Association with Bad Actors

There has been a persistent effort to link me (Abd) to various alleged Bad Actors. I’ll address some of these here.

As a general rule, reporting fact is not “defending” something that the fact might support. “Defending” is an intention, generally implying that what it might support is “okay” or “good” or “tolerable.” That implication is not in the fact.

Further, that counterfactual arguments are used to support some proposition is not evidence that the proposition is “wrong.” However, our education has generally not prepared us to understand this. We are reactive and anything that might seem to support something we dislike or hate can be seen as the enemy.

But if fact seems to support BAD, we are not thinking clearly and it is possible that our activities to prevent what we hate will be ineffective, possible that they can do more harm than good. My stand is that the truth is an unqualified good, without exception, but “truth” does not include judgments or opinions — and a “stand” is a declared position, not a “fact.”

Nathan Larson

Nathan Larson is a natural troll. That is, he has a strongly developed habit of saying what will offend others, and especially if he can say something he knows is true. This then feeds his sense of himself as a martyr. Nowhere was this more obvious than what he has written about pedophilia. He is thus, often, a poster boy for “on-line pedophile,” and that he is a pedophile is assumed, from his writings. An example:

He collected a set of images of children in sexually suggestive poses and posted links to it. This was called “child pornography,” because people will readily make assumptions about someone who would collect such. However, he created that collection not for himself, but to make a point about child porn. None of the images were legally child porn. Yet people seeing it claimed they were reporting him to the FBI or other authorities. (And that is actually what should be done with genuinely illegal content: report to authorities, don’t rant and rave about it on the internet! But don’t waste their time with bullshit.)

I have known Larson since he appeared and interacted with me on Wikipedia in 2007. As can be seen, he nominated me for adminship, which failed for obvious reasons, lack of experience, and he wrote me that his purpose was to show me how Wikipedia worked. (He did that very efficiently.) He dropped that account and created another — legitimately. The account was in good standing, and nominated me again in 2008. This time I did far better and the sequence showed a very good relationship with the community, it’s fun reading that now.

However, Larson began behaving quite erratically, got himself blocked, and generally riled people up, which is what he does. He went on to threaten the life of the U.S. President, and clearly the threat was not real, but was intended to make a political point, which he is still making.

As a result of the threat — and he insisted on what would cause this outcome — he was convicted and served a lengthy sentence in federal prison.

I’ve read his official psychological reports. He was not considered a danger to others, nor an immediate suicide risk (though he has certainly investigated suicide). He was also considered intelligent, IQ tested at over the 98th percentile. I agree, I’d estimate that, roughly.

While he was in prison, he wrote me and I sent him a game board. I was a chaplain at San Quentin State Prison in California and know how much little things like that can mean to a person. However, Nathan was provocative, even with friends, and there were times when I demanded he no stop contacting me. I supported the disallowance of his writing about suicide on Wikiversity, because of the disruption involved, unless ethical guidelines were developed; so he edited on Wikibooks instead. He was, by that time, under heavy attack as allegedly a “pedophile,” and this was probably the origin of his WikiMedia Foundation global ban in 2015. Before then, I was also attacked over allegedly supporting him.

(That block by a rogue sysop created two block log entries for me. This is a demonstration of how the later usage of the mere length of the block log, as if proof of disruption, was misleading. Long story. I confronted abuse and sometimes sysops don’t like being confronted.)

I see that I covered the situation with Leucosticte and pedophilia on meta, in 2015. Previously, that rogue custodian filed an RfC on meta over me. (Completely clueless. In over his head.) Much of it was oversighted, and what I recall is pedophilia accusations against Leucosticte, linked to me for allegedly defending him (but he was also unblocked by a ‘crat on Wikiversity, and was still unblocked when WMF banned.)  From the user’s talk page on meta:

I have removed and oversighted your comments from an RFC. Making such commentary is akin to an accusation, and one that I doubt that you have exact evidence to support. If you did have evidence, then it would be referred to police. If you have specific concerns in that manner, then you should email stewards(_AT_)wikimedia.org  — billinghurst sDrewth 08:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

This is generally true. Making allegations of pedophilia in public is rarely appropriate. The term is used with radical imprecision in public speech, especially on the internet, where one can hide behind anonymity.

