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Finding this article about a month late – I was curious and read through Shermer’s 2014 memo…and if any of those points he makes are true, then some of the claims made against him, especially the one by Ms. Smith should be called into question.
I’m not sure how many similar cases like this will continue to come to light, but it is highly disturbing to think that there isn’t any tangible legal recourse for individuals who are falsely accused. Someone who regrets an encounter or recalls it differently over time can now drag a name through the mud without any social or financial penalty.
Society used to have some type of honor code, but it does feel like a free for all now. Freedom of speech is of course paramount, but when it begins to cause damage to reputation, there needs to be some better way to resolve interpersonal conflict outside of public humiliation.
Sadly, having attended many TAMs and conventions, why the warnings? Why the weird emails sent out to people that went on a cruise with Shermer? From his then wife…and that wasn’t her on the cruise. Nothing illegal, nothing wrong….but, there was a sense of “he’s not always playing fair.” The sort of “smoke without fire.” Let’s say, there was proof he was skating on thin ice. That’s not a reason to ban someone, but it is a reason to take a closer look. A much closer look.
A sure way to get your story published is to write a juicy, “she said,-he said” story. With lots of quotes from people who weren’t there but are anxious to ruin someone’s reputation.
Just FYI – I was not a “skeptic blogger”. I was a program manager for the James Randi Educational Foundation.