So anyway, on Friday, I wrote again to the press contact person at the Global Secular Council to ask the question the GSC’s Twitter account never did answer, and first insulted me and then blocked me for asking.
Why did the Global Secular Council launch before inviting more “global” people to be on its panel of Experts?
She replied that she wanted to be sure I would not “not misconstrue or “twist” [her] text reply, and perhaps repopulate that misconception publicly.”
I couldn’t quite fathom how I would be able to do that as long as I quoted her exactly, which obviously I would do; I said as much, and with that she answered my question. Here is her answer:
What I will say to you is that most of my answer was dictated by me to the Social Media Team (at their request) and, as I understand it, sent back to you in snippets (or “tweets”). I looked over what actually was sent back to your questions and it seems, though loaded with a little too much “internet personality”, to be congruent with the reply I intended; although, perhaps because of the forced brevity of those responses, those remarks were not received by you as actual answers. So far, those answers seem to have been missed, “twisted”, or at least, misconstrued, consistently by you and your loyal followers. But, I’m happy to recap here, and you can perhaps help me to fill in the blanks in my answer. This is my personal understanding of the situation, and by no means represents every single member of our organization:
The Global Secular Council “launched” only its website and social media at the behest of many involved, mainly donors, and not without concern from many others involved, similar to yours. I speak for myself, but echo others, when I say many agreed that on the face of it, we did not yet display enough racial, gender, and national diversity in our Council Members. However, since we were by no means at the close of some finite process, but rather, at the beginning of a far-reaching project, we did not determine there would be any actual harm done announcing that the Council was being formed, while further “human resources” continued to gather and make commitments. Taslima Nasreen, for instance, has agreed to join, but we have not yet solidified. We were and are excited! To that end, from the start, the name “Global” was a statement of purpose, as well as an indication of what we were already doing–gathering resources such as surveys, articles, and academic papers from around the world in support of a secular cause.
So the answer to my question is: they “did not determine there would be any actual harm done announcing that the Council was being formed, while further “human resources” continued to gather and make commitments.”
As you see, she had also said “you can perhaps help me to fill in the blanks in my answer” so I basically asked my question all over again:
Since you suggest I help fill in the blanks, I’ll ask again about why you launched before getting more global people on board. You say you (plural) did not determine there would be any actual harm done, so I would ask why not? It’s the same question all over again, really. It seems to be an obviously bad idea to launch a global project with no one “global” on the roster.
I know you’ve invited Taslima; she’s a good friend of mine. But you invited her after you invited other people, people with less experience and knowledge of matters outside North America and the UK. That seems like a slight. I would think you (plural) would want to avoid giving that impression.
I hope she doesn’t see that as me misconstruing or twisting her reply, much less repopulating that misconception publicly. I see it as just pressing the question, which wasn’t very satisfactorily answered. Why didn’t they think there would be any harm done?
Why did they think it would be a good idea to set up a panel of people they dubbed “Experts” for a council to deal with global issues when the experts have no obvious expertise at all in the global issues in question? American and British physicists, biologists, zoologists – how are they experts in global issues? I see of course how they are “Experts” tout court, but what does that have to do with anything? Having a PhD in field X doesn’t make you a universal seer. Given the completely random qualifications of the people on that list, it certainly would have helped to have had at least a broader geographical reach.
In one way it’s obviously none of my business, but then again they certainly sent out press releases asking us all to spread the word about their new council, plus there are all these people who seem to expect our infinite loyalty, so from that point of view it is my business, it’s all of our business. And then, I know a lot of people they should have asked to be on that panel but didn’t, and it annoys me. (No, I emphatically don’t mean me. I mean people from other parts of the world.)
Then again, the description of their planned activity that she ends with perhaps indicates that none of this matters after all:
…the name “Global” was a statement of purpose, as well as an indication of what we were already doing–gathering resources such as surveys, articles, and academic papers from around the world in support of a secular cause.
Oh. That’s their plan? To gather papers?
Oh. Oh well, never mind then.