Barry Arrington’s Bullying

Cordova knows that by breaking this unstated rule he is in for a heap of trouble. (He was correct.)

Larry Moran


In all my life I’ve never released someone’s personal correspondence to me for others to see. The letters belong to me, and they are my property now that they have been sent to me. I have an moral obligation to the ID community, the creationist community, the YEC community and the general public, if the letters reveal something that is harmful to their interests, to forewarn them.

Dear ID proponent or creationist or YEC creationist, if Barry pleads or invites your participation at UD, consider my treatment. I feel it a public service to the YEC, the creationist, and ID community to forewarn them of the rude manners they might be subject to.

I kept some of the correspondence private until Barry started calling me a Nazi Collaborator. Now why wouldn’t Barry say that publicly? Would it make him look like a total jerk to say such things about someone who faithfully served his weblog for almost 10 years, who was on National TV defending ID in 2006, whose ID club members were on National Public Radio and Ben Stein’s 2008 motion picture Expelled, and who was featured in the April 28, 2005 cover story of Nature? The most that I’ve ever said of Barry in a negative way publicly or privately is reflected in this posting.

The banning happened in stages. But the banning isn’t the issue. I’ve banned people from my weblogs. It’s the lack of transparency. I will now remedy that lack of transparency. 🙂

[emails formatted for viewing]

So when did my UD author privileges get removed? Around the time I responded to someone’s question of why I left the Roman Catholic church. There are lots of Catholics at UD, they outnumber the Protestants.

In 2014 I posted a brief mention of YEC Mark Armitage lawsuit, which Barry immediately deleted. Shortly afterwards, I tried to log into my account and noticed my author privileges were suspended. No warning whatsoever. Then I get this letter from Barry:

[Subject] YEC
Barry Arrington
Add to contacts
7/26/14
[Keep this message at the top of your inbox]

Sal,

UD is not hostile to the YEC stance; neither is it an organ for it. You showed poor judgment in the post you put up today. Perhaps you should stick to your own sites.

Barry K. Arrington

We tried to keep the separation quiet. I responded:

[Subject] RE: YEC
Salvador Cordova
7/26/14
[Keep this message at the top of your inbox]
To: Barry Arrington
Acknowledged. It’s probably in our mutual interest to keep our disagreements between us. I have no intention making any public flap and will quietly do as you said. Thanks for the many years at UD together.

peace,
Sal

Barry responded:

Barry Arrington
Add to contacts
7/26/14
[Keep this message at the top of your inbox]
To: ‘Salvador Cordova’

Thank you and best wishes.

Ironically, Denese O’Leary wrote pretty much the same thing a few days later:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/developing-story-young-earth-creationist-microscopist-fired-in-wake-of-finding-soft-tissue-from-dinosaurs-sues/

At that point, I felt I was lied to. That letter was just a flimsy excuse. Didn’t matter, I was getting welcomed and sought after in private YEC circles, my true home.

But then, Barry started posting stuff like this about RDFish:
www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/rdfish-is-an-idiot/

I didn’t think the name calling going on at UD was appropriate for ID’s premier blog. If you want to slime someone, at least do it with a bit more style. Sheesh Barry, do you have to be so unsubtle?
And over what, something not related to ID, but some philosophical question about self-evident morality. I like RDFish, I didn’t think that was right.

As a joke, on a matter totally unrelated, I wrote this thread at TSZ calling RDFish a genius (he is a genius given his scientific and mathematical background):

Dimensionless units, RDFish is a Genius

I then got this terse letter form Barry with no content, just a subject line:

[Subject] You are no longer welcome at UD in any capacity‏
Barry Arrington
Add to contacts
4/15/15

Then in response to Joe Felsenstein I wrote this:

Was denial of the Laws of Thought a myth?

It was that comment that apparently triggered the Nazi accusation:

[Subject] UD
Barry Arrington
Add to contacts
9/13/15
[Keep this message at the top of your inbox]
To: stcordova<redacted>
barry<redacted>

I owe you an explanation for why you have been banned at UD.

