You didn’t think Atheist Alliance International was a respectable organization, did you?


Don’t be shocked or surprised: sex pests always bounce back and climb back into positions of prominence. The rehabilitation of Lawrence Krauss has begun.

I am very pleased to announce that eminent Cosmologist/Physicist Dr Lawrence Krauss has accepted our invitation to join the Advisory Council of Atheist Alliance International.

Lawrence has been an active atheist for decades. He was a personal friend of Christopher Hitchens, who sadly died nine years and three days ago (there’s been talk about designating December 15th “Hitchmas”) and he was an expert witness at the Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District trial of Intelligent Design*.

“Hitchmas”? What? Where has this talk been going on, and by whom? Anyone can talk about designating any day as anything — the question is, by what authority and who will care? There has been talk around my household (there, I’m already more specific than John Richards) of designating the 15th as Squidmas, so get in line.

But, you might ask, doesn’t AAI know about the decades of credible accusations of harassment, that ASU acted on the accusations to deny him his leadership of the Origins project, haven’t they read the articles describing his behavior in Buzzfeed and the Arizona State Press, haven’t they read Krauss’s own words defending Jeffrey Epstein?

Yes, they have. They just don’t care.

Our Executive Director, Michael Sherlock, has personally welcomed Lawrence onto our Council of worthy Advisors in the knowledge that he was an early victim of the woke movement (see Wednesday’s blog). Please note that no charges have ever been brought against Dr Krauss.

When asked about the potential blowback from those who have propagated and uncritically believed the unsubstantiated allegations made against Dr Krauss in the past, Sherlock stated,

“After examining the claims made against Dr Krauss, and finding no merit therein, I made a decision to position AAI firmly against the cancel culture that has infected the atheist and secular movement, particularly in the USA. As skeptics, it is important that we lead the way in practicing evidence-based thinking and behaviors and not give in to the fatuous and harmful aspects of a relatively new social and political phenomenon that holds allegations as conclusions by mere virtue of the existence of the allegations themselves.” Sherlock added: “I am extremely enthusiastic about working with Dr Krauss and believe that he will add immense value to AAI’s efforts around the globe”.

As “skeptics”, they will lead the way in practicing evidence-based thinking…by ignoring the evidence they don’t like. For instance, I know the conference organizer he assaulted in a hotel room, waving around a condom; she’s a good person who was in a committed relationship who wouldn’t do that sort of thing, and Krauss admitted that it all happened — he just claimed it was “consensual”. I was one of the people Krauss tried to dissuade from criticizing Epstein. As a guy, I was oblivious to all of his creepy behavior at conferences, but when all these women stepped forward to tell me all about his obnoxiousness, I believed them. AAI does not believe any of that, I guess.

By the way, that “Wednesday’s blog” he references reads like an MRA screed that belongs on one of their horrid sites, like A Voice for Men. It rails against the “new religion of wokeism” and literally calls any accusation of harassment against men a “witch hunt”.

Anyway, it set me thinking – let’s compare some of the properties of religions and wokeism…

The ‘Congregations’ are predominantly female. They are about purity and judgmentalism. They exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable and they show intolerance of those who have different standards. This is the typically ‘polarising’ mentality that I wrote about a few days ago. https://admin.patheos.com/blogs/secularworldbyaai/wp-admin/post.php?

In summary, it’s a ‘Holier than thou’ attitude.

In wokeism, all the greys are gone. A person is guilty from the moment they are accused. It’s, “We have no time for the cumbersome processes of jurisprudence.” And the accused are immediately sentenced by being cancelled! Their associates are punished too!

What does this remind you of? Oh, yes! Witch Hunts! Jim Crow Laws!

And who are, by far, the most common victims?

Men!

Won’t someone think of us poor men, says the male-led organization that just appointed a known sex pest to their mostly male advisory board, which also includes Michael Shermer, Gad Saad, and Thomas Sheedy. They’re such victims!

