There are religious sects that do no harm, and others which tend to become aggressive, comprising a social problem. The difference between harmless religious sects and those organisations which become suspicious cults, has been much discussed. A cult can so easily violate norms of social behaviour and flout basic etiquette. Dissent within a sect can become ruthlessly regarded as a punishable offence, and this is one symptom of the cult mentality. Critical outsiders are also prone to being castigated by the cult mentality, an ominous development that can potentially pose crises for the social majority. The present article is intended as a contribution towards analysis of this problem.
5.1 Harassment on Google Search
5.2 Hate Campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno
5.3 Offensive Descriptions on Google Search
5.4 The Findhorn Foundation Misattribution
5.5 Misleading Tactic of Gerald Joe Moreno
5.6 New Age Confusions and Sectarian Misinformation
5.7 Defamatory Sectarian Blog
5.8 Self Publishing as Distinct from Vanity Publishing
5.9 Web Harassment Requires Exposing
5.10 The Militant Sectarian Campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno
5.11 Penetrating the Blog Underworld
5.12 Duplicated Items on Pseudonymous Blog
5.13 The Reductionist Anti-Guru Label
5.14 The Anti-Sai Complexity
5.15 The Proof of Internet Terrorism
5.16 The Sheilawaring User Name
Postscript: Further Proof of Internet Terrorism
5.1 Harassment on Google Search
Gerald Joe Moreno is an aggressive American defender of Sathya Sai Baba [d. 2011]. That famous Indian guru claims to be a divine incarnation, and has a reputation for humanitarian activity at his Puttaparthi ashram. However, disillusioned ex-devotees say this is misleading, and that more predatory activities have been in occurrence. One of the favoured devotee maxims is “Love All Serve All.” Ex-devotees present events in a rather different light. Certainly, Moreno can be interpreted as the exact opposite of the benign sentiment quoted. Gerald Joe Moreno of New Mexico has been described as a web harasser and internet terrorist, a role which he has recently demonstrated in relation to an outsider, namely myself (who has never been a devotee or an ex-devotee). See my Web Tactics of Pro-Sai Activism (2009).
The sectarian blogger has mistakenly identified me with with ex-devotees. I am not one of that unfortunate category. Those people have frequently expressed their grievances on the web, and in a variety of forms. I do not agree with all the idioms and strategies visible in that field.
On November 1, 2008, Moreno sent me a brief but discernibly mocking email inviting me to sample his recent web attack on myself. “Happy reading,” he said, in an obvious spirit of contradiction. His dotcom email address was here saisathyasai@gmail. During the next few days, numerous new Moreno attacks on the present writer appeared on my Google Search name listing (Kevin R. D. Shepherd). Such a blitz had occurred before, the previous year. Yet the sequel was more acute. I was now able to count nine new Moreno attacks, though three of these quickly disappeared when the major one had emerged. There were already four in evidence.
There was a final total of ten Moreno harassments visible on my Google name list. Only one of these bore the name of the obsessive aggressor. The anonymity of Moreno on Google Search lists is pervasive. The entry that displays his name is located at the primary Moreno website saisathyasai.com, which has gained ascendancy on Google due to backlinks from supporters of Sathya Sai Baba.
The desire for anonymity in this disputed instance has resorted to several web pseudonyms such as vishvarupa108 and Equalizer. Gerald Joe Moreno has attempted to justify that trait of his by affirming that some ex-devotees have posted anonymously. This argument will not suffice in relation to attacks upon outsiders who never employ pseudonyms. The web activity of Moreno is closely traceable by informed assessors. He eliminated his only publicly known image from his web record, and when this image was subsequently made visible on the web by a victim in 2007, Moreno reacted with obvious hostility, even threatening legal action if his image should appear in a book (which it did not). Although Moreno has been in the habit of declaredly “exposing” (i.e., maligning) opponents, he himself evidently fears and resists exposure to a marked degree.
Gerald Joe Moreno is strongly alleged to be a cyberstalker; he displays fanatical tendencies to a web manhunt. His attacks on critics and victims are frequently abusive and distorting. He has a habit of invading Google Search name lists with multiple hostile entries. His prolific blogging output has been compared adversely to the web propaganda of Scientology.
5.2 Hate Campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno
Gerald Joe Moreno has denied being a devotee, which has been deemed a contradictory standpoint. He is very obviously a pro-Sai activist pursuing a programme of internet harassment. See my web entry Pro-Sai Activist Gerald (Joe) Moreno (2009). In my direction, the sectarian blogger has employed eccentric arguments and blatantly obvious distortions.
Some observers of the Moreno harassment have classified this phenomenon as a “hate campaign,” which is a phrase sometimes encountered in relation to sectors of extremist cult activity. It is evident that anyone who targets a Google Search name list with up to ten (or more) hostile entries has an intention that is not benevolent. Gerald Joe Moreno has classified his web operation in specific terms of a campaign (see 5.10 below). His pro-Sai activist interpretation of this manoeuvre assumes a justifying context for his aggression. That angle is considered very questionable by a variety of observers, who have concluded that the Moreno campaign is transparent as an unjustified hostility, and one quite distinct from the mandate of anything resembling a divine cause.
The activities of Moreno have recently been compared with those of Scientology. The latter movement has been variously defined as a church and a cult. An ex-Scientologist (Tory Christman) described how Scientology crusaders flooded the internet with their version of hate campaign. She worked in the branch known as the Office of Special Affairs. Christman has testified that the personnel in this branch posted every day and all day, and included a propagandist who used five separate computers and five separate anonymous identities to refute any criticism of the Church of Scientology.
Christman left Scientology in 2000, and afterwards became a media critic of the disputed organisation. Subsequently, Wikipedia was one haven for the propagandists, who gained a reputation for continually attempting to edit entries of the web encyclopaedia. Several court cases occurred in this connection, leading to what has recently been described (in 2009) as a Wikipedia decision to ban contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and their associates.
Gerald Joe Moreno has a reputation for incessant computer industry in refuting any criticisms of Sathya Sai Baba. He has used diverse pseudonyms, and has been described as a cyberstalker. He appeared on Wikipedia as an editor of the Sathya Sai entry in 2006, but was banned indefinitely in March 2007. His main website is entitled saisathyasai.com, and is notorious for an aggressive pro-Sai stance. His most well known blog (sathyasaibaba) is at wordpress.com, and this is increasingly a subject of criticism for the attempt to malign critics while declaring a cause of love and spirituality. He also maintains a series of attack blogs at blogspot.com, a popular American site which has been accused of indifference to public concerns at web harassment. His pseudonym on those blogs is Equalizer.
5.3 Offensive Descriptions on Google Search
Several of the new hostile descriptions (of myself) by Moreno, as found on my Google Search name list, include the insistence that I am “a vanity self-publisher.” This is an error that is quite obvious elsewhere, and it has been considered malicious. The vehement slur was the sectarian response to my repudiation of Moreno descriptions as publishing libel in my case. He had gone so far as to attribute me with publishing imprints that were not my own, and he even rendered the name of one of those imprints wrongly, adding a superfluous Ltd. See my web entry Joe Moreno Libel in Publishing Terms (2008).
Gerald Joe Moreno has not himself written any books, only web compositions, many of which are attack blogs. He is a specialist in anonymous attack blogs. It is well known that people who have not authored books are often envious of those who have. Vanity publishing is a different department to self-publishing, and especially if the latter category carry annotations of any density. Many vanity books are one-off creations, and the author is rarely heard of again. In contrast, serious self-published works have been rated by academics. Gerald Joe Moreno is not a competent assessor of these matters, and displays an evident sectarian bias that ignores and conceals complexities (see 5.8 below).
Moreno had formerly accused the ex-devotee Robert Priddy of “vanity publishing” and lack of notability. Priddy is a retired academic closely associated with Oslo University. The Moreno jibe was clearly inappropriate. Moreno subsequently offended Wikipedia personnel, and was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia in March 2007. He regarded Priddy as an arch-rival because of the latter’s websites and blog which oppose Sathya Sai Baba. Moreno’s initial antagonism in my direction was rooted in the simple fact that I made reference to Priddy web sources in an appendix of my book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). That book was despised by Joe Moreno because it made favourable reference to Priddy.
By forced (and totally inaccurate) association with Priddy, all my books became a target of animosity to Moreno, who had clearly not read them. To this effect, he produced an agitating Wikipedia User page in October 2006, bearing his pseudonym SSS108. See my web entry Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba (2007; amplified 2009).
In more general terms, Moreno has become identified as a libellous web molester. Victims have consulted legal experts in different countries, and those experts have confirmed that Moreno attacks can frequently be regarded as libel. Some observers say that he could become a source of embarrassment to any party or media supporting him.
A pressing factor for some Western investigators is that Moreno represents an American version of sectarian libel and harassment. Yet ex-devotees urge that he has clandestine links with the Indian branch of the sect, who appear to indirectly condone his activity despite his openly aggressive standpoint that is far removed from any “Love All Serve All” perspective.
While imposing upon me a Ltd company publishing imprint, which does not exist in reality, Moreno has denied my intellectual identity. He has stated that I "alleged" establishing the Intercultural Research Centre of Anthropography (IRCA) in Cambridge during the 1980s. He says on his libellous blog that "no remnants of it [IRCA] can be found in any credible or scholarly sources." Such statements are easily disproven, and furthermore confirm that he has never read the books he dismisses. IRCA appeared in several of the prefaces to my early books, denoting their origin in IRCA. Not only that, but a separate descriptive page "About the author" appeared at the end of each book, giving details of IRCA and stating myself as the founder in November 1984. The IRCA programme is there described in such terms as "the geographical distribution of mankind is given a polymathic focus," and with "a cross-cultural relevance to Western, Islamic, Jewish, Indian, Chinese, and other culture-groups."
Furthermore, the IRCA identity was additionally maintained by a series logo for those books on the title page, and which can be verified in library holdings throughout the world. Those books of mine were effectively published by IRCA, but the sectarian unfamiliarity with non-sectarian literature is unable to recognise such obvious facts, instead choosing to defy the evidence. (It was not practical to maintain the IRCA situation in Cambridge when I moved residence to Scotland, and nor was this actually necessary). See further Serious Amateur Activity Misunderstood by Sectarian Polemic (2008) and Joe Moreno Fails to Comprehend a Non-Sectarian Project (2008).
The Moreno distortion of events appeared in his blog hoax entitled Introduction to Kevin RD Shepherd (October 2008), mediated via blogspot.com and bearing the pseudonym of Equalizer. That blog has nil status in the claimed representation, and merely confirms what "anti-cult" assessors have been saying about the "scientology" syndrome on the web.
Sectarian web activity is in general noted for obsessive characteristics which revolve solely around apologist beliefs and insistences as a validating factor. Sectarian zealots will frame the victim with inaccurate portrayals, and in the increasingly notorious field of cyberstalking (to which Gerald Joe Moreno has been strongly ascribed), that is a potentially hazardous prospect for society at large.
5.4 The Findhorn Foundation Misattribution
Recent Moreno entries appearing on my Google Search name list include another extremist statement dating to November 2008. Moreno describes me as “a vanity self-publisher and author whose writings mostly revolve around (or include numerous references to) the Findhorn Foundation.” This description remained visible on page one of my Google name list, accompanying a blog mediated via the Moreno website sai-fi.net.
The inaccuracy of the web harasser may be gauged from that assertion. The pronounced error has been noted by academics and other analysts. Of my eleven books advertised on Amazon, only three of them include numerous references to the Findhorn Foundation, and none of them revolve around that organisation. Furthermore, two of the three books stipulated have only a short section relating to the Foundation, a section which is in no way central to the whole. The third book has one out of eight parts on the Foundation. Moreno has evidently never read or seen my books. He has also inaccurately described me on his new “exposed” blog as a “Findhorn Foundation Radical.” In reality, I have never been a member or affiliate of that organisation.
Gerald Joe Moreno is a web harasser who clearly imposes upon materials his strong inclination to misrepresent critics in any way he can, even when this recourse is patently ridiculous to informed assessors. Of course, the crux is that Moreno has been relying for several years upon an audience of devotees, and these people are quite unfamiliar with my writings. In discerning circles, web harassment and misrepresentation is quite obvious for what it is.
Several of my web compositions and reproduced letters do contain numerous references to the Findhorn Foundation, and are specific critiques of that organisation. Of my 25 articles showing at kevinrdshepherd.net, only two of these are about the Findhorn Foundation, with a few other articles having brief and incidental references to that subject, notably 22.20, which refers to Moreno in association with the intentional community due to his unjustified attack upon my relative. Gerald Joe Moreno is notorious for attacking innocent relatives and associates of the critics he denounces.
The incongruous statement relating to the Findhorn Foundation extends to Stanislav Grof and Holotropic Breathwork in the Moreno blog text. The same considerations apply to those subjects, which are marginal in my books. There are numerous references to Grof in my Pointed Observations (2005), but he is by no means pivotal to that work.
The hub of the new attacks by Moreno was the pseudonymous blog entitled kevin-shepherd-exposed. The SEO tactic being employed on Google was basically amplifying this blog hostility on my name list. The new blog meant that an outsider to the sect had become a target of the Moreno series of attack blogs formerly aimed at ex-devotees. That innovation is viewed as menacing in social terms by non-sectarian assessors. The series of attack blogs (at blogspot.com) are also notorious for anonymity, which has implications unfavourable to the pseudonymous composer (i.e., Equalizer).
Symptoms of acute obsession are known to arise in sectarian psychologies who rebut all criticisms of their sect in an aggressive manner. The point of danger is sometimes believed to exist at the interface between repudiation of defectors and aggressive repudiation of outsiders.
