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What do you do when someone pulls the pin and hands you a grenade?

I’m dyin’ here, people. It’s like people trust me or something.

So I’ve been given this rather…explosive…information. It’s a direct report of unethical behavior by a big name in the skeptical community (yeah, like that hasn’t been happening a lot lately), and it’s straight from the victim’s mouth. And it’s bad. Really bad.

She’s torn up about it. It’s been a few years, so no law agency is going to do anything about it now; she reported it to an organization at the time, and it was dismissed. Swept under the rug. Ignored. I can imagine her sense of futility. She’s also afraid that the person who assaulted her before could try to hurt her again.

But at the same time, she doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else, so she’d like to get the word out there. So she hands the information to me. Oh, thanks.

Now I’ve been sitting here trying to resolve my dilemma — to reveal it or not — and goddamn it, what’s dominating my head isn’t the consequences, but the question of what is the right thing to do. Do I stand up for the one who has no recourse, no way out, no other option to help others, or do I shelter the powerful big name guy from an accusation I can’t personally vouch for, except to say that I know the author, and that she’s not trying to acquire notoriety (she wants her name kept out of it)?

I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do, I can do no other. I will again emphasize, though, that I have no personal, direct evidence that the event occurred as described; all I can say is that the author is known to me, and she has also been vouched for by one other person I trust. The author is not threatening her putative assailant with any action, but is solely concerned that other women be aware of his behavior. The only reason she has given me this information is that she has no other way to act.

With that, I cast this grenade away from me…

At a conference, Mr. Shermer coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me. I can’t give more details than that, as it would reveal my identity, and I am very scared that he will come after me in some way. But I wanted to share this story in case it helps anyone else ward off a similar situation from happening. I reached out to one organization that was involved in the event at which I was raped, and they refused to take my concerns seriously. Ever since, I’ve heard stories about him doing things (5 different people have directly told me they did the same to them) and wanted to just say something and warn people, and I didn’t know how. I hope this protects someone.

Boom.


Further corroboration: a witness has come forward. This person has asked to remain anonymous too, but I will say they’re someone who doesn’t particularly like me — so no accusations of fannishness, OK?

The anonymous woman who wrote to you is known to me, and in fact I was in her presence immediately after said incident (she was extremely distraught), and when she told the management of the conference (some time later).


Women are still writing into me with their personal stories. This one isn’t so awful, but it’s mainly illustrative of his tactics…there’s nothing here that would form the basis of any kind of serious complaint, but most importantly, I think, it tells you exactly what kind of behavior to watch out for with him.

Michael Shermer was the guest of honor at an atheist event I attended in Fall 2006; I was on the Board of the group who hosted it. It’s a very short story: I got my book signed, then at the post-speech party, Shermer chatted with me at great length while refilling my wine glass repeatedly. I lost count of how many drinks I had. He was flirting with me and I am non-confrontational and unwilling to be rude, so I just laughed it off. He made sure my wine glass stayed full.

And that’s the entirety of my story: Michael Shermer helped get me drunker than I normally get, and was a bit flirty. I can’t recall the details because I was intoxicated. I don’t remember how I left, but I am told that a friend took me away from the situation and home from the party. Note, I’d never gotten drunk at any atheist event before; I was humiliated by having gotten so drunk and even more ashamed that my friends had to cart me off before anything happened to me.

But I had a bad taste in my mouth about Shermer’s flirtatiousness, because I’m married, and I thought he was kind of a pig. I didn’t even keep his signed book, I didn’t want it near me.

Over the years as rumors have flown about atheist women warning each other about a lecherous author/speaker, I thought of all the authors and speakers I had met during my time as an atheist activist, and I guessed that Shermer was the one being warned against.

Now there are tweets and blogs about his sexually inappropriate behavior as well as his fondness for getting chicks drunk, so I feel quite less alone. I don’t think he realizes he is doing anything wrong. Men who behave inappropriately sexually never think they are doing anything wrong.

I have mixed feelings about your grenade-dropping. I have heard arguments both for and against what you did. Whether or not I agree with it, I just want to say that the accusations against Shermer match up with my personal experience with him, insofar as he seemed hellbent on helping me get drunk, and was very flirty with me. Take it for what you will. I believe the accusers.

Comments

  1. CaitieCat says

    Meta: tomfrog, if that’s what you can produce in a non-native language, you must be an epic poet in your native language. Had you not said so, I literally would not have been aware you were not a native speaker. I know many native speakers of English who do quite a bit less well (not a few of them on this very thread); I speak as someone who edits non-native speakers’ academic papers, so I’m not just blowing sunshine at you here. Please don’t ever concern yourself again with whether you can express yourself effectively and well in English. :)

  2. climbingivy says

    Just another lurker dropping in, I’ve been reading the comments on and off but I’ll be honest I got stuck after about page 2 and getting deja vu well before that. I wanted to say:

    Jane Doe thank you for coming forward and trying to make the skeptic community that bit safer for other women

    Thank you for deciding to publicise the account

    To all the regulars (and newbies) answering all the shitty, repetitive, hyperskeptic and just plain misogynist arguments despite all the triggering and pure volume of shit, thank you so much. I’ve been reading the threads here for a few years now and you guys constantly make me think and laugh and restore some faith in humanity. Specific thanks to Caine for pure persistance.

    To all the posters in the thread that don’t get the concept of consent and keep pushing to find that single line. Fuck you, you’re the reason women are warned against getting drunk around men and then you complain when we don’t trust.

    To all the hypoerskeptics who have decided that a woman’s testimony doesn’t count as evidence because ‘it’s just hearsay’ fuck you, you’re the reason even the reported cases get prosecuted so rarely.

  3. climbingivy says

    Dammit, my first post here and I screw up html and include an offering to Tpyos. So it goes.

  4. Nick Gotts says

    Also vis-a-vis all the “how much drinking until it’s rape” etc.:

    It’s a fucking Sorieties paradox like “WHY NOT HAVE VOTING AGE AT 17 AND 364 DAYS”. – zhuge

    My favourite response to these “how much…” type arguments is from Edmund Burke (not generally a hero of mine by any means):

    Though no man may draw a stroke between the confines of day and night, yet light and darkness are on the whole tolerably distinguishable.

  5. MrFancyPants says

    playonwords@1998:

    I believe part of the reason that why these charges against skeptical/atheist luminaries is coming our is because the community is far more likely to be supportive of the victim

    Hmm, I really have to wonder about that idea. The backlash against Rebecca Watson for “guys don’t do that” doesn’t reflect well on our skeptical/atheist community. And the slymepitters and their concerted efforts to harass and ridicule certain bloggers here doesn’t, either. Perhaps you don’t consider them to be in “our” community, and I would understand that thinking. But they profess some of the same skeptical notions.

    The last few days have been a whirlwind. Several women have come forth with real stories of abuse from the so-called luminaries, and now we’re on this thread. To the extent that they’ve gotten support from people like us, publicly, yes, I’m sure that’s been supportive for them. I have to wonder what kind of hatemail people like Karen Stollznow are getting, though; I’d guess that it probably at least matches whatever she sees in public support, although obviously I don’t know.

    Regardless, I can’t blame Jane Doe for wanting to remain anonymous.

  6. mildlymagnificent says

    At last! I hit refresh, twice!, and no new comments appeared. Can we begin to hope that it’s going to slow down a bit. Please?

  7. MrFancyPants says

    playonwords@1998:

    I believe part of the reason that why these charges against skeptical/atheist luminaries is coming our is because the community is far more likely to be supportive of the victim

    Hmm, I really have to wonder about that idea. The backlash against Rebecca Watson for “guys don’t do that” doesn’t reflect well on our skeptical/atheist community. And the slymepitters and their concerted efforts to harass and ridicule certain bloggers here doesn’t, either. Perhaps you don’t consider them to be in “our” community, and I would understand that thinking. But they profess some of the same skeptical notions.

    The last few days have been a whirlwind. Several women have come forth with real stories of abuse from the so-called luminaries, and now we’re on this thread. To the extent that they’ve gotten support from people like us, publicly, yes, I’m sure that’s been supportive for them. I have to wonder what kind of hatemail people like Karen Stollznow are getting, though; I’d guess that it probably at least matches whatever she sees in public support, although obviously I don’t know.

    Regardless, I can’t blame Jane Doe for wanting to remain anonymous. Not in the least, not at all, not even one planck distance.

  8. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Tomfrog: very clear and not stupid at all. I only wish some of the native English speakers here had the same clarity and comprehension.
     
    Playonwords: not only more likely to be supportive of the victim, but also less likely to to let someone’s position and authority hold sway over the victim. ( eg: No one is above reproach just because they are chosen by god).
    …at least I would like to believe that.

  9. says

    Thanks CaitieCat. A foreign language can be weird because I feel I’m saying things right but it’s hard to know if I’m right about that… As I heard before: English is an easy language to speak badly but as any other language it’s hard to speak well. Anyway, thank you! :)

  10. MrFancyPants says

    Given the issues with connecting to FtB, I suspect that they might be under DDoS attack now. It’s unusual to not to be able to connect, which is what I’m seeing.

  11. Walton says

    What an awful thread. I’m so sorry that this has happened. And sorry to Jane Doe for the way the community has treated and is treating her.

  12. playonwords says

    I agree skeptic women have taken a whole storm of shit about this but at least they report it. Consider other communities where the reports never make it to the page probably because victims would not feel even a modicum of safety in doing so. To use Sagan’s line in yet another context; “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”

    SFWA has just had similar problems. These same problems I observed 30 and more years ago at conventions – Harlan Ellison and Asimov were infamous for their “wandering hands”, Harry Harrison was no sea green incorruptable and some men tried to chaperone women in the presence of Douglas Adams.

    Sports has an unenviable reputation for sexual assault by coaches both of their stars and aspirants – examples include the recent sick case at Penn State but also tennis coaches like Butch Heffernan and Mary Pierce’s father. Work environments are filled with men harassing and seeking sex from their female colleagues – think of all the nasty stories that come up after the office Christmas party.

    Yeah, the response amongst self identified skeptics has not been wholly supportive but there has, largely, been support.

  13. playonwords says

    Walton, I suggest you clarify your post. At present it reads as if you are sorry Jane Doe is having majority support on this thread.

  14. Owlglass says

    I have read a good amount of comments, skimmed some but reply to none specifically. These allegations against Shermer and the other cases publicized the last few days are very distressing. I hope they can be resolved in some way. A big thanks for those women who came forward with their accounts and their names. It’s disgusting that apparently the organization didn’t take their case seriously.

    I have a hunch what I think happened, and it is what most other people suspected here. It will certainly affect the way I see certain people, especially Shermer. However, anonymity, reporting (where, when) and evidences are linked. Not all combinations fly very well. Telling a story as anonymous to a blog without corroborating evidence strikes me as the worst combination. Anonymity, while presenting evidence works fine. Or having no evidence, but coming forward (with witnesses etc.) also works.

    In democracy, science or law the slow and sometimes agonizing pace is desirable—despite what gut feelings say. It would often be so much better if there was just a good ruler who just does the right things, the right ideas are proposed everyone readily accepts immediately, or a swift and just sentence by an impartial judge who knows all evidence. But it is not how things are.

    I’ll do it like Feynman and similar people. Withholding judgment is not disbelieving victims, or believing suspects, or the other way around. I will hold multiple versions of the truth, have a hunch which truth candidate I think is most likely. It will quietly inform my actions, and what I will think of certain people in the future, but I will not pronounce it as true. I know it’s not enough for other people who seem to believe in Trial by Blog and it will cause further issues down the line, if this remains unresolved. And I already can see how it will turn any news item into an acid bath when one of the sexual harassment suspects are mentioned.

  15. Walton says

    At present it reads as if you are sorry Jane Doe is having majority support on this thread.

    Huh? How did you arrive at such a conclusion from anything I wrote? I am very glad she’s having majority support on this thread. But there has also been some hurtful bullshit on this thread, and a great deal more of it from the slimepitters on Twitter.

  16. playonwords says

    Thank you for your concern, Owlglass but …

    We do not live in a perfect world anonymity therefore is needed because of the storm of shit that is projected towards those who openly record this abuse.

    MrFancyPants records upthread at #2005 http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-5/#comment-664260 the vilification that Rebecca Watson faced and the original Jane Doe seems to feel that this would damage both her career and her health.

    I would prefer there be 100 false warnings put out on the internet if it prevents 1 woman being raped.

  17. playonwords says

    Thanks, Walton. I’m a supporter of Jane Doe but your post @2009 did confuse me.

  18. playonwords says

    Lofty, the only thing from Will Clemens own keyboard that I’d believe is that he is, in truth, a deformed carrot.

  19. says

    Thanks, Walton. I’m a supporter of Jane Doe but your post @2009 did confuse me.

    You must be a bit dim or biased to be confused by Walton’s rather easily understandable comment above.

  20. piegasm says

    @2012 Owlglass

    Withholding judgment is not disbelieving victims, or believing suspects, or the other way around. I will hold multiple versions of the truth, have a hunch which truth candidate I think is most likely. It will quietly inform my actions, and what I will think of certain people in the future, but I will not pronounce it as true.

    First, nobody is pronouncing anything true as has been repeated more times than I remember within this thread. We’re just opting, in the absence of any additional evidence, to:

    1) Believe the accuser based on the prior probability that actual rape is far more likely than false accusations of rape and
    2) Because the accused and potential future victims are at much greater risk than the accused should we turn out to be wrong about our provisional belief.

    Secondly, while you sit on your hands up there in your pretty little ivory tower and have what is, I’m sure, an utterly fascinating debate with yourself over the intellectual implications of all this, real victims really suffer in silence because there are too few people willing to stand with them.

  21. playonwords says

    Sorry, but I saw a double meaning and why I asked for clarification

    What an awful thread.

    The opening to many of the posts put up by the apologists.

    I’m so sorry that this has happened.

    Which “this” is being refered to? the rape or the thread?

    And sorry to Jane Doe for the way the community has treated and is treating her.

    But the community is being supportive.

    Walton’s post was not clear and that is why I asked for clarification

  22. says

    But the community is being supportive.

    lolwut, no it isn’t. this thread is supportive. we’re only a tiny part of the atheist/skeptic/secularist community however, and a very large part of it neither is nor was supportive.

  23. ischemgeek says

    I haven’t read through the comments. I probably won’t, because that much concentrated rape apologia (even with awesome people fighting it) would probably trigger me considering I’ve got Other Shit on my plate today.

    But.

    Notice how virtually nobody who’s a victim of any kind of rape culture related crime (sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, etc) is at all surprised about how this stuff was swept under the rug. Notice how pretty much every one of us are like, “Oh, if you didn’t report, I get it. If you did report and nothing happened, sympathy.”

    Know why?

    Well, short anecdote (TW: Sexual harassment and assault of a child):

    When I was 8, a kid on my school bus sexually harassed me for over a year. Said kid was a high-schooler. 15 at the time. He called me rude names like “sexy bitch” and so on, fondled me despite my protests, and generally was a predatory ass. I reported to the school and was punished for “tattling”. I reported to my parents and was given a lecture on the importance of saying no. I returned to the school bus and got myself punished and kicked off the school bus for a week for screaming at the boy to stop touching me, and then my parents grounded me because I shouldn’t make a disruption. I sat in the front, by the way, so the bus driver could see and hear the shit this older kid was doing to me. Bus driver did nothing most of the time. Sometimes he laughed about it.

    Finally, I stopped reporting. I got the message loud and clear that reporting would lead to me being punished while nothing would ever happen to that kid.

    Later in the year, a teacher rode the bus and saw what was happening. She made sure the boy was suspended from school and prohibited from riding the bus for a year. My parents lectured me on the importance of reporting to them because “We never knew” which was bullshit because I’d told them. Several times. And received lectures on setting boundaries for my trouble. The teacher asked me why I hadn’t told anyone which was bullshit because I had and nobody listened. My home-room teacher played a video on the importance of telling adults if someone touches you in your “special areas” the next day, which I’m pretty sure was because of me. I criticized the video loudly, “It’s not true that adults will believe you. They’ll say you’re lying and punish you,” and got myself an in-school suspension for it. Because, y’know, how dare a victim draw attention to how the establishment fucked up.

    And then the backlash started.

    I’m sure you know the drill. Harassment, assault, threats. It got so bad, I started walking 6km to school rather than taking the bus. I reported that, too, and was given lectures on standing up for myself and faux-inspirational bullshit about how if you feel bad about being victimized it’s your fault because positive thinking. And I was again punished. For “tattling”. Because there was a bus full of them and one of me and even though I had a history of being proven right when people ignored me and even though there was a camera on the fucking bus that someone could’ve checked if they bothered to investigate at all, it was easier to punish me until I shut up. Which I did, hoping the other kids would eventually forget.

    They didn’t. Ever. When I graduated high school from that hellhole, I was still being harassed for “ruining” a pedophile’s life by getting him suspended from school and kicked off the bus nearly a decade prior.

    So, yeah, I totally get why people don’t report. They don’t report because experiences like mine are par for the course on the rare occasions authority figures do anything at all. And most often, the response to sexual harassment and assault and rape threats and suchlike (all of which I received in school) is to blame and punish the victim for it. Fuck, if I could’ve gone back, I would’ve just started walking to school when he started harassing me and hopefully avoided all of the ensuing bullshit that followed. I would not have reported, nor would I have stayed on the bus until the teacher reported. Because reporting led to backlash which made my life hell for a decade.

    And that culture, that can blame an 8-year-old for being harassed and assaulted by a high schooler on the school bus is the same culture that makes women like Jane Doe scared to come forward under their real names. And I don’t blame them one little bit for it.

  24. playonwords says

    Jadehawk, This is the community I was referring to, the ones on Pharyngula in general and the ones responding to this thread specifically.

    I should have been clearer.

  25. Owlglass says

    Piegasm (2019) wrote: First, nobody is pronouncing anything true as has been repeated more times than I remember within this thread.

    I wrote what I do (or think) and that is not necessarily in contrast to what others are doing or thinking.

    Piegasm (2019) wrote: […] I’m sure, an utterly fascinating debate with yourself over the intellectual implications of all this, real victims really suffer in silence because there are too few people willing to stand with them.

    Such claims as “willing to stand with them” are meaningless and pretty much like “do you support the people in Iowa”. Everyone wants to be supportive, stand with someone. Nobody wants to be anti-life, or anti-choice, letting people down and so on. That’s why propagandists and demagogues are fond of such framing. I find it unimpressive. It’s sad that there are too many people that don’t have the basic human decency to do what is right when it matters. And that their presence makes yet others, who need help and support become jaded and distrustful (and perhaps misanthropic). But I won’t adjust to that, either, by waving around with my arms like an idiot, eager to show that “I’m a good person”. Frankly, people with such mindsets could fuck off and tick the Christian box again, as their own reputation is clearly more important to them than anything else.

  26. carlie says

    Not only is the community as a whole not supportive, this thread is most certainly not an example of being supportive. The reason it’s exploded to over 2000 comments in 24 hours is exactly because of so many people coming onto it specifically to try to tear her and her story down. There are incredible, amazing, wonderful people on this thread supporting her, but the thread in toto is not a shining example of how great this community is at supporting rape victims.

    ischemgeek, I am so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for putting yourself back through those memories to show the reality of the culture we live in.

  27. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Whew, another 400 posts while I was sleeping. I don’t’ believe one word that the incoherent obnoxious troll said.

  28. says

    …let’s see how well you do on the air.

    On the air? On a show that you control, where you manage the framing and the editing and can cut me off at any moment? You, a person that has established their asshole credentials beyond all possible doubt? Yeah, that sounds like a great fucking idea.

    You’ve repeatedly acted like an asshole. You’ve had second and third chances and you’re still doing it. You’re one of the bad guys and you’ll remain one until you change your behavior.

  29. R Johnston says

    @1984:

    And one point people seem to be missing about hearsay: The reason it’s inadmissible when it is isn’t that it’s necessarily bad evidence that doesn’t bear on truth; it’s that there’s generally better evidence and courts generally have a way to compel the production of that better evidence. That’s what subpoenas are for. The exceptions to the hearsay rule tend to be for instances where subpoenas couldn’t work (e.g. dying statements) or would be unlikely to produce reliable evidence (statements against interest).

    Anyway, I’ve been reading this thread and this is a point that’s been bugging me. Calling something hearsay is not a way of calling it bad or unreliable evidence; it’s a way of saying that with compulsory process you expect that better evidence should be available. This forum not being a court and not having a process to compel testimony makes hearsay an entirely appropriate form of evidence to be presented in arguments herein. In everyday life people often if not usually have to make do with hearsay evidence as the best available evidence when it is given, and there’s really nothing wrong with that so long as the nature of the evidence is clear enough that it’s reliability can be judged.

    It matters not a whit whether or not some of the evidence in this thread is considered hearsay or not; what matters is whether the evidence is reliable and bears on the truth of the matters asserted, and the evidence offered by PZ most definitely meets that standard. The rape apologists defending Shermer in this thread are amoral unethical filth and more than a bit lacking the intelligence and skepticism they believe themselves to have. They are prime examples of Dunning-Kruger victims.

  30. Walton says

    For the avoidance of doubt, playonwords, when I said “the community” I meant “the atheist and skeptical community in general”. Which is not being uniformly supportive. But I’m sorry I wasn’t clear.

  31. says

    @ischemgeek
    Thanks for doing that and sorry that you had to go through it. Clueless people need to know what world they’re really living in. I know that such accounts help because they helped me.

  32. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Over 2000 comments and the dudes still don’t get it:
    This is not a trial, has nothing to do with justice and, frankly, is not intended for you ( or me for that matter)
    This is a woman who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of nasty reprisals ( justifiably, based on some attitudes here) warning other women in her community about a man who sexually accosted her.

  33. ischemgeek says

    @gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet

    It’s not that they don’t get it, it’s that they do get it and have a vested interest in misrepresenting it so they can maintain the status quo.

    They don’t care about victims, they care about being able to continue to act like douchenozzles with impunity.

  34. Walton says

    And one point people seem to be missing about hearsay: The reason it’s inadmissible when it is isn’t that it’s necessarily bad evidence that doesn’t bear on truth; it’s that there’s generally better evidence and courts generally have a way to compel the production of that better evidence. That’s what subpoenas are for. The exceptions to the hearsay rule tend to be for instances where subpoenas couldn’t work (e.g. dying statements) or would be unlikely to produce reliable evidence (statements against interest).

    Indeed. Hearsay is not always inadmissible in court. In criminal courts in England and Wales, there are certain limited circumstances under which hearsay can be admitted with permission of the judge (I won’t go into detail, but see section 114 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003). In civil courts in England and Wales, hearsay is now generally admissible, since the Civil Evidence Act 1995. In tribunals, the strict rules of evidence don’t generally apply, and hearsay can be admitted like any other evidence. And the reason for the general exclusion of hearsay in criminal proceedings is not that it’s inherently unreliable – it isn’t, otherwise it wouldn’t be admitted in any circumstances – but rather the concern that the opposing side doesn’t have the opportunity to cross-examine the maker of the statement.

    Not that the technical rules of evidence are especially relevant, since this blog comment thread isn’t a judicial proceeding. But you’re right in what you’ve said.

  35. carlie says

    Looks like he’s run out of steam, but has anyone reported Will Clemens to PZ for outright lying yet? His comment at 1872 is clear admission of trolling, as are subsequent ones (like at 1901). I wouldn’t mind, but wouldn’t want to be repetitive.

  36. playonwords says

    Owlglass, so you approve of the idea that no warning be given to any vulnerable person about a potential rapist unless the allegation can be proven in a court of law. I repeat, we do not live in an ideal world and the chances of any person being convicted of rape are vanishing small.

    The system you want us to follow has never worked. Firstly; until the early 20th century small communities in agricultural societies were the rule and travel for the vast bulk of humanity was severely limited. In such a situation potential victims were dependent upon the hearsay and innuendo you decry for their protection. Even in later societies such word of mouth warnings could still be effective. Secondly the courts only deal with what has happened not with what might happen, for such protection you are dependent upon goodwill and gossip.

    The modern equivalent to the buttermarket in a mediaeval town is the gossipy, unruly world of the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter.

    Live with it.

  37. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    @ischemgeek
     
    Point taken, I think my brain still refuses to accept that scum like that actually exist.
    And thank you for sharing.

  38. mildlymagnificent says

    The reason it’s exploded to over 2000 comments in 24 hours is exactly because of so many people coming onto it specifically to try to tear her and her story down. There are incredible, amazing, wonderful people on this thread supporting her, but the thread in toto is not a shining example of how great this community is at supporting rape victims.

    QFT

    A couple of times I’ve put my head round the door thinking that I needed to be supportive or whatever. And I realised it had nothing to do directly with supporting either PZ or Jane Doe. It was all about fending off the boarding parties from the rape apologists and the hyperskeptics.

    So 2000 comments not because we’re all so supportive, but 2000 comments because we’re willing to do battle. And we’re also signalling that we’ll do it again and again and again. We’ve done it before and we’ll keep on doing it for as long as necessary.

  39. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Bedtime for me, the puppetmistress has commanded me to bed for a decent nights sleep.
    Thank you to all who are challenging the ignorant and asinine comments. It has been remarkable reading.
    …and dudebros… Just shut the fuck up – understand that you are irrelevant.

  40. Johnny Oizys says

    Jane Doe, I believe you.
    PZ Myers, thank you for making the most ethical of two bad choices.

    Clearly this is not the ideal way to handle rape accusations, but as far as I am concerned, any blame falls squarely on the police and legal system for not being “equipped” to handle the crime of rape and on every pitter, MRA, rape apologist, etc. who are working hard to minimize rape, sexual assault and harassment, thereby making it harder for victims to come forward and get proper justice. Not to mention those organizations who prefer to sweep things under the carpet.

    Thank you to all the regulars for fighting the good fight, I’ve been reading Pharyngula for more years than I can remember and have learned so much!

    Also I propose the term “sceptically correct”, you figure out the definition.

  41. drxym says

    @MrFancyPants er thanks I’ll say what I like if it’s all the same to you. And yes I read the OP and a significant proportion of this very long thread. Forgive me for thinking that self righteous anger trial by mob based on hearsay was wrong. My bad.

  42. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    @ Robert R and Walton

    I think the major reason hearsay is inadmissible is because of the inability to cross-examine the person who originally made the statement. The trend in Canada, where I practised, is towards permitting hearsay in a broader fashion. The analysis is simple, is the statement reliable and necessary? (R. v. Khan [1990] 2 S.C.R. 531) The necessity may be due to the death of a witness, or as in Khan, the inability of the child witness to remember the details from years before, hence the mother was able to testify as to the child’s statements made at the time.
    The hearsay rule is intended to ensure that the accused has the opportunity to challenge the evidence against him or her, which comes straight out of the nature of the adversarial system. This is something desireable when the state brings its power to bear on a person. When people are commenting in a blog, not so much, in my view.
    It seems to me that discussion should range over information that may or may not be hearsay. We are talking about policy, not trying to make findings of fact and law.
    That the discussion is public and that anyone may join in is a plus. I don’t think such discussions should be shut down just because some of the statements under discussion could be hearsay or even that the central statement could be.
    In Family Court, when Children’s Aid cases were heard, the rule was that all evidence of any kind was admissible, so long as it was relevant. It was up to the Judge as to what weight was put on evidence, such as hearsay. The system worked pretty well, and certainly all parties felt they had been heard. I don’t see why that concept cannot work here.

  43. says

    @drxym
    And yet somehow you managed to miss all the posts that deal with how this isn’t a court room, nobody is on trial and hearsay rules are irrelevant. It’s curious, because it’s come up multiple times on every single page. You must have worked really hard to avoid reading it.

    Liar.

  44. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @chaswarren :

    Next time you link to bullshit like that you need to warn others about what they’re going to find when they click.

    I don’t appreciate being blindsided by more victim blaming and utterly disgusting bullshit.

  45. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    drxym:

    Yes, you can say whatever you want.

    …but when what you say is clueless and idiotic you’re going to have to deal with people telling you that you’re a clueless idiot.

  46. says

    Well, with that slam-dunk argument, what can I do other than agree with you. Thanks, you’ve really opened my eyes.

    I think in particular it was the methodical way in which you’ve gone through the previous arguments made in this thread and took them on, one by one. That was further strengthened by your frequent use of sources, to back up your claims.

    This has truly been a tour de force of rational argumentation. It was a privilege to witness.

  47. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    2000+ comments and the assholes of the world are just recycling the same old bullshit that was brought up and torn apart on page 1.

    Quelle surprise! Je suis vraiment fatigué avec tout, en ce moment. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  48. HappyNat says

    chaswarren,

    Was the article you linked to suppose to sum up all the stupid arguments brought up, and dealt with, in this thread? Or do you think it brought up some good points we should consider? Because it didn’t. From the article

    It is difficult for me to imagine that someone without a history of conflict with Shermer would jump the gun like this in a public disclosure that seems calculated to harm his reputation. It is similarly difficult to imagine that PZ would have done this had the accused been someone with whom he had no prior conflict.

