Alleged harassing emails

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

Joshua P. Schroeder claimed, on Wikiversity, that I had harassed him by email.

  • 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)

It is possible that his complaint was one that the bureaucrat who blocked me was referring to. He was lying two ways: first, I did not harass him with emails (this page documents them). Second, I was not “campaigning” on Wikiversity, and, for two years, I had been mostly inactive, becoming active only because I saw genuine harassment, involving impersonation, leading me to identify massive disruption, cross-wiki and on other web sites, and I documented the WMF portion of it on the meta wiki. Many socks were blocked and locked, but the user vowed revenge.

I first wrote, through the Wikipedia interface:

On Sat, Dec 2, 2017 at 12:04 AM, Wikipedia <wiki@wikimedia.org> wrote:

I see that 117.20.41.9, who is a very crazy person, probably Daryl [Darryl] Smith, has kindly pointed out your new user page, and has elsewhere called you a “very old friend.” https://en.wikiversity.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Abd&diff=next&oldid=1764384

(I have asked for that edit to be rev-del’d for obvious reasons.) I am not obsessed with you and hadn’t thought about you for quite some time. However, there may be some issues between us. If you ever want to talk, you will now have my email address. My talk page on Wikiversity and on meta can also be used.

Meanwhile, if you have friends like Smith, you are in trouble. You might take a look at the global contributions of this IP and also the .10, which was just globally blocked and .9 will probably be blocked soon, it’s so obviously socking, block evasion. The guy has at least 200 socks on wikipedia and was just stirring up shit, calling a lot of attention to himself. And now to you. I have no plan to publish your new user name unless some reason appears. If you have any requests to make, you may make them.

Good luck with your work. Astronomy is fun. Real science is fun.

This was, by the way, taking some risk, because my email has never been blocked on Wikipedia. So his later claim of harassment could be very serious, if taken seriously. He replied:
From: X X <[redacted]>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 13:07:40 -0500

Why did you post the post to thunderbolts.info? Would you be willing to delete it?

 To be clear, that post is exactly why I changed my username.
 
We then corresponded directly.
Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 10:20 AM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[redacted]> wrote:

That post was in an obscure forum. It was then posted, about a month later, on my blog. (the blog post has a date, but that is the date it was created. It was private at first, only made public later, as I was under extensive attack by your “friend.” Your “friend” also pointed me, very handily, to your new account. This[Thus] if my motive were actually to expose and attack, as he is claiming, he made it easier.

But that is not my motive, and I hope for your career success.

Why I posted it is irrelevant now, but we can discuss that later. Yes, I am willing to delete it, but that may be useless, since your “old friend,” he called himself, archived both it and the later copy on my own blog. I already deleted the personal information there, but he’s linking to archive copies. (I have IP and timestamp evidence that he is the one who archived it.)

This is an extremely disruptive troll. I will attempt to delete the thunderbird post. I don’t know if I can do it, but I will certainly support a deletion request by you if it helps. Let me try first.

We can then discuss any issues we have, which might go into the reasons I posted that.

But first things first.

I did, in fact, take the post on my blog private, as a courtesy. I did that immediately. I also requested that the thunderbolts post be taken down.

From: X X <[redacted]> Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 13:07:40 -0500

Look, I don’t care one way or another about any of this and I have no idea who the IP is who is posting to my page. I just want you to stop writing long screeds about me around the internet, okay?

Someday maybe you can take a step back and consider what evidence there is that I have been personally attacking you. I can point to a lot of times where you have personally attacked me on fora where I am not active.
The same user behind the IP also canvassed him to come to Wikiversity and vote in an RfD that was hardly even disguised as an attack on me. To not care who is leading him around by the nose is foolish.

On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 9:32 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd@lomaxdesign.com> wrote:

This is not encouraging, Joshua. I took down what I could and did what I could and you show zero appreciation. I have not been writing “long screeds” about you on the internet. I have written much more about Joshua Cude, which I do suspect is you from a number of evidences. That was old. Mostly he’s smart and relatively knowledgeable, like you. I said we have issues, and I’d hope we can talk about them and possibly come to some agreement, but if you prefer to maintain hostility, I don’t predict a good outcome.

I have not claimed you were personally attacking me, unless you did so as Joshua Cude. (I [And] that’s not how I think about him.) However, there are other issues. What you do has effects. At this point I’m not making any claims or asking you to change anything, except maybe that battleground attitude. I’d prefer to see you let go of the past and move into a future that will be far more satisfying.

