Radford / Stollznow defamation case: What we know and what we can infer or extrapolate reasonably

I’ve noticed a trend in amongst the so-called “skeptics” who have, from the get-go, denied every single claim of harassment in the community. That trend is denialism masquerading as skepticism, and a willingness to lie about who said what, when. That’s why I’ve been fighting that trend by building timelines. Someone needs to document what was actually said, and what can be reasonably inferred from these events. It also helps to document the attacks launched by certain people against certain other people, because it helps define the tribal lines against which these denialists are aligning.

One of these big accusations of harassment has resurfaced in the past few weeks, with new movements occurring for the first time in months. As a refresher, here’s all the points from my sexual harassment accusations timeline.

I don’t claim to know for certain that these allegations are true, but I can certainly develop a narrative that, I think, accounts for all the actual points we apparently do know, as well as what we could reasonably extrapolate.

August 6th, 2013

Possibly emboldened by Ashley Paramore’s stand, Karen Stollznow comes forward with her own story of having been serially sexually harassed and assaulted over the course of several years. (DOWN)

Ian Murphy points the finger at Ben Radford as the serial harasser discussed in Karen Stollznow’s post, via Twitter.

PZ Myers updates a post linking to Stollznow’s blog several hours after Ian Murphy names Radford to verify that a number of others had named him as well in private emails.

August 7th, 2013

Carrie Poppy releases a series of email bombs about the Ben Radford case and describes the major events leading up to her leaving her job as Communications Director of JREF after being serially mistreated by DJ.

August 8th, 2013

10:35am Central: Matthew Baxter, Karen Stollznow’s husband, in a comment on Blake Smith’s Facebook page, corroborates Stollznow’s story. Speaking directly to Ben Radford, he says that Radford persistently continued to contact Stollznow after being asked for years to stop. Baxter says that he and Stollznow have copies of correspondence backing this up. He also says that when Stollznow cut off communication with Radford, Radford called her “disrespectful.”

August 12th, 2013

Joe Anderson corroborates Karen Stollznow’s story, stating that he was one of the folks deposed by CFI’s investigators about the behaviour he witnessed from Radford.

The original post by Karen Stollznow is taken down after Ron Lindsay sends a letter to Scientific American. Karen is told by SA staff that it was taken down due to legal threats, while Ron Lindsay claims to have only asked for corrections. The Google Cache version of the page now also 404s, but a copy still exists on Scrible.

Stephanie Zvan analyzes the differences and commonalities extensively between Ron Lindsay’s letter demanding corrections of SciAm, and Karen Stollznow’s original allegations. Most relevant is the fact that Lindsay concedes the harassment actually happened.

That catches us up to where we were when I stopped adding to that original timeline.

Then comes the new developments.

February 17th, 2014

Ben Radford files a defamation suit against Karen Stollznow in Sandoval County, New Mexico.

February 26th, 2014

Ben Radford writes a blog post for CFI about false claims of sexual harassment. This post was so terrible in its lack of skepticism and its fallacy soup and motivated reasoning that the next day…

February 27th, 2014

Ron Lindsay himself disavowed Radford’s “false accusations” analysis in a post of his own, scathingly titled “Evidence-Based Reasoning: Comments on a Blog Post”.

March 3rd, 2014

Ben Radford posts a scan of the first page of the complaint to his Facebook wall.

March 4th, 2014

Ophelia Benson points out the timing of the lawsuit and the false claims post, and suggests that Radford may be seriously hurting his standing within CFI by playing such games with their blog. At the very least, it’s highly doubtful any lawyers were involved in either the blog post or posting the complaint to his Facebook wall.

March 22nd, 2014

Ben Radford posts an image to his Facebook wall titled “Retraction / Statement”. He claims that it is a statement by Stollznow, and that she had agreed to it as part of their settlement.

Transcript by HJ Hornbeck:

In 2013 Karen Stollznow accused Benjamin Radford of stalking, sexual harassment, and both physical and sexual assault. She made these accusations in a complaint to Ben Radford’s employer (the Center for Inquiry), in a guest blog written for the Scientific American Mind website and to various individuals in private communications.

These accusations and complaints against Benjamin Radford were false and Karen Stollznow retracts them. Radford was disciplined by the Center for Inquiry on the basis of them. One of Stollznow’s minor complaints (that Radford briefly stood in front of her during an argument when she wanted to walk past him) was the result of miscommunication during their relationship, but the accusations of sexual harassment, stalking, sexual assault, unwanted emails and the like were and are categorically false.

These serious and polarizing false accusations created divisiveness within the skeptical community. Most of the outrage directed at Radford as a consequence of the false accusations came from people with no knowledge of Radford’s and Stollznow’s relationship, who uncritically repeated the false accusations.

Stollznow cannot fully undo the damage Radford’s career and reputation cause by her false accusations, but this retraction is a sincere effort to set the record straight. Karen Stollznow and Ben Radford ask that bloggers and others that have repeated these allegations against Radford please remove them from their sites and not repeat them. Any blogs or other published references to these false accusations only serve to perpetuate the harm to both parties.

This issue has unfortunately detracted from the success that both Benjamin Radford and Karen Stollznow have worked hard to achieve in skepticism and public science education. Both Ben and Karen wish to move on with their lives and careers and put this matter behind them and that their friends and colleagues also let the matter drop.

There is no signature or anything marking this in any way as being part of legal proceedings.

He accompanied this statement with the following note:

Last year Dr. Karen Stollznow, a sometime colleague and former lover, accused me of, among other things, stalking and sexual harassment. At the time and for many months afterward I was prohibited from publicly responding to her claims. My lack of a response was widely taken as a tacit admission of guilt, but I am innocent of these accusations.

Karen has now acknowledged that her accusations were false and she has retracted her claims. Most of the public venom over this issue has come from people with no knowledge of our situation or relationship, and who uncritically repeated rumors and half-truths. Ironically this demonstrates exactly the sort of rush to judgment and lack of critical thinking that both Karen and I have spent years fighting. I have no further comment and we ask that this matter be laid to rest. Thank you.

Many “skeptics”, believing this to be absolutely true, swarm to Radford’s Facebook post to express their support. Considering the only “statement” on the matter was an entirely unofficial image of a Word document written in third-person, with nothing to indicate it was remotely official, and with no corroboration from Stollznow, some of us who’ve been following this story have been understandably skeptical.

One of his supporters, Amy Stoker, says: “It’s signed by Karen and notarized. Ben was over at my house tonight. I’m sure Ben will address this in the morning or at some point. For tonight he wanted to focus on those family and friends that have been by his side.”

PZ Myers comments on his blog that Stollznow didn’t write the statement, that Ben Radford did, and that she did not sign but he posted anyway.

March 23rd, 2014

Karen Stollznow takes to Twitter, making the first public statement on the matter since the lawsuit was filed, though the tweet itself is incredibly vague. She says, “Some “skeptics” should be more skeptical…”

A number of Ben’s supporters demand that she confirm or deny that the retraction was agreed-to by her. Amongst Ben’s supporters, a new meme grows — that those of us who suspect this “retraction” was an attempt at public coercion in the case are like Birthers demanding Obama’s birth certificate; that we’re being “hyperskeptical”. (The word has special significance to this blog and this whole fight, incidentally. I created that meme to combat the pro-harassment skeptics in the harassment policies campaign two years ago.)

March 25th, 2014

Stollznow again takes to Twitter to say: “I didn’t write it, I never agreed to it, I never signed it, and I’m not the liar here.”

Matthew Baxter writes, “I wrote a joint statement, they morphed it into an apology, said that I worked on it with them, and claimed that @karenstollznow agreed.”

Radford is notified of Stollznow’s tweet, but evidently not Baxter’s, because he posts this image of personal correspondences between he and Baxter on his Facebook post, and says “Yep, I saw that. I’ll be addressing that shortly. It’s a strange comment given that her husband Baxter e-mailed me a few days ago telling me that she agreed to it and would be having it notarized today.”

Given everything that’s public, we can make some fairly well-evidenced assumptions in this case, without assuming anyone’s lying about anything. The narrative squares with both parties’ accounts, short of the specific points of contention, and takes into account the different mindsets between the two parties. The narrative runs in my estimation thusly:

Radford and Stollznow were once in a relationship, while also maintaining a professional relationship in relation to CFI. At some point, they broke up. Judging by Radford’s repeated use of the phrase “former lover”, Radford evidently assumed the role of jilted lover at this point, continuing his pursuit of her.

In September of 2012, Stollznow and Baxter married. Despite this, Radford continued pursuing Stollznow. I presume that the break-up between Stollznow and Radford preceded the nuptials because of Baxter’s statements on the matter, and Joe Anderson’s corroboration, though I could be wrong.

The harassment got so bad during 2013 that Stollznow went to CFI and, with respect to their zero-tolerance policy, submitted to investigators the contents of her email and other personal communications. Inferring from Ron Lindsay’s statement on the matter, the investigators appear to have suspended Radford as a result of the investigation, but that suspension coincided with some vacation time that Radford was taking. Whether the vacation was a post-hoc rationalization of his time-off or not is a matter not in evidence, unfortunately, but the suspension is questionable regardless.

Lindsay claims in his letter that punishment was NOT set up to coincide with vacation time, so if there WAS punishment (which Lindsay strongly implies there was!), then it’s likely that someone told Karen he had been on vacation instead. My going suspicion on this point is that Radford himself suggested to others that he’d been taking vacation, rather than having been suspended, to explain his absence and save face. Stollznow may have heard this and taken the story at face value, and assumed duplicity on CFI’s part, rather than Radford’s.

Stollznow was stonewalled by CFI about the results of that investigation because they couldn’t release it “to the public”. She continued to work with Radford in a professional capacity, to do with CFI and Monster Talk.

During the groundswell of anti-harassment sentiment in the skeptical community evidently fed up with the culture of protecting harassers and harassment in general (chronicled in the anti-harassment campaign post mentioned at the top of this one), Stollznow found the courage to talk about her experiences publicly in Scientific American. She did not name Radford. Others in the skeptical community named Radford on her behalf, though, since they had been variously deposed by CFI’s investigators or witnessed this untoward behaviour themselves.

CFI then demanded that SciAm publish corrections on the post for “inaccuracies”, for which SciAm simply pulled the post, though it appears the only points of contention were how CFI treated the investigation. It can be inferred from Lindsay’s post that the investigation did in fact happen, and that Radford had in fact been “punished”, to whatever degree the punishment might actually be called one.

Carrie Poppy had stated that Stollznow claimed to have been assaulted on three occasions at TAM by Radford. The nature of these assaults is not public knowledge, though DJ Grothe was evidently informed and declined to act on them.

Radford later filed the defamation suit. I can guess that they were going to settle, since I have heard it rumoured a number of places that Stollznow did not have the resources to fight it, and Stollznow has repeatedly expressed a desire that this not impact her career and has evidently worked with him professionally despite the nature of their personal “relationship”. Matthew Baxter drafted a joint statement that would have been filed with the settlement, which Radford then altered to become an “apology” (and ostensibly also a retraction).

Radford then jumped the gun and posted it, evidently with the belief that Stollznow would sign and notarize this version of the statement on March 25th. However, having posted it in advance on his Facebook page, with alterations that Baxter evidently did not agree to, Stollznow and Baxter look to be prepared to fight.

One might reasonably postulate that despite their financial straits and their desire to make it all go away, Radford’s premature victory lap which spun events beyond what Baxter or Stollznow had agreed to has resulted in them being catalyzed to fight. If this is the case, expect a legal defense fundraiser soon.

UPDATE, 11:53pm CST March 25th: Radford has removed the retraction post and all comments from his Facebook page. He has replaced it with this statement:

Clarification on the Stollznow Retraction

As many of you know, several weeks ago I filed a lawsuit against Karen Stollznow, who last year accused me of, among other things, stalking and sexual harassment. Over the past few weeks I have been in discussions with Karen via her husband Matthew Baxter, who contacted me to discuss a retraction. He and I worked together on a statement, which I posted to my Facebook page on Saturday. It has come to my attention that Karen has now stated that she never agreed to the statement I posted. This surprised me and is a grave concern to me, and I want to clarify the situation.

I did not fabricate the retraction out of thin air; it was the result of a collaboration between myself, Matthew Baxter, and my lawyer. To begin with, I have not spoken with Karen personally in well over a year. Instead I have been dealing with her husband Baxter, who has acted as a mediator. The retraction statement I posted on Saturday evening March 22 was the same retraction statement that Baxter and I worked on for two weeks. Nothing had been changed. Furthermore the retraction that Karen now disavows is the same statement that Matthew Baxter told me only a few days ago that Karen agreed to and would sign (though she could not get it notarized, which is needed to make it official, until Tuesday March 25).

Not only that but the morning of Saturday March 22 I wrote to Baxter and told him that, based on the agreement he told me Karen had agreed to, I wanted to go ahead and make the statement public, as I had been waiting over a year for the retraction. He replied, “Well we won’t be able to get ours signed and notarized right away but you can do what you want to do with this if you feel confident that nothing will go wrong.” (See the attached screen shot of our e-mail exchange.) I responded to him that I understood, and that I was confident that nothing would go wrong as long as Karen had indeed agreed to the retraction. I told him that I planned to post it to Facebook that night. He never wrote back with any objections, and so I did.

Whether I jumped the gun or not is a legitimate question, and one I accept responsibility for. I probably should have waited until I had the signed and notarized statement in hand. But I saw no reason to wait to make it public, since I’d been told clearly several times that Karen had agreed to it. When I posted the retraction, I did so in the sincere belief that Karen Stollznow had agreed to it, and knowing that her husband Baxter had given his approval. I did not intend to deceive or mislead anyone, and I would never have posted the agreement if I had known she did not agree to it.

Now that I have a clear, formal acknowledgement from Karen that she has in fact disavowed the agreement that Baxter and I spent two weeks working on and that I was told several times she agreed to, I have deleted it. I’ll have no further comment on this matter, as anything I say will only further complicate matters for all of us. I look forward to this matter being resolved through the courts.

This does not square with Baxter’s indication that the statement had been morphed into an apology without Stollznow’s or Baxter’s knowledge. One or the other is mistaken (or lying to save face).

UPDATE 2: The screenshot of Baxter’s email exchange appears to have been taken on March 23rd due to the “1 day ago” fuzzy datestamp that Gmail uses. This could be anywhere up to ~1 day 12 hrs after the email. It seems odd that the email exchange would be screenshotted in advance, except if he was passing it around to others before posting it to Facebook.

UPDATE 3 – March 27th, 11:27am CST: Karen Stollznow has created an IndieGogo project for her legal defense. It is set for $30,000, and it expires in 15 days.

By 12:43pm CST, it is at $9,506 USD with 133 backers.

Text of the defense fund plea:

My name is Karen Stollznow. I am an author and researcher with a PhD in Linguistics. In recent months, I wrote an article for a Scientific American Mind blog in which I spoke out about sexual harassment I’d endured from a male colleague for several years. I did this to highlight the wide problem of sexual harassment in the workplace for women, including those in scientific and academic fields. Many people who read the article immediately identified my harasser by name, and spoke publicly about my situation on their own blogs and other social media. They knew who my harasser was because he had recently been disciplined by his employer for his behavior.

As a result, my harasser filed a defamation suit against me, trying to bully me into silence. Although he’s spent thousands of dollars on a lawyer to clear his name, he knew that I could not afford the same. In my attempts to settle out of court he has tried to bully me into signing a retraction, which claimed that I had lied about the whole ordeal, including his ongoing harassment of me, and assaults at one of our professional conferences. Although I didn’t sign the retraction, he posted the document on his very public Facebook page and announced victory over me. This also lead to false public edits being made to my Wikipedia page.

I never lied about the harassment I endured and I have evidence and witnesses to attest to my experiences. The only crime I have committed is not being rich enough to defend myself. If you believe in justice and in protecting victims who are bullied into silence, please dig deep and help support this legal fund. I must raise $30,000 in the next two weeks in order to find legal counsel to fight these allegations and clear my own name. If my harasser succeeds in bullying me into silence, it will only serve to embolden harassers, and teach victims that they should never speak up, lest it ruin their lives.

Any money raised through this campaign that is not spent on these legal expenses will be donated to Colorado’s Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center.
Thank you for listening to my story, and please give as you can. To contact me about this fundraising campaign, email [email protected]

This indicates that the previous assumptions of a lack of funds and an effort to settle out of court to “make it all go away” were likely accurate. This paints Radford and/or his lawyers as aggressors — they wanted more than to just make it all go away, they wanted an admission that Stollznow lied about the whole thing. This was obviously a concession Stollznow was unwilling to make given her reaction to the “retraction” letter.

Whether or not the concession was agreed-upon by Baxter as her proxy is not in evidence, however. I urge skepticism on that point — the only part of that email thread that has been presented by Radford publicly does not show this fact, and it’s extremely important with regard to whether or not Radford or his lawyer tried to overreach. Baxter claims they had altered it beyond what he’d agreed to in his tweet on the matter on March 25th; Radford claims they hadn’t altered it in his “clarification” Facebook post.

As of 1:13pm CST, Stollznow’s legal defense fund is at $14,506 with 196 backers.

UPDATE 4:

I added the following in the above speculation timeline:

Lindsay claims in his letter that punishment was NOT set up to coincide with vacation time, so if there WAS punishment (which Lindsay strongly implies there was!), then it’s likely that someone told Karen he had been on vacation instead. My going suspicion on this point is that Radford himself suggested to others that he’d been taking vacation, rather than having been suspended, to explain his absence and save face. Stollznow may have heard this and taken the story at face value, and assumed duplicity on CFI’s part, rather than Radford’s.

In communications with Paul Fidalgo, I was asked to correct that point and the point of whether or not CFI asked SciAm to take Stollznow’s post down entirely. From Fidalgo, I have confirmed that the employee that Ron Lindsay was referring to in his post and letter to Scientific American was, indeed, suspended, and that the suspension was intentionally arranged so as to NOT coincide with any vacation time. He cannot refer to names in discussing this case, obviously, in this letter, but it was written explicitly with the intent of obtaining a correction of only the specific points brought up, not a takedown of the post or for any other implied or proffered reasons regarding sides-taking. I’d urge everyone reread Ron Lindsay’s post on this point. It fits quite well with my current line of speculation.

UPDATE 5:

At 5:19pm CST, just under 6 hrs after being posted, the IndieGogo was fully funded for $30,000. Stollznow will be fighting the case. This is likely not enough money to cover all legal costs, though. Defamation costs can get fairly steep. It is evident that, regardless of the outcome of this specific case, this community is extremely motivated to fight back against harassment. The alacrity with which these funds were collected reminds me of Anita Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter, which raised $120,000 mostly on the back of the harassment she was receiving — both before the Kickstarter, and the order of magnitude more she was getting afterward.

One point I will note is that at least two people decided to “satirize” this fight by donating to Stollznow under the names Sara Mayhew and Justin Vacula — two people who pride themselves on being against people who generally fight harassment. I know, it feels good to take a poke at someone who spends all day, every day trying to tear down everything you stand for. But if we are the good guys, we’ll not do things like that — especially since it invites further harassment of the person you’re trying to help with the donation. Take those pokes under your own name if you want, but don’t call down the winged monkeys on someone else’s behalf.

The defamation filing is apparently a matter of public record, and I’ll be trying to obtain a copy from the court as soon as possible. (Likely only this weekend, unless someone else has a copy.) I understand from people who’ve read it that it contains many terrible allegations against Stollznow. It’s possible much of it is bluster, but there’s often a kernel of truth behind every person’s experience of events, so I’d like to see what the allegations actually are and whether they’re supported by any evidence in the public record.

Additionally, Baxter evidently briefly posted a more complete copy of the email thread between him and Radford / Radford’s lawyer, but pulled it from his Facebook page recently. I don’t have a copy of that either, so I don’t know what it says, and if it provides any of the context missing from Radford’s questionable screenshot.

UPDATE 6:

On March 31st, Brian Thompson, former JREF Outreach Coordinator, posts this to his Facebook wall:

Let me explain why I’m supporting Karen Stollznow’s legal defense fund. Maybe some of my Facebook friends don’t know who she is or what this is all about. Karen is a linguist, writer, and investigator who looks into claims of the paranormal, the supernatural, and the outrageous with a skeptical eye. Skeptics like her do a lot of good for the world in ways large and small. They’re the ones fighting against the kind of scientific ignorance that keeps people from vaccinating their kids, for example. And if it weren’t for skeptical investigators, I might still be cowered in fear every night thinking aliens were going to abduct me or ghosts were going to throw things around my bedroom. Now I’m just cowered in fear thinking that I might never be on one of those interior design makeover shows. This is progress.

I believe so strongly in the good work these skeptics do that several years ago I started hanging out with them, working on activism projects with them, and drinking lots and lots of booze with them. I went to their conferences and meetings and pre-swingers’ parties, and for a couple of years I even worked in an official capacity with one of the world’s most well-known skeptical activism nonprofits, the James Randi Educational Foundation.