    Is it really that hard for this person to imagine someone doing the right thing, protecting women in the movement, without an outside agenda? This person has no empathy or moral compass if so.

    Thanks to everyone fighting the good fight. I’ve only read about half the comments and to all the guys looking for loopholes to rape FUCKING stop it.

  49. Martin says

    @mildlymagnificent

    And I realised it had nothing to do directly with supporting either PZ or Jane Doe. It was all about fending off the boarding parties from the rape apologists and the hyperskeptics.

    Fending off the boarding parties is, in my eyes, some of the greatest support anyone on the internet can give in cases like this. You all support PZ by defending his actions and Jane Doe by defending her right to warn others of what happened to her and, maybe more importantly, by believing her without judgement.

    playonwords@1998:

    I believe part of the reason that why these charges against skeptical/atheist luminaries is coming our is because the community is far more likely to be supportive of the victim

    I’d say these things are coming out here on Pharyngula because PZ and the Horde are KNOWN to be supportive of the victim and KNOWN to defend them AGAINST the large part of the community that wants to degrade the victim.

    As we can see in this thread, and far too many over the past years, that trust is rightfully earned by too many Pharyngulites for me to name.
    I owe all of them a debt of gratitude for showing me glimpses of their experiences and making me open my eyes to the plight of people outside my comfort zone.

  50. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Is it really that hard for this person to imagine someone doing the right thing, protecting women in the movement, without an outside agenda? This person has no empathy or moral compass if so.

    I’m sure they care about people who matter to them. Women just aren’t those people. So to them, this has nothing to do with women at all. The fact that women are being treated to a shitstorm of sexual abuse and misogyny is easily ignored by them so they can focus on the two men involved. To them this must have something to do with these very important dudes. Remember that women are not the other team in situations like this. They’re the ball.

  51. Jessie says

    My 14 year old daughter has been sexually harassed by a number of boys at school recently. She has had to weigh the costs and benefits of reporting. In all conscience, I cannot tell her that reporting is the best choice, even when some were threats of rape.

    So what does she do? She shares the names of these boys with her friends, because that’s how they know who to avoid (as much as they can in a school environment). I’ll bet there are people reading this who think that’s unfair on those poor, poor, misunderstood boys, who didn’t really mean what they said – ‘boys will be boys’, ‘just a joke’, right? Perhaps they should think more about the girls, whose options for self-protection are limited by social attitudes towards women and girls.

    To those who are survivors, may I just add my voice: I believe you and I support you, however you decide to deal with what happened to you.

  52. dogberry says

    To #1509, zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait, who wrote:

    “To the people in this thread going on and on about absurd hypotheticals and the majesty of the law, please shut the fuck up. (And listen! But mostly shut the fuck up.) This isn’t an issue involving the law. Obviously a crime was committed, but this never ending concern about punishing the perpetrator is fucking inane and harmful. Frankly, I don’t give a fuck about Michael Shermer. I don’t really care if he lives the rest of his life in paradise or if he lives in abject poverty.”

    Sounds like you have condemned someone on the basis of some incomplete and thus far, inadequate, evidence. I have no brief to support or defend rapists, but I would rather be as sure as I can be that they are rapists before I make them suffer for that.

    “Actually just fuck you.”

    I think you just did. Not just Michael Shermer, but any one of us who might be subject to an unjust accusation of any sort. If it happened to you, m’sieu, voudriez-vous la justice?

  53. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sounds like you have condemned someone on the basis of some incomplete and thus far, inadequate, evidence.

    It is adequate. Only someone dismissing the woman would say it isn’t adequate, as this isn’t a court of law. This is blog. We can condemn anybody based on any evidence good enough for us. And there is plenty of evidence MS is a predator.

  54. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Holy fucking shit.

    Dogberry, read the thread. ALL OF IT.

    Your petty, fake “concerns” have already been addressed, and addressed multiple times.

  55. says

    It is difficult for me to imagine that someone without a history of conflict with Shermer would jump the gun like this in a public disclosure that seems calculated to harm his reputation. It is similarly difficult to imagine that PZ would have done this had the accused been someone with whom he had no prior conflict.

    Yeah, this is the new party line from the nitwits trying to silence women — that I’m only doing this because of my long-term, personal hatred of Shermer.

    Wrong.

    I’ve actually enjoyed and respected most of his books. I’ve encountered him many times on the lecture circuit — and our personal relationships have been amicable. They will bring up many times our recent disagreement over a sexist remark he made — “it’s a guy thing” — but I considered it a minor issue that he could have resolved easily by owning up to the error, and that his big problem was taking a minor criticism as an all-out assault on his integrity. I dislike his libertarianism. But that’s about it.

    But these stories I’ve been hearing, and that were confirmed by a couple of people, are not something I can ignore. I did not like reporting them — I am not at all happy to reveal this side of a popular and influential leader of the skeptic movement, and would rather be able to report that he has been a conscientious advocate with great respect for his fans.

  56. says

    @HappyNat:

    You don’t know me. I don’t know you. I don’t know Meyers. I don’t know Shermer. More importantly, I don’t know that Shermer’s accusers exist. I suspect that they probably do. However, lacking certainty, I’m not going to take Shermer’s guilt for granted. That’s what skepticism is, for me, a combination of intellectual rigor, rational thought (and, arguably, prudence) that behooves us to suspend judgement unless (until?) sufficient evidence has been collected. Obviously, your definition of sufficient evidence is different than mine. When I encounter a claim presented as fact, I strive to be like one of of Heinlein’s “Fair Witnesses.” This means that I try to make minimum extrapolations or assumptions. That’s one of the reasons that I call myself a skeptic.

    No, I’m not a rape apologist. No, I’m not a misogynist. I am a 52-year old feminist male who has rebuking rape apologists and misogynists for 30 years.

    What Meyers did here was wrong, regardless of his intentions. I’m not saying that I believe that public shaming is intrinsically wrong; sometimes I find it very right. But for public shaming to be righteous, the claim of misbehavior must be more than merely credible, it must be substantiated to the fullest degree possible. If you think that this as happened here, then we will have to agree to disagree.

  57. says

    A lie detector test for both parties to begin with

    I know that Will Clemens has gone to meet the banhammer, but I simply cannot let this one go by without comment: no true skeptic(tm) would not understand that lie detectors don’t work. Perhaps some day more advanced neuroscience will give us a lie detector but in the meantime anyone who talks about relying on a lie detector for anything is really saying that they don’t care about the truth and are more concerned with peer pressure and social rituals of truthiness.

  58. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Okay, I’ll bite.

    What would be necessary – other than the (corroborated) word of someone PZ knows to be truthful – for this to be “substantiated the fullest degree possible”?

  59. says

    A) Chaswarren, read the rest of the thread or fuck off. You are the umpteenth person to come in with the same bullshit script, and it’s been rebutted ad nauseam.

    B) I like the idea that PZ’s motivated by some beef he had with Shermer (really? PZ? If this were Ophelia’s blog, there’d be a better case. It’d be a stupid case, but a better one), but the anti-FtB brigade, including Vjack who’s been on a vendetta for a couple of years now, are all impartial observers just trying to be good skeptics.

    Tell you what, I’ll make things easier for you by reproducing a comment I made on page 1:

    Things that we do not know exist:
    *Bigfoot
    *Alien spacecraft with a habit of abducting people
    *Gods
    *Centaurs
    *Etc.

    Things we know exist, but are rare
    *The endangered Amur Leopard
    *The transit of Venus
    *Rape arrests and convictions
    *False rape accusations
    *Etc.

    Things we know exist and are common
    *Cute fluffy bunnies
    *Protons
    *Movie sequels
    *Rape
    *Etc.

    So here’s a skepticism 101 quiz:
    1. Which kinds of claims require extraordinary evidence? Which of the groups above correspond to that?
    2. If someone claims that they heard something rustling in the bushes, is it more likely to be Bigfoot, an Amur Leopard, or a cute fluffy bunny? Explain your answer.
    3. If someone claims that they were raped, which of the following scenarios is most likely:
    A. They were abducted by aliens
    B. They are making a false allegation
    C. Making this claim will result in an arrest and conviction
    D. They were actually raped

    Please put your pencils down and turn your papers over when finished.

  60. says

    However, lacking certainty, I’m not going to take Shermer’s guilt for granted

    Who’s asking you to? That’s not a rhetorical question.

    That’s what skepticism is, for me, a combination of intellectual rigor, rational thought (and, arguably, prudence) that behooves us to suspend judgement unless (until?) sufficient evidence has been collected.

    Does your definition also include the idea of tentative conclusions based on preliminary evidence? Evaluation of probabilities based on limited data? Holding a conclusion as likely true, but keeping an open mind about new evidence?
    Does that ring a bell at all?

    This means that I try to make minimum extrapolations or assumptions.

    That’s good. Since the only evidence we really have is the accusation itself and since we know that the majority (the vast, overwhelming majority) of accusations are true, what’s the proper, tentative conclusion?

  61. dogberry says

    Nerd, Prax:
    I have read the thread, all of it. My problem is that I don’t believe in mob justice. Not for anyone, be they rapists or murderers or child pornographers. Civilised societies don’t work that way. The legal system we have has enough problems by far in coming to the right verdicts, and I don’t think witch-hunts in the comments of a blog is likely to do better. We accept in our formal judicial system that it is better for a guilty person to go free rather than an innocent person be convicted and thus err on the side of the accused. But here we see someone condemned on hearsay and any who point that out are accused in turn of being MRA’s or somesuch. I will say again that if Shermer is guilty he should be condemned and his victim deserves all our support and empathy, but what if he isn’t? What will these comments have done to him, his family, his entire life if he isn’t guilty? Do you really want to take the responsibility for doing that to someone who might turn out to be innocent? The fact is that you and I are not qualified to make this judgement and should not attempt it. That is independent of our feminist street cred, and I certainly don’t need you to tell me whether or not I am a feminist, which is an irrelevant consideration when we try to decide if we are right to turn into an internet lynch mob.

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t know Meyers.

    That is Myers. That error shows the intellectual quality of your mental wankings.

    However, lacking certainty, I’m not going to take Shermer’s guilt for granted. That’s what skepticism is, for me, a combination of intellectual rigor, rational thought (and, arguably, prudence) that behooves us to suspend judgement unless (until?) sufficient evidence has been collected.

    And it has been collected. Except for hyperskeptics and folks who don’t believe anything a woman says because they are women…

    No, I’m not a rape apologist. No, I’m not a misogynist.

    Yes you are, if you don’t accept women’s words they were raped, and try to diminish what they say as not being good enough evidence for you. Your words belie your own claims.

    What Meyers did here was wrong, regardless of his intentions. I

    What he did here was right. What you want is wrong, which is to sweep the incident under the rug for pretators safety. You present no way to make women safer around a known predator. You have nothing cogent to say, and took many words to show that.

  63. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Wait a second, chaswarren…

    Are you expecting people to just take you at your word that your claims are true, without it being substantiated to the fullest degree possible?

    You posted that link without comment, without trigger warning anyone… and you expect that you’re going to be treated as if you’re an ally?

    You haven’t proved yourself to be anything other than someone who wants to further trigger the survivors participating in this thread.

  64. Al Dente says

    chaswarren

    No, I’m not a rape apologist. No, I’m not a misogynist. I am a 52-year old feminist male who has rebuking rape apologists and misogynists for 30 years.

    You just don’t believe several women who say they’ve been raped by Shermer because “bitches be lying.” You may not be a rape apologist but you play one on the internet.

  65. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    ..and “lynch mob”?

    You do realize that warning women to keep away from a potential predator is not the same as dragging that potential predator to a tree and taking his life by hanging, after he’s been tortured, don’t you?

    No, of course you don’t.

    You don’t give two shits about “fair” or just.

    Stop lying.

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My problem is that I don’t believe in mob justice.

    Show with links to defintions that this is what is happening here. All I see is people like you making sweeping claims without evidence to back up your claims, whereas there is corroborating evidence for Jane Doe’s claims. What you say after that is bullshit.

    The legal system

    Bullshit, this isn’t a court of law. This is nothing but a blog.

    But here we see someone condemned on hearsay and any who point that out are accused in turn of being MRA’s or somesuch.

    As noted above, the evidence PZ posted isn’t considered heresay. That is you diminishing the evidence. But the Jane Doe’s words are considered evidence.

    That is independent of our feminist street cred,

    You aren’t a feminist. Quit pretending you are. You are a MRA rape apologist, and are until the rape is condemned.

  67. eigenperson says

    #2065 dogberry:

    You’re using words like “mob justice,” “condemned,” and “lynch mob.”

    Are you really serious?

    “Mob justice” means that the mob takes the law into its own hands to administer punishment. That’s not what’s happening here.

    “Condemned” means being sentenced to a punishment. That’s not happening here.

    “Lynch mob” means a group of people that murders someone. That’s not happening here.

    I understand that you probably mean those things not literally, but as analogies. But the thing is, your complaints about the need to apply the principles of reasonable doubt and innocent until proven guilty are inapplicable, because those complaints are based solely on the analogy to a criminal prosecution, and the analogy have been stretched beyond the breaking point.

  68. Al Dente says

    Why are you people being so hard on chaswarren and dogberry? They’re standing up for the rights of rapists not to be outed. Surely that’s more important than warning women to watch out for the rapists. Won’t anyone think of the poor, unappreciated rapist who just wants to satisfy his needs at the expense of others?

    /snark (just to be sure)

  69. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    dogberry:

    …mob justice…witch-hunts…feminist street cred… lynch mob.

    *slow clap*

    Not bad, I’d give you about 7/10. You are missing references to your skepticism.

    Now, honey, would you stand in PZ’s place, keep quiet about this and deny a woman who asked you to share this in hope of protecting other women? Would you take this responsibility and live with yourself when you hear about some other woman being assaulted by Shermer?

  70. Pete Newell says

    OMG they’re still going. I knew about this. I *knew* about it. But I’ve never gone this deep down the rathole.

    I have to do things in meatspace today. I can’t help anymore. But I’ll be thinking about this all day, if that gives anyone a sense of support.

    Nerd, Prax, eigenperson, Al Dente, you all rock. I’ll try to take a shift later.

  71. xxxild61 says

    I’m willing to take the stories of any women who has experienced what she knows to have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed by Michael Shermer. My process will go as follows:

    People can contact me on my website, http://damagerep0rt.com by leaving me a comment. I do not publish comments from people wishing to be anonymous. All my comments on that site are on approval only. I will reply by email to whatever address they give me.

    We will have brief online face time to verify we are real people representing ourselves honestly. We can do this through Skype.

    The person can tell me the details of what happened and I will either report it myself or allow them to guest post on my website.

    I will seek detailed responses from the conferences where these alleged crimes were committed and from the alleged perpetrator himself.

    I am an atheist, a skeptic, and a secular humanist. I have friends who are feminist. I have a small handful of people I’m friendly with who are MRA. I have never attended a skeptic conference.

  72. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Pete:

    Thanks. I don’t know if I rock… but I know I’m not going to let these assholes come here and think they can get away with this crap without having to face the ugly truth.

    No need to feel bad. :) Don’t think about this to the detriment of your meatspace life, either. Have a fantastic day and we’ll see you later!

  73. says

    Wait, we’re not a lynch mob? I spent the last day figuring out how to tie words on a screen into a noose for nothing?

    This is a greater travesty of justice than when AnthonyK let Shermer out of the Jail of Public Opinion. He should be serving hard time in a Maximum Security Public Opinion Penitentiary!

  74. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @xxxild61

    No. No. No.

    READ THE THREAD.

    You sound like you want to dox victims.

    Stop that.

  75. eigenperson says

    xxxild61: I’m pretty sure that the women are more than capable of revealing their identities themselves should they choose to do so. But I’m sure they’re grateful that you’ve offered to provide that service and to vet their stories with your sterling credibility as someone we have never heard of.

  76. piegasm says

    @2075

    Sounds legit.

    And by that I mean it sounds like a completely transparent attempt to wrest personal details from victims. Stop it.

  77. xxxild61 says

    No. I don’t want to dox victims, Praxis. I will maintain their anonymity while validating they’re a real person and not a troll and vice versa. I’ve had brief face time with people without doxing them, ever. I just need to know they are a sincere actor vs a troll. I’ve had many people relate their personal histories with Ashetheraven, (Joshua Clark), without ever revealing who they are. Even Ashe doesn’t know who has contacted me.

    I’ve put an offer out. The alleged victims can make the choice.

  78. dogberry says

    Nerd, you seem to have made up your mind and are not open to listening to me. You don’t know how much of a feminist I am – you don’t even know my sex or my orientation. I wouldn’t make such assumptions if I were you.

    Eigenperson, You are right that I cannot and do not mean that Michael Shermer is being literally condemned or lynched here (although I see several people who would happily tie the knot in the rope). What is written here is not without consequences – his reputation is being damaged, his career damaged, and if he is married or has children those relationships are being damaged. As they must be if he is guilty, but we don’t know that. The usual argument is that most rape accusations are true so we can assume this one is true, so we are justified in inflicting this damage (and anyway, this isn’t a court of law so we can say what we like – not such a responsible or mature point of view, no?) If I were accused of a crime I wouldn’t want a court to reach a verdict on the basis that most accusations of this kind are proven to be true so I must be guilty too. BTW, if you think about it there is some positive reinforcement in that as every ‘statistically guilty’ case adds to the weight of the assumption of guilt.

    Once again, if he is guilty I would condemn him. It’s just not our right to ruin his life unless he is guilty, and I can’t say that he is on hearsay, and even if his alleged victim were to speak directly to me, I am not in a position to make it official. That requires a judge. Having said that, if he is guilty I’ll be happy to see him rot in hell, metaphorically. I do understand that sexual assault is far more common than we recognise, that it mostly goes unpunished, and we should be doing our level best to control the atavistic impulses of the male of our species. Any society I would want to live in would have that as a norm, just as it would turn away from assuming unproven guilt.

  79. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Okay, I’m going to ask you again to read the thread. ALL OF IT.

    Your kind of blame-y, patronizing BS has already been covered extensively.

    The offer you’ve put out is an insult and demonstrates that you didn’t even bother to read the OP.

    If you can’t be arsed to read the post, let alone the comments, you’re not demonstrating any trustworthiness.

  80. eigenperson says

    xxxild61, the victims have already revealed their identities to PZ Myers, who has validated that they are real people. What additional value could you possibly hope to provide, especially as you are completely unknown in the community and have no credibility?

  81. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    dogberry:

    This is about protecting women. It’s not even about Shermer.

    Why are you ignoring this?

    Is it because you’ve read enough of the thread to gather that I’m female and that Nerd and Eigenperson are male?

    Because right now you’re not coming across as anyone reasonable.

    You’re acting like all the other rape apologeticists that have come before you.

  82. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    My 2083 is to xxxild61, by the way.

  83. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    you seem to have made up your mind and are not open to listening to me. Y

    I’m listening, just not believing a word you say, just as you don’t believe a word Jane Doe said. And you aren’t a feminist, otherwise you would take Jane Doe at her word. Why I don’t take you word for anything other than bullshit:

    Once again, if he is guilty

    This isn’t a court of law, nor is there any reason to think it will end up in a court of law. All that bullshit is bullshit. Since you wank bullshit, you aren’t taken as anything other than a bullshitter.

  84. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Eigenperson:

    Remember last night when you and I had that brief aside about me not being listened to or trusted because I’m a lying liar who lies because of my lying vagina?

    Do you think that if I addressed my comments to you and them you brought them up to dogberry that the jackass would listen?

  85. eigenperson says

    Once again, if he is guilty I would condemn him. It’s just not our right to ruin his life unless he is guilty, and I can’t say that he is on hearsay, and even if his alleged victim were to speak directly to me, I am not in a position to make it official. That requires a judge.

    No one is asking anyone to officially ruin Shermer’s life.

    It’s not our duty to ruin Shermer’s life at all. But it is our duty to make sure that there can be no more victims. That means getting the truth out there, even if it can’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

    And in addition, I think people have the right to know the truth, regardless of the consequences. To insist that people not reveal something that is highly likely to be true seems morally wrong to me.

  86. piegasm says

    @2082 dogberry

    It’s just not our right to ruin his life

    1) Please provide evidence that this post/thread will have consequences that can reasonably be characterized as “ruin[ing] his life.”
    2) What about the lives that would likely be ruined via being raped by Michael Shermer if we were to dismiss this claim and it turned out to be true?

  87. xxxild61 says

    PZ is biased. I’m not. PZ is not telling their whole stories. I will, or I will allow them to in a safe, sane way, in their own words, without doxing. The alleged victims can get to know me before telling me anything. They can learn that while some very public spectacles have taken place over safety at conferences and online safety I work to keep vulnerable people and groups safe in my own way. Lots of us do.

    I realize I don’t have any credibility with suspicious people online, but I’ll also note none of you took ten minutes to peruse my blog. Have a nice day.

  88. says

    @xxxild61: I’m going to try to be charitable and assume you want to do the right thing, and aren’t hoping to further victimize victims of assault.

    Here’s why your request is problematic:
    1) Thus far, all of the anonymous reports to bloggers (PZ, Jen, Ed Cara) have been from people the bloggers themselves knew and trusted for extended periods of time. This allowed those bloggers to vouch for the anonymous reporters, while still keeping them anonymous. A Skype chat is not enough contact for you to establish a trusting relationship with a reporter; they would be better off reporting through someone that they already know and have a mutually trusting relationship, and you would be better off not putting your reputation on the line for someone you’ve only spoken to briefly.

    2) Thus far, all of the bloggers who have written about the anonymous reports have been blogging under their real names. This puts them at a greater risk for suffering consequences if the reports should be inaccurate, untrue, or malicious. They are putting their actual reputations on the line by making these posts under their real names. As near as I can tell, you blog pseudonymously. This puts you at less risk, and makes it harder for you to face the consequences for making a false report, and makes it harder for people who don’t know you to come to you understanding that you’d have skin in the game by publishing the report.

    3) Thus far, all of the anonymous reports have been published by people with fairly long histories blogging (the exception being the Heresy Club, which has nonetheless amassed a sizeable audience through being fairly active in the community). This is not meant to be a slight at your blog or your readership, but PZ and Jen especially have developed a long reputation among their readers for being forthright, trustworthy, and compassionate. They also have a wider reach, thanks to the size and prominence of the FTB network. I think the issue would receive greater attention from a blog with a larger, more varied following.

    This is not to say that you shouldn’t publicize this issue. The best people to go to, though, would be people you already know and trust, not people who you know from a Skype chat. If anyone you know has experienced harassment or assault in the atheoskeptical movement, please publicize their story, and I’m sure others will link to it. But hopefully you understand why your request may not be seen as the most helpful.

  89. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Nerd # 2087:

    “Since you wank bullshit…”

    Thanks for the mental image. Ew.

  90. says

    Xxxild61, the “alleged” victims? Eh, I’m willing to believe you mean well, but I’d be surprised if anyone took you up on your offer. Jane Doe contacted PZ on this because she already knew and trusted him, whereas to the people you’re making your offer to, you’re just another Anon. At first glance your comment read like a doxxer to naive, privileged me, I just can imagine how it would look to a rape or sexual assault victim who will be already cautious about exposure.

  91. says

    Dogberry, you are doing the thing that many are trying to do, which is to ask us to trust in a system and a process that is manifestly broken and which rarely gets results. And where it succeeds it often does so by destroying the victim. ‘We burned the village to save it.’

    Furthermore, you are asking for consideration to be given to the perpetrator in a manner that only perpetuates the problem. It’s consideration for men’s reputations that, so far as we can see, permits predation to continue. It seems that very few speak for the victims.

    You’re not wrong that innocent men can be harmed by false accusation. However, given the growing testimony coming out about Shermer and Krauss I am really not wringing my hands about this.

    It’s not that anything is proven, by any means. But now suspicion is out in the open. And I feel that is important in going forward. Shermer and Krauss are under suspicion, and if they are sensible they will do nothing that will turn that suspicion into a criminal charge. Which can only be good for future women who come into contact with these men.

  92. Dhorvath, OM says

    Beatrice,

    would you stand in PZ’s place, keep quiet about this and deny a woman who asked you to share this in hope of protecting other women? Would you take this responsibility and live with yourself when you hear about some other woman being assaulted by Shermer?

    Quite apart from that, I would want to know that shit I have done has left others in a position where even talking about it makes them fear for their safety. If Shermer was decent, defending his reputation would not consist of denial, but compassion.
    ___

    It’s just not our right to ruin his life unless he is guilty

    Show that his life is being ruined. People are being giving the option of listening to one person’s experience with Shermer and avoiding him as a result. We make such decisions constantly.

  93. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    xxxild61,

    You didn’t even take the time to read the thread.

    why should we think you’re here in good faith and are deserving of trust… or resepct? (Since you haven’t shown much respect to the people who have been slogging this shit out for the past 2090 comments.)

  94. says

    @xxxild61:

    PZ is biased. I’m not. PZ is not telling their whole stories. I will, or I will allow them to in a safe, sane way, in their own words, without doxing.

    How is PZ biased? How are you unbiased?

    Do you understand that PZ is not telling the “whole story” of this woman because she doesn’t want to be identifiable from the details of the story?

    I did peruse your blog, and I plan on reading the big “Della Deception” post when I have more time later today. The problems with your request are as I outlined above, and I question anyone who says that they aren’t biased.

  95. eigenperson says

    #2088 praxis: Well, we’ve been saying the same things, so perhaps it’s a good natural experiment.

    I wonder what evolutionary psychology says about the relative trustworthiness of people with blue vs. pink gravatars. I think the blue ones should naturally be more trustworthy, because our brains are hardwired to associate pink with blushing cheeks, which indicate falsehood as everyone knows. Or maybe it’s pink, because blue is perceived as a cold, unfeeling, psychopathic color thanks to long years on the savannah of associating red with fire and blue with water.

    Once we do the experiment we’ll know which hypothesis to propose in our paper.

  96. sqlrob says

    PZ is biased. I’m not.

    Evidence for both assertions?

    PZ is not telling their whole stories.

    He is saying what they told him he can tell. Even assuming you’re on the up and up, why is what is told to you going to change?

  97. xxxild61 says

    I’ll take a look at Jen’s post, Tom. I do realize how unsafe it feels to reveal this type of thing online. I understand that although I’m not a member of the large group of people who go to conferences in this community. As an outsider, I’d be aggressive in getting answers as to why these reports have been dismissed, and the women not encouraged to file outright police reports. I don’t care who it is or how popular they are, if they raped someone, they need to face the consequences for their actions.

    I will note that had this happened in my community, and I became aware of a public person doing this to one of my community I wouldn’t have let it go on this long, and be content to quietly warn women away from the alleged rapist. It appears to me this community is entirely dysfunctional as to how to handle an alleged rapist in their community, and a prominent one at that.

  98. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Eigenperson:

    Don’t you mean *your* paper? After all, if you let a mere woman take credit for all your manly-man hard man-work you’re just going to harm your reputation.

    ‘Cause Bitchez-be-Liars and are hysterical and incapable of knowing things and stuff.

    Knowing things and stuff is “more of a guy thing”.

  99. eigenperson says

    It will be “our paper” when you talk about it, and “my paper” when I do. I believe that’s the way things are done these days.

  100. skeptianthro says

    For those who keep saying why didn’t she just go to the hospital or the police: Allow me to tell you the story of my niece who was sexually molested at the age of 14 by a friend’s (now former friend) father. She was spending the night at the friend’s house and this man decided to jack off onto her back after digitally molesting her. She basically played like she was sleeping and allowed it to happen. After he left the room, she waited about an hour and then snuck out of the house, called her parents who promptly took her to the hospital. They called me because I have some experience with working with police as a forensic anthropologist so I drove the six hours out to their place to be with my niece. Now, the first thing they did (according to my sister whom I believe) was question the hell out of all them. Why did you allow your daughter to spend the night at someone’s house? Would it be possible she was drinking? Were you drinking? Did you do anything that might have made him think you were interested in him? Have you ever been sexually active? Have you let a guy feel you up? Is it possible your father did this? (Yes, seriously, they asked that question!) At that point my sister said that questioning was over unless they had an attorney present and it was shortly thereafter that I arrived. The cops put my niece (14) on trial before even taking any evidence. They hadn’t even gotten to the exam before I got there. I sat there with my niece while gave her a full gynecological exam and noted that she was a virgin still. They swabbed her, poked her, prodded her, clipped her nails, combed through her hair, etc. Once the doctor told the cops that she was a virgin did they finally believe her. It was then and only then that the cops arrested him and swabbed him for DNA (which they found under his nails). Okay, so one would think at this point it would be a slam dunk…. two years before this rapist went to trial. During which time, my niece was painted as a lolita in her community. His wife was telling people in the neighborhood to not be alone with my niece because she was mentally unbalanced and who knows what could happen. The wife’s reasoning: my sister and her husband put her into therapy to deal with this issue. Her friend turned on her and was spreading rumors in school to the point where people were pointing and laughing at her. She changed schools and even then, her friend contacted people at her new school to start shit. This went on for two years. During the trial she had to testify A) about everything that happened and B) how worldly she was (16 and finally had a boyfriend). She made the statement that she was digitally violated and the defense attorney jumped all over that. How could she know that term? Someone obviously coached her, the defense attorney contested. Well, after 2 years she had heard all the technical terms and she wasn’t stupid. During the trial, it was contended that evidence was handled improperly and he was scummy enough to even suggest that his son (who was in the military at the time (incident and trial) was responsible. Despite everything the defense did, the DNA evidence spoke for itself as well as the composure of my niece on trial for this rapist to be convicted. And guess what…. she was still ostracized after the fact. The rapist’s brother started up a change dot org petition saying that laws must be changed because it is unfair that a man was convicted on just her testimony. This is despite what the jury said convinced them. Now, they all attended the same church and my family was the one who was told to find another church home because of the lies their daughter had told led to the unfair conviction of one of the “elders”.

