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Old 23rd September 2014, 05:15 PM   #1001
Brive1987
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Oy.

Are you sure you want to cling to that particular straw?
He said he had no idea what happened behind closed doors ie real or apparent consent. Which is common-sense.

Obviously he is confirming that the timeline, her claim of rape, her claim of using a wheelchair is true.

He is also presenting evidence of a casual and callous indifference to her claims at the time.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 05:17 PM   #1002
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yes, so far my "take home" message from some posters on this thread has been somewhere along the lines of...

There were no rapes! There are no victims!
She said she was raped but she lies!
Okay, so she has a witness, but she was drunk! What does she expect?
The rape victim didn't act how I say she should, shame on her!

So when do we get to go the Saudi route and sentence her for twenty lashes for infidelity or something. Maybe Dr Shermer himself can administer them!

You missed one.

Once prelim Q's had been answered precise details of the alleged offence would have been required for a truly sceptical appraisal of the whole issue.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 05:22 PM   #1003
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
There could be a number of reasons why Shermer chose not to detail his sexploits to Wagg.
If he didn't want to detail his sexual exploits to Wagg, then why did he email and phone him about them, unsolicited?

Quote:
That leaves at the very least murky drunk sex and Shermer apparently lying to avoid opprobrium or worse.
If you believe that Smith was drunk enough to not know what hotel she was in despite having a room there/to need a wheelchair, then I don't see how you could reasonably believe that she was in any state to consent to sex.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 05:24 PM   #1004
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
He is also presenting evidence of a casual and callous indifference to her claims at the time.

Iím fairly sure he isn't. That would involve, at the very least, revealing something of what happened in discussions with JREF leadership above Jeff and Alisonís level.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 05:28 PM   #1005
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Old 23rd September 2014, 06:00 PM   #1006
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Iím fairly sure he isn't. That would involve, at the very least, revealing something of what happened in discussions with JREF leadership above Jeff and Alisonís level.
I wasn't referring exclusively to organisation level discussions.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 06:49 PM   #1007
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
If you believe that Smith was drunk enough to not know what hotel she was in despite having a room there/to need a wheelchair, then I don't see how you could reasonably believe that she was in any state to consent to sex.
I think it's obvious that there are states of degraded capacity where it's difficult--if not impossible to honestly infer one thing or another. For example, a person could be in a state of degraded capacity where they are able to operate an elevator, operate a telephone, describe their surroundings, and follow instructions over the phone ("take the elevator to the lobby and describe your surroundings"); but they are unable to recall what hotel they are in, and are unable to cross a busy street on foot safely. Are they able to consent to sex or not, in such a state? I think it's impossible to infer one way or the other from the available information.

Fortunately, such an inference is not necessary. Her claim of rape does not depend on her level of inebriation, nor should it.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 06:51 PM   #1008
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Iím fairly sure he isn't. That would involve, at the very least, revealing something of what happened in discussions with JREF leadership above Jeff and Alisonís level.
Whatever those discussions, one obvious outcome was that JREF did not distance itself from Shermer, as evidenced by the photo cited above.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 07:07 PM   #1009
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Iím fairly sure he isn't. That would involve, at the very least, revealing something of what happened in discussions with JREF leadership above Jeff and Alisonís level.
Well, Randi himself is aware of at least some of the claims:
Originally Posted by RANDI
ďShermer has been a bad boy on occasion ó I do know that,Ē Randi told me. ďI have told him that if I get many more complaints from people I have reason to believe, that I am going to have to limit his attendance at the conference.

ďHis reply,Ē Randi continued, ďis he had a bit too much to drink and he doesnít remember. I donít know ó Iíve never been drunk in my life. Itís an unfortunate thing Ö I havenít seen him doing that. But I get the word from people in the organization that he has to be under better control. If he had gotten violent, Iíd have him out of there immediately. Iíve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.Ē
To me, this is pretty darn unbelievable, that he would dismiss Shermer's behavior so easily.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 10:53 PM   #1010
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Originally Posted by A'isha View Post
Or that photo is not relevant and is merely being grasped at in an effort to find a way, any way, to avoid putting the blame where it actually belongs.

