There is a conference for people banned from conferences

Conservative billionaire Peter Thiel’s Foundation Fund is backing an invitation-only conference in May 2020 for people who have been banned from other conferences. The conference is hoping to attract ‘dissenting thinkers’ and is meant to be “a safe space for people who don’t feel safe in safe spaces.”

Hereticon (yes, it’s actually called that) promises to include “many of our culture’s most important troublemakers,” specifically ones committed to improving civilization.

The topics that will take center stage at Hereticon? They’re a doozy. Conversations will center on a smorgasbord of libertarian micro-obsessions, including transhumanism, “the abolition of college” (a favorite of Founders Fund partner Peter Thiel), “the benefits of starvation” a la Jack Dorsey’s fasting diet, “the softer side of doomsday prepping,” and immortality, naturally.

UFOs. biological modification, and drag culture are also on the menu.

It would be interesting to see whether the nature of the bans matter in inviting people. If you are banned for other conferences because you are a sexual predator or are a sexist, misogynist, racist, homophobe or similarly obnoxious, does that qualify you to attend Hereticon?

I suspect that the people who might be attracted to attend this are the usual suspects like the denizens of the ‘intellectual dark web’ who feel that their views are out of step with a ‘politically correct’ culture and are angry that people protest their talks. They are like the Jack Nicholson character in the 1992 film A Few Good Men, yelling to their critics, “You can’t handle the truth!” It must be nice for them to know that a billionaire will provide them a home.


  1. rskurat says

    The three most popular speakers will, no doubt, will be Bret Stephens, Bari Weiss, and Jordan Peterson.

  2. kestrel says

    “Improving civilization”. How do you do that while claiming that part of humanity is not human?

    Does not make sense to me.

  3. Holms says

    All of which proves that being banned from a conference is not equivalent to being silenced.

  4. Matt G says

    A safe space for intellectually dishonest jerks. Fun! Can’t wait to see what brilliance emanates from this sulkfest.

  5. says

    I’m sure it will be as well attended as the “straight parades” -- almost entirely white males, and attendees numbering in the dozens. Their ilk never show up their own unless there is someone to hate and be hostile towards.

  6. Jenora Feuer says

    I’m just wondering how it hasn’t occurred to the people running this just how internally inconsistent this is. It can’t possibly not be given the number of different reasons people get banned. Not to mention the number of mutually incompatible crankitudes out there.

    Then again, people seem to have no problem believing mutually incompatible conspiracy theories all the time.

    I will admit to having a certain car wreck ‘how quickly will this explode’ attitude… I wonder what would happen if somebody who got kicked out of CPAC for being too liberal shows up and demands that they qualify to be an attendee here.

    Then again, Hypocrisy seems to be more of a sacrament than a disapproval situation to some of this crowd.

  7. says

    The mailing list for this conference (emphasis on “con”, in both the English and French meanings of the word) will be pure gold: a self-selected cadre of the most aggrieved, credulous, querulous, wilfully-ignorant adult babies in the world, ripe for plucking by every two-bit grifter and hustler working the right-wing beat. Signing up for this thing would be like wearing a T-shirt with, “I am in desperate need of being thought Really Smart™! Please bilk me!” written on it.

  8. lanir says

    Do the attendees need to be banned too? That’s actually kind of rare but if they go with it then I suppose the speakers can semi-accurately claim to have brought their ideas to the unwashed masses. Provided you’re willing to fudge a bit on the “masses” part.

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