Impersonation of “Cold Fusion” supporter and “Friend of Lomax” on WMF wikis

Normally, I do not use blog posts to cover the issue of massive sock puppetry by Oliver and Darryl Smith, though there is a connection with cold fusion (which is why I even cover this in the less-visible pages here). Today I was notified by a friend of an account created on Wikipedia. He seems to have believed it was me. First, facts, then conclusions:

The WikiMedia Foundation banned me in early 2018, no reason given, and a mail to their registered agent was ignored. I did file a lawsuit over the announcement of that ban. The lawsuit names the WMF and Does 1-9. The WMF has not yet been formally notified of the suit (but anyone representing the Foundation is welcome to contact me. Perhaps the matter can be resolved with no further fuss and expense.

From Wikipedia:

Cold fusion deletion

Last year you got Abd Lomax banned and all his cold fusion research deleted on Wikiversity. Lomax has now filed a lawsuit against you and eight other John Does for his ban [2]. You had no reason to delete his cold fusion research project. Abd at the time was being funded by a cold fusion research institute who invested a lot of money into his Wikiversity project and you had it deleted because of your pseudo-skeptic viewpoint. Could you put the project back? I am not Lomax but I support his cold fusion research. He has been targeted by pseudo-skeptics. Cold Fusion 2019 (talk) 18:46, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

From Wikiversity:

Lomax has filed against you and 8 other John Doe
My collegue Abd Lomax has finally filed,_Inc_et_al Friend of Lomax (discuss • contribs) 17:46, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

I’m aware of that. –mikeu talk 17:48, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

    • 15:50, 8 March 2019 Mu301 filed a checkuser request
        • Friend of LomaxDiscussion: “Lomax has filed against you and 8 other John Doe” per No legal threats
          Reason(s): Suspected block evasion. Inappropriate notification of legal action that could reasonably be perceived as an attempt to harass and/or intimidate. mikeu talk 15:50, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
      • Confirmed with 19 other accounts, see Checkuser results for study.


The checkuser results are a red herring. Those accounts appear to be people who used a Tor node during the checkuser window. Except a few of them who created accounts in a short period of time, they are unrelated. The troll first pinged Mu301 on Wikiversity, then waited for the smoke to clear, then did the same, with more detail, to Jzg and ජපස (jps or Joshua P. Schroeder) on Wikipedia. All these were involved in the fracas over the deletion of the Cold fusion resource on Wikiversity.

I had been threatened by a sock puppet (later identified with Darryl L. Smith, very active in harassing targets) that if I did not stop documenting the Long Term Abuse of whoever was behind the impersonation socking I was confronting, he would get all of my work deleted. He did accomplish that on Wikiversity, in the process demolishing Wikiversity academic freedom, the whole sequence was contrary to policy and went against the strong traditions of that project.

The lawsuit, however, does not name anyone other than the WikiMedia Foundation. To have a claim against others, I would have to know that I was defamed by them. So part of the purpose of the lawsuit is to gain access to the records of the WMF through discovery, because the evidence they relied upon when making their decision would be relevant.

I did not create those accounts, and would not. By violating the ban, I would be clearly violating the terms of service, and part of my claim is that I did not violate the terms. That ban was immediately used for defamation in the article on me on RationalWiki (under the name Abd ul-Rahman Lomax), where very many sock puppets have been created like the two mentioned above.

This creation of abusive socks that appear to be those who are actually their targets is what got me involved with them in the first place. That’s a long story. They do this because it works. Studying Wikipedia activity, I’ve seen it again and again. Account appears, John Doe is the greatest, where there is a blocked user John Doe, and many assume that this must be John Doe! After all, who else would write that? They don’t actually ask that question!

In cases where I know what was happening, it was never John Doe!

The AN/I discussion was unaware of the prior checkuser activity:

Lawsuit talk by Cold Fusion 2019

Cold Fusion 2019 (talk · contribs · logs · edit filter log · block log)
This user contacted ජපස (aka jzg) about an ongoing lawsuit against Wikipedia ([86] [87]). WP:NLT seems to apply to this, but I’m honestly not 100% sure. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:05, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Did you mean jps? -Roxy, the dog. wooF 19:12, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

I did… I don’t even have a good excuse for that. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:15, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Actually, you have a decent excuse for that; CF19 left an identical message for JzG. –Floquenbeam (talk) 19:17, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

And a shorter version a few days earlier for Mu301 on Wikiversity.

Oh! That’s where I saw that… somehow mixed up ජපස’s signature with JzG EvergreenFir (talk) 19:19, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

I’ve indef’d Cold Fusion 2019 for NOTHERE. Their ONLY two edits are to post about a lawsuit filed against Wikipedia? Chances are it’s very likely a sock as well. Either way, block applied. RickinBaltimore (talk) 19:21, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, my guess is SF-banned User:Abd. –Floquenbeam (talk) 19:22, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Which is exactly what the sock master wants to be guessed. In fact, anyone who knows this person’s long term behavior would recognize it. And what I was really banned for was creating a Long Term Abuse study on Anglo Pyramidologist on meta. Most AP socks never make in into the SPI case.

I saw this elsewhere. CF2019 is not the one doing the suing. I am not sure NLT applies in this case. spryde | talk 19:31, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Just because CF19 says they aren’t the ones doing the suing, doesn’t mean they aren’t the ones doing the suing. –Floquenbeam (talk) 19:35, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

That’s true, but just because an account says “I’m a friend of Lomax” doesn’t mean he is. Just because he uses “Cold fusion” in his name and claims to be a supporter doesn’t mean he is. 

FYI if you’re interested in the plaintiff’s perspective – I couldn’t access the actual lawsuit. [[88]] TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 19:40, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

The link is to my review of the RationalWiki article on me, which was created as revenge for that documentation of impersonation and other socking by the brothers behind AP. Thanks, Tim.

Anyone can access the documents using the U.S. Federal Court system. The first 150 pages are free. People probably need a U.S. address. And, of course, people can contact me directly. I am entirely unlike the socks involved here.

They figured that out on Wikipediocracy.

Not really. I just remember him from long ago in the WP community and other groups. spryde | talk 19:45, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Even if this is not the person pursuing the legal case, they are making demands based on the legal case, and I’d say NLT very much applies. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:47, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

[. . .]

This was not accurate. The comment does not make a threat. It lies about the users being named, “John Doe” does not name someone. It was, however, obvious socking of some kind. If it was me, it was a global ban violation, if not me, it was a “meat puppet,” or sufficiently clear to be one that one could block. But it was simply blocked for simpler reasons.

In fact, this was block violation by an Anglo Pyramidologist user, i.e., one of the two brothers, Oliver D. Smith (the original Anglo Pyramidologist) or Darryl L. Smith (best known as Goblin Face, originally Liveintheforests), almost certainly the latter. These are both widely-known and identified trolls.

This could be the same troll: Hallwang_Clinic

(A recent likely account of Oliver would be  Stronghold1990. For Darryl, it would be  Vanisheduser3334743743i43i434,  who created a huge mess on the internet over the deletion of a Wikipedia article, and who retired, claiming he had been outed. But he had not been outed, his sock puppets had accused someone else of being him, to harass the person. I did out him, exonerating that innocent target. He’s been doing stuff like this for years, and often getting away with it. He knows how to play wiki users like a fiddle.

While there is public information about the underlying facts, the only person on the planet, besides myself, likely to know enough to connect Mu301, jps, and jzg to that case would be the instigator, the one who privately complained to Mu301, socked at Wikiversity and canvassed Jzg and jps to show up there and probably to complain to the WMF, i.e., Darryl L. Smith (or, less likely, his brother).

But I have not named other defendants because the evidence is weaker than the very plain and simple evidence against the WikiMedia Foundation. They seem to have figured out much of the legal theory on Wikipediocracy.

And, yes, I have claimed damages. It’s a requirement for a diversity case, the legal minimum is $75,000. I paid the $400 filing fee out of pocket. Blasted my pocket all to hell, but who needs pockets if you don’t have any more money? After I serve the papers, I may open a GoFundMe. Those can work, the goal would be to retain a lawyer, and for other expenses.


Repeating the text of the sock edits on Wikipedia:

Cold fusion deletion

Last year you got Abd Lomax banned and all his cold fusion research deleted on Wikiversity.

How does “Cold Fusion 2019” know this? Besides the WMF, the only people who know who complained would be Darryl L. Smith, and any others who conspired in the defamation. Oliver Smith (probably) bragged about it, and there was mention of jps, JzG and Mu301 on another site, by either Oliver or Darryl.

Lomax has now filed a lawsuit against you and eight other John Does for his ban [2].

The lawsuit is against nine John Does, not eight and the one addressed. Only if that one actually defamed me, causing damage, would they be named as defendants, once evidence has been obtained.

You had no reason to delete his cold fusion research project.

He did not delete it. He argued for deletion.

Abd at the time was being funded by a cold fusion research institute who invested a lot of money into his Wikiversity project

My funding would be irrelevant, but this was untrue. No Infusion Institute funding was related to the Wikiversity project, which had been largely abandoned. In 2015, events convinced me that WMF wikis were not safe places to create content, not even neutral content. So I stopped nearly all work on the Cold fusion educational resource. (There was practically none.) When the deletion discussion was raised, in late 2017, I was being funded by the Institute (and I still am, for expenses), but this was entirely unrelated to Wikiversity.

and you had it deleted because of your pseudo-skeptic viewpoint.

It is unclear why it was deleted. The bureaucrat who deleted it violated policies and traditions, and he said he had received private complaints. The whole thing stank. But, as I had concluded, the community slept. I was blocked by that ‘crat, and an admin who planned to unblock was threatened privately with having his tools removed.

Could you put the project back? I am not Lomax but I support his cold fusion research. He has been targeted by pseudo-skeptics.

The two users targeted have no power to put it back, and this is irrelevant to the legal action. If Wikiversity were to decide to restore that resource, it would have no effect on the action for defamation.

This was all classic Darryl Smith socking. He does it to create impressions, in this case that Lomax is disruptive, vindictive, and demanding, as well as to strengthen the resolve of the “skeptical community” to resist coercion from “cranks.” Smith, pretending to be me, using troll sock names like these, has been threatening RationalWiki users with lawsuits for maybe a year.

Meanwhile, I have things to do, places to go ….


Subpage of anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/skeptic-from-britain/comment-trolling/

There has been extensive trolling comment on Dr. Kendrick’s blog, see Comment trolling.

Some of these comments used the names of RationalWiki users, and this had happened before with comments here, so this is an established Darryl Smith behavior. I have always held as a possibility that it was a troll, sowing confusion, but this incident increases confidence in the Ockham’s Razor hypothesis: it’s Darryl all the way. When that happened before, I asked users on RatWiki about it and there was much disruption, all unnecessary. (And those questions were used as evidence of my alleged “massive sock puppetry.”)

The behavior stands out clearly here.

An account, Verifier, appeared on RationalWiki, asking a user if a comment on Dr Kendrick’s blog, using the user’s name, was authentic.

Was this you?
Comment on Malcolm Kendrick’s blog by DuceMoosolini‎ March 14, 2019 at 6:27 pm. Verifier (talk) 19:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

No, it wasn’t. I have nothing to do with the cholesterol articles, and I’m not sure why someone picked me to impersonate. Especially since they don’t seem to have said anything under my name that I particularly take exception to that I can see. Weird. DuceMoosoliniYour friendly RW dictator moderator 20:08, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. It’s not weird, it is common behavior for certain trolls, has happened to many. If you want to know, I have enabled email. –Verifier (talk) 20:58, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

I tried to notify the commenters that it’s not DuceMoosolini, but stingy log-in and password is annoying like usual. Can someone else do it? –It’s-a me, LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:27, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Actually, I did that at 21:39 (UTC). Notice that a sysop and a Moderator had seen the edit and were not concerned about the identity of the editor, and did it actually matter? DuceMoosolini had been impersonated!

Because I sometimes follow Recent Changes on RatWiki, and I was extending the page on comment trolling, I mentioned the answer of DM, at 21:33.

Darryl has shown many times that he obsessively watches everything I do, especially this blog. Verifier, with no other edits, was blocked by John66 (logs) at 22:00, 15 March 2019, claiming “Block evasion: Abd Lomax sock)”. Now, that might attract attention because there was no sign of that being me other than what Darryl would think, being obsessed, and some sysops have dinged John66 for being trigger-happy. No other Rat would have noticed that comment, and DuceMoosolini was not upset by it, just puzzled (as I would expect). If DM wanted to know who Verifier was, a way was provided.

So Darryl needed to create a smokescreen, something he has done many times. (I will provide documentation on request from any identified person — including any established RatWiki account –, it’s voluminous).

So after blocking Verifier, John66 explained on that talk page.

The impersonations are being done by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax or a troll related to him, probably Mikemikev. Lomax is a cholesterol and statin denialist who has written about a million words about me on his blog, accusing me of being someone else. It appears I am his latest victim. He has gone after David Gerard, Bongolian and now it is my turn. Lomax has been on the web for the last two weeks (on discord, reddit, Twitter and blogs) trying to stir up a flame war between vegans and low-carbers. The “verifier” account above is Lomax. John66 (talk) 22:03, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

(I have not edited Discord, Reddit, in quite a long time, never Twitter. I can see I will need to look at those. But, of course, John66 is claiming that many other names are actually me. At the same time, the socks claim I have no evidence (in spite of reams of evidence provided — but not “millions of words” — whereas John66 And The Socks provide no evidence at all. What is the evidence that Verifier was me?) Meanwhile, to pin the attack on Malcolm Kendrik, started on Wikipedia by Skeptic from Britain (documented on the page above this) continued with a device Darryl used to create belief that the attack was from fanatic Vegans. In that case, it was quite clever: SfB (under his new name) retired, claiming that he had been outed by Kendrick and others, so when I looked, I found single-comment socks claiming that SfB was a young man with initials MCE. So this was then pointed to as proof that it was correct. Those trolls claimed that MCE was a vegan. In fact, MCE was a Wikipedia user who had argued with SfB.

This was an old pattern for Darryl, create disruption and attack on his enemies, by using socks. He’s got years of practice at it. It has worked many times.

All the accounts listed below were created and immediately edited with blatant disruption, obvious trolling. They lie about what is on this blog, frequently (they may copy a piece, then add a twist. This was done before to spread the idea that I was threatening RatWiki with legal action, that I was accusing users of being Smith socks (when that is confined to a very clear and identified set of socks, rarely more than one active for each brother at a time, but Rats commonly claim I believe all of them are Smith socks. Isn’t he crazy? Hah, hah! Bottom line, this incredibly prolific socking has worked for Darryl many times. It is truly amazing how many wiki users have fallen for it. If a sock says “I am so-and-so, and you can’t stop me,” they believe it and So-and-so is then reblocked indef, pursued, hounded, not just by the original enemy that impersonated him, but others offended by the socking they think was So-and-so. I have seen it happen many times.

  • 22:38, 15 March 2019 User account Verifiers (talk | contribs) was created. Edits at 22:42
    • Blocked by John66 at 22:44: (Ban evasion: Another Abd Lomax sock)
    • Reblocked 22:46 by RWRW to allow talk page access, which would make sense, if this had been done for Verifier, but it was done with an obvious impersonation.
  • 22:53, 15 March 2019 User account Randoms (talk | contribs) was created. Edits at 22:56-57
    • Blocked by John66 at 22:59: (Block evasion: Abd sock)
  • 00:26, 16 March 2019 User account A random guy (talk | contribs) was created. Edits at 00:26-27
    • Dysklyver blocked at 0028: (Trolling talk pages)
  • 00:31, 16 March 2019 User account Journalist (talk | contribs) was created. Edits at 00:33
    • Dysklyver blocked at 00:34: (Trolling talk pages) sole edit 04:48, 16 March, asking the same question of Ikanreed. Claims to be Verifier. Blocked by John66 at 04:57 (Block evasion: Abd Lomax sock)

Of course it was an “obvious sock.” That was the point! (“Message” page titles are a common device for Darryl troll socks. I have never created a page like that. Interesting idea, given how deletions are normally handled. Unless it is revision-hid, the message will remain in logs. But when it is really disruptive, it will often be hidden.)

So who would be creating “obvious Abd socks?” Attention deficient Rats think that I would do this, because they have a cartoon concept of what the “cranks” they profile are like. However, I have over thirty years of high internet activity. They claim I have been banned in many places. Yet I have no history of sock trolling.  In fact, I have only rarely created undisclosed additional accounts (and nearly all of that on RationalWiki, where conditions encourage it, and essentially require it, and I have never used such accounts for trolling (I can think of one edit only, and it was quite useful! (There can be a legitimate purpose for creating an emotional response. It’s rare, but it can arise.) Mostly when I have been blocked or banned, (which is nowhere near as common as they claim), it has been for confronting fascist administration and abuse. (On Wikipedia, successfully! I was successful with two ArbCom cases. Then they shoot the messenger.)

Bongolian is complaining to the wrong person. Because it works, the real sock master will continue. I will create a message to Bongolian and will deliver it. It will not be hostile, and it will point to the evidence I have that shows clearly that Bongolian is not suspected of being a Smith or of comment trolling and that the many claims that I promote this idea on the blog are false. When I do this, I will (as I have before with something like this) verify that the message is from me).

If someone else doesn’t do it, and if I have time, I will inform people who have been impersonated of that fact, which transcends site rules, it’s a human collective responsibility, until and unless someone objects to being notified. Personally, I would want to know about every impersonation! With links, please!!!

What the evidence does show, so far, is that Bongolian (a moderator) believes the Smith lies (as do others, but not all Rats.) So much for rational skepticism and critical thinking. Apparently that’s only to be advocated for other people, not practiced personally or collectively on that wiki.

So John66 appears on Kendrick’s blog.


This is John66 from RationalWiki. Abd Lomax has been impersonating various RationalWiki admins from our website such as DuceMoosolini here. He then “blogs” on the impersonations blaming them on someone else, especially me. He was banned for impersonating people on Wikipedia and now he is doing it again.

How did the impersonation of DuceMoosolini come to light? Not just especially him, but probably entirely him, though it is still possible that some of these were the actual user. This one might be authentic, at least.

He has confused my identity with someone else innocent. I have never edited Wikipedia.

Liar, liar, pants on fire. The above statement is an obvious lie, from many evidences. This is Skeptic from Britain, nothing else makes sense. If anyone else wants to argue that it is not, I will host it and all the evidences can be examined.

I am not a vegan activist.

Right. Skeptic from Britain argued with “MCE” on Wikipedia, then troll socks appeared claiming that SfB was MCE, a vegan activist hating low-carb diets, and then SfB retired, claiming he had been outed. So people were up in arms about MCE until I investigated, recognized Darryl Smith, compared the edit record of the previous Darryl Smith accounts, with Skeptic from Britain and John66, and then corrected the allegations against MCE. He thanked me. He is not a vegan, but had been. His Instagram pages had been outed. Darryl is vicious.

It seems I cannot go a single day now editing RationalWiki without Abd writing thousands of words about every edit I make on his blog, this is not normal behavior. The whole thing is creeping me out. Other admins from RationalWiki have also received much harassment from Abd.

I have harassed nobody on this blog. Accurately documenting what someone has done is not harassment. Consider the article on me on RatWiki. That was written by Darryl, as fulfillment on a threat that if I did not stop documenting the highly disruptive activities of a set of socks — impersonations and single-purpose attack accounts that I connected with the blocked Anglo Pyramidologist sock family, he would make me regret it, all my work would be deleted, etc.

Abd Lomax was banned from RationalWiki and Wikipedia for these sort of issues in the past.

No. That’s highly misleading, continuing the defamation that he put in his article on me. The harassment and massive impersonation socking and high disruption were all Darryl, and always blamed on someone else, such as me, Mikemikev, or before that, Rome Viharo — and many others. There is nothing remotely like this in my past. I have never been banned for impersonations, though a Smith at one point claimed that JzG (Guy Chapman, Wikipedia admin) claimed I was known for it. No examples, no evidence, and while JzG has lied about me, I never saw this one.

Those massive impersonation and attack accounts were linked by steward checkuser, and the trail led to RatWiki, because he’d made some mistakes. This guy has done enormous damage.

If you see any other comments from Lomax on RationalWiki please ignore them or do not publish them. He is trying to start a flame war between people on here and RationalWiki. I have nothing personal against anyone on here, nor does anyone from our website. I do not want to be involved in his petty internet feuds.

Regards. John66

I document what I see, making it accessible to others, and as a journalist, I can go undercover, pretending to be someone else, as is common in journalism, for limited purpose, but socking to create disruption would be completely outside that remit, and lying to defame is utterly beyond the pale, I would be betraying everything I stand for. It is to be condemned even if the cause is supposedly good.

John66 has blocked, claiming they are me, many accounts that are not me, without necessity, and that is getting “involved.” But others have done that and have only received a name mention with mention of the block, because they are not responsible, and all those were blatantly disruptive and they have been mislead by a long series of Darryl Smith socks. If accounts are disruptive, they can be blocked, and it is not necessary to name the alleged sock master. But these accounts actually claim, often, to be me, or use names associated with me. I would, for example, never use a sock name related to cold fusion on RatWiki.

Darryl has used my street address as a sock name, telegraphing that he knew where I lived. My children have received harassing email, insinuating that I’m a pedophile. Other people have been harassed like this by the Smith brothers, a woman lost her job because her son had a blog that exposed Darryl’s brother. Darryl mostly stayed hidden, whereas his brother Oliver was much more visible. But Darryl has also claimed to be paid to write “debunking” material. It was Darryl who created the impersonation socks that created an attack on an enemy on Wikipedia.

Years ago, I was a moderator on the usenet newsgroup soc.religion.islam. I have very rarely called people “liars,” someone is not a liar merely because they are wrong, but there was an author who pretended to be a follower of Rashad Khalifa, who then made many claims that, in some areas of the planet where fanaticism is common, could get someone killed, and he was pretending these things in order to defame those people. So I called him a liar.

I knew Khalifa, and uncovered and documented his errors, and there are followers of me who have hated me for that, (which is how I knew that these claims were not authentic) but impersonation to defame is about as bad as it gets, beyond actually torturing and killing people, and it can cause very serious harm. There is no excuse for it.

Verifier also posted this, it appears, on that DuceMoosolini talk page:

Seems someone doesn’t want comments verified. I do know why this is done, it has a rational purpose within the mind of a maniac. As I wrote, I enabled email so you could ask if you want. Anyone could. Otherwise, thanks anyway for answering. (The flood of socks using imitation names, like “Verifiers,” were not me.) Verifier (talk) 17:02, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

There have been more RatWiki account names that have appeared on Kendrick’s blog, I think, but I’m only one person, whereas Darryl is hundreds. Or so it seems. (actually, part of how I link the accounts is by looking at edit timing. The more active users are, the easier it is to distinguish between a single user and multiple users.

Is Abd banned on RatWiki?

Brief answer: If two users can ban a third user, without a community process, yes, I am, by this definition, banned on RationalWiki. However, that is contrary to not only RatWiki traditions, but also to long-standing general wiki traditions. Any sysop with the tools can block. Any RatWiki moderator can sysoprevoke, which prevents ordinary sysops from restoring sysop tools for a user (and blocking a sysop is useless, except that Rats use blocks as a messaging method, because any sysop can unblock themselves.)

However, by standard wiki language, I am not banned, but only blocked. However, they used to talk, on Wikipedia, about being “defacto banned,” because no admin was willing to unblock. But that can be reversed by an admin, at any time. The Smith brothers, as AngloPyramidologist, are “defacto banned,” not actually banned, because there is a ban process not followed, nor considered necessary, because of the massive socking.

Any RW moderator can declare sysoprevoke for any user, preventing that account from being given tools by other sysops. However, these are all ad hoc measures, which can be taken as a prevention of harm. Any sysop can actually desysop and then block, but any sysop can reverse that. It is not a ban.

The Smith brothers have blocked a user, then, for further action, declaring that user “banned.” An example is given below, of Debunking spiritualism (Darryl L. Smith) blocking Merkel, and then unblocking his brother Oliver, (as Callimachus), who had been blocked for harassing Merkel, part of which was a cooping that failed.

In my 2nd cooping attempt, an oligarch declared that there is no difference between a block and a ban. That cooping, started by DS, was closed after less than an hour, with only a handful of comments, so it was certainly not a real cooping. There is no community ban established through community process. But the Smith brothers are great at creating Mob opinion, by creating hordes of impersonation socks. It works!

However, this shows that the hierarchy has abandoned not only deference to the Mob, but ordinary wiki language as well (where a block can be declared by a single sysop, but a ban requires community process). These usurpations of community power take place slowly, over time, it’s “wiki disease.” It happens partly because the core (that started the wiki and that had wiki ideals in mind, or others that joined it with similar ideals) burn out and retires, stops paying attention, and only those who love power remain, until they too, burn out, through generations of accumulating loss of collective intelligence.

One of the common phenomena that accompanies this is persistent trolling, the creation of enormous armies of sock puppets, stimulated by normal human response to being abused. Insulting trolls and vandals is highly likely to stimulate more trolling and vandalism, but immature sysops — RatWiki is overwhelmed with such because of how easily it gives the tools — routinely insult those they block or whose edits they delete. And it is rare that anyone points this out.

Cutting off talk page access on Wikipedia is an extreme measure, not done without substantial warning, at least that used to be the situation. Gradually, the protective measures and traditions fall away in favor of severity. Treating people like trolls creates and intensifies trolling, making the sysops even angrier, and this process predictably continues.

My RatWiki user page was recently edited by Dysklyver, and he thoughtfully linked to the alleged coopings that would normally accompany a ban, particularly of a user who was a sysop. So here they are:

This is very odd. This was not a cooping resulting in ban. The discussion was created by Wing Street. Allowing blatant attack SPAs to start disruptive process is a classic problem with wikis allowing anonymous editing. Normally, a new user starting something like that would be whacked. But he wasn’t. Wing Street also copied text from a Talk page, and went after Ikanreed and Ariel31459. This was all reverted by Christopher, but then restored by him immediately. I’d expect Christopher to know better.

There was no discussion on the Coop, only the material copied from elsewhere (which should never be done without explicit reference). There was only one edit to the section on me, by RoninMacbeth, then FuzzyCatPotato archived it all. This creates the appearance of a cooping. WingStreet tried to restore it and was trout-slapped. I see no sign that any sane RW user noticed a desysopping out-of-process, solely on the authority of David Gerard. The discussion copied to the Coop came from the Saloon Bar. So a new user was allowed to remove massive comment from the SB, and take it to the Coop, and that ended up standing.

That discussion was started by Skeptical (whom I think was likely Oliver, certainly a Smith) and referred to Later, Skeptical deleted that page as “containing doxxing.” There was no doxxing on that page, only the name of the article, essentially.

The actual “Conspiracy theory” article was archived. That article was created by Mr Organic, which would be Oliver or Darryl. The same idea (“conspiracy theory”) was added to the article on me by Skeptical. My sin was discussing the article on its talk page. The talk page had been archived to Talk:RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory/Archive1, but David Gerard deleted it.  On that page, I simply told the truth, and did not claim that the trolls I had identified were “Smith brothers.”

Since then, the evidence  about the brothers has become overwhelming and Rats are starting to realize it. Oliver is currently being treated as banned. It is not clear if they realize who John66 is. There may be other Smith socks sporadically active, less easy to detect.

In any case, there was certainly no consensus in that alleged cooping. The only live comment made in it by a regular user questioned the need for sanctioning Abd. The discussion on the Saloon Bar only showed support by David Gerard, who certainly acted abruptly. This was the end of that discussion,

I would like to add that there was quite a bit of back-and-forth about whether Abd should be a Sysop back in 2012, with several people, including @David Gerard removing that status due to abuse. Abd doesn’t have the benefit of the doubt in my view, but let’s see evidence first. Bongolian (talk) 19:25, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

evil Mod powerz I deleted the article and the talk page, and have deopped Abd. Ban may follow if other mods concur. Abd, stop it – David Gerard (talk) 20:00, 9 October 2017 (UTC

Again, what was I to “stop”? Yes, David Gerard had promoted me in 2012, but the mods and others had reversed this. The difference in 2017 was that those mods were gone, nobody intervened, David Gerard supported the Smiths (an astonishingly high percentage of his recent logs show Smith support) and so there it sat. I was not blocked by Gerard, the indef block was by Skeptical.

First, there is another cooping on that page, on User:Merkel, started by ODS, who was openly Oliver D. Smith. The attempt to ban Merkel failed. Debunking spiritualism showed knowledge appropriate for Oliver’s brother. (There are many, many signs that DS was Darryl L. Smith, not just initials!). In May, DS went on a sysop rampage, deleting many pages, blocking old inactive accounts, before retiring, claiming he had been hacked. One of his actions was to bl0ck Merkel, who had not been active for a month, unblock Callimachus, clearly Oliver, who had been blocked for harassing Merkel . The unblock comment: (Merkel has been banned for doxing/harassement; everything callimachus said was true) Nobody noticed (unless they were following this blog.)

This was Darryl, without doubt. His deletions covered up, among other things, places where he had been outed as “my family” or “my brother” by Oliver. The hacked story was believed, even though it was ridiculous. I have never hacked an account, it’s actually illegal. But if I did, first thing I would do is to change the password! The history of DS in those few days was standard Smith agenda, only the last few edits, relatively speaking, got crazy.  He was setting up the hacking story, likely. Or was drunk.

So Debunking spiritualism dumps a pile of lies on the Coop, but he has, with many accounts and socks, been setting up the Rats to believe them.

The cooping was filed 17:23, 11 March 2018

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax has been socking on hundreds of accounts and proxy IPs recently causing disruption on multiple pages

Nope. I have socked, to be sure, but not to disrupt. As an example, comments on my blog appear with names that are RW users. These are almost certainly impersonations. This is completely normal when the Smiths are involved. But I think those impersonated should know. So I dropped notes on user talk pages referring to the comment, so they could affirm or deny them. But I stopped doing this fairly quickly, because few Rats appreciated it at all. The list of socks from my article. The real accounts are left in black.

  • Abd my long-term account
  • Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax obvious impersonation sock.
  • AbdLomax copied material, mangled, I had written from elsewhere. Impersonation. 
  • ColdFusion Impersonation
  • Lomax Impersonation
  • EnergyNeutral My only blocked sock on Wikipedia, an experiment, acknowledged. Impersonation.
  • Cold_Fusion_Community Impersonation.
  • لله الحمد لله Bad Arabic, impersonation.
  • Cold_Fusion_Team Impersonation
  • DGL My birth name initials. Impersonation.
  • CFC Impersonation.
  • Impersonation.
  • 35672 I have no idea who this is. Not me.
  • 1,950,258 No idea who this is, unless Smith was angling for site blacklisting. Not me.
  • Defending_myself Not me. Impersonation, in effect.
  • InfiniteEnergy not me, impersonation. (“Infinite Energy” is a magazine that publishes on cold fusion.”)
  • Kujilia (impersonation, this is a Wikipedia user Abd has a vendetta against) Impersonation indeed, pretends to be me. I have no such vendetta. (Smith creates impersonations to cause those impersonated to attack his target.) See meta for cause. (Read the collapse. No vendetta against Kujilia. A mild suspicion, followed up — in too much detail — by a Wikiversity sysop.)
  • Cold_Fusion_Research‎ definitely not me.
  • Deal not me. I never thought ReadyMade was a Smith.
  • Dealer not me, impersonation following a real sock of mine (disclosed) 
  • RealDeal not me, impersonation
  • The_Real_Deal not me. Characteristic of impersonation socks: very disruptive. I have zero history where that was even alleged, until the Smiths created this mess on RatWiki. The real deal was me. Notice how that is not listed.
  • Authentic‎‎ Also me, disclosed on my authentication page. The sole edit was revdel’d by Debunking spiritualism.
  • CF‎‎ not me. Essentially, I would not use a name like that (nor any of the other CF-related names
  • A_full_disclosure‎ impersonation. (of the following account)
  • Full_disclosure was me, blocked with no edits, by DS.
  • 20,000 was not me. I was IP 20,000 reverted my comment back in. Impersonation? Troll?

There were many other impersonations not listed. Because of Smith history, I suspect Smith was behind these impersonation accounts, but it is certainly a possibility that one of his enemies decided to troll him. It worked, or he faked being absolutely hysterical. I think, instead, that Darryl was lying, and he lied many times. He lied about having email communication with me, that was only with his brother.

In the cooping, DS lists also Open honesty as my account, as it was. Blocked by  DS with no edits.

Because accounts were so quickly blocked, even before being allowed to edit, I signed up for a proxy service. (It was only for one month). Wasting time on RatWiki was not worth more than that. If Rats don’t mind being fed continuous BS by the Smith brothers, not my problem. (Defamation is my problem, but editing is actually a distraction from dealing with it.)

He lists IPs.

  • [39] March 1, 2018, edited User talk:ODS. Confirmed. Four edits, one page. No block, non-distruptive.
  • [40] 26 Feb., two edits, responding to ODS. Confirmed. Blocked for doxing, (pointing out that ODS has outed himself).
  • [41] March 4, one edit, Blocked by DS for legal threat. NOT ME.
  • [42] March 4, one edit, clarifying fact  Confirmed.
  • [43] March 4, three edits, probably me, not sure. No block. Problem is?
  • [44] March 1, one edit, no block. Confirmed.
  • [45] March 5, four edits to my article talk,  Confirmed. Blocked by DS for block evasion and trolling. 
  • [46] March 5. two edits, explains what has been happening. No block. Confirmed.
  • [47] (Finally admits to being Abd, in the same range as other 159 proxies) March 5. Indeed. Confirmed. No block, informing user about impersonation.
  • [48] (IP hopping within minutes, as his proxies get blocked) March 5. Message for Christopher, self-reverted.  Confirmed. DS blocked.
  • [49] (In this edit, [50] admits to being Abd, says he can use 20,000 more proxies to troll) 49 Confirmed. 50 linked to a deleted edit, to a deleted talk page. No block. Did mention 20,000 proxies, but not “to troll.” Then account 20,000 reverted that back in (that was not me.)
  • [51] (Same 159 proxy range, back to talking in third person) March 6, Confirmed, and, by the way, I often refer to myself in the third person. Depending on context, it can be meaningless. Were the statements true? Blocked by DS, unblocked by Cow House.

Recent disruption on proxies

  • [52] March 11, reasserts an edit that was mine (see 53), I doubt this was me. Blocked DS.
  • [53] March 11, Confirmed. Blocked by Christopher as “sock of a banned user.”
  • [54] March 11, Responded to DS comment about me on this talk page. Telling the truth, or honest opinion, is “disruption” to DS. Confirmed.
  • [55] March 9, Confirmed and proud of it. Was the headline “a lie” Yes. Easy to confirm.
  • [56 March 9, DS added three misleading mentions of Abd on “Pissed at us.” IP removed them and edited Talk, removed by DS. Confirmed.
  • [57] duplicated 54.
  • [58] edits to User talk:CheeseburgerFace, suppressed March 12. Possible, can’t tell.

On most of the above IPs he has been leaving messages on CheeseburgerFace’s talk-page. Abd in his latest edits claims “If I’m banned, where is the cooping?”) [59].

As I recall, my comments on CF talk were being blanked by others, so I asked him to choose to receive messages from me or not. Again, as I recall, he never answered, but ultimately suppressed all of it. I may have asked that, the edit was among those suppressed.

Kujilia an Abd sock, is actually an editor on Wikipedia that Abd has a grudge against. A month earlier Abd had filed an abusive check-user request against this user which was denied by a check-user steward.

Kujilia was not my sock, for sure, and impersonations like that are a Smith specialty. I did file a checkuser request on a series of suspected “AP” socks — and that was only suspicion, no claim of policy violations was made, just his name added to the request, probably from some transient appearance. Kujilia was shortly checkuser-blocked as the sock of another user, and my recent review of that user does not turn up AP suspicion. That request was closed without action by a steward clearly disgusted by the argument on the request, stewards hate that, and this is another example of how the Smiths have learned to disrupt wiki process (pile in with many socks!). I had filed many such requests and almost all were granted, and that is how I first identified AP socks as impersonators. They continued socking, so requests continued. That one was joined by a Wikiversity sysop, who wrote way too much (which didn’t help!).

I started this coop so people can vote if they want to ban Abd or not. As I understand it he has already been blocked, but he is requesting a ban. No doubt Abd will turn up here on hundreds of proxy IPs claiming he has been impersonated and framed by skeptics. He also a tendency to write thousands and thousands of words and drain out anyone else’s opinion by bolding his own text or trying to get the last word in. I personally wouldn’t let him comment here but leave this vote for other users. But whatever. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 16:49, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

I did not request a ban. I did comment, after others had commented. First, what they wrote:

I’m one of the people Abd doxes and smears on his blog. He’s also emailed me harassing message. So of course I support his ban if that is now made official.ODS (talk) 17:23, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

ODS was openly Oliver D. Smith. I never emailed him harassing messages. He emailed me and I responded.

He’s already banned, blocked and banned are synonymous on RationalWiki. However, if a coop case making it more official can get him to fuck off, I vote yes. Christopher (talk) 17:49, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Blocked and banned are obviously not synonymous. Users are blocked all the time, and there are users (Such as ODS, for sure), who have been blocked as an account, and who nevertheless create obvious socks, even socks that admit identity, and who are not considered banned.) There is a situation called “defacto ban,” where no sysop is willing to unblock. Obviously, though, this would not prevent a sysop user from unblocking themselves, which has always been allowed. The real issue would be revoking sysop privileges, which has traditionally required a cooping, and that never happened. These traditions maintained a certain diversity on RatWiki. As matters stood, any sysop could have decided to unblock and resysop. There had been a prior attempt at cooping, started by a troll, closed quickly. In order for desysop to be sustained, there normally must be abuse of tools shown. That was never shown, and the only alleged example was trivial. There was no wheel-warring, etc.

It’s all too obvious: the Smith brothers have support in high places, particularly from David Gerard.

I responded to the cooping, after Christopher’s comment. I just noticed, by the way, that there was no User talk page notice of the cooping and no other announcement. These notices create community attention.

And then:

Effs sake yes, the demented poltroon thinks he’s hard done by because there wasn’t a vote. I vote yes, infinite block, and my brother does too. WilderBicycle 18:25, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Typical Rat, believes s/he can tell what I think. This is what preceded that.

19:35, 5 March 2018 Readymade (talk | contribs) blocked I am being supressed (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled) (waaaa boo fucking hoo)

Account had no contributions. Christopher unblocked, Readymade reblocked and it was left that way. This was not me.

 19:49, 5 March 2018 Readymade (talk | contribs) deleted page Abd Lomax is being suppressed by Rationalwiki trolls  (Hopelessly off-mission: help! Help! Abd Lomax is being suppressed!)

Page was created by CF, an impersonation account. Why would I create a page on RatWiki when I can create them on my own blog, with total freedom? I would do it if I want the page author to be anonymous, but by a sock waving a flag that says ABD? No way. If I want to send a message to RatWiki users, I have much better ways.

19:50, 5 March 2018 Readymade (talk | contribs) blocked CF (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled) (I have reported you to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Lomax being a whining pisspants crybaby again)

CF created at 19:42. Page created at 19:42. The coop comment was canvassed, on Readymade talk:

Abd Lomax
I created a coop about him [1], you can respond there if you like. He has now written about your account on his blog. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 16:53, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

i can’t find a reference to me on his blog. Link please? WilderBicycle 18:16, 11 March 2018 (UTC) CowHouse (talk) 04:28, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Ooh, I’m a paid AP sock! How delightful. I’ll let the gender assumption go by for now, it’s part of his obsession that we’re all The Smiths. WilderBicycle 08:49, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

There was no such claim, and no gender assumption. What was there at that point would have been this page on Supporters and enablers, explicitly not socks or paid. Only the account name. This idea that those who realize and write about think that all Rats are Smiths is a standard Smith trope. And those who spread Smith tropes are “supporters and enablers.” It’s a mild accusation, hardly even an attack. It can be inadvertent. The link given by CowHouse would be useless, it is a category link that would pull up many, many pages, because I’ve been writing about the “Anglo Pyramidologist” sock family — originally about the problem of disruptive process triggered by SPAs — for about 18 months. For some reason, this is what Smith socks have usually used, probably because they watch that category. But the display changes as new pages are added.

So I did create a page on ReadyMade, March 16 was the first edit, and it covers all this. Back to the cooping:

ABD was permabanned for making legal threats against RW. No coop case was or is necessary. End of story. I call to archive it now. Bongolian (talk) 18:30, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Bizarre. I made no such legal threats. The RWF is reasonably well insulated against legal hazard, but if there is any possibility, it would come after a formal take-down notice was ignored or rejected. I did send an email to the RWF, it was ignored, but that email would not be sufficient notice, and I have not threatened to sue the RWF. I have mentioned that some users are possibly liable, and that test was quoted as if it was about “RationalWiki.” I have not made anything remotely resembling legal threats on RW itself. But the impersonations socks did it many times. Bongolian is in any case claiming that a cooping is not necessary, and calls for a close. So then:

Abd says on his blog that being blocked and banned is different on RW and that he has only be ‘blocked’ and for a ban a coop is required. He was obviously lying or misinformed. I myself didn’t know either. He said he would stop socking if the community agreed to ban him but judging from his recent socking that was a lie as well. Best to move this to the archive. I apologise for creating it. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 18:34, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

I do not recall saying I would “stop socking” if the community agreed to ban me. (DS has reported me as saying many things I did not say.) However, I will normally request the considered wish of a community. Maybe I don’t recall something. As mentioned above, there is such a thing as a defacto ban, and an action can be taken in an emergency, and legal threats could be an emergency. But I did not make threats. Sometimes any mention of legal issues is considered by naive communities as a legal threat, though. It becomes a “forbidden topic.” An attempt to create a resource on defamation was attacked by Smith socks as being from Mikemikev. This was truly weird. What if there are things that users should know about the law? Wikis are protected by the CDA, except for their own actions, but what about users? Should users know that a plaintiff can subpoena server records? That if the identity of a user can be established (which it often can), that they can be held liable? Or, that, in the UK, defamation is a criminal offense — and in some states, if I am correct? Should users know the difference between protected speech and defamation?

So then I responded to Christopher. DS reverted without comment, and semiprotected the page and then Readymade archived the discussion at 19:40, 11 March 2018, with the comment (he’s already permabanned, archiving this). So it was open for two hours and 17 minutes, with a handful of comments.

My conclusion: this was not a cooping, to the extent that any decision was made, the originator withdrew it. Those who had previously questioned the evidence about me may never have seen it.

So the desysopping, as a defacto ban, stand, but normally “ban” does mean a community action as distinct from an individual or very small group one. The traditions that made RationalWiki have some degree of diversity and stability have been abandoned.

The Mob supposedly rules RatWiki, which is bad enough, but Mobs normally sleep most of the time, and a very few users can effectively dominate wiki process, if it is not announced and left open. I used to say that for on-line process, discussions should be left open for at least 10 days, to allow for weekly work cycles. Wikipedia AfDs have that standard time, and with, normally, announcement requirements. Wikipedia has plenty of safeguards — and even then small factions can dominate.

I came to the conclusion, well before the flap on Wikiversity, that wikis, absent protective process (which is possible, but rare) were inherently vulnerable, and unreliable as places to invest time. Wikipedia works, but with incredibly low efficiency, and the theory that pages would naturally improve with time was naive. It would work if there were stop-loss procedures, but such as were created were so inefficient that few maintain them. On Wikipedia, I took two cases to the Arbitration Committee. In both cases I prevailed, but the cost in time and effort (and other damage) was, quite simply, not worth the effort, and whatever benefit was created fell apart quickly.

