Update: oh and there’s also PZ’s account. So that’s two non-anonymous sources.
Slime pitters are all agitated, asking me in unapproved comments if I have a source for the non-anonymous allegations of Shermer’s sexual harassment. I’m pretty sure I’ve already posted this, and I’m not here to do homework for the slime pitters, but all the same – here it is again.
Jason. Last November. Carrie Poppy and the Nay-sayers.
Carrie Poppy has been extraordinarily well-placed in some of the bigger scandals regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault recently, in having been employed as communications director for JREF and having resigned after six months due to, let’s say, philosophical differences with DJ Grothe, president of the organization. Well, if you can classify her stating her reasons for leaving as mere philosophy, being his “constant duplicity, dishonesty, and manipulation”.
So people rushed then to attack Carrie Poppy, to destroy her as an irrational harpy with a bone to grind and an axe to pick against Grothe. So when she recently decided to suggest that women should generally stay away from TAM because the JREF was unlikely to treat any incidents with any level of seriousness, people naturally resorted to the same trope — that she was trying to destroy TAM and JREF.
Only the strange thing is, the corroboration of her claims came from those very people that you’d least expect. The ones who have been trying to naysay the whole thing all along.
Carrie was tight-lipped about why at first, but the nay-sayers brigaded as they normally do. When asked what JREF / TAM could do to make things better:
The answer is going to sound very vague and like the JREF *must* already be doing this, because who in their right mind wouldn’t? But from my vantage:
1. Do not allow people who have assaulted others at your conference, or you have reasonable suspicion that they have done so, back at the conference.
2. Take women’s complaints (and any victim’s complaints) seriously. Investigate them fully.
3. Have an infrastructure for reporting complaints, where people feel safe and listened to.
These are reasonable complaints, and her putting them forward here suggests she knows that, at least when she was in a position to see it, that they were not in place. She’s evidently seen enough to know this is a trend, not a one-off.
But people keep pressing her for evidence or at least concrete examples, and she eventually talks to her lawyer:
Hi everyone. I just spoke to a lawyer about sharing this information with you, and feel comfortable telling you this one thing (though it is one of several):
D.J. Grothe told me and others, repeatedly, that he (DJ) had personally witnessed Michael Shermer groping a female TAM speaker’s breast, unprovoked and against her protestations. She has confirmed this, since. D.J. continued to invite that speaker to TAM in subsequent years. D.J. has stated this much over and over. So please, do feel free to ask him yourselves.
(By “that speaker,” I meant Shermer.)
That’s where. That’s my source. It’s DJ Grothe, via Carrie Poppy.