Growing a set of principles

For some reason, Lousy Canuck defends lies about me while he talks about a man who was kicked off this blogging network for the exact type of harassment that we all rail against.He argues that we’re all living in different parallel universes. I think he’s right.

*(holiday edit)

And then there’s when Greg Laden says he wants to kick Justin Griffith’s ass for defending the serial harassers, and that’s a breach of protocol worthy of condemnation and drumming out of the movement and exorcism and blood-letting and possibly chemical castration (and all of this despite the apology(ies?) from Greg to Justin and the begging-for-forgiveness from Justin to Greg and the hour-long Skype conversation they apparently had; and all BEFORE Justin decided to go ahead and post the first letter in the email exchange without any of the rest of the context).

But Justin is okay with Mykeru spending a month denigrating both Stephanie and Greg, and challenging Greg to MMA fights, and kicking Greg’s ass (and cunt); et cetera, ad nauseum, for a month. That’s all perfectly okay and just civil disagreement. They’re just rivals.

Can you please grow a set of principles? Just try being consistent for once. For fucking once. Please. I beg of you.

I’ll have to break this down into segments because you’ve managed to get so much wrong.

Lousy Canuck:

And then there’s when Greg Laden says he wants to kick Justin Griffith’s ass for defending the serial harassers

“kick Justin Griffith’s ass”

That’s not even close to everything that he said. Here’s what he wrote to me that got him booted from FtB.

Justin,

What I said in a public comment (that you should grow up) is the ultra mild version. What I said on the mailing list is still the mild version. Here’s the real version and it is the last thing you are ever going to hear from me until you have issued a fully adequate and very public apology to everyone you’ve offended. I say that fully knowing that you do not have to issue such an apology. All you get if you do is that I recognize that you exist. You certainly don’t need me thinking of you as a human being.

Justin, have you ever killed anyone? By that, I mean, in your tours of duty, did you ever have someone you know die and that happened because you failed to do something, or worse, because you DID do something? I’m thinking not. I’m thinking you probably are a good soldier. You probably didn’t do that.

But, Justin, if you were me, and Abbie Smith’s slimepit was after you like they’ve been after me, that is what it would say on the internet, dude. It would say that you were responsible for the death of fellow soldiers. It would say that all over Abbies blog. Why? Because that is how they could hurt you, both personally and professionally.

I have to live with the fact that when my son gets old enough to surf the web he is going to see horrific things, terrible accusations and horrible insults, about his daddy. It does not matter if they are accurate or not. (They’re not, in case you were wondering).

Think about that. You fucking shit.

Now, get forever out of my life. Do not turn back. You do not deserve to even know the people you’ve insulted in that idiotic post you wrote. Don’t ever, ever find yourself in my presence or think you deserve to breath the air that I, and Jen, and Stephanie, and Gret and Ophelia and PZ and the rest of us breath, because you do not.

If you do make that apology it better be from laying face down in the mud.

Have a nice day and kiss my ass.

Greg

PS, don’t you dare ask, ever again, for an upvote or any other support from your colleagues. I’ll kick your fucking ass if you do. You will regret it. (Unless that apology is forthcoming.)

That was not even the last time he’d say your oversimplified: ‘he wanted to kick my ass.’ He repeated this several months later.

I can’t believe I’m even having this discussion. How is the above defensible at all?

“for defending the serial harassers”

I never defended the serial harassers. I specifically condemned harassment in every post. It was a nuanced but consistent attack AGAINST the use of gendered slurs on other people’s blogs and such.

My high-crime was writing this sentence: “I support Abbie Smith, I don’t support everything she says or does…” as a part of foolish plea for peace. I don’t think somebody’s career should be threatened just because they’ve called a woman a ‘bitch‘. I think they all deserve a chance to learn not to use gendered slurs.

Likewise, going to just about any comedy club, listening to George Carlin comedy albums, watching South Park, listening to Sonic Youth, or otherwise consuming, referencing, or discussing art is a different and important context. [NOT a justification for harassment, don't quote mine me. I'm explaining what my 'high crime' post was about.] 

