Is Faith Rooted in Fiction?

The Mythinformation Conference showcases the many different formats there are to engage in the secular community. From deep academic dives into science, philosophy and history, to religious debates, to comedic and musical acts, to feature films and documentaries - everyone is sure to find something they enjoy in this full-day conference. 

 

Saturday, september 30, 2017
10 am-9 pm

Pabst Theatre
144 E. Wells St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

This year's conference features social influencers from popular YouTube and podcasts shows and secular activists, another Buzzed Belief debate and the premiere of feature film "Batman & Jesus."

Untitled design (3).png

speakers & presentations - 10 am-1:30 pm

Our day begins with inspiration, education and entertainment from YouTube and social media personalities Armoured Skeptic and Shoe0nHead and scientist/activist Melissa Chen from the Global Secular Humanist Movement. Thomas Smith will be interviewing Sargon of Akkad live on stage to take us through the noon hour. They will be discussing cultural-political topics on which they disagree.  

 
Untitled design (6).jpg

buzzed belief debate - 2:30-4:45 pm

The third in the Buzzed Belief Debate Series takes on the topic of "The Future of Islam in the Age of Trump." Our debaters include heavy-hitter on the topic of Islamic reform, Asra Nomani, and secular Iraqi-born human rights activist Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar. Moderator Matt Dillahunty will dig to find common ground between this label-rich duo: A liberal, Muslim, feminist, immigrant Trump-voter, and an atheist, refugee, activist from Al-Queda's hit list. 

 
ron.jpg

special guest speaker: Ron Miscavige - 6:00-6:30 pm

Ron Miscavige is the father of David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology. Ron spent 42 years living under the Church's grasp, but escaped from their international headquarters in California on March 25, 2012. Ron has an amazing story to share surrounding the years he spent in Scientology and the terrible experiences of being followed, harassed and disconnected from his family in the aftermath of his escape. 

 
maxresdefault.jpg

movie premiere - 6:30-9 pm

Attend the premiere of the feature film, "Batman & Jesus." By tracing the origins of Jewish and Christian mythology and using the contemporary example of Batman, among other pop culture heroes, this comedic documentary film will illustrate the evolution of mythology over time, as well as demonstrate how canonizing the gospels of the Bible would have been comparable to trying to canonize the Batman series today.

 
alf3254ex.92442_md (1).jpg

vip after party with Speakers and special guests - 9 pm-midnight

Keep the discussion and debate going and mingle with the day's speakers and special guests at our after-party at Aloft Hotel. Limited number of tickets available. 

Schedule of Events

10 AM - Doors Open 

10:20 AM - Welcome, Dmitry K, Conference Host & Mythinformed Podcast Host

10:30-11:20 AM - Armoured Skeptic & Shoe0nHead "Identity Politics, Online Discourse & Echo Chambers"

11:30 AM-12:20 PM - Melissa Chen "The Erosion of Enlightenment Values and Why We Need to Safeguard Them"

12:30-1:20 PM -  Sargon of Akkad and Thomas Smith

1:30-2:30 PM - Afternoon Break (see nearby dining options)

2:30-4:45 PM - Buzzed Belief Debate - Faisal Saeed Al Mutar & Asra Nomani

4:45-6:00 PM - Dinner Break (see nearby dining options

6:00-6:30 PM - Ron Miscavige

6:30-9 PM - "Batman & Jesus" Feature Film Premiere - Panel Discussion with Special Guests

9 PM-Midnight - VIP After-Party with Special Guests and Speakers. 

↑ Back to top

The Speakers

The Armoured skeptic & Shoe0nHead

shoe on head.jpg
 

SKEPTICISM in the Social Media age

Armoured Skeptic is a well-known Canadian atheist YouTube content creator who focuses mainly on religion and often debunks many statements made by religious fundamentalists and apologists.

June, also known as "Shoe0nhead", is a popular YouTube content creator from New York who enjoys ranting about the bizarre world we live in today. 

Melissa Chen

MelissaChen_03.jpg

The EROSIon of enlightenment values and why we need to safeguard them

Melissa Chen was born in Singapore and immigrated to the US, where she studied Computational Biology at Boston University and then at MIT. She worked at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and has published papers on lymphoma and infectious disease. She left the science world behind after a stint in a biotech firm and is currently the managing director of Ideas Beyond Borders, an New York-based organization founded by Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, whose mission is to promote free expression and human rights around the world to counter extremist narratives and authoritarian institutions. 

