Was Antonelli Set Up?

This piece isn’t an attempt to evoke sympathy for Lou Antonelli or suggest he isn’t responsible for his own actions but I do genuinely wonder if he was set up by others.

I’m still piecing together recent events. There are two elements here:

  • Dave Freer’s nutty theory about me.
  • Lou Antonelli’s doxxing attempt*.

Looks like I get to star in my own conspiracy theory folks…

The Mad Genius

I don’t know when Dave Freer formed his theory. He has apparently been quite categorical with people in his circle about my identity for some time. In August 2016 he was apparently claiming I was an Australian writer who he knew by sight:

achaugust2016

Charming.

Anyway, no Dave Freer doesn’t know ‘me’ by sight and while Camestros Felapton is a writer, this clunky old meat robot isn’t. Also, he presumably didn’t mean a philosophy lecturer either. Also, also in Dave’s current theory the person he claims I am would have been in Scotland (at least until very close to the time of Hoyt’s comment).

The technical term for this ‘bullshit’. Dave Freer was bullshitting to other Mad Genius people that he had some sort of secret identity thing figured out.

Now there is an aspect of pseudonymity that Nick Mamatas has pointed out: by using a pseudonym you render arguments from personal authority and experience (beyond the pseudonym) untenable. I thing he is right on this point. I can’t use my background as a substantial argument that I’m correct if my background is confidential. Which is why I don’t rely on such arguments. If you think Camestros Felapton knows stuff about logic or history or whatever it is because of what Camestros Felapton has written NOT because of my personal details.

The point being, there’s no legitimate way for Dave Freer to undermine the many arguments I’ve made about science fiction, it’s future, publishing or the state of ideological coherence on the right by looking at my background because I don’t claim my background validates my arguments. My pseudonymity prevents me using an argument from authority.

As far as I can tell Dave introduced the ‘Fieldsy’ name in June 2017 at Larry Correia’s blog. This was in the comment section of Larry’s mega meltdown at Mike Glyer. I’m not going to link to it again because it is basically just a sewer. However, I will offer partial quotes from Dave. These are partial not to misrepresent what he says but so as not to re-air various attacks on other people. In addition, the order of comments at MHI is variable (I think it has an up-vote, down-vote thing), so some might be out of sequence.

“You helped, encouraged, supported, and twisted facts and lied for them. The fact that you’re a failure […] at the career ruining is not for want of trying, but rather because because you’re inept. You have a large amount of time for it, though. Don’t you have any work at your transfer-college in the UK?”

I’m not sure what a ‘transfer-college’ is by the way, a college people transfer to? Dave was claiming I’d attempted to ruin his or somebody’s career or that others had and I hadn’t stopped them. It was never clear. I challenged him on that. I’ve never maligned Dave Freer’s books or his fiction. I have challenged his claims with regards to the Hugo Awards and done so using facts and civility. However, the evidence shows that he took that as a personal attack.

In a later comment he demands my name and again asserts that I’m at a university. This was after(?) I pointed out that I’m an outsider. In truth I’m more of an outsider than Dave Freer. My complete publishing record is there in Smashwords – books by talking cats with weird covers 🙂

“Both your university peers and the traditional publishing bubble match your prejudices and worldview almost precisely. You’re not an outsider to your chosen arenas. You’re the establishment and trying to stay that way.

And as you happy to have done to you, your career and reputation… well, if this is true, prove it. Give us your name. What you’ve done is to my name, not a silly pseudonym.

Bet you won’t.”

The resentment and list of crimes I supposedly placed on Dave continue (names of others have been removed:

“(Dryly) Beneath one of the untermench who must excluded and silenced? Amazing. Surely such depths were never meant to plumbed. I’ve warned you and fellow travelers before: you survive merely because your opponents have exercised a degree of honor, nobility and generosity – and not repaid your side in kind. That’s run out now. We were not all your foes – but you treated us like foes. We’ve survived and managed to grow despite the whisper campaigns, the doors closed, the anthologies we’re not welcome to, despite outselling those who are welcome, the competitions excluded from, the blackballing, the cons we oddly don’t get invitations to. Yes, I still have friends on the ‘inside’ – I know I’m persona non grata, for pointing out the discrimination. You -as an individual – did your level best to dismiss it. The zeitgeist is changing – much faster than you realize in your University bubble. I once again advise to stop pushing the pendulum, and start acknowledging that these things need fixing ( it’s probably too late, but it may reduce the damage), […] -including you – are part of the problem. Otherwise, you, your partner, your friends, and your political views will find yourselves in what you imposed. And even those dull, old-fashioned ‘libertarians’ like me who believe in disagreeing with every word you say, but that you should have the opportunity to say them… will be able to do nothing, and are unlikely to be willing to try.”

I thought “you, your partner” was very odd – particularly in this histrionic doom-laden bit. I even wondered if he thought I was Greg Hullender and had just got the two of us confused (sorry Greg). I wondered if by partner he meant Timothy – bless his cotton socks. It’s clearer now that he meant Foz Meadows and presumably thought I’d get the hint – which I didn’t because that’s just batshit levels of wingnuttery.

I made several replies to Dave at that time but here is the relevant one:

// You certainly tried to discredit me.//

I certainly pointed out when I thought you were wrong. Ah! Is that what this whole thing is about? I dared say you were wrong? Seriously? That was the terrible crime I inflicted upon you? Dave, sometimes you are wrong.

// You were there, making snarky comments.//

And you were there making snarky comments. You are not some fragile creature – you are big enough and bold enough to cope with some snark.

//being a Nazi etc. //

Not only have I never said you were a Nazi, I have taken great pains to point out the political differences between the Sad and Rabids, and between people like yourself and the crypto-fascist Vox Day. I don’t throw out the term ‘Nazi’ casually e.g. I don’t claim people are Nazis because they cheered at an award ceremony.

//Your failure at the silencing and de-platforming isn’t precisely commendable. It was failure not the opposite. //

It was the opposite. Your voice got heard – you just didn’t like the reaction. Your position is an absurd one – that quoting you or linking to your posts or discussing your publically aired views amounts to being silenced.

// Give us your name. //

See my other comment about doxxing. If you are fishing for an identity the only relevant one is Camestros Felapton.

