Master Grifter


All I need to see is this one Facebook post to know that Joshua Feuerstein is trolling as part of his grift.

The clues are all right there.

  • He’s invoking the name of Greta Thunberg. She probably hasn’t the slightest idea who this guy is, but his right wing followers hate her. This’ll get their attention, but not hers.
  • He’s “offering” $100,000 to her preferred charity. I’d be surprised if he had it, since he’s nothing but an ex-preacher running a pretend ministry out of his house, probably as a tax dodge. It’s part of the con artist’s illusion of being rich already.
  • He’s asking for a debate. He doesn’t say what the debate is about, nor does he have any competencies that would qualify him to argue about much of anything. In fact, he’s a bit of a cipher — there’s no information about his educational background anywhere that I could find. He’s a guy who rants, nothing more.
  • I repeat, he wants a debate. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve come to realize that a demand for a debate is the first sign of an ignorant wanker looking for attention.
  • He wants an hour long televised debate. He has no clout with or appeal to any network. What’s he going to do, sit in his car and yell on YouTube to convince CBS or Netflix to give him an hour of their time?
  • He’s at the stage of begging his followers to share his demands. The kinds of pathetic angry evangelical Christians who pay attention to Joshua Feuerstein aren’t going to have any clout either.
  • He links to a whole string of media outlets as if they’re going to pay any attention to him. It’s all for show.
  • He includes a photo of Thunberg looking angry in contrast to what he apparently thinks is a good photo of him, where he’s looking incisive or something. Nope. The whole effect is ruined by the weirdly affected way he has his stubble trimmed, and that greasy hair shaped into a point. That’s what a yokel thinks a yuppie looks like.
  • He knows he can post an attention-grabbing offer of $100,000 because he will never have to pay it out — he’s a nobody making wild demands that he is certain can’t be met, but it sure looks great to the rubes. There’s a long history of creationists offering large sums of money for ‘proof’ of evolution that they rig so they never have to pay out, and this is the same thing.

Feuerstein has nothing to offer except that he’s willing to accept the publicity of a debate with a famous person. Excuse me, I meant “debate” — a thing he has reduced to a mindless shouting match with a teen-ager.

Comments

  1. quotetheunquote says

    Christ on a cracker, what a loser (which he’d probably spell “looser”).

    If he has $100,000 lying around, and he’s feeling charitable, why not just give it away without making a lot of fuss about it? (I’m sure his Good Book has something to say about that, can’t be bothered to look it up). But of course, that wouldn’t stroke his ego, so it’s a non-starter.

  2. Stuart Smith says

    In this kind of case, the key is to (a) demand that the money be put in escrow before any debate take place, and (b) demand that the debate be moderated by an academic with a proper background in debate, with victory to be awarded solely at their prerogative.

    That way, they’ll change their mind and not want to debate you after all.

  3. specialffrog says

    Also part of Thunberg’s pitch is that people should listen to scientists and not that she has any special expertise.

  4. PaulBC says

    I completely missed that it was supposed to be a flattering photo of himself. Sadly true.

    What kind of adult asshole challenges a teenager to a “debate”?

  5. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    PZ: “The whole effect is ruined by the weirdly affected way he has his stubble trimmed, and that greasy hair shaped into a point.”

    Nope, the point isn’t shaped. It covers his cranial cavity, wherein lies his miniscule brain.

  6. PaulBC says

    I think it’s the single, central brow wrinkle that says “yokel” more than “deep thinker.” He looks like I just spilled his Budweiser and he’s gonna make sure I pay for it one way or the other.

  7. stwriley says

    If you just tied a little red bow around that hair-point, he’d look like Zippy the Pinhead. I suspect his intellectual capacity is also similar, right down to the nonsensical non-sequiturs he’d use instead of actual arguments in any “debate” someone would be foolish enough to engage in with him.

  8. methuseus says

    My response would be:

    Show me the receipt for the donation, and then I will agree to the debate.

    Of course, since he has no money, it won’t get that far. But if it did, I’d have the stipulations of it being an actual, moderated debate on a topic I must agree to.

    There would also be a stipulation that it couldn’t be on fox news or other disreputable outlets.

  9. says

    Of course he doesn’t have the $100,000. He had to beg for the $25,000 he was supposedly going to spend on a new camera to shoot better videos. And even afterwards they still looked like crappy cellphone videos shot in his car. Why do all these YECs and FEs shoot their mind numbingly idiotic rants in the front seat of their vehicles? Is it because their spouses won’t let them do it in the house?

  10. blf says

    Why do all these YECs and FEs shoot their mind numbingly idiotic rants in the front seat of their vehicles? Is it because their spouses won’t let them do it in the house?

    The car is their house, having been thrown out of their parents basement / attic.

    (Apologies to the homeless in general…)

  11. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Sarah Z made a nice video about these kinds of “debates”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcHPmVxtFw8

    There are reasons why Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, and this man like to debate the young. Then there is the usual objections that debate isn’t a way at getting at the truth, but to measure rhetorical skill.

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