Essence of Thought on the Anti-Theism International Convention (Non-fiction)

Essence of Thought has a new video out about next year’s Anti-Theism International Convention. EOT’s video is titled “A Decade Later And The Secular Community Still Has A Predator Problem.”

So for those of you unaware, the Anti-Theism International Convention 2020 is an event that will be taking place in the UK, to which accused sexual harasser and decade long Jeffrey Epstein apologist Lawrence Krauss is a key speaker. [2] Now if that isn’t enough red flags for you, one of the key organisers is also John Richards, the Publications Director of Atheist Alliance International.

Full disclosure, until recently I used to work under John Richards as part of the Atheist Alliance International team. Myself and Udita had been brought on by a close friend in an effort to try and curtail the adoption of far-right fear-mongering into the secular community. However we resigned when AAI went ahead and created a new position to install David Silverman, another figure with multiple sexual harassment claims against him. [3]

I agree with the message of this video.  No organization, no matter anti-theist it may be, is not immune from its leaders abusing power, or from sexual predators.  There still need to be protections in place, not just for attendees at events, but in the governing structure of groups as well.  From what I’ve read, there seems to be very few, if any, protections.

I have helped organize secular events, and we’ve tried to make them as welcoming as possible.  It’s not easy, and we made mistakes, but we put in the effort because it would benefit both the attendees and the organization in the long run. It isn’t “mission drift,” and I hope the organizers learn that lesson.  I have my doubts, though.


  1. Hj Hornbeck says

    I have my doubts, though.

    As someone else who’s hung out in this movement for a while, I gotta agree. I look at CompSci conferences, and see a near-universal agreement on codes of conduct. I see deliberate efforts to promote diversity, both in who’s speaking and what’s covered.

    When the field of Computer Science is doing better at these things than the skeptic/atheist community, you know we’ve got a problem in dire need of fixing.

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