Lousy Canuck:

“and that’s a breach of protocol worthy of condemnation and drumming out of the movement”

That wasn’t my wish at first, though it certainly is now. Right before I made Laden’s threats public, I called Ed Brayton and asked him not to boot Laden. My thinking was naive and even bureaucratic: ‘FtB didn’t have a policy in place, therefore Laden broke no rules.’

Ed made the right call.

Lousy Canuck:

(and all of this despite the apology(ies?) from Greg to Justin

Greg did not apologize. He did the opposite. Are you calling his “Sometimes the bad guys win” post an apology? Or perhaps this notpology?

Surely you’re not referring to the days and days of dog-piling he encouraged from all of you? Look back through the archives, though I think you remember what’s there. Look at the first three days.That’s not apologizing. Then look at his exit. That red-faced embarrassed flounce, he knew what he did.

That flounce reminded me of my sister. One day, I didn’t see her on the bus home from school. She showed up ten minutes after me, pounding on the door. I opened it quickly and she said “Are happy now?!? I peed my pants!!!” As if it was my fault, or as if to suggest that she just peed her pants and wouldn’t have, if only I hadn’t ‘locked the door’ like an evil brother. It was clear that she peed her pants much earlier.

Greg Laden did much worse than pee his pants and blame somebody else. He threatened, harassed, bullied, and encouraged all of my peers to join in. Then he got booted. Then he wrote about how awful I am a few times. Then months later, he repeated the ‘kick his ass’ line.

So I ask you, where’s this supposedly meaningful apology?

Lousy Canuck:

and the begging-for-forgiveness from Justin to Greg

Are you referring to my reply to his threatening letter? I replied an hour after he wrote what I would normally have forwarded to the FBI. I’m an activist who deals with many threats from religious people, often military veterans – (read: good with guns, increased chance of ownership, increased chance of mental health issues, etc.)

I never begged for forgiveness from Greg Laden. An hour or so after he sent me that threatening email, I replied with this. This is what he describes as incoherent drunken babbling.

Please, this is hurtful man. Let’s talk on the phone tomorrow. I am apologizing, and I think you should realize that I am making rookie mistakes. I didn’t read the backchannel yet, though I assumed that it was okay to be stupid sometimes and then learn from mistakes.

You ask if I ever killed anyone or if my actions ever lead anyone to their deaths. The answer is YES. Several people have died at my hands. I have almost killed myself from the guilt several times. I feel like a goddamned serial killer. And the blood on my hands is from well before my entry into the military.

I was a heroin addict for several years. I introduced many people to heroin, people that are dead now. I was with people the day they died, I’ve shared needles with people that died. I joined the military to get away from this. “I’d be safer in Afghanistan,” I figured. I even gave a soldier their first hit when I relapsed during training (AIT). The last real friend I ever made was a soldier in 2008 that I unknowingly gave his first stamp of heroin. He’s now a junkie on the streets. He will die or go to jail that way, and I did that to him – a fellow soldier. All my friends are art-damaged punk rock junkies and I’m the one who fought back. I feel like a fucking serial killer with the clarity of sobriety. I refuse to make friends with people anymore.

How about you help me with the apology. Start compiling names, and I’ll do it. Those slimers fucked it up worse than anything you could lob at me could. They are retarded. I was naïve.

By the way, my infant daughter has been threatened by Christians. I get death threats quite regularly. I’m in the news more than most of you, and I open myself up to this stuff. I got a message saying “YOU LOST YOUR SOUL IT WILL BE PAINFUL!!! GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY IN SPITE OF WHAT I’LL DO!!!”

Lets talk tomorrow, brother. Please call me.

Very respectfully,

Justin Griffith

You know what he wrote back? Nothing. He just continued to bully and harass and get my co-bloggers to join in for days.

Lousy Canuck:

the hour-long Skype conversation they apparently had

Greg Laden heard I was hours away from publishing his threats, so he finally called me. This was a week after the threats and in the middle of a vicious bullying campaign that went on and on, and continued only hours after we hung up.

People are variously described this call incorrectly as:

“Greg apologizing to Justin”

“Justin begging for Greg’s forgiveness”

Is that what actually happened? No.

