It was NOT on “Benson’s blog”

I ignore 99.999% of it, but someone brought this particular lie to my attention and I’m finding it unignorable.


Brive1987 ‏@brive1987 2 hours ago
@vtchakarova @mirandachale just forced myself to watch botched beheading of Burmese woman in Saudi. OMG.

Miranda Celeste Hale ‏@mirandachale 2 hours ago
@brive1987 @vtchakarova Oh god that’s so awful 🙁 Even reading about it made me feel sick.

Brive1987 @brive1987 · 2 hours ago
@mirandachale @vtchakarova it was on Benson’s blog and is on liveleak. I’ve decided not to avoid “real Islam” but I think others should :/


Miranda Celeste Hale ‏@mirandachale 47 minutes ago
@brive1987 She posted the *video* on her site? JESUS. Wtf? I mean, I fully agree w/you that we shouldn’t bury our heads in the sand & should

Shermertron ‏@Shermertron 52 minutes ago
@brive1987 @mirandachale @vtchakarova Too bad the ppl calling her a racist for her stance on Islam won’t watch it,…

Miranda Celeste Hale ‏@mirandachale 51 minutes ago
@brive1987 not ignore the Islamic elephant in the room, but that can be done w/o seeing the vids & her posting it is kinda fucked up

I did not post that video on my blog. I didn’t look for the video, let alone post it. I don’t want to think about the video. Of course I didn’t fucking post it. “Brive” told a huge disgusting lie.

Sorry for the interruption. Back to ignoring the 99.999%.


  1. Holms says

    Ah Brive, one of the more hyperbolic and compulsive liars over in the sandpit, kind of like a more snide johngreg, or a more active Pitchguest. Also note that his interlocutor @mirandachale didn’t bother checking a damn thing; that behavior is typical in the fact-free zone.

  2. Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy) says

    I’m curious about the Giliell/pteryx blow up as well.

    SC, were you dismayed and sometimes disgusted by the totalitarian sg too? *fist bump*

  3. yazikus says

    It was, however, talked about in the comments over at Patheos Atheist Channel, with at least one person asking for a link to it. Knowing about it, distressing about the injustice of it, are better and different things than searching out a video to actually watch it.

  4. John Morales says

    Seek and ye shall find:

    Re: STFU about Zimmerman. Nobody else gives a crap.
    Postby Brive1987 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:43 pm • [Post 13240]

    Benson you great idiot

    Sequence is this.

    I saw Benson’s post and found the referenced video on LiveLeak. It made me sick but I wanted to challenge myself with state sponsored reality in the region.

    I saw a tweet by Miranda Hale on the increased frequency of beheadings in Saudi

    I tweeted her that I had forced myself to watch a video which was OMG having found it on Benson’s blog.

    “It” was the information. I clarified this with Hale pre Benson’s post. I also didn’t “.” my original tweet – meaning it wasn’t aimed at a general public.

    I actually thought Benson was kinda cool to take the stance she did.

    Please reset all trip wires. Nothing to see here.

  5. says

    Stacy – Since SSW is over, I can give you a serious answer. I wasn’t (or was very rarely) put off by sg. While of course I didn’t read every single post, my overwhelming impression was that he was a thoughtful person, many of whose views I shared. His work on the Pharyngula wiki, and the way he addressed issues there, was about as far from totalitarian as you could get. sg and I had very few disagreements, and I recall nothing like any “battles” over purity like chigau alluded to in that thread. In fact, in a parallel case – people posting Pat Condell videos – we were of pretty much exactly the same mind (sharing the attitude AnthonyK expressed on that thread).

    chigau and others spent years when sg was around trying to drive him away. This involved a pattern of relentless misrepresentation of what he had said, including often a refusal (quite familiar this week) to recognize context or intent. When he was around, he could link to the actual threads – which the people mischaracterizing his actions didn’t do him the basic courtesy of linking to – and show how he was being lied about. In return, he was treated like a troublemaker and repeatedly threatened with banning. I know this malicious pattern very well because the same thing was done to me.

    I’ve only read and posted at Pharyngula sporadically over the past year, but I don’t think sg has been around for literally years. Unfortunately this makes it even easier for them to continue to smear him, which is actually against the rules of the blog and of course quite unfair and obnoxious. chigau can simply insinuate that sg and I had past battles about purity, and not only are one or both of us made to look totalitarian but I’m pitted against sg (which is especially assholish given that we commonly defended each other against chigau’s crowd). Without any evidence, any links, any indication that these alleged “battles” were relevant in any way, or any appreciation of just how unethical it is to just fling that sort of shit out there. (It’s of course possible that sg and I had some disagreement at some moment over something that could, if purposefully twisted and squinted at, be seen as an argument about political purity in some sense, but the point is that chigau tossed out this reference not only without linking to anything but without giving any information that could point to anything concrete.)

