My Marc Stephens Update, Or, Mr. Snarky Numbered Lists Visits Crazytown

Effluvia

Have you seen the movie "84 Charring Cross Road"? You know, the slow-paced but touching story of how a book-lover played by Anne Bancroft and a bookseller played by Anthony Hopkins develop a meaningful and thoughtful relationship in the course of cross-Atlantic correspondence over the course of decades, illuminating the nature of friendship, the possibilities of written communications, and the power of shared love for great things?

Yeah, my relationship with Marc Stephens is exactly unlike that.

I was inspired to write about Marc Stephens weeks ago when I learned how he was (apparently) posing as an attorney to threaten critics of the Buzynski Clinic with the prospect of various badly-researched and oddly-worded forms of legal Armageddon. I was moved to write about him again when he sent a rather bizarre threatening email suggesting that I was in league with some sort of international skeptic identity theft ring, or something. As a result of that post, I learned (or re-learned) something very fundamental about the internet: you can lay your soul bare about excruciatingly personal issues, you can pen extraordinary philosophical insights, you can draft brilliant and inexorable legal arguments, but you will never get a fraction of the attention from any of that as you will if you invent a phrase like "snort my taint." Conduct yourselves accordingly, as professional taint-snorters might say.

Anyway, yesterday and today I had an extended correspondence with Marc Stephens regarding my series of posts. It's set forth in full below, with a few annotations, for your perusal. I respectfully submit it illuminates important things about Mr. Stephens and about the many such campaigns to stifle criticism through feckless legal threats.

In case you find the email exchange to be a bit tl;dr for your taste, here's the bullet:

1. Marc Stephens finally admits that he does not now "represent" the Burzynski Clinic, but refuses — no matter how many times I ask him — to clarify whether or not he claims to be a licensed attorney. (I am in the course of investigating whether — despite the Burzynski Clinic terminating its relationship with him, and despite his admission — Marc Stephens is still threatening critics of the Burzynski Clinic.)

2. Marc Stephens is very, very concerned that in my first post I linked to public documents from the California Secretary of State regarding "MAS Acquisitions, Inc." (I didn't post similar documents from New York.) That's curious, because (1) the document is public, and (2) the name and address on the document is for the agent for service of process, a public fact about a corporation that all California corporations are required to make public. Still, he feels this is encouraging "retaliation" — by someone unspecified, in a manner unspecified. It's not retaliation against him, though, because he claims the address actually belongs to a "United States Judge" (by which he means a state judge, even though any lawyer would interpret that as a reference to a federal judge), and that I am PUTTING A JUDGE IN DANGER. He has declined to identify the judge that I am allegedly endangering. Perhaps the judge's name is Harvey.

3. Marc Stephens has a view of freedom of expression apparently cultivated from "bullying" activists. In short, he seems to believe that writing critically about someone on the internet — or even disagreeing with them by name — is actionable "harassment." Dress it up as you will, but that's what it comes down to. For a sense of just how badly wrong Marc is about the scope of the First Amendment, consider the recent dismissal of the twitter-stalking case in U.S. v. Cassidy.

4. Marc Stephens has difficulties operating his internet and may need to order a new one. Consider, for instance, his assertion that I have nefariously deleted Twitter exchanges with someone on Twitter. Of course, my internet still shows that the exchange is still perfectly available, even if Marc's internet does not. This is exactly why you should never buy your internet out of the back of a Dodge Dart from someone you met at cognitive therapy.

5. You may recall that in my last post I speculated that Marc's "identity theft" references suggested that he was trying to back away from the stupid, thuggish emails he sent to critics of the Burzynski Clinic. Well, yes with an if, or no with a but. Marc is trying to create doubt about the provenance of emails attributed to him. He does this in part with vague references and in part my altering my emails to him to change their content. But it turns out the main thrust of his "identity theft" references is far, far more insipid. See, apparently critics of the Burzynski Clinic and people who write about Marc Stephens are associated with skepticism, and James Randi is associated with skepticism, and James Randi has a partner who has been accused of stealing someone's identity 24 years ago, and therefore everyone associated with criticizing Marc Stephens is implicated in identity theft. Challenged that this theory is inhumanly cretinous, Marc Stephens doubles down:

In June 2011, an individual sent out a message via Twitter stating he was going to “blow up the airport”. He was arrested, and later found guilty in court despite his statement “I was Joking”. Many people disagree until the shoe is on the other foot. I’m sure if some kid contacted you and said he's going to blow up your house, you would immediately call the cops. Don’t kid me, Ken. When little teenagers, in the streets of LA, are constantly seen hanging around gang members, they are immediately assumed to be apart of that membership until further investigation, correct? In majority of the cases its “guilty by association”. Well, in all three cases a Skeptic member came up as affiliated with a bomb threat, harassment, and Identity Theft. Just as the UK courts did not take the Twitter message as a joke, the clinic did not take Rhys Morgan harassment as a joke. What makes it worst, is that you never seen the harassing comments until today. If you were a judge, I would hate to be in your court room.

This was the point at which I most thought I was being trolled, by the way, until I reminded myself that there are people this genuinely stupid and/or crazy out there.

6. Also, I think that Marc Stephens is threatening to report me to the State Bar, the Attorney General, the "Press", and the internet unless I stop writing about him. Having interacted with each of those worthy entities, I suspect that they'll swiftly conclude Marc is a nut. That's certainly what happened when Marc Stephens tried to get Edward McGuire, a guy in Texas, arrested for writing about Marc. The police officer's comments suggest that Marc was told to go be a troll someplace else.

7. Marc Stephens is not an inherently interesting person. Marc Stephens' conduct in this matter is interesting, in the sense of "evil and worthy of wide condemnation." As I've told Marc, if he admits he's not a lawyer and apologizes to the people he's threatened, I'll stop writing about him so long as he stops his antics.

