My name is David Silverman, best known as the former President of American Atheists. I’m an activist, a fan of lobster, the creator of the Reason Rally (the largest atheist event in world history), the face behind the “Are You Serious” meme, and most importantly, a father. More information about me can be found at https://www.firebrandforgood.com/.
During my 23-year personal quest to protect individual liberties and religious rights for atheists, I appeared on dozens of TV shows including the CNN Special Inside Atheism, The O’Reilly Factor (where the meme was born), Hannity, Gretchen Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Nick News, and many others. In an effort to do good, I was the first to establish comprehensive codes of conduct to atheist conventions; the first to do the same with gender-neutral bathrooms; the first to bring atheism to conservatives; the first to specifically champion women speaker equality in convention lineups; the first atheist leader to shout down those who were harassing women (“Speaking Out Against Hate Directed at Women”); the first to lead an atheist contingent at a pro-choice rally; the first to speak as an atheist leader at a marriage equality rally, the first atheist leader to speak at an ERA rally.
I have been a feminist my entire life, and it’s a title I still hold close, even as the term has been tainted. I therefore now refer to myself as a "Liberal Feminist", to emphasize the egalitarian "2nd wave" Feminism, as opposed to the more toxic modern version. Because Humanism.
In 2018, I was fired due to false allegations of sexual misconduct by two women, concerning events that happened 3 and 6 years prior. No investigation preceded my termination. I was perp-walked out of my office without even a moment of consideration that the allegations might be wrong. Additionally, American Atheists claimed I was fired for vague other reasons never defined, further injuring my ability to find a job elsewhere. AA claims to have performed a forensic audit, which I have learned cleared me, but they refuse to release the audit or clear my name. In the end, an abhorrent version of the very same feminism I have been defending for decades is what destroyed me, not because I was caught doing something wrong, but because women lied about sexual assault and everyone believed them, without skepticism, despite the facts that I have witnesses, pictures, and even recordings that disprove the allegations (none of the evidence in my favor was ever heard, let alone considered). “Believe All Women” was a banner I proudly carried... until it destroyed me.
Like many in the now famous ‘Intellectual Dark Web,’ I’ve been slandered by those claiming to stand against bigotry and mistreatment. I fought for women’s rights for decades, only to see that movement taken over by extremists hoping to make a career/name out of ruining people’s lives, even if they are staunch life-long supporters like me. The ideology of these extremists has seeped into many communities that I cherished, sadly, including the American Atheist movement.
On April 10, 2018, I was suspended from American Atheists on very vague reasons including "Breaking NJ's Whistle Blower Statute", and walked out of my office like a criminal. My 22 year career in activism with American Atheists died that day, due to lies. I was given zero due process, and the organization performed zero investigation before firing me, again like a criminal. I’ve lost my livelihood, my family, my ability to earn a living, and most of my friends; again, not because of stuff I did, but because of the lies bad actors told and amateurs believed. Many of you have warned me of these extremists, who put their time and energy into calling everything they disagree with “racist,” “sexist,” and “homophobic.” For all my life I have detested religion, but when I was around these extremists - mostly without knowing it, I traded in one religion for another. Regressive ideology is dangerous because it usurps due process and civil rights in favor of the immediate gratification of a guilty verdict and shunning, again much like the religions I fight.
#metoo is a great and important idea that is being abused by bad actors who abuse the fact that they will be believed without question, and everyone is threatened by this attack on traditional liberal values. There can be no justice without due process - I’m living proof. That’s why I’m suing those who have slandered and lied about who I am. Liars and their mantra-speaking followers are doing a disservice against real victims of sexual assault and harassment and will make it harder for them to speak out, which is wholly repugnant to me and hopefully everyone. Women who falsely accuse men of sexual misconduct are criminals in need of prosecution, and we have the civic duty to protect the integrity of #metoo and the victims it has helped.
I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs in the past year, but once they google me, they don’t call back. I have turned to insurance sales as an independent contractor to earn a living, but that takes months or years to generate a decent income. I’m still doing activism, and I will discuss that as much as possible, but individual activism doesn’t pay. I live off my now-dwindling 401K.
I’m asking for your support. I don’t intend for this legal battle to be only all about me - I intend to send a message to corporate America and female bad actors: Due process is not optional, civil rights are not to be dismissed, and every claim against anyone must be substantiated before you fire them (duh). Women must be believed at first, but claims of victimhood must be verified.
This is our fight. The Far Left is not evil - they just got lost in their attempt to make the world better and in doing so have created an atmosphere of anti-skepticism and the inevitable abuse that follows. We need to revise #metoo, so men can back it strongly, as I want to, without fear that someone might do to them what was done to me. Please help.