Total breakdown

If you are reading this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates, corrections, retractions, etc.

If Oliver Smith had, as a goal, thoroughly exposing the idiocy of RationalWiki — and to a lesser degree, also the WMF wikis — he couldn’t have done a better job.

From his own emails and comments on RationalWiki:

Oliver Smith claims

  • He made up the brother story years ago to get unblocked on Wikipedia.
  • He fed the story to many, fooling them. It was a joke, and funny as hell.
  • He lied to Tim Farley.
  • His real brother’s name is now being published. [It is!]
  • Yet his real brother isn’t involved at all. [Is he?]
  • Nobody is paid, that was all his deception.
  • He’s the victim of massive harassment.
  • And Lomax is crazy for declaring as possible the story that Oliver made up and repeated for many years.

Let’s take a look!

His emails to me — and my recent replies — are here.

A few days ago, I protected most pages dealing with Anglo Pyramidologist, requiring a password, which, for the time being ,will be revealed to those with a need to know.

Then, April 4, 2018,  I received an email from  Oliver Smith, from the known and verified email address for him, offering a “truce,” he would fix the RationalWiki article on me if I removed mention of him on my blog (and he sent the exact same oemail to Rome Viharo). I responded as can be seen there. I thanked Oliver for certain things and pointed out that improvement he proposed on RationalWiki would not address many of the problems created by the Smith brothers’ history, including perhaps the most serious (a massive sock and then cross-wiki canvassed attack on Wikiversity and Wikiversity users). I suggested simply telling the truth.

April 5, Debunking spiritualism attempted to edit the RW article on me to make it more about substantial subjects, but was — as I’d have predicted — promptly reverted.  He then wrote on the Talk page (archive copy of the page):

Proposed re-write

I re-wrote some sections, but they got reverted. I’ve spoken to Lomax by email, and he says he will no longer disrupt or make more articles on RationalWiki on his blog etc., if we just focus more on his cold fusion and try to more neutrally present his research on this. The problem is his page has been a battleground and much drama over his activities on wikis that are mostly irrelevant to RationalWiki – its main purpose is to document pseudoscience. I just think its sensible if we rewrite his article and the drama will end.Debunking spiritualism (talk) 21:46, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Wait? Who spoke to me by email? I was communicating with Oliver D. Smith, who was, until recently, ODS on RationalWiki. Many evidences from ODS pointed to his brother, Darryl L. Smith, as “DS.” Second problem, here, I never did disrupt RationalWiki, this was done by a series of impersonation socks. The user with an extensive history of similar impersonation would be DS, and it was almost certainly a sock of DS who wrote the article, and DS had been obsessively editing it. The page had not been a battleground except, briefly, impersonation socks vandalized it, pretending to be me.

While I have never ruled out the possibility of a third party impersonator, the impersonation patterns were those of the sock master I confronted on WMF wikis as “Anglo Pyramidologist,” and, with evidence and claims from Oliver, almost certainly his twin brother, Darryl. (AP, there, is both brothers — or Oliver Smith lied from the beginning, which he has now claimed.) The other possible troll would have had no interest at that time, and there was no cooperation from the Smiths that would have exposed the impersonations. No, Darryl was the impersonator. Or there is another possibility that arises here, and it’s remarkable. The whole thing was a lie and harassment targets were not the only ones impersonated.

This possibility aligns with the opinion of another critic of the Smiths: there is no brother, this is all one person, pretending to be two. To deal with what has been published, this requires one of two possibilities: (1) there is literally no brother, and the public record that purported to show that was fake, created by Oliver as a red herring, or (2) Darryl is silent, uninvolved.

The appearance here, given the emails to me, is that Oliver is Debunking spiritualism, who has carried on conversations with ODS and other Oliver socks, and this was all fake, deception. There is a more likely scenario, I’ll get to that. GrammarCommie, obviously believing in the tissue of lies created by the impersonator and the Smith editing, continues with

RationalWiki is objective not neutral. Furthermore this sounds like extortion to me, i.e. “do what I say or else I’ll harass you.” ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:49, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

What “sounds like extortion” is a story made up by DS. I have not threatened anyone with harassment. I have pointed out the obvious: what one writes on a wiki is public and open to examination and critique. I would not attempt to coerce anyone, and have not. But someone has done this, through the impersonation socks, pretending to be me. I have circumstantial evidence — not proof — that the harassment socks were “Anglo Pyramidologist.” Yet the RatWikians who show up in this present discussion obviously assume they were me. In fact, they were designed that way. They copied text from me, using names that someone naive might think I would use — I have no history of disruptive account socking — and then tacking in threats and accusations, or simple vandalism.

I actually proposed to re-write some of it. At the very least there’s been lots of mistakes & errors on the article. What I wrote was actually a lot more objective. I would invite Lomax here to correct things he has a problem with, but he’s already published a response on his blog and I went over it. He’s mostly telling the truth about his cold fusion research. It is misrepresented by the original article creator. Of course I’m not defending Lomax’s antics on wikis and other sites (he recently got blocked on the RW reddit section), but I think the article should more accurately present his cold fusion stuff.Debunking spiritualism (talk) 21:58, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I invited @Bongolian and a few others to discuss my edit.Debunking spiritualism (talk) 23:21, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Remarkable. “He’s mostly telling the truth about his cold fusion research.” Who was the original article creator? That creator complained about me and I was promoted (sysop tools removed) as a result. Then another obviously related user indef blocked me for “doxxing,” when I had not doxxed, another sock had, I had merely responded. This was all someone with long experience manipulating wiki communities, preying on the naive, ready to make knee-jerk assumptions that involve primitive models of human behavior.

The “response on my blog” that I wrote was months ago and the article changed a lot since then. What I suggested, with a declared sock, was that I be unblocked and I could then make suggestions on the Talk page. What DS proposes here — and that unblock — would be more or less standard for RW, as to how RW presents itself to the world on the Main Page. But the problem is far, far deeper than my article.

DS knows how and why I was blocked on the “RW Reddit section.” He complained to David Gerard, and it was immediately actioned. There, I had responded to a few blatant attack posts, by users who showed up only to make them, referring to RW articles of which they were likely the author. Someone has been abusing RW, for a long time, as a personal attack platform. (Looking at that now, I wondered how DS knows. Reddit does not show who is banned. I logged out, and a comment I made, visible when logged in,  now shows as “Removed.” This is the thread. My response was

RationalWiki is run by people apparently terrified of real discussion, believing in a mission that involves suppressing whatever they think is wrong and anyone not a true believer in their brand of skepticism. They pretened to be about rejecting authoritarianism. They lie.

If it’s a matter of correcting errors on RW, then, yes, this should be done. We should not however be put in a position of tone policing ourselves because of Lomax. I don’t think that Lomax is a trustworthy actor based on his past documented history here and elsewhere, and we should not cater to his whims. There is no possible guarantee that he could make that he will not continue his harassment on or off of RW. Bongolian (talk) 00:13, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

That “documented” history is full of misrepresentations and deceptions, most recently the massive impersonation socking on RW. Generally, aside from his acceptance of a load of deception, I’d agree with his position. However, there need be no binding guarantee, were I proposing some quid pro quo. Suppose, for simplicity, that the article were deleted. (That is not the most inspiring possibility!). And I committed to not writing about RationalWiki. Not that I would, mind you, I’m a journalist, but I do have choices about where to focus. If I violated my commitment, the article could simply be restored. If the agreement were public, there would be some actual misbehavior — a lack of integrity — to point to. It would take a minute to undelete the article.

