Marc Stephens Threatens Me Some More

Effluvia

You remember Marc Stephens. I first wrote about his threats to critics of the Burzynski Clinic here. He wrote a very odd and threatening email, to which I responded here. I detailed a lengthy and tiresome correspondence with him here. Hitler reacted to is disaffiliation with the Burzynski Clinic here. And so on.

Yesterday, out of the blue, Marc sent me another email:

I see you are still obsessed…5 articles per month about me? Anyway, its been brought to my attention that you have multiple articles published on your website/blog stating false accusations about me. I am requesting that you immediately retract your false statements, or completely shutdown those articles.

In each article, mentioned below, you are stating that I am a liar, fraud, a twit, crazy, a con artist, impersonating/posing as an attorney, a thug, a criminal, threatening teens, bumptious & fake, and freakishly ignorant about fundamental issues of American Law. I also expect you to post a public apology.

The articles in question are as follow:

“Junk Science and Marketeers and Legal Threats, Oh My!”
“Tell Me About The Rabbit, Marc Stephens”
“Reason’s Superlative Prison Issue and a Note about Anonymity”
“Pro Bono Victory in a Junk-Science SLAPP Suit against a Science Blogger”
“My Marc Stephens Update, Or, Mr. Snarky Numbered Lists Visits Crazytown”
“Marc Stephens’ Downfall”
Vote for Popehat’s “Censorious Asshat of the Year”
“Andrew Wakefield Sues BMJ and Brian Deer: Time To Test Out the New Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute”
“Chris McGrath v. Vaughan Jones: An Unpleasant Peek into U.K. Libel Law”,
“Rhys Morgan's Experience Illustrates Importance of Protecting Student Speech”

Regards,
Marc

Note, in reading Marc's list, that he thinks that posts that merely mention him in passing are "about" him. Second, note the "it has been brought to my attention" language. This language is characteristic of people who either (1) like to use lawyer-letter-sounding language that has no actual meaning, and/or (2) people who like to imply that they have minions, or allies, or staff, or something. Marc's been reading for a long time, so clearly he brought it to his own attention. Also, note that Marc does not specify how any statement I made was false, and does not understand the legally significant difference between statements of opinion and provably true or false statements of fact.

I responded:

Dear Mr. Stephens:

I note that you still have not answered the question I have asked again and again: are you, in fact, an attorney? Was the Burzynski Clinic ever your client in your capacity as an attorney?

You have identified a series of characterizations. Many of them (twit, crazy, thug, bumptious, freakishly ignorant about fundamental issues of American law) are statements of pure opinion, and thus absolutely privileged under the First Amendment. Others might — might — be taken as statements of opinion based on facts (liar, fraud, con artist, impersonating/posing as an attorney, criminal, threatening teens, fake). Yet I have described, or linked to posts describing, the adequate (in fact, compelling) factual basis for each of those statements. For instance, your emails to Rhys Morgan — a teen — are inarguably threatening, even leaving aside the one where you included a Google picture. The emails where you imply that you are a lawyer are many and clear, and any reasonable person reading them would agree they suggest you are in fact an attorney. (If you would like to answer my question, and demonstrate that you ARE an attorney, I will be pleased to make that correction throughout).

If you would like to provide me with specific facts establishing that specific factual statements I have made were incorrect, I would be happy to review them carefully, and will make any appropriate corrections. But I will not be changing my commentary about you based upon vague and unsupported claims that complain about my protected opinions.

Please feel free to supplement your request.

Thank you,

Ken

This did not satisfy Marc.

Kenneth,

I am fully aware of your many insulting statements of opinion. It is your way of retaliating, and a clear attempt to damage my reputation, which you’ve already admitted. If you are so sure of your so-called “compelling facts”, then why are you asking me if I’m an attorney or not? Do you doubt your so-called facts..? I, and any reasonable person, would say that is kind of reckless. It is very clear your statements are based on fabrication, not facts. Also, assumptions are not facts. Because of your hatred and ill will towards me, which you have admitted, within two months you have written ten articles about me which contain multiple false statements.

Please keep in mind that you are a Blogger, not a journalist. In addition, you do not represent any party of the matter. So I have no obligation to communicate, or disclose my contractual relationships with an anonymous “Blogger” named Popehat.. and the photo image of your account profile is that of a 5 year old kid.

Please provide me with your compelling facts which prove that I am a liar, fraud, a twit, crazy, a con artist, impersonating/posing as an attorney, a thug, a criminal, threatening teens, bumptious & fake, and freakishly ignorant about fundamental issues of American Law. Again, I request for you to remove the articles, or retract your false statements.
Thanks,
Marc

Note that Marc is still refusing to answer the simple question of whether he is an attorney or not. That question is central to all of my posts about him, and I asked repeatedly during my correspondence with him, and he would never give a straight answer. Why not, do you suppose?

Here's my reply:

Marc:

That's not the way it works. You claim my posts have factual statements that are not correct. If you cite specific factual statements you believe to be untrue, and provide specific facts supporting your claim, I will review them carefully and, if warranted, make a correction. But I will not make changes based on insinuations or bluster.

Your continued evasive behavior speaks for itself.

This just made him angrier. But for the first time, he seemed to imply — without saying — that he's not a lawyer, suggesting that he didn't NEED to be to do the things he was doing:

Kenneth,

I clearly specified each false statement you have made in your multiple articles. All of the statements about me in your articles consist of false and libelous statements. It is completely irrelevant whether or not someone is a licensed attorney/lawyer because anyone can forward a cease and desist letter on behalf of a client. Based on this fact, it would not make someone a liar, a fraud, a twit, crazy, a con artist, impersonating a lawyer, posing as an attorney, a thug, a criminal, threatening teens, bumptious & fake, and freakishly ignorant about fundamental issues of American Law.

