The PZ Myers/Epstein Connection

In a previous posting, we saw a group picture of John Brockman with atheists Dawkins, Dennett, and Pinker aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet. They were flying to a conference where Dawkins would give birth to the New Atheist movement with a militant, anti-religious speech.

In turns out that Brockman, who is an atheist, was closely connected to Epstein and was his “intellectual enabler.” I enourage you to read this article to see just how important Brockman was to Epstein. In fact, for some time, I long wondered what the “Edge” was all about, for it came across as a place for New Atheists and their allies to mainstream their radicalism. As it turns out, the Edge Foundation was formed and run by Brockman. And…

A close analysis of Edge Foundation’s (publicly available) financial statements suggests that, between 2001 and 2015, it has received $638,000 from Epstein’s various foundations. In many of those years, Epstein was Edge’s sole donor. Yet, how many of Edge’s contributors—let alone readers—knew Epstein played so large a role in the organization?

Recalling that New Atheism itself was a response to 911, it is curious to see Epstein so seriously funding the Foundation concurrent with the rise of New Atheism.

Anyway, along comes PZ Myers. He admits his relationship with Brockman:

I was tangentially involved with another character who was the recipient of Epstein’s beneficence. John Brockman was my agent, too. I published in a few of his annual question books, he got me a good advance on The Happy Atheist, I met him a few times in his office, he was always professional and cordial.

Whoa! That’s news to me. Given that PZ had never authored a book, how did he get such a high profile agent like Brockman? Was a third party involved? PZ doesn’t say. He even got a “good advance.” How much? He doesn’t say. He even visited Brockman’s office several times. He was involved in Brockman’s “annual question books.” Sounds like PZ had a fairly deep connecton with Brockman at the time.

Oh, but there is more. If you’ll remember, back on those days PZ Myers posted for ScienceBlogs, a project of Seed Magazine. Well, as it turns out, thanks to PZ’s old enemy getting a little too chatty with a reporter, we learn some more news:

In August 2007, Pivar sued a science blogger named P.Z. Myers and Seed Media Group, which hosted his blog, alleging defamation. Myers had lit into Pivar’s work, calling him “a classic crackpot.” In his complaint, Pivar made a point of mentioning by name two prominent members of SMG’s board: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. The lawsuit was later dropped.

PZ reponds:

I should have known — Seed Media Group was based in NY, was tightly focused on connecting science and media, and of course Epstein and his crony, Maxwell, would have been attracted to it, and it could well have been the recipient of Epstein money. So yeah, some of those blogging fees I was paid back then could have been stained with the Epstein taint, although I knew nothing about him at the time, never met him, and darn, never got invited to fly on the Lolita Express or visit his private island for sexy times. So while you might be able to draw a connection between us, my name would be in tiny print with only a thin red thread to tie us together.

Er, most of us have no thread tying us to Epstein (and couldn’t have made one if we wanted), so the “tiny red thread” is indeed quite significant. Not only did PZ get a “good advance” on a book that flopped thanks to his agent John Brockman (who was deeply connecte to Epstein), Myers, the Star of ScienceBlogs, was getting paid by Epstein money for his blogging! And Epstein had given ScienceBlogs millions of dollars.

Now, let’s add some more context from those of us who witnessed all that blogging back in 2005 and beyond. When Myers moved his blog to ScienceBlogs, his traffic began to skyrocket. In essence, he became the “rock star” of ScienceBlogs, receiving the vast majority of the traffic, getting mentions from the science jounral Nature and accolades from all sorts of popular atheists. So I suspect those “blogging fees” were fairly significant given the immense size of his following at the time.

Yet here is the most important piece of context – Myers’s science blog focused very little attention on science. It was an anti-religious, New Atheist blog and not a true “science blog.” I remember this clearly as I would periodically score his blog for topic material and post my results – while he would post token analyses of recent science papers, he spent the vast majority of his time mocking religion and Christians (remember him holding the Eucharist hostage?) and promoting militant atheism and scientism.

So it was Epstein’s money and Epstein’s agent who was giving New Atheist PZ Myers a stage to shout from and helping to turn him into a major New Atheist player. He was being groomed for fame. But then something happened. Thanks to elevatorgate, Myers got into a huge fight with Richard Dawkins, which ultimately led him to be cut off from the Epstein/Brockman world. His fame evaporated and today he is no longer a major player in the atheist scene.

So what’s the point of all this? When Myers writes, “although I knew nothing about him at the time, never met him, and darn, never got invited to fly on the Lolita Express or visit his private island for sexy times,” I fully believe him. After all, Myers had a long way to go in order to get those invites (like Laurence Krauss would eventually get). But he was clearly on that path.

The point is this: the rise and fall of PZ Myers, coupled with the connections to Brockman and Epstein money, adds further support to my hypothesis that the New Atheism movement was indebted to Jeffrey Epstein and his ilk.

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17 Responses to The PZ Myers/Epstein Connection

  1. unclesporkums says:

    So that’s why he was so frigging desperate to distance himself..

  2. Isaac says:

    Imagine not being cool enough for those people.

