I was wondering what that stench was

I have been informed that the Slymepit is dead. The Slymepit was an online forum that was set up in the wake of Elevatorgate, when a small group of atheists decided to set up a base from which to hurl racist, sexist, homophobic slurs at Social Justice Warriors like Rebecca Watson, Stephanie Zvan, Jey McCreight, and many others, including me. It was one of the uglier sides of the internet, although its fans viewed it differently.

The Slymepit, a long-running atheist discussion board heavily involved in the A/S activism ‘Schism’, is shutting its doors after a ten-year run. Creator and host, ‘Lsuoma’, decided that the conversation, often humorous, insightful, and informative, but also at times pugnacious, scurrilous, or garrulous, had strayed too far from the site’s original purpose of “exposing the stupidity, lies, and hypocrisy of Social Justice Warriors.” Live commenting has therefore been shut down, with ten years of comments and user-created artwork archived.

(If you’d like to see examples of the Slymepit’s creativity, RationalWiki has you covered.)

OK, fine, you get to elide over the Slymepit’s many sins during its funeral. Goodbye, you won’t be missed.

Although I’m immensely amused by this comment:

The Pit’s greatest strength was always that it never took itself seriously. That really frustrated those who so fervently hated and obsessed over us.

Dude. The pit was frenetically abusive, regularly focused howling obscenities at individuals who dared to think social justice was an important cause, and took itself painfully seriously. You were on a mission to destroy people.

As for the “obsession” part — your little clubhouse of haters rotted out and collapsed six months ago, and no one, other than your fellow bigots, even noticed until now.

If anyone wants to find the Slymepit gang today, they’re usually hanging out on Jerry Coyne’s blog.


  1. billseymour says

    … your little clubhouse of haters rotted out and collapsed six months ago, and no one, other than your fellow bigots, even noticed until now.

    I certainly didn’t notice.  I’d heard of it, probably on this blog, but it never seemed like anything that I would ever pay any attention to.

    I guess I should be glad that it’s gone, but I really don’t care.

    (I knew about Elevatorgate; and it was about that time that I discovered PZ and Ed Brayton (whose blog I still miss).)

  2. StevoR says

    You know what else seems to have long since vanished unnoticed and unmourned?

    The idea of using SJW – Social Justice Warrior -as an insult.

    Guess theyfinally decided that SJW made those it supposedly derided sound good so they’ve chanegd it to .. Woke.

    Because implying that one side is awake and your side is asleep is so much better..

    (I remember back when it was PC for Politically Correct that symbolised, well, people that didn’t go out of their way to be jerks to others.. I also vaguely recall the slymepit that used to try and send trolls here all the time to annoy and get themselves banned because that was somehow something worth doing.)

  3. StevoR says

    @1. billseymour : I still really miss Ed Brayton and Dispacthes from the Culture Wars too. A whole great community and wonderful human being gone. He would have so very much material today.. Real pity about what Patheos did to all their blogs since too.. Also really miss Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog in its various incarnations especially the early one too.. Sigh. Sorry, bittersweet reminiscing..

  4. says

    Didn’t the Slymepit start with another SciBlogger? I forget her name, but I remember her smugly sucking up to Dawkins and absolutely showing intense warm fuzzies at all the asinine unhinged misogyny that was coming out all over her blog (as in, over 1000 comments in at least one thread dedicated to bashing Rebecca Watson). She made it embarrassingly clearly that she was one of those women who love men who hate women.

  5. billseymour says

    Raging Bee @4:  I seem to remember a young woman who was a PhD candidate at some university in Oklahoma.  She would often say reasonable things about evolution, but pretty much everything else was a bunch of four-letter words directed at anyone who would dare to critize the Great Dawkins.  I don’t remember her being a SciBlogger, though.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Raging Bee @ # 4: … another SciBlogger? I forget her name…

    Don’t think she ever posted it, but she blogged under the ‘nym “ERV”, and talked about life in Oklahoma. Her microbiology bloggings were (to my amateur eye) pretty good, but she had a terrible grasp of sociopolitical issues.

  7. says

    That was Abby Smith — who, oddly enough, now prefers to be called Stacey Smith. I guess she was self-aware enough to realize her trail on the internet was pretty damning.

    She was with us on the original ScienceBlogs.

  8. says

    Thanks, I do remember a SciBlog named “ERV” or with “ERV” named as the author/owner.

    I just looked up ERV, which still exists on SciBlogs (apparently no new posts since 2016), and the name is Stacey Smith, and her brief blurb says she’s “a graduate student studying the molecular and biochemical evolution of HIV within patients and within populations.” This is probably the same person, though I still don’t think that was the name I’m trying to remember. Now I’m thinking “Abbie Smith.” Is that ringing any bells?

  9. says

    PZ: I’m looking at her posts around early 2010, which is IIRC when the whole “Elevatorgate” thing started. I’m not finding any of the offending posts yet. Either I have the wrong period, or she’s (wisely) deleted them.

