Pharyngula

The recent Mabus incursion…

I see you’ve all met our little troll, David Mabus. “Mabus” (his real name is Dennis Markuze, and he used to sell used computers in Montreal, Canada) has been flooding my mailbox for about the last month — he has a list of about 70 skeptics and atheists, and just about every day he fires off his little angry rant about how James Randi owes him a million dollars right now, based on prophecies from Nostradamus or some such nonsense. You can get a feel for his insanity from this series of posts he made to the Center for Inquiry forum. It’s hard to avoid coming to the conclusion that he really is mentally ill; if any of you know this fellow personally, you might want to get him some help, fast.

I do have his phone number and address. He has been escalating his attacks lately, and if they get any worse, I’ll be contacting the authorities myself. This is one of those cases where I’ve been targeted by someone with a severe mental disorder, and I think he can be a real risk — but of course I’m only one among many targets, and I think the person who ought to be most concerned is James Randi.


Mabus is still dumping lots of spam in my mailbox—and one claims, ” I will send the CFI link with this video to every faculty member at your university….”.

Great. My colleagues, I hope, are getting used to all the kooks who think they can get at me by proxy by sending crap to them.

Comments

  1. #1 Kirk
    May 2, 2008

    Just took a quick peek at one of your links. I SUCK at photoshop and could make a better 6 legged goat than that one!I sy we give him to Iran and let tem have there way with super Xian dorkboy.

  2. #2 Sastra
    May 2, 2008

    Oh, he’s a mentally ill internet troll.

    You know, I was suspicious that that just might be the case.

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 2, 2008

    Yeah he’s been hitting a number of people. He also had his Youtube account banned.

  4. #4 sjburnt
    May 2, 2008

    It is pretty clear that he does not have both oars in the water, but it is the threatening attitude that distinguishes him from the run-of-the-mill wing nut.

    He may be harmless, but I bet the authorities already have a file on him, and this should be documented as well.

  5. #5 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    PZ, I hope you’ve already taken protective measures. Pepper-spray for when your out of the house, and a pump-shotty for home.

  6. #6 Sili
    May 2, 2008

    I really need to get better at keeping track of the comments and commenters (would help with the Molly nominations too).

    Does anyone know how to make CoComment work with Opera? Or is there any other services that can help me keep track of what I’ve said where and when?

  7. #7 BlueIndependent
    May 2, 2008

    So that’s who that idiot in the other thread was…

  8. #8 Pwnagepanda
    May 2, 2008

    yeah. i think that this guy has gone beyond just trolling. he may really be mentally ill, so i kind of feel sorry for him. if he had been actually making a somewhat coherent attack on scientists or atheists, then it would be one thing, but he is completely incoherent even for the internet. i kind of feel sorry for him, but you should contact the authorities if he continues.

  9. #9 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    #8

    “…so i kind of feel sorry for him.”

    I don’t think this person has the capacity to appreciate your empathy for them.

  10. #10 Glen Davidson
    May 2, 2008

    But if he’s so wrong, why are you concerned about him?

    I just had to say that, because it’s the most pathetic “comeback” that the various pseudoscientists have. Um, guys, we’re concerned because there are many idiots who would like to lead the many more passive dupes.

    Why are you concerned about secularism, if it is so obviously wrong?

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  11. #11 MH
    May 2, 2008

    Definitely 3.9/4.0 on the Time Cube. Looks after yourself, PZ. Thankfully, most of the crazies are just hilarious, but there are always going to be some that are plain dangerous. I suggest contacting the authorities sooner rather than later, especially if you have already had threats from this guy.

    Or, apply for the Simonyi Chair and move to the (relatively) more sane UK.
    :D

  12. #12 Tom Paine
    May 2, 2008

    Pretty creepy stuff. I am in the civil service in a pretty high-profile office and we used to get really strange letters all the time (including endless faxes from a guy who claimed that he had been assigned by Ronald Reagan to destroy the Russian ruble through currency speculation and that the US Government now owed hims several trillion dollars)but these Mabus e-mails are nasty. He is clearly in another place but I wish we did not have to suffer with it as well.

  13. #13 craig
    May 2, 2008

    It’s guys like him who give us mental patients a bad name.

    I probably don’t have to tell you all this, but most mentally ill people are completely harmless. Just so you don’t think we’re scary to be around.

    - Craig
    (PTSD, bipolar)

  14. #14 NoAstronomer
    May 2, 2008

    I’ll pray for him.

  15. #15 NoAstronomer
    May 2, 2008

    Sorry, that was yesterday wasn’t it, my bad! Maybe next year then.

  16. #16 sarah95
    May 2, 2008

    yeah, David Mabus has been spamming my videos on youtube for months with his Randi Challenge conspiracy craziness. He got reported by someone else for his first “david” username, and then he just made another account titled davidmabus, which he used to spam all my video comments all over again. I reported him, and so did a few other youtubers, but that account hasn’t been suspended yet, unfortunately.

  17. #17 raven
    May 2, 2008

    The paranoids are the most dangerous for obvious reasons.

    Not too long ago we had one go on a short rampage nearby. He started waving a rifle around in public and screaming, “they are out to get me.”

    Everyone ducked for cover. Except a little girl who couldn’t figure out what was going on. So he fired at her and missed.

    The cops showed up. He fired at them and missed again. They didn’t miss.

  18. #18 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    I have to say that if this person is indeed psychotically mentally ill (rather than simply using maladaptive psychological mechanisms [denial, projection, etc] to justify his agreement with a massively held delusion, [religion]), and it seems he is, I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to ridicule him in the same way we do creobots like Kenny and Keith. He seems to be honestly sick and in need of real help, not ridicule, derision, and spite.

    On this note –

    Re: #9 Alex

    I don’t think this person has the capacity to appreciate your empathy for them.

    The beauty of empathy is that it exists whether the person can appreciate it or not.

  19. #19 Orac
    May 2, 2008

    I’m on the same list as this guy. I agree that one does have to wonder if he is mentally ill. Personally, I’ve been ignoring him, but yesterday’s e-mail reached the point where I was starting to wonder if I should respond somehow. Given that you have, I think I’ll just mark all his messages in Gmail as spam and hope Google recognizes it. If we all do it, maybe for those of us with Gmail accounts his rants will just go straight to the Junk folder.

  20. #20 WRMartin
    May 2, 2008

    NoAstronomer @ 14 for the win!

  21. #21 Stuart Ritchie
    May 2, 2008

    He’s obviously been putting effort into this – my (Scottish) University Humanist Society got an email from him the other week, and I can’t imagine we’re the only ones…

  22. #22 Emmet Caulfield
    May 2, 2008

    I came across his channel on YouTube a long time ago and, like the posting on the CfI forum, it was dizzily incoherent. You’re right to be cautious: you simply don’t know how close to the edge this guy might be.

  23. #23 JJR
    May 2, 2008

    Agree, to a point with your advice @ #5, with small correction:

    “9mm compact GLOCK for when your out of the house, and a pump-shotty for home”

  24. #24 Orac
    May 2, 2008

    I’m on the same list as this guy.

    Oops. Meant to say that I’m on this guy’s mailing list along with PZ and a number of other skeptics.

  25. #25 raven
    May 2, 2008

    (including endless faxes from a guy who claimed that he had been assigned by Ronald Reagan to destroy the Russian ruble through currency speculation and that the US Government now owed hims several trillion dollars)

    Say hello to Leo Wanta for me. He is still around and still trying to collect his 3 trillion dollars. He now has an internet following of equally crazy people.

    One of them stays up all night battling witches. They come from another dimension through the compressor on her refrigerator. Every time the refrigerator runs, the witches steal the electricity to boost themselves.

    If my refrigerator was colluding with extradimensional witches, I’d get rid of it.

  26. #26 thethyme
    May 2, 2008

    The postings made by Mabus on the CFI link are disturbing. Is this price we have to pay when trying to be rational with an obvious irrational person, is the price worth it? I know this often frustrates me, I have no problem with debating idea’s and a robust back and forth exchange… the problem is when you encounter a person so irrational it can be frightening in how they will respond.

  27. #27 firemancarl
    May 2, 2008

    #23. You have it wrong. PZ would need a 40mm hollow point for full stopping power.

