imageI delayed approving the following comment from Colin Berry while I thought about it. He did submit it as a comment to be seen. He knows what he is doing. See it you shall. It says a lot.

First, you should be aware that a number of people have dropped away from the blog, some for good. One person wrote, “You have lost your way. You have allowed back and forth insults to dominate and kill almost every meaningful discussion.”

I know that a few people participate in the back and forth insults and that Colin is often the target. But invariably, he starts it. Then when the verbal brawls turn against him, he complains. That is how I see it.  This pattern began when he first came on the scene over a year ago, when instead of substantively criticizing the work of other scientists like Al Adler, Ray Rogers and Paolo Di Lazzaro, as he might have done, he resorted to calling their work “Mickey Mouse science.” He referred to the scientists at ENEA as “idiots” and a “bunch of jokers.” He accused almost everyone of practicing pseudoscience which he never would define. Even then we lost many readers and potential contributors to meaningful discussions.

Here is his most recent comment:

Urgent message to site “moderator”, i.e. Dan Porter. This attempt by MPH and others to pillory me on your site must cease, and cease immediately. Yes, I know you have blocked some of MPH’s comments, but that is not good enough, given the background of systematic harassment that I have been receiving from MPH and several others too.

For the record, it is I who operated at professorial level in the late 1980s, as the link below (just one of several I could cite) will demonstrate, when I was employed as a departmental head at an industrial research association, outwith a University, but could still find myself being invited – professor-like – to act as public examiner for a Swedish doctoral thesis, i.e. at the prestigious Lund University.

Yet you have allowed MPH to belittle my academic credentials on an almost daily basis, while an academic nonentity, with no visible track record on the internet, bar some attendances at Shroudie congresses, claims to have been a University professor some 35 years ago when that clearly was not the case. There is no evidence that he ever operated at that level. You have also allowed a Florida-based medic of Ukrainian origin, Soviet-era, to question my mental health (clear abuse of pseudo-psychiatry against a perceived dissident) and you have allowed daveb to attack my personal integrity, claiming without a shred of evidence that I engage in pseudoscience. Too cap it all, you yourself have now attempted in this posting to make a vaguely worded personal attack, and blocked at least one of my replies, possibly two, denying me the right of reply, allowing further comments to appear that attempt to blacken my credentials as a scientist and as a sane and responsible commentator.

As I say, this has to stop, and it has to stop now. I shall not make idle threats now, but rest assured there will be a corrective action taken if you continue to allow your site to be used systematically in this fashion for character assassination and/or to undermine and damage my professional credentials.

I don’t like threats. My impulse is to fight back. But this blog is about the Shroud of Turin. It is a hobby for me in my retirement years. It is a lot of work and I enjoy it. I enjoy the different points of view. I want to keep it going and not have people chased away by demeaning fights.

The easiest thing to do is this: I’m asking everyone to stop all criticism of Colin. Let’s do exactly as he says. (And while we are at it let’s try to show more respect for each other. We’ve had other dust ups, recently.)

Colin may, if he wishes, submit comments. But none that contain insults will be allowed. I did write to him to tell him that his threat was noted and I thanked him for his past participation. He wrote back:

Intent (not threat) will now be acted upon. The opposition is not just from agenda-pushing authenticists. It is from the site that gives them a platform on the internet from which they can engage in character assassination.

Watch my sciencebuzz site. It will now become  an site. I’ve finally sussed out your raison d’etre. Every aspect of your MO will now be scrutinized in detail.  You have become my latest research project.

imageRaison d’etre is a pretty good craft ale made by Dogfish Head on this side of the pond. July and August are coming. Typically, shroud discussions get slow in these hot months (except for DaveB, down under). A good craft ale might help me think of new ideas for the blog, to keep things going without the excitement generated by personal insults.

So the new rule is understood? And the raison d’etre? Right? We have a choice. This blog or the other blog. Or both.

Colin, really, we need your worldview, your skepticism, your creative mind and your friendship.