5.5 Misleading Tactic of Gerald Joe Moreno
Gerald Joe Moreno reacted to my new website shepherd.net by employing a tactic which has not gained him approval outside devotee ranks. Instead of revising his earlier 2007 webpage (on his primary website) in the light of due objections lodged, he maintained intact the grossly distorted webpage. He did not even alter his libellous and wildly inaccurate statement that I self-publish via four imprints. Furthermore, he duplicated numerous items in the disputed webpage on his new blog (October-November 2008), which he chose to call kevin-shepherd-exposed. That pseudonymous ("Equalizer") blog contrivance has no validity in view of the tactic employed.
The earlier misleading items were presented on the pseudonymous "Equalizer" blog without revision or due reference to the relevant material in articles 22 and 23 of my new website kevinrdshepherd.net (uploaded in September 2008). This screening tactic has been considered underhand. Yet further, Moreno has contrived a number of very hostile and misleading Google descriptions in relation to his new blog. His excesses have blacklisted him in some quarters able to distinguish between fair comment and militant harassment.
The tactic of Moreno ignored my complaint that, after nine months, he had failed to acknowledge the contents of Kevin R. D. Shepherd in response to Gerald Joe Moreno (Nov. 2007). The complaint was made in Response (November 2007) to Joe Moreno's Defamation and Stigma (2008). The relevant quotation is: "Nine months later, Moreno has not directly acknowledged my response, and has instead adopted an evasive approach." Since then, the worsening tactic of the web harasser has not only ignored my Response of 2007, but also the lengthy article 22 at kevinrdshepherd.net. See also 5.11 below.
Moreno is notorious amongst ex-devotees for being acutely reluctant to revise his web statements. He customarily ignores protests, and acts as though his assertions are unassailable. He has blamed ex-devotees for not revising their criticisms of the guru. He is somehow the ultimate judge of “Anti-Sai Activists,” to use his pet description, and his tone of expression is habitually one of contempt. Elsewhere, the evasion of basic considerations relating to an outsider is widely considered a reprehensible sign of dysfunction in the apologist attitude under discussion.
The sectarian libeller added two new items to his “exposed” concoction. One was pitched against the American ex-devotee Dr. Timothy Conway. Another was aimed at ex-devotee Conny Larsson (see 5.6 below). Both of these items included in small print the URL of article 23 on my new website of 2008. See further Sathya Sai Baba: Problems (2008). Gerald Joe Moreno flippantly misrepresented my reporting, and even described me as a “New Age Promoter” of Larsson. This error again demonstrates the heavily weighted form of distortion to which the polemicist resorts in desperation.
The blog archive at issue featured many unrevised assertions, such as in the statement maintaining that I “repeatedly whined and snivelled about Moreno’s objection on Wikipedia to the inclusion of a quote from his (Shepherd’s) self-published book.” This statement of Moreno (Equalizer) comes from The Kevin Shepherd Citation on Wikipedia. Observers have noted the contemptuous tone of the assertion, and also the inaccuracy in referring to a quote. The quote mentioned was not from my book, but was a Wikipedia editorial quote. Complaints about Moreno tactics are mere whining and snivelling, in this sectarian perspective. Moreno outlawed the quote in his campaign against Robert Priddy, who featured prominently in that quote. See my web entry Ex-devotee Robert Priddy (2009).
A repetition of New Age Promoter Kevin Shepherd appeared at the Moreno website sai-fi.net, and bore the pseudonym of Joe108. Distorting and aggressive blogs bearing pseudonyms are classified by some analysts as sick blogs, especially when these harassments are promoted in terms of a campaign (see 5.10 below).
5.6 New Age Confusions and Sectarian Misinformation
My Google Search name list showed a new glut of Moreno entries in November 2008. An item on the attack blog showed the title of New Age Promoter Kevin Shepherd. This misleading attribution relates to Moreno's dislike of ex-devotees Conny Larsson and Dr. Timothy Conway. The title of another anonymous Moreno blog on wordpress.com stated in a related idiom that “Kevin Shepherd Endorses Psychic Trance Medium.” This assertion was repeated in yet another anonymous Moreno entry on my Google name list, this time a wordpress.com/tag entitled Sathya Sai Baba News. The so-called “trance medium” was ex-devotee Conny Larsson of Sweden, and I had only cited him as an ex-devotee, not endorsed him as a psychic.
A further anonymous blog hostility visible on Google was entitled Sathya Sai Baba: Kevin Shepherd Cites Timothy Conway. This item was dated November 4, 2008, and bore the Search description: “Kevin R. D. Shepherd not only endorsed and cited Guru Advocate and New Age promoter Timothy Conway, he also endorsed and cited Psychic Trance...” Psychic trance here means Conny Larsson. It is obvious that Conway and Larsson are two major targets of Moreno, who was trying to blame me for sanctioning them. Citation of any author is not equivalent to endorsing all their views, whether that author is a professor, a journalist, an ex-devotee, or whatever.
The hysterical Moreno commentary on citation is abnormal by academic standards. He assumes that when an outsider to the sect cites ex-devotees, then all the views or actions of the latter are being endorsed. The truth is that the abnormal interpretation suits the disposition of Gerald Joe Moreno for aggressive verbal conduct that is transparent to any close scrutiny.
Moreno blithely states in New Age Promoter that “Kevin Shepherd publicly endorsed, promoted and solicited the integrity and credibility of Conny Larsson, a man who happens to be a cult-like leader and guru who claims he is a psychic trance medium for the spirit of Vyasa.” The latter sage is a legendary figure in the lore of Hinduism, and has frequently been invoked in varied mythologies. Vyasa is popularly associated with texts of Hinduism.
What were the facts here? I had included only one paragraph on Larsson in my article Sathya Sai Baba: Problems appearing at kevinrdshepherd.net. The section there entitled Allegations of Sexual Abuse refers to Larsson’s testimony of abuse, his autobiographical book, and his talk given at a FECRIS conference in 2006. There is no reference to any psychic trance mediumship, and I certainly did not endorse any such role, which was not specified in the reports available. Gerald Joe Moreno contrives statements having no validity. Reporting a testimony is not the same as endorsing a New Age role of any kind. Section 23.10 was reporting allegations of sexual abuse, and was not an endorsement of trance mediumship or anything similar. I even used the phrase “Larsson alleges.” I described Larsson in 23.10 as a testifier to abuse, which is the literal truth, and also as “the former leader of the Swedish branch of the sect.”
The severe breach of reporting on the part of Moreno may be described as extremely unreliable commentary. The sectarian argument is often very forced. I am critical of psychism and “channelling,” and do not endorse the recent role of Larsson in what resemble channelling “workshops.” However, to be critical of psychism and channelling is an attitude that should not interfere with reporting a testimony, especially at the level of FECRIS conferences. In law courts, the religious or other beliefs of witnesses are no barrier to due judgment of their testimonies. Otherwise a virtual inquisition would be the result, as in the blogs of Gerald Joe Moreno.
I believe that Larsson is in error to adopt anything resembling channelling activities, though his testimony to abuse should be respected. His acute disillusionment is obvious in relation to being a former long-term devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. In making a criticism of Larsson “psychism” here, I am obliged to declare that another ex-devotee has reported Larsson as being in disagreement with the exotic role conferred upon him in faulty reports. To quote Larsson on that point: “I could keep on interpreting the texts for hours, and in that sense people sometimes make their own opinion that I’m channelling, but in fact it is only me speaking out what is in my own intuitional knowledge” (this quote appeared in an email to myself from ex-devotee Robert Priddy dated December 2008). The same source also relayed that Larsson has denied being clairvoyant, clairaudient, or telepathic.
It is apparent that Larsson is not a cult leader (though he might be in danger of creating a cult, having claimed many followers, which may be considered an extravagance). The appropriate description of him would seem to be that of a professed intuitive with tendencies to crystal therapy, Vedic mantras, and other exotic activities. His alleged “guru” role is related to the Western partiality for “workshop” syncretisms and innovations that commenced in California during the 1960s. Psychologists could interpret such participation in the workshop vogue as a reassurance factor compensating for his acute disillusionment with Sathya Sai Baba, but that would not invalidate his testimony at all. I am, however, very critical of his workshop activities, which have been substantial.
Conny Larsson is related to the website vedicmasterclass.org, which describes him along with other exponents in this field of enthusiasm. The main attraction is a "Vedic master class," which denotes an interest in "Vedic mantra meditation" and hatha yoga. Larsson is here described as an "author and psychotherapist," and there is reference to "interpretation from Vyasa," meaning the ancient rishi. The meditation and hatha yoga vogue has been popular in the West for many years, and it is not a criminal activity, though varied criticisms have been lodged.
The vogue for “channelling” has certainly contributed to widespread popular confusions in Western countries. Sparked by such controversial American developments as A Course in Miracles, even Indian gurus became assimilated to this bizarre trend. Sathya Sai Baba became strongly identified with “channelling” at the Findhorn Foundation, where “workshop” entrepreneur Carol Riddell was influential in her devotional presentation of this guru. She even claimed that the “signature” of Sathya Sai was involved in the ethereal messages she purportedly received from him. The guru is reported to have blessed her accounts of such channelling when she visited his ashram. Riddell was active in Germany and elsewhere during the1990s.
Larsson was conceivably influenced by such events at the time, but if so, then he subsequently contradicted the Riddell model in his reliance upon antique Hindu texts. Larsson thoroughly rejected Sathya Sai Baba, deeming him to be a charlatan and sexual molester. He has related personal experiences of the anomaly. Larsson memorably affirmed that the ashram situation of Sathya Sai was "choreography for paedophile activity." I have formerly reported that dramatic statement.
Moreno himself has used an eccentric expression that could indicate his personal sense of identity with Sathya Sai. Google entry descriptions relating to his blog at wordpress.com have stated “sathyasaibaba wrote,” though the reference is to the assertions of the Moreno blog sathyasaibaba. However, some uninformed persons have imagined that the guru actually made such statements, and not the anonymous Moreno, who goes by such cover names as Equalizer in these disputed media.
Moreno ignores the book by Larsson (Behind the Mask of the Clown) and the review of that work by Priddy. All “Anti-Sai” literature is customarily dismissed with contempt by the strident pro-Sai activist, whose objectivity is very much in question amongst observers. Moreno goes so far as to insinuate that Larsson paid for his coverage by the FECRIS organisation, though it is well known that FECRIS do not operate in any manner accepting bribes. As for myself, I have never been in contact with Larsson.
The American ex-devotee Dr. Timothy Conway is also detested by Moreno as an opponent or “Anti-Sai Activist.” Much of my coverage at 23.10 of shepherd.net was taken up with the Conway report on the sexual abuse allegations against Sathya Sai. I kept strictly to that report, and did not endorse any New Age views expressed by Dr. Conway, contrary to the extremist assertions of pro-Sai activism. Moreno exhibits an extreme latitude for diverging and discrepant exegesis, which may be regarded as a form of obscurantism strongly assisting his libels and misrepresentations.
It is not a crime or failing to cite either Conway or Larsson in the due context of reporting allegations. Conway had a strong argument with Moreno, who tried to cast doubt on the authenticity of certain documents (the John Hislop letters) which gravely compromise the Goldstein-Moreno attitude of denying abuse.
The very distorting account of Gerald Joe Moreno says that, in citing ex-devotees who are associated with New Age views, I look "rather pathetic and foolish and reeking of hypocrisy." To the contrary, it is obligatory to report allegations such as those denoted by Larsson's talk at FECRIS. Close analysts can plainly see that I do not endorse New Age views.
Observers say that Moreno is a hypocrite for claiming to represent "love and spirituality" when he is clearly a vindictive libeller and internet terrorist. He is now widely considered to represent the repressive policy of the Sathya Sai Baba sect with regard to allegations of abuse. His elevated pseudonym of "sathyasaibaba" (on wordpress.com) is quite insufficient to offset due criticism, and is actually further justification to contest his campaign.
The misconstruction imposed by web harassment takes extreme liberties with basic formats. Moreno even describes me as an alleged “academic” author, which is flagrantly untrue. I have never described myself as an academic, as informed readers well know, and my own basic description of my career is completely ignored by the harasser. The role of a citizen philosopher is distinct from sectarian polemic, it may here be emphasised.
5.7 Defamatory Sectarian Blog
Google Search analysts have interpreted the pseudonymous "Equalizer" blog of Gerald Joe Moreno as a pursuit of SEO advantages against my own entries on Google. The extremist kevin-shepherd-exposed blog of 2008 duplicated, amongst numerous other earlier items, the Moreno agitation entitled Kevin Shepherd and Ullrich Zimmermann. This grossly distorts my approach to the case of an ex-devotee who has testified to sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba.
The laboured theme of Moreno that I have endorsed the idiosyncrasies of Zimmermann is entirely disproven by my own commentary, which has been suppressed by Moreno in his blog concoction. The relevant entry is Sectarian Attack Against Objection Relating to Wikipedia Cordon (2008). Some analysts have commented that Moreno is anxious to ridicule and vilify me so that gullible devotees will not access relevant details, believing him to be indisputably correct.
Perhaps the most objectionable item duplicated on the new Equalizer (Moreno) blog is that now deceptively entitled Introduction to Kevin R. D. Shepherd. The original version of this defamation prefaced the hostile Moreno webpage against myself at saisathyasai.com. The contemptuous slur has been regarded as an instance of the extremist sectarian tendency to vilify critics who protest at unfair representation (in this instance, the Wikipedia User page of Gerald Joe Moreno which militated against my publishing venture Citizen Initiative).
