Archive for the ‘Fraud’ Category

Why is the New York Times publicising fraudster Stapel’s book?

April 30, 2013

I would not have expected the New York Times to be an apologist and a publicist for a fraudster.

The case of Diedrik Stapel and all the data he faked by just making them up to fit his pre-determined results will always bring discredit to the field (not science) of social psychology. But Stapel is now busy creating a new career for himself where his fraud itself is to be the vehicle of his future success. He has written a book about his derailment and the adoring media have not only forgiven him but are now playing an active part in his rehabilitation: in  humanising him and publicisng his book. The con continues and the media are (perhaps unwitting) partners to the con.

The New York Times ran a long “analytical” article about Stapel and his fraud a few days ago. A long interview with Stapel and ostensibly a “neutral” piece the article is entirely concerned with humanising the “criminal”.  It seems to me that Stapel is very successfully continuing to manipulate the media which earlier used to idolise him for his ridiculous “studies” (eating meat made people selfish!). But if you look at the NYT piece as a piece of marketing material for a book written by a discredited author it all makes sense. In fact the NYT article might just as well have been commissioned by the publishers of the book

NYT:  …. Right away Stapel expressed what sounded like heartfelt remorse for what he did to his students. “I have fallen from my throne — I am on the floor,” he said, waving at the ground. “I am in therapy every week. I hate myself.” That afternoon and in later conversations, he referred to himself several times as tall, charming or handsome, less out of arrogance, it seemed, than what I took to be an anxious desire to focus on positive aspects of himself that were demonstrably not false. ….. 

Stapel did not deny that his deceit was driven by ambition. But it was more complicated than that, he told me. He insisted that he loved social psychology but had been frustrated by the messiness of experimental data, which rarely led to clear conclusions. His lifelong obsession with elegance and order, he said, led him to concoct sexy results that journals found attractive. “It was a quest for aesthetics, for beauty — instead of the truth,” he said. He described his behavior as an addiction that drove him to carry out acts of increasingly daring fraud, like a junkie seeking a bigger and better high. ….

The report’s publication would also allow him to release a book he had written in Dutch titled “Ontsporing” — “derailment” in English — for which he was paid a modest advance. The book is an examination of his life based on a personal diary he started after his fraud was made public. Stapel wanted it to bring both redemption and profit, and he seemed not to have given much thought to whether it would help or hurt him in his narrower quest to seek forgiveness from the students and colleagues he duped.

The New York Times : The mind of a con man Published: April 26, 2013

“The book is an examination of his life based on a personal diary he started after his fraud was made public.”  writes our intrepid NYT reporter.

Really? – and how much of this self-serving “diary” was faked or just made up?

Willingly or otherwise, the New York Times (and the reporter Yudhijit Bhattacharjee) are being duped and manipulated by a consummate fraudster.

Sasquatch (“Bigfoot”) DNA study has the makings of a hoax intended to be found out

November 27, 2012

A press release was issued on Saturday 24th November. A team of scientists can verify that their 5-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” living in North America.

It feels like a PR campaign to me rather than any scientific study. It has all the makings of a hoax for publicity purposes where the inevitable debunking of the hoax is expected – but where criminal fraud cannot be proved.

The critical weakness lies in the purported samples from Bigfoot which have apparently been undergoing genetic study. The “scientists” are decoupled from the authenticity or the contamination/manipulation of the samples and are protected from charges of fraud. Of course nothing has been peer-reviewed or published yet. No data has been made available either. Where the samples came from and how they were “prepared” also remains to be seen. And the “study”  has a rather obvious commercial interest (The scientist leading the study, Dr. Melba Ketchum is the founder of DNA Diagnostics). I have a strong suspicion that the objective of the hoax is simply publicity and the main objectives of the hoax will be to keep the story going for as long as “genetically”  possible. The results and data leaked must therefore also be stage-managed to be difficult to debunk or disprove so that the assertions can live as long as possible.