What you find here is a man attempting to shamelessly guilt me into not publishing. He then said, “Ok, well are you planning on criticizing PZ Myers too? He was mean too!” and then kept referring to all the mean things people say to him on the internet… It was very insincere and often coercive with moments of self-serving groveling, that would only wrap around to repeat insults.

Seriously, I’m in the news a LOT. Christians have sent me death threats and even threatened my whole family. I regularly (and wisely) go to the FBI when people issue threats of violence like Laden’s *illegal* threatening letter. I get enough of these threats that law enforcement and other activists informed me about phone-recording apps. I did not go to the authorities in Laden’s case, a decision I now regret. How many more people is he going to harass?

This was our phone call:

Part two:

Sorry about the times when Laden is difficult to understand. When I don’t turn on speaker-phone mode, the app kinda sucks. I didn’t expect Laden’s last minute hail mary, so he battles the air conditioning and the wrong recording mode. It comes and goes.

Lousy Canuck:

and all BEFORE Justin decided to go ahead and post the first letter in the email exchange without any of the rest of the context.

Now that we’ve got all the context out there, and corrected your many errors. What was your point?

This man has repeatedly broken the law. Please tell me you’re not going to blame the victim…

Lousy Canuck:

But Justin is okay with

Where did you buy that magic mind reader hat? Canada must be fucking awesome.

I have absolutely no opinion on Mykeru. Maybe he’s a fucker of the highest caliber. IF HE IS, GIVE ME HIS HOME ADDRESS QUICK!!!! If he is, then it is still irrelevant to Greg Laden’s attempt to give out his home address.

Lousy Canuck:

Mykeru spending a month denigrating both Stephanie and Greg, and challenging Greg to MMA fights, and kicking Greg’s ass (and cunt); et cetera, ad nauseum, for a month. That’s all perfectly okay and just civil disagreement. They’re just rivals.

I had not seen that, nor did I ever imply that Mykeru is nice, or should be defended. People told me Greg Laden was at it again, bullying and demanding home addresses of other people.

Seriously what the fuck is the point of learning somebody’s home address? Even if Mykeru threatened to kick Greg’s ass (and cunt) [<--- how is that even possible?] nothing should make Greg write back with demands for a home address. Nothing should make him release the home address to the public. And nothing should make you attempt to mitigate the fallout from his pattern of bullying.

Let me take a cue from PZ Myers.

www.youtube.com/embed/gqH_0LPVoho

For those with no irony-detection: PZ famously referred to Al Stefanelli with a similar song, because Al was friends with a person who is allegedly sexist (though the song was about racism). If we’re allowed to do guilt by association and change the intent of a song, then Lousy Canuck is racist is friends with a known bully / harasser / person who issues violent threats and gets kicked off FtB.

Days after the initial threats came out and Laden was booted, a few of my pals / cobloggers even raised a toast in his honor!

greg ladens violent threats, ill drink to that

By your logic, I should be sharing a beer with you toasting Mykeru, you know because of the high price he paid. Challenging someone to an MMA match seems like a proposal to meet on even terms. As long as both parties agree, I really don’t have a problem with it. Especially when Greg Laden repeatedly demands to know where Mykeru lives.

Whatever, keep your friend, LC. I won’t participate in guilt by association. It goes beyond association when you praise someone.

Conclusion

I’m going to compile a list of people who could potentially legitimately need the home address of somebody you disagree with on the internet (no matter how strongly, or how badly they acted).

1) Police or similar authority.

2) the internet (seriously, never this.)

Let’s just say Mykeru is the worst asshole on the planet. Worse than Greg Laden even. Just imagine more threats, cyber-stalking, and harassment than any one else. Are you thinking about David Mabus? I am.

  • Do we need to know the home address of David Mabus? Not really.
  • Would we publish the home address of David Mabus anywhere on the internet for any reason? No.

Who the fuck does Greg Laden think he is, Dexter? Seeking out this information is indicative of a bully who seeks to encourage violence (or instill the fear of violence) by proxy. It’s indefensible, at least in my universe. What’s the weather like in yours?

About Justin Griffith
  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    Defend what Greg said or did? Not once. Never. Not even in the copious blockquotes you’ve pulled from my post.