So. Without further ado, our email exchange.

First up: before I first wrote about Marc, I sent him two emails (using the email address he had used to issue threats to Burzynski Clinic critics) soliciting comment on the planned story.

Dear Mr. Stephens,

I write at the site www.popehat.com on a variety of subjects, with an emphasis on First Amendment issues, SLAPP suits, and free speech questions. I am also an attorney with a practice including First Amendment issues, though I do not blog to promote my professional work.

My attention has been drawn to a series of threatening communications you have sent to various science bloggers. I am preparing to write a post regarding those communications.

I would like to give you an opportunity to answer a few questions before I post on this subject. My questions are:

1. Are you the same Marc Anthony Stephens who is the registered agent for the suspended corporation MAS Acquisitions, Inc., with an address on 20th Street in Santa Monica, and with a recently expired California Real Estate license?
2. I find no record of you being admitted to the California or Texas bar, yet several of your communications appear to imply that you are an attorney. Are you? Do you represent anyone in this matter as an attorney?
3. What is your intent in sending a high school student a Google map picture of his house? Did you intend to convey a threat of physical harm?
4. Can you name any of the "local authorities" to which you have reported the blog posts of which you complain?
5. Can you name any of the "local counsel" to which you have referred your legal threats against various science bloggers?

I would be pleased to include your answers to these questions in my post about your threats.

Meanwhile, I am moving forward with my investigation of your activities. You might be interested in other investigative work I have recently done: http://www.popehat.com/2011/09/25/anatomy-of-a-scam-chapter-index/

Very truly yours,

Ken
www.popehat.com

When additional news broke, I asked for comment on that:

Mr. Stephens:

A follow-up question. Do you have any comment on this report regarding your status and authorization to act on behalf of the clinic:

Thanks very much,

Ken
www.popehat.com

Once I posted about Mr. Stephens, I sent him links to my posts:

Dear Mr. Stephens:

A follow-up: http://www.popehat.com/2011/12/06/junk-science-and-marketeers-and-legal-threats-oh-my/

That last email generated a response, which I discussed — and replied to — in this post.

I heard nothing further from Stephens until Monday, December 19, when he emailed every attorney in my firm. The email was nominally directed to me, but he did not include me on the distribution list. Here's what he sent:

Hello Mr. Kenneth White aka Popehat,

I would appreciate if you stop harassing me. Its kind of childish. Also, the address you have posted all over the internet, and on your blog at http://www.popehat.com , is not my address. After looking up the property profile, you actually have a United States Judge address posted all over the internet (Santa Monica address). This is a very serious matter. http://www.popehat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/MASacquisitionsCASOS.pdf

I am quoting you (2009), “It’s only a matter of time before I annoy someone with sufficient smarts and time….who outs me to “the public.” When that happens, I will accept the social consequences of what I have written”. Is that time here today Mr. Kenneth White?

You have an impressive background, so it is shocking that you would put someone’s contact information all over the internet, especially a California Judge. You have already admitted in your blog titled “Blogger Anonymity and Outing”, that posting personal information online can cause serious physical harm. see here—> http://www.popehat.com/2009/06/08/blogger-anonymity-and-outing/ If you are so worried about being threatened and harassed, why would you do the same to others?

If you continue to write about me, write about the truth. Ken, of all people, you should know not to believe everything on the internet. Bloggers are not journalist. If you want the true story about Rhys Morgan I can provide it, see attached. Do you support individuals harassing and disrespecting cancer patients?

My next step is to forward your information over to the Bar Association, Attorney General, District Attorney, Press, etc. This will include the video, and screen shots that I have gathered from your twitter and blog investigation trying to locate me, also your emails harassing me (below). I’ve noticed you guys deleted the twitter conversation (Investigations), but I have a copy.

If someone is seriously hurt you should be held accountable. Hopefully, someone at your law firm will convince you to remove the information. You are endangering innocent people.

Sincerely,

Marc

I note three things about this email: (1) the references to anonymity would be somewhat more intimidating if I hadn't previously outed myself, (2) as is noted above, Marc is having trouble finding old Tweets on his internet, and (3) Marc apparently views sending him two emails and writing two blog posts about him to be harassment.

Marc also attached, among other things, a rather odd document that he apparently views as some sort of devastating super-manifesto about me that he will send to have me locked up. It's constructed kind of like a ransom note from a troubled kidnapper with tragically impaired photoshop skills and a tenuous relationship with reality. Here it is in all its glory (file title supplied by me). Marc Stephens implies that I have ignored CRUCIAL FACTS about the Burzynski Clinic's detractors that justified his behavior; the document reveals that Stephens believes that blogger Rhys Morgan committed actionable harassment merely by mentioning and criticizing the Burzynski Clinic and disagreeing with Burzynski supporters who responded to him.

Incidentally, in the same email to all of the attorneys in my firm, Marc Stephens edited my emails to him to make it look like I had said this, with the altered portions bolded:

From: Ken At Popehat
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 1:28 PM
To: mastephens1@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Questions Regarding Legal Threats

Dear Mr. Stephens(you twit):

A follow-up: http://www.popehat.com/2011/12/06/junk-science-and-marketeers-and-legal-threats-oh-my/

On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 8:18 AM, Ken At Popehat wrote:

Mr. Stephens(you asshole):

A follow-up question. Do you have any comment on this report regarding your status and authorization to act on behalf of the clinic. You cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs twit.

Thanks very much,

Ken
www.popehat.com

In fact, I have never used a sentence fragment to insult Mr. Stephens.

Anyway, I decided to respond.

