Another Epstein – Atheism Connection

Name – Al Seckel. He was a con man who fooled the skeptic/scientific community into thinking he was both a physicist and neuroscientist when he was neither. And it turns out the guy moved freely among the “intellectual elite,” was connected up with pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, and was involved in the early atheist movement.

We’ll let Wikipedia articles do most of the work today.

Connections of Epstein:

Seckel became involved with Isabel Maxwell from 2007 until his death in France in 2015. Isabel is the younger sister Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ghislaine Noelle Marion Maxwell is a British socialite and the youngest child of publishing tycoon and fraudster Robert Maxwell. She moved to the United States after her father’s death in 1991 and became a close associate of financier and subsequently convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Seckel was a member of the Edge Foundation.

In 2009 Seckel was involved in organizing a science conference with financier and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein. The Mindshift conference took place in 2010 on Epstein’s private island Little Saint James.

Connections to Atheism:

Throughout the 1980s, Al Seckel was active in the Freethought movement. In this capacity he authored a number of articles and pamphlets. He also edited two books on the English rationalist philosopher Bertrand Russell. In 1983, Seckel and John Edwards co-created the Darwin fish design, which was first sold as a bumper sticker and on T-shirts in 1983–84 by a southern California group called Atheists United.

In 1984, Seckel started the Southern California Skeptics (SCS)……n 1987, SCS and Seckel helped sponsor an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, challenging the constitutionality of a Louisiana law calling for the classroom inclusion of creation science…….The Southern California Skeptics dissolved in the late 1980s. In 1992, Michael Shermer started a new Los Angeles-area skeptical group called The Skeptics Society, using SCS’s old mailing list and involving several of the same board members.

Imagine that.  Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.

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41 Responses to Another Epstein – Atheism Connection

  1. kiabooks says:

    Are you trying to connect not believing a god exists and sex trafficking?

  2. one has to wonder about the desperation of Christians trying to play “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” to lie about atheists.

  3. Tom McIver says:

    I was a long-time member of the “skeptics movement,” but also the first to expose Seckel as a con man. https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/10/ugh-al-seckels-name-floats-to-the-top-again/
    https://undeceive.weebly.com/

  4. Isaac says:

    The first two comments above seem like the kind of reaction tribalist thinkers and cultists have, valuing loudly protecting the in-group at all costs, rather than presenting some sort of actual counter-argument. I wonder if either of them are even a tiny bit curious about whether there is, in fact, an unusually high atheist representation among child traffickers. (There is plenty of data associating a lack of religiosity with crime in general, so it’s certainly not far fetched.)
    But they don’t seem curious. I’ve heard that curiosity, and wanting to go where the evidence leads, is a quality of logical people.

  5. apollyon911 says:

    Uh, no. But, given that the New Atheists try to connect Christians to anything negative no matter how dubious the connection, it’s only fair to use their own standards. But, in this case, the connection is strong. Is it a coincidence that some prominent (and aggressive) atheists are connected to Epstein?

  6. Ilíon says:

    Never expect intellectual integrity nor intellectual consistency from God-deniers.

  7. Archon's Den says:

    Imagine that. Associates of the Pope, hiding and protecting pedophiles. 🙄

  8. nsr says:

    If atheism is true then there is no compelling reason for us to see other human beings as anything more than commodities to be used, bought and sold. Even if we don’t personally see other human beings that way, we have no authority (and likely very little motivation) to stand up against those who do.

  9. essiep says:

    Human beings are societal. We trade work, goodwill, care etcetera. All of that trade makes societies and families stronger and able to look after our sick and needy.
    Therefore your comment is invalid.

  10. essiep says:

    Nor from believers. What is your point?

  11. Michael says:

    Are you trying to connect not believing a god exists and sex trafficking?

    No. Read the title. It’s a connection between Epstein and atheist activism.

  12. Michael says:

    one has to wonder about the desperation of Christians trying to play “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” to lie about atheists.

    I did not lie about atheists. After all, if I had asked you to highlight which of the six sentences I wrote contain this “lie” about atheists, you would not be able to do this.

    Which means you lied about me.

    So you lie about me and then complain about lying. That makes you a hypocritical liar. Here to Defend Atheism.

  13. Michael says:

    I was a long-time member of the “skeptics movement,” but also the first to expose Seckel as a con man.

    And I thank you for all the hard work you have done exposing him.