    Want you to own up to the fact that you’ve multiply defended serial harassers, this time because one of the harassers was harassing someone you have history with? Because you refuse to admit you were commisserating amicably with someone who *just got done threatening Greg*? And had been doing so and harassing him for a month?

    Yeah, I did that. And I’ll own it. Because you’re a hypocrite. Your feet are clay.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    Happy holidays, by the way.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      Must be really happy. You got those speed reader magic glasses and that quick-process audio brain circuit you wanted for the holidays. You’ve devoured this post with such speed!

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    Oh no. I haven’t listened to the audio yet. I’ve *read* it all, yes. Half of it was copypastad from your comments on my post, and from my post itself, after all.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    Still waiting for proof that I’ve defended Greg. For where I’ve characterized what he’s done as anything *other than* wrong.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      Cool, you’re on Team “FUCK GREG LADEN” right there with me. Sorry about that. I made a more accurate edit in the holiday spirit.

  • Nathair

    the home address of somebody you disagree with on the internet

    No. The home address of somebody you disagree with on the internet and their family. Or, in this case ineptly publishing the home address of the ex-wife of somebody you disagree with on the internet.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    It took you my post, the back and forth in the comments, and your full post, and my comments here, before you realized that I thought Greg was wrong? And you think that equals “TEAM FUCK GREG LADEN”? Must be nice to live in a world so black and white and so inured to corrections and nuance.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    Additionally, “lies about” equals intent. I don’t see any really clarifying information here. Looks like he apologized, you pleaded, and these came before you posted the emails. You also posted the Skype call without permission — regardless of the illegality of Greg’s actions, isn’t that also illegal? Do two wrongs make a right? Shouldn’t you avoid illegal actions while excoriating others’?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      It wasn’t skype. We both live in single party consent states. It’s not illegal at all. I told him that I had the call recorded.

      You just said that I committed a crime (or that I should have avoided committing a crime). That’s making false statements. If you were in this country (or universe), you’d be committing a crime.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/ Jason Thibeault

    Nathair: Greg published what he thought was the home address of someone who was harassing him, not someone who disagreed with him. Regardless of how shitty the action was, get it right. Have the guts to say what Mykeru was doing. You know, that’s what Stephanie and I have both argued about Justin.

    Nice that Justin took me on, by the way, but not Stephanie. Telling even.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      @Lousy Canuck

      You know, that’s what Stephanie and I have both argued about Justin.

      I didn’t know this.

      Nice that Justin took me on, by the way, but not Stephanie. Telling even.

      What does it tell you? I’ll tell you what it should tell you. That I had no idea Stephanie blogged about it.

  • Nathair

    Greg published what he thought was the home address of someone who was harassing him, not someone who disagreed with him. Regardless of how shitty the action was, get it right. Have the guts to say what Mykeru was doing.

    Have the guts? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on Jason. For effect I cut’n’pasted what Justin said, it wasn’t my own phrasing. Sure Mykeru was harassing him. Absolutely Mykeru was harassing him. Unquestionably Mykeru was harassing him. That does not alter the situation or my response in the slightest.

    But since you seem to feel my “guts” are on the line, here;

    Publishing the home address of somebody harassing you on the internet and their family. Or, in this case ineptly publishing the home address of the ex-wife of somebody harassing you on the internet.

    Do you see that it is the cavalier threat to innocent bystanders that I was pointing out. Would you care to address that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/reapsow1 reappaden

    Unfortunately Canuck has a long record of not getting his facts straight before he fumbles around with words making what was incorrect to begin with, also confusing. He tried to claim the video PZ posted as thank you to Al Stefanelli wasn’t meant to label me as a racist. He made incorrect assumptions about Justin Vacula and wrongly placed blame on him for things he never did. I know this because I was the one who did what Canuck was trying to put on Justin V. (making graphics mocking his bff Surly Amy, boo hoo.) If there was ever an example of someone who talks constantly but never really says anything, Canuck is it. When I first read The Lousy Canuck blog, I started out thinking that maybe Jason was well-meaning he just liked to twist things to fit what he was trying to say. After that it quickly became clear that Jason wasn’t really interested in getting things right at all, he could validate his own information with a little back-up from his loyal commenters. The last exchange I had with Jason was on twitter where I left him whining because I had referred to him as “princess”

    The guy whines constantly about people being PC while he uses his ‘social justice vocabulary’ to tell lies and hide the truth as it suits his motives. Someone should tell him getting the facts straight is more important than possibly offending people who can’t deal with the world the way it comes, as is.

