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Old 15th June 2008, 07:05 AM   #1
TsarBomba
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Graydon Square allegedly assaults Brian Sapient

Graydon Square. is scheduled to perform Friday night at TAM. According to reports on the Rational Response Squad, something is alleged to have happened between Graydon and Brian Sapient in Washington DC recently.

Essentially, the RRS forum thread alleges that Graydon assaulted Brian, that Brian was allegedly severely injured, and that Graydon allegedly spent some time in jail after being allegedly arrested.

Obviously I am not personally making any assertions about what, if anything, happened in DC, but I thought that some members of the forum might have an interest.

Here is a link to the thread: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14187

Here is more info from No God Blog:
http://www.atheists.org/nogodblog/in..._news#comments

Friendly Atheist also has a discussiuon as to what is alleged to have occurred:
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/06/1...econciliation/
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by richorman View Post
Essentially, the RRS forum thread alleges that Graydon assaulted Brian, that Brian was allegedly severely injured, and that Graydon allegedly spent some time in jail after being allegedly arrested.
You may have overdone the "alleges" and "allegedly" modifiers... from what I can tell, the facts of the assault, injury, arrest, and jail time are not disputed by anyone.

It's pretty messed up, and I think it warrants a withdrawal of Greydon Square's invitation to perform at TAM.
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Old 15th June 2008, 10:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ravdin View Post
You may have overdone the "alleges" and "allegedly" modifiers... from what I can tell, the facts of the assault, injury, arrest, and jail time are not disputed by anyone.

It's pretty messed up, and I think it warrants a withdrawal of Greydon Square's invitation to perform at TAM.
My understanding (which comes from the horse's mouth) is that JREF is aware of the situation and has it "under control."
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Old 15th June 2008, 01:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by richorman View Post
My understanding (which comes from the horse's mouth) is that JREF is aware of the situation and has it "under control."
Good to know. I would like for zero TAM attendees to end up in the hospital. I trust that JREF will take whatever steps are necessary to minimize the risk.
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Old 15th June 2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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Apparently, Greydon Square suffer from a psychological disorder and was off his meds. It would seem he needs time to get himself back together.

So let's get Jill Sobule on a plane to Vegas! Her Pollstar schedule shows a gig in NY 6/18 and one in Denver 6/27, so in my wishful thinking she's free!
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Old 15th June 2008, 01:54 PM   #6
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I was at the conference where this happened; Greydon Square had just done a quick warm-up performance, and was supposed to do more later in the evening. But when the time came, we were just told that his appearance had been cancelled. Didn't know the reason until later.
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:02 PM   #7
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I like them both... and I have tickets... Hrab will still be there.... yes... let's jet Jill Sobule. She rocks... and Julia... where's Julia this year?
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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Just read all the info. I hope they work it out... it will serve as an example, and I don't like divisiveness among skeptics. But it will take time. I don't think I could ever feel the same trust for someone who was violent with me... maybe... if they were off meds and apologized profusely and really made an effort... but emotionally, I'd be wary.

Yet, I hope they are able to be an example. Nobody needs to pick sides. I empathize with Brian... and I recognize that this is a situation where Greydon will need to "man up" and be "big" and sincere and self effacing to come out better from this experience. He has issued an apology. It will be interesting to hear how he explains this to himself... whether he's defensive or contrite... how his mind works through this.

I'm no rap fan, but I'm a fan of Greydon Square. Hrab just broke up with his girlfriend. I think if those guys will find a lot of support in the skeptical community if they don't blame others... but use this as a means of saying... "I'm human like you". Life gets totally muffed up sometimes. And the stuff we think we won't get through... we get through and become different, stronger, better people if we're lucky-- we become "resilient". Greydon is resilient. So is Hrab.

