In the years since, Pluckrose has become a kind of dark-web Sheryl Sandberg, helping people lean out of diversity training and pronoun sharing. She recently launched Counterweight, a support group for people who feel that they are being pressured to endorse what she calls “critical social justice.” Pluckrose told me that she hears from three or four people a day who have “been disciplined, or [are] being forced to affirm beliefs that they don’t have about race or about gender.” About two-thirds of Counterweight’s clients are Americans, and the rest are a mix of Brits, Canadians, and Australians.
Mostly, Pluckrose said, Counterweight offers moral support and help with “strategic negotiation” with employers. The group might advise a client to, for example, affirm their opposition to racism and then proceed gingerly when asking to opt out of a process they disagree with. It took one client eight months of careful negotiation to get her company’s diversity training made voluntary, for example. Sometimes, Counterweight writes letters of support to the employers of people who feel they’ve been wronged by wokeness. The service is free and runs on donations, as well as revenue from forthcoming books. (Counterweight is creating a guide for workers tentatively titled So You’re About to Be Canceled.) Pluckrose told me that she doesn’t take a salary.