These guys have little or no business experience or imagination. It’s hard to find good help. But this was all actually irrelevant, since I was not making or offering any guarantee, this was a Smith initiative, and the question arises, “Why now?”

Lomax wants some kind of deal where his lead is edited, and the cyber-harasser and troll is removed and the article accurately reflects his cold fusion research. Lomax had about 30 articles very negative about Rationalwiki users, some of these contained dox. He has now removed some those from public-view and they are password protected, but he is talking about contacting the media privately about his ban from Rationalwiki and Wikipedia. He says that is a possibility, he also says his obsession with all of this has damaged his health, I can believe that. He was writing thousands of words about this every-day, it was not normal.

I personally would have his RW article deleted, I actually voted delete in the deletion discussion. The whole thing has caused too much trouble here and these petty internet feuds with Lomax are messing with peoples lives. It would be better for everyone if this was all to just end. Obviously many people voted to keep his article so it will not be deleted but I don’t know if it is worth inviting him here to comment on what he wants changed on his article. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 00:28, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

How does he know what I want? Telepathy? He’d be evidence it doesn’t exist. But, yes, a focus on cold fusion would not be a problem, if that’s considered worthy of an article.  The only “dox” was, eventually, long after being “banned” for doxxing, the names of the Smith brothers. RW articles, written by the brothers, routinely dox targets…. Oliver apparently just created an article on Michael Coombs on Wrongpedia that gives the address of Coombs’ mother, with no excuse other than a suggestion she could be harassed because he visits home sometimes.

DS showed up to comment in that deletion discussion months after it closed. It was pointed out how odd it was for him to show up and vote delete for an article that he was obviously obsessively editing. At a certain point I began to emphasize “Darryl L. Smith,” because I was realizing that it was likely that most actual damage, in many areas, was coming from that brother. Maybe he was realizing that he had attempted character assassination on a target who can defend himself. And there is more.

If Lomax permanently removed and deletes all the negative commentary about Rationalwiki on his cold fusion community blog and decides to move on with his life, is it possible his article could be deleted? This might not be policy but is it not possible to arrange some kind of deal like this? Both parties would win at the end of the day and people could move on with their lives. Several users have been doxed by Lomax on his blog so all this is having real life consequences. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 00:34, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
@Rimuru Tempest, @Readymade, @Christopher @David Gerard your thoughts about the above? Debunking spiritualism (talk) 00:39, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

I know RationalWiki reasonably well. This proposal had no chance of success as stated.

First of all, who is feeling “real life consequences?” There would be one class of such: the targets of many articles created by the crazy duo, and fewer by articles created by other RatWikians. Almost all RatWiki users are fully anonymous. Oliver and Darryl Smith are only not anonymous because they were so massively disruptive in so many fora that they attracted a great deal of attention. The first three pinged are anonymous, to my knowledge, and would not care personally about this. David Gerard probably believes he is completely secure. He might be, the legal theory on which I might sue him is thin. But it doesn’t really cost a lot to try. RW is a more inviting target, and RW actually has raised money on the idea that they need it for legal defense. RW, however, is not yet on the hook, there is due process that remains first.

The only two actually feeling consequences — or simply fearing them — would be Oliver and Darryl Smith. But they are not appealing based on the truth. I’m not sure what the point of this exercise was. It seems that DS wants to maintain the myth of “Abd harassing multitudes all over the internet,” while shutting down attention on himself and his brother. They created that myth, creating evidence for it (such as the Reddit ban, simply a decision probably by Gerard — though there is another moderator), just as they created the WMF ban by canvassing for complaints, all visible if anyone looks.

Let me put it this way: Fuck no!!! We will not cave in to every halfassed crank that suddenly decides that they’ve “reformed”. that is the very definition of whitewashing. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:43, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Sure. But what “halfassed crank” has “suddenly decided” that he has “reformed”? The DS narrative, backed as it is by several months of bombarding RW with impersonation socks, is accepted, whole hog.

I think he has delusions of self-grandeur if he thinks “the media” will be interested in his petty squabbles and persecution complex. Password-protecting his doxing is not a particularly conciliatory action in my view: this is basically an admission that he has been a harasser. I invite other moderators @CheeseburgerFace, @Christopher, @CowHouse, @DiamondDisc1, @LeftyGreenMario, as well as the semi-active: @David Gerard to comment. Bongolian (talk) 00:48, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

The story as they would imagine it would not be of interest to the media. Did I mention the media? If I file an action, I would probably create a press release, and an organization might be involved. The main show would be an action against the WikiMedia Foundation, with RationalWiki being a minor player.

I never indicated the password protection as “conciliatory.” It was explained here.

Until this point, all my work was public, my research notes were public. “Going dark” means creating access security, as I work with legal issues, counsel, and develop necessary resources, until a final report is created and action taken. It is tempting to explain more thoroughly, but I’m resisting that. They can guess but they won’t know until this hits them.

The ordinary RW users probably have nothing to fear, it’s not worth going after useless basement-dwellers and twits and anti-crank cranks (and a handful of sincere and perhaps genuine skeptics), but RW itself might see some action, that depends on how they respond to challenges. This is a matter for RMF legal, not ordinary users, and they need not consider it.

I don’t think we should whitewash his past. If he shows signs of a changed man for over 5 years, we can add that to the article and perhaps give him a nicer writeup.—♥€h33s3βurg3rF@€3♥ Spinning-Burger.gif (talk • stalk) 03:15, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

I think he’s clueless. I have not suggested, nor would I suggest, “whitewashing” my past. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but he and RatWiki in general have no clue what that is. They have believed a story invented by the Smith brothers, and intensely marketed through impersonation socking. Even as it becomes completely obvious that these brothers are liars and highly deceptive. To accept that, they would need to become skeptical of their own ideas and reactions. Which would make them genuine skeptics. Some of them would rather die first.

On second thought, why are we even covering Internet drama? We care about woo. I was under the impression that we don’t cover Internet drama for anyone on this website.—♥€h33s3βurg3rF@€3♥ Spinning-Burger.gif (talk • stalk) 03:18, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Indeed. My answer for him: RW is covering internet drama because it allowed the Twin Queens of Internet Drama to create hundreds of sock puppets on RationalWiki (probably an understatement) to create articles that were intrinsically attack and revenge and fanaticism, it enabled them and protected them against exposure, opped them and encouraged them, because those who are loudest rueing Teh Drama often do the most to create it and enjoy it. DS here was proposing to focus on woo and alleged pseudoscience, which was, indeed, missional. But the Mob loves Drama! And it cares nothing about truth and careful and thorough research, but only wants to react to the latest hue and cry.

It is the opposite of rational thinking, so RW has a foundational contradiction. Snark is an appeal to quick reaction, and snark is policy on RW. It appeals to the immature. It’s fun. RW is not my problem. However, where the site and its defacto policies create an “attractive nuisance,” there can be consequences.

