Rock Beyond Belief
Defending The Religious Rights of Foxhole Atheists.
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I’ve really tried to stay away from this but…. I’ll just drop this video here.
She needs to shut the fuck up. I will donate no more money to CFI until she is silenced.
My dear Ms. Hensley, before you continue to embarrass yourself you should consider a new therapist who will tell you that IT ISN’T POSSIBLE to ‘catch’ PTSD from twitter. You also didn’t get herpes from a toilet seat. You are the kind of Feminist that does not do our gender any favors…. at all.
Not a feminist. More like some sort of internet attention whore, amirite?
I feel there is a distinct difference between a person who advocates equality for all that refers to themselves as a feminist and the current crop of RadFem calling themselves Atheist+. RadFem absolutely trivializes the violent experiences of others by equating their hurt feelings and inability to cope with social situations as an adult with actual trauma suffered by victims of violence. As a female who has been a victim of violence and bloody tragedy who suffers horribly from PTSD, I find the whole group of them to be patronizing and insincere. And, as a medical professional, I also think it is quite more likely that she has a personality disorder – Narcissistic personality disorder: a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, an inflated sense of one’s own importance and a deep need for admiration with little regard for other people’s feelings accompanied by a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism. Histrionic personality disorder: pervasive pattern of attention-seeking behavior and excessive emotions having difficulty when people aren’t focused exclusively on them, feeling uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention. Both of these sound a lot more likely that catching PTSD from Twitter!
Unbelievable. It’s one thing to claim you’ve got PTSD from Twitter. It’s another thing altogether to get those who have been touched by the horrors of war sacked just because they expressed their incredulity. Most people would not even be enjoying the freedom of having a never-ending public pity party if it were not for those veterans whose careers she is now trying to damage.
They put their lives on the line. For the Americans, but also for the rest of us, who enjoy our freedom and our rights and the privilege to live in liberal, democratic societies. We should all be grateful.
Paul, I realize you are not to found of me and several others in the atheist community and in turn several are not to found of you. But at what point do we stop instigating and start trying to employ empathy? I think we’ve reached that point.
Please don’t overlook how this whole thing with Ms. Hensley was provoked. For someone to create an account on April 9 for the sole purpose of poking at Melody and her sharing her condition on twitter 4 months after the fact IS uncalled for and it was deliberate. She IS being harassed and comparing how she got PTSD to others circumstances is heartless and so absurd it’s beyond wrong.
And before you start with the troll accusation I want you to know that the reason I even bother coming to this blog is because RBB meant something to me too and it bothers me to see it used as a medium to fuel drama. I say something to you not because I’m obsessed or stalking but because I don’t see you or JG as ignorant or stupid men and because of that, I expect better. Please keep in mind that you are not the only one out there advocating for foxhole atheists and what you do and say on your blog affects the entire community whether you mean for it to or not. I understand you’re approaching activism from a different perspective then some of us through blogging but you’re not and haven’t been to involved in local groups and don’t see how what you say influences others perceptions, both atheists and how they view issues in the military and the military and how they in turn view the foxhole atheist community.
You have this platform and can use it how you want to but I’m simply asking, differences aside, isn’t it more important to be united on this issue and not contribute to conflating it. Even if Ms. Hensley was in the wrong for calling a soldier’s CO, ppl overlooking or flat denying someone has this condition from being harassed isn’t helping anyone. Regardless of her intentions or anyone else’s, shouldn’t you take the higher road and advocate for ppl suffering from PTSD?
Do you know what combat, or PTSD are? If not, maybe you should shut up. I’ll give you a hint; being called mean names on the internet is not the same thing as being shot at, or watching people die horrible deaths in front of you.
Claiming that you got PTSD from twitter is a direct insult to those people who actually suffer from PTSD, from stuff like being brutally raped or having to watch their best mate try to keep his innards from spilling out on the ground. Pointing out how utterly ridiculous Melody’s claim are IS advocating for people who suffer from PTSD. Melody’s self serving BS, that she seem to pursue mainly so that she can bully people around while still crying “woe is me”, is trivializing those who suffer real PTSD, and it’s a disgrace.
