I got an email on 4/6 suggesting that EK could be a new Oliver Smith RatWiki sock. At that point, I looked and thought, possible, perhaps, but not clear, certainly not ready to call. This was EK contributions as of then. However, it’s been another six days. Contributions.
Funny, an obvious Smith brother had pointed, on Reddit, to a probable Mikemikev sock on Wikipedia as being PROOF that Mikemikev was REALLY WEIRD because it was a female name, Samantha Priss. Dysklyver told him
[. . .]pretending to be a woman online. Is that normal?
Yes this is completely normal. Don’t get so worked up over it.
So, what appears on RatWiki the next day? This new sock edits and uses a female userbox. And they user drops into the article on me, with edits about my alleged connection with the Murabitun (quite distorted) and creates an article on the Murabitun World Movement, which is a typical RatWiki pile of confusion extrapolated from the negative crap that can be found about any movement on almost anything. I’ll look at that separately. Below I will just look at what was written about me.
Just noticing the coincidence. See a few dozen of these, you convict of whatever. If it matters. Nevertheless, from what I’m seeing, this is not Oliver, it is Darryl. And I will be studying this more, to confirm or disconfirm this.
Dysklyver wrote a great deal of interest on Reddit on the Smith affair, etc. He’s mostly correct, actually amazingly correct for someone with as little experience. Most people get this all far more confused.
The Smith Reddit accounts have become [deleted]. That’s normal, these accounts appear, accuse viciously, refer to my RatWiki article for proof (which they wrote, of course), and then vanish, leaving only a bad smell, which is the only thing authentic about them.
So, the EK edits:
. He has a notorious history of getting into internet vendettas with people who do not share his views.
I have been highly active on the internet since before the internet, i.e., I was a moderator on The WELL, and I’ve been very active. This idea of “notorious history” did not exist until Darryl Smith invented it and fired up a real vendetta — against me. Which he has done with many. You can find places where I have been criticized. There were death threats in the 1990s, even, because I was confronting what was then called “Islamic fundamentalism” and the very dark forces gathering in the Muslim world.
What is called “fad diet” and “diet woo” means what? The first claim in the article about me was about what I wrote in 2005, when I was just starting with an Atkins diet, and I was not “promoting” the diet, I just discussed it. The Atkins diet was actually very old. Yes, there were fads, but the diet itself is rather simply a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, which is very old, and which had and has a lot of science behind it. And it is also controversial. Does something being controversial make it “woo”? To shallow pseudoskeptics, yes. Anything they don’t understand is “pseudoscientific.” But that doesn’t create a vendetta.
Since I have been a teenager, I would defend anyone who was being unfairly attacked and lied about, and I became involved with the Smith brothers because of Darryl’s impersonation socking on Wikipedia, resulting in action against the target of their harassment. That kind of socking is still going on, recently on Wikipedia, and it has been common on RatWiki. They claim about a hundred socks for me there, and, in fact, only a handful have been my actual edits. The rest were designed to look like me in some way, and, as an example, to attempt to make it appear that what I have seen and shown as sock puppetry, is a crazy conspiracy theory; they pretend to be me and accuse RatWiki sysops and mods of being sock puppets.
They called identification of socks “doxxing” even before any real-life names were used. However, they are defaming real people using real names, and they deserve no protection.
There are only two very active sock masters, with different characters: Oliver and Darryl Smith. Oliver has many, many accounts, many of which he has admitted (after many claims have been made that this was all trolling and lies.) While there may be impersonations of Oliver, I haven’t actually found any, but there are many accounts that appear with only a single edit, it can be difficult to show. Darryl does two things: regular editing, for substantial periods, and the creation of many impersonation and troll socks. When I exposed the impersonation socking, dozens of troll accounts appeared to attack. And stewards kept identifying them as the same, until something else happened and that’s another story. Back to this article.
The Smith brothers claim that this person and that person has “neo-Nazi” views. What I do is to look at evidence. The evidence is often guilt-by-association, and if someone is being impersonated, to me, their views don’t matter, and especially if the impersonations are being used to prove that the person is that. The most obvious person behind this (notice that there is no source for the claim) would be Michael Coombs, also known as Mikemikev. I don’t know if he is “neo-Nazi,” because that is a rough category. I think he is racist, but he is not “rabid,” in direct human communication. He is calm and reasonable. (Samantha Priss looks like him.) But what he might do behind an anonymous account, or on the internet, twitter, etc., that’s another issue. I have not followed him and have no particular interest. I am not defending him, just describing what I have seen.
Anyway, I have defended many against unjust attack, but, of course, this Smith brother picks someone with an unpopular view, as if I am somehow prejudiced toward unpopular views. It is all part of his systematic attempt to defame, he does it with many, not just with me.
of an [[Islam]]ic cult .
Okay, “Islamic cult”. I have never been a member of any “Islamic cult.” Let’s start with that.
RatWiki has an article on cults.