What Leucosticte has done is to take a strong libertarian stance, not terribly uncommon, but what is unusual is his eagerness to stand for the rights of pedophiles (or children, for that matter, do they have a right to consent to sex or to engage in sexual activity . . . and how is this defined?), by offering himself as a sacrifice. He became sensitive to pedophilia as an inmate in federal prison, interviewing pedophiles and later telling their story. But he is not a pedophile. His sexual preferences are normal, not specially-young women. Since all this came down, he married twice, and the “bad news” mentioned on meta was probably the suicide of his wife, who had left him, bore a child, and then killed herself. He married again and I know little about that marriage, except it ended. He was denied custody of the child in Colorado, probably because of all the pedophilia accusations which, of course have “evidentiary support,” he clearly intended to make it look like he could be a pedophile.

But reality is reality. His stance on pedophilia would certainly get him banned on WMF wikis, if expressed there, even though there is no actual risk to children from him. (But it can be argued that the political issues justify a ban, perhaps a real pedophile would be encouraged to offend, though there is no evidence for that).

But pointing out he is not a pedophile and other aspects of the truth about him is not “enabling a pedophile.” He has never been formally accused of relevant offenses (including possession of child porn, which would not, itself, prove pedophilia, at least not the paraphilia. Sexual abuse of legal children is mostly not from pedophiles, which the pedo-vigilantes miss.) 

Nathan has continued to troll, including writing provocative comments on the CFC wiki (which is an open wiki, though assistance is needed to create accounts). I’ve removed some of the material, but have left what was harmless. Blocking mobile IP is not terribly useful, and I prefer to hope that he wakes up and realizes the damage he’s done to himself, through his knee-jerk defiance of social convention, and to some extent, to others.

I’m a parent of five biological children and two adopted, and to adopt twice in the U.S., I was required to go through not only CORI checks, but extensive vetting.

I would not for a moment tolerate risk to children. Supporting factual information about pedophilia and child sexual abuse, including information about the definition of “child,” which has varied dramatically over the centuries and from culture to culture, not only does not increase risk to children, it can reduce it.

Hysteria over alleged pedophilia does not protect children, abuse mostly comes from relatives, not strangers.

Fact is fact and it does not dictate policy, though we can hope that policy is informed by fact. Too often, it is not.

Emil Kirkegaard

Kirkegaard is not nearly the troll that Larson is, but has opined on topics without an awareness of public reactivity. I only became aware of Kirkegaard through being attacked by the same set of trolls, the Smith brothers.

So I wrote about some of the allegations. Much of what has been written about Kirkegaard is supported by the evidence only if it is read out-of-context. He is not a “child-rape apologist,” much less a pedophile, or at least there is no evidence for the latter claim at all. He did not assert that child rape was acceptable or proper in any way.

He seems to be, on balance, a hereditarian, so he would think that sexual preference is dominated by heredity (which is likely false, in my opinion). So he imagined what could he do if he were a pedophile? And he thought of having sex with a child while the child was asleep. Perhaps drugged. And then he rejected the idea and suggested that perhaps castration was the only (ethical) solution.

It was all rather dumb, my opinion, because sexual preference does not dictate actual behavior, even if it exists as a fixed thing (which it does not). But pointing out fact was considered, again, by trolls, “defending a child rape apologist.”

And this is the reality. Trolls will attack and will find whatever excuse they can to “justify” it.

Hence, “enabling pedophiles.” Sounds bad. Enabling them to what? Presumably, providing them access to children, but there is not the remotest evidence of this, not even what passes for evidence among trolls.

Or perhaps arguing for free speech for pedophiles. That’s a more reasonable issue, but where do we stand on freedom of speech? Inciting to violence, not good. Inciting to illegal behavior, not so obvious (hey, pass that joint!), but at least arguable. But I did the opposite. I supported the unblock of Leucosticte on Wikiversity only if he agreed to follow not only policy, but guidance from custodians. And he did follow that and he was not globally banned based on any clear on-wiki behavior, but almost certainly as a result of an extensive campaign against him elsewhere, accompanied by multiple complaints to Trust & Safety. I did not attempt to have that lifted, because he was going to create disruption without creating redeeming value commensurate with it, nor did I encourage him to sock.

As mentioned, I was a prison chaplain. I was a friend to convicted murderers. I did not ask what they had done (and that’s considered a rude question in prison.) But I knew in some cases. They were human beings, not all that different from others. My job as a chaplain was to support human beings, and to enable them to engage in lawful activity. So was I “enabling murderers”?

