Creeps among us

I don’t think I knew him — but then, I’ve met so many people in the atheist movement I might have — but suddenly, many of my other friends in godlessness are openly distancing themselves from Dan Linford. Worse, I’m hearing that there has been a lot of whispering about him for years, with women quietly telling each other to watch out for him…and, as I’m usually totally clueless about these things, I didn’t know about it at all (just as I knew nothing about the warnings about Shermer for so long).

And now Linford has confessed to coercing and assaulting students from his position of authority as a professor of philosophy. Here’s a public comment from Heina Dadabhoy:

His profile seems to be gone, but I can, will, and do confirm and affirm that Dan Linford is dodgy as ever-loving heck. The very first time I met him in person, I was warned about him in a way that I didn’t take seriously for various reasons, but I really should have taken it to heart. He behaved inappropriately in a careful way that lent itself to plausible deniability (classic manipulation crap). Since then, there have been incidents of him paying lip service to consent by asking sexual questions of people who had already told him that they have no interest in him sexually, confessing a past assault where he was the perpetrator, and so on, along with the stock-standard using-women-for-emotional-labor thing.

Don’t believe my SJW ass? In case you think I’m a feminazi who isn’t tolerant enough of boyish antics, others have posted about this too. Link in the comments.

Tons of people trusted him and liked him, misperceiving the scattered red flags as yellow until all the information was aggregated. A lot of us have been socialized to think the best of people and to be forgiving (plus halo effect, yo). He’s yet another self-identified feminist man that talked the talk (and ~hard~) not in spite of, but because of not being able to walk the walk. I suspect he has a thing for conquest since at least half a dozen willing flirtation partners weren’t enough for him and he just had to pester the unwilling.

I’ve vouched for him before, and I burn with chagrin over that. I am literally never going to vouch for a dude ever again. If I’ve ever vouched for a dude to you, please check in with me. My bar/standards are officially sky high now.

That’s fairly typical of comments I’m seeing now — lots of former friends of Linford who are aghast that they’d never seen this coming, and lots of women who are testifying to his behavior.

I’m horrified, too. Hitting on students? Unforgivable. Trying to manipulate women while claiming to be on their side? Don’t do that.

And thanks for bringing further discredit to my sex.


  1. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    If it prevents even one incident I will gladly accept any suspicion or unwillingness to deal with me as an ally in other spaces. I totally get that. And I’d like to think I’d politely refuse an invitation that I was unsure of everyone being on board with my participation. So yeah, it’s cool. Heina’s standards are where they should be for a very good reason.

  2. says

    I’m with throwaway. Even I’ve learned not to trust men who talk the feminist talk, and I’m one of them (that is, a man who talks the feminist talk).

    But, this doesn’t surprise me. Disappoints me, of course, but I feel like it’s a general axiom that when a man says “I’m a feminist”, you can hear the “but” coming from a mile away. So, sadly, I’m not surprised at all.

    Heina’s standards should be sky-high. It’s for a damn good reason. I don’t ask or expect anyone to trust me, and neither should anyone else.

  3. Hj Hornbeck says

    Heina has posted a follow-up with more details, one of which tripped a neuron.

    He has himself reported multiple occasions of women “suddenly” cutting off contact with him, from the woman who used to give him rides to several ex-friends to at least one former partner. He would disclose the accounts for sympathy and bemoan his lack of ability to connect with women… to the many women and femmebies who he knew would be sympathetic to him (i.e. who were deeply emotionally connected to him).

    I saw this in action, once. My first reaction was “yeah no, that situation doesn’t happen. You’re almost certainly leaving out critical details that paint you in an unsympathetic light.” I told myself to take a mental note, and keep an ear out for other warning signs.

    Then promptly forgot about it. [sigh.]

  4. vaiyt says

    This is the archetypical “You’re Just Pretending to Agree With Feminism to Get Pussy Guy” the MRAs talk about. Not to their credit, since when one of them ACTUALLY comes out they’re always on HIS side.