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Mar 10 2014

The chupacabra beat must be a valuable and difficult one

At Karen Stollznow’s request, I’m once again hiding this post.

58 comments

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  1. 1
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    (Oh, and welcome to the Streisand Effect.)

    Snortle.

    But seriously, he’s throwing around demands that posts about him and his ongoing legal posturing be removed? What’s up with that?

  2. 2
    Louis

    He seems like a [actual comments redacted] very nice man.

    Louis

  3. 3
    PZ Myers

    He’s got an attack-dog lawyer and is going rabid — lots of demands, lots of furious posturing. I ignore him, but when Karen Stollznow asks me to help by removing something, I go along with it. She’s facing tremendous legal and fiscal pressure, with Radford apparently throwing lots of money at lawyers that she simply cannot match.

  4. 4
    Onamission5

    It must be nice to be so marinated in privilege that one feels entitled to the editing of criticism simply because it is not to their liking, and to have the budget to make sure whatever threats you make, it sticks. I wonder what that is like.

  5. 5
    Trebuchet

    Paging Ken White! Ken to the White courtesy phone!

  6. 6
    chigau (違う)

    I hate it when this happens.

  7. 7
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Wow, what a piece of dog shit.

  8. 8
    anteprepro

    Christ, what an asshole.

  9. 9
    Pteryxx

    She’s facing tremendous legal and fiscal pressure, with Radford apparently throwing lots of money at lawyers that she simply cannot match.

    But remember, True Skeptics shall not consider allegations of harassment directed at powerful men credible, because the man’s life might be ruined.

  10. 10
    IslandBrewer

    It’s obvious what’s going on here. PZ is in the pocket of the bigfoot-UFO-chupacabra industrial complex. I wouldn’t be surprised if his grants are directly funded by the Grays (who run the finances – bigfoot and chupacabra are obviously the muscle and cheap labor).

  11. 11
    carlie

    He was suspended by his employer, right? That actually happened. So her talking about it can’t be lies and can’t be beholden to privacy regulations of any sort, right? I still don’t get how he has any standing at all.

  12. 12
    brett

    @Carlie

    He probably doesn’t have much of a chance if it actually goes to court, but is hoping to get Stollznow to do a retraction and apology under legal and financial pressure before that happens.

    Fuck him. If there’s a fundraiser of any sort we could do for Stollznow, I’m in – I want to see that fucker’s shit dragged out into the open, so that CFI will no longer have an excuse for not firing him completely. Fuck him, and Shermer, and Krauss, and all those assholes who go hair-trigger C & D in response to sexual harassment accusations – it just makes me think they’re even more guilty but are desperate to avoid any public attention for it.

  13. 13
    Parse

    So, it looks like Ben has learned the lesson of countless pulp fiction villains: The easiest way to get somebody to give in is to point the gun at somebody else. The question I’m left with is: Ignorant, asshole, or both? Doesn’t he realize that this is Grade-A Asshole behavior? If he does, does he just not care?

  14. 14
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Fuck him. If there’s a fundraiser of any sort we could do for Stollznow, I’m in – I want to see that fucker’s shit dragged out into the open, so that CFI will no longer have an excuse for not firing him completely. Fuck him, and Shermer, and Krauss, and all those assholes who go hair-trigger C & D in response to sexual harassment accusations – it just makes me think they’re even more guilty but are desperate to avoid any public attention for it.

    Hell yes.

  15. 15
    Bronze Dog

    We have a crime that has long gone under-reported. This crime is spoken of with horror when it’s abstract or in fiction, but when an accusation is leveled in real life, it’s not taken seriously by society. The accusers are socially punished with victim blaming and slut shaming. The perpetrator’s supporters, even before the likelihood of his guilt is taken into account, preemptively excuse him from expectations of moral behavior as if he was a dumb animal acting on instinct, rather than a sapient being with moral agency. This common situation has only served to make the crime more rampant.

    False accusations are rare because true accusations are already heavily discouraged. I’ve only recently begun to see just how extensive that discouragement is. Women generally find out much earlier in life.

