Why the move?

Why the move? July 9, 2013

The chief motivation for moving the RBB blog to Patheos is to circumvent the increasingly frequent blocking of our site at many military bases.

These bases allow similar content from religious perspectives, so it’s not just some blanket policy on blogs. Frankly, this is likely to come up again (and again). Even the main website for the festival we launched was blocked by many military bases, despite the event being largely staffed by DoD personnel. Blogging with ferocious activists like Chris Rodda probably did not help (worth it, love ya Chris!)

As a foxhole atheist, I want nothing more than equal treatment. I just want a seat at the table. Atheists are just now beginning to break through the stained glass ceiling in the US military. I even spearheaded a damn festival on the front lawn of several generals, with Richard Dawkins and Aiden headlining as children ‘walked on water’ (and corn syrup) in front of the Fort Bragg chapel.

Have you heard the commercial? We aired *this* hundreds of times on various radio stations. We even snuck it in during an episode of Sean Hannity’s talk radio program.

No idea why it was yanked from that station after the first play. 🙂

It was the first meaningfully endorsed atheist meeting allowed on a US Military base. Still our internet presence was blocked on several other bases (or worse – publicly accused by an Army captain of endorsing arson aimed at chapels during our festival.)

Rock Beyond Belief started as a festival. It got far more attention as a blog. It became a vehicle for empowering other foxhole atheists to overcome a variety of issues. My advocacy was pretty much in some level of news coverage several times a week. Military policies were changed. Justice was often granted. Issues were getting solved. Of course that would have consequences for me personally. I expected it, that’s why I sprinted towards the gunfire while I could. On the other hand, I was marched into many general’s offices with no explanation, only to find out that they wanted to shake my hand and tell me what screen name they used to comment on my blog!

We’re hoping that by moving the blog to Patheos – an interfaith site – they’d have to ban similar theistic content to silence us (and choose not to). Perhaps we’ll have to accept our fate as internet vagabonds to reach fellow service members. Maybe we’ll move again every few years.

Why the recent radio silence?

The breakneck pace for my advocacy had consequences. It was not sustainable. I don’t want to discourage any of my brothers and sisters from speaking out, but I was over-the-top (with no regrets). I brought several dozen issues to the media, not just one. Most were corrected immediately, despite the endless exhaustion of internal channels. I will never be able to explain fully why I can’t participate anymore, but I’ve attempted to explain in an extremely watered-down version a few weeks back at Ellenbeth Wach‘s.

Paul Loebe stepped up and picked up right where I left off. He likely will never be able to reveal the full consequences he’s faced either. I’m so proud of him and he’s been doing an excellent job as the new Military Director of American Atheists. I’m still in close contact with him, and I’m helping with some advocacy / advice where I can.

Loebe’s a machine. He’s going to move mountains, but as with all foxhole atheists speaking out, he’s going to need your help from time to time.  So please subscribe / like / follow him closely, and look out for letter-writing campaigns and the like. That stuff works more often than you think.

It feels like I’m forgetting something…

PZ Myers is the only really massive draw to FtB.

It’s no secret that Greg Laden was shit-canned from FtB for his violent threats against me. Do you remember the way PZ Myers handled the situation? He posted a public hand-washing of *me* over the disclosure of Laden’s vile words. Always name names (unless it’s when our bff’s do it?)

Staying at FtB after being publicly renounced by the only major draw to the blog network…? Fuck that.

He’s also a fake. PZ has a “Trophy wife”,  has used ‘gendered slurs’ multiple times, such as endorsing the phrase “Science, it works bitches!” as great motto for scienceblogs, etc. Why people think he’s a super feminist ally is beyond me. If he’s only converted to this brand of feminism recently, then why all the overblown hatred for people making the same mistakes he’s made several times? Can’t they too come around?

I recently left this brief summary elsewhere.

PZ posted the day Laden was shit-canned over that incident… PZ publicly washed his hands of me? If PZ had his hands on me for any reason, I’d need a goddamn shower. Did you know that he recommended and linked to cartoons of women being *raped* by octopus-like tentacled animals? He’s made several ‘under the sea’ adult references in his posts over the years.

All apologies for the kink-shaming there, but when your apparent fetish breaks multiple laws in just about every country you don’t get to publicly wash your hands of people. Incredibly, PZ has recently chided the nation of Japan for their ‘rape culture’, pointing to the very rape comics that he previously recommended to his audience.

PZ, stop washing your hands of people. Just wash your hands.

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  • Paul Loebe

    I got yer back, Justin!

  • Lee Moore

    Glad to see you have found a home without any of the hate.

    • Paul Loebe

      Lee, that’s your “privilege” talking 😉 *wink*

      • Lee Moore


  • Cat Burns

    A lot of people will be very happy to have heard from you, wishing you the best Justin.

  • EllenBeth Wachs

    Love you, Justin. Always have my shoulder and ear.

    • Justin Griffith

      Thanks! Same here, my friend. We basically did the same fucking thing at the same time.

  • Axel Blaster

    best wishes for you and Paul!

  • Terry Pratt

    Keep your nose up in the turns, Justin.

  • Bart Meltzer

    Glad you dumped FTB. The site seems to be more for self serving ego trips than any kind of rational discussion about anything. The last thing FTB is about is “Free Thought.”

    • Justin Griffith

      First off, thank you.

      I’d advise people in general not to paint the whole site with a broad brush, though I understand what you meant. I made the same mistake when over-generalizing the boogeyperson known collectively as the slimepit. That’s a *group* of people.

      There are still a number of fantastic blogs there at ftb, and more than a few blogs that never post on ‘deep rifts’ issues.

      • Bart Meltzer

        Sure, there are good people there but they are overshadowed by the ones who actively engage in dividing our community for their own personal gain.

        That kind of taints the entire site in my view. It’s too bad because there are some good threads there that will never be read because of that.

        I didn’t even know RBB was there until just a few weeks ago. I’m glad you left.

        • Justin Griffith

          I really understand what you mean. There are some things that went on at FtB that crumpled the ‘brand’. There were days when I was so pissed off that I couldn’t even log in to FtB because of the bullshit associated with it.

          The one good thing about skeptics is that they tend to actually check sources. Maybe it’ll take a while, maybe they’ll rely on friends for a bit… but really, that place is made out to be something it’s not. Ask Ellenbeth, or myself, or the ever-increasing number of people a handful of them cannibalize.

          The slimepit is as harmless as that After The Bar Closes forum. Now that the atheist blogosphere largely got bored of creationism… a challenger appears!

          Obviously there are a few bad characters in any medium-large size group, but the narratives on both sides of the rift sometimes border on caricature. At least the slimepit is funny.

          I feel like I owe Abbie Smith and several Slimepitters an apology. I threw them under so many buses. I groveled. I attempted to ‘get’ PZ’s side. FFS, so embarrassing!

          • Bart Meltzer

            The FTB brand is trashed. IMO it will fade away into obscurity at some point. The kind of atmosphere that is in place there is not palatable to most rational people for very long. They created their own ideology and most Atheists won’t put up with it.

            I commend you for sticking it out and trying to make it work as long as you did.

          • Lea Tapp

            Keep telling yourself that kiddo. Sour grapes.

          • Paul Loebe

            He might be onto something. When a single man (Thunderfoot) has more of a base than ALL of freethoughtblogs put together….well. I guess that pretty much says it all.

          • ool0n

            Well I’m convinced, now Catholicism or Islam? 1 billion people in one faith cannot be wrong but then Mo commands more overall… Decisions, decisions…

          • Jasila

            He didn’t say being bigger made it right, just that the little tarnished brand will fade away, and it doesn’t look good for FTB that just one of the guys they rejected is bigger than all of them put together.

            It might suck for you to hear this, but Catholicism and Islam are going to outlast that low-traffic den of PD sufferers that pretends to ‘Freethought’ too. Boo hoo.

