Blog Entries


Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Hemant Mehta (The Friendly Atheist) goes off the rails on the #Manoora case

Posted 23-Dec-2014 at 06:25 PM (18:25) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Dec-2014 at 07:49 PM (19:49) by Gurdur

There was a very distressing incident a day or so ago. An Australian mother, Raina Thaiday, is accused of having "stabbed seven of her own nine children, and a niece. The victims ranged in age from two to fourteen". This happened within the Torres Strait Islander community in Manoora, Queensland, Australia. The mother is charged with having murdered "three of her daughters, aged 2, 11 and 12, four of her sons, aged 5, 6, 8 and 9, and her 14-year-old niece".

Psychosis happens. Look...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 7673 Comments 9 Gurdur is offline

The bizarre smears used against Michael Nugent by PZ Myers & co.

Posted 11-Oct-2014 at 05:03 AM (05:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Oct-2014 at 09:13 PM (21:13) by Gurdur

PZ Myers, an associate professor at a small college, and a minor albeit populist and influential figure in the world of atheism, bravely stood up to Mick Nugent, and broadcast that commentators on Nugent's blog included a whole lot of rapists. PZ Myers wasn't able to name one single rapist, not one single one, which made it all a bit of a mystery. But if PZ Myers claims there are rapists running rampant among the commentators on a blog, he must be right, or? It's just not possible PZ Myers could...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6939 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.

What on Earth, Center For Inquiry? CFI-DC Melody Hensley calls for boycott of Peter Boghossian over issue of PTSD from Twitter

Posted 25-Sep-2014 at 09:19 AM (09:19) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Sep-2014 at 12:48 PM (12:48) by Gurdur

Melody Hensley (@MelodyHensley; please do not tweet at her unless you are sure your tweet is acceptable to her, since harassment of any kind is not tolerable) is the Executive Director of the Washington, D.C. branch of the Center For Inquiry, which says about itself that the "mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values". So we know where we stand, then. Last night, Melody Hensley called for all atheist and humanist...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 19817 Comments 11 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

A shameful deceit: someone buys @The_Block_Bot 40,000 Twitter followers, 93% of them fake

Posted 14-Sep-2013 at 10:35 PM (22:35) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 14-Sep-2013 at 11:30 PM (23:30) by Gurdur

The @The_Block_Bot is a shameful little clique pressure-device, a Twitter account and list-blocking-app started by two trolls, promoted under the false advertising of having the otherwise-praiseworthy goal of blocking trolls, sexists, homophobes and so on. That all that advertising is made up of false claims is something on which I will go into detail very soon. This blog post is about another matter concerning that Twitter account. Up to only a few days ago, @The_Block_Bot had only 1,200 followers,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 12528 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 8 votes, 4.50 average.

Fear and loathing in the atheism movement, but not in Las Vegas?

Posted 14-Aug-2013 at 04:01 PM (16:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 07-Sep-2013 at 07:04 AM (07:04) by Gurdur

The clock is ticking. A cease-and-desist letter, with implied legal action for defamation if the defamation persists, has been served on someone long known for a flame-based attack-blogging approach. Fear and loathing run rampant throughout the American atheist movement at this time. There are competing views on exactly why. One view is that there has been much sexual harrassment and rape covered up by the "establishment", the rape and other sexual assualt being committed by some of those often...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 10018 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 41 votes, 4.98 average.

An open letter to Michael Nugent and Atheist Ireland

Posted 31-May-2013 at 05:58 AM (05:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Oct-2014 at 06:18 AM (06:18) by Gurdur

To Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland (@atheistie) and all atheist conference organizers:
The recent initiative started and sponsored by Michael Nugent, aimed at promoting dialogue within the atheist movement despite differences, is a praiseworthy endeavor. I have now added a new effort of my own to that overall general attempt at ending the defamation, harrassment and bullying going on in the atheist movement. However, very recently important questions have come up.

These concerns...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 71673 Comments 60 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Yes, there is a moderate, middle ground for the atheist movement. Join in!

Posted 29-May-2013 at 06:08 PM (18:08) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 29-May-2013 at 09:54 PM (21:54) by Gurdur

As many know, and as I have blogged about previously, there is a long, bitter, all-out war of all against all within the atheism movement. Some have claimed there is no middle ground to all of this conflict, but those who have expressly claimed that are too obviously only pushing their personal agendas and a "You are either with us or against us" line.