//Bet you won’t.//

Damn right I won’t. I’ve nastier enemies than you Dave Freer but you’ve not even come close to earning the first fragment of my trust to give you information that would put MY family in danger. Shame on you for even asking.

Dave replied (again a partial quote for the relevant bit):

“Thanks for the 10 bucks. It would have cost me a hundred if you’d been honorable and given your name. So: your promise is worthless. No real surprise there. Fieldsy, we know who you are, so we know why you do this and how false your assertions are. And your rationalizations may have helped other fellow travelers with their rationalizations. You know full well what was meant by the silencing and de-platforming, but you rationalize that that doesn’t apply to your behavior.”

Key points: “Fieldsy” and “we know who you are, so we know why you do this”. There’s a general air of your-doom-is-coming in Dave’s comments which I took as the standard line the pseudo-libertarians take these days (i.e. they think the far right will take over and deal with the ‘SJWs’ and it’s all the ‘SJWs’ fault because they had it coming etc). Based on recent events, this was not what Dave was trying to hint at. The message, perhaps poorly expressed or perhaps unnoticed by my obliviousness was meant to be: shut up because we know who you are and we will attack your partner. Point missed. I’m like some shopkeeper in a gangster movie who when the mob comes calling and they say “Nice shop you have here, shame if anything bad happened to it.” I’m thinking “Gosh they really think my shop is nice? How sweet of them to say so!” Yeah, for a smart guy I really can be very stupid.

“Fieldsy” meant nothing to me. Dave often makes unobvious literary allusions in his general writing (not a criticism, just an observation) and I assumed it was an in-joke. I did partly wonder if he thought that was my name but I don’t know of anybody called ‘Fieldsy’. In retrospect, it was a pun: ‘meadow’=’field’.

Skipping forward in time. There was a discussion at Mad Genius Club in early January on Jon Del Arroz being denied attending membership at Worldcon 2018. Greg Hullender made some comments, as did I. Given the topic it was relatively polite. A lot of the heat was being directed at Greg. I had commented rarely at Mad Genius for sometime (one brief comment earlier this January or maybe late Decemeber). Late into the discussion Dave Freer stated that I had been banned from there at some earlier point. I think he was genuinely mistaken but I’m not going to comment if they don’t want me to. I’ve pointed this out to Dave before – it’s fine for him to ban people he doesn’t want there but it’s even easier than that, as the blog owner all he has to do is ask.

freerjan72018

“You and your partner are playing a very dangerous and foolish game.” Well that’s a WTF comment if I’ve seen one. This time the message is clearer – if I continue and there will be reprcussions that WILL BE DANGEROUS to you. Also, whatever this clamity that was waiting was something Dave Freer did not want to do personally. Also, why bother with a threat? I was happy to not comment their and also Dave had the technical means to prevent me from commenting there. It isn’t hard, ask Phantom.

Again note: “your partner”.

I’ve no doubt that Dave Freer had convinced himself of his Meadows theory and clearly believed that if his theory was made public that it would cause harm to the Meadows family. Of course his dire warnings made no sense when delivered to the wrong target.

Dave has form for elaborate theories built mainly on ill-will and wishful thinking. I assume his theory is based on free associations between facts he may have gleaned without considering whether they collectively made sense. The key elements being

  • I talk about philsophy and logic a lot
  • I have connections with both the UK and Australia
  • Dave is convinced that I can’t just be some nobody with a blog (spoiler: I’m a nobody with a blog)

At some point he must have discovered the existance of Toby Meadows (partner to well know fan writer and author Foz Meadows) and the aesthetics of it were so good he ignored the inconsistencies (hint: in life do the opposite of that). Maybe, he even thought early on the ‘Australian writer’ Hoyt mentioned was Foz Meadows? The Pups made a big deal about my gender being ambiguous because they couldn’t parse my name? Who knows. The Buzzfeed article that carried my Brexit joke may have played a part but he also seems to have thought I was in the UK as recently as 2017. Who knows? It was a batshit theory but he clearly had been telling others about it. “we know who you are, so we know why you do this” – we, not “I”.

In Brad’s revelation post, Dave claims it is all down to IP addresses:

“Oh? REALLY? Then she would be very grateful that Lou revealed her ‘husband’ has a stalker who not only pretends to be expert in precisely the same fields…er meadows… as her husband, but also was SO devoted a stalker that he/she moved to Aberdeen IIRC (as evidenced by the IP address ‘Camestros’ used then) at the same time as Toby. And then, as evidenced by the IP address, moved back to Brisbane… at the same time as Toby. But wait. There’s more… And lives in the same town, claims to be a fan and somehow – in the tiny pond of Brissy sf fans never knew of her or hubby – among its leading lights. And of course she really does own the Sydney Harbour bridge she’s also trying to sell you”

This is a point where Dave crosses a line from being maliciously mistaken to directly lying to his audience. He wants here to pretend that he had a tighter claim. IP addresses are a strange beast, so I guess it isn’t 100% impossible that a device in NSW might show as Brisbane on some occasions…but not Aberdeen…and not in a way that somehow neatly tracks to movement of another person.

Beyond the Genii

But I’m skipping ahead. I’m saying Lou Antonelli was set up. Did Dave set him up? Don’t know but it is safe to say Dave was the source of the bonkers Fieldsy Theory.

The direct cause of Lou making a Facebook post (since removed by Facebook for violating community guidelines) was this post of mine on the SFFGuild. Specifically there were some comments on the 2014 attempt by Antonelli and others to set up an alternative to the SFWA that would also be apolitical in some sense.

That post revealed the Guild earlier than they had wanted and the Guild’s twitter account responded by engaging with many prominet SFF authors. The subsequent Twitter reaction was not kind to the Guild.

What I haven’t discussed is how I knew about the guild. That dates back to a post I’d hastily written on pay-to-play awards. That had started from my interactions with Richard Paolinelli and I wanted to do a follow up. Paolinelli had a reference to a SFFGuild, I followed the links and then wrote a post.

But…here’s a twist from earlier. I’m lazy and don’t get stuff finished (one of many reasons why me having a PhD is laughable). That original post on pay-to-play awards was a half hearted draft, I only finished it because the issue had become topical again because of tweet by…Foz Meadows…which I led that post with.

