American Atheist Leader Fired for Creepy Sexual Misconduct and Financial Conflicts

Buzzfeed exposes the creepy sexual behavior of yet another leader in the Atheist Movement:

David Silverman, a firebrand atheist with a knack for generating publicity for his cause, has been abruptly fired as president of American Atheists, one of the leading secular organizations in the US.

[….]

Silverman and his wife were in an open marriage.

[…]

On Tuesday, American Atheists placed Silverman on paid leave while it investigated a complaint from staff concerned that he had not disclosed financial and personal conflicts of interest relating to the promotion of his book, Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, and the appointment to a senior position of a woman with whom Silverman was allegedly having a sexual relationship. (That appointment has been rescinded.)

[…]

She and Silverman had known each other for years, and he flirted with her throughout the evening, she wrote in the complaint. After the other guests left, R. wrote that Silverman asked her to join him in smoking marijuana on the roof. But before they left the room, he suddenly forced himself on her.

“He physically pressed me to the wall and began to kiss me forcefully, grabbed my breasts, and put his hand into my leggings where there was actual penetration of my vagina,” she wrote.

R. believed Silverman knew she was interested in BDSM and wrote that he began using insulting language, calling her a “dirty little whore.” He then pushed her to her knees, “where his penis briefly made contact with my mouth,” she wrote.

R. got her feet and said “no,” she wrote. Silverman then lightly slapped her face and said, “You don’t get to say no to me.”

[…]

St. Clair said that she quickly became drunk, but remembered Silverman flirting with her and then suggesting that they go to his hotel room. “I don’t believe I was in a position to be able to give consent. I was very intoxicated,” St. Clair told BuzzFeed News. She said that Silverman did not have any condoms, and pressured her into having anal sex.

Afterward, St. Clair said that Silverman told her she would have to leave early in the morning because his wife would be arriving at the hotel. She said he told her not to apply for an internship with American Atheists because appointing her could be seen as preferential treatment.

I’m shocked.  Shocked, I tell ya.

But if Buzzfeed had not been working on this story, does anyone really believe American Atheists would have fired Silverman?

This entry was posted in atheist activism, New Atheism, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to American Atheist Leader Fired for Creepy Sexual Misconduct and Financial Conflicts

  1. unclesporkums says:

    “No. You don’t get to say ‘no’ to me.”
    Reason™, ladies and gentlemen.

  2. TFBW says:

    What’s the problem? None of this is incompatible with non-belief in God. I thought atheism was nothing more than lack of belief in God. It’s like there’s a bunch of unwritten “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” being applied here.

  3. Goy says:

    Schtupping shiksas went wrong for this little Christ hater from the tribe.

  4. nsr says:

    Do we know whether it was the sexual or the financial stuff that was the main reason for his firing?

    I think it’s Frank Turek who’s argued that New Atheism is just a thin veneer for the real objective, which is the deification and worship of sex.

  5. After so many of these examples, I think we just have to start saying it: it is reasonable to believe that one of the main–if not the main–objections against God is the ‘Phallus Objection’. Namely, atheists want to put their private parts into people and places that God does not allow, so screw God. It is eerily in-line with Romans 1. And we need to start using this point as a rhetorical tool.

    But this objection also raises a further objection: are atheists really cowards? What I mean is that are they really anti-theists (believers in God, but haters of Him), who are just too scared / cowardly to stay anti-theists, and so they become “atheists” instead, which is psychologically easier.

    Cheers.

  6. The original complaint was financial, not sex-related. He was fired for both, after women called in with sexual complaints. Note that the investigation was quick and he was ousted for his behavior. Anyone can be a creep, irrespective of religion or lack thereof.

    I think the board of the American Atheists handled this expeditiously and well, in stark contrast to how these situation are often handed by Christians,specifically The Roman Catholic Church.

    And I commend the women, especially the one who used her real name, for coming forward. I know another woman who was hassled by Silverman at a conference a few years ago, but evaded him, so I am not surprised to learn of his behavior. I am grateful to the #MeToo movement for making it easier for women to speak out and be taken seriously. I wrote about this on my blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2018/04/hooray-for-metoo-atheist-women/

  7. TFBW says:

    I am grateful to the #MeToo movement for making it easier for women to speak out and be taken seriously.

    Indeed. The court of Public Opinion has never had so much power, and it’s much easier to get the desired result without all the red tape of “due process”.

  8. Michael says:

    I think the board of the American Atheists handled this expeditiously and well, in stark contrast to how these situation are often handed by Christians,specifically The Roman Catholic Church.

    I wasn’t impressed. For some odd reason, they withheld the nature of the allegations. We only learned of them because of the Buzzfeed story. Imagine being a member of American Atheists and having to find out about this because of a Buzzfeed story. In fact, they fired Davidson only hours before the Buzzfeed story was published, creating the appearance that they were simply trying to get ahead of the story. Here’s the thing – the allegations have been known for years within the whisper network, where even PZ Myers was aware of some parts. Are we to truly believe that no one at American Atheists had heard the stories? And what about Davidson hiring one of his mistresses to senior position at AA? No one suspected anything wrong there?

  9. stcordova says:

    Hey, well Sam Harris said he’d rather women get raped than people keep their religion, so in Sam Harris’ book, Silverman ain’t that bad.

  10. Dhay says:

    Michael > And what about [David Silverman] hiring one of his mistresses to a senior position at the AA?

    That definitely wouldn’t happen at the Richard Dawkins Foundation / Center for Inquiry, would it?

  11. TFBW says:

    The difference between Silverman and Dawkins is that Dawkins is too big to fire.

  12. riderontheclouds says:

    Do you think this is the inevitable result of abandoning religious values? It may be

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