On the Failure of Atheist Organizations and Choosing Life!

Y’know I kinda knew it all along that feminism was the third rails here.  You can even see it in the very first video I put up on this subject, that I knew this was going to end ugly (“tactically dumb” I think were the words I used).  I really didn’t have a ‘dog in this fight’ beyond the fact that having all these professional victims trying to pass off the most mild transgressions as systematic and pervasive misogyny in the secular community, really did make the group that took this seriously looks like a bunch of jokers, and then to have ‘leaders’ of the community take an accommodationist stance to such professional victim-hood really doesn’t inspire one with much faith that these are dynamic organization capable of prioritizing and focusing on important goals to achieve results.

Having said that, I don’t really feel too badly about how this all came out.  I certainly learned a lot on the journey about the nature of this community, and why so much (although notably not all) of it is operationally ineffective.

In the current case the problem seems to be quite simple, that a group, notable centered around Freethoughtblogs and Skepchick have mistaken (initially arguably accidentally, but later apparently willfully) the odd troll as ‘evidence’ that the community is ridden with misogynists etc.  Indeed now it seems that folks from these forums almost relish the trolling, as they can then use it to ‘score some online pity’.  This path of ‘embracing victim-hood’ is not healthy for them or the community and ends in this hypersentivity to criticism that really doesn’t do anyone any good (‘use the block and ban functions’ urges Rebecca Watson in 100% VFX terms, and we all know how well that worked out for him!).  For instance they see the word “bitch is a gendered insult that demeans ALL women” (a point which Rebecca Watson of Skepchick assures us is so uncontroversial that almost everyone ‘gets’ it), but will have no problem in using the words “don’t be a dick” in their guidelines for their new ‘Atheism Plus’ forum (whose rules prohibit degrading people using sexual slurs).

Yes, ‘Bitch is a gendered insult to all women’ but in the utterly consistent Utopian world of AtheismPlus, ‘dick’ (mentioned only one line earlier in the forum rules!) does not count as the hate speech of a gender slur.

When such casual and common use of language becomes a matter of heated debate, arguably you have already been rendered operationally impotent by your political correctness.  Take another example.  The founder of atheism plus is quite candid about being ‘banned’ from the internet by her boyfriend, while doubtless if I had similarly imposed such restrictions on my girlfriend I would have been labeled a misogynist intent on subjugating women (“WHY NOT JUST TELL HER TO GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN!” etc) and she a propagator of destructive submissive female stereotypes, a gender traitor and therefore a rape culture enabler etc etc.  This is the disproportionate destination you arrive at when you are so sensitive to criticism: seeing the most banal activities that you engage in everyday as fine and healthy but as evidence of horrible sexism endemic in society when anyone else does it.  It also seems to have enabled a formidable cognitive dissonance in these folks.  For example many of these people consider “you’re only a feminist because you are old fat and ugly” as some great evil that should get you pilloried, but have no problem in thinking that saying “you’re only a misogynist because your privilege as a member of the patriarchy means you don’t ‘get it’ ” is some great argument winner.  In both cases the statement may well be perfectly accurate, but even if they were, the arguments constitute little more than personal mudslinging, while the more virtuous path would have been to actually address the argument, not the person.  Yet the latter example here is typically considered by such folks to be an argument winner, but the former beyond the pale as an ad hominem.  The cognitive dissonance is formidable.

However, going back to the original problem though, personally I wouldn’t give such trolls the time of day.  Example in question, coughlan616 in a recent exchange (over a month ago at the time of writing) ended up suggesting that he had performed needless sexual exchanges with my mother.

Inject yourself into the free speech arena? Better be ready for the slings and arrows! However that does not mean those who have not injected themselves into that arena are ‘fair game’.  For those with an interest, this was the full exchange.

Did I go ballistic at this and get a load of ‘secular leaders’ to write letters of support saying that this sort of hate should not be tolerated?

Did I campaign for a code of conduct for the atheist community etc?

Did I demand that anyone who opposed my proposed changes be driven out as C.H.U.D.s, as rejecting my proposals clearly meant that they endorsed Coughlan’s views?

Did I sit there crying at how unsafe this made me feel until someone paid attention?

No! I just ignored him.  If he wants to use his freedom of speech in the open arena to be a dick, that’s his affair. However there are of course some limits, and arguably coughlan crossed those in this case. Not by insulting me, as I’ve CHOSEN to inject myself into the public domain, and in such a free speech arena you have to suffer the slings and arrows of that arena.  This is not true however of my mother (see ‘YOUR MOTHERS A WHORE.. and other stuff‘.  She did not inject herself into the public arena, and is not therefore fair game.  Nor is impersonation, and various other elements such as slander and liable etc, but outside that, everything else, within a VERY broad remit is pretty much fair game.

This is in stark contrast to the way in which the ‘atheism plus’ people apparently think things should go, where one of them says that saying something that hurts someones feelings should be regarded in the same fashion as physical assault.

This is simply bullshit, and it is a damning indictment of everyone in that room that not one of them, not PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson or Jen McCreight actually stood up or questioned this proposition that would involve no less than the abolishment of the first amendment.

AtheismPlus, as defended by PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight and other is about as popular with their own base (freethinkers?) as venomfangxs arguments are with his audience!  A religious man would say ‘God is trying to tell you something there!’

Indeed the mere fact that even with their ‘home audience’ (secularists and rationalist?) they can only get a video rating comparable to that of venomfangx should be giving them a warning that a lot of people actually have issues with what they are saying.  I mean did they not think this through merely on personal-gain-logistical-grounds?  That if just one person finds their comments hurtful, then they will be prohibited from talking about it on freethoughtblogs and skepchick or get prosecuted for ‘assault’.

However, I’ve become increasingly of the opinion that these people are functionally incompetent, to the point where ‘being drummed out of such a community’ is not actually a punishment but a welcome and valuable gift.

My opinions of this were further backed up by checking out the google ‘web interest’ stats on this which show that I actually have a sizably bigger footprint that freethoughtblogs (both comfortably unique search terms).  Not bad seeing as I’m only one guy and pretty much only work on this half time!

So according to Google Insight, ‘Thunderf00t’ has about twice the web interest of Freethoughtblogs. I’m not a big player in the grand scheme of things.  -Freethoughtblogs CLEARLY make a disproportionate amount of noise for their size.

So yup, I figure I’m pretty much done with these hapless noise makers.

Done with those folks who think patronizing ad hominem/ ‘emperors new clothes’ style arguments like “you just don’t ‘get it’ ” is some great cerebral, thoughtful and persuasive argument.

-I’m looking ahead and choosing life!! (que upbeat music)

I’m getting back to making videos that can appeal to everyone, not just some petty drama of just how incompetent certain fractions of the secular community are.

There are bigger fish to fry!

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213 Responses to “On the Failure of Atheist Organizations and Choosing Life!”

  1. John W. Loftus Says:

    As I’ve said before, if atheists and skeptics want a largely no drama network of skeptical blogs, look no further than here:


    We’ve got everyone’s attention now. Join us. Subscribe. Comment.

    • peterson Says:

      it’s a good site.

    • PJLandis Says:

      Your self-promotion is shameless. You need to replace that icon with a photo of you wearing sandwich board.

      That said, I’m a fan of the new site. I liked Debunking, but the new grouping adds a lot of fresh daily content and differing perspectives.

      Not as much…”I’m an ex Christian, blah, blah, blah. Read my book!”, although I enjoyed all that as well.

  2. operatoroscillation Says:

    GirlWritesWhat predicts in her blog that this A+ movement will continue to tear the secular community apart, pitting men against men as they rush at the opportunity to impress and validate themselves with the skepchicks community.


    • Thunderf00t Says:

      Nah, Atheism Plus was DOA. Off of freethoughtblogs or skepchick its VERY difficult to find anyone who speaks highly of it. Look if on your own YT channel you can only get a 50% rating, your best arguments (‘language that hurts feelings should be banned’ etc) are clearly not very convincing . Further on YT I don’t think I’ve seen anyone say anything positive about it.
      What they have is little more divisive than what they had before (the clique of FTB + Rebecca Watson). In fact that’s probably a more accurate name for it. FTB+Watsonism. Sure they might employ scientology type tactics and clearly view domination of the rules for the conference scene as important. But as I’ve said before, the conference scene is almost an irrelevance compared to the communication tool of the internet. It’s frankly not even worth fighting them over.

      But ultimately, when you think about it, neither of these groups (FTB or skepchick) do much more than make noise (and controversy). Indeed arguably the only positive ‘actionable’ item either of these groups has pulled off was a bunch of these girls taking their clothes off for a calendar.

      Now compare that to a functional organization, say for instance the National Center for Science and Education. Pretty night and day stuff aint it!

      • operatoroscillation Says:

        I’ve heard that the Atheist Community of Austin is now behind the Atheism+ thing. I did notice that Matt Dillahunty had become increasingly more feminist ever since he got married.

        • hannanibal Says:

          It’s been noticed by nearly everyone else too. They will become the Feminist Community of Austin soon and the T.V. show will implore misogynists to phone up and debate them.

        • Weimaraner butler Says:

          I am interested to see what Matt actually has to say about A+, considering he has repeatedly stated in the past that
          “Atheism is not a world view ” and “It is a single position on a single issue”

          • hannanibal Says:

            See for yourself!

