A volunteer of the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 has criticized the culture of the paleo movement. Richard Nikoley apparently felt attacked and as a prolific blogger immediately wrote a hot tempered post in defence. (In the meantime, the blog with the criticism has been deleted due to the personal attacks and threats.) Richards defensive post focused on the few lines that went over the top.
The demographic at this event was almost all white, child bearing age, healthy, wealthy, highly educated, libertarian, racist, sexist and bigoted.I presume these lines were more provoked by a life of discrimination as by a single symposium.
It is normal to be defensive while receiving criticism. The day after, one often notices that honest feedback is actually very valuable, that it gives rare and precious insight into how one is seen from the outside. The valuable points of the criticism were (i) that she did not feel welcome, as a not wealthy person and also as an older woman. Furthermore, there were (ii) many crackpots at the symposium.
I must admit that I also sometimes find the paleo culture to be rather off putting. The reason I stay is because many good ideas from the paleo community have helped improve my health enormously. The main bloggers are friendly and many focus just on science, which is neutral, but you are often just one click away from the National Rife Association. The community has a strong focus on the health effects of nature, but I never saw a link to a nature conservation group. Paleo is inspired by the life style of hunter-gatherers, but I had to hear about Survival International, an organisation that helps indigenous peoples protect themselves, on the German radio. There is lots of talk about expensive food, supplements and gear, but not about anti-hierarchical strategies used by hunter-gather groups to keep their band egalitarian and strong. Much of the advice is focused on males and it may, for example, well be that the standard routines for intermittent fasting are too heavy for woman.