I am ever so helpfully informed sometimes that I shouldn’t complain about the kind of crap that gets posted about me at the slime pit. After all, these self-described rational people say, I don’t have to go there to see it.
Then things like this happen:
How lovely. Your “healing the rift” effort required a sharing of email addresses at least one of which has been distributed to Ophelia Benson, who, as I type this, is gleefully doxxing an atheist woman who’s not ‘out’ in her real-life community.
You replied to a different email address than the one Skeptickle usually posts here with. She hasn’t used the one you emailed for on this blog for approximately a year. Why did you reply to her with that email address rather than the one she currently uses to post here?
First, you betrayed a trust. Skep participated in Nugent’s talks in good faith, as did you. You may think that is just fine to break that trust and dishonor that good faith, but you have sent a clear message to anyone who is not already squarely in your camp that you cannot be trusted with sensitive information.
I’d already said in that comment thread that I’d recommended Eliza for the dialogue by name to Michael as someone who served on an atheist group’s board, so this continued insistence that I’d taken her information from the dialogue was bizarre. There was an ongoing insistence from apparent multiple parties that there had been something nefarious done in order to get Eliza’s identity into Ophelia’s hands (there wasn’t), and specifically, that I had used the dialogue process to gain and spread Eliza’s identity.
Funny aside, because this post could use a moment of humor. Know how I found out who Eliza was? One morning, I woke up to a comment that ended, “If you want to discuss it further, face to face, “like a man” so to speak, I think Stephanie or Josh can tell you where you can find me. -Skep tickle (aka skeptixx)” First time anyone called “Skep tickle” or “skeptixx” had left a comment on my blog. I had probably seen “skeptixx” in the Twitter frenzy over the Atheism+ forum. Probably. Maybe.
I was supposed to know who this person was and be able to set up a face-to-face meeting? How? Was this someone I knew in real life? So I did some quick research based on the email and IP addresses, found another comment she’d left under the name “Eliza”. When I was done all I knew was that this was some OB-GYN from Seattle who was or had been on her local atheist board. I still didn’t know her. I was halfway through a comment with all that information when I realized Eliza probably didn’t mean it. I deleted it when I realized, but I had almost outed her eight months ago accidentally. Now, I would guess that I was supposed to know that Eliza had moved into the slime pit, but what can I say, I hadn’t had any coffee yet.
Tonight, however, after seeing a pattern in the comments, I had a pretty good idea where to go. Based on the timing of the comments above, I even knew the date I was going for. And lookie what I found from Eliza:
Okay, so let’s just say that Ophelia Benson emails me at an email address* that isn’t the one under which I posted at her site, one which I haven’t used it at FtB in many months (if not a year or so), and in that email addresses me by my professional title & last name, chastising me for my post(s) at her site today.
If that happened, would it be fair game for me to post the content of that email here? (With her email address, and mine, redacted. But without having sought, or gained, her permission to post it.)
*It’s also not the email address I use for communication about the Nugent site…but it IS the email I use for the Slyme pit. Hmmm…
Then just a little further down the page:
I would guess that Stephanie Zvan was Ophelia’s source (but that’s just a guess).
I’d used my full name in communications behind the scenes with Michael Nugent & Monette Richards for Nugent’s atheist/skeptic dialogue site, and know that each of them communicated with Stephanie Zvan about various aspects of the process. I also posted maybe 2-3 times more than a year ago at Stephanie’s site using my real first name and, I think, the email address Ophelia used. (The one I’ve used at FtB for posting since then is long-defunct; I confirmed that before posting her email above. And she didn’t use the email address I’d used for the Nugent effort.)
Seems less likely to have come from remote other posts at FtB, or from PZ’s interactions with the group I belong to that had him give a talk here a couple of months ago.
Just a guess posted to the site that manufactures narratives about me, Ophelia, and a few other people daily. Just a guess posted to the site where, once it’s been said, it will be passed around as the gospel truth no matter what the actual facts of the matter are.
What happens in the pit doesn’t stay there, because the pitters are evangelically anti-us. They don’t just sit around and get their hate on, though they do plenty of that. Once they’ve gotten themselves or each other worked up, they wander around spreading their favorite stories, better to them than the truth.*
Then, if that happens to you and you want to able to demonstrate the origin of the myth, you go to the pit. When you go to the pit, you trip over crap like this:
I’m going to do my bit for the pit pr campaign.
A fact fucking cunt, is, a fat fucking cunt. Insane staffy is a fat fucking cunt.
That’s supposed to be talking about me, in case you hadn’t figured it out. Had Ophelia gone to the pit to check out the weirdness showing up in her comments, this is what she’d have seen:
Regarding Skep Tickle, I am too dense/do not read enough to have seen the alleged subtle outing of you already, but FUCK YEAH. EXPOSE THAT DRIED UP VAGINA TO THE WINDS OF TRUTH, AND WATCH THEM SCOUR AWAY THE DUST OF AGES.
Ahem. Or something.
So, no, we don’t have to go to the pit to be affected by it. The pit comes after us. And if we go to look at how the stories have been cobbled together out of quote mines, failures of reading comprehension, wishful thinking, and long games of telephone, that’s what’s waiting for us. So let’s knock off this “It isn’t harassment if it happens in the pit” nonsense yesterday.
*Okay, one more funny story. Did you know that I my name is a pseudonym? You can totally tell it’s true by the fact that two first-time commenters showed up in the last couple of days to suggest I’d never say what I say if I were using my real name. Or you can go over to the pit and see the idea be proposed, rejected, and retconned into the shape it showed up here. Cute, huh?