Sunday, 20 April 2014

Wikipedia Slap from Gerald Joe Moreno

At the end of 2009, Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) became a virtual participant in the events of Wikipedia that resulted in deletion of the Kevin RD Shepherd article. According to Wikipedia editor Simon Kidd, Moreno was paying very close attention to that deletion, and was influential amongst the deletionists. As Kidd was the only real name editor involved in that situation, his testimony has to be taken seriously.
Moreno certainly did devote prime blogger attention to the Wikipedia deletion, in his capacity as a cyberstalker and apologist for  Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011).  He produced an extremely distorted and unreliable version of that deletionist event, which he entitled “Wikipedia Slaps Kevin R. D. Shepherd on the Face.” More to the point, the slap involved a convergence (or coalition) of cult sympathisers, one of whom went to the extreme of making links to Moreno blogs on the deletion page. That belligerent entity was Dazedbythebell, strongly implicated as a devotee of Meher Babaand part of a devotee circle active on Wikipedia.
Dazed wrongly insinuated that I was the Wikipedia editor Alex Jamieson, who produced the article about myself. Dazed also cited a lengthy passage from Moreno polemic as proof that I was unreliable. This passage included Moreno’s rather suspect email conversation with an obscure Mrs. Barringer at the University of Sheffield. She had not heard of my books, and so they could be dismissed by Moreno (Amazon and other big-time purveyors did not figure in such weighted calculations). 
A serious anomaly was observed by critics of these events. Moreno had been banned indefinitely from Wikipedia in 2007, on the charge of activist editing. Now his blog defamations were championed by another religious movement active in America, and centred at Myrtle Beach. Worse still perhaps, closely informed observers were convinced that Moreno personally conducted a web mission, in the guise of a new editor, to sabotage a Wikipedia link to my article on the Sai Baba movement.
The reason for this special mission was the critical inclusion of Moreno in the final section of that online article. The extremely aggressive new editor (WikiUserTalk) was successful in his objective of eliminating the electronic link. He also tried to impede editor Simon Kidd (another target of Moreno), but was unsuccessful in that direction. Nevertheless, close observers were appalled at the fact that it was so easy for the interloper to be even partially successful. The reason for this success was the extensive pseudonymous activity on Wikipedia, serving to mask sectarian schemes and to assist pro-sectarian personnel in their undeclared campaigns.
Two years later,  a concession was made in my direction. Coming to terms with the nature of events was not easy for the Wikipedia management, but Jimmy Wales made some private admissions about the very unpredictable nature of the editorship. In 2012 he personally deleted the SSS108 User page of 2006, a creation of Gerald Joe Moreno which had proved influential. That page was entitled User:SSS108/Kevin Shepherd.
The SSS108 (Moreno) User page of 2006 included a collaboration with Jossi Fresco, the “cult” promoter who gained notoriety even within the relatively indulgent ranks of Wikipedia editors and administrators. Here was the origin of the myth about “New Media Books Ltd,” a publisher who did not actually exist but of whom I was supposedly the incarnation. Here also was the story of redoubtable Mrs. Barringer, a putative book expert who was unable to decode the globally relevant listings of such book trade giants as Amazon and Nielsen Bookdata.
Above all, that User page featured the drama of Gerald Joe Moreno versus Andries (Kruger Dagneaux), two Wikipedia editors in collision over Sathya Sai Baba. This scenario involved the Moreno snub of an editorial quote concerning the infamous bedroom murders at Puttaparthi ashram, now one of the most notorious sectarian occurrences of the 1990s. This event was too controversial to be acknowledged by supporters of Sathya Sai Baba, and so it was erased from Wikipedia (by Moreno and Jossi Fresco), and all my books with it, due to the recognition in an appendice of one book that this dire event occurred. The stigmatised  book was Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 25
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Marianne Warren and Shirdi Sai Baba

In the attempt to cement his position against what seemed a growing support for myself, Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) resorted to cheating; he supplied a misleading version of commentary relating to an academic book. A 2009 blog of his bore the title of  Marianne Warren PhD Criticised Kevin RD Shepherd. This attack blog was flawed by a typically obsessive mindset, even using once more an out of context and obsolete quote (from my first website) about which I had complained in 2007. This kind of deceptive presentation can be described as entirely lacking in scruple.
The late Dr. Marianne Warren (d. 2004) authored a book on Shirdi Sai Baba,  namely Unravelling the Enigma (1999). Moreno chose to emphasise brief criticisms she had expressed about an early book of mine, while relegating her acknowledgement of discoveries I had made. He wrote as though I had not mentioned the Warren criticisms, and could thus be accused of dishonesty. Moreno cited a single brief comment from one of my web articles. He followed this up with the assertion that:
"Kevin Shepherd omitted Marianne Warren's criticism about him and only snipped out those sections that suited his big ego."
This is a violation of fair comment, and reveals a polemical agenda that is extremely misleading. 