          • ool0n

            Certainly sounded like an argumentum ad populum to me! You also commit the same fallacy -> ” it doesn’t look good for FTB that just one of the guys they rejected is bigger than all of them put together” -> If it is true then good on them, kick someone out who is that popular based on principle! Kudos!

            Catholicism and Islam will outlast Thunderf00t, the “Amazing” atheist, Richard Dawkins… Of course they will through mere inertia alone. Point is, so what? Popularity and longevity are not measures of truth, if they were we would all be religious, Hindu or Buddhist specifically.

            FTBs could die tomorrow as far as I’m concerned, Maryam Namazie will continue her work with the Council of Ex-Muslims, Ally Fogg will still be writing for the Guardian, Ophelia Benson for Free Inquiry, Avicenna will continue his activism as will Yemisi Ilesanmi etc. etc. etc. Will make it slightly harder for me to keep up with favourite bloggers and activists is all. Weird that the tribal-thinkers in the anti-FTB brigade put so much thought and effort into this whole “fade into obscurity” rubbish.

          • Jasila

            Are you an idiot? It’s not an argumentum ad populum because that requires saying the bigger thing is better. Which neither he nor I did.

            You appear to be so desperate to believe we’re wrong that you’ve invented that claim

            Read our comments again. You won’t find that being said.

            We merely said they would outlast FTB. And A+.

            It seems that you’re so averse to the idea of FTB failing that you have to invent reasons why we’re “really” saying something more than ‘we think it will won’t outlast these much bigger guys’. So that we can be “wrong” and you can relax.

            Relax already dude. It’s not going to last, but we won’t know that for sure until it fades away. So until then you can just assume you’re right and it won’t and not worry yourself. Once it fades away you can stop talking about it and you will never have to worry again.

          • ool0n

            Riiiighy you are merely saying X is more popular than Y and Z will last longer than Y… This is no reflection on the worth of Y, just a series of irrelevant statements. I can almost believe that from you two.

            And I’m so averse to the idea of FTB failing that I said it could die tomorrow for all I care? O_o Reading comprehension, try it sometime.

          • Jasila

            See. You’re absolutely fixed. We *must* mean that the bigger is better, there’s no chance we just think the bigger one will last longer and it’s funny how much that seems to bother you.

            As if that even makes any sense. I said Christianity and Islam were bigger, so I must think they’re better. But if I believed one of them, I’d have to believe the other one was heretical and wrong. So I wouldn’t be wandering around saying “Both of these are huge and great”

            Face it dude, you’re wrong. Obviously I think it will be great when FTB fails. I also think these bigger organisations will outlast FTB and it’s hilarious, since the FTB hate them so much but aren’t able to match them. Don’t overreach and embarrass yourself by insisting we’ve made a *logical* error rather than a factual one, you’re just making yourself look foolish.

            p.s. there are more cats then there are elephants I bet they will outlast them. Oh no! I must think cats are better!

          • ool0n

            Do you even know what “FTB” is?

          • Jasila

            Of course I do. It’s a vicious atheist supremacist site that has gone semi-radfem on itself in an effort to justify more viciousness against everyone and their own. It started out as a mod for Counter-strike but was developed as a standalone later by one PY Myer.

            Check it out: http://www.feed-the-beast.com/

            Glad to see you’ve dropped the “You love big organisations” derail though. Bigger ain’t always better.

          • ool0n

            Yup, I guess this describes you perfectly then –

            “Let me say, for the first and last time on this issue, that the only rabidly dogmatic crazies I ever came across upon setting up this blog at this particular site, were the anti-FTBers.”

          • Jasila

            You think like I’m a guy who is stupid enough to argue “I haven’t seen any crazies, therefore they don’t exist”?

            That’s pretty upsetting.

          • AidenC

            This weekend I personally met a woman who was harassed out of the skeptics movement. (You have never mentioned her, she wasn’t with FtB.) I wish you and Abbie had been there so you could have told the woman how wonderful Abbie Smith is while Abbie laughed in her face as she cried when telling me about the misogynist harassment that she endured.

            Abbie and the slymepit are NOT harmless. They hurt real live grown-up people and drive some great people out of the movement. (For the record, Greg Laden is an asshole and I cringe at the damage the man has done.)

          • ool0n

            Recently this has been on my mind –

            Slymepit screaming that she should fuck off out of the movement. They turned up on her blog and even her personal facebook page, this shook her up and I gave her some tips on how to be anonymous online as she didn’t realise how easy it was for assholes to find her. I don’t know how close she was to giving up and leaving but her comments made it sound like its been a close thing. Then this ->
            Seems EEB works with veterans who suffer rape and sexual assault in the military. *Male* victims as well and says they maybe suffer *more* than women in the military. Fucking disgrace how the slacktivist MRAs at the pit tried to drum her out of the movement. She has done far more than me or them could dream of for mens rights it seems. I’d love to hear her speak at a conference about working with sexual assault victims in the military (male and female) and how the MRA narrative is damaging to her work. How likely is it that she is going to stick her head above the parapet when just as an anonymous commenter she got that treatment? Anyone else seeing that as well… You can guess on the effect.

            Apparently EEB expressing emotion about misogyny is just as appalling to the Slymepit as misogyny is to FTBs. Says a lot about them IMO.

          • EllenBeth Wachs

            Wow, you are dishonest. They were having a discussion amongst themselves and said it to each other. You can thank Stephanie Zvan for bringing it to her attention.

          • ool0n

            Of course it was Stephanies fault that Justin Vacula made a “dramatic” reading video on YouTube and tweeted it all over the public forum that is Twitter. As did his friends from the pit with the aim of ridiculing her! Who then talked shit about her on that public forum, hunted down her blog to comment their “support”, found her real name and IRL facebook page to hound her there as well… How silly of me all I needed was a bit of hallucinogen from the red pill and now its all clear to me. Obviously not harassment or bullying at all, just a few friends having a discussion! [You might detect some sarcasm, I couldn’t possibly comment]

            One small thing tho as when your stalker was on the pit spreading lies there and they were all talking about you. ERV calling you Ellen-Beth Wacho, them laughing about the smears spread about you totally unsceptically etc. etc. That was err… harassment according to you, not just a discussion amongst themselves. I condemned it as such and you didn’t seem to disagree with me at the time. /confused

          • EllenBeth Wachs

            99.9% of that has precisely ZERO to do with my comment.

            And you get it wrong. What a shock.

            Edited to say I should have just ignored you.

          • Justin Griffith

            Hi oolozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

          • Richard Sanderson

            It is not difficult to ridicule Stephanie Zvan. After all, she is the one who held a toast to Greg Bin Laden on the very night he was booted off FTB.

            Right now she is trying to censor dissent about how atrocious her panel debate on evo-psych was. Her rubbish has got called out by people smarter than her, and now she’s crying.

            Further, Stephanie is the one who initiated the hate campaign to get Justin to step down from a position with an atheist group.

            I have absolutely no sympathy for her.

          • Mykeru

            Oolon, your tears of infinite sadness are delicious.

          • Lea Tapp

            You calling someone else dishonest is awfully rich, EllenBeth.

          • EllenBeth Wachs

            I’m sorry. Am I supposed to know who you are?

          • Justin Griffith

            A troll, possibly a Laden-apologist, like her hero PZ.

          • EllenBeth Wachs

            Yeah, I took a look at some of her comments. Sheesh!

          • Msironen

            This post reads like the “then miracle occurs” cartoon. Who is “EEB” and what exactly is the connection to the (2, 3?) self-identified MRAs on the Slymepit? Your link doesn’t even mention, much less flesh out your accusations.

            Then again, par for the course for Oolon, shit flinger extraordinaire.

          • iamcuriousblue

            Online mockery in the form of dramatic readings is now “harassment”? I agree it’s pretty far from friendly behavior, but pretty par for the course when it comes to heated debates around religion and politics in other contexts. And if this is “harassment”, then the standard FTB pile-on must be downright criminally liable. 🙂 (Oh noez, a *tu quoque* argument!)