    I’m amazed that this continues, and concerned that there have been other instances when I wasn’t around to call it out. Fortunately, there’s a record of links to earlier threads or admissions of misrepresentation from when we or others were around to challenge false representations, so if someone really wanted to investigate they could find the truth and see the pattern. But most people aren’t going to do that. They’re going to read these little snipes and think there’s some truth to them. Sadly, I don’t expect that crowd to stop this pathetic behavior, but I can call attention to at least this one episode.

    (Apologies, Ophelia, for bringing this here. I’m annoyed that real, significant disagreements like those we have with the people discussed in your post and PZ’s are being sidelined because of this sort of petty vindictiveness and the need to respond to it. Also, Stacy – I don’t mean to suggest that you’re doing the same thing as chigau. I can certainly see where some people would find his manner on some occasions offputting – which is of course true of most of us, Sastra being the exception. And you might have read comments that I didn’t. But that wasn’t my experience. Finally, I want to emphasize that my avoidance of that blog isn’t due to any basic political disagreements but to the unhealthy social dynamic there and the malicious behavior of some regular commenters.)

  6. Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy) says

    Salty Current, SG was a totalitarian. He explicitly identified as such. Using that word.

    After all this time though, there’s no way I can find the comments–or even remember the posts–in which he made his political belief clear.

    I do remember one instance which was relevent to this very discussion. PZ had posted an environmentally-themed cartoon, the point of which was somewhat subtle.

    SG went on at some length, insisting that if the cartoon could possibly be misunderstood so as to support the beliefs of non-environmentalists, it was useless as political education, and thus entirely useless.

    Of course, the usual caveats about memory apply. But I didn’t get my impression of him from chigau.

    He was thoughtful, and I can remember him being sweet sometimes. I didn’t know he did all that work on the Pharyngula wiki, but good on him for that.

    Nevertheless, he believed in totalitarianism, and it sometimes showed.

  7. johnthedrunkard says

    And 99.99% of people reading this have no clue what you’re on about in the comments.

    Just one point occurs to me: the beheading was not ‘botched.’ The infliction of maximum pain is part of the agenda. There is no ‘headsman’s axe’ or guillotine in islamic tradition.

  8. says

    Ah Brive, one of the more hyperbolic and compulsive liars over in the sandpit

    Haha, *sandpit*, perfect name for it, all the toddlers are upset they’ve got sand on their lollies and it’s definitely those bullies fault. Although real toddlers tend to forget their grievances and move on pretty quick in my experience, they are a lot happier for it, a lesson for the kids in the sandpit to mull over.

  9. says

    Stacy: I’m aware that he referred to himself like that, and made a few comments to that effect. (My point about the wiki wasn’t just a general one about his “good works” but to note that in at least one case in which someone objected to how they were represented there, he responded thoughtfully to them while at the same time made sure not to alter or remove anyone’s contributions before there was discussion and agreement.) I’m not going to play into chigau’s hands and get embroiled in a decontextualized discussion of sg’s positive qualities and failings based on faint memories and selected examples. My point is that the insinuation about relevant “battles” over purity is unreferenced and unevidenced, and throwing it out in that way was wrong. Your own response illustrates some of the harm that can be done: you and I’m sure many others believed after reading it that I was hostile to sg and his so-called totalitarian ways, when in fact we were generally on the same side with respect to particular questions and I think he was horribly and unfairly treated there.

    johnthedrunkard: I believe you’re mistaken. There’s a large overlap in the people who read and comment at the two blogs, and many people who hate FTB read both obsessively.

    In any case, I think I’ve said enough to get my point across.

  10. fwtbc says

    I’ve got to agree with johnthedrunkard @ #14.

    I’ve got *NO FUCKING IDEA* what you guys are talking about. I’d like to, but unless I’m managing to not see relevant context-giving links, it’s all just a big “huh!?” to me.

    I’d be especially curious to know about the aforementioned Giliell/pteryxx abortion related “blow-up”.

    Can someone post some links to ease the frustration of those not in the in-crowd?

  11. says

    I’ve got to agree with johnthedrunkard @ #14.

    A few people does not 99.99% make, for the record.

    I’d be especially curious to know about the aforementioned Giliell/pteryxx abortion related “blow-up”.

    That’s curious. Why?