  14. Michael says:

    Imagine that. Associates of the Pope, hiding and protecting pedophiles.

    Oh, please. The Pope and his associates are old news. What’s next? Plan on telling us about that exciting new technology called…..dvd?

    The fact is that my postings have news. For example, I didn’t know the guy who helped create the Darwin Fish also helped organize a meeting on Pedophile Island (as the locals call it). Did you?

  15. Archon's Den says:

    No! Old news is that the last Pope aided the Nazis during WW II. No-one, or group, is totally innocent, including the Holy Church and its ringmasters. Are Catholic pedophiles acceptable, but Atheist ones aren’t??When you list the failings of others, remember the old Elementary School rebuttal: “When you point a finger at me, there are 3 more, pointing back at you.”
    Then you could try to prove a direct relationship between being an Atheist, and being a pedophile – any more than being a Catholic Bishop and being one. 🙄

  16. Michael, nice try but we have you saying this “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” in your desperation to lie about atheists. You wanted to pretend that all atheists support pedophiles and sex traffickers, and alas, that doesn’t work since we don’t. You got caught in a lie attempting to equate one with the other. Unless, you don’t equate one with the other? You may say so if that is the truth.

    It’s always curious when a conservative Christian finds they have to capitalize the term “atheist” and “atheism” when they are not proper nouns. Anyone is an atheist if they don’t believe in god/gods.

    You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.

    Do you?

  17. TFBW says:

    You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.

    I blame Richard Dawkins for the fact that this is the level of intellectual discourse we get from the rank and file atheism apologists. Dawkins has done more to give stupid arguments an air of intellectual respectability than any other Horseman.

  18. Kevin says:

    You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.

    Just to be clear, you’re saying that everyone is an atheist unless they believe in all gods? I want to give you a chance to rethink or rephrase that.

  19. grodrigues says:

    @TBFW:

    “I blame Richard Dawkins for the fact that this is the level of intellectual discourse we get from the rank and file atheism apologists.”

    There is probably some truth to this, but it does not get the “rank and file” off the hook for buying such patently bad arguments and being unable to argue their way out of a paper bag.

  20. Featherfoot says:

    No! Old news is that the last Pope aided the Nazis during WW II.

    Huh? When did that happen? Do you mean when the Catholic Church saved half a million Jews?

  21. Dhay says:

    Archon’s Den > No! Old news is that the last Pope aided the Nazis during WW II.

    I’m a bit puzzled by that, because:

    The Wiesenthal Center launched an investigation into Benedict’s role in the Third Reich only to discover the Ratzingers came from a family of anti-Nazis, with no hint of antisemitism.

    “The fact that he was in the Hitler youth — if you were a young child during the Third Reich and you didn’t go, you’d be condemned,” said Hier. “He didn’t volunteer. That’s not a blemish. We’ve done a bunch of research, and that should be very clear.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/pope-benedict-dogged-nazi-past-achievements-jewish-relations/story?id=18469350

    Please link to your source.

  22. FZM says:

    TFBW,

    I blame Richard Dawkins for the fact that this is the level of intellectual discourse we get from the rank and file atheism apologists. Dawkins has done more to give stupid arguments an air of intellectual respectability than any other Horseman.

    It is still mysterious to me how he managed it given how feeble/bizarre/dishonest some of the arguments he made were.

    Probably the political circumstances, 9/11, war in Iraq and Afghanistan etc.

  23. nsr says:

    Dawkins told a lot of people what they wanted to hear, and made it seem possible that a person could consider themselves a genius-level intellect without putting in any effort but simply adopting the label “atheist”.

  24. Dhay says:

    Or “bright”:

    In recent years, Dawkins has become outspoken in his atheism, coining the word “bright” (as an alternate to atheist) …

    https://www.ted.com/speakers/richard_dawkins

    That label’s not one of Richard Dawkins’ brightest ideas, having been little adopted and rapidly disused. I suspect the term ‘Science and Reason’ [user] will likewise go down the pan for being a similarly inappropriate, sometime incongruously so, label that some atheists have adopted.

  25. Michael says:

    Michael, nice try but we have you saying this “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” in your desperation to lie about atheists. You wanted to pretend that all atheists support pedophiles and sex traffickers, and alas, that doesn’t work since we don’t. You got caught in a lie attempting to equate one with the other.