    She was 14!!! And despite all of this, she got her day in court. There were many times when she wanted to quit but wouldn’t. So, after watching this, I do not begrudge anyone who chooses NOT to seek the police in the case of rape/sexual assault. After watching what my niece went through, I am the proudest aunt in the world because of her

  101. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    xxxild61,

    As a survivor I invite you to fuck off and get the hell out of here.

    You’re acting like an asshole.

    Unless you go back and read the thread, as I’ve asked you to do repeatedly, so that you can see where all your “concerns” have already been addressed you aren’t deserving of any goodwill or trust.

    You just want this to be about you.

    It isn’t.

    It’s about making sure that a potential predator is identified, very publicly, so that women can protect themselves.

    You don’t seem to get that, or you’re simply refusing to do so.

  102. Dhorvath, OM says

    I will note that had this happened in my community, and I became aware of a public person doing this to one of my community I wouldn’t have let it go on this long, and be content to quietly warn women away from the alleged rapist. It appears to me this community is entirely dysfunctional as to how to handle an alleged rapist in their community, and a prominent one at that.

    But it didn’t happen to you, so playing what if is patronizing.

  103. Kevin Schelley says

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I find xxxild61’s insistence that they are impartial in part because they have friends that are feminists and friends that are MRA’s to be troubling. I’m sorry, but I have a hard time seeing that this person, who I don’t know from a hole in the ground, would be an advocate for someone who has suffered sexual assault. I find it much more likely that they’d interrogate the victim and be prone to disbelieving anything they say.

  104. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    xxxild61,

    Oh, bless you, but you seem to have good intentions. At least it seems so. Probably. That high horse of yours does seem to be awfully high, though. Would you even be able to see the victims from up there?

    Seriously, it took years for this woman to confide in PZ, and now she’s supposed to communicate with some unknown person on internet and tell them everything, losing anonymity and possibly getting into trouble she was trying to avoid? I don’t see how you can expect that.

  105. says

    We accept in our formal judicial system that it is better for a guilty person to go free rather than an innocent person be convicted and thus err on the side of the accused. But here we see someone condemned on hearsay

    the bullshit about hearsay has already been addressed by the lawyerly types. As for the rest: “it is better for a guilty person to go free rather than an innocent person be convicted” in a criminal trial because the cost of convicting an innocent is very high, depriving a person of decades of their lives for retaliatory reasons that won’t even help anyone, and that’s not even mentioning the immense power-imbalance between a person and a government. Nothing even remotely like that is even remotely true for a blog post, and therefore the cost-benefit-analysis swings instead to believing the accuser, because that might protect women from harm, but it won’t cause much of any harm to Shermer. JREF already said they have no blacklists against sexual predators.

  106. eigenperson says

    Once the doctor told the cops that she was a virgin did they finally believe her.

    RAGE

  107. says

    @dogberry

    I have read the thread, all of it. My problem is that I don’t believe in mob justice.

    You know, if you want us to believe that you’ve read the thread, it’s a good idea not to immediately say something that demonstrates that you haven’t. Kinda gives away what a filthy, lying assface you are.

    @xxxild61

    PZ is biased. I’m not

    Well, I’m glad we got that settled, completely anonymous person.

  108. HappyNat says

    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *slow clap*

    Not bad, I’d give you about 7/10. You are missing references to your skepticism

    Just a Nazi and Pol Pot reference away from a perfect score.

    Chaswarren,

    Agreed to disagree is one way to put it. I think it’s sick that you (and many others) enjoy being a hyper skeptic rather than care about the well being of women. You need to reevaluate your thought process to before I can consider you a decent human being. Agreed?

  109. xxxild61 says

    I understand NelC, everything that you mention. But those are my boundaries. I won’t waste time talking to another man pretending to be a woman, etc. I’m sure alleged victims will rather tell people they know and trust, or people like PZ whom they find to be an advocate for victims.

    PZ has a lot of detractors given his being a high profile atheist skeptic speaker at conferences. If victims want to contact me they are welcome. I’m not trying to wrest their stories and I have nothing monetized on my site. If they’d like to use my site, I can set them up as contributors with only an email address which I will never reveal. At some point someone needs to act as an advocate without politicizing their stories. I will attempt to do that, or, I hope someone other than myself will.

  110. says

    I am a 52-year old feminist male who has rebuking rape apologists and misogynists for 30 years./blockquote>how did that go? oh yeah: “hearsay” “no evidence” “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” and so on.

  111. says

    I am a 52-year old feminist male who has rebuking rape apologists and misogynists for 30 years.

    how did that go? oh yeah: “hearsay” “no evidence” “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” and so on.

  112. eigenperson says

    xxxild61:

    I won’t waste time talking to another man pretending to be a woman, etc.

    Please. Stop. This is ridiculous.

    I said before that you had no credibility, but you are now entering the negative territory.

  113. says

    What would be necessary – other than the (corroborated) word of someone PZ knows to be truthful – for this to be “substantiated the fullest degree possible”?

    I think the hyperskeptics will only accept an admission of guilt from Shermer. Catch-22.

    I do think it would be interesting if someone asked Shermer “is this true? were you making a habit out of getting conference attendees drunk and having sex with them?” I’m sure that since he’s a randian libertarian and he knows nobody’s going to press charges, he’d have no reason not to answer truthfully, right?

  114. ischemgeek says

    xxxild61, why the fuck in this climate on this internet should someone who does not know you even by reputation trust someone who has, from what I can tell, zero reputation either way trust you to not be planning to dox them or what have you? When the stakes of being outed as a victim are so fucking high, as shown through the many and sundry accounts listed here, and if pseudonymous accounts aren’t good enough, there’s real-life examples like Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons to consider.

    Why the fuck should someone risk going through all that shit for your fucking personal gratification?

    Fuck off.

  115. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    [OT]
    eigenperson,
    Not to go too much off topic, but from what I’ve gathered from xxxild61’s site, she had issues with a troll and scam-artist who had a female online alter ego he claimed was his girlfriend.

  116. Martin says

    @xxxild61 If you want to learn and help, please shut up. Please stop assuming things “if they had happened in…” or “you became aware”. It sounds like you, as I, have never suffered from rape or anything remotely like it. I truly hope I’m right in that assumption. It makes us lucky and fortunate but completely unable to understand the consequences. It is why I read and learn and try not to make an ignorant ass out of myself.

    Read the comments of those who have. The way it has ruined their lives, often made worse when they tried to get justice. Maybe, just maybe you understand that going to the police isn’t always the best option. Sometimes warning others is the only way available.

  117. billhamp says

    What we have: Claim (claims?) of rape

    What we need: Evidence – Evidence is antyhing that supports a claim, so we can divide that support into degrees of strength. The weakest type of evidence is anecdotal or personal experience, which is what we have. That is not to say that we have no evidence at all, but that the evidence we have is weak. If we had physical evidence or documentary evidence (video, audio, etc.), then we would have strong evidence.

    Now, the strength of personal experience or anecdote can vary based on several factors:
    1. Is the source trustworthy?
    2. Are there ulterior motives that need to be considered?
    3. Was person of sound mind who made the claim?
    4. Specificity of the claim/s.
    5. Consistency of the claim/s.
    6. Substantiating claims or evidence?

    I’ll address each in turn.

    1. This is, of course, debatable. Now, whether PZ is an honest person is less the issue than whether PZ is prone to inflammatory statements, exaggeration, and myopia. To many who witnessed Elevatorgate, PZ is all three and, as such, is a less than trustworthy source. I imagine most of these people feel that there may be some truth in the claims that PZ is describing here, but that the truth may be very, very far from rape. The question is, would Shermer knowingly and with intent rape someone (in fact, this is what would need to be proved)? Many would say no and that there is likely much, much more to this story than PZ is describing. We could speculate, but that is all it would be. I would point out that PZ has called this incident “assault,” but that the original person does not. The inflation of the charge by PZ detracts from his credibility and feeds into the idea that he exagerrates.

    2. The answer here has to be yes and they have been outlined before. You can argue as to the role these motivations play in this particular case, but they are there and they do weaken PZ’s position. This criteria fails.

    3. Don’t know. The point here is not to dismiss rape. The point here is to keep this in the back of our minds. We have no reason to believe that the claims were not made of someone who is sound of mind, so we can add this to the strengthen list.

    4. It states that “At a conference, Mr. Shermer coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me. I can’t give more details than that, as it would reveal my identity, and I am very scared that he will come after me in some way.” This is not specific at all and is, perhaps, the most damning part of the post for PZ. First of all, the claim of rape is not made. Coercion is used and it is indicated that the part “could not consent,” but the wording is odd and circuitous. It suggests that person has specifically avoided the claim of rape, which further suggests that the person does not consider the incident rape. More detail would go a long way to propping up one claim or another. This reads more like the person felt pressured to have sex and said yes, but didn’t really want to and regretted saying yes. Of course, this is all stuff that a skeptic must consider and which would be remedied by more specificity. This criteria fails.

    5. We have only this claim documented and at a single point in time, which prohibits any analysis of consistency. Further, this claim, due to its lack of specificity, will not be able to provide consistency in the future. Thus, this criteria fails.

    6. The quote claims that 5 others have also experienced similar interactions, but there is no mention of specifics and no documentation. Thus, these 5 claims are even weaker than the one we are considering and do little to support it. In fact, to some they may detract a little. Most damning for this criteria, however, is the fact that the person came forth in a secondhand blog post and makes no indication that law enforcement was involved. This suggests that the person making the claim has no evidence at all and given that we don’t know the person and only have PZ to vouch, we cannot make an reasonable assessment of how trustworthy the person is. This criteria fails.

    So, we are left with PZ making a post that claims Mr. Shermer sexually assaulted six people. If PZ cannot substantiate the claim and Shermer can demonstrate damage to his character that results in him not being invited to conferences, lossing income, etc., then PZ may be on the hook for libel. Those cases are always difficult, but it is a potential concern.

    Beyond the case for libel, we should consider if PZ acted rationally. The answer is, I think, no. A rational person, no matter how much they want to believe something, demands evidence. That may be considered harsh, by some, but it is the definition of rational. It is good to commiserate with the person involved, to support that person, and even to warn those close to you that something may be amiss. However, to make a public announcement with no more evidence than “a person told me” and to expect your word to be taken on authority is no different than testimony about Jesus, Allah, or any other supernatural deity. I don’t accept PZ’s scientific papers because PZ wrote them, I accept them because they contain evidence and logical deductions. Authority does not and never should mean anything to a skeptic. PZ is asking us to take him at his word, which would be fine for a mundane claim about his last meal or the color of his car, but is wholly inadequate for a claim regarding rape. It is for this reason that skeptics do not accept this post and are demanding more evidence.

  118. says

    Being an outsider may give one more impartiality. It also means they don’t know the ins and outs of what’s been going on the last several years, and would need to do a good deal of research, combing through tons of misinformation, just to become conversant in the matters that have led to this.

    Also, I think we want to politicize these accounts, for certain definitions of “politicize.” We want these issues to cause policy changes at the organizations and conferences. That’s not a negative; it’s a large part of the point.

  119. eigenperson says

    #2122 Beatrice:

    Regardless, it is not relevant to this case because PZ Myers knows the victim personally and can vouch for her gender. As if that were necessary.

  120. says

    Alright, I’ve finally made it up to #2094. I haven’t wanted to post until I got to the end. If I refresh I’m sure I’ll be a hundred or so behind but I think this is close enough.
     
    Fucking hell. The tireless assholery of the women-haters’ club is just depressing beyond belief. How can someone argue such a toxic POV and not be horrified at themselves?
     
    The optimist in me is hoping this testeria is a sign that they know they are losing.
     
    Thank you to PZM for handling the grenade, and a giant thank you to the woman who brought her story to him. You’ve shown more courage than I have ever had to.
     
    And thank you to the horde for taking on the thankless task of facing the slimedouches. You are making a difference. And the slimers know it too – that’s why they’re so quick to claim you aren’t.

  121. eigenperson says

    billhamp, the claim is per se a claim of rape, and she literally used the word rape to describe what happened to her at the conference. If you couldn’t be bothered to even read the accusation in its entirety I don’t feel that it’s necessary to read your post any further.

  122. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What we need: Evidence – Evidence is antyhing that supports a claim, so we can divide that support into degrees of strength.

    Gee, guess what, a hyperskeptic came to the conclusion PZ was wrong. But they are wrong. At the end of the day, does this claim help women at cons to protect themselves around MS. ALL ELSE IS BULLSHIT.

    we should consider if PZ acted rationally. The answer is, I think, no

    Whereas most people here think yes. Your pretend rational analysis is dismissed, just as, at the end of the day, you are dismissing Jane Doe’s claims as insufficient…

  123. says

    PZ is asking us to take him at his word, which would be fine for a mundane claim about his last meal or the color of his car, but is wholly inadequate for a claim regarding rape

    Rape is a mundane thing. It happens all the time, over and over and in the vast majority of cases, when someone makes an accusation, it’s true. This has been mentioned before, so are you going to deal with it? Are you going to face the fact that an accusation of rape is, a priori, 90+% likely to be true?

    You’ve assigned rape to a category demanding great evidence and this is simply not in accordance with reality.

  124. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Holy shit on a shiny shingle…

    The denialists, apologists and potential doxxers come here expecting the utmost respect for their views, yet can’t even be bothered to show the most basic courtesy of reading the thread before commenting. (Or they lie about having done so and make it all too obvious that they’re lying)

    There ought to be a hell, just so there can be a special place there for these people.

  125. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    I find it much more likely that they’d interrogate the victim and be prone to disbelieving anything they say.

    And then continue to take actions the victim has said she doesn’t want taken (report the con, go to the police, etc) because JUSTICE!

    Yeah, consent sure does matter a whole fucking lot to a lot of people.

  126. eigenperson says

    I just want to emphasize this again:

    If you haven’t read all 2131 comments (so far) of the thread, I sympathize with you.

    If you haven’t read the entire post by PZ, shame on you.

    If you haven’t even read the single paragraph that is the victim’s accusation; e.g.,

    It suggests that person has specifically avoided the claim of rape, which further suggests that the person does not consider the incident rape.

    then FUCK YOU.

  127. says

    Billhamp:

    Now, whether PZ is an honest person is less the issue than whether PZ is prone to inflammatory statements, exaggeration, and myopia. To many who witnessed Elevatorgate, PZ is all three and, as such, is a less than trustworthy source.

    And we’re done, almost before you started.

  128. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Am I the only one who is getting really creeped out by the complaints that claims by the victim aren’t specific enough?

    Hey, people, this is not a tv show or a book, we’re not doing this for fun. The victim, especially, is not sharing a fun little story, where she can go into some absolutely hilarious detail that is going to make the whole audience break into giggles.
    She shared a painful memory, and you want details? Fuck, but you’re either dumb or just plain horrible people.

  129. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    A rational person, no matter how much they want to believe something, demands evidence.

    Bill, no one else has been able to answer this question yet, maybe you can.

    What would be necessary… for this to be “substantiated the fullest degree possible”? or, to put it differently, in this case, WHAT evidence do you want? Really, WHAT?

  130. Alyssum says

    Like several others, I want to thank Jane Doe for sharing her experience, PZ for making this post and the Horde and others who have continued to post in support of Jane Doe and the benefits of warning women about a potential danger danger.

    I especially want to thank everyone who has shared a personal story of harassment and abuse.

  131. sqlrob says

    I find xxxild61′s insistence that they are impartial in part because they have friends that are feminists and friends that are MRA’s to be troubling

    It has shades of “both sides are bad” to me. I wouldn’t trust anyone for things like this that has friends with those dudebro MRA.

  132. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Am I the only one who is getting really creeped out by the complaints that claims by the victim aren’t specific enough?

    NO. You most definitely are not. It’s been bothering me since last night.

  133. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Gen:

    Yeah, consent sure does matter a whole fucking lot to a lot of people.

    …and that is the heart of the matter, isn’t it? They don’t care about the victim’s consent at any stage of the process of victimisation. It doesn’t matter because the person who talked to PZ about this isn’t really seen as a person. They became an unperson the second they dared to make a choice for themselves about how to make sure other women could also ensure that their consent wasn’t violated.

  134. mikeyb says

    I don’t get it why do so many people keep pretending this is some sort of frigging trial. It ain’t folks. Its a plea for help from a traumatized woman. This is a frigging blog.

    What’s gonna happen to Shermer. His reputation may be permanently tainted and tarnished with many in the skeptical community unless his name is cleared. Many won’t buy his books or attend his lectures. So f-ing what. Just because you have written some good stuff in the past doesn’t give you immunity to do whatever the hell you want and expect people to respect you.

    There will be a backlash against PZ and I’m sure there will be more that enough people out there, public and private who will label Shermer the victim, and he”ll have a new fan base of MRA’s to buy his books.
    So no, please no empathy for Shermer, especially if he is guilty of what he is alleged to be done, he’ll be fine.

  135. CaitieCat says

    An haiku in summary of the rape apologists on this thread:

    Bitches be lyin’
    We know this because bitches
    Just sayin’, is all.

  136. HappyNat says

    After reading Troo Skeptic BillHamp, the only thought I had was, “Christ, what and asshole”. You all have a lot more patience and strength than me. Props again to everyone who continues to dismantle the same dumb claims over and over.

  137. eigenperson says

    OT:

    “Christ, what and asshole”

    I know this is a typo, but “Christ and Asshole” would be a great name for a pub.

  138. says

    The alleged victims can make the choice.

    they already have made their choice of preferred outlet for anonymized claims, in case you haven’t noticed.

    PZ is biased. I’m not.

    I have no reason for believing that. The victims in question have no reason to believe that.

    PZ is not telling their whole stories.

    that’s because he wasn’t supposed to. at the request of the victims. which means you will not tell their whole stories either, unless you doxx them against their permission.

    At some point someone needs to act as an advocate without politicizing their stories.

    “without politicizing”, eh? because naming names can ever be apolitical? because PZ is using is for some nefarious “political” purpose? fascinating.
    – – – – – –

    I see several people who would happily tie the knot in the rope

    bullshitter.

    What is written here is not without consequences – his reputation is being damaged, his career damaged, and if he is married or has children those relationships are being damaged. As they must be if he is guilty, but we don’t know that.

    it’s completely irrelevant whether they must. They most likely won’t, unless his wife has heard exactly the same sort of stories before (and it appears she might have). Certainly his career won’t suffer much. Like I said, JREF already said they won’t even blacklist someone who was found to be guilty of sexual misconduct; they won’t blacklist someone because of a post.

    If I were accused of a crime I wouldn’t want a court to reach a verdict on the basis that most accusations of this kind are proven to be true so I must be guilty too

    this isn’t a court, so your wishes for what should happen in court are thoroughly irrelevant.

    It’s just not our right to ruin his life unless he is guilty

    please show me the famous dude whose life was ruined by an anonymous accusation of rape. I don’t know of any.

  139. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    More detail would go a long way to propping up one claim or another.

    I just can’t get away from this.

    You want details. You find a rape victim’s report of rape less credible because she didn’t completely open up to strangers on line, sharing every painful, humiliating moment of the ordeal.
    How dare you write this? I can only conclude that you want the victim to suffer, since I don’t understand how more details would help with that truckload of skepticism you’ve got there. She can make up “I’ve been raped and this is how it happened: [insert a 2000 word essay]” just like she can make up “I’ve been raped”, right?… or at least that’s what I’m getting from all the skeptics who don’t believe her words when there’s no bloody sheets or appropriately aged babies whose blood could be tested.

  140. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    skeptianthro, I am so sorry for what that young woman went through and is still going through. I’m happy she has awesome people like you in her life to help her with that.

    CaitieCat, that made me LOL so hard, and I needed that. Thanks!

  141. HappyNat says

    eigenperson,

    :) I’ll meet you at the Christ and Asshole for a drink. Reading this thread I need one.

  142. The Mellow Monkey says

    Beatrice:

    Am I the only one who is getting really creeped out by the complaints that claims by the victim aren’t specific enough?

    My assumption whenever someone does this is that they’re getting off on it somehow. Sexually, enjoying the power thrill of pushing for more, viewing it all as some vicarious excitement like a TV show, etc. Maybe not the most charitable assumption, but it sure does look that way more often than not.

  143. CaitieCat says

    (content note: non-graphic mention of drugs used in rape, and rape of a minor)

    Well, Jadehawk, there’s Roman Polanski. Why, I heard that he hasn’t been able to come back to the US to pick up even one of the major awards for the movie jobs he’s been given in the decades since he drugged and raped a 13-year-old.

    Just imagine the horrific effects on Shermer: there might be conferences he won’t be invited to! Slightly fewer people might buy his books! This is real tragedy stuff.

    That’s obviously far worse than the victims’ need to not be raped, surely you can see this?

    /snark

  144. says

    A rational person, no matter how much they want to believe something, demands evidence. That may be considered harsh, by some, but it is the definition of rational.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    it’s always been odd that the opposites of “rational” and “empirical” have been treated as compatible… but as outright synonyms? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalism

  145. eigenperson says

    I assumed the call for details was based on the mistaken belief that truthful people always include lots of detail in their stories, and liars rarely do.

    But perhaps that is too charitable, at least in some cases.

  146. Anri says

    dogberry:

    Once again, if he is guilty I would condemn him.

    But, wow, if I’m not totally sure, we’d better not let anyone know.
    I mean, he could be raping women. But then he could maybe not be. Frankly, I think that it’s worth the risk for the women around him. And if the women don’t agree, they’re just being hysterical.

    *barf*

    It’s just not our right to ruin his life unless he is guilty, and I can’t say that he is on hearsay, and even if his alleged victim were to speak directly to me, I am not in a position to make it official.

    Please define ‘official’, as you understand it.

    That requires a judge.

    Again, if you think this is a trial, wait until you have been summoned to testify.
    If you know it’s not, stop asking for it to be one.
    It’s really not that hard. For honest people, anyway.

    Having said that, if he is guilty I’ll be happy to see him rot in hell, metaphorically. I do understand that sexual assault is far more common than we recognise, that it mostly goes unpunished, and we should be doing our level best to control the atavistic impulses of the male of our species. Any society I would want to live in would have that as a norm, just as it would turn away from assuming unproven guilt.

    (bolded for emphasis)

    But certainly not anything as radical as warning women about a possible sexual predator heading up an organizations that helps sponsor national/international conventions, right?
    I mean, men’s fee-fees might get hurt in the process, and that’s JUST TOO HIGH A PRICE TO PAY!

  147. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I thought about checking the dungeon to see if I’m in it, but it’s not there any more, so I’ll find out when I hit submit, I guess.

    Having followed all the threads after Elevatorgate, I felt it was my duty to plow all the way through this one, which promises to be worse than Elevatorgate. Each refresh is only incrementing by 30 or so now, so I’ll take this opportunity to offer my support, welcome or not.

    Jane Doe, thank you for coming forward and confiding in someone you trust. Anyone who suggests that your testimony doesn’t constitute “evidence” or asks why you didn’t go to the police at the time, is a sexist asspimple. Ignore them and know that there are many of us out here who believe you and support you.

    PZ, thank you for doing the right thing. It would be extraordinarily difficult for most of us, knowing the kind of abuse we would be subjected to. I suspect you think an addition of 1% to the abuse you’re already subjected to is nothing to worry about, but it’s still a good thing you did. You reputation for integrity and honesty is unimpeachable among people who matter, and the constant abuse from the slimepitters is a badge of honor, which I’m sure you wear proudly.

    To all the regulars here who fight back against the repetitious attacks of the MRAs, misogynists, slimepitters, rape-apologists, logic-choppers, and cruelty-enablers, my hat is off to you—I don’t know how you have the energy to do this hour after hour, day after day, especially when it’s the same goddamn crap over and over again. Keep it up, but try to safeguard your sanity.

    Well, with my support and $1.99 you can buy a cup of coffee, but you all have it for what it’s worth. I’ll be following along in this thread and any followup threads—it’s been made clear to me that I’m not welcome as a regular commenter, but just know there are plenty of lurkers who have your back.

  148. xxxild61 says

    Yes, Jadehawk, they’ve made a choice. I’ve noted that choice and how it’s being handled. I’ve been following from my lowly outsider status.

    As a side note, to those of you casting aspersions and mistrust on me because I do not adhere to an ideology of your choice, I’m familiar with this tactic, having been raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist environment. As a young woman, I became familiar with the mistrust and misogyny directed at me. I find it bigoted. To further claim I’ve not experienced rape, sexual assault, stalking, online harassment, and sexual harassment is laughable.

  149. carlie says

    Tom and Pete, thank you for being so dogged about this. There are so many others too, but you’ve both been particularly pointed and on target this whole time and your names are a little new-ish to me (I think I’ve seen you both on other FTB blogs), so it stands out.

    Am I the only one who is getting really creeped out by the complaints that claims by the victim aren’t specific enough?

    Nope. It’s downright voyeuristic, and especially the “come tell me all of your secrets” schtick that xxxild61 is trying to peddle makes me want to vomit.

  150. says

    @xxxild61
    Your creepy attempt to weasel out personal information of victims is every bit as transparent as the many other attempts that we’ve already seen in this very thread. You’re not fooling anyone.
    If you don’t want people to treat you with suspicion, stop acting so suspicious.

  151. billhamp says


    HappyNat

    10 August 2013 at 11:04 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    After reading Troo Skeptic BillHamp, the only thought I had was, “Christ, what and asshole”. You all have a lot more patience and strength than me. Props again to everyone who continues to dismantle the same dumb claims over and over.”

    Isn’t it ironic that you have no argument to make or evidence to present, only an insult to hurl and a hole to return to.

  152. ischemgeek says

    I don’t get it why do so many people keep pretending this is some sort of frigging trial. It ain’t folks. Its a plea for help from a traumatized woman. This is a frigging blog.

    Because, by pretending it’s a trial, they get a convenient way of silencing victims without showing their true colors. If they can pretend to be Reasonable and Concerned Citizens Who Just Want To Hear Both Sides And Avoid False Convictions, they don’t have to come out and say, “Shut up!”

    They don’t have to come out and say it, but that’s what they mean. They want victims to shut up unless they have court-tight cases to present, and then the victim shouldn’t be presenting it to the public, but to a court of law, and the victim should keep hir mouth shut outside of court like a good little victim.

  153. carlie says

    As a side note, to those of you casting aspersions and mistrust on me because I do not adhere to an ideology of your choice, I’m familiar with this tactic, having been raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist environment.

    Oh fuck you and the horse you rode in on. You don’t get to sit on a cross playing martyr because you used to be a fundamentalist. You’re not the only one. Do you have any concept of what “earned trust” even means? You are a complete unknown, coming in and saying that a woman who has been harmed, who is in fear for her reputation and her privacy and safety, ought to for some reason trust you with all of the details that would make her a target, with absolutely nothing to back that up with.

  154. says

    So, page 5, 2100+ comments in and STILL people use the phrase lynch mob to describe rallying behind a victim and believing her.

    dogberry and other assorted asswipes incapable of Google-Fu:

    Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that arise in communities, such as charivari, Skimmington, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering. Lynchings have been more frequent in times of social and economic tension, and have often been the means used by the politically dominant population to oppress social challengers. Lynching is sometimes mistakenly thought of as an exclusively North American activity, but it is found around the world as vigilantes act to punish people outside the rule of law; indeed, instances of it can be found in societies long antedating European settlement of North America.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching

    There have been no calls for violence against Shermer, so those droning on and on about online lynch mobs need to Shut The Fuck Up.

    ****
    I wondr if Will’s goal here was to increase the number of hits you get when searching for that 1700 figure he has thrown around…everywhere.