  12. says

    Hell, I read here and Pharyngula, and I still have no idea what it’s all about. Of course, I by no means read Pharyngula comments exhaustively, particularly the Thunderdome and Lounge threads, which is where I imagine this sort of thing gets aired most often, because I’d like to have a life outside the internet, and keeping track of personae and factions is hard work and *boring* and just generally a low-ROI activity for me. And I’ve felt that way ever since my early Usenet days. Which is why I try to stay clear of the meta-arguments about whose ox was gored first and/or worst.

  13. says

    Oh good grief. I hate Serious Explanations.

    As suggested by the context in which the comment I linked to at #1 was made as well as the reference to “Substanceless Smear Week” and subsequent remarks,* there was no such blow-up or chastising from heddle. Those references were as unevidenced as those chigau made about alleged purity “battles” between me and sg. I was making a point about chigau’s comment and the culture it represents – one in which such random and substanceless claims about and characterizations of people who aren’t (expected to be) there to respond are considered acceptable. Seemed especially relevant in light of both the recent misrepresentations of Charlie Hebdo there and the similarity to the M.O. of the people who are the subject of Ophelia’s post.

    * (and, to those with some knowledge, the silliness of the claims themselves)

  14. Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy) says

    Anyway, per John Morales #9, what brive meant to say was that he found “information” about the execution on B&W, not a video of the beheading:

    I tweeted [Hale] that I had forced myself to watch a video which was OMG having found it on Benson’s blog.
    “It” was the information. I clarified this with Hale pre Benson’s post.

    That’s nice that he cleared things up with Hale. Would’ve been nice if he’d made that clarification general, so that everybody who saw Hale’s

    her posting it is kinda fucked up

    could’ve seen it.

    I also didn’t “.” my original tweet – meaning it wasn’t aimed at a general public.

    Oh I guess that’s alright then.

    Benson you great idiot

    Yeah, Benson, you idiot you. brive cleared things up with Miranda. What more do you want? Scrupulous care not to leave ugly untrue impressions lying around? What an idiot.

  15. fwtbc says

    @ SC

    Oops. I have no idea how I managed to miss your link in comment #1. I’d have been moderately less confused had I seen that.

    As for being curious about the Giliell/pteryxx thing, that’s merely because pteryxx is one of the commenters who I’m always happy to see contribute. Reading her side in such a dialogue would probably be quite educational. Same reason I like reading any blogger, really.

  16. says

    Alas! It’s occurred to me that I could have communicated in the form of Humanist Realism!

    chigau made a public claim about sg and me in our absence without providing any evidence, insinuating things about one or both of us, and that is bad.

    This forms part of a larger pattern of willful mischaracterization and misrepresentation of particular individuals by a certain group of people at Pharyngula, and that is bad.

    This pattern of behavior resembles that which we rightly condemn when our opponents do it, and that is bad.

    People read chigau’s unevidenced comment and, even with no links or identifying information and, later, clear hints that it wasn’t true, accepted it, and that is a problem. People read my unevidenced comment and, despite even more obvious hints that it wasn’t true, accepted it, and this is a problem.

    Neither chigau nor anyone else (but me) has acknowledged that this was wrong for chigau to do or even asked that chigau retract the statement, and that is bad.

    This pattern of behavior resembles to some extent how many people have approached evaluating and making claims about Charlie Hebdo, and that is bad.

  17. David Marjanović says

    Ah, good to see that the Giliell/pteryxx fallout really was just a sarcastic joke, as I had very tentatively gathered from context. There are probably dozens of abortion threads I haven’t read, and I’m not good at figuring out people in general, so I had to keep wondering.

    When he was around, he could link to the actual threads – which the people mischaracterizing his actions didn’t do him the basic courtesy of linking to – and show how he was being lied about.

    Misunderstood. Maybe misremembered even. But lied about?

    (Misunderstanding sg is of course easy – he doesn’t fit anyone’s preconceptions.)

  18. says

    Ah, good to see that the Giliell/pteryxx fallout really was just a sarcastic joke, as I had very tentatively gathered from context.

    FFS – you’d “very tentatively gathered” that? No offense to anyone, but I had, I think reasonably, assumed better reading comprehension – which was why it took so long for me to realize that people weren’t understanding. Here are the clues on the original thread that my claims were not to be read as true:

    – They were in response to undocumented claims by chigau.

    – They were, for the expected audience, obviously silly. (Did you really believe that about heddle?)

    – The short post made it abundantly clear that those claims were, like chigau’s, substanceless smears. (There is no way that this obvious statement requires tentative interpretation.)

    Here, they were superficially out of context, but if anything there were more obvious clues:

    – I was posting on a thread about substanceless smears.

    – My post explicitly compared the substanceless smears in the OP to the ones I was discussing, and I emphasized this point by linking to the earlier comment from the words “Substanceless Smear Week.” (I’d also been talking for days about the unfair claims about the people at CH.)