The wiki model can be useful, and the original wikis, with coherent communities of users, were very useful and efficient. (The early Wikipedia community was relatively coherent, but the project rapidly outgrew what that community could handle, and I saw those older users drop away, mostly. The wiki ideas got lost, with excuse after excuse, betrayal after betrayal. In the presence of conflict and factionalism, wikis are, uniformly, very, very inefficient, only surviving as social services for collections of largely dysfunctional users. Even the best burn out.

I had decided in 2012 that RationalWiki was not tolerable as a place to regularly participate. I was told to “go fuck your kids,” and the mods thought that was perfectly acceptable. Well, few Rats have children! My involvement with RatWiki over the last 18 months has been dealing with the damage done by Darryl Smith (Oliver was very little involved) on Wikiversity, where he destroyed the core of what had made Wikiversity special. Libelling me was a small part of the damage. Years of work by many people, disrupted, with a defacto prohibition of even rebuilding it. Cold fusion can be studied in real university, in real labs and with real funding, but studying cold fusion on Wikiversity was prohibited in that sequence. And why?

Policies were changed by one person, without community support, only the tolerance of inattention . . . and threats, I’ve been told. This is what the founder of Wikiversity called Wikipedia Disease.

I had considered Wikiversity the hope of the WMF. But I also had come to realize that it was vulnerable to corruption, unreliable, and that the community was not sufficiently attentive to prevent this. And into that rode Darryl Smith, creating massive disruption with impersonation socks and then another sock that accused the impersonated target of serious misbehavior, then taken to Wikiversity, where that target had been working quietly and nondisruptively on Parapsychology, creating a massive attributed subpage of sources. The overall resource was completely neutral as validated by Wikiversity administration. Wikiversity had found ways to gain nearly 100% consensus. Skeptics on fringe topics were not at all excluded, but simply invited to create balancing material, if they thought something was out of balance.

Wikiversity was not like Wikipedia, with one page per topic, and then conflict over position on that page, and notability restrictions, all of which might be intrinsic to an encyclopedia, but not to, say, a University library, particularly one that includes all student essays, seminar discussions, etc. Wikipedians would see Wikiversity and think of it as “articles.” But Wikiversity was not for articles, rather for studies, dissertations, collections of information on a topic.

Destroyed, quickly, by one bureaucrat who believed the Smith propaganda and ignored the rest of the community, who had been inactive for a long time before this, but still had the rights. And then, of course, the Smiths crowed about it on RatWiki. A sysop followed process and requested comment on unblocking me. He was threatened with desysop. He might have done it anyway, but … the WMF then globally banned me, without warning or notice.

And many others who have in any way gotten in the Smiths’ way have experienced massive attack. So I’m standing for them. Many hold unpopular opinions in some way or other, but nobody deserves to be lied about. Not even Donald Trump. Or Mikemikev. Nor, for that matter, Oliver and Darryl Smith. I have always asked for correction of errors, and the response was almost always, “Lies!!!” Not specific corrections. There is an exception, where Oliver Smith did comment on my study of his history as Atlantid, though on Encyclopedia Dramatica.  His responses were noted. I am not the judge. Reality is, and then after that, the human community. Convince me of an error, I will correct it. Object to an alleged fact, I will consider the objection, and at least take note of it, leaving judgment, in the end, to readers.

Mostly, the Smith brothers lie about what is on this blog, or misrepresent it with insinuations, as if, for example, the existence of many pages studying a complex subject proves something. Are the pages accurate? I could make it all much briefer by only reporting conclusions. I do that when a topic is mature for me, it happens within a few years, and when the context calls for polemic.


Subpage of anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/skeptic-from-britain/john66/

This is a study of the RationalWiki article on Gary Taubes (Wikipedia) as created by John66 (Darryl L. Smith), as of January 18, 2019. The lead:

Gary Taubes is American author, journalist, low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) promoter, anti-sugar campaigner and cholesterol denialist. Taubes disagrees with mainstream medical advice on dieting. He believes that refined carbohydrates and sugars should be avoided, not fat.[1] Taubes disputes the evidence that saturated fat is a risk factor for heart disease.[2]

Taubes has been accused of misrepresenting scientific data and quoting medical researchers out of context to support his biased low-carb agenda.[3][4][5][6][7]

Smith is expert at cramming a series of dense misrepresentations into a few words. As is typical, the “mainstream” is presented as if monolithic, when it never has been on this subject, but rather “majoritarian,” i.e., there is are dominant views, never fully accepted by experts, and especially not the researchers. Dietary advice can lag science by decades.

Taubes is not an ordinary journalist, he is a science journalist, specifically, highly qualified for that. Smith had edited the Wikipedia article on Taubes. Taubes’ qualifications are ignored in the RatWiki article. From Wikipedia:

Taubes has won the Science in Society Journalism Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996–97.[10] He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation independent investigator in health policy.[28]

low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) promoter. So a journalist researches a topic in depth (Taubes spent years on his investigations) and reports what he finds. If what he finds shows that widely-held opinion is not based on science (more than weakly), and that there are contrary hypotheses that fit the data better than what supports mainstreamopinions, and then he acts to secure funding for research to address open issues, is he “promoting” the contrary hypothesis?

Calling him a “promoter” is an attempt to toss him in the basket with “woo diets” and “quack medicine.” Most solidly and persistently, what Taubes is promoting is science and scientific skepticism.

anti-sugar campaigner. His book lays out the case against sugar. In fact, his conclusions (i.e, his formed opinions from review of the evidence) about the general harm of sugar are widespread. Again, though, the attempt is to portray him as a fanatic, as Smith does with all his targets.

Taubes disagrees with mainstream medical advice on dieting. What Taubes does in his books on fat and obestity is to examine, in detail, the history of the “mainstream views,” which radically shifted around 1970, to almost the opposite of what they had been before. On obesity, especially, he goes into excruciating detail on the shift.

Anyone who challenges popular views, that happen to support major vested interests, is going to be widely attacked, it’s like clockwork. As a member of the public, critically interested in the issues (this is about my health and that of my children!), that someone criticizes a skeptic (or an advocate of mainstream views) does not negate the views, rather, if this is done within scientific — or journalistic — protocols, I will want to see specifics.

Perhaps now is the time to use a meme.

I am fully aware of this problem (“confirmation bias”), and so is Taubes. It is possible to criticize anything. Taubes’ general opinion on nutritional science is that the state of it is poor, there is a great deal that has been accepted on faith or wishful thinking about what is actually shown in the studies that have been done. Taubes examines all this, presenting copious evidence. And, of course, he’s not perfect! But is he significantly incorrect?


He believes that refined carbohydrates and sugars should be avoided, not fat.[1] This is typical for RatWiki. An unorthodox conclusion or hypothesis is presented as a “belief.” And then everything from that person is presented as flowing from what they believe, as distinct from what they have witnessed, or for a journalist, what they have found in sources and analysis seeking reality.

Was Taubes seeking reality or was he just trying to write a popular story, to advance his career? I’ve been following Taubes for more than a decade. He does far more research into the topics that he has been engaged to write about than makes sense economically. What he has been able to accomplish, besides selling some books, is funding for research, and not research to “prove” his ideas, but to test them (and, as well, “mainstream” ideas.)

His ideas are not new, in fact, but definitive research has not been done, studies have been flawed, etc. Decisions were made based on other than science, based on unscientific ideas that, if wrong, they would do no harm.

Smith is going after a genuine scientific skeptic, because . . . because why? Well, it could be from his relationship with the faction that has, to some degree, protected and encouraged him on Wikipedia and RatWiki. He has discovered that his attack articles are popular with the Rats. He is lying about his identity and motives, and this is a fundamental problem with the wikis, where they allow not only anonymous editing, but anonymous administration. It removes personal responsibility. That was a choice that Wikipedia made early on, and it became fixed in stone. RationalWiki takes this to an extreme, originally for the lulz.

Note 1 points to a Guardian review of Taube’s latest book, The Case Against Sugar. The story covers the same suggestions as I have been making here. Smith clearly believes that the idea of Sugar Bad Fat Good is preposterous and he knows that many, maybe most, of the Rats will agree with him.

The Case Against Sugar review – an unsweetened attack on diet myths

Gary Taubes’s latest assault on the ruinous effect of sugar on our lives and the promotion of fat-free diets is detailed and compelling

For the last 15 years, US journalist Gary Taubes has been the self-nominated public enemy No 1 of the global “healthy eating” establishment. His heresy has been to argue powerfully and publicly that the official diet advice we have been encouraged to follow since the 1970s is fundamentally wrong. It is refined carbohydrates and sugars that we should be avoiding, he says, not fat.

His apostasy was dismissed by many health professionals in a sustained, near operatic chorus of censure. After all, he had committed the cardinal crime of suggesting that august government nutrition professors and the academic researchers who inform them had made an inexcusable error of judgment, with catastrophic consequences: an epidemic of obesity and diet-related ill-health of a magnitude that had no precedent.

Taubes’s latest book, The Case Against Sugar, looks to be less controversial, if only because so-called guardians of public health have of late subtly re-emphasised in government eating guidelines the role of sugar as a dietary villain, adopting what Taubes calls the “we knew it all along” approach. They have yet to admit that the natural saturated fats they have long demonised, such as butter, are healthier than the highly refined liquid oils and polyunsaturated margarine spreads they continue to recommend, even though the scientific inadequacy of this advice is being steadily exposed. In Taubes’s view, major nutrition authorities “have spent the last 50 years blaming dietary fat for our ills while letting sugar off the hook”.

How is it that Smith can cite this article, the sense of which is radically opposed to his article? Well, he needed a source to claim that Taubes “believes” what he wrote. It does not, in fact, support that wording. Taubes has explicitly term his views an “alternative hypothesis.” That is, he infers his views from study of the evidence, and he is, himself, sufficiently convinced to (1) share what he has found and (2) pursue testing. He gathered millions of dollars to do this, and that work is under way. He is going to be called every name in the book, as the Guardian article points out.

Will Smith go on to create an article on Joanna Blythman, who wrote that story for the Guardian? How about a story on the conspiracy of greedy book authors and journalists to deceive the public for fun and profit?

Taubes disputes the evidence that saturated fat is a risk factor for heart disease.[2]

Smith either doesn’t care about accuracy, or doesn’t know enough to distinguish between cause and risk factors, and the history on this issue is huge. “Saturated fat” would have to mean “saturated fat in the diet,” and studies showing that were early, weak, and inconclusive. That idea is almost entirely discredited among current researchers, but still lives on in recommendations, and, even more in the memories of those who followed the recommendations and have not kept up on the research.

Reference 2 is a Taubes article in the New York Times, January 27, 2008. I notice right away that the article is quite old, but it is presented as evidence for a current position. Smith’s text is a misrepresentation of what Taubes actually wrote, even back then.

Taubes does not generally dispute “evidence.” That is an ontological error that Smith could be expected to make. He disputes some of the conclusions from evidence, particularly when one looks at all the evidence. “Believers” and “pseudoskeptics” dispute evidence, often claiming “there is no evidence,” when there obviously is. Practically speaking, and in ordinary language, we become “beleivers” when we have seen enough to come to conclusions based on the preponderance of evidence, but if we follow the scientific method, this is never a certainty, it is provisional — and ideally we are open to correction, particularly if extraordinary evidence arises.

Taubes has been accused of misrepresenting scientific data and quoting medical researchers out of context to support his biased low-carb agenda.[3][4][5][6][7]

These are serious accusations if made about a professional journalist. From the Guardian article, we can expect accusations like this. An accusation like that without evidence is meaningless or worse. Let’s look at each one. First, the link is to the RatWiki article on quote mining, and it is hilarious to see this from Smith. Quote mining is practically all that he does!

3.  A blog post from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the most dedicated promoters of supposedly healthy diets that weren’t, and attackers of anything that disagreed with them. (I used to receive their newsletter, years ago. I never noticed that they were actually promoting science, i.e, research to confirm the recommendations they were making, so they would be a poster boy for what Taubes has uncovered. “Science” that is not. The title: The Truth About the Atkins Diet.

Okay, what is the truth? I was advised to try the South Beach diet in about 2004 by my physician. My wife was on Atkins, and I read the South Beach book and Atkins, and decided there was more science behind Atkins than Agatston, the South Beach author, with what might be called “Atkins light,” which avoids saturated fats. My doctor did not argue with me, and encouraged me. And the diet worked (which is now well known, and that’s what his nurse told me when I mentioned Atkins). I lost about forty pounds, was down to a healthy weight. Sometime around 2005 I did a lot of reading on Atkins, the arguments for and against, and I found that most negative comments flat-out did not understand the Atkins diet, and misrepresented it. So what do we have here?

Taubes claims that it’s not fatty foods that make us fat and raise our risk of disease. It’s carbohydrates. And to most readers his arguments sound perfectly plausible.

Yes. This was about the NYT article, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” which was added,
Taubes has mentioned, by the editors. His title was “What if fat doesn’t make you fat?” And that is actually a quite reasonable question. Does fat make us fat? How would we know? I know the arguments, but let’s see what CSPI comes up with:

Here are the facts—and the fictions—in Taubes’s article, which has led to a book contract with a
reported $700,000 advance. And here’s what the scientists he quoted —or neglected to quote—have to say about his reporting.

Right away, I notice that they are effectively claiming to have interviewed or obtained statements from all those quoted. Have they? I don’t know, and it will take some time to research.

Perhaps the most telling statement in Gary Taubes’s New York Times Magazine article
comes as he explains how difficult it is to study diet and health. “This then leads to a research literature so vast that it’s possible to find at least some published research to support
virtually any theory.”

He got that right. It helps explain why Taubes’s article sounds so credible.

“He knows how to spin a yarn,” says Barbara Rolls, an obesity expert at Pennsylvania State University. “What frightens me is that he picks and chooses his facts.”
She ought to know. Taubes interviewed her for some six hours, and she sent him “a huge bundle of papers,” but he didn’t quote a word of it. “If the facts don’t fit in with his yarn, he ignores
them,” she says.

Instead, Taubes put together what sounds like convincing evidence that carbohydrates cause obesity.

However Taubes does massive research. He does not use all of it. This is someone claiming that Taubes ignored what she sent him. She does not know that. She only knows, if it is true, that he did not cite her material. Taubes did explain how the “fat myth” developed. As is accepted here, the literature is vast.

In his 2008 book, Taubes goes of the history of concepts about obesity, and quotes many many publications. That the cause was carbohydrates was a very common idea until roughly the 1970s. The switch to fat being the problem was heavily influenced by the idea that fat also caused heart disease. Much of that early “consensus,” and it did become a widespread opinion, where contrary views were attacked and even suppressed (which is still going on to some degree), was utterly wrong and has been rejected, but the “cholesterol” and “fat” hypotheses keep morphing, with ad hoc explanations, a sign of defective theory.

“He took this weird little idea and blew it up, and people believed him,” says John Farquhar, a professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford University’s Center for Research in Disease Prevention. Taubes quoted Farquhar, but misrepresented his views. “What a disaster,” says Farquhar.

CSPI is not a reliable source. First of all, the “weird little idea” was widespread, long before Atkins and Taubes, and, second, it is not established that Taubes misrepresented anything. It is possible,. for sure, but CPSI does not seem to care about fact, but about spin. They also have this from Farquhar:

“I was greatly offended at how Gary Taubes tricked us all into coming across
as supporters of the Atkins diet,” says Stanford’s John Farquhar.

The plot thickens. Farquhar said something, accurately quoted, apparently, but Farquhar did not like what it implied, in the context of Taubes’ “story.” The Atkins diet was, still, by 2002, roundly condemned and to support Atkins would seem to be a major heresy. By 2002, there was little evidence on the issue of the safety of the Atkins diet, and lots of inference that it must be Bad. What did Farquhar actually say?

Looking for it, I came across a sensible article, and various fanatic ravings. )The latter cites some NuSi research that supposedly falsified Taube’s hypothesis, but that is far from clear. It is simply another claim. That latter also cites the CSPI article. In other words, find a loon, find a flock of loons. No surprise.

Taubes quoted Walter Willet, David Ludwig, Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, Kurt Isselbacher, Katherine Flegal, Kelley Brownell, William Dietz, Basil Rifkindm, Alan Stone, Judith Putnam(?), Michael Schwartz, Albert Stunkard, Richard Veech, George Blackburn, Linda Stern, Sam Klein.

This is what Taubes wrote about Farquhar:

This is the state of mind i imagine that mainstream nutritionists, researchers and physicians must inevitably take to the fat-versus-carbohydrate controversy. They may come around, but the evidence will have to be exceptionally compelling. Although this kind of conversion may be happening at the moment to John Farquhar, who is a professor of health research and policy at Stanford University and has worked in this field for more than 40 years. When I interviewed Farquhar in April, he explained why low-fat diets might lead to weight gain and low-carbohydrate diets might lead to weight loss, but he made me promise not to say he believed they did. He attributed the cause of the obesity epidemic to the “force-feeding of a nation.” Three weeks later, after reading an article on Endocrinology 101 by David Ludwig in the Journall of the American Medical Association, he sent me an e-mail message asking the not-entirely rhetorical question, “Can we get the low-fat proponents to apologize?”

This is astonishingly clear. First of all, did Taubes accurately report what was said to him? I would assume he has interview tapes. Assuming the quotes were accurate, and the interpretation of what Farquhar said reasonable (it all fits with his later complaints, actually!), he did not want his ideas to be repeated, and Taubes correctly pointed out that these were not to be repeated as his belief. And Taubes did not do that. He was claimed to have mentioned these things as possibilities, i.e., “might.”

The Farquhar complaint appears to be fluff, someone highly involved with the nutritional and policy establishment who did not want his true views or ideas to be known. What was misrepresented? I found nothing claimed. It would only be, then, the context, which was clearly speculative, that Farquhar might be undergoing a “conversion,” clearly presented with some evidence of this, but not a claim that he was a “supporter of the Atkins Diet.” (As an example, he might have been acknowledging the possibility that Atkins “worked,” for weight loss, but then still be unconvinced that Atkins was safe — which was a common comment on the research results coming out by 2002 or so that Atkins did work as well or better than other diet recommendations, that it had not been proven to be safe.

The irony in all this was that massive health recommendations to avoid cholesterol in the diet (Eggs Bad), and fat, originally all fat, only later it became saturated fat, when the obvious result of that advice would be an increase in carbyhydrate consumption, were made without any showing that this was safe, and if Taubes is right — and he’s not far off, I suspect — the cost of that was millions of premature deaths. Millions. The consequence of not distinguishing solid science from weak inference and politics.

Still on the CSPI post:

Farquhar did give more detail to CSPI:

Taubes’s article ends with a quote from Farquhar, asking: “Can we get the low-fat proponents to apologize?” But that quote was taken out of context. “What I was referring to wasn’t that low-fat diets would make a person gain weight and become obese,” explains Farquhar. Like Willett and Reaven, he’s
worried that too much carbohydrate can raise the risk of heart disease.
“I meant that in susceptible individuals, a very-low-fat [high-carb] diet can raise triglycerides, lower HDL [‘good’] cholesterol, and make harmful, small, dense LDL,” says Farquhar.

Farquhar is agreeing with Taubes much more than disagreeing. Taubes did not claim what he is objecting to. It is true that one could synthesize that. The question still stands. Low-fat proponents did not clarify the point and clarify that to be sustainable, low-fat must mean high carb, and they did not limit the advice, nor, in fact, was it based on study of low-fat diets.

Where Taubes differs from Farquhar is in an understanding that carbs are more dangerous than previously recognized, not confined to particularly susceptible individuals. The real issues are quite complex, but yellow journalists and pseudoskeptics make it very simple: there are cranks and fringe believers on one side, and experts and scientists on the other, and if a scientist is on the “crank” side, Q.E.D., they are cranks. Reality doesn’t matter, only opinions.

Carbohydrates are not what has made us a nation of butterballs, however. “We’re overfed, over-advertised, and under-exercised,” he says. “It’s the enormous portion sizes and sitting in front of the TV and computer all day” that are to blame. “It’s so gol’darn obvious—how can anyone ignore it?” “The Times editor called and tried to get me to say that low-fat diets were the cause of obesity, but I wouldn’t,” adds Farquhar.

This is, again, remarkable. So there were fact-checkers at the New York Times, editors who reviewed articles, and Farquhar can read their minds, what they “wanted.” In what Taubes reported, he gave Farquhar’s opinion, apparently reasonably fairly.

Farquhar is weird, my summary. He knows enough to suspect that Taubes might be right, but doesn’t want anyone to know, and his alternative idea is that the problem is enormous portion sizes and lethargy, an idea which Taubes traces back to early origins and intensely deconstructs, with massive data. Cause and effect have been completely confused. There is an obesity epidemic. What caused it? There is an obvious suspect, but there is an attempt is to erase the evidence with a lot of hot air.

I think this topic is important, too important for anyone to sit back and trust anyone without verification. When I started to see Smith going after Taubes, I decided to buy the rest of his books. I just finished Why We Get Fat, and next is The Case Against Sugar. Notice that the title is not Proof that Sugar is Evil. As to why we get fat, Taubes cites centuries of research. Talk about quote-mining, it appears that when the “consensus” was being formed, countless studies and a great deal of evidence was ignored, and as contrary evidence appeared, it was always explained away, even clear and strong evidence that something was off about “mainstream” thinking.

Again, the CSPI article, about the misleading claims.

CLAIM #1: The experts recommend an Atkins diet.
TRUTH: They don’t.

The reality: some do and some don’t, and this is obvious. The article, however, simply did not make the claim stated. Instead, it talks about a “small but growing minority have come to take seriously what the low-carb diet doctors have been saying all along.” It talks about researchers starting to actually study the Atkins diet, and some early results from that. I could find no actual recommendation from any expert, and Taubes was not dispensing advice. So the CSPI article is misleading.

An Atkins diet is loaded with meat, butter, and other foods high in saturated fat. Taubes implies that many of the experts he quotes recommend it. Here’s what they say:

Atkins is an ad libitem diet for protein and fat. It only restricts non-fiber, nutritive carbohydrates. Atkins did not specify saturated or unsaturated fats, and in the early days. the l0w-fat opposition to Atkiins did not discriminate, all fats were considered bad.

So an Atkins diet is only “loaded” with fat if that is what the person wants to eat. Taubes, in his later work, strongly advises against eating more than appetite. However, ultimately, Taubes’ conclusion from review of the evidence is that saturated fats are not, in general, harmful, and may even be cardio-protective. But that goes against the opinions of many!

I still remember buying margarine because the propaganda was that it was better for us than butter. This was everywhere, my adult life experienced the full force of the “anti-fat” crusade. I trusted my doctor and did not actually research the issue, so I reduced fat, and began, for the first time in my life, at about 40, to be a pasta-eater. What Taubes “implies” is in the mind of the reader. That statement, though, is a retreat from what is in the headline. It is just “many,” instead of being a blanket statement about experts. That is still misleading: Taubes was clear that this was still a minority. So the error was?

It’s clear: In 2002, “Atkins” was still a synonym for “dangerous quack fad diet,  it doesn’t work except for a little while, while you lose water, it gives you bad breath, constipation, you lose weight only because the diet is so boring that you eat less, etc., and you will die from the fat clogging your arteries.”

That “artery clogging” trope I remember from the CPSI Nutrition Action newsletters.  When they would describe how much fat was in a MacDonald’s hamburger with french fries, it was always prefaced with “artery-clogging.” They may have convinced that company to replace lard with trans-fats, which switch had no basis in science, only the assumption that trans fats were either safe or less harmful than saturated fats. (I think the idea was that trans fats are liquid at room temp, whereas saturated fats tend to congeal, so the idea that they could clog arteries seems to make sense, until we realize that fats do not actually enter the bloodstream as such.

According to Taubes, Harvard University’s Walter Willett is one of the “small but growing minority of establishment researchers [who] have come to take seriously what the low-carb-diet 
doctors have been saying all along.” True, Willett is concerned about the harm that may be caused by highcarbohydrate diets (see “What to Eat,” page 7). But the Atkins diet? “I certainly don’t recommend it,” he says. His reasons: heart disease and cancer. “There’s a clear benefit for reducing  cardiovascular risk from replacing unhealthy fats—saturated and trans— with healthy fats,” explains Willett, who chairs Harvard’s nutrition department. “And I told Taubes several times that red meat is associated with a higher risk of colon and possibly prostate cancer, but he left that out.”

Again, no misrepresentation, because Taubes did not claim that Willett endorsed the Atkins diet, and because of the heart disease concerns, it could have been unethical to do so, until and unless he became convinced that the heart disease and cancer risks were red herrings. That is a concern about red meat, and the Atkins diet does not require red meat, at all. It merely does not forbid it. As to the claim about an association with cancer, association is the weakest of evidence, unless it is quite strong. Is it? CSPI doesn’t verify this, because they are not interested in reality, but in promoting their decades-old agenda, all the while claiming some reprehensible agenda on the part of Taubes.

I looked this issue up. I don’t trust the official organizations, from years of reviewing what they recommend, I know (independently from Taubes) that these organizations can develop conflicts of interest and, for whatever reason, do not do what I’d hope for them: facilitate genuine scientific consensus, while delineating where there is still a level of reasonable controversy. The Cochrane Collaboration was intended to be that. How successful they have been, I’m not sure. There are difficulties in doing this, and organizations tend to become corruptible if precautions are not taken early on, and maintained.

In any case, what I found was mostly very unspecific, with only vague claims that conflate association with risk. The official cancer organizations tell us their conclusions, but do not reference what they were based on. How difficult would it be to have a page for those interested with sources and more detail about the recommendations, limitations, etc. I do not trust organizations that come to strong conclusions, of major import, but do not disclose how they arrived at them. I have seen far too much to naively believe that being “nonprofit” somehow immunizes them to bias. I have seen the opposite, too many times (and even as a board member of a nonprofit organization, a free clinic, very noble, very good, and easily corrupted).

(Non profits have executives who are often very highly compensated, and these organizations must raise operating funds, and if they make recommendations not to the liking of those who support them, what happens to that support? This is simply ordinary social function, not a conspiracy theory. If a nonprofit recommends what is contrary to general opinion, it can be devastating to their support. We need organizations that are truly supported by those they serve, the public, but mostly the public is asleep.)

This was the best, and could reward more study. I am reminded of the flawed epidemiological studies that set of the whole anti-fat crusade. The risk of cancer from red meat, appears, at first glance, to be quite small, as absolute risk, and in real decisions about diet, what I need to know is absolute risk, to compare, for example, with the risk of obesity, which is very, very risky. If an Atkins diet is more effective at controlling obesity, that could totally outweigh the cancer risk.

There are some recent papers on the protective effect of sun exposure. When this is pointed out, the risk of skin cancer is always brought up, and I’ve seen a generation of people become sun-averse because of all the propaganda about skin cancer. Turns out that if all-cause death rates are considered, sun exposure is associated with a lower death rate. Skin cancer can be caused, but most skin cancers are relatively easily treated, not fatal. Narrow analysis of data on one disease can generate very misleading recommendations.

CLAIM #2: Saturated fat
doesn’t promote heart disease.
TRUTH: It does.

Because we say so. Really, the evidence on this is very weak, at best.

“Fifty years of research shows that saturated fat and cholesterol raise LDL [‘bad’] cholesterol, and the higher your LDL, the higher your risk of coronary heart disease,” says Farquhar

Is Farquhar to be trusted? This is supposedly the “Center for Science in the Public Interest.” Someone who claims “fifty years of research” with no references is unreliable. Farquhar, from what he said to Taubes, not contested, cannot be trusted to reveal what he actually understands and considers possible, but is determine to protect himself, so determined that he errs badly, as he should have known. I understand why Taubes became so noplussed about Bad Science in the field.

Farquhar is repeating ideas, relied on by CSPI as if “fact,” that I think were obsolete by that time, but that certainly are now. Cholesterol in the diet does not raise blood cholesterol, at all. Hence the older advice to avoid egg yolks, high in cholesterol, has been withdrawn. The evidence on LDL is complicated, and studying the effect of saturated fat is difficult. Under some conditions, people with higher LDL appear to have a lower risk of all-cause death.

If we read that section of the CSPI article carefully, they are talking about relative strength of evidence, which can be quite subjective. Basically, the question is controversial, but they take one side and call it “Truth.” This is the behavior of fanatics, which I concluded they were long before I became aware of low-carb diets. They quote another supposed expert, who uses clear scientific terms like “good” and “bad.” Bad sign.

CLAIM #3: Health authorities recommended a low-fat diet as the key to weight loss.
TRUTH: They didn’t.

Ah ha ha, ah ha ha ha ha. This is a huge red herring. Some did, and the net impact of the recommendations, when they tricked down to my doctor, was to go on a low-fat diet. It was not for losing weight, it was over concerns about cholesterol.  This is all about interpretation of what the health authorities recommended, where much of it can be ignored in favor of recommendations that can be interpreted differently.

I see again and again on this page that Taubes was “wrong” because what he pointed out as being an unscientific consensus among health authorities is contradicted by health authorities. The implication was of extensive misquotation and misinterpretation, and they failed to show that. They are misleading their readers, in order to establish that they have been right all along. This is not “science in the public interest,” it was far from it. It was political and self-interested activism.

CLAIM #7: The Atkins diet works because it cuts carbohydrates.
TRUTH: If the Atkins diet works, it’s not clear why.

Well, this is clear: this is an example of how they present opinions as “Truth.” “Not clear” is a judgment, an assessment, indicating confusion. Who is confused? That’s left out, it is presented as if it were an objective fact. Again, very common for fanatics.

The Atkins Nutritional Approach (calling it a “diet” is somewhat misleading) does one essential thing: it encourages the person to monitor the carbohydrates they eat, by reading labels and the link, and to limit those carbs, exempting fiber, and to follow appetite and common sense about everything else. There are indeed speculations, and attempting Atkins low-fat is strongly discouraged, and probably quite dangerous, because the only other possibility is protein, and high-protein, low fat diets are very dangerous. The Atkins approach works for many people, that’s obvious, it’s really not debatable. It can work long-term (because the diet allows thorough enjoyment of food, I have never become bored with an LC-HF diet). Today, I have been seriously restricting carbs, I normally keep them low, but I wanted to see what would happen with zero carbs. I commonly have two meals a day. So for the first meal, I had a 6 oz ribeye steak, lightly broiled. Delicious. For a second meal, I’m still eating it, I savor it, a piece of sushi-quality tuna, thawed from flash-frozen, 4 oz, eaten raw with no-sugar soy sauce. Delicious!

(My other nourishment for the day is heavy cream in two cups of coffee. On other days, I eat eggs (sometimes with a single piece of toast and butter, about 10 grams of net carb), vegetables such as Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Salmon — broiled with parmesan cheese sprinkled on it, which browns like breading would, and I have a wide variety of foods in my cupboards, food that makes my mouth water when I think about eating them, and that I find thoroughly satisfying. I melt butter on the vegetables and sprinkle them with Parmesan.)

So then, as to an alleged danger:

The problem: All the protein that Atkins recommends leads to acidic urine.6 “And there’s no dispute that an acid urine leaches calcium out of bones,” says Blackburn.

What this shows is that Blackburn has no clue what he’s talking about. This is an old canard about Atkins, that it is a high-protein diet. It is not, unless someone cuts carbs and tries to go low-fat. Atkins diets tend to be moderate-protein. As Taubes points out in How We Get Fat, there are cultures where the diet is almost all meat, and in those cultures, strong effort is put into eating as much fat as possible, it is preferred. These people did not have the diseases of civilization until processed foods were introduced to them. Someone doing Atkins’ approach may use ketostix or equivalent urine test strips. I’ve done that many times, the purpose is to verify that one is actually burning fat for fuel. The ketone levels I saw were on the order of 15 mg/DL, occasionally as high as 40, which is considered “moderate.” Ketoacidosis is what they are talking about, a complication of diabetes, and the ketone levels can be on the order of 150-250.

Too much protein in a diet is known to cause health problems. This can arise with an Atkins diet if one eats lean meats, avoiding fat. In general, making major changes in diet, I recommend medical supervision. That does not necessarily mean doing what the doctor says, but communicating about what one is doing, and listening to the doctor, as well as the other side of it, the doctor listening to you. Doctors are constrained by standard of practice, but if one learns how to ask questions, it is possible to encourage a doctor to say what they really think, and, as well, how they what they know, and where they don’t know the answers to questions. A good doctor will admit ignorance, and will, naturally, tell you what the standard of practice is and, if asked, what they think about it.

There is no substitute, though, for becoming informed oneself, there is so much misinformation out there — including misinformation promoted by “experts.” Read the studies! Read the critiques, if it matters for your health, become familiar with the arguments, and then make your own choices, taking responsibility for your choices. That is general advice on how to live, not just about diet and cholesterol and statins.

In this case, my choice is clear: CSPI is full of what the body rejected. They are absolutely not to be trusted.

Okay, but Smith cited five sources for his claim. Impressive! Must be true then. Not. The number of sources matters far less than the reliability of the sources, and we already expect, from other sources, that Taubes is going to be criticized up and down, right and left, and inside and out, for any perceived defect in his articles, which is to be expected when one challenges what amounts to religious belief disguised as science.

[4] Bad sugar or bad journalism? An expert review of “The Case Against Sugar”.

This is a blog post by someone who calls himself an “expert.” Not particularly a good sign. This source, being a blog, was rejected on Wikipedia, absolutely inappropriate there. (And I see an IP edit, rather obviously Smith, reverting the removal, using a Tor node. Because of context, this was certainly Darryl Smith, first edit I have found that was him, there, after the “leaving” claim. But Smith is asserting this as a criticism, which it is.

This is an interesting review, but it boils down to a complaint that The Case Against Sugar is a case against sugar, instead of a neutral scientific review. Guyanet, the blogger, deserves much more attention that I would give him here. Smith in the text that he sourced with five references, actually made three claims:

  1. misrepresenting scientific data
  2. quoting medical researchers out of context
  3. to support his biased low-carb agenda.

Guyanet would be expert on some scientific data, at least (and does write like an expert). On that point, though, he accuses Taubes, not of misrepresenting the data but of cherry-picking, not reporting all the possible relevant information. Quoting out of context is not supported by this source. Guyanet does claim this is coming from a biased personal agenda, but he does not really determine it, and he is not an expert on journalistic psychology. In the book reviewed, Taubes is acting as a book author, continuing a theme, as a result of personal conclusions developed in approaching the topic as a journalist. So I will want to examine Guayanet more closely. He cites another source as a second expert review. Okay, following Guayanet’s thinking, this would be the Defense against Taubes’ prosecution. So who is the judge and jury?

Well, someone who needs to know. And I need to know, so that’s me. I will take my time in deliberations.

And then I find that Guyenet is offering his own “lose weight program.” Basic is free, Pro is only $9.;99 per month. Hey, a Guy has to make a living!

The second expert is intensely involved in conflict with Taubes, over a story that will be told as part of all this. These are not functioning as neutral experts. But Guyenet does point out good things about the Taubes book, he simply advises taking it with salt, which is ironic, because Taubes also, before getting involved in the very hairy controversy over fat and obesity and heart disease, also debunked myths about salt for Science magazine.

I also advise healthy skepticism, that does not depend on authority, other than realistically, understanding that authorities can be, literally, dead wrong. Choose authorities carefully, then trust and verify! I’ve learned with doctors to become informed so that I can ask informed questions. If I don’t know what questions to ask, and so I don’t ask, I usually get no answers, just “advice.” If I ask ignorant questions, I get answers designed to communicate with someone who is ignorant. Funny how that works!

The third source, [5] is another blog, an example of “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.” This is total fluff, an echo of the CSPI post, only 14 years later. I am far from inspired to read it in detail (quite differently from Guyenet, who at least raises issues of interest.

The fourth source, [6] is Big Fat Fake / The Atkins diet controversy and the sorry state of science journalism. by Michael Fumento. The site is heavy with intrusive ads that make it hard to read the page. This is quite old, 2003. He claims, like some others, that Taubes only presented one side of the issue (in a newspaper article, clearly limited for space, with Taubes basically using the opportunity to raise a question. He did not write: “It’s all been a big fat lie,” but “what if?”

My introduction to Taubes on diet was Good Calories, Bad Calories, which is voluminous and heavily referenced. Did he cherry-pick there? Perhaps. Telling all sides of a story can be a formula for creating books that nobody will read. All authors will do it, at least all successful authors. But that’s not the end, if we have a free society. Others can write, and then other still can review and assess, and ultimately reviews appear in journals that are dedicated to science and not to supporting orthodoxy. It can take decades, sometimes more.  Anyway, Fumento has:

There is a nugget of truth in Taubes’ criticisms of establishment dietary fat advice. Well-meaning but misguided health officials and health reporters, joined by opportunistic anti-fat diet book gurus, have convinced much of the public that the major culprit — perhaps the only culprit — in obesity is dietary fat. Avoid fat, we were told, and you won’t get fat. Given license to eat as many calories as we wanted from the other nutrient groups, many of us have done exactly that. This goes far to explain why almost one-third of us are obese and almost two-thirds of us are overweight. But even here Taubes is no pioneer; the damage caused by fat-free fanaticism was pointed out long before. (See, for example, my own 1997 book, The Fat of the Land.)

He is agreeing with Taubes’ central point. Taubes also states, over and over, that his ideas are not new, and credits older sources, going back into the 19th century. Taubes, however, has been very effective in his “pointing out” of what was known for a long time. Atkins based his nutritional approach on scientific research (deficient, to be sure, but as well-founded as what became the wide-spread and heavily-promoted guidelines, and common medical opinion that rather rapidly turned upside down with inadequate evidence. When I told my doctor about my first experience with Atkins, he took me into his office and pulled a book from the shelf, a book from the 1920s about diabetes, in which it is explained that many cases of diabetes (meaning type two) can be resolved by a diet that avoids starches and sweets, and for others, there is insulin (which was fairly new then). Later, diabetics were sold the idea that they could eat anything they wanted as long as they took insulin. This was terrible, terrible advice, and I suspect it had commercial motives behind it. However, he goes on:

Moreover, the Atkins-Taubes thesis of “fat won’t make you fat” encourages obesity in a similar way: It offers carte blanche for consuming limitless calories, only this time swapping carbohydrates for fat. Taubes made that swap while presenting a far less scientific case than is presented in an Atkins infomercial.

This is unrealistic, imagination. People eating a high-fat diet simply don’t consume “limitless calories” unless they force-feed themselves and continue eating beyond appetite — which is quite unpleasant! Fat satiates. The point of the Atkins diet is that, setting aside carbohydrates, appetite will normally restrict how much we eat. Whether Taubes “insulin hypothesis” is correct or not, when I went on a low-carb diet, hunger disappeared. I found that, once in ketosis, burning fat, I simply did not get “hungry” in the same way as when I was eating carbs. That’s what Atkins and Taubes predicted, and this story is repeated by many, many people who have tried Atkins for long enough to go into ketone metabolism. One doesn’t get hungry, that sense of an urgent need. Rather, one continues to eat for various reasons, some useful, some not so useful. One eats for pleasure, and Atkins allows, essentially, most of my favorite foods from childhood. One eats for  health, choosing foods for nutritive value, and one eats for habit, I have called it an oral addiction. Gotta put something in my mouth!

And if I don’t have low carb snacks available, I’ll fudge on the diet. A few bean chips, high fiber, but nice and crunchy …. and I keep eating them. Just another won’t make that much difference. . . . This is all very familiar, since I spent a lot of time studying addiction.

Very important for an Atkins diet: have food available that will satisfy. To satisfy the desire for “crunch,” the best thing I have found is crackers made from flaxseed. I pretty much have to make them myself.

Bottom line, Fumento didn’t understand the Atkins approach. It does not encourage “limitless calories.” It encourages appetite-limited calories (which requires discipline with regard to oral addictions, which is not difficult, once it is distinguished for what it is). I have never enjoyed food as much as since I started Atkins, and quantities are quite limited. I simply eat food that I enjoy tremendously, and it satisfies me. If someone is not satisfied on an Atkins diet, something is missing, and I’d recommend consulting with experts. At the very least, there are forums where questions can be asked, and experts do reply.

Consider this experimental science, where each person can test and find out what works for them. I found very useful, over a decade ago, I haven’t looked lately. Remember not to trust anything just because it is on the internet, but consider suggestions as being ideas to investigate. Find out!

(The idea that there is one diet best for everyone is probably quite incorrect. Taubes makes this point in What Makes Us Fat, we differ genetically, there is variation. And studies and statistics will not tell us what is best for us, they can, at best, give some guidelines, possibilities.)

Fumento deconstructs the CSPI objections to Taubes, the claimed misrepresentations.

“I thought [Taubes’] article was outrageous,” Reaven says. “I saw my name in it and all that was quoted to me was not wrong. But in the context it looked like I was buying the rest of that crap.” He adds, “I tried to be helpful and a good citizen, and I ended up being embarrassed as hell. He sort of set me up.” When I first contacted Reaven, he was so angry he wouldn’t even let me interview him.

But his position on Atkins was all over the Internet in interviews posted long before Taubes talked to him. Do “low-carb diets like The Zone [by Barry Sears] and Atkins work?” one asked. Answer: “One can lose weight on a low-calorie diet if it is primarily composed of fat calories or carbohydrate calories or protein calories. It makes no difference!”

I find it rather obvious what happened. Reaven was attacked by colleagues for appearing to agree with Atkins, which was rank heresy. It makes no difference is the calories-in, calories-out concept that is commonly asserted as basic physics, which is misleading, as Taubes has amply explained. There is the controversial issue of metabolic advantage — which Reaven was denying, without evidence. There is a complex interplay between insulin levels and appetite and “energy.” If it doesn’t matter what kind of diet one eats, as long as calories are low, how about eating something that will satisfy hunger with fewer calories? If it is fat, the argument always was, fat is calorie dense, compared to carbs. But it is also more satisfying, and the idea of eating too much fat actually makes me feel sick. But carbs? This is the common wisdom about “Chinese food,” the commercial restaurant kind, which is often high carb. Eat it and you are hungry an hour later. The mechanism for that is obvious. Fat has no such effect.

The fifth source is another blog, title in all caps, GARY TAUBES IS A BLOWHARD. The blogger seems to think like Rats. He covers a Taubes blog post on the “red meat cancer” issue. In fact, it’s more about Zoe Harcombe. Nuff said. Why should I even read a blog that is so obviously a personal attack, not about the science.

His about page has “So who the hell are you and why should I even listen to your stupid podcast?”

Indeed. He says nothing to indicate why, at least not on the subject of Taubes. He has a BS in Nutrition and an MS in the same, but he is young and I see no clue that he actually understands the issues — unlike Guyenet. It’s appropriate that Smith cited him, because his thinking is like that of Smith: grossly oversimplified, defending I Am Right by claiming Someone Else is Wrong. There is one point he raises that I intend to check, because that issue of red meat interested me, and I wondered what Taubes had to say about it, and he has links. I noticed problems with the conclusions when I looked at what might be the same paper. This is also a blog. The author does not make his identity clear, but appears to be Seth Yoder.

