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Oct 10 2011

Petty internet blackmail

I have to mention two strange examples of internet thuggery.

I hosted a Thunderf00t video the other day in which he outed his own identity, in response to attempts by a youtuber named DawahFilms to extort him with threats of revealing him. It was a nice way to short circuit a threat. I keep hearing from people complaining, though, that Thunderf00t is the bad guy here, which I find completely baffling. Notice: he revealed his own name, not something about DawahFilms.

I have now received email from DawahFilms arguing his case. He’s not very good at this, because it contained this argument:

I am neither a person who threatens death on people for their “free speech” or “criticism” (in fact Ive made videos condemning such behavior) nor am I out to “hurt” Dr. Mason, but instead wished to report him to his university for his unethical behavior and treatment of me.

That looks like a confession to me. I really don’t care if Thunderf00t said rude things about Islam or about defenders of superstition on the internet or youtube; but when people try to threaten their critics’ livelihood, as DawahFilms wants to do, I’m not at all sympathetic. Especially when they’re so weirdly oblivious that they can claim that they don’t want to “hurt” someone, and that they just wish to report him to his employer, all in one sentence.


The second case involves a colleague at UMTC, Bill Gleason, who is getting harrassed by one of the dumbest local ideologues it has ever been my displeasure to encounter online. I’m talking about Thomas Swift, aka TJSwift, AKA Swiftee, a far right, illiterate crank who tainted Pharyngula for a while, until he was banned.

You cannot imagine how stupid TJSwift is. He’s not a master of rhetoric; he struggles with spelling, and punctuation, and grammar, and can barely compose a tweet. So instead, he resorts to scribbling crude cartoons in MS Paint. He also has no artistic ability; these things are the kind of crude caricatures one might find scratched into the walls of a filthy toilet stall in a run-down gas station. To make them mildly recognizable, he pastes in digitized photos of people’s faces. Otherwise, though, they are incoherent, sloppy, pointless scrawls.

I saw some of the examples Gleason posted, and recognized the style immediately. I was getting a collection of these sent to me a year or two ago, emailed under a pseudonym, and containing little more than the kind of pornographic imagery you’d expect of 9 year old, talentless, angry idiot — cartoons of me having sex with a dog (or a cow, or a beige blob…something unrecognizable), for instance.

The real surprise, though, is that this frothing nutcase is allied with some of the most prominent conservative bloggers in Minnesota, Powerline and Mitch Berg. This is how low the Right has sunk.

98 comments

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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    nor am I out to “hurt” Dr. Mason

    Of course, he’s not out to “hurt” Dr. Mason, but to hurt Dr. Mason.

    Nothing like using quote marks to show that it’s not a matter mere rhetoric, but the real thing.

    Glen Davidson

  2. 2
    raven

    This is how low the Right has sunk.

    They can always go lower. There is no bottom.

    It hasn’t hurt them at all. The lunatics are running the asylum, at least in Minnesota. This is the land of 10,000 lakes, Michele Bachmann, and Tim Pawlenty among other notable crackpots.

  3. 3
    Bronze Dog

    I wonder if any of the inevitable nuts are going to notice that PZ’s criticizing both Islamic and Christian nuts in the same post for the same sort of behavior. (Probably not.)

    It’s going to get funny if we get posts from Christians complaining that PZ doesn’t take on Muslims and Muslims complaining that PZ doesn’t take on Christians.

    I wonder if they’d even notice each other.

  4. 4
    adafuns =^.^=

    Is it official now? Is there evidence that Dawah actually dropped Thunderf00t’s documents?

  5. 5
    chigau (違う)

    By “hurt” he may have meant “shoot, stab and partially decapitate”.

  6. 6
    Avicenna

    The irony is that if Muslims attempted to behave like Christians in the USA, christians would agree with us in that the USA is a secular nation to protect the secularity of the USA.

    Basically the far right christians wish to apply for an exemption just for their brand of christianity. All religions aren’t allowed in the public sphere, some are just more not allowed than others.

  7. 7
    Kevin

    What Raven said.

    There is no bottom, only a mad dash to set a new low.

  8. 8
    Randomfactor

    There is no bottom,

    It’s turtleshit all the way down…

  9. 9
    Anthony K

    For the fifty-millionth time, right-wingers:

    As long as they are both consenting, it’s nobody else’s business what a person and a beige blob choose to do in the bedroom, so lay off.

  10. 10
    Richard Eis

    No, no no, he doesn’t want to hurt anybody. He wants other people to do that for him. Much more islamic and “clean”.

  11. 11
    Alexis

    Avicenna@6 says “Basically the far right christians wish to apply for an exemption just for their brand of christianity. All religions aren’t allowed in the public sphere…” They are now having fun in the schools. They are trying to prevent secular student groups from using the same law that they fought for to allow religious extracurricular groups.

  12. 12
    Christopher

    Do you have the full email that DawahFilms sent to post? That would be interesting to read.

  13. 13
    Wes

    Well, Thunderfoot isn’t 100% in the right. He has said some stupid, thoughtless things over the past year or so. He deserves criticism for that.

    However, the people trying to defend Dawahfilms are either blind or dishonest. Thunderf00t might says dumb things sometimes, but that’s totally different from dropping docs and trying to get someone fired from their job. Thunderfoot is entirely within his rights to say whatever he wants.

    But trying to take an internet gripe into the real world and destroy someone’s personal life just because you don’t like what they said? There’s no excuse for that. Dawahfilms is an asshole.

  14. 14
    JRBendixen

    Everything that is wrong with Islam seems to be pretty well mirrored in Ali.

    In short, he is a very nasty infantile crackpot, with delusions of grandeur, dreams of power & revenge.

  15. 15
    A3Kr0n

    So how do I go about pissing off DawahFilms too? It sounds exciting!

  16. 16
    georgebean

    It’s perfectly reasonable to find Dawahfilms’ attempts to get Thunderf00t terminated as unacceptable. That’s a valid criticism.

    It is not, however, acceptable to accuse him of worse without evidence-which you did do. Not on Thunderf00t’s say-so alone. He has a history of issuing highly inflammatory, and completely baseless, accusations against others he wants to demonize for one reason or another, and never, ever, retracting them after he’s been shown he’s wrong.

