So for once, Sam Harris had an anti-racist as a guest at a live event that was also released as a podcast. Not just someone who says they’re not racist, but an actual anti-racist activist who has dedicated years of his life to fighting white supremacy. He’s given us insight into how these groups recruit. He’s helped us see tell tale signs that someone is likely a white supremacist. And he’s given some advise on how to deprogram someone who ended up in the cult of white supremacy. An actual anti-racist. A man who used to be involved in white supremacist groups and got out who is now atoning for his sins, so to speak, by speaking out. Christian Picciolini is not your usual Sam Harris guest. Any free and open exchange of ideas is never a bad thing according to Harris, right? Wrong!
Here’s the (edited) episode of Sam’s podcast:
You may have noticed the word in parentheses. Sam Harris edited out part of the podcast. Here are the parts that were edited out, courtesy of @BothSidesDo_It on twitter.
Notice who he’s talking about? James Damore. And Stefan Molyneux. Well, if you take a look back at the time after Damore’s memo was made public, guess who the racist MRA Johnny On The Spot ready to interview Damore was… Yep. Stefan Molyneux. First of all, Sam Harris called Damore’s writing about Google and diversity “an utterly innocuous and almost entirely defensible scientific document” (out of context out of context! lol). Go read the memo yourself right now. That is not a scientific document. It has never been peer reviewed. The sources for the claims are not cited. I am not a scientist, but it's not like you have to be one to know what a scientific document looks like. Sam Harris just happens to agree with the content of it so he’s calling it a scientific document. It’s sort of how he rolls. This is an example of him using his scientific background to tell you that a memo he agrees with is true because it’s science because, well, after all, he’s a scientist and he says so. What a total crock of shit.
The comments about Molyneux are that he feeds people holocaust denial and white genocide. It’s not hard to infer from what Molyneux says that he’s at least sympathetic to the idea of holocaust denial, and he has certainly had people on his show who have posted things on the internet and said things publicly that would indicate to anyone who examined the statements that they are holocaust deniers. Harris also cut out a part where he made connections between the people Stefan Molyneux has on his show and white supremacists. This seems interesting, seeing as that’s all verifiably true, and Harris himself said it, not his guest. I wonder why this might have been cut out. More on this later.
It's very telling that @SamHarrisOrg has censored me and is apologizing for airing a podcast in which I made claims about Stefan Molyneux and James Damore which were TRUE (I've posted the evidence). I will admit I was wrong about one thing...my previous defense of Sam Harris.— Christian Picciolini (@cpicciolini) May 10, 2018
I don't think I will ever understand this impulse to double down (and double down again) on an error. Apologizing to people for having misrepresented them is not that hard--even if you don't like them. And it's the only way to remain honest. https://t.co/Q7DhOc90M9— Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg) May 10, 2018
Screen shots in case the tweets get deleted
Harris himself said that he had a conversation with Molyneux about this. It’s unclear if Molyneux threatened to sue him for defamation/libel/slander or not. But we do know for a fact that these parts were cut out at Molyneux’s behest. Sam then said that it was the right thing to do, to cut this stuff out, because it was factually inaccurate? Well what about the part where it was only Harris talking, the part where he said that Molyneux has people on his show who go on the shows of people who are obviously white supremacists? Why was that cut out? I mean, that part was 100% verifiable. It’s as if Sam is making some accommodations in order to not upset Mr Molyneux.
Hmmmmm. Instead of putting a note at the beginning of the podcast to say that Molyneux disputes the characterization of his beliefs as presented, he just cut that shit out. Because Molyneux said so. If I were a betting man, I would be that Molyneux also complained about the comments on James Damore. But Sam’s ways are higher than mine, so it’s impossible for me to even fathom the thought process that lead him to pull out what he pulled out. The part where the audience member mentions that holocaust denial is not protected speech in Canada might give us some insight into why Molyneux thought it so urgent to take out anything that even puts him in that orbit, even though, well, that’s his orbit. Other media outlets have aired content in which people make claims that are disputed by the person or group they are making claims about, see Leah Remini’s Scientology show on A&E and the associated disclaimers.
Here’s what I think is going on here. Mind you I am not a guru, so I am probably being unfair and this is all in bad faith or something. I think that Sam knows for a fact that he will lose way more of his fan base if Stefan Molyneux starts crying about how he was treated unfairly by Sam’s guest (and by Sam, what with the comments about association) than he will lose by not only editing out parts of Christian Picciolini's statements but also scolding Picciolini for having the temerity to, and this is the hilarious part, expect that their discussion, in its full context, be aired. After all, Harris and the cult of personality around him would tell you that context is very very important, wouldn’t they? And then Picciolini had the nerve say something publicly when it was edited after previously being published in full? Unthinkable! How rude and inappropriate! Have some damn credulity man! This is a great guru!
If you ask me, this tells us that Harris is quite aware that a larger portion of his audience reside in Stefan’s camp ideologically than reside in Christian’s. It appears that in this case, “the motherlode of bad ideas” is an anti-racist person making inferences about a totally racist person based on what they say and who they choose to associate with. Oh and, of course some of Sam’s own commentary about Stefan’s choice of association was also part of this motherlode, wasn’t it?
And if you go read the threads from their exchange on Twitter? I mean, the Harris fans are out in force. They are acting like Scientologists act when someone says L Ron Hubbard might have done or said something wrong. The very people who would tell us that all ideas are on the table and that we should have a free and open exchange of ideas are telling everyone why it’s totally cool that their guru is a known white supremacist’s bitch.