1. ewanmacdonald says

    And yet again the blog post closes with refusal to accept that a line in the sand has been drawn. Once again, he is entitled to everyone’s support. Anything beyond the narrow realm of church/state lobbying is simply hand-waved as “personal vendettas” or “whispering campaigns.”

    These people simply will not stop.

  2. Aratina Cage says

    I think it was a smart move for him to resign and admit he made mistakes. Time will tell if he really does wish to separate himself from the MRA movement, and I don’t believe for a moment that his tweet to Jen McCreight had no malicious intent. If he and the SCA want respect, they will have to earn it. There is no reason whatsoever to give respect to people associating with the MRA movement or to operatives of the Republican Party, and that is not because of the ideological impurity of that movement and that party but because of their lack of compassion for their fellow human beings and outright attacks on us–including attacks explicitly directed to atheists from the Republicans.

  3. Riptide says

    I think it’s likely that he (or people using him as a banner to rally around) will just take this as more fuel for the “FTBullies” fire. After all, it was a “volunteer” position, and now he stands to make some decent money (just like GirlWritesWhat) on the MRA circuit because he was “kicked out”.

  4. romanov says

    We won, we really are gaining the power to shape other organizations to our will. This is great.

    [An obvious Poe. OB.]

  5. ewanmacdonald says

    Who is “we”, romanov? What did you have to do with Vacula’s resignation, precisely? Just curious.

  6. alyssum says

    I do not normally post on these forums or others though I have been reading them regularly. Justin’s resignation post really annoyed me for some reason though so I actually posted a comment under it. This is what I said:

    I am glad that you have chosen to resign. Given your past history, you should have never been chosen for a leadership position. Your own actions and attitude have created this problem for you.

    It is unfortunate that you do not seem to be willing to accept full responsibility for how you act towards others. Instead, you continue to accuse other people of blowing “these mistakes out of proportion almost never bothering to mention my concessions, never to personally contact me in a constructive manner to address grievances, or correct their own mistakes — and treated me unfairly.”

    The burden and responsibility to understand and correct your mistakes is your own, not your “detractors”, who you have treated with far less respect and consideration than they have ever treated you.

  7. mcbender says

    This is in many ways a classic notpology and they’re already making him out to be a victim in the comments, but resigning was the right decision and I’ll give him some credit for at least doing that.

  8. says

    I think it was great of him to acknowledge his mistakes, but this is the first time I’ve seen him or anyone else admit that he’s ever made mistakes. Nearly all the support he’s gotten has just said that he’s never done anything wrong, and none of it has ever pointed to anything resembling a statement of regret.

  9. maureenbrian says

    So he just discovered that what happens on the internet is real life after all?


  10. says

    I’m sure that’s one thing his critics would have no problem taking the “blame” for. Hey, if everyone else gets the blame wen he does something wrong, why shouldn’t we get the credit when he does something right? Fair is fair, innit?

  11. screechymonkey says

    I’ll give him credit for resigning, and partial credit for acknowledging mistakes. It’s only “partial” because, as others have noted, if you don’t specify what you’re apologizing for, it’s not terribly meaningful: it just comes across as a rather limited concession that “hey, nobody’s perfect” (or, as many theists are fond of saying, “we’re all sinners”).

    I’m also a little annoyed at the shifting goalposts on the issue of how one is supposed to raise these complaints. When people write open letters to the SCA or circulate petitions, we’re told it’s the wrong way to do these things: “why can’t you just handle it discretely with a phone call or email to the SCA?” (Of course, some people did that, too.) But Justin’s post also complains about a “whispering campaign,” so it appears that behind-the-scenes complaints are #FTBullying too. (See also ravings about secret blacklists, etc.)

    The only method of disagreeing with Justin that he seems to find acceptable is to contact him privately. Which is an interesting double standard: he is free to air his complaints about Amy, FtB, Skepchick, A+, feminism, or anything or anyone else on his blog, the Slymepit, Twitter, AVFM, or any other public venue, but rebuttals must be handled privately.

  12. says

    If he had posted instead of this a full apology for ->
    1. Surly Amy d0x
    2. AVfM post
    3. Minimising harassment with a promise to take it seriously in his new post on the SCA

    Should the petition have been withdrawn? I know we cannot say for certain since he didn’t do that but I got the definite impression that everyone on Emily Dietles post was saying he gets a second chance when he admits he has done something wrong and apologises. The slyme-view is that he *did* apologise but not enough… Personally I saw sod-all apology – even hidden on the Slymepit.

