Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wrong Planet's powder keg revisited one year later

Regular readers of autism's gadfly will remember last year I wrote a post about an individual who wrote a post threatening to kill people and posted it on the well-known neurodiversity website wrong planet.  It was quite an angry rant.  Shortly afterward, in a subsequent post, the individual posted that the whole thing was a joke.   Maybe it was a joke, but there are certain jokes that are in poor taste.  Taking into consideration the recent shootings of Adam Lanza in Newgate, the controversy as to whether or not Lanza was on the autism spectrum, and the fact that in a previous incident, Wrong Planet had neglected to report a similar threat to authorities which resulted in two innocent people being murdered I decided to take action and report this individual to the FBI.  I was not sure what the results of this action were, but tonight I've found out about some posts this individual made regarding what happened over a year ago.

As can be seen from the screenshot above, this individual is still a member on wrong planet in good standing who logged in today. I have to wonder why someone who threatens to kill people on a website that has been sued for being responsible for the murder of two people is still allowed on this web site when I was banned for using a handle they did not approve of and posting some anti-neurodiversity ideas. .

On doing further research, I discovered a thread in which this individual posted where at first he doesn't seem to understand the consequences of his actions but then concedes what he did was stupid but still seems to think anyone who would report him to authorities is overreacting.  The thread can be viewed here. He starts: In the first lines of my rant I stated that is a pure rant.. He does not seem to get it. He seems confused as to whether a threat is not a threat because it has been classified as a rant in some forum called "haven" on wrong planet, where people are free to vent however they please including threats to murder people. He goes on to say:  My question here: if a rant in The Haven has these consequences, even making it more than clear that this is a pure rant, how can I trust this community anymore? * It was a rant, in the first place. As per my understanding, a rant is NOT required to be a well thought through, but maybe I'm wrong here? Yeah, I'd say you're wrong, but maybe that's just my opinion. Though the individual in question, apparently resides in Switzerland the FBI apparently tracked him down and reported him to the local authorities. He states that though they did not take his "rant" seriously, the case was referred to the local prosecutor's office which seems odd. Also, apparently this individual really did have a gun:  
FYI: the authorities here didn't even ask me to turn over my gun to them (yet), they only asked me if I would if they'd ask me. Told them I would ofc, if only to be back living in peace myself w/o any more "official" hassle. But now, this whole incident, originating from an overworried citizen in the US, is going the official way, next station: public prosecutor's office.

I don't believe I was overworried and I did the right thing reporting this to the FBI.  I had no idea whether the first post where he said he would shoot people was a joke or if his followup post saying he really wouldn't shoot people was covering his tracks.  Anyone who would post this for trivial matters has some serious mental problems and I wonder what sort of country Switzerland (or any other nation, state or municipality for that matter)is that would allow someone with problems like this to own a gun.  It is a shame that the authorities did not demand he surrender his firearm.

Another Wrongplanet denizen calling themselves Aspergersanswers does not seem to have a very high personal opinion of your humble blogger:

Good lord.

What as*hole idiot called that in.

Its beyond belief what I have just read

how can I trust this community anymore? - You cant. Too many spiteful idiots who try to bring you down to their non-functioning level.

I know this because my trust was soon destroyed here by ONE hate filled cretin. I've not trusted the place

The individual in question complains that he won't be able to travel by plane anymore or visit friends in the U.S.A. anymore.  He seems to blame me (or anyone else who notified the authorities for that matter) on his trivial misfortune.  He also claims he might be subject to a lawsuit.  I really feel no remorse about this.  Certainly if he lived in this country  the TSA would have reason to regard him as a threat and not allow him on an airplane.

Aspergersanswers had more words of wisdom on the subject:

This is a disgrace.

WP - or its unvetted trolls are screwing people over.

This is by far the most ignorant spite filled hate based forum I've ever seen.

I'm pretty angry about this. Its the opposite of what people need. Even NT people know better than this.

