Thursday, 31 July 2014

Greta Christina and the Art of Manipulation

So Greta Christina gets the ball rolling with a blog entry just informing the uninitiated what a cockcunt (keeping my slurs gender neutral for now) TheAmazingAtheist (TJ) is.

What I will do at this point is link you the blog entry. The reason I will do this is because that is the right way to critique something that someone has done. You criticise something then at least have the good grace to point your readers/viewers at the article/video in question. For the record, TJ did the same.

Here is the blog entry (nestled amongst 152,301 blog entries of nasty names she has been called):

I invite you to read it, that is the right thing for me to do. To be fair she makes some points that beg to be addressed. I think it is fair to say that on a number of occasions, over the years, TJ has been a total cunt (the gender neutrality is slipping a bit, I know).

What was pleasant to see was that TJ DID address them. He made a video response. He even apologised and expressed remorse for some of the comments he had made. Here is that video:

I invite you to watch it, that is the right thing for me to do so that you can judge him for yourself and not rely solely on what I have to say in regard to him.

So that is the background. My purpose for typing this out is not to sing TJ's praises. You can watch his video yourself and decide whether you you think he has responded to the criticisms Greta made (*which i linked for you*) or otherwise. Instead, the purpose of this blog entry is to explore briefly what happened next.

Here is Greta again:

"Note: The Amazing Atheist has apparently put up a video responding to my recent post excoriating his behavior and calling on the atheist community to shun him. (No, I’m not linking to it.) As a result, I am expecting a temporary influx of TAA fans in this blog. I have therefore changed my commenting settings. For now, and until the influx dies down, comments in this blog will automatically go into comment moderation unless someone has commented here before and has had that comment approved. (Translation: Brand-new commenters go into comment moderation.) Thanks for your patience and understanding.
UPDATE: The majority of comments from the influx of fans of The Amazing Atheist are being posted here. I don’t want them to derail the thread they’re primarily being posted on, and most of them violate my comment policy; but since this conversation is garnering a certain amount of attention, I’m posting them here for the purpose of documentation."

So Greta elsewhere casts the usual scorn on any objections with the always hilarious "Freez Peach" pun (for the uninitiated this is supposed to parody people who decry FtB's lack of "free speech", though I have never managed to determine quite what the joke is) which is summarily rolled out on every other blog entry to such hilarity that sellotape have apparently reported a marked increase in sales as FtBers attempt to tape their split sides up.
But this complaint is not about free speech. In fact not only do I fully support Greta's right to be as big a wanker as she wishes with regards to skewing the debate on her own blog but I would actively defend her right to do so, were it to come under serious pressure. However, just as she has a right to set the rules I also have a right to criticise them.

I think through my time on Youtube and the internet and my interactions with theists. Always I looked down on the way they managed and limited interactions by selectively moderating and blocking those they disagreed with. I always felt a slight air of superiority that atheists didn't need to do that; that atheists had the tools for the arguments to stand up for themselves. The very LAST thing we needed to do was to make sure that our audience was kept away from theist perspectives.

How disillusioning the last couple of years has been for me. Believe me, i really DO appreciate how disillusioning it must be for Greta et al to see the extreme aggression and bigotry of some people in their community. it must come as a shock to them. No less of a shock is the shock I have experienced that some in our community (Greta counts as one) are no better than the folks I used to look down upon who "manage" exchanges and information through the judicious and skewed application of the various censorious options their webspaces have open to them.
Make no mistake: this is not about free speech. In fact my guess is that Greta and her chums are in the majority. The Christian forums and the Stormfronts of this world all do the same thing. I suppose I just thought that maybe we were the exception; that atheists had a bit more confidence to hide from other perspectives and shut our spaces from alternative viewpoints when expressed other than through our own mouthpieces.
I particularly want to draw your attention to this:
The Amazing Atheist has apparently put up a video responding to my recent post excoriating his behavior and calling on the atheist community to shun him. (No, I’m not linking to it.)

I find that beyond pathetic. When Thunderf00t did the same thing years back (pre all this left wing* politicisation of atheism online) when he pulled to pieces a muslim called DawahFilms I went on record on YouTube and labelled his behaviour a "cunt's trick", not for his position with regard to DF but for not linking his viewers to the video Dawah had made so that they could judge for themselves. It was a cunt's trick when TF pulled it and it is a cunt's trick that Greta has pulled here: no mistake.

