The Fabled Globe and Mail Article Hits the Press–With Links!

I promised to be in bed before 1:00 AM tonight, so this is telegraphed and without charm, but I couldn’t resist.

1. There was talk a while ago on Freedomain Radio and at Liberating Minds that there would be Globe and Mail article about FDR and Stefan Molyneux, with pictures. Boy, is there ever! It shows up in the Technology section, which surprised me (but then not really). Author Tu Thanh Ha has done himself some research. It’s full of links to threads and podcasts, and the cynic in me wonders if they will still go somewhere in the morning. Threads have been disappeared, you know, and it isn’t that hard to change a url. (And seven hours later, they are gone. Yeah, I didn’t get enough sleep last night, although I did have some pretty entertaining dreams.)

Follow this link to the Globe and Mail article:

How a Cyberphilosopher Convinced Followers to Cut Off Family

It is not complimentary.

Edited to draw attention to the comment by Patience below, and to say that the links are now only open to members, and no new member accounts are being created without getting permission. So Joe Reader who stumbles on the article will not be able to listen to the audio or read the pertinent threads.

2. I follow some threads at FDR, but not many, so I was surprised to see two alerts in my email box for threads I’d never heard of. I checked, and it said that I had elected to receive any new posts in this particular forum of the discussion board. That’s just not the case, because lots of new threads have been started in the “The Individual” and “Psychology” sections since I started receiving alerts, so it got my attention. I think a global notification was sent out to all members.

These new posts are obviously plants. So obviously. What are the chances that two sad and confused but enlightened teenagers would start new threads called “Confusion over my dad” by Cand and “Confirming the evil of my parents” by Tom within a minute of each other? None. They are long posts, and they touch on some talking points, and Tom’s happens to roll the controversial topics of being Christian and being a homosexual all in one! Plus “Cand” sounds like “Candice,” who is a regular poster there; “Tom” sounds like “Tom,” who has been the lost child of the Guardian article. These names were pulled very quickly out of a hat, and the stories are these elaborate concoctions written in the exact same style and are not at all reminiscent of anything a teen would write on the very first post to a board like this. I know this because the text of these messages was included in the notification. I can post the text if anyone wants them, I suppose, although I might hold off until they actually appear on the boards, so they are officially public first. I don’t want to be that guy. (And now that they are no longer public material–deleted–I guess I never will.)

And this is the kicker: These posts don’t actually appear on the recent activity log. The last post of 12/12 (FDR producing breakthroughs…) was at 11:50 PM (I didn’t even read it) and the first post of 12/13 (Xtranormal Rocks!) was at 12:03 AM. The next post of the day (Attention all you lunatic atheists) isn’t until 12:12 AM.

Edited to remove useless screenshots and to apologize to Tom and Cand for calling them fakes. It was a misleading email–they were sent to me as old posts. I should have, I suppose, recognized the one as having the same title to the thread linked to in the article. My theory about how is was maybe a trap is unfounded–I told you that I should be posting after 1:00 AM!

I’ll strikethrough the stupid and wrong parts of this post and leave it up as a mea culpa because that is what people do, but it no longer applies and is not even that funny, although there is that sentence where I wonder about the trap, which appears to be wrong.

This is haphazard, frantic, incompetent damage control. I was really going to be impressed that no one discussed–in the public forum, anyway–the Daily Mail article that appeared yesterday, which was a revision of the Guardian article. It signified dignity and restraint that I predicted in my comments that I wasn’t going to be able to show. I wonder what the FDR crowd is going to say tomorrow about this complete and unquestionable and aggressive smear campaign perpetrated by those vile false-self statists in Toronto. Maybe silence is going to be the dignified response. Kudos!

Edited to add: Never mind. I was an idiot and didn’t see the first post on this topic. The first couple of responses at the top of the log just caught my eye. Molyneux heads up the conversation and includes audio of the original interview if you want to hear it. The thread is called “Freedomain Radio in the Globe and Mail.” It’s the second article put out by a biased and unobjective journalist. These guys just don’t get no respect!

I’m figuring this was the chain of events: The article posted online at 8:55 Pacific. Molyneux found it, read it, formatted his audio and started the thread by 11:09 PM, then spent the next hour writing two fake new posts, which he sent off by email at 12:03 AM and then 12:04 AM. Each fake post is about three good paragraphs in length. I could see how writing them would take an hour.

And of course I have to wonder aloud if I am the only person who got those email notifications, in an attempt to flush me out of hiding. Perhaps I am falling for a trap by writing about them. Ah, well. It was a good ride.

