Here’s a thing which is in turns wrong, absurd, despicable and then absurd again.
The Daily Beast in late February carried an article on three Instagram ‘stars’ – the sisters have an apparently innocuous enough degree of celebrity from their lifestyle posts on Instagram. What the Daily Beast went on to reveal was that these young women are the daughters or far-right anti-Muslim figure Pamela Geller.
I’m not going to link to the post. I think it is simply shitty journalism. There’s no obvious news there. There’s no indication that any of the women are somehow sneaking in their mother’s views into lifestyle posts. The connection is simply that they are the children of somebody appalling. It’s at best gossip and at worst a way of harassing somebody’s family because of their views. I’ve zero sympathies for Geller but that doesn’t mean such tactics are smart of acceptable because aside from anything else it makes everybody’s lives shittier.
Enter well-known internet-troll Milo Yianopoulos – he is claiming this a plot by The Daily Beast to send ISIS against Geller’s daughters. Which is hyperbole – The Beast’s actions were careless and unethical IMHO but not some ISIS plot. Bloviating science-fiction author John C Wright has got all agitated as a consequence:
Milo asks, and with considerable justice, why there is not a million man march on the offices of the Daily Beast, in strength and numbers and determination needed strike the fear of God into their hearts. http://www.scifiwright.com/2018/03/sell-your-cloak-buy-a-sword-2/
And later in the comments:
That is why we need a mob to storm the offices of the Daily Beast, and, without technically breaking the law, paralyze their daily operation.
Gosh. No sign as yet that JCW has attempted to storm the offices of The Daily Beast. As far as I can tell from his tone, he wants other people to go and do it form him. For a legal scholar, he doesn’t seem to have thought through either how he could ‘storm’ an office and ‘paralyze their daily operation’ without legal consequence. It just sounds good to him and in reality, we know JCW isn’t going to do anything. But some far-right extremist might and JCW here is showing the kind of behaviour he is condemning above – pointing out targets to an audience whose fringes contains people willing to use deadly violence.
Far-right extremist in the US have killed more people in the US than ISIS. A fact that people like JCW won’t engage with.
Meanwhile, perhaps JCW needs to talk to some of his fellow puppies – they explained to us all a few weeks ago how connecting online identities with real people isn’t actually doxxing and supposedly quite reasonable behaviour and not at all irresponsible even if those people have upset extermists with openly violent views. Hmmmm.
Dave, it appears, is feeling put upon in his latest column. https://web.archive.org/web/20180205101122/https://madgeniusclub.com/2018/02/05/22200/
He complains about Jim Hines and rambles about tarantulas and people putting things in their bum and compares himself to a victim of a witchhunt. It would be tempting to ask him ‘Seriously Dave, what the f_ck?’ At this point not even Vox Day is buying the ‘Fieldsy’ theory – it pretty much collapsed once people started looking at it.
Reading that column, I’m just sort of sad. I tried to let the guy know early in the piece that he was setting himself up to end up in this situation. Instead, he made claims he couldn’t back up, told obvious untruths to his colleagues and then launched into some really unpleasant attacks on a family that has done him no harm at all.
That column is what he’s left with – that’s the writer he is. There’s no riposte or insult that I could write that would be as bad as the ones Dave imagines he is recieving. He lets those imaginary demons torturer him and attempting to persuade him that the demons aren’t there only feeds his faith that they are plotting his demise.
So I suggest let him be. If you a kind person you can’t help him and if you are unkind person you won’t be as cruel as his own imaginings.
On the previous double-down post at Mad Genius, Dave has deleted comments from people posting links to Lou Antonelli’s retraction. He has added his own comment:
“We seem to be having an affliction of determined trolls – [CF: some names], as well as a rash of psuedonyms some sharing IP addresses. All of these people have been set conditions for posting again – posting a full list of how they I’ve seen no signs of compliance. Let me say it in small words and short sentences.
There are many young families among the Sad Puppies who have suffered attacks on their reputations and careers – and with infinitely less substance or reason, and with far more damage than the largely self-inflicted ‘injury’ you’re being hysterical about. People who called Brad’s wife and kid ‘shields’. People who called Sarah a Mormon man. People who called me a liar when I presented verifiable figures showing the level of ideological discrimination. People who called us Nazis, racists, homophobes, misogynists – all of which even if there was a total absence of evidence for, you and your friends screamed from the rooftops, got published in the press right across the world. Yes. When threatened with legal action we got the initial story retracted, but it appeared in papers across the world. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what was hurled at us. Where were you then, thinking about the young families being hurt? Not one of the crew now screaming what a wicked person I am stood up and lead, and did what you claim I should do. But you’re better than us? You’re showing us morality?
