Wow, the Global Secular Council and its parent the Secular Coalition for American sure is doing a great job of representing US secularists.


Secular Council @SecularCouncil June 2

Thanks, , for understanding we had been trying to answer Ofie’s questions, but had not been heard!


That’s what the harassers call me. Sometimes they vary it to Oafy, just like any 5-year-old.

And the Global Secular Council thinks it’s appropriate to follow their lead.


  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Well that’s pathetic.

    Also – did they actually attempt answer your questions at all?

    Were any answers of theirs any good?

  2. says

    Holy shit.

    I’d given them the benefit of the doubt and figured they were just incompetent, but I revise that opinion downward to “actively malignant and nasty”.

  3. says

    Stevo, they answered to the extent of saying “we are working on making it more global now” more than once. But that just raises the question why they didn’t do that BEFORE launching instead of after. I persisted in asking them that question, which they emphatically did not answer. I guess that’s why they’re now calling me “Ofie”.

  4. says

    PZ, I too figured they were being incompetent, but I didn’t and don’t quite consider that benefit of the doubt. If you’re going to launch a global thingy and you forget to make it global…that’s a level of incompetence that’s not really much better than being deliberately malignant.

  5. ema says

    Phew, good thing they’re not a professional organization aiming to be taken seriously.

  6. carlie says

    They’ll probably claim that they thought everyone called you that. Or that they had to for the twitter character limit. Or “someone made a mistake”.

    Or, they won’t bother and will simply ignore all correspondence from anyone who isn’t actively kissing their asses.

  7. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Rich Sandersen is exactly the type of person the “Council” wants to attract. Someone who won’t ask questions, won’t call them on anything, and will hate exactly who they tell him to hate.

  8. Matt Penfold says

    I think they are still to be classified as incompetent. Problem is they seem to be quite good at being “actively malignant and nasty”.

    I wonder if they went on a course to learn how.

  9. screechymonkey says

    They probably just took offense at your tone. After all, the members of the Global Secular Council pride themselves on being polite and civil and refraining from making any criticism that could be seen by anyone as strident or militant.

  10. Jackie the wacky says

    Wave goodbye them everyone as team Secular Douche-Bro fade’s away into obscurity.


  11. Sili says

    As I’ve said before. All members of the council have to put in their hours to help, and Dawkins is obviously in charge of tweeting.

  12. Jackie the wacky says

    Rich fucking Sanderson? Really?
    And I cannot believe they called you that. So fucking disrespectful.

    Look again at who they chose for their self appointed “council”.

    Are you really surprised?

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Unholy dafeck! They put Shermer in charge of tweeting?!

    For realz?

    That’s ..seriously messed up.

  14. says

    “Ofie”? What condescending bullshit. It’s like you are some little girl that needs to have things properly explained to you and accepted without causing a fuss.


  15. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ Jackie the wacky :


    Like this :

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 5. Ophelia Benson Thanks for answering. Unlike y’know what they did.

    The way they’ve they’ve treated you. That’s manure that is. But less useful in the garden.

    Shame on them. Goodbye to them.

  17. Corvus Whiteneck says

    So the Global Secular Council is under the umbrella of the Secular Coalition for America…

    yeah, that doesn’t come across as tone-deafly arrogant, imperialistic, or American-hegemony-pushing at all… what a shock from an organization run by a right wing politico.

  18. Kevin Kehres says

    If ever there were any doubt about their mind-set, it was erased in less than 240 characters. Nice job in outing yourselves as assholes, boyz.

    Makes it easy to keep my wallet shut and ignore whatever pronouncements they make.

  19. Corvus Whiteneck says

    Well, clearly I’m not following the luminaries closely enough. I’ve been so blinded by their bright lights I can’t quite make out where they are. I’m sure a secular-bro will be along shortly to excoriate me for not getting in line properly.

    Still terribly tone-deaf etc.

  20. says

    I’d really like to know who is doing the tweeting for them — if they’re the social media voice of the organization, there ought to be some responsibility.

  21. says

    I’m waiting for confirmation, but the behind-the-scenes stories coming out are that she has either quit or been fired. Everyone’s being close-mouthed about the details so far.

  22. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    And while they appear to have deleted the tweet in question, they follow up by thanking one harasser and retweeting another. Bravo, Secular Council, you really get it.


  23. says

    Oh yes? I’ll have to check that out.

    It’s “staff” running the Twitter account. In my reply to their reply, I asked about that, while kindly pointing out that Twitter is important for what they’re trying to do.

    I also asked for an apology. It would be nice if they’d thought of that for themselves.

  24. says

    Refusal to acknowledge and make up for mistakes is a flaw-building exercise. It sets an ethical and moral standard that will result in all sorts of crap getting reflexively hidden, and predicts much political bullshit in the future.

  25. says

    Calling you “ofie” and replying to Sanderson and Tigzy from the Slymepit I would think it’s one of the women at the pit who got the job! Does anyone know what Skeptickle is up to these days 😛

    Totally bizarre, whoever is running it has no idea how to run an organisations Twitter account. I thought just getting into protracted arguments was fairly unprofessional when they are effectively anonymous and appearing to speak for the whole organisation, “Thought Leaders” and all. Much better to be open and say you are volunteer communications director @not_a_pitter and offer to pass on concerns etc… But to engage harassholes on Twitter and use their demeaning “nicknames”. Amazingly unprofessional.

  26. FelixBC says

    Seriously? Fond notes to Rich Sanderson and Tigzy? Why don’t they just hoist a slymepit banner and be done with it. Known harassers.

  27. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Richard Sanderson, the person who is proud of having coined “FtBullies”. The person who leads walk outs of talks from thousands of miles away. This is the person GSC wants to associate with?