I don’t think you get it at all. She went after someone’s job over a short disagreement, which cannot in any legal sense be considered harassment.
That is deplorable. I don’t care what anyone’s smoking. They tried it with me after I insulted Sarah Jones.
I do get it Paul! I don’t disagree that calling someone’s CO is crossing the line and I said she was in the wrong both to her and in my initial comment. However, nothing is going to come of that phone call other than ppl using it to attack her on social media and make accusations that she’s lying about her condition to get attention or something equally stupid.
Can I ask, why did you get involved with RBB initially? I’m not asking that flippantly. What good did posting a video made by TF do for foxhole atheists? You’re motive for doing so is because of what happened last August and you just admitted to it. That comes across as you holding a grudge and jumping on a bandwagon when the opportunity presented it-self. How is that advocating for foxhole atheists or those suffering from PTSD, whether veterans or not? So I’m wondering, what is your purpose for even blogging at RBB anymore if it’s not to advocate for atheists in the military? I’m sorry you’ve had some bad experiences since getting involved with RBB but if this blog is going to become about you and your opinions or a medium to promote the latest social media drama, you and I are going to have issues. That was not what RBB was started for and you’re not going to degrade the work my-self and others in the foxhole atheist community accomplish through RBB.
Grudge? You just agreed with and then disagreed with me.
Look, what was done was wrong. Period! And if no one else has the balls to speak up about it, then I will. Every time someone gets butthurt on the internet the answer is not to run and report that person to their employer. That’s sneaky, underhanded bullshit.
This blog is about me and my opinions. I’m the one that signed the contract with Patheos. I’m sorry you don’t like that, but that’s the way it is. It’s just little old me with my tiny corner of the internet typing away.
Again, I completely agree that trying to get someone’s employer involved is taking it to far. I didn’t agree and then disagree with you on that. However, so is challenging someone on a condition they have, as this video does. I apologize if I’m being abrasive and am annoying my-self at even talking about this anymore. I don’t have a problem with you blogging. I’m concerned about the content of some of the blogs and how it reflects on RBB because of the reaction from many in the atheist community as well as the military.
I can sort of sympathize with Hensley’s position; as Wikipedia puts it (1):
Most people having experienced a traumatizing event will not develop PTSD. Women are more likely to experience higher impact events, and are also more likely to develop PTSD than men. Children are less likely to experience PTSD after trauma than adults, especially if they are under ten years of age. War veterans are commonly at risk to PTSD.
Seems there is a subjective element to PTSD – different people are going to be affected to a greater or lesser extent by the same events, as the related incident in the movie Patton suggests – which might well justify the suggestion that Hensley’s subjective experiences are at least analogous to those of traumatized war veterans, and which mightwell produce the same or similar subjective or objective physiological effects.
However, it seems that it would take a serious amount of pig-headedness – to be charitable – to deny that there is a very significant objective difference in the severity of the actual events that supposedly precipitates the “same” subjective experiences. And in the denial of that difference – and in the suggestion or outright claim that highlighting that difference constitutes “harassment” – Hensley gives every indication that whatever degree of PTSD her twitter experiences have produced makes her “unfit for duty”.
But, in passing, I love the reference in Thunderfoot’s video (@2:22) to a SlymePit photoshop (2), although it might have been nice if Thunderfoot had acknowledged that source, which rather clearly suggests that Hensley is decidedly unclear on those differences – at best, maybe as a consequence of her supposed PTSD. And at worst that she’s aiming for the gold in the proverbial “Oppression Olympics”. —
1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder 2) http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=148203#p148203
What I can’t understand is that she keeps tweeting. If she has PTSD shouldn’t she stop posting.