The blog defamation of 2008 was an almost word for word repeat of the preamble to the Moreno webpage at saisathyasai.com, originally posted in September 2007. Like the numerous other articles transferred from that website to the composite blog, the so-called "Introduction" is a testimony to the manic sectarian inability to assimilate contradicting data supplied by the recipient (or victim) of libel. The main difference between the website and the blog is that Equalizer (Moreno) now refers to Moreno in the third person. The presumed objectivity is not convincing.
The misleading "Introduction" has been described as an exercise in calculated disparagement by a web terrorist believing that he has the last word in every argument on account of his elite position as a defender of Sathya Sai Baba. His role as Grand Inquisitor, whether or not paid by Michael Goldstein in neighbouring California, is seen as a warning by many persons preferring a more temperate expression in matters of argument. The contrivance under discussion was the Moreno reaction to being countermanded for proscribing on Wikipedia a book relating to the “Sai Baba Movement.”
The superficial "Introduction" asserts that I write "tabloid-like diatribes." This was a rhetorical response to my valid internet criicism (on my first website) of the sectarian's prohibitive attitude on Wikipedia. Joe Moreno web compositions have been described as something in the further range of literary extremism, being strongly inclined to character assassination and extensive libel.
Moreno (alias Equalizer) evidently spends much of his time trying to eliminate his opponents or critics, who are so often vehemently decried as being liars and villains of no relevance. Could any critic of Gerald Joe Moreno ever have any standing or merit? Of course not, only he can be right. His act of shouting down all critics is evidently viewed as a sign of superiority reflecting from the guru, an attribute in which Joe Moreno participates to the extent of being infallible.
Moreno (alias Equalizer) affirms that I “am incapable of formulating a sober argument.” Are we to leave sober argument to the web terrorists? Aided by blogspot.com and wordpress.com, the terrorists might rather too easily take over the government of California if given sufficient financial backing from wealthy devotees.
Sectarian "sober argument" ignored the important distinction between published books and books distributed by a publisher on behalf of other publishers. I was here represented as being the publisher of distributed books also. The assumption of Joe Moreno about vanity publishing is also substantially ignorant of book trade complexities (see 5.8 below). His remarks about the Cambridge phrase “serious amateur” are considered a mockery of British activities and standards which are substantially removed from hostile sectarian webtalk in New Mexico. See my web entry Serious Amateur Activity Misunderstood by Sectarian Polemic (2008).
The cult libeller even says on his blog that Cambridge University Library (CUL) is “not to be confused with Cambridge University itself,” and of course he must know best, as he represents Sathya Sai Baba and the miracles contested by the Indian Rationalists. Cambridge University Library (the highest University building in Cambridge) is here represented as a purely secondary feature of the landscape because of the association with myself, who has dared to criticise Moreno. CUL is clearly viewed as an obstruction to the Google ratings of Moreno websites and blogs. American sectarian criteria and "sober argument" could be culturally disastrous if given more scope. The eminent librarians of CUL, their vast holdings, the Rare Books Room, and even the elite Manuscript Room, are discounted in the sectarian blog domain.
Gerald Joe Moreno is well known amongst ex-devotees for being very reluctant to revise any of his offending web statements. He must always be considered correct in every detail. It is evidently a sin to criticise him, because he represents the guru and the miracles. Not a word has been altered in such sectarian statements as “Kevin Shepherd’s material is controversial, convoluted and conspiratorial.” That unappealable verdict refers to my published books. The message of sectarian "sober argument" is that all critics are conspirators, even if the cultist has not read their books and knows nothing whatever about them.
One could easily anticipate that automatic jail sentences will ensue for any objector to the potential new regime in cultist California and New Mexico that is being assisted by web giants. Critics say that all identities on Google Search should be actual, not pseudonymous or anonymous. The real name of any web composer should be mandatory on all web entries showing on Google Search. Disqualification should otherwise result. Yet Google profits on the basis of lax rules and regulations.
A very misleading statement heads the banal Introduction (which I do not recognise as representing me). Equalizer (Moreno) says that “this blog was created to refute and respond to Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s articles against Joe Moreno on KRD Shepherd’s citizeninitiative.com and kevinshepherd.net domains.” He has not in fact responded to the second article, but instead ignored the contents of that lengthy feature entitled Wikipedia, Gerald Joe Moreno, and Google (2008).
Gerald Joe Moreno has implied that I was the web aggressor, not him. This makes no sense to informed and literate observers, who can plainly see that Moreno started his misrepresentation of myself on both the October 2006 User page and his July 2007 blog entry entitled Kevin Shepherd and Robert Priddy (in sathyasaibaba) at wordpress.com. That was before my comments appeared online. Further, his attacks on ex-devotees abundantly confirm an extensive exercise in web harassment. The Google Search name lists for Robert Priddy, Barry Pittard, Martin Alan Kazlev, and others, have shown many anonymous Moreno entries unfavourable to the subject. The sectarian has countered that his own name list shows many ex-devotee incursions. It is then a matter of ascertaining who attacked first.
The web harasser is unsuccessfully trying to stifle the detailed argument in my 21-section internet article entitled Wikipedia, Gerald Joe Moreno, and Google (2008). That lengthy article describes the sequence of web entries and the slurs contested by me. The Moreno blog attack ignores the unwelcome article. He had formerly ignored nearly all the content of Kevin R. D. Shepherd in response to Gerald Joe Moreno (Nov. 2007). This objecting web entry was placed at the end of Wikipedia Issues, but the tactic of Moreno evasively bypassed the numerous complaints and complexities outlined in that response.
The sectarian instead resorted to the extremist measure of the "Murder blog," which his SEO tactic has duplicated on Google Search (literally showing more than once at the same time on my name list). Evading the data I supplied on his web harassment, Moreno there tries to blame me for not understanding a wordpress.com tag featuring his attack on myself in relation to Robert Priddy, juxtaposed with the report of a murdered person with the same name as myself. The desultory policy of wordpress.com is again implied as an irresponsible media for sectarian harassment, and also for insensitively admixed bulletins appearing on Search lists of the unmonitored Google.
For due comments relating to the wordpress.com tag of 2007, see my The Joe Moreno Blog and Tag Harassment on Google Search (2008). The Moreno distortion of "murder" appeared in an update on his primary website, and was subsequently duplicated on the attack blog hosted by blogspot.com.
The defamatory blog kevin-shepherd-exposed amounts to a very distorted version of a webpage appearing on my first website. In addition, there are two or three fractional references lifted out of context from my website kevinrdshepherd.net. The militant blog format is blatantly presented in terms of a campaign (see 5.10), a word that prominently appears in the margin, where three copyrighted photographs of the victim are repeatedly presented with obvious intent to stigmatise for sectarian attention. My complaints at misrepresentation are abrasively dismissed in terms of whining and snivelling. The sectarian "sober argument" is a testimony to evasive attack blogger strategy.
Amongst my contacts is a legal expert who undertook to inspect at some length the web materials of Moreno in relation to myself. In a communication dated 02/01/2009, this damages expert stated:
“I think that [Gerald] Joe Moreno has been quite defamatory, and I would be very surprised if he has not taken the precaution of ensuring that no property of any value is in his own name, and thus not available to execute against action exerted to satisfy an award of Damages for Defamation. His web writing comes across to me as that of a petty and fanatical lout who always needs to have the last word, and that in itself makes me wonder about his motivation and, thus, to doubt his good faith and his credibility. His output realistically amounts to little more than a hopefully face-saving smokescreen for the benefit of his own cheer squad.”
5.8 Self Publishing as Distinct from Vanity Publishing
The exercise in derogatory metatags and blog descriptions, undertaken by Gerald Joe Moreno in early November 2008, included the jibe appended to his 2007 attack that topped my Google Search name list (because of the backlinks attaching to his primary website saisathyasai.com, where this libellous webpage is located). The new description for that hostile entry became “Exposing Vanity Publisher and Author Kevin R. D. Shepherd.” Moreno was relying heavily upon his attempted stigma of vanity publisher to justify his originating attack expressed on a Wikipedia User page in October 2006.
This stigma is rejected by close analysts, who have concluded that Moreno is desperate to overlook the known complexities which divide the spheres of vanity publishing and serious self-publishing. Experts in this subject have emphasised the pronounced differences, and Wikipedia has to some extent mirrored the basic distinctions. Yet the distorting Gerald Joe Moreno prefers the acute contraction of one sphere to another. On this account alone, he stands accused of an extremist tactic that proves the intention of defamation as distinct from fair assessment.
The generally accessible Wikipedia entry on Self-publishing clearly distinguishes that activity from vanity publishing or subsidy publishers. The lastmentioned routes to publication have a bad reputation. “Vanity publishing is a pejorative term, referring to a publisher contracting with authors regardless of the quality and marketability of their work.” In contrast, “true self-publishing means authors undertake the entire cost of publication themselves, and handle all marketing, distribution, storage, etc” (accessed 2009).
The role of self-publisher may have varying attributes. “The classic ‘self-publisher’ writes, edits, markets and promotes the book themselves, relying on a printer only for actual printing and binding.” Self-publishing is here quite appropriately described as an alternative to vanity publishing. The two categories are very different.
The majority of both self-published and vanity press books have featured paperback bindings, with hardback being increasingly considered a value feature. Academic and other book appraisers afford a premium to hardback binding, restrained cover designs, and time-consuming additions such as annotations and indexing. Further, if an author or self-publisher shows consistency in such output, a higher rating is generally awarded. Long term consistency in these respects is considered an even stronger basis for approval.
My own output over twenty-five years has qualified for some ratings in the “selective” bracket. All my self-published works have included annotations and restrained cover designs. The two shortest books of mine lacked an index, but both of these featured annotations. All my other books had an index. Only one of my books appeared in a paperback binding, and that was a notably upmarket work relying heavily upon academic subscribers. All the other books were hardbacks. No image of myself has appeared in any of my books to date, in contrast to many books found in both the self-publishing and vanity spheres. See further my web entry Self-published works (2008).
The most rigorous appraisers in this field award a premium to works of academic interest rather than to general interest, fiction, or poetry. It has been said that all of my published works qualify for this consideration in some department or other – varying from social science and the history of science to philosophy and orientalist studies. It is clearly recognised by appraisers that competition in the commercial marketplace is severe for almost any self-publisher. The book trade is dominated by the giant mainline publishers who generally eclipse small publishing companies and other enterprises. It is also recognised that unusual self-published works can be more notable than some or many works produced by commercial publishing giants.
The situations arising have led some successful self-publishers to bypass well known retail outlets and chain stores, being able to reach their own audience via a variety of procedures. A minority of self-publishers do not aim at profit margins, but at educational horizons. Their priorities are not generally well known. They are frequently content to aim at getting their money back rather than achieve a profit, and they endeavour to keep prices low in various ways. One or two of them are strongly resistant to prevailing capitalist strategies. Academic interest has been strong with regard to that sector.
Superficial assessment of such matters has led some uninformed persons to make markedly inaccurate judgments. Gerald Joe Moreno is one instance. Having no deep knowledge of the book trade, and not even having read the books he dismisses and depreciates, his sectarian libels about myself being a “vanity self-publisher” are regarded elsewhere as a malicious web harassment. Sectarian blog writers are an unreliable source for other categories of writer, and the rather basic (and some say primitive) Google system of web transmission to date lacks any adequate safeguards against harassment, defamation, and puerile misrepresentation.
The history of self-published works is relevant. The first systematic defence of the individual right to publish was contributed by John Milton in the 1640s. His Areopagitica was a self-published work arousing controversy in a monarchical state dominated by political and ideological restrictions. That was before the Royal Society and the neglected initial opus of David Hume. In later times, many self-published works eventually became recognised classics. Some of the famous names here include William Blake, Walt Whitman, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Henry David Thoreau, George Bernard Shaw, and Gertrude Stein. Self-publishing was not judged negatively in those earlier times, though economic hazards were both recognised and encountered.
More recently, the scope for desktop publishing made innovations that would have amazed earlier generations. However, I started and maintained Anthropographia with camera ready copy laboriously acquired through intermediaries, usually a professional typesetter in Cambridge. My objective was not commercial, but to create a focus for anthropography as conceived in a library environment.
I was not impressed by the fate of many books in the field of commercial publishing. These were too often remaindered after two or three years, and did not always achieve anything resembling a high survival value in the secondhand book market. This sometimes happened even in the case of some fairly well known authors. Indeed, the survival value of an author is measured by academics and connoisseurs in different terms to that of the commercial market, and this factor can easily elude superficial assessment.
I never contracted runs of less than a thousand copies, although it is possible to get limited editions in smaller numbers. Remaindered books are sold by commercial publishers for a trifle, whether the production run is a thousand or five thousand. The view of the dispensers in these instances is that the “short life” of the book has ended. The “sell by” date has expired, and so just get rid of the superfluous product. In contrast, the survival value of a book that continues to be in demand (however selectively) will not be affected by the vagaries of the commercial market. It is the cognoscenti who determine survival value, not the general reader impressed by the colourful paperbacks marketed by the short-term consumer strategies.
My first book Psychology in Science sold to over one hundred academic (and other) libraries throughout the world. I learned that this was unusual for a first-time author in the amateur category. Sales were strong in other areas, including university bookshops. I did not have to remainder that book (nor any others), and still have some copies left of the first one, currently available at the same price (£9) applying 25 years ago. That price was stated on the Citizen Initiative website, though the official recommended retail price (RRP) was higher. I have since eliminated the RRP. Other parties have indicated that I should be charging at least twice as much for the book, but this is not the principle I choose to work on. A book trade consultant told me in the 1990s that most of my prices were very low, and that if I wished to be more financially successful, then I should double most of the prices, which would be quite legitimate in my case. Though I respected his advice, I nevertheless disagreed, and acted accordingly with respect to price lists.
