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Monday, August 17, 2020

James Lindsay and his allies - more shameless IDW hypocrisy

Pinkerite noted the connection between James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian and right-wing Christian fanatic and Soros conspiracy-monger Michael O'Fallon back in March, and lately the issue has erupted on Twitter.

The connection between Lindsay and O'Fallon is in the public record as discussed in an article The unholy alliance between atheists and evangelicals:

...The conference, organized by Sovereign Nations and titled ‘Speaking Truth to Social Justice,’ featured the masterminds behind the so-called ‘Sokal Squared’ scandal: Helen Pluckrose, Peter Boghossian, and James A. Lindsay. Its name is a nod to an earlier hoax, which parodied the extreme postmodernist criticism of science, perpetuated by physicist Alan Sokal, who graced the occasion with his presence. Last year, the three current and former academics, who are prominent speakers in atheist and humanist circles...
They found in Michael O’Fallon, the evangelical Christian founder and editor-in-chief of Sovereign Nations, an ally who is likewise deeply concerned about our postmodern era in which ‘grand narratives that have guided our discourse are collapsing.’ What he fears is the encroachment of the secular theoretical perspectives that undergird social justice upon the gospel and the church, weaponizing identity to upend the Christian interpretation of doctrine. 
And so an unholy alliance between a bunch of atheists and evangelical Christians was born...
O'Fallon is obsessed with Soros conspiracy theories, but it should be noted that Lindsay has his own bizarre conspiracy theories.

On his twitter profile, Lindsay claims to be "Founder of New Discourses" (as well as "apolitical.")

But it's a fact that New Discourses is registered as an LLC in Florida to Directors/Officers Lindsay, Peter Boghossian and Michael O'Fallon, with O'Fallon acting as "agent."

According to the web site LLC University:
A Registered Agent in Florida is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets sued. 
In Florida, your Registered Agent can also serve as a general point of contact for receiving business and tax notices, payment reminders, and other documents.
Now Lindsay is claiming O'Fallon works for him.

We know that James Lindsay received funding for the 'Sokal Squared' grift because he admitted it on Twitter, but refused to say who was paying.

So clearly Lindsay is open to work-for-hire.

Meanwhile, Michael O'Fallon is "CEO of Sovereign Nations and owner of Sovereign Cruises and Events LLC, which runs vacation excursions for religious and political groups, alike."

It seems unlikely O'Fallon would work for Lindsay rather than vice-versa.

Here we see the Sovereign Nations Twitter account approving the alliance between Christopher F. Rufo and James Lindsay.

Rufo is a contributing editor at the Koch-funded City Journal, as well as a research fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for on Wealth, Poverty & Morality, which promotes "intelligent design."

Another ally of James Lindsay is Bari Weiss.

In this tweet Weiss also mentions chateau bouncer Thomas Chatterton Williams and Eric Weinstein, founder of the Intellectual Dark Web and employee of Trump supporter Peter Thiel.

So although Lindsay was not mentioned in Weiss's 2018 article it would appear that Lindsay is in deep with the IDW.

I've noted often the utter hypocrisy of the IDW, and hypocrisy is a notable trait of Steven Pinker, but it doesn't hurt to mention the pure shamelessness again.

 In her 2018 article Weiss wrote:
The core members (of the IDW) have little in common politically. Bret and Eric Weinstein and Ms. Heying were Bernie Sanders supporters. Mr. Harris was an outspoken Hillary voter. Ben Shapiro is an anti-Trump conservative.
But they all share three distinct qualities. First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. 
There are many examples of IDWs being extremely uncivil, but James Lindsay's incivility is especially shameless in light of his book "How to Have Impossible Conversations." Hilariously, according to its publisher Hachette:
Boghossian and Lindsay teach the subtle art of instilling doubts and opening minds. They cover everything from learning the fundamentals for good conversations to achieving expert-level techniques to deal with hardliners and extremists. This book is the manual everyone needs to foster a climate of civility, connection, and empathy.
When presented with undeniable evidence of his connection to a right-wing Christian extremist conspiracy-monger, here are some of James Lindsay's responses:

It appears that "How to Have Impossible Conversations" is yet another grift by James Lindsay and anybody who bought the book should ask for their money back.

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