I'm temporarily going to comment moderation on this blog, where I approve comments before they are published, because Neut er all (a.k.a. Walker, JAP, etc.) has been posting comments under other people's names -- tAo, Catherine, Robert, others, including me, Blogger Brian.
I can tolerate insults and attacks on me, but not when they involve other people. Since I have a life apart from blogging, I can't delete identity theft comments as soon as the jerk posts them.
As I've said before, I've been reluctant to go to comment moderation because I want comment conversations on this blog to be as easy to engage in as possible. But posting comments under someone else's screen name is over the top.
Another example: Neuter/Walker/JAP is using my email address on other web sites.
Here's the churchless lesson.
This guy almost certainly is a devotee of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, the organization I used to be an active member of. The RSSB guru wouldn't condone this behavior. Nor would any decent person.
But fundamentalism makes people believe that any action can be justified in the name of their god. This is a great example of why churchlessness is the way to go: you don't want to end up like this true believer, trying to steal people's identities and stop honest discussions on this blog.
I need to consider what to do to protect visitors to this blog from having fake comments posted under their name. Until then, I'll stick with comment moderation.
Wow, sometimes people are hard to believe but thank you for taking the responsible step here. Good for you!
Posted by: Rain | August 22, 2009 at 11:48 AM
Its a shame that you have to go to such lengths, but society has always been this way, a few mess it up for the mehrheit.
I have been quiet in background, but I like yor blog, keep up good work
Posted by: Hildegard | August 22, 2009 at 11:55 AM
I have no problem with signing up my e-mail address with my password, to log in. Thus, my e-mail and password, are unique to me. Likewise, name Roger, would be assigned to me. Others, would take Roger1, Roger2, etc.
Posted by: Roger | August 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM
I support the name password idea
Posted by: Hildegard | August 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM
I just tried out TypePad's sign-in process. Turns out that unique user names aren't required. Nor are authentic email addresses. So this means that two people could sign in as Blogger Brian, for example. (I know, because I just took on a fake identity as myself.)
I'll check with TypePad about this issue. If such doesn't exist, I'll recommend that they come up with a way for a blog to have authentication with unique user IDs.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 22, 2009 at 01:46 PM
I think the word "jerk" applies exactly in this case. My suggestion is for everyone to refuse comment to any of his posts or any that appear under new names with a similar tone and style. Blogger Brian will delete those that originate from the jerk. I think this should be done even if one of his posts is actually worthwhile. By his behavior he has forfeited his priviledge to comment here. Eventually the jerk will quit but with occasional returns to test the waters under new names. Please continue to ignore the jerk and let Blogger Brian delete.
All things must pass.
Don't allow a jerk to force you, Blogger Brian, to change a successful format.
Posted by: tucson | August 22, 2009 at 02:51 PM
Here I always sign in with typepad because it saves me having to do the little letter box. I think someone could still sign up there with a phony email. Blogger makes people have a Google ID but the owner can allow anonymous comments-- where most of the nuts come with mine but also where some comment who I'd lose otherwise and enjoy what they have to say. I am not sure there is an easy solution to people who want to vandalize.
Posted by: Rain | August 22, 2009 at 03:02 PM
I have already been registered on TypePad for a long time. So I just logged in.
And so Brian, this is just a test message to see if this goes through, without first going to Brian for moderation approval.
This comment can be deleted after the results are determined.
Posted by: tAo | August 22, 2009 at 03:03 PM
Wanted to reiterate that because the TypePad sign-up process allows for non-unique user names, it wouldn't be a lot of help in this situation.
So for the moment I've gone back to comment moderation. I'm researching improved commenting options with TypePad staff.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 22, 2009 at 03:27 PM
This jerk has been a real pain, and you did right to kick his ass off here. Its a darn shame you now have to approve comments. Look, if ya use same method use on kids, ignore them, everybody ignore this jerks comments, he will quick to tire and stop posting - i garantee!
Same as any other child or childish person, you lot made it worse on yorself by replying to the jerk
just try it and see, open up yor great blog again and see wot happens wen you ignore him, of course everyone must ignore him to make it work
Posted by: Jim | August 22, 2009 at 09:30 PM
Jim, you may be right. But I think it's best to take a break from the jerk's disruptions and get back to respectful, coherent, open-minded comment conversations for a while.
I want to spend some time looking into the best way to insure that trolls like this guy aren't able to steal someone's blog identity and post comments under the name of a regular blog visitor.