Truly I find this approach pathetic. Like the old days in the UK when the IRA (and I assure you I feel nothing but loathing for that organisation) was barred from speaking on British tv so we had the ludicrous situation where Sinn Fein politicians (such as Adams and McGuinness) would be talking to camera with their voices replaced with the voice of someone else. What were we afraid of? That their arguments would be so persuasive that we would all start agreeing with them? Hell, if that WAS the case then they should have been allowed to speak, surely? What is Greta afraid of that she feels she has to stop her readers from hearing TJ's response outside of her cherry-picked interpretation of it?

Not pathetic.......... (insert a word that means really really really pathetic)

I respect Greta's right to censor and block. She blocked me ages ago and no wonder: anyone who watches my videos will be in no doubt what a truly desperately awful person I am and how important it is that no-one could be subjected to my weasel words, or her followers subjected to the notion that some other atheists may have some fundamentally and substantially different viewpoints to their own. Horror of horrors! But this is a new low. A new low smugly waved away with another hilarious round of "freez peach" jokes to pre-empt any comments such as this.

I, for one, am not buying it.

When you make a blog post pulling someone to pieces then man/woman up and point your readers to the reply. there is something truly contemptible about trashing someone (even if it is deserved) and then when they attempt to respond to your criticisms doing everything in your powers to shield your readers from what they have to say.

The editorial staff of The Sun would truly be proud. Well done Christina, you make the atheists of this world look a little less distinct from the theists and the bigots.


*I am personally politically central and see positives and negatives on both political wings (and I happily advocate socialist models for many things). My comment here was not intended to be explicitly anti-left wing it is just that atheism is no more left wing than it is right wing and i fucking hate political land grabs!


  1. Nice call. Another thing that bothers me is the double standard she has. She essentially claims he supports rape, advocates for "shunning" him, and describes this as a consequence for his actions. However, whatever response she gets isn't a "consequence" of her actions - instead it's some form of gendered harassment.

  2. Well written. Bravo

    Anyone who stand up and says something should be called to account if they need to be, but to do that while filtering it through your own biases is the worst kind of strawmanning

    If you critique others, then don't be such a coward as to try and prevent others from reading or watching the source

    As you say, are they afraid that people might watch and agree? That the people they are critiquing are that persuasive? In that case, you have to consider if your critique is valid or fair

  3. What would be the difference between TAA making horrid rape comments in a heated discussion(an argument, actually)about trigger warnings, and GC writing and publishing rape fiction? Does the fact that she blogged about it and stated her intentions somehow absolve her from criticism?

  4. She's pretending to be doing us all a favour by protecting us from him & his WERDZ. I've never liked the Woman, i just wish everyone (including myself on this occasion) would suss out just how irrelevant she really is. Nice Post Jim!

  5. I had some thoughts on this the other day...

  6. Well said, though not only did she fail to link to TJ's response, from her wording it seems she did not even give him the courtesy of watching his response to her attack on him.

  7. Even worse than the initial moderation comment you posted she later says "I am letting a handful of the more extreme comments through, for purposes of public documentation." In other words she approved the comments from assholes who might support TAA, or disagree with her post to one degree or another, but didn't approve any that might be reasonable, and well thought out.

    I posted simply pointing out that by doing that she was unfairly misrepresenting her critics. Not surprisingly my comment was never approved.

  8. I was put into comment moderation for 'derailing' at Greta's blog. It was a rather specious charge, made by a FtB regular, and my comments were made in response to a specific comment made by that commenter. Greta intervened in the thread, demanding an apology for this derailment in return for the restoration of my commenting privileges. She will be waiting a long, long time for that to happen.

  9. Derailing is one of those charges they apply with extraordinary levels of bias. Regulars and nodding dogs can derail with impunity. I get the impression they have no more against derailment as anyone else, it is simply a stick to beat you with when they can think of nothing else.

  10. Have you observed the latest dust-up between Sam Harris and Greta Christina, and noticed a trend? Is Ms. Christina trolling for clicks, in the original (fishing) sense?