Apologies for yet another skeptic-ological article so soon after a the last. In a way, the current article is a follow up to this one: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/rebecca-watson-man-made-feminist.html. As I mention in that one, Prof. Richard Dawkins has had his booking to speak at the New England Conference on Science and Skepticism cancelled. NECSS is one of the top skeptic conferences in the world and for them to ban none other than what they themselves describe as their "greatest rock star" is totally unexpected and unbelievable. The NECSS management said it had: "withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video. We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS." See: http://necss.org/2016/01/27/a-statement-concerning-richard-dawkins/. The video in question is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecJUqhm2g08. Dawkins noted in the Tweet: "Obviously doesn’t apply to the vast majority of feminists, among whom I count myself. But the minority are pernicious." Later on he learned that the characters in the video are not just generic figures. The woman playing the piano is a caricature of a real person, a feminist who led a protest against a men's right conference in Canada and who went on to receive the same kind of abuse as Rebecca Watson, see: http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2013/04/15/canadian-feminist-activist-receives-death-threats-and-other-abuse-after-being-targeted-by-mens-rights-activists/. Dawkins then apologized and deleted the Tweet, but it was too late. A new hashtag war erupted, see: https://twitter.com/thelindywest/status/692461613178290182. This is, of course, just one more battle in the Skeptic Civil War that I describe in the above background link. This incident marks a new escalation of that war. As I've said, atheo-skeptics are very good at maintaining an attractive shop window even when there are cockroaches in the storeroom and the books are blood red. Up till now, there has been virtually no reference in the first-tier skeptic media at all to any trouble at the mill. That has now changed completely in the most spectacular fashion. The mask has slipped and the calm pretence can no longer be maintained. Clearly the NECSS team must have been put under a lot of pressure to take this drastic move. Nobody can now remain neutral in the war and Richard Dawkins has had his flag planted for him, even if he hasn't done it himself. He seems to have made himself an enemy of the feminist-leftist faction of the atheo-skeptic schism unintentionally. He appears a bit clueless and out of his depth. He replied to NECSS: "I woke up this morning to see a public announcement that my invitation to speak at NECSS 2016 had been withdrawn by the executive committee... I wish there had been a friendly conversation before such unilateral action was taken. It is possible I could have allayed the committee members’ concerns, or, if not, at least we could have talked through their objections to my Tweet. If our community is about anything it is that reasoned discussion is the best way to work through disagreements. The science and scepticism community is too small and too important to let disagreements divide us and divert us from our mission of promoting a more critical and scientifically literate world." See: https://richarddawkins.net/2016/01/necss-response/. According to Rebecca Watson, this is not the first time Dawkins has fuelled the ire of her cohorts, and I don't think she means just the "Dear Muslima" comment. She wrote: "Dawkins has long been known for his bizarre, inappropriate, and sometimes downright hateful posts on social media, so it was embarrassing that the atheist and skeptic communities continued to give him a platform... he has continued Tweeting anti-feminist garbage." See: http://skepchick.org/2016/01/necss-dumps-richard-dawkins-over-hate-tweet/. It seems despite his radical neutrality, Dawkins has, in his own naive way, opinions that knock him off the fence.
It's interesting to note that when NECSS described the video as highly offensive, they did not put it in quote marks. This indicates that the status of the video is not disputed, nor is it open to dispute. I personally regard that video as a satire, and a clever one that echoes some of my own criticism of feminism. I don't think appreciating the point it makes automatically trivializes the severity of the personal ordeal of "Big Red" and the criminal threats she received. As I said in the above background link, I take internet bullying very seriously and would defend my most hostile opponent against it. The constant cries of "offensive!", "offensive!" are a worrying symptom of cultural Marxism, as Thunderf00t rightly points out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGTmwyKpz0o. Sargon of Akkad cleverly expands on the theme in this analysis. However, he doesn't go far enough. This is not just political subversion; this is mind control, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1bI7S0LCos and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKzt8Da1Uco. The best backlash on this issue come from the great Mykeru: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBGTal4qsm0. The denouncement of people for breaching politically correct speech codes and hypersensitivity is known as "de-platforming" or "no plaforming". I've covered this many times, and a few years ago there was even a half-hearted attempt to do it to me in
Birmingham, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/marine-le-pen-at-oxford-union.html.
The thing is, the atheist and skeptic movements have been linked to cultural
Marxist fifth column organizations since day one. One of the most prominent
activists for American atheism in the twentieth century was Corliss Lamont, and
he was also an architect of much of the structure of modern anti-theist
culture. He wrote about humanist namings and weddings long before most the
members of the British Humanist Association were born or married. Steve
Trueblue has more information in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCwr0AMJZGI.
Are we witnessing the endgame of the Skeptic Civil War in which the cultural
Marxists take over? With anybody other than Richard Dawkins becoming a
casualty, I would doubt it. As for Richard Dawkins, he is a big enough hitter
to get on with his mission without NECSS. He could probably organize his own
conference that's bigger than theirs. If anything, it's NECSS who need him. Another reason to grasp how
significant their action against him was.
See here for further background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/indoctrination-into-non-belief.html.