I should preface this post with a statement for all of you skeptic fans that have come to appreciate the writing here at Top Secret Writers over the years. In this post, I plan to briefly examine the argument that one skeptic believes he has against Loren Coleman – the cryptozoologist that readers may remember I spoke with when I visited his museum in Portland, Maine.
Those of you that know my past research and writings, then you know that I worked with other skeptics on busting some of the most ridiculous, outrageous recent scams in the field of Ufology.
Working with a team of other researchers, I helped to expose the idiotic Serpo story being distributed by the likes of scam-artist Rick Doty and his merry men that like to make Ufologists and fans believe they’re connected to the U.S. government.
Later, I worked closely with my colleague Stephen Broadbent, in addition to Andy Murray and other great investigators, to help expose the fraud known as “Source A” that was distributing lies and other sordid, blatantly-untrue stories on UFO forums and blogs. Andy and I spoke on the air with Don over at Dark Matters Radio after the investigation was finished and the S&M leather-clad fraudster was exposed to the world for what he really was.
What I’m trying to tell you is that exposing frauds is an important part of being a skeptic. I appreciate that and as you can see in any of my past articles – it’s something that I personally believe in quite strongly.
However, this article is meant to take on another side of skepticism that I really don’t like – and that is the activity of attacking people just for the sake of attacking them. Just because they are exploring an area of research that you, personally, have concluded is bunk long before the fat lady has even started to sing. This is something that has been called to my attention in the matter of blogger Myron Getman’s attack against Loren Coleman.
Attacking for the Sake of Attacking
Here's the issue. At the beginning of March I received a news blurb from Coleman with his response to an attack from Myron Getman - who apparently feels that Loren uses shallow, ridiculous SEO-scam-like tactics on the website Cryptomundo.
On his own blog, "The Mad Skeptic" (an appropriate title...), Myron posted what he calls a "spoof post" of a Loren Coleman post at Cryptomundo, saying that he "...parodies the techniques Loren Coleman uses to attempt to generate traffic to his site".
First off, I thought the parody was a bit lame, and where exactly are all of these scantily-clad women that Myron claims is posted on every one of Loren's articles? I do notice Cryptomundo is overwhelmingly drenched in ads - nearly the first entire page consists of banner ads - but having been a part of multiple websites, one of which entertains an audience of nearly half a million people a day, this isn't a behavior that is exclusive to Cryptomundo or Loren, it's known as using ad-revenue to pay the hosting server bills.
More specifically, Myron charges that Loren used the sex scandal at Penn State to generate traffic to "his site" (Cryptomundo isn't owned by Loren Coleman, by the way), and proceeds to call Loren a "f**king scumbag."
I had to grin at that one - I'm not about to pooh-pooh Myron's aggressive stance...I can't even count how many scam artists and frauds that I've called f**king scumbags.
With that said, there is also a criteria that I use to identify such a scumbag - and I'm afraid that Myron is so adamant about making that label stick in the case of Coleman that he fails to use the sort of logic and reason that he claims that he uses in his day-job as a scientist.
In his response on March 5th, Coleman writes:
"Once again, I am criticized for having multiple interests, an intrigue with the flow of current affairs interacting with various topics of concern to me, and a sincere desire to not be silent on some issues. I am a MSW, of course, and it is natural for me to be a writer on all matters that make me curious. It boggles my mind that ‘Skeptics’ don’t understand this, and keep wrongfully (and mythically) stating that I ‘capitalize on human tragedy for the sake of profit and attention.’"
This is in fact a rational perspective on blogging, and it only takes one look at The Mad Skeptic's own list of topics to see that Myron had to grasp at straws to find something damaging to post about Loren. The Mad Skeptic claims to be solely based on skepticism, but Myron himself has written about the latest breaking news ranging from the Tourettes-syndrome outbreak in NY to "Weight Training" (say what?), to even sexism and gender issues.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing - Myron is just doing what most bloggers do, covering topics that are of interest to him, and there's nothing wrong with that.
However, in attacking Loren for writing about what he reads in the morning paper, Myron is doing the old "pot calling the kettle black" dance...and for no other reason than to attack someone that dares to keep an open mind to the possibility that there might be another species of hominid hiding out in the remote wilderness. Heaven forbid...someone lash Loren up and let's get the torches.
How does the old saying go - he who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones?
Arguing for the Sake of Arguing
In the case in my Ufology travels, I simply got tired of the constant in-fighting between skeptics and believers. I can not stand the extreme fringe of either group.
Watch out if you entertain a far-reaching theory - the wingnut skeptics will perform a full character-attack, completely ignoring the actual topic at hand. Watch out if you shoot down some completely insane theory that has no evidence to back it - the wingnut believers will call you a government agent or the spawn of inter-galactic demons.
I kid you not - in fields that should be based on true scientific analysis, an open minded approach to strange phenomenon, and a process of careful and respectful peer-review, all you get with most of these people is a childish tantrum where they plug their ears, close their eyes, and just scream nasty names at one another. No wonder so many real scientists want nothing to do with anything even remotely related to the paranormal.
Myron runs a free Blogger website that requires virtually no overhead costs - yet he posts Google Ads to generate revenue with the site while in the next breath attacking Loren for attempting to make money with his site. He fails to even do enough basic research to learn that Loren doesn't own Cryptomundo.
On March 2, he claims to be an SEO expert that used to work for an SEO firm until he lost his job because the practice is no longer relevant. Oh really?
Myron states, "...Coleman acts as though SEO is still pertinent."
I don't even know where to start with this poorly thought-out comment. As I mentioned above, I work for a site that gets half a million visitors a day, and I'm the single SEO editor there. I think what Myron meant to say is that black-hat SEO (which he was apparently a part of) is no longer relevant, which is true. Keyword spamming and trying to "game" Google algorithms is a thing of the past, but the field of SEO - using careful topical-analysis and crafting articles to make sure they're relevant to what people are searching for - is very much alive and well.
But then again, it's clear that Myron's comment isn't so much an attempt to speak to the truth about the field of SEO - I think he knows better - it's just an attempt to get "one-up" on Coleman, who is apparently Myron's arch-enemy for whatever reason.
I actually enjoyed reviewing Myron's site. His recent analysis of Tom Biscardi - a clear and proven fraud and scammer - was great. The evidence against Tom would easily hold up in a court of law.
But again, to rabid skeptics that bully people simply for daring to keep an open mind - please....grow up.