  28. #28 Dan
    May 2, 2008

    I don’t know if I’d even call this trolling. I don’t think his aims are to disrupt things insofar as he seems to be just posting his crazy, paranoid babble.

    In other words, trolls are simple assholes and annoyances, but Dennis seems to genuinely be a seriously damaged individual.

    Personally, PZ, if I were you, I wouldn’t wait for him to step up his assault or hesitate to inform the authorities. After all, let’s face it, your stature as an outspoken atheist makes you a target for a lot of twisted lunatics.

  29. #29 Stephen Couchman
    May 2, 2008

    1. I Googled, and the goat thing may be legit, probably a parasitic twin. Big shock to me, I didn’t think it was a photoshop job–I thought somebody was holding a pair of severed legs such that they appeared (unconvincingly) to be attached to the kid.

    2. It strikes me that this Mabus guy, while alarming in his stupidity, is probably not actually dangerous. He won’t get off his arse and commit bodily harm against The Amazing Randi or anybody else because he has the incredible edible internet to manifest his will. His endless repetitive copying, his screed, his single-minded insistence, and especially his capslock addiction are all indicators that he thinks he’s actually exerting some sort of influence through his postings, similar to the “prayer=action” mentality so recently discussed here. He’s not thinking, “these posts aren’t working, I gotta escalate,” he’s thinking “I obviously haven’t posted enough; this time for sure, though.” I’d be surprised if he’s diagnosable for anything the mental health community can stick him in observation for.

  30. #30 Shane Killian
    May 2, 2008

    This guy’s been spamming my email Inbox and my YouTube comments for months now. Every time I block him, he comes back with a different perturbation of his name or email. It’s REALLY annoying. Especially since he never says anything different!

  31. #31 Pierce R. Butler
    May 2, 2008

    Does anyone have any idea why Markuze uses the name “David Mabus”?

    There was a (relatively liberal, by local standards) governor of Mississippi almost 20 years back by the name of Ray Mabus, whom Bill Clinton later appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Other than an obviously doomed platform of promising that the state would “no longer be number 50″, he didn’t do anything crazy enough to inspire major crackpottery.

  32. #32 craig
    May 2, 2008

    “I have to say that if this person is indeed psychotically mentally ill (rather than simply using maladaptive psychological mechanisms [denial, projection, etc] to justify his agreement with a massively held delusion, [religion]), and it seems he is, I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to ridicule him in the same way we do creobots like Kenny and Keith. He seems to be honestly sick and in need of real help, not ridicule, derision, and spite.”

    I agree. And once again Etha, you impress me.

  33. #33 Stephen Couchman
    May 2, 2008

    @29 (me)

    In point #1, “probably” should have been “possibly.”

  34. #34 Pocket Nerd
    May 2, 2008

    #18: You may be right, and bona fide crazies deserve sympathy more than scorn, but usenet (and talk.origins particularly) has made me suspect that there are many fine gradations between “genuinely insane” and “using maladaptive psychological mechanisms to justify agreement with a massively held delusion.”

    It seems like some otherwise sane people deliberately start down the road to madness. And I think others find their mental illnesses tolerated or even encouraged by their co-religionists.

  35. #35 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    #23

    For sure. Licensing can be a bitch in some states. A little Krav Maga wouldn’t hurt either.

  36. #36 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    If my refrigerator was colluding with extradimensional witches, I’d get rid of it.

    Hmm. *Light goes on in Brownian’s evil brain*

    “Hey, um, (David? Dennis? Davis?) Mabus! I know where Randi’s hiding your million dollars. All you gotta do is get yourself a bus ticket and a couple of ice cube trays….”

  37. #37 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    #18

    “The beauty of empathy is that it exists whether the person can appreciate it or not.”

    I think this is true for every emotion. I don’t see how it adds “beauty” to just empathy. Besides, that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. Feeling sorry and compassionate for the starving grizzly bear as it starts to eat you alive does not help you stay alive.

  38. #38 Stephen Couchman
    May 2, 2008

    @31

    For the same reasons fifteen-year-old fundies in death metal t-shirts call themselves “darkfallenbluddfayth666,” etc. “Mabus” is the name of one of the apocalypse-heralding bogeymen in the quatrains.

    http://www.nostradamus.org/mabus.php

  39. #39 SteveM
    May 2, 2008

    Mabus was a name Nostradamus used for an anti-christ like character.

  40. #40 Tom Paine
    May 2, 2008

    Re: #25 You are right, Raven: the guy was named Leo Wanta. We were getting pretty annoyed not just because his faxes made no sense whatsoever but because he was using up all our fax paper. If memory serves, he was demanding the equivalent of one year of the US GDP. And the big joke was that the ruble was not freely traded anyway so it was immune to speculators. But his faxes were in garbled pseudo-legalese, rather than threatening locked caps.

    I have had a number of electrical appliances clearly infested by demons but I have never before heard of witches from another dimension stealing electricity in collusion with refrigerators. You can learn so much on the Internet!

  41. #41 Sven DiMilo
    May 2, 2008

    A nutcase obsessed with Nostradamus isn’t all that creepy.
    But one who chooses for himself the name “Mabus” is far moreso…drove the Google in that direction and learned that Mabus is a name ol’ Nosty used for the “third Antichrist” (the first two being Napoleon and Hitler, or names vaguely similar).
    yikes

  42. #42 Lave
    May 2, 2008

    Thanks to my Blog I’m on the same mailing list and to be honest I took it as quite an honour to be put on the same mailing list as ‘the big hitters’ like yourself, Richard Dawkins and Ben Goldacre and the like.

    Even if it was by a troll!

    Though likewise, he is a bit concerning, I hope he’s just doing it for “the lulz” rather than actually having rather serious issues, but who knows…

  43. #43 longstreet63
    May 2, 2008

    @31
    Does anyone have any idea why Markuze uses the name “David Mabus”?

    You’re not up on your Nostradamus Crackpottery.

    ‘Mabus’ is the name given in some quatrain or other for The Antichrist.

    Steve “Why HE is using it, I dunno. Delusions of Grandeur?” James

  44. #44 Farb
    May 2, 2008

    I don’t think 40mm comes in hollow-point; high-explosive fragmentation, white phosphorous, and armor-piercing are more common (and it appears all three would be street-legal in Kansas, now).

    Perhaps you mean .40 caliber. 40mm would have sufficient stopping power, however. It could conceivably dismember the target. That counts as “stopping” in my book.

  45. #45 Holbach
    May 2, 2008

    This cretin is an atheist? He is certainly giving us a bad reputation, a further kick in the teeth we do not need. Are the religionists aware of this deviate atheist? It’s bad enough we have so-called atheists who are continually spouting religious apologies and now have to endure this kind of insane crap from a retard who labels himself an atheist. I suppose I am disillusioning myself into the belief that true atheists are the apex of the rational world. One wonders.

  46. #46 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#34 Pocket Nerd –

    #18: You may be right, and bona fide crazies deserve sympathy more than scorn, but usenet (and talk.origins particularly) has made me suspect that there are many fine gradations between “genuinely insane” and “using maladaptive psychological mechanisms to justify agreement with a massively held delusion.”

    Probably true, but when in doubt I think it’s best to err on the side of sympathy than on the side of scorn. Also, based on the way he talks in the Center for Inquiry forums, it really seems that Mabus is genuinely insane. Unlike folks like Kenny, who make logical fallacies and jumps that are incorrect but nevertheless something you can follow, Mabus jumps from point to point, motivated by the bizarre internal “logic” only a mentally ill person could understand. (I’ve been there.)

    It seems like some otherwise sane people deliberately start down the road to madness. And I think others find their mental illnesses tolerated or even encouraged by their co-religionists.

    This I can definitely agree with — from personal experience, it is amazing the things that in a “real world” context would immediately be seen as a sign that Something is Wrong but that in the religious world (even the fairly moderate religious world) are not only tolerated but often encouraged. Add to this the fact that religion offers unconditional love (something very appealing to people who have no self-love, as is often the case with mental illness) and you have a recipe for disaster.

  47. #47 longstreet63
    May 2, 2008

    Yeah, yeah. Great minds think alike and all.

