A day in the life of a troll

All times are CUT, i.e., AP’s home time zone.

04:13 January 21 2018 I  posted a page with real-life identity information for Anglo Pyramidologist.

04:35, 21 January 2018  the AP sock AstroPhysics replaced ,an old alias of mine (Daniel Lomax, under which I’d written much), with my birth name, and then gave some relatively correct information, on the Rational Wiki hit piece on me (written entirely by AP socks, with only a few edits by others)

06:38 21 January 2018 “Tron,” an AP sock, commented here about AP evidence. Basic message: “There is no evidence and there is no proof.” I had just spent over three months compiling raw evidence with few conclusions and only began drawing conclusions about AP identity several days ago. I did not find this identity, others had found it, as reported on that page and the page above it, but at this point I took the time to confirm the information. Even the day before, I was calling the identity “alleged.”

04:56, 21 January 2018 In a Fort on the Street added a category “Batshit Crazy” to the RW article. It is common for AP to send messages with account names. In this case, he’s pointing out that he knows the street I live on. As if I’d be surprised.

I used to get bomb threats from fanatics. A personal friend of mine was famously assassinated by fanatics in Tucson. It can be a dangerous world. From my point of view, though, it would be better to die than to live in fear.

16:25 21 January 2018  I replied to Tron.

17:15, 21 January 2018 Nick_Lowles_Fan , an account I had not noticed, added a pile of lies to an already ridiculous article. He wrote:

… disgruntled he then uses his blog to defame his forum debate opponents or admins who banned him, including targeting their families: even going as far as doxing underage children who are relatives of who he is harassing…. In January 2018, he started doxing home addresses of RationalWiki sysops, including targeting their family members, including minors. Although an elderly man in his 70s, Lomax stalks and doxes young teenagers on his blog.

  • One of the AP traits has been that he sometimes loses it, starts raving, and doing so, essentially admits what is being claimed. The comment is dense with misrepresentations.
  • I’m not focused on “debate.” Rather, I present evidence and discuss. I sometimes report on events on fora. No examples have been shown of “defaming,” but the RW article has often called simple and straight reporting of events, for study, such as a list of contributions to an article, intended for an eventual study of an editor’s positions, an “attack.” The article is full of these imputations. They might as well be called lies.
  • On most wikis, such as RationalWiki or WMF wikis, an admin cannot ban, they can only block. One RW admin blocked me, and it was an AP sock, and I’ve documented him (Skeptical, and he was obviously AP, and disappeared when someone outed him — not me). The problem with that is?
  • There is only one “family” that has been mentioned; originally the family was described by the socks themselves on Wikipedia. The “family” has not been “targeted.” Rather, the identity of Anglo Pyramidologist, very long-term internet abuser and sock master, needed confirmation, and part of that confirmation involved knowing his original residence address, thus correlating tightly with extensive IP information. No underage children have been mentioned, let alone targeted. The page in question is archived here. As anyone can see, the youngest person mentioned was 27 years old (and could now be older). So this was the usual usual, an AP sock lying his pants off.
  • So how do I know that this user is an AP sock? The style of writing and the subject telegraphs it, but I then looked at his contributions. I would have tagged this as an AP sock without his commenting on the attack article on me, from the subjects alone. That’s how they do it on Wikipedia. The duck test.
  • Most remarkable, Nick is admitting that the page documented the “home addresses of RationalWiki sysops.” Indeed. Oliver Smith and Darryl Smith are Rational Wiki sysops, under many account names, and Nick would know, because he is one of those two persons.  But it is only one address, and that is, again, another troll tactic: take a single example and make many out of it. Any other persons whose home addresses have been given?

22:09 21 Jan 2018, I archived the identity page and stubbed it. My work is in research, I don’t need to host that page (which creates additional possible complications.) I remain responsible for writing it.

23:03, 21 January 2018 http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/AstroPhysics removed the material Nick Lowles Fan had added, summarizing (he has removed the personal addresses and dox.) This troll is obsessed, following my blog closely. Maybe he didn’t look all that closely, though. The material was archived. Cat Out of Bag. How does it feel, Oliver, to be so easily found by a Google search with material you don’t want to be seen? You’ve been doing it to many others, for years.

My suggestion: come out, be open, take responsibility for what you do (and have done). It’s the only way to be happy, tell the truth.

I don’t rush into something like this. It was one step at a time. There are many more steps to take. Wait until this is cited on Quora, where I have over 1600 followers and 3.3 million page views.

23:19 21 January 2018  “Skeptic from Texas,” a likely AP sock, using a probable proxy server (not in Texas), made a not-so-subtle threat to dox my children. Not-Texas Skeptic also gave me silly legal advice, but it’s the thought that counts.

I have some research to do, I may come back with more on this sequence.

Dr. Witt

Subtopic: Asexuality. Off topic, actually, but fun to notice.

So, looking at the Dr. Witt user page, I see that he has retired, using the same template as many RW AP socks. I am not the only person to notice this. The page shows my name, as a file link.  (Later, another RW user nowiki’d this out so that it would not display, the page not qualifying for “fair use.”) Looking at page history, the first edit, January  was the text:  “The man with a million accounts, apparently.” Then the next edit added a photo of me, with the caption, “Crazy old man.” The connection?

That has been a theme of AP socks. See the more recent account names on the WMF study. Where did “millions of accounts” come from? Apparently from this Coop filing, by Merkel, with the headline:

A man with millions of accounts here (many which are admin) is creating articles with doxxing to harass his personal enemies.

It was hyperbole. I have not recently counted the accounts I have identified, but one sock claimed there were 700, that’s quoted above. What was complained about has clearly been happening, and for quite some time. I was not involved in that posting, I don’t know who Merkel is (though there is some evidence on RationalWiki), but this is actually widespread knowledge, even if many RationalWikians are playing osterich in the wiki play. Then, that he puts my image on that page indicates that he blames me for the claim. I wrote about that Coop filing the other day and clarified that it was hyperbole. AP may think that the charges came from me, but they were not written as derived from my research, which has almost entirely referred to Anglo Pyramidologist. No, it comes from other studies or posts, by other people, referring to him as Atlantid.

First of all, Dr. Witt wrote this, which is AP telling the truth about himself (at least in round outlines):

quality of sysops

I currently have about active 8 users who are sysops; de-sysop this one makes no difference. And its plain common-sense who is a quality or poor sysop based on article creations and constructive edits. I would rate you as “quality” since you are actually adding informative or useful content; if you look at GrammarCommie: zero article creations and his edits don’t benefit anyone. He wrote an essay, but its about 5 lines as if he took 10 seconds. Dr. Witt (talk) 20:13, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

So of course he retires. He has plenty of other accounts. However, if “they” use the sysop tools as Dr. Witt did, and it is noticed, they might also be “promoted.” This kind of gratuitous attack is common AP editing, he goes after anyone who frustrates his agenda. The prime problem for him: he gets away with abuse because few notice, and obviously others were looking at his extensive  revision deletions.

(The argument about quality or poor sysops based on article creation, is an old one and that argument being accepted on WMF wikis has caused a lot of damage. Good content creation and regulation of community behavior per policy are quite different skills. A good sysop is skilled at dispute resolution. A poor one wields a meat-axe and creates disruption. Content creators are typically attached to their own content…. and good writers are often opinionated! Even more so, experts.)

The discussion went on:

75% of article creations since October 2017 by examining the past 500 new-page edits, are by the same person. You just don’t realise because he is on dozens of accounts. If you traced this individual back to 2012, you would find most article creations on this site are by him.Epigram (talk) 23:24, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

Really? That is higher than I’d expect. However, I knew there were many. I looked at New page creations on a subpage.

Epigram was exaggerating as to what the page he linked currently shows. The difference of a few days would not make that difference, but it is possible that a burst of pages just before the log started could make his claim closer to the truth. The actual figure for clear AP sock page creations was 14/96, or about 16%. If all suspected accounts are included (very unlikely), the percentage would become 29/96 or 30%.

To get to a higher percentage, it would be necessary to include accounts with no cause for suspicion that I could see, and perhaps long-term regulars, with high RW investment of time. If so, it would be totally useless to make unsubstantiated claims on RW, especially like this. (The regulars will take you down quickly.) But the basic idea behind what Epigram write is correct, if  exaggerated, and the long-term effect may be as the user claims.

I do not suspect the regulars, nor, contrary to AP claims, do I suspect anyone merely because they are a skeptic. I am, in fact, a skeptic myself, though a Truzzi-style skeptic, not a knee-jerk debunker. I hope! But I do not suggest any account is an AP sock merely because of appearing to be such a debunker. It takes far more than that.

The discussion continued:

Above he admits he has many sysop accounts here. I mentioned this fact and everyone flung venomous insults at me. Elsewhere he said, “I’ve used this site since the beginning of 2012;” he finally admitted.

Merkel revealed in that discussion that he was reactive. He’s not lying, but he uses hyperbole routinely. Unskilled, his diff is not to that “admission,” but to the whole coop filing. This is what a skilled user would have diff’d.

Dr. Witt and User:Anti-Fascist for life put that they retire on their user page at the same time. The second account didn’t get its sysop powers removed like the first. Merkel (talk) 02:12, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Right. Those are AP patterns, and it’s all happened before, and I had already identified these accounts as AP, in the study, page supra.  Most of the retired accounts kept their sysop tools, if they had them, and not only can AP then see what is otherwise hidden, but he could return at any time, and occasionally does.

There is this problem with creating a pile of accounts. Keeping them active is far too much work. So one of the signs of an AP account is a burst of activity, followed by disappearance. By itself, that is not uncommon.

What is remarkable here is that DrWitt was disparaging a regular user for not being a strong contributor, while that user has edited since July 2017 and has almost 1200 edits, whereas Dr. Witt edited from December 15, 2017, to January 9 with roughly 250 contributions. In order to claim he is more productive, he must include those many accounts Merkel and Epigram are claiming.

Yes. The fact is> Rationalwiki is protecting a real schizophrenic maniac who owns thousands of accounts on this site since 2012. It was mentioned by Rome Viharo based on a tip-off that this person is also a paid editor, so that explains the large volume of his article creations. “Skeptic” individuals pay this guy to create articles on paranormal-believers or spiritualists, looking at the recent article creations and you can see more of his accounts, an exampleEpigram (talk) 02:28, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

The example he gives is Debunking spiritualism, which I listed as “Possible but unclear.” It is reasonably clear who Merkel is, perhaps, not so who Epigram is. The non-AP RW editors, as happens all too frequently, make a very dumb assumption, that keeps them stupid, not seeing what is in front of their faces.

Paid editors? If only that were true, my financial woes would be over, but alas and alack it is nothing more than fiction. Comrade GC (talk) 02:31, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Clearly, GrammarCommie doesn’t understand what is being claimed, and he is not actually researching the affair, lacking curiosity.

It was not claimed that “RationalWiki” editors are “paid editors,” but that “this guy” — the sock master — is paid. Is he? Epigram is not a reliable source, but … AP socks have claimed that they are supported, including offers of payment, and it is plausible.

There is no link to Rome Viharo’s statement (and mentioning it would be very, very unskillful, though there is another possibility: that Merkel and/or Epigram are AP socks. I don’t consider this likely, merely possible. AP does things like this, particularly where he knows his audience and how they will react.

Most likely, Merkel is relatively clueless and is the person Dr. Witt claimed he was in the Coop filing, linked above.

“Its nonsense from a troll. Merkel is a neo-Nazi who administrates Rightpedia named “A Wyatt Man”

(Quoting this is not accepting that Merkel is a “neo-Nazi,” merely that Merkel writes like someone without extensive general wiki experience, and would have a motive to write what he wrote on RW. Merkel did not disclose his specific interest, just dropped in swinging.)

(But what is hilarious here is that Dr. Witt, in his last edits, mostly confirmed the Merkel claims as having substance — even if exaggerated.)

@GrammarCommie Indeed, comrade! Together, we can make Rational Wiki great by unleashing untold payloads of freedom and democracy! Nerd (talk) 02:36, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

tbh i don’t really care about sockpuppeting as long as it’s not done by an obvious vandal. БaбyЛuigiOнФire(T|C) 02:34, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

@BabyLuigiOnFire

Goodpost.gif Nerd (talk) 02:36, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

This is standard on RationalWiki. Socking is not grounds for sanction there, unless one is what might be called a Favorite Target. However, “I don’t really care” seems to assume that the situation is understood. There is no sign that this is the case.

@BabyLuigiOnFire is also possible these rather paranoid rumors of a conspiracy have given rise to an actual conspiracy. Either that or inviduals such as Rome Viharo are playing both sides off each other in order to justify their paranoid babbling. Regardless, speculating without further proof is pointless and as you say the individual(s) in question appear to lack any malicious intent thus far. Comrade GC (talk) 02:41, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

What makes alleged facts a “rumor,” and what, then, makes it a “paranoid rumor”? That there is a massive sock farm (called Anglo Pyramidologist on Wikipedia, the “Smith brothers” on RationalWiki (by AP socks! — describing the “conspiracy theory,” when it is not a conspiracy theory, unless combined with claims of paid editing or the like) is supported by massive evidence, and what journalists do is confirm or disconfirm rumors, based on evidence. What happens on RatWiki is acceptance or rejection, not based on investigation of evidence, but what makes for the best snark.

The ready description of others as “paranoid” is not skeptical, it is clearly pseudoscientific, unless the claim has been examined and one is qualified to make such a diagnosis. A implicit demand for “proof” is characteristic of pseudoscience, whereas a scientific approach looks for evidence — and tests the ideas. Is what is being presented “speculation” or is it conclusion based on evidence?

“lacking any malicious intent” demonstrates that GrammarCommie has no idea what has been happening, what is being claimed by real people, under their real names, with reputations to protect, but is accepting the story of “Rome Viharo” disruption so often told by AP socks — which commonly impersonate their enemies, like Rome Viharo.

Ha. You have no idea… Dr. Witt (and his countless aliases) was the one responsible for temporarily shutting down Kiwi Farms by phoning the employers of the owner’s mother, that resulted in her being fired, as well as bombarding the owner’s family with threatening emails; he even created the Kiwi Farms article here. He then managed to get his own thread on Kiwi Farms removed – a first, since virtually no threads there are deleted and Kiwi Farms’ policy is never to delete them, notice how Mike’s (his main enemy) remains up.

This general story could be confirmed. Certainly I have seen it. I consider it established that AP has real-life harassed, and he has certainly threatened it. He threatened me and carried out the threat. (But not in “real life,” though what he has done has real-life effects, as have been reported by others. What AP claims about my blog on the article about me is true in spades for RW articles, which are much more visible than my blog, generally.

