James “The Amazing” Randi and several prominent skeptics were outwardly defamed on a site now taken down. Did it have connections to Burzynski Clinic’s former hired online PR hit man? The website 21st Floor noted a link to their site and investigated.
Normally unless a site is well known I don’t notice it in our referral list however early this morning a strange URL caught my eye: Jamesrandiusa.org so I clicked through and so began what may be the latest salvo in Marc Stephens libellous attacks on critics of Burzynski.
Jamesrandiusa.org has since been taken down, I assume due to the legitimate complaints of those featured on the site, but essentially it was a plethora of the conspiratorial libel that we all saw before in the infamous red arrow email. Specifically it featured a number of skeptics: Ben Goldacre, PZ Myers, Steve Novella, Simon Singh, Bob Blaskiewicz, Stephen Fry, Rhys Morgan, Popehat, Ratbags, Fiona Godlee, Jen McCreight, Paul Kurtz, Brian Deer, Andy Lewis, Kylie Sturgess, Richard Dawkins, Dave Gorski, Stephen Barrett, Saul Green, James Randi and… er… me… and a number of other prominent US and UK skeptics. The website was centered around an imaginary conspiracy concocted and conducted by “members and affiliates” of the Skeptics society (an organisation that appears to be the figment of the authors imagination) which claimed skeptics knowingly supported and support paedophiles.
Tip: _JosephineJones on Twitter and others
I’ve seen some very mean attacks against Randi by people who truly hate him for exposing charlatans and frauds. Instead of having evidence and facts to back up their extraordinary claims, they resort to vicious personal attacks. That says a lot about their lack of character. (Note: if you do this in the comments, I will delete it. I do not condone this type of personal attack.) The libelous website indirectly connected all three major skeptic orgs by association – the Center for Inquiry’s Camp Inquiry for kids, the Skeptic Society (skeptic.com) and the JREF, Randi’s own foundation.
I was glad to see this site taken down earlier this morning, likely as a result of complaints and violations of the site hosting rules. Diligence on the web does pay off. As this above article notes, we do not know for sure that the same source is behind this, please read the comments for other clues that suggest this MAY be the case. Regardless, it’s disgusting, whomever was responsible.
UPDATE: (18-Jun-2012) Tim Farley wrote a post on how viewers were alert to this website and quickly passed the word around. Several were able to gather information and now have a good guess as to the area where the attack came from. If the site goes back online, we will be ready.