          • Erik Johansson

            This whole “harassment” shtick that certain bloggers have picked up is just so… bizarre.

            They yell that they are being harassed, and then hold up examples (like Skepsheik’s excellent “Peezus and O” comic) of people criticizing, parodying and mocking them in ways that aren’t even remotely close to what the atheist community have been dishing out to creationists for years.

            We’re supposed to laugh merrily and pat ourselves on the back when the target of the joke is Ted Haggard, but shriek in horror about the “vile harassment” when Myers, Benson, Laden or Zvan get even the mildest taste of the same treatment?

          • Justin Griffith

            Why would you assume that I would laugh in a woman’s face as she cries?

            (Also, good thing Greg Laden and PZ Myers weren’t there either… ask Ellenbeth Wachs.)

          • John Greg

            AidenC said:

            “I wish you and Abbie had been there so you could have told the woman how wonderful Abbie Smith is while Abbie laughed in her face as she cried when telling me about the misogynist harassment that she endured.”

            You have Anything to back up your claim? Or is this just the usual hyperbolic slander?

            So far as I can tell, most of the people who claim to be hurt, actually hurt, by the satire and the highlighting of hypocrisy that occurs at the Pit are people who tend to be triggered by butterflies, permanently hurt by teh bad werdz, and run crying for their lives from so-called fake jewelry.

          • “i know someone…”

            Funny, there’s never any details with such things. But if you question it, you’re a bad person. Almost as if there are things one is not allowed to apply skepticism too. As if there are things where the accusation is all that’s needed.

          • Erik Johansson

            Wait, you somehow is so sure that Abbie Smith is evil that you make up a story about how she’d laugh a crying, harassed woman to her face… and then try to use this made-up story to prove that the slymepit is doing real harm?!

            Yes, that’s sounds like it’s going to fly on a site aimed to skeptics…

            Or are you actually trying to say that the Slymepit harassed this woman out of the skeptic movement?
            If so, please, show us some evidence. Because surly you’re not so stupid that you expect that we’re just going to take your word for it?

      • MosesZD

        There are, the sad part is ‘you are what you walk by…’

    • Paul Loebe

      Not all of FTB is dogmatic. I have quite a few friends over there. I don’t like generalizing all of them like that.

      • Bart Meltzer

        I’m generalizing the site, not everyone on the site. I know there are some rational people still on the site. Just like many more of the rational people who have left the site. Justin is one of the latest. I have friends there too. I think some of them are deluded about the virtue of FTB and I know at least a couple of them personally. But as I’ve said before, they are vastly overshadowed by those who are seeking to create divisions in our movement. There are too many people on FTB who only care about their own egos and/or personal agendas and they get the lion’s share of attention. That obscures any good that can come from FTB and has become somewhat of a liability to our movement.

  • RenDP

    What they all said 🙂

  • zenspace

    Good luck in your new home. Hope you are enjoying the fresh air! Now that you aren’t at FftB I can follow you without giving them hits. Looking forward to your contributions.

    My son is a decorated US Marine who is also an atheist. He described some of his experiences with the forced religious exercises when he was serving but took it in stride by keeping a low profile in that regard. Your work is very important and I wish you well in it.

  • Pitchguest

    Finally! I was looking forward to this move. Well, anywhere other than FtB would’ve been fine, but Patheos is a good replacement. All the best, Justin, and good luck!

  • Best wishes at your new blog home Justin – More power to you!

  • This is good to hear. I was afraid the drama had claimed another victim. It’s nice to be wrong.

  • Shadow of a Doubt

    Glad to see you made it over here, I hope you’re able to keep up what you’re doing in some way or form. Laden is a vile turd, the fact that pzod et al. prefer him to you says all I need to hear about the quality of FTB.

  • Richard Sanderson

    All the best. You have made the right move. There is a certain whiff around FTB, and the decent, respectable bloggers (AronRa and the like) there would be wise in moving elsewhere.

    Patheos seems a decent space.

  • Chris Ho-Stuart

    Paul, and Justin; best of luck in your new digs. You’ve done well in the past by leveraging equal access regardless of religious or non-religious perspectives; and this move to Patheos makes good sense particularly in that light; as you highlight for the main reason of your move.

    On the secondary reasons… Please don’t go too far in the reverse direction! I was very disappointed when PZ used his pharyngula blog to lambast you in the fallout from Greg’s removal from the network. Full disclosure; I’ve known PZ (not closely, but as a colleague in various issues especially combating creationism) from long before blogs even existed. He’s always been inclined to play hardball, but also has a good line of humour that works well in many contexts. And hey; if anyone doesn’t find it amusing or can’t laugh at the humour due to bad feelings over other aspects of his character — that’s okay. But don’t make it into something it most definitely is not.

    You’ve every right to be angry at his post attacking you personally. He was out of line.

    But you’re wrong all the same about his being a fake. The “Trophy Wife” is a long standing bit of self deprecatory humour grounded in terrific family and (long may it continue!) a strong marriage relationship. Don’t know about the recommending “rape comics” — but he does have a long standing running series of posts about “squid porn”; as part of his fascination with biology and as a satirical snark at conventional porn. It’s another good thing in his blog.

    One of the things I *like* about you is that you are good at looking for the good in people. Keep that up. Try and apply it even to people with whom you have legitimate grievances and anger! I’m not saying you gotta look for nice things about PZ as balance. I’m just suggesting that when you get critical; do it more fairly and address what really is worthy of criticism.

    Justin; I have been missing your posts and this helps me see why. Paul; it’s been great to see you step up and continue the work. I recall at least one guest blogger you hosted. I don’t know how hard this is in a military setting; but hearing move voices from the military would be great!

    I’ll be continuing to read you in your new home.

    • Justin Griffith

      Oh I get that it’s a joke. That’s the problem. The brand of feminism he espouses today says that there is no room for misogynist jokes, despite your intent. Only recently he suddenly stopped saying ‘trophy wife’ and ‘bitch’, after *years* of doing so.

      He’s a fake. He goes after people who make the same types of statements he did.

      • Chris Ho-Stuart

        We strongly disagree on this, Justin, in a number of respects.

        Mary is still called the “trophy wife” from time to time in comments; always with affection, without anyone making it an issue. I think PZ has never really made that the only way he referred to her, and so I think you are reading way too much into the phrase not being used as much now — if that is indeed the case.

        I think it is also simply false to say PZ or other FtB bloggers espouse a “brand of feminism” that would attack people for that kind of statement. Context *does* matter; and the old canard about humourless feminists is just that — a canard. It does not apply here.

        As for PZ going after people for using the word “bitch”… I don’t believe you. I do think PZ and others (me also!) are taking more care with language, and that’s a GOOD thing. But when PZ goes after particular individuals (fairly OR unfairly; he does both) that’s ain’t the reason or the charge.

        This all seems uncharacteristically bitter and ungenerous from you; if this blog starts piling onto any sorry excuse for anti-PZ or anti-FtB game playing I’ll be very disappointed indeed.

        Be that as it may, I do think you have been treated poorly and that moving from FtB is a good move for you (and a very significant loss to FtB!)

        • Niko Das

          People are always ready to make excuses for FtB and PZ Myers. They would never do anything wrong. Sounds like the Catholics supporting the Pope in many places. Heh.

          When PZ uses the term – B***H its all about context and un. When other do its obviously meant to hurt and harm women!

          • Chris Ho-Stuart

            Weird. Niko — you noticed I’ve said PZ did do things wrong? The issue is simply to apply criticism for what he is actually doing; not not the strawmen of what he isn’t doing.

          • Skepsheik

            He has a specific rule against using gendered insults on Pharyngula – yet has used ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’ himself in posts on his site. He criticizes others for rape jokes but posted a ‘funny’ video that featured Kent Hovind being gang raped in prison (the title of the post? “I love this song!”) He criticized the hentai tentacle porn fetishism of Japan as a”criminally sexist culture” yet previously had approvingly linked to a site that featured some of the worst examples of this (including one picture entitled “hentai tentacle rape”) These are not strawman accusations. They are all things that he has done.