Honestly, after looking into all of this stuff I’m not so sure we can just throw it under the rug. I agree with Cheeseburger on this, let him show he decided to change through his actions and others will begin to see better of him. Let us not forget what we do here at RW.
Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:
1.Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
2.Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
3.Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
4.Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.Rimuru TempestRimuru Slime.png 03:40, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

What I notice is a massive confusion of conflicting ideas. If the article were objective, there would simply be no question. If facts alleged in the article were backed by sources that actually confirm the claim, or that are not simply cherry-picked from a vast corpus of work, if conclusions stated in the article could be challenged and discussed with someone knowledgeable (i.e., the article subject if the subject is willing), the issue of “change” would be irrelevant. The thinking here is high-school, as if I were some juvenile critically concerned about how people see me, and whining “But I’ve changed.” If I did any such whining, please point it out, so I can stomp on it. I change all the time, I hope I will continue to change until I die, but I am responsible for all of it.

All this discussion was based on the thinking of a deranged Smith brother, his imaginary presentation of what I supposedly wrote to him, that I didn’t. The full emails are on that page from the recent correspondence.

focusing on each and every crank rather than the ideas they espouse is such a waste of time and energy. Anyways, if this Lomax fellow is vandalizing the article, just lock it down–“Shut upBrx.”02:33, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

That’s RatWiki. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Especially on RatWiki. “If this Lomax fellow is vandalizing . . . .” Well, is he? Brx is two clicks away from seeing the history, but the RW cry is “Don’t confuse me with facts!” I never vandalized the article. I edited the article once only, in October 2017. The edit stuck. The short period of editing by socks with my name on them were not me. It’s reasonably obvious who they were, because the behavior is quite old, oft-repeated, long before I was ever involved, and only one person would be interested at that point.

I stumbled across his site at one point, didn’t think much of it, I kept scrolling down and I saw my name of his “Enablers and Supporter” claiming he was working on a draft of me. Idk what he is or was going to write (as he seems to have password blocked it) but after reading a few things of his I think now see him in a worse light than I did at first. I don’t know why he put me on one of his pages and made it seem like I told him “The Christian God is the real God and not Allah” but seeing what he said about everyone I wont really believe him unless he actually shows a change and apologized to those who he attacked. I’m not going to hold a grudge with him but he needs to show we can trust him.リムルテンペストRimuru Slime.png 04:01, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Enablers and Supporters is a page to describe how the AP socks have managed to effectively abuse wikis and sites, and RationalWiki in particular. He doesn’t say what I wrote, it wasn’t anything like what I wrote. He was attacked by impersonation socks and believed they were me. He didn’t ask me. But he did respond to my question about a sock who impersonated him here.

To apologize for an “attack,” I’ll need to have a reference to the attack. Documenting what an account has done is not an attack. If it is, then is Rimuru  acknowledging that RationalWiki articles are “attacks”? Does he and other RatWikians believe that anyone on the internet is fair game for documentation, but RatWikians? “Supporters and Enablers” would actually  be a compliment if what was supported and enabled is laudable!

His report is weird. The main page shows blog posts, but all the AP and related documentation is pages, used for information and studies. There is a sidebar with Pages, which lists all of them. He would see the page hierarchy, which is RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist/Supporters and Enablers, and the subpages with certain people where there are notes. All my page work is “studies.” If he was able to see the S&E page, he’d have seen, in the TOC,

Rimuru Tempest subpage (draft, not yet published)

Some of the above have been added from a narrow suspicion, and S&E may be inadvertent or ignorant or otherwise

Further down the page, there was his name and a link to his RW contributions. That was all. What does this have to do with “Christian God” and “Allah”? In any case, I looked at the draft page and published it so that Rimuru Tempest may comment on it if he chooses. It is just some notes with a little speculation. Nothing to call a lawyer over, in fact, calling that page an “attack” would be just plain crazy. Perhaps I might flesh out the subpage, except I have a hundred things to do more worthwhile at this point.

An apology and even a website wipe won’t be enough to have us remove what he has done with the past. He remains responsible for any harm he has done and he will learn the consequences of being a little less than an unpleasant piece of work. I’m not holding any grudges, but this person will have to do quite a bit to make up for all the the trouble he has caused. –It’s-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 05:41, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

The issue here is belief not founded in fact. What trouble did I cause and how? I did not create the AP sock farm, I didn’t even hear about it until September, 2017. 200 socks on Wikipedia, and then, I began to discover, many more even there that aren’t documented, they are quietly blocked. At one point an AP sock claimed to be running RatWiki, having created 700 socks. That might not actually be an exaggeration.

What harm have I done? Any specifics? I can say exactly what harm has been done by AP socks, and it will become far more visible over the next few months. The waste of time on RatWiki from the impersonation socks I certainly did not create. But RatWiki is not actually that important to me.

You have two users lying to you, here on this RW Talk page, and it’s easy to see if you look, and you don’t care. You win the prize, you have to live with the mess.

Any actual inaccuracies should obviously be removed, but don’t cave in to his threats and don’t remove information about what he’s done in the past just because he claims to have changed. Christopher (talk) 08:15, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Again, all this discussion was founded on claims from DS. Nobody seems to suspect the accuracy of his report. This was all radically confused. I have not claimed to have “changed.” I shifted tactics, that’s all.

Since this affair began, AP socks called the studies I was doing — merely listing accounts on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and meta (mostly checkuser-identified) — “Lies,” but never pointed to any specifics. If I have erred, I always appreciate correction, and I don’t hide my past. I learn from it.

I have made no threats. There were threats made by impersonation socks. By “cave in,” Christopher would be referring to threats of harm if one doesn’t do what is demanded, i.e., coercion. I hate coercion. What was demanded by me? (There were demands by impersonation socks.)

I would appreciate making the changes Debunking spiritualism made to the article. I’m someone Lomax smeared and doxed on his blog. He’s since removed nearly everything and is happy to stop this feud if we make amendments. There are clearly inaccuracies, just like Lomax writing lies and hearsay about people on his blog, so it would help to correct/remove the misrepresentations, errors, poorly sourced content and mistakes from Lomax’s article. Agent47 (talk) 22:43, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Agent47 is obviously Oliver D. Smith. Early on, the AP message was that documentation of AP socking was a “vendetta” or “feud.” It was Oliver who actually emailed me, not DS … if they are different. I did hide material, and I didn’t reject Oliver’s offer, but thought that he would not be able to deliver unless he revealed the truth about the history. His comments here show that he was keeping up the story that I was lying, even while pretending to advocate some reasonable action to do what he imagined would “settle the feud.” I have some sympathy, because the truly vicious behavior was probably not him, probably his brother … but he’s completely insane, this comes out. He demonstrates that no matter how we slices it, he lied or he is lying. Why? That’s what gets interesting.

