Vicious web site attacks prominent skeptic James Randi and others (UPDATE: more about what might have happened)

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.

The 21st Floor » Blog Archive » Skeptic News: Marc Attacks?.

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.

For more on the Marc Stephens episode and the Burzynski clinic, go here. Skeptic.com and Doubtful News were targeted in the Stephens tirade last year.

Addition: More by one of the featured accused skeptics, Popehat.

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.

COMMENTING ON SOMEONE ELSE'S SITE IS NOT A RIGHT, IT'S A PRIVILEGE. READ AND UNDERSTAND THE COMMENT POLICY BEFORE SUBMITTING. NONSENSE IS NOT PERMITTED.

  5 comments for “Vicious web site attacks prominent skeptic James Randi and others (UPDATE: more about what might have happened)

  1. June 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    The site went down so quickly after it was noticed that I doubt it was actually complaints that did it. Some pieces of content (the photos) are still there.

    I think the skeptics caught whoever this is in mid-edit, and the site is not ready for launch yet. I predict it will reappear, but having gotten a sneak peak I think a few folks will have lawyers at the ready when that occurs.

  2. Mike
    June 13, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I hope Bill Nye and the other prominent skeptics were not attacked either

  3. June 13, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    @Mike: Currently active skeptics who were listed on the site included: David Gorski, Andy Lewis, Stephen Fry, Simon Singh, Brian Deer, Steven Novella, PZ Myers, Bob Blaskewicz, Keir Liddle, Ben Goldacre, David Allen Green, Fiona Godlee, Jen McCreight, Peter Bowditch, Paul Kurtz, Phil Plait, Kylie Sturgess, Richard Dawkins, Rhys Morgan, Stephen Barrett, Ken White, Tim Farley, Robert Baratz and Al Seckel. There were also some historical figures listed.

  4. F89
    June 13, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Thanks-I’d seen more than a few of these accuzations on other skeptical websites, and did wonder if they were all the same person/organization.

    • F89
      June 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Correction, I meant on the websites mentioned in the article.

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