Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dear Austin Cline,
You distorted, not only the meaning of what I wrote, but also pretend that it was addressed to "atheists". This might have fit into the theme of your blog but it is clearly a lie. I assume, since you quote one of “Whispers” comments from the thread at Echidne's blog, that you would have seen the answer I gave to a lie “Whispers” wrote about what I had written, on that same thread. I don’t believe you could have missed my answer. I pointed out that the word "atheist" appeared nowhere in the piece*. I highlighted the same exact point in the follow up post at Echidne’s the next day where I corrected some of the incorrect comments the day after the first piece was posted. Yet you pretended it was a piece in which I targeted atheists well after that lie was corrected in a place you couldn’t have missed it if you had bothered to find out what I meant.

You might have been concerned since I used Richard Dawkins as an example of how Skeptics hold themselves to a different standard than they do the targets of their activities. I thought that might be your misunderstanding until I looked at your blog bio. You have connections with Paul Kurtz through at least two positions you've held. I must say that Kurtz seems to be cropping up a lot in different places in my researches of pseudo-“Skepticism”, I’ve never researched organized atheist-fundamentalism so I don’t know about what connection he might have to that. - I would think that what I’m about to point out might be interesting to anyone with the time and resources to do so.

You certainly know about CSICOP, in which Kurtz has a prominent position. It isn’t credible that you didn’t know about CISCOP. Dawkins is also involved with CSiCOP, last time I checked. Beyond doubt the most glamorous of its current stars, CSICOP is an organization that is star driven, ironically enough.

If you knew anything about the other people mentioned in the post, also hard for me to imagine though perhaps you don’t research your pieces, you would have seen that they were all involved with CSICOP and other 'Skeptics" organizations. Since I identified the piece as having been inspired by a flaming e-mail about a gentle jibe I made about the phony "Skeptic" Penn Jillette I don't see how you could possibly have missed that the target of the piece was organized “Skepticism”.

You pop-atheists are big on the charge of "cherry picking" this season, if I'm not mistaken its a charge you have leveled, yourself. Yet you distorted the clear intention of the piece by leaving out the entire first section containing the necessary argument to understand my conclusions. I think a reasonable person looking at this situation could conclude that your only reason for leaving that out was to distort the conclusions I reached in favor of the freedom of people to believe what they wanted to. I have always favored diversity of belief knowing it to be essential for freedom. CSICOP is an organization dedicated to frat-boy style coercion, and on one occasion a farcical coverup, to wipe out freedom of belief in order to enforce a quite narrow-minded materialism. Fortunately, they are bunglers and have been able to produce little but bigotry. Even their own magazine and their frequent come-ons have commented on the rise in belief in the things they hope to suppress during their three decades existence. Since I didn’t exclude atheists, or anyone else from the freedom of belief I support, my argument clearly applies to everyone. That inclusive freedom doesn’t suit your purpose so you ignore my support for it.

You claim to have understood my piece, yet you left out the part that was essential to my argument. Cherry picking? That would be too polite a way of describing what you did. You lied. You distorted my piece to turn into one of what your achieve proves to be an endless series of tedious whines. You not only lied, you didn't have the courage to inform me that you were doing it. If an agnostic I knew hadn't told me about your piece last week I probably wouldn't have ever found out about it.

I don't know what kind of ethics they pretend to follow at the Kurtz organizations, though my research into CSICOP and just a few of his holdings has been quite an eye opener. I’ve yet to brave Kurtz on “Exuberance” though the excerpts I’ve seen are sugary, philosophical frippery. I do know that what you did was dishonest and I will be writing a full account and posting it on line. I asked for you input, though your note seems to imply that you wouldn’t welcome me sending you an advance copy for your comments and possible corrections. I suppose a retraction is too much to expect, it certainly was for two other similar incidents of pop-atheists lying about what I wrote. If I am wrong, please tell me.

You have too thin a skin for a hatchet man. If you expect to continue in your line of bigotry, I’d advise you to grow a thicker one. I think I’ve got a rather good look into your character through researching my planned piece. I take someone lying about what I wrote quite personally. As to my comments, please be more specific in what your objections to those are. If I find I’ve lied about you I will, of course, issue a correction.

yours truly,

P.S. Since I don’t have any reason to trust you I am posting this on my own blog instead of taking the risk of sending it to you in case you tried to misuse it. It contains no lies and I’m not ashamed of anything I say here. I will defend myself.

* From the comment thread of the post you misrepresented:

Also, essentially calling all atheists liars is a good way for you to look like a hopeless jackass in our eyes.

If you want to clean up your philosophical meanderings a little bit, I suggest finding a way to differentiate between "belief" and "faith". Whispers | 01.28.07 - 1:05 pm | #

Also, essentially calling all atheists liars is a good way for you to look like a hopeless jackass in our eyes.

Ok, quote where I said this or its equivalent? I'm looking and don't even see the word "atheist" in this post. This is a lie and I do ask you to retract it as soon as you confirm that it is not true. The piece isn't even strictly about atheism, it's about skepticism. How do you know I wasn't slamming professional magicians and social scientists, if there's much of a difference in come cases.

As to "belief" and "faith", on the Online Thesaurus, it comes fourth in the list of synonyms. olvlzl Back and Blogwhoring | Homepage | 01.28.07 - 5:52 pm | #

From your piece:
“Whispers" posted comments to this post which explained the problems with Olvlzl's use of "faith" here.....

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