Your theories and personal interpretations are not facts. Your false statements in each article are written as assertions of facts, not opinions. Please retract your false and defamatory statements to project your “Opinion”. You of all people should know that defamatory statements, a tort, are not protected by the First Amendment.

Thanks,
Marc

Note the continued level of evasiveness, coyness, and refusal to offer specific facts rebutting facts that I have offered. This is my final response to him to date:

Marc:

With each communication, you merely supply more evidence in support of everything I have been saying about you.

First of all, by just picking out a few words and phrases, you are not citing facts establishing why specific factual assertions are incorrect. Just as an example: on what factual basis do you deny that you threatened a teen? Are you saying that you did not send the widely publicized emails to Rhys Morgan? Or are you claiming those emails are not threats? Similarly, with respect to posing as an attorney: are you claiming that you ARE in fact an attorney, or that you did not pretend to be one? This most recent email suggests — rather coyly — the latter interpretation, but since you've refused to address the issue for so long, it's not particularly clear.

If you provided specific facts explaining why you think that specific factual statements I made were wrong, I could engage them. For instance, let's take this latest email. You seem to imply — without coming out and saying — that you are not an attorney, but never posed as one, because just sending cease and desist letters on behalf of a client does not make someone an attorney. To that I would respond that I have read many communications apparently from you that either state explicitly that you are an attorney ("I am an attorney if that helps you sleep at night" [http://whitecoatunderground.com/2011/12/01/when-did-the-burzynski-clinic-start-harassing-bloggers/]) to ones where you imply that you are an attorney ("So, when I present to the juror that my client and his cancer treatment has went up against 5 Grand Juries which involved the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Aetna Life Insurance, Emprise, Inc., Texas State Medical Board, and the United States Government, and was found not guilty in all 5 cases, you will wish you never wrote your article." [ http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/a_pr_flack_from_the_burzynski_clinic_thr.php ]) ("Once I obtain a subpoena for your personal information, I will not settle this case with you." [ http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2011/11/the-burzynski-clinic-threatens-my-family.html ]) ("I suggest you remove ALL references about my client on the internet in its entirety, and any other defamatory statement about my client immediately, or I will file suit against you" [http://rhysmorgan.co/2011/11/threats-from-the-burzynski-clinic/]). Marc, since you claim that you are not, in fact, "freakishly ignorant about fundamental issues of American Law [sic]", you know that a non-lawyer might represent himself in court, but cannot represent an entity, and generally cannot represent another person. Therefore, the only way you could be making a presentation to a juror about the Burzynski clinic, or obtaining a subpoena for the Burzynski clinic, or filing suit on behalf of the Burzynski clinic, would be if you were a lawyer. This leads to the ineluctable conclusion that (1) you are an attorney, and just won't confirm it one way or the other no matter how many times you are asked, (2) you are not an attorney, but deliberately posed as one, or (3) you are not an attorney, but are so ignorant of fundamental concepts of American law that you did not realize that you were saying things implying to any reasonable audience that you are an attorney. (Note that this last interpretation is difficult to reconcile with your statement "I am an attorney if that helps you sleep at night." Maybe you were . . . confused?)

Moreover, your selection of words to attack suggests that you do not understand the difference between constitutionally protected statements of opinion and statements of fact. As one California court summarized:

"To state a libel claim which is not defeated by the freedom of speech protections of the First Amendment, Ferlauto must allege a statement that is provably false. (Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., supra, 497 U.S. at p. 20, 110 S.Ct. 2695.) Statements do not imply a provably false factual assertion and thus cannot form the basis of a defamation action if they cannot “ ‘reasonably [be] interpreted as stating actual facts' about an individual.” (Ibid., citing Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988) 485 U.S. 46, 50, 108 S.Ct. 876, 99 L.Ed.2d 41.) Thus, “rhetorical hyperbole,” “vigorous epithet [s],” “lusty and imaginative expression[s] of [ ] contempt,” and language used “in a loose, figurative sense” have all been accorded constitutional protection. (Greenbelt Pub. Assn. v. Bresler (1970) 398 U.S. 6, 14, 90 S.Ct. 1537, 26 L.Ed.2d 6; Letter Carriers v. Austin (1974) 418 U.S. 264, 284, 286, 94 S.Ct. 2770, 41 L.Ed.2d 745.)"

Ferlauto v. Hamsher (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 1394, 1401, 88 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 849

Words like "twit" and "bumptious" and "thug" clearly fall within the category of statements that do not imply a provably false factual assertion, but constitute figurative language. Someone not freakishly ignorant of fundamental concepts of American law might or might not know that already. As to the rest, based in part on the citations above to your statements claiming to be a lawyer and directly implying you are a lawyer, and based on the correspondence by you to me and to others, I believe that any of my statements which imply fact are, in fact, firmly grounded in the adequate evidence of your own words. If you believe I am incorrect, I remain willing to review, carefully, any evidence or factual explanation you wish to provide that shows that any of my facts are false. If I determine that any of my facts are incorrect, I will make an appropriate correction. If, for instance, you would like to state that you are not an attorney and that your statement "I am an attorney if that helps you sleep at night" was not intended to be taken at face value and that you did not realize that you were implying that you were an attorney by saying you would file suit and argue to jurors and obtain subpoenas, then I would be happy to make that correction to all of my relevant posts, and let readers draw their own conclusions.

