Monday, March 14, 2016

Web exclusive: Secret messages found in press release for The Orbit atheist blog network

Logo of The Orbit, a godless blog network
Shortly after the launch of The Orbit, a network of atheist social justice blogs, some claim to have found hidden messages in their press release.
The Orbit: Atheist Social Justice Blogging Site Launches A new atheist blogging site, dedicated to working on social justice both in and out of organized atheism, launches today. Located at the-orbit.net, The Orbit is being created by bloggers from all corners of progressive atheism, including the Freethought Blogs network, the Patheos Atheist channel, Skepchick, and independent blogs 
"The word 'orbit' resonates with what we're doing, on many levels," says Greta Christina. "We love the connection with science and astronomy, with Galileo and other heretics who changed the world -- and we love the reminder that we all orbit something and none of us is the center of the universe."
The Orbit is a diverse collective of atheist, humanist, and other non-religious bloggers who are committed to social justice, both within organized atheism and outside it. "It's not just atheism that's struggling with social justice," says D. Frederick Sparks. "Organizations across the board are neglecting the needs of marginalized people, and aren't willing to look at the ways they make those people feel unwelcome. We plan to be one of the outposts for social justice atheism -- but also for social justice in every community we care about." 
Bloggers at The Orbit include Alex Gabriel, Alix Jules, Alyssa Gonzalez, Ani, Ania Bula, Aoife O'Riordan, Ashley F. Miller, Benny Vimes, Brianne Bilyeu, Chris Hall, D. Frederick Sparks, Dana Hunter, Dori Mooneyham, Greta Christina, Heina Dadabhoy, Jason Thibeault, Luxander Pond, Miri Mogilevsky, Niki M., Sincere Kirabo, Stephanie Zvan, Tony Thompson, and Zinnia Jones, with a lineup that is continuing to grow. "We're extremely proud of our team," says Tony Thompson. "They represent some of the strongest, most insightful voices in atheism." The Orbit is structured as a collective, with all bloggers having a voice in decisions and contributing to day-to-day operations. The site is launching a Kickstarter campaign to cover operating costs and pay bloggers for their work. 
The network plans to continue a friendly, collegial relationship with bloggers at Freethought Blogs, Skepchick, Patheos Atheist, and elsewhere. "There's room for lots of blog networks and media sites in organized atheism," says Luxander Pond. "This is a fast-growing community." Recent major changes at Freethought Blogs provided many Orbiters with the impetus and opportunity to rethink what they wanted from a blog network. "Ultimately," says Stephanie Zvan, "we decided to seize the opening to build something new, with a new structure and vision."
More information is available at the-orbit.net/about-us. For media inquiries, contact Ashley F. Miller at Ashleyfmiller@gmail.com.

According to two members of the Friendly Atheist network, who asked to remain anonymous, their research led them to discover hidden messages in the press release.

The first member explained the process.  “First you have to translate it into arabic, which we assume it was originally written in.  Then we used Google Translate to translate it back into English.  Then into Klingon and then back to English.  Then we read the press release loud and recorded it.  There we adjusted the levels using Pi as a guideline, because one of the bloggers mentioned Pi in her post first post.  Then we multiplied some of the levels by 42 because some of them are science fiction fans.  Then we played it backwards.  As you hear, the messages are pretty clear.  Once you know what you’re trying hear, of course.”

According to the second member, these are the messages hidden within the press release.

“PZ turned me off.”

“Here’s to my sweet Che!”

“We are unworthy of Hemant Mehta’s friendship!”

“We sold your brains for clicks.”

“Be anything but cis and straight!”

“We’re burning for Hillary.”

Both members expressed concerns about the hidden messages.

“They could make atheists burn copies of The God Delusion, practice polyamory, and have sex change operations.  This is not good.  If this isn’t true, all they have to do is reply to the e-mail we sent them.  They haven’t!  True freethinkers know what that means.”

Mehta nor members of The Orbit could be reached for comment.

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