In that time I got to know a lot of great people. I’m not going to name them all, because I know I’ll leave out Christian Walters, and then our lovemaking will take a passive-aggressive turn. But a lot of people who share this common interest in making the world a better place through rationalism are kind, honest, funny, talented, and valuable friends. Then there are people like Christian who are maybe just two or three of those.

But I no longer identify with this community of benevolent know-it-alls, because not all of them are the best folks in the world. In fact, a good percentage of the top ten worst humans I’ve ever met are prominent members of the skeptics’ club. They’re dishonest, mean-spirited, narcissistic, misogynistic. Pick a personality flaw, and I can probably point you to someone who epitomizes it. And that person has probably had a speaking slot at a major skeptical conference.
I grew particularly disgusted with the boys’ club attitude I saw among skeptical leaders and luminaries. The kind of attitude that’s dismissive of women, sexually predatory, and downright gross. When I first started going to skeptical conferences as a fresh-faced know-it-all, I started hearing things about people I once admired. Then I started seeing things myself. Then I got a job with the JREF, and the pattern continued.

There’s a particular guy popular with the skeptical crowd who writes books, gives talks, and wears bicycle shorts. What’s not to love? Well, a female friend of mine told me she didn’t like it very much when he locked eyes with her from across a room and pointed to his dick. When I started working for the JREF, my boss described this same guy as an “old school misogynist”. Then a friend told me this same skeptical celebrity had groped another speaker at a conference. Grabbed her breast without invitation. Sexually assaulted her. Then my boss told me that not only did this assault happen, but that he witnessed it and intervened. The woman who was assaulted won’t name names for fear of being dragged through the mud. Another woman I know has told me that this same guy assaulted her. Others have confirmed her story to me. I believe her. But she’s remained anonymous for much the same reasons.

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of hearing about sexual predators like Mr. Bicycle Shorts, who has yet again been invited to speak at the JREF’s annual conference. I’m tired of hearing things like what I’ve heard from [redacted]. That my old boss grabbed his junk in a car and said he would be “presidentially displeased” if [redacted] didn’t give my old boss a kiss.

I’m tired of people like Richard Dawkins, whose lashing out at my friend Rebecca Watson for having the nerve to talk about what kind of male attention makes her uncomfortable has led to years of the most heinous abuse being flung at her and her colleagues. Heinous, woman-hating abuse from enthusiastic members of this broken little community of freethinkers.

Pardon my Yiddish, but oy, that shit’s fucked. And it’s also fucked that people are afraid to speak out about their stories for fear that it will become the focus of their careers or that their privacy will be destroyed or that they’ll be sued or that they’ll somehow damage organizations that do a lot of good work.
This makes me sick, and it makes me mad. So of course I’m going to help Karen speak up and fight back.
Here’s the situation in a nutshell: Karen used to work with another writer and investigator named Ben Radford at an organization called CFI. Karen says Radford continually harassed and abused her. She brought the situation to CFI, which found Radford guilty of some of Karen’s charges. Then they let him off with a slap on the wrist. Karen blogged about this. Radford sued her for defamation.

Based on the evidence I’ve seen, my own experience with Radford’s dishonest and creepy behavior, and the assurances from friends of mine who know more about this situation than I do, I’m willing to believe Karen. And more than that, I’m willing to put my money behind her efforts to fight back in court. Because she deserves the chance to make her case instead of having to fold under insurmountable financial pressure. Defending yourself in court isn’t cheap.
Also, I don’t like bullies or creeps. Especially the kinds of bullies and creeps who have been protected by their peers and allies in a community that places pseudo-celebrity and books about how lake monsters aren’t real above the well-being of women who are at least as vital to fighting the good fight. A fight, by the way, that’s about the righteousness of the truth.

So I’ve given to Karen’s fund. You can do the same here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/give-a-voice-to-harassment-victims/x/6875853

The post gets shared a few times, then Thompson removed it from his wall — I’m not sure if under legal threat, or simply because he was distracting from the issue by implicating DJ Grothe and Michael Shermer (without naming either) in other misdeeds. (This means I have to update my other harassment timeline, I guess.)

I’m playing catch-up presently. Updates will continue momentarily.

UPDATE 7:

One of Radford’s friends, Angie Mattke, puts up a Rockethub legal fund to help defray his legal offense costs on March 23rd. It gets no publicity — nobody’s spreading it around. Tenured antifeminist troll and general attack dog Mykeru is working hard on getting Dean Esmay, of A Voice For Men, to “do something”.

On April 2, Ben Radford himself makes public a website full of document dumps, pictures, and scans of printouts, at benrlegal.info. This is, by my count, his fourth “final public statement” on the matter. I’m in the process of downloading everything here in case it goes away when a lawyer decides that was a bullshit move. But there’s a lot here, and it provides a lot of context to the fight.

Whois data on the server shows that the domain was registered on January 20th 2014, and updated March 22nd 2014. I presume the update was to point it to the GoDaddy servers where the domain is now also hosted as well as being registered. He registered the domain well in advance of any other telegraphs of legal action, and started hosting services the same day as making the “retraction” public. My guess is he was using the website as a negotiating bargaining chip to get them to settle, to sign the “retraction”, or else the “bomb” would be dropped and all his evidence would be made public.

One good thing came of this — he saved me the trouble of getting the filing from the courthouse directly. Assuming his PDF is identical to the filed copy, of course.

One of the specific claims on the filed complaint with the court (PDF) is that Stollznow edited emails that were used to prove that he had inappropriate contact with Stollznow over the period claimed in the original CFI investigation. This claim differs from the original claims in Stollznow’s narrative in two important ways. It means Radford knows which specific emails were claimed to prove that he was harassing Stollznow, which resulted in a two-week suspension without pay, and that he believes Stollznow definitely edited them, whereas Stollznow says that she gave the investigators full access to her emails and was not privy to any of the results whatsoever. Radford had access to the results of the investigation at least as far as which specific emails “proved” he was contacting her inappropriately. Stollznow claims to not have had any access to it whatsoever. So Radford claims to know exactly which emails were used to damn him, that Stollznow selected specifically for that purpose, and how they were forged, whereas Stollznow just claims to have given investigators access to her email and to have been locked out of the process from then on.

Something I’ve learned personally in digging on this topic is that sometime around 2012, CFI moved from another email provider to Google Apps. I am asking around presently to find out if this coincides with the time presented on those “edited” emails. It seems entirely plausible to me that this migration was not going to include a full port of emails, and that Stollznow instead forwarded everything in her old mail to her new mailbox over a period of several days. This would certainly have the appearance of being “poorly edited”, as the emails in the validation report that Radford paid for only validate that the timestamps in the specific emails in question actually showed the original dates of 2010.

It could further prove incompetence on the part of the hired investigators if they mistook these emails’ timestamps. Radford’s investigators claim that the timestamps in Google are proprietary — but mail itself is not proprietary, headers are not proprietary. The only part of the headers that Google has a say in are the SMTP IDs, which pretty obviously contain a datestamp that could have been edited too if someone was actually mucking about with email headers. An example from my own:

by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id q45si4540386yhb.95.2014.04.02.20.46.24

This contains the following: a unique identifier (q45…yhb.95), and a timestamp (2014.04.02.20.46.24). That’s April 2, 2014, 8:46.24 PM in its local time. (It was actually received at 10:46pm CST.)

If someone was actually mucking with email headers to get the timestamps to look different, they’d have to ignore this patently obvious timestamp. It’s possible that’s actually what happened — that Stollznow edited these emails and missed the ESMTP ID, or that she did a particularly clumsy job of collating some emails and claiming the year stamps were different than what they actually were. But it’s also possible that the rest of the headers were not actually edited, because these emails weren’t actually edited, but were rather forwarded from Stollznow to herself during the migration and the investigators mistook the year of the email migration for the actual year of the email.

Without seeing the results of CFI’s investigation, I can’t make any claim to know what exactly they considered damning evidence of Radford — all we have is a scan of a printout or photocopy of some emails that he claims came from the investigation. We don’t actually have real proof that it was specifically from the investigation, or that Stollznow had any hand in the investigation results being what they were — we do, on the other hand, have claims by Stollznow that she was locked out of the process early on and was stonewalled thereafter. It’s extremely possible that he did, in fact, get punished for specific incidents that didn’t happen. But, that doesn’t mean that harassment didn’t happen in toto, at least in Stollznow’s eyes — only that the investigators who punished him were wrong about something. Hopefully the entirety of the CFI investigation will be entered into evidence so we can determine what exactly they claimed to have used as proof that Radford did indeed deserve the two weeks suspension.

A lot of what’s on this site is irrelevant character assassination, in an attempt to prove that she’s jealous, vindictive, and a proven liar. This includes an apparently sealed police document involving a domestic dispute between Baxter and Stollznow, which he apparently obtained, including three pictures — two of which are mugshots of Stollznow. Baxter and everyone commenting publicly on this have claimed that this was entirely unrelated and brought up solely to prove she’s violent and jealous. I’m not sure how Radford obtained these sealed records. I’m also not sure how it proves that he didn’t harass her — only that she is jealous and has been violent in the past.

He also published an email he claims to be from Baxter confiding in him about he and Stollznow’s rocky relationship, though there’s little proof that this email actually happened — as with most of the “emails” he’s publishing, he’s actually using Gmail print function then saving as PDF. It’s well possible to edit these after the fact, so it’s not actually proving much about the emails without any headers or the likes — as he himself should know, considering the headers on emails are what ostensibly exonerates him from the harassment. But we can still assume the email is legit, and it only proves that Baxter and Stollznow’s relationship was rocky, and that Baxter thought Radford was a friend enough to confide in him at one time.

There’s additionally one very particularly sleazy thing on here — a selfie Radford took of him topless (at least) in bed, with an apparently also topless Stollznow. Radford is grinning widely while Stollznow is shielding her face from the camera with her hand — she evidently didn’t want her picture taken. I’m not sure what he intended to prove with this, but the EXIF data on the image he uploaded conveniently leaves out the timestamp. (It leaves in such details as exposure time, camera model, etc., but “date taken” is all zeros.) It proves that, at one time, they were in a sexual relationship — something nobody’s ever actually disputed. It kind of seems like the “you consented once” argument, which, if that’s the way he’s going, is really distasteful and frankly damning of his character.

Making that argument worse is the claim by Bob Blaskiewicz at Pharyngula that there are pictures of “enthusiastic consent” that the courts might see.

There is the fact that the documents that he was disciplined for (the emails) at CFI, and which have been the basis for endless numbers of attacks on him seem to be forged. Badly. That’s why the lawsuit is not just for defamation but for fraud. It is basically unthinkable how those copy and paste jobs she presented will stand up in court, honestly. The judge is going to want to see her email accounts like Ben presented his and compare. That’s what will determine this.

My understanding that photos of her enthusiastically consenting at a time she says they were not involved are not included on the website. I suspect they will be seen in court, however.

Emphasis mine.

It’s not actually clear that these images will prove anything, since the one posted on the website presently doesn’t actually show a timestamp (TRIGGER WARNING: this is Radford’s semi-nude selfie with probably-Stollznow!!) despite showing all sorts of other information. Exif data in the timestamp field exists on the three photos from the police report, so we can tell definitively that neither his server nor WordPress (his content platform on this server) is (even inadvertently) stripping timestamps.

Never mind that this is effectively a claim that Radford took pictures of himself and Stollznow while having sex, evidently with Stollznow being less than willing to participate in the photography, and that he’s now holding that over her to threaten to show it to the courts. And that he may have shown the sex pics to Blaskiewicz (no good skeptic would make a claim like this publicly without seeing the evidence, yeah?). Even without any other context around this, that’s incredibly fucked up and probably illegal, since I’m sure that among his evidence he doesn’t also have a modelling release form allowing him to show these pictures publicly.

This case is almost entirely going to be tried on the basis of whose character is more believable, though, and as a result of all of this well-poisoning irrelevant info, it may well be that Stollznow would lose even if the alleged harassment and assault actually happened. That doesn’t mean I think Stollznow is a saint, though. A lot of people are doing a lot of polarizing in this fight, but I don’t think it’s entirely cut-and-dry. It’s entirely possible that Stollznow is, in fact, vindictive and jealous and mercurial, and that Radford may even have the evidence of such. But remember that even proven liars should be taken seriously enough to have their claims investigated properly. Being vindictive and jealous doesn’t preclude you from having someone harass the hell out of you — including what seems a lot like “revenge porn” pics and threatening to release them to the world. That qualifies as harassment on its own, to me.

UPDATE 8 – July 19, 2014, 12:15pm CST:
Things have been mercifully quiet for a long time, with no further inadvisable document dumps or public statements being made by either side. Radford has been making numerous subtle and not-so-subtle changes to his Ben R Legal website, which HJ Hornbeck documented in the comments below, but nothing particularly bombshell-like has come of it in my estimation.

However, there is news today that Radford’s “legal info” site, where he maintained an archive of his own allegations against Stollznow and his “evidence” of lack of wrongdoing on his behalf, has been turned off, and unconfirmed rumors are that it had been due to a cease and desist letter (I’d previously worded this stronger than I have direct evidence for, so I’ve amended the record here). If the C&D also required deleting all archives, apparently web.archive.org is still up. It would fall on Radford to submit the purge request as the owner of the domain in question.

In slightly less portentious news, apparently slimepitter Brive1987’s own attempt at a timeline, at Weebly has also vanished. It’s NOT on web.archive.org. No big loss, honestly — he was as bit a player as I am in this. Possibly this is also the result of a C&D; or maybe the slimepitter’s “historian extraordinaire” is sad about the fact that no FtBer has yet retracted their statements on the Stollznow/Radford case after Radford presented what he claimed to be a retraction by Stollznow but turned out to be something else entirely.

UPDATE 9 – June 2, 2015
While my entire blog has been rather dormant, in at best low-power mode for the better part of a year, some movement has been seen in this case — evidently it got dropped for lack of jurisdiction, re-filed elsewhere, then settled. I am told that I have an absolute obligation to resurrect this post to tell everyone what a lying liar Stollznow is (by some bloggers who count themselves as “friendly” and/or think themselves skeptical), and they’re right that I have an obligation to resurrect this place to update everyone and include this new information, they’re wrong as to its import. Stollznow signing a retraction means she signed a retraction — it doesn’t actually speak to the truth or falsity of the original claim, which we will frankly never know.

The statement itself is strange, though, in a number of respects. It’s worth posting and parsing.

A5Mr7Tp

Joint Statement

In 2013 Karen Stollznow accused Benjamin Radford of stalking, sexual harassment, and both physical and sexual assault. She made these accusations in a complaint to Ben Radford’s employer (the Center for Inquiry), in a guest blog written for the Scientific American Mind website, and to various individuals in private communications.

Karen and Ben were in an intimate, personal relationship that ended with acrimony and misunderstandings. But it would be wrong for anyone to believe that Ben Radford stalked, sexually harassed, or physically or sexually assaulted Karen Stollznow.

The issue has done damage to both Karen and Ben and to their careers. Through mutual discussion, all issues between them have now been resolved. Both Ben and Karen wish to move on with their lives and put this matter behind them.

They ask that their friends and colleagues let the matter drop. They ask that bloggers and others who have repeated these allegations against Radford or Stollznow remove them from their sites and not repeat them. Any blogs or other published references to these accusations only serve to perpetuate the harm to both parties.

___
Karen Stollznow Benjamin Radford

Why would anyone use the construction of “it would be wrong for anyone to believe” rather than “he did not”?

Karen Stollznow was ready to settle last year-ish. Then that settlement statement was morphed into an apology without her consent, and Radford jumped the gun in posting it far and wide. She was ready to move on from the outset, and was only catalyzed to fight after feeling like she didn’t owe Radford any sort of apology.

This started with Radford misrepresenting a statement, and we are now expected to look at this statement as meaning “Karen lied, Ben is innocent, sexual harassment never happened and Karen is a lying liar, we must all recant on our beliefs that the skeptical community is problematic as all hell.” It does not, however, mean that.

This statement was clearly negotiated. I don’t know how much, but it must have been, for Karen to sign it (assuming that K___ is her signature, and B Ridlt is his… but I’m no hyperskeptic, let’s assume the signatures are legit and the kerning is correct please). It means that the joint statement was a term for their out of court settlement, and the exact wording was negotiated, and its signature was Radford’s price for making the whole thing go away, but that’s about all it means.

It is also odd in its timing, because it apparently came out on the exact same day that Karen was scheduled to have her labor induced and/or C-section done. It implies to me that she just wanted to get this over with so she could move on. And more power to her for that.

This does not, however, speak to the truth or falsity of the original claim, any more than if Simon Singh were forced to settle out of court on the libel case would it mean that homeopathy is suddenly validated by the courts.

We’re never going to know what actually happened here, but this entire timeline provides a pretty good, in my estimation, idea of what sort of person Radford has been with posting what amounts to revenge porn to prove they were in a relationship once (which was never in question). It may even provide a pretty good idea that Stollznow is mercurial and jealous, if there’s any truth to Radford’s “defense” (which likewise doesn’t speak to the truth or falsity of her claims). But it says absolutely nothing about the original claims, only that we’d be “wrong to believe” them. The IMPLICATION is that we’d be wrong to believe them because they aren’t true, but it’s never said here.

But the term “misunderstanding” in the context of a sexual relationship does not speak well to the nature of what was hashed out between them. I do hope that in the future Radford does not end up in any other such “misunderstandings” because they end up becoming giant legal time-and-moneysinks in even the best of scenarios.

{advertisement}
Radford / Stollznow defamation case: What we know and what we can infer or extrapolate reasonably
{advertisement}
The Orbit is still fighting a SLAPP suit! Help defend freedom of speech, click here to find out more and donate!

492 thoughts on “Radford / Stollznow defamation case: What we know and what we can infer or extrapolate reasonably

  1. 401

    Another week, another part of Radford’s website. This time, I’m looking at the page on his relationship with Stollznow. He starts off quite well, directly quoting Stollznow’s article, and then presents a series of bullet points refuting specific claims:

    1) Karen and I never worked together in the same office or the same building. In fact since we have lived in different states throughout our entire acquaintance, we never worked together at all in any capacity.

    …. except, if you read the portion he quotes, Stollznow says nothing about working together. So what is Radford trying to say here? Is he implying that harassment can only happen in person? That doesn’t help him much, as Stollznow is making accusations of in-person harassment as well. The only way this makes sense is if we impose our own interpretation of the situation, which if anything creates ambiguity and misinterpretation instead of dispelling it.

    It doesn’t help that Radford follows-up with an about-face:

    We never collaborated on any books, articles, investigations, or other projects, though I did invite Karen to submit a section for my 2010 book Scientific Paranormal Investigation, which she (along with a dozen others) did. We only “worked together” in the sense that we both appeared, from different locations via Skype, on the MonsterTalk podcast.

    Ah, so excluding her collaboration on one of Radford’s books, and excluding the podcast they did together for several years, they never once collaborated. Radford is so incompetent, he can’t even argue against his own strawpeople! It’s no wonder this argument doesn’t show up in his legal complaint.

    2) Karen states that she ended our dating relationship in 2009 because of unspecified “red flags” that caused her to “call it all off,” which was an “ego shattering” rejection to me.

    Actually, she “made repeated requests for his personal communication to cease” starting late that year, as Radford himself quotes. That’s not quite the same thing, but it could be depending what Stollznow wrote in those “leave me alone” emails.

    Radford hasn’t posted them, for some reason, and they’re never referred to in Radford’s complaint. That means he’s either misrepresented Stollznow, yet again, or didn’t cite evidence that was important for his case. Radford’s under no obligation to reveal all or even most of his evidence, admittedly, but he must make it plausible he has that evidence. Forcing us to guess the contents of emails that may not even exist doesn’t meet that bar.

    In fact Karen’s e-mails to me about our relationship paint a very different picture:

    At which point, Radford launches into three quotes from as many email exchanges, which cover the timespan of January 11th, 2009 to March 2nd, 2010. Radford is very careful about what he quotes; I’ll bold the bits he does share of the email from January 13th, 2010, and add in some missing context:

    Stollznow, in a previous email: For me, things were over between us in any relationship sense by this time last year, when I emailed you before leaving for Aus. Admittedly, I did tinker with the idea of having casual flings with you last year, but I soon became turned off the more I learnt about you, your unorthodox relationships, and peculiar perceptions of these. You’re either very dishonest about your situation, or you have entirely idiosyncratic and unhealthy notions of relationships, sex, flirting and love. […]
    Perhaps it would be positive to leave all of this acrimony behind and rebuild a friendship. But you need to know that I’m in a serious relationship that’s moving forward steadily, and that I am immovable in that I don’t want to resume any kind of relationship with you, ever again.

