Slightly not-the-usual fare, but H mentioned it and its wiki, and following – or failing to follow – the trail was moderately amusing, so here we go. Deepak Chopra is an Indian American author and public speaker. He is an alternative medicine advocate and a promoter of popular forms of spirituality, but more importantly is the winner of an 1998 IgNoble prize for his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness. [REFERENCE: Deepak Chopra’s books “Quantum Healing,” “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” etc.] Or as wiki puts it,
The ideas he promotes are criticized by scientists and medical professionals who say that his treatments rely on the placebo effect, that he misuses terms and ideas from quantum physics (quantum mysticism), and that he provides people with false hope which obscures the possibility of effective medical treatment. The medical and scientific communities’ opinion of him ranges from dismissive to damning; criticism includes statements that his approach could lure sick people away from effective treatments.
Not unnaturally, he’d rather wiki didn’t put it that way; and with an income one ~8M$/yr (he “charges $25,000 per lecture performance, where he spouts a few platitudes and gives spiritual advice while warning against the ill effects of materialism”) he’ll find people to speak for him. And so we find the Huffpo finding space for Wikipedia and Deepak Chopra: Open-Source Character Assassination by “Ryan Castle”, of whom more anon. Curiously, that piece doesn’t mention Wikipedia, A New Perspective on an Old Problem by DC, also at Huffpo.
I won’t trouble you with what’s in those Huffpo articles, because they aren’t interesting – they’re the kind of things you’d expect AW to write about wiki’s articles on GW, or on himself; there’s even the traditional list of “eminent” “experts” who agree. More amusing is to try to backtrack down the wiki-trail.
Unexpectedly, DC himself offers a clue, because he says “Websites such as ‘Wikipedia, we have a problem’ offer…” and on that site I find How Wikipedia Editor Manul Outed My Identity, Stalked And Hounded Me On Wikipedia. Its written by “Rome Viharo” who tells us that he was “outed” when he posted this edit which is signed by “[[User:Tumbleman|Rome Viharo]]”. Tumbleman / Rome Vihario has an odd editing history; first appearing before 2006, but making no edits after 2009-06-08T20:04:36 until that aforementioned edit at 2013-08-31T20:02:26 to the Sheldrake (say no more) talk page; which is then followed in a very short space of time by lots of other edits to the Sheldrake talk page. Unwisely, RV tells me he has a RationalWiki page and that makes the situation somewhat clearer. T/RV was blocked for a week for socking starting 2013-10-13T20:23:46, and then indeffed at 2013-10-17T13:22:37 for being a general waste of time / troll.
Now, back to “Ryan Castle”. Wiki has no such editor, and yet “Ryan Castle” claims “long experience as a Wikipedia editor”. The obvious suspicion is that “Ryan Castle” is the same as RV [Update: a person who I have no reason not to believe is RV has posted a long comment, in part of which he says he and RC are different people]. I suggested this on wiki but didn’t get a bite. If you can do better than my semi-autistic ability to recognise faces, tell me if this, RC looks like this, TEDx. The Huffpo bio, presumably self-provided, of RC says “Ryan Caste is the founder and executive director of ISHAR”. But RV says “I can also confirm that I hired Ryan Castle to be an archivist for the ISHAR project” (in a post that deals in part with how RV was kicked out from being CEO of ISHAR). Its not clear how those two fit together, unless we’re looking at a Stalinist-style airbrushing.
[Update: assuming we believe the RV in the comments, then “Ryan Castle” is [[User:Askahrc]] who signs as “The Cap’n”. And given that an early version of his talk page signs himself Ryan, that seems rather likely.]