  155. eigenperson says

    Hi billhamp. Have you managed yet to read the one paragraph accusation for comprehension? Or do you not actually believe in the necessity of looking carefully at the evidence?

  156. notsont says

    I don’t know if this needs a trigger warning or not but just to be safe, It does concern a rape.

    When I was in high school a friend of mine was at a party where a girl got drunk and passed out, her boy friend and his friends(one of which was my friend) did horrible things to her and bragged about it, it was all over school. (This was before cellphones were common so there were no photos) One of the perpetrators who did something that was considered something worse than what the others did actually got in minor trouble over it, I think he got probation for 6 months and maybe community service.

    The thing is, what struck me back then and still does now is not that the event happened or even that the punishments if any were so slight, but the outrage over being called on it at all was HUGE. People made up T-shirts and organized a walkout during school hours they carried signs and put up fliers. Not because a bunch of guys were getting away with rape, but because one of them was not getting off completely scott-free.

    I wonder why i’m being reminded of that now…

  157. billhamp says

    ” The Mellow Monkey

    10 August 2013 at 11:09 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Beatrice:

    Am I the only one who is getting really creeped out by the complaints that claims by the victim aren’t specific enough?

    My assumption whenever someone does this is that they’re getting off on it somehow. Sexually, enjoying the power thrill of pushing for more, viewing it all as some vicarious excitement like a TV show, etc. Maybe not the most charitable assumption, but it sure does look that way more often than not.”

    Your assumption would be wrong and speculative at best. The call for details is in regard to determining how accurate the story is. It is generally regarded that a vague story is one that is lest trustworthy. In general, when a vague story is retold, it is easy to remember versus a detailed story, which is difficult to remember. Thus, in the check for consistency, a detailed story is more valuable. Further, in regards to the details in question, most people are referring to time, place, events leading up to, behavior afterward. The emphasis is not on the actual act of assault, but in the circumstances surrounding it.

  158. billhamp says

    ” eigenperson

    10 August 2013 at 10:56 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    I just want to emphasize this again:

    If you haven’t read all 2131 comments (so far) of the thread, I sympathize with you.

    If you haven’t read the entire post by PZ, shame on you.

    If you haven’t even read the single paragraph that is the victim’s accusation; e.g.,

    It suggests that person has specifically avoided the claim of rape, which further suggests that the person does not consider the incident rape.

    then FUCK YOU.”

    I consider you a zealot. Why? Your posts consist of no arugments, no evidence, and no rational discourse. They consist only of the incorrect assumption that every poster you disagree with has not read the entirety of the OP and then they end with FUCK YOU. There is nothing rational or skeptical about that. Perhaps you would feel better among the religious or the insane as you are not a skeptic.

  159. dogeared, spotted and foxed says

    Jane Doe, once again adding my voice in a show of support. It is the very, very least that I can do. I wish there was more.

    To all the hyperskeptics and doubters – At every skeptic/atheist related con, there are subtle warnings given to women by women. Look out for, stay away from , and/or don’t ever go to the room of so-and-so. As the con goes on, you start hearing the same names over and over. Sometimes one of the women will appear at your side when one of the names shows up.

    Like myself, many women who have attended one of these cons are not surprised to hear Shermer’s name again. PZ isn’t offering new information, he’s simply giving the same warning that many of us have already received to a larger audience and for the same exact reason.

  160. says

    Esteleth wrote, ‘What would be necessary – other than the (corroborated) word of someone PZ knows to be truthful – for this to be “substantiated the fullest degree possible”?’

    How about a second or a third party — not using Myers as a ventriloquist — coming forward with similar, or at least corroborating claims?

    Tom Foss asked, “Which kinds of claims require extraordinary evidence?”

    I’m not asking for extraordinary evidence. See above.

    LykeX wrote, “Who’s asking you to [take Shermer’s guilt for granted]? That’s not a rhetorical question.

    Absolutely no one. You might not be asking a rhetorical question, but I was, in the form of an idiom meaning “not accepting something is true without questioning it.”

    LykeX wrote, “Does your definition also include the idea of tentative conclusions based on preliminary evidence? Evaluation of probabilities based on limited data? Holding a conclusion as likely true, but keeping an open mind about new evidence?”

    And:

    “Since the only evidence we really have is the accusation itself and since we know that the majority (the vast, overwhelming majority) of accusations are true, what’s the proper, tentative conclusion?”

    I accept that a proper, tentative conclusion might be that Shermer is a rapist. I stated as such, if you read carefully what I wrote. However, there is a percentage chance that my conclusion is wrong. As long as this chance exists, then Shermer has the right to be treated as innocent. This is the same right that you have, that I have, and that everyone has, even those on this forum who think that Myers’s actions were appropriate.Yes, I know that this is not a courtroom, but human rights are real without a courtroom.

    Nerd of Redhead wrote, “That is Myers. That error shows the intellectual quality of your mental wankings.”

    Yes. A typo certainly reveals the quality of my intellectual contribution.

    Nerd of Redhead wrote, “Yes you are [a rape apologist], if you don’t accept women’s words they were raped, and try to diminish what they say as not being good enough evidence for you. Your words belie your own claims.

    See my reply to LykeX, above.

    Nerd of Redhead wrote, “What [Myers] did here was right. What you want is wrong, which is to sweep the incident under the rug for pretators safety. You present no way to make women safer around a known predator. You have nothing cogent to say, and took many words to show that.”

    I’m not suggesting that anything be swept under the carpet See my reply to Esteleth , above.

    Praxis wrote, “You haven’t proved yourself to be anything other than someone who wants to further trigger the survivors participating in this thread.”

    Sorry to deprive you of your villain, Praxis, but that just isn’t true.

    Al Dente wrote, “You just don’t believe several women who say they’ve been raped by Shermer because “bitches be lying.” You may not be a rape apologist but you play one on the internet.”

    Did I say I disbelieved the women? If you reread, you will discover that I didn’t.

  161. CaitieCat says

    Fuck you, billhamp. The call for details is to set up a pair of goalposts that can recede as fast as anyone supporting the victim can put the ball through them. Whyncha just grab your wanking sock and fuck off elsewhere to use it, instead of JAQing off all over this thread.

    Asswipe.

  162. eigenperson says

    Billhamp, you said the woman specifically avoided the claim of rape. That was not true.

    Either you did not read the accusation (in which case you should post a retraction instead of tone trolling) or you deliberately lied about it. You can take your pick.

  163. billhamp says

    ” Tom Foss

    10 August 2013 at 10:48 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Billhamp: if you can’t be bothered to read the thread, you shouldn’t have bothered to post.”

    What a vapid and ludicrous response. If you had not argument to make, why even bother posting? You cannot even rebutt a single one of my points, and instead turn to logical fallacy. How very skeptical of you.

  164. carlie says

    The call for details is in regard to determining how accurate the story is.

    Here’s a thought: it’s not up to you to decide the accuracy. Nobody’s asking you to pass judgment on it and declare it approved and up to your standards. The pertinent information is that there’s this guy who at least one woman says has raped her, so you might want to know that before getting yourself alone in a room with him. That’s no more out of order than being told ahead of time that someone you’re about to meet has a reputation for lying, or that they have a tendency to stand too close, or that they will forget most of what you say so you have to write things down for them. It’s a character trait about how they interact with other people, shared like any other character trait. Keep in mind, SHE isn’t asking for a court case. She isn’t asking for a jail sentence. She is asking for women to keep an eye out on this guy. YOU ARE NOT HER TARGET AUDIENCE AND IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK.

  165. sqlrob says

    Yes, I know that this is not a courtroom, but human rights are real without a courtroom.

    Is the right to not be raped real without a courtroom?

  166. says

    Because, by pretending it’s a trial, they get a convenient way of silencing victims without showing their true colors.

    Bull’s eye. This is what this is all about. All the talk about due process and evidence is window dressing. This is about silencing victims. It’s about perpetuating a culture of silence that makes it harder for victims to step forward and less likely they’ll be believed.

    The worst kind are the ones who are not outright rape apologists, but are just so concerned about what might happen if women are allowed to talk about their experiences. They’re all for supporting rape victims, right up until the moment where it might be slightly inconvenient to them. Tells you a lot about a person if that’s their priority.

  167. carlie says

    How about a second or a third party — not using Myers as a ventriloquist — coming forward with similar, or at least corroborating claims?

    Have you noticed in the OP where another person has verified that the woman in question told them about it AT THE TIME?

  168. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    A friendly tip on how to quote:

    <blockquote>Insert text here</blockquote>

    That isn’t so hard, now is it?

  169. notsont says

    Actually Billhamp when stories are laces with detail it is usually a sign of obfuscation, people don;t generally remember vague little details and they certainly don;t try to bring them up when retelling traumatic experiences. usually minor details have to be dragged out of victims of crime by experienced interviewers.

    That said, everyone is different, I imagine there are people with very detail oriented minds who would list every scrap of detritus in an ally they were mugged in to a cop as they were telling the story but most people do not.

  170. Pteryxx says

    I assumed the call for details was based on the mistaken belief that truthful people always include lots of detail in their stories, and liars rarely do.

    Truthful people would be outed by giving specific details. Liars would not. So there’s that. However, yet another reason rape and sexual assault victims don’t report is that police and prosecutors and judges/juries often believe this. See below for instance, where the victim didn’t remember the color of a car across the street.

    http://jezebel.com/5897806/cop-avoided-rape-conviction-thanks-to-really-unreasonable-doubt

  171. CaitieCat says

    Fuck, but I’m tired of the “No Twoo Skeptic” shit. Not just here but everywhere.

    Got to get working. Keep fighting the good fight, Hordelings. You’re made from 99.99% pure weapons-grade awesomium.

  172. says

    I do a lot of speaking at conferences and I’ve started a couple comments, all of which I’ve deleted. They all started off something to the effect of “it should be obvious that having sex with other conference attendees, as a speaker is a bad idea…” I mean, really, it’s a bad idea. It’s such a bad idea that if you’re a conference speaker who’s doing it, you shouldn’t be getting promoted for being a smart guy, because you’re not – you’re a dumbass.

    I’ve seen speakers lose keynote gigs over comparatively small things. In fact one of my better gigs was picked up after John Dvorak managed to make an ass out of himself at a conference in Boston in which he sat with a newspaper ostentatiously open, eating a croissant and slurping coffee, obviously bored, while the conference chair gave the opening welcome speech. We were all bored, of course, but some of us were smart enough to do the method acting thing of remembering what we looked and acted like when we were interested, and looking and acting like that. I bet that showing up hung over with bite marks on your neck from alcohol-seducing a conference attendee – even if it was 100% consensual – would be the end of your gigs for that conference, if it was a well-run show. Why? Because a well-run show knows that if they put someone in front of the attendees that pisses them off, they won’t have a conference any more. And a well-run conference’s organizers are going to avoid headaches because, well, running a conference is hard enough and only a fool is going to make things harder on themselves when they can avoid doing so.

    I’ve been program chair for 2 conferences (a USENIX security symposium and another workshop on intrusion detection systems) and, believe me, it’s a lotta damn work! The last thing you need on top of worrying “are the speakers going to arrive?” and “will the sound guys’ wireless mics not fail?” or “will the building’s AC dump 500 gal of water through the ceiling during the keynote?” is “will I have to deal with a sexual assault?” That’s just unimaginably bad. No conference organizer who has a shred of a clue what they are doing would make any move that increased the chance of any of those things happening on their watch. The point here is that everyone should know better. It’s obvious. It’s like not smoking while you’re pumping gas. It’s like not spitting into the wind. It’s like not pulling on superman’s cape.

    With most of the conferences where I’ve worked, I can’t imagine the conference organizers taking a speaker aside and telling them, “don’t do that again…” or “hey, that’s a bad idea…” it’s just – they never call you again. Because it’s not their job to have to tell some clueless git of a speaker, “hey, don’t try to seduce the attendees” or “don’t show up drunk or hung over” it’s not their job to have to teach a supposedly smart person with supposed public speaking experience that kind of basic stuff.

    There’s a whole lot of fail at CFI, in other words. A whole lot. And it sounds like Shermer’s a whole lotta fail, too. I’m never on program committees for skeptical conferences (thank bigfoot!) but any organizer with a shred of conference organizing skills would avoid dragging such problems into their own lap.

  173. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    billhamp,

    Do you realize that you are asking for details about a very traumatic event? Have you ever lived through anything traumatic? I’m not talking about rape, it could be anything. Now imagine being asked by complete strangers to recount all the details, so that they could be scrutinized in order for these strangers to determine whether they will believe you or not.

    Now imagine that these strangers aren’t qualified people who can actually do something useful regarding this traumatic event from your past, but some assholes on the internet who have no problem calling you a liar the moment you opened your mouth, and who have had little sympathy or understanding for you, but loads of it for the person who was a harming factor in that traumatic event of yours.

  174. ischemgeek says

    As a side note, to those of you casting aspersions and mistrust on me because I do not adhere to an ideology of your choice, I’m familiar with this tactic, having been raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist environment. As a young woman, I became familiar with the mistrust and misogyny directed at me. I find it bigoted.

    … Then answer me this: In a baptist environment, would you expect a teenage child of parents who’d sent an older sibling off to one of those Carribean boot camps for being thought too gender-nonconfoming to come out to you as gay when they don’t know you from a hole in the wall?

    No?

    Then why the fuck do you expect a rape victim in in the skeptic/atheist community to come out to you as a rape victim when they don’t know you from a hole in the wall? FFS, you’ve seen what happened to other prominent victims of sexual assault and harassment, not just in this community and elsewhere. Do you not see how fucking unreasonable you’re being?

    Why the hell should this person – or anyone else who doesn’t know you from a hole in the ground – trust you with their security, safety, and personal well-being?

    People in this community who have been victims of similar crimes have gone to safe spaces and PM’d users with purposefully triggering imagery. It has happened several times, from several different people. And that’s just trusting someone new enough to let them into a safe space. You’re asking someone to bare their meatspace identity when they know fully well that they’re going to have a target a mile wide painted on them if that info ever becomes public.

    Assuming you’re being sincere here because I don’t think you’re completely full of shit even if you are horrendously entitled, why the fuck would someone trust you that much when they don’t know you at all?!

  175. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Chaswarren:

    You’re depriving me of nothing, cupcake. You’re just another blip in a screen of white noise blared out into the ether by rape all the rape apologists and “sooper dooper skeptics” just like you.

    You just happened to be a momentary focus for my contempt.

  176. HappyNat says

    Billhamp

    Isn’t it ironic that you have no argument to make or evidence to present, only an insult to hurl and a hole to return to.

    Christ another asshole who doesn’t understand irony. You don’t have a super-duper skeptic brain and you don’t bring up anything that hasn’t been dealt with multiple times. Your cold Vulcan “logic” is faulty and nothing new. It’s telling you pick me calling you an asshole and not the people who argued your “points”. If you are so super skeptical engage with the facts not an insult.

    HappyNat,
    co-founder of the Christ and Asshole

  177. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Did I say I disbelieved the women? If you reread, you will discover that I didn’t.

    If the women are to be believed, PZ is right and you are wrong. What you are trying to do is to baflle with bullshit to make PZ wrong for rape apologist reasons. It is obvious you don’t comprehend the context, etc. Being verbose is meaningless here. You can’t baffle us with bullshit.

  178. eigenperson says

    #2184: Billhamp can’t engage with the facts because then he’d be forced to admit to himself, and everyone else, that his original post made arguments that rested on a complete mischaracterization of the evidence. I suspect billhamp is perfectly logical and has never made a mistake, so the idea of admitting one is unthinkable.

    Now, how about another round on the house?

  179. says

    As a side note, to those of you casting aspersions and mistrust on me because I do not adhere to an ideology of your choice

    *rolleyes*
    making shit up makes you look increasingly more trustworthy. totally.

  180. CaitieCat says

    OT – before I get all the way gone, I have to say that I’m having a horrified idea of what the pub sign would be for the Christ & Asshole.

    Also, how would they tell the pub from the Saviour & Sphincter down the road? Or the ChiRho and PooPort over in Little Whingeing? I’m starting to think this could be a franchise opportunity.

    Now I’m going. Because if you tormented me with that mental image, I had to give it back. :P

  181. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    And then people wonder why women don’t report.

  182. billhamp says

    To show you how it is done, Tom, I will take your quiz. Here goes:

    So here’s a skepticism 101 quiz:
    1. Which kinds of claims require extraordinary evidence? Which of the groups above correspond to that? Extraodinary claims require extraoridnary evidence Tom. None of the goups above correspond to an extraordinary claim, which means they require only ordinary evidence, which they do not provide.

    2. If someone claims that they heard something rustling in the bushes, is it more likely to be Bigfoot, an Amur Leopard, or a cute fluffy bunny? Explain your answer. The bunny, unless of course you are in Southeastern Russia where there are no rabbits (Pika, maybe, but very, very few if any rabbits). At that point, the Leopard would be the better choice.

    3. If someone claims that they were raped, which of the following scenarios is most likely:
    A. They were abducted by aliens
    B. They are making a false allegation
    C. Making this claim will result in an arrest and conviction
    D. They were actually raped

    Ah, here is an example of a question lacking all of the necessary information required to make a decision. The answer would depend on the person, the quality of the claim, and supporting evidence. So B or D would be a reasonable choice. Let me explain.

    According to the Innocence Project, “Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing.” In other words, there is a 1 in 4 chance that the claim is not accurate. The claim is supported by streams of evidence from many different locations and from many different sources. The report goes on to point out that “75 percent of reports are probably accurate and, so, all accusations deserve a thorough and professional investigation.” Note that it says professional investigation, not internet vigilante, self-proclaimed skeptics, or those without the skills to weigh evidence properly. Nowhere does the report recommend that you expose yourself to potential libel claims by publicly defaming someone on your blog.

    So, just like the rabbit/leopard question, this one comes down to supporting evidence. To claim the rustling was a rabbit when in the leopard’s territory, even though there are few leopards in the world, would be foolish and ignorant of the facts. It just might get you killed. To claim that rape occurred, when you are ignorant of the evidence and facts of the case is no different. It just might get you sued.

    Please put your pencils down and turn your papers over when finished.

    Pencils down, ante up. Your turn Tom.

  183. eigenperson says

    Nowhere does the report recommend that you expose yourself to potential libel claims by publicly defaming someone on your blog.

    So, he’s an amateur lawyer too.

  184. says

    The call for details is in regard to determining how accurate the story is.

    Why, are you going to use your extensive experience as a rapist to tell us whether that’s what rape is or not?

  185. says

    Have you noticed in the OP where another person has verified that the woman in question told them about it AT THE TIME?

    silly carlie. that’s a PZ sockpuppet. and so’s the comment on JREF forums. It’s PZ sockpuppets all the way down.

  186. billhamp says

    Billhamp

    Isn’t it ironic that you have no argument to make or evidence to present, only an insult to hurl and a hole to return to.

    Christ another asshole who doesn’t understand irony. You don’t have a super-duper skeptic brain and you don’t bring up anything that hasn’t been dealt with multiple times. Your cold Vulcan “logic” is faulty and nothing new. It’s telling you pick me calling you an asshole and not the people who argued your “points”. If you are so super skeptical engage with the facts not an insult.

    HappyNat,
    co-founder of the Christ and Asshole”

    If it is faulty, then I’m sure you can point out the faults in a logical manner. Until then, you just continue to hurl insults and do not address any of the points I made. Seems you are failing to prove your credentials as a skeptic

  187. says

    @chaswarren

    I accept that a proper, tentative conclusion might be that Shermer is a rapist. I stated as such, if you read carefully what I wrote. However, there is a percentage chance that my conclusion is wrong. As long as this chance exists, then Shermer has the right to be treated as innocent

    Meaning “shut the fuck up”?
    Serious question, does “treated as innocent” mean that we’re not allowed to talk about the accusations? That victims aren’t allowed to talk about their experiences? That we’re not allowed to warn potential victims that this person might be dangerous?

    If yes, then you’re a jackass. If no, then what’s the problem?

  188. notsont says

    @billhamp I would like to point out that more than 80% of rapes that are prosecuted are stranger on stranger rapes and 100% of the ones that DNA exonerated the accused are stranger on stranger rapes.

    What does this mean? It means your citing it is bullshit and has nothing to do with whats being talked about here.

  189. billhamp says

    ” eigenperson

    10 August 2013 at 11:55 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    #2184: Billhamp can’t engage with the facts because then he’d be forced to admit to himself, and everyone else, that his original post made arguments that rested on a complete mischaracterization of the evidence. I suspect billhamp is perfectly logical and has never made a mistake, so the idea of admitting one is unthinkable.

    Now, how about another round on the house?”

    Feel free to point out how those mischaracterizations where made because simply SAYING they were mischaracteriziations is not an argument, it is a statment. So far, you have provided no argument, only evidence of your own failing mind.

  190. says

    Praxis @2088:
    One of the really annoying tendencies of MRAs, anti-feminists, and rape apologists is to ignore commenters who are female, or who’s ‘nyms they judge to be female.

    ****
    Billhamp @2124:
    I just ate a bowl of Fruit Loops with 1% milk.
    Six weeks ago, I was in a car accident.
    I currently sit in my home in Florida with barely functioning AC.

    Do you believe these claims?

    If so, why?
    If you do not, why not?

    ****
    I am beginning to wonder if more of the hyperskeptics would believe Jane Doe if she hadn’t named Shermer. Is it specifically because he is a “big name” that their Skeptic Sense started tingling? Do they think he is somehow immune to horrific character flaws?

  191. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Can someone alert a mod about billhamp?

    This kind of “vulcan logic” is just sickening.

    To him the issue of rape is nothing more than a dry set of formal calculations written on a chalkboard that can only be discussed and analyzed by completely detached and entirely cold people who are removed from the situation, and until they’ve made their oh-so-logical determinations it’s not only fair to throw potential victims of rape, assault and harassment under the bus, it’s JUST WHAT THEY DESERVE.

  192. eigenperson says

    #2198: I have already pointed out your mischaracterization at least three times. You failed to read them. However, I will do so again:

    You wrote:

    First of all, the claim of rape is not made.

    Jane Doe wrote:

    I reached out to one organization that was involved in the event at which I was raped, and they refused to take my concerns seriously.

    No further questions.

  193. says

    On the “if there’s any chance that X is innocent, X must be treated as innocent” claim, I get the distinct feeling that this brings us right back to the objections to Schrödinger’s rapist that run along the lines of, “How dare you assume that I could be a rapist just because I’m male! but then end up demanding that women accept (or excuse as “socially awkward/clueless”) all manner of unwanted attention.

    And let’s get specific here. When the “we hate mob justice” crew demands that, short of a conviction, we must treat Michael Shermer as innocent, what are they asking for? That women who might come into Shermer’s spatiotemporal vicinity not be exposed to any claims about Shermer’s past conduct that have not been proven in a court of law? Because it’s a great harm to Shermer not to have access to women who are uncontaminated by that information?

    What exactly is on the line for Shermer here? And why should that trump what’s on the line for the women involved?

  194. says

    Yes, I know that this is not a courtroom, but human rights are real without a courtroom.

    interesting. this blogpost is a human rights violation, but 2 years of harassment of abuse by assorted internet fuckweasels is just an exercise in free speech. ok then.

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You cannot even rebutt a single one of my points, and instead turn to logical fallacy. How very skeptical of you.

    Since your points are presuppositional, and not rational, there is no need to rebut anything. Your goal was to show PZ he was wrong, and you will “rationalize” it with bullshit to obtain that end.

  196. says

    @tony

    I am beginning to wonder if more of the hyperskeptics would believe Jane Doe if she hadn’t named Shermer. Is it specifically because he is a “big name” that their Skeptic Sense started tingling? Do they think he is somehow immune to horrific character flaws?

    I think they suffer from republican syndrome, but instead of thinking they are totally going to be rich someday they believe they are going to be famous and important like shermer. They are scared of women having power over them. They identify with shermer instead of the victim, because they have not had to really think about potentially being a victim of rape at any point in their lives. It is a very normal, but irrational, response to a conflict with people from different demographics. People tend to identify with the person more similar to themselves- it takes conscious effort to overcome that tendency, at least it did for me.

  197. zenlike says

    Billhemp @2195:

    If it is faulty, then I’m sure you can point out the faults in a logical manner. Until then, you just continue to hurl insults and do not address any of the points I made. Seems you are failing to prove your credentials as a skeptic

    The reason that at this point everyone is just insulting you instead of addressing your points is that you bring nothing new to the table.

    Your points have already been made a dozen times over in the preceding 2000 comments, and a dozen times over they have been torn to shreds. And then you waltz in and take a big steaming dump in this thread as if the last 2000 comments didn’t happen, and demand that people take time to address the same fucking points all over again.

    You are nothing more than a privileged shit-stick, a whining asshole who thinks the world revolves around himself. Just fuck of. However, if you are really interested in arguments against you bullshit, then reread the previous 200 comments, and you will see them addressed already. See how simple that is?

  198. vaiyt says

    @billhamp

    So, just like the rabbit/leopard question, this one comes down to supporting evidence. To claim the rustling was a rabbit when in the leopard’s territory, even though there are few leopards in the world, would be foolish and ignorant of the facts.

    Your metaphor drifted away and fell off the tracks, bucko. You fail to provide the equivalent of “leopard territory” in cases of rape. That is, what circumstance leads the rape accusation made in the OP to be unlikely to be true, instead of likely as it normally is?

  199. says

    @billhamp #2171:

    What a vapid and ludicrous response. If you had not argument to make, why even bother posting? You cannot even rebutt a single one of my points, and instead turn to logical fallacy. How very skeptical of you.

    1. Please tell me which logical fallacy is being committed by telling you to do your research before acting like your pronouncements mean anything.
    2. The reason no one’s bothering with your “points” is because we’ve already addressed them, over and over, in the last 2000+ comments. You have said nothing new. You have added nothing to the discourse. When you have something worthwhile and original to say, then you should come back and say it.
    3. No one needs to “rebutt” your points, they were butt enough already.

  200. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Jadehawk:

    We all know that freeze peach is only important for teh menz because of the “Bitchez Be Lyin'” accord which was further amended by the “Wimmins iz Cray Cray” treaty.

    …because we can’t ever forget that women aren’t REALLY people. They’re just receptacles for male attention and should any man be deprived, even for good reason, of free and unfettered access to those receptacles it is the greatest violation of human (but not all humans, just teh menz ’cause bitchez ain’t shit) rights possible, evar.

  201. Al Dente says

    chaswarren 2168

    Al Dente wrote, “You just don’t believe several women who say they’ve been raped by Shermer because “bitches be lying.” You may not be a rape apologist but you play one on the internet.”

    Did I say I disbelieved the women? If you reread, you will discover that I didn’t.

    You did say you disbelieved them. You wrote in post 2060

    More importantly, I don’t know that Shermer’s accusers exist. I suspect that they probably do. However, lacking certainty, I’m not going to take Shermer’s guilt for granted.

    You’re not even taking their existence as a given, let alone what they say. So yeah, I don’t think you believe them. I further think your hyperskepticism is based on “bitches be lying.” Interestingly, the vast majority of rape hyperskeptics are rape apologists, so it’s not far-fetched to believe you’re one. If you’re not a rape apologist you do such an excellent job of acting like one that you’ve managed to convince me and several others that you are one. Congratulations!

    Now please fuck off.

  202. eigenperson says

    #2207 zenlike:

    The reason that at this point everyone is just insulting you instead of addressing your points is that you bring nothing new to the table.

    Maybe that’s true of most people here, but to the extent that I’m insulting billhamp, it’s because he displayed monumental disregard for the truth by either failing to read the accusation carefully or by deliberately misrepresenting it, and then not admitting his mistake. I don’t have any respect for people who do that.

    If he admits that his original post was careless and rested on an incorrect interpretation of the evidence, and that he therefore doesn’t stand by it any more, I’ll be happy to stop insulting him, at least until he does it again.

  203. says

    Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI …

    Hold on. Why that pool of cases? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the average case of sexual assault is referred to the FBI. So, why those cases? Why not cases handled by local law enforcement?
    Right off the bat, you’re saying that the report only deals with a small number of extraordinary cases and ignores the more common type of case. E.g. the type of case that this thread is about wouldn’t have been handled by the FBI.

    This is kind of a red flag for cherry picked information and since you’ve also neglected to give a link to the report you’re citing, I can’t check for myself how the data was sorted.

  204. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Eigenperson # 2212:

    If he admits that his original post was careless and rested on an incorrect interpretation of the evidence, and that he therefore doesn’t stand by it any more, I’ll be happy to stop insulting him, at least until he does it again.

    So in other words, as soon as he makes another comment?

  205. kittylady says

    Bill, just in the interest of being polite, I am cordially inviting you to research some of the more interesting temples in India, where if you look closely at the walls you can see exactly what engaging in intercourse between yourself and the horse you rode in on might look like in all the graphic detail you could ever want.