I assume for people who had already been primed to associate me with Meadows that would look like a smoking gun.

The Set Up

Here is Antonelli discussing his reasoning behind the Fieldsy theory.

“I had multiple reliable sources give me information regarding his identity. I verified much of the information myself. Of course, I want to protect my sources. Many people are scared of retaliation – a prerogative of the socially privileged and politically protected.

A key source stepped forward when they realized I was self-employed as a small business owner and not subject to retaliation.

I really wouldn’t care except Richard Paolinelli started a new writers group and Felapton jumped his ass without any provocation that I could see. Felapton has become tedious in his smug self-righteousness and has been mocking so-called Sad Puppies for years. There are no more Sad Puppies, but he’s using it as some kind of ethnic slur and attack term.

I stand by my sources, and I rely on the old journalistic standard that if a source insists on remaining anonymous, you must have a minimum of two of them with the same story. That goes back to Watergate. One of the reasons we see so much “fake news” these days is that people will accept a lone anonymous source which cannot be verified. In the case of Felapton, I had three different people who had the same evidence.”

So a few things.

  • Three people told him the same thing but we know Dave Freer had been telling others his theory, so this amounts to two or three people repeating what Dave had told them i.e. rumours made up by Dave.
  • “A key source stepped forward when they realized I was self-employed as a small business owner and not subject to retaliation.” A key source? They stepped forward? Somebody, asked Lou to do this.
  • “I really wouldn’t care except Richard Paolinelli started a new writers group” this was the specific ‘crime’ for which he felt I should be punished.

Why would somebody ask Lou to do this? Well, not to harp on about his track record but clearly he is somebody who does not always fully think through his actions. But also, Lou is a somewhat fringe figure in the wider world of right wing science fiction community. He isn’t closely aligned with any of the groupings but has connections with each of them.

The ‘self-employed’ and ‘retaliations’ aspect is odd, as there is no shortage of self-employed people among the regular characters in right wing science fiction. However, it makes more sense if you think of it as deniability. As Dave Freer had previously suggested, he thought this doxxing-attempt would/should occur but he would rather not be seen to be the one to do it.

Clearly somebody asked Lou to do it. Suggested that this would get him the approval of his peers that he craves and that the ‘evidence’ was all there. Antonelli himself does not appear to know any of the ‘evidence’. When pressed on it he says that people told him.

Who?

I Don’t know. I doubt it was either Dave Freer or Richard Paolinelli, despite their names being associated with this whole flap. Dave is too subtle (he’d rather have continued to make dark mutterings for longer) and Paolinelli is the exact opposite (he’d have just announced it himself if he had thought it was worth saying).

But somebody did and it’s pretty clear that the person who did thought Lou Antonelli was a chump. Has Lou realised this yet, that a false friend was using him as cover to spread malicious gossip? I doubt it but at some point he’ll realise and it is a sad note to end on.

 

*[There’s a labyrinth of quibbles among the Puppies as to what is an isn’t a doxxing. To be clear, as Lou did not reveal private information about me, what he did is not technically a doxxing. However, he clearly was TRYING to do exactly that – so the correct term is ‘doxxing attempt’. The difference is the level of incompotence used.]

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149 comments

  1. Lurkertype

    Okay, first off, why do they keep calling Toby “partner”? They’re husband and wife. Foz even took his last name FFS, how much more conventional can you get? (Maybe Toby took her last name, but probably not) She’s called him “husband” for ages. And they were still living in UK when Dave started spinning this fantasy — whereas Camestros wasn’t. Also, Foz would have picked up on the mob-type threat which Cam didn’t.

    Dave clearly also doesn’t understand anything about computers, between claiming someone was banned who could still post, and all the nonsense about IP addresses being like GPS coordinates. Is there an Aberdeen in Australia that he confused for the Granite City? Ooh, yes there is, in NSW! Makes sense that it might show up as other parts of NSW.

    So Dave made up some bullshit in his tiny little brain (I’m picturing chez Freer’s walls covered with photos and notes all connected by brightly colored yarn), repeated it to Pups/MGC who then “confirmed” it with each other.

    Then he presented it as “fact” to CUL, who ran with it since he loves a good anti-SJW conspiracy theory. And if all his pals from all over were confirming it, why wouldn’t he believe it? All his sources said the same thing. And he got to snipe at an uppity foreign woman. Since everyone knows Lou tends to go off half-cocked and OTT, he’s the perfect patsy for this.

    Their itty bitty incestuous purebred worldview simply can’t understand that there are lots of other people who are not at all related, not in it for themselves, or even how many other people there are. They’re a tiny scrappy (heh) group who all know each other and believe the same things, so their “opponents” must be as well. Projection, much?

    Bah. Stupidity abounds. Lou may have been taken advantage of — some “friends” he has. Teddy’s got form for setting up his pals, and many of these guys like to follow his sooper genyus Xanad’OH style. Could have been anyone.

    (And as always, a day late, a dollar short, and even more wrong, JDA comes along with an even stupider extension that falls flat instantly when people remember Wikipedia exists. At least Dave tried to investigate on his comp-yoo-tur.)

    OTOH, I’ve had a nice time looking at pictures of Aberdeen (Scotland) and remembering my visit there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aaron Pound

    So, if I’m reading the timeline correctly, Freer completely shifted who he thought you were in 2016, even though all the “evidence” from IP addresses should have already been available to him then.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Arifel

    Obviously this is not my main takeaway from this mess, but: among his many shortcomings, Freer displays a complete ignorance of correct Australian nicknames. More appropriate diminuitives for Meadows would be “Fieldo” or “Mezza”.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paul Weimer

    And of course this entire mess has devolved further with Lou throwing shade at Jim C Hines for him pointing out much of a twit he’s being over this, with that getting to be the storm du jour, and then there was that Scrappy who got unreasonably mad at *me*…

    All this because Dave Freer is wrongly convinced you are Toby Meadows since 2016?

