The FtB Ethics Committee on Richard Carrier

Freethought Blogs unequivocally condemns any behavior that threatens the safety of atheist community members, including particularly marginalized groups. Freethought Blogs also recognizes the role of sexual harassment as one of numerous barriers for women that limits access to and participation within atheist conferences and spaces.

When the recent allegations against Richard Carrier were made public, Freethought Blogs initiated a process to investigate these claims and formalize its policy concerning the conduct of its members. The FtB Ethics Committee received several reports of Carrier’s behavior and was in the process of reviewing them when Carrier chose to leave the network. A thorough review of the allegations against Carrier cannot be completed by Freethought Blogs without his cooperation.

As part of our commitment to equitable access to freethinking spaces for all, Freethought Blogs members who violate our commitment to social justice by creating or maintaining barriers to participation will be removed from the network as a matter of policy. All reports submitted to us in furtherance of this policy will be kept in the strictest of confidence, unless the accusation was made publicly or in the event we have express permission to reproduce the complaint.

-The FtB Ethics Committee


  1. says

    “Freethought Blogs initiated a process to investigate these claims and formalize its policy concerning the conduct of its members.”

    I hope the formalization of the policy will still occur. I am grateful to FTB for taking this seriously.

  2. Siobhan says

    I was chairing the committee that was hashing out a policy for sexual harassment & consent when the Carrier… thing… happened.

    I’ll appreciate two acknowledgements from anyone interested in asking questions:

    1) Committees are slow. Online committees are glacial. Things won’t be moving quickly, but they are moving.

    2) Following #1, I probably won’t answer your question. Not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t until we’re finished.

    Edit: Grammar derp

  3. polishsalami says

    Although I was one of the earliest people (among general commenters on this network at least) to raise concerns about the direction of Richard’s conduct, I wish I had been wrong. This is just one more FTB-related drama the network didn’t need.

  4. Siobhan says

    I hope the formalization of the policy will still occur.

    It will. Carrier was, in fact, a distraction from that.

  5. shwasbuckled says

    Well done. Kudos for the swift and definitive reaffirmation of core values and principles.

    It’s a shame that it has to be done but apparently there are a lot of closet sexists who of course swear up and down they are no such thing. But their actions expose them. That their beliefs, even about themselves, are not in alignment with reality is pretty much the same kind of delusionality we see from Christians, who purport to believe in loving their neighbor, then go balls out trying to hurt their neighbors (with covertly sexist and racist political policies, and overtly homophobic ones, for example). They are divisive, making women and minorities feel unwelcome.

    These bad apples of atheism must not be allowed to run amok. We must protect ourselves and each other by standing up and speaking out and signal boosting the warnings and complaints that are made to make the community safer. We would rather the world were such that they didn’t have to engage such a precaution. But we don’t live in the world we’d rather be in. We can only work to take this world closer to it.

    I also believe the preponderance of evidence is sufficient to conclude RIchard Carrier probably has crossed moral lines. I have seen enough evidence to establish, in my own mind, at least a 50.1% chance that Richard has not just cheated or fooled around (he admitted as much), but has left a wake of victimized women in his path, that he has not conducted himself morally, and that he is probably not good or safe company (especially for young women). Again, I am not witness to this. I am only inferring it from what has been said online by those who do claim to have witnessed evidence of it.

    Another one bites the dust. As Greta Christina recently wrote: “the dam is bursting, perpetrators — we are coming for you.”