And do you know what "It was a blast. Truly." reads like to me, especially in the wake of Jeff's and RemieV's posts in this thread? Bitter sarcasm.
You misquoted the caption on the picture. On that blog Smith tells a little story about her experience and then shows a picture related to that story. You quoted what was below the picture which was in the context of what came next.

The actual caption of the picture is:

Quote:
Iím getting ahead of myself, though. Weíre still on that first night in the Marriot, where I spent another lovely portion of the evening with Dr. Michael Shermer of the Skepticís Society, photography whiz and longtime friend of the JREF Scott Hurst, and Jeff Wagg, General Manager of the JREF and SAPS Member.
Then came the picture in question which showed her with them.

What you quoted came next and it went:

Quote:
It was a blast. Truly.

Of course, Dragon*Con is not all fun and games.

The very next day, it was off to the 2nd Annual Skeptics vs. Believers Debate which featured myself, Dr. Steven Novella, Ben Radford, and Dr. Michael Shermer (for the skeptics) vs. Haunting Evidence star and founder of Ghost Hounds Patrick Burns, ex-director of the Rhine Institute Graham Watkins, Father Bryan Small, and sci-fi author John L. Flynn (for the believers).
Obviously the part you quoted was in reference to the first day and a lead in to the second day and not in regard to the picture.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 11:06 PM   #1011
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Well, Mr. Wagg failed to answer my last post thinking perhaps that he had silenced my questions with his dramatic entrance into the thread.

...

Employing Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit, this action sent big red flags scurrying up the pole.

I have thought about his posts all day because they really were quite dramatic but his description of his actions are bizarre and just raise more questions and red flags. So, Mr. Wagg, I have a few comments and a few more questions.

Here's what you said:

1- Smith, an employee, and possible girlfriend, of yours, told you that Shermer had raped her. You did nothing. As her employer, lover, friend, you did nothing. My question would be, why not? It absolutely does not make sense unless you did not believe her. Shermer had no power over you, over her, or over the JREF but you did nothing. So, why didn't you believe her?

...

Why didn't you do anything?

How much had you had to drink that night? Were you present at the party where Smith was downing shots? Did you drive her to the condo or take a taxi? Whose condo was it, yours or hers?

Someone asked earlier in the thread "Does anyone still believe nothing bad happened behind that door?" And you said, "I don't know what happened behind that closed door." (both paraphrased)

You are right that we can't know for certain what happened behind Shermer's closed door but something terrible did happen behind a closed door and we do know about it. It happened behind the door of a hotel room that you and Smith occupied when you made a conscious decision to do nothing about a rape report from an employee, friend and lover.
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Old 24th September 2014, 02:49 AM   #1012
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
From here forward, let it be outrage. Has consciousness been raised by recent events or not?
I very much doubt it.

I'm also in doubt whether you meant that sarcastically or not.
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Old 24th September 2014, 02:55 AM   #1013
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
But I will end as I started. I'll accept Wagg's eyewitness evidence she was very drunk and very upset at what had "gone on behind closed doors". And I accept that RemieV presented him with a claim of rape.
There is something else very relevant that he corroborated. She was close to falling-down drunk. That by itself makes it very likely rape, independently of her "claim".
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Old 24th September 2014, 08:17 AM   #1014
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it's obvious that there are states of degraded capacity where it's difficult--if not impossible to honestly infer one thing or another.
I don't think that adequately describes this, though.

Quote:
Her claim of rape does not depend on her level of inebriation, nor should it.
That's the basis for her claim. "Coerced me into a position where I could not consent" is the quote. Subsequent evidence has centred on her level of inebriation.
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Old 24th September 2014, 11:15 AM   #1015
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
There is something else very relevant that he corroborated. She was close to falling-down drunk.

Does anyone care to raise their hands and say there is nothing unethical about having sex with someone too drunk to know where they are? Are we all agreed that this is just not okay? I'm not being sarcastic, I really want to know.
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Old 24th September 2014, 01:31 PM   #1016
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
There is something else very relevant that he corroborated. She was close to falling-down drunk. That by itself makes it very likely rape, independently of her "claim".
I was expecting Wagg, if he came on at all, to present a simple prepared statement supporting exactly that proposition.