    It’s one thing for Thunderf00t to put up his own cockeyed accusations-but how he so effortlessly recruits others who have no knowledge of the situation to serve as his lackeys and repeat accusations as “fact” is beyond me.

  17. 17
    Ben

    @ Raven, #2:

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been saying essentially the same thing (about the inmates running the asylum) for the past 20 plus years. Their influence seems to ebb and flow, with the religiously mesmerized crawling in and out of the woodwork every so often (perhaps triggered whenever socio-economic pressures and increased scientific knowledge threatens their worldview).

  18. 18
    Ichthyic

    He has said some stupid, thoughtless things over the past year or so.

    I’ve seen a few people say that, but every time I take a close look, Tfoot has been deliberately misinterpreted.

    so, care to quote some examples?

    oh, and make sure they are in context, please.

  19. 19
    Ichthyic

    He has a history of issuing highly inflammatory, and completely baseless, accusations against others he wants to demonize for one reason or another, and never, ever, retracting them after he’s been shown he’s wrong.

    again… specific examples in context would be helpful to your contentions.

  20. 20
    Mike

    georgebean said:

    It’s perfectly reasonable to find Dawahfilms’ attempts to get Thunderf00t terminated as unacceptable. That’s a valid criticism.

    It is not, however, acceptable to accuse him of worse without evidence-which you did do.

    What worse was DawahFilms accused of? He not only contacted Thunderf00ts employer, but (by his own admission) dropped his docs, at a minimum, to every professor on the staff of the his University. If anything what he did is worse than what’s been pointed out.

  21. 21
    Arthur

    In truth, Phil Mason (Thunderf00t) seems mainly concerned with internet drama and pursuing childish feuds with fellow YouTube video makers.

    This inevitable “dropping docs” business is just the latest episode in the sub-Usenet nonsense can be found on Thunderf00t’s channel on YouTube.

  22. 22
    Eric

    While I will agree with your assessment of TJSwift and his harassment on twitter of Bill Gleason, Mr. Gleason is just as guilty of doing the same to Mitch Berg. I don’t listen to Mitch’s show. I occasionally read Mitch’s blog because I feel it is important to understand the issue from both sides of the issue. But look at Gleason’s twitter feed. There must be at least 100 tweets a week directed at Mitch Berg. They all point out either the fact that Mitch bounced a few checks at a business a few years ago (which Mitch has addressed), or a few weeks ago accused Mitch of a DUI based on “information” Gleason obtained from a website that turned out was simply showing “possible” positive information to try to get a person to buy a product from that website.

    Your colleague (Gleason) has also attacked me whenever I have tried to have a civil discussion with him about scientific matters he has posted. An example today where he posted that because I was “only a physicist” so I was “dumb” for trying to comment on his idea that GMO food is dangerous.

    I guess the point I’ve tried to make to Bill and others on the left is that the left has really lost its civility. If it was one thing I always felt I could rely on when I was younger was that the democrats were the good people, willing to listen to someone even if they didn’t agree. Now it is the same anger that I expect from the right. Makes it much more difficult to find a place to turn – and Bill is a perfect example on the left – much as TJSwift is on the right.

  23. 23
    Phoenix Woman

    In RE: Thomas J. Swift — This guy is so over-the-top vile that I like to point out, whenever possible, his ties to more “acceptable” and “mainstream” MN GOP bloggers like Mitch Berg.

    Here’s a taste of him:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/16/411522/-Powerline-Blogger-Scott-Johnson-Teams-Up-With-Sleaze-Blogger-Swiftee

  24. 24
    georgebean

    @mikepaps

    What?

    Unfortunately the dictionary doesn’t yet have an entry defining “dropping docs”. So admittedly, we may be operating from very different lexicons. The definition that I apply pertains to the public posting, on the internet, of private personal information for the purposes of exposing someone to abuse in real life from crazies and thugs in audience, on the internet – or the dissemination of said information, for said purposes, to accomplish same via semi-private interwebs such as messageboards, listservs, et al.

    Real life complaints about what people try to get away with (even anonymously) on the internet? Does not qualify. Take a hypothetical based on a real world incident. Say I learn that a creationist often cited on the internet publishing under a pseudonym “John Woodmorrape” is actually an Illinois science teacher by the name of Jan Peczkis, which is supposed to be a secret, and I billboard his docs on the internet to rouse my toadies to come out en masse to harass him in real life…then I would be a doc dropper. If, however, I learn that a science teacher is leading a double life and publishing as a creationist and personally complain to his school then I’m not a doc dropper, but what I am is a bit more ambiguous. Am I a whistleblower? A snitch? A knucklehead for believing anybody will care? What we have here – on BOTH sides – are two individuals trumpeting what they’re up to on the internet and getting cheered for doing so. Neither of them, so far as I’ve seen, publicly showing personal, real life information, to lay an easy path for others to pile on-in real life.

    This isn’t pedantry for pedantry’s sake. This is skepticism for clarity’s sake. What I accused PZ of repeating as a “worse accusation” is that Thunderf00t’s antagonist was a doc dropper by the definition I apply, given above. And that the antagonist applied this technique to expose an uninvolved family member to internet-wide mob justice et al.

    It isn’t that complicated. There are two individuals locked in a very stupid fight for far too long now. One of them has threatened for some time and just now freely admitted following thru on contacting the other’s employer to have him brought up short and stopped somehow (reprimanded, fired-I’m not clear). The other has both dismissed what the first admitted doing as trivial, pointless, futile AND launched a counter attack, an accusation sans any evidence whatsoever, about something else entirely. Which PZ Myers echoed verbatim to a whole new audience even further removed from the situation.

    That’s my definition of “worse”. Thank you for asking.

  25. 25
    Ing

    In truth, Phil Mason (Thunderf00t) seems mainly concerned with internet drama and pursuing childish feuds with fellow YouTube video makers.

    This inevitable “dropping docs” business is just the latest episode in the sub-Usenet nonsense can be found on Thunderf00t’s channel on YouTube.

    Yeah do you see the slutty shit he wears on his videos? The poor guy couldn’t help but drop docs and contact employers when someone is acting as whorish as TF.

