Getting to Know My Critics: Cecil Fuson, Sex Offender

A few days ago, I received this email via the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe contact form:

From: Cecil Fuson

Email: [email protected]

Location: Raleigh, NC

Category: Question for the Show

Subject: quote request

Message: Good day, my name is Cecil Fuson. Together with Brandi Olson and a member of the Atheist news group (A news) we run a small Facebook group that is called Skeptics and Atheists against Rebecca Watson. We currently have 87 members and are growing everyday. It should be noted that a fair number of our fans are also fans of the SGU as well as on the personal friend list of some of the members of the SGU
We were wondering if you could give us a quote and answer a question for us. Why is Rebecca Watson still on the SGU?
It is clear that by her own blog post that she no longer supports the JREF, the CFI or Richard Dawkins. It is clear by the large number of posts, groups and petitions that the Skeptic and Atheist community no longer support Watson. It is clear that Watson uses the fame from programs like the SGU to spread her own agenda and misinformation. While we fully agree that Rebecca Watson has every right to speak her mind, we feel that her actions , no matter how well meaning they may be, are doing more damage than good.
the SGU seems to support the same groups that Watson boycotts and the same groups that want nothing to do with Watson.
So with the public opinion being what it is, why dose Rebecca Watson still have a spot on the SGU?

Thank you for your time. And we hope to get a reply soon.

These “fire Rebecca” emails come in from time to time and generally I just ignore them, but that Facebook group sounded like a good time. So I took a look, saw the poorly written diatribes complaining that I was a “cancer” that “must be stopped,” and promptly Tweeted the link out so that others could laugh, too.

People are often chiding me for making fun of my “haters” as semi-literate degenerates who harass me because they hate women and want to be free to insult, molest, and rape them as they please. I’m told that I’m wrong, and that these people are actually unbiased and egalitarian critics with valid complaints that I need to address seriously. With that in mind, let’s get to know Cecil Fuson, a critic who has risen to prominence via his highly successful anti-me Facebook page, possibly inspired by the “Fire Rebecca from the SGU” petition he signed a few months ago.

A few days after I Tweeted the link to the Facebook page, I received an email from someone who explained that they had discovered that Cecil Fuson is a registered sex offender who was convicted and went to prison for “indecent liberties with a child.”


[EDIT: I’m going to expand on this a bit. In North Carolina, “indecent liberties with a child” means that the criminal is older than 16 and at least 5 years older than his victim, who must be younger than 16. The “indecent liberties” part refers to an act of sexual gratification involving the victim. Fuson was 23 when he was convicted, and his victim was 15 at the oldest.]


I spent the past day checking to make sure that this was, in fact, the same Cecil Fuson, and the facts line up. Cecil’s email address links to the Facebook page of Vicious Vestments, an LLC registered in North Carolina using the same address that is registered for the sex offender. Cecil’s dad is also named Cecil Fuson, but it appears he moved to Florida. Besides, Cecil’s Google+ profile that showed up when he emailed me has an avatar that looks much more like a 33-year old man than a 57-year old man, and I’m going to assume that the younger man is more likely to dress up as Boba Fett and start a company selling steampunk costumes, so I think we can say with a high degree of confidence that we’re dealing with the junior.

I emailed Cecil and told him I’d give him an interview as requested on the Facebook page if he verified his identity, but oddly enough he refused to do so, writing:

It is my understanding that the SGU allows questions from the people who tune in. On the page I provide all the data that the SGU requests for a question to be asked.

Your request for information should be directed to the person who requested the interview. Brandi Olsen. Her contact email is [email protected]

You are contacting from the skepchick email address. as such I feel that you are contacting me as a member of skepchick and not as a member of the SGU. I do not wish to receive any more emails from skepchick.org.

Skepchick dose not have permission to use my name, my email or the content of any emails between skepchick.org and myself.

I responded:

Do I have your permission to post about how you’re a sex offender?

As of this posting, I have not received a response.

Featured image is a mugshot of Cecil Fuson courtesy of bustedoffenders.com.

[EDIT 2: I’ve been informed that some people aren’t getting The Point of me posting all this. Here is The Point: many of the people who stalk and harass outspoken feminists have a vested interest in seeing those feminists shut up, particularly when it comes to topics like consent and respect. Here is one very obvious example. There are many, many more. Does the fact that they’re clearly biased mean their arguments are invalid? No. But as soon as people like Cecil Fuson present a valid argument instead of photoshopping images and calling me names, I’ll deal with it. In the meanwhile, remember whose interests you’re benefitting when you “like” that anti-feminist Facebook page.]

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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  1. What the fuck? As an odd coincidence, I was just talking with people on Twitter about childhood bullies. Several of us knew bullies who grew up to commit various sex crimes. Maybe coincidence, or maybe part of an overall pattern?

  2. I don’t want to harsh your buzz, but wouldn’t this reveal have been better during a podcast interview? (Done over the internet, of course, I expect you want to avoid sharing a room with the guy.)
    Mod: On screen one, we have Rebecca Watson, Skepchick, atheist and skeptical activist, beleagured by misogynists the world over for asking men not to trap women in elevators at 4 in the morning. Hi Rebecca!
    RW: Hi there!
    Mod: On screen two, we have Cecil Fusion, strong critic of Rebecca Watson, Men’s Right’s Activist and registered sex offender. Hi Cecil!
    CF: Uh …
    Mod: I did get that right? You are the Cecil Fusion convicted of [reading slowly] “indecent liberties with a minor”.
    CF: Er …
    Mod: So, Cecil. What sorts of questions does the sex offender community have for a noted feminist activist … Cecil? Cecil? … Oh, dear we seem to have lost our connection to Cecil.

    1. I don’t think so. Why in the world would anybody want to validate this sort of stalking/harassing behavior by rewarding him with an interview on the SGU?

        1. What I thought reading the letter asking to take Rebecca Watson of SGU is, “Why do you have to mess with my show ! The show is good as it is, thank you very much. Stop trying to pressure people into mixing it all up” – and supposedly on the basis of ‘public opinion’.

