A brief diary of notable events

June 2011[edit | edit source]

20th - Rebecca Watson posts a YouTube video about the elevator incident.

26th - Rebecca Watson publicly attacks and shames Stef McGraw at the CFI student leadership conference.

July 2011[edit | edit source]

1st - Abbie Smith posts Bad Form , Rebecca Watson, a post that, among other things, criticizes Watson for her attack on Stef McGraw. This is the first of what will eventually be called "Slimepit" posts.

2nd - PZ Myers goes to great lengths defending Watson's attack on Stef McGraw.

5th - Rebecca Watson calls for a Richard Dawkins boycott.

7th - The Justicar invents "Twatson" . Ophelia Benson disapproves.

20th - Laden starts a series of posts accusing John Welch of "DoSing" his site , among other stupid accusations. See also "Fair Game "

23rd - ERV is labeled a "pit o'slime" at Butterflies and Wheels. This label morphs into "slimepit" and begins to gain currency on Pharyngula.

August 2011[edit | edit source]

I guess nothing much happened in August.

September 2011[edit | edit source]

15th - After repeatedly demanding that "everybody ... get over it", both PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson regurgitate their story to USA Today, with several misrepresentations, seemingly intended to keep the publicity engine running.

29th - Rebecca Watson initiates the meme that people have been calling for her arrest over her behavior at Randi.org to generate sympathy - this is false. People only pointed out that many people have earned jail convictions for committing lesser data tampering offences.

30th - PZ Myers denies Rebecca Watson ever called for a Richard Dawkins boycott.

30th - Over a month late to the controversy, PZ Myers joins Naomi Dunford in spreading defamatory lies about Anthony Navarro, alleging, without evidence, the following false statements: stalking, harassing, and threatening his brother Dave Navarro because he "will not tolerate the fact that a man and a woman can decide to dissolve the bonds of matrimony." Attempts to point out these falsehoods at Pharyngula were dealt with in the usual fashion. Those who attempted to point out the falsehood of Myers' allegations have had their comments censored. More information can be found: here, and here.

October 2011[edit | edit source]

1st - Ophelia Benson equates critics of Rebecca Watson to "car bombers" after falsely accusing them of bogus Rebecca Watson tweets.

4th - PZ Myers attacks long time Watson critic Skepticasm/Adrienne Myers (no relation) after she displays what appears to be a moment of frailty. Myers had never commented on her blog up until that point. The link now 404's - Adrienne has since removed most, but not all, of her Watson commentary. The removal was not due to external pressure, but was a personal decision.

16th - Pharyngula readers propose, and act on, a spurious complaint process to National Geographic to censor and/or shutdown the ERV blog.

22nd - Greg Laden denies Rebecca Watson ever called for a Richard Dawkins boycott.

24th - PZ Myers and Greg Laden tag team the female Bluharmony, declare her insane on Facebook, and tell her to seek help rather than answer legitimate new issues she has raised about Rebecca Watson.

November 2011[edit | edit source]

3rd - PZ Myers equates blogger Franc Hoggle of Grey Lining to David Mabus/Dennis Markuze. Numerous readers demand Franc Hoggle should be reported to police - though no one is sure for what. PZ Myers promises to write to the Global Atheist Convention to warn them about the dangers of Franc Hoggle. [very long and confused external thread]

4th - PZ Myers mentions (implying that he informed them) that the Global Atheist Convention has been informed of Franc Hoggle's identity. Myers provides no further information, nor any corroboration of this claim, nor any mention of any response and ignores all requests for further information.

8th - PZ Myers denies that he, personally, warned the Global Atheist Convention about Franc Hoggle.

10th - Rebecca Watson repeats the false claim that people have been calling for her arrest over her behavior at Randi.org.


24th - Just a minor footnote as to how routine the deception and falsehood by FTB members is about even the most trivial items. Ophelia Benson expresses mock shock at the idea that Stef McGraw was attacked (amongst many others) for expressing criticism of Rebecca Watson.

30th - Greta Christina posted on facebook that mentioning Rebecca Watson would draw hostile, entitled, misogynist trolling, which sets up anyone who responded contrary to her opinion as automatically being a troll. This started the abuse of Ryan Grant Long, who said "you don't have to be a troll to disagree". Ryan was also intentionally misquoted by Greta in that thread.

December 2011[edit | edit source]

1st - Greta Christina wrote a blog, bringing the dispute from November 30, out from facebook and into the public domain. Ryan Grant Long defended himself in the comments, saying that his words were misrepresented, that he was misquoted, and that he was attacked by her sycophants. Greta blocked Ryan from her blog. D.J. Grothe informed Greta that it was a bullying move, that she wrote a blog using Ryan's words, which were "arguably out of context", and then banned Ryan from the blog because of Ryan's comments on facebook. Greta Christina closed the comments on the blog.

5th - Greta Christina wrote a blog to outline her e-mail privacy policy.