  26. 26
    Bruce Gorton

    To those saying “Where is the evidence Dawah dropped docs” – go to Thunderf00t’s blog and check out Mike Paps’ comment.

    Mike Paps is offering TF the docs he claims he got from Dawah.

    http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/da-waahhhhhh-films-pt-2/#comments

  27. 27
    georgebean

    @Bruce Gorton:

    “Mike Paps is offering TF the docs he claims he got from Dawah.”

    Where does he say this? What I read is that a “friend” gave it to him who, I’d surmise from the context, is not Dawah.

  28. 28
    Ichthyic

    Where does he say this? What I read is that a “friend” gave it to him who, I’d surmise from the context, is not Dawah.

    here’s the direct quote:

    In fact a friend of mine passed on the dossier on TF the link to which DF is sending to anyone who asks, and not only does he drop TF’s docs, but TF’s brother who did nothing to him, and it includes a 12 minute video documenting the hunt for his information that is frightening. I don’t know if any law was broken, but if I were the target of that I would absolutely contact legal authorities.

    emphasis mine.

    seems pretty damn clear case of doc dropping to me.

    even by YOUR definition.

  29. 29
    Mike

    georgebean says

    The definition that I apply pertains to the public posting, on the internet, of private personal information for the purposes of exposing someone to abuse in real life from crazies and thugs in audience, on the internet – or the dissemination of said information, for said purposes, to accomplish same via semi-private interwebs such as messageboards, listservs, et al.

    The definition I would use is releasing someone’s personal, or private information, against their wishes to threaten intimidate, or with other malicious intent. I’m fairly certain the term predates the internet. My point remains the same however you define as doc dropping. All PZ mentions is him contacting Thunderf00t’s employer, which is bad enough, what he did went far beyond that, and was far worse.

  30. 30
    Mike

    Bruce Gorton said:

    Mike Paps is offering TF the docs he claims he got from Dawah.

    I posted that on Thunderf00ts blog, offering to share the proof with him if he needed it to verify that DawahFilms was distributing the information further than he claims. I also believe I mentioned it on PZ’s original Thunderf00t post in case he wished to contact me, or someone could come up with a solution to the dilemma I explain in that post.

    There was no point in mentioning it to georgebean in my response to him since it would simply be met with the comment “prove it”, and as I stated in the post on the original post it would be impossible without dropping TF’s brothers docs.

  31. 31
    georgebean

    @mikepaps “All PZ mentions is him contacting Thunderf00t’s employer”

    Yeah, in THIS entry. To which my response was “that’s fully valid”.

    I am criticizing PZ for his earlier accusation that the “angry Muslim” was disseminating documents (ie doc dropping, by my definition) which pinned someone else in Thunderf00t’s family as a target. Which, in my estimation since I’ve seen no evidence supporting the assertion, does a disservice to skepticism.

    Trash talk is easy-ANYBODY can do it. So are we going to act like skeptics (and dare I say, grown-ups) or are we going to continue on with the age old ‘strategery’ of “there’s a sucker born every day”?

  32. 32
    georgebean

    @Ichthyic “seems pretty damn clear case of doc dropping to me”

    Yeah, well it “seems like a pretty damn clear case of an “I say so” assertion without bothering to back it up by ANYTHING to me”.

    My head hurts.

  33. 33
    Ichthyic

    My head hurts.

    Basically, you’re calling Mike a liar.

    what motivation would he have for lying about it?

    well?

  34. 34
    Ichthyic

    There was no point in mentioning it to georgebean in my response to him since it would simply be met with the comment “prove it”

    he’s got you there, georgie.

  35. 35
    Ichthyic

    oh, and george?

    He has a history of issuing highly inflammatory, and completely baseless, accusations against others

    before you start accusing others…

  36. 36
    georgebean

    @mikepaps

    “nd as I stated in the post on the original post it would be impossible without dropping TF’s brothers docs”

    And I call “bullshit”. I’m not an idiot. You said “a friend” sent to you the dox DF is alleged to be sending to anybody who asks (which makes your said “friend” a doc dropper).

    Have I somehow skipped a page? Show me and I’ll reconsider.

  37. 37
    Ichthyic

    I’m not an idiot.

    frankly, I’m beginning to wonder.

    I’ve seen far more documentation since this whole thing started to support Tfoot’s side of things.

    DF is alleged to be sending to anybody who asks (which makes your said “friend” a doc dropper

    but you just said in your previous definition that this wasn’t doc dropping.

    make up your mind.

    oh fuck, nevermind, I can see asking you for rational discussion is pointless.

    How about this then:

    you can ask for the link from Mike’s friend that DF provided, get those docs, and black out all the relevant personal details and post them.

    how’s that?

    I mean, you seem SO INTERESTED in getting to the bottom of this, right?

    phht.

  38. 38
    georgebean

    @Ichthyic

    “Basically, you’re calling Mike a liar.”

    Yeah. Some “Mike” on the internet sez something and we’re all to accept it without any evidence to back it up lest we be guilty of falsely accusing him of being a “liar”.

    The kind of “skepticism” you subscribe to is absolutely foreign to me. I don’t know anything of your kind except for one thing: I like my kind better.

  39. 39
    Inaji

    georgebean:

    I’m not an idiot.

    That would be your opinion. Don’t count on it being shared by others.

  40. 40
    Ichthyic

    The kind of “skepticism” you subscribe to is absolutely foreign to me.

    is English your primary language?

    I like my kind better.

    uh, yeah…

    you go play with yourself in the corner then?

  41. 41
    Ichthyic

    Yeah. Some “George” on the internet sez something and we’re all to accept it

    still waiting for some evidence to support your own contentions that I asked for quite a few hours ago now…

  42. 42
    georgebean

    @Ichthyic

    “but you just said in your previous definition that this wasn’t doc dropping”

    No-I didn’t. Certainly “disseminating” indiscriminately = doc dropping in my definition.

    But this is a *real* winning argument:

    “you can ask for the link from Mike’s friend get those docs, and black out all the relevant personal details and post them”

    I’m assuming this is my responsibility before I criticize Mike’s heretofore unevidenced assertions.

