Richard Carrier Suing PZ Myers and Others for Over $2 million

It’s official.  Hemant Mehta tells us feminist atheist activist Richard Carrier is suing other feminist atheist activists:

He asks for $500,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages for each of the two counts of defamation and $50,000 in both compensatory and punitive damages for interfering with his business — for a total of $2,100,000. He also wants an injunction against the named bloggers and everyone in their networks from publishing or republishing the “false and defamatory Narrative.”

And both sides, I’m sure, have reason and evidence on their side.

Mehta’s source is this publicly available lawsuit.

 

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12 Responses to Richard Carrier Suing PZ Myers and Others for Over $2 million

  1. SteveK says:

    I’m not a lawyer so maybe the following is standard legal language, however given that everyone involved in the case is an atheist, it’s very ironic language. Literally made me lol.

    “PRAYER FOR RELIEF
    WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, Dr. Richard Carrier,respectfully prays that theCourt:…”

  2. Dhay says:

    Hemant Mehta seems to think that Richard Carrier:

    … was also removed from Freethought Blogs, forcing him to “relocate his work” to a new domain.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/09/24/dr-richard-carrier-has-sued-several-atheists-and-their-blogging-networks-on-charges-of-defamation/

    Looking at the new domain, I spot that Carrier accepts comments only from those who pay to comment (although those commented on by Carrier in a blog post do get right of reply in that thread.) Carrier’s standard footer puts it thusly:

    The only comments that will be published at this site are comments submitted by my Patreon subscribers and by anyone who or whose work I discuss in the article commented on (and please identify yourself so I know that).

    How very unlike Michael.

  3. stcordova says:

    Time for some serious butter on my popcorn. 🙂

    Some people (atheists and agnostics) are very bitter about the way Carrier treated Michael Shermer.

    If Carrier is guilty of that bad behavior, shame on him, especially since he was a supposed champion of women’s rights.

    If Carrier is not guilty, but now getting falsely accused like he may have falsely accused so many others, then he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.

    Given my twisted sense of humor, I can’t help but find this entertaining.

  4. J. McHue says:

    Evil turns in on itself….

    Of course, I think that already started back with Rebecca Watson’s “elevator incident” and the absolute clusterbleep in the atheist community regarding it.

  5. Michael says:

    Hemant Mehta seems to think that Richard Carrier:

    … was also removed from Freethought Blogs, forcing him to “relocate his work” to a new domain.

    Which is quite interesting in that Carrier himself, on his blog, made it sound like it was his decision to voluntarily step away from FtB while he dealt with this issue:

    But I do not want FreethoughtBlogs or its mission to be compromised by having to devote resources to defending me or vetting claims or choosing sides. They have every reason to be concerned by prima facie claims of this nature, and I agree with their procedures to date, except for publishing defamatory statements about me before investigating any of them. They are actually not equipped to investigate these claims to determine which elements of them are true and which false. Others can. In fact I always welcome professional, independent investigations of any claim made against me, now or in future.

    One such investigation, at the behest of the Secular Student Alliance, is underway and nearly completed. But FreethoughtBlogs lacks the resources for such a task itself and should be independent of this matter until the facts come to light. I have therefore decided it’s best for me to move my blog content to my own domain where I can operate independently and take all the heat myself, now and in future. Accordingly I have moved my blog here to my own website.

  6. Dhay says:

    From the lawsuit:

    53. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants’ false and defamatory statements attached hereto as Exhibits 1-4, on or about June 21, 2016 FreethoughtBlogs.com was persuaded to block Dr. Carrier’s access to his blog, and from publishing content.

    54. FreethoughBlogs.com proposed to investigate the claims only after the fact, refusing to identify Dr. Carrier’s accuser(s), rendering impossible a fair and effective investigation, and ultimately forcing Dr. Carrier to relocate his body of work to a domain of his own, to regain promotional and publishing control from FreethoughtBlogs’ interference.

    Looks like Richard Carrier’s blog post #568, quoted by Michael, will undermine Carrier’s case as regards #53 and #54 above, and also as regards his truthfulness, the stories differing.

    As regards:

    55. After relocating his body of work, FreethoughtBlogs deviated from their customary procedure and removed Dr. Carrier’s content without rerouting links to the new domain, severely disrupting access to his work and search engine visibility.

    I would expect Carrier’s chances of success as regards #55 will depend upon what’s in his contract (or standard terms and conditions) with FreeThoughtBlogs; except … Carrier appears to be suing not for breach of contract but for breach of custom.