Dear Mr. Stephens,

Your attempt to harass and intimidate me by emailing all of the attorneys at my firm will not succeed, any more than your prior bumptious attempts have.

Thanks for making your harassing intent so clear by emailing those attorneys but excluding me. It's a nice attempt at intimidation, but it failed. If you harass my colleagues any further, I'll simply block your email addresses. My firm has no editorial control over, and no knowledge of, what I write on my blog.

I have a few follow up questions for you, if you would like to continue this dialogue:

1. Are you, or are you not, a licensed attorney?

2. If not, why are you sending legal threats in which you pretend that you are an attorney?

3. The Burzynski clinic has released a press release saying they've fired you. Do you still purport to represent them?

4. Do you deny that you are the Marc Anthony Stephens associated with MAS Acquisitions in several states, and with the MAS web design site?

5. Are you really threatening to "out" me within a week of me posting a blog post outing myself? That's a little slow on the uptake, don't you think?

6. Will you name the federal judge you claim is associated with the Santa Monica address?

7. Are you represented by counsel? If so, I'd like to talk to that attorney about your conduct.

8. You profess to be concerned with safety of people whose addresses are available on the internet. I have two questions. First, precisely what threat are you concerned about? Second, how do you reconcile that concern with sending a 17-year-old kid a Google map of his house to intimidate him for writing about your "client"?

9. I'm fascinated by the reference to a video. What's in it?

10. You say "if you continue to write about me, write the truth." Can you point to any specific statement of fact about you that I have made that is not true? If you can, I will be happy to look at any evidence you would like to present and consider whether it contradicts that fact, and correct the factual statement if warranted.

11. You ask whether I support "harassing and disrespecting cancer patients." I am attempting to evaluate what you mean by that. Does your conduct in posts like this one qualify? http://anaximperator.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/is-marc-stephens-really-a-representative-of-burzynski/

Very truly yours,

Ken White

As you'll note, I posed many questions. Mr. Stephens answered few of them for the rest of the conversation. He responded, in character:

Ken, everyone is cooperating except you. I didn’t realize you were not included. Honestly, for a man in your position, why are you so obsessed with the story, and my name? You do not have the entire event that unfolded.

I have provided documentation showing Rhys Morgan already had a Google map of his location on his twitter. Did you not get the email and documents from your colleagues? Do you need me to forward you the email?

Its amazing that you are claiming “I am harassing and threatening you”. You contacted me first via email claiming to have my address. Is that not a threat? I’ve never contacted you before that. I have you and the JP guy investigating my location on Twitter (which you’ve deleted), you then post someone's address online thinking it was mine, turns out to be a California Judge, but yet you claim I am harassing and threatening you? Does it make sense to you?

Again, the address you have posted online is owned by a United States Judge. I’ve never said a “Federal Judge”, you love creating drama. If you are so great at investigating..look it up. I did not contact you regarding the clinic. I contacted you for posting false information online which can possible cause physical harm to innocent people. Stop blogging behind your popehat and disclose your true name and location by posting it online. You will not feel comfortable doing that, right? So, you should not do it to anyone else. This is very childish going back and forth with you. There are individuals who posted your information, and another individual in Texas. We had them remove the information immediately. We do not want this to get out of control. Especially when people do not have the full story, such as yourself. You do not see me posting your information all over the internet, and you know that I have it. I am trying to handle this situation with you man to man, or email to email…however you want to put it.

Again, do not believe everything you see on the internet. Example, I can change your statements below and post it online. How would you explain it? SEE BELOW.

Help me stop all this dissemination of false information online before someone gets seriously hurt. Appreciate it.

ms

Once again, as part of that email, Marc Stephens altered one of my emails. As far as I can gather, he's suggesting that some of his emails have been altered to make him look bad. Note that I repeatedly invite him in this series of emails to specify which emails attributed to him are altered, and he never responds. Once again, his alterations to my emails are calculated to make me look not only uncouth, but as bad of a writer as he is.

From: Ken At Popehat
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 10:02 AM
To: MAS
Subject: Re: FW: Questions Regarding Legal Threats

Dear Mr. Stephens,

It's a nice attempt at intimidation, but it failed you twit. If you harass my colleagues any further, I'll simply track you down like a dog. I will then call your mother so she can spank you. My firm has no editorial control over my fucking blogs, and no knowledge of, what I write on my blog.

I have a few follow up questions for you, if you would like to continue this dialogue:

1. I am the boss of California. Don’t you know I can throw your ass in jail tonight?

2. I do not follow rules you little twit! I am Mr. Popehat, do you not know my reputation in Los Angeles?

Anyway, here's what I actually sent him next:

Dear Mr. Stephens:

Thank you for your prompt response. Unfortunately, you have generated more questions than answers.

A few such questions, and a few more points:

1. You say "everyone is cooperating except you." Who, exactly, is "everybody?" Is "everybody" related to the "we" and "associates" you have previously referred to? I've seen many blogs that have posted correspondence with you and posted criticisms of the Burzynski Clinic that have not, in fact, "cooperated," if by "cooperated" you mean "shut up." Would you like to provide me with the names and emails of some of the people who have "cooperated," so that I can talk to them and perhaps be persuaded to "cooperate" as well?

2. I'm not sure "obsessed" is the right word. Some combination of "annoyed" and "amused" is. Your behavior is pathetic, contemptible, and worthy of comment by people who care about free speech and about the conduct of junk-science proponents. I'm going to keep talking about it.

3. If Mr. Morgan already had the Google map of his location on twitter, why did you feel it necessary to send it to him? Did you think he forgot where he lives? Are you genuinely asserting that your intent – in sending a 17-year-old blogger a reference to his location — was not to intimidate?

