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P. Johnson and Daniel Caldwell

Aug 01, 2006 10:00 AM
by carlosaveline


Dear Friends, 
Take a look in this well-documented text, published in Theos-talk some six months ago. 
Regards,  Carlos. 

K.Paul Johnson writes:
David Green's crusade against the ULT.
Feb 10, 2006 05:44 AM
by kpauljohnson

Folks,

Now that the feud between ULT members and Daniel Caldwell has entered 
theos-talk as a two-way street (rather than Daniel just posting his 
side of things) I feel obliged to share some background material that 
will help explain the dynamics.

As might be expected, I disagree entirely with the objections that 
have been made to the HPB Letters volume and Daniel's compilation.  
TPH books should be more in line with scholarly standards, not less.  
Suppressing damaging information out of spiritual loyalty is 
something that TPH has done too much, not too little.  Nonetheless, 
whether or not David Green is an independent entity, Daniel has been 
on an anti- ULT crusade for a long time, and having been on the 
receiving end of a similar crusade it looks like it is falling to me 
to point out what has been happening:

David Green and theos-talk

Posting on theos-talk from 1998 through 2000, "David Green" appeared 
obsessed with attacking the United Lodge of Theosophists.  For 
example, in one month alone, March 1999, he contributed more than 20 
posts to theos-talk critical of the ULT, and a dozen more the 
following month.  A year later in April 2000 he was still obsessed, 
contributing a dozen more such posts.  His website includes twenty 
articles he authored which are critical of Robert Crosbie, and 
another four critical of William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley:
http://members.tripod.com/davidgreen_2/

All remaining articles there were written by others.  No one in theos-
talk (with one exception) reports having met David Green in person, 
which is unusual in the small world of Theosophical history 
research.  But he is clearly associated with Daniel Caldwell; 
claiming to be an Australian posting from Sydney, "Green" was in fact 
posting from the same Tucson ISP as Caldwell.  A "see also" link to 
Caldwell's Blavatsky Archives website appears prominently at the top 
of Green's site.  The two share a literary style that includes 
relentless rhetorical questions and extensive quotations from primary 
sources.  They share a narrow set of obsessions, mostly attacking 
Theosophical and related organizations other than the Adyar TS.  In 
addition to literary style and subject focus, Green and Caldwell 
created websites that are remarkably similar in appearance, which can 
be judged by comparing them; here is Caldwell's:

http://www.blavatskyarchives.com/

Google shows 82 appearances of the email address 
davidgreen@hotmail.com, every one of them in posts on Theosophical 
subjects within a period of about three years.  One clear difference 
between Green and Caldwell, however, is that Green was regularly and 
overtly hostile to individual Theosophists in the ULT; e.g. these 
remarks to and about Dallas Ten Broeck and Jerome Wheeler:

http://www.theos-talk.com/archives/200004/tt00073.html

http://www.theosophy.com/theos-talk/200005/tt00232.html

Another notable feature of Green's activity was his complete disdain 
for reformist critics of the Adyar TS, who organized in the late 90s 
as the Association of Concerned Theosophists.  He presented himself 
as Australian, residing in Sydney, wrote in a peculiar style in which 
articles were largely absent, and always called HPB "Mrs. 
Blavatsky."  In general, he was contemptuously dismissive in tone 
towards almost everyone, as in this post to Govert Schuller:

http://www.theosophy.com/theos-talk/199808/tt00042.html

His hostility to the ULT even extended to Dr. James Santucci, accused 
of excessive deference to ULT sensibilities, e.g.:

http://www.theosophy.com/theos-talk/199905/tt00066.html

Occasionally a ULT member noticed something awry with Green, and 
commented on it, e.g. Peter Merriott:

http://www.theos-talk.com/archives/199902/tt00125.html

But no one ever seemed to connect the dots and suspect that Green was 
a fictitious persona.   His posts were often devoted to stirring up 
antagonism, as evident in this post attacking HPB:

http://www.theosophy.com/theos-talk/199907/tt00015.html

Here is an excellent article on Internet trolls, explaining the 
phenomenon:

http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm

which helps explain the history of Theosophical cyberspace.  Some 
relevant points from the article:

"An Internet "troll" is a person who delights in sowing discord on 
the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and 
upset people.

Trolls see Internet communications services as convenient venues for 
their bizarre game. For some reason, they don't "get" that they are 
hurting real people. To them, other Internet users are not quite 
human but are a kind of digital abstraction. As a result, they feel 
no sorrow whatsoever for the pain they inflict. Indeed, the greater 
the suffering they cause, the greater their 'achievement' (as they 
see it). At the moment, the relative anonymity of the net allows 
trolls to flourish."

All this applies to Green and his "colleague" Caldwell, but there is 
a big difference between the two in that Caldwell for many years 
refrained from publicly attacking the ULT, while Green did so 
relentlessly.  Since Green disappeared from theos-talk, Caldwell has 
gradually become more open about his hostility to the ULT.  Another 
difference is that Caldwell, more than Green, has been a practitioner 
of the troll technique called "flooding":

"When a troll attacks a message board, he generally posts a lot of 
messages. Even if his messages are not particularly inflammatory, 
they can be so numerous that they drown out the regular conversations 
(this is known as 'flooding'). Needless to say, no one person's 
opinions can be allowed to monopolize a channel."

"I love a good fight" was a very telling line, and I suggest that 
theos-talk deserves an honest explanation of the "good fight" waged 
against the ULT by Mr. "Green."

Paul [Johnson] 


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


           

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