 

 

Sargon of Akkad & 
thomas smith

 

thomas smith interviews Sargon of Akkad

Carl "Sargon of Akkad" Benjamin is a popular independent Vlogger with nearly 600,000 subscribers on YouTube. A skeptic of ideologies both theological and political, his channel is dedicated to rational arguments backed by evidence.  Sometimes a polemicist, at other times soft spoken, Sargon of Akkad has created a considerable amount of content regarding skeptical thought.

Thomas Smith is the host of the popular podcast Serious Inquiries Only where he interviews various members of the atheist and skeptic communities. He's also a co-host on the podcast Opening Arguments and Comedy Shoe Shine, and former host of Thomas and The Bible. 

They will be discussing cultural-political topics on which they disagree. Thomas Smith will be interviewing Sargon of Akkad onstage in what is sure to be an entertaining hour with two individuals who could not be on more opposite ends of many belief standpoints.

 

Ron Miscavige

ron.jpg

ruthless: scientology, My son, david miscavige, and me

Ron Miscavige is the father of David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology. Ron spent 42 years living under the Church's grasp, but escaped from their international headquarters in California on March 25, 2012. After his escape, the Church's "disconnection policy" was activated, wherein family members and friends sever all ties. His son David allegedly hired private investigators to follow him and file reports each day about his activities: where he went, what he did, and who he spoke. Ron has an amazing story to share surrounding the 42 years he spent in Scientology and the terrible experiences of being followed, harassed and disconnected from his family in the aftermath. He is raising his voice in hopes that families like his are not drawn in and later torn apart because of differing beliefs. 

 

Buzzed Belief Debate:
The Future of Islam in the Age of Trump

This year's "Buzzed Belief Debate" will feature Asra Nomani, presenting from a religious position, and Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, presenting from a secular perspective. Their debate, focused on The Future of Islam in the Age of Trump, will be moderated by public speaker and internet personality, Matt Dillahunty. What common values do we share? What points are divisive? We promote no agenda other than entertainment, education and a respectful tolerance of opposing viewpoints. Our debate format is as follows:

Part I: Opposing Views
15-minute opening presentations. One from each debater.

Break
10 minutes.

Part II: A Friendly Discussion
Moderated by Dillahunty, Al-Mutar and Nomani will engage in a conversation - addressing one another's points from the opening presentations, debating openly and freely. 1 hour.

Part III: Audience Participation
Q&A from the audience - live and online. 50 minutes.

 

about The debaters

pic 2.jpeg

Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is an Iraqi-born human-rights activist and writer who received asylum in the United States in 2013. He is the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM) and Secular Post and works with Movements.org to assist dissidents in closed societies worldwide. 

During his time growing up in Iraq, Al-Mutar's writings and secular western lifestyle made him a target for threats and attacks by al-Qaeda. He has survived three attempted kidnappings and has received death threats from the al-Qaeda-tied Mahdi Army. Al-Mutar lost his eldest brothers, his cousin and best friend in the civil war in Iraq due to Al Qaeda's sectarian violence. 

A writer/blogger at the The Huffington Post and a columnist for Free Inquiry Magazine, Al-Mutar has been tapped into for commentary by everything from The New York Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post to BBC World News. He has spoken in front of crowds at MIT, Google, Harvard and Columbia University. 

Al-Mutar maintains that the only way to ensure and maintain religious freedom is to have a separation of Mosque and State or Church and State. 

asra_nomani_portrait_00138_sq-7c0df548d2e2e642c0fb618bd0401d547a159de9-s6-c30.jpg

Asra Nomani

Asra Nomani is a journalist who taught journalism at Georgetown University and is also co-director of the Pearl Project, an investigative-reporting project looking into the kidnapping and murder of her former colleague, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The project was published by the Center for Public Integrity.

Nomani is the author of two books, Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam and Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love. She is also the author of numerous articles, including "Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Bedroom", the "Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosque."

She was a friend and colleague of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was staying with her in Karachi with his wife when he was abducted and later murdered by Islamic militants in January 2002.

Nomani has been hailed by the New York Times for her "Rosa Parks-style activism" standing up for women's rights to pray and lead prayer in typically male-only or male-led environments. 

Attend the premiere event

"Batman & Jesus" Movie Premiere

attend the premiere & meet the stars

Join us for the premiere of feature film "Batman & Jesus," a film that explores the evidence and, in some cases, lack of evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth using comedic examples in pop culture to draw comparisons. The film includes research and interviews from some of the field's top scholars, authors, historians and secular voices including Paul Provenza, Robert Price, Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Allie Jackson and the Wu-Tang Clan's Killah Priest

Batman & Jesus is the third feature-length film and first feature-length documentary film from King's Tower Productions and writer/director Jozef K. Richards, made in association with Pink Lady Media and Mythicist Milwaukee. 

