C. J. Werleman jumps a gazillion sharks, accuses New Atheists of being white supremacists

I believe I said that I would never again write about the execrable atheist-bashing atheist C. J. Werleman, whose credibility went in the dumper when he was found to be a serial plagiarizer. His contrition was obviously not genuine, for he’s now attacking New Atheists in the most vicious way possible. It’s almost as if, blaming them for his downfall, he’s trying to destroy them with the most ludicrous accusations possible.

I decided to break my pledge (sorry!) because Dan Arel convinced me that the man is dishonestly demonizing New Atheists and, in Dan’s words, “has become the very person he says he is speaking out against.”

I’ll refer you to Joshua Kelly’s analysis over at Dan’s site at Patheos in a feeble attempt to not write too much about Werleman myself, but I will show a couple of his recent sentiments as expressed on Twi**er. He’s referring here to. . . well, us:

Werleman werleman3 werleman2

Screen shot 2015-04-01 at 2.19.43 PM

It seems to me that some of the most vociferous bashers of New Atheists are atheists themselves, and have far more in common (at least philosophically) with people like Sam Harris, Dan Dennett, and Richard Dawkins than they do with some of the more dangerous believers, like jihadist Muslims or fundamentalist Christians. Why on earth, then, does Werleman (and he’s not the only one) act like this? Is it jealousy? Is he acting out after his loss of reputation?

After all, there’s no evidence I can see that New Atheists are either white supremacists, “dangerous fundamentalists” (whom do they endanger?) or “need marginalizing”. Which atheists don’t need marginalizing, given that all nonbelievers willing to admit it are already marginalized—at least in the U.S.?

Now if I ever mention Werleman again on this site, the first person to point it out will get an autographed and felid-illuminated (by me) copy of WEIT.  It is finished.

109 Comments

  1. Jim
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    April Fool’s?

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I seriously doubt it. Go look at his Twi**er feed.

      • Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Me, me, me! The reference to “his” twi**er feed is to Wereleman!

        Do I win?

        • Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          I think that counts as a mention. I’d give it to ya.

          • Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, but it is the Boss who determines the winner, and the mention has to be in a separate post that postdates this one.

            • Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

              Springsteen is going to adjudicate? Cool.

              /@

              • Posted April 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

                Nice. Unless The Boss refers to George Steinbrenner, from beyond the grave. Only in that case we’re probably all gonna get fired. (Sorry for any non-Americans who have no idea what I’m talking about.)

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted April 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

                Up in Jerry’s neck of the woods, The Boss still evokes Mayor Daley (Richard J., not his lame-ass, almost-namesake offspring).

    • sean
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Its not restricted to April.

  2. Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I suppose, in Wereleman’s universe, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Miryam Namaze are white men….

    b&

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      That’s a great point.

      • NewEnglandBob
        Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        It matches the point on Werleman’s head to mark where his brain is supposed be located.

        Twitter feed is probably the only place he can get published.

        • darrelle
          Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Ouch!

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            And I may be white, but I’m never been a male. And I’ve got more living relatives who aren’t white than who are – I wouldn’t have had many playmates as a child if I was a racist let alone a white supremacist.

    • John Taylor
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Angry male white supremacists.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 2, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Yes, and he happily ignored the browner atheists out there (maybe they aren’t as prominent). Kinda says something when he only notices the white men.

  3. Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    His outbursts are bizzare. I wonder what is going on in his sweaty brain?

    • Scientifik
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      He was so scared to utter a word about the depredations of fundamentalist Muslims, he decided to focus on an imaginary threat instead: Professor Richard Dawkins.

    • Fry
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Werleman is playing up the Aussie “shit-stirrer” persona. In most it’s playful mocking & baiting of pretty much anyone, biased towards the self-important types, i.e. wankers. Werleman’s version has turned toxic as his professional death nears. This reckless, malicious, talentless hack has nothing left in his repertoire but to lob twitter grenades into the social media universe. His latest pronouncements remind me of that scene near the end of Terminator 2 where metal man has fallen into the vat of molten steel and thrashes about, protesting his inevitable demise with as much noise and drama as he can muster, before disappearing without a trace.

      • Mike Barnes
        Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        But at least that death scene had pathos.

  4. merilee
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    sub

  5. Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I can’t even muster a bit of annoyance with this clown anymore. The man is a known liar and these tweets are laughably hyperbolic.
    I’m in full support of the Werleman moratorium. Writing anything more about this odious troll just feels like a waste of pixels.