    I also realise that you penned this letter around the time that one of your girlfriends was visiting… […]

    Stollznow: You have no right to feel slighted, given your own behaviour. You told me outright that you weren’t interested in anything more than a fling, a holiday. You have difficulty in making decisions in life. I don’t, for t he things that matter.

    Don’t play the victim in this.

    If you want friendship, that’s fine, but I think we’re both still feeling ill about this.

    The full context undermines Radford’s narrative in several different ways. He claims those red flags were unspecified, yet right there we have Stollznow mentioning “unorthodox” and “idiosyncratic and unhealthy notions of relationships,” combined with his “perculiar perceptions.” He paints Stollznow as vengeful, yet even though she’s clearly quite hurt by Radford’s actions, she’s offered the olive branch of friendship twice. Ego-shattering? It’s tough to read emotions from the written word, but I’m fairly confident Radford isn’t taking it well in that email sandwiched between both of Stollznow’s.

    And hang on here. If you read the full thread, she’s responding to his point that he wanted commitment from her by claiming he once didn’t. So in January 2010, Radford was the one looking for commitment, and yet on the website he says otherwise:

    Thus it is clear from Karen’s own words that the difficulties between us stemmed not from any abuse, harassment, or obsessive stalking but instead from the fact that I was unwilling to enter into in a committed, long-distance monogamous relationship with her and she felt that I did not reciprocate her feelings.

    Also, Radford has misrepresented Stollznow yet again; her narrative says the stalking started after she broke up with Radford, not before as he claims. The 2009 date may be a non-linear reference, to help confuse the timeline and protect the identity of Radford. That isn’t the action of someone seeking vengeance or demonstrating constitutional malice.

    3) Karen and I were in fact involved in a years-long sexual relationship from 2008 through late 2010, long after Karen now claims she demanded I cease contact with her.

    April 2010 is “late?” Both Radford and Stollznow agree no nookie happened during their July 2010 meeting, and no other date has been mentioned by either party.

    This is false, and easily refuted by mountains of documentary evidence in the form of e-mails. If Karen felt she had been subjected to harassing “incessant communication of a sexual nature, including gifts, calls, emails, letters [and] postcards,” she could have simply blocked my e-mails, refused postal delivery of anything addressed to her from me, and so on. Yet none of this was done;

    Dear lord, did Radford just flip the burden of action? The harasser is not obligated to stop harassing unless they’ve been given clear and concise instructions not to harass? Does he also think a woman has to fight back for it to be considered a legitimate rape? Both stem from the same assumptions of responsibility, after all.

    in fact not only was there very little communication “of a sexual nature” from me, but Karen reciprocated our correspondence with over 1,000 e-mails to me through 2012, as well as personal gifts and cards to me (including of a sexual nature).

    I’ll consider the gift claims soon enough, but in the meantime it’s worth pointing out that Radford is contradicting his own legal claim, which states there was big decrease in emails over that timespan and that became increasingly less personal (see 32).

    4) Because Karen was unable to provide evidence of my supposed deluge of harassing e-mails and communications (since they did not occur as she claimed), she resorted to faking evidence to falsely incriminate me.

    This has nothing to do with their relationship. Radford has a disturbing tendency to wander off-point towards a small pool of heavily-used talking points. It suggests an obsessive mind, to me.

    In fact, both Karen and I occasionally dated other people in 2009 and 2010, thus there was no reason for any jealousy or obsession (on either of our parts);

    That was precisely the point Stollznow made to Radford in the January 2010 email thread, because he appeared to be jealous about her relationship with someone else. Yet another contradiction from Radford, with another to come:

    because Karen was often incommunicative

    Two paragraphs ago, Radford suggested they were frequently in contact between 2010 and 2012; now, he’s saying she was rarely in contact.

    Karen was often vague about her exact dating situation with Baxter to me

    As far as I’m aware, every single time the topic of Baxter has come up via email, Stollznow has made it clear she loves him and wants to commit with him.

    Further casting doubt on her “monogamous” relationship with Baxter, in October 2010 Karen called me and during the conversation told me that she had sexual relations with at least one other person earlier in 2010, and that she shared this information with a mutual friend, Jeff Wagg. I have confirmed with him that this is true.

    And yet this information wasn’t included in the complaint, no evidence is presented here, and it relies on verbal testimony. Also, where did Stollznow claim she was being exclusive with Radford? This seems completely irrelevant to the lawsuit, other than adding evidence for an obsessive, vindictive element in Radford’s personality.

    I wonder if Jeff Wagg is aware of this passage, too, as it might suck him into this lawsuit.

    On September 10, 2010 (a year after Karen now claims she cut off contact with me because of my harassment, and a few months after Karen now claims I sexually assaulted her),

    She never claimed the former in her blog post, as Radford helpfully quoted for us, and as for the latter her blog post gave no details about when the assault occurred. The complaint brings up this line (26o) and later fingers that CFI report as the source of her allegation (40). Yet again Radford’s webpage neglects to mention the CFI report.

    With this correspondence [of September 18th, 2010], I assumed that our sexual relationship had come to a mutually agreed end, and I made no further romantic or sexual overtures toward Karen from that point on.

    It certainly was mutual, in the sense that Radford now agrees that “sex with each other just isn’t a good idea anymore,” but this is also the email thread where Stollznow tells him to “get over all of this” after Radford makes another offer for sex, and nine months after Stollznow said “things were over between us in any relationship sense by this time last year.”

    Radford, in other words, had to be dragged kicking and screaming to this point after a number of signals spanning about a year that Stollznow wasn’t interested. This is again consistent with Stollznow’s account.

    it was Karen, not me, who made several attempts to continue our sexual affair through late 2010.

    That is a minor oddity, I’ll grant Radford that; in that September 18th, 2010 thread, Stollznow follows up “sex with each other just isn’t a good idea anymore” with “however, if you’re ever willing to have an affair…” half an hour later.

    Present-day Radford takes this as evidence she still wants to sleep with him, but there’s an alternate interpretation. Note that past-Radford repeats back Stollznow’s “get over all of this” bit, immediately after she drops the “affair” line. Why would he do that? Perhaps Stollznow’s line was itself a mocking reference to an earlier statement made by Radford, asking her if she was interested in having an affair. Past-Radford would have turned the tables by tossing the same style of mockery back in her face; present-Radford could have omitted the earlier reference and make it look like Stollznow is interested in an affair, when the opposite was true.

    This would require a deliberate lie of omission on Radford’s part, which Stollznow may be able to exploit in court.

    A brief examination of the relationship between Karen and Baxter sheds additional light on the veracity of her claims regarding me and the “inappropriateness” of any communications from me at that time.

    No, it doesn’t, not when Radford has to rely on this assertion:

    contrary to Karen’s statements, she and Baxter were not in a continuous, monogamous relationship in 2010

    Stollznow’s blog post has exactly this to say about Baxter:

    His desperation only increased when I met another man. He continued his harassment as though my boyfriend (who is now my husband) didn’t even exist.

    The closest the complaint comes is this passage:

    During that encounter [on April 2010 at the hotel] Stollznow explicitly told Radford that she wished to continue their casual sex encounters despite her impending marriage to her now-husband Matthew Baxter. (14)

    Radford appears to have invented this assertion whole-cloth. The only good reason I can find for that is that it offers an excuse for bringing up police reports in an attempt to embarrass Stollznow. I’ll skip over most of this useless section, though two parts are worth mentioning:

    In that early 2011 report, Baxter told police officer Brooks that he and Karen had been involved in “a very rocky relationship for about a year. Matthew explained he and Karen have broken up several times within the last year,” during which time he dated another woman.

    The police report goes on to say that Karen, when reminded of this incident, became enraged and started a violent argument during which Baxter smashed the living room table with a stool and broke Karen’s laptop.

    So Stollznow became so enraged that… Baxter began smashing things? Uh, that’s not fitting your “crazy ex girlfriend” narrative, Radford. If you read the police report, in fact, you find Stollznow explaining that she became angry because she found evidence that Baxter may have been sleeping around:

    Karen stated that today was an anniversary of Matthew seeing another woman. Karen looked jnto Matthew’s computer files and found that he had been conversing with this other woman. Karen stated Matthew was out all day and they both tried calling each other throughout the day but did not really speak. Karen advised she was upset with Matthew because of his conversations with this woman and the fact that it was the anniversary of the day they went out. Karen stated when Matthew finally returned home, they did not talk. Karen advised Matthew got some things and was going to leave and she asked him to stay because she wanted to talk about their relationship. Karen stated they talked and the argument got heated in reference to their relationship.

    Interestingly, Baxter leaves out that detail on his side of the report, the side Radford decided to base his account on. This fits in with an earlier hypothesis of mine: the friction between Stollznow and Baxter was in part due to the latter acting like Radford at times, and here we find Baxter might be hiding little details and shading the truth.

    There’s also this gem:

    According to Baxter’s account contained in the police report, they had merely been casually dating during that time—and in fact both Karen and Baxter had dated other people throughout 2010.

    Emphasis his, and to prove it he quotes from the report:

    “Baxter corroborated that Karen was upset because he had been seeing other women; however, he maintained that over the past year Stollznow had broken up with him repeatedly and he understood that he had been free to see other women. In spite of this, Karen always got upset with him whenever she learned he had been with another woman” (p.6).

    Hang on here, that passage only indicates Baxter was sleeping around, it says nothing about Stollznow. How could Radford have missed something like that, in two passages that share the same paragraph?

    This fact also discredits Karen’s accusation that any romantic or sexual communication from me through 2010 (what little of it there was) was in any way “inappropriate.”

    So far, almost everything Radford has shown has been romantic, as in discussing Stollznow’s romance with Baxter, or sexual. And how much is a “little,” in the face of 1,000 emails over three years, and what’s the minimum number required to constitute harassment?

    I understand that Karen has claimed that these and other e-mails were faked by me; in fact the e-mails have been independently authenticated by a forensic computer firm.

    And as I pointed out earlier, “authenticated” means “we took signed screen shots,” not “we checked the dates.” And holy shit, I missed an interesting detail in that email report! Here are the emails that Radford’s lawyer asked to have analyzed on page 3 and 4 of the report:

    A) Subject line: just wondering
    Date: July 26, 2010

    B) Subject line: a shame
    Date: September 17, 2010

    C) Subject line: Hi Karen
    Date: April 18, 2010

    D) Subject line: Good morning
    Date: July 18, 2010

    E) Subject line: Stollznow clan
    Date: March 1, 2010

    F) Subject line: SF
    Date: April 11, 2010

    G) Subject line: Bay Area visit
    Date March 31, 2010

    H) Subject line: FYI
    Date: January 10, 2011

    But here’s the emails that we see later on, in the screenshots:

    A) Subject line: just wondering
    Date: July 26, 2010

    B) Subject line: a shame
    Date: September 17, 2010

    C) Subject line: Hi Karen
    Date: May 4, 2010

    D) Subject line: Good morning
    Date: July 18, 2010

    E) Subject line: Stollznow clan
    Date: March 1, 2010

    F) Subject line: SF
    Date: April 11, 2010

    G) Subject line: Bay Area visit
    Date March 31, 2010

    H) Subject line: FYI
    Date: January 10, 2011

    This was probably an honest mistake, as the April 18th email thread exists and has the same title, and while Radford did post an email from May 4th, it definitely isn’t the one in the report. But now we have Radford sending two email threads with exactly the same subject line, within the span of a month, and generating new threads by hitting “Compose” instead of “Reply,” even when they might be replies to earlier emails.

    It hints at a spammy, confusing approach to emails, and means it would be easy for Radford to lie via omission.

    Not only do multiple e-mails between Karen and myself conclusively prove that she lied about our relationship and my abuse, but there also exists independent corroboration of my claims of our rendezvous in the form of several photographs taken at the Club Quarters hotel on April 16/17.

    Ugh, finally we reach the end of this page. Here’s a quick break-down of how Radford spent his 3,454 words here:

    Sex on April 16th, 2010: 926 words.
    Bullet point 4, nowhere near a point: 796 words.
    Those two police reports: 651 words.
    Bullet point 2, those “red flags”: 316 words.
    Bullet point 3, emails and gifts: 182 words.
    Bullet point 1, “collaboration:” 92 words.

    I’m honestly shocked at how little time he spends refuting Stollznow’s points. These numbers add even more evidence to the notion that he’s out to punish and shame Stollznow, rather then defend himself.

  2. 402

    Wow, that went through moderation?! Huh. Apologies for the 3,000+ word screed, everyone, but they’re tough to avoid when you’re fisking a 3,000+ word screed. 😛

    Hopefully I can figure out a better approach when I get to his timeline page, which is 6,808 words long. [whimper]

    Dave W @393:

    It’s the title of someone’s reposting of PZ Myers’ Poppy post. The original no longer exists, it seems.

    Thanks! Geez, Radford and his lawyer are bad at citing things. And that link make for very poor defamation material, I see…

  3. 403

    Oh, I see now. The legal complaint says this:

    On August 7, 2013, blogger P.Z. Myers published Stollznow’s claims in Poppy’s blog, and in which Stollznow’s falsehoods were repeated and Radford was named. Eventually, the malicious falsehoods about Radford became supposed evidence of “sexism, misogyny and disrespect to women by atheists and ‘skeptics.’”

    Radford’s timeline says this:

    August 7, 2013: PZ Myers reposts and publishes Stollznow’s claims in a blog titled “Carrie Poppy Tells All.” (Stollznow’s claims via Poppy are also reposted on a dozen or more other blogs and web sites over the next few weeks, including “Subversive Thinking” in an August 28 blog titled “Carrie Poppy on misogyny and disrespect for women at James Randi Educational Foundation. More evidence of sexism, misogyny, and disrespect to women by atheists and ‘skeptics’”)

    Yeah, nevermind that Carrie Poppy wrote specifically about “…D.J.’s misogyny and disrespect for women…” That post must have been entirely about Radford. [/sarcasm]

    Talk about a reckless disregard for the truth! I don’t expect Radford’s lawyer to be a “skeptic” in the sense we use the term, but Radford must have agreed to this baloney. This is another own-goal on his reputation in the field, as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Ann
    404

    That is a minor oddity, I’ll grant Radford that; in that September 18th, 2010 thread, Stollznow follows up “sex with each other just isn’t a good idea anymore” with “however, if you’re ever willing to have an affair…” half an hour later.

    I hypothesize that the explanation for that is simply that his assertion that he was in a relationship having relieved her of the need to be the nay-sayer/heavy, she believed herself to be free to make the offer out of affectionate consideration to his ego, without fear of his accepting it.

    That it was a compliment for auld lang syne, basically.

  5. 405

    Dave W @396:

    This is another own-goal on his reputation in the field, as far as I’m concerned.

    That’s struck me, too. Never mind the harassment and sexual assault, Radford’s website is a poor investigation nearly from start to finish. If this is representative of his quality elsewhere, I’m glad I never wasted my time on his crypto-zoology work.

    The legal complaint says this: […] Radford’s timeline says this:

    I was thinking of doing a textual analysis of the two; by comparing and contrasting both, I might be able to infer if they drew from a shared third document, when some items were added, when Radford learned of certain details, and so on. For instance, I’m thinking the passage you quote is weak evidence that Radford played a strong part in drafting the legal document; I can’t see a lawyer forgetting to cite something, when they know of the source, but a non-lawyer like Radford could easily do so.

    It’s a helluva lot of work, though. 😛

    Ann @397:

    That it was a compliment for auld lang syne, basically.

    I’m not convinced of that hypothesis. Between my next massive comment (coming next) and a quick skim of Radford’s timeline emails, I can signpost a few important times:

    January 2010: In a long rant, Stollznow declares there’s no intimate relationship between the two, hasn’t been for a year, though she offers the branch of friendship.

    February to July 2010: Stollznow is apologetic, promising “to be kinder to [Radford].” She writes in short sentences, gives profuse thanks, and seems to be perpetually busy. There’s no explicit mention of sleeping together or an affair.

    July 2010: The TAM hotel incident. Stollznow’s only response is a terse mirror of what Radford sent her.

    July to September 2010: Near-silence, most probably, as Radford quotes no emails and says nothing about this period.

    September 2010: The first police report is filed, then sealed. Three weeks later, Radford learns of the incident (via Stollznow in a private phone conversation, according to him). After that point, Stollznow now wishes to meet with Radford, who refuses at least one invitation.

    As of September, I don’t think Stollznow was worried about Radford’s ego. In January of that year she knew he’d been with multiple women, presumably without her knowledge or consent; she knew that dating another woman was no barrier to Radford accepting an offer of sex, and thus had a reason to avoid such an offer to Radford.

    Looking over that pattern, it seems less like Stollznow was worried about Radford’s ego, and more like she was starting to fight back after he threatened to blackmail her.

  6. 406

    I see the TAM allegations page is pretty short, and I haven’t explicitly covered it yet.

    One of the most serious allegations that Karen made against me is that I sexually assaulted her in her Las Vegas hotel room on the last day of the TAM (The Amazing Meeting, hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation or JREF) meeting on July 11, 2010.

    This is old territory, but it’s worth pointing out Radford never says where Stollznow claimed this on his website. He does explicitly link it to the CFI report in the legal complaint, but gives a different account there:

    Stollznow also apparently falsely stated to the investigator that she and Radford had not been in a sexual relationship when he came to her hotel room in Las Vegas in July of 2010, where he suggested sex, and that, accordingly, his request was harassing rather than an inconsequential exchange between two people who had had recent sexual liaisons and were together in a hotel room again. (40)

    Note the complaint never mentions sexual assault happening at that time. As mentioned before, it also refuses to quote from the report, and as Ann pointed out up-thread it’s likely Stollznow doesn’t have a copy of this report. We are 100% reliant on Radford, here.

    And now that I think of it, this undercuts two of Radford’s three claims in the complaint. There was no communication of this report to anyone beyond CFI and (presumably) Radford, which dramatically limits the damages he could claim from her for defamation. Nor did the report substantially interfere with Radford’s relationship to CFI; he’s still on contract and listed as a “fellow,” as far as I know, so at best he could extract two week’s wages for non-punitive damages. Millions of dollars is a ridiculous pipe dream.

    Not a single e-mail exists in which Karen accuses me of anything she described in her Scientific American blog: there is not a single complaint in the record of her referencing any stalking, obsessive behavior, or any sexual harassment or assault.

    So because she never explicitly told Radford that he sexually assaulted her, he couldn’t have sexually assaulted her? That’s bizarre logic. Radford could have easily added evidence to this by quoting the emails where she requests him to lay off, yet doesn’t. Nor for that matter does he deny those emails exist, contra Stollznow, he instead reaches for the number of emails sent and logic like the above. It’s a bit suspicious.

    My version of the context of the TAM hotel room encounter is supported by three sources of solid documentation (Karen’s e-mails, my e-mails, and photographs taken at the hotel).

    But didn’t Radford just say this?

    What happened between the two of us is a matter of dispute, and there exists no independent confirmation of either of our accounts.

    So if Radford’s side has solid documentation, why is there a dispute? Note too that Radford hasn’t released any images from the July 2010 meeting. Not that it matters much anyway, as Stollznow isn’t disputing they met that July, and the best evidence Radford can come up with is this:

    Additional support for my version of events can be found in words written by Karen herself in a July 18, 2010 e-mail to me one week after the end of TAM (and thus one week after she now claims I assaulted her).

    It’s noteworthy that Radford only quotes what she said, and not the email he sent to her which triggered the response:

    Radford:Hello Beautiful. Hope you have a productive Sunday. Try to get some relaxing time in.

    Stollznow: Good morning to you too beautiful! My day will be spent writing about TAM and recording a podcast episode! I’ll try to get in some relaxation too. Have a wonderful day!

    So Stollznow was just mirorring back Radford’s earlier email. This isn’t the action of someone looking to engage, it’s more like someone trying to do a bare minimum of interaction to placate the other side.

    This is hardly an expected response from a victimized woman to a “predator” who had abused and stalked her for years and sexually harassed and assaulted her only a week earlier.

    That’s sort of true, provided the “predator” had no financial leverage over their “prey,” if you will; otherwise, their target would probably try hard to engage as little as possible, but without looking like that was the case and being careful not to create offense. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s precisely what Stollznow has claimed:

    He began manipulating the boundaries by contacting me on the pretext of it being work-related. Then came the quid pro quo harassment. He would find opportunities for me within the company and recommend me to television producers, but only if I was nicer to him. One day the company offered me an honorary position that I’d worked hard for, but he warned me that he had the power to thwart that offer.

    So Radford is again misrepresenting Stollznow’s claims, arguing against one she never made but that he can more easily defeat.

    Karen’s response makes perfect sense, however, in light of the fact that she had initiated sexual relations with me in a San Francisco hotel only a few months earlier (see the “Relationships with Stollznow” section), that no abuse or harassment had taken place, and that the two of us were on good terms.

    Except that it doesn’t. Has Radford forgotten about these emails from Stollzow?