My two shortest books became popular in America. This was confirmed by a rise in secondhand prices. A Sufi Matriarch was promoted to over seventy dollars in some lists, whereas the British retail price was less than £8. I was indignant at the time, though it was impressed upon me that the anomaly was proof of my survival value. Informed assessors have predicted that the secondhand price of all my works will be quite solid when the out of print stage is reached. One party says that these books will be in the “high survival” category, especially in view of international interest at academic and bibliophile level.
The two shortest Anthropographia titles (Sufi Matriarch and Gurus Rediscovered) were well received in America and India, being distributed in both of those countries. Gurus Rediscovered became cited in learned literature on Indian religion, and was recognised as the first attempt to cast Shirdi Sai Baba in the realistic light of Islamic Sufism. Shirdi Sai Baba (died 1918) has increasingly appealed to a Muslim audience in recent years, thus restoring the balance in a rather oddly weighted “Hinduized” adventure befalling source materials. Over the years, certain of my books have gained interest in Turkey, Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. Remembering that there are many Muslims in other countries also.
I have been prepared to challenge the notion in some self-publishing circles that the criteria for success is to make a clear and substantial profit. While I do understand that train of thought, I happen to disagree strongly, one reason being that the capitalist principle of mainline commercial publishers is thereby duplicated. The alternative criterion is to cultivate a serious readership, not a commercial readership, but that endeavour is a mystery to many sectors of the publishing world.
My publishing principle became one of simply recovering the input money, and keeping the prices down. It was not necessary for me to make a profit, as I created another business (in antiques and crafts) that was more remunerative.
A relevant aspect of serious self-publishing is that the writer is not under the constraint to publish for purely financial reasons, or to cater for routine public tastes, which are so frequently banal and manipulated by media interests.
The subsequent incentive for the publishing imprint of Citizen Initiative added a new dimension to my output, leading me into website composition. This internet extension is not a commercial activity, but intended in an educational context.
Like other self-publishers, I learned how to operate independently of the retail chains, whose policy favours giant publishers. Yet I have long had some affinity with the expanding firm of Blackwells (who eventually acquired Heffers bookshop in Cambridge, where I perused and purchased many books over the years). Blackwells were originally the major mediator for my books ordered by libraries, via their New English Books department. Other retail chains have a rather less academic association.
Some basic problems in chain bookstores have too frequently been in evidence. I have elsewhere recorded how one shop management attempted in 2005 to cover up their “new age” preferences for selling shoddy books at the expense of more comprehensive literature. In Pointed Observations (2005), p. 352, I recounted that “recently, the present writer visited a large bookshop of repute which had decided to incorporate a substantial and rather visible array of paperbacks on wicca and closely related subjects; some of these books made frequent and very superstitious reference to love spells, which was the clear speciality in certain cases. They were prescribing love spells for a contemporary audience of enthusiasts.”
That unnamed bookshop was the Dorchester branch of Ottakars, whose reaction to some detailed volumes (critical of commercial trends) was to dismiss these as being “too academic.” The damage done to pubic susceptibilities by such crass marketing as “love spells” should be more adequately tackled by government departments. A complaint at the suppressive Ottakars policy was duly expressed in my Publishing Statement (2007; revised 2009). Some retail chain flaws are in need of basic revision to avoid chronic miseducation. However, I am obliged to add here that WH Smith Retail Ltd have made the gesture of advertising all my books online.
The sectarian stigma of “vanity self-publisher” is widely considered unfair in my case, and has been interpreted as strong confirmation of the errors and libels disseminated by American internet terrorism affiliated to the Sathya Sai Organisation (which has gained the reputation of a cult that could prove a hazard to outsiders). The SSO have become tarred with the brush of Moreno defamations.
To conclude here, I have produced annotated works having an actual and predicted survival value. The terminated project of Anthropographia Publications is viewed by sympathisers as an unusual exercise in self-publishing, and one furthermore strongly associated with Cambridge intellectual output. This effort represented an unofficial research programme conducted via library study that was undertaken without any official funding. The project of Citizen Initiative continues in an internet format.
5.9 Web Harassment Requires Exposing
Gerald Joe Moreno displays a marked blogging zest for allegedly “exposing” varied critics, objectors, and victims. Anybody who criticises Sathya Sai Baba or his defender Moreno is liable to receive the castigatory treatment. Moreno attempts to profile his opponents as aberrant, perverted, conspiratorial, dishonest, ludicrous, or whatever. He ignores all objections to this programme, and acts as if his opinions are beyond question. A disconcerting blog exploit of Moreno in October 2008 was to represent the ex-devotee Robert Priddy in terms of an ape-like primitive. This has made the basic attitude of Moreno glaringly obvious.
The background of Moreno is very obscure. He became a devotee in his late teens, and emerged on the web in 2003, becoming strongly associated with internet “bulletin boards” and discussion forums relating to Sathya Sai Baba. Such web milieux are notorious for censorious expressions of antipathy for anyone not in agreement with favoured opinions. Salient Australian ex-devotee Barry Pittard was a victim of Moreno libel as transmitted by a Yahoo message in 2006. Moreno unjustly accused Pittard of being a “paedophile,” an evident attempt of tit for tat in view of accusations made against Sathya Sai Baba by ex-devotees.
Pittard has expressed the restrained observation that “no doubt, most Sathya Sai Baba devotees, inasmuch as they view these related topics on the internet, are appalled by the shocking departure by the main pro Sathya Sai Baba defenders from civil discourse. There is extensive resort to poor arguments, distortion of contexts and character assassination. Likewise, most former Sathya Sai Baba devotees find abhorrent the crudeness, nastiness and vilification evinced by an extremely small minority of former devotees.” Quoted from Barry Pittard, Timothy Conway Ph.D (July 2008). The Pittard version of ex-devotee Dr. Conway is very different to that of the pro-Sai activist in New Mexico.
The enduring conflict between Moreno and ex-devotees has been referred to in diverse web memos. See Moreno and ex-devotees. Both sides have expressed strong accusations. Some ex-devotees are much more restrained than others. Moreno is forever trying to prove that ex-devotees are in error, and this habit inevitably arouses reactions. His extreme tactics and aggressive language inspire strong doubt as to the relevance of his assertions and modus operandi. See also Gerald Moreno [and Not Exposed].
Moreno has been alleged by ex-devotees to use negative SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). He certainly does use a strong SEO tactic of proliferating blogs, duplicated items, and multiple Google descriptions. Analysts who have so far inspected his web campaign have been dismayed, both at his libellous tendencies and his militant web industry (now said to comprise a network of about twenty blogspots and websites, predominantly the former).
Anyone caught (like Moreno) with ten [and up to twenty] hostile and maligning entries on another person’s Google Search name list is in a seriously suspect category of obsessive harassment tactics. Some observers say that my case (of afflicted name list) gains additional significance because I am not an ex-devotee, but an outsider to the Sathya Sai Baba sect. How soon will it be before many other outsiders are being terrorised by this form of abused Google license?
In my own case, I objected to an American Wikipedia User page that was placed on Google (by Moreno) to discredit my British publishing venture. I was not guilty of anything save to write a single book appendice which happened to briefly profile the web pages of Moreno’s rival Robert Priddy. Because of this, my entire publishing output was maligned in aggressive passages of the SSS108 (Moreno) User page. Critics say that Wikipedia (and Google) should ensure that Users banned from Wikipedia (like Moreno) should not be permitted to maintain their loaded aspersions on Google without due qualification of the diminished status of those aspersions.
In Western countries, many devotees left the Sathya Sai Baba sect in disillusionment. The internet reports were many and varied. Allegations of sexual abuse and economic manipulation became well known when British ex-devotee David Bailey made available his document The Findings in 2000. It is less well known that Bailey chose to go into obscurity after being the victim of reprisals from dogmatic devotees who refused to accept that the guru could have done anything wrong. Some attackers even concocted the story that Bailey had been sent to jail as a paedophile (Shepherd, Investigating the Sai Baba Movement, 2005, p. 295).
Gerald Joe Moreno of New Mexico has since created an elaborate network of websites and blogspots which insidiously campaign against all critics of the guru. Moreno continually depicts ex-devotees and others as liars and deceivers. He says that testimonies to sexual abuse are mere stories. His primary website (saisathyasai.com) shows his name and declares the aim of “exposing critic’s smear-campaigns against Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.” The sectarian attitude is glaringly evident.
The harassing web actions to date associated with Moreno are a source of shock to observers. Ex-devotees strongly allege that he has ingloriously represented certain of his victims on porn sites, including the hapless Robert Priddy. He has notoriously distorted online images of at least two opponents. See Joe Moreno's Undeclared Distorted Images of Opponents (2008).
A more recent indulgence of Joe Moreno was to juxtapose the image of his rival Robert Priddy with an ape-like counterpart. That blog device clearly suggested a primitive role for his competitors. See Ex-devotee Robert Priddy (2009). This gesture of Moreno caused a sense of outrage amongst ex-devotees, and outsiders concluded that the sectarian blogger is committed to an extremist policy of caricature and misrepresentation. See the blog images at the top of this section.
In reality, Robert Priddy does not resemble a primitive creature, as Gerald Joe Moreno is so desperate to suggest. Priddy has instead provided literate criticisms of the guru, and revealingly detailed his contact with the late V. K. Narasimhan (d. 2000), a salient devotee of Sathya Sai at Puttaparthi ashram who was formerly a noted journalist. The notebooks of Priddy reveal the doubts of Narasimhan about certain complicating events at Puttaparthi. Moreno has vehemently denied the relevance of those reports, insisting that his own partisan version is the truth. However, the dissident data is very difficult for other parties to ignore. See my web entry The Case of V. K. Narasimhan (2008). See also the very informative Priddy website at saibaba-x.org.uk.
5.10 The Militant Sectarian Campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno
Moreno is associated by ex-devotees with the backing of Dr. Michael Goldstein, the leading Western official of the sect who lives in California. There is as yet no proof for this persistent belief, though Goldstein has certainly made no attempt to stop the Moreno campaign of web harassment. Goldstein is head of the Sathya Sai Organisation, and the key figure in the interface between American and Indian devotee contingents.
The BBC found Goldstein to be so evasive and uncooperative about answering questions on the sexual abuse issue that they resorted to a hidden camera technique in his case. The revealing interview with Dr. Goldstein appeared in The Secret Swami, a BBC documentary broadcast in 2004 and widely considered to be a major televised feature on cult anomalies. Goldstein was notably dismissive of the allegations of sexual abuse made against Sathya Sai Baba. See Michael Goldstein and The Secret Swami Documentary. Moreno has repeatedly denounced the BBC documentary, despite the fact that this programme afforded interviews with both partisans and critics of Sathya Sai Baba.
Ex-devotees suggest that Moreno is secretly and adroitly endorsed by both influential American and Indian devotees in a project of web harassment. The implications are grave, and amount to a strongly adverse reflection upon the integrity of the Sathya Sai Organisation (SSO). That organisation certainly failed to reply to a pressing letter of complaint from ex-devotees in March 2008. See Complaint at Massive Libel and Disinformation Campaign (2008).
The threat posed by sectarian internet libels and misrepresentation should become a focus for due probes. Dire implications relate to any situation where no sceptical observer can report allegations or discrepant web behaviour without incurring sectarian harassment. That situation (extending to Gerald Joe Moreno) is not a good sign for early twenty-first century American society, which has nurtured the commercial and permissive web without due forms of monitoring in various directions.
Moreno web harassment, in my own case, commenced with the October 2006 Wikipedia User page (of Moreno, alias SSS108). That item is very misleading as a web feature, failing to state that Moreno was indefinitely banned from Wikipedia in March 2007. His pseudonymous blog sathyasaibaba (at wordpress.com) has conveyed the misleading impression that web references about my notability and personal information are non-existent. Other Moreno entries on Google Search have insisted that I am a vanity publisher, ignoring my own complaints about such libels. This noticeable attempt to stigmatise and libel a British objector to harassing tactic may serve as a warning about contemporary American cultism.
The harassment has been accompanied by a computer animation device showing on the Moreno blog kevin-shepherd-exposed. Such IT animation emblems are very common commercial fare these days, and do not prove any ideological claim. The emblem includes the logo Campaign to Stop Anti-Sai Activist’s Abuse. The word “Abuse” alternates with “Defamations,” “Libels,” and “Dishonesty.” This questionable facesaver is placed directly underneath three copyrighted images of myself which have been abused by Gerald Joe Moreno on his blog and primary website. The fourfold logo has been described as a sectarian ploy to conceal the objections made by the victim, in this case a complete outsider to the Sathya Sai Organisation.
Moreno evidently thinks that his objectionable animation logo is sectarian justification for the web terrorism that he has repeatedly demonstrated in relation to myself (and also ex-devotees). The militant attitude of Gerald Joe Moreno inverts basic factors and arguments. The ex-devotees were complaining about strongly alleged abuses by their former guru. I merely happened to refer to those alleged abuses, which are legitimate for record and comment because of the large number of disillusioned ex-devotees. Yet above all, I dared to criticise the militant tactic of Moreno, who presents complaint in such derogatory terms as “whined and snivelled.” American cultism is perhaps one of the most potentially dangerous new world creations for international consumption, especially when this hostility is transmitted electronically via Google and their affiliate blogspot.com.
The fanatical campaigner has been viewed in the light of inciting psychopathic devotees against the critics and victims of Moreno. This American form of web terrorism is viewed with deep suspicion, and legal anaysts have expressed concern in more responsible countries than America.
