The Skeptic answers

If you read the Shields Gazette, you might have spotted that last Thursday columnist Mike Hallowell used his column to call out a commenter on this blog. the Skeptic.  The article isn’t on the Gazette’s website so I can’t link to it.  Sadly, Hallowell failed to mention that it was this blog, despite lifting a good bit of text from it.  It seems 600 words or so doesn’t provide enough space for courtesy.  The Skeptic has responded to Hallowell’s last comment on the Dangerous Delusion post, but I thought the response was also worthy of it’s own blog post, so with the Skeptic’s permission, here it is.

Update: 3rd January 2012

You’ll note that the rest of this post has now gone.  Mike Hallowell has received advice that some of Skeptic’s comment is ‘definitely actionable’, so I’ve removed the comment from this post.  Similarly, in the interests of self preservation other response comments which Mike Hallowell has been advised as being ‘definitely actionable’ on other threads will be unapproved, and one of my own posts slightly edited.

Some of the comments may return after further consideration.

However, Skeptic’s link to the excellent XKCD site on the ‘current state of the findings of parapsychological research’ still stands:

Update 2: 3rd January 2012

I’ve been told that Skeptic will be starting his own blog on science, skepticism, philosophy and sociology.  Maybe he will revisit this discussion.

 

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4 responses to “The Skeptic answers”

  1. Mike says :

    The Skeptic has responded to Hallowell’s last comment on the Dangerous Delusion post, but I thought the response was also worthy of it’s own blog post, so with the Skeptic’s permission, here it is”.

    Skeptic must be chuffed to bits that you gave him his own blog. Readers might want to know that I’ve responded to that, too. The link is below:

    https://brianpaget.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/a-dangerous-delusion/#comment-301

    “Mike Hallowell used his column to call out a commenter on this blog. the Skeptic. The article isn’t on the Gazette’s website so I can’t link to it. Sadly, Hallowell failed to mention that it was this blog, despite lifting a good bit of text from it”.

    True.

    “It seems 600 words or so doesn’t provide enough space for courtesy”.

    First of all, let me say that, on reflection, you’re right. I should have mentioned your blog specifically and I didn’t. For that I apologise. However, my reasons had nothing to do with a lack of courtesy, which is simply an assumption on your part unsupported by any facts. Had you contacted me and asked me why, I’d have happily told you. You didn’t, so perhaps I can explain myself here.

    Since 2008, I’ve been the consistent target of criticism on your blog and others. With rare exceptions, the two major protagonists have been yourself and Skeptic. As both of you have published inaccurate and/or unsubstantiated statements about me – you an odd one here and there, Skeptic a veritable shed-load – I had no intention of drawing attention to the sites carrying such material and thereby making it easy for people to read things about me which simply aren’t true. Balanced against this is the argument that I still should have named my sources out of etiquette apart from anything else. I didn’t, I went for the former option instead of the latter and that was a mistake. Again, I apologise for that.

    However, since you’ve started the ball rolling on this one I’d like to take the opportunity to get a few things off my chest.

    When I first started to write my column back in 1998, I did so briefly under a pen name. There was a reason for this, and it had nothing to do with cowardice or simply wanting to hide my true identity for reasons of privacy. I had a job with a reasonably high profile and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what sort of reaction my column would get. I thought there was a risk, albeit a small one, that readers who knew where I worked might start coming to my place of employment during office hours to relate ghost stories to me or whatever. I didn’t want that, and I knew my boss certainly wouldn’t, so I decided to reduce the risk by penning my column under a false name.

    After a short while I concluded that my fears had probably been unjustified, and so I dropped the pen name and started writing under my own name. That is the only time during my nearly 30 years of freelancing I’ve ever used a pseudonym. You used to blog anonymously. Then someone called you out on that and you dropped your pseudonym too. The common denominator between us is, then, that we are both prepared to express opinions in public via the written word and for readers to know who is behind them. So, although we disagree on many things, we at least share that.

    When it comes to your opinions, I hold a number of views. On the plus side, you write cogently and articulately. I fully support the superb stance you take on environmental issues, for example, and think you should be commended for that. On the negative side, it seems to me that you have an inherent antipathy for a number of issues, specifically paranormal phenomena and religion. There’s nothing wrong in that as far as it goes – you’re entitled to your opinions – but there have been many occasions when, to me, your dislike for these ideologies has overwhelmed your objectivity when commenting upon them. This is something which, during my career, I’ve studiously attempted to avoid. That is why I’ve penned numerous articles in which I’ve poured cold water on certain alleged paranormal phenomena even though in general terms I believe in the existence of paranormal phenomena wholeheartedly. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of doing this. Like Skeptic, you’ll simply attack anything allegedly paranormal with a breathtaking degree of predictability.