I think any qualified therapist would suggest that she immediately desist actively participating in that which she feels is abusive. If I felt that my husband was abusive, and yet I came home everyday and slapped him in the face, instigating an argument, I hardly have a right to be surprised or complain when others suggest that I might not be as abused as I claim. PTSD causes debilitating fear. A person who continues to actively participate in an activity isn’t deathly afraid of it. And all of this reeks of the Radical Christian position of claiming you’re being bullied when they can’t persecute others in the name of their beliefs. It bears a striking resemblance to the public asshattery they display to provoke pushback in order to feed their persecution complex.
War veterans with PTSD, and people with mental health problems in general, have a long history of being mistreated by our society. But it’s not because people have been too quick to accept someone’s description of their mental health problems. Rather, it’s because people who DID describe their mental health problems were not believed and instead treated meanly and callously. It happened after WW2, when people didn’t have a full appreciation of PTSD and we were only starting to understand its effects, and people simply expected veterans to re-enter society without any problems, when in reality many of the veterans were suffering from PTSD and needed support because of it, support that not all of them got.
It happened after Korea and Vietnam, when many people in the country, including many WW2 vets, refused to believe the veterans of those wars of the trauma they experienced and its effects, because the veterans of those wars didn’t have it as bad as those in WW2. The motto of the Vietnam Veterans of America is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” because of this.
It happened, and is happening, again, as veterans from our current wars come home and find that, again, people are slow to believe their trauma and the effects that that trauma has on many of them, again because some people don’t believe that the experiences that the veterans of these wars had doesn’t match up to some arbitrary standard of trauma one must have before their suffering is believed.
And fuck that. People are suffering because, when they describe their experiences with their mental health and trauma, they are met with disbelief, callousness, and meanness instead of compassion and kindness and support. All because some people refuse to believe that people can have difference reactions and difference experiences, and instead demand that people meet some arbitrary standard of suffering before showing a little compassion. This happens for veterans with PTSD, this happens for people with other forms of mental health problems as well (I don’t have PTSD, but I do have depression, and it sucks when people are callous and mean because I have life too good by their standards to have depression. You know what? Sorry I don’t match their standards for depression, but it doesn’t make my experiences less real, or painful.)
So this person said that she has PTSD from all the mean, awful things said to her on twitter. She doesn’t say she has PTSD worse than anyone else, or that other people’s experiences aren’t just as real. And yeah, maybe most people wouldn’t get PTSD from that. But people react differently to different things- that’s why some vets get PTSD, but some don’t even if they have similar experience. And the “didn’t have it bad enough” nonsense is exactly what some people said to Vietnam vets, and vets from the current wars. And, similarly, some people chose to react by being callous and mean instead of showing a little compassion. Showing a little support and kindness to this person doesn’t invalidate the pain of people suffering from combat-related PTSD. But being callous and mean to this person just encourages people to think it’s OK to be callous and mean to people with PTSD and other mental health issues just because they don’t pass some jerks’ arbitrary quota of suffering before they’re allowed to be shown compassion.
The problem in our society isn’t people being too quick to believe when someone describes their mental health problems and to show a little compassion when people talk about them. The problem in our society is people being too quick to dismiss these issues and being mean and callous because their experiences are different, or because they don’t think they’d react in the same way.
The problem in our society, at the moment, is drama queens, Chicken Littles, “boys who cry wolf” and similar parasites who have sown animosity and mistrust, and generally abused the notions of “empathy” and “compassion” to the point where such qualities can no longer flourish.
The problem with her is she is taking something like war trauma, sexual abuse trauma and other horrendous things that cause PTSD and comparing them to her twitter feed, saying that they are equal. If she truly has a debilitating (yes she says its debilitating) mental illness then she should not try to either
A) Trivialize others to make her trauma the bigger issue or B) Build her own issues up with sympathy garnering and telling combat veterans to “Educate Themselves” on PTSD C) Threaten to report soldiers to their superiors
Its people like her who distort real issues to meet their own wants & needs that cause the stigma that all PTSD is made up BS when it is an awful thing to face. She opens the door to ridicule when she tries to hijack a real life altering disease caused by true trauma (War, Rape, Assault, Violence) and claim her inbox and dissenting views caused it, at best she has anxiety but tries to flaunt it as PTSD. Thats like me getting Chicken Pox and calling it the Plague.