          • TAE+ is okay then? Says:

            Since Matt Dillahunty supports co-opting a label by adding a “+” to it, I guess he would have no problem with The Atheist Experience Plus, where the plus muddies the meaning of the original brand.

            Welcome to TAE+ which is TAE plus support of NAMBLA or something else potentially problematic that is unrelated to TAE label. It’s “plus” so no theist callers into Vanilla TAE are going to confuse the two, and Matt isn’t going to have to perpetually try to explain the difference to everyone he meets. **sarcastic strawman still has a point**

            Atheist is just a position on one issue… the plus attacks any clarity achieved on that point. If it is humanism, then call it humanism, or call it atheist humanism, or call it humanist atheism… but don’t hijack the simple one position on a single issue.

        • Mallorie Nasrallah Says:

          Matt Dillahunty call him self “a feminist, you know one of those FTB *bullies*” in response to a question from Jen at the SSA national conference in Ohio.

          I think its safe to say he is in bed with them, not the city of Austin.

          (the quote is slightly paraphrased but damn fucking close..I was there I booed his ass)

        • jdavila1911 Says:

          The harpy Dillacunty married is one of the feminists that runs the “Godless Bitches”. It’s essentially another mouth piece for the feminasties trying to co-op the atheist movement, now that it’s becoming more acceptable to be a non-believer.

          Feminists always do this. They ran their own movement and brand into the ground by their own hand, and so they must go and try to infect everything else with their stupidity.

          So, yeah. That’s why he’s become such a woman infantilizing, white knighting CUNT. I can’t believe I used to respect that guy.

          • MogalH Says:

            ‘Godless BITCHES’, is that allowed? Ive never felt comfortable with the name they have chosen. I think tho, they will need a name change if they are going to align themselves with A+

            Another thought though, all those Crosses they wont removed from public places can now be called Plusses and stay, wodya think.

      • Marlo Rocci Says:

        Agreed, A+ is dead. I also hope this teaches the community, such as it is, that the only thing we agree on is atheism, and nothing else.

      • Jimbo Says:

        I have something positive to say about A+.

        It’s not the dumbest thing to come out of the FTB network. We’ve seen much worse. How’s that?

  3. atheismplusone Says:

    My comments on Atheism+ are here:


  4. hannanibal Says:

    Coughlan is the biggest fail-troll on the entire internet. “Your mother sucked my dick jokes” went out with the ark. The only funny thing he has ever said is he is a “comedian”. That really made me laugh.
    Glad to see you are moving on TF00t. This crap is getting stale even for a drama whore like me.

  5. Marlo Rocci Says:

    I’m reasonably confident A+ is already on it’s way out. Their original goal was clearly to be politburo to control atheist meetings and organizations, and as far as I can tell, they’ve been reduced to just being a highly banhammered forum. Even people who agree with them politically say this has nothing to do with atheism. Virtually every major youtuber has done a video criticizing A+.

    But this is also why I don’t join atheist organizations in general. Their targets for takeover.

    What Thunderf00t did was a necessary fever to cleanse the virus. We’ll be better at the end of it.

  6. leppad Says:

    You know, if a person hears criticism directed against him or her, they should view it as a gift, an opportunity to learn and become a better human being. If I take it as an insult (even if it was meant as an insult) – well, I can choose to be devastated or hurt by it, or I can deal with it in constructive terms such as ignoring it, learning from it, or simply moving on. The bottom line is that *YOU* choose to react in a certain way. You choose whether to be hurt or laugh it off or whatever. It has nothing to do with your external environment. It is a choice you make. You are responsible for your emotions, not others.

    • peterson Says:

      it’s true, the only thing you can control is your reaction. Especially now that we’re adults. You either learn it, or don’t. Your happiness in life depends a lot on how you do react. Obama or Romney…some choose the high road and some the other.

    • anon Says:

      This is a key point that no one at FTBs/skepchick seems able to comprehend. It should be a major skeptic value to not let your emotions interfere with rational thought. It seems that at least one person at FTBs should understand this. I sometimes wonder if they do but are being disingenuous to easily manipulate their reader base of crazy women.

  7. Randy Says:

    Fuck they are stupid. Nothing but noise makers. If i didn’t have anything better to do i would count how much Watson interrupts people in that video. They dont even see the irony of the bitching.

  8. hannanibal Says:

    TF00t? Fancy doing a blogpost request on how Matt Dillahunty is a fat fucking arsehole?

  9. secular Steve Says:

    Lord PZ and his disciples will certainly learn what it feels to be crucified. God bless you Peezus and the virgin Watson

  10. Kaylakaze Says:

    I was actually shocked when she said your right to say what you want ends when it affects someone who hears it.

    • badger3k Says:

      Where was this?

    • Great Ape Thoughts Says:

      I hope that some day the irony of this statement sinks in. Freedom of speech means that any person can say anything, regardless of the offence it causes. If the “right to say what you want ends when it affects someone who hears it” was held as the standard, then freedom of speech would not exist. People can say whatever they want to.

      This argument is one based on blind emotion, not skepticism and rational thought. I hate that the skeptic community is being dragged into this shit.

  11. Mike Paps Says:

    This whole A+ debacle reminds me of TheAmazingAtheists attempt to form the ASU (atheist scum united). At the time he was easily the biggest name in youtube atheism, and initially it was a very popular idea among his subscribers.

    Eventually people outside the bubble began leveling criticism, and asking tough questions, and it imploded. I expect to see the same with A+, though it’s death throes may last a bit longer because more people have more invested in it.

  12. karlaporter Says:

    Perhaps their strategy is to just tire people out with their sensationalist ridiculousness.

  13. The Great Peezuss Says:


  14. The Great Peezuss Says:

    A+thesim, its beautiful!

  15. oolon Says:

    Fail for Thunderf00t… How hard is it to do a representative google interest search? Not hard – “PZ Myers” alone has double the interest score of “thunderf00t”… But of course Phil chooses the least popular search term for that *collection* of blogs – not the bloggers themselves. How many search for patheos vs Friendly Atheist for fucks sake?


    Thunderf00ts web-fu is sadly lacking — and he looks more of a fool than usual. Starting the popularity contest to prop up your position is pretty weak – to fail in it so completely is risible.

    • Adrian Says:

      I disagree. Thunderf00t has realized that there is no arguing with the stubborn ignorance of sheep and he has left the entire debate aside to get on with his life. If he has struck that balance between knowing when to speak out and when to let fools walk off a cliff, then he is doing better for himself than his detractors.

      Besides, this is not a popularity contest, which is what he mentions here. His arguments are about the subject at hand, not the people making those arguments.

      • oolon Says:

        Haha so why mention how amazingly popular he is when he only works half his time at it? Not only is he *so* popular he hardly has to try… Shame it was a load of balls.

        As for him being amazingly balanced and able to walk away from an argument… Well have a look at pretty much all his posts on this blog – All those posts after his ‘priorities’ for 2012.

        Anyway apart from that I’m glad he is going back to do what he is good at. Although I’ll miss the laughs…

    • thetomtompiper Says:

      You fail to grasp how Google search works, you need to take into account the fact that although Thunderf00t spells his online name with zeros, when people search they use letters instead sometimes. Try the search again using both the correct and incorrect versions and notice the difference, things are simple when you apply a bit of logic.

      • oolon Says:

        Did you actually try it? It still shows that at best Thunderf00t has at times been equal to PZ *alone*. Apart from the recent controversy where he jumps up quite a bit — short term hits unless he can keep it going somehow

        Try Thunderf00t, Thunderfoot and Greta Christina … She is equivalent to one of the variants on her own. PZ and Greta are two of 40 bloggers — collectively they piss all over his beloved interest score.

        Why are his fanboys digging a bigger hole?

        • brianv Says:

          Fail troll is fail.

        • thetomtompiper Says:

          I was merely pointing out an inaccuracy in your statement, not seeking to defend any position, I don’t know why you feel the need to attack me personally, I assure you I am nobody’s fan boy. I just think that if we are discussing facts we should seek to be honest and factual.

          • oolon Says:

            Err no you missed the entire point which was that Thunderf00t applied no logic to make his point and chose some pretty awful keywords. I never said mine were perfect – just that his were next to useless in regard to making that point.

            If you think ‘fanboy’ is an attack then head to Pharyngula or the Slymepit and get the fainting couch ready…

    • The Devil's Towelboy Says:

      oolon Says: Fail for Thunderf00t… How hard is it to do a representative google interest search? Not hard – “PZ Myers” alone has double the interest score of “thunderf00t”…

      And Pol Pot quintuples Myers. Your point is?

      • oolon Says:

        I wasn’t the one that made the point – TF was. I said it was a poor point and badly made at that. So glad we agree…

    • Albatross Says:

      Numbers don’t lie:


      • oolon Says:

        The two petitions are pretty good indicator of haters vs friends of RW…

        122 to the haters vs 543 to the friends of RW… A lot of fake haters on the remove poll. I see Rebecca stole Thunderf00ts mojo :-)

        Also fits my pet theory that all this hullabaloo is between a tiny number of atheists….

        • LightninLew Says:

          I don’t think those petitions are a good indicator of anything. You pretty much confirmed that yourself with ” lot of fake haters on the remove poll”. One look at the comments on that blog and you can see that there are loads of fakes on both sides. Even if there were no fakes, it’s been posted by PZ. Of course it’s going to be skewed in his favour.