How dare women show intolerance of those who have different standards (such as tolerating molestation and crude come-ons), or exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable, like rape and groping. They need to appreciate the value of men who hold different opinions on those matters.

They also make the common defense that “well, they weren’t convicted of an actual crime, therefore they couldn’t have done anything wrong”, which is just stupid. There are lots of things that someone can do that don’t justify throwing them in jail, yet do warrant considering them unsavory and unpleasant and not someone you want to invite to a party, or a business meeting. They complain about black and white thinking while insisting that there exists a perfect dichotomy between being in prison vs. being a commendable citizen.

They also commit gross leaps of irrationality.

Allow me to point out that if accusations were an indication of guilt, we would have had no President Obama, since he was accused of not being born in the USA. Also, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton would have been locked up because she was accused of leading a pedophile ring located in the basement of a restaurant that turned out not to have a basement!

We’re only talking about credible accusations backed up by evidence, which was lacking in the cases of Obama and Clinton, and which was present in the case of Krauss.

For instance, I can accuse the leadership of Atheist Alliance International of being a bunch of aggressively idiotic bigots and misogynists, using the evidence of those two posts, and suggest that no one should join that odious group or donate to them. Note that I’m not accusing them of an outright crime for which they should be arrested; I’m saying they are unworthy of support by any responsible citizen. John Richards and Michael Sherlock are simply truly awful people.

Comments

  1. lotharloo says

    For instance, I know the conference organizer he assaulted in a hotel room, waving around a condom; she’s a good person who was in a committed relationship who wouldn’t do that sort of thing, and Krauss admitted that it all happened

    Holyshit, I had forgotten about all the fucked up things Krauss had done.

  2. sarah00 says

    It’s stuff like this that makes me remember why I stopped associating with the atheist/skeptic community and why I became an intersectional feminist. Through controversies like Elevatorgate and Atheism+ etc I realised that the community wasn’t even remotely interested getting rid of hierarchical thinking and sacred cows. AAI and others like them just want to replace the religious versions with their own. They are not remotely evidence-based, instead they start from a conclusion and works their way backwards, upholding the status quo and attacking those who challenge it. It could have been a real force for good but instead we have a community dedicated to protecting sexual predators (sound familiar?) and (at least in the UK) misrepresenting science to oppress minorities. Fuck them.

  3. says

    Lawrence has been an active atheist for decades. He was a personal friend of Christopher Hitchens…

    What does any of that have to do with anything? Why are so many atheists this eager to beatify atheism’s Great Men?

    Our Executive Director, Michael Sherlock, has personally welcomed Lawrence onto our Council of worthy Advisors in the knowledge that he was an early victim of the woke movement

    I didn’t expect it to keep getting worse from here, but it did. At some point these people should come out and admit that they think straight white cis men are the best and that they should be able to act with impunity on their lessers. Men, the real victims of misogyny.

    They exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable and they show intolerance of those who have different standards.

    Look, some people just have different standards when it comes to “consent”. If you’re intolerant of those who think it isn’t necessary, aren’t you the real monster?

    Is ‘Wokeism’ the New Religion?

    Dude. Hitchmas.

    Allow me to point out that if accusations were an indication of guilt, we would have had no President Obama, since he was accused of not being born in the USA. Also, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton would have been locked up because she was accused of leading a pedophile ring located in the basement of a restaurant that turned out not to have a basement!

    “That man wasn’t born in the US!”
    “That woman runs a pedophile ring out of a pizza restaurant!”
    “That man sexually assaulted me!”


  4. says

    Most of his bullshit is same old same old, so that’s probably why I’m finding that this is the part that’s sticking with me: Allow me to point out that if accusations were an indication of guilt, we would have had no President Obama, since he was accused of not being born in the USA. Also, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton would have been locked up because she was accused of leading a pedophile ring located in the basement of a restaurant that turned out not to have a basement!