Show me how it should be done.
In the meanwhile I’ll continue to spam-list your comments, which will eventually result in you not just failing to post here, but unable to post on wordpress anywhere.”
Again – I’d submit that there is no kindness that he will accept in this matter and there are no harsh words that can be said to him that will reach the level of the persecution he is currently imagining for himself.
Well, I don’t want this blog to be all Freer all the time but Dave really is insistent. A second thing I don’t want to fall for is being pressured into revealing personal information because of continued threats by Dave Freer to attack the Meadows family. What anyone and everyone (including current allies of any Sad Puppy) should take away from this, is that certain individuals will go after people’s families on almost zero pretext. That’s the behaviour they engage in and/or cheer on – if they have been restrained in their use of such tactics previously it has been for cynical reasons.
Luckily Dave has made one part easy: Aberdeen.
It puzzles me why he’s focused on it but I assume he realised his mad-genius argument was weak. Consequently, he boosted it by claiming that I was in Aberdeen when Toby Meadows was in Aberdeen. Other elements of his argument could be mistakes, bad reasoning, or maybe its even possible for a New South Wales IP to keep looking like Brisbane. Who knows? I know Dave can genuinely fool himself but…Aberdeen? No. Never been and as I’ve pointed out, I haven’t been to Scotland this century.
So Dave overstated his case and made me being in Aberdeen a cornerstone of his argument. And upon this granite rock, he has built his church.
It was tricky for me to immediately counter the Aberdeen aspect of his argument because I didn’t know when the Meadows family were in particular parts of the world. Dave seemed to suggest in Brad Torgersen’s post that he tracked me going TO the UK at the same time as the Meadows and then BACK to Australia at the same time. However, this *may* have been clumsy wording on his part – either way, it was false as the Meadows were (apparently) in the UK already in 2015 when I started blogging and didn’t move until sometime in the first half of 2016.
“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” https://web.archive.org/web/20180131175133/https://madgeniusclub.com/2018/01/21/camestros-felapton-is-toby-meadows-spouse-of-foz-meadows/ [empahsis added]
I thought this was an odd thing for Dave to say at the time as he appeared to be engaging in more than self-delusion at this point but rather active deception of his audience. Cashing rhetorical cheques he couldn’t pay. However, as I didn’t know when the Meadows family had moved it was hard to point out the discrepancy.
Dave has since repeated variations on the claim that he KNOWS I was in Aberdeen in his more recent post https://web.archive.org/web/20180131174847/https://madgeniusclub.com/2018/01/28/bare-is-the-brotherless-back/ I won’t quote all the instances, just search the page for “Aberdeen”.
So, Dave has elevated this to a central piece of evidence. Arguably, there are ways of masking IP geolocation via VPN or special browsers, but Dave is clear that this isn’t what has happened – he is claiming that when the Meadows family was in Aberdeen *I* was posting from Aberdeen. If that is NOT true then Dave has been making a false claim to his friends and allies.
If Dave has been making false claims about this then, a reasonable person should doubt all the other unsupported claims he has been making.
Dave is making false claims. In fact, his claims were inadvertently blown out of the water days ago by a supporter of Sad Puppies and a regular commenter at Mad Genius known as ‘Kama’. https://web.archive.org/web/20180131173538/http://louantonelli.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind.html
In the comment section of Lou Antonelli’s blog, he reveals an IP address of a comment I had posted “two years ago” on his blog. Now, he probably shouldn’t have done that but he did and that particular IP piece of my personal information has been sitting there for some days. That address resolves to Sydney or New South Wales (depending on the geolocator you use). It doesn’t point to Brisbane and it certainly doesn’t point to Aberdeen, Scotland.
On Twitter, Foz Meadows pointed this out DAYS ago. Let that sink in. Foz Meadows has already pointed out to the people pushing this nonsense that THEIR side has already released evidence on Lou Antonelli’s blog that two years ago I was posting from Sydney or at the very least New South Wales – when Dave claims I was in Aberdeen. Dave has continued to make this claim, indeed stridently demand that others give him names of people who could be me on the basis of them being in Aberdeen!