So basically a digital stalker and doxing community as notorious as Kiwi Farms is even scared of this guy, or finds him too malicious for even their community. Of course though, if you post anything about this individual here – you end up banned for doxing! He’s bizarrely protected here, having made friends with the owners. However, plenty of information you can dig up about him on the web such as the fact he was treated for schizophrenia at Nightingale Mental Health Hospital London. He was/is friends with Ian Keith Gomeche (just Google), who was arrested in 2005 for cyber and real-world harassment (such as phoning people over 300 times in a single day.) Gomeche used to run the website “noncewatch”, and Dr. Witt is also obsessed with not only fighting paedophiles online, but virtually anyone normal who shows an interest in sex, since he’s an asexual and finds sex disgusting. As noted elsewhere by Merkel, Dr. Witt has an Encylopedia Dramatica article, that notes a lot more about this individual.Epigram (talk) 03:08, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

 

Ah now you’ve just overplayed your hand, since I’m an asexual and while I do not find the act of sex disgusting, I also have no inclination to engage in it. Furthermore I checked into the claims of an ED article and found none. Please cease treating us as if we’re morons who will believe literally anything you say without verifying it. Comrade GC (talk) 03:14, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

The comment by Epigram did not attack “asexuality,” but rather claimed that Dr. Witt was “obsessed with fighting pedophiles” (this connects with lulcows wiki and other cross-wiki activity that I have not investigated yet — though I’ve read much). ED articles are written for lulz, and Epigram did not mention ED. Epigram does not provide evidence, but claims and some clues. For example, the claim about schizophrenia may have originated with an edit by a suspected AP sock.

what this user has done in other sites has no bearing here. stop poisoning the well. also, your comment about how “asexuality is not normal” is disgusting and i suggest you redact that immediately (also am an asexual too) БaбyЛuigiOнФire(T|C) 03:39, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Can you tell us his favorite color too? Jesus christ.—Hamburguesa con queso con un caraSpinning-Burger.gif (talk • stalk) 03:50, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Notice how a comment is attributed to Epigram, with quotes, even, that Epigram did not make. AP stirs shit and loves it when others then generate more shit.

Epigram may be reporting mere rumor, but “morons” would be properly those who refuse to look at what is being claimed, what is in front of them and obvious if they look with open eyes, but attack the claims as silly and preposterous, without themselves investigating.

“Do you think I’m stupid?” is a common response of the less than intelligent and curious (and incurious people tend to not develop high intelligence but remain as reactives.) That, in fact, is pseudoskepticism in a nutshell, or crankcase. It would be stupid to believe anything without evidence, and the particular claim is a damned nuisance, because, quite as Epigram has claiming, RationalWiki is being used as a personal attack platform, and how to deal with this would be work, and RationalWikians often detest work. They would have to look at the articles and make decisions, but unless they actually investigate, those decisions will be based only on the most obvious appearances. No, much more comfortable to sit in the pile of shit and blame the flies on someone else.

By the way, this is a blog page. While I tend to push opinion to blog posts, and use pages for evidence, it is still a blog and users with the edit privilege here may post opinions in either place. And I’m not the only one with such privileges, there are two who are well-known as skeptics on cold fusion, but they are real skeptics, interested in the science.

I would not believe what Epigram wrote just because he wrote it. After all, he is anonymous and may have some agenda. AP has pissed off many people! The article AP created on me is full of claims that I was disruptive and did this and that, based on rare incidents in about thirty years of high internet and forum activity. AP is himself widely blocked and banned. I’ll look at the many-site claims on a subpage, but I’m not going to personally investigate them, beyond finding such investigations by others. Many of these sites are themselves sewers. Some are not. (As an example of one that is not, Rome Viharo’s WikipediaWeHaveAProblem is sane and, as a real person, with a real reputation to protect, his claims are evidence (they would become admissible evidence in court if he attested to them under oath). The claims of the anonymous are disregarded and inadmissible, unless verified — or attributed as “an anonymous source,” journalists do that, but will only refer to an “anonymous tip” if they don’t know and reasonably trust the source — so the credibility of the claim then depends on the credibility of the reporters, and reporters who lie or are reckless on this, if it is discovered, lose their career.

(Wikipedia depends on responsible sources, called “reliable source.”) RationalWiki often depends on anonymous claims to slander the subjects of articles. But to notice that requires actually reading and investigating sources. Trolls cherry-pick and cite sources that do not actually vefify the troll’s claims. And AP is a Troll Extraordinaire, not for brilliance, but for sheer persistence in his agenda, which is to harm and smear his enemies.)

I don’t know who Epigram is, I would suspect mikemikev or maybe michaeldsuarez, or … AP himself, he does stuff like this. He attacks himself in such a way as to discredit attacks. But the only thing he did here was to make claims without citing evidence, and he’s probably going to be blocked anyway (though he hasn’t been, yet), so why bother?. It’s work to collect and cite verifiable evidence. But he could quickly link to pages where others have done that, preferably relatively neutral collections, made with caution (which AP attacks with extra vigor, those are the worst! — Such as the WMF collection, about which he raised a huge ruckus — they had to be neutral or they’d have been immediately deleted!

(However, deliberately, that study did not link to non-WMF socking nor did it claim the real-name identity. From many examples, anyone mentioning the well-known name of the “brothers” will be blocked for socking, and revision deletion is liberally used. However, if the one mentioning it is one of the brothers, not all such socks are blocked. Who created “Smith Brothers conspiracy theory”? Ah, that’s a story all by itself. I was desysopped merely for commenting on that page, apparently, and then blocked by another AP sock. I’ll cover that in detail elsewhere.  Another AP sock requested deletion, and then an AP sock also deleted the deletion discussion. Anyone can verify the round outlines of this from logs, and any sysop can verify what was deleted.)

Evidence makes pages long and then morons don’t read them. It’s too hard! (A sane skeptic who doesn’t expect value from reading may ignore a long page, but the curious — and genuine skeptics are at least mildly curious, because lack of curiosity is, defacto, accepting existing personal beliefs — could ask for a summary! “tl;dr”, though is used as an insult. What I found was that if I took the time to create summaries, mostly, the summaries were then rejected without review of evidence, and in the case of AP and certain others, the summaries were claimed to be baseless, lies, or paranoia.

“What’s the point, man! Get to the frigging point!”

But this is where science leaves reactivity and anti-intellectual annoyance. Science actually spends years gathering evidence, and never considers what the evidence shows as “proof,” the exception being math (where rigorous logic is used according to clearly stated assumptions and process.)

The process of science as the study of reality is never complete, unlike some old and widely-discredited imaginations. However, evidence can become very strong, such that avoiding obvious conclusions, when it comes to practical decisions, can become denial. I would stake my life on the earth not being flat!

Too often, science and “wiki” are in conflict (unless there is protective structure, which is very rare.)

RationalWiki pretends (main page)

Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:

We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.

There is an anti-science movement, and it takes on a primary form, which RationalWiki “refutes,” as if “anti-science” were some hypothesis subject to refutation. “Peudoscience” is not subject to “refutation,” because, by definition, it involves untestable theory or belief.

So the secondary form of “anti-science” confuses belief with science by posting a contrary belief, in “science.” Yet in “anti-pseudoscience,” the scientific method is not followed. Rather, and this is obvious from many RW articles, there is some posited “truth,” usually of the form “they are wrong,” if honestly expressed, and then hosts of ad-hominem and knee-jerk impressions are asserted as if factual.

This is political speech, not science, per se. It is founded in a belief in a certain class of models as being “true,” but no model is truth. “Anti-pseudoscience” activists will often oppose research to test what they call “pseudoscience,” and they label, as a clear example, Parapsychology as a pseudoscience, even though it is literally the scientific study of claims of the paranormal. They confuse a field which is a scientific study with belief in the claims studied, and they confuse “belief” with “evidence.” The latter is the product of investigation, which some may then interpret. Belief is either prior to that study — in which case we could call it “pseudoscientific” if it falsely claims “proof,” or after the study, in which case it could again be pseudoscientific or merely normal rationality, an operating assumption based on evidence.

The standard claim made about RationalWiki is that it is “not rational,” and anyone who knows the wiki would know extensive evidence for this.

RW is not a person, though there is a person who has control over it, if he chooses to exercise that control. But it would be a colossal nuisance. Herding cats. What is interesting as a possibility is that the owner or major managers consider AP socks “useful.” Rome Viharo has been exploring that. So far, I see a level of circumstantial evidence that it is so, but this does not mean that I “believe” it. I merely think it possible, and if study of the evidence shows a probability in this direction, I will publish it.

This is actually science, there is a hypothesis (which could be called a conspiracy, to distinguish it from the sock studies, which show almost an anti-conspiracy — “there is no conspiracy, but only one highly disruptive and active user, or close family of users.”

The RationalWiki response to this is moronic. Lies — directly and verifiably false claims — put up by AP socks are trusted, and claims by others, not accompanied by evidence, are rejected. Attempts to put up evidence are blocked and the evidence is deleted. That’s the reality in the AP world, and he knows how to play this violin. “Too much violins on Rational Wiki.”

And then an IP shows up:

 “Epigram” is just a sock of Rome Viharo who was recently blocked on another account. Just ignore and collapse this. All this nonsense is found on Rome Viharo’s website who has written 100,000 words on Dr.Witt and has been stalking him for years. It was also Viharo who invented this misinformation & conspiracy theory about Dr. Witt. No evidence however is ever provided, its all hearsay, rumour and just Viharo’s delusions. Futher according to Viharo, Dr.Witt has been reported to the FBI for his RationalWiki edits. LOL. 192.99.6.164 (talk) 13:25, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

IP information: Proxy server. This is AP, and would be immediately blocked on WMF wikis on notice, as a proxy server but also by the duck test. The other edit shows this, clearly, for anyone familiar with AP patterns and special interests. From that other edit:

You also think you got a “confession” from Dr. Witt he has used this wiki since January 2012; that’s public knowledge, something he’s said for years. You’re incredibly dumb.

This is a troll, this is how trolls write: to grandstand and enrage. This is on Merkel’s talk page, and was thus harassment. Does anyone notice? No sign. There is no protection for perceived cranks. When the IP claims “something he’s said for years,” to whom is he referring? It could only be to other accounts. Which ones? Merkel did not claim that “he got a confession” from Dr. Witt, but he claimed that Witt had confessed to extensive socking. The IP is actually confirming that, claiming it is “public knowledge.” It is public knowledge, actually, once one knows that Dr. Witt is an AP sock and then sees what AP socks have written, as well as having reviewed independent evidence.

And he believes that the RW users he is communicating with are morons. The claims:

“Epigram is just a sock of Rome Viharo.” That’s unlikely for many reasons … to explain this would take even more words. But this is a common AP claim about anyone pointing to the obvious.

“… who was recently blocked on another account.” This would refer to these accounts:

As I discuss on the main RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist study, these were impersonation socks, not Rome Viharo. This is a common AP tactic. It has often worked, and the discussion shows this. Familiarity with these gruesome details is a common AP trait. Who else is so interested? Well, me, perhaps. Bwaa haa haa haa haa! What is of interest to me, so far, is that the “attacks” on AP have not cited this blog, which could be the most careful study of AP socking done so far. And I did not get my information from Rome Viharo. His work has supplied a few hints, but what I report here is what I found. AP claims that all this is taken, variously, from Encyclopedia Dramatica or Rome Viharo. It’s a lie designed to appeal to knee-jerk impressions. There is material there, therefore any similar material must be taken from there.

However, I mostly avoid reading ED except through archive links. Rome Viharo’s site is safe.

“… Rome Viharo’s website who has written 100,000 words on Dr.Witt and has been stalking him for years.” Viharo has been researching the AP socks for years, because they attacked him, first on Wikipedia. However, one would only describe Viharo’s research as “stalking Dr.Witt [sic]” if one believes that Dr. Witt is AP. Which this IP actually knows,  being an AP brother.

“It was also Viharo who invented this misinformation & conspiracy theory about Dr. Witt.”

No. Much documentation was compiled before Rome started to look at it. My study started before I was aware of Rome’s commentary. Dr. Witt was totally obvious as an AP sock from first glance. All one has to do is know AP obsessions and then look at his contributions. And then there is Dr. Witt’s “confession,” and what the IP has written; he is contradicting himself (which AP often does).

There is no mention of “Dr. Witt” on Rome Viharo’s blog. (If anyone finds one, existing as of today, January 14, 2018, please let me know!) Now, is this IP AP? It’s an open proxy, it could be anyone, and it is not impossible that an enemy of AP has posted it. But the effect is what AP would desire, not the enemies of AP. While it is not always correct, it is a decent place to start, moving toward understanding, to look at the effect of an action, not imaginations of motives.

No evidence however is ever provided, its all hearsay, rumour and just Viharo’s delusions.”

When evidence is provided, it is deleted as “doxxing.” Even if it is not doxxing, but merely equating accounts, which has never been considered doxxing.  Has Viharo provided evidence? Does it matter? I will review what Viharo has written, and one thing I will be looking for is evidence. However, I provided evidence on RationalWiki, and it was deleted by an AP sock, who showed classic AP behavior, Skeptical. Notice that he disappeared, quickly after being “harassed” on-wiki, harassment that was only confronting him with the obvious. AP socks often do this, it’s easy and AP does have many sysop accounts on RW.

The discussion continued:

Sex is gross and I also have reported Dr. Witt to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. –It’s-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 21:20, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

This is an RW regular showing regular irrelevant snark. Who claimed that “Sex is gross”? Not Dr. Witt, and not Epigram. 

Asexuality and RatWiki regulars

One factoid that comes out in this discussion. Two or three very recognizable RatWiki sysops declare that they are “asexual,” or equivalent, at the same time as they decry an imagined claim that “asexuality is not normal.”

This confirms an easy stereotype: those who edit RatWiki enough to become sysops may tend to be socially dysfunctional basement-dwellers with no life. (The same may also be statistically evident for some sysops elsewhere.) I am not claiming that a “stereotype” is real, and with any stereotype, individuals may vary widely. I’m just noticing the coincidence.

GrammarCommie: I’m an asexual and while I do not find the act of sex disgusting, I also have no inclination to engage in it.

BabyLuigiOnFire: (also am an asexual too)

LeftyGreenMario: Sex is gross [of course, this may merely be standard RW sarcastic snark].

Allegedly, as well, this was the position of Dr. Witt, but I haven’t seen the evidence for that.

“Normal” is not a synonym for “good” or “bad.” It is a population description. There is no specific level at which “normal” ends and “not normal” begins, however, Kinsey found roughly 1.5% of the adult male population as asexual. See the Wikipedia article for details.

From this, the chance that the correlation is random is low. By no means is this a claim that “most RW editors are asexual,” nor that this is Bad, and asexuality may be conditional and temporary, as well. However, it is counter-survival, if by “survival” we include survival through descendants. It cannot be “normal” for a full population, or that population with the trait would likely go extinct.

(But there may be a species benefit to a trait that does not directly reproduce, and this is sometimes claimed about homosexuality. There may be a benefit to a subpopulation not being “breeders.” This would preserve the “disposition” genes, if they exist, or the social memes, if the variation is not genetic.)

Geolocation

This map plots suspected AP IP geolocation data. When it was compiled, there were many loosely suspected IP addresses from the RationalWiki Racialism article. Those show up in many different locations. There is a series of edits from Seoul Korea, with a likely user who is not AP. Zoom in on the map of England (where the “home” marker shows). There are two markers with that symbol, one is the apparent residence of the AP brothers, the other is the University of Roehampton, which AP was attending when the whole AP affair began in 2011. The edits strewn around the world will mostly be eliminated from this map …. they were only listed to see what IP might look like with non-AP users. None of those show up in the actual AP area. As well, the red icon with the X is an open proxy known to have been used by AP. Those locations are, of course, meaningless.

The original Anglo Pyramidologist study did not include anonymous (IP) editors, largely to avoid claims of privacy policy violations. However, suspected sock reports have often included IPs, and from block logs, it can sometimes be determined that they were block-evading socks. IP addresses are not persons, as such, and have no intrinsic right of privacy and may, through disruptive action, forfeit the special right granted in some terms of service.