  10. says

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure she want on a spree trashing a lot of her old posts. I don’t blame her — she was a grad student, looking to take the next step in her career, and her record was pretty ugly.

  11. says

    I heard she got seriously set back as a result of all that.

    I also vaguely remember her being part of at least one recent attempt to create a less “woke” space for “skeptics” and old-new-atheist “thought leaders” like Dawkins, Harris, Shermer, etc. Didn’t you write a post about how you got an invite to that and said “hell no?”

  12. Oggie: Mathom says

    The good news is that their raisin date lives on. Now, though, it is dominated by people like a certain governor of Florida, an ex-President of the US, multiple congress critters, and multiple ‘news’ and talk programs and radio shows.

  13. angoratrilobite says

    Oh blech. I remember them from the whole Elevatorgate mess… I thought that the Slymepit died years ago.
    Alas, poor Slymepit, they will not be missed.

  14. =8)-DX says

    It was all so predictable, a bunch of socially-minded atheists and skeptics pointed out the banaal fact that you need more than a disbelief in the gods to run society fairly, that otherwise all the colonial, patriarchal and Xtian bigotries would remain … and the reactionary dregs of online atheism were Oh! so offended, they were practically bursting with indignation, self-righteously shouting down all the feminists and humanists, the anti-racists and queer-friendly people, saying that Atheism™ was only the lack of a belief in the gods, nothing more and that forcing, do you hear me? Forcing! Social Justice Down Our Throats was soooo unfair. And then their pure Nongodbelief and Skepticism, their dictionary atheism turned out to be exactly the reactionary bigotry that was pointed out at the start, that they were denying not just the gods, but also human nature and it was discovered that we do in fact, live in a society.

    Cheers to the Slymepit going boots up! Let us spit on the grave and widdle in their general direction.

  15. Oggie: Mathom says

    However, whoever it is who has it set up to send me an email every time I post is still out there. Or at least the programme is. Asshole.

  16. hemidactylus says

    Speaking of Coyne’s blog …on this blogpost:

    …someone named Mikkel Nif Rasmussen pushed back on the host by posting the ContraPoints video PZ featured here recently:

    Coyne may be recovering from his French foodie fest and not taken notice yet. Those interested in the counter-counter response may want to do screenshots in case Coyne disappears Rasmussen from his blog at any point in the near future.

    Commenter Paul Topping went missing from the blog around August 2022 for daring to criticize Christopher Rufo in Coyne’s presence. Snowflake. Milk carton time.

    Earlier today Coyne ranted: “There seems to be no limit to the willingness of scientific societies to alter their mission from purveying science to promoting the Critical Theory version of Social Justice, and I’m getting tired of reporting it.”

    Given he’s repeatedly shown he has no clue what Critical Theory even is I wish he would stop reporting on it. Do everyone a favor please and stop!

  17. StevoR says

    @ ^ hemidactylus : Cut’n’paste from your link for posterity at leats here :

    Comment 7

    Mikkel Nif Rasmussen
    April 21, 2023 at 3:20 pm
    For a rather well-built case to the contrary perspective (that JKR probably really is a bigot towards trans people), see this recent video by contrapoints: (video linked as above.)

    The commenters there then say (paarphrasing) that two hours is too long to watch, that the video was about costume changes (no) and they insist on having their own definition of “woman” spelt out. (irrelevant.) Mikkel Nif Rasmussen replies incase these disappear :

    Mikkel Nif Rasmussen
    April 21, 2023 at 4:45 pm
    It’s simply not relevant how much time was devoted to her case in that podcast. What matters to the case she makes in this video is what she says and the context she provides.
    The case made in this video, which is almost 2 hours long and you can not have watched in the 35 minutes between my post and yours, has no time “devoted” to costume changing at all. The fact that she is dressed differently for different sections does not take time away from what is being said when wearing those outfits. Nor does her definitions of what a woman is or is not have anything to do with what she says in the video about JKR and the historical and social contexts of the things JKR says and does. Your response is a non-response to anything it contains.


    Mikkel Nif Rasmussen
    April 21, 2023 at 6:22 pm
    2 hours is a lot of content to sit here and write out, and I think I can’t really do it justice in the same way the video does in a comment. I think one of the most important facts is the historical context provided and explained very well in the video. She calls it framing. To pick an example, the parallels to the discrimination against homosexuals historically, and how JKR today is uncannily like how anti-gay activist Anita Bryant was in the 1980s in many relevant aspects, is something I found hard to explain away.

    Heck, there is even some “guilt by association” going on. Normally It shouldn’t be an issue who you happen to know. But then there’s how many of such people you know and associate with, and quote, and re-tweet, and “like” etc. And yes, I do think if you associate with too many of the wrong people it starts to not look like accidents, even if you do not explicitly state the same things they are known to have done.

    To bring in an analogy, one has to wonder how many times I should have to quote and like statements by, say, David Duke, or Richard Spencer, and a host of people like them, or model for t-shirts with their slogans or similar things, before it becomes implausible that I don’t share their views.
    Imagine I said “I’m not saying the Jews are behind everything scheming and plotting, you can find no such statement of mine.” But I just so happened to re-tweet a lot of the dog-whistles and go on the podcasts of people who spend inordinate amounts of time suggesting Jews are scheming and plotting.