Perhaps @Debunking spiritualism could write a short synopsis here of each correction along with a supporting reference for each correction, then we can move forward. Bongolian (talk) 23:11, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Sensible. There is actually a better way, I saw used on Wikipedia. A rewrite in user space, to be then compared with the standing article. May the better article win! and then the better might still have some content merged from the old. But it might all be a waste if I demand take-down from the RMF, which is under consideration. If the article were actually improved with a plan for keeping it that way, I might not demand take-down. Criticism of cold fusion research is normal, expected, and actually appreciated. However, I just looked at the article. It is heavily designed to defame, full of appeals to knee-jerk assumptions, single incidents conflated to an alleged long-term pattern, and other niceties that afflict far too many RW articles.

RW is full of articles created by this team. One of them has claimed the other is paid (“to the best of his knowledge”) by a major skeptical organization. It’s plausible, and the other has hinted at the same, and then this all starts to get very ugly.

And then this, together with the actual emails, takes the cake:

Lomax email

The above attempted re-writes or deletions requests is because of Lomax blackmailing, coercing and harassing RW users – so like myself we want the option of being left alone by this nutcase. Below is a harassing email I’ve just received. Lomax believes I have a brother involved in this website, I don’t. That’s the “smith brother conspiracy theory” he’s obsessed with. Aside from this misinformation and conspiracy theory, he claims to be taking legal action. But note how rude and aggressive this old prick is:

If I don’t want RW to have an article on me, my recourse is with the RMF. I did email them, they ignored it (not surprising). Next step is a certified letter, a formal demand.

You and your brother have lied so extensively about me and what I was doing, and created such a widespread mess, that the only way to undo it is probably to come completely clean, and openly acknowledge what you know, in a way that is verifiably you. Otherwise it would be considered impersonation. That is the mess you and your brother have created.

You complained to the WMF. What did you complain about? That is not going to be a privileged communication, it’s vulnerable to subpoena.

I don’t think you realize how difficult it could be to undo the damage you and your brother have done. Having a sysop account is largely meaningless on RW. Any user, generally, can rewrite an article. I could rewrite may article. But would it stick? The two of you have created a myth that the RW community believes, demonstrating how naive and gullible they are.

All those vandalizing socks on RationalWiki, copying my text, twisting it, and vandalizing with it, who were they?

David Gerard only acts when he has cover. He is, after all, real-name and vulnerable to defamation suits.

And it appears that it will be coming to that.

I basically retract my claims above. There are no inaccuracies on the article, its just that Lomax has threatened us and doxed our family members etc, that people want a way out of this dispute and some of us were prepared to give in to his demands and whitewash the article. I’ve changed my mind and won’t be further doing this. I don’t see this guy stopping his harassment, he’ll probably end up getting a restraining order against him, or sectioned under a mental health act. Agent47 (talk) 02:02, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

What claims is he retracting? His lies and misrepresentations? Who is “us”? The documentation has all been about Oliver D. and Darryl L. Smith, twin brothers, long ago (2011) tagged and blocked on Wikipedia as “Anglo Pyramidologist.” Oliver was much better known outside of Wikipedia, and many of those confronting this monster sock drawer have focused on him. Even where Darryl was mentioned, it was almost as a footnote. What shifted with my involvement was shining the disinfectant light on Darryl.

Because of this claim above, I have published the entire email set. What I wrote was not sent to Oliver D. Smith to harass him, at all. It was a response to his mail.

It was assertive, not aggressive. It did not threaten. Oliver Smith published, on RationalWiki, the WMF response to his complaint, so I know he complained. From what he has written about me and others, and from what I know I was actually doing, I can reasonably suspect that he misrepresented the truth (and he has done this with many others, getting web sites taken down, he got the mother of an enemy fired with a harassing email to her employer, and the only thing keeping him out of a U.K. prison is police inertia, which then takes coordinated action to move. Tim Farley, years ago, showed how it was done. And, by the way, I do not consider Tim Farley an enemy, and attacks on Tim Farley on RW were by impersonation socks. The Smith brothers attempt to stir up enmity, to get supposed enemies of their targets angry and to arouse them to attack their target. It’s really an amazing strategy, particularly considering how well it worked in various venues.

So I’m warning him that more lying isn’t going to help. His response: more lies — or, amazingly, his claim that he was lying previously, as if somehow that’s going to prove that those exposing him are wrong. Look how he fooled them with his lies! The stupids!

Will RationalWikians see this and realize how they have been taken for fools? I’m not betting either way. But there is more. He didn’t quote, of course, his own claims, though he refers to them with his “smith brothers conspiracy theory” rant. I will not be so shy. Quoting from his last email to me.

Ask Rome Viharo to see the last email I sent him. There is no brother. I’ve just had fun misleading people, like yourself stalking me as have other RW sysops who have tried to protect their identities. It’s a problem though that you would target and dox an innocent family member of mine, based on this. Ask Viharo to see the full email, or I can post it here later. The ” smith brother” conspiracy theory is a joke.

No, if he is not lying, he created the theory as a joke, and now is disliking the consequences. But does he claim up by telling the truth, the whole truth? No. And what he says is internally contradictory and requires a long-term conspiracy, and, in particular, a compliant brother who doesn’t blow the whistle on this. There are only two “family members” involved in what has been published by me (and by Rome Viharo): Oliver and Darryl. If there is no brother, who, then, is the “innocent family member”?

He has extensively attacked Mikemikev for publishing a page, apparently from a public record, showing the names of inhabitants for a certain house in the U.K., as doxxing his family, giving the “address,” which is a road, with no street number (apparently a rural road, so mail would go to the name on that road). As it was, technically.

Doxxing at that level, per se, is not necessarily illegal, but if it can be considered harassment, it can be subject to prosecution. Briefly, I had the text from that public record on the Identity page here. I redacted that immediately, but the Smith brothers continued to insist that I was doxxing the family. Here, Oliver Smith is claiming that he was lying back in 2011, and then further in his edits to RW referring to DS as his brother, and in prior emails to me (where he blamed “most of the socks” on his brother.” (Those are published on that same page.)

Just a little joke! Heh! Whatsa matta? Can’t take a joke?

Debunking spiritualism is, on the face, an anti-parapsychology fanatic (not actually a skeptic, “fanatic skeptic” is actually an oxymoron), easily identified by his editing patterns and interests, as what I, for a time, called AP/D, probably also Goblin Face on Wikipedia, and others. But this is all called into question by Oliver’s new claims. I do not assume that someone is lying, in any particular instance, because even liars tell the truth on occasion.

I’m not really interested in you complaining about lies, since all you’ve done is lie about me. You’re currently writing all sorts of nonsense and smears about me on Wikipedia sucks on the bizarre mikemikev section on your blog. I’ve never in my life been to Birkbeck college, I never studied at London University and never have been a “white nationalist”. Also, I don’t live close to Birkbeck. None of the accounts you claim are me are mine, but mikemikev.

I wasn’t “complaining about lies.” I was telling him that his lies have consequences. Oliver is either simply lying, or incapable of understanding the difference between a statement of suspicion and allegation. I never claimed he had been to Birkbeck college. It was simply a suspicion, and it would only take one trip, a little outing, on one day, to then create an impression that anyone editing from Birkbeck on certain topics was Mikemikev. Read the SPI reports!

