Michael Brant Shermer
20160306 135139.JPG
Mr. Shermer with a hand rather near his dick
Education: Pepperdine University (B.A., 1976)

California State University (M.A., 1978) Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D., 1991)

Occupation: Academic historian of science and editor
Born September 8, 1954

Michael Brant Shermer (born September 8, 1954) is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic,[1] which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims [2]Shermer also engages in debates on topics like 9/11 pertaining to pseudoscience and religion in which he emphasizes scientific Skepticism.[3]

Plus and minus

  • On a positive note Shermer will not be endorsing Donald Trump.[4] he has officially not endorsed a candidate.
  • On a negative note Shermer has been accused of serious harassment aganist women, see below.[5]

Not keeping his thing in his pants

On August 8, 2013, PZ Myers posted a message on his Pharyngula blog at Freethought Blogs from an unnamed woman later identified as Alison Smith claiming that Michael Shermer had raped her.[6] Smith alleged, "at a conference, Mr. Shermer coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me." She also stated that "I reached out to one organization that was involved in the event at which I was raped, and they refused to take my concerns seriously," that "5 different people have directly told me they did the same to them," and that she was sharing this information in order to warn others. Myers later updated his blog entry with an account from another woman, who claimed that Shermer plied her with drink at an atheist event and "was very flirty."

Bloggers in the atheist/skeptic/feminist community reacted quickly and took sides. It soon became the blogosphere's drama of the week, rehashing many of the divisions endemic in the atheist community since the "Elevatorgate" affair.[7]

Shermer denied any wrongdoing and issued a cease and desist order against Myers, threatening defamation action unless Myers removed the offending blog entry and issued a full retraction and apology.[8]

Shermer got legal funds without asking on a fundraiser page built by Emery Emery, the “Ardent Atheist”.[9] The fundraser included a rape joke with generous contributors offered a bottomless glass of wine, with Emery “who will not be drinking but keeping your glass full.” This was a reminder that one woman complained Shermer repeatedly refilled her glass. Myers also got an offer of legal help from Popehat who is experienced with online libel trouble.[10]

The fundraiser for Michael Shermer’s legal action raised a total of $8,289. Emery Emery stated that Shermer “has no choice” but to sue PZ because the post was still up. By August 9th, 2014 the statute of limitations in California ran out without Shermer suing Myers.[11] As of March 2016 the rape allegation is still up.[6]

Things blew up after 11-September-2014, when NY Times contributor Mark Oppenheimer wrote a very long, detailed highlights-reel on the harassment campaigns being run within the atheist and skeptical movements, including naming three victims of Shermer’s alleged predations. This piece alone contains several bombshells which had not been public before Oppenheimer's article appeared, including:

  • The person in the “Grenade” post by Myers was Alison Smith, a known figure in the skeptical community.
  • Shermer has actively changed his story from what he reported at the time in his rebuttal statement:
    • Original statement: Two unknown people (one with “dreadlocks”) were upset that Shermer was talking with Smith and was preventing them from “getting into her pants”, so they started spreading rumors.
    • Later statement: Shermer and Smith had had sober consensual sex that night, initiated by a cold proposition by Smith in a bathroom.
  • Ashley Miller apparently had a several-minute-long conversation with Shermer while he was actively massaging his thing through his jeans, and trying to arrange himself such that she had to see it and notice.
  • James Randi was aware of complaints, and because Shermer wasn’t violent, ignored them:

Shermer has been a bad boy on occasion — I do know that[.] I 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. His reply, […] is he had a bit too much to drink and he doesn’t remember. I do not know — I’ve never been drunk in my life. It is an unfortunate thing … I haven’t 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, I’d have him out of there immediately. I have just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk. (James Randi)

Adam Lee accused Randi and others of working to silence Shermer's critics; further, Lee accused some of trying to pressure victims into silence. Lee compared this to Roman Catholic and other religious organizations that seek to cover up other wrongdoing, notably predatory sex by their members. Lee accuses some atheists who condemn religiously motivated coverups while acting similarly of double standards.[12]

Emery Emery gave the money from the fundraiser to Shermer’s lawyers, which, since they did not sue Myers, leaves the fate of those funds in question. What did they pay for, and/or how much was returned to Shermer or Emery? Was any returned to the donors?[13]


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