I asked PZ Myers if he could help us get our side of the story out there, over the whole Dan Marvin / Sye ten Bruggencate thing, and he kindly reprinted my entire email on his Pharyngula blog.
I posted this following reply to the comment thread, after it received a healthy dose of feedback from his readers:
Hey there everyone, it’s Jim here from the original article.
Firstly, I want to thank PZ very much for helping us set the record straight here. Our podcast is popular, but there’s no way we could reach this many people and get the facts out on our own so quickly. It’s very much appreciated.
This has clearly had the desired effect, because today I received three emails from Sye, effectively panicking that we might take this to court. Naturally he plays the victim in his phraseology, but conspicuous by its absence is his usual “be like me or burn forever” tone. There wasn’t even a prayer or bible quote in his sign-off.
Quote, “I really think that I have a valid argument for posting that video, and will see you in court if it gets that far. I realize [sic] that you will likely not comment on the proceedings, but your stipulations were for the debate which never happened, not for the preamble which I recorded.”
Sye has stated previously that his version of the recording where we specifically said our comments were “not to be edited, or used in a commercial setting” is in-fact his to do whatever he wants with. That’s right folks, in Sye’s world a recording of someone insisting that their comments are not to be edited or used by anyone is one and the same as them saying “please, use our comments however you like”.
His email goes on, “I realize [sic] that you have much vitriol towards me, but I think that your view is largely misplaced. I can see your issues with some of the others you engage, but I think I have dealt with you and Alex very fairly. I also reliaze [sic] that you doubt it, but I trust that we would get along fine in person.”
This is the “I’m a nice guy really” Sye who comes out to play when he knows he’s been caught red handed. And though I’d love to see his face, when he has to swear on the bible that he has proof God exists when he knows full well that he none, I do almost begin to feel sorry for him when he resorts to his selectively murky version of events for which I am absolutely crystal clear. It speaks to the level of obfuscation he gets away with, when his audience is comprised of people already drawn into his cult. That’s C-U-L-T, by the way.
It must be very odd to live in that world, where the only people who you can relate to are all playing the same game, but no-one dare admit it out loud. I guess this explains the fair game policy of barefaced lying and historical revisionism which they allow each other to get away with, while having the brass neck to misidentify these same attributes in everyone else. This alone would probably make Sye a particularly fascinating subject in further studies of the Dunning-Kruger effect, though I couldn’t imagine anything more frustrating than having to be the research assistant who attempted to prize any sort of coherent answers out of him.
There is one other passage in his email I wanted to mention: “I have no control over what others write, not [sic] do I intend to attempt to excercise [sic] any control over it. Your articles are rife with inaccuracies, but I have not, nor do I care to correct you on them.”
This is in response to an article on Dan Marvin’s Debunking Atheists blog (gotta love that title). Basically, Dan blogged on this story, after having the facts explained to him four different times by three different people, and still managed to take every last detail and turn them upside down, to make out that it’s actually Sye who is the victim of some kind of ‘typical atheist censorship’. After I posted a comment asking for some of the libellous factual inaccuracies to be removed from this article, Sye systematically failed to correct Dan on any of the parts he got flat wrong, despite being in the unique position of being one of the few people Dan Marvin actually listens to.
All Sye had to do, to help his friend avoid the serious repercussions of posting knowingly false information about me and my podcast co-host on his blog, was come clean about what he verbally agreed to, during our short podcast. Had he done this, I would have been the first to thank him for being honest. But instead he chose to let the lie stand, and now he’s denying the fact that lie is out there at all has anything to do with him.
He closes his final email of the day to me thus: “I see you went crying to PZ again. You almost have no option but to take this to court now. Sad. You should probably be pleased that I have absolutely no interest in pointing out the blatant falsehoods in your letter to PZ. Again, vengeance is not mine.”
I have no idea what these “blatant falsehoods” are, but I can assure everyone reading this, that every single last word of my original email to PZ contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I know Sye has something of an allergic reaction to facts, so I won’t be holding my breath waiting for him to specify exactly which parts of my letter he objects to, but suffice to say if he does go further down the road of taking legal action against us, I’ll be sure to let everyone in this thread know. I’m almost tempted to force his hand, just see what hilarity he manages to dig up by way of evidence that we’re the ones who are in the wrong, as opposed to being the injured party.
As for your kind offers of help, all I can ask is that you stay alert and keep your eyes peeled for any YouTube clips, podcasts, and DVDs for sale which you think might contain our comments, without our permission, from the Hovind/TenB camp. You can reach me personally at the Fundamentally Flawed podcast, or my own blog howgoodisthat.wordpress.com
Thanks again everyone! Jim.