    But I will grant you this: There have been odd occasions when I’ve taken you to task on some issue or other and, to your credit, you’ve “’fessed up” and admited you’d made a mistake. I commend you for this as well. However, my main complaint is not so much what you say but how you say it. You have a habit – which manifests iself with great frequency – of soaking your thoughts in battery acid before you post them. At times your attacks on people have been moderate and considered, but often they will be filled with viciousness and a degree of contempt which is totally uncalled for.

    An example of you at your best can be found at https://brianpaget.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/alpha-the-new-missionary-position/ I don’t agree with some of your arguments here, but I do admire the way in which you’ve expressed them. A good piece of writing, that.

    But then there’s the other Brian Paget, the one who can’t resist making personal attacks on people simply because he doesn’t like their politics, religion, or whatever. In a blog dealing with waste disposal, you commented, “Fatty Pickles has £250m to waste on this rabble-rousing folly”. (https://brianpaget.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/who-pays-the-piper/). Instead of consistently calling the man by his name, Eric Pickles, you chose at one point to call him Fatty Pickles. Mr. Pickles may be rotund, as am I to a lesser degree, but I don’t see how poking fun at the man’s physical appearance has any rightful place in a debate about politics. The bottom line is that you lowered yourself to this level not because you hate fat people – although you might, for all I know – but because you don’t agree with the man’s opinions. It isn’t the first time you’ve done this, and it probably won’t be the last. And it certainly isn’t the worst example I could have thrown at you, either. Its a shame that you can’t post your thoughts without stooping to this sort of tactic, for without them you are capable of making some extremely good points and keeping politicians – particularly our local ones – on their toes. If you can offer up a good defence for focusing on people’s physical appearance in this context I’d like to hear it.

    And then there’s the thorny issue of Skeptic. You pulled me up for not sourcing your blog, and I’ve apologised. Like you, I have no problems with doing so if the criticism is justified. Skeptic never apologises. He just posts inaccurate statements about me and, no matter how many times I pull the rug from under his feet and prove him wrong, he just carries on regardless. His claim that he has “nothing personal” against me is laughable considering some of the tripe he’s posted over the years.

    Now my main point is this: Skeptic has, amongst other things, made a claim that I promised to write an article regarding a certain issue and never did. My response was that I’d never made such a claim. He then attributed statements to me which I’d never made. I challenged him to identify the source. He didn’t. In fact he couldn’t, because the article in question had been written by another journalist entirely. I could go on listing examples of his many unsubstantiated claims, all of which I have carefully documented, but it would take too long. Skeptic cannot detail his sources simply because for the most part there aren’t any; they don’t actually exist. Skeptic has made such unsubstantiated – and thoroughly disproven – allegations about me on your own page, but I don’t recall you ever taking him to task over this, however. You seem happy to allow a poster to make repeated false claims and inaccurate statements about me on your own blog, despite my having proven them to be unsubstantiated over and over again. Skeptic gets away with a great deal, in my opinion. I get pulled up for one error of judgement which was simply a discourtesy and not a personal attack against yourself.

    I have no problem with Skeptic or anyone else criticising my stance on anything. Any editor, conference organiser or producer who knows me will tell you that I am the last person to run away from awkward questions. In fact, I welcome them and am more than capable of defending myself robustly when I need to. However, if you’re going to allow Skeptic to post his nonsense about me on your blog, despite the patent falsity of much of it, then I think you should do one of two things. Firstly, you should demand of Skeptic that he states his sources when he’s making any damaging or negative claims about me. Secondly, if he’s going to insist on making such unsubstantiated statements, and you’re happy to allow him to do so on a blog that you control and edit, then I think you should insist that he identifies himself and stops hiding behind a faceless, nameless icon. I believe I have a moral right to know who is repeatedly making false allegations about me – on your blog, remember – and if the shoe was on the other foot I would unhesitatingly extend you the same courtesy.

    As you know, I’ve challenged Skeptic many times to a public debate, either on stage or in my column. I made the same challenge to you. You declined, but at least you a) had the civility to acknowledge my request and b) suggested a viable alternative to my proposal. I’d still rather have interviewed you for my column or debated with you in some other arena, but at least you made an effort to accommodate me to some degree. Skeptic? To the best of my recollection I don’t remember him even acknowledging these challenges let alone taking me up on them.

