By Keir Liddle
Normally unless a site is well known I don’t notice it in our referral list however early this morning a strange URL caught my eye: Jamesrandiusa.org so I clicked through and so began what may be the latest salvo in Marc Stephens libellous attacks on critics of Burzynski.
Jamesrandiusa.org has since been taken down, I assume due to the legitimate complaints of those featured on the site, but essentially it was a plethora of the conspiratorial libel that we all saw before in the infamous red arrow email. Specifically it featured a number of skeptics: Ben Goldacre, PZ Myers, Steve Novella, Simon Singh, Bob Blaskiewicz, Stephen Fry, Rhys Morgan, Popehat, Ratbags, Fiona Godlee, Jen McCreight, Paul Kurtz, Brian Deer, Andy Lewis, Kylie Sturgess, Richard Dawkins, Dave Gorski, Stephen Barrett, Saul Green, James Randi and… er… me… and a number of other prominent US and UK skeptics. The website was centered around an imaginary conspiracy concocted and conducted by “members and affiliates” of the Skeptics society (an organisation that appears to be the figment of the authors imagination) which claimed skeptics knowingly supported and support paedophiles.
The centrepiece of this libellous conspiracy is a forty year old attempt to blackmail James Randi with claims that he was sexually involved with under-age boys a libellous claim which Randi debunks stridently here. Page after page of the site presents the incoherent rambling case linking together #twitterjoketrial, identity fraud, Stephen Frys youthful credit card fraud and PZ Myers “desecration” of a communion wafer. The qualifications of all skeptics featured in the site were all prefaced with “allegedly” or qualified with “x claims y” and every page returns to the central libellous theme that all the skeptics are knowingly support a known pederast.
The conspiracy would be entirely laughable if it were not so vicious.
But why do we have reason to believe the perpetrator may have been former Burzynski clinic employee Marc Stephens?
Given the majority of those who were mentioned in the site have prominently and critically blogged about Dr Burzynski and his Antineoplasteon treatment (Rhys Morgan was specifically referred to as “the teen menace to society”) many were quick to note the similarity in writing style and target selection. Although this is obviously not enough to draw any firm conclusions.
What is far more suggestive is the information that tallies with digging previously down by Edward McGuire (which can be found on G+) who identified Marcs connection to MAS Web Design & Hosting. As McGuire reports:
maswebdesignhosting.com has links to burzynskipatientgroup.org on its homepage. These links are labeled “Burzinski Patient Group We Are Living Proof” and “Donate Please Support The #1 Cure For Cancer”.maswebdesignhosting.com and burzynskipatientgroup.org both host with Hostmonster at the same IP address (18.104.22.168). Both were designed with Joomla. Both feature the “MAS” initialism in their design. Both feature the “hm” Hostmaster icon as their bookmark icon (favicon).
This information has allowed industrious skeptics to investigate the IP address of the jamesrandiusa.org site (despite it’s owner being listed anonymously on Who.is) and it matched with Marcs previous sites even using the same content management software. Though it is worth noting the server also hosts 2,000 other blogs it is interesting that it hosts all of Marc Stephens websites that we are currently aware of. McGuire also has further revelations on the activities of Marc Stephens:
Independent Credit Repair sells a self-help credit repair manual and a database of templates for writing nasty letters to creditors and collection agencies. Thumbnails on the site indicate these letters have titles such as “FIRST NOTICE” and “INTENT TO SUE”. The thumbnails are too small for me to identify and count misspelled words and grammatical errors. Like maswebdesignhosting.com, independentcreditrepair.com links toburzynskipatientgroup.org. It, too, labels the links “Burzynski Patient Group We Are Living Proof” and “Donate Please Support The #1 Cure For Cancer”. It, too, hosts with Hostmonster at the same IP address (22.214.171.124). It, too, was designed with Joomla. It, too, features the “MAS” initialism in its design, with a link back to maswebdesignhosting.com. It, too, has the Hostmonster logo as its favicon.
While we cannot say with absolute certainty that Marc Stephens is responsible for the libellous Jamesrandiusa.org site the evidence gathered thus far doesn’t seem to strongly suggest otherwise. We welcome any evidence to the contrary or a rebuttal from Marc himself.