What we got was a him being careful to caveat his support (ie he explicitly extended his statement to stress he didn't know what happened and therefore wasn't directly supporting a claim of rape) and him confirming a lack of meaningful supportive action.

In addition we have no evidence of medium term action other than a possibly inconclusive conversation with the head of JREF.

This places his testimony of her physical state in a specific context. One where it behoves you to also choose your words carefully. And this I've done.
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Old 25th September 2014, 12:54 AM   #1017
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think that the party was a TAM event in that it wasn't organized and under the control of the TAM staff and wasn't part of the official event roster, and that it was an informal event going on at the same time. In that case she wasn't a 'staff member' at the party, but a 'guest'.
The JREF advertised the parties like they were part - and even a draw - of TAM. So I don't think this view holds.
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Old 25th September 2014, 06:02 AM   #1018
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Mod WarningThis thread is being closed while the Mod Team decides how this issue should be handled during the transfer of the forum. Please do not carry on the conversation in another thread.
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Old 25th September 2014, 11:04 AM   #1019
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Mod WarningAfter discussion re the Mod Team, I have reopened this thread though it will remain Moderated.
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Old 25th September 2014, 11:38 AM   #1020
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
You quoted what was below the picture which was in the context of what came next.
Uh, no. The "it" in "It was a blast. Truly." clearly refers to the portion of the evening spent with Shermer.

That, in fact, was the entire point of Verklagekasper's post.
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Old 25th September 2014, 05:13 PM   #1021
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I can recall expressing doubts over the allegations about Shermer on this forum about a year ago. I don't know if I should, but I feel a little guilty about that now. Maybe that feeling is just hindsight bias and I was right to be skeptical when there was so little information out there. I don't think it's unreasonable to be on the fence when there's not much to go on, I just think my disdain for PZ Myers and my perception that there was a climate of attacking prominent or quasi-prominent skeptics in any way possible at the time was clouding my judgment and maybe even causing me to lean toward the other side of the fence. Needless to say I'm pretty well convinced of Shermer's guilt now and I apologize if I wrote anything unreasonable in his defense in the past.
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Old 25th September 2014, 05:43 PM   #1022
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Is it a common habit on secular events to get drunk beyond the point of knowing where you are and what you're doing?
How is it relevant whether it's a common habit or not?

I don't think it's all that unusual to find oneself much drunker than one expected or intended (although if one does decide do it intentionally that is also their right and it certainly does not make them any less wronged if they get raped). I have personal experience with this. At a halloween party at a friend's house once, I found myself so drunk that I could barely stand or talk. It was a state that I'd never been in before even though I'd been drunk many times, definitely not expected or intended. Also, a gay man who was the hosts' roommate had been giving me beers, was asking me if I needed to lie down in his bed and according to my friends (I was apparently too out of it to notice) he was doing stuff like kissing me on the cheek. I have no idea if he actually had any ill intentions or if he was just goofing around, but I'm grateful that my friends intervened and drove me home and I didn't have to find out. I have an easy time sympathizing with anyone who's been in that type of situation and no sympathy for asking people who've been raped why they got so drunk.
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Old 26th September 2014, 11:08 AM   #1023
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
I can recall expressing doubts over the allegations about Shermer on this forum about a year ago. I don't know if I should, but I feel a little guilty about that now. Maybe that feeling is just hindsight bias and I was right to be skeptical when there was so little information out there. I don't think it's unreasonable to be on the fence when there's not much to go on, I just think my disdain for PZ Myers and my perception that there was a climate of attacking prominent or quasi-prominent skeptics in any way possible at the time was clouding my judgment and maybe even causing me to lean toward the other side of the fence. Needless to say I'm pretty well convinced of Shermer's guilt now and I apologize if I wrote anything unreasonable in his defense in the past.

Plate tectonics. When first proposed there wasn't sufficient evidence to support it. That decades later it was able to be proven doesn't make people wrong to not have accepted it from the start.

I'm not a scientist or anything, but I thought that was one of the core ideas behind skepticism : not actively believing claims for which there is insufficient evidence. As longs as people aren't jerks about it I don't see not having taken a leap of faith into the 'belief' camp prior to more recent info as anything to feel improper about.
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Old 26th September 2014, 11:52 AM   #1024
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
I have personal experience with this. At a halloween party at a friend's house once, I found myself so drunk that I could barely stand or talk. It was a state that I'd never been in before even though I'd been drunk many times, definitely not expected or intended.