4. I rather suspect your "California judge" thing is bogus. What judge are you talking about? Would you like to tell me? Is it your position that MAS Acquisitions has never had anything to do with address, or that you have nothing to do with MAS Acquisitions?

5. FYI, when people familiar with the legal system use the term "United States Judge," they are generally referring to federal judges. Perhaps the nomenclature is different amongst people merely pretending to be lawyers.

6. Are you now claiming that all of your threats and bluster and idiocy have been somehow fabricated, and that you have not been sending out semi-literate legal threats on behalf of the clinic? Can you specify which specific emails attributed to you are false? Also, correct me if I am wrong, but aren't you sticking with a sort of "I didn't send those emails, but if I did, they were totally justified because those bloggers are harassers" defense here? I say this with the intent of offering constructive criticism, not to wound: don't you think that's a little convoluted for someone of your modest capacity to keep up?

7. Just so we're clear, you're criticizing me for blogging as "Ken at Popehat," even though I've linked to my full name and even though it's been childishly easy to figure out my full name for years — but you are simultaneously refusing to answer questions about whether or not you are a lawyer, whether or not you still "represent" the Burzynski Clinic, whether or not you are the Marc Anthony Stephens associated with MAS Acquisitions, Inc. in California and New York, and whether you have an attorney, right? Is that your position? Marc, are you an attorney?

8. Do you think that it is harassment to send you an email asking you to comment on a story before I write it, when you have used that email to send legal threats to bloggers, but it isn't harassment for you to send an email to all of the attorneys at my firm? Really?

9. Just so we're clear — what's your definition of "harassment," anyway? Your attachments seem to imply that writing critically of the Burzynski Clinic is harassment. Is that your position?

10. Who, exactly, are you concerned will get hurt, how do you think they will get hurt, and who will do the hurting? Are we talking about your feelings here, Marc? Because I sort of think that ship sailed when the dice of genetics and upbringing were cast and produced the sad little snake-eyes that is you.

11. Exactly what "true facts," Marc, do you think support your campaign to pose as a lawyer to make legal threats? Because, Marc, if your "true facts" are just the posts you've referred to — just the things Rhys Morgan posted — and if you think those posts somehow reflect some wrong done by Mr. Morgan or done to the Burzynski Clinic — then you are freakishly ignorant about fundamental issues of American Law, Marc. Even for a fake lawyer.

12. With respect to your rather oddly obsessive references to Mr. Randi's partner, Marc, let me see if I have your position right: criticism of the Burzynski Clinic is associated with skepticism and various internet skeptic groups, and Mr. Randi is associated with one of those groups, and Mr. Randi's partner was accused of stealing the identity of another man more than two decades ago in a matter utterly unrelated to the Burzynski clinic. Now, as I understand it, you believe that somehow implicates everyone criticizing you and the Burzynski Clinic in identity theft. Is that right? Please tell me that isn't right, Marc. Please tell me you have a more coherent theory than that. Because Marc, that's either the most overtly delusional or crassly stupid legal theory I've ever heard. I've seen floridly delusional people, Marc — people who thought I was part of a conspiracy involving black helicopters, people who thought the gold fringe on the American flag meant they were in an admiralty court — who could come up with more coherent and persuasive theories than that. Really? That's what you've got? My God.

So. Here we are. I'm not going to stop asking questions and speaking my mind. You're going to continue being . . . you.

I challenge you, Marc. I think you're too much of a troll do answer, but I challenge you anyway. I double-dog-dare you.

Tell me straight whether or not you are a licensed attorney in any jurisdiction.

Tell me straight whether or not you are still authorized to represent the Burzynski Clinic in any capacity.

Tell me straight what specific emails — with links to posts about you — you contend are faked.

But you won't, will you?

Cheers,

Ken

I followed up with this:

Mr. Stephens:

Sorry, I had one more question.

You say "I have you and the JP guy investigating my location on Twitter (which you’ve deleted) . . . ."

Are you referring to these non-deleted tweets, matching the ones in your screenshots, which took me about 45 seconds to find?

Thanks,

Ken

And here's his next reply:

Its hard to believe you are a lawyer. I do not represent the clinic, and I did not contact you to discuss the clinic, or Rhys Morgan. I made it very clear, that the address you have posted on the internet belongs to a Judge. If you don’t believe it, that is on you. Instead of typing a thousand questions, investigate the address. You claim you are an investigator, right? A Lawyer should not conduct himself in this manner.

One thing you and I agree on, is that we both understand what harassment and threats are, right? So, you just admitted, Rhys Morgan, constantly harassed a cancer clinic via the internet. You expect someone to believe the age of an individual online when you have sexual predators, murders, terrorist, etc with facebook and twitter accounts? What world are you living in? Which personality am I talking to, Popehat or the Harvard Lawyer? You stated my one (1) email to your partners was harassment, and to stop harassing them..correct? You also stated you will “block my email”. So are your multiple harassing emails, you trying to locate me, and articles attacking my character considered harassment? I guess its freedom of speech..right?

In June 2011, an individual sent out a message via Twitter stating he was going to “blow up the airport”. He was arrested, and later found guilty in court despite his statement “I was Joking”. Many people disagree until the shoe is on the other foot. I’m sure if some kid contacted you and said he's going to blow up your house, you would immediately call the cops. Don’t kid me, Ken. When little teenagers, in the streets of LA, are constantly seen hanging around gang members, they are immediately assumed to be apart of that membership until further investigation, correct? In majority of the cases its “guilty by association”. Well, in all three cases a Skeptic member came up as affiliated with a bomb threat, harassment, and Identity Theft. Just as the UK courts did not take the Twitter message as a joke, the clinic did not take Rhys Morgan harassment as a joke. What makes it worst, is that you never seen the harassing comments until today. If you were a judge, I would hate to be in your court room.