So, reflecting the spirit of opinionated blogging that is amply demonstrated in the cited post:


This is an issue of extreme importance, affecting millions of lives. People are being accused of being “murderers” for stating their opinions, including journalists and scientists, and it is possible (there is evidence, enough to “indict,” if not to convict) that mainstream advice has caused millions of unnecessary deaths. Some think it is proven, but there is always the question of who is the judge and jury. And in that context, and on that topic, someone who has done an incredible amount of work, whether or not is conclusions are correct, stimulating and facilitating genuine scientific investigation, is condemned as a “blowhard.”




David Gerard

Evidence here will likely be moved to a subpage. When I first saw David Gerard acting with respect to Smith socks (and me, in 2017), I thought that this was the typical inattentiveness of long-term users who just pop in now and then to push buttons. Rome Viharo, however, had made major accusations against David Gerard. I was skeptical.

However, since then, the patterns of behavior are obvious: David Gerard knows quite well who the Smith Brothers are, and almost certainly communicates with them off-wiki, and protects and enables them with far more knowledge than the other “supporters and enablers,” who are mostly ignorant and want to stay that way.

logs as of March 6, 2019, merged from the block log, the deletion log, the user rights log. and the upload log. (All logs are shown here). This was not cherry-picked, all logged actions for the time are shown, except for the patrol log (and there may be something missed, but not deliberately.)

Actions related to the Smith brothers or the Smith agenda are highlighted. This is 11 out of 15 actions, an astonishing percentage if he were truly independent. (I do not suspect Gerard of being a Smith brother, but, now, of supporting them as attack dogs.)

I will explain relevance later. There is more in his personal contributions

  1.  13:47, 6 March 2019 David Gerard (talk | contribs) blocked K. Peters BSc(Hons) (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Ban evasion: mikemikev)
  2.  09:52, 5 March 2019 David Gerard (talk | contribs) changed block settings for RW in the anus (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of 10:40, 5 March 2019 (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Unfunny vandalism)
  3.  11:49, 4 March 2019 David Gerard (talk | contribs) changed block settings for Brachiosaurus (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Ban evasion: Mikemikev’s latest weird kick)
  4.  11:49, 4 March 2019 David Gerard (talk | contribs) blocked Brachiosaurus (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled) (Ban evasion: Mikemikev’s latest weird kick)
  5.  14:07, 9 February 2019 David Gerard (talk | contribs) restored page Maoist Rebel News (138 revisions restored: I want this one actually – the guy keeps showing up in discussions of tankies, and I think this is a good page on him)
  6.  16:20, 4 February 2019 David Gerard (talk | contribs) changed block settings for Schizophreniac (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Harassment: no reason to preserve this username for future use)
  7.  12:38, 7 December 2018 David Gerard (talk | contribs) blocked (talk) with an expiration time of 314159 seconds (about 3.6 days) (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Spam)
  8.  09:33, 23 March 2018 David Gerard (talk | contribs) changed group membership for SirMaxKing from (none) to Autopatrolled (emailed, asked nicely)
  9.  23:04, 29 August 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) blocked (talk) with an expiration time of 3.14 months (account creation disabled, email disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Unfunny vandalism: appropriate applause for your shining wit)
  10.  11:34, 25 August 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) blocked (talk) with an expiration time of 3.14 months (account creation disabled, email disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (mikemikev, viharo or one imitating the other? who cares!)
  11.  16:30, 19 November 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) uploaded File:Racerealist88.png (Screenshot of Fair use as reply from article subject. {{Fair_use |username=David Gerard |title=NotPoliticallyCorrect |deceased= |low_resolution= |other=Fair use as reply from article subject. }})
  12.  18:51, 18 October 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) changed group membership for Abd from Autopatrolled to (none) (warrants no rights due to obnoxious behaviour)
  13.  18:44, 9 October 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) deleted page Talk:RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory/Archive1 (Harassment: attempted doxing … if mods particularly disagree they can put it back, but …)
  14.  19:59, 9 October 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) changed group membership for Abd from Autopatrolled and Sysop to Autopatrolled (attempted harassment, ban may follow)
  15.  22:13, 8 October 2017 David Gerard (talk | contribs) deleted page RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory (Harassment: yeah, no)



Cold Confusion

This is a page that will accumulate common confusions about cold fusion, Rossi v. Darden, and other related issues.

Many people get their news from social media, discussion fora, etc., and memes arise and propagate. There are some that I have seen repeatedly, so here is one place to cover them and, hopefully, clear up some confusion, amid a profusion of rumor and misinterpretation. As always, comment is open and notice of errors is appreciated, or even error about errors! After all, if a reader thinks something is wrong, it either is incorrect or I, quite possibly, have poorly expressed what I know or think I know.

Did Industrial Heat demand that Andrea Rossi provide them with IP at the same time as they were declaring it worthless?

I have seen this several times. In a recent incarnation, on Lenr-forum, kevmolenr wrote:

Why did IH countersue to get Rossi’s IP if it was worthless?

IH did not do that. There is a  “prayer for relief” from the final version of the Answer and Counterclaim. There is nothing there about “getting IP.” Kevmo also asks:

IH countersued asking for his IP. Did they or did they not obtain transfer of the IP after it was Validated according to that first report?: They obviously paid for it. What IP was IH countersuing for?

The “prayer” is where a plaintiff asks the court to determine and order something. This is it:

WHEREFORE, Counter-Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court enter judgment in
their favor and against Counter-Defendants and Third Party Defendants as follows:
i. For compensatory and expectation damages and/or restitution in an amount to be
determined at trial;
ii. For costs of suit and for attorneys’ fees and costs;
iii. For pre-judgment interest; and
iv. For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.

Others have explained the sequence of events. “IP” refers to “intellectual property,” and has two aspects: knowledge (“know-how”) and licensed rights. Industrial Heat was not happy with the conditions of the Validation Test, but it appears to me that they had decided to pinch their nose and go ahead, because they very much needed to know if Rossi had a real technology, Rossi’s claims were depressing investment in other LENR research. Why fund something that might produce a few watts if Rossi was producing kilowatts?

It is quite clear that IH essentially gave Rossi what he wanted, including allowing his friend Penon to be the “Engineer Responsible for Validation.” So though the Validation test stank, they accepted it, and the escrow transfer took place, which included an alleged transfer of what was needed to make the technology work.

IH claimed that, following instructions, and with the active assistance of Rossi, they were never able to show confirmed positive results.

In the settlement that ended the trial, reached after opening remarks and Rossi’s attorneys were setting up to begin their presentation, IH walked, giving up the IP, and no further exchange of funds either way. Often Planet Rossi has wondered why they had not accepted Rossi’s (alleged) offer, before he sued, to return the $10 million paid for the IP, to cancel the Agreement.

First, it is not clear that there ever was an offer. Second, they had invested, not just the $1.5 million for the reactor and $10 million for the IP, but perhaps a total of $25 million, including what they had paid Ampenergo, if I’m correct, as part of that, $5 million to surrender the U.S. rights. They considered it possible that Rossi did, in fact, have a technology, but had not disclosed it. If the technology were real, it could be worth a trillion dollars. Even a very small possibility of that would be worth holding on to the licence.

However, it appears that Rossi’s attorney convinced Rossi to walk as well, and then he could point out to IH that it was going to cost them millions of dollars to win, if they could win, and they might not recover their expenses. The $10 million payment was a done deal, Rossi’s attorneys would have argued estoppel , and to prove actual fraud in that validation test would have been difficult. The fraud that IH was claiming was over Rossi’s machinations to create the Doral fake guaranteed performance test, the fake customer, etc.

IH needed to decide to go ahead, very likely losing money (even if they “won”), or accept their losses and move on in LENR research with Woodford support. If they had believed there was even one chance in a thousand of Rossi Reality, I don’t think they would have let go of the license,  they would have negotiated some compromise.

They concluded, I infer, that there was not even that much chance that the technology was real. In mercato veritas. The real market decided that Rossi’s E-cats were, with high certainty, worthless.

Many have claimed that they were foolish. I don’t think so. They needed to know, it was important to them, and they paid to find out, and they found out, to their satisfaction. My sense is that their boldness in investing in Rossi impressed Woodford Fund, and they obtained $50 million, so they doubled the money they could put into LENR research, and Woodford committed another $150 million if needed.

Rossi was angry that IH was investing in other approaches, calling them “competitors.” IH was actually interested in the science, and has funded research, including LENR theory. IH had no obligation to work exclusively with Rossi. Rossi also believed that they were disclosing his “secrets” to others. In fact, they had the right to do that, there was no non-disclosure agreement by IH. (The settlement agreement cancelled that right.) But Rossi’s secrets were worthless.



This study is a subpage of rationalwiki/anglo-pyramidologist/supporters-and-enablers/ but Dysklyver is not a supporter or knowing enabler of the AP sock masters.

Dysklyver (contributions, logs) is an interesting case, much more interesting than the general RationalWiki sillysplop. From RW User:Dysklyver

  • Fairly new, registered 17 June 2018
  • Rights. Autopatrolled 19 June 2018
  • Sysop 12 July 2018
  • Created troll sock 18 August 2018. Nominated himself for moderator. The acceptance speech is actually pretty funny, as a parody. Or is it simply a description?
  • Ninja and Tech 27 November 2018

Personal information: this was all openly revealed. If Dysklyver wants any of this removed, he may request this. Good-faith requests will not be published without permission (an ordinary comment will ordinarily be published, permission is assumed). Commenters here as a message to the administrator reviewing comments (that’s me at this point!) may request that the comment not be published, and this will normally be respected.

However, trolls will be chopped into kindling and burned for heat, it’s cold!

User:Dysklyver (various revisions) and with a little help from my friends:

    • Wikipedia: User:A_Den_Jentyl_Ettien_Avel_Dysklyver very blocked on wikipedia. Indeed. Global account. Globally locked, “(Long-term abuse)”  The block logs do not justify “LTA.” Alternate account on Wikipedia, Arthur Kerensa. Looking at the history of that talk page, and making no conclusion about the legitimacy of his blocks (he requested them?), they are assholes. This is, unfortunately, was becoming very common by the time I abandoned wikipedia (as is common, abandon the project and they community-ban), and whenever I have occasion to look, it seems to have gotten worse. What was the harm of that notice?
    • chilling on a wiki site. Link is dead, died sometime between September 13 and December 1, 2018. Not in wikiindex. Some pages archived on Not that one.
    • On IRC (freenode) as Dysklyver@unaffiliated/dysklyver
    • On wikipediocracy as Dysklyver memberlist (requires registration)
    • In and around various sites like Ubuntu, Reddit, TheStudentRoom, and more
    • Lawyer. [Unlikely from age, but may be law student or paralegal].
    • I live in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom.
    • I am the primary sysadmin (not sysop) of World Wiki. (dead link) (So what happened?)
    • On Reddit as Dysklyver.
    • I have a blog called The Wiki Cabal
    • My email address is
    • Follow me on  Twitter
    • I am on Discord as Dysk#2545

Why is Dysklyver documented here?

He was noticed and mentioned in connection with Aeschylus, an admitted Oliver D. Smith sock, as described on our page, ODS. Oliver Smith has often put up “retired templates,” and he has claimed elsewhere that he wasn’t going to edit RatWiki any more, but . . . he does and has created as many as hundreds of sock accounts, the same as he has done elsewhere.

Dysklyver, reading Aeschylus’ extremely weak plea for deletion, desysopped and blocked him “for [his] own  good.”

Oliver, instead of admitting that he had presented misleading evidence on pages, pursuing personal vendettas, leading to defamation that was not true, not supported by sources, simply had asked for them to be deleted, and users who had looked at the evidence before (very well designed to be misleading), and with any activity attempting to correct it being blocked on sight, and with prior misleading attempts having succeeded in convincing RatWikians that Oliver’s targets are bullies (for example, non-existent email from me was quoted by a Darryl sock, and impersonation socks threatened to sue RatWiki and various sysops), instead of admitting that the stories about the “Smith brothers” were true, simply showed that he wanted the pages taken down because he was being sued, and the response of RatWikians was totally as I’d expect. To put it RatWiki, technical language, “Fuck No!”

Dysklyver has shown that he is aware of the Smith trolling. How much he knows, I do not know. I have not listed him as an “enabler,” because I only use that category for RatWikians who know about the Smiths and actually support them, or who stand in reckless disregard of what they could know if they look at evidence presented to them.

This is amusing for today:

Mr. Clean created an article on Defamation, 19:45, edit summary “(will expand),” with this text:

Defamation is statements that affect a person’s reputation negatively, which are untrue or misleading.

Defamation laws by country

United States

In the United States website owners cannot be prosecuted for defamation for the actions of users of websites they own.

Dysklyver deleted it at 19:48. That was swift.

This conversation ensued:


Why shouldn’t there be an article about this? Mr Clean (talk) 19:50, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
You can make a draft if you like (eg. Draft:Defamation) but you are not getting away with starting a mainspace page on such a tricky subject with a two sentence stub where one of the sentences is factually wrong. —

What was wrong? Mr Clean (talk) 20:06, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Dysklyver is entirely too serious for a normal RatWiki sysop. Mr. Clean has a Smith-type username, and the interest in defamation also matches Smith. I would not at this point accuse him of being a Smith, the evidence is too thin. Does Dysklyver realize the possibility? After all, if this is Smith, he’s block-evading.

What was wrong? I see several problems.

The first statement is roughly true. Defamation is a little broader than stated, and can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but I doubt that Dysklyver was referring to that sentence. Rather,

In the United States website owners cannot be prosecuted for defamation for the actions of users of websites they own.

If we include under prosecution, “civil prosecution” by an injured party, the question is whether or not a website owner can be liable (or criminally responsible, where defamation is a crime, as it is in some places). The user is probably thinking of the Communications Decency Act, which provides qualified immunity to “information service providers.” Whether a “web site owner” can be held liable depends on details. The user’s comment may generally be true, but exceptions may exist, and so the statement, because made as if a blanket immunity, is false.

This, by the way, is a gaping hole in U.S. law, because it allows even blatantly defamatory material to stand even if a court finds the provider of the information (the “user”) to have defamed with it. The situation is very different with copyright violation, where procedures are provided for a formal claim by an alleged copyright owner, and then immunizing action by the provider (generally take-down or an order to take down), and the “offender” may file a counterclaim by providing an address for service of process. With that, the service provider may restore the information until a court orders it taken down. That works, so why not something like that with defamation?

Because laws don’t necessarily make sense, that’s why.

This got more interesting. I speculated that Mr Clean might be Oliver. I still consider it possible, because Oliver lies and he and his brother are perfectly capable of creating impersonation accounts that appear to attack them, in an effort to rally the troops, so to speak. It has often work, and I know for certain that they create impersonation accounts, because I have been impersonated. But wait, couldn’t those be that evil Mikemikev, trying to make them look Bad? In theory, yes, but there is a huge hole in that theory. They have always supported not only blocking those accounts, but also any actual, disclosed socks of mine, lumping them all together. As well, the prolific creation of socks is one of their trademarks, they do it routinely even when there is no necessity, and they have even found that if their target complains, the target is then blamed for fomenting the disruption, just saying anything. After all, if the target kept his mouth shut, they wouldn’t be attacking, right?

However, these trolls have been on the attack continuously for years, if it is not one, then another, and one thing that is happening is that the targets are starting to talk to each other, to share information and maybe, just maybe, legal expenses. So what happened, that encourages this follow-up

Arcticos blocked Mr Clean, with  (Block evasion: abd lomax, check his insane blog – one of his countless concern troll sockpuppets he creates fake drama with)

He was referring to this page, which speculates that Mr Clean might be Oliver, there are signs, and that Arcticos — obviously Oliver — blocked Mr Clean merely because of the mention here — which was mostly about the legal issues — is merely more evidence that Arcticos is Oliver, as if we needed it. This was “creating drama” with no necessity at all. And Oliver has done this many times, in former incarnations. He is a hair-trigger loose cannon. But he is persistent, and with his brother helping out now and then, he often gets his way.

John66 is back, so Darryl is active again, after a month hiatus. Eventually, I have often found, there is another active account, either on RatWiki or elsewhere.

Arcticos is reading this blog and it’s obvious why.

Lomax claims I’m John66, lol

There are many crazy but entertaining ramblings and conspiracy theories on his blog. For some reason he claims I own the sysop John66, someone that blatantly isn’t me I have zero knowledge of their edits.Arcticos (talk) 04:28, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

I have never heard of this Lomax person before, not sure why he has confused me with someone else. My edits on this website are only on fad diets and cholesterol quackery, I have never written about cold fusion. I noticed Lomax is a cholesterol denialist, perhaps that it why he targeted me. John66 (talk) 04:46, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Let’s start with the lie: I have never claimed that Arcticos owns the John66 account. What I have claimed is that his brother owns it, and that’s been very clear. So how is it that Oliver can read this blog and derive such crazy ideas from it? Well, let’s start that he is actually insane, no joke. But there is no evidence that his brother is so crazy. Did his brother actually read the material? If he did — I would, wouldn’t you, if there was a whole page devoted to me somewhere — he would know why he was covered. If, again, he were sane, he would understand why there was at least an *appearance* of his being Skeptic from Britain and renamed accounts on Wikipedia, and all the other evidence pointed to him being a series of accounts. Few people actually look at the evidence that would show that, it’s too much work. Even when someone else bothers to collect it and make it easily accessible, few will look.

Hence extensive knowledge of the situation is a sign of being one of a fairly small number of people on the planet. It’s like someone being questioned by the police who shows extensive knowledge of the details of a crime. It’s not proof, but often enough to lay charges. So I’m blocked on ED, and who the hell cares? Oliver Smith does, he was begging for that to happen. He was being blocked by many socks, “block-evading,” and when I finally made about two edits, I was blocked by an admin there. For what? He didn’t actually say. it was standard ED fare. Because he can, because fuck off, because unfunny. Whatever. I have not attempted to do anything about it. Oliver has another sock, he pulled out of the drawer.

And then Mr Clean rises from the dead:


Who the hell is OS? Initials, Oliver Smith. Why would Oliver do this? I keep in mind that Oliver’s behavior often makes no sense, to an ordinary mind. (And this is used to great effect.) But Mikemikev is actually a troll, long-term, quite the mirror or foil for Oliver. So could he be OS? As I’m writing this, I consider it possible. His first edit:

Hi Dysklyver. I was Mr. CLean. [[User:Arcticos|Arcticos]] just blocked me indefinitely, and took away my talk page access. Is that normal? Can I not get a chance to respond to accusations? I have no idea why hid did this. I was happy to cooperate with you in making the defamation article. I would have made a draft we could work on together. [[User:Ostwelt Spangler|Ostwelt Spangler]] ([[User talk:Ostwelt Spangler|talk]]) 11:17, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Only someone familiar with the Smith history would think Mr Clean was a “block evader.” Which is not actually an offense on RatWiki, they have never developed a clear policy, and don’t want one, because the Lulz.

Now, is OS “Mr Clean”? I have some doubts. The blocking of Mr Clean was by a user known, very clearly, to be Oliver Smith (there really is no doubt about this). That user was blocked by Dysklyver “for his own good,” as Aeschylus, but he also encouraged him to sock. Very RatWiki. The assumption would be, though, that he would not repeat the behavior or write things that could harm him legally. Mikemikev could have noticed this, or still consistent with what I’ve seen, really was innocent. Or this was Oliver blocking himself, having decided that the account was compromised by being noticed here.

On the other hand, that has not stopped Arcticos. Like I’ve said, insane. I tend to retreat to known facts, not mind-reading.

12:53 Arcticos blocked Ostwelt Spangler Block evasion: mikemikev trolling

12:54 Dysklyver unblocked. (no real evidence)

So Mr Clean is me, and Ostwelt Spangler is Mikemikev impersonating Mr Clean? Yes, he’s nuts.

My hypothesis. He knows OS is not Mr Clean because he was Mr Clean. So who would it be? Mikemikev, of course, and whenever the thought Mikemikev enters his head, he pushes buttons first and thinks later. When he has realized that it has all become too obvious, he retires and starts up a new sock. He’s been doing it for many years.

Is OS Mike? I don’t know, and I won’t ask him. It’s that simple. What I see here is that there is no open evidence, and Dysklyver can see that. RatWiki practice is normally not to block a user as a sock unless the user is not only actually banned, but there is clear evidence that it is the banned user. But that requirement has been waived for sysops with the last name Smith and David Gerard, who have super powers and never make mistakes. David mostly keeps his dainty fingers out of these messes, but a surprising number of his actions benefit the Smiths and their agenda. What is interesting here is that there is a sysop not swallowing the bullshit. He does seem to assume some things I would disagree with. The general Smith story has been that I write massive attacks on anyone who disagrees with me. It has never been true, mere disagreement is far from enough to create a motivation to spend time documenting this crap. Real-world damage is what can do it.

So then Jean shows up. Jane, 99%, is a Smith brother. So he would be Arcticos (Oliver) or John66 (Darryl).

Arcticos was wrong in blocking Mr Clean as a sock of Abd Lomax, but he was right in blocking that account. Mr Clean/Ostwelt Spangler is a sock-puppet of Michael Coombs (a friend of Lomax), and also a notorious sock-puppeteer. He was recently banned a few days ago on another sock, Radiant Orb. The “Ostwelt Spangler” account, is a reference to Oswald Spengler, one of Mike’s heroes. Spengler’s book “The Decline of the West” is an alt-right favourite. I can’t prove any of these claims right now as so few edits have been done, but I will eventually be proved right. Mike will pretend to be normal for a while like he did on his Radiant Orb account, but sooner or later will reveal himself when he posts crude and obsessive racism. Jean (talk) 12:32, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Who cares if he is right or not? This is, by the way, doxxing. If anyone does this with a Smith brother, on-wiki or even off, off with their heads! Immediate indef, talk page and email access denied. Period. Shut The Fuck Up! Dysklyver is pushing limits by even mentioning “Smith” (but they have done it themselves many times. To be sure, they often later delete or hide the revisions.) My emphasis:

@Dyskluver Yes, it was a few lines of crap and like you said mostly inaccurate. And “Twist Spanker” is Mikemikev’s new sockpuppet. Once exposed as him, he quickly creates new accounts. Notice also these latest accounts appearing very recent fixate only with my edits – Atlantis and now UKIP… not suspicious (sarcasm).Arcticos (talk) 13:55, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

I am not in the least surprised given that you focus only on the same topics he does, that you are obsessed with finding his socks rather than waiting for them to say anything much, and that you are almost certainly filed under “sock of the smith bros” in Trolloland. I think you are doing a good job with the British politics articles, but when it comes to the trolls, be aware there is no practical limit to the number of accounts they can create, so there is little point blocking them early. — Dysklyver 14:02, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

And as if there was any doubt, Arcticos confirms that he is Oliver Smith.

@Dyskluver we only focus on the same topics, since I influence Mikemikev. He can’t think for himself and has been robbing my opinions and interests for past 6 years, he’s like a puppy who follows me around. [. . .] Arcticos (talk) 15:21, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Six years. 2012, when Oliver was Atlantid on Metapedia. There is only one person on the planet who would have written that honestly, and Oliver is often “honest,” i.e., spills the beans about himself. Then he lies to cover it up. Someone doxxes his brother, he attacks them for “attacking his family,” thus confirming that it was his family. The guy really does not know how to shut up.

If Radiant Orb was Mikemikev, he had obtained sysop tools and would “rationally” restrain himself with that account. Unless he has other access, and doesn’t care. It is quite easy to get sysop tools on RatWiki. Basically, write something coherent and don’t challenge any sacred goats. Shut up about the goats, already!

Oliver goes ballistic if anything smells like Mikemikev. Or me. Or Rome Viharo (though Viharo was more of an obsession with Darryl). Or Emil Kirkegaard. Or Michealdsuarez. There are others as well. This sequence is actually common. Oliver is arguing with someone and needs to disclose “the truth” so that the person will agree with him. He is explaining, here, why he and the alleged Mikemikev are interested in the same topics. Which is actually irrelevant, in this case, except that interest in those topics could create suspicion of socking or “alternate accounts.” Standard on wikis, don’t doxx a user as “Real Name So-and-so” unless it is both provable and necessary. It will get you blocked on Wikipedia, quickly, though they do tend to warn first (and rev-del the comment).

Dysklyver doesn’t buy it. He is the first RatWiki sysop I have seen confront Oliver on the obvious. There have been a few trout-slaps here and there, but nobody really seemed to get what was going on.

I know he has seen this page, but I don’t know that he reads it. It’s entirely up to him. When a RatWiki user is impersonated here, and they have not been informed before of such, I’ll notify them. It’s easy enough. And if they delete it and block the IP, I simply won’t notify them again. I have not harassed RatWiki users, all such apparent harassment has been impersonation. And if anyone has questions about that, they can ask. I will not acknowledge any covert socks, but if a sock allegedly was disruptive, I will either show that it was not disruptive, or deny that it was me, if it was not, or admit it and apologize for the error.

To be clear, I am not identifying socks without necessity. The long-term activity of the Smiths has made it necessary for their socks, because part of how the disruption is identified is through long-term patterns. The Smiths have created massive long-term disruption on RationalWiki, about which I would care very, very little, except for the damage done in the real world.

When I was a sysop on RationalWiki, faced with Smith socks and Smith troll socks, I did not identify them by name, nor did I block the “functional accounts,” and only a handful of obvious trolls.

One more event for the day:

12:12, 24 February 2019 User account Twist Spanker (talk | contribs) was created
13:34, 24 February 2019 Talk:United Kingdom Independence Party ‎ (→‎Organisation of article)
13:27, 24 February 2019 United Kingdom Independence Party ‎
14:03, 24 February 2019 Arcticos blocked Twist Spanker  with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (can we please just get rid of mikemikev?)

The edits were mild and not definitive at all as being Mikemikev, if they were, he was not displaying his trademark racism. However, to Oliver, it would look like trolling. Trolling for what? For an over-reaction, of course, that is what real trolls do. If so, Oliver played right into it, being predictably a loose cannon. Recent events have shown clearly, to anyone watching, that Oliver will tag as a sock of an enemy anyone who even looks like they might be poking them.

Will someone have the cojones to dsysop him? He’s done far more, in a short time, than many others who have been desysopped. (Look at my history, for example! What did I do, actually?)

Here is what he will do if it happens. He will disappear and simply create a new account. His current user page says that he created that one article. In fact, he has created hundreds of articles, some reasonably legitimate. He is recognizable if anyone has looked at the sock collection.

But of the articles are attacks on external enemies, and Darryl has done the same, based on outside personal conflicts. Then, if the targets show up, they are harassed. If they are not disruptive, many impersonation socks appear, pretending to be the target and making it look like the target is disruptive.

They have found that it works. It even worked on Wikipedia, which is how I discovered these brothers. I blew it up by realizing what had happened and requesting steward checkuser. Yes. Impersonation socks, also demanding action against the alleged abuser. That is how I became a Smith target, by documenting that sequence. My original interest was how Single Purpose Accounts could trigger enforcement action without anyone actually looking at the SPAs themselves. I was interested in how they had corrupted Wikipedia (and Wikiversity) process, deluding and deceiving users including administrators (and, by the way, those original impersonations have never been identified on Wikipedia, they are still blamed on the target, even though, on meta, this was demolished by stewards.)

If these three accounts are actually Mikemikev, he is doing a service by being a sniper target, exposing the sniper. But I don’t know yet. Sometimes it becomes clear. And, of course, sometimes some people have ways of identifying socks. I know that I have some that I won’t reveal, but I doubt I would block a user based on those traits, because they legitimately raise suspicion but are not necessarily strong evidence.

When multiple weak signs coincide toward the same conclusion, it becomes strong enough to stand on, as long as one attempts to see all the evidence, and not just what points in a single direction.

Update, March 4, 2019

Dysklyver activity of interest here.

Dysklyver has commented here, as can be seen below. He is the only RatWiki sysop to actually contact me, in recent years, other than Oliver Smith. There have been various troll contacts, which could be Darryl. Oliver denied being them (and massive trolling does appear to be Darryl, generally, rather than Oliver. Except on Encyclopedia Dramatica) One of the remarkable traits of common wiki maintenance is administration by force, instead of creating cooperation where possible. It became increasingly common on Wikipedia. Common users are assumed to be either good editors or useless trolls or “POV pushers,” to be blocked. The long term damage to Wikipedia was to neutrality policy. Neutrality is not a thing. There is no “neutrality meter,” it is subjective, and if the group consensus excludes people of a point of view — which Wikipedia, over and over, trended to — it becomes warped. Wiki theory did not account for this. The fundamental error was in assuming that people who push their point of view should be banned, ipso facto.

Rational Wiki has no neutrality policy. It has a site point of view, often aligned with the “SPOV” faction on Wikipedia. However, RatWiki used to encourage and allow dissident points of view, and even gave sysop privileges to people of different stripes. I was a sysop there, from 2012, until I was personally attacked on the wiki by Darryl (as “Marky”), after the user who had run impersonation socks on Wikipedia was discovered as a result of my actions, and I was threatened with what did ensue, massive harassment, and deletion of all my work.  They did not succeed in deleting all my work, because cooperative administration and site backups allowed it to be preserved. Darryl then took this to RatWiki, creating the article on me, and I was quickly “promoted” by David Gerard, who had attempted this before, previously stopped by a moderator.

Once upon a time, the moderator’s action would be normal for RatWiki. I had mostly abandoned RatWiki, just making scattered edits, because I had found it was like trying to communicate with a heap of testosterone-crazed teenage Lilliputians. And RationalWiki was mostly harmless. That all changed. Some people read the articles and believe what they read. The Smith brothers, in particular, are masters of finding “bad-looking quotations” that are presented out of context. They have discovered that most wiki editors rarely actually verify sources, i.e., by reading the whole source (if any of it at all). The Smiths look for “bad” to toss mud. And if I have pointed that out, this proves I am some kind of monster because I “support” [fill in the unsupported claim: fascists, child rape apologists, pseudoscientists, diet woo promoters, etc.]

Dysklyver, almost alone in this, has been attempting to restore the old standards. So far, he has not run into serious conflict with actual old-timers, other than the Smiths. These are some of his edits and actions.

Arcticos (Oliver Smith, I have no doubt, this is not Darryl), added the title of “King of the Trolls” to my article. (It was sourced to a post by a single anonymous user on lenr-forum, long story. This would be a source with no reliability at all. The Smiths have claimed over and over that I have been banned for trolling all over the internet, but, in fact, I have not been banned anywhere for that. It is an empty claim, the reality is quite different. There is really only on significant ban, the WMF Office ban, and that is going into court. It was triggered by complaints and it is clear that the complaints were from the Smith brothers, and from a few others scared up by the Smiths by searching for possible enemies and canvassing for it.

Dysklyver removed that. This has been extremely rare, other RatWiki users rejecting Smith edits. The article has errors that were pointed out much more than a year ago, nobody looked, apparently. Snark takes high priority over accuracy. (It used to be that editors sought to be accurate in facts, and snarky only in interpretation. That largely disappeared, certainly where the Smiths are involved, which is with a lot. (Though not as much as the Smiths claim I report, one of their favorite tactics is straw-manning.)

Standard RatWiki discussion by the Smiths. Smith misrepresents a fact, RatWikians do not check it out, do not find out what actually happened, and respond as if the fact were true, because it confirms the impressions the Smiths have created with a year’s drumbeat, impersonations socks, etc. Bongolian, though, does have sense enough to recognize that “King of the Trolls” might be a teeny bit exaggerated. The alleged trolling has almost all been on RatWiki by impersonation socks, commonly blocked by naive RatWiki users as me.

There are a handful of real socks. In the first months of my indef block on RatWiki, I disclosed socks, either with the edits or on this blog. For quite a while, I disclosed any IP edits, and I actually used a proxy service for a month. What I was doing, for the most part was informing RatWiki users that they had been impersonated elsewhere, probably by the Smiths (probably Darryl). Because disclosing the socks generated no value at all, because users never thanked me for disclosing impersonations of them, I stopped doing it, but I also stopped editing RatWiki, almost entirely. Impersonation socks continued.

An account, Street scoop, with only one other edit, added a link to explain material that had been added by Arcticos. The only other edit of Street scoop was similar, adding a link to explain what a Smith brother had claimed, so that anyone could verify it.

This was promptly reverted by Jean, a very inactive account, likely Darryl, with (Undo revision 2043420 by Street scoop (talk) sock of abd lomax). The only basis I can see for the identification is that Street scoop was already tagged by Street guy as Abd, for doing something similar before, and a Smith assumption that anyone actually providing evidence must be Abd, because nobody else would care. This is thoroughly ironic. If Abd were to edit RatWiki using a pseudonym, and reverted an edit as being by “Oliver Smith,” he would be immediately blocked for “doxxing,” but it is routine for Smith socks to dox others, and rare for anyone to object. What became obvious to me as I researched this was that there is behind-the-scenes support for the Smiths. (How is it that obvious trolls were able to coordinate a WMF Office ban?) I have some idea of where it might be coming from, but nothing adequate to create certainty, only hints from various validated Smith comments.

The article was then protected by Arcticos, Excessive vandalism. If that edit were “excessive” vandalism, what would ordinary vandalism look like? Adding correct punctuation? There is nothing about that edit that remotely resembles vandalism, from any point of view, unless the point of view is that any accurate information relating to Abd in some way is against the purposes of the article. The comment added by Arcticos was about an article allegedly created by Abd (and, I did, in fact, create that article, but it wasn’t an article, it was a subpage of the Oliver Smith article, with some special information, which had been common on Encyclopedia Dramatica. Arcticos reports that I was blocked, what he does not report was that he was being blocked as many socks, over and over. I have not appealed that block, though I certainly could, because I really don’t need to edit ED. But the article is of high interest, I would think, to any RatWikian who wants to know what is really going on, and it relates to claims that Oliver D. Smith was making before being blocked “for his own good” by Dysklyver. The link is still there in history.

(Smith is currently being sued, and as part of this, asking for deletions in a way guaranteed to fail, admitted that accounts were his where he had previously ridiculed Abd for expressing such suspicions. In fact, anyone who studies the history of these accounts can become skilled at recognizing them. There are some signs that are easy to spot, but, of course, I’m not going to mention them. Before claiming an account is a Smith brother, I have seen multiple signs, and I always consider that it could be someone else with a similar point of view, but, with experience, the points of view of the Smiths are highly idiocyncratic in themselves. It is not at all that any skeptics is accused of being a Smith, but they create so much confusion that some sites documenting the Smiths do err. Given that I have documented hundreds of accounts, there are probably some errors, but — none of these accounts have ever personally complained. The Smiths, long ago, learned that when an account has been identified, it is easier to just abandon it. On RatWiki, they routinely abandon sysop accounts. There are quite a number still holding privileges, as I recall.)

The Smiths routinely lie to the RatWiki community.

Debunking Spiritualism, for example, was not hacked. He simply lied. His behavior in those few days was completely in line with his agenda, with special craziness at the end, that’s all, but RatWikians do not actually research these things, they just react, knee-jerk, like any stupid non-skeptics.  It worked. His goal was to delete certain admissions, particularly by his brother Oliver, and to attack an enemy (Wyatt) but to make this not so visible, he needed to bury them in a flurry of activity. Many of his actions were reversed, but certainly not all. The Smith brothers have learned how to manipulate the community, they know how people will respond to confusion, and the tactic works. It even works on Wikipedia to a degree.

And then Arcticos corrected the spelling error that Jean had brought back in by reverting.

Dysklyver removed the protection with (the vandals interested in this page are sysops already)

To be true, this statement defines Smith brother accounts as vandals. There was no recent vandalism, but there had been in the past, and it was impersonation accounts by the Smith, who were sysops. (The vandal accounts were not, of course, but it is totally obvious to anyone who studies this who would have the interest and inclination and sometimes there is timing evidence. In this case, Dysklyver unprotects the article. Now what would Abd want? Let me ask him. I got a quick answer: I’d want the article unprotected so anyone (including me) could correct it, or at least assert an edit with sources or evidence. But there is someone who wants it protected, who wrote it (or his brother wrote it with a few additions by him). This is not Mikemikev and it is not Abd. It is Darryl Smith, with a smaller possibility of it being Oliver. It is much more difficult to identify transient impersonation socks. It happened on Wikipedia (because I was able to request and obtain  steward checkuser). This was Darryl then. Oliver disclaimed knowledge, and I found that believable.

So, as completely predictable, two impersonation socks show up to vandalize the article. They are Lomax is back and Coldfusions. Predictably (and within the narrow world of RatWiki normal practice), Bongolian semi-protected.

And then Arcticos full-protected (sysop required). better protection since Lomax is creating fake accounts pretending to be someone else and getting autopatrolled.

But what is he protecting? Content that his brother created originally, and maintained with many accounts, vandalized with other accounts of his, and that has not been edited by Abd or anyone reasonably resembling Abd (in actual edits) since one edit allowed to stand in 2017. The “vandalism” has all been impersonation accounts, designed to look like Abd to someone who doesn’t actually know how he works. “Creating fake accounts?” What is a “fake account”. The fake accounts here would be the Lomax impersonations, probably Arcticos’ brother.

This is how RatWiki has worked for many years. Make some positive edits, you get autopatrol and can edit what is semiprotected. So for the kind of drive-by vandalism done by the impersonation socks, semiprotection is adequate. An autopatrolled account has “paid for” the possible disruption by making some good edits. If one becomes autopatrolled, any sysop can still remove that right. If a troll gets an account, or a banned user, it’s trivial to stop destructive editing. Indeed, if someone becomes a sysop, still, any sysop can remove it and, as well, block the user. This was remarkable, though:

02:44, 4 May 2018 Bongolian (talk | contribs | block) changed group membership for Abd from (none) to sysoprevoke (presumptive hacking in addition to everything else)

What was the basis for presuming hacking? It would be that Debunking spiritualism (clearly DS, Darryl Smith) went on a sysop action spree, going after pages his brother had edited to reveal that, indeed, he was the brother, and the like, going after at least one Smith enemy (Wyatt), creating a massive log that most RW user will look at and say “maybe tomorrow,” and then he claimed he had been hacked, but any sane hacker would have changed the password, not left it so that he could retire.

Had I hacked the account, how would sysoprevoke have any effect on that? RatWiki pretends that being desysopped and blocked are “promotions,” and they are actually correct (I used to argue that about Wikipedia), but they don’t really believe it, because they use the rights management to punish.

The hacking story was a way to encourage the community to not look at the whole sequence of edits, which were quite in line with a Smith agenda, I covered this in detail, but the only RatWiki editors who read this blog appear to be the Smith brothers. And maybe Dysklyver.

The Smith brothers freely spend sysop accounts for some short-term purpose, knowing that they can get another quickly. I have followed hundreds of these accounts. The longer-term accounts, with more than a handful of edits, often retire, which is, of course, a lie. They have “retired” at least dozens of times. Oliver has gone onto Encyclopedia Dramatica and claimed he wasn’t editing RationalWiki any more — so please delete his article, but he never stops, he just creates new accounts. He also wrote the same to me by email, published here. Now, Oliver is literally insane. Darryl does not appear to be so, just massively vicious and unethical. John66 is his current relatively open account, and this is quite clear. So we see this on Talk:Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:

First something older I never commented on, I think:

Who is this guy?

Noticed this guy mentioned my name on his blog saying I’m someone I’m not. What a nutcase. Octo (talk) 20:36, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

He is lying and it later became undeniable. Unless [very complicated and highly unlikely explanation]. Octo knows exactly who I am and has had direct email communication with me. The article was, however, created by his brother Darryl. Octo is definitely Oliver, there are huge red flags, long-term traits, that Oliver-watchers recognize and sometimes talk about. More than one is suing him.

@Octo, he was a long-time editor here who did actually make some good edits. He’s a bit nutso about cold fusion, hence the title of his blog. He was permabanned earlier this year for doxing people, something he’s continued to do on his own blog. You can read about some of his antics on his talk page:[1] Bongolian (talk) 20:54, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

I am published under peer review on cold fusion and, having a physics background, developed a reputation with the involved scientists after being banned on Wikipedia on the topic (at that point I had no strong opinion on cold fusion, I was just confronting admin abuse and a article that had become quite imbalanced, with the strongest sources being excluded systematically, and weaker, older sources being kept. Real science changes!) RationalWiki and Wikipedia both remain smugly unaware of the level of serious research that is ongoing. Yearly funding may exceed $50 million in some years. That’s five percent of the hot fusion budget, and cold fusion has actually shown stronger results, but is not understood and controlling what is not understood is difficult. Cold fusion is not known to violate any laws of physics, the idea that it does arose by assuming it was a particular reaction which it probably is not. That reaction is very unlikely, my opinion. An unknown reaction, which this was called from the start, cannot be analyzed theoretically, other than by very general principles, and there are known examples that show that at least one kind of “cold fusion” is possible, so . . . why is what is testable (and this is) called pseudoscience on RatWiki? In fact, the RatWiki article acknowledges there is real science involved, but the Smiths, writing my article, paid no attention to that.

I did not actually doxx until indef blocked. Long story, and if someone wants to know, ask! It was all, as I came later to recognize, a Smith brother setup, they have done it to many people. And if you mention it on RatWiki, you will be quickly blocked. Even if you are a sysop, you will be “promoted.” Bongolian has seen enough, one would think, but maybe he is really a blockhead. His RatWiki editing patterns show that he treats it like a full-time job (He is obviously not a Smith brother, I showed that conclusively.)

As I find below, Dysklyver broke the mold, without actually mentioning Oliver and Darryl Smith.

He seems to be saying there is one person who owns about 1000 accounts here, including mine. I know this not to be true, at least for mine. It also seems unlikely one person owns that many; his blog also presents zero evidence.Octo (talk) 21:12, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

But I have not said that.; One of the habits of Oliver is straw-manning, claiming that someone has said something that they did not. His peculiar genius is choosing claims that if someone quickly looks for confirmation, they may find it! In fact, however, I have identified, on all wikis, many hundreds of identified accounts, and list them always with contribution links. Some of the lists, especially the older ones, did not discriminate between Oliver and Darryl.

On Wikipedia, they often say, when blocking a sock, “See contributions.” Obviously that takes some knowledge. But a fanatic will say “no evidence,” even when there is plenty. Oliver socks have easily identifiable characteristics, and anyone who actually studies the record can see them. I can see a major one on this page, copied. Oliver tends to edit sporadically, and I am accumulating long-term review of his accounts and edits. For Oliver, then, edit timing is not so important, but he also edits in other places and I am collecting that data. Edit timing is very interesting with Darryl, see below.

There are many transient trolling or impersonation socks, often making only one edit, and often several of these appear at around the same time. There are two examples above. Some of these make no edits at all, the user name is the message. To make a thousand accounts, then, over, say, seven years, which is 2500 day, is one every 2.5 days. To create a trolling or impersonation account takes a few minutes at most. What’s difficult? Further, there are two people involved. Oliver is not the source of most of the accounts, probably, but at one point he did claim responsibility. My conclusion was that his brother was pissed off that he had revealed so much, so he was trying to make amends. He and his brother lie routinely. Nothing from them can be fully trusted, and even when it can be verified, this must be done with caution, checking to see if sources have been cherry-picked, quoted out of context, etc.

He’s made unsupported/unsupportable claims like that before as I recall. It sounds rather paranoid. Bongolian (talk) 22:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

It sounds paranoid because, I suspect, Bongolian has never actually checked. What “unsupported claims”? I actually have long been accused of writing too much, and the reason is that I provide evidence. There is actually, for communication efficiency, too much support. I did not come to the conclusion of hundreds of accounts first and then look for evidence. It was the other way around, I started collecting lists of accounts, staring with the massive trove on Wikipedia. Then when I identified an account on RationalWiki by a connection found on Commons, I started looking at the articles edited by this person and what happened when they stopped editing, and patterns appeared. I have still not completed this work, it is massive: these are two editors who have been very active for seven years. My impression at the moment, without checking the databases, is that over 30,000 edits are involved.