I've had similar experiences. I was at a house party with friends one time. I had drunk all the wine I'd brought with me over the course of the night, so I was drunk but not falling down drunk. Just before we left, my buddy wanted to get rid of what was left of his booze. He'd been making these really weird concoctions all night, I forget what it actually was, but it was one of those fancy sweet drinks where it's hard to tell how much booze there is. He mixed me up one, which I proceeded to chug, because my ride had just announced they were leaving right then. It was only after seeing the look on his face that I asked how much was in it.

It was a lot.

That one final drink put me more over the top drunk than most people have ever seen me.
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Old 29th September 2014, 09:13 AM   #1025
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Did you guys hear about the wall of silence preventing us from discussing these issues?

http://feedly.com/e/wqSn9rFP
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Old 1st October 2014, 08:00 AM   #1026
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To help the debate, the JREF twitter account has just publicised a talk from TAM 2013 on Science and Morality.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


By Michael Shermer.
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Old 1st October 2014, 11:52 PM   #1027
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Gay Marriage Bans falling like dominos?

Why did Wagg do nothing?

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Old 2nd October 2014, 10:11 AM   #1028
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Why did Wagg do nothing?

You must have inside information to be able to claim with such confidence that he did nothing whatsoever. Or maybe you mean "nothing that I can find printed as a matter of public record." Or maybe I'm misapprehending your meaning altogether.
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Old 2nd October 2014, 07:38 PM   #1029
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Why did Wagg do nothing?
Most likely at the time of the incident he didn't feel there was a need. No medical attention because she wasn't as drunk as she now claims and no report of rape to police or the JREF because he didn't believe it happened/wasn't told it happened.

And why did she have to call him twice, 2 1/2 hours apart to come get her as she claims, is that how friends/lovers/employers behave?

And why wasn't there a mention of talking to Wagg earlier as is now claimed? Originally she said she was talking to her mother when Shermer showed up.

So. . . Shermer didn't get her drunk. She voluntarily went to his hotel room and consented to sex but now claims she was too drunk to consent but not too drunk to remember all the other details.

Okay, I'll buy that.
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Old 2nd October 2014, 11:31 PM   #1030
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The slymepit argument seems to be that it can't have been rape because Smith didn't act the way rape victims are supposed to act and Wagg didn't act the way that someone whose girlfriend was raped is supposed to act (e.g. they took a smiling picture with Shermer at some point after the incident had happened). A little research into the subject would tell you that the argument doesn't hold up. Often times in real life people don't act like they do in the movies.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 12:39 PM   #1031
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Most likely at the time of the incident he didn't feel there was a need. No medical attention because she wasn't as drunk as she now claims and no report of rape to police or the JREF because he didn't believe it happened/wasn't told it happened.

Having discussed this with Jeff Wagg, as opposed to just assuming things, I can say with confidence that your suppositions are completely erroneous.


Quote:
And why did she have to call him twice, 2 1/2 hours apart to come get her as she claims, is that how friends/lovers/employers behave?

Where did she say the first call was to "come get her"? Certainly not in the original article:


Quote:
On their way from Caesars to the Flamingo, where they were both staying, she chatted briefly with a friend on her mobile phone, she told me. They got to the Flamingo. ďHe offered to walk me back to my room, but walked me to his instead. I donít have a clear memory of what happened after that. I know we had sex.Ē She remembers calling a friend from an elevator after leaving his room. ďI was in the elevator, but didnít know what hotel.Ē

...or in her post in this thread:



Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I cannot believe I'm going to comment in this thread, but hey, it's questions of fact, so how bad could it be.

1. No, it was not reasonable to be lost. I organized TAM, for god's sake, and had been on-site doing that and renting a condo there for three months. This is the TAM I was most involved in. I had my hands in everything about that one.

2. Why yes, there are witnesses. Plenty of them. For whatever reason, they were not used in the article (though they were offered).

3. One of these witnesses is the same one I called right after leaving the party (alone!). This person both heard Shermer catch up to me, and spoke to me immediately after I had left his room to go find me since I didn't know where I was, and the span of time is two hours, not several.