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      That pretty well nails it.

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      As I said, there will be a prize to anyone who catches me mentioning him after this post (mentions in this thread don’t count).

  6. Dave
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I would give a longer riposte to this latest drivel of Werleman’s, but I’ve got to get my white robes out of the wash before heading down to the cross-burning. Musn’t have any embarrassing stains when the Imperial Wizard gives the kit inspection!

  7. John
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    He reminds me of a cornered, hungry animal using anything at its disposal to save itself. Pathetic.

  8. Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if he realizes how ridiculous these statements make him look? Credibility? He no need no steenking credibility.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness. Brain dead. Brain dead.

  10. Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    The only reply this deserves (if any): And why should we care what you* said? (* or whoever you plagiarised this from.)”

    /@

  11. ladyatheist
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Amusing coming from a white male.

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Is he cis hetero as well?

      /@

      • Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        No idea about his gender identity, but he’s obviously quite confused….

        b&

  12. Jeff Rankin
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Buffoon.

    That’s all the analysis of which he’s worthy.

  13. Joseph Stans
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Poor CJ. He is trying to find a niche for himself but the are all full so he moves to the next best thing, creating ne out of whole cloth. he knows with certainty, there is no idea so weird that someone won’t send money.

    If I keep writing like that I may try his approach myself.

  14. JJH
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    O.K. I have a new rule. I refuse to take seriously anyone who uses the term “new atheist” unless they define it (or have previously defined it first). I have the same rule for the “free will” debate and am kind of disappointed in myself that I hadn’t applied it to the “new atheist debate” earlier.

    Having said that, I’d like to violate my new rule by highlighting two things CJ states:

    “who use intellectually sounding words”

    “they endorse the vulgar”

    Well, which is it? Is his objection that I am using obtuse vocabulary, or indulging the vulgar? Which would he prefer? Or, perhaps, it’s not the language I’m using, but the message he objects to? Fair enough, argue against the message (I didn’t see that happen in his tw**ts).

  15. Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I just now, finally, removed all links from my personal home page* referring to a certain cephalopod-phile bl*g. (CJW reminds me of PZ in many ways.)

    I feel clean.

    (* Basically just a collection of links)

    • Coel
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      PZ responded to the meltdown by writing that it was “unfortunate” that CJW was exposed as a serial plagiarizer, liar and creator of multiple sock-puppet accounts, because “politically, we are more alike than different”, then self-linked to an irrelevant piece about libertarianism ignoring the travesties that had been accumulating on CJWs twitter feed. He then somehow managed to snipe at Sam Harris and Peter Boghossian for no reason, calling them a “Neo-Conservative cabal”. I agree that they have a very similar rhetorical style.

      • Diane G.
        Posted April 6, 2015 at 4:12 am | Permalink

        “Politically” isn’t the only way they’re alike…

  16. @eightyc
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Werleman just went full Werleman.

    Didn’t think that was possible.

    lol.

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Is that better or worse than full Greenwald?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Worse – at least Greenwald uses his own words when he expresses an opinion.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      To paraphrase the line from “Tropic Thunder”: Never go full Werleman. (Though that might not be so much a paraphrase, as a simple synonym for the original.)

      • merilee
        Posted April 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        Such a bizarre, but funny movie. Who ever thought up Robert Downey, Jr., in blackface?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted April 2, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink

          And who ever came up with Tom Cruise as the Les Grossman character?

          • Posted April 2, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

            Ugh – I had forgotten this bit. Totally bizarro film.

  17. Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I, for one, never thought Werleman was an intellectual sounding word.

  18. Nimesh Patel
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Look at this story from India. This girl’s face is not formed properly and people claim she looks like Lord Ganesha. The doctors explain it is a genetic birth defect.

    http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150331/lifestyle-offbeat/article/baby-born-elephant-trunk-aligarh-worshipped-lord-ganesha

    Most people in India are Hindu and most are poor and uneducated. When tragedies like this happen, they usually believe that it is a result of a person’s karma. That they did an evil act in a prior lifetime. Nonsense.

  19. Les Robertshaw
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    WTH Is a”new atheist”?

    Years ago we had to keep our lack of religious belief undercover but now we don’t have to stay quiet ?
    Is that it?

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      A new atheist is one of those nasty, strident atheists who contaminates the pure Christian air by doing something as debased as breathing it.

