You might be interested in this comment at WWJTD by Michael Gobaud:
JT, you may already know this, but all these phone conferences the SCA has been doing in their national expansion effort have been recorded and put online for anyone to listen to (you can even scan through the recordings to particular speakers, very useful). Anyway, I just listened to the first 2 PA conferences to see exactly how Justin was made co-chair of the PA chapter (this is all very interesting to me because I might become a co-chair of the NV chapter, I don’t really know much about Justin). So you might wanna listen to those recordings to see the process of Justin’s appointment, it was actually very enlightening for me because I wanted to understand your complaint better.
Here is the SCA PA website with links to all the recordings: http://secular.org/states/chapters/pennsylvania
Here are the relevant parts on Justin’s appointment:
1ST PA CONFERENCE CALL (50 minutes):
Justin Vacula (7:02): “I’m Justin Vacula. I’m calling from Scranton, PA…”
Edwina Rogers, JD: “We don’t know you guys… I’m taking notes.”
Justin (32:55): “[I was in the press recently about the bus ads and have done a lot of media. You could speak about the SCA on my podcast].”
Edwina (36:00): “We’ve got three solid people with extreme talent in Pennsylvania… Hoping we can turn the Republicans around… We’re looking for a committee.”
2ND PA CONFERENCE CALL (34 minutes):
Kelly Damerow: “[Scott, Brian, Stacks, and Justin expressed interest in taking a leadership position].”
Jusin (15:00): “[I have spoken with my legislature in the past].”
Kelly (25:00): “[You guys are all pleasant to work with and cooperative, making my job easier].”
Kelly (26:00): “Do any of you have any interest in being a chair or co-chair?”
Stacks Rosch: “I would nominate Justin.”
Kelly: “Justin you’ve been nominated, what do you think?”
Justin: “Thanks, I’ll accept the nomination.”
Kelly: “Excellent, is anyone else interested and want to be co-chair?”
Brian Fields: “I wouldn’t mind working with Justin. Justin and I work really well together, we’ve done a lot of stuff in the past.”
Justin: “I’ll nominate Brian.”
Kelly: “Ok Justin and Brian, you guys are going to be our co-chairs of our executive committee… Thank you so much for accepting… Woo hoo!”
Well there ya have it. It looks like despite Justin’s presence on the internet (positive and/or negative), Edwina and Kelly had never heard of him (and neither had I until somewhat recently). His co-chair “appointment” took all of 60 seconds, and pretty much anyone who accepted a nomination by a fellow founding member was “approved.”
I don’t really read blogs much, so perhaps I am just out of the loop on how “bad” Justin is. But I think that’s sort of the point: a lot of activists in our movement (e.g. Edwina, Kelly, myself, etc.), just don’t keep up much with all this internet drama stuff; it’s just not a big deal for many of us (for better or worse). I think there is definitely merit to some of your complaints that you have backed up with evidence, but I just don’t think it is enough to warrant an attempt to systematically ostracize an activist from our movement who seems to be doing SOME positive things and many people seem to respect.
He is DEFINITELY polarizing, and has apparently made some pretty bad judgement calls, so you and others who dislike him should certainly ban him from the orgs. that you guys control, but is it really necessary to attempt to exclude him from ALL corners of this movement? Show me that this guy has a history of violent crimes/felonies and then MAYBE you would have a case for total exclusion. But I mean, are you really going to circulate petitions outlining the allegedly nasty things he’s done online to get him fired from every secular leadership position he ever achieves his whole life? Seems like a hopeless pursuit…
To the last two paragraphs, by not even Googling the guy’s name they missed out on learning all the many ways the man is a terrible fit for representing our movement and undercuts inclusivity for his divisive and polarizing attacks on members of said movement. They were missing a hell of a lot of information in their decision making progress and in their haste to “make their jobs easier” have incurred some terrible blowback.
The goal here is to provide that information. SCA has to now decide to stand by their man to the exclusion of the people that man alienates, or not.