The Nobel prize that wasn’t: A self proclaimed scientist with a self proclaimed Nobel prize

October 28, 2012

Michael Mann is no scientist – but he likes to claim he is one.

Michael Mann is no Nobel laureate – but he likes to claim he is one.

Climate “science” is no science – but Michael Mann likes to claim it is.

Time for the so-called “climate scientists” to be held accountable for their alarmism and waste.

Fakegate: Climate Alarmists reduced to forgery, lying, cheating and stealing

February 23, 2012

The Global Warming priesthood have long experience in fudging data, cheating and suppressing opposing views. But Peter Gleick, a true acolyte of the religion, has now been reduced not only to lying, cheating and stealing but also to forgery and fakery.

The blogosphere has been full of the Fakegate or the Peter Gleick affair for the last week. First he used impersonation and lying to extract confidential documents from Heartland. He clearly has broken some laws. But he found nothing very damaging regarding climate sceptics so he forged a “summary” document so as to be able to add some spice to the affair. He then disseminated the documents widely and these were immediately publicised by a gullible and hypocritical orthodoxy.

Peter Gleick - Faker

Of course Gleick is a climate alarmist and activist and for him and his friends Heartland remains the “villain” and his ends of “exposing” the alleged bad guys apparently justifies his dishonest and criminal means. His authorship of the forged document was recognised by Steven Mosher and Climate Audit just from his writing style and bad punctuation. Needless to say Gleick is considered by the global warming priesthood as an expert exponent of integrity in science research. In this sordid case some are delusional enough to see him as a hero.

Gleick’s own work is unimportant and lacking any real scientific content. His lack of ethics (apart from his poor writing and general incompetence) is of no great significance. But his behaviour exposes and is in the tradition established by the Hockey Stick crowd (Mann, Jones, Hansen, Trenberth et al) of fudging and cheating and suppression of opposing views.

BREAKING: Gleick Confesses

Peter Gleick Confesses

Gleick’s AGU Resignation

Megan McArdle gives Mosher and the blogosphere props for pointing to Gleick

Peter Gleick Confesses to Obtaining Heartland Documents Under False Pretenses

FakeGate: Just Another Day at Team Green

Fakegate Illustrates Global Warming Alarmists’ Deceit and Desperation

Searchable data base for Climategate 2 emails already online

November 23, 2011

I am not quite sure who put this together but its appearance within about 24 hours of the original data dump on a Russian server is pretty impressive.

Climategate 2 | FOIA 2011 Searchable Database


This website is provided as a research resource for mining the recently leaked climate communications. Every effort has been made to redact personal contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers. The redaction algorithms are currently tuned to be quite stringent, and they will inadvertantly obfuscate other details as well. We will continue to tune the software to improve the quality of the results.

This database was assembled in a very short space of time, and at present only provides the most rudimentary tools for exploring this vast trove of material. We will be improving the quality of the search tools and adding further metadata to the database over the course of the next few weeks.

The investigative capabilities of the on-line community when engaged is quite formidable (as I have remarked on earlier).

Europe has “wasted” €210 billion on carbon trading for almost zero impact

November 23, 2011

The Carbon Trading  scams around the world are coming undone (though Australia in it’s wisdom and its noble efforts to single-handedly save the world has just introduced a carbon tax). The Swiss Bank, UBS has produced a report for its investors with a devastating indictment about carbon trading “waste” in Europe and its bleak future.

The Australian: 

SWISS banking giant UBS says the European Union’s emissions trading scheme has cost the continent’s consumers $287 billion for “almost zero impact” on cutting carbon emissions, and has warned that the EU’s carbon pricing market is on the verge of a crash next year.


Padre Pio and religious misconduct

November 17, 2011

Perhaps there has to be a process for retracting sainthoods in cases of religious misconduct?

A new book by Italian historian Professor Sergio Luzzatto suggests that Padre Pio’s stigmata were a fraud and the result of using carbolic acid.

