Gerald "Joe" Moreno on Wikipedia, and refutation of his allegations against Robert Priddy
The following discussion came about because of links on Wikipedia's Robert Priddy page, including a link that Joe Moreno added to one of his slanderous pages. This is typical of the way that wikipedia is open to misuse by advocates of abusive gurus. Moreno, or "SSS108" to give his wikipedia user name, objected to my pointing out his page attacking Robert Priddy was ad hominem, and so it went. I am really sorry now I did not just delete his link straight away, rather than engage in conversation with him. I never did contact administrators; I don't know my way around that side of Wikipedia and have other pressing projects. (In the end, Moreno was banned anyway)
Notice the bitter, angry, and insulting tone in Moreno's writing. This is typical of many abusive devotees of cult figures everywhere, of which he is simply one more representative, no more special or different to any other. The only unusual thing about Moreno is taht he does not seem to be a devotee in a religious sense; therefore one must look for other explanations for his behaviour.
The text has been edited slightly for the sake of relavence.
Here is my reply to Gerald Moreno's allegations against Priddy
|From Talk:Robert Priddy: |
NOTE: Gerald 'Joe' Moreno's texts are coloured throughout] as in the following:-
Wikipedia is not a forum for feuds! M Alan Kazlev 21:17, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
SSS108, you are incorrect. According to Wikipedia conventions the homepage of the subject should be listed. Andries 21:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
SSS108 said: If my link goes, not only will Priddy's Anti-Site link go, I will begin deleting Anti-Sai critical links on other pages.
I wonder how Wikipedia administrators feel about that sort of attitude? Perhaps we should bring in an independent senior wikipedian to see what he or she says about this.
btw Joe you make a false analogy. SSB is a public figure, and hence should be able to be criticised like any other well-known public figure. But Robert Priddy is in comparison a little-known writer, hence a great big long personal page dedicated to slandering him constitutes an ad homimen attack. But I am interested to learn what other independent wikipedians feel about this. M Alan Kazlev 09:34, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, Andries hasn't replied to my query, I'll make some inquiries myself on this when I have a bit more time. I myself would just delete your link anyway, which was my initial desire, and I'll probably do it anyway, but I am also interested in the way that the Wikipedia administration handles standover tactics and threats of vandalism of this sort. This really has nothing to do with SSB, and is more simply my interest in how Wikipedia works, and whether its strengths can overcome its weaknesses. Certainly your threat of vandalism shows that your principles do not seem to have approved of late, since you seem to want to use wikipedia as your soapbox.
As for your claims Joe, Robert Priddy's websites are not, "full of ad hominem attacks against Sai Baba" as far as I understand the term. Which statements are you referring by Priddy which are genuine ad hominem arguments, if we define argumentum ad hominem as trying to discredit a statement by referring to an unrelated fault in the character of the person who made the statement, as you have repeatedly done against SSB critics (not just Robert Priddy but others as well). That is why I refer to your actions as slander (even if you don't think that term applies to you). To prove someone is a liar for example one must be able to show that the person has intentionally stated an untruth knowing it to be untrue. Therefore you are defaming Priddy, while I cannot see that he has defamed you in this (or any other) way.
I would also be interested if you could provide direct references with a link to anywhere that Priddy has posted anything where he actually calls you, personally, a liar or has defamed you.
As to his allegedly defaming Sai Baba, I have seen this sort of attitude on wikipedia and elsewhere before by supporters of controversial gurus who cannot accept any criticism of their guru. It really pertains more to the attitude of the devotee (okay i know you are not technically a "devotee", but supporter then in your case), and more about human psychology. However, you are the first person i have seen in this situation to actually try to use standover tactics and threats of vandalism to enforce your case.
Further, you claim Priddy has five websites as if these were all attacking Sai Baba. Could you provide the URLs for these?
I therefore see no reason why the link to your pages should not be removed. If you respond to this by removing links critical of Sai Baba, this is an example of vandalism, and I will inquire into reporting you for this. The use of threats to vandalise links in Wikipedia may be the way you go about business, but that isn't how I would like to see Wikipedia work. Anyway, as I said, this also goes beyond SSB because it concerns how wikipedia handles these matters. M Alan Kazlev 22:57, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
This will be a long reply...
Joe you still in my opinion have presented no convincing evidence and have not shown that Robert defames you nor that he calls you a liar anywhere, which you do of him on innumerable occasions and without credible evidence. It seems to me that for you, a liar is virtually anyone who questions Sathya Sai Baba, and makes any statement that you find fault with, often because they will not entrust you with sensitive information. The link to the comments about you on Priddy's webpages do not show any defamation of your character there, Certainly nothing more serious than you have written about me, for example (regarding which - from what i have seen - I have no complaints).