In 2008, an ex-devotee recently received a threatening email from an obscure supporter of Sathya Sai Baba. This named man (not Moreno) is apparently an American. A copy of the email was sent to me by the recipient. The offensive communication was littered with vulgar words, and is not suitable to reproduce here. There was an underlying threat expressed by the extremist attacker, who announced his intention of hacking a website. "Your days are numbered" was one of the ominous statements appearing in the abusive proclamation. The inspiration for such outpourings is very much in question.
5.11 Penetrating the Blog Underworld
The web harasser Gerald Joe Moreno has perpetuated his militant campaign by, e.g., ignoring the relevant data and arguments at Wikipedia, Moreno, Google. That lengthy article, featuring 21 sections, was uploaded on 23/09/2008, and comprises a specific analysis of Moreno commentary and misrepresentation.
The evasive response of the sectarian blogger to that article was one of reproducing under a pseudonym the misleading items he had placed on his primary website the previous year (2007). Now Moreno merely duplicated these items at blogspot.com, a superficial ploy that supposedly “exposed” me. This transparent tactic of evasion involved reference to Gerald Joe Moreno in the third person, the blog author being named as Equalizer (a recurring pseudonym of Moreno, and one which he has expressly acknowledged).
The web harasser evidently hoped to deceive the world at large with this convenient presentation. He was obviously trying to give the impression that it was not Moreno who was here duplicating earlier items, but instead some other web agent. Duplicated items in the blog world have a bad reputation, savouring of a cheap and easy recourse that may conceal a duplicit intention. This feature also reflects badly upon the mediator blogspot.com, who should not permit such shoddy tactics. Blogspot.com is an enterprise lacking due regulations.
The impression of new materials is liable to be given by the date of October 31, 2008, which is supplied on the blogspot.com attack for the first entries posted by Equalizer. The textual resetting is very minimal, and only superficial readers could believe that these are fresh compositions. They were all heavily outdated transfers from saisathyasai.com, and more duplications followed in November. This duplication feat amounted to a web smokescreen designed to distract attention from my counter-argument that Gerald Joe Moreno did not wish to reveal.
The web terrorist improvised a disdainful heading at the top of these misleading items in the new blog archive. That heading vindictively stated: “Exposing the vanity self-publisher, pseudo-intellectual, Findhorn Foundation & Stanislav Grof critic, New Age promoter and Anti-Sai extremist Kevin R. D. Shepherd.” Not the slightest proof is supplied for the description as a vanity self-publisher, and the gloss of “New Age promoter” is likewise known to be a misnomer invented by the unscrupulous internet harasser.
As for the extremist tag, that requires careful evaluation on the part of anyone unfamiliar with the sources. I have not written any books on Sathya Sai Baba, and have only contributed on that subject three appendices, a web article principally relating to Wikipedia, and a critical web article that has been considered an appropriate reference to diverse materials by literate assessors outside the cult blog domain. Moreno has exposed his own inadequacies of sectarian polemic, whether or not he considers himself to be a genuine intellectual.
The only acknowledgment by the flippant blogger of my recent extensive objection, argument, and data was to reproduce the domain name of my new website (kevinrdshepherd.net). Moreno even got that detail wrong by missing out my initials in the same domain name reproduced at the top of his scurrilous item entitled Introduction to Kevin R. D. Shepherd. This blog offering is a repetition of his libellous preamble to the hostile webpage against myself featuring on his primary website saisathyasai.com. The so-called Introduction flouts basic rules of fair reporting throughout, and preserved the erroneous accusation that I self-publish through four imprints. The totally misleading reference to the publisher Routledge was also left unaltered, further testimony to the dishonesty of American web harassment in distorting matters relating to the British book trade.
Gerald Joe Moreno has the reputation of being in the category of “tirade” bloggers, personal attack specialists who are anathema to university academics. The latter normally refuse to cite the former. Moreno is manifestly obsessed with personal attack, and in a manner calculated to ridicule his opponents and victims. There is clearly no other motive involved in much of his disreputable project other than to degrade any critic of himself or his guru.
The pseudonym of Equalizer is a symptom of the tit for tat psychology at work in his harassments. The “Anti-Sai” exponents must be downgraded by the Pro-Sai campaigner. That is the underlying logic involved, and it has been duly rejected by literate analysts in different countries.
Ex-devotees have varied markedly in their approach and form of communication, but Moreno lumps all of them together as the evil party conspiring against love and spirituality. The attributes of Gerald Joe Moreno are difficult to envisage in any such context of love and spirituality. It is instead obsessive webstalking and harassment that has been in evidence. He fits a clearly defined set of psychological characteristics charted by international assessors of cult hostility. His web operations are unusually intensive, a factor which makes him seem even worse in the eyes of some investigators.
5.12 Duplicated Items on Pseudonymous Blog
The duplicated items showing on the attack blog kevin-shepherd-exposed include disparagements varying from Gerald Joe Moreno’s dislike of the BBC to his incessant depreciation of ex-devotees like Robert Priddy (a retired academic of Oslo University). The latter is represented by the new title of Kevin Shepherd’s Friendship With LSD Advocate. Moreno’s hatred of Priddy is acute, and there appears to be no limit to verbal violations of the pro-Sai activist. I am not actually a friend of Priddy, never having met him, though I knew enough about him to contest the facile theme that he advocates LSD. I have merely been in intermittent correspondence with him for a few years, and solely in relation to events concerning ex-devotees and Sathya Sai Baba. See my web entry Ex-devotee Robert Priddy (2009).
Robert Priddy does not advocate LSD in any way, though many years ago he did publish online certain documents relating to his 1960s experimentation with the danger drug. He eventually removed those documents, though Moreno has since taken extreme liberties with copyrighted materials of Priddy; the latter’s wife contacted DMCA Safe Harbour, a group of concerned web experts who forward copyright claims on behalf of claimants. Moreno was subsequently obliged (in 2008) to remove Priddy copyright materials from his wordpress.com blog sathyasaibaba, having been considered guilty of infringement.
The Moreno (Equalizer) duplications also relate to other ex-devotees who are the subject of aberrant arguments designed to implicate me as endorsing their diverse views and statements, including those of a “New Age” complexion. The extremism of Moreno exegesis is sometimes quite fantastic. If such a sectarian ideology became more widespread in society at large, nobody would be able to cite anyone with divergent views from their own, in case they were certified for sharing exactly the same outlook or opinions as the persons cited. All scholarship would cease.
Moreno has taken the absurd attitude in my direction that if anybody is a guru advocate or new age enthusiast, then I should not be citing them because I do not belong to those categories. The erroneous nature of such reasoning is plainly obvious to due analysis. It is a grave obfuscation of the requirements attendant upon due reporting, and stems solely from the orientation of a pro-Sai activist who is implacably hostile to contrary views and interpretations. To interpose such deficient reasoning in blogs and Google descriptions is no convincing support for web harassment. The heavily weighted sectarian nature of such blog arguments is glaringly evident.
Another inappropriate recourse of the internet terrorist (in Sept. 2007) was to insinuate my endorsement of certain pornographic statements made by two of his “Anti-Sai” opponents (neither of whom I had cited). Despite my explicit rebuttal of this extremist ploy in my Response to Moreno (Nov. 2007), the web harasser has not remedied this matter. See my web entry The pornography ruse (2007). I was able to emphasise that my strong opposition to pornography had recently been expressed in my book Pointed Observations (2005). To quote here some of the argument in relation to contemporary laxity:
“As might have been expected, there were increasing vindications of pornography, which became fatally acceptable on the media as ‘entertainment.’ The basic principle to grasp is that many people were able to make more money out of garbage” (Pointed Observations, p. 110).
In addition, I also specifically opposed child pornography, and included the statement: “America became notorious as one of the leading sources of child pornography, and the Internet was a means for pornographers to evade British laws” (ibid., p. 113).
Moreno (Equalizer) is always concerned to justify his Wikipedia role and to cast doubt upon the validity of his indefinite ban in March 2007. His friction with Wikipedia administrators became acute. Although they had at first conceded some of his objections to the “Anti-Sai” contingent, eventually they lost all patience with his mode of address, which was considered an insulting form of name-calling. Moreno afterwards severely castigated a Wikipedia administrator associated with Oxford University, a matter clearly visible in an entry on his primary website saisathyasai.com, and which I have cited elsewhere. I trust that I do not have to be considered as having endorsed all the views of Moreno because I cited his web contributions. Yet that would be the logical outcome of his own erratic form of reasoning in my direction.
Another duplicated item on the “exposed” blog is Kevin Shepherd Cites Anonymous Scholars. Joe Moreno (Equalizer) here made a sweeping assumption about two Wikipedia contributors, whom he downgrades as being virtual imposters because they expressed approval of my published output. That approval was unpardonable to the sectarian judgmentalism of Moreno, despite the obvious fact that he had not read my books. He derides the academic background of the two contributors, strongly insinuating their pseudo status. A link with an Australian University is here repudiated by the sectarian as an invention. Simon Kidd subsequently declared his real name identity (see also Kidd, Wikipedia and Kevin Shepherd).
The two insulted Wikipedia contributors were both academics, as is now well known. Both declared their real name identity. Moreno ignored the statement of Dr. M. E. Dean on Citizendium in March 2007, which supplied details of real name identity, a disclosure occurring six months before the Pro-Sai campaigner first depicted "Jedermann" in dismissive terms. See further Joe Moreno Insults Academics on Wikipedia. See also Criticism and Zoroastrian Issue.
In more general terms, the academic reception of pseudonymous blogs will conceivably continue in the resistant mode, whether or not such blogs claim to expose anyone removed from sectarian agendas, and even if such blogs implicitly assume a redeeming connection to some divine cause.
5.13 The Reductionist Anti-Guru Label
In presenting me under the label of “Anti-Guru,” Gerald Joe Moreno is conveniently suppressing relevant information that he evidently does not wish devotees to see. For instance, my recent web article on Hinduism allows discernible concession to both Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar. See Hinduism and gurus (2008). I also mention there my connection with Swami Ghanananda (1898-1969), a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order. On that figure, see further Vedanta for East and West: Swami Ghanananda Memorial Number (116) Nov.-Dec. 1970.
Another detail, obscured by sectarian hostility, is that my early book Gurus Rediscovered (1986) was in evident empathy with the two subjects covered, namely Sai Baba of Shirdi (d.1918) and Upasni Maharaj of Sakori (d.1941). The former was a Muslim and the latter a Hindu. That book was distributed in India by the prominent publisher Motilal Banarsidass. The coverage gained extension in my later work Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). My treatment of Ramana Maharshi, in another book (Philosophical Critiques and Appraisals, 2004, pp. 153ff), is also sympathetic.
There is a further contradiction to the reductionist label. I produced a favourable (though non-sectarian) account of the Zoroastrian-born Irani mystic Meher Baba (d.1969), who is regarded by many Hindus as a guru figure. See Shepherd, Meher Baba, an Iranian Liberal (1988). [Meher Baba's father was Sheriar Mundegar Irani.]
The fact that Moreno can ignore such strongly visible details, is further reason to regard his web hostilities as being extensively unreliable, and as comprising a very suspect exercise in sectarian misrepresentation.
5.14 The Anti-Sai Complexity
The stigma of Anti-Sai is continually used by Gerald Joe Moreno. The connotations are those of severe disapproval and censure. "Anti-Sai Activists" are devils in the Pro-Sai landscape of Moreno polemic. They are considered evil and base, fit only for contempt, being deceivers at best and perverts at worst. The stigma of Anti-Sai figures as an essential part of the cudgelling campaign of Moreno, who is considered manic by critics. His activity has been described as a web manhunt, eager for revenge against any criticism of the guru. It is apparent that any measure is justified in the mind of the harasser.
The stigma of Anti-Sai can meet with strong resistance elsewhere. Evaluation of the context reveals an alarming degree of justification for the cause which Moreno supports. Not only ex-devotees, but also journalists and the BBC are zealously castigated. The BBC documentary The Secret Swami (2004) is blacklisted, though elsewhere regarded as a significant milestone in the televising of cult anomalies.
In the sectarian argument, the "Anti-Sai" sources can only be wrong. This implies that Gerald Joe Moreno is always right, himself being the champion of the guru who must not be criticised. Allegations are derided as lies and subterfuge. Testimonies to sexual abuse are discounted as mere inventions. If the outsider questions this censorious approach, and reports the allegations, then he will be attacked by the web harasser. This has been my fate. Daring to question the policy of Gerald Joe Moreno is deemed an intolerable sin, even though he was banned from Wikipedia, and even though his language is frequently defamatory and offensive.
The Anti-Sai idiom encounters a problem in respect of the original Sai Baba. I am here referring to Sai Baba of Shirdi (d.1918), now frequently known as Shirdi Sai in order to distinguish him from Sathya Sai, who was born eight years or so after the precursor died. The name of the Shirdi saint was appropriated by the young Sathyanarayana Raju, who became known as Sathya Sai Baba. The latter claimed to be the reincarnation of the former. That claim has not met with universal agreement, and has been in strong dispute amongst the Indian devotees of Shirdi Sai.
The original Sai Baba was a Muslim Sufi of liberal tendency. This is evident from numerous details supplied in the early sources on the Shirdi saint, including the Notebook of Abdul Baba. It is relevant to quote from a recent scholarly source:
“Sai Baba, in his early years, was steeped in the Sufi tradition and community of the Deccan. It was only late in Sai Baba’s life with the influx of Hindus mostly from Bombay, many of whom were highly educated and literate and who wrote about Sai Baba in the light of their own tradition, that the issue became clouded” (Marianne Warren, Unravelling the Enigma: Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism, first edn, New Delhi: Sterling, 1999, p. 205).