    We’ll see in due course whether anything changes on that front; the link to find out seems to be:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/ as given by Carrier when he moved from the site he was at before FreeThoughtBlogs. Currently it comprises, “This site has been archived or suspended”, so nothing’s happened yet.

    Reading between the lines, Carrier had really pissed off the FreeThoughtBlog managers; more so, now, with the lawsuit. Whether you accept Carrier’s blog’s account of a dignified move from FreeThoughtBlogs by choice, or whether you accept Carrier’s lawsuit’s seemingly very contrary account — of what, in employment practice, would amount to dismissal in such maximum disgrace that pension rights have also been removed — there’s plainly a state of implacable enmity on both sides.

  7. stcordova says:

    Richard Carrier should settle his score with PZ Myers the old fashioned way. A bar room brawl.

  8. Dhay says:

    Looking at Richard Carrier’s online events bookings calendar, I see that his bookings are:
    https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=r7irjaarm9ovnk1337c644k1fo@group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/Los_Angeles

    6 days “Unavailable” September/October 2016
    4 days “Pennsylvania Talk…” October 2016

    Oddly, he hasn’t recorded any bookings for talks/stopovers en route to the Milwaukee event, bookings he requested, complete with (four) free ticket offers, on his blog a while back (http://web.archive.org/web/20160810010251/http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11033) — no takers, perhaps?

    7 days “Milwaukee on the Town” October 2016
    5 days “Skepticon (?)” November 2016 — I think he can safely delete that one
    1 day “Teleconference” December 2016

    So, Carrier has bookings (or other commitments) for 18 (or 23 in the somewhat unlikely event of a re-invitation to Skepticon) of the remaining 94 days of this year, and those are presumably ones which were booked before the muck hit the fan.

    Next year, there’s 18 days “Reserved” — litigation, perhaps? — in January 2017, then … then no, zilch, nada, zero bookings in the rest of 2017.

  9. Mechanar says:

    I makes sense that this would happen, new atheism is build on agressiv behaviour and mockery. When people startet to simply Ignore them the agressiv energy had no place to go than to turn inward

  10. Doug says:

    Dhay makes an interesting juxtaposition… I wonder if Carrier actually imagines that his bookings will increase in the wake of his crazy-beans lawsuit toward his until-recently colleagues.

  11. Dhay says:

    Oddly, [Richard Carrier] hasn’t recorded any bookings for talks/stopovers en route to the Milwaukee event

    Update: I now see that Carrier has blogged (29 August) that he does have bookings for three of those four desired talks/stopovers; he’s just bad at updating his events calendar.

    This adds only 1 to his event days total this year, the other two days being the same as the first two days of the Milwaukee event; or if Carrier does find a talk venue and bed “to crash for the night” in Chicago for that second day of the four — there’s no subsequent blog post to say one way or the other — add a second event day to the meagre total.

    We’re having some difficulty choosing a good venue in Chicago and securing a place for me to crash for the night (plans have been waxing and waning). Anyone in Chicago who wants to help with either, just email me! You might end up getting the free ticket for your efforts.

    http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11134

    How can it be that Carrier cannot find some atheist sufficiently favourably inclined towards him to offer him a bed overnight and a breakfast; surely there must be someone in a large city like Chicago; isn’t this the home city of a certain Emeritus Professor of Biology and Jesus Myther; what, not even him?

  12. stcordova says:

    Skeptic Ink writes:

    “As a public figure, Dr. Carrier will have to show that the defendants acted with “actual malice,” that is, reckless disregard of the truth or the knowledge that what they published was false. Given that the allegedly defamatory claims involved are highly subjective (e.g. harassment, boundary pushing, unwanted touching) this is an incredibly tough row to hoe. This is even more true when we consider that Dr. Carrier has represented himself publicly as a moral philosopher and a shining example of how to respectfully pursue polyamorous relationships. One of the obvious downsides of making yourself into an exemplary case is that people are going to critique how you live your life, and that critique forms part of our (constitutionally protected) public discourse on the topic under consideration.”

    I wouldn’t bet on Carrier winning. People have a right to say what they believe even if wrong. As long as they believe it was true or can persuade the legal system that there is reasonable possibility they believed Carrier was harassing females, Carrier won’t win.

    If Carrier says this stuff to the public: ” I enjoy all kinds of …. play with women”, what does he say to girls in private? If he says stuff like that, it could be construed to be harassment in the minds of some. Ophelia said as much in that infamous thread where Carrier was trying to inject himself into everyone’s face.

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