The creep list

PZ has some new information from Alison Smith. It’s…not exculpatory of Michael Shermer, to put it mildly.

It wasn’t actually the next day that I left Shermer’s room. The entire amount of time that passed between me asking someone to come get me after leaving the party and me calling again to say please come get me I need help and don’t know where I am was around two hours. Some commenters seem to think that I had some kind of morning after regret or something, but in actual fact I was calling it rape immediately.

The other part is – me asking Shermer to be on that panel for the Sex workshop wasn’t a reaction based upon victimization (like, it wasn’t that I was pushing aside how I felt about him in order to accomplish something; and I wasn’t in denial).

It was incredibly calculated – because I knew for an absolute fact that his views on consent were different from the other panelists.

I had a rape crisis counselor on the panel as well, and I was hoping, as the moderator, to steer the conversation over to date rape. I wasn’t going to ‘Gotcha’ him or mention what happened or anything – I just honestly believed that he could stand to have that debate with someone, and maybe learn a thing or two. That’s why I was nice in the e-mail – I didn’t want him to put together what I was doing. I actually laughed when I saw that he was using that e-mail as evidence, because I so carefully crafted it to not sound like I was up to anything. It’s actually proof OF what happened – not against it – and for a brief, wild moment I found that funny.

You know, it’s a real shame that Shermer has never had that conversation. It’s a real shame that he’s never been told that the stuff he does is not ok. It’s a real shame that he decline the invitation to be on that panel.

And there’s a very interesting comment by skeptifem:

oh yeah, and just so people know, my husband dated alison before me. She told him shortly after it happened, and she called it rape from the start. She just didn’t make a huge deal out of it (who would want to? all that happens is you get treated even worse). When the accusations came out we both knew it was true, but didn’t know if it was alison or someone else. Other women involved with coordinating TAM let me know that shermer was on the creep list unofficially circulated by women as a means of self protection.

I don’t know how she can put up with the bullshit people say about this. I hope she makes it through okay. It sounds like she has a ton of evidence. I hope she sues him for sexual abuse.

The creep list. The one that Dawkins and Coyne and Nugent are so pissed off at us for making public. That creep list.


  1. Sili says

    The creep list that everyone was up in arms about not being made public four years ago when poor Jen mentioned it?

  2. drken says

    Well, that was her mistake, thinking Shermer is capable of “learning a thing or two.” If we’ve learned anything about our grand “thought leaders” is that they’re incapable of self-reflection.

  3. canonicalkoi says

    @drken – Oh, they reflect. They think upon their actions. Then they decide, “Oh, I’m fine. No need to change here!”. Then they make kissy faces at themselves in the mirror and call up the other members of the Triumvirate for the all-important Ritual of Dude-i-tude–“No, you’re juuuuust fine!” “No, no. You’re juuuuuust finer than me!” Then they all hang up the phone, filled with the warm fuzziness of knowing that their actions are Right and Just and Necessary for the Advancement of the Movement.

    While many of us recoil in horror, they reflect on what they do and smile the quiet smile of accomplishment.

  4. Who Cares says

    It is not so much incapable of self reflection as much as an expectation that has been build on years worth of earlier experiences.
    And in Shermers case that expectation is that he can/could bury this like he managed to do so often. At worst lie low a bit till this all blows over.

  5. says

    I had held out a small amount of hope that Shermer was innocent. Not nearly enough to go after the people blasting him- the evidence was against him, but I wasn’t quite all in. I’d have kept a closer eye on things if he were around, especially if drinking was involved, but I wasn’t quite on the “banish him from everything” wagon.

    At this point, though… Shermer’s “clarifications” fundamentally change his story of what happened. Old and new versions came directly from him. It wasn’t through a game of telephone that we got a warped version of Shermer’s story, it was directly from him.

    Alison’s clarifications don’t. They tighten up the timeline and sequence of events, but don’t fundamentally change the narrative of what happened- and the earlier, somewhat distorted version was made public via third parties. So it’s not unexpected that a few details would be off. What she herself has said has been consistent throughout.

    So forget just paying closer attention. Banish him. He can’t even credibly claim cluelessness about consent(this wouldn’t make him more right, but might make him more salvageable, not that I think anyone is obligated to bother with that either way)- he wouldn’t have changed his story so dramatically if he wasn’t trying to cover something up.

    The times I wish No True Scotsman was not a fallacy:(

  6. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    Like gworroll, I have been resisting coming to hasty conclusions coming to the community as an outsider. In particular because it was clear to me that there was information missing from the public picture and people were demanding that I and everyone trust them and take sides without fully revealing what was alleged to have taken place.

    The establishment is never very pretty when it is closing ranks to defend one of their own. I have seen it happen before. And I rather suspect it has a connection to elevatorgate. Dawkin’s reaction always seemed a bizarre non sequitur. The establishment can behave illogically when they are trying to avoid an inconvenient question. I thought there was something missing in the later Lindsay/CFI incident. Lindsay did make a bizarre speech and the reaction was justified but it was still a surprisingly savage reaction. It is not so surprising with the additional context.

    The evidence is stacking up and if it wasn’t for the fact TAM 2008 took place in Florida, I would be suggesting it become a police matter.

  7. Corvus Whiteneck says

    I get that skeptic dude(tte)s won’t look at their Dear Leaders (or themselves) and attribute their actions to misogyny or malice, but how about some of those cognitive errors/biases/fallacies that they are always banging on about? Sunk Costs and Cognitive Dissonance spring to mind immediately.

  8. CJO, my other shoes are Verbal Jackboots says

    Phillip @8:

    The evidence is stacking up and if it wasn’t for the fact TAM 2008 took place in Florida, I would be suggesting it become a police matter.

    Cut this out. You said the same thing on the Pharyngula thread, and it is not helpful. A goodly part of the problem here is how willing so many are to decide for others What Kind of Matter this Is or Should Become.

    Whether you realize it or not (and you’re running out of the benefit of doubt) the suggestion that either it’s a “police matter” or it’s not a serious matter is the set-up for a line of bullshit minimizing and victim blaming.

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