About bilious Billingham and horrible humanists

These two tweets were directed at me during a Twitter spat I had with James Billingham a couple of months ago. Yes, he really is one of those men who presume to adjudicate on what feminism is. I can’t in all seriousness believe he thinks I care what he would “love” to see me do. Rather, I think these tweets were intentionally condescending to me in order to virtue-signal to his followers, who will probably applaud the insufferable arrogance of a man telling a woman old enough to be his mother how she should be doing feminism.

I wouldn’t want to give the impression Billingham has singled me out to receive the benefit of his manly wisdom, although the effort he put into trying to sabotage a talk I was booked to give to a local humanist group did make me feel rather special. However, Billingham is a man who spends a good deal of his spare time defaming people and groups he doesn’t like and the people and groups he doesn’t like are the ones fighting for fundamental rights for women and for the rights of LGB people.

To answer the first question raised in the tweets above, I am still against anti-feminists in the ‘atheist movement’, as he calls it – especially the ones in Humanists UK, whose numbers are growing. What has happened is that Billingham has joined their ranks as an honorary member of the trans Taliban (hat-tip to Julie Bindel for coining that very apt sobriquet). That he has done so exemplifies why we should be wary of men who self-identify as feminists. Men who genuinely want to support us know better than to do so. If your feminism includes men who talk over women – as they are wont to do – it’s not feminism.

Billingham – who is married to a woman and has children – is not transgender but for some unexplained reason, he identifies strongly with the ‘T’ in LGBT. He is also, by self-appointment, one of the trans lobby’s busiest, nastiest and most obsessed bullies.

Years ago, he was responsible for creating a ‘block bot’ on Twitter, about which Martin Robbins wrote,

The Block Bot started as a tool to create a safe space for women online and turned into a weapon to bully and silence women the community disagreed with.

Bullying and trying to silence those he disagrees with is what Billingham seems to be all about. I have yet to see anything from him resembling a coherent explanation of why he thinks what he thinks and does what he does and, until I do, I can only write what I know or believe to be true about him.

One thing I know is that – like most trans activists – he is an unashamed consequentialist, believing that the ends justify the means, regardless of whether the means contradict widely-accepted standards of decent behaviour.

Billingham’s sockpuppet, fooling nobody

Another thing I know is that Billingham is effectively a men’s rights activist and a pain in the arse of everyone who cares about women’s rights in general and lesbians’ rights in particular; someone who is prepared to stoop very low indeed to sink the LGB Alliance. And he does it all under the guise of being a “feminist dad” and a humanist.

I wonder how he thinks an anti-feminist father behaves?

 

The notorious ‘Sprout’

And one thing I believe is that, in addition to his Twitter account, @Oolon, he uses a sockpuppet currently known as @theonlysprout, whose previous incarnation – @KilgoreSprout – was banned from Twitter. That Billingham is ‘Sprout’ is widely known, though – amusingly – he is at pains to deny it, so I have helpfully created this page explaining why I am persuaded. Readers are, of course, free to make up their own minds.

 

Then there’s this:

60-year-old woman “beats shit out of” 25-year-old male thug!

 

I wish. Just as trans activist bullies never tire of lying about what happened to me, I never tire of calling them out on it and I take this opportunity to remind everyone of my comprehensive video on the subject and on the trans activists’ response.

I still await an apology for the rubbish Billingham tweeted about me from both his accounts and I’m sure it’ll come any day now (joking). Still, at least he upgraded the ‘tap’ on the shoulder to a ‘slap’ on the shoulder a year later.

A reminder of the highlights:

The tweet below shows us that, in the absence of any real examples of gender critical feminists being violent to trans people, Billingham will fabricate one. The story linked to is not about the shooting of a transgender person by an anti-trans radical feminist. It is about a drug-addicted homeless woman killing a trans-identifying man she’d known for years, who’d allegedly pulled a knife on her.

The grand jury declined to indict her on a murder charge, presumably because they accepted her story that she’d killed her acquaintance in self-defence.

Yet Sprout has no qualms about claiming it was a ‘terf’ what done it. Oh, please!

 

Harrow Humanists

Finally, the story of my recent talk at Harrow Humanists and how Billingham tried to sabotage it.

Late last year, I offered to speak to members of the Harrow Humanist group about transgenderism and the GRA. My offer was accepted and confirmed for 11 March, this year.