Where there are accounts with many edits, edit timing correlations start to shine. I did one study where I compared the edit timings of Bongolian with Darryl Smith socks. It is trivial to see that they are distinct. Bongolian, I concluded, edits from a particular time zone, and with regular habits. The Smiths edit from the U.K., and have irregular habits, there are days where they, especially Darryl, edit into the early hours, and, if one does not look at a sufficiently expanded time scale, it looks like they edit at all times and must be more than one person. However, what can be seen by a closer look is that if they edit late into the night, they may not edit the next day, or not until late.

He looks at article edit histories and for some odd reason thinks only one person can edit an article.Octo (talk) 22:29, 29 August 2018 (UTC)\

Of course I don’t think that. With some articles, it is almost entirely one person. With others, only a few edits are Smith socks. And, remember, there are two Smiths. They mostly do not overlap (i.e., edit the same article) but there are exceptions. On Wikipedia, they would be, and often are, whacked quickly. But they have learned how to escape notice for extended periods of time, and it is not uncommon for them to “retire” before being found, and after the checkuser window, it’s impossible to tell. They also use TOR nodes and open proxies to confuse checkuser, but they do make mistakes, and it only takes one to take down a sock.

Bottom line, Octo was lying to the RatWiki community, and why? Here, Aeschylus, very clearly Oliver Smith, the person being sued for defamation, admits to creating articles that were created by Octo.

I had identified Octo as Oliver by tracking prior accounts suspected or known to be Oliver, and Octo had continued their agenda and showed many signs of being the same person. When I would see something that looked like Oliver, I would look at contributions and check for “collisions,” coincident articles. This is not at all an assumption that everyone editing an article is a Smith brother. I’m familiar with RatWiki regulars, and I looked at many less-familiar accounts that might be a Smith brother and concluded that they were probably not. There is more that I am not revealing, but what I’ve described is basic sock hunting. Remember, I was very active on Wikipedia, and was a Wikiversity administrator, and was very globally active, studying global bans (the routine ones issued by stewards, 5000 in a three month study period, almost all of them legitimate, mostly spammers, but a handful that were questionable, maybe five. All of them by one steward with only 70 actions in that period. I had not reported the results, I had made no accusations when a friend of that steward suppressed the entire study for violating privacy. (There were stewards and global sysops interested and supporting the study.) It was all compiled from public logs and did not violate privacy! But stewards have little practical supervision, and if one becomes abusive (and this one had), the stewards still circle the wagons, just like admins on Wikipedia and other wikis.

And hardly anyone cares. Too much trouble. The problem is not abusive administrators and stewards, the problem is the community!

Tracking socks was not my long-term interest, but I had done it on a few occasions. Here, when I was strongly attacked and threatened for some very simple documentation of an LTA (not doxxing), I knew I was onto something. I had never seen anything quite like it before.

And then, on the same page, but more recently:

Lomax claims I’m John66, lol

There are many crazy but entertaining ramblings and conspiracy theories on his blog. For some reason he claims I own the sysop John66, someone that blatantly isn’t me I have zero knowledge of their edits.Arcticos (talk) 04:28, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

I have never heard of this Lomax person before, not sure why he has confused me with someone else. My edits on this website are only on fad diets and cholesterol quackery, I have never written about cold fusion. I noticed Lomax is a cholesterol denialist, perhaps that it why he targeted me. John66 (talk) 04:46, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

This is Oliver (Arcticos) talking to Darryl (John66). He did not ping “John,” But John shows up in less than 20 minutes. Why? Oliver would know that his brother Darryl has the article watchlisted (and I assume that these brothers copy their watchlists to new accounts, when those become active accounts), so he would not need to ping him. Darryl created that article as revenge for documenting his impersonation socks on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and, later, Meta.

This is ironic, actually. Oliver, with one of his hundreds of Encyclopedia Dramatica socks, which I had not been watching, dropped a note on my talk page that he was going to tell the followers of Malcom Kendrik that I was Skeptic from Britain. Who? I had no idea who this was, so I looked. Oliver later claimed he was just joking, and of course he was. It’s called “trolling,” but it was quite stupid. He knew that SfB was his brother, and admitted it in a conversation with MichaeldSuarez that MDS published.

(He calls me the King of the Trolls, but trolling is most of what he does, and he is actually famous for it, on the internet.)

So I looked at Skeptic from Britain, a Wikipedia account that had then gone through two name changes and retired, claiming he had been outed on the internet. This was another example of where a Smith brother develops a brilliant scheme to attack an enemy. Setting aside Oliver’s trolling on Encyclopedia Dramatica, which nobody was paying attention to but me and MDS, there was only one person being accused, by real name, of being SfB. He was innocent, he had criticized SfB on Wikipedia. So I dove in and cleared his name, and was able to see, quite clearly, who SfB was. It was Darryl, moving just slightly out of prior interests, but not far. Darryl was heading for some sanctions, I suspect, and so went out in a blaze of glory, so to speak, not quite getting to the point of being blocked, and because the field of interest had shifted a bit, nobody recognized an Anglo Pyramidologist sock.

I created a spreadsheet with edit timings the known Darryl accounts and Skeptic from Britain. SfB had been prolific, which makes this kind of study easier. SfB had become most controversial with an AfD on Malcolm Kendrick. There was not enough reliable source on Kendrick for an article, but SfB massively insulted Kendrick in the AfD, calling him a quack, as I recall. Kendrick is a very popular author with his followers (I had never heard of him before). This created a huge flap on blogs and on Twitter, Jimbo Wales got involved, etc., and various obvious Darryl socks had appeared in those discussions.

And then I noticed John66. That account was created in November 2018 and began articles on the same field as SfB was working on, and an article on Kendrick was started. I added those edits into the spreadsheet and they fit like a glove. You can see where the focus of the sock master shifts from one account to another by edit delays. Then John66 went quiet, as SfB and the successor account became very active. And then, after SfB retired, John66 started up with the same interests, same names of articles, etc., very substantial overlap, now on RatWiki. So I simply added John66 to the list of suspected socks. I consider it strong (though evidence for Oliver socks is truly overwelming. For John66, maybe 99%). I have many more socks to add to the database now from various sources. It takes time and I have other stuff to do.

Bottom line: Oliver was lying, I do not and did not claim that he owns John66, and I have never thought that. His brother Darryl owns the account. And Darryl was lying as well. He knows who I am, he wrote that article, and they are putting on this show for the community.

Other accounts appearing:

Mr_Mark suspected Darryl, but looked closer, concluded not.

Muslim_guy blocked by Dysklyver (Ban evasion). Likely Darryl, who has used names like this before. Kirkegaard is not WP “banned.” He is ArbCom blocked, my guess is that someone informed them of the lawsuit and they decided to block until resolved. SOP. Mikemikev would  not have written this or this. Arcticos responded — and remember that Oliver is banned from Wikipedia! But he has friends!

Herman_Rose (deleted edits, at least one archived.) probably Mikemikev, my opinion. Blocked by John66. John66 also full protected Talk:Emil Kirkegaard.  John66’s claims of no knowledge are BS. He is revealing his affiliations. Dysklyver reduced to semiprotection (correctly by standard procedures).

02:09, 26 February 2019 Dysklyver blocked ODS with an expiration time of π×infinity! (autoblock disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (LANCB: Abandoned account, user has returned under a different username.) Dysklyver clearly knows what is going on. I have not seen this before from a RatWiki sysop. If they know, they conceal it. ODS is, of course, Oliver D. Smith. He has many other “retired” accounts, as does his brother.


The sequence here is amazing. I may create a page on this one. Oliver jumped the shark over this. Clever, that Mikemikev, if this is Mikemikev. Create a non-disruptive account that actually addresses an issue of importance, and watch Oliver come completely unglued. The block log is astonishing. If I had done anything like what Oliver did in this sequence, I’d have been cooped and toast Toot Sweet! It is hilarious to see a serial defamer, long-term intense harasser of anyone who gets in his way, complain about Mikemikev. I’m not defending MMV. He’s pretty intense. But Oliver is utterly insane and clearly believes he is in charge on RationalWiki. Dysklyver is up to something. This conversation on User talk:Articos, NekoDysk is Dysklyver:


Hi, if you aren’t too busy I have some things I would like to discuss which are best discussed in private, regarding your editing here. The IrrationalWiki cabal discord would be a good place, or if you are more stone age you could email me. I would email you, but you don’t seem to have enabled that option. kthx — NekoDysk 01:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

I’ve got your email address from Lomax’s blog who creepily lists all your personal information, so I’ll email you. Note that once Lomax gets your personal details he starts creating fake/impersonator accounts, so watch out. Mikemikev does same thing; it’s an old troll tactic.Arcticos (talk) 02:08, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. — NekoDysk 02:11, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

I have never created a single impersonation account. What Oliver is describing is what his brother does, and maybe Mikemikev does. I am certain about Darryl’s impersonations, which are designed to cause harm to the target, and which often have. (Impersonation socks are designed to create an impression that a person is disruptive. They are especially used against users who have been blocked. An example would be the accounts created above, using my name and the name of my major field. An impersonation sock used my street address, telegraphing that they knew it. (I have never hidden, I have a low-cost nonprofit corporation, and so a public address. I also just filed a lawsuit and one can easily get my address and phone number from it.)

The information about Dysklyver comes from what he published on-wiki. These pages are studies, they collect information. When I posted that information, I informed Dysklyver that it would be removed on request. He has not requested it, and actually gave me more information. Oliver could have obtained the information directly but turns everything into an opportunity to claim Evil Abd.

Dysklyver knows who Arcticos is. I have my suspicions about what he’s about. At this point, I’ll simply say that he is interesting and continue this study.

On February 26, Oliver had gone way overboard, with deleting the page on Defamation that Dysklyver had encouraged and had edited. That could have been an interesting article, the source that Spengler pointed to was quite good.  Oliver was wheel-warring with a series of sysops.

After the conversation above, Arcticos retired and Dysklyver removed sysop.

John66 (Darryl Smith) continues editing.

Desert Heat, see this edit, is definitely Oliver again. Small possibility it is Mikemikev. More likely, Darryl has been stirring the pot on blogs about cholesterol and statin denialism, links to RatWiki articles,  and someone came in from that and used Dinocrisis, not knowing about DinoCrisis (an old and well-known Darryl account). Dinocrisis was blocked and encouraged to register a new account name, and it looks like the choice was Boglin Collector, which is hilarious. I.e., that would definitely be a Smith impersonation, only Oliver, if I have the memes right. Is this Mikemikev? And so what?

Then BoglinCollector (no space) was created for no apparent reason, this appears to be Mikemikev or an impersonator.

Desert Heat also went after Liberosaurus Rex as Mikemikev, and then got whacked by the Edit Filter. CircularReasoning put Oliver’s argument in collapse. Ah, the indignity! Do they know who he is? Surely if they did, they would be quivering in their boots, or socks as the case may be.

No problem, he simply took up as Tremors.

Liberosaurus Rex was blocked, and took up as Defemation Rex. It’s easy to think this is Mikemikev, but I’m suspecting it is someone from the huge HFLC diet community that John66 has been attacking so intensely. Some of them might use the phrase “cultural Marxist.” He is taking on people with resources, this may not turn out well for him. Much more dangerous than what Oliver did. Yes, looking, this is not Mikemikev at all. Those people are not wiki-savvy.

Oranges Oliver. edits re mikemikev, complains about the edit filter. Blocked as troll.

Air_Force_One about mikemikev, this is Oliver. Of course, any of these could be mikemikev attacking himself, but I don’t think so. Oliver really is paranoid, insane.

Mini_boglins classic Oliver name, impersonation or Oliver? If so, poking Dysklyver. Creating many socks was Oliver’s behavior on Encyclopedia Dramatica. Several a day.

Brachiosaurus is obviously Liberosaurus Rex. David Gerard  blocks: (Ban evasion: Mikemikev’s latest weird kick) Maybe, but much more likely a new user refusing to shut up. Gerard has no idea what a hornet’s next Darryl (John66) has stirred up off-wiki.

This is very odd. Bongolian asks Dysklyver what he thinks about Liberosaurus Rex. Dyskyver reveals a great deal. It’s a bit confused, but the Smiths create massive confusion, and Dysklyver’s analysis is better than any I have ever seen from a RatWiki sysop. I only got involved quite recently. Oliver (as Air Force One) says he has never impersonated, and that might be true. I got involved because I came across impersonation socking to defame, confronted it, and then collected information about the issues and was heavily attacked and threatened, and that was all Darryl Smith (now John66, he lies extensively in this conversation). At that point I knew nothing about the “Smith brothers.” For example, I don’t claim he is paid. I claim that he once bragged he was paid, and his brother claimed he was paid, and then his brother claimed he had lied, and that it was all him, and that he had lied to a named person, who would be the contact to an organization that might pay. I report what I witness, which is what I have seen and what I have been told (the latter is attributed, I do not state as fact what I have merely been told). I do not know if what I have been told is the truth, and especially not if it comes from Oliver, who is literally insane.

Dysklyver claims to be aware of “85+ existing accounts.” Setting aside transient trolling and impersonation accounts, I think I could come up with more than that as names. The Smiths have been doing this for years, and anyone who pointed it out was whacked quickly. GethN7, the RatWiki Discord moderator, at one point confronted the Smiths, but eventually gave up, realizing that this was very, very dangerous. Dysklyver may be aware of accounts I have not yet noticed. Darryl, in particular, may partition accounts carefully, and he claimed that he was doing that on Wikipedia. I know more than I’m willing to say at this time. As accounts continue to edit, evidence continues to accumulate and it is actually possible to do much more than guess. Does the RationalMedia Foundation want this mess? David Gerard has clearly been supporting it. What I see is that Dysklyver realizes how difficult the situation is. The whole community has been warped by Smith activity since 2012.

Dysklyver blocked 6 accounts in one session


1972 links to docket for the suit I just filed. Not me! I was not ready to announce it, but obviously someone found it, someone who regularly Googles my name, now, who could that be? Blocked for “legal threat,” by Dysklyver, the weirdest thing I’ve seen him do. I don’t see any threats. RationalWiki is weird. Also 1972 created a page on Abd v. Wikimedia Foundation (deleted), which was just a link to the docket.

What could be the threat? Well, the suit includes Does 1-9, and I suppose someone could think that this was threatening users of RationalWiki. I suppose it could happen, but I doubt that it was 1972’s intention to threaten. I have no idea who that is, other than suspecting a Smith brother, because they are the ones who would be stalking me.

Reviewed to 00:42, 5 March 2019





Subpage of JCMNS

Experiments and Methods in Cold Fusion

Volume 28, February 2019

Proceedings of the International Conference on the Application of Microorganisms for the Radioactive Waste Treatment
Busan, South Korea, May 2018

© 2019 ISCMNS. All rights reserved. ISSN 2227-3123

front matter includes Table of Contents and Preface by Shanghi Rhee.

An Experiment in Reducing the Radioactivity of Radionuclide (137Cs) with Multi-component Microorganisms of 10 Strains
Kyu-Jin Yum, Jong Man Lee, GunWoong Bahng and Shanghi Rhee
“Biological Transmutation” of Stable and Radioactive Isotopes in Growing Biological Systems
Vladimir Vysotskii and Alla Kornilova
Biological Transmutations
Jean-Paul Biberian
Nuclear Transmutations and Stabilization of Unstable Nuclei in the Cold Fusion Phenomenon
Hideo Kozima
Thermodynamic Prediction for Novel Environmental Biotechnologies of Radioactive Waste Water Purification
Oleksandr Tashyrev, Vira Govorukha, Nadiia Matvieieva and Olesia Havryliuk
Novel Biotechnologies for Purification of Radioactive Waste Water
Vira Govorukha, Oleksandr Tashyrev and Valery Shevel

Oliver desperate

The chickens come home to roost. After writing many times that he was not active on RationalWiki any more, he created yet another account, which is now news on the level of “Pope Catholic!”

I had identified this account as Oliver from pattern and interests. It was obvious, Oliver most commonly uses account names from his interests in classics.


Yesterday (2/7/2019), he filed a series of deletion requests. He also listed on his user page, articles he had created (and articles he claimed were created by others). Here I will look at his claims and behavior, and why the deletion requests would predictably fail in most cases. From his user page (before the removal of one page, indicated in red)

Clarification of some articles I created on this wiki:

Articles I didn’t create but I’m wrongly said to have created by OpenPsych and/or Mikemikev:

Below, I went over each of these articles.

On 7 Feb 2018 I submitted most of the above for deletion requests, and to merge them to London Conference on Intelligence or OpenPsych.

He did. But by not disclosing in those requests his identity and his motivations for creating the articles, he practically guaranteed that the request would fail. He and his brother have done this before. They create massive deception, people believe it. Well-known, people do not like to admit that they were fooled. So all the highly negative impressions created by cherry-picked and misleading evidence, stand, unless the one who created them owns up to the deception and apologizes. Then they might look again. It’s work to clean up a mess like the Smiths have created.

To correct some further misinformation spread by OpenPsych about me concerning RationalWiki:

  • User:Skeptical isn’t me. (US spelling; I spell sceptical differently, also this user created articles I know nothing about and has some user-boxes I don’t agree with.)

Oh, that’s funny! Oliver can say he isn’t Skeptical, but the evidence is fairly strong. Not “proof.” The spelling thing, though, is highly misleading. “Skeptical” is indeed U.S. spelling but British skeptics commonly use Skeptic for the affiliation. I’ve been through this before:  See skeptic-in-user-name/

In particular, as we can see in the lists of articles below, Oliver admitted being SkepticDave. Which demonstrates conclusively that his name-spelling argument is just plain deception.

Yet, with a name like that, one might be excused for thinking that it is one who has created hundreds of socks, at least. From contributions, it remains possible. Oliver has lied so many times and in so many ways, his testimony is meaningless. I will be developing deeper data analysis and I may be able to distinguish accounts, but accounts with only a few edits can be difficult. Basically, so what?

Despite pointing out for years neither of these accounts are mine, OpenPsych still falsely claim they are.

Claims of account identity are generally based on suspicion, and suspicion is not false, particularly given how much of what they suspected turns out to be true. One of the harms done by Smith behavior is that innocent users may be suspected, though in this case, if the behavior is similar, the problem is? As to illegal defamation, which is where it could matter, Oliver has done so much, so well proven, unmistakeable, that whether or not an account with a few edits is actually him or not is of little consequence. Overall, his activity inspired imitation, by both possible friends and enemies. He’s responsible for the consequences of what he did, and being “falsely accused” of behavior by another, that he also engaged in is trivial.

I will look at each of these claims.

Nearly all of these accounts were previously suspected, many with high probability. It is possible that one or even more of the “also edited by” accounts  are not Oliver. I.e., Nissan was an SPA and showed some signs of not being Oliver to this observer. However, he was suspected. Oliver has lied over and over and when he reveals truth he often mixes it with deception. The real problem here is RationalWiki, which by site traditions, leans toward snark and defamation of anything they don’t like, and that opens them to abuse by a troll like Oliver Smith, who, with his brother, Darryl L. Smith, have used RatWiki for that purpose, even when they often claim they don’t agree with site politics.

For years, targets would come to RationalWiki, believing that surely the community would fix problems. They were harassed and blocked and impersonated. If they mentioned who was doing this, when it became obvious to them, they were banned for “doxxing,” but they were freely doxxed by the Smiths, with impunity. RationalWiki is an “attractive nuisance.”

Lists of sock accounts in various locations often don’t discriminate between Oliver and Darryl, and there has been some crossover, i.e., Darryl editing articles of interest to Oliver and vice-versa, increasing confusion. If the transient impersonation and trolling socks are included, they have, together, created thousands of accounts. And then they will complain that some accounts have been incorrectly identified. That can happen when you become known for being a mass creator of sock puppets.

Last year, I suggested to Oliver that if he wanted to clean this up — he was complaining about being blamed for his brother’s disruption — come clean. Disclose everything he knows about his own activity and that of his brother. He chose otherwise. He is clearly under pressure now, because some of what he has done is quite clearly legally actionable, but his efforts to delete, now, will fail. Why? Partly because he has not come clean about what he was doing. He gives weak reasons for deleting the articles, compared to “the whole thing was harassment.” And harassment is what he did, over and over, his brother as well.

So let’s see what else he claims:

    • Richard Haier (created by unknown SPA with one edit) I would assign a reasonable probability this is Oliver. The article was a single edit of an SPA, Kfotfo , yes, but it was well-formed, showing high experience with RationalWiki and reflecting Oliver POV. Certainly it is understandable why Oliver would be suspected. The article was edited by Octo (Oliver) a few days after WikiWomble, who could also be suspected of being Oliver (but probably not), and also touched by CBH.
    • Richard Lynn (created by another sysop, Jinx) I have generally concluded that Jinx is not Oliver. He revealed his real name at one point, which doesn’t matter here. He has some similar interests, but is not as toxic. This article was edited by EvilGremlin (Oliver).
    • Intelligence (journal) (created by another sysop, Jinx) the collapse of possible fringe science into pseudoscience is a general RationalWiki trope. Intelligence is an Elsevier journal and mainstream. Not Oliver.
    • Mankind Quarterly (created by another sysop, FuzzyCatPotato). Yes. However, many edits by Gelzer and Octo.
    • Davide Piffer (created by Mikemikev to blame on me, also note extensive Mikemikev impersonations/trolling on talk page) Created by Gelzer, who certainly looks like Oliver, so if this was impersonation, it was skillful. Also edited by Skeptical, ColonelKurtz, and various trolls. Gelzer also  created and was blocked for a series of trolling accounts like I have seen from Darryl. Only these were attacking Mikemikev. They appear to be a response to similar trolling by IP attacking Oliver. Perhaps Oliver has forgotten what happened, or if Gelzer was his brother, he didn’t figure that out. Skeptical was active at the same time. See the deletion log.  Skeptical deleted revisions calling him Oliver and retired. Why? Obvious. Because he was Oliver. Less likely, his brother. I went back and forth on that for a time, but have concluded that Skeptical was indeed Oliver. His interests were Oliver interests, clearly, with a little crossover.
    • Julius Daugbjerg Bjerrekær (created by Mikemikev to blame on me; Mikemikev was blocked as article creator) Actually, no, not for that reason. The creator was Schizophreniac, who had an edit August 9, 2018, to an article of Oliver interest.  The creation of the page was revision-hidden by Aeschylus, very odd. See Aeschylus logs. Very busy with Oliver Smith agenda. However, Schizophreniac also created an article, which Oliver (Aeschylus) just salted to prevent creation, Oliver Smith. He was blockef for that, not for creating the  Bjerrekær article. The Oliver Smith article does not reveal anything new about Oliver, and seems like what Oliver might write as pseudo-criticism of himself. The creation of an article like that, on some blog or internet figure, is routine for RationalWiki. So why was this so important that David Gerard personally blocked Schizophreniac as a rare action by him? I’ve seen plenty of material apparently written by Mikemikev about Oliver. This did not look like it. What I’ve seen is evidence that Gerard has been protecting Smith, as some Smith socks have been protected on Wikipedia. Attack dogs. This is more or less the Rome Viharo theory. It’s plausible.
  • Robert Plomin (created by unknown troll, whose edits I mostly got reverted) Maybe.  Created by Jean_Lusaz. Lusaz’s edits seem fairly ordinary for RatWiki. His article on Brain size is almost untouched. However Lusaz created Kathryn Paige Harden, rather promptly deleted. It was indeed pretty vicious, like many Smith articles, see the Talk page.  Chicken coop? Yes, here. Immediately reverted, but then acted upon. RatWiki is downright weird. Was Oliver Concerned? Could be. That would explain the comment about getting the Lusaz edits reverted. The content of User:Concerned was “The hereditarianism and related articles are being destroyed by CBH (aka Jean Lusaz).” Both are Ratwiki user names, which would not be doxxing, but it was deleted as such. This edit of Concerned was bragging about a RatWiki article hitting the news, which Oliver has done before, and it was his article on Noah Carl. He similarly promoted the Emil Kirkegaard article to the media.
  • Eric Turkheimer (created by unknown troll and after I complained – the article was rewritten since it read as a parody…) Created by CBH, attacked by Concerned. Certainly could be Oliver. I’d guess not, but I keep looking. Often evidence appears later. I don’t see where Oliver complained. As whom?

Why is Oliver revealing his accounts and requesting article deletions? There is an obvious possible cause: legal heat. Yet without revealing the full story, he will not protect himself, it is going to be difficult even if he does tell the truth. Spend years attacking people, harassing them, defaming them, cleaning it up is not a matter of a few minutes editing.


Oliver Smith wrote a biography on himself, describing himself the way he wants to be described. It was deleted as harassment. Then, as Aeschylus, he salted the page, protecting it as deleted. Of course, any sysop, realizing that Oliver is much more widely known in the internet than most the subjects of the hit pieces he created, could recreate the article and add to it the usual snark.

Aeschylus (Oliver D. Smith) has been desysopped and indef blocked on RationalWiki by Dysklyver.  Whenever anyone touches a Smith account, I suspect it could be a Smith brother, at least I look. (And Smith accounts have blocked Smith accounts.) Smith brother accounts are normally easy to spot. Dysklyver is not a Smith brother; if he is, it would represent an extraordinary efort, very, very unlikely. I have techniques for comparing accounts. Dysklyver is a known Wikipedian, banned and globally locked, which is not a criticism. After all . . . .

Oliver wrote an article about himself. A copy can be found at

Just to put this somewhere, Dysklyver is openly Arthur Kerensa, see Steward lock requests. His formal Wikipedia ban. He claims to be a lawyer, and what he did with Aeschylus would match that. However, he did not warn Aeschylus that continued socking could be a problem, and the fact was that a sock immediately appeared, Roberts (attacking a user who commented based on information that probably came from this blog, being obviously Oliver).  The block reason:

21:08, 12 February 2019 Dysklyver (talk | contribs) blocked Roberts (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled) (Trolling talk pages: Probably Mike)

That’s totally preposterous! Anyone who knows Oliver’s habits and history — and with a little knowledge of Mikemikev — would know this was not Mike, unless he was doing long-term, very sophisticated impersonation, and if so, why would he waste the account just to attack that user? It makes no sense at all, whereas Roberts wrote exactly like Oliver Smith has been writing for years.

Meanwhile, Encyclopedia Dramatica, dealing with another avalanche of vandalism based on a scene that is connected with Oliver Smith, but I never figured out how, the Donny Long mess, has been set to disallow new accounts for some time. But that didn’t stop Oliver.


How did he do it? Easily. He has sleepers. This one registered 7 January and made several edits the next day, then no more until the 13th February.  The blocking admin, I noticed before, blocks him but leaves his edits in place. So what Oliver did was to ask for pages to be deleted, but while waiting, to add more defamation. Does he actually think this will do him any good? The additions show his intention is still to defame, and he knows the removals won’t happen. The same happened on RationalWiki, with Aeschylus and Roberts.

Old version

subpage of rationalwiki/abd-ul-rahman-lomax/

Work in progress

This is a review of the revenge article written about me on RationalWiki, by a sock of the user known to Wikipedia as Anglo Pyramidologist. I am here commenting on it. At the time that this article was written, I had (from many years earlier) sysop privileges on RationalWiki, which were nearly useless. I had given up on doing any serious work on that wiki, it was so overrun by trolls and contemptuous pretend skeptics. It was a place where some users from Wikipedia would come to freely express how they thought, showing how depraved they actually were, depravity that would get them blocked in most places (and some were administrators, and they would face desysop on Wikipedia if they were so free there). Snark reigns on RationalWiki. It’s a policy, effectively.

The RatWiki article has been extensively revised, almost day-by-day and blow-by-blow (someone is definitely obsessed) and I intend to supplement this coverage.

The material here was copies from the version of 3 December, 2017.

I have edited the links below (to notes) to point to that version, because later revisions make mincement of the links.

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax[1][2] (a.k.a. Daniel Lomax or User:Abd) is a Muslimconspiracy theorist and crank who is a proponent of pseudoscientific cold fusion.

Lomax has a history of being banned on forums and wikis for trolling.

Lying from the start. Yes, Muslim, I hope. Conspiracy theorist is a lie, created by the troll who started this article, and maintained by a series of sock puppets. Identification of sock puppets is not “conspiracy theory,” though it is a theory of sorts. Evidence? Fake skeptics don’t care about evidence! It exists and has been heavily documented by me and by others (some is private information, which may be revealed if necessary). This is being covered on other pages, as well, as, for the WikiMedia Foundation socks, on the meta wiki (because it was cross-wiki socking). Even short of the technical evidence that exists, which is definitive, the duck test is totally clear. Most WMF socks are identified by the duck test.

Crank is opinion. I’m 73, self-expressed and assertive, and that can look like “crank.” Or cranky people, of any age, may consider as a “crank,” someone who is assertive with different opinions than theirs.

 Proponent of pseudoscientific cold fusion is misleading I am a proponent (hopefully, facilitator) of scientific research, published in the mainstream journal system where possible, into what is popularly called “cold fusion,” which was a misleading name from the beginning, for the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect (FPHE). It was misleading because there was evidence that the reaction, if real, was not what was ordinarily understood as “fusion,” and there still is no definitive and confirmed explanatory theory, except the simple one I will mention below. Pons and Fleischmann themselves, in their first paper, called it an “unknown nuclear reaction.” “Nuclear” because they were chemists and, to them, this wasn’t chemistry. Others disagreed. More below. While there are “believers” in cold fusion, whose opinions might be called “pseudoscientific,” I am not one. Rather, I have claimed that the preponderance of the evidence is that the FPHE is real, and that it is nuclear in nature, because it has been found and widely confirmed to produce a correlated nuclear product. That is simple science, fully falsifiable (though not easy to test), not “pseudoscience,” except to a pretend skeptic who doesn’t actually understand the words he uses, but knows what is “bad” on RationalWiki.

(Both United States Deparatment of Energy reviews of cold fusion concluded that more research was appropriate. Contrary to popular opinion, they did not reject “cold fusion.” They merely considered that, in 1989, the evidence was inadequate, and in 2004, the panel was divided, but unanimous on calling for more research. So what I am called “pseudoscientific” for allegedly “promoting,” was a unanimous recommendation of a panel of experts.)

As to being banned for trolling, this is a Lie. In fact, the idea that I am extensively banned results from squinting and only looking at a few bans.

I was banned by a cranky moderator on the vortex-l mailing list. It was not for trolling, it was the opposite. It was for responding soberly and carefully to a troll. The ban said DNFTT, for which see Wikipedia.

I am “community-banned” on the English Wikipedia. One might notice that there is no Sock Puppet Investigation case for me there. That’s because, while I did sock for a very short time, in 2011, those socks were not disruptive, except for being block evasion. Except for one, they were self-identified, no need for checkuser. On the other hand, the author of this article, and supporting socks which continue to edit it, has almost 200 identified and blocked socks on Wikipedia, has now a series of globally locked accounts, and most recently has been editing using open proxies, and starting up a new one as soon as globally blocked. And cries about “why isn’t Abd banned?” (This is covered on other pages here.)

I was banned from LENR-forum. That’s not dissimilar to what happened on en.Wikipedia. I confronted abusive administration. Long story. “Trolling” was not the reason. However, before being banned, I was called a troll by … a troll. Of course he will quote that! (That is common with RatWiki hit pieces. Anyone expressing a negative opinion of the target, they are likely to find it and quote it as if a fact.)

 I am not “banned” on RationalWiki. That would take a Cooping, and the last thing AP wants is to call attention to the situation. I could easily sock around this, but instead prefer to document the behavior, here, thoroughly. I don’t need to use that RW account. And if I ever want to edit Wikipedia, I would follow policy to request unblock. There, I have a set of dedicated enemies (at least one of whom is still ranting about me after my being gone for six years, because … I set up an ArbComm case that got him reprimanded. Unforgiveable!  And I set up a case where a good friend of his was desysopped, which is rare for a non-administrator to accomplish)– but I also I have friends with weight. By the Standard Offer, I should qualify. But I don’t want to edit Wikipedia. Why should I?

Counting blocks, and having been very active, I am banned on two forums and two wikis. Is that a notable characteristic? I am not banned or blocked on 483 WMF wikis out of 484 where I have accounts with one or more edits. (There are countless fora besides wikis, where I have participated on occasion and have not been blocked. I am occasionally very active on Quora, with strict administration (and which requires real-name accounts). I’m in good standing and have three million Answer views and 1600 followers. And the troll who created this article is blocked and banned in many, many places, including all the WMF wikis (at least under some accounts). So this is hilarious. 


Religious views
        Numeric miracles in the Quar’an [sic]     Martin Gardner
    Cold fusion
Internet antics
    RationalWiki conspiracy theory
External links

Lack of qualifications[edit]

Lomax claims to have studied undergraduate physics at the California Institute of Technology; he has no degree. He admits he never “graduated from any college or university.”[1][3]

Redundant, eh? However “no degree” is not “lack of qualifications,” it is a lack of certain credentials.  I became engaged in real life, running a community and businesses, having a family, and never went back to ordinary school. “Claims to have studied.” That could be verified, but it is meaningless and useless. I’m not claiming any authority from it, it is dicta, explaining why I could read scientific papers and have a clue, unlike the fake skeptic who wrote the article, who has never shown any serious scientific understanding. He just trolls enemies (which readily includes anyone who interferes with his attacks on others, as I did on Wikiversity), and when he is blocked for it, he simply creates new accounts. The School of Hard Blocks. He’s still not particularly good at it, considering the length of time he’s been doing it. It’s Obvious Obvious, if anyone looks. He also seems not to have learned much about legitimate process, or he is simply lying in his recent edits. He doesn’t learn because he has no consequences from errors, he just grabs a new open proxy.

However, he writes on websites he attended Cal Tech lectures, studying with Richard Feynman (1961-1963), further that he has knowledge of physics.[4][5][6][7]

Right. I sat in the “Feynman lectures,” when they filmed him to make the book. I got decent grades in those two years. I’ve said that I learned how to think from Feynman, that noted safe-cracker, draft-evader (pretending to be insane!) and wise guy who acted like he was smarter than everyone else.

At Cal Tech, at that time, all (or almost all) undergrads learned how to pick locks. That’s a bit of esoterica that anyone who was there, then, could verify.

I have, as one might expect from that experience and continued reading, and, later, occasionally, discussion, with physicists, oral and written, (my Current Science paper was written on invitation by a physics professor), I do have a general knowledge of physics. Any degreed physicist would know more, in general, but not necessarily in special cases where I have specific knowledge that the physicist does not have. I do not call myself a “scientist,” because of the lack of credentials, but I love science and the scientific method, and apply it all through life. But it is not everything, because we need, routinely, to make decisions and don’t have the opportunity for anything like controlled experiment.

He also claims to have taken Linus Pauling‘s freshman chemistry class.[2] Despite, or perhaps because of this, Lomax has previously asserted that formal teachings are unnecessary for him, because he is able to “learn by writing”.[8]

I did, but I only remember what Pauling looked like. After all, this was over fifty years ago. As to learning by writing, what an idiot this author is! To get a PhD, what does one have to do? Read a lot of books? Take tests? No, one must write a thesis and defend it. So I’ve done something like that, informally, and it has been best on fora where there are many truly knowledgeable participants. It is not simply “writing.” It is actually researching a topic, as directly as possible, reading sources, comparing them, and then writing. Not terribly useful on RationalWiki, for sure, except for learning about the depths to which dedicated trolls can sink. And, as well, with some trolls like Anglo Pyramidologist, how to handle this in functional communities, and even in partially-dysfunctional ones, without getting blocked oneself.

Formal teaching can certainly be useful, but is not truly necessary for everyone. The author did not pick up my involvement with the “independent learning” movement, which is, like many of the topics I have engaged in, outside the “mainstream.” I see the results, up close, with my children, who are generally more successful, in ordinary terms, than I. I have six grandchildren and at least one more is coming, and I expect great-grandchildren soon. Crank? Maybe. Winning the game? So far.

Religious views[edit]


Lomax converted to Islam in 1970[9][2] and claims to have “become a leader of a spiritual community”[10] as a successor to a popular mystic Sufi named Samuel L. Lewis

He made hay out of the word “spiritual.” It’s been removed, but he claimed this was evidence that I was a “spiritualist.” Different meaning of the word. Very different. He thinks it means the fifth meaning here.  Merriam-Webster falls on its face, though, in its definition of “spirit.” A simple synonym for the meaning I was using would be, indeed, “meaning.” Or “core meaning.” And what is the meaning of “meaning”?  The way I used the word, that is a spiritual question, though answers may or may not be spiritual. Carl Jung, famously in correspondence with Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, said that alcoholism was caused by a lack of “spirit,” or meaning in life. Ah, the world is far larger than AP has dreamed of.

During 1978-1979 Lomax associated with Abdalqadir as-Sufi, Islamic founder of the Murabitun World Movement. He was asked to leave the group, later describing it as a “shady cult”.[11][12][13]

The source doesn’t support that. The “group” did not exist at that time. I have not found a source for the founding of the Murabitun. What actually happened was complex. As part of the sequence, Abd ul-Qadr said, “… then you must leave.” It was quite odd, because the apparent cause was something missing that, in my opinion, was missing from most of his followers, but I spoke about it. I was told, “Don’t worry! Many of the fuqara — followers, loosely — have been asked to leave and a few weeks later, it made no difference. Stick around!” I was horrified, actually, at the idea of ignoring what the Shaykh had said, and I knew a great deal about the history of Islamic tasawwuf (“Sufism”). There was a case of a man who was told by his Shaykh to leave, and he traveled for the rest of his life, staying in a condition of “leaving.” What actually happened in my own life was that entire worlds re-opened up to me, as I was no longer leaning on the hobbit-company of the followers. I did travel. I also contacted the Shaykh later and he gave me his full blessing.

This, quite simply, is not the story that the author of this hit-piece wants to tell. He wants to make it into some kind of humiliation, isn’t being “asked to leave” a sign of something bad? In the ordinary world, perhaps. My life was not quite so ordinary. I’ve been fired from a job and it was the best thing that happened to me. (I’d blown the whistle on my employer committing fraud, and, fired, I was forced to develop and deepen my own design business, which still provides residual income many years later.)

Being banned from Wikipedia was like being released from prison. And on and on.

I did not describe the Murabitun as a “shady cult.” AP is just looking for dirt, not actually reading sources.  

Numeric miracles in the Quar’an[edit]


Lomax does not deny the possibility of miracles but has disputed the claims of Rashad Khalifa regarding numeric miracles in the Qur’an.[14][15]

And what is a “miracle”? RationalWiki, in the linked article, gives a definition: miracle is what you call it when something occurs that you can’t explain and you’re too impressed to try and figure out exactly what happened.”

Not too bad, but it suffers from the classic RatWiki mindreading. “Too impressed” is not exactly it. Rather, with a “miracle” we know what happened, at least outwardly. Hey, I got my iPhone back when it was stolen, and I actually made a profit in the affair. However, I also know exactly what I did to get it back, and to make that profit, but it was indirect. Why did it work, it could have failed in a thousand ways? Miracle. All that means is “I don’t know.” I do know that “miracles” like this are common in my life.

However, existence itself is a miracle. That is what fake skeptics don’t see, they often believe that they understand life and reality, when the people who have studied reality most deeply end up saying, in the end, “We know little.” Normal skepticism is “I don’t know, and I’m not convinced yet.” Pseudoskepticism is “I know, and they are wrong.” And often, “This nonsense is not worth looking at,” but, oddly, they may spend enormous effort promoting that it is not worth looking at. Odd, eh? They are actually a kind of believer.

Pseudoskepticism is skepticism that forgets to be skeptical of self (or of group-think).

Concerning Khalifa, Lomax has written:

“Dr. Khalifa’s claims, at best, fall into the category of pious fraud. … Had God intended the Qur’an to carry a code verifying its perfect preservation, he could have done it much more effectively and simply than the complex, arbitrary, and inconclusive ‘code’ claimed by Dr. Khalifa.[16]

I did write that, as I recall. This was Martin Gardner quoting me. The term “fraud” there does not imply that Khalifa knew what he was promoting was false. I knew him. He believed in his own work. But the effect was pious fraud.

He was also involved in a long internet debate with Edip Yuksel on numeric miracles in the Quar’an. The debate was printed in book format in 1995 and republished in 2012.[17] According to critics, Lomax is notorious for ad hominem.[18]

Martin Gardner[edit]

Lomax’s scepticism about numerical miracles was positively cited in a book by Martin Gardner.[16] Lomax cites Gardner on websites so as to prevent himself from being labelled as a pseudo-scientist for his unorthodox views about cold fusion.[19] However, what this actually shows is stopped clock.

My motive and “Actually” is obvious opinion, mind-reading, not fact.

This has nothing to do with cold fusion. It only shows that I wrote some serious skeptical coverage of an idea that Gardner thought worth looking at. My views on cold fusion are “unorthodox” only among the ignorant. They are based on a careful review of experimental evidence, which is science, not pseudoscience, and what I have concluded is fully testable and falsifiable. There is no contrary work in mainstream journals in recent years, and, in fact, there never was; present understanding explains, rather well, work that was considered “negative” over 25 years ago. But there still is no satisfactory theory of mechanism.

And I don’t really care what people call me. I’m going to die in not very long, I’m very aware of it, and “people” can go take a hike. I’m actually a writer and journalist/blogger (not a “scientist” or “pseudoscientist”), and my dedication is to accurate and deep reporting. My expenses are currently paid for that, by people who want the coverage. If my ability to work were damaged by the lies in this article, I’d sue. So far, I have seen no hint of damage. If that changes, I won’t just be writing about it, I’ll be finding a lawyer, though I also have some experience and success with representing myself in court. It might be fun. At this point, this is not a threat, for the reason I explain: no actual damage. That some twit expresses Bad Opinions about me on a no-account web site, I would not even be bothering to respond, if not for the damage this troll has apparently actually caused for others. 

So I’m countering lies with documented research, not simple ad-hominem arguments, as AP will claim.

Lomax might be rational about one thing, but is irrational or cranky about others.

Only one thing? Isn’t that rather unlikely? Now, exactly where am I “irrational?” There are no examples in the article that don’t depend on knee-jerk, ignorant reactions to the name of a field, often twisted badly as presented.

In the absence of evidence for irrationality on any point, the stopped clock metaphor (which I often use) fails.


So consider the RationalWiki definition.

Pseudoscience describes any belief system or methodology which tries to gain legitimacy by wearing the trappings of science, but fails to abide by the rigorous methodology and standards of evidence that are the marks of true science.
Promoters of pseudoscience often adopt the vocabulary of science, describing conjectures as hypotheses, theories, or laws, providing “evidence” from observation and “expert” testimonies, or even developing what appear to be mathematical models of their ideas. However, in pseudoscience there is no honest attempt to follow the scientific method, provide falsifiable predictions, or develop double blind experiments.
Although pseudoscience is designed to appear scientific, it lacks all of the substance of science.

Cold fusion[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Cold fusion

In 2009, Lomax was topic banned from editing the Wikipedia cold fusion article for “disruptive editing”. Two years later he was community banned and received an indefinite block.[20][21]

This is only slightly misleading. The author who wrote this has not been “banned” from Wikipedia, but he has caused a hundred times as much disruption there as I was even accused of, and he is indef blocked as hundreds of accounts. I have two, Abd and the one mentioned below that only edited for a short time, carefully NPOV. (I have a few other disclosed socks, that were special-purpose.) 

