Freethought Blahgs

It will come as no surprise to any reader of this blog that hold freethoughtblogs.com in very low esteem.  I was very pleasantly surprised then to receive an email from the creator of a spot-on parody site of FtB and Skepchick.  It is called freethought blahgs, and it is spot-on.  I don’t know who the creator is, but they spent a lot of time an energy relentlessly parodying everything that there is to despise about FtB.  They have the smugness down.  The arrogance–100% correct.  The writing styles–I defy you to tell them apart.  And their motto, “thinkin’ so you don’t have to” is exactly the attitude thrown out by PZ, Rebecca, Greta, Stephanie, and the rest.  Of course, if you dare to think a divergent thought over on the real FtB, you get banned, like poor Thunderf00t, who had been promised freedom to write about what he wanted.

They even have a portion that perfectly parodies Thunderf00t’s former place of honor on FtB:

It is wonderful that larger and larger parts of the skeptical community are realizing the truth–FtB and Skepchicks have become a cancer on our movement.  They want to take over–that much is as clear as glass.  Many people, SA included, don’t want that to happen.  It is great to see some real thought going into calling them out.

Here is a great example of some of their work.  It is from a fake blogger called Femagouge.  The post is called:

Why conferences need sexual harassment policies dictated by bloggers

Now let me paint the best-case near-future, if secular and skeptical leaders do the right thing.

1. Feminist bloggers declare the status quo a nightmare, including the trailblazing groups and progressivist leaders. (check!)

2. Failure of any leaders to immediately acquiesce is determined to be unconscionable sexism; disagreement is unacceptable because feminists only want what is right and just and never err in choosing the correct course toward them. (double-check)

3. Fear of being called out pressures secular leaders to comply, as American Atheists has already done. (check)

4. The feminist bloggers promote/author exclusively policies with vague, over-reaching language such as proscribing “unwanted sexual advances” which could mean almost anything. We’ve already largely succeeded in getting to this point. The secular leaders are then exposed to huge new legal liabilities and take on safety responsibilities they have no means to cover, but that isn’t our problem.

5. As time goes on, we push for more and more restrictive, nebulous policies (just as we have done in the last month) which permit us more and more control over the discourse at conferences we do not run. Any resistance to these changes will be taken as overt sexism. Why else would anyone oppose feminists who are trying to make women safer?

6. The new, nebulous policies will be used to “question”, with extreme prejudice, conferences/organizations who have showed inadequate allegiance to the feminist cause. Harassment victims will be located as necessary, and based on their testimony alone, we will conclude the organizers have violated the policies we pushed them to adopt ultimately pressuring leaders to resign, and leaders we like to take their place. This will have the happy side effect of introducing a fear-based atmosphere at conferences. Harassment will markedly decline, as people become terrified of interacting with each other just the way adults are afraid to interact with kids as a result of pedophilia-paranoia. (See, proof that this CAN work)

7. We will use the leverage from harassment policies to influence other key aspects of conferences such as the topics, invited speakers, banned speakers, choice of venue, accessory recreational venues and events, and more!

This is, of course, what I have been saying for quite some time.  And yes, I love the link back to SA!  Thanks freethoughtblahgs.com,

Go check it out.  You won’t be sorry that you did.

  • AnonyCoward

    Hey. Hey. Over here. Do you want me to break it down for you?

    This is it – a secret window into the undercover Theist movement in Pharyngula. We’re here, we’re invisible, we’d rather you didn’t talk about us.

    I just got a memo from our boss (The Hidden Pope) and guess what, We Are Loving this brouhaha. It’s fucking delicious.

    You know why? Because we saw this coming. Not the idiot out-and-proud/idiot bigot theists who wade oh so regularly into the fray there and get torn to pieces for their absurd views – but us, the rational reasonable theists (I know, I know, we’re like Santa, don’t care) – the ones who either tried to get involved in rational debate over there, or the ones who watched other people try.

    PZ Myers has got out of control, his ego is ballooning, and he’s creating a cult of personality – but that’s not what caused this, it’s just a symptom of him being an underachieving aggressive dick with a ton of self-righteous sublimated rage at his own inadequacies.

    Nope, the thing that makes this so delicious is that Pharyngula was NEVER the ‘enlightened home of the wise and good debaters’ that they thought they were, they were ALWAYS a bunch of self-righteous abusive dicks who attacked “the enemy” with no reference to fairness, logic, or what they were actually trying to say – just having fun at the expense of the worst possible meaning they could drag out of the enemies’ words (without losing the approval of the crowd.) – And that’s what’s come round on them.

    The fact that they became so popular with the self congratulatory crowd who genuinely saw them as a bastion of free speech and rationality defeating the forces of ignorance with facts and intelligent debate! rather than what they really were is just a testament to the power of cognitive bias. People tend to see snark and irrational but emotively powerful put-downs as ‘rational’ when coming from their own side, but ‘bullying abuse’ when it’s turned back on them.
    Because the abuse was directed only at religious people, none of the home crowd noticed, or cared. (They call it ‘honesty’ when they abuse you and denigrate your character/ability to think. They call it “incisive commentary” when someone takes your words, interprets it in a way you didn’t mean and condemns you for it)

    Now it’s all come back to bite them in the ass. Their pretend “rational discourse” and “no tolerance for bullshit” has been revealed as nothing more than a sham – as soon as there is substantive disagreement with people in their own ranks, suddenly, shockingly, with no warning whatsoever, they discover that actually, all their witty buddies, all their snarky queens and put-down kings are not the master-debaters and paragons of rationality they believed them to be. Amazingly it has turned out that insulting people does detract from the rest of your argument – especially when you don’t make any substantive argument and just tell them they’re wrong and which imagined moral failing lead them to be wrong.