Well, I guess they could rationalise one comment away in their heads or (more likely) just ignored what Foz Meadows wrote. The capacity for Dave and his cheerleaders to ignore inconvenient facts is substantial. Now, prior to this flap obviously I was unaware of what kinds of movements the Meadows family may have made and indeed, in my early postings on this nonsense I didn’t even want to use their name because that was just another messed-up way Dave and Lou and Brad used to make other complicit in their abuse. I also didn’t want to start fact-checking the Meadows’s movements because that itself is messed-up stalkerish behaviour and Foz Meadows deserved to be believed up front and also…obviously I already knew that I wasn’t Toby Meadows. However, given that information is publically available and others have already been out hunting for some tell-tale sign that Toby M is me (and come back with nothing other than he talks about logic a lot – but not all the other stuff I talk about) I have done a minimum.
So some facts.
- The Meadows were in Aberdeen in the section of 2015 that I was blogging and not in Australia or Sydney.
- The conferences Toby Meadows attended during 2015 are on his site and they weren’t in Australia.
- Toby Meadows can’t be in two places at once.
- Dave Freer has asserted that my movements follow Toby Meadows’s movements and that I was in Aberdeen when he was.
- I did post in various puppy blogs in 2015 including Mad Genius Club and Brad Torgersen’s blog. I did not do so from Aberdeen because…
- I’ve never been to Aberdeen.
The last point is hard to check obviously.
What I can do is show posts from me not posting from Aberdeen in 2015. Here’s one, as a GIF – it may take awhile to load.
I picked this one because it is exactly the same IP address as Kama already made public. Checking back I have other messages where the IP address is similar but a bit different. They also locate as New South Wales, not Brisbane or Queensland and *definitely* not Aberdeen. I have no comments on my blog* that ever that come from Aberdeen, and therefore NONE from 2015 that come from Aberdeen.
Both Brad and Dave have claimed that I am Toby Meadows BECAUSE, among some other weaker reasons, that they tracked IP addresses. They both have access to my comments and they both have WordPress blogs and can see the IP addresses I’ve used. So either:
- They haven’t actually checked to see if I posted messages from Aberdeen in 2015 – in which case why are they saying that I did?
- They HAVE checked and KNOW that I didn’t post messages from Aberdeen – in which case their pants are even more on fire than with the previous point.
- Some third thing? I mean, I’m not omniscient so maybe somebody messed up a check somewhere or confused a message from a genuine denizen of Aberdeen or who knows. In this case, maybe they are just really, really, really just not very good at anything.
Should they reveal IP addresses? No, that is not only a dick move but might get them into hot water and then they’d be all ‘poor me I’m being oppressed because I did something possibly illegal and definitely stupid’. However, if either of them believes they have a SPECIFIC comment from ME (ie Camestros Felapton posting as Camestros Felapton) that has an IP address that they have CONFIRMED is from ABERDEEN or at the very least SCOTLAND in 2015 then what the heck: post a link to the comment and the conversation can proceed as to the specific truth of that evidence. Or, you know, they could show some integrity and honour and admit that they were wrong.
If not…well most of know what we already knew. Their issue has never been about the truth but about some sad men with some kind of emotional issue that I really don’t understand who wanted to take out their frustrations on a genderqueer blogger because an unrelated man challenged what they said.
*[I assume no comments ever anywhere but obviously that’s uncheckable]
[ETA] Just adding this for completeness https://accordingtohoyt.com/2018/02/05/the-secrets-of-every-heart/#comment-509362
Hoyt flips out at one of her regular commenters after mistaking them for somebody else (sometimes WordPress uses ‘Array’ as a deafult user name)
” He and I have discussed it (YES, Dave had enough info, I had same info and had independently figured it out YEARS GO) and Dave said he wouldn’t blow his cover. Lou Antonelli says Dave -_ WHO DIDN’T KNOW LOU THAT WELL — was not his source.”
I don’t usually do book promotions (except inept ones for the cat) but I did just buy a couple of books and hey, it might be nice if others bought them as well.
This fantasy tale looks like the start of an interesting series:
And it has a sequel!
On a different note, I was asked what other ways could readers help ensure that writers get paid? Good question made up voice asking me questions to provide appropriate prompts to answers! One way is a thing called a Patreon – essentially a way of providing a small but steady flow of money to writers.
Here is an example of a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/fozmeadows
Looks like a worthwhile place to spend your money.
OK, it maybe Victorian cultural appropriation but time for a bit of light comic opera from Gilbert and Sullivan:
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
There’s the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs —
All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs —
All children who are up in dates, and floor you with ’em flat —
All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that —
And all third persons who on spoiling tête-á-têtes insist —
They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!
He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed
Still on Dave Freer. In comments at Mad Genius, Dave has been demanding of sceptics of his theory to list others.