One of the signs of our collective insanity is that we don’t have the same hysterical response to actual killing as we do to violation of age of consent laws, not that we should have a hysterical response to either.

Genuine sexual abuse of children is indeed a serious crime — or should be, where it is not. (Age of consent varies wildly around the world). However, suppose an abuser can avoid prosecution for sexual abuse by killing the victim?  Is it really worse than killing? So far, no, not at law, but the pedo-vigilantes have actually encouraged the murder of accused pedophiles, and I saw threats of violence against Larson.

Larson was not a pedophile and had committed no related crime, nothing close to a capital offense.

Is that “enabling a pedophile”? Enabling what? I’ve also written that Larson is responsible for the reaction he created to himself.

I did not “enable” him to make himself look like a pedophile, just as I did not “enable” him to threaten the President. He did that entirely on his own, and still does the like of it, AFAIK. 

If there are any questions about this, comments are open here. Trolls will be roasted for snacks. Even though they taste awful, they are so full of –it, sometimes you gotta eat.

Reaction to this

No surprise, there was immediate reaction to this. All of this is actually off-topic where placed on Reddit, being only peripherally related to Wikipedia, and Redditors are irritated — and tend to blame me “equally.” This long comment was posted on the Larson issue, response interspersed.

Nathan Larson is a self-admitted pedophile. He finds children attractive and wants to legalize child porn yet nowhere have you ever criticized his sexual preferences or come out against him.

This is dense with deception. First of all, is Larson a “self-admitted pedophile”? He has certainly been  called that, and I have pointed out that he is responsible for the impressions he created. I don’t “come out against” people, but do specifically criticize ideas based on other than fact. Look at these:

“He finds children attractive.” That refers to a response of instinctive systems. Normal humans find children attractive, though the troll here considers them “disgusting.” Sexual response, i.e., “sexually attractive,” is contextual. The context can be imaginary. The entire topic is Mirkin Phase 1, which means it cannot be normally discussed. (Mirkin’s work was also misrepresented. It was not advocating that pedophilia would or should be advanced to Phase 2 or 3.) So it’s dangerous to write about this at all. (The Missouri legislature removed $50,000 from his University’s budget over that paper. The University stood behind him. Academic freedom, you know. It’s a thing, haters hate.)

However, research has been done, there are known facts, and when they are reported in social media, those reporting it are often called “pedophile defenders” or “pedophile activists.” Even though fact does not advocate or defend, in itself. But people imagine it does.

So without going into great detail, finding some “children” [definition?] “sexually attractive” would not be outside of normal range, depending on context. An overwhelming attraction, leading to illegal behavior, would not be normal, though, given the news, not terribly uncommon.

Larson has never acknowledged such an attraction, and has shown no evidence of it, only of being willing to imagine hypothetical situations where he might — or might not — actually be functionally attracted, which was translated by some journalists to “proudly admitted.” They are mind-readers, and not doing a good job of it.

If he was actually a “self-admitted pedophile,” he was lying. His actual sexual preference is for mature females “a bit on the heavy side” (what used to be called “voluptuous” — not generally a prepubescent trait) — or something like that.

Your only single criticism of him is that he is a “troll” on your blog post, nowhere have you condemned his pedophilia.

That’s easy. I have not condemned it because he is not a pedophile, nor would, in fact, I “condemn” a pedophile, but rather would encourage such a person to be what is called a “virtuous pedophile,” i.e., one who does not act on the preference. Shaming people for their instinctive responses does not serve to suppress behaviors. Rather, the behaviors will likely be repressed, not actually handled, and then if an opportunity presents, the addict will act out, in spite of risks. Sexual addition is extremely powerful if not addressed. Witness famous people who trashed their careers over it, including a certain President of the United States. Or other politicians.

He is nasty piece of work and a threat to children.

What children? His life does not bring him into regular contact with children. He has no history of grooming or luring children into meeting with him, children by any definition. He’s famous and well-known as a “pedophile,” even though it’s not true, and that’s what shot down his attempt to take custody in Colorado of his daughter. The fact is that his being willing to express what he has expressed created adequate suspicion that, as he has written, no social worker would recommend he be allowed to be alone with children. Nor would I recommend that, though not necessarily for the same reason. I have clearly held him responsible for the situation he found himself in. Yet that is not enough for the trolls. I’m supposed to spit on his picture or something.

