If you read atheist blogs, you probably know Dennis Markuze. Possibly under another name, since he shifts around a lot – David Mabus, DM, Nostradamus. And if not, here’s a brief introduction:
For several years Dennis Markuze has harassed and threatened scientists, writers, public figures, atheists, and their friends under the pseudonym “David Mabus”. While this was previously a minor annoyance, the intensity and frequency of his contact have increased.
“Mabus” attacks now include hundreds of Twitter accounts (used and discarded as they are reported). He has threatened young boys and girls as well as adults (including Rys Morgan, 16, who was acknowledged by some in the science community for exposing a dangerous quack medical treatment). In fact, anyone who associates with scientifically and skeptically minded people like PZ Myers, Phil Plait, James Randi, Brian Dunning or Michael Shermer is likely to become a target for unsettling rants and threats to their life and well-being.
Markuze has even gone so far as to attend meetings of such people, including attending the American Atheist Convention in October 2010, held Montreal.
You don’t see him around here that much because I’ve tightened up my comment moderation quite a bit, and probably banned every IP address in Montreal in the process. But I get at least one crazed email and multiple tweets from him every day, usually containing a variety of threats – punching us, shooting us, nuking us, chopping off our heads, references to krystallnacht.
This has become a common occurrence for any bloggers, scientists, or activists who are associated with atheism. But I’ve also received personalized threats, such as “feel safe, jen?” and “jen we are going to exterminate you, cunt.”
And despite multiple people making multiple reports to the police over years and years, the Montreal Police do nothing.
How much longer are the Montreal Police going to sit on their hands? Until Dennis Markuze finally snaps and hurts someone? If these were religious leaders receiving constant death threats, you can be sure it would have been taken care of instantly. But when atheists are on the receiving end, they twiddle their thumbs.
I don’t necessarily think this man needs to be thrown behind bars – but he has a history of mental illness and has become more and more threatening and persistent, and something needs to be done before he follows through with his threats. I especially fear for atheists he targets that live near Montreal – and I certainly will not feel safe ever visiting that city until the police take some action.
Please sign the petition for the Montreal Police to take death threats made against atheists seriously.
And if you’re from Montreal…a tip to your local newspaper probably wouldn’t hurt.