Last edited by articulett; 15th June 2008 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:18 PM   #9
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I have not seen an announcement regarding whether the performance is still on either on the JREF site or on Graydon Square's site. There is some confusing language in the appology that Graydon issued to Brian:

Quote:
To Brian and his family, I apologize for my behavior, and my conduct of late and hope that this humanistic community will find the time to understand me, and eventually forgive me. As of now IM SQUASHING ALL BEEFS that I have with ALL PEOPLE, that includes Brian Sapient, Frank Walton, Ellen Johnson, & Michael Shermer. As a result, I am choosing to once again take a step back from the forefront and examine who I am as a person and as an artist, and while after TAM6 I planned to deal with my legal issues, I also still plan or being active on the battlefront against theistic intolerance as well as the separation of Church & State.
I don't know if his use of past tense is an indication that he isn't doing TAM 6 anymore or just a typo.
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:19 PM   #10
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And he does seem to have beefs with a lot of people.
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:20 PM   #11
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How the hell does anyone have a beef with Michael Shermer, anyway?
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:25 PM   #12
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I know... maybe Shermer thinks his style is too aggressive?

I like my skeptics feisty, myself.
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:26 PM   #13
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Shermer likes the calm, make nice approach...
I think some people need to be provoked into thinking...

Btw, good DFA show, last episode-- Rich.

All the craziness in the name of faith... we need some pointed voices, I think.

I like Greydon's anger... the way he's in your face with his logic (but hopefully not with his fists any more.)
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:43 PM   #14
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The JREF has discussed this issue with Greydon, and he will still be performing as scheduled. We have no reason to believe he will be anything less than professional.
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
I like my skeptics feisty, myself.
1. Really? Since when!
2. rrrRRRAAAOOOwww
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wagg View Post
We have no reason to believe he will be anything less than professional.
I wonder if Brian Sapient thought the same thing before the ---alleged--- punches started flying. I wonder if JREF would have taken the same position if it had not already sold a bunch of tickets to the show Friday night that it might have to refund if it took a different action. I just wonder. . . .
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Old 15th June 2008, 02:54 PM   #17
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I have answer to your wondering...

I have no idea what Brian thought before. I do know that he and Greydon had a history of disagreement. As for the tickets, that was not a factor.
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Old 15th June 2008, 03:27 PM   #18
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I trust Jeff on this. If anyone ever does anything at a TAM, Jeff will probably have hotel security there in 30 seconds or less. This is Vegas, where the security has to be ready to deal with aggressive drunks.
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Old 15th June 2008, 03:27 PM   #19
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Why would you pull him for a problem unrelated to his performance any how? All humans make mistakes. If he tried to justify his actions, you might wonder about his stability... but I don't think a person's singular bad act should erase all their good acts or their chance to do more good in the future. Greydon adds variety to the rational way of thinking... he speaks to young people and minorities... he speaks to others with bipolar problems perhaps too... to others with anger issues... and I paid for a ticket... I don't want to be punished for his transgressions somewhere else. I think there's ways that we can make a bad situation into a learning experience for the future for multiple people. I support JREF's decision not to cancel. I'm interested in seeing how Graydon handles his and others reaction to what he did.
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Old 15th June 2008, 04:07 PM   #20
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I was at the conference. When his concert was cancelled, I struck up a rather interesting conversation with a girl, about biology, instead. She was a Gould/Punctuation fan, I was a Dawkins/Gradiation fan. It would never work in the long run. But, the arguing was rather... heated.



It's one thing to talk (or sing) with rage. It is another to take that rage out, into actual physical harm against others. Perhaps we will give Greydon the chance to prove this was a one-time mistake. If he develops a reputation for causing undue harm, it would probably be in JREF's best interest to distance itself from him.
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Old 15th June 2008, 04:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by SkepticScott View Post
I trust Jeff on this. If anyone ever does anything at a TAM, Jeff will probably have hotel security there in 30 seconds or less. This is Vegas, where the security has to be ready to deal with aggressive drunks.
I trust him too and I'm looking forward to the show.

Of course, if he's wrong I would take it into account when considering future donations to JREF or attendance at future TAMs. I suspect a lot of other people would as well. I trust what Jeff is saying because I assume he has a very good reason for the public show of confidence.
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Old 15th June 2008, 04:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wagg View Post
I have answer to your wondering...

I have no idea what Brian thought before.
My question about what Brian may have thought was a rhetorical question.
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Old 15th June 2008, 05:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
Why would you pull him for a problem unrelated to his performance any how? All humans make mistakes.
For the sake of argument, let me give you a hypothetical situation. Say you are the entertainment director for a large Las Vegas hotel and casino, and you have booked an act (for the sake of the hypothetical question, we will call the act Johnny Joker).