Remember when atheism was about the disbelief in gods and not about hating every women thunderf00t told you to hate? That was a nice time.
So you’re cool with the feminist Melody Hensley and what she has been saying, then?
Actually, I don’t give a fuck. I used to be proud to be an atheist, now I’m embarrassed by all the anti women bs that has been dragged in. Atheism: Not believing in any gods. Thunderf00t Atheism: A hate parade of anything and everything he doesn’t agree with. Its tiring, divisive and I’m sick of it. And besides, thunderf00ts videos are almost always filled with one sided, quote mined, vitriolic attacks that are always blown out of proportion.
The anti-feminism is a counter-reaction to the entryism practiced by the Social Justice Warriors who started sneeringly speak about “dictionary atheists” and then tried to hijack the A/S community with a homecooked “third wave A+ atheism” that claimed that everyone who didn’t 100% agree with their liberal feminist ideology and political stances were evil scum etc…
If you want to blame anyone for the divide, thunderf00t is hardly the right target, considering the only reason he even started criticizing the SJWs and the feminists was because the sheer volume of hate he received for daring to suggest that the atheist community should primarily occupy itself with atheism instead of feminism. In other words, because he had pretty much the same sentiment as you seem to have…
Thunderf00t was the FRIST person to try and make the atheism movement something more than just “no gods” or don’t you all remember his weird “pearlism” thing a few years back. He made a few videos, pushed the idea but and no one thought is was clever or smart or something. Someone else comes along and tries to make atheism more inclusive, tries to get more women involved and all of a sudden its “Holy fuckin shit, atheism should be about atheism and every other idea is stupid”.
Right, because this whole atheist/feminist internet drama schism originates from tf00ts (moronic) “pearlism”? And that’s why he’s making videos about feminists?
As I said, this division originates from the handful of bloggers over at FTB and Skepchick who tried, and failed, to bully atheist people and organizations around with their ideological dogma.
They tried to have DJ Grothe fired from JREF, they accused Hitchens and Dawkins of being white supremacists, they accused Michael Shermer of being a serial rapist, tried to paint Lawrence Krauss as a sexual harasser, wanted Ron Lindseys head on a platter for daring to suggest that “check your privilige” really isn’t that good of an argument… just to mention some of the stuff they’ve pulled. All while maintaining that everyone who disagree with them are misogynists, that reading their public tweets and blogs is stalking and harassment, and that laughting at their silliness is cyber bullying…
Thunderf00t has done some really stupid stuff on occasion, but if you think he is to blame for this particular clusterf***, then you need a reality check.
So fucking what??? Maybe Michael Shermer is a sleaze. and that check your privilege thing deserved the backlash because it was a shitty thing to say. And thats what I’m saying. -So fucking what? some people have options different from others. Dawkins said that he was fondled as a child by a priest and it wasn’t a big deal. Others would beg to differ. Some women think being accosted at three in the morning in an empty elevator is creepy and weird, others see it as an a-okay thing to do.
Women and men do shitty fuckin thing sometimes. They say crap, they think crap. The thing is, this whole anti-feminist movement that some people are on is not serving as solutions to any problems. It’s putting all women in a box and labeling that box as whiny and not be listened to. Heres the big problem and you might really hate to here this, but many women, feminists or not, actually identify with many of the problems these women talk about. When you say “everything this women is saying is wrong” you’re also saying “if you identify with her in any way, you are also wrong”. It’s alienating a whole large group of people, both men and women. And its tired and stupid and yawn.
And again, I would also like to state that a lot of the shit you’re referring to is second hand information. Like you’ve actually filled Rebecca Watkins or anyone else and was like “Oh, I used to like her, but now she’s getting weird”. No, you never did. You heard all this shit second or third hand from other people in the atheist community. I highly doubt you would of ever even known who this CFI chick was if thunerf00t hadn’t’ pointed out why you should hate her.