 
 
 
Jozef K. Richards Filmmaker

Jozef K. Richards
Filmmaker

Ron Miscavige Father of David Miscavige, Church of Scientology leader

Ron Miscavige
Father of David Miscavige, Church of Scientology leader

Matt Dillahunty* Public speaker and Internet personality *Debate Moderator

Matt Dillahunty*
Public speaker and Internet personality
*Debate Moderator

VIP After Party

Join the after party! Mingle and connect with the day's speakers, special guests, sponsors and other guests at Aloft Hotel's Riverwalk Ballroom - just five blocks from the Pabst Theatre. Enjoy some late-night pizza, music and a cash bar (1 drink ticket included). Limited number of tickets available. 

Tickets are available online in advance, with a limited number available at the door.

Proceeds from the After Party provide essential support for Mythicist Milwaukee programming and events. Get your tickets today. 

 
The after party was great. The atmosphere was open, energetic & a lot of fun.

I liked the opportunity to hang out with fellow atheists. It was great to meet Dan Barker and Richard Carrier and to network with the Atheist Engineer.
— Mythcon 3 After Party Guests

 

Aloft hotel

Riverwalk Ballroom
1230 Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212

 

exhibitors

Eventbrite - Mythinformation Conference IV: Featuring Batman and Jesus Movie Premiere

Exhibitors get access to our attendees throughout the full day conference. It's a great chance to sell your goods, promote your organization and connect with a secular audience. Exhibitors enjoy our mid-size atmosphere (MythCon 3 had about 280 attendees) that gives them the chance to have more in-depth conversations with attendees. Your $300 exhibitor sponsorship comes with:

  • 6-foot table and chairs
  • One VIP ticket to the full-day conference and after-party
  • Logo on event program and promotional material
  • Mention on the Mythicist Milwaukee Show podcast event commercials & social media

conference sponsor

Conference sponsors are helping to achieve Mythicist Milwaukee's mission of providing our communities with the knowledge they need to help fight for the rights of those suffering from religious oppression. Your sponsorship helps to bring in speakers across the secular spectrum and provide attendees with a day filled with entertainment and education. We work directly with our sponsors to work out a package that is mutually beneficial.

To learn more about conference sponsorship opportunities and benefits, contact us at mythicistmilwaukee@gmail.com. 

 


vip party sponsor

MM's after party gives participants a chance to have in-depth conversations with the people who have been a major influence in the way they view the world. Sometimes, their writing, scholarship and artistry is what got people through a dark or lonely time in their lives. Being in a room filled with like-minded individuals is what some find the most beneficial part of the whole conference. 

Contact us at mythicistmilwaukee@gmail.com to become a VIP event sponsor and learn about the benefits. 


debate sponsor

 
 

Photographer

The Buzzed Belief debate series is generously sponsored by philanthropist Mario Quadracci. The goal is to learn and to entertain. To promote understanding between those who are believers and those who are not. Learn more about the Buzzed Belief series

 

 

 

 

 

Hilary Frank is a professional photographer from Milwaukee. You can view her portfolio here. 

alf3254ex.92442_md.jpg

hotel options

The conference is located in Downtown Milwaukee - with numerous hotel options within walking distance of the Pabst Theatre. Mythinformation Conference guests can get a special rate of $169/night on rooms at the Aloft Hotel just six blocks away (also the location of the VIP after party). To book, call 414-226-0122, press 1 for reservations, and mention the “Mythicist Milwaukee Room Block” or book online at the link below.

visiting milwaukee

Fall is one of the best times to visit Milwaukee - with brewery tours and lake cruises still in full swing. Milwaukee has a vibrant arts & culture scene and enough going on to make a full weekend event out of your trip. General Mitchel International Airport is just 15 minutes south of the city, and an Amtrak station is just minutes from our event location. 

lorispicksbestofdining2016_fullsize_story1.jpg

dining options

Beverages will be sold at the event venue. You are welcome to bring food into the venue. Casual and fine dining options are available within walking distance of the Pabst Theater. Nearby options include:

14853240_1163442643748539_6586087193819320378_o.jpg

Volunteer for the Event

This conference is 100% volunteer-run, which means, we could use help from anyone willing to pitch in! Sign up below and we'll reach out to match you with a task best-fitted for your talents!

Name *
Name