    Justin, for what it is worth you have my respect. I know some of the things you have been through would break people like Canuck. You have enough class to not play that as leverage. You really do want to do the right thing and that is something not seen as often as it should be. Jason would do well to zip it and take this as a lesson learned. I doubt he has the ability to do that due to his ego…. that thing must weigh a ton

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      @reap

      FWIW – I don’t like gendered slurs, or epithets like ‘princess’ either. I’m just not going to call you a racist for making a statement that could plausibly be described with a different ‘ist’ word.

  • Pitchguest

    Jason, in your article you go to great lengths to lessen the harassment made by Laden and make it seem as though Justin was making a mountain out of a molehill. How in the hell can you say, after writing all of that, that you didn’t defend Laden?

    And then there’s when Greg Laden says he wants to kick Justin Griffith’s ass for defending the serial harassers, and that’s a breach of protocol worthy of condemnation and drumming out of the movement and exorcism and blood-letting and possibly chemical castration (and all of this despite the apology(ies?) from Greg to Justin and the begging-for-forgiveness from Justin to Greg and the hour-long Skype conversation they apparently had; and all BEFORE Justin decided to go ahead and post the first letter in the email exchange without any of the rest of the context).

    This quote alone shows you are clearly vying for Greg in this case, while at the same time making light of what he said to Justin.

    Are you seriously asking for evidence on that point, when you wrote the actual words?

    If you call Laden’s notpology an actual genuine apology, you’re full of it. Especially considering you’ve condemned other people for making ‘apologies’ in similar fashion. You dare call other people hypocrites and liars, when you’re one of the biggest hypocrite and liar on this site? You dare blame the victim, and then assert that people’s feet are made of clay? Maybe someone ought to clip your wax wings before you get too close to the sun of your ivory tower, you arrogant piece of shit.

    Oh – and guilt by association is a pitiful and dirty tactic.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/ Stephanie Zvan

    vicious bullying campaign that went on and on

    No such thing happened, Justin. A bunch of bloggers, including me, told you you were an unconscionable asshole. They knocked off when you pled stress and said you were getting treatment, and they wished you well with that treatment. They criticized you again when, instead, you stuck both feet in the slime again. Then you waved a big flag saying, “But…but Greg is worse!”

    As for begging, I still have your “plea” to me. You know, the one in which you say, “I want to simply talk to greg. That’s all I ever asked for. Then PZ started calling me crazy and Greg and him are people I respect.” The one where you talk about people with “slimey dispositions”, “I give them enough rope… then well… I’ll avoid violent trigger language lol.” The one in which you asked me to teach you how to fight slime. The one in which you warned me about alienating a “strong ally”.

    Yeah, remember when this was all about patching up your reputation with your colleagues instead of lying to shred someone else’s? Remember when you claimed to be going to do something about the slimepit instead of leaning on them to make you feel better?

    Yay, principles.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      @Zvan

      That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. I’m responsible for damaging Greg “Violent Threats and Home Addresses” Laden’s reputation? Blame the victim much?

      You think I’m still not mad at you for ignoring that plea for somebody to simply read the post? Greg finally read it and told me he mis-read it and his only problem was that I had part of a single sentence too big. He said I had everything right, and he was way off.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      Zvan wrote:

      vicious bullying campaign that went on and on

      No such thing happened, Justin. A bunch of bloggers, including me, told you you were an unconscionable asshole.

      What sort of parallel logic am I missing here?

      You know goddamn well that the main reason I was willing to get checked out was because so many of you were frothing over a single sentence, and the repeated “toddler in a parking lot” and “bilderbergs and lizard people” remarks from your pal Greg ‘Famous For Kicking Ass, Generally’ Laden. Yeah I had a few particular stressors in my life, and I thought: “How would anybody know if they were babbling? They’d HAVE to trust a doctor.”