  16. 16
    Inaji

    Brett:

    If there’s a fundraiser of any sort we could do for Stollznow, I’m in

    Aye, me too. Ms. Stollznow has every ounce of my support, and Mr. Radford has more than earned every ounce of my contempt.

  17. 17
    carlie

    But remember, True Skeptics shall not consider allegations of harassment directed at powerful men credible, because the man’s life might be ruined.

    And absence of evidence IS evidence of absence, because sexual harassment is so important that no woman would decline to prosecute a sexual harasser in the face of more harassment that could financially ruin her! If the reports aren’t there, it didn’t happen. *sage nod*

  18. 18
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Fuck him. If there’s a fundraiser of any sort we could do for Stollznow, I’m in – I want to see that fucker’s shit dragged out into the open, so that CFI will no longer have an excuse for not firing him completely.

    Yes, please!

  19. 19
    Pteryxx

    If there’s a fundraiser of any sort we could do for Stollznow, I’m in

    Hold it at WiS 3. That’d learn ‘em.

  20. 20
    Jackie

    Pterxx,
    You really think CFI will allow that?
    If so, I’d call that a great idea!

  21. 21
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I’m in for any fundraising. I want to make Radford eat his verbal shit.

  22. 22
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh please. As if CFI would allow that. Really, don’t spend time on that unless you’re willing to see it on a level of idle musings about winning the lottery.

  23. 23
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    The Chupacabra Beat sounds like the name of a mariachi techno group.

  24. 24
    Flewellyn

    CFI may not want such a thing at their conference, but surely they can’t do anything to stop a “Karen Stollznow Legal Defense Fund” on the interwebs. I’d kick in for that.

  25. 25
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    The Chupacabra Beat sounds like the name of a mariachi techno group.

    It’s my favorite Psychedelic Furs song. “And it FEELS. LIKE. GOATSUCKING…”

  26. 26
    Robert Blaskiewicz

    “He probably doesn’t have much of a chance if it actually goes to court, but is hoping to get Stollznow to do a retraction and apology under legal and financial pressure before that happens.”

    Nope. This is going to court.

  27. 27
    PZ Myers

    If it’s actually going to court, then there’s no point in acceding to his demands now.

  28. 28
    Robert Blaskiewicz

    Could you post the letter?

  29. 29
    Andrés Diplotti

    I remember the time when it was the woo peddlers, not the skeptics, who used legal threats to shut other people up.

    Then again, we’re talking about the person who came up with the “girls like pink because prehistoric berries” stuff, so perhaps things haven’t changed that much after all.

  30. 30
    iplon

    It may be time to raise the popehat signal?

  31. 31
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Oh what a shocker, someone defending his partner in crime. Like skepticism isn’t already one gigantic circle-jerk of assholes.

  32. 32
    Crimson Clupeidae

    I remember the time when it was the woo peddlers, not the skeptics, who used legal threats to shut other people up.

    I guess there’s one thing we can say about Ben: He’s learned something from the woo-peddlers….

  33. 33
    Richard Smith

    If only you could somehow convince Radford that the editor of the North Star had said something bad about him, and convince the North Star editor that Radford was the mastermind behind the theft and vandalism of all those copies of the newspaper, perhaps the two would end up creating a vortex of petty legal processes that would swallow both up in some sort of singularity…

  34. 34
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I’m suing for libel for saying something everybody knows is true and even those who claim it isn’t true know is true they’re just saying it isn’t because it’s another cudgel in their unending game of skeptotribalism because it affected my reputation except that it didn’t since most people knew I was a shit before this and those who don’t think I’m a shit aren’t going to change their mind because of the aforementioned skeptotribalism that has replaced critical thinking and in fact they’ll probably rally behind me because they’re all a bunch of harassing assholes as well and, wait, where was I?

  35. 35
    Tom Foss

    Could someone with more legal acumen than I explain how Radford could possibly have a case against Stollznow when, to my knowledge, Stollznow never publicly named him as her harasser? Wouldn’t his case be against Ian Murphy? Or against Ron Lindsay for corroborating it?

  36. 36
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    It’s so… American to throw money and lawyers at people until they go away.

  37. 37
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Doesn’t he realize that this is Grade-A Asshole behavior? If he does, does he just not care?