  206. says

    Billhamp, the human nervous system has evolved to jump when you hear a rustling in the bushes because it’s safer to prepare for it being a hyena than to sit and hope that it’s a rabbit, because feeling a bit silly is better than being a hyena’s meal, no matter if rabbits are more common than hyenas.

    Similarly, if Shermer is a rabbit it’s better for PZ to live with the ignominy of being wrong for publicising this issue than it is for Shermer the hyena to rape even one more woman because he did not speak up.

  207. Dee Fiant says

    Hi! I tried to decipher the comments to see if my point had already been made, but I just couldn’t make heads or tails. So my apologies if this is redundant.

    From a journalistic standpoint, you cannot report this. You can personally believe the accuser, find her 100% credible, even be willing to vouch for her publicly, but you cannot report it. You can even feel strongly compelled by your conscious that sharing is the right thing. That it is for the public good, but you cannot report it. You cannot report it because it’s gossip and reporters don’t trade in gossip. Tabloids trade in gossip. Gossip is bad. It is hurtful and destructive and indefensible. It’s the equivalent of finding someone guilty until proven innocent.

    “But this is blog, and I’m not a reporter.” Yup. It is and you’re not. At least not in this case. In this case you’re a gossip. And a conscientious blogger should aim higher. If an accusation like this is going to be made publicly by someone other than the accuser, there have to be cold, hard facts to support it. One of the basic tenants of justice is the right to face your accuser. Otherwise folks could make up any story they want and sell it as coming from some fictional third party.

    That’s not to say the accuser shouldn’t have told you. Really, her only recourse now is to go to a reporter with her story. At which point the reporter can begin to search for other possible victims and find additional, verifiable facts to support the accusation. Put an ear to the ground and see if there are other women with stories about the same man. Find proof that the accuser and the accused were at the same conference (not to publish, just to verify). In this way the reporter can build a credible story while maintaining the accuser’s anonymity.

  208. Pteryxx says

    By the way, this claim billhamp is making @2190:

    According to the Innocence Project, “Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing.” In other words, there is a 1 in 4 chance that the claim is not accurate.

    …is sourced from feministcritics, Fox News, Reddit, and lots of blogs screaming “False Rape Accusations Are Real!” The key elision here is “sexual assault cases referred to the FBI” which are a small subset of cases – about 1000 per year from 1989-2000 (compare to over 200,000 sexual assaults per year of which about 100,000 are reported to police at all, according to RAINN.)

    However, a National In-
    stitute of Justice report on innocence says that
    of the approximately 10,000 sexual assault
    cases referred to the FBI in the last decade, 26
    percent of the primary suspects were exoner-
    ated due to DNA testing.

    PDF source

    And from the actual research report that initiated the Innocence Project, “Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science (fulltext available here) (bolds are mine):

    It must be stressed that the sexual assault
    referrals made to the FBI ordinarily involve cases
    where (1) identity is at issue (there is no consent
    defense),
    (2) the non-DNA evidence linking the
    suspect to the crime is eyewitness identification,
    (3) the suspects have been arrested or indicted
    based on non-DNA evidence, and (4) the biological
    evidence (sperm) has been recovered from a place
    (vaginal/rectal/oral swabs or underwear) that makes
    DNA results on the issue of identity virtually
    dispositive.

    Which has been addressed in Zvan’s Rape Myths #1 post linked (and ignored) earlier in the thread. Actual false rape allegations are predominantly cases of stranger rape, not those with perpetrators known to the victim; and so are cases where overzealous or sloppy police work points to the wrong suspect. (Bonus question: any expectations as to the race of those likely to be convicted of stranger rapes?)

  209. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Dee Fiant:

    Fuck you. If you haven’t been able to find a response to your “concerns” in the over 2000 comments where it has already been dealt with multiple times you’re either the worst reporter on Earth or just content with being a complete arse.

  210. vaiyt says

    I am beginning to wonder if more of the hyperskeptics would believe Jane Doe if she hadn’t named Shermer.

    My hunch is that the difference wouldn’t be significant. Sure, there wouldn’t be the fans of Shermer defending him out of reflex, but most assholes won’t believe women regardless. I offer every single previous Pharyngula thread on the subject as data points.

  211. Bernard Bumner says

    Out of fear that their demands, that allegations can only be aired in a court a law, will be insufficient to protect those who care more about access to sex than the willingness of their partner, they also have to redefine “rape” and “consent”.

    My thanks to all of those who continue to expose the nonsense of these apologists and deniers.

  212. jenniferphillips says

    I almost never comment here anymore, but I lurk as much as I’m able. Delurking now to say thank you to to Jane Doe for sharing your story, and to the anonymous PZ-disliking corroborator as well. Thank you, Horde, especially Caine for your brilliance and tenacity. And thanks especially to all, starting with PZ, and most recently Doc FreeRide, for emphasizing that focusing on the rapist, even in an attempt to seek justice, is far from the only way to help survivors.

    finally, Tom Foss, in an epic thread that has made me tear up more than once, this:

    3. No one needs to “rebutt” your points, they were butt enough already.

    made me laugh pretty hard, so thank you, too :)

    ~Danio

  213. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Oh, a journalist. Are we out of lawyers already?

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    From a journalistic standpoint, you cannot report this..

    This isn’t a newpaper. Your concern is noted….

    And a conscientious blogger should aim higher.

    He did. Protect women, not MS.

    If an accusation like this is going to be made publicly by someone other than the accuser, there have to be cold, hard facts to support it

    The same facts as in a court of law. HER WORDS. There was evidence. You pretend it doesn’t exist. That makes you a rape apologist.

    Really, her only recourse now is to go to a reporter with her story.

    Bullshit. Reporters like to name names. Now, what is your real problem?

  215. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    …excuse me… “Journalist”.

    Which I don’t think you are, since you’ve demonstrated a complete failure in reading and comprehension.

  216. stevecarlos says

    The accuser is given extra consideration around here. Why? I suppose most people here know or have felt like helpless victims, and that might contribute to you being on the ‘puter all day here and insisting that anyone comments should first read all previous, special snowflake comments. The accused is not given much consideration. Why, it’s better to err on the safe side and expose this and ruin Shermer’s life and career because there is some possibility it will help someone else he might hypothetically harm. You see, if PZ is wrong here, you’ve just made a real victim, Shermer, where none before existed except in your weird minds that need 8 word long internet handles to sooth. You’ll pick this apart in some odd way because that is what you do all day on the internet, find a way to make bullets that hit the center of your arguments seem to slide between.

    So, to answer PZ’s question:

    “What do you do when someone pulls the pin and hands you a grenade?”

    If you are brave man, then you jump on it and save everyone but potentially harm yourself. Instead, PZ threw it in Shermer’s living room (a person, oddly enough, he has a history of not liking) and let it go off like a 4th of July celebration for the Horde here to bask in all da purty colors.

  217. billhamp says

    Can someone alert a mod about billhamp?

    This kind of “vulcan logic” is just sickening.

    To him the issue of rape is nothing more than a dry set of formal calculations written on a chalkboard that can only be discussed and analyzed by completely detached and entirely cold people who are removed from the situation, and until they’ve made their oh-so-logical determinations it’s not only fair to throw potential victims of rape, assault and harassment under the bus, it’s JUST WHAT THEY DESERVE.”

    Nothing like turning to censorship because you don’t like what you are reading.

  218. Bernard Bumner says

    Journalists and lawyers are the only recourse? Have these people never read the newspaper coverage of a rape trial?

  219. says

    Really, her only recourse now is to go to a reporter with her story.

    no it isn’t, but nice try shaming a woman into exposing herself to harm.

    she’s accomplished what she wanted to: the story is out, and women can now take it into consideration when/if they might have to deal with shermer.

  220. eigenperson says

    Dee Fiant, not only is your comment highly redundant, it isn’t correct. Here is a code of journalistic ethics. Note that it says (I have edited):

    — Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
    — Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
    — Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.

    I think this shows that although anonymous sources aren’t to be used in most cases, they are legitimate in certain cases, like this one.

    In addition, if you’re accusing PZ of publishing unsupported claims: that accusation might have been relevant before he got independent confirmation of the veracity of his source’s claim. But now that he has it, he clearly has sufficient corroborating evidence to justify publication.

  221. billhamp says

    ” CaitieCat

    10 August 2013 at 11:39 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Fuck you, billhamp. The call for details is to set up a pair of goalposts that can recede as fast as anyone supporting the victim can put the ball through them. Whyncha just grab your wanking sock and fuck off elsewhere to use it, instead of JAQing off all over this thread.

    Asswipe.”

    Once again, only insult and no argument.
    1. I have not asked any questions, so I can’t be JAQing off.
    2. Your conclusion about the call for details is in error. If you can prove your point, I’ll believe you, but I will not take your opinion as fact.
    3. “Asswipe.” Nice, very nice.

  222. stevecarlos says

    I love this pejorative “hyperskeptic” being thrown around in this context. Yeah, wanting actual evidence (not PZ saying um I know this person somewhat via internet stuff and she seems to check out okay to me and this is what she said and it vaguely corresponds with some other reports) prior to forming a positive belief and also assuming innocent until proven guilty….yep crazy hyperskepticism.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mostly what those who want more “evidence” want is a name they intimidate and drag through the mud to show that one does not challenge their manhood right to act badly toward women.

  224. Pteryxx says

    Starter link on reporter’s privilege to keep their sources confidential:

    https://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/journalists/privilege

    How is the constitutional reporter’s privilege qualified?

    Courts have set forth a multi-factor balancing test for deciding the applicability of the constitutional reporter’s privilege. Generally, the subpoenaing party must show that the material is unavailable despite exhaustion of all reasonable alternative sources, that there is a compelling and overriding interest in obtaining the information, and that it is clearly relevant to an important issue in the case. In the ordinary civil case, the privilege will prevent discovery.

    Reporter’s privilege has been held by courts to protect non-traditional journalists such as book authors and documentary filmmakers.

    It’s a derail, but “bloggers aren’t journalists” is another of those fallacies that needs debunking.

  225. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    billhamp:

    Wow. Logic fail.

    You think you can come here and claim to be more intelligent and reasonable than everyone else…

    Yet you don’t even know the definition of censorship. You’re a real “sooper jeenyus”, uh-huh, yessiree-bob.

    Oh, and because I don’t know if I’ve said it to you yet:

    You are also invited to join many others in fucking off back to whatever dank hole you crawled out of.

    You’re acting like a privileged asshole in a thread full of actual community members (which does not, by the way, include me. I’m new here) who are actual survivors of rape.

    You’re being disingenuous, you’ve been asked by community members to stop with your more egregious behaviour, both politely and impolitely… but most of all this is PZ’s blog, PZ is not a government entity and no one is required in any way to give you a platform to be an asshole. You can go be an asshole elsewhere. None of your rights would be trampled on if you were banned, you fucking lackwitted pusbag.

  226. says

    Dee Fiant:

    You make the same mistake so many other hyperskeptics have done.
    THIS. AIN’T. A. COURTROOM.
    Stop acting like the standards of justice in a court of law have any applicability here.

    Also, fuck you, billhamp, chaswarren and the horse you all rode in on.

    Double fuck you for doubting Jane Doe. This is not gossip you compassionless shitstain.

  227. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yeah, wanting actual evidence

    Another rape apologist showing that woman’s WORD ISN’T EVIDENCE.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s a derail, but “bloggers aren’t journalists” is another of those fallacies that needs debunking.

    That’s not a derail, as it is pertinent to the discussion opened by others. And refutes their bullshit.

  229. Bernard Bumner says

    stevecarlos:

    You see, if PZ is wrong here…

    a) And if he is right?

    b) What if he chose to do nothing and the allegations are true?

    If you are brave man, then you jump on it and save everyone but potentially harm yourself.

    What would that even look like in this case, brave man?

    …in your weird minds that need 8 word long internet handles to sooth.

    Says the sad man with the peashooter intellect who thinks he’s firing RPGs.

  230. vaiyt says

    From a journalistic standpoint, you cannot report this.

    As you said yourself, this is not a news report and PZ is not a journalist.
    I am.
    You cannot report rape based on what one person said. As a journalist, one has to be cautious to not say more than what is known. You can, however, report the accusation, since it is an established fact. From there, you put the facts on the table (facts like, oh, the sheer number of rapes committed vs. reports vs. convictions) and let the audience conclude for themselves.
    It’s funny. I see news reports with anonymous crime victims all the time – they hide their faces and voices to prevent strikebacks or for personal trauma reasons – but suddenly when it comes to rape, it’s all-important to doubt, doubt, doubt the victims at every turn and never, ever give them a voice.

  231. says

    @Dee Fiant

    Hi! I tried to decipher the comments to see if my point had already been made, but I just couldn’t make heads or tails. So my apologies if this is redundant.

    Put an ear to the ground and see if there are other women with stories about the same man.

    You clearly didn’t even read the OP. Fuck off with your silencing tactics.

    @stevecarlos
    I’ll add you to the list of people trying to shut up victims. I wonder why you’re so scared of them speaking out.

  232. vaiyt says

    You see, if PZ is wrong here…

    If.

    (your attempt to imply the woman reporting things to him is lying is noted, and dismissed )

  233. stevecarlos says

    Elsewhere, Skinny Puppy did the best take down of this I’ve read. I’ll quote it directly below:

    “She’s torn up about it. It’s been a few years, so no law agency is going to do anything about it now;”

    Odd that! We have cases here that have gone back as far as 30 years or more and have resulted in prosecutions. That statement simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    “she reported it to an organization at the time, and it was dismissed. Swept under the rug. Ignored.”

    Which organization? How was it dismissed? How was it swept under the rug? Oh right… anecdotes.

    “She’s also afraid that the person who assaulted her before could try to hurt her again.”

    I’m also afraid that I’ll be anal probed by aliens. I think an injunction against him is what the legal recourse is to this type of situation once the facts (of those pesky facts) have been brought to light.

    “But at the same time, she doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else, so she’d like to get the word out there”

    By conveniently using character assassination while remaining safe as a bug in a rug with only his identity known and his reputation destroyed.

    “but the question of what is the right thing to do”

    The right thing to do is to be in possession of the facts of the case, and not act on anecdotes.

    “Do I stand up for the one who has no recourse, no way out, no other option to help others, or do I shelter the powerful big name guy from an accusation I can’t personally vouch for, except to say that I know the author,”

    What you do is stand up for the truth. Since you can’t personally vouch for the information that you possess you wait until you have a reasonable degree of certainty that you actually have “facts’, not “say-so”. What part of that is confusing?

    “and that she’s not trying to acquire notoriety (she wants her name kept out of it)?”

    So she gets the protection of anonymity, he gets tried, convicted and hung by the self-righteous know-it-all, goody-two-shoes social justice warriors that wouldn’t know the time of day if they were touring a watch factory.

    “I will again emphasize, though, that I have no personal, direct evidence that the event occurred as described;”

    But despite knowing fuck all about it, let’s name names shall we? Be damned if a potentially innocent man is ruined by it.

    “all I can say is that the author is known to me, and she has also been vouched for by one other person I trust.”

    My mom and dad vouch for me, my god! If that’s not proof nothing is! I trust mom and dad.

    “The author is not threatening her putative assailant with any action, but is solely concerned that other women be aware of his behavior.”

    ’cause calling him a rapist publicly, with not a shred of evidence, is about the most sensible option available.

    “The only reason she has given me this information is that she has no other way to act.”

    Obviously! Since as we all know, we’re living in a lawless land with no police, judges, laws and courts that handle these sorts of allegations. Therefore an Internet smear campaign is the way to true justice.

    Thankfully we’ve progressed beyond the medieval methods of crying “witch” which are now behind us as we’ve moved on to a just and fair society that requires proof. Oh wait! :doh:

  234. Al Dente says

    For all the hyperskeptics demanding “evidence”, READ THE PRECEDING 2200 OR SO COMMENTS! You’ll find your “questions” and “demands” have been answered.

  235. says

    Dear Embarrassments to the Skeptic Community:

    I’m retiring from this particular thread with this group of faux-skeptics.

    [Cue someone chiming in, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!"]

    However, what I wrote at the beginning, I will reiterate:

    “You don’t find it unethical to publicize an anonymous accusation of rape?

    Fuck all of you, you sanctimonious douchebags. You have just lowered yourself to the level of those you criticize for believing claims without evidence.”

  236. sqlrob says

    Anyone else notice that any of the MRAs, not just this thread, but others too, are almost always <firstname><lastname>, no spaces, all lowercase? It’s been a pretty consistent pattern. They have scripts for registering or something?

  237. says

    side note:
    “gossip” is a gendered accusation, usually aimed at women who talk to other women about “private” stuff too much. being accused of being a gossip was to be accused of being a bad woman.
    the way women have traditionally defended themselves from predators are informal informational networks, like the backchannel talk to new female speakers in atheism/secularism that started the harassment-policy thing; like the little talks given to new female grad students mentioned several times in this thread; like this.

    see a connection?

  238. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Shut the fuck up, stevecarlos.

    How many women does it take saying they were assaulted by this guy for you to believe other women should be warned so that they can take the appropriate measure to protect themselves??

    Why do you absolutely hate the thought that women might not want to be around someone who acts like a rapey douchcanoe?

    Why do you refuse to acknowledge that victims of assaults have rights, too?

    …I have all kinds of guesses as to what your answers to those questions might be. None of them make you look good.

  239. stevecarlos says

    vaiyt,

    Are we living in some mythical realm where in whenever a woman accuses a man of getting her so drunk that the whole thing was rape, it is taken as the ultimate card and proves that said man is a rapist? No. We live in a world with rapists and liars and we have devised a little thing called the criminal justice system to parse all this out. It isn’t perfect, but neither are you, I, or PZ’s blog.

  240. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Which organization? How was it dismissed? How was it swept under the rug? Oh right… anecdotes.

    Nope, and naming the organization could lead to retribution. As you intend to do.

    he gets tried, convicted

    This isn’t a court of law shithead. This has been shown time and time again. You can’t even read the thread before posting your rape apologist bullshit?

    let’s name names shall we?

    Gee, the evidence shows the alleged rapist suffers nothing, but the victim of the rape, if identified, is slut-shamed, threatened, etc., so you can behave as a predator with impunity.

  241. Dee Fiant says

    eigenperson, you linked to a decent code of journalistic ethics, then cherry-picked from the many tenants there.
    To wit it points out that journalists must:
    — Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error.
    — Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
    — Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.
    — Treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
    — Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage.
    — Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

  242. says

    The accuser is given extra consideration around here. Why?

    because there’s more than one, and because women have been informally and privately telling stories of sexual misconduct by Shermer to trusted individuals and other women for years. This is simply the first one made public.

  243. sqlrob says

    We live in a world with rapists and liars and we have devised a little thing called the criminal justice system to parse all this out

    And you’ve missed all the stories and links of the massive fail that system is for rape victims?

  244. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    The accused is not given much consideration. Why, it’s better to err on the safe side and expose this and ruin Shermer’s life and career because there is some possibility it will help someone else he might hypothetically harm.

    You see, people keep being unable to explain how anyt of this will at all ruin Shermer’s life or career.

    The accuser, on the other hand, already received her life sentence and nothing can ever take that away.

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Are we living in some mythical realm where in whenever a woman accuses a man of getting her so drunk that the whole thing was rape, it is taken as the ultimate card and proves that said man is a rapist? No.

    Wrong, yes at this blog. Not is a court of law, which this isn’t. Welcome to reality, which you are divorced from…

  246. Bernard Bumner says

    Elsewhere, Skinny Puppy did the best take down of this I’ve read.

    That is the best you have? Raging, juvenile incredulity is the best you have? And it isn’t even your own!

  247. Al Dente says

    stevecarlos @2253

    Have you noticed this is a blog and not a law court? The rules of evidence and “innocent until proven guilty” do not apply here.

    What’s happening is some women want to warn other women that Michael Shermer is a serial rapist. What else is happening is rape apologists like you are trying to silence these women. Guess what, asshole, it ain’t happening. Despite your desperate cries, women are being told about your buddy Mike. Are you afraid they’ll talk about you next? Guilty conscience?

  248. says

    We have cases here that have gone back as far as 30 years or more and have resulted in prosecutions

    We also have a case in very recent times, where despite having multiple witnesses and photographic evidence, it still took a vigilante group to force the police to investigate and the rapists were given a slap on the wrists. The victim was run out of town.

    You’re in denial of reality. You’re providing cover for rapists. You’re demonizing victims who have already gone through more hell than anyone should ever have to.

    You are the face of rape culture.

  249. eigenperson says

    Dee Fiant:

    Do you think that PZ did not test the accuracy of his information? (He makes it clear in his post — even the pre-edit part — that he did. Obviously, not to the standards you seem to require, but he did.)

    Do you think that PZ is denying Shermer the right to respond?

    Do you really think this is advocacy, as opposed to news reporting?

    Do you think that Michael Shermer is not being treated as a human being?

    Do you think that no compassion is being shown to Michael Shermer? Does “compassion” mean the suppression of all accusations against a person?

    Do you think Michael Shermer is a criminal suspect, despite the fact that “[t]he author is not threatening her putative assailant with any action”?

  250. says

    Stevecarlos:

    Instead, PZ threw it in Shermer’s living room (a person, oddly enough, he has a history of not liking)

    I’ve seen this “history” thing mentioned in a couple of other places, so I think it’s worth pointing out that this is a lie. PZ has appeared at the same venues as Shermer on many occasions over the years and they have gotten along professionally as far as I can tell for most of that time. In December last year, Shermer made some silly comment — “It [skepticism]‘s a guy thing” — then got even sillier trying to avoid admitting that it was a sexist thing to say. PZ called him out on it, as he should have, and without character assassination. I haven’t been paying attention to what Shermer’s said about PZ, or even if he’s said anything, but unless he’s been slagging off PZ right and left, the “history” thing is pure propagandizing, suggesting that a recent disagreement is some blood-feud.

    I’m not going to tell anyone to stop doing it, since it gives me an easy way to tell trolls from goats, so carry on, please.

  251. says

    Why, it’s better to err on the safe side and expose this and ruin Shermer’s life and career

    I’m still waiting for an example of a famous person accused of rape anonymously whose life was ruined by it.

  252. Bernard Bumner says

    These people write as though they haven’t considered the idea that PZ tested the credibility of the accusation in his own mind when considering how to deal with it.

  253. marinerachel says

    Choosing not to reject the claim being made =/= accepting Shermer is a rapist and calling for his punishment. As far as that part goes, I don’t know.

    What’s being demonstrated elsewhere is hand-waiving. Because verifiable evidence hasn’t yet been presented, let’s just assume this person’s accusation carries no weight! Wait a tick. Someone is telling us they have been raped. Isn’t that worth investigating in case, y’know, they were?

  254. says

    stevecarlos:
    Perhaps you will be the lucky one to FINALLY explain how Shermer’s life will be ruined. Come on, you have made the assertion. Surely you have some proof to demonstrate how devastating false accusations can be to the accused.

    Many have had the question posed…none have answered.

    Oh, and yes, ‘hyperskeptic’ is a perjorative. It describes one who demands unreasonable amounts of evidence to believe in a common claim.
    I ate a bowl of cereal is not a claim that requires hyperskepticism bc it is a mundane claim that we see reflected in reality with great frequency.

    Sylvia Browne really has psychic powers is a claim that warrants a great degree of skepticism, bc a claim to possess paranormal abilities is an extraordinary claim.

    Rape is all too common. A claim of rape is not extraordinary. Just as my claim that I ate cereal is not. Claims such as these should be taken seriously and believed bc of the frequency of their occurrence.
    False rape accusations are not a common occurrence, yet many people claim women are lying. That isnot a reasonable conclusion.
    Given the climate of Rape Culture, it is important to believe rape victims. It is my hope that in time, believing rape victims will be the default in society. Perhaps then justice can be had for them.

  255. ischemgeek says

    @Jadehawk: Notice how forming networks among other women for self-protection is “gossip” and bad, but simultaneously it’s up to us to protect ourselves from rape.

    It’s almost as if they don’t want us to get onto anything that actually works.

  256. M31 says

    I give Mr. Warren’s flounce a 3/10, best of the thread so far, but the flounce bar is pretty low these days.

    I will add my ‘another lurker’ voice here to thank and support Jane Doe for coming forward. And PZ, for doing the right thing.

    And the tireless commenters who have responded to the endless trolly trolls, thank you as well. It’s like lancing boils around here, yeah you have to look at pus but it’s cleaner and healthier after.

    The Lancing Boils is the other pub I don’t want to paint the sign for.

  257. billhamp says

    ” Pteryxx

    10 August 2013 at 12:22 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    By the way, this claim billhamp is making @2190:

    According to the Innocence Project, “Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing.” In other words, there is a 1 in 4 chance that the claim is not accurate.

    …is sourced from feministcritics, Fox News, Reddit, and lots of blogs screaming “False Rape Accusations Are Real!” The key elision here is “sexual assault cases referred to the FBI” which are a small subset of cases – about 1000 per year from 1989-2000 (compare to over 200,000 sexual assaults per year of which about 100,000 are reported to police at all, according to RAINN.)

    However, a National In-
    stitute of Justice report on innocence says that
    of the approximately 10,000 sexual assault
    cases referred to the FBI in the last decade, 26
    percent of the primary suspects were exoner-
    ated due to DNA testing.

    PDF source

    And from the actual research report that initiated the Innocence Project, “Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science (fulltext available here) (bolds are mine):

    It must be stressed that the sexual assault
    referrals made to the FBI ordinarily involve cases
    where (1) identity is at issue (there is no consent
    defense), (2) the non-DNA evidence linking the
    suspect to the crime is eyewitness identification,
    (3) the suspects have been arrested or indicted
    based on non-DNA evidence, and (4) the biological
    evidence (sperm) has been recovered from a place
    (vaginal/rectal/oral swabs or underwear) that makes
    DNA results on the issue of identity virtually
    dispositive.

    Which has been addressed in Zvan’s Rape Myths #1 post linked (and ignored) earlier in the thread. Actual false rape allegations are predominantly cases of stranger rape, not those with perpetrators known to the victim; and so are cases where overzealous or sloppy police work points to the wrong suspect. (Bonus question: any expectations as to the race of those likely to be convicted of stranger rapes?)

    I appreciate a real argument. Now we have something to go on, let me address your points. First, my evidence is from the actual report, though I have read the FoxNews article you refer to. As you have demonstrated, the claim is usually regarding stranger rape, so your stats about 10,000 are significant because we all know that stranger rape is far less common.

    I didn’t go into any more detail as I did not know if anyone would bother to read and respond to real evidence. So, now is the time for more detail.
    1. A good paper is “False Rape Allegations,” by Eugene J. Kanin. He finds that 41% of the rape cases (n=45) turned out to be false. 56% lied to provide a reason for an unforseen consensual encounter, which means they at least cursorily knew the person. In fact, in all cases, the person knew her attacker. So, this tends to dispel the idea that false rape claims are primarily made against unknown assailants.

    2. Up to 50% of rape claims on college campuses are false (Jay, 1991, Victimization of the college campus)

    There are more, some dating all the way back to 1918. The point here and of my previous post is not to suggest that most rape claims are false or to claim that a person should not be trusted when they make such a claim. Rather, the point is to indicate that there is doubt in all cases and that when a vague claim is made, it should be thoroughly investigated. My point is not that PZ is wrong for what he has done (I’m not making a moral claim in this particular argument), but that he is irrational for having done it. He has exposed himself to potential legal recourse by accusing someone, publicly, of a very vile crime without any evidence to support his claim. This is just asking for legal trouble. Now, PZ’s rationality is a different argument, altogether, from the argument that those of us reading the post should be skeptical. We should all be skeptical because we have even less reason than PZ to believe to the story because we don’t know how impartial he can be to the person who has made the claims. This is not to discreidt PZ, because I can understand why one would be biased toward what another says, but it is to discredit those who are jumping on the bandwagon and claiming Shermer is a rapist. PZ may be right, but if he is wrong, I can understand why he may have errored if the person is close to him, etc. The rest of us don’t have that luxury, and so asking for more evidence before drawing a conclusion is not only reasonable, it should be expected.

    Once again, thanks for actually addressing the points and not making the attack personal. We may disagree, but I can at least respect your approach.

  258. marinerachel says

    Choosing not to reject the claim being made =/= accepting Shermer is a rapist and calling for his punishment. As far as that part goes, I don’t know.

    What’s being demonstrated elsewhere is hand-waiving. Because verifiable evidence hasn’t yet been presented, let’s just assume this person’s accusation carries no weight! Wait a tick. Someone is telling us they have been raped. Isn’t that worth investigating in case, y’know, they were?

    I’m really grossed out by the default assumption a woman who says they’ve been raped should be ignored and their claims aren’t to investigated unless, upon reporting the rape, they provide physical evidence.

