“The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths; anything that is inconsistent with the facts must be either discarded or revised.” – Carl Sagan

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

Scientists are supposed to be open-minded and stand for truth, rather than stubbornly attach themselves to a one-sided narrative. Science is supposed to be politically neutral, but when scientific institutions and their individual members become politicised, then “science” can no longer be trusted. Anyone who says “the science is settled” does not stand up for actual science. Science is a process, not a result, and therefore may never be settled. The closest statement that one can make that would be accurate is “the evidence is incontrovertible,” and even that is somewhat misleading. The more we study anything, the more complicated we find out that it is, without exception. Nothing in science allows its practitioners to stop studying and start preaching. Unfortunately, “science” communicators overwhelmingly reject these ideas, instead picking a narrative, finding studies that seem to support it, and ignoring any studies that are inconvenient to it. Actual scientists remain silent, because they are too busy working, and the public face of science is that of biased socio-political narratives. This process will serve only to undermine science, and set society back as a result. When individuals with scientific backgrounds or titles engage in this sort of anti-scientific behaviour, it further undermines science, and feeds into the grander anti-science narrative that “science is a religion, too,” and ultimately paves the way for society to trade rationalism for ideological dogma.

I have written about this phenomenon before on the subject of climate change, and also mentioned a video about anti-evolution pseudo-science in the Soviet Union, so I won’t go into details about it here. Both of those subjects deserve their own articles, but this one is going to be a bit long anyway, as it is an addendum to my last editorial. The conversation on Haley Lawrence’s LinkedIn post keep going and going, and it revealed to me about the vaccine argument exactly what I saw about the climate argument: both sides are firmly convinced that the other is not only biased, but deliberately peddling fake data. In the case of the climate argument, this is demonstrable on both sides: those who claim that climate change is a myth are working with skewed data provided by the fossil fuel industry, meanwhile those who claim that climate change is an existential threat are exaggerating their numbers in order to scare people into action. The Green New Deal, incidentally, is such an obvious NIMBYist grift that it’s been disavowed by its own architect, and will probably never again see the light of day. There is no honesty on either side of the climate change argument, and both extreme positions outright reject the middle ground, occupied by actual climate scientists. The same is true of the vaccine argument, at least in the Anglosphere. You already know my position on vaccines (I think vaccines are a net benefit and people should take them, but should they not be mandated by the government, and no vaccine is 100% safe) and on freedom of speech (no speech should be prohibited, but people should be allowed to choose what they are exposed to), so, without further ado, some more degeneracy on display.

When I went back through the comment thread to retrieve relevant comments, there was something that struck me as odd:

Wales Nematollahi (replying to Steve Mccullough): I had over 6 years in the Army. IMO their sorry AR-15s don’t cut it either.

No army that I know of uses the AR-15 – it’s a civilian sporting rifle designed to look like a military weapon. I already had enough reason to believe that Wales is a liar, but this is undeniable proof: he’s never served in any military if he thinks that the AR-15 is a military weapon. Hell, I’ve never served in the military (though I was a Civil Air Patrol cadet and a Mitchell recipient), and even I know that!

The vast majority of the comments posted were of Yelena Rakhimov posting links to articles about CoVID deaths, vaccine efficacy rates, and vaccine injuries, while Wales and Steve simply dismissed them all. I noticed a pattern, and you can still visit the original post as of me writing this article, but I’m going to save my particularly damning observation until the very end. Here’s the part where things get interesting.

Yelena (replying to Steve):  I thought you are a truth consultant. Oh well, I’ll keep digging.

Steve’s profile says “self-employed at Truthconsulting,” in case you either didn’t notice, or simply didn’t both to read the thread for yourself.

Steve: good comment. Don’t agree with killing babies and I’m not a truth teller…

“I’m not a truth teller”? Was that a Freudian slip on Steve’s part?

Wales (replying to Miguel Saldana, whom I have not mentioned before):

Join the club. I’m a biologist and a certified medical technologist with extensive experience in microbiology, including clinical microbiology and biodefense. When I see “stats” that are presented in a way that implies we should accept them as faith, I ask for sources or citations.

