The grift, oh the grift

Last Fall, there was a conference held in London, the Sovereign Nations conference. The ‘star’ speakers were Peter Boghossian, Helen Pluckrose, and James Lindsay, so you already know where this is going — the “grievance studies” whiners got together in London to howl at the moon and complain about how they were losing the culture war. The twist here is these were atheists gathering under the leadership of a Christian Nationalist group led by Michael O’Fallon. Curiously, I first heard about this event because Richard Dawkins endorsed it, because apparently he’s a big fan of Boghossian and assumed that anything he was willingly entangled with would be part of the godless agenda. Unfortunately, Sovereign Nations is more focused on Christian conservatism, opposing immigration, complaining about the World Health Organization, and hating George Soros. I guess the Boghossian/Pluckrose/Lindsay trio are willing to overlook their association with an organization dedicated to Catholic dominion because they share a mutual contempt for social justice. If you must, you can read an account of their conference. Or you can read Godless Spellchecker’s live tweeting of the con (curiously, there’s also a strong association between Sovereign Nations and the Mythcon asstwinks.)

They’ve since moved on to creating a new blog, New Discourses, with those three prominently featured; right now, Lindsay seems to be providing most of the content, if you really need a day of reading bad writing and bizarre logic. The discombobulating thing is that New Discourses is Sovereign Nations media, owned by Michael O’Fallon, who wants to promote conservative Christian Nationalism, and yet these arch-rationalist/skeptics/self-proclaimed liberals are willingly associating themselves with the religious right.

It’s a somewhat surprising fellowship until you recognize that there are two things that unite them: a hatred of social justice, diversity, and racial equality, and…MONEY. They’ve been bought and paid for by O’Fallon.

Boghossian and Lindsay were both managers at New Discourses.

This is remarkable. It’d be like discovering that Freethoughtblogs was sponsored by Jerry Falwell Jr, and that I was being paid under the counter by Liberty University. You’d know instantly that there was something more to our agenda than what we were openly stating, and you’d instantly see a mass exodus of our bloggers. Yet Boghossian and Lindsay still claim to be objective rationalists and secularists and part of the atheist movement while being propped up by a Catholic zealot who promotes conspiracy theories and hydroxychloroquine.

Aaron Rabinowitz provides an excellent analysis of these repulsive bedfellows and their filthy philosophical positions and the Kama Sutra of twisty rationalizations they use to bring them together on the Embrace the Void podcast. Listen to that…it’s a mind-boggling hour of revelations. Did you know that the pandemic is a social justice warrior conspiracy to take over the country?


  1. cartomancer says

    Not the first thing my mind leaps to with the word “asswtinks”, but that’s probably just me…

  2. raven says

    A really ideologically diverse group of people in the room today.

    All is see in the photo is a bunch of old white guys.
    They may or may not be “ideologically diverse” but they certainly aren’t diverse in any other way.

  3. raven says

    Did you know that the pandemic is a social justice warrior conspiracy to take over the country?

    I thought it was a right wingnut/1% oligarchy conspiracy to wreck the USA and take over the ruins.

    It probably isn’t though.
    Trump/GOP are just wrecking the USA because they are incompetent.
    Also because it is all they can do and Trump needs to look busy.

  4. leerudolph says

    raven@3: Also (and I think, for most of them, most importantly) because they love doing it. They really, really hate those who are Other than them, those who are Inferior to them; they really, really hate the idea and the practice of social justice; and they really, really love hurting every person, every group, every idea that they hate. They are depraved.

  5. mailliw says

    I suggest that we stop calling them conspiracy theories and instead call them conspiracy hypotheses.

  6. Muz says

    Given how often people try to slur social justice as communism it seems apt, on many levels, to call the loose conglomeration of reactionaries, fascists, theocrats, nationalists, libertarians, “rationalists” and “Classical Liberals” determined to oppose it “The White Army”.

  7. hemidactylus says

    Damn you PZ you go and suggest another podcast I’ll try to keep up with flailingly. I backtracked a couple episodes where he interviews the Cordial Curiosity street epistemology guy over SE’s genetic relation to Boghossian and what he thinks of the Sovereign Nations situation and his take on what social justice means/entail vis a vis the SE community.

  8. leerudolph says

    mailliw@5: Aren’t they more “conspiracy postulates” rather than “conspiracy hypotheses”?

  9. Jemolk says

    @8 & @5 —
    Conspiracy assumptions, perhaps. They assume there’s a conspiracy against them and work backwards from there.

  10. unclefrogy says

    why is it that I was reminded of jim jones?
    is the ghost of jim jones roaming around infecting unthinking people?
    uncle frogy

  11. J B says

    Sir, I must protest.
    As a fan of both ass and twinks, I find your slur unacceptable.
    I will grant you that the combination is nicely euphonious.

  12. nomdeplume says

    Thank goodness these people have so many platforms available to complain about being de-platformed, because “freedom”.

  13. Al says

    I see this blog is still the same cynical dumpster fire as when I stopped reading it a decade ago.

  14. Gerry Wallington says

    You’re even more pathetic than I remembered, tubby. And you wonder why no one likes you anymore lol

  15. marxus says

    I’m new to this site, is there some evidence that O’Fallon actually influences the content on New Discourses? I don’t see any actual critique of the content.