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, an American devotee of Meher Baba, and 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.
In becoming a target of Equalizer (Gerald Joe Moreno), I discovered that my family and supporters were also derided. The hate campaign was thorough and unrelenting, and reflected a cyberstalker tactic.
In December 2009, Moreno attacked Simon Kidd, an academic in Australia who defended me on Wikipedia against a hostile faction influenced by Moreno blogs and by the 2006 Wikipedia User page of SSS108 (Moreno). Kidd was incongruously mocked by Moreno in his role as a Senior Research Officer in Education Policy at the University of Western Australia. Moreno urged that Kidd could not be taken seriously for supporting me. The academic was even described as an “internet propagandist” in this zealous attack. The truth is that Moreno (alias Equalizer) was the major internet apologist and propagandist for Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011).
Moreno/Equalizer contrived the ridiculous argument that Kidd was desperate to deceive others about my “credentials.” I have never claimed credentials, and Kidd made no such reference. Instead the academic showed ability and scruple in parrying the defamatory content of Moreno blogs.
Simon Kidd had earlier obliged the Holotropic Breathwork (HB) promoters on Wikipedia to acknowledge published criticism instead of suppressing this inconvenience. He had a valid role in such measures because of his early correspondence in relation to the HB issue. In 1994-5, Kidd had corresponded with medical authorities, including Regius Professor Anthony Busuttil of Edinburgh University. Busuttil was very concerned about commercial HB, and in 1993 had been commissioned by the Scottish Charities Office to provide a report on that disputed subject.
Moreno knew nothing about such medical matters, and ignorantly caricatured the subject of HB as though it were a crime to support my views in that direction. He even stated that “Simon Kidd was apparently involved with Kevin Shepherd’s campaigns against Stanislav Grof and Holotropic Breathing.” I did not conduct any campaigns, and have never met Simon Kidd. I mentioned the subject of Grof and HB in a few pages in a lengthy annotated book of 1995 (Minds and Sociocultures Vol. One, pp. 66ff., 945ff.). This notice was nothing like the internet campaigns of Gerald Joe Moreno. Nor the sequel chapter in my Pointed Observations (2005).
I had contributed a web article on Grof therapy and MAPS, and this was considered relevant information by some interested academics. MAPS was a controversial pro-psychedelic project of Grof supporter Rick Doblin. The subject of LSD “psychotherapy” is strongly related to HB, which is itself a potentially hazardous exercise in hyperventilation. Criticism of these trends is not so reprehensible outside the confinement of Pro-Sai cyberstalker polemic.
If credence is given to Moreno, then Edinburgh University and the Scottish Charities Office count for nothing in stemming the tide of commercial therapy represented by such enterprises as Grof Transpersonal Training Inc. Grof had invented HB, and charged high prices for HB workshops at the Findhorn Foundation and elsewhere.
These complexities were typically avoided by Moreno, who suggested that Simon Kidd was involved in “some sort of collaborated scheming on Wikipedia against Stanislav Grof, Holotropic Breathwork and the Findhorn Foundation.” In reality, Kidd merely appeared on a discussion page to dispute the suppressive HB publicity. Even one of the HB supporters remarked that the Wikipedia article on HB read like a therapy advert until Kidd made objections.
Observers again deduced that Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) could not be taken seriously in his extremist arguments and defamations.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 22
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.
A very misleading item of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) appeared under the heading of my “Comical Citations to Anonymous Scholars.” On my first website in 2007, I referred to two Wikipedia editors who had argued in my favour. Following his policy of opposition, these two were blacklisted by Moreno (Equalizer), who caricatured them as impossible subjects for any significance or authority. Moreno asserted that Kevin R. D. Shepherd “attempted to con the general public with anonymous and alleged ‘scholarly’ references (whose credentials he exaggerated and embellished) that cannot be verified whatsoever.”
The attacker was keen to imply that I was unaware of the Essjay controversy, signifying the episode in which a Wikipedia administrator lied about his credentials, claiming to be a tenured professor of religion at a private university. Essjay transpired to be a 24 year old college drop out. Moreno argued superficially that this meant I fitted a similar situation of error in referring to two Wikipedia editors as academics. His theory did not stand up to the test of time.