“White nationalist,” a term which Oliver tosses around casually about others, is not a fact but an interpretation, a judgment, and Oliver was a supporter of the BNP, it’s easy to see his Metapedia comments. He claims that those were impersonations of him. Fine. Did he let those impersonations stand, or did he document and disclaim them? Those are matters of fact or evidence.

He is calling “lies” what arises from his own interpretations. The “mikemikev” section is a subpage of a review of a blog post on Hatewatch, where the RW article on Mikemikev was used as a source to make claims about problems with Wikipedia socking.  So I looked at the Mikemikev Wikipedia Sock puppet investigations page and reviewed it. It’s quite long, and my impression is — unverified — that Mikemikev did sock extensively on Wikipedia, originally, but that, later, impersonation socks appeared, and that is a known AP pattern, to take a blocked target and impersonate them, to ramp up enmity toward the target, and that is exactly what has been done with me on RationalWiki: many disruptive socks, using my names or ready associations.

Someone is impersonating me. Who? Default hypothesis: the same person as the one who impersonated a user on Wikipedia in order to arouse attack on his work on Wikiversity. I had assumed the brother Darryl, the one with a long-term declared interest in “spiritualism,” etc., whereas Oliver had settled on other topic areas, such as racism and fascism. Now Oliver is claiming that it’s all him. There is an obvious suspicion to report.

Also the impersonation claims are bizarre, considering Mikemikev has impersonated me all over the internet including at Metapedia. I closed my account, it was then reopened to impersonate me with a false accusation of having schizophrenia. This is proven if you bothered to actually view the logs.

I’m not sure how one “closes an account” on a wiki. I think Oliver claimed to have spiked the password, and if you do this with email turned off, access is lost. Very much, this is not recommended! Anyone with a sufficiently high privilege level can “fix” the problem. Oliver has just set up an extensive task which would take hours. I did review his Metapedia contributions, and some, at least, of the logs. On the face, he would be claiming that there is evidence for what he is now claiming. It should, then, take a few minutes at most for him to point to the logs that I could allegedly examine. I’m not going to go digging through ancient refuse for something that actually matters very little. His Metapedia history is merely ironic, at most. I pointed out that he disclaimed it.

The claim of schizophrenia appears in a number of places. Given what I have seen of his behavior, by email, it’s plausible. Certainly something is radically off in what he is displaying, in the emails and on RationalWiki and elsewhere.

“Proven” is language used by believers, not by genuine skeptics, outside of narrow circumstances. There is a lost performative. Something is “proven” by a claimant to the satisfaction of a judge, an observer. It does not exist in the evidence itself. Evidence is used in a proof. Language around this can be sloppy, though. In this case, the claim and the proof exist only in Oliver’s mind. He could change that, with clear communication, but he doesn’t do “clear communication.” He just makes wild claims, asserted as fact, even when the evidence which he sometimes cites is more contradictory than confirming, when read carefully.

He depends on wiki users not caring to undertake that careful examination, but, too often, reasoning from conclusions, i.e., the conclusions stated match their own assumptions or prejudices, so they accept the claims.

I also find it mind boggling that you dispute Mikemikev is an online nazi.

I haven’t. Smith’s inability to interpret sane text is remarkably poor. He is probably referring to my comment a few days earlier, referring to what he had written that Mikemikev had written to him.

Mikemikev is cute, eh? I have little problem with his being called a racist, he may qualify, but … I just found a bio of him and I will be reviewing it. I have had no communication with Mikemikev. However, your brother is lying about him admitting to all those socks. That was obviously not what he meant.

The Wrongpedia attack on Mikemikev and his mother is beyond the pale. So you are continuing your rampage. Or is someone deviously impersonating you on RatWiki?

Where does this “dispute” the claim? Smith apparently sees everything as a dispute or argument or feud. and lack of agreement — or in this case, weak agreement — is seen as crazy opposition, as if it is necessary for me to believe what he believes or I am the enemy. Whoever has been behind all the AP mess for many years does apparently think like that. They are intellectual fascists, who is not loyal to the Cause is an enemy.

your emails are being ignored by the RationalWiki foundation, I was told this.

Far out. Told by whom? In this affair, what has appeared is something long obvious to many, but denied by some. There is a cabal. In my attempt to raise the attention of the Arbitration Committe to the issue of de-facto coordinated editing by a faction — which was actually obvious from the evidence I presented — the Committee reprimanded me by claiming I had not presented evidence of policy violations. But the problem was that this did not violate policy, unless there was off-wiki coordination. It happens through watchlist patterns. However, what has become much more visible since is that there is off-wiki coordination, so policy is being violated. And that is tolerated, and why? I find that an interesting question.

(My solution to the “cabal” problem  would be not to ban cabals, but to actually encourage and identify them and to then regulate activity. It is a soluble problem, but not if the very existence of the problem is denied. Wikipedia got stuck in the idea that it could and should ban “POV-pushing,” which is what cabals do. That then made the attainment of genuine consensus probably impossible. To find consensus — which is powerful and self-maintaining — requires all parties to be at the table. This is all basic organizational understanding that was unclear to a naive Wikipedia community, mostly composed, early on, of computer techies. Not academics.)

So Oliver suggested that I contact Rome Viharo. He provided me with his correspondence with Oliver, so I added it to the Oliver D. Smith email archive here. The story is mind-Boglin.

The emails of

To repeat what I wrote above: Oliver Smith claims

  • He made up the brother story years ago to get unblocked on Wikipedia.
  • He fed the story to many, fooling them. It was a joke, and funny as hell.
  • He lied to Tim Farley.
  • His real brother’s name is now being published.
  • Yet his real brother isn’t involved at all.
  • Nobody is paid, that was all his deception.
  • He’s the victim of massive harassment.
  • And Lomax is crazy for declaring as possible the story that Oliver made up and repeated for many years.

Sometimes the truth, when it is incomplete, can appear implausible. However, Occam’s razor, here, indicates that he is now lying through his teeth, but why?

It’s obvious: His brother is pissed, Oliver shot off his mouth far too much, and his actual family is putting pressure on him, because it is indeed a possibility that the brother could be harmed.

Someone did the impersonation socking on Wikipedia, which was illegal, and Darryl might be in hot water over that, or might fear it. So Oliver, who was not being paid to engage in all this crap, and could more readily walk away, decides to take the rap, but without admitting what was illegal (the impersonation socking, for starters). Nice. Will he perjure himself if deposed? Inquiring minds want to know.

If the brother is actually “innocent,” my advice for him would be the same as I gave Oliver months ago when he was claiming his brother had been the sock master: tell the truth, the whole truth, reveal what you know, or stand as equally responsible. At that point he denied knowing what his brother was up to, even though any warm body could see it from miles away, if it simply looked.

Defamation may be remediated by full disclosure, sometimes. Legally, it’s their best shot.

 

 

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impersonation books

These books, on lulu.com, impersonate favorite-target authors and attack other favorite targets of the Smiths.

The first to be seen by me was Abd Ul Rahman Lomax Internet Troll, archived  19 Mar 2018 23:22:40 UTC. The promotional image was a photoshop of an obese man, almost naked, with my face pasted on. Content was the RationalWiki article on me. The author was an impersonation of a long-term target of Darryl L. Smith, but also occasionally attacked by Oliver D. Smith.