    Yes and yes.

    Plus, he’s got all his Important Skeptic Buddies telling him how awesome he is (probably because he’s taking some of the light off of THEIR, ahem, indiscretions), so it’s not like he doesn’t have a convenient echo chamber to retreat to.

  38. 38
    HappyEvilSlosh

    I know, buzzfeed, but I still thought it was good for perspective. Especially the last one.
    5 Things More Likely To Happen To You Than Being Falsely Accused Of Rape

  39. 39
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    So does this mean I have to take down my repost of Karen’s initial article?

    Well I won’t. Fuck Radford. Fuck him all the way to fucking hell. He’s not just an asshole, but litiginious shithead.

    He’s evil.

    And I won’t do it. I won’t take it down.

    And if there is a fundraiser for Karen, I fucking want in. I get paid on Wednesday. I’ll find a way to donate. As long as PayPal isn’t the method of donation, I’ll donate (PayPal has banned me… which I’ll be talking about in an upcoming post). I want Karen to win this.

    How can we help make that happen?

  40. 40
    irisvanderpluym

    I haz sum moneez 4 Mizz Stollznow. I can pay nao plz.

  41. 41
    Robert B

    What a flaming asshat. He files a lawsuit, then a week or two later uses his CFI bullhorn to publish a bullshit filled piece on how “common” it is to be accused of rape, not mentioning that he has allegedly sexually (REDACTED) and (REDACTED) Dr. Stollznow. That just demonstrates how determined he is to continue harassing her, and to exercise his desire to exact revenge against somebody that stood up to him.

    I don’t presume to make the decision for Karen, for whom I have the greatest respect, regarding settling or fighting. I can donate a little if a fund is established. From the filing, it looks as though he has structured it so that unless she countersues, she is in a no win situation. While there is no way he can win the defamation part of the suit, she did break the gag agreement, meaning that she will probably lose the breach of beneficial contract portion. I assume that the fraud part of the suit is related to the breach of contract section.
    —–
    Now Ben, ol’ buddy o’ pal, doesn’t (REDACTED) sound worse than what we would be putting in there if you weren’t being such a litigious jerk? Why you could have (REDACTED) a person for all we know! Or (REDACTED) a (REDACTED) and then (REDACTED) a whole can of coke! A whole can, Ben! (REDACTED) a whole can. What kind of (REDACTED) would do that? Now quit trying to censor everybody and get back to chasing lake monsters.

  42. 42
    w00dview

    I wonder when we will hear the condemnation of Radford’s silencing of dissent from those virtuous defenders of civil liberties at the Slymepit. I mean, threatening critics with legal action is a bit of a witch hunt, is it not? I’m sure the brave heroes will howl with fury at Radford’s crushing of FREEZE PEACH.

    In less snarky terms, fuck this asshole.

  43. 43
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    If there is a fundraiser, I’m in.

  44. 44
    chrislawson

    It’s pretty easy to set up an online fundraiser with indiegogo or causes.com. I’d do it myself except (i) it’s probably better from someone with a US bank account to save on currency conversion fees, and (ii) I don’t know Karen Stollznow and someone who knows her should ask her permission first.

  45. 45
    Seize

    One of the only benefits of being an unpaid peasant on Gawker Media’s Kinja is that my post about Stollznow’s original article and the early response to it remains intact, presumably because Gawker eats C&Ds for breakfast. Linking it now if anyone is searching for a bit of background.

  46. 46
    Seize

    As always please delete my posts if they are causing problems.

  47. 47
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Quoting myself at #39:

    So does this mean I have to take down my repost of Karen’s initial article?

    Well I won’t. Fuck Radford. Fuck him all the way to fucking hell. He’s not just an asshole, but litiginious shithead.

    He’s evil.

    And I won’t do it. I won’t take it down.

    Unless Karen herself asks me to. I will NOT take it down for Radford. I will take it down for Karen.

    That said…

    Goddamnit Ben fucking Radford.

    Stop.

    Fucking stop you evil dipshit.

  48. 48
    carlie

    If an asshole harasses someone in a forest and then cuts down all the trees, is he still an asshole?
    Yep.