When it was announced on the group’s website, they got the title slightly wrong and used the term ‘trans-sexualism’. They corrected the error when I pointed it out but not before some desperadoes spotted it and tried to make something of it, e.g this one:

As I have repeatedly made clear, when I use the word ‘transgenderism’, I am primarily talking about an ideology – one that just about every wing of the establishment is in thrall to and that is negatively impacting on many lives.

This means, according to the trans Taliban, that I shouldn’t be talking about it. After all, it’s only women and girls being cheated in sports events, being deprived of privacy and dignity in changing rooms, being sexually molested in prisons, losing our jobs, being defamed by people like Billingham. What do we matter compared to the entitlement of men to redefine the meaning of ‘woman’ in order to access our spaces, sports and occupations?

Showing the evidence of the consequences of transgender ideology and how it is hurting women isn’t ‘legit’, according to Billingham but trying to stop me doing so is.

Naturally, I hoped that those pseudo-fascist bullies who like to stand outside feminist meetings intimidating people going in and shouting, banging on saucepans or windows and letting off smoke-bombs and even assaulting attendees, wouldn’t find out about it so I didn’t publicise it except on my own Facebook page, which had the privacy settings at maximum.

Unfortunately, I still have some few remnants of the misplaced faith in human decency that initially drew me to humanism and I haven’t always been careful enough about the FB friendship requests I’ve accepted. I undoubtedly accepted one who was yet another Billingham sockpuppet. As I show on the page about his ‘Sprout’ sock, he’s not exactly secretive about the fact that he uses them to infiltrate feminists’ accounts and expose private content, though he likes to pretend one of my Facebook ‘allies’ is giving him information – as if any of my allies would snitch to a man so widely despised.

Note how in the tweet below he claims to be his imaginary friend called ‘Mac’ while promoting blatant falsehoods about why my original account was banned from Twitter.

My blog post about why I was banned includes screenshots of the tweets I was banned for, together with the reasons why they supposedly broke Twitter rules. See any “abuse of trans people” there?

But then Billingham has a bizarre and flawed idea of what constitutes abuse, a word whose actual definitions include ‘to misuse’ and ‘to treat cruelly’. Refusing to be courteous to violent and hateful men is ‘abuse’ in Billingham’s view but spreading harmful falsehoods about individuals and groups for the express purpose of trying to damage their reputation and scupper their work, is something he apparently thinks is morally defensible.

Also on my Facebook page, I published the name of a new Twitter account I had set up in the hope of building up a local feminist group, which I used to challenge Billingham when he’d started spitting the dummy about my proposed talk. Of course, I would prefer to challenge him on Twitter as myself but, thanks to people like him who feel entitled to say what they like about anyone else but can’t take being called out, I can’t do so on Twitter. Never mind – at least I have this blog.

Fortunately, Billingham couldn’t resist doxing the Twitter account thereby letting me know he had access to my FB page. He did so with the words “talking about yourself in the third person is not a great look”.

Leaving aside the tiresomely predictable description of people he disagrees with as a ‘hate’ group’ and the twaddle about ‘astroterfing’ – whatever that’s supposed to mean – talking about himself in the third person and even to himself online is something he does all the time. The man’s hypocrisy is truly staggering – especially when followed by this sanctimonious tweet claiming he doesn’t break Twitter terms of service himself.

Yeah, right. My response and the rest of that conversation – which has Billingham bringing his sock puppet in at the end in an attempt to convince me and Humanists UK that they aren’t one and the same – can be read here (pdf).

It is, of course, well-known that dozens of gender-critical Twitter accounts – including mine – have been targeted by trans activist bullies resulting in their suspension. I maintain that I have never broken the Twitter policy on hateful conduct as it is written and that Jake Alley, as I demonstrate in this blog and whom I primarily blame for my suspension, has done so repeatedly, as has Billingham.

More importantly, he tweeted this to Humanists UK and Alice Roberts, who is their current president.

A man who has not one but two Twitter accounts devoted to attacking gender-critical individuals and groups is perhaps not best-placed to accuse anyone else of having an ‘obsession’.

Now, let’s deal with the allegation that I ‘gave up all humanist principles’ which, of course, he doesn’t attempt to explain and which is all the more absurd in light of the fact that, on the same tweet, he linked to the blog post I wrote explaining why I resigned from Humanist UK after 25 years membership. In it, I draw attention to two things that I said many self-identified humanists were failing at and I would certainly include Billingham amongst them.