    January 13th, 2010: I move between thinking ‘let’s just bury the hatchet’, and feeling pissed off that your perception of everything is so skewered and blinkered.

    I’ll be frank. For me, things were over between us in any relationship sense by this time last year, when I emailed you before leaving for Aus. Admittedly, I did tinker with the idea of having casual flings with you last year, but I soon became turned off the more I learnt about you, your unorthodox relationships, and peculiar perceptions of these. You’re either very dishonest about your situation, or you have entirely idiosyncratic and unhealthy notions of relationships, sex, flirting and love. […]

    Perhaps it would be positive to leave all of this acrimony behind and rebuild a friendship. But you need to know that I’m in a serious relationship that’s moving forward steadily, and that I am immovable in that I don’t want to resume any kind of relationship with you, ever again.

    February 3rd, 2010: Thanks for talking with me tonight, and thanks for being kind to me. I promise to be kinder to you.

    March 2nd, 2010: I’d genuinely intended to mention that and thank you, but I have honestly been very busy with work and these family matters. I do appreciate your email, but I’m still reading an underlying resentment from you. I think that’s a bit shitty considering my circumstances. I’d meant to email you tonight anyway to thank you for the dvd. Of course, I’ll return it as soon as I’ve watched it.

    As for what’s going on in my head, I think I was pretty upfront about that until the point where I realised my feelings weren’t reciprocated. I’m not sure why we’re going over this old territory yet again…

    April 18th, 2010: Thank you most of all for being a good friend to me, and for your sage advice and sensitivity regarding my situation, career, and our past. I’m glad we sorted out our differences, and I promise I won’t be a stranger from now on as we all move forward.

    Within three weeks of being outraged and claiming she’ll never have any sort of relationship with Radford again, she’s suddenly apologizing and in further emails plays the friend card heavily (nor am I alone in thinking this, see Ann @356). That’s not consistent with a continued sexual relationship, but it is consistent with Radford responding to Stollznow’s email with a threat to ruin her career, and Stollznow quickly backtracking to the least amount she’s willing to sacrifice: a long-distance friendship.

    This claim of a sexual relationship is also asserted in Radford’s complaint (see 26 and 40). So by posting these emails, when he was under no obligation to do so, Radford has voluntarily undermined his own legal case.

    Not only that, but a few weeks later—less than three months after Karen now claims I sexually assaulted her, she sent me birthday card, with a note ending, “Lots of love, Karen, xxx/ooo [hugs and kisses].” She included a birthday gift for me—a book on pornography.

    Stollznow said Radford had a bizarre view of sexuality, and here wind find Radford providing some evidence for that. Who asks for a book on pornography for their birthday?

    I understand that Karen also claims that at a TAM 2012 conference panel, I rubbed her leg in a sexually suggestive manner and passed her notes of a romantic or sexual nature while we were onstage together. It is apparently this incident that Karen has characterized as “sexual harassment” (see her July 20 letter to the JREF board, written by Carrie Poppy.)

    Poppy wrote Stollznow’s letter to the JREF board? But let’s forgive that mistake, and have a look at that specific email.

    In February of this year I [Stollznow] drew D.J.’s attention to a very serious matter. At TAM 2010 I was sexually assaulted and harassed by another speaker by the name of Benjamin Radford. I was also sexually harassed by him at TAM 2012. I had attempted to handle this both privately and professionally so as to not embarass the organizations involved. When Mr. Radford’s behavior continued I was then forced to file a formal complaint with his employer (CFI/CSI) to resolve the issue. An investigation was performed and he has since been found guilty. (I can supply evidence to attest to this decision.) D.J. put me in communication with Eliott Canter who has continued to be my JREF contact for this matter. My complaint is that D.J. is well aware of this situation and its severity, yet he continues to demonstrate public support for Mr. Radford on social media. Furthermore, he proudly and publicly advertised taking Mr. Radford out to the “Magic Castle” last night during his visit to L.A.

    My request to the Board is that the JREF fulfill the obligation of its anti-sexual harassment policy by making a firm commitment to not invite this predator to any future JREF function. I also ask that D.J. cease his public displays of support for Mr. Radford which act as an endorsement for this man who is currently being disciplined by his employer for his actions.

    As mentioned before, there’s no specific details given about the incident, which means that Radford is effectively pulling that leg rubbing claim straight out of his ass. But also note Stollznow’s narrative here: she went out of her way to deal with this privately, and only went to CFI when those efforts failed, and only went to the JREF board when Stollznow had that CFI finding in hand and Groethe had openly sided with Radford, after apparently no investigation.

    That’s entirely reasonable and demonstrates due diligence on her part, which means his constitutional malice charge is without merit on that point. Combine this with my earlier analysis of Stollznows “history” of false accusations, and there are very few plausible lines of evidence remaining to justify that kind of malice. I can only think of the email “fraud,” but we don’t have sufficient evidence to say there was fraud, and in the meantime we do have a forensics report that shows Radford and his lawyer were either incompetent or didn’t care about dating those emails when they had the means, motive, and opportunity to do so.

    It is also important to note that Karen never complained about my harassment or behavior, either to me or to anyone else, at the time she claims these events occurred but only mentioned them years later.

    Was she required to? I see that the statute of limitations for sexual assault in Nevada is four years for a new complaint, or infinite “if [a] written report [is] made before statute of limitations expires ” As Stollznow filed a complaint with CFI on February 2013, less than three years after the events took place, the law might place no restriction on how long she can wait before filing a sexual assault case against Radford.

    I’m not a lawyer, though. Stollznow should consult hers about this.

  7. 407

    I had a long reply written up for the recent comments, but then managed to delete my draft… I am a bit busy with work right now but hopefully will be able to come back during the week and post a reply. I hope I can remember all my thoughts til then…

  8. 408

    Hj Hornbeck @398:

    …I can’t see a lawyer forgetting to cite something, when they know of the source…

    Being a lawyer is no guarantee of being a competent lawyer. Just go search Brayton’s blog for “Larry Klayman” or “Orly Taitz.”

  9. Ann
    409

    As of September, I don’t think Stollznow was worried about Radford’s ego. In January of that year she knew he’d been with multiple women, presumably without her knowledge or consent; she knew that dating another woman was no barrier to Radford accepting an offer of sex, and thus had a reason to avoid such an offer to Radford.

    I don’t think she expected him to receive it as a serious offer. It doesn’t read like one, in light of her having only just said — in a way that suggests to me that she’s not saying it for the first time — that their having sex just isn’t a good idea.

    And I do think she had a reason to worry about his ego — or actually two reasons:

    (1) She has a heart. They were once close — indeed, a mere five months earlier she’d remarked on it. And he’s purporting to be very hurt.

    You know, for some people — including me — it’s much more difficult and painful to be the dumper than the dumpee, in such a circumstance. Having to do all that cruel-to-be-kind stuff with someone of whom you’re fond just goes against the grain. Maybe she was relieved to have a chance to be ordinarily flirtatious, as one is with exes with whom one’s on friendly terms.

    (2) It was his wounded ego that was causing him to give her so much aggravation, as she saw it. (Per the blog post.) Assuaging same to the greatest extent possible short of risk or falsehood would therefore be a first line of defense.

    I mean, it’s not like she could see the future. From her perspective, he was a friend/colleague/ex who was acting up due to injured ego. Addressing the problem at the root would have seemed like both the most considerate and the most effective thing to do.

  10. Ann
    410

    Her to him, January 2010

    I’ll be frank. For me, things were over between us in any relationship sense by this time last year, when I emailed you before leaving for Aus. Admittedly, I did tinker with the idea of having casual flings with you last year, but I soon became turned off the more I learnt about you, your unorthodox relationships, and peculiar perceptions of these. You’re either very dishonest about your situation, or you have entirely idiosyncratic and unhealthy notions of relationships, sex, flirting and love. […]

    Perhaps it would be positive to leave all of this acrimony behind and rebuild a friendship. But you need to know that I’m in a serious relationship that’s moving forward steadily, and that I am immovable in that I don’t want to resume any kind of relationship with you, ever again.

    Him to her, November 2010, per his dating:

    You still love me. I can hear it in your voice.

    Because, you know. She thanked him for gifts. How was he to know that his advances were unwelcome?

  11. 411

    Flip the second @400:

    I am a bit busy with work right now but hopefully will be able to come back during the week and post a reply. I hope I can remember all my thoughts til then…

    I’m in the same camp, more or less, though I’m helped by my focus on fisking Radford’s site. You could try what I’ve done, fire up a word processing document to keep track of your notes (though be careful, as they tend to muck up quote characters).

    Dave W @401:

    Being a lawyer is no guarantee of being a competent lawyer. Just go search Brayton’s blog for “Larry Klayman” or “Orly Taitz.”

    True that. I suppose I should take the incompetence hypothesis more seriously, though there’s another possibility: Radford is taking an unusually active role in drafting his legal papers. With two authors, you’d get something much more confused, and as Radford is not a lawyer he’d wind up shooting himself in the foot. It’s plausible.

    I should track down some resources on textual analysis…

  12. 412

    I’m in the process of typing up something longer, but while doing that I spotted an interesting bit of digital archeology.

    Have a look at Radford’s gifts and correspondence page. Notice that the filename of each linked PDF reflects their location: point 6 links to “6-Dec-13-2011.pdf”, 7 to “7-Dec-22-2011.pdf”, and so on. Most of the PDFs were uploaded on exactly February 17th at 5:20 PM, with three exceptions. The page publish date is listed as February 17th at 5:41 PM, which fits.

    But also sitting on Radford’s website is “5-Joe-Anderson-Shame-on-you-Ben2.pdf”, which dates from 5:26 PM the same day, as well as “5-Oct-2-20101.pdf”, which dates from 6:43 PM that day. It’s likely that Radford originally referenced Anderson’s blog in that bullet point, but yanked it out within an hour and a half. He did the file naming on his local computer, not the website, because the exact same file is reused later on, item number still intact.

    In fact, it’s re-used twice. Earlier on, I’d pointed out Radford had been so incompetent that he’d uploaded multiple versions of the same file rather than linking to a single copy; at some point, however, he must have learned how to link. I’m pretty confident I can date that revelation to April 1st, as that’s when the last unedited duplicate was uploaded.

  13. 413

    Ann @402:

    You know, for some people — including me — it’s much more difficult and painful to be the dumper than the dumpee, in such a circumstance. Having to do all that cruel-to-be-kind stuff with someone of whom you’re fond just goes against the grain. Maybe she was relieved to have a chance to be ordinarily flirtatious, as one is with exes with whom one’s on friendly terms.

    I can certainly see that, and it would explain her continued attempts at establishing a friendship.

    It was his wounded ego that was causing him to give her so much aggravation, as she saw it. (Per the blog post.) Assuaging same to the greatest extent possible short of risk or falsehood would therefore be a first line of defense.

    Yep, that’s quite reasonable too.

    I mean, it’s not like she could see the future. From her perspective, he was a friend/colleague/ex who was acting up due to injured ego. Addressing the problem at the root would have seemed like both the most considerate and the most effective thing to do.

    While you do make a strong case for your interpretation, my disagreement over this is the primary factor I’m sticking with my interpretation. Her January 2010 email suggests she was seeing the dark side of his personality, and while it’s plausible she under-estimated it I suspect she had enough information by then to know Radford could become a long-term pain.

    Ann @403:

    She thanked him for gifts. How was he to know that his advances were unwelcome?

    Yeah. I address this somewhat in my upcoming long comment. Radford displays some very stalker-ish tendencies, such as the skill and motivation to dig up information he shouldn’t have, or the ability to inflate polite “thank you”s into recognition and encouragement for further contact.

    It makes me wonder if he’s got some blackmail material against CFI sitting on his computer. It would explain why they’d keep someone like him around.

  14. 414

    Next up, the bit about gifts and correspondence.

    The very few communications of an intimate nature between us were exchanged through 2010 when we were involved in a sexual relationship. It was not until mid-2011 that Karen asked that I not send her any correspondence of an intimate nature (which I hadn’t done for over a year anyway), and I respected her request.

    Has Radford forgotten about his own emails?

    September 17, 2010: We could be doing great work together, starting new investigations, collaborating on books, having great sex.

    October 7, 2010: You still love me. I can hear it in your voice.

    He was still sending emails of a sexual nature after mid-2010, contradicting his own narrative.

    We can begin by addressing the occasional holiday gifts and cards that Karen claimed (in 2013) were “incessant communication of a sexual nature” that were sent by me despite her “repeated requests for his personal communication to cease.” Here are many e-mails from Karen to me thanking me for contacting her, including for occasional gifts.

    Where did Stollznow say that? The complaint mentions this, too:

    As 2011 Christmas gifts to both Stollznow and Smith to thank them for their work on the MonsterTalk podcast, Radford sent each of them an identical framed 8 X 10 monster-related photographic print; this was one of a dozen or so gifts or birthday/holiday cards sent to Stollznow out of friendship and generosity over the years—ones that Stollznow thanked Radford for at the time, but that she would later mischaracterize as harassing or abusive correspondence. (34)

    Yet no source is given, and it’s not mentioned in the paragraph about the CFI report (40). Something similar is mentioned (47), but the person making the accusation isn’t Stollznow, it’s Joe Anderson:

    You see, I am not in a position of having to choose whether or not to believe Karen. I was there as much of it occurred. I saw not only the emails, texts, cards and gifts and the multiple requests by both her and her husband that they stop. I saw enough of her growing pain, annoyance and shame to know what happened.

    There’s some ambiguity in Anderson’s phrasing, which could make things worse for Radford, but being as charitable as possible we still have him being confused about who said what, and blaming the wrong person.

    Here are many e-mails from Karen to me thanking me for contacting her, including for occasional gifts.

    Radford is assuming that for it to be “legitimate” harassment, the victim has to cut off all ties. What if the person harassing you is a co-worker, though, with quite a bit of control over your career? Going silent would be financial suicide, and not easy for someone with a limited network of family and friends due to a cross-continent move. All of that is consistent with Stollznow’s claims, yet Radford prefers to beat up straw people instead.

    1) “Your gift had me grinning widely. That was extremely kind and thoughtful of you.” (September 26, 2008)

    I didn’t think Stollznow claimed Radford was harassing her in 2008. So why is this included in his evidence of non-harassment? As a side note, I’m finding it fascinating that he’s able to quote emails from before October 2009, but isn’t able to share them with us.

    But anyway, let’s do a quick tally of those gift responses. Of the eleven examples Radford posts, eight involve him giving him something to Stollznow, and only one was her giving him something. Four times, Radford provided the initial contact, sometimes by explicitly stating he’d gotten Stollznow something; five times, Stollznow says nothing but “thank you” in some fashion. That doesn’t show anything beyond the fact that Stollznow is polite, and Radford loved to shower her with gifts.

    The details of some of what he shows is very troubling. Take point three, where Radford mentions seeing images of Stollznow’s father. She responds back with:

    I’m not sure how you could have seen an image of my father. I assume you must have access to my Facebook page somehow.

    Did Stollznow block Radford from her Facebook page, or did Radford un-friend her? Either way, Radford was able to get information from Stollznow’s personal Facebook page when she thought he couldn’t. That’s nudging into stalker territory. There’s also point four, where Radford quotes Stollznow as saying “Thank you–but you shouldn’t have.” If you click through, though, you see he left out a key portion (bolding mine):

    Thank you – but you shouldn’t have! Really.

    That changes the meaning quite a bit; Stollznow is no longer displaying false modesty, she’s quite literally saying that Radford should not have sent her that gift. This actually contradicts Radford’s narrative, rather than supports it! I think it’s also notable that Stollznow says she no longer gives out cards in point seven; she may have decided Radford was misinterpreting the gesture, and came up with an excuse to stop it.

    As noted elsewhere, these and other e-mails have been independently authenticated by Flashback Data LLC, an ASCLD/LAB (American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board) a digital forensic testing laboratory.

    And as I noted elsewhere, there’s only eight emails in that report yet ten shown here. Guess how many of these show up there? Two: item E corresponds to point 3, and H to 11. None of them had their dates verified, incidentally.

    A review of the dates above demonstrates that Karen’s claim that “From late 2009 onwards I made repeated requests for his personal communication to cease but these were ignored” is demonstrably false.

    Including that email from 2008?

    virtually all of these e-mails were exchanged in 2010 or later—months and years after, Stollznow claims, she was sexually harassed.

    Wait, when did Stollznow claim she’d been sexually harassed? She never gives a firm time in her blog post, and while the complaint does cite the July 2010 incidents (40), it doesn’t claim these were Stollznow’s only complaints of harassment. Heck, Radford claims she made harassment claims over incidents from 2012, so he’s even contradicting himself here.

    contrary to Karen’s claim that my occasional holiday and birthday cards or gifts were met with stony silence or demands for me to cease contact, she encouraged the correspondence and repeatedly expressed her gratitude and thanks for the items

    “Stony silence?” Where is he getting that from? And short, polite “thank yous” were considered encouragement by Radford? That could explain a lot, actually, as stalkers have the same mindset.

    Why would a woman who claimed to have been stalked, harassed, and assaulted by me and who says she “made repeated requests for [my] personal communication to cease” in late 2009 continue to contact me more a thousand times over the next three years?

    Let’s ask your own legal complaint, Radford.

    From mid-2011 onward, communication between Radford and Stollznow became much less frequent and far more formal, the content almost exclusively professional (mostly podcast-related) topics, with occasional friendly exchanges. By late 2012 there was very little communication between the two at all, and in fact Stollznow would often completely ignore Radford’s rare e-mails, despite their entirely professional, work-related content. (32)

    I’m reminded of Radford’s implication that collaborating on a podcast wasn’t actually collaboration, too. Did he somehow forget about Monster Talk, which would have forced the two to keep talking past 2009?

    Making all (or even most of) the e-mailed correspondence between Karen and I public is unnecessary and impractical, but I have included dozens on this site, and some of these key e-mails can be found in the timeline. Even a cursory review reveals that the bulk of correspondence was friendly, professional and warm up to, and including the start of last year

    Radford also appears to have forgotten he’s suing Stollznow, and thus motivated to bias his small sample towards “friendly, professional and warm” communications. That he still lets slip some emails that damage his case is telling, as it suggest the bulk of those remaining emails supports Stollznow’s accusations.

    Speaking of which, that email report only asked for a count of the emails sent to Radford by Stollznow. Asking for a count of emails sent the other way could have offered mild support for his claims; if they also numbered about a thousand, it would somewhat contradict the narrative of consistent, unwanted communication. I find it telling he never asked for that number, as even Radford’s legal complaint agrees Stollznow “often completely ignore[d]” Radford’s emails, and we’ve seen several emails where Stollznow never responds back. If that’s truly a representative sample, then Radford did send Stollznow a fair number more emails than she sent back to him, which again fits in with her narrative.

    As described elsewhere, as for the history of alleged request by Karen to me to cease or limit contact with her, and the context of their relationship in 2010, as the police report of Matthew Baxter’s domestic violence arrest disclose, contrary to Karen’s statements, she and Baxter were not in a continuous, monogamous relationship in 2010 (when she and I had consensual sexual encounters).

    What does the arrest report have to do with anything? And besides, it shows Stollznow thought she was in a monogamous relationship with Baxter, hence why she was so angry to learn he’d been sleeping around. Yet again, Radford contradicts himself.

    Karen Stollznow, in the course of spreading false accusations about me, apparently showed certain people a series of seemingly incriminating e-mail excerpts from me that, she claimed, demonstrated my continual harassment and romantic/intimate contact with her into 2011 and 2012.

    Oh gawd. Radford, you already have an entire page devoted to this! Including the claim here only makes it plain you’re puffing up your website to make it look more substantial than it is.

    Having said that, pulling up both pages suggests that Radford didn’t copy-paste between them, but actually wrote out the same information twice. There is only one shared portion of text, “(in one case three years earlier)”, the order Radford covers his talking points is different, and points brought up in one page aren’t mentioned in the other. It’s clear Radford finds these emails very important, to be worth re-writing the same basic argument twice.

    I obtained a list of ten of these e-mailed excerpts, and double-checked the dates on all of them that I could. I discovered that in seven out of the ten cases, the date that Karen attributed to those e-mails had been falsified and was actually two years earlier (in one case three years earlier) than she claimed.

    I covered this before, but at the time didn’t try to figure out what those missing emails were. The ones dated “6/22/2012 8:49 PM” and “3/26/2012” don’t show up anywhere in Radford’s collection. I thought I spotted the one dated “6/22/2012 12:59 PM”, but my attempts to re-locate it have come up empty. If I am mistaken, then that means the following email messages were sent to Stollznow in 2012:

    [unknown subject] 3/26/2012 4:17 PM

    How are you, beautiful? How’s the book coming?

    Don’t forget we have MT at 3PM Weds.

    Ben

    [unknown subject] 6/22/2012 8:49 PM

    Hi Karen.

    Ben

    [unknown subject] 6/22/2012 12:59 PM

    Hi Karen

    Haven’t heard from you in ages, but I guess that’s where we are with each other right now.