I’m not going to do that, and I will do what I have always done, express what I know and believe, and I believe, from extensive experience with him over more than a decade, he is not a pedophile, yet that he has caused reasonable suspicion to be raised. And that’s it.

Instead you write a blog post claiming he is not a pedophile or a threat to children.

Right. That’s my opinion, given the conditions, he is not a threat to children. To become a threat, he would need to be exposed to risk, and he is not. My protection of my own children was to make sure that they knew to communicate if anything seems off to them. Given that, I was able to allow her to walk downtown Northampton on her own. She knew street people and I asked her “what if” questions, and she showed that she knew exactly what to do if there was a problem. She was learning to handle herself as a adult, which I considered appropriate for her age.

On the precautionary principle, I would not allow Larson to be alone with children for an extended time, nor with children who do not know how to communicate. But that could be true for many, many adults not considered “a threat to children.” Most child abuse comes from people not suspected, because underneath child abuse are responses that are relatively common, therefore “within the norm” — or at least close to it.

Bizarre. You have done the same with many others. For example you defended Mikemikev on your blog a neo-nazi who said he finds 14 year school old girls attractive, which you said on your blog is “normal”. There seems to be a pattern here with you and these people.

He is allegedly a “neo-Nazi.” I find his political opinions and behavior toxic. This has to do with what? He has been accused of things that he did not do, and he’s been impersonated, for example. His comment about attraction (It was actually “15-year old,” didn’t mention “school,” and he denied he would pursue that attraction, because “integrity,” nor did he express it as a preference). This is, indeed, normal male sexuality and definitely not pedophilia. An actual pedophile would not write like that. 

The “pattern” is a response to trolls, to document underlying realities. It is not enough for these trolls to attack political position, they must express extreme hatred for their targets, and attempt to deny them their humanity.

I don’t think you should be discussing this topic because you obviously have dodgy views on the topic and that is why you have been criticized as an apologist for these people.

My “dodgy views” are those of experts. I do not take moral guidance (“should”) from anonymous haters and trolls.

In your blog post you say Nathan Larson is intelligent and not a threat to anyone. That is a very dangerous and deranged thing to claim. You claim association with this man since 2007. This should be reported.

Intelligence, I think this troll knows, is a test result, not a “judgment,” and I gave a number based on independent tests (from the prison system).

Nobody has been identified as at risk. However, many times, people have claimed they were reporting Larson to the FBI, wasting the time of those authorities.

I fully support mandated reporting laws, and know that any credible reports (with the standard for “credible” being quite low) are actually investigated, which is a good thing. But there are frivolous reports, which spend the budget of agencies on useless wheel-spinning.

Not very long ago, I had a beautiful teenage girl living with me, and I was investigated up and down. No problems, and she is now a healthy 18-year old, finishing high school, supporting herself. The goal of a parent.

“He is also a pedophile, as he admitted to HuffPost on Thursday”.

I looked at the “admission.” It was not an admission, it was a vague statement designed to allow suspicion, and it was totally consistent with what I know about Larson.

Yet in your blog post defending Larson you say he “is not a pedophile” and his sexual preferences are “normal”.

That is, he prefers mature women, and has no recent history of pursuing underage women. Those are his sexual preferences, and they are normal. They were complicated by some of his political views, but given that he trolls there as well, I’m not sure what his real political views are. 

You are a crazy old man. Time to give up the game Lomax, you have an odd history of defending utter deranged deviants going back years. You were banned on wikipediocracy for defending these types of “people”.

Well, not exactly. It was for pointing out that some accusations were based on thin or misleading evidence. And being banned on Wikipediocracy meant that I no longer had any responsibility for what was being said there. Good news for me, then. I could have wasted a lot more time.

And I’m not “defending Larson,” who is reasonably termed a “deranged deviant.” Which doesn’t make him wrong about everything, nor does it take him out of humanity, he is a real person, with a real name, responsible for what he says and does. Unlike these trolls, who do nothing but hate. I haven’t seen him as a hater, ever. He dislikes hypocrisy, but doesn’t go after targets and harass them, unlike these trolls. To my mind, hatred is a far more dangerous enemy of humanity than Larson with his trolling, which is annoying at most. It could also be argued that his web site activities have actually encouraged real sexual offenders, which would be reprehensible, but that’s quite speculative.

Thanks for the Wikipedia link though on your blog, it appears others in the past have criticized you for defending Larson.