Two weeks before Johnny Joker is scheduled to appear, you get news that Johnny Joker has phycially assaulted someone in a vicious and unprovoked attack, and maybe that he has prior brushes with the law relating to threats of violence. You are now on notice about Joker's potentially violent propensities. Lets say that you go ahead and bring in Joker for the gig and he goes ahead and pops someone--like one of your paying customers--in the nose in another unprovoked attack, resulting in $10,000 in medical bills and substantial pain and suffering. Who would be financially responsible for the damage? Joker certainly would, but would you? As I said, you were on notice that you were bringing a potentially dangerous person into your business. Was it negligent of you to do so? Did you owe your customers a duty of care not to do so? Even if you did not owe your customers a legal duty of care to do so, did you owe them a moral duty?

If you managed a restaurant, would you want someone facing these types of recent allegations interacting with your customers?

I am not saying that there are easy answers to these questions, but that is why the question is asked.

I would also note that the allegations are that Graydon assaulted Brian in a professional business situation. He was--for all intents and purposes--at work. Would you hire someone who did what Graydon is alleged to have done in a work situation?

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Old 15th June 2008, 05:12 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by SkepticScott View Post
I trust Jeff on this. If anyone ever does anything at a TAM, Jeff will probably have hotel security there in 30 seconds or less. This is Vegas, where the security has to be ready to deal with aggressive drunks.
Come on, Stott. Assuming you are correct about security response time (and I think that you are overly optimistic), a person can inflict a large amount of damange on another person in 30 seconds--certainly much more than I would want to be subjected to.
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Old 15th June 2008, 05:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by richorman View Post
For the sake of argument, let me give you a hypothetical situation. Say you are the entertainment director for a large Las Vegas hotel and casino, and you have booked an act (for the sake of the hypothetical question, we will call the act Johnny Joker).

Two weeks before Johnny Joker is scheduled to appear, you get news that Johnny Joker has phycially assaulted someone in a vicious and unprovoked attack, and maybe that he has prior brushes with the law relating to threats of violence. You are now on notice about Joker's potentially violent propensities. Lets say that you go ahead and bring in Joker for the gig and he goes ahead and pops someone--like one of your paying customers--in the nose in another unprovoked attack, resulting in $10,000 in medical bills and substantial pain and suffering. Who would be financially responsible for the damage? Joker certainly would, but would you? As I said, you were on notice that you were bringing a potentially dangerous person into your business. Was it negligent of you to do so? Did you owe your customers a duty of care not to do so? Even if you did not owe your customers a legal duty of care to do so, did you owe them a moral duty?

If you managed a restaurant, would you want someone facing these types of recent allegations interacting with your customers?

I am not saying that there are easy answers to these questions, but that is why the question is asked.
I understand your point... and I'm sure JREF has good legal counsel. But I don't think this applies. What are the odds that a single person who has a temper flair with a business partner will recreate that scene with random people in a different environment? How many times has Greydon performed without incident? I just think the odds are more than in our favor that this will not recur-- and I can't see what would be accomplished by canceling him. The odds that "someone will get hurt in some foreseeable way" due to what happened are low compared to the odds that all will go well or that some other unpredictable crazy thing will happen by someone else we cannot foresee at this time.

It takes some time to develop wisdom and forethought... http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/H...ow/3127602.cms
Greydon is young. We need the young... and the good and bad that comes with it.

Of course, I'm a bleeding heart who gives too many chances... but in doing a quick cost benefit analysis to all the parties involved, I think JREF made the right choice. Fortunately, we'll all have a chance to find out if this is the case.
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Old 15th June 2008, 05:36 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by richorman View Post
As I said, you were on notice that you were bringing a potentially dangerous person into your business. Was it negligent of you to do so? Did you owe your customers a duty of care not to do so? Even if you did not owe your customers a legal duty of care to do so, did you owe them a moral duty?
Everyone is potentially dangerous. If I had reason to believe that Greydon was a threat to anyone at TAM, I'd do something about it. I do not have reason to believe that. There have been many meetings and discussions about this, and the result was that the JREF feels there is no danger, and we have no reason to disallow Greydon from performing.

And it goes without saying that we in no way condone his behavior last weekend, but I said it anyway.
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Old 15th June 2008, 05:46 PM   #27
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seriously, just think what Hitchens could do if he could only walk straight!!