    Huh? “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism” in your mind means, “All atheists support pedophiles and sex traffickers.” Look, I understand your need to lash out at straw men, but this is silly.

    It’s always curious when a conservative Christian finds they have to capitalize the term “atheist” and “atheism” when they are not proper nouns. Anyone is an atheist if they don’t believe in god/gods.

    You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.

    Do you?

    Okay, so I am a conservative Christian who lies about atheists who is also an atheist. You really should comment when you are sober.

  26. such a shame that a Christian chooses to bear false witness against others.

  27. Michael says:

    such a shame that an Atheist clings to his delusions.

  28. Kevin says:

    such a shame that a Christian chooses to bear false witness against others.

    Such a shame that an atheist would make an assertion without evidence.

  29. Dhay says:

    clubschadenfreude > Michael, nice try but we have you saying this “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” in your desperation to lie about atheists. … It’s always curious when a conservative Christian finds they have to capitalize the term “atheist” and “atheism” when they are not proper nouns.

    This intrigued me, so I looked back through this thread and the eight previous threads (ie until I got bored) and used Ctrl-F “atheis” to find all instances of “atheist”, “atheism” “Atheist” or “Atheism”.

    Correct grammar has it that initial-capitalisation is correct and essential when, eg:
    1) At the start of a sentence;
    2) In a thread title;
    3) In a sub-title;
    4) In a proper name or self-description, eg Atheists United, New Atheism, New Atheist, and Atheism Plus.

    Well-worn usage (albeit not taught me in school) is that terse sentences broken by full stops and using intial-capitalisations liberally is an accepted way to indicate strong emphasis, eg “So you lie about me and then complain about lying. That makes you a hypocritical liar. Here to Defend Atheism.”

    (It seems strange to me that you should suddenly acquire a keen interest in grammar and initial-capitalisation; when I looked back I found I had recently quoted an illiterate blog update of yours:

    “11/28/2015: just to let you know, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are quite the dickheads recently. Hitch was a dickhead a long time ago. those theists who want to claim that atheist somehow worship these guys are so wrong.”)

    I did a count of Michael’s initial-capitalisations of “Atheism” in the OP and in his replies up to your quoted response: there’s just the one you quote; which in view of Michael’s (and every other Christian’s) habitual use of lower-case “atheism” through nine threads, a reasonable and rational person – a person capable of such basic levels of ‘Science and Reason’ as counting, and such a basic level of skepticism as looking at the evidence – would assume was done in error.

    You might like to reflect that the main (and only other) initial-capitaliser of “Atheist” in this thread is Archon’s Den, another atheist snide insinuator like yourself, who does so twice (“ … but Atheist ones aren’t?? … being an Atheist, …”) in the response before the response of yours that I quote here. Aren’t you curious that a fellow atheist finds they have to initial-capitalize the term “atheist” when it’s not a proper noun; if not, why single out Michael for your, er, curiosity.

    Or go back eight to the “Goldilocks and Evidence for Christian Theism” thread, where the atheist (“I as an atheist …”) ‘rossiroad’ says “The most widely accepted Atheist stance that I’ve seen …”. Aren’t you curious that a fellow atheist finds they have to initial-capitalize the term “atheist” when it’s not a proper noun; if not, why single out Michael for your, er, curiosity.

    > You wanted to pretend that all atheists support pedophiles and sex traffickers, and alas, that doesn’t work since we don’t. You got caught in a lie attempting to equate one with the other. Unless, you don’t equate one with the other? You may say so if that is the truth.

    I am astonished at your abysmal level of reading comprehension and your ability to so readily and willingly substitute fantasy for text.

    > Anyone is an atheist if they don’t believe in god/gods. … You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods. Do you?

    I am astonished at your level of illogicality. Do you even read your responses before posting?

    *

    Another correct use of “Atheist” (where “atheist” would normally be used) is to deliberately trigger – this time I’m confident it’s not an inadvertent error – to deliberately trigger someone who is evidently triggered by even a single use of “Atheist”; who has, apparently, neither sense nor self-restraint: the sputtering fireworks from the “Village Atheist” should be fun to watch.

    https://epistleofdude.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/village-atheist-du-jour-clubschadenfreude/

    > It’s always curious when a conservative Christian finds they have to capitalize the term “atheist” and “atheism” when they are not proper nouns.

    As Kevin says: Such a shame that an atheist would make an assertion without evidence.