This page includes IPs from the WMF study.

Abbreviations:

  • APG matches generally known AP location
  • OP identified or suspected on evidence as open proxy.
  • UID other location, possibly temporary open proxy or meat puppet — or independent user with coincident interest.

The WMF Study

The RationalWiki study:

Specific deceptive claims

Overall, the RationalWiki article was clearly written as revenge for exposing the activity of “Anglo Pyramidologist” socks, in impersonating and attacking enemies. See the WikiMedia Foundation study, and then the RationalWiki study (created after the attack article was created, and documenting long-term creation of attack articles on many people.)

These studies are long because they do not simply make claims; they are short on “claim” and long on evidence, and they are for the use of this who are interested in reality, rather than mere opinions. Some have discovered that they can play on the reluctance of some to study long pages or complex , and they can then create “fake news” — or claims that sober journalism is fake news, and people then go with knee-jerk reactions.

One of the techniques of trolls, I found this on Wikipedia long ago, is to convert a single incident where there was arguably some problem, into a pattern. So a young woman editing on Wikipedia had copied some materail from a draft page she found. Turned out it was, arguably, a copyright violation, and an obvious troll attacking her claimed that she “creates copyright violations.” Later, in process that I largely created, her history was examined. There were no other examples. But even administrators looking at the original requests of that troll, even if they checked the single example (often, amazingly enough, they don’t!) would see what could be a confirmation (and if they also paid no attention to the back-story, of where she got that material, and she had asked an administrator if she could use it, and the admin had said it was okay.)

Everyone makes mistakes, or takes actions that might be justifiable, or that can look bad if divorced from context. And trolls thrive in an environment where knee-jerk reactions can carry the day. So, from the RationalWiki article, on various topics:

Wikiversity

Written on RationalWiki:

Between 2010 and 2017, Abd was blocked 11 times on Wikiversity.[46]

That looks really bad, eh? The devil is in the details. In response to the message quoted below, I examined the block log. 3 of those blocks were by an rogue custodian, reverted quickly as not following policy, and the custodian was quickly desysopped. It is rare that block logs are reviewed and corrected. Most of the time, if one is unblocked, it’s over, and to review these things can be seen, in itself, as disruptive. What I found, in quick summary, was that of the 11 blocks, two were legitimate (and short). In one of those cases, I simply made a mistake and supported the short block. In the other, I was addressing major disruption and decided to do what would get me blocked to force attention — no custodian was active, so I lit up watchlists. It worked, by the way. But I expected to be blocked, I was willing to be blocked to stop what was happening, it was harming the community.

On 31 December 2017, Abd was blocked for a year for disrupting articles.[47]

That was not the block reason. It was for allegedly disrupting a discussion, when the discussion had become irrelevant (and could be continued, if desired,  by reverting an edit, a few seconds). My block log review goes into details. This was the tenth block in my log. It would have been reversed if not for the eleventh, as stated by another bureaucrat who was involved. But “disrupting articles” (plural) sounds worse.

The same day, a bureaucrat extended his block to indefinite, after pointing out Abd has engaged in contentious activity by misusing the website as his “personal podium” spanning 7 years of long-term abuse:

This, my eleventh block, was based on a review of the block log. Wikiversity did allow people to “take the podium.” It’s not an encyclopedia, and opinion was always allowed. But I had not been substantially contributing to Wikiversity for two years. So why the block now? This was the same bureaucrat who had just blocked me, about which the other bureaucrat, with much more experience, had written:

… I would support this unblock request. The edits in question could be interpreted as a good-faith attempt to resolve a content issue.

It was obviously that, but … either the bureaucrat was not understanding the edits, or was looking for proof that I was disruptive — which can lead to misunderstanding. And so then, looking at my block log, he would react to the length. He very much misinterpreted it. What he wrote in the next block:

Your long term activity at Wikiversity shows a persistent pattern of long term disruption that has been going on for the past SEVEN YEARS! This activity has also drawn a great deal of unwelcome contentious activity to our site that distracts the community from developing learning resources. The unblocks in your log show repeated attempts by our community to assume that you are making a good faith effort to improve Wikiversity despite much evidence to the contrary. I’m not going to get into the minutia of your individual actions. I’m going to make a call based on the sum of your contributions. Wikiversity is not your personal podium. Your participation here has become a drain on the resources of our community and we will not allow this to continue.[48]

This was effectively a community ban, but without any ban discussion, as Wikiversity traditions required. As a result of this claim, I wrote a block log annotation, see below. The AP sock continued:

Harassment and complaints

Prior to his ban, various editors on Wikiversity had complained about Abd’s disruptive behaviour.

Over the years, it’s true, there had been complaints. Often from very disruptive users, such as the former custodian I had blocked for incivility (my block was later confirmed by a bureaucrat as within discretion) and who then embarked on a vendetta… However, there had not been such complaints for years, except very recently from sock puppets of AP, the same person (or small family group) as wrote the RationalWiki article.

He had also sent another user “harassing” emails.[49]

This is conclusory, not factual. The fact  is that a user complained about harassing mails, giving no evidence or details. He links to an entire page on archive.is, but the actual comment was this:

Delete and ban User:Abd for harassing me in e-mails. Wikiversity should be ashamed of itself for continuing to let him abusively campaign here. I have asked the foundation for a ruling as well. ජපස (discuss • contribs) 22:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

He was lying. And there was no “campaign.” I had hardly edited the cold fusion resource — which I did not start as was also claimed — for two years or more. I am informed that the Foundation will be disinterested in these unsubstantiated claims. But one never can tell. Toss enough mud, some may stick. Does anyone notice who is constantly tossing mud? (This user was long banned on Wikipedia for outrageous behavior, but he attempts to conceal his past.) The request for deletion was full of ad hominem arguments irrelevant, normally, to keep or delete.

The emails are quoted on this page. None of this was what is understood as harassment. Disagreement is not harassment, unless continued well beyond a request to stop. There was no request. The correspondence was voluntary. When he ceased responding, I ceased responding, as can be seen in the history quoted. But if this user complained to the bureaucrat, perhaps the bureaucrat believed him.

A Wikiversity bureaucrat noted “We have received numerous legitimate complaints about your activity over a long period of time.”[50]

The bureaucrat writing that was the same one as the one who blocked me twice without following, at all, blocking policy, particularly in there being no violated warning. The AP socks had threatened they would write complaining emails. Obviously, they did. But normally such complaints, if they are to be actioned, would be documented so that an accused user has the opportunity to defend him or herself. this is normally done with a Community Review on Wikiversity, though there are alternate processes. Instead … he reacted. It was out-of-the-blue, without providing any opportunity for defense, explanation, and no warning.

Abd wrote thousands of words on his blog about the incident, claiming he has been incorrectly blocked.[51] Do You Believe That?

Misleading. The link is to the block log annotation which goes over the 11 blocks, created so that anyone who wants to review that block can see the record and history in detail.

Evidence is always lengthy, compared to summary claims. But does that page claim I was “incorrectly blocked”? Which block? As I wrote there, two were legitimate blocks. There were at least three that were obviously and totally illegitimate. What I actually wrote was that the other blocks did not follow blocking policy, which is rather easy to establish. That does not mean that they were “incorrect.” Some were “involved blocks.” Perhaps there was some emergency, for example. Was there? This would take examination of the log entries and circumstances. Whether the block was “correct” or “abusive” or whatever is up to the community, and if the community doesn’t review it — too often that has been the case, it will stand. And that is exactly how wikis become unsafe. It is common and has happened to thousands of users.

Shooting the messenger

I came across this today on Rationalwiki, on the Chicken Coop, RationalWiki’s central “dispute resolution page.” It was a particularly good example of site bias shooting the messenger.

A man with millions of accounts here (many which are admin) is creating articles with doxxing to harass his personal enemies.

He loses them immediately with “millions of accounts.” There is indeed someone who is creating many accounts, not only on RationalWiki, but on WMF wikis and in many places. And he frequently doxxes his enemies and he does have a lot of enemies. I’ve just begun to study his activity, and boy was he pissed! He seems to think that by attacking me and work I have done in the past, he will discourage me. No, it fires me up!

Not “millions.” I might be a thousand, but I have documented a few hundred. But, hey, what is three orders of magnitude among friends? But he is not among friends, as we will see.

The sock master is called Anglo Pyramidologist on Wikipedia, in their Sock Puppet Investigation page. In fact, there are likely at least two people tagged as AP, reputedly twin brothers, Oliver and Darryl Smith. I have not personally confirmed that identity, but he has directly contacted some people directly (by phone and email) and they have provided that information, and I have seen claims that it has been confirmed in public records. But I report what I find from my own study, and then may link to others.

The WMF study was originally written on Wikiversity, but Wikiversity was not well-defended against the massive sock attack that followed, so I moved it to the meta wiki. Here is an archive copy of that study, but after many sock attacks, with resulting locks for the accounts and blocks for open proxy IP, and then the use of mobile IP (which, by the way, was coming from AP’s known location) … it was deleted in a rather strange action, and what I’ve been finding, reviewing logs, is a penumbra of strange actions that often protect this quite vicious sock master. Some are explainable by knee-jerk responses to appearances, but some take on a darker color. He has claimed support, and I’m seeing signs of it. He’s an attack dog, useful to the enemies of those he attacks.

The list of WMF socks taken from that meta study is not deleted, and that was deliberate by the deleting steward, as came out.  (An archive copy just in case.) The study here, linked above, is a bit more complete (and the list of socks from Quack Hunter, mentioned below, will probably add more if study shows identity is likely. )Remember, this is identity with two different users. Atlantid would be the Anglo Pyramidologist brother, and Quack Hunter the one whose best-known account on Wikipedia might be Goblin Face, at least that was a name I immediately recognized.

But all this is foggy. It is as if the anti-quack socks have a manic personality that sometimes displays quite different characteristics (such as very poor spelling or grammar — which he then uses to claim, not not the same!)

I will refer to some of this in commenting on this Chicken Coop affair. The author is Merkel (contributions).  He wrote:

There’s a fellow called Atlantid (I’ll avoid using his real name but you can find all his info by searching Encyclopedia Dramatica) has tons and tons of accounts here. Some examples are User:Krom, User:DougWellerisalunatic, User:PS2, Special:Contributions/Forests Forests, and another Special:Contributions/DinoCrisis Dinocrisis. There’s a ton more.

The headline was sloppy with “millions,” and “tons and tons of accounts is not clear, either, so if he had any hope of getting a point across, he has already largely trashed it. He is apparently not aware of my study of RationalWiki Anglo Pyramidologist sock puppets. It was first created on RationalWiki, and deleted there for alleged doxxing (which it did not do, and such claims are typical for the Smith brothers. Who called them “Smith brothers”? Well, one of them did, creating an article on the “Smith brothers conspiracy theory,” ridiculing it, though the story that there are two brothers involved actually comes from the socks themselves, back in 2011.) It was deleted by an AP sock, and likewise I was blocked by that sock — all outside of normal RW process, but enabled by … David Gerard, in the end. I will tell that story in more detail when I start to analyze how this sock master has been empowered and enabled, by those who are served by the socks’ actions.

He has used “Atlantid” without establishing it. There is no RW account for Atlantid. Atlantid was active elsewhere, and asking users to search Encyclopedia Dramatica is very much a losing strategy. However, looking on Wikipedia, there is such an account, and it is tagged as a sock of Quack Hunter (which is very much an AP kind of name). The account has only one edit, which, from looking at many hundreds of AP accounts, would raise strong suspicion. In fact, it is so blatant that I would suspect an impersonation account, which cannot be ruled out, but AP has never complained about being impersonated. He is following almost everything I write, so he might now!

56 accounts are tagged as Quack Hunter. The names are dead giveaways. To me, this is simply another set of AP accounts, to add to the 190 or so already tagged or identified in the Sock Puppet case page. I will be adding those to the study, those that are not already there. (Since so many names are so similar, I can recognize a name as familiar that is actually a little different….)

As to RationalWik, he claimed “millions,” or “tons and tons,” but only showed five.

  • Krom retired, but still an RW sysop. In my independent study, I tagged Krom here.
  • DougWellerisalunatic  DougWellerisalunatic I had not seen yet, though the name is a red flag. probably impersonating michaeldsuarez, an AP target. I agree with this one and will add.
  • PS2 already recognized.
  • Forests forests is an error. If you are going to shoot the King, don’t miss. He means Forests. Retired 2013, was a sysop, but desysopped after retiring. Yes, from interests, clearly AP. This discussion is fascinating.
  • (There are many clues to other possible accounts.)
  • Dinocrisis. This link was also broken. Retired 2013, like Forests, and was likely the same user.

Dinocrisis was mentioned in this edit by OldWatch, but mispelled as Dinoscrisis:

Krom/Schizophrenic/Forests/DinosCrisis/Goosebumps are all the same person.

All the same guy. He’s a patient at Nightingale Hospital London being treated for Schizophrenia. OldWatch (talk) 20:18, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

OldWatch had four edits on 15 October 2015, and then only this one in 2016. The October edits betray AP obsessions (particularly with Ben Steigmann). AP deliberately creates confusion. The first four accounts listed were AP, likely. Goosebumps? Yes, AP. Do remember that from early AP sock studies on Wikipedia, it is very possible that AP is actually two people, and less likely that there is more than two. However, both were disruptive, and both socked. OldWatch, like most suspected AP socks, was a throwaway account, probably intended to create suspicion for someone like mikemikev.

Because the Chicken coop filing mentioned Atlantid and other socks, it was predictable how it went. Does it not occur to someone like Merkel that if AP actually has many socks, including socks who are sysops (and that is obviously the case, I conclude upon study, and because I had studied AP behavior before I ever said anything about it on RationalWiki — though I did not yet know the extent of it), that one will have one shot to say something, and it might be shot down, and they have used blocking and revision deletion to hide what they don’t want to be seen, so that first shot had better be clean. It wasn’t. It will usefully reveal more about the socks, anyway. He went on:

On the some of the talk pages, he admits it and admits he has tons more.

No links. Therefore useless. Reports his own conclusions but does not even make them verifiable. Yes. One recent obvious sock claimed to be running RationalWiki, with 700 socks. That is believable, but many of them won’t be so obvious and may not be disccoverable, unless someone with raw log access (better than checkuser) decides to take a look, and as long as all those socks are providing useful attack articles, why do it?

The attack articles stimulate legal threats, which then have been used in fund-raising. “Protect RationaWiki against those who hate skeptics!” It works for a certain target audience.

Who is going to bother trying to find those “admissions” without links? Merkel is not terribly smart, which could be related to who he is. He’s outed by a sock…. (The enemies of AP are not therefore my friends! My care and concern and interest is always evidence and  reality, not some point of view. People who might support me in one way, if they lie or do so unskillfully, because of their bias, can be my worst enemies. So far, Merkel has provided practically no userful information, and certainly not enough to arouse the interest of ordinary RatiWikians. That is difficult at best? But this affair demonstrates the power of the AP socks, there. For that it is useful.

The way to tell is this user always has a feud with Mikemikev. It’s a personal feud going back nearly 10 years. He also has a feud with Rome Viharo. This is how he works, he has tons of accounts here and a large number of sysop accounts.