    That the throngs aren’t rising up to laugh him out of the organization or the atheist movement as a whole for comparing women accusing a man of something he did to them personally to fucking conspiracy theories tells us everything we need to know about organized atheism.

    One thing I’m grateful for though about the past several years is that it helped me get over myself and my reflexive need to bash religion whenever comes up because I was able to see that religion isn’t the cause of hatred and suffering, it’s just a tool. I have more in common with a liberal Christian or a feminist Muslim than I ever will with someone like John Richards or Lawrence Krauss.

  5. specialffrog says

    Finally, an organization that has the courage to ask, “what if the only thing wrong with the Catholic Church is that they believe in God and not Christopher Hitchens?”

  6. Vreejack says

    I have a signed copy of Hitch’s last book, but I don’t remember him ever talking about sexual predators. I think he got sick just before bad male behavior became an issue. He was always reluctant to be dragged into other people’s pet arguments, but I wonder what he would think about all this.

  7. specialffrog says

    @vreejack: it always seemed that his criticism of Islam was at least partially instigated by the fatwa against his college buddy Salman Rushdie. And he was demonstrably sexist.

    So it is hard to say what Hitchens would have done if he perceived this as an attack on his friends.

  8. billseymour says

    I’m probably pretty much a newbie in this group:  I first became aware that there was such a thing as an atheist movement around the time of elevatorgate.  My own response (which existed only in my head since I had no one to say it to) was, “Uh…yeah, I see that.  OK.”  I knew rather quickly that, despite my lack of believe in the supernatural, I desired no contact with certain people who shall remain nameless.

  9. says

    Echoing Sarah, I’m not so much espousing atheism anymore as Intersectionality. Defending others’ individual rights is a lot easier to argue for and get other people to listen. It’s only the privileged who don’t.

    Religion is still phony baloney, but as long as this is about individuals choosing for themselves and not imposing it on others (including not imposing it on kids), I’ll ignore it or even defend their right to practice.

  10. says

    Whoa! Wait a Minute!

    Lawrence Krauss WAS NOT a witness at the Kitzmiller trial, expert or otherwise. And I ought to know, since I was an expert witness at that trial, along with Barbara Forrest, Kevin Padian, Jack Haught, Rob Pennock, and Brian Alters.

    Krauss was never there. Who makes this stuff up??? (Ken Miller, Brown University)

  11. pilgham says

    Yeah. Halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when it’s bleak, and cold, and dark, we pause and think of Hitchens. Yup, he’s still dead.

  12. says

    Ken MIller (@14):

    Yeah, that kind of jumped out at me. There’s a footnote at the end of the sentence, but it just says that the judge ruled against the creationists, when it should say “*except not really”.

  13. says

    So the great, logical, evidenced-based thinkers express shock, SHOCK that when they examined the behavior of some group of people,

    They exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable

    Read that again:

    They exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable

    The mere fact that someone could attempt to use that as a subgroups of persons, as if it did not apply to themselves, shows such dangerously fantastic in-group/out-group thinking that it becomes impossible to trust anything else they might have to say on the topic.

    NEWS FLASH ASSHOLE: you can’t deem something unacceptable at the same time you approve of it.

    What is with these morons? They actually want these words to represent them?

  14. some bastard on the internet says

    What does this remind you of? Oh, yes! Witch Hunts! Jim Crow Laws!

    Yeah! When fewer people were willing to pay Krauss to speak at universities, it was exactly like

    checks notes

    …being tied to a rock and tossed in a lake… and… being publicly hanged…

    Oops.

  15. says

    “After due consideration of all the facts, we’ve decided that yes, we do in fact want to make ourselves completely irrelevant.”

    Well, okay then.

  16. PaulBC says

    Crip Dyke@17

    Am I unusual in considering “unacceptable” to be a stronger condemnation? E.g., “I disapprove, but it’s your choice.” vs. “This is entirely unacceptable.”