  13. says

    Hey, as far as I’m concerned, he also needs to apologize for the podcast he did about my reasons for not going to TAM and do a correction. He basically did a podcast calling me a liar, and refused to correct it when I pointed out how he misrepresented me. So no.

  14. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I do not wish to see the organization and its staff which I will continue to support – and many individuals who support me — buttressed with attacks.

    Whooo, boy. Add butchering the English language to whatever other ruthless crimes he may have committed.

  15. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @romanov, #8:

    We won, we really are gaining the power to shape other organizations to our will. This is great.

    [An obvious Poe. OB.]

    An obvious Poe?

    Methings romanov has no concept of “Poe”.

    Unless the author of the raven is quoted by romanov in #8, but methinks not.

  16. CJO says

    And he’s evidently a semi-literate fool, so who needed him in the first place even without the baggage?

  17. says

    @Ophelia, sorry not heard the podcast – not that interested to listen to Justin opine on the subject of TAM attendance. I thought the ‘minimising harassment’ bit would cover it but there is obviously more to it.

  18. says

    @ oolon

    Sincere apologising for all of those items (plus the ones left off your list, such as the podcast Ophelia refers to), might be enough to allow him to participate in events within the community. But not to be a leader or representative or a speaker. For that, a person in his situation should have to show a change of behaviour that reflects a change in attitude–and that could come only over time.

    Moreover, the petition wasn’t directed at Justin Vacula, but at the Secular Coalition for America. What is required from them is a statement of policy that going forward, they will vet their representatives, ensuring that people who espouse bigotry, belong to hate groups, or engage in harassment, will not be appointed, selected, hired, or otherwise accepted in representative or leadership roles.

  19. Aratina Cage says

    he also needs to apologize for the podcast he did about my reasons for not going to TAM and do a correction. He basically did a podcast calling me a liar, and refused to correct it when I pointed out how he misrepresented me.

    Holy smokes yes! Where is his integrity? Limbaughesque truth-fudging may be good enough for the slimepitters, but it is not acceptable for people who value rational inquiry. That should have been listed as one of the major complaints against him.

  20. Aratina Cage says

    @Ophelia, that quote is from one of the comments under Vacula’s resignation post. They pretend they are starving us (we’re all A+ers now!) of oxygen by not visiting your blogs (you, the rest of FTB, Skepchick, etc.). Do they really think any of us will miss them? It’s like they haven’t noticed that plenty of people are sick and tired of the sexism, the hate blogging, and the cyberbullying and are happy to not have defenders of any of that crap participating in our communities–online or off.

  21. says

    @Ibis3, yeah that is a good point Jason T’s post on the lack of process in selecting candidates was very pertinent. In the UK you have to jump through all sorts of hoops just to be a volunteer. Although CRB checks don’t show internet behaviour you would think a quick Google at least.

  22. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    He basically did a podcast calling me a liar, and refused to correct it when I pointed out how he misrepresented me. So no.

    butbutbut he’s never done anything wrong! He’s a paragon of positively petpetual perfection! And a victim! Don’t forget that! he wasn’t allowed to treat people like shit and not get criticized, the poor thing!

    Good on him for resigning. once he grows up and leaves AVfM, perhaps he can recover from respectability and credbility.

    but I won’t hold my breath. Way to eager to pout, whine and cower that dude.

  23. Cerebellum says

    Justin Vacula resigns after vitriol, rumors, attacks on his character, bullying and a concerted effort to smear him:
    A victory by reasonable people for a better world!

    Jen McCreight resigns after vitriol, rumors, attacks on her character, bullying and a concerted effort to smear her:
    A horrible act of cyber-violence by misogynistic assholes.

    Ahhh, I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

  24. Aratina Cage says

    Vacula is one of the people who verbally attacked the character of Jen McCreight, and that is one of the reasons given for why he is not fit to hold a co-chair position of any atheist organization. Dun-dun-DUN!

  25. LeftSidePositive says

    Hey, Cerebellum:

    Justin Vacula resigns after vitriol,

    I think you’ve set your standard for “vitriol” remarkably low–there were, to my knowledge, no rape or death threats. There were instead clearly articulated points of contention and an explanation of why he was unfit to serve.


    No, there were accounts of well-documented events.

    attacks on his character,

    No, there were CRITICISMS of his character, supported with evidence. When someone’s character is actually deeply flawed, it is perfectly necessary and fair to call them on it.