      1. Yeah, you’re right.
        I just had this image in my head of John Cleese moderating the discussion and delivering a slap in the face right on the air. Honestly, if you imagine his voice, in that staccato Python cadence, delivering the lines …
        Ah, well. A bad idea over all.

  3. This whole elevatorgate over reaction just blows my mind. Really.

    What Rebecca said was “if you don’t want to be guaranteed to strike out with a woman, don’t do this particular behavior. Its disturbing and will ruin your chances”. Men should be saying thank you. I would, but I have too much tact to try that in the first place.

    Instead, everybody is getting bent out of shape, yelling “f-you, if I want to hit on women in rapey ways, I’m gonna do it”.

    ‘s messed up dude.

    1. Totally agree with this. The whole thing is effed up. And it’s completely sexist from start to finish (well it hasn’t finished yet, it seems). I mean really, the guys who continue these attacks are just displaying their complete ignorance of half the population, and worse, their wanton desires. It really is a wonder if any of them even know a woman other than their mother, and if they do, well, I guess we should pity those women. It’s got to be one of the worst displays in writing I have ever seen of this kind of shit. And that’s coming from an Australian, where it seems we (NOT I) are about to elect a prime minister who regards ‘sex appeal’ in a female candidate as a qualifying feature.

  4. I’d say that it’s wrong to go after an individual and examine their past misdeeds, but in this case we’re not talking about people putting forward logical arguments and then you responding with an ad hominem. These guys are all about personal attacks, searching for personal information and photos, so they need to realise that if you give it out, you can get it back (and committing a crime is an offence to the public, and on the public record – certainly not something personal).

  5. I’d say that it’s wrong to go after an individual and examine their past misdeeds, but in this case we’re not talking about people putting forward logical arguments and then you responding with an ad hominem. These guys are all about personal attacks, searching for personal information and photos, so they need to realise that if you give it out, you can get it back (and committing a crime is an offence to the public, and on the public record – certainly not something personal).

  6. You know, that was kind of an asshole move on your part. You have no idea what this dude’s story is as every state has different laws. This sure sounds a lot like a statutory rape conviction–a conviction for which some states require age difference criteria and others don’t. Whatever you feel about Cecil personally or however he or his allies have treated you in the past, you have just helped perpetuate the unconstitutional but societally sanctioned custom of double jeopardy. The man already paid his debt to society. I’m not sure how you feel about the thousands of felons who’ve served their time and still find no voice at the polls, but a good case could be made that Al Gore lost the 2000 election because of Florida’s harsh stance on this. My two cents…….

    1. First of all, he was 22 whoops I mean 23 and his victim was between 14-16 whoops I mean 15 at the oldest. So fuck you.
      Second of all, I had no idea Al Gore lost in Florida because pedophiles. FASCINATING.

      1. I love this shit. When allegations agains promenent skeptics come out, we get “Hey, this is all rumor. Nobody has been convicted of anything.” When someone is convicted, “Only an asshole would go dredging up the past. You don’t know anything about this trial.”

        Victimize a person sexually? Don’t worry. Skeptics have your back!

      2. I’m pretty sure Al Gore wouldn’t want the pedophile demographic anyway. It’s just a bit radioactive.

        There is an argument that convicted felons shouldn’t be disenfranchised for it, because 1) evidence could come along to exonerate them, 2) jury bias, 3) prosecutorial bias (both of the “we’re not going to investigate this” variety and “wobblers”), and 4) it establishes a mandatory minimum for all felonies. But that’s a lot more nuanced, and plausible, than “pedophilia should be legal because something something Bush”.

    2. When are you internet-lawyer types going to get it through your heads?
      It doesn’t require the same standards, it doesn’t have the same consequences, and it sure as fuck doesn’t count as a second trial.

      Sometimes I hate that Law & Order ever aired.

      1. In the Criminal Justice System the people are represented by three separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime, the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders, and the Blogosphere who warn potential victims about the criminals. These are their stories.


        1. I was just going to say that. I’ve heard all these words being thrown around, “Libel”, “Due Process”, and now “Double Jeopardy”, and it’s unfortunately clear that the people using these words have no idea what they actually mean.

          1. What about when you hear internet moderators being accused of “violating my First Amendment rights”? Bonus points if the social network in question is based outside the US. Triple word score if Godwin’s law is invoked.

          1. Defamation law in the States is a bit more lax. You have to deliberately lie in order to smear someone’s reputation. Since it has been alleged that he’s a rapist, it’s not false.

    3. People hate Rebecca so much they are willing to defend a random and completely unimportant man who is ALSO a *convicted* sex offender?!

      Apparently, when someone is a CONVICTED sex offender — and he was 22 when his victim was no more than 16 — we still don’t “know” the whole story! He has a penis, don’t ya know? His victim had a vagina!!!! Who knows what happened! Maybe he just fell into her vagina! ON ACCIDENT! That poor guy, ya know? I mean, women are all lying whores, so we must first assume this CONVICTED sex-offender might actually be innocent, ya know?

          1. “One of” sounds right, but exactly how many he was caught at I can’t tell.

            From the link that Mary posted below, I can piece together a timeline:

            At age 16 (going on 17), he committed “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”. That law is so vaguely worded that it’s hard to tell what that was. He got probation.
            At age 21, he committed Breaking&Entering and Grand larceny, both felonies. Justice was quick: he did the deeds on 10/29/2001 and was convicted 6 weeks later, and sentenced to probation with a suspended sentence.
            8 months into his probation, at age 22, he racked up two counts of “Indecent liberty w/ child”, and was thrown in jail for probation violation. Eventually, the two counts of “indecent liberty w/ child” yielded consecutive sentences of 1y7m. He got out in 2006.
            In 2008, he was convicted of an “obstruction of justice” charge.

            I can’t tell from this if on 7/20/2002 he was indecently liberal with two children, or one child twice.