This blog isn't closed, so there is no need to open it. I check for new comments regularly, so usually appropriate ones are approved pretty quickly.
A delay is better than having to deal with crazed comment spam. It isn't pleasant to read (who likes the spam that arrives in most email inboxes?) and interferes with the flow of productive comment conversations.
Posted by: Brian Hines | August 22, 2009 at 09:42 PM
If this is correct about identity theft and emails being misspropriated or stolen, that is way out of line.
JAP/Walker, i'm afraid, if Brian is correct and you doing this, you don't deserve any tolerance whatsoever.
Argue with him as much as you want, but don't missappropriate someone else's identity.
Posted by: George | August 23, 2009 at 04:57 AM
I think it is disrespectful to call the person a jerk, after all, just because he behaved badly is not excuses for us here to badly behave.
Also he might have reason to be the way he behaved.
Posted by: Hildegard | August 23, 2009 at 05:53 AM
Hildegard, "jerk" is an excellent name for Neut er all, Walker, Jap -- whatever identities he hides behind. As George said, it is absolutely wrong to appropriate someone's online identity and post comments pretending to be them.
A pseudonym is fine. Taking someone else's pseudonym, including that of the person who wrote a post ("Blogger Brian") is so wrong, there's no excuse for it. Many newspapers allow online comments to stories. What if someone left comments posing as the reporter who wrote the story, saying "Oh, I was wrong. The police said the accused criminal really is innocent."
No one is behaving badly when they call this guy a jerk. It's just speaking the truth. Sometimes strong language is needed to express how badly someone has behaved.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 23, 2009 at 08:14 AM
There is no way to ignore someone's comments when they are taking other people's names. That would make the whole comment field useless. What Brian is doing is protecting commenting to have meaning. The other person seeks anarchy. It's that simple.
Posted by: Rain | August 23, 2009 at 08:16 AM
Hildegard, you said:
"I think it is disrespectful to call the person a jerk, after all, just because he behaved badly is not excuses for us here to badly behave.
Also he might have reason to be the way he behaved."
-- Well it seems that you don't understand this situation Hildegard. Your comment prefers to show sympathy and tolerance for an individual who has attacked this site and its author, has been intentionally antagonistic and disruptive, has lied repeatedly, and has deceiptfully misappropriated other commenters names. To call this guy a "jerk" is mild in comparison to what he has actually done.
So unfortunately, I have to really wonder, are you sympathic towards this deceiptful troll merely because of your unfamiliarity and ignorance as to all that he has done?... Or, is your sympathy towards him representative of another more questionable agenda? Because I find it rather odd that you are the only person here who is ignoring the fact that this guy is a very deceiptful and fraudulent troublemaker and you want to give him respect and tolerance that he clearly does not deserve.
To be honest, I found your comment above to be slightly suspicious. Calling this guy a "jerk" happens to be very appropriate. In fact, this guy is far worse than just a "jerk".
And for you to also say that "he might have reason to be the way he behaved" is even more strange, imo. Of course he has a "reason" to behave badly. His reason is quite clear: It is to attack and insult and ridicule this blog's founder and author, to attack and insult and ridicule other honest commenters, to attack and disrupt the over-all purpose of this blog, and to LIE and cheat and even steal other peoples names and use them to post fake comments.
So in view of all that, I find it a bit odd that all you have to say is to want to give him a break and sympathy. Yet you show no sympathy to those whom this troll has attacked and violated.
In view of all that has happened, I think your comment is both laughable and also suspicious.
So Hildegard, perhaps you would like to explain yourself in regards to this?
Posted by: tAo | August 23, 2009 at 01:08 PM
Thank you for reply so long, it is only that in same way you do not like people write bad things about you, so I do not find constructive to write bad things about other peoples.
Possible I do not understand, does Churchlessness include sympathy, compassion and forgiveness or are these thought part of religion belief and so are rejected here. For helping peace, they work very well, perhaps the slightly aggressive way you write, although I am sure it is not intention, causes some persons to write more aggressive and with anger? Like Jim said, persons are much child like behavioral
Posted by: Hildegard | August 23, 2009 at 10:28 PM
Hildegard, you need to work at perfecting your English. Sometimes you write with perfect spelling and grammar, then you lapse into a blend of various "accents." Interesting. I get the impression that you're trying to pretend that you're someone you're not. But what do I know?
It's nice to see another visitor to this blog from Germany, given your IP address. Welcome. We have had quite a few commenters from Germany recently, including the jerk who stole the identities of various people who comment regularly here.
