It has just been revealed that “Tom Johnson,” whose story I elevated from the comments of this blog into a distinct post, and who I praised for coming forward, was also “bilbo,” “milton c,” and various other commenters here. And now he’s going by “William.”
Needless to say, I no longer consider his story credible.
Until these revelations, I had no idea of any of this. Not only had I never checked my commenters’ IP addresses or for sock puppets before (although now I see that I should have).
But moreover, when it came to “Tom Johnson,” I emailed him after his first comment, to check on his identity. The response claimed to be a specific person–a specific Ph.D. candidate at a specific university–and provided a university website and considerable detail about this person’s scientific career, publishing record, outreach endeavors, and so on.
Now, “William” says, “When Chris contacted me, I made up a story about being a grad. student as an explanation about where the story came from because I didn’t want the Tom character to get exposed as false.” No. It wasn’t just a story about being a graduate student. A specific name was given, a specific career, a specific website, a specific university, and so on.
I am looking into all this, and will get to the bottom of it.
Links to this Post
- Counterproductive Attacks on Religion–Exhibit A | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | July 7, 2010
- Daily Hilarity: Sassy Gay Friend Fixes Hamlet – Camels With Hammers | July 7, 2010
- HouseCleaning Note | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | July 8, 2010
- More On Sock Puppets and “Tom Johnson,” Part I | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | July 8, 2010
- Sock Puppets and “Tom Johnson,” Part II | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | July 9, 2010
- The curious case of the You’re Not Helping blog « The Buddha Is Not Serious | July 9, 2010