She’s speaking out on Facebook about the problems with Andrew Torrez. It’s all about constant harassment, violation of boundaries, unwanted innuendo, etc. An excerpt:
Here’s what I find particularly infuriating: several well-known atheist groups were “aware of multiple instances [of harassed individuals] with Andrew and none of them have cut ties with him at this time” and also “I’ve left all these communities. I felt unsafe and frankly unwelcome. People with power to do something have done nothing.”
I’ve also abandoned so many atheist communities after seeing this behavior time after time, which has made me one of those people with no power to do anything. I’ve heard similar stories so many times, just the names change…but it’s like there’s an endless reservoir of sex pests out there who ruin everything.
It’s the same story over and over…guy does terrible stuff, gets away with it, the whole time other people know about it but enable / hide / justify / whatever. He is finally outed in the end after causing untold trauma to victims.
I don’t get it.
Erlend Meyer says
Welcome to humanity. We suck.
Bruce Fuentes says
Not sure what the answer is or if there is one, but name and shame is a good start.
@2 Erland Meyer is too close to the truth to be comfortable. Most people are sentient (self-aware) but not sapient (possessed of wisdom). Look around, the world is run by murderous, greedy Crapitallist Corporations the own the government and fleece the drooling, foolish sheople at every opportunity. Hate and sports and infotainment are the major past times of the majority. Seek out and associate with people of honest, caring character and avoid the destructive miscreants whether they be xtian terrorists or atheist aholes.
When we were younger and less sapient, many in my organization (myself included) were anxious to ‘belong’ to the accepted and popular ‘normal’ groups. As PZ has often alluded to, it is not important to be part of a herd. Especially when that herd is being decimated from within by predators.
Marcus Ranum says
Power (even small powers) have little value unless abused. Anyone who wants to lead anything should be suspected and watched more closely.
Usually, my stock comment is “no leaders, no movement.” That is because the flaws in the leaders – real or imagined – can be exposed to reflect ill upon the movement as a whole. And, identifying as part of a movement paints a target on one’s back, for very little gain except some pollster’s metrics. The point being: if you want to support skepticism, be skeptical. If you want to support social justice, support those causes. Be part of “the groundswell of popular opinion” and don’t promote flawed losers to be the head of pointless organizations that are basically a chance to slap backs and eat canapes. And, apparently, to seek sexual conquests.
@ 6. Marcus Ranum
I couldn’t agree more.
People who want to form, lead, and join organizations are frequently people who want to be important, and be identified with something important. Frequently, extraverts with a misanthropic tinge. Like religions, these organizations frequently devolve into fights for turf, leadership, then schisms.
Supporting the right cause shouldn’t need its own organization.
Autobot Silverwynde says
@3: The Puzzle in a Thunderstorm group knew about this shit-
Not just from Felicia. Someone else fucking told them and they were like, “That’s just him. No big deal.”
So yeah, time to cancel the Scathing Atheist, God Awful Movies, the Skepticrat, D&D Minus, Citation Needed and possibly Cognitive Dissonance.
@6 Marcus Ranum and @7 flange. I agree with your points about the easy corruption of organizations and leaders. I have been involved in ‘groundswell’ movements for causes I thought were honest and caring. But, they all required some sort of structure to function. I have seen that a groundswell will be quickly nullified by a well organized opposing force (no matter how corrupt). And, there are some (few) organizations whose structure and the values of their membership (they guard against greed, abuse and unbridled ego) ensure there is no corruption in its structure or leaders. There are no easy answers.
Richard Smith says
@8: PiaT made an announcement yesterday that they have severed their relationship with Andrew. Given the timing of it, though, it does seem like a Hail Mary pass as things are coming out into the open.
Autobot Silverwynde says
@10: it absolutely does. Especially how more than one victim has said that they told them and weren’t taken seriously.
Also: don’t read some of the comments on Felicia’s post. Or you will lose all faith in humanity.
FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says
Noah has addressed the timeline of what they knew when regarding the article. It’s a reasonable explanation for their recent silence.
They have not addressed the claim that Eli at minimum was told about Andrew in 2017. There are recipes for that claim in the form of a text discussion where Eli talks about women’s right to consent while the other party talks about the power dynamic of Andrew and his accuser. Frustratingly what I’ve seen doesn’t include what Eli was told about Andrew’s behaviour. It doesn’t look good, but there’s still doubt as to what exactly he knew.
And to be clear: if that conversation started with “Andrew is violating this person’s boundaries and is refusing to stop” or the like, then fuck him all the way into the earth’s core for not doing anything effective about it.
This fucking sucks.
I first made a patreon account just after Noah (PIAT) started doing funny exaggerated compliments for the patrons. I’ve been listening to OA quite literally since episode one. I was a Thomas and the Bible listener before that.
These men (and let’s be clear – it’s almost entirely men) have been pseudosocial companions to me for damn near a decade.
I had thought of Andrew as being a moral, respectable person with impeccable ethics. I had thought of the PIAT crew as being as socially-justicy as it was possible to get.
Going to have to reassess some stuff, including my financial support.
Not actually knowing any of these people, I can’t help but wonder if there arent certain men (it’s almost always men) who find a kind of celebrity/power and just can’t goddamn help themselves. I feel enormous empathy for the women that had to deal with this guy’s behaviour.
I’m not sure what the long-term consequences for him/them should rightly be. If actual apologies occur, with no minimizing victim blaming, deflection or the like take place: I don’t think that exile to the howling wastes is necessarily required, but for certain I’ll be withdrawing my financial support for the time being.
Autobot Silverwynde says
@13: with you there.
Autobot Silverwynde says
It’s apparently WORSE as Torrez is an equal opportunity offender and was getting inappropriate with Thomas Smith and I’m just fucking done with humanity now let the asteroid come and extinct us because holy shit.
@8 Autobot Silverwynde
CogDis addressed the issue in their last episode. I’m not sure it is sufficient, but it laid out their position.
AG (Cleanup on Aisle 45/Daily Beans) cut ties as soon as she was informed, and changed hosts for Cleanup.
This is one of those things that typically just makes me drop content. Also one of the reasons I’m even more leery of joining anything ever.
I’m no paragon, but there are things in my life worth so much more than any need to transgress on someone’s boundaries. I don’t know if others feel this way, but having a co-worker, student, or friend trust you is such a precious feeling I don’t understand why you would want to transgress on that while fully mentally capable.