Please read the Globe and Mail piece. It’s something else. And follow the links. You have to follow the links–it’s where all the excitement is. (Sorry. You can’t follow the links because they’ve been deleted. You get this log in screen, but members who log in will get a message that the “resource you requested does not exist.” You can listen to the original interview, though, at the podcast page; it’s FDR1231 of Volume 4.)

PS: So I checked actually within the forums, thinking that maybe those alerts came from posts that somehow just skipped the recent activity log. They are not in the “The Individual” or the “Psychology” categories at all. Maybe they will appear later. We’ll see.

UPDATE 9:49 AM

I’ve decided to follow the thread at FDR in which they comment on this article, and this funny one just popped up (it’s an attempt to impugn the competence of the article author):

I’ve never in my life seen someone quote an internet forum.  Unbelievable.

Of course you’re going to quote an Internet forum. The article is ABOUT an Internet forum, and it appears in the Technology section of the newspaper. You have to quote from the Internet forum if you want to present a fair view of the Internet forum. Otherwise, the people reading your newspaper will only have your opinion about what the Internet forum is like. Now people can decide for themselves.

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Comments

  • Patience  On December 13, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Karen – The posts in the email notifications you received were genuine posts by Tom and his then girlfriend. I have read them before, months ago. From memory, I think they were posted in mid November 2007, probably from a computer in my house. Interesting that you received them by email today. If I had an account on FDR, I’m sure I would have received the same email notifications.

    When I read the Globe article online early this morning, I clicked on the links and read the FDR posts. I tried the links again a few minutes ago and I now would have to be able to log in as a member in order to read them. I wonder what else is being re-written, deleted, shredded or burned in Mississauga today.

  • Patience  On December 13, 2008 at 6:38 am

    Karen – The same thing has happened to the link to posting titled: “DeFoo letter to my father.” I could read it early this morning, but now I would have to log in to a Freedomain Radio member’s account in order to see it. I wonder if Molyneux is trying to hide something, or just trying to track people’s movements. Maybe both, knowing him.

    Readers of the Globe and Mail article will not be able to join FDR in order to read the linked posts because applications for new members are still blocked as follows:

    New User Registration Disabled
    The administrator has disabled new account creation. Please check back later – or email the administrator – to see if it is possible to register.

    Good to see that Liberating Minds have not found it necessary to block access to their site!

  • Karen  On December 13, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Actually, Patience, those threads are just full-on deleted, or renamed or something, but clicking through them won’t take you anywhere even if you are logged in. I am sorry I called Tom a fake. I didn’t think it made sense, though, that two posts from two teenagers would show up at 8:00 AM England Time on a Saturday morning within a minute of each other. And lo and behold, they didn’t.

  • Patience  On December 13, 2008 at 9:27 am

    No problem, you suspected that Molyneux was behind it somewhere, and he was, as usual.

  • Karen  On December 13, 2008 at 11:29 am

    I mean that the links in the Globe and Mail articles that went to forum threads no longer go anywhere. If you click on them, it asks you to log in. If you log in, it tells you that the resource does not exist. I checked the “prisons” thread and the “Confirming the evil of my parents” thread on the first page (the “alienation” and “family estrangement” threads still go to their threads). On the second page, the “DeFoo letter to my father” thread is broken. On the third page, the “girlfriend posted candid comments” and “thought at one point he was gay” are gone.

    The podcast links are all still live. It would be interesting to learn if that phone call with Tom podcast that was floated around at Liberating Minds was still available. I am pretty sure it is Podcast 1037, and it’s at iTunes, so it’s probably accessible.

  • Patience  On December 14, 2008 at 4:44 am

    The girlfriend posted a comment on the Globe article to say she had asked for her post to be removed from Freedomain Radio:

    Quote: I wanted my post to be removed … I had the choice to put it out there on the net and of course the choice to have it removed if necessary!

    The rest of her comment is an advert for Molyneux’s interminable podcasts.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081212.wgtfreedomain13/CommentStory/Technology/home#comment2915595

    Maybe her post was really removed at her request, maybe Molyneux acted on her behalf. Probably the latter, after all, he seems to know what is best for all his members.

  • QuestEon  On December 15, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    He does. Just like a proud papa. :-)

  • Patience  On December 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    The Globe and Mail article seems to be attracting a lot of comments itself, over 100 so far. Many of the comments are quite clear that (sorry, Shakespeare) something is rotten in the state of Molyneux.

    Doubtless, very soon, Molyneux will again try to divert attention from his dodgy dealings by attacking me, the journalists, Conrad, Liberating Minds, his mother, everyone else’s mother and anyone else he can think of. He’s just so predictable, it’s pathetic.

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