Tim Farley and Wikipedia War (first archived ) author impersonates Rome Viharo, with a photoshop of a naked obese man given the face of Tim Farley (well-known skeptic), suspected by Rome Viharo of involvement with paid editing on Wikipedia. (I have not seen anything more than weak circumstantial evidence of this, and Tim Farley is not a target for my investigations.) Content is the RationalWiki article on Rome Viharo. Obviously Rome Viharo would not write and post this. A fake reviewer shows up to blame the book on me, pretending to be “Bill Connors,” a RationalWiki syop [sic] .

Rome Viharo Pseudoscience Crank author impersonates Craig Weiler as author, with a photoshop of Rome Viharo into cartoon of Donald Trump. Content is RationalWiki article on Rome Viharo. (Craig Weiler is a long-time target of Darryl L. Smith.) Same fake sysop showed up.

On RationalWiki yesterday, a troll appeared, Stop this now. The edits:

A page was also created by this user, Http://www.lulu.com/shop/craig-weiler/rome-viharo-pseudoscience-crank/ebook/product-23567980.html (Bongolian deleted)

The sock master has been focusing on Readymade, GrammarCommie, Cosmikdebris, and RoninMachbeth, see impersonations commenting on the Supporters and Enablers page and Comments (where most comments were moved). He is harassing those users in the apparent belief that they will then think it is me. And trying to harass me because he may think I will be angry with them. He’d have to be really stupid or insane. Probably the latter, there is plenty of evidence for this.

Stop this now accused Readymade, GrammarCommieCosmikdebris, and RoninMacbeth of creating the books, which is contradictory and preposterous to boot. On the Saloon bar, Stop this now pointed to the Craig Weiler impersonation and that “Rome Viharo and abd are being targeted by Rationalwiki users.”

That is the Darryl Smith talking point, the standard straw man argument. A number of RationalWiki users have been, at times, complicit (“Supporters and Enablers“) but only two users are suspected of “targeting” people, and that would be Oliver D. Smith (most recent identified sock, ODS) and his twin brother (this is openly confirmed by Oliver), Darryl L. Smith, current account: Debunking spiritualism. While there is still Oliver Smith involvement (the photoshopping of me in the first book was taken from a comment he posted on forum.encyclopediadramatica.rs, archived within a minute and posted by ODS on RatWiki within a couple of minutes), the massive, over-the-top socking, including impersonation socking, has been a long-term Darryl Smith device.

This has become completely and totally obvious. I do reserve as an alternate hypothesis that someone else is attempting to defame the Smiths and RationalWiki here. There have been sock allegations here that it was mikemikev. However, those same allegations were made before, by a checkusered sock that was certainly Darryl. Implausible.

If some RationalWiki users want to keep their heads in the sand, I’d suggest shutting up about this. They’ll get sand in your mouth.

Pseudoskeptics are classically lazy. They want to make snarky conclusions about anomalies, unusual phenomena, without actually doing the work. In this case, I have heavily documented what eventually led me to my conclusions about Oliver D. and Darryl L. Smith. It’s verifiable, and if any part of it is not, I’m available for questions. Many genuine skeptics have complained about the infection of the skeptical movement by “debunkers,” who are more interested in ad hominem arguments than science.

I never before encountered aggressive and abusive socking like this. But then again, I didn’t know about Dennis Markuze which was linked by a sock impersonating him here. (Totally preposterous, like all these impersonations. But preposterous socking worked on Wikipedia to get the targets attacked.) There is a page by Tim Farley that tells the story of how he was busted. Lots of complaints finally got the police to act. The Smith brothers have been depending on police inaction.

That page by Farley was fascinating. He did what I’m now doing, documented the activity … and then filed complaints and worked with others filing complaints. The only difference: Markuze was a religious fanatic, and the Smiths became fanatic “skeptics” and “anti-fascists.” The behavior is essentially hatred, acted out.

Finding more books:

Eleonóra Dubiczki Rightpedia author impersonates Junius Thaddeus, harassment target of Oliver D. Smith. First archived 17 Mar 2018 19:17:24 UTC

Mikemikev Rightpedia Neo Nazi author impersonates Junius Thaddeus, harassment target of Oliver D. Smith. First archived 

I may write an actual book on this affair…. Why not?

Meanwhile, there is a list of favorite targets. Taking a look:

 

Wikilegal libel study

If you see this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates and possible corrections. These are research notes, as are many pages on this blog.

I have been libelled by the WikiMedia Foundation, by the issuance of a global ban with no foundation in fact, apparently based on private complaints considered valid without any opportunity to respond. The WMF appears to think that issuing a global ban with no explanation protects them from liability for libel. However, they have claimed that global bans are issued only rarely, for exceptional cases, to protect the community. The fact of the ban is being used as an element in a series of defamations, by a person known to be one of the complainers. I believe that I have sufficient cause, based on this, for action to require the WMF to lift the ban or to provide evidence, and specifically the complaint mails or other evidence and arguments considered by them. I need not prove libel to file an action, as long as the legal theory on which the filing is based is possibly valid. Here, I’m looking at information sites and cases that might relate to this issue.

As to the WMF, the primary claim would be for libel, from the global ban issuance. For a libel claim, the restrictions of the TOS on the liability, and court jurisdiction for action against the WMF may not apply.

As to the RationalWiki Foundation, a different legal theory might apply, it’s more difficult. My sense from what I have seen is that the RWF will take down defamatory material on demand, unless they see it as mission-critical. I did already email them, they ignored it. (and there is a claim from Oliver D. Smith that he was told this was deliberate. So the next step would be a certified demand letter to the registered agent.)

In all cases, as I understand the matter, communications from users of these web sites are not privileged and would be subject to discovery, and users are not protected from defamation for actions they take, the protections of Section 230 are for removal of material, not for provision of it.

Libel_case_against_Wikimedia_Foundation_dismissed

As a minor point, the Wikinews article has, at the very end:

The Register has a long history of denigrating Wikimedia projects.

That is an obvious neutrality violation. The preceding text fails to distinguish between reporting and editorializing. The Register source was an editorial by Cade Metz, not “the Register.” This what you get when amateurs are given collective control. They play at journalism. In any case, the Register article is excellent.

Memorandum of law in support of motion to dismiss

47 U.S. Code § 230 – Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material

isp-liability-for-internet-defamation looks good. (those who post defamation may be held liable. The liability of the ISP may vary with context and conditions. It’s looking to me like it might take a court order to force this, if the ISP is merely inactive. But if it takes a positive step that has the effect of defamation, it could become liable.

the-decline-and-fall-of-section-230/ is a gold mine to be carefully studied.

At this point, this is the bottom line. There is sufficient case law that it may be possible for an action for libel to survive a motion to dismiss, and a motion to dismiss will still require expenditure by the defendant. That would not allow the filing of a frivolous suit without associated hazards. If the cause of action is reasonably plausible, it need not be bulletproof to be effective for remediation purposes.

Further, the law does not protect the individuals who defamed, nor is the WMF or the RWF likely to defend them. The impersonation socking I have been describing has known individuals as perpetrators, very likely, and I do have evidence that can be used, and more evidence can be obtained lawfully. I will continue to study the case law and analysis.

