Richard Carrier Drama Llama

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lpetrich
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Richard Carrier Drama Llama

Post by lpetrich » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:56 pm

The Orbit: New Blogger Network - Secular Café -- first Ophelia Benson departing to go solo again, and then some FTB bloggers departing to create their own network.

Now there's a big controversy over Richard Carrier allegedly sexually harassing some people. Dr. Richard Carrier Has Sued Several Atheists and Their Blogging Networks on Charges of Defamation by Hemant Mehta.

Someone has put his legal complaint online: CarrierLawsuitModi.pdf

He is suing for defamation FreeThoughtBlogs (FTB), PZ Myers, TheOrbit, Stephanie Zvan, Skepticon, Lauren Lane, and Amy Frank-Skiba. He wants $1,050,000 in compensatory damages and $1,050,000 in punitive damages from them.

At FTB, PZ Myers:
Richard Carrier’s blog
Statement on Richard Carrier’s voluntary departure from our network
Also at FTB:
The FtB Ethics Committee on Richard Carrier

At The Orbit, Stephanie Zvan:
Summarizing the Current Allegations Against Richard Carrier - Almost Diamonds
Also there, Greta Christina (not being sued):
Why We Publicize Accusations of Sexual Misconduct - Greta Christina's Blog

Lauren Lane of Skepticon:
Keeping Skepticon Safe: Richard Carrier to be Banned

From that statement,
The accusations specifically against Richard Carrier are, sadly, not so surprising to the Skepticon organizers. While he was a featured speaker for many years, we stopped inviting him to speak partly because of his repeated boundary-pushing behavior, including towards someone involved in Skepticon. What has been made clear by the recent discussions is that our attendees’ well being and comfort is put at an unacceptable risk by Carrier’s presence, and so we are officially prohibiting Richard Carrier from attending any future Skepticons.
On Richard Carrier's side:
Regarding the Accusations Made by Amy Frank - Richard Carrier
On the Recent Defamation of My Character - Richard Carrier
Apology & Going Forward - Richard Carrier
The Details of My Defamation Case - Richard Carrier

He quotes Amy Frank-Skiba:
Richard Carrier, the man who sexually harassed me and touched me a year ago [2015–ed.] after speaking at ASU [Arizona State University–ed.] is now an official employee of this organization. Campus Quest [sic–ed.] and the Secular Student Alliance are partners, and fully aware of what transpired last year. I’m not even close to being his only victim, and there are even more victims of other speakers of the SSA.
He states in his legal complaint
52. As a direct and proximate cause of Ms. Frank-Skiba's May 2015 complaint, the Secular Student Alliance were persuaded to remove Dr. Carrier from the organization's Speaker's Bureau, in or around August 2015, eliminating associated promotional, logistical, and financial support. ...
and
53. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants' false and defamatory statements attached hereto as Exhibits 1-4, on or about June 21, 2016 FreethoughtBlogs.com was persuaded to block Dr. Carrier's access to his blog, and from publishing content.

54. FreethoughBlogs.com proposed to investigate the claims only after the fact, refusing to identify Dr. Carrier's accuser(s), rendering impossible a fair and effective investigation, and ultimately forcing Dr. Carrier to relocate his body of work to a domain of his own, to regain promotional and publishing control from FreethoughtBlogs' interference.

55. After relocating his body of work, FreethoughtBlogs deviated from their customary procedure and removed Dr. Carrier's content without rerouting links to the new domain, severely disrupting access to his work and search engine visibility.
and also
84. By falsely claiming, without privilege, that Dr. Carrier committed sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, Defendants intended to inflict a vicious, deliberate, and calculated attack on Dr. Carrier's character, reputation, and professional standing, and to turn the academic and skeptic communities against Dr. Carrier, and to cause them to have contempt, scorn, disgust, and hatred for him, and to hold him in the lowest possible regard.

85. Defendants' statements stigmatize Dr. Carrier as guilty of serious criminal offenses involving moral turpitude, allege behavior incompatible with the proper conduct of his business and trade, and injure his professional standing.
In summary, it looks like he's charging that his accusers are trying to smear him and ruin his career.

He wants a jury trial.

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lpetrich
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Post by lpetrich » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:22 am

Hemant Mehta's blog entry Dr. Richard Carrier Has Sued Several Atheists and Their Blogging Networks on Charges of Defamation got lots of comments, ranging from the insightful to bashing of FTB and PZ Myers. Is there something about PZ's personality that many people find off-putting?

