Claus Larsen and SkepticReport

The only time I ever heard of Claus Larsen and Skeptic Report are when Claus shows up here to make a fool of himself by acting at the archetypal “Skeptic” who has no appreciation whatsoever for how the process of inquiry and debate operate, for nuance or context, or for that matter, simple truth and dealing with fact. His latest stroll through my blog had him demanding evidence for claims I had made about Thunderf00t’s video, when I had made no claims whatsoever about any such thing. He also brought along a “when did you stop beating your wife” sort of question regarding skepchick.org.

THIS IS A LINK to that conversation.

At first I found this annoying, then I realized that Claus is a Poe. He’s totally made up. No one can be that absurd without doing it on purpose.

But, then I realized that if Claus was here he’d DEMAND EVIDENCE that he is a Poe. And I don’t really have any. He’d be right.

So, I’ve put this blog post up for anyone to add any information, in the comments, about Claus Larsen and SkepticReport. Do you know who this guy is? Have you met him in real life? Is he really as silly in person as he presents himself on his site and in comments on other people’s sites?

Also, and this question is a bit trickier. His activism against sexual harassment guidelines at conferences seems to be way over the top for anyone. If he is a Poe that is easily explained. If he is not a Poe, then how do you explain that? Any ideas?

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27 Responses to Claus Larsen and SkepticReport

  1. Matt Penfold says:

    But, then I realized that if Claus was here he’d DEMAND EVIDENCE that he is a Poe. And I don’t really have any. He’d be right.

    True. There is plenty of evidence he makes a house brick look intelligent, but nothing that suggests he is a poe, other than surely no one can be as stupid as he claims he is and still be able to sort of communicate.

  2. karmakin says:

    Nah. I’ve seen equally stupid things in all sorts of issues. The important part to realize is that the stupidity of the argument they are making is irrelevant. All that matters to them is scoring imaginary debate points.

    I have a feeling over the next 24 hours we’re going to see levels of stupid previously unheard of.

  3. Greg Laden says:

    My friend Ronja Addams-Moring just passed me this link about comment policies, this might be a good place to put it:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/06/26/comment-policy/comment-page-1/

  4. screechymonkey says:

    Claus Larsen used to be a prolific poster on the JREF Forum (as CFLarsen or something similar, I believe). He is an incredibly stubborn and persistent discussant, which has led him to defend some rather absurd propositions at great length.

    Some of his greatest hits there include his vow that sky marshals were a terrible idea, because “If I ever see a man with a gun on a plane, I’ll kill him,” an endless debate about legs and drumsticks, and whether snakes have eyelids. Try some searches for those if you’re up for some entertainment.

    He became a bit of a laughingstock there and then stopped posting (I’ll give him credit for sticking the flounce, though apparently he still liked to hang around the Forum and send PMs to people he disagreed with).

    He is absolutely not a Poe, but he is ridiculously stubborn. For what it’s worth, folks who have met him in real life insist he’s a very nice guy.

  5. Ernst Hot says:

    In case Claus Larsen is, as his name suggests danish, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize on behalf on all danish people capable of rational thought.

  6. A Hermit says:

    claus>But where’s your proof that your comments about that conversation are about that conversation? </Claus

  7. Giriparjel says:

    He is real. He posts frequently on JREF, as CFLarsen. I have probably bumped into him at TAMs, and online have found him to be a bit of an argumentative dick.

  8. Physicalist says:

    lol. If he’s not a Poe I feel sorry for him. (Maybe even if he is . . .)

  9. Ohhhhhh Claus Larsen. Yes. I had a very unpleasant encounter with him at Facebook recently, in which he asked me repeated rude aggressive I-demand-to-know questions about why I had concerns about TAM and DJ Grothe. He’s Danish – and that’s the only factual thing I remember.

  10. I have one of those Facebook comments right here in my pocket:

    Ophelia Benson,

    You could be right, because you keep changing the reason why you aren’t going. Originally, you gave the same reason as Rebecca: You didn’t feel safe at TAM as a woman, and that’s how you initially started in this thread. But look at the reason you gave later: You have been harassed because you are a speaker at TAM. Which has nothing to do with the issue, namely sexual harassment of women *in general, and among the audience by male speakers*.

    Like Rebecca, you conflate what happens outside TAM with what happens – or, rather, does not happen – at TAM. Whatever bad has happened to you outside TAM is very deplorable, BUT IT HAS NO BEARING ON YOUR SAFETY AT TAM.

    Which leads us back to my initial question: Since you have NOT been harassed *at TAM* for being a speaker at TAM, or as a woman, there is no reason for you not to go. Yet you refuse to do so.

    Your reasons are your own, how plastic they may seem. But please do not claim they have anything to do with what actually happens at TAM, because that is demonstrably not true.

    That leads me to conclude that you clearly are having some hidden agenda here. Whether or not we will learn what it is, is entirely up to you.

    P.S. No, I didn’t “just” become FB friends with Travis Roy. That goes back a while, I cannot remember how long ago it was. Even so, it does not mean that I am “bullying” you, nor does it mean that there is a conspiracy to “bully” you, or to make “the bitches stfu”. As others have pointed out, such accusations are childish. I will add paranoid as well. Just because you are not met with instant agreement does not mean the world is out to get you.