A cult […] is any religious or political group too small to have its own army and navy, or without political power. When used as a pejorative or snarl word, it can mean “a new religion, that isn’t mine, which I don’t like.” In popular culture, the term is generally applied to religions that are controlling and extreme.
It is claimed that the Murabitun World Movement is a cult. But I never was a member of that group. I did “sit with” the Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi for a few months, probably in 1979 or 1980, but this was before the Movement was founded. Links to the alt-right? That did not exist then, and nothing I encountered at that point had any resemblance to “right-wing” ideas. The group was racially diverse and not in the least racist (which is typical of Islam). There was nothing coercive about the Shaykh.
Lomax became a [[Muslim]] in 1970.<ref name=lesswrong /> He was involved for a time with the Murabitun World Movement, but was forced to leave the group. Despite this he has written extensively about Islam on the internet since the 1990s. Lomax is a [[Freedom of speech|free speech]] advocate and proponent of [[American Civil Liberties Union|civil liberties]], unless it’s other people’s rights to privacies and to lambast his viewpoints without being harassed.
Again, I was not a member of that Movement. The people I knew were not antisemitic. As with many Muslims, sympathy with Palestinians was common and so some were anti-Zionist (as were and are many Jews, historically and at present). But this author is looking for any mud to toss, and so do yellow journalists. The Scotland on Sunday source. This is difficult to read. It makes many claims about the alleged paranoid and antisemitic beliefs of the Shaykh. I never heard anything like that from him. There are no verifiable sources there, easy to find.
The Aarhas university link does not support anything in that paragraph. But I will look at the article on the Murabitun later.
None of this, about the Murabitun, has anything to do with me. I also was asked, by AbdalQadir, to “leave.” That is commonly assumed to be Bad. In fact, I very quickly realized that he had given me a great gift, my life was transformed by leaving the company of his tea-drinking hobbits. I began to learn the Qur’an in Arabic, I traveled, was planning on going to Afghanistan to help fight the Russians, but got a job near Washington, DC, and that, in fact, creating my career as an electronics designer that supported my family until they were adults. I was at the Islamic Center in DC when it was taken over by fundamentalists, so I got to see that piece of history, and I actually confronted the imaam. (These were very dangerous people, but he just blew it off, just another crazy American who doesn’t know Arabic. Later, I could have confronted him in Arabic. The more I knew the Qur’an, in the original language, the more I knew that what these fundies were doing was contrary to it)
Every Friday, after the prayer, I would drive over to sit with Abdul Aziz Said at American University, and he convinced me not to leave the country, but stay here, support my family, and see what else would happen. I did have one contact with Abdalqadir, indirectly, by phone, and he gave me his full blessings.
Right to privacy. There is one example where I posted employment information for a Wikipedia user on a web site which already had documentation, I extended it. Later, I asked that site to take it down, and they did. But meanwhile, it had been archived. By whom? By Darryl Smith, of course, because he wanted to use it to prove that I “revealed private information.” It was not terribly private, it was easy to find. But I did convince the site admin to take it down. Later, when that person publicly accused me of harassing him by email, for what was voluntary correspondence, without objection from him, about seeing if the material could be removed, I may have restored it, I forget right now. Does it appear in Google searches? Well, I know what to look for. Yes, it can be found. To make it easy, Google has this page
http://coldfusioncommunity.net/wikipedia/joshua-p-schroeder/ until just now, that page was protected. I just unprotected it. It is simply a list of JPS edits to the Wikipedi article on cold fusion. Big whoop. However, for a time, JPS had been ArbComm banned from all fringe articles, and then from Wikipedia entirely. His faction created a discussion that brought him back, bypassing the ArbComm ban. I have never gone of that list of edits to analyze it. But trolls hate that anyone looks at what they do. At one point while he was blocked on Wikipedia, site-banned, he wrote an improved article on Optics and I supported and assisted in getting it placed on Wikipedia. The Smiths have very primitive ideas about people, they are friends or enemies, no other possibilities.
The other page is http://coldfusioncommunity.net/joshua-schroeder-on-pseudoscience-on-wikipedia/
It restores employment information. I doubt that this is up-to-date, and I have not looked for a long time. There is no home address, nor would I put that up. It tells the whole story, including how the Smith sockmaster stirred all this up, with links and quotations.
As can be seen, there is plenty of stuff about Joshua P. Schroder on the internet. The number one Google hit is this.
It is possible to have Google suppress returns of searches. It appears that JPS has not done that. This obviously means less to him than to the Smith troll who wrote the article.
The only other example that I can think of someone being “harassed by Google” is Oliver D. and Darryl L. Smith. However, many before me have found themselves facing massive Ghits of highly defamatory material. If my name is searched, the number one hit is the RationalWiki article. Try Rome Viharo. (#1) Emil Kirkegaard (#2), Malcolm Kendrick (#2), John Fuerst (#1), Michael Coombs (#2, #1 not the same person). Michael D. Suarez (#1 and #2 both written by Oliver D. Smith — MrStrong on Encyclopedia Dramatica, for evidence see contributions).