Yelena Rakhimov presented a YouTube font of misinformation; most non-scientists who are anti-vaccines or otherwise anti science act as if Tucker Carlson, sone YouTube presentation, or anyone else “confirming” their biases is as good or better than scientific research. In my eyes, anti-science is pseudoscience, pseudophilosophy, and pseudo religion.

First, I have no reason to believe that any of Wales’s credentials are real. Judging by his profile picture, he’s certainly old enough to have achieved all those things, but he’s already lost his credibility with me, since he’s gullible enough to uncritically believe that all online platforms outside of the Silicon Valley mainstream are “far right echo chambers,” and his inane comment about the AR-15 basically clinched it. Second, he claims that statistics are not to be trusted – this means nothing, since everyone knows that statistics can be manipulated to support whatever narrative you want, so this is just a red herring. Third, he claims to ask for sources or citations, but what he actually does is dismiss everything that’s thrown at him as biased propaganda. Fourth, YouTube videos are not primary sources – all honest content creators, including YouTubers, include primary sources in the video description or a pinned comment, which he would know if he actually watched any. Fifth, to say that anti-science is pseudoscience is redundant, but to call it “pseudophilosophy” and “pseudo-religion” is totally nonsensical – there is no such thing as a false philosophy, only flawed ones, any flawed philosophy as called “sophistry,” as I have already discussed, and most philosophies are either scientific or religious in their structure, so I think Wales is just trying to throw out as many buzzwords as possible in a vain attempt to make himself seem intellectually superior. Are you starting to see a pattern yet? When Yelena provided a link in a comment that has since been deleted, here’s the reponse she got:

Wales: I’ve already dismissed [Robert] Malone. Since you use Telegram — and Inknoe what’s on Telegram — are you a White supremacist?

Yelena: could you clarify what white supremacist is? Can jews fall into this category? I’m a bit confused with all this liberal classifications. For centuries jews were oppressed and now are we still oppressed or opressors?

Me (replying to Yelena):

Jews are only a protected minority if we have the correct politics; the same is true of blacks and other ethnicities that are minorities in western nations. Then again, I’m fairly certain that being Russian cancels everything else out. You could be a transgender Asian Muslim, but if you were born in Russia, you are automatically the worst kind of traitor to the left. Bear in mind that Critical Race “Theory” is just a smokescreen for authoritarian socialism. Not Soviet Communism per se (even though it was Leon Trotsky who coined the term “racism” to begin with), but a very similar system that relies on ideological purity.

Also, remember that any platform that is not part of Silicon Valley or that is explicitly in favour of free speech is automatically smeared as “far right” or “white supremacist” by the establishment, be it Telegram, Gab, or BitChute, to name a few (two of which I use, and I have yet to encounter any actual white supremacists – plenty of sock puppets POSING as white supremacists, though). Wales tried to pull the same nonsense on me when he brought up 8kun and Parler, neither of which I’ve ever used, and I doubt he has either – he’s probably just regurgitating stuff from ADL hit pieces.

Wales (replying to me): Oh, my! It sounds to me as if you think Whites are persecuted! Am I right? Funny that you stand up for Russians, because your relatives resisted them strongly.

Wales (replying to Yelena): Having some Jewish ancestry I guarantee I follow anti-Semitic incidents, and they have been increasing in the ISA and in Europe. All I did was ask if you’re a White supremacist. All you had to do was say “No.”

Yelena (replying to Wales): how could I answer no if I wasn’t sure if I am? I identify as white. I could probably be white supremacy. Still don’t know who they are. How can one become white supremacy? Are Russians (non-jews) white supremacy?

Yelena (immediate follow-up to the previous reply): oh and why was Larry Elder called black faced white supremacy? This totally threw me off. 

Trenton Schwarzer (replying to Yelena): say what?

Yelena (replying to Trenton): provides link to Newsweek article about Larry Elder being called “the black face of white supremacy” and then says oh I know! I’m Jewish face white supremacy. 😂 My first creation of a new classification. 👍

The juvenile mud-slinging continued for quite a while before the conversation got interesting again.

Trenton (replying to Wales, though I can’t seem to find which specific comment):

so you admit it Tyranny is your MO, of course I was figuring that out.

Interesting how you guys totally ignore the fact that these vaccines are only about 40 % effective…

Wales (replying to Trenton): Oh, grow up. Your accusation is projection. I’m certain you believe anyone to the left of you, including normal conservatives, is tyrannical. Oh, why didn’t I answer you East? I have a life outside of social media. Get a life yourself.