    You are a sceptic. Skeptic is a sceptic. I’m not. Perhaps that’s why he seems to get away with posting so much inaccurate drivel about me on your blog without you challenging him. On second thoughts, I’m probably misjudging you here. Much as we disagree on matters, on reflection I don’t think you’d exercise such unfair partiality and you did say in a posting recently that if I had any specific issues I could point them out to you. Nevertheless it is what seems to be Skeptic’s relatively free rein that, I would venture, makes your demand for courtesy from me ring hollow when you allow someone else to throw so many inaccurate criticisms at me – mixed in with unnecessary personal attacks and completely skewed perceptions – on the very same page. Please don’t try and argue that you’re in no position to judge the veracity of his postings. You are aware of what he posts. You are aware of my detailed and unchallenged rebuttals of those postings. You are also aware of of his complete inability to post evidence of his allegations despite repeated challenges from me to do so.

    Either rein Skeptic in and demand better from him, or insist that he posts under his real name. I’ve challenged him repeatedly to do this and he refuses to respond. I suspect I’ll at least get a response from you, Brian, whether or not I like it. At least that would be something.

    I’m all for freedom of speech, but freedom of speech is not a free lunch, It carries responsibilites. One responsibility is that the person doing the “speaking” should get their facts right. A second responsibility – albeit a moral one – is that they should have the courtesy to make their points without creating an emulsion of cogent arguments – true or false – and unwarranted personal attacks. If a writer can’t get his or her point over without doing this then it speaks realms about both their moral standards and their journalistic skills – or lack of them. A third responsibility, I think, is that if a writer is going to attack someone on either a professional or personal level then they should at least have the balls to identify themselves. A refusal to do this is, in my opinion, craven cowardice, plain and simple.

    The problem with such anonymous and inaccurate attacks is that the target of them has no choice but to respond. A failure to do this will inevitably be seen in some quarters as an admission that the criticisms are justified. As a professional journalist I can’t allow this to happen, as my reputation is important to me. Hence I really have no option but to pen lengthy responses and rebuttals to Skeptic’s attacks. Over the years I’ve brutally dismantled every criticism he’s ever made about me. Had he posted them under his own name, his own credibility rating would be below zero. But he doesn’t have to concern himself with that, does he, for he posts his rambling diatribes and sarcastic put-downs anonymously. When he posts inaccurate criticisms and allegations about me, it isn’t his reputation that could potentially suffer.

    From my perspective, Skeptic uses your blog to launch his attacks upon me more than any other. You control your blog, so I believe you bear a degree of responsibility here. I’m not trying to shut Skeptic (or anyone else) up; merely insist that he at least adopts some standards of fair play when he criticises me. Do you believe its acceptable for someone to post completely inaccurate statements about someone else on your own blog page without the target of those attacks at the very least being able to know who his detractor is? Its your page. You set the rules. I’d appreciate it if you’d at least make a clear statement pointing out exactly what they are so I and others know exactly where we – and you – stand.

    One thing that did hearten me was the response I got from readers when my column about Skeptic was published a couple of weeks ago. Some said they liked my column and felt it was unfair of Skeptic to criticise it. Such comments are flattering, but I disagree with them. Skeptic has every right to criticise what I say, with the caveat that he does so in an appropriate manner. Others said that they didn’t agree with what I wrote, but always found my column “entertaining” and “thought-provoking”. A small number said they didn’t believe in the paranormal at all, one chap calling it “amusing tosh”. Well, at least he was amused by it, which is something. However, all but one agreed on one point; that Skeptic should either stop posting his allegations and/or abandon his anonymity so that people could see just who it was who was posting these criticisms. Their message was consistent; that it was decidedly wrong for someone to post such statements without having the courage to identify themselves. And I agree. Skeptic has accused me of whining. I’m not whining; I’m just trying to get the man to have the courage of his own convictions – to “put up or shut up” as they say. If Skeptic hasn’t got the guts to let my “baying mob” of readers see who he really is, then he should do the decent thing and stop posting.

    I don’t mind criticism in the least, but do you have any idea how frustrating it is to repeatedly have to respond to such unsubstantiated attacks? No doubt you’ve had to put up with this yourself, but whether you realise it or not you are encouraging this sort of tactic by allowing it to take place on your own page.