Finally, if you are (as your latest email suggests) contemplating a defamation action, I suggest that you research personal jurisdiction, anti-SLAPP statutes, and debtor exams.

If you do decide to provide more information, please cite where in the specific posts you find the allegedly false statements, as I believe you are misconstruing language in several cases.

Thank you,

Ken

We'll see what happens from there.

I am always willing to review evidence suggesting I have made a claim that is factually incorrect, and make a correction if warranted. However, I believe these emails to be part of a campaign of feckless intimidation.

Edit: Is that last email chopping off on the right for people? I've had one complaint.

UPDATE: He responded:

Those cases are irrelevant…you are relying on hearsay, and your actions are negligent. Enjoy your weekend.

I don't think Marc Stephens understands what "hearsay" or "negligent" means. Note that he does not say "I didn't send those emails; they are fake!" He does not say "they altered what I said!" No, he says (as I understand it) that is is "irrelevant," in discussing whether I have a factual basis to say he has been posing as an attorney, to cite emails to other people in which he has posed as an attorney. Note, also, the learned-it-from-watching-law-and-order-reruns use of "hearsay." Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted — in court. It has nothing to do with whether, in the course of exercising my constitutional right to free expression, I have sufficient facts to support a belief that a proposition is true. Only someone freakishly ignorant of fundamental principles of American law would say otherwise.

Edited again on February 6, 2011 And he wrote back yet again:

I am trying to resolve this matter with you professionally. Yet, you continue with the insults and name calling in your articles. As I mentioned, the information below, as well as the cases, are irrelevant. Now you want me to say, “I didn’t write it”? Hilarious, read your first emails back in November. You are relying on another blogger’s info for your so-called facts. It will amount to hearsay unless that person testifies in court. Some of your statements are Rhetorical Hyperbole, others are mentioned as fact, “compelling facts” per popehat. But as you know its all based on context.

Jurisdiction..?
I am very well aware of Jurisdiction Ken. [lengthy discussion of my contact information and ties to Los Angeles redacted.] Do I reside in the beautiful state of California, County of Los Angeles..? We will see.

Anti-Slapp..?
You have to state your case. Then I will present the real facts. You will not be granted a slapp even if you were a California pimp.

Ken, Is Marc Stephens a licensed attorney, or lawyer? Yes or No?

So far your investigation is based on hearsay, misinformation, lack of knowledge, lies, and people inside your network. So please stop telling the public that I am a criminal, etc. You are being extremely negligent. Hey, I will check back in a few weeks for the retraction or deletion. Hopefully by then you will stop using your son’s pic as your profile image. Come get some sun light and stop hiding. I also noticed a few weeks ago you guys shut down meetings, articles, websites, abandoned your first amendment rights and ran like hell when the Muslims came after you Skeptics. Hilarious.

Thanks,
Marc

To which I replied:

Marc:

I take all of that as a statement you will be suing me in California. See you in court, then.

I note that you still refuse to provide facts or evidence explaining what I supposedly got wrong.

If you provide facts and evidence — instead of threats and bluster — I am still very happy to evaluate them and, if appropriate, make any warranted correction.

Thank you,

Ken

California has a very robust anti-SLAPP statute which I have used successfully before. I look forward to using it against Marc if he sues here.

Marc's grasp of law continues to be comical — assuming that he's not straight-up trolling. He seems to think that "hearsay" is a rule that means that, in writing about something, I can't rely upon what other people have written, unless I call them as witnesses first or something. He also seems to think that in order to prevail on an anti-SLAPP motion I would have to call as witnesses the array of bloggers I linked and quoted and relied upon. This, of course, is ridiculous. All I would have to do to prevail on an anti-SLAPP motion is to submit a declaration attaching the blog posts I read and linked and relied upon, and then attack the history of correspondence with Marc, which corroborates everything I have written.

Note that Marc still refuses to explain exactly how or why I am wrong about anything. That's characteristic of bogus legal threats. I was quite sincere in my message to him, which I have sent over and over and over: if he specifies a fact that he thinks I got wrong, and explains why he thinks it is wrong, I will review his facts and evidence carefully and, if warranted, make a correction. But I think his trolling, bullying approach requires him to be coy and mysterious.

Marc also seems obsessed with the notion that I have called him "a criminal." I've reviewed my posts, and I don't believe I ever used that term. I did say — accurately — that practicing law without a license is a crime in some jurisdictions, including California. I believe it is revealing that Marc refuses, no matter how many times he is asked, to say whether or not he is a licensed attorney in any jurisdiction. Marc seems to think that because I cannot prove that he is not a licensed attorney in some jurisdiction somewhere (though he is clearly not, at least under the name he is using, in California), then I must be committing defamation in making my observations about him. Such bizarre semantic games are typical of the deranged, but will find no traction in court. If some law school DID permit him to graduate, that school ought to face an angry mob with torches and pitchforks.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

121 Comments

118 Comments

  1. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:49 am

    Ken,

    The stupidity, bad grammar, general evasiveness, and inability to grasp basic concepts displayed in this "person"'s writing strikes me as suspiciously familiar. Is it possible that "he" is, in fact, the bastard offspring of internet viruses and spambots, somehow evolved to self-motivation (if not self-awareness)?

  2. Josh  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:51 am

    Good gods…this just gets better and better all the time. I'm learning all KINDS of new weasel-words from these exchanges!

    Also, Ken, you may want to look at the formatting of your last block quoted section. I don't know if anyone else is seeing this, or if my browser is just craptacular, but it's cutting off words on the right side of my screen.