She says she’s been diagnosed by a psychiatrist, she may very well be diagnosed with Complex PTSD. As I understand it’s PTSD resulting from small traumas experienced repeatedly over a long period of time (e.g. bullying) rather than a large trauma experienced in a short period of time (e.g. e.g. natural disaster.)
Regardless, her behavior is reprehensible, you don’t go to someone’s commander over something that did not happen during the course of duty. That’s just childish tattle telling, that could, unfortunately, mess with someone’s career. All over her inability to be an adult and have reasonable expectations about others. Pathetic.
If i was running CFI national she would have been let go long ago. A sixteen month plus debilitating illness must make it impossible to do her job adequately, not to mention the embarrassment that is her twitter feed.
As a citizen and as a former service member I have to strongly disagree with you. If you are not willing to hold yourself to a higher standard than the general populace, both on the job and off, then you have no business serving in the military (or taking any number of other service jobs such as police officer or politician). For some jobs you are never truly off duty and your actions on or off duty still reflect back upon the military (or the police, or public office, etc.). If you cannot behave as a decent human being in your off time, then there is no reason to assume you can act appropriately just because you put on your uniform and it very much should affect your career.
Also, valuing the career of the people behaving inappropriately over the people they are mistreating does not make me trust your value system. It reminds me all too strongly of the media lamenting the lost futures of young rapists instead of showing compassion for the person they raped.
That would exclude many, many people holding those jobs then. Your blind idealism and what goes on in reality are two completely different things.
Many, many people should be excluded from those jobs. Or do you think any damned fool should be handed a gun or given power and authority over others without even an attempt being made to keep them in line?
Also, I fail to see how wanting to push towards a better standard instead of throwing up my hands and saying “it is how it is” is blind idealism. Unless, of course, anyone who ever tries to improve anything ever a blind idealist? Because that would make the term pretty much useless, would it not?
Just that your standards are completely unrealistic. If you truly kicked out everyone who failed them, there would hardly be anyone left.
The military likes to think that it’s better than everyone else, but it just isn’t.
More integrity and higher moral standards than that required of the average citizen is unrealistic? Even after they spend months trying to instill those values (among others) in boot camp? Our society is completely and totally screwed if we cannot find enough people above that very low bar to fill our armed services.
I know more than I ever wanted to know about the members never being off-duty and always bound to a higher standard, I’m a former dependent. Regardless, the military is filled with assholes of all stripes, just like the population it’s drawn from, so that sounds real pretty, but it’s not reality.
However, in this context, i.e., Melody Hensley, et al., who are known for valuing drama and butt hurt over honesty and empathy, even to the point of getting at least one person fired over nothing, I think expressing concern over someone’s career is not out of line. Not to mention her twitter use, despite it being instrumental in her PTSD, continues unabated, which doesn’t help her credibility at all.
“I was in a terrible car accident that caused me bruises (and also a ruptured spleen and a broken leg). That gives me the right to question your claim that you got a bruise from bumping into the coffee table, call you a liar unless you remove the coffee table from your house, accuse you of cheapening my own bruises and harass you endlessly”. The logic on display here is pathetic.
I’m completely disappointed that you’ve decided to lend support to people who are attacking Melody Hensley. The logic behind this is so poor it should be embarrasing to the perpetrators, but I suspect that people feel emboldened when they’re claiming to “support our troops.” 1) If you have a problem with Melody having contacted someone’s CO, then address that issue. 2) Unless you are a credentialed psychiatrist qualified to diagnose PTSD, and have personally consulted with Melody, you have no freaking business saying what illness she does or does not have. 3) The existence of people who have gotten PTSD from non-military trauma does not detract from the seriousness of military-related PTSD. Raising money for the study of all PTSD is not going to subtract funds that the DOD has invested in studying military PTSD. 4) Anyone who claims that it is not possible to be traumatized by online harassment and abuse is just being willfully ignorant. Anyone who says “just turn off your computer” is asking the victim to stop the abuse rather than demanding that the abuser stop the abuse. Screw that noise.