    Steve “At least I didn’t have to Google it.” James

  48. #48 Lave
    May 2, 2008

    Wow, I messed that last post up. It seems I really like saying the word ‘mailing list’ – sorry.

  49. #49 Marcus Ranum
    May 2, 2008

    “9mm compact GLOCK for when your out of the house, and a pump-shotty for home”

    PZ would need a 40mm hollow point for full stopping power.

    Wow, pharyngula mall ninjas.

  50. #50 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Oops. I read Etha’s and Craig’s comments and feel a little guilty, but Pocket Nerd makes a point as well.

    I think all mental issues should be treated, even if it’s as simple as a mildly depressed person seeing a counsellor a few times to determine whether the depression is likely to clear itself up or whether it’s something more chronic and likely to recurr. I am by no means an expert (or even very knowledgeable about psychology), but I don’t think there’s some sort of line before which you’re merely a deluded troll and after which you’re a raving lunatic.

    Anybody more knowledgeable care to weigh in?

  51. #51 Sven DiMilo
    May 2, 2008

    40 mm ammunition???
    That’s a shell an inch and a half in diameter! I think you need a grenade launcher to fire something like that. “Stopping power”? I’d guess so!

  52. #52 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Perhaps you mean .40 caliber. 40mm would have sufficient stopping power, however. It could conceivably dismember the target. That counts as “stopping” in my book.

    If you guys are going to go on about killing and dismembering, please use the word “person” rather than “target”.

    Disassociative military euphemisms are repugnant and weaselly.

  53. #53 Angel Rose Young
    May 2, 2008

    I’ve been the object of obsession to a person who was criminally insane and rather violent. It is the period of my life that I identify with “out of the frying pan, and into the fire.” It persisted through three-fourths of my sixteenth year and one-half of my seventeenth. It had actually occurred to me that one day it would come down to who was going to be the one to die. I certainly had no desire for it to be me. It is not an easy concept to deal with, regardless of age.

    All I can say is don’t let anything go unacted upon until the last minute. In doing that, you may be placing the advantage in his favor, and from my own experiences, this is very true. When you are their object you cannot afford to ignore them, or not hear what they say.

  54. #54 longstreet63
    May 2, 2008

    What I find interesting is the tactics of this kind of nutso.

    Do they think that repeated emailings are actually going to batter down objections? Do they think “He’s ignored me the last 174 times, but this time, he can’t ignore me!”

    Does he think that Randi will be publicly embarrassed by an obvious loon spamming the world in protest?

    Does the guy actually think that Randi, if sufficiently badgered will hand him the million dollars?

    By the way, if it will help, I will personally send the guy a million dollars.

    Steve “Zimbabwean dollars are okay, right?” James

  55. #55 Greg Peterson
    May 2, 2008

    I love: For James Randi and Richard Dawkins…..Are these even *REAL* names?

    No, asswipe. James is just Randi’s stage name. His real name is “Amazing.”

  56. #56 Dave
    May 2, 2008

    Ya, that crazy davidmabus hit one of my youtube videos too. He sure is devoted to what he is doing, this has been going on for a while now, since last year I believe.

  57. Mabus trivia page – It seems Mabus is a name for the Third Anti-Christ for Nostradumus fans. This guy thinks very highly of himself. Similar to thinking you are Napoleon, Hitler, or Ben Stein.

  58. #58 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    He is giving us Dennises a bad name. I disown him.

  59. #59 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @# Alex –

    “The beauty of empathy is that it exists whether the person can appreciate it or not.”

    I think this is true for every emotion. I don’t see how it adds “beauty” to just empathy.

    Empathy isn’t really an emotion; it’s a psychological process that informs the way we interact with people. In the OED, it is defined: The power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation. Because feeling empathy for someone means that you fully comprehend the person’s psychology, including their reasons for not being able to appreciate your empathy, this lack of appreciation won’t impact your empathy for them. Contrast this with sympathy, the quality or state of being thus affected by the suffering or sorrow of another; a feeling of compassion or commiseration (OED). Your compassion/commiseration may (or may not) wane upon finding out that the person doesn’t appreciate it. Not so with empathy.

    Of course, we cannot all have empathy for all people; for one thing, that would be emotional chaos, and for another, the experiences we can empathize with are very much influenced by the experiences we ourselves have. I’m not saying you should be empathetic towards Mabus; I’m simply saying that for those who do, your statement that he doesn’t appreciate it will be meaningless. And I do think that that kind of understanding for another person — much like truly unconditional love — is a beautiful thing, though the word is admittedly very subjective and vague.

    Besides, that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. Feeling sorry and compassionate for the starving grizzly bear as it starts to eat you alive does not help you stay alive.

    You can feel empathy for someone and protect yourself at the same time. I would argue that empathy allows you to better understand how best to protect yourself, and whether such protection is needed. And I really, really don’t understand why some people here think that the best way to protect against a very paranoid person is to talk about the biggest, best gun to use in protection. Considering the fact that this paranoid person may be reading here, and interpreting statements in the context of his own mental framework….

  60. #60 Jack Chastain
    May 2, 2008

    At least with your location information, I now no longer think he may be my brother :-)

    I have read the Nosty reference to Mabus, but working on the Tom Riddle hypothesis, I find that – amongst many other things, “David Mabus” anagrams to:

    Mad via Buds (an obvious reference to too much consumption of a certain beverage)

    A Dumb Divas (aside from the plural, probably accurate)

    Avid dumb as[s] (Obviously, he has misspelled his own name, It should be “David Mabuss” – to accommodate that needed additional s at the end.)

    JC

  61. #61 lytefoot
    May 2, 2008

    One of them stays up all night battling witches. They come from another dimension through the compressor on her refrigerator. Every time the refrigerator runs, the witches steal the electricity to boost themselves.

    Some of my role-playing friends and I have contemplated indulging in a particularly elaborate form of trolling. It involves going to sites like the resistance manifesto and posting in character, seeing how many people think we’re serious. I’ve never gotten around to it (maybe when I’m out of grad school and have more time on my hands) but things like this make me suspect–HOPE!–someone has.

  62. #62 Martin
    May 2, 2008

    Wow. Imagine my surprise when I made my daily visit to Pharyngula and saw this was the top story. Mabus popped up yesterday at The Atheist Experience and trolled us too. After only a couple more foul-mouthed rants about Randi and Nostradamus, I banned him outright. I had a feeling in the back of my brain he might be on some mass-trolling exercise, hitting as many science/atheist/skeptics blogs as he can, and that suspicion seems to have been confirmed. Yeah, the guy truly is mad.

  63. #63 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    All you have to do is Google “david mabus” and a lot of his craziness is indexed. A lot of it seems to be copy and pasted, and he ignores most peoples’ responses.

  64. #64 Tobor Redrum
    May 2, 2008

    PZ, if this Mabus character is making threats towards you, I suggest you take it seriously. Some years ago, a friend of mine ‘dropped off the deep end’ and started making similar rants about demons and prophecy. It culminated with him attacking a female grad student that he accused of ‘stealing his thoughts.’

    Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt and he received the treatment and medication he needed. However, every couple of years, I come home to find my inbox is filled up with crazy and I have to contact his sister to tell her he’s forgotten to take his medication again.

    Remember, sanity has it’s limits, but crazy knows no boundaries.

  65. #65 freelunch
    May 2, 2008

    If you guys are going to go on about killing and dismembering, please use the word “person” rather than “target”.

    Disassociative military euphemisms are repugnant and weaselly.

    Generally a good idea, but with a 40 mm weapon, your target should well be much larger than a person.

  66. #66 Larry
    May 2, 2008

    Mentally unbalanced. Xtian wingnut. Paranoid.

    Seems like he has the perfect resume’ for the bush white house staff.

  67. #67 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    @ Etha

    I appreciate your sentiments and agree with most of what you say. However,

    “You can feel empathy for someone and protect yourself at the same time.”

    …isn’t something I was arguing against.

    I think it is foolish to not consider this situation dangerous, understanding that to truly know the state of this person would require professional exploration. All threats should be taken seriously. And whatever emotional states or thought processes occur in the victim, they will ultimately will mean nothing to an attacker.

    Perhaps I have failed again in stating my point as simply and plainly as possible.

    Cheers.

