Dennis Markuze, AKA Dave Mabus, has waged a one-man war against atheists and skeptics since at least 1993. He’s demonstrated a pattern of escalating behaviour, targeting first a few people whose philosophies he disagreed with, then, as time went on, expanding his spam campaign to more and more people. He started spamming PZ Myers on USENET, and others via any e-mail addresses he could get a hold of. As technology improved, he hit his stride when he realized so many atheists and skeptics were hanging out on Twitter and that he was less easily squelched there. He’s been banned from a number of local ISPs, but cannot be banned from internet cafes or public libraries. From those sanctuaries, he found that he could easily build throwaway Twitter accounts, and target a few specific people and everyone who dared talk to those people. By doing this, he manages to send a number of big names — Michael Shermer, PZ Myers, James Randi, and others — hundreds upon hundreds of direct messages a day. And everyone that these big names dares to interact with becomes a target of opportunity, splash damage in his war, whether they agree with the celebrities or not.
Lately, he’s moved on from only targeting these celebrities — they whack his accounts too fast. He’s started collecting names of people in the “middle grounds” of popularity, the “b-list” so to speak. He’s targeted me specifically, spamming me and everyone I talk to. He’s targeted Stephanie Zvan, and everyone she talks to. He’s targeted the Skepchicks, he’s targeted Monicks, he’s targeted SomeCndnSkeptic (Steve Thoms of Skeptic North), he’s targeted some of the brightest, cheeriest, happiest individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and he’s told them that they will be exterminated.
He lives in Montreal, a major Canadian travel hub, and has on more than one occasion taken the opportunity to visit a number of atheist or skeptic conventions in order to intimidate or harass his targets in person. He’s been thrown out swiftly by security — they know him by both name and face, since one enterprising individual snapped a photo of him at a Montreal atheists convention. He has access, and drive, to physically harm people. He has not done so yet, but over the past 18+ years, he has shown a pattern of escalation that does not indicate he’s will stop.
Each of his spam tweets contains a link to his latest unhinged rant hosted at some forum that has not yet started purging his posts on sight. He has a penchant for Depeche Mode and Nostradamus. He strongly believes that those of us who believe there are probably no gods and probably no supernatural are some sort of cabal out to eliminate all those who think differently, and he’s willing to threaten anyone who he deems to be a member of this cabal with death, dismemberment, and torture. He believes Nostradamus predicted that nonbelievers would band together and rise up, and that only people like him could stop them. No other information about his life outside his delusion is present in his rants; there is nothing but the delusion in the content of his posts. And his delusion rages on.
The Montreal police once contacted Markuze. This touched off a new wave of spamming, with Markuze claiming that the police could do nothing to stop him. The Montreal police will now evidently only take complaints about Markuze from people within his district; the RCMP contacts the Montreal police where the complaints are evidently ignored. But Markuze is careful about his targets so that he’s not threatening anyone within Quebec. The local secular alliance has never heard of him. So, the police evidently won’t do anything about him. His visit to the local atheists convention is an anomaly to the pattern, and one of the big things I consider proof of escalation.
Lately, however, the Montreal police have received so many requests to take Mabus seriously that they’ve started asking people to stop tweeting them about it — evidently missing the irony. And to make the point clearer, an enterprising individual put together a petition to force the Montreal police’s hand and take his 17+ years of death threats seriously. I mean, there IS, after all, federal law against it, meaning Markuze is a criminal standing to face millions upon millions of counts of making death threats.
The petition itself is being signed repeatedly by Markuse, naturally — give him an open forum where people are looking, and he’ll flood the place with stuff like:
you want to silence me because I reveal what a BUNCH OF LYING FUCKING PIGS YOUR REALLY ARE!
@SPVM @mythbusters @snopes
what happens when God does the striking?
With, of course, a link to the latest forum post where his ever-evolving unhinged rantings have not yet been deleted.
I don’t want Markuze to go to jail. I’d prefer that he get psychiatric help. I’m not sure that he’s not already too far gone, though. Either way, it won’t happen unless you sign the petition. I already have; I was number 63. At time of writing, there are 3478 signatures. If you’ve been affected by his insanity, please, go sign. Maybe he’ll get the help he needs. One can only hope.
Update: There’s a good list of links over at Greg Laden’s, and a discussion of the actual threat level Dennis Markuze poses.