    It depends on context, since approval could be a matter of granting formal authority or simply endorsing a behavior you have no control over. I don’t think there’s as much wiggle room when you say something is unacceptable.

  17. says

    @PaulBC:

    Read the statement again. It’s not saying that people are finding unacceptable things of which they don’t approve. It’s saying that they don’t approve of things which they find unacceptable.

    Your reasoning about common uses of those words (that people must necessarily disapprove of those things they find unacceptable, but can find acceptable some things of which they disapprove) is exactly what I’m saying.

    If you find something unacceptable, you’re not going to approve of it. So when the writer says,

    They exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable

    they are engaging in basic comprehension (and reasoning) fails.

    If they are unable to parse – as you did – that things that are unacceptable are necessarily disapproved, then their entire argument is suspect.

  18. PaulBC says

    Crip Dyke@22 I was agreeing with your comment @17. If anything, I felt you could have made a stronger statement.

  19. PaulBC says

    Continuing @23… the statement is a tautology and therefore can be omitted, but the implication is that it’s wrong to find anything unacceptable. Because tolerance!

    Or is it the “exhibiting” of disapproval they’re against? Maybe they’re OK with people finding certain things unacceptable, about which they disapprove by definition. But in that case, they ought to keep it the fuck to themselves.

    Though I doubt they really thought it through that deeply, that is at least meaningful and not entirely superfluous.

    This is a very common “gotcha!” tactic: You say you are tolerant and yet you refuse to tolerate my intolerance! Bah. Everyone has to take a stand sometimes.

  20. whywhywhy says

    I believe that Krauss remains banned from interacting with students at Case Western Reserve University. Does that not count as evidence?

  21. DanDare says

    @25 technically only evidence of what CWRU think. Not evidence that what they think is well founded. That would be a seperate discussion.
    However the direct evidence is well founded and the facts even stipulated by Krauss so there is no beed to go to the more nebulous data

  22. says

    The ‘Congregations’ are predominantly female. They are about purity and judgmentalism.

    Who sexist, us? Never!
    It is obvious that women are too stupid and irrational, therfore they are not members of our super rational groups. Really, there are no other factors in this world that could explain why women, whose natural role it is of course to have and raise children, would gather in institutions that offer community and support, especially with childrearing. Nono, it’s them being gullible by nature (probably comes from losing all the blood during menstruation and childbirth).
    Same as all those women coming together in groups opposed to sexual harassment. Since there is absolutely no evidence for sexual harassment, let alone assault (just like for God. Serious, “he groped me” and “Jesus talked to me” are about on the same level of probability, unless the dude w wasn’t white), these women are just supporting each other in their delusions!

  23. unclefrogy says

    I have to say it. If I am not mistaken Pres. Obama’s mother is and always has been an American citizen so it would not make any difference where on earth he was born he would still be a natural born American citizen as well. I have no idea why that is never said.
    from

    They are about purity and judgmentalism. They exhibit disapproval of whatever they deem to be unacceptable and they show intolerance of those who have different standards.

    I stopped paying attention what was said after that . It is OK for “US” to judge but not OK for anyone to judge “US” is what i took as their functional meaning to that I say F’! U’!
    uncle frogy

  24. chris61 says

    @30 unclefrogy
    FYI

    For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for 10 years prior to the person’s birth, at least five of which were after the age of 14 for the person to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.

  25. John Morales says

    Dunno about ‘respectable’, but apparently Krauss thinks it will be profitable.

    Good enough.

  26. unclefrogy says

    @31
    What is so special about that time period? Dec. 24 ’52 – Nov. 13 ’86
    was there some law that was in effect during that time that has been repealed or something?
    uncle frogy

  27. hiddenheart says

    Funny how all the “it’s no big deal” guys do have problems with women and enbys doing much less intrusive things to them. If they were matched act for act, they’d collapse in rage and humiliations.

Leave a Reply