  68. #68 doug
    May 2, 2008

    To be fair, the goat’s real. I believe he was born in New Zealand. Farmer had to put him down because he couldn’t walk. I feel like I read it on BBC or Reuter’s Oddly Enough, I definitely recognize the photo from when I was reading the original article.

  69. #69 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    “If you guys are going to go on about killing and dismembering, please use the word “person” rather than “target”.”

    The label “Infidel” seems to work well for many.

  70. #70 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#67 Alex –

    “You can feel empathy for someone and protect yourself at the same time.”

    …isn’t something I was arguing against.

    I think it is foolish to not consider this situation dangerous, understanding that to truly know the state of this person would require professional exploration. All threats should be taken seriously. And whatever emotional states or thought processes occur in the victim, they will ultimately will mean nothing to an attacker.

    Ah, okay, that makes sense. With the bear metaphor I incorrectly derived an either/or fallacy — either you feel compassionate towards the bear, or you defend against it. I agree with you that threats should be taken seriously — something that empathy can help with, rather than distract from.

  71. #71 themadlolscientist
    May 2, 2008

    It’s guys like him who give us mental patients a bad name.

    You sure got that right, Craig!

    (bipolar, 90+% depressed with occasional hypomania)

  72. #72 Alex
    May 2, 2008

    “…something that empathy can help with, rather than distract from.”

    Indeed Etha.

  73. #73 Andrew
    May 2, 2008

    I think we should introduce him to Gene Ray, the Time Cube guy. They must have the same disorder.

  74. #74 Duncan
    May 2, 2008

    @#45…

    [ rolls eyes, bites tongue ]

  75. #75 Greta Christina
    May 2, 2008

    OMG! That’s the guy? He posted three comments in a row on my “Atheists an Anger” post about this James Randi thing. Totally irrelevantly. I was wondering what the hell that was about.

  76. #76 Aegis
    May 2, 2008

    PZ, do we need to start a protection fund for you like for Ms. Ali?

  77. #77 The Puzzled Ibex
    May 2, 2008

    PZ, I had a sort-of similar problem (in that it involved a crazy person trying to cause me problems) and can tell you it’s much, much better to be proactive. Once you feel urgently compelled to do something, it’s usually too late and you’ll regret not acting earlier.

  78. #78 Sven DiMilo @ 420
    May 2, 2008

    Mad via Buds (an obvious reference to too much consumption of a certain beverage)

    Beverage?? I don’t…

    wait…

    what?

  79. #79 J. A. Baker
    May 2, 2008

    His comments at that CFI forum are definitely “WTF?” worthy – sort of along the lines of the guy who, to paraphrase the great George Carlin, “tells you that the King of Sweden is using his penis as a radio transmitter to send anti-Semitic lesbian meatloaf recipes to Soupy Sales and Marvin Hamlish.” Annoying and incomprehensible, but only dangerous to others if he decides to get violent.

    I can’t give any advice that hasn’t already been given by others, so I’ll just shut up now.

  80. #80 Ranson
    May 2, 2008

    @ #65

    That’s often true, but such things are often repurposed. My granddad lost a leg to 30mm antiaircraft guns being used against an infantry advance.

  81. #81 Stephen Couchman
    May 2, 2008

    @ 78

    “Buds” as in plural of Budweiser, which is a pale, disgusting substance frequently mistaken for beer.

  82. #82 Stephen Couchman
    May 2, 2008

    Oh, dammit.

    77, not 78. Shutting up now.

  83. #83 Amanda
    May 2, 2008

    I couldn’t read through more than a few lines of his comments, but I didn’t have to read much to understand that he is mentally ill and in need of help.

  84. #84 DLC
    May 2, 2008

    So, the guy’s a crackpot, and could be becoming unhinged.
    Definitely a cause for concern. I won’t offer advice unasked for regarding personal security and/or self defense, but I will suggest that it may be prudent to look into it.
    However, it’s more likely that this guy will simply continue to spam people with crazy-mail until someone stops him.
    Unfortunately, being stopped will also shut off his escape valve, which may cause him to escalate into acts which threaten people’s safety rather than the peacefulness of their email in-boxes. I hope there is some peaceful resolution to this matter.

  85. #85 beagledad
    May 2, 2008

    The guys who yell incoherently on street corners do have access to the internet, you know. Two things: (1) Have compassion. There but for a bit of neurochemical connection go you or I. (2) Protect yourself. Having compassion doesn’t mean letting yourself get hurt.

  86. #86 speedwell
    May 2, 2008

    So, “Mabus” is the name of Lord Voldem… I mean, Nostradamus’s Antichrist. And “David,” could be maybe King David, said to be the Messiah’s precursor? Or was it that Jesus was the new King David? I forget exactly.

    Gee, this guy ought to write shitty novels for a living. He certainly couldn’t do much worse than Left Behind.

  87. #87 Duncan
    May 2, 2008

    #83: “Unfortunately, being stopped will also shut off his escape valve, which may cause him to escalate into acts which threaten people’s safety rather than the peacefulness of their email in-boxes.”

    It seems one way to deal with this is to create a ‘honeypot’ site whose sole function is to bait people like this and keep them occupied. Said site could have text snippets from James Randi and an autobot that detects Mabus postings and replies with an ELISA response to keep the thread going. Match Mabus post-for-post until he expires from exhaustion.

    (And also create separate areas for Kenny, Planet Killer, and all the other nutbags who simply won’t take ‘no’ for an answer… )

  88. #88 Duncan
    May 2, 2008

    Post # 86… ELISA > ELIZA

    Carry on…

  89. #89 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    I kinda like Kenny; he at least come at you from different angles (all wrong), and understands and responds when he’s mocked (which is fun to do). He’s just a classic creobot to beat up on. Mabus just comes in and types nonsense and repeats everything. He barely even has points to refute.

  90. #91 John W. Loftus
    May 2, 2008

    I was reminded today that the more famous you are the more stalkers you’ll have. I have one!

  91. #92 decrepitoldfool
    May 2, 2008

    Another story about a goat! What is it with whacky fundies and goats? How the birth of a deformed goat proves anything other than; “sometimes developmental processes go awry” is beyond me.

  92. #93 sublunary
    May 2, 2008
    Mad via Buds (an obvious reference to too much consumption of a certain beverage)

    Beverage?? I don’t…
    wait…

    what?

    When I read “Mad via Buds” a tune from “Reefer Madness: The Musical” ran through my head. So the beverage thing confused me too for a minute.

  93. #94 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    Well much of the Old Testament is basically Goat Care 101. Yahweh was all about goats.

  94. #95 JackC
    May 2, 2008

    Stephen @ 80 (or thereabouts) – Thanks – I considered putting in a similar “disclaimer” but figured folks here would NEVER mistake that swill for beer. “Beverage” is being generous, I know, but was the best I could come up with on the moment.

    I will not long forget a comment by our late, lamented Michael Jackson (no, not THAT one) who said he brought two cases of Bud to a beer convention in Germany (he had to smuggle them in) – not as an example of what beer was, but of what beer was not.

    It was the worst thing by far he has EVER said about a “beer”. But then, it doesn’t qualify, so maybe it doesn’t after all.

    JC

  95. #96 The Athiest Evilutionist
    May 2, 2008

    Looks like that little troll has been doing the rounds.
    He’s been seagulling in the About atheism/agnosticism forum as well.

    Nasty little pest, but fortunately not as bad as the Asinine Bobo.

  96. #97 MikeM
    May 2, 2008

    Like I said yesterday, I think you already should have reported him to the FBI. Don’t tell us if you have, though.

  97. #98 phantomreader42
    May 2, 2008

    longstreet63 @ #54:

    Does he think that Randi will be publicly embarrassed by an obvious loon spamming the world in protest?
    Does the guy actually think that Randi, if sufficiently badgered will hand him the million dollars?
    By the way, if it will help, I will personally send the guy a million dollars.
    Steve “Zimbabwean dollars are okay, right?” James

    That might actually work. Someone should try passing his email on to Nigerian scammers. He’d probably fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.

  98. #99 brandon
    May 2, 2008

    I don’t know if this has been mentoined before in this thread, but he goes on and on about goat this goat that, goat goat goat.