You keep screaming freedom of speech, but you ignore the fact people have freedom of choice. If you decide to smoke cigarettes, despite the warnings, that is none of my business. I do not see you outside of Marlboro or Newport headquarters protesting. You are all talk, hence the reason you want to speak about your rights behind closed doors, or internet firewalls, “Anonymously”.

Ken, do the right thing and remove the information. You can write what ever you want about me, call me a “twit” and “cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs” who really cares? Again, I will forward your information if you do not cooperate..”I’m not joking”. I have a first amendment right to inform the bar association, and attorney general about what you are doing online..correct? Lawyers follow a Code of Ethics, and you are breaking a few of them. What you are doing is dangerous, vindictive, unprofessional, and unnecessary. Not good for the image of Lawyers. Especially, when you are posting the address of a California judge.

Thanks,
Marc

At this point I was getting, perhaps, a bit testy. But I hadn't eaten in minutes:

Dear Mr. Stephens:

You remain either aggressively dishonest or irretrievably stupid.

First, I did not say that Mr. Morgan "constantly harassed a cancer clinic via the internet." The screenshots you have send to not establish that he did. Those screenshots — and his blog posts — show that Mr. Morgan wrote about the Burzynski Clinic critically. Criticism is not harassment. Blogging or twittering or writing opinion pieces about someone is not harassment. You seem to have a childish belief that "harassment" is a magic word, and that simply saying it makes the First Amendment goes away.

Now, if some employee at the clinic had responded to Mr. Morgan rudely, and in a fit of childish pique Mr. Morgan had located the email of every single employee of the clinic and emailed them all in a pathetic attempt to intimidate that employee — in other words, if he had acted like you — some might call that harassment. But Mr. Morgan is more mature than you are, Marc.

Second, some days I find it hard to believe that I am a lawyer as well. But I note you're still running away behind mommy's skirts rather than answering the question, Marc. You say you "don't represent the clinic." But you still don't answer the question: are you, or are you not, a licensed attorney? If not, why did you suggest to the people you threatened that you are one? Why won't you answer that, Marc?

Third, you say that you "did not contact [me] to discuss the clinic, or Rhys Morgan." Come, Marc. That's rather dishonest. After ignoring my invitations to comment about the story before I posted it, you came roaring in with stupid threats about identity fraud investigations, demanding to know if I am affiliated with organizations, and demanding that I take down my post. If you weren't trying to discuss my post about Mr. Morgan or the clinic, why all that bullshit? Why the line "If we do not hear from you, your information will be forwarded for further investigation, and a associate will contact you."

I ask you again: who is "we," Marc? Who is the associate? Is there anyone but you, Marc?

Fourth, you claim the address belongs to a judge. Fine. What judge, Marc? You are claiming that the Santa Monica address belongs to a judge. But I note that you won't answer the question of whether it used to be an address you used. You still won't answer whether MAS Acquisitions, Inc. (in California or New York) was your company. Is it? If you have nothing to do with this address, Marc, why are you so concerned that I posted a link to a public document — a document anyone can find on the California Secretary of State's website in seconds — if you aren't affiliated with that address? You still haven't answered what danger you fear from knowing that address. What's the danger, Marc?

I do believe you, Marc, that you aren't currently living there. It sounds as if you are living in Englewood, New Jersey. You'll notice I haven't posted that. I don't have any plans to do so (at least directly) at this point. I note that your effort to report a Texas writer for doing so was utterly unsuccessful. The cops talked to the writer, concluded you were a liar or a troll and a nutcase, and told you to go conduct yourself accordingly, didn't they, Marc? When you report me to the State Bar, or the Attorney General's Office, or the DA, or the "Press," what makes you think you're going to get a different result? Let me tell you what I think, Marc: I think they are going to perceive you as being a troll, a liar, unusually dumb, or mentally ill. And I think they're apparently right.

Fifth, I'll ask you again, Marc: what specific statement have I written about you on Popehat that is not true? What is the proof that it is not true? Are you, or are you not, admitting that you sent threatening emails to bloggers who wrote about the Burzynski clinic?

You're losing, Marc. You're losing because you don't know what you are doing, because your grasp of law is laughable, and because you come off like a comic-relief thug. You're incapable of perceiving how you come off to others. You're unable to tell how ridiculous your arguments are. You're going to continue losing. I'm going to continue to write about you as long as you continue to make ridiculous threats and pose as a lawyer and lie. There's exactly one way you can make it stop, Marc. You can post a public apology to each person you've threatened and tell the truth about whether you are a lawyer. Then I'd be thrilled to let you slip into deserved obscurity. But I'm not caving to your threats, Marc. I'm not taking the posts down. I'm not stopping my writing about this.

Ken White

But Mr. Stephens, it seems, had enough:

Ken, I contacted you because you are constantly emailing me, and you have a judge address posted on the internet. You feel you are retaliating against me, but you are actually putting a Judge in danger. You guys think I live everywhere.

Enjoy your day,
MS

I wasn't done:

Marc:

Actually, Marc, as you know, I wrote you twice asking you to comment on a story. Then you emailed me. Since then the only time I have emailed you is in response to you.

You still won't answer any questions, will you? You still won't explain why you think a judge is in danger, will you?

Impersonating an attorney is a crime in New Jersey, Marc, just like it is in California.

Marc came back with some more veiled threats:

Ken,

I clearly gave you the answer, Why? “You feel you are retaliating against me, but you are actually putting a Judge in danger. You guys think I live everywhere.”

You are obsessed with this story, and it was over several days ago. I look at my emails, and I am forwarded articles…and its you. Just to calm all of this down, Honestly, I actually stopped several individuals from posting your information, and several others like the guy in Texas. These guys from the UK had everyone's photos, address, etc. Some went up live, and we forced it down. Some are still up, but its posted on YouTube showing Rhys Morgan’s comments.