As for the anonymity claim (Robert says you are, you say you aren't), well, honestly, it makes no difference to me personally whether you are or want to be anonymous, or whether you are who you say you are (as long as you don't slander others). On your page you make Robert out to be a liar for saying all this. But regarding this, Robert informed me that:
"In a mail to Conny Larsson, he shows how Moreno used the IP 192.168.9.27 (PRIVATE no source available). Subsequently it was discovered that Moreno was using a new IP on that mail (Click here)"
Robert claims that your identity cannot be checked "by any means" and it is true that there seem to be no details of this nature available about you on the Internet ("no CV, no known qualification or abode").
You like to advertise Robert Priddy's IP on your own website and also on Wikipedia, but it is not hidden, neither is his address, phone number or publications. Similarly I am open about my dealings, i use my real name on wikipedia, not a username, so people know it is me. If you want to private and secretive, that is fine, I have no problems with that, but don't then claim that those who report this are liars, or use your anonymity as a cloak to attack others. It does you no credit and undercuts what credibility you may otherwise have.
What is worse are the double standards. While guarding your own privacy so carefully, you make all sorts of allegations about ex-devotees, including slurs and innuendoes regarding their private lives, as well as outright and blatant lies; e.g. they are paedophiles, pornographers, associate with white supremacists, etc etc.
You [Moreno] said:
You have yet to provide any proof that I "slandered" Robert Priddy.
Fair enough. OK, let's see...
You claim "Robert Priddy is relating more scurrilous fabrications and gutter untruths against me under the guise of anonymity." But where is the proof of these assertions? You wrote "Priddy's dirty and filthy websites". Your uses of such language are imho just more examples of slander (and more shadow projection) on your part.
To cite another example, you posted the slander of Dr. Leo Rebello against Priddy on your website. That is an implicit endorsement of Rebello's statements and is I understand slanderous by law.
Your allegations about Priddy on porn sites are unverified, and hence defamatory and slanderous. How do we know that someone (I wonder who?) has used his website title in signing up for those sites?
You also say things like "Heil Priddy" and other similar slanderous language. (click here - Moreno evidently removed his entry as damage-control, but it was recorded in several replies to him by Dadlani and others). Here's a good example of your ad hominem style of writing, from the link you gave me.
[Moreno] "Priddy also sees nothing wrong with the "pornographic kind" of image that Reinier posted of Sathya Sai Baba holding a barbell with his penis. Apparently, these images meet Priddy's low standard of morality! Priddy thinks that those images are perfectly justified, but when the tables are turned, it is so unfair. Tough luck, Priddles! Robert Priddy has become a babbling, acidic and dark personality..."
But where is the reference that Robert Priddy thinks this is justified? You try to smear him simply by his association with others whose statements and acts he is not responsible for [ed. note: Moreno also does the same in the case of other former devotees]. And what i find really emotionally immature is the way you try to ridicule him by using a ridiculous nickname, which to me shows only a spiteful attitude on your part. I have already mentioned on my website your use of this name to mock and ridicule. So haw can you claim respectability when you act like that? In my mind no-one who resorts to ad hominem attacks can in any way be taken as a respectable scholar or authority.
You also make many unsupported assumptions and statements, for example, "I fully know the depth of corruption and decay prevalent among Anti-Sai Activists (Robert Priddy included)." This emotionalistic statement is again slanderous.
OK, hopefully that clarifies that issue.
Your understanding of Vandalism is also rather strange, when you say
[Moreno] "Your removal of my link without citing policy and having it backed up by other editors is vandalism."
In other words (if I read you right), if I as a wikipedia editor remove a link to a personal webpage page that I consider to be slanderous and an ad hominem attack on the person who the wikipage is about, that is vandalism, but if you delete every critical link regarding Sai Baba on wikipedia, that is not vandalism? Do you honestly think that, Joe?
So, as I have shown that your Robert Priddy page is full of slander, defamation, and unsupported allegations against Priddy's person, I am removing it. M Alan Kazlev 06:01, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
[Moreno] I can similarly list numerous lies told by Priddy. However, this is not the place for it. You are pushing your POV and failing to cite Wikipedai policy that supports your edits. Also, I have failed to see any editors back you up. Resort to policy, not personal vendettas. SSS108 07:36, 13 July 2006 (UTC) [Comment: click here]Update: Subsequently, Joe's slanderous link on Robert Priddy's page was able to be removed thanks to new http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_personsWikipedia policy
|From My User Page: |
Regarding Personal Attacks
[Moreno] Alan, regarding your request where Priddy has defamed me, thanks for asking: You want the actual page from Priddy's site? Notice that Priddy does not have the integrity to sign his name to this article. It is anonymous and I have tracked it through 3 sites (2 sites deleted for its defamatory content against me). Click Here to see the new paragraph that Priddy is listing on many of his pages against me. Once again I have to do the research for you because you cannot do it yourself. You want the list of Priddy's other Anti-Sai Sites? Look it up yourself on my site. It's all there. After all, the link is there for you to check. Click on it instead of making blind assumptions without reading it first. SSS10805:20, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I thought it would be interesting to get Robert's take on this.