    I guess no one had the heart to tell him that a lamb is a baby sheep…

  99. #100 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    I took ‘Mad via Buds’ to refer to an entirely different consciousness-altering substance.

  100. #101 Pocket Nerd
    May 2, 2008

    @#46 again:

    Reading my comment later, I’m not sure if I communicated my point well. Ultimately, I think some people simply decide that reason and reality are for suckers, and gradually wave bye-bye to sanity.

    My sympathy for such a person is limited; it seems yours is not, and that’s a credit to you, Etha (if I may call you Etha).

    I’ve also seen religious advertisements directly targeting the mentally ill. “Hurting? JESUS CARES!” Depression runs in my family and I’ve struggled with it myself in the past, so I take that sort of thing personally. I’ve never attended a church-sponsored treatment for depression, but from what I’ve heard about from friends they’re actively harmful.

  101. #102 firemancarl
    May 2, 2008

    @#51 My Bad! I meant 40 cal. thought after much praying and reflection, I think 40MM and PZ dressed as an atheist GI Joe type would send a powerful message!

  102. #103 Magneto
    May 2, 2008

    You homo sapiens and your guns!

  103. #104 Mooser
    May 2, 2008

    I have developed what I believe is the most sophisticated form of trolling. I go to websites and comment.

  104. #105 Sven DiMilo
    May 2, 2008

    Oh, I know what Budweiser is. I’m just (like Brownian) hardwired to make a different connection to the term “buds.”
    And although I enjoy a nice rich porter or hoppy IPA as much or more than the next guy, I must also admit that a couple of Budweisers can hit just the right the spot at a ballgame or after mowing the lawn on a hot July Sunday afternoon. Pluralism.
    I’m reminded of a story a friend told me of sharing a Budweiser with a Scotsman. Guy chugs it, and when asked what he thought of this typical American beer, his reply was “A wee bit gassy.”

  105. #106 trj
    May 2, 2008

    I see no need to wait, PZ. Report him to the police straight away. They may even be able to get him some help, which I sincerely believe he is in need of.

    This is not an ordinary fundamentalist – 99,9% of all fundies usually justify their ravings with some common rationale (flawed though it may be), like scripture or emotional or intellectual appeals.

    This guy, however, is living in a world which is entirely his own. He can invent any kind of world, and no matter how warped it is he absolutely knows he is right. The common fundie at least follows some ground rules and behaves somewhat consistently. This guy appears to just make it up as he goes, subjectively mixing prophecy with apocalypse, justifying himself all the while. If he decides to get hostile he knows he will be in the right.

  106. #107 MikeM
    May 2, 2008

    Oh, and by the way: Depeche Mode?

    Oh well. People are people.

  107. #108 temporally_dilated
    May 2, 2008

    I’m new to this blog, and so far I’ve been finding it quite entertaining; however, I’m not sure what to make of the gun-related mini-thread that seems to have emerged in comments to this post. Cognitive dissonance aside, let’s take that thought and run with it:
    ***********
    COMING SOON

    By day, he’s a not-so-mild-mannered college professor with a mountain of papers to grade…

    By night, he’s the non-believin’, trash-talkin’, pseudo-science refutin’, Creationist-sassin’ internet scourge of fundamentalists everywhere…

    But on some OTHER days and nights, he’s the gun-toting avenging angel of rational inquiry! PZ Meyers IS —

    THE SKEPTIC
    ***********
    I’m still trying to come up with some good catch-phrases for Mr. Meyers to say through teeth that are clenched on the ragged stump of a cigar while brandishing suitably over-powerful weaponry:

    “Go ahead, say your prayers — IT DOESN’T WORK”
    “I’m about to reduce YOUR complexity”

    I’m sure the regulars around here can come up with some better lines than that…

  108. #109 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    One thing, it’s Dr. Myers. And I’m not too high on the gun talk, either. Welcome.

  109. #110 MPM
    May 2, 2008

    I made it as far as his claim that Nostradamus foretold Depeche Mode.

    Huh?

  110. #111 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#50 Brownian, OM –

    I am by no means an expert (or even very knowledgeable about psychology), but I don’t think there’s some sort of line before which you’re merely a deluded troll and after which you’re a raving lunatic.

    I think that there is a difference, and it has to do with the perversion of rationality/reality (Kenny) vs the invention of “rationality”/”reality” (Mabus).

    With Kenny, you see gaps in his logic and fallacies. But there is still some vestigial trace of what could have been rationality. You can follow his line of reasoning, even though it is wrong. You can point out his fallacies — argumentum ad populum, projection, etc — only because they can be put into the larger framework of rationality. (NOTE: I am by NO means calling Kenny rational. His perversion of logic is ridiculous. But it’s still a perversion of a recognizable logic, which is important.)

    With arguments from the likes of Mabus, there is no grounding in a vague sense of rationality at all. You can’t say “you jumped from point a to point c without addressing point b” because there *is* no point b that you could point out. You’d have to say “you jumped from point a to point 3 without a hint of why you went from letters to numbers all of a sudden” (okay, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy, but it was the best I could come up with). Truly psychotic people have their own form of logic. It’s not a perversion of real logic — it’s an entirely new logic that only makes sense inside their own head. But it makes perfect sense inside their own head.

    When someone like Kenny says “you guys are mentally ill” he’s projecting; he’s trying to protect himself from the unconscious cognitive dissonance that is a necessary result of perverting real logic. When someone like Mabus says “you guys are mentally ill” he is saying it because within his own personal framework of “reality” it makes utter sense. There is no cognitive dissonance, because he is completely out of contact with the reality that would cause that dissonance in the first place.

  111. #112 Patricia C.
    May 2, 2008

    If he is sick then I won’t pick on him. When I was a child I was told that such people are ‘touched in the head by Jesus’. When I asked why Jesus would do that to them, the answer was ‘to teach us to be kind’. God is love…yeah right.

  112. #113 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    To add to my previous comment (#111) — Kenny has to rationalize because deep down, at least a part of him recognizes that his claims are irrational. Mabus doesn’t, because in his mind, he and he alone IS rationality.

  113. #114 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#112 Patricia C. –

    If he is sick then I won’t pick on him. When I was a child I was told that such people are ‘touched in the head by Jesus’. When I asked why Jesus would do that to them, the answer was ‘to teach us to be kind’. God is love…yeah right.

    So…God makes people suffer psychologically, sometimes for their whole lives, sometimes to the point that they take their own lives, simply to make a point to the rest of us to be kind? I guess coming from a god who had a son for the sole purpose of torturing him in order to save (some of) us from the hellfire that this very god had previously condemned us to, that shouldn’t be so surprising, but…

  114. #115 Dale Husband
    May 2, 2008

    Has Mabus been listed here yet?
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/plonk.php

  115. #116 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    Okay, I’m going to shut up about this soon, but one last thing to add to my #111/#113 –

    It is very possible for socially encouraged religious belief to push a psychologically/psychiatrically vulnerable person over from Kenny-land into Mabus-land — this very thing happened to me, and I think it’s a very dangerous aspect of religion that is often overlooked, especially by those who advocate turning to religion for comfort.

  116. #117 Donnie B.
    May 2, 2008

    @ dilated #108:

    How about: “So now you’re gonna show me the evidence. Do ya got any? Well, do ya, punk?

  117. #118 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    MikeM and MPM Re: Depeche Mode

    Nostrodamus afficianados have a strangelove for his writings and plumb them for something to do. Like a biblical exegete defining his personal Jesus, it’s about interpreting some passages very narrowly and others very generously. Stripped clean of context, every word can be linked to some event, and if you can get the balance right, you’ll find that everything counts; it’s just a question of time.

    Unfortunately, some people just can’t get enough of this sort of interpretation and reinterpretation, and are unable to shake the disease.

    I prefer to pursue a policy of truth and avoid such liberal reinterpretation, but while Mabus is being quiet, let’s just enjoy the silence.

  118. #119 Ktesibios
    May 2, 2008

    Mabus also belongs to a very select company- the tiny number of people who have succeeded in getting banned at the Skeptic Friends Network. This is a very difficult thing to achieve and takes great persistence and hard work.

    If you read his threads over there you’ll see why Duncan’s idea of creating an automated busy box/playpen for loons of Mabus’ ilk is impractical. The dude was so uterly tireless about his refusal actually to engage in two-way communication that some members were speculating that he was a bot.