    4. Shorter Ben Quick:

      “You have NO IDEA what this guy’s story is…HERE LET ME TELL YOU WHAT HIS STORY IS.”

      You know, it would have taken you all of 15 seconds like everyone else to googlefu the information and find out that it’s not a statutory rape conviction. Instead, for whatever reason, you make the assumption that that’s what it’s GOT TO BE! Some excellent use of skeptical thinking there. Bravo.

      you have just helped perpetuate the unconstitutional but societally sanctioned custom of double jeopardy.

      Double jeopardy only applies to being tried for the same crime. As he has been CONVICTED of a crime, part of the punishment of that crime is to register as a sex offender. It is not double jeopardy because he was only tried ONCE for the crime.

      Now, if you want to talk about the stigma that follows around convicted felons, that’s a different discussion. But that has no bearing on THIS discussion and is thus derailing.

      The man already paid his debt to society.

      Perhaps you do not understand what is “debt” is. He spent time in prison, and also as part of his punishment he must be registered as a sex offender. Therefore, he is still paying. Present tense, boo.

      1. Worth noting, too, that statutory rape laws are often employed as back-up charge because forcible rape was too hard to prove, for all the reasons that we have such a low conviction rate for rape even though most of those charged with it are statistically likely to be guilty. Don’t get me wrong; I think there’s something deeply fucked up about a lot of statutory rape laws that are used to terrorize teenagers in consenting relationships. But in a lot of cases, there was an out-and-out rape and the prosecutor felt it was easier to prove “couldn’t consent” than “didn’t consent”. Realisitically speaking, too, the difference is hazy for a lot of underage victims. Is “consent” that is extracted by intimidating a young person with your much greater age really consent? The law—and I agree—says no. For the same reason, prison guards cannot have legal consensual sex with prisoners. There’s no way to determine if a yes was freely given.

      2. And double jeopardy also refers to courts. This is merely the court of public opinion.

        And it’s not like we’re talking about peeing in the park or walking home naked after your clothes have been stolen or something. We’re not even talking about sex between minors. We’re talking about an adult having sex with a minor, with more than a couple years’ difference between their ages. There is absolutely no way I can have any empathy for someone caught in this situation.

  7. Makes a lot of sense, and fits with my hypothesis of why there is so much misogyny in Skepticism. The misogyny is there to make women feel unsafe (because they are unsafe because of the misogynists), so that non-misogynists won’t ask women for sex because the women are not in a safe place where it is ok for a non-misogynist to ask them for sex. Misogynists don’t care, so the place being non-safe only inhibits non-misogynists.

    If you are raising the ire of misogynists and sex offenders, you must be doing something right. Keep it up.

    1. I don’t know about your hypothesis, but I agree that rooting out misogynists and child molesters is always a good thing.

      As an aside, I once tried to report a confessed child molester to the FBI, back in the days of usenet, but he’s still online, on YouTube at that.

    2. Dude, NO. You’re basically saying “damn those misogynists for cockblocking all of us non-misogynists”. First of all that sounds like an “I deserve sex for being a nice guy” attitude, which is a problem that has been discussed EXTENSIVELY here. The problem is not that misogynists are making it harder for non-misogynists to get mutual consent, it’s that everyone should have consent period.

      1. No, that is not what I am saying. I am not saying or implying that I deserve sex for not being a misogynist. What I want is for every place to be safe enough for women such that they will be able to tell for themselves who is a misogynist and who is not and make choices about how to act that are completely free from being coerced.

        I recently came across this video by a researcher on the effects of stress in primates.


        and how in baboons there can be a transition from a misogynist Patriarchy to a better society in a short period of time.

        1. There’s a great radioLab episode about Sapolsky’s baboon work that covers this really well – can’t remember the title…but worth finding! Especially for copypasta when the evo-psych types come round..

          1. Evo psych starts with four assumptions. Two of them (some behaviors are influenced by heredity, and these behaviors are under the pressures of natural selection) are fairly obvious.

            The other two (that human behavior consists of a number of “modules” that don’t have a known analogous location in the real world, either in the brain or in the DNA, and that humans today are still perfectly adapted to life on the Serengeti 200kya) are implausible.

            The other issue I have with evo psych is seemingly random choices for animals. A Natural History of Rape based human behavior on the scorpion fly. And infanticide exists, so rape’s a shitty reproductive strategy anyway.

  8. I think you did the right thing to release this information ASAP. There are reasons for the Sex Offender registry.

    IANAL, or an expert in sex crimes, but wouldn’t it be wise to get a restraining order on him? Maybe something where he has to notify you if he is going to travel to a place he knows you are going to be at?

  9. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through Rebecca, esp given I am a male scientist from Australia who just blogs occasionally and gets no shit really ever, but from what I have seen, your predicament is dire. I hope you’re staying strong through it. Give no quarter, these sorts of bastards need to be just put down. Unfortunately that always requires a protracted campaign it seems. Definitely in your corner against all these a-holes. I just hope you find the time to also continue with your general work on science and skeptical thought generally!

  10. Wow. Just wow. Dudebro will of course be defended by the army of misogynists (male and female) as per usual because he’s standing up for the patriarchy and the continued harassment and abuse of women. Which tells you how morally and intellectually bankrupt that particular subset of the atheist/skeptic community is: their actions are indistinguishable from the Catholic church. Defending co-ideologists (providing they are males) trumps all else.

  11. There is a prohibition of registered sex offenders using commercial social media sites.


    Not sure if this applies here or not.


    Just so that people understand where I am coming from, I don’t wish this man any harm, but I certainly don’t want him to continue to harm people I care about, and social organizations I care about, including skeptics, atheists, women, non-misogynists and the entire human race.

  12. Damn it, Rebecca! I can’t imagine all the extra crap you have to put up with just because, well, as it all boils down to, you possess two X chromosomes. Just know that there are many, many of us that respect and admire you. I know I would buckle immediately in this misogynistic environment. Thanks for saying strong and keeping your head up.