Many people did not see Rhys Morgan comments. This was back on November 3 – 17 he did this, none stop. Whether you think it was criticism or not. There were many people that saw the comments, and were outraged..even from the UK. I was able to calm my side down, but for some reason you guys continued with multiple articles, posting personal information, etc. You already know I have your information. Not once did I post it. No one posted Rhys Morgan’s information in the public either. Rhys got people upset it was handled, and its over now.

I think what you skeptic guys do is actually great.. if you went after the right people. I am not trying to jeopardize anyone's career or reputation, including yours. You should know I am capable of doing that, but maybe you don’t think I know people in Los Angeles. It besides the point. I just feel that posting personal information online is retaliation. That usually starts trouble..and snowballs into crime. I’m actually asking you to help me stop it. Whether if it was my address or not, it should not be posted online in retaliation. People see that and want to retaliate, and its not even my address.

I fully understand your position, but all this needs to stop.

Thanks,
MS

And, finally, this is my last email to him as of this writing:

See, Marc, that's not an answer as to why you think the judge is in danger. That's just a conclusory restatement of your claim that the judge is. What makes you think the judge is in danger? You say people want to "retaliate," but which people are those? And isn't it your position you haven't done anything wrong? So why would they want to retaliate?

Clearly the word "obsessed" is magical to you too. I've written about the story exactly two times, Marc. That's a rather mild "obsession." You, on the other hand, have threatened multiple people, including me, over the course of months. Who is obsessed, again?

Marc, are these people you refer to — the felll legions at your command — the "we" and "associates" you've talked about before? I'd be happy to chat with them, Marc. Here's the thing: you're trying to portray me as a professional skeptic and a dedicated clinic of the Burzynski Clinic. If you had anything resembling honesty or reading comprehension, you'd see that I only talked about the criticisms of the clinic in passing. The only reason I wrote about this story — and the only reason I continue to write about it — is you, Marc. You — the bumbling fake-lawyer thug — ARE the story, from my perspective. As I said, you are the worst possible thing that could have happened to the Burzynski Clinic's reputation.

Despite your veiled threat that you'll be posting personal information about me, or your "we" or "associates" will be doing so, I'm not going to be intimidated by you, Marc. As long as your behavior continues, I'm going to write about it.

You keep coming back to this Santa Monica address reflected in public documents I posted on the site, Marc. You seem to be "obsessed" with them, even though they are public records anyone could find in under a minute by going to the California Secretary of State Business Search page and searching for "MAS Acquisitions" (just as they could perform a similar search in New York). Yet you won't answer whether MAS Acquisitions is or was, in fact, your corporation. Why is that, Marc?

But I will tell you what, Marc. Even though I'm not going to stop writing about you as long as you continue to pose as a lawyer and threaten people and generally act like a thug, I'll make you a deal. Even though I have a perfect right to post public documents, even though there's nothing wrong with it, I'll take them down under one condition. That condition, Marc, is that you send me an email which I may post in which you state clearly whether or not you are a licensed attorney, and in which you apologize for threatening people for criticizing the Burzynski clinic. If you do that, and stop your campaign of threats, I don't see why I'd ever feel an urge to write about you again after I post the email.

I like writing about bad people, Marc. You're a bad person. I'm going to keep writing to you as long as you act like a bad person.

Cheers,

Ken

Like I said: I'm not going to let him continue to threaten people with impunity. I'm investigating whether he is still doing so. If he is, I will write about it again. Thuggish lawsuit threats calculated to chill dissent only work when people refuse to fight back. Let's fight back.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

62 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Dec 20, 2011 @5:18 pm

    Cross-Atlantic I think you mean… unless you were watching a Kurosawa version that I somehow missed.

  2. Al  •  Dec 20, 2011 @5:27 pm

    Wait. You're not the boss of California? What next? Are you even a Pope?

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Dec 20, 2011 @5:41 pm

    Now I am looking for some version of "Don't get in an argument with people who buy ink by the barrel" to cover lamely attempting to dodge or redirect a question from Ken. It would be best if it somehow involved Cocoa-Puffs.

  4. Doug  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:01 pm

    marc stephens, you are crazy, so govern yourself accordingly.

  5. Ophelia Benson  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:04 pm

    Don't you talk to me like that you big cocoa puff.

  6. b  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:06 pm

    Reading Marc's letters (and perusing the PDF manifesto, which owes more to MS Word "skills" than to Photoshop ones) is a constant invitation to incredulity, but, as you do, I remind myself that delusional and incompetent individuals of this stripe and scale do indeed exist.

  7. Luna_the_cat  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:06 pm

    —- you can lay your soul bare about excruciatingly personal issues, you can pen extraordinary philosophical insights, you can draft brilliant and inexorable legal arguments, but you will never get a fraction of the attention from any of that as you will if you invent a phrase like “snort my taint.” —-

    And you JUST FIGURED THIS OUT. ::shakes head::

    As for the rest, I can only add

    WTF.

    I *am* surprised that you let his crack about you calling him names lick "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" pass without challenge, when he added that in himself in a deliberate alteration of your message. I mean, that's just batshit.

  8. Luna_the_cat  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:07 pm

    names *like

    damn snot-brain. Me, I mean.

  9. Chris Berez  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:30 pm

    Stop blogging behind your popehat and disclose your true name and location by posting it online.

    Yeah, Ken, stop blogging behind your popehat! How do you think that makes the rest of us feel, Ken, we who have no popehats to crouch behind while we blog?