          • Chris Ho-Stuart

            Sorry Justin; this is not aimed for you. Just answering Skepsheik. If having this conversation here is a bother, say so!

            Your examples, Skepsheik, represent mostly change and improvement rather than fakery. And that’s a GOOD thing.

            PZ *has* changed language on the blog from what he used five or six years ago. It’s a good thing IMO… but even if you disagree with me that this change is an improvement, it’s not fakery for someone to re-examine their own language and change over time.

            The Kent Hovind video was inappropriate when posted eight years ago and not at all justified by Hovind being an ass. PZ is still aggressive and insulting to people more than I like; but hopefully things like that video are no longer in use. Progress. Not as much as I’d like; but hey.

            The tentacle rape thing doesn’t bother me in the same way at all. What he linked to back in 2006 was an article discussing the phenomenon of some perverse Japanese art. When he linked to it, his link was surrounded on all sides by cautions, warnings, etc. Even then he was (he said in the blog) hesitant to blog on it. Given all the caveats and given that he was linking to a discussion of the phenomenon rather than linking to or recommending the actual comics themselves, I really think it is a bit precious to see this as some gross inconsistency with his tweet saying that the tentacle rape porn doesn’t help in the context of sexism in Japan. Whether this represents a change comparable to the language change is not clear. Probably. But even with the way he presented the original post it is entirely compatible with the observation that tentacle rape porn is a reflection of aggressive sexism in Japan.

            The major issue is whether PZ is unfairly attacking people for being what he was himself some years ago. I don’t see that. I do feel he is way too aggressive and uncharitable on his blog with individuals he singles out for attack. (In contrast to how he operates in person, IMO. I like the guy when we’ve met.) When he does aim his “bully pulpit” at individuals; it isn’t just for thoughtless word choices.

          • ool0n

            “Skepsheik” is a master of false equivalence and bad faith argumentation. For example it won’t take long for these to come up: http://aratina.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/skepsheik-liar-lunatic-or-lord.html

          • Skepsheik

            Hasn’t it come up because you’ve just posted the link?
            By the way, if anyone wants a laugh, try looking at what I posted and then see if it matches anything that Aratina criticizes. I have to admit that Aratina’s techique: avoiding anything I wrote and criticising a completely different post by a different author, is, at least, a novel way of arguing.
            Probably not one that is going to catch on, though.

          • Axel Blaster

            I don’t thing that apologia helped Aratina’s case at all.

          • Richard Sanderson

            Peeps – Aratina is Oolon’s partner-in-crime in creating the useless Twitter spambot.

            Oolon STILL fails to give a reason why Greg Laden hasn’t been added to the list.

          • Justin Griffith

            holy shit, oolon… you haven’t added the guy known to issue violent threats to your blocker?

            That’s right, you’re a troll and you’ll never explain that. Dude, he was *banned* from his own FtB blog over his violent threats. Guess that’s not good enough for oolon.

            FFS, am *I* on your list?

          • ool0n

            I’ll answer you as Rich is laughable… Its for Twitter, I don’t really care what ppl have done off Twitter. No one has been blocked for off Twitter “crimes”. The users of the bot almost universally follow him so adding him in there would have no effect anyway. Apart from me, he blocked me for some reason O_o

            I’d imagine you will end up on there as it appears we can look forward to you retweeting @ElevatorGATE and posting amusing bullshit to #FTBullies. I recommend your “Trophy wife” accusation, its sufficiently comically ridiculous for that hashtag. Seems only being on FTB led to your “neutrality”, I thought it was sincere so you trolled me good! Have fun in Slyme-land.

          • Alex

            [[No one has been blocked for off Twitter “crimes”]]

            That’s bullshit ool0n, or are you going to tell me what I did on Twitter to be on the list?

          • ool0n

            Admittedly I didn’t add the bulk of ppl to it, there are 14 people with authorisation to add blocks and one very prolific blocker in Aratina! Also since the @hashspamkiller is driven by the bot my block bot threshold is a lot lower than it used to be so spamming a conf hash or retweeting the dipshits that do it will get you in there.

            But seriously I have no idea who you are and little motivation to trawl through your timeline. Anyone who is bothered can complain at http://www.theblockbot.com or on the A+ forum. No one has yet, apart from Ryan/@eshto, his was along the lines of “I have a women’s studies certificate, how dare you…. “, ROFL.

          • Alex

            So when you said “no one has been blocked for off Twitter crimes” you did so without being able to back it up at all. Quelle surprise!

            I hope other “in the know” folks are also able to see the humour in you suggesting that people raise a complaint on the A+ forum.

          • ool0n

            I thought that statement came with an implied “… to my knowledge”. But yeah you got me on that minor point of inaccuracy in language. As a rule of thumb no one should be added for anything but Twitter activity.

            A+ forum is a cake-walk, unless you cannot resist using sexist, racist, transphobic, ableist etc language. Can you? Make your complaint on the http://www.theblockbot.com site, no ones been banned yet.

          • Alex

            It’s a shame that Matt Dillahunty is so intolerably sexist/racist/transphobic/ableist/etc.

          • ool0n

            Ahh yes, don’t sockpuppet or question the mods on their bannations… It irritates them.

            Can you manage that as well?

          • Alex

            So the basic message is “don’t piss off the mods by asking questions”?

            Good job they didn’t call it Skepticism+.

          • Alex

            In case you hadn’t gathered, I am not about to go and indulge a handful of childish bullies who have managed to put themselves in charge of their own cringe-inducing (though occasionally hilarious) playground. By all means keep me on your petty block list if it will prevent me ever having to put up with any of them.

          • Justin Griffith

            I don’t have time for much internet activities. My activism had direct consequences for me, career-wise. My current mission pretty much ensures that I’ll barely see my family for 3 years straight. I’d forgive not knowing or noticing that I’ve hardly been online (definitely not posting blog entries or tweeting), but the shit was spelled out for you in this post.

            So, I’m probably not going to ‘have fun in slymeland’, where you lived for a long time. Fuck off.

          • ool0n

            ZZZzzzZzzzZZZ… *wakes up* Oh what’s that noise, someone’s talking to me now? Hi, Justinz! …

            Sorry Justin, you have a job with a lot more responsibility than me so morally I’m unable to trump you. As a keyboard warrior I couldn’t do what you do in any shape or form and I admire that, still do. However plenty of activists better than me manage to not enable a bunch of bullying assholes. Plenty of *military* activists a lot better than me also manage to not enable a bunch of bullying assholes. (Not all the Slymepit BTW, I assume you have caught the usual literal-itis with your Slyme infection)

            So yeah you are [metaphorically] in Slyme-land, doesn’t mean your activism is any less important or useful. It means you have enabled a bunch of bullying assholes, and that’s a shame. Why would I or anyone else back off from criticising you because of your sacrifices elsewhere? I’m not for idolising people because of the good they do and shy away from criticising them… Are you? I know the pitters have to protect their great leaders or “witches” but it doesn’t seem very free thinking to me.

            I think you fuck up and I’ll tell you, I’ll probably be wrong more often than not, could be now, but I’ll let you know and not smarm. So again sorry for not being sufficiently respectful and deferent, its not in my nature.

          • Justin Griffith

            “It’s for Twitter, I don’t really care what ppl have done off Twitter.”

            Theoretically, if Greg Laden had repeated his threat on twitter, would you block him? Not some script-driven blog post auto tweet, obviously. Perhaps even months after he was fired for the phrase?

            Theoretically, would you do the right thing if that actually happened on twitter… say late November 2012?

          • ool0n

            Your example above? One sarcastic reference to you, not @’ing, intimating his threat was never serious ** … Doubt it unless you asked, then it would go to the A+ forum to discuss as its not just my bot now and Greg is a user and A+ supporter so gets more consideration. I’d guess the consensus would be no as there is no @ and pattern of behaviour on Twitter.

