Mary Rosh was Lott’s most determined online defender, posting many messages, almost all of them defending Lott and displaying close familiarity with Lott’s work. Benny Smith is Bellesiles’ most determined online defender, posting many messages, almost all of them defending Bellesiles and displaying close familiarity with Bellesiles’ work.
Andrew Ackerman has an excellent article in the Emory Wheel, laying out the evidence that Benny Smith is really Michael Bellesiles. Firstly, there does not appear to be any Benny Smith in the Detroit area. That suggests that the name is a pseudonym, but of course does not mean that it is really Bellesiles. Secondly, Smith knows things, such as the cover art for the new edition of Arming America, that only Bellesiles and a few others know. Ackerman concludes:
It is becoming increasingly apparent that one of two scenarios exists: Either Bellesiles and Smith are in cahoots and Bellesiles is using Smith as a mouthpiece in order to garner self-respect in the wake of his downfall, or Benny Smith is Bellesiles.
Perhaps you can now satisify my curiosity? Your posts sometimes seem to display a great deal of knowlege about Bellesiles’ doings. Does he send you comments and information to post?
Benny Smith replied:
And regarding your own curiosity, I have not received any materials directly from Professor Bellesiles.
Either Smith is lying here, or he really is Bellesiles.
Postscript: Ted Barlow thinks that Smith is Bellesiles and notes some important differences between Lott and Bellesiles: same people still support Lott and Lott’s employer tolerates his activities.