My article and that on Kendrick were written by Darryl Smith, the others by Oliver, who has also been active pushing his “research” with major media, accounting for certain ungrounded stories that rely on identical misprepresentations of evidence. Darryl Smith has worked to coordinate complaints to get others banned and blocked. Harassment? They take it to new levels. And they accuse me of what they routinely do and have been doing for years.
They take a single possible incident, out of an extensive history, and conflate it to a pattern. That is what trolls do, it’s standard.
so if someone searches for a name then Lomax’s blog will show up with ad hominemand lieswritten about them.
the blog has open comments. It invites correction of errors. I am a journalist. If I lie, that’s it, there is no greater damage to the career of a journalist than to be found publishing lies. If I have erred, it can be corrected. Nobody has confirmed that anything on the blog is an error, though I am sure that errors exist. Nobody has confirmed that anything on the blog is a lie. Commonly, on rationalwiki, the Smiths claim, and socks claim, that something is on the blog that is not on the blog. They lie, in other words, and it is easily verified. But few look, and some believe whatever they write. Of late, there is one RatWiki sysop who has become skeptical of the Smith propaganda, I think he still has not come to understand the full dimensions of what has happened, but maybe. This has never happened before, in the seven or eight years the Smiths have been active on RatWiki.
He was involved for with the [[Murabitun World Movement]]
I don’t think so, for two reasons. First, when I was involved with a group of people who were keeping company with Abdalqadir the Murabitun did not exist, it was not founded until later. Secondly, I don’t think there was a connection for two years. Unless we want to call a single phone call in which I sent salaams to the Shaykh and he, through one of his English fuqara, returned them an “involvement.” The Smiths have very weird ideas about human society, you don’t learn much in a basement with an internet connection.
[He] was forced to leave the group . Despite this he has written extensively about Islam on the internet since the 1990s.
Was a “forced to leave”? No. What actually happened was far more complex. It did end with Abdalqadr asking me “Do we have a contract?” I said something like “a contract is a clear agreement and we don’t have that.” He then said, “Then you must leave. But first, have the meal that was prepared for you.” There was no rancour or anger involved. I ate the meal and the muqaddam talked with me, then went into talk with the Shaykh. And then he came back and conveyed more messages to me, indicating to me that he had explained comments I had made, and that they probably had not been transmitted accurately, and that I should leave. Later, Abdalqadir said to one of his followers (some of whom continued to be friends, to this day), “I don’t know what Abd ulRahman was talking about. I don’t have a contract with anyone.”
And part of what I learned from all this was that the Shaykh, in spite of being brilliant, in spite of miracles trailing about him (which I saw), was human and could be confused. He had asked his fuqara assembled, “I am assuming we have a contract, you must tell me if we don’t have a contract.”
And what I learned was that guidance was from reality, not from a “leader.” And so I began to involve myself with the source of Islam, the founding message, the Qur’an. In Arabic, naturally, because translations depend on the opinions of the translator. From that study, I became known as a writer on Islam. What is mysterious about that?
Smith is imagining that I had been dragged into an “Islamic cult” and that if, “forced to leave,” I would reject Islam. But I had accepted Islam well before encountering the followers of the Shaykh, though I would say that my understanding was not deep.
Some of the followers went from involvement with the Shaykh into a serious study of Islam, in traditional schools, the most famous is Hamza Yusuf. (His bio mentions Abdalqadir). Brilliant guy, but many followers were interesting. I did not go that route, but did learn the Qur’an, which is enough for me. I still write on Islam on Quora.
I have seen many times that the followers of a teacher create a cult, even where the teacher did not intend that. Did that happen with the followers? AbdalQadir did write about politics (and one of the things I did when I was with him was edit some books of his, and there is a great story about that which shows how followers begin to worship the teacher, but that’s for another day.) If I recall correctly, I typeset the books and arranged the printing. They were not anything harmful, and, as I recall, two were simply classic works, translations, only one had the Shaykh’s ideas.
What is ironic is that I have been far, far more involved with a group that is also accused, commonly, of being a cult, but it is never mentioned — so far — by the Smiths. Instead they drag up this bit from almost forty years ago as if it means much. That group does not have “memberships.” As I was becoming involved, I read all the critical material (just as when I first became involved with cold fusion, I read all the major skeptical works). What I saw, clearly, was that *most* of the criticism was Not Even Wrong. Not all of it. My first coach made it clear to me: this was a human organization, and even though excellent and useful in many ways, far from perfect. His point was to take full advantage of what was on offer, because if we wait for perfection, we will die first. Great guy. Retired hospital administrator, very clear, working for senior rights politically, very involved, and a joy to talk with. African-American.
Does RatWiki have an article on that “cult”? Yes. Utter nonsense, rumors repeated as if fact, that are not and never were fact, that are actually implausible, so why do “rational skeptics” suck it up? Typical Ratshit. Questions? You can ask me on Quora.