Sathya Sai Baba was among the agencies who have “Hinduized” the portrayal of the Shirdi saint. One is accordingly more at liberty to disbelieve the reincarnation claim, and to emphasise the Islamic (and Sufi) religious link that is realistically discernible.
Supporters of the original Sai Baba can lay valid claim to be “pro-Sai,” in the face of denials created by dogmatic partisans of Sathya Sai. In such cases, accusations of “Anti-Sai” can be strongly repudiated as a sectarian contrivance. The present writer has given deference to Shirdi Sai in two published books (see 5.13 above), and these are sufficient testimony to a “pro-Sai” perspective of a non-sectarian complexion.
In this enlarged context, the American cudgelling arm of the Sathya Sai sect may be considered an usurping factor that has acquired web terrorist associations. Gerald Joe Moreno can be regarded as anti-Muslim according to the standards of his own sectarian argument, which supports the "Hinduizing" reincarnation and vehemently stigmatises “Anti-Sai” writers who are actually “pro-Sai” in the sense detailed here. His application of the phrase “Anti-Sai Extremist” in my direction savours strongly of an acutely censorious orientation in the Sathya Sai sect, and one that ignores extending factors known amongst a wider audience.
See further article no. 6 on this website, Shirdi Sai Baba and the Sai Baba Movement.
5.15 The Proof Of Internet Terrorism
In late November 2008, my own two websites at last headed my Google Search name list, overtaking the primary Moreno website saisathyasai.com, which had formerly dominated that listing for over a year. My sites had now gained more links from sympathetic and interested parties. Yet the harassment continued to remain in strong evidence.
In December 2008, Gerald Joe Moreno achieved no less than six distorting entries on page one of my Google Search name list. He has abundantly confirmed his role as a web harasser in such visible strategies. He is now widely considered to represent the worst aspect of the sect he supports, which in India has been implicated in activities amounting to murderous elimination of unwanted persons. Certainly, the Indian Rationalists (led by men like Basava Premanand) have made strong allegations to that effect. See The Indian Rationalist Basava Premanand.
The six hostile Moreno entries that became visible on page one of my Google Search name list can be summarised as follows:
(1) The primary Moreno website saisathyasai.com, which states on my name list “Exposing Vanity Publisher and author Kevin R. D. Shepherd.” The description is invalid. A vanity publisher contracts with authors regardless of the quality of work. I am not in that category, being instead a self-publisher of serious annotated books having an academic interest. See further 5.8 above.
(2) A wordpress.com/tag in the category of libellous blog tactic. This entry stated “sathyasaibaba wrote 4 weeks ago: author Kevin Shepherd endorses psychic trance medium; Kevin R. D. Shepherd is a vanity self-publisher.” Neither of these assertions is correct, as pointed out above (5.6 and 5.8), and both come under the category of hate campaign improvisations. It was Moreno who did the writing, and the pseudonymous identity has aroused strong queries about the mode of blog presentation. The so-called "psychic trance medium" Conny Larsson uses his real name; he was cited by me, but not endorsed by me in any psychic capacity.
(3) The outdated and invalid Wikipedia User page of SSS108 (Gerald Joe Moreno) which has prominently appeared on my Google name list despite the fact that Moreno was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia in March 2007. His User page of October 2006 is intent upon stigmatising my literary and publishing output (at a time when I had not even heard of him). [In 2012, Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales deleted the SSS108 User page from Wikipedia; see also Wikipedia misinformation.]
(4) The similarly distorted and inaccurate entry relating to the Moreno website sai-fi.net, which states: “Kevin R. D. Shepherd is a vanity self-publisher and author whose writings mostly revolve around (or include numerous references to) the Findhorn Foundation.” The extensive inaccuracy involved in that statement is obvious to literate parties who do not subscribe to sectarian hate campaigns. References to the Findhorn Foundation comprise only a very small part of my book output and only a part of my web output. See 5.4 above.
(5) The Moreno blog sathyasaibaba at wordpress.com, supporting the extremist wordpress.com/tag specified in (2) above. The hostile entry here states that “there are absolutely no online references about Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s qualifications, notability, personal information.” This conveniently ignores my two websites, Amazon book reviews, a Wikipedia talk page, and other favourable references to myself on varied web media. The Moreno entry is dated 10/07/2007, but is nevertheless extremely misleading, and is evidently calculated to undermine or destroy my standing on the web. The sectarian assassin typically does not give his name in such blog hate campaign.
(6) The recent notorious and pseudonymous blog entitled kevin-shepherd-exposed, which bears the name of Equalizer (a web cover name of Moreno). This contrivance ignored my detailed responses and objections on my two former websites, and instead duplicated very misleading materials from the primary Moreno website. The Google entry from Equalizer says “this blog was created to refute and respond to Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s articles against Joe Moreno.” Observers have noticed that there is no due response, only continued vilification from an acutely dogmatic (and evasive) sectarian standpoint which is committed to a total resistance of all criticism. This episode of internet terrorism is mediated via blogspot.com, strongly associated with Google. The level of deceit involved in the pseudonymous blog has been noted by outsiders to the cult.
Taken together, these six entries are widely considered to be a grave reflection upon Gerald Joe Moreno and the Sathya Sai Baba sect. It should be stressed that only one of the six entries listed here is actually in the name of Moreno, the other five being typically anonymous (or pseudonymous). The ruse of the internet terrorist is transparent enough to close analysis. The more he tries to hide, the more Gerald Joe Moreno becomes visible as a vindictive and libellous harasser.
Eight months later, these six maligning entries were still visible on my Google Search name list, and four of them on page one.
The identity of Moreno as “sathyasaibaba” on wordpress.com is but one of the reasons to question his web validity. The sathyasaibaba blog of Moreno (at wordpress.com) is an outright support of the sect he favours, and notably castigates critics of that sect and himself. Close analysts have construed the pseudonymous ploys as an indicator of cult psychopathology, which can so easily presume overbearing honours and become extremist in the “manhunt” obsession.
Gerald Joe Moreno is strongly associated by ex-devotees with an undeclared policy of the Sathya Sai Baba sect to harass and undermine objectors to their activities. Some consider that Moreno is proof of such a policy in the sect at large, whether or not he is actually supported or paid by Michael Goldstein of California (the official leader of the Sathya Sai Organisation).
Victims of sectarian hate campaign need to protect themselves and their families against web abuse before this reaches even more extreme proportions. Wordpress.com and blogspot.com are significant dispensing media for the blog underworld, in which American internet terrorism currently flourishes.
5.16 The Sheilawaring User Name
Gerald Joe Moreno posted a blog dated 23/12/2008, under the name of Equalizer. This is entitled Kevin Shepherd and the ‘SheilaWaring’ Lie. That blog commences with a quote from my web article Wikipedia, Gerald Joe Moreno, and Google (2008). The quote informs that Moreno “has resorted to many web pseudonyms such as Equalizer, vishwarupa108, and sheilawaring.” The past tense served to emphasise that not all of these pseudonyms were necessarily current, the last one specified being relatively inconspicuous. The information was obtained from ex-devotees.
Moreno has acknowledged that he uses the name Equalizer, though ex-devotees have complained that the pseudonym is misleading. He has also acknowledged vishwarupa108, which he excuses on the basis of an email address. The problem remains that most readers/surfers are not acquainted with the admission of identity, and so they tend to imagine that different authors are involved. This drawback is emphasised by the fact that Equalizer refers to Moreno in the third person, thus perpetuating the illusion of two separate identities.
Equalizer (Moreno) stated that “Joe Moreno has never (ever), at any time, used the name ‘sheilawaring’ on digg.com, netscape.com (now propeller.com), or anywhere else.” This statement contrasts strongly with an ex-devotee report.
My reference to the sheilawaring name was only fleeting, based on ex-devotee accounts. I subsequently added in square brackets the qualifying word "allegedly" to the sheilawaring attribution. Moreno neglects to mention this in his extended version of 'Sheilawaring' Lie (which discrepantly bears the same date as the original). I did not refer to digg.com or netscape.com. As an outsider to the argument about a user name, I will report something of what has been said about that name by the opposing parties.
Equalizer (Moreno) said that he searched for the user name of sheilawaring on 23/12/2008 in relation to digg.com and propeller.com, finding only error pages, which means that there is no user by that name on those sites. On the basis of this very recent web search, Moreno asserted that references to himself using the name sheilawaring are untruths. The ex-devotee camp countered by affirming: this only means that Moreno (or his close colleague) is not currently using the disputed name. The major informant here is Robert Priddy, the retired academic of Oslo University.
According to Priddy, the web focus for sheilawaring was netscape.com. For some time he and Barry Pittard made duplicated blog entries about Sathya Sai Baba on digg.com and netscape.com. It is independently known that Moreno appeared on digg.com, using the pseudonym of joe108. On that popular site, he boasted in a five line entry (dated September 2007) that he had worsted me in argument, an assertion not credited elsewhere. This assertion has been documented in my web entry The Boast of Joe Moreno on Digg.com (2008).
The Priddy version of events says that the entries of both himself and Pittard about the guru on these popular sites (netscape and digg.com), met in every case with continual adverse comments from Moreno, alias joe108 and JM108, who persistently supplied links to his own libellous web pages. Priddy adds that Moreno was here supported by his colleague Lisa de Witt, alias CO2000. The hostile comments evoked complaints.
Eventually, netscape blocked both sides in this contest, which was deemed too controversial and agitating. Priddy says that all the relevant entries were removed by the administration. Yet not long afterwards, Moreno descriptions and links are stated to have reappeared on netscape under the user name of sheilawaring, whose contributions were quickly removed by the administration. Priddy unearthed some documentation in support of his version, comprising screenshots, and which date to 2007.
Google cache scans for netscape.com are dated 09/07/2007. These show the user name sheilawaring, and inform that sheilawaring was a member of netscape on that date. User participation is here represented by a lengthy list of links to Moreno web sources, and most prominently, the primary Moreno website saisathyasai.com. The linked entries bear the user name JM108, alias Moreno, who submitted these entries a few months earlier according to the official details. The entries show descriptions by Moreno of his articles. There are such familiar themes included as “Exposing the smear campaigns against Sri Sathya Sai Baba.” There is a typical statement of “the lies, deceit and dishonesty of critics.” Gerald Joe Moreno is constantly saying that his opponents are liars.
The preserved screenshots are interpreted by ex-devotees as proof that "sheilawaring" reposted Moreno entries on netscape in July 2007, in an attempt to outmanoeuvre the official blocking. There is no actual proof that Moreno himself was the user sheilawaring; ex-devotees concede that he may have encouraged a close colleague to assist him.
The web item joe108-sheilawaring (2009) [formerly at saibabaexpose.com/sheilawaring.html] reproduces the screenshots abovementioned, and comments: "The identity of sheilawaring was concealed, but it is not hard to understand that this was either Moreno himself, or one of his proxies - it makes no real difference."
Netscape.com subsequently terminated, and “so nothing can now be found” (to quote a Priddy email of January 2009). The Google scans (screenshots) exhume the disputed user name. These scans also reveal that the Moreno entries were "sunk" or disqualified by a majority verdict. The average negative rating was 2 votes versus 5 sinks. Robert Priddy says that ex-devotees had participated in the sinks against the two or three voters; they all had user names, as did the Moreno party. The votes and sinks visible on netscape did not reveal the user names involved.
When Joe Moreno saw the screenshots on the web (in 2009), he altered his blog Kevin Shepherd and the 'Sheilawaring' Lie. The revised version focused on the screenshots, which he had evidently not known to have existed formerly. Moreno now asserted that the sheilawaring user name belonged to an "Anti-Sai Activist." No further identity is given. The explanation from the Pro-Sai commentator is that the user sheilawaring was sinking all the Moreno postings.
Priddy has since contested the Moreno version, emphasising that no ex-devotee would have posted Moreno entries (email July 2009). The Moreno postings had already been removed by netscape, so there was no need for any critic to take action. The verdict of Robert Priddy about the Sheilawaring Lie blog is that "Moreno is trying to make out that sheilawaring was 'sinking' her (or his) own entries, which is wholly unreasonable" (email dated 20/07/2009).
In a further attempt to justify his extreme position against an outsider, Equalizer, alias Joe Moreno, says accusingly (on his SheilaWaring Lie blog) that several ex-devotees/critics have resorted to web pseudonyms. This is obvious enough, but they do not attack outsiders to the sect. Only one of the persons he mentions in this context has been in any contact with me, namely Robert Priddy. No doubt some ex-devotees (including Priddy) have used pseudonyms in the backward web fashion emanating from America. I do not myself agree with the fashion. Some of these people were expressing their grievances in web discussion forums on Sathya Sai Baba. This activity cannot be compared to the extensive polemical campaign of Joe Moreno, undertaken from a militant network of websites and blogs employing pseudonyms like Equalizer.
Furthermore, the lastmentioned subject amounts to a diversionary factor. My argument does not relate to the mere employment of web pseudonyms, but rather to what the pseudonyms signify. I have been principally complaining at the extensive web aggression of Gerald Joe Moreno directed at an outsider to the sect (myself), an aggression that is far too frequently conducted under incognito names like Equalizer.
In a letter of 2007, Robert Priddy complained to me that Moreno had sometimes confused him with anonymous postings of the ex-devotee Tony O'Clery (another major target of Moreno). A general tendency of Moreno is to blanket association of different writers who have made critical references to his guru. One or two of those writers probably were extremist, converging with Joe Moreno. The present writer is not an ex-devotee. I have never passed myself off as a Pro-Sai activist, which is one accusation made against certain ex-devotees by Moreno.