      This is to be contrasted with the good old atheists who have the grace and humility to be properly dead.

      …and, it must be noted, that none of today’s Gnu Atheists have proposed anything significantly more radical or offensive than such old atheists as Sagan, Nietzsche, Twain,…[insert list of hundreds of names walking back through the centuries]…Lucretius, Democritus, and Epicurus, amongst countless others.

      b&

      • Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        One particular reason cited for the novelty of new atheism (the gnuness of the gnus) is that it subjects religious claims to scientific scrutiny, treating “God” as a hypothesis (really a mess of hypotheses).

        /@

        • Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes, that’s cited…but the oldest known “new” atheist would be Epicurus, who is most famous for the scientific observation that the existence of evil contradicts the hypothesis that there are powerful agents of good will active within the sphere of humanity.

          Epicurus was primitive, yes, but I’d still call that sound scientific scrutiny of one of the most essential religious claims by treating “the gods” as an hypothesis.

          Specifically: if there are gods and they are as described, then we would at least observe a diminution of evil in proportion to the ability and goodness of the gods. We actually observe no diminution of evil at all, thus falsifying one or more aspects of the initial claim.

          b&

          • Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            Ah, but some would say that that was philosophical, not scientific … 😝

            /@

            • Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

              Yes, and some would judge the book by the cover….

              b&

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted April 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

              Philosophers were the ur-scientists of that day — heck, if you wanna get really primitive about it, some of them did their philosophizing in Ur itself.

              • darrelle
                Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

                Thanks. I just wandered off for a couple of hours reacquainting myself with the known history of Ur.

                Must learn to stay on task.

              • Posted April 2, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

                Actually, as much as I admire Epicurus, he wasn’t much of a scientist. Why?

                Wrong attitude – he encouraged studying the natural world just to the point where you can be convinced matters that used to frighten you don’t anymore because you know *a* naturalistic explanation.

                So I’d trade his materialism for Aristotle’s waffling and his antiteology for Aristotle’s (very complicated – I have a new view on it I’m working on) teleology and we get a much better view. 🙂

                (Also, we need to throw in better mathematical modelling too, now that I think more: Archimedes+Epicurus+Aristotle ?)

              • Posted April 2, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

                Yeah…but, you gotta admit. Epicurus threw much better parties than Aristotle. I mean, just look at who taught Aristotle how to mix drinks!

                b&

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted April 1, 2015 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

          “The Gnuness of Gnu”

          Here’s an idea for putting a tune to that title.

  20. Randy Schenck
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    They had better check what this guy is eating and get him off of it. He isn’t a pilot is he? They want to make damn sure he is grounded.

    If ever I needed an excuse to not twitter, this guy is it.

  21. Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Don’t be so hard on him. He probably just plagiarised these tweets somewhere.

  22. Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I for one am sorry to see the end of CJ posts at this establishment. Mocking him is like shooting fish in a barrel. Large, motionless fish. In a modest barrel. Brimming with fish and no water.

    And the unanimity among WEIT commenters in our contempt for him actually exceeds that which we share regarding Ms Cunk: with Philomena there is a difference of opinion as to whether she is adorable or the MOST adorable EVAH. There is no CJ Werleman is “merely a jackass” camp: he is, we all agree, the BIGGEST jackass among Atheist-bashing Atheists.

  23. Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Just a technicality, but since the original writing of this post, you’ve mentioned him again quite a few times on this site, in the form of relies in the comments section. Does that count?

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Nope.

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 4:23 am | Permalink

      LOL! Jordan, each of those replies had been the answer to your question. Did you read them?

  24. Mike Leegaard
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he’s auditioning for the role of token atheist in the right wing media. He is sort of S.E. Cupp-ish.

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Right wing says atheists are evil because of Jesus. Left wing says atheists are evil because of Islam. He isn’t trying out for SE Cupp’s job; he wants to be a flea on the back of Greewald, Blumenthal, Cenk what’s his name, and even Peezus. Maybe he’s trying to score a blog on FTB.

  25. Heather Hastie
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi latest tweet:

    “The invasion of Iraq will lead to a world ruled by reason and virtue.” -Christopher Hitchens (New Atheist) #NeverForget

    What a pathetic attack.
    1. So Hitchens wasn’t perfect – it doesn’t follow that you are Mr Werleman.
    2. Just because Hitchens said that, doesn’t mean it is the opinion of all or even most New Atheists. Which it wasn’t, and isn’t.