    Yeah, those last two are kinda creepy and stalker-ish, confirming Stollznow’s account. Note as well that “6/22/2012 8:49 PM” happens to be the first email listed in the document; it’s quite plausible Stollznow carried that first year forward, accidentally placing the wrong year on the remaining emails. It’s further support for the “typo” hypothesis.

    In presenting her case for harassment continuing through last year, Karen cherry-picked old e-mails from me sent in 2009 and 2010 and post-dated them, presenting them as if they had been sent to her in 2012, the year after she told me that she wanted no contact of a romantic or sexual nature. I complied with her request

    Except for those three that Radford cannot contest. Note that he doesn’t claim Stollznow falsified them whole-cloth, even though he can’t find them. Either he suspects they were lost on his end, possibly due to CFI’s email changeover in 2012, or finds it plausible that he actually sent them.

    I understand that Karen has suggested that I faked the dates on several of these e-mails.

    Where does he get this from? It’s never mentioned in the complaint or blog post.

    For more on this, see the “Stollznow’s Falsified Documents and Fraud” link in the box above and to the right.

    This section is pretty much a duplicate of that link. There is no “more” to see.

    Several of Karen’s close friends and supporters, including Blake Smith, Joe Anderson (LINK), and Carrie Poppy, have claimed or suggested that they were shown incriminating e-mail documentation of my harassment by Karen. It seems plausible, if not likely, that these faked e-mails were among those documents presented to falsely accuse me.

    No, no it doesn’t. Look, my first reaction when learning of Radford’s “legal info” website was that it was blatant attempt at poisoning the well by manipulating information. Wanting to be a good skeptic, I decided to challenge that by looking into the evidence in greater depth. And reading through it I have indeed changed my view of Radford.

    It now seems more plausible to me that he’s an obsessive stalker with unusual sexual tastes, who will either carefully misrepresent the evidence or is so wrapped up in his own narrative that he misunderstands fairly obvious cues. He honestly thinks he has a chance with this case, that there’s a massive amount of misinformation about it in the skeptic community, and that by revealing incriminating emails and documents he’s clearing his name.

    And that opinion is based almost entirely on information Radford has revealed. More than likely, Stollznow has even more damning evidence she’s kept private. Falsifying email dates shouldn’t be necessary.

  15. 415

    Hj Hornbeck @404:

    I suppose I should take the incompetence hypothesis more seriously, though there’s another possibility: Radford is taking an unusually active role in drafting his legal papers. With two authors, you’d get something much more confused, and as Radford is not a lawyer he’d wind up shooting himself in the foot. It’s plausible.

    I imagine a lawyer in such a case repeating, many times, “you shouldn’t say that, you should say this,” and having his client ignore his advice. Is that the “exasperated lawyer” hypothesis? How much crap does a lawyer have to take from a client before going, “fine, you do it!”?

  16. 416

    Dave W @408:

    Is that the “exasperated lawyer” hypothesis? How much crap does a lawyer have to take from a client before going, “fine, you do it!”?

    I’ll go with that name. It has some evidence for it, too: the complaint give two summaries before delving into the details. That fits more with Radford’s personal style, given the number of repetitions I’ve seen on his website, and it doesn’t fit with what I’ve read in other defamation lawsuits. There’s also a weird inconsistency here:

    51. The amount of Radford’s damages will be established at trial.

    55. Plaintiff is entitled to recover actual and punitive damages from Stollznow in an amount that Plaintiff Radford reasonably estimates to be in the millions of dollars.

    While I have seen cases that declared how much they wanted in actual damages, I have yet to see one declare even an estimate for their punitive damages. Also, “Plaintiff Radford”? There’s only one plaintiff here, Radford, so that’s like saying “ATM machine.” I haven’t seen a lawyer make that faux pas before, but I could see a non-lawyer getting that mixed up. And “Plaintiff Radford” occurs five times in the Complaint, between paragraphs 53 and 64. It suggests Radford had a big role in editing that portion, at least.

  17. 417

    I never realised D.J Grothe had this big a problem:

    D.J. Grothe:
    We pay attention to PZ for the same reason that some folks pay attention to Rush Limbaugh. But — inevitably — he’ll at some point go *way the much too far*, and his pitch-forking hordes will move onto the next most acceptable justifier of their mobbish passions when they realize he costs them too much and that he has way too much baggage. Then he’ll be left similarly destitute (relatively speaking). That’s the dangerous but seductive power of fleeting media celebrity status — just think of who Rush will be in the years ahead as he continues to flame out, or who PZ will be five years from now.

    (You’ll all feel much sweeter on PZ then, and have more pity. That’s the magic of nostalgia.)

    PZ is the monster that the fledgling internet atheist community created by reveling in his utter nastiness against our religious and cultural competitors, and when he indiscriminately fired on everyone in our community, out of his reflex and duty to certain people he prizes, no one saw it coming.

    But monsters we create made can be monsters we make go away, by the magic of ignoring them.

    Source: http://www.anony.ws/i/2014/04/22/4WvmM.png

  18. 418

    Funny that I feel exactly the same way about atheists who gain celebrity attacking theists then turn out to have an antifeminist bent. Only my such feelings are not shared by most of the rest of the atheist community, and so you only hear about the “nasties” who are pro-feminist and willing to take a stand against antifeminist community members.

    I really hope DJ finds his antifeminist skepticism to be as impoverished.

    Though, honestly, I’m not sure you wanted to post this here, where this post is hardly about DJ Grothe at all. Nor PZ, for that matter. They are bit players here, if that.

  19. 419

    That comment thread of Drescher’s: Such skeptic. Very reason. Wow.

    For real, let’s all totally buy into what Fox News has to say about atheists. No chance for bias there. Also, it’s bigotry to call out racists. Man, Drescher is the worst, or would be if DJ didn’t have so much tin-pot power.

  20. 420

    Don’t talk shit about people in our community, Tom. You’re only allowed to do that if you’re Grothe or Drescher or any of the antifeminists. THEY aren’t talking shit about PZ or anyone who agrees with him — obviously. Because their tribe is the best tribe and other tribes are smelly.

  21. 421

    Weird. Let’s get this thread back on topic.

    If I’m fisking Radford’s website I might as well cover his FAQ as well. It does have a few interesting tidbits like:

    Until very recently I was under a strict gag order and unable to provide any response at all to the wide variety of defamatory statements made by Karen, Matthew Baxter, Carrie Poppy, and others.

    I’ll buy that CFI placed some heavy restrictions on what Radford could say about his report. But that just covers the report; Radford could have still put up a website, shared photos and emails, and even had them authenticated without violating any gag order. And it’s well established that a contract which violates your fundamental rights is null and void. In the same way I can’t sign away my first born, Radford cannot sign away his right to free speech. He has always been free to discuss whether or not he harassed Stollznow, even if whatever gag order he was under said otherwise, the only question was over whether he could refer to CFI’s report.

    Now that a lawsuit has been filed against Karen Stollznow on counts of defamation, fraud, and interference with beneficial contractual relations, I’m able to more fully respond to her false accusations.

    That’s not how gag orders work. Unless the order specifically marked this as an exceptional case, he is still bound by the conditions of the gag order even while suing Stollznow. This gets weird when it comes to presenting evidence in court, but only then and not before. Nothing changed when he filed the suit, unless he’s sued and won against CFI over the order, or extracted a legal agreement from them.

    Why would Stollznow make false accusations?

    This is blatant well-poisoning, as the entire case is over whether Stollznow is liable for her accusations. As this is civil court, “true ” or “false” don’t have much applicability here, it’s all about liability and the balance of evidence.

    I honestly don’t know exactly what motivated her, but it may have been a combination of factors, including that she didn’t want to acknowledge to her now-husband Baxter that she carried on a sexual affair with me through 2010.

    This is contradicted by Baxter, Paden, and Hendrick. All three suggest that Baxter encouraged Stollznow to have affairs, and thus would have been happy to hear she’d been sleeping around. As I’ve discussed this before, I’ll just quote the latter as a quick reminder:

    I remember her [Stollznow] talking about her boyfriends fetish, and it seemed personal but I considered it was the alcohol talking. She became more vocal and agitated about her boyfriend, she is the one that told Reap that he was the person her boyfriend wanted her to be with.

    Yet again, Radford can’t keep his own story straight. Back to him:

    I do know that she was angry because I privately confronted her and Blake Smith very shortly before she made the false accusations, about her not pulling her weight in putting together the MonsterTalk podcast. The e-mail can be read here.

    Problem: Radford has not shown a single bit of evidence to support that theory. None of the emails show Stollznow discussing MonsterTalk, at all. In contrast, we find quite a bit to support Stollznow’s assertions of vindictiveness. Here’s Smith:

    If you’d privately written me or called me about this we could have talked it out without this passive-agressive “talking in front of Karen like she’s not there” thing.

    Here’s the deal – I know you and Karen have had a complicated past. I don’t know all the details and for many reasons I’d prefer not to know all the details. Whatever has happened between you two outside of the show she’s been nothing but professional on the show. […]

    the reason I wanted Karen on the show is because she loves monsters and is very skeptical about them yet passionate about the topics. It isn’t because I thought we’d split the work three ways. There is no equitable way to split the work because part of the magic happens when we all get together and talk about stuff we love. […]

    I like you both, respect you both as colleagues and hope we can make it work one way or another. I’m flexible.

    But you really did just throw her under the bus without warning there and you didn’t have to because you know I would work with you to find some kind of solution. I’d have done that for her too if she’d asked.

    I have a serious aversion to drama but understand it is part of the human condition. I’d like to avoid it in the context of the show if possible.

    According to Smith, it’s Radford who’s showing a vindictive streak and trying to cause friction behind the scenes. Back to Radford’s website, though:

    It is important to note that Karen has a history of making false accusations, including false accusations of a sexual nature, against other people

    I’ve covered this before, so there’s no need to repeat it. Radford, in contrast, repeats himself in the very next paragraph, adding no new information. This seems to be a frequent tic of his.

    In a nutshell, Karen and I—who never worked together in the same office, nor the same building, and in factever even lived in the same state

    So you can only harass someone if you worked together, or lived in the same state? Radford has apparently never heard of the internet, or phones for that matter.

    However the evidence clearly shows that not only was very little of the communication between us of a sexual or romantic nature (what there was of it in 2009 and 2010), but that Karen, instead of demanding that I cut off communication, actively engaged me, initiating over 1,000 e-mails in the years after 2009

    Yet again Radford is misleading us, as paragraph 32 of his complaint explains that “active engagement” means “gradually stopped responding.”

    I have provided nearly 100 documents

    How is this relevant? I also did a quick count, and Radford uploaded 64 documents, or 54 if you remove bit-for-bit duplicates. Where’s he getting this number from?

    Additionally I have gone to considerable effort and expense to have many of the key e-mails and photographs supporting my statements independently authenticated by outside experts.

    As pointed out earlier, one report was done by a non-expert, who didn’t do basic forensics; the other was done by experts, but doesn’t prove what Radford thinks it does.

    They prove beyond any doubt that many of Karen Stollznow’s claims about me are misleading at best and outrit false at worst. Any reasonable person will recognize that this evidence casts serious doubts on Karen’s version of evts, and I am confident that a jury will be able to sort out truth from fiction.

    And yet Radford is in civil court, instead of criminal court. The latter is an option in New Mexico, if I recall correctly, and Radford’s allegation of serial accusations against multiple people would be better handled in criminal court. Yet he chose to file in civil court, where even his best-case verdict will not prove Stollznow was guilty of fraud or anything else.

    It suggests that he knows on some level that his case is quite weak, and that he needed the lower burden of proof to tilt the odds in his favor.

  22. Ann
    422

    This…

    Until very recently I was under a strict gag order and unable to provide any response at all to the wide variety of defamatory statements made by Karen, Matthew Baxter, Carrie Poppy, and others.

    …seems to me to be a variation on this…

    When these accusations were first made public, and for many months afterward, I was prohibited from responding to her claims. I am now able to do so, and can finally present my side.

    …which (as you may or may not recall) was the basis for our discussion about indemnity clauses way back up @ #311.

    So that’s still what may have changed.

    It’s odd that he uses the phrase “gag order,” though. When a private settlement includes something of that nature, it’s usually called a confidentiality agreement.

    But irrespective of what it’s called, that assertion doesn’t fully make sense. Because (self-evidently), she wasn’t a party to any such thing or she wouldn’t have written that guest blog. And (presuming that CFI was the entity empowered to say what the terms of settlement were or weren’t going to be) it makes zero sense from the perspective of their interests for one party to be gagged while the other is left free to speak.

    I guess I still think that what prohibited him from piping up earlier was the (very well-founded) concern that it would be construed as harassment if he did. In some form, on someone’s part. And I further guess that he either found some way around that, or thinks that he did.

    I’m not sure I agree with you that he always would have been free to post pix and emails, etc. You can definitely use a confidentiality agreement to prohibit people from (let’s say) talking about any aspect of the case and/or its disposition, which is pretty comprehensive.

    But I’m with you on this much: That gag-order thing doesn’t add up. If there was one, there should still be. And if there wasn’t….Well. Obviously, if there wasn’t, why is he saying there was, when he’s going to have to answer questions about it under oath for a deposition?

    Makes no sense. Speaking of which:

    How or why any sentient being — man, woman, child, cat, or dog — could possibly think or say that 64 or so emails out of more than a thousand were capable of proving or disprove anything about what was said and done in the remainder for as much as a single second is beyond me. It’s nonsensical on its face. I mean, even some of the livelier-minded members of the non-sentient among us — rocks, let’s say; or twigs — could see that, surely.

    Couldn’t they?

  23. Ann
    424

    WRT the “gag order”:

    Maybe she had an order of protection that expired. Or maybe there’s a statute of limitations that’s keyed to some date that the clock ticked past.

    Just two idle thoughts.

  24. Ann
    425

    Yep.

    She had 300 days from the date of the last act of harassment to file a federal complaint, and one year from the date of the last act of harassment to file a New York state or city claim.

    Their last contact was in January 2013. And he came out with guns blazing in February 2014.

    So at least THAT explanation adds up. It may not be correct. But it’s sensible.

  25. Ann
    426

    (Meaning: A year passed, the slate was wiped clean, and he was free to start being himself again. His attorney told him not to talk before that. And he’s describing it as a gag order.

    That’s my theory.)

  26. Ann
    427

    I guess I should say that their last reported contact was in January 2013.

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it was actually a year to the day before he filed suit. Seems like he was raring to go. Plus, he sent her that picture of them in SF on an anniversary schedule. It just feels like his style to aim for a meaning-laden date.

  27. Ann
    428

    His attorney told him not to talk before that. And he’s describing it as a gag order.

    Or CFI did. After the filing date passed, it would cease being their business to worry over.

    But either way.

  28. Ann
    429

    Yet again, Radford can’t keep his own story straight. Back to him:

    I do know that she was angry because I privately confronted her and Blake Smith very shortly before she made the false accusations, about her not pulling her weight in putting together the MonsterTalk podcast. The e-mail can be read here.

    Problem: Radford has not shown a single bit of evidence to support that theory. None of the emails show Stollznow discussing MonsterTalk, at all.

    Additionally, given that what prompted him to privately confront her about her non-weight-pulling was that she’d already unfriended him and changed her email without telling him, he kind of might have had just a little bit of a reason to suspect that things were not all peaches ‘n’ cream at a somewhat earlier date.

    Details.

  29. Ann
    430

    You know, at this point I think I feel as much sorrow and sympathy for everyone involved as I have it in me to feel for a bunch of people I don’t know.

    Not that everyone involved appears to me to be culpable. But that’s a separate issue.

    What a mess.

  30. 431

    Ann @415:

    Because (self-evidently), she wasn’t a party to any such thing or she wouldn’t have written that guest blog. And (presuming that CFI was the entity empowered to say what the terms of settlement were or weren’t going to be) it makes zero sense from the perspective of their interests for one party to be gagged while the other is left free to speak.

    The most charitable interpretation I can come up with is that she was under the same order. Stollznow’s frustration at CFI’s handling of the case, combined with the cold shoulder from Grothe and the JREF, were enough to prompt that blog post but to anonymize and obscure as much as she could. Her Inbox lit up with a wide range of people going “that’s Radford/CFI, isn’t it?”, many of whom she hadn’t even discussed her situation with. Realizing the situation was an open secret to many, and would have a bigger impact on those who didn’t know if names were attached, she didn’t request that Murphey take down their Tweet and gave the go-ahead for others to say what she didn’t in that post. Gag order be damned.

    I think your later explanation has more merit, though:

    She had 300 days from the date of the last act of harassment to file a federal complaint, and one year from the date of the last act of harassment to file a New York state or city claim.

    Earlier on, I pointed to a Nevada statute that put the statute of limitations at four years, unless a “report” had been made. However, in discussing Pamela Gay’s harassment claims elsewhere, I was reminded that she claimed she faced a 300 day limit as well, even though the juristiction for her complaint was also Nevada.

    Jurisdiction is a very tricky thing in legal cases, and can easily flip the odds. There’s no way I’m going to make any pronouncment on it. I’m a bit surprised it hasn’t come up yet in Radford’s case, given how critical it is.

    Come to think of it, I don’t see any movement on the case in New Mexico’s court filing system. Strange. I’ll have to do some digging on that, maybe the switch to Federal court is preventing the New Mexico site from updating.

  31. 432

    Ann @420:

    Plus, he sent her that picture of them in SF on an anniversary schedule. It just feels like his style to aim for a meaning-laden date.

    Except the tryst was on April 18th, and he pushed the website to his Facebook page on April 2nd. I’m thinking my previous hypothesis, that he was going to release the website after Stollznow/Baxter publically denied an agreement but was caught off-guard by the hubub over her IndieGoGo fund and decided to wait, is more likely.

  32. Ann
    433

    I meant that he sent the picture to her by email in April 2011, a year after it was taken.

    (Plus — IIRC — some number of days. Maybe a week or two. It wasn’t exact. But it still suggested to me that he might be the type to whom such things mattered.)

    I believe that the case was removed to federal court — ie, there won’t be any action in the NM court unless and until it gets sent back. I might be wrong about that, though.

    That also goes for my belief that the jurisdiction CFI would have anticipated being sued in would have been New York. But fwiw, I believe it. That’s why I picked New York.

  33. 434

    Ann @426:

    I meant that he sent the picture to her by email in April 2011, a year after it was taken.

    Sorry about that, I had my mind on the legal case. Yep, it arrived before April 26th. Your hypothesis is a good fit; if I can offer any push-back, it’s that Radford may simply have sent that along because the date was meaningful to him. Still, a much earlier hypothesis of mine was that Radford was following a playbook he’d developed earlier, and given his creepy near-omniscience of Stollznow I’m left favoring your hypothesis over my push-back.

    I believe that the case was removed to federal court — ie, there won’t be any action in the NM court unless and until it gets sent back. I might be wrong about that, though.

    Dang. Federal courts are handled by PACER, I believe, and after a look over their website I see I’ve gotta be a US citizen with a credit card. Looks like I can’t confirm or deny that one.

  34. 435

    That MonsterTalk email is still bothering me. The last three words on this line, in particular:

    The issue has been exacerbated by Karen’s behavior and disrespect toward me recently; about three weeks ago I returned from the JREF cruise to find that Karen had de-Friended me on Facebook and changed her e-mail.

    Well OK, the “disrespect” bit is also a bit bizarre, and invokes the same assumption of entitlement that’s shared by the PUA/MRA community, but still: “changed her email?” From Radford’s report, we know Stollznow had four email addresses. A quick glance reveals the emails posted by Radford use her UC Berkeley address, while the MonsterTalk emails uses her GMail account. Even if we take “changed” to mean “deleted the Berkeley account without warning,” we know Radford had at least one other email address to contact her by.

    So why is that change a big deal?

    I also recall an earlier document where Radford unfriended Stollznow on Facebook. I can’t find it at the moment, but I did just mention her surprise he could see her Facebook page in March 2010. So for Radford to be deeply offended when Stollznow does something he himself has no qualms doing, it’s a bit hypocritical.

    I honestly have no idea what, if anything, triggered that behavior.

    This is another of those tricky phrases Radford likes to throw out. It’s quite possible he has no idea why she unfriended him, in that one particular case, but he also used the ignorance excuse during the Baxter/Stollznow group call in 2011. If Stollznow was the malicious actor he paints her to be, and he saw evidence of her acting maliciously as early as 2009, why does he even want her as a Facebook friend in 2013, let alone manage to be surprised she’d acted maliciously?

    The behavior seems (at best) rude and unprofessional, but I’m too busy to spend time wondering why a friend and colleague is suddenly hostile and disrespectful toward me

    Radford’s too busy to send an email to Stollznow, but not too busy to write a series of emails to Blake Smith?

    (even as I have promoted her and given her shout-outs in my blogs and in SI).