Don't worry, I can fill in at a moments notice if needed. And I'm flying out anyway.
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Old 15th June 2008, 05:51 PM   #28
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I'm sure hitch will be on his "meds"... that placate his moods.

What's your talent, Kitty-- interpretive dance? I can't see you rapping, but skeptchicks are full of surprises.
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Old 15th June 2008, 06:09 PM   #29
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Hitchens will not be at TAM 6. He canceled on us.
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Old 15th June 2008, 06:37 PM   #30
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The Greydon/Brian Sapient situation arose out of a dispute over sales and distribution of CD's -- a business matter -- according to both parties. Greydon has said on his MySpace page where he offered an apology and explanation that he has ended all "beefs" (his words I believe) with individuals including Michael Shermer. I hardly see this in any way impinges on his ability to entertain at TAM6.

You can find full commentary on the incident in many places, and www.richarddawkins.net/forums and RantsnRaves are two communities where to be fair the news of the attack was described in full on threads.

To be fair, dissension and arguments in the Atheist/Freethinking net communities are nothing new - in the last six months we have seen a "meltdown" at IIDB, long an excellent place, the creation of RnR, and a very bitter argument between YouTube atheists and the RRS before a series of clashes between the RRS and members of the RDF. I sometimes thinkI spend too much time on atheist activist communities!

So as a Christian I'm jubilant right? Not at all. While in several cases money has been a motivating factor, we have had all kinds of REALLY unpleasant muck thrown by people who should know better. Still all this added up is probably just your average church politics, backbiting and gossip.

People are people, regardless of ideologies - they argue, they slander, they do stupid things. Being an atheist does not make you a saint, and nor should it. In a sense it's really healthy - a free though community, bound by little more than negatives like "we don't believe in God" is bound to have arguments, factions and strong willed individuals. That just shows people are thinking and arguing passionately.

However my point in essence - Greydon will be dealt with in accordance with law, and if you expect atheist advocates to be plaster saints, you have a peculiar idea of humanity. NONE of us really know what led to this, and I refuse to pass judgment. Let he who has never been annoyed with a colleague throw the first punch - I hope Greydon does a blistering set at TAM, sells a lot of albums, and that Brian makes a full recovery.

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Old 15th June 2008, 06:52 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by richorman View Post
Come on, Stott. Assuming you are correct about security response time (and I think that you are overly optimistic), a person can inflict a large amount of damange on another person in 30 seconds--certainly much more than I would want to be subjected to.
Yeah, I exaggerated the response speed, but I think security would be called as soon as any argument got heated. And for all we know, Randi might carry a Taser.
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Old 15th June 2008, 06:55 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wagg View Post
Hitchens will not be at TAM 6. He canceled on us.
Did he say why?

Let me guess... greydon and he have issues too!
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wagg View Post
Everyone is potentially dangerous. If I had reason to believe that Greydon was a threat to anyone at TAM, I'd do something about it. I do not have reason to believe that. There have been many meetings and discussions about this, and the result was that the JREF feels there is no danger, and we have no reason to disallow Greydon from performing.

And it goes without saying that we in no way condone his behavior last weekend, but I said it anyway.
I am sure that you know much more about the situation than I do, but according to some online accounts that I have read, this is not exactly his first brush with the law, although there were apparently no charges filed out of the earlier incident (see Legal issues section of the link)--The Wikipedia entry indicates that he allegedly boasted of besting another individual in an previous altercation.

I find it somewhat disquieting that JREF says that there is "no danger." I will quote that again, "no danger." Not "an acceptable degree of risk." Not "very little chance of danger." Not "an extremely remote risk of an incident." But "no danger." From a risk assessment perspective, I find this to be questionable, to say the least. I, for one, will be keeping my distance from this person if I see him in my general vacinity.
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:23 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
Did he say why?