  49. 49
    Pteryxx

    Tom Foss @35:

    Wouldn’t his case be against Ian Murphy? Or against Ron Lindsay for corroborating it?

    Well, they’re both guys. <_<

    Besides, Ian Murphy probably wasn't involved in any confidentiality agreements about the investigation. (Lindsay probably was, but Radford isn't likely to sue his boss who gave him that slap-on-the-wrist instead of firing him immediately.) For what it's worth, there's some legal backing that making complaints about discriminatory conduct – which generally includes sexual harassment – is protected speech under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; see analysis here. Whether that would hold up in breach of contract versus public interest in a civil rights violation, I have no idea.

    Also note what PZ said above:

    he’s using the legal pressure he’s applying to Stollznow as leverage to extort me into deleting posts that he doesn’t like. Normally, I’d tell him to take a flying leap, but that he’s threatening others with harm changes my response.

    Radford posted his lawsuit naming Stollznow publicly on Facebook. Just filing the lawsuit in the first place wasn’t good enough. It’s about ensuring she, personally, never hears the end of it, when she just wanted to be left alone.

    I threatened to complain to his employer, but he bragged that another woman had accused him of sexual harassment previously and her complaints were ignored. According to him, she had been declared “batshit crazy”.

    (If that’s so, I wonder what that woman’s doing now and if she’s following this mess. Maybe CFI had confidentiality boilerplate already on file from the last time.)

  50. 50
    karmacat

    It looks like he is making Stollznow a scapegoat for all his problems. I am surprised he is editor of skeptical inquirer given how badly thought out some of his essays are. It is curious that he has filed a lawsuit now rather than at the time of Stollznow’s writing about sexual harassment

  51. 51
    Tom Foss

    karmacat @50: It may have something to do with the fact that a Google search for Ben Radford brings up the Skepchick article on his misconduct as the third hit. Maybe he thought it would blow over, and hasn’t.

    Or maybe he is, as alleged, a serial harasser and bully who can’t handle the fact that someone stood up to him, and is going to do everything he knows how to do (alleging a former romantic entanglement is part of the whole ‘nut-and-slut’ strategy that he’s been accused of employing before) to teach her where her proper place is. After all, he’s an important skeptic man. He’s written books! How dare you criticize him?

    (Quick erminder on that last bit, that “I’ve written a book, when’s the last time you published anything? You shouldn’t talk outside your area of expertise!” was the substance of an earlier criticism Radford had of PZ. While it’s poorly-written, even more poorly-argued, vapid, and hypocritical, it’s hard not to look back at that shallow whine as a relic of a more innocent time, when we could think Radford was just a douchebag and not a completely worthless shit-smear of a human being.

  52. 52
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Why hasn’t he been fired yet?

  53. 53
    vaiyt

    I wonder when we will hear the condemnation of Radford’s silencing of dissent from those virtuous defenders of civil liberties at the Slymepit. I mean, threatening critics with legal action is a bit of a witch hunt, is it not? I’m sure the brave heroes will howl with fury at Radford’s crushing of FREEZE PEACH.

    Any day now…

  54. 54
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Why hasn’t he been fired yet?

    I have a theory in which it all comes back to Richard Dawkins’ temper tantrum over Rebecca Watson, but it may be more than a bit crappy conspiracy theory-esque…

    …unless it’s true…

  55. 55
    David Marjanović

    If an asshole harasses someone in a forest and then cuts down all the trees, is he still an asshole?

    *steal*

  56. 56
    LykeX

    Why you could have (REDACTED) a person for all we know! Or (REDACTED) a (REDACTED) and then (REDACTED) a whole can of coke! A whole can, Ben! (REDACTED) a whole can.

    New Meme:
    Ben Radford [REDACTED] me!

  57. 57
    David Marjanović

    I know, buzzfeed, but I still thought it was good for perspective. Especially the last one.
    5 Things More Likely To Happen To You Than Being Falsely Accused Of Rape

    …Oh wow.

  58. 58
    Menyambal

    That Buzzfeed article was good.

    Radford’s Wikipedia page, on the other hand, made me itch. I am right glad that I faded out of the Skeptic crowd some time back, and kind of ashamed that I was ever involved.

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