The Pro-Sai activist Gerald Joe Moreno chose to ignore my lengthy objections to his defamation. He even cited his own references to pseudonymous ex-devotees as support for his aspersion that I am a "pseudo-intellectual." Moreno (alias Equalizer) here asserts that "unlike pseudo-intellectual Kevin Shepherd, Moreno backs up his claims with references and verifiable sources" (Kevin Shepherd and the 'SheilaWaring' Lie, accessed 03/01/2009). However, that assertion was deleted from the revised version of the "Sheilawaring Lie," in which the dominant emphasis is against the arch-enemy Robert Priddy. Nevertheless, Moreno (Equalizer) exercises his prolific imagination by stating, in relation to the Google screenshots abovementioned, that:
"Kevin Shepherd, Conny Larsson and Robert Priddy (all claiming a 'scholar' or 'professional' status) are too idiotic to read posts correctly (akin to their idiotic inability to read IP headers correctly, even attributing IPs generated by their own computers to Moreno)." (Accessed 17/07/2009.)
I have never claimed professional status, and the proof of this are my references to "serious amateur" output and the role of a citizen philosopher. I have never been involved in such IP generation, and was totally new to computers in July 2007, being on a beginner's course at that time. I was not part of the netscape episode, which I only heard about in retrospect the following year, and which lacks context in the Moreno version. Further, Larsson does not appear to have claimed professional status as a scholar, having an entirely different career background. Priddy claims to be a retired academic, which is the literal truth. The conflatory and distorting tendencies of Joe Moreno are extreme.
Such blog tactics would not be tolerated in academic commentaries, and would be resisted even in Wikipedia, which has eschewed the Moreno habit of "name-calling." The "game of name-calling" was one of the accusations made against the Pro-Sai activist by Wikipedia editors. See the closing statements in my web entry Joe Moreno Insults Academics on Wikipedia (2008).
The abusive language of Moreno (Equalizer) has been widely noticed. For instance, I had formerly complained about the description of “whining and snivelling,” which the harasser applied to my objection concerning the 2006 Moreno tactic on Wikipedia.
Yet he has contemptuously ignored the complaint, and even repeated his derision in the original version of his Sheilawaring Lie (December 2008), where he stated: “Kevin Shepherd whined and sniveled about Moreno’s alleged ‘pseudonyms’ ” (accessed 03/01/2009).
Those incognito names are more than just an alleged factor, as Joe Moreno has acknowledged certain pseudonyms to be his own, including Equalizer. He avoided the context of my complaint, which is that of parading libellous statements on Google Search under pseudonyms, misleading many unversed readers into believing that a number of writers are involved. See further 5.15 above.
However, in the revised version of Sheilawaring Lie (2009), Moreno substituted "ex-devotees" for my name in relation to whining and snivelling. He did actually make an atypical amendment here, though it is obvious that he allows his negative preoccupation with ex-devotees to cloud the image of outsiders in a different category. To date, and after two years, Gerald Joe Moreno has not altered his defamatory statements about my career and writings. The due conclusion has been reached that he is a compulsive sectarian harasser, resorting to a militant policy in the attempted justification of his themes. See further Wikipedia, Moreno, Google.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
July, 2009 (later slightly modified)
Postscript: Further Proof of Internet Terrorism
After the appearance of the above article on the web in August 2009, Gerald Joe Moreno posted five further blogs against me on his blogspot.com contrivance entitled kevin-shepherd-exposed, where he refers to himself in the third person while using his cult name of Equalizer. Those blogs were dated September 2009, and are further evidence of aggression. There was again no acknowledgment of my complaints, and no attempt to revise his misrepresentations. Instead there was further abuse, and also further misrepresentation of my eighty-one year old mother. Moreno (Equalizer) has confirmed the widespread suspicion that sectarian abuse of outsiders is a hazard that society at large can do without.
The Equalizer blog entitled How Not To Argue Against LSD is an attack upon Moreno’s constant target Robert Priddy. Moreno has attacked Priddy many times in the context of LSD; no informed party takes this extremist tactic seriously. Priddy is the number one target for Moreno (Equalizer), who will go to fantastic lengths to implicate anyone else as being in error for citing the supposedly evil ex-devotee from Oslo University. I have made quite clear that I do not agree with the former views of Priddy about LSD, and I am not responsible for anything he might currently say on the subject. Yet that is not enough for Moreno, who is engaged in a sectarian manhunt which improvises shallow excuses for attack and misrepresentation. "LSD advocate Robert Priddy is the person with whom Kevin R. D. Shepherd openly professes alliance." That is a typical error of the sectarian polemicist calling himself Equalizer.
Priddy does not advocate LSD, and has complained at length about the web attacks of Moreno. Furthermore, I do not profess alliance with Priddy, as I am not an ex-devotee, and I do not agree with all the views of Priddy, including his version of Indian religion that converges with the atheistic interpretation of Professor Richard Dawkins. I also do not agree with the associated views of Susan Blackmore, Aldous Huxley, and Gerald Heard. I have critically discussed the last two in one of my books. See further Ex-Devotee Robert Priddy (2009).
I have clearly stated on the relevant webpage (Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba) that my views do not converge with those of ex-devotees, and that I am an independent assessor. Ex-devotees have been able to honour this factor, but Gerald Joe Moreno is unable to match their standards. The relevant quotation from my Preliminary Statement (2009) is:
"I have found much of relevant interest in the ex-devotee accounts, though I do not agree with all the extraneous beliefs, idioms, and activities of ex-devotees."
The blog entitled Findhorn Foundation comprises the attempt of Moreno (Equalizer) to project this organisation as being undeserving of the criticisms I have expressed on behalf of a number of dissidents, especially my mother. His calculating promotion ignores the many flaws on published and internet record, and known to persons familiar with the subject over many years, in fact two decades. In recent and unpublished correspondence with solicitors, the Findhorn Foundation have made a major blunder in relation to membership details of a specific dissident. The evasion is so transparent that the case against their “spiritual and educational” claims is further strengthened.
As an apologist for the Findhorn Foundation, Gerald Joe Moreno is now viewed as certifying their extensive commercial "workshop" activities in new age mysticism. He says approvingly that "the programmes are intended to give participants practical experience of how to apply spiritual values in daily life." The approval and promotion by Equalizer extends to listing the controversial names of Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, and William Bloom. These entities are associated with commercial strategies in pop-mysticism, and have been sceptically viewed by the scientific community in universities and elsewhere.
The blog entitled Kevin Shepherd & Psychic Medium Conny Larsson is a further instalment of the Moreno antipathy for a prominent Swedish ex-devotee who has given a testimony of sexual abuse (against Sathya Sai Baba) that is impossible to ignore. To offset that testimony, expressed in a published book and online media, Moreno (Equalizer) will again go to fantastic lengths to insinuate that anyone who cites the testimony of Larsson is aberrant. Despite the fact that I had clearly stated my reservations about Larsson’s role as a “workshop” celebrity (see 5.6 above), Moreno now launched into a further misplaced tirade about the “psychic medium,” who nevertheless gave a valid talk at a FECRIS conference.
This cult strategy resorts to such totally unfounded assertions as: “he (Shepherd) will cite an entire slew of New Age practitioners, self-professed psychics and/or Guru promoters to support his agendas.” That blatant inaccuracy appeared in the first paragraph of the manic blog. Some readers wonder if Gerald Joe Moreno is dyslexic or perhaps suffering from some other disability. All I did was cite the FECRIS lecture of Larsson, plus the latter’s book, and reflect critically upon his "workshop" career in the vedicmasterclass avenue of expression.
To repeat here, I do not believe in the relevance of Larsson’s “Vedic” role, whatever that actually comprises, and which has moved into fashionable areas of healing. In my opinion, he would be better off doing something else. My opinions do not affect the relevance of Larsson’s strong testimony against his former guru Sathya Sai Baba, whom he knew for many years. In the very confused field of contemporary "spirituality," realistic reports are all too rare. A further consideration is that Larsson himself is liable to cause confusion via his "Vedic" exploits.
The person who really does cite an "entire slew of New Age practitioners" to support his agendas is Gerald Joe Moreno, whose recent promotion of the Findhorn Foundation explicitly mentions (without any criticism) a number of very controversial exponents and alternative therapists. Larsson is not well known by comparison with these entities, who have been lucrative at the Findhorn Foundation. The contradiction is acute.
The blog entitled KRD Shepherd is Not an Academic illustrates the extent of sectarian aggression in my direction. Moreno had formerly implied misleadingly that I had described my role in an academic context. Now he quoted from my reminder that I had not done this at all, never having presented myself as an academic (see 5.16 above). Instead of apologising for his error, Moreno (Equalizer) now castigated me for not being an academic, treating this as virtual proof that I am aberrant. His sectarian hate campaign is abundantly evident in such sick blogs.
He even cited a comment which does not currently appear on my websites, with no due explanation whatever. The comment was altered in 2007 (and subsequently deleted) because of the crude misunderstanding that he created about it. This matter is described in my Response to Gerald Joe Moreno (November 2007), section 24 entitled Out of Context. The deleted comment appeared in my Publishing Statement, since revised and expanded. I do not claim to be a scholar, though I have undertaken some library research.
Bad blog practice is increasingly an issue in critical sectors. The cult argument of Gerald Joe Moreno is transparent to informed academics, who know very well that a non-academic role does not preclude some exercise in scholarship. Moreno says that I cannot be a scholar, and his hate assertions include such refrains as: "The only thing that trumps Kevin R.D. Shepherd's non-academic role is his big ego." Anyone who criticises Joe Moreno is treated to blog vandalism, and the real issue is the cult psychology underlying those attacks. Because some ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba have described me as a scholar, Equalizer compulsively denies that attribution. There is no objectivity in his statements. His abusive idioms have gained him the reputation of a web savage.
Moreno inaccurately refers to me as "a sectarian bigot." This is one of his notorious tit for tat responses to any criticism of his own evident sectarian role. I am not a member or affiliate of any sect, as is well known. The desperation of Moreno (Equalizer) in trying to evade his glaring identity as a web harasser is plainly evident in his reference to my " 'sectarian polemic' publications and viewpoints." Because he has been (justifiably) accused of "sectarian polemic," Moreno vainly tries to use the same accusation against a critic.
He very erroneously states that I am "a sectarian bigot who obsessively, unremittingly and fanatically attacks and stalks everything and everyone affiliated with the Findhorn Foundation." This fabrication merely indicts the evasive Equalizer. I am not a sectarian. I have only criticised by name a small proportion of Findhorn Foundation personnel and affiliates, and primarily in relation to management strategies against maltreated dissidents. The context of my criticism is very different to that of the Equalizer programme, which attempts to quell and eliminate dissidents and critics.
Gerald Joe Moreno is clearly trying to cover up for his own notorious and explicit sectarian campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba. That campaign has been demonstrated by, for example, no less than nine vehement attack blogs found at blogspot.com, each one specifying a different individual. Moreno has been widely viewed as an excessive attack blogger, one who aggressively claims to "expose" his victims. Gerald Joe Moreno has given the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation a bad name, and more so in attacking outsiders who are not ex-devotees.
He repeats his fanatical slur about myself being a vanity self-publisher; that ploy is designed to abet and justify his earlier tactic on Wikipedia of censure against my books, a superficial censure based on the fact that I incorporated an appendice of nine pages on the writings of his arch-opponent Robert Priddy. His defamation is unconvincing to those who are familiar with my books and publishing activity.
The inaccuracy of sectarian hate campaign is obvious to informed assessors. For instance, Moreno misleads readers (with obviously deliberate intent) by referring to Craig Gibsone (former Director of the Findhorn Foundation), implying that my observation about his lack of academic credentials was arbitrary. The context of my references (both published and online) was Gibsone’s total lack of medical credentials as an active practitioner of Holotropic Breathwork, a clinically untested commercial therapy which received a negative verdict from Edinburgh University Pathology Department. Gibsone blithely ignored the consequent official warning for many years afterwards, as is on detailed record, a deficiency now assisted by the new Findhorn Foundation apologist Gerald Joe Moreno.
"Gibsone felt so convinced of the legitimacy of Holotropic Breathwork that he presumed to conduct this therapy without any medical qualifications. To point out the clinically untested nature of this therapy was to no avail." (Shepherd, Pointed Observations, 2005, p. 175.)
The other members of Gibsone's Breathwork team likewise lacked due credentials. "No medical credentials are in evidence for any of the team" (ibid., p. 196). [Gibsone was also involved in the ill-fated project known as Findhorn College of International Education, which advertised an academic programme, despite the inadequate academic qualifications involved, a deficiency which was criticised even within the Foundation.] Yet in the sectarian polemic of Moreno, all this becomes acutely distorted. He asserts that I point out "other's lack of academic credentials as something compromising their credibility, as he [Shepherd] did with Craig Gibsone (a vocal member of the Findhorn Foundation) and others. If a lack of academic credentials is a negative, then Kevin R. D. Shepherd just shot himself in the foot. The only thing that trumps Kevin R.D. Shepherd's non-academic role is his big ego."
In sectarian lore, commercial hyperventilation amounts to a legitimate pursuit in which a Regius Professor of forensic medicine (at Edinburgh University) can be ignored in favour of alternative therapists. That is what the Gibsone team demonstrated so reprehensibly. Any objector to these tactics might deviously be accused of egotism by those with cult names like Equalizer.