    Okay. Here goes. Hey Mike! Send me the “dossier” that “your friend” sent you about what DawahFilms has done so I can evaluate it for myself and come to a fair judgment about what to say. Blank names…because I do *not* care.

  43. 43
    Ichthyic

    oh, and george, before you go…

    still waiting for some evidence to support your own contentions that I asked for quite a few hours ago now…

    just as a reminder, this is your own accusation:

    He has a history of issuing highly inflammatory, and completely baseless, accusations against others he wants to demonize for one reason or another, and never, ever, retracting them after he’s been shown he’s wrong.

    so, while you’re out there wanking, do please provide citations for this, in context, with the resolutions.

    thanks muchly

  44. 44
    georgebean

    @Ichthyic

    “till waiting for some evidence to support your own contentions that I asked for quite a few hours ago now”

    Which are?

    That Thunderf00t has a history of issuing unmerited accusations? Yeah, well…duh. There’s only about – what – 9000 trailblazers who’ve demonstrated this already (note to dweebs! this is not meant to be a *literal* metric). This is not a difficult task so problem.

  45. 45
    georgebean

    “his is not a difficult task so problem.” sorry, typo- s/b “no problem”

  46. 46
    Alain

    IMO, TF dropped his own docs by creating a paypal for e-begging account and subscribing to facebook under the same e-mail address. If you want to remain anonymous at least get some information security skills.
    Subscribing to social media like facebook is a privacy nightmare.
    And it basically makes you lose any privacy, you might wish.

    Also TF and DF both have an uncanny win, loose mentality which results in escalated conflicts. Neither of them show any humanistic or conflict resolution skills. Potholer showed a lot more maturity in his oallaboration video.

  47. 47
    Ichthyic

    This is not a difficult task so problem.

    and yet…

    not one shred of evidence do YOU provide.

    why, it’s almost like I can claim your claims are bullshit…

    sound familiar?

  48. 48
    Mike

    georgebean said:

    (which makes your said “friend” a doc dropper)

    By your definition perhaps, but my definition requires malicious intent.

  49. 49
    Mike

    georgebean said:

    Hey Mike! Send me the “dossier” that “your friend” sent you about what DawahFilms has done so I can evaluate it for myself and come to a fair judgment about what to say. Blank names…because I do *not* care.

    Even if I did that all it would prove is I have TF’s docs. It wouldn’t prove where they came from. As I said on the previous post, and will repeat.

    If I provided an unedited screen shot of the message from DF I would be dropping TF’s brothers docs. If I edited the image to hide the full link to the file, people wouldn’t be able to go to the site, download the file, and verify it’s contents themselves and it could be claimed that it was a link to something else.

    Finally if I was going to give this evidence to anyone it would be someone with a high profile like DPRJones, or Concordance who already know TF’s info, not to some anonymous georgebean. :p

  50. 50
    Bruce Gorton

    That Thunderf00t has a history of issuing unmerited accusations? Yeah, well…duh. There’s only about – what – 9000 trailblazers who’ve demonstrated this already (note to dweebs! this is not meant to be a *literal* metric). This is not a difficult task so problem.

    As you say – it is not a difficult task. So why haven’t you done it?

  51. 51
    DawahFilms

    Salaam,

    You are unethical Dr. Myers. It is no wonder you are friends with Dr. Mason.

    I asked you not to disclose the contents of our email…and instead you quotemined me and inserted that I was grieved because Dr. Mason was “critical” of my religion, when you know very well the reason was because he has been defaming me for over a year now and making me out to be a terrorist, harming myself and my family members. I have spoken out publicly against terrorism and those who would try and silence people for their free speech through death threats…specifically I have spoken out against Muslims.

    As an “academic” (though it pains me to call such a mockery as yourself), you know you must follow certain guidelines in your universities so as to not be discriminatory towards students or other staff or faculty. His behavior crossed that line and as a citizen of the very country you both work in, I have every right to file a complaint.

    “Blackmail”?

    No. Youre just full of shit and don’t deserve the title you kissed ass to get.

  52. 52
    cehbeach

    nice spin, PZ

    Sincerely

    The ‘wacky guy’

    P.S. I guess that Nietzsche was right after all. You’ve become like your enemy. I understand the tactic. Keep spinning and repeating your BS until you tire out your detractors and you win by default.

  53. 53
    Mike

    I don’t think that’s the real DawahFilms. Even he’s not so stupid he would come on here, and try to make his case by hurling insults. Well maybe he is, but I still find it hard to believe.

  54. 54
    Therrin

    If you don’t want your words to appear on a blog, don’t send them to the blog’s author.

  55. 55
    DawahFilms

    Salaam,

    No, this is me. I sent the email to PZ explaining everything and asking him not to make mention of it until I cleared it up with him. I was cordial and reasonable with him…I offered to provide all the evidence required.

    An academic that rejects that sort of offer only to quote mine and distort my message is not an academic.

    You’re just a piece of paper part of the system mail room boy. Just like Dr. Mason. In other words, do something more useful with your life instead of not living past your angst teen years and writing on a website to the choir who effectively do nothing to change the world you live in. If you actually care about change, learn something from the Arab Spring…a subject I rarely see you mention because it doesn’t fit your narrative.

  56. 56
    John Morales

    [meta]

    DawahFilms:

    An academic that rejects that sort of offer only to quote mine and distort my message is not an academic.

    You’ve just said X is not X.

    (Do you even realise that?)

  57. 57
    Therrin

    An academic that rejects that sort of offer only to quote mine and distort my message is not an academic.

    Oh my, what do we have here? An ACTUAL ad hom?!

    You’re just a piece of paper part of the system mail room boy.

    I don’t even get what is trying to be implied here. PZ is a piece of paper? A letter? Maybe he’s a nice letter, you know, like a thank you note to a dear friend who had flowers sent for your birthday. Or maybe he’s a nasty cease-and-desist letter, written in high legalese with the expectation of much mocking to come.

    Or are you saying that the boy in the mail room is made of paper? That’s just weird.

  58. 58
    Therrin

    Nuts.