    From small beginnings indeed…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Cora

    What strikes me about this (beyond the complete and utter stupidity of most of that bunch) is their penchant for making threats. It’s not just Freer either, but also many others in that circle. Dire threats of how the red-blooded true nutty nugget fans will run out off patience and destroy WorldCon/the Hugos/SFWA, drive Tor and all of traditional publishing except for Baen into bankruptcy and how all of those SJWs they hate will be forced to play nice with them or else… The puppies constantly accuse their opponents of trying to silence them and ruin their careers, when absolutely no one wants to stop Freer, Hoyt, Correia, VD, JCW, JDA, Paolinelli, Antonelli, Torgersen, etc… from publishing, we merely don’t want to have their stuff rammed down our throats and cheated onto awards ballots. Meanwhile, the dire threats uttered by various puppies, backed up by doxxing, SWATTing and getting people fired attempts are a clear silencing tactic. And considering how very much the puppies like to project their own behaviour onto everybody else and looking at the clear death threats both in the threat Cam linked and e.g. in those “Sad Puppies Bite Back” murder fantasies, I strongly suspect their many box car/concentration camp/gulag/gas chamber attempts are projections, too.

    Liked by 4 people

    • camestrosfelapton

      Yup. Quite simply .we. .don’t. .count. as human to them. So ANYTHING that they say about “us” (which can be almost anybody) simply doesn’t count.

      Were those death threats jokes? Sure, but they didn’t even notice they were making them. If ONE person had ever said anything similar about a Sad Puppy, oh boy, would we still be hearing about it to this day and each and every person who had ever objected to the Sad Puppies would be regard as an accessory.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Aaron Pound

      I should note that, despite his bluster and his intentions, Lou has not gotten me fired. He came up with this theory that I was an “Obama administration attorney” and decided that when the election happened I was somehow going to be out of a job. The problem is that he completely misapprehends how government employment works for most civil servants. I worked for the agency I work for before Obama came along, and I’ll probably still be with this agency after Trump leaves office. I have a civil service job, which means my position is nonpolitical by definition. It doesn’t matter who is in office, I stay.

      I think one source of Lou’s misunderstanding is what appears to be his only brush with the Federal government – just after he left Columbia University, as a fresh out of college guy, he ran for Congress as a Republican in a district that he really had no chance of winning. His loss seems to have given him the idea that everyone who works for the government got their job via politics, which is completely wrong.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Cora

        Well, that’s why I said “attempt”, since he thankfully did not succeed. It’s also telling how civil servants, teachers, university professors, etc… are leeches sucking up the money of honest taxpayers in the eyes of those folks, but soldiers and police officers are great and admirable heroes, in spite of being paid by the same taxpayers’ money.

        Like

      • Lurkertype

        So Lou’s opinion about the government is that it’s bad b/c it wouldn’t “let” him join as he’s “entitled to”.

        Just like Puppies claim the Hugos/Worldcon are dying b/c they got sent off with their tail between their legs b/c they didn’t win the awards they’re “entitled to”.

        Sour grapes all around, always.

        Predictable and pathetic.

        (Also stupid: who expects to win Congress as a 20-something and/or in a hopeless district?)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ordinary Jim (@UOJim)

    These people claim they’re making tons of money selling Nutty Nuggets to hardworking patriots outside the kolkhoz of trad publishing. Whatever happened to just laughing all the way to the bank, and not getting so worked up about small shit?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Marshall Ryan Maresca

    “all the nonsense about IP addresses being like GPS coordinates”

    So, apparently a lot of spam-creators use IP addresses that are just generally “in the US”, not more specific than that. What happens when you try and center on those IP addresses, you DO get a specific location, namely a spot in the geographic center of the country, which happens to be right near some guy’s farmhouse in Kansas. That poor guy gets a ton of hate mail because people are convinced he’s the source of spam and viruses.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. JJ

    Well, it seems pretty apparent now that Lou Antonelli was used as a patsy to try to force Cam to stop blogging about the Puppies.

    Richard the Poseurnelli is now demanding that Foz get Cam to stop blogging about them, in exchange for them stopping the attacks on her and her husband.

    Damn, I guess Dick’s really upset about you stealing his thunder on the SFFCguild blog, Cam. He’s obviously feeling very fragile and threatened. Maybe you should offer him a big hug. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

      • JJ

        Foz Meadows:
        Still not going to apologise for maligning my husband, huh?

        Richard Paolinelli:
        Still not going to call off your #1 Fanboy, Camestros Felapton?

        Foz Meadows‏:
        Please explain why Lou apologising to my husband should be conditional on my doing anything at all? Camestros isn’t magically mine to order about just because Lou fucked up and mistakenly linked the two of us.

        Richard Paolinelli:
        Because you know who Cam is and you have the ability to put an end to these childish attacks on decent, hard-working authors by a hateful troll that hides behind a fake screen name. Your call, dear. I’m done talking to you.

        Foz Meadows‏:
        I don’t know who he is, and I don’t have that ability. You’re actively looking for reasons to justify not apologising, so that you can deem me – and by extension, my husband – deserving of how you’ve treated us all along and are continuing to treat us now.

         
        Yegods, Paolinelli is really a moron, isn’t he? “Force this random person to do what I want, or I will harass you further!”

        Liked by 5 people

      • JJ

        I’m telling you, he’s very hurt, and feeling very fragile and threatened by the premature unveiling of his He-Man Totally Not Political Book Club.

        Really, I think he just wants a big hug. And some chocolates and flowers would certainly not go amiss. 😀

        Liked by 3 people

      • Mark Hepworth

        That’s…actually I can’t think of something to call it.
        They just can’t let go of the theory that Cam and the Meadows (and by extension everyone they don’t like in fandom) are somehow joined at the hip. Anything they do wrong is justified by another supposed wrong to them somewhere/somewhen/somewho else, *because we’re all connected*
        Can’t use logic to argue someone out of a position that they didn’t use reason to arrive at, etc etc

        Liked by 2 people

      • peer sylvester

        So they admitted being wrong (instead of Husband now fanboy”, but they still think Foz eadows must now Camestros because… they cant be so wrong?
        They do write coherent stories do they? (pause) Do they?

        Liked by 2 people

      • PhilRM

        “Richard Paolinelli: Because you know who Cam is and you have the ability to put an end to these childish attacks on decent, hard-working authors by a hateful troll that hides behind a fake screen name. Your call, dear. I’m done talking to you.”