  3. Ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:52 am

    Wouldn't that be a joke on William Gibson — if loose AIs didn't run megacorps and manipulate global events and communicate with other species, but trolled on the internet for the lulz?

  4. Adam  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:52 am

    Yeah, some portion of the last email is getting cut off on the right, but I didn't notice until you pointed it out.

  5. Merlin  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:54 am

    Josh – It's happening for me too, in Chrome.

    Loads just fine in Firefox however.

  6. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:56 am

    Looks fine in Chrome and Firefox 10. Gets chopped off on the right when viewed with IE 8.

  7. Ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:56 am

    Is that any better, now?

  8. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:58 am

    Change that, does not get chopped off AS BAD in Chrome relative to IE 8. Just a couple of long lines.

  9. Merlin  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:59 am

    It's still chopping off a bit, but it's better.

  10. Ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:01 am

    It looks like ass now. Crap. I'm not going to fiddle any more, I'll just make it worse.

  11. anon  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:05 am

    *Very* entertaining! More, please, as soon as developments arise…

  12. Suzanne Offner  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:26 am

    I was so happy to see this post – we hadn't heard from Marc in a while, and he's always good entertainment. He must have been feeling left out, so he emailed you for some attention.

    I am also seeing the last email cutting off on the right margin.

  13. VPJ  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:27 am

    Woo-hoo! More Crazytown!

    *sits down with bag of popcorn*

  14. Windypundit  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:44 am

    Ken, I gotta say, trolling the internet for the lulz is probably the much easier AI problem to solve…

  15. Dan  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:50 am

    This is high entertainment, but why bother telling him about the anti-SLAPP laws? You're just running in circles exchanging emails with this guy.

    (Also, still chopping the last email on the right margin in IE8)

  16. Anonymous Coward  •  Feb 3, 2012 @10:52 am

    This exchange is incredibly entertaining. When will he learn? If he is anything like the people of lesser caliber that I have dealt with he likely has his worldview built in such a way that everything is an attack all the time…such a sad state of affairs. It renders people incapable of any sort of reasonable discussion.

    And on the note of AIs trollin'… All I can think of in response to that is "Yes, please?". Perhaps that is the reason I no longer write code.

  17. Lex  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:02 am

    Clearly, he needs to snort your taint.

  18. Damon  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:04 am

    Nothing better than watching someone who is too stupid or arrogant to realize he's just digging a bigger hole for himself. Mama taught me to stop digging when I know I'm over matched.

  19. Linus  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:10 am

    I think "Feckless Intimidation" is a great name for a band.

  20. ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:11 am

    Ken,

    Yes, your entire post has the text clipped. If you "cut and paste" the posting you can see the entire post correctly.

  21. David  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:15 am

    I'll fix the truncation problem.

  22. Rick C  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:19 am

    I'm not sure why you're getting the clipping (which I can see in both Chrome and IE9 on Windows 7), but it looks like it might have something to do with both explicitly-set column widths (why do that? Why not set it to a percentage, or even let it float? It looks pretty crappy in a maximized browser at 1920×1080, not that that's how I usually read things) and repeated use of overflow:hidden.

  23. Rick C  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:20 am

    Also: how come so many blogs leave off next post/previous post links at the bottom of the post and/or bottom of comments? If I click on a post to read it, I have to go back to the main page to go to the previous post, or else right-click and open in new tab on each post I'm interested in.

  24. Ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:20 am

    Thank you, David. To the extent the blog works, it is because of David.

  25. Wyn  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:21 am

    Ahh! Such fun.
    There was I thinking Friday night was a wash out after my rugby game got cancelled due to a frozen pitch. But No! Marc re-emerges!
    I too, have a bag of Dorito's ready for the next instalment. C'mon Marc, don't let us down.

  26. David  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:29 am

    @RickC The current theme leaves a lot to be desired from a technical standpoint, yes. It was selected and used as-is a good long time ago, so alterations to the CSS have been piecemeal in the intervening years.

    It is part of our Master Plan for Blogspheric Dominion ™ to implement a custom, semi-liquid, grid-based theme with snazzier eye-appeal (and a mobile-friendly alternative) Real Soon Now.

  27. Scott Jacobs  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:32 am

    Wait wait wait…

    an anonymous “Blogger” named Popehat..

    Isn't this the twatwaffle that e-mailed your ENTIRE FIRM??

    How the fuck does he get the nerve to claim you are anonymous?

  28. Josh  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:32 am

    Huzzah! The clipping's been fixed!

    Rick: I'm unfortunately stuck using IE8. For some reason someone in the IT department at work thinks we shouldn't be allowed to have nice things, like the option to install Firefox or IE9.

  29. Windypundit  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:40 am

    This does raise the question…he's keeping this going because he's a twit, crazy, bumptious & fake. What's your excuse? For the lulz? Don't you get enough of this kind of thing in your day job?

  30. Scott Jacobs  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:43 am

    Also, at this point, any further e-mails from this guy should result in a response along the lines of "I have done my best to be patient with you, you mind-achingly ignorant bumble-fuck. If you want to sue me, then do so. Otherwise, fuck off."

    Feel free to pretty it up with some latin so it passes lawyer standards. :)

  31. Merlin  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:54 am

    @Josh,

    Portable Apps are your friend. Chunk the portable version on either a USB drive or in a folder in your "My Documents" folder. They don't have to be installed, and they don't hit the registry. So even if you're on a super-locked down PC, you can still run an alternate browser.

    The link for FireFox is: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable

    There are tons of other portable apps available too.