  13. I stopped listening to SGU recently…and then I figured out what was wrong with the RSS feed in my podcast app and now I’m listening to it again.

    But my question is just the opposite of CAF’s… With all that’s going on with CFI, JREF, etc, why does SGU still seem to support them by going to and promoting TAM, etc? This year and last there was (to my ear) a conspicuous absence of explanation for Rebecca’s boycott of TAM, as well as any of the issues involved.

    The SGU is not outspoken on feminism-in-skepticism concerns, and Rebecca doesn’t use it as a mouthpiece for her positions on these issues. There’s no reason why, based on her actions on the show, to remove her.

  14. Well I hate to group myself with the other few dissenters (since I’m not some kind of cray white men’s rights activists), but I think this article is more inclined to demonstrate the point of haters than rebut it. I’ve listened to SGU since 2006 and frankly I don’t feel one way or the other about Rebecca: I often agree with her and appreciate her representation as a female presence in an otherwise bereft and hostile community, but sometimes these kinds of antics bum me out. Dress it up in justification all you want but an article that is actually just a multi-paragraph ad hominem attack that as far as I can tell serves no other purposes than to (1) make the writer look childish and (2) fuel the trolling. Granted the troll wasn’t really saying anything that could constitute an argument either, (however I think pointing that out could even fall under “tu quoque” fallacy). But I think the best way to deal with the world’s Cecil-Juniors is to ignore them and their 80 Facebook followers. Was it really worth awarding them with the attention that will ensue from a post dedicated to them?

    By the way, I’ve known people on the sex offense registry that did nothing more egregious than pee in public or streak. I did a term paper in college about “To Catch A Predator” and while “sexual offenses are especially heinous” (to quote the beginning of law and order), it’s an issue that is RIFE with knee-jerk reactions incommensurate to the data and reality of the issue: the very kind of shaky research resulting in questionable policy that the SGU might criticize rather than encourage. It sounds like Cecil really stepped in it with his particular offense, but I’m wondering how many other listeners may have been alienated by a piece whose central point is “let’s laugh and point at the sex offender”?

    Poor form.

    1. I would also caution against jumping to the conclusion that anyone that has a bone to pick with Rebecca’s points of view or stylings is a misogynist. While I whole-heartedly agree with what she said about the elevator issue (and extended the point that men should back the fuh up anywhere a woman (1) can’t retreat at will (2) is not there to socialize having been chatted up male-gazed at many scary bus stops), it’s important to remember that Rebecca’s point of view is not the collective female voice and therefore a dissenting opinion is not necessarily sexist.

      1. “it’s important to remember that Rebecca’s point of view is not the collective female voice”

        Who said that?

        “and therefore a dissenting opinion is not necessarily sexist.”

        CONTEXT IS IMPORTANT. And this isn’t just a “dissenting opinion” wherein someone is made a post or even a website with the clear intent of breaking down Rebecca’s arguments/points of view or whatever. Did you even LOOK at that facebook? None of it really makes any sense. And, finally, they *ACTUALLY* mention the elevator bullshit along with other things that make it glaringly obvious what their agenda is.

        You know, I’m REALLY tired of this bullshit. I’m really fucking tired of people ignoring obvious context in favor of “to be fair, people can dissent with Rebecca and its not necessarily sexist!” YEAH NO SHIT, but if you actually take time to read the facebook and the posts, you’ll clearly see what side it aligns with, and what biases they are screaming from the fucking roof-top.

        Seriously. SOMETIMES SEXIST SHIT IS ACTUALLY SEXIST and no, we don’t have “to be fair” and play devil’s advocate about things and give credence to certain opinions when their biases and agendas are this clear.

        1. Sorry, I’m just not willing to rally around a piece that I find objectionable just because sometimes sexist shit is actually sexist. I would trot out my credentials, that I’m a chubby chick who’s certainly been marginalized for either the chubbiness or the chickness my whole life (haha — “AND SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE CHUBBY CHICKS”), but you don’t seem to appreciate that kind of disclosure.

          Are Rebecca’s detractors sexist? Probably some / a lot / plenty / many / most of them are, but unfortunately, until there are more highly-visible female skeptics it will be impossible to tease legitimate sexism and misogyny (which I’m not denying is abundant) apart from those aspects of her strong personality that some may find unsavory for reasons other than her being female.

          And I just find this particular post, a weak and logically untenable response to someone unworthy of a single keystroke of consideration, unsavory. But don’t bother checking the sex offenders registry, I’m not on it.

          1. until there are more highly-visible female skeptics it will be impossible to tease legitimate sexism and misogyny (which I’m not denying is abundant) apart from those aspects of her strong personality that some may find unsavory for reasons other than her being female.

            Bullshit. This demonstrates your complete and utter lack of knowledge as to context.

            There are certain women who are outspoken about equality and feminism who are targeted. “Strong personality” has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of women who have made a patriarchal bargain who have strong personalities but don’t get harassed and bullied because they’re supporting the status quo.

            There are lots of highly visible skeptic women who all have varying kinds of personalities that get bullied, harassed, and stalked. There are also not-as-visibile women who get subjected to those things in this community as well. That’s the whole fucking point.

            You also seem to think that this is some sort of isolated thing. But really this is a symptom of a much larger problem in these communities that is only recently finally coming to light. This community is infested with misogynists, sexists, harassers, bullies, rapists, and apparently child abusers. This post serves as a documentation of the kinds of people that are standing on soapboxes yelling about how the women in our communities are ruining things. They are the kind of people who do not respect other people, who participate in things like larceny, child abuse, theft, and rape. And they are getting pissy because we’re not letting them get away with it anymore.

            So why don’t you get back on your high horse and ride the fuck on out of here.

          2. apart from those aspects of her strong personality that some may find unsavory for reasons other than her being female.

            oh for Fuck’s sake. Now it’s because she has a “strong personality”!


            That’s not a problematic sentence, at all! oh dear, a woman has a STRONG personality! That means men are totally going to hate her and it might not be sexist. Even though it’s because she’s a woman with a strong personality. But it’s not sexist. Is that right?