        Also, who writes like that? Is there a Snidely Whiplash School for Deranged Internet Villainy?

        Liked by 4 people

    • Msb

      Judging by the effects, Paolinelli, Freer, Antonelli, etc. are going to an awful lot of trouble to convince a lot of people that they are louts. Where’s the payoff in that?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Schnookums Von Fancypants

        So the endgame is now “Harass a bystander until she gets someone she has no real connection with to stop being so Meeeeeeeaaaaannnnn to us!”

        So instead of doing the right thing themselves (I know, but it could happen, possibly by accident) they instead want Camestros to do the “decent” thing and stop so that they’ll stop harassing someone unconnected? What’s next? “If Camestros Felpaton doesn’t reveal their real identity we’ll poison Gotham’s water supply!”

        Liked by 5 people

      • peer sylvester

        The thing is: If Camestros would stop writing about them, they would still haress, because “he started it!”. Its not that this hasnt happend before.
        I remember one of those scabby doos was justifing trolling Scalzi because “what he did to us”. When I asked what that was, they didnt really seem to know.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul King

        Paolinelli seems to be the biggest threat to his own Guild. Trying to silence harmless critics is not a good look. Trying to harass someone else into helping him silence a harmless critic is even worse. I can’t imagine anyone but the puppies and their allies feeling welcome there now.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Bonnie McDaniel

      Richard the Poseurnelli is now demanding that Foz get Cam to stop blogging about them, in exchange for them stopping the attacks on her and her husband.

      For frak’s sake. Remember what I said before about negotiating with terrorists?

      Just when you think these people can’t stoop any lower, they crawl down the effing sewer.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Mark Hepworth

    I think I must have seen at least some of those “fieldsy” references by Dave as well – I remember coming across that conversation at Larry’s at the time for example – but they must have totally passed me by among Dave’s word salad. Point being, given how Dave writes and acts I don’t think it’s surprising that you passed over them at the time.
    The real chill for me is realising in retrospect that Dave thought he was directly threatening Toby Meadows, effectively telling him to back off and get off the internet or face unmasking – a threat we know to be pointless but that in Dave’s worldview at the time was a serious threat because he thought TM was blogging anonymously to avoid some sort of consequences.
    I mean, “a very dangerous and foolish game” has a similar tone to it to “nice place you’ve got here, pity if anything happened to it” and that’s pretty nasty.
    I think that the case for Dave as patient zero is pretty solid now, and even if not then he was clearly the most enthusiastic proponent.
    I agree it doesn’t need to be anything as crass as Dave telling Lou direct, there’s a cloud of people around MGC who could easily have been let in on the “discovery” so that it percolated through to Lou – who as you say has exactly the temperament to use something like that off the cuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Cora

      I guess those supposed threats against partners and families of prominent puppies were just more projections. Especially since there never was any concrete evidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The Night Wind

    I would suspect that Vox Day is at the bottom of it all. Freer’s comments sound like he was regurgitating Vox’ talking-points and applying them to this particular case. It should be borne in mind that Vox’ followers are fanatically devoted to him and will do things like doxxing and harassment (and possibly worse things) to please their master. Remember how they were harassing John Scalzi just a few months ago? I’m suspecting that this flap started now against you and Foz Meadows in retaliation for Vox-crony Jon Del Arroz getting booted from SFWA.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. peer sylvester

    LOL, just looked for the Twitter exchange that JJ posted – and it turns out Im blocked by Richard Paolinelli! He must have spend a day googling all names from this website and blocking them, because I sure never had any interactions with him.
    Too bad he now will never finds out, that Im Camestros.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Hepworth

      I just checked and I’m not blocked yet, darn it!

      I did notice he’s promoting his book for the Ursa Major award though, which is a bit of a stretch as that’s for anthropomorphic stories and (based purely on the blurb) his book really doesn’t suit the award.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jenora Feuer

        *blinkblink* What?

        (And I say this as someone who had a story in an anthology that was up for the Ursa Majors at one point.)

        Is he expecting the Furry Raiders to slate him onto the ballot or something?

        Or is he just looking for some award small enough that he thinks he can bias and take over but with enough history he can claim it’s prestigious?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Hepworth

        If they publish relevant stories then I suppose that’s fair enough. Don’t know if they do though.
        Do I remember correctly that there’s a bit of an alt-furry wing out there? I imagine that’s where this is coming from/is aimed at.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenora Feuer

        Yes, there is an alt-Furry wing; that’s what I was referring to with the ‘Furry Raiders’ above.

        They were part of the proximate cause for the shutdown of Rocky Mountain Fur Con last year: http://www.nerdandtie.com/2017/04/12/the-bizarre-fall-of-rocky-mountain-fur-con/ They’re not even particularly ‘neo-‘ about being ‘neo-Nazis’; and as someone pointed out in the comments, they’ve engaged in fraud with booking hotel rooms and filling up the convention block with rooms that they never intended to use or pay for.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Lurkertype

        There are rather more queer and liberal furries than Nazi furries. And as people who are frequently attacked, threatened with doxxing, etc. I daresay they aren’t going to be happy with Pups and Scrappies trying to muscle in on their award. And incidentally giving canines a bad name, which furries don’t like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenora Feuer

        @Lurkertype:
        Oh the rest aren’t happy. Furries are at least as prone to the Geek Social Fallacies as anybody, and more than some, so actively kicking people out is rare. But as one of the comments on the Rocky Mountain Fur Con link above suggests, they were seeing the start of an avalanche of cancellations over this, including half their vendors. A lot of people were obviously not happy.

        And, well, I knew Fred Patten back when he was getting the Ursa Major awards set up. I doubt he would give them the time of day.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jenora Feuer

        @Lurkertype:
        True, though ‘integrity’ means giving them exactly as much rope as everybody else.

        It’s possible for non-Furry stuff to get in. In some ways the Ursa Majors are more like the Aurora awards (Canadian national SF awards) than they are like the Hugos, in that there is an explicit limitation on what sorts of works are eligible, with all the definition-wrangling that implies. (The Hugo Awards have rather explicitly tried to avoid doing that due to the politics involved, trusting that works that didn’t qualify as SF to most people just wouldn’t make the list.) The definition is based around anthropomorphism, granting non-human characters human characteristics. And it’s noted on the front page that ‘WALL-E’ would qualify.