Always accuse your enemy of that which you are guilty (projection), including projection itself. This is one layer of hypocrisy on top of another, “fractal hypocrisy,” you could call it! I did mention that the ideological method relies on compound fallacies, after all. For the record, what I find most profoundly telling is that someone who claims to have a life outside of social media is making more comments than anyone else, compulsively responding to absolutely everyone he perceives to be “far right” (he loves that phrase) while also verbally fellating anyone who agrees with him.

Me (replying to Wales’s last response to me): Wow, the strawman-making business is booming! First, NEVER conflate “Russian” with “Soviet.” The Soviets oppressed Russians as much as they oppressed Czechs. Second, despite having a Czech name, it may interest you to know that I was born in St. Petersburg, and I consider myself Russian more than anything else. My ancestry comes from all over the place, and if I tied myself in knots over past injustices the way that you do, I’d have killed myself years ago – my own grandparents probably shot at each other on the Eastern Front. Third, I’m not white enough to be accepted by white supremacists – I’m a Slav, not an Aryan, I’m part Asian, and my mother’s family is Jewish. Aligning myself with white supremacists would go against my own self-interest. But then, CRT sees “white” as a system of classical liberal values, not as a skin colour.

Wales: I don’t tie myself in knots. I’m proud of all my ancestry. You have no clue about me except that you know I’ve not made secular far right wing politics my religion. Are you a supporter of Vladimir Putin?

Me: I’m not dignifying your question with a response, as nothing I say in my defense will change your mind about me, but I WILL say that your constant narcissistic projection of your own quasi-religious adherence to your beliefs, addiction to social media, and sociopathic lack of empathy are all getting really old. You’re proud all right, a little TOO proud for my taste. I think I’m done with you, and with this blasted comment thread. I have better things to do. I’ll give you the last word, that is all.

Wales: You don’t have the credentials to call me sociopathic. If you can’t stand what I post, just block me and go to your far right wing echo chambers on Telegram, 8kun, and other sleazy places on the Internet. LinkedIn allows debate and disagreement. Apparently you can’t handle that.

I gave Wales a chance to redeem himself with one final parting shot – he missed. Instead, he used an argument from authority (saying that someone is wrong because they lack credentials is just as much an argument from authority as saying that someone is right because they have credentials), a strawman (bringing up 8kun, which I clearly told him that I’ve never used), and yet more projection (saying that I can’t handle debate and disagreement).

The fact that Wales acted like a petulant child the entire time, and dismissed all of Yelena’s sources as “from the secular political far right” reminded me of another charlatan with a fake degree who once said to an ideological opponent “that’s not evidence, that’s just a bunch of paper” when presented with peer-reviewed research papers. Are you seeing what I’m getting at yet? Wales Nematollahi sounds almost exactly like Kent Hovind, between the self-aggrandisement, logical fallacies, and name-calling. Am I to believe that this man is a real scientist? His job title may contain the word “scientist,” but he doesn’t act like a scientist. Besides, credentials don’t necessarily mean anything – Kent Hovind has a PhD, but it’s from an unaccredited diploma mill, and his dissertation (which is “private” and available only on Wikileaks) is so laughable that it would receive a failing grade if submitted as an undergraduate level essay exam. Hovind, of course, is the exception, not the rule. However, when the exception becomes the rule, whether in reality or simply by perception, then wider society can no longer trust those who claim to stand for the truth. I like to think that the majority of scientists are open-minded and honest, but I have no way of finding that out. Only the dogmatic and dishonest ones have time to be so vocal. So, the question is, what is Wales’s motive for being an authoritarian shill online and projecting his own hostile nature and addiction to social media onto others? In other words, whose payroll is he on?

If this sort of thing is allowed to continue, and spoiled children wearing adult skinsuits are allowed to run roughshod over normal and sane people, then society as we know it is lost. I don’t know of any solution that can be implemented that is both in line with my own principles and lacks the potential to be abused. Since this post is directed mostly at the parties involved in this fecal performance, I ask you: since you are aware of at least some of the warning signs of mass psychosis, how do we stop it before it takes hold?

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