The Moreno commentary exhibits a total  ignorance of what I wrote at some length elsewhere, including my web article that same year on Shirdi Sai Baba (especially note 43). In my book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005), I gave much space in text and annotations to Dr. Warren’s version of Shirdi Sai Baba, covering both the areas of agreement and disagreement between her and myself. That book (page 320) has a total of 25 index references to Dr. Warren, all of these being omitted by Moreno. 

Moreno (SSS108)  had even tried to ban the same book from Wikipedia because it favourably mentioned his opponent Robert Priddy, a leading critic of Sathya Sai Baba. Moreno had not read this book and was entirely unconcerned with the major part of the content, which he consigned to oblivion in 2006 via a Wikipedia User page.  

Warren's main criticism related to references I made to the Indian commentator B. V. Narasimhaswami. The context of those criticisms actually originated with Meher Baba; in this respect, Dr. Warren was at a disadvantage, being unable to locate a certain Indian periodical which included a diary of pressing relevance. I had cited that periodical in my annotations to Gurus Rediscovered (1986), a book which followed an academic practice of placing in the notes the publication data of works cited, thus avoiding the need of a separate bibliography. Dr. Warren commented myopically that there was no bibliography, and was concerned to emphasise her pre-eminence in Marathi. The diary that she ignored was in English. 
In my later book, I cited from the first edition of Warren's Unravelling the Enigma: Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism (1999). Dr. Warren was then a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, who claimed to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai and to be a miracleworker. Some of her controversial beliefs in that direction were represented in her book (and viewed critically by many other Indologists).
Moreno (Equalizer) ignored the contents of my 300-page book. He also completely ignored the fact that Dr. Warren had been influenced by her partisan approach to Sathya Sai Baba, whom she had rejected shortly after her book was published. Dr. Warren had become an ex-devotee, horrified at the allegations of sexual abuse which became well known at circa 2000, and via such critical reports as The Findings of David Bailey.
Dr. Warren contributed a revised edition of her book in 2004. She emphasised her new orientation in the revised author's preface, eliminating glorifying references to Sathya Sai Baba and instead making critical comments such as: "From an early age he [Sathya Sai] chose to ride the coat-tails of the Maharashtrian sage [Shirdi Sai], linking his name with that of the earlier Sai Baba in numerous speeches he gave in the 1940s and 1950s, and by taking the name 'Sai,' affixing it to his own name of Sathya."

Dr. Warren intended to go much further in a denunciation of Sathya Sai. She planned to write another book in this context, and the introduction survives. Her death prevented new accomplishments.
The Equalizer (Moreno) "hate campaign" strategy of omitted details is not to be recommended. The cult attitude distorts history and commentary, and is a hopeless guide to both. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 24
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wikipedia Editor Alex Jamieson

Stephen J. Castro

The cyberstalker tactic of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) encompassed Alex Jamieson, who contributed a Wikipedia article about the present writer in late 2009. The superficial Moreno commentary on Jamieson described him as a “Kevin Shepherd devotee,” which is impossible in this instance.
Jamieson was the pseudonym for Stephen J. Castro, a civil servant and science enthusiast who had argued with me in private years before, not accepting some of my views. I had not seen him for several years, and to date have not met him for ten years. He had been reading works by and about the neuroscientist Roger Sperry (1913-1994). Castro now credited a convergence of that material with one of my books (Meaning in Anthropos), which he considered to be unusual, and was accordingly well disposed to my output as a whole, which he had read.
Castro had little patience with the “new age and guru” scene, was not a follower of anyone, and had written a critical book on the Foundation Foundation, being an ex-member of that body. Moreno had wrongly interpreted this book as one of my own publications, but in fact Castro himself published Hypocrisy and Dissent within the Findhorn Foundation (1996), and in the face of suppression by the Foundation management and staff. He was applauded by ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association), the prestigious American project of academic relevance. See Cultic Studies Journal (1996) 13(2):212ff.
Moreno (Equalizer) was clearly antagonistic to Jamieson because he supported me on Wikipedia. The misinterpreter went to the extreme of calling Jamieson (Castro) an “internet hit man and internet terrorist.” This was a retaliation against my own use of those phrases in relation to Moreno (phrases credited by many readers as accurate). 