        It’s also worth noting that the committee responsible reserves the right (though hasn’t used it yet) to exclude any nomination for a work that they consider illegal or detrimental to the fandom. That exception was added pretty much specifically to let them reject anything that got too close to child porn.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Paul Weimer

      Richard has blocked me. I don’t think he liked my questions, which were polite, about his Guild. (admittedly lots of people jumped into our mentions with more pointed questions about it, and perhaps he thought it best to block me in the bargain)

      Liked by 1 person

      • JJ

        Paolinelli ‘s still going on about how he just doesn’t care — because, of course, perseverating on something is what you do when you don’t care about it. 🙄

        And Jason Rennie (SuperversiveSF) keeps screeching louder and louder at Cam about all this evidence (which he, of course, has never seen) that “proves” that Cam is Meadows, tagging in more and more people, including for some bizarre reason, POTUS. Is that an alt-right technique for calling in additional troll harassment on the target?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Cora

      I got curious and checked out Richard Paolinelli’s tweets, while logged out. In his pinned tweet, he crows that he’s blocking people because they have attacked his friends (apparently criticizing Scrappy-Doo types equals attacking now, but then puppies are thin-skinned) and that if you attack his friends, you answer to him. Yeah, I’m really scared now.

      His tweet stream was pretty boring, too. I also wonder what qualifies his book for the Ursa Major Award, but then Paolinelli seems to be really desperate to win any award.

      Like

      • Lurkertype

        Can’t Dick just buy another one? Or is he short of money b/c his Nutty Nuggets (of bullshit) aren’t selling, so the best he can do is Tweet madly (pun intended) to try to rig a legit one?

        I don’t know how the Ursa Major Award is administered, but it sounds like Dickie’s book wouldn’t qualify even if he wasn’t a bullying creep.

        Oh, they reserve the right to disqualify things “detrimental to the integrity”, so looks like Dickie-doo and the other RWNJ won’t get a look-in after this Tweetstorm.

        Like

  12. Laura Resnick

    “Nobody with a blog.”

    Now I’m picturing you as Arya Stark, keyboard in one hand, dangling facemask of Camestros Felapton in the other….

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Mark Hepworth

    The magical thinking intensifies – now CamToby is keeping his secret from Foz Meadows as well!

    If I was Meadows at this point* I’d just say that she’s made real efforts to sort this out when she frankly didn’t need to, and just block everyone in sight and get on with her life. She didn’t owe them this much of her time, let alone anymore of it.

    *which we all are, apparently

    Liked by 2 people

  14. stevejwright

    I’m afraid I could well believe in Antonelli being used as a useful idiot by someone else… I think it’s happened before. I’ve always been amazed by Antonelli’s loyalty to the Puppy cause, because I’m pretty sure it’s not reciprocated, based solely on the 2015 slate nominations. Antonelli, if you recall, was nominated in the Short Story and Related Work categories, and in both cases the main Rabid push was surely for John C. Wright (he must be a good writer ’cause he uses all them ten-dollar words). The slate’s message to Antonelli, therefore, was “We’re going to put you in as filler material because we think you write worse than John C. Wright”, which is a terrible, terrible thing to say to someone when you think about it. Antonelli’s apparent mis-hearing of that message as “We are nominating you for two Hugo Awards because we think you are brilliant and should win”… well, it’s a clue that the guy will swallow anything and probably can, therefore, be used as a stalking horse. Sad but plausible. (No, of course I don’t know if it’s actually true, I just think it’s depressingly likely, that’s all.)

    Antonelli does show occasional flashes of self-awareness and common sense (as with the whole “I think I’m becoming my own crazy uncle” thing) – it would be good if he cultivated those a bit.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Andrew M

      I’m a bit worried about this, because it seems to imply a Unified Puppy Theory. It was Torgersen who initially plucked Antonelli for the slate, and he wasn’t especially pushing one slate item more than another as far as I can remember. Day then added various things he wanted especially to push, including Wright. (I think Torgersen had one story by Wright, but Day added a few more.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • stevejwright

        I’m not a strict MonoPuppist, but I do think the boundaries between the various Puppy factions are soft, indeterminate, and somewhat porous. (I could also easily see Torgersen plugging Antonelli and Beale seeing this and saying “yep, useful idiot”.)

        Basically, whatever the Puppies are, they are not Antonelli’s friends. (I don’t think they’re anyone’s friends, particularly.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Lurkertype

        I’ve been a monopuppyist for ages. Ever since Brad made the comparison of him and Larry with Teddy –> Churchill and Roosevelt with Stalin. Said it in their own words.

        (Which is some severe hubris all around, that comparison.)

        Lou’s a Useful Idiot for Puppies — they can disclaim his rantings, threatened SWATTings, etc. and the Sads have been Useful Idiots and human shields for Rabids since the get-go. Teddy stole their whole concept, had more “success”, and they still refuse to admit it. He made them his bitch. And they happily went along with it right up until a woman was put in charge of Sads, at which point they gave her no support whatsoever. Not even retweets or suggestions.

        Lou’s too wrapped up in his rage outbursts to see how badly his “friends” have used him. He got no push for any of the awards, and now Dave’s made him look like a complete idiot just to give an excuse to attack Foz and Cam.

        With friends like these, Lou really doesn’t need enemies. The others wind him up, point him at the target, and swoop in after he’s kamikazed.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Lurkertype

      Steve: In 2015, Pups etc. were still trying to look respectable. I think CUL’s attempted swatting was a bit beyond the pale even for them, and he was likely unpersoned for everything except hanger-on/useful idiot and occasional weapon. And they probably think it’s fun to wind him up and point him towards their “enemies”, then swoop in under cover of his explosion.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Laura Resnick

    I have a feeling you’re overthinking this. I think it’s entirely possible (even probable) that these various people actually believe whatever ludicrous thing they’re saying at any given time, even when contradicted by facts, even when what they’re saying contradicts what they previously said, even when each thing they say contradicts other things they’ve said, even when what they’re saying makes no sense at all (as is often the case).