    Hang on here. Not only is he acting as if Stollznow is entitled to remain friends with him, Radford’s explanation for that entitlement is that he helped promote her. That’s an admission of a quid pro quo relationship! Radford promotes Stollznow, and to pay him back Stollznow remains Facebook friends and agrees not to change her email address.

    And here we see the cost of Stollznow not living up to Radford’s expectations: he starts campaigning against her, in this case by trying to increase her workload on MonsterTalk. This is exactly what Stollznow said Radford was doing, and he’s admitting it!

    I don’t care whether or not Karen is my Facebook Friend,

    Yet here Radford is, sending an email to Smith because Stollznow isn’t his Facebook friend anymore. Either he does care, or he only cares because Stollznow was obligated to keep him as a Facebook friend. Speaking of which, let’s consider Smith’s response.

    He comes out solidly on Stollznow’s side. He’s fine with her lesser workload, considers her professional and reliable, and while he knows a bit about their prior history together he doesn’t know all the details and doesn’t care. Despite being unhappy with Radford’s attempt to stir up shit, he’s nonetheless willing to play peacemaker:

    I like you both, respect you both as colleagues and hope we can make it work one way or another. I’m flexible.

    But you really did just throw her under the bus without warning there and you didn’t have to because you know I would work with you to find some kind of solution. I’d have done that for her too if she’d asked.

    I have a serious aversion to drama but understand it is part of the human condition. I’d like to avoid it in the context of the show if possible.

    We can talk tomorrow night if you want to – just tell me what you want to do.

    Before getting to Radford’s response, it’s worth noting how he describes Smith’s response in the lawsuit.

    Smith responded in part, “Yes, Karen does not contribute as much to the preparation of the show. I’m sure she’s aware of that….” Radford replied, “All I did was say something that is true, and that we all know is true, but never talk about […] (39)

    That’s right, Radford just quote-mined one of the few sentences of Smith that supports his account, then had the audacity to provide us with the original and gamble we wouldn’t look at it.

    But anyway, Radford’s immediate response to Smith’s peacemaking overture is to reject the offer and crank up the drama.

    No, what’s uncool is having one co-host who does one-tenth the work of everyone else, and having everyone else pick up the slack. THAT is uncool. There’s no reason Karen can’t do more on the show; why is it always everyone else’s responsibility but hers?

    This comes after Smith made it clear he didn’t care about the workload difference, and even mentioned Stollznow was a busy person.

    What’s uncool is having one co-host who for some reason out of the blue decides she doesn’t want to communicate with me and who doesn’t even show me common courtesy.

    More entitlement thinking from Radford. It’s “courtesy” to live up to your obligations, in this case maintaining contact in exchange for promotion. The phrase “common courtesy” sent a chill up my spine; he thinks entitlement-based relationships are the norm, and by extension that there’s nothing wrong with such relationships.

    I didn’t start this. I have been nothing but professional all along. It is Karen who has made malicious threats, accusations, and in general acted unprofessionally.

    Again Radford seems to be ignoring Smith entirely, as the latter has both declared Stollznow to be professional and implied Radford has been the primary instigator. Note the “malicious threats” line, which is an eerie echo of what would become the central theme of his later lawsuit. This also comes at an interesting time, as according to Radford’s complaint he was notified of the CFI investigation over a month later on February 25th (40). Did he know what Stollznow was planning? How could he have possibly known, given Stollznow had apparently cut off contact without giving Radford an explanation? And note that he simply assumes Smith would know what he’s talking about; combined with the blindness to Smith’s words, it suggests Radford is living in his own reality, insulated from logic and reason.

    Alternatively, he could have been writing while angry; that follow-up to Smith was sent a mere twenty-two minutes after Smith sent his reply. In Radford’s next email, from the following morning, he attempts a rebuttal:

    … And anyway I didn’t “throw Karen under a bus.” If I had written a pissed off blog about it, or talked about it in an interview, THAT would be throwing her under a bus. I didn’t bash her in public.

    There’s a subtle misrepresentation there. Smith’s “bus” comment was about Radford trying to get Stollznow kicked off the show. How he does that, by public interview or private email, doesn’t change his intent, and thus doesn’t change whether or not Stollznow has gotten the “bus” treatment.

    That’s all Radford’s print-off of the email exchange contains. It’s pretty obvious that he edited out further exchanges with Smith, as he claims he sent this in reply to Smith in the complaint:

    All I did was say something that is true, and that we all know is true, but never talk about: that Karen does far less work than either one of us on the podcast, and it’s not fair. This isn’t about any personality conflict between Karen and I; it’s about her not contributing equally to the show. Bringing that up is not me being an asshole. The classy response from Karen would be: ‘You’re right, sorry I haven’t been doing as much as I should in terms of research and booking guests, I’ll do more in the future.’ That’s all I’m looking for.

    Except it’s not. Reading over the complaint, we find no mention of the Facebook un-friending, change of email, nor even “malicious threats, accusations” and unprofessionalism. All the complaints over respect and “common courtesy” are missing, with only the word “classy” hinting at that mindset. In the process, Radford’s completely changed the context and content of the email exchange, turning anger over a sudden silence into a rather polite discussion over Stollznow’s contributions.

    It’s an example of blatant quote-mining, and would cost Radford dearly if it ever reached a courtroom.

  35. 436

    Not having anything worthwhile to add, I’ll just leave this, to indicate my appreciation of your comments. I read them with great interest.

  36. 437

    I just spoke with a lawyer. He said that lawyers don’t have to put up with any nonsense at all from their clients, they can walk away at any time. There are ethics rules on how to walk away (you can’t stand up in a courtroom and yell, “Your Honor, my client is an asshole!” then storm out, for example), but no rules force a lawyer to stay on a civil case (I’m guessing that public defenders have to stick with their clients or else find a new job, but that’s different).

    The lawyer I spoke with said that in a typical civil case, the lawyer(s) stand to get paid a third of the reward if they win, so there can be a substantial financial incentive to stay on a case even if the clients are intolerable.

    He said competent lawyers know how to manage their clients so that they don’t ruin the case. I described to him some of the inconsistencies we’ve seen in the complaint, in general terms, and he said, “sounds like a shoddy lawyer.”

  37. 438

    Dave W @430:

    Your lawyer acquaintance is discussing a contingency case: the lawyer will get 1/3 of the award if their client wins, and nothing except expenses if their client loses. Not all lawyers in civil cases are paid that way.

    Also, one-third of an unknown amount, or nothing at all for your time, may be less of an incentive for a lawyer than knowing that they’ll be getting $Amount/hour plus the same expenses, regardless of the outcome.

    The rules are different in criminal cases: public defender or paid by the client, an attorney can’t just walk away partway through the case. They generally need to get the judge’s permission, to avoid leaving the client with no lawyer. (This is if Random J. Lawyer, Esq. decides he wants to stop representing the client; it doesn’t generally apply if the client decides “I don’t like my lawyer, I’m going to have New Attorney represent me instead.”)

    (This isn’t directly relevant to the question of whether Radford’s attorney is good.)

  38. 439

    No more excuses. Time to look at that timeline.

    Or, more accurately, many timelines; in addition to the substantial six thousand word one Radford posted online, he also goes over the same events three times in his complaint. That’s also excluding the changes he’s made over time, which primarily consist additional points in 2009 and 2013. To keep myself sane, I’ll just consider the detailed account from the complaint as well as the most recent version from Radford’s website.

    I’ll also break this up into two parts. In this first one, I only consider the problem of authorship. In the second, I’ll look more into the little details contained within the timeline. To help me with both, I’ve created a Google doc to contain my notes (and thus also act as a teaser to part two).

    One idea I’ve tossed around is that Radford has a “master document” containing an entire narrative, which he then copies from as needed. Proving that would be tricky, but there’s some interesting circumstantial evidence. For instance, the timeline page is unique in that it’s written in the third person. Everything else is first-person, at least after May 1st; before then, this oddity was tucked away in the Gifts and Correspondence page:

    4) In response to an e-mail from Radford that “There’s a package on its way, but you won’t get it by your birthday,” Stollznow responds, “Thank you–but you shouldn’t have.” (August 10, 2010) The original e-mail can be seen here. […]

    11) In response to an e-mail from Radford mentioning that he’d helped promote one of her columns, Karen responded “Nice. Thank you, baby!” (January 10, 2011). The original e-mail can be seen here.

    Either that page was originally written in third-person, then re-written to first, or those were copied from a master document written in third-person. The former theory has to then explain why the timeline remains in third-person, but that’s easy: Radford copy-pasted a lot of material from his legal complaint to the timeline, and as the complaint is third-person it was easier to keep it in that tone.

    It’s pretty easy to switch between the two, though; a few manual find-and-replace operations would do the trick, and as Radford comes from a journalist background and has been a writer and editor for some time, that should be within his technical expertese. That hypothesis also predicts that there should be little evidence of re-writing on the timeline, yet what we find instead is a mix of copy-paste and original content with extensive massaging.

    There’s also the issue of what came first, the legal document or the website. If the legal document came first, then the copy-paste portions must have started from there, and the best candidate or closest match to a “master document” is the complaint itself. If the website was first, the opposite is true, but that scenario is pretty bizarre (for reasons I’ll detail shortly). So let’s delve into the timestamps again.

    The complaint was filed on Monday, February 17th, and most likely was drafted within two weeks of that date. The web domain was purchased on Monday, January 20th, but created on Monday, February 10th, the first text entry happened on the 11th, and the first emails were uploaded in one giant batch on Monday the 17th. While Radford is capable of mucking with timestamps, the messy yet converging values suggest they’re genuine. I know of no way to examine the revisions on Radford’s website, and I can’t find any pre-April archives made by a lucky web spider, so the timestamps I have are as good as it gets.

    And what I have got tells me four pages went from nothing to nearly complete on the 17th, in the span of an hour. While it’s possible Radford had been editing them over time, WordPress seems to upload any file contained in a draft when that draft is saved, so a long edit process would probably lead to a scattering of timestamps. Instead, these files tend to cluster; a bunch related to the gifts and correspondence page went up within 20 seconds of one another, then six minutes later a bunch of timeline ones went up within 15 seconds, then ten minutes later several on the relationship page were uploaded within a minute. At this point, Radford made the gifts page public, shortly followed by the relationship one. Then it’s back to more uploading, on what appears to be the timeline (the trail is a bit confused here), then the overview goes live, then another upload batch centered around the falsified documents page, followed a minute later by it too going live. All the pages seem to have sprung into place largely complete, with one exception.

    That exception is why I’m rehashing this subject. The timeline page was first published very early on the 11th, without any file links. We know Radford had those files handy, as almost all of them were printed back in September of 2013. And yet, he didn’t upload any of his emails until the same day he submitted the legal case. That first dump of content spanned almost the entire page, from the first linked email dating from late 2009, to Anderson’s blog post from late 2013.

    I think the best hypothesis to explain it all is that the legal complaint and website were developed in tandem, with liberal use of copy-paste. The moment Radford could invoke the “but it’s part of a lawsuit” defense, he did, uploading private correspondence and documents that could have lead to legal hot water in any other circumstance. Excluding a burst of activity on and just after March 3rd, which I’ll return to much later, he was content to make small tweaks to the foundation.

    Who’s foundation was it, though? People hire lawyers precisely because they’re dealing with a corner case where the law isn’t clear, and they need an expert to help guide the way. So while the client certainly has quite a bit of input over what’s in the complaint, it’s incredibly rare to find them writing portions of it. Confronted with the parallels and outright copying between the timeline and the complaint, then, our hope is that those portions were written by Radford’s lawyer, and not Radford.

    But it seems likely that Radford was a significant author of the legal complaint. Every author has their tics; I, for instance, will abuse the semicolon. I love starting paragraphs with a preposition, and I present lists in chunks of about three items, budding off the remainders into the next sentence. I use punctuation liberally, keep sentences at a moderate to short length, and try hard to create a smooth flow between ideas. In contrast, Radford has a tendency to create sparse paragraphs or even run-on sentences which act as a total summary of what he’s said (with the occasional parenthetical aside to emphasize one of his talking points for the fifth time, which usually but not always is in actual parenthesis) by referencing a comprehensive series of bullet-points that cover the entire situation. There is an occasionally redundant manner to the language that invokes remarkable grammatical constructs and clearly emphasizes certainty – though at the end it’s demonstrable Radford may tack on important qualifiers that make the overall concept conveyed by the sentence more complicated than the reader expected on entry and increase the cognitive load required to parse out what he’s saying, but not all sentences and paragraphs follow this template.

    Some examples:

    Though organ transplants have been done for decades (with varying degrees of success, depending on many conditions including the type of organ and the compatibility of the donor and recipient), it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the picture changed.
    The Ethics of Free-Market Kidneys, Part 1

    Unless Levitski’s key fob was stolen and used by someone else-something she denied and never reported-clearly she could not be at an off-campus house being sexually assaulted by John while at the same time being on campus.
    The Anatomy of False Accusations: A Skeptical Case Study

    The idea that psychological trauma leaves a physical mark is an ancient one. Hair turning white, especially from fright or an encounter with a ghost, is a staple in much folklore. It is in fact a well-known traditional international folk narrative motif (F1041.7 in the Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: A Classification of Narrative Elements in Folktales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances, Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-Books, and Local Legends). It is also featured prominently in many urban legends, describing the results of, for example, encounters with hook-handed serial killers freshly escaped from local insane asylums.
    Can Hair Turn White Overnight?

    It doesn’t take much reading to get a feel for Radford’s writing style. Ten minutes of eyeballing his blog entries makes these passages feel oddly familiar:

    26 s. On September 26, 2010, following her phone call about the abuse she claimed to have suffered at the hands of Matthew Baxter, Stollznow emailed Radford to discuss coming to visit him for a week at his home in New Mexico (though the plans later fell through): …

    27. Thus, even though the events during the year 2010 took place as described, and even though Stollznow and Radford had the communications described above—along with many others in a similar vein—Stollznow later publicly accused Radford of having been engaged in sexual harassment of her and of “sexual assault” during the same period that she was arranging for sex with him, inviting him to continue sexual liaisons with her, thanking him for his kindness, seeking his counsel, and sending him cards and gifts of a sexual nature.

    30. On June 1, 2011, Stollznow arranged a conference call among herself, her (now) husband Matthew Baxter and Radford. During the conference call, to Radford’s mystification, Stollznow told him to stop sexually harassing her or she would contact his employer about the matter. Radford replied that he had no idea what she was talking about, and that she had never before characterized anything that they had done together as any sort of sexual harassment by him.  Stollznow made no reference to any stalking incidents she would later purport to describe in her 2013 blog for Scientific American mind, nor any physical abuse, though she did reference the brief July 2010 Las Vegas hotel room encounter described earlier, during which Radford had suggested sex and Stollznow had declined.

    All three of those passages are pulled directly from the legal complaint, and all three remain unchanged in the timeline.

    There’s more to determining authorship than showing a plausible author, though. I also have to show there are no other plausible authors with a similar style, and it’s here that I fail the strongest. I’ve gone looking, and been unable to find a complaint that Radford’s lawyer was the sole author of. That wouldn’t have been useful, anyway, as it’s more likely an assistant of Radford’s lawyer crafted that legal complaint instead, then passed it back to their superior for approval and their signature.

    I’m not completely out of options, though. The summary of the complaint doesn’t require much knowledge of the law to write; the bits that settle jurisdiction and the type of tort do, however, and Radford would be a fool to muck with them. This creates a gradient of authorship within the document itself, allowing me to compare authors with just one document. Add in this incredible stroke of luck, and I can mount a minimal analysis:

    Nature Of The “Skeptics” Movement, The Parties’ Relationship To It And The Harm That Stollznow’s Lies About Radford Have Caused

    “Skeptics” movement? I’ve certainly heard of the “skeptical” movement, which is far and away the most popular name. I’ve heard of the “skeptic” movement, too, and some quick Google searches demonstrate it’s the second-most popular term (22,000 vs. 14,000 vs. 4,600). I can also point to an instance where Radford used “skeptical movement,” as well, which weighs against it being an author’s tic. So whoever wrote that term probably doesn’t know much of anything about the skeptical movement, which not only argues against authorship by Radford but further suggests he never read that portion in detail.

    And wouldn’t you know it, that phrase shows up only near the beginning and end of the complaint, where the legalese is most concentrated. “Skeptical movement” does make an appearance, and it shows up precisely where you’d expect it: in a retelling of the skeptical movement’s history, surrounded by a number of Radford tics.

    9. Both Radford and Stollznow have been for years prominent figures in what is known as the “skeptics” movement. The movement, with which hundreds of thousands of people associate themselves to greater or lesser degrees, is centered on the philosophy that no assertion should be accepted as fact without proof. Though skepticism as a philosophy dates back to Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), magician Harry Houdini (who exposed fraudulent psychic mediums in the 1920s), and even earlier, it was not until the 1970s that a formalized skeptical movement emerged. Past and current prominent skeptics have included Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, James Randi (who famously debunked spoon-bending “psychic” Uri Geller in the 1970s), Adam Savage (of the “Mythbusters” television show), Penn Jillette (of the magic duo Penn & Teller), and many others including several Nobel laureates.

    Bingo. So what does the complaint look like near the legalese, where Radford hasn’t contributed much?

    7. Radford is a resident of Sandoval County, New Mexico

    8. Karen Stollznow is a resident of Arvada, Colorado. Her actions that are the subject of this complaint were intentional and malicious, directed toward causing harm to the plaintiff in New Mexico, and did cause harm to the plaintiff in this state, where he lives. Under the decisional law of the courts of New Mexico and the United States Supreme Court, this court has personal jurisdiction over Stollznow. …

    59. CFI and its investigator relied on the falsified documents and fraudulent statements provided to them by Stollznow.

    60. Stollznow’s purpose in providing false and fraudulent information to CFI was to harm Radford, a purpose which she accomplished.

    61. Radford suffered emotional, reputational and economic harm as a result of the fraud Stollznow perpetrated on CFI.

    62. Radford is entitled to recover his actual damages in an amount to be proved at trial and an additional award of punitive damages reasonably calculated to deter such conduct in future, caused by Stollznow’s fraud.

    Staccato sentences and paragraphs, straight to the point. If this author wrote the entire document, you’d expect more of the same; instead, we find the middle portions invoking a writing style that’s the exact opposite. A style that matches Radford’s own, to a remarkable degree.

    This has some implications. If there is a “master document,” it probably existed as a timeline written in the third person. It may have sprung to life on February 11th as the website timeline, or it may pre-date then and was copy-pasted in; without more information, I can’t say. It also seems likely that Radford authored a significant chunk of his own legal complaint.

    Dave W @430:

    He said competent lawyers know how to manage their clients so that they don’t ruin the case. I described to him some of the inconsistencies we’ve seen in the complaint, in general terms, and he said, “sounds like a shoddy lawyer.”

    The shoddy portions seem to be the fault of Radford, though. The legalese bits are sharp and focused, not what you’d expect from incompetence. Don’t forget that a lawyer with 40 years of experience and a name on the firm has no shortage of assistants to turn to, and the odds of all of them being shoddy are slim.

    The odds of a 40-year veteran being on the edge of retirement, though, are pretty high. Yet rather than handing the case off to a younger and cheaper assistant, everything is stamped with this senior partner’s name. And the timeline quite helpfully tells us when Radford reached for the legal option:

    September through December 2013: Radford, through his lawyers, repeatedly requests that Stollznow retract her false and malicious claims of stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

    Radford’s been invoking the lawyers for nine months now. Remember the burn rate I calculated earlier, of at least $800 every three days? That works out to much less than four months of legal before late March of this year, yet Radford had been going for seven months at that point.

    I think the better hypothesis is that this case was a favor to Radford. His lawyer has 40 years of history to shore up their reputation, and a negligible number of future cases to miss out on if things go sideways. So what do they care if Radford wants to take the wheel and micromanage? Just pop by every once in a while to put in the bare minimum of effort, and charge market rates for everything else. The odds of this mess surviving the pre-trial phase are slim, after all, so Radford’s lawyer figured they wouldn’t be grilled by an impatient judge. Their duty thus fulfilled, they could ride off into the sunset while Radford’s reputation roasts in the bonfire.

    There’s also that flurry of activity on March 3rd. Up until, and ever since, Radford has been well-behaved and only worked on the website during a work break or after closing time. That Monday, though, he altered files all throughout a work day, like he was excited and couldn’t keep his mind off the case. That afternoon is also when he uploaded the photo identification and email reports… yet dates internal to the files suggest they were finished around February 5th and 11th, respectively. Why were they uploaded so late? Did Radford somehow ignore his key pieces of evidence, or fight with his lawyer over them?

    Or, did his lawyer withhold them until payment came, or drag their heels over a hopeless case? Never attribute to malice what could be explained by incompetence, but never attribute to incompetence what could be explained by indifference.