    – I continued to make outrageous comments in “support” of the earlier ones.

    If every response to bad behavior has to be presented in such a way that it’s bulletproof against the laziest misreading and the most willful and malicious misrepresentations, humor, satire, and cleverness are pretty much hamstrung. (And honestly, I can’t remember the last time I laughed while checking in at the Pharyngula comments.)

    In any case, I’m hurt, David, that you would post what you did and show zero acknowledgment that chigau’s behavior and the community (non)response toward it, me, or sg (or Anthony) were wrong. I stand by my characterization, but I won’t respond further unless and until you acknowledge and address chigau’s and others’ behavior on that thread, here, and in the latest Pharyngula thread. And I won’t continue this here, as I’ve already involved Ophelia far more than was ever my intent (apologies again). I’ll discuss it on her open thread, or if she doesn’t want that not at all.

  19. says

    Just for the record:
    I never had any kind of fallout with Pteryxx

    It’s just shit SC is making up to make some completely unrelated point.
    Obviously, she’s being so totally clear in her meaning that now everybody is wondering about that. Which is probably my fault, somehow.

  20. says

    Just for the record:
    I never had any kind of fallout with Pteryxx
    It’s just shit SC is making up to make some completely unrelated point.
    Obviously, she’s being so totally clear in her meaning that now everybody is wondering about that. Which is probably my fault, somehow.

    I was being clear in my meaning, and it should be, and should always have been, plain that I never intended those claims (the one about heddle keeps being ignored, for some reason…) to be taken seriously. To be honest, though, at this point I’m thoroughly amused that some people managed to take that seriously and some will probably continue to believe it. I can’t expect you and your crowd to stop misrepresenting me or sg or to call each other out on such behavior, but it’s funny to watch you twist yourself into a self-righteous knot about the fact that some people believed statements about you* which I explicitly indicated were false while continuing to ignore the fact that chigau made substanceless claims about me and sg which were presented as true, and it was those to which I was responding.

    Oh, and just for the record: even after many people, including the host of this blog, showed that it was anything but obviously a ridiculous made up claim everybody should see through, SC insisted that I’m an idiot, because it’s perfectly obvious. She doesn’t seem to hold the combined intelligence of the writer and readers of this blog in too high esteem.

    Hm. I’m in something of a quandary. It’s similar to when Marsha Blackburn, in the Ebola hearings, responded to a statement about porous borders in Western Africa with a question that suggested the witness was talking about the US-Mexico border. I wondered at the time: is she intentionally misrepresenting him to advance her agenda, or is she so absorbed in her agenda that she (mis)hears everything in its terms? It’s a mystery.

    In any case, first, that is not why I called you an idiot. I called you an idiot because, even after you recognized my intent to present the claims as unserious,** you insinuated that I had chosen you and pteryxx for my fake claims maliciously, in order to smear you. This makes no sense.

    But well done on trying to imply that I had suggested that anyone who didn’t recognize that they were made up claims was an idiot. I said no such thing. In fact, I remain surprised at people’s failure to recognize that my statements weren’t serious despite the obvious indications. I don’t think my expectations for people’s reading comprehension were unreasonable, and I said above, more than once, that it was a problem that people didn’t read more skeptically. I’m disappointed at this, especially because there are people like you and chigau (and those discussed in the OP) around who are perfectly willing to mislead and misrepresent.

    In the end, it inadvertently made a point that I had been trying to make about people’s credulousness concerning claims about Charlie Hebdo. But your hypocrisy continues to amuse. If people could mistakenly believe claims like that even when they were presented in context as false, that makes chigau’s action – presenting such claims as true – all the worse. It makes my point about the potential harm of chigau’s comments in a way I probably couldn’t have done intentionally, and in the bargain reveals the dishonesty of your whingeing about being “misrepresented” while saying nothing about chigau. So I’m not totally unhappy about that, either.

    *Which also undercuts, you’ve probably failed to notice, the willfully obtuse statements by others there about not understanding why I was angry about chigau’s posts. That’s funny, too.

    **Which you called “meaningless,” strangely in response to a post that was not just about my intent but about the actual words in my comment, which in fact you had also misrepresented, because that’s how you roll.

  21. says

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. I just read Giliell’s latest rants at the Thunderdome. Giliell, please, I’m begging you, keep up this indignant response, including demands that others ensure that the record be set absolutely straight concerning your nonexistent blow-up with pteryxx about abortion. Nothing I could say could make my point about chigau’s comments and the community’s hypocrisy any better than your reaction to my unserious statements and people’s failure to call you out, and it’s hilarious that you don’t see this. Please do carry on.

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