Obsession with Mikemikev is indeed one of the identifying characteristics. Likewise Rome Viharo, who was a target of socks on Wikipedia, and who has long pointed to the “AP” problem. How many sysop accounts doees AP have? Certainly more than one remains. Some became inactive as sysops, and one of these was desyopped, but the norm is that the accounts retain the privilege. I have not carefully examined all suspected AP socks for sysop privileges, but some received them remarkably rapidly. There is very likely off-wiki communication and support. Other accounts with better and less clearly biased contributions languish, sometimes, with no recognition. That kind of systemic bias can be tricky to document and show. But it can be done. It’s only work.

However, anyone who does the work will be presumed biased, operating out of emotional reaction, because this is how most people think. I first saw this behavior more than thirty years ago, with the on-line forum, the W.ElL,L. Even though, for the first time in a significant social setting, the entire history of interactions was visble, when conflict arose, users would not look back, but depended on emotional reaction to the new content. They might often be correct (emotional reactions exist from causes), but this is hardly “rational.” It’s the primitive brain being allowed to dominate and suppress more sophisticated responses — such as the entire process of science and genuine skepticism. Merkel want on:

Well this time he’s on an account Special:Contributions/Dr._Witt Dr._Witt which has really obvious has he created two accounts on his personal enemies Michael Coombs and Eleonóra Dubiczki while also editing the Rome Viharo article and has all but admitted who he is.

Again, broken link for the alleged sock. This guy is allegedly a sysop on Rightpedia. Goes to show, it’s hard to find good help. (Especially for a site like Rightpedia. This may be mentioned later.)

Dr. Witt Dr Witt is mentioned in the RW study, I had come to the same conclusion.

Where Dr. Witt “all but admitted who he is” is not linked. Who will bother to look? With no link and no exact quotation, and 218 edits at this point, even I may not look. This user may be writing off the top of his head. When I research a topic in order to present possibly complex evidence to an audience not necessarily highly motivated to do their own research, I will sometimes state something from personal knowledge, but far more often, I look for a link to evidence. Anyone accustomed to genuine encyclopedic writing will have this as a habit. So I cite the evidence, which can be done as an in-line link for anyone interested. People may still ignore it, if they don’t like it. But … if one makes lousy arguments for the truth, it can cause real damage!

I have seen many places where AP socks effectively admit who they are. Those admisssions are buried in an avalanche, and besides, any one of them might have been impersonation. How do distinguish these? It takes experience with the overall contributions, and almost nobody obtains that experience, they just react to what is in front of them.

Michael Coombs is indeed an AP diagnostic obsession, already observed.

I may mention an account from such an evidence, but the account will need, to be included in my study, more evidence than that. There are a series of symptoms, and I’m not yet revealing all of them, because some he apparently does not recognize, and once he recognizes them, he may then take compensating action to avoid identification. In some cases, he doesn’t care, obviously, blatantly socking and brushing off the blocks and global locks, but in others, he has some investment. What he has found on RationalWiki is that he can be completely blatant, and then the natural human  reaction to it is used to pick off enemies. RationalWiki is effectively highly censored, while pretending the opposite. Sock are allowed, unless the sock is block-evading. But many RW socks have been blocked, so they are all block evading. Someone else socks, they are quickly outed and whacked, often by an RW sock. There is a pattern, and it is through pattern that we obtain deeper understanding of reality. The study of pattern requires far more work than simple reaction. Few will invest the time (which is a rational choice, often).

Eleonóra Dubiczki I had not seen yet. What many of the obsessions apparently come from is those who have frustrated AP’s agenda in some way. I’m an example, and he vowed revenge, and when massive attack socking failed (as it would on WMF wikis, usually), he created the article on me on RW. So I got far more interested in RationalWiki socking and the studies got deeper. He lied about the history, in many places. It simply did not happen as he has claimed, and that can all be shown, but who wants to see the evidence? Rather, the story of personal grievance combined with allegations (false) of belief in pseudosience is an easier story to “understand,” for some. But that is not the point here.

That article would be significant to Merkel. However, this is unlikely to arouse sympathy. As to AP patterns, creation of that article alone, by Dr. Witt, would not be particular suspicious, though with a quick glance I see some signs. The pattern of articles and edits would. That is, Michael Coombs together with an attack on Dubiczki increases suspicion. Registration of an account and an immediate dive into specific topics increases suspicion. The edit to Ben Steigmann is a strong red flag when combined with the rest. Almost nobody knows or cares who Ben Steigmann is, but AP, long-term, has cared very much, and has vowed to track and expose Steigmann everywhere, and created many impersonation socks to attack Steigmann (confirmed by WMF steward checkuser at my request, and documentation of this is what really pissed AP off.) (Steigmann is not a “parapsychologist,” he is a young amateur student of parapsychology and has never claimed to be a parapsychologist. He studies evidence. Parapsychologists test the paranormal and gather and report their own findings.)

Merkel went on:

There’s another user, Special:Contributions/Anti-Fascist_for_life Anti-Fascist_for_life who acts the same and while the user has talked between Dr. Witt, this Atlantid person often talks to himself with accounts.

Yes, definitely an AP sock, totally obvious. Merkel has been somewhat confused by the vast smokescreen AP socks have created. AP is probably two people, sometimes located at the same house (their parent’s) house or meeting at the same location, and sometimes in distinct locations. They sometimes have apparently squabbled or quarreled, but usually they support each other. I.e., like real-life brothers might!

There is also some evidence of off-wiki cooperation that might sometimes bring in meat puppetry.  This would fade into the other confusion: some other people might be interested in the same topics. I suspect that some of the Wikipedia AP identifications may represent this, but the overall pattern, the vast majority of socks — are socks. There are socks clearly identified by both the duck test and checkuser, which starts to approach “proof.”

I have what amounts to checkuser evidence from some of the socks. They don’t know — or don’t care — but when they claim I have no technical evidence, as they often have, using the same phrase “technical evidence,” they are mistaken. I do. I just don’t normally reveal it. Not yet. Not until I’m ready to issue a final report. Then it all comes out.

Well I’d think the fact that someone has a huge sock farm with tons of accounts, many being admins would be disturbing to people here enough, but well there’s more.

He would think that, showing how little experience he has with RationalWiki. First of all, AP has successfully created the impression that anyone claiming a “sock farm” is a crazy conspiracy theorist (which is a misrepresentation of what a conspiracy theory is. I am coming to something approaching some kind of conspiracy, but the sock farm is only a small piece of evidence in that possibility. AP socks have claimed the support of Wikipedia administrators for what they do, and there is recent on-wiki “canvassing,” (which would be open conspiracy, but other aspects would take place off-wiki, and the socks themselves claim to know each other, and defend each other, i.e., they are connected in real life. That could be a conspiracy. Conspiracy is not necessarily bad, but if there is support for attack socks, which lie and impersonate and libel, is that good or bad? Many RationalWiki users, for years, enjoy the lulz (and then complain about others who also enjoy the lulz, attacking AP or Atlantid or “Oliver and Darryl Smith.”)

However, the first accusation of “conspiracy” was by an AP sock ridiculing the alleged conspiracy theory of others, and in particular me, at a point where I was only claiming obvious socking. It was claimed I got this from Rome Viharo, an AP obsession. No, I discovered the vicious attack impersonation socking first, and only became aware of Rome Viharo documentation later. I had seen the attacks on Tumbleman on Wikipedia (and the mistakes Tumbleman had made …. these people have been running this game for years, and newcomers who are naive about how Wikipedia actually works are easily trolled and picked off by them.)

Firstly, Atlantid made the articles using the real names of his victims: Michael Coombs and Eleonóra Dubiczki. According to RationalWiki’s own policies RationalWiki:Blocking policy, these are not allowed:

  • Doxing: Adding personal information about others into a page. This also includes soliciting for such information off of RationalWiki.
  • Harassment: Adding purely offensive material, solely for the purpose of causing emotional harm, into a page.

Even with links, this is not likely to be effective, but without links, it’s impossible. Yes, AP socks routinely doxx users, in many ways. A new user appears and AP will immediately say who it is. This actually was one of the early signs, it’s a standard AP behavior. Even without a real name, it is doxxing (and on Wikipedia can result in an immediate block, if not a necessary part of a sock investigation). However, to make this claim and have it do more than create reaction, requires documentation and evidence, not mere claim.

For doxing, Mikemikev doesn’t keep his personal name that secret but he goes by Mikemikev not his real name. He also is just a random internet troll. Compare his huge article with an article linked from his, Garron Helm. Garron has actually been in newspapers and his article is small. Mike has never been in one newspaper and has no notability and his article is huge. Mike is just a random internet troll, not Lauren Southern, Sargon of Akkad, Brittany Pettibone, or Wife with a Purpose. And for the Wife with a Purpose, that article avoids having her real name in the title even though she’s been in newspapers.

It is doxxing all right. Violators of no-doxxing rules often claim that the person has revealed their real name voluntarily, and this is well-known as not an excuse for the privacy violation. However it might make doxxing legal, i.e., revealing the real name behind an account is a form of journalism, protected speech, if true. Suing someone for revealing your real name would be frivolous. Even if you want the information hidden. But AP screams if anyone says “Smith.” And uses tools to delete it, often.

And the Eleonóra Dubiczki, the woman does not use her real name or anything similar at all. This was stalked up by one person and is secret and doxxing. The article has her real name in the title. Eleo has no newspaper articles and is barely known by anyone. She’s just some anonymous person on the internet and should stay that way.

The argument is cogent, but it is being made to an audience which is largely AP socks (or RW users who are tired of hearing about it and just wish all the drama would disappear). We will see.

Both articles have the real names of the victims in the titles. These are victims which have no newspaper articles, no fame, and are simply the personal enemy of the Atlantid person (again you can find the full history on Atlantid at his Encyclopedia Dramatica article). Atlantid created their articles simply to harass his enemies. These two people have never appeared on any podcasts either. They are very small-time people and simply Atlantid’s enemies. Part of the harassment is so the articles will come up as a top search for their real name.

He is repeating himself, and knows he is going on too long, but apparently did not preview it carefully and did not boil it down. That’s what losers do, in discussions like this. He is right (on this point, i.e., I’d agree with it — and so might a court if someone actually sues, which is unlikely but possible), but being right isn’t enough.

Also the photos in the Michael Coombs article have no licensing information or source and I’m skeptical the copyright policy allows this.

That is called “concern trolling” on RW. The copyright owner may complain, but absent that, RW can host the files under a claim of fair use. If there is a complaint, RW will almost certainly take the image down. Or not, if they are prepared to acknowledge service of the appropriate U.S. District Court.  RW is not Wikimedia Commons, where lack of proper licensing information is grounds for removal. This is a losing argument.

Thanks for reading. Sorry it got long. Merkel (talk) 10:07, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

It didn’t “get long.” He made it long without making it useful. Let’s see the responses:

I’m not too sure about the Michael Coombs one, but there seems to be little evidence linking Eleonóra Dubiczki to those nick/usernames/aliases. All I can find mentioning them as founders are various fora. —Kazitor, pending 10:30, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Kazitor is ignoring the primary issue and focusing on a detail, whether it is right or wrong. He is essentially confirming the concern about Dubiczki. He is not an AP sock, he shows no sign of it, but AP often diverts users into irrelevant arguments. The point was a pattern of creating attack articles. In this case, Merkel has an undisclosed axe to grind, probably, but regular RW users will often fix and remove unsourced claims. It’s not reliable.

The discussion of the Dubicki article belonged on the Talk page for that article, not in the Chicken Coop. An overall negative behavioral issue would belong on the Coop if other efforts to resolve issues have failed. Going to the Coop with a Dramatic Story (Millions of socks!!!) was doomed from the start. If you get any attention at all, it’s likely to turn out negatively

Its nonsense from a troll. Merkel is a neo-Nazi who administrates Rightpedia named “A Wyatt Man”; Eleonóra Dubiczki is the creator of Rightpedia an anti-Semitic alt-right wiki that argues for Holocaust denial, flat earth, Moon landing hoax and other crankery, who formerly ran Metapedia as “Hu1”. She created an account using her first name on Metapedia; there are also blog links that connect her online pseudonym(s) to her real surname, that I can provide. Mikemikev revealed his real name on Wikipedia, Metapedia and other wikis; so its public knowledge. Furthermore, a mere Google-search of “Mikemikev” and you get his real name on dozens of websites, including Kiwi Farms; he even confirmed his real identity here as Michael Coombs, although he’s permabanned. The RationalWiki user “Anti-fascist for life” isn’t me, nor are 5/6 of the other accounts Merkel listed, that are years old and look inactive anyway. Also, I’m not bothered by what idiots write about me on Enyclopedia Dramatica – satire, rumours and misinformation that no-one takes serious; if I’m not mistaken David Gerrard and several other RationalWiki sysops have silly articles there written about them as well. The real issue here is Mikemikev is worried about getting imprisoned for hate-speech since his RW article now documents all his extreme racist internet postings such as him wanting to shoot and kill black people, Jews etc, so he wants his article deleted and is now sending his neo-Nazi buddies here, since he is banned.Dr. Witt (talk) 15:18, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

This response alone would convince me that Dr. Witt is AP. AP socks routinely lie, but sometimes they tell the truth. Is he “Anti-fascist for life.” I don’t know, but it is entirely that one is one brother and the other is the other. Antifascist for life I had previously identified as a clear RW sock (and, yes, I have technical evidence, these guys don’t realize how much is visible if one looks with care and diligence.)

“Doxxing” is normally based on “public knowledge,” and AP socks have often accused others of doxxing for revealing what was found in public records. As evidence for the Dubiczki account claim, Dr. Witt had cited Encyclopedia Dramatica, but now he deprecates it as to what is claimed about him. AP obviously wants to have it both ways,  to prohibit others from doing what he does routinely. That all becomes obvious if one actually studies the accounts and the histories. If not, one will simply react based on whichever story is more knee-jerk appealing.

Did mikemikev “send his Neo-Nazi buddies”? Maybe. I don’t actually know mikemikev, I have had no direct communication with him. I have no idea if he is a vicious racist neo-Nazi or otherwise. I do know that he has very likely been impersonated, at least on occasion, and impersonation socks can then create public records that say what they want to say. Normal wikis will use checkuser and other evidence to detect this, as actually happened (eventually) with AP socks impersonating Ben Steigmann (though Wikipedia still has not woken up to it, nor have I made serious attempts to inform Wikipedia admins. Only one, who has largely disappeared and did not respond.)

RW is not a normal wiki.

There then ensued a conversation between likely AP socks, DangerZone and Dr. Witt. Classic. They ridicule the sock allegations. In the few places where these conversations have taken place with checkuser available, they have either

  • lied about being independent, or
  • were sharing internet access or even the same computer in such a way for checkuser to tag them as “related.”

It is entirely possible that there are two users. Less likely that there are three, as implied by DangerZone:

It is not doxing because it is public knowledge. Real life doxing is posting peoples addresses or contact information, nobody has done that. I also just discovered that “Dubiczki” is not her real second name, only a fake one she uses online. I won’t link to her real second name but it is obtainable online if one looks deep enough. So in conclusion there is no doxing here. Dubiczki is a fake second name she uses. Merkel is clearly a hoaxer trying to stir trouble about other users. I take this seriously because he has been posting false information about a friend of mine, a user here anti-fascist for life. DangerZone DangerZone (talk) 17:24, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

AP socks have commonly claimed doxxing merely because accounts were shown as suspected socks. Then, when AP doxxes accounts — and here claimed a real name even though he later claims it’s not a real name — he more narrowly defines doxxing. The AP theme is that anyone he does not like is wrong. The argument that information that is somewhere, somehow “public knowledge” is not doxxing, is highly misleading. Actual doxxing may be proper under some circumstances. (The WMF issue is “privacy violation.” If the information revealed can readily lead to real-name information, it can be a privacy violation, but violation of what? Privacy violations can be necessary because privacy can effectively be waived by disruption.