          • oolon Says:

            It was over 2x on the pro-RW side before he blogged about it…. Also very funny to see the ‘Free Speech!’ mob trying to shut someone off in a way that would cause shrieks of dismay on their side :-)

    • supersysscvi Says:

      Oh, wow, that looks like fun! Am I still allowed to join the bandwagon?


  16. Adrian Says:

    Well done Tf. There is no arguing with those who have brainwashed themselves into self righteous indignation. Believe me, I’ve tried.

    The best one can do is speak out to those who would listen, no matter how large or small the crowd may be, and ignore those who chastize through stubborn refusal to accept rational discourse.

    Live your life and enjoy it.

  17. jamesthenabignumber Says:

    I often most enjoy reading something I disagree with, but on this issue, I am delighted to finally find a person of whom I am in total agreement!

    The asymmetry of acceptable insults; the inability to comprehend the conflict between hurt feelings and free speech; the hubris and lack of philosophical subtly; the squeamish desire to constantly agree and form ‘movements’; the bombastic and poorly formed prose… FTB is a headache of a website.

    I am glad that you – an intelligent person, with something interesting to say – has disassociated with a group that mostly comprises of trivial noise-makers. And with your self respect intact. Well done sir!

  18. oolon Says:

    Just out of interest – wonder if any of the slimepitters with their encyclopaedic knowledge of every daft thing a FtB blogger has ever said can prove this is not a strawman?

    “Freethoughtblogs and Skepchick have mistaken … the odd troll as ‘evidence’ that the community is ridden with misogynists etc.”

    Leaving aside the strange ‘etc’ where has anyone on FreeThoughtBlogs or Skepchick *ever* said the community is *ridden* with misogynists? I’ll also take the dictionary definition – so ‘dominated by’ or ‘full of’…. (BTW commenters don’t count given they are not FtB’ers or Skepchicks and could be trolling)

    Otherwise I call…. STRAWTHUNDER!!!

    (fully prepared to fail horribly here given I’m quite sure the people there say some pretty daft things at times)

    • Acathode Says:

      I’m not a slimepitter, but took me ~10 sec to google misogyny+atheist+community and find Greg Laden’s post “Females Are Not welcome in the Atheist Community” (wont post link to prevent post getting stuck in moderation).

      In the article he compares the atheist community to a neighborhood where “many of the street corners and parks and other public spaces are habitually occupied by groups of dick-headed immature women hating misogynists who harass and bother and abuse any women that show up in that neighborhood”.

      • oolon Says:

        Quote: – “…testosterone driven scum that call themselves men who make up an unknown but not small enough percentage of our community”

        Blogging about the existence of misogyny does not equate to ‘the community’ being ridden with it… Greg says small percentage above – that is not ridden.

        Even your quote could be equated to small gangs of annoying people – he doesn’t say how many or what percentage.


        • mallorienasrallah Says:

          No, he says “a unknown, but NOT small enough percentage”.

          Not the same thing.

        • Acathode Says:

          “Greg says small percentage above”

          No he didn’t. Read it again. He puts a precise quantity on the percentage: unknown, but not small enough.

          That is very far from saying it’s small.

          You should aslo really read the definition of ridden:

          rid·den (rdn)
          Past participle of ride.
          Dominated, harassed, or obsessed by. Often used in combination: disease-ridden; grief-ridden.

          Greg article is about how he thinks that these “dick-headed immature women hating misogynists” are dominating the atheistic community to a degree where women are not welcome in it and constantly reminded, in a bad way, that they are women. That fit the definition of “ridden” quite accurately…

        • oolon Says:

          I’ll accept his post might be interpreted as being in the same ball-park as ‘ridden’ and raise you the fact that he is not part of the FtBs that Thunderf00t is referring to anyway?

          Surely the core Skepchicks and FtB FC5/6 are constantly saying this? Must try harder…

          • Acathode Says:

            I though Laden was exactly one of the FTBers TF was railing against? Considering Lades specifically was featured in some earlier post TF did on FTB…
            He’s certainly the nuttiest of the FTB fruitcakes IMO, and his extreme behavior and opinions is one of the biggest reasons for my personal dislike of FTB.

            (and yeah, I know he was thrown out, but it required him going as far as threating one of their fellow FTBers with violence, and they still defend his bullshit)

            Still, if you want more, I took a few mins to google some more.
            How about Zvan’s “Yes, “Hate *Atheists*””, where she spends an article arguing for that the atheist community is very sexist, more so then other communities (a meaning she even clarifies in the comment section)?

            Yet another example, Jason Thibeault “More pushback against systemic misogyny within our respective communities”. Do I even need to point out that the dictionary says that systemic = Relating to or affecting the entire body or an entire organism?

            Referring to the community as a white boy club is also not uncommon, and quite strongly implies a culture of sexism.

            This took maybe 10, 15 min of googling to find, I cba to spend more time on this, the amount of text to go through massive, and the misshits due to the sheer amount of text these people have produced about misogyny is quite massive. There’s also so damn many misshits due to the comments, in which several people talk about how widespread and dominating the sexism/misogyny is in the community, and so on.

            I’ll grant you though, some of the FTBers are careful to state that the number of scum is low, but that it’s still a problem, and so on.

          • oolon Says:

            Yup Jasons systemic one I mentioned below – closest yet but a systemic disease can affect the whole but still not be a significantly large part of it.

            Stephanies post is a rambling one about her own experiences and how she is feeling down about the amount of sexism she *personally* experiences in atheist circles.


            Thought I’d link to the same article Stephanie did at the end. That as with a lot of other examples is of some pretty horrible sexism in an atheist online community – and uses the word ‘awful’ not misogynist – the problem with a much larger part of the atheist community than misogynists is with the people who happily ignore others first hand accounts and keep parroting ‘there is no evidence!’… Yeah we need a double blind trial before we can believe what people have to say about their own personal experience.

            You mention the comments, well Stephanie says this…

            “Did you also know that this isn’t just my experience? If you scroll up above your comments–careful, not too far now–you’ll see that a number of people have endorsed my take on it. Correct me if I’m just being a dumb girl, but with a few more of those, we might actually have data!”

            That seems to me to be the issue – some women in a couple of atheist communities talk about their *personal* experience with sexism and misogyny in atheist circles. Other people confuse posts about personal experience with the totality of the group of people that call themselves atheist and 1+1 = “you are *all* horrible misogynists!”

            Unfortunately for those holding this delusion there is little evidence for it other than ‘interpretation’ of the amount they post on the subject or other such woolly concepts…. STRAWTHUNDER!!!

    • Encyclopaedia Slymepittica Says:

      Shall we skip the “women are unwelcome” accusations, and go straight to the part where Ophelia Benson says that being a woman at TAM is like being a jew in a totalitarian genocidal fascist state?

      As Jews in Germany circa 1936 might have created “a climate where Jews — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe.” As the Southern Poverty Law Center creates a climate where people who are the object of systematic vocal hatred end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe. That’s not to compare TAM with Nazi Germany or racist pockets of the US, of course, but then Rebecca didn’t name TAM in the item DJ quoted, either; she (or rather USA Today, indirectly quoting her) said “the freethought community.”

      ” – Ophelia Benson, Elder Prune of the Fainting High Council

      • oolon Says:

        Systematic vocal hatred can come from a tiny group – just look at the google interest scores from freethoughtblogs and slymepit. If you didn’t know better you would think the slimepitters were a significant number – whereas they barely register ;-)

        So no *ridden* with misogyny yet.. STRAWTHUNDER!!

      • dw3fkwj890fjfwe Says:

        You realize oolon is just a fail troll, right? Ignore him.

        • oolon Says:

          Pfftt so says the troll with a random name.

        • hannanibal Says:

          We need the Oolons’ of this world. We need dissenting voices at all times lest we become an echo chamber ourselves. I don’t agree with 78% of the things he says but he is necessary nonetheless.

          • oolon Says:

            Oh no Hanannibal has been sock-puppetted by someone serious! This is probably the most disturbing thing I’ve seen anyone from the other ‘side’ say… Take the piss by all means but taking me seriously gives me the willies.

          • hannanibal Says:

            Aye….Sorry about that. Don’t know what came over me. Normal service will resume shortly etc.

    • anon Says:

      You know the part where Thunderf00t says that has a link to Greta Christina trying to make that very same case, right?

      • oolon Says:

        Yeah well that failed miserably – did you actually read it? The whole point was that it is one example of #mencallmethings. Completely factually correct and an anecdotal example… Well maybe not factually correct as it might be a lady troll :-)

        Anecdotes of misogyny do not mean the community is *ridden* with misogyny. This claim that the FtB lot use anecdotes to equate to proof is a strawman in Thunderf00t and others heads as far as I can see…. Surely it would be easy to find where the evil empire bang on a length about how the community is dominated by large numbers of misogynists? Apparently not cos they don’t, just their detractors say they do…. STRAWTHUNDER!!

    • oolon Says:

      Bunch of losers here have found fuck all… Well I found one example that was poorly worded but he is not one of the core so-called FC5 (I think?) so you might have missed it. Lousy Canuck in a headline says ->

      ‘Systemic misogyny’ is the worst I could find – elsewhere it is made clear that this is a tiny bunch of loud mouthed sexist assholes.