  3. Jim says:

    Reblogged this on Zwinglius Redivivus and commented:
    Very interesting stuff showing connections between Jeffrey Epstein and New Atheism.

  4. apollyon911 says:

    The more one digs, the more dirt one finds…

  5. Pingback: Some Fans of Jeffrey Epstein – John Branyan

  6. So, since Epstein hung out with Trump, what are your views on him?

  7. The Deuce says:

    This also brings to mind the recent revelation that over half of the Satanic Temple adherents (who area really just atheists trying to be edgy and not actual believers in Satan) identify as LGBT.

    One thing I’ve really come to appreciate over the past five years is that Western atheism is driven almost entirely by deviant sexual urges on the part of atheists and by an emotional need to normalize them. All the blather about “science” and “reason” and so forth is just after-the-fact rationalization. They wrap themselves in a pretense of science in order to intimidate others and to delude themselves that their sexual degeneracy is actually a marker of intellectual and rational superiority.

    But it’s just an objective biological fact that the primary function of sex is reproduction, and hence that LGBTQIAWTF+ is implicitly abnormal and deviant. Christianity endorses this truth because Christianity is true, but it isn’t the source of that fact. In order to deny it, atheists ultimately have to deny observable reality and the very concept of objective truth, and thus they must abandon empirical science in favor of the social justice cult narrative. So it was always just a matter of time until the New Atheist movement with its scientific pretenses imploded over sexual issues as its internal contradictions worked themselves out.

  8. “So, since Epstein hung out with Trump, what are your views on him?” -@clubschadenfreude

    Since Trump had reportedly kicked Epstein out of Trump’s hotel and cooperated fully with one of earlier victims, I’m inclined to believe he did due diligence one would expect from someone finding out a person they knew of was a scumbag.

    Given that since he’s been in office, Trump signed Executive Order 13773 as well as a law shutting down backpage as well as the following laws explicitly against Human Trafficking:

    S.1862 – Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act​
    S.1311 – Abolish Human Trafficking Act​
    H.R.2200 – Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act​
    S.1312 – Trafficking Victims Protection Act​

    I think he’s done a lot policy wise to fight against Epstein and his ilk and I hope he does even more. They certainly don’t seem like the actions of someone involved in Epstein-style shenanigans.

  9. The Deuce says:

    And don’t forget that SJW atheists were furious with Trump for shutting down Backpage, because “sex work is real work” or whatever BS rhetoric they’re pulling out at the moment to justify their own sexual exploitation while projecting it onto others.

  10. Dhay says:

    The Deuce > This also brings to mind the recent revelation that over half of the Satanic Temple adherents (who are really just atheists trying to be edgy and not actual believers in Satan) identify as LGBT.

    A startling revelation, but apparently correct:

    David McGillivray speaks to [Lucien] Greaves about the LGBTQ representation in the Temple. Greaves – who identifies as straight – says: “It would be a conservative estimate to say that more than 50 per cent of our membership is LGBTQ.

    https://www.attitude.co.uk/article/the-satanic-temple-in-the-us-vows-to-fight-for-equal-rights-for-the-gay-community/21661/

    “Conservative estimate.” Looks rather like a club for Gays (etc) and those attracted thereto. I observe that if the The Satanic Temple is attracting mostly LGBTQ people, it’s a limited and unrepresentative — unrepresentative even of atheists — pool that they’re fishing in for members. If it does grow beyond its Gay Pride (etc) roots, expect a major change of direction at some time.

  11. nsr says:

    And those are just the sexual orientations that are now considered acceptable in secular society. I wonder what the percentages are of those that aren’t.

  12. Dhay says:

    In that article Lucien Greaves (aka Doug Mesner) also says:

    “From the start, when one of our early actions was the Pink Mass, a lot of LGBTQ people were looking for another community that didn’t see them as defined by their sexual orientation. …

    “We will always fight them, we will fight them to the death to ensure that there are equal rights for the gay community.”

    On the other hand, I note that the The Satanic Temple (TST) leadership is very much part of the atheist misogyny, sexual harassment and ignore complaints scene; this is snipped from a long Medium article by Jex Blackmore, who from 2014 until recently “was intimately connected to the majority of the organization’s most notable actions as a consultant and public representative for the better half of the Temple’s life”; she writes:

    As one of the few visible and prominent female voices in TST, I endured countless threats, harassment, and violations.

    She doesn’t actually say who inflicted the “countless threats, harassment, and violations”, but later she adds:

    Over the years, members and chapter heads have requested and proposed the implementation of a gender, sexual, and racial diversity policy to ensure equity within TST leadership and alignment to the mission. The demand was not simply ignored but completely dismissed. The demand was not hollow; there was a clear and pressing need for this policy. While I was part of the organization, I witnessed male members of the organization exploit their position and influence to behave inappropriately and disrespectfully towards women. I myself experienced harassment and abuse from members who have now left the organization. I was not supported by leadership during these times, but was asked to let it all “blow over.” I don’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know that my experience is one of many examples of systematic gaslighting, degradation, and bullying that many women have experienced within TST over the years.

    https://medium.com/@JexBlackmore/the-struggle-for-justice-is-ongoing-6df38f8893db

    So it’s plainly “male members of the organization [with] position and influence” and she “was not supported by leadership”, a leadership who, in classic ‘ignore it and cover up’ tactics wanted her to “let it all “blow over.””