Also, you didn't answer tAo. Let's try again: so why is it OK for someone to steal other people's identities and pretend to be them on this blog? Why shouldn't they be called a "jerk"?
Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 23, 2009 at 10:59 PM
I can understand if you would feel more comfortable saying that this now infamous commenter is not a jerk, but his actions are surely jerkish. But we can only be described by others by our outwards actions, therefore I think he is a jerk.
Whoever this person is, I am almost sure, would not be considered a jerk in his daily (non-internet) life. But it seems under the veil of anonymity, a person, such as the person being discussed, will often simply be what the general public knows as a jerk.
Just so we know the defintion:
Jerk:(a) an annoyingly stupid or foolish person (b) : an unlikable person; especially one who is cruel, rude, or small-minded. (from Merriam-Webster)
As I do not know if the commenter is stupid or foolish, I think that definition (b) is a sufficient description.
Posted by: j.tucker | August 24, 2009 at 01:39 AM
Sorry but my English is not my language, writing is worse. I am from Dresden in Germany, and I have been satsangi for many years. I am not following because of many things for one year now.
Sorry not to answer tAo question, but I never said it was OK to steal identities, people who steal identities should be banned from your blog. I just said that calling people names because they do wrong is childish
Posted by: Hildegard | August 24, 2009 at 09:29 AM
Hildegard, then we agree. The guy is a jerk. However, previously you said: "Also he might have reason to be the way he behaved."
That sounded like you were trying to make an excuse for him.
By the way, we know that like you, this guy also is a long-time satsangi, an initiate of Radha Soami Satsang Beas. Obviously his involvement with this organization hasn't made him a decent person. This doesn't mean that RSSB is to blame -- just that religiosity is no guarantee of morality (which is obvious, of course).
Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 24, 2009 at 09:40 AM
The word "jerk" in English is slang but it is not a crude expression. It embodies a variety of meanings that indicate a rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate, unkind, dishonest, unlikeable person. Now, if the person in question had been called a "son of a bitch" that may have been childish name-calling but it still would be entirely applicable. Blogger Brian has shown admirable restraint, patience and maturity.
May we know a little about why you have not been following Sant Mat for the past year? I have not been following for about 15 years and have no regrets. Rather, I am grateful not to be involved.
Posted by: tucson | August 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM
I had said that he may have reason to act the way he acted jerk, there is usually reason for people to act one way or another way. But I did not see anyone ask him, everyone was too busy to write bad words.
It is difficult for me to say why I do not follow path any more, perhaps best is to say that for many years of hard work, I do not see myself any closer to where I want to be, I seem to be in same place, so why so much effort to stay in same place, I can do that and have more fun much more easily.
Posted by: Hildegard | August 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM
Perhaps any response regarding Sant Mat should be placed in "Open Thread 4" since the new policy here, thanks to the jerk, is to only post comments that relate to the original topic at the start of the thread.
Posted by: tucson | August 24, 2009 at 12:55 PM
I think Jap had some interesting insights and made some very good points. He seems like a more sensible chap than is being made out, but the missappropriation of other identities and emails is clearly not on. Its fine to disagree, criticise and get worked up at, but there are some basic rules.
The basic blogging rules seem self-evident, which is free speech should be allowed except when someone is missapropriating identies or divulging private details of others or threatening someone else.
Unfortunately he seems to have got a bee in his bonnet and would not let well enough alone. I wish alot of the folk on here would just be a bit more calm at times then perhaps we could all listen to one another.
Posted by: George | August 24, 2009 at 01:20 PM
I don't agree with you Hildegard.
Describing someone who clearly acts like a jerk, as a "jerk" is not childish. Its no more than you calling the rest of us "childish".
Since you say that "English is not my language", then you are really not in any postiton to criticise or disagree with those who know english far better than you do.
For your information Hildegard, using the slang term "jerk" is neither incorrect nor offensive nor childish. It is simply an apt description of someone whose behavior was deliberately dishonest and disruptive. Its no different or worse than describing someone who behaves in that way as an unpleasant tiresome person; or as a 'troll', an 'ass', a 'bore', a 'dweeb', or a 'pill'.
So again, I find your objection and complaint about use of the term "jerk" to be quite unreasonable and misplaced, and a bit strange, expecially in view of the outrageous and blatantly deceiptful and CHILDISH actions and behavior of the person in question.