    Richard Sanderson believes in more imaginary things then the average theist.

  28. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    He did the same to me months ago. Most of the people on that list are there because of our support of Ogvorbis.

    A side note, there is enough crossover with the pit and TERFs, I had the “rape apologist” charge tossed at me by a TERF as well as a link to Ogvorbis’ post.

  29. maddog1129 says

    What post or tweet of Richard Sanderson’s are they responding to? IOW, how did whatever he did “explain” how GSC had been “trying” to answer Ophelia’s questions? How did what he/they posted indicate what answers they gave that had not been “heard”?

  30. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    I’ve been on that list for some time, mostly for when I could be bothered calling that pissant Rich Sanderson out for his dishonest bleating. That they’re acknowledging support from a notorious misogynist suckup is not a good sign for them.

  31. says

    Ibis3 @ 37:
    Congrats! I’ve been stuck at “Level 3” on Sandersen’s little enemy list since forever, it’s embarrassing. I feel like I deserve to be moved up to “Level 2”, at the very least.

  32. says

    Wow. Just wow.

    For our summary of this development, we now go to the late, great Lou Reed, reciting the final line to his 1989 classic, The Last Great American Whale

    (/… take it, Lou.)

  33. says

    I was added to Sandersons “womanabusers” list, and he has referred to it in replies to my comments elsewhere as an indictment of my character – I am on the list, a known #womanabuser etc. to undercut my totally unrelated comments.

    Why was I listed as a #womanabuser?

    Because I laughed at Richard Sanderson.

  34. says

    Pathetic and highly unprofessional; I mean, really. What is any objective observer meant to conclude from the GSC account thanking a pseudonymous account like ‘@FuperSuck’ who exists to abuse feminist women? Credibility → epic fail.

    While I’ve had plenty of arguments in my time, I’ve comparatively rarely engaged with any people on the Internet at the level where I’ve descended to abuse – nonetheless, I’m on the #womenabusers list because supposedly, blocking people from being heard on Twitter is a form of abuse. It’s the most curious type of definition, but then this is the level of rational dysfunction and disconnection from reality exemplified by the ‘Freeze Peach’ crowd.

  35. says

    We should absolutely have some kind of social thing based around this. For entrance, you must be on The List, Or, I dunno, maybe accompanied by someone who is…

    Oh, no, it’s not meant to be real exclusive*, exactly. We can have a kiosk set up at the door, couple machines already on Twitter, for people who aren’t carrying phones they can post from. There’s a poster over ’em listing hashtags likely to get attention; if you’re turned away, ya just hop on there, give the pit a little poke by posting something not actually dismally retrograde. Drinks served while you wait, and a good time had by all.

    (*/Seriously, how exclusive a club can this be if I’m a member? Class of last fall, thank you very much, if memory serves.)

  36. says

    Why was I listed as a #womanabuser? / Because I laughed at Richard Sanderson.


    Right. So… For this thing, we just need a hall big enough to house everyone who laughs at Richard Sanderson…

    (Punchline beat goes here …)

    Hrm. Seems you can get around 100,000 into some of the larger sports stadia…

    (… soooo…. maybe if we did some kinda simulcast deal, over a few dozen of those?)

  37. says

    Well that “woman abuser” list was pretty much what I thought it would be when I decided to take a look, but I still always need to look for myself. A steaming pile of assertions with absolutely no links to sources, rendering the whole thing preschool name-calling. Is this some kind of temper tantrum about the block-bot? Because it’s a little ironic in that I don’t think any of you give a damn about being blocked by them. The less contact the better.

  38. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 21. Ophelia Benson : Thanks for the clarification – and sympathies.

    The sort of crap the “Global Secular Council” is pulling there is just disgusting and totally unacceptable and you have my full support for whatever little worth that is. What a bunch of douchebags.I’d call them childish but most children know and think and behave better than they do. What a pathetic and nasty group of fools.

  39. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. They do seem very slymepittery and I’d also love to hear Ms (?) Rogers stories about her time with them.

  40. latsot says


    Is this some kind of temper tantrum about the block-bot?

    Yes. Well, not so much a tantrum as another apparently genuine attempt by Sanderson to feel superior to…well… to all the people who are superior to him. Which includes, at the last count, everyone. It’s exactly the same sort of thing as his supposed organisation of boycotts and walkouts at conferences he and his friends never intended to attend in the first place. Richard really seems to think that the 7 billion or so people who didn’t go to PZ’s latest talk clearly boycotted it. But you’re right. It’s pretty much all about the A+ blockbot, which Richard doesn’t understand. He thinks his list is the same thing as the blockbot. Exactly the same in every single way, but somehow also better in every way too. He is not the most coherent of thinkers. I’ve been at Level 2 of his list since its groaning, heaving, sweating inception (in your FACE, fancypants) because, according to Sanderson, I both abuse women and support the abuse of women. I’ve never made it to Level 1 (unlike Ophelia) because I don’t host a blog that supports the abuse of women, as – according to Richard – Ophelia somehow does.

    And this is the sort of person the First Montgomery Burns Global Secular Thought-Leading Institute For The Leading of Secular Thought (Globally) chooses to associate with and congratulate. I don’t think we need to learn any more about them, do we? PZ is right. And Ophelia was right first.


    I don’t know what to say. This group of dinner guests is neither global nor a council from what I can tell. I’m glad I spent all that time taking the piss out of them now. And since when were they secular? Being secular surely involves and requires the abandoning – or advocating the abandon of – nonsense that infests societies because it was put there by religion. I’m not sure how the use of deliberately condescending nicknames long known to be used by harassers to demean dissenters of the almighty council into silence is exactly bang in line with the goals of secularist thought.

    But then, I haven’t had the benefit of a Thought Council to keep my thinking straight. Until now.

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