A Q&A with David Silverman

For whatever reason David Silverman decided he needed my attention on Valentine’s Day.

My to do list says I was working on a meeting agenda. By the time I made it to Twitter, I had to dig through my mentions to figure out what was going on. My response:

Which eventually came around to this:

He’s not good with “No.”

I eventually figured out he thought I should have something to say about this because of the Reason Rally.

There are a few problems with this:

  1. I had nothing to do with the 2016 Reason Rally besides deciding at the last minute to attend and to volunteer for the associated conference. I helped out wearing someone else’s name badge.
  2. I didn’t say anything about the original allegations of abuse. I did mention Depp in 2016, but I noted that newbie atheist podcasters weren’t going to learn much from Lawrence Krauss talking in a workshop about how much he enjoyed working with Depp.
  3. There was a bunch of news coverage at the time.

One thing that happens when you put on an event designed to garner publicity and use celebrities to do so is that those celebrities get news coverage.

Lyz Liddell, executive director of the Reason Rally Coalition, a paid position she likens to a community-building pastor, says organizers were disappointed when Depp and Heard withdrew.

“We were like, ‘Wait! What?’” she says. They then learned about the abuse allegations, she says, and “we absolutely support Amber and hope they can both have success in their personal and professional lives.”

I confirmed with another Reason Rally board member that they have no recollection of a discussion about kicking Depp out. Silverman is offering to testify, but…well, I’ll get to that.

Silverman continued to tag me in gems like this well after being told to stop:

Then came Wednesday:

And the next day, because I didn’t respond to his negging about dropping everything for a nearly 40-minute video:

I was on day two or three of a migraine (I’ve lost track), but I had generated a transcript of the video. I compared it to other statements about what happened and made sure I understood the timeline. I collected my questions. Then I didn’t do anything, because I was also on a muscle relaxant. Until today.

I’m switching to screen shots because WordPress got overwhelmed. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter from that last tweet. I tried to keep branching threads minimal, but they do exist.

Oh, I’m only just now thinking to wonder whether Gail forwarded my email to her as well. For the record, I was asking that they actually work with people who know how to research reports like these. You know: giving him due process.

Hmm. Never answered this one. For the record, I think “creepy” means creepy. People are pressured to underplay sexual assault and harassment when it happens to them. That means words like “creepy” get used sometimes when people are talking about assault or harassment, but they get used specifically because “creepy” means something less. Nuance.

The text of Silverman’s screen shot of Rebecca’s email:

To [AAI president, vice president], secretary, me, David Nathan

I was contacted by Gail Miller on Monday at 8:38 a.m. to tell me that there would be an announcement “shortly” regarding the man who sexually assaulted me while I was crippled and painfully trying to bend over, whom I am pressing charges of Indecent Liberties, a class B felony, against.  Who was witnessed doing so by someone who he does not dispute witnessed—

From context, the Monday in question would have to have been December 16, 2019, as Silverman was suspended late Monday December 9 at earliest and AAI’s announcement of his resignation came Friday December 20. Per that announcement, Silverman resigned Sunday December 15.

The screen capture in the last tweet here is from the filing for a restraining order. It’s a quote from the interview Silverman did with Atheist Republic on YouTube in September 2019, shortly before being hired by Atheist Alliance International.

I have a rage in my veins that I’m quieting. I’m trying to reason it out, but I live with it. I feel it right now. Here. I—I’m trying not to let it consume me as it has. I’m trying to move past it so that I can move out of the depression. Um, but it’s not controllable all of the time. The rage boils in my blood. The righteous indignation. And the guilt and shame are still just fucking pounding me. The rage has never been like this. I’ve never been this angry. I’ve never been this crippled. Hobbled by a rage that so hard I can’t work. By a sadness that’s too hard to get out of bed. I don’t want to be the guy that does revenge. I don’t. But there is a piece of me that wants it so bad. There is a piece of me that lives there and I can’t, I am controlling it, but I can’t kill it. That is in. I mean, I’m feeling it in my legs right now. I’m feeling in my arms right…

I think that went well.

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A Q&A with David Silverman
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