  259. HappyNat says

    Seems you are failing to prove your credentials as a skeptic

    Oh noes! I must not be a True Skeptic! You can have your skeptic credentials, I’ll work on being a decent person. What is it with you guys and the Skeptic worship? Sure being skeptical is a good tool,but it’s not the end game. It helps you see the world a certain way, but if all you are is a True Skeptic it makes you a rather shallow person.

  260. zenlike says

    Dear chaswarren, it’s funny you call the people here faux-skeptics, since -after all this time- you still cling to the ‘anonymous accusation’ bit. The accusation isn’t anonymous. The accusation is repeated by PZ who is not anonymous but known to us, and he gained it from a person who is not anonymous to him.

  261. says

    stevecarlos @ 2227:

    The accuser is given extra consideration around here. Why?

    The accuser is immediately assumed by you to be a liar. Why?

    PZ threw it in Shermer’s living room (a person, oddly enough, he has a history of not liking)

    Um, yeah, I recall PZ critiquing some of Shermer’s writings and opinions in the past. Not sure I’ve ever heard him express a desire to destroy the man’s life utterly. For a guy who pretends to disdain innuendo, you’re sure freely indulging it yourself.

  262. says

    These people write as though they haven’t considered the idea that PZ tested the credibility of the accusation in his own mind when considering how to deal with it.

    Right! This!

    There’s a guy in my neighborhood who does excavation work, and I used to periodically have him gravel and level my driveway. One of my neighbors once, casually, commented that the excavator was “bad news” and a few months later someone else suggested that the excavator was a bad person to be around when he was drunk. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but when he suggested we have a couple beers I declined. Was I being unreasonable? I figured that if someone went out of their way to tell me something like that, and it came from multiple independent sources, it might be a good idea to treat that as valuable information.

    Oh, yeah, excavator guy is in prison right now because 6 months ago he got drunk and beat one of his buddies so badly they were hospitalized.

    Now, that’s all “man stuff” and doesn’t involve sexual misconduct. So why is it so different?

  263. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Because verifiable evidence hasn’t yet been presented,

    Yes it has. Jane Doe’s statement has been corroborated. Read the OP before you make yourself look like and idjit.

  264. flowerowls says

    I’ve been following this thread since yesterday, and finally decided to register with FTB to make a comment. I’ve been struck by the almost cookie-cutter similarities of the commenters who have a problem with Jane Doe, PZ Myers or both. Perhaps because it involves members of the Skeptical community, this post has attracted these faux-lawyers and hyperskeptics, all of whom want to recharacterize what the original post was about. A woman wants to warn others about a prominent figure. Warnings have been circulating quietly amongst people who know each other, but now it’s in the open. That’s all this really is. I feel for the victim, and understand her wish to be anonymous. And I can only imagine the vileness being flung at Professor Myers right now.

  265. allegro says

    Holy moly, I haven’t made it through most of the posts but I’ve read enough to get the idea. This topic hits REAL close to home for me and here’s why: (trigger warning maybe, but no details to amuse wankers)

    Mid-70s, I was in my 20s, happily single. I went to a party given by an acquaintance of some time and met a cute, fun guy, a lawyer at the firm my acquaintance worked for. He was obviously well known and liked among the other party guests. We hit it off, spending most of the evening together. We talked on the phone at least once a day for the next week when we agreed to go out that Friday.

    Short story: he raped me that Friday. He also let me know that there was nothing I could do about it. I went out with him. I invited him into my home. We had a few drinks. I wasn’t a virgin. He thought this was all terribly amusing.

    The next day, I told my acquaintance what had happened. The first words out of her mouth were: “Oh my god, he did that to you, too?”

    me: Wait… what? TOO? You know that he’s done this to other women?

    her: Yeah, [another acquaintance] told me he did the same thing to her but I just thought, yanno, she might be just pissed off at him for something. How could I know for sure? And there were a few other rumors, but just rumors, yanno?

    me: And it never occurred to you to fill me in on this, knowing I was talking to him and planning to go out with him? Like fucking WARN ME?!!!

    her: Well, you just don’t go around accusing guys when you aren’t for sure of the facts. Yanno?

    me: *click*

    What. the. ever. loving. fuck. It’s protecting asshole rapists like this that allows them to do it, know they’re going to get away with it, and laugh about it! All I had ever needed was a warning that I was about to step into hell with a goddamned rapist, not the police, not a conviction, just a fucking warning.

    Thank you PZ, the woman who trusted you enough to protect her coming forward, and to all of the other women who have ever come forward and NAMED the assholes. It will save other women.

  266. says

    A good paper is “False Rape Allegations,” by Eugene J. Kanin.

    ROTFLMAO
    folks, we have us a real true MRA on our hands.

    From SPLC, emphasis mine:

    Kanin’s methodology has been widely criticized, and his results do not accord with most other findings. Kanin researched only one unnamed Midwestern town, and he did not spell out the criteria police used to decide an allegation was false. The town also polygraphed or threatened to polygraph all alleged victims, a now-discredited practice that is known to cause many women to drop their complaint even when it is true. In fact, most studies that suggest high rates of false accusations make a key mistake — equating reports described by police as “unfounded” with those that are false. The truth is that unfounded reports very often include those for which no corroborating evidence could be found or where the victim was deemed an unreliable witness (often because of drug or alcohol use or because of prior sexual contact with the attacker). They also include those cases where women recant their accusations, often because of a fear of reprisal, a distrust of the legal system or embarrassment because drugs or alcohol were involved. The best studies, where the rape allegations have been studied in detail, suggest a rate of false reports of somewhere between 2% and 10%. The most comprehensive study, conducted by the British Home Office in 2005, found a rate of 2.5% for false accusations of rape. The best U.S. investigation, the 2008 “Making a Difference” study, found a 6.8% rate.

  267. ischemgeek says

    Kanin’s paper has been widely panned as flawed. The FBI, a far more credible source, reports only 5.4% of cases are “unfounded” – unfounded including both false accusations and cases in which it was impossible to tell either way. Credible sources typically place “unfounded” reports between 2-8%, with outright false reports being somewhat lower.

  268. dogberry says

    @dogberry

    I have read the thread, all of it. My problem is that I don’t believe in mob justice.

    You know, if you want us to believe that you’ve read the thread, it’s a good idea not to immediately say something that demonstrates that you haven’t. Kinda gives away what a filthy, lying assface you are.

    You seem to be implying that if, in your view, I read the whole thread (again!) I will suddenly believe in mob justice. Are you actually making that argument? I have always been under the impression that mob justice isn’t entirely a good thing.

    As for the filthy, lying assface part, I shall assume as one ought, that an ad hominem argument means you have no better ammunition. In fact, the way you resort to that when there is absolutely no need, and when I am actually on your side in the general debate about what to do with sexual harassment, discrimination and assault is a rather good illustration of what mob psychology can do to otherwise rational individuals. None of us should indulge in, condone or ignore any abrogation of the civil rights of anyone else. I’m merely including one more individual under that umbrella of protection than you are.

  269. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sorry marinerachel, I didn’t get you were quoting the rape apologist.

  270. says

    @billhamp

    A good paper is “False Rape Allegations,” by Eugene J. Kanin

    From wikipedia:

    According to Lisak, Kanin’s study lacked any kind of systematic methodology and did not independently define a false report, instead recording as false any report which the police department classified as false.

    Kanin, Lisak writes, took his data from a police department whose investigation procedures are condemned by the U.S. Justice Department and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

    I’m not impressed with the quality of your citations.

  271. Jacob Schmidt says

    stevevcarlos

    Are we living in some mythical realm where in whenever a woman accuses a man of getting her so drunk that the whole thing was rape, it is taken as the ultimate card and proves that said man is a rapist? No.

    Ahahahahahahah, I can’t believe this. You’ve just admitted that the mere accusation isn’t much and won’t be taken seriously on it’s own. Yet you’re here to whine at us about how it’s a big deal.

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ooh, dogberry’s concerned, tone trolling and just trolling. Shall I flee? *sharpens titantium fang*

  273. sqlrob says

    I’m merely including one more individual under that umbrella of protection than you are.

    And booting a lot more out.

  274. says

    Marinerachel @2268:
    Exactly.
    In the minds of billhamp and stevecarlos a friend who claims to have been mugged or their home invaded must not be believed without lots of corroborating evidence. You cannot even tentatively believe that friend, bc hyperskepticism entails doubting EVERY claim not matter the likelihood of its occurence.

  275. says

    it’s as if these dolts thought we’re new to this. as if they thought they’re providing anything not already debunked a hundred times before. lol.

  276. HappyNat says

    sqlrob

    Anyone else notice that any of the MRAs, not just this thread, but others too, are almost always , no spaces, all lowercase? It’s been a pretty consistent pattern. They have scripts for registering or something?

    They also seem to have problems with blockquoting, so html isn’t part of their script.

  277. says

    The polygraph just keeps coming up, doesn’t it.

    The backstory podcast has a good section on the invention of the polygraph. I especially liked the quote from one of the inventors who worked on it, where he said that its effectiveness lay mostly in scaring people into confessing.

  278. says

    Anyone else notice that any of the MRAs, not just this thread, but others too, are almost always , no spaces, all lowercase? It’s been a pretty consistent pattern. They have scripts for registering or something?

    at least they’re not all named some variant of “Reasonable Skepti-rationalist Thinker” like last time. That would be boring.

  279. says

    2269:

    Perhaps you will be the lucky one to FINALLY explain how Shermer’s life will be ruined. Come on, you have made the assertion. Surely you have some proof to demonstrate how devastating false accusations can be to the accused.

    Yeah, you know…this. Look at the Duke Lacrosse fiasco, and the ones suffering permanent consequences from that situation are the accuser, and the prosecutor who helped her gin up a false case and got disbarred for it. So in the rare cases where we do see a genuine false claim, the accused is usually exonerated and their good names left intact. (The grim irony being that, even when accusations are true, and the accused is convicted, some will always continue to blame and slut-shame the victim.)

    2285:

    You seem to be implying that if, in your view, I read the whole thread (again!) I will suddenly believe in mob justice.

    No, what’s being implied is that if you read the thread, you’d understand “mob justice” isn’t what’s being called for. But it looks like you have some definite biases standing in the way of your grasping that.

  280. Carol Menichellie says

    [Again, another invented story of sexual abuse by yours truly. I'm approving this to show how low these nasty people will stoop...but you'll need to select it to read it. Carol, by the way, is banned. --pzm]

    A young man I know and trust implicitly has come forward to tell me about his rape at the hands of PZ Myers. He doesn’t want publicity and he knows it’s too late to press charges, but he was underage at the time and says unequivocally that Myers coerced him into an untenable position and sodomized him repeatedly. It was a difficult decision whether to share this but I feel it’s important for the public to know.

    Edit: Since I started talking about this, others have come forward who’ve also been victimized by Myers and who also don’t want to be named. So it’s confirmed.

  281. Pteryxx says

    Important point in that amptoons critique of the Kagin study.

    If over 40% of women reporting rape recant — even though multiple, more rigorous studies have found false rape reports are usually 2%-8% of all reports — that could indicate a police culture which gives rape victims an extremely strong reason to want to “disengage the criminal justice system,” even if they’re threatened with a fine or a short jail stay. And, as we will see, routinely pressuring all reported rape victims to take a lie detector test is a sign of a police department with a strong bias against taking rape reports seriously.

    Basically, that implies that intimidation of victims is ten to twenty times as common as actual false reports.

  282. says

    Rutee:

    Update @ Caine:
    Remember how I said ‘it’ll take white people longer to drop the lynching metaphor because of Westerns”? I was apparently right, going by this Felicity jackass on the “It could never happen to her” thread. I thought I was joking.

    Really? I really don’t want to read any Felicity (boy, is that name ever inappropriate to them), but after more tea, I’ll go have a look.

  283. says

    You gotta love the extra sliminess of Billhamp. Whining about being insulted rather than engaged in a thread with almost 2300 comments, many of whom addressed his points long ago. But instead of reading the thread, he whines about the tone of the discourse. For him, rape is a topic he can approach liesurely with great detachment. He does not understand why people feel so passionately about this. He does not understand why people use harsh words when discussing traumatic circumstances. He thinks discourse should follow his rules of civility, which show disdain for bad words.

    To that, I say fuck you and your sanctimonious Vucan ass. You do not set the tone here.
    You barged into a thread dismissing a rape victim and demanding people engage your already refuted points. That is uncivil, disrespectful and grounds to be dismissed by many of us.

    Fuck off you assclam.
    ***

    To all those obsessed with harsh words: examine what is so damned bad about ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’. Go look up the root of ‘profanity’. Go look up the etymology of ‘cursing’.

  284. says

    As for the filthy, lying assface part, I shall assume as one ought, that an ad hominem argument means you have no better ammunition.

    Are you new to the internet, or something? Just because someone chooses to show you how little they respect you by throwing insults at you doesn’t mean they don’t have a better argument against your position. In fact, the reason that it’s been suggested that you carefully read the thread is because it’s chock full of arguments against your position. Do you need someone to read the relevant parts aloud to you, or something?

  285. says

    Tony!etc: Oh, poo, I missed that, somehow (I’ve tried to read all the comments, I really have). Well, never mind, redundancy is no sin.

  286. Emrysmyrddin says

    A day and a half of reading and I’m still not caught up. However I’d like to retract what I posted somewhere in the mists of Page One; after seeing not just the regulars arm themselves for battle, but countless lurker upon lurker register or de-lurk and stand up to be counted, I no longer want to burn down the edifice of the atheoskeptisphere. The Horde are the ones that will rise from the murk and forge a new and better brand of atheoskepticism – one that actually gives a fuck and isn’t ashamed to say so.

    If you’re a lurker, be inspired, speak up, de-lurk and show support; that’s been the biggest thing that’s turned my initial depression into something that feels suspiciously like hope. Every new name is a joy to me.

  287. says

    dogberry:
    Leave the hyperbolic rhetoric at the door.
    This. Is. Not. Mob Justice.
    That you use the phrase shows you do not understand it.

    No harm has come to Shermer, and to the best of my knowledge no one has spoken of any desire to harm him.

    It is nice to know who the Rape Culture supporters are. Avoiding fuckwits like you will be good for everyone interested in social justice.

  288. Al Dente says

    The thing I notice about the pseudo-lawyers, hyperskeptics and just plain rape apologists puking their spew on this thread is they’re all concerned about Shermer. None of them express any desire that women not be raped. A few of them say “I’m against rape, rapists should be castrated, etc.” but not one of them has said they want women warned about possible, probable or confirmed rapists. Protecting Shermer’s reputation is more important to the rape apologists than protecting potential rape victims.

  289. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Hi! I tried to decipher the comments to see if my point had already been made, but I just couldn’t make heads or tails. So my apologies if this is redundant.

    From a journalistic standpoint, you cannot report this. You can personally believe the accuser, find her 100% credible, even be willing to vouch for her publicly, but you cannot report it. You can even feel strongly compelled by your conscious that sharing is the right thing. That it is for the public good, but you cannot report it. You cannot report it because it’s gossip and reporters don’t trade in gossip. Tabloids trade in gossip. Gossip is bad. It is hurtful and destructive and indefensible. It’s the equivalent of finding someone guilty until proven innocent…

    Hi “Dee Fiant”
    Goddamn your eyes.

    You’re a worthless waste of skin and you seriously need to fuck off out of here. Right now. Don’t come back.

  290. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Seconding Emrysmyrddin.
    It’s good to see all the de-lurkings.

  291. Carol Menichellie says

    This is a lot like how the Salem witch trials went. Hysteria, faceless accusations, opponents labeled as Satanists (read: rape apologists).

  292. says

    @dogberry

    As for the filthy, lying assface part, I shall assume as one ought, that an ad hominem argument means you have no better ammunition.

    So, not only are you a lying shit stain, you don’t even know what “ad hominem” means. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    I’ve pointed this out before, you hyper-skeptics have learned the words, but you haven’t grasped them. You don’t seem like you’re even trying to. That’s because this isn’t about due process, evidence or skepticism at all, is it? It’s all about silencing victims. That’s what your real goal is and you’re not fooling anyone about it.

    Now fuck off. You’re stinking up the place.

  293. says

    You can have your skeptic credentials, I’ll work on being a decent person.

    HappyNat, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    Either we can discuss the truth-value of a claim as a disembodied statement, or we can think about the actual, real-world meaning and consequences of the claim, the situation, and the discussion – in particular it’s effect on the victim and other people who may be vulnerable to the subject in hand.
    For every commenter it’s pretty clear which way they jump.
    .
    Strangely enough, the faction that is worried about skeptic credentials completely fails in the rational assessment of the consequences of [famous man being accused of rape] vs the consequences of [outing oneself as a victim of sexual violence], let alone [being raped].
    Why is that?

  294. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Carol:

    Yes, Carol. We’ve emptied all our woodpiles into a large heap in the town square and are demanding that Micheal Shermer be burned at the stake.

    Except that’s not what’s happening.

    We’re also not looking to have him hanged, either, so you can save the very tiresome “lynching” accusations, too.

    What’s happening here is that someone who is well known among certain circles for being a rape-y douchefuck is being publicly named so that women can decide for themselves if they want to risk being alone with him or in any other situation where their safety might be at risk.

    Why is that a problem for you?

  295. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hysteria, faceless accusations, opponents labeled as Satanists (read: rape apologists).

    Gee, whose on trial? Who is the judge? Where is the jury? Talk about a bullshit metaphor. You don’t have a clue.

  296. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    This is a lot like how the Salem witch trials went. Hysteria, faceless accusations, opponents labeled as Satanists

    Dunno.
    We are a bit short on witch burnings.

  297. sqlrob says

    Why is that a problem for you?

    Given the deleted comment, I’m thinking skeletons in closet.

  298. says

    This is a lot like how the Salem witch trials went

    Yeah, because witches aren’t real, whereas rape actually happens and is unfortunately common.
    So, it’s just like them. Except not in the least bit.

  299. says

    This is a lot like how the Salem witch trials went

    Yes, a lot like that. You know, except for everything about it.
    Nobody is on trial. Nobody is being persecuted or tortured. Indeed, it’s hard going to even get people to accept that there even is a victim. If you really think that this is a good comparison, I don’t think you’ve understood either this case or the Salem witch trials.

    Now, go back to the beginning and start reading. Once you’re caught up, we’ll hear what you have to say.

  300. flowerowls says

    This is a lot like how the Salem witch trials went. Hysteria, faceless accusations, opponents labeled as Satanists (read: rape apologists).

    No one has suggested doing anything harsher that canceling a magazine subscription. Not exactly “hysteria”.

  301. says

    Emrysmyrddin:
    I agree with you here.
    All the lurkers who have delurked to show your support–your voices are vital. Your voices have power. You add to all the other voices that refuse to be silenced. You help show support and compassion for victims who often have little or none. You are part of this community and the more of you speak up or delurk, the more we can push the MRAs and anti-feminists to the fringes of the movement.
    ____
    The Horde has done, as always a fucking FANTASTIC job refuting the lies, misconceptions, delusions and distortions. Standing up for victims and adding their support is of utmost importance. Prior to joining FtB several years ago not in my wildest imagination would I have thought I would be side by side with such empathetic, compassionate, driven individuals. Thank you Horde.

    ___
    To all those who have spoken about their experiences of sexual assault you have my 100% support and admiration at your courage.

  302. Carol Menichellie says

    @ praxis

    Yup. Definitely a witch. It’s well known among certain circles that she’s a witch. Everybody says so. Anybody that has a problem with that must be in league with Satan. Or a witch themselves.

  303. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @sqlrob:

    Deleted comment? Did I miss something?

    (I wandered off to grab an apple and some water…)

  304. says

    xxxild61 #2101

    As an outsider, I’d be aggressive in getting answers as to why these reports have been dismissed, and the women not encouraged to file outright police reports.

    You’d be “aggressive”, sure. And you’d be stonewalled, as usual. Maybe even aggressively.

    and the women not encouraged to file outright police reports.

    What?

    You haven’t read the thread, have you?

    Read. The. Thread.

    2% of reported rapes result in jail time for the accused.
    Many (most?) rapes are not reported, often because there is no way they can be proven, and the victims know it.
    Even in that 2%, the process is about equal to, or sometimes worse than, a repeat of the rape.
    More often than not, the victim is simply ignored or even disbelieved.
    If the rape is reported in time, a rape kit may be used. Often at the victim’s expense. This is a procedure that is almost as demeaning as the rape itself. And then the kit will be stashed away, unexamined, on a shelf to be discovered years later, along with thousands of others.

    Why would you want a victim to be subjected to that?

    (I realize I’m 200 comments behind, but I can either keep up or comment, not both at once.)

  305. Carol Menichellie says

    It’s not the punishment that made the Salem witch trials particularly heinous. It was the hysteria, faceless accusations and labeling of those who counseled prudence as fellow witches and Satanists. Or in this case, rapists or rape apologists.

  306. says

    Well, at least it’s different, right guys? At least it’s not the same bullshit we’ve heard twenty times already.
    Kudos, Carol, you’ve at least found a new way of being an asshole. In a thread going on 2300+ comments, that’s no small thing.

    Now fuck off.

  307. sqlrob says

    @praxis:

    Let’s just say it was a way of trying to impugn the way this rape was reported while sliming PZ. It went away pretty quickly.

  308. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Carol Menichellie,
    Really, analogies… you suck at them. Don’t do it. It’s painful to read.

  309. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Carol:

    Wow. So people are asking for him to be harmed? Where? Again, you haven’t answered my question:

    Why do you have a problem with someone who has been exposed to be a well known creep through multiple accusations being denied access to more possible victims?

    What is your problem with women not being harassed, raped or otherwise assaulted?

  310. says

    It’s not the punishment that made the Salem witch trials particularly heinous. It was the hysteria, faceless accusations and labeling of those who counseled prudence as fellow witches and Satanists. Or in this case, rapists or rape apologists.

    Actually, for the people who were executed, I’m pretty sure it was the punishments.

  311. eigenperson says

    It’s not the punishment that made the Salem witch trials particularly heinous.

    Um, I can’t actually agree with you there.

  312. says

    Carol the Rape Apologist:
    I am disgusted that your nym is also my mothers name.
    Witch hunts?

    I will ask you much the same question I did to carlos and Linda Rosa:
    How is online criticism the same thing as a witch hunt?

    You are engaging in ridiculous levels of hyperbole and you cannot even be assed to do so honestly. You spout talking points that would make Bill O’Reilly proud, but you do not understand what words mean.
    So explain what you mean and how it applies.

    Or dont, shut the fuck up and drift into nothingness like all other Rape Apologists.

  313. says

    Billhamp @2190:

    Extraodinary claims require extraoridnary evidence Tom. None of the goups above correspond to an extraordinary claim, which means they require only ordinary evidence, which they do not provide.

    Half credit there, Bill. It’s true that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but the group which corresponds to that is “Things that we do not know exist.”

    Be happy that I’m not grading the irrelevant portion of your answer more harshly, because “ordinary evidence” includes personal testimony, which is provided.

    The bunny, unless of course you are in Southeastern Russia where there are no rabbits (Pika, maybe, but very, very few if any rabbits). At that point, the Leopard would be the better choice.

    Half credit again, there, Bill. There are two different hare species whose habitats partially overlap with that of the Amur Leopard, and if even 0.05% of the 1,956,497 people in Primorsky Krai own rabbits (2% of Russians keep small animals as pets), they’d outnumber the 26 remaining wild Amur Leopards by four orders of magnitude. Even in southeastern Russia, it’s more likely that you’re hearing a lost pet rabbit in those bushes than a severely endangered Amur Leopard.

    Ah, here is an example of a question lacking all of the necessary information required to make a decision. The answer would depend on the person, the quality of the claim, and supporting evidence. So B or D would be a reasonable choice. Let me explain.

    No, I’m afraid you’re incorrect. See, the choice for “B” is “they are making a false allegation,” not “they are mistaken about the identity of the attacker,” which was not in the scope of the question. Moreover, given that the “1 in 4″ statistic comes from the subset of reports referred to the FBI, and given that “1 in 4″ still makes it 3 times more likely that a victim is truthful and accurate in their allegation and accusation, the most likely choice remains D.

    1/3 points, or 33%. Gonna need to do some extra credit to shore up that grade, Bill.

  314. Carol Menichellie says

    See? It just sounded like I was disagreeing and I got called a rape apologist. Thanks for proving my point.

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Or in this case, rapists or rape apologists.

    Back during the ‘Nam war/civil rights movements, there was a saying: “Either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem”. Either those with “concerns” show they are part of the solution, or they are part of the problem. Essentially supplying cover for those who behave badly. Think about that.

  316. eigenperson says

    Proving your point that people are being called rape apologists?

    I don’t think anyone here doubts that people are being called rape apologists.

  317. Al Dente says

    Carol Menichellie @2326

    It was the hysteria, faceless accusations and labeling of those who counseled prudence as fellow witches and Satanists. Or in this case, rapists or rape apologists.

    Why are you standing up for the rapists? Don’t you have any concern for potential or actual rape victims?

  318. Crys T says

    I’m another lurker coming out into the light of day to commend Jane Doe for coming forward with this and Myers for having the guts to say it out loud – knowing full well the sort of shit he’d have to take for it.

    I’d also like to thank the Horde for standing up to the hyperskeptics and rape apologists. It’s about 5 years too late for me to have the emotional energy this type of fight requires, but it really helps to see you all doing it for all of us who were raped and then not believed.

    For all of you handwringing about Shermer, trying to determine the *exact* point at which sexual contact ends and rape begins, wibbling on about lynchings/witch/hunts, etc. – FUCK RIGHT OFF. Seriously. You are horrible, shitty, and deeply stupid people. Your are unable to grasp what any of this is about, and your priorities are total shit. Fuck you forever.

  319. triamacleod says

    De lurking to add my support to Jane Doe(s) and PZ and, of course, the Hoarde who fights tirelessly against the asshats and rape apologists.

    Take heart, beloved Hoarde, and know that more and more members of my generation are paying attention. We see what is being done and by whom. More and more of my friends are learning to stay away from anything marked Skeptic and most things marked Atheist as it seems to be code for Hetero, white, cis-male only need apply. More of us are identifying as Secular or as Humanists, since the moniker Atheist has been sullied pretty badly. Maybe that will change one day, but until then we’re making our decisions known with our wallets since that is the only thing at appears to matter to those in charge. The old boys club is a dying breed and this is their death throes. It is going to be long, slow and repulsive to watch as they slowly sink into an oblivion of their own making, but when they refuse to listen to anyone other than themselves they really don’t deserve anything better.

    Here is to hoping today is the lowest point in the curve, that from here on out more people will see that violence against any member of the human race should be exposed and prevented. That people who prey on other people should not be sheltered. That the victims of violence are the ones deserving of our support and respect.

  320. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Chris:

    Ew. I’m very glad I missed that.

  321. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Wow. You all are blind.

    If by “blind” you mean “failed to notice the brilliantness of Michael Shermer and absolute impossibility that this man about whom I know fuck about could possibly have done what lots of women are accusing him of”.

  322. says

    Christ, it’s like kindergarten. A kid going up to you and going “Are you angry?” over and over again and when you finally tell him to put a sock in it, he smugly says “See, I knew you were angry.”

    Go buy yourself a new sense of decency, Carol. The one you’ve got isn’t working.

  323. sqlrob says

    It was a comment accusing PZ of pedophiliac rape in triggering detail. I put it in moderation.

    I was surprised when I saw more comments from them. I expected that to be an immediate banning.

  324. says

    2326:

    Carol, here’s the little problem with your analogy.

    The witch trials were trials, this is a blog discussion.
    Witchcraft isn’t real, rape is.

    I sincerely hope you never have to find that out the hard way.

  325. says

    Back to see that once again, the commentariat here is exactly the lovely, sharp-fanged bunch I enjoy so much.

    Thank you, Caine, for your well wishes. That final comment about what’s his face’s sex life sort of undid me for awhile–it was the ‘if I can make her ‘like it’, then it can’t be rape’ undertone in that comment that got me. Well, that and the insertion of sex he obvious felt was hot into a discussion of rape (and its similarity to my own experience.)

    Because it’s not like that’s not common. Those guys seem to want, in as much as possible, to blur the line between sex they’d like to defend as fun and a discussion of rape. It’s super fucking telling that when we start discussing rape, these guys pour out of the woodwork to discuss how fantastic their sex lives are–as if asking for consent makes us prudes and/or inhibits their “sex lives”.

    And by telling, I mean disgusting. Or is that vile.

  326. says

    Carol:
    Wow. You are scum.
    Women were murdered for the nonexistent ‘crime’ of being witches, yet to you the faceless accusations were the worst part of the Salem Witch Trials.
    Did you broker a deal with an MRA to sell you compassion? You are in short supply.

  327. Crys T says

    Hey Carol, notice LykeX’s comment at 2333? How’s your crappy analogy looking now?

