Category

Wikipedia

Wikipedia Slap from Gerald Joe Moreno

By | Bedroom Murders, Jimmy Wales, Simon Kidd, SSS108, Wikipedia
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 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.

Wikipedia Editor Alex Jamieson

By | Findhorn Foundation, ICSA, Internet Terrorism, Jimmy Wales, Robert Priddy, Stephen J. Castro, Wikipedia
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 saisathyasai.com. 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.

Robert Priddy and VK Narasimhan

By | Robert Priddy, Sathya Sai Baba, V. K. Narasimhan, Wikipedia
V.K. Narasimhan and Robert Priddy, 1994
Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) was a militant supporter of Sathya Sai Baba (d.2011). He maintained extremist descriptions of ex-devotee Robert Priddy, a retired academic in Norway. Moreno  wrongly presented  Priddy as an LSD advocate. Priddy had taken LSD long before in the 1960s; his own report invalidates the accusation. “My involvement with LSD ended many decades ago.” The LSD defamation was spread extensively on the web by the cyberstalker tactics of Moreno, who was taken to task for infringing copyright.
Moreno bracketed me with Priddy, and to the extent of creating a blog feature entitled “Kevin Shepherd and Robert Priddy.” I was presented as a virtual accomplice in Anti-Sai crime with the leading Western critic of Sathya Sai Baba. In actual fact, I had never met Priddy, was not an ex-devotee (or devotee), and merely corresponded with him at one period several years ago. I was sympathetic to his substantial dissident data; Priddy was informative to a surprising degree. Yet I did not share his outlook as a whole, which tended to be sceptical in the materialist sense (there is abundant  latitude for scepticism, but this does not have to be materialist in order to possess validity).
A Wikipedia article on Priddy cited my book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005), and this development prompted a Moreno campaign in my direction, at first on a Wikipedia User page. When I objected to this treatment, Moreno (SSS108) targeted me at his notorious website. I was even depicted by Moreno as participating with Priddy in a “constant bashing of Sai Devotees as liars.” In reality, I protested against the aggression and manipulation of Moreno, which commenced against me on Wikipedia.
Moreno (Equalizer) made elaborate complaints that Priddy had made huge mistakes in his report of V.K. Narasimhan (d. 2000), a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba who lived at the Puttaparthi ashram. The idiom was: “It is entirely possible that Robert Priddy fabricated or embellished information about V.K. Narasimhan to further his venomous campaigns against Sai Baba.” That was one of the more restrained Moreno assertions.
When I inspected the relevant materials, it was obvious to me that Moreno was avoiding the crucial point. I expressed this disagreement on my first website, and was treated to a volley of attack strategy that quickly showed on my Google name listing. Moreno asserted that one of his webpages provided “concise and damning information about him [Priddy] that proves he is not credible.” The word proves was here rendered in bold print, part of the blog tactic designed to emphasise Moreno key words as being unassailable.
The attack was extended in such phrases as: “Robert Priddy’s attributions to V. K. Narasimhan are subjective and non-verifiable hearsay.” The word subjective was here emphasised. Nobody was supposed to argue with such finality of judgment; to do so was a crime of major proportions and an offence punishable by libellous blog campaign.
The Equalizer blog “Kevin Shepherd and V. K. Narasimhan” was typically tyrannical and condemnatory. For example, “Kevin Shepherd’s position about V. K. Narasimhan undermines his self-professed integrity and highlights his bias and unsupported viewpoints.” I had never made a case of professing integrity, but had instead objected to the misrepresentation achieved by Gerald Joe Moreno.
Priddy has published online his early diaries dating from the 1990s and earlier, when he was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba and in personal contact with Narasimhan. These diaries furnish adequate proof of his contentions. Priddy himself was at first puzzled. “My very first discussion with Narasimhan… left me perplexed, because he openly ridiculed those who insisted that Sai Baba was omniscient and omnipotent.” Moreover, Narasimhan “always harboured doubts about Sathya Sai Baba’s extravagant assertions.” Quotes from Narasimhan-Priddy.   
Narasimhan was an atypical devotee, formerly a journalist of repute; he is reported to have been deeply critical of varied events and policies relating to his guru Sathya Sai Baba. This instance serves to underline that prohibitive mandates about “what could not have happened” require due caution in the analysis of guru phenomena.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 17
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Troll Boast, No Image