We are in a war. That is not a metaphor. We are fighting a war for the soul of Western Civilization, and we are losing, badly. In the summer of 2015 we find ourselves in a positon very similar to Great Britain’s position 75 years ago in the summer of 1940 – alone, demoralized, and besieged on all sides by a great darkness that constitutes an existential threat to freedom, justice and even rationality itself.

There is another parallel to World War II. We have quislings among us. A quisling is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. The word originates from the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime.

Sal, I accuse you of being a quisling every time you go over to The Skeptical Zone and give aid and comfort to the enemies of truth. Will you cease or will you continue to collaborate?

Barry K. Arrington

What do I think the real reasons I was tossed were? I’ve agreed too much with TSZ, Elizabeth, Mark Frank, Patrick, Larry Moran and RDFish and disagreed with Barry, Granville Sewell, KairosFocus, Winston Eweret, VJTorley, Niwrads, StephenB, Upright BiPed, William J. Murry, and who knows whom else. Just about every UD author or ID proponent to some extent. A partial laundry list is of my transgressions is here:

Moderation Issues

That’s my take on things, but according to Barry it was first because I was posting about Armitage (apparently not the real reason I was tossed since Denyse posted an almost equivalent article a few days later) or that I’m like a Nazi Collaborator.

UD is becoming a little bankrupt in generating interest, they may need the services of a bankruptcy lawyer soon.

182 thoughts on “Barry Arrington’s Bullying

  1. Elizabeth, et al.

    I suppose since Barry is technically a member here, if he showed up here and say, “yes, I wrote those things, I’d prefer they not remain here, can you remove them, please” And then if they are removed, that would seem the decent thing to do.

    TSZ can of course unilaterally delete this thread (or suspend it as an unpublished draft), but if that is done without Barry saying anything, there will be cloud of some doubt.

    How this all came up was in response to Mung’s question about me getting banned. I was providing some documentation in the “Moderation Issues Thread” and requests were made to divulge a little more since it sparked so much curiosity. Ok, I provided some information.

    But there is something here worth showing. So many of the members here at TSZ have been accused of being liars at UD. Someone can be gravely mistaken on a matter, it doesn’t make them a liar. That bothers me a lot. I did not like his treatment of Mark Frank. Him coming here to make such a request of TSZ would demonstrate to everyone deep down he believes the administration of TSZ is capable of acting charitably, diplomatically, morally and ethically.

    Of course there’s a chance he won’t ever want to support that narrative that TSZ’s administration has some moral fiber to them, and maybe he won’t show up to acknowledge it.

  2. stcordova,

    Thank God the record is finally straight (how did people sleep?)! You were banned because you are a Quisling.

    I for one have more respect for Barry now, for his ability to come up with such an obscure reference. Kudos to that.

    Maybe he is a fan of Charles Shulz:

    …in a 1966 Peanuts comic strip, Linus tries to hide in Snoopy’s doghouse only to have the beagle rat him out. “Traitor! Quisling! Squealer!” Linus shouts at Snoopy as his sister Lucy drags him away.

    How do dogs feel about you?

  3. SC said:

    The thing he wanted to keep private was calling me a quisling in front of the YEC and ID community and his peers.

    I think Barry just said to you in private what the rest of us were already thinking.

  4. I think Barry just said to you in private what the rest of us were already thinking.

    You could post a thread or comment at UD telling everyone why you think I’m a Quisling and explaining your support of Barry’s defense of the soul of western civilization by calling me as such. Time to rally the faithful at UD.

  5. stcordova: You could post a thread or comment at UD telling everyone why you think I’m a Quisling and explaining your support of Barry’s defense of the soul of western civilization by calling me as such.Time to rally the faithful at UD.

    You are getting more surreal all the time, its hilarious.

    You are putting on a parody of a guy with no self awareness at all, am I right?

  6. Phoodoo:

    You are getting more surreal all the time, its hilarious.

