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Talk:Laird Shaw

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Mental illness denial[edit]

Just dumping this here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2HT0BSSVQ43CP In this book review, Laird Shaw admits to being diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he has been sectioned in psychiatric wards. However he goes on to deny schizophrenia is a mental illness, making him a mental illness denial crank.MrOrganic (talk) 15:19, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

Note: likely random harassment[edit]

Note that this page was likely created by under two sock-puppets (he has numerous profiles on this website). Both profiles used for this article have no other contributions. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Skeptical https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/MrOrganic . RationalWiki admins should be aware that Oliver S. is using the site to essentially seek out random people who he thinks (rightly or wrongly) to like something RW labels pseudoscience (or fringe etc.), and then put their name on this website. On Wikipedia this kind of harassment would not work due to WP:NOTEABILITY. I don't know what the RW policy is there, but you should be aware of the issue. Laird Shaw is according to Google, essentially an unknown person: 1100 hits, shared by a few different people. For comparison, I picked 3 people from the. The first of each letter (ABC, 2nd person for B because the first had a non-distinct name). These are https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Diane_Abbott https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/C0nc0rdance. Their google hits are, respectively, 436.000, 508,000, and 110,000. Should RW really be used to target random individuals with views considered questionable according to RW? It seems more sensible to only target actual public/notable persons. --EmilOWK (talk) 15:52, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

See the essay Essay:Why notability is stupid and I hate it.—チーズバーガー • めん Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 15:59, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm not "" (whoever that is). And EmilOWk is a sock of the racialist crank Emil Kirkegaard "the polymath scientist" with no scientific qualifications... yea, we should really take him serious.MrOrganic (talk) 16:08, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
EmilOWK is not a sock of anyone. This is my only username and the only publicly verified one. --EmilOWK (talk) 19:14, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
Since when is it "harassment" to create articles on pseudo-scientists or cranks on RationalWiki - when this is in its mission statement? lol.MrOrganic (talk) 16:11, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
You people are disgusting. One day RationalWiki is going to be exposed for the troll farm that it is. You are doing more harm for the betterment of science and progressive politics than anyone on the extreme right could ever dream of. Heyguy (talk) 16:15, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
EmilOWk is a sock of well ... EmilOWk... He's not being annoying or trolly, so who cares if he's on RationalWiki? (You apparently). Anyway, MrOrganic makes a valid point. RationalWiki covers things no matter how obscure, however, EmilOWK rightfully asserts this can allow axe-grinding, which is why articles on people must be handled carefully.—チーズバーガー • めん Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 16:17, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
Consider where this policy leaves you. Should RW editors design bots to scrape and find every person who has every said something in support of some fringy/dodgy thing? This can be accomplished by scraping Twitter, OKCupid, Facebook, etc. This would result in literally billions of people. They can then be publicly shamed on RW. If not, why not? This is the logical end point of having no notability requirement. Is there some official stance on what to do with people who use RW to seek out random people who wrote a book review on Amazon or has a forum so obscure that it is not even covered by Alexa? Does RW admins realize the potential for harassing essentially random people by making profiles about them on RW? RW has a fairly high Google page rank, so if one takes the name of some random person, it is likely that RW will be the first hit. --EmilOWK (talk) 19:14, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, I don't disagree with you. You should create an essay on the website.チーズバーガー • めん Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 19:19, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
There's no "harassement" on the article, all it does is quote Mr. Laird Shaw's crazy beliefs he himself has posted. I'm not sure how it can be "harassement" when someone quotes what someone else wrote. If they dispute this, then they shouldn't have written such statements on the internet in the first place.MrOrganic (talk) 16:26, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

My views:

Harassment: Unless the quotes misrepresent Laird's views or share private material, then they are hardly harassment.

Notability: Laird doesn't seem to be notable in himself. He has few Google results and his website is not popular [1][2]. He's somewhat notably because RW cares about Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia. However, as a public forum creator (and therefore public figure), it's fine to have a page on 'em. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 00:00, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Psience Quest is not "my" website. It was founded by ten of us - I just happened to be the one who registered the domain name. It is also, like RationalWiki, very community-driven, so founders are not particularly notable even within the community; our main role is facilitation and moderation on behalf of the community, according to the community's expectations. In any case, are we to expect nine more articles, one for each of the other founders?

