The censor never sleeps –

marcotte_storify1I was genuinely shocked. Not that Marcotte blocked me, but that I wasn’t already blocked preemptively according to the distributed wisdom of CFI Director Melody Hensley in her efforts to sanitise the internet and create a rape-free safe space where people from all walks of life can furiously nod in agreement with each other. I had never interacted with Marcotte prior to this, and the reply box being visible and active proved too much of a temptation.

No matter. Like it makes any difference. Her more outlandish outbursts always, one way or another, seem to find themselves some place where I run across them. Like the one above – a precious cocktail of an outraged princess devoid of a single clue about the technology that she exploits to spread her venomous nonsense, and which without fail turns around and bites her by allowing that nonsense to be critiqued by unbefuddled minds. Sure, she can censor and regulate opinion on pieces of turf she may own, but, try as hard as she might, censoring the entire ‘net lies painfully beyond her grasp. Which is the problem she has here with Storify – must be like the social media equivalent of a urinary tract infection. It burns and it just won’t go away.

Disassembling Marcotte’s dumbness doesn’t interest me and it’s already been done admirably here –

The short story is that Marcotte wants to have her cake and eat it too. She wants the freedom to spout whatever stream-of-consciousness gibberish she pleases – but she also demands the right to do so with complete freedom from accountability, responsibility and scrutiny. What causes her brain to palpitate in continuous, futile rage is that the internet itself is guaranteed to enshrine the former whilst making the latter a technical impossibility. So suck it, bitch. The rest of us do.

There is, of course, a simple solution to Marcotte’s woes. As I stated above, all she has to do is stop saying stupid things and voila! – the problem vanishes. But as long as she insists on churning out mindless, vehement, substance and fact free gibberish, people will keep on capturing it. Like it or not, Marcotte is a public figure making public statements – and there is absolutely nothing she can do to prevent others from archiving her idiocy for the public record. This is in fact a duty that the few remaining Freethinkers amongst us feel honour bound to – if not to mitigate the stupidity of the present, then to warn future generations of it.


“I love me” –

And a public record is what I want to make here – this time of Melody Hensley’s latest tantrum. What makes this particular case of particular interest is that Hensley, an executive director of CFI appointed by Ronald A. Lindsay, chose to have her meltdown on CFI’s home turf.

The stage for this episode of foot stomping, huffing and puffing was Ben Radford’s February 15 piece on Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising (cesspit link) that was somehow going to eliminate violence against women via interpretive dance –

Over it

Hensley’s babbling is all an exercise in pure, unhinged narcissism and nothing more. I made an effort to catalogue the fallacious reasoning, cognitive malfeasance and personal attack, but it’s hardly comprehensive. Doing that kind of analysis always gives me a headache. Not a single point of relevance was addressed that I could find, it was just raw spleen –


False premise
Misleading vividness
“It was so horrible I deleted it!” – not a formally identified fallacy that I can find, but used with sickening regularity by new, new atheists


Rationalisation of slander
Outright false statement
Post hoc reality modification – again no formal definition I can find

That’s the sum of it – that is all that Hensley had to contribute to the discussion of Radford’s article. Is this the writing of a reasonable adult who promotes a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values and is an executive director and public face of The Center for Inquiry?

No, this is a toddler throwing her toys out of the pram – and then crying she doesn’t have any toys.

This is hardly the first such example of public histrionics and high school girl bitchiness from Hensley. It is an endless cycle and one is hard pressed to find any public statement by Hensley anywhere that actually does promote CFI’s core values. She seems instead hellbent on knocking Rebecca Watson off her perch as Queen Bee of the gender feminist fifth column seeking to undermine our communities from within – and this is borne out by the fact that while there is no shortage of hatred directed at dissenting males, the extra special venom is reserved for the females – the chill girls and sister punishers.

One of the most frequent female targets of Hensley’s malice is Sara Mayhew – with some pretty classy examples here. Her response to Hensley is worth quoting in its entirety as it covers most bases of why Hensley should not have anything publicly to do with any secular organisation anywhere –


Miranda Celeste Hale, who has similarly been singled out and targeted for Skepchick gang hatred for entirely unjustified reasons, also responded at length (comment#147) and it is well worth reading as well. I can feel their weariness at having to refute for the umpteenth time that which amounts to knitting circle gossip and shouldn’t even need refuting a first time. But the key point is made by Mayhew in the bolded red section – it is entirely unimaginable that a male should occupy a similar position of responsibility and public visibility with Hensley’s track record in any organisation and not get his ass fired. Just look at the appalling treatment of Justin Vacula over irrelevant trivia amplified by the baboon echo chamber.

But Hensley was by no means finished with this episode of psychodramatics. Having flounced from Radford’s blog, she immediately waddled over to baboon central to further wallow in self-pity and find relief in a comforting shower of in-group solidarity and sympathy –

Ben Radford is contracted by CFI part-time to write about skepticism. Personally, I wish he would stick to bigfoot and other shit I don’t care about about. I am a full-time employee working my ass off often seven days a week running my local community and planning a national conference of all non-thiest women speakers about women in secularism by myself (which is unheard of) on top of that. How do you think this blog makes me feel? Please don’t fuck CFI. I’ve given my life to CFI. Speak out against Radford if you wish, but dammit he’s small potatoes. I’m working too damn hard to change the culture of this movement to have some dude write a sloppy anti-feminist blog and ruin it all.

So Radford is “small potatoes”? Let’s see… deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer… co-hosts Monster Talkwritten half a dozen books… and somewhere along the way managed to find time to pick up an animated film award. So, tell me again, what exactly have you done Melody?

But the cherry on the dung heap is the second red highlight. Radford is damaging to CFI – not for some lapse in critical thinking, not for accommodating mumbo-jumbo or religion, not for expressing any partisan political or ideological opinion… but for criticising Melody’s particular brand of divisive “feminism”.

Thanks Melody. I don’t think I could ever have spelt out your position within the atheist and skeptic communities quite so clearly myself.


So, I find myself in the position of having to repeat my question – who out there exactly thinks that this is an acceptable place for CFI and the greater communities to be? What has been proven here, beyond the shadow of any doubt, is that sexism does indeed exist within our communities. However, it is not sexism of the kind that Hensley howls about. The real sexism is far simpler and it amounts to this – if you have a cunt, you can get away with whatever you please with absolute impunity. You can lie; you can slander; you can accuse without evidence; you can paint yourself as a victim and get exceptionalist treatment purely on the basis of gender; you can dictate ideology without challenge – and you can do so while feeding like a tapeworm from financial contributions made by our communities and with the absolute support and endorsement of folks like Ronald A. Lindsay.

As mentioned previously, Ron Lindsay is going to be coming around with his beggars cup again some time soon soliciting membership fees and donations for CFI. That will be a ripe time to ask him the questions that need to be asked. Either get CFI back on track, or abandon it for the train wreck it is.

Related posts –

CFI/CSI/Skepchick – Grand Unified Theory Of Courtiers

Kicking 2012′s Carcass Out The Door, And Maybe CFI’s Too