Roosh V. Photo by Bartek Kucharczyk. Creative Commons.

I was a Pickup Artist, and Roosh V should worry you

My Facebook feed and inbox are currently full of a petition to keep Roosh V out of the UK. Roosh V is variously described as a Pickup Artist (PUA) and a rape advocate, but I had a quick glance at his website and see he favours the term ‘neomasculinity’. Other currently popular uses of the prefix ‘neo-’ [Read More...]

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. Image by Policy Exchange. Creative Commons.

UK government plans to silence critics of faith schools

While I’m pretending this blog is a news site… Our estimable education secretary, Nicola Morgan, has announced plans to ban organisations and campaign groups from making formal complaints about faith schools. Under her regime, only those living in the local area would be able to complain about unfair admissions. Why this and why now? Well, [Read More...]

Image: Another replica Ark under construction in Dordrecht. Photo by Ad Bercht.

Ken Ham’s Ark Park will get tax breaks after all

A federal judge in Kentucky has ruled that Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter has a legal and constitutional right to a program of tax incentives worth up to $18 million. In case you don’t know, Ken Ham is building a big boat in Kentucky and planning to tell people it’s a replica of Noah’s Ark. This, he [Read More...]

What does brainwashing do?

In my last post, I asked if brainwashing is actually a thing. If you can’t be bothered to read that, here’s the Cliff’s Notes edition: mainstream sociologists of religion generally deny that brainwashing (as most people understand it) really exists, but lots of former members of controlling religious groups identify with descriptions of brainwashing. In [Read More...]

Image: Brainwashing by Cesarleal. Creative Commons.

Is brainwashing actually a thing?

Happy new year. If you’re still reading this blog after my extended hiatus, thank you so much. I’m back. Now to rebuild my audience. Today a friend shared Cult Status on Facebook. It’s an article from 2001 by Kirsten Marcum, a former member of Vistar, a business cult that promised its members limitless success. I have the [Read More...]


How Christianity set me up to become a pickup artist

In my last post, I talked about how Christianity taught me to be a Nice Guy. Here’s how that ended. Towards the end of my degree, I became friends with a woman who still went to an evangelical church. At this point I wasn’t really sure what I believed. I knew most of what I’d believed all [Read More...]

Me with two friends at the height of my Nice Guy period. The guy on the right is the one who will never let me live down my drunken outburst.

Christians make the best Nice Guys (but not the nicest guys)

I’ve been thinking about Nice Guys. I used to be a Nice Guy. I like to think I’m still a nice guy, but I think I’ve done enough to ditch the capital letters. Nice Guys, for those of you who never go on Tumblr, are that species of male who… well, let me show you with an [Read More...]

Bristol Palin in 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Bristol Palin, you are not a disappointment

My Patheos colleague (if I can call her that), Bristol Palin, is pregnant again, and I don’t like any of the reactions I’m seeing. I loathe the choruses of schadenfreude from my fellow atheists and ex-Christians, jeering her hypocritical advocacy for abstinence, for which she reportedly earned close to $1 million. I hate the rush [Read More...]


“Why didn’t Allies do more?” demands organisation that sent Hitler a birthday card

The head of an organisation which vigorously opposed the Third Reich by providing no official resistance has criticised the Allies for failing to stop the Holocaust. “Why didn’t you bomb the railway lines to concentration camps?” asked Pope Francis, adding “The Holy Roman Church made an uncompromising stand by sending birthday greetings to Hitler in 1939 [Read More...]


“You need to free yourself from the influence of Satan”, said the schoolteacher.

The Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI), which allowed some private Christian and Muslim schools to choose their own inspectors, has ceased to be. It is an ex-inspectorate. The writing was on the wall after Ofsted’s chief inspector totally slated it at the end of last year, although I’d written about it before. Reporting on the demise of [Read More...]