In the interest of avoiding filling up the comment section at a Q&O article about Egypt with a protracted dispute over articles posted to Usenet, starting nearly a decade ago, I’m going to put the details here for now. To get to the comments at the Q&O article, you’ll need to repeatedly expand the comments: hit “End” to get to the bottom of the article and click “Show 50 more”. If there are relevant responses at the Q&O article or in the comments here, I may include them and my responses on this page, which means it may have updates.
Scott Erb: “I remember seeing how Billy Beck and others were mocking Gandalf for his loss, and I thought that was some of the most cruel, vile and disgusting behavior I have ever seen on the usenet.“
No, you don’t, because Billy Beck did no such thing. Here is a sample of what he actually did write. He didn’t mock “Gandalf”, but stated quite clearly that he judged him to be a liar and didn’t believe him, before or after his announcement that he had lost a child to illness.
Some people challenged “Gandalf” based upon a mistake in the date, but at least one apologized, as documented by Ernest Brown.
Even your ideological ally, “SemiScholar”, who had initially castigated people for mocking “Gandalf” was finally persuaded to agree with me and described “Gandalf’s” exploitation as reprehensible and sick.
R.C. Brown, who consistently stayed above the fray in flame wars defended me.
The posts on the topic of “Gandalf” allegedly losing a child to illness and the reaction of others span several years and are intertwined with other topics. A sampling of my remarks: http://bit.ly/tSDd9b http://bit.ly/uncwbR http://bit.ly/w2DOpx
“The fact you’d take the side of those cretins who literally mocked, disbelieved and ridiculed a man who had suffered a loss shows an extreme lack of character on your part. You should be ashamed.“
Actually, I’m proud that I had the resolve and character to not shrink from the danger of readers mistakenly assuming I was a “bad guy” by standing up for people who were not “cretins” at all, people who were the victims of lies told by “Gandalf” and accomplices like you.
Many people didn’t believe “Gandalf” in part because he had a long history of being a rotten, unrepentant liar, and also because his behavior was far removed from what one would expect of a grieving parent.
“…until [Billy Beck's] willingness to ridicule someone for a loss caused me to realize he’s empty. The fact you’d raise that against me — when Gandalf was the victim, is ueber-bizarre.“
“Gandalf” wasn’t the victim. He pretended he was and exploited the natural sympathy people gave to him to give him leverage for slinging mud. As I stated many times, that act was the single most disgusting thing I saw on the newsgroups.
“I would not make fun of someone’s suicide.“
At least not under your usual account.
“But yes, in 2005 I remember being furious and shocked by how you all were treating Gandalf and mocking and even disbelieving him when he was suffering a loss. I did lose my temper, that very much engaged my sense of justice, it’s wrong to engage in the kind of behavior you all were engaging in with Gandalf.“
Except the “mocking” over the death of a child did not happen. “Gandalf” lied about that and you joined him.