I was topic banned by ArbComm in a case where the primary cause for the case I filed was confirmed. They often shoot the messenger. Setting that aside, the ArbComm topic ban expired, but by that time I declared a conflict of interest on cold fusion and no longer edited the article in any way that could be considered disruptive. I was then topic banned on cold fusion by the “community,” a process that avoids the relatively careful deliberation of ArbComm. Actually, rereading it, I have been mistaken. The actual ban was issued as a result  of the community discussion and it was cited, but it was actually issued under General Sactions, which is technically an extension of an ArbComm remedy. However, I asked for specific reasons. They were elusive and vague. I think I understand the real reason. An ArbComm majority wanted to get rid of me even before they decided the case I’d filed against JzG. Because that case provided them no excuse, they were looking for one. I don’t know that the banning admin was at all involved in this –and probably not. I asked him for clarification of exactly what was banned, he did not respond. I’ll tell this story in more detail on another page. Always, before, I had focused on the claim that I had disruptively edited meta, but I was not blocked there, and the request I had filed, considered evidence of my “writing too much,” would not have been successful if I had not explained in detail, and it was successful (and remained so, that blacklisting was never renewed).

There were actually two operative bans, then, one on cold fusion and one that was terminally vague, the ban on commenting on disputes where I was not a primary party. When passed, it had a mentorship provision, and an arbitrator actually volunteered to be my mentor. He was told that he could not do this, but that telling was private, not public. Who is controlling the arbitrators? They make decisions in secret, on a mailing list. It was hacked, so the wanting to ban me predating the excuses became public.

The bans were being interpreted to make them more and more strict, and eventually I bailed. I was blocked for some silly business and decided to test what I had proposed for others, at least to see how it worked. And then, when range blocks and revision deletion were rolled out to prevent non-disruptive edits (as shown by many of them, self-reverted, being reverted back in by another user), I created one sock. And this showed part of what I had suspected — this was before that mailing list was hacked. An arbitrator checkuser blocked this account. Based on what disruption? Basically, the older checkuser guidelines and policies were being ignored, to Stop Abd. And then JzG, who had gotten a black eye in the first Arbitration Case where I was a party, proposed a Community Ban. By Ban Policy, decisions are to be made by “uninvolved editors.” That Policy is routinely ignored. Nobody looks at the histories of participants for signs of involvement. So the faction I had exposed in the next case after the JzG one came out in force. There was no real consensus in that discussion, as can easily be seen. 

As well, a community ban from one sock, and a little IP editing, was quite unusual. But I wasn’t “usual.” The faction I had confronted for abusive administration really wanted me gone. (But JzG continues to complain about me, years later.)

I was not invited to defend myself then, which would be normal procedure. I was not even informed that it was happening. But I never appealed. Remember, I had abandoned Wikipedia, having exhausted reasonable due process. I moved on.

Lomax is the owner of the pseudoscientific “Infusion Institute” which he formed in December, 2013.[22] It is not a recognized scientific institute, he is the only member. In 2015, he wrote a paper arguing for cold fusion that was published in the peer-reviewed journal Current Science.[23][24]

Technically, I am the sole officer at this point. Not exactly the “owner” It would be unlawful for me to embezzle funds for private profit. Is there a basis for considering Infusion Institute, Inc.,  “pseudoscientific” ? What would that be? In any case, III is quite well-enough funded, to cover my expenses, and the bulk of funding has come from sources interested in real science. That paper was a peer-reviewed review, which would theoretically be — by Reliable Source policy — golden for Wikipedia. However, there are many such reviews in mainstream journals, all, so far, almost totally ignored when it comes to the Wikipedia article. The RationalWiki article, in spite of the snark, is slightly better.

Current Science does not publish “pseudoscientific cranks” unless, of course, they write a paper that passes peer review. Papers are not generally reviewed based on ad hominem arguments. The review was by no means some automatic rubber stamp. There were two reviews, the first by the section editors, and one of them, a physics professor, had actually invited me to write the paper. The other didn’t like something I wrote, but I managed to mollify his concerns. Then came the standard anonymous reviewer. He really didn’t like the paper! He had all the standard reasons that physicists have for rejecting cold fusion. So I rewrote the paper to very specifically meet his objections. He then helped me write the conclusion, which is what this troll quotes from:

According to Lomax:

Cold fusion is real, and it is time that serious work is funded to study the conditions of cold fusion and other correlated effects, gathering the evidence needed to understand it.[25]

This is clearly a call for scientific research, not “pseudoscience.” Consider: a favorite organization of “skeptics” is CSI, the Committee for Scientific Inquiry. Just how much “scientific inquire” does CSI do? It was founded as CSICOP, the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. If the thinking of this troll is followed, CSICOP was “pseudoscientific.” We will see the claim below that “parapsychology” is considered “pseudoscientific, but the subject of parapsychology is and has always been precisely the subject of CSICOP. More on this below.

At least one news report has incorrectly described Lomax as a “physicist”.[26] Lomax has made a number of far-fetched claims, for example he has stated that with further development “cold fusion could supply clean power for humanity indefinitely.”[27]

I am not responsible for the error of that journalist. I have never claimed to be a physicist. Nice find, though, I had not seen that story. Obviously it stood out from among 34 papers for that person. Scientists in the field have told me that the paper is important; it was mentioned very positively in the keynote address by Michael McKubre, probably the top researcher in the field (retained in 1989 and until very recently to investigate cold fusion, through SRI International, by the electric power industry originally, and then by U.S. government agencies, and some others, at ICCF-20 in Japan in 2016.

That is far from a far-fetched claim. In 1989, when what came to be called “cold fusion” was announced, it is said that half the U.S. discretionary science budget was being spent on attempting to confirm the effect. Why would they do that? Precisely because of the possibility I mention. My statement has been taken out of context, as seems typical for hit pieces written by this troll. Here is a fuller quotation, it’s from my fund-raising page (a successful campaign, by the way, I still have money left after the trip expenses, it will last me into next year, when I have several trips to make, to visit researchers and to go to ICCF-21 in Colorado.) 

Cold fusion is a popular name for a physical effect of unknown mechanism, largely rejected in 1989-1990, because of theoretical objections and replication difficulties, but research has accelerated over the years and much more is now known.

No practical applications have been confirmed, but it appears possible that, with appropriate development, cold fusion could supply clean power for humanity indefinitely.  Supporting the necessary basic research, as recommended by both U.S. Department of Energy reviews of cold fusion (or LENR, Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions), has been a major focus of mine for many years.

A paper of mine was published in Current ScienceReplicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio . The work suggested by that paper is under way in Texas, see announcement . It is fully funded.

The situation with practical applications is a little worse than might be implied from what I wrote then. It is very clear now that the claims of Andrea Rossi were fraudulent, which is a story that I spent much of 2016-2017 reporting on.

Now, why would some very smart venture capitalists spend about $20 million (plus legal expenses when Rossi sued them) to find out, definitively, if Rossi had something real or not? The answer is obvious. If it was real, the technology could be worth a trillion dollars, so a few million, pocket change for them! Those investors routinely toss $25 million into LLCs, a high percentage of which fail, but when they succeed, they can make hundreds of millions in profits, and they have built a $2.5 billion corporation this way.


See the main article on this topic: Parapsychology

Lomax is supportive of research in parapsychology but claims he is not a “believer” in the subject.

I do claim that. And I am not “supportive of research in parapsychology,” but rather of academic freedom. I would not donate a nickel to parapsychological research, as such. Well, maybe a nickel! But I have worked intensely for academic  freedom for years, which includes the freedom to investigate and study what I might think is nonsense, or at least fringe. Let’s see what evidence this troll comes up with! The language here is strange. Parapsychology is the scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal. That’s the same as what genuine skeptics seek and do, on occasion. What is the “paranormal”? I think the Rhine Institute might be some authority on that. My emphasis.

Parapsychology is the scientific study of interactions between living organisms and their external environment that seem to transcend the known physical laws of nature.  Parapsychology is a component of the broader study of consciousness and the mind.  Parapsychologists study 5 broad areas: [and then there is a list of topics, being telepathy, clairvoyance or remote viewing, precognition, psychokinesis, and survival studies — i.e., survival after death.]

Crucial word: Seem.

Parapsychology is not a “belief” in the reality of these things, but the scientific investigation of them.  The general term for these areas is the “paranormal,” which linguistically means “beyond the normal.” Paranormal may simply indicate phenomena that are not understood, or it could indicate the “supernatural.” I acknowledge only one nature, not many, so I generally reject the “supernatural.

Do I “believe in the paranormal”? There are many things I have seen in my life that seem to defy ordinary explanations. There is one parapsychological study I have seen that shows an effect that is casually dismissed as a product of using a pseudorandom code instead of true randomization. (Because the effect went away, apparently, when true randomization was used. That is an explanation that is amazing!!! But all this means is that something might not be understood. “Not understood” does not translate to “proven.” Far from it!

If some people want to use scientific tools to investigate the paranormal, that’s fine with me! And there are people interested in this, willing to fund research. The problem is?

He has argued against skeptics who dismiss parapsychology as pseudoscientific and refers to skeptics of parapsychology as “pseudoskeptics“.[28][29] Lomax argues that:

This is a highly misleading attempt to lead genuine skeptics to think I am accusing them of being pseudoskeptical. And Isn’t that bad and therefore this is a personal attack and an ad hominem argument?

First of all, pseudoskepticism is common. Pseudoskepticism is belief disguised as skepticism. I can be pseudoskeptical like anyone else, on some topic or other. The term “pseudoskepticism” was coined for modern usage by Marcello Truzzi, one of the founders of CSICOP, who resigned when he saw CSICOP being overrun by “debunkers,” who are certain of their own world-view. A “debunker” is a pseudoskeptic. Genuine skepticism avoids that kind of confident certainty.

So I am here claimed to be saying the same thing as Truzzi said. I’m honored. The troll’s understanding is warped. Parapsychology is a science. What does it mean to be skeptical of a science? There are people who think that parapsychology has not found proof of the existence of the paranormal phenomena mentioned. However, it’s quite incorrect to claim there is no evidence, which is a common pseudoskeptical claim. Rather, a skeptic is not convinced. Not being convinced is not pseudoskepticism. It’s just one’s condition! As to the paranormal, at least most of it, I am not convinced. However, life just isn’t that simple. I’ll give an example.

I was at the dentist, because a tooth had broken and it was being extracted. The dentist was working at it, and getting frustrated. The tooth didn’t want to come out! So I told him to stop, and then spoke to the tooth. “Thank you for being such a faithful tooth for so many years! It’s time to go, it’s okay to let go.” And then I told the dentist he could start again. He did, and the tooth came out immediately. He was astonished! It’s my body and maybe it listens to me as I try to listen to it, and something often happens when I use language like that. This is not “belief.” I did not “believe” that the tooth would come right out.

That is just a story, not a proof of anything. But it’s true, that is what happened. 

Nobody is wrong because they are pseudoskeptical. However, the social context of discussions can be relevant. When someone clearly demonstrates that they are entrenched in pseudoskepticism, which is correlated with a strong belief in rightness and the wrongness of others, I may make a decision to end discussion (just as a skeptic might decide to end a discussion with a fanatic believer. Key term here: fanatic.

What does it take for this troll, who created this article, to be so motivated as to find so many sources about me? And to create a large pile of sock puppets, and to continue massive disruption, even up to just the other day, on the WMF wikis? Strong motivation! I don’t think he is a skeptic at all, he’s pretending and saying what he thinks his audience will approve, using key words that he imagines will get them excited so that they will defend him in his agenda to attack his enemies.

Now, what did I actually say? Let’s look at it. I’m not always right, for sure, and I don’t even accept “right” and “wrong” as generally useful. Statements are ideas and ideas are tools, not reality. What is the effect? Truth is often, with many ideas, unverifiable, but effects can be studied, both personally and socially.

Parapsychology is, by definition, a science.[30]

This is despite the fact the vast majority of scientists consider it a pseudoscience.[31][32]

Those are not contradictory statements. They are two arguments, and both could be true. The first relies on the definition of parapsychology, which is quite old. The second relies on the knee-jerk opinions of “scientists” even if they know nothing about parapsychology as a science. And then we could argue about the implications of these two arguments. Endlessly. 

That was actually a discussion of that exact claim, and was only one small part of the argument. This was a Talk page, not any authoritative pronouncement. Again, it is taken from context. A fuller quotation:

Above, it was pointed out that you are welcome to contribute. However, it seems that you want to do is to accuse an entire field of study of being a “pseudoscience,” but you could never get this through review in a real journal. It’s all popular fluff (which can fly on Wikipedia, because of how reliable sources are defined.) Parapsychology is, by definition, a science.You have not shown that you have understood this. Parapsychology does not assume what you think. To be sure, some students of parapsychology may hold pseudoscientific ideas. However, what is not science is not parapsychology. And then people, real human beings, make mistakes. All science is subject to this.

The Wikipedia article on parapsychology has been a battleground article. It’s not neutral. Parapsychology though, is not “belief in psychics.” It would include the investigation of paranormal psychic phenomena, and “psychic” basically means “of the mind.” But it is then used by non-scientists, not in a scientific way. Is that “pseudoscientific”? Only if scientific claims are made!

He has worked with psychic Craig Weiler in promoting paranormal studies on Wikiversity.[33]

Weller worked on the parapsychology resource, as can anyone. Noticing the RatWiki article on Craig Weiler, I checked the history. Yes. This was an article edited by AP socks. More grist for the mill.

Was I “promoting paranormal studies”? No. I have long been promoting the creation of resources on Wikiversity, where users may study almost any subject at all. In particular, users who have been blocked on Wikipedia, because they came into conflict with other users, can explore topics safely on Wikiversity. 

I set up the Parapsychology resource with this stub. This was in response to off-wiki email discussions, I saw a need. Resources like this draw disruption and conflict away from Wikipedia, that is one of the functions. Sometimes creating a resource on a controversial topic will create Wikiversity disruption, but there are ways to avoid that. Part of this is that the top-level resource in mainspace must be rigorously neutral, hopefully with high consensus.  Hence what is truly controversial is taken down to subpages where they become attributed opinions and personal studies. There is no particular limit to the number of these, and they need not be neutral, as long as attributed and placed within a neutral structure.

The first user to edit the stub was DeanRadin, who appears to have no other WMF edits. But he is the notable parapsychologist, Dean Radin.

Soon the Nobelist in physics, Brian Josephson showed up.  And then Ben Steigmann, a young man who had been blocked on Wikipedia, enthusiastic to do a study of sources. Craig Weiler made a handful of edits to the resource. The information from the troll is radically imbalanced. Anyone with a Wikipedia account can edit the resource, and IPs can edit it too. And many have. There have been efforts to warp it, but all by SPAs, which tend to go nowhere fast. Where they have made reasonable suggestions, they have been accepted. There is custodial supervision, which has not been a problem. Wikiversity runs on consensus, something that trolls hate.

Diet woo[edit]

Lomax is an advocate of the Atkins Diet, a low-carb fad diet that most of the medical community have rejected as quackery.[34]

An “advocate of the Atkins diet”? I have generally followed the Atkins Nutritional Approach since roughly 2005 or so, as I recall. I looked now at the Wikipedia article. It’s hilarious.

Although the commercial success of Atkins’ diet plan, weightloss books, and lifestyle company, Atkins Nutritionals, led Time to name the doctor one of the ten most influential people in 2002,[1] there is no good evidence that his diet is an effective approach to weight loss.

The sources cited for that final claim do not support the claim, it is synthesis, a common Wikipedia editor fault, where an editor reads what they believe into the source.

The reality is that the Atkinis approach was not particularly new. And when I talked with my doctor about diet, he went into his office and pulled out a book from the 1920s, that recommended a low-carb diet for type 2 diabetes. Nearly every medical professional I talked to said that the “Atkins diet works.” What that Wikipedia statement overlooks is that there is “no good evidence that” any diet “is an effective approach to weight loss.” Key word may be “diet,” which implies restriction and some kind of deprivation.  However, there are principles, and the subject is far more complex than this troll could possibly understand. Gary Taubes recognized the situation and started writing about it. For those that don’t know Taubes’ history, he wrote Bad Science, an extensive debunking of cold fusion. Best book on the history there is. He was a bit narrow-minded; the real evidence for cold fusion being more than pathological science was not covered in his book, was not published in a peer-reviewed journal until around the time the book came out. But he works hard, and he identified the “scientific consensus” on the cause of heart disease and obesity as … Bad Science, and then he wrote several books and articles on the topic. Atkins was a hero. The statement “there is no good evidence” is only arguable by deprecating the evidence that does exist, claiming it isn’t “good.” But what is better evidence? and in the real world, we need to eat most every day. It turns out that there has been very little truly “good” research. Mostly “nutritional science” is a pile of commonly accepted opinions, not actually scientific. Taubes started the Nutritional Science Institute to fund and facilitate good research. That’s what someone interested in real science does. I’ve been in contact with him and he is an inspiration. And his is not a fanatic Atkins fan. He simply knows that for many people, it works. But what are the long-term effects? Nobody really knows for sure; people vary greatly. I’m finding that losing weight now, at 73, is far more difficult than it was fifteen years ago. That seems to be a common experience, it has to do with metabolism, and Atkins was looking at metabolism, as did Taubes, later.

In any case, the RationalWiki article on Atkins does not dismiss it as “woo.” This is simply the troll trolling. What “woo”? A very low carb diet, shifts body metabolism, it’s quite striking to anyone who tries it. One starts burning fat instead of glucose. (The body still can make some glucose even with practically no intake, but burning fat, after a few days, is quite a different experience than burning carbs. In particular, the body has high fat stores, and my experience is that I don’t get hungry, even when I don’t eat. I still have an “appetite,” but it is no longer hunger-driven. So you will see some critics “explaining away” how Atkins works by “appetite suppression.” Is that a problem? And I enjoy food enormously. Just not, usually, high-carb foods. I might eat a baked potato once in a few months.  (Like Atkins.) With lots of butter and sour cream. Yum!!! Eating fat with carbs slows down the digestion — as does fiber. Atkins is not a “high protein diet,” as some think.  It is low-carb, moderate protein, and high fat.

And, yes, Atkins was called a “quack.” But … that has mostly disappeared. Science moves on. The RationalWiki article claims that high fat low carb diets “work,” but are “dangerous.” I have seen no evidence for the danger for people without other severe health problems. The “danger” has to do with ketoacidosis from, not an LCHF diet, but a high protein diet, which the RatWiki article has confused with low carb. I monitor my ketone levels with test strips, sometimes. I have never seen anything more than “benign dietary ketosis.” 

The source for my being an “advocate of the Atkins Diet”? Hah! Wikipedia, a talk page edit from 2005, my third Wikipedia edit, when I had just learned about and started following the Atkins approach. (and lost 30 lbs, easily and quickly). This troll really worked hard to make his case. (at that point, I didn’t know how to sign comments…. then I tried to construct signatures manually, then, forehead slapped, I noticed the signature button….)

That edit was a report of my early experience with Atkins. Is that “promotion”? I can read that today and feel reasonably happy with what I wrote. Apparently, the troll believes that describing one’s own experience is “woo.” Yeah. This is someone who lives a very constricted life.

Internet antics[edit]


Lomax is a forum troll. He tends to pick fights with users until he gets banned or gets bored (and then rants about why he is leaving forever and ever). Wikipedia, Lenr-Forum and Vortex-L banned him after he insulted other users and fought with administrators.[35]

As I point out above, I have rarely been banned, and never for trolling. I have also rarely declared LANCB. I did,. more or less on RationalWiki, with few edits after that, until the disruption of AP appeared on Wikipedia and Wikiversity and meta, and I tracked some of the accounts back to RationalWiki, and then Marky, there, an obvious AP sock from many signs, including technical evidence, created the article….

Wikipedia, LENR Forum, and Vortex-L did not ban me for the reasons given. The first source he gives is a post of mine covering users banned on LENR Forum. It does not cover the claims. That was written after I was banned, so what is there could not have been the cause of the ban. Then he points to my last post before “leaving.” In that post , I announced that unless the problem of arbitrary deletions of content with no way of recovering it was resolved, I was boycotting the Forum. That was not actually “leaving.” I was then promptly banned, with no explanation. Complaint about moderation practice is common on LENR Forum. However, the particular moderator is knee-jerk reactive. I do not know if it was him who pushed the ban button, but I do have a friend who is an actual administrator there who told me that the staff situation was, I think “hopeless” was the word he used. Long story. I was, at the time, one of the most active users, and users have done far worse than I (that “rant” was not even offensive) and, if they are blocked at all, it is normally only for a short time. “Permabans” are very rare. I think in the review there were two, and they undid the other one. No, the cause of the ban is quite obvious: it was personal.

(The arbitrary deletions stopped. So I would have returned to posting. But … in spite of user requests, the ban was never undone. A good deal of the blog content is commentary on discussions on LF. That works for me. I know that some of the best LF writers read the blog, because they comment there and sometimes refer back to it. For a time, right after the ban, LF would reject all referred content requests from CFC. I simply set the site to not provide referrer information. And LF admin apparently realized that this was dumb, so it was fixed. But that took an admin with domain access, showing that someone on high was supporting the ban. Clumsily. It merely made them look stupid. LF moderation has improved somewhat. But it is still relatively useless for building content. Discussions become monstrous, essentially unreadable, with no way of refactoring or organizing access.)

Wikipedia banned me for a single sock (which violated the cold fusion ban, though not disruptively. The sock identification did not arise from any noticeboard or SPI request. It was by an arbitrator using checkuser, without a request. That’s what I was looking for, among other things, evidence of bias. Later, the ArbComm mailing list was hacked and published in part, on Wikipedia Review, and revealed more. That’s all ancient history, and being banned helps keep me from being tempted to waste time rolling the boulder up the hill. 

The Vortex-l ban was by the single owner of that list, who had been totally absent when there was extensive disruption by a user also banned. Others had insulted this user, not I. I had responded to the user’s claims, examining them in detail. So the reason for the ban was DNFTT. I had actually phoned him to attempt to get his attention to the situation. He shot the messenger. Funny how people do that, sometimes. When he saw the situation, he shut the mailing list down. So I created an alternative list (newvortex) for when the regular list was down. (it had been using a very unreliable host). That list proved very useful for a time. However, with the first LENR Forum ban (before the “permanent one” — which was undone with an apology — I had created the blog, which is far, far more useful.

On October 4, 2017 Abd attacked a skeptical Wikipedia user “JPS” on his website and posted personal information about this user. In December 2, 2017 he was warned about harassing Wikipedia users and he removed his slanderous article.[36] Similarly, he joined the Thunderbolts woo forum to complain that astronomer Joshua P. Schroeder (JPS) is a “pseudoskeptic”.[37]

In the notes, AP refers to an archived copy of the article. I am removing that link here, because if this article is harmful to JPS, and if it is not necessary at the moment, it should be taken down. I can always restore that content if needed. It is not an “attack.” The title of that thread is “Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia.” I did not “complain” about JPS. I simply documented his Wikipedia name changes, and where he had gone with his career, which included changing his name in real life, apparently. JPS has long attempted to cover up his identity, and claims to have been harassed in real life. I have not harassed him and do not support harassment. However, he is continuing to edit Wikipedia in similar ways as before, and I decided to clarify his identity. When AP started pointing to the page (which was private when written, and only made public about a month later; when a post is edited, the date does not change.) What happened on December 2, was that AP started pointing to the posts, on WMF wikis and in the RW article. And he archived the posts. In other words, if this was harmful (which is questionable), AP, the one writing here, made it much more difficult to fix.

“On December 2, 2017, he was warned…” is passive. What was the action, i.e., how was I warned and by whom? What happened on December 2 relating to this? See the AP IP sock activity in the meta study that AP has been attacking (and the RW article was obviously an attempt to retaliate for that study), began attacking Ben Steigmann on Wikipedia. This user revert warred on my meta user Talk page, but  the IP was then globally blocked, at my request, as an open proxy.

Immediately, took up the cudgel, and trolled me, December 2, this would be what he calls a “warning.” Because that post linked to an archive copy of my description of JPS accounts and activity, I requested that it be revision-deleted, but that wasn’t noticed when a steward removed a later post from this IP, as part of globally blocking it. Because I may eventually make sure it gets rev-del’d, I’m copying the content here (with the link removed)

Your abuse and stalking of skeptics

You have been doxing and stalking a well known skeptical Wikipedia editor and old friend of mine on forums [8] [link removed] and on your personal blog. He has now changed his Wikipedia name [9] [link removed] because of your abuse. Don’t worry he knows you have been doing it. Won’t be long until you get in trouble. You seem to spend your entire existence attacking people on the internet just because they are skeptics. This is uncalled for and harassment. There is no need to stalk people and try and get their personal details. It is creepy. Btw your best friend Ben Steigmann is a self-admitted anti-Semite. Do you hold extremist views yourself? (discuss) 04:20, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

I have kept the link to the alleged admission. Steigmann has apparently admitted to being anti-Semitic in the past, and while I have not investigated that history, my impression is that he is a target precisely because he changed his position. From AP’s point of view, he would be a traitor. But that is speculation. I have had no interaction with Steigmann that would indicate anti-semitism. And it’s completely irrelevant, but this is simply AP doing what he does most commonly: trolling, accusing, blaming, and asking questions with incorporated assumptions. He substitutes “is” for “was,” and, in fact, this is common in the many articles he has created on RationalWiki. His allegations about my alleged “diet woo” are based on discussion in 2005, but presented in the present tense — and that post itself did not support his claim. To express an opinion, casually, as I first was learning about a topic, isn’t the “promotion” he claims.

Notice: “Forums.” He cites one, though an copy. “Stalking” has a meaning on WMF wikis, and I have not done that. I actually have not followed JPS editing, just his name changes and real life information, created by him. Nevertheless, I recognize a legitimate concern and so I immediately took action to take down the material, such as I could. I could not, however, take down the copy immediately, without harm. I requested that the thunderbolts forum delete my two posts there. Emailed JPS, through his new Wikipedia account, helpfully pointed out to me by this troll — I did not know it, because I have not been stalking him — and offered to cooperate in removing all the material. His response was not good, but we are still communicating. He obviously has not taken steps to remove references to this alleged “doxxing” from WMF wikis (and I could also provide him with a list, that is easy for me, but I’m not going to do it unless he asks. Preferably cooperatively instead of with blame. Does he want it fixed or not? Telling me it was unethical to post the material doesn’t encourage me to support it being taken down, but high skill in interpersonal relations is not his strength.

The copy is time-stamped 30 Nov 2017 02:36:09 UTC. From RationalWiki contributions, a new account, Astrophysics, first edit was at 30 Nov 2017 02:38 to the article on me, and he linked to the post at 02:44, 30 November 2017. Conclusion: Astrophysics is the user who archived the Thunderbolts post. I have other technical evidence linking the open proxy IPs to archiving, and technical evidence also leads to other AP socks. From the content and time-coincidence, This is all one user, or, alternative hypothesis, there are multiple users closely coordinating. I find this quite unlikely at this level. The two brothers hypothesis is possible.

This is standard AP behavior, attempting to stir up enmity between users. There are many examples.

Basically, the Thunderbolts post had this on “pseudoskeptic.”

All this information (and more) is available in public documents. Schroeder is one pseudoskepic out of many, why has he aroused such outrage? It’s easy to see in his Wikipedia interactions. He did not just argue for following Wikipedia policy, he argued massively and at length, over many years, against neutrality policy, and he clearly violated policies to oppose other users, especially civility policy. He stirred up conflict, often trolling others into reacting and then being blocked or banned, thus warping the consensus process by which Wikipedia hopes to achieve neutrality, and I know of an example where the damage was truly enormous, with a possible lost opportunity cost from delay in recognizing old errors could be a trillion dollars per year. Or maybe not. Those are questions that are being resolved in time, and how important Wikipedia is in this is questionable.

(JPS was site-banned for quite some time for his policy violations, and how he came to be unbanned is quite interesting for those who want to understand Wikipedia politics. However, the post was not, more than making some claims that could be documented, but weren’t, that are mild compared to what AP has done, over and over.)

Abd’s original article that attacked JPS was entirely changed. In the new post, he now blames another skeptical user for archiving his original blog post, claiming this is ‘harassment’.[38]

Skeptical user of what? In fact, I simply report that there is clear technical evidence pointing to AP socks as having archived the material. It’s remarkable. I made a supposedly improper post. So I removed the allegedly improper material, not because I was warned (that was not a warning, it was blame and attack).

Archiving allegedly doxxing posts so that they cannot easily be deleted is a form of harassment. However, his intention here was not to harass JPS, whom he claims is an “old friend.” (JPS claims to not have any idea who he is. But, essentially, if that’s true, JPS has not been paying attention.)

The intention would be to harass me, and that is obvious from the edits of the IP on WMF wikis and AP socks on RationalWiki. He is attempting to stir up support for an attack on the Anglo Pyramidologist documentation, and he obviously was quite upset that I turned his links to my blog post into exposure of his activity, but he tries to make hay with it. Of course, I have archived the meta documentation. I have mostly avoided linking to it, but it is becoming a far easier way to refer to WMF disruption by these socks, than other alternatives. I would move it here if necessary. AP is attempting to bully his way out of the mess he has created. His reputation is that he never gives up. We can see that with the recent IP edits. When blocked, he simply created a new open proxy, and made no attempt to conceal this. Five open proxy blocks now. He did that with registered accounts, blatantly vandalizing and attacking. I’ve lost count of how many of those.

Now, this is about the CFC copy of the material. Yes, I edited it. It’s a WordPress blog, and when a post is edited, the original post date is kept, which was actually about a month before I made it public. That archiving also created technical evidence that leads, once again, to a single user (as defined on Wikipedia, which can include more than one person sometimes) creating all this mess.

RationalWiki conspiracy theory[edit]

Lomax was perma-banned from RationalWiki for doxxing and trolling.[39] He now uses his personal blog to spread a paranoid conspiracy theory and misinformation that a group of RationalWiki editors who live in the same house (yes, you read that correctly) created and edited his RW article.<″>[40]

Lying, again. He is talking about this study, covering obvious Anglo Pyramidologist socks on RationalWiki. (It is possible that some identifications there are incorrect; however all of these would appear in a normal Wikipedia sock puppet investigation as suspected. Some are completely blatant.) I have technical evidence in a few cases, however, mostly, that is not being published to avoid informing AP of just how obvious his behavior is, once one knows how and where to look.

The word “house” does not appear on that page, and the page is not doxxing, in spite of claims by AP. It is routine for AP socks to doxx others. A new account will appear on RationalWiki and immediately, an AP sock will announce the real name. Examples abound. Occasionally, a non-AP sysop will block. Usually not. It is accepted behavior. But if someone does less than that — pointing to evidence of sock puppetry, which is not doxxing — and if it is against an AP sock, they are often blocked, and many examples, again, could be shown, not just mine. Some of these have told a story of a family and mentioned a house. I have not. I have, instead, elsewhere, pointed to the fact that Wikipedia checkusers may identify as a single user, more than one person if they are accessing the internet in the same way. And AP socks have claimed to be brothers. But that is all what AP would have in mind. He did not find it on that page.

A more recent version (than when I was banned for “doxxing” here) has this:

There are indications or claims that more than one person is behind the AP socks. It would also be easy to imitate them (though not so easy to get steward/checkuser identification). There is much information — or misinformation — on the internet about the AP socks, and about the supposed “Smith Brothers” behind the family. What is happening on RationalWiki is that what is totally obvious is effectively banned there, but quite irregularly. AP socks are tolerated for an obvious reason: it serves the purposes of those who dominate that wiki, and that is the same reason why behavior by some on Wikipedia is tolerated. so when a target user comes to RationalWiki and points out the obvious obvious — and the socks will create a huge ruckus so that it is truly obvious — that target can then be sanctioned for “outing” or “doxxing,” whereas outing or doxxing from the AP socks is routinely tolerated.

I have not been “permabanned” from RationalWiki. I am indef blocked by one user, on the face, Skeptical, about which see this study. This is blatantly an AP sock, as was Marky, who created the article on me. I also have technical evidence on Marky. I’ll let him worry about what it is. I will provide one hint,. because it may help show others the scope of the AP socking. Marky used IP, which geolocates to what others have claimed is his location. He used that IP to edit Wikipedia, with AP obsessions. Also RationalWiki, the same. 

He was blocked on RationalWiki for “legal threats.” That was actually an error, he wasn’t making threats, he was pointing to one of his enemies who has been claimed to be making legal threats. However, the contributions display shows the obsessions. A steward blocked this same IP 02:49, 15 October 2017 for “long term abuse.” The abuse is not obvious from Wikipedia contributions. From the steward’s log, however, the steward was looking at the recent AP sock barrage, blocking this IP immediately after locking a typical AP disruptive sock,  Stop old metally ill internet stalkers in their 70s from internet acess. The steward also blocked, the minute before, Skeleton Bone, obviously another AP sock from the name and from the steward action (lots of AP names are “creepy,” like Goblin Face. Skeleton Bone was never used to edit. 

AP does not spell particularly well. Stewards will not associate user accounts with IP addresses, it’s privacy policy. But often one can discern the intention.

As to “doxxing” RationalWiki has a definition, linked by the author. It is decent. What I have done does not meet the definition, as I have generally pointed only to anonymous accounts (Including “Anglo Pyramidologist,” not real names or phone numbers, addresses, etc. I have recently pointed to involved IP, as is common on Wikipedia SPI investigations. (But I had not done this then, as I recall, And AP has done this many times there). AP has more seriously doxxed himself, with RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory, created by one of the socks. Discussion of this page was then used to attack me for doxxing, and the page was then deleted, by David Gerard, no less, and he removed my sysop tools, which then allowed Skeptical to block me. I will study this elsewhere. It has wide implications. Maybe there is a conspiracy! But that is not what I have been documenting.

That “conspiracy” page was created by MrOrganic. It was taken to AfD by Marky. AP sock opposing AP sock? They do this frequently. The edits of MrOrganic reveal the topic obsessions of AP. Then the AfD was deleted (very unusual) by Skeptical, and his deletion log is full of deletions for “doxxing.” Doxxing of whom? Him, of course. (But he started by deleting pages created by him, as one of the other socks. Then he went on to the real purpose of the account. He didn’t find everything…. And, of course, he couldn’t stop me here, no matter how much he pounded his little fists. 

Notice that Marky, MrOrganic, and Skeptical, like most other AP socks, simply stopped editing. These socks charge in, fired up, with a clear agenda, no fooling about, make many edits, and then … disappear, as more socks appear. This makes identification a little more difficult, but I don’t need conclusive identification to list a sock as suspected. I’m compiling as full a list as possible because then other analytical tools can be brought to bear. Absolutely, Anglo Pyramidologist or whatever we want to call him, wants to stop this documentation.

He is unlikely to succeed. I warned him, as this all started, that I was like the Tar Baby. Attacking me wasn’t good for the health of the attacker. If he had not harmed so many people, over the years, I’d have simply gone on, but a major factor was also the continued attacks and their insane intenstiy. It seemed he had stopped WMF activity, at least as to what was clearly visible. And then he created the RationalWiki article. He’s drawing fire. Why?

He has claimed he is paid. Who would pay him? There are suspects but I don’t know. He has been real-life-named (by many) but I have no personal evidence on that, only general location. Information from his edits is unreliable, he frequently lies. As an example, see this plea from an AP sock, quickly blocked as an LTA. He was lying, and checkusers knew that. The plea was internally contradictory (as is not uncommon.) He just says what he wants people to believe, it isn’t rational. Or see this plea just before it. Lying, lying lying.

(The latter claims that checkusers will identify all the claimed accounts as one, but he claims to have personal knowledge that they are at least four users. Him being one. I.e., he’s admitting disruptive socking. However, I keep in mind that, as AP socks have impersonated others, others can impersonate AP. None of what these attack SPAs say can be trusted. The AP sock who claimed 700 socks on RationalWiki may have been lying. It might only be a few hundred. I don’t know yet and may never know. I’m only identifying the ones that appear reasonably possible (or sometimes very obvious) from the duck test, mostly.)

External links[edit]

The new AP sock tried to remove the blog link. It was restored by FuzzyCatPotato, who might be a bit fuzzy at times but who has at least one redeeming quality: He is not Anglo Pyramidologist! It would be normal to link to an article subject’s blog.


I am not keeping the jumpbacks. Too much work for too little value here.

  1. Biography: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax.
  2. Abd Profile “Born in 1944, Abd ul-Rahman is not my birth name, I accepted Islam in 1970. Not being willing to accept pale substitutes, I learned to read the Qur’an in Arabic by reading the Qur’an in Arabic.”
  3. Cold fusion/Experts/Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
  4. Abd Ul-Rahman Lomax, Sat with Richard P. Feynman, 1961-63. I know a *little* about Physics..
  5. sat with Richard P. Feynman at Cal Tech 1961-63, in the “Feynman Lectures
  6. As an undergraduate student at the California Institute of Technology, I studied physics with Richard P. Feynman.
  7. [ I was at Cal Tech for a couple of years, being in Richard P. Feynman’s two years of undergraduate physics classes.
  8. I learn by writing.
  9. Christian-Muslim Exchange: Islamic Encounters — Part 3
  10. I became a leader of a “spiritual community,” and a successor to a well-known teacher, Samuel L. Lewis
  11. Who are the Murabitun?
  12. Warning about a Shady Cult: Murabitun and Ian Dallas.
  14. The Number 19 in the Qur’an. Bahá’í Library Online.
  15. bismillAhi r-raHmAni r-raHiym.
  16. Gardner, Martin. (2000). Did Adam and Eve Have Navels. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 260-261. Online.
  17. Yuksel, Edip. (2012). Running Like Zebras. Braionbow Press. ISBN 978-0982586730.
  18. Personal Attacks from Daniel Lomax.
  19. As to rational skepticism, I was known to Martin Gardner, who quoted a study of mine on the so-called Miracle of the Nineteen in the Qur’an, the work of Rashad Khalifa, whom I knew personally.
  20. Proposed community ban of Abd from English Wikipedia. Wikipedia administrator comment: “Abd was topic banned from cold fusion-related articles by ArbCom for a year as a result of a pattern of disruptive editing… This topic ban is still in effect, and Abd has absolutely no intention of abiding by it. Abd was indefinitely blocked a few months ago and has since made numerous edits to Wikipedia in violation of that block and his topic ban.”
  21. Wikipedia.
  22. What is Infusion Institute?
  23. Lomax, Abd ul-Rahman. (2015). Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio. Current Science 108 (4): 574-577. (Also check Archive if link is offline).
  24. Articles written by Lomax, Abd Ul-Rahman. Current Science.
  25. Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio. Archive.
  26. Cold fusion is real, claim scientists. “We have direct evidence that the effect is real and is nuclear in nature,” US physicist Abdul-Rahman Lomax of the Infusion Institute in Massachusetts says in his report.”
  27. Cold fusion journalism.
  28. Parapsychology/Dispute over Scientific Status/Abd. Wikiversity. (Archive).
  29. Update May 16, 2016. Also check the Archive.
  30. Archive
  31. Friedlander, Michael W. (1998). At the Fringes of Science. Westview Press. p. 119. ISBN 0-8133-2200-6“Parapsychology has failed to gain general scientific acceptance even for its improved methods and claimed successes, and it is still treated with a lopsided ambivalence among the scientific community. Most scientists write it off as pseudoscience unworthy of their time.”
  32. Pigliucci, Massimo; Boudry, Maarten. (2013). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University Of Chicago Press p. 158. ISBN 978-0-226-05196-3 “Many observers refer to the field as a “pseudoscience”. When mainstream scientists say that the field of parapsychology is not scientific, they mean that no satisfying naturalistic cause-and-effect explanation for these supposed effects has yet been proposed and that the field’s experiments cannot be consistently replicated.”
  33. Parapsychology. Wikiversity.
  34. Talk:Atkins diet. Wikipedia.
  35.  [1], see also his rant before he left.
  36.  Abd removed the original article but check out the archived [link redacted] versions where the article still exists. Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia. [link redacted] Abd ul-Rahman Lomax.
  37. Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia. Thunderbolts Forum.
  38. Abd’s new revised post, written on December 3, 2017. The post however on his website is deceptive as he has kept the October 4, 2017 date.
  39. See his block log.
  40. His blog section for RationalWiki

Jimbo Wales and “lunatic charlatans”

Looking at recent developments on Wikipedia with “fringe” and “quacks,” I’ve found many symptoms of a systemic corruption, and this will show how the project lost its direction, at core and in a failure to honor the original community intentions, it’s become quite explicit. This started with looking at the user page of Roxy the dog. Wikipedia made what may have been a fatal error in not only allowing anonymous edits (probably necessary and highly useful) but also in allowing advanced privileges for anonymous accounts. In this, it deviated widely from academic traditions. It eliminated the “responsible publisher” for itself, creating mob rule.

This protected the Foundation, but not the project. This is classic: organizations are formed for purposes, but their own survival, if it comes into conflict with the purpose, becomes a priority. So if the trial of “community governance” fails — in the absence of clear structures that create responsible actors — nothing can be done. It’s up to the community, not the site owners. Wikipedia is famously not a reliable source. Why not? Precisely because there is no responsible publisher!

The possibility existed for a community project to become more reliable than any such effort in history. That is, in fact, why I worked on Wikipedia as long as I did. But the radically unreliable governance, vulnerable to participation bias (whoever happens to show up in specific discussions, and where some kinds of factional canvassing are allowed, plus the possibly random nature of who closes discussions, where bias in closing could be very difficult to detect, and, if detected, they shoot the messenger), led to a conclusion that the situation was unworkable.

Wikipedia will be replaced by a project that harnesses what Wikipedia has done, but that adds reliable governance and responsibility. This may be for-profit or nonprofit, it could be done either way.

It was clear to me at one point that Jimbo Wales (with Larry Sanger the founder of Wikipedia) was interested in governance reform. However, something was missing, and I’m coming to think that what was missing was an understanding of neutrality. He almost had it, but it’s clear that knee-jerk “popular,” not academic or scientific, responses, very obviously not neutral, took over for him. And this then explains, in part, how “popular factions” came to dominate Wikipedia, as many have noted. They lose, sometimes, their control is not absolute, but it creates a steady pressure and, over time, it’s apparent to me, the project has devolved away from neutrality, and a particular faction has, many times, opposed neutrality and has declared allegiance to a point of view, and they act to push that point of view.

Anyone trained in journalism will recognize the problem, how it infects the language and overall tenor of pages. Blatant violations of neutrality policy, misrepresentations of sources, in favor of attempting to create in readers POV impressions, are, in some areas, practically the rule rather than a transient exception. Revert warring is tolerated, if done by factional editors, who are considered “valuable volunteers” precisely because they work tirelessly for their point of view.

Editors with contrary points of view are isolated and sanctioned and topic- or site-banned. Editors promoting SPOV (“Scientific point of view,” when they go beyond limits in that promotion, may be sanctioned, but also are regarded as heroes. And so if they are actually banned, they often come back. Wouldn’t you?

This is what Roxy the dog has from Wales:

“Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.”
“What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of ‘true scientific discourse’. It isn’t.[1][2]

Roxy the dog uses this as I’d expect, to justify a series of claims of being justifiably biased. First, what exactly did Wales say, in what context.?