(The issues with involved individuals, the WMF, and the RMF, are distinct and different.)

https://law.stackexchange.com/a/6822 confirms user liability, and site owner is protected if they take the libel down. That’s my understanding of Section 230. They cannot maintain the defense of “the community did it” in the face of a specific claim of defamation, unless they take it down. By taking an action on their own judgment, they become liable for defamation, if the action defames. I expect the WMF will argue that the action was needed for user protection, but that argument, given the facts, is false, and, more directly, the defamation involved in a global ban is unnecessary for protection. If they formally notified the user that they are prohibited from editing, and the user violates that, this would be a TOS violation, and it would then allow the use of the global lock tool and public announcement. The banned user would still have a right to see defamatory claims (the evidence considered), for possible action against those who  may have defamed.

At this point, I don’t know if this has been tested anywhere. Untested legal theories, if plausible, can make for actions that will survive summary judgment.

http://www.adlexsolicitors.co.uk/internet-defamation.htm focuses on UK law (some actions related to the issues may be filed in U.K. courts). They suggest a first response is a “lawyer letter.” Legally, a demand letter does not require a lawyer, in my opinion, but such a letter is more likely to be taken seriously. My interest will be that such letters be legally sufficient to put a site operator — or an individual — on notice that their behavior is defamatory, so that they may take remedial action, and if such action is reasonably prompt, it may allow, then, the “service provider” protection to be effective.

https://seqlegal.com/blog/10-things-you-should-know-about-libel again focuses on the UK.

This is handy.

Wikimedia Foundation
c/o CT Corporation System
818 West Seventh StreetLos Angeles, California 90017
legal@wikimedia.org

and then

Business ID#: 4330247 Status: Active
Entity Name: THE RATIONALWIKI FOUNDATION, INC. Standing: Good Standing
Entity Type: Domestic Nonprofit Corporation Domestic State: New Mexico
Statute Law Code: 53-8-1 to 53-8-99
Mailing Address:
122 GIRARD SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
Principal Place of Business in New Mexico:
122 GIRARD SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Character Of Affairs: Operating sites RationalWiki.org and EvolutionWiki.org and related.

Director Information

  • David Gerard: 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Aidan Bissell-Siders, 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Eric Doe 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Simon Peter Hughes 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Officer Information

  • Chief Operating Officer:Trent Toulouse 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Chief Executive Officer:Huw Powell 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

08/04/2010 Certificate Of Incorporation THE RATIONALWIKI FOUNDATION, INC. 3 PAGES PERPETUAL 08/05/2010 893489

The RationalWiki article on the Foundation lists current directors as:

Below is mostly dicta.

There is a discrepancy. Huw Powell (RW User:Human) is not listed by New Mexico as a Director, but as the CEO. Openly real name. Human’s  edits to the John Fuerst article seemed designed to improve it (toward objectivity). As a board member, does Powell know about the deliberate lack of response to a complaint email, as claimed by Oliver Smith? Maybe I’ll ask him. Not the most urgent task on my list. Human has almost entirely stopped editing RW for the last six months.

David Gerard is, of course, David Gerard. Interesting that someone who has supported the libellers — generally indirectly and possibly maintaining plausible deniability , but quickly actioning requests — is on the Board. The claim of the RMF is that it does not make content decisions, but if Board members are active members with high privilege, and use that privilege, this is disingenuous. The RMF does, in fact, make content decisions, I’ve seen at least one page deletion made as official, with warnings to users not to restore the page. My guess: someone didn’t just send a complaining email, they took more substantial action. The WikiMedia Foundation not uncommonly does that with some kinds of complaints. The protections of Section 230 do not extend to the maintenance of alleged defamatory material or other illegal material after notice provided.

Simon Peter Hughes is openly Spud. As they say on RW, seems sane.

Aidan Bissel-Siders is probably this nice kid, who wrote this RW-interest paper, serious work addressing (actually taking the piss out of) a stupid claim. Fun. I’ve done a fair amount of that kind of writing, though not normally so sarcastic. However, that kind of sarcasm is so common on RW that I don’t yet see a clue as to which user Bissel-Siders might be. So far, the candidates are FuzzyCatPotato and Reverend Black Percy.

Eric Doe I could find nothing on with a quick search. However, Rev. Black Percy has not edited for over six months, but I’d expect Bissel-Siders to remain active (given his research paper and age). I vote for the latter as being FuzzyCatPotato.

From prior history, I expect I may see complaints on RationalWiki that I am “attacking” RW users here. Yet what I am actually doing is showing who is responsible for RationalWiki, the real people involved. Board members are presumably covered by errors and omissions insurance. This actually makes them attractive targets. However, the only board member where some liability might be imputed, so far, is David Gerard. (Basically, his action to support defamation would be asserted. It is not necessary to have proof to assert a claim; proof may not exist until discovery.

My guess is that the RMF will settle relatively easily, if pushed. With the WMF, I’ll be challenging a process they have used for a few years. I have no crystal ball.

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/civil-litigation/demand-letter-defamation-case.html
https://jux.law/cease-desist-defamation-of-character-template-example-sample-form/

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Reviews

 

RationalWiki had a wide reputation as a joke wiki, where skeptics and atheists — and adolescents — fully engaged in unrestrained snark. There are many reviews, but start with the Wikipedia article. It will be fun to compare that article to the favorite targets of the RatWikians and their allies, the Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia. Any socks there? Some much to research, so little time…. That one is for later. I immediately see POV-pushing in the editing….

This was reasonable, on the face, this was not, it involves synthesis, unless there is reliable source for the claim that criticism is because “beliefs” are challenged. That kind of claim is difficult even when reliable source can be found for it, it should be attributed … unless there was a formal study!

Lets start with a list of reviews. First, from Wikipedia:

http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5597/4652

At first glance, this source is misrepresented in the article. (note 13). What the article has is synthesis from the source. The source does not actually say that.

  •  Smith, Jonathan C. Critical Thinking: Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. John Wiley & Sons, 2017, pp 77. 9781119029489
  • Shvets, Alexander (October 2, 2014). Filev, D.; Jabłkowski, J.; Kacprzyk, J.; et al., eds. Intelligent Systems’2014: Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Conference Intelligent Systems IS’2014, September 24–26, 2014, Warsaw, Poland, Volume 2: Tools, Architectures, Systems, Applications. Series: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Vol. 323Springer Publishing. A Method of Automatic Detection of Pseudoscientific Publications, page 533 et seq. ISBN 978-3-319-11310-4.

This is a conference paper, such are often not carefully reviewed. This is the sourced text:

In Intelligent Systems’2014, Alexander Shvets stated that RationalWiki is one of the few online resources that “provide some information about pseudoscientific theories” and notes that it attempts to “organize and categorize knowledge about pseudoscientific theories, personalities, and organizations”.

What RationalWiki does is to organize, not knowledge (Wikipedia does that), but snark, loosely based on very irregularly collected sources, often terminally weak.

This is a conference paper as well. The mention of RationalWiki is shallow, the authors do not appear to have done more than look at the stated purposes, and a hosted essay by Carl Sagan. The impression one would get from reading the article is not the impression I would see from the source.