4. Another witness is one who was at the party and saw me and I was so drunk I was babbling to myself.

5. After I got back to my room, I only stayed there half an hour and then insisted I had to return to the condo as I couldn't stand being in the same hotel as Shermer. At that point, I remained so drunk that I had to be removed from the hotel in a wheelchair.

Is that clear enough now?

Also, I never, ever said that I was confused about what to call this. I'm not. What I said was that I wish I hadn't referred to it as rape in the original article because it "gets people's backs up immediately". As in - maybe if I had said here is what happened, make your own determination on what to call it people wouldn't have dissected every single thing trying to find some kind of loophole.

Glad to help. I'll be back over here, ignoring this again.

You're making up things so you can find an excuse to not believe what she's said. And you're making them up badly. Before they got to his room, she though Shermer was walking her to her room. Why would she have thought she needed Jeff to come get her at that point (not being psychic, of course)?

And speaking of making things up, you then say:

Quote:
And why wasn't there a mention of talking to Wagg earlier as is now claimed? Originally she said she was talking to her mother when Shermer showed up.

As can be plainly seen above, there was mention of calling Jeff in the original reports. What there is not is any mention of her mother. That fantasy of yours just seems to come out of left field.


Quote:
So. . . Shermer didn't get her drunk. She voluntarily went to his hotel room and consented to sex but now claims she was too drunk to consent but not too drunk to remember all the other details.

Okay, I'll buy that.


And in light of all the above, your conclusions are worthless. Please try again.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 02:41 PM   #1032
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
The slymepit argument seems to be that it can't have been rape because Smith didn't act the way rape victims are supposed to act and Wagg didn't act the way that someone whose girlfriend was raped is supposed to act (e.g. they took a smiling picture with Shermer at some point after the incident had happened). A little research into the subject would tell you that the argument doesn't hold up. Often times in real life people don't act like they do in the movies.
Not quite.

The point being made is that there were no helpful ripples at the time to corroborate - no JREF report, no punch-up, no harsh words, no police report.

There were no ripples in the years following - Wagg initiated more speaking gigs, Smith voluntarily sat on panels with Shermer, Smith organised panels for Shermer directly, all three posed for happy snaps.

There is no corroboration now. Wagg pointedly caveats his comments with 'behind closed doors' references and limited the 'did she claim rape at the time' question to one word 'yes' - ie no corroborative context.

And we have Randi (responding to an unstated question) apparently reacting to a complaint that flew under the 'rape' threshold.

So we are left with a claim that garnered zero traction at any point in its history prior to PZ's leveraging. And yet we highly trained skeptics are expected to take this 6 year old memory of a drunken encounter which was dismissed at the time, as gospel.

Ok. Carry on.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 03:23 PM   #1033
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
The slymepit argument seems to be that it can't have been rape because Smith didn't act the way rape victims are supposed to act and Wagg didn't act the way that someone whose girlfriend was raped is supposed to act (e.g. they took a smiling picture with Shermer at some point after the incident had happened). A little research into the subject would tell you that the argument doesn't hold up. Often times in real life people don't act like they do in the movies.
First, there is no "the slymepit argument" - it's not some monolithic hive-mind, regardless of whatever perception you might have to the contrary. The truth is there is a spectrum of views with some believing that the rape allegation is true, some believing it's false, and many in the undecided/unknown/uncertain middle ground.

Second, nobody there is suggesting that "it can't have been rape". That is a complete mischaracterization of the actual arguments that are being made, and furthermore, suggests that you simply do not understand the general ethos of the slymepit regulars (which includes a strong aversion to ideological and absolutist views of any kind). If you doubt this, I dare you to post your strawman there as if it were a serious comment and see what reaction you get; I'm betting your "argument" (such as it is) would be quickly torn to shreds and you would be roundly mocked for such simplistic black-or-white thinking.

What I have seen is merely people evaluating the veracity of the allegations against the verifable facts and coming to provisional conclusions that are subject to change when new facts become available. Is that something you have a problem with for some reason?