  328. says

    sqlrob:

    I was surprised when I saw more comments from them. I expected that to be an immediate banning.

    It wasn’t even really my place to moderate the comment, let alone ban someone, given that it’s not my thread. But as PZ’s on the road and “Carol”‘s comment was disgustingly egregious and capable of doing actual harm to some Hordelings, it seemed the thing to do.

  329. Randomfactor says

    Women were murdered for the nonexistent ‘crime’ of being witches,

    And a few men, too. Which is the “worse” part being alluded to.

    /snark/

  330. says

    Thanks to others for debunking those “false accusation” misinfo bits. I’ve read through that Wikipedia article so many times now I almost have it memorized.

  331. Vicki says

    One more mostly lurker who wants to say to Jane Doe: I believe you. Thank you for speaking out.

    Thanks to the Horde for dealing with the rape apologists and trolls.

    I wonder how many of those MRAs with handles that look like names are using their “real” names. Because it might be worth noting those handles, just in case I am introduced to a “Steve Carlos” at a party sometime.

  332. says

    @Myself:

    if even 0.05% of the 1,956,497 people in Primorsky Krai own rabbits (2% of Russians keep small animals as pets), they’d outnumber the 26 remaining wild Amur Leopards by four orders of magnitude.

    Arithmetic fail. 0.05% of 1,956,497 people would amount to about 38 times more rabbits than leopards, not 3800. Doesn’t change the point, though.

  333. cardinal. says

    Per Emrysmyrddin’s request, delurking to thank Jane Doe for coming forward, PZ for sharing and the amazing Horde for showing how to fight the good fight. I’ve learned so much in my years of reading, and even though I don’t comment, I take what I’ve learned out in the world with me.

  334. says

    Carol’s vile comment has been approved with protections in place so no one will read it accidentally. Carol has also been banned.

  335. Al Dente says

    Tony,

    Don’t you realize that saying rape exists is exactly the same as saying witchcraft exists? Therefore rapists are as common as witches. Since witches don’t actually exist, then rapists don’t either. Carol is vindicated in her comparison between the Salem witch trials and women warning other women about Shermer. QE everloving D!

  336. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    *finds Carol’s comment*

    Well. I’m not sure why I’m still surprised, but these people are disgusting.

  337. Dee Fiant says

    I don’t see how Carol’s comment is any different than what PZ wrote. Both are accusations of rape by an unnamed third party. How is Carol’s post inappropriate and PZ’s is commendable? Neither meets any standard of truth.

    I’m going to keep tacking this onto all my comments because: name calling.
    If Jane Doe exists her story should be believed. She should not be shamed or accused of lying. If she exists she deserves care and support. BUT THERE IS NO PROOF SHE EXISTS.

  338. dorfl says

    *Delurking*

    I also want to thank Jane Doe, PZ and the Horde. Keep up the good work – unless dealing with the constant stream of fools and scumbags just becomes too much, of course.

  339. says

    CaitieCat:

    Caine…you’re a fucking superhero, y’know that? You leap tall fallacies in a single bound, are faster with a link than a speeding search engine, and the slings and arrows (if I might do a little MC Metaphor act) just bounce right off your Bracelets of Truth. I’m so fucking glad you’re on our side.

    Um…wow. Thank you! (Now I want my own comic book.)

    ischemgeek @ 2023, that was a tour de force, thank you so much for sharing what happened to you. It’s a stark realization of just how buffeted, rejected and alone victims often are, and it highlights the reasons so many choose alternates to the standard ‘report to law enforcement’. Thank you.

    skeptianthro @ 2105, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad your niece has such a kick ass family, you made the difference and your niece rocks!

    Marcus Ranum:

    I think the hyperskeptics will only accept an admission of guilt from Shermer.

    Colour me cynical, but I imagine Shermer has already spoken with an attorney, who advised him to keep his mouth firmly shut.

    Beatrice:

    Am I the only one who is getting really creeped out by the complaints that claims by the victim aren’t specific enough?

    No. In my experience, it’s a tell. Anyone asking for the details of a rape or sexual assault does not care about the victim at all. Most victims don’t easily relate the details of their rape or assault easily, and there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to provide them outside of the arenas of hospital / law enforcement / courtroom.

    billhamp:

    Your assumption would be wrong and speculative at best. The call for details is in regard to determining how accurate the story is.

    No, it isn’t, you aggravating doucheweasel. You might want to note something interesting – it’s men who keep demanding and salivating over wanting details. It’s women who are picking up on the creep vibe, which is the reality. I take it you haven’t been raped or sexually harassed or had to deal with a variety of creeps for your whole life, Bill. If you had, you probably wouldn’t be such a flaming asshole. Experience informs, Bill. You’re spouting hot air, the same shit foam your assholes in arms have been doing for thousands of posts now. The rest of us? We’re informed by experience, and well, we’re actually capable of thinking and having empathy.

    dogeared:

    Like myself, many women who have attended one of these cons are not surprised to hear Shermer’s name again. PZ isn’t offering new information, he’s simply giving the same warning that many of us have already received to a larger audience and for the same exact reason.

    This keeps getting ignored. It shouldn’t be.

    Chandrese, if you’re reading, ♥

  340. MFHeadcase says

    And I am willing to be that because Carol claimed PZ had raped boys, it was supposed to be seen as somehow worse than Shermer’s actions.

  341. dogberry says

    dogberry:
    Leave the hyperbolic rhetoric at the door.
    This. Is. Not. Mob Justice.
    That you use the phrase shows you do not understand it.

    No harm has come to Shermer, and to the best of my knowledge no one has spoken of any desire to harm him.

    It is nice to know who the Rape Culture supporters are. Avoiding fuckwits like you will be good for everyone interested in social justice.

    Ah, another ad hominem. This won’t do. Please recall I neither support your “Rape Culture” nor even understand it.

    Let us make a thought experiment. Let’s take any figure from the enlightenment and imagine what they would say on reading this thread. How about Voltaire? What do you think he would be typing right now? Or should that be too difficult – allowing for your ad hominem arguments – any other civil rights figure. What about MLK? What would he have said about this trial-by-blog? Or Elizabeth Fry? Jeremy Bentham? As all the facile commenters above have said, provide citations – nah, you don’t have to, as we all know that is a simple put-down designed to extinguish any opposition. Can anyone reading this comment thread imagine that it will have no consequences to Michael Shermer? And if he is innocent, what then? You’ll say ‘sorry’? If he is guilty he deserves all he will get. You and I are not in a position to decide that, and simply saying this isn’t a court doesn’t change a thing. Nor does expending your hatred on me with nasty names and epithets.

    Once again, I ask you to hold off your role as a member of PZ’s horde, and use your wits. All of us have – or should have – the same civil rights. The complainant who wrote to PZ has them and so does Michael Shermer. I’m simply respecting the civil rights of both equally, with no agenda to make rape easier and consequence-free, and that’s all. I respect them equally because I have to do so if those rights are to mean anything. That doesn’t mean that either of them gets to be mean to the other for any reason. Rights are supposed to be inviolate. Most of the commenters here cannot begin to claim that they have not violated the rights of one or the other protagonist. I’ll make it simple for you: Sherlock Holmes advised: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.” Does that help, or do you still feel I am some sort of sexual predator who simply wants to excuse all other rapists from proper punishment? My partner of 37 years was raped at the age of 14. I get it. I also don’t do rushes to judgement in advance of evidence. I don’t want any innocent person to suffer. Somehow this makes me a bad person in your eyes. Such is life.

  342. aelfric says

    Dee Fiant–Seeing as I have no proof you exist, and your trolling is so obviously ludicrous and exaggerated, you can’t possibly be real.

  343. Al Dente says

    Dee Fiant, Journalist for the Rape Culture,

    Fine, don’t believe Jane Doe exists. Non-rape apologists not only think she exists but think her story is true, especially since it has been corroborated (that’s a fancy word which means it’s been supported by other evidence). It’s only rape apologists like you who don’t believe it.

    So, what’s it like supporting rapists? Is the pay good? Are there good benefits? Is it satisfying knowing your hatred for women is being paraded for all to see?

  344. says

    BUT THERE IS NO PROOF SHE EXISTS.

    Uh huh. Gee, Cupcake, you certainly come across as a garden variety troll with gnats for brains. We’ll wait, while you dig up, oh, 7 cites of people putting themselves in harm’s way just to prop up a non-existent rape victim.

    *taps foot* Waiting.

  345. says

    2366:

    If Jane Doe exists her story should be believed. She should not be shamed or accused of lying. If she exists she deserves care and support. BUT THERE IS NO PROOF SHE EXISTS.

    Which basically means you think PZ has made up this entire account. Can you explain why you think that is the more likely scenario?

  346. dorfl says

    @ Dee Fiant

    I would like to respond to you, but I have no proof that you exist. Until you publicly reveal your name, adress and shoe size, I am forced to assume that you are a spambot.

  347. Onamission5 says

    Page five, two thousand plus comments, and still the hyper skeptics rage, jesus h fucking keerist. Now seems as good a time as any to delurk.

    To Jane Doe, You have all of my support. I can imagine how difficult this was for you to reach out, to tell your story one more time after taking that risk before and having your trust in people to know right from wrong betrayed with inaction.

    To the Horde, too many to mention by nym, thank you. Just… goddamn but y’all are made of some powerfully resilient star stuff. My hat off to all of you.

    To the hyper skeptics, fuck you. Your “fair and balanced” hyper skepticism is the reason victims don’t come forward. Your drooling pursuance of increasingly creepy details is the reason victims have to tell their stories quietly and in secret if they are able tell them at all. Your refusal to believe victims is the reason that rapists are allowed to go on raping even though it’s well known amongst certain circles what they are capable of, because victims are unwilling or unable to face YOU, even when they would be willing and able to face their rapist. Facing your rapist when you have adequate support in place is traumatic enough, but for all your fair and balanced hand wringing about trial by Court of Public Opinion when it comes to the accused, the CoPO is significantly more harsh on victims. Even in a system of perfect justice, which we most decidedly do not have, if someone names her attacker, she risks the second trauma of being disbelieved, the third trauma of being hounded into a place where withdrawl from society and possibly suicide seems like her only way out of her suffering. Where the fuck is your outrage and hand wringing for that?

  348. aelfric says

    dogberry–In what manner are civil rights even implicated in a comment thread? How have anyone’s civil rights been infringed upon?

  349. sqlrob says

    I don’t see how Carol’s comment is any different than what PZ wrote. Both are accusations of rape by an unnamed third party. How is Carol’s post inappropriate and PZ’s is commendable? Neither meets any standard of truth.

    Lessee..
    PZ is known to people here
    PZs claims are consistent with previous, more clandestine, reports of Shermer

    Can you point to people here that know Carol and can vouch for her? Does PZ have a reputation at gatherings?

    So yeah, PZ’s statements meets a standard of truth that Carol’s do not.

  350. flowerowls says

    I don’t see how Carol’s comment is any different than what PZ wrote.

    “Carol” could be anybody. PZ Myers is a very real person. His judgement about Jane Doe’s credibility has meaning. Not “evidence in a court of law,” but meaning, nonetheless.

  351. says

    2379: Then you make even less sense, Dee. If you’re suggesting Jane Doe does not exist, and that the unlikelihood of her existence is sufficiently strong that on those grounds alone we should discredit her story until such time as more evidence to back it up comes forth, how then to account for PZ posting her story, other than that it’s an invention by him (or by someone he trusts and is betraying that trust)? Again, please explain why you think “Jane Doe doesn’t exist” is as likely a scenario as that she does.

  352. says

    If Carol’s super worried that she’s not being taken as seriously, I am. Thing is, I’m innately cautious of white dudes with cachet, so it doesn’t change my behavior. And you know, I don’t go to cons anyway.

  353. says

    dogberry: Ah, argumentadum ad ignoratium, we meet again.

    Here’s a short list of things you have to be ignorant of to have made the comment at 2370. Feel free to peruse the links provided throughout the comments, or go to the link on the left side of the page marked “Social justice links” and feel free to browse:

    sexual assault and rape conviction rates
    cultural impediments to reporting
    prosecutorial and defense methods in trials for rape and sexual assault cases
    civil rights law
    rape and sexual assault prevalence statistics
    civil rights history
    usual trajectory of careers on famous persons convicted of rape or sexual assault
    the actual abilities and powers of persons commenting at this blog
    what rape culture is (but most of the rest of these things are illustrations of it)

    You might want to, you know, read up on these things before you comment on them.

  354. says

    Billhamp, Chaswarren
    1)Your hyperskeptical bullshit has been addressed dozens if not hundreds of times on this very thread. You have advanced no ‘arguments’ which have not been destroyed over and over again when other rape apologists advanced them in the ~2000 posts before you turned up (speaking of which, do you assholes have some kind of tag team thing going? No sooner have a couple of you been banned or shut up, here comes the next fucking shift), starting on the very first page. Go back, read where everything you said has been addressed, parroted by another misogyinistic asshole, and then addressed again. At that point, I invite you to cease typing, destroy your computer with thermite, and never speak to another human again as long as you might live; I assure you, you will improve society thereby.
    2)fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Seriously.
    3)Blockquote tags look like this: <blockquote> </blockquote>. Use them if you insist on continuing to pollute the comments, as it will improve the readability of your absurd screeds to no end.

    Xxild
    You have zero credibility with anyone who might be reading these fora, as you are a newcomer who noone seems to have ever heard of before. You claim as friends members of a movement that is dedicated to the very misogyny, victim-blaming, and general rape apologia that infests this very thread and is the reason it’s so long. Starting from zero, you managed to reduce your credibility to a negative on your very first post (we all know the Golden Mean fallacy, cupcake), and every subsequent post you’ve made has been a statement of untrustworthiness. Fuck off and don’t come back.

  355. says

    notsont #2177

    Actually Billhamp when stories are laces with detail it is usually a sign of obfuscation, people don;t generally remember vague little details and they certainly don;t try to bring them up when retelling traumatic experiences. usually minor details have to be dragged out of victims of crime by experienced interviewers.

    That said, everyone is different, I imagine there are people with very detail oriented minds who would list every scrap of detritus in an ally they were mugged in to a cop as they were telling the story but most people do not.

    Memory is weird. And often a victim “zones out” during a crisis. I have great, gaping holes in my memory where I know something more than usually traumatic happened.

    And often, some silly minor detail is remembered, where the major ones are gone. When, where, how it started, how it ended: nothing there. But the sight of a chipped button, or the texture of a wall, or a scent are as vivid as if they were still present.

    A snatch of a song can bring back a whole-body memory, but without any detail that would be relevant in court.

  356. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Dee Fiant:

    You’re such a fucking asshole.

    You’re fucking unbelievable.

    So you want details for what reason?

    To amuse yourself?

    FUCK OFF.

  357. Al Dente says

    I do not think at all that PZ made it up. I think the most likely thing is that heard from a real rape victim about a real rape.

    I don’t believe you. I think someone who would write: “BUT THERE IS NO PROOF SHE EXISTS” thinks that PZ did make it up for some arcane, nefarious purpose known only to himself.

    You rape apologists keep forgetting that what you wrote previously still exists. We can read what you said before. Remember that before you change your story any more.

  358. says

    And I can’t conscious the destruction of someone’s reputation based on a guess about a possibly fictional account by a possibly fictional person.

    It’s not like he’s been accused of raping an actual person, only of following the Global Accords Governing the Fair Use of Women. He’s going to be a #bravehero who is still invited to everything hosted by the JREF and CFI, at the very least.

  359. says

    Allegro @ 2283:

    What. the. ever. loving. fuck. It’s protecting asshole rapists like this that allows them to do it, know they’re going to get away with it, and laugh about it! All I had ever needed was a warning that I was about to step into hell with a goddamned rapist, not the police, not a conviction, just a fucking warning.

    QFMFT. I’m so sorry that happened to you, especially when it was easily preventable. It’s ever so interesting that all of the experiences being related aren’t being taken in at all by the perpetual rain of assholes. Gosh, you’d think they didn’t care at all about people being raped and sexually assaulted.*

    *This last part brought to you by Shiny Sarcasm, Inc.

  360. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    dogeared:

    Like myself, many women who have attended one of these cons are not surprised to hear Shermer’s name again. PZ isn’t offering new information, he’s simply giving the same warning that many of us have already received to a larger audience and for the same exact reason.

    This keeps getting ignored. It shouldn’t be.

    Agreed.

    So, journalist: all these women are lying? Everyone has beef with Shermer, and has been slowly destroying him with these rumors?

  361. zenlike says

    Dee Fiant, do your really belief PZ would make this person up? We are not talking about some unknown commenter, like Christie above, we are talking about a known person, a biology professor at a university, a speaker at dozens of conferences, a prominent figure in the movement. Do you really belief he would risk his entire credibility, his career, his professional image by making this up just to get back at someone?

  362. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Well, Dee Fiant must make one hell of a journalist:

    1. if Jane Doe exists, she should be believed
    2. there is no evidence Jane Doe exists
    3. PZ isn’t lying
    4. Jane Doe exists
    5. we don’t know whether Jane Doe exists
    6.. or if she was raped

    All this in just a couple of comments. All from the same person.

    Yeah, actually, I believe xe is a journalist. The contradictory statements from one paragraph to another are pretty indicative.

  363. Al Dente says

    Beatrice @2395

    So, journalist: all these women are lying?

    The women aren’t lying. According to our journalistic rape apologist, there’s a strong probability they don’t even exist.

  364. says

    Delurking continues.

    I want to express my sincere gratitude to Jane Doe. It’s quite possible, that her real name will be sooner or later exposed against her will and she probably knows that. Given that, I admire her courage.

    PZ doubtlessly did the right thing.

    The Bayesian case against Shermer is very strong, and important reason for that is that false allegations of rape from nonanonymous persons are rare, as is showed above in this thread. Further corroborations make it even stronger. Therefore, we have good reasons to conclude that warning other women is responsible step. Genuine rape allegation is not near-impossible thing like Bigfoot, and you don’t need so much evidence to act. Prior probability in former case is vastly bigger than in latter one.

    This blogpost is not enough for a jail-time, and nobody said otherwise. It’s sufficient for lowering risk of future tragedies, though. And that was, I suppose, its primary purpose.

    And let’s not forget about this interesting post (#490)

    I also know one woman who was harrassed by Shermer – first person, not my neighbor’s brother’s wife. But she is afraid.

  365. says

    I don’t see how Carol’s comment is any different than what PZ wrote.

    you mean other than the part that she blatantly lied in it (she can’t have edited the post)?

  366. says

    Dee Fiant:
    You hyperskepticism is noted. You do not believe rape victims. You are a rape apologist. Get thee gone.
    ****
    Dogberry:
    As you are making the assertion, you need to explain how my statements constitute an ad hominem.
    Also, by admitting you do not know what rape culture is, you demonstrate an unwillingness to learn the basics of the topic. Not a good basis for arguing.
    Also, like EVERY. OTHER. SHERMER. DEFENDER you have not explained in what way false accusations of rape will harm Shermer. Upthread Martin mentioned thst the duke Lacrosse players, falsely accused as they were, have not suffered. Where is your evidence of the accussed suffering for false rape claims?

    As for your hand wringing over name calling you petulant fuckwit, I do not share your reservations about harsh language bc I reject the only “substantial” arguments against harsh words. Said objections can be easily found if you do some research into PROFANE and CURSING.
    If you cannot handle being called bad words, perhaps you should examine why they are being thrown your way.
    Or go to some blog that does not allow harsh words.

    Also, I find your empathy lacking and your ethics questionable if you cannot see fit to accept the claim of a rape victim. Remember rape is extremely commonplace. As is the dismissal of women and rejection by law enforcement. This is a culture that automatically denies the claims of a rape victim. This is a culture that victim blames, finding any reason to explain a rape except the desire of the rapist to rape. Every time you open your trap about not believing Jane Doe, you support Rape Culture.

  367. dogberry says

    dogberry: Ah, argumentadum ad ignoratium, we meet again.

    Here’s a short list of things you have to be ignorant of to have made the comment at 2370. Feel free to peruse the links provided throughout the comments, or go to the link on the left side of the page marked “Social justice links” and feel free to browse:

    Once again you are proposing we should find guilt by statistics. I hope I am not alone in finding this abhorrent. Such an approach (which is directly equivalent to ‘everyone knows that…’) has found many unfortunate women guilty of witchcraft or prone to hysteria, and many many coloured people in the US guilty of whatever was required. I don’t like that and neither should you. But there again, you might (it’s actually argumentum ad ignoratiam, but I’m old enough to have been taught latin at school!)

  368. says

    Chaswarren:

    Fuck all of you, you sanctimonious douchebags. You have just lowered yourself to the level of those you criticize for believing claims without evidence.”

    Oh, poor punkin, don’t be so upset. We’re just helping women avoid a dangerous situation and preventing rape, ya know, the little stuff. You can run off and handle all the Big Stuff™, like how the colour pink delineates how women think because evopsych and the importance of Bigfoot takedowns and all that.

  369. MFHeadcase says

    No Dee Fiant, I mean I suspect that Carol though it would be worse.

    I do not think at all that PZ made it up. I think the most likely thing is that heard from a real rape victim about a real rape…. But I am guessing. And I can’t conscious the destruction of someone’s reputation based on a guess about a possibly fictional account by a possibly fictional person.

    Here’s the thing PZ’s reputation is arguably more at risk than Shermer’s. Unless this somehow does make it to court and Shermer is convicted, likely worst case for Shermer is more women being careful not letting him get near them while in an altered state.

    And even if he IS convicted, There is this: Being a convicted rapist doesn’t seem to turn fans away.

    Being a whistle blower and troublemaker publicizing rapists who are higher in a power structure, or even just more famous? That is much more likely to cut or eliminate conference invites and speaker fees.

  370. aelfric says

    dogberry–Again I ask, can you tell me how anyone’s civil rights are implicated in this post and/or thread?

  371. piegasm says

    @2387 Dee Fiant

    And I can’t conscious the destruction of someone’s reputation based on a guess about a possibly fictional account by a possibly fictional person.

    But apparently the potential victims of a potential rapist don’t even register in your mind as “someones” whose lives could be in any way harmed by not publishing this account. Duly noted.

  372. says

    And I can’t conscious the destruction of someone’s reputation based on a guess about a possibly fictional account by a possibly fictional person.

    then don’t “conscious”(??) it. no one is asking you to do anything, and for PZ “possibly fictional account by a possibly fictional person” is inapplicable, since he does know for certain that (or would you prefer “whether”?) the person exists.

  373. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Hugh

    The way I see it there are two possibilities:

    1. PZ is a lying hack that wants to remembered for martyring himself to the “Patriarchy”

    2. PZ is honest and what’s happened is: This woman, at a convention, had a drink with Shermer and they had legit sex but afterwards she didn’t want her bf/hubby/whoever to find out so she’s claiming it was rape.

    You’re forgetting:

    3. PZ got abducted by aliens and implanted false memories of a woman telling him this story, so that aliens could conduct a social experiment on humans

    4. Jane Doe got abducted by aliens and implanted false memories of the rape, so that aliens could conduct a social experiment on humans

    5. Michael Shermer got abducted by aliens and got his brains scrambled so that he would become a rapist

    6. Or maybe Michael Shermer happens to be that guy of the skeptical movement, the one who is whispered about and about whom women warn each other to avoid, and you are a fucking asshole

  374. says

    Can I propose “lynch hunt” as a companion to “freeze peach,” describing hyperbolic accusations made with no concern for the disparity between blog posts and actual atrocities, or for the racist/sexist implications of the terminology?

  375. says

    dogberry @ 2402:

    Once again you are proposing we should find guilt by statistics.

    Not one little bit, no, on account of there’s no chance people’s judgments formed on the basis of this blogpost will impact whether Michael Shermer is incarcerated or walks free.

    Rather, people are sharing information from their own experience so that others may update their own prior probabilities appropriately and use them to weigh the desirability of certain courses of action (e.g., drinking alone with Michael Shermer).

    How on earth is this “mob justice” unless you posit that women must be kept from sharing information so as not to undermine some other dude’s action?

  376. says

    Dee Fiant:
    Ah, so someones reputation is more important than supporting a rape victim. Gotcha.

    I take it you are hard at work, along with dogberry researching all the poor falsely accused men whos lives have suffered from false accusations.

    ::waits in line tapping foot next to Caine::

  377. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Ok, who else thinks Dee Fiant is in hir first year studying journalism and wants to brag with hir knowledge of the trade?

  378. dogberry says

    The way I see it there are two possibilities:

    1. PZ is a lying hack that wants to remembered for martyring himself to the “Patriarchy”

    2. PZ is honest and what’s happened is: This woman, at a convention, had a drink with Shermer and they had legit sex but afterwards she didn’t want her bf/hubby/whoever to find out so she’s claiming it was rape.

    And number three, Hugh, is that the complainant was raped (we have no evidence as to how forceful that event was – alcohol might have been coincidental in that no matter that she had consumed some booze it was still rape to her at the time). This is a distinct, and, I am afraid, likely possibility. But as I have tried to say before, I’m not at all sure any of us here should be trying this case. I know, I know, this isn’t a court and no one seems to care who they hurt. But everything written here will follow both protagonists around forever, and that might have some effects that ought to be considered.

  379. zenlike says

    How do you know Hugh? Seeing as what a shitstain you are, I suppose you would be last guy women who had different experiences with Michael would confide in.

  380. Anri says

    dogberry:

    Let us make a thought experiment.

    Hey, no, let’s look at the real world in which women are raped and afraid to come forward.
    No?
    Too uncomfortable?
    Oh, well, then, by all means, let’s slide down the squelching tunnel of your pseudo-intellectual masturbatory fantasies.

    Let’s take any figure from the enlightenment and imagine what they would say on reading this thread. How about Voltaire? What do you think he would be typing right now?

    Well, you’re clearly channeling him, you tell us.
    No?
    Then shut up about him.

    Or should that be too difficult – allowing for your ad hominem arguments – any other civil rights figure. What about MLK? What would he have said about this trial-by-blog?

    Again – if this is a trial, then shut up until you are called to testify.
    Otherwise, you don’t actually think it’s a trial, and you look more dishonest every time you say it is.

    Or Elizabeth Fry? Jeremy Bentham?

    Or Princess Celestia of Equestria, so long as we’re doing hypotheticals…

    As all the facile commenters above have said, provide citations – nah, you don’t have to, as we all know that is a simple put-down designed to extinguish any opposition. Can anyone reading this comment thread imagine that it will have no consequences to Michael Shermer?

    I can.
    What consequences have you seen?
    Anything?
    No?

    And if he is innocent, what then? You’ll say ‘sorry’?

    Yes, we will say “I’m terribly sorry, but this appeared to be legitimate.”
    What will he say in response?
    You know, right?
    So tell us.

    If he is guilty he deserves all he will get. You and I are not in a position to decide that, and simply saying this isn’t a court doesn’t change a thing. Nor does expending your hatred on me with nasty names and epithets.

    What are we deciding he gets?
    What sentence has been handed down, may we have the quote from this thread?
    No? Too much trouble?

    Also
    If he is guilty, and was never named, what would he get?
    What would he deserve?
    I mean, so long as we’re doing counterfactuals.

  381. says

    dogberry: Oh fer the love of…..

    Here you go. It’s a relatively easy little tutorial on statistics, including the variant we’re using, Bayesian stats.: https://www.maths.nottingham.ac.uk/personal/tk/files/talks/nott_radiology_01_11.pdf

    Let’s break it down for you:

    This is not a court.
    We have no power to convict Shermer of anything (as, I swear to Jebus, three other people are currently trying to tell you).
    What we have is the ability to warn others that there’s very likely a problem.

    How do we know there’s a problem?
    Because we have a multitude of specific priors (including the testimony of women and collaborating testimony from persons who saw them after the rape–see the OP)
    Because it is highly likely that the events occurred in the way described in general

    And, as I and many other people have said, if it turns out to be wrong, we can always update our estimates. However, at this point, we have very good reasons to believe the accuser. Bayesian estimates are one of the most common (formally or informally) ways in which we try to understand our world. We make decisions based on a combination of experiences and available information. The method is normal, even Gaussian-ly normal.

    But in this case, there is also a moral imperative to believe the accuser. Turns out that the general trend, no matter how you look at it, is to disbelieve accusers, which will cause the system to throw a FALSE NEGATIVE. Our choice to believe affects that system, and rather than throw a false negative, it is better to throw a false positive, even though our collective estimates peg the likelihood at probably 90-something percent, and rising as other women collaborate.

    Do you get it now?

  382. says

    Hugh:

    2. PZ is honest and what’s happened is: This woman, at a convention, had a drink with Shermer and they had legit sex but afterwards she didn’t want her bf/hubby/whoever to find out so she’s claiming it was rape.