    *puts novice hat back on*

  59. 59
    DawahFilms

    It never ceases to amaze me how “free thinkers” lack reading comprehension and literary skills. Science ftw…because that’s all you know.

  60. 60
    myeck waters

    We also know how to write paragraphs that are clear and coherent, something you might want to look into.

  61. 61
    Bruce Gorton

    Dawah whines:

    I asked you not to disclose the contents of our email

    And did PZ agree to this stipulation? No he did not.

    and instead you quotemined me and inserted that I was grieved because Dr. Mason was “critical” of my religion, when you know very well the reason was because he has been defaming me for over a year now and making me out to be a terrorist, harming myself and my family members.

    You threatened to kill Thunderf00t and those like him. Now I know you later claimed to retract on reexamining what Thunderf00t was saying – but there is a bit of a problem with your retraction.

    You see there are people who favour military action in the world, who unlike Thunderf00t actually do call for armies to be used and these people include people who have actual influence.

    We call them hawks.

    When armies are employed there are civilian casualties and innocent people get hurt. We do not sentence those hawks to death for “attempting to awaken the sleeping giant” – we argue with them and point out that they are wrong.

    Your apology takes zero of this into account, you still maintain that if people say something the Quran mandates those people be murdered.

    When your threat turned out to be a somewhat unpopular move – you tried to hunt down Thunderf00t’s docs. When this proved unpopular you tried to claim it was all a joke.

    And finally when you got ahold of those docs, you dropped them all over the people you believed employed Thunderf00t in a bid to get him censured or fired for disagreeing with you online.

    You were agrieved because your actions were being criticised. It is fair to class you as a defender of Islam. Thunderf00t didn’t defame you – and PZ didn’t mischaracterise you.

    His behavior crossed that line and as a citizen of the very country you both work in, I have every right to file a complaint.

    Bullshit. You are not a student at TF’s university, and given that nobody at his university tried anything retaliatory over his YT activities, we can be pretty sure he wasn’t acting in a discriminatory fashion in his professional capacity.

    As any students he had would most likely have only known about TF’s online activities via your little doc drop you can’t even argue that he made those students feel uncomfortable.

    You were not within your rights, your actions may well have classed as, what was is that word again, oh yeah, harrassment.

  62. 62
    JRBendixen

    It never ceases to amaze me how “free thinkers” lack reading comprehension and literary skills. Science ftw…because that’s all you know..

    I have had some dealings with DawahFilms and can thus safely say, that the above is a testament to what he has learned at his prestigious malaysian islamic philosophy madrassa. And it beautifully sums up how infantile, phathetic and impotent, even his try at insults are.

    With regards to the youtube community, his achivements are as follows:

    1. Being a follower of jeebuz
    2. Converting to Islam, which would have him killed if it was the other way around
    3. Defending the Pedophilia of a dead psychopath(Mohammed)
    4. Making conditional death threats
    5. Encouraging people to kill themselves
    6. Threaten people with violence if he met them

    And other such nonsense. But hey, that is what one learns at one of the worlds most prestigious madrassa.

  63. 63
    Bill Gleason

    Thank you for posting this PZ.

    Swiftee and the vile gang of right wing thugs in Minnesota are a disgrace. That this kind of behavior is tolerated by Minnesota Republicans is a sad thing and has led to the Minnesota GOP being intimidated by a small and vocal right-wing minority of their own. The lack of political courage in the GOP leadership is appalling.

    “Eric” is another BergBrained defender of local thug, Mitchell Berg, who uses Swiftee to do his dirty work on occasion.

    I won’t even dignify Eric’s rant with a response.

    The vileness of the right in Minnesota is evident, and I point out some of their foul behavior on one of my blogs – Sunshine is the best disinfectant. They hate this and have launched an attempt to shut it down by threats and intimidation. Blackmail, basically.

    The latest fiasco is a portrait of me with a “dick” in my ear. Unfortunately, they made the mistake of using a picture of Primo Levi instead of me.

    Upon being informed of this error, they now have posted the portrait on Ebay as a “tribute” to Levi. You can’t make this stuff up.

    For pictures and links; For the Record – Lacey Steps in It, Posts picture of “Professor Bill Gleason With a Dick in His Ear” Link: http://bit.ly/eF87JA

  64. 64
    DawahFilms

    Bruce,

    Tf00ts rhetoric reminded me of things Osama Bin Laden says. In response to 7 guys making a veiled death threat to the creators of South Park, it is highly inappropriate to speak about the “islamic nations” and giving them the “self same judgment” that they apparently want to give to the rest of the world (genocide). To also say that the lives of Muslims are at the goodwill of the giant. And then after that, acting like a total loon by requesting extremists to come get you and to “do their worst” and the giant will awaken.

    These are the ramblings of someone who dehumanizes people and fantasizes about mass slaughter. My response to that was to simply say that if such thing were to happen that we would retaliate given that innocents would be harmed.

    My response, under any other context outside my beard and my Muslim name, would have been considered justified. To spin it like a death threat is ludicrous and disgusting given the initial message that I was responding to. To make excuses for his rhetoric is equally if not more disgusting.

    Your military analysis does not somehow nullify the justness of my response or my retraction. To even imply it does makes you far more petty.

    Further, your pathetic notion that I “doc dropped” when I merely revealed PUBLIC videos to people who already knew who he was (and by his own admission had already seen the videos so he can’t complain about it), is not even within reason.

    I have attempted to be civil. I am not a terrorist or anything else Dr. Mason accuses me of, and his actions are defamatory and harmful to myself. As a self-proclaimed academic, this is not only unethical but outside the bounds of ones own position at ANY university. The fact that you make excuses for him shows your lack of ethics as well and your inability to see past the labels we both give one another (Atheist vs. Muslim). Only because he holds the former do you credit him with no wrong and I with all the wrong doing. Its blatantly evident and doesn’t even need a “persecution complex” to rationalize.

    Dr. Mason’s remarks were out of line, extreme, and violent. I have been the only one this entire time to give out an olive branch, which he has refused on the basis of assuming I “lied”, which is no court defense if I ever saw one.

    So take your pitiful excuses elsewhere.