The claim that a suspected sock is not so because “he is a friend of mine,” is a common AP argument. In some of these cases, the sock was checkuser-tagged. I.e., “friend” was actually “close friend” or likely, a brother. There are a number of main topics of interest for AP socks, and they can be roughly categorized into two interest areas, with some overlap. The two areas correspond, again roughly, to claims AP socks have made about themselves and “their brother.” Hence a common generic name for the “organizing principle” is “Smith brothers.”

I have some level of suspicion that the entire “brother story” was, from the beginning in 2011, a smokescreen, that there is only one (which some on Wikipedia also suspected). If I had to choose which story to work on, it would probably be “two brothers.” So when one claims that the other is not him, it might even be true, but it is irrelevant if both are pursuing the same agenda, as if completely independent.

I have noticed that when one AP sock refers to another, or to Angle Pyramidologist, the name is often mispelled, which then can frustrate internet searches. Here, DangerZone (contributions) refers to “anti-fascist for life”.

Anti-Fascist for life is the user name. Capitalization matters. The user is a sysop and the rights log shows very rapid assignment, an apparent AP pattern on RW. (As usually those assigning the right are not suspected AP socks, the significance of this is not clear yet, other than AP socks fitting into a pattern of desired or supported behavior.

The Cooping was closed at the request of RoninMacbeth, who is not at all suspected of being an AP sock.

Fairly obvious troll post, I say archive and move on. RoninMacbeth (talk) 18:21, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Agreed. Comrade GC (talk) 18:23, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Agreed Bongolian (talk) 18:38, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

This is a standard RW response. However, calling “Merkel” a “troll” may be quite inaccurate. I suspect he was sincere, given whom he is accused of being. His response is not trolling, it is emotional reactivity:

I requested to protect people from harassment, personal information put out, and stuff that would cause problems for them in real life. Saying this is trolling shows how sick some of you are. You are really sick people. Let’s say you get doxxed and harassed online and you ask it to stop and the response from your cyberbullies is to call you a troll. Merkel (talk) 02:49, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Here is what happens: Someone is attacked on RW, with doxxing or libel, and they create an account (or already have one) and they protest, and point to the obvious socking. They are then doxxed and blocked. Merkel was blocked by Anti-Fascist for Life. RW cares nothing about conflict-of-interest blocks. It’s all part of the Drama that they love and hate, far too many of them.

The Cooping was quite premature, and not carefully prepared, if it was to have any chance of success. I have seen far stronger Coopings dismissed out of hand. In fact, I had almost entirely stopped making any contributions to RationalWiki because gross abuse was tolerated. (And effectively encouraged.) At the time, I did not suspect any conspiracy, as such. That view is beginning to shift. There is some kind of organized effort, which also provides an explanation that will allow some of the AP socks to be, instead, meat puppets, fed bullshit privately (mailing list?) which they then post “independently.” All in a good cause, of course.

The discussion on User talk:Merkel is typical for AP socks, i.e., Krom, Dr. Witt, Anti-Fascist for life, and DangerZone. Non-socks (almost certainly): Comrade GC and Cosmikdebris.

This from Dr. Witt is pure trolling, designed to provoke Merkel (or Mikemikev) into more outraged response, so he can again be blocked.

@ Merkel
Mikemikev posted threats or was trying to intimidate me by saying he will show up on my door. The guy is about 10 stone and almost anorexic; he would crap himself meeting me in person. You forget we have what he looks like on video; put in around2: 10 and he was named the “bean-pole Nazi” on Kiwi FARMS. Even the Nazis from the The Right Stuff were mocking his laughable physique. When am I to expect this lanky ugly weirdo on my door-step?Dr. Witt (talk) 04:27, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

He might not show up alone…. Insult enough crazy people for being weaklings, they might show up with a gun.

This is classic trolling, insulting the target to provoke a response. Totally irrelevant to RationalWiki. Dr. Witt is also a sysop, quickly assigned. The Smith brothers, allegedly twins, are young (like Mikemikev and many other targets). This is all testosterone-crazed delayed-development behavior.

(I personally would not show up at his door, that would be stupid. Rather, a constable or process server (I don’t know how it works in England) would show up, if I decided to do anything. Mere insult is not generally enough for legal action, it depends on context. What I do know is that some targets have experience real-life damage because of AP activity, and they would have a cause of action. Whether they take advantage of this legally depends on many factors, but I think it may be coming.)

Step on enough toes and eventually one of these toes will be attached to a fist with weight behind it.

Hey, some woo: Karma!!!

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

Skeptical

Update: Skeptical added this comment to the Article on me created by an Anglo Pyramidologist sock.

RationalWiki conspiracy theory

Lomax was perm-banned from RationalWiki for doxxing and trolling.[36] 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.[37]

He lies, on multiple verifiable points. Skeptical is an Anglo Pyramidologist sock. From a review of what these socks do (from an extensive history) and a review of Skeptical’s activity, it’s obvious. I found this independently. (And have been blocked by Skeptical for pointing it out.)

Note 36 is a reference to my RW block log. It shows:

  • 15:06, 26 October 2017 Skeptical (talk | contribs) changed block settings for Abd (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (repeated doxxing as well as harassment, now attacking rationalwiki users on his personal blog)

Skeptical knows that nobody is banned from RW “permanently” simply on the action of a single wet-behind-the-ears sysop. There is the Coop for that, and the last thing these trolls want to do is call attention to this on the Coop. I’ve been thinking of doing it, but … not yet. But AP socks care nothing at all about truth, nor about rationality, they care about revenge and attack.

Note 37 is a link to the overall RationalWiki page here. They have an article on me, I return the favor. Pages are not actually blog “sections”, butare places for developed content. That content might be moved about. Of course, with a known incoming link, I’ll keep it where it is or create a redirect.

What I did on meta was begin to document the Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and meta sock downpour, and I was massively attacked there for it. Then the RationalWiki article was written, fulfilling a threat to retaliate. This is no “conspiracy theory,” it’s an actual confirmed sock family, with clearly visible behaviors.

No, I did not claim that a “group of RationalWiki editors live in the same house.” What the record shows is that there are apparently two brothers who at some points have edited wikis from the same IP address, and there is information that, at one point, they were living with their parents — or one of them was at college and was visiting home. I am not certain that any information I have on these brothers is reliable, but they are considered as if a single user on Wikipedia, and so too were all the attack socks on Wikiversity and Meta. I do not know if there is only one person, or two; but early in the history one brother (the one who had the account Anglo Pyramidologist) claimed that the massive numbers of socks were being created by the other brother, and actually asked that the IP be blocked to prevent it. In a later SPI report on Wikipedia, this brother asked that his brother be checkusered, to discover how many socks he had.

There is also a possible sister who was caught by checkuser on Wikipedia. (One of the socks mentioned the sister. The writing style of the sister is different, as far as I’ve seen. This is  HealthyGirl, who was blocked purely on checkuser evidence, which easily could occur if accessing the internet from the same house (using the same service provider), or even more if using the same computer. This supports the “same family” interpretation. This “sister,” however, shared a similar interest, but did not, as far as I’ve seen, edit disruptively (which is why there was no complaint). See the SPI case.

The case for HealthyGirl (and a pile of other socks of GoblinFace, later merged with the AP sock archive), was filed by Opabinia Regalis, who gained checkuser rights in 2015 when elected to the Arbitration Committee. No evidence was shown, but it is a practical certainty that this checkuser already knew and was filing the case as a formality.

Krelnik defended HealthyGirl . Krelnik is Timothy Farley, a well-known skeptic. I am not investigating Krelnik here, but there are possible connections to the Smith brothers (who claimed approval and association with a well-known skeptical organization, which could match Farley).  (I have as yet seen no disruptive editing from Krelnik, and even the opposite. From one of his own blogs, he is a pseudoskeptic, but that is fairly common and no offense.)

Also defending HealthyGirl was another user who left a comment without signing it:

Healthygirl is not anglopyramidologist, you can clearly see that two or more users have used the same or similar IP addresses. I know for a fact they are not the same person because I know who healthygirl is. Not that it matters because they were abused with offsite harressment and they retired, but admins have done a lousy job of banning her. It is not the same person.

He’s right. He knows HealthyGirl because this is probably his sister. The story of common IP is all through the AP sock investigations and it is more or less equivalent to “living in the same house,” at least occasionally, which is ridiculed on RationalWiki, by the same family of socks, particularly including Skeptical.

The brothers allegedly have different interests, but what I’ve found in my study is a lot of crossover. The same old interests are present, but both sets of interests (the two possible brothers) show high disruption. What is actually happening I don’t know. There are others who have been real-world harassed by one or more of the brothers, who have their real names and other information. I have verified none of that, but these are the “Smith brothers,” Oliver and Daryl. They are well-known. Here is a page on them, by Rome Viharo, who has also been extensively harassed by them.

There was an article created by an AP sock, on RW, RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory, promptly nominated for deletion by another AP sock. It was blamed on Rome Viharo, but the page actually ridiculed the idea of there being any such “conspiracy.” No, the page was created by an AP sock, from many evidences.

Claiming that a family of socks is active, known to be socks in a place where there is checkuser identification (WMF wikis, and there has also been identification on blogs, I think, where blog admin can see the same information as a checkuser), is not a “conspiracy theory” by any stretch of the imagination. But, again, Smith socks routinely lie and impersonate and deceive (and if one of them — i.e, a different user “incorrectly” identified as a sock — doesn’t, he may still be considered responsible unless he truly blows the whistle.)

The subpage here that studies RW AP socks is RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist.  That is just the most recent findings, from a relatively quick study. One of these socks claimed to be “running RW” with having created a huge number of socks, and how happy he was that RW doesn’t have checkuser. In fact, David Gerard is a tech and would have access to server logs, the checkuser extension merely makes it easier. But Gerard likes these socks doing what they do, that’s my conclusion, and he and his friends liked what they were doing on Wikipedia. Attack dogs, that rile up their enemies and then they can be picked off.

The first attempt on the RW Anglo Pyramidologist study was deleted as “doxxing,” but it did not doxx, it did not reveal the real-life identify of the Smith Brothers. I am now mentioning the name, there is no  longer any reason not to. There are people looking at legal action. At this point, I have not suffered sufficient harm to consider that myself, but there are people who have been harmed, and I fully support prosecution of those who impersonate and lie and harm or attempt harm.


Skeptical, recently given sysop tools on RationalWiki, is one of over 200 identified “Anglo Pyramodol0gist” socks,. This is a history of that account, showing why I consider Skeptical likely to be an AP sock.

AP socks not uncommonly attack each other, it is part of the disruption and deception, a smokescreen. Collectively, they doxx and attack, but then can individually distance themselves from it. Of more interest to me is the few connected long-term users, including some users with high privilege levels, who use these disposable attack socks for their own purposes. We will see that in this study.

On RationalWiki, this is routine, but my sense is growing that this explains a great deal of what has happened on Wikipedia. Hence, while RationalWiki is small and largely inconsequential, some users from Wikipedia go there and show how they behave when the gloves are off. What may appear as simple POV-pushing on Wikipedia becomes outright viciousness.

Contributions  Block Log (blockee)  Block log (blocker)  Deletion log  User rights (target)

01:09, 23 September 2017 User account Skeptical (talk | contribs) was created

02:16, 23 September 2017 Skeptical created, as his first edit, the RW article on Laird Shaw. He was immediately joined by MrOrganic, also a likely AP sock. MrOrganic was more blatant with outing; for example, this sequence doxxes Heyguy as a “Rome Viharo sock,” and has previously accused Laird Shaw of impersonating RW users on his own forum, the very behavior that AP socks are known for.

Rome Viharo and Emil Kirkegaard are favorite targets of AP socks, along with mikemikev and Ben Steigmann. The account EmilOWK is Kirkegaard, who posted this on Talk:Laird Shaw:

Note that this page was likely created by under two sock-puppets (he has numerous profiles on this website). Both profiles used for this article have no other contributions. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Skeptical https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/MrOrganic . RationalWiki admins should be aware that Oliver S. is using the site to essentially seek out random people who he thinks (rightly or wrongly) to like something RW labels pseudoscience (or fringe etc.), and then put their name on this website.

So Kirkegaard thinks that Skeptical and MrOrganic are Oliver S. socks, and this was posted the day that the Laird Shaw article was created. Skeptical and MrOrganic continued to work on the Shaw article and to “argue” on the Talk page. The brothers? Maybe. There are signs of disagreements, and Skeptical later blocked a series of AP socks and deleted their pages. But AP would be fully capabable of doing that with his own creations, ones that were only created to harass, knowing that someone else would do it if he didn’t.

On 5 October 2017, Marky, as his first edit, created the RW article on me, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax. He had obviously spend days researching this. Why the sudden interest in me? I had been almost entirely inactive on RationalWiki for years. The reason is obvious. It was attempted revenge for my activity exposing his impersonation socks on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and the WMF meta wiki.

Then an article was created (October 8, I think) on the “RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory,” by MrOrganic, which Marky nominated for deletion as “A load of bullshit from Rome Viharo.” MrOrganic is certainly not Rome Viharo! There is some possibility that there are two active brothers; but MrOrganic created the Conspiracy article with the official line: the whole idea of a conspiracy is preposterous, but the concept of the Smith Brothers is not a conspiracy theory: there is a family of sock puppets, with an early account being, on Wikipedia, Anglo Pyramidologist, and sometimes one of the identified socks claims “my brother is the disruptive one, creating many sock puppets….” but both, if there are two, sock extensively.

The deletion nomination.  (Archive copy). Without waiting for a deletion discussion conclusion, the Smith Brothers article was deleted by David Gerard, October 8. In the discussion, DG wrote: “Nuked as a really obvious attempt at harassment. Sysops can extract anything useful if there is anything useful.”

I commented on the attached talk page. This was quick-archived, then the archive was deleted, by David Gerard, October 9, (Harassment: attempted doxing … if mods particularly disagree they can put it back, but …)” Doxxing has a definition on RW, and there was no doxxing on that talk page. 

That same day, Gerard desysopped me, with “(attempted harassment, ban may follow)”. Who  was being harassed?

Gerard’s actions were solicited on User talk:David Gerard by Marky, and Skeptical gets quite involved.

Eventually Skeptical deleted the Smith brothers Talk page itself.

His summary: (Doxing: doxing (article is already deleted for the same)). He’s lying, there was no doxxing on that page, and doxxing would normally be handled by revision deletion, not the entire page. The only “dox” was the name “Smith,” which had been put up by, it’s obvious, a Smith brothers. (The article uses some of the identical language used by an Anglo Pyramidologist sock about “zero technical evidence.” Which simply is not true, but … I had not provided the technical evidence on RationalWiki because it was unnecessary there, and also implicated a more established Anglo Pyramidologist editor. However, any RationalWiki sysop can see the evidence, and some of it is still public.

