Yet another Social Justice Atheist Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Richard Carrier, the internet blogger who sells himself as some type of leading scholar and champion of feminism, has been accused of sexual harrassment by multiple victims.  When the The FtB Ethics Committee began reviewing  some of these accusations, Carrier pulled out of the FTB network, thus thwarting their investigation:

When the recent allegations against Richard Carrier were made public, Freethought Blogs initiated a process to investigate these claims and formalize its policy concerning the conduct of its members. The FtB Ethics Committee received several reports of Carrier’s behavior and was in the process of reviewing them when Carrier chose to leave the network. A thorough review of the allegations against Carrier cannot be completed by Freethought Blogs without his cooperation.

Stephanie Van outlines the allegations against Carrier and concludes:

Whether I’m looking at all five of these accusations or only the three public ones, my reaction is the same. The most charitable thing I can find to say about Carrier’s behavior is that he is oblivious to sexual disinterest in him and unwilling to stop initiating sexual contact despite that. I’m not inclined to that kind of charity in the face of that much problem behavior, however. I’m even less inclined to charity for someone who repeatedly breaks rules designed to protect students to behave that way. Less so yet for someone who tells us that in a post defending himself.

At this point, I have to conclude that Carrier is highly resistant to changing this behavior. He’s received plenty of feedback. Organizations and individuals have told him that what he’s done is wrong. His response is to handwave at irrelevancies.

Apparently, Carrier’s repeated sexual advances at atheist conferences has been an on-going problem and has got him banned from Skepticon:

The accusations specifically against Richard Carrier are, sadly, not so surprising to the Skepticon organizers. While he was a featured speaker for many years, we stopped inviting him to speak partly because of his repeated boundary-pushing behavior, including towards someone involved in Skepticon. What has been made clear by the recent discussions is that our attendees’ well being and comfort is put at an unacceptable risk by Carrier’s presence, and so we are officially prohibiting Richard Carrier from attending any future Skepticons.

He was also removed from the speaker’s list of the Secular Student Alliance because of another accusation of sexually harassing a student:

The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) recently posted on Facebook about their ongoing relationship with freethought blogger Richard Carrier. Notably, they made the following claim, “After an internal investigation, Mr. Carrier was removed from our speaker’s list last year, and no longer has an official or unofficial affiliation with the Secular Student Alliance.”

Given that Carrier is unemployed, and probably depends on such speaking engagements for both money and potential  new lovers for his polyamorous lifestyle, it’s not surprising the self-proclaimed feminist claims he is taking legal action.

 I will be fighting them, in both a court of law and public evidence and discourse. I will apologize for anything I actually did, if I haven’t already, but what I have actually done is not what is being described. I am fully engaged in taking legal action now. When stage one of that process is completed I will publish more about the truth of what is going on. Which is substantially different from what you are being told.

Does this mean he is going to sue?  Who?  Skepticon?  The SSA?  The FtB network?  The women who have accused him of sexual harassment?  Time will tell.

If you ask me, Carrier faces an uphill battle.  A man who proudly tells the world he divorced his wife so he could pursue a life of polyamory and often finds himself in “engaging discussions” with young women at atheist conferences isn’t exactly standing on ground where it is hard to believe the accusations against him.  After all, isn’t the whole purpose of polyamory to find as many lovers as possible?

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10 Responses to Yet another Social Justice Atheist Accused of Sexual Misconduct

  1. Kevin says:

    I suppose he might support the notion that being declined is some sort of irrational bigotry on the part of the decliner. Harassophibia is such an insidious problem for poor polyamorous people who just want to be free to be themselves.

  2. TFBW says:

    @Kevin: I believe the correct newspeak terminology involves “personal identification and fulfilment” as the holy grail of human well-being. For whatever reason, this “identification and fulfilment” invariably involves frequent engagement in various kinds of sexual activity (other than the monogamous, heterosexual, marriage-bound kind, of course). Carrier identifies as a polyamorous heterosexual male feminist, and requires ample quantities of the appropriate kind of sex in order to be personally fulfilled. These people are wilfully obstructing his quest for personal fulfilment.

    Lest anyone think I am making this up, let me share some of the research which inclines me towards this conclusion. This article contained the following exemplary quote.

    “I identify as a queer pansexual with an interest in various forms of fetish play,” says Chad. “Because of this I tend to think that in a lot of cases it is impossible for one partner in the traditional sense to fulfil all needs when it comes to the rather broad concept of intimacy. This is something I fell naturally into doing over time as I worked it out.”

    The article makes the whole bisexual (is “pansexual” broader than that?) polyamorous lifestyle sound like such smooth sailing that one wonders what Carrier’s problem is, exactly. Either that, or the article is painting an unrealistically rosy picture, and Carrier’s experience of dissatisfaction and accusation is more the norm for that kind of thing.

    Honestly, though, I have doubts that I’m even competent at this kind of analysis. It’s all a bit foreign to me.

  3. Crude says:

    Whether I’m looking at all five of these accusations or only the three public ones, my reaction is the same. The most charitable thing I can find to say about Carrier’s behavior is that he is oblivious to sexual disinterest in him and unwilling to stop initiating sexual contact despite that.

    Richard Carrier, you have lost your elevator privileges.

  4. Bilbo says:

    Okay, I’m still trying to understand the difference between New Atheists and Social Justice Atheists. For example, why is Carrier being called a Social Justice Atheist? Does he refer to himself as one?

  5. TFBW says:

    His “feminist” stance pretty much defines which side of the line he falls.

  6. Michael says:

    For example, why is Carrier being called a Social Justice Atheist? Does he refer to himself as one?

    When manhy of the Gnus split off into the A+ sect, Carrier was among them and promised to be their intellectual champion. Besides, I don’t think you can be an FtB blogger without being a SJA (although I could be wrong on that one).

  7. Bilbo says:

    A+? FtB? I guess I haven’t been following all of this closely enough. As they say in baseball, you can’t tell your players without a program.

  8. Michael says:

    A+ = SJA. A for the New Atheist and “+” for social justice (which is mostly focused on extreme feminism).

    FtB = FreeThoughtsBlog network. That’s PZ Myers’ network of atheist blogs.

  9. Bilbo says:

    Thanks. I’ll have to write this down somewhere.

  10. Centurion13 says:

    PZ Meyers is a piece of work himself. For his organization to reject such a perfect example of a Gamma male says a lot of bad things about Carrier.

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