  • https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/11/rationalwiki_emamerican_thinkerem_is_a_wingnut_publication.html
  • https://www.cato.org/blog/ten-things-every-economist-should-know-about-gold-standard
  • Einspruch, Franklin (September 6, 2016). “Cultural Marxists Are Actually Pomofascists”The Federalist. Retrieved August 14, 2017

These are sources that mention a specific RationalWiki article to expose it or argue against it. No source so far is actually a review of the site, anything more than a passing mention. I’ll keep looking.

Dissertations are not generally considered reliable source, they would be primary sources. This dissertation simply mentions an idea taken from RationalWiki, and it describes the purpose of the site, with no analysis of whether or not the site actually accomplishes that purpose.

This went on with links showing that someone referenced RationalWiki in some way. Actual reviews? None (neither positive nor negative.)

Okay, I know to look at history. Did anyone attempt to add actual reviews? Wikipedia does not make it easy to search history. While that could easily be done from the database, no priority has been given it. Someone might take advantage of that and create a site with full-database search access. It would make certain kinds of wiki studies far easier!

I found a brief review that had been added and immediately removed, as it was a “blog” and thus “not reliable source.” This was only a superficial analysis of “site bias,” not actually controversial and not very informative.

There was an Articles for deletion discussion on RationalWiki. I find no assertion of source sufficient to establish notability. Passing mentions don’t count. It was kept, though there was much opinion to keep it as a redirect to the Conservapedia article. In the discussion I found these sources:

  • http://blastmagazine.com/2007/09/03/thoughts-on-a-conservapedia/
  • http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jun/19/nation/na-schlafly19/2 (page 2 is important. I couldn’t find this at first.)

Those are passing mention, really about Conservapedia. This was weak, but that’s Wikipedia. An admin takes a glance at a discussion, makes a snap decision, and unless someone cares enough to appeal it, there it goes, enshrined as a community decision (which it didn’t look like to me! Most wanted to see better sources. My own opinion as an inclusionist would do something very different…. )

https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-rationalwiki-foundation/albuquerque-new-mexico-87106/the-rationalwiki-foundation-rationalwiki-rational-wiki-rw-rationalwikiorg-rationalwi-1143383

Not considered reliable source, but an actual review! With details! This report describes RatWiki as it was when I was active there. Some of that atmosphere is still there. the report was by “Rational Wiki Exposed,” not exactly an encouraging author if one is looking for neutrality. But it was fairly sober.

Okay, I found a genuine revert war, starting with [ this edit], adding a review.  The user, an SPA, was warned for edit warring and disappeared. The source:

RationalWiki guts a reader’s attempt to correct its article on female genital mutilation

This is another source that is based on “RationalWiki is wrong on X.” This happens to be a topic I know a great deal about. Many sources misrepresent the position of Islam on the topic. What upsets people so much is not what is allowed or approved, and the majority opinion is that the extreme practices are prohibited. But this is not our topic here. The RatWiki article on this topic is far from the worst there.

I round a reference to the RW article where they brag report about mentions.

That quotes from many mentions. Indeed, it quotes from the book mentioned above:

Smith, Jonathan. Critical Thinking: Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, 2nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2017. 9781119029489. Lists RationalWiki as a logical fallacy library.

This is hilarious. I’m not really sure what the author intended. The instructions are to “select an example of a logical fallacy.” So RatWiki is a place to find the expression of logical fallacies. The training that I can imagine is to teach students how to spot logical fallacies. If a site is merely a list of logical fallacies with examples given, there would be little or no challenge. Rather, each of those sites, it is highly likely, expresses logical fallacies. The Nizkor.org site is not about logical fallacies, as such, it is political. If one’s political beliefs align with the beliefs of a source, one is far less likely to spot the fallacies.

Sound training will practice identifying logical fallacies in our own thinking or argument, or in the arguments and thinking of those we might agree with. I generally agree with the substance of what is on the Nizkor site. But there is at least one blatant logical fallacy on the home page. Can you spot one?

5.4 Group Exercise: Identify the FallacyIn this exercise, divide into two teams. Each team selects an example of a logical fallacy (from this chapter) from one of these websites:

Team 1 presents its example to Team 2. Team 2 has five minutes to identify it and explain it. If the explanation is acceptable to the moderator, Team 2 gets a point. Repeat for Team 2. Complete until each team has a chance to identify five logical fallacies. The team correctly identifying the most fallacies wins.

I have created a link for each site. How the exercise would be done is unclear. There is a form of logical fallacy, “straw man,” where one presents an argument that is allegedly the argument of another, but it is not actually what the other says, thinks, or believes. So if students pick a description of someone else’s argument, they would be explaining a fantasy. Much more interesting, I’d think, to identify logical fallacies presented as factual or logical, and RatWiki is full of those, it is practically the norm in some articles.  For extra credit, identify logical errors in the thinking of people you agree with, and for a doctorate, identify them in your own thinking, because everyone does this (at least until it is distinguished). A loglcal fallacy does not mean that the conclusion is wrong, set that right/wrong mess aside. It merely means that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. Something may be missing.

from other sources:

This refers to the RW article, Michael Prescott

(If Mr. Prescott sees this and requests that the link be removed, I’ll do it. Links raise Google ranking. Unfortunately, to study RationalWiki and create something verifiable, I need to place links, but I can find less convenient ways to do it, on request. I have not yet studied the Prescott article, but I’ve certainly seen worse on RatWiki!)

The public comments are interesting…. I decided to look at who created this article.

This then led me to more socks…. another day, another set of socks documented. There are certain red flags, easy to see, sometimes. Some identifications are not so easy, and there are probably some errors. The Smiths have no monopoly on snarky defamation.

to be continued ….

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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 (and some were administrators, and they would face desysop on Wikipedia if they were so free there). Snark reigns on RationalWiki.

The article has been under extensive revision, almost day-by-day and blow-by-blow (someone is definitely obsessed) and I intend to redo this coverage.


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.

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. 

Contents

Religious views
    Islam
        Numeric miracles in the Quar’an [sic]
    Martin Gardner
Pseudoscience
    Cold fusion
    Parapsychology
    Diet_woo
Internet antics
    Catfighting
    RationalWiki conspiracy theory
External links
References

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, 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 anyone. 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 probably coming, and I expect great-grandchildren soon. Crank? Maybe. Winning the game? So far.

Religious views[edit]

Islam[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 travelled 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]

[sic]

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 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.

Pseudoscience[edit]

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.

Parapsychology[edit]

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]

Catfighting[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)

117.20.41.10, 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, 117.20.41.9 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? 117.20.41.9 (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 archive.is 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 archive.org 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 Archive.is 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 archive.is 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. 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 86.14.2.77, 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.

References[edit]

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. [http://lesswrong.com/user/Abd/ I was at Cal Tech for a couple of years, being in Richard P. Feynman’s two years of undergraduate physics classes.
  8. https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/thread/3362-have-ih-let-their-e-cat-license-lapse-by-inaction/?postID=26006#post26006 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.
  13. http://coldfusioncommunity.net/and-abds-favorite-topic/
  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