Author Topic: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.  (Read 134 times)

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Offline wright

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Via Patheos Blogs:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/04/13/buzzfeed-american-atheists-president-fired-after-sexual-misconduct-allegations/

and BuzzFeed:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/peteraldhous/david-silverman-atheist-fired-sexual-misconduct?utm_term=.yyaADvxY6#.hux79gzlE

In brief, David Silverman was president of American Atheists from 2010 on. He was fired this Thursday for alleged sexual misconduct, though he'd already been placed on leave pending investigation into conflicts of interest related to his latest book. The testimony of two women who came forward- and knowledge of BuzzFeed's own investigation- was apparently the deciding factor in the AA board's decision.

It should be noted that Silverman and his legal representative have denied he did anything improper or illegal and that nothing has been proven. The AA board, AFAIK, voted for his termination as president because they saw even the alleged behavior as problematic.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 01:14:39 PM »
It should be noted that Silverman and his legal representative have denied he did anything improper or illegal and that nothing has been proven. The AA board, AFAIK, voted for his termination as president because they saw even the alleged behavior as problematic.

If this is true, it's utter bullshit that they decided to do that. They didn't even try to see if he was guilty; they decided he was and acted on that, as opposed to holding an investigation.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 02:03:46 PM »
Given that he had been suspended and was already under investigation for financial and ethical conflicts of interest, and given the nature of the accusations, I think "utter bullshit" aren't the words I'd use to describe their decision to fire him.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 02:37:00 PM »
Given that he had been suspended and was already under investigation for financial and ethical conflicts of interest, and given the nature of the accusations, I think "utter bullshit" aren't the words I'd use to describe their decision to fire him.

I would, especially since I was only referring to wright's speculation that the board voted to fire him just because he was accused of sexual misconduct. Innocent until proven guilty, regardless of the nature of the accusations, is the basis of modern legal systems, and with good reason.
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Online jetson

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 02:41:42 PM »
Organizations are running scared these days - to remain associated with people in high positions accused of sexual misconduct is a calculated risk. I am assuming the organization knows more than the public, and has taken steps to protect itself and its reputation. Yes, our legal system is no longer a guaranteed safeguard for being accused. For all we know, it was a mutual agreement to part ways.

Offline Nick

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 02:51:27 PM »
Well, atheists are immoral so there is that.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 02:59:43 PM »
I think you're missing a fairly important point, OAA.  Sure, I knew that you were only referring to the presumable reason the board fired him, because I know you and your writing style pretty well.  But it wasn't exactly obvious that was what you meant.  It wouldn't exactly have been difficult to think you meant the whole thing was "utter bullshit", including the accusations themselves.  Indeed, one usual 'rebuttal' for such accusations is to call them "obviously false" or words to that effect, and one of the common ways in which people refer to obvious falsehoods in English is "utter bullshit".

I agree that, if they got rid of him merely to protect their reputations from being tainted, that it was a pretty contemptuous decision on their part.
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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 10:34:32 AM »
^^^^^ agreed.   Unfortunately, humans are humans and atheists can be just as bad as theists. 
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Offline wright

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Re: Silverman of American Atheists fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 09:41:15 PM »
Some followup:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/04/16/american-atheists-answers-follow-up-questions-after-the-firing-of-its-president/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2018/04/on-the-firing-of-david-silverman/

It looks like the official word from the AA board is that questions about Silverman's promotion of his new book and a conflict of interest with promoting a female staffer already had them investigating him. The alleged sexual misconduct taken with the other issues was what moved the board to fire him. Some details seem likely to stay private, between the board and Silverman.

As someone who serves on the board of directors of my family business, to a degree I can appreciate that last point. Though ours is a private organization, the board and officers are answerable to the rest of the family / shareholders. We've also had to deal with issues of confidentiality and potential conflicts of interest.


Indeed, one usual 'rebuttal' for such accusations is to call them "obviously false" or words to that effect, and one of the common ways in which people refer to obvious falsehoods in English is "utter bullshit".

Indeed. I'm suspicious of rebuttals that seem to be mostly reaction (as opposed to actually addressing the issue/s in question) to people coming forward with accusations of abuse, particularly when the reaction is from a group that enjoys advantages over the accusers.

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I agree that, if they got rid of him merely to protect their reputations from being tainted, that it was a pretty contemptuous decision on their part.

I would agree with that too, with the caveat that they also have the right and obligation to protect their organization from the taint of Silverman's actions.


 



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