Dr. Richard Carrier, the author of several books about ancient philosophy, religion, and science, is once against suing several atheists on charges of defamation, interference with his business, and emotional distress. Those charges stem from posts they made made about his alleged sexual harassment, an accusation he repeatedly denied.
Last year, a similar lawsuit ended (after two years of legal back-and-forth) after a District Court judge dismissed the case “for lack of personal jurisdiction” — essentially saying there was no good reason for Carrier’s lawsuit to take place in Ohio where he had filed it. It was, however, dismissed “without prejudice” so it was possible Carrier could sue again in a more appropriate venue.
That’s what he’s doing now with three separate lawsuits filed just days ago.
In Arizona, he’s going after the woman who made the initial accusation of harassment on Facebook.
In Missouri, he’s going after Skepticon, Inc. (which hosts a conference each year that’s free for attendees) and the group’s president Lauren Lane for publicly saying they were banning him from attending the conference due to his “repeated boundary-pushing behavior.”
In Minnesota, he’s going after blogger PZ Myers, the CEO of the Freethought Blogs network, for suspending Carrier’s blog due to his alleged “persistent, obnoxious sexual behavior in defiance of specific requests that he cease.” (Minnesota is only one of those three states that doesn’t have anti-SLAPP protections, making it easier to sue people who may not have the money to fight back.)
In all three lawsuits, Carrier is asking the Court for damages worth $1.3 million — that’s nearly $4 million in total — in addition to legal costs, interest, and anything else the Courts deem fit. He’s also filing all three lawsuits on his own — without the help of a lawyer (at least one who’s listed in the complaints).
I asked Carrier yesterday how he was paying for the lawsuits but didn’t receive a response. (While he doesn’t have a lawyer to pay, if he loses the cases, he would be on the hook for quite a bit.)
At this point, part of me also wonders if the lawsuits even serve a beneficial purpose for him, since the Streisand effect may do far more damage to the reputation he’s trying to salvage. But Carrier was convinced he had a case in Ohio back in 2016. Because it was dismissed on a technicality, he’s not going to stop this fight until there’s a ruling on the merits.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Portions of this article were published earlier)