I saw nothing like that. Larson was criticized, but I did not “defend” him and was not so criticized. As I recall, I did suggest that one block was excessive — and that block was lifted, and the admin involved became a personal friend.

You need mental help. It is just more detail for the FBI report that has been filed against you. You are unethical and a dangerous individual and there are people out there like myself who are going to make others aware of this fact. Stop defending Larson and others like him.

STFU, asshole, you are the real piece of shit here, hiding behind anonymity, attacking a real person. I haven’t talked with the FBI for many years, it might be fun. But I doubt they will contact me based on a report from this idiot. Nothing that has been alleged about me is even remotely illegal.

(By the way, I don’t know anyone “like Larson.” He’s more or less one-of-a-kind.)

And then came this:

Mr Lomax,

Why is this troll using WikiInAction to personally address me? This is not actual communication or community discussion, it is clearly and blatantly trolling. 

On your website coldfusioncommunity you have written several articles defending Mikemikev (aka Michael Coombs) a neo-Nazi.

No citation (which is normal for this troll, he’s been doing this for years)

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michael_Coombs#Paedophilia

I admitted I’m attracted to 15 year olds. I have something called integrity.” – Mikemikev (Defended by Abd)

”I think most men are attracted to underage girls. Did you ever have sexual thoughts about 15 year old for example.” – Mikemikev (Defended by Abd)

“(Defended by Abd)” is not from RatWiki, and that article was written by Oliver D. Smith, a long-term enemy of Mikemikev, with, as usual for ODS, quotes divorced from context and presented with implications that are highly misleading. Most of the Rats are immature and know little about normal sexuality. None of that was remotely notable or on-mission for RatWiki. And so? Those comments definitely do not establish “Paedophilia” as the headline there claims. They do not even establish ephebophilia, because they do not address preference, only “attraction,” and, yes, it is attraction to young women that is normal. And make them young enough, depending on context, illegal to act on. See the simple.wikipedia article on ephebophilia. It is simple fact that what Coombs is quoted as having said does not establish ephebophilia, much less pedophilia. And the trolls will attack simple fact. Such is the way of haters.

On your website coldfusioncommunity you have defended Mikemikev and said you believe his comments are ‘normal’ for any man and not paedophilic. This is despite the fact the age of consent is above 15 in the US and 15 year olds are still children. Normal men are not attracted to 15 year old children.

I don’t say that they are “normal for any man.” I said that they represented normal male sexuality, which means that they are within the norm. Within my experience, they would be common, and “age of consent” is about law and legality, and says nothing about normal biology. Lots of things are attractive that are also illegal. This whole issue has been created by regarding biologically mature people as “children,” which is quite modern. It is a social choice that has been made. I have not argued against this choice, but do point out that it causes some level of harm. Does whether some attraction — which is not a matter of choice, not at first blush, anyway — become “vile” depending on what laws have been passed? Attractions are not “vile,” they are simply impulses, and if there is something vile, it would be acting on them without regard for effect on self and others.

Accusing people of being “vile,” as if this were objective fact, and as if any contrary expression is also “vile,” is vile in my book.

Bottom line, Larson is, in my opinion, a step above these trolls, because he is willing to openly advocate what he believes (or what he wishes to defend), and to take the heat, whereas these trolls hide, creating new accounts profusely.

If their position is honorable, why hide? How many people have been murdered because they criticized Larson? No, they lie, and they know it, and if they fear something, it would be a libel suit.

On your recent blog post “association with bad actors” you do not mention Mikemikev. Maybe you should explain why you are defending this person as well? Can you also explain why you spend your time on the internet defending vile people?

“Vile people” is the language of haters. I wrote about Larson because claims had been made about him and I. I’m not actually “defending” anyone, except from false claims, which have nothing to do with their other views or activities. I have full trust in reality and also trust that if my opinions are unfounded, I will find out.

I will not abandon them because of cowards hiding behind throwaway accounts or other anonymity.

“Abd has written a series of blog posts defending people such as Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, Michael Coombs and other alt-right activists.”

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax

That article was written by Darryl L. Smith, Oliver Smith’s twin brother, as retaliation for exposing DLS’s impersonation socking on Wikipedia. What could be called “defense” of Smith targets was a minute portion of what was covered in the pages (they are not “posts,” which makes a difference. Pages are studies, built content, whereas posts are opinion organized by date. Pages may be far less prominent than posts, which appear on the home page of a blog when written.)

 

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