    I’d far rather use your blog space to engage with Skeptic and yourself in a civilised debate over the paranormal, the evolution/creation issue, or whatever, instead of having to repeatedly focus on Skeptic’s antics when he makes allegations about me anonymously. Its tedious, distracting, unnecessary and, given my deteriorating health, the last sort of thing I want to be wasting my time on whilst I’m still able to carry on with my career as a writer. I derive great pleasure from writing, and as my ability to engage in other activities decreases I find both solace and contentment in it all the more. If what I write drives Skeptic into a state of apoplectic indignation then I’m sorry, but he should at least have the courage to tell me who he is if he wants to post his rants on your blog and others.

    Tell him to man-up and identify himself or, if he wants to remain anonymous, at least refrain from both making and repeating his false claims about me. If he has any testicular robustness he’ll identify himself, get his act together when posting or, if neither, turn to posting on the comment boxes of the daily red-tops where, with some effort, he might just survive without being rumbled for what (if not who) he really is. I believe I know who he is, but I can’t be 100% sure. Just 99%, and that’s not enough. Hence, this juvenile saga continues to my frustration and Skeptic’s shame.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Mike “Sleepy” Hallowell

    • brianpaget says :

      Mike, thanks for your response. In terms of the exorcism-possession debate I think I’ve made and defended my case and we’ve come to our usual impasse.

      Now, it seems that the most interesting debate is between you and Skeptic. At the moment I’m happy to let you both fight it out on here as long as neither of you do anything that puts me in a libel court. I would advise you both keep your comments short and try and focus on one issue at a time, as I’ve had a couple of comments from people finding it difficult to pick through the lengthy responses to get to the meat of the competing arguments.

      The decision to blog under my own name was more difficult and complex than I’ve previously described, although honesty was the overriding factor for me, along with some odd assumptions people made about me. I can still see the attraction of anonymous posting.

      One issue which nearly turned me off posting under my own name was one of safety. After letters to the Gazette in the past I have received bizarre anonymous correspondence, and even had my car damaged twice after expressing my anti-fascist opinions. I suspect your much higher profile position means you’ve had some odd responses too.

      Sadly, even in the 21st Century UK we have a problem with religious discrimination. Being openly atheist or sceptical of faith claims can be interpreted as a personal challenge to people, and can make career or business difficult, especially if those relationships are with people with deeply held beliefs.

      However, posting under the Rossinisbird moniker didn’t guarantee anonymity, and meant that some people made some unusual assumptions, the most disturbing when people – including borough councillors – started asking my friends and family if I was also posting as the Monkey. That was a bit of a motivator. Don’t take this as a’t a defence of Skeptic. He’s a big boy and can defend himself, and may some day go public. Anonymity can be a valid defensive measure. In the meantime, your ‘coward’ assumptions have little value unless Skeptic decides to start using his anonymity as a cloak to libel people. Again, if you think he has libelled you here, I would be grateful if you would point out the offending comments.

      In terms of your ‘two Brians’ criticisms I think you’ve made them before, back in June. I do write things I regret later, but I think it’s more honest to leave my frailties there for everyone to see.

  2. Mike says :

    Thanks for your reply, Brian. I understand your stance on the anonymity issue, but I’m afraid I can’t give Skeptic any leeway. Whatever his reasons may be, I think it is immoral of him to post as he does whilst not naming himself. Now I wouldn’t have a problem with his anonymity if everything he posted was accurate or even just fair criticism, but it isn’t.

    “Again, if you think he has libelled you here, I would be grateful if you would point out the offending comments”.

    Actually, I spelled out in graphic detail exactly what I find offensive about Skeptic’s posts in my last offering, but as you’re asking again I’m happy to oblige – this time with references so you can look them up. The first few quotations below are not from your blog, but are necessary to provide a context for those that are.

    For example, he has repeatedly made the allegation that Darren and I are “hiding” our evidence:

    “If they insist on hiding their evidence, then I think people can fairly ask, “What have you got to hide?” (Ghost Theory 21 09 2010)

    The answer is “nothing”, because we’ve never hidden our evidence at all, merely refused to dish it out to any Tom, Dick or Harry who thinks they have a right to see it. We HAVE provided our evidence for examination – to the Society for Psychical Research, for example – and received extemely positive reactions. I’m bored to the point of becoming catatonic of spelling this out to Skeptic, but he simply repeats the same false allegations.