            ** I don’t agree with that as intent is not magic so whether he was “serious” or not is irrelevant, PTSD is no laughing matter so that would be an A+ argument to be avoided. People have a right to be free of things that can trigger their PTSD and purposely trying to trigger it is a seriously shitty thing to do. Like labelling people with PTSD “special snowflakes” and “professional victims” for even talking about triggering and justifying abuse on that basis. A large part of the aim of the bot is so people can use Twitter with little stress that their timeline will be suddenly full of people denying their personhood, being aggressive etc in a space where they expect *social* networking not dudebro debate club. Same as the A+ forum is a safe space… Unless certain people are a trollololling away there playing with their victims …

          • Skepsheik

            Chris, nobody can ever accuse you of not being a loyal friend.
            But Chris, have you actually looked at the text of PZs ‘hentai rape porn’ post, or indeed read the ‘discussion’ within the linked post? Your explanation that he is simply linking to a discussion of this type of porn beggars belief when we see the lascivious way he describes the collection.

            Here’s the entire text of his post so that others can judge for themselves:

            “A reader sent me a link to a site I hesitate to
            reference, just because I know some people will be aghast at the exposed mammalian flesh and weird exploitation of women…but it’s got tentacles everywhere, and molluscs, and even a few arthropods and a giant salamander. The title, Tentacles of Desire, and the list of organisms tells you what it’s all about. If you’re easily offended or squeamish about slime or freaked out by perverse fetishes, don’t go there!
            Otherwise, though, just consider it a celebration of biodiversity.”

            Just consider it a ‘celebration of biodiversity’?

            For some reason PZ didn’t spend too much time commenting on the ‘discussion’.

            Did you ask yourself why?

            Might it have something to do with the fact that PZ didn’t actually read the discussion because it is not in English?

            I can read French myself and get the impression that the authors (unsurprisingly since it’s on a hard core porn site) are not particularly interested in the exploitative nature of the images. In fact I’d guess they too consider it a ‘celebration of biodiversity’

            As for your point about PZ being “(he said in the blog) hesitant to blog on it”, well I’m not surprised. If I saw a post filled with interesting pictures I might indeed be hesitant to link to them if it was on a hard core porn site, especially when many of the models featured appear, age-wise, to be of borderline legality.

            And as for your point that the Kent Hovind prison gang rape video was inappropriate eight years ago, well I have to agree. In fact lets hope he both agree that laughing at the idea of your ideological opponent being gang raped has ALWAYS been inappropriate.

            So, lets try to reach some kind of agreement here.
            1. PZ has posted many things in the past that others can reasonably view as being inappropriate, misogynistic, exploitative of women, and condoning of rape.
            2. Lets assume, for the sake of discussion that he realizes the error of his ways. He has changed his use of misogynistic language. He has stopped laughing at rape jokes like the Hovind video.
            3. He now realizes that the type of images he described as a ‘celebration of biodiversity’ are actually quite rapey and he is now opposed to this type of exploitative pornography.

            Lets say that PZ has moved from a very questionable moral position, to one that is more progressive and in tune with mainstream feminist viewpoints (for example his views are now much closer to those of feminist sites like Shakesville and Iblamethepatriarchy which are highly opposed to gendered insults and exploitative pornography)

            So if PZ can make this shift, is it not possible for others to to so?

            Wouldn’t it be better for him to hold himself up as an example of someone who can change, in order to promote a similar move in those he claims are misogynistic?

          • Erik Johansson

            There’s a limit to how much “oh that’s so last year, he’s completely changed now!” one can swallow when we see PZ and his band repeatedly do the “It’s only OK when we do it!” dance, over and over and over again.

            Take for example doxing. This was superbad and only something that truly despicable people do when Justin Vacula did it. Even when Justicar a few months ago didn’t actually dox anyone, but only pointed out that Jen McCreight had doxed herself by tweeing an image with her address in full view, Justicar was still doing extreme evil…

            When however Ophelia Benson doxes people just recently, suddenly doxing people is just fine, to such a degree that PZ in support changes his policy to let everyone know that he to will dox anyone he deems evil enough…

            I could go on, this is just one of so many “It’s OK when we do it!”, but honestly, it’s REALLY hard to take claims that PZ and the rest actually cares about harassment and threats seriously when they are best buddies and regularly defends one of few person in the atheist movement that we actually know have issued both violent threats and harassed women.

        • Justin Griffith

          This blog is going to primarily be about being an atheist in the military, but I’ll write whatever I please. Did you play the video? Shit was awesome!

          PZ has more than earned a middle finger on the way out.

          If you don’t believe me about PZ going after people who use words like ‘bitch’, just try to use it there (without providing context of an experiment.) On his next post, just leave a comment like “Logic, it works bitches!”

          • Chris Ho-Stuart

            Justin; I did play the video. That ISN’T what I had concerns about! I have, throughout, agreed you have been treated poorly. I do agree PZ deserved the middle finger; and I think your move to patheos is a good one.

            I’m not going to bother repeating the criticisms I was *actually* making. I’ll leave it at this and finish by wishing you and Paul all the best in the new digs. You are doing important work and were one of my favourite blogs at FtB; and will probably remain one of my favourites over here!

            (PS… I may try your experiment; but it would be way WAY out of character for me.)

            Adios, over and out, and best wishes! — Chris

          • Paul Loebe

            Please let us know how that experiment works!

          • Chris Ho-Stuart

            Hi Paul. It turns out the experiment was already done! Two years ago; good enough for me to see what goes on; so if you are interested, here it is! The link is to a comment in Oct 2011 which says only “Science. It works, bitches!”


            Result. PZ said nothing at all. However, the caution was given in the comments by others.

            Original comment in #99.

            Direct cautions against that term follow in #101 and #102. #101 does it right; #102 gets snarky which is a common problem in the pharyngula comments.

            Then #111 #115 #122 #124 #134 #139 #140 #148 and more riff on alternative wordings.

            After this there’s a fair bit of to and fro over using the word, bitches, reclaiming it, etc.

            Comment streams on pharyngula can be really nasty sometimes. Here at least, just one person was snarky, and in #159 was taken to task for “jumping down the throat of a newbie.”

            Looks mostly fair enough to me; with the exception of #102 that *was* using this to attack the individual. (This bothers me more than the language issue.)

            I don’t know how people here feel on the issue of gendered terms like “bitches”, but I don’t use them (never have, I’ve got a very long standing deliberately chosen personal style aiming to be friendly, helpful, more into bridges than rifts etc).

            So I still say it just isn’t true, as far as I have ever seen, that PZ makes attacks on individuals for using words like bitches, in the way he used to use the word himself many years ago.

            PZ now advocates in more general terms against using gendered slurs. (So do I.) This is a change and (IMO) a positive one.

            PZ also gets into direct personal attacks on individuals (and his use of comic sans for quoting marks this). Whether fair or over the top (he does both) it’s invariably for things other than simply word choices.

            I think this comment makes it redundant for me to repeat the experiment. It is indeed something I’d be personally uncomfortable with for myself; and I am much happier simply watching how PZ and the horde managed it in a real instance.

          • it’s funny…how it’s still okay, all the bad things PZ does because…he’s not as bad as he used to be? Charles Manson hasn’t gotten followers to kill people in over 40 years. You planning on inviting him to dinner?

            the fact is, and this is a fact, that if you are among PZ’s “in” group, you get all the leeway. Hell, someone in his commentariat actually made a violent threat against someone, and the response? Oh, it was CLEARLY a joke.

            Come on, I get you like PZ, but how far do you have to bend over to ignore the raging hypocrisy there before your spine protests?

          • Chris Ho-Stuart

            John: my only concern is that you criticize him for what he DOES do and not things he DOESN’T. That’s it. It’s what I try to do also; and I’m not going to complain about you doing it either. You are right about the problem with leeway in the blog and especially in the comment streams.

            The point about differences between six years ago and now is not whether it’s enough or whether it excuses problems in the present. It’s simply that those changes are not examples of hypocrisy.