Wikipedia developed a procedure for creating a neutral project and he is referring to it, but he overspecifies that procedure, narrowing it in a way that favors the bias Roxy the dog displays. Was this merely accidental, incautious?

and, in fact, it’s obvious. From that page:

Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales this week sent a clear signal to skeptics who edit the user-created encyclopedia – he agrees with our focus on science and good evidence. He did this by responding firmly in the negative to a petition created by alternative medicine and holistic healing advocates. His response, which referred to paranormalists as “lunatic charlatans”, was widely reported on Twitter.

I’ve been recommending skeptics pay close attention to Wikipedia since the earliest days of this blog, almost six years ago. Susan Gerbic took up that gauntlet and created her wildly successful Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project.

In the last year or so, the success of Susan’s project has gotten many paranormal and alternative medicine advocates riled up. They’ve repeatedly floated conspiracy theories that skeptics are somehow rigging the game on Wikipedia, or even bullying opponents off the site. Even personalities like Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra have gotten involved. None of these accusations have been supported by facts, and both Sheldrake and Chopra have been subsequently embarrassed by their own supporters’ rule-breaking behavior on the service.

This is common.

There is skeptic organization and this blog is proud of it. But if others point to organization, it’s a “conspiracy theory.”

Indeed, I have seen over-reaction, suspicion that, say, drug companies are paying editors to promote statin drugs and attack cholesterol skeptics. I find that implausible, but this is what happens where there are organizations that operate behind the scenes.

Sheldrake and Chopra have popular support, and people with popular support will be defended by some, often people with no real understanding of how Wikipedia works, and so they violate rules. But wait! Wikipedia Rule Number One, promoted by Wales himself, was “If a Rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it!” (WP:IAR)

I used to point out the Corollary, that if you have never been blocked for breaking the rules, you are not trying hard enough to improve the project.

The vision of the original Wikipedians has been lost, and this was practically inevitable (see  Iron law of oligarchy), if protective structure was not created, and it was not.

Wales response was to a petition asking for reform.

As is common with reform efforts, what might be a valid objection to the Wikipedia status quo was mixed with lack of understanding of how Wikipedia operates, and a point of view. The title of the petition shows a lack of understanding of the purpose of Wikipedia and the process of creating an encyclopedia.

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia: Create and enforce new policies that allow for true scientific discourse about holistic approaches to healing.

I will list problems with this request:

  1. Wales was not in charge of Wikipedia, he was the Founder, not the Governor. (In the other direction, he remained influential.)
  2. Wikipedia is not a site for “scientific discourse.” Wikiversity was, and could have remained so, but that was demolished, ultimately, by the faction, early this year. It was trivial to create neutral discourse, and it worked for years.
  3. The policies on inclusion were not the problem, the problem was lack of workable enforcement structure. The structure worked, though very inefficiently, for handling vandalism and isolated point of view pushing, but, increasingly, as factions developed power, poorly with factional point of view pushing.

Wales responded. 

MAR 23, 2014 — No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.

Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of “true scientific discourse”. It isn’t.

The blog claims that the organizers of the petition were “tone-deaf,” because they quoted Larry Sanger, thus, allegedly, irritating Wales. Sanger was quoted in the petition:

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, left the organization due to concerns about its integrity. He stated: “In some fields and some topics, there are groups who ‘squat’ on articles and insist on making them reflect their own specific biases. There is no credible mechanism to approve versions of articles.” 

Sanger’s comment was a simple conclusion matching what many, many, with high experience with Wikipedia, have found. That happens. It happens in all directions, but . . . factions that represent the “fringe” are, by definition, not popular, and that condition in the population will be reflected in the editorial community, so these factions are readily identified and their efforts interdicted, whereas the faction that is biased toward a popular point of view, can operate with far higher impunity, and in the absence of neutral enforcement, that bias can dominate.

This happened to some extent with traditional encyclopedias, but these were generally written with high academic integrity. Wales became confused on this issue, and was, himself, tone-deaf. Many have complained, and the complaints are routine and remain common. Wales only looks at what was wrong with the petition, and fails to practice what he preaches:

to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.”

So Wikipedia sails on, undisturbed by self-examination, supporting the “Scientific Point of View,” which is an oxymoron.

Rather, the Pillars of Wikipedia include one that would, if followed, establish journalistic and academic integrity:

Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view
We strive for articles in an impartial tone that document and explain major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence. We avoid advocacy, and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them. In some areas there may be just one well-recognized point of view; in others, we describe multiple points of view, presenting each accurately and in context rather than as “the truth” or “the best view”. All articles must strive for verifiable accuracyciting reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors’ personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong.

Wikipedia proposed a solution to crowd-sourcing, to allow it to be verifiable. “Reliable” source does not mean “correct.” It refers to independently published sources, presented with a neutral tone. Stating an interpretation as if fact without attribution is not “honesty.” It’s easy to convert, say, a non-neutral interpretation (which might be found in a reliable source) into a fact by attributing it. “According to . . . ”

Yet there are “skeptical faction” editors inserting their own interpretations as if fact, even about living persons, or entire fields. Because I just noticed it, here is an example, about Gary Taubes:

This is in the lead (current version), which should, by the guideline, be rigorously neutral, enjoying high consensus. The lead has:

Some of the views propounded by Taubes are inconsisent [sic] with known science surrounding obesity.[3]

The source is a book review, and such a review is the opinion of the author, particularly if it is an off-hand comment. What the review actually has, besides praise for the book (“… has much useful information and is well worth reading “):

some of the conclusions that the author reaches are not consistent with current concepts about obesity.

Are “current concepts” the same as “known science”? In fact, Taubes is challenging common concepts, explicitly and deliberately, as not being rooted in “known science,” i.e., known through the scientific method. This has been his theme for his entire career. The editor, however, believes what he has written and so considers that interpretation of the source to be a simple restatement.

The reviewer was not precise. “Current concepts” has a lost performative. Whose concepts? I used “common” as a vague term that would cover what I think is true. The concepts Taubes is challenging became common about forty years ago, through a political process that was only peripherally scientific. Documenting that has been much of Taube’s work.

This begins the lead:

Gary Taubes (born April 30, 1956) is an American journalist, writer and low-carbohydrate diet advocate.

Is he? This was there until a few days ago:

Gary Taubes (born April 30, 1956) is an American science writer.

To the faction, many examples can be shown, “low carbohydrate diet advocate” is a dog whistle to call skeptical attention to a person, who, in other contexts , might be called a “fad diet promoter,” “quack,” and “charlatan.”

Remember, verifiability not truth. The statement about “diet advocate” is not sourced. It’s misleading. What Taubes has been advocating is twofold:

  • improved public understanding of the history of the lipid hypothesis and the demonization of fat, as well as the evidence of the “diseases of civilization” being associated with high refined carbohydrate consumption,
  • but, more important (certainly to him), the encouragement and facilitation (read funding) of scientific research into diet. Taubes is not a ‘believer,” but he has drawn some conclusions and has been acting on them. That is normal in science. Wales wrote:

If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

First of all, he was misstating the actual policy. “Published in respectable scientific journals” is not the actual standard, and such publication can happen without “replicable scientific experiments,” that is only one aspect of science, and the reliance is not on “replicable,” but on “confirmed,” i.e., actually replicated, as shown in peer-reviewed reviews of a topic, secondary sources. Many facts can be reported (with maximum freedom, by guidelines) if attributed. The attribution should be to a reliable source, but the source may be weaker, though still reliable. The skeptical faction uses their own factional publications, that focus on “debunking” and are not neutrally peer-reviewed by experts in the fields, as if reliable source, it’s been common for years, whereas independently peer-reviewed secondary source reviews are excluded by the faction as “junk” or “fringe believer author.”

These are obvious violations of the neutrality pillar, but are tolerated because of a false opp0sition as reflected in Wales’ defense of Wikipedia.

A paper that was invited by a major peer-reviewed journal of high reputation, with Gary Taubes as one of the authors:

Dietary fat and cardiometabolic health: evidence, controversies, and consensus for guidance June 13, 2018

This review treats the topic with academic tone. It presents a variety of major points of view. This is what Wikipedia could be like, were it actually supporting science. Instead, it is supporting a highly judgmental and often fanatic debunking point-of-view.

Another example: Wales wanted to see “replicable experiments.” That is not required for notability, Wales is actually substituting his own ideas for the policy, but . . . I was banned from cold fusion on Wikipedia and the claim was made that I was promoting it, and this was often connected with claims that “cold fusion” is “pseudoscience.” In fact, what I was promoting, what was actually important to me at the time, was Wikipedia neutrality and genuine consensus process. However, when I was banned from the topic, I then investigated “cold fusion” more thoroughly, and eventually wrote an article, published in a significant journal, which would, in theory, satisfy the claims Wales made:

Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio

Okay, a review. Check. Peer-reviewed. Check. Describes multiple confirmations of a crucial experiment, that demonstrates that there is a real anomaly, that looks like it could be fusion (but probably not what most physicists would think of). Check.

Okay, is that cited? I don’t know if anyone attempted it. It was cited on Wikiversity. Much older and weaker sources on claims of helium detection (deprecating them) have been cited on Wikipedia, and remain. As I was about to be topic banned for the second time, I put up another review in a journal of very high reputation for consideration on the Reliable Source Noticeboard. It was found usable as reliable source. And after all that, was the source allowed? No. Immediately removed every time presented.

Status of cold fusion (2010)

Peer-reviewed review in a major multidisciplinary journal, Naturwissenschaften. Check. Stronger source than any other source used in the article. If editors think it was a mistake, it could be attributed.

See the arguments against it on RSN. That discussion was narrow and focused but was never “closed.” Consensus was clear. The paper is RS, and as with all sources, to be used with appropriate caution. Just because something is in reliable source does not make it “truth,” it makes it notable. And wikipedia was properly founded on notability, established by what is found in responsible publishers.

So what happened then? I have made the point often that the major problem with Wikipedia has been inefficiency. To establish what should have been accomplished by a reference to policy and guidelines, a matter of a few sentences, took a massive discussion. A responsible publisher would go bankrupt if their editorial process were like this.

There are plenty of Wikipedia editors who understood the policies and attempted to apply them neutrally. They burn out, faced with editors who ignore the policies, are persistent, and who are enabled to continue this, year after year.

removes reference to Storms (2010) based on argument rejected at RSN. Editor: ජපස, who has changed his name many times. He is the one who made the argument about Storms being an editor. That was an attributed reference, clearly neutral. This reverted the edit of Enric Naval.

Eventually, in 2015, the bibliographic reference to Storms (2010), and another citation of it, were removed by JzG, a highly involved factional editor and administrator who had been reprimanded by the Arbitration Committee for his actions with regard to cold fusion. Apparently nobody noticed. Jzg removed the reference to the 2007 book, and the 2010 journal review of cold fusion. His edit summary:

(pruning some WP:PRIMARY, including for example a book review written by a True Believer. We have sufficient high quality sources that we don’t need to dumpster-dive.)

These are the arguments that completely failed to be accepted at WP:RSN. Are there stronger sources by Wikipedia RS standards and the standards for science topics? What was left was weaker, or if not weak, substantially older.

None of these were primary sources, and he’s highly experienced, so . . . he lied, they were all secondary. (2007) was published World Scientific, an academic press, and (2010) was discussed above. The Book Review reference is unclear. JzG also removed material cited in Simon (2002), which is an academic secondary source review (a book), not a “book review”). He did remove from the bibliography one primary source (at least arguably so), Shanahan (2006). There was an appalling discussion in talk, no consensus, and the editor objecting was “reminded” about discretionary sanctions, which was essentially a threat that he could be blocked. This was a blatant and smug display of factional POV editing, and, as usual, without consequence, JzG (and William M. Connolley), sailed on, undisturbed, as they have for years. (In two cases, I took them to the Arbitration Committee, JzG was reprimanded, Connolley was desysopped. But the net effect was, with extensive effort, long term, zero. Discretionary sanctions were established as a result of the second case, (with neutral enforcement, a good idea), but it has only been used to support the skeptical faction and threaten or block anyone appearing to have a different point of view.)

In 2015, Current Science published a special section on low-energy nuclear reactions. It included a number of reviews of aspects of the field, written by major researchers (and one journalist, me). There was mention of this in the article that resisted removal, it’s still there. However, none of those papers are cited in the article, in spite of being recent specific reviews of aspects of the field, on topics discussed in the article.

Wales is either ignorant about what actually happens on Wikipedia, or he’s lying. I prefer the former interpretation, but I also hold him responsible for maintaining his ignorance in spite of complaints. Instead of actually investigating the complaints, or setting up a review process, he smugly proclaimed an extreme interpretation of the policy that then, very clearly, encouraged the SPOV-pushers. I’ve seen a shift since that time, and this might explain it.

No, if one does research and gets it published in peer-reviewed journals, it is inadequate to shift the Wikipedia balance, because the balance is maintained in the impressions and interpretations of editors, and it’s very well-known that when people have committed themselves to a position (by using language like “charlatan” and “fringe believers” and “crank”) they become resistant to change, and will continue to invent justifications and reasons to continue to believe the same.

Ironically, this is what this faction believes about others, that they are “die-hards” and “pseudoscientific.” If someone calls them “pseudoskeptical” or “pathoskeptic,” they will block or arrange for the person to be blocked, but claims in the other direction are routine and tolerated. Enforcement is biased, creating a long-term pressure away from neutrality.

Wikipedia could be transformed, but what has been created is so highly entrenched that it might take a major event.

I’ve suggested that a new encyclopedia could be created that uses Wikipedia content, routinely, but that creates a filter and process for reviewing it. I’ve suggested that such a site might pay authors and editors, and that it might sell itself as “Wikipedia, but more reliable.” And it would solicit donations, but would also sell advertising, carefully vetted to be reliable, itself, which is quite doable. (The advertising would pay for the writing and editorial work.)

Sometimes, you get what you pay for. If you use volunteers, they work for their own purposes. It can be great, but large human organizations pay management, even when they use many volunteers.

Everipedia looks like an effort in that direction, but it utterly fails to attract me, so far, nor does it look like it could attract the kind of massive use and participation that could take it beyond Wikipedia. The Everipedia article on cold fusion is a fork of the Wikipedia article (so far, what I’d expect, but, then, if I read the article, does it invite me to improve it? If so, I don’t see how or where.)

To succeed, an improved project must present something clearly better than Wikipedia, such that users would have an incentive to look up a topic there rather than on Wikipedia. There are also complications, Google being a major supporter of Wikipedia. But a better product does not have to be better in every way, just in some, and it could flag what has been fact-checked and reviewed for neutrality, for example, and what was merely copied from Wikipedia. (Everipedia may do that, I can’t tell, but Everipedia seems to be focusing on selling access to businesses or people who want to control articles about themselves. Not on setting up an expert review process or other structure that would create reliability.)

It would use Wikipedia’s process to create a level of reliability, and then improve it. It would make comparisons with Wikipedia easy, as an example, so that changes to Wikipedia would be imported as (1) automatic if the fork article has not been validated, or as (2) reviewed, as with the contributions of any non-empowered editor on Wikipedia.

The focus appears to be on how to preserve one of the major weaknesses of Wikipedia, anonymity. That’s a double-edged sword. The new project, if linked to Wikipedia, would already have a way for anonymous editors to contribute: on Wikipedia! It could also allow suggested edits on its own versions.

(Wikipedia could also bring in content the other way, through a process that was used on wikipedia when a banned user created an article elsewhere, and then there was a Request for Comment on importing that (radical change) as a single edit. This is actually a far simpler question than the one-edit at a time process Wikipedia follows: “Is A or B better?” )

It would need to have layers of detail. It could have better editorial review tools than Wikipedia. An example of something missing from Wikipedia is an ability to search history, the entire history of the project or of an article, or of user contributions. Now, you can obtain logs, but they are not generally searchable, except primitively. I do it, but by downloading histories (the logs will not retrieve more than 5000 operations), merging them, and then using search in a text editor or in Excel, and that doesn’t give me the editorial text, only edit summaries.

It is possible to search project full-history XML, but it can be incredibly cumbersome.

Everipedia is not showing signs of being well-designed and implemented. The FAQ I find far too complicated. Wikipedia made it easy and quick for anyone to edit. While “anyone can edit” fell apart to some extent, becoming more like “anyone can waste time trying to improve the project,” that ease of use was crucial to Wikipedia’s initial success. Wikipedia failed not from that, but from failure to establish reliable review process, something that is normally crucial for serious publishers.

Another issue is that Wikipedia not only failed to reward expert attention, it actually became hostile to ordinary experts. Wikibooks and Wikiversity were much friendlier, but then I discovered something. Most experts were not terribly interested in sustained free contributions to books or educational resources, if there was no benefit for them other than simply being able to write. And if what was written was fragile, and easily hacked up by Randy from Boise, and if they have plenty of other places to publish, why should they contribute? Many people will do it occasionally just because people are mostly nice. But regularly and reliably? No.

(To assist someone who wanted to study the subject, I set up a Parapsychology resource on Wikiversity, and it actually attracted some notable scientists. But they did not regularly contribute, nor did they watch the pages. That project was deleted early this year when the skeptical faction extended its reach to Wikiversity. Long story. JzG was involved. They also deleted the Wikiversity resource on cold fusion, all based on the action of a single bureaucrat, not supported by the community. Efforts like that had always failed in the past. But the Wikiversity community that had always supported academic freedom and the inclusive neutrality of Wikiversity as distinct from the exclusive neutrality of Wikipedia (i.e., academic standards rather than encyclopedic) was, as usual, asleep. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

I rescued those resources. Cold fusion. Parapsychology. Wikiversity showed how resources could be inclusively neutral. (A clearer example, where there would have been, on Wikipedia, or any other single-level wiki, edit warring, is Landmark Education.) Parapsychology was neutral, I’d been very careful to set it up that way. Cold fusion might not have been completely neutral, (I’d written most of it) but it would have taken about five minutes, with no harm being done, to rigorously neutralize it. The Wikiversity cold fusion article was often attacked on Wikipedia, but it was open for editing, and it had not been at all disruptive. Real neutrality is not disruptive, certainly not in itself. Real neutrality, with good-faith participants, can normally find complete consensus, even in the presence of major controversies. Wikipedia never understood this.

If I just want to shoot off my mouth, or to enjoy writing, I’ll start a blog, not start up an account on a wiki. It is far, far easier and, believe me, far more fun. And I can actually obtain funding for it. (Thanks!)

As an example, I know much of the cold fusion research community. Only very small number have ever attempted to edit Wikipedia. Met with entrenched hostility, for the most part, the handful who tried it simply gave up quickly. The field needs funding, and funding is not obtained by writing about cold fusion on Wikipedia. The inefficiency of Wikipedia makes it seriously wasteful.

Malcolm Kendrick


Subpage of anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/skeptic-from-britain/ 616 replies 460 replies

Dr. Kendrick’s blog came to my attention because I was accused of being Skeptic from Britain. When I looked, it was clear who this was and I have verified the identity through a review of contributions, both on Wikipedia and on RationalWiki, a hangout for “skeptics” who are, much more often, pseudoskeptics.

Dr. Kendrick’s Wikipedia article, and low-carb food plans and related information, in general, were attacked by that faction. It has not been uncommon. The same faction attacks and attempts to suppress “non-mainstream” information in Wikipedia, far more than policy would allow, and often being decades out-of-date.

This page will examine the issues, and hopefully provide some guidance for those who tangle with that faction. Misunderstanding of how Wikipedia works is very common, so perhaps some of that can be cleared up. Continue reading “Malcolm Kendrick”

Skeptic from Britain

Subpage of anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/

Subpages of this page:

Collecting evidence on the “Skeptic from Britain” obvious Darryl L. Smith Wikipedia sock.

They will claim “there is no evidence,” and then they will claim that I will write “endless words.” In fact, what I write becomes long because I show evidence. I do not always provide links, but if anyone has a question about any assertion (anywhere on this blog) ask. If comments are not enabled on a page, link to the page in a comment on any page with comments enabled, which could include all posts (i.e, what can be seen from the main page,

If any page is confusing because too long, comment and ask for a summary. I read all comments. The first comment from a user (which may refer to the email address provided by the user, I’m not sure) must be approved, as an anti-spam measure, but subsequent comments, after one is approved, are automatically approved unless I actually ban the user, which I have never done. Trolls are skewered and served for lunch, not banned. Welcome! Come on over for lunch!

Baseless allegations against [XXX, name redacted]

There were accusations that SfB was [XXX], or [XXX]. (This libel was created by highly suspicious anonymous accounts in the middle of widespread outrage over the activities of SfB. This kind of diversionary tactic was used in the first AP incident I investigated. It is used to stir up enmity toward an enemy, in some cases, or in this case, to make their targets (which would be anyone considered “fringe” by them) look foolish.

(If [XXX] wants these mentions removed, he may comment here, giving a real email address (which will not be published) and I will contact him. The purpose here is to protect him from these false claims, not to increase harassment. But it will be his choice, I would anonymize the references where possible. We should discuss it. Note: he did so request, see comments on this page and on the subpage.)

I do not know [XXX] and have had no connection with him [as this was first written].  My purpose is, as it has long been, to expose deception and impersonation and the creation of conflict through lies.

This is general, not about [XXX]: when someone lies about another whose politics may be questionable, it’s still a lie, and we do not transform the world for the better by lying about anything, nor do we create “hope not hate” by hating anyone; in fact, hating racism, while understandable, is also not going to heal the wounds. Hatred itself is the enemy, and not to be hated, but understood . . . and transformed.

The trolling (or perhaps clueless in some cases) blog comments:

(some of these, since I pointed out the problems, have been deleted by the blog owners):


skeptic from Britain has an Instagram [redacted]

his name is [XXX] . he is a vegetarian SJW, but oddly claims to eat red meat twice a week.

This comment is typical for AP socks (could be Darryl or his brother). They will attempt to create an appearance of hypocrisy. The claims are not evidenced, at all. The instagram page shows no evidence supporting the claim. This is all attempting create an attack on [XXX]. This then is picked up by others, some might be innocent, some are obviously Skeptic from Britain or his brother.

Stephen Rhodes 

Not sure whether this helps but over at fatheadthemovie someone has posted;

skeptic from Britain has an Instagram [redacted]

his name is [XXX] . he is a vegetarian SJW, but oddly claims to eat red meat twice a week.

[SJW == Social Justice Warrior]

That was very fast. However, Stephen Rhodes looks legitimate, simply naive, repeating a story without noting the lack of verification. Isn’t social media wonderful?

Alex Davis 
Skeptic from Britain is clearly the [XXX] guy. The age range and diet matches. Now he has been outed he quickly changed his username as a false flag to detract attention and confuse. Note that Skeptic from Britain submitted Fat Head for deletion yesterday He is clearly angry at Tom Naughton for being outed and wants revenge. I doubt he lives in Manchester, looks like another false flag to me. His editing history matches a US timezone.
It is not clear to me where Darryl currently lives, but he did live in Radlett. He would create, however, many diversions. Naughton had not outed him, rather the trolls had “outed” someone certainly innocent.
It can be tricky to infer location from editing pattern. Notice that non-Wikipedians will not know how to confirm the claim about time zone. This is, again, typical. (Claims without easily verifiable evidence. and anonymous, with nobody to contact to check.)
The current Skeptic from Britain account name is Vanisheduser3334743743i43i434 (the link is to archived contributions, there are currently 4622 live edits. (That’s a high rate for the time period involved, though not unusual for someone who has become very involved.) (There are more edits on Commons.)
This is a histogram of edit times (GMT), converted to fractions of an hour:
The minimum edit time is from 3:54 AM to 6:30 AM. Peak activity starts increasing at 1 PM, rising steadily to 10:06, and then falling off after midnight. This is quite consistent with a UK location. For the US mainland, that would be, East Coast, 10:54 PM to 1:30 AM. West Coast, 7:54 PM to 10:30 AM. Far from a typical Wikipedia editing pattern. While it remains possible (someone may have odd work hours and habits), it is quite incorrect to say that edit timing indicates U.S. location.
SfB showed up 12 February, 2018, making classic Darryl edits, obviously an experienced user already. This is not [XXX], at all, but an editor showing a very familiar pattern (Wikipedians should check “Goblin Face,” checkuser-identified. I will do a study of the edit timings, it will take some time (the SfB histogram was easy, but there is a lot more that can be done. I have edit timing for at least one known and active Darryl Smith sock in this period.  At this point, it looks like “Alex Davis” was lying. However, he might simply be mistaken and a bit careless. There is an Alex Davis with an interest in low-carb diets, but, as well, the Smith brothers pick real names for impersonations, it’s not uncommon, and there are no other comments from Alex Davis on that blog. Will the real Alex Davis stand up?
Goblin Face had over 7600 edits in 2014. This chart shows his last 5000 edits, times are again GMT, converted to fractions of an hour:
The match is strong. These two people are likely in the same time zone, with matching edits. Goblin Face was in England, matching the timing of Skeptic from Britain . There could be more found, much more, and again it will take time.
Low-Carb Man 

Because Skeptic from Britain got outed as [XXX] he changed his Wikipedia username and claims to be leaving the website because he was doxed, but he has submitted your Fat Head movie on Wikipedia to deletion, so you must have touched a nerve of his!

You should check Malcolm Kendrick’s blog comments various vegans have turned up to defend [XXX]. This was no doubt an attack from vegan SJW’s and they claim this is only round 1. You were right.

If a vegan is attacked, and vegans show up to defend him, would this be surprising? However, at least some of those who showed up are clearly socks, pretending to be vegan in order to stir up animosity. While there are some vegans who are fanatics about meat-eaters, it’s not normal. To SfB, all fringe believers are to be debunked and attacked, and if he can get them fighting with each other, so much the better! He creates false flag accounts, I’ve seen many of them.

[XXX]– vegetarian fanatic who claims to live in Manchester as of 2018, but there is virtually nothing about him on the internet apart from some old photographs on Instagram. Let’s hope he goes public about all this! If he studies biology like he claims, then he is editing at a university… I wonder what the university is he at thinks about this (!) Editing Wikipedia on their servers?

No evidence of any of the claims.  There is another post by “Jacob” on the blog. Different avatar. What I notice is the assumption that [XXX] is Skeptic from Britain, and “claims to live in Manchester.” Where? The account was named for a few days MatthewManchester1994. I found no claim to be “from Manchester,” either from Skeptic from Britain or [XXX]. So Jacob is either a troll who happens to use a name used before (which can be easy to do in blog comments) or is very incautious. The claims being made would be common for Darryl L. Smith, though relatively mild.

 Low-Carb guy
I think [XXX] is about the give up the game. Check the latest edits on his account MatthewManchester1994 . He says he has been outed by the low-carb community so he is closing his Wikipedia account and never returning.

This is a Smith brother. Skeptic from Britain was a highly experienced Wikipedia editor, with almost 5000 edits and obviously not new when that started. He would know that this announcement would create a red flag for anyone who wants to find his identity. When researching accounts, one of the first places to look would be the last edit. Here it is. No, this was a red herring. However, long-term, the SfB account has created a great deal of recent evidence, grist for the mill.

The twins are the most effectively disruptive users I have ever encountered, in over twenty years of on-line activity. Their behavior will perplex even highly-experienced users. However, they have, over time, been identified and outed, which they richly deserve for behavior such as impersonations (clearly proven) and attack libels against many, and creating harassment for innocent persons, such as [XXX], as far as I can see. Zero evidence to back up the claims. Not even reasonable circumstantial evidence. None. Zilch. Why did they pick him? They might live near him, might know him. They are in their late twenties, but still incredibly juvenile. Or they picked him at random as a “vegan.” [I found another reason, but do not wish to disclose it because it would create breadcrumbs to the real name of this person, but he is not vegan. He was for a time. He is not a fanatic.)]

I will be researching this further. Darryl has, here, created a body of evidence larger than I have seen for some time. He may now be very careful about editing Wikipedia for a time, because it is possible that checkuser would nail him. But there is more, much more. It will take time to review the evidence. Until after his twin, Oliver D. Smith, started trolling intensely on Encyclopedia Dramatica at the end of last month, I had stopped watching Smith activities.

When Oliver accused Rome Viharo of being Skeptic from Britain, I didn’t notice. But when he went to my talk page, where I get email notifications, and effectively accused me of the same, I looked. Wow! It was immediately obvious who Skeptic from Britain was. He obviously wanted me to see that (or he is really stupid in addition to being insane). Why?

Well, maybe he’s angry with his brother, maybe his brother has been angry with him. It happens in families. Or maybe there is some other reason, or no reason at all, maybe he was drunk or actually schizophrenic, as he once claimed.

Conclusive evidence

I have conclusive verifiable evidence that Skeptic from Britain is the same user as Debunking spiritualism on Rational Wiki, which would be Darryl L. Smith. ( a few people think that the “brother” story is just another deception. I consider it unlikely, but I could investigate this if anyone thinks it really matters.) I will share the evidence with anyone with a need to know. (Including WMF sysops or checkusers). Contact me by requesting an email through any comment on this blog (the comment need not use your real name, but, obviously, the email must be yours!) The contact will remain confidential.

(Anyone could find this, one merely needs to know where and how to look.)

Comments continued.

Low-Carb man

Abd Lomax is probably behind the “Skeptic from Britain” account himself.

The above website says he is Skeptic from Britain, it also has a photograph of Kendrick.

Another website claims Abd Lomax has a history of impersonating people

I would say this is a scam. Why are you targeting LCHF writers Lomax?

This looks like a Smith brother, but … “Low-Carb man” was just blocked by a Wikipedia checkuser as a sock of Amandazz100. See the suspected sock puppet page. This is a huge mess. Checkusers do sometimes make mistakes. Amandazz100 is definitely not a Smith brother. There is a real person involved: Angela A Stanton. If Ms. Stanton sees this, please contact me. (Leave a comment on this page with a request for email, and be sure to include a real email address. The comment itself may be anonymous.)

(The comment below appears to have been taken down. I replied to it, and that comment also does not appear, which is more or less what I would expect.)

 Wikipedia Astronomer 

I am a Wikipedia user that has been following this discussion as it was posted on the ScienceProject. Readers here should be aware that Abd ul-Rahman Lomax a 74 year old was globally banned from Wikipedia for impersonating people and doxxing them. Over 40 people complained to Wikipedia about this person including the known astronomer, my friend Joshua P. Schroeder.

Did Joshua P. Schroeder complain? How does “Wikipedia Astronomer” know what he claims? I was not banned from Wikipedia for impersonation and doxing. I was never accused of impersonation, and there were no serious charges of doxxing except from … Smith socks and a few friends. What I had done (of “documentation”) was actually approved by a WMF steward, etc. So the ban claim is  a straightforward lie, and this person would know it if he actually knows JPS and how WMF wikis work. (I was previously banned, years ago, from “Wikipedia,” the only WMF wiki with such a ban. The “impersonations” were checkuser-confirmed as a single person, and this affair embarrassed some admins who had made incorrect conclusions about identity. Some may have been more upset with me for exposing the impersonations rather than with the impersonator … who is almost certainly already de-facto banned from Wikipedia, and who is globally locked, an effective ban from all WMF wikis. But they simply create more socks, most successfully using mobile IP.

What is the “Science Project”?  There is a Wikiproject Science, but I don’t think he is referring to it. Rather it would be Wikiproject Skepticism. And there were discussions. This user doesn’t want to call it the real name because he knows how that will look in this context. So he twists the name a little. Here are the relevant discussions:

These edits to the Fat Head AfD repeated the accusation against XXX as if fact. Quackwatch was a red herring planted by a troll account, this is not completely clear I have not researched connections with Quackwatch, but I did see that Quackwatch was cited on Wikipedia as if a reliable source, which it certainly is not, and that would be expected from Darryl Smith. This discussion indicates the alignment of Literaturegeek with the XXX story and other deceptive information. LG is a long-term editor. Darryl claimed to have many Wikipedia accounts “in good standing.”  I have not seen enough yet to do more than raise some suspicion on this point. If Darryl has “good hand accounts” he would likely partition the interests, but, then, might slip and dive into a discussion like this. I will be looking at what will be massive evidence, now. If he is not Darryl, I should be able to confirm it and likewise identity if he is.]

LG shows high familiarity with the arguments being presented on the blogs, and repeats them. This is remarkable:

British sceptics spell sceptic with a letter ‘c’ whereas in the USA it is spelt with a K so even his username is a red flag.–Literaturegeek | T@1k? 04:41, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

That is a bogus argument, but LG obviously is British! I covered this here.

This is still not enough to accuse LG, but LG being British, does he know how “British sceptics” spell the word? (Hint, they use “Skeptic.”) Perhaps he doesn’t and he’s just making an ignorant comment. Or he does, and he is making a red herring argument that he thinks will fly with the audience, which is Smith brother behavior. It seems plausible until one actually checks. Sources were easy to find, and experienced Wikipedia editors become quite good at that. I definitely see enough to look more closely at his history, and if this is an Anglo Pyramidologist sock, it would be the biggest one ever caught (almost 27,000 live edits, started in 2007(!), was largely inactive for some years, but edited as another account starting in 2014, an “interesting year.” Loose lips sink ships. (There are doubtless other users who support the AP agenda from time to time, so the coincidences here are not enough to establish anything more than mild suspicion.)

Wikiproject Skepticism is one method the skeptical faction uses to canvass, it is how editors who identify as “skeptics” will know to show up for an AfD or other discussion that might impact the factional interests of “skeptics.” Another method is the use of the Fringe theories noticeboard, which the pseudoskeptical faction uses like a chat line. I’ve seen it used to create biased participation on another wiki, which would be totally irrelevant to Wikipedia. That faction is emboldened by years of being able to violate policies with relative impunity.

The Kendrick article would be a Biography of a Living Person. It is not a science topic, not really in the scope of the Wikiproject, as stated. But the skeptical faction wants to make sure that everyone knows that so-and-so is a quack, etc. The deletion issue for a BLP would solely be the existence of independent reliable sources, and that can be a bit complex to a noob. It does not mean “true sources.” It’s complicated and arcane. For science articles, there may be a weight on peer-reviewed and academic publications, but for biographies, coverage by a newspaper, for example, is adequate. Most blogs are not adequate, etc., but some might be, if they have serious editorial review.

So they canvas, but if someone not part of the “in crowd” on Wikipedia discusses a deletion, that’s “snails and worms.” To be sure, outsiders coming in will often be clueless about what the issues really are….

When a user is office banned, that notice will often be put on the user page.  It says that questions should be referred to “trust and safety.” The only notice to the user is a single email, if the user has email enabled. It gives no reason for the ban, and it states that it is not appealable. There is no warning that a ban is being considered and no opportunity or process for correcting errors. So why was I banned? This user says it. “Over 40 people complained.” That is a larger number than I have heard before. Oliver Smith bragged that he was one, and showed his response from the Foundation. He has long been banned on Wikipedia. I assume that his brother also complained, and he is actually globally banned under many accounts. Did they know all this.

Email access for the user is shut down, because a global lock is simply preventing log-in. But when it was realized that other Wikipedia users could still email the user, they eventually prevented that. In other words, the Office (or locking steward) is also preventing any discussion with the banned user. The community is being censored, not just the user. And hardly anyone notices or cares. This happens in nonprofits, the central authority does not actually trust the membership, because they “know better.” And they might, sometimes, but humans being humans  . . .

Joshua P. Schroeder almost certainly complained. He has often been banned but has nine lives, because the skeptical faction loves him. The page here on his accounts. He came off a self-requested three month block in July 2018. There is story about the history on that page.

JzG would have complained, and the bureaucrat Mu301 (Michael Umbricht) on Wikiversity probably did (he is the one who claimed I was using Wikiversity for a vendetta, though I had moved all activity relating to the sock puppetry of Anglo Pyramidologist off of Wikiversity.) (AP, originally an Oliver account, refers to Oliver and Darryl Smith, though I did not use those names on-wiki, and didn’t publish them until later, after becoming convinced of the identification).

There was a discussion of my Office ban on  Two single purpose accounts show up there Catapult and Max. Catapult was banned as a troll. Max was not banned, but only made four posts. Max wrote:

I received an email from the Wikimedia Foundation that they had received “six” complaints of this nature about Abd. Joshua was not the only person to complain. Regards.

The Wikimedia Foundation, by policy, does not discuss global bans. They don’t explain them. We do have a response mail put up by Oliver on RationalWiki. I’ll see if I can find it.

There are more comments from Max there. He is confronted by the obvious variation from policy that I mention above. I had discussed the situation with a former member of the WMF board. I actually thought he was still a member, but he’d left the board not long before. He told me that what I had actually done would not be considered harassment within the meaning of the Terms of Service. He was wrong, except … the complainers probably lied about what I had done. For example, Joshua Schroeder claimed email harassment, which would have been using the WMF interface originally (but not in later emails). In fact, the communication was voluntary and he never requested it stop. But the WMF could see there had been an email, thus they might consider the “harassment” claim plausible. In fact, I published those emails when Schroeder complained about harassment. Did they look at those? They showed I was attempting to cooperate with him, it was a Smith brother (probably Darryl)  who had really made it difficult to delete the information (which was much more harmless than the Smiths make out), by archiving it in case I took it down. His purpose was not to protect Schroeder, but to attack me. And he announced the “outing” and linked to it on Wikipedia, and he also thereby revealed to me JPS’s most recent name, which I had not known. (I was tracking this IP’s posts. These are Anglo Pyramidologist socks. There is a small chance that there was a third user, geographically located close to the Smith brothers, using the same mobile access.)

The discussion on JPS’s talk page:  You can see there how the plan to complain to the WMF was hatched. None of this would protect JPS in any way. I was not using my WMF account to harass JPS at all. The Smith brothers could complain that I was “outing” them, except, at that point, I wasn’t. The alleged publication of family members was transient, immediately taken down so that only the two brothers showed, and nobody would be able to find the house by what was published of the address. And that information is up elsewhere and basically can’t be deleted. I’ve redacted my copies to even remove the town. Still, what was a single incident becomes “doxes addresses and family members.” These people do much, much more than that. As I said above, I discussed this with a WMF board member, and he did not think I had violated policy.

But these people will use any excuse they can find.

Max went on with more details:

The list of people who sent complaints about Abd:

1. Myself (Public IP on Wikiversity)
2. IP (privately confirmed his identity to the Wikimedia Foundation)
3. Joshua P. Shroeder (claims Abd sent him harassing emails)
4. Guy Chapman (Wikipedia admin JzG)
5. Oliver Smith (actually leaked one of the emails)

No proof of this one, but it is obvious (I have emailed him): 
6. Michael Umbrecht – (Username Mu301 – Bureaucrat on Wikiversity)

Indeed. Now, which one is Darryl? Oliver is not the person who had created all the impersonation socks on Wikiversity and Wikipedia. It is that person whom I first documented. Most of the socks I listed as suspected were not Oliver. Oliver was accidentally named in my original study, because the name was in a URL. That was immediately redacted and actually revision-deleted. Michael Umbricht suddenly appeared after long inactivity, attacked me and “fringe science” on Wikiversity, blocked me for an action that the other active bureaucrat thought was within discretion, threatened the administrator who also had made checkuser requests on meta over the socking, and went on a deletion spree. And then he disappeared, he has not edited since February, 2018.

Wikiversity was the place in the WMF wikis where science either fringe or alleged to be fringe, could be *studied.* Contrary to the claims of the pseudoskeptical faction, Wikiversity does not have “articles” in mainspace. It has educational resources, which can include student projects. I developed traditions on Wikiversity (I maintained the site for quite some time) that a mainspace page must be rigorously neutral (even more so than on Wikipedia, it must be neutral by high consensus), but subpages could be attributed and, again by tradition, “owned.” I demonstrated with high success how what would have been major edit warring on other projects turned into collaboration and cooperation on Wikiversity. And Umbricht unilaterally declared that “fringe science” must be first subject to approval by a Review Board that did not exist. And, based on requests from … guess who? … he deleted two projects, Cold fusion (which I had not started, but which I had expanded for a time, and which was not active at this point, I had effectively abandoned Wikiversity, realizing it was unsafe, which subsequent events proved) and Parapsychology. I started that resource as a place where Parapsychology could be studied. I am not a “believer” in psychic phenomena, but the Parapsychological Assocation is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The definition of parapsychology establishes it as a science, it is the *study* of paranormal phenomena. It is not a “belief” in such phenomena, except to this extent. Here, read the resource, I rescued it when it was deleted.

Cold fusion was possibly more problematic. I simply wrote most of what was in that resource. It’s huge, many pages. Skeptics participated on occasion. There were debates that resulted in at least one scientific paper being written (by a skeptical electrochemist, by the way). If the mainspace page was not neutral, no skeptic had attempted to make it so. I previously showed how major and deep disputes could be resolved, but I actually abandoned that resource, leaving it for others, and had not made more than trivial edits for some years.

This was obviously not an “article.” But Wikiversity was “neutral by inclusion,” not by exclusion, like Wikipedia. (This is much closer to academic neutrality.) That has been demolished by Michael Umbricht, whereas other attempts to attack the inclusive neutrality of Wikiversity had long failed. There was a documentation project in my user space that had been proposed for deletion. Community consensus was to keep it. Umbricht unilaterally deleted it. After he’d done all this damage, he then disappeared again. This would be the most “reputable” administrator to complain, probably. The other would be JzG, who was highly involved in dispute with me on Wikipedia, and who blamed me for the poor condition of the WP cold fusion article, though I had been a very conservative editor on it (and that was before I actually studied the field and published in a scientific journal on it). JzG was still grumbling years later, because I had taken him to the Arbitration Committee and prevailed. That’s wiki-suicide for most non-admins. Long story, again.

The cold fusion resource had this at the top:

Welcome to the Cold Fusion learning project. The Wikipedia article on cold fusion is here (link).

These resources and seminars may present personal opinions of the writer(s). As the resources mature, controversial statements should be clarified and sourced, and any contrary opinions presented. Opinions expressed as original research, and not as a general consensus, should be attributed. Please help make this top-level resource neutral.

It was claimed that the resource was such a mess that it would be too difficult to clean up. That would be a claim that would show no understanding of how consensus would be reached on Wikiversity. If a good-faith editor showed up and blanked everything in the resource that didn’t look neutral, there would have been no edit warring. Rather, “neutrality by inclusion” does not require agreement on an unattributed page, rather, the page will be stripped to what there is agreement on, and it could have been as little as that introduction at the top. And then the resource would have links to subpages. As one option that was tried (and it worked spectacularly), “sections” would be created. These have a named and responsible section leader, who would (by tradition) have the right to supervise content on his or her pages. Here is an example of where that was done with a highly controversial subject: Landmark Education. That is, in fact, the most important work I did on Wikiversity. Until now, not noticed by the Smith brothers. It will be interesting to see if they now go after it.

Continuing the comment by “Wikipedia astronomer”:

Abd Lomax has been running around the internet for a year claiming that a group of “brothers” were responsible for his ban. It’s all nonsense. His account was banned by the WMF Office, not anyone else. The Wikimedia Foundation have globally banned less than 50 people out of millions and millions of users. Yes they ban many but rarely ever globally ban.

This is deliberately deceptive. First of all, the “brothers” claim was not mine, originally. I had only come to the conclusion that it was correct shortly before this time. Yes, the account was “Office-banned,” but these bans are not explained, and they have banned, for example, critics of the Foundation, or a journalist who had no account (Jake Christie). Office bans are relatively new. I was familiar with them before being banned, pointed out the hazard, and saw them as a slippery slope, that would, for the first time, expose the WMF to legal jeopardy. They attempt to run them in a way to avoid that, but … this has never been tested. Perhaps it will be. There would have been other ways to protect the project without those risks. But oligarchs (often considering themselves simply public servants) almost always opt for the most direct power and freedom from oversight.

