Knowing Who Your Friends Are

Imagine this: You and a group of friends go out to dinner at a nice restaurant, on your dime. The dinner seems to go well, but you notice that during the dinner each of these people politely excuse themselves from the table for a moment. The next day, you discover that each of these friends during their brief absence from the table were tweeting horrible things about you. How would you react? Would you ever invite these same people to dinner again? Would you be able to trust them in any situation not to stab you in the back?

Seems pretty incredible doesn’t it? Yet, time and again, secular orgainizations (Atheist, Humanist, Skeptic) continue to invite people to speak at their conferences, whether regional or national that do the same. Yes, the event organizers pay their travel, hotel, food, and maybe a small renumeration to give a talk or sit on a panel. Then, because of some rumored incident, or maybe a speaker with that organization makes a statement that is not dogmatically approved beforehand, they make disparaging remarks about thaat person, while in attendance at the event!

Why would any secular organization ever invite those same people back to any event they organized? But they do. Time and again, they do. And I’m not just referring to a single incident as I linked above, but on multiple occassions, across the spectrum of organizations and more specifically, individuals.

Is it about Why can’t we all just get along? But when time after time, year over year, the same people commit the same transgressions toward the same people/organizations, anyone with even a modicum of common sense would realize that no matter what they do, nothing’s going to change.

There’s a plethora of good secular speakers, some well known, others not so much. Sure, not everyone can just drop their life and attend a 2 or 3 day event, but it’s disturbing that it doesn’t look like many even try. Maybe they do. It’s possible they cannot get some of the speakers they’d really prefer and are then forced to invite people that a) are not really skeptics, more dogmatists than anything b) can’t reason their way out of a wet paper bag and c) add no substantive value because they have no credentials in anything they speak about (science, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.)

Referring again to the blog search link above, does anyone recall who gave the presentation on homeopathy at that event? It was a artist and a street magician. I wonder how much it cost that event to have them there for that?

It seems masochitic to me for these same organizations to invite these people over and over knowing that there will eventually be a series of tweets or blog posts denigrating the event, another speaker, or the organizers themselves.

Organizations inviting people like this make me want to reconsider what organizations I either belong to or am willing to support financially.

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