      This is getting tiresome but I’m copying Thunderf00ts wonderful style so… STRAWTHUNDER!!

    • abrotherhoodofman Says:

      oolon the asswipe:

      Jason Thibeault said this:

      “A+ is the inevitable end result of the realization that movement atheism is very largely populated by people who insist that the fact that we have no religion means we must never curtail behaviours no matter how antisocial or harmful.”


      “Very largely populated by”. Okay? Now please shut your piehole.

      • oolon Says:

        Yeah I found one from him… Jason seems to have a problem with hyperbole.

        But you do realise that “…. we must never curtail behaviours no matter how antisocial or harmful” does not equal misogyny? In fact he had an interesting conversation with John Greg (I think), from deep in the slimepit, where he found out that they have pretty much the same view on feminism. So hard to call him a misogynist – but I’m pretty sure he thinks John Greg and the slimepit engage in some antisocial and harmful behaviours.

        FFS he would include me in the harmful antisocial behaviour bracket given my propensity for rude childishness! Me, the man hating dicktwat who is firmly embedded up PeeZus’s poop machine…

        So here’s wondering if your piehole can accommodate this much fail?

        • oolon Says:

          Oops forgot… STRAWTHUNDER!!!

        • abrotherhoodofman Says:

          You’re seriously reaching. I gave you what you asked for and now all I hear is the sound of backpedaling.

          Ever consider a job as a contortionist? Backwards on a bicycle, perhaps?

          Later, A-Pus promulgator.

          • oolon Says:

            Maybe you should re-read what I asked for? I said where do they clearly state that the community is ridden/full of/dominated by misogyny or misogynists… You did neither – your argument was based on your interpretation of the words in Jason’s statement.

            The ‘M’ word was only mentioned once and I’m surprised you did not quote this instead as it is a lot more damning than your example…
            “Misogyny, cissexism and other forms of overlapping gender-based discrimination are our best-represented, most visible bigotries in our movement”

            Probably because you realise it also fails miserably to meet my criteria — there is no indication of size of this bigotry in terms of % of bigots. Misogyny is only one part of it as well, gender based discrimination could even cover the MRAs bug-bear misandry!

    • hktelemacher Says:

      When the feminists at Freethoughtblogs point out rather often the volume of threats and hate mail they get from the atheist community, that is heavily laden with the implication that misogyny is significant within the atheist community. If their perception was that misogynists are such a small and insignificant part of the atheist community then from their perspective A+ would not have been necessary. I think it’s weird to claim the basis for their movement as a strawman position.

      • oolon Says:

        Yawn, wondered how long it would be before someone fell into the scrying trap. You need to read between the lines to understand their intent! Take every 50th letter from FtBs posts and you get the one true evil message… “Cut off teh Menz cockz, by this shibboleth will thou know us! Kill the unbelievers!”

        If its a core part of athesism+ give me the fricken link or quote! Otherwise… STRAWTHUNDER!!

        • hktelemacher Says:

          Scrying trap, are you kidding me? The entire controversy over Elevatorgate was Watson’s portrayal of the huge atheist misogynist backlash against her post. So you’ve *never* heard her or PZ say “All she was saying was ‘Guys, don’t do that’ and *look at the reaction she got*. Rape threats, abusive e-mail, abusive comments, misogyny!” If you’re trying to say that RW and Jen and the rest at FtB *weren’t* trying to portray the atheist community at large as having a significant misogyny problem, then you’re just fucking trolling.

          • oolon Says:

            Nope you miss my point – I think the community does have a misogyny problem. Why wouldn’t it have one? Although for me I’d use sexism or gender discrimination problem as that is more descriptive of the whole issue.

            I asked something very specific – where do FtBs bloggers or skepchicks say clearly that this misogyny is dominating the A movement, the A movement is ridden with it, the A movement is full of misogynists.

            You have done none of this – only put forward your ‘view’ that they ‘think’ this based on what they have posted. Well bully for you but that is not the sceptical/scientific exemplar that Thunderf00t expects of us all ;-)

          • hktelemacher Says:

            So what is it? Either it’s a regular problem that could be dealt with without extraordinary measures. Or it’s a pervasive problem that requires a more significant response. You don’t get it both ways., and neither does FtB. However unlike you, at least the leadership over there isn’t being dishonest about their position. They consider it such a significant problem that they’re creating a severed space within the atheist community that excludes everyone not of their particular social justice viewpoint.

          • oolon Says:

            You don’t seem up to the STRAWTHUNDER!! challenge… More derail by slagging off atheism+ with no facts, glad your own opinion is all you need to be certain on this issue.

          • hktelemacher Says:

            So when in response to this: ““I’ve hung around with atheists and skeptics and I’ve never encountered this problem.” That being sexism or misogyny.”

            RW says: “Well you know but it’s important to remember that there are also women who have hung out in these communities who have never experienced, who would say that they’ve never experienced sexism. That’s not to say I’m implying that they’re lying, more that I think that there are a lot of things that are part of a misogynist culture or milieu that would go by unnoticed by most women.”

            So “these communities” are part of “misogynist culture” where “a lot of things . . . go unnoticed by most women.” Yah, sure, she’s describing a very small, discreet problem there.

            But no, I predict you’re going to double down and troll harder. But . . . but RW didn’t say *exactly* what Tf00t said, so it’s all different! Idiot. But seriously, double down. Keep going. I don’t need to convince you, it’s enough that reasonable people reading the thread see it for its obviousness.

          • oolon Says:

            Nice one, took a while to get something close. I mentioned elsewhere that our culture and wider community has a problem with misogyny – usually we atheists happily accept that and blame centuries of religious oppression of women. So why would any atheist community be immune from that?

            I think this is a variation on that view point. So what is special about the atheist community that makes it any different? Either that it has less misogyny than is usual or it is *ridden* with it and by implication has a lot more…

            BTW I don’t see the statement you quote as being proof of the latter, just a comment on the ‘normal’ background misogyny as she sees it… So… STRAWTHUNDER!! is on.

          • hktelemacher Says:

            Of course, never let it be said that narratives don’t fit your preconceived notions.

          • oolon Says:

            They tend to when I’m in an argument :-D

          • hktelemacher Says:

            oolon: How do you spin this one: http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/08/how-i-unwittingly-infiltrated-the-boys-club-why-its-time-for-a-new-wave-of-atheism/

            “I don’t feel safe as a woman in this community – and I feel less safe than I do as a woman in science, or a woman in gaming, or hell, as a woman walking down the fucking sidewalk.”

            That’s more than saying “Why would the atheist community be immune from misogyny”, that’s “The atheist community has more misogyny than any of these other communities.”

            “Despite the crap I received, I continued to publicly support these movements and stress that the haters were just a tiny minority. . . . But now I recognize that I was trying to convince myself that this is true.”

            Jen is a significant figure in the philosophical creation of this movement, and in addition to the other things I and others have pointed out in this sub-thread, it doesn’t look to me as if TF00t’s statement misconstrues the position of those like Jen’s at all.

          • oolon Says:

            I like it – now you know I want primary source material not your interpretation you are getting it. Unfortunately this is a rather ironic one given Jen has left blogging due to the amount of hate-mail and hate tweets she gets… Thinned skinned, maybe, but as I said on her post I don’t want the internet to just be for thick skinned trolls like myself ;-)

            Oh yeah and not a lot of spinning needed – that was her *personal* experience and no where in the post that I can see does she make the leap from her personal experience to saying this is the default or *only* experience.

            Ask yourself if her post is saying… “The atheist community has more misogyny than any of these other communities.”… Why does she, PZ, RW or any of the others not actually *say* that? In case it is not clear your quotes are unwarranted as that is not a quote regardless of how much you would like it to be….

          • hktelemacher Says:

            On my end, this conversation is over. Your semantic twisting and turning shows that you will spin anything so as to not just make it fit quite right for the narrative you are demanding, so I will just leave it hear for others to make their own decisions. It seems quite clear, and I am completely comfortable that reasonable readers will arrive at a similar conclusion and I and others have, that the aggregate weight of comments and statements (both explicit and by implication) from FtB/A+ is such that tf00t’s statement was not misconstruing the message.

            I do think your behavior is consistent in pattern with trolling, as has been noted elsewhere in these comments, so I will not waste any more time, which is a much nicer send-off than most trolls get over at FtB.

          • oolon Says:

            You can see my summary on my blog – feel free to troll hard ;-)

    • oolon Says:

      Had to include this, doesn’t follow my rules as it is one on the other side, but since so many of you failed to get a quote from PZ here is a doozy ->

      PZ says….. “I think atheist culture is actually better than the norm”… In regard to sexist/misogynist behaviour… Cognitive dissonance, brought to you by your friendly neighbourhood oolon.

      • SPACKlick Says:

        Jason Thibeault (lousy canuck) also points out on Sept 6th
        “one would think that we would recognize the need to acknowledge the problem of antifeminism and outright misogyny even though MOST ATHEISTS AREN’T MISOGYNISTS.”

        That said, in your initial request I think you are misinterpreting both the ridden and the importance of the etc. A dog which is ridden with flees or a body ridden by cancer is not mostly, it has a significant amolunt causing a significant problem. Adn the tec. means it isn’t just misogynists, it’s a whole host of negative character aspects.