This means Lomax did something very very wrong.

What did Jake Christie do wrong?

The WMF office is not allowed to give any details but to those who were online the day he was banned, we all know what he did.

And then he straight-out lied. He was “online the day [Abd] was banned.” Who is he? I think it’s obvious. He’s Darryl.

He created fake accounts of people on Wikipedia then “framed” certain users of this on his personal website, including posting personal information about where these people live.

I created no “fake accounts” on Wikipedia, but someone did. What I actually did was to identify the fake accounts and request steward checkuser, which confirmed the suspicion, and who was behind those accounts? It’s again obvious: a long-time attacker of parapsychology and of any user who interferes with his agenda. One of the accounts with substantial edits would be Goblin face, discovered accidentally by Wikipedia checkuser. The “brother” story originated with one of the early Anglo Pyramidologist accounts. Oliver confirmed it in many places, then claimed he’d been lying, then retracted that. However, there are clearly two personalities involved. There are claims that Oliver is schizophrenic, and so there might be a multiple personality. I doubt it.

Any time someone edits by IP, information about where they live can be created, and the Smith brothers often failed to take steps to prevent this (less and less, recently. If I receive a harassing comment here, it’s normally coming from a Tor node.) In theory, WMF checkusers are not supposed to connect IPs with accounts, but it happens all the time. Yes, I published information available on the internet with the family composition, but I also redacted this quickly. It’s still up in other places. Quickly, it was just the names of the two brothers and their ages and the town they live in. Everything else was redacted. I did ask a former WMF board member about this.

There are two aspects to this: one is that Wikipedia criticism sites often out Wikipedia users, it’s almost routine. I have always taken down extremely personal information, if I ever post it. These brothers have done far more, actually, with the families of their targets, the mother of one critic was actually fired from her job based on harassing email, and the mother of another was doxxed, even though he wasn’t living with her, in a clear attempt to harass through family. Simply showing a listing with names isn’t harassment, unless presented in such a way as to invite attacks (which was precisely the case in the second doxxing mentioned.)

As of 22/12/2018 he is still doing this. He has faced several libel suits, he has been forced to remove things from his website, but he still continues to go after these “brothers”. He says he “100%” knows it is them, but when you look at his evidence it is non-existent.

I have never been sued for libel. It has never been threatened. I have never been “forced” to remove things from my web site, except for one copy of copyrighted material, subject of a DMCA claim. That’s routine.

There is a contradiction here: there is “evidence” to look at, but it is “non-existent.” Which is it? Evidence can be misleading, the Smith brothers are experts at finding it, but “non-existent” is the common argument of pseudoskeptics: “There is no evidence for X,” they will say, when It is totally obvious that there is evidence. They commonly confuse “evidence” with “proof,” and then deny evidence that is even strong enough to hold up in court. “100% knows” is a reference to what I just found. Nobody, as far as I know, ever looked that this evidence before. What is the “non-existent” evidence? I haven’t stated the evidence that created certainty for me, so how would he “look at” it?

When users are blocked on Wikipedia for sock puppetry, the common remark is “See contributions for evidence.” Okay, I claim that Skeptic from Britain (and see Commons and Wikidata.) is Debunking spiritualism (Rationalwiki), see contributions for evidence. DS (notice the initials) is not ODS, who was rather openly Oliver D. Smith. ODS and other ODS socks, often self-acknowledged, have outed DLS socks. DS is Darryl Smith, behaviorally (as is SFB). Behavior is called the “duck test” on Wikipedia.

It’s a lot of work to document the duck test. They usually don’t bother on Wikipedia. Any admin who disagrees can unblock, and then it might be discussed. But the “100% certainty” is not the duck test. It does not depend on, say, point-of-view or other content issues. I’m not revealing how the data is studied, not yet, but he might figure it out, and his first reaction is going to be “Oh, shit!” because he cannot go back and hide. And it would be very difficult to hide for the future, without seriously cramping his style.

His account on meta-wiki that shows it is globally locked.

Which is obvious.

WMFOffice banned and locked his account on every wiki on the internet, this is exremely rare and only happens in serious situations of abuse.

This is far from “every wiki on the internet, and the lock is only of the global account, that’s one account, and we know that the WMF bans even when there is no account to lock, they just declare it, and in the Jake Christie case, J. Alexander then personally attempted to eject Mr. Christie from a WMF-sponsored event held in a public place where Christie lives, based on the declared ban. He invited them to call the police…. they didn’t. And he was not being disruptive there, nor is there any evidence as far as I have seen that he was ever disruptive. He was investigating, as a journalist. That’s it. They do what they can to silence criticism, and the claim that the global locks are only used to prevent policy violations is completely bogus.

This is interesting: Jalexander-WMF is globally locked. What was the serious offense?  This WMF account lock was unnecessary, unless it was abused. The abuse would be prevented by removing the tools that could be abused, which had been done. The global lock, however, not only prevents the user’s access to email through the system, it also prevents anyone from emailing them through the system. The global lock tool has long been known as a primitive hack. It simply disallows log-in, so the user then cannot see, for example, their own watchlist. The global lock tool has been abused on occasion by stewards. In fact, I documented that at one point, simply studying the previous 5000 global locks (a little over three months). The study was neutral and made no accusations. What do you think the stewards did?

If you know how stewards operate, lucky guess. Oversighted, by the other Italian steward, a friend of the only steward who had made possibly abusive locks (as many as 5 out of 5000, most locks were routine, for spammers, and often with no edits, which revealed that stewards look at Not even admins could see that list and study, only stewards. There was no explanation that made any sense. It was simply a list sorting information in the public global lock log. It did not out anyone nor accuse anyone of misbehavior. It simple looked at what stewards were actually doing.

Wiki theory is that the community can watch and act to correct abusive administration. That was an idea that was never given teeth on WMF wikis.

I was told that if I appealed the action, I’d be blocked. I pointed to it on the meta community discussion page. Nobody cared. And that’s how the wikis go south. Nobody cares enough to look at how they are being administered. And if someone pointed out a problem in the steward re-election process, I saw them threatened with blocks. The system is corrupt, and it’s obvious, and this could be expected to happen, given the structures that were set up. The system could be fixed, but only if the community wakes up, and it would much rather sleep, usually. Unless someone attacks their porn.

(That’s a hilarious story, where Jimbo Wales used his Founder tools to start deleting porn from Commons. Using Founder tools to interfere with Wikiversity academic freedom had caused a meta Request for Comment to be opened, but it had little participation and the vote was running something like “Stop Wales”:”Close Wikiversity”, 1:2.

When Wales then used his tools on Commons, to delete porn, the vote reversed dramatically, with high participation, and Wales caved and surrendered the most intrusive tools, and kept only oversight, because the tool is primitive and the abilities to see oversighted edits (he considered essential, and I agree), and to hide edits, could not be separated.)

There is a substantial segment of the WMF community, and even more the administrative community, that hates academic freedom. It’s long-term obvious.

Meanwhile, Office bans are generally implemented with WMFOffice and what is linked there is the global account log, showing almost 3800 actions. Now, many of those actions are on socks. There is one action for Abd. No socks. (But I had a few declared socks, and a few more undeclared that would be very difficult to find now, I never socked abusively.) I see 26 actions with the tag “WMF global ban.” I see 2923 changes with “banned user” in the summary, which would be sock locks. For example, there was a long-term Wikipedia critic, Thekohser, Jimbo had attempted to ban him and failed, and he was eventually office-banned. I know Greg Kohs, and his offense was being a paid editor, as well as pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. While paid editing does violate the TOS, if not disclosed, it certainly did not require an office action, because “paid editing” is a neutrality and content issue, not a safety issue. I see 9 actions for names including “kohs”.  When office-banned, he clearly created some socks, they are obvious from the names. (Socks named like that, if actually the person named, are not truly disruptive, and not a safety issue. Unless they are impersonations.)

It is possible that the global ban was based on his off-wiki activities, but this is remarkable: if someone is actually harassing users off-wiki, will globally banning the person actually protect the alleged victim? No, it would only prevent on-wiki harassment. More likely, it could sufficiently piss off the banned user enough to cause them to increase the harassment.

It is possible that the threat of a global ban could cause a user to refrain from “off-wiki harassment,” but (1) there is no warning and no definition of what is allowed and what is not (2) there is no appeal procedure, global ban decisions are “final,” and email and even legal notices sent registered are ignored. So there is no possibility of a negotiated settlement that could include removal of alleged off-wiki harassment, or correction of it.

This is done, as it is done, because it seems easy, not because it is effective. Greg Kohs easily could continue his work as a paid editor. I have been a paid Wikipedia editor, at $50 per hour, after I was banned there. This did not violate any policy, because I did not edit anything related to what I was paid to do. (or much of anything at all, I documented what I did on Wikiversity, it was deleted by the admin who blocked me there. But here it is.

I created wikitext for sourcing an article for a business, as one example. As another, I advised a blocked notable person how they could be unblocked, and provided wikitext to the person, who put it on their user talk page and was very predictably unblocked.

Greg Kohs, globally banned, has no incentive at all to refrain from actual paid editing, which is more efficient from the customer point of view. He will simply create hidden accounts. With the first issued global ban (decided by the community), I argued that applying a global ban would actually make the wikis less safe from the user, not more safe, because he was only editing one wiki at that point (Wikiversity), doing good work there, and this would provide a steady flow of IP information for checkusers to look at in case he tried to edit other WMF wikis. The practical argument was ignored in favor of punishment, which was the obvious real purpose. This guy had embarrassed some bureaucrats and others.

So, the predictable result: He did create a sock account, and became a Wikiversity administrator (this is easy to do on the wikis if one has a little patience and knows how the wikis operate), and was nominated for bureaucrat, and was about to be approved, when someone, somehow, figured out who he was and outed him. This, by the way, was real-life outing, and he’d been harassed at work by wiki enemies, who were not sanctioned at all for it. For all I know, he might have done it again. Ham-handed administration fails, easily, it can create endless work that creates no improvement of the projects.

Russavia was office-banned, and that was very unpopular on Commons. I don’t know if he is still doing it, but he might as well have been following “a sock a day keeps the blues away.” He continued his very popular work, only now the Office was spending paid time watching for socks. A Wikiversity checkuser took it on as a personal task to enforce the ban, and ran into massive disapproval and the ultimate followup from that was that he lost his tools, and was, in fact, eventually Office-banned himself. (INeverCry).

The WMF is not terribly sophisticated. The original idea (content and user behavior issues left to the community) was far better than what they eventually fell into. Instead of working to support more efficient and effective community consensus process, including procedures for privacy protection, and continuing to leave content and user decisions to the community, they went in the direction of direct control, which, they will find, I predict, opens up many legal cans of worms. Direct control with no appeal is toxic, but because it only affects a few users, there is little protest. After all, “I didn’t like that editor anyway.” And that is how societies devolve into tyrannies. “They came for the Jews and I wasn’t a Jew ….” is famous. 

As Lomax has a history of doxxing people and libel suits, you should probably remove mention of the real life names that he mentions without proof of owning the SKB account.

That’s up to the blog owner. However, I have no history of libel suits. I have never sued for libel or been sued for it. I have called a spade a spade on the blog. The argument would apply even more to mention of XXX, who was completely innocent, there are no credible assertions as to his identity except for obvious trolls (or someone repeating what a troll has written elsewhere, same problem, really.) However, I’m a real person, widely known, and the comments were attributed to me. If the blog owner allows open comment, then I would be responsible, not him. There is a procedure for takedown notices. It does not involve trusting anonymous users.

What the Smith brothers do is to attack others, real persons, generally by real name, while hiding behind their own anonymity. In this case, I have definitive evidence, strong enough to place before a jury if needed, that SFB was Darryl L. Smith, which then completely exonerates XXX. I have an obligation to communicate that knowledge. If I’m wrong, well, correction is always possible in comments here or there, but correction from anonymous users, replete with lies and claims of lying is not adequate. I will look at any evidence presented. What I have seen, instead, is actual and real-life harassment, obvious, and some of it legally actionable.

He has a vendetta to spread misinformation.

No actual misinformation has been pointed to, only conclusions that they claim are unproven. The cries of “lies” started when I first started simply listing AP socks, based on clear evidence and checkuser findings and Wikipedia decisions (which can certainly be in error, but they are still evidence). It was called “lies,” but when I asked for specific corrections, the requests were ignored.

I’m a journalist. My job is collecting and organizing and presenting information. If any of it is misinformation, that’s a career disaster! But everyone makes mistakes, so what a journalist will do is to invite and allow correction (or even alleged correction.) So they imagine that I hate them and that’s why I’m doing this. No, I’m simply telling the truth about what I have seen, and, in addition, what I have concluded. What I have seen is evidence, and my testimony regarding it is also evidence. My conclusions are not evidence, except if I am accepted as an expert by whomever is making decisions.

(Common law principle, and often statutory as well: Testimony is presumed true unless controverted. Testimony in that case is never anonymous, nor could controversion be anonymous. There must be a real person behind it. Anonymous testimony can be presented in court only with the consent of a judge, who will know who is behind it, and, generally, counsel for the parties will know. It is disliked and there would need to be a strong reason. Juries and judges want to see the person when they testify.)

There is not a shred of proof a group of brothers own the SKB account. He will no doubt turn up here and write thousands and thousands of words about it and try and mislead readers with false flags. He has been banned from practically every blog, forum and wiki on the internet in relation to these matters. Don’t fall for it.

They repeat that over and over. I have participated in hundreds of forums and wikis, and have been banned from few, and as to recent bans, mostly connected with the Smith brothers or the faction that one of them works for. Notice that “every” is a very strong claim. The evidence is? I am most active, in recent years, besides on my own blog, on Quora. Not banned there. Over four million page views and 1900 followers. Oliver D. Smith has a Quora account (they require real names and are totally intolerant of incivility). He’s behaved himself there, so far, and he has  9600 page views and 14 followers. I knew that his email address was authentic when he wrote me because he has published that address in a number of places, and the photo on Quora matches others.

I had activity on over a hundred WMF wikis, significant activity on 10. I had, when banned, over 36,000 global edits. I was not shy about getting involved with controversial topics. I confronted abuse, especially administrative abuse, and often successfully. I resolved and prevented disputes from boiling over, at leaswt

Anyone who is a whistle-blower will see blowback, it goes with the territory. I was banned only on one wiki, the English Wikipedia, and that’s a long story by itself. I’m proud of what I accomplished there, but abandoned the project (I was no longer editing at all when actually banned). I was not banned on any other wiki. I was, at the end, blocked only on Wikiversity, by the unilateral action of a single administrator (Umbrecht) and there was no community consensus for ban (and Wikiversity policy required such a consensus even to maintain a block, though what I saw was that, increasingly, the policy was dead and admins could do whatever they pleased. So I had also almost entirely abandoned Wikiversity editing and only became involved to protect a user who had been impersonated and attacked, and to defend the academic freedom of Wikiversity. I knew it was dangerous, and also that the effort could fail, precisely because of what happened. I can provide links as evidence for all the factual assertions here, but this is already getting way too long.

The faction that has supported the Smith brothers (possibly not realizing what they are doing) hates academic freedom, and also neutrality policy. They are occasionally explicit about this. They had long attacked Wikiversity, and, previously, were unsuccessful, often due to my intervention. However, where I really failed was in not inspiring the community to create protective processes and to build in watchdog roles. The software actually allows it, but the user functions are generally not enabled. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

There are something like 800 WMF wikis. I am not banned on those wikis, except for one, enwiki. Rather, my account is globally locked and a ban was declared by the WMF. At one time, local wikis had discretion to ignore global bans, any local bureaucrat could detach an account. That changed, the ability of local admins to bypass a global ban was taken away with the establishment of Single User Log-in, and I pointed that out. Basically, nobody cared. What was a reality, though difficult to maintain, was destroyed with hardly a notice. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. If we don’t protect it, it walks away — or is stolen.

There is a Wikipedia list of 100 notable wikis. As wikis define bans, I am banned on only one: the English Wikipedia. I am blocked on two more: Wikiversity and Rationalwiki. That’s it. In addition to those wikis, I have accounts on about 12 of those notable wikis, not blocked. (|This includes a few WMF wikis where there was no block).

Wikiindex lists something over 2,100 wikis. I’m only banned through normal process on one (many years ago) blocked on two more, (Wikiversity and RationalWiki) and then globally locked by the WikiMedia Foundation Office. That’s definitely not the same as being banned on many wikis,which would require, one would think, misbehavior on many wikis. Or at least wiki administration that thinks so.

In addition, I have participated in many fora over the years, going back to the W.E.L.L. in the 1980s,where I was a moderator. I am banned on, that’s the only one. This latter is a bit ironic. I am not banned on, where I am very well known as a critic of the claims of Andrea Rossi, “inventor” of the “e-cat,” allegedly a “cold fusion” device, but am banned on lenr-forum, where I was, at the time of the ban, probably the most popular user. How did that happen? It’s the same old same old, I pointed out that a moderator was deleting posts with no notice or warning and without providing any way to recover the content, and declared that I was not going to post there unless this was addressed, because unexpected deletion is a problem for a serious writer. So I was banned. With no explanation, and protests from the community were ignored. This happens all over. My position is that the site owner has the right to do whatever the F he or she pleases, though there can be some moral issues.

The Smith brothers lie about me as they have lied about many people. One difference is that I use the lies to expose them, to fight lying, not with yelling and blame, but simply with the truth. They clearly hate that.

Their support has been evaporating, that can be seen in the Skeptic from Britain sequence, if one knows where to look, and on RationalWiki, where users have been getting tired of being used as a platform for personal vendettas, weaponizing Google (i.e., what they accuse me of, but what they have been doing for many years, long before I was involved.)


Darryl L. Smith had been, as far as I could see, inactive on RationalWiki since May. (Though his brother was active). In hindsight, I can see that he turned his focus to Wikipedia, as Skeptic from Britain. Now that Skeptic from Britain is out of the picture, I was watching to see signs of him on RationalWiki. Today, I found them (I only check periodically, it is like inspecting a sewer. Tough job, but someone has to do it.)

John66. Registered 19:52, 22 November 2018. Apparently, Skeptic from Britain was preparing to shut down Wikipedia activity. Articles edited or created (N): (updated 11/10/2019)

Warning: the common RationalWiki user is a so-called “rational skeptic,” and may edit with a showing of views similar to Darryl L. Smith. That, in itself, is not evidence of being this highly disruptive troll/sock master. I do not recommend that people not familiar with RationalWiki attempt to attack the articles or users, on-wiki or even off. AP socks use this and will even create sock puppets that will repeat the arguments. If a critic allows their real identity to be revealed, they will up the game with real-world harassment, I have seen all this reviewing history, but particularly in the last year, when I became involved. If anyone wants to consider action, please create an email connection with me. Leaving an anonymous comment here with a real email address, requesting an email, will do that. Trolls will be sprinkled with parmesan cheese and broiled.

I am careful about identifying socks, and maintain a distinction between mere suspicion (usually based on point of view and interest in specific topics) and stronger evidence. When I was merely pointing to obvious suspicion, from WikiMedia Foundation checkuser reports about impersonation socking to defame, I was warned and threatened, which was a clue to me that I was touching a nerve, that this was bigger than some transient tomfoolery. This was amply confirmed!

I have already seen enough to be quite sure that “John66” is “Skeptic from Britain” and that they are both Darryl L. Smith. I will be looking at further evidence that takes some time to examine. I have already used this kind of evidence to clarify the original identification of SfB, and to confirm my opinion that Bongolian (the RW sysop who has no given John66 sysop privileges) is not the same user.

Something like 1% of registered RationalWiki users may be Smith brothers. That’s quite a large number, but it is normally only a very few at a time, but continued over the years. Most of the socks, as with most AP socks on Wikipedia, only show a few edits. Here is an example that turned up from looking at John66, from history for Courtney_Brown:

Brian_Gene_Kelley, only three edits in 2013, two on that article, one on Rome Viharo, a red flag.

I have edit timing studies of other DLS socks in 2013, I will see how this fits. The behavioral pattern is quite common and not usual, ordinary new user behavior: the user appears immediately creating entire articles, on a narrow range of topics. That is very popular on RationalWiki, and someone who does this in line with the site point-of-view will quickly be given sysop privileges, I’ve seen it over and over again for Smith socks. They know how to do it.

These are anonymous trolls who hide their identity in order to attack real people. I did not get involved because I agreed with their targets, but because they used lies, deception, and impersonations to attack others, which harms everyone. For blowing the whistle, I was threatened and attacked, in many ways. It’s just history.

In my training, “If they are not shooting at you, you are not doing anything worth wasting bullets on.”

The focus of Darryl on “diet woo” is recent, but reasonably consistent. After spending the day looking at the data, my confidence has increased.

  • This is not a vegan plot, nor is it funded by big pharma. This is Darryl L. Smith pandering to where his bread is buttered, the “skeptical” movement, debunkers, aligned with the Amazing Randi and friends. A much milder incarnation of this movement is Tim Farley., whose connection with Darryl Smith has been claimed but is not clear, and if there has been a connection, that Farley knows what Darryl does is even more unclear. Tim Farley’s web site is a collection of anecdotes where people believed in or were deluded by or defrauded by this or that “woo,” and died or suffered losses of some kind. No comparison is made with following “conventional wisdom,” or the “standard of practice” which can also be fatal. The skeptical movement, unfortunately, does not actually educate in critical thinking, the real thing, but rather the site is utterly unscientific, even though many of the ideas covered are often thoroughly wiggy. It is obvious that defective ideas and thinking can kill us, including the ideas that if I do whatever a doctor tells me, I’m safe, and if my doctor follows the standard of practice uncritically, he’s a skilled physician and I should trust him. The standard of practice is not necessarily and truly “evidence-based.” There is science behind much of it, but  not all of it, and the exceptions can be killers.
  • The Malcolm Kendrick article was not deleted because of Skeptic from Britain’s arguments. His claims of “quackery” and the like were irrelevant. The issue was the normal one for biographies that are deleted: a lack of reliable secondary sources. This has almost nothing to do with how well known Kendrick is in certain circles. His popularity has not yet resulted in adequate secondary sources about him. It will, I predict, and then the article could be re-created. That process will be faster if it is not recreated out-of-process, and if unskilled attempts are not made.
  • There are certain people allied with the skeptical movement and Wikipedia faction who use impersonation and other highly unethical (and sometimes illegal) tactics to promote the movement. These do not use critical thinking, they use and promote knee-jerk response to dog whistles. “Critical thinking”, properly understood, looks at balance and does not uncritically accept the mainstream, it only uses reactive thinking to identify what is “wrong” with fringe ideas.
  • Skeptic from Britain is the same user as Debunking spiritualism, Goblin Face and many identified socks, and most recently John66. (The objective evidence on the last account is weaker, because there are not yet as many edits overlapping in time, but there are enough to show consistency, and the duck test — which could be documented — is strong. Skeptic from Britain lied about his intentions, and lied in order to use his alleged departure from Wikipedia to attack an innocent user who had criticized him. That is a classic Darryl Smith behavior. Research is continuing on the set of socks, but overlap of DS and SfB is clear. It takes time to do edit correlation studies. I’m learning, so it gets easier.
  • Wikipedia is vulnerable to factional manipulation. This is not a simple problem, given the Wikipedia systems and structures that developed and became highly resistant to reform. The problem is not the policies (which can seem counter-intuitive to those who don’t understand them). The problem is enforcement of the policies, and this problem is as old as Wikipedia. Solutions are possible but the will to implement them has never existed.

One final point.

Historically, Darryl Smith and his twin brother Oliver were confused on Wikipedia, and defacto-banned under the user name Anglo Pyramidologist. The identification of Oliver D. Smith is definitive. The real Oliver Smith has many times admitted his identity. He has a known public email account, and I and others have received email from that account, responded, and he responded back. This rises to the level of proof. However, he also lied in those mails, changing his story radically as conditions changed. On Wikipedia, they did not care which brother was which account, and the accounts were linked because (according to one of them) they were both visiting their parents when editing Wikipedia. That story was consider the usual “evil twin” excuse and was ignored, but behaviorally, there was always the appearance of two users, with distinct interests and habits.

The existence of a twin brother (probably) was established from a public record for the family, showing the two brothers the same age. Oliver D. Smith has shown a strong interest in Atlantis, and wrote a paper on the topic accepted at a peer-reviewed journal. This interest has all contributed to his positive identification. However, positive identification for Darryl L. Smith, the twin, is not so easily available. Most of my opinion on this is from comments made by Oliver, who, when Darryl was outed, defended his “brother” or his “family.” (And in the emails, he, attempting to deflect blame from himself, he claimed that most of the socking had been his brother. From what I’m seeing, that was a gross exaggeration, as to certain kinds of socking.) It is Darryl, with his interest in debunking the paranormal or fringe, who created impersonation accounts and later, when I documented this, organized a quite visible campaign to privately arrange my global ban on Wikipedia.

There is another brother, older. I have seen no trace of this brother. However, in the cloud of confusion that has been created, it is possible that individual accounts might be incorrectly identified with one of the AP brothers. This is implausible with accounts where long-term behavior is visible.

Darryl claimed that he had other accounts in good standing on Wikipedia. That could be true, and it would simply indicate that he learned to use evasive techniques, to avoid checkuser identification, and partitioned his interests to avoid suspicion. I found one account that I suspected might be such a “good hand” account. When I did an edit timing study, my conclusion was, no, this was not Darryl. If anyone suspects other accounts that are or were active on Wikipedia, that have not already been identified, please let me know by establishing email connection. (which can be done by any comment here, and anonymity will be protected; however, don’t lie. All protections disappear for those who lie. Don’t worry, I know the difference between error and lying.)

(If someone names a plausible sock in a comment here, I will also investigate, at least briefly. I will respond as the situation warrants. Too many people have already been wrongly accused, such as the user attacked as being SfB based on the knee-jerk assumption that SfB would be telling the truth! (And then, that this user was allegedly vegan — it was false — led to claims that Malcolm Kendrick had been attacked by fanatic vegans! That’s a common Wikipedia error, when an impersonation sock says, “I’m BannedUser,” they believe him. That’s not an immediate problem because the response is to block that user, but when, then, there is retaliatory action on another wiki, based on this, harm has been done. That is what happened, and that is how I got involved. These tactics are repeated because they work, and so much for “critical thinking.”)

I have also done one major control study, Bongolian. This is an established RW user with advanced privileges . One look at his contribution history shows immediately, this is not Oliver or Darryl!!! (I have never suspected him of being anything more than an “enabler.”) The level of sophistication that would be required to create the appearance of being distinct would be phenomenal! It would be far, far too much work to be practical.

The comparison between Bongolian and Skeptic from Britain shows that these users are independent, with a very high level of certainty, and it anecdotally confirms the methods I am using.

List of comment socks and timeline

(and possible “meat puppets — if one carelessly repeats as if fact what is from a puppet master, one risks being called a “meat puppet,” one of those charming Wikipedian terms.) (MK is Kendrick’s blog, FH, Naughton’s)

    • MK Stephen Rhodes December 4, 2018 at 5:12 pm provided misleading information, not “first post by [SfB]”, but an essay by JzG, a factional admin. There is a post here about the source of that phrase, “Lunatic Charlatans.”
    • MK Stephen Rhodes  December 4, 2018 at 5:17 pm points to User page for SfB, edit of March 7, 2018. SfB added a userbox created by JzG. This was a notice of factional affiliation, nothing more (or less). That is linked from 59 pages. 
    • FH james    (deleted) Fathead blog appearance of false claim of identity for SfB. No evidence was given.
    • FH Wikipedia editor December 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm
    • MK Stephen Rhodes December 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm repeats the false claim from james.
    • MK Alex Davis  December 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm
    • December 14, 2018 MrStrong (Oliver Smith) hints, to Michaeldsuarez, that Skeptic from Britain is his brother (Darryl), then effectively admits it.
    • December 15, 2018, Skeptic from Britain has his name changed to MatthewManchester1994. He had previously claimed to be from Manchester. This was very likely a lie. He also claimed an interest in biology, and one of his former sock names was Skeptical biologist.
    • December 17, 2018 MrStrong claims Rome Viharo is Skeptic from Britain .
    • December 19, 2019 MrStrong claims I (Abd) am Skeptic from Britain (MatthewManchester1994) (and a host of other accounts well-known to be him or his brother.)
    • (Setting aside Michaeldsuarez — to whom Oliver admitted SfB identity — Rome Viharo and I would be the most likely people on the planet to recognize the work of Darryl Smith.)
    • FH Low-Carb Man  December 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm (that name blocked on Wikipedia as sock of Amanda ZZ, all very suspicious. Repeats the story of “XXX” being Skeptic from Britain, ascribing cause to “outing”. In fact, that alleged outing was almost certainly Skeptic from Britain planting a red herring to cause disruption. Darryl does that. Oliver might do it too.
    • December 20, 2018 MrStrong threatens to expose me to the people upset with Skeptic from Britain, on my user talk page, guaranteeing it would get my attention. So I investigated and published this page, December 21, 2018. I did not know about the conversation with Michaeldsuarez until more recently. All is not well between the brothers, if Oliver was not simply lying again. His story about RationalWiki , told to Suarez, checks out, and he predicted the articles appearing there (under John66).
    • December 20, 2018, MatthewManchester1994 puts up “farewell,” claims real-name outing (which would validate it, if it had happened, SfB was obviously an experienced user and would realize that announcing that you have been outed is inviting everyone to look for it and believe it), and then changes his name again.
    • MK Wikipedia Astronomer  repeats standard Smith story about me.

Jimbo Wales commented on Skeptic from Britain in a !vote on a deletion request SfB had submitted. My emphasis:

Strong keep – As others have noted, WP:IDONTLIKEIT is not a valid reason for deletion. It is worth noting that the proposer is a serial namechanger and POV pusher who has now apparently left the project. A quick research of the film reveals that in addition to the sources that User:Strikerforce rightly says are enough to ‘barely’ pass notability, I found an article at Motley Fool and this one at Vulture. It is not a major film to be sure, but there seems to be no reason for deletion other than the POV pushing of the proposer. In the original deletion way back in 2009, the proposer wrote, correctly “This movie may eventually garner enough coverage to warrant an article here, but as wikipedia is not a crystal ball, it’s a too early for an article now.” I would suggest that it is no longer too early. [Addendum: this review is now beyind a paywall. It is from BoxOffice (magazine), a clearly reliable source.]–Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:54, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Wales probably is not aware that this “POV pusher” has long been blocked, he is a sock of Goblin Face, who is one of the Anglo Pyramidologist brothers, most sock investigations are under the latter name. When he “retired” from Wikipedia, he took up on RationalWiki with the same agenda.

Wales also is unlikely to realize that this activist is affiliated with a faction, and claimed to have been paid to edit Wikipedia by a “major skeptical organization.” If Skeptic from Britain was such a major POV-pusher, why had he escaped notice? In fact, his POV fits in with that of a faction I confronted long ago. They are “debunkers,” and have strong opinions, they have explicitly rejected Neutral Point of View, but advocate what they have called “Scientific Point of View,” but that is an oxymoron.


Subpage of ICCF-21/Videos

Video from YouTube, transcript edited by Abd from YouTube closed caption. Slides from this PDF. Abstract from pre-conference distribution:

Nanosecond Pulse Stimulation in the Ni-H2 System
#Francis Tanzella1, Robert Godes2, Robert George2
1SRI International, United States
2Brillouin Energy Corp., United States
Email: [see Slide17 for new email]
Brillouin Energy and SRI International (SRI) have been performing calorimetry measurements on the Ni/ceramic/Cu coatings in a H2 atmosphere with nanosecond pulses applied between the Ni and Cu. The reactive cores have been described earlier [1]. We have been testing new materials, material fabrication techniques, and electrical stimulation methods to produce power and energy output in excess of that reported earlier. In addition to the pure metals, we have investigated systems using Ni-Pd coatings.

By applying fast pulses [2] of several hundred volts and tens of nanoseconds long, the current follows the “skin-effect” principle and is concentrated at the Ni-ceramic interface but returns through the bulk of the Cu. Two stimulation methods were used – steady-state and dynamic. In the steady-state method, the pulse power is measured directly using fast oscilloscopes that record the voltage across the core and a shunt resistor in series with the core. The input pulse power is determined by multiplying the calculated root-mean-square voltage and current and recorded every 10 seconds. Figure 1 shows typical waveforms collected from the oscilloscope and the calculated pulse power.

Using a sophisticated model of the calorimeter with up to 15 coefficients, the power reaching the five temperature sensors is determined during simultaneous continuous ramps of both heater and pulse powers. The power emanating from the core is determined during sequences of more frequent low voltage pulses (LVP) and compared to that found using less frequent high voltage pulses (HVP). The power determined during the more frequent LVP is set as the input power during that sequence. The power of the stimulation pulses during the less frequent HVP sequences is maintained equal to that during the more frequent LVP. Then the power calculated from the core is divided by that calculated during the reference sequences, giving a so-called coefficient of performance (COP). Table 1 below presents some of the recent results obtained using this dynamic stimulation method. Because the analytical method used for the dynamic stimulation is different from that used earlier with steady-state stimulation, a correction was applied for better comparison. The corrected results are presented in the last column in the table. The actual excess powers in the first column are up to three times greater than those measured earlier.

COP / using DS method COP / using legacy method
3.62 1.25 1.56
3.59 1.26 1.55
3.90 1.27 1.62
4.91 1.31 1.56
4.99 1.31 1.58
4.85 1.31 1.58

[1] F. Tanzella, R. Godes R., et al. “Controlled electron capture: enhanced stimulation and
calorimetry methods”, J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci., vol. 24, pp. 301-311, 2017.
[2] R. Godes, “Drive circuit and method for semiconductor devices”, US Patent 8,624,636, 2014

00:00 good morning! happy to see all 00:03 these nice friendly faces, 8 o’clock in 00:06 the morning.

[all the original slides are “© 2018 SRI International”]

anyway 00:10 today I’m here to give you an update on 00:13 what we’ve been doing at SRI, relative 00:16 to Brillouin Energy experiments, since 00:18 ICCF-20.


it is just a quick 00:26 outline, talk about some of the earlier 00:29 pressurized gas results, and the new 00:32 designs and calorimetry, and then give 00:36 you, hopefully, a taste of the results of 00:39 what we’re seeing so far, and, hopefully, a 00:42 little bit of idea what we’re trying to go 00:44 forward with.


