A truce?


I got an odd request in email. Someone named jeffreydavidmorris wants me to take down an old post.

Hello can you please kindly remove despite ‘the law’ and request of removal re: privacy, misc – https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/02/11/i-have-concluded-that-i-am-a-natural-boob-magnet/.

I would appreciate it please, thank you. I’m not trying to be the bad guy here a truce if anything please.

This was 2 or 3 years ago, and I did not remember this fellow — I get so much of this nonsense. Normally, I’d consider this request, but then I looked back at what prompted the original post…and oh yeah, that guy was a major pest. He had to remind me. So…no.

Also, telling me that this was a “truce”, as if we have been battling back and forth, is annoying. I’ve had him blocked for years, haven’t engaged with him since that one post. Apparently he’s been seething over it for some time, but really, all that is doing him harm is publication of his own lunatic words.

Comments

  1. doubter says

    I looked at the original post. Even scrolling through it quickly was a major chore! That’s a heaping helping of word salad.

  2. johnhattan says

    Wow, that is a TimeCube level of lunacy there.

    You know there’s some lunacy when putting it in Comic Sans actually makes it MORE readable.

  3. kebil says

    I just read the post you linked to – this guy seems mentally unwell. Maybe he has been in treatment and now feels terrible about the rantings he used to flood you (and others) with. I would be tempted to take it down (on a probationary basis). Although he did not quite apologize, which he should have. Just my two cents – love your blog Dr Myers

    -from Winnipeg with frost bite

  4. alans says

    I agree with kebil. The original looked like someone with mental health problems. Maybe he’s getting better. Even if he’s not all the way better (i.e., still thinks this is a “truce” situation), it looks like he’s trying.

  5. mamba says

    “truce” actually makes some sense…I’ve dealt with this type of zealot before.

    They make a statement and honestly think they blew your mind and that God/Jesus/whoever has been harassing you ever since, the words eating away at your stubbornness or something. Of course you probably barely thought about it minutes after reading it, but to THEM they just gave you a sermon and you clearly are speechless…that’s why you didn’t reply, right?

    So yeah, for HIM it’s been going on for a while as he awaited your reply stating how right he was and how you converted after reading his glorious words. (laugh) In his mind you HAVE been talking for a long time…he’s been preparing his rebuttal for a while now.

  6. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Boy, that original screed reads like the anti-relativity “manifestos” I used to have to read when I worked at a physics trade magazine (yes, they do exist). I actually had one guy who was very obnoxious and insisted I read his treatise, which “definitively disproved relativity!!!!!” To his credit, he did apologize later, explaining that he was in one of his “manic phases”. Perhaps ask if Mr. Morris has had his medication adjusted?

  7. says

    As someone who has left a trail of embarrassing posts and messages due to recurrent bouts with depression, I think you should consider his request. Is there any way you can meet him halfway and just make the post private?

  8. unclefrogy says

    well it sounds like there is in fact a truce already in effect since there is no contact between PZ and mr morris since the post. there is some kind of disconnect however since what is implied with the request to take down the post is a way to change history, the previous events have occurred and nothing else since
    you can not change the past and making some effort to do so makes no sense.
    uncle frogy

  9. says

    I urge you to consider it. He’s not antagonizing you now, and while POSTING it was completely legitimate, you don’t really win anything from him suffering, especially if he’s changed his tune.

  10. zenlike says

    If you feel queasy about deleting posts, which I can sympathize with, why not just anonymize the post, and remove all mentions of his name from the post and the comments? The post stands on its own, having his name attached to it doesn’t really add any value.

  11. petesh says

    “all that is doing him harm is publication of his own lunatic words”
    Yes, that is true. but perhaps he regrets them. No one is reading them (right?) but the Google-etc bots could cause him some discomfort if he has reformed. I doubt he can scrub them completely, but there’s no particular reason to make it easier for someone to throw his old words back at him. I’d delete the post, leaving a short explanation. Something like (the last four words are optional):

    Post removed by request to protect the guilty.

  12. friso says

    I have to agree with the above posters; his screed reads like someone in the midst of a psychotic episode. I think you should consider taking that post down, or at least privatizing it (and this one as well).