Also, due to the IP address issue, it is not always possible to just "ban" someone, as was the problem here. Are you even aware of that? Apparently not.
My reaction to your complaint about something as benign as using the term "jerk" to describe a deliberate internet troll, is that you should really be looking at the bad behavior that this individual intended and committed, rather than at how some others have used the term "jerk" to describe this troll.
Your perspective is way out of focus, imo. And so is your criticism of my writing as supposedly being "aggressive". I have simply stated the facts, and that is certainly not aggressive.
This is yet another indication that YOU are attempting to shift the focus and the blame onto others, instead of where it belongs... which is squarely on the guy who repeatedly tried to attack and disrupt this blog, and who also lied and posted fake comments using other peoples names.
I find it really strange that you appear here all of a sudden of of nowhere, and you immediately want to start giving sympathy to this incredibly deceiptful and antagonistic troll, while at the same time also criticising others for merely calling him a "jerk". There is something a bit odd with that.
Posted by: tAo | August 24, 2009 at 02:46 PM
Thank you for your explaning, but I am sorry I made any comment but I did not know that because my English is not so good I have no position to agree or disagree. My understanding is OK, but my expression in writing is not best. My meaning is to give another focus, not to change your focus or others focus, I thought this was place to exchange views, not sympathy, not support for bad writing on here. You make me feel very not welcome to write, sorry if I create misunderstanding, I will not write again
Posted by: Hildegard | August 24, 2009 at 09:39 PM
You have grossly misinterpreted my last comment. You are more than welcome to "write" and comment here. And your skill at writing english language is quite good enough.
That was not the point I was making. I simply found your complaint about the term "jerk" to be unreasonable, and your desire to show leeway and sympathy to the offender (that he most definitely does not deserve) to be misplaced, instead of just recognizing that it was qite appropriate for Brian and others to call him a jerk... simply because he repeatedly acted like a "jerk".
You apparently do not like the slang term "jerk". Well its alright that you feel that way, but just because you don't like the word, does not mean that it is not an appropriate term in this case. Other people do not have the same problem and reaction to that word, that you do.
No one here is trying to scare you away. And you are very welcome to participate here. In fact, someone asked had you if you would share your views about Santmat and RS, and I would be interested in reading what you have to say as well. So don't assume the wrong impression.
Its just that you had made an initial comment where you objected to simply calling a very dishonest troublemaker nothing more than a "jerk". But you should just try to understand, and not be bothered by such an insignificant word.
Also, its not because your english is not so good, that you "have no position to agree or disagree". Regardless of your skill and proficiency in english, you are free to agree or disagree about anything you like... just as I am as well.
So please do feel welcome to share your comments.
Posted by: tAo | August 24, 2009 at 10:47 PM
"I think Jap had some interesting insights and made some very good points."
-- It may seem that way to you, but I its important to remember that JAP is also Neut er all, who was also Walker and other fraudulent identities. I myself did not find that his "points" were so "good" at all.
"He seems like a more sensible chap than is being made out"
-- Then George, I'd have to disagree. I did not see a "sensible chap" here at all. I saw a very deceiptful liar whose sole intent was to attack and belittle Brian and this site, and anyone who agrees with Brian.
"the missappropriation of other identities and emails is clearly not on."
-- George, what do you mean by "emails"? He did not assume anyone's emails that I know of. So could you kindly explain what you are referring to when you say "emails" ?? Thanks.
"divulging private details of others"
-- Could you also explain what you are referring to when you say "private details" ??
"I wish alot of the folk on here would just be a bit more calm at times then perhaps we could all listen to one another."
-- I think most everyone here has been "calm" (with exception of Ashy). But even if they are not, it doesn't excuse deliberate trolls.
Posted by: tAo | August 24, 2009 at 11:12 PM
"He did not assume anyone's emails that I know of."
-- I did not know that either, but that is what Brian's article above says, i.e. "Neuter/Walker/JAP is using my email address on other web sites." This was actually the part that made be think Jap had gone way overboard, whether Brian is correct or not, I don't know.
Anyway, this has recieved too much airplay, there are more interesting things to discuss. I just think if ppl adopted a slightly open more respectful tone, alot more varying and interesting discussion might occur. There are ppl from all over the world on here and it has great potential imo, but it needs to be handled right to reach its potential.
I am not here to say how that is to be done, but any meaningful exchange in history has one basic fundamental, tolerance for another's viewpoint even if one does not agree. Afterall do many of our own views not change with time?