    This inevitably leads to splits, and radicalisation. Where once you could post one or two clueless posts to Pharyngula complaining that they aren’t X or Y, or haven’t actually debated just insulted, before the Horde would demonstrate their own brand of “Rationality” now they jump on everything all the time.

    And BAM. What a fucking surprise. BEING A DICK DOES NOT WORK IN A FREE SOCIETY. INSULT *DOES* SUPPRESS REAL DEBATE AND PREVENTS PROPER DISCOURSE. PEOPLE WHO PRETEND TO BE ON THE SIDE OF RATIONALITY BUT USE ANTI-RATIONAL METHODS TO ‘PROMOTE’ IT (i.e. shaming, pile-ons, shouting down objections, mocking rather than answering, deleting, disemvowelling) ARE IN FACT ANTI-RATIONALITY AND ARE HARMING THE FUTURE.

    Hee hee hee. I hope FTB burns. Bunch of self-righteous anti-rational dicks. Fingers crossed the “Slimepitters” will keep fighting the “It’s ok to be rude in all circumstances, words don’t matter”* fight until the reactive elements at Pharyngula have moved all the way in to “It’s never ok to be rude” territory without admitting even to themselves that that’s now what they think – which will mean that they apply it inconsistently – “It’s never ok to be rude except to allowable parties” at which point more and more feuds will start up between those fighting to be on the inside and safe from the irrational insanely aggressive attacks of the horse. Eventually it will have to mutate or collapse in on itself in a massive angry pretend-rational ball of fail.

    Wow. That was long. Pity I chose the breezy and inconsistent tone. I have convinced no-one that I’m even a secret Theist.

    P.s. “The Tone Argument” being a smackdown for those calling for moderation – that was a total warning sign. YES the tone argument can be used to shut down righteous rage. ALSO the tone argument can be used to stop people from overthinking things, going over the top or over-reacting. WITHOUT the tone argument you can never agree with someone but think they are being over the top, they are either correct and however they want to react is acceptable, or they’re a FUCKING IDIOT WHO SHOULD SHUT THE FUCK UP. This is a shitty way to live. And it inevitably leads to radicalisation, because moderates are driven off, those who disagree with the Hive learn to SHUT THE FUCK UP, and you get a nice little echo chamber where you can say anything as long as it agrees with the status quo, the more radical the better, and you can never be called on it, except if you break a secret cardinal rule.

    p.s.s. Nerd of Redhead is the worst – he never contributes, but pops up to shout at people, always hiding behind the threat of PZ banning people when he gets called on it. He’s like that little scrawny bully who hangs around with the big guys – always more mouthy and aggressive than them, but calling on his bigger mates so that he is untouchable. That’s the kind of bitchery I’m talking about. If he insults you, you either leave, or apologise. Because if you dare defend yourself you’ll get more of the same, and if you respond in kind then YOU are the aggressive problem and are banned by the big man himself. Pathetic.

    *p.s. I hold no candle for the Slimers, they’re more honest and more consistent, but they’re also wrong. DON’T BE A DICK. If you disagree with that, you’re a dick.

    • Skeptical Abyss

      Thank you for an excellent and insightful comment.

    • Eshto

      Thank you for this. I’m an atheist and there was a time when I found enjoyment reading PZ Myers’ blog. I supported his stunt to desecrate a communion wafer. I giggled when he “pharyngulated” on-line polls. I had no sympathy when religious people were insulted and humiliated in the comments sections.

      You are right. I didn’t recognize that it was ALWAYS awful, because at the time, I was on his side. That was wrong, and I was an asshole and a fool. And as soon as I disagreed with a FBT writer, that entire swarm of hatred and crazy turned on me in a heartbeat.

      I might add, at the same time I got into my own kerfuffle with FTB, I took on a client (I make art) who is a transgender minister, who recently came out and is fighting intolerant policies in his church. He and his wife have always known about my atheism. They knew me when I was still reading PZ and acting like a “dick” about religion. But they stuck by me anyway because, I can only assume, they still recognized my humanism through all that anger, and realized that ultimately we are fighting for the same goals of LGBT equality, etc.

      I feel I did a lot of learning and growing up in the past year regarding my own atheism and humanism; namely, I have moved away from FTB’s childish vitriol, and toward cooperation with, and respect for, all people regardless of their beliefs. That doesn’t mean I have to respect their beliefs or pretend they are true. It just means I live in a real world of boundless diversity. And you’re right, being a dick simply doesn’t work.

      I think the FTB writers have been so encased in their echo chamber, getting high off their own fumes, that they forgot that a real world even exists and that there’s diversity in it…

  • AnonyCoward

    *** DON’T PANIC – there is no insanely aggressive horse ***

    “which will mean that they apply it inconsistently – “It’s never ok to be rude except to allowable parties” at which point more and more feuds will start up between those fighting to be on the inside and safe from the irrational insanely aggressive attacks of the horse.”

    Should read:

    which will mean that they apply it inconsistently – “It’s never ok to be rude except to allowable parties” at which point more and more feuds will start up between those fighting to be on the inside and safe from the irrational insanely aggressive attacks of the horde