  119. #120 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Etha, I suspect you may be right, and without further information about such psychoses I won’t disagree. I suffer from and am treated for depression resulting from misperceptions of self, but it doesn’t otherwise impair reason or external perceptions.

    I appreciate your call for understanding.

  120. #121 Patricia C.
    May 2, 2008

    Etha – Yep, that was what I was taught. Even as a 6 year old it didn’t make sense. Sure makes Jesus a real shit.

  121. #122 Duncan
    May 2, 2008

    #115: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/plonk.php

    Thanks for bringing that to our attention. It’s unfortunate that such a list is even necessary, but it’s good to see past violators and their reasons for banishment. Most sites (and almost all right-wing sites that even allow comments at all) are not so transparent.

  122. #123 LanceR
    May 2, 2008

    It’s mostly been said (and much better expressed) by others, but a couple of points…

    Empathy != Sympathy. Sympathy is feeling bad for somebody, and is often seen as condescending and trite. Empathy is the ability to “put yourself in his shoes”, and is usually limited to people who have “been there, done that.”

    Second, Can we get a Molly nomination for Etha? She’s really got a level head, and a Molly Ivins style of humor.

  123. #124 Sven DiMilo
    May 2, 2008

    he’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaack…

  124. #125 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Wow! It’s been awhile since I’ve read through the list of dungeon denizens, and see that PZ’s been busy. It had been a while since Jamie got plonked (how can anyone hate the Cuttlefish?), but PZ must’ve borrowed a police truck to round up William Wallace, dsmvld, Joe Blow, PlanetKiller, Hugh Slaman in one fell swoop.

    What a boring conversation must have taken place in the back of that wagon.

  125. #126 Sven DiMilo
    May 2, 2008

    Like deja vu all over again!

  126. #127 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Here is the ORIGINAL ENJOY THE SILENCE video, FUCKER

    Thanks SHITHEAD! I LOVE that song, and WELL REMEMBER that VIDEO from THE earLY 1990S.

  127. #128 Barry
    May 2, 2008

    Is is possible to make a diagnosis of schizophrenia based upon someone’s forum posts? What’d you think, paranoid? Undifferentiated? Perhaps Type 1 bipolar disorder completely untreated?

  128. #129 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    David Mabus, the only way to get your money from Randi is to talk to the police. Go to them and explain the situation and they will help you.

  129. #130 George Cauldron
    May 2, 2008

    God wants to destroy you blasphemers…

    But evidently, just can’t be bothered to actually get around to it. Go figger.

    David, what God REALLY wants is for you to get back on your meds, pronto.

  130. #131 Sven DiMilo
    May 2, 2008

    uh, just so’s nobody thinks I’m insane, there were a couple of comments from our friend Mr. Mabus above that have since disappeared…methinks PZ has brought down the Hammer of Bannination.

  131. #132 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    I don’t think there’s some sort of line before which you’re merely a deluded troll and after which you’re a raving lunatic

    Sure there is. Let’s compare the diagnostic criteria for “Deluded Troll” and “Raving Lunatic” in the DSM-IV:

    Criterion B for the Deluded Troll diagnosis is the requirement that Criterion A for the Raving Lunatic diagnosis has never been met. Therefore, Criterion A for Raving Lunatic defines the “line” you’re asking about. This criterion requires that two or more of the following characteristic symptoms are present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period:

  132. (1) delusions
  133. (2) hallucinations
  134. (3) disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence)
  135. (4) grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
  136. (5) negative symptoms, i.e., affective flattening, alogia, or avolition
  137. Note: Only one Criterion A symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person’s behavior or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.
  138. That’s a simplified, but focused, look at the question.

  139. #133 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    Furthermore, the criteria for Deluded Troll also require that the delusions be “nonbizarre” (that they pertain to real-life situations), that aside from the impact of the delusion itself “functioning is not markedly impaired and behavior is not obviously odd or bizarre,” that concurrent mood episodes are brief relative to the duration of the delusion, and that “disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.”

    Although Deluded Troll Disorder can have serious ramifications, it’s still just a walk in the park compared to Raving Lunatic, the diagnosis of which relies not only on Criterion A (discussed in my previous comment) but also on significantly more profound social/occupational dysfunction and longer duration (at least six months).

  140. #134 M07
    May 2, 2008

    There is a place in psychology-space where extreme religiosity, god/messiah complexes, and schizo/paranoid delusions come very close. I wonder if they share a common pathophysiology. I also wonder how many of the ancient prophets and messiahs (including Jehoshua ben Nazareth) were mentally ill.

  141. #135 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    Ok, what I’ve done here is use excerpts of the diagnostic criteria for Delusional Disorder (Deluded Troll) and Schizophrenia (Raving Lunatic) from the DSM-IV. For this, I apologize to the many gentle schizophrenics all over the world, none of whom could ever fairly be called either “raving” or “lunatic”. I’m quite serious about that.

    In my defense, I want to come up with something for Brownian to chuckle over, and (more seriously) to illustrate the difference between a “Kenny” and a “David Mabus”.

    I am just a lowly undergrad, and I do not wish to overstep the boundaries here, except in the well-understood service of humor or satire. So I must issue another disclaimer, which is that I am not seriously attempting to diagnose either man, and frankly I’d never suggest Kenny is mentally ill or that he’d even be a candidate for a Delusional Disorder diagnosis. He just sucks at critical thinking and logic. (Yeah yeah, I know, he’s on the delusional continuum, but…clinically? Nah. I doubt it. Hmm, I guess I just made a diagnosis… lol. Ooops.)

    Mr. “Mabus” however… he’s a candidate for something, apparently. I missed the Mabus-flurry on the other thread (his comments were all gone before I got there) but clearly something is wrong, perhaps seriously wrong, with that picture.

    I have my doubts about Keef, too, frankly. He’s way, way further across the “line” (which line, I’m not sure) than Kenny. I took a half-a-step back from Keef a month or two ago. Something’s not right there. IMHO.

    I second the call for… well, not empathy exactly, it’s difficult to be empathic unless one has been there at some level, but for compassion at the very least, and for caution if caution is indicated…

  142. #136 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#135 Kseniya –

    I second the call for… well, not empathy exactly, it’s difficult to be empathic unless one has been there at some level, but for compassion at the very least, and for caution if caution is indicated…

    I think the important thing with empathy (since, as you rightly pointed out, you have to have been there at some level to have empathy) is that as social animals, we can draw on each other’s collective experiences and collective empathy in order to create, for ourselves and for others, a more compassionate society.

    And I’m falling into the “hopeless idealist” atheist stereotype again, aren’t I?

  143. #137 Brownian, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Thanks for that Kseniya (and I appreciated the subtle ‘joke’ with serious undertones).

    Frankly, I’m starting to worry about Kenny. A comment of his on Jack Chick thread suggests he may actually be defending JTC’s worldview.

    That’s gotta be diagnostic for something, right?

  144. #138 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Wow. So, I read, I refresh, and I see that in the meantime the insane one has come in and get banned, so that I seem to have missed his first original comment… how time passes…

    Agree, to a point with your advice @ #5, with small correction:

    “9mm compact GLOCK for when your out of the house, and a pump-shotty for home”

    Who exactly is insane here? Can’t you imagine any way of dealing with dangerous madmen other than KILLING THEM?

    (Besides, I wonder about the “dangerous” part. He doesn’t sound like he could think coherently for enough time to actually harm anyone. Don’t take my word for it, though.)

    drove the Google in that direction and learned that Mabus is a name ol’ Nosty used for the “third Antichrist” (the first two being Napoleon and Hitler, or names vaguely similar).

    The third is Massachusetts Bush, without doubt.

    (This was first put online as an obvious parody and marked as a rip-off of a similar parody of David Hasselhoff. By now, though, I think the author really believes it. But in any case it makes great reading. Too bad the background music is gone, though.)

    I’m still trying to come up with some good catch-phrases for Mr. Meyers [argh!] to say through teeth that are clenched on the ragged stump of a cigar while brandishing suitably over-powerful weaponry:

    “Go ahead, say your prayers — IT DOESN’T WORK”
    “I’m about to reduce YOUR complexity”

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

  145. #139 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 2, 2008

    Frankly, I’m starting to worry about Kenny. A comment of his on Jack Chick thread suggests he may actually be defending JTC’s worldview.