    I note that apart from this one provocative use in his last response to you, Michael never used initial-capitalised “Atheist” anywhere; plainly you could not count to zero; or you so lacked reading comprehension you could not see what was plain before your eyes; or perhaps your earlier claim that Michael inital-capitalised “atheist” as well as “atheism” is a deliberate lie – you may say so if that is the truth.

  30. Michael, it’s seems that you are having a problem with the word atheist. That someone who doesn’t believe in a god. You don’t accept that Vishnu is a god, do you?

    It’s also great to see you try to run away from your strawman argument ” “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” such a pitiful attempt to try to insinuate that atheism somehow promotes pedophilia and sex trafficking. This is the same old sad claim from so many Christians that atheism supports all sorts of heinous acts in your need to attack it.

  31. Michael says:

    Michael, it’s seems that you are having a problem with the word atheist. That someone who doesn’t believe in a god. You don’t accept that Vishnu is a god, do you?

    LOL. You are the one having the problem. Seven days ago, Kevin asked you if we are all atheists except for the very few who believe all gods exist. You never replied.

    It’s also great to see you try to run away from your strawman argument ” “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” such a pitiful attempt to try to insinuate that atheism somehow promotes pedophilia and sex trafficking. This is the same old sad claim from so many Christians that atheism supports all sorts of heinous acts in your need to attack it.

    Pay attention. Was Al Seckel an associate of Epstein? Yes. Did Al Seckel promote Atheism? Yes. That you wish to read into these facts some attempt to portray all atheists as pedophiles is your own straw man argument. It’s a subjective impression you personally have, rooted in your own biased feelings and faulty spidey sense. Nothing more. Yet you think you can impose your impressions on others by accusing them of lying for not agreeing with your spidey sense.

  32. Kevin says:

    I love beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, and venison. But I don’t like organ meat or sardines, so I’m a vegetarian.

  33. Sorry, I missed a post. So, Kevin wrote this:

    “Just to be clear, you’re saying that everyone is an atheist unless they believe in all gods? I want to give you a chance to rethink or rephrase that.”

    Kevin has a problem with reading comprehension. This is what I said “You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.” I did not say that one has to believe in all gods to not be an atheist. Atheism is this: “a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods”. If you, Michael, don’t believe in other gods, one or many, then you are atheistic to those gods, you don’t believe in those gods. I am atheistic to all gods, I don’t believe any exists. You believe that one does, your version of the Christian god, but that no others do, correct? So, you are atheistic to Vishnu, Odin, Ahura Mazda, etc.

    And again, still trying to create a connection between atheism and pedophilia and sex trafficking. I don’t need to read anything into your words at all, Michael because you so helpfully wrote this “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” I know what many Christians do and how they do their best to claim that atheists are horrible people, that we don’t want to follow laws, etc. I suspect that you are embarrassed that you were caught demonstrating that Christians aren’t the honest loving people that they wish people to think they are.

  34. nsr says:

    The “you are an atheist to all these other gods” line is a really terrible argument. It’s like saying “you may be married to your wife but you’re a bachelor to all these other women”. A married man by definition isn’t a bachelor. A Christian by definition isn’t an atheist.

    Seriously please drop that one.

  35. Kevin says:

    Kevin has a problem with reading comprehension.

    Good to know! Let’s find out where my problem is, shall we?

    You say:

    “You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.”

    You rephrase this by saying :

    If you, Michael, don’t believe in other gods, one or many, then you are atheistic to those gods, you don’t believe in those gods.

    So, if Michael does not believe in a god, he is atheistic to that god. If he is atheistic to that god, then, and I quote, “You are an atheist, Michael.” Why is Michael an atheist? Because he doesn’t believe in a god, one or many, other than the Christian God. If there is a god out there Michael does not believe in, he is atheistic to that god and is, therefore, an atheist. Per you.

    So if the criteria for Michael being an atheist is a god or gods that he does not believe in – one or many – then the only way for Michael to NOT be an atheist is to lack the quality of disbelief in other gods, one or many. Michael must, per you, believe in all gods to avoid the quality of atheism toward a god, one or many.

    So, when I ask “Just to be clear, you’re saying that everyone is an atheist unless they believe in all gods?”, where precisely did I get the meaning of your words wrong?

  36. Kevin says:

    Oops! “You rephrase this by saying:” should not be in italics.