    Here’s another one:

    “As a trained researcher with an accredited honours degree from an accredited university, I read this book with some bewilderment. Do either of the authors actually have a recognised research – or any academic – qualification? Their standard of research suggests not – but I am happy to be corrected by them if I am wrong. Had I submitted my dissertation without references or citations, or if I had ensured that none of the claims could be verified, or if I relied on anecdotes, threatened my tutors with legal action, or if I otherwise produced a piece of “research” matching the standards of the South Shields Poltergeist, then I am sure it would have been returned to me with a boldly written comment along the lines of, “You are a credulous clod. Leave this university campus and don’t come back.” (Ibid)

    This, would you believe, is from the same man who made a whole raft of false and/or misleading claims about me regarding an investigation into a haunted hairdressing salon (June 5, The Shields Gazette on-line), every one of which (about ten, as I recall) I proved to be completely false. (June 6, The Shields Gazette on-line) When I challenged him to provide the “references or citations” he loftily demands of us, he couldn’t. His reply?

    “…if you think you have gained some kind of victory over me then it is a hollow victory indeed. I am not writing these posts as a formal research project, in which case every point would have been double checked, verified and the EVIDENCE PRESENTED unambiguously. Rather, these posts are fairly casual, and I have relied on my own memory with that example”. (June 7, The Shields Gazette on-line)

    Well, we weren’t writing a formal research project either, but Skeptic still had a go at us regardless. In short, he sets a completely different set of standards for himself than for Darren and I. If we don’t provide references in the way Skeptic desires, then we apparently fall into the “credulous clod” category. If he doesn’t provide them then its okay on the basis that he wasn’t penning a “formal research project” at the time! And he has the gall to criticise OUR “standard of research”!

    We couldn’t see anything like an apology in his post, but just to make sure we understood him clearly he then posted:

    “For myself, there is only one mistake I made when commenting at the Gazette – and that was to admit that I might possibly have made a mistake in one of my comments. He’s jumped on that, as though it destroys my credibility, but it’s just another fallacy – a red herring”. (June 9, Brian Paget blog).

    Notice he doesn’t spell out just HOW my response was a “fallacy” and a “red herring” for he was absolutely unable to. How on earth can he say that my clinically dismantling a raft of false allegations on his part was a “fallacy” and “red herring” on our part?

    I tried, if you recall – on your own blog – to get Skeptic to provide evidence for his allegations and I couldn’t have made the point clearer:

    “Instead of accusing me of ranting, and instead of repeating the same inaccurate statements, and instead of making sweeping allegations without a shred of specific evidence to support them, try this – if you can. Go through my comments on the Gazette site and answer each one specifically and directly. No sweeping generalisations; direct, specific responses to each point made – particularly regarding the hairdresser farrago. If you can answer EACH SPECIFIC POINT DIRECTLY without resorting to bland, sweeping criticisms then I’ll credit you with a modicum of intelligence. If not, then everyone will see you for what you are; a hit-and-run merchant who loves to dish it out but collapses when put onto the back foot”. (10 06 11, Brian Paget blog).

    You’ll see, then, that I’ve already attempted to get Skeptic to do almost EXACTLY what you’re now asking for in your last post, and I made this appeal on YOUR own blog months ago! It is Skeptic, not I, who refuses to stick to the topic, avoids answering specific questions and simply throws out broad, unsubstantiated allegations and accusations.

    In fact, it took Skeptic three weeks to even respond:

    “Mike – the points you say you are challenging me about are nothing more than a list of claims for which there is no substance. I will, however, be tackling them all in due course”.(June 30, Brian Paget blog).

    Of course he will. And we’re still waiting.

    Just in case you’re wondering whether these allegations have only appeared on other sites, and not your own, they don’t:

    29 04 2011:”Hang on a minute. Hasn’t Mike Hallowell sent this broken smoke detector away for the usual “expert” or “scientific” analysis that always returns “startling” results that we never hear about again?”.

    As usual, I’ve challenged Skeptic to provide evidence of this allegation. On another site he actually claimed I’d been engaging in this activity for over a decade:

    “This kind of claim has been going on for over ten years in the dire “paranormal” column Mike Hallowell inflicts on the readership of the Shields Gazette every Thursday evening”. (Ghost Theory, 21 04 10)

    I challenged him to provide evidence of this allegation, too. The result? Not a single shred of proof provided.