  32. Ophelia Benson  •  Feb 3, 2012 @12:26 pm

    Good job Mr Stephens! It's totally working. Everyone reading this is now thoroughly convinced that you're an upstanding swell guy who never bullied a teenager for criticizing a dubious cancer "treatment." You betcha.

  33. RB  •  Feb 3, 2012 @12:28 pm

    Yo, take THAT, bitch! Gettem', Mr. Ken 'Popehat'

  34. Kasey  •  Feb 3, 2012 @12:30 pm

    Ahhhh. Marc Stephens. The gift that keeps on giving. I never want him to stop.

  35. Laura K  •  Feb 3, 2012 @12:32 pm

    You know, beyond the sheer evil glee I take in the insults you level at this heap of troll and minotaur excressence, Ken, I salute you for keeping your cool in your responses-in proportion to what I would have done; chapter 678 of why Laura would not make a good Lawyer…

  36. kmc  •  Feb 3, 2012 @1:50 pm

    I hereby declare my intent to use Scott Jacobs's "twatwaffle" as often as I can manage to fit it into conversation.

    Also, I realize this isn't a meaningful contribution, but don't people like this guy just make you think of one of the Muppets when they're freaking out? Like, instead of taking the time to rub two synapses together, he's just running in circles with his head flopped back, mouth open, arms raised limply to the sky while he's composing these responses?

  37. Caleb  •  Feb 3, 2012 @2:22 pm

    My God, it's like watching a cat playing with a half-dead mouse. Only that's an insult to the mouse.

    Also: multiple parallel cites in an informal letter to a brain-dead half-wit who probably doesn't even know what a reporter is? Why?

  38. Ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @2:24 pm

    Caleb: because I was too lazy to edit them out?

    (Parallel cites are ridiculous in the day of online research, anyway.)

  39. Caleb  •  Feb 3, 2012 @2:32 pm

    Too true. But still, they look intimidating. That has to be at least part of the reason they're still around.

  40. mojo  •  Feb 3, 2012 @2:48 pm

    "What we have here….is failure to communicate."
    – Captain, Road Prison 36

  41. TheOtherMatt  •  Feb 3, 2012 @3:09 pm

    Hello Ken:

    I recently watch a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQtSdFM0YO4&lc=V8FTaZ27UfXcpiwTiNYLg5USKTxC6ALd9mP9c67cNew&context=G2a50ee1FAAAAAAAAEAA&feature=g-all-c
    The Vlogger here implies that one can have a cause of action under anti-SLAPP statute for filing a false DMCA takedown is this true? All I can find is 18 USC 512(f), but then again I was only a pre-law for three weeks.

  42. squillo  •  Feb 3, 2012 @3:19 pm

    Ahh, another installment of "Shit Marc Stephens Says." Subtitle: "Please, sir, may I have another?"

  43. JLA Girl  •  Feb 3, 2012 @3:41 pm

    This is why Popehat and Ken are awesome. I've been lurking and reading and thinking about the general awesomeness, but the amount of restraint shown towards Mr. Stephens here is too much to respect in silence anymore.

    You guys rock.

  44. Doug  •  Feb 3, 2012 @4:13 pm

    His kind never disappears.

  45. Ken  •  Feb 3, 2012 @4:32 pm

    Updated: he responded.

  46. SPQR  •  Feb 3, 2012 @4:39 pm

    The crazy, it just won't do the sensible thing and shut up, will it?

  47. doug  •  Feb 3, 2012 @4:40 pm

    see, he cant stay away. he loves the attention. maybe he has a borderline personality disorder, but who knows. he will be back.

  48. BL1Y  •  Feb 3, 2012 @4:41 pm

    TIL the uncanny valley has a text equivalent.

  49. anarchic teapot  •  Feb 3, 2012 @4:49 pm

    I would have suggested that you refer this annoying little bluebottle to the response given in the groundbreaking case of Stephens v. Popehat, but you already have.

  50. Ophelia Benson  •  Feb 3, 2012 @5:01 pm

    Hearsay. You're just talking a buncha hearsay. Objection. Voire dire. Leading the witness. Hearsay.

  51. Shay  •  Feb 3, 2012 @5:10 pm

    Concur with the "twatwaffle" praise. Many, many thanks, Scott; I am saving this for a worthy target.

  52. VPJ  •  Feb 3, 2012 @5:29 pm

    Objection! It's heresy! There's no men's ray! I object! Objection, I say!

  53. Jack Marshall  •  Feb 3, 2012 @5:47 pm

    Ken, you're just having too much fun with this guy.But I get chills when you write "ineluctable."

  54. John  •  Feb 3, 2012 @6:18 pm

    my gawd I love this blog….

  55. Dan Weber  •  Feb 3, 2012 @6:52 pm

    You're the #2 and #3 spot on Google right now for "freakishly ignorant." Kudos.

  56. JohnBerry  •  Feb 3, 2012 @7:21 pm

    Marc Stephens comedy and then the Super Bowl, this could be a great weekend!

  57. uberduck  •  Feb 3, 2012 @7:52 pm

    I can't tell you how much happy this continuing saga brings me. Keep it Up!

  58. squillo  •  Feb 3, 2012 @8:10 pm

    Leaving aside his freakish ignorance of American law, it seems to me that your clownish friend is applying the lay definition of "hearsay," in which case he is perhaps implying that he didn't write what you say he did to the other bloggers, and that you are negligent (again in the lay sense) in not verifying their claims.

  59. Old Geezer  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:04 pm

    I think you need to stop teaching this clown unless and until he pays his tuition and passes the midterm.