  39. 440

    pneumo @429:

    Not having anything worthwhile to add, I’ll just leave this, to indicate my appreciation of your comments. I read them with great interest.

    Thanks! Incidentally, you’ll see why I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell when the mod queue is cleared. Watch the space above…

  40. 441

    Fortunately for all involved, part two of my timeline analysis is mostly a cut-and-paste job dealing with content, which seems fitting for the subject. Some bits have been covered before, so I won’t repeat them here. I’ll add highlighting to make it easier to see what I’m talking about.

    Labor Day weekend, 2008: Radford and Stollznow meet for the first time at the Dragon*Con conference in Atlanta, and Stollznow initiates sexual contact with Radford.

    What does “sexual contact” mean? Radford never elaborates, and whatever the gesture was it can’t have been that big, as it wasn’t worth mentioning in his legal complaint:

    24. Radford and Stollznow became acquainted with each other when they first met in September 2008 at a conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

    By invoking the word “sexual”, though, we’ll tend to think it was something major. Radford has a tendency to inflate Stollznow’s actions towards him. Most of us know his tendency to take birthday and Christmas cards as an admission Stollznow still loves him, a few of us stumbled on “You still love me. I can hear it in your voice.“, but the most extreme example I know of is on the timeline:

    April 18, 2010: Stollznow e-mails Radford to thank him for the time she had, and apologizes for dragging him into her “bizarre situation” by asking him to sleep with her even though she was engaged

    Here’s the email where she apologizes for the “bizarre situation.” Can anyone spot where she asks for sex?

    Hi Ben,

    I hope you arrived home safely, and enjoyed the rest of your stay with your family – even if it was in Berkeley! Sorry I didn’t stay the extra night, I had too much work to catch up on today.

    Congratulations on your successful talk and thank you for inviting me to that decadent event. In case you couldn’t tell, I was really in my element. But what a surreal evening…

    I apologise for dragging you into my bizarre situation, but I think we’re all pleased with the outcome. I am curious to see what happens from here.

    Thank you most of all for being a good friend to me, and for your sage advice and sensitivity regarding my situation, career, and our past. I’m glad we sorted out our differences, and I promise I won’t be a stranger from now on as we all move forward.

    Good on you for all of your recent successes. Do actually get some enjoyment from them as you move on to other projects.

    Thanks again for everything.

    Karen

    The most charitable interpretation here is that “pleased with the outcome” refers to the two of them sleeping together, and that the “asking” Radford mentions was discussed before, when they were setting up their April 2010 encounter. In that case, Radford should have instead linked to that earlier thread. He clearly has it, as that thread is in the email report as Item F. Reading through it, you can see why he didn’t link to it: Stollznow never asks to sleep with Radford. She was planning on staying up late drinking at an event both were attending, and wanted a place to “crash” afterward. Radford agrees, but complains “the logistics are a little dodgy” and asks if he can crash with her instead. Stollznow agrees, and offers to book a room. Radford then drops that lovely “piss- and puke-drenched slumbering bodies” line.

    There’s no explicit offer of sex. You can read a lot into “crash,” but merely because “sex” is one possible interpretation doesn’t mean it’s the most plausible one, let alone what both Radford and Stollznow had in mind. By appearances, Radford was the one escalating the situation to that end, not Stollznow. Her “I don’t plan to be /that/ drunk” looks like an attempt by her to de-escalate. And there’s a bizarre twist to this, buried in the legal complaint:

    m. On April 18, 2010, Stollznow e-mailed Radford to thank him for the time she had had with him in San Francisco, for his support and friendship, and apologized for involving him in her “bizarre situation” [presumably a reference to her soliciting sex from him even though she was engaged]

    “Presumably?” Why would Radford have to presume here, he should have a good idea of what her “situation” is. Is he playing word games again, to hide something?

    July 28, 2010: Matthew Baxter, Stollznow’s on-again, off-again boyfriend (now husband) contacts Radford privately via Facebook e-mail to ask his advice, describing Karen Stollznow as “the most enchanting, wonderful, spiteful, insecure, grudge-harboring woman I have ever met. The thing that worries me is the signs that she is either a huge liar or delusional.” …

    I think I’ve discussed this one before, but it’s worth repeating. We know Radford places a high value on eye-witness testimony, as evidenced by the speed he jumped on Paden’s contradictory account. Even if you disagree, having Stollznow’s then-boyfriend weigh in on his side is a pretty huge bit of evidence on his side.

    So why doesn’t Radford mention it in his legal complaint, where it counts the most? Does he doubt this document’s authenticity?

    September 17, 2010: In the course of a discussion about Stollznow’s relationship with Radford and seeing other people, she again offers to have an affair with Radford: “If you’re truly developing a new relationship, I’m happy for you. Let’s get past this! However, if you’re ever willing to have an affair…” The e-mail can be viewed here.

    I’ve analyzed this before, too, but it’s worth noting again that if you actually do view that email, you see Radford merged two separate emails into a single paragragh.

    October 2, 2010: Less than three months after Stollznow now claims Radford sexually assaulted her, Stollznow sent Radford a birthday card, with a note ending, “Lots of love, Karen, xxx/ooo [hugs and kisses].” Stollznow included a birthday gift for Radford—a book on pornography. The birthday card from Karen can be seen here: One || Two.

    Out of all the documents he’s uploaded, Radford links to that email report more than any other. As it’s in the page footer shared across all pages, though, that total is artificially inflated. The next-most linked evidence is a four-way tie, between the two arrest reports of Stollznow and Baxter and the two birthday card images mentioned above. Each was important enough to mention on four separate pages, like the gifts and correspondence page in the case of the arrest reports, or the TAM allegations page for the birthday card.

    And what does that card prove, exactly? We have an email from Stollznow mentioning she’s decided to stop handing out cards to her friends for Christmas, which means that by sending Radford a card she’s signalling she considers him a friend at best (or at worst, she’s trying to placate someone who demands a relationship and is willing to interfere with her career if he doesn’t get it). Nonetheless, Radford thinks it’s critical to his case.

    Interestingly, Radford doesn’t consider his legal complaint to be nearly as critical. Only one page links to that.

    April 26, 2011: In a domestic disturbance call, Baxter tells police that he and Stollznow began dating a year earlier (which would be late 2009 or early 2010), and that they had broken up many times since then (in a previous police report he puts the number at 40 times). …

    That earlier police report also states they had been together for a year (and at least one email backs up that timeline), so if the 40 number is true then Stollznow and Baxter broke up an average of three times a month. Minimum. Radford is very bad at detecting hyperbole.

    He may not have a good grasp on defamation, either; one form of it is publishing private information that does not advance the public interest. The arrest and release of Baxter is never referred to in Radford’s complaint, and thus can’t be necessary to make his case against Stollznow. At the same time, no charges were laid after the incident, so Baxter is considered innocent in the eyes of the law. Posting that second report is thus a violation of Baxter’s right to privacy, without having any benefit to the public, and could be actionable as defamation.

    August 11, 2012: Stollznow e-mails Radford to thank him for a birthday card he sent: “Hi Ben, I just received your birthday card. Thanks for that, it certainly made me laugh! Have a great weekend. Karen.”
    37. Throughout the remainder of 2012, Radford’s relationship with Stollznow remained uneventful and cordial. On August 11, 2012, for example, Stollznow e-mailed Radford to thank him for a birthday card he had sent (to her among others of his friends): “Hi Ben, I just received your birthday card. Thanks for that, it certainly made me laugh! Have a great weekend. Karen.”

    That’s an odd detail to point out in the legal complaint. Why do we care if Radford sent cards to other people? It argues Stollznow was just another of his friends, and not necessarily special. You have to dig deep into the emails to find out that cards could have been an issue between these two (as I alluded to above, Stollznow mentions she’d stop sending them to everyone in an email to Radford), so the only people who have a chance of understanding the proper context of these cards are Radford and Stollznow, and Radford is pointing but not explaining.

    Late June 2013: Though Radford is prohibited from making any public comment about Stollznow’s accusations or their consequences, he agrees to share some minimal information with podcast co-host Blake Smith just before Radford leaves on a vacation. Based upon Smith’s explicit promise to keep anything Radford tells him strictly confidential, Radford briefly mentions his situation, including why he will be ending his participation on MonsterTalk. Soon afterward Blake Smith presumably shares this information with Karen Stollznow, however either Smith misunderstood Radford, or Stollznow misunderstood Smith, because the information later published in Stollznow’s blog about Radford was factually incorrect. …

    The only bit of information Radford could be referring to is the allegation Radford was given a light suspension while on vacation. How Radford could have considered the only plausible source for that small bit of evidence to be Smith, when Stollznow is an investigator and knows a number of people close to Radford, is rather strange. Even if we grant Radford’s scenario, though, this seems like a detail too trivial to be worth mentioning …

    … unless he’s hoping his audience doesn’t know how small that detail is, and will assume it must have been a significant break of privacy in order to be worth mentioning at all. Or at least, that’s one plausible explanation.

    … This false information—which was told to Smith in confidence by Radford but later appeared in Stollznow’s blog—was, ironically, among several mistakes and factual errors that led to her blog being removed.

    That misleads why the article was removed. Scientific American claims it was because they were threatened with a lawsuit; Ron Lindsay claims he just wanted to correct a few factual errors, and wasn’t threatening a lawsuit. Even if we accept Lindsay’s account, the three errors he wanted corrected were:

    1. CFI first adopted a harassment policy after “ElevatorGate.”
    2. Radford’s suspension was concurrent with his vacation.
    3. CFI has a history of not taking harassment claims seriously.

    Even if we take a further step and say all three are accurate, that means CFI did not question the claim that Radford was found guilty of harassment by their investigation, or that they sanctioned Radford, or even that they watered down the claims. And it’s by no means certain the first and third are accurate, while everyone I’m aware of is happy to concede to Lindsay on the second.

    If you’re just reading Radford’s website without knowing any of the above, though, you’d assume the “factual errors” are the ones Radford has detailed. Hence why this is another example of Radford misleading us.

    August 6, 2013: Stollznow publishes a guest blog on the Scientific American Mind site titled “I’m Sick of Talking About Sexual Harassment!” […] Though Stollznow did not name Radford, it was crystal clear from the context who she was referring to (a point echoed by several bloggers including Rebecca Watson), and Stollznow soon confirmed to other bloggers, including PZ Myers and Carrie Poppy, that she was referring to Radford.

    I and many others had no idea who she was referring to until Ian Murphy outright told us. Look at Zvan’s later blog post, where she details how to break the anonymity of that original blog post:

    [Stollznow’s] work history is known. Only one organization adopted the language she quoted. She has an honorary position there. There are very few people there with the reputation for sexism that this guy has, and it hasn’t been that long since he was posting overseas vacation pictures on his Facebook wall.

    If you already knew a lot about CFI and Radford, you had it easy, but then you probably didn’t need a blog post to tip you off. If you didn’t know, then you had quite a few hoops to jump through to figure out those two names.

    August 6, 2013: Ian Murphy is the first to reveal Radford’s name in connection with Stollznow’s blog, via Twitter: “FYI, Karen Stollznow’s sexual harasser is Ben Radford. Someone had to say it” and included a link to Stollznow’s SciAm blog. This was retweeted 32 times to nearly 50,000 people.

    Counting retweets is easy enough, but that 50,000 number could only come by counting followers. Did Radford estimate this number, manually visit all 32 accounts, or ask someone to do it for him?

    August 7, 2013: A writer for Slate.com, Amanda Marcotte, writes a blog about Stollznow’s claims titled “Skepticism and Secularism Have a Serious Sexual Harassment Problem,” which quotes sections of Stollznow’s blog verbatim. After complaints were raised about the accuracy of information contained in the blog, it was taken down and replaced with the following Editors Note: “The article did not meet our standards for verification and fairness, and we have taken it down.”

    I’d forgotten about this. If you want to read the original article, it’s been archived. While the editor never explains which part was factually incorrect, I can see only one plausible candidate:

    She eventually cracked and, trying to retain her position with the company he worked for, complained to his superiors about this ongoing abuse. Five months later, she received a letter that “acknowledged the guilt of this individual.” The company felt that suspending him temporarily while he was on vacation was sufficient discipline. She, on the other hand, has lost all ability to work with this company, not just because she understandably wants to keep her distance, but because of a culture of “closing ranks like good ol’ boys.”

    The highlighted claim was one of the reasons Lindsay gave for mailing Scientific American about Stollznow’s blog post. If that’s the offending passage, then the analysis I did for the blog post also applies here, and yet again we find Radford misleading us.

    August 8, 2013: Kenneth Downey and Robert Gross, under the name Blind Labyrinth, wrote a song about Radford’s accusations and posted the video to YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy5xEipkKQc ). Titled “Sick of Talking About Sexual Harassment,” the three minute, seven-second video begins with a prominent photo of Mr. Radford above the caption “I’m sick of guys like Benjamin Radford.” It was eventually viewed nearly 1,000 times and as of January 2014 was online as a private video.

    We’ve established Radford isn’t very tech savvy. So how did he figure this out? Either a friend/helper verified it for him, or someone mentioned it in a blog post/comment. Whatever the case, it suggests Radford has an eagle-eye for details or has been keeping meticulous notes. That also makes it tougher to claim all these misleading statements by Radford are accidental.

    August 12, 2013: Joe Anderson, a close friend of Stollznow’s, writes a blog titled “Shame on you Ben,” in which he states that he fully supports Stollznow in part because she shared several of Radford’s allegedly harassing communication with him. These e-mails, which were written in 2009 and 2010, were offered as evidence that Radford’s personal harassment continued through 2012.

    Here’s what Anderson wrote in his blog post:

    A couple of years ago when we both had better work schedules, Karen and I had a standing coffee date. For about a year, we spent a couple of hours a day, three or four days a week together. It happened to be in many ways, what would be the peak of her harassment. I saw firsthand, the emails, text messages and phone calls that took place. Though it seemed like she received something from him every day, that’s probably not true. Certainly though, never a week went by without her receiving something. Though often thinly veiled, it was definitely inappropriate and over the long-term, constituted harassment.

    Anderson makes no claim about 2012; from his words, it’s clear he thought sometime around 2010 that she was receiving harassing communication. Radford seems to imply those events took place in 2012 instead, which is incompatible with Anderson’s account as well as his own claims of dwindling communication in 2011 and 2012.

    February 28, 2014: David Gorski, in a blog on ScienceBlogs LLC titled “On undisclosed conflicts of interest in medicine, science, and skepticism,” writes at length about a recent blog by Radford, and states that “last summer, the author of this piece, Ben Radford, was publicly accused of sexual harassment by Karen Stollznow.” Gorski repeats Stollznow’s accusation despite his admission that he was aware that Stollznow’s blog, which was the basis for her claims, had in fact been retracted by Scientific American Mind website because of its factual errors and false statements.

    A more complete quote, including context:

    Now, here’s where I reveal that I know something that many of you don’t know (although, I daresay, many of you do). What those of you who aren’t into the skeptical movement probably don’t know is that last summer, the author of this piece, Ben Radford, was publicly accused of sexual harassment by Karen Stollznow. Now, let me make one thing very clear. I make no judgment as to whether Radford is actually guilty of sexual harassment. I don’t know. I don’t have enough information to know, because all I know is what Stollznow wrote about it (an article that was later removed) and some of what flew back and forth on atheist blogs for a few weeks. For purposes of this discussion of COIs, it really doesn’t matter. For purposes of my discussion of disclosing COIs, it’s utterly irrelevant to me whether Radford is guilty or not.”

    GorskI repeated those claims, not because he believed them, but because they were an “undisclosed conflict of interest.” By suggesting he was blindly repeating the claims, though, Radford was yet again misleading us.

    … I think that’s about it for Radford’s website. While there might be one or two items I’ve missed, they probably aren’t significant or don’t change the overall picture. Based on what I’ve read, my opinion hasn’t wavered since I first heard of the website: Radford is almost certainly abusing the legal system to punish Stollznow for not playing his game. While the courts tend to be conservative and sexist, I think there’s enough misleading claims and outright lies on Radford’s side to make a legal victory unlikely.

    I’m not out of mysteries, however. For instance, what the heck is this?

  41. 442

    Well, well. I’ve missed out on a few things.

    This isn’t the only thread on the internet discussing the Radford case. The JREF forums have been discussing it as well, and one person in particular, McHell, has been keeping an eye on PACER. As near as I can tell, they’re deadlocked over jurisdiction; Stollznow’s lawyer argued for dismissal based on incorrect jurisdiction, suggesting Colorado as the proper state instead, while Radford’s lawyer disagreed and argues the case should remain under New Mexico law, so the first pre-trial hearings will have to decide one way or the other before the case can even begin. I’m nowhere near qualified to analyze that argument, and much of the answer will hinge on the judge’s opinion anyway.

    But Radford made two filings on the same day. Besides that response to the motion for dismissal, he also filed a declaration of evidence. That one makes little sense to me; with the jurisdiction issue in play, there’s a non-trivial chance the case will be dismissed and that declaration wiped away, wasting Radford’s time and money. If this is a pressure tactic, it can only be against the judge.

    Nonetheless, Radford’s handed me something to analyze. Who am I to turn that down?

    The declaration gets off to a slow start, repeating a lot of the structure and content found in the complaint (we get it, Radford, Stollznow sent you a thousand emails). The only significant divergence is that Radford takes great pains to emphasize everything took place in New Mexico or was done by people who live in New Mexico:

    I provide the following as very limited examples of the types of interactions and communications Stollznow had with me while I was domiciled in New Mexico and, in the vast majority of cases, while I was physically present in New Mexico. (5)

    Stollznow maliciously and falsely defamed me with the transparent intent to ruin my reputation (which she has largely accomplished) and to get me fired from my job (which she nearly accomplished), which I perform in New Mexico. (6)

    We agreed on a four-day, long weekend visit when she would come to stay with me in New Mexico, which she did. Before she came, I told her that I could arrange a radio interview for her, on a New Mexico radio station, while she was in New Mexico, which I did, and she in turn conducted a radio show interview with me for her podcast, “The Skeptic Zone.” During her visit, I showed her around where I grew up; took her to my mother’s house and she and my mother became friendly with each other. (8)

    Whoa whoa whoa, what was that last one? Back when I looked over Radford’s exchange with Blake Smith, I noted he admitted to engaging in a quid pro quo relationship with Stollznow. That charge is a major part of her blog post:

    Then came the quid pro quo harassment. He would find opportunities for me within the company and recommend me to television producers, but only if I was nicer to him. One day the company offered me an honorary position that I’d worked hard for, but he warned me that he had the power to thwart that offer.

    And in response to the charge that he demanded a relationship in exchange for promoting Stollznow’s work, Radford is detailing all the times he helped Stollznow’s career while they were together, as well as his attempts to force a relationship by getting her and his parents to hang out.

    With dawning horror, I’m beginning to realize that Radford is so confident of his case in part because he thinks his warped view of relationships are the norm.

    9. During the days she spent with me in New Mexico, I introduced her to Ken Frazier, who also lives in New Mexico. ….

    I’d love to suggest a drinking game, but that would probably get me sued for encouraging alcohol poisoning.

    … I made dinner for both Frazier and Stollznow while she was here and, as a result of my introduction and my promotion of Stollznow to Frazier, she began a successful relationship with the Center for Inquiry and The Skeptical Inquirer, through her continuing contact with him and with me. She wrote for the magazine on a number of occasions thereafter and was also hired to become a writer for the Skeptical Inquirer website. She was paid by CFI to work on its podcast, Point of Inquiry, and later elected to an honorary position in the organization.

    Oh my dog, he’s actually trying to build a case for a quid pro quo relationship.

    10. During the period 2008-2012, I continued to assist Karen Stollznow in gaining recognition in the “skeptical” movement and was able to do so on many occasions….

    11. On numerous occasions, when an article by Stollznow was relevant to our topic or topics, I would refer the reader to her articles in order to promote her career. When I promoted her in this fashion, she would call or email to thank me and express the hope that I would continue to “plug” her articles or talks. I always tried to act on her requests, out of friendship and an effort to promote her worthy work.

    Ooohh, I think I see the angle he’s going for. Radford is claiming Stollznow agreed to a quid pro quo relationship, and therefore swapping career advancement for sex was part of the bargain. As an example, in order to justify trying to get Stollznow kicked off of MonsterTalk Radford would have to produce an email shared between him, Smith, and Stollznow, where she agreed that in return for being Radford’s friend on Facebook and not “changing” her email address, Radford and Smith would allow her a hosting spot.

    Of course, if Radford can’t produce such an email, then the contract covering that specific instance was all in his head. Any assumption of mutual agreement is a violation of her and Smith’s liberty, and therefore his attempts to kick her off were unjustified and in the extreme case may be actionable. Worse still, this is an all-or-nothing line of attack; by providing any evidence to justify a quid pro quo relationship, Radford is supplying Stollznow with evidence for an unjustified quid pro quo relationship. While he has to show clear consent to make his argument, however, she merely has to show a lack of clear consent.