    30 06 2011:”The South Shields Poltergeist, for example, is filled with unsubstantiated claims that you feel it unnecessary to support because of “copyright” issues or you have presented your “evidence” to “people you trust,” etc.”

    30 06 2011: “As is obvious from this and other blogs, Mike and Darren cannot take criticism, and their threats to institute legal action rather than supply robust evidence to support their claim just reduces their credibility”.

    The only legal action we threatened over “copyright issues” was when our footage was illegally posted on YouTube by a number of parties. Skeptic seems to think that defending our legal rights in this way is unacceptable.

    On the occasion when I offered to send Skeptic a detailed response to his completely false assertions regarding my use of a Native American smudging ceremony (Curly’s Corner 08 04 09) he declined my offer. He bleats on incessantly for us to provide evidence, and how does he react when we do just that? He has the gall to tell us he doesn’t want to see it! No? Take a look:

    “I will decline your offer…I have no doubt that anything you send will be covered in copyright notices and threats of legal action…” (Gazette on-line 05 06 11)

    It seems we’re just going round in circles here, then. Skeptic keeps making unsubstantiated claims and allegations on your site as well as others. I keep shooting him down in flames, and all he does is repeat the same falsehoods whilst simultaneously turning the truth on its head and accusing Darren and I of “hiding” things and not answering his challenges. If anyone takes the time to read through our debates, they will see clearly who is telling the truth on this one.

    All I want is for Skeptic to stop repeating allegations that I’ve already answered and proven to be false, and regarding which he has repeatedly promised to provide evidence but hasn’t. Because he can’t.

    Here are my suggestions, then:

    If Skeptic wishes to continue making allegations about Darren and I “hiding” evidence, or claims about me promising to produce “startling evidence” (which I didn’t) in statements he says I made (which were never uttered) in articles he said I’d written (and hadn’t) and in other articles he said I’d promised to write (which I never did) then I think you should insist that every time he makes such a claim he provides a references to support it. As I’ve said before; your blog, your rules.

    As for the length of the posts, I’ve already stated that due to my deteriorating health and other reasons I’ve got much better things to do with my time than write them, but I’ve been left with no choice as if I don’t respond to his inaccurate claims he posts message such as this:

    “I will, of course, eat my words when Messrs Hallowell and Ritson present their findings at the Royal Institution, or collect their Nobel Prize”. (Curly’s Corner, 08 04 08)

    “I was really hoping for a reply from the “battle hardened paranormal investigators” Sadly, it was not to be. Although they implied they are willing to respond to reasoned criticism, I think they do not want to take this any further with me”. (30 04 08)

    “So come on, Mike, give us the evidence… and no bleating about the bush”. (Brian Paget blog, 19 11 11)

    “On the Gazette website, Hallowell posts as “Out There” and he uses the common technique of lengthy multiple posts to bore people away”. (Ghost Theory, 04 07 11)

    Its a “common technique” that I’ve never seen before, and nor has anyone else I’ve asked. In any event, I didn’t use it.

    Get the point? If we respond, we get accused of boring people. If we don’t, we run the risk of being accused of running scared.

    If you look at the above – and even better, trawl through the relevant archives in detail – you’ll see that there is a recurring theme to Skeptic’s arguments. He accuses us of withholding evidence when we haven’t. He accuses me of writing articles which I didn’t, claiming to have “startling evidence” when I haven’t, sending photographs off for analysis when I made no such claim….oh, I’ve said it all before. These claims are damaging in the sense that they impinge in my credibility. Mike Hallowell makes promises and doesn’t keep them. He claims to possess evidence but, suspiciously, won’t let us see it. Etcetera, etcetera. The only person who has consistently asked Skeptic to a) stop doing this, or b) post the evidence to back up his assertions is me. The problem is that I don’t control this blog. You do. So, why don’t you do as I suggest, and simply ask him to post references when he makes his assertions as well as sticking to specific issues as opposed to making broad, unsubstantiated swipes?

    I’ll be happy to make much shorter posts – I’ll not need to make lengthy ones if I don’t have so much bollocks to respond to. All you have to do is simply institute a few reasonable checks and balances that will stop so much bollocks being posted in the first place.

    • brianpaget says :

      Mike, maybe I wasn’t clear enough with my question. Let me be specific. Do you claim that Skeptic has libelled you on this blog? If so, can you point those comments out to me. I am becoming concerned that you feel your reputation has been damaged, and I would rather remove any false statements about you from this blog than become the target of a civil action.

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