A little research into the subject would tell you that your comment conveys a gross mischaracterization that doesn't hold up when compared against reality.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 03:40 PM   #1034
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Having discussed this with Jeff Wagg, as opposed to just assuming things, I can say with confidence that your suppositions are completely erroneous.
Would you mind filling us in on what you were told then? At this point, given that the allegations have been made very public, don't you think that full disclosure is in order?

At the risk of being accused of JAQing off, I can't help but wonder why nobody sought medical attention for someone so drunk they required a wheelchair. Is that something you can explain? It seems that nobody within JREF took the allegations seriously at the time, and so I can't help but wonder who failed to act on those allegations and what were their reasons. In other words, did Mr. Wagg report the allegations to anyone else and if so who? If not, why not? What was the stated reason for not taking the allegations seriously enough to at least sever ties with the accused?

These are fair questions that deserve clear and frank answers.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 08:42 PM   #1035
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
There is no corroboration now.

Other than corroboration of Alisonís timeline and the fact of severe intoxication. Oh, and that she never wavered in how she characterised these events.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 09:29 PM   #1036
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
.... this 6 year old memory of a drunken encounter which was dismissed at the time, as gospel.

...which Shermer has quite explicitly said was not a drunken encounter.


Why do you guys keep ignoring that fact?

It's really quite simple. We have two accounts of that night, that are entirely consistent up to the point they left the Scotch and Cigar Party, and which are entirely inconsistent after that.

There's really no way to massage one story until it fits with the other. Shermer claims they were both sober after a few hours walking around The Strip, Alison claims they went straight to his room, and she was still so drunk afterwards that she didn't know where she was, and needed help to get back to her room, and then back to her home. You can't reconcile those stories. Stop trying.

If you still want to support Shermer, Step the **** up and have the guts to say you think Alison is flat out lying.

But stop with these pathetic attempts to reconcile their stories. They can't be reconciled.



Originally Posted by McHell View Post
Would you mind filling us in on what you were told then?


Yes, I would mind. Jeff has posted in this thread, and is a well known figure in our community, and can easily be found if you're serious about asking him what went on. Stop just assuming you know what he was thinking, and try actually asking him.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 11:55 PM   #1037
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Other than corroboration of Alisonís timeline and the fact of severe intoxication. Oh, and that she never wavered in how she characterised these events.
Corroboration of the rape - or even first person opinion.

We have Alison's account corroborated. Most people accepted she had claimed rape. It was useful to have this dated back to the day.

We have her drinking corroborated, again most people accepted she hadn't been sober. It was helpful having her legless status confirmed.

It was awkward that despite this, Wagg a) added caveats and b) didn't act upon the information apart from a probable under-cooked representation to an 80 yo Randi. It confirmed drunken sex and an allegation.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 11:58 PM   #1038
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
...which Shermer has quite explicitly said was not a drunken encounter.


Why do you guys keep ignoring that fact?

It's really quite simple. We have two accounts of that night, that are entirely consistent up to the point they left the Scotch and Cigar Party, and which are entirely inconsistent after that.

There's really no way to massage one story until it fits with the other. Shermer claims they were both sober after a few hours walking around The Strip, Alison claims they went straight to his room, and she was still so drunk afterwards that she didn't know where she was, and needed help to get back to her room, and then back to her home. You can't reconcile those stories. Stop trying.

If you still want to support Shermer, Step the **** up and have the guts to say you think Alison is flat out lying.

But stop with these pathetic attempts to reconcile their stories. They can't be reconciled.

Yes, I would mind. Jeff has posted in this thread, and is a well known figure in our community, and can easily be found if you're serious about asking him what went on. Stop just assuming you know what he was thinking, and try actually asking him.
You are very binary here on the possibilities. It's quite possible both parties are over-egging their puddings due to conflicting self interest.
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Old 4th October 2014, 12:13 AM   #1039
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Yes, I would mind. Jeff has posted in this thread, and is a well known figure in our community, and can easily be found if you're serious about asking him what went on. Stop just assuming you know what he was thinking, and try actually asking him.
I'm pretty sure that me asking questions is a clear indication that I am, in effect, trying to ask him (via you) rather than assuming what he's thinking. I don't know him and he doesn't know me, whereas you didn't seem to mind refering to your special inside information in your previous response.

Thanks anyway though.
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Old 4th October 2014, 12:42 AM   #1040
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
Not quite.