    Wait a second, maybe that's it. Maybe that's why Marc is so upset. You have a popehat and he has none. I have taken the liberty of searching the Google and I found these helpful instructions that show how everyone can make their own popehats .

    Marc, if you see this, you don't have to be sad anymore. Just make your own popehat to blog behind. If you have trouble following the directions, I can even make the popehat for you and send it to you. I'll even put some unicorn stickers on it or something. Nobody can be sad when they have a popehat with unicorn stickers on it to blog behind!

  10. Chris Berez  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:32 pm

    Oh goddamnit, I forgot to close an HTML tag somewhere didn't I? Well gosh, don't I feel the fool.

  11. Ken  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:34 pm

    I fixed it for you Chris. I know that guys like you and Marc sometimes have problems with their internets.

  12. Squillo  •  Dec 20, 2011 @6:44 pm

    I can't decide if Marc Stephens is a slightly deranged individual or a comedy genius. He appears to have burned through a number of careers; maybe he's finally found one he's good at.

  13. Clark  •  Dec 20, 2011 @7:21 pm

    > I was getting, perhaps, a bit testy. But I hadn’t eaten in minutes

    LOL!

  14. Laura K  •  Dec 20, 2011 @7:29 pm

    Ken, you are awesome.

  15. VPJ  •  Dec 20, 2011 @7:44 pm

    This is exactly why you should never buy your internet out of the back of a Dodge Dart from someone you met at cognitive therapy.

    That's why I got mine out of the back of a baitshop. No fool me.

  16. Ken  •  Dec 20, 2011 @7:50 pm

    Exactly. Ask one of the attorneys to hand it to you.

  17. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 20, 2011 @8:07 pm

    I remind myself that delusional and incompetent individuals of this stripe and scale do indeed exist.

    I keep getting reminded of this every day. Somehow these incompetent bumpkins are given authority over relevant things of my day-to-day life. It's amazing.

  18. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 20, 2011 @8:11 pm

    >>> I found these helpful instructions that show how everyone can make their own popehats .

    And now, thanks to the miracle of the internets and webly things, a mystery is finally revealed for all to marvel at.

  19. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 20, 2011 @8:17 pm

    **a mystery**

    Ah, in case it wasn't clear, that mystery was if it was possible for someone to be sufficiently stupid as to get all the way to China and STILL KEEP DIGGING.

    Nothing to do with the *milliner's art* mind you…

  20. Pricknick  •  Dec 20, 2011 @8:26 pm

    Thanks for making me believe there is a use for legal advice again Ken.
    I too hate giant, invisible, fucking rabbits.

  21. eddie  •  Dec 20, 2011 @9:55 pm

    Okay, this is weird. The picture of James Randi and Jose Alvarez that Marc included in the pdf-of-crazy…

    … I know the exact spot at which it was taken. I recognize the architecture.

    Also, you don't look anything like I imagined. I can only surmise that, like Superman, you adopt a mild-mannered disguise for the safety of your loved ones.

  22. Suzanne  •  Dec 20, 2011 @10:32 pm

    His manifesto is quite interesting. According to it, the cancer patient Rhys is accused of "harassing" contacted him. Does that mean that she was harassing Rhys? Because she tweeted to him first, not the other way around. And sending a tweet to someone, like an email, seems to meet Marc's definition of harassment.

  23. SPQR  •  Dec 20, 2011 @10:51 pm

    Whoa, Ken, you definitely hooked a big loon.

  24. Vince  •  Dec 20, 2011 @11:10 pm

    "Do you have any comment on this report regarding your status and authorization to act on behalf of the clinic. You cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs twit."

    That actually brought tears to my eyes.

  25. Bethany  •  Dec 21, 2011 @1:20 am

    "White" was kind of a letdown for me. I was expecting Ken's sekrit last name to be something exciting and/or exotic… I spent literally minutes believing that deluded fantasy. Disappointment is so bitter.

  26. Windypundit  •  Dec 21, 2011 @2:57 am

    You're Ken White? Damn! I had "Randazza sock puppet" in the pool…

  27. jimbo  •  Dec 21, 2011 @4:39 am

    But what does Hitler have to say about it all, that's what I want to know?

  28. Ken  •  Dec 21, 2011 @6:53 am

    @Bethany: I get that from women a lot.

  29. Ken  •  Dec 21, 2011 @6:53 am

    @jimbo: Oh, thanks a lot. Now Marc Stephens has irrefutable proof that we are aligned with Hitler.

  30. TJIC  •  Dec 21, 2011 @8:39 am

    @al:
    > What next? Are you even a Pope?

    #epic_win

  31. Clark  •  Dec 21, 2011 @8:55 am

    @eddie

    > like Superman, you adopt a mild-mannered disguise

    Hey! You've got the wrong Popehatter!

  32. Josh  •  Dec 21, 2011 @9:35 am

    Yikes…looks like *somebody's* got a bad case of the butthurt. It boggles my mind that people like this exist, and yet they do. I even know a few of them personally, I'm sorry to say. However, while they are aggravating to deal with, they *do* provide a certain amount of comic relief for the rest of us who don't have to deal with them.

  33. mojo  •  Dec 21, 2011 @9:50 am

    "Get the gaff! Get the gaff!"

  34. CTrees  •  Dec 21, 2011 @10:15 am

    First: fantastic, as always.

    Now, then… you don't look a thing like I pictured you, Mr. Ken Popehat. I always thought you were a prepubescent Asian child. Never really questioned how you passed the bar at such a young age (admittedly, this lack of questioning DOES fall unacceptably into certain stereotypes), but I did wonder about your advanced command of vulgarity. I suppose all is explained, now. Alas, life's mysteries must all leave us eventually…

  35. writerJames  •  Dec 21, 2011 @10:41 am

    Holy shit this is hilarious.