  65. 65
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    These are the ramblings of someone who dehumanizes people and fantasizes about mass slaughter. My response to that was to simply say that if such thing were to happen that we would retaliate given that innocents would be harmed.

    You responded by dehumanizing them and fantasizing about mass slaughter. Way to take the high ground, hero.

  66. 66
    Spector567

    @DawahFilms at what point did you think it was intelligent to try to have a private conversation with PZ.
    PZ appeared in thunderfoots outing video and he activly promoted it. They also personally know each other.

    It’d be like me punching your friend and telling you not to do anything about it because you’d explain. I’m sorry but I’d stand with my friend.

    and as previously stated. Asking someone to keep something confidential is not implied. They must agree. PZ obviously didn’t.

  67. 67
    Louis

    Hi DawahFilms,

    One question, pretty simple: did you or did you not actively attempt to publicly identify Thunderf00t? I.e. break his pseudonymity and make his real life identity known. Simple question, yes or no answer.

    Note: drawing attention to where someone else has inadvertently done so counts I think. I watch Thunderf00t’s channel, and whilst I certainly don’t agree with everything he says, I was ignorant of his identity until now. That might be my personal failing I admit.

    Depending on your answer, I might have a second question.

    Thanks.

    Louis

  68. 68
    Eric

    I feel I should respond briefly to Bill Gleason’s comment addressed towards me specifically. My “rant” as he called it never once called him a name. I addressed the issue by pointing out what I felt were Mr. Gleason’s faults, while also pointing out TJSwift’s more egregious wrongdoings. I never resorted to calling Bill a name of any kind. It is amazing to me how close-minded you can be. An educator and a scientist should take more time to listen before forming an opinion.

    Yes I defended Mitch in this case because Mitch has been nice to me. I have called Mitch out, and will admit I probably should be a little harder on him lately as he has let his civility get out of line on occasion. I certainly don’t always agree with Mitch (in fact less than half the time I would say on issues), but he has always treated my dissenting opinion with respect and I feel we have learned something from each other. That is the reason to have the discussions in the first place.

    Bottom line is, Bill…you can resort to the name calling and such all you want. You can call it a “rant.” But you did not address the real issues of my “rant.” Why do you obsess and incessantly tweet Mitch? Why did you falsely accuse him of a DUI based on information from that website then try to spin it like it was Mitch’s fault?

    Let’s go further into my “rant.” Why did you call me “dumb” when trying to have a conversation about GMO food simply because I disagreed with you – especially when I didn’t insult you about it in any way AND provided evidence? Why did you insult my science – is it because you have an inferior view of physics? Or are you calling me dumb because you didn’t like my evidence because it disagreed with your opinion? You want to pass those things off as a rant, but you insulted me…and as someone who come out of the U of M system, it makes me very reluctant to send in that donation when a scientist at said institution won’t even have a civil discourse with me about science.

    If I have said something to offend you in the past and you want to point that out to me, I am certainly willing to apologize for that. I am a man and can take it. Are you willing to do the same?

  69. 69
    Bruce Gorton

    Dawah

    Here is what YOU said:

    “Thunderf00t and people who think like you, if you ever, ever try to awaken any sort of sleeping giant that is hostile to any Muslim or non-Muslim innocent person as mandated in the Quran in the true interpretation of the Shariah that all true Muslims and the majority of the Muslims in the world share, we Muslims the servants of Allah (Insert full title of imaginary master here) and our non-Muslim allies will send you to the God you wish you knew.”

    That Dawah is a death threat. And the condition is being a hawk – in other words advocating war in foreign policy. And not even successfully at that.

    And it isn’t self defence – the condition isn’t “In a war we will fight back” – the condition is advocating for a war.

    Now personally I err on the side of pacifism. I think war is a bad thing which for the most part doesn’t achieve what it sets out to achieve, but you see I don’t promise to kill people for advocating war.

    You do.

    So don’t come along pretending to be some sort of victim. You issued death threats. You sought out somebody’s information. You tried to get that somebody fired over an online argument you lost.

    Now you may have been visited by the FBI (and I am being charitable here assuming this even happened given the lack of evidence you have presented) – their attention was on Thunderf00t already given his part in Everybody Draw Mohammed Day and is not unreasonable to assume they saw the video and decided to check you out.

    But here is the thing Dawah, they were checking based on your behaviour. You are being judged based on your behaviour. You are whining and acting like a victim because your behaviour was in the wrong.

  70. 70
    Bruce Gorton

    Oh and PS Dawah:

    Calling somebody unethical on their own blog? That isn’t being civil.

  71. 71
    Muzz

    Say it’s true DF didn’t drop any docs (maybe went looking once, thought better of it, end of story) and Thunderfoot never called the feds (don’t see why he’d lie about that. People are enjoying the death threat biz as a Gotcha! far too much for it to have been taken seriously at any point).
    All it really takes to end it at this point is them to decide it’s a war of words that got ugly based on some angry foolishness and misapprehensions of the other’s behaviour.
    Can’t really see that happening though because, for one moreso than the other, it would require a shred of humility and remove a lot of ranty video making opportunities.

  72. 72
    georgebean

    @mikepaps

    Whatever. It wasn’t my idea-I was told it was my responsibility to ask you directly before I am allowed to say you haven’t provided any evidence.

    So I asked you, you don’t provide any evidence, and I was correct in what I said to begin with.

  73. 73
    Louis

    Hi Dawahfilms,

    I hope you’re still reading. If you are, could you answer my question please.

    Thanks

    Louis

  74. 74
    DawahFilms

    Louis,

    My intention was merely to let Dr. Mason know that I knew who he was and that I was contacting his university.

  75. 75
    DawahFilms

    Bruce,

    I noticed you evaded most of my objections. Thank you for vindicating what I said.

    The quote again:

    “Thunderf00t and people who think like you, if you ever, ever try to awaken any sort of sleeping giant that is hostile to any Muslim or non-Muslim innocent person as mandated in the Quran in the true interpretation of the Shariah that all true Muslims and the majority of the Muslims in the world share, we Muslims the servants of Allah (Insert full title of imaginary master here) and our non-Muslim allies will send you to the God you wish you knew.”

