    Wouldn’t the fact that the FIRST comment from the atheist is a challenge to the beliefs of someone just met take away the “Non-Asshole” part of the atheist’s description?

    And tiberiusbeauregard does not seem to be an honest sort, given his argument elsewhere that once consent for sex has been given once, it can always be assumed to be given, and if this assumption is wrong the person who acted upon it cannot be held guilty of anything because

    because you cannot morally blame someone for what he does not know.

    Besides,

    Rape” implies intent, not neglience (sic). You can accidentally injure someone but you can’t accidentally rape someone

    tb sounds like a wonderful chap.

  64. 64
    Tom Foss

    With respect to the one-act play above, I was presupposing the “gotcha” situation, of a non-misbehaving atheist innocently challenging a theist who was primed to see any disagreement or criticism of their beliefs as “harassment” in order to abuse the system. In reality, someone whose first statement to anyone is demanding explanations for their beliefs, or people repeatedly ganging up on the one theist in attendance, might very well be harassment. I’d hope that a non-disingenuous theist would say ” leave me alone” or “I don’t want to talk about that,” but even theists should be allowed to get exasperated and still be protected from mistreatment.

    Basically, I wanted to illustrate that even in the worst-case anti-policy gotcha scenario, the consequences aren’t going to be world-ending. This idea that any complaint, no matter how frivolous, is going to result in the immediate ejection of someone from the convention is, I think, absurd. But perhaps I’m wrong and the anti-policy crowd can point to that happening. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.

  65. 65
    smhll

    I apparently dropped comment 10 here when it should have been on a different thread.

  66. 66
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Indeed, and, although I’d disagree with that person’s beliefs, I also think they should have the right to attend a conference without being harassed. If they asked people to leave them alone, that wish should be respected. Which is why anti-harassment policies are good for EVERYONE.

    Absolutely!
    Imagine going to a con where everybody and their dog thought you were there to non-stop answer their pet-questions about your beliefs. That’s not a safe place, that’s running the gauntlet.

    As for TF: Never ever trust somebody who doesn’t know the difference between disagreement and harassment or flirting and harassment. Because they obviously are OK with harassing people.

  67. 67
    changerofbits

    It seems TF has found a nitch in YouTube-landia and thinks the rest of the Internet and even meatspace should match that environment, because that would totes kicks arse for him.

  68. 68
    Gesundheit

    Oh and Tfoot ends his clip linked here with an off topic quote* by (I think) Richard Dawkins loudly using the gendered slur also used to describe female gendered canines. Just in case anyone wanted to know if it gets any better – youtube says no.

    He was quoting Rebecca Watson and the SGU people, who used the term on their show.

Leave a Reply

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

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