        1. JUST TO BE CLEAR, I was trying to point out the difference between attacking an argument and attacking a person, the latter of which is the crux of this entry.

          But I see it’s really a lost cause for the skepchicks/skeptics in name only on this particular site. I have never seen any of the other SGU panel members make a blog entry for no other reason than to air the dirty laundry of one of their opponents.

          1. So I’ll stick to those blogs and leave everyone on *this* site to make me shake my head over what constitutes combative, illogical representation in the community.

          2. LOL!!!

            Linds says: “You should only attack arguments, not people.” And then proceeds to attack people.

            You’re doing the very thing you’re complaining about, you hypocritical ass.

          3. You can just read another blog, ya know.

            constitutes combative, illogical representation in the community.

            You don’t consider that Facebook page to be a “combative, illogical representation in the community”?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! Did you even look at it? Something tells me no.

            YOUR CONCERN IS NOTED. We now know you wish were more sensitive to a pedophile who is running a sexist hate page about Rebecca, who happens to be a real person, you know, not just some random pixels on a screen.

            Some people seem to forget that Rebecca is a real person with feelings. Perhaps you should place yourself in her position for just one moment.

            But you’re perfect, I’m sure, right? You never get angry! (Just like you’re totally not being an angry jerk right now, right? Heh)

          4. The problem this guy has with Rebecca and the whole reason he continues to harass her is that she stated clear boundaries regarding personal space and consent, so pointing out that he has issues (fucking understatement) with personal space and consent as it applies to other people as well is not ad hominem. It’s providing context for his motives and actions.

    2. Yeah, I guess Cecil did really step in it, if by “step in it” you mean commit an act so heinous on a child he went to prison for three years. But that’s just me and my “antics,” dressing up a mean old blog post as a valid point about the intent of the people who harass me every day.

    3. “Well I hate to group myself with the other few dissenters (since I’m not some kind of cray white men’s rights activists), but ”

      is that like “I’m not racist, but”?

      ‘Cuz if so … yikes.

      If you have to reassure us that you’re not something/not aligning with a particular view before you even begin? You should probably just not comment at all.

      1. No I’m just disclosing that I’m not part of any aforementioned group. I’m a female / feminist / atheist / skeptic / nerd. I characterize myself as spending 0% of my day “being atheist” and therefore haven’t read very much about it and don’t have a personal reason to defend anything Richard Dawkins & co. have to say about Men’s Rights To / Alienate Women In Conference Elevators. I in fact clicked on this post because I follow Skepchick on FB and was genuinely disappointed at its content after liking many other articles.

        1. A white woman aligns with sexist behavior and defends a PEDOPHILE! That never happens! Ever!

          I don’t care about you credentials. It doesn’t make the fact that you are missing the fucking point any less real. It also doesn’t make your, “Well I hate to group myself with MRA’s, BUT!!” any fucking less problematic.

          . I in fact clicked on this post because I follow Skepchick on FB and was genuinely disappointed at its content after liking many other articles.

          Your concern and defense of a PEDOPHILE is noted.

          1. My concern is for critical thinking and skepticism, which is why I used to follow this blog but won’t anymore. Have fun digging up dirt on “critics” and remaining willfully obtuse as to why females aren’t taken seriously as skeptics. I’ll stick to reading the fellas’ blogs because they battle pseudoscience and sloppy thinking with well-reasoned arguments; not with juicy gossip and appealing, but ultimately fruitless non-sequiturs.

          2. “dirt”. Apparently a multiple-tiimed convicted felon, including possibly being convicted of a sex crime with a minor at least once if not twice, is just “dirt”.

            Yep. Rebecca is the asshole.

            You know, this is a Facebook trying to CRITICIZE HER. BY NAME. Please tell me, why does she not have the right to question the owner of the sight’s credibility?

            And why the hell are you defending this asshole so much?

            Are you sure you’re not an MRA? From the slymepit, perhaps? I’m starting to wonder…

          3. I’ll stick to reading the fellas’ blogs

            Sexism for Ladies! ™

            ‘Cause Rebecca represents all women, all women’s criticism is gossip, and men are more rational. It’s a logical fallacy trifecta!

          4. I don’t actually think she’s an MRA troll (although she is clearly tone and concern trolling). I think she’s a garden variety sexist woman with an extra dash of no self-awareness whatsoever. I doubt she even realizes that the high horse she’s riding is actually an ass.

    4. Also, interesting that you find Rebecca’s post to be in “poor form” but seem to gloss over (and probably not even really look at) the actual facebook which this post is about. yeah, it’s REBECCA who has shown poor form. SURE.

        1. So your problem with this post is that you believe it’s about pointing out a critic’s moral failing and your response is to point out what you see as Rebecca’s moral failing?

          Also, an ad hominem attack is an argument against a person instead of addressing the argument itself. So what argument of Cecil’s was she not addressing? Did you actually look at this page and the posts on it before passing judgment?

          1. My problem with the post is that it doesn’t seem to serve any more substantial a purpose to me than to gather everyone around to point and laugh at one of the critics because he’s a sex offender. I mean maybe I missed the point and am a dum-dum who really *doesn’t* understand “context” (though I have been following the elevator kerfuffle since Rebecca’s Slate piece (which I adored and found to be right on target, doubling my disappointment with this post), but it really doesn’t seem to positively further the discourse to hand out torches to the skepchick comment mob (marilove is especially scary and cloudy in their thinking) because one of the most vocal opponents (in what to me is a negligible minority.. of SGU’s listenership) is a sex offender.

          2. I’m sorry you’re disappointed that Rebecca is getting tired of CONSTANT harassment directed at her.

            You poor, poor, self-centered thing!

            Can you like, go somewhere else? You’ve beat this dead horse to the fuckin’ ground. You are very disappointed in Rebecca. She should have been very nice to the pedophile harassing her. His credibility shouldn’t be questioned! Nope.