    And birthday cards are not consent.

    About the only way Radford can make this situation worse is by admitting he helped her in return for sex.

    14. My efforts to promote her to Frazier, and the many other efforts I made on her behalf, provided, I believe, significant boosts to Stollznow’s career. I made these efforts freely because I thought she was a good researcher and writer and because we were involved together in a romantic relationship.

    [stunned silence]

    16. In the course of our relationship, we met for sex and companionship in Georgia and New Mexico in 2008, and in California in 2010. When we met in San Francisco in 2010, it was at Stollznow’s request and she communicated that request to me while I was in New Mexico.

    Radford is trying to paint Stollznow as a jilted former lover here, yet by his own admission they’ve only met for sex three times? One of those times was April 2010, and as I detailed above I think it’s more likely Radford pressured Stollznow into sex with an assist from alcohol, rather than Stollznow booking a hotel room with that end goal in mind. That’s not a lot to construct a relationship from, and yet Radford is hoping to show he and Stollznow not only had a relationship, but they had one until September 2010.

    17. … In a March 1, 2010, e-mail to me Stollznow again stated her disappointment that our relationship had not blossomed as she’d expected … Some months later, she informed me, or I learned from acquaintances, that she had become engaged to (following a year-long, rocky on-and-off relationship with) Matthew Baxter

    I can understand if Radford was confused which acquaintance told him about Baxter. But not knowing if he was told by Stollznow or not? That’s a red flag that he’s hiding something. It might also contradict with his own timeline:

    April 18, 2010: Stollznow e-mails Radford to thank him for the time she had, and apologizes for dragging him into her “bizarre situation” by asking him to sleep with her even though she was engaged.

    So either her “bizarre situation” was Baxter, in which case Stollznow assumed Radford had known of him at that time, or it was something else that Radford wants us to think was Baxter.

    18. After she entered into her relationship with Baxter, Stollznow placed a call to me on my cell phone in September 2010, to solicit my sympathy and advice, claiming that Baxter had broken her wrist during an argument.

    In his timeline, however, Radford is unsure of what Stollznow claimed to break:

    September 26, 2010: Stollznow calls Radford while he is in Kentucky and tells Radford that Matthew Baxter physically assaulted her, and, she claims, broke her wrist or arm.

    His complaint is sure it was her wrist:

    26r. Stollznow called him to seek his advice about her rocky relationship with the man she’d been dating, Matthew Baxter—including, she told him, that Baxter had broken her wrist during a recent argument.

    So either Radford flip-flopped on what Stollznow claims to have broken, or he wrote the timeline item before contributing to the legal complaint and later declaration. More evidence for my “master document” hypothesis.

    19. In September 2010 I rebuffed Stollznow’s request that we continue our affair even though she had married Baxter. She seemed upset.

    Her entire reply to his “rejection:”

    Well, that’s not true, but anyway, I offered. Never again.

    How does he read “upset” from so few words?

    21. In June 2011 Stollznow called me in New Mexico, with Baxter on the line, and suddenly (and for the first time in our by-then four year relationship) stated that I needed to stop “harassing her” and warned me that she might raise the issue with my employer.

    Radford claims they first met in September 2008 multiple times, including this very document (8), which makes their relationship less than three years old at this point.

    22. Soon after-and after trying to have me banned from two conferences where I often speak-Stollznow contacted my employer, CFI, to attempt to get me fired for my supposed misconduct toward her.

    Hang on, Stollznow went to CFI in January or February 2013, and the email to the JREF board was sent in July, after CFI finished their investigation. Either Radford screwed up his timeline, or he’s talking about two conferences he’s never mentioned before.

    And we know one of those conferences is TAM, thanks to Carrie Poppy, but what’s the other one? Dragon*Con seems the most likely candidate, but the speculation over conferences obscures a bigger issue: how did Radford know about the other conference? It seems bizarre that a conference organizer would contact Radford to mention Stollznow dropped them a line, and the only way that info would come from Stollznow was if Radford had broken into her computer.

    23. Although CFI found most of her allegations against me to be unsubstantiated, their investigator found that I had sent Stollznow “inappropriate” emails in 2012, after she and I had ended our relationship and she had married Baxter. I realized later, when I examined one of the documents she had provided CFI’s investigator, that Stollznow had falsified the dates of my emails to her, changing their years to 2012. …

    Interesting, as that means the letter Radford got from CFI either didn’t mention the emails from 2012, or it did and Radford found the claim to be plausible; otherwise, he would have known about the forgeries immediately.

    Don’t worry, I’ll circle back to the bomb-shell later.

    … It was the falsified dates that made the emails appear “inappropriate.” …

    And not the content? When exactly is “You still love me. I can hear it in your voice” appropriate?

    … I still have my emails, with the correct dates, and have had their dates independently verified by a computer forensics firm for purposes of this litigation.

    No, he has not. Exactly two emails had their dates authenticated, leaving eight unaccounted for in the list he provided. So long as at least one of those is legit, that specific finding still stands, even if it’s true the dates of those emails were critical to CFI’s investigation.

    24. In my opinion, the inference to draw from her attack on CFI was that she hoped to pressure CFI into firing me.

    According to Ron Lindsay, CFI has a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment, and they found Radford guilty of something. If that something was harassment, then by CFI’s rules Radford should have been fired, and Stollznow was only pressuring them to live up to their own policy.

    25. After my experience with Stollznow’s attacks on me, I learned that at least three other people, including her current husband, have had similar experiences with Stollznow making false accusations against them, including of a sexual nature. What I list below are only the instances that I have learned about

    But Radford only lists two people, Reap Paden and Matthew Baxter, and the latter is mentioned twice. And yes, Paden’s account has been officially added to Radford’s legal case. I and others have already examined it, so I’ll only mention this oddity:

    25a. Though alcohol was involved in this incident, Stollznow’s behavior cannot be excused by drinking because she never retracted her statements.

    That’s not how cognitive impairment works, future events do not wipe away your impaired judgement in the present moment. Also, you can’t retract statements you’ve never made, and so far all we have is Paden and the word of “Beth Hedrick,” which a number of us consider unreliable. Also also, while several of us have poked holes in Paden’s narrative, so far as I know only one person has invoked alcohol in their arguments.

    Dance, puppet. 😉

    25 c. Before Baxter and Stollznow got married, Baxter emailed me in 2010 to seek relationship advice and complained that “My relationship with Karen has been a rocky one.

    Weird. I’ve taken Radford to task for not including this in his legal complaint, suggesting he had little faith in it. This nullifies that argument, but why was it included now? Has he stumbled on some additional evidence that supports it? Is he feeling the rest of his case is weak, and added this to shore it up? Or was the omission an oversight?

    27. As a consequence of Stollznow having communicated her false accusations to my friends, colleagues, potential employers, those who run conferences at which I previously spoke, and most importantly my employer, I had to borrow many thousands of dollars from my parents to pay my attorney to respond to Stollznow’s false allegations in the course of communicating with my employer, and in a failed attempt to persuade Stollznow to retract her allegations so that we could avoid litigation.

    We now know where he’s getting his funds for the lawsuit. Thanks for sharing details you didn’t have to, Radford! Speaking of which:

    29. Stollznow’s false and defamatory statements to my employer, CFI, caused me to lose two weeks’ pay and receive a letter of reprimand. I have always received and deposited my pay in the bank in New Mexico, and check stubs are also mailed here in New Mexico. Her false statements substantially destabilized my relationship with my employer. Although’CFI is located in Buffalo, New York I have performed my work for CFI from my office in New Mexico for the past six years. In addition to depriving me of two weeks’ salary, her false accusations caused me to spend well over $25,000 in attorneys’ fees when I felt compelled to seek legal assistance in addressing my employer, CFI, regarding Stollznow’s accusations, which CFI had taken seriously, not knowing that her accusations were false and the dates of critical emails falsified.

    Ignoring the comical emphasis on New Mexico, this fits in with earlier speculation (I think Ann can claim a victory here, but I haven’t tracked down the comment). Radford did indeed go after CFI first, which explains why he chose a lawyer that specialized in employment law and not defamation. I suspect there’s a fair bit of overlap between the two legal prongs, and Radford has only put the CFI side to rest temporarily, hoping to use a victory against Stollznow as leverage against CFI. This could also explain why CFI has kept Radford around, as firing an employee for harassment when they’re suing you for false charges of harassment would create a minor legal nightmare.

    It doesn’t help that Radford seems adept at digging up things that should be private, and has no remorse about sharing them publicly. That website was a warning that anyone who dares “go after” Radford had better have an empty closet, as any skeletons contained therein could be used against them. And if the rumours have some truth to them, CFI may have a decent bone count.

    This also gives us a much clearer view of Radford’s financial situation. Most of those fees probably came from a match of legal ping-pong against CFI which ended before February 17th, and I suspect the two reports Radford has commissioned also are lumped under here. As we know Radford’s spent between $34,000 and $40,000 in legal fees as of April 26th (thanks, Mattke!), that means he spent $10,000 to $15,000 pursuing Stollznow between September and April. The fundraiser’s low target of $10,000 was probably aimed at recovering the fees for drafting up a cease-and-desist we haven’t seen, the February 17th complaint, a settlement, plus the two reports. That seems much more reasonable than $34,000 to $40,000 on Stollznow alone.

    I strongly suspect none of the above totals cover the extraction of those police reports; they were printed before Radford had engaged the lawyers on Stollznow, and I suspect that unless he had a friend on the inside their extraction probably cost him $10,000 alone (source: my ass).

    It could also give some support for the shoddy work on those two reports: what started as a seemingly simple employment case for Radford’s lawyer exploded into a two-prong legal strategy steered by an obsessive with shallow pockets. They can’t be happy with him, and as I outlined above a legal failure wouldn’t cost them much. And what’s Radford going to do if his own lawyer is negligent, sue them? After sinking tens of thousands of dollars he doesn’t have on his obsession?

    30. … because [Stollznow] made an effort to identify me as the person who had supposedly sexually harassed and assaulted her, I became a target of venom and ridicule throughout the “skeptics” movement, and numerous other articles and blog posts appeared in which I was identified and reviled as a serial sexual harasser and even sexual predator.

    I suppose it’s fitting we follow up something I got right with something I flubbed. Twice in his declaration, Radford refers to the “skeptics movement” (the other happens in 24). That blows apart a key piece of evidence that I used to argue those passages came from Radford’s lawyer, but in my defense I think it’s still a fair bet that Radford would leave the legalese to his lawyer.

    Also, Radford calls it the “skeptics movement?” Weird.

    31. I have no connections with the State of Colorado or Denver, Colorado, except the following: About twenty years ago, I traveled to Colorado for a Pink Floyd concert. Other than that, I’ve never been to Denver. About three years ago, I had a phone conversation with a Colorado glass blower in connection with a book I was writing at the time. Other than these two contacts, I have had none with Colorado.

    Radford immediately forgets about Stollznow when the topic of jurisdiction comes up, as she’s a rather big tie to Colorado. He really, really wants this case tried under New Mexico law, doesn’t he?

    32. The witnesses whose testimony will or may be required in the course of discovery and/or trial include the following.

    Yep, Radford lists off a dream team of twelve witnesses. They include Ken Frazier and Dave Thomas (to support Radford’s claim of a quid pro quo relationship), Radford’s parents (he mentions eleswhere he had to have a painful conversation with them over all this, so they’re a bizarre pick), Ann Rogers (apparently Radford’s parents aren’t trustworthy enough), Reap Paden (*snicker*), Jenna Griffith (who’s probably overjoyed at having her name re-associated with this case, after Radford removed it from his timeline), Ron Lindsay (yep, Radford went there), and the person who conducted the CFI investigation. There’s a lot of little things in this section that I’m skipping over (like a subtle dig at PZ Myers), so give it a skim sometime.

    And make sure you’re sitting down when you come back, because Radford is about to drop a bombshell bigger than the one in paragraph 14:

    33. In addition to emails, the documents related to this case include blog posts, Twitter and Facebook posts, electronic recordings and other documents that can be exchanged easily by electronic means. To my knowledge, the only substantial volume of physical documents that may exist would be the file in the possession of […] the investigator that my employer, CFI, hired to conduct an investigation into Stollznow’s accusations against me, and to whom Stollznow provided the emails whose dates she had falsified. Although I have not seen her report, on information and belief her file and her report will contain other falsehoods from Stollznow.

    Let those two sentences marinate in your mind for a bit, then come back and read my interpretation (if only because it’ll act as a sanity check).

    If Radford is telling the truth about the report, that means the CFI part of his lawsuit, two thirds of the claims he’s brought against Stollznow, and his $34,000+ legal expenses, are based on nothing but second-hand information and hope. He had only July, August, and a bit of September at most to gather up that second-hand info and find his lawyer, while keeping up his day job and cataloging other evidence he had, which suggests he either got lucky and stumbled on an incredibly potent bit of evidence, or the “belief” side of things is steering this lawsuit.

    But if he stumbled on a potent bit of evidence, he should have shared it by now. He’s not obligated to, true, but given how enthusiastically he’s embraced the accounts of Paden and Hendrick, how he’s never hinted he has more information, how the few scraps I can find that outline hidden evidence (like the existence of multiple photos from the April 2010 tryst) suggest there’s no major relevations forthcoming, and how he just admitted he’s counting on CFI’s investigator to provide evidence for his case, I think his strongest cards are on the table.

    Which brings me to those PDFs of forged emails. All of us thought they were from CFI’s report; the fact they were hard-copies made on his work computer, yet with information Radford would have loved to read blocked out, and came from a document at least sixteen pages long (or as the handwritten numbers suggest, fourteen if you leave off the cover page) made that by far the most likely source. Yet Radford just suggested he had no substantial physical documents in his possession, in addition to saying he’d never seen the report. So what the fuck are those documents?!

    Well, they could be from the CFI report. While I’ve generally been trusting of Radford, at several times he’s engaged in quote-mining and outright misrepresentation, and he has a remarkable knack for retrieving documents he shouldn’t have access to. He’s even lied in this declaration (8, 23, and maybe 22), which carries serious legal consequences:

    I [Radford] declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing is true and correct.

    So it’s plausible he has a copy of the document, by flexing either his legal or investigative muscles, and is pretending he doesn’t in order to protect his source. This fits in with an earlier hypothesis of Ann, too.

    But there’s a third option, one where Radford is being honest about the report, yet can be fully confident in his information. Remember that bombshell I slid past in paragraph 23?

    I realized later, when I examined one of the documents she had provided CFI’s investigator, that Stollznow had falsified the dates of my emails to her, changing their years to 2012.

    While it’s entirely plausible Radford could have CFI’s report, how on earth did he ever get his hands on one of the documents Stollznow provided to the investigator? At most one or two people within CFI would have such a document, but it’s more likely that the only source was the investigative team would have a copy. “Team,” however, seems to refer to a single person in this case; I’ve never seen anyone else associated with the investigation, and it’s quite likely only a single investigator would be needed. No, the name of the CFI investigator isn’t new information for me, I’ve known it for months.

    What is news to me is that Radford isn’t using her full name. Why would he refer to the woman who sided with Stollznow for some claims in CFI’s report, and in the process threatened his career at CFI, by a familial short name? Especially when she’s in his contact list under her full name.

    She’s also been sent a fair number of emails. Remember Stollznow’s description of her side of the investigation? “I provided access to my email account” implies a full hand-over to that investigator, yet on Radford’s side we see several emails being forwarded to the investigator during the time the report was being made. If the investigator had full access to Radford’s account, there’d be no need for that; she’d either print-to-PDF like Radford did, or copy-paste them into another document. It suggests either incompetence on the side of the investigator (as handling email evidence would be a key component of carrying out most workplace harassment investigations), or that Radford didn’t provide the same level of access as Stollznow.

    That weakly suggests the investigation was rigged. When it would have been rigged, and by whom, is tough to suss out. Did Radford sweet-talk his investigator during the process? Did he use some legal muscle to make a small business hand over their documents after the investigation? Did the key people at CFI start out with the intention of a biased report, as Stollznow seems to suggest, or was it hijacked by Radford?

    The mind reels at it all. The mind also has a tendency to read too much into too little and form conspiracy theories. Can I get a sanity check here?

  42. 444

    Here’s the email where she apologizes for the “bizarre situation.” Can anyone spot where she asks for sex?

    I read it as claiming “apologizes FOR asking him to sleep with her”, not as “apologizes BY asking him to sleep with her”.

  43. 445

    pneumo @437:

    I read it as claiming “apologizes FOR asking him to sleep with her”, not as “apologizes BY asking him to sleep with her”.

    Hmmm, I’m not sure I buy that. Stollznow never did ask for sex, and appears to have de-escalated when Radford started steering the conversation that way. You could argue she steered away of broaching the subject during their email exchange, only to ask when they later met in person, but that doesn’t seem likely.

    It’s possible she was apologizing “for,” according to Radford, however I still think there are more plausible scenarios.

  44. Ann
    446

    The only bit of information Radford could be referring to is the allegation Radford was given a light suspension while on vacation. How Radford could have considered the only plausible source for that small bit of evidence to be Smith, when Stollznow is an investigator and knows a number of people close to Radford, is rather strange.

    I assume that he knew who her source was because he knew to whom he gave the inaccurate info that she repeated in her post..

    I think it’s quite possible that he downplayed the suspension when talking to Smith precisely because he thought it might get back to her, and wanted it to get on her nerves if it did.

    April 18, 2010: Stollznow e-mails Radford to thank him for the time she had, and apologizes for dragging him into her “bizarre situation” by asking him to sleep with her even though she was engaged

    He means that’s how she dragged him into her bizarre situation, not that it’s how she apologized

    (I agree with pneumo.)

  45. Ann
    447

    Ignoring the comical emphasis on New Mexico, this fits in with earlier speculation (I think Ann can claim a victory here, but I haven’t tracked down the comment). Radford did indeed go after CFI first, which explains why he chose a lawyer that specialized in employment law and not defamation.

    I asked why he didn’t go after them, but it was a rhetorical question. (“If what he says is true, why isn’t he suing the place on the strength of whose ostensibly slipshod findings she was able to call his actions harassment, ffs?”)

    I don’t think the attorney specializing in employment law requires any explanation. That’s the kind of representation you need when your employer is investigating sexual harassment charges against you.

    Also:

    I was evidently wrong about his having seen the report.

    But it’s really incredible that he’s flying blind in that regard. For all he knows, she may have sent an email correcting her dating errors ten minutes after the one that contained them.

    Looks more and more to me as if he was playing hardball to get a retraction and got caught bluffing.

    _______________

    About this:

    I assume that he knew who her source was because he knew to whom he gave the inaccurate info that she repeated in her post.

    He (probably inadvertently) says as much on his website:

    This false information—which was told to Smith in confidence by Radford but later appeared in Stollznow’s blog—was, ironically, among several mistakes and factual errors that led to her blog being removed.

  46. 448

    Ann @439

    I think it’s quite possible that he downplayed the suspension when talking to Smith precisely because he thought it might get back to her, and wanted it to get on her nerves if it did.

    … yeah, that’s plausible. There’s some weak evidence he’s done this before, too; Mattke was told “Ben and his family have spent almost $30,000 (as of this writing)” on April 11th, yet Ashley Miller had heard “he’s spent $40k on lawyering” on March 4th. There’s a half-decent chance the discrepancy was due to a miscommunication, hence “weak,” but it’s evidence nonetheless.

    Incidentally, if Miller’s source is right then my “burn rate” calculation earlier on in this thread is quite invalid.

    He means that’s how she dragged him into her bizarre situation, not that it’s how she apologized

    (I agree with pneumo.)

    Dang, I’m back in the minority again. 😛 I think I understand what you two were getting at, this time; “bizarre situation” refers to her relationship with Baxter, and Radford was “dragged” in when Stollznow decided to sleep with him. It took me a while because I’m fairly convinced “bizarre situation” refers to something else, in which case that entire line of reasoning falls apart. I know, “presumably” isn’t the strongest evidence, but when placed against a background of repeated misrepresentations and quote-mining on Radford’s part, I think my stance is a reasonable interpretation.

    But it’s really incredible that he’s flying blind in that regard. For all he knows, she may have sent an email correcting her dating errors ten minutes after the one that contained them.

    Looks more and more to me as if he was playing hardball to get a retraction and got caught bluffing.

    Agreed. Radford seems to have an aggressive streak, between the mention of a 10:1 punitive award totalling millions in the Complaint, and the filing of that Declaration of evidence when jurisdiction wasn’t even close to being settled. Trying to force Stollznow to concede more when she had a weak hand seems entirely in character, as does relying on a document he may not have seen. It also gives his case the air of a fishing expedition, an attempt to use the legal system to pry loose even more dirt.

  47. Ann
    449

    The declaration of evidence is in support of the jurisdictional argument.

    That’s what it seeks to evidence: that the NM court has jurisdiction.

Comments are closed.