FuzzyCatPotato: I'm an internet nobody and of no meaningful interest to RationalWiki - this article is merely the result of a grudge of Ollie's at my publicly identifying him as the culprit behind a series of sock-puppets and impersonations on our forum. Were it not for Ollie and that grudge, who amongst you would have even thought of me, let alone created an article on me? Laird (talk) 09:15, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Psience Quest is notable because of the Alex Tsakiris/Skeptiko relationship. It is also notable because it hosts a lot of conspiracy theory and pseudoscientific content on the paranormal and UFOs. Btw I am not "Ollie", I created this article because I have followed the activities of Skeptiko for years. As for socks. You accuse people of using impersonations and sock-puppets without evidence. Your evidence someone was using sock-puppets on your forum was your friend Rome Viharo, that is not 'evidence'. Elsewhere on the web this "Ollie" has denied creating any accounts on your forum. It must also be noted you are diagnosed with schizophrenia and have been 'in and out of psych wards" (your own words), how do we know you are not behind the alleged accounts yourself? As you are in an unhealthy state of mind, should you really be accusing people of things? Perhaps these 'accounts' you are talking about were hallucinations. I checked your forum member list which is public and none of these accounts you say actually exist [3]. Skeptical (talk) 10:39, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Further[edit]

FuzzyCatPotato, further to my previous comments: to even have a critical article about oneself on a "rational" wiki implies that one is "irrational", and when this result comes up first for a search on one's name, as is often the case (including for me), this tarnishes one's reputation. Clearly, this is the sense in which the article counts as harassment, and clearly it is why Ollie created the article in the first place. When it also contains falsehoods, as this article does, then the harassment is even clearer.

I am neither a parapsychologist, conspiracy theorist (in general and in the case of GSoW) nor a pseudoscience promoter, nor am I "the" admin/owner of Psience Quest, nor did I administer Alex's "podcast" (I was briefly a moderator of his forum). The only accuracies about me in the article other than the quotes are that I am a fruitarian and believer in the paranormal.

I would like this article deleted, but if you are unwilling to do that, then please correct the inaccuracies. Laird (talk) 14:03, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Feel free to remove uncited information or information that citations don't support. Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 15:02, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Fuzzy, I've done that. Would still prefer that the article be deleted though. Laird (talk) 03:10, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Laird is lying. Concerning being irrational just have a read through his Skepiko and Psience Quest forum posts - there's thousands of them. For someone who claims to be a "nobody", he sure does spend a heck of a lot of time on internet forums with huge post totals; plenty of irrational/crazy stuff he believes in from "plant power", food-woo, ghosts, UFOs etcetc. Someone could easily add many more quotes to the article. It should also be noted Laird is on fstdt.com that quotes his irrational posts on forums for amusement. And isn't parapsychologist just a "believer in the paranormal"?. The quote for his support for the GSoW conspiracy theory is already on the article: "organised* groups of skeptics harassed Rome on Wikipedia to the point of having him unfairly banned". This is totally false; "organised" skeptics did not harass RV.MrOrganic (talk) 16:36, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
More evidence of Laird Shaw's irrationality and paranoia/conspiracy theory-mind is found in his repeated delusions that someone named "Ollie" created his RW article. This is denied by Skeptical above, and for which there exists no evidence. In other words the only falsehoods I see, are by Laird. Its also claimed above I am Skeptical. Not true either. I can assure you we are two separate persons. MrOrganic (talk) 16:43, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Laird attempted to delete that had a reasonable citation and removed the pseudoscience navpage. He's about as pseudoscience as it gets. Bongolian (talk) 05:48, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I will expand this article later tonight. I removed 'parapsychologist' and added 'paranormalist' as this term is more accurate. Skeptical (talk) 17:05, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Fruitarianism[edit]

There are two links about Laird's fruitarianism here, can anyone help me expand this content into the article? [4], [5]. He defines his diet as "Eat only that which detaches harmlessly from a plant, or which otherwise causes no harm (e.g. salt, in moderation)." Skeptical (talk) 18:05, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

To Laird:[edit]

@Laird: If you could list the [1] false statements that don't have citations and [2] false statements that do have citations and why those citations are wrong here, that'd be great. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 20:08, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, Fuzzy, I've done that below. Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Laird has already listed what he believes are the 'false' statements above. He says he only registered the domain name of Psience Quest and there is more than one owner. Well he registered the website and it is only in his name, so he owns the website... and he is the admin. The statement he is the admin/owner is accurate. He also claims he was a former "moderator" on the Skeptiko-forum, this is not strictly true. He was a former administrator for the forum but this title has since been removed from his profile [6] and he is now back to the title of a "Well-Known Member". I have proof of that here though, he was an administrator [7] (Google search still logs this). In conclusion he really is splitting hairs here. The only complaints he has is over the words "administrator" and "owner". Very petty. There are no false statements on the article. Skeptical (talk) 21:43, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
I'd like to let Laird raise the issues without immediately being jumped upon. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 22:04, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

To Fuzzy re the false claims in the article[edit]