On Jap's actions, i've made my view clear that if he has stooped to identity theft (if that is true), no tolerance of that should be expected.
On Ashy, i've found his views massively interesting, but invariably arguments begin either through provocation or deemed arrogance or whatever. Ashy is clearly a mystic so his worldview is very different from mine, but some of what he says holds alot of truth albeit looked at from a very different perspective, and i think even Brian will admit as much. However, once the fighting starts, its just all intolerant dogma from all, which is obviously useless.
Posted by: George | August 25, 2009 at 05:57 AM
I agree with Hildegard. ANY kind of name calling lowers the quality of the discussion and encourages others to also engage in name calling instead of thoughtful commentary. Name calling is effective in inflaming passions and inhibits compassion and understanding. It's appropriate, I think, to point out another person's poor behavior. And that can be done easily without resorting to, yes, I agree, "childish" name-calling. That is an intellectually lazy approach.
Posted by: Pam | August 25, 2009 at 06:38 AM
George, I agree this issue has gotten too much blog "airplay." But I wanted to point out the screen shot in this post where I show that my email address was indeed being appropriated by the troll.
Pam, I agree with you -- basically. However, the English language is rich in words to describe things. When someone behaves horribly, it isn't unreasonable to say, "that was horrible." Or, "you're horrible."
I agree that "you're horrible" or "you're a jerk" implies a lasting personal attribute, and this usually isn't true, as people are capable of changing.
It's just that in everyday language, if someone says something blatantly untrue that angers another person, he or she may reasonably blurt out, "you're a liar." It's recognized that this doesn't mean he or she always will be a liar (or a jerk), just that they are at this moment.
When I called the guy a jerk, repeatedly, I was using the word in that fashion: to describe his actions, not his basic personality.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 25, 2009 at 07:37 AM
I wrote above:
The word "jerk" is slang but it is not a crude or childish expression. It embodies a variety of meanings that indicate a rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate, unkind, dishonest, unlikeable person. Now, if the person in question had been called a "son of a bitch" or an "asshole" that would have been childish and crude name-calling but it still would be entirely applicable considering the consistently outrageous and disruptive behavior of the problematic troll which continued despite ample warning.
I see using the word "jerk" as intellectual expediency rather than intellectual laziness.
Posted by: tucson | August 25, 2009 at 07:56 AM
I certainly don't think Pam would be too hapy if some troll posted a bunch of crap using Pam's name pretending to be Pam.
Its always easier to criticise other folks for merely calling that troll a "jerk" (like Pam and Hidegard have done)... except that is, until some JERK of a troll goes and posts fake misleading comments using YOUR name.
Think about it.
Its typically always people like Pam and Hildegard who want to bitch about mild name-calling, until it's they themselves who are the ones, the victims who get misrepresented and violated.
Posted by: tAo | August 25, 2009 at 12:27 PM
To Pam & Hildegard:
I also want to mention that, imo, both of you are the ones who are being "childish" here. For you to object and fuss over the use of a more or less benign slang term as is "jerk", and especially when it applies to someone who was behaving far worse than just being merely a jerk... well that is childish on your part imo.
So you can call using the word "jerk" childish if you like, but if you do that, then others (like myself) may say that YOU are being childish as well.
Because I do happen to think that your childish quibbling about something as insignifcant as is the term "jerk" (and especially in view of the extremely deceiptful and disruptive and violating actions and behavior of that individual), is far more childish on your part than a mere use of a common slang word like "jerk".
In fact, its absurd for you two to make a fuss about that, and yet you have all but ignored the very reason that person was called a "jerk" in the first place.
It seems to me that you ought to re-think the relative importance of your (political-correctness motivated) objections.
And the bottom line is, that this is Brian's blog and if he feels that that guy was behaving like a jerk (which is how he most certainly was behaving), and if Brian chooses to call him a jerk (which btw is definitely what he is), then as the author and owner of this blog, that is Brian's right and priviledge. If you somehow don't approve of that for the reasons that Brian and others like myself have stated, then you don't have to read this blog.
I just find it odd that you don't seem to object very much to what that guy was doing, but you want to object to a mere word like "jerk". Thats pretty darn CHILDISH of YOU, imo.
Posted by: tAo | August 25, 2009 at 02:25 PM
Hildegard, Pam, Bruce... all just appearing suddenly and criticizing this blog, sometimes in broken English, sometimes not... hmmm
Posted by: Jen | August 25, 2009 at 04:02 PM