January 2012[edit | edit source]

3rd - Stephanie Zvan then picked up where Greta left off (see December 1, 2011), with a blog of her own. Stephanie used screenshots from December 1st, which were made by Ryan on his private facebook wall, in a sarcastic response to the attacks from some of his facebook friends and Greta's sycophants about the assumptions of wanting to kick women in the cunt (which was started by Ophelia Benson, see Nov 30th post). Stephanie also used this blog to pick on D.J. Grothe, since he spoke out against Greta's bullying of Ryan. D.J. Grothe calmly, politely, and rationally addressed the claims made against him in the comments.

5th - Jen McReight announces that Rebecca Watson has been voted "Most Influential Female Atheist of the Year" for 2011. McReight writes: "She blew away the field with a whopping 233 votes. And she earned the recognition. I don’t think Rebecca knew quite what she was getting into when she made that initial benign comment, but her perseverance through the resulting shitstorm was amazing. She exposed the reality of sexism in the atheist and skeptical movement, alerting people to the problem and inspiring social change."

Comments disagreeing with Watson's selection were quickly deleted by McReight.

Runner-up was FTB blogger Greta Christina, with several other FTB bloggers, including Ophelia Benson, among the top vote-getters.

9th - Greta Christina decided to capitalize on Stephanie's blog (see January 3rd), with one of her own, by picking on both D.J. Grothe and Ryan Grant Long. D.J. Grothe once again, calmly, politely, and rationally responded in the comments.

18th - Steve Cuno criticises FtB argumentative techniques on randi.org.

May 2012[edit | edit source]

27th - DJ Grothe reveals he suspects the FtB led fearmongering over sexual harassment at TAM as being a major contributing factor to the decline in attendance by women at TAM 2012. The FtB bloggers lose their collective shit.

June 2012[edit | edit source]

1st - Rebecca Watson withdraws from TAM in response to DJ Grothe's statement.

7th - PZ Myers "withdraws" from TAM in support of Rebecca (note: He was not a scheduled speaker and it is not known if he was even planning on attending as a guest).

17th - Rumours of a named TAM 2011 attendee taking "upskirt photos" at the event are perpetuated across FtB. These rumours are later shown to be unfounded.

18th - Russell Blackford and Jeremy Stangroom refer to FtB bloggers as bullies on twitter.

19th - Ophelia Benson claims to have received "email threats about TAM", and joins Rebecca and PZ in withdrawing from the event, after spending the previous two weeks complaining about "having to" go.

21st - The true nature of Ophelias' "email threats" is revealed - a sycophantic email containing supposed safety "advice".

21st - Well-known and widely-admired scientist Youtuber Thunderf00t joins Freethoughtblogs.

July 2012[edit | edit source]

1st - After posting a series of critical posts regarding sexual harassment at conventions, PZ Myers posts a comment on this post saying that Thunderf00t is "on his way out" of the network. On the same day, two hours later according to FTB server time, Thunderf00t posts an analysis of the SkepchickCON "Sexual Harassment LOL-icy." You have read this correctly: for publicly dissenting against the Free Thought Blogs party line, Thunderf00t is being removed from the network.

1st - At 4:10 pm his time, Ed Brayton (co-founder of FfTB) announces the departure of Greg Laden (former host of the FfTB blog, The X-blog) from the FfTB universe for "behavior that we cannot condone or support". The bad behaviour was an extremely hostile email sent to Justin Griffith of the FfTB blog, Rock Beyond Belief.

August 2012[edit | edit source]

8th - Jen McCreight launches Atheism+ in a series of posts on her blog, Blag Hag.

September 2012[edit | edit source]

4th - Jen McCreight quits her blog, Blag Hag.

October 2012[edit | edit source]

3rd - Matt Dillahunty, a vocal supporter of Atheism+, gets banned from the A+ forums after using a second (anonymous) account to try to (and failing to) prove the forums are a welcoming place to newcomers.

4th - Justin Vacula resigns from his appointment as co-chair of Secular Coalition of America's Pennsylvania chapter after a libelous campaign lead by Steph Zvan.

November 2012[edit | edit source]

28th - Jen McCreight resumes posting on Blag Hag on a regular basis.

December 2012[edit | edit source]

23rd - Greg Laden attempts to reveal the personal information (doxxing) of FtB critic and antagonist, Mykeru, after the latter tweeted an animated GIF of a dog copulating with a cow along with the text that it was a (Stephanie) Zvan-Laden sex tape.

Largely due to his own incompetence, Laden's information was 7 years out of date and of no consequence to Mykeru, other than really pissing him off. Justin Griffith attacked Laden over the attempted doxxing, perhaps still sore over the death threats and attempted PTSD triggering Laden had previously directed at him.

Jason Thibeault (Lousy Canuck) later attacked Griffith over his reaction, sparking a back-and-forth series of blog posts between the two which is TL;DR.

24th - Laden claims that Mykeru was the author responsible for the first one-star review of his self-published novella, "Sungudogo", which describes the book as "erratic" and "incomprehensible". The post making the claim has since been deleted.

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