Some informed readers were astounded to find Moreno asserting that I had called him an internet terrorist "simply because Moreno's webpages are indexed on search engines." This typical third person reference does not absolve the blogger from all responsibility. I had complained at the nature and content of his webpages and attack blogs, which gained a strong degree of salience on Google. See my article Internet Terrorist.

In a similar vein, and on this same blog, Moreno (Equalizer) deceptively stated that I had attacked him "simply because Moreno [third person]  succeeded in getting a reference to Shepherd's self-published material removed from the Sathya Sai Baba Wikipedia article." What he had actually done in 2006 was to post a User page on Wikipedia/Google which effectively denied the legitimacy of my entire output, and in acute reaction to reports by Sathya Sai ex-devotees that were included at the end of one book. The Moreno phrase "simply because" is thoroughly unreliable.

The diverting phraseology occurred at the Moreno website under the formidable heading of: Exposing Critic's Smear Campaigns Against Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. This was the well known credo of In my case, much of the argument had little to do with the guru.
Moreno resented Jamieson because he had incorporated reference to Moreno blog excesses in his article about myself; a Wikipedia administrator deleted the Criticism section of that article. The context is not clear; the Moreno commentary is the source. Moreno was evidently familiar with the occurrence, and apparently complained to the Wikipedia administration. His blog avoids stating the content of the deleted section, which remains valid, especially in view of the fact that his agitating SSS108 User page of 2006 was later deleted from Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales.

Contrary to the Moreno insinuation, Jamieson (Castro) did not need my permission to insert the Criticism section in his article, as he himself felt strongly on this issue. I did grant him permission to use my photograph, as he made a point of requesting this, although he misunderstood about copyright. Jamieson correctly stated that he was new to Wikipedia, which Moreno was prepared to question on the basis of his computer skill, and even confusing him with Jedermann (Dr. M. E. Dean). Castro had acquired IT certification. 
Gerald Joe Moreno was now developing a strong habit of inverting accusations made against his overbearing and bludgeoning dismissals. For instance, he stated in the same Equalizer blog about Jamieson: “Moreno [third person] defended himself with factual information against Shepherd’s numerous misrepresentations, shabby research and outright prevarications.” This basically represented a hijacking of my own earlier complaint about Moreno, who had dismissed my published output and misrepresented my role. 
The pro-sectarian apologist was frequently noticed to copy words he found used by opponents, including myself. Moreno apparently copied the word rhetoric from me. He overworked this word in some of his blogs. In this way, the anti-Jamieson blog bore the assertion that “all writings associated with pseudo-philosopher Kevin R. D. Shepherd are rich in rhetoric, poor in research and propagandistic in nature.” The accuser  had never read my books. Nor does the condemnation match other assessments of my web articles. 
The purport of this vehement accusation explicitly boiled down to myself being a supposed “fierce defender and promoter of Psychic Trance Medium Conny Larsson and LSD Advocate Robert Priddy.” In other words, the objectivity of cyberstalker language is strongly in question. My assessment of Priddy did not converge with that of Moreno. The latter continually ignored the context I provided for my reference to Larsson. 
Jamieson (Castro) discovered that Wikipedia was afflicted with cult supporters and passive parties who played along with them, the latter sometimes being deceived by the former. He changed to his real name, and composed a distinctive article about Paul Brunton and Meher Baba. However, he soon found that the Meher Baba article on Wikipedia was dominated by exclusivist devotees who disliked outsiders and due critical apparatus. In disgust, Castro exited from the discussion page of that article in 2012, after observing petty animosities and obstructive attitudes which rejected his own composition (later made available online independently). 
Moreno stigmatised both Jamieson and myself as pseudo-philosophers. “They obviously have been sipping too much cuckoo juice.” The juice-sippers were accused of thinking they were “paragons of morality and wisdom.” Ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011) had made a very similar criticism of Moreno. Jamieson (Castro) never identified himself with the word philosopher (he was too science-oriented). I had described myself as a “citizen philosopher,” but had not claimed wisdom or paragon status. The word philosophy currently means a form of analysis, not wisdom or morality. 

The brunt of Moreno’s distaste was revealed in a quotation he delivered at the end of his blog, citing with approval Henry Louis Mencken (d. 1956) as the author:
“Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.” 
The dismissal of philosophy by Moreno (Equalizer) is quite pointed. The scenario is that of a sport for jackasses and bibbers of cuckoo juice. Mencken was an American journalist who admired the nihilistic European philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Mencken relativism was now championed by American Pro-Sai “guru defender” cyberstalking.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 23
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.