Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shining a Light on the Denialists

One of the coolest new blogs out there is denialism blog. There is a certain kind of alternative to thinking that we have to deal with, the CRC's answer to reason, which is not unique to the CRC, but is demonstrated in many, uh, "conservative" groups. The denialism blog addresses this alt.cognition directly.

Today's post is titled: "Who are the denialists? (Part II)."

I'm going to let them do all the work -- here's that post in its entirety:
What kind of family value is lying? That's the foremost question in my mind when I consider the family values organizations that use false research, lies and denialism to justify their agenda of disparaging contraception, sex education, homosexuality, and exaggerating the dangers of abortion.

In light of Falwell's death, I thought it would be appropriate to advance the discussion of the use of denialist techniques to reinforce bigotry and an anti-feminist agenda in the name of family values.

I think a good starting point for the discussion of what a family values denialist looks like is Paul Cameron and his organization the Family Research Institute which has stooped as low as using memoirs of Nazi Rudolf Hoss to justify their theory of gay "recruitment". Paul Cameron can only be described as a disgraced psychologist, the American Psychological Association has even taken the trouble to cancel his membership for violations of their code of ethics and the American Sociological Association followed suit. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently detailed his psuedoscientific crusade against gays. Cameron is a quack, who lies, cheats and misrepresents the science of others to try to prove that homosexuals have higher fatality rates and are more likely to abuse children in an attempt to scientifically justify homophobia. One of his only redeeming values is that he has no idea when he's being made fun of, so every time the Daily Show needs to make someone look like an ass on gay issues they just call him up and he willingly embarrasses himself on national television. Here at scienceblogs, Ed Brayton has chronicled several instances of Cameron's bigotry masquerading as science. Off the scienceblogs, the best resource is by far Box Turtle Bulletin which provides this list of people who promote Cameron's bogus research and lies. Not surprisingly, those that use Cameron's obviously bogus research are other denialist "family" organizations.

Take for example the The American Family Association's repeated use of Cameron's debunked research suggesting that homosexuals are child-molesting gay recruiters. Besides promoting anti-evolution denialism, and homophobia (too many instances to catalog), they also promote the debunked breast cancer/abortion link, fake breast cancer organizations (can you even believe it?), and other cranks who promote the abortion/cancer link. Quite simply, every single page you find on their website promotes lies about sexuality, contraception, abortion, stem cells, and women's health. It's simply stunning, that people who supposedly promote families are so willing to lie and deceive to acheive their goals.

But wait, there's more.

No discussion of fake family organizations would be incomplete without a discussion of The Family Research Council, James Dobson's "family" lobbying organization who recently misrepresented the science on emergency contraception as part of their continuing campaign against reproductive choices from abortion to contraception and promotion of abstinence education despite proof it doesn't work. I'm sad to say that Charmaigne Yoest, their director of communications, has a position at my very own university.

In this category I also include the fake feminist organizations such as the Independent Women's Forum and Concerned Women for America, who also routinely lie about sexuality, contraception, sex ed, etc., to advance a religious/political agenda under a pretense of representing women or feminism.


Family Research Institute - Paul Cameron's denialist organization.

The American Family Association - A clearinghouse for lies about anything south of the belt buckle.

The Family Research Council - the most mainstream organization for liars about sexuality, sex education, contraception, etc.

Independent Women's Forum

Concerned Women for America

[Link: Who are the denialists? (Part II)]

I'd bookmark the denialist blog and check it every day or two, if I were you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEW DELHI, India - Banning sex education on the grounds that it offends Indian sensibilities puts young lives at risk and jeopardizes the fight against AIDS, a senior health official said.

Six states in India have banned sex education for adolescents or refused to implement the curriculum, saying the course material was too explicit or that it was against Indian culture.

May 17, 2007 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for shining some disinfecting daylight at the problem of denialist organizations. The main denialist organization we need to watch out for IMHO is the Bush Administration.

Read "The A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science" here:

Be sure to check out "Ab is for Abstinence-only Sex Education Science." The Bush Administration has decided to abandoned tracking outcome measures such as charting the birth rate of female program participants or STD rates of all participants to assess whether abstinence-only education programs
are effective or not. In place of such established measures, the Bush administration has required the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to track only participants’ program attendance and attitudes, measures designed to obscure the lack of efficacy of abstinence-only programs.

May 18, 2007 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JIMK, some (not all, of your) errors

1) FRC is a C3 not a C4 Lobby Group
2) "Charmaigne" is Charmaine to her friends, but
3) She would be "Dr. Yoest" to you.

Jack Yoest
Your Business Blogger

May 18, 2007 8:28 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thanks, Jack. Note, I am "JimK" to my friends, but "Dr. Kennedy" to you.