By | Cyberstalking, Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, trolls, Wikipedia
Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales in 2006 at a Wikimania conference discussing the identification and elimination of trolls.
The activity of internet trolls has recently become a major issue, with new measures in process and in debate. A well known Wikipedia article refers to different applications of the term troll. Standard advice is to ignore rather than to engage with a troll. Wikipedia is strongly associated with trolling. Larry Sanger of Citizendium explicitly referred to trolls in his acute dissatisfaction with the “anyone can edit” policy on Wikipedia, which has granted a general license to the use of pseudonyms.
At large, the pseudonymous phenomenon of trolling varies from militant teenage aggression to more sustained and menacing attack by seasoned cyber agitators. Some critics say that all web users must be registered with their real name, and that all websites in defiance of this precaution should be eliminated from the web. Until such a development  occurs, the internet is uncivilised.
Gerald Joe Moreno, alias Equalizer, was not a typical troll, being known by his real name at his website. However, many of his blogs exhibit a pseudonym, and in this respect he can be considered a type of troll. Many readers of Equalizer blogs did not understand that Moreno was the author. An increasingly general public impression of the troll phenomenon  (certainly in Britain) is that of a miscreant who attacks and slurs while concealing personal identity. 

A basic problem in the case of Moreno (Equalizer) is the aggressive and defamatory verbal style demonstrated by the role of “guru defender.” He was also accused by ex-devotees of being a cyberstalker, which is a very undesirable category.
Moreno (SSS108, Equalizer) assumed that he was victorious in his 2007 online repudiation of myself. Using the pseudonym of Joe108, he posted a brief item of a few lines on digg.com, a popular American site. He asserted:
“Attempting to portray himself as a serious researcher into the Sai Controversy, Kevin Shepherd wrote a rambling diatribe against Joe Moreno. Moreno responded to Shepherd and exposed him as a shabby and biased researcher.” 
Troll boasts are notorious for a deceptive sense of inflation. The so-called “diatribe” was my complaint arising from Moreno’s censorious Wikipedia User page (dated 2006) against my publishing venture. Some observers say that the complaint did not ramble, but made a point, as indicated by the acute reaction of the web militant. I did not claim to be a researcher into the “Sai Controversy,” which is an apologist phrase, but instead referred to some relevant data in relation to my own case (the updated version is at Wikipedia Issues).
I responded to the overbearing gestures with a detailed refutation of the supposed victory. My lengthy Response to Moreno (2007) was conveniently ignored by the contested entity, in preference for the five line frivolity posted on digg.com.

Improvised triple image of Kevin R. D. Shepherd displayed on Equalizer blogs. 
Another factor that emerged was the aversion of Moreno to any presentation of his image. I had included the sole known image of him in my original article of protest. I was berated for this disclosure of his appearance, and threatened with legal consequences if I included his image in any book (which was not my intention). Moreno was so opposed to the employment of his image that eventually I deleted this from my sites in April 2010. He failed to respond in due measure, and retained all three of the images he displayed of myself so frequently and abusively (along with five of my mother).
The fact emerges that my image was reproduced over eighty times on the Equalizer blog cycle of 2008-9. Yet the image of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) was conveniently prohibited by the subject. The “guru defender” version of the troll code may be considered questionable.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 10
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Serious Citations Are Not Comical

By | Anthony Busuttil, Gerald Joe Moreno, Jimmy Wales, Simon Kidd, Wikipedia
Simon Kidd
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.