The first is that humanism is supposed to be underpinned by “a commitment to rational enquiry and the scientific method”. The second is that “humanists engage in discussion in a spirit of free inquiry and try to use reason and evidence in support of their arguments”. These are what I consider to be fundamental humanist principles. Without them, humanism isn’t worth the candle – we can just be plain old atheists, agnostics and secularists instead.

Yet I’ve seen no evidence of the above in the approach taken by formal humanist bodies in the UK to the current debate on transgenderism. Quite the opposite in fact.

This still holds true.

In fact, in the eighteen months since I wrote that blog post, I – and numerous others – have seen the organisation deteriorate and their president’s behaviour on Twitter has been widely derided, not just by me.

Not content with broadcasting where I was due to be at a particular time and place to his 2k+ hateful followers, Billingham’s next move was to email a complaint to Humanists UK and trying to get others to do so too. He thoughtfully included Harrow Humanists in the email, thereby making my point about trans activist bullies to them better than I could.

 

The email in full, together with one I sent after it can be seen here.

He also tweeted at Harrow Voluntary Action Co-op, demanding to know why they were ‘hosting’ my talk. They weren’t. HVAC is but one of the groups that use the building, which is owned by Harrow Council. As for claiming I have a “long history of hate against trans people” – by which he means, “three years of disagreeing with trans activists like him while agreeing with some trans people he doesn’t like” – I don’t know how this man sleeps at night.

The meeting’s organiser made his distaste for the email – which he’d ignored – and its sender clear both to me personally and to everyone who turned up to the meeting.

 

Horrible Humanists

I don’t know whether Humanists UK replied to Billingham’s complaint. Once upon a time, I would have expected them to give him a lesson in what humanist principles actually are but having seen the way senior members of staff and some of the trustees have behaved over the last couple of years, I no longer have confidence that they can do so. The profile of their Twitter profile seems like a bad joke.

 

Unsurprisingly, in spite of their outrage at someone daring to speak about something that has had a huge effect on her life, not a single one of my detractors dared to turn up and challenge anything I would say. So much easier to mock and deride from the safety of the web, after all. Here are a few examples.

Note the comparison with Nazis and race realists. And sharing evidence of the unhappiness and trauma being caused to women is just “transphobic rhetoric…not worthy of respect”.

When I see comments like the above, I feel vindicated in my description of such commenters as ‘cultists’. If there is one thing I am convinced of after being immersed in this topic for three years, it is that there is no prospect of getting such people to seriously consider the issues and how they affect other members of the human population or to even attempt to engage in rational discourse. No ‘spirit of free inquiry’ is shown here though, in fairness, only Cathryn Frazier, ‘Jemma Ker-Ching’ and Billingham claim to be humanists.

As for this:

This tweet is an excellent illustration of why James Billingham uses as a sock puppet. It allows him to go that much further than what he’ll say under his own name and fling out a nasty, baseless allegation about me personally – all nicely wrapped up in a sarcastic and fallacious comment about what a humanist is.

I am not the one who exposes the content of other people’s Facebook pages – Billingham is. (This particular one refers to an incident I mention on the page I made about his sockpuppetry.)  Nor am I the one that tries to get speakers and groups I disagree with shut down by spreading falsehoods about them. But that kind of behaviour evidently comes naturally to Billingham – the man who asked, without a trace of irony, if I ever stopped to think, “Are we the baddies?” (See his tweet at the beginning of his post. This is a reference to a Mitchell & Webb sketch and another unsubtle suggestion that women who refuse to validate men’s fantasies that they can be women are akin to Nazis.)

Just to be clear: I still conduct funerals on the humanist model and applaud the work done by the likes of Dan Fisher, whose interview with Scott Douglas Jacobsen is well worth a read. Unlike senior staff,  some trustees and some members of Humanists UK, Fisher has not abandoned humanist principles and argues that:

Secular Humanism has always had a focus on the material world as opposed to spiritualism. But as we have seen with Humanists UK being captured by the mythology of gender identity, there is room to grow on this matter.

And this is precisely why I don’t care to call myself a humanist these days. The word has become tainted and the organisation I used to be proud to represent is now disdained by people who are genuinely tolerant, genuinely rational and genuinely kind.

I’m still happy to talk to local humanist groups, though. Contact me through this website, if you’d like me to do so.

 

Update 16.07.20: Billingham amusingly mistakes the wonderful Zach Elliot of the Paradox Institute for some other Zach Elliot, who is a Christian pastor, here.

 

Published 18.05.20

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