"Of course, I have never lied on the Internet, and Moreno has not proved - and cannot prove - any such thing. It is just a claim he makes, without proof, as so often. Nor have I slandered Moreno - all proof is lacking. Moreno has slandered me many times on his website and on Yahoo groups and has gone to great lengths to associate my name with other persons' postings and anonymous e-mails with which I have had nothing to do in any way, including one which contains a very coarse death threat (not made by me, need I add!). Moreno's uses images in close connection with such materials so as to get Google placements linked to my name in a disparaging or defamatory way. (Search on Google Images for 'Robert Priddy'). My comments on Moreno were found in one short passage posted in three places on my websites (and now only one) and it is perfectly clear that I was - and am - the author of those three pages. Therefore this was NOT anonymous. Moreno's integrity is in question by this unwarranted assertion, surely against his better knowledge!M Alan Kazlev 05:14, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Moreno has never proved that I have posted a single untruth - and I would then have removed anything I found proved to be so by reasonable means, like documentation. Quite apart from the repeated calumny against me, he has, for example, falsely claimed that I and others blocked him from linking to our websites, which I have NEVER done. I do not even know HOW such a thing can be done. He most likely claims this because he does not want to link properly to my or other critical pages so people can see what has actually been in the proper context, for then they would see how tendentious and selective of the materials he is, and how he twists them and even at times actually alters quotations by omitting words ! (see some of many examples here)
|From personal e-mail correspondence |
We then continued off list to avoid cluttering up the talk page.
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 09:11:34 -0700 (PDT)
To: M. Alan Kazlev
Subject: Wikipedia: Robert Priddy 1
02:11 AM 14/07/2006 (from Joe):
Hi Alan. I am going to save this email correspondence for possible referencing on Wikipedia and I suggest you do the same.
I will address the main issues about your complaints on Robert Priddy's talk page.
Fri, 14 Jul 2006 15:05:50 +1000
From: M Alan Kazlev
Subject: Wikipedia: Robert Priddy 1
At 02:11 AM 14/07/2006, Joe wrote:
Hi Alan. I am going to save this e-mail correspondence for possible referencing on Wikipedia and I suggest you do the same.Hi Joe
that is cool. Yes i am happy for all our correspondence on this matter to be made public for Wikipedia arbitration if required.
I concede that your address can be accessed in this way, by using a very obscure search string "Gerald Moreno 2540 S. Espina". Note that this search string presupposes that the searcher already has your address! So it is rather like Catch 22, if you read the Joseph Heller book.
I noticed also that the only two hits that give your address are from Google's cache of Reinier's website (note the original pages are no longer there, as you can verify by clicking on the links)
Also, how could anyone know (without you verifying it as you just did to me) that this address was given correctly by van der Sandt, when you had (so Robert tells me) constantly refused to state it himself when asked, and still do?
With your phone number, you also do not post this, although I don't post my phone no. either, so i can understand privacy there. But in that case, if you value your own privacy, why do you fail to respect the privacy of others?
Also, surely you don't expect someone you have already attacked and slandered would want to then still phone you and have their call recorded on your answer phone when on your website FAQ page you say you will post calls on-line as voice mail?
Re your IP, I don't know all these details, but this is what Robert said when I asked him about this (click here):
It is not claimed that he never uses his own IP anywhere. Why does he not openly state it and have done with it, I wonder? Also address and phone number, if it is so available to the public?"
[Update: Priddy's name, address, phone number and details of his status have all been available on ExBaba.com at least since 2002 Click here (and is also in a list of almost all Exposé activists addresses prominently posted on ExBaba.com Click here). Priddy's own sites give a contact e-mail address so one may confirm his identity by proper inquiry.] You were the one who first tried to make their details public, while at the same time concealing your own. Why the double standards?
[Moreno]I recall you made this claim in relation to Reinier when I read your page attacking him when we first corresponded. You even posted photos from his website of a party, one showed a kid with a lollipop. That was taken as evidence supporting the claim that RVDS had paedophile inclinations. And what about the link to the "kiddy porn" post on Yahoo?
Regarding pornographers, I have made that claim only against Sanjay Dadlani and I have more than enough proof to support it.
Actually you have no proof Joe to support your slander against Sanjay as being "a pornographer'" (e.g. on Yahoo groups sathyasaibaba2 using the name vishvarupa108) which goes far beyond using coarse language that Sanjay has it is true used on occasion. Your claimed proof on your website is contrived from words and lacking objective documentation from any independent source.