  60. Epona Harper  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:05 pm

    Sweet Mother Danu!!!

    Marc Stephens, I'd like to state now that I Am Not A Lawyer. However, my beloved father IS a lawyer. I showed him some of your earlier antics and he was torn between amusement and disgust.

    Although I went into medicine instead of law (and it's a toss-up whether patients or clients give worse headaches), I've absorbed enough law-savvy from Dad to say "For the love of God, drop this now and pray some moron creates a bigger fiasco on the Internet so that your idiocy slides into oblivion without further comment."

    It is painfully obvious that you have no idea about the nature of libel or the 1st Amendment. And, since I am not even a generic attorney much less a 1st Amendment specialist, I think that's pretty damning.

  61. Epona Harper  •  Feb 3, 2012 @9:21 pm

    Oh, and BTW keep up the good work, Ken! Wave the Popehat flag high!

  62. Vice Magnet  •  Feb 3, 2012 @11:36 pm

    I think Marc would have responded again if he hadn't had to be at the gym in 26 minutes.

  63. Tam  •  Feb 4, 2012 @8:34 am

    "Note, in reading Marc's list, that he thinks that posts that merely mention him in passing are "about" him."

    Oh, but they are.

    As a matter of fact, on his planet everything is about him.

  64. perlhaqr  •  Feb 4, 2012 @10:18 am

    Scott: Feel free to pretty it up with some latin so it passes lawyer standards.

    "Snortum ad taintus." :D

  65. PalMD  •  Feb 4, 2012 @3:36 pm

    If MS didn't exist, we'd have to invent him.

  66. Ken  •  Feb 4, 2012 @3:51 pm

    @squillo: I can see him trying to make that argument. The problem with it is that I wrote him seeking comment before posting and he didn't answer. I also specifically asked him, in the course of our correspondence, whether he was claiming that the various emails attributed to him we're falsified, and he didn't take the opportunity to say that they were. Instead, he continued to be deliberately vague and mysterious, and ignored the question. Note that he still won't come and and say explicitly whether he is a lawyer.

    Also, multiple people at multiple sites have reported getting very similar emails with very similar threats. I suppose it could be a vast conspiracy to fabricate emails and attribute them to him—but if it is, why hasn't he used any of his many opportunities to say so?

    No court would ever agree that writing about him based on these facts is negligent (even assuming that is the standard – which it very likely is not). Instead, any court would find that, by relying on multiple corroborating sources reporting his behavior, and given the fact that the emails he sends to me are similar in style and tone and nuttiness to the emails attributable to him, and given that he doesn't disavow the emails attributed to him even when asked directly, and given that he admits to sending emails to the people who report getting emails from him (see, for example, his defenses of writing to Rhys Morgan), that I've exceeded the level of care required. His negligence argument is just frivolous. He's
    playing games.

  67. Narad  •  Feb 4, 2012 @8:32 pm

    "Snortum ad taintus."

    Insuffla mea labes is closer.

  68. jb  •  Feb 4, 2012 @8:53 pm

    Freme meum perineum, perhaps.

  69. Narad  •  Feb 4, 2012 @9:38 pm

    Freme meum perineum, perhaps.

    Ah, but fremere refers to emitting a snort, and it's intransitive in this sense. An imperative construction would be something like exhorting the perineum to itself snort.

  70. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 5, 2012 @1:01 am

    It would not suprise me if the man could have Ann Coulter biting her own tail…

    :^D

  71. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 5, 2012 @1:02 am

    "suprise" … surprise. DOH!

  72. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 5, 2012 @1:05 am

    >> Ken, I gotta say, trolling the internet for the lulz is probably the much easier AI problem to solve…

    I believe the proper testing ground for AIs for this would be DU. AND the fun you'd have creating it would be about as much as humans can bear.

  73. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 5, 2012 @1:14 am

    Rick: I'm unfortunately stuck using IE8. For some reason someone in the IT department at work thinks we shouldn't be allowed to have nice things, like the option to install Firefox or IE9.

    The answer to your "for some reason" is that he's a bureaucratic twat who thinks his convenience is more important than making your computer use more functional.

    The reason for this has an awful lot to do with the lack of bitching, however, at lower levels, about it. Having done TS, done a spectacular, service oriented job at it, and gotten fuck-all for appreciation (Upgraded an entire office of 35 people from P2s to P3/1ks while saving the company roughly one half to one third of my entire yearly salary in the process, and having gotten dumped when the main office offered to take over the IT actions eliminating their part of the budget, while providing the same twat-level of service you're speaking of is a prime example of why twat-level Mordac™ brand service is the office standard almost everywhere. Penny wise and pound foolish is the standard operating mode of pointy-haired management types)

  74. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 5, 2012 @1:15 am

    lol, completing the sentence:
    "… I speak from experience"
    :D

  75. Rick C  •  Feb 5, 2012 @3:16 pm

    @David: "a mobile-friendly alternative" the template the Gormogons use is nice, FWIW. @Josh, that's a bummer. I was just listing browsers it wasn't working for me in, though, in case that helped narrow the problem down. @Scott Jacobs, "If you want to sue me, then do so. Otherwise, fuck off." Shouldn't taint-snorting figure in somewhere? (I haven't read the update yet.)

  76. Doug  •  Feb 5, 2012 @7:36 pm

    i like how he tries to talk down to you by calling you "Kenneth".

  77. John Burgess  •  Feb 6, 2012 @9:48 am

    USG computers, particularly those that may deal with classified information, are purposely ordered without USB ports. This is to both stop 'accidents' like the Bradley Manning fiasco (DOD computers did not follow that rule), but also to avoid uploading anything or bypassing installed software. If IE is installed, IE is what will be used.