so, first a summary of 00:50 what’s happened before, up to about ICCF-20, 00:54 and that was about a hundred 00:56 experiments performed in ten cores,
and 00:59 I’ll explain to you what I mean by a 01:01 core.
and what we’ve been working, in the 01:05 nickel hydrogen system, at elevated 01:07 temperatures for over two years
so . . . 01:11 there’s enough excess power, and it was 01:13 reproducible enough, to convince us to 01:16 keep moving forward.
01:18 there are pulses sent through these 01:22 pieces of metal, and I’ll show you a 01:24 photo of a diagram in a minute, and 01:28 experimental results are consistent with 01:32 Robert Godes’s controlled electron 01:34 capture hypothesis, which I won’t go into 01:37 today just for brevity.
and by changing 01:42 the pulse parameters you can alter the 01:45 excess power by between twenty-five and 01:47 a hundred percent, and you can actually 01:50 turn it on and off, [while] putting in the 01:53 same amount of power by just changing 01:55 the parameters of the stimulation pulses.
01:58 you can turn it on and off.
02:01 so this is more or less what one of them 02:05 looks like.
02:10 starting on the inside will either be a 02:12 metallic 02:13 or a ceramic tube, and sometimes there’s 02:17 a heater in the middle, but there’s 02:18 always a temperature sensor in the 02:20 middle.
on top of that, on the purple, is a 02:24 stripe of plasma sprayed copper, that’s 02:29 just a return line for the pulses,
and 02:31 then after that, which is actually dark 02:35 blue, but might be look black to you, is a 02:39 ceramic usually alumina, and that’s also 02:41 plasma sprayed, and then on top of that 02:43 is the nickel, 02:45 that’s plasma sprayed as well.
and those 02:49 numbers up there are approximate and 02:51 everything is porous, and the pulse is 02:55 sent between the nickel and the copper, 02:58 so it’s going through the dielectric.
and 03:02 these are fast rise time pulses and 03:05 they’re fast enough, 03:07 a few nanoseconds, that it induces the 03:11 skin effect, so most of the current is 03:13 within the first few microns of the 03:15 nickel, at the alumina interface.
so 03:21 there’s an idea what the pulse looks 03:22 like.
we have a long dead time, 03:28 generally. the numbers are less than one 03:31 percent duty cycle.
they can be more 03:35 when we go to low voltages, so that we 03:38 keep everything constant.
the pulse 03:42 width can change, as [well as] the amplitude and 03:46 the dead time repetition rate.
this is 03:49 how we measure it. there’s a very nice 03:53 oscilloscope taking five million points 03:58 a second, no, five billion points a second.
04:01 anyway to give us — [we] want [it] to give us the 04:05 voltage at one end and then we get the 04:07 voltage at the other end, so in this 04:10 chart you see the voltages and the 04:14 current plotted on the left axis and the 04:16 power — instantaneous power — plotted on the 04:20 right axis.
so you measure v1 you measure 04:23 v2 that’s what they look like and red 04:25 and blue 04:27 v2 also gives you the current because 04:30 there’s a current shunt right up next to 04:32 that, into the core, and so that’s the 04:35 current down here in black, and then 04:36 multiply the difference of the voltages 04:38 times the current and you get this power 04:40 over here, this instantaneous power.
this 04:45 is what the interface looks like we 04:48 measure 57 parameters in the sequence 04:53 that we use
we use sequences to 04:56 automatically stimulate it.
some of 04:58 them run for a hundred hours and we just 05:00 take the data and analyze it, when it’s 05:02 ready. there’s some loss in the 05:07 termination resistor that’s designated 05:10 here, and in the switching transistor as 05:13 you can imagine that these currents — 05:16 you’re getting a lot of heat there.
05:19 those actually have water flow heat 05:21 sinks, so we’re doing some mass flow 05:23 calorimetry, on those two thermal losses.
05:27 I was going to show there there are 05:30 temperature sensors all over. there is one 05:32 in the middle there’s a couple (or 05:35 sometimes two) in the middle, two in the 05:37 heat spreader, another two out here in 05:41 the aluminum.
between the heat spreader 05:43 and an aluminum shell is a ceramic 05:46 insulation.
outside the aluminum shell is 05:49 an acrylic shell. and there’s water 05:51 flowing there to keep it at 25 degrees C.
05:55 this is just another way of looking at 05:58 it, and I’ll point out, there’s a 06:00 feed through up here to send in and 06:03 return the pulses. everything else is 06:06 pretty much same.
there’s argon actually 06:09 flowing through that ceramic insulator 06:12 between the heat spreader and the 06:14 aluminum.
and there’s argon outside the 06:17 reactor just for safety purposes, since 06:19 we’re almost always using pure hydrogen 06:21 or pure deuterium.
so, 06:27 static gas — we 06:30 keep it at a controlled pressure, top it 06:33 up as necessary, which is very rare, it’s 06:37 not flowing.
operation from 200 to 600 [C.] 06:41 and you saw the outer block is constant [temperature] 06:44 so that’s our isoperibolic 06:45 calorimeter.
the pulse power from the 06:50 stimulating pulse is held constant by 06:54 changing the amplitude, the repetition 06:58 rate, or the pulse width. actual pulse 07:04 power as measured, as I showed a couple 07:06 of slides ago, directly and in your two 07:09 types of calorimetry —
— power compensation 07:12 calorimetry, where the heater power is 07:16 set to [maintain] a constant temperature, and as you 07:19 add pulses to it, it lowers the power 07:22 going into the heater, and that 07:24 difference is part of our calorimetry.
07:26 and the other one is constant heater 07:29 power calorimetry, as you normally do, and 07:31 isoperibolic calorimetery, you keep 07:33 the heater power constant, and just 07:37 calibrate it at different heater power 07:39 steps, so you can calculate how much 07:42 power is being put in by the pulse. as it 07:46 adds on to the heater power.
operation: 07:52 again I guess it was mostly an h2 gas 07:54 sometimes d2 we found we don’t need to 07:58 operate in argon or helium anymore.
it’s 08:00 just the all the thermal parameters are 08:04 so different it just gets too confusing, 08:06 so we just leave everything in hydrogen 08:10 most of the time.
again 200 [to] 600 C, adjust 08:15 everything, so first you do that pulse 08:19 stream with low voltage pulses.
the 08:22 concept in the hypothesis is that, below 08:26 a certain threshold, 08:27 you’re not going to induce this 08:29 controlled electron capture.
and so you 08:32 do that, you get your constant pulse 08:35 power, get all your parameters calculated, 08:38 calibrate your system, and then you go 08:40 and do the exact same thing, at the exact 08:42 same pressure and temperature with much 08:45 higher voltage pulses.
talking somewhere 08:48 about 30 volts versus 350 volts.
08:55 and you measure and record everything, 08:58 more than everything you need, every 10 09:02 seconds, including the hydrogen and 09:05 oxygen concentration outside the reactor 09:07 for safety reasons, and then you compare 09:10 that output power or heater power 09:14 compensation, depending on the method of 09:16 calorimetry, of high voltage pulses 09:19 versus low voltage pulses, everything 09:22 else held constant
the assumption is you 09:24 should have the exact same thermal 09:26 response.
and occasionally we’ll go in 09:30 there and do a DC calibration, just by 09:33 passing a DC current across the nickel, 09:35 without touching the copper or the 09:39 alumina.
so . . . we have two methods of 09:46 calorimetry, we’ve been employing the 09:47 steady-state, [unintelligible] 09:51 the relatively well-established 09:55 method, or you just put in, increase the 09:59 heater power and wait, and pending on 10:01 your time constants, you can wait several 10:02 hours and call that your steady state, 10:05 temperature versus heater power.
and then 10:09 you do that with the pulses, and again 10:13 the high voltage versus low voltage and 10:16 that’s how you calculate Q.
10:21 delta H of reaction is just what you . . . the 10:25 heater power compensation, how much it’s 10:28 been reduced for a low voltage pulse, 10:30 compared to how much for a high voltage 10:32 pulse.
and then you could call — they like 10:37 to use COP, not everybody likes to use 10:39 it.
but then you just get your 10:41 delta H that you calculated, divided by 10:44 the amount of power that you know went 10:45 in, from your low voltage pulse 10:48 stimulation.
another method we use is 10:54 what I call dynamic stimulation.
and 10:56 in this you’re sending in essentially 11:00 half sine waves of combination of 11:06 both 11:07 the heater and the stimulation power.
11:10 they’re changing all the time, there’s nowhere 11:13 near steady-state, and you do that for 40 11:17 hours, or up to a hundred hours, depending 11:19 on the design.
and this gets you an idea 11:25 of what the model is.
11:27 as it turns out there are only four 11:30 terms that are important. that is 11:33 the K, which is the delta T between the 11:36 core and the heat spreader, and the other 11:40 K, which is between the core and the 11:44 outer temperature, and then there are two 11:49 heat capacity terms, and in front of 11:53 those are actually all three-parameter-binomials 11:57 and then you fit that in a 12:00 MATLAB program, under low voltage power, 12:02 and in reality maybe nine of those 12:06 twelve or eight of those twelve fall out 12:08 as zero, and you end up with four 12:11 parameters that you know define the 12:14 system.
and then you do that with the low 12:18 voltage stimulation, and then you apply 12:21 those same coefficients that you got 12:23 from the MATLAB, and in the low voltage 12:25 stimulation to your high voltage 12:26 stimulation.
and then just divide that 12:30 by the low voltage stimulation.
this 12:37 is just an idea of what the raw data 12:39 looks like. on the left axis is heater 12:43 power or temperature.
the heater 12:46 power is in blue, the temperature is in 12:49 green.
and then on the right axis is the 12:52 power, that’s measured by the 12:55 oscilloscope, going into the core.
and you 12:58 see that’s up to like six watts that 13:01 goes in.
this is what some of the 13:07 steady-state results look like. so 13:09 instead of just doing it at two 13:11 different voltages we’ve done it in 13:13 several voltages.
so the y-axis, we’ve 13:17 plotted voltage of the pulse, 13:21 and the x-axis we’ve taken that heater 13:24 power compensation and divided it by the 13:27 power measured by the oscilloscope, and 13:30 so at, say, the green [red] line at 250 degree,s 13:34 down here about 35 volts, you get a ratio 13:38 of like 0.58.
but then you keep 13:42 increasing the voltage but maintaining 13:44 the exact same power going into the 13:47 system, and you see as you get up to 13:49 about 350 volts your way over here at 13:53 like 0.73 – 0.74.
so it’s not a great number, 13:58 but it’s a reproducible number, probably 14:00 25 percent, something like that.
and then 14:04 you see a very similar thing at 275 .. . 14:10 no at 300 [blue], and then when you get past 300 14:13 [green and black] interestingly, that ratio of the 14:17 heater power compensation is pretty much 14:21 the same at 350 volts as it is at 35 14:24 volts.
so it tells you that you’re not 14:28 creating excess power, and it also gives 14:30 you a built-in calibration that you know 14:33 what’s going on.
and this is some of the 14:38 summary from the from the steady-state 14:42 stimulation results and it’s very 14:45 similar to what you just saw if you stay 14:48 below 350 [C.] you get numbers, COP numbers 14:53 that are over one, above experimental 14:57 error.
and then 350 [C.] and up the numbers 15:01 are pretty much equal to experimental 15:04 error.
so you don’t see those at excess 15:07 power.
so this is what that pulse 15:14 stimulation looks like when we do the 15:17 dynamic stimulation, and this is a 15:19 combination of the heater and core power, 15:24 in blue, that was determined from the low 15:29 voltage pulses,
and then the delta 15:33 T, measured 15:35 in the high voltage pulses, had those 15:39 same coefficients determined from the 15:41 low voltage, applied to them, and that’s 15:44 the light green.
as you can see. there’s 15:48 no steady-state except I finally asked 15:52 them, why don’t you do something that 15:54 stands still for a while, so we can watch 15:57 it, instead of having to do all of this 15:59 computational stuff.
and so they held 16:03 this constant for about three hours and 16:06 as you can see the calculated power 16:10 output power, with the high voltage pulse, 16:12 is about five watts above what we got 16:16 with the low voltage pulse at the same 16:18 input power.
and, yes, those are similar 16:22 numbers over here, and you can see those 16:26 COPs are again — not overly exciting — but 16:30 between 1.2 and 1.3.
and over here. yeah. 16:36 same sort of number.
so we’ve done that a 16:40 bunch of times, and this is what some of 16:44 the dynamic stimulation results look 16:46 like, and again at different temperatures.
16:51 but none of these are above 350 [C.], so all 16:56 of them are showing some reasonable 17:00 powers, that delta H, as I said, the 17:04 difference between the low voltage pulse 17:07 and the high voltage pulse, up to 5 watts.
17:09 and then calculating the COP, using that 17:14 method again, those numbers in the 1.2 to 17:17 1.3 range.
but interestingly enough, when 17:22 we did all of that we changed the way we 17:25 did all of our calculations, compared to 17:27 what we reported earlier, and so I went 17:30 back and used the earlier method, 17:34 essentially put in a fudge factor, so we 17:36 could compare it to where we were 17:38 earlier, so that at least we could see 17:41 whether or not we were making progress.
17:43 and when you do that and progress was — we 17:47 were getting numbers 17:48 about the same, about one-point-two when 17:50 we used the old method, when when we went 17:53 back and reapplied that method to the 17:55 new data we got numbers closer to 1.5 — I 17:58 mean at 1.6.
which was important 18:01 to convince us that we needed — that we 18:04 were making progress, so we could go 18:05 forward.
so let me sum up what we’ve 18:12 learned.
so these are reactions 18:14 stimulated by electrical pulses, very 18:17 narrow, very fast rise time, electrical 18:20 pulses on coated nickel powders, and these 18:23 are very porous nickel powders. 18:26 for experiments [we did?] hydrogen, deuterium 200 to 18:29 600 C., and heater-only power and heater 18:33 and pulse power, and in our compensation 18:37 mode, 500 experiments on a hundred 18:41 different nickel coated cores, and six 18:43 different reactors, so in the last two 18:45 years, we’ve upped our game, by an order 18:48 of magnitude with respect to the amount 18:51 of runs being made, and again, COP 18:54 between 1 & 2, electricity in, heat out.
19:00 and of course, as everybody else is still 19:03 doing, we’re still optimizing our metal 19:08 metallic composition and metallurgy, and 19:12 also since most of the group is 19:14 electrical engineers, they’re always 19:16 tweaking the pulse parameters, finding 19:18 narrower pulses, sharper rise time pulses, 19:21 and we regularly update and improve the 19:25 calorimetry.
I need to acknowledge 19:29 Brillouin for their generous support at 19:32 SRI. this is an old picture of the group 19:36 in their conference room. they actually 19:38 have a lab.
about half of the experiments 19:40 are being run at SRI, half are being run 19:43 in their third-floor walk-up, as I refer 19:46 to it, in Berkeley which is behind that 19:49 rear door, and I want to thank you 19:54 for your attention.
but first one a note 19:57 a personal note on the bottom 20:00 for your information.
and thank you.
[Frank Gordon:] I 20:09 want to thank Fran because he’s helping 20:12 getting us back on time. we do have 20:14 time for some questions
[1st question:] got any numbers 20:23 for the impedance or the RC 20:28 frequencies from the aluminum oxide, is 20:31 there a capacitance there? 20:32 have you tried to match it?
yeah . 20:36 like I say, we’ve got a roomful of 20:38 electrical engineers and that’s what they they do 20:39 for a living. the number, the impedance is 20:42 in the 2 ohm range.
and they they’re 20:46 always measuring TDR, and minimizing 20:49 capacitance.
have you tried using 20:53 multiple layers and going through them.
20:55 we have done that but they weren’t very 20:59 successful, so they gave up on that since 21:01 that’s a lot harder to make.
[2nd questioner:] uh, Fran, 21:07 could you say something about the 21:08 material, the pressure, post-analysis 21:12 helium, anything like that?
okay we’re not 21:16 doing any post analysis. we do have, in 21:19 two of the six reactors we have 21:21 an online mass spec, but it’s it’s just 21:24 an RGA so it’s not telling us anything 21:27 too anomalous.
I’m sorry, I should have 21:30 mentioned: most of this is done between 21:32 eight and ten bar of hydrogen.
21:37 analysis: we’re not doing any gas 21:41 analysis. my mass spec is still being 21:43 tweaked, and occasionally they’ve tried 21:48 to get people to do isotopic analysis on 21:52 the powders, but nobody really seems to 21:55 be interested, or capable, of telling if 21:59 anything’s happening to the nickel.
I’m sure Francesco has a 22:04 quick answer or question, because it’s time 22:06 for an orientation
[Francesco Celani:] One, good paper. Second one, 22:11 we have long experience about 22:14 pulsing palladium [unintelligible] and we found that 22:19 the surface temperature is really larger 22:23 than of the bulk, because skin effect. do you 22:27 have an idea which one is your surface 22:30 temperature?
in the nickel?
oh yes 22:35 where you give pulse
22:38 well, because a nickel is paramagnetic, it 22:41 has the skin effect, so most of the 22:44 current is going at the interface.
22:47 but this is just plasma sprayed, so it’s 22:51 very random, there’s no controlled 22:54 morphology, or anything.
okay. thank you.
Slides not shown: Slide18 was blank.
List of slides and slide text
Nanosecond Pulse Stimulation in the Ni-H2 System
Francis Tanzella, Robert Godes, Robert George
Presented at ICCF21 / Ft. Collins, CO USA / June 5, 2018
Brillouin Energy Corp.
Ø Controlled electron capture (CEC) concept
Ø Earlier pressurized gas phase reactor results
Ø New core designs and pulse stimulation methods
Ø Updated isoperibol (IPB) calorimeter and methods
Ø Results from IPB reactor/calorimeter
Ø Summary and future work
Ø Acknowledgements
Summary of Earlier Results
Ø Over 100 experiments performed in up to ten cores
Ø Excess power seen in Ni/H2 gas phase system
Ø Excess power has been shown to be reproducible and transportable
Ø Pulsed axial pulses gave excess power in this system
Ø Excess power depends on pulse repetition rate
Ø Experimental conditions and results are consistent with CEC hypothesis
Ø Changing pulse parameters yield 25 – 100% excess power and allows for switching power production on and off
Ø Very dependent on material chemistry and morphology
Brillouin’s 4th Generation H2 Hot Tube Cores
One example of a spray-coated core – some have more or fewer layers
Ø Metal and ceramic coatings are porous
Ø Pulse sent through outer Ni layer returns through inner Cu layer
Ø Fast rise-time pulse current is primarily at Ni-Al2O3 interface (skin-effect)
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor Cores / Stimulation and Measurement
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor/Calorimeter / Computer Interface
Brillouin’s 4th-Generation H2 Hot Tube Reactor (Isoperibolic)
Ø Heater inside or outside core
Ø Thermocouple inside core
Ø Ni-coated tube core
Ø Core sheath inside steel block
Ø 2 Tinner sensors in steel block
Ø Ceramic insulation with Ar flush
Ø Al shell with 2 Touter sensors
Ø Constant T flowing H2O
Ø Pulses injected/returned at #15
Ø Ar flush outside reactor
Brillouin’s Isoperibolic (IPB) Reactor
Ø Static H2 or D2 gas on high-surface-area Ni inside sheath
Ø Core temperature varied from 200° to 600°C
Ø Outer block temperature held constant by constant T-flowing H2O
Ø Core pulse power held constant at generator board or at core
• (Pulse repetition rate changes to maintain constant input power at
different pulse widths and/or amplitudes)
Ø Actual pulse power imparted to core is measured directly
Ø Power compensation calorimetry
• (Heater power changes to maintain constant core or inner block
Ø Constant heater power calorimetry
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Operation
Ø Operate in H2 gas using automated sequence and low-voltage pulses (LVP)
• Vary temperature from 200° to 600°C in fixed intervals (50°C)
• Adjust repetition rate for constant pulse power at each temperature
Ø Repeat in H2 gas using automated sequence and high-voltage pulses (HVP)
Ø Measure and record 57 parameters every 10 seconds
• Heater, pulse generator, and actual pulse powers
• All temperatures, H2O flow rates, and pressures
• H2 and O2 concentration outside reactor
Ø Compare calculated output power or heater power compensation (HPC) with
high-voltage versus low-voltage pulses
Ø Occasionally compare HVP outputs to DC stimulation results
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Calorimetry
Steady-State Stimulation
ΔHreaction = HPC(HVP) – HPC(LVP)
Model used for Dynamic Stimulation Calorimetry
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Results
Heater / Core Power / Temperature vs Elapsed time
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Results
Voltage vs Power at 4 temperatures for Core IPB2-33
IPB Reactor: Steady-State Stimulation Results
COP for 4 cores at 250° – 400°C
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Results
Power v. Time
IPB Reactor: Dynamic Stimulation Results
Qreaction with COP, two methods
Brillouin IPB Results Summary and Future Work
Ø LENR reactions stimulated by electrical pulses on coated Ni powders
Ø Experiments in H2 or D2 gas at 200 – 600°C
• Comparison between heater-only power and heater and pulse power
Ø Isoperibolic calorimeter operated in power compensation or constant
power mode
Ø Over 500 experiments performed on 100 different Ni-coated cores in
six different reactors
Ø COPs from 1.0 to 2.0 measured depending on stimulation conditions
Ø No measurable consumables: Electricity in – Heat out
Ø Core composition/metallurgy and pulse generation still being optimized
Ø Calorimetry is regularly updated and improved
SRI International, Headquarters: 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025
+1.650.859.2000. Additional U.S. and international locations
Special thanks to: Mike McKubre for the calorimeter design; Roger Herrera, Jin Liu, Mike Beaver, and Dave Correia
SRI gratefully acknowledges funding of this work from Brillouin Energy Corp.
I will be leaving SRI International on July 31, 2018. I will continue working in the field
New contact info:
Slide18 blank
Brillouin Hypothesis: Controlled Electron Capture Reaction

Bridges into the unknown

I woke up this morning afire with ideas. Happens sometimes. Some of these I will be implementing, but the best ideas involve community, how to create and strengthen community, and, in particular, the LENR community, and especially the young, with life and career ahead of them. They are the future, I merely am a dreamer and observer. Well, I’ve done more than that.

Then I touched my computer and my screen lit up with the Windows “screensaver,” and it was the image above. That led me to the work of Zaha Hadid, who, somehow, had escaped being noticed by me before. What … an … amazing … woman! The world is larger than I imagine, and, in line with that:

The future does not exist yet. But it’s possible, and I declare that the future will be better than anything we can imagine.

Because we say so. Join me?

Continue reading “Bridges into the unknown”


subpage of iccf-21/videos/

Thomas F. Darden – Keynote address for ICCF-21

link to video
David Nagel:
00:00 . . . With this introduction even though it’s 00:01 a little unusual to do that.
Tom 00:03 Darden has a remarkable career. He got a 00:06 bachelor’s degree from the University of 00:08 North Carolina, and also Master in 00:10 Regional Planning, got his law degree 00:12 from Yale.
His 1976 undergraduate thesis 00:18 analyzed the environmental impact of 00:20 third-world development, and his 1981 00:23 Yale thesis addressed interstate acid 00:26 rain pollution.
So he’s had a long 00:28 history in things environmental.
He began 00:31 his career with Bain & Company in Boston, 00:33 ’81 to ’84, and then beginning in 1984 he 00:37 served for 16 years as the chairman of 00:39 the Cherokee Sanford group, which 00:41 curiously — i didn’t know this — is the 00:43 largest private brick manufacturing 00:45 company.
Okay so in brick and mortar, he 00:47 was on the brick side.
He began investing 00:50 personal capital and environmental 00:52 companies before he turned to raising 00:54 institutional private equity funds.
Since 00:58 the 1980s, he has invested in over a 01:00 hundred companies, and there’s a long 01:02 list here of green buildings and solar 01:04 energy, and all kinds of things, including 01:06 Industrial Heat LLC, which is, of course, 01:09 seeking to commercialize LENR. Tom 01:14 is the founder and CEO of Cherokee and 01:16 its predecessors.
Cherokee has raised 01:18 over 2.2 billion dollars, invested this 01:21 capital in the acquisition, cleanup, 01:23 development and sale of approximately 01:25 550 environmentally contaminated real 01:28 estate assets, in the U.S., in Europe, and 01:31 in Canada.
Tom does a lot beside his 01:35 business. He’s served and continues to 01:37 serve on numerous boards.
That’s a long 01:39 last year: Environmental Defense Action 01:42 Fund, WakeMed Hospital, 01:45 Helping Hand Mission, so he is into a lot 01:49 of things beyond the business side of 01:51 the world.
He was a chairman of the 01:53 Research Triangle Transit Authority, 01:54 served two terms on the North Carolina 01:56 Board of Transportation, through 01:58 appointments by the government and the 02:00 speaker of the house.
So it is my immense 02:02 and intense pleasure to welcome Tom 02:04 Darden
02:09 [applause] Thomas Darden:
02:14 okay i’d like to begin by thanking the 02:22 organizers stephen and david for their hard 02:27 work, and also for the honor of being 02:29 able to address the pioneers working on 02:32 this new form of energy.
I’m going to 02:38 take this opportunity to tell you the 02:39 story of why we do what we do, and how we 02:43 perceive the work that you heroes, are 02:45 doing.
Three years ago i had the 02:47 opportunity to meet many of you in Padua.
02:50 as i said that time i’m not a scientist, 02:52 i’m an entrepreneur, but we share a 02:55 common inspiration in our endeavors. 02:58
Business guru Peter Drucker once noted 03:02 that entrepreneurship is intended as a 03:04 manifesto, and as a declaration of 03:07 dissent. We see things that ought not to 03:10 be, or we see things that ought to be, but 03:13 aren’t, and then we dissent, but next, we 03:17 go to work.
Thank you for being the 03:20 dissenters against the doctrines and 03:22 institutions of the status quo. Our 03:24 mission, like yours, remains focused on 03:28 solving one of the world’s biggest 03:29 challenges of our time. We need energy 03:32 alternatives that don’t add to our 03:34 pollution problems.
That’s the reason 03:37 that we got involved in funding your 03:40 research.
Marginally reducing pollution 03:44 by being a little bit less bad is not 03:46 good enough.
We need to turn back the 03:49 clock. 03:49 we need a gestalt shift with 7.5 billion 03:53 people facing increasingly catastrophic 03:55 existential threats.
When we started 03:58 Industrial Heat six years ago, with our 04:00 mandate to bring serious funding and an 04:02 entrepreneurial spirit to your research, 04:04 we hoped there would be a way to change 04:06 the way the world’s energy needs are met.
04:08 in an ironic manner, we determined that 04:12 the potential promise of your research 04:14 was so compelling, that it would be worth 04:16 funding even if all we accomplished was 04:19 to somehow prove that 04:20 it was untrue.
We believed that we could 04:23 help change the way mainstream science 04:25 and business perceive this sector, and 04:27 help lead the way toward more 04:28 comprehensive environmental stewardship 04:30 for our planet.
I’m confident that you’re 04:33 going to succeed and that your work is 04:35 going to be accepted.
As we launch the 04:40 21st gathering of this tribe, we still 04:42 need a new paradigm.
Take a step back, and 04:45 think about why we’re here, and why this 04:47 has been such a challenging and difficult 04:49 journey.
04:49 why have some of you been chasing these 04:51 elusive phenomena for almost 30 years? 04:54 what drives that dedication, curiosity, 04:57 risk-taking, and willingness to sacrifice 04:59 in pursuit of what remains an evanescent 05:02 and intriguing effect.
Meanwhile why are 05:06 we so isolated, and has this isolation in 05:09 fact played a positive role in these 05:11 early stages of the paradigm shift?
When 05:15 we first looked into this sector, i was 05:18 warned that this was an alluring and 05:21 captivating pursuit, and that could 05:23 result in joining an isolated and 05:25 dedicated community.
We were warned about 05:28 catching CFS or Cold Fusion Addiction 05:31 Syndrome.
Humor aside, if we’re honest 05:35 with ourselves, we have to recognize that 05:37 peer systems have great influence on 05:40 what most of us believe and do.
We 05:43 observe others in our peer groups, and 05:45 learn their social code along with their 05:47 interpretation of the philosophical and 05:50 scientific fabric that evolves into some 05:53 version of truth, reality, and conformity.
05:56 this can be beneficial because it 05:58 allows us to create an affiliated tribe, 06:01 like our group here, but increasingly in 06:03 society at large, our social or work 06:06 communities lack diversity of thought, as 06:08 evidenced by the most recent us election 06:12 results, the map.
Once we perceive what 06:16 we’re supposed to think, we 06:17 subconsciously seek out, and then we’re 06:19 fed data that confirms our group opinion, 06:23 and we skillfully and deliberately 06:25 ignore contrary facts.
If we don’t do 06:29 this we impair our ability to benefit 06:32 from the culture 06:34 around us.
Socially, scientifically, 06:37 financially, or politically, there’s a 06:39 pressure to conform.
This sociological 06:43 conformity pressure applies to many of 06:45 our belief systems, making it difficult 06:47 for people to practice their pursuits 06:49 while being a part of a non-conforming 06:52 group.
Over time, the world has become 06:55 less tolerant of divergent beliefs, 06:57 making it difficult for new ideas to 06:59 gain traction.
Meanwhile some long-accepted 07:01 value systems have eroded.
Have 07:04 we lost a scientific rigor, self policing 07:07 and accountability, that carried the day 07:09 when atomic power, space travel, 07:11 supersonic flight, the computer, the 07:13 internet and recombinant dna were 07:15 discovered and harnessed for the 07:17 benefit of society?
Today, can an 07:20 independent thinker confront prevailing 07:23 scientific or cultural norms, without 07:25 risking job prospects, scientific 07:28 position, social status, and personal 07:30 relationship opportunities even.
Dan 07:33 Kahan, professor at Yale, refers to this 07:36 as cultural cognition, meaning that 07:38 society, as opposed to independent logic 07:42 or reality, drives our thinking.
He 07:46 focuses primarily on the realms of 07:48 science or technology that affect public 07:50 policy such as climate change or maybe 07:52 childhood vaccines.
Kahan states a 07:56 principal source of conflict over 07:58 decision-relevant science is the 08:00 entanglement of facts in antagonistic 08:03 social meanings, which transform 08:06 competing positions into badges of 08:08 cultural identity.
In other words, we 08:10 disagree because competing cultural 08:12 groups have decided to identify with 08:15 certain conclusions.
The correct answers 08:19 are not based on facts, but on scientific, 08:22 political or cultural identity.
When a 08:26 particular group gains power or control, 08:28 then opposing ideas face the risk of 08:30 marginalization.
Kahan tested subjects 08:33 for scientific intelligence and for 08:35 political identity, and then asked 08:37 science-based questions, both 08:39 right-leaning and left-leaning 08:41 respondents in the United States showed 08:44 similar tendencies to conform their 08:45 technical opinions 08:47 to the thinking of their 08:49 group affiliations.
For example most 08:52 left-leaning subjects answered that 08:53 nuclear power contributes to global 08:55 warming, even though that is logically 08:59 ridiculous.
.while nuclear energy has 09:02 drawbacks and reasonable people can 09:03 debate its pros and cons, there’s no doubt 09:05 of its global warming benefit.
Why do 09:08 even intelligent liberals say that it 09:10 causes global warming?
The only 09:12 explanation is that left-leaning 09:13 cultural leaders have decided that 09:15 nuclear power is negative, so it’s not 09:18 acceptable to say anything positive 09:20 about it at all.
09:21 of course right-leaning thinkers shows 09:24 similar conforming tendencies.
And by the 09:27 way level of education does not change 09:29 the results.
This is astonishing.
Kahan 09:32 found that higher iq people are just as 09:34 inclined to base their conclusions on 09:36 cultural conformity rather than 09:38 intelligent analysis.


This astonishes the 09:41 intellectual class, who think they use 09:42 their brains to seek truth, but it’s not 09:44 surprising at all to normal people who 09:46 have always felt that intellectuals 09:48 don’t have much common sense to go along 09:50 with all their brains.

Interestingly we 09:53 do see some situations where cultural 09:55 conformity fails to offer a safe 09:58 consistent opinion.
Old topics tend to 10:01 remain in their cultural containers 10:03 forever, such as gun rights in the us, 10:05 pro-life, vs. Pro-abortion positions, and 10:08 probably cold fusion relative to the 10:10 physics establishment.
But new topics 10:13 present dilemmas for group thinkers.
Will 10:16 right-leaners oppose government 10:17 restrictions on artificial intelligence, 10:20 or machine learning, or data mining, maybe 10:22 new energy sources. 10:24 why didn’t us left-wingers oppose 10:27 healthcare monopolies, and price-fixing 10:30 in the same manner that they’ve 10:31 traditionally opposed business 10:33 aggregation of other forms.
10:34 will conservatives take a laissez-fair 10:37 position regarding antitrust enforcement 10:39 against new economy monopolists, like they 10:42 did relative to old industrial 10:43 monopolists?
It seems that people are 10:46 willing to remain confused and silent 10:48 until their group forms an opinion, at 10:50 which time they will conform.
In an ideal 10:53 world, people would invite and welcome 10:54 divergent opinions.
Instead, we often see 10:58 vitriolic and demeaning attacks on 11:00 those who hold them.
For example, the 11:02 label “denier” has come to describe 11:05 people who disagree not only with 11:06 historical facts, but also with 11:09 subjective, unclear, social, technical, and 11:12 scientific beliefs.
It’s used to expand 11:15 the distance between two opposing moral, 11:17 scientific, or intellectual convictions, 11:20 or to ostracize the other side.
11:23 certainly there are times when we use 11:24 the term legitimately and intentionally 11:26 to create separation, as some do when 11:29 referring to holocaust deniers. They deny 11:32 an historic fact.
But what if someone 11:34 argues that climate science is not 11:36 perfect yet, or that the theory of 11:38 evolution needs to evolve further? Are 11:40 they deniers or are they just thinkers?
11:43 looking at this from another angle i’ve 11:45 served for over 25 years on the board of 11:47 an historically black university, where 11:49 i’m almost always the only white 11:51 person in the room.
Years ago, someone 11:54 mentioned getting pulled over by the 11:55 police for dwb, or driving while black, a 11:58 practice that i assumed had ended in 12:01 this civil rights era.
12:02 i mean it’s so ridiculous and you can 12:05 only laugh.
I innocently asked if this 12:07 was still a common occurrence, and i was 12:09 fortunate that the nice people in the 12:11 room politely smiled at my simplistic, 12:13 culturally-driven view.
I should note 12:16 that this event long predated dashboard 12:18 and body cameras, which have shown the 12:21 rest of us, sadly, what african americans 12:23 have known, have always known, and had to 12:25 deal with.
Sensitive topics such as these 12:28 often lead to shaming, and in a different 12:31 setting might possibly have evolved into 12:33 accusations of “racist denier” instead of 12:35 “naive enquirer.”
Environmental advocates 12:38 used “climate denier” to shame opponents 12:40 of bureaucratic legislation to reduce 12:43 carbon emissions.
An environmental public 12:46 relations program was built on the 12:48 concept — i was part of this — the global 12:51 warming science is indisputable, and 12:53 there could be no further discussion of 12:56 the topic.
I was raising my hand saying 12:58 “it just doesn’t sound right, even if 13:02 it’s true.”
Many who believed carbon 13:04 dioxide causes climate change were 13:06 nonetheless troubled by this dismissive 13:08 and vitriolic debate tactic.
If anyone 13:13 ever says the science 13:14 is settled, be careful.
The science will 13:15 never be settled, if we remain curious 13:17 enough to learn, while maintaining a 13:19 desire to seek truth.
Most mainstream 13:22 physicists believe our science is 13:24 settled, in that low-temperature 13:26 energetic reactions, that were 13:28 researching here, are not possible.
13:30 followers of these mainstream opinion 13:32 leaders mimic their philosophies and 13:34 behaviors, further alienating those who 13:37 disagree, and spreading discord which 13:39 increasingly stresses our scientific 13:40 fabric.
This holds back potential 13:43 benefits that can change the status quo 13:45 for the benefit of society.
This cultural 13:48 conformity, by the way, applies just as 13:50 dramatically in companies.
Bill gates had 13:53 a habit of rocking back and forth in his 13:54 chair, when he was in meetings during the 13:56 early days of his startup.
After a while 13:59 subordinates began to exhibit 14:00 the same 14:02 unusual habit of rocking back and forth.
14:05 microsoft meetings became filled with 14:07 with conformist doing the same thing as 14:10 a boss, probably subconsciously.
While this 14:13 is a silly example we regularly see 14:15 accusations of discrimination against 14:18 new york investment banks, silicon valley 14:20 vcs and large tech companies.
Their 14:23 inherent discrimination is based on 14:25 cultural group think.
We all need to 14:28 contemplate and avoid this, as our small 14:30 sector continues to evolve and mature.
So 14:34 what does this mean to this gathering, 14:35 how do we interpolate and act based on 14:37 what we know about ourselves?
There’s 14:39 story after story of discovery, rejection, 14:42 perseverance, verification, replication, 14:45 and ultimately ubiquity: the airplane, the 14:48 automobile, the laser, space travel ,and 14:50 more.
The leading thought groups of the 14:53 day have consistently resisted new 14:55 invention, breakthroughs and change.
Now 14:58 it’s our turn to change our status quo.
15:00 how can we learn from others who 15:03 converted their rejection into 15:04 usefulness?
They were able to move 15:07 through stages of progression that 15:08 brought their discoveries into common 15:10 acceptance.
Mainstream academia, science 15:14 and government stall the first wave of 15:16 cold fusion discovery. Next march will be 15:19 30 years since the announcement that 15:21 launched this field.
We owe it to the 15:24 early pioneers, and to our planet, 15:26 to responsibly finish this work, and move 15:29 the discussion into the mainstream of 15:31 science, academia and industry.
How do we 15:34 move forward from our isolation? We need 15:36 theory that can direct basic, repeatable 15:38 and understandable experiments.
We need 15:41 experiments in papers that will be 15:42 replicated and accepted by mainstream 15:44 physicists and science communities and 15:47 publications.
We need to trust, but verify, 15:50 and commit to absolute honesty in our 15:53 research.
We need a new level of self-accountability, 15:57 as we prepare for a move 15:58 into the mainstream.
The universe may be 16:01 ready to share another layer of physical 16:03 and scientific mystery with those who 16:04 are willing to see and hear.
The barriers 16:07 created by our social and scientific 16:08 orders are going to be challenged.
First-principles 16:11 research needs to replace 16:13 incomplete and sometimes shoddy 16:15 methodologies.
With this we will overcome 16:18 the bias and barriers that have kept our 16:20 field from becoming useful to the planet.
16:22 we can fix this.
Before i close, i’d like 16:26 to thank the many dedicated and honest 16:28 researchers who have worked with us in 16:30 our quest to find the truth over the 16:31 last six years.
We thank you for trusting 16:34 us, and look forward to reaching a 16:36 starting point, where a broader community 16:38 can begin to understand this anomaly 16:40 that has the potential to eliminate 16:41 pollution.
We look forward to an ongoing 16:44 relationship with you, to living each day 16:46 with courage, to continue progress, mutual 16:49 accountability, and to eventual success.
16:51 to the group, let’s find ways to work 16:54 together let’s encourage replications, 16:56 and be willing to accept results in 16:58 datasets which fail to confirm a 17:00 replication.
In conjunction with any 17:02 proclaimed discoveries let’s also admit 17:04 our mistakes, and make data from failed 17:07 experiments available for others to 17:08 analyze.
With that, a broader trust and 17:11 credibility can begin to emerge.
Let’s 17:14 live each day with courage, learn from 17:15 each other, do the right thing, be 17:17 respectful in the process, talk less and 17:19 say more.
Be tough but fair, while we 17:22 strive to move this field beyond the 17:24 fringe with the conviction and common 17:26 goal of saving our planet.
Humanity needs 17:28 for us to succeed.
Thank you and God 17:31 bless.

ICCF-21 Slides and Video, Transcripts available

The organizers of ICCF-21 have released oral presentation slides and video. The page to access them is at

There are actually three pages, with a graphic display of links that vary with the page. The link above is to the video link graphic, there are two others:

The slide graphic, and the abstract graphic.

However, our video index page is searchable. and will be a single page with all links.  That is where links to transcripts and other related resources will be placed. It takes about an hour to create a presentation transcript in the format I am using, and about a day to clean it up and polish it.

I will be creating indexes to this material, to make it more accessible for search and study.  For the first time, Darden’s keynote is available. The video I’ve seen is high quality and far surpasses the poor audio we had for some presentations (which was still appreciated, people provided what they had.)

Because there is Close Caption working with the videos (at least what I saw), I will also be preparing transcripts.

UPDATE:Done. This is the video page here.

The first transcript I started with was of Tom Darden, but I happened to complete the Michael Staker transcript first.  I will now go back and present the Darden video in the same way. I will also integrate the slides and abstracts, so one will be able to read the transcripts and make sense out of the references to slides.

This process is highly enlightening. In the case of the Staker video, I had already worked extensively on SAV sources, so everything he was saying made sense (and I could more accurately decode the automated transcription text). I had already worked with a draft of Staker’s ICCF-21 paper and Mike McKubre’s presentation at Greccio, which was co-authored with Staker, collecting all the sources. So it’s now all quite clear to me, amazingly so, from being obscure and “hard to understand.”

How to capture a YouTube transcript (general and ICCF-21 specific).
  1. Go to the YouTube page. The ICCF-21 videos are all listed in a single YouTube channel.
  2. [Below the title is a menu button ( . . . ). Press it and select “Open Transcript.” A window will open with the closed caption transcript. Ctrl-A within that window to highlight it, and Ctrl-C to capture it in your clipboard.] The italicized description worked when I was writing this. I just tried it again, and instead of just selecting the text in the transcript window, it selected much else on the page. To capture just the transcript text I needed to put the cursor at the beginning, maybe select a little text at the beginning — left-mouse-hold at the beginning and then move a little — and then shift-left-click at the end after scrolling to the end. (ctrl-home places the cursor at the beginning of the transcript and ctrl-end places it at the end). Then ctrl-C will copy the selected text.
  3. [Paste this into a word processor or other editor. I found that if it is straight pasted (which includes formatting) into the WordPress visual editor, every line is a link to the video, with the brief transcript for the time shown as the next line.] Again, that’s what I was able to do earlier, and I was unable to reproduce this behavior. So the text doesn’t have the links, those will be introduced in Excel.
  4. At this point the text is useful. If I have this text for a video, I can then proceed to create the WordPress page. The further this is taken, the less work for me.
  5. I copy the youtunr transcript to Excel, to massage that copy into the format I want on the page. The URLs are translated to specific jumps to the specific times, by adding “&t=12m34s” to the URL. (that would be a timestamp for 12:34. My guess is that “h” is used for hours.) The time, from the next line, is moved to the text portion of the “a” tag, and the </a> tag closing is moved to just after the time, leaving the transcript text open, unformatted.
  6. This will give a transcript with the timestamps as links followed by a space and the text.. I then add in the HTML code to display the time in 6 point type, to make it less obtrusive but still readable. Replace {<a}  with {<span style=”font-size: 6pt;”><a} (don’t copy the curly braces!) and {</a>} with {</a></span>}. 4 point can be used for this, it is sort-of readable. However, it’s useful to have it be more readable when editing the transcript.
  7. To speed up editing of this into continuous text, paragraphed, I replace all the LF/CR codes (represented in Word search and replace as “^p”) with spaces, so it becomes one huge “paragraph.” Then, editing the transcript, I paragraph it, simply by adding punctuation and a return (“Enter↵”).
  8. The HTML code is then copied back to my WordPress editor.
  9. I clean up the transcript in WordPress. At any time, I can follow a timestamp link to find the exact point in the video. If I press the link just before some text, there it is, quickly. However, because it takes some time for my computer to load the video, when editing, I have WordPress open in one window, and the YouTube video in another, so I can immediately press the stop/run button in the video, and so if I want to adjust the time, usually to go back, I use the YouTube slider and I know what time to go to, approximately, by the displayed link in WordPress.
  10. Once the text is paragraphed, I can add (in word) spacer code, to reduce the space. I’m using ten pixels instead of the default space (which I think is 20 pixels.) I’m using a WordPress shortcode from the Spacer plug-in for that. It’s a little tricky.
  11. The ICCF-21 has the slides available, and the presentations can make much more sense with the slides! I downloaded the slide PDF, renamed it with a simpler but still unique name, and used ILovePDF to convert this to individual JPEG images, Powershell to change the filenames to simple followed by the page number, and then I uploaded the files to the blog domain in a slides directory, uploads/slides, then I used MediatoFTP to register these as images. I used to manually upload all the images within WordPress, which puts them into dated media directories with much longer names. This gives me immediate access from the editor to the slides, searchable by slide number, and the Media facility remembers the last search, so I can just bump the number of to insert the next slide.
  12. So I watch the video again, inserting the slides. The normal place is in the time sequence when the speaker clicks to the next slide. For clarity, I vary this. Some speakers use many slides where another will use one, the many slides each adding something to the display.
  13. I add the slide numbers in Excel when I’m done. It’s too much work to add them when placing the image, and I found that if the slide number is put as a caption, it’s weirdly place. It was much easier to place the slide number as small text just before the image.
  14. You can see the results on two pages at this point: Staker and Storms.
  15. Comments are invited.
  16. Participation is invited.

I cannot imagine a better way to develop deep understanding of CMNS than work like this. To do this work well requires deep attention to detail. If you are unfamiliar with terms, you will become familiar, or you will make mistakes in editing the transcript.

I have the brain of a 74-year old.  They must have made some mistake!

It takes more repetition to learn than when I was younger, but I can still learn and the results are little short of amazing, certainly for me!

As to those mistakes, we hope, someone will find and correct them, and we will learn if we pay attention. Making mistakes is generally the fastest way to learn, and any error in these transcripts can be quickly fixed. I am considering putting them on the wiki, which would stand as a working draft.

I see that the following is somewhat redundant to what is above, but, hey, it’s only a paragraph. . . . The Staker and Storms videos are particularly significant now, considering discussions in the community about Super Abundant Vacancies. From working with sources, a presentation in Greccio this year and those two videos, I have enough familiarity with the findings that, to my great surprise, at least one major expert has deferred to my opinion. But I’m certainly not a full expert, just an opinionated reporter who loves to inform my readers as to what exists in sources, so that they can come to their own conclusions. I will report my opinions, sometimes, but they matter much less. Increasingly, they are informed.

The related fields are complex and can take advanced study and training, but, by continual exposure to the material, I become familiar with it.

I learned years ago to notice and drop the “this is too complicated” reaction that creates an obstacle to familiarity.

Our strong tendency is to remember what generates feelings, particularly feelings of dislike, rather than what is actually happening.

I actually don’t “try” to understand, I just keep looking, more or less like a child. Maybe I look something up if it seems interesting.

If I write, I check sources, over and over, I don’t just rely on memory, usually.

Since I have the sources, I cite them. All this can make my writing long. I write polemic in a different way.

I learned electronics and made it into a successful profession, when I was about 30, by having a basic background (but from many years before, obsolete, hey vacuum tube radios!), and then just looking at electronics magazines, and having a work opportunity allowing me to focus and learn some specifics. I did not “study” it.

I learned Arabic by reading the Qur’an in Arabic. (That simply requires learning the symbols, Qur’anic orthography is phonetic. Understanding Arabic came much later, after familiarity was developed. That’s a theme: familiarity.) Again, I did not learn by studying it. The fastest increase in comprehension actually came when I memorized a large chunk of the Qur’an. Before then, when I tried to study Arabic with grammars, etc.., it went in one eye and out the other. (Hah!) Arabic is famously difficult for non-Semitic language natives. But children learn it just as easily as other languages. Familiarity. Once I was familiar with the patterns of the language, the grammars then made far more sense. Otherwise they seemed like a pile of arbitrary rules to memorize.

Alternate channel

Some internet fora pretend to represent a community, and, sometimes, to some extent, they do. But it is common that the collection of users that would consider itself the community has no real power except to make a fuss (and maybe get banned) or walk away.

The Wikipedia community is a great example. There is a real community, but there is also a corporation which, for years, hid behind the trope that the community was in charge. Several years ago, they appear to have abandoned that, and the problems show up in quite a few ways.

Bottom line, the WikiMedia Foundation can and does, on its own, globally ban users, with no explanation and using a crude tool that disables account access and incoming email, cutting the user off. They announce to the world that the person is banned (without explanation but generally implying that the Terms of Service have been violated, which is sometimes false). In fact, the community is banned from communicating with the user! At least using the open email access that is normal through the MediaWiki interface. (Some time back it was discovered that a globally locked user could receive mail if they had email enabled, and so the Foundation quietly fixed that.)

And they do this arbitrarily, with no notice to the user, no warning, and they claim, no appeal possible. They ignore requests for review or to correct errors. It’s a lifetime ban of the person, not the account, and one person was banned with no account, banned by his real name.

Lenr-forum also bans users. For most bans, there is a fairly obvious reason, but occasionally, it’s personal and arbitrary and lenr-forum administration is opaque. But they cannot stop people from reading the site and commenting, and I’m not talking about creating sock puppets. Some time ago, I started occasionally commenting on lenr-forum, using This tool was designed for academic use, largely. Comment on any web site, and share the comments with a group or with the world. I highly recommend it for the possibilities. I have the tool installed in my browser, so I can add a comment anywhere, with no fuss or special log-in, and I can make it private or publish it.

So, some links:

All comments on (by anyone using

All my comments on lenr-forum

(at this point, both links return the same 116 comments. They are returned in reverse date order, so, as you can see, I made 7 comments recently.)

All my comments anywhere.

I just added new comments on a Shanahan post.

My ideal is better than your reality

Much criticism is based on this comparison between real-world expression and the critic’s ideas, which, of course, may be revised, ad hoc.

This extends far outside science. Our ideas of perfect morality may be, for example, compared with the real behavior of (some) formal members of a religion, as if this demonstrates the superiority of our religion (or our ideals) over the other.

Because there was only one major and relatively deep critique of the Fleischmann-Pons calorimetry, published in a mainstream journal, one debate where there was original publication, critique (by D.R.O. Morrison), and author response, last year I began a page hierarchy to study the debate. The original as-published documents are behind a pay-wall, so I used copies from, that were based on a copy of the Morrison critique from sci.physics.fusion, an internet newsgroup, an obsolete form similar to a mailing list.

I first observed the issue of paper integrity in that the FP paper was not identical to the copy, which is likely a copy supplied to that library by an author. That is routine for lenr-canr copies of journal-published papers, for copyright reasons. The changes seemed quite minor (I will check this again more thoroughly). But for no decent reason, I did not check the Morrison critique against the later as-published version, and because that as-published version is not widely available, I preferred to use a version that anyone could check against my copy.

And that was an error. I was then distracted by other business, and as continued participation in the review did not appear, I did not return to my study of the debate until yesterday. I started by completing the adding of URLs for references, and then began going over the Morrison paper. It was full of errors or non sequiturs, immature argument, etc. And I started to wonder how this had gotten past peer review. Journals do not necessarily review critiques as strongly as original papers, and I have seen blatant errors in such critiques. Ordinarily, it is left to the authors to correct such errors. In one case where a blatant error was left standing (the Shanahan review in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring), the error was so ridiculously bad that the authors and others responding completely missed it, instead focusing on Shanahan’s conclusion from his seriously defective analysis. Argument from conclusion, naughty, naughty!)

The Morrison document from the newsgroup had this at the top:
5th DRAFT – Scientific Comments Welcomed.

There were no serious responses to that post, threaded with it. (There were other responses that can be found with some searching, made more complicated by some very poor Google archiving practices, what they did when they took over the newsgroups. I will cover other responses (some of it is interesting) elsewhere.

What Morrison was doing was, in part, to be commended, he was putting his work out there for critique before final submission. However, by this time, the scientific community had become highly polarized, and serious discussion, what might be called collaborative critique, good scientific process, was often missing. It still is, too often. Morrison’s critique would be useful, even if “wrong” in this way or that, because what Morrison wrote would be what many would think, but not necessarily write.

I came back to this issue because I noticed a mention of my study on The remainder of this post is a detailed response to that. Continue reading “My ideal is better than your reality”