      Guess what I found out the next day? I wasn’t babbling about bilderbergs and lizard people, you guys really were being assholes to me those first three days. I don’t blame you all, I blame Greg. Greg stirred the pot so thoroughly with his shit fit (that he claims was now based on a mis-reading of my post.) Look how it ended… I wasn’t the one who got the dogpile to stop.

      Several people wrote to me out of band to say they feared being piled on too and expressed sympathies. I had no idea a few of you were so trigger happy and cannibalistic that you’d lose your shit permanently over this. Well I thought it would pass, and I thought eventually even Laden’s vow to go to anger management might help him become a reasonable person. Don’t worry though, the snub is received. I get the message loud and clear.

      YAY Violent Threats and Home Addresses!!! YAY PTSD triggering!!! YAY cutthroat trigger happy tribalism!!! YAY guy who was literally kicked off this network because what you’re saying is absolute bullshit!!! YAY!!!

      PRINCIPLES: Your mileage may vary.

  • absolution

    Real Atheists of the Blogosphere. Don’t miss the drama!

  • Pitchguest

    @Zvan

    Ok, I’m going to break the rules and address you plainly (a lost cause, I know):

    Greg threatens Justin with violence and you defend him. You actually defend the asshole that threatens people with violence. Then you blame the victim by implying that he deserved it. That’s despicable. That is ‘unconscionable.’ You defend the man that threatens to kick someone’s ass should they ever meet, the man that implies men have inherent ‘rape-switches’, the man that says men are women ‘damaged by testosterone’, the man that told a woman to ‘get off the rag and kiss my ass’ (to which you responded, “that is unlikely, as she’s recently announced she’s pregnant”), the man that told a woman she’s a ‘fucking bitch’. But most relevant here, threatening a fellow colleague with physical violence. What is your major malfunction?

    Furthermore, you’ve attempted to revise history by asserting that the ‘threat’ was merely a mild, harmless expression, while Greg has changed it to saying he wanted to kick Justin in the ass and not kick your ass (or kick your fucking ass, as is the case) in order to make it seem as if Justin’s is making a lot of ado about nothing. You’ve done this before (and sorry to Justin in advance for going off topic), but when you went on and on about gendered epithets after EG, you wrote a letter titled, “Dear Dick” to which you justified by saying it’s an “informal title.” Bullshit, Stephanie. Bull. Shit.

    How about some consistency, Zvan? How about some integrity? Please. Just for fucking once. (That goes double for you, too, Jason. Wink.)

  • Simon

    I had not seen that, nor did I ever imply that Mykeru is nice, or should be defended. People told me Greg Laden was at it again, bullying and demanding home addresses of other people.

    What this sounds like to me is that you hadn’t fully examined the context when you made your post calling out Greg. Releasing a home address is controversial to say the least, so fair enough.

    Presumably you are aware of it now and you still disagree with Greg’s response. I’ll ask you what I also asked folks at Stephanie’s place: in his position what would you have done?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      I’ll ask you what I also asked folks at Stephanie’s place: in his position what would you have done?

      Reported the illegal content. Gone out of my way not to render the case DOA. What I would NEVER EVER DO is release the home address to the internet. Especially as a fellow with a history of violent threats. (If you read the last quarter of this post your question was already answered.)

      Bonus: Here’s my comment that’s awaiting moderation at Zvan’s. I also wanted it here, because I have to leave for several hours and have no means to communicate.

      —–

      Wow… this is awful.

      Look at the dates on the tweets. Mine is on the 12th, none of the others are on that day.

      I didn’t know it was my turn to babysit Mykeru and document his whole life.

      Truth: I know nothing about mykeru. The very first time I saw the name on twitter was Greg Laden saying “GIVE ME YOUR HOME ADDRESS, CHICKEN.” People know I’ve been threatened by Laden before so they sent me a link. Forgive me for not feeling the need to see if mykeru was ALSO bad.

      How I would have reacted if you asked ahead of time presenting this stuff that I ‘surely must have seen’:
      It’s not good. I don’t like the word ‘cunt’, and I don’t think it’s funny to constantly bring up that ‘kick in the cunt’ troll / harassment (not in a legal sense, but the common use). I’ve always said this, and I always will. It’s wrong. Greg is obviously more wrong here, and it’s not even close.