    You can go to UD and praise Barry for the things he said about me, like:

    “Sal, I accuse you of being a quisling every time you go over to The Skeptical Zone”.

    How about it Phoodoo? Will you do that for the soul of Western Civilization?

  7. Probably not. William, like Mung is a good foot soldier. doublethink comes easy. Winning is losing!

    It would be ironic if WJM posted such a thread and Barry deleted it.

  8. stcordova: You could post a thread or comment at UD telling everyone why you think I’m a Quisling and explaining your support of Barry’s defense of the soul of western civilization by calling me as such.Time to rally the faithful at UD.

    There’s lot’s of things I could do. Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

  9. phoodoo: I for one have more respect for Barry now, for his ability to come up with such an obscure reference.

    Not that impressive! It’s a straight lift off the Wikipedia entry, which is a bit ironic considering how often the resource is denigrated at UD.

    A quisling (/ˈkwɪzlɪŋ/; Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈkʋɪsˈlɪŋ]) is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force.[1][2][3] The word originates from the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during the Second World War.

    link

  10. stcordova: Ah, and I knew you might be thinking and insinuating “the reason Sal was banned was because he did this to guys like Mung”.

    No, Salvador. I’m not that dumb. I never thought you were banned at all. That’s why I asked. Why didn’t you just answer me when I asked.

    “Mung, my departure from UD was not voluntary, and that’s all I care to say about it.”

    “Mung, Barry and I had a falling out. In a way my leaving was voluntary, because I chose to be a quisling. But the truth is, I was banned.”

    Just imagine all the things you could have said without posting the contents of private emails.

  11. I just put Arrington on my list of blocked e-mails.

    I didn’t do that in 2014 even when I was sure from past behavior (not discussed here) he’d likely abuse it, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    It was my hope he would use the channel if there was a legitimate need to contact me in private, not for the sole purpose of spewing insults and to cower behind e-mail channels instead of having his words on display before the public.

    He wants to call me a Quisling for being at TSZ, fine say so in public. He can call me all the names he wants in public, but now I no longer extend him the privilege and trust of access to my e-mail account, a privilege and trust he violated. He did what he did to someone who faithfully contributed to his blog for 10 years.

  12. stcordova: Don’t you have an obligation to defend the soul of western civilization by identifying the Quislings?

    Not really, no.

    First, I don’t think I’m in a war that I’m losing Second, I don’t believe that I’m in a country occupied by the enemy. To me, you’re not a quisling. (But then, You don’t have author privileges at my web site either.)

    Saying what I think you are will get this post send to Guano, so I’ll refrain.

  13. Mung,

    Still unphased by Barry publicly pushing a narrative he knows isn’t true? How does it feel to be part of that enterprise?

  14. phoodoo: You are getting more surreal all the time, its hilarious.

    I blame the sudden meltdown on global warming.

    All I did was ask Salvador the same question that I had asked him a number of times in the past. Apparently he thinks I had some sort of inside knowledge and was just taunting him.

    Salvador, I had no inside knowledge. I just happened to notice that you were no longer posting at UD.

  15. Saying what I think you are will get this post send to Guano, so I’ll refrain.

    Say it in Noyau, I want to hear it, just as long as it’s public. Lay it on me, brother!

    And please, don’t send insults to me privately. You’re not on my block senders list, yet.

  16. Richardthughes: Still unphased by Barry publicly pushing a narrative he knows isn’t true? How does it feel to be part of that enterprise?

    Your role in the war appears to be what is known as cannon fodder.

  17. Richardthughes:
    Mung,

    Still unphased by Barry publicly pushing a narrative he knows isn’t true? How does it feel to be part of that enterprise?

    Nope. No personal negative characterizations here. I’m sure there’s a hair to be split to save this post from guano. Maybe if the dig is in the form of a question, it’s permissable? I’ll have to look through my manual.

  18. stcordova: Say it in Noyau, I want to hear it, just as long as it’s public. Lay it on me, brother!