    I’ve never understood their rage and dissatisfaction (yes, I get that they don’t have the success and recognition that they want; lots of people don’t–but most people don’t go off the deep end because of it), and I certainly don’t understand their paranoia and fevered sense of victimhood. But I do think that, even when calculated for effect, they may well believe everything they say, at any given time, even when it’s anti-factual nonsense they’ve fabricated from thin air (as it often is), because they desperately -want- to believe whatever silly thing they’re saying.

    For whatever reason, someone in that crowd became determined to link you to Foz Meadows, or her to you, and so they did, and then others decided they wanted to believe it, too, and so they did, etc. It doesn’t matter if there’s no proof, and it doesn’t matter if there’s proof to the contrary. It doesn’t matter if you both deny it, or if Toby Meadows denies it. It doesn’t matter who points out what fallacies their are in their “evidence.” They’ve decided to believe it, and so they do–until they decide to believe something else, at which time, any inconsistencies in these beliefs will be irrelevant to them.

    Also, the threats crack me up. What do they think they’re going to do–really, I mean? Blog people to death?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Aaron Pound

      The Pups are understandable if you assess them as the thoroughgoing conspiracy theorists that they actually are. In the mind of a conspiracy theorist, nothing is coincidental, and everything is connected. When viewed from this perspective, Cam has to be someone like Toby. For Cam to just be some guy who happens to like blogging about science fiction and philosophy is simply unthinkable to them.

      To wit:

      1. Cam had to be someone with some sort of credential. He has to be someone who has some sort of “establishment” authority and position. Since they all regard themselves as super-geniuses who are masters of debate and argument, only someone who had been trained in that field could possibly keep up with them (note Phantom’s speculation in the comments quoted above about how Cam had to be a lawyer or law student). Toby, who has a Ph.D. and a position as a university professor, fits this requirement perfectly.

      2. Cam has to be someone who isn’t already identified as a “Puppy kicker”. For them to identify Cam as say, JJ, or Greg, or me, or Laura wouldn’t be a net gain for the Pups. They need Cam to be someone who they haven’t already identified so they can have a new enemy to harass. Toby fits this as well. He’s kind of known, but he’s not yet been specifically dragged into the Puppy fracas.

      3. Cam has to be someone who has a “reason” to dislike the Pups. In the Pups’ world, no one could possibly be opposed to them because they think the Pups’ books are lousy and their behaviour is atrocious. No – anyone who is opposed to them must be doing so for some kind of self-interested gain. Since Toby would “gain” from hitting at the Pups because it would supposedly benefit Foz somehow (although it is never really explained how this would work, just assumed on the Pups’ part), he fits this as well.

      As two bonuses for the Pups, Toby is also an academic, and the Pups are ferociously anti-academia (and in many cases, anti-knowledge and anti-facts), and he works for a public university and is thus theoretically a government employee, and the Pups are virulently anti-government (in several cases, hypocritically so). These are basically shit gravy on the garbage cake that the Pups have served up for themselves by falsely identifying Toby, but they likely served to make the Pups feel more comfortable about who they have decided the culprit was. After all, Toby is the “right” kind of person to be their enemy.

      Their whole theory is unevidenced bullshit, but in their minds it has to be true because Toby “fits the profile” of who they want Cam to be. As a result, they ignored any contrary evidence and ran full tilt into stupidity, which is pretty much their calling card.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Lurkertype

        @Aaron: well analyzed.

        Also, someone should translate this ignored any contrary evidence and ran full tilt into stupidity into bad Latin and it’d be the Pups/Scrappies/MGC’s motto. It’s certainly their pattern.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PhilRM

        ‘Since Toby would “gain” from hitting at the Pups because it would supposedly benefit Foz somehow (although it is never really explained how this would work, just assumed on the Pups’ part), he fits this as well.’
        To the extent that there’s any logic behind this (which there really isn’t), I think it arises from the Pups worldview that everything is a zero-sum game.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ingvar

        Lurkertype: cucurrit, et neglecta quis libero cursu ferunt quod contra est in stuporem
        Fresh off the “bad latin press” that is Google Translate.

        Like

  16. JJ

    What’s really unfathomable is that Paolinelli, Freer, et al keep insisting that this tweet means that Cam moved to Australia at the same time as Meadows because their reading comprehension is so bad that they don’t understand it is Cam laughing about having moved to Oz many years before the Brexit vote:

    Liked by 2 people

  17. redpandafraction

    I dunno if this is technically feasible, but I feel like I should start some sort of Kickstarter for you, Camestros, to get a VPN so you can rotate your ISP address on a regularly basis to where all of these benighted souls live.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. JJ

    Argh, now Jason Rennie (SuperversivSF) keeps demanding on Twitter that Cam doxx himself to stop him and the other Puppies from abusing the Meadows (so that they can then start abusing Cam and his family). And he’s written the Universit of Queenslad demanding that they investigate Meadows.

    These are ugly, evil people. I seem to remember them expressing paranoia that others were trying to destroy their livelihoods, but it seems that the only ones actually engaging in such reprehensible, fascist behavior are the Puppies and Superversive SF.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Stevie

    This is very strange. So much so that I had to check my oxygen levels to make sure I wasn’t mildly hallucinating, here in the socialist conspiracy of the NHS, where people come into hospital because we need to be treated in hospital and don’t have to pay anything beyond the general taxes we pay anyway.

    My oxygen levels are fine so I’m not hallucinating; frankly, any hallucinations seem to be squarely in the sad/rabid camp. However, hallucinating doesn’t justify the attempt to do harm which is what seems to be driving these attacks; why on earth they want to hurt people is beyond me. My sympathies to all those who are being harassed in this manner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lurkertype

      Teddy lives in one of those hellish socialist countries of Yurp too. You’d think he’d have run away from prosecution to some FREEDUM lovin’ place or one full of Anglo-Saxons, but his great need to be a wussy coward girly man, avoid extradition treaties, and leave his daddy in the lurch to save his own skin and sister to do real work he can sponge off kept him away.