  19. Mike Says:

    ‘Thunderf00t’ I thought you’d “drawn a line under this business” about three posts ago?

    • oolon Says:

      Unfortunately that ‘business’ turned out to be a floater and refused to flush so he had to keep on going. Verbal diarrhoea can be like that sometimes.

      • peterson Says:

        ohhh see, he allows that, and other people don’t. But it’s freedom to run your internet world in whatever manner you want. so kudos for choosing democracy, but it doesn’t have to be that way….

      • Acathode Says:

        While I also wish he would go back to doing what he is best at, making videos, in his defense, this A+ thing do deserve some comments.

        If nothing else, just because they are so entertaining. Stuff like them setting up a “Don’t be a dick” rule on their forums, while they just recently went completely ballistic because someone used the word “cunt”… That’s just hilarious, and it really do deserves getting ridiculed.

        • dw3fkwj890fjfwe Says:

          The double-standards with regards to calling people a dick or a bitch is certainly laughable. They’re epithets that have fallen into such common usage that the people using them don’t necessary have any gender hatred attached (I’ve heard men call each other dicks all the time, same goes for women calling each other bitches).

          Does that mean saying “oh my god” make a me a traitor to atheism? LOL

          • HuntingGoodwill Says:

            You should have said “Oh my Goddess!”, you misogynistic (white? old?) verbal rapist neo-deist you. lol

  20. peterson Says:

    it’s fun to see people that are supportive of a new form of “heavily censored” atheism, commenting here in a way that would not be allowed ever on their own site. The Lenin years of atheism are over, welcome to Stalin! seems to be the message. (actually no reflection on communism, things in Russia before were pretty crappy. After fairly crappy also but equally crappy for rich and poor!) However, people don’t have to choose to visit a site on the internet…freedom to not click (despite boyfriends, but hey she chooses to let him tell her what to do) is fine. Will this be the new wave of skepticism, or simply another choice? I think a choice. I don’t think you can declare yourself the new leaders until you have published some books, had some head time on TV…though there are many at A+ that are lead speakers at events. Could be the next wave of leadership. I will say, big plus for active plans for inclusion. The deaf/hearing challenged bit is a good first step. Not the whole wave of “We are the future” but a good first step. I hope A+ gets people DOING stuff instead of FIGHTING about stuff. The internet is not a democracy, and if they choose to censor that’s fair. If they are clear about it, so people KNOW “this is probably censored” when reading, it’s FINE. They own the site, and so I’m for “Freedom to do whatever you want on your site.” Freedom to declare you are the next generation, probably needs some time. How about starting with “We’re new, let us show you what we can do. Also, we aren’t a democracy, we’re about doing more than debating, so if you don’t agree with us we can’t waste time with you. If you want to do THIS and THIS and THIS with us, then we’ll be fine.”

  21. Benjamin Osborn (@BHGOzzy) Says:

    Thank you Thunderf00t. I’d rather see your awesome educational videos then this drivel any longer. The Atheism Plus movement is already tearing itself apart trying to take down the giants of the Atheist movement, and with you focusing on what you do BEST rather then these clowns, you’ll let their noise turn into what it really is. Just background white noise.

  22. GodlessForeigner (@GodlessF) Says:

    Thunderf00t I salute you for helping to open peoples eyes about how detrimental to skepticism (to say the least) FTB and Skepchicks have become.
    You earned your rest soldier, now go and do something relaxing like debating Sye Ten and Eric Hovind. ;D

  23. anon Says:

    FTBs and Co. have shown themselves to be little more than political activists pretending to be skeptics.

    Continuing to deal with these crazy people is akin to debating creationists. Theres no interest in rational discussion to be found on their end.

    You’ve made the best points yet in this post and now would be a fine time to bow out and move on to better things.

  24. ThaneRoss Says:

    Thank you Thunderf00t for drawing attention to the radical feminist ideologues trying to camouflage themselves as members of the rationalist community (an attempt to usurp and gain some much needed credibility). The cognitive dissidence and intellectual dishonesty of this group really is quite stunning. For a demonstration of this, simply ask them for evidence for feminism’s claims (gender is a social construct, the west is a patriarchy, objectification of women, Schrodinger’s rapist is rational, etc..) and hold them to the standards of science. You’ll get mostly angry shrieking with perhaps a few references to unpublished papers which wouldn’t stand a chance of holding up to the scrutiny of peer reviewed by actual science (you know, psychology, sociology, biology… the people who aren’t working backwards from a predetermined conclusion). Where are the double blinds, the controls, randomization, etc?

    There are of course good scientific evidence of all sorts of sexism, but that’s a far stretch to justifying the large claims made by feminism and as any skeptic will tell you, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I say we should applaud the group-thinkers move to label themselves; it does us all a favour.

  25. Justarandom Says:

    Finally! Get over this crap already and start making some more awesome videos. That being said, just 2 comments:

    1) A lot of assholes (e.g. “MRA”s and related) pop up on your blog and vids lately. Surely this isn’t a crowd you like to attract either (what a bunch of scavengers, man…).

    2) Carrier, despite his atheism+ post sucking in some ways is the most interesting writer on FTB imo. He has generally sensible views too, just expressed them pretty badly in that case (esp. in the comments, but it was funny to see oversensitive people get verbally abusive towards him for things they wildly misinterpreted even though they supposedly were familiar with his writings on similar subjects). I mention this since you quote his “atheism+” post a lot to show how misguiged the whole affair is etc etc.

    Anyway, good to see you getting over this mess.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    No, genuine free thought, atheism and realism. Look and think, If feminism is wrong then examine it and find out why. Feminism was never about equality, it is about supremacy. I believe in equality, FOR EVERYONE.

  27. Mike Says:

    Not only is it welcoming to see that ‘Thunderf00t’ “drew a line under this business” (about 3 posts ago), but he must also be commended for not getting provoked by Richard Coughlan.

    “No! I just ignored him”, says ‘Thunderf00t’.

    All true. Except for that lengthy video ‘Thunderf00t’ made called “Coughlan616 and other critics” where ‘Thunderf00t’ accused Coughlan of all manner of things, including having a personality disorder. And then he spent hours cutting up videos of Coughlan to create a montage to make him look insane.

    Other than that, ‘Thunderf00t’ has kept a dignified distance from Coughlan at all times. Sure.

    Can’t wait for ‘Thunderf00t’ to start making videos “that can appeal to everyone”, and give up “petty drama”. If he could ever manage that, then he would deserve a round of applause and much encouragement. Can’t wait for him to give it a try.

    • oolon Says:

      Thanks for that – I missed it – was a good laugh! Thunderf00t really cannot let even the slightest nick to his massive ego go unpunished :-) while claiming he is able to ‘walk away’… Yeah right.

    • brianv Says:

      You don’t have to cut up video to make coughlan look iinsane.

  28. oolon Says:

    Did you actually try it? It still shows that at best Thunderf00t has at times been equal to PZ *alone*. Apart from the recent controversy where he jumps up quite a bit — short term hits unless he can keep it going somehow :-)

    Try Thunderf00t, Thunderfoot and Greta Christina … She is equivalent to one of the variants on her own. PZ and Greta are two of 40 bloggers — collectively they piss all over his beloved interest score.

    Why are his fanboys digging a bigger hole?

    • oolon Says:

      Doh – I blame wordpress bug…

    • NotThunderf00t Says:

      Measuring e-peens by google insights is pretty dumb. Still, this puts it nicely into perspective.


    • aplustheismsucks Says:

      Looks to me like tf is right. Ftb, like oolon is just a noisy whining machine. Happily whining away using the exact freedom of speech that Ftbs deny to others. Even if everything you said about tf was right oolon,, it just means that you spend all your worthless life whining and whining and whining at a nobody. Momma must be so proud of you.

      • oolon Says:

        More straw for the Thunder scarecrow? How about some examples of FtBs denying free speech to anyone?

        • Maria Maltseva (@bluharmony) Says:

          Would attempts to get you fired or otherwise unemployable count as silencing tactics against vocal women who don’t support what is now know as A+? I’m saying this as someone who has experienced both. As a side note, yes, women face discrimination, but are they minorities or merely members of a oft-times (though not always) disadvantaged group? And as such, should they be made targets of campaigns to seriously hurt them in real life?

          I’m not above feeling victimized myself, obviously. Only I don’t see men, as a group, as responsible.

          • oolon Says:

            You are sure that people from FtBs specifically targeted you in a malicious way with the direct intention of getting you fired?

            You were pretty sure Greg Laden posted your home address but that turned out to be a mistake (I’m happy to believe it was no lie). Just saying some lee-way and assumption of innocence would make the ‘war’ less painful for all concerned.

            Anyway even if true a petty bit of infighting between yourselves and a few commenters which escalated too far does not make an infringement of free speech.

            The fact is no-one at FtBs has enough power to truly infringe upon anyone’s freedom of speech and you know it.

        • Maria Maltseva (@bluharmony) Says:

          I’m not sure I’m sure of anything, but the fact that they were counting how high Laden’s post(s) about me ranked in my Google ratings made me feel that way. And aside from intent, that’s the effect it has for someone like me, and it is, indeed, a serious matter. I’m not going to say it was malicious, because I think they believe in what they’re doing. But I’ll go so far as to say that I think it was wrong. But you raise good points, and I appreciate that.