    I really wish Hitchens was around to skewer him.

    • Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Did the Hitch ever really say that? Sounds rather uncharacteristic of him. Or, if he did say it, I rather expect it’s but a small fragment of a significantly different context.

      b&

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Like everyone, I know he said stuff in favour of the war, but it’s not a quote I’m familiar with. Of course, that doesn’t mean he didn’t say it. However, it’s just as possible that Werleman is making it up – when I read it, similarly to you, I thought the words didn’t really sound like Hitchens way of expressing himself.

        • Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          It sounds like someone trying to paraphrase and mischaracterize Hitchens actual words. So probably can be attributed to Werleman.

          • Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Yes, my impression exactly.

            I disagreed with The Hitch on a number of things, including his support of the Iraq War, but I really have a difficult time imagining him phrasing his support of the war like that except out of sarcastic ridicule for somebody who had just mischaracterized his position in the way that Were-he-a-man (and not a mouse (with apologies to M. musculus!)) is attempting to do.

            b&

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 2, 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink

            So the guy can plagiarize, but he can’t keep a quote straight?

            • Posted April 2, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

              Yeah, so basically if he says words are his own, they are most likely someone else’s. But if he says words are someone else’s, they probably are someone else’s, just not the person he attributed them to.

        • Jeff Rankin
          Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, doesn’t sound very Hitch-like to me either. Although it’s not like CJ to not use someone else’s words.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            We were right – I asked for the source on Twi**er and someone else got back to me (I couldn’t find it and someone else said their search only found Werleman’s tw**t):

            Joshua Kelly advises Werleman put the words of Chis Hedges from 2008 in Hitchens’s mouth, and provides the source:

            I don’t know how to embed a pic in a comment so I can’t show it to you sorry.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

              Looks like tw**ts auto-embed now. Didn’t know that. Sorry Jerry.

            • Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

              Chris. H.

              Close enough.

              /@

            • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
              Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

              To paraphrase the great Hitch, if you gave Werleman a lie detector test he could be buried in a tw**t.

            • Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

              What a moronic tool. No integrity (or fact-checking) whatsoever! Good grief!

  26. Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    How sad and how wrong.

  27. charlize
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Cenk – the Armenian genocide never happened- Uygur delivered this non-entity Whirlyman to the world on a silver platter by giving him a platform on his show. And then doubled down defending him during a 3 hour hissyfit of intellectual dishonesty and total denial that he subjected Sam Harris to.

    Talk about jumping the shark.

    • Marella
      Posted April 2, 2015 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Sam was great in that interview.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 2, 2015 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      From what I saw in his interview of Harris, Uygur was pushing the point that since all religions are false, all must be considered equally wrong.

      It’s a shame Asimov isn’t still around, so Cenk could explain to him why — since the earth isn’t flat, isn’t a true sphere, isn’t even an actual oblate spheroid — all three theories regarding the earth’s shape must be taken to be equally wrong.

      • Diane G.
        Posted April 6, 2015 at 4:27 am | Permalink

        Perfect comparison.

    • Scientifik
      Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      It’s really telling that Cenk Uygur hangs with the likes of CJ Werleman, Max Blumenthal, and Reza Aslan… they are all worth each other.

  28. kelskye
    Posted April 2, 2015 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Saw his comments in reply to DJ Grothe about Ali sympathising with Breivik. It was sad that there wasn’t actually any words of sympathy, unless attempting to explain Breivik’s actions in reaction to politics was expressing sympathy. It’s that kind of person who just seems to have become unhinged from any sort of rational discourse – someone who is so set to destroy an opponent’s credibility that they are willing to give the most uncharitable interpretation possible as the fact on which they base their criticism.

    Seems like a waste of time, tbh, though it’s sad that he’s another in a long line of people perfectly happy to propagate the notion that the new atheists are militants. I suppose it makes reading Dawkins and Hitchens seem dangerous, but way more dangerous than they actually are.

  29. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 2, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Ob dear. He really sounds unhinged and I’m not trying to attack his character; I really mean it when he sounds like he is suffering some sort of malady.

  30. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 2, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    This guy Werleman is thrashing around like a chess novice who has lost both rooks and his queen in a desperate effort to stave off the inevitable checkmate, but has deluded himself into believing he’s a grandmaster executing some immortal “sacrifice” strategy.

    These things don’t end well, and it’s way past the point of hoping he concedes with any dignity.


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