In all fairness to Cephalod, the individual in question, he does give a more reasoned response in his last post in the thread which largely contradicts his previous posts on the subject:

I would like to add some final thoughts here.

1. Ultimately, it was me who made some very stupid mistakes in posting that angry rant. Posting an angry rant is one thing, but making such threats I did was just plain right stupid. Even more stupid and naive was not even to think about how others could perceive it. At least I posted only a few minutes later my "all clear, at ease".

2. If someone got scared and informed the autorities, that is only an understandable reaction. Imagine, you'd have lost a family member or a neighbor in one of those horrible events that happened again and again during the last years. Who wouldn't be scared then?

3. Yes, I wish that person would have acted more thoughtful instead of overreacting. Didn't happen. It's unfortunate, bur nothing I can do about it.

4. And the authorities were absolut right to take action. Better ten times false alert than beeing too careless once. If I were a law encorcement officer, I couldn't live with the idea that if only I had acted, I could have saved lives.

5. Yuugiri, you were right about trust. Someone did inform the autorities and as I said, I really can't blame that person. So this is not a trust issue in the end.

As I said, I made a couple of really stupid mistakes here and I am very sorry about it. I will definitly never make such mistakes again. And if there will be consequences for me, I'll have to accept them and pay the price for beeing too stupid and naive in the first place.

I wish I'd known about Cephalod's follow-up posts sooner and had blogged about them last year as soon as they became available.  Unfortunately, this is the soonest I knew about it and my apologies to the blogosphere about that.  

As far as I know, Cephalod did not actually go out and kill anyone and does not pose any threat.  I suppose some people will argue this happened a year ago and is old news.  However, I feel this problem goes far beyond one wingnut who publicly posts on a website that he's going to kill people. and other posters on this website with a bizarre ideology that they actually use some sort of semantic sophistry to claim there's a difference between a "rant" and a "threat".  As far as I know, Autism Speaks still provides funding for autism talk TV.  Alex Plank has been a keynote speaker at an Autism Society of America conference.  There is a TV show that uses him as a consultant on scripts.  Let alone people who purchase advertising on Wrong Planet.  Why is it that people would support people like this, who think like this, who run a website like this?  

Maybe these are dumb questions, but what in the hell is the autism world coming to?  Why is it that people throw all common sense out the window?    


Anonymous said...

You're apparently momentarily forgetting that in any neurodiversity settting, you're dealing with people who have anger and other various issues stemming from their collective variety of severe mental health issues. Such people who have turned to 'autism' as a hopeful and quick-fix blank-check style on their own behavior while at the same time busily pointing an angry raging finger at anything and everything everyone does or [doesn't do -- because it doesn't really matter what anyone else does -- if its not from neurodiversity it will always be wrong and rage-worthy].

"I can freely rage and act however I please, abuse and threaten, stalk, do whatever suits me, and you aren't supposed to say anything about it or hold me responsible for my actions in any way whatsoever because [I've decided] I'm AUTISTIC and therefore you can't say anything to me about it at all, and man have I got an unending sea of rage to drop all over you, you ^%$&*!"

who supports them?

well, for starters there's a neverending supply of people "who have anger and other various issues stemming from their collective variety of severe mental health issues" looking for exactly such a place/means

Then you have parents also looking for an easy out of a different sort: Parents who choose to believe their severely autistic child is some sort of a happy hidden genius, and also don't want to put the hard work, the time and money into actually helping that child.

Lastly you have really ignorant people, the type who live by sound-byte happy-feelgood stories
who only see the very surface, which.. if you only looked at Neurodiversity based on its name or stated mission... if it were in fact what it states 'on the package' that might not be so bad..

but there are people who stop right there and think what they see on the label is what's inside.

Lastly there are some pretty sinister reasons why organizations/corporations etc might want to support this, but those reasons range from the political to deadly corporate self-serving (but that's an entirely different topic, one that's really divisive even between those who know well and agree as to what neurodiversity actually is).

There is at least one rather well-known 'neurodiversity activist' living in this city, and at least one (not sure how well known) Neurodiversity author, and its not a especially large city.

