This wasn’t free speech this was a silencing

As you may have already seen, Avicenna was falsely accused of raping someone at TAM 2013. He’s never been to TAM; he hasn’t been in the US for several years. He is not much pleased.

Turns out Mr. [Richard] Sanderson is a possible suspect in the fake accusation that I raped/molested someone at TAM 2013. Why? Because when I admitted publically about the accusation, I also pointed out that I had an alibi. Oh if you wish to know why I admitted to it, I felt the need to be honest because I figured that if I didn’t admit to it, someone would drop it on me as a “surprise” and I would rather do it myself. Bear in mind, work colleagues read this blog and me admitting to the accusation was handled better than if someone else did. Bear in mind at the moment I am teaching and training midwives in safe delivery methods and doing deliveries. AKA working in women’s healthcare. This resulted in me having to deal with greater scrutiny of my work and some time for administrative leave but in the end the truth is an absolute defence.

It meant that colleagues would HAVE to mention this incident. I cleared my name with work but it’s just a painful thing to do. I genuinely thought of bowing out of blogging as I felt my career was more important. It didn’t matter that my alibi was insanely solid.

See that? These angry zeroes interfered with his work – in women’s healthcare, in India – for the sake of whatever the hell their angry zero hatred is about. (Women? Feminism? Atheism+? Freethought Blogs? High fructose corn syrup? Who knows.)

They call  themselves the Slymepit out of pride. Free Speech? This wasn’t free speech this was a silencing. This was an attempt to shut me up. I don’t know why. I am not a fan of the methods of the Atheism Plus lot. Maybe I just made them look bad. Can’t call FTB slacktivists with that Avicenna bloke around right? So let’s silence  him. I know! Doctors rely on their integrity. A doctor without one is fucked! Let’s threaten that!

Oh Mr. Sanderson tried to make it seem like it was to prove a point about fake rape allegations from PZ Myers and “Jane Doe”. That it’s easy. Well? No it’s not. Because the difference between a real accusation and a fake one is that a real one is very hard and painful to do. While the Accusers here literally hammered this entire letter out in a few minutes and didn’t even bother selecting properly.

And to prove a point? You would risk my career to win an Internet fight with PZ Myers? What the fuck is wrong with you people? How the fuck can anyone be a part of the Slymepit with absolute fuckwits like this in the rank is beyond me. How can you claim to be the good guys when you behave like this? You have lost any high ground you thought you had by the actions of this absolute waste of space.

And what does that say to non-white atheists? Don’t write about stuff that’s happening locally? Like rapes and violence against women or else the Slymepit will silence you? Don’t write about your non-white problems if they involve women treated badly?

Yes. That is what that says to non-white atheists, just as it’s what it says to non-male atheists.

So that’s how that went.


  1. Al Dente says

    A slymepit denizen shows no concern for the concept of collateral damage. No attack on an FTB blogger is too vile for the brave heroes to make.

  2. jenBPhillips says

    Au contraire, Al Dente–they’re adamantly denying that Sanderson is a member of the Slymepit at all, and saying he isn’t very well liked there, and how dare we besmirch their Freeze Peach zone that never does anything ugly to anyone without plausible deniability.

  3. leni says

    Makes me wonder what this man did, to deserve being PZ’ed ???

    The most unforgivable crime of them all, of course: he has a blog here.

  4. Al Dente says

    An MRA isn’t good enough (or bad enough) for the slymepit? I thought all one had to say was “bitchez ain’t shit” to be greeted with open arms by the misogynist brothers. Standards are slipping over there.

  5. says

    Have Richard Sanderson or Pitchguest or any of that lot ever weighed in on newspapers that published allegations about Catholic priests, many of which were from Jane & John Doe?

  6. jenBPhillips says

    Oh it’s the standard response when someone goes “too far” (Eucliwood and her weird obsession with Jason Thibault, e.g., or ‘Some Guy’ who posted passive death threat type stuff about Amanda Marcotte, etc. etc.)

    They quickly distance themselves as not representing the ethos of the slymepit. Interestingly, they seldom lead this off with any condemnation of the person’s actions–certainly no sympathy whatsoever for the target. And someone will inevitably say ‘while I don’t agree with hir tactics, it does go to show that [target] is a hypocrite’ or whatever.