    You forget the bolded. The first part insist that if you were to provoke something that DID harm innocent people. So no, it’s not about him simply trying. And this is not unjustified. We consider individuals military targets that are not active in the killing themselves, but are inciters of it (Osama Bin Laden & Anwar Alwaki come to mind).

    My behavior is not “wrong” in the least. What is wrong is your prejudice that you have yet to look at objectively.

  76. 76
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    So if I’m hostile to anyone, whether Muslim or not, DawahFilms is going to urge that I be killed? Well, that will certainly improve my behavior in rush hour traffic.

    Perspective much?

    You remind me of my Christian neighbors who tried to get a local man fired from his job for being in a stable loving relationship with a young married woman caring for her young and severely brain-injured husband. Despite the fact that he helped bathe and feed the husband, it was adultery, you see, and thus well deserving of unemployment. I suppose I should be pleased that my Christian neighbors were not advanced enough to move right on to the death threat and execution stage.

  77. 77
    DawahFilms

    Mattir,

    The context of “hostility” falls in line with Dr. Masons first insinuation of military force.

    Stop trying to suggest otherwise.

  78. 78
    John Morales

    DawahFilms:

    I noticed you evaded most of my objections. Thank you for vindicating what I said.

    The latter has nothing to do with the former.

    (I noticed you’re bullshitting)

    as mandated in the Quran

    Your book of fairy-tales mandates only to the deluded¹, such as you.

    (Your effort at argumentum ad verecundiam… fails even before it fails)

    ¹ Or the coerced.

    (I’d rather be coerced than deluded)

  79. 79
    Inaji

    DF:

    You forget the bolded.

    No one’s forgetting that. However, as you’re free to interpret anything as hostile, it’s meaningless. It most certainly does not excuse what you’re doing.

    My behavior is not “wrong” in the least.

    You’re not only wrong, you’re wrong at the top of your voice.

  80. 80
    DawahFilms

    @John,

    Your objections are even more petty. My belief in the Qur’an does not negate what I stated nor was it a suggestion of an argument from authority. Even if it was, it’s irrelevant to the point of this discussion and what was actually being addressed (ignoratio elenchi moving into a red herring). I may not be a science professor or a student in science, but I am in philosophy and your blind flailing with fallacies is only humorous to me.

    Perhaps you should stop relying on wikipedia so much to try and make a point.

    And your suggestion about coercion also makes no sense (you think I was making an argument ad baculum? Perhaps then you would like to add the same sentiments to Dr. Masons claims. Of course, however, you won’t. That would be inconvenient for you).

    @Caine,

    Anything can be interpreted in any way outside of its context. That’s why quote mining is disingenuous. If you’re implying that because my statement can be quote mined to infer something outside its actual context that it therefore means I am in the wrong, then I suggest reevaluating your objection.

    “You’re not only wrong, you’re wrong at the top of your voice.”

    Whatever that means.

    You guys are making this way too easy for me.

  81. 81
    John Morales

    DawahFilms:

    My belief in the Qur’an does not negate what I stated nor was it a suggestion of an argument from authority.

    Yes, it is an argument from authority, the moment you use the locution “as mandated in the Quran”; your belief is of course irrelevant to the facts.

    Even if it was, it’s irrelevant to the point of this discussion and what was actually being addressed (ignoratio elenchi moving into a red herring).

    Exactly; even if it were, it would be irrelevant.

    (Why then did you adduce this source for your quantification?)

    I may not be a science professor or a student in science, but I am in philosophy and your blind flailing with fallacies is only humorous to me.

    You are, are you? ;)

    So, telling me that is in no sense an appeal to authority?

    (The foolish are easily amused)

    Perhaps you should stop relying on wikipedia so much to try and make a point.

    Perhaps you should make fewer unwarranted assumptions.

    And your suggestion about coercion also makes no sense (you think I was making an argument ad baculum?

    It was no suggestion — rather, it was completing the set of possibilities to encompass the universe of discourse.

    (Yes, you were; this is historically verifiable — cf. Dhimmi)

    Perhaps then you would like to add the same sentiments to Dr. Masons claims. Of course, however, you won’t. That would be inconvenient for you).

    You are projecting your own predilections unto me; I lack the relevant historical facts upon which to base such a determination.

    (Unlike you, bullshit is not my forté)

  82. 82
    Louis

    Hi Dawahfilms,

    Sorry to be so late in replying to you, and thanks for the reply.

    Can I take it from your reply then that you did NOT try to publicly identify Thunderf00t, merely to let him know that you knew his identity? In other words you are explicitly stating that you did nothing to PUBLICLY identify him.

    Again, yes or no will suffice here. I’m not really concerned with your intentions with regards to this question.

    The remainder of your comment answers what would have been my second question, i.e. that you deliberately contacted (who you thought was) Thunderf00t’s employer with the specific intent of having them censure him for the content of his YouTube videos.

    In other words, for a variety of reasons (whose validity I am not examining at this time) you sought to do harm to Thunderf00t for his words on YouTube.

    Correct?

    Louis

  83. 83
    AnotherYoutuber

    Regardless of what opinions people have of Dawah and thunderf00t, a couple of facts cannot be disputed due to the legal implications they have:

    (1) It’s 100 % clear that whilst thunderf00t has contacted the FBI about other people than Dawah, any accusations that thunderf00t has contacted the FBI regarding Dawah are complete bullshit. Thunderf00t would have been in legal trouble, if he had done so about such a non-issue as Dawah’s video and Dawah would have been informed about it by the FBI so that he would have had the option to take legal action and would then have gotten thunderf00t’s details long ago.

    (2) However, all Dawah has is his opinion that thunderf00t is guilty of defamation but unless he gets a court to agree that thunderf00t indeed is, he, Dawah, ironically, actually is in the legal sense guilty of defamation if he makes such claims about thunderf00t to thunderf00t’s employer but only Dawah and the recipients of his message know exactly how he expressed it.