    Ah, another Brave Hero™. “Legit sex”, Cupcake? Are you one of those “legitimate rape” people, or just another flaming asshole in the parade? Let’s add to your tiny list:

    3. PZ and his correspondent are honest and what’s happened is: This woman was not in a position to provide consent, so a privileged man with power decided to rape her. This has been confirmed by at least two other people. She is living in fear, but does not want another woman to raped, so she had the courage to provide a warning to other women.

    You see, Hugh, here in reality world, rape happens. A lot. The fact that it doesn’t happen at all in your little fantasy world is utterly irrelevant. It’s a pity you can’t even manage to think enough to figure out that you, all by yourself, cause a great deal of harm and damage in the world.

  383. Al Dente says

    Hugh 2405

    The way I see it there are two possibilities:

    1. PZ is a lying hack that wants to remembered for martyring himself to the “Patriarchy”

    2. PZ is honest and what’s happened is: This woman, at a convention, had a drink with Shermer and they had legit sex but afterwards she didn’t want her bf/hubby/whoever to find out so she’s claiming it was rape.

    I can see at least one more possibility. Jane Doe had so many drinks with Shermer that she became semi-conscious. Shermer then took her to his room and had sex with her. Afterwards she remembered what had happened and determined that since her consent was not given that Shermer had raped her.

    I also see the possibility that you’re a rape apologist trying to excuse Shermer’s rape of Jane Doe.

  384. says

    @zenlike
    OK, point. I admit, he’s certainly making an effort to prove that one doesn’t exclude the other.

    @Hugh
    I’m not your bro. Never was, never will be. I’m not even particularly happy about sharing the same species with you.

    You’re scum. You’re another in a long line of assholes who are entertaining themselves by throwing shit at rape victims. I don’t even believe that you don’t believe the claim. You know it’s probably true, just like the rest of us. You just don’t care.

  385. says

    I’m not at all sure any of us here should be trying this case.

    that’s nice. no one is trying anything, so you’re good.

    no one seems to care who they hurt.

    will you fucking finally show me one single fucking famous guy who was actually hurt by anonymous accusations of rape!?

  386. flowerowls says

    The rumors about Michael are only that he is a Lady’s Man. This is the first time rape has come up (heh)

    This is funny? For anyone?
    And the rumors are that he’s to be avoided. Which seems like the opposite of “Lady’s Man” (whatever that is).

  387. says

    Hugh:

    The rumors about Michael are only that he is a Lady’s Man. This is the first time rape has come up (heh)

    Oh, lookit, a blend of a euphemism and Beavis and Butthead humor. “Lady’s Man”, Cupcake? You don’t know what that means, do you? It’s not the first time rape has come up in regard to Shermer, and it’s certainly not the first time sexual assault and harassment have come up with Shermer. You wouldn’t know that, because those things don’t exist in your fantasy world.

  388. MrFancyPants says

    Hugh@2429:

    How amusing, a dudebro like yourself mansplaining rape statistics to Caine.

  389. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I know, I know, this isn’t a court and no one seems to care who they hurt.

    So, show of hands, shitstains. How many of you care about hurting rape victims?

  390. says

    Ok, who else thinks Dee Fiant is in hir first year studying journalism and wants to brag with hir knowledge of the trade?

    nah. she’s right. going against the status quo like that would get her and the editor fired in five minutes flat. you only get to write uncorroborated stories when you’re punching way waaay down.

  391. Al Dente says

    I see my 2425 was anticipated by Caine and LykeX.

    Hugh, slime yourself back to the pit. There’ll be a cookie waiting for you there for being such a good rape apologist and standing up to the FTB bullies.

  392. dogberry says

    Anri,
    That actually isn’t worth bothering making an answer to. Read it over and you will see why.

    As you might guess, I have no interest in being popular in the horde. I am simply interested in decency and justice. If Michael Shermer has raped someone I won’t complain when you castrate him. But I won’t stand by and see you ruin his reputation until that is proved. I would do the same for you – who I know as little as I know Michael Shermer – and in doing so I ultimately trust someone would do the same for me should the circumstance arise. That’s all.

  393. microraptor says

    This is funny? For anyone?

    The only thing that’s funny is Hugh’s douchebaggery. And not in the comedic sense of the word.

    And the rumors are that he’s to be avoided. Which seems like the opposite of “Lady’s Man” (whatever that is).

    Apparently, it’s doublespeak for “guy who is not particularly thorough about making sure he gets consent before sex” AKA rapist.

  394. bezoo says

    I’m really disappointed to see an unsubstantiated allegation like this on a public blog – especially such a widely-read one (but, any blog). This is a very serious crime and it should be reported to the police – the gap in time does not matter (rape cases are being tried right now that go back to the 60s). It doesn’t matter that this is a source you trust, PZ, it’s a huge lack of responsibility to put this out in the public domain where people are now making up their own minds on the guilt of the named individual – with no facts – and the reputation of a person who may be perfectly innocent (or not) could be severely damaged. Totally the WRONG way to sort out a very serious issue (and the police should take the allegation seriously).

  395. says

    Hugh:

    @Caine rape is rare at skeptic conventions so the stuff in the OP are extraordinary claims. And as my ol’ pal Hitch would say extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence

    Rape is not an extraordinary claim. You might know that, if you ever managed to stop being in love with your own shit and pulled your head out of your ass. Rape is rare at skeptic conventions? Please, provide valid citations to that effect. We’d all *love* to read them, you see, we’ve been hearing tales about them for ages, but no one has ever provided them.

    No evidence atm bro

    Yes, there is evidence. I am not a man and I am most certainly not your bro. Ugh.

  396. Randomfactor says

    Ok, who else thinks Dee Fiant is in hir first year studying journalism

    I studied and practiced journalism. Sadly, the profession ain’t what it used to be, and I have no trouble imagining a working “journalist” who has no comprehension of ethics.

  397. says

    @dogberry

    I’m not at all sure any of us here should be trying this case. I know, I know, this isn’t a court …

    Then why the hell are you talking about “trying this case”? Stop trying to have it both ways. Either this is a court or you shouldn’t use those words. Pick one.

    @Hugh

    rape is rare at skeptic conventions

    Any evidence of that? Without evidence, we must assume that the rape frequency at conferences pretty much follow the frequencies of the rest of society.

    But then again, we’ve already established that truth is not your errand.

  398. MrFancyPants says

    I am simply interested in decency

    No you’re not. A decent person doesn’t collapse with concern onto their fainting couch about the “reputation” of an accused rapist and ignore the very real woman who suffered the attack.

  399. says

    It’s interesting how Dogberry can’t be bothered to answer questions from posters with ‘nyms or avatars that read as “female”.

    Hmmm.

  400. says

    Hugh:
    I dislike that you hold those two possibilities side by side as if they are equally possible.
    While it is theoretically possible PZ is lying, based on his actions over and over again, he has proven himself the type of trustworthy person to not make up such allegations.
    The burden of proof is on his detractors to prove he has made this up.

  401. says

    dogberry: You know, you’re the fifth person to come in and suggest castration. Ain’t nobody got time for that. No one wants to do that to rapists. We’re not suggesting it.

    Dear anxious dudez: we don’t want to cut your genitalia off, but the fact that so many of you feel compelled to introduce castration when you’re being disagreed with is telling.

  402. says

    bezoo:

    This is a very serious crime and it should be reported to the police

    OY! MORON! Shut the fuck up and read the damn thread. I’m so fucking sick and tired of you idiots all parroting the same damn thing. Go to the first fucking page of this thread and read post #82. Addresses your little concern. So do hundreds of other posts, ad infinitum. YOU ARE NOT HELPING. You’re just another ass who can’t think their way out of their own belly button.

  403. Al Dente says

    dogberry @2437

    I am simply interested in decency and justice.

    However you have no interest in keeping women from being raped. Good to know where your priorities lie.

  404. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @dogberry:

    You’re very obsessed with sexual violence.

    Castrate him? What the fucking-fuckity-fuck? Why the fuck would you even suggest that? What in the nine-non-existent hells is wrong with you?

  405. Emrysmyrddin says

    I know what a ‘Lady’s Man’ (sic) is, thank you very much. From a young age I noticed at parties held by family and friends that the grown-ups would be yammering and laughing amongst themselves, often half-cut, exchanging anecdotes and catching up on gossip, and through the cigarette smoke a male adult would remark to the men at large ‘oh, yeah, so-and-so, a real ladies’ man, always getting his end away, har har,’ and the men would chuckle and wink between themselves…and the women would just look at each other. I’ve seen That Look many times over my lifetime, often with horrifying contexts. So yeah, I can guess what kind of man you’d think a Lady’s Man might be.

  406. Randomfactor says

    rape is rare at skeptic conventions

    As in, hardly ever reported to have been reported?

  407. MFHeadcase says

    @Caine rape is rare at skeptic conventions so the stuff in the OP are extraordinary claims. And as my ol’ pal Hitch would say extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence

    No evidence atm bro

    Care to provide evidence for your assertion that rape is rare at ANY sort of convention?

    Also, as has been pointed out repeatedly, The words of the VICTIM are evidence, especially as those words have received corroboration.

    Finally, Caine is most certainly not your bro.

    Me, being male, i am still not your fucking bro.

  408. says

    Conscience. My bad.

    I don’t think that’s a verb. did you mean “square with my conscience”?

    If the accusations were more concrete, that wouldn’t be a reasonable concern.

    where the fuck do you work in journalism that you think this is true? short of a videotape, that would always be a concern. hell, it might even be a concern with one, given the degree to which some of PZ’s critics are divorced from reality.

    I’ve yet to see read any rape apologism ITT, though I’ve seen it spat at a lot of well-meaning commenters.

    I haven’t seen any well-meaning commenters. I’ve seen an MRA citing debunked tropes about how common false accusations are, a lot of screaming about (figurative, apparently) murder, and a few outright self-admitted trolls.

  409. mikeyb says

    Haven’t the same bad arguments, false analogies and conspiracies been repeated and refuted about 50X by now. This is like a bad episode of the Twilight Zone.

  410. MrFancyPants says

    We really need a shorthand for “fucking go back and read the OP and the comments” for people like Hugh and bezoo and all the other wide-eyed know-it-all innocents coming from /r/dudebros or wherever it is they are confidently strutting in from.

  411. says

    If all these rumors about Shermer are true how come no one has ever gone to the cops about him?

    And round and round we go again.

  412. carlie says

    Allegro, thank you for your comment at 2283. That should be required reading for everyone who keeps saying “what’s the point” and “what good can it do” and “without a conviction in a court of law there is nothing”. Your story is exactly why guys who make themselves a reputation as abusers need to have that reputation spread. I’m really sorry that happened to you, but thank you for using it as an example.

    faceless accusations

    I’m reaaally getting tired of this “but it’s anonymous” bit. Once again, it isn’t. PZ says the person is well known to him, and has already gained his trust over a few years. That’s not the kind of thing you do as a setup just to get someone to believe your false rape story a few years later, you know? And as for his word, you don’t have to take it if you don’t want to. I’ve been reading him for over 2/3 of a decade now, and I’ve briefly met him a couple of times, and he has built up a metric fuckton of credibility as far as I’m concerned. If he says that it’s someone he knows and trusts, I trust both his statements and his judgment of the trustworthiness of that other person. That doesn’t mean anyone else has to trust him, but you can’t say it’s “anonymous”. It’s being carefully concealed to protect that person. That’s a different situation entirely.

  413. Al Dente says

    Dee Faint,

    Look, retired asshole rape apologist, you’ve made it quite clear you’re only concerned with protecting Shermer’s reputation and have no, as in ZERO, interest in keeping women from being raped. Please admit your hatred for potential and actual rape victims and your profound admiration for rapists. Nobody will think the less of you for that. It would be difficult to think any less of you.

  414. says

    Hugh @ 2461:

    People here think RAPE isn’t rare at cons? Are you all fucking crazy?

    I am sure you are the very first person to whom your friends and acquaintances would confide, were they raped at a con or elsewhere, given the sensitivity you have shown here.

    *HEADDESK*

  415. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    All the MRA’s, rape apologists and douchbros are sooooooo concerned with civility, yet they can’t be bothered to demonstrate even the most basic netiquette and read a thread before commenting.

  416. says

    Ok, who else thinks Dee Fiant is in hir first year studying journalism and wants to brag with hir knowledge of the trade?

    on the other hand, Dee still thinks this was supposed to be an expose, rather than an amplification of the warnings already handed out in the backchannel, so that they can reach a wider audience instead of only the women “in the know” and with the right contacts.

  417. Al Dente says

    Hugh,

    You’re the guy claiming that rape is rare at conventions. Show us your evidence for this claim. This is put up or shut up time.

  418. aelfric says

    dogberry–You say you will defend Mr. Shermer’s reputation until the accusations against him are proved. I take it then that you think it would be wrong for a prosecutor to accuse him of a crime, or, indeed, to indict him, since by definition that would be harming his reputation before any allegations were “proved.”

  419. says

    If someone raped one of my friends or family I’d go and kill the sick bastard

    Damn straight! Ain’t nobody messing with your property. Now, bitches, on the other hand…

  420. Al Dente says

    Hugh,

    All you’ve shown us is your dislike for PZ Myers, your hatred for women, and your love of rapists. I doubt you keep these facets hidden in meatspace.

  421. says

    Hugh:

    @Caine If all these rumors about Shermer are true how come no one has ever gone to the cops about him? Its bs gossip that has nothing to back it up probably out of jealousy for the guy

    You know, you do have the option of doing the intelligent, reasoned thing here. That would be to read the whole thread, which will take at least one day. It would be a day well spent, for someone who actually wished to learn something and had a vested interest in not being a self-absorbed asshole with limited thinking ability.

    Right above the comment box, there’s a <<Previous 1…3 4 5 – click on the '1' and start with comment #1. Read them all. There is not a single thing you can bring up which has not already been addressed, multiple times. Seriously, it's only idiots who come into the last page of a thread, where the comment numbers are in the 2000s and thinks "Aha! I'm a genius, bet no one has said this before!" You're all reading off the same script and refusing to think at all, let alone thinking past your own noses.

    I could tell you all the reasons why people would not go to the cops. I've already related those reasons, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. I'm not going to sit here and repeat myself one more godsdamn time for your benefit. You have the choice to read. You have the choice to think. You have the choice to learn. You have the choice to educate yourself. You have the choice to be a better human being. You have the choice to be a decent human being. You have the choice to consider situations from another person's point of view and gain a better understanding. You have the choice to be an agent for change. It's all up to you.

    If you prefer to remain a shallow, sneering bro hanging out in the pool of rape culture, well, that's your choice too.

  422. says

    Hugh @2468:

    If theres a serial rapist going about and people know but don’t tell the cops then they are partly responsible for whoever gets raped next

    Arguably, people who know and don’t force the victims to go to the cops with the details are MORE CULPABLE THAN THE RAPIST! They MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HELP THE VICTIMS STAY SAFE from further victimization by investigating officers, defense lawyers, or whoever!

    But sharing information that could help potential victims avoid rapists and stay safe is somehow out of bounds …

  423. says

    Hugh: It isn’t so much that docfreeride is making a judgement, it’s that she is stating the most likely inference.

    For the record, bro, women don’t tell guys about rape who respond violently.

  424. oaksterdam says

    Dee, can I ask you nicely to please read the thread? Your concerns have been addressed, multiple times, in large part by PZ himself. Those will be in a yellow box with red text if you can’t be bothered to do all the reading. Or “research” as I hear it’s called in some circles.

    This goes double for you, bezoo. You clearly stumbled in with what you thought were novel observations that nobody had ever brought up before. You’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

  425. says

    Dogberry the dishonest fuckwit:
    No one is ‘trying’ anything and there is no case.
    This post is a warning for other women.

    For all that many of us have supported Jane Doe, I cannot find anyone calling for any action against Shermer.
    This no court.
    This is not a newspaper.
    PZ is not a journalist.
    There are no calls for violence against Shermer.

    You have nothing but ridiculous hyperbole and whining about language that your prudish mind cannot handle.

  426. says

    @Hugh #2468:

    If theres a serial rapist going about and people know but don’t tell the cops then they are partly responsible for whoever gets raped next

    Um, no. I actually wrote about this last year. TL;DR: Since most rapists are serial rapists, since only 2-3% of rapes ever result in any jail time for the perpetrator, and since the average amount of jail time served by that 2-3% is 5 1/2 years, which for many rapists, lets them out with plenty of prime raping years ahead of them, the responsibility for serial rapists continuing to rape falls squarely on the shoulders of the fucked-up justice system and the rape culture that enables it. Well, that, and the actual fucking rapists.

  427. flowerowls says

    The people who advocate castrating convicted rapists seem to be the same people who want unimpeachable evidence in a court of law.
    People who aren’t calling for mutilating anyone aren’t demanding video and DNA evidence of the crime.

  428. Anri says

    dogberry:

    Anri,
    That actually isn’t worth bothering making an answer to. Read it over and you will see why.

    None of it?
    Like the bits where you said you knew what Voltaire or MLK would say about this, and I asked what?
    I mean, you’re the one who brought that up, if you didn’t wanna talk about it because it seemed kinda stupid, well…

    Or the bits where you have been asked, again and again what the terrible consequences are to Shermer, describe them, enumerate them, and you either can’t or won’t?

    Or the bit where you keep saying, over and over, that he’s been condemned, punishment decided, on this blog, and yet you can’t/won’t list what those punishments might be?
    None of that’s worth responding to?

    Um, ok.

    As you might guess, I have no interest in being popular in the horde. I am simply interested in decency and justice. If Michael Shermer has raped someone I won’t complain when you castrate him. But I won’t stand by and see you ruin his reputation until that is proved. I would do the same for you – who I know as little as I know Michael Shermer – and in doing so I ultimately trust someone would do the same for me should the circumstance arise. That’s all.

    And if someone accused me of rape, and if that accusation was corroborated, I’d want them to be believed, even if the accusation was false because the alternative allows rapists free reign, and that’s worth my discomfort.
    I don’t want your help or your benefit of the doubt, because coming from you, it stinks.

    Accepting discomfort to combat rape is decency and justice.
    The opposite isn’t.

  429. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As a commenter I can believe or not believe. Journalists (and by extension, bloggers) have to meet higher standards.

    Sorry cupcake, I don’t believe a word you say. Why are you so anxious to protect MS, compared the to women at cons? Gee, that says everything about your lack of moral fiber.

  430. says

    I am simply interested in decency and justice.

    no you’re not. you’re interested in protecting Shermer’s reputation from harm you believe without any evidence might befall him, and in order to do that you claim that women aren’t allowed to share their experiences to warn each other (or maybe only not allowed to using proxies or the internet? who knows)

  431. says

    @Caine rape is rare at skeptic conventions so the stuff in the OP are extraordinary claims.

    Statement assumes facts not in evidence

    And as my ol’ pal Hitch would say extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence

    Like how Hitch supported his claim that ‘women weren’t funny because they give me boners’ with evidence.

  432. says

    You guys are the ones claiming that rape isn’t rare at cons

    That’s the default. We know that rape is common everywhere else, so unless you can provide evidence that cons are a special case, we’ve got no reason to accept your claim.

    Understand, I’m explaining this for the benefit of lurkers. You know, there might be a person reading this who’s misinformed, but, unlike you, isn’t a revolting sack of slime. I’m well aware that nothing I say will penetrate the thick shell of sadism built up around you.

    And for the horde, I’d like to retract #2474. While it was obviously an attempt of satire, I’m not sure it’s really helpful and the more I look at it the more unhappy I am with it. I feel like maybe it risks fallout for people who have to hear that shit for real.
    Anyway, hope I haven’t stepped in it.

  433. says

    Not that PZ is an academic he lost all that cred a long time ago, he should be fired for this shit

    Gosh, a skeptic playing ‘no true scotsman’. I am shocked – Shocked. He still publishes science, dude.

  434. says

    ORLY? Even so, still hearsay

    the claim that it “hearsay” is indamissible evidence has already been disposed of long before you showed up.

  435. Randomfactor says

    you’re interested in protecting Shermer’s reputation from harm

    That, or his hunting license?

  436. MrFancyPants says

    Hugh@2491

    You’re actually becoming comically amusing as you rehash all the stupid themes that have been refuted over and over in these comments. Or as Caine put it, over and over and over and over and over and over. But then you wouldn’t know that, would you? Because you haven’t read any of it. You just know your DudeKnowledge, and by golly you’re going to point out what’s “legit” and what’s got “cred” because you’re just the smartiest lolspeaker in the house!

  437. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is a very serious crime and it should be reported to the police

    Another shithead saying if there isn’t a police report, it didn’t happen. Never mind the low number of rapes reported to the authorities, who start the “slut shaming”, intimidation, and threats, nevermind the rapist.

  438. says

    Hugh @ 2477:

    You guys are the ones claiming that rape isn’t rare at cons. Thats a positive claim so the burden of proof is on YOU

    Evidence or gtfo

    Considering that evidence would consist of women coming forward and reporting their rapes, and considering you’ve already demonstrated your response to this kind of thing would pretty much always be “bitches be lyin’,” can we just write this off as total dishonesty on your part and move on?

  439. billhamp says

    ” Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    10 August 2013 at 2:38 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Billhamp, Chaswarren
    1)Your hyperskeptical bullshit has been addressed dozens if not hundreds of times on this very thread. You have advanced no ‘arguments’ which have not been destroyed over and over again when other rape apologists advanced them in the ~2000 posts before you turned up (speaking of which, do you assholes have some kind of tag team thing going? No sooner have a couple of you been banned or shut up, here comes the next fucking shift), starting on the very first page. Go back, read where everything you said has been addressed, parroted by another misogyinistic asshole, and then addressed again. At that point, I invite you to cease typing, destroy your computer with thermite, and never speak to another human again as long as you might live; I assure you, you will improve society thereby.
    2)fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Seriously.
    3)Blockquote tags look like this:

    . Use them if you insist on continuing to pollute the comments, as it will improve the readability of your absurd screeds to no end.”

    1. None of it has been addressed. There has been a lot of “fuck you and the horse you came in on,” but little in the way or argument or evidence. Your own post is very much evidence of this. There are only two facts in this case: that a claim of sexual assault has been made and that there is nothing beyond that claim to verify that it is true. Those of us on the skeptic side have not made a judgement, we have suspended judgement, pending further evidence. We are not calling anyone a liar, claiming the story is false, etc. What we are saying, is that when you blog about such a serious issue, you really ought to have more than just your authority to provide as reason for people to accept the claim.
    2. See 1
    3. I’ll quote as I see fit. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Based on your post, I doubt you did read it, so what do you care?

  440. Pteryxx says

    How on earth is this “mob justice” unless you posit that women must be kept from sharing information so as not to undermine some other dude’s action?

    Well, that’s exactly it. They scream about Schroedinger’s Rapist because it’s unfair for women to be wary of all or even most men. They scream about women warning each other privately because that’s merely “locker room banter”. They scream about women going public because no level of evidence or witnesses will ever be good enough. So now they get to scream about women speaking up through trusted public intermediaries when all other avenues have been exhausted.

    Gee, it’s almost as if they want women to be kept ignorant and isolated so rapey predators can go on rapily preying!

    And this bullshit:

    @LykeX If theres a serial rapist going about and people know but don’t tell the cops then they are partly responsible for whoever gets raped next

    Telling the cops does fuckall, it’s well researched and documented. Reporting has a roughly 95% failure rate and about a 50% critical failure rate due to revictimization – you’d have better odds staking your future on a single lottery scratch ticket.

    Just another attempt to guilt-trip survivors.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/06/20/why-ididnotreport/

    and Tom Foss’s link in (ffs) #2486. It’s even on the current page this time.

  441. says

    If all these rumors about Shermer are true how come no one has ever gone to the cops about him?

    already answered elsewhere in the thread.

  442. Emrysmyrddin says

    Dear non-existent gods, thanks mouthyb; I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks. After the last two days of threadrupt that was sorely needed.

  443. says

    Hugh:

    If someone raped one of my friends or family I’d go and kill the sick bastard

    I doubt it. Given your attitudes toward victims of rape and your staunch support of a person who commits rape, I don’t think anyone who was raped would be confiding in you. Also, since you aren’t good at thinking, the chances are very high that you already know or are acquainted with someone who has committed a rape. Of course, you’d probably excuse that as “hey, he’s just a Lady’s Man” or “hey, drunk chicks are fair game, bro! She was the one drinking, amirite? *high five*”

    If theres a serial rapist going about and people know but don’t tell the cops then they are partly responsible for whoever gets raped next

    *cough* That would be the precise reason the woman who was raped wanted to warn other women. See how that works? You need to find a Thinking 101 course or something.

    And just because this is yet another page, for the fourth time:

    MEET THE PREDATORS

    PREDATOR REDUX

  444. ledasmom says

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula daily (when possible) for a few years now. Finally reset my long-forgotten password for this thread (note: have read about half of comments; cannot at this point quite keep up).
    Hard to believe that the same ridiculous arguments are being made on page 5 as were being made on page 1. These are really crappy trolls. Can’t we stop having New Troll and go back to Troll Classic?
    Caine, I’m deeply impressed with your ability to keep arguing with these jerks.
    With regards to Dogberry, I can only note the appropriateness of the name – as of the end of Act IV, Scene II, “Much Ado About Nothing”.
    If it needs to be said – it shouldn’t, but given some of the people who have shown up for this thread, it probably does – I believe the accuser, and I don’t understand, I simply don’t, why anyone cannot understand the problems with reporting rape when they’ve been told over and over again what those problems are. Willful ignorance, I suppose, a desire not to see society as being cruel to anyone without cause. It must be nice to believe that justice runs as smoothly as all that.

  445. says

    LyleX @ 2503:

    So, that’s page 6 now. Any chance that means we’ll no longer hear the same objections over and over again?

    Nope. Turns out the people who were predicting we’d hit Peak Troll were alarmists.

  446. MrFancyPants says

    Lyke@2503:

    So, that’s page 6 now. Any chance that means we’ll no longer hear the same objections over and over again?

    Zero chance. This going to pick up steam as it disseminates throughout the interwebs, and more and more apologists are going to come in to pile on.

  447. says

    @Hugh
    I know this is difficult for you to understand, but some of us actually care how our words and actions affect other people. It’s because we have this thing called “empathy”. You should look it up sometime.

  448. billhamp says

    “billhamp:

    Your assumption would be wrong and speculative at best. The call for details is in regard to determining how accurate the story is.

    No, it isn’t, you aggravating doucheweasel. You might want to note something interesting – it’s men who keep demanding and salivating over wanting details. It’s women who are picking up on the creep vibe, which is the reality. I take it you haven’t been raped or sexually harassed or had to deal with a variety of creeps for your whole life, Bill. If you had, you probably wouldn’t be such a flaming asshole. Experience informs, Bill. You’re spouting hot air, the same shit foam your assholes in arms have been doing for thousands of posts now. The rest of us? We’re informed by experience, and well, we’re actually capable of thinking and having empathy. ”

    Sorry, but I know my intentions better than you do. As to your speculation of whether I have been assaulted, I will only say that I don’t share my personal story as it is mine and no one else’s. If you were able to make a cogent argument, rather than spouting vitriol, I assume you would have done it by now. Since you have not, I see no reason in replying further to you.

  449. says

    Dee Fiant:
    You fail at more than html

    I will say that the one point you have is about rape apology. I should have characterized you as a Rape Culture Apologist. My apologies for labelling you the wrong brand of shitty human being.
    ***
    I agree with Dalillama–these fuckers take shifts. Of course if they have not noticed, so do we.

  450. antepaminondas says

    Delurking to express my support and appreciation of Jane Doe, PZ, and the people who fight the good fight in this thread. I hope and expect that good will come of this thread, infuriating as the ignorance and lack of empathy displayed by some people has been. If Jane Doe reads this: I believe you, and I wish you the very best.

    While I’m here, let me add that the commentariat at Pharyngula has been, and continues to be, absolutely crucial to my becoming just a bit less of an entitled gobshite. (It’s a work in progress, to be sure.) A few years ago, I might have been JAQing off and rape-apologizing like nobody’s business in threads such as this, and elsewhere. Now that thought makes me cringe, and I’m very grateful for that. More to the point, people in my life have benefitted from the change. Thanks. What you’re doing here is important.

  451. says

    Accusations are substantiated before being published.

    this is not even remotely a relevant response to me pointing out that substantiated accusations would in no way make people being led to see Shermer as potentially a victim of a malicious smear would still happen.

    unless by “reasonable concern” you didn’t mean “would happen” but “might be true”, at which point you don’t actually how reasonable that is because you don’t know what PZ knows, and what you know is not the relevant reference point.

  452. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You guys are the ones claiming that rape isn’t rare at cons. Thats a positive claim so the burden of proof is on YOU

    Evidence or gtfo

    Translation-I have nothing being an ignorant and stupid Slymepitter. I just know my opinion trumps your facts.