    One can argue (plead?) for updating or changes, but that's a loooong slog up hill, particularly when it means potentially having to makes changes in tens of thousands of computers used by people who, for the most part, simply see them as black boxes.

  78. nrasmuss13  •  Feb 6, 2012 @11:50 am

    When you feel compelled to write an email to a stranger in response to his allegation that you are a twit, it is time to sit down and rethink your life, twit.

  79. Ken  •  Feb 6, 2012 @2:20 pm

    Updated with the latest.

  80. Ken  •  Feb 6, 2012 @2:24 pm

    Note that Marc believes that I am a member of the skeptic movement (probably the only skeptic Deacon in my Presbyterian church), and that the actions of skeptics in England are attributable to me.

  81. Joe  •  Feb 6, 2012 @2:36 pm

    I was previously of the OPINION that Marc Stephens was brainless, deficient, dim, foolish, idiotic, nonsensical, obtuse, out to lunch, slow, thick, and witless. However based on Marc’s recent posts I fear my opinion is on its way to fast becoming fact. Marc: for the love of God, stop before you make yourself look any worse than you already have, if that is even possible.

  82. Phil Alexander  •  Feb 6, 2012 @3:03 pm

    Maybe he's confusing "hearsay" with "heresy"? Keep up the good work, Mr Hat (or should that be Your Eminence Hat?)

  83. Lurky McLurk  •  Feb 6, 2012 @3:10 pm

    You have more patience than me. I would have replied to Mr Stephens with the legendary response given by the defendants in the case of Arkell vs Pressdram (1971)

  84. PLW  •  Feb 6, 2012 @6:02 pm

    Ex-Deacon!

  85. Scott Jacobs  •  Feb 6, 2012 @6:45 pm

    Damn, how do I get in on some of this hilarity? Do I have to write a blog post about him in order to get a threatening, ignorant e-mail from him?

  86. Roger  •  Feb 6, 2012 @7:21 pm

    This is rapidly approaching the point at which it would almost be worthwhile for the lulz to file a declaratory-judgment claim against him just to get him under oath.

  87. SPQR  •  Feb 6, 2012 @8:57 pm

    Sadly, its pretty clear that he won't be filing anything. However, the need to keep emailing you definitely shows some problematic mental state of one form or another.

  88. SPQR  •  Feb 6, 2012 @9:05 pm

    "Do I reside in the beautiful state of California, County of Los Angeles..? We will see."

    Well, Stephens, the 310 area code of your web business is one clue.

    However, there are others that Ken would prefer I not publicly disclose.

  89. SPQR  •  Feb 6, 2012 @9:16 pm

    Don't know if you've seen this, Ken but it appears that Marc Stephens enjoys seeing if he can commit other crimes in addition to UPL such as filing false police reports.

  90. kenB  •  Feb 7, 2012 @10:21 am

    An imperative construction would be something like exhorting the perineum to itself snort.

    Snort, my taint!

  91. KronWeld  •  Feb 7, 2012 @11:46 am

    What is his obsession with your avatar photo too? I don't get it. Lots and lots of people use an avatar photo that is not a picture of them.

  92. Joe  •  Feb 7, 2012 @4:00 pm

    It appears Mr. Stephens is not limiting his threats to the average blogger but is going after former patients of the Burzynski Clinic who have the audacity to simply post their personal experience and opinions related to that experience.
    http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/burzynski-blogs-my-master-list/#comment-850
    1. Lisa | December 13, 2011 at 3:29 am | Reply
    My husband and I were personally scammed by Burzynski Clinic. And are currently being threatened by Marc A. Stephens aka MAS because of our website telling our experience with BC. http://www.burzynskiscam.com
    It’s bad enough that this woman and her husband had to suffer through cancer and their experience with the clinic. Now they have to deal with this Stephens yahoo threatening them. Serioulsy, is there any way to get this guy to put a sock in it? Being terribly near sighted I simply cannot see what he has to gain by continuing along this path other than further confirming his reputation as censorious asshat of the first degree.

  93. Saedi Folluf  •  Feb 7, 2012 @5:03 pm

    I will say it, if no one else wants. Based on NO medical education but a lengthy life experience and healthy and inquisitive brain, I propose that Marc suffers from Schizophrenia. Mild probably, but present nevertheless. A telltale would be his ability to come up with a staggering-sized self-delusion system in which all facts are to his favor, no truth exists beyond his will and all facts are fair game to be changed and twisted to support his construct. I somehow have a feeling that an interaction line drawn between the cancer treatment clinic (or whatever it is) and skeptics (the bad people from his story) lies in the crux of his delusion. Actually, I am quite amused by this character. Unfortunately, I have to admit, I'm enjoying his plight on this forum a bit too much, I should probably be a better person and wish for him to somehow visit the psychiatrist and get the needed treatment rather sooner than later.

  94. Joe Pullen  •  Feb 8, 2012 @8:51 am

    Saedi – well said. Must say I too have been enjoying the public humiliation of the arrogant Mr. Stephens a bit too much. I have also enjoyed learning all sorts of interesting new words and phrases here on Popehat. Such as: kerfuffle, twatwaffle, and of course the infamous snort my taint. Perhaps we can describe Marc with a few new words like Platitudinous, which means dull and tiresome but with pretensions of significance or originality – sounds about right. Or my favorite Schpilkis, a Yiddish slang word for hemorrhoids – which I believe to be the perfect description of Mr. Stephens given that he is a real pain in the butt.