Some commenters speculated that RC's lawsuit was a way of shutting up his targets. Making his suit a "SLAPP" one.

Some commenters went so far as to suggest that he was venue-shopping, looking for a state without a SLAPP law, when he moved to Ohio.

It seems to me that RC has made some allegations that would be difficult to prove, like deliberately attempting to sabotage his career. However, that seeming sabotage seems more like a side effect of not wanting to be associated with someone unwanted.

I recall someone noting that his banning from Skepticon did not contain hedging of its accusations with words like "alleged". So unless that banning message's charges could be substantiated, then RC has a case.

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Post by lpetrich » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:00 am

This is weird. Was Richard Carrier really a lecher? Or was it a case of friendships and relationships gone sour?

Skepticon Response_redacted.pdf - DocDroid

Arguing that Skepticon's management's statements are a combination of opinion and truth, asserted without malice. Not asserted knowing that they were false or with a reckless disregard for truth.

Carrier Affidavit.pdf - DocDroid

He claims that he had a love affair with Lauren Lane, and that she tried to continue it after he broke it off. Then, according to him, he says that he wanted to restart it, something that she didn't like very much, though he accepted that. Then also, according to him, she expressed disapproval of him being with another woman.

Then something on Amy Frank-Skiba, which he insists did not get very far.

Then Heina Dadabhoy, someone whom he claims he had been friends with for some time. He tells us that he wanted a romantic relationship, but she angrily refused. He says that he accepted her rejection, however.

Dana Carol Fredsti Affidavit.pdf - DocDroid

She claims that she watched RC and LL flirt with each other, to the distress of RC's then wife.

David Fitzgerald Affidavit.pdf - DocDroid

He claims that RC and LL flirted with each other and that LL was for some time attracted to RC.

Spencer Hawkins Affidavit.pdf - DocDroid

Also claiming that RC had not sexually harassed Amy Frank-Skiba.

Heina Dadabhoy Emails.pdf - DocDroid

That RC - HD e-mail exchange.

Lauren Lane Email_redacted.pdf - DocDroid

LL seemed rather interested in RC, and RC seemed happy to oblige.

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Samnell
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Post by Samnell » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:17 am

[quote=""lpetrich""]Hemant Mehta's blog entry Dr. Richard Carrier Has Sued Several Atheists and Their Blogging Networks on Charges of Defamation got lots of comments, ranging from the insightful to bashing of FTB and PZ Myers. Is there something about PZ's personality that many people find off-putting?[/quote]

I've never gotten what people find could off-putting about PZ. Soft-spoken midwestern dude can hide staggering viciousness, but I've been reading him for more than a decade now and the most aggressive I've ever seen him was not suffering fools or injustice gladly. That and that he likes Prairie Home Companion, but I tend to attribute that to being a person of a certain age who didn't grow up in a small town.
I have a blog about nineteenth century America. It's theoretically educational!

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:56 am

Ooh. Gossip and controversy! I'm IN. I'm fed up and bored with the whole 'did Jesus exist' thing in any case, so this promises to be juicier.

So in one of his 2014 emails (a strong come-on to Heina Dadabhoy) Carrier seems to say that his marriage at that time was an open relationship.

Is his ex-wife (I think they split in 2015) saying anything about that? They were married for 20 years according to wiki.

Oh right, I see from this:

https://theyetisroar.wordpress.com/2015 ... hypocrite/

...that the 'open relationship' thing was only a last-ditch thing set up (by his wife?) in a doomed attempt by her to save the marriage, after he admitted having had illicit affairs beforehand.

Well, my first impressions are that he may not be a very nice person (not that I liked him much in any case) and if some reports, of him slagging off Sherman for his philandering at atheist conferences, are true, he would come across as a bit of a hypocrite.

But I haven't seen anything (yet) that seems to amount to serious harrassment. Though I suppose it might be possible to see the the (apparently unreciprocated and totally Carrier-initiated) email to Heina Dadabhoy, hitting on her, as.....what? Lecherous? Inappropriate? Harrassment?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:22 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:53 pm

"A sad little man who has just hit his mid-life and decided to ditch the woman who supported him through his establishing of his career."

This, by a thread commenter, doesn't seem entirely off the mark.

Narcissicistic might have been better than sad.


Anyone know which of the women either side of Carrier in this pic is Jen (his then wife)?
Image
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:05 pm

And yet....part of me genuinely feels for the poor guy.