    You keep using dat word. I dunna thinkit means what you thinkit means…

    and a concerted effort to smear him:

    “Smear” refers only to things that are untrue. Accurately describing many of his unacceptable actions and holding him accountable for his reprehensible treatment of women in this movement is not a smear; it is simply educating the community about the reality of his behavior.

  26. LeftSidePositive says

    I do not wish to see the organization and its staff which I will continue to support – and many individuals who support me — buttressed with attacks.

    Do you think he means “buffeted”?

  27. hjhornbeck says

    Cerebellum @ 35:

    Justin Vacula resigns after […] a concerted effort to smear him

    Oh, so you don’t think he posted to A Voice For Men? You don’t think he posted Surly Amy’s home address? Despite clear evidence to the contrary?

    The only person smearing Vacula is Vacula himself. He chose to post on a hate group’s website. He chose to reveal personal information about someone opposed to him, on a forum dedicated to hating on people like her. It’s those actions that I take issue with, those actions that led me to sign that petition, and those actions which I think disqualify him as a representative of Pennsylvania secularists.

    Those actions, and no others. I have no idea what Vacula’s like in real life. He could be pretty nice, a fun guy to hang out with. I know he’s done some good activist work in the past, and I hope he keeps it up. If he wises up, I’ll drop my opposition to his role as a leader.

    The way he blames other people for his mistakes suggests he won’t wise up. But I’d love to be proven wrong.

  28. says

    I can’t seem to log on as xmaseveeve, but I am she! (I apologise if English is not this man’s first language.) Vacula says:

    ‘My detractors did not only brand me as an ‘enemy of the people’ in a similar fashion to the respective play written by Henrik Ibsen, but also attacked the Secular Coalition for America – an organization with women as staff members including the organization’s executive director – claiming it “dislike[s] feminist secular activists in Pennsylvania,” is responsible for “alienating women,” and “is woefully out of sync with the atheist movement” to just mention three items. Those who demand respect and object to disrespect — as should be apparent — offer no or little respect to others, thus not modeling the behavior they wish to see.’

    I’m not simply nit-picking for shocking grammar and punctuation. Apart from the split infinitive and the dubious choices of vocabulary, this is a linguistically careless mess, with several grammatical, and therefore logical, mistakes in every line. He expects the reader to know what he means, and to react to that, rather than to what he’s actually saying. It really makes very little sense.

    He compares himself to an Ibsen hero? (What is a ‘respective’ play, anyway?) Ibsen was not defending someone correctly accused. His ‘detractors’? How grandiose. It implies that he is a misunderstood, great thinker.

    An ‘organisation with women as staff members’? Are women to be grateful? Are female staff members not people?

    He seems to think that the fight for secularism is men’s work. All the issues tackled by atheists are men’s issues. I was struck by his insidious assumption that women are not people; that women’s issues are not people’s issues – let alone that they are usually caused by men.

    I hope he has a re-think, but it seems to me that his ego is too swollen for him to admit when he is wrong.

    If a person is too lazy – too arrogant, indeed – to use language in a precise way, it is impossible for that person to think rationally. And sexism is not rational.

  29. LeftSidePositive says

    (What is a ‘respective’ play, anyway?)

    A ‘respective’ play is what one changes one’s purple prose to when the Internet laughs its collective head off that one doesn’t know what “eponymous” means.

    To be fair, though, he did acknowledge that he made edits and linked to the original.


    More significantly, I love that he seems to think that sexism is this binary thing and there’s enlightened-beacon-of-equality and refuses-to-even-allow-women-as-staff, and apparently nothing in between!

    No understanding of system justification, no understanding of how the organization looks and acts toward potential female members, no understanding of climates that allow people with certain worldviews/unstated assumptions to tolerate it but not others, no understanding that women are not a monolith, no understanding that we were referring to specific ACTIONS being alienating rather than a blanket condemnation of the organization’s whole being, etc., etc., etc. …

    I am not a champion .gif master, so please imagine here anything that Crommunist would post whenever anyone uses the term “a racist,” because that facepalming, headdesking incredulity is roughly the same.

    And another thing, as a general rule: if someone says you did X badly, and your response is to say how great you are about Y, the vast majority of the time this is a solid admission that you fucked up X. In this case: someone says you are a dishonest, vacuous misogynist who has no business leading a group, and you say the group has some female members…if that’s the best defense you can muster, I’m going to assume the dishonest, vacuous misogynist bit is absolutely spot-on until proven otherwise.

  30. captainmjs says

    I suspect he was pressured to resign so that the organization wasn’t seen as giving in to the petition against him.

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