Comments

  1. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    (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. says

    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.

  3. Onamission5 says

    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.

  4. Pteryxx says

    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.

  5. IslandBrewer says

    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).

  6. carlie says

    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.

  7. brett says

    @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.

  8. Parse says

    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?

  9. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    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.

  10. says

    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.

  11. says

    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.

  12. carlie says

    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*

  13. says

    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!

  14. Pteryxx says

    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.

  15. Jackie, all dressed in black says

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

  16. UnknownEric the Apostate says

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

  17. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    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.

  18. says

    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.

  19. UnknownEric the Apostate says

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

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

  20. Robert Blaskiewicz says

    “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.

  21. says

    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.

  22. UnknownEric the Apostate says

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

  23. Wylann says

    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….

  24. Richard Smith says

    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…

  25. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    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?

  26. says

    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?

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

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

  28. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    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.

  29. says

    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?

  30. says

    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.

  31. w00dview says

    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.

  32. chrislawson says

    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.

  33. says

    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.

  34. carlie says

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

  35. Pteryxx says

    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.)

  36. karmacat says

    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

  37. says

    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.

  38. vaiyt says

    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…

  39. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    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…

  40. David Marjanović says

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

    *steal*

  41. says

    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!

  42. David Marjanović says

    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.

  43. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    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.