          As for the Laden thing, no, I merely said my address was posted in his blog, which it clearly was. I never — at least as far as my recollection goes — stated that he was the one to post it, and if I had, then Stephanie would have provided evidence to that effect. She didn’t. All she provided was Julian saying something to that effect, and the fact that I thanked him after someone denied that my address was posted at all. My address was posted, my LinkedIn Screencap was posted, a private conversation was posted — all in Laden’s blog, in three speparate hate threads he specifically started about me for no valid reasons. He also posted some of that on his FB page. Then Zvan posted that I lied when I didn’t. They’re a classy bunch.

          I wouldn’t trust what Stephanie says. She’s also asserting that Laden quit and that it’s consistent with him being fired. But not according to either Brayton or PZ.

        • Maria Maltseva (@bluharmony) Says:

          Oh, and as an aside, this has nothing to do with free speech, since defamation is not protected. Here’s a question for you: why do you think Zvan wrote that post? Since clearly it could not hurt Laden’s reputation given his letter to Justin and many of his own actions (and also, he didn’t care). So what was the point? But when you search for my name, you will now find a vicious blog post saying I lied about all sorts of things I never lied about, and that I’m a total liar in general. This is quite likely defamation, unless there’s some sort of evidence I’m not aware of, or I forgot something that I said, or… I dunno. But I always leave the possibility of being in error.

        • oolon Says:

          Epic derail – I will say that I disagreed with Stephanies post on your ‘lie’. I think I made that clear in my comments on that post – I wimped out of getting banned but that was about it. A legal team could get bogged down for months in the detail of your personal war with them – so doubt there is anything worth going into there.

          So if *everything* you say is true how is that not just infighting – I’ll even say bullying as they are a bit more powerful than you in terms of status on this little corner of the internet. But no infringement of your free speech, you seem quite vocal :-)

          The whole FtBs are all evil bullies seems to have spurred the slimepit into a flurry of very free speech and expressions thereof. In the form of photo-shopped pictures and a campaign of ridicule. Where is the actual infringement of free speech the OP mentioned?

          • Maria Maltseva (@bluharmony) Says:

            There is no free speech issue when it comes to personal blogs — people are allowed to say what they like and allow the comments they like. Depending on how FTB was structured, they could probably fire whoever they wanted and for whatever reason. What they weren’t and aren’t allowed to do is defame others or violate the law in any other way. As for the derail, you’re right, the story is so convoluted now, that there’s little that can be done except burying the mutterings of my accusers in good deeds.

            I don’t approve of the “hacking” incident, but I like lots of other things that TF does and can understand how hurt he was. I can also understand how hurt some of the FTBers are. But there’s nothing I can do to help with that. I just get accused of “playing both sides” when I try. So I’ll stick to the side that favors diversity of opinion as well as diversity of membership. And I welcome everyone, A-plussers included, even though I reserve the right to criticize their tactics (though not the goals). Unless those goals change, of course.

          • oolon Says:

            Yeah I still like Thunderf00t, although he might take that as a worrying statement of obsession on my side…. To clarify I like his videos not on this issue, and hope he will really finally back off and do something more interesting instead.

            Not taking sides is something that I see a sceptic doing, even if not necessarily an atheist.

  29. dw3fkwj890fjfwe Says:

    Once you get in the habit of feeling sorry for yourself all the time it’s very easy to develop a victim complex. It’s sad, but they’re so mired in trying to maintain the “we’re all poor, victimized women” while at the same time trying to proclaim how “strong” they are that they take internet trolling as a kind of martyrdom and hoist it up proudly. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

    I might be a member of a minority but I’m not going to throw myself a fucking pity party at every minor slight thrown my way on the internet or proclaim that somehow a lack of visible minorities as evidence of rampant bigotry throughout an entire community. Correlation doesn’t fucking imply causation.

    • oolon Says:

      I think we can all agree you are a member of a minority, but atheism+ is all about helping minorities! Maybe they can help set up a refuge for sexist assholes suffering from internet burn out? ;-)

      • SisterChromatid Says:

        From my perspective, atheism plus seems like a group of people who make themselves feel good by vilifying people like Thunderf00t who actually do things to forward critical thinking, science, and reason. In their heads they imagine their witch hunts have done wonders, but all it really seems to have done is divided people who were once allies. Is there anything that is better thanks to them? If so, the evidence is as lacking as their evidence for misogyny being rife in the atheist community. Wherever the misogyny is– it’s not coming from Thunderf00t, DJ Grothe, Paula Kirby, Dawkins, and all those others they’ve decided for “enemies” to their “movement”.

        For all the social good the atheist plussers imagine they are doing, I think they’d tear apart anyone who dared to say that Thunderf00t may have had a point. It’s quite clear that membership int the A+ cult entails sharing A+ enemies and never ever saying anything critical about their dear leaders. What’s not clear is how they are going to achieve social justice outside of their own head– aren’t they all pretty much like you, oolon– imagining that they are furthering causes by writing pedantic screeds on the internet without actually DOING anything? Or contributing money to any cause (as Thunderf00t is doing with his FTB earnings? They’re losers who try to feel like winners by calling bigger fish losers. Is there a single member of the A+ cult that isn’t a horrific hypocrite– they want free speech for themselves, but not for those who rightly point out that they are involved in witch hunting. They want to demonize atheists that wear t-shirts that make Surly Amy cry, but they’d never be so silly about t-shirts that might offend theists. They want evidence to believe outsider claims- but how dare anyone ask for evidence before accepting the bizarre notion that the atheist community is rife with misogyny. (And, of course, any one who brings this up is a misogynist or gender traitor and, thus, an instant enemy of the cult– and now suitable for shunning, slandering, and pillorying.)

        I hope one day you are able to take your cult glasses off, oolon, and see what you’ve become.

        Lets remember– we have very little evidence of atheist misogyny in the atheist community outside of anecdote… and lots of evidence that the A plus cult imagines that people like Thunderf00t are misogynists. Thunderf00t is not the one sending troll messages… and if those getting such messages were really concerned about them, them they would be treating them as they did Markuse/Mabus’ messages. They’d be screen capturing them and showing them to cops and the population at large so that we would find the senders. Instead, it seems that they are much more interested in playing the victim… nobody wins with this insanity.

        • oolon Says:

          Fuck me a long reply, did you pick up that my comment was a joke? Anyway you make some pretty laughable statements so I’m always up for more laughs….

          “..evidence is as lacking as their evidence for misogyny being rife in the atheist community…”
          “..we have very little evidence of atheist misogyny in the atheist community outside of anecdote…”

          Rife – ridden – see STRAWTHUNDER above… Amount of misogyny: – This is regularly described by the FtB’ers as a tiny vocal *minority* of assholes. Any problem with that description?

          Misogyny is a problem in the ‘community’ at large – therefore why would it not be present in any ‘community’ of atheists, philatelists or campanologists for that matter? The burden of proof if it were needed would be from you to show there is something special about ‘the atheist community’ (Whatever that is) that makes it immune from a common prejudice?

          However we have anecdotal evidence… Actually to say first hand accounts are ‘anecdotal’ makes me think you don’t understand the term. Are *all* those women lying or trolling themselves with sock-puppet accounts? One sufficiently valid bit of evidence can prove a positive, if it were needed… It exists! No?

          Or are you standing on the very shaky ground of saying there is *no* misogyny in the loosely defined group of people who happen to call themselves atheist – and which you elevate to a ‘movement’?

      • abrotherhoodofman Says:

        You need to get a blow-up doll, oolon.

  30. Maria Maltseva (@bluharmony) Says:

    Since I’m new to serious (non-vanity) blogging, and don’t know much about trackbacks and pingbacks, please read this short & tangentially related post, if you have the time. Thanks: http://www.skepticblogs.com/musingsfromtheskepticalleft/2012/09/02/atheists-dont-do-that/

  31. icaro066 Says:

    Oh Well, another experience on herding atheists/skeptics has failled (and by definition of what a skeptic should be, it’s not a surprise).

  32. abrotherhoodofman Says:

    Rebecca Watson’s words “guys, don’t do that” weren’t the problem. It was her smug facial expressions, voice intonations, and body language, particularly notable in her second video where she advised men to purchase blow-up dolls.

    FtB bloggers think the world runs on mere language. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. Language is the new kid on the block. We evolved from a social ape species that still doesn’t have complex language, and operates almost exclusively via other cues.

    Rebecca Watson can’t run, and she can’t hide, behind mere words. We’re all smarter than that.

    • oolon Says:

      This has got to be right up there as one of the best explanations of why ‘don’t do that’ got blown out of all proportion. It was not the facts or force of her arguments but…. Monkey brain no like uppity woman, monkey brain smash!

      I think I’ll aim for a better society where such irrationality is not given much credence… But thanks for so effectively undermining your side of the argument.

      • abrotherhoodofman Says:

        You are correct. Nobody likes an “uppity” person. As if one naive young woman is going to instruct all of humanity in how to behave properly.

        She tried to separate herself, and succeeded brilliantly. Next time she’ll think twice before using the internet megaphone to voice juvenile nonsense.

        • oolon Says:

          “…one naive young woman is going to instruct all of humanity…”

          Glad you are on message that the ‘guys’ in ‘guys, don’t do that’ is gender neutral. That removes a lot of the misunderstanding around her statement.