  36. Richard Hershberger  •  Dec 21, 2011 @11:26 am

    meh. Back before usenet went on life support I saw pretty much the same sort of exchanges pretty frequently. I even participated in a few. It is all good clean fun, but as George Carlin observed about dry humping, it doesn't mean anything.

  37. Petra  •  Dec 21, 2011 @12:18 pm

    Thanks. I'm chocking on my salad reading all this. Marc really should consider career in comedy. You can't make up this shit.

  38. Rliyen  •  Dec 21, 2011 @12:34 pm

    Ken, He tried to make it to your level of snark in those altered emails. But, there's no way he can surpass "Snort my taint."

    The best he can come up with is 'Twit' and 'Cuckcoo for Coca Puffs'?

    Wow. My young son can come up with better retorts.

  39. Ken  •  Dec 21, 2011 @1:28 pm

    @Rliyen, to be fair to Marc, both of those references originated with me — he just plucked them from elsewhere and plugged them into the emails.

  40. Bob  •  Dec 21, 2011 @2:09 pm

    "..that ship sailed when the dice of genetics and upbringing were cast and produced the sad little snake-eyes that is you."

    Another classic. I come for the legal editorials but I stay for the insults.

  41. Bock the Robber  •  Dec 21, 2011 @2:16 pm

    None of my emails to Marc Stephens accusing him of intimidation have been answered, even when I sent him links to posts disparaging him. I

    Is it possible that Marc is the fool behind the current Youtube campaign against Rhys Morgan?

  42. Jeff Hall  •  Dec 21, 2011 @2:24 pm

    Every hour that Marc spent crafting emails to you was an hour that he didn't spend sending emails to people who might be intimidated or annoyed by him. You gave a half-dozen people a lovely Christmas present, and they don't even know it.

  43. Jack B.  •  Dec 21, 2011 @2:36 pm

    When Hollywood gets around to making the Marc Stephens/Ken at Popehat version of 84 Charring Cross Road, will it be entitled "Snort My Taint"?

  44. Ken  •  Dec 21, 2011 @2:42 pm

    Who is playing me? And if you say "Karl Rove" I'm going to be upset.

  45. andrews  •  Dec 21, 2011 @5:49 pm

    I’m not going to let him continue to threaten people with impunity

    Good. I'd make him threaten people with a banana. Or perhaps a pointed stick, if he makes it through the advanced class.

  46. Firehawke  •  Dec 21, 2011 @10:01 pm

    I'd put up Bill Murray. He's the only one who could put up deadpan delivery of that whole thing.

  47. VPJ  •  Dec 21, 2011 @10:44 pm

    Who is playing me? And if you say “Karl Rove” I’m going to be upset.

    This guy.

  48. VPJ  •  Dec 21, 2011 @10:45 pm
  49. Michael Hawkins  •  Dec 22, 2011 @3:02 am

    This sort of reminds me of the show An Idiot Abroad. I always have to wonder if Karl Pilkington is actually an idiot or just plays the greatest straight man ever. I lean towards the latter. For Marc, though, the former.

  50. Stephen  •  Dec 22, 2011 @3:06 am

    It's very clear in this exchange that, for whatever reason, Ken is playing with a much fuller deck and I don't think you can put that entirely on the Harvard education. Marc Stephens just doesn't come across as a very well man to me. I recognise making bizarre changes to letters the other side wrote from grittier pro bono work.

  51. ClubMedSux  •  Dec 22, 2011 @9:56 am

    Ken- I seriously wonder if this guy is suffering from some sort of bipolar-type disorder. I was once assigned a pro bono client who alleged wrongful voluntary commitment. We never did figure out what was wrong with her (she started threatening us so the judge allowed us to withdraw) but a psychologist friend suggested it was something between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Anyway, what makes me think of my situation are those silly threats that Stephens interjected into your previous emails. Our client would similarly tell us things like, "Stop telling me to slit my wrists. I'd never do that"–projecting her own issues onto us. The "twit" and "asshole" comments feel like projections too. I suppose it's possible that he thinks he can fool somebody else into believing you actually typed those things, but part of me wonders if he's actually tricking HIMSELF into believing they're true. Anyway, I'll stop playing armchair psychiatrist now, but whether it's pure stupidity or actual mental illness, it seems like this has gone beyond your typical troll/douchebag.

  52. Reggie Dixon  •  Dec 23, 2011 @4:15 am

    Brilliant series of responses to someone who is rivalling Markuze (Mabus) in sheer out of his tree-ness. I laughed out loud at
    "I like writing about bad people, Marc. You’re a bad person. I’m going to keep writing to you as long as you act like a bad person."

  53. Neuroskeptic  •  Dec 23, 2011 @5:48 am

    There's clearly something wrong with the guy, and I for one think the best approach is just to ignore him.

  54. VPJ  •  Dec 23, 2011 @8:20 pm

    it seems like this has gone beyond your typical troll/douchebag

    This is your brain…this is your brain snorting taint.

    Any questions?

  55. David Leech  •  Dec 24, 2011 @9:34 am

    Very impressive work Popehat consider your site 'bookmarked.'

  56. Pugs  •  Dec 30, 2011 @9:22 pm

    Stephens reminds me of Jeff V. Merkey, who a judge said (in a finding of fact) "124. In fact, however, Merkey is not just prone to exaggeration, he also is and can be deceptive, not only to his adversaries, but also to his own partners, his business associates and to the court. He deliberately describes his own, separate reality." You can find the court ruling on Groklaw, if you like, in The Novell-Merkey Case (1998) story. Jeff hasn't been in the nerd news lately, but 8 years ago he was a big topic in certain circles.

    Sorry, I don't know html to format this post.

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