Your comment on that Noticeboard in response to the IP, who was clearly attacking me, in a completely inappropriate place, it had nothing to do with the business of that Noticeboard, was discouraging. (He was doing [this] on Wikiversity and on meta as well, and that’s why he was globally blocked. He was also lying, about many things.)

JPS was essentially supporting the anonymity of an user who was blatantly attacking, in a place where it was irrelevant.

That person is vicious, and vicious people will make “true accusations” but mixed with poison. He is the one who has made it difficult to get that material on you taken down, not me. If you don’t know who he is, maybe it’s time you learn. You have worked with him, I’m pretty sure. But I have not researched that specific issue.

I have specific technical evidence on that claim about who ordered the archive.is and archive.org copies being made. “Worked with him” might only mean as a Wikipedia editor, before the AP accounts were identified and blocked. But it might mean more than that. However, if JPS had not worked with him before, he proceeded to do so, clearly and aggressively.

I have not done anything, as far as I know, to real-life harass you. Documenting your accounts is what I did, which would not be harmful unless (1) those accounts did things which will harm your career or (2) others will real-life harass you. But they could also do what I did. It wasn’t that difficult!

The socks of Anglo Pyramidologist/Dan Skeptic/Goblin Face and many other names have attacked people — and continue it — who might be interested in harassing you, if you appear to be allied with them. That comment in the Noticeboard made me think you might actually be allied.

In other words, you may be creating causes for your own harassment. (By others, not by me.) Doing that while attempting to hide is crazy. Attempting to hide actually motivates search and discovery.

I’m not really that interested in you, you are not anywhere near as much of a threat and harm as Anglo Pyramidologist.

You could, you know, have asked me months ago to delete that material. If you had done that, it would have been gone before they found it and archived it.

One more comment. You wrote: ” I can point to a lot of times where you have personally attacked me on fora where I am not active.”

“personally attacked” is often not an objective statement. It is more of an emotional response. If I wrote anything about you that was untrue, do point to it and maybe I can correct it. I could even correct old material on Wikipedia, indirectly. Don’t assume I would not be cooperative, and you might actually see cooperation!

Good luck. Again, if I can assist with the removal of that material from archive.is and the internet archive, let me know. (they are attacking me for removing the material from my blog!)

From: X X <[redacted]> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 11:50:42 -0500

I’m sorry, I’m not in the mood to thank you for taking something down you shouldn’t have done in the first place.

The fact that you think I’m “Joshua Cude” still is just more evidence of your continued paranoia. Stay in your lane.

That was suspicion, not belief. It is not paranoid to suspect what is reasonably obvious as a possibility, on evidence. So he was accusing me of being crazy. In spite of years of Wikipedia experience, he has no idea of how to calm disputes and find agreement. He does the opposite of what it would take.

On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 1:42 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[redacted]> wrote:

Joshua, you create the response you get. You must prefer insults and fighting to actual discussion and cooperation. That explains a lot.

“Joshua Cude” was reasonable surmise and I never attempted to prove it. Too much work for too little value.

I may or may not restore the material. I may or may not cooperate with you as I said I would, hoping that you would appreciate that much. I may or may not point to your new account, except that I now have, because of that discussion that you encouraged on your Talk page, which leads into some very dangerous territory, attacking not just me, but Wikiversity and, in fact, academic freedom.

Instead you prefer to maintain that I was “wrong” to write what is available in public logs and documents you created about you. Your friends, and you are treating them as friends, when I documented the ruthless attack they made on [redacted] (Blastikus), impersonating him and then attacking his Wikiversity account, where he had done no harm, and, I can see, Wikiversity itself, which you are seeking to destroy, created an article on me on RationalWiki. Enjoy it. It’s probably how you think.

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

This was not created by “skeptics.” It was created by one of the Smith brothers. That’s all making it quite clear how they operate. That’s what I’ve been documenting, not your sorry history, that was over two months ago, and I actually don’t remember at this point why I wrote that. You are motivating me to look at your edit history. Proud of it? I’m proud of mine, and I’ve always been public, real name available. I’ve never hidden and I’m responsible for what I write.

You are collateral damage and I was hoping to ameliorate it. Forget that!

From: X X <[redacted> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 21:56:12 -0500

You are behaving unethically. It is really amazing.
Some days later I responded:
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax 12/07/2017 (11:45:21 AM MST)

confirmation bias. your approach to interpersonal communication can be predicted to fail. How often have you succeeded in creating cooperation by accusing someone of unethical behavior?

In none of this conversation have you shown that you were actually paying attention to what was said.

If you actually cared about removing that material, one would think you would cooperate first, then deal with “issues.” That’s exactly what I proposed.