  13. pilgham says

    Unrelated gripe, JDM keeps going on about Lucifer. The name Lucifer only appears once in the KJV bible, never in some other translations and is pretty clearly a taunt directed at the king of Babylon, stuck in among a river of other taunts. It’s just something that has bugged me constantly (after it was pointed out to me by someone who knows a lot more than I do about the bible.)

    Also, that old post has too great a title to delete.

  14. Ridana says

    I think I’m in agreement with those who recommend at least removal of his name. His original post sounds like someone with mental health issues, in that he doesn’t seem clear on if he’s even human or channeling the words of supernatural entities or what. If he’s gotten help over the last couple of years, then good on him. It’s hard enough to struggle with recovery as it is, and I don’t see anything to be gained by you in rejecting his request.

    If he comes at you again with obnoxiousness that shows he was not sincere, you can always put his name back.

  15. Dunc says

    Given the density of solecisms in that short message, I wouldn’t read anything into the word “truce” either.

  16. Artor says

    On the other hand, PZ doesn’t owe our friendly neighborhood lunatic a moment more of his time or attention.

  17. mudpuddles says

    Here in Ireland and the UK we’ve recently had several stories of people who wished they could have some previous writings removed from the internet, where they have suffered terribly due to being turned into an object of ridicule or mockery for years, where they had then or have no been dealing with some serious mental health challenges, and where the person in question couldn’t cope, and things ended very badly. I’m not talking about dyed-in-the-wool bigots or idiot politicians, just otherwise decent people who went wobbly for a while and lashed out online. I think its only fair to be charitable and assume – since we never truly know what is going on with the person behind the screen – that he has contacted you because your post, or his own words, or the mockery of those who commented on the post, or all of the above, are causing him distress. It’s very unfair to assume that he’s just been “seething” over your post for years. Maybe he’s in difficulty, and maybe you can help out. Show him we can be good without god. Don’t risk punching down.

  18. psychomath says

    I agree with the others that leaving the old post as is serves no good purpose and may be causing unnecessary harm. The screed in that email does not suggest a stable mind and we should all hope that this person is trying to mend themselves and help them if we can. At least anonymizing the post and this one seems like a kind thing to do.

  19. garysturgess says

    There’s no “Sorry for spamming you” implication there, so frankly I don’t see any need for PZ to comply. The very least you should do if you’re embarrassed about something and want the affected party to do you a solid is to apologise first.

  20. psychomath says

    @24

    One should apologize, certainly. Life isn’t a competition, though. If you can be kind, you should. If the other person didn’t “deserve” it, oh well.

  21. psychomath says

    Actually, I shouldn’t have said “kind”, I should have said “magnanimous”. There are so few chances in life to be magnanimous that I try never to miss an opportunity. It’s true that there was no apology, but the please and thank you seemed rather sincere to me.

  22. Alt-X says

    This is hilarious. He’s been fighting with himself for 3 years and lost! He’s somehow defeated his own arguments and called a truce to a spam blocker. Golden!

  23. Alt-X says

    Hmm some good points here. If he’s grown up and moved on he probably should have the chance to remove his old rantings. But then again, calling it a “truce” doesn’t really seem like that’s what he’s saying.

  24. says

    Yeah, the dude just proved that while the internet never forgets, it also has a short attention span.
    Also, maybe if you’re sorry about something you said before and would like to have it removed maybe don’t come off as an arrogant ass? Maybe insert an “I’m sorry I spammed you three years ago” and don’t act like you’re still in a fight with the person you’re mailing.

  25. says

    nathanieltagg et. al.

    Maybe he is back on his meds now? (Seriously – this is possible.)

    I really wished people would stop doing that. You know, people don’t need to be mentally ill to believe “crazy” things. They just need to hear those things often enough, have them reinforced by media and friends.
    Look at all the people in the USA who believe that Obama played golf all the time but Trump doesn’t. Right now in Germany we’ve had a right wing terrorist attack and again people are claiming the guy was just mentally ill because he believed all kinds of conspiracy theories. But you will always find those theories on blogs, right wing (or in this case christian) news sites, propagated in a more sanitised form (but always with the hint that they cannot say the whole truth because of the government, hint, hint).
    I also do have a family member who is suffering from heavy psychosis with severe delusions. So far he hasn’t brought on any racist or religious bullshit because that’s not what he believed before his mental illness took his mind hostage.

  26. Don Quijote says

    Went to look at the comments on the original post and seeing a comment there from Cain was like a kick in the gut.

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