          Unfortunately when you hear people making statements of opinion on the internet you see it not just as an instruction to you, but an instruction to all of humanity! The internet must be a very annoying and somewhat scary place to you…

          • abrotherhoodofman Says:

            It’s just a matter of time before Vivid Video produces a porn flick with actress Lisa Ann wagging her finger at her webcam while saying:

            “Guys… don’t do that.”

          • oolon Says:

            Not heard of Lisa Ann but I reckon a BDSM Becca could sell a few vids, she certainly stirs up strong emotions in the men on here. They’d all of course cry that they hate her and then sneakily buy a VOD subs :-)

  33. LightninLew Says:

    Rebecca Watson’s face hurts not only my feelings, but my retinas. I think her face should be regarded in the same fashion as physical assault.

  34. AtheistHero Says:

    Wonderfull comment on all this idiocy Thunderf00t :) I’m supporting you all the way. It’s clear to me that you have a brain and a moral backbone Rebecca Watson and her ilk can just dream about having. One might ask why these people are in the atheist community at all. Rational thought is CLEARLY not one of their strong points.

  35. derpitydoo Says:

    “It was her smug facial expressions, voice intonations, and body language”

    What I saw was an expression of “that event made me uncomfortable so please guys, don’t do it”.

    “particularly notable in her second video where she advised men to purchase blow-up dolls.”

    Not all men, a specific subset. You sure you watched it?

    “Rebecca Watson’s face hurts not only my feelings, but my retinas. I think her face should be regarded in the same fashion as physical assault.”

    “come on man, don’t say such crap, it’s stupid” “get over it, i’m just trolling/expressing myself/blahblah LOL TWATSON”

    Play to your strengths, Thunderf00t. The FTB crowd reacted pretty stupidly but you seem to be attracting a bunch of buffoons since your recent activity as well.

  36. elevatorguyisalie Says:

    When Jen said “my boyfriend banned me from the internet” (paraphrase). Did you see Rebecca’s facial expression or lack thereof? Almost like she just bit the tip of her tongue off and was holding the blood in by closing her lips tightly.

  37. whatamireading Says:

    “^There’s a reply button up here you know.”

    I don’t like the nesting.

    “I didn’t say “all” men, nitwit. Read the post.”

    Are you so stupid as to miss the point of my mention of “all men”? I guess you are.

    • abrotherhoodofman Says:

      LOL. Is that all you got. Next.

    • LightninLew Says:

      And I don’t like queueing but I still do it. Your mention of “all men” seemed to be to justify the stupid blow up dolls comment, meaning it’s okay to discriminate as long as it’s to a minority of a minority.
      If I said “some women, like Rebecca Watson, need a good hard fucking to loosen up” would that be fine? Just because I didn’t generalise a whole gender. Just a little bit of one, the ones who oppose me. That’s okay isn’t it? Yeah.

      • abrotherhoodofman Says:

        The members of A+ are cowards. There are real monsters in this world, but this collection of sissies instead turns upon the men of their own movement.

        A bunch of pussies, of both genders.

  38. dougal445 Says:

    The (infuriating) question used to be
    ‘how can you be moral without god?”
    so now is it ‘how can you be moral without freethought blogs?’
    . . . . Darn! Without FTB i’da be a mysogynisin ‘n’ racisisin an all sort of social injusticisin!

  39. davion Says:

    I wish the users would ignore oolon on this blog. He simply trolls with his unintelligent responses and shifts goalposts until the other person stops responding, then claims victory. Don’t feed the trolls.

    • oolon Says:

      I don’t see many pithy comments from you on here… Why should I listen and start to ignore myself when you are incapable of a cogent argument?

      I claim victory!

      BTW when you’ve spent a few more minutes on the internet you may find the majority of people arguing two sides rarely agree and give each other big hugs at the end. It doesn’t mean the side you happen to disagree with is a troll ;-)

      • oolonthewhiner Says:

        no what makes you a troll is the fact that you have spammed with messgage board with over 50 disingenuous ftb cock sucking comments.

        • oolon Says:

          Oh dear, counting is not your strong suit… What makes you a troll is that your comment is free of substance, if you cannot make a good argument on why I am wrong then I’ll just assume you have none. Cheers!

          • LightninLew Says:

            Your rebuttal to that is to accuse him of not counting all your comments? “oolon says” = 47 comments on this post alone, hardly far off 50. Most of which are just you displaying your over inflated sense of self worth, pseudo-intellectual bullshit & pointing out other’s logical fallacies when making several of your own per one of theirs.
            That’s what makes you a troll.

          • oolon Says:

            No being deliberately inflammatory to get a reaction makes me a troll… You couldn’t even get that right ;-)

          • LightninLew Says:

            No, that’s what makes you a cunt.

          • oolon Says:

            How does being right make me a part of the female anatomy… Are you one of these feminazis I’ve heard so much about trying to steal a good swear word and co-opt it to mean right about everything?

          • Psychoticmeow Says:

            You’re not right, and you avoid the argument to post your own stupid “nah, it wasn’t like that” bullshit.

            Please go away.

      • davion Says:

        Quantity does not equal quality.

        Nice how you attempt to discredit me by assuming I’ve no idea of the nature of the internet. I do, in fact, happen to know, and it’s chock full of people who ‘rarely agree and give each other big hugs at the end’, but that’s because for the most part they’re being intellectually dishonest.

        Just because the nature of the internet is intellectual dishonesty doesn’t mean it should be the norm. I find the arguments you’ve used on any given situation are well made, but the obvious goal-post shifting is stale and wasting everyone’s time.

  40. thetomtompiper Says:

    No need to head to Pharyngula it is one of my home pages, and again if you don’t think I am a fan boy then why did you bring it up? You seem to lack intellectual honesty and as such I do not feel able to take any of your comments seriously, goodbye.

    • oolon Says:

      Tone troll fails hard… If you had spent more time at Pharyngula than your single post then you would realise how bad a fail this flounce is. I’m charitable so I’ll just say look up tone troll on the pharyngula wiki and tell me how you don’t apply…

      People like Davion and tomtom couldn’t spot a troll if it jumped out from under a bridge and shoved a porcupine up their arse.

      • Anonymous Says:

        NO! NO! You will not get to win here! My ex-boyfriend already refused to bow down before me and kiss my toe, just like the rape culture slimetard that he was. But here this misogyny won’t perpetuate. Here you will be attacked with the long-repressed wrath of a hyena, our entranced squeeking being the last thing you’ll ever hear. And that is justice. That’s right. We wan’t you fucking dead, you piece of fucking scum. But to show our compassion, we’ll make sure you won’t get raped in the process. We’d just be too obvious hypocrites, if we wished that upon you.

        Was that Pharangyla enough for you? Do you feel sufficiently at home to shut the fuck up now?

        • oolon Says:

          Wow good move being anonymous, incoherent rambling suits you well. Did you actually have a point other than to make yourself look a complete fool?

          • Anonymous Says:

            Funny, it seems you got the point, but failed to notice that you did. In my post above you see a representative characterization of a pharyngadick. They are rambling, drooling and incoherent as you so acutely observed. Now, take a note and fly back to your hive. Just because nobody is yelling “STOP; JUST FUCKING STOP!!” every two minutes, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do so.

          • oolon Says:

            I think you’ll find it was representative of your fantasy of what a typical Pharyngulite is like – so says far more about you than you seemingly realise.

          • Anonymous Says:

            Not at all. I haven’t seen any direct death threats on Pharangyla, but telling people to kill themselves is just as hypocritical when comes to banning rape jokes ect.

            It’s obviously rage that drives them/you. And reason is an unfortunate casualty in that fight.

          • oolon Says:

            Where do the Pharyngulites/FtBs ‘ban’ rape jokes? On FtBs at least I found more funny rape jokes than I’d ever seen in my life – Louis CK – Wanda Sykes ‘Detachable vagina’ etc etc

            More straw for the bonfire!

            Not entirely sure you are serious but if you cannot work out the lulz/piss-taking etc is what drives me then you have your head up your arse. I’m not totally dissimilar to Hannanibal on your side – just funnier and right about everything :-D

          • Anonymous Says:

            Oh FFS. Someone made a prison rape joke there a while back and got stomped on like an insect. “Rape is never funny!” was screamed by every other commenter and apparently they wouldn’t wish it upon their worst enemy. That would suggest that they hold the subject as a tabu, but It doesn’t really matter. It’s still rather hypocritical to wish some “misogynist” would die all the while sanctimoniously declaring how nobody deserves to get raped.

          • oolon Says:

            Well you are totally wrong about rape jokes – just because you saw *some* people with the opinion that rape jokes are never funny that does not reflect the majority of FtBs denizens. As illustrated by Christina Rads question -

            I’ve ignored your ‘wishing to die’ crap, but you can fuck off and die, choke on a porcupine and die etc etc… Did you take any of those insults seriously? Maybe you have experienced a horrible death and even joking about it triggers PTSD in you… Thought not.

          • Anonymous Says:

            Seriously? You think only death is enough to trigger PTSD from morbid expressions and imagery? Those beaten to the inch of their lives just cannot be reminded of it by “get dead soon” wishes. No, no. Only rape victims can get PTSD. Please, reclaim that too now, why don’t you?