      How the fuck am I supposed to know how many people Greg Laden threatens and what their back stories are? He’s repeated his threats to me as recently as a month ago. He’s indefensible and there’s no way you can read my blog posts to suggest that I was defending Mykeru. I said he’s smarter than Greg Laden, but is that really saying much? Hard to say.

      There is no need to ever release a home address to the internet. Ever. You don’t have to like Justin Griffith but you do have to stop implying that he magically knew that Mykeru was saying any of these things.

      This was the extent of that conversation. It started because a member of my first RBB lineup (who had to drop out unfortunately due to his declining health, – it’s so sad to say this slow goodbye to him…) and friend Al Stefanelli liked a post I did.

      THIS IS WHAT I KNEW ABOUT MYKERU

      Then this mykeru character had a short conversation with me and Al, and I didn’t even see all of it until just now. I didn’t see the ‘pussy’ reference until just now, but that’s far from what you’re accusing me of ‘knowing’.

      All this aside… you’re quite two faced to blame ME for anything regarding FtB’s quite righteous decision to fire a person who has repeatedly threatened me with violence, says I ‘ride the short bus’ (classy), I’m a toddler in a parking lot…

      “Bully for you” as they say.

  • Mike LaFontaine

    So, Justin, these are the folks you make common cause with? I get that you think you need the support of big name atheists to further your activism. But, you may wish to consider that popularity is not the same as substance. While you are putting your career (and perhaps even your life) at risk taking on the entrenched religiosity in a huge bureaucracy, what are folks like Stephanie and Lousy Canuck doing? Sitting in their warm homes, with ready access to good food and clean, running drinking water *blogging*. Oh sure, a few times a year they will jet off to a skeptics conference where they will give a talk to a room full of like-minded individuals, and partake in the free drinks at the after-party. They claim fear of the roving gangs of misogynists at such conferences, but do you really take that seriously? Particularly in comparison to the real danger you face not only in your activism, but your job as a soldier? You don’t need these keyboard commandos nearly as much as you think. Especially when they turn on you so quickly when you have the temerity to think for yourself.

    These guys are The Situation and Snooki of skepticism, but with less personality.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      But if I stop succumbing to peer pressure, what will all of my friends think?

  • gshelley

    I know you feel you have to respond, but people like Zvan and Thibault aren’t worth it. they are utterly irrational and incapable of looking at any criticism of someone they support skeptically. You saw it with the post about the presentation Rebecca Watson gave on EP. Zvan responded that it was terrible because lots of people are mean to Rebecca and the person who made it had a history against her. Other than the claim, totally in contradiction to Rebecca’s own words in the video, that it was meant as criticism of the pop EP in the media, she made virtually no attempt to actually address any of the criticism. Then rather than actually do that, she made a follow up post proving that people are mean to Rebecca by posting some tweets from opponents asking for a rebuttal. And went to blogs of people who also posted the link you did to tell them how bad they were for not saying it was a terrible piece.

    To borrow an old phrase, being attacked by people like them is a bit like being savaged by a dead sheep.

  • Mike LaFontaine

    LOL. Good one.

  • chrisho-stuart

    Justin, one more thing.

    Generally, I agree with you in this whole kerfuffle — and I think the splash back you have received has been over the top.

    For all that, there is one thing which I think is true. You are being played somewhat here by Mykeru and his ilk.

    Mike LaFontaine, with respect, is wrong. These people here at FtB *are* the people you want to remain aligned with, and working through this disagreement is well worth while.

    Stephanie over-reacted badly; you are perfectly in the right to call out Greg’s behaviour. And I can’t really see Jason’s point here. Jason is not defending Greg (as he rightly points out) but he looks like saying that Greg is somehow excused by the context, or that there’s some inconsistency involved in being to vehement in criticism of him. I don’t buy that at all. Greg was wrong to post a private address, no matter what the other side was doing. It isn’t even a case where if the other side was sufficiently evil it would become okay. The worse the other side is, the more you need to consider official channels — as you pointed out yourself. Posting a private address in a public forum is 100% dumb; and shows a streak of the vicious in Greg which has been there for a long long time. Greg is bad news.

