Phil Torres is an author. His blatant dishonesty and lack of principles first caught my eye in 2017 when he published an article in Salon titled “From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How “new atheism slid in to the alt-right”. The poster boys for this article were Sam Harris and Milo Yiannopoulos. Sam Harris isn’t alt-right (he’s a Jewish liberal) and Milo Yiannopoulos isn’t even an atheist (he’s a Catholic clown), but facts shouldn’t matter when you have an axe to grind.
The article is the usual mix of the guilt by association and misrepresentation we’ve come to expect from Salon’s output on Sam Harris. However, one shining example of Phil’s unscrupulous methods is exemplified in how he attempts to paint Richard “we are all African apes” Dawkins as a promoter of white supremacist propaganda.
Special Correspondents starring Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana debuts on Netflix today. As a fan of both men’s work, I’m really looking forward to watching it, but a weekend trip means it’ll have to wait until Monday.
I did have time to see a pretty scathing review of the film however via our favourite smear enterprise, ‘Salon’. More accurately, this was less a review and more an incredibly mean-spirited, inaccurate, sneering attack on the film’s Writer/Director/star Ricky Gervais. You’d think Gervais was responsible for creating a kitten crushing factory rather than a piece of entertainment.
I recently wrote two blog pieces on Author CJ Werleman. The first detailed some deeply unethical methods of operating and the second revealed an apparent catalogue of plagiarism throughout his work. Prompted by these articles, Michael Luciano with the help of Peter Boghossian have done a great job of uncovering even more instances of plagiarism (14 more at last count).
After days of lashing out, excuses and potentially libellous claims levelled at other public figures, Werleman has released what he understands to be an ‘apology’. You can read it in full here, but I’ll detail below my initial thoughts regarding some of it.
“Since my recent appearance on the Young Turks Network, my criticism of Sam Harris’ position, as it specifically pertains to the main driver of terrorism led many of his ardent fans to attack me. I have no problem with that – I made myself fair game”
This is the first attempt to deceive. ‘Ardent fans’ didn’t ‘attack him’ because he criticised Harris’s position, they ‘attacked’ him because he invented it. I’d like CJ Werleman to reference what in Harris’s works justifies saying: “[Harris] Has already said, that [he] would support, possibly, a nuclear first-strike on the Arab world”. This sentence is particularly troubling given Werleman so casually interchanges the word ‘Islamist’ with ‘Arab’. Do keep an eye on that CJ. Read more
Image Taken From https://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Werleman/207324500344
Update: 22/10/2014 – Soon after publishing this article on 17/10/2014, the charges of plagiarism contained within were confirmed to be accurate, revealing CJ Werleman to be a serial plagiarist. As a result, many new developments have occurred – including the discovery of 14 additional instances of plagiarism and a number of Werleman’s publishing outlets taking action against him. I have now added additional footnotes to highlight these developments.
I recently documented a number of concerns regarding the unpleasant behaviour of ‘Author’ and ‘Social Commentator’ CJ Werleman in my article: ‘CJ Werleman: Misrepresentation, Dubious Ethics and Unoriginal Hackery’. Expressed within that article and reproduced below are my thoughts on some of Werleman’s published writing:
‘[Werleman] is simply regurgitating past hack jobs and slapping sensationalist headlines on them’
‘…you’ve already heard this elsewhere, many times before, many years ago.’
‘Also, what he has cobbled together in his attack on Harris has already been written by others many years ago’
I attributed his imitative output to an absence of original thought rather than something altogether more cynical. But it’s now possible my feeling of ‘having read this all before’ was a symptom of literally having read some of this before.
The above article mentions Dr. Peter Boghossian (@PeterBoghossian), which subsequently prompted a conversation between us. During our conversation, Dr. Boghossian called attention to some things he’d identified in CJ Werleman’s writing that I hadn’t previously considered, and so I decided to conduct an independent investigation to determine whether or not CJ Werleman is guilty of actual plagiarism. (Parts of Dr. Boghossian’s letter have been reprinted here with his permission.)