However, you don’t, it’s obvious. Sanely, you would have immediately deleted that material from the obvious sock on your talk page, and would have located all other occurrences of WMF references to the documentation, and asked a steward or the stewards list (better) for rev-del or suppression of all of it (easy to find those, just follow the sock edits — and, of course, you can find all the recent socks on my study page on meta. That’s what it’s for. I would have done this except if you don’t care, why should I?

You could start at any time. Meanwhile, because that sock is active and has been encouraged to file a complaint with the WMF, I’ve taken precautions.

Can you point to any evidence that what I did was “unethical”? It is contrary to Wikipedia policy, but, Joshua, I’m banned. I have no contract with Wikipedia. (One of the stupid aspects of banning instead of working with a user to create cooperation, which is possible and I’ve proven it.)

I could sock there and point to the archive copies that I did not create — that sock did, and the evidence I have is conclusive — and keep it up. If I actually wanted to harass you, you’d be experiencing a lot more harassment. As it is, because of this incident and your response, I am studying your history more closely, something I’d never done. But that’s not being documented openly and won’t unless it appears to be useful, which I don’t know yet.

I do not start with an assumption of bad behavior and then look for proof. I don’t know what I will find. But I look.

The world is much broader than Wikipedia.

He did not respond. Again, a few days later, with developments as they arose, I wrote:

The problematic material I was willing to delete (and the rest, temporarily) was your present name and employment. I apologize for posting that information. It is not relevant to what you have done on wikipedia. I would advise you to live openly, but I have no intention of aiding those who might harass you.

My interest is in community process and often Wikipedia. Your wikipedia history and activity is quite relevant to my work and it is not private information. Your extensive attempts to cover it up are an attack on the ability of the community to police itself. You got away with a lot that would have resulted in blocks for anyone else, because of lack of documentation and short institutional memory.

As a courtesy, I am informing you of a study I have begun on the blog. This is on a “page,” not a “post,” i.e,. the blog part of the site. It may or may not be referenced from blogs, which more people read.

http://coldfusioncommunity.net/wikipedia/joshua-p-schroeder/

Comments on it are open and you may, if you wish, correct any errors there (or at least assert your position). You may also do so by email. I will consider removal of material, but make no promises on that.

Reviewing the history, you got in with a bad crowd. Hipocrite especially, a troll who told me on RationalWiki to “go fuck my kids.” (When that was tolerated by mods, I stopped doing anything much on RationalWiki.) Sometimes, Joshua, we suffer for the behavior of our friends, sometimes our “friends” are our worst enemies.

No response is required.

(I remain willing to cooperate with you in getting those archived pages deleted and the Thunderbolts forum post deleted. I asked again and this time actually posted a request, and the mod just responded to me, seeking clarification. “Corrections” would be useless. Cat out of bag.)

That was my last email to JPS. He did not complain about either of the last two. I would ordinarily not publish private email, but when “harassment” is claimed, privacy rights have been waived.

The moderator of Thunderbolts decided to delete the posts as a result of my communication with him. So at that point, the truly private information (even though found in public documents), his changed working name (legally changed? I don’t know) and current employment as an astronomer, was hidden except for the archive.org and archive.is copies his “friend” made in order to attack me. He showed no interest or inclination to confront the obvious disruptive troll.

So … I republished that information. The page I pointed to was retitled “Joshua P. Schroeder on Cold fusion,” and at this point it is mostly a list of 313 edits to the Wikipedia cold fusion article. Contrary to what is claimed, that page is not an “attack, ” unless describing with links what JPS has actually done on Wikipedia is an “attack.” It would not be the first time research and documentation has been considered an attack. But is it an attack? Perhaps he did good work?

He did some socking, those accounts are listed. I have not yet checked to see if they edited cold fusion.

The information, besides existing on archive.org and archive.is, might end up being actually useful to someone. I don’t know. I have not yet analyzed those editings, I merely spent the considerable time to copy them into the page, so I saw some idea of the extent. I could jump to conclusions, but it would not be thoroughly grounded. It might be contaminated by my understanding of Joshua Cude. Was he Joshua Cude? Elsewhere I state the reasons why I suspected it, but it doesn’t really matter.

It is not illegal to create and use an anonymous account. Whether it is ethical or not depends on how one uses the account.

With his comments on that Wikiversity Cold fusion request for deletion, he established himself as an active enemy of academic freedom, and someone willing to be highly deceptive in order to disparage another, with a serious charge, of harassing emails. He deserves no protection (even though I redacted his email address above. Perhaps he might want to communicate in the future, so I will protect that, at least … unless he actually started harassing me by email, which I doubt he would do.