            I do wonder if you even took the time to read the Facebook post. It’s incredible to me that you can do the whole, “Well, it might not be sexist!” bullshit. Gross.

        2. Holy shit. Wow. Seriously? Yes, this post was about the Facebook and the man who runs it. I mean, that’s blatantly obvious. It’s LITERALLY what this post is about. Now you’re not even being sincere in your arguments.

        3. Sooooooooo….if a man builds a page targeting a prominent skeptic woman with lies and ad hominems and generally rapey rhetoric….We’re not allowed to point out that he is a convicted sex offender? Because you took a philosophy 101 debate course once and got an A?

          Noted. And dismissed.

    5. “Was it really worth awarding them with the attention that will ensue from a post dedicated to them?”

      I’m really unfond of the “don’t feed the trolls” argument, and by extension the “bullies will just give up if you don’t pay them attention” argument, because they’re based on the false premise that what people like this want is your reaction. Actually, what they want is your silence. People like Cecil don’t want Rebecca to react, they want her to shut the fuck up and go away. When faced by this kind of bullying, silence is acquiesence, and that’s what they want.

      So fuck ’em. Feed the trolls. Feed them fucking poison.

      1. “I’m really unfond of the “don’t feed the trolls” argument, and by extension the “bullies will just give up if you don’t pay them attention” argument, because they’re based on the false premise that what people like this want is your reaction. Actually, what they want is your silence. People like Cecil don’t want Rebecca to react, they want her to shut the fuck up and go away. When faced by this kind of bullying, silence is acquiesence, and that’s what they want.

        So fuck ‘em. Feed the trolls. Feed them fucking poison.”

        QFT, High Five!

        1. Trolls technically don’t really believe what they’re saying, and only say it to get a rise out of you, so they can then laugh (a.k.a., “for the lulz”). These guys, if they’re trolls, they’ve really dedicated themselves to it, having entire communities just for the purpose of stalking one woman.

          1. There is debate on what “troll” is but if your main purpose is to harass, then you’re a troll.

  15. Well, I thought I was coming here with good news.
    It seems Lee Moore decided that he didn’t want anything more to do with SAAARW and the current rift and walked out. (Since the FB page is now gone)

    But I’m not to sure what to make of it since after Googling him it seems he tends to hang with the likes of Justin Vacula. I guess we just have to wait and see.

    Bear with me if the link is borked, it’s been a while since I’ve posted one here.

    1. Well Lee Moore wants everyone to shut up, and get a long. So being seem to be a big part of this group probably hurts his view of himself as the middle group trying to bring everyone together. So I really don’t think its much of a sign that anything has changed.

  16. I feel like I know This Guy (I mean, not this specific guy, but guys like him). When I was in high school, my family was poor and my school was stratified by economic class. A few of the girls in my social group had multiple issues such as learning disabilities, histories of sexual/physical abuse at the hands of family members, and unstable living situations. It seemed like there was always an older men preying off their vulnerabilities – their youth, their economic disadvantage. When I was 13-14, it was just A Thing. Smart Girls knew to avoid those guys, but we didn’t really do anything to protect our friends, who were dazzled by the fact that these guys had a shitty car and a gross apartment. That’s part of rape culture that I’m complicit in.

    It makes perfect sense that these kinds of guys are violently hostile to the message that consent matters and that women are fully equal human beings, not just sexual objects. Consent is antithetical to their entire technique.

    1. Technically, begging the question is a form of circular reasoning. But yeah. I try not to think about such things, knowing doing so risks going into full-on ad hominem territory.

      I’ve noticed I have trouble logging on, as if they’re trying to DDoS the site. Poor fools don’t even realize the damage of a DDoS lasts only until a sufficient quantity of botnet owners involved get bored. I know you Rebecca-haters out there love to get the feeling of being a l33t h4x0r when you click “IMMA CHARGIN MAH LAZER!!”, but, yeah, it’s not going to do any lasting damage.

      1. Thanks for that correction, I was indeed using it in the general sense of “raises the question” but I see now that in philopsophical, logical or legal contexts that could be very confusing so will avoid in future.

  17. “This all begs the question, how many other of Rebecca’s critics have something to hide?”
    what a crack of bullshit. Rebecca is one of the many PZ’s human shields out there. If this dude what stupid enough to reveal his identity knowing he’s a registered sex offender, well he’s not the brightes kid of the block. You can disagree with her wihout acting like a hatefull douchetard (like pz myers would). Frankly I hope they one day decide to ask Pz to do his own apologetics, he’s clearly getting the backslash for the first time due to his lack of responsability. And honestly even when I don’t endorse any of the ideology behind feminism, I still think she does a great job on the SGU and that’s not make you really popular with the “anti becky” folks.

    1. I find myself curious as to what this means:

      “I don’t endorse any of the ideology behind feminism”

      The concept of feminism is that women are human beings with inherent worth that is equal to that of male human beings. You don’t endorse any of that?

    2. Why does PZ need a human shield and why is Rebecca his shield? You do realize this blog — Skepchick — has nothing to do with PZ Myer’s, right?! PZ is not on the SGU podcast….and he is not part of this blog (though he does read and occasionally comments).

      well he’s not the brightes kid of the block.

      Erm. Okay. I don’t think it’s PZ that isn’t the “brightes [sic] kid of [sic] the block.”

      Man, oh, man, this sort of weird sexism is weird. This is about Rebecca and HER harassers, and yet you think it’s about PZ, because … why? He has a penis? So it is of course about him? I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU THINK THIS IS ABOUT PZ. When the Facebook is clearly ABOUT Rebecca. O_o

        1. “Sup, I don’t know how to blockquote tonight.”

          Testing to see if there’s something wrong with blockquote. There’s lots of comments today with vast expanses of white-space, so I don’t think it’s you.

          You have to understand the thought processes:
          Of course PZ is responsible for the shit storm. He’s a guy. Women (Rebecca, for instance) are intrinsically incapable of being responsible for anything, so there has to be a guy behind it all. (BTW, that’s why the whole concept of “consent” is ludicrous.) Unless you invoke diabolic supernatural forces. But the devil is a guy, too. QED.</snark>

          Excuse me while I go wash my brain out with soap.