I’ll happily consider it IF you come up with set possible alternatives, who fit in ALL of the following subsets, all from Camestros statements or obvious corrolaries (such as for example spending thousands of hours of what has to be work time at times on fandom, sf, hugos, basically requires that the person should be interested in the same) Subset 1) Be an Australian Academic working in academia. 2)From that subset demonstrate a respectable working knowledge and use of Maths, AND Philosophy. 3)Of that now relatively small sample be an ardent follower (or have good reason to be an ardent follower) of sf/fantasy fandom particularly the Hugos – a good reason for example might be having your wife as potential winner. 4) Of that subset – which is by now very small if not down to one — have been in the UK (in Aberdeen) just when the record shows that Toby was and 5)Of that subset having moved back just when both Toby did and Camestros posted about doing. And 6)As both parties claim not to know or have met each other, within the tiny tiny world academics in the same arena, and indeed town, and fandom which is not huge in Oz – for some reason, to never to have attended the same faculty meeting, co-operated on papers, or have attended the same conferences. Come up with a list – perfectly possible to try and do, requiring no genius, just legwork and patience – the records are all public – and I’ll certainly entertain the idea that it could be someone else. But I think you’re going to find it is a short list of one. (sigh)
Dave overestimates the time I spend on things but hey, obviously he is impressed by the quality. On to the list:
- “Be an Australian Academic working in academia.” I’m not an academic working in academia. Dave just literally crossed me off his list. I cannot be me. I am an Australian citizen but as regular readers here know – I’m actually British.
- “A working knowledge of maths and philosophy” OK granted I have that but not at a PhD level. The technical term is ‘a smart arse’ – I thought that was obvious.
- “be an ardent follower) of sf/fantasy fandom particularly the Hugos ” The venn diagram of “likes maths & philosophy” with “likes SF/ speculative fiction” isn’t quite a circle but its close…As for the Hugos, the thing that made me ARDENT rather than just interested was…the Sad Puppy campaign.
- “have been in the UK (in Aberdeen) just when the record shows that Toby was” – never been to Aberdeen. Haven’t been to Scotland this century. Moved to Australia some years ago.
- “having moved back just when both Toby did and Camestros posted about doing” – the timing was Brexit and it was a joke about people saying they were going to leave Britain and move to Australia. The joke was that I already moved to Australia not that I had just or recently moved. Here’s me drinking an Australian beer, in an Australian pub in…note…an Australian (NSW) beer glass in 2015 https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/monday-beer-coopers-pale-ale/
And here I am again in sunny Aberdeen…I mean…China in 2015 https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/sunday-beer-snow-beer/
Now true, I drink a lot of beer from a lot of places (including Scotland) in a lot of places (not Scotland though – not for a longgg time and frankly Glasgow is a bit of a blur). So not a great argument but then good enough to counter balance my Brexit sarcasm as evidence that I’m mirroring somebody’s movement. An astute observer will note many Australian beers in my consumption.
Oh heck here’s me drinking a British beer in London just before Brexit (confused yet?) https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/sunday-beer-hazel-nutter/ but how! There are a thing called “airplanes”- I don’t like them but my capitalist bosses make me go places in them! So, I’m in Australia and China when I’m supposed to be in Aberdeen and in London when I’m supposed to be in Australia? How’s that supposed to work? I’ve been living in Australia for a many years – I do travel to other places from time to time when work makes me but not to Aberdeen. Never to Aberdeen. Aberdeen is forbidden to me by an ancient spell of interdiction. One day Aberdeen – you know what you did and that old hermit’s spell won’t last forever.
- Oh dear, look at point 1 again. I need so need a GIF of Good Place Janet saying “Not an academic”. I mean I’ve talked to people at Universities and things but not regularly and about my actual work which isn’t being an academic. Don’t get me wrong, it would be a good gig and I’d be the BEST at lecturing.
So here is a revised list:
- Drinks a lot of beer
- A smart arse
Jim C Hines has answered Dave Freer’s post here: http://www.jimchines.com/2018/01/fact-checking-freer/
Foz Meadows has written a very moving piece here: https://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/a-personal-note/
There’s a core issue here. Dave Freer appears to literally be unable to imagine the various people he is attacking now as human beings. The people applauding his honesty at Mad Genius, when a simple 2 minute Google search would reveal some of his assertion are demonstrable lies, are actively hiding from truth.
My previous attempts to explain this don’t seem to have sunk in yet, so let me say it again. I am not in anyway that I am aware of related to, married to, employed by or have ever even met Foz Meadows or Toby Meadows. All I know of them is what I’ve read on Foz Meadows blog in the past and information that has been publically shared in the past week. Don’t know them, haven’t met them. They seem like nice people but then I tend to think that about most people. Heck, I even thought you were just somebody having a hard time thinking clearly rather than actively nasty.