[Moreno]Barry and the Adelaide Institute.
[Moreno]Yes, this will be replied to on that page
[Moreno]I admit i haven't followed all these details the way you do. However I did email Robert regarding this and other points of your reply, and he informed me that this is further vicious slander against him, whatever else you claim. There is no independent proof that the Priddy website about Rebello was removed because it was defamatory. If I recall, it contained screen-shots of disgusting documented slanders against Robert by Rebello in his e-mails, with Robert's comments and analysis of his denials of the existence of AIDS and SARS and Rebello's claims to greatness and fame. (NOTE Priddy now informs me that the claim that the website was defamatory is wholly unsubstantiated by the web server! No such reason for closure was given Click here)
[Moreno]Sure, don't bother.
[Moreno]So what? Anyone can list anyone else's site on these sort of porn sites. Why would Priddy - a qualified academic - post a link to his public website on a porn site? On the other hand, this seems like just the thing one of his defamers would do in order to try to smear him.
I did: His reply was:
If he had an ounce of decency in him, Moreno would remove all my nicknames, along with much copyrighted material of mine he has posted, and also the illegally used copyright photo of me and my son, who has asked him to do so several times in a polite way. But no! He attacks my son there in very unpleasant and irrelevant replies (all shown on his website) and only because he helps his father with computer knowledge! Meanwhile, people can at least see how reprehensible Moreno's methods are."
[Moreno]I asked him about this too. Here is the reply
"1) Untrue - I noted that he spreads lies and defamation. Nothing more.
2) Using anon. IPs - read further here
3) Moreno simply assumes (as ever) that I learned his contact details from van der Sandt and/or Kyro, which I certainly did not!
4) Moreno states on his homepage that he first heard of Sai Baba from a person called Robert. Robert M. Baskin was active in spreading the word about Sathya Sai Baba at Sai Centres in Western USA. Moreno was informed (by someone who knew about the case) quickly and obtained the Kreydick deposition made by the lawyers of the Sathya Sai Society directly after the case. This indicates that he has been fed the materials by those lawyers, since these depositions were not available public documents, but were privy to the plaintiffs and defendants, their lawyers and the Court authorities. The Sathya Sai's top lawyer is none other than Robert M. Baskin, who is also quoted on the Alaya Rahm case by Dr. Venkataraman of Radio Sai. One may draw one's own conclusions as to what kind of deal was done by whom. 6) The Sai Org. has been asked to deny that Moreno is acting on their behalf, but they have not done so. Instead, they have send out many e-mails by the 'heart2heart' team of the Prashanthi Council's second-in-command, Dr. Venkataraman [also head of Radio Sai] in which they hotlink to Moreno's website! The same mail has been received by Priddy and numerous others. This proves definitively that they endorse Moreno's website, where he constantly acts as a willing 'stooge' for them - though not even claiming to be a member or even a devotee of Sai Baba. Yet he posts many contrived defenses for their unaccountability and isolationist silence towards questioners.
7) Premanand has shown that Moreno himself claimed to be able easily to counterfeit a typewritten letter, actually shown on his own website (and copied as a screen capture on Larsson's website). Proof positive!"
[Moreno]Update: (Moreno has recently set up a new blog simply to defame Priddy)!
I have shown (in this email and also my public reply on wikipedia) that you have slandered Robert Priddy (just as you have slandered Reinier, Barry, etc), whereas he hasn't slandered you. He has strongly criticised you, sure [update comment: but not to the same degree considering the material on Moreno's websites, bulletin boards, and now blogs designed to slander him]. But that is not the same as slander.
Were you instead to write about and critique Priddy's essays and book without using gutter tactics like porn site allegations, ridicule ("Priddles"), and so on, but instead write in an intelligent way, I would actually fully support a link to your page.
But to me the most offensive thing is that you even stoop so low as to get at Robert's son, having his photo posted on your site against his wishes, although he never did anything to you. I can understand you being angry at Priddy senior (but not justify your slanderous actions) because you feel your guru is under attack and you cannot accept the allegations against SSB, but to bring Robert's son into it, that is so utterly contemptible Joe. You surely cannot expect me to have any respect for you if that is your standard of behaviour!
Update: Exactly the same applies regarding the way that Moreno caused alarm to Barry Pittard's former partner, who, yet again, has nothing to do with the SSB exposure, when you wrote highly defamatory untruths about him and her.
The following statement which has been compiled on my request.
It confirms my opinions of Gerald Moreno already made clear on this page:-
STATEMENT BY ROBERT PRIDDY WITH THE INTERNATIONAL JuST GROUP WORKING COMMITTEE (5 PERSONS)