Let me guess... greydon and he have issues too!
I believe it was a scheduling conflict, and was announced quite some time ago. Months, I believe.
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:25 PM   #35
TsarBomba
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
I'm sure JREF has good legal counsel.
I don't think that there is any evidence to support this claim.
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:44 PM   #36
Aerik
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What is with you people adding "allegedly" as if brian is the only person in the world saying greydon attacked him? Everybody who saw it, including several non-rrs or even non-rrs-friendly people, who told what happened to the police, who escorted Greydon to jail, and brian to the hospital. It's a FACT that greydon is guilty of assault. Deal with it. Put aside your prejudice against brian and stop implying he's making it up as default

Here's where I first read of this:

http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/06/1...econciliation/

The friendly atheist reports that the story of it, such as reported here:

http://theusernamejoewastaken.blogsp...on-square.html

Is accurate, as is Brian's re-account at the RRS website here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/fo...comment-171438

Stop your damn crusade against Sapient and stop slurring him as if he's making it up.
Edited by Lisa Simpson:  Edited to remove inappropriate remark.


Greydon purposely takes himself off his meds to be more creative. This is the result. And just so you know, the fight was not about a scheduling conflict or anything like that. It was about Greydon wanting RRS to hault selling CD's that they had already purchased. RRS refunded the money of anybody who purchased them. If anything they went above and beyond what Greydon wanted.

And to everybody who calls it "just drama" --
Edited by Lisa Simpson:  Edited to remove inappropriate remark.
IT was first person, "real life" violence. That's not drama. It's not gossip by default. Just because you read about it on the internets doesn't mean you should treat it lightly.

This "oh, the drama!" sarcasm is nothing more than an excuse to deride others to boost oneself up upon the misfortune of others and downplay one's own viciousness and contempt. It's the fake "just kidding" of fora.
Edited by Lisa Simpson:  Edited to remove inappropriate remark.


Mod WarningPlease keep in mind the Membership Agreement and do not use personal attacks to argue your point and do not use alternate spelling to get around the auto-censor.
Posted By:Lisa Simpson

Last edited by Lisa Simpson; 16th June 2008 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:55 PM   #37
Wowbagger
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Originally Posted by cj.23 View Post
Greydon has said on his MySpace page where he offered an apology and explanation that he has ended all "beefs" (his words I believe) with individuals including Michael Shermer.
I'm not afraid of Greydon Square... I'm a vegetarian! I wouldn't want any beef with him, anyway.
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Old 15th June 2008, 09:58 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Aerik View Post
What is with you people adding "allegedly" as if brian is the only person in the world saying greydon attacked him? Everybody who saw it, including several non-rrs or even non-rrs-friendly people, who told what happened to the police, who escorted Greydon to jail, and brian to the hospital. It's a FACT that greydon is guilty of assault. Deal with it. Put aside your prejudice against brian and stop implying he's making it up as default
Aerik, I have no "prejudice against Brian," having only seen him once on a video. And I have yet to hear anything by Greydon, so I am no fan of his. But I would still use the word "alleged" (or "reported" or "apparent", or something similar) were I to discuss it on an forum, as I think would be the prudent thing to do, both frmo a legal and moral standpoint. It has nothing to do with prejudice towards either party.

I know of no videos of the incident, and am only reading second, third and fourth-hand accounts of it. For anyone not a direct eyewitness to it to describe it as though they know exactly what went on is neither rational nor skeptical.
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Old 15th June 2008, 10:15 PM   #39
fatewilleatyou
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I'll let this thing play out legally, in the meantime I was inspired to create a portrait of Greydon. There is no editorial intended here other than a comment on the power of truth. I wasn't sure if I'd go to the Hrab-Square show, but I think I will.

Click to enlarge
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Last edited by fatewilleatyou; 15th June 2008 at 10:18 PM. Reason: code correx
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Old 15th June 2008, 10:37 PM   #40
ravdin
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Originally Posted by richorman View Post
I find it somewhat disquieting that JREF says that there is "no danger." I will quote that again, "no danger." Not "an acceptable degree of risk." Not "very little chance of danger." Not "an extremely remote risk of an incident." But "no danger." From a risk assessment perspective, I find this to be questionable, to say the least. I, for one, will be keeping my distance from this person if I see him in my general vacinity.
Jeff has put the JREF's considerable reputation behind assuring us that no TAM attendees will be beaten to a bloody pulp by Square. I for one have chosen to believe him.

That was my main objection to having him present- my concern wasn't over punishing him (the law will take care of that, I hope), but making sure that no one will end up in the hospital over a similar misunderstanding.

I usually don't have a problem separating the art from the artist. So even though I find Square's personal conduct to be inexcusable, I plan to enjoy the show.
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