            I wasn’t actually even referring to those expressions, though there’s no doubt that similar facetious phrases wouldn’t have flown if they’d been about rape.

            But what I meant by the death wishing was detailed prompting to, for instance, turn a car on in a closed garage and wait until that misogynist brain expires. You think this can’t trigger PTSD with people who’ve attempted suicide?

            The same thing is at work here as in the case where it was ok to forbid the use of “cunt” while saying “don’t be a dick” in the previous sentence. Funny how the sexism detector only works for the other side.

          • oolon Says:

            So we are agreed on the rape jokes then… FtBs do not ban rape jokes at all – but they will criticise and probably ban anyone that makes the victim the butt of the joke and doesn’t stop when called out.

            My point with the ‘death threats’ was that the majority of ‘threats’ I’ve seen are along those lines. Glad you don’t see any problem there as the context is everything.

            What are these detailed descriptions of death wishing you refer to? Not seen that apart from some goon commenter from FtBs that got banned from another FtB ‘fan’ site for intimating the Coffee Loving Sceptic should kill himself. They were banned! Heresy club did the banning I think…

            I see a few of you lot are all worked up cos A+ forum says ‘don’t be a dick’ and then says ‘don’t say cunt’…. Why not point it out politely on the A+ forum? Not in a ‘I know you won’t listen to me but…’ agressive way…. Then get back to us with some real evidence that the A+ lot don’t listen to reason. Everyone can make mistakes when using everyday language that can be seen as sexist.

      • hannanibal Says:

        I looked up tone troll.
        Apparently, tone trolls complain of the opposition using dirty words.
        Dirty words like cunt, bitch and twat? Hmmmm…. Gotta love the Pharyngula hypocrisy.

        • oolon Says:

          Well I think they’d say that ignoring the argument and focussing solely on the rudeness indicates a tone troll. Which was my point, although ‘fanboy’ was so tame it was hard to believe tomtom was being serious…

          In my experience the Pharyngulites will not miss any opportunity to attack your position so using gendered slurs will be brought up but then so will any flaws in your argument as well. Not that you’d notice, your ‘argument’ that I last saw on there was nothing but you trying to get serious responses to the phrase ‘Frothing at the gash’… Which you succeeded in quite nicely…

          • hannanibal Says:

            Hehe. I was told in that thread they are reclaiming the word “gash”. Reclaim away. It’s a lovely word. I can’t wait for the Americans to discover “minge” too.

            Yeah, I got the gist of tone trolling but seriously though, the #mencallmethings (by Ophelia?) seriously smacks of it.

            Hypocrisy points are also awarded for calling someone a dick whilst moaning about gendered insults. It’s rather amusing.

  41. The Atheist Movement is Full of Misogynists » Oolon's Dumping Ground Says:

    [...] https://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/on-atheism-and-failure/#comment-11233 [...]

  42. ayen Says:

    Thunderf00t, you tell it like it is. Good job, keep it up!

  43. MinionJoe Says:

    I like how oolon is single-handedly (ba dum chh) providing a significant increase in Thunderf00t’s web traffic. :)

    • oolon Says:

      As you may know unique readers are the important stat not brainfart comments, so I’m probably not helping there. I also use ad-block as the sainted Dawkins suggested, actually before he said to, so Thunder and FtBs get no ad revenue from me I’m afraid :$

  44. Shadow of the Hedgehog Says:

    Well A+ has its first martyr in Jen McCreight. Expect canonization soon, followed by a miraculous return!

  45. test11 Says:


  46. Anonymous Says:


  47. Anon Says:

    - For “Mail (will not be published) (required)”, enter: blaghagblog (at) gmail (dot) com
    - By entering Jen McCreight’s email, her Gravatar is automatically displayed

    - For “Mail (will not be published) (required)”, enter: greta (at) gretachristina (dot) com
    - By entering Greta Christina’s email, her Gravatar is automatically displayed

    • dougal445 Says:

      i gather anon is a representative of the trolls?
      While we rationalists disagree with conflating genuine criticism with trolls, it doesn’t mean we approve of the trolls.
      Trolls are stupid childish cunts who are part of the problem, who are helping to make this problem with ftb so intractible.

      • dougal445 Says:

        i think you’d do well to discourage what anon is advocating.

        • dougal445 Says:

          I retract that.
          Upon reflection, I realise while you remain “detached” from the comments on here, you can’t be held responsible for endorsing stuff said here by any fucking idiots.

  48. Atrus Says:

    It’s a good thing that you’re moving on past these sorts of… distractions. Ultimately, the nature of skepticism and rationality will find these A+/Skepchick political movements to be lacking and they will ultimately collapse. More so because like many cult-like organizations, they are founded across a particular set of figureheads who tightly control discourse and will founder for the lack of such people.

    If there is anything disturbing to be found it’s that it’s how easily dogmatic thinking and nonsensical ideas can take root even amongst those who brand themselves skeptics. However, these individuals have also branded themselves irrelevant and even untrustworthy in the ensuing antics and should find themselves lost in the noise of ongoing discourse on more meaningful or tangible matters.

    I look forward to a return to ‘bigger fish”.

  49. quickjs Says:

    I particularly enjoy the way TF emphasises “actually address the argument, not the person”, then in his exchange with Coughlan his only two comments were textbook ad hominems.

    About the only thing you can do consistently is commit argument from popularity fallacies.

  50. piranhaintheguppytank Says:

    I think that Atheism+ has become little more than a trough where trolls gather to feed. (Talk about stealing Pharyngula’s thunder! And what a blow for PZ — one of the few people on the internet to become a millionaire though blogging.) All a troll has to do is to go to an A Pluser blog and post something like “Sorry bub, but I prefer Atheism Classic” and all hell breaks loose! A+ = God’s gift to trolling.

    * * *

    A question that frequently comes up: How to best define Atheism+? My answer: Imagine PZ Myers and the SkepChicks on a trolly with Richard Carrier at the helm. It’s inevitable that they’ll go off the rails once in a while.

    * * *

    Attacking Atheism+ is like painting a target on your back and taking a stroll through the streets of Fallujah. (Where roving bands of rape gangs remain a persistent problem — oops, I was thinking of TAM.)

    Case in point: I noticed that when Edwin Kagin (of Blasphemous Blogging on FTB — Kagin is sort of like what PZ would be like if he were receiving therapy*) voiced his concerns about A+, his message board exploded with comments. Ordinarily, he gets about a dozen replies to his blogs, but this time he received something like 300+.

    * Actually, I admire both Edwin Kagin and PZ Myers. Though as for the latter, I sometimes have to wonder, what does it take to be a die-hard fan of PZ (which I define as someone who is a walking talking dictionary of Urban Slang and who spends 23 hours out of every day posting on Pharyngula)? Naturally, a standard-issue drool bucket is a given (to keep from drowning your laptop in saliva). Perhaps a brain severely damaged by testosterone? A lot of psychoses where you believe everyone is out to get you? A friend who is an invisible rabbit? Hard liquor (to quell the voices in your head)? Who knows.

    * * *

    Two of my personal message-board axioms:

    - Everyone loves a soap opera. (examples: ElevatorGate, Atheism+)

    - Never become part of a soap opera (unless you’re a masochist).

    Hmm, does Thunderf00t* have a huge bullseye tattooed on his back?

    * 2012 winner of FTB’s coveted Banned From The Universe Forever Award.

    * * *

    And now, a word from our sponsor…

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  51. Younger Brother WAKE UP Says:

    Don’t be a dick and use gender slurs!
    It’s almost too good to be true. Maybe its just one big satire blog and we all fell for it! It must be, there are after all limits to hypercriticism right? Right? Dear god, mother of Jesus have mercy on us. Atheism+ makes religion seem reasonable.

  52. Psychoticmeow Says:

    I’ve been frustrated by this issue for ages, on one hand I consider myself a feminist, or at least a humanist; on the other I’m bewildered by the attitudes taken by people I’d have considered like minded a year ago.

    I believe in equal rights regardless of gender, religion and race. Yet I’m completely alienated by the people at FTB. And none of my podcasting hero’s appear to have noticed this issue.

    Just want to say thank you, Thunderf00t.

  53. Kleykens Benny Says:

    I hope that Matt soon realises that FTB is not something he wants to support. He didn’t like the idea of the Brights movement so I’m quite puzzled what makes thie Atheist Plus thingy so special?!

    It’s sad and true that religionists are raised (indoctrined) to think they’ve got the monopoly on Moral, but there is no need to mirror this kind of foolishness just to make Atheism more palatable to them.

    In essence Atheism has nothing to do with Moral, just like politics has nothing to do with religion.

    • SPACKlick Says:

      I think it’s worth realising the big problem with A+ is that it is several different things.

      First, it is a safe space for specific atheist/skeptics to discuss online.
      Second it is alledgedly a movement of social change run by atheists (but I have yet to see anything remotely productive come out of it) and this cannot be discussed in the safe space for fear of offfending
      Third it is a reactionary position from which to write blogs and make vlogs.

      These three wings cannot be reconciled.

  54. Mike Says:

    The A+ jackoffs can continue to circle-jerk each other in their little echo chamber all they want. I for one won’t have anything to do with them. The fact that they specifically want to focus on ‘women’s rights” as opposed to ‘human rights’ is one of the first signs that they are not what they seem, nor what they claim to be.

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