Y’all know we’re getting sued by Richard Carrier because we thought a woman who accused him of harassment ought to be listened to, and because we had the temerity to question his use of professional meetings as open meat markets, right? We need your help now. He’s demanding over $2 million dollars for damages to his professional reputation (trust us, we know: you can be accused of all kinds of dubious ethical problems and still have a thriving career on the atheist lecture circuit*, unfortunately, so this is kind of a weird complaint), and we’ve had to throw tens of thousands of dollars at a lawyer to defend ourselves.
None of us are exactly wealthy, so this is unsupportable, and we are reaching out to our readers for assistance, with a GoFundMe site for donations.
This lawsuit has all the hallmarks of a SLAPP suit — a lawsuit filed to stifle legitimate criticism and commentary. The named defendants are Skepticon, The Orbit, and Freethought Blogs – as well as individuals Lauren Lane, the lead organizer of Skepticon; Stephanie Zvan, a blogger for The Orbit; PZ Myers, a blogger for Freethought Blogs; and Amy Frank-Skiba, who publicly posted her first-hand allegations against Carrier.
We need your help to keep our voices alive. All the defendants are represented by the same attorney, First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza. Randazza is providing his services at a significant discount, but we are not asking him to work for free. Plus, there are thousands of dollars in “costs” for the case that don’t include legal bills, and there is no way to discount those. In order to continue fighting this lawsuit, we, the defendants of this case, have put together this campaign to raise money to defray our costs, some of which is outstanding. Donations will be used only for this case. In the event that the funds raised exceed our legal bills, they will be donated to Planned Parenthood .
I’ve been fortunate in the past that the loons who’ve threatened to sue me have tended to collapse at the prospect of defending their absurdities, and their already compromised reputations, in court. This one is sufficiently self-righteous that he’s continued on, to the point where we really need to bring in a professional to fight for us, and a good lawyer is not cheap. Every penny will be deeply appreciated.
*Sadly, the one thing that can cut short your career in atheism is criticizing harassers. Deep down, it’s all very tribal and the one thing you must never do is challenge authority.