Countering SSS108 and Jossi Fresco

By | Gerald Joe Moreno, Jossi Fresco, Sathya Sai Baba, Wikipedia
In 2007, I countered the SSS108 (Gerald Joe Moreno) User page on Wikipedia, which dismissed my book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). The annotated contents of that book were not described by Moreno. The book was referenced in relation to a very brief Wikipedia editorial quote, which Moreno disliked because of explicit associations with his ex-devotee opponent Robert Priddy. The 1993 “bedroom murders” at the Puttaparthi ashram of Sathya Sai were too controversial to be mentioned on Wikipedia (entry no. 4).
The stigmatising User page had been assisted by Jossi Fresco, a figurehead for the promotion of religious sects and “cults.” Fresco was influential on Wikipedia as a supporter of the guru Prem Rawat. He eventually became  the subject of much criticism,  and “retired” at the end of  2008. 
The offensive User page was quite specific about the subject of censorship, being entitled User:SSS108/Kevin Shepherd. On my first website (2007), I protested at the cordoning gesture, and the evident sectarian complexion of the hostile tactic (this protest, in amplified format, is now Wikipedia Issues). Moreno quickly retaliated from his website saisathyasai.com. He attempted a complete justification of his policy, and presented me as the erring party. His counter included expressions deemed vitriolic and libellous by some readers. A strong underlying theme was that any criticism of Sathya Sai Baba amounted to the critic being wrong and deserving censure.
The guru defender here argued that none of the allegations against Sathya Sai had been proved in a court of law, as though this factor negated all criticism. The allegations were described  in terms of “frenzied Anti-Sai speculations.” My protest was dismissed in terms of “just another foaming-at-the-mouth Anti-Sai ruffian (who come a dime a dozen in the Anti-Sai Movement).” I was not a member of any movement. I had written a book with over 500 annotations that was peremptorily dismissed on the basis of appendices associated with the accuser’s major ex-devotee opponent.

Extract from an ex-devotee site reproducing an Equalizer (Moreno) blog
Moreno contrived various arguments supposedly proving that I was wrong about all the subjects I had mentioned online in relation to Sathya Sai Baba. For instance, a critical article in The Guardian (2006) was overshadowed by a theme that Moreno’s opponent Sanjay Dadlani had known about that article in advance, and therefore the article was biased, being part of the Anti-Sai conspiracy. My subject was the journalist Paul Lewis, not the ex-devotee  blogger Dadlani. The Lewis article was relevant, though comprising only a fractional part of the information available on Sathya Sai Baba.
Avoiding the content of the Lewis article, Moreno preferred to dwell upon polemical references and pornographic associations of his erratic opponent Dadlani, while treating these as proof that criticism of Sathya Sai Baba is erroneous. This recourse answers to a form of diverting commentary and a simplistic pattern of apologist tactic. The acrimonious blog duel between Moreno and Dadlani (both young men) led absolutely nowhere, and included many personal attacks.

