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.