    :-o

    Let me check.

  146. #140 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    Etha – yes, yes, of course you are right. Empathy and compassion do go hand in hand. What I was trying to say was more like this: “For those who can’t empathize, at least try to summon some compassion…”. Sumptin’ like that. :-)

  147. #141 raven
    May 2, 2008

    You can get a good idea about someone’s sanity from comment boards. Since it is a written, anonymous medium, there is little self censorship.

    For schizophrenia, the DSM-IV covers it.

    1. Delusions, hallucinations

    2. cognitive deficits. Disorganized thinking and behavior

    Quite often there is a lot of endogenous hostility manifesting itself as perpetual anger or rage. When this is present, it is a dead giveaway.

    Paranoids exhibit paranoia and delusional self importance. THEY wouldn’t be after you unless you were very important or threatening, would they?

    The drugs work quite well for many or most patients. They can hold jobs and live relatively normal lives. Unfortunately, they tend to marry who they met on their travels through the health care system. Often other SZ’s. One couple that did that have a kid. At adolescence she came down (predictably) with the exact same symptoms as her parents.

  148. #142 Sioux Laris
    May 2, 2008

    First of all, I agree that he seems to be in real need of psychiatric help, so I’m a bit leery of making the following joke at all.

    This guy seems like he’s playing with only half a Francis E. Dec.

  149. #143 Adrian Hayter
    May 2, 2008

    He managed to find my blog yesterday and post 3 comments (all of which I reported as spam to akismet btw), and has previously posted on a forum I set up.

    He claims a lamb with 6 legs is a monster. I think it’s possibly the cutest thing in existence. Just imagine it trying to walk…poor thing.

  150. #144 Kazim
    May 3, 2008

    I am on Mabus’ mailing list, likely due to my status as a poster at the Atheist Experience blog. This was my reply to him last March, which I also CC’d to everyone else on his mailing list:


    Dear David Mabus,

    You are a delusional idiot. You’ve already sent me this message at least twice, and I can’t imagine why you think it is more persuasive or compelling upon repeat viewings. Future correspondence from you will be automatically filtered to my spam folder. Just thought you’d
    like to know.

    Cheers,
    Russell Glasser

    His reply, sent only to me was:


    fuck you, LOSER

    Oh, yes. I have been schooled. I also managed to touch off a pile-on among the other recipients, which was huge fun to watch.

    I kept good on my promise; haven’t looked at any message he may have sent since.

  151. #145 Falyne
    May 3, 2008

    Yeah, I’m gonna Nth (since I’m far too late for seconding) the Order of Molly for Etha. ^_^

  152. #146 Azkyroth
    May 3, 2008

    This sounds familiar somehow

  153. #147 Notkieran
    May 3, 2008

    Raven @#17:

    Thus proving that nutcases who run around in public with guns are not only mentally deficient, but also completely incompetent. Thank goodness.

    How do you miss with a rifle? Twice?

  154. #148 Notkieran
    May 3, 2008

    Re. .40 cal or .40mm.

    Speaking as a patriotic Singaporean, may I interest all and sundry in our locally-produced 40 AGL weapon? 40mm rounds of all types are available in our aftersales stores…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ST_Kinetics#40_mm_Weapon_.26_Munition_Systems

  155. #149 Alan Kellogg
    May 3, 2008

    David, #138

    Someone threatens your life you have the right to defend yourself. At times that can mean taking action that could harm or even kill the other. Life can be a bitch and insisting otherwise leads to serious disappointment.

    Does Mabus need hardcore help? Certainly, but he is also the kind of person who will hurt you seriously should he ever be motivated to. Should such a situation arise you cannot dismiss the necessity of killing him to protect yourself or others. The world isn’t always polka dot cephalopods with Swedish message training.

  156. #150 Ichthyic
    May 3, 2008

    wow, an actual demonstration.

    thanks, Mabus!

    now, class, what patterns are obvious in Mabus’ insane rant post?

  157. #151 John
    May 3, 2008

    Wow cool, I just found out that the idiot is also leaving comments on my blog…

  158. #152 Dr. Mabuse
    May 3, 2008

    If this “David Mabus” character is spamming you and your forum, get pro-active. When enough complaints come in to his ISP, they will have to take action.

    He’s been spamming Skepticality Podcast & Forum since March 2006, and Skeptic Friends Network for about just as long. And some people blame me. Don’t confuse me with him. I’m the German psychologist criminal mastermind hell bent on chaos and world domination.

    //Dr. Mabuse (moderator, Skeptic Friends Network & Skepticality)

  159. #153 The Barefoot Bum
    May 3, 2008

    He’s found me as well.

  160. #154 Duncan
    May 3, 2008

    What’s amazing is davidmabus (aka “I Think I’ll Fool ‘Em By Taking The Space Out Of My Name”) picks up again without skipping a beat. No acknowlegement of past crimes, but simply Copy-Paste-Post to any and all. I wonder what kind of dog-eared list he has sitting next to his computer, filled with names of web sites to spam when he’s not eating/sleeping/shitting.

    To PZ or site admin (if you’re reading): are you blocking by text matching or by IP address, or some other means? It looks like Mabus is in this for the long haul, so you may need to go straight to his ISP, or simply notify the authorities since he has already made threats online (in other comment sections, now deleted to us.)

  161. #155 dkew
    May 3, 2008

    The Mabus spamming anecdotes make me happy to have given up blogging, not that anyone seemed to be reading it. I hadn’t looked in the Dungeon for quite a while – so that’s where some of the more obnoxious ranters went!

  162. #156 Kseniya
    May 3, 2008

    The population of the Dungeon has doubled in just a few months. This is fallout from Expelled, I suspect.

  163. #157 wazza
    May 3, 2008

    Yes, Kseniya, but couldn’t we get some interesting kooks too, instead of just the c&p ones?

  164. #158 Hematite
    May 3, 2008

    Etha Williams (way back):

    The beauty of empathy is that it exists whether the person can appreciate it or not.

    Etha Williams (#59):

    In the OED, [empathy] is defined: The power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation. Because feeling empathy for someone means that you fully comprehend the person’s psychology, including their reasons for not being able to appreciate your empathy, this lack of appreciation won’t impact your empathy for them.

    I think you are invoking empathy where you mean compassion provoked by empathy. Empathy is understanding based on shared experience, but it does not speak of any quality of emotion. I think you understand this since you say empathy is a process not an emotion, but I want to highlight that empathy only provides understanding.

    I think compassion is beautiful emotion, and as you say it need not diminish if it is not acknowledged.

    As an aside, beware of false empathy. Just because you think you understand somebody doesn’t mean you do. This more likely with empathy than most feelings, and more insulting for the recipient. By definition you are making analogy to a state you have experienced yourself so false positives are quite likely.

    An example: I’m sure we can all think of a group of people who regularly claim to understand us and want to help us, but who in fact fundamentally misunderstand our lack of belief in God. It’s really annoying.

    OK, lecture’s over. I’m done being an… umm… emotion nazi?? That’s a new one, but I see a future in providing discrete services to gentlemen of a certain taste.

  165. #159 Jorge666
    May 3, 2008

    What a total Loon. PZ you really should be worried about this loser.

    From: davidmabus96@gmail.com
    Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
    Subject: How Michel Nostradamus stopped the Randi – Dawkins Corp .
    Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 11:40:04 -0700 (PDT)
    Organization: http://groups.google.com
    Lines: 41
    Message-ID:
    NNTP-Posting-Host: 96.20.107.93
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Trace: posting.google.com 1209840004 3827 127.0.0.1 (3 May 2008 18:40:04 GMT)
    X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
    NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 18:40:04 +0000 (UTC)
    Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
    Injection-Info: e39g2000hsf.googlegroups.com; posting-host=96.20.107.93;
    posting-account=-DL2_goAAABWulkTYpkE9UMhKnx0U-Hs
    User-Agent: G2/1.0
    X-HTTP-UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.14)
    Gecko/20080404 Firefox/2.0.0.14,gzip(gfe),gzip(gfe)

    http://thomashawk.com/hello/209/1017/1024/Johnny%20Cash%20Finger.jpg

    And PZ Myers, you self-deluded insignificant NUTCASE…

    the ORIGINAL *KING OF TERROR* VIDEO…..