Thank you, Fuzzy, for inviting me to point out the false claims in the article. I'll do that, however I am not interested in engaging with the troll Ollie, a large-scale sock-puppeteer and impersonator, and a pathological liar, who created this article on me. I hope that you keep that in mind as you evaluate the dialogue. I'll take the false claims one by one, from most trivial to most serious. Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

My advice: You need to stop talking about an imaginary "Ollie" and an inventing this 'impersonator'. I know you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and you have said you hear voices, but you are sounding like a paranoid crank here. Skeptical (talk) 08:41, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
"Demonic beings, and potentially a supreme evil being going by a name like Satan or Lucifer, exist and can communicate with and influence "ordinary" human beings. I have been communicated to verbally by such a being, and have been, at times, influenced by metaphysical evil to the point of paralysis." [8] I was thinking poe... but it appears you really believe what you write Laird. Deeply disturbing stuff! Skeptical (talk) 10:28, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

1. That I am "the" admin/owner of Psience Quest[edit]

As is made clear in our rules, I am only one out of ten original founders, two of whom have since left our founding team; I am only one out of six of those founders who chose to be administrators; and I am only one out of four of those who chose to be active moderators. Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Actually you registered the domain name. You registered and created the website in your own name, so you are the owner. Skeptical (talk) 08:43, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Changed to "a current administrator of Psience Quest". Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 19:35, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

2. That I am "a promotor [sic] of the Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia conspiracy theory"[edit]

I do not believe there is any "conspiracy" there - I think GSoW are pretty open about what they do. The quote of mine that is offered to support this assertion ("*organised* groups of skeptics harassed Rome on Wikipedia to the point of having him unfairly banned") is just a description of activist editors (semi-)openly doing what activist editors who get a little carried away do - hardly a conspiracy theory. Also, the quote conveniently leaves out that which immediately preceded it: "skeptics deny that Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) were involved in any of the articles on Wikipedia to which Rome contributed - which might (or might not) be in fact true (I really don't know, but am prepared to accept it for the sake of argument)". In other words, I say directly that I don't know whether GSoW were active in these articles - i.e. this quote does not support my promoting any conspiracy theory with respect to that group. If I had been promoting a conspiracy theory about GSoW, I would not have been so agnostic. Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

You said in your words an organised group of skeptics got Rome Viharo banned on Wikipedia. There is no evidence for this wacky claim, it is a conspiracy theory. Skeptical (talk) 08:38, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Adjusted. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 19:53, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

3. That I am "a big believer in conspiracy theories"[edit]

I see no evidence or citations presented for this claim, which is not surprising because it is a false claim. My view on conspiracy theories is compatible with the RationalWiki view: "Not all conspiracy theories are wrong, but if the theory requires greater suspension of disbelief than random chance would to explain the occurrence, it should be examined skeptically". Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Removed. Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 19:44, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

4. That I am a proponent of "diet woo"[edit]

Those two words link (after a redirect) to a page titled "Fad diets", which seems to describe diets that are promoted, without proper scientific evidence, for weight-loss or curative reasons - but I don't promote my diet for those sort of reasons: I promote it for ethical reasons. Fruitarianism as I practice and advocate for it is simply an extension of veganism - and, like veganism, it is neither "diet woo" nor a "fad diet". Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Removed. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 19:43, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Fruitarianism is considered quackery by the majority of the medical community. 172.252.126.114 (talk) 21:10, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

5. That Psience Quest is "a pseudoscience forum"[edit]

It is actually a forum whose primary aim is the discussion and debate of scientific research into psi and the paranormal. No prior commitment to either the soundness or unsoundness of the research in general and of any given paper in particular is required of members of our forum. Both skeptics and proponents are welcome and active. Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Changed to "psi and the paranormal". FuzzyCatPotato of the Moronic Candlesticks (talk/stalk) 19:50, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

6. That I am a "pseudoscience promoter"[edit]

I have looked into some of the scientific research into psi and the paranormal and have found some of it to be not just credible but convincing. I don't knowingly promote "pseudoscience": if a particular research paper has serious flaws, or is otherwise bogus, then I will say so. I don't just uncritically accept and promote any psi-related research, and nor do I accept that research into psi is necessarily "pseudoscience". I don't think you ought to either, nor to label those who conduct or analyse this research as inherently "pseudoscientific" - because generally, they're not; generally, they're serious and diligent researchers. Laird (talk) 06:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

You claim in your own words you believe in psychokinesis, mediumship, spirits, telepathy etc... that Uri Geller has psychic powers. Worse you even claim all these things have 'scientific' evidence. As another user said you are anti-science. You are about as pseudoscience as it gets. Skeptical (talk) 08:33, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
You also say there is scientific evidence plants have consciousness. This is a pseudoscientific and nonsensical claim. Plants do not have a nervous system, they are not conscious. Skeptical (talk) 08:45, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
This has been rephrased. Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 20:05, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