  95. Narad  •  Feb 8, 2012 @4:14 pm

    Or my favorite Schpilkis, a Yiddish slang word for hemorrhoids

    I'm not seeing a decent attestation for this sense of shpilkes. I mean, I can see where someone could come up with it, but attributing a primary meaning is a stretch.

  96. A Nonny Moose  •  Feb 8, 2012 @4:31 pm

    I hope that Mr. Stephens doesn't find out about . Then he'd really blow a gasket.

  97. A Nonny Moose  •  Feb 8, 2012 @4:32 pm

    I hope that Mr. Stephens doesn't find out about this site. Then he'd really blow a gasket.

  98. Capt Dingleberry  •  Feb 8, 2012 @6:14 pm

    Is anyone else getting deja vu with Mr Stephens mentioning Ken's avatar being strikingly similar to the Google Map stunt he pulled on Rhys Morgan?

    He's a bell-end of the highest order. Entertaining though.

  99. Michael  •  Feb 13, 2012 @10:45 pm

    "Please keep in mind that you are a Blogger, not a journalist. In addition, you do not represent any party of the matter. So I have no obligation to communicate, or disclose my contractual relationships with an anonymous “Blogger” named Popehat.. and the photo image of your account profile is that of a 5 year old kid"

    I actually am a journalist. Would it help if I asked him?

  100. Hasdrubal  •  Feb 14, 2012 @2:30 pm

    I must admit, I got a chuckle out of "You will not be granted a slapp even if you were a California pimp," grammar problems notwithstanding.

  101. Joe Pullen  •  Feb 15, 2012 @8:43 pm

    Narad, Google is a wonderful invention. Type in Schpilkis – second link down – definition.

  102. JLA Girl  •  Feb 16, 2012 @2:49 pm

    Okay, hopefully this won't sound TOO stupid. But up in the Great White North, every province has a listing that can be searched to determine if someone is a lawyer. Does each state have the same thing? And if so, has the ever charming Mr. Stephens shown up in ANY of them?
    Or is taking the time to look that up in every state giving this guy way too credibility?

  103. JLA Girl  •  Feb 16, 2012 @4:16 pm

    Crud. That should read "way too MUCH credibility."

  104. SPQR  •  Feb 16, 2012 @5:26 pm

    JLA Girl, most states do, no one has found a listing for him yet. And given that he won't answer the question, there is no reason to think we will find one.

  105. Narad  •  Feb 16, 2012 @6:28 pm

    Narad, Google is a wonderful invention. Type in Schpilkis – second link down – definition.

    Urbandictionary-dot-com is not exactly what I meant by "decent attestation."

  106. JLA Girl  •  Feb 17, 2012 @1:57 pm

    Thanks, SPQR. I figured as much but still felt compelled to ask the obvious question.
    But hey, he's not registered in Canada either.

  107. Piper  •  Feb 21, 2012 @12:44 pm

    A different story of a jd posing as a JD:

  108. Piper  •  Feb 21, 2012 @12:45 pm
  109. Piper  •  Feb 21, 2012 @12:45 pm
  110. Piper  •  Feb 21, 2012 @12:46 pm
  111. Joe Pullen  •  Feb 21, 2012 @1:00 pm

    Sorry Narad, I certainly didn't mean to come across as flippant. However, being that Schpilkis is a slang term of limited origin I'm not sure there is by your definition a "decent attestation" as to the definition of the word. Hopefully that does not prevent you or anyone else from enjoying the context of the original comment.

  112. Graham Shevlin  •  Feb 24, 2012 @6:26 pm

    Are "Marc Stephens" and Orly Taitz the same person? They both seem to hold roughly the same defective understanding of the fundamentals of law, and they also both seem to operate with similar levels of BS, bluster and threatening language.
    Just asking…

  113. Anton Sherwood  •  Feb 25, 2012 @3:10 am

    Ken, be fair: the ignorance on display would be freakish for an attorney, but not for a not-attorney.

    Narad: mea labes ought to be accusative (meam labem) or locative (mea labe), not nominative.

  114. pjcamp  •  Feb 25, 2012 @5:22 pm

    I think you owe me an apology since now I can't unfill my head of this idiocy. That's got to merit some kind of damages.

  115. KronWeld  •  Feb 27, 2012 @10:37 am

    Well, it has been 3 weeks since Marc said "Hey, I will check back in a few weeks for the retraction or deletion." So, how many weeks in a "few"? Three seems plenty enough. Shouldn't he have filed his lawsuit by now?

  116. A Nonny Moose  •  Feb 27, 2012 @5:53 pm

    Marc is a wuss, KronWeld. He'll talk a big game, but he has NO intention of filing a lawsuit. Because, while he's a LITTLE stupid and COMPLETELY loony tunes, he's not dumb enough to invite the financially-crushing consequences of filing superficially ridiculous lawsuits. He'd get his ass handed to him, and he knows it.

  117. KronWeld  •  Feb 27, 2012 @6:22 pm

    Nonny Moose,

    I'm sure you're right, but I hold out hope that he just might be that stupid. Think of the enterainment! But I would hate that Ken would have to go through the stupidity of it all.

  118. Matt Carey  •  Mar 18, 2012 @7:48 am

    "Please keep in mind that you are a Blogger, not a journalist"

    When Kathleen Seidel (blogger) was wrongfully subpoenaed a few years back, the judge noted in quashing the subpoena that she was a de-facto journalist.

    It doesn't really apply in this argument, but I don't think his argument makes sense anyway.

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