However, like Farmwife remarked in another thread, its also been this posters experience too that professions and anyone of import here has never even heard of 'neurodiversity.' When directly asked commonly will even wave the very idea away in open annoyance (just as if waving away a pesky fly from too near the face).

As a person, think about how well you receive/how you feel when encountering an angry deaf person angrily signing at and mocking you.. or how well you do receive and how good do you feel about that black person who deliberately steps right in your path just to to give you the "hate stare"...

When they actually happen to you, do these actions make you want to jump up and advocate for that person? After such an encounter, do you find you really want to get to know that person's situation, donate and stand on their behalf along side of them?

Minority groups who repeatedly and deliberately intentionally alienate those of whom they seek support and understanding, are just not the sharpest tools in the box.

Silvia Writes said...

Informative article. Never heard of this, so thanks for sharing. It's beyond me why people do these sort of things.

jonathan said...

I wear their scorn as a badge of honor.You should too.

I do.

Roger, you and John Best are actually the only people I know of who have been banned from wrong planet besides myself, though I strongly suspect there have been others based on the type of organization we can plainly see that it is. Perhaps I should not care so much about them, it just seems crazy that Alex Plank is a paid speaker at av variety of autism conferences, receives funding from autism speaks andis deemed worthy of being a consultant on a TV show.

Anonymous said...

Please digress Alex Plank & his ink @ your own peril. It just may occasionally cost you your life. Heck, I tried to get into wrong planets facebook page. But they didn't allow me in. As I was kicked out another asperger FB group yesterday for daring to question their assumptions about whether, deep down, what the say about how the asperger/autism is such a gift, is truly what they believe. All of a sudden, they got all defensive towards me. Such sensitive, touchy-feelies they can be.

Shanti said...

You did the right thing. It was a very scary post and you didn't know how likely was to carry out his 'rant' which sounded more like a threat. Unfortunately, too many people get blame rather than praise for doing the right thing. But the bottom line is you did the right thing.

......I'm Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Jonathan. I typically ignore Wrong Planet like I do Fox News.

cubeangel said...


I think you did the right thing by calling the FBI on this and having the local authorities check on him.

In my compadre's minds you were wrong for doing this. I do not agree and have made my feelings known to them.

Cephalod had a break down of sorts in which he threatened to kill people. What if he carried out his threat? I am glad he did not and it just turned out to be an angry-filled rant. He was just spilling out his emotions and not thinking things through.

I do think he needs to be put on some kind of probation and these are three conditions.

a. he needs to give up his gun and any other guns he has.

b. he needs to be in therapy and if he can't afford it or get a job then he needs to have it provided to him.

c. He needs to be watched for a bit.

IMHO, there should be a way for him to show in good faith that he won't do this especially to the NSA and other governmental authorities in his home country and ours.

I am a ND advocate but there are certain areas in which we do have to draw the line which is why I agree and side with it for the most part but not absolutely and fully.

Should pedophilia be accepted? If ND was accepted absolutely then so would pedophilia. Where do we draw this line? Honestly I have no easy answer. There are just a lot of grey areas. If you look at the autism debate in relation to other concepts and debates like pro-life vs. pro-choice it greys up things even more.

It is all just so darn complicated. From time to time, I will come on here to discuss and debate with you on things if I find the time. This is one of the things I will have to mostly take your side on.

Anyway, how has life been treating you and how have you been?

Anonymous said...

"I wonder what sort of country Switzerland (or any other nation, state or municipality for that matter)is that would allow someone with problems like this to own a gun." explains Switzerland's gun ownership system.

The article says "...All healthy Swiss men aged between 18 and 34 are obliged to do military service and all are issued with assault rifles or pistols which they are supposed to keep at home.

"Twenty years ago the Swiss militia was a sizeable force of around 600,000 soldiers. Today it is only a third of that size but until recently most former soldiers used to keep their guns after they had completed their military duties, leading to lots of weapons being stored in the attics or cupboards of private Swiss households..."