    But on the other hand: stop and think a bit. Even though the context does not excuse Greg in the slightest, his behavior is something his enemies can use — and have used. I gather someone passed this on to you… I have a feeling you are being played here by people who are every bit as bad as Greg, and worse, and who see you as an ally simply because you’ve become an enemy of Greg.

    Work out your disagreements with your colleagues here, because they deserve it and they are well worth it. Mike’s wrong to suggest otherwise. I’ve also posted something similar at Stephanie’s blog.

    And on a minor note. Like me, you write messages that are a tad too long; then make it worse with too many images and fonts. :-)

  • Mike LaFontaine

    chrisho-stuart:

    Mike LaFontaine, with respect, is wrong. These people here at FtB *are* the people you want to remain aligned with, and working through this disagreement is well worth while.

    Stephanie over-reacted badly

    Sure she over-reacted, but here is the thing: this is her typical reaction. Remember that vile email Greg wrote to Justin? She tried to victim blame Justin. Ed Clint’s fact based critique of Rebecca Watson’s speech about evolutionary psychology? Cloud of dust obscuring the plain language of Watson’s talk and absolutely zero engagement of Clint’s argument. Stephanie will react to any criticism, fair or unfair, of anyone in her tribe in just this manner. How she treats Justin makes it clear she doesn’t consider him a member of her tribe. Justin is only useful to her, and those like her, so long as they can bask in the reflected glow is his courageous activism. Beyond that, they only have contempt for him, clearly evidenced by their condescending tone and unwillingness to engage his actual points, as if they see him as a recalcitrant child.

    Even though the context does not excuse Greg in the slightest, his behavior is something his enemies can use — and have used. I gather someone passed this on to you… I have a feeling you are being played here by people who are every bit as bad as Greg, and worse, and who see you as an ally simply because you’ve become an enemy of Greg.

    Citation needed. If you don’t have any proof that this is the case, then you are no better than Stephanie or Greg. You are just telling him how he is supposed to think about this situation. Your smiley emoticons don’t hide *your* condescension. On what basis do you presume to know better?

  • Pitchguest

    With all due respect, chrisho stuart (that may change depending on your response), Stephanie is defending Laden for threats he made to Justin months back, the subsequent threats after that and now his doxxing of Mykeru. She doesn’t consider the context of Laden’s goading of Mykeru prior to his “harassment”, and therefore it seems like Mykeru is doing this spontaneously. He wasn’t. Whether she’s doing this out of blind commitment to Laden or some dislike she has towards Justin, I don’t know, but the fact is she’s blaming the victim in the most despicable manner. Not to mention Lousy Canuck is riding her coattails and sticking up for Laden as well. This is not how a network supports one another.

    Jason is not defending Greg Laden? Are you sure you’re reading that right? Maybe you should read him again.

    I’m not sure if you’ve realised, but Justin is usually not the sort to think in terms of ‘enemies’ and ‘allies’, and that most likely isn’t about to change. Maybe you shouldn’t think of Greg’s behaviour and Justin’s reaction to it as a bargaining chip for his ‘enemies’, but rather the right thing to do. As you say, Greg is bad news, and it’s important that when people stand up for the irrational things he says or does, they should be called out as well. I’ll be the first to say I have no love for Zvan, but maybe that’s due to the fact that she pulls shit like this. With the Lousy Canuck, same thing. It seems they’re so eager to betray their principles when it’s for a friend, they don’t even realise their own hypocrisy.

    I will repeat: Greg has told a woman to ‘get off the rag’ and kiss his ass, to which Zvan responded in a mocking tone, ‘that is unlikely, because she’s recently announced she’s pregnant’. How the hell is this indicative of a person who normally goes apeshit over the slightest gendered epithet? He’s called men women ‘damaged by testosterone’, men inherent with ‘rape-switches’, stalked and harassed a woman because he dislikes her, threatened Justin with physical violence if they should ever come across in person, and called a woman a ‘fucking bitch.’ All of this justified by Zvan. In fact, in the aftermath of the threats, Thibeault (Canuck) actually toasted Laden. If that’s the brunt of their principles, I don’t see the reason why they should be held on a higher pedestal.

    And on a personal note, I don’t think Mike was wrong at all. They are inordinately fickle with their principles and so quick to betray them in a moment’s notice.


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