  37. Dhay says:

    clubschadenfreude is evidently using the Merriam-Webster definition of ‘atheism’ …

    1a : a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
    1b …

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism

    … and has decided to play games by insisting on her own choice of meaning of ‘any’, instead looking up the Merriam-Webster definition of ‘any’ to see whether it has multiple meanings:

    1 : one or some indiscriminately of whatever kind:
    a : one or another taken at random
    “Ask any man you meet.”
    b : every —used to indicate one selected without restriction
    “Any child would know that.”
    2 : one, some, or all indiscriminately of whatever quantity:
    a : one or more —used to indicate an undetermined number or amount
    “Do you have any money?”
    b : all —used to indicate a maximum or whole
    “He needs any help he can get.”
    c : a or some without reference to quantity or extent
    “I’d be grateful for any favor at all.”
    3a : unmeasured or unlimited in amount, number, or extent
    “any quantity you desire”
    b : appreciably large or extended
    “could not endure it any length of time”

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/any

    If clubschadenfreude can choose one of many meanings and insist on it in the face of context, in the face of common usage of ‘atheism’ and in the face of common sense, so can we all. And if clubschadenfreude wishes to insist their usage is correct, clubschadenfreude will have to justify why that insistence is justified.

  38. TFBW says:

    To be clear, clubschadenfreude, the point you are trying to make involves us accepting that everyone who is a theist of some sort is also an atheist if there is at least one thing they do not believe is god. If your argument rests on the possibility that a person can simultaneously be a theist and an atheist, then it’s a pedantic argument. You may as well say we’re all virgins: the logic would be the same. You’re doing violence to the language in order to score cheap points. If you have a shred of intellectual honesty, you should cut it out (and stop paying attention to Dawkins in general, because this is his level of discourse).

  39. FZM says:

    And again, still trying to create a connection between atheism and pedophilia and sex trafficking. I don’t need to read anything into your words at all, Michael because you so helpfully wrote this “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” I know what many Christians do and how they do their best to claim that atheists are horrible people, that we don’t want to follow laws, etc. I suspect that you are embarrassed that you were caught demonstrating that Christians aren’t the honest loving people that they wish people to think they are.

    A major insinuation of New Atheism is that atheism makes people better, a lot better than any religious people. Pointing to wealthy and successful promoters of atheism who were also paedophiles is a reply to that kind of claim.

  40. Michael says:

    Kevin has a problem with reading comprehension. This is what I said “You are an atheist, Michael, unless you want to claim that you do believe in other gods.” I did not say that one has to believe in all gods to not be an atheist. Atheism is this: “a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods”. If you, Michael, don’t believe in other gods, one or many, then you are atheistic to those gods, you don’t believe in those gods. I am atheistic to all gods, I don’t believe any exists. You believe that one does, your version of the Christian god, but that no others do, correct? So, you are atheistic to Vishnu, Odin, Ahura Mazda, etc.

    I see that kevin, nsr, and tfbw have pointed out the fatal flaws in your argument. You’ve had six days to respond. Your response? Silence. Silence is the counter argument of a defeated man.

    Look, since your “argument” has been defeated, there is nothing left to add, except for the fact that you like to change your position midstream. Y’see, you orginally claimed “You are an atheist.” But now it has been watered down – “you are atheistic to those gods.” Do you even understand that being “an atheist” is not equivalent to being “atheistic to those gods?”

    And again, still trying to create a connection between atheism and pedophilia and sex trafficking. I don’t need to read anything into your words at all, Michael because you so helpfully wrote this “Imagine that. Associates of Jeffrey Epstein promoting Atheism.” I know what many Christians do and how they do their best to claim that atheists are horrible people, that we don’t want to follow laws, etc. I suspect that you are embarrassed that you were caught demonstrating that Christians aren’t the honest loving people that they wish people to think they are.

    Your positions continue to shape shift. First, I was lying by claiming “that all atheists support pedophiles and sex traffickers” and by “equating” one with the other. Now, it’s watered down to merely making a “connection.” Like I said, in order to frame me as “a liar” (a common atheist tactic), you need to read into my words and turn them into a straw man (another common atheist tactic). Your approach is the one that is dishonest.

    Silly atheist. Of course there are connections between atheism and pedophilia. Let’s start with one. Who is the most popular, influential atheist alive? Would it not be Richard Dawkins?

    And what did this popular atheist argue, on multiple occasions, about “mild pedophilia?”

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