1)Claiming that you got PTSD from twitter minimizes the seriousness and debilitating nature of the disorder and what actually causes it. 2) Telling a person who claims they are receiving PTSD from a device to QUIT ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING in that which she considers to be abusive, is common sense, and far from victim blaming.
You don’t have your facts straight. She didn’t “claim” she “got PTSD from twitter.” She publicly disclosed that she was diagnosed with PTSD, by a qualified professional psychiatrist, following a systematic campaign of death and rape threats and verbal abuse, some of which occurred on twitter. Your casual opinion may be that this is not serious, but I disagree.
I didn’t say “victim blaming,” I said “asking the victim to stop the abuse rather than demanding that the abuser stop the abuse,” which is exactly what you are doing. That’s doesn’t seem like a sensible solution to me, particularly when work life and social life occur largely online nowadays. It’s like asking someone to stop going out in public because being in public is “actively participating.”
If Twitter is giving Melody Hensley, Post Trauma Stress Disorder (suicidal thoughts), why does she continue to send out 20-50 tweets a day? Why doesn’t she put her profile on private? If something is causing a person PTSD, wouldn’t they avoid it (Twitter in this case) so you can heal from the trauma? If a military veteran suffers from PTSD, would he go back into the battlefield??
ALL activist groups are harassed including us MRAs. Erin Pizzey was AGAINST Feminism where her dog was murdered, received death/bomb threats everyday where in the end she had to leave the country.
“If u can’t handle the pressure of being an activist Melody, don’t take the job!”
As someone whose job comes complete with a red flag for PTSD almost in the job description (civilian emergency services) this whole thing raises quite a number of issues:
1. Subjectivity of symptoms – the vast majority of the symptoms of PTSD are way more subjectively apparent than they are objectively observable which makes verification of whether someone actually has it and to what degree difficult to quantify. This means that headshrinkers who are being paid to find something (i.e. ones who are paid to treat PTSD, or who charge by the hour) do tend to be prone to finding it where it is marginal and headshrinkers who are being paid not to find it (i.e. my job’s occupational health, who would be required to sign people off as undeployable until it was managed, at my employer’s expense) are prone to not see it when it is there.
2. Variability of succeptability – The trauma required to cause PTSD is completely variable, some people are capable of wading hip deep in the blood of their fellows and to be completely unaffected, some people are prone to be succeptable to far more minor traumatic events. Most people are somewhere inbetween. This combined with the difficulty in objectively identifying symptoms makes it a bit of a sod to accurately predict.
3. The Health and Safety aspect – Any employer who deliberately exposes someone to stimuli associated with the trauma responsible for a PTSD diagnosis without the most supportive available monitoring and management in place beforehand is horribly (and in my view, bordering on criminally) negligent. Whatever else is legislated and is or isn’t in place then everyone deserves a duty of care from their employer to ensure that they have the safest possible working environment, whether this translates to not going on Twitter if that was your stressor or not being put in harms way unless there is a damn good reason to and no practical alternative.
4. The Streisand Effect and basic diagnostics – The diagnostic criteria of PTSD from the American Psychological Association include exposure to a traumatic event, persistant re-experiencing of the event, persistant avoidance and emotional numbing and persistant symptoms of increased arousal not present before (difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, increased startle respone etc). Given that persistant avoidance of being trolled on Twitter is entirely inconsistant with going onto Twitter and effectively picking fights with people who (rightly or wrongly) skeptical, to the extent of threatening to go to peoples employers with the intent of getting them sacked. On the other hand, it is a neat way to actually re-experience the event (having strips torn off of you online for acting like a tool and then being called on it). It’s not avoidance consistant with PTSD in my opinion but closer to attention seeking behaviour.
5. The Devil(s Article) in the detail – Members of the US armed forces are subject to military law (the Uniform Code of Military Justice), by complaining to a particularly bloodyminded CO she may well be responsible for having someone courtmartialled under Article 134 (conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline)
All of the above are my personal opinions, IANAL or a doctor (certainly not a headshrinker, which going from the occy health people at my work is verging on witchdoctoring anyway)
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