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?