Yes, I *get* that you feel angry when somebody challenges what you say. That is natural. A healthy response is not to try and find desperate ways to make that other person feel angry. It genuinely is not good for you in terms of your own well being.
Directing those kinds of attacks at the WRONG person? I think even with your less than stellar reasoning powers should be able to see that is less than wise.
I won’t address much of what you wrote other than to say that it does you no favours. You seem now to have fully transferred your previous anger towards me onto the Meadows family. Foz Meadows is a better and more articulate writer than I and she has strong clear-headed friends. I don’t believe she needs me to fight her battles but it saddens me that you have decided to malign her and her family because I critiqued your arguments (in a way that even you acknowledge at least appeared to be polite).
However, there are a small number of elements in your post that do pertain to me which I’d like to point out.
“If I had wanted to break his anonymity, I’d do it.” – as I pointed out in my previous post I don’t know who set-up Lou Antonelli.
“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).”
“So: the question was asked as to why Fieldsy was so frantic to deny. After all, it would make him a hero among puppy kickers.” – I was ‘frantic’ to deny a false claim because:
- it was false
- it was clear that the Meadows family would be (at a minimum) threatened and verbally attacked. As you know, that did occur – indeed you were the source of one of the verbal attacks with your lurid speculation.
It is interesting that you see it as a flaw in my character to deny a false claim and to be concerned for others. I do not see those as flaws and I do not know why you do.
As for making me “a hero among puppy kickers” – it is true that public attention to this blog and my other writing has increased, as has my public profile. So, yes you are literally helping my reputation with this. Even so, I would rather you stop not only for the Meadows’ sake but for your own. I don’t believe in a supernatural soul per-se but I do believe that malicious actions hurt the person who perpetrates them in a personal way. At a minimum you are eventually going to feel very silly and not a good ‘silly’ either but rather the bad silly – the silly where you have unwittingly made a fool of yourself.
“It doesn’t help that Fieldsy went on the offensive against the book about one of MZB and Breen’s child victims” – I can only guess you mean Moira Greyland’s book ‘The Last Closet’ – I haven’t gone on any offensive with regard to her book. I haven’t read the book or reviewed it. I discussed her essay that was nominated for a Hugo in 2016. I assume you are thinking of somebody else. Given the confusion you are having with my identity it is possible that you may think I am yet some other person. I don’t know. However, I would suggest that if you wish to be known as a truthful person it may help you if you speak truthly. I have always found that helps me.
“addressing him as ‘Fieldsy’ (his name is Meadows) and having his endless turgid flow suddenly vanish along with him” – this seems like odd behaviour. I explained to you in 2016 that if you did not wish for me to comment at Mad Genius Club all you had to do was ask. Engaging in a complex “logic puzzle” and inventing a name strikes me as an impractical solution to a problem.
On to this piece:
“I’ll give another bit of advice to Fieldsy and Foz. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. There’s a lot of worse that I don’t think you’ve thought of that you could bring down on yourselves – and not from me. Nothing to do with me. At moment you could walk away with a bit of bruising and 10 years down the track everyone will have forgotten. Keep going and that stops being true. I don’t think you’ve thought of these things because you’re not very logical and not a quarter as bright as you think you are. I’d rather not spell them out in case you start blaming me when they do happen.”
I’m sorry but despite the caveats that certainly reads like a threat. Even give the most favourable reading of it sounds very much like you are saying OTHERS in the wider circle of the right wing science fiction/fantasy writer will attempt to silence myself (and Foz Meadows) if we “keep going”. Taking the reading that does you the most favours (i.e. a genuine warning) implies the people I discuss are the kinds of people who will attempt to silence their critics.
As an argument against my continued pseudonomity somebody saying something akin to ‘shut up or somebody will make you’ is a very, very poor one. However, sadly, here I think you are being more honest. You know what your allies are like, perhaps better than I and you characterise them aptly there. Yet this is also a continued reason to stay vocal – I already knew there are bullies out there. In the long run it is best not to be silent in the face of them but also to be cautious.
You let the cat out of the bag later on, although you reverse the players: ” if you can stop people saying what they think, you can convince them they’re isolated and possibly wrong. ” Yet here you are – angry at people saying what they think and muttering ominous warnings against them for doing so.
Anyway, in the unlikely event that you have read this far I will reiterate the core points. Whatever you may think of me please be aware that your current actions harm others more than they do me. Yes, I find the spectacle upsetting but truly, I am more of involuntary spectator than a participant.