I have to apologize to Thom True (@G2RSTL)

He’s the organizer for the Gateway To Reason conference coming up this July in St Louis, and apparently, a few of my hatin’ leeches have been pressuring him to drop me from the speaker lineup. Most ironically, a blogger who declares himself a voice for inclusiveness in the atheism and skepticism movements is now writing to all of the other speakers, asking them to add to the pressure to get me booted (I also apologize to all of you, too). This kind of thing happens a lot: I’ve had kooks write to all of the faculty at UMM to denounce me. It gets old fast, I’m afraid.

I’ve just got a little clique of very angry trolls clinging to my tail. They tend to be yappy and annoying, but just ignore them: they’re also few in number, negligible in influence, and in the end, will have no effect at all, either pro or con.

But hey, I’ve been reassured by an ignoramus that drama brings traffic, so this is a bonus: I’ll show up, be nice and polite, try to give an interesting talk, and you’ll also get the extra traffic from all this imaginary drama!

So everybody should register for Gateway To Reason — it’s like there is going to be an explosion of fury and drama there. (No money back if it turns out to be friendly and thoughtful instead.)


  1. thelastholdout says

    I really hope no one caves to the pressure from these trolls. When I get my next paycheck I’ll likely register for the conference, because I live in STL and thus I don’t have to worry about travel expenses. Not only am I looking forward to your talk, but many of the others that will be there. I’ll still go even if you don’t, but it’ll feel like a lesser experience.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Pitiful people if the only thing they live for is to make your life harder. One can almost hear a faint “pay attention to me” from them. Given the hate and attitude they spew, why should anybody listen to them? It isn’t the way to get real attention.
    Here’s what they need to do: something constructive for society as a whole, which PZ does, while not being destructive to individuals and/or groups via any direct and indirect actions.

  3. says

    Thank you for you support. After talking with some of the speakers, I found the best way to deal with such comments is to ignore them politely and move forward.

    What I find most interesting, is after working on this line up for months, someone who has no investment or intention of attending, regardless, makes it their mission to insult my guests, speakers and myself by their views on such and such issues.

    My actual feelings serve to motive me to work hard to promote and move the event forward. I am just thankful that no one knows I called someone a poo-poo head one time in my life. Or the unsolicited anti-assistance would be on my head instead.

    What I really liked was their suggestion on spending more money for a regional conference for a speaker. Of course if they were to give me money, I might consider it, LOL. Well not at this point but for next year if all goes well.

    I recall a conversation with someone at Skepticon 7 this past November about some of the “drama” going about in the atheist movement, such as it is, and was totally unaware of it. Call me crazy but each speaker and presenter was selected for their area of expertise, not their personal lives or areas unrelated. But any reason that can be stated can be berated as well, So I do not expect compliance with all actions as this conference moves forward but the idea is to promote reason, science and maybe even friendship and communications.

    I know we do not have a “confession” as atheist but sometimes it is worth examining our motives and reasons and be willing to say we are sorry when we are wrong. I have notice that is a really good way to grow as a person, to see when one is wrong or can broaden their perspectives.

    Again, for a good time go to Gateway to Reason this summer July 31 to August 2 in St. Louis. Line up includes people such as PZ Myers, Teresa MacBain, Bro, Sam Singleton, Dan Barker, Matt Dillahunty, Tracie Harris, Rebecca Vitsmun, David Fitzgerald, Russell Glasser, Vyckie Garrison, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Nathan Phelps, Seth Andrews, Aron Ra, David Smalley, Mr. Wizard, Kenny “Kenzillia” Nipp, Amanda Brown, Phill Ferguson, JT Eberhart and Hemant Mehta.

    All this line up for just $25 for all three days. tickets are on sale now via gatewaytoreason.com on eventbrite. Special VIP tickets are available as well.

  4. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    PZ: You will be there for the VIP reception, right? If not, will your book be one of the ones available?

  5. says

    HI Tony!

    Don’t despair, You can work with a group and organize something as well. It takes a lot of time and effort but I am sure there are more atheist/skeptics/freethinkers in your area than you realize.

    Plus, myself and many other conference organizers would be happy to help you get a successful event planned. While Gateway to Reason may be considered a “Super Conference” due to the line up, a simple one day event is really easy to plan and can draw a good crowd.

    Look up! There is hope yet.

  6. says

    My plan is to be there for the whole event, yes. Whether my book is there will depend on arrangements with local booksellers, I think.

  7. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    The reaction and meltdown of Richard Sanderon to getting the brushoff from Thomas True is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

    While I wish Sanderson would stop addressing Thomas True, he does not deserve this treatment, it is fun seeing the reaction of a delusional person when an other person outside of this conflict does not buy their narrative.

    My suggestion for Thomas True, if he has not already done so, block Sanderson and Shermertron. Neither of them will shut up on their own.

  8. says

    Actually, since their little “information” campaign, I have sold close to $500 in tickets. I guess there really is no bad press. Thanks guys! and thank you PZ for being the worse person in the WORLD!!!!! LOL

  9. rorschach says

    What’s this, a conference with some major players in atheism/rationalism and the price is under 300 dollars? You sir must be a magician! Or of course, some of the others are ripping people off.

    Also, rule of thumb, if it pisses off the antisocial slyme brigade, you’re doing something right.

  10. zenlike says

    Apparently, PZ, you are a rape apologist. And here I was, all this time thinking it was Richard Sanderon’s MRA buddies being the rape apologists. I now have seen the light!

    I was mislead! Mislaid I say!

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ooh, does this mean there is also a harassment policy? If so, pure gold.

  12. says

    Actually, the policy is for NOT harassing. Not to accommodate harasser.

    In my view the policy could be simple: “Respect others as you wish to be respected”

  13. says

    The Code of Conduct as it is, was used by permission from American Atheist National Convention via Amanda Knief.

    I made some minor changes such as putting Gateway to Reason in place of American Atheist but other wise it is exact, except for child care, that isn’t something we have this year.

  14. PatrickG says

    @ Janine

    The reaction and meltdown of Richard Sanderon to getting the brushoff from Thomas True is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

    If you get some time, mind posting some links to delicious schadenfreude? I don’t do the Twitters well.

  15. says

    Actually, I think the best is to let it pass. Just as with Westboro Baptist Church, the best way to deal with people as this is to ignore them. They go back to their compound and hate from there.

  16. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    An even better question is what kind of third party evidence can be cited to prove there is a harassment policy. Someone’s unevidenced word might be gold or it might turn out to be pyrite.

    At this stage, even a rumor of an anti-harassment policy is silver. It will turn the ‘Pitters into a slymy ball of rage.

  17. Holms says

    Your detractors are very noisy, but also far too cowardly or lazy to actually attend anything in person to debate you in person; all they can do is yap in their inconsequential corner of the internet.

  18. says

    Of course the usual suspects will all be up in arms about this attempted shut down of free speech and blacklisting people and trying to fuck with their lives, right?
    Wait, you’re telling me that suddenly they don’t mind?

  19. says

    Only four hours away for me, and the $25 is pretty decent. So I do need to get signed up for that, so this is handy for a reminder. A nice break between waiting for the next Skepticon…

  20. says

    Until April 30th, the Early Bird Tickets are $25 and after that they go to $35 up to the event. At the door tickets are $50 for all three days too. Regardless, it is a great value.