Published April 18, 2019 Updated October 2, 2019
"There you go again."
Ronald Reagan - to his opponent Jimmy Carter, 1980 presidential debate
Intactivists have again falsely accused your Circumcision Choice team of malfeasance.
They first defamed us following the 2016 counter-protest outside the AAP Conference in San Francisco, James Loewen, the subject of our Irate Man series, falsely accused us of doxxing him, of sharing his home address and phone number with the doctors and other passersby. He also claimed that we left early because the protesters had identified one of us, The claim that we were embarrassed to be identified is absurd, given that I had introduced myself by name to several intactivists, including Georganne Chapin and Dan Bollinger. Three months later Kenneth Hopkins accused me of throwing spitballs at him, which would have been a remarkable feat since I don't even know how to make a spitball, and we were never closer than 40 feet apart.
Following the 2017 counter-protest at the AAP Conference in Chicago, Loewen claimed we falsely attributed a quote to him on one of our signs. After we posted a screen shot of the comment, he was forced to backtrack. He also claimed that Chicago police officers were on hand to keep an eye on our team of counter-protesters. That was another absurd claim, given that the anti-circumcision protesters outnumbered us by 30 to 5, and the only aggression had come from their side.
During and after the 2018 ACOG counter-protest in Austin, Texas, Kenneth Hopkins, the leader of the Blood Stained Men who calls himself "Brother K", made several false and absurd claims. For instance he told a police officer that we had followed them around the country to disrupt their protests. And in a bizarre twist he claimed that my fellow counter-protester had asked me, "What should I do? What should I say to the doctors?" Apparently he was ignorant of the fact that she is a licensed nurse who works with physicians on a daily basis.
Now, more than five months after the 2018 AAP counter-protest in Orlando, intactivists are again spreading lies. On Sunday Loewen published a Facebook post in which he claimed that "two counter-protesters harassed intactivists." Loewen posted a brief video interview with intactivist Ashley Musick, who said that the Orange County sheriff had warned my friend not to make physical contact with her friend Courtney Shin.
These are the facts.
First, yet another intactivist has incorrectly labeled us "pro circumcision protesters." We are not pro circumcision; we are pro parents choice. Second, even if Musick's statement were accurate (it is not), the behavior would not constitute harassment - Loewen's false characterization. (The only people who committed harassment, ironically, were the intactivists themselves.)
We had several interactions with intactivist protesters, some civil, others heated. On Saturday, November 3 while passing two women I asked them whether they were pro choice or pro life. One of them said that she was pro life, and I replied that at least her position was consistent. At no point during the weekend did my friend ask any protester about abortion.
Also on Saturday, intactivists Daniel Rold and Dominic Barba used a megaphone to yell at the doctors who were taking an elevated pedestrian bridge between the convention hotel and the Orange County Convention Center. I engaged Rold, and the two of us went face-to-face yelling at each other.
Our Circumcision Choice team had spoken with police officers in San Francisco in 2016, in Chicago in 2017, and in Austin in April, 2018. But we had no verbal interaction with law enforcement in Orlando. No member of law enforcement spoke to either of us. Early on Sunday morning, a police officer confronted Kenneth Hopkins about stickers that were found on public property. Hopkins lied to the officer, claiming that his group wasn't affiliated with the sticker vandals. (To my knowledge the only person threatened with detainment at a protest is Hopkins,who was arrested in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2014 for interfering with the police.)
The incident in question would have happened on the morning of Sunday, November 4. We observed about a half dozen protesters harassing the pediatricians, yelling derogatory and vile and derogatory invectives, accusing them of committing heinous crimes against children. At this point I had enough. I walked to a point about thirty feet away, took out my megaphone, and defended the doctors.
I told the protesters that they should be ashamed for their vile attacks on the heroic doctors. I said that intactivists are vicious and cruel, quoting a series of vicious posts and comments that they've made against parents and happily circumcised men. I quoted statements in which they admitted that intactivism causes them to suffer symptoms of mental illness. Unable to shout over me, the intactivists stopped bullying the doctors and tried to challenge me.
At one point a police officer who was watching the confrontation walked in my direction. As he approached, I paused, lowered the megaphone, and nodded; he nodded back as he passed me. My fellow counter-protester watched me while staying at his spot halfway down the street. He did not approach the women, and no law enforcement officer spoke with him. We left right when we had planned to leave. Since the afternoon weather forecast called for rain, we ended our counter-protest during the eleven o'clock hour. We left to surprise another friend, who was working in a town an hour away, for lunch.
I don't know why intactivists continue to make up such absurd and bizarre stories. If their cause were just, they would simply tell the truth. Instead they embellish their accounts with lies and distortions. Perhaps they realize that they cannot intimidate us, and they cannot silence us. Perhaps they feel that their only recourse is to discredit us through these smears.
Their defamatory statements reaffirm for me that we're on the right track. Circumcision Choice presents the facts about circumcision and the truth about the intactivist movement. While intactivists may hate this website and our Facebook page, they cannot refute one statement in our posts. Our friends and followers trust us to provide information that is factual and accurate. We value your trust, and we'll continue to report the truth.
UPDATE - THE OTHER WOMAN TRIES TO CONFIRM MUSICK'S STORY
On April 26 Courtney Shin visited our Facebook page to confirm Musick's story. According to Shin, my friend approached her while I was nearby. Upon questioning by a Circumcision Choice admin, she admitted that she might have been mistaken about the distance between my friend and me. But she insisted that he was alone when he approached her. And then after the police office warned him, he walked over to me, and we left together.
Unfortunately for her credibility, one member of the intactivist movement values honesty and integrity. We received a screenshot of a post on Shin's page in which she clearly referred to both of us. She said, "You guys did come up to us ... and you guys walked away." [emphasis added] Her post directly contradicts her attempt to clarify that "just one, i clearly said he not them. Andrew was standing by, But he was still close by. Which is why I said ... He approached us, then he walked over to Andrew and they walked away." [sic] [emphasis added]
The bottom line: If intactivists just told the truth, they wouldn't have to worry about contradicting themselves.