In regard to psychokinesis, Laird says: "I have seen a lot of apparently legitimate evidence that this occurrs, ranging from rigorous experiments on Uri Geller to accounts by people I trust (e.g. Dean Radin) of successful spoon-bending parties." This fits the description of a pseudoscience promoter. 172.252.126.114 (talk) 21:09, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

I agree 172 but lets vote on this. I vote that "pseudoscience promoter" is accurate and should remain. Anyone else want to vote? Skeptical (talk) 21:15, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
Here Here—チーズバーガー • めん Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 21:17, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
I have debated Laird Shaw in the past on Skeptiko, the guy is a big pseudoscience promoter. No idea why "pseudoscience promoter" was removed. Crank destroyer (talk) 09:12, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks to Fuzzy, and one final objection[edit]

I appreciate you being so reasonable and open to my objections, and for fixing the page accordingly. The only remaining claim to which I object is that "both [psi and the paranormal] are pseudoscientific beliefs". These areas can be studied in a pseudoscientific way, but they can also be studied in a legitimately scientific way. To believe in psi and the paranormal is not inherently pseudoscientific, and can be based on legitimate science and/or personal experiences. I'd appreciate it if you could either remove this claim or clarify that it is an editorial opinion. Thanks again. Laird (talk) 02:37, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

You claim psychic powers have scientific evidence, you are anti-science. Also you claim "Demonic beings, and potentially a supreme evil being going by a name like Satan or Lucifer, exist and can communicate with and influence "ordinary" human beings. I have been communicated to verbally by such a being" lol you are an anti-science crank. Crank destroyer (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
"To believe in psi and the paranormal is not inherently pseudoscientific, and can be based on legitimate science and/or personal experiences." There is no legitimate science for paranormal powers. If there was, the mainstream scientific community would have embraced it ages ago. There is no conspiracy, the evidence does not exist. And no, Uri Geller does not have psychic powers Laird. Crank destroyer (talk) 09:14, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Laird Shaw[edit]

This discussion was moved here from RationalWiki:Saloon bar.

I found Laird Shaw's RationalWiki article, I have debated this guy on the web. I see he has turned up on his talk-page claiming he wants the word "pseudoscience promoter" removed. One user gave into his command. Problem: He claims demons and spirits exist and he talks with them, Uri Geller has psychic powers, plants have consciousness, intelligent design has evidence, psychokinesis exists, dean radin bent a spoon with PK etc... how is he not promoting pseudoscience? The word "pseudoscience" should not be removed. Crank destroyer (talk) 09:08, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Please take this discussion to his talk page. ClickerClock (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Of course he is a pseudoscience promoter. I just thought paranormal suited him better due to most of his pseudosciencific beliefs were based in the paranormal. ClickerClock (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
@Crank destroyer ClickerClock (talk) 09:12, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Is there any reason to revert this?[edit]

Trolling and impersonations[edit]

Shaw alongside his friend Rome Viharo have created fake accounts (including impersonations of skeptics and RationalWiki sysops) on PsienceQuest.net. Shaw then created a thread attempting to blame these impersonations onto innocent people, without providing any proof for his accusations i.e. Shaw cites Viharo as evidence, while Viharo cites Shaw. Impersonating Users Deleted. In December 2017 Viharo was permabanned from Reddit for impersonating other users, yet Shaw conveniently chooses not to mention this.

- Notable section about Shaw & Viharo trolling others including skeptics by creating fake accounts of them.SkepticDave (talk) 19:12, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

It looks more like a talkpage comment to me. Comrade GC (talk) 19:18, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok. The forum PsciencQuest is a pseudoscience forum that promotes psi, spiritualism, intelligent design etc. It "invites" skeptics to go there to debate the crazies who believe in these things, however if you do that - you end up either attacked in threads and ganged up against and then bizarrely the admin creates fake accounts to impersonate skeptics, while then blaming them onto innocent users he debated.SkepticDave (talk) 19:24, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Laird Shaw is a diagnosed schizophrenic who claims to communicate with demons. If there are any 'impersonations', I suspect Laird Shaw is behind them. On the forum link is a comment from Laird Shaw claiming he has evidence from his friend Rome Viharo who the culprit is, but this appears to be nothing more than Viharo's word. As you say Viharo is not a reliable source he has his own vendetta against Rationalwiki. He was banned a few weeks ago on Reddit for impersonating people from Rationalwiki. Either way this drama should be left off the article for now. We should wait until we have a few more sources that cover this. Laird Shaw and Viharo have both harassed and trolled a lot of skeptics online, sooner or later a well known skeptic website may cover their crackpottery and we will have another decent source, until then just wait. 185.123.101.3 (talk) 20:32, 10 January 2018 (UTC)