    This is why I emphasize the need for the mess to stop. It has already gotten out of control, with raging paranoia being exhibited by both sides of the fray, but especially from your side. Unfortunately, I see no willingness from your side to solve this, mend fences, and move on, so we can focus on the work we do.

  11. That was on Rob Tarzwell’s post about the 2 incidents of harassment at TAM last year. Larsen started by demanding “why are you refusing to go to TAM?” – which was odd, because I wasn’t. This was before the threatoid emails. I was asking questions and expressing doubts, I wasn’t refusing to go. Plus I didn’t know this Claus Larsen from Adam; why was he interrogating me like a cop? It was very weird, and obnoxious.

    Rob kept telling him to knock it off, and finally blocked him.

  12. Yup, that’s Claus doing his thing all right on that other thread – all that yes or no stuff, as if he’s a cop.

  13. Dale Husband says:

    Claus Larsen is one of those bigoted @$$holes who calls himself a skeptic, but does not behave consistently. He is actually a denialist, a least on this issue of Thunderf00t having a sexist bias in dismissing the concerns about sexual harassment at skeptic conferences. I find him very dangerous.

    I had someone pull that sort of stunt against me in a Facebook group on the issue of global warming. He kept demanding proof for global warming when I had already explained why it was indeed scientifically credible. After attempting repeatedly to explain why that troll’s bigoted assumptions about the issue were misplaced, I finally blocked him.

    Demanding evidence for something when the evidence has already been presented is LYING. And a genuine skeptic does not lie. Claus Larsen is a fraud.

  14. skeptifem says:

    The most infamous moment of stupidity on his part at the jref forums:

    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=16055
    “if I see someone with a gun on a plane I’ll kill him”

    Think “Sky Marshalls”? Think that guns on a plane is a good idea?

    Sorry, I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to even contemplate the possibility of him being a “good guy”. It takes less than 5 minutes to fly from any NY airport to WTC, and I do not have time to check with authorities to see if the guy with the gun is a “good guy” or not.

    I’ll kill the f***er. On the spot. No questions asked. He’s dead.

    What will you do?

    someone replied “of course you would, mr bond.” and I just about lost it.

    The thread is typical of his arguments, even now.

  15. Greg Laden says:

    Ophelia, had your opinion about why one might not gone to TAM changed over time, that would also have required explanations and evidence! Why would one have a particular opinion and never change it as facts and circumstances changed. That would be … DOGMA!

  16. kagerato says:

    You can’t prove that Chris Larsen is a real person instead of a poorly engineered artificial intelligence designed by theocrats to destroy the atheist movement!

  17. OK so I’ve met Claus and he’s real, although in person he’s more just kind of awkward and not nearly as obnoxious.

    You absolutely have to find his posts on the JREF forum. They are the funniest, ever. The “legs are drumsticks” conversation makes me lol every time I look at it. And I look at it several times a year, probably, whenever Claus pops up on a new site that hasn’t banned him yet, which is why I have it close at hand.

    Here, take this gift:

    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=54742

  18. And seriously, read that JREF forum link from beginning to end. No skimming. It’s worth it.

  19. Greg Laden says:

    Thank you for that, Rebecca. I like to think of it more processually. The question is, “do snakes blink?”

  20. NP. I forgot about the “I would kill an air marshall” thread that screechymonkey mentions. That was also wonderful. I don’t have the link handy but google should help.

    the tl;dr is that if Claus saw anyone on a plane with a gun, even an air marshall, he would murder him on the spot with his own wings. I mean hands.

  21. Greg Laden says:

    Being observant on a plane is important. That is easier done without eyelids. Ergo, bring your trained watchsnake.

  22. Drivebyposter says:

    the tl;dr is that if Claus saw anyone on a plane with a gun, even an air marshall, he would murder him on the spot with his own wings. I mean hands.

    Don’t you mean that “Even though Claus to cut or divide with a saw anyone covering or wrapping a flat or level surface accompanied by a hired killer, level an oxygen Male name, he would flock of crows him atop the stain accompanied by his possess wings” ?

  23. Trebuchet says:

    If I recall correctly, Larsen was the reason I quit visiting the JREF forums 7 or 8 years ago. He’d figured out the identity of one of the regular woo-woo posters there and started making a series of “I know where you live” type posts. The woo-woo took it as a threat and freaked out. I couldn’t blame him, especially when Larsen (if that’s who it was) erroneously posted information not about the woo himself but about a teenage female relative. The mods did nothing.

  24. Pingback: Freethoughtblogs Infected by Virus « SkepDirt

  25. Gee – now I feel kind of sad that my brush with Claus was so recent and so minor.

  26. Rebecca, for some reason his responses in that thread made me really mad. I guess it’s the hyper-skepticism coupled with high school forensics, but I just keep reading it in the context of the inane problems people have with having a fucking code of conduct at conferences and generally being civil to other people and want to burn things.

    I did get three pages in, though.

  27. Will Ross says:

    https://www.facebook.com/derek.colanduno/posts/318550174925616

    Turns out Claus Larsen is a fraud. He’s pretending he has a huge audience for the purposes of bullying other skeptics.

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