What is a near-certainty at this point is that Skeptical/Marky and many others are socks of the troll identified on Wikipedia and Wikiversity and meta as Anglo Pyramidologist, so Gerard is doing their bidding. The section on Gerard titled “Doxing” is hilarious.  This is what Skeptical deleted.

The only real names there are impersonation targets (such as Rome Viharo, or Ben Steigmann). I do not think that EmilOWK got this information from me. He compiled it himself, it’s obvious.

Almost all of Skeptical’s actions since he created the account have been following the Smith agenda and pursuing his special interests, generally revenge. It’s easier to just say “Smith” rather than “Anglo Pyramidologist,” and while that is alleged to be a real name, it is so common that it does not actually accuse anyone specific.

Enablers

David Gerard is responsible for how he has allowed himself to be used. There are larger connections and issues, there are connections with the general skeptical community. Others, not Smith and who would presumably not approve of what Smith does, have approved the activities of these socks in attacking those with differing points of view. There is a coordinated faction active on Wikipedia, it’s obvious and quite public, and this has never been confronted there, that faction has been protected, probably because it serves the larger “anti-fringe, anti-pseudoscience” faction by attacking “enemies.”

Bigs gave sysop rights to Skeptical, quite rapidly, 9 October, 2017. Bigs has not been so obviously promoting the Smith agenda, and appears to be a general purpose RW user. See Skeptical User rights log.

Christopher, as seen in that log, gave Skeptical  autopatrolled rights (which allows bypass of Captcha), 24 September, 2017. I have come across Christopher in other AP-related actions, so this bears further examination. AP is using RationalWiki purposes, and community habits, for his own purposes, which are far from rational and promoting critical thinking.

Evidence that Skeptical is an Anglo Pyramidologist sock

Skeptical is an SPA entirely devoted to special and easily-identifiable AP interests, and has made practically no effort to conceal this. This has been standard for most AP socks that have been identified in the past through checkuser. Even though Skeptical has sysop privileges on RW, and one might think that AP would then consider the account valuable, it is obvious that it has not been considered worth the effort. AP may have other socks which have been more heavily protected from identification.

Registration: 01:09, 23 September 2017

First edit was the creation of an article on Laird Shaw, an AP target.  02:16, 23 September 2017

Skeptical’s contributions at that point., a total of 11, for two days. Who “forgot to do this”? All those contributions but two were to the article he created or the Talk page.  Those other two edits were to add  Category:People with schizophrenia having added it to Harun Yahya

(The source on Harun Yahya’s alleged schizophrenia actually casts doubt on the diagnosis, on the opinion of Edip Yuksel, whom I know personally and who is reasonably likely to be correct. Cherry-picking from sources is too common with RW attack articles.)

Skeptical then added the category to Laird Shaw, which would have been his purpose. The coverage in the Laird Shaw article shows that Shaw was at one point diagnosed, but being diagnosed with schizophrenia can be iffy — and transient. A diagnosis, per se, does not establish the fact of being a person “with schizophrenia,” especially not as an ongoing condition. Various conditions can imitate schizophrenia, and real schizophrenia also sometimes resolves.

Skeptical continued to edit only with regard to AP interests, with very few exceptions. (“AP interests” have been determined through long-term observation of topics that identified AP socks have edited, and through the very common involvement of additional AP socks in articles being edited. Obviously, simply editing one of these articles is not much evidence, but when nearly all edits are so visible, the evidence becomes strong. This is the Wikipedia “duck test,” and it is how most socks are identified there, with what AP refers to as technical evidence (as in “you have no technical evidence” — which was not true), being only a confirmation (and being used to identify sleepers who have avoided the Favorite Topics, or who have not edited disruptively within them).

  • 00:49, 9 October 2017 Bigs (talk | contribs) changed group membership for Skeptical from Autopatrolled to Sysop (Seems sane.)

Skeptical had 60 contributions at this point.

None of these contributions were outside of AP’s well-established interests. The last edit shown,  00:35, 9 October 2017, a few minutes before being opped, was an attack on me, and showed involvement in drama. But he had apparently moved a discussion. How was he even aware of that discussion? (He had edited it, those edits and the move do not show up in his contributions because he deleted the pages).

After that, Skeptical shows no actions or contributions until October 18, when he begins blocking blatant AP socks and deleting pages they created. A series of accounts were created: for example:

And then Skeptical, who had not edited, nor, apparently, even looked at RW, since October 9, jumps in and starts deleting and blocking:

One other RW sysop had apparently seen some of the disruption:

And once he had deleted those pages and blocked the blatant attack accounts, then:

That, of course, was the goal and purpose of the entire sequence. (There was no doxing on that page, to my knowledge. Listing socks is not doxxing.)

Skeptical also blocked EmilOWK, the real account for another AP target, see RationalWiki/AngloPyramidologist#Emil.

Looking at Skeptical’s full contributions and logs, his interests are entirely aligned with the AP sock family. He has edited practically nothing outside that, and he has not edited since November 7. His later actions deal with topics that are also familiar from researching AP. Kiwi Farms, Lolcow. Given other actions of his, I’m surprised this is still visible. On his User talk page.

Hi Oliver!
How’s it been holding up big guy? Parkordude91

Abd Lomax‘s conspiracy theory about my identity is getting old… I’m not that person. Also if you look on the Kiwi Farms article, what I actually did was delete the entire Joshua Conner Moon page (see what it formerly looked like on archive.is). I also deleted the Joshua Conner Moon talk, but I was reverted. The new article on Kiwi Farms looks pretty neutral if you ask me, i.e. it only says “critics point out” as if others disagree, furthermore it notes Moon’s comments about killing Muslims are possibly not serious, although that’s disputable (only he knows). The section on Joshua is now a mere 3 lines. Skeptical (talk) 03:12, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

So how does Skeptical get from “Oliver” to “Abd Lomax’s conspiracy theory”?

If there is a conspiracy, I have not documented it, sock puppetry not being a conspiracy, and I did not originate the idea of Skeptical being “Oliver,” nor did I promote that on RationalWiki, or anywhere. I have on this page mentioned the claim that there are two brothers, Oliver and Daryl, the former being the original AngloPyramidologist user on Wikipedia, but this was already widespread rumor. I still consider it rumor. Then how does he get to “Kiwi Farms?” The link to “Parkordude91” was broken (that user must have mangled his signature in his preferences), the actual user is this. Parkordude91’s only other edit was to Lolcow and doesn’t mention Moon or Kiwi Farms, for that matter.

So how would Skeptical get from “Oliver,” as well, to Kiwi Farms and Joshua Conner Moon. My suspicion is he knows that these are hot “Smith brothers” topics, because he is a Smith brother. If that is the real name; as I have said before, I do not have personal knowledge on that. And with those edits he protected his User talk page (which probably will not fly long-term) and stopped editing. In over two weeks he has not apparently looked at RationalWiki. With that account, that is.

Among Skeptical’s last actions before he disappeared, he full-protected his user page and user talk page (very unusual unless there had been extensive vandalism, which there had not been). But … there was outing, and he did, in fact, revision-delete some of it:

Lol you locked your talk page Oliver. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Is it nice in Aldenham Road in your moms house today?

The deletion log says: “(Potentially libelous information).” That was not “potentially libelous information,” so, again, he lied. 109.144.18.199 was the IP adding that. Geolocation matches AP, perhaps. Skeptical blocked the IP.

Before that, he had also rev-del’d his Talk page, hiding the comment made by an IP:

The term pedophilia is commonly used in a legal context to an adult who has sexual intercourse with someone under the legal age of consent; that’s always been my understanding of the word. If you look up an age of consent map by country, virtually everywhere is between 16 and 18. Those figures are not arbitrary since they match legal adulthood, which is also between 16 and 18 (nearly everywhere). So this is why under 16-18 is legally a “minor”. The only people who try to re-define pedophilia outside of law are pedophiles/pedophile apologists.Skeptical (talk) 15:33, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

The word is never used in a legal context and is totally undefined by law, Oliver. You’re just a sadistic lying mentally-ill slanderer, perfect for you this Communist website. You’ll get what’s coming to you believe me. 212.219.231.1 (talk) 10:11, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

While the IP is reactive and unsophisticated in the political analysis, he (unlikely she, eh?) was correct about the word not being used in a legal context. Pedophilia has nothing to do with consent, medically it is about a sexual preference for prepubescent children. It just happens to be that such children, legally, cannot give consent. Sex under the legal age of consent is punishable by law regardless of whether the person is a “pedophile” or not, and “being a pedophile” is not illegal, at least not in the U.S. and the U.K. However, a claim that someone is a pedophile based on thin evidence (such as a differing opinion about the legal issue) is common for AP socks. “Pedophile” is a splendid insult to toss. Gets people riled up.

Skeptical, of course, blocked the IP. I have linked to geolocation. This is a bit further west than I have seen any AP socks. Good chance this is, however, the same person as the other IP.

No wonder he disappeared. It had gotten too hot. What’s he gonna do? Range block millions of IP addresses? Is he “Oliver” and is his mom’s address on Aldenham Road? At this point, I don’t know; his reaction to the information, however, makes it seem plausible. The claim matches known AP home IP.

So this led me to http://archive.is/AxS7S, archived from Lolcow wiki, an article on Oliver D. Smith. That wiki is far from a reliable source. The more fuss AP makes, the more is discovered and published. He has been relentless in harassing others and sooner or later there is blowback. Documenting what he has done is not harassment, certainly not legally. Calling him up might be. Or not. Depends.

However, when I read that Lolcow Wiki article, I recognize, now, much of it as factual. It is far more factual than what I see from AP, as to what I know myself. But I have not verified a great deal that is there. It claims more than 100 socks on Lolcow Wiki alone. That article, though, is extensively and carefully sourced.

As to distinguishing between Oliver and Darryl Smith, Skeptical would likely be Oliver, i.e., the original Anglo Pyramidologist. Not that it really matters, the brothers, if there are brothers, support each other and cover up for each other.

Another page documenting the history of Oliver Smith is very thorough: http://archive.li/hnMya from Encyclopedia Dramatica. I don’t particularly trust any of this without verifying it, but it’s thoroughly sourced.

I find very little on Darryl Smith by comparison. It is possible that the two have been confused in some cases. They more or less invite that.

 

Gateway to Chaos, Confusion, and Complexity

I spent years as a very active Wikipedia editor. My contributions there don’t reflect well the level of work that I did — some users accumulate large edit counts with brief reverts based on immediate appearances, it’s very quick, sometimes even computer-assisted, I once tracked the contributions of an administrator who obviously sat at his computer pressing Save several times a minute for simple edits suggested by a program. He did this for many hours.

You can see the total numbers of my contributions on all WMF wikis on the global account display. Because my “community ban” on Wikipedia has come up recently– the situation being misrepresented in the new RationalWiki article on me — I will cover this on a page here, Wikipedia/Bans/Abd (draft, not complete)

There is a theme, revenge. In theory, Wikipedia is not a battleground. In practice, it is. Continue reading “Gateway to Chaos, Confusion, and Complexity”

Anglo Pyramidologist

Someone not familiar with how the Anglo Pyramidologist socks have operated may not understand this page. My history with this may help. I became aware of a Wikiversity resource created by Ben Steigmann having been deleted, and investigated. What I found and ultimately demonstrated, through steward checkuser findings, was that an admitted sock puppet (now globally locked) created an array of socks impersonating Steigmann on Wikipedia in order to arouse an angry response. It worked. When I began to examine the history of this, I was massively attacked by sock puppets, first on Wikiversity, then on the meta wiki. All this has been documented on meta. [now deleted, see archive.is and the current page here.] One of the socks claimed to have four active Wikipedia accounts, and many others with low activity. Defeated at meta, with attempts to get the study deleted (which would accomplish nothing, it’s archived) being ignored by stewards, continued retribution was promised. And so, after some delay, an article on me was published on RationalWiki by a brand-new account, which is SOP for these socks for many targets. This article on me must have taken many hours of research, this new account was highly motivated.

“Outing” and doxxing by these socks is often tolerated on RationalWiki, but the socks are largely disposable. When blatant and disruptive sock puppetry is tolerated, as it often is on RationalWiki, communities fall apart and private agendas dominate. This is a statement by one of the socks on RationalWiki:

I’ve pretty much been running this website since 2012 by content/article creations; around 700 socks to date. God bless RationalWiki! I love the fact this wiki has no check-user. lol.

This ColdFusionCommunity page is apparently considered worthy of an indefinite block on RationalWiki, by the only sysop there whom I had mentioned so far, AFAIK, Skeptical. He had previously deleted the on-RW version of this page. (And also the deletion discussion for that page), and his contribution history is full of AP obsessions, with little else. His obsession with my writing here has now converted me from some suspicion that he is likely a sock from the “Anglo Pyramidologist family” to this being a high probability– just as previous attacks by probable socks of the family, see the meta pages referenced below, had convinced me that I was on the right track and increased my suspicion of some of those that they insanely “defended” (i.e., that were not actually being attacked.)

(Anglo Pyramidologist also attempts to create enmity between users, so, for example, if I mentioned a user offhand, not “attacking” that user, AP then treats it as an attack, perhaps hoping that the user will see it and not realize that it’s not an attack, and then join in attacking me. The only possible appearance of AP in comments on this blog was an impersonation of a user known to have disagreements with me. Classic AP arguments were used.)

Special studies: Skeptical

There is a terrible problem that sock masters face. It is work to keep an account active, so even with accounts where the user obtains privileged access, the user moves on to new accounts. Most AP accounts are very short-activity SPAs. But others show longer sustained activity, and then we see “Retired” templates … or they simply stop editing Skeptical started out as a typical AP sock, with AP interests. He never went beyond those. Skeptical started editing 4 October 2017, diving immediately into high activity with AP obsessions. When he was granted sysop status, his actions were entirely involved with AP or AP obsessions. He blocked a pile of blatant AP attack socks. The naive might think this indicates he wasn’t AP, but the timing actually indicates that he had direct information, the response was so swift. And he lied about the content of the study and other pages he deleted. And then, he protected his User page and User Talk page, 7 November 2017. For a sysop to full-protect their user page is very odd. If harassed, yes, semiprotection. But what had actually happened was that someone outed him. I’ll document this on the special page.

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.

Now, back to our regular programming:


Introduction

Socks organized by edited page or source

Anglo Pyramidologist is an account that was blocked on Wikipedia in 2011, but that is considered to have been operating a large number of sock puppets. It is possible that this is more than one actual user, perhaps using the same internet access; possibly members of the same family (and this is claimed on various web sites), but certain areas of interest and behavioral characteristics can be seen through the possible noise. This study of RationalWiki user patterns is informed by prior studies of Wikipedia and WMF sock behavior, which are still live on the meta wiki, but which can also be seen at User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist and User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist/User data (archive.is copies)

There were extensive attempts to harass me on Wikiversity and on the meta wiki, and when those were interdicted by stewards, an article was created on me on RationalWiki, where I had sysop privileges (since 2012, but mostly inactive). There was, again, massive harassment there. As part of my prior research, I had seen how AP uses socks, including impersonations, to attack perceived enemies and to create disruption that can then serve as a cover for hidden agendas. I started to list the accounts on RationalWiki and this was promptly deleted and I was blocked. That is all of ultimate interest. I’m starting here to recreate and expand the list of accounts to support further study.

This sock family has done extensive damage to Wikipedia and to other sites and users. These accounts are identified by characteristics seen in the past. Because “innocent bystanders” may show some of these characteristics, the listing here is merely an indication of suspicion, in most cases, not a claim of definitive identification. In some cases the evidence is very strong, however.