          • I’m not even talking about six years ago. This is stuff he’s pulled in the last 2-3 years. Why the hell should I take his “apologies” any more seriously than he took the gelato guy’s? You do remember that, right? “Fuck him into the ground”?

            note that while PZ was AT SKEPTICON, he said *nothing* to the guy. Didn’t talk to him, didn’t even try to find out. Was meek as a mouse in an eagle’s nest. But the second he was far enough away, LET LOOSE THE DOGS OF WAR.

            PZ is a hypocrite and a coward, and you certainly don’t have to go back half a decade to find gobs of examples of that.

            Along with that, why, exactly, should I give him a break when he’s made it clear that in HIS eyes, because I don’t sing the exact same tune about feminism as he does, i am *exactly* the same as Marc Fuckin’ Lepine. No, I’m worse. At least Lepine was “brave enough” to act on his hatred.

            Until PZ publicly and truly apologizes for THAT remark, and a host of others, the bearded tit can go hump icicles.

          • You’ve never used ‘gendered’ slurs? That’s doubtful, but as I can’t disprove it, I’ll just point out that a number of ways in which “bitch” is used, it’s not gendered.

          • Justin Griffith

            Never got a meaningful answer to how this usage was problematic:


            The Dead Milkmen – “Bitchin’ Camaro”

          • haha! I watched the whole thing! Hilarious! As a Nor Cal-er, I can say the S. Cal pronunciation of Camero is spot on.

          • Chris Ho-Stuart

            Agree that the term “bitch” is not only used as a gendered slur. Also, you’re quite right that it’s unlikely I have never ever used gendered slurs over all my long years.

        • Lea Tapp

          Oh, it isn’t uncharacteristic at all.

        • Oh context matters a lot, when it’s PZ and his BFFs. Then it’s all Irony and Context and U HAZ NO READING COMPREHENSION.

          But, let someone not in the PZ BFF group say the wrong thing, and it’s Fair Game Time. They remind me more of Scientology than Scientology does at this point.

      • Lea Tapp

        That’s not good enough for you? Someone learned they were wrong and changed their behavior accordingly and you want to use that against them? I was religious for years too. Does that discredit my atheism?

        I am glad you left FTBs. You weren’t exactly an asset there.

        • Paul Loebe

          What does it take to be an asset at FTB? PZ is a bully and so are his little band of troubadours…

          • Lea Tapp

            Suuuure they are. They are so mean when they blog about the harassment and lies dished out at them. It’s sooo awful when t hey call out bigots for being bigots. Boo-frickin-hoo for you.

          • Paul Loebe

            When they perpetuate lies they discredit themselves.

          • Lea Tapp

            Except they don’t. You’re a liar, Paul. You’re a liar and you are lying. Discredited how? By whom? These are just stories you and your slimy friends tell each other. Repeating them will never make them true. But, that never stopped a creationist or an MRA and I know it won’t deter you.


          • Paul Loebe

            Bye! 🙂

          • Justin Griffith

            Three comments up you said that these stories were *true*, but PZ had ‘adjusted his behavior accordingly’.

            Now you’re saying the stories are things slimy people tell each other, but aren’t true at all.

            Source: your own fucking comment.

            PS: Bye! 🙂

          • Yeah. Greg Laden was totally in the right to threaten justin, and try to have Abbie silenced by stalking her to find out her employer information.

          • Max Driffill

            When Justin was getting crapped on by PZ and others for calling out the behavior of Laden, tell me, did that represent a shinning example of their integrity? Naming names indeed. Except when it is someone in the clique I guess.

            I’d say Justin is doing more important work than PZ given that he is working in an environment vastly more hostile to the mission of rationalism.

          • Bart Meltzer

            I commend Justin and Paul for their efforts in Atheist activism. Specifically in the military area. They know what true activism and sacrifice really is. One can not be a vocal Atheist activist in the military and have the reassurance of any promotion. That is a huge personal sacrifice that most people will never make. In my experience in the Atheist community, it is unique and sets a high goal for the rest of the community to follow.

            I was in the military for 20 years and realized I was an Atheist for the last three of those years. I didn’t make too many waves though since I knew what the consequences were. Then I retired and had had enough. I was the assistant state director of Arizona for American Atheists for three years and then the director of State and Regional Operations for the next six.

            I created the military director position for American Atheists and appointed Kathleen Johnson as the first military director. I knew how much that appointment was needed. Paul now sits in that position and congratulations to him! Justin did a fine job while he was there. Kudos to both of you and I’m hoisting a Samuel Adams for you as I type.

            True activism requires physical effort and personal sacrifice for a greater cause. And those who sacrifice will never bitch about their sacrifices because they were well worth them and very much needed. The cause is always much bigger than any one individual or group. Sadly, FTB seems to be all about the individuals.

            A blog is in no way a form of activism and bloggers are in no way leaders of activists, although leaders of activists can also be bloggers. Blogs can be a very useful tool to facilitate activism, but they can never really be activism itself. A useful tool is not what I would ascribe to FTB. Maybe tool.

            FTB is all about blogging and little more. I not only see a lack of leadership in that venue but a profound incompetence in the execution of efforts such as A+, Secular Women, and other entities to that effect. If theists took over these venues they couldn’t do a better job at dividing the Atheist communities instead of uniting us. It makes one wonder just who is helping us.

            No doubt some of the people over at FTB have sincere intentions for the Atheist community, but given all the shit that’s been stirred up by the ego trips over there, it just doesn’t look that way.

          • Justin Griffith

            Thank you. This meant a lot to me.

          • Oh don’t forget the followups from canuck and Zvan a year or more later, still PRAISING Laden for what he did. It’s not that it was just “not bad”, it was actually GOOD.

            yet, call one of them stupid, and OMGWTFKHAAAAAN!!!!!HARASSMENTMISOGOKNEEE!!!!!

            They are proof there is no god. because if there were, they’d have to be at least a LITTLE afraid there’s a hell.

          • baal

            Lea tapp, one of the main reasons I’m an atheist is that I’m against authoritarianism. PZ etal have decided to use authoritarian tools intentionally as a means to their ends. They are morally bankrupt for having done so. They also get a lot of disproportionate hate. However, they also intentionally draw the foul. So that moots a lot of their otherwise valid complaint. “I meant for the guy to hit me just not that hard!” is hardly a compelling argument.

        • Max Driffill

          Who is an exactly and asset there?

          • Ally Fogg seems to be doing well, and Aron Ra has done a great job of ignoring everyone else and doing his own thing.

        • Justin Griffith

          “Someone learned they were wrong and changed their behavior accordingly…”

          And then proceeded to defend a known issuer of violent threats… *the day they were made public*.

          I want to use *that* against the person. Do you agree with PZ’s actions in this regard?

          Get your head out of your asset.

      • iamcuriousblue

        “He’s a fake. He goes after people who make the same types of statements he did.”

        Counting down the minutes before one of PZ’s defenders loudly accuses you of making a ***tu quoque*** argument. So predictable, one could make a drinking game of it.

  • Paul Loebe

    Thanks for the love everyone. I saw Justin go through that whole shitstorm and there’s even more he’s holding back because there’s no need to dredge it up. Justin is a class act.

    I’m glad to be a part of a movement that is actually making a difference. I’m hoping to push this movement forward in many new directions.

  • ool0n

    Justin, first of all glad about the move, its clear that being on FTB with PZ was stopping you blogging and thats a shame. Hope to see more from you, Paul and others over here.

    Secondly its a real surprise to see you continue with the drama in such an irrational manner. I liked your peace-maker post on FTB, although I was more “on the fence” then and have since changed my mind about healing rifts. I would think the recent rift between another Justin and SIN and the skeptischism.com site show that rifts are not always negative. People with different views sometimes need to go their own way. I even looked up my embarrassing old comment on that post.

    I still agree with that oolon that PZ was patronising and the disclosure post was atrocious given the clear bullying from Greg. It stained the decision to kick Greg off and made it look more a PR exercise than anything, that must have stung. You clearly have a personal problem with PZ and I don’t blame you.