The support of Moreno for the Findhorn Foundation indicates a possible collusion in relation to his vindictive treatment of Kate Thomas. That organisation has for many years been the major centre for commercial workshop activity in Britain, including Grof therapy. Gibsone’s history of drug use (including LSD) means that his defender Gerald Joe Moreno has interpretive problems which contradict the latter's campaign against Robert Priddy. The same contradiction applies in relation to the erratic Conny Larsson, whose "workshop" activities have not extended to the Holotropic Breathwork problem sanctioned by the Findhorn Foundation, a problem which frequently caused hallucination, trauma, vomiting, and screaming, amongst other extreme manifestations.
The Moreno blog entitled Kate Thomas aka Jean Shepherd is an acute distortion of events. Gerald Joe Moreno (cult name Equalizer) here deviously avoids mentioning the context of my recent web articles on the Findhorn Foundation, which relate to significant solicitor correspondence and clearly documented wrongs against dissidents on the part of the Foundation management and staff (see articles 1-3 on this website). Instead he makes such deceptive statements as “Jean Shepherd anonymously attacked the Findhorn Foundation for many years under the pseudonym ‘Kate Thomas’.” That is typically inaccurate. Many extant reconciliatory letters to that organisation were signed Jean Shepherd, and the Findhorn Foundation were familiar with her author pseudonym, for which she explained the reasons; they tried unsuccessfully to place an interdict upon her book in their meaningless role of “conflict resolution.” The Findhorn Foundation solicitor would not further their extremism, knowing how unreasonable and impractical this was.
Moreno, alias Equalizer, cannot be relied upon to get any detail correct in these and other matters. He starts the superficial blog on Kate Thomas with an attempt to justify his abuse of three copyrighted images of myself and five of my mother. He says that “Kevin R. D. Shepherd implied he may take legal action against Moreno for duplicating his and his mother’s public domain internet pictures.” That is very misleading. I did not threaten legal action for any abused images. See The Joe Moreno Bust Portrait (2008), where I observed how Moreno "has gone to an excess in using images of myself and my mother, and so the sole available image of the extremist sectarian is reproduced above in web format." That was the second time I reproduced the Moreno image, having done this only once previously, in defence against pseudonymous censure on Wikipedia.
I had formerly permitted Moreno one image of myself against his sole known image which I had obtained. See my entry Joe Moreno image under threat (November 2007), where I stated that "he (Moreno) has incorporated an image of myself on his own website; no more than one image of myself is permitted, as those images are all recently copyrighted." Moreno contravened that consideration by soon afterwards appropriating two more images of myself, with all three appearing in a libellous context on his primary website, a context subsequently duplicated on his vindictive blog cycle at blogspot.com. He does not mention any of these extant details, and it is very obvious that he resorts to misrepresentation to further his career in cult lore and cyberterrorism.
It was not image copyright that I complained about, but libellous and misleading statements made by Gerald Joe Moreno. This is evident from my three extant webpages on this subject, including the one above. However, it is also a fact that my three images have been abused by the cyberstalker in a misleading context, and the same applies to the five images of my mother.
The duplicit sectarian omits all reference to his libel which accompanied the five copyrighted images of my mother, a libel that he derived from the Findhorn Foundation, and about which I explicitly complained. The neglected passage from my web article Wikipedia, Gerald Joe Moreno, Google (2008) stated: “Kate Thomas has repudiated the Findhorn Foundation repressive tactic at some length and in serious legal dimensions; there is now the closely attendant possibility that Moreno will be the subject of a legal complaint filed by her in relation to the Findhorn Foundation.” See Harassment Tactics Extend Abuse on Google (2008).
This instance is a further example of how Gerald Joe Moreno attempts to deceive devotees by misrepresenting the sources he refers to. Moreno made no attempt to remove the libel from his website, and has accordingly been mentioned in my mother’s correspondence with lawyers, and also in references made by lawyers. His deceitful statement about a copyright issue is very sceptically viewed by legal analysts and other close analysts. The conclusion has been that he is totally unreliable, even when he gives quotations from some sources, as he invariably distorts the overall context. The fact that he is now bracketed with the Findhorn Foundation by professional analysts is no compliment to the latter organisation, who have acquired an extra problem through their neglect of due correspondence and possible collusion with the cyberstalker.
Moreno prefers to emphasise that the sole existing web image of himself was copyrighted and should not have been duplicated. He deleted that image from his website, leaving no image of himself online, so that nobody could identify him. In such heavily compromised circumstances, in September 2007 he sent me an email threatening to report me to my web host for reproducing his sole image in my defence against his censure (a censure expressed on a Wikipedia User page of October 2006). Dated 14/09/2007, that email read as follows:
On the following page: http://citizeninitiative.com/sathya_sai_and_wikipedia.htm. You have published a picture of myself without obtaining my permission to do so. Please remove the image immediately or I will report your website to your hosting company (123-reg.co.uk) for copyright infringement. Joe Moreno.
Moreno made no mention of the fact that he had not sought my permission to censor and degrade my books and publishing effort under his Wikipedia pseudonym of SSS108, prior to his being banned indefinitely by Wikipedia in March 2007. His hostile User page prominently showed on Google Search; he continued his attack under the name of Equalizer on a blog at wordpress.com. Yet I had never said a word against him.
My web host did not give the Moreno email any credence when this was communicated to them. They pointed out that in Britain, no web presence who remains anonymous, without an image identity, can be taken seriously. Furthermore, the censure of myself on Wikipedia was undertaken under the Moreno pseudonym of SSS108, and in such circumstances, the real identity of the attacker is considered relevant and legitimate by numerous parties other than the sectarian movement (Sathya Sai Baba Organisation) represented by Equalizer.
Over a year later, I sent Robert Priddy a copy of the Moreno email, in response to his request to see this communication. Priddy subsequently made this email available online at Moreno dares not show his face (April 2009). That blog was primarily concerned with other matters than myself and the Moreno email, including an image of Priddy's son which the sectarian had refused to delete from his website in 2005. Priddy's son had personally requested Moreno to remove his image and personal information, but found that his emails were defiantly reproduced on the Moreno website, along with unyielding replies of the webmaster. The Moreno email service has gained notoriety.
There are serious errors and omissions in the Equalizer account of this episode:
"Kevin R. D. Shepherd refused to comply with Moreno's request and forwarded Moreno's email to Robert Priddy & Co. so they could attack him. As a result, Moreno duplicated relevant pictures [of Shepherd]."
The truth of this matter is that the response of my web host 123-reg.co.uk rendered the Moreno email invalid for Britain. I forwarded this email solely to Priddy over a year later, in early 2009. Moreno had long since appropriated three images of myself in a hostile context on his primary website, indeed one year before Priddy saw the email under discussion. Another significant error in the Moreno version is that he says his email requested me to "remove his [Moreno's] copyright protected picture from his websites [note the plural]." I only had one website in 2007. The justifying ruses of Equalizer (alias Gerald Joe Moreno) have long been under grave suspicion of employing fabrications, fictions, and calculated defamations.
In 2009, Moreno was reported as being in complaint to get his sole known image remaining offline at wordpress.com, where ex-devotees employed that image on their blogs. The sectarian web aggressor evidently wants to remain in visual anonymity while attacking so many other persons, including those with a respectable image identity. He cannot rationally expect to be the internet terrorist and to remain unidentified, but his attitude defies normal standards of social and web etiquette. His role as “Equalizer” is furthermore interpreted by close analysts in terms of cult psychopathology, which includes in this instance a compulsive and obsessive agenda to attack all critics of his guru while so frequently misrepresenting them.
Significantly, Kate Thomas was not one of the critics. As I have stated elsewhere on this website:
"The victim had done absolutely nothing to merit such a calculating attack from the internet terrorism of the Sathya Sai Baba cult, which is capable of extremist license. She was attacked because she is my mother. The issue of relatives being targeted by manic cult psychology is now on the agenda for realistic analysis." (See my article Shirdi Sai Baba and the Sai Baba Movement, section 6.10, 2009.)
In his blog Kate Thomas abovementioned, the devious Equalizer resorts to the false premise of copyright issue that he attributes to me, whereas in fact it was he who threatened me with heavy damages for duplication of his sole known image, as his primary website saisathyasai.com has attested since September 2007:
"Let Kevin Shepherd be forewarned that should he dare publish my copyrighted picture in any of his published books, he will be sued for copyright infringement and he will sustain hefty damages."
The sectarian employs his blatant misconstruction to portray me as being in contradiction by duplicating the images of other persons on my websites. There is no contradiction, only in the deceptive portrayal of an obsessive web terrorist. This is another example of how Gerald Joe Moreno frames victims with false data, using the superficial manner of the blog idiom, one of the worst literary forms invented in the history of the English language, and piloted so strongly by American capitalism, regardless of content or format.
The desire of Moreno for visual anonymity is no gauge for the rest of society and due documentation, whether on the web or in print. Passports and driving licenses are fortunately not subject to the cult preference for immunity to recognition. The usage of cult pseudonyms on the web makes the issue even more pointed.
The ruse of Equalizer resorts to an accusation that I duplicated images of various celebrities without obtaining their permission. He includes the names of Eileen Caddy, politician Robert Walter, UN official Marcel Boisard, politician Michael Russell, Ken Wilber, Frank Visser, and Michel Bauwens. Unlike Moreno, other persons and celebrities generally accept image reproduction in relevant accounts; public figures, and also figures engaged in controversy, are not supposed to be evasive on the web in that respect. They certainly should not conceal their identities in a cult-like manner while producing a prolific number of attack blogs, which is the preferred career mode of Gerald Joe Moreno.
One could add that Eileen Caddy is deceased, that Robert Walter sympathetically intervened in the Kate Thomas issue, that Ken Wilber is mature enough to permit his image online, and that Visser and Bauwens are part of the reaction to Wilber theory at www.integralworld.net, where my web article on Wilber reached the top ten in the Reading Room list, and with the approval of webmaster Frank Visser for his own images to be reproduced. If the Findhorn Foundation celebrities are not yet mature enough to permit reproduction of their images, their new apologist Gerald Joe Moreno may be a further hindrance to their proclaimed universality and registered charity status, factors which have been in dispute.
In the entry under discussion, the Moreno blog idiom starts with the acutely erroneous description of myself as having "foamed-at-the-mouth, gnashed his teeth and raised a huge wail about Joe Moreno violating his copyrights for duplicating pictures of himself and his mother." That is the only acknowledgment an outsider can expect from a rhetorical sectarian after permitting him the use of one image in return for his own sole image. Moreno has invented the fiction of my "copyright blathering," which is actually a description of his own protracted indulgence.
In all this distraction from the truth, blogger Gerald Joe Moreno is referring to himself constantly in the third person via his cult persona as Equalizer, a superficial device which is not at all sufficient to avert observer suspicions and conclusions of blog malpractice.
Objections to the internet terrorism are described by Equalizer in terms of: "Kevin R. D. Shepherd is a self-serving hypocrite whose 'holier-than-thou' rants expose his biased and bitter mindset." That statement was also part of the "copyright blathering" ploy devised by Moreno to disguise the real issue. Those tactics should serve as a warning to other non-sectarian victims about what they can expect when objecting to cyberstalking and web harassment.
The extremely misleading "copyright issue" blog ends with the inverted statement that "he [Shepherd] is an 'internet terrorist' and a 'sectarian cyberstalker'." Again the extremist verbal attempt of tit for tat, to avert any suspicion that Gerald Joe Moreno could possibly be what is glaringly obvious to so many observers: an obsessive cyberstalker in the cause of Sathya Sai Baba, and who has to date been strongly accused of, e.g., libel, image distortion and caricature, blatant misrepresentations of data that are confirmed by the sources he cites, and also the notorious porno site strategy allegedly employed against certain opponents.
Any decision of mine in relation to legal action will be made on the basis of increasing defamation by Gerald Joe Moreno, and will be in no way dependent upon considerations of abused copyrighted images. This point was clearly indicated in 5.7 above, but ignored by Moreno, who wishes devotees to believe that only image copyright has been in dispute. Lawyers in three different countries have commented upon the libellous nature of Moreno web attacks. One or two of these experts have made some rather more pointed remarks. The output of the vindictive sectarian will not escape the most rigorous analysis in formidable professional sectors.
In conclusion, the danger to normal society from cults and sectarian agents is stronger than ever in web dimensions. The retarded psychology of those agents is geared to believe that, e.g., they are divinely endorsed and cannot be wrong. The Moreno (Equalizer) blog on myself is committed to denigration of an outsider to his sect, and uses blatant misrepresentations that are easily confirmed. The Equalizer mentality has afforded proof of a public hazard, and one magnified by cyberstalking, which takes various forms.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
UPDATE April 2010
Soon after the Postscript above appeared online, at the end of 2009 Gerald Joe Moreno launched an extensive new blog entitled geraldjoemoreno.wordpress.com. This continued his blog attacks on ex-devotees and myself. The attacks on myself are often duplicated by their author, and have appeared under the names of both Equalizer and G. J. Moreno. His website vishvarupa.com is now also involved in the duplications. A significant proportion of entries on my Google Search name list have been traceable to the hostile output of Moreno. See further my web entry Hate Campaign Blogs of Gerald Joe Moreno (2010). In view of his continual complaints at his sole known image being made available online, I have deleted that image from certain of my websites. The desire of Gerald Joe Moreno to remain unidentified is considered very questionable elsewhere.
UPDATE October 2014
According to some ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, Gerald Joe Moreno is reported to have died in July 2010. This report is in need of confirmation. Some critics are inclined to believe that he is still alive, and creating totally anonymous web features for suspect purposes. In further refutation of the Moreno attack on myself, I have contributed Kevin RD Shepherd Not Exposed.
Copyright © 2015 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved. Page uploaded August 2009, last modified October 2015.