    Dawah has simply kept shooting himself in the foot because he’s butthurt. He also has an enormous ego when he writes “wished to report him to his university for his unethical behavior and treatment of me” and assumes that anybody at thunderf00t’s university will care. Regardless of how much of a bigot anybody on youtube thinks thunderf00t is, it is totally irrelevant if thunderf00t doesn’t harass or discriminate against any Muslim students he might have. If not, they could and should bring it up with the university and then thunderf00t could and should be reprimanded. However, considering how much thunderf00t asserts that education is the cure to any problems caused by religion, I’m rather sure that he leaves any views he has on Islam at the door to avoid the subject and that his interaction with students is completely appropriate regardless of their religious views (which they’re also expected to leave at the door when they enter the lecture hall).

    Furthermore, because thunderf00t only mentions his “family” in his video whilst Dawah states “brother” in his, Dawah unwittingly confirmed how far he had gone.

  84. 84
    David Marjanović, OM

    the Arab Spring…a subject I rarely see you mention because it doesn’t fit your narrative

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    We had two long threads on the Egyptian Revolution when it was happening – and while the Muslim Brothers were still waking up and rubbing their eyes in disbelief at the secular storm above their heads.

    And your suggestion about coercion also makes no sense (you think I was making an argument ad baculum? Perhaps then you would like to add the same sentiments to Dr. Masons claims. Of course, however, you won’t. That would be inconvenient for you).

    So… if somebody else makes an argumentum ad baculum and you reply with another argumentum ad baculum, yours is not a logical fallacy, only the other guy’s is?

    Is that what you’re saying?

  85. 85
    Louis

    Sooooo no Dawahfilms for a couple of days? Must be busy converting to Sikhism.

    Louis

  86. 86
    Adafuns=^.^=

    Geez Dawah is still claiming it was not a death threat? Shit, even after trying to defend Dawah in the other thread I eventually realized it was indeed a death threat.

    DawahFilms if you read this check out the things Ive said in the other thread.

  87. 87
    John Morales

    [OT]

    DawahFilms doesn’t make me think of movies, but rather the other, more biological sense of the term.

  88. 88
    Mike

    Adafuns said

    Geez Dawah is still claiming it was not a death threat? Shit, even after trying to defend Dawah in the other thread I eventually realized it was indeed a death threat.

    That’s interesting because I originally thought the death threat video was simply a threat to kill TF, and “those who thought like him” if they awoke a sleeping giant that was hostile to innocents. Having re-watched the relevant videos I now realize he was threatening to kill people who simply TRY to awaken the sleeping giant. In other words for simply expressing an opinion.

    This video by Thunderf00t entitled “The Sleeping Giant” which was a followup to both the south park video where the sleeping giant phrase was used, and the death threat, is as near as I can tell 100% accurate.

    http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulm1_ZU8p3U

  89. 89
    Mike

    Sorry screwed up the above link. This should work. :p

  90. 90
    Adafuns=^.^=

    @mikepaps

    Honestly I think it was just bad choice of words which is not uncommon for Dawah. People are over analyzing what he says because I guess its easier to paint a dumb Muslim creationist as promoting violence just for an opinion than admit to anything else. Hell, we saw it here in this very thread where he says he doesn’t want to “hurt” Thunderf00t. People are calling him a hypocrite because he says he doesn’t want to “hurt” him yet aimed to hurt his private life by contacting his employers. It is painfully obvious that by “hurt” he means violence.

    Seriously the idea that Dawah misinterpreted what Thunderf00t has said makes more sense since its consistent with his character. Dawah’s position couldn’t be any more clear at this point what with all the videos he made on the subject. His only problem now is not admitting that it was indeed a death threat.

  91. 91
    John Freethinker

    I wish all of us (unbelievers) would get the memo that, no matter how irritating or ignorant Christianity and Christians can be, at least they are not going to bomb our towers or rape our daughters. Muslims will do these things and more.

    It is their doctrine, their history, and their practice. “Allah has given thee spoils of war”, Qur’an 33.50, and they have obeyed that and 1000 verses like it for 1400 years. At least Christianity teaches love; Islam teaches hatred, violation, and murder.

    To restate: Christianity is a thorn in our side. Islam is more like a venomous fang. We must pull out that fang and crush the serpent before we can pluck the thorn. Anyone who denies the imminent threat of Islam, I invite to google “Bare Naked Islam”.

  92. 92
    Anteprepro

    At least Christianity teaches love; Islam teaches hatred, violation, and murder.

    lolwut? Have you even read the Old Testament? Are you familiar with the concept of Islam being “the religion of peace”? Both religions are hypocritical to the hilt, violent yet pretending not to be, with sordid histories and atrocious/inconsistent “moral” standards. Both have violent extremists amongst the mainstream, milquetoast rabble to this very day. But, what’s your citation for your belief that Islam is undeniably more evil than Christianity? A fucking blog where every other thing is typed in red, whose current first article is whining about British KFCs serving halal food. Unlike the people on this blog, whose complaint about halal food is the fact that it basically requires animals to be killed in a manner that leads to undue suffering, this website’s main objection seems to be how outrageous it is to expect Christians to eat food that was secretly exposed to icky Muslim prayers. Oh my, how horrible those Muslims are!

  93. 93
    Ing

    I wish all of us (unbelievers) would get the memo that, no matter how irritating or ignorant Christianity and Christians can be, at least they are not going to bomb our towers or rape our daughters.

    Sorry, as one of the people who would be killed by The Family and others given their wish I fail to see the difference. Why do you want me to side with one of the insane cults that wants my corpse thrown upon a pile?

  94. 94
    Ing

    Poor Dr. Tiller. Those damn Muslims!

  95. 95
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I wish all of us (unbelievers) would get the memo that, no matter how irritating or ignorant Christianity and Christians can be, at least they are not going to bomb our towers or rape our daughters. Muslims will do these things and more.

    All those rapes in the us are done by non-christians? Were they wearing kilts?

  96. 96
    Anteprepro

    Wow, this and this article on wikipedia are just FULL of spelling errors. That’s not how you spell “Islam”, lol.

  97. 97
    Ing

    Not to mention there is a disturbing meme for unofficial “rape therapy” for lesbians. Nice Christian boys taking amongst themselves to force themselves on women to cure them.

  98. 98
    Anteprepro

    And on that note, Ing, there’s also the Catholic Church. I mean, come fucking on Islamaphobes. Open your fucking eyes a little

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