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Smith, McElroy, and gossip





George H. Smith is a well-known atheist and libertarian writer, born in Japan in 1949.
Smith is perhaps best known for Atheism: The Case Against God (1974) . I remember reading this long ago because it had a chapter combining and (unintelligently criticizing) two of the authors I most admire, Blaise Pascal and William James.

Smith has become part of a heated controversy in recent days that involves ideas about liberty and feminism, and quite personal accusations involving a thinker/writer who describes herself as working “within the individualist-anarchist tradition,” and a person with whom Smith once had an intimate and a professional relationship, Wendy McElroy.

McElroy, pictured here, has become very public in recent months as an opponent of the whole notion of a “rape culture” on campus, and the attendant notion that colleges as social micro-cosmos' have to ‘do something.’ Her advice to victims? “Rape is a criminal offense, go to the police.”  Pending the development of anarchistic alternatives to “the police,” presumably.

Her relationship with Smith has become rancorous due in part to intellectual-property disputes that arose out of the period of their collaboration. They apparently wrote a manuscript, together, on reasoning. After they separated, McElroy wrote a book called THE REASONABLE WOMAN, which Smith now claims was largely plagiarized from him. McElroy claims it was and is “an entirely separate work” from their earlier discarded manuscript.

On February 22, 2015, Sharon Presley, a psychologist who seems to have a close relationship with Smith, wrote unflatteringly about McElroy on a moderated website.  This inspired McElroy’s husband to reply in a letter the moderators of that site then deleted, but which re-appeared here. on Feb.22 . Wendy herself then expanded her husband’s stated grievances about the Presley/Smith attacks.


I haven’t found McElroy’s husband’s surname anywhere in this exchange. He just goes by Brad so far as I can tell.

Anyway, I have left the personal charges and counter-charges out of this brief description (plagiarism and IP issues are the very least of it). I’ll just say that it gets very nasty, that you can read more about it if you follow those links. 

Okay, it's low minded gossip even to mention it here, but I don't do a lot of that on this blog so I figured I could be forgiven one.

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