      Like

  20. Kat Goodwin

    Authoritarians work to maintain a hierarchy of discrimination and control. Dissent is a threat and shows they don’t have control culturally, and so it has to be silenced, or at least rendered impotent, or at least rendered seemingly impotent to other right wing authoritarians to keep their positions in the hierarchy. So their message is continually POC stop talking about POC discrimination, it discriminates against white people, and women stop talking about sexist discrimination, it discriminates against men, etc. If they have, more rarely, a down axis trait or relatives who do, they will lift that up as a shield — you can’t criticize me, I’m white Hispanic, a woman, gay, etc., so that makes you racist, hypocrite, etc. Since their world view is all about power, they regard progressives criticizing each other about various kinds of hierarchical discrimination all the time as weakness, signs of failure of their ability to “control”, rather than what it is — the bumpy part of working towards equality. Actively yelling at liberals or marginalized targets to be quiet on criticism and declaring them evil enemies trying to destroy everything (the hierarchy) is the rite of passage to get cred in right wing circles, as we know.

    It’s not really anything to do with written SFF, or even “conspiracies.” Beale is moving up on the right wing ladder. After hanging around the edges of Gamergate, he had modest success in agitation and harassment in the relatively quiet pool of written SFF with SFWA and taking over the Puppies. Attacking SFF authors isn’t that impressive to the bigger right wing operators (though you do get some bonus points for academics angles,) but it’s clearly been enough to give him a small platform where he is now being a tech industry agitator — the big show. So now there are openings for others to be leading agitators in the written SFF pond, which can then maybe lead to other, higher opportunities in the right wing and right wing media, possibly that might provide some money for a few of them — real money, not print fiction money. RP botched his audition with the new guild by harassing Jemisin right off the bat, and blames Cam. Cam is low hanging fruit to attempt to harass, dox and shut up, but Freer tied one of his chosen targets — Foz — to it in order to bump his profile as a svengali. JDA is auditioning for The Federalist and other right wing media with his ban me tour, etc., and so tried to go after Chuck Wendig and weighs in his two cents on the Cam fracas. Brad T. openly told folk that he was angling to get somewhere in conservative circles and likes to come in as the “reasonable” agitator voice.

    It’s not an organized conspiracy; they are just jockeying for attention and bad ass warrior points with each other. That’s why they get worse with wilder and wilder claims when they’re together, as we know — they engage in outbidding. So I imagine we’ll see occasional eruptions of Puppy fuming whenever they think there’s a good opportunity, even if it’s a small one. Plus it helps that you are all Australian/British and most of their buddies have little idea how either of those countries work.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Kat Goodwin

        It’s performance art. I saw someone say today that the alt right isn’t an ideology, it’s a public demeanor. That’s really where you get all the inconsistencies, the constant switching from one accusation to the next — you’re a lawyer, no you’re Mike Glyer, no you’re Toby Meadows, no you’re a fan/friend of Foz Meadows who will do what she says, etc. And that’s really where the melodrama comes in — accusing you of trying to kill them and being a big meanie, the blackmail threats — dox yourself or we’ll harass the Meadows till they scream, etc. It’s a show — one that indulges violent speech and behavior and splurges in high school movie references — in-crowd, mean girls, lunch tables, etc.

        So yeah, obviously Antonelli was set up, but it’s been his choice to engage in the show. And they want you to shut up. If they cause you trouble, they get brownie points, even though you aren’t a very big fish. But they’re worried you’re becoming one, perhaps — someone others find entertaining with your critical satire. And other right wingers will rush in to pile on because that’s what they’re doing for today.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Laura Resnick

        “alt right isn’t an ideology, it’s a public demeanor”

        I’ve never heard that before. That really nails. I will be thinking about this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenora Feuer

        As for the “it’s a demeanor” bit, Philip Sandifer’s essay on the Hugo Awards and VD, Guided by the Beauty of their Weapons describes fascism, at least with regards to VD, as not so much a philosophy but

        as an aesthetic – as a particular mix of fetishes and paranoias that always crops up in culture, occasionally seizing some measure of power, essentially always with poor results.

        Similar concept.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Lurkertype

      Super-cogently explained, Kat. I’m sure you’re right — many of them have openly said this themselves. Punditry is where the money and egoboo is at.

      It’s all teenage dick-measuring for fun and profit.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kat Goodwin

        Unfortunately, it’s violent performance art, ranging from physical attacks to violent rhetoric online, not to mention the violent legislative agenda they’ve been pursuing through far right political parties. People have been injured and dying in the U.S. and elsewhere — the shooting in Las Vegas, the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, the poor guy who got shot in the swatting recently, several gay families murdered. White people on the right are regularly harassing and yelling at anyone who looks brown or black to them, and sometimes attacking. Everyday there are twenty stories of some white person ranting “go back to your country” to harass non-white people — a story about a teacher doing it to a student in a class today. About half or a bit under of Gen Z in the U.S. — the kids — are non-white, and that change fuels all the persecution narratives, even with the conservative non-whites. Gay and other queer people have partial civil rights now in many democracy countries and somewhat better representation in the arts, and this somehow destroys heterosexuals, etc. Rallying to defend the barricades against these things brings in tons of fund-raising money and often political power to control the laws. So Cam became a dastardly secret army because they need to keep milking it.

        Liked by 4 people

      • JJ

        I think that’s the nuclear option he chose to try to distract from the fact that he has no proof whatsoever that Camestros and Meadows are the same person.

        As an Australian, surely he is aware that the burden of proof for a libel case in that country is much, much lower than in the U.S. *cough*RebelWilson*cough*.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Kathodus

      Finally, Freer presents the evidence proving beyond doubt that he knows who he’s talking about, and that they are probably pedophiles. And with so few words! Amazing! Real news!

      If I were less lazy I’d find an Australian proxy server and post as Kathodus in that thread, just to prove that I am also Camestros. In fact, if anyone knows of a convenient proxy to use, please share it, and we can all forever be Camestros.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cora

      Freer is getting increasingly unhinged, if that’s even possible. As while insisting that Cam is Toby Meadows isn’t libel, insinuating that the Meadows are child molesters, beause Freer disagrees with the way they define themselves, definitely is.

      Also, Freer bragging about his family coat of arms is just sad, since plenty of families have one. I have one, too, but I don’t brag about it.

      Like

  21. Kat Goodwin

    I admit, I’m really curious to know who they’re going to pick to be Camestros six months from now. And where he supposedly will live instead of Sydney. It’s like Where’s Waldo.

    Like

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