May 18, 2007 9:45 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Mr. Yoest, there was too much to read on your website, so let me ask: do y'all untilize Paul Cameron's "research"?


May 18, 2007 9:59 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Robert, here's one way to answer your question. Charmagne is a monkey-monk at the Family Research Council. If you look at Jim Burroway's list HERE of people who cite and enable Cameron, you'll see the Family Research Council listed. So ... she's got a powerful position in a Cameron-enabling organization, and I don't hear her voice speaking out against him.


May 18, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

That answers that; Cameron discredits anyone who references him.


May 18, 2007 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Charmagne is a monkey-monk"

Hey, Robert.

You going to tell Jimbo to stop calling people names?

May 18, 2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Tish said...

Jim, Mr. Yoest missed the fact that the misspelling of his wife's name and failure to refer to her as "Dr." were both the writing of her colleague at the University of Virginia, Mark Hoofnagle. How did Mr. Yoest miss that? He still doesn't seem to have noticed, because he hasn't commented on the Denialism Blog to which you so clearly linked.
Wasn't he reading? Do you think he gets up in the morning and googles himself and spouse and we just happened to come up at the top of the page?

Why go after someone who is using a verbatim quote and ignore the originator?

And where in the text you quoted is the FRC referred to as a 501(C)(4) organization?

Maybe he should have his coffee before he googles.

May 18, 2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I concur with Tish. The "errors" Jack tried to correct here were made by MarkH at denialism blog.

Oh, and BTW Jack is correct. The FRC is a 501(c)(3), but FRC Action is a 501(c)(4). Mr. Perkins is the President of both FRC and FRC Action.

May 18, 2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Yeah, Tish, the whole ego-surf-plus-drive-by-comment thing seems sort of self-explanatory, doesn't it? I wondered the same thing, does he get up every day and search for his name and then try to salvage his and his wife's reputations? I'm glad I'm busier than that.

You notice I didn't exactly take his comments very seriously.


May 18, 2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is all just so fascinating

May 18, 2007 1:35 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

"You going to tell Jimbo to stop calling people names?"

You go right ahead, if you feel he shouldn't. I'll always support good manners.

Speaking of googling, I googled myself and there's a picture of me with my old pick-up, and a picture from 2000 with much less noticable crow's feet. Googling yourself is fun.


May 18, 2007 1:50 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jack Yoest said "She would be "Dr. Yoest" to you.".

She's no friend of mine and no doctor either.

May 18, 2007 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the link says Ms Yoest is a predoctoral candidate. ABD doesn't count for being called Dr.


May 18, 2007 4:53 PM  
Blogger Tish said...

Do you think she would be insulted if I called her, "Mrs. Yoest"? Would Jack Yoest be insulted if I called her "Mrs. Yoest"?

Maybe we should all just call her "Cleopatra, Queen of Denial."

May 18, 2007 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FRC website says Ms. Yeost has a PhD in Politics.

May 18, 2007 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 18, 2007 6:06 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Don't go there, Anon.


May 18, 2007 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're no fun, Jim.

May 18, 2007 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I'm curious: What did Anon say?

(Here's something: keeping stuff away from us young people just makes us more curious. Tell us not to have sex, and we will become obsessed with it and why it's taboo.)

May 18, 2007 8:13 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Andrew, way back when this blog was first getting started, I made a rule (HERE) that moron's comments will be deleted. Every once in a while Anon tests that rule.


May 18, 2007 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, so who are the nuts ?

I am sure the TTF crowd is just FINE with this :

Right up your ally, and you woudl be perfectly okay with this in schools here as well, wouldn't you Jim ?

May 19, 2007 1:20 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, you have more patience than I do, if you can hear what these people are saying. If they are saying some outrageous things about sex and sexuality, then I doubt that "the TTF crowd is just FINE with this." Most of us are rather conservative in our private lives, and have no desire to shock or to violate norms of what is considered good behavior.

This technique of smearing us with something that happened in -- where? -- Boulder, I guess, from the file name, is not going to be successful on our own turf. Whatever is on these sound files, we didn't say it, and we aren't responsible for it.

It's a big world out there, Anon, and it is not true that everybody who disagrees with you is in full agreement about everything. I would say "nice try," but your comment wasn't even that, it was a weak try, and did not make you look superior.


May 19, 2007 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's always a risk when public school systems invite outside speakers to address students, especially on the topic of sexuality. It is fortunate that the Conference on World Affairs speakers didn't expose Boulder High School students to each others germs the way the Rockville Crisis Pregnancy Center did to MCPS students.

May 19, 2007 9:47 AM  

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