          1. Yup, blockquoting is broken (at least on Firefox) <blockquote>”This is a quote”</blockquote> is how I’ve been doing it. But ampersand-special-semicolon still seems to work for inserting special characters, such as less-than and greater-than.

            I’ve also got the occasional 5-second browser-checking delay that may be what Jon Brewer was referring to as a possible DDoS attack

        2. Still it’s weird, because your quote shows up as a quote (even if it ends in the wrong place), but mine looks like a big white space. An earlier comment by you, as well as ones by Will and Melanie also have big chunks of white space, which from context, appear to have been intended as quotes…

          But there are a bunch of other blockquotes that look fine (including by you an Will.)

          I dumped out the source, and the tags look okay to me (and searching for them finds the right set of opening and closing tags for each quote), but the one difference: All 4 bogus-looking blockquotes (your’s, mine, Will’s and Melanie’s) occur right at the start of the comment.

          Help us, Obiwan, Rebecca, Help us!

          1. The blockquotes all look fine to me, except your “This is a quote” example.. Are you sure it’s not something with your browser (or with our site that is doing wonky things with certain browsers)?

          2. I’m on firefox and I’m seeing white space where the blockquote should be. Yesterday, it was a lot of white space, I had to scroll down to see the comment under the quote.
            It’s still blank, but not an enormous wall of white any more.
            Vagaries of tech?

          3. At home on Firefox there are white spaces but here at work on IE8 they are gone.

    3. Sure, it is possible to disagree witghout being a hateful whatever. But so many of them ARE hateful and clearly have an agenda.
      I can’t put it better than muddgirl did up there:-
      “It makes perfect sense that these kinds of guys are violently hostile to the message that consent matters and that women are fully equal human beings, not just sexual objects. Consent is antithetical to their entire technique.”

  18. well he’s not the brightes kid of the block

    You can disagree with her wihout acting like a hatefull douchetard (like pz myers would).

    Unintentional irony FTW.

        1. Most of this is about the elevator incident, which he had nothing to do with. Additionally, insinuating that PZ is not “bright” coming from you? Rich.

          1. Calling PZ a douchetard is a cumpliment some one like him, and I’m aware that I’m talking to the followers of the infalible “PZ the aweomse overlord”. Yet I have to give “becky” my kudos for not beeing (unless PZ send the memo) a blocktard, wich is way (way way way waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay) over the “stadars” that the FTB comunity demand of their church members. I guess that PZ him self will come up with some BS about becky leaving the SGU (pick a side or some thing like that) IF he’s not in jail first (let me dream people! XD). When that happen, please becky DO NOT abandon the decen’t folks like Novella or Gorski, aka: “big foot sckeptics” (who was the asstard that came up with that kind of BS?…. Oh wait).

  19. Nobody take this the wrong way but I’m going to side with the sex offender on this point. This whole “article” is nothing more then a blatant ad hominem attack! It doesn’t matter if this guy is a sex offender, Jesus Christ, or the emperor Spain it has nothing to do with weather or not you suck! I assume you feel that it is obvious that this guy is a douchebag, and there is no reason to respond to his claims but that’s shitty skepticism. Not to mention proving his point in the first place!

    I don’t know what this guy did. He is most likely convicted of a sex crime so I would think it was something pretty bad, but we don’t know. You are assuming that it’s something you wouldn’t approve of and are trying to embarrass him to discredit his arguments. It could also be a wrongful convection or maybe something that got blown out of proportion. I’m not trying to defend his actions if he really did something wrong here but until we know the facts of the case and see the evidence we shouldn’t just assume he is Stalin. Though even if he was it still wouldn’t make one damn bit of difference!

    So we are still left with the original claim. To be blunt, on the SGU your segment is the weakest. While almost all the other presenters bring in long news articles with research and have strong scientific credentials you bring none of that to the table. Your “This week in Skepticism” segment is often shallow and seams ripped from Wiki’s “On this day…” side bar.

    Meanwhile on this site (this is the first time I ever visited by the way) I see what I could best describe as sloppy work. For example one of the articles currently on your front page “If you don’t like rape, don’t get raped DUH” is reactionary nonsense. You claim in it that Brian Dalton makes a rape joke and supports a blame the victim mentality. This is not how I interpreted the video at all. He first makes a joke about how Jesus used the water in to wine trick to pick up chicks and then makes an unrelated comment about personal responsibility and how alcoholics should learn to control them self’s. Rape is not said nor implied by anyone! Then you reduce him to a sex organ by calling him a “dickhead”, classy.

    All this being said I still don’t think you should be fired. I think you are smart, funny and add a different perspective to the show that none of the other host have. Still I am disappointed in how you behave. You are a prominent voice in the world of skepticism not even to mention feminist-skeptics and I think many of us would like to expect more from you then bullshit mud slinging at some moron even if he deserves it!

    1. I’ve approved this sexist piece of shit comment so people can see what kind of crap I get on the regular. For those who think that this is just another person who thinks it’s my “strong personality” that causes people to dislike me, pay particular attention to this part: “So we are still left with the original claim. To be blunt, on the SGU your segment is the weakest. While almost all the other presenters bring in long news articles with research and have strong scientific credentials you bring none of that to the table. Your “This week in Skepticism” segment is often shallow and seams ripped from Wiki’s “On this day…” side bar.”

      “This week in skepticism” is an extra little bit I do on SGU, usually in addition to taking the lead on at least one news item, exactly like the other co-hosts. And speaking of the other co-hosts, only one out of the four has any scientific credential at all. (I technically do have a degree in science, though I’ve never actually considered it worth mentioning.)

      There are a ridiculous number of things “baconnater” gets wrong in that comment, but I think that one is my favorite and the most illustrative of the problem.