    To pick just one example of people she shouldn’t be associating with, sharing with approval the demonstrated BS espoused by someone like right-wing lunatic Matt Walsh is a red flag. But hey it’s just one example right?

    No single thing proves it, but it is the totality of the evidence considered that “did it” for me. You can make up your own minds of course, but I think you have to watch the video to do that.

    The thread continues with a lot of plainly transphobic comemnts including misgendering.

  18. hemidactylus says

    @21- StevoR
    One of the commenters is trying to call Rasmussen on ContraPoints’ making reference to some serial killer character masturbating into panties. Using the quote “these he enjoyed wearing in secret, and masturbating in” got me a Google Books preview of the book Troubled Blood (YMMV) that provides some context and is far deeper into Rowling’s work than I really care to dive ever beyond having watched most of the Potter movies. The character’s name is Dennis Creed. I’d pop popcorn but the discussion over there has made some troubling turns already.

  19. says

    re: the deletion of contrary views on coyne’s blog – of acting like the “anti-woke” agenda isn’t inherently support of contemporary fascism by memory-holing any of the million easy and clear refutations – the dishonesty in that feels creationist.

    very creationist. on one side, a fact as obvious as blue sky, on the other a subculture of ideologically motivated jackoffs speaking so repetitively, so monomaniacally that you know it’s just to convince themselves the sky is green.

    i find myself again appreciating the honesty of open nazis. idw types want to have nazi beliefs and political agendas but never be taken for nazis, to bully pulpit the world into regarding them as good and righteous people. fence-riding cowards. living for hate and still feeling entitled to receive love.

  20. says

    Even when I’ve brought up ElevatorGate in recent years – heck, I may have even explained it to someone earlier this year – I completely forgot about the SP. I do now remember though which side was the obsessed one.

  21. MichaelE says

    #2; They’ve moved on from that, it probably didn’t have quite the right sting. Today’s insult and accusation is woke and groomer. Some have, as I’m sure we’ve all noticed, moved straight on to calling people pedophiles.

    Calling someone an SJW is just weak sauce in comparison.

    I maintain that these people do not, in fact, give two shits about children, at all.

  22. lotharloo says

    ‘Lsuoma’, decided that the conversation, often humorous, insightful, and informative, but also at times pugnacious, scurrilous, or garrulous, had strayed too far from the site’s original purpose of “exposing the stupidity, lies, and hypocrisy of Social Justice Warriors.”

    I had a suspicion what it could be and I did some searching. It turns out that Lsuoma has been having some troubles lately with a lot of members who spread Covid conspiracies, advocates for ivermectin and all the other lovely shit that rightwingers do. Hahahaha. I guess attracting rightwing audience is coming back to bite him. A bit of Sam Harris treatment LULULULULU.

  23. Silentbob says


    Gosh, who would have thought obsessively hating on women because Dawkins made a comment mocking a woman complaining about being hit on at 3 am (and the woman sighed and rolled her eyes) TWELVE YEARS AGO could possibly have a shelf life.

    Honestly, has there ever been a greater bunch of pathetic losers in history, or at least internet history, than the “slymepit” wankers? (To make it even more funny, the reason their site was called “slymepit” instead of “slimepit” is that a toy company had trademarked the name. X-D

  24. Silentbob says

    @ 3 StevoR

    Phil has a new book out I bet you’d love:


    (This is not a paid promotion, lol. I was a big fan of ye olde Bad Astronomy blog too. In fact, I think that’s how I discovered FtB.Phil was good buddies with Rebecca Watson, and even appeared in one of the Skepchick calendars back in the day, and when Elevatorgate happened Phil, like PZ, posted about it and got thousands of comments as the Deep Rifts emerged (Phil was always on the side of the angels) – and I think it’s through Skepchick I discovered this feminist network with Greta Christina, and Stephanie Zvan, and Jey McCreight, and (ahem… Opehelia Benson, who since went to the dark side and today would be right at home in the slime pit) called Freethought Blogs.)

    Anyway, everyone should check out Phil’s book. He’s a geeky, science-loving SJW from way back. :-)

    As a trip down memory lane, here’s a young Rebecca Watson from before she realised the atheist community was a misogynistic cesspit and it wasn’t safe to be deliberately sexy, reading Phil’s first book for a Skepchick calendar:


  25. StevoR says

    @ ^ Silentbob : Thanks. Very much appreciated as I hadn’t heard about that new book and already have his other books – Bad Astronomy & Death from the Skies which I love. Looking forward to finding and reading a copy of that new one.

    Anyway, everyone should check out Phil’s book. He’s a geeky, science-loving SJW from way back.

    Truth. Seconded and cheers again. Really wish he would start blogging again.. miss it.

    I don’t suppose I can put in a request for PZ Myers to review Phil Plait’s new book here can I please?