    But… Repeating tired old Slyme-myths is a pretty poor way of getting back at him. In fact it does nothing of the sort, it undermines your credibility, sticking to pointing out what an asshole PZ was with that disclosure post would have been more than enough.

    So your assertions, saying “Science it works, bitches!” is apparently wrong? I assume you actually believe that as the Pittizens are almost to a person arguing in bad faith when they say that. They argue there is no issue there but also pretend there is and attack PZ/etc for years old comments. Arguing in bad faith is trolling 101, unfortunately not my forte but the pitters manage it well.

    Which leads onto false equivalence. When you attack PZ for using gendered slurs and defend the place that spends a lot of time arguing they are no issue that sounds like bad faith. I hope not and you agree with your fellow Patheos blogger, Dan Finkce, that these are a big issue. False equivalence would be comparing Reap Paden etc being excoriated on Pharyngula etc for calling fellow atheists “dumb cunts”, “fucking bitches” because they are women. Then being completely unrepentant… To PZ supporting a slogan bod knows how many years ago. “Logical fallacies, they work, pitters!”

    Onto the worst *sigh*… Why are you making me defend PZ, someone who banned me from his blog? Anyway, I know where you got this from as “MosesZD” tried it on me in another thread. 1 minute of research and its shown to be the usual mix of exaggeration and attack on a sex-negative straw feminist from the pittizens…

    So PZ has this post ->

    And the pitters then link to the wayback machine as a death blow for that now broken link. ->

    OOPS! The sharp eyed immediately notice that Strawkins and PitchGuest link not to the same URL as PZ but a different one on the same site. I wonder why. Lets have a look at the actual page PZ linked to…

    Somewhat less porn and focussed on the origins of tentacle porn in Japan and how it is currently expressed. Not my thing but each to his or her own kink. Translate the page and lift yourself off the fainting couch and read it, quite interesting about the origins of tentacle rape porn in Japan. But its taboo! Feminists are all sex negative harridans and couldn’t possibly condone this! Wah! PZ’s linking to an article discussing the origins of it while not condoning it clearly means he is fine with ALL TENTACLE RAPE PORN EVAR!

    Here is where I came across this (Oooh errr, fnaar fnaar! *Level of discussion here*) from MozesZD ->

    I recommend reading in Maude Flanders voice and adding “Won’t someone think of the children!!!” after this bit –

    “Rape porn. Beastiality porn. Fisting. Degradation of women. Objectification of women. Women giving blow jobs. Women with semen dripping out of their mouths.”

    WOMEN GIVING BLOW JOBS? OH.MY.GOD!!!eleventy!!1!… What exactly is wrong with fisting or sucking a bit of semen, let alone consensual degradation or objectification in a kink context? Shame most of that was not in the link PZ actually provided but even so a prude would object but thats about it. Putting dead sea creatures on your naked bod and taking a picture or drawing it is wrong now? I object to that as a vegetarian not the porn aspect. So…. LOL, the pittizens are a source of amusement with their z-grade sex-negative trolling here, and I get called the troll, so it goes.

    [More info: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/01/16/on-writing-kinky-porn-in-rape-culture/%5D

    • MosesZD

      I love oolon, if there was ever a loud-mouth troll that illustrated pure, unadulterated, weaponized-sycophancy to PZ Myers, I don’t who it could be. I never seen anyone so willing to minimize, lie and distort PZ’s record as oolon.

      Listening to you is like listening to Baghdad Bob… Only he was funny…

    • Justin Griffith

      Hi Oolon!

      I told you once before, you are an obvious troll. Don’t post here anymore, please. I’m not banning you, I’m just saying that you are boring.

      • ool0n

        Wow, we did have an email discussion about that? Obviously not a productive one…

        I actually think a lot of people on the pit are trolls, not *just* trolls, but trolling most of the time. Their arguments and points still stand or fall on their own merits, so again disappointed to see you resort to such a poor tactic. Your blog, your choice though.

        I guess you cannot address how you are literally wrong about “cartoons” in the plural and how sex negative your point is when the innocent “error” of the Slymepit linking to the wrong URL is taken into account.

        • Justin Griffith

          Hi oolon!

          • ool0n

            I’ll take that as a yes 😉

          • Justin Griffith


          • Skepsheik

            What is that lying troll oolon talking about?

            The same article with the ‘hentai tentacle rape’ picture comes up with both URLs.

            Check them yourself if you want to be sure.

          • Justin Griffith

            I suppose that was too much trouble for him to check. Or to see if there were multiple cartoons in the link…

            Then again, he probably did check. He’s a troll, after all.

          • ool0n

            One cartoon there unless you are seriously labelling a painting from 1814 – “Artist: Katsushika Hokusai – “Octopussy”” as a hentai tentacle rape “cartoon”? Please tell me you are… [I’m totally not a troll, honest, but this would be too funny!]

            This is then compared to a modern day cartoon, although as an anime fan it pains me to call it that. Singular, cartoon, not cartoon[s] … In context, in a discussion about the historical roots of said hentai tentacle rape porn. Which we clearly cannot discuss without wheeling the fainting couch out.

          • Skepsheik

            As I said, lying troll.

            The hentai tentacle rape picture I refer to is actually titled…

            …wait for it…

            “hentai tentacle rape” and features a modern picture of a very young blue haired girl screaming as she is being raped.

            Or as PZ describes – “it’s got tentacles everywhere”

          • ool0n

            Cartoons (plural) were referred to by Justin, I didn’t reply to you dipshit. I also in that comment above said there is one cartoon or hentai manga / anime still that is “hentai tentacle rape” … Its discussing the historical context of that genre in Japan and giving a 19th century and a modern equivalent.

            Now we must censor all discussion of this subject, won’t someone think of the children, at the pit!

          • Paul Loebe


          • Lee Moore

            I dont know why you guys are against banning oolon.

          • Richard Sanderson

            Comedy value.

          • Lee Moore

            I dont know, after a while it just becomes sad and depressing, and by a while I mean almost instantly.

          • ool0n

            Indeed, anyone reading this can see me make some pretty specific claims… URL was changed by pitters, true. One cartoon not cartoons, true. So please carry on with the troll accusations sans evidence, looks pretty good from here 😀

          • Lee Moore

            Thats easy oolon, you were asked by the page owner not to post here, yet you kept posting here as if you were daring them to block you, typical troll behavior. If you dont want to be seen as a troll try not acting like one.

            I have to salute Justin and Paul for not banning you, that pro free speech attitude is something worth promoting.

          • ool0n

            To ban or not to ban, that is the question. He did add that it’s because I’m boring so I parsed as part of the insult and didn’t take it as a serious request. Given the level of your past judgement, invite WBC to atheist conf for “PR”, I cannot see what could possibly go wrong taking your advice. So I’m off unless anyone asks me another specific question, my British politeness demands I reply…

          • Lee Moore

            Aww, you know who I am.
            I dont have a means of contacting you directly so I asked Reap to tell you to get in touch with me. In case he wasnt able to get my message to you please contact me at theatheistnews@gmail.com
            I would like to invite you to be on my weekly A-News podcast.

          • Paul Loebe

            I’m very pro-free speech. If it’s not spam I let it stand.

        • you would know about trolling. You do your best to keep the pit fight on pharyngula going. I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll say it here, were you able to manipulate things so there was actual physical violence, you would die from pure squee.

          PZ at least, at least has some vague sincerity about something. You? You just want to get other people to fight so you can cheer on the carnage.

      • Dave Littler

        Hahahah! Man, if you could have heard the laughter as I read that. It’s unusual to hear someone be so straightforward, honest and uncompromising with Oolon. I wish everyone could just treat him this way. Awesome.

    • gumbythecat



      • I used to think Oolio was just a toady. He’s worse. He runs around not to curry favor, but to keep people all pissed off, so they fight for his benefit. He’s like a divorce lawyer who’s real priority is pissing you off so you’ll try to screw over your soon-to-be ex as much as possible.