The point being made is that there were no helpful ripples at the time to corroborate - no JREF report, no punch-up, no harsh words, no police report.

There were no ripples in the years following - Wagg initiated more speaking gigs, Smith voluntarily sat on panels with Shermer, Smith organised panels for Shermer directly, all three posed for happy snaps.

There is no corroboration now. Wagg pointedly caveats his comments with 'behind closed doors' references and limited the 'did she claim rape at the time' question to one word 'yes' - ie no corroborative context.

And we have Randi (responding to an unstated question) apparently reacting to a complaint that flew under the 'rape' threshold.

So we are left with a claim that garnered zero traction at any point in its history prior to PZ's leveraging. And yet we highly trained skeptics are expected to take this 6 year old memory of a drunken encounter which was dismissed at the time, as gospel.

Ok. Carry on.
In that case it seems a needlessly convoluted way of simply saying that you don't believe there is enough evidence to reach a conclusion.

Who said anything about gospel, BTW? I find Smith's account credible and so far it seems to be the one supported by the evidence. I don't find Shermer's account/s credible. That doesn't mean I believe Shermer is 100%, with a doubt, definitely guilty of the allegations made about him. It means I've formed what I consider a reasonable conclusion about what is most likely to be the case.

Originally Posted by McHell View Post
First, there is no "the slymepit argument" - it's not some monolithic hive-mind, regardless of whatever perception you might have to the contrary. The truth is there is a spectrum of views with some believing that the rape allegation is true, some believing it's false, and many in the undecided/unknown/uncertain middle ground.
Fair enough. I said "seems" because I noticed fairly widespread praise for Mykeru's video, in which he seemed to make that argument. And when I say "the slymepit argument" I don't mean the view shared by everyone who posts there, just what I (perhaps incorrectly) perceive as being the commonly accepted view.

Quote:
Second, nobody there is suggesting that "it can't have been rape". That is a complete mischaracterization of the actual arguments that are being made, and furthermore, suggests that you simply do not understand the general ethos of the slymepit regulars (which includes a strong aversion to ideological and absolutist views of any kind).
An exaggeration maybe, but I wouldn't say a complete mischaracterization. Mykeru's video made it quite clear that he doesn't believe any rape took place.

First it is claimed that the allegations against Shermer were made because he was "next in line" in the targeting of big name skeptics by people on FTB and Skepchick. This seems to dismiss the possibility that the allegations could have been because they were true.

Then the video brings up the ritual abuse scare / satanic panic phenomenon of the 1980s in which (among other things) preschoolers were manipulating into making bizarre accusations against adults that were actually false. It is suggests that since FTB and such places have been full of sexual harassment stories and such, this will cause people to come forth and say that it happened to them too (implying that such claims would happen even if they weren't true).

Wagg and Smith's behavior's after the incident are both seemingly described as being implausible for someone who had been raped by Shermer and for someone who's girlfriend had been raped by Shermer. The picture, for instance, is brought up.

And one point in the video Mykeru even says "If you cant drink without getting obliterated and can't keep your genitals stowed then shut the **** up and stop complaining." I would at least hope that one wouldn't say something like that about someone if they actually believed that there was a reasonable chance they were telling the truth about a rape experience.

And finally, like I said, I saw a bunch of people praising the video as "great" or "excellent". Even Aneris, who I generally respect as being thoughtful and intelligent. To be fair this doesn't necessarily mean they agree with everything in it. And I certainly haven't read all the posts on the pit on the subject of the allegations against Shermer.

As a side note, you initially objected to me generalizing about the slymepit by claiming that it's not a monolythic entity and now you're claiming that "slymepit regulars" are strongly averse to "ideological and absolutist views of any kind". That seems more than a little inconsistent.

Quote:
If you doubt this, I dare you to post your strawman there as if it were a serious comment and see what reaction you get; I'm betting your "argument" (such as it is) would be quickly torn to shreds and you would be roundly mocked for such simplistic black-or-white thinking.
lol. Well I haven't posted that exact comment there, but I have posted some criticisms of Mykeru's video on the pit. I'm far more familiar with that site than you probably realize. At times I get on well with the people there, at other times (like now) I get frustrated with them.
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