One of these editors (The Communicator) stated on Wikipedia that he had a degree in philosophy. In November 2006, he gave information on a discussion page about his longstanding critical interest in the controversial practice of holotropic breathwork; in 1994 he had corresponded directly with Regius Professor Anthony Busuttil and other medical authorities on this subject of Grof therapy. I knew very well that the eminent Professor Busuttil would not respond to non-academics, having some acquaintance with this matter myself; Busuttil had advised against holotropic breathwork on medical grounds, but this matter was not public.
The Communicator argued very competently on Wikipedia against the obscurantism evident in the Holotropic Breathwork article, which would not at first acknowledge any published criticism of Stanislav Grof and his therapy.
Moreno implied that I was collaborating with The Communicator against Stanislav Grof and holotropic breathwork on Wikipedia. I denied this fiction, which was evidently designed to detract from the recommendations of my output provided by the two editors he opposed. Moreno clearly had no conception of what was involved in the Busuttil-Grof issue, revolving around the dangers of hyperventilation for therapy clients. He omitted reference to Busuttil and other matters of relevance. The Scottish Charities Office had been so alarmed at complaints received that they commissioned a report by Regius Professor Busuttil, who represented the Pathology Department of Edinburgh University.
I knew that the other editor (Jedermann) was a Ph.D. because he had informed me about a Wikipedia article he had written. Jedermann divulged his real name on Citizendium six months before Moreno insisted that this academic was anonymous and, by implication, a mere projection of mine. The inability of the pro-sectarian polemicist to keep track of events was a significant disadvantage for his version of citation.
The two maligned editors transpired to be very tangible academics, one in Australia, and the other in Britain. The one in Australia, Simon Kidd, was indeed as I assessed him, and Dr. M. E. Dean had even greater status in the academic world. In November 2006, the latter stated on a Wikipedia discussion page: “It is clear that Kevin Shepherd’s work is in good repute with academic researchers in comparative religion.” Serious citations of academics with credentials are not comical, only in the cartoon supplied by cultist preference and ignorance.
In the same misleading blog of 2007, Moreno accentuated his cartoonist plot when he affirmed that “Kevin Shepherd…. publishes the writings of Stephen J. Castro and Kate Thomas through Citizen Initiative Publishing.” This evidences the extent of his misconceptions about who was doing what. There was no such logo as CIP in my case, an extra word having been added. Moreno had also mistaken distributor details for publishing action, which are quite separate activities.
I never published the writings of either Castro or Thomas, who were represented by completely different publishing imprints to my own. Citizen Initiative only published three books, all of these being written by me. For a period of limited duration, I agreed to distribute a few titles I had not published.
In the face of cult misrepresentation, some authors and publishers might have to spend years correcting erroneous lore. This onus will not necessarily be assisted by the “anyone can edit” convenience of Wikipedia. Some observers have concluded that, in my case, Wikipedia has afforded one of the most memorable instances of error and abuse that they know of (via SSS108, alias Moreno, and other erring editors and administrators).
Moreno was ignorant of the fact that Dr. Dean had registered his discontent with Wikipedia on the rival Citizendium in early 2007, and using his real name, thus clarifying his obsolete Wikipedia identity (as Jedermann). Another drawback followed. The same Wikipedia article that this academic transferred (in the original form) to Citizendium acquired a complicating Wikipedia discussion page which featured an attack upon myself via a Moreno (Equalizer) blog.
The Moreno-influenced discussion page remained so discrepant that Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales deleted the offensive entry when he investigated the matter in 2012. Wales also knew that the disputed SSS108 (Moreno) User page of 2006 had been widely influential (and detrimental to myself), and he deleted that item also. Wikipedia troll problems can be substantial.
Even after revealing his real name identity, the academic Simon Kidd was mocked by the pro-sectarian polemicist Gerald Joe Moreno for supporting me in his Wikipedia discussions, on webpages influenced by Moreno blogtalk. The “Exposer” mentality, committed to a “guru defender” campaign, is not the best guide to Wikipedia events, academic roles, medical complexities, or citations. One drawback involved is that Moreno continued to promote his fictions and misrepresentations on Google.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 7
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.