There's something about moral opprobrium regarding sexual matters and behaviour which puts me off.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by lpetrich » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:57 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Anyone know which of the women either side of Carrier in this pic is Jen (his then wife)?
Image[/quote]
None of them. Who's who in that picture:

?, PZ Myers, Greta Christina, Ed Brayton, Richard Carrier, Jen McCreight

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:01 pm

Ah right. I had read that Carrier's wife was Jen...so when that pic was captioned as having a Jen in it......whoops.

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Post by lpetrich » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:11 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Ah right. I had read that Carrier's wife was Jen...so when that pic was captioned as having a Jen in it......whoops.[/quote]
Richard Carrier's wife is indeed named Jen -- a different Jen from there.

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Post by lpetrich » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:06 am

Hemant Mehta again: Atheists Seek to Dismiss Dr. Richard Carrier’s Defamation Lawsuit on Jurisdiction

Their motion to dismiss

HM:
The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss all charges on two big issues not related to the substance. They say that none of them live in Ohio (where the case was filed and where they’d have to appear in court) and there’s no good reason for the case to be heard there at all. (Carrier, unbeknownst to them, moved to Ohio over the summer, after the incidents in question took place.)
They live in Minnesota, Missouri, and California, and those states have some protection against SLAPP lawsuits, while Ohio has no anti-SLAPP law. A SLAPP is a (Wikipedia)Strategic lawsuit against public participation, a lawsuit intended to silence critics by burdening them with litigation costs. So did RC do some jurisdiction-shopping?

State Anti-SLAPP Laws | Public Participation Project lists which states have anti-SLAPP laws and what they cover. Ohio has none.

The article continues on how under Ohio law RC must show that the defendants
(1) caused a tortious injury in this state, (2) by doing something out of state with the purpose of injuring someone, (3) with the reasonable expectation that someone would be injured in Ohio.
Since RC was not living in Ohio when these incidents happened, and since those incidents did hot happen in Ohio, the defendants argue that Ohio is not a good place for RC's lawsuit.

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Post by lpetrich » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:13 am

Defense against Carrier SLAPP Suit by Jason Thibeault - GoFundMe, for raising funds for that lawsuit.

The full text of the description of that funding request:
Dr. Richard Carrier is suing us for reporting on his well-known allegations of misconduct. These allegations were widely reported on throughout the community, including by third-parties both critical and sympathetic to him who are not themselves defendants.

This lawsuit has all the hallmarks of a SLAPP suit -- a lawsuit filed to stifle legitimate criticism and commentary. The named defendants are Skepticon, The Orbit, and Freethought Blogs - as well as individuals Lauren Lane, the lead organizer of Skepticon; Stephanie Zvan, a blogger for The Orbit; PZ Myers, a blogger for Freethought Blogs; and Amy Frank-Skiba, who publicly posted her first-hand allegations against Carrier.

We need your help to keep our voices alive. All the defendants are represented by the same attorney, First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza. Randazza is providing his services at a significant discount, but we are not asking him to work for free. Plus, there are thousands of dollars in “costs” for the case that don’t include legal bills, and there is no way to discount those. In order to continue fighting this lawsuit, we, the defendants of this case, have put together this campaign to raise money to defray our costs, some of which is outstanding.

Donations will be used only for this case, withdrawn by Stephanie Zvan and disbursed to the lawyers and defendants to cover costs as they're accrued. In the event that the funds raised exceed our legal bills, they will be donated to Planned Parenthood and a breakdown of what was spent where will be performed at the close of this campaign.

We are pooling our defense costs with Skepticon, however as a 501(c)3 non-profit Skepticon is also conducting its own fundraiser where donations may be tax-deductible (ask your tax advisor). Skepticon cannot use donations it receives to help pay the shares of other individuals or organizations, though, and any excess funds raised via their campaign will go to the Skepticon conference fund.

We are confident that the court will uphold our First Amendment rights. But, through time, stress, and of course financial expense, every case like this has a chilling effect. Your support enables us to fight, and creates a warmer environment - not just for us but for others in the future.

Thank you for your support of freedom of speech, and may your new year be powerful and effective!

-Amy Frank-Skiba
-Lauren Lane
-PZ Myers
-Stephanie Zvan
As of this writing, donors to this fundraising campaign have contributed $17,171 out of a target of $20K.

That's 376 people in 3 days.

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