See updates at the end of this post.
Late summer is apparently the time of year when David Silverman gets a new website and a new story. Last year, it was Transformative Humanists of America. That was where the man who wanted everyone to identify as an atheist instead of humanist urged people to elevate forgiveness to the pinnacle of Humanist values.
If you want to know more than that, you’ll have to read about it at Pharyngula, since the domain itself has been surrendered. It’s okay, though. A new year brings a new rebranding.
Silverman is now apparently a “firebrand for good“. Of course, like “humanism”, “good” takes on its own meaning in Silverman’s hands. Looking at the site, it appears to mostly mean appearing on conservative TV. Oh. And saying, “Bitches be lying.”
I suppose the new site represents something of an improvement in intellectual honesty. He’s no longer arguing for forgiveness without mentioning that sexual assault is the thing he wants to be forgiven for. On the other hand, he’s now moved from preaching forgiveness to claiming he has nothing to be forgiven for.
His argument? Well, a whole bunch of people suddenly decided to lie about him. No, I don’t know what their motivation was supposed to be either. It doesn’t really matter, though, because he’s lying himself. He’s also very bad at keeping track of the lies he’s told.
Is that a strong claim? Yes, but I have evidence.
Here’s his response (in parentheses) to one of the people quoted in the Buzzfeed article about his firing.
Another friend of St. Clair’s, Dustin Tucker, also wrote to American Atheists on Thursday, saying that St. Clair had told him about the incident in 2013. “I have dwelled on these feelings for five years,” Tucker wrote. “I still cannot even think of that man without experiencing rage.” (Hooray for friends willing to back your lies retroactively and dramatically)
Back in June, Silverman claimed on Twitter that he’d been falsely accused. So I took the opportunity to put the timeline of these accusations on the record.
I'll never forget when he buddied up to one of the people harassing me, then complained about the Tumblr where Rose's story first appeared when I told him what he was doing. He was "really glad" to hear it wasn't my Tumblr. It was 2013. https://t.co/PgU06l2nxF
— Stephanie Zvan (@szvan) June 24, 2019
I remember. That was a bad idea. Do you remember the strict codes of conduct, the gender neutral bathrooms? the ERA speech on the capitol lawn? the first atheist contingent at a choice march? Those were good ideas. I've been a feminist for 30 years and I did a lot for us.
— David Silverman (@MrAtheistPants) June 24, 2019
He’s well aware that Rose’s story isn’t new. It was the last entry on the Tumblr I discussed here before all the content was deleted. It was first published in early August 2013. He remembers. He knows I knew about the accusation then.
He knows Dustin may have known about it for years as well. Yet he claims Dustin is lying about knowing in 2013, probably because contemporaneous corroboration is considered strong evidence in these cases. But he’s no more consistent with this than he is with wanting to be forgiven for something he totally didn’t do, y’all.
At least he isn’t very good at this.
There’s more there, but it mostly comes down to claiming that if someone engages in hands-off sexual behavior, they’ve consented to the kind of hands-on behavior that leaves bruises. Pro tip: If someone says they had consent, and offers as “proof” something that isn’t consent, they didn’t have consent.
There are more lies about timing as well, of course. More people who supposedly just spontaneously decided to lie or believe lies about this guy despite him being a feminist, rather than knowing for years about his behavior.
Actually, I was suspended for vague “very general” reasons never clarified, including breaking the NJ Whistleblower statute. Funny how that was never addressed! Almost like it was a bogus placeholder charge to justify suspending me until the Buzzfeed article came out so I could be fired? Almost as if this was all a smokescreen because they knew the Buzzfeed article was coming (how?) and they – or someone – wanted me gone before it hit
Actually, I spoke to the Buzzfeed reporter (Peter Aldhous) and one of the accusers between the time the original investigation by the American Atheists board was announced and the article was published. Aldhous mentioned they’d already had a back-burner investigation going into Silverman but were moving to try to get into print because of the AA investigation. The accuser was making up her mind whether to go to the American Atheists board. The timing he presents just isn’t how it happened.
Will some people believe this? Sure. They want to. The fact that he’s contradicting other public statements won’t matter to them. Anyone who cares to know he’s lying, however, will see it.
I wonder what his story will be next year.
Update: Turns out he also knew Dustin was a witness to part of Rose’s story. The new website was registered July 12, 2019.
Sorry Dustin. I had extensive conversation with her all night and on the way to the hotel. She neither stammered nor stumbled. She showed zero signs of being too drunk to do anything. Were she drunk, nothing would have happened.
— David Silverman (@MrAtheistPants) May 16, 2019
To the best of my knowledge only her friend Dustin backs her drunk story.
And this is isolated. Nobody else says I took advantage of women too drunk to consent. I don't. Never have. Would not.
I own my shit. Breaking consent is not my shit.
— David Silverman (@MrAtheistPants) May 16, 2019