Dadlani had composed a blog called Sai Baba Exposed. Moreno countered with Sanjay Dadlani Exposed. Dadlani also produced the blog Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno Deception, which  had an entry about The Guardian issue. This was entitled Moreno’s Guardian Lies and Speculations, and dated November 2006. Dadlani denied a close collaboration with Paul Lewis, and emphasised that Moreno had misconceived this matter.The Moreno theme of “exposure” was evidently in retaliation for the proclaimed exposure of the guru by ex-devotees. I belonged to neither of these contending camps, but was regarded by Moreno as a member of the opposition. 
I was now stigmatised by Moreno as a “vanity publisher,” an accusation he had also levelled at a prominent ex-devotee (namely Robert Priddy, a retired academic and webmaster). This meant that my eleven books could be treated with contempt and totally ignored. Moreno attacks were the sole gauge for assessment; an insidious implication was that Moreno could not be wrong because he represented the lofty cause of the guru.
Not only did he caricature my career as a writer and publisher, but Moreno also made pronounced errors. He even attributed to me two publishing logos that were not my own. He also misleadingly stated that the publisher Routledge “turned away Shepherd’s manuscript.” Routledge never saw that manuscript, merely being told about it, the length being a deterrent to their schedule at the time.
In the cult world, unread books can be categorically dismissed. Thousands of annotations do not count against libellous attacks emanating from the troll sphere. Wikipedia activist editing was here revealed in full profile. This is where Jossi Fresco emphases lead: to arrogant misrepresentation and vindictive dismissal.
No complaint was legitimate against the elevated spiritual plane of saisathyasai. Here the unassailable and ubiquitous mandate was: “Exposing Critic’s Smear Campaigns Against Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.”
My crime had been to insert three short appendices in a lengthy annotated book, appendices that gave space to ex-devotee reports. This meant that all eleven annotated books must be stigmatised and my role misrepresented as that of a vanity publisher. Daring to counter Moreno (Equalizer) himself, the proclaimed Exposer, was a further crime. In the cult world, criticism is not tolerated; instead, critics are made the target of pro-sectarian vitriol.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

ENTRY no. 5

Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales

By | Gerald Joe Moreno, Jimmy Wales, Sathya Sai Baba, Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales (Jimbo)
Censorship on Wikipedia is a varied phenomenon, meaning the problem of manipulated articles in which suspect editors gain ascendancy. 
The Church of Scientology become widely known for interfering with Wikipedia articles. According to Wikimedia UK, Scientology was the first organisation to be officially banned from Wikipedia, an event dating to 2009. A prolonged arbitration case confirmed that partisan editors had been removing and adding information in Wikipedia articles related to Scientology. The Church of Scientology was accordingly banned from editing, having violated the NPOV (neutral point of view) guideline of Wikipedia. 
There are other manifestations of zealous partisan editing on Wikipedia that are less less widely known. Such problems arise from the “anyone can edit” situation in which pseudonyms are a common resort. Critics say that there are many “cult” partisans on Wikipedia who influence articles in the religious category. 
Gerald Joe Moreno, alias Equalizer, commenced his attack on myself from Wikipedia in 2006. He was an editor of the article on Sathya Sai Baba, and strident in the delivery of his opinions. One of his ex-devotee opponents, namely Robert Priddy, had been cited favourably in a book of mine entitled Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). To Moreno, this meant that my book must be eliminated from reference on Wikipedia, especially when this book was listed in the (Wikipedia) article on Priddy. 
Moreno here used the editorial pseudonym of SSS108, and produced a Wikipedia User page which stigmatised my books. He had not read those books, and was solely concerned with his attempt to suppress the Wikipedia article on his opponent Robert Priddy. Moreno  resorted to the pretext of my self-publishing as legitimation for his hostility, although the general context was clearly an argument in favour of Sathya Sai Baba, an argument strongly resisting criticism. 

The Moreno (SSS108) User page revolved around a Wikipedia quotation featuring Priddy and the notorious bedroom murders  occurring at the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba. The editorial quote in dispute read: 

According to Kevin Shepherd the former national leader of the Sathya Sai movement in Norway, Robert Priddy, expressed the opinion that SSB [Sathya Sai Baba] was an accomplice to the 1993 murders, among others based on information given to him by his friend V. K. Narasimhan. 

The editorial quote was dismissed. The same User page featured the collaborating “cult” sympathiser Jossi Fresco, whose profile on Wikipedia became controversial. The following year, in 2007, Gerald Joe Moreno (SSS108) was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia  for activist editing. Fresco eventually encountered problems which led to his withdrawal from Wikipedia. 
The same SSS108 (Moreno) User page was deleted from Wikipedia several years later (in 2012) by the Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales, who made private comments. Meanwhile, that User page had been influential on Google and on Wikipedia. The issue is one of Wikipedia troll activity adversely influencing internet audiences. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 4 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.
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