There have been various initiatives aimed at trying to reconcile differences; one of those initiatives was the dialogue process started by Michael Nugent....
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 11160 Comments 5 Gurdur is offline

The Rubicon is crossed: Women In Secularism, feminism, atheism, skepticism, humanism

Posted 20-May-2013 at 11:53 PM (23:53) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 21-May-2013 at 01:01 PM (13:01) by Gurdur

The Women In Secularism conference (#wiscfi) opened in Washington, DC, on Friday, and continues till Sunday. The full conference schedule and speaker list can be seen here. It was an event largely funded by the Center For Inquiry (CFI). Apparently the conference was planned and executed by the DC chapter of CFI - a siginificant fact - however it is largely funded by the national CFI. So the speaker list and schedule looks to have been set by the DC group. Ron Lindsay (@RALindsay), president and...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 7457 Comments 2 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Death of an ignorant peasant woman, survivor of a witch-hunt

Posted 14-Apr-2013 at 05:20 AM (05:20) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 14-Apr-2013 at 04:58 PM (16:58) by Gurdur

On Sept. 7, 2010, Delfina Alvarez Cruz Selgado, a 42-years-old Mayan mother of five, became the target of witch-hunts - some face-to-face, one being police-action prompted against her, and another being online. Delfina originally came from a village, but then lived in the town of Punta Gorda, in the Toledo district, Belize, in a house she had built herself out of scraps scrounged from garbage-dumps around town. Her name wasn't even Delfina Alvarez Selgado, but that is how it was entered in the...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 7764 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Secular community-leaders' calls for moderate tone cause all hell to break loose among secular community

Posted 03-Apr-2013 at 01:04 PM (13:04) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Apr-2013 at 08:23 AM (08:23) by Gurdur

There has been an all-out civil war raging inside the atheist movement for quite a while. PZ Myers announced in May last year that he would refuse to talk at any conference where Abbie Smith is a speaker. Paula Kirby, a noted figure in the atheism movement, tweeted about Femistasi, then wrote about "Hysterical, bullying overreaction to dissent? Attempting to make it so unpleasant for anyone who dares to oppose them that others are deterred from trying it?" So FreeThoughtBlogs (FTB) blogger Ed Brayton...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 26811 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

The dialogue process sponsored by Michael Nugent within the secular movement

Posted 03-Apr-2013 at 01:03 PM (13:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Apr-2013 at 01:33 PM (13:33) by Gurdur

Now Michael Nugent (@MickNugent), chair of the advocacy group Atheist Ireland, has undertaken an intense effort at a dialogue process, owing to the all-out Hobbesian war in the secular movement. He made several blog posts, culminating in a call for volunteers for dialogue, and the creation of a new website dedicated to the dialogue process, "Atheist/Skeptic Dialogue".

Michael Nugent asked who would be willing to volunteer for such a dialogue; I and others, including Stephanie Zvan,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1952 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Frenemy-fire and the misuse of social media

Posted 03-Apr-2013 at 12:11 PM (12:11) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Apr-2013 at 01:22 PM (13:22) by Gurdur

Just a few days ago, EllenBeth Wachs tweeted she resigns as President of Humanists of Florida, then tweeted "I'm wishing I never got involved with the movement. I'd be happier, wealthier and still have a good reputation". I know how she feels. EllenBeth Wachs was the victim of unfriendly friendly-fire, or frenemy-fire if you like. A known feminist and atheist leader, she was castigated as being a misogyny-enabler, etc. etc., for the crime of being somewhat mildly skeptical about whether Adria Richards...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4484 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

Resigning from the team in the dialogue-process sponsored by Michael Nugent

Posted 01-Apr-2013 at 05:14 PM (17:14) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Apr-2013 at 01:16 PM (13:16) by Gurdur

Given the deep schisms obvious in the atheist movement, Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland kindly started a dialogue process, which went in to many unexpected directions. Michael Nugent then started a formal talks process after asking for volunteers, and he set up a dedicated site for this on

There is a great deal to say about this all, and I shall soon start saying it.

Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6470 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Say hello to Al Stefanelli

Posted 28-Feb-2013 at 12:15 AM (00:15) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Feb-2013 at 01:48 AM (01:48) by Gurdur

Al Stefanelli is someone I do not know well at all. I never heard of him at all till the huge teacup-storms caused by the FTB/atheism+ emo narcissists started happening. But Al Stefanelli (@Stefanelli) is quite ill, and on his way out, slowly but surely. He's winding down his social-media presence because of increasing illness and disability, and the end is pretty obvious and nearish. He's got Parkison's, diabetes and more, but it's COPD doing him in right now.

I mention him here...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5529 Comments 4 Gurdur is offline

Meet-up with @reedes (Reed Esau), Wednesday 13 February 2013

Posted 14-Feb-2013 at 07:23 PM (19:23) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

I finally got to meet Reed Esau (@reedes), someone I've known a little over Twitter for a fair while, but never met before. He's extremely active in the skepticism movement, and has been known to comment on the atheism movement at times. He's a very nice bloke. You can find him on Twitter here, you can find his blog here. We - that is Reed, Never (co-admin of the Hub and Hangout, who lives in Ohio but has joined forces with me for this trip to meet up board members and others in Colorado) and...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3127 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 10 votes, 5.00 average.

Atheism news: Hobbesian civil war among atheists

Posted 02-Jul-2012 at 10:45 PM (22:45) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 02-Jul-2012 at 11:35 PM (23:35) by Gurdur

Sunday, 01 July 2012, was a very dramatic day for atheists. This all will demand much explanation, so first to the events. A lot of explaining the background, people and motives will have to wait for my next blog posts. Onto the most important events:

Paula Kirby, a writer and project manager who lives in Scotland, and who is a noted and famous figure in the atheist movement, and who has worked for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS), has now on Monday made...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 16206 Comments 10 Gurdur is offline

LOL, post-atheism redux. The Empire strikes back, well, at least it tries to.

Posted 27-Jun-2012 at 04:58 PM (16:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-Jun-2012 at 05:15 PM (17:15) by Gurdur

Into every life a little rain must fall, but sometimes that rain is quite refreshing and welcome. A while back - we're talking 28 April this year here - I did a blog post on the Post-Atheism Phenomenon, and then I simply let it completely drop from mind, as a nonimportant thang. Just a couple of days ago, I noticed angry flamers flaming in inadequate ways, so I looked for the source, and it turns out that the board X I mentioned in that old blog post of mine had finally woken up and noticed my blog...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4013 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 18 votes, 5.00 average.

Preliminary report on the Cologne (Koeln) 2012 European Atheist Convention, Germany

Posted 26-May-2012 at 04:01 PM (16:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-May-2012 at 02:20 AM (02:20) by Gurdur

I went to the 2012 European Atheist Convention in Cologne (Köln, a.k.a. Koeln), Germany, yesterday, and will go again today (if I can; other jobs are pressing too) and tomorrow. It's a bit of a mixed bag, and this is only a preliminary report; I'll blog more in depth on aspects later. You can find the convention schedule here. Embedded here are two audio clips I made, of the speeches by Dan Parker and PZ Myers. I didn't get to do more recordings, but there was a video team at the convention, and...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 9942 Comments 9 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Who owns atheism? Trouble and exclusivism within the atheist movement today

Posted 28-Apr-2012 at 09:46 AM (09:46) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-May-2012 at 05:32 AM (05:32) by Gurdur

Atheism, despite gaining much ground in public acceptance in the USA in recent years, is having difficulties. It may be getting into trouble in other parts of the world; as possibly in Russia, for example. As for the USA, the impact zone is secularism rather than atheism itself. Jacques Berlinerblau has a new article up on the British New Humanist titled, "The death of American secularism", in which he worries about conservative backlash in the USA. The atheist movement may cease to be effectually...
Views 12995 Comments 8 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The weird post-atheist phenomenon

Posted 28-Apr-2012 at 04:07 AM (04:07) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-May-2012 at 05:30 AM (05:30) by Gurdur

I'm currently watching a bulletin-board destroy itself very slowly. I watch not out of horror, as I did with the old RDFRS board, but this time round out of sheer amusement; it's a punishment for them fit for the crime. The bulletin-board in question - call it say X, for want of a name - is made up largely of atheists but with a fair smattering of Christians and general whatevers who migrated from other boards. Most of these folks take great, oft-voiced pride in being "post-atheist", that is, they're...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5946 Comments 4 Gurdur is offline

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