There are many indications in the history that there is more than one person behind “Anglo Pyramidologist.” This Wikipedia Checkuser request from July 2016 is remarkable. There are earlier claims of two brothers and a sister.

These are being sorted by the RationalWiki pages on which activity was seen as this list is compiled (which will not be complete). What is given is the contributions display for the user, which is also being archived as found for some users. Notes may be added. Most listing are based on multiple signs, which still may not be conclusive. If a listing has a question mark, this is a shallow appearance, to be reviewed later.

If the contributions history of editors of “articles of interest” are examined, AP socks with more than a few contributions stand out quite clearly, there is a constellation of interests and activities that are quite distinct from ordinary RationalWiki users. This is not merely someone else interested in, say, Rome Viharo, not merely some skeptic. Few of the accounts listed below are questionable. If there is a question mark, there was not enough data available to make a determination. It is also possible that a perfect storm of coincidences hit someone. However, what is very, very obvious is that there is a sock master (maybe two) creating massive numbers of socks, often impersonating users, and there are claims of real-world harassment from this person. RationalWiki is being used as a tool for harassment.

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax&action=history

Talk:Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax&action=history

This is really funny from AstroPhysics:

Abd and his sock-puppets

Abd was blocked on one called “EnergyNeutral” [10] AstroPhysics (talk) 14:43, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

Indeed I was. I documented all this on Wikiversity, in fact. I created one sock in 2011 as a test of the old policy that checkuser was not run for a user who was not disruptive, and not without a filing or complaint. What I found was what I suspected: the old policy had been abandoned and there were private investigations — without any emergency. I had no more reason to sock, having completed the research.

One might notice there is no sock puppet investigation page on me on Wikipedia. AP has hundreds of tagged Wikipedia socks, with high disruption — and Astrophysics is clearly AP, I have technical evidence in addition to the duck test.

And then:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/119.81.64.88 open proxy globally blocked on WMF wikis. Hmm… I’ll need to look into this. No visible global contributions. This sequence was amazing:

I had created a post with some updated research on Joshua P. Schroeder, who had changed his real-life name (once) and Wikipedia account names (many times) to avoid scrutiny, on a web site where there was a topic on him. It was not an “attack.” It simply described what was in public records — and AP has repeatedly claimed that this is not “doxxing.”

I also copied this to this blog, but left it private. About a month later, I made it public. I had wanted to avoid making a big splash with it (the blog does not display such delayed publication as current.) Then AP socks, on Wikipedia, pointed to it, and also effectively led me to an even newer account. Instead of privately informing JPS, they created a big fuss. As part of this, they archived the post to archive.org and my copy to archive.is.

When I saw that they were publicizing it, I made my post private and then updated it without the more private information, and I also requested that that web site delete my posts. (And eventually they did.) A genuine privacy violation should never be archived, unless the person doesn’t actually care about the “target’s” privacy. And they don’t. What they care about is “exposing” Abd as Bad. When I made the information private, they, of course, claimed that as evidence of hiding something. Hiding is Bad.

What this did, in the end, was expose JPS as a liar and a hypocrite. I had suggested, in email, that he have his page revision-deleted, which he easily could have done. Instead, on Wikiversity, he claimed I had harassed him by email. The actual email of mine had reported what I was doing and offered cooperation in getting the other material taken down. He response was grossly uncivil. So … gee, I’m no longer inspired to try to protect his privacy! I have replaced all the information, but AP still lies about it. For example, a page that is almost nothing but a list of his edits to the Wikipedia cold fusion article is called an “attack.” That was done to allow research. The research might show something of interest or it might not. Drawing conclusions might possibly be called an “attack,” but the revenge articles on RationalWiki are far more deserving of such a label.

Copies of the alleged harassing emails. This is not even close to any reasonable definition of harassment.

User:Abd

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=User:Abd&action=history

User talk:Abd

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Abd&action=history

RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory

[deleted]

Talk:RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:RationalWiki_Smith_brothers_conspiracy_theory&action=history

File talk:John Fuerst

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=File_talk:John_Fuerst.jpg&action=history

 

From blocks of Skeptical

From Wikiversity

RationalWiki accounts listed by checkusered AP sock Bigcheeses, here and here., leading to articles of interest and editors.

Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Emil_O._W._Kirkegaard&action=history ‎

Talk:Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Emil_O._W._Kirkegaard&&action=history

See this edit specifically from IP 86.14.2.77. This is admitting bringing off-wiki conflict on-wiki (which is what AP does, using RW for vengeance). I looked at the meta wiki for that IP. Globally blocked for long-term abuse. Stewards will not disclose information about IP, but this IP locates to Virgin media, reputed to be common for AP socks (in addition to using proxies) and I have seen the Hertfordshire location for many AP IPs. This is additional “technical evidence” which AP socks have claimed to be lacking (there is more).  On Wikipedia, the IP is also “checkuser blocked.” Recent interest on Wikipedia: paranormal biographies. Edit compare utility . Edit compare with HealthyGirl (identified as an AP sock on Wikipedia, blocked 5 August 2016) See also the comparison with Goblin Face, blocked 5 December 2014).

This is likely the same user, which is additional technical information tying the RW socks to the Wikipedia Anglo Pyramidologist family.

The real Emil  confronts the RW “doxxing” policy (and points to impersonations) and AP socks show up: Skeptical is there, and Asgardian.. AP is intensely interested in his targets. Mikemikev is an AP enemy (on Wikiversity, an AP sock — identified with checkuser — attempted to raise suspicion that the massive socking was by mikemikev.) Asgardian, then, is following standard AP practice, using his own socking to attempt to create enmity toward others, and points to a Wikipedia SP investigation on the account Emil Kirkegaard.  The SPI did not checkuser, the account was considered throwaway, which would also be the case with the other account Asgardian pointed to, KirkegaardEmilSPI mention (no checkuser)

Asgardian also pointed to a Talk page for mikemikev evidence. Skeptical has deleted that page, but it was archived. 

AP has been impersonating others for a long time, apparently. Disentangling this takes caution. I do not know mikevmikev, but there is no resemblance between the alleged mikemikev socks and the behavior of AP socks, there is only some overlap of interest in racism.

I originally discovered the AP habit of creating disruption with impersonation socks because he had done it with Ben Steigmann, a Wikiversity user. AP has discovered that if a sock waves a big flag saying “I’m a sock puppet of So-and-So, blocked user),” Wikipedia administrators buy it, lock, stock, and barrel. So-and-so gets tagged as having created not only a sock or a pile of socks, but directly and clearly disruptive and defiant ones to boot. Asgardian points to a block of mikemikev on a site run by Emil. And then Skeptical blocked EmilOWK, the one being impersonated, for “posting dox of someone including full real name of someone called “Ben”, also linking off-site to other accounts and IP addresses.”

This is what Skeptical blocked him for, and then hid. “Doxxing” is a splendid reason to use, because one can hide it and only sysops can see it. But this had been archived just in case. He listed RW user names for Asgardian, Aza, Skeptical, Welliver, Antifa Ireland, Ben Steigmans, and OldSword. He also pointed to a reddit account for Ben Steigmann. The way he did it indicates to me that he had no idea who Ben Steigmann actually was. The Rational Wiki account was impersonating him for sure, and as to the Reddit account, correctly spelled, it was probably also an impersonation. Aza I had noticed and rejected as probably not AP (but I can see why he thought so). Antifa Ireland looks like an AP name, but has only one edit. Probable. There was no actual doxxing there. Kirkegaard did not claim that any of those names were real names. However, Skeptical would know what these were, because Skeptical (or his brother!) created those accounts.

Back to the socks on that Talk page:

The “real” Heyguy shows up and blows the whistle, and here.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Maybe”Chuck” may be John Fuerst.  What he mentioned there leads me, finally, to “Krom.” He quotes the alleged creator of his own article and the Kirkegaard article: “I created both their entries at Rationalwiki”… and that then can be found with Google. Krom1991 wrote that. Unless he was lying, then, Krom1991 is BenSteigmans, an impersonation account that started both articles. Krom1991 is involved in massive flame warring with Michaeldsuarez, there on Reddit, and MDS is also a common AP target.

On RationalWiki, Krom “retired” in 2015, but he is still a sysop there (so he can see ordinary deleted material). His parting comments reveal what was important to him. This could be Anglo Pyramidologist, the original, the one who complained about his brother socking on Wikipedia. But they are both highly disruptive.

Racialism

(Note: with older articles, behavior becomes less crisply visible, interests shifted, perhaps. Some identifications here could be opposite POV. AP does create socks that give the opposite of his POV. These are likely to be very transient.)

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Racialism&action=history

Talk:Racialism

This OldWatch edit is remarkable:

Krom/Schizophrenic/Forests/DinosCrisis/Goosebumps are all the same person.
All the same guy. He’s a patient at Nightingale Hospital London being treated for Schizophrenia.

Krom, Schizophrenic, and Goosebumps, maybe, even probably AP. Forests (retired) and Dinoscrisis (retired) may be red herrings. Forests’ contribution history leads to a pile of AP obsessions, claims and counterclaims of impersonation, and user names that have been repeated many times by AP socks. Massive disruption has been going on for a long time.

In this edit, (outing, by the way), OldWatch’s interests reveal he is likely the sockmaster behind the attack on Ben Steigmann using impersonation socks on Wikipedia, then on Wikiversity, and then on me there (for exposing it) and on meta, and on to RationalWiki.

An AP tactic is to disruptively doxx himself, with a disposable sock, in an attempt to create the idea of a crazy conspiracy theory. So the highly implausible Nightingale Hospital story is tacked onto a piece of reality. However, apparently AP has acknowledged being schizophrenic, so maybe it’s true.

Having conclusively identified from technical evidence that at least one of these socks is connected with the others and with a specific location, I have started to look at other internet information about the person (and the IP address). This person is blocked and banned in many places. He is blocked on RationalWiki (under various accounts, and connecting them there, so far, is forbidden.)

Rome Viharo

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Rome_Viharo&action=history

Talk:Rome Viharo

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Rome_Viharo&action=history

Laird Shaw

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Laird_Shaw&action=history

 

Talk:Laird Shaw

deleted revisions, hiding exposure of AP.

User talk:Heyguy

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/User_talk:Heyguy (archive)

I notice that Heyguy, who was being harassed by the SPA edit (first account above), giving two real names (Rome Viharo and Ben Steigmann) is blocked, but Rome Viharo Krom heyguy is not blocked. Heyguy was accused of revealing personal information, and this was hidden by RoninMacbeth,  whereas sections on Talk:Heyguy remain as attempted doxxing of Heyguy.

Cheeseburger Face intervened, semiprotecting the Talk page for a short time, which stopped the IP edits. However, CF appears to consider Heyguy to be the Badguy. He blocked him. and revision-deleted his comments. But he left, with dismissive comments, attempted doxxing on the Talk page he protected.

Apparently it is acceptable to real-name doxx alleged socks of “cranks and crackpots,” but not “RationalWiki users,” and cranks and crackpots don’t count as RationalWiki users, who are all sober skeptics and promoters of critical thinking. Unless.

This is general RationalWiki insanity, not merely the Smith brothers, the more-or-less ordinary RW community enables these highly disruptive socks. RoninMacbeth attempted some amelioration, and blocked the sock who reverted her, but must have seen the rest that came down, including Cheeseburger Face’s collapse of her comment as “Drama.” and did nothing. This edit by a clear Smith sock (archive) stands on User:Heyguy.

MrOrganic created the RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory article, which was deleted as harassment, allegedly as Rome Viharo content. But MrOrganic has not been blocked; rather his targets have been blocked. At some point, this all becomes Obvious Obvious. What MrOrganic wrote:

Calm down, take a chill-pill

What appears to be the problem? This is a website that covers pseudo-science; Mr. Laird is a pseudo-scientist who believes in some crazy things. Why is it a problem if someone adds an entry on him here? You can avoid an entry on this website by being rational; if you believe in irrational things you might get an entry written here. So calm down sir.MrOrganic (talk) 16:43, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

This is what the Smith brothers do: they attack others, on various fora. If anyone exposes them or frustrates their agenda, they attack that person, if they think they have found a vulnerability. They create impersonation socks and attack socks, many of them. They attempt to coerce and intimidate (they threatened Wikiversity with an avalance of socks). And they create revenge articles on RationalWiki, commonly exaggerating the beliefs or alleged beliefs of their targets.

Everyone on the planet “believes in irrational things,” at least occasionally. If that were the goal of RationalWiki, there would be endless content. Notice: the standard for article creation is really if someone challenges the agenda of MrOrganic, who is one of the Smith brothers, I have no doubt. The article on me was created by Marky, and followed threats to attack my work (on meta, the WMF coordinating wiki).

What is odd about this comment is that it appears to assume that there is not already an article on Heyguy. I.e., that Heyguy is not actually Rome Viharo. (I don’t know and I have not asked, and it doesn’t matter.)

The RationalWiki community tolerates this. They treat any outraged response — or response they imagine is outraged — as “drama,” but the drama is largely created by these attack dogs. RW sysops block the targets, not the dogs. (Some of the attack accounts are blocked, but these users do not care; one of them expressed how much he loved that RW had no Checkuser. They use open proxies or other anonymous access facilities (i.e., they do what they accuse others of, but they do it prolifically. This sock master is obsessed, insane … and useful to others with a more coherent agenda. Conspiracy theory? Sometimes there are defacto conspiracies with no organization, and there are also organizations involved, such as Guerilla Skeptics or the James Randi Educational Foundation. )

James Randi is an obvious crank. (Being a crank does not mean that one’s position on some issue is wrong, crank is about obsession and narrow thinking.) Smith is an obvious crank. If internet notoriety is enough to create sufficient notability for an article, there should be one. But, of course, this would be “doxxing.” Wait? Doxxing of whom? Articles are created about real people, not usually accounts. Then if the real person is identified as having accounts, those are sometimes allowed to be mentioned. Certainly this has been allowed for Rome Viharo!

John Fuerst

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=John_Fuerst&offset=&limit=500&action=history

Talk:John Fuerst

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:John_Fuerst&offset=&limit=500&action=history

As I find them:

Kiwi Farms

http://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Kiwi_Farms&offset=&limit=500&action=history

(Started as an article on Joshua Connor Moon)

RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Joshua Conner Moon

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=RationalWiki:Articles_for_deletion/Joshua_Conner_Moon&action=history

The close is quite funny, and shows possible covert support for AP. David Gerard headed it with “Result: no consensus possible, discussion crapped up.” But who “crapped it up?” Essentially, the users who wanted the article kept, so they got what they wanted by “crapping up the discussion,” and they have done this many times. The discussion was crapped up by the sock master who either created the article or worked on it quickly. If David Gerard doesn’t know that, he is colossally dumb, and I don’t think he is. I will eventually be writing about the role of those who have enabled AP socks. Some do so out of ignorance, but I’m coming to think there is more going on than that, at least on occasion. Others are already convinced. I’m not, not yet, but … becoming suspicious. And when I am suspicious and curious, I research and when someone starts shooting at me for doing the research, and lies about it (as AP has done, many times), I then suspect strongly that I’m onto something. Drawing fire is a way to expose a sniper.

Ben Steigmann

Callum E. Cooper

This article was mentioned in a private message published by Rome Viharo, November 21, 2017, wherein a claim was made of continued creation of articles on RationalWiki.