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

    the *MODEL* of mental health:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=zBEbfiaZTfc

    “Look at the ANGLE OF THE KEY….see that, see that….”

    what an idiot this Randi is…..a REAL CRITICAL THINKER….

    Visit:

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/3283/P0/

    to see how we stopped the MILLION DOLLAR PARANORMAL challenge…..
    watch carefully the consequences of Randi’s *idea*…..

    For over 40 years James Randi Zwigert (is this even a REAL NAME?) has
    had total control over who and how the testing was conducted, yet
    despite all this he has terminated the challenge.

    The ONLY REASON why the challenge was stopped is because he lost and
    refused to pay.
    Apparently, Randi likes to break the rules when it serves him:

    “14. This prize will continue to be offered until it is awarded. Upon
    the death of James Randi, the administration of the prize will pass
    into other hands, and it is intended that it continue in force. ”

    Great force…..it’s over……

    where is my MILLION DOLLARS, you LITTLE *NO-NAME* FRAUD

    PS: Almost Forgot: Love the IRONY of the *BULLSHIT* sign over Randi’s
    ugly head….

    ——————————————–

    96.20.107.93 resolves to

    OrgName: Le Groupe Videotron Ltee
    OrgID: VLCA
    Address: 300 Viger Est
    City: Montreal
    StateProv: QC
    PostalCode: H2X-3W4
    Country: CA

    NetRange: 96.20.0.0 – 96.21.255.255
    CIDR: 96.20.0.0/15
    NetName: VL-21BL
    NetHandle: NET-96-20-0-0-1
    Parent: NET-96-0-0-0-0

  166. #160 WordsNotNames
    May 3, 2008

    I have to say that if this person is indeed psychotically mentally ill (rather than simply using maladaptive psychological mechanisms [denial, projection, etc] to justify his agreement with a massively held delusion, [religion]), and it seems he is, I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to ridicule him in the same way we do creobots like Kenny and Keith. He seems to be honestly sick and in need of real help, not ridicule, derision, and spite.

    This is a truly artificial and unnecessary false separation. People think. Some of that thinking is reasonable, some is not. If it’s crap, it deserves criticism, no matter if it was selected for by nature.

    As for scorn, people have certain faculties and have little recourse to change them short of chemicals and education. I fail to see how scorn is reasonable in any circumstance except for perhaps those whose faculties were intentionally perverted. This person deserves equal criticism (lots) and scorn (none).

  167. #161 Etha Williams
    May 3, 2008

    @#159 WordsNotNames –

    This is a truly artificial and unnecessary false separation. People think. Some of that thinking is reasonable, some is not. If it’s crap, it deserves criticism, no matter if it was selected for by nature.

    Please see my comment 111 (and the follow-up 113) for why I disagree.

  168. #162 Master Mahan
    May 3, 2008

    Wow. Why is that one’s ability to write clearly is relative to their level of sanity. Sentence fragments, sudden shifts to all caps… this poor guy has been taking writing tips from Timecube. I dearly hope he gets help.

  169. #163 Ichthyic
    May 3, 2008

    Now “some dude” could take lessons on truly being magnificently illucid from David here.

  170. #164 JamesR
    May 4, 2008

    PZ
    When violence is the answer it is the only answer. People like this resort to violence when they are being ignored. You must be prepared. Calling the cops or security after someone has shot you is too late. Fuk em. If it is inter state then it is in FBI jurisdiction. Report this dude or be prepared to fight him if he shows up and gets in your face. 2 cents and all that.

  171. #165 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    Now “some dude” could take lessons on truly being magnificently illucid from David here.

    You know, I’m beginning to think that this inchdick dude is sexually attracted to me, what with his inability to resist mentioning my name at every opportunity.

    Sorry to disappoint, but I’m taken.

    ROTFL.

  172. #166 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    keep going, SD.

    I can haz more learning, plz?

    Why don’t you tell us what color curtains you like?

  173. #167 Kseniya
    May 4, 2008

    SomeDude wrote:

    You know, I’m beginning to think that this inchdick dude is sexually attracted to me,

    A fascinating comment, considering that he followed Ichthyic to this thread!

    K8-D

  174. #168 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    well go run to the authorities…….you little dirty rat

    “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”

  175. #169 Duncan
    May 4, 2008

    David, you’re not helping your case here…

  176. #170 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    Why don’t you tell us what color curtains you like?

    I already told you that, buttmunch. Please pay attention.

  177. #171 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    A fascinating comment, considering that he followed Ichthyic to this thread!

    And it followed me to the other thread. Your point?

    Oh, right, you weren’t making one. You were projecting. Never mind.

  178. #172 Kseniya
    May 4, 2008

    You were projecting.

    LOL! The unintentional self-parody is astonishing!

  179. #173 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    I already told you that, buttmunch. Please pay attention.

    nope.

    try again.

  180. #174 Etha Williams
    May 4, 2008

    @#161 Mister Mahan –

    Why is that one’s ability to write clearly is relative to their level of sanity?

    Because one cannot write clearly unless one can think clearly, and one cannot think clearly unless one is sane.

  181. #175 Kseniya
    May 4, 2008

    Ichthyic, he expects you to follow him from thread to thread, the way he follows you around. I think he said something about curtains on the “two almosts” thread. He still hasn’t answered the sockpuppet question, however, and still prefers to beg, like the eruditional pauper he is, for a definition.

  182. #176 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    LOL! The unintentional self-parody is astonishing!

    Indeed. Why do you insist on parodying yourself so? Oh well, at least you admit it, which puts you ahead of Mr. Inchdick anyway.

  183. #177 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    I think he said something about curtains on the “two almosts” thread.

    be careful. look at what i asked him again, then look at his answer again.

    has he answered the question, or no?

    and surely you know why I’m asking, right?

  184. #178 Etha Williams
    May 4, 2008

    In what is currently #169, and will soon probably not exist, davidmabus wrote:

    I just want to show this FUCKER that REALITY is the *EXACT OPPOSITE* of what he thinks it is….therefore you KNOW NOTHING, FUCKER

    This really comes back to what I said in comment #111:

    When someone like Mabus says “you guys are mentally ill” he is saying it because within his own personal framework of “reality” it makes utter sense. There is no cognitive dissonance, because he is completely out of contact with the reality that would cause that dissonance in the first place.

    I’m just going to quote Philip K Dick here: Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

  185. #179 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    Ichthyic, he expects you to follow him from thread to thread, the way he follows you around.

    You mean, the way you follow me around? I didn’t know you cared!

    He still hasn’t answered the sockpuppet question, however

    Yes, I did. Please pay attention.

  186. #180 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    Please pay attention.

    why?

  187. #181 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    why?

    Because you might learn something, which for you would be a novel experience indeed.

  188. #182 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    a novel experience indeed.

    for you to teach anything?

    yes, that would be novel alrighty.

    what color curtains do you like?

  189. #183 Some Dude
    May 4, 2008

    for you to teach anything?

    No, for you to learn anything, pisshead. Try to keep up.

    what color curtains do you like?

    I ALREADY TOLD YOU: VENETIAN BLINDS. What’s the fascination with window treatments anyway? Is that the department you work in at Wal-mart?

    ROTFL

  190. #184 Ichthyic
    May 4, 2008

    I ALREADY TOLD YOU: VENETIAN BLINDS.

    that’s not a color of curtain, no matter how loudly you yell it.

    what color curtains do you like?

  191. #185 Ranger Doug
    May 5, 2008

    #23. You have it wrong. PZ would need a 40mm hollow point for full stopping power.

    Posted by: firemancarl | May 2, 2008 12:50 PM

    I didn’t know they made 40mm rounds with hollow points…your access to weaponry interests me and I wish to receive your newsletter.

  192. #186 KevinBBG
    May 10, 2008

    My blogged just got hit by this guy.

    http://dailybbg.blogspot.com/2008/05/bearings.html

    And it wasn’t even a post on atheism. But I still feel honored and will try to remain humble.

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