        If he was just currying favor, that would be a step up. Pretty much everything out of Oolios mouth/fingers is “you should totally kick his ass for that”.

        • Phil Giordana Fcd

          Yep! He reminds me of that skinny kid who used to hang out with the school bully and cheer him up from the sideline when said bully was kicking someone in the guts. Pathetic.

          • ool0n

            Its terribly bullying of me to point out when you pitters lie, must be quite an issue for you. How about trying to lie more effectively, won’t be so transparent then. Using a different URL to make your argument was pretty z-grade mendaciousness.

          • actually, it’s terribly inconsiderate of us to not try to post at FTB, and deprive you of your entertainment. How rude we all are.

          • ool0n

            LOL. Try telling that to Reap “Millions of sockpuppets will never die” Paden!

          • Well, Reap’s a giver Oolon. You whine enough as it is, he doesn’t want you to cry any more than you have to.

          • Richard Sanderson

            Was “Radial Tire” one of his sockpuppets?

            Let’s see if Oolon can criticise his Dear Leader?

    • baal

      Ool0n you risible cad. I just read your retcon of how EBW was treated by the in fact regulars on the Phyr__that place. Your disinformation campaigns nauseate me.

      • ool0n

        Orly? The worst offender was kate_waters .. Look her up, hardly a regular and was accused by the actual regulars as an agent provocateur in subsequent threads. Not seen her much since.

        JAL and Caine also piled in, Caine apologised and JAL didn’t. Those three were the worse “offenders” in terms of abuse. One other person did but xe was being intentionally hyperbolic and was misinterpreted by EBW, I think. I also doubt she actually noticed that this person was not being serious as when it was clarified and they were attacking the attackers sarcastically she was gone.

        So what did I retcon? Did you actually read the thread… I did.

  • NotAgainTerence

    Glad to see this move – especially as the activism which Justin and Paul engage in is both far more important and genuine than that vaunted by Myers and his turgid little gang of slack pygmies. A better place than FTB was always in the offing.

    Good luck!

  • Max Driffill

    Good luck at your new digs.

  • Eliza Bailey

    I think you meant corn starch, not corn syrup!

    • Justin Griffith

      haha, indeed.

  • I will say that between Paul and Justin, they’ve actually DONE more than any 5 people at FTB combined. They are the opposite of the slacktivist mentality that rules over there, and as a former USAF person, I’m tickled that y’all are still working to make things better for everyone in the military. (although one day y’all need to do a detailed “Military Chaplaincy for Dummies” post. Civilians have the damnedest time understanding how that really works.)

    • Chris Ho-Stuart

      A “Military Chaplaincy for Dummies” would be great! Add my vote for this when you can fit it in. I’d be one of the dummies reading it with interest and hopefully learning about it.

      I’m fascinated that Paul and Justin speak so often of their positive experiences working with chaplaincy.

    • Justin Griffith

      That post would read like a book, man. FFS.

      Interestingly, I’ve even had an active duty chaplain write to me and express his atheism (which actually fit in with his UU ecclesiastical endorsement.)

      • but it would be a good book. It would be a huge help for civilian atheists to better understand just why an “Atheist Chaplaincy” is not just a dichotomy, but really freakin’ necessary.

        • Paul Loebe

          I’m interested in writing that book now.

    • I’m a civilian and I’d like to know what justification there is for Chaplaincy at all. So far the only thing I’ve heard is that Catholics can have their last rites, but that’s not always true in the military and it’s not required to go to heaven. There are tons of Catholics who die every day without a priest following them around. I think it ought to just be cut from the budget and given to self-supporting volunteers.

      • the most important thing is the only person a military member can have any kind of privileged communications with is a chaplain. If you talk to a counselor, or anyone else, your commander, or someone else with similar authority can require that person to turn over all notes and transcripts of the conversation.

        tl;dr, there is no doctor-patient or attorney-client privilege in the military. The sole person who can say “no” to that is the chaplain. which means the chaplaincy has a huge value outside of the religious aspects. Chaplains get a lot of actual training beyond the religious aspects too, IIRC. They’re really one of the few people able to be “trusted” in the military. You can’t rely on volunteers to have the level of training that a military person is going to need. There’s not a lot of people experienced with “Today, I had to kill ten people, then bag their bodies. Just like yesterday” in the civilian world.

        as well, i think en toto, the entire chaplaincy program is maybe a rounding error in the budget, but i could be inflating things.

        • “tl;dr, there is no doctor-patient or attorney-client privilege in the military.”

          Holy fucking shit. You sign up to possibly die for your country and you don’t have any rights. Gaah! How do we fix that?

          • Justin Griffith

            John knows from experience that even this example is one of many. Face-to-face discrimination happens, but it’s probably just above rates civilians face. The institutionalized discrimination / abuse is quite common.

            -Mandatory (christian) prayer at even the most pedestrian of events (“I pass the 534th Chem Corps on to you in Jesus name…” WTF?)
            -Coercive sunday services at boot camp (Church or punishment / cleaning)
            -Mandatory spiritual fitness assessment (new!)
            -Chaplains (99.9% christian) with email distro abuse
            -Chaplains claiming that atheists are ‘unchurched’, therefor ‘fair game’ for targeted evangelism
            -Mandatory suicide prevention training featuring jesus, once recently even featuring plastic candle vigil (your tax $$$!)
            -‘interfaith’ buildings (chapels) illegally converted into churches with expensive crucifix steeples (in afghanistan!)
            -atheist groups not allowed on post like any other group of people with a different ‘religious preference’ (official military term)


          • Bart Meltzer

            If I was still in the Navy I would be in so much trouble. I raised a protest once when a yeoman started putting excerpts from “Our Daily Bread” in the P.O.D. (Plan Of The Day). I got some shit for that.

            Also, I retired as an E6, Petty Officer First Class despite always passing the E7 exam for 14 years straight. For the first 17 yeas of my career I identified as Jewish (even though I was really agnostic but didn’t know it) and I’m sure that had a lot of influence. Not that they don’t promote Jewish people, but any non Christian will have to jump through extra hoops to do it and I didn’t jump at all. When I realized I was an Atheist and identified as one, nothing really changed. I still couldn’t stand all the religious bullshit.

            Seems that if one isn’t in the Christian Club, one is always at a disadvantage.

            Confidentiality should be extended to counselors as I hate the idea of a chaplain. All I ever saw were Christian chaplains for my entire 20 years.

          • i was lucky, I got out in ’93, so that shit was barely starting, at least in the USAF. If we didn’t want to go to church in basic, we just hung out in the barracks or went around the base, depending on what week we were in.

            And working in bomber maintenance, we were really left alone to get planes fixed. We did have one maintenance officer try to ban swearing as “unprofessional”. That ended…poorly for him.

          • that’s not QUITE correct. But, you begin to see how different a military chaplain is than what you would normally associate with it.

          • Yeah. In that case I can now see why the Chaplaincy is really important, but I’d rather you have the same kind of rules for therapy/counseling from professionals that I have.

  • Paul Loebe

    There’s been this really whiney guy who’s comment I’ve been trying to approve. But it won’t with on mobile. You must be catching the spam filter we set up. Sorry

    • Guest

      Damn. Can’t wait!

    • Justin Griffith

      Can’t wait!

  • WTH?

    I don’t get why your reasons had to be so insulting to FTB. Trophy wife really? Even if you did have a legitimate beef with PZ, why take a personal jibe at his wife? PZ is the only “major draw”? You manage to insult everyone at FTB including your own blog which was at FTB too with that one. Why belittle all the good that RBB did at FTB and still does? Why cut off your nose to spite your face?

    • semi

      Justin was quoting PZ as referring to his wife as a “trophy wife” which PZ has on numerous occasions. …The point being PZ’s newly found feminist credentials stand in contrast with PZ’s earlier sexist comments, descriptions and actions.

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