While this is an AP pattern, no AP claims can be trusted. I consider DangerZone likely to be AP,. but not as fully established as other socks. See Talk:Callum E. Cooper, where DangerZone outs Carter82 as Cooper. (I had already concluded that before seeing this, it was obvious, but RW sysops freely block users for doxxing (and this was doxxing) unless the doxxed users are targets of AP, in which case it’s unusual. I have seen much doxxing by AP socks on RW with no action to hide it or sanction the user, but AP himself, as Skeptical, indef blocks users for doing less, calling it “doxxing,”  (a user claiming sock puppetry — which has been Obvious Obvious — is not necessarily doxxing, that’s very well-established on Wikipedia.)

It would take deeper study to distinguish AP socks from imitators, which might exist. AP has made many, many enemies. (And AP socks retire, claiming harassment as the reason, good example is Wikipedia HealthyGirl) Mostly AP socks disappear after a time, few create long contribution histories.

That Talk page comment points to a podcast interviewing Cooper which purports to describe Wikipedia experience, behavior that is well-known among Wikipedia critics, abusive editing. This is not the point here, but the behavior is pseudoskepticism, not genuine skepticism. The claim that anyone studying parapsychology is a “pseudoscientist” is remarkable, because that would make CSI, originally CSICOP, “pseudoscientific,” i.e., the “Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal,” and any serious study will generate evidences in various directions and then the scientific process attempts to sort them and understand them, through, hopefully, controlled experiment. Errors can be made, but error does not make one a “pseudoscientist” and someone who studies parapsychology is not, then, a “pseudoscience promoter.” That’s confusing science with the object of scientific study; as if it is a belief. (Untestable beliefs, if claimed to be scientific, are “pseudoscience.” But debunkers use the word very loosely.)

This is routine on RationalWiki, it is not just AP socks. In some places, a better RW understanding is manifest, but AP socks entirely jump on the full “debunking” bandwagon, with high sarcasm and snark. (And few stop them.)  That also happens to a lesser degree on Wikipedia, where almost 200 AP socks have been checkusered and blocked. Cooper mentions a Wikipedia biography, and information that was added that was cherry-picked, incomplete. It was added by this user, blocked as an AP sock. In the interview, however, Cooper appears to be talking about RationalWiki, the article on him, not “Wikipedia” as he says. I was unable to find records of his experience on Wikipedia.

Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Guerrilla_Skepticism_on_Wikipedia&offset=&limit=500&action=history

Angelo John Gage

Ryan Faulk

Peter Sweden

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Peter_Sweden&action=history

Davide Pfiffer

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Davide_Piffer&offset=&limit=500&action=history

Michael Coombs

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Michael_Coombs&action=history

Talk:Michael Coombs

Wife with a Purpose

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Wife_with_a_Purpose&action=history

RationalWiki:Saloon Bar

https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=RationalWiki:Saloon_bar&offset=&limit=500&action=history

I notice that David Gerard removed over three days of discussion: November 30, 2016, to December 3, 2016. (159 intermediate revisions by 29 users not shown) The edits have been suppressed, not merely hidden, so ordinary RW sysops cannot see them. There is an explanation:

”’The remainder of this section has been nuked by unanimous board resolution.”’ No, you can’t use RationalWiki as platform to call living people paedophiles, allude to claims of them being paedophiles, link to claims them being paedophiles, etc be banned. You’d think this was simple well-understood rule which made obvious sense inevery way, but it appears not – David Gerard 3 December </ins2016 (UTC)

This account goes beyond legal threats, threatening real-world attack. The threat. Blocked? No, but mention Anglo Pyramidologist socks and they come after you with pitchforks. However, the edit was reverted within minutes by a regular.
This about a complaint to the host for Rome Viharo’s site was pretty funny. Follow the URL and you can see that message. My guess is that many sites might display the same, with the right URL. Did it actually get suspended? That can happen for lots of reasons, including complaints, and may happen temporarily while the host investigates. Correlation is not causation. The site is up and running. I just checked. Yes. That message displays with sites that are not suspended. If the sock did what he is claiming to have done, it was harassment.
An archive.is copy was loaded 10 November, 2016 as redirected from the primary URL. That would be an actual suspension message. It appears to have lasted at least until 14 November, 2016. Details are not clear.

Miscellaneous

 

Impersonations

This appears to be a long-term AP habit. I first became aware of AP socks impersonating another user on Wikipedia, see the Wikipedia study. The same persons have often been impersonated on RationalWiki.

The goal is to discredit the person and, remarkably, to discredit revelations of the nature of AP socking by presenting it in a voice that appears biased and disruptive, irritating the community.

Rome Viharo

Rome Viharo has assured me that the following three accounts were not him and that he doesn’t know who they were. As with Ben Steigmann socks on Wikipedia, they were blatantly socks or the like, and were “too good to be true” if the goal was to ban the user’s contributions. In the mind of some wiki users, cranks are eager to promote themselves and don’t care if it is disruptive or will be reverted and the accounts blocked. Of course, in this regard, the Royalty of Cranks is Anglo Pyramidologist. I high recommend suspecting that any account that claims to be Mister Crank be suspected as an impersonation. There is an account listed above that openly claimed to be Oliver Smith. I suspect impersonation … but Smith socks have also revealed apparently true details, and so the reality is not clear merely from the edits. That “Oliver here” sock had previously appeared to be a Smith sock, and the actual edits were standard Smith argument.

“PhilosophyFellow” was accused of being a sock of Rome Viharo (tumbleman) on Wikipedia. The user was tagged as a sock, but this was not actually confirmed by checkuser; it was the “duck test,” presumably, which can fail if examining someone somehow connected with the alleged sock master. It can fail simply if a user has an unusual point of view. However, Rome Viharo would know that this name would be immediately recognized.

I did not ask Viharo about “KateGombert,” but the only edit of KateGombert was to create two pages:

“KateGombert” is also a suspected Wikipedia sock of tumbleman. This is complex. Rome Viharo, however, would definitely not use that name. Someone who wanted this to appear to be Rome might. It worked, see the block log.

Kate’s deleted contributions:

The content was taken from Rome’s blog — which was not linked. Brilliant article, by the way. Factually correct (generally, at least, I will write a detailed critique), and the interpretations seem plausible, from what I personally know. The deletion log:

FRIEND OF ROME VIHARO‘s contributions:

04:43, 9 January 2018 (diff ) . . WIKIPEDIA WE HAVE A PROBLEM (Created page with “WIKIPEDIA WE HAVE A PROBLEM HAS DEBUNKED RATIONALWIKI Category:Rome Viharo is a legend“)

Classic AP trolling. The content was only: “WIKIPEDIA WE HAVE A PROBLEM HAS DEBUNKED RATIONALWIKI [[Category:Rome Viharo is a legend]]”

It takes two 2 tango ‘s contribution is diagnostic that this is not Rome Viharo. AP commonly archives a page before citing it, and this was so archived. I would not do this for a reference to my own blog. Why link to something inflexible? Heh! I’m archiving the edit because I have seen that evidence I pointed to on RationalWiki had a way of disappearing, In one case, an edit that connected recent socks with older Wikipedia AP socks was clearly suppressed entirely, no trace, even to a sysop, which takes high-level intervention. Rome is onto something.

Blocks:

  •  04:32, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie changed block settings for KateGombert  with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Spam: Get a life Rome)
  •  04:22, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie blocked KateGombert  with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled) (Spam)
  • 04:24, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie  blocked Philosophyfellow  with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Spam)
  • 04:43, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie  blocked FRIEND OF ROME VIHARO  with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Harassment)
  • 00:07, 9 January 2018 Cosmikdebris  blocked It takes two 2 tango with an expiration time of 3.14 months (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Unfunny vandalism: Rome Viharo troll and spam)

GrammarCommie and Cosmikdebris are RW regulars, not suspected by me to be socks. However, they have clearly swallowed the deception, and this has been going on for a long time. The real offense here was impersonation, but by labelling this “Rome Viharo troll,” the users are implementing the AP attack agenda. AP has created hosts of socks, in one case, so that another sock could quickly block them.

Indeed, GrammarCommie recently tangled with an AP sock, DrWitt. Notice, DrWitt had hidden revisions on a claim of doxxing, and GC reverted those because he found no doxxing. AP has done this many times. See the page log. 

So, looking at the Dr. Witt user page, I see that he has retired, using the same template as many RW AP socks. I am not the only person to notice this…. The page shows my name, as a file link.  Looking at page history, the first edit, January 8, was the text:  “The man with a million accounts, apparently.” Then the next edit added a photo of me, with the caption, “Crazy old man.” The connection?

I never claimed a million accounts. I have not claimed a thousand, but it might be possible. One of the socks claimed 700 accounts on RationalWiki, and there are more than 190 socks identified on Wikipedia, more at meta … and there is at least one “isolated sock master” that was clearly him. (RationalWiki does not prohibit socking; it is part of the lulz there; however they block accounts — or allow blocking by socks — that simply describe what has been happening, even when it is not “doxxing.”

See the subpage on Dr. Witt and the diagnostic discussion that ensued when he retired in a burst of smoke and bad smell.

 

 

RationalWiki

Since RW user Skeptical has been so kind as to link to this page, I should probably point to the specific discussion he wrote about: RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist

He lied. I will cover Skeptical on  RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist/Skeptical‎.  However, what Skeptical wrote:

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

My article was created by Marky as his first edit to RationalWiki, and in obvious retaliation (after threats) for my very effective exposure of AP sock activity on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and the meta wiki. I have identified Marky’s location. (This is technical evidence that Anglo Pyramidologist socks frequently claim I don’t have.) This is AP  (i.e., at least has the same geographic location, and see below for direct admission of home IP by AP and another AP sock — or the “brother”).

AP socks commonly do this, register an account for a single activity. (This behavior is the main part of how the easy ones are identified.) Some other RW AP socks appeared and have been documented on the RW/AP page. These are not ordinary “RationalWiki editors.” And Skeptical is one of them. The Skeptical account was created for the article on Laird Shaw, an AP target. “Same house” is a red herring. I have not claimed that. What the Wikipedia evidence shows that one brother claims the other is the disruptive sock master, using the same IP when the other brother (“AP”) is home. They do not routinely live in the same house, but the brother visits. Both brothers, however, may be disruptive, “non-AP” being the most radically disruptive. External evidence, I am told, confirms that there are two brothers, and their names, but real-life outing is not the purpose here. What I did on Wikiversity, then on meta, then on RW, was not a “conspiracy theory,” it was an ordinary study of suspected sock puppets, which is routine on Wikipedia. Others have outed them, and apparently the address of the family home is known.

I had read the description of “brothers,” but I had never researched that edit. It was by 86.10.119.131 (IP info). This establishes “brothers” and “home” with the IP being home access. See also this edit with more detail. There is, again, much more later about the brothers. There are two basic hypothoses: The original AP is one brother from a family and a large number of socks (but not all) are another brother, with there being possible other family accounts, or it’s all lies, this is one person. I am leaning toward the first, because of what was noted in the SPI case: personallty differences. Yet both are disruptive and both are effectively banned from Wikipedia. In the massive list of tagged socks, it is possible that there are some other users incorrectly tagged. Perhaps HealthyGirl is a sistere. (Or was a Good Hand account.) Perhaps the father, claimed to be active, was tagged. However, did any incorrectly tagged user appeal? I haven’t seen it yet. There would be ways to create evidence for distinct identity. The fact is that the original accounts were blocked for their own behaviors, primarily, not socking as such. I’ve been using “Anglo Pyramidologist” for the name because Wikipedia used it. I have seen the behavioral differences mentioned. As an example, the older [I assume] brother (“AP”) could be the user Skeptical, who blocked socks created by the younger brother, but who targeted me, probably because of my AP documentation. Both brothers would consider me an enemy. The younger brother. However, if we look at early contributions, these are not “skeptics.” They discovered they could use the skeptical community for their own purposes, and some in that community found them useful as attack dogs, to do what they could not do without risking sanctions.

This placement of a lie (i.e, grossly misleading statement) in an article on RationalWiki is common. Very often, alleged “woo-promoters” are accused of this or that, without sources actually substantiating what is claimed. The claim is assumed from the general idea that the person “believes in” “pseudoscience” or “woo,” and so more neutral RW users don’t bother to check and confirm. And if the target sees the article and points out the problems, and points to the obvious obvious (the single-purpose account that created the article), they then arrange for that user to be blocked for “doxxing.” Neat, eh? There was no doxxing by me, no exposure of real-life identity, beyond noting the Smith brothers conspiracy theory article.

That article was not created by me, but by another Smith sock. It was attacked as “Rome Viharo harassment,” but it did not come from Rome Viharo, one of their targets who has exposed some of this on his own blog. Then extensive attack socking appeared on RW, handled by … Skeptical! Somehow he was the first user to notice all the offensive user names and block them and delete offensive pages! Of course he was. It was him or his brother. And, having created a massive set of block actions, he had more cover to block Abd and delete the real sock report. So who was being harassed?

Back to our regular programming:


RationalWiki, see the Wikipedia article, has been said to be “kind of snarky and rude,” which is a vast understatement. It has been identified as a “debunking site,” and such may purport to be promoting scientific thinking and recognition of pseudscience, but debunking and genuine skepticism are quite distinct. RationalWiki is commonly pseudoskeptical. As a wiki, however, YMMV.

The front page invites participation.

We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.

That is deceptive. People with unpopular views there are harassed, trolled, restricted, and blocked. Harassment by sock puppets is not only tolerated, it is encouraged.

There are connections with Wikipedia, and with the faction that is responsible for the poor condition of the Wikipedia article on cold fusion, I’ll be documenting some of that.

Gateway to CFC articles on RationalWiki.

RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist covers the RationalWiki activity of a family of sock puppets known by that name on Wikipedia.

RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist/Skeptical covers an AP sock who was given sysop privileges and who has been using them to cover up AP socking.

An avalanche of sock puppets

The last few weeks I have been investigating disruption on Wikipedia and Wikiversity. This has a peripheral relationship to cold fusion. I’ll get to that.

For years, I was active on Wikiversity, supporting that community to build deep resources on sometimes-controversial subjects. Wikiversity, like all the WMF wikis, has a neutrality policy, but Wikipedia enforces it by, in theory, excluding the expression of points of view by users; rather, Wikipedia depends on “reliable sources,” with editors merely reporting what is in them, with emphasis on the “mainstream view.”

Wikiversity, instead, allows users to create resources and express opinions, and handles neutrality by attribution and framing. It is thus closer to a university library, including lecture notes of seminars and student work, which can be “primary source,” and can include opinion and unsourced analysis.

Some years back, I supported the creation of a Wikiversity resource on Parapsychology, because there were scientists and others interested in the topic.  I designed this to be neutral, and created a subpage for a young user who wanted to create his own list of sources on the topic, this was Ben Steigmann, who had gotten into trouble on Wikipedia and was blocked there. The user happily worked on his resource, and was not, in the least, disruptive on Wikiversity. However, the resource was attacked, a number of times. These attacks were always handled, it is not difficult on Wikiversity, if a resource has been created with care.

(I should add that I’m highly skeptical of many claims called “parapsychological,” but, then again, so are at least some parapsychologists. Parapsychology is a field of investigation, not a body of belief.) Continue reading “An avalanche of sock puppets”