    It would be repetitious and contain nothing that people here don’t already know, including you. I certainly didn’t refrain from saying it over at UD.

    I could start an OP and use Lizzie’s blog for my own private war. 🙂

  19. Mung:

    To me, you’re not a quisling

    Awe, shucks. Nicest thing you’ve said all year.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  20. Let me point out something about the 2nd version of the explanation given for my banning (the 1st version was because I stood up for IDist Armitage).

    The justification for my banning (2nd version) was that I said stuff at TSZ, not at UD. So should the moderation rule at UD be amended to saying:

    “If you call RDFish a genius at TSZ, you will no longer be welcome at UD in any capacity.”

  21. Mung: Your role in the war appears to be what is known as cannon fodder.

    Oh no, Mung. I’m critical. Not a blind follower – like some of the ‘true skeptics’

  22. stcordova,

    Like I said Barry can have more than one reason for believing you are a ( Oh I can’t say this, because even me saying what Barry thinks of you gets me into guano) -{sounds like cookie}.

  23. Because I was a UD author I had access to the viewing and participation statistics. When it says for example: “400 page views” I realized through and experiment that it didn’t represent the number of participants.

    That is to say, suppose we have 20 comments in a thread. If there are 20 participants checking in on the newest comment — it can generates 400 page views. I realized that the number of views scaled to the number of comments plus some base background number from the bots. A wild guess is that there are about 20 UD regulars generating most of the traffic. Who might they be?

    Hmm, the UD admins and authors — tally about 5 (Denyse, Barry, KF, etc.). Idists: BA77, Mung, etc. — tally about 10. The critics from the Atbc Peanut galleries — tally about 5.

    There are maybe several more who show up to read or stuff driven by bots and search engines. Tally about 50, but these aren’t necessarily readers.

    One way one can gauge what is going on is what names are on the comments. Usually the same ones, over and over. BA77 being the most regular.

    This means UD is actually a small venue now, just like Pandas Thumb and even Pharyngula are small now. People have moved on.

    I’d venture to guess the IDists who read UD are only about 10-15 a day. And what sort of quality do they get? Kind of shallow, headline treatment. Not in- depth technical stuff like what we saw from Sternberg at Evolutionnews. The only technical stuff is by Cornelius Hunter.

    I know other IDists. The ones who have any level of depth don’t go to UD.

    I think the venue is drying up, but they’ll have regulars like BA77 as long as the venue is alive.

    I realized then, my posting wasn’t at all to reach large numbers of people and advance the fight in a culture war. 20-30 of the same IDists a day? C’mon, that’s nothing.

    I was there to let UD be an extension of my thought process. Barry approached UD with a different purpose, to advocate ID. Our goals eventually didn’t align. He wanted to advance the party line, I wanted to explore the arguments for and against the party line. Thus the low numbers of readers didn’t bother me. It must bother him for a blog that has existed this long.

    Part of it is the stuff just isn’t that interesting even to church goers. It’s too specialized.

  24. I think the sad and amusing thing about Sal’s email is it tells me absolutely nothing about Barry that I didn’t know before.

  25. phoodoo: Like I said Barry can have more than one reason for believing you are a ( Oh I can’t say this, because even me saying what Barry thinks of you gets me into guano) -{sounds like cookie}.

    Gawd, now I’m dying to know what phoodoo wants to say that “sounds like cookie”
    a booky .. umm, maybe, but not likely to be seen as guano-able??
    a dooky
    a fooky
    a gooky
    a hooky
    a jooky
    a kooky
    a looky
    a mooky
    a nooky
    a pooky
    a quooky
    a rooky
    a sooky
    a tooky
    a vooky
    a wooky .. Ah … That’s it! Phoodoo think Sal is a member of Chewbacca’s species, and of course calling Sal that would be guano-able, because everyone knows Chewbacca is big, dumb, and aggressive, so by implication, Sal must be big, dumb, and aggressive too. Whew, got it.

    Well, that’s pretty sophisticated reasoning for phoodoo. I must say, I’m impressed!

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