    It sounds very familiar, it seems to be member and leader behaviour which is commonplace in atheist circles.

    Funny how the The Satanic Temple is fully supportive of LGBT rights, while not supportive of women.

  13. The Deuce says:

    On the other hand, I note that the The Satanic Temple (TST) leadership is very much part of the atheist misogyny, sexual harassment and ignore complaints scene

    Of course. Wherever you see attempts to normalize sexual deviancy, you’re going to see lots of sexual exploitation, coverups of sexual assault, and preying on children. If you look at all the underlying reasons why rape is wrong, and why pedophilia is wrong, and so forth, all of them are rooted in the fact that the function of sex is reproduction.

    Children can’t give consent because they aren’t sexually mature, which is another way of saying that they haven’t achieved the physical maturation necessary for sexual reproduction and the psychological maturation that comes with it. A woman’s sexual integrity is considered sacred, and rape therefore particularly heinous, precisely because sex produces pregnancy and children.

    Denying the inherent procreative purpose of sex implicitly entails denial of all these things. Normalizing and justifying one form of sexual deviancy (such as homosexuality or transgenderism) entails the normalization and justification of all forms of sexual deviancy (including child abuse and rape).

    So wherever you see sexual deviancy being normalized, you’re going to see people following out the implications of that normalization.

  14. nsr says:

    Who’d have thought that telling a bunch of godless heterosexual men “you can have all the sex you want with whomever you want whenever you want” might be bad for the women in their community?

  15. Dhay says:

    I was originally going to put this response in the March 2019 “The New Atheist Movement: An Autopsy” thread, but I see it belongs better here:

    PZ Myers offers a sort of autopsy of New Atheism, or of prominent New Atheists, in his 09 September 2019 blog post entitled “How the repulsive have fallen”; it’s targeted at Milo Yiannopoulos, takes a side-swipe at “religions” and as an aside also side-swipes “atheist evangelists” with internet platforms:

    All he had was social capital acquired not by talent or knowledge or intelligence or wit, but by being an obnoxious provocateur. Take that away, and he’s got nothing. The entire foundation for his existence collapses.

    I have this feeling that much of the internet is working this way, as a kind of pyramid scheme. You produce nothing, you have no discernable skills, but you recruit a massive downline on promises and illusions, you reap the benefits as long as you can, and eventually, your acolytes move on to the next big thing, or turn on you, and you’ve got nothing but a collection of pretty instagram pictures and an unsavory reputation.

    This is how religions (and atheist evangelists, sorry to say) work, gathering followers with noise and promises, and hoping no one discovers the hollow space where your brain should be.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/09/how-the-repulsive-have-fallen/

    Well, I’m sure Myers is more familiar with the atheist and New Atheist blogosphere than I am, though it’s not difficult to guess several faded Big Names he might quote in example.

    Why I’m responding here is Michael’s observation in the OP that:

    > Now, let’s add some more context from those of us who witnessed all that blogging back in 2005 and beyond. When Myers moved his blog to ScienceBlogs, his traffic began to skyrocket. In essence, he became the “rock star” of ScienceBlogs, receiving the vast majority of the traffic, getting mentions from the science jounral Nature and accolades from all sorts of popular atheists. So I suspect those “blogging fees” were fairly significant given the immense size of his following at the time.

    Yet here is the most important piece of context – Myers’s science blog … was an anti-religious, New Atheist blog and not a true “science blog.” … he spent the vast majority of his time mocking religion and Christians (remember him holding the Eucharist hostage?) and promoting militant atheism and scientism.

    … His fame evaporated and today he is no longer a major player in the atheist scene. …

    … the rise and fall of PZ Myers, …

    What Myers is saying seems to apply to … to Myers himself.

  16. Dhay says:

    The Friendly Atheist’s David Gee (McAfee) has posted about ““Psychic” Gets Prison Time, Must Repay $1.6 Million for Fake Curse Fraud”.

    https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/09/13/psychic-gets-prison-time-must-repay-1-6-million-for-fake-curse-fraud/

    That title says just about all that’s in this lightweight clickbait post, but it tickled recollection that just a year ago a Bay Area member of the The Satanic Temple was busily sending out curses ($1 per curse, for a charity, though her readers will surely conclude she would very willingly have sent them out for free, for hate) — curses that “will be faxed to a Kavanaugh supporter in the Senate” (read, to a Republican Senator.)

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/social-justice-meltdown/#comment-27007

    To my mind, one “Fake Curse Fraud” is much like another, whether it’s a “Psychic” sending them out or a Satanist.

  17. Rusty says:

    A quick glance at Edge.org reveals a “who’s who” of the intelligencia, business, and media worlds – and one seemingly out of place name – Marina Abramovic – whom you may remember as the artist who was doing “Spirit Cooking” with Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisor John Podesta.

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