      1. The most important thing about being a scientist is not fooling yourself. That is from Feynman, someone who knew a lot about what it took to be a great scientist. That is it. That is the great “secret” about being a great scientist. There is nothing “secret” about it, it is just really difficult to practice because people would rather be fooled by themselves and others.

        Anyone can be a scientist/skeptic about anything, all you do is not let yourself be fooled into thinking you know more than you actually do.

        Of course it is difficult for people to not fool themselves when they profit by doing so. Quacks fool themselves that they are “helping” people so they can charge them money for doing nothing. Rapists and their apologists fool themselves into thinking “she was asking for it” so they can avoid narcissistic injury from appreciating they are committing and condoning rape.

      2. You know what? I take it all back, the whole post except for the last sentence. As I re-read it It’s blatantly obvious that my thought train was still pulling in to station. I don’t think your bad on the show nor do I want to defend a sex offender. I didn’t know what I was mad at until I was almost done and I hadn’t thought out my complaint. So to better explain let me step back and tell you how I ended up here.

        I’m a pretty avid gamer so when I sat down and watched the latest episode of the Jimquisition* yesterday I was pretty disappointed to here about another round of neanderthals who where harassing a person and threaten her kids over something she said. This has become a huge problem in gaming as large mobs of angry 15 year olds say and do terrible things to people they disagree with every few weeks. After reading more about it I started thinking about all they other stories I have heard. Which led me to Anita Sarkeesian , a young woman harassed after announcing a Kick Starter for a pro-feminist video series centering around gaming. Which led me to an article on your site.

        After poking around a bit I find Rebecca Watson of the SGU acting similar to angry 15 year olds by appalling to mob mentality to harass some one she doesn’t like. This is the kind of thing I would expect to see from Maddox, Reddit, or 4Chan not advocated by someone I respect. You shouldn’t have posted his personal information in hopes that your fans would attack and embarrass him.

        This time it’s easy to pass it off because he is a sex offender and you think he deserves it. I don’t think it matters who it is. Scanning through the comments I see you guys trying to ruin his life and exact some revenge on him. I guess it makes you feel better about your self’s but your all going to be standing on shaky ground the next time you are outraged when it happens to Anita Sarkeesian or Jennifer Hepler.

        I don’t give a fuck about some pedo and I don’t want to be on his side. I hope he falls in a vat of boiling sharks. But I’m not going to push him and I’m not going to tell him to jump. I just want people to stop thees appeals to mob mentality even when you think it’s the right thing to do because the morons who attack people like Anita also think it’s the right thing to do too.

        I don’t know… I don’t think I’m going to get anywhere with this. Sorry for talking shit.

        * http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/7955-Im-Going-To-Murder-Your-Children

        1. Look, if Rebecca were bringing all of this out in response to someone she simply disagreed with I’d completely agree with you. But he is actively trying to shut her up by removing at least one of her outlets as well as with intimidation. He is the one trying to use mob mentality to intimidate her, all she has done here is responded by bringing forward publicly available information.
          He has every right to criticize Rebecca but this was beyond that and I think you know that.

  20. People need to look up “Ad Hominem Fallacy” (logical fallacies in general) and see what exactly it means and the contexts in which it might apply. Suddenly, everyone has become a classical logician, as well as a lawyer.

  21. Scenario #1
    A commenter who keeps posting long angry rants in pro-evolution blogs. That also has a thing for insulting the authors. You find out that his only credentials are that he went to Ken Ham’s postal university.
    a) Revealing this information is an ad hominem.
    b) Revealing this information is important because it finally puts prior behavior into context.

    Scenario #2
    You find out a leading Climate Change “skeptic” who has a thing for insulting and humiliating opponents has millions in dollars in big oil stocks.
    a) Revealing this information is an ad hominem.
    b) Revealing this information is important because it finally puts prior behavior into context.

    Scenario #3
    A blogger that keeps writing negative reviews of Apple and Linux products, including dishonest arguments and also insulting developers of applications for these products turns out to be a Microsoft Employee.
    a) Revealing this information is an ad hominem.
    b) Revealing this information is important because it finally puts prior behavior into context.

  22. If all that is being done is reporting on something, no argument is being made at all, fallacious or otherwise.
    When it comes to public debates, there a a few things I would note.
    Saying, Tax Policy X is wrong because it is supported by Politican A, who is corrupt, is a fallacious argument against Tax Policy A (although even arguments which don’t follow strict classical logic could still still serve as good heuristics – as you noted above). Saying Politician A shouldn’t be in office because he is corrupt is an ad hominem (‘at the human’) but it’s not fallacious (imagine a defence lawyer, “focusing on how my client committed the crime is ad hominem!”)
    There would also be a difference between criticism of that politicians physical appearance, or singing voice, and criticising their accomplishments in office, even though both are ‘ad hominem’.

    PS- saying ‘Rebecca Watson is bad – she engages in ad hominems’ – what is that?

    PPS- if someone had a website with a picture of my face, crossed out, on it, and then I came across a picture of them, and it was a mug shot…….

  23. I love his implication that he speaks for “Atheism” as a whole, as if it’s Watson versus All Other Atheists! Honestly, I wrote for and moderated at Unreasonable Faith for years, and the vast majority of the people who I saw discuss the topic there were in complete agreement with Rebecca’s feminist ideals. Plus, most of us thought that Dawkins was a horrible, entitled, privileged, clueless, hypocritical little turd-trumpet.

  24. I guess any post that starts with “Nobody take this the wrong way but I’m going to side with the sex offender” is bound to be a little bit problematic…

        1. There’s no legal requirement that Facebook publish your work, any more than anyone else can.

          And seriously, going for the censorship gambit? Don’t creationists use that one to explain why Nature doesn’t print any articles “proving” God some unknown intelligent designer made the world in six days six thousand years ago.

  25. I have to point out that until last week, it was illegal in the State of North Carolina for a registered sex offender to use social media sites, so our friend Cecil might not only be a sex offender, he might also be in continuing violation of North Carolina General Statutes.

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