  7. leni says

    It may be they they don’t particularly like him. But they shouldn’t be surprised if that website draws people like him. That’s the whole point of it.

  8. SaladeImaginaire says

    How absolutely awful that this happened to Avicenna. I am crossing my fingers for him.
    @ leni @ 8 I agree.
    But this is the Slymepit story and the moral of it, also, isn’t it? They don’t really know what they want, most of them, I would bet.. They never did. They really are like spoiled, rather empty, dangerous children. They’re just enamored of words and postures and gestures And, also like children, even “grown-up-ness” would appear to them as another sort of social signal, not any real, desirable (because of empathy and consequences) sort of state of being to achieve before you die and have to quit this planet sort of thing. This is rambling, but these people are so foolhardy and so arrogant. They committed themselves to machismo/ma and some sort of pathetic “tough” image, and now…yeah, nobody’s arriving to bail them out, and people are being emboldened and intoxicated by the climate they fostered and…hurting other people. Yeah.. How wasteful and stupid. What is wrong with a society(societies?) so cynical that it has let these people delude themselves that they are anywhere even close to adequate? Too bad they can’t turn their rage on THAT. But I insist that their anger is about cynicism, somehow. Deeply entrenched cynicism, almost everywhere. It’s not giving most people the fulfillment they sought in life. Or something. Go figure. Um, I guess.
    *goes back to lurking*

  9. hjhornbeck says

    [cross-posted from Avi’s]

    I’m glad you’ve decided to tough it out, Avi, I’d hate to have your voice silenced by these assholes. I wish I could say I’m surprised by this, but after witnessing a few SlymePitters debate which blogger they’d drive to commit suicide first… I don’t think I can be shocked any more.

    I think of the ‘pit as a sociopathic MMORG. The rules are pretty simple: point out the hypocrisy and lies in a blogger from SkepChick or FtB to earn points. They talk about free speech? Mock them via speech, and gloat as the “baboons” howl over it for a massive point gain. No controversy du-jour? Don’t worry, you can still grind by repeating old controversies.

    We all get a kick out of games, but I’m sure most of us went a little too far at some point. We started dreaming in Tetris blocks, or musing over the skill benefit granted by a skirt. Most of us shake our heads at how the game has warped our perceptions, and decide to set aside gaming for a bit. A few, though, get addicted and never walk away. Their view is perpetually skewed by the game they play.

    Take Pitchguest, for instance. His two big concerns? It’s hypocritical for someone from FtB to cry “rape!” without proof beyond a reasonable doubt, then turn around and bash someone else for accusing the accuser of rape. And, it’s a horrible lie to say your accuser is from a place they’re not.

    Does he empathize with Avicenna? Nope. Does he realize he’s defending someone making an obviously false rape charge? Nope. Does he spot that he’s repeating tired, long debunked lies about the accusations made through Myers, even though he monitors us for hypocrisy and lies?

    Of course not. They’re not in the rules.

    All he sees is a rare combo of hypocrisy and lies, and salivates over the points he’ll earn from it. The bloggers and commenters on FtB? Pawns on a chessboard, bosses to overcome, NPCs that only matter if they help or oppose the quest. They’re not real people, just pixels coming from his video card. This makes them expendable, or exploitable. His reward for a good play is recognition from his fellow gamers, and the high that comes from defeating a great evil with your wits and your sharp tongue.

    In the end, victory is all that matters to the SlymePit.

  10. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    The legacy of Abbie Smith.
    *sniff* *sniff*

    How proud she must be.

  11. says

    Makes me wonder what this man did, to deserve being PZ’ed ?

    That’s a loaded question, assuming as it does that PZ made a false accusation.

    There is a difference between these things. The claim against Avicenna is a demonstrably false accusation. The claim against Shermer has not been proven false.

  12. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    So it’s “No True Slymepitter” when one of their lot does something despicable? I hope that Avicenna sues for lost time clearing this up.

  13. Anne Marie says

    FFS, just when I think people can’t get any lower. I just feel like crying. Why not try to ruin a man’s life? Who cares about him! Rape victims? Who cares? Why not make things just a little bit worse for us! If it weren’t for the loud social justice atheists out there, I’d quit all the organizations I’m in and just go back to my daily life. Blurgh.

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