Padre Pio's stigmata are being called into question (Photo: AP)

The Telegraph:

Did Padre Pio fake his stigmata with carbolic acid? That’s the claim made by Italian historian Professor Sergio Luzzatto, who says he has discovered documents including a letter from a pharmacist who supplied carbolic acid for Pio, canonised by Pope John Paul in 2002. The professor has made this claim before, drawing the following reply from the Catholic Anti-Defamation League: “We would like to remind Mr Luzzatto that according to Catholic doctrine, canonisation carries with it papal infallibility. We would like to suggest to Mr Luzzatto that he dedicates his energies to studying religion properly.

The doctrine of papal infallibility indeed.

The Catholic church and its own priests have done more to defame Catholicism than anybody else in recent times.

Diederik Stapel faked at least 30 papers

October 31, 2011

Social psychology is going to take a beating over the Diederik Stapel fraud. It provides ample fuel for the view that social psychology is no science but merely the half-baked opinions of narcissists and charlatans. Ego trips and TV appearances have governed the field rather than any scientific rigour.

The interim report of the investigation being carried out by the of Universities of Tilburg and Groningen which started in mid September is now out.

Diederik Stapel

The interim report (in Dutch) is here:

pdf Stapel interim-rapport

The extent of the fraud is breathtaking and the investigation is far from over. At least 30 papers have been found to contain fraudulent data, at least 14 doctoral theses that he supervised are compromised for using fabricated data and in all about 150 papers going back to 2004 are being investigated. Legal action is to be taken. This one is going down in the history books.

(Update! 1st November: Science Insider carries the story here)

Dutch News writes:


Rossi and his cold fusion E-Cat still smells like a fraud

October 31, 2011

Rossi & Co. announced their nickel-hydrogen fusion reactor back in January and have made regular press releases since then to keep the interest alive. They seem to have gathered a tail of staunch believers and, of course, there is a large body of dis-believers and a smaller group of sceptics.

But they are getting some attention even in business media as with this Forbes article:

On October 28th the biggest test of Rossi’s system, which is called the E-Cat, was conducted in Italy and some results were made public ….. Rossi’s E-Cat is claimed to use a secret catalyst to react hydrogen with nickel and, in the process, transmute the nickel into copper producing considerable heat. Whether this reaction works or not and if it does, exactly how it works, has been enormously contentious and the subject of numerous learned and amateur debates.


Visa Scam at Rayat London College lays low the University of Wales

October 22, 2011

Once upon a time I was a post-doc at University College Cardiff which has a Royal Charter dating from 1883 and which was part of the University of Wales, Cardiff until 2004 when it became Cardiff University. I have fond memories of Cardiff since it was with Cardiff as a base that my colleagues ensured my education on the finer points of rugby and Welsh pubs and Dylan Thomas and rugby songs. So it was a matter of some regret for me to hear that the current University of Wales was to be abolished because of wrong-doings at one of its accredited colleges.

The University of Wales  was a federal university founded in 1893 with accredited institutions throughout Wales, including the universities of Glyndŵr, Newport, Swansea Metropolitan and Trinity Saint David. It accredited courses in Britain and abroad, with over 100,000 students but following a visa fraud at one of its accredited colleges, Rayat London College,  it no longer exists. At the time of its closure, the Chancellor of the University of Wales was HRH the Prince of Wales and the Pro-Chancellor was the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan. Professor Marc Clement was President and the Vice-Chancellor was Professor Medwin Hughes.

It is not the first time that the techniques of academic cheating and fake degrees have been found to have been exported from India to colleges around the world.

THES:The Rayat London College which offered courses validated by the University of Wales has been linked to an alleged scam that helped foreign students to cheat their way to qualifications. The BBC found a lecturer from Rayat College London explaining to students how to cheat in exams and how to deceive the UK Border Agency. …. The scam would have allowed students to